Director, Metaphysics Research
This research report provides an account of 3 new experiments that took place during the 5 séances conducted by David Thompson and his spirit team[i]. This report will share the methods and conclusions in regards to the specific physical phenomena assessed.
The overall goal of attending and observing the David Thompson séances was to experience and determine the authenticity of full-body materialization and reunions in the 21st Century. Some of the larger[ii] study’s objectives included:
- To further expand our understanding of metaphysics and the nature of the universe;
- To develop a standard set of criteria that could be used to determine the authenticity of physical mediumship;
- To identify a comprehensive list of factors that contribute to outcomes produced in physical mediumship;
- To make a definitive conclusion about the authenticity of materialization in the 21st century séance room.
The present study’s objective focuses on objective no.4 related to making a definitive conclusion about the authenticity of materlization.
The chapel where the séances were held in Sarasota was said to have been planned by spirits approximately one hundred and fifty years ago. Built in 1973, the chapel was designed to be light proof and maintain cool enough temperatures to sustain the ectoplasm—the substance used to allow discarnates to materialize in the physical realm. A few individuals attending the séances mentioned that they believed that the room was built over a portal that would enhance the phenomena. The séance room fit approximately 30 people and there were no windows and just one door which made it easier to ensure that unpermitted light could not enter the room.
While strict protocol was always being followed to guard the safety of the medium and to enhance the evidential nature of the process, the feelings of camaraderie and the principles of spiritualism formed the basis for the proceedings. For the most part, although the process was open to the public, due to space limitations, word of the séances with David Thompson’s visit to the United States seemed to spread to people who were already part of the spiritualist community from all over the United States.
Approximately 20% of the sitters had observed Thompson previously and 50% had already participated in some type of physical mediumship séance. One-third of the group were newcomers who despite their inexperience with physical phenomena still seemed to have an open mind that the possibility of physical mediumship was authentic. If there were any closed minded skeptics in the crowd, they did not share their perspectives.
Typical Séance Phenomena
Although this particular research report does not analyze all of the phenomena that took place during the séances, a comprehensive analysis will be shared in a book publication in 2015. To provide a context for the 3 experiments that will be described in this report, a brief review of the typical phenomena is necessary.
Each séance starts with the typical protocol check, prayer and selected music to facilitate the deep trance state necessary for materialization.
William, Thompson’s control from spirit greets the sitters and checks in with the circle leader to ensure that all protocols have been implemented. William who usually materializes into full form and demonstrates his solid structure in a variety of ways provides several platitudes and responds to philosophical type questions. Other members of Thompson’s spirit team materialize to share important messages and aim to demonstrate survival of consciousness. Over the period of 5 séances, typical members of the spirit team who materialized in full form included: William, Timmy, Dr. Slavinski, Quentin Crisp and Louis Armstrong.
During 4 of the 5 séances, a total of 10 past loved ones materialized to reunite with sitters who were able to later reiterate what aspects of these reunions were validating.
Over the 5 séances, a total of 15 full bodied regular members of the spirit team and past loved ones known to the sitter materialized and interacted intelligently with sitters in the séance room. Their physical presence and identities were validated as past loved ones shared personal information no one but the sitter could know. Spirit team members and materialized past loved ones touched the sitters and spoke in recognizable voices. A total of 15 different voices[iii] and 7 different sized and textured hands were felt or seen using the luminous plaque.
Demonstrations of trumpet movement by Timmy, a young child-like character with a strong Cockney accent who transitioned to spirit prematurely with a fever, demonstrated the rapid and paranormal type movements of the trumpet. The illuminated trumpet scraped the 8 ft. ceiling creating sparks and moved at inhuman speeds[iv]. Timmy’s development of ectoplasmic rods combined with his thoughts were used to move the trumpet at lightening speeds covering the 29’ long room—sometimes gently touching the sitters to demonstrate precision despite this occurring in darkness.
