Thursday, 23 May 2013

The Edinburgh College of Parapsychology....I meet a fellow researcher.... Fraudulent Mediums.... Medium’s courtesy call.... The Psychic News... Buckfast Abbey... Spirit works with us in so many different ways... A poem by Moira McMillan... Wise words from Anne Frank.... A book by a Scottish author recommended....

1st May - I attended the Edinburgh Psychic College – Know as The Edinburgh College of Parapsychology for a Demonstrations of Evidence of Survival. 
The College is a non-denominational, charitable organisation, which prides itself on its welcoming and all-inclusive attitude
The college aims are:
To provide a better understanding of life after death
To always be respectful to all thoughts and religious beliefs
To provide comfort during periods of sadness and loss
To promote a better understanding of spiritualism
To be at the forefront of training of up and coming mediums
To educate through our extensive spiritualist library, which is second to none in Scotland, housing over 2500 books
To promote discussion and debate
The college has an open door policy to people of all religions and we welcome with open arms anyone who wishes to come along and take part in any activities held within the college. 
Demonstrations of Survival ...Wednesdays 2.30pm - 3.30pm and
Fridays 7.30pm - 8.30pm
Please check website
2 Melville Street, Edinburgh EH3 7HF...   tele 0131 220 1433

2nd -  The Lighthouse Spiritualist Church Youth Athletic Club Hall, George Road, Gourock, Inverclyde, PA19 1YT.  Always a well attended church.
5th – It is always a pleasure to take the service at the Love and Friendship Spiritualist Church.  After many years in the Langside Halls the Church has moved to The Couper Institute, 86 Clarkston Road, Cathcart, Glasgow, G44 3DA.  The service remains on Sundays at 6.30pm Maureen Land Medium / President and her dedicated committee go that extra mile to attend to the needs of all who enter through the doors of the church.
9th – Taking the excellent development circle that I am always praising. 
The 12th - 18th saw us based in Torquay and travelled about Devon for a few days.  Unfortunately Isabel took ill when we were away but we still enjoyed the break.
Once again while away I again met up with a fellow psychic researcher, the researcher I have teamed up with more over the years than any other.  “S” is most clinical in her approach to this kind of work and treats each case like a full blown police investigation.  “S” started off with an interest in UFO research and then to psychic detection but now she takes in all aspects of the paranormal experiences of others.  I have always been impressed by her sympathetic
Questioning of those who have had some form of unusual experiences and giving long term support to those who find it difficult to get over or come to terms with their experiences.
“S” is an expert in Tai Chi which s becoming very popular these days and many spiritualists are turning towards this sort of thing.  Rigorous studies have shown that it helps people of all ages, especially those over 65 to reduce stress, improve balance and general mobility also increasing muscle strength.  Several churches have Tai Chi classes on their premises and I have often though a Tai Chi session before a medium goes on the platform would be ideal for getting a strong link with Spirit.
Bill sent me several reports on fraudulent mediums and asks me “”What do you think of these?”

Bill I will let G K Chesterton answer you; -, “No conceivable number of false mediums affects the probability of real mediums, one way or the other. This is surely obviously enough. No conceivable number of forged banknotes can disprove the existence of the Bank of England.....  G K Chesterton, scepticism, and spiritualism, Illustrated London News, 1906.
A new medium on the circuit feels that he is not getting the chance he deserves to serve churches. He comments “There are those around me who have others promoting them while I have no one.  I have seven bookings in my diary this year while those who have sponsors have around 15-20 booking in the same period”.  I am not jealous I would just like an even playing field”.
Seven bookings in the first year out of the fledgling stage is not bad and who is to say how many bookings you will pick up in the next seven months.  Better quality than quantity.  Get a good link with your guides each time you appear on the platform and all will see what you are capable off.  Many a new medium has been promoted too fast too soon and after a short time they are never heard of again.  Let Spirit be your agent and I assure you that if the platform is where you are meant to be – you will be there.
Now an email from a booking secretary...
I owe a lot to our local Spiritualist church. To pull my weight within the church I was always willing to help out in the kitchen.  Then I could not believe it when I was asked to be the booking secretary. This was the first time anyone had put any trust in me and I was not going to let my beloved church down. Recently, because of a few health problems I missed giving a curtsey call to two mediums and they were not too happy.  One said if that happened again she would not turn up.  I know it was my fault but I am shocked that the mediums have been so nasty”.
Courtesy calls are a bone of contention with some mediums and to be honest I would say courtesy calls are a must, as some bookings can be made one or two years in advance.  Much can happen in the interval and a thirty second call can stave off any problems on the night.   But I feel the responsibility is on both the medium and the booking secretary.  As you mentioned you forgot to phone because of health reasons, so surely it is a simple matter for the mediums to phone themselves and check all is OK.  We are all supposed to be Spiritualists after all.  You have encountered two mediums that have not have been as understanding as they should have been.  We are not all like that. I am sure Spirit would have been more understanding. 
Double bookings are another bone of contention with both mediums and booking secretaries.  Although frustrating we are all human and mistakes will be made.  If a church phones me and says that they have double booked then I usually say “let the other medium take the service” as I have plenty of bookings over the years and the other medium may not have as many.  I was always very diligent as far as recording my bookings are concerned. But recently I relied on a small electronic diary which played up and caused a few problems, leaving me double booked a few times.   My fault I take the blame for not keeping two diaries as I did in the past.  The only fair way I could sort it out was honour the first booking taken for that date but I still feel I let the other churches down.  To the churches concerned I apologise again.

