Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Apology & Postscript

I apologize to my readers for more than a month of silence on this blog. Summer is our busiest time because of travel and home/farm chores. The usual pace of twice-monthly posts may be interrupted because of these responsibilities during the summer but I do have several articles in the works nonetheless. One is posted today (next entry below) and it requires a short explanation. The post concerns our experience with some physical mediumship several years ago and each segment of the account was written the day after the occurrences described, while memory was still fresh. The separate accounts were later compiled into the unified whole that is presented here. We are quite convinced the manifestations were genuine and that there was no possibility of fraud. This also is the opinion shared by all our friends who participated in these circles.

Now, I want to provide an appropriate quote to accompany my May 9 blog about confusion experienced by some recent arrivals to the spirit world due to erroneous expectations about life after so-called death. This is taken from Sir Arthur Findlay’s fascinating Where Two Worlds Meet (page 398) wherein he reproduces verbatim transcripts of direct voice séances conducted with the medium John Sloan in Glasgow, Scotland, during the early 1940s. Speaking is a Mr. Hardman who died believing there was no afterlife –

“…I was very much in the land of wonder for some time [immediately after passing over]. I will explain it to you, and I hope you will forgive me for taking up so much of your time. You see, I did not believe in the after-life, and when I came here I was bewildered with the wonder of the knowledge that it was all true. I did not deserve the kindness showered upon me by those who came to help me. I knew then that I had made a mistake…. I know what it is to be lonely. That is how I felt when I first came over, until some friends took me in hand and led me kindly along….”

There are several other similar recollections shared in the book and each stresses the importance of becoming aware of the facts of the afterlife before bodily death takes us there.

Now, please proceed to read the new post below and thank you for your patience this summer.

Spirit Painting & Billet Reading

On January 16, 2010, my wife, Georgetta, and I attended a circle at the Church of the Living Spirit in Glendale, Arizona (a suburb of Phoenix). The medium was the Rev. Hoyt Robinette from the spiritualist center at Camp Chesterfield, Indiana. The circle had been limited to 25 individuals.

Upon entering the church we were each handed a quarter-sheet paper (called a billet) with instructions to do the following:
   • Write down complete names of family or friends who were in spirit;
   • Write down a question to be answered by spirit; and
   • Write down our complete name at the bottom of the billet.

These slips were completed and folded by each of us and eventually collected in a basket by Rev. Janet Tisdale, minister of the church. They were in full view for the complete evening and were not given to the medium until after he was blindfolded as explained below.

Rev. Robinette then proceeded to explain for the group the process for the spirit paintings. He had a tightly-woven wicker basket (with a lid) like those made in Mexico to be used for serving rolls or hot tortillas. He took everything out and showed us the empty interior. Since it was thin and woven from reeds there could be no “secret compartment.” After showing us the basket he had a member of the audience open a brand new pack of plain blank, unruled 3x5 cards. She pulled off the shrink wrap and fanned the cards to ascertain that nothing appeared on any of them (and we were each witness to this). He then picked up big bunches of assorted colored pens and markers that had previously been in the basket, each with its cap in place. These were tossed into the basket a handful at a time with about a quarter or fifth of the cards thrown in between layers of pens. He continued to do this until the basket was entirely full and the lid was placed on it. The full basket was then positioned on a small table in front of the lectern where it remained untouched and in full view of us all until it was opened at the end of the evening.

Medium Hoyt Robinette (right) with Dave &
Georgetta Howard in Tucson, March 2010
Next, the medium gave a short talk about billet reading, stating that he would pick up impressions by using the gift of psychometry. Following that explanation he applied several strips of adhesive tape to each eye so there was no possibility of peeking out. He then put a blindfold over his bandaged eyes. His eyes were completely useless.

Rev. Tisdale handed Robinette the basket with the billets which he proceeded to unfold and hold altogether in his hand while pacing back and forth behind the lectern. The billets remained in his hands, usually at waist level. For the next hour or so he called out one-by-one, first names, in most cases, of those of us in the circle. Sometimes, though, he gave a last name and at other times he made contact with one of us by first calling out the name of one of our deceased friends or loved ones. Each person in the circle was spoken to at length and from the verbal acknowledgements it was obvious the other people’s information was as accurate and revealing as was ours. (This was later confirmed by me in conversations with several participants.)

We will now describe the messages given to us.

I was alerted that it was my turn when I heard the medium say “Does someone here recognize ‘Prince’?” I had written this name at the top of his billet – “Prince” is the nickname given to my lifelong teacher/mentor A.K. Mozumdar. I acknowledged my recognition of the name and Rev. Robniette continued by saying others in spirit were present with me that evening. Each person he next named were those below which I had written on the billet:
   • Eric (Eric Poole, a college friend)
   • Hal (Hal Howard, Dave’s father)
   • Annie (Annie Howard, Dave’s paternal grandmother)

I was called “David” by the medium even though I had written “Dave” on the billet. Neither one of us had ever met or seen Rev. Robinette before and had not been introduced on this evening.

