TV show ITV London 9th August

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TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:25 am

Alert from the Londonist
Sunday August 9th
Revelations - Talking to the Dead (ITV1, 19.00-20.00) Inside an East London spiritualist church, in which people believe the dead can be contacted.
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Re: TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by zerdini on Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:31 am

Admin wrote:Alert from the Londonist
Sunday August 9th
Revelations - Talking to the Dead (ITV1, 19.00-20.00) Inside an East London spiritualist church, in which people believe the dead can be contacted.

It is actually on Channel Four 19.00 - 20.00 and repeated on Thursday at 4.00 am.

Revelations - Talking to the Dead gains unprecedented access to a Spiritualist Church in East London to provide an intimate portrait of people whose worlds have been transformed by a belief in life beyond the grave.

This poignant film about grief and loss lifts the lid on a belief system which many are quick to ridicule, meeting mediums and members of the congregation and exploring the different paths that have led them to the church.

Each member of the congregation has a different story but all take comfort in their visits to the church. Is their religion a fool's paradise or do Spiritualists perhaps have access to a world which most of us prefer not to contemplate: the world of the afterlife?

One of more than 400 Spiritualist churches across the UK, this East London church has been around for 80 years. The services are lead not by priests, but by visiting mediums who are invited to give demonstrations of their ability to make contact with the dead.

For Spiritualists, the descriptions and messages that the mediums deliver amount to scientific proof of the existence of a Spirit World that can and does communicate from beyond the grave. For Spiritualists, death is just the start of a new phase.

The Radio Times blurb states: Film-maker Richard Alwyn explores the world of spiritual churches. "I think spiritualism is a benign thing, which suffers from being surrounded by charlatans," he says.

In fact Alwyn received a message of his own through a doctor.

"Neither of us knows what to make of it but we're agreed it's very strange.

"I also had some spiritual healing which seemed to help my back.

"I only wish the same thing happened with osteopaths; I've forked out a fortune over the years."

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Re: TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by obiwan on Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:36 am

This should be interesting... or possibly buttock-clenchingly embarrassing Smile

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Re: TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by zerdini on Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:10 pm

obiwan wrote:This should be interesting... or possibly buttock-clenchingly embarrassing Smile

More likely the latter, I feel. Rolling Eyes

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Re: TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by zerdini on Sun Aug 09, 2009 7:30 pm

zerdini wrote:
obiwan wrote:This should be interesting... or possibly buttock-clenchingly embarrassing Smile

More likely the latter, I feel. Rolling Eyes

I have just watched 'Revelations' which was filmed at Vestry Road, Walthamstow NS Church and was much as I expected.

The congregation was very small with plenty of spare seats.

The one redeeming feature was an interview with an articluate medical doctor who has a local practice. He has more potential as a medium than many I've seen and was interviewed regarding his experiences in an 'Awareness' class and in his medical practice.

Most of the other interviewees seemed unable to express themselves in a literate way or revealed much understanding of Spiritualism in general.

The Producer who also filmed the programme remained unconvinced and closed by saying he was unlikely to return to the church although he felt its influence was benign.

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Re: TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by obiwan on Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:15 pm

I thought it was quite balanced actually. It was better than I thought it would be.

The Doctor was articulate and his anecdotes interesting. There are much better examples of evidence recorded but he sounded genuine and I think he was telling the truth as he saw it. It is difficult to know how much weight to give to his report. He has perhaps something to lose if he is seen as a crackpot but the medical world is not immune to nutters any more than any other walk of life I reckon.

The reporter conceded that he has benefited from healing but seemed not to be convinced it was associated with what had happened at the Church which I find curious given it was a long-standing condition according to him.

The mediumship in the Church had only a limited showing but looked like the usual stuff I have seen in Spiritualist Churches - imprecise, devoid of objective evidence. Even the Doctor's messages were tantalisingly insufficient for the reporter and I think I would feel the same way.

The guy running the Church was curious. I didn't take to him at first but he kind of grew on me a bit as things went on. Not well educated and therefore perhaps not very skillful at explaining why he believes the things he does (this seems to be quite a common factor although I suspect it is true of many attendees at mainstream churches too). Plus the usual collection of aura photographs and mysterious medieval guides and gurus.

