Now I Know the Dead Stay With Us

After Justin’s death, I intensely wanted to die. If I didn’t have my grandkids, I would have killed myself. My … Continued

After Justin’s death, I intensely wanted to die. If I didn’t have my grandkids, I would have killed myself. My remaining two sons had no power at all to make me think twice about it. Neither did my boyfriend, or my relatives or friends.

But my sweet little granddaughters made me understand that I could not do something so selfish. I could not deliberately take my life. That would be unconscionable. The innocents who need me would be permanently scarred.

Still, I fervently wished for my death. I passionately prayed for a heart attack or stroke. My sons would get my life insurance proceeds, and everyone would get over me. And I would be with Justin.

I just wanted to be with Justin.

And then I began to intuit that I should see a medium. Those people the dead speak through. I felt absolutely driven.

Now I know that Justin was leading me there.

Justin’s friend told me that psychics approached him who didn’t know Justin was dead, who said they were dreaming of a young handsome guy, blond with intense blue eyes, who was trying to speak to them.

A woman who lives near my son Adam went running to his house after leaving a “Psychic Fair.” She declared that a psychic there had grabbed her and said, “You have a neighbor named Adam, and he’s just had a big loss.”

Justin’s friend and I went online to locate reputable mediums. We learned of Bob Olson, a private investigator who exposes the phonies and recommends the trustworthy. Through Bob, we discovered a very well-regarded medium in New York.

We saw Glenn Klausner on Sept. 5. And this I declare, on my granddaughters’ souls: in just one hour with that medium (and Justin!!!), I went from desperately wanting to die—for months— to wanting to live again.

And I still want to live.

Glenn taped the session, and gave me the tape.

It was the most transformational experience of my life. Now I know the dead don’t leave us. They’re here all the time. They adore us and help us. We just can’t usually see them.

From books on the subject of afterlife encounters, I’m learning that crossed-over people unanimously convey these truths: It’s much better where they are. They now have a lot of peace. Hell is on Earth and nowhere else. They’re closer to us than ever. They have a lot of soul work to do where they are. They work at it while they help us. We will be with them whenever we cross. Our lives here are just a big test.

My religious upbringing was mixed Protestant. It was mixed because, after my mother died when I was six, various people raised me. I went to a Presbyterian Sunday School, and also Christian Science.

Then one relative exposed me to Unitarian-Universalism. That was great. Patriarchal religious dogmatism had never taken hold with me, not even when I was a needy and impressionable child. I I felt that the open U-U view was much closer to the truth.

When in my teens and early twenties, I studied the basic tenets of Buddhism. I was thrilled!

And lately I’ve been learning a lot about the first true world religion, primordial, matriarchal, erotic Goddess worship.

I was always open to afterlife encounters. (I lost my mother at six and my father at 21; how could I not be? I really had no choice.) At 20 I attended a Spiritualist Church meeting. A medium was tuning into the spirits behind every person there. It was amazing. It opened me up, at a very young age, to that reality. Little did I know how much I’d need it, decades later on…

I lost my mother as a small child, and now I’ve lost my child as a mother. I don’t think a lot of people experience all that. At first it felt like an unbearably cruel cosmic joke. I thought, now I should commit suicide. I thought, that’s what’s EXPECTED of me. Death has defined my whole existence; shouldn’t I give in to Death, now?

And then, as I’ve told you, I realized I couldn’t do that. For myself, absolutely; nothing would be sweeter. But for others, no no no, you can’t do that to them.

Then I knew I’d either die from all this, or learn to be very strong. Nietzsche said there can be no middle ground, no gray area. Either die, or get emotionally as sturdy as an ox.

Afterlife encounters will give you that strength.

The authors declare that afterlife encounters are the greatest comfort from grief. How true. I’m surely a case in point. They state that even the skeptical grief counselors are starting to concede it.

I was dying inside. Now I’m not.

And I’ve just had a visit from Justin.

Dawn has been called a mystical time. Now I know that’s true. I was in that shallow sleep state, unconscious but close to awake…and then suddenly, there he was. He was laying right beneath me as if he were on his bed, and as if I were leaning over him. I only saw his face and his torso, but that was more than enough; it was what you see of someone when you hug.

His expression was like a new baby’s, a baby who has just learned to smile. And yet he was a man, he was Justin. And I could see the love of a son who of course is no longer a baby, but he’s somewhere that’s made him as glowing as a baby who has just had a good night’s sleep. I saw innocence and wisdom and joy and peace. It made him look so…angelic. Now I know what people are looking for in drugs, alcohol, sex.

