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Estelle Roberts on Direct Voice

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Estelle Roberts on Direct Voice Empty Estelle Roberts on Direct Voice

Post by Admin Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:23 pm

I think Z is looking for something from Estelle's guide Red Cloud on Direct Voice

In the meantime here is the Chapter on Direct Voice from her wonderful book 50 years a Medium obviously for personal use or educational purposes
In clairvoyance, clairaudience, and psychometry the medium
never loses consciousness. If she is a good medium she may lose
some awareness of the material things about her, but no more
than one would expect of any other artist who becomes completely
absorbed by the work in hand. To all outward appearances she is
as much alive to what is going on around her as anyone else who
happens to be present.
Inevitably there are certain dangers attaching to this, since it is
one of the characteristics of human nature to receive one's fellows -
especially strangers - with a secretly appraising eye and to attempt
to judge from their dress, voice and demeanor their probable
circumstances and background. This is a factor on which psychic
investigators have many times pounced with suspicion. But the
truth is that every experienced medium has long since learned to
shut visual evidence of this sort rigorously from her mind, though I
am prepared to believe that the novice may occasionally fall victim
to it, albeit unknowingly.
From the time I started to give sittings for clairvoyance I have
never allowed myself to draw any inference from the appearance or
behavior of my visitors. I have not done so because I think a
preconceived idea based on material considerations of a person's
circumstances might influence my clairvoyance, but purely as a
precautionary measure for my own satisfaction. For the same
reason I always prefer to be told nothing of the past history and
associations of those who sit with me. I am happiest when
confronted with strangers of whom I know absolutely nothing.
Then I enjoy the comforting confidence that nothing I say can
conceivably be colored by pre-knowledge.

Fifty Years a Medium 105
Instances of people coming to seek guidance on their problems
are by no means rare. It is Red Cloud's advice that they want of
course, not mine. In such cases it is far more satisfactory from
my point of view to exchange the conscious condition for the trance
state before transmitting any communication. By so doing I know
that whatever is said in trance will have to come direct from my
guide and will not be influenced by any ideas on the subject I may
The deep trance is a condition which must be acquired gradually
and by easy stages if the medium is not to suffer harm. I have
already recounted my first experience when Red Cloud entranced
me. On that occasion, and on many others which followed, I was
never more than lightly entranced. In this state the spirit is only
partially withdrawn from the body. I retain a drowsy
consciousness of what is going on. I hear the voices of the sitters -
including my own - as if from afar. I have a strong sense of
detachment, of being an onlooker rather than a participant. It is
almost a feeling of helplessness as I realize that the words put into
my mouth are not my own. This is the state of trance which
imposes the least strain on the medium's nervous and physical
systems. Red Cloud, of course, fully aware of this, was very patient
in his gradual process of preparing me for the deep trances I was
to undergo in due course.
Many times I have been asked what are the sensations of the
deep trance state. It is a question I have never found easy to
answer, any more than it is possible to describe the sensations of
sleep. I sit in my chair, relaxed yet with a strong awareness of
what is about to occur. What happens next can best be likened to
the effects of an anesthetic. From full consciousness there comes
a brief period of light-headedness during which I hover between
consciousness and oblivion. This is the moment when the spirit is
being withdrawn from the body and is marked by particularly
heavy breathing - followed by heavy, dreamless sleep.
While I am deeply entranced I am conscious of nothing. The
spirit forms I see clairvoyantly and the spirit voices I hear
clairaudiently, the constant companions of my waking hours, are
suddenly no more. I see nothing, hear nothing and, in
demonstration of direct voice, say nothing. I sit in my chair as if in
a drugged sleep and only return to consciousness when my guide
and his spirit doctors decided that I shall do so. They usually
awaken me after a period of up to ninety minutes. I return to the

