by Jonathan Zap
September 30, 2009
It is no great accomplishment to hear a voice in the head.
The accomplishment is to make sure that
it is telling you the truth, because the demons are of many kinds:
"Some are made of ions, some of
mind; the ones of ketamine, you'll find, stutter often and are
The Archaic Revival
The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts
is a spell binding paranormal detective story, elegantly
written, and as haunting and irresistible as its title implies.
The implications of what British
paranormal investigator and writer Joe Fisher discovers, at
the apparent cost of his life, are staggering, and have such
profound implications for all inhabitants of this particular plane
of reality, that as over the top as this may sound, this book may be
one of the more important ever written.
The title capsulates, in perfect microcosm, the subject of the book,
and also the effect of the book on the reader… at least this reader.
I actually had a paranormal experience
the last night of reading this book, which I will relate later, that
was of a type related to phenomena reported in the book and also
related to the "mind parasite" subject which I have written about
This book is itself a rabbit hole, a
rabbit hole with a certain suction, an undertow pulling you in as
the author is pulled into an ever more high stakes involvement with
Joe Fisher experiences the classic pitfall of the paranormal
He begins as an observer, but becomes
ever more obsessed and affected, even over-powered by the object of
If you fight monsters, be careful
that you don't become a monster. If you gaze over long into an
abyss, the abyss gazes back at you.
This is the sort of book that carries
with it an element of danger for the reader.
It has an irresistible allure like an
over ripe fruit hanging lowly on the tree of the knowledge of good
and evil, a fruit I found myself reaching for at the very first
moment I heard mention of the book's title.
Essentially, this book pulls back the veil
on the channeling and spirit guide
phenomena, and compels you to look, through a glass darkly, at evil
in one of its more beautiful, complex, seductive, ingeniously
manipulative forms. While it is dangerous to be unaware of such dark
possibilities and manipulative entities, it may also be dangerous to
cast your attention in their direction.
Attention is not just internal, it is
also a beacon visible to others, and not all of those others are
visible to us.
That's one of several reasons I am
providing a fairly extensive review of this book. I will also
announce a bail out point for those of you who are actually prepared
to hunt down this book and read it in the immediate future.
But if you are not sure that you are
going to make that a top priority, then at least read this review,
because the findings of this investigation are much too significant
to be overlooked.
Better yet, read the review and get this
book which is a classic in the field of paranormal investigation and
deserves an honored place in your personal library.
In case I've been too luke warm in my praise of this book,
let me add that it has intense entertainment value to read, finely
crafted sentences, perceptive details of people and places,
observations that are nuanced and multi-layered, a narrator who
earns his reliability as a witness even as he descends into the most
unreliable of circumstances.
The flowing succession of events and realizations has a haunting,
gothic effect on the reader, like a
Palantir that compels and
obsesses your attention, but without excessively distorting your
And if that wasn't enough praise to make
this book shimmer darkly in your mind's eye, and compel you to read
it with the obsessive attention it deserves, I don't know what else
Joe Fisher began his investigation of the channeling
phenomenon after completing an investigation into reincarnation and
The Case for Reincarnation.
Summarizing his attitude toward that
subject, Fisher includes a wonderfully incisive quote from Voltaire,
"It is no more surprising to be born
twice than it is to be born once."
Near the end of the book, Fisher quotes
William James, the great Harvard based pioneer in the
psychological study of spiritual phenomena, who said in 1909 after
completing a study of mediumship,
"The refusal of modern
'enlightenment' to treat 'possession' as a hypothesis to be
spoken of as even possible, in spite of the massive human
tradition based on concrete human experience in its favor, has
always seemed to me a curious example of the power of fashion in
That the demon theory… will have its
innings again is to my mind absolutely certain. One has to be
'scientific' indeed to be blind and ignorant enough to suspect
no such possibility."
(This might be a good bail out point for
those of you who are going to read the book soon, because I am about
to go right into the content and situations of the book.)
At the very first channeling session Fisher attends, a very eloquent
and charismatic spirit guide named Russell (who claims
a very specific prior incarnation in the 19th century) speaks
through a young woman named Aviva who is suffering
The setting is Aviva's apartment in
Toronto. Russell introduces himself to Joe and tells him that he has
a spirit guide, a woman named Filipa, whom he has
supposedly known for many lifetimes.
Their last incarnation together was in
the 18th century in a village in Greece where they
were lovers ostracized by the community. Filipa, unlike Joe, chose
to reincarnate again after this 18th
Speaking through Russell, Filipa
immediately demonstrates a shrewd understanding of Joe's psychology.
She recognizes his history of unstable
romantic relationships, and places their last earthly relationship
in Greece, a country Joe had lived in and with which he had
particularly positive associations.
"She says this was, for her, during
the immediate past life in Greece.
You were a male and she was a
female. You were to be her suitor. However, you both
transgressed in the eyes of the community. You were sent from
the village and did not return. She says she did not wish for
this to happen.
However, the village is more
powerful than the one."
Joe immediately felt seduced by this
discarnate lover and the mythic star-crossed lover scenario, while
his "skeptic inside screamed in protest."
The medium, Aviva, is a laboratory technician who suffers from
leukemia, and is at first highly skeptical and resistant to the
channeling sessions which she cannot remember when brought out of
Tapes of the sessions are played for
Aviva revealing a number of distinct disincarnate beings, each with
their own accent and speech patterns and highly specific knowledge
unknown to her waking personality.
Russell, who presents himself as Aviva's
guide, spends much time being solicitous for Aviva's fragile
physical health, offering at times specific warnings and advice.
At other times he offers intriguing
When Joe's real life girlfriend, Rachel, attends a session, her
guide immediately emerges and with his own distinctive accented
voice, a thick Scottish brogue, and he provides specific details of
past lifetimes he and Rachel have supposedly spent together and an
acute understanding of some of Rachel's predilections.
Rachel finds herself inexplicably
repulsed by the sessions and feels,
"a certain intangible negativity in
Joe believes that Rachel is increasingly
jealous of the intimate lover-like bond between him and Filipa, and
feels that this accounts for her resistance to the sessions.
Ultimately, Rachel would leave Joe after
he becomes ever more obsessed with his discarnate lover and guide.
Both Russell and Filipa seem very offended when anyone refers to
them as "spirits."
On one occasion Filipa says,
"And you use that awful word again.
There are no spirits. We are all
people. People are people. It is your own growth…which is the
most important thing you should be seeking. There is nothing
Spiritual or ethereal about it. We all come from the same place
and we will all arrive at the same place. We are all people.
We are not spirits."
Joe observes about the strengthening
connection between him and his discarnate lover,
"Filipa and I seemed to think alike,
feel alike and see the world from a near-identical perspective.
Knowing that she understood my motives, my behavior and my
reactions better than I did myself both confirmed my belief in
Filipa and left me feeling intensely vulnerable.
I learned to accept this
vulnerability and grew to trust that she would not exploit my
defenselessness. No matter what I said or how I said it, my
words were always interpreted just as I had intended them to be…
Much more than a subject of research
and a wellspring of information on discarnate life, Filipa
rapidly became an adviser, a best friend. And my ideal lover.
Sometimes I fantasized about our sex
life in eighteenth-century Greece and imagined with relish the
passion that would erupt if only we could be together again,
sharing hungry bodies as well as hungry minds."
Later Joe remarks,
"If Filipa could have assumed a
physical body, I'm sure I would have married her. But she was
only a voice, a voice that resonated with more love, compassion
and perspicacity than any I had ever known.
Within the space of a few months,
she had demonstrated an acute awareness of my feelings and
foibles, she knew the people in my life and their effect upon
me, and was even able to relate specific circumstances in which
I had found myself, situations unknown to Aviva or anyone who
attended what Filipa chose to call our 'groupings.'
Somehow, Filipa had to be either living inside me or hovering
perpetually close by, picking up via some otherworldly antennae
my organism's every twitch and shudder.
How else could she read my thoughts
and feelings, sit in on my compositions at the computer
keyboard, observe my contacts with others, assess my health and
nutrition, listen to the jazz and rock 'n roll that I played on
the stereo - 'noises,' she called it - and even hear the tunes I
habitually hummed in my head?
'I can see energies,' is how she
explained her ability to know me inside out. 'I can see in
your mind. If you make in your mind, I can see'."
The guides were doing much to enrich
our quality of life, both emotionally and materially.
They often displayed the ability to
read the state of our physical bodies and prescribe minerals,
foods and medicinal herbs to enhance performance and well-being.
Russell would occasionally perform
psychometry - that is, while turning over in "his" hands a
personal item belonging to someone unknown to himself and Aviva,
he would give incisive readings as to the individual's character
One of the more convincing guides to
speak through Aviva was a discarnate named Ernest who
claimed to have been an RAF pilot during WW II.