Justin has most definitely found it.

And I saw just a little bit of mirth in his eyes, too. When he said “Hi, Mom,” it was like, yeah it’s really me, no you’re not dreaming this.

I said, “My beautiful, beautiful baby boy.” I don’t know why I said “baby”; he certainly wasn’t being Justin as a baby. But he is my baby, of course. And when we hugged we melted into each other, and I felt him go through me like a beautiful song.

I woke up feeling wonderful. I felt wonderful and peaceful all day.

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  • Jenn

    Your commentary brought me to tears. I’ve often thought as a mother, how terrible it would be to precede your children in death and the very emotions you have described have been what I’ve known I would definitely feel. I pray for your continued peace and hope that you continue to reach your sweet baby boy.

  • Mike Lakewood

    A good friend of mine lost her father unexpectedly. She had been very remorseful over the fact that she never had a proper chance to say good-bye to him. A friend recommended she go to a reputable psychic. She did, and in fact made contact with her father and was able to find closure with him. Her description of the experience was very similiar to what Georgianna describes here.

  • Jon White

    “…[W]e are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses…” (Hebrews 12:1). Thank God for your confidence-restoring and eternal-life-illuminating experience, and return to your origin – Christianity – which alone contains the Way, the Truth, and the Life. At best, anything else is diversionary; at worst, anything else may lead you to eternal destruction.

  • K

    Just what is a “reputable psychic”?

  • rachelt

    That was beautiful and faith restoring. You are living to serve as a beacon for other as well – people like me and other readers who recieve your message of hope. I hope you enjoy and inspire your wonderful granddaughters and the rest of your family for as long as you are able, until we all cross over and are reunited. Thank you, thank you.

  • rachelt

    That was beautiful and faith restoring. You are living to serve as a beacon for other as well – people like me and other readers who recieve your message of hope. I hope you enjoy and inspire your wonderful granddaughters and the rest of your family for as long as you are able, until we all cross over and are reunited. Thank you, thank you.

  • rachelt

    That was beautiful and faith restoring. You are living to serve as a beacon for other as well – people like me and other readers who recieve your message of hope. I hope you enjoy and inspire your wonderful granddaughters and the rest of your family for as long as you are able, until we all cross over and are reunited. Thank you, thank you.

  • rachelt

    That was beautiful and faith restoring. You are living to serve as a beacon for other as well – people like me and other readers who recieve your message of hope. I hope you enjoy and inspire your wonderful granddaughters and the rest of your family for as long as you are able, until we all cross over and are reunited. Thank you, thank you.

  • cary

    mrs. bloom,

  • cary

    in regards to mobedda’s posting the screeners at the post should do a much better job. this post was offensive and damaging to a woman who has already suffered enough.

  • paul trudel

    As they say in “Return of the Kings”, ‘death is just another journey everyone has to take.’

  • Pinstripped

    I agree. Mobedda’s comment was calous.

  • Bob S.

    Hmmm… Wow! Gosh.”Whatever gets you through the night… it’s alright, it’s alright …”

  • ashley

    this is amazing….

  • ashley

    this is amazing….

  • Ego Nemo

    I sympathize with the pain in your life. I am sorry that you grieve.But you are being cheated. Any person who goes to a medium is being cheated.Such “readings” are hoaxes. Mediums use emotional manipulation and guessing techniques that are thousands of years old.They are con men.I listened to the very, very short clip you provided. In it, the medium says that your son was “liberal, but conservative at the same time.” He says that your son wishes to not “be remembered for the way he died” but the way he lived.These are noble ideas, and they apply to every person who has every lived. The medium’s reading to you was the same reading he gives to all the people he gives reading to. It is a trick. It is a fraud.You did not mention whether this reading was provided for free or whether you had to pay for it. If you had to pay for it, you were cheated.Why would someone who has the alleged ability to speak to the dead charge people for this service? Why would they insist that you cross their palms with silver?The only answer is that it is a trick, a con. They want to make money an easy way — by saying the same set of vague generalities to people who are in pain.There are no reputable mediums. There are only mediums who charge less than others.Read more about mediums here:

  • Ryan

    Georgianna, I cannot fathom the pain you feel after losing your son. Nor do I know the pain of losing a mother. I read your article very carefully and slowly, and I appreciate your honesty and courage to write something so emotionally revealing. I do not share your belief in an afterlife. I think that as people grow older, we are forced to deal with the loss of our dear loved ones, and our own physical bodies slowy fall apart before our eyes. I agree with you that coping with the acute pain of death requires either suicide or a concious mental change (or for some, a downward spiral into addiction). I did not get the impression that you were trying to persuade anyone to accept your beliefs, but just to share your personal experience and pain. I do not expect your mind will be changed by my message either. But don’t you have to struggle with creeping doubts that the “medium” was a very experienced and effective shyster? Do you believe you went to see him with open, objective eyes? Don’t you think your seeing your son’s ghost as a baby is evidence that it really was just a dream of your mind’s own creation? Also, I wish you would have elaborated on what you think the purpose and ramifications of this “just a big test” physical life we are living in now are. I would guess that your gradual abandonment of the traditional patriarchal religions has led you to believe less in a “wrath of God” and more towards “Mother Earth’s great big happy eternal family” kind of view. If I could convince myself that were true, I am sure I would be much more happy and carefree, and much less uncertain about things in my day-to-day life. If my wife dies before me, I don’t see how I would be able to avoid suicide, addiction, or blowing a mental fuse that causes me to cling to the belief that she’s not really dead – just waiting for me in paradise. If I could avoid all three of those things, I know that I could not be happy anymore. I hope your granddaughters live long and happy lives, and I hope you stick around to share many more years with them. Good luck on your journey.

  • Cabin John

    a) Jon White completely missed the point. It wasn’t Christianity that helped, or could help, this mother who needed help. Thank Goodness she isn’t a brainwashed Christian like him, because if she had gone to her dogmatic minister for comfort, and he had tried to force her through the “Christ is the only way” straightjacket, she’s still be in extreme pain. b) A “reputable psychic” is someone who doesn’t try to take advantage by, for example, wheedling excessive amounts of money out of their clients. Not such a hard concept.

  • Shame

    Shame, shame on Newsweek and the Washington Post Co. for giving such an unbalanced report on mediums.There is a mountain of evidence — 500 years old, that mediums are cheats and cons only out to take money from people at their most vulnerable.Where’s the other side of the story?

  • Bob S.

    In regards to the remarks of “cary”, I think that you have misconstrued the purpose of this forum and the nature of the oversight which is given the remarks. While I’ll grant you that Mobedda’s comment was hardly warm & supportive of the point of view presented in the piece, it was also not a personal attack or gratuitously rude. It went directly to the point of using spiritual aids to commune with the dead. *I’m pretty sure that Mobedda’s against it!* :DI personally am offended that you seem to believe someone should be monitoring the comments, and blocking or removing those which might hurt someone’s feelings just because they express strong disapproval of another point of view.While I’ve got sympathy for Ms. Bloom’s depression, and am glad that she thinks that she’s found a way past it, I kind of hope that her visits with her grandchildren are monitored by someone other than her spirit friends!

  • Anonymous

    I am glad that you’ve found peace. I pray that he comes to visit you often. I too believe, and have believed for some time that the Spirits of those that we Love and Love us, are always there, for us!!

  • Joe

    Dear Ms Bloom, please accept my deepest thanks and congratulations. Faith and conviction are the only sources that can sustain our lives and make them meaningful. Such immense spiritual courage!THANK you!!!Joe

  • Love Is Real, Real is Love

    We all work through our grief in different ways. If this works for you, so be it. I am happy for you.

  • Anonymous

    The pain is real, the psychics are not. These evil predators take full advantage of the grief of people like this poor woman. If we were meant to communicate with dead people it would be much easier than searching around for a ‘real’ medium.”There shall not be found among you [any one] that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, [or] that useth divination [or] an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things [are] an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.”

  • Harold Ickes

    Anonymous has got it right, but for the wrong reasons.Mediums are cheaters not because their work with “familiar spirits” is an abomination, but because they, like all people, do not speak with the dead.The mediums are play-acting, working from a script designed to emotionally manipulate people.Anybody who has told a white lie knows that a little honest deception can make people feel better, or keep people from feeling bad.But, for myself, I don’t think I could face everyday knowing that my inner peace was built on a conman’s well paid-for words.The medium should have paid me!The sense God gave me tells me that mediums and Spiritualism and seances and all that are just rubbish designed to pick the pockets of people in grief.

  • tlawrenceva

    Great, then I guess all of the strangers who came up to other family members, telling them that Justin was trying to reach them was all just an elaborate hoax? Are all of you saying that not only are the reputable psychics she sought out shills, but that that strangers coming to friends of her family members are in on it too? Come on.