On the whole not too bad. It is interesting that the reporter wasn't convinced (but not in the least surprising :lol) . I kind of got the feeling he was puzzled by what had happened but didn't quite know what to make of it. The attendees looked like quite a good cross-section - the gardener, the doctor, the long-time attenders and the mentally ill. Sounds like a typical cross-section of the congregation at Catholic churches (and others) when I did that kind of thing Smile

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Re: TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by obiwan on Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:27 pm

As an after thought, perhaps it is worth comparing it to what you will be confidently told when you go to mass:

Some bloke in medieval costume will give you a piece of bread which is actually the flesh of a guy who died 2000 years ago and wine which is blood of the same. Although many of the attendees don't believe that, 400 years ago people were being put to death for arguing the toss.

He will the read texts from a book that has been concocted over the last 3500 years or so by people with a political agenda and which has for the most-part no relevance for life today (although some of the audience will insist that you must live your life by it - but will still eat crab - go figure).

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Re: TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by Admin on Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:50 pm

Thatnks for the reports Z and Obi. Liked the Catholic analogy Paul.

Somehow we need to do better I thnk Griffith writing in PN has the right idea we need to improve an understanding of the philosophy and the delivery of the Mediumship.

By the by Lis remembers working Vestry Rd as one of the churches on the circuit she worked said it was a nice little place almost christian no mixing of beliefs and plenty of hymn singing but that was a while ago now.

Jim
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Re: TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by zerdini on Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:01 am

Admin wrote:Thatnks for the reports Z and Obi. Liked the Catholic analogy Paul.

Somehow we need to do better I thnk Griffith writing in PN has the right idea we need to improve an understanding of the philosophy and the delivery of the Mediumship.

By the by Lis remembers working Vestry Rd as one of the churches on the circuit she worked said it was a nice little place almost christian no mixing of beliefs and plenty of hymn singing but that was a while ago now.

Jim

Christian symbols were quite prominently displayed in the church. Keith Hudson who described himself as booking secretary for the church is quite a well-known medium on the circuit.

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Re: TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by zerdini on Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:54 am

2009 August 10
Dr Ian Rubenstein, healing, Richard Alwyn, Walthamstow Spiritualist Church

by Roy Stemman

Dr Ian Rubenstein
A general practitioner with a practice in east London was remarkably frank about his mediumistic abilities in a programme, “Talking to the Dead”, one of a series on different faiths on the UK’s Channel 4 which was screened last night (Sunday, 9 August).

Dr Ian Rubenstein was filmed at Walthamstow National Spiritualist Church, where he sits in its Awareness Circle for developing mediums, and in his surgery where he recounted some of his extraordinary experiences.

Richard Alwyn, who filmed, produced and directed the documentary “after being given unprecedented access to a Spiritualist church”, testified that Dr Rubenstein had given him a vivid description of his grandfather when they were both sitting in the development circle. He described him, accurately, as being involved with music, playing instruments and conducting.

At his surgery, he told Alwyn about one woman patient who came to him suffering with inconsolable and inexplicable depression.

“So I printed out a prescription for an anti-depressant for her from the computer and, as I took it out, signed it and went to hand it to her I felt this blow to the back of my head and I heard a voice say, ‘Ask her about her father’.

“As I heard the voice I saw, at least I think I saw – it was almost as if I could see it properly over her left shoulder – the misty outline of a man. And I could actually describe him. I said, ‘Lucy, tell me about your Dad’.

And she looked at me quizzically, stopped crying and said, ‘He was killed 38 years ago on the 8th of December by the IRA. Do you think that’s why I’m depressed?’

“And I said, ‘Did he look like…’ and I described him. And she said, ‘Yes, how do you know?’ And I said, ‘Actually, Lucy, I think I’ve just seen him.’ At which point she grabbed my arm and said, ‘Thank you so much, doctor, you don’t know what this means.’

“She regained her composure and I offered the prescription but she said, ‘No thanks, I don’t need that now. Now that you’ve told me you’ve seen him, I don’t need it’.”

Dr Rubinstein’s first psychic experience occurred 35 years earlier, when he was a young medical student. He and his sister were sitting with a friend, 19-year-old Felicity who had long dark hair and a dark complexion. They were having an ordinary conversation when “all of a sudden there was someone else there” who had a very stern “snow queen face” with blonde hair, piercing blue eyes and “distorted thick white lips”.

His sister suddenly started screaming and said, ‘My God, did you see those lips?‘ The “vision” had lasted just a few seconds but it made an impact on the young student. Later, talking a friend’s neighbour, medium Keith Hudson had told Dr Rubenstein that he had seen Felicity’s spirit guide.

The doctor started going to the Spiritualist church five years ago after an unsettling experience with a patient who gave him an uncannily accurate message from the dead. There, he was reunited with Keith Hudson who plays an active role in the running of the church, as its vice-president, and who was the focal point of much of the documentary.

