Columbia University, New York City.
The Columbia University Lecture
This lecture on Mediumship by Leslie Flint was recorded
in New York City by Professor William R Bennett,
who had invited Flint to speak at Columbia University.
Professor of Electrical Engineering at Columbia, William Bennett had investigated Flint's Mediumship personally
and vouched for his authenticity.
According to Professor Bennett,
"My experience with Mr. Flint is first hand. I have heard the independent voices.
Furthermore, modern investigation techniques, not available in earlier tests,
corroborate previous conclusions by indicating that the voices are not his.
But to be thorough, one should consider the possibility of live accomplices...
This suggestion became untenable for me, during his visit to New York in September 1970, when,
in an impromptu séance in my apartment, the same voices not only appeared,
but took part in conversations with the guests."
Read the transcript below as you listen...
…from his home in London. We got to know him, to appreciate his warmth and personality, honesty, his sincerity and his dedication to use his remarkable gifts for the benefit of humanity and not to use it for private material gain. It is also appropriate to say - as was announced in the flyer - in this University atmosphere, that Mr Flint has cooperated with scientific investigators, who’ve tried to determine the truth concerning these things that are dimly understood and which he will tell you more about.
And when you volunteer to agree to partake of scientific experiments of this type, perhaps one doesn’t realise the personal discomfort and indignities that the subject has to suffer. Some of this has included conducting a seance in which Mr Flint had his mouth securely sealed with adhesive tape. In other tests he has been induced to take coloured liquid into his mouth, with the amount measured before and after the test. And I’m glad to say that in all these many tests which have occupied many years no one has has ever bought forth any evidence of deception.
Now I think without further ado I will turn the meeting over to Mr Flint, who will explain what some of these things are.
Mr President, Professor Bennett, ladies and gentlemen, I cannot tell you how, very much deep within myself, I feel the honour you have done me, by inviting me to come and address you in this magnificent building on this subject - which is very dear to my heart, which has been my life’s work and which I hope, I may yet continue to do for a number of years.
Now, being a Medium is not necessarily a pleasant job. By this I mean from the outset - and I think it’s quite understandable that many people who know very little about the subject and indeed, many who do will quite naturally be very wary and a little unsure as to the Medium’s integrity. In other words, if you’re going to give your life in service as a Medium, you must have the hide of a rhinoceros, although you may and you must be to be a Medium, be ultra sensitive.
So, one has to learn to live with the realisation that there will always be people who will doubt your sincerity, your honesty and your integrity.
Now, I’ve come here to day under - not under pressure - but I have come here really, because Professor Bennett, when he came to London and had seances with me and he knew that I was visiting America, he was very anxious that I should come and talk to you.
Well, I only hope that you don’t go away disappointed, because I do not consider myself a public speaker. I am a Medium. I sit, I hold seances, I do not go not any Trances. The voices that speak are quite independent of me. I have no control whatsoever over what transpires at the sessions or the seances. And I think before I say too much to you, it would be a much better idea if you were to listen, just for ten minutes, to a tape recording which I have made, which consists of extracts from various seances.
Now I do not pretend or expect that the demonstration tape that I have brought with me to play here today will necessarily - indeed I wouldn’t expect and I wouldn’t anticipate that it would prove in any way, many of the things that I shall have to discuss and I do not expect you to be convinced. I would be an idiot if I were to expect that and I wouldn’t think too much of any of you here if you took it just on that surface.
Seances, Mediumship, by their very nature are complex. The more one knows about Mediumship and the more one gives oneself to it, the more one realises what a very, very complex subject it is. And every human being that enters into this field of experience, seeking proof of survival, must find for himself. What is one man’s proof is not, obviously or necessarily another man’s proof and therefore the tapes can only stand in this sense. But you will hear at least six voices of individuals, so called ‘dead’ people, conversing.
Now, as Professor Bennett has told you I have willingly, over many years and particularly the last eighteen years, subjected myself willingly to all manner of tests, that various doctors of science and others, could devise. Latterly, some of these tests have included infra-red telescope, that is, as you probably all well know, an instrument that makes it possible to see what is happening in a darkened seance room. Also, I’ve had throat microphones placed around my throat which are attached to loudspeakers. I have been securely bound and roped in chairs and sometimes, people have held my hand each side. In other words, every possible, conceivable device that could be suggested, I have submitted myself to - so that the voices themselves have been proven quite definitely to be quite separate and quite apart from myself.