Since its relaunch the Psychic news has gone from strength to strength and I have to mention issue 4101 in particular for several interesting articles. 

 The Killing Debate” by Editor Sue Farrow.  Looks into the well debated topic of 'do animals have souls' and humans killing animals for food'.

 In the Personal Opinion page Edinburgh Medium and researcher Ewan Irvine comments on “Science and the Paranormal”.

My favourite section of this magazine is The Letter Page where the ordinary Spiritualists can air their views. If you have a gripe or praise about our religion don’t keep it to yourself, use this page to let others know.

 The highlight of our trip to Devon was visiting Buckfast Abbey.  The name “Buckfast” can mean different things to different people.  On the brighter side this magnicent Abbey which dates back to 1147 is set in a lovely part of the countryside and surrounded by large gardens.  Inside and out there is an amazing peaceful atmosphere and we plan to go back when the gardens are in full bloom.
The Abbey is self-supporting, with a farm where vegetables are grown and bees, pigs and cattle are kept, a shop which sells wine, honey beeswax, fudge and other items made by religious communities throughout the world, and a gift shop, book shop, and restaurant.  But it is the wine - the Buckfast tonic wine – that usually springs to mind when the name Buckfast is mentioned.   This relatively cheap tonic wine is abused especially by the young and the antics of many who have partaken of this wine have devastated many a community here in Scotland. 
On the positive side I heard of a 93-year-old who put being in good health and active at ninety-three was down to taking half a glass of Buckfast Tonic Wine every day for over fifty years.   But these days he is concerned at going into his local shop and asking for this wine.  People look on me as a wino as the bottle is handed over to me” he said.  Like everything this wine can be used as intended or abused.
One evening about 6.15pm I got a call from a church asking if I could take their service in just over an hour’s time as the booked medium had taken ill at the last moment.  I said “yes” and had barley time for a shower and get dressed if I was going to get to the church on time.
I rushed out of the house grabbing a tie and suit jacket without putting them on.  While driving I glanced down at the passenger seat to where my jacket and tie were lying and was horrified to see the tie I had brought with me.  It was one I had been given as a present and never worn, it certainly did not go with the shirt I had on.  Normally this would not have bothered me but all the way to the church I kept thinking “This tie just does not fit in with what I am wearing”.
I reached the church with only a few minutes to spare and as I was walking up the steps to the community centre I was putting a knot on the tie.  All of a sudden I heard a young girl’s voice saying “Grandpa – that is my daddy’s tie – that man must have got it from the charity shop”.  Somehow that made me have more negative thoughts about the tie but as I was immediately stepping on to the platform the minute I entered the building I forgot all about the tie.
All during the service I could not take my eyes of a lady sitting in the back row and with the last message of the evening I went to her.  After the service she came up and said “This is the first time I have ever been in a spiritualist church.  My husband past four months ago and I felt I had to come to a spiritualist church this evening.  I came with my daughter and my father but my father felt this was not the place for my daughter so he took her home.  I was going to leave also but when you stepped on the platform I noticed your tie.  Johnnie my husband had a tie like that, he wore it a lot and we put it into a charity shop with his other clothes”.
 The widow went on to say that after her father and daughter had left the church she was about to follow them as she felt it was maybe a mistake in coming in the first place.  As she got up to go I stepped on the platform and she could not believe I was wearing the same pattern on the tie that her husband wore that would have been the daughter I heard as I was entering the church and I wondered on the way home. “Was it spirit’s wish that I wore that tie on that particular evening?”  As I saii had never worn the tie before that evening and never since.
Yes – it could have been a coincidence – but such situations have happened in the past especially with ties.   Several times I have put on a tie and changed it before going out to a church and usually when that happens the ties comes in as part of the message..
I have many ties but at this particular time the only colour of tie I did not have was a red on.  Then on being given a red tie for a birthday or Christmas present I felt it was too bright and did not wear it.  One evening I did put it on for a service and while giving a gentleman a message from his father the tie seemed to dazzle me.  So I mentioned “Your dad wore a tie, in fact I believe a red tie was his favourite”.  The son replied “My father never went out without wearing a tie and the only ties he would wear were red ties, although not as bright as yours”.
Friend who is also a medium had similar experiences with her grandmother’s brooch.  She did not wear the brooch as she was frightened she would lose it as it was the only personal item she had of her grandmother.
Well, she did wear it twice and both times while taking a service.  She had been given a lovely blouse as a present but she felt it was too low at the neck.  She decided that a brooch would keep the neckline that little bit higher so she wore her grandmother’s brooch, but only putting it on before she went on the platform, and taking it off immediately afterwards.  The twice she wore this brooch on the platform were  eighteen months apart, both times it came into the message.
The first time she said to a lady “”Your aunt had an old fashioned brooch like this – it was her pride and joy”.  The lady replied “Yes – and I now have this brooch”.  The second occasion it was the colour of the brooch she mentioned and it also could be accepted as good evidence.
Now again all this could be down to coincidence but this medium said in all her years on the platform as far as she can remember these two occasions were the only times she can remembers describing an item of jewellery in great detail.
Over the 2 ½ years. The site has been running. I’ve been asked several times to comment on psychometry and I’ve never got round to it. Over the next four blogs I will have  Roy Dutton’s  “Experiments “With Metal Dowsing Rods”.
Roy, a retired aerospace engineer and author has been researching the paranormal since  the early 1960s.
Please check out my Recommended Page as I have details of an excellent book which will give you so much information on how you can develop your psychic abilities.


