Direct-voice mediumship is the most difficult form of mediumship for people to understand and accept as genuine contact with the afterlife because it contradicts everything people have been taught about the afterlife. People have been taught either that the dead have no existence beyond the grave, or that if the dead appear, they will do so only in the most haunted of places, as wisps of vapor or transparent ghosts.
As a result, when someone claims that dead people are speaking in the dark just as they would when sitting across from us having a friendly chat, people are rightly incredulous. They have no frame of reference for such claims.
And yet direct-voice mediumship is the most easily tested and most readily demonstrable of all the communications with those in the afterlife. People can understand voices--we hear them all day every day--and when someone speaks, we know that person is present and alive. More importantly, the seances occur at a scheduled time in a specified place in the presence of a limited number of people. That means the time, place, and participants can all be controlled to verify their validity.
It is also the most verifiable of all afterlife communication activities because the strictly controlled event can be recorded using an audio recorder. If the circumstances are controlled so the medium is shown without doubt to be silent the entire time, the location is not accessible by the medium before the event so it can't be set up to make voices, companions are not present or are themselves controlled, and voices still come out on the tape recorder, verified by people who knew and loved the deceased to be characteristic of them, then we must at least agree that the recorded voices are coming from some place other than the physical surroundings. That would seem to be proof positive that the voices are what they and the medium claim them to be--people very much alive in the afterlife.
Were it that simple! While direct-voice mediumship is the most easily verifiable form of mediumship, and rigorous testing has been done that verifies its validity, it is so different from our preconceived notions about death that it is difficult for people to accept even when verified beyond a shadow of a doubt. But it is just the extraordinary clarity of the event that startles people, not whether such an event can take place--it obviously does.
Just as people have no frame of reference for the phenomenon, those listening to the voices have no frame of reference for the circumstances under which the seances must occur, or for the nature of the voices. That creates real confusion that surfaces as skepticism and doubt, even in the face of the evidence of validity obtained with strict controls. The explanation of direct-voice mediumship that follows is an effort to explain the phenomenon and why it must be structured the way it is. Hopefully, those listening to the Leslie Flint seances will better understand how they have been recorded, what those in the afterlife are doing to produce them, why they must be recorded as they are, and why the voices sound as they do.
Activities in the spirit realm required to produce the voices
This explanation begins with what goes on in the spirit realm because that will help to explain why the circumstances are set up as they are.
The spirit realm or afterlife is a realm of thought or mind. Everything occurs by thought. When the person passes away, the body is left behind, but everything the person was still exists exactly as it was the moment before passing. What is left is all the things that are in the realm of thought: knowledge, love, emotions, personality, thoughts, feelings, imagination, and so on.
The person, now entirely the thoughts or mind with no body, then continues the eternal process of maturing spiritually begun on Earth. However, there is no time in the afterlife, so the process can take forever. But the purpose of life is to mature spiritually, even if ever so slowly.
When someone who has been dead for 40 years (Earth time) comes through in a seance, the spirit isn't the same one that stepped out of the body. He or she has matured and changed, often substantially. Most really don't care about returning to the Earthly plane because they're involved in their lives in the afterlife. They come when someone on Earth thinks about them, sometimes. They don't celebrate birthdays, but may return to the Earthly plane when people on it think about the person on his or her birthday. The afterlife is the realm of thought.
The person who comes through in a direct-voice medium seance actually takes on the personality he or she had when alive so those listening can relate to it. However, most often, they're not portraying entirely or in any sense who they are at the time of the seance. They are making a great effort to get back to what they were and who they were at the time of their passing.
They come through in thought. On their plane of existence, people and animals communicate entirely through thought, not through writing or vibrations going through the air. The spirits speaking in seances sometimes answer the sitters' questions before they're asked. They know their thoughts. And so, what the spirit does is to "think" the words and project them into the environment of the seance. That takes a little time to master and the seances often begin with a short period of confusion and trial and error as the spirits work on getting it right.
The spirits in the afterlife do communicate with those still on the Earth, but they do it through thought. We on the Earthly plane have difficulty getting their thoughts because the cacophonous noise of the sensory, physical realm keeps us from hearing the thoughts. People do often get them in dreams, after-death communications, induced after-death communications, near-death experiences, intuition, and at times even audible voices they hear in their heads. Mediums who are not direct-voice mediums (called trans mediums or psychic mediums) get the thoughts, although at times very imprecisely.
Activites in the physical realm during a seance
For the spirit to make the voice that will communicate the thought, he or she must get power from someone who has the ability to be a direct-voice medium. There have been many throughout history. Leslie Flint is one of the best known. Today there are practicing direct-voice mediums such as David Thompson. No one knows why they are able to help those in the afterlife use the medium's power to produce voice; it is a gift they've been given.
The power those in the afterlife provide and the power they gain from the direct-voice medium and sitters (the people attending the seance) have to produce something that will make vibrations in the air as a human voice box does. In other words, to speak, they must have a human apparatus; it has to be animated, but a dog's won't do--dogs can't speak. It has to be a human voice box.