As well as receiving the doctor’s mediumistic impressions about his grandfather, producer Richard Alwyn also had another experience at the Walthamstow Spiritualist church which was equally impressive.

“When I decided to try healing for myself, it had a dramatic impact.
After years of chronic back pain, I had little expectation of a cure. But after just 20 minutes with a healer the pain was no longer with me, and four months later I still don’t know what to make of it.” Later, he referred to it as “my seemingly miraculous cure”.

Despite these experiences, Alwyn’s voice-over commentary didn’t always do justice to Spiritualism. Even so, this was something of a breakthrough: the Spiritualist movement seldom gets this sort of TV exposure.

But it was Dr Ian Rubinstein who was the undoubted star of the documentary, as he talked about “speaking to these voices in my head that I hear”.
“When I’m doing my job, I’m a doctor. When I come here [to the Spiritualist church] I’m a psychic medium. I’m quite happy with the terminology. …”

Richard Alwyn said he was “amazed by the doctor’s stories, amazed by their contents but also to think of him using spirits as part of a consultation.”

Talking To The Dead will be shown again on Channel 4 on 14 August at 04:00 and can also be viewed here (see below) for the next four weeks.

From Paranormal Review by Roy Stemman

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/revelations/4od#2932342

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Re: TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by zerdini on Mon Aug 10, 2009 5:35 am

zerdini wrote:
Admin wrote:Thatnks for the reports Z and Obi. Liked the Catholic analogy Paul.

Somehow we need to do better I thnk Griffith writing in PN has the right idea we need to improve an understanding of the philosophy and the delivery of the Mediumship.

By the by Lis remembers working Vestry Rd as one of the churches on the circuit she worked said it was a nice little place almost christian no mixing of beliefs and plenty of hymn singing but that was a while ago now.

Jim

Christian symbols were quite prominently displayed in the church. Keith Hudson who described himself as booking secretary for the church is quite a well-known medium on the circuit.

From The Guardian newspaper:

Keith Hudson, 62, is the vice-president of Walthamstow spiritualist church

"When I was 23, I kept seeing a man in my head and I didn't know who he was. It was driving me crazy and I thought, 'What's going on here, I'm just an ordinary bloke?' So I went to see a medium who worked as a psychic artist. She drew him, produced this picture, which was exactly the face I was seeing, and said she thought it was my grandfather. I showed the picture to my mum and she said, 'No, Son, that's your great-grandfather.' He died six years before I was born. That was my first psychic experience and I then went on to train as a medium.

"I never got on with my father. He'd got it into his head that I wasn't his. I have an older brother and a younger sister. They're both dark-haired with dark eyes and I'm fair. Because I didn't look like the other two, he'd shout at me and say, 'You're not my son.' It was horrible for me and my mum. He was nasty.

"He died when I was 48. The same night he passed, I went back to his house. My brother had given me his wedding ring to look after. I was holding it and then I put it on. And then I thought, 'What the bloody hell am I doing wearing his ring?' I took it off and that's when the temperature in the room felt like it'd dropped 60 degrees and he appeared in front of me. He said, 'I'm sorry, son. I now understand.' He called me son and he was sorry. I just broke down and cried.

"He has come back since. He'll pop in at Christmas and say, 'Hello, Son'. I feel at peace, and getting that recognition from him gave me an amazing sense of release. My dad's now my best friend. I speak to him all the time."

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Another view of the programme

Post by zerdini on Mon Aug 10, 2009 5:47 am

REVELATIONS – TALKING TO THE DEAD: Sunday 9th August, Channel 4, 7pm

I’m not a complete non-believer, but as documentary filmmaker Richard Alwyn would say, ‘I have a healthy scepticism about a belief system that many are quick to ridicule.’

I watched this with an open mind but at the end of the day, it’s pretty hard not to laugh.

In Walthamstow’s National Spiritualist Church, the congregation wait for a message from dead loved ones delivered through a visiting medium. There are no priests at this church, nor any scriptures to be followed. All that’s required is an open mind.

But it’s easy to have an open mind at the beginning of the show. Not so much at the end of it.

Richard Alwyn’s dreamy Derren Brown-style voiceover is rather distracting. His soothing tones instantly make you feel like you’re being hypnotised and depletes his credibility. We can see pretty early on that we’re not actually going to see Richard participate in any meetings. He speaks of his experiences but if we’re not going to see anything, why should we be anymore convinced than Richard? He’s a poor man’s Louis Theroux.