At the end of each séance the spirit team always levitated Thompson and the chair he was seated in from the cabinet into the middle of the room covering a distance of approximately 18 ft. Since it is not physically possible for someone to drag the chair and Thompson 18 ft. unnoticed or lift and throw him 18 ft., even the skeptic is left to question what other explanation is left. To further validate survival of consciousness evidence, once the lights are turned on and Thompson is out of trance, it is apparent to all sitters that the sweater he was wearing and the ties were reversed front to back. Again the skeptic is left to wonder how anyone in the room could have removed 5 plastic ties, remove the sweater, use 5 additional plastics ties and maneuver this in darkness. The spirit team explained that such a demonstration can enhance knowledge about dematerializing and rematerializing matter[v].
This context is shared to ensure that the research findings are applied to this specific medium within this context. Factors related to: the high level of cohesion between the sitters, the groups moderate to high level of belief in the continuity of life, and the location of the séance are factors to consider when assessing this phenomenon. When these factors vary and are combined with mediumistic ability, the findings and conclusion of physical mediumship phenomenon could vary.
All séances were recorded[vi] and held in darkness except for the use of a luminous trumpet (megaphone shape) and plaque that were used to provide visual demonstrations of materialization. Normal light was introduced into the room in Séance no. 3 at the permission of William, the control.
Direct observations of the séance, participation in the independent checker process, follow-up interviews with key informants and sitters, and a literature review on physical mediumship formed the basis of the methods used for this research report. A qualitative content analysis of the full phenomena was completed for the larger study.
To be able to substantiate survival of consciousness evidence, you would first have to be sure that the appropriate protocol and minimal “authenticity criteria” are met. Given that the séances are held in full darkness it is necessary to use the highest level of authenticity criteria. The following criteria were used to assess the 3 experiments selected for this report:
- All of the protocols were implemented to reduce any possibility of fraud; and
- The phenomenon could not be explained by any physical cause (i.e. could not be produced by a human or anything in the physical world);
- At least one physical change could be attributed to the healing intervention; and
- A physical effect was experienced during the healing (i.e. heat, tingling, or movement in the body)
If these criteria are met, this supports the conclusion that the source of the phenomenon is from the spirit world, contributing to the strength of the survival of consciousness evidence.
The information collected from séance no. 3 was from a follow-up with various sitters so the information for 1 of the 5 séances was not received through direct experience. After speaking to approximately 50% of the sitters about séance no.3, the triangulation of their information produced repetitive themes that enhanced the inter-rater reliability of the information. This further mitigated the limitations of secondary self-reported information.
Given the level of cohesion between the sitters and the homogeneous nature of the group (geographically and spiritually), one cannot generalize the findings beyond these contexts. This type of phenomenon varies by mediumistic ability, geographical location, nature of cohesion of the group, levels of belief, and stage of grief being potentially experienced by sitters. Further research into all the factors and how much they contribute to the type and quality of the phenomenon is part of the larger ongoing study.
Despite the perception that darkness limits the ability to produce sound evidential research on physical mediumship, several validations were still achieved (See Appendix A). The luminous tools used during the séance provided adequate visibility for specific experiments and some of the phenomena demonstrated became more valid given the precision and capability of the materialized visitors despite darkness. The darkness factor is also minimized by the sitter’s ability to hear distinct voices and feel various parts of the materialized forms.
In general, the pre-protocol activities for every séance were extremely rigorous. This seems to be driven by William, Thompson’s control who goes to great lengths to ensure that not only is the medium safe but that the sitters are not left wondering if the phenomenon is produced via fraudulent means. The following outlines the rigor used to protect the safety of the medium and to enhance the authenticity of the experiments:
Independent Checkers: Safety for the Medium
There are no electrical outlets in the room to be covered as the room is light proof. Only the flash light was left in the room to be able to hand the materialized forms the luminous plaque and trumpet as requested. This is particularly important to ensure that light is only permitted into the room as granted by the spirit team. This would ensure that the ectoplasm would not withdraw rapidly into the medium’s body and cause physical harm
Independent Checkers: Ensuring Authenticity of the Phenomenon
Two independent checkers are randomly selected to check anything and anywhere they deem appropriate. During each séance, these were always different people selected who were usually individuals that had never sat with Thompson in prior séances. These individuals would check the medium, the séance items (i.e. trumpet), the cabinet, and the medium’s chair. This checking process was conducted in front of all the sitters and checkers were asked to report on their levels of satisfaction each time.