Specifically, he claimed to be Flying
Officer William Alfred Scott of 99 Squadron, Group Three,
Bomber Command. He offered up the most specific details, including
slang words known only to a subset of WW II RAF pilots.
He claimed, for example, that his
squadron had to sleep in the grandstand at Newmarket Racecourse.
Research uncovered a photograph which
showed that, in fact, members of this particular squadron did indeed
sleep at the grandstand of Newmarket Racecourse. On the other hand,
Ernest would sometimes lapse into American diction in pronouncing
certain words. Convincing spiritual aspects were interwoven with the
extremely specific details.
During his few years as a bomber pilot, Ernest said that he was
convinced he was acting impeccably in fighting what he felt was
humanity's last war against "the little clown," Adolf Hitler.
But he told how his return to the
between-life state changed his self-assessment, bringing the
realization that he had incurred karmic debt with all the victims of
his bombing raids - debts that he was now obliged to repay.
"Now that I'm here," he said
ruefully, "I can think only of all the deaths in which I played
This, then, was the reason for Ernest's
overweening sadness and remorse. He was carrying the burden of
having been a mass-murderer in a worthy cause.
The sessions with Aviva took place in her apartment in Toronto, but
in February of 1986 Joe missed some sessions to fly to England to
research the details of Ernest's case.
While Joe was flying across the
Atlantic, Ernest was announcing, through Aviva in her apartment in
Toronto, that he had made the decision to reincarnate, and would be
leaving them in a few months,
It was said that a fetus had been located in southern England, a
bodily "vehicle" placed in ideal circumstances to provide Ernest
with the opportunity of repaying many of the karmic debts he had
In England Joe does an exhaustive search to confirm the identity of
the discarnate airman William Alfred Scott, but there is not a trace
of him in the records - no birth, death or military service. He
plays tapes of sessions in which Ernest speaks to a couple of aging
RAF pilots who had served with the 99 Squadron during WWII.
The pilots listened with fascinated
recognition, confirming the specific details, slang words etc. used
Two of the RAF pilots even thought they
recognized the person on the tapes as " Scotty," a Sergeant
Malcolm Scott they knew, but no one anywhere had ever heard of a
William Alfred Scott.
While Joe was in England he spent a few days visiting with his
mother and told her about his frustration with the research.
My mother had an answer.
It was predictable enough, I suppose,
leaping straight out of years of Christian conditioning.
"Demons," she said, her voice
quivering a little. "You're talking to demons. And I don't like
the sound of it one bit."
Meanwhile, back in Toronto, the once
genial Ernest becomes hostile and threatening when he learns of
Joe's investigation, and complains that his privacy is being
violated and that he doesn't want living relatives contacted, etc.
He admits that Joe may find
discrepancies and threatens to withdraw himself and his charge from
the sessions if the investigation continues.
Some time later there is a very emotional session in which Ernest
takes his leave because it is time for him to be reincarnated. Joe
asks Russell, Aviva's guide, for details of Ernest's reincarnation
specifics, and the name and date of birth do check out, though the
place is about thirty-five miles off.
Joe even contacts the new parents,
though understandably, they refuse to cooperate with his
Joe furthers his investigation by consulting other mediums who are
channeling different guides. One of them is a young woman named
Claire who channels a surgeon from Victorian England named Dr.
Dr. Pinkerton is very charming, and like
the other guides, full of the most specific details of his past
incarnation. When Joe asks him about his spirit guide, the
information provided by Dr. Pinkerton does not match up well with
that provided by Filipa.
Even more troubling, Dr. Pinkerton seems
to encourage Joe to have sex with Claire, and claims that Filipa
would approve of this,
" Filipa's got so much give," he
said, "and when there's a female vibration that is sincere
around you, she trusts that vibration and she feels the same as
if she's touching you, Son. Especially through a medium.
Making love to a medium who pours
out love. It is a wonderful, wonderful journey."
We later learn that Russell tried to
manipulate a sexual relationship between Aviva and a member of her
group, a married man named Sanford Ellison who at Russell's
direction had become her hypnotist and healer.
But neither Sanford nor Aviva were
interested in such a liaison, and the manipulations led to them
breaking off contact.
One interpretation, that occurred to me,
was that if the guides were a puppet show being created by the
unconscious of the mediums, one could see how Claire's unconscious,
for example, might want to manipulate a sexual relationship with
handsome Joe Fisher.
But most of the evidence points to a far
more troubling possibility, that it is the discarnate beings who
want to experience sex and/or partake of the energy exchanged
through their mediums.
A peculiar dynamic develops where the guides speaking through one
medium begin to warn Joe about the guides speaking through another
medium and vice-a-versa. Dr. Pinkerton also warns Joe about going to
Greece, and tells him that he will find pain and danger there.
Joe returns to Europe and investigates
the very specific details of Russell's past incarnation. He is
shocked and disillusioned to find that, as with Ernest, while many
specifics prove valid, his identity, birth and death, and many other
crucial details appear to be lies.
Next he travels to Greece and discovers
that his beloved Filipa's details are also a mixture of truth and
Particularly disturbing is a shocking
anachronism - Filipa's references to Alexandropoulos, a place name
not coined until long after her last incarnation. The buzzing in his
ears, which he had learned to associate with Filipa trying to
communicate with him, takes on a furious intensity as he uncovers
that his discarnate beloved is also a deceiver.
Dr. Pinkerton's warning proves out,
because Greece becomes a place of extremely painful disillusionment
Joe returns to Toronto in a state of exasperation, anxiety and
self-loathing. Most of the members of the medium group surrounding
Aviva refuse the evidence that the guides are not who they claim to
be. Joe, however, finds himself recovering from the malign influence
the guides have had on him,
In the course of several days'
brooding and reassessment, my prolonged disillusionment was
transformed into a reinforced sense of self, a sense of self
that I had long ago surrendered, albeit unconsciously, to Filipa,
Russell and the others.
Little by little, I reclaimed my
personal identity, realizing all the while how much I had lived
a shadow life since becoming a member of the group.
With developing clarity, I saw how
subtly and how stealthily I had become dependent on Filipa, how
in questioning my every move and motive I had deferred again and
again to what I believed she had expected of me.
The buzzing in my ears - so harsh
and abusive in Greece - gradually retreated and I stoically
avoided any contact with Filipa, whoever she was… I was managing
to extricate myself from the guides' gentle tyranny.
Joe summons his will to confront the
guides with the findings of his research. Russell responds with
defensive denial and many forms of brilliant manipulation.
Filipa will not come forward to answer
"No," Russell was adamant.
"You've shut her out. You've quite
completely shut her out. I don't think she'd have the energies",
"If the value of that truth and love
that you've had between you is to be undervalued because you
cannot find Alexandroupolis, what basis is your life being lived
on? Is it being lived only on the superficial 'I can touch, I
can see, I can feel,' or is it being lived in your heart, where
the truth resides?"
Even as Joe is now able to see through
the manipulation, the brilliance of it is staggering,
"Filipa's charge, let me tell you
one thing," Russell was adopting his professorial demeanor.
"The only way that you can ever go
deeper is to go into yourself, not out of yourself. The truth
lies within you as the truth lies within all. Why do you think
that billions on the earthbound plane still attend church? It's
a deep and abiding belief with no proof.
Less proof than you have of
reincarnation, less proof than you have of us…You cannot prove
the existence of the guides, for we are not here on the
earthbound plane. All we can hope to do is to keep you intact
until your transition and, in this manner, to impart to you the
knowledge we have for your own lives…
"I really don't know that any of you really grasp what it is to
We don't sit here with puppet
strings and pull you this way and push you that way. We still
have our own forward development to get on with, and we must
ensure the safety of our charges to the best of our ability at
Do you understand?"
"Yes, I do, Russell, but I'm forced to step back and I'm forced
to think about possible alternatives."
Russell continues to challenge Joe, who
is now the one apostate in a group that consists mostly of true
Underneath his metaphysical double talk
Russell is essentially saying,
"What are you going to believe, your
lying eyes or our discarnate voices?"
"So what are your alternatives? I'd like to hear this."
"Well, that instead of being a real guide you might be just a
part of your charge's subconscious mind, that you might be a
past-life personality as you have indicated that other so-called
And I think about people such as
Emanuel Swedenborg, the great Swedish clairvoyant, who warned
very specifically about communicating with entities in the next
He warned about the dangers of evil
spirits who will use all manner of subtlety, brilliance and
affection to reach you."
"To what end?"
"I don't know, Russell."