  • e

    I agree with the “shame” poster. I cannot believe this is on the washingtonpost.com with no comment or apparent balance. This section is what really got me: Afterlife encounters will give you that strength.No. You already had that strength. And to say that “afterlife encounters” somehow help in a way beyond being a crutch like most other things is just irresponsible, untrue, and misleading.It pains me to see people getting swindled like this. My only sister died last year, at 19. After our father passed away when we were young, I became a second parent to her. My mom has gone to a psychic to help her through the grief and sure, it’s helped. But at what cost? It’s just a crutch to help her get through this difficult time. What if she later realizes that there is no afterlife, she won’t see my sister again, then it’ll be all the more difficult to deal with that realization because she will have spent all of her life avoiding the finality of her grief rather than contending with it. I’m glad that the writer is no longer suicidal and can still feel close to her son. But there are ways to feel better and closer that do not involve lies and conning. A bowl of ice cream is also comforting, but no one’s writing about how that gives you the strength to go on.

  • Rebecca

    tlawrenceva asked:”Great, then I guess all of the strangers who came up to other family members, telling them that Justin was trying to reach them was all just an elaborate hoax?”I’ll ask a question in return. I’d imagine that a young person falling to his death from a building ledge would get quite a bit more news coverage than, say, a 65 year old man dying of a heart attack, wouldn’t you? I’d also remind you that it’s a “psychic’s” JOB to look for people who’ve suffered a loss.

  • Chris Everett

    I share your pain, but the anguish I feel now is due to the fact that you are being grifted by con artists who are exploiting your loss. Don’t cheapen your son’s memory. Don’t exchange the actual moments of sharing between you and your son for the poisonous snake oil balm you are indulging in now. I’m sorry for your loss, but you are willfully introducing a cancer into your remaining relationship with your son.I recommend watching the movie “Nightmare Alley” starring Tyrone Power about a carnival mentalist. It pretty much sums up the character of the people you have fallen prey to.

  • Dave

    I am glad this experience worked for you. I am pretty liberal in religious beliefs, though I am a practicing Christian. If this experience gave you comfort, then is was certainly authentic. I do however see this beautiful letter as an example of how we “see what we want to.” Psychology has a powerful effect on relgion. (And other things too.) If I really NEED/WANT to see a UFO, I will probably one day see a UFO. If I really have a NEED/WANT to see the Virgin Mary’s image on a slice of toast, then I will probably see her image one day on a slice of toast. If I really NEED/WANT to see and connect with those who died, well…….

  • Dave

    I am glad this experience worked for you. I am pretty liberal in religious beliefs, though I am a practicing Christian. If this experience gave you comfort, then is was certainly authentic. I do however see this beautiful letter as an example of how we “see what we want to.” Psychology has a powerful effect on relgion. (And other things too.) If I really NEED/WANT to see a UFO, I will probably one day see a UFO. If I really have a NEED/WANT to see the Virgin Mary’s image on a slice of toast, then I will probably see her image one day on a slice of toast. If I really NEED/WANT to see and connect with those who died, well…….

  • Dave

    I am glad this experience worked for you. I am pretty liberal in religious beliefs, though I am a practicing Christian. If this experience gave you comfort, then is was certainly authentic. I do however see this beautiful letter as an example of how we “see what we want to.” Psychology has a powerful effect on relgion. (And other things too.) If I really NEED/WANT to see a UFO, I will probably one day see a UFO. If I really have a NEED/WANT to see the Virgin Mary’s image on a slice of toast, then I will probably see her image one day on a slice of toast. If I really NEED/WANT to see and connect with those who died, well…….

  • Get Real

    No, sorry folks, Mobedda hit it right on the head. (and there are several posters who could stand to hear his message as well…) From traditional religion, to U-U, to Buddhism, to “Goddess worship” (whatever that is) and now to this charlatan “psychic”…. This poor woman is being led astray by her need for reassurances that fit her preconceptions… She needed to “contact” her son again and that’s what this con man provided…for a fee of course…”stand for something or fall for anything”

  • Jett

    What? I find this all too hard to believe. Even though you feel better, it just is not for real otherwise we would all be doing that with our dearly departed.