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Sanctuary changes format of Divine Service.... Your comments on 2013 – a Crucial Year for Spiritualism... Bullying...


15th to 19th April we where based in Folkestone but travelled throughout Kent and we had a day trip over to Calais. Usually during such trips I try to meet up with fellow spiritualists or researchers, this time it was the latter...

16th April - I took the service at the Inverness Spiritualist Church (SNU) at the Smithton Hall.  This church is always well supported and has a very active committee which has done a lot over the years to promote spiritualism in the North of Scotland.   It is now two years since Rupert and Niki Baxter-Smith stepped down from the committee.  Niki as president for almost a decade Rupert, treasurer for the same length of time.   But is good to see that although their health is failing a little both still manage to get along to the church, in fact Rupert was chairing for me on my recent visit.

25th It was a pleasure to be part of the development circle whose sitters as I have mentioned before are so enthusiastic and have a great thirst for learning.

28th I was at the Milngavie and Bearsden Spiritualist Sanctuary. This sanctuary has only been open for eight months and already has made great inroads to improving the spiritualist movement. More about this in a moment.

Recently there have been calls for the change in the format of our Spiritual Services. Some interesting new proposals put forward that are worthy of debate but others it looks like change just for the sake of change.  Do we need changes to our format?  Like everything else we cannot stand still and should always try to move forward, go with the flow, about big changes to bring in the younger members to our churches.  Personally I don’t think here in Scotland we have a problem in getting the young to attend our churches.  But we cannot make radical changes to suit one group who are not yet members of our movement at the expense of those who have attended our churches for years.  We cannot let the tail wag the dog.
Here in Scotland, Glasgow in fact, we have seen change to our service, a small tweak here and there which has added, not detracted, from our communication with God and Spirit.  In August last year Glasgow medium Elizabeth Halliday was guided to open a spiritual place of worship and into being came the Milngavie and Bearsden Spiritual Sanctuary - not Church.  Now I know a lot of our Spiritualist places of worship have dropped the name “Church” for ‘Centre’ but that title can be confused with Psychic Centres by the general public.  I feel the “Sanctuary” was a good move.
Then the time of the Divine Service - a Sunday afternoon.  I know of only one other church in the area which holds a Sunday afternoon service.     This gives the people of Glasgow an alternative from the one morning and many Sunday evening services we have at the moment.
The changes did not end there as Elizabeth decided to omit the opening prayer.  In its place there is five minutes of contemplation which gives us our own personal space to link with God, our loved ones in Spirit, or just to reflect on our week. Not something I would have considered but I must say that I was impressed as with each minute for reflection passed’ I could feel the atmosphere getting stronger and spirit drawing closer There is still the closing prayer.
The “healing Service takes place during the Divine Service.  Three minutes session of Healing for each patient and each session is finished by the gentle clash from mini-cymbals.  All this adding to the atmosphere within the church and we all get the benefit of the healing energies.
Small changes that have made a big impact to the Divine Spiritual Service in a positive way.  No shouting about change – no dramatic changes – just a small tweak here and there.  I would recommend committee members of Spiritualist Churches in the area go along to the Fraser Centre, Douglas St, Milngavie, Glasgow, G62 6PA and experience this change in format.  It may be for your church or it may not but go along and see.
Keeping with Elizabeth’s Sanctuary...  Laying a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday in Whitehall has for a long time been an issue between the SNU and the British government, considering that other UK religious denominations are represented at the national service of remembrance and Spiritualism is not.. But individual spiritualist churches throughout the country do take part in local remembrance services, the Stirling church (SNU) being one. Recently I asked Stirling churches President Linda Buchan how this came about and she replied “We were asked to take part in the service”. Well, it was the same with the Milngavie spiritualist sanctuary they were asked to take part in the local remembrance ceremony even though they had only opened its doors a few weeks ago. I hear constantly from spiritualists “We never get to the remembrance day services”. Well, if your church is not asked to take part it is up to you to ask to be included. 