"You must dig further if you're a true researcher as you say. To
what end would someone give you the information of the type that
has been given? To what end would someone open the learning to
you that you have been given? To what end? What would that end
Joe responds that he doesn't know, and
Russell brilliantly presses his attack, succeeding, at least for
other members of the group, of getting Joe on the defensive and
redefining a situation in which his false identity has been exposed
into a lesson an exasperated teacher is trying to offer to an errant
and stubborn student,
"You unfortunately cannot do this
outside the earthbound framework. Now when you say this man,
"Swedenborg. What was he warning against?"
"He was warning about evil spirits."
"Lower astral individuals."
"He would warn about the influence of evil spirits who only
wanted your downfall. They spoke about love and they spoke about
goodness and they ostensibly wanted the best for you, but really
"But how could you be downfalled if you are free to choose, free
"Well, we are free to choose but, of course, the guides have
influenced everybody in this group. The guides have exerted
influence to a great degree. You know that."
"We work only with our charges."
Russell's last comment should be
self-evident falsehood to anyone in the group still capable of
critical thinking. Joe is Filipa's charge, and Russell's charge is
Aviva, but right now Russell is working Joe very much indeed.
"But having been here week after
week talking to everybody, you well know the influence that you
have over people."
"We give you information. I do not think we give you influence
whatsoever. If you choose to allow it to influence your
behavior, that is your choice. We do not offer anything that is
not asked for."
"But inasmuch as you say you are our guides and you want the
best for us and you are working with us to help us do better,
for forward development…if we accept what you are saying then of
course you're going to influence us."
"I have told you all along not to accept and I don't have to
justify my existence against your existence."
And it goes on, a spell binding
wrestling match between a paranormal investigator and a false idol
refusing to be cast down.
Russell, with the rhetorical skill of a
cornered Saruman, wriggles out of the grasp of reason like a
slippery eel, and although Joe continues to confront, members of the
group intervene coming to Russell's defense,
"You said to me a long time ago,
'Research your research.' I have researched my research and I
have not found anybody."
"You have not found concrete earthbound evidence. But if I were
to meet you, Filipa's charge, at your transition, would that
"Yes, I would love you to meet me, Russell, and I hope you do."
"Well, I can't because I'm not your guide."
Helen spoke up once more in Russell's
"Joe, if Sonji's charge here gave me
the address to her house and I drove into that particular part
of the city and couldn't find her house, can I blame her for my
inability to find the house?"
Helen joins Russell in blaming Joe for
all the disconfirmations he has uncovered of Russell's past
incarnation and she uses all sorts of absurd chop logic to defend
her absolute faith in the guides,
"Listen, Joe," urged Helen, slapping
her hand against the carpet on which she was sitting.
"You know this is a floor. You've
stepped on this and you know it's floor. You've proved it to
yourself. Once you've proved something to yourself, how can you
go back and say it isn't so?"
"He has come to his own conclusions, Mi-Lao's charge," offered
Russell skillfully deflects Joe's
continuing challenges and takes back control over the session,
moving on to a long lecture on the nature of karma.
Afterwards, Joe again tries to confront
Russell, and again he skillfully reframes the challenge as Joe's
lapse, accusing him of excavating trivia that is only serving to
distract the guides from working with their charges.
"I don't want to seem harsh because
you and I have been very good friends."
"And I don't see that that should change. I am simply saying:
'There are other ways to look. Yours is not the only way.' The
information that was given to you is there. If it were not
there, we would have said so."
"For my part, I will endeavor to
remain open-minded. I've been totally honest with you today, as
I've had to be."
"Course you have," Russell agreed magnanimously.
"How else does one engender respect
unless one is honest? If you lie, deceive and cheat there is
absolutely no respect and, therefore, no confidence. But you
also have to respect us…"
I've given some large samples of this
particular dialogue to give an idea of how brilliantly manipulative
these guides are.
There is much more fascinating dialogue
in the book based on transcripts of taped sessions, and most of it
is far more convincing as the guides are usually not being
confronted with discrepancies but are providing all sorts of
specific information, much of which proves out, and this is
interspersed with intriguing metaphysical philosophy.
Joe appears to be the only one in the group to notice how
ingeniously Russell is manipulating them.
Although Fisher never suggests the
possibility (which suggests a continuing level of successful
manipulation), I got the distinct impression that Aviva was
channeling a single shape-shifting entity who, like the devil, "hath
power to assume a pleasing shape" and was capable of performing a
whole cast of characters of both genders.
One has to wonder if part of Joe's
psyche was not still under the influence of perceiving Filipa as a
separate entity that he does not discuss what seems such an obvious
Another very strange aspect of the entities is that they leave
blinds, or discrepancies that an astute observer is bound to
Fisher wonders why the entities, who are
able to command such specific knowledge of various times and places
of the past, don't pick actual names of people from those past times
and places which would make the debunking of their claims much more
difficult or impossible. He asks the question, but doesn't speculate
This is pure speculation of course, but
I can think of several possibilities. The first possibility to
consider, though I think the evidence leans away from it, is that
the psyche of the medium is the source of the information.
There is a phenomenon called "cryptoamnesia"
where a person displays arcane knowledge unknown to their waking
personality, but which research uncovers was once exposed to them as
a child, etc.
This seems quite unlikely, as does the
possibility of conscious fraud by the mediums, as the voluminous
details of multiple past time lines would require the most difficult
research, finding information in a pre-internet era that could only
be found in particular archives in other countries thousands of
A paranormal variation on this
possibility would involve an unconsciously psychic medium whose
unconscious psyche accesses arcane, but error ridden, information
out of the collective unconscious/Akashic Record and uses it to
generate multiple personalities in the trance state.
Another possibility is is that the
entities have the ability to access information about prior time
lines, but the process is imperfect. Perhaps they are able to read
living minds which provide them information, but some of the
information they read is erroneous.
Perhaps the entities are neurotic and
unconsciously go over the top in their deceptions, as many human
pathological liars do, and end up tripping themselves up. Or maybe
part of their sport is to see how successfully they can manipulate
people, so that even when they include errors they are still able to
pull the puppet strings. Or maybe they enjoy the terror and painful
disillusion that will happen to some who uncover the errors?
The problem is that once paranormal
possibilities are allowed, and I think they have to be allowed, they
inevitably tend to exponentiate because we now have to consider so
many novel causal vectors that fundamentalist materialists can
Unfortunately, a classic flaw I notice again and again in paranormal
research is that the research will tend to assume that if there is
an anomaly, only a particular paranormal causal vector must be
For example, EVP (Electronic Voice
Phenomenon) researchers assume that if they capture an anomalous
voice on their recorder while walking through a cemetery, for
example, that the source must be a ghost of some sort.
They never, as far as I can tell, after
listening to many, many hours of various EVP researchers discussing
their work, consider that there could be a paranormal ventriloquism
at work and that their own unconscious psyches could be the source
of the recorded voices.
A couple of EVPs I have heard strongly
point toward that possibility. Another common presumption is that
even if multiple paranormal causal vectors are considered, that
there must be only one true one to be discovered.
But there could be multiple causalities,
so that some EVPs may be paranormal ventriloquisms while others may
derive from entities or other exotic causes. Some UFOs may be
exteriorizations of the collective unconscious, as Jung
speculated, while others may be entities in shape-shifting energy
bodies, while maybe still another group are material crafts
containing actual extraterrestrials.
It is a frustrating but very real problem in paranormal research
that it is hard to falsify or eliminate competing paranormal vectors
My approach to paranormal investigation
is to withhold from the premature closure onto too definite and
exclusive a theory, because once you invest in a particular theory
you burden your observational powers with an enormous a priori
constraint, and inevitably tend to corral evidence to support your
The mind and the ego hate ambivalence
and ambiguity, and would understandably love to settle on one
definite explanation, but this tendency creates gigantic distortions
in both normal and paranormal research.
Fundamentalist materialist scientism
eliminates the paranormal as even a possibility, but with similar
habits of mind, many paranormal investigators reach premature
closure onto only one paranormal possibility, and then become true
believers and self-righteous proselytizers of this particular
I am not accusing Joe Fisher of this tendency, because he is such an
exemplary researcher and was so inevitably led toward viewing the
guides as malign and deceiving entities by his actual experience.
Many of the additional possibilities I
am suggesting may have occurred to him, and he may have chosen not
to write about them because they are so speculative or because they
could help people rationalize participation with a phenomenon which
he discovered to be extremely dangerous.
Continuing to speculate, perhaps the entities are compelled, by
inner or outer causes, to include erroneous information so as not to
overwhelm the free will of the human participants with revelations
that are 100% verifiable.
This could be explained as the mythic
scenario of a demon under some sort of divine constraint to leave a
calling card for the astute adept that shows that they are a
Alternatively, we have the classic
device of the alchemists and great hermetic teachers of leaving
"blinds," intentional errors to sidetrack the unworthy and challenge
the worthy initiates to validate things for themselves.