All 10 checkers during the 5 séances reported that the room was appropriate and void of any unexplained items—only a cabinet to house the medium, a curtain, chairs and typical séance items were present. I was also invited to shadow the checkers in one séance where I double checked bindings, inspected the cabinet, checked the medium’s chair thoroughly and inspected all of the séance items permitted into the room. In one of the séances, one of the sitters was a trained military professional who conducted an extremely thorough room and body check of the medium.
Body Search: Safety for the Medium
Any metal on the sitters could create problems for the medium’s physical state if these metals are also carried with the ectoplasm back into the medium’s body. Therefore, all sitters are patted down prior to entering the séance room. Unpermitted recording devices would affect the calculation of energy and could create interference.
Body Search: Ensuring Authenticity of the Phenomenon
Body checks are completed on the medium, the circle leader and the medium’s partner to ensure there are no props used to produce the phenomena. If an apport were to be produced, no one could propose that it was from one of the sitters as all objects are kept outside of the séance room.
Doors Secured: Safety for the Medium
Securing the door with duct tape and a door cover ensures that no one can easily come in or leave the room as unpermitted movement can interrupt or affect the ectoplasmic force field in the centre of the room causing harm to the medium. Sitters were also asked not to stretch legs beyond their chair as this could inadvertently interfere with the force field created in the centre of the semi-circle formation.
Doors Secured: Ensuring the Authenticity of the Phenomenon
If the doors are sealed at all times, one cannot question the phenomenon produced in the room. For example, if a child materializes in the séance room and the door is heavily secured, that only leaves one conclusion—the phenomenon produced is coming from the spirit world as children are not permitted into the séance room.
Hand Chain: Safety for the Medium
Everyone was instructed to hold hands 95% of the time during the séances. Hand chains were broken if the circle leader was asked to provide an instrument. The hand chain was enacted as soon as a materialized form was present and then the hand chain was released once the activity desisted and the entity dematerialized. If a sitter attempt to touch the phenomenon and breaks the hand chain this could harm the medium.
Hand Chain: Ensuring Authenticity of the Phenomenon
Being in a hand chain for a majority of the séance ensures that no one in the room is corroborating with the medium to act as the materialized forms. Sitters were instructed to speak out if someone beside them broke the chain. No one ever spoke out about the chain being broken during any of the séances I attended.
Binding the medium: Safety of the Medium
The medium’s legs and hands are bound to protect him from following the materialized visitors from spirt and inadvertently hurting himself while in trance.
Binding the medium: Ensuring the Authenticity of the Phenomenon
The medium’s legs and hands are bound tightly and checked to ensure sitters have no doubt the materialized phenomena are authentic. A handkerchief is placed around the mouth and knotted behind the head. A tie is fastened around the knot to ensure that it is impossible to remove. This is to assure the sitters that the voices they hear are directly coming from the spirit world and not from the medium[vii] . The chair in this séance room had heavy legs straps—after these were tightly bound around the legs, these knots were also secured by additional plastic ties. While some may be disturbed by this practice, one has to consider that to make any type of conclusive statement about the authenticity of materialization, the appropriate controls need to be put in place. Thompson and his spirit team consent and support this process of binding.
One-hundred percent of the protocol to ensure the medium’s safety and enhance the authenticity of the phenomenon was implemented during all 5 séances. In particular, during 2 of the 5 séances, William requested that the cabinet curtain be opened to demonstrate that the medium was still bound and in trance. The opening of the curtain was done after hearing and feeling William, reducing any doubts that the medium was parading as William. William explained that this type of validation could only be done when the energy is high and stable enough, as opening the curtain reduces the build-up of ectoplasm and energy needed to produce the phenomena.
Given that all of the authenticity sub-criteria were met during each séance, this allows one to observe the séance proceedings knowing that if perinormal[viii]phenomenon are produced, they are unlikely to be produced either by fraud via the medium or corroborating sitters.