  • tony in NC

    I feel for you, Mrs. Bloom. You say this is working for you and I will take that at face value.It took a beautiful fall day to help my wife reach peace with her father’s passing. She felt something that day and now we have a bird sanctuary in our yard where it comes back now and then. Her dad loved birds. My father passed many years ago, but whenever I narrowly miss having a car wreck, I swear it seems he’s there in the seat next to me, helping me hold the wheel steady. I am, at best, an agnostic. I can’t explain these things. I feel that trying to do so will make them go away like a mist, so why ruin a good thing?As for some of the posters here, they range from awfully rude and insensitive, to self-ish and self-righteous (yes, I’m talking about our old pals, proselytizing Christians–I hope you really do get to meet Jesus one day so He can point out what jerks you’ve been here on earth. Did He just show up at inappropriate moments in the Bible to hassle people, or did He behave like a good teacher, waiting for the teachable moment?).To the rude people, I bet you know what karma is. It’s legit. You think you’re so smart by acting so snarky, but maybe you’re really unhappy about something? Karma’s not just a gag line for Earl on TV, you know, although that show has a gentle heart beneath its brutal humor.

  • Rebecca

    Dave wrote:So true. People believe what they must in order to live the lives they want or are required to live. Ms Bloom believes she contacted her dead son because it’s what she MUST believe (given her personality) to continue living. People who are members of religious cults share their strange beliefs because it’s what they MUST do to continue receiving the positive attention of other cult members. Many parents of soldiers serving in Iraq believe that’s a just war because it’s what they MUST believe in order to carry on with their day-to-day lives. It’s a psychological truth we see all over the place — all the time. People will adopt whatever beliefs they must to get their desired outcome. Ms Bloom desperately wants to believe her son isn’t gone forever. Therefore, she believes she contacted him through a psychic. Wants and needs guide our beliefs and perceptions. It’s something scientists have known for a long time: confirmation bias.

  • Diane Ridgway

    Dear Georgianna, 10/10/07 I received a call from my cousin and was told to read your article. I had told my best friend just this past Saturday about a conversation I had with a fellow worker about religion and the afterlife. You have said in part of your letter exactally word for word what I had tolo her. I am 62 years old and have lost both of my parents and I can only express my deepest sorrow for your loss of a child. I know in my deepest of feelings that every word you said is true. I have always felt this is our hell if we want it to be. If you have any further articles or sessions please email me . Thank You,

  • Bill C.

    Mobedda:This is sick and utterly stupid. If we are ever to have anything resembling rational discourse we have to stop excusing belief in utter nonsense and fraud just because the believer has had some pain in life. Many people have lost sons and people they loved and it didn’t lead them to believe in “ancient, erotic, matriarchal, godess worship.” What tripe. I am glad Mobedda comment got in there first to knock some sense into people before reading the following peans to idiocy.

  • Dave

    “Hell is on earth”? It certainly is hell when your mind is simplistic and feeble and going to a medium is the only way for you to handle grief.

  • dan

    This is one very troubled woman – to believe that a ‘medium’ can offer anything other than a ‘con’ is truly disturbing. She needs help from a competent doctor not a fake.

  • JessD

    I am embarrassed for the Washington Post. I can’t believe this amateur essay is associated with such a fine paper. I feel duped clicking the link from the left side of the home page — now I will never again click a link from that section of the Web site.

  • R. T. Firefly

    I don’t think what Georgianna has express here is faith.Think about it — she says she has positive proof that her son exists.Sounds like a kind of science to me. A poor science that is easily disproven, but certainly not “a faith.”She doesn’t take it on faith that her son exists, she says she has evidence in what the medium told her and in the apparition she saw.In that case, why is it on a Web site dedicated to discussions of faith and religion? Oh, I see the advertising now …

  • elkofan

    I too, have prayed not to wake up for the last 40 months since I came home from work to find my husband drowned on our property. I too, have not taken my own life only because of the people who love me, primarily my elderly parents. I have vowed that when they are gone I will take my own life, but your post gives me hope. I intend to locate a medium and see if I can find the peace you have found. I completely understand how you feel and have longed to ‘hear’ from my husband for these long years. Thank you so much.

  • elkofan

    I too, have prayed not to wake up for the last 40 months since I came home from work to find my husband drowned on our property. I too, have not taken my own life only because of the people who love me, primarily my elderly parents. I have vowed that when they are gone I will take my own life, but your post gives me hope. I intend to locate a medium and see if I can find the peace you have found. I completely understand how you feel and have longed to ‘hear’ from my husband for these long years. Thank you so much.