Discussing this case with Rob Brezsny
(freewillastrology.com), he pointed out that in the Tarot the Devil
card is actually the archangel Uriel in disguise, a benevolent
teacher who uses deception to teach us difficult lessons about not
relying too much on external guides, for example.
Some of these exotic possibilities came to mind after Joe's
confrontation with the Russell entity.
After the session, Joe felt the
stirrings of a vague memory of an earlier session in which Russell
had commented at length about manipulation. In an earlier session
Russell had asserted that Sanford Ellison was being,
"severely yet subtly manipulated by
his wife, Betty."
As he reviews the transcript of this
session, Joe feels like Russell,
"…might as well have been on his
knees in a confessional."
Here is Russell, perhaps brilliantly
articulating his own path of manipulation while nominally discussing
Betty and Sanford ,
Manipulation means overwhelming another with your energies. To do
that, you have contempt for that person; you have disdain for
yourself. You have no self-love and therefore cannot love another
There is genuine desire to control,
genuine desire to overwhelm and to have the manipulatee take on your
energies to form, in essence, almost another "little you"…
If you close the door to love and open the door to control, you are
a manipulator. If you close the door to self-esteem and self-love,
you open the door to being manipulated… How manipulators do it is by
altering their own core energies to fit, as much as a key would fit
into a lock, the energies of the person that they want to
As that fit takes place, they draw the
energies of the other person to them.
Very slowly and carefully, they work on
those energies and then project them back once they have been worked
on and brought into the same type of energy pattern that they
themselves have. Once that key is fitted into the lock, it is very
easy to turn it at any time.
And if the other person is not
co-operating in being manipulated then they simply turn it a little
more until they do…
The manipulator simply supplants his own
energies within the victim who begins to think, act and function
very much in the mode of the person who is manipulating. However,
the manipulator will often appear to be compliant, which gives the
manipulatee the illusion of having some control.
Manipulation is subtle and is, at first, very rarely picked up on by
the person being manipulated. Often, it takes some event to show the
victim that he or she is being manipulated. And even then the
control can be very difficult to break and can be very painful if it
has been going on for a long time.
Manipulators tend either to embellish or
lie outright when challenged. Even if caught with their hand taking
the bread, they will somehow explain it away in falling back on the
skills from which they first learned to manipulate…that is, lying…
They have a variety of tricks in their
bag that they will pull out to use as weapons for control and they
will rotate those weapons as needed…You will often find that
manipulators are most vehemently defended: a manipulator has staunch
allies who are unwilling to believe that this dear, sweet person is
This analysis of manipulation is not only incredibly perceptive, it
is also prescient as it precedes the confrontation where staunch
allies like Rachel came forward to defend Russell from Joe's
The method of manipulation described by
Russell had an eerie resonance for me, because in my fantasy epic
Parallel Journeys, there is an evil entity called the Viealeta,
that uses precisely the same methods.
Following the confrontation with Russell, Joe looks up Sanford
Ellison, the man whom Russell claims was being manipulated by his
wife Betty. Sanford left the group some months before and told Joe
to contact him if he ever wanted to hear about "the other side of
The guides had directed Sanford to become Aviva's hypnotist and
healer. Aviva, the medium, was suffering with leukemia and the
guides did display an acute awareness of the vicissitudes of her
They used Sanford to deliver what
appeared to be efficacious energetic healings,
"There was no question in Sanford 's
mind that he was channeling life-saving energies to Aviva's
He was impressed by the guides'
obvious knowledge of her physical condition and his fingers
would register varying degrees of heat or coolness according to
the various types of energies which he was told Tuktu was
transmitting through his hands to different parts of Aviva's
Sanford's unorthodox attentions appeared
to be making inroads as Aviva discovered that, despite occasional
flare-ups, she had progressively less need of conventional treatment
But if Aviva was showing signs of
winning her battle against leukemia, Sanford found that the act of
channeling energies left him feeling extraordinarily depleted and
ill-at-ease. "It was as if my mind and my emotions had been totally
scrambled." He said.
The guides also conducted a systematic campaign to undermine his
marriage with Betty,
"Slowly and stealthily, the guides
talked Sandford into believing that Betty was cruelly yet subtly
manipulating him…he was told that he was being overwhelmed by
the energies of others and that Betty, especially, was
smothering his energies with her own and manipulating him
according to her wishes…
It was little wonder that Sanford bore scant resemblance to his
former self: he was sinking into a deepening depression. The
worse he felt, the more pressure the guides exerted.
"They kept telling me stories about
Betty," Sanford continued. "They said that she was having
affairs with lots of different men. They said that she was a
pathological liar. They said that she was trying to kill me by
projecting powerful negative energies my way.
They even warned, on three separate
occasions, that I would die unless I left her. Each ultimatum
was different - they put limits of six months, nine months and
three years on my life if I chose to stay with Betty."
Simultaneously, the guides gently
suggested that Sanford and Aviva had close reincarnation ties, had
been drawn to one another by their shared karma and were meant to be
"Tuktu was trying to convince me,"
said Sanford, "that if I wasn't working with Aviva continuously,
we would both come to an untimely end. And Russell kept telling
me that Aviva and I had to express our love for one another and
that she could take care of my physical needs. But the only
feelings I had for her were of duty and responsibility. That's
how I got sucked in - by being told that she was going to die
and that I was the only one who could help her."
Tapes that Sandford made of private
sessions with the guides reveal the heavily persuasive tactics that
Russell employed in a concerted effort to bring Sandford and Aviva
closer together both physically and emotionally.
Maintaining that they were making a
"lifetime commitment" to one another, Russell urged:
"Speak of your feelings with her and
make her speak of hers with you.
Sit together, look at each other,
touch each other, and talk of them. It is very difficult to be
honest where there are the slightest barriers between you. You
have no barriers now except the barrier of distance, the barrier
that neither of you has trusted another person to this extent in
your entire earthbound lives.
We are asking you to meet, look, mix
your energies together by touching so that you are trusted by
one another… When one wishes to communicate depth and
understanding, that person is close to you and looks at you and
touches you. Is that not so?"
"Yes." Sandford acknowledged.
"Do it!" Russell commanded.
Although the work with the guides is in
real life causing both Sanford 's marriage and his business to
unravel, his guide, Tuktu, makes the claim to Sandford,
"Without any guidance you would have
lost your business, you would have lost your own family, you
would have completely lost it all…and many other things of a
negative nature would have happened to you."
Tuktu's counsel is that Sandford should
leave his wife, Betty, though this is framed as if there is much
sympathy for Betty in the proposed desertion,
"It is very difficult for her
(Betty) to come to the realization that she must let go of you,
that you have passed way beyond the soul planes which she
inhabits. This is not reason enough for her to…wish to undergo a
transformation. She just wants to stay with you.
But one must move on to the areas
where one is capable of functioning as an entity. It will not be
uncommon for her to begin to cling very hard and very
As Sandford's desperation grew, the
guides introduced new hope of salvation to their foundering victim.
Tuktu told Sandford that his problems
were compounded because his emotional centers were shut down. With
the guide's help, they could be opened in the cause of his
"Wherever I could feel heat under my
skin," said Sandford, "the guides said that an emotional center
was not open, that is, was not functioning properly. Once I felt
thirty or forty of these 'hot spots' - like hot walnuts - all
over my body."
So it was, in private sessions, that
Russell and Tuktu proceeded to "help" Sanford by prying open these
emotional centers, alternately counseling him and feeding him with
energies channeled through Aviva's entranced body.
"Tuktu got quite vicious at times.
He would tell me that I was useless, that I couldn't make
decisions, that I didn't stick up for myself and so forth.
These derogatory remarks were made
so that I would express anger, so that my "anger center" would
be opened up. I was battered so hard that I didn't know what was
going on, but it was said to be all for my own good - they were
supposedly breaking down my resistance to emotions held in the
Much of the time I felt intensely
hot all over the abdomen and groin area and, whenever a center
opened, I felt a great rush of hot wind within, a blast of warm
energy. When this happened, I would feel very calm, confident
and in control.
My insight was enhanced. I'd fly
high - but then I'd come crashing down again.
"The more my centers were supposedly opening, the worse I felt,
in spite of the periodic highs. I was feeling things I didn't
realize could be experienced with such intensity.
The emotional swings were
phenomenal. At times, I would be totally broken down. I
underwent raging storms of emotion - nostalgia, crying fits,
great highs, depressive lows. One session lasted fourteen hours.
I took Aviva in and out of trance so
that I could stay as close as possible to the guides throughout
"I see now that they were brain washing me. It was magnificently
done. They would scramble my thinking and feeling processes so
that I wasn't able to function properly. And then they would be
the ones to make me feel better.
Practically every day I would get
what you might call a maintenance shot which would make me feel
better for a while. They turned me into a psychic drug addict.