The medium continued by naming several of my spirit guides who were present as well:
   • Sister Fernanda (a healer who would help heal through me; but the name on the back of the card turned out to be “Sister Mary Celeste” – explanation below)
   • Dr. Roberts
   • Dr. Rink (who would be pictured on the card)
   • The master Obadiah (“look him up – he was a powerful figure in history, in the Bible”)

This list of names was in answer to my written question, “who are my guides and others in spirit who are helping me.”

When it was Georgetta’s turn the medium summoned her attention by calling out the name “George,” who was Georgetta’s father (one of the names she put on her billet). He then said, “is your name Georgette or Georgetta?” Other names given that matched those Georgetta had written on her billet were:
 • Alice (her grandmother; the medium also gave her last name as ‘Ware’ which was correct but that surname had not been written on the billet)
 • Lavelle (Lavelle Cooper, Georgetta’s mother)
 • Pat (Pat Kene, a friend who passed over the previous year)

Guides named were Dr. Ballinger (who would be pictured on the card) and Chief Anadarko. Georgetta’s written question concerned our cat Lucy who had disappeared a month previous. Robinette said, “Someone will pick up where you left off,” and that we apparently had lost something – an object or a pet. He proceeded to say the animal would be safe and be given a good, new home – spirits said “we will make sure that happens.”

That evening we were sitting with a friend who received an exceptionally accurate statement from the medium regarding her home situation – all in response to her question written on the billet.

The front of my painting
 appears above. It depicts
Dr. Sara Rink, M.D.
When all the billet reading was complete, the medium removed the hoodwink and tape. He then opened the basket and pulled out all the 3x5 cards. Many were still blank but those that were painted were separated and there was one for each person in the circle. On the back of each card was the name of the person in the circle for whom the card was created as well as the name of the person pictured on the reverse and names of other spirit guides. On Georgetta’s card appeared her name, Chief Anadarko, Dr. Ballinger and Sister Silvia. Georgetta recognized the face of Dr. Ballinger from dreams. Names on the back of my card included Sky Hawk Chief, Master Obadiah, Sara Rink, M.D., and Sister Mary Celeste. (The paintings and signatures are pictured here. The face on each picture has photographic qualities. When holding the paintings up to the light there are several other facial images that become visible, almost like watermarks. These do not show up in the scan.)

The following day (January 17) we returned to the church along with our friend of 30 years, Pat. Rev. Robinette did another demonstration of billet reading which was as impressive and conducted in a manner identical to that of the previous evening. There was a large crowd and apparently everyone had filled out a billet but some obviously were not addressed as there was not ample time to speak to each individual. Pat and I were two of the lucky ones, however.

The back of my card.
Curiously, the blindfolded medium addressed individuals in the row in front of us one at a time, starting on the left and proceeding to the right. Then he moved to our row, going in the same direction. Each individual was singled out either by their own name or by calling out the name of a loved one. The precision of this demonstration for our two rows in and of itself further strengthened its evidential nature. Billets were in a random order, not arranged by row. Furthermore, the medium did not know any of us in our party – perhaps he could have recognized Georgetta and me from the previous night but he had never seen Pat before.

The front of Georgetta's
Coming to Pat, Robinette started by saying “I feel there’s a Day here – O’Day” which is Pat’s last name. After she responded he asked, “Is your name Pat?” He proceeded to name off several loved ones on her list including her mother May and another relative named Mary. There was also an obscure reference to a car (apparently referring to Mae’s last name which was “Dodge”).

Georgetta was not given a message, perhaps because she wrote on the billet her wish that Pat be singled out instead.

When he finished responding to Pat’s question on the billet he called out the name “Vera,” which was Dave’s mother’s name that was on the billet. He went on to name others who were on the list as well –
 • Ruth (Ruth Snoderly, Dave’s aunt, whose role the night previous in an exceptionally vivid dream was still fresh in Dave’s mind)
 • Joe (Joe Burchell, Dave’s maternal great-grandfather who has been the elusive subject of Dave’s genealogical research)
 • Louise (Louise Bond, Dave’s maternal grandmother)

Reverse of Georgetta's card.
Robinette then said, “There are many others with you, too many to count.” In answer to his written question seeking explanation of his future work, ministry or role, Dave was told it was to help people to know what their need was. “It will help you to know that your best gift is to help or lead people.”

