The Importance of 'Evidence' in Spirit Communication.
Many people - the majority of whom are new to the idea and practical reality of our being able to communicate (via a mental or physical medium) on a regular basis with those people who have previously had a life on this Earth in what to us is a 'real' (that is to say 'Physical') world - have for several years now asked me: "How can you really be sure that the communications and messages you receive through a medium are actually coming from a spirit person, whether unknown to you - or a specific loved one or relative - who has had a life in this world, and then died??"
The answer is always: "Through the actual accurate and 'Real' Evidence of Post-Mortem Survival which you obtain personally, or experience in a physical way during a sitting with a mental medium, or through a séance with a Physical medium or Group using either the classic ectoplasmic-based method, or the energy-based way of working. 'EVIDENCE' is the KEY to it all, just as during any court case, innocence or guilt is deemed to be 'proved' or 'not proved' by carefully weighing up the evidence personally.
It is now almost 19 years since 'The Scole Experiment' finished, in November 1998 - but the interest in this unique experiment we carried out in the 1990's continues, and grows on a weekly basis!! I am frequently being asked "OK - so we have read about the amazing phenomena you obtained at Scole, but what about the 'Real' Evidence to show that an Afterlife exists? What did you receive during that time by way of actual Proof? "Well, I can definitely set everybody's ideas straight on that score! Over the years at Scole and in other places we demonstrated the Scole Phenomena, we did receive - for ourselves personally, as well as for guests and visitors who shared our sessions - a massive plethora of Messages, Information, Evidence and Proof that Life Exists after we die. There is no doubt that Post-Mortem Survival is a FACT, for All of Us!!
By the time that 'The Scole Experiment' started in 1993, I was already a veteran of 'Psychic Research', with 20 years experience behind me, including over 250 private sittings with professional 'Mental' mediums, plus numerous Seances with Physical Mediums such as: Leslie Flint, Gordon Higginson; Stewart Alexander; Colin Fry; Geoffrey Jacobs; John Squires and several others (and that is not counting the many personal physical circles that Sandra and I had started and/or been involved in). I had received a real abundance of personal evidence myself which added up to absolute proof; so that I could state with all honesty - and well before the era of Scole - that the case for 'Survival' had long since been 'proved' to me as far as I was concerned.
It would be pointless for me to simply write here that 'Life After Death' is a Fact, without providing suitable 'evidence' to back up such a statement. Proof is a very personal thing, and each of us needs to research the 'pros and cons' for ourselves before deciding on our personal verdict. That involves making our own effort to seek out personal evidence for ourselves. After all, whether we live on after our death or not is a very important issue for mankind!! In my case, when people say to me "After 44 years' intimate involvement with Psychic Research now, clearly you MUST 'Believe' in Life After Death", I always say "NO - I do NOT Believe in Life After Death, because I KNOW it to be A FACT!!!" There is a massive difference between Belief and Knowledge!!
The Scole Experiment itself was something really special, and unique. If - by the time it started, I had received NO personal evidence of Post-Mortem Survival, then it would have been impossible (after the 5 years of involvement at Scole) for me NOT to KNOW FOR SURE that for ALL of US - life goes on after we pass to Spirit. Our loving Spirit Team at Scole immediately recognised the need to provide personal 'evidence' for every member of the Scole Experimental Group. It was not just a need, but a vital requirement, in order to establish the necessary total trust, partnership and cooperation between the Spirit Team and ourselves for the important pioneering work ahead.
Right from the start, the members of our Spirit Team at Scole made a great effort to bring us personal 'evidence' of Survival from our loved ones in Spirit, but it was not until April 25th 1994 that the 'Evidence' started to flow in profusion. That was the day when a new member of the Spirit Team - Emily Bradshaw (a Victorian Lady) - joined us, and stayed with us every time that we sat thereafter. To begin with, she was simply known to us as 'Mrs. Bradshaw' (a pseudonym, like most of the Spirit Team). Mrs. Bradshaw (speaking through our medium 'Diana' who was in deep trance), introduced herself, and appeared to be a very refined, but quite severe lady from the 'Upper Classes'. In those early days, we would never have dreamed of calling her by her Christian name!! She was simply Mrs. Bradshaw. Her speech was only in the best 'Oxford English', but her diction was clear and precise.
Emily seemed to have a dual function within the Spirit Team, in that she remained 'in situ' for most of each session - acting as a sort of 'compere' in that she joined all the threads of the Team's activities together; keeping us advised as to what was going on behind the scenes; predicting exactly what phenomena we could expect before it happened; issuing instructions and guidance to us wherever necessary. Her other VERY VITAL function, was to provide real and personal 'Evidence' for the Scole Group (in the beginning), which established the Spirit Team's bona fides and two-way TRUST with us. In this, Emily was an amazing 'Expert' in the quality of the 'Evidence' we experienced from her. As we got to know Emily and her abilities intimately, we came to love and respect her to the point that she became - to us - almost a 'surrogate mother'. It is true to say that although we came to love every member of the Spirit Team who worked with us at Scole, it is perhaps Emily that we have missed the most since the end of 'The Scole Experiment'.