It would be all too easy to dismiss these people’s experiences, even more so with no evidence, but the congregation are obviously in need of this practice. They need to hang onto memories and dust covered photos in order to carry on.

Keith Hudson, vice president of the church, has devoted himself the spiritualist movement. It may feel silly to us, sensible, reasoned people, but Keith is not an idiot. He’s aware of how ridiculous it sounds to everyone else but he let’s people believe what they want. This movement isn’t being pushed and peddled by anyone; there are no leaflets being shoved in my hands at shopping malls and no one’s banging down my door. So it can’t do any harm, can it?

There’s actually a fine line between a spiritual experience and, what we have historically called, mental illness. Something that is not lost on Richard as he interviews one church goer who has a history of schizophrenia. Is it really a good idea to encourage people to hear voices and to see angels?

Richard often uses a doctor who is involved in spiritualism to rationalise the experiences. He thinks that by using a man of science we might take his opinions more seriously. We don’t. Even if you’re a rocket scientist; if you see things then people will think you’re as crazy as a hobo.

With no evidence and no on camera experiences, we just have an elaborate video diary: an interesting one, but not a convincing one.

Emily Moulder (On the Box)

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Re: TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by Admin on Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:51 pm

Well the Independent were really dissmissive in Weekend TV
"Richard Alwyn, who made Revelations: Talking to the Dead, a film about a spiritualist church in east London, described himself as having what he'd thought of as a "healthy scepticism" when he began work. Not nearly healthy enough from my perspective, since it faltered in the face of a pretty underpowered lucky guess from one congregant about what his dead grandfather had been like. A healthily sceptical film about spiritualism would be very dull, since it would have to include all the errors and false starts and cul-de-sacs that mediums stumble through as they grope their way to their "astonishing" revelations about the dear departed. Still, in comparison to crystal meth this particular anodyne is relatively benign, even if it exploits similar griefs and fears, and in the end Alwyn's gentleness with his subjects came across as tender-hearted rather than dumb. I loved the headline from the Psychic News too: "Diver Claims to Have Seen Steve Irwin in Spirit Form". Wouldn't you think his spirit might prefer dry land? "
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Re: TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by obiwan on Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:44 am

Admin wrote:Well the Independent were really dissmissive in Weekend TV
"Richard Alwyn, who made Revelations: Talking to the Dead, a film about a spiritualist church in east London, described himself as having what he'd thought of as a "healthy scepticism" when he began work. Not nearly healthy enough from my perspective, since it faltered in the face of a pretty underpowered lucky guess from one congregant about what his dead grandfather had been like. A healthily sceptical film about spiritualism would be very dull, since it would have to include all the errors and false starts and cul-de-sacs that mediums stumble through as they grope their way to their "astonishing" revelations about the dear departed. Still, in comparison to crystal meth this particular anodyne is relatively benign, even if it exploits similar griefs and fears, and in the end Alwyn's gentleness with his subjects came across as tender-hearted rather than dumb. I loved the headline from the Psychic News too: "Diver Claims to Have Seen Steve Irwin in Spirit Form". Wouldn't you think his spirit might prefer dry land? "
The problem perhaps is that in the absence of any other information it is easy to be dismissive about communication through mediums. There was very little if anything in the programme that would pursuade an unbiased observer that there was any point in pursuing the subject. So I can understand the sarcastic dismissal. If this was the only evidence available I too wouldn't waste a second of my time on the subject. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on one's perspective) there is a good deal more evidence to support survival. As for the headline in the PN - unless there is more evidence to support a sighting than a somewhat excited statement by someone who thinks they saw him then it is of little more value than countless other "ghost stories". I don't think the article in question did much for the credibility of PN to be honest.

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Re: TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:27 am

Ok not all of it but we get a feel from these two parts

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Re: TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:28 am

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Re: TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by Martin T on Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:38 am

Hi Guys

For me this was a very disappointing documentary. I know that two "normal" well-regarded SNU Ministers were invited to the church and were interviewed extensively about Spiritualism as well as doing services including addresses on Spiritualism and also demonstrations of mediumship. Sadly the documentary makers did not use any of this footage other than a quick glimpse of Minister Matthew Smith demonstrating.

Instead of focussing on the religion of Spiritualism, they chose to go with the "people angle" with a focus on the the "more interesting personalities" at the church such as the vice-presdent arguing with a publican, the doctor who is still not sure and the lady who has had mental health problems. For me it lacked depth and professionalism given the quantity and depth of footage they shot.