  • abbey

    I would love to believe, but question why the spirits never tell us about life on the other side, nor about God and heaven. Why would tht b e? Could these spirits be deceitful, and actually be evil?

  • abbey

    I would love to believe, but question why the spirits never tell us about life on the other side, nor about God and heaven. Why would tht b e? Could these spirits be deceitful, and actually be evil?

  • WTF

    Vinny, you say that “I do believe what the bible calls a resurrection will one day take place.”Prove it.

  • abbey

    I would love to believe, but question why the spirits never tell us about life on the other side, nor about God and heaven. Why would tht b e? Could these spirits be deceitful, and actually be evil?

  • abbey

    I would love to believe, but question why the spirits never tell us about life on the other side, nor about God and heaven. Why would tht b e? Could these spirits be deceitful, and actually be evil?

  • Matt

    Washington Post – you should be intellectually ashamed for kowtowing to the pseudo-Religious at the expense of your integrity. This woman’s story is sad and touching for all the wrong reasons and negligently promotes the use of (long since debunked) “mediums” aka psychics. The worst part of this ‘article’ is its ability to be used as a product testimonial for these peddlers of grief to propagate.

  • Sophie McGlumphy

    What the hell have you been smoking?

  • Sophie McGlumphy

    Waht the hell have you been smoking?

  • Sharly

    “And when we hugged we melted into each other, and I felt him go through me like a beautiful song.”This is the most moving piece of poetic truth I’ve read in years.I don’t follow you all the way… but I believe you felt it. Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    I am sorry for your loss, and glad you found a way to come to peace with your grief. But it pains me that in doing so, you have now become a mouthpiece for an industry that preys on people like you for fun and profit. Mediums are not real; they are con artists. Perhaps your experience with one allowed you to find enough peace to keep going. In this case, any medicine is good medicine even if that medicine is a lie. But while your experience might have been uncommonly positive, it is unfortunate that you have chosen to respond by bolstering this lie. With this article, you are supporting an industry of charlatans that offers false hope to the desperate and the grieving for money. It is goulish. I am sure your son is in a better place. But wouldn’t it have been better to come to terms with that with a friend, a loved one, or even a therapist? They can help you grieve and to understand that death is a natural, unavoidable part of our experience on this Earth. It should not motivate us to give money to wizards and start believing in ghosts.

  • Matt

    Washington Post – you should be intellectually ashamed for kowtowing to the pseudo-Religious at the expense of your integrity. This woman’s story is sad and touching for all the wrong reasons and negligently promotes the use of (long since debunked) “mediums” aka psychics. The worst part of this ‘article’ is its ability to be used as a product testimonial for these peddlers of grief to propagate.

  • diogenes

    I am distressed that the Post decided that this was a worthwhile item to publish. What next, some “true” alien abduction stories? You have descended to the level of the “Star” and other tabloids. This item simply encourages other unfortunate people, such as Elkofan, to fall for the charlatans who prey on them. “Reputable psychics”? Hah!

  • Bett B

    I’m amused by all the Christians condemning mediums as charlatans. They fail to see the irony that their religious belief systems are as questionable as anyone else’s. Our human reality is that we have no idea what happens after death, or if some part of us continues on. All we have is anecdotal evidence.

  • Jeffrey Showell

    What is healing? Mrs. Bloom’s experience with a medium has helped her heal from her grief. This is proof enough that she has not been conned–she got precisely what she needed.I myself would never go to a psychic but Mrs. Bloom’s experience closely parallels experiences of those who undergo shamanic healing. I’m currently learning about shamanism as part of my Masters in Public Health–again, I’m not sure I’d go to a shaman either, but, from what I’ve read, many people who undergo shamanic healing have the same sort of transformative experience that Mrs. Bloom describes–and they feel healed. I don’t believe in a spirit world, per se, but I can accept it as a metaphoric and symbolic world that somehow helps people come to terms with and overcome grief, chronic pain, etc. If it’s all about belief and visiting a medium or shamanism results in such a transformation, the result is no less REAL than if it had come about via counseling or psychotherapy.An interesting thing about shamanism is that there is evidence that it is between 30,000 and 40,000 years old–that’s woolly mammoth teritory– and that it is practiced world-wide using the same fundamental principles.