Fifty Years a Medium 106
material world, physically and mentally tired but anxious to be told
what has taken place in my absence.
Entrancement is not necessarily essential to the successful
demonstration of the direct voice. There are a number of
mediums, notably in the United States of America, who regularly
hold direct voice séances while remaining fully conscious of all
that is going on, but I am not one of them. My demonstrations of
direct voice have always occurred while I was in trance and, with
one exception, all have been held in private, though there were
often as many as sixty sitters present. My one public
demonstration of this phenomenon was the Kingsway Hall in
London and is described elsewhere in this book.
I have, of course, often been entranced at public meetings when
Red Cloud wished to deliver a lecture, but such occasions were
"trance addressed" in which Red Cloud spoke through me and not
by the direct voice entailing the use of the trumpet. These
lectures, which were often beyond my understanding, were avidly
studied when transcribed by many of the outstanding
philosophical and scientific brains in the country, and were
frequently highly praised. A remarkable feature was the speed at
which they were delivered. Even the most expert shorthand
writers had difficulty in keeping pace, and then could do so only
for a few minutes at a time. Because of this we sometimes had as
many as four shorthand writers working in relays in order to
ensure that no word was missed.
In the pages which follow I describe some of the more outstanding
séances at which I was deeply entranced. But, of course, I am
unable to do so from personal recollection. For my information I
am indebted to the descriptions by the persons who sat with me, to
the notes of the short hand writers who were invariably present at
my direct voice demonstrations, and to contemporary accounts
which found their way regularly into both the national and psychic
It was not until I had had three or four years' experience of trance
mediumship that Red Cloud asked me to form a circle so that I
could train for direct voice development. I was more than willing.
There was no difficulty in organizing a circle having as its nucleus
Maurice Barbanell, Hannen Swaffer, Shaw Desmond, and
Constance Treloar. These four attended regularly and were
augmented by some fifteen to twenty other persons, who varied
from séance to séance. None attended without Red Cloud's prior
approval. Occasionally their names would be known to me, but

Fifty Years a Medium 107
mostly they were strangers, introduced by other members. Names
were rarely mentioned, and never when a circle member asked Red
Cloud's permission to bring a friend to the next séance.
Newcomers were warned at the moment of their arrival against
volunteering any information that could afterwards be said to have
destroyed the value of the evidence they had received. All this was
rather conspiratorial and was frankly quite unnecessary because
names mean nothing to you when you are in a trance.
Nevertheless, it was a practice we persisted in, if for no other
reason than that it satisfied the skeptical visitor.
Direct voice communication is perhaps the most convincing
evidence of survival after death. The medium's party is wholly
passive since it is not through her vocal chords that the spirit
voices are made audible. Before these voices can be heard by the
circle a replica of a larynx must be constructed. The larynx is
formed of ectoplasm (drawn partly from the sitters but largely from
the medium) acting on psychic rods of power, the whole delicately
pitched to the metal vibrations of the medium. The larynx when
constructed, is surrounded by walls of light to protect it from
unwanted spirit intruders. The one who has been chosen is
passed inside the walls by the guide with instructions to
communicate as clearly as possible. Within the protecting walls
the communicator's vibrations impinge on the larynx and are
translated into audible speech which is clearly heard through the
A successful demonstration of direct voice is as much dependent
on the spirit communicator as on the medium. He must know
precisely the message he wants to convey - Red Cloud says it is not
unusual to rehearse the hesitant ones - and be able to transmit his
message with clarity. The communicator must be allowed to
deliver his message without interruption. Here the circle members
play an important part. They must be sympathetic and receptive.
Any attempt by one of the sitters to project his own ideas at such
a moment will defeat the object of the séance because strong
thoughts impose barriers which the communicator can not break
down. It is easy to harass and confuse a communicator by posing
a question for which he has not come prepared with the answer.
Usually when this happens he loses control of the trumpet.
We sat every fortnight in an upper room in my house at
Teddington, and for the first ten months we made no progress. It
was most disappointing. Only the knowledge that we were sitting
in response to Red Cloud's request prevented me from giving up in
despair. Nevertheless, he gave us his blessing and encouragement