If I had not undergone these tests over a long period - and I’m still sitting with members of the Psychical Research Society in London - still experimenting. Because I feel the more we do this, the more wise it is, the more intelligent it is, the more we can convince the world of the reality of communication between the living and the dead.
If I couldn’t present this to you, I wouldn’t dare to stand in front of you and ask you to listen to this tape recording. But I think, quite apart from whether you can accept it or not, you will find it very interesting.
Because on this tape you will hear at least six individual, separate entities, with their peculiarities of speech and an idiosyncrasy of speech. You will hear a very famous English actress, Ellen Terry, and perhaps before I play this recording I would also point out - apart from the test aspect of my work - whenever we have received a communication and it has been tape recorded, of some individual that we’ve felt we might, in some way, be able to prove, such as for instance, Bernard Shaw….
He came to us on many occasions and we were able, eventually, to contact various people who had known Shaw very well. We also contacted several people who appeared on stage in his plays and, without exception, everyone accepted the fact that it was Bernard Shaw speaking. Of course there was, quite naturally, as one would expect, a certain amount of, not dissension among the people concerned, concerning the voice itself. For instance some people said,
‘oh yes, well the context of the message and the way in which it was given and the humour and the sardonic, sort of, feeling that was behind the repartee etc., was so typically and obviously Bernard Shaw. It couldn’t have been anyone else.’
And then of course you will have, as this often happens, when we try to do this sort of thing to check up on the voices, you will people who say, ‘well it wasn’t quite, exactly his voice, but of course it was certainly the sort of things that Shaw would have said.’
In other words, we must put it in this fashion, that all communication, whatever form it takes, is artificial. There is no such thing as a natural communication. By this I mean, that if a person from the other side of life is trying to contact us, they have to use, in some fashion, in some way, a Medium. And no matter how honest and sincere and genuine that Medium is, somewhere, some part of that Medium may be - I don’t say it always is - but may be apparent.
Now I have said to you that the voices are quite independent of the Medium. By this I mean that they have been proven, scientifically to be separate from my physical organism. In other words, I do not speak myself. And as far as we can make out and understand, neither are my vocal organs exercised or used. And also of course, we have had on rare occasions, two and sometimes three voices speaking together holding a conversation - including, sometimes, myself conversing. Which therefore makes it quite obvious it couldn’t possibly, conceivably be attached - the voice, the Spirit voice - to me. In other words I couldn’t myself be producing it.
I mention all these things because I think they are important and I wouldn’t have the audacity to stand up here, in front of you and discuss this whole subject, unless I knew that my Mediumship was scientifically proven.
In the coming year (1971) a book is coming out - oh, this does sound as if I’m fishing for you to buy it - but the point is that I am bringing out a book on my life and my work, which will state much more in detail what I, than what I can do now.
But anyway I think for the moment, if we could have ten minutes and we could just listen to the voices and then I will discuss them further and later, if anyone wishes to ask any particular question or questions, if it’s in my power to answer them I would be very happy to do so.
(RECORDING OF SPIRIT VOICES IS PLAYED TO AUDIENCE)
I appreciate the fact that the tape recordings in themselves cannot provide proof to you. In any case the tape recordings are not perhaps as good as they might be, the reproduction etc., and it’s difficult to hear with great clarity. Nevertheless, it’s an illustration of a kind and, what I would like to say is this; that there is always a great number of people, when we discuss this subject of Spiritualism and psychical research who, their first impact, their first impression, and their first reaction is, ‘oh well I don’t think it’s a good thing, I don’t think you should dabble with this and I don’t think that it’s right to call up the dead.’
Well of course we all know, at least those of us who have some knowledge of the subject, realise that it’s quite impossible to call up the dead. No one can call up the dead. A Medium certainly can’t do it, I mean I could sit from now until doomsday , as it were, in a seance and possibly, indeed quite often, nothing happens at all. So this idea that some people have, who know little or nothing of the subject, about being able to call up the dead, it’s just very stupid.
But this whole subject, as I said at the beginning, is terribly, terribly complex. Mediumship, by its very nature is variable, unpredictable. There may be an occasion when someone will come to you for a seance and you may have the most extraordinary results, the evidence may be overwhelming and then perhaps the next day, nothing happens at all.