A week after the experiences above several of us who were present at the Robinette circles got together and discussed the event. While portions of our cards resembled photographs or engravings, some friends had completely different images. A couple even looked like they had been painted from scratch. The name “Sister Fernanda” named by Robinette turned out to be not the guide for me but, rather, for a friend who was sitting directly behind me. Sister Fernanda’s name appeared on this friend’s card. This “bleed-through” or mixing up of messages for people who are in close proximity is not uncommon for mediums and in this instance it was very evidential. The blindfolded Robinette could not have “arranged” the mix-up for two individuals unknown to him who happened to be sitting close together any more than circumstance could account for the Sunday morning string of readings that went down one row of people in order then down ours as well.

On March 9, 2010, we had another opportunity to witness some remarkable physical mediumship through Rev. Hoyt Robinette, this time in Tucson. Robinette was in Tucson for two weeks working with the Temple of Universality and we participated in a circle of 11 who were sitting for silk paintings and billet reading.

We arrived at the location and met the other sitters shortly before Robinette got there. The séance room was a small one in an apartment of one of the church’s ministers. The procedure followed by the medium was similar to the events we’d experienced before but the target was six-inch squares of silk instead of the 3x5 cards.

When Robinette began he brought out the materials to be used – the silk pieces, several bottles of artist’s ink, a red-lens flashlight and 8½x11” pieces of construction paper. He showed us the blank, white silks and they were in our view throughout the evening. The ink bottles were opened but left on the small table in the center of our circle. We were each given a piece of construction paper.

Previous to his arrival, everyone received a billet identical to those used in the demonstrations in Glendale. Georgetta and I had previously written down a list of names of those in spirit and a question so we would be prepared this time. We filled out our billets and folded them. Just before the circle began these were collected by the Rev. Kristine Fossatti of the Temple and they were in our view at all times. Rev. Robinette taped his eyes as before and put on the blindfold, then proceeded to unfold the billets and give messages. Again, each person in the circle received evidential messages.

Georgetta was singled out before me this evening and was alerted that it was her turn when the medium said “There is someone here by the name of Adams” which prompted Georgetta’s acknowledgement. This was the name of one of those listed on her billet – David Adams who was a friend of nearly 30 years before passing several years ago. Our home in the Phoenix area was purchased from his widow three years before and we have felt his presence with us numerous times.

A humorous incident occurred next: the medium said there also was a George here but he felt his name should have been mentioned first. This was extremely evidential. George was, of course, Georgetta’s father (George Cooper) who passed in 1988. When Georgetta was filling out her billet she was writing down the names from the list she had brought but decided at the last moment to add the name of her father even though he was not on the list. She started to write “George” at the bottom of the names on the billet but then she mentally heard the instruction to put it at the top of the billet. She crossed out what she had written at the bottom and then re-wrote it at the top. So when the message came through from George that he should have been named first it was a surprising but pleasing confirmation that this was, indeed, a true manifestation of spirit.

Other names of spirits present as given by the medium were Edith (McCullom-Grenz), a teacher’s aid who worked with Georgetta prior to her death, and James (Linhart), a social worker with whom she had worked many years ago. Jim was also a friend of mine – and a whole lot of other people as well (there were more than 700 people at his funeral several years ago in Albany, Oregon). Robinette also said there was a Margaret present – “that’s with an ‘O’ – she will know where it goes,” the message continued. At the time this was puzzling because there shouldn’t be an “O” in “Margaret” but after the circle we reflected and realized it was referring to Margaret’s last name which was “O’Day.” She was the previous mother-in-law of our friend Pat who is mentioned above and her manner of reference to the “O” was quite characteristic of her way of talking and sense of humor. Also mentioned by the medium as present was “Pat” and this referred not to our friend Pat but to another of Georgetta’s friends, Pat Keen, who was named in a previous circle (see above). Each of these names was on the billet.

Georgetta’s question written on the billet was “are there any suggestions for me to develop mediumship skills?” The answer was precise. Without repeating the question, the message was “we are working in that direction already. Ask and you shall receive.”

My message was the last in the circle and it began with the name “Tony” being mentioned by the medium. This corresponded to the name on the billet of my friend Tony Milewski of Olympia, Washington, who had passed over just a few weeks previous. Also named were Ethel (Ethel Miller – my aunt), Cecil (the Rev. C.A. Brown who I knew in Spokane during college years), and Austin (Austin Bond – my maternal grandfather who died in an accident in 1919). The name “Anita” was also given but this was not written on the billet (as were all of the other names). After the circle I realized this must refer to Anita Berry, a woman who worked with me in Seattle for nearly seven years during the 1980s. The medium fumbled with another name – it sounded like “Lavada” – no doubt a misunderstanding of the name “Lavelle,” Georgetta’s mother. (Her name was not on my billet but her face appeared on Georgetta’s silk – see below.)