The guides were out to create
enormous dependency - and they succeeded."
Early in March, 1987 Sandford's
enfeebled resistance could hold out no longer and he capitulated to
the voices' demands. He packed his bags and left home.
"It was the worst point of my life,"
he said. "I was feeling God-awful about everything. My whole
life was a mess."
The testimony of Sandford, and the
transcripts of his private sessions, may be enough to take the many
possible motivations for the guides and focus in on the mind
parasite hypothesis as the most likely.
Sandford provides clear evidence of a
highly sophisticated energy parasitism occurring. Classically, the
entities seek to promote lower energies such as anger which give
them the grosser type of energy they prefer.
Like a crack addict, or a sex addict,
Sanford feels a pleasurable rush when the energy is discharged:
These derogatory remarks were made
so that I would express anger, so that my "anger center" would
be opened up…
Much of the time I felt intensely
hot all over the abdomen and groin area and, whenever a center
opened, I felt a great rush of hot wind within, a blast of warm
About two weeks ago, on my last night of
reading the book, I was dreaming about a big dog that was starting
to maul me.
Some sort of lucidity clicked on in the
dream as I realized that since in real life I was severely mauled by
a dog when I was ten years old (and this was caused by a
parapsychological attack - a very long story I won't get into here
but I unravel part of here: A Mutant Convergence - How Terence
McKenna, John Major Jenkins and Jonathan Zap Met During a Weekend of
High Strangeness in 1996), it seemed like something was using that
association to arouse fear in me and I forced myself awake.
This felt like an immunological alert
happening via some self-preservation function that wanted me awake.
Suddenly wide awake, I felt energy pouring out of my body from a
circular area exactly at the solar plexus which seemed molten and
The area had an approximate diameter of
about 3.5"/ 8cm. In my mind's eye I pictured it as looking like the
lit end of a cigarette. The feeling of acute energy drain was very
similar, if not as extreme, as the encounter with a human vampire
which I described in Mind Parasites, Energy Parasites and Vampires
and during which I was similarly awakened with an urgent
immunological alert sensation.
This is why I said at the beginning of
this document that there is both danger in being oblivious to such
entities, but also in casting awareness in their direction.
Of course anyone can speculate that my
dream was seeded by what I was reading before I slept, etc. and
there is no way for me to verify the source of the perceived attack.
Also extremely interesting in Sanford's testimony is that the guides
used the classic demonic strategies of accusing others of exactly
what they are doing (Betty is accused of energy draining
manipulation), reversing the truth 180 degrees (without us your
business and life would have failed) and employing the truth in a
way that twists it 180 degrees (accusing Sanford of not sticking up
Similar strategies are classically
employed by abusive lovers who typically drain someone's finances
and energy while portraying themselves as their meal ticket and
healer/savior. Skillfully, they create a dependence on their
A key part of their strategy is to keep
the victim in a state of extreme emotional instability. Last year a
mind parasite experiencer contacted me by email and suggested an
interesting name for the parasites, the "emotioneers."
He said he derived the name from Disney,
from the Mouseketeers, because he wanted to indicate their skill in
manufacturing a fantasy world that sucks you in to manipulate your
Shortly after Sanford leaves his wife, he has an argument with Aviva
who storms out of his office (she had been working for him) vowing
never to return. Aviva keeps her vow and thereby severs Sanford's
contact with the guides who spoke through her.
In the absence of any contact with the guides, Sandford made a
startling discovery. He began to feel better, a lot better. Days
passed and the fierce emotional fluctuations and bouts of muddled
thinking steadily ebbed away…
He came to believe that his prolonged
proximity to their communicating "vehicle" and his willingness to
channel healing energies had left him vulnerable to disincarnate
designs about which he could only wonder. A few weeks later Sanford
got a call from Roger, who had been reinstated as Aviva's hypnotist.
Russell, speaking through Aviva had
insisted that Roger dial Sandford and hold the phone to Aviva's
Russell barked into "the invasive
instrument" that his charge's leukemia was running rampant and
that the rift between Sandford and Aviva must be healed.
Sandford was unbending in his
determination to have nothing further to do with the guides and,
once this was communicated, Russell resorted to intimidation of
the most blatant and desperate kind.
"Russell told me," said Sandford,
"that he had just been handed the next installment of my
life and that if I didn't tell Aviva how important she was
in my life… she would die there without my healing.
He also said that, in Aviva's
absence, I wouldn't be able to keep my energies balanced
through contact with the guides and that my business would
Finally, he told me that I would
commit suicide in a fit of depression."
Russell's threats were transparently
bullying and inaccurate as Aviva went into remission and
Sandford's business recovered and his life improved generally.
Sandford even credits the trial of
involvement with the guides as crucial to the rescue of his
"It was as if we shoved our
hands into fire," said Sandford.
"Without knowing it, we found
ourselves participating in an exercise of the most frightful
self-confrontation. In some perverse way, the guides were
Without their intervention,
Betty and I would probably still be locked in the same
desperate nothingness that our marriage used to be."
Sandford also realizes deception about
the need for the supposed healing sessions,
"In retrospect, it doesn't make any
sense that I was needed to channel healing energies in the first
The guides said that healing was
effected via the fourth level of Aviva's mind and, when I asked
why they could not channel energies directly, Russell never gave
me a straight answer. I think the guides always tried to give us
the impression that they knew more than they did.
They would tell us one thing that
was accurate and then we would assume that everything they said
"Who, or what, are these beings?"
Sandford asked rhetorically.
"It's very difficult to say. I do
know they were right inside Aviva from the way her facial
expression would change. They would even laugh through her. I
tend to feel that they are lower astral entities who play on
human frailty and feed on our energy and our emotions.
They often dazzled with their
contempt for us. I still believe they helped to keep Aviva
alive. They needed her alive. Our communication allowed some
light to shine into the darkness of where they are and wherever
that is must be God-awful in the extreme."
Joe next goes to talk to Dr. Pinkerton,
the guide channeled by Claire, who had warned him about the guides
being channeled by Aviva.
Dr. Pinkerton responds,
"You want me to be honest with you,
"I don't know how you're going to take this, but do you know the
difference between earthbound spirits and real guides?"
Later Joe inquires,
"So these earthbound spirits," I
persisted, "are the dead who have led rather unsavory lives and
are hanging around and…"
"YES!" declared Dr. Pinkerton loudly. "These lost souls… (he
uttered the phrase with an attenuated cry of pain)… these low
entities, they come in with great knowledge, they come in with
love. They want you to believe in them. They are quite clever.
They say that they do not control your will. Oh, no, no, no.
They have a very lovely, sweet way to control you completely, do
you understand me?"
"But what is to tell that you…"
"That I am not of the same? I shall tell you why, Son.
For many years I have been bouncing
in and out of my instrument controlling organs, blood pressure,
heartbeat and so on and so forth. Nothing bad has ever happened
to her: she has never been possessed. I do not allow any lower
entities around my instrument. But Aviva, she must stop at once…
Someone that comes through her shall
remain there and we shall have to do an exorcism on this young
Dr. Pinkerton adds,
"I am not lying to you Joseph. I
have no reason to lie to you, do you understand me? I've never
lied to you."
Later Dr Pinkerton remarks,
"The so-called master - Russell - is
a serpent. He sweet-talks everyone, Dear. But the good always
"So what are they gaining by this deception?" I asked.
"Controlling, My Dear," replied Dr. P. "Controlling,
controlling. On the Earth plane, a lot of human beings like to
control others. What makes you think it is different on the
other side, Son?"
"But the buzzing in my ears," I asked him. "What is that?"
"That's my real guide?"
"Mm-mmm. She's been protecting you all the time… She does love
you very much, Dear."
Repeatedly, Dr. Pinkerton warns Joe
about Aviva's guides:
"They are brilliant, Joseph, they
are brilliant. You have no idea…These souls cannot cross over
into the light. But they do have a lot of knowledge."
"How are they able to read one's thoughts?"
"They're around you, I've told you before, they're around you
always. There's a constant fight here. We don't want to get too
close to them, you know. We'll get caught."
"They're quite powerful, these souls. We are protecting my
instrument. We are protecting you. We are protecting a lot of
souls. We're trying to make sure they stay away…You see, what
these souls need…they need to be rescued, you know."
Joe investigates Dr. Pinkerton's past
life background and inevitably discovers that it is yet another case
Joe confronts Dr. Pinkerton with the
Harboring incipient anger and
distrust, I confronted Dr. Pinkerton in the gloom of his
consulting room. To start with, he behaved as though he hadn't
heard my declaration that the records bore no listing for a Dr.
George Albert Pinkerton.
"What do you want to know about
George?" he demanded unsteadily.