This whole subject, by its very nature, is complex. We don’t know very much about it, indeed, I feel that after nearly forty years as a Medium, I know very, very little about the ‘mechanics’, if I can use such an expression, of Mediumship. Mediumship is terribly complex, whether it is Physical Mediumship, such as the Direct Voice or Materialisation or whether it is of another kind, such as Trance, mental phenomena. And of course there are many levels, that we don’t know how much the subconscious mind can affect Mediumship, how it can influence Mediumship. Whether it is with the ‘Mental Medium’ or Clairvoyante or whether it the Psychometriste or whether it is a Voice Medium - so much we do not know.
But the residue, the evidential residue, is so fantastic, that I don’t think any really intelligent person who delves into the is subject and who has read, could doubt the reality of the experiences of many people. Many of them very eminent, scientific individuals - whether it is going back in time to Lodge and Flammarion or even up to the present day. And with their modern techniques or the modern scientific techniques, this I think is the most wonderful thing of all.
Now it is possible to really test Mediumship, I’m talking now particularly about Physical Mediumship.
Because Physical Mediumship by its very nature has to be produced, invariably - most likely to be successful anyway - in a darkened room. Well of course this is something which, quite naturally and quite rightly, a lot of people who know little or nothing of the subject, condemn straight away, ‘oh well it happens in the dark. You can’t see what’s going on. All sorts of things could be wired up and all sorts of things can be done which will deceive.’ And I would be the last person to deny the fact that Spiritualism has, for the last century, been its own enemy.
In fact Spiritualists themselves and Mediums, have given to the ‘man in the street’ a wonderful opportunity for condemnation. I do not by this, that it’s always been the fault of the Spiritualists completely and entirely, but the tragedy of Mediumship is, that it can be imitated, it can to some extent be copied. And therefore this subject, this ‘Movement’, call it what you will, has had many frauds.
Well, there’s one thing that you cannot fraudulently produce - whatever you can produce fraudulently - you cannot provide genuine evidence of survival. This is something that must come of its own accord, naturally and there are many, many, many instances of irrefutable evidence - which cannot be traced back to fraudulent behaviour on the part of the Medium. It cannot be traced back to the conscious or subconscious mind of the Medium or of the participating sitter or sitters. And as I’ve said, I feel that the reason why Spiritualism has not made the progress that it should have, is not really due so much to the outside world - which is quite naturally sceptical. But more blame lies with we ourselves as Spiritualists - and sometimes as Mediums.
I don’t want to dwell on this, but I just feel that this is the right time to say these things. It doesn’t do us any harm. It might do us all a lot of good. And I’m not thinking just about here in America, I know very little if anything, about American Spiritualism. I’m really, in a sense, thinking of my own country.
Over the years Spiritualist themselves have exposed fraudulent Mediums. Invariably indeed, when a Medium has been exposed as a fraud, it has been done by the Spiritualists, very rarely by an outside source. But I feel that we, as Mediums, have a great responsibility placed upon our shoulders. Whether we be Physical Mediums or whether we be Mental Mediums, we are, by the very nature of things, subject to all sorts of influences, good and bad. And until we rid ourselves, individually and collectively of the worser aspect , until we can stand in front of a audience - I’m talking now from the point of view of a Medium - and say ‘well look, frankly, I just don’t see anything, I don’t hear anything and my powers are not functioning.’
Now too much, frankly, is expected of a Medium. A Medium is always expected to provide ‘the goods’. He’s expected to give the evidence and as we all know, vast numbers of Spiritualists, instead of looking upon this for it is; a great philosophy, a great realisation of truth and endeavouring to follow it out as an individual and collectively, so many are only concerned about if they’re going to receive a message. And quite often the messages that people want are purely materialistic. Now I myself do not look down on anyone who is seeking help, advice or guidance, whether it’s material or spiritual. I have all manner of people come to me, in London, for various reasons and different motives. It’s human and natural. We’re living in a very, very difficult, hard material world and there are times when we get very depressed, that we can’t stand much more and we feel that we need that little extra guidance or comfort or help. And in consequence, it’s human that we go, if we are Spiritualists, to a Medium or we go to society or church where a Medium is demonstrating and we hope to get a message.