Fifty Years a Medium 108
from time to time. At an early stage he asked that any donations
resulting from these meetings should be paid to a medium who
had fallen ill and was unable to work. Useful sums were regularly
passed to her for several months until Red Cloud told us that her
time of need was over and that thereafter donations received
should be sent to the Marylebone Spiritualist Association.
Our sittings were held in darkness. This Red Cloud said was
essential for making the psychic rods, and more than once he drew
our attention to chinks of light appearing through imperfectly
drawn curtains. There was, however, an occasion when a small
crack of light passed undetected by us all. I am reminded of it now
only because it subsequently formed the subject of a letter printed
in a psychic journal. The writer, a Mr. Pillow, who was sitting in
the circle at the time, said that he saw the trumpet pass between
him and the chink of light from the curtain. In the fraction of time
that it was illuminated from behind it had appeared to him that
the trumpet was supported by a pillar of smoke.
The trumpet we used, was of the ordinary tin variety, outlined at
its broader end with phosphorescent paint which made it clearly
visible in the darkness. According to eyewitness accounts it moved
about the room with incredible speed, yet never did it accidentally
strike the floor, walls, ceiling, or furniture; nor did it ever make a
mistake, when transmitting a message, by going to the wrong
member of the circle.
The only other essential to our sittings was the short hand writer
whose job it was to make a verbatim record of all that was said.
She was seated outside the circle, in a partitioned-off alcove
containing a dim red light but sufficient to enable her to make
notes. During the initial period when there was no success, she
was certainly not over-occupied, but as results came she was kept
more and more busy, her notes often running into dozens of pages.
The opening procedure of each meeting was invariably the same.
The members would take their seats, each holding hands with its
neighbor. Soft music from a gramophone would make a pleasant
background of sound and by its vibrations contribute to conditions
necessary for this form of psychic phenomena. Meanwhile, I was
deeply entranced by Red Cloud and it would not be long before he
greeted the circle with words, "God bless you all." Once our tenmonth
initiation period was over, the voices started to come in, and
keep coming in, almost without break.

FiftyYears a Medium 109
The characteristic tones of the spirit communicators were not
always recognizable - which is not entirely surprising when you
remember that all were reproduced through the same artificially
constructed larynx - but occasionally sitters were dumbfounded by
the resemblance. One such was a Mrs. Ellen Hadgeld who was so
deeply impressed by what she had heard that she wrote to the
Press about it. It was not, she said, so much the characteristic of
phrasing which had convinced her that she was speaking to her
departed daughter, though these would have been proof enough,
but the tonal quality of the voice itself. It would have been nobody
else. She concluded with the words: "Even had Mrs. Roberts
wanted to, she could never had reproduced by any means other
than true Spiritualism, the voice of a girl she had never met."
More often, however, it is the typical phrasing and verbal
expression that provide the real proof of identity. Few people go
through life without acquiring at least one or two habits of speech
which are individual to them, and those who knew them well are
rarely slow to recall them when they hear them again. And, if
further evidence is needed, there is always the factual proof which
spirit communicators are at pains to supply to clinch their identity
and demonstrate their survival.
As our sittings became more successful, more and more voices
came through, each one distinguishable from the last even though,
in the early stages, few were identifiable from tone alone.
Sometimes the conversations would be long and intimate, at others
the talk would be general. The trumpet would move quickly
around the circle, stopping here and there and gently nudging the
sitter with whom it wished to speak.
Most of the communications were brief and were not repeated at
later meetings, but there were important exceptions to this rule.
Notably among the exceptions was Sir Henry Segrave, the racing
motorist who lost his life in an attempt on the world's motorboat
record at Lake Windermere. The story is that Sir Henry first
became interested in Spiritualism while preparing his attack on
the land speed record at Daytona Beach in Florida. I never heard
the precise details but this is the broad outline as recounted to me.
While in America, Sir Henry received a letter from an unknown
correspondent in Britain. The writer explained that at one of a
series of séances he attended a message of warning addressed to
Segrave had come, claiming to emanate from some former ace of
the motor-racing world. The writer then quoted the message in full
and expressed the hope that it would be of some interest and value
to Sir Henry in his new attempt on a world record. Apparently it