"Where can I find him? Why isn't he in the medical
"Just a moment. Yes, Nathaniel, yes, that is our friend
Joseph. It's good to see his light, isn't it? Also, your
guide is here, Joseph."
The carrot was no longer enticing the
Dr. Pinkerton was employing his trusty
tactics of distraction but I was not about to be swayed by yet
another mention of my guide. I was thoroughly fed up with my
compliance, with my tolerance, with my willingness to grant the
benefit of the doubt to the utterances of one unfathomable voice
For years, I had encountered nothing but
deceit and manipulation wrapped in the spirits' flattery,
high-mindedness and exhortations of love and affection.
Joe is aware of another case of a channeled guide claiming to be a
Doctor, Dr. George Jamieson, supposed to have been a "bone setter"
from Boston. His case is investigated and also disconfirmed, and Joe
I was intrigued that both Pinkerton and Jamieson, whoever they were,
had chosen to be known as "doctors." It seemed to be a favorite ploy
among discarnate communicators. Doctors abound among the legions of
entities channeled from coast to coast and they recur constantly in
the history of Spiritualism.
One can only assume that the prefix is
adopted because of its power to generate instant deference and
In his book, The Wanderings of a Spiritualist, Sir Arthur
Conan Doyle tells of attending a séance in Australia held by
medium Charles Bailey whose "spirit controls" were both
Sir Arthur wrote glowingly of the
communicator's dignity and wisdom. Likewise, the great American
psychologist William James was mightily impressed with a
French "doctor" named Phinuit who spoke gruffly
through the voice box of renowned medium Leonora Piper.
"Unfortunately, mediumship is
inclined to attract dark and tricky intelligences rather than
act as a focal point for the genuine and the well-intentioned.
It was always thus."
As long ago as 1869, Andrew Jackson
Davis wrote in Spirit Mysteries:
"It is no difficult thing for
certain spirits to impersonate others, to talk and dress up
their thoughts like others, which they will do if such
resemblance adds anything important to their communications."
Joe, who was "Ruminating on Dr.
Pinkerton's fall from grace…" opens a Chinese fortune cookie after a
meal in Toronto's Chinatown and reads,
"Never be divided from the truth by
what you would like to believe."
Joe contemplates which possibilities
about the spirit guides are still viable after all these findings,
Multiple personalities can also be dismissed from contention because
multiple personalities always claim the same life span as the "host"
individual. Past-life personalities, too, can be disregarded
because, if genuine, relatively recent life histories would lend
themselves to verification in historical records.
And this was not the case.
Unconscious fraud is not so easily repudiated, however. The mind, as
Aldous Huxley observed, is like the Earth of 150 years ago with its
darkest Africas and Amazonian basins concealing unknown capabilities
Is the mind, then, somehow able to
construct a fictional family of personalities, each with its own
reincarnation life history? Possibly.
Dr. Adam Crabtree, author of
Mutliple Man and one of the world's foremost authorities on
multiple personality and possession, pointed out that thoughts in
the unconscious tend to group together.
These groups easily become personified…
"I don't believe," Crabtree told me,
"that the process of channeling is purely self-delusion or
purely the individual's unconscious or purely what the entities,
so-called, would have us believe.
I tend to go along with the notion
that discarnate entities are, in many cases, responsible but
that they are not who they say they are, although they are able
to gain information in a paranormal fashion."
Carl Jung also agonized over the
meaning of mediumship and, while stressing the importance of being
skeptical in each individual case, came to the conclusion that,
"the spirit hypothesis yields better
results in practice than any other."
Joe speculates that the guide's
deceptiveness about giving their real names is caused by their
having a deep dread of recognizing their own deaths and lack of
He notes that
Seth, the famous entity that spoke
through Jane Roberts, would occasionally ask for a glass of
wine or beer and admitted to enjoying the encounter with the
physical realm through Jane Robert's sensorium.
Dr. Pinkerton and Russell attempt to
manipulate vicarious sexual experiences. Joe also notes that Russell
…refused to discuss their deaths and
declaimed, "We're not spirits!" as if unhappy with the
postmortem condition. Dr. Pinkerton, claiming to know so much
about earthbound spirits, uttered the phrase "lost soul" with a
prolonged cry of anguish. I am intrigued by these clues.
Joe consults with a Dr. Joel Whitton
who studied several mediums as a researcher with the Toronto Society
for Psychical Research.
He also concluded that the guides were
"who would pose as whatever the
inquirer, either consciously or unconsciously, wanted them to
He also noted the extraordinary
possessiveness they showed for the body of the medium. Especially
revealing, Dr. Whitton points out,
Was Russell's accusation that I was negating the entities' earthly
lives and Karma.
"Russell is afraid of not existing,"
said Dr. Whitton.
"You've stepped on his fear. His
existence must be tenuous or he wouldn't comment on it. A true
guide who had a conscious existence in the between-life state
would not be threatened by your revelations.
We always defend ourselves against
that which we fear. In my opinion, he's attached himself to the
medium because it's his way of continuing his existence
vicariously, of trying to assure himself that he's alive. In his
need to exist, he's playing the role of guide.
He's a parasite. So are the others -
very troubled, frightened, neurotic entities. Perhaps the medium
has drawn these discarnates to herself because her fear is of
dying of not existing. Like attracts like.
You have stumbled onto a nest of
neuroses in both this world and the next.
The red flag of neurosis is to do something that reveals your
fear. Sigmund Freud called it 'the compulsion to repeat.'
Unconsciously but deliberately,
Russell and the others fed you false data so that they would be
confronted with their worst fear - the fear that they do not
exist. That's what they want to hear; that's what they are the
most afraid of.
The mobilization of Russell's
defenses proves the hypothesis."
Ancient spiritual teachings from a
wide range of cultures tell of hosts of disembodied beings
inhabiting a dimension which lies closest to Earth.
This is the lower astral realm, a
gloomy cesspool of the dead peopled by the spirits of those who
have lived base, ignorant, or selfish lives. Afflicted with all
manner of craving for terrestrial pleasure, their decadent
existence thrives on attachment to needy and unsuspecting
individuals on Earth.
And so they masquerade as guides or
teachers, developing emotional attachments to earthly humans and
recycling the erudition available to all who inhabit the
Their thinking processes are as
rapid as they are Machiavellian; their vampiric need of human
energies is boundless.
These earthbound spirits or, in Tibetan phraseology, pretas
or "hungry ghosts," are individuals whose minds, at the point of
physical death, have been incapable of disentangling from
Thus enslaved, the personality
becomes trapped on the lower planes even as it retains, for a
while, its memory and individuality. Hence the term "lost soul,"
a residual entity that is no more than an astral corpse-
Emanuel Swedenborg, who claimed to be able to pierce
clairvoyantly the veil of the spiritual worlds, warned at great
length about the brilliant and delusive nature of many
communicating entities. Such evil, seducing spirits were said to
be deceitful men and women who desired, in death, to hold the
living in thrall to their duplicity.
In Arcana Caelestia - published a
century before the founding of modern Spiritualism - he
explained how they cuddle up to their victims:
"When spirits begin to speak
with man they conjoin themselves with his thoughts and
affections…They put on all things of his memory, thus all
things which the man has learned and imbibed from infancy
the spirits suppose these things to be their own."
Swedenborg maintained that the worse
spirits of all were those,
"who have been in evils from
love of self and at the same time inwardly and in themselves
have acted from deceit."
In Heaven and Hell he tells how
these entities like to flutter about mortals like phantoms,
secretly infusing them with evil by penetrating the emotions:
"They perceive and smell out the
affections as dogs do wild beasts in the forest.
Where they perceive good
affections, they instantly turn them into evil ones, leading
and bending them in a wonderful manner by means of the
other's delights, and this so secretly and with such
malignant skill that the other knows nothing of it…
In the world these were the men
who deceitfully captivated the minds of others, leading and
persuading them by the delights of their affections or
"I view the possessing entities as the true patients," wrote
Dr Edith Fiore in The Unquiet Dead.
"They are suffering greatly
without even realizing it. Virtual prisoners, they are
trapped on the earth plane feeling exactly as they did
moments before their deaths, which may have been decades
Back in 1924, Dr. Carl Wickland
told in Thirty Years Among the Dead how discarnate
intelligences were attracted to the magnetic light emanating from
Consciously or unconsciously, certain
entities attached themselves wherever possible to these auras,
finding an avenue of expression through influencing, obsessing or
possessing their victims.
Less resistance was offered when the
vital forces were lowered, allowing obtruding spirits to influence
the "host" with their own thoughts and emotions, weakening willpower
and contributing to mental confusion and distress.
Dr. Wickland concludes,
These earthbound spirits are the
supposed 'devils' of all ages; devils of human origin,
by-products of human selfishness, false teachings and ignorance,
thrust blindly into a spirit existence and held there in bondage
The influence of these discarnate
entities is the cause of many of the inexplicable and obscure
events of earth life and of a large part of the world's misery.