This is natural, but I will say and I think this is true to say, that I feel that we have not made progression, as a unit or an organisation - because we are too content to scratch the surface. We are too content to sit with a Medium with the object of getting something very personal to ourselves, as, usually or quite often of a material nature; get some advice as to whether we should, shall we say, sell our business or whether we should move our flat or whatever it happens to be. And this drags Mediumship down. This affects Mediums, it affects Mediumship. It brings the Medium down onto a level, which they should never be expected to be brought.
We should, by our very nature, be striving, for the things of the mind and of the Spirit. We should be aspiring, we should be trying to reach up to those people who give of themselves, to come down to us. Now please don’t misunderstand this statement of mine. This is something I feel very sincerely and very intensely. And another reason I have felt the need, particularly with my own Mediumship, to limit the amount of work that I do, to endeavour to work as far as is humanly possible wit people who are sincerely seeking - not just only the personal comfort when they’ve lost their husband or their son - not only that they should be comforted, not only that they should have the great realisation that death is not the end - not only just that, wonderful though it is.
But we should realise that we are all Spirits here and now, encased in physical matter, that we are put into this world for a purpose. But sometimes it’s even necessary and essential that we, to some extent, must suffer. That only perhaps through suffering can we find ourselves. Indeed, I think it’s true to say, that until we lose ourselves, we cannot hope to find ourselves.
And this I feel is the message of the Spirit. These wonderful souls that come down to us, endeavouring to break down the barrier that we have built, through centuries of foolishness and ignorance. We have built the barrier, not they. We have closed the door on them and they are knocking, at this door of our consciousness - endeavouring to contact us. To link up with us, to try to uplift us, to try to give us a greater understanding and a better philosophy of life - that we might, to some extent, go with them while yet in the flesh and so change this world in which we live - which we are responsible for.
And this where I feel that Mediumship and Spiritualism and Psychical Research, call it what you will, has it’s great and wonderful part to play. If Mediums are expected, as they often are, day in and day out, hour in and hour out, as in London, in some of the big societies, where they have twenty-four Mediums on the staff, they each have their little cubicles and the arrangements are made that every hour they give a sitting. Well I know that no Medium who is genuine, no Medium who is honest, can give eight or ten sittings one after the other and produce genuine phenomena. And he panders to the ‘man in the street’, he panders to the woman who wants some little material message or benefit.
I’m not condemning this exactly, although it sounds as if I am. I feel that we have a tremendous and wonderful reality to give to the world and we are prostituting it.
We are using it on a material basis and level. We are ruining our Mediums, where they exist, expecting too much of them. The Mediums have to pay their way like everybody else, they have to pay their rent for their apartment, their gas, their electricity, their telephone bills. They have to do all the things that every other human being has to do and at the end of their lives they have no assurance, they have no grant and no finance, unless they’ve been fortunate enough to save a little for their old age to help them.
The average man, he has a regular salary, an assured income. He invariably has, at the end of his life, a source of income from the firm he worked for, etc.
These are material things, I know and perhaps it is that we Mediums mustn’t expect too much, but there again, if we are asked to give a sitting and we say well, ‘my fee is…’ so and so…quite often people will raise their eyebrows and think - well if they don’t say it, they will think - ‘oh well I wouldn’t have thought he’d charge a fee’ or if he does ‘as much as he does’. These are material things; ‘the labourer is worthy of his hire’.
But of course any Medium worthy of his salt will help anyone without thought of finance.
All these factors come into Mediumship, you see this is a point and a problem that in fact doesn’t perhaps strike a lot of people very easily or very quickly. The trouble is, that Mediums are ultra-sensitive people, they are very much ‘human’ people and in some senses indeed, they’re far more sensitive than the average person. They have to be otherwise they couldn’t be a Medium. And they are subject to all sorts of influences, good and bad - more so I would suggest, than the ordinary man in the street who has an ordinary job to do.
I’m going on to this point and this subject for a purpose. Because I want, if I can, particularly for those who are on the fringe, who are not sure whether they should delve into this subject - so that they will have, to some extent, a picture, which I feel is a very true one. Spiritualism has a lot to offer, but I’m afraid that unless we do something about ourselves we shan’t get very far - and I don’t think we have. I know there’s much talk about Occultism and Spiritualism and Psychical Research. Much talk about Clairvoyance and all these other things appertaining to the same subject, they’re all part and parcel of the same. And this is a time when it’s probably needed more than any other time in man’s history. Man needs this truth - but what are we giving humanity ?