Fifty Years a Medium 110
was of great interest and value, and its Spiritualistic source so
aroused Segrave's curiosity that he determined to look more closely
into the subject when he returned to England.
He did so and, in turning to his old friend Hannen Swafer for
enlightenment, he could not have chosen a better mentor.
Swaffer, who had his own home circle of sitters, invited Segrave to
come and meet their medium. There Sir Henry had his first
experience of psychic phenomena - a piano being lifted clear off the
floor. He said that it was the only time in his life he had been too
frightened to do anything but stare!
His death on Lake Windermere came as a great shock to the
world. It was a profound personal tragedy to Lady Segrave. A few
days later some strangely significant happenings in Swaffer's flat,
not capable of a normal explanation, suggested to him that
perhaps Segrave was trying to make contact with former friends
and associates. Swaffer described these curious happenings in a
long letter to Lady Segrave. It was the first time that anyone had
seriously suggested to her that she might be able to communicate
with her husband and she characteristically gave it prolonged
thought. It took her twelve months, and a careful study of
Swafer's own book on Spiritualism, to make up her mind what she
wanted to do. Then she wrote a letter to Swaffer. Would he please
put her in touch with a medium who would help her to
communicate with her husband? Swaffer's reply was to refer Lady
Segrave to Maurice Barbanell.
And so it was I received a telephone call one morning from
Barbanell in which he asked if he might bring a newcomer to our
direct voice sitting to be held that night.
"But you know the rule," I protected. "Nobody attends these
meetings without prior reference to Red Cloud."
"I know," he said, "but if I wait until tonight in order to ask Red
Cloud, at least two weeks must pass before I can bring my friend
along. I'm anxious to avoid that if I can. I think you can trust my
discretion, Estelle."
"I can," I said thoughtfully. "And I believe Red Cloud can, too.
So bring your friend. I am sure Red Cloud will approve."
So Barbanell rang Lady Segrave to extend his invitation, but she
was unable to accept. A previous engagement made it impossible
for her to be present that evening but she would be grateful to be

Fifty Years a Medium 111
asked to the following one. Barbanell therefore came alone. Early
in the sitting he asked Red Cloud what he knew of the guest he
had hoped to bring with him.
"You be patient and wait," Red Cloud replied, with a cryptic ring
in his voice.
With that answer, of course, he had to be content until the
séance was well advanced. At last a voice through the trumpet
called" "Barbanell."
"Yes," he answered. "Who is that speaking?"
"Segrave. Thank you for trying to bring my wife."
"That's all right, "Sir Henry. I am only sorry she was unable to
come. Have you a message for her?"
Sir Henry had. It was a brief personal greeting of no particular
significance to anybody present but full of inner meaning, Lady
Segrave volunteered, when it was telephoned to her. Before the
séance ended, Barbanell asked Red Cloud's permission to bring
Lady Segrave to the next sitting. It was readily granted.
A fortnight later Barbanell arrived with his guest. She was
introduced to nobody present, though the handful of sitters who
had attended the previous séance no doubt guessed the identity. It
was not long before the trumpet moved in her direction and Red
Cloud spoke to her.
"You do not know me," he said.
"No," she answered. "I am a stranger here."
"Oh no, you are not. Soon I will bring your little man to you."
This snatch of dialogue was interrupted for fifteen minutes by
conversations between other sitters and their spirit communicators
before the trumpet returned to Lady Segrave.
"D!" it said.
Lady Segrave was so overcome at being addressed by the pet
name which only her husband used and was unknown to anyone
else present that she was incapable of answering.