  • Susan Fox

    Georgianna, as a dear and personal friend of Glenn Klausner as well as former neighbor. I wanted to thank you for writting such a wonderful and inspiring piece on this subject. I too have learned so much from his readings and the education of the afterlife. Being neighbors we spent a lot of time speaking of this matter and I questioned everything. He has made me not afraid of the afterlife and to actually live as intended and look forward to the afterlife. Thank you again!Regards, Susan Fox

  • CapSponge

    Re: Jacob Jozevz On: Death pays all debtsWow. That was nuts. I actually tried reading that for a couple of seconds. I think I need a shot of whiskey after that. Jeez!

  • Rita Johnson

    What a wonderful experience? You have been truly blessed!

  • Frank Butterfield

    There is so much going on here in this story and the replies…I’ll be honest. In replying to Georgianna’s post, I’m afraid of the casually caustic comments and ridicule that may come my way (I suspect that many here who write so brutally would never actually SPEAK in such a way, but that’s a whole other subject). So, here goes.Georgianna has, in a truly powerful and deeply vulnerable way, described a wholly unique and personal story. I find it interesting that no one doubts the veracity of her tale — only that she may have been duped by charlatans, con artists, and/or Satan (or one of his minions).I’ve had my own experience with mediumship. I’ve attended Spiritualist meetings where messages given had a significant positive impact on the intended recipient. While I’m not attracted to the Spiritualist church, I have a great amount of respect for the work that happens in them. The people who attend and who give messages are dedicated to the art of surrendering and allowing something greater than themselves.And, I’ve had the experience of being a medium. It was not something I was expecting, but the outcome was at once startling and quite beautiful. I was sitting with a friend at his house. I suddenly heard an inner voice say, “we’re now going to show you how to be a medium.” It was said in the same manner that a corporate trainer might say, “now let’s look at how to create formulas in Excel.”Being adventurous, I sat there and waited. Within a matter of seconds, I was aware that someone else was in the room. I heard an unusual name and mentioned it to my friend. It was his mother’s nickname — the one that her friends always used when they would call up for the latest neighborhood gossip. She had passed several years ago.I then heard from this inner voice that I should tell my friend that his mother had received the roses he sent her. He told me that when he goes to his hometown, he always takes roses to his mother’s gravesite.These two pieces of information appeared to be coming out of nowhere. I’d never known my friend’s mother, much less one the unusual nickname her neighbors would have used. And I’ve never been to my friend’s hometown or his mother’s gravesite.The next thing that happened was remarkable. In a closed room with the AC on (it was summer and very hot outside), the fragrance of roses wafted through the room. We both could smell it and it lingered for quite a bit.I am not a medium (except for that one experience), but I have had many experiences that show me anecdotal proof that there are more things in heaven and earth than we know (with apologies to Wm. Shakespeare).I am grateful to Georgianna for telling us her story, to the Washington Post for hosting these fora, and to every person who posts and shares their own perspective.

  • Mai

    After reading both the article by Ms. Bloom and the comments that it generated it seems that there a several issues in play. Those that believe that this woman was “healed” by working with a medium, those that think it’s full of BS, and others that are pushing/debating fundamental religious ideals. My question for her is that did any other individual offer a helping right hand that didn’t have their left one out asking for a payment? Surely, others in her family were suffering as well, what did they do?

  • Zap B

    “Justin’s friend told me that psychics approached him who didn’t know Justin was dead…”And the con is on. And to the immense shame of the WaPo, they provide a link to the con artist’s website, where he promotes himself through this article.As others have said, this is nothing but cold reading. Here’s yet another link to more information on this con:

  • Mai

    After reading both the article by Ms. Bloom and the comments that it generated it seems that there a several issues in play. Those that believe that this woman was “healed” by working with a medium, those that think it’s full of BS, and others that are pushing/debating fundamental religious ideals. My question for her is that did any other individual offer a helping right hand that didn’t have their left one out asking for a payment? Surely, others in her family were suffering as well, what did they do?

  • Joe

    Whoa… I am amazed by the venomous reactions of all of these so-called Christians.Personal attacks on someone for their beliefs is bad enough…But how weak can their own confidence be – that they carry on like this – in a way designed so specifically to demean and to hurt someone with whom they disagree…What can anyone possibly learn from such animalistic people…?”Religion is for those who are afraid of hell. Spirituality is for those who have been there.”