Are we just giving them the little trivial message ? It’s comforting, it’s helpful - and in many instances where people are alone in the world, to have a little message means a great deal. I wouldn’t deny them that. But we have got a tremendous reality of truth, it’s the basis of all religions. Indeed if you were to take away the reality of life after death, there is no point in religion, religion ceases to mean anything. It does not matter which religion you belong to or which faith or which organisation. It’s all based on a life to come. If there is no life to come, religion is pointless, useless and has no meaning.
We as Spiritualists are endeavouring, perhaps not as well as we would wish, endeavouring to prove the reality of what all religions are talking about. So you would imagine that religions of all types and denominations would welcome us. They would be so happy to think that there are people who were endeavouring to prove what they had been talking about for centuries. But we all know that this is not so. The vast number of religious bodies and individuals associated with the religious bodies, are invariably - there are exceptions - dead against it.
They usually say, among other things, ‘it’s of the devil’. Which always rather surprises me because I have many very sweet, dear, kind friends who are Christians and they know so much about the devil, I sometimes think I should ask them a little bit more. They seem to be so acquainted !
But seriously, and jokes apart, I don’t want to get too intense about this, but this is something I feel so strongly. We are all part of God’s creation, we are all part of a ‘living death.’
We are all dying every second of our living day. We are all gradually getting a little closer to this life eternal. But we are all Spirits, here and now. This is the tragedy that we do not realise, that we are Spirits here and now. It is our bodies that are gradually dying and changing and decaying. But we are intelligence, our personality - this part of us which is so dear to those who love us, our friends and loved ones - this reality of self cannot die. And this is what happens at the seances and on the tape recordings. We have Ellen Terry the great actress, English actress, who comes to us from time to time.
Many years ago, before certain members of her family died, they used to sit with me. Julia Neilson, who was a very, very famous actress and Fred Terry, her wonderful actor husband, who was the - Fred Terry was a brother of Ellen Terry. And Ellen Terry used to come through and speak to Julia Neilson and to other members of the Terry family and Neilson family. And we had many happy hours listening to the conversation that ensued between them. The so-called ‘dead’ and the living.
This is the great reality. It is the reality behind all great religions. It doesn’t matter which religion you profess, or do not profess or accept, or do not accept. Without it there is no religion, there is nothing. Truth is predominant, truth is the reality of the Spirit and it is what we are trying to demonstrate. And if, in my own case - as I am endeavouring to do - demonstrate it in a scientific way, I can’t say I’m always very happy with some of the results. Sometimes under these test sittings I get nothing, which is to be expected.
Other times the tests are highly successful and of course, these tests lead to other tests. And any Mediums who have undergone these sort of things know, that many of the scientifically-minded people are never satisfied. You come through one test and they say, ‘oh yes that was very interesting and that was very good.’ And they put it their files of the Society of Psychical Research and nobody hears very much, if anything, about it. And then they suggest something else and so you go on.
But nevertheless, one can only hope that the time will come, when there will be these brave people who will come out and make their statements known publicly, to the good of this great truth. But of course, many of these so-called scientifically-minded types are never really satisfied. And they go so far and they won’t go any further for a time, then they’ll start something else. But I don’t want to start saying anything unkind about anybody, particularly the scientists because they’re very nice people when you get to know them, if ever you do - but most of them I think are very human.
I was talking to the professor about New York. Here is one of the - probably the vastest city in the world, with immense wealth, immense integrity, so much to offer - but it hasn’t got a Spiritualist church. This seems to me the most extraordinary thing ! You can go round and you can see beautiful churches, Baptist churches and other denominations, Catholic churches, but Spiritualism hasn’t got a church. This I find almost impossible to believe. There must be thousands of people in this great city alone, who are interested in this subject, who are seeking, who are delving, who are wanting to know. And there must be many who are convinced by the evidence that they’ve received - that you would think that there would be a structure, a building, where people would congregate and you’d be able to have services and communication and so on.
I know that the professor said that there are, such as is here, where you have a room. But no actual structure, no actual building. This I find quite extraordinary. There are obviously very good reasons, but the point is - and this is true in England just as much, although we do have churches, it’s true…
But the people perhaps, who could help and could give of themselves, in time and in money to help others to find truth, the realisation and comfort, very seldom do very much. This is I suppose human nature the world over, but it does seem to me a terrible thing. That as were are all approaching the inevitable, very few are prepared to do anything of themselves, to make this a possibility that others might see truth and know truth and have the opportunity to experience it. And a building that is given to this wonderful work.