Fifty Years a Medium 112
"D!" the voice repeated, but still she could not answer.
"Speak to him," Barbanell urged her, but she was still
overwhelmed. The trumpet moved away from her and poised itself
in front of Barbanell. The same voice greeted him. "You are there,
Barbanell?" it said.
"Yes, Sir Henry," he answered, but please speak to your wife."
The spirit voice again called her name. This time she tried to
reply, but her tenseness made it impossible.
"This is very difficult," said Segrave, and the trumpet dropped.
This was always an indication that the communicator could not
hold the power to speak. Red Cloud's kindly voice was again
heard, offering sympathy and encouragement and promising to
help in the future. It was a promise that was amply fulfilled. At
the next séance and the many that followed, Lady Segrave was
completely at ease. Sir Henry made such great strides in the
mechanics of manipulating the trumpet that he was able to bring it
to her ear and whisper to her, so that no one else heard what he
On an early occasion he mentioned: "I was with you on the 14th
, D."
"You remembered the 14th ?"
"Your birthday."
He explained, in one of his initial communications, that he did
not find it easy to communicate, adding humorously: "I knew how
to drive a boat or a car, but I'm hanged if I can get the run of this
Later she asked him: "Are you with me in the car, Boy?"
"Yes," was the reply. "Do take care."
"Why? I am a good driver."
"Yes. So was I. . . . "
The months slipped by as one séance followed another. Always
Sir Henry and Lady Segrave held long, intimate conversations.
They discussed scores of domestic matters relating to their home,

Fifty Years a Medium 113
their friends, Sir Henry's father, items that were of no interest to
other members of the circle except in the abundance of the proof
they provided of identity and that here were two people now
completely reunited across the gulf of death.
One evening Lady Segrave asked Red Cloud's permission to bring
a friend to the nest séance. Although she was careful not to
mention the fact, her guest was to be Lord Cottenham [the Sixth
Earl] an old friend of the Segraves. Presently Sir Henry spoke,
greeting first his wife and then Lord Cottenham. "Hallo Mark," he
said, repeating the name which he always used. There followed a
lively conversation between the two, as natural as many others
that must have taken place between them before being interrupted
by death. Now they even joked about the mechanics of direct
voice communication.
"Can you tell me how to work this thing?" said Segrave,
indicating the trumpet.
"You put your mouth to the hole, I suppose, and talk,"
Cottenham replied.
"But tell me first, where is the hole?" was the laughing spirit
Then in more serious vein he said: "I have been afraid for D.
She's been so sad."
"But not any more," Cottenham assured him. "She's been
happier these last few months than at any time since your
"And you are happier, too," Barbanell interposed, "much
happier than the first time you returned to us."
"That is true and it is this that has made me so. I did not want
to leave her. We had all our earthly struggles together and just as
success came, this happened. I accepted it for myself, but not for
"Don't worry about D.," Cottenham reassured him. "We are
looking after her all we can."
"They are, indeed," Lady Segrave acknowledged gratefully. "I am
going out now much more than I was. I'm having dinner with Bill (