Sometimes little 'throwaway remarks' (given as amusing asides) from Emily to us in the Group proved to be very accurate and verifiable, such as the time that the four of us sat together - and Emily confided "Did you know that Monty Keen wears red long johns?". Monty was one of the three SPR investigators who sat regularly with us in the Scole Group. The next time he and his two colleagues visited Scole, we mentioned this amusing remark of Emily's to him. He thought it hilariously funny and - immediately - rolled up his trouser legs to confirm that Emily was - indeed - absolutely correct! Not even his colleagues had any inkling of the fact that Monty wore red long johns when he sat with us at Scole!! Sometimes, our own inner thoughts (unknown to everybody else in the room) were fed back to us in an amusing way by Emily to show us just how much she was personally in touch with each of us.
I do not have the room here in this article to detail EVERY small piece of the evidence we received during our sessions at Scole. However, every small instance was like a small piece of the Jigsaw Puzzle called 'Proof' which - when added together - left us in absolutely no doubt whatsoever that 'Life Exists beyond Death'!! During the very first sitting that Emily introduced herself to us (25th April 1994), she started to give us quite amazing 'Evidence', when Sandra was told that her grandparents "named Glynn" were there on that occasion, as well as her first mother and father in law - Mr and Mrs Hutson. Emily went on to say that my mother was also present but was - at that time - too emotional to speak. However, Emily correctly gave her name as 'Constance', and accurately stated that she had passed to Spirit 8 years previously. Through Emily, my mother was able to correctly communicate the fact that because of her long illness, she had been rather a burden on my father in her latter years. My father was - said Emily - also present at that session. She accurately named him as 'Hubert Stevenson Foy'. He communicated the fact that he had passed to Spirit not long after my mother, in 1987 (most evidential). None of these fact was known to anyone else in the group apart from Sandra and me. Emily went on to remind me of (by giving me extremely accurate and intimate information unknown even to Sandra) concerning my dearest childhood memories of happy days spent in Scarborough with my Grandparents. These were very special and emotional memories for me of wonderful times from the past.
The personal 'evidence' for all of us (members of the Scole Experimental Group) as relayed in these messages by Emily Bradshaw continued to flow - week by week and month by month - so that (even just in itself) it presented a pretty strong case for the existence of an Afterlife! Little nuggets of information - unknown to all the other people present - were unbelievably accurate in their content. On May 9th, my mother was able to speak to me personally through the deep trance mediumship of Diana. We exchanged many memories, known only to ourselves (wonderful evidence!), such as her date of birth - March 30th 1915. Through Emily on May 16th, my mother gave her correct maiden name as 'Grimble'. My father, at the same session, confirmed his own date of birth as January 31st 1912, and my own place of birth as 'Blackpool'. The deceased husband of one of the other group members passed her a message - in similar fashion - through Emily, confirming his full name and date of passing. On May 23rd, via Emily, my parents were able to state accurately that they would have been married for 53 years then (had they both survived), having been married in March 1941 (this was extremely evidential).
The Case of Caroline Rochester
During our session on May 30th, Emily excelled herself by providing what became some of the most evidential information of survival received in the whole 5 years of the Scole Experiment. Bernette, one of our sitters, was asked by Emily if she was aware of a spirit presence in her home. Well, Bernette lived in an old Post Office in the village of Stansted Mountfitchett, and had been involved in psychic matters for many years. She was herself very sensitive, and had indeed noticed a 'presence' in her home. In fact, on many occasions both she - and other members of her family - had seen heavy hanging copper pans and objects in her kitchen and in other places in the home apparently moving and swaying on their own (without being touched, or being influenced by any kind of breeze). So she was happy to tell Emily that indeed she was aware of this. None of the rest of us in the group, however knew anything about such a presence in her home. Emily told Bernette that the spirit person involved was called 'Caroline Rochester'. Emily went on to say that this lady, with her brother, had lived in Bernette's house about a hundred years previously. Since Caroline was present at our Scole session, Emily described her to Bernette as 'having ringlets'. Bernette was told that Caroline apparently wished to become closer to Bernette - and to help Bernette with her healing work.
Needless to say, Bernette wanted to see if these facts could be substantiated, as none of her family knew anything about the history of their house. Bernette and her husband David spent much of the next week trying to track down local records, but they had great difficulty in finding any information at all locally, and had no success with their initial enquiries. Finally, whilst the Scole Group were sitting again the next week on June 6th, Bernette's husband had gone to the County Records Office to try and see whether he could find out more there about 'Caroline Rochester' and her brother. Whilst we were sitting, Emily spoke to Bernette to tell her "By now, you will have the proof of the 'Rochesters' who previously lived in your home". We noted the time that Emily had given this message, but Bernette was not able to reach her husband by telephone immediately after our sitting, as he was still out.