Purity of life and motive, or high intellectuality, do not
necessarily offer protection…
Many earthbound spirits are
conscious of influencing mortals but enjoy their power, seeming
to be without scruples.
Joe joins many other esoteric
researchers in warning about the use of the Ouija board.
I (Jonathan) have witnessed dramatic
telepathic and psychokinetic effects the last time I engaged with
the Ouija (in the Eighties), but will no longer go near one.
Joe points out,
The Ouija board attracts earthbound
spirits more readily than any other inanimate device and those
who choose to "play" this trans-dimensional distraction run the
risk of being influenced by the most devious tricksters
In Ouija: The Most Dangerous Game,
Soker Hunt presents a succession of cases in which people
sacrificed their will and judgment to invisible guides - with
"Because of the intimate nature
of the information revealed," writes Hunt, "the Ouija board
is incredibly seductive. The more suggestible a "player,"
the more dangerous the Ouija game."
Seth, whose eloquence gave
ambassadorial status in the New Age movement, was first
contacted via a Ouija board.
Joe points out the many clear warnings
by Jesus and Biblical prophets about communication with the dead,
Jesus Christ and the Biblical
prophets had nothing good to say about communication with the
dead, Jesus casting out "unclean spirits" and "devils" on
In the Bible, those who consult with
spirits are placed in the same category as murders, liars and
Deuteronomy 18: 9-12 commands:
"There shall not be found among
you anyone that…useth divination…or a consulter of familiar
spirits or a necromancer. For all that do these things are
an abomination to the Lord."
The Book of Revelation warns that
those who unrepentantly practice spiritism invite the "second
death" of everlasting destruction: to converse with earthbound
spirits is to share their fate. Spirits and demons - followers
of Lucifer who joined in rebellion against God - are
often cited interchangeably as cunning and deceitful beings
intent on corrupting the unwary.
In the words of 2 Corinthians 14:
"Satan himself masquerades as an
angel of light. It is therefore a simple thing for his
agents to masquerade as agents of good."
Joe investigates other cases of
channeling that are much harder to disconfirm. In a couple of cases
there are discarnate doctors whose past life info checks out and are
even recognized by living relatives of the deceased.
But even these cases have some
unsettling details that leave Joe very suspicious that these may be
even more clever discarnates.
"I was haunted by one of Lt. Col.
Arthur Powell's observations in The Astral Body. He wrote that
it was impossible to distinguish truth from falsehood in
communications from the next world "since the resources of the
astral plane can be used to delude persons on the physical plane
to such an extent that no reliance can be placed even on what
seems the most convincing proof."
Commenting on a medium/healing case that
occurred in Mexico City, Joe points out,
"In The Beautiful Side of Evil
Michaelsen tells how she marveled at the spirit surgeon's
abilities, encouraged in her appreciation by Hermanito's
frequent invocation of the names of God and Jesus
Once, however, she was paralyzed by
a look of intense hatred which passed fleetingly across
Pachita's face while Hermanito was in control.
Then Michaelsen observed that not
all of Hermanito's patients recovered even when he said they
would and she realized that, although most people felt no pain
while under Hermanito's care, committed Christians tended to
As Joe points out, an over-arching
problem with spirits who work through mediums is that they violate
the self-reliance of, at the very least, the mediums they work
through, taking control over their bodies and wills.
They also encourage a spiritual problem
I have referred to as "mislocation of the godhead." (See Casting
Precious into the Cracks of Doom - Androgyny, Alchemy Evolution and
the One Ring… also a podcast)
They encourage those who interact with
them to become infatuated and dependent and to look to them for
divine guidance. I am reminded of the David Bowie character in the
movie Labyrinth who says approximately,
"All I ask is that you love me, fear
me and obey me and I'll be your slave forever."
More evolved entities do not resort to
…spiritual teachers are in agreement
that evolved nonphysical entities influence humanity
telepathically, without speech. "Higher beings are silent - they
simply radiate knowing and love," said The Venerable Namgyal
Although I am against one size fits all
formulations, this behavioral distinction between benign and
parasitic spirits has a lot of validity.
The spiritual ally that I have long
experienced in my own life communicates in a nondirective telepathic
fashion, leaving me to form into words the emanation that is always
loving, nonintrusive and that never over rides my will or takes over
The influence seems directed toward
enhancement of my own self-realization and service, not toward
vicarious thrills. But it should also be emphasized that malign
entities are not limited to possession or mediums to exert
Subtle, stealthy telepathic influence by
disincarnates to promote dark, compulsive thoughts, feelings, and
cravings, cannot be ruled out as a possibility, and if it can be
done at all, then that allows the possibility that it may be
widespread and a major player in human psychology.
Earlier, I described what I experienced as an energetic attack on
the last night I read the book. I awakened to find a massive energy
drain occurring from my solar plexus which felt molten and
This episode occurred on my last night
of reading the book, but I saved a couple of chapters to read the
In the epilogue of the book Joe
describes a very unusual and alarming medical problem that occurred
when he was preparing to write about the dark side of the guides. A
strange swelling infection that became agonizingly painful developed
around his navel of a sort that rarely occurs except in newborn
An ultrasound scan reveals,
"a malevolent growth, like an
inverted pyramid, lying beneath my belly button."
As he is just coming out of surgery Joe
gets an unexpected phone call from Claire.
He hadn't told a soul about his
admission to the hospital. Claire tells Joe that Dr. Pinkerton told
her. Joe wonders if Dr. Pinkerton might not have been the source of
the strange infection.
"Even - and perhaps especially -
after my recovery, my resolve to write this book was constantly
threatened by a deep-seated fear. Would the spirits find a way
to prevent the story of my foray into the murky world of
channeling from reaching the general public?"
After the first edition of the book is
published, Joe receives a letter from an ex-spiritualist woman in
She corroborates Joe's observation that
the discarnates are particularly interested in manipulating sexual
relationships. But she differs with the "lost souls" interpretation
of the guides,
Personally, I feel this is too kind
The typical image of a lost soul
would be of a spirit trapped between worlds, perhaps unaware of
its physical death, groping in an ignorance which prevents it
(from) having the ability to progress. Compare this to the
entities we have both experienced.
They are masters of deception; they
are articulate and eloquent with vast knowledge of philosophy at
their disposal, whether fabricated or otherwise. They are able
to cooperate and liaise sufficiently with others of their kind
to devise strategies against us and maintain a continuity of
information given to us.
They have apparently limitless
powers of precognition and access to any information they choose
- past, present or future - enabling them, among other things,
to impersonate whomsoever they wish with ease.
This is not my idea of a poor lost
soul stumbling in the darkness.
"The one thing I think we have both established beyond doubt is
this: they are smart. They are very smart. Any lost soul this
intelligent would surely have the ability and knowledge to
progress to some higher state.
If these souls are simply too evil
to do so, and therefore have no knowledge of any supposedly
higher realm, where do they obtain their vast understanding of
Not from living in a dark void
trapped between worlds, that's for sure.
The ex-spiritualist connects the
phenomena she and Joe have experienced to UFO abductions which also
frequently have a sexual component, and also to the origins of major
…Nearly every religion in the world
was initially based on psychic manifestations, visions on
mountaintops, images of God appearing to prophets, voices
in the mind - just as our modern day mediums hear voices, see
visions. Indeed, I have heard of certainly more than one medium
who claims her contact is Jesus or God himself.
These beings, in their different
guises, have directly formed our very religions.
And anyone who has studied the
history of organized religion must be aware that (religion) has
been responsible for more death and destruction than just about
anything else. And yet we all stagger blindly on, oblivious to
this manipulation for thousands of years…
Certainly the Gnostics would agree with
this interpretation as they left many warnings that the evil
entities they called "Archons" would manipulate us through religious
ideologies. (see A Gnostic View of Mind Parasites)
Joe concludes the book,
….Like a secret agent, I had to
expose myself to danger in order to retrieve important
information. I am simply grateful to have survived my
confrontation with the liars and deceivers of the spirit world.
Only when the struggle was far
advanced did I finally comprehend the meager state of my
resources as well as the might and swiftness of the unseen
enemy. Let this be a warning to us all.
Unfortunately for Joe Fisher the story
did not end with the conclusion of the book.
The Anomalist reports,
Joe Fisher, 53, author of
The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts,
died on Wednesday, May 9, 2001, by jumping off a limestone cliff
at Elora Gorge, near his hometown of Fergus, Ontario, Canada.
A variety of personal problems,
including a growing list of unpaid bills for the writer,
appeared to have pushed him over the edge. In one of his last
communications with his editor-in-chief, Patrick Huyghe at
Paraview Books, Fisher noted that the spirits were still after
him for having written his final book.