Continuing with your comments on my “2013 A Crucial Year for Spiritualism”.
Vera emails; -“Maybe the way some of your churches advertise the mediums to their platform is a big part of the problem.  My spiritual church will put in our advert in the local paper something like ‘The medium for Sunday evening is John Smith from wherever’.   But some churches go over the top with their comments of the medium especially on facebook, so what have the general public to think?
Yes this is a good point this has been creeping in for some years now and something that can be easily rectified if the committee is willing to put the church and spirit before or on an equal footing with the medium.
Dawn is on roughly the same track with “Not so much on their websites but certainly on facebook mediums seem to advertise themselves as being at a particular church and the way they put it is is as if they want their fan-club to come along and see them.  Surely a regular church goer would turn up at a church what every medium was on?”
Yes – again the emphasis being on the medium not the religion or Spirit.
Ralph – “Lack of education as to what spiritualism is about.  A couple of workshops and many feel they know it all, whether it is on the platform or opening a church.  There is little deep-rooted knowledge of what spiritualism is really about these days”
Again the fast-tracking that we experience in our everyday lives and has certainly entered our movement.
 Anne “Money is at the root of all the problems spiritualism has to day.  Too many wanting to make a living out of their psychic abilities, a good living.  Our churches were closer to Spirit and God when we had amateurs on our platforms.  Many use our churches as a springboard to a lucrative career. Maybe we would see a big change if churches banned those from their platform who participated in theatre performances and house-parties”.
Strong words from Anne and in the end if things go the way they are going, it might come that we have to take drastic measures.  But surely before we reach that a little common sense all around can sort things out?  But are we too far down the entertainment and financial paths for common sense to sort it out?  I believe in the end a compromise can be found by the mediums/churches making a decision as to what path they are on.  Either the path of religion or entertainment or making a good living from their abilities.   Make that clear and we can all live in harmony.

I have taken the following from Facebook: -
The boy you punched in the hall today. Committed suicide a few minutes ago.
That girl you called a slut in class today. She’s a virgin.
The boy you called lame. He has to work every night to support his family.
That girl you pushed down the other day. She’s already being abused at home.
That girl you called fat. She’s starving herself.
The old man you made fun of cause of the ugly scars. He fought for our country.
The boy you made fun of for crying. His mother is dying. You think you know them.
There are so many forms of bullying and it can have a devastating effect on those at the sharp end.    Some don’t realise that they are causing so much suffering with their little jokes at the expense of others.  What they think is a sense of humour is actually a form of bullying. Then there are those who get morbid satisfaction with outright bullying.  The more they see the victim getting distressed the stronger and more constant the bullying becomes. 
Recently I was talking to victim of bullying who just could not take any more. They said they had been bullied for years and in the past only managed to cope because they knew that when they got home and slammed the door closed they were was safe.  Safe till the next time they went to school, their workplace or shopping
But now-a- days with modern technology they could not even get a little respite in their own home. They were bullied by text and email.   This forced them to give up their mobile phone and Internet connection.  But they still worry about what is being said about them on the social networks. They were getting to a stage where they did not want to go out at all; their quality of life was zero.  They felt that death was a better option than a life of being continually bullied.
Thankfully in this case help came over the horizon in the form of a new work colleague.  Within days of starting in the job he set in motion the work’s procedure to stop bulling in the workplace.  The victim now getting the help they should have got a long time ago.   The scars of the bullying run deep in their mind and we can only hope and pray at the age of thirty-five they can finally lead a life free of fear and persecution.

Not all victims of bullying are so lucky.  On a regular basis we see in the media that someone has taken their own life because of bullying.  Many a time it is someone of school-age whose life has barely began, yet in their short time on the earth plane was like being in hell.