Fifty Years a Medium 114
a relative) on Monday. I'll tell him I've been speaking to you, but
he won't believe me."
"Thank God that Mark, at least, has some common sense," was
Segrave's comment.
Later Lord Cottenham developed his own gift of automatic
writing and regularly received messages from Segrave. Moreover
he succeeded in making direct contact with Red Cloud. On two
separate occasions he was told in writing by my guide that if he
came to see me at a specific time, he would find me ready to
receive him. He followed the instructions and in each instance I
had been similarly briefed by Red Cloud. When he arrived at my
door he found me waiting with a note I had made of Red Cloud's
instructions to me. The two versions tallied in every detail.
At one séance Lady Segrave asked if she could bring two visitors
to the next gathering. When Red Cloud assented, she mentioned
no names. Neither were this young man and women introduced
when they came. Segrave proved he knew who they were by
naming them. One was his brother, and the other his brother's
Twelve months after her first visit to me Lady Segrave made
public the evidence she had received, mainly at these voice
séances, and which had proved her husband's survival after death.
I had always found her to be a women of great charm, with a
strong natural reticence. She shrank instinctively from
proclaiming her new conviction to the world because she was
compelled to detail among her proofs so much that was essentially
personal and private. What was the motive that compelled her to
abandon inborn reluctance? Here are her own words: "I feel it is
my duty to help others who have been through the sorrow of
bereavement, so that they can become happy again as I am."
At a subsequent séance Red Cloud complimented Lady Segrave
on her courage. He was followed by her husband, who, after a long
conversation with her, said he had brought a small tribute. Out of
the darkness something fell lightly into her lap and touching it, she
knew it was a flower. When the sitting was over and the lights
were switched on, we saw it was a single red rose, almost as fresh
as when first cut. Yet it had arrived at the end of a séance lasting
an hour and a half, with doors and windows tightly closed, and the
room oppressively warm and airless. Had the rose been in the
room for the whole of the time it must have shown signs of

Fifty Years a Medium 115
As soon as she saw it lying in Lady Segrave's lap, Iris went
downstairs to the sitting room where, a few minutes before the
circle began, she had arranged a dozen beautiful red roses, a gift to
me. Counting them, she found only eleven and the lower half of
the stalk of the twelfth.
An extraordinary episode must be included in this account of the
Segrave communications. It was both unexpected and dramatic.
The story began to unfold when Red Cloud told Lady Segrave that
a boy wish to speak to her. The guide was followed by a young
voice coming through the trumpet. The spirit speaker gave his
name and added that he wished to thank Lady Segrave for the
kindness she had shown his mother. Would she please give a
message to her mother?
Lady Segrave readily assented and the voice went on: "Thank her
for what she did for the chauffeur after he had driven her to visit
my grave."
"What was the chauffeur's name?" she asked.
The boy repeated the name, a French one, and then spelled it out
letter by letter.
At this juncture Red Cloud intervened to assist the youth who
was obviously having difficulty in putting over his message. "The
boy says his mother went to Paris to visit his grave. There she met
and was driven by the taxi driver who was the last man to see the
boy alive."
Then, characteristically, Red Cloud added a comment of his own:
"When the boy passed over it was thought he had taken his own
life. Yet this was not the case. He drank veronal, but only to
sleep. He did not know its strength and he drank too much."
Lady Segrave had met the boy's mother in a chance encounter
about a year earlier, and had since seen her only once or twice.
She wasted no time in carrying the message to the unhappy
women, who confirmed in awestruck wonder every detail that had
been made known. When she was told that her son had not
intentionally taken his life, tears flowed from her eyes, but they
were of joy, not of sorrow.
In December 1968 Lady Segrave rejoined her husband, Sir
Henry. She had kept contact with me through the years, and after
Fifty Years a Medium 116
her death they returned together to thank me for the happiness I
had brought them both.

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Estelle Roberts on Direct Voice Empty Re: Estelle Roberts on Direct Voice

Post by zerdini Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:18 am

Excellent extract, Jim. I'd forgotten that was in her book but the one I am looking for is Red Cloud's detailed explantion of how the Direct Voice is created.


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Estelle Roberts on Direct Voice Empty Re: Estelle Roberts on Direct Voice

Post by Admin Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:03 am

I thought you were Z but a reminder of a book about a fine Medium never goes astray

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Estelle Roberts on Direct Voice Empty Re: Estelle Roberts on Direct Voice

Post by zerdini Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:25 am

Admin wrote:I thought you were Z but a reminder of a book about a fine Medium never goes astray

Very true, Jim.


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Estelle Roberts on Direct Voice Empty Re: Estelle Roberts on Direct Voice

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