There were smiles all round, however, the next day. Bernette was able to confirm that her husband had been able to trace the 'Rochesters' as the very first residents after the house had been built in the 19th Century. Furthermore, it transpired that her husband David had actually come across this information at the Records Office just moments before Emily had stated that "Bernette would have had her proof by that time". What an amazing piece of Evidence!!!
Some 'Evidence' on Film
On Friday 13th January 1995, we were well into our photographic experimental work with the Spirit Team. At this particular sitting, we had a real 'breakthrough' with the photographic work. Before the session, we had placed a (still shop-wrapped unexposed) Black and White 35mm Polaroid Slide film on the central table. During the session, our very evolved Spirit Team Communicator 'Paxton' (a member of the 'Council of Communion') spoke to us to tell us that the photographic experiment had been very successful. He predicted that we would see on the film 'the likeness of someone well known to us who was a member of the Spirit Team'; 'the signature of a Spirit person who was very interested in our work', together with 'some writing in a foreign language', which we must make the effort to get translated.
Paxton's statement in itself proved to be very evidential! Immediately after the sitting, we developed the Black and White 35mm Polaroid slide film in the special processing unit we had been given by Polaroid. There were two clear photographs of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (who had already proved his presence to us as a permanent member of the Scole Spirit Team under the pseudonym of 'Edwin'). On another frame of the film, there was a clear signature, which read 'Ivor Novello'. It took us several weeks afterwards to get hold of a copy of Ivor Novello's signature during his lifetime from an item of old sheet music but - guess what!! The two signatures (from his lifetime and from the film at this session) were virtually identical. That evidence was quite special. There was also - as predicted by 'Paxton' - a clearly written verse in what was indeed a 'foreign language'. At our next session, we were told that this verse was written in 'Romanised Sanscrit', and came from the Sacred Book - The 'Scrimad Bhagavatam'. We discovered this to be a very ancient book of Sacred Hindu texts, originally written in ordinary 'Sanscrit'. About 35 years previously, it had been carefully translated into 'Romanised Sanscrit' for the first time by a Krishna devotee, and then published by the 'International Society for Krishna Consciousness' in that form, which is exactly how we received it on the film.
'Paxton' had asked us to get the verse translated but - at this point - we had no idea at all where we might find this book, or its more modern translation. However, a few weeks later, one of our Scole mediums - Diana - was walking around Norwich, bemoaning the fact that there was no longer a local library in the city to consult, since the beautiful new Norwich Library had burnt down not long before. At this point (clairvoyantly), Diana received the message to "Get the Book". "That's all very well", thought our medium, "but where can I find it?". Immediately the answer came back clairvoyantly "Go to the Oxfam shop". Diana did this. She was amazed and stunned to discover a single copy of just one of the 18 volumes of the 'Scrimad Bhagavatam' on the shelf. It just so happened that this was the VERY VOLUME out of the 18 volumes that we needed, and it contained a complete translation of the photographic verse we had received during our Scole sitting!! Coincidence, or what??
The Sanscrit poem we received on film reads:
'yad atra kriyate karma
jnanam yat tad adhinam hi
The simple translation of this verse is as follows:
'Whatever work is done here in this life for the satisfaction of the mission of the Lord, and what is called knowledge becomes a concomitant factor'.
The final piece of evidence I want to deal with here (I would have to write another book to cover all the examples!!) is the saga of Kingsley Fairbridge. At a session on 10th March 1995, as a part of one of our photographic experiments, we received (on an unopened and unexposed 35mm Black and White Polaroid Slide Film) a clear picture of an old-fashioned but good-looking young man. There was an amazing catalogue of evidence, consisting of several 'coincidences' that occurred afterwards which confirmed his identity.
We were told by our 'Spirit Team' that this gentleman was working with our Group from Spirit, and that he had a big heart for helping others. His name was Kingsley Fairbridge and he had been born in South Africa. He had then been educated at Oxford in England before moving to Australia, where he had set up the 'Fairbridge Farm Schools' for underprivileged children, to teach them a trade. His health had not been robust, and he had died young with cancer. We had never heard the name before, and made a great effort to try and trace some more details about this man. Regrettably, we were not successful initially, and were unable to find out any more about him.
In frustration, we published the man's name and the details about him we had been given in one of the issues of our bulletin 'The Spiritual Scientist', asking subscribers to help us in providing any more information about this interesting person. One of our bulletin subscribers was a crop-spraying pilot in California, USA. He had a friend in Australia to whom he just happened to send his copy of 'The Spiritual Scientist' once he had read it. What a surprise it was for us to ultimately discover that the lady in Australia who had received his copy of the bulletin just happened to know the daughter of Kingsley Fairbridge, who was still living in Australia!!
Kingsley Fairbridge's daughter subsequently wrote to us and - after we had sent her a copy of the photograph we received during our experimental session, together with the limited information we had about him - was able to confirm that yes, that WAS a photograph of her father, and the information we had been given by our Spirit Team was 100% accurate and correct!!