This is just a personal expression, I hope it’s not been taken in the wrong sense, but it is an extraordinary thing, that the Salvation Army, the Catholic religion and all the religions. They can all obtain money to build magnificent buildings. And yet they haven’t got the great thing that matters: the reality of the life to come, with the evidence to support it. We have the evidence, we can give the realisation in the fullest sense and yet we haven’t got the material welfare.
Perhaps this is as it should be. It may well be that it isn’t intended, but where there is real illumination of the mind and of the spirit, material things - buildings, structures and so on - are unimportant.
Christ said ‘go out into the highways and the byways and preach my gospel to every creature’ and perhaps it is not in buildings, not in structures, but in the hearts of man, under a deeper realisation within the man himself, that this truth will be given out.
Now I’ve perhaps wandered a wee bit, if I have, forgive me - and I think perhaps it might be a good idea now, if I were to throw this meeting open and if anyone has any particular question - if it’s in my power to answer it, I will.
Have you ever had anyone say anything - or have they ever seen God - or what do they say about God on the other side ?
What do they say about God ? The lady asks has anybody from the other side ever said - at any of my séances anyway - has anyone ever seen God or has anyone ever seen Jesus ?
Now first I think the only explanation I can give for this, the only thing I can say on this, I do not know of any Spirit from the other side that has ever said they have seen God. But what they have said is, they have seen a manifestation of what is termed God. The other side have always given us the impression that God is not a person. That he has no form or shape as far as they know - they have not seen him - but they feel and know God.
But it is a deep feeling from within themselves and an expression of which they cannot put a word, a name or a title. It’s something outside their knowledge as a shape or a form.
We have a question over here...
I would like to know, is there any non-English speakers come through to you ?
Oh, yes of course. Oh, yes I’m sorry, perhaps I should have brought that up. Now at the séances of which I speak, from time to time - I wouldn’t say this is a common thing - but from time to time, we have had communications in other languages. Sometimes it may be perhaps, that someone has come to me from Germany for a sitting. And on occasions - this is not necessarily a regular thing, obviously - on occasions communications have come through in other languages.
But I think it’s only right to suggest that in some instances there has been difficulty. But this is probably due to the fact that the whole mental construction of myself - of course, I do not speak any other languages - and also the fact that I’m sitting and working in an English speaking country, where English is predominant. This may, to some extent, make things more difficult. I do not know why it should, but it does.
But of course, there have been occasions where people have come through and spoken in other languages and hold quite intelligent conversations, but I would say it’s much more rare, than common.
Question over here…
When the voices are giving evidence, what is going on, if anything, in the brain of the Medium ? The alpha waves and the beta waves…
Oh well, you see I’m not a scientist. And I’ll be very frank about this - I really know nothing from a scientific aspect about my Mediumship. I give myself to others who are scientifically-minded, to experiment with me. But in fact I am rather - in fact I am completely ignorant. But I gather by that, do you mean sort of graph things, this new thing that’s come out about a graph ? Voices having, like fingerprints ?
No, this is…
Is this something else ? Because I’m very…
Electrodes on your head and making measurements of your brain-waves.
Well so far, they haven’t brought that one up. No. But that might yet come.
They’re working on it…
There are cases of Mediums that I can…. tested very successfully to show no activity in the brain of the Medium while he’s under…
Well that’s something new to me you see, something that probably you know about - obviously know about - I don’t.
I’ve never had that one no. Don’t think I care much for that...
Question down here...
(Asks a long and unintelligible question, which in part, involves asking Mr Flint, for the benefit of all those assembled, “to confirm, by the grace of God, and give us a message - an international message…would you be kind enough to try ? You have the power…we’re all grateful to you…”)
Well, I think I know what you mean. I think I’m reasonably intelligent enough to understand what you’re trying to convey to me…but all I can say is that I am a Medium. I have no control, consciously certainly or otherwise, as far as I know, as to what transpires. And as I think I’ve said earlier, it is not in my power to command or demand or to call up any particular person or persons.
But I do know what you mean, in the larger sense and I think this is very true to say, that if we - by our example - and this to me is more important than prayer, let me explain this…
I do not deny the effectiveness of prayer, when it is sincere from deep within the innermost soul. But I am more concerned with practical things - now this may sound odd. I mean so many people pray with great sincerity, and I’m sure their prayers do have an effect. In fact, often prayer is answered.