Three New Experiments
In the full study, all of the activities in the 5 séances were assessed and will be shared in an upcoming book being written by the author. For this research report, the focus is on 3 new experiments that the spirit team indicated had been rarely attempted over the past 10 years in a public[ix]demonstration of this size:
Séance no.2 started off like any normal séance. William, Thompson’s control came out to greet everyone. Before doing the usual question and answer period, William cut his greetings short to ask, “Is there a lady writing about physical mediumship?” After a delay I responded, “Yes” and with that response, William had moved closer to me. He wanted to know about what I was writing and indicated that both he and “young David” would be happy to help with any questions. He asked if I had a question at that time. I was grateful as I had been wondering where the ectoplasm was. In another séance with the aid of red light I had actually seen the ectoplasm coming out of the medium’s mouth, moving and then forming into a hand structure. I asked, “William, I know that former scientists like Dr. Richet have been able to examine and validate ectoplasm. I don’t see the ectoplasm here so how would we examine it now?” To this he responded, “Young lady, I have a treat for you.” He asked the circle leader Rev. Tom Newman for the square luminous plaque. It was about 10 feet to walk over to Newman but with almost inhuman speeds, he took the plaque and then returned to me. I could assess the speed as William now had this luminous plaque that provided a visual aid of the phenomenon.
Within 10 inches of my face, in clear luminescent light, I first saw a translucent type of substance undulating in waves, clearly moving and floating above the cardboard plate. I first perceived it to be like a flowing translucent napkin.
Then it became cloudy like mist. William then asked me if I could see his hand materializing. Sure enough as the ectoplasm began to solidify, I saw a dark rod type feature form (2nd finger) and then the third finger started to form (I did not see the thumb or the other fingers at the time of my viewing). When I reflected on what I saw, it seemed as if he was demonstrating the process of materialization of the hand.
He then asked me if I wanted him to touch me so that I could get a sense of his physical presence. He placed his hand on my head and then moved it to the side of my face clearly demonstrating that his very large hand[x] was warm and felt like any hand would in the physical world. His knee went toward my knee and then a large type boot stepped on my left foot. While I felt the physical pressure on my foot it did not hurt but was clearly a demonstration of William’s physical presence. William proceeded to show the other approximately 30 people in the semi-circle the ectoplasm for all to see. During the end of the séance, William explained that they would not be able to continue much longer as this demonstration of the materialization of his hand in the luminescent light took quite a bit of energy. William explained that the process of showing the hand materializing was a first for Thompson and his team.
This experiment passes the authentic test criteria indicated in the methods section of this report. The ectoplasm on top of the plaque was moving and changing with clear visuals in front of me. Showing the formation of the hand within the changing ectoplasm could not be created by someone in the séance room. The inhuman and rapid movement of William as he crossed the room with the plaque and his ability to demonstrate his solid structure further augmented this evidential experience.
During séance no.3, sitters thought they would experience the typical séance activities as described earlier in this report. Usually there are no more than three reunions during each séance as materializing the loved ones in spirit uses up a great deal of energy and ectoplasm.
On this night, William asked if the sitters wanted to forego the reunions as they were going to try to have Dr. Slavinski[xi] work through Thompson to conduct healings. Everyone agreed that the healings would be more favorable at this time. Rev. Newman, the circle leader used his intuition to choose 6 of the sitters to participate. William shared that this would be the first time during a cabinet séance that Thompson’s bindings would be removed, the light would be turned on and the door would be opened to bring in a healing table.
The spirit team instructed Thompson to be unbound and ungagged but he would remain in trance. When Thompson walked out of the cabinet everyone who participated in the key informant interviews after the séance noted that although it was Thompson, someone else had fully taken over. Thompson walked like an old man with limited mobility and was hunched over. Some even commented how pointed his ears had become. The process of indirect voice was used where Thompson spoke with a Polish accent completely losing the clearly evident Australian accent. The outcome of both the experiences during and after the healing are noted. All the information was collected within twenty-one days of the séance. As well, the recordings were reviewed and this validated key informant follow-up responses.
For those unfamiliar with the concept of energy healing, Dr. Slavinski who took over the medium’s body did explain the process while he was treating one of the sitters. He explained that he did not need to touch the affected area. Holding the hand near the head chakra area allows the energy to be distributed to the affected area. He further explained that he energetically stimulated the brain and the lymphatic system to aid the transport of this energy to areas of the body most in need.
In the present study, two simple criteria have been used to validate the existence that an energy healing occurred. Having a physical effect during the healing provides evidence that a non-localized energy is creating change in the physical body and produces evidence that something is occurring. Second, if the sitter notes any physical or emotional health change after the healing, this is evidence that some form of healing occurred.