Many parts saddened me including:

The fact that it started with a medium working platform in a tracksuit top. Many of the churches I serve would not let me on platform in a tracksuit top and it shows a complete lack of respect for the occasion to do a service dressed in such attire

Although shot in an SNU church with no christian links, the church had pictures of Jesus, crosses and other christian paraphernalia around which the documentary makers made much use of. When will those in our Spiritualist churches realise that such orthodox trappings are totally unnecessary. Most SNU churches I serve do not have such items.

The antics of the vice president in terms of talking about the documentary maker's guides, saying "look at my third eye", arguing with members of the public and discussion of the Akashic records lowered my opinion of him considerably. Perhaps the most telling remark he made was that he does not serve many churches as a medium – I think I am beginning to understand why.

Finally, I thought the doctor was misguided to talk on film about how he used mediumship in his practice as this could have potentially serious impacts for his employer and his patients. We need to get across that there is a time and a place for mediumship and we should never give contacts to those that do not ask for them.

Again a documentary which had potential was dumbed down to make more interesting television. Why did they not show some of the mediumship, the address or the interviews which I expect would of been of a high standard? Well that might make Spiritualists look quite balanced and sensible and we wouldn’t want the general public thinking that would we!

Call me cynical, but I have rarely seen the TV give a balanced account of Spiritualism or its workers. Nine times out of ten, they go for the weird and wonderful to make interesting TV. What a shame for the Spiritualist movement.

Martin

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Re: TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by zerdini on Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:57 am

Thank you Martin for giving us the background to the making of the programme. As I suspected it was not angled to give a favourable view of Spiritualism.

Gordon Higginson mostly refused to take part in TV progarmmes unless they were 'live' and they couldn't have that could they?

I followed his example and all the programmes radio and TV) I took part in were not edited and were 'live' or 'live' recordings.

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Re: TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by obiwan on Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:10 pm

I have to say I thought it was a very accurate potrayal of my own experience at the SNU churches I have visited in the NW. I have visited three. If anything it was slightly more positive. Sorry to say Martin that's how it looked to me as an outsider.

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Re: TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by Martin T on Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:03 pm

Obiwan, your experience of such churches does not surprise me. There are still a lot like that and there has been a long ongoing issue of trying to get churches to focus on "pure Spiritualism" and let go of the trappings of Christianity. I know this is something Gordon Higginson was focussing on way back in the 70s and 80s and we still seem to have made little progress.

I personally fail to see why SNU Spiritualist churches that subscribe to the 7 principles as their belief need tp have bibles, pictures of Jesus, crosses or should include the Lords Prayer in the service. This should have been enforced by the SNU many many years ago as it sends totally the wrong impression as to what Spiritualism is about.

Mind you, this has been an ongoing topic of discussion in Psychic News over the past few months so I hope I do not get flamed here too much!!

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Re: TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by Zandorf on Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:37 pm

Why do they always assums that we are talking to the dead? I don't know any dead people, do you? Oh, the ignorance of the unenlightened.
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Re: TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by obiwan on Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:59 pm

Martin T wrote:Obiwan, your experience of such churches does not surprise me. There are still a lot like that and there has been a long ongoing issue of trying to get churches to focus on "pure Spiritualism" and let go of the trappings of Christianity. I know this is something Gordon Higginson was focussing on way back in the 70s and 80s and we still seem to have made little progress.

I personally fail to see why SNU Spiritualist churches that subscribe to the 7 principles as their belief need tp have bibles, pictures of Jesus, crosses or should include the Lords Prayer in the service. This should have been enforced by the SNU many many years ago as it sends totally the wrong impression as to what Spiritualism is about.

Mind you, this has been an ongoing topic of discussion in Psychic News over the past few months so I hope I do not get flamed here too much!!
I don't think you will get flamed on here Martin Smile

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Re: TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by zerdini on Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:06 pm

Flamin' heck - I should think not! Laughing

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Re: TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by obiwan on Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:23 pm

Arf. Cool

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Re: TV show ITV London 9th August

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:42 pm

Martin,

As I totally agree with you there will be no flaming. Mark you those of us who think like you and how the SNU are in a minority in Oz so we have our own problems. By the way did you read my wife's article on Proper Spiritualism in PN. I agree with her thoughts . If you are SNU follow the right way Spiritualism is a valid in its own right without any Christian aspects. If you are Christian (and I fail to see the need to be so because if there was Jesus he was a Medium, Teacher and Healer never claiming to be the son of God through whome you could seek salvation) then use a Christian Spiritualist Church or accept the SNU churches as they are.
If you are neither but a survivalist new ager set up your own centres where all the oddities can be hung out but do not drag them into the SNU style churches.
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