What is more important to me, is what you are inside. It is no good standing up praying, this is why I’m always embarrassed when people ask me to pray. I dislike intensely, praying in public. I just feel that I need someone to pray for me. I feel that one’s life must be a prayer - not that one necessarily succeeds. One must endeavour to do as best one can, in one’s daily life - sending out these thought waves. Of course, one sends out one’s thought waves for peace and for the good of humanity - but I don’t really think that I’ve answered your question have I ? I’m afraid I haven’t.
What they wanted was a demonstration.
No, you have to deny you can’t give a demonstration in a room like this…
It’s impossible to give a demonstration of my Mediumship, here in a public place like this. This is not my field of activity. It’s not the sort of Mediumship that is demonstratable in an audience of this nature. You see, I’m not a Clairvoyant, I don’t…I suppose I could, but I’m not here to give people messages.
Furthermore, he can’t command the voices to say what he wants them to say. It’s whatever they say.
Well I think that any Medium that can command, there’s something very fishy about them. No genuine Medium can bring up any particular person, just because the sitter particularly wants that person. There’s no such thing as calling up the dead, this is the point.
A person may go to a Medium with the sincerest of meaning and purpose, with love and everything in their heart, with the desire to communicate with their son or their husband. But a Medium can’t make that person come. There’s no power a Medium has to call up the dead or to receive any particular thing a particular person wants.
This is where so many people go wrong. They assume that a Medium can do exactly what they want and answer all their questions. It’s just not so. A genuine Medium cannot do anything like that.
A question over here...
Has it ever been said from the the other side that someone had seen Jesus ?
Well yes, I have heard of instances of individuals of a higher nature - that is, people who have obviously been over there, possibly for centuries - who have progressed Spiritually and reached a very high state of evolution and development, who have claimed to have seen and spoken with Jesus. But the average - if one can use a term such as the average - the ordinary man or woman, who has only recently gone over, they may have seen - I have known of instances where individuals have said that they have seen an apparition, I suppose is the word to use - it’s not quite the correct word - of someone they have assumed to be Jesus.
But there again, it may well be that they have had a reflection of the mind and the beauty of Jesus, on a level of their own consciousness. And there again, from what one can gather, Jesus isn’t necessarily a physical figure.
But it seems that Jesus - or any of the great teachers or any of the great prophets or any of the highly developed souls - can manifest, under different conditions and circumstances to peoples on different levels of consciousness, on the other side of life and no doubt, on this side of life, at certain times when there is a reason or a real purpose for it.
That is why I think it is quite feasible and logical to accept the fact that there are certain peoples over the centuries who have seen apparitions, whether it is of the Virgin Mary or whether it is of Jesus or whether it is of Saint Francis of Assisi - or whoever it may be. I am quite sure that these souls can become visible under certain conditions.
But it still doesn’t necessarily mean to say, that the person is there in the complete sense, as we would perhaps like to understand it. It can be a reflection of self that is given out or sent out for a definite purpose.
We have a question here...
I wanna know, do any of the [voices]…have any them ever told you about reincarnation…and do you believe in reincarnation ?
Well reincarnation is a subject which has, obviously, gained enormous ground. Many, many, many people are interested in reincarnation. I cannot speak with any authority on this, because I know little or nothing about it. I do not deride it, I think that under exceptional circumstances there is every reason to believe it is so - but I cannot prove it.
Now you see, with Spiritualism, with Mediumship, it can be proven to the hilt. If a woman comes to or goes to a Medium or a woman comes to me as a Medium and she gets into contact with her son and the evidence that she receives is irrefutable - that certain things are given and said which could have only been said by the son and further communication comes, over a period of time and the evidence builds up, then you have a case that you can say, ‘well this is proven, as far as one can hope, reasonably, to expect it to be so.’
But with incarnations and reincarnation, I am not going to say it cannot be proven, but I do not know myself of any personal case, where it is 100% watertight, proven.
I think it is highly possible that there are certain individuals who do come back in a physical form, perhaps because they have a specific work to do, which is necessary - but I do not know further than that. I don’t know.
Did you ever serve as a channel for F.H. Myers and if so was there a record of it made ?
He was a little bit before my time…
Did he come back personally ?
Oh you mean has he been back to communicate ?