[i] Five séances were held at the Sarasota Centre of Light September 18-27, 2014.
[ii] The overall study will be published in the book: Medium9: Harnessing the Power of Spiritual Energy in March 2015
[iii] It should be noted that the loved ones who materialized did not have as clear a voice as the regular spirit team members. Loved ones are often new to using ectoplasm and need to use memory and thoughts to recreate the appearance and sensations they once had when they donned a physical body. Follow-up with sitters validated that either the knowledge shared by the loved one, voice recognition and the size or texture of the loved one’s hand aided with validation.
[iv] There is no human that could move the trumpet at these speeds and make patterns and movements towards the sitters with such precision.
[v] William explained that dematerializing and materializing natural material such as David’s wool sweater is much easier than dematerializing and materializing synthetic fabric.
[vi] Despite recording all of the séances, only 3 of the 5 recordings were actually audible.
[vii] David has channelled William outside of the cabinet environment using indirect voice but this was not the case during these 5 séances.
[viii] The term perinormal is used here to define a concept that was once considered paranormal but has been substantiated as fact. We have 150 years of evidence that the afterlife exists.
[ix] Researchers Dr. Victor Zammit and Wendy Zammit did indicate that much of this phenomenon and more had been demonstrated in Thompson’s home circle where the energy levels, and context are different.
[x] David Thompson shows the size of his hand to the sitters prior to the séance. William has a very large hand that further validates that it is not Thompson moving around the séance room touching the sitters.
[xi] Dr. Slavinski has not provided details about where and when he worked as a doctor on the physical plane. Interested sitters have attempted to search for information on the internet with no information being found. Some of the materialized entities are not always forthcoming with details about who they were on the physical plane as that is their personal preference.
Table 1 During and After Healing Experiences
|Patient’s prior illness
||Experience During Healing
||Experiences within 21 days of the Healing[i]
|Patient 1:Nineteen years of back pain
- Subtle tingling where the current became stronger
- Warm heat getting warmer throughout the healing
- Felt dizzy and light headed shortly after
- Sitter has not been free of pain for nineteen years and was free of pain once getting off the healing table.
- A little bit of the pain returned within 3 days and he called on Dr. Slavinski via prayer and the pain diminished again.
- The pain has returned but not to the extreme level that it was. Patient has significantly reduced pain medication and has less problems sleeping
- Patient sleeps and functions significantly better
|Both healing related criteria were achieved.
|Patient 2:Stage 4 Cancer
- Movement through the body that felt like a domino effect where the chakras became aligned
- Overall sense of wellness despite not being well for the past year
- Significant increase in energy relative to pre-healing.
- Awaiting CAT scan follow-up to see if there are any more active malignant cells
|Both healing related criteria were achieved
|Patient 3:Mobility Issues, specifically difficulty walking
- Felt movement of energy from the crown chakra to the toes
- Walking better immediately after the healing
- Increased mobility every day
|Both healing related criteria were achieved
|Patient 4:Chronic neck pain
- Tingling in the neck region where the pain was located
| No change in pain in the neck
||One related healing criteria was achieved
|Patient 5:Herniated Disc
- Felt love flowing through her body
- Felt no pain and no discomfort for several days
- Overall vibrational set point had been raised as she felt her body coming back into balance
- Overwhelming sense of love and bliss to aid with emotional healing
|Both healing related criteria were achieved
|Patient 6:Not able to participate in the follow-up
|Note: The order of patients presented in the table was not necessarily in the order of healing that took place September 23, 2014. The positive findings in this report should not be construed as a recommendation to replace or avoid formal medical treatment. All of the cases interviewed shared that they had exhausted all available traditional medical treatments with no success. Energy healing should be considered to be complementary to traditional medical practice.
[i] The words of the sitters have been used to describe their outcomes so not to exaggerate or reduce their claims.
Out of the six healings, five were measured in the follow-up as sitter 6 could not be contacted. Of the 5, all of the patients actually felt some physical tingling, heat or sensation in the body during the healing. Eighty percent or 4 of the 5 sitters had at least one physical change up to the time of their follow-up interview. Some of these physical changes were significant in that one patient’s pain reduction was close to miraculous despite his struggle with daily pain medication and high levels of pain for nineteen years prior to the healing.