This is the first area where the fact that we have no frame of reference for this phenomenon causes what seems bizarre. However, it is simply another dimension of reality that is new to us. We would have thought the notion of little one-celled animals causing disease or some stars we see actually being clusters of stars in galaxies to be bizarre before those were shown to be facts. This is what happens. Those in spirit use the power they gain from the medium and sitters to create a voice box in the air from a substance called ectoplasm. It comes from the medium's body and they form it into a voice box. Ectoplasm has been photographed and analyzed as being a colorless, slightly cloudy fluid with cell detritus and sputum.
The person in the afterlife then focuses his or her thoughts on the voice box, attempting to create a voice that is recognizable as theirs and to act and speak in ways that a listener who knew them would recognize as their characteristic ways of acting and speaking. That is what comes out on the tape recorders.
Characteristics of the resulting voices
It is because of the following constraints on those in the afterlife that the voices come out as they do:
- The room must be totally or nearly dark for the ectoplasm to appear.
For some reason we don't know, ectoplasm must be produced and manipulated in darkness. If the light comes on suddenly, the medium can be seriously injured or killed as the ectoplasm thrusts back into his or her body. The skeptics, of course, have a field day with this requirement. The darkness, they assert, hides the subterfuge. However, tight controls of the medium and sitters have proven repeatedly that no one in the physical realm is creating the voices. Darkness is simply a requirement for those in the afterlife to create the ectoplasm. Infrared photographs have shown the ectoplasm.
- The person in spirit must create a voice using the voice box.
The person's abandoned body is now decaying somewhere on Earth. The voice can't come from that body. Just as we can't "think" an audible word into being without using our voice boxes, nothing in the thought of the spirit can create a single air vibration a person on the Earthly plane could hear as we hear vocal vibrations in the air. The voices that come during the seances simply are not coming from a body or anything resembling a whole body, and certainly not from the disintegrating flesh of their old bodies lying in the ground somewhere on earth.
That creates real challenges for the person in spirit. He or she does have the vocabulary and habits of speaking that have carried over into spirit. Those will come through clearly. However, the components that gave the vocal organism its unique "sound" cannot be reproduced with fidelity to the person's body. Those in spirit do their best to be recognizable, but are creating a voice by thinking the words and focusing them on a voice box. They are working hard to create a voice similar to that they used when they had a body, and to recreate the personality they had decades ago before their growth in spiritual maturity in the afterlife. But the voice is not produced by the person's body, as though those sitting in the dark during the seance were in a darkened theater where a movie of the person was being played with their recorded voice but without images on the screen.
It's quite an awesome challenge. And those in spirit complain about how difficult it is regularly.
One Web site compared Gandhi's recorded voice with the voice recorded during a seance, noting that there were differences in the voices. Of course there were. Under the circumstances, it would be impossible to create a perfect reproduction of a person's voice. However, parents of deceased children, spouses whose loved ones have died, confidantes who spoke with the deceased daily, all agreed with certainty that all the qualities that made up their deceased loved ones' speech patterns, vocabulary, memories, and everything else that made them individuals were present in the voices. Thousands of people are on record testifying to that fact.
Mrs. Fearon, whose son Michael's seance is one of those presented on this Web site, concluded after the seance that she was definitely having a conversation with her son. When asked whether the voice on the tape recorder and the voice she remembered were the same, she responded, "Yes." When asked whether he used the same pitch and inflections, she responded, "Just about."
The pitch and inflections were coming from an ectoplasmic voice box. We would expect them to differ from her son's pitch and inflections coming from his body.
- The spirit must recapture the old personality.
People who have passed into spirit continue their growth in a wonderful, peaceful, idyllic environment. They have occupations and new pastimes. Many lose interest in the Earthly plane altogether. During a seance, the person in spirit must come back to the Earthly plane and try to be the person they were when alive. It would be much like us being asked to stand on stage and speak and act as we did when we were 12 years old, using our characteristic voices and recalling events that happened then. The challenge for those in spirit is daunting.
As a result, they may forget or sound vague. Few of us could stand onstage and perform on command without such problems. We who are listening to the tapes must realize that these are real people, as real as they were when using bodies, and that they have not become omniscient and purified beings. They are simply human beings trying to do their best to communicate under extraordinarily difficult circumstances.
Rudolph Valentino is reported to have had a "squeaky" voice that would not have been suitable for the talkie movies. However, the voice recording of his seance has him using a pleasant, masculine voice. That may be the voice he prefers now. Certainly, we would expect that if someone had created the voice to fool listeners, the voice would have been that commonly characterized as Valentino's squeaky voice. The fact that it wasn't indicates the voice undoubtedly wasn't an attempt to defraud listeners.
- Guides come through to aid the medium and those in spirit.
You will hear the voices of guides. For Leslie Flint, the primary guide was Mickey, a cockney newspaper boy who was run over by a truck when he was 11 years old. He has a boyish, high-pitched voice. The voice, of course, isn't his body's voice. His body is dead. The voice is his projection of himself through an ectoplasmic voice box.
In spite of these remarkable obstacles for those in the afterlife, the direct-voice recordings that came from the Leslie Flint seances are enthralling and inspiring. The personalities of those in spirit come through very clearly, and their insights for people on the earthly plane are profound. We just need to be understanding of the imperfections of the medium through which they speak. The voices simply weren't created by Earthly bodies.
Return to the explanation of the validity of the direct-voice seances