…to my knowledge he’s never been back through my Mediumship. But I should assume that he has obviously been back, but I don’t know through what Mediums. I’ve never had any contact…
Yes sir ?
Do your Spirit guides and communicators give any indication as to the modus operandi of…
Oh yes. Of course this is something that I’ve rather left out haven’t I ? Yes, of course, I have my own particular guides and souls whose job it is to be present at a sitting. And they tell us that from the Medium and sometimes from the sitters - they draw a substance, which they loosely term, for want of a better expression, ectoplasm. And from the ectoplasm they mould a replica of the vocal organs which are necessary for speech and they transmit their thought-force into this, and this becomes, temporarily, an artificial reproducer or artificial larynx. And through this they are able to reconstruct some aspect of self.
But the mental self which is behind it, is not only trying to get through the personal evidence and substantiate their claim as to who they are, but they’re also having to try, through this artificial voice-box built of the ectoplasm, [to create] a replica of themselves as they would be remembered on Earth.
In other words, it seems that they have to do several things at the same time. They have to assert their personality, they have to manipulate this artificial larynx - which is unnatural to them - so that they can be heard on our side, artificially. All the entities that come have to use the same artificial larynx and voice-box and that is why there can be, sometimes, a tendency for some voices to overlap and sound a little like somebody else.
But where they assert their personality, you get this tremendous reality of voice and personality and idiosyncrasy in the way in which they speak. But it is necessarily artificial, it cannot be otherwise.
We have a question over here...
Has Edgar Cayce ever come through ?
No I haven’t had the pleasure of Edgar Cayce yet, but I’m quite sure that with all the publicity he’s getting, he’ll be back soon ! (Laughter.)
You have a question young man ?
I would like to ask Mr Flint that when a sitter comes to him are they able to request someone they wish to talk to or do they…
Well, can I explain this to you. I think I said, I’ve said this at least three times and I’m sure you agree with this; if a sitter came to me and said, ‘Mr Flint…’
No, I’ll give you an illustration.
Some months before I came to New York I received a letter from a lady, a long letter, in which she said she was desperately unhappy. She had lost her son in an accident. She gave me the name of the son in her letter, she described the accident. She gave me details about his home and his school. She talked about his sister still living - married with three children. And she said, ‘If I come to London can I get in touch with my son through you ?’
Well I immediately wrote back and said, ‘Dear Madam, I appreciate your need, but if you are thinking of trying to contact your son, do not, when you attend the seance, mention anything concerning yourself or the person whom you wish to make contact with, because it is a waste of time.’
Now if a person came to me, into my seance room and as soon they got inside the doors said, ‘oh I want to get in touch with my husband Jack so and so, because I want this and I want that.’ I would say, ‘well Madam, I’m sorry you’re wasting your time and mine, I just don’t want to sit for you.’
Because no Medium, if he’s an honest person, wants to know anything about his sitter other than the fact that they’re sincere and intelligent in their approach to the subject.
You see if any - in fact I would be furious - if anyone came to me and started telling me, ‘I want to get in touch with Jack and I want to get in touch with Fred so and so.’ I would think, well what’s the point - this is stupid.
I mean, when you go to a Medium, you go with an open mind and an open heart and you give them the benefit of the doubt if you’re sceptical. But at least you don’t sit there and tell them what you want. If you do, you’re a bloody fool.
But once you’ve made a contact, you can bring up the subject that you’d like to talk about ?
Oh, well that’s a different thing. I mean I was talking purely on the view of evidential sittings, of getting results of something which is tangible and getting evidence of survival.
But if a sitter is in a circle and a guide or some soul is coming through and you can ask them an intelligent question or discuss a certain subject, that’s perfectly alright. You’re not seeking any evidence in that way, which it would be valuable to you, you’re just seeking spiritual advice and guidance, that’s a different thing. But anyone seeking evidence, they should never tell a Medium anything.
There’s a question here...
Has Bishop Pike ever come through to you ?
No. I, you know, I think I must be jolly unlucky I never seem to get any of the Americans…
I don’t have Cayce, I don’t have Pike. I don’t know who else has died recently in America. But they don’t seem to - even at death - want to come 3,000 miles to London.
I’m very unfortunate. Whether the Americans don’t like the English Mediums, but I - apart from when Americans come over to me for a sitting and it’s rather different, but otherwise, I don’t get all these wonderful Americans. Perhaps they don’t like the English so much ?