Experiment # 3
During séance no.5, everyone had a choice between experiencing full body materializations for the purpose of reuniting with past loved ones and experiencing a new experiment. It was unanimous; everyone wanted to experience a new experiment. William did caution us that they were not sure their proposed experiment would work[i]. No one was told prior to the séance what the experiment would be as William did not want our expectations to affect the actual outcome.
When Quentin Crisp materialized as he had done for every séance I attended, he answered a few philosophical questions. In the 1960’s Quentin was an advocate for gay rights and shares the important message that after he transitioned into the spirit world, he never went to “hell” as we call it. He reminded us that when we judge and persecute we end up experiencing more judgement and persecution when we transition to spirit. After these platitudes were shared, he announced that by using the luminous plaque also used in experiment no.1, he would attempt to materialize his face. Using the luminous plaque, he moved towards sitters to attest to this manifestation. The first sitter saw a circular glow in front of him but no face. After about a minute, another sitter said, “Yes, I see the chin and mouth.” There was disappointment in Quentin’s voice as he thought his face was fully materialized. Everyone encouraged him to keep trying. Quentin came to our side and he tried again, I clearly saw his forehead and his hair line. I asked if his hair was currently black as I could see the stark contrast of his skin color and his hair. He replied, “Yes.”
Shortly after, Quentin indicated that he was going to try another experiment where we might be able to touch him. Normally, many of the full body materialized spirit team or loved ones touch the sitters on the head, foot or face after the ectoplasm coating is prepared[ii]. They can touch the sitters as they are able to cover themselves with the ectoplasm and maintain the phenomenon. Quinten indicated that the energy was now stabilizing and he would attempt to see if his hands could be seen and touched by some of the sitters. Seeing the hands was more typical as Timmy was also able to materialize his short child-like hands on the luminous plaque during séance no.4 but no one was permitted to touch them.
Still using the luminous plaque, Crisp put his four fingers on the plaque and showed me first. I could clearly see four fingers and nails. The thumb was likely curled under the plaque to hold it. He said, “Young lady would you like to touch my fingers?” The fingers were long, thin, warm, and I could feel the nails were hard. The few that were permitted to touch the hand were surprised about the nails and the hair on the fingers. Quentin was surprised by our comments and intelligently responded, “Why would I materialize my hands without nails!” He allowed approximately four others to try this but explained that by us touching them, this diminished the ectoplasm and shortly after this experiment, the séance was completed. One sitter was asked if she wanted to touch his blouse. She described it as being silky—this of course would have been consistent with his former flamboyant dressing.
I took note of a few key points. Quentin’s hands were very different than Thompson’s as they were long and thin. Another sitter who met Crisp before he transitioned to spirit stated that his hands felt the same as when he shook them in New York. Silky attire was not worn by any of the sitters in the séance room given the informal nature of the event and the doors were not opened to allow this material to enter into the room at any point during the séance—hence these hands and the material worn by Quentin were materialized into the room. Finally Quentin’s inability to fully materialize his face was ironically evidential. There were two distinct areas of the face seen, yet other parts were invisible—partial materialization of a face is not possible in the physical world.
The following table provides the results based on the indicators that were used to determine the authenticity of the three unique experiments assessed.
[i] Researchers should take note of this point. The spirit world is experimenting with the group of sitters and they are not certain of the outcome—they seem to also be learning about the possibilities of spirit-earth communication.
[ii] Whenever an entity was about to materialize, you could always hear the slurping sound both before and after the materialization. This sound could also be heard when they were preparing to touch the sitter.
Table 2 Assessing the Authenticity of the Phenomenon in the 3 Experiments
|All of the protocols were implemented to reduce the possibility fraud;
||All of the protocols were implemented prior to and during all 5 séances.
|The phenomenon could not be explained by any physical cause (i.e. could not be produced by a human or anything in the physical world);
- The production of the ectoplasm moving and changing forms could not be produced by a physical cause based on what was available in the secured room.
- The process of materialization could not be performed by any physical process (i.e. fingers materializing in luminous light).
- Touching a materialized form that had features not present prior to the séance directly suggests that the phenomenon is coming from the spirit world (i.e. silky blouse).
- The partial materialization of Crisp’s face is consistent with spiritual phenomenon and testing.