Dave's silk.
Now, the answer to my question was quite remarkable. I had written on the billet the following: “Are we supposed to be preparing for 2012 and, if so, what preparations should we make?” This refers to countless psychic warnings we have received since the 1970s about pending earth changes and recently there have been many books and TV programs about the correlation between the year 2012 and the Mayan calendar that ends at Dec. 21, 2012. It is thought by many that 2012 will see many drastic earth changes that may seriously disrupt civilization. The answer was: “You are doing it (making preparations) every day – not just one day or next week. Don’t wait until year-after-next. It is at your own behest because Spirit has given you that direction. Many people will be left wondering why they aren’t warned. You will be ready.”

Georgetta's silk. Because the images appear
on rough fabric, they are faint and
difficult to capture in a scan. They
are much more clear than the scan shows.
After the billet readings were complete Robinette proceeded to explain the silk paintings. This had to be accomplished in total darkness (this is a requirement for many spirit manifestations because, as they explain, light tends to disrupt the energy needed to perform physical phenomena). When the lights were out we were to have our piece of construction paper on our lap. The medium would walk around the circle holding the stack of silk squares and as he approached each one of us he would speak to that person (saying “who is next?”). With the response the seated individual was to raise his/her hand to meet his (remember this is in total darkness) then direct his hand to the construction paper where he would place the square of silk, making sure it was securely being held before going on to the next person. We were to hold the silk on the construction paper with our thumbs grasping two corners so the silk would not slip off the paper onto the floor. After the silks had been distributed Robinette continued with a few more messages for individuals in the circle. I received one of these but since it was dark I was unable to take notes. One part of the message concerned the Ascended Master whose portrait would appear on his silk – “It will be the biggest one there” is a paraphrase of what was said. Another part of the message emphasized again the importance of the preparations for 2012.

We had been told that some would feel energy in their fingers as they held the silk during the painting process. Georgetta later reported that she felt intense heat in her fingers, emanating from the silk.

Coincidentally, some were told in the darkness how many faces would appear on their silk and after the red light examination mentioned below it was determined that not everyone had the same number of portraits.

When the medium was told by spirit that the painting was complete he went around the circle with the red-lens flashlight (red light does not disrupt spirit manifestation as badly as does white light), shining it upon the silks. We could clearly see that images of faces had appeared on our silks while we were holding them in the darkness. After each individual looked at his/her silk in the red light, the silk was rolled up in the construction paper and secured by a rubber band given by the medium. We were told to leave them rolled up in this fashion for a minimum of 12 hours so the images could “develop” properly and be set firmly on the silk.

We were anxious to see the images in daylight and in our hotel room we carefully unrolled them around 9 a.m. the next morning. Each one had several portraits painted on the cloth – large ones, small ones, in color or black and white. They were faint but most had amazing detail. All of the faces (except for two) are of people unfamiliar to us at this time but further study may result in some identification. One of the faces on Georgetta’s silk is strikingly similar to her mother’s appearance (a presumption subsequently confirmed by her sister without prompting) and another resembles Dave’s father. Since our spirit cards shown here have several almost-hidden images on them, we will need to compare those with the silk portraits to see if there are duplicates.

The manifestations we witnessed on March 9, 2010, are further evidence that there is continuity of life after death and that those on the “other side” are still very much in our presence.

There is a sequel to the above story. The portrait on my card is of Sara Rink, M.D. At a trance séance in the spring of 2011 I asked the spirit control if “Dr. Rink” was present. The guide working through the medium said (and I paraphrase) “Yes, Dr. Rink is here and HE is happy to see you.”

I then commented that the Dr. Rink on the card was a woman. The guide suddenly left the medium and she came out of trance immediately but then she heard (clairaudiently) the guide inquiring about this discrepancy and learned that there were actually two Dr. Rinks – the male physician, Charles, was present that evening. The mention of the name “Charles” did not register with any of us in the circle as it was said softly and quickly. It was only later when I was feeding the recording of the session into a PC from the voice recorder that it was heard.

I later did some Internet genealogical searches and found record of a Charles Rink, M.D., who practiced in Pennsylvania prior to World War I. A page was printed from the Pennsylvania Medical Journal for which this Dr. Rink served as a correspondent. The search continues for confirmation of Dr. Sara Rink.

To us, the casual dropping of the name “Charles” in association with the unusual surname “Rink” was very evidential when coupled with the Internet data that was later unearthed. No other Rink was found online who had been a physician although there are one or two now living and practicing medicine.

Rev. Hoyt Robinette has a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Kentucky and a master’s in clinical psychology.