By an odd and unsettling coincidence,
Paraview was my literary agent in the Nineties (and then later
It was Len Belzer, my agent, and
a close friend of Alex Grey who first told me about what led
to Grey's masterwork: Demons and Dieties Drinking from the Milky
Pool. (see Alex Grey and the Mind Parasites)
From the publisher's website (Paraview Press):
Troubled by personal problems - as
well as by the spirits he claimed to have angered in writing The
Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts - Joe Fisher took his own life on
May 9, 2001.
That he would do so is all the more
surprising considering what he had written earlier in The Case
for Reincarnation :
"As much as the suicidal
personality feels able to escape the world by getting rid of
the body, reincarnation's revolving door ensures that all
hope (of escape) is short lived.
Those who learn that they have
killed themselves in past lives are quickly brought to the
realization that suicide, far from being an answer to life's
problems is (instead) the violent breaking of the lifeline.
If the (suicide) could only
realize the resulting intensification of difficulty which
must enter the life to come, (suicide) would never be
Apparently, Joe also lost his closest
friend on this same cliff, and although there is no way of knowing
how much the discarnates may have played a role in this presumed
suicide there are some ominous foreshadows in the book.
Russell warned Sandford that if he left
the group he would,
"…commit suicide in a fit of
Also rather ominous is Russell's
question when Joe confronts him about deceptions,
"But how could you be downfalled if
you are free to choose, free to challenge?"
Given that there are examples of the
discarnates taking over motor control from some of their charges in
the book, one can only wonder what part they may have played in Joe
Fisher's all too literal down fall.
I've saved chapter seven, in which Joe discusses the history of
human contact with discarnates, for the end.
The conclusion of Joe's investigation,
and his life, are so damning of discarnate contact that it seemed
appropriate to conclude with a more general discussion as well as
some neutral or positive examples of entity contact.
Many spiritual traditions have been founded on entity contact, and
the evidence is mixed about the benign/malign nature of the entities
contacted. What I find especially troubling are the cross-cultural
examples of entities influencing various sorts of blood sacrifices.
The nomadic hunters and gatherers of the now-extinct Charrua tribe
of Uruguay conducted a painful version of the vision quest. After
making their way to the top of an isolated hill, they would slash
and gouge their flesh with their weapons until, in delirium, each
was granted a hallucination of a living being.
This being was at once adopted by the
native and invoked, in times of peril, as his guardian.
The Plains Crow tribesman, in seeking
the all-important vision, climbed a remote mountain, stripped,
fasted, went without water and, finally, cut off one joint of his
left forefinger. The dismembered appendage was then held up to the
sun as the native pleaded with his guardian for good fortune.
Socrates and his daemon appear to be a more benign case of entity
Socrates, the great Athenian
philosopher, spoke in the fifth century B.C.E. of a being whose
voice, from time to time, dissuaded him from some undertaking
but never directed him as to what he should do.
Socrates told his friends that when
a man dies his guardian spirit, which has watched over the
course of his life, escorts him to the place of judgment from
when he will be guided to the initial stage of the postmortem
existence. The wise and disciplined soul, he said, will follow
But the soul that is deeply attached
to the body and its pleasures will hover around the visible
world for a long time.
Although the Bible has many warnings
about communicating with the dead, it also has many positive
references to entities,
The Bible, of course, mentions
"ministering spirits" (Hebrews 1.14) without spelling out their
perpetually watchful responsibilities. But the Egyptian Book of
the Dead, which dates back to 1300 B.C.E., succinctly expresses
the unremitting vigilance that attends all who walk the earth…
The angel - meaning "one who is
sent; a messenger" - personifies spiritual guardianship in
Christianity, the guardian angel being a particularly potent
symbol to Roman Catholics.
As recently as 6 August 1986, in a
general audience at the Vatican, Pope John Paul II spoke at
length about the reality of guardian angels…
Catholics insist that man's goodness, or lack of it, has no
bearing on the quality or degree of angelic attention.
"Every single human being on
earth, whether Christian or non-Christian, whether in grace
or in sin, remains during its entire life under the care of
a Guardian Angel," states Jesuit Theologian Joseph Husslein
in Our Guardian Angels.
The Bible mentions angels on nearly
three hundred occasions, citing their power and solicitiousness…
Numerous well known figures have had
contact with entities,
Many famous people have claimed to
share communication with entities in the next dimension.
Joan of Arc conversed with a
disembodied voice which inspired her to great deeds in France.
Robert Louis Stevenson credited the whole of his published
fiction to "the single-handed product of some unseen
Daily experience convinced the poet
W.B. Yeats that "there are spiritual intelligences which can
warn us and advise us." Napoleon Bonaparte believed that he had
a guiding spirit which came to him either as a shining sphere or
a dwarf clothed in red who came to warn him.
And Henry Miller commented that he
was "in the hands of unseen powers" while writing his powerful
novel Tropic of Cancer.
Someone, he said,
"is dictating to me constantly -
and with no regard for my health."
Carl Jung, the great Swiss
psychoanalyst, regularly encountered a guardian spirit named
Philemon, a "force that was not myself" who "seemed
quite real, as if he were a living personality."
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator
of Sherlock Holmes, was told independently by seven mediumistic
individuals that he was accompanied by an elderly, bearded man
with tufted eyebrows - the marked characteristics of deceased
naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, who was actually named by
several of those who were able to perceive him…
A fairly well-known person whom I won't
name here, a man I consider to be an absolute genius with whom I
worked in the Eighties, heard voices who gave him information that
seemed to be inspired and of great value.
And for most of my life I have been
aware of a somewhat androgynous being living alongside me whom I can
visualize, but who almost never intrudes into my mind with voice,
and instead influences by presence.
He seems to be there whenever I cast my
attention in his direction, and there is always the sense that he
flows through time in a much different way than I do.
There is always a great depth of
feeling, humility, and compassion for suffering, and if more
specific communication is required by me, he allows me to use my
mind and word-forming ability to translate his presence and thought
forms into words and sentences. He never takes over any part of my
body, never claims to be a doctor or to have a specific past-life
identity, never raises even the smallest red flag in my ever
fault-finding mind or intuition.
I have noticed, however, that if I
travel, he will tend to be unusually present, as if curiously
witnessing a new part of the world alongside of me (but without
taking over my senses).
Julian Jaynes, in his book, The Origins of Consciousness
and the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, makes a case that up
until the time of Homer, many peoples of the ancient world regularly
heard voices they attributed to gods in their heads.
There were frequent laments in the time
that followed about the gods having fallen silent.
So we don't want to throw out any divine babies in the scummy bath
water of parasitic disincarnates. We do want to, based on the
findings of this book, be especially wary of entities that take
someone over or are otherwise intrusive. It does seem like a valid
principle that a benevolent entity would not intrude to a degree
that compromises our free will and need for independent development.
When I was an English teacher I remember
exploring an education philosophy that said the teacher should be,
"a guide on the side, not the sage
on the stage."
That's always stayed with me, especially
since, as a narcissistic personality type, I would enjoy being the
"sage on the stage."
But since I am a fellow mortal, this
tendency may be more acceptable, whereas a discarnate guide that
likes to be the sage on the stage, like
Ramntha, the New Age celebrity
discarnate that speaks through J.Z. Knight, is far more
But it is not just New Age entities that are suspect.
Often people harshly judge things that
are fantastical and part of a more recently minted sect - like
John Smith's encounters in the Book of Mormon, or the
extraterrestrial mythology of Scientology - and they forget that all
the great religions have equally fantastical stories but which,
thanks to the patina of antiquity and endless repetition down the
millennia, have gained gravitas and respectability.
The most cursory examination of the last
six thousand years of history, however, reveals that more blood has
been spilled, more torture and oppression has occurred, in the name
of these very same religions than of anything else.
The Gnostics, writing in
the Nag Hammadi library discovered
in upper Egypt only at the end of World War II, warned us of a
parasitic species they called the Archons who were manipulating us
through religious ideologies.
I think that we are badly overdue for an examination and reappraisal
of religious doctrines that derive from entity contact, and
especially need to consider whether entities may be manipulating
fundamentalists (of any religion) toward agendas and actions of hate
Lastly, we need to consider the subtle ways that discarnates may
influence our thoughts, emotions, sexuality and behavior.
Joe Fisher's apparent suicide adds an
ominous implication that these entities are not to be
underestimated, that awareness of them does not end their power.
There are many more things in heaven and in earth (among other
dimensions) than are dreamt of in rationalist philosophy.
The extreme importance of the findings
The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts,
and of the unanswered questions we are left with, reconfirm my
impression that this is one of the most important books I have ever
"Reality is not only stranger than
you think, it is stranger than you can think."
J. B. S. Haldane