- Touching the hands that felt remarkably the same as Quentin’s and hearing his distinct voice cannot be explained within the normal physical parameters.
|At least one physical change could be attributed to the healing intervention (this criteria was developed specifically to assess the healing aspect of the phenomenon); andA physical effect was experienced during the healing (i.e. heat, tingling, or movement in the body
- 4 of the 5 sitters had significant physical changes as a direct result of the healing. This could not be explained within the traditional medical paradigm; and
- The tingling, heat, and other sensations reported by all five sitters could not be produced by any known physical force. Hands held over someone’s head producing these sensations cannot be explained by the physical realm.
While the claims of full body materialization and reunions between past loved ones from spirit may be extraordinary, the findings based on the criteria suggest that materialization within a certain context is authentic phenomenon. As indicated in the research limitations section, there are many factors that contribute to the replicability and quality of the phenomenon and these should always be considered when researching this subject.
The primary intent of Thompson’s spirit team is to demonstrate survival of consciousness. Given the findings, they do provide strong evidence of the continuity of life. As table 2 indicates, among the 3 experiments, 7 unique validations were noted. Further analysis of all of the phenomenon experienced in the 5 séances indicated that seventeen validations were evident (See Appendix A). Given that these validations were assessed against stringent criteria, were repeatable and were performed in front of many witnesses, this suggests that the phenomena assessed are authentic.
This type of knowledge can give hope and help mankind achieve a better understanding of the purpose and the true nature of existence. Many of the platitudes shared by the various materialized visitors can enlighten those seeking answers about the universe. For example, a theme repeatedly shared during all the séances was that our current activities, beliefs and treatment of others creates the foundation for one’s experiences once the transition to spirit has commenced.
Although materializations and reunions of loved ones is described and more closely examined in the larger study, it is useful to note here that the impact I saw from the ten reunions occurring during the period of observation was palpable.
In addition to strengthening knowledge and reuniting with loved ones who have transitioned, experiencing an energy healing with positive impact has been significant for those directly involved. For other sitters observing, it was encouraging for them to learn that a complementary approach to healing is available, affordable and effective.
From a human perspective, those who are able to experience a séance of this calibre can feel privileged to have co-collaborated in experiments that can put them on a spiritual journey to awareness and potential peace. From a research perspective, this examination and its conclusion is a call to universities and researchers to invest more time and effort to understand the metaphysical processes that underlie these phenomena. How does our universe truly work? How can reunions with past loved ones enhance wellness for the living? What platitudes can we learn from the spirit team to help raise consciousness and make positive changes for the planet? What standards can be implemented to ensure these practices are both safe for the medium and always credible for the public? What can materialized visitors teach us about activities in the afterlife to help us better prepare for our transition?
Engaging in credible research in this area can enhance knowledge and create greater understanding and peace for the whole planet.
About the Author
Donna Smith-Moncrieffe is a professional researcher with twenty years of evaluation and research experience and currently works with the federal government in the area of crime prevention research which uses rigorous methods to determine what interventions are best used to reduce youth involvement in the criminal justice system. Smith-Moncrieffe founded Metaphysics Research () in 2010 to apply her scientific background to systematically study mental and physical mediumship, energy healing, past life regression and other areas of study that enhances our understanding of survival of consciousness and the true nature of reality. Full coverage and analyses of the David Thompson séances will be part of her upcoming book: Medium9: Harnessing the Power of Spiritual Energy, iUniverse-Penguin Random House Company, March 2015.
 Five séances were held at the Sarasota Centre of Light September 18-27, 2014.
 The overall study will be published in the book: Medium9: Harnessing the Power of Spiritual Energy in March 2015
 It should be noted that the loved ones who materialized did not have as clear a voice as the regular spirit team members. Loved ones are often new to using ectoplasm and need to use memory and thoughts to recreate the appearance and sensations they once had when they donned a physical body. Follow-up with sitters validated that either the knowledge shared by the loved one, voice recognition and the size or texture of the loved one’s hand aided with validation.
 There is no human that could move the trumpet at these speeds and make patterns and movements towards the sitters with such precision.
 William explained that dematerializing and materializing natural material such as David’s wool sweater is much easier than dematerializing and materializing synthetic fabric.
