Warren Caylor on the move again!

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Re: Warren Caylor on the move again!

Post by Lis on Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:37 pm

It seems to me, when I think about the topic, both in terms of Warren Caylor and more generally the field of physical and materialisation mediumship, that the first step is to establish whether the phenomena that appears to occur is genuinely produced other than by the medium. In other words, establish that the medium is not acting fraudulently.

Once that is established (assuming it can be) we can then move on to the issue of whether that which manifests, i.e., a supposed specific individual who has died but has appeared and communicates, is able to provide any evidence to support the claim of their apparent identity.

The first issue requires test conditions that eliminate the obvious potential methods of fraud. That might be done by the use of weighing scales under the medium's chair, for example, or placing them in a cloth sack as was done in the past, or a wire cage (an option that certainly appeals to me) or some other form of restraint that eliminates the possibility of the medium consciously or unconsciously fraudulently producing the phenomena or impersonating the spirit. Test conditions should also ensure that no one else in the room is in a position to act fraudulently to produce apparent phenomena.

If such precautions are taken and phenomena is still produced, we can then argue there is a reasonable case for the genuineness of the phenomena, but that in itself, does not mean that we have proved that the phenomena is produced by discarnate spirit. But, at this point we can move on to assessing the content of the phenomena, evaluating the various theories of how such phenomena might be produced other than by discarnate spirit.

If we eliminate other possible explanations we may then move on to look at whether, in the case of alleged materialisation, for example, the alleged discarnate spirit is identifiable, provides concrete evidence of their identity by giving details of their life, communicating directly with people who were known to them when alive, and so on. When this is done, we can begin to argue that there is strong evidence for the reality of survival over death, and the continuation of the human personality.

When alleged physical mediums hold seances for money, in the dark, and with 'test' conditions under their own control rather than under the control of objective investigators, and they refuse to allow objective investigators to test their alleged mediumship using all sorts of spurious arguments about how 'spirit' says this would endanger the medium, etc, etc, I am of the view those mediums should be shunned. They should be treated as suspect.

In the past, the genuine mediums, wanted to be tested. They wanted to prove the validity of spirit and agreed to many tests, sometimes oppressive tests, in the hope of providing evidence. Today, we have a load of so-called physical mediums who want us to believe they are genuinely producing phenomena and materialisations but won't agree to do so under genuine test conditions.

Over the past 164 years of Spiritualism's history there have been many people who claimed they could produce such physical phenomena. Most of them were proved fraudulent. Some were caught out acting fraudulently, time and time again. Despite this some spiritualists were willing to believe, despite the obvious, that those mediums were still genuine. I see this still happening today.

That there have been genuine mediums in the past, I have no doubt. I wish that there were some like them with us today, but I personally doubt there is.

Lis
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Re: Warren Caylor on the move again!

Post by obiwan on Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:56 pm

Well put Lis.

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Re: Warren Caylor on the move again!

Post by Admin on Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:57 pm

I agree with Mark's point about the SPR it started with good intentions andincluded many Spiritualists. Sadly people like Eleanor Sidgwick seemed determined to refuse and refute every claimed medium. It was the attempt to debunk William Eglinton that set the Spiritualist movement at odds with the SPR. Despite the better intentions of other researchers this established a pattern for mediums to refuse research which all to often could be erceived to be hostile.

However away from the SPR there have been a number of good researchers like Glendennig Hamilton and King in Canada. Or the research on Leonora Piper even with the SPR (although once again you need to avoid Sidgwick's negative comments, she once claimed that the SPR had proved no Spirit photography was anything other than fraud). Some exceptional proof from exceptional mediums.
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