 Despite recording all of the séances, only 3 of the 5 recordings were actually audible.
 David has channelled William outside of the cabinet environment using indirect voice but this was not the case during these 5 séances.
 The term perinormal is used here to define a concept that was once considered paranormal but has been substantiated as fact. We have 150 years of evidence that the afterlife exists.
 Researchers Dr. Victor Zammit and Wendy Zammit did indicate that much of this phenomenon and more had been demonstrated in Thompson’s home circle where the energy levels, and context are different.
 David Thompson shows the size of his hand to the sitters prior to the séance. William has a very large hand that further validates that it is not Thompson moving around the séance room touching the sitters.
 Dr. Slavinski has not provided details about where and when he worked as a doctor on the physical plane. Interested sitters have attempted to search for information on the internet with no information being found. Some of the materialized entities are not always forthcoming with details about who they were on the physical plane as that is their personal preference.
 The words of the sitters have been used to describe their outcomes so not to exaggerate or reduce their claims.
 Researchers should take note of this point. The spirit world is experimenting with the group of sitters and they are not certain of the outcome—they seem to also be learning about the possibilities of spirit-earth communication.
 Whenever an entity was about to materialize, you could always hear the slurping sound both before and after the materialization. This sound could also be heard when they were preparing to touch the sitter.
APPENDIX A: List of Validations for All of the Physical Mediumship Phenomenon
||Rationale for Why this Phenomena is Authentic
|Validation by Visual Senses
|Trumpet with luminous bands
- Level of speed and swirling of the trumpet occurred at inhuman speeds; this was validated by watching the luminous bands on the trumpet.
- The trumpet moves closely to various areas on the sitter never creating harm which demonstrates the spirits use of vibration to sense the location of sitters
- The trumpet moved behind my head further validating that it was impossible for a sitter to be using a rod to make the trumpet move; if that were the case, the trumpet could not maneuver around and behind my head. This was so unique that the sitter next to me was perplexed at how this could occur.
|Luminous Plaque to view hands and facial features
- Ectoplasm was seen moving with fingers beginning to materialize
- Three different sized hands or fingers were seen at independent times. William, Timmy and Quentin’s hands were shown on the luminous plaque.
- Partial facial features were seen (Quentin).
|Permitted use of Natural Light (flashlight)
- A view of the medium in trance after materialized activity started validates that the materializations are from spirit.
|Validation by Hearing
- 15 distinct voices of past loved ones and the spirit team’s voices were heard. For example, Louis Armstrong’s voice is very distinct and cannot easily be replicated. Armstrong’s singing was not a recording. He stopped at various times due to energy fluctuations and interacted with the sitters. Using his same voice, he shared with a sitter that Dr. Slavinski would be coming by to help her soon.
- Intelligent communications were experienced between materialized visitors and sitters validating that these unique voices were not pre-recorded.
- Hearing information from past loved ones and spirit team members that no one else in the room but yourself could know validated that the reunions and materializations were real (i.e. names, details of events were provided)
- Footsteps were heard on the wooden plank in the centre of the room. If the medium is bound and all sitters are in a hand chain without shoes on, this also validates that the steps are from the materialized visitors.
- The ectoplasm was heard each time a visitor was about to materialize and dematerialize. It was also heard when the materialized forms were prepared to touch a sitter.
- At the end of the séance, a loud thump could be heard when the medium in his chair is levitated from the cabinet into the centre of the room.
|Validation by Feeling
- Several different sized and textured hands from the materialized visitors were felt by a number of witnesses (William, Quinton and loved ones who materialized often touched the sitters).
- In particular, Timmy’s small hand and the size of the babies hand that materialized validates that no one in the room was fraudulently parading as a materialized visitors. No children or babies from the physical world were anywhere near the séance room except for those that were materialized into the room.
- Being permitted to touch a shirt with a type of material that was not in the room prior to the séance demonstrates that the body and clothing can be materialized.
- Being felt by the knee and a foot wearing a type of heavy boot is also evidential particularly since none of the sitters wore shoes. The medium wore shoes but he was bound to the chair and there were checks in the cabinet that confirmed he was still in trance while the materialized activity was occurring.
|Donna Smith-Moncrieffe, 2014: David Thompson Séances, Sarasota Centre of Light