  • Sarah

    Yes, most mediums are cons. Yes, the Bible states that mediums/psychics/wizards/witches are evil and in with the Devil. However, there are several ideas of what happens when we die. Do we cease to exist? Honestly, how many people wish to believe that. The Bible claims we shall go to Heaven if we were good in life. That would be an Afterlife. Psychics claim that souls that do not “go into the light” hover around here on our “plane of existence” and wander around sometimes saying hi. Non-psychics sometimes claim these “spirits” decide to scare the crap out of them in their home. Let us be honest. We are simpleminded creatures existing on this giant ball call Earth. We only understand what we can. We aren’t able to grasp certain concepts that just can’t be “proven” yet. We are rather primitive when it comes to death other than what we see – a body which ceases to live. But we can believe what we experience, whether it is a true account or a simple trick of our unconcious mind. Do not dispute the ideas or experiences of others. Just because it didn’t happen to you doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. And remember, Death is only another beginning…you just don’t know what that beginning is until you experience it.

  • E favorite

    Reading through these responses, It occurs to me that mediums are a lot like clergy: – some are good, some are bad – they generally charge for their services – they’re selling something that doesn’t exist(the supernatural) and something that does (comfort).

  • Anonymous

    Your are so close to the truth, but not quite there…You say that Hell is only on Earth, but that simply cannot be true. If evil exists here on Earth, then when evil dies it must exist someplace other than Earth in the same way that your son now exists someplace else after he died. The place where all evil exists after it has died here on Earth is Hell.As you describe it, your son is in a place where there is “a lot of peace” and “a lot of soul work to do.” This cannot be Hell, because there is peace. This cannot be Heaven because there is “soul work.” This can only be Purgatory.Once your son’s soul work in Purgatory is done, he will go to Heaven to be with God, his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, Mary, the Angels, and the Communion of Saints.Your son has proven to you the existence of Purgatory. You have seen, and should now believe. Blessed are those who believe without seeing.

  • Anonymous

    Your are so close to the truth, but not quite there…You say that Hell is only on Earth, but that simply cannot be true. If evil exists here on Earth, then when evil dies it must exist someplace other than Earth in the same way that your son now exists someplace else after he died. The place where all evil exists after it has died here on Earth is Hell.As you describe it, your son is in a place where there is “a lot of peace” and “a lot of soul work to do.” This cannot be Hell, because there is peace. This cannot be Heaven because there is “soul work.” This can only be Purgatory.Once your son’s soul work in Purgatory is done, he will go to Heaven to be with God, his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, Mary, the Angels, and the Communion of Saints.Your son has proven to you the existence of Purgatory. You have seen, and should now believe. Blessed are those who believe without seeing.

  • Patty

    To Zephora KrebbsThat was perhaps one of the cruelest things I’ve read. Is it your own personal misery that inspires such a hateful comment.

  • Mobedda

    Okay, mea culpa. What I meant to say was that your life doesn’t end with the death of others, be they loved ones, or equally valuable strangers. The medium stole your money in return for making a mockery of what should otherwise a genuine and healthy recovery. What made me fly off the handle was the fact that so much space in a newspaper is being given to what seems more aptly located in a person’s confidential medical file.

  • Sean

    Are you kidding me?The Washington Post would be well served by not printing such claptrap under their name.

  • Sean

    Zephora, That was a horrible comment to make, but since Karma is just as fake as spiritual mediums, you don’t have much to worry about, besides your own peace of mind.To anyone who beleives in spirit mediums or psychics, do the smallest most cursory investigation of a technique called “cold reading”. It will tell you all you need to know about how you are being conned.”It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” – Carl Sagan

  • CapSponge

    You dislike how cruel some of the comments are regarding this article?I submit to you that encouraging people who are suicidal to seek peace by going to a psychic is inherently DANGEROUS. Legitimizing this quackery by associating this author’s story with the Post is, at best, irresponsible. If some poor, desparate soul follows in the author’s footsteps rather than seeking professional counseling and has a bad outcome as a result, then morally, the publication of this article is an act of negligence.Psychics are either woefully self-deluded, or they are liars and thieves. I do not think the comments on this forum have been nearly stern enough in conveying the notion that while this woman’s story is sad, DO NOT follow in her footsteps.

  • NanFan56

    Mrs. Bloom, please accept my condolences on the loss of your son Justin.In the past 5 years my mother and father have passed away. Two weeks ago I lost my best friend of 35 years, Jenene. She married my brother 33 years ago and her death has left a huge void in all of my family’s lives. I do know that my mom and dad have helped me thru situations since their deaths and fully expect Jenene’s gentle soul to help me in the future.The hypocrisy of the “Christians” who are attacking your story is so ridiculus. They try to tear apart any belief other than their christian beliefs as unbelievable. Yet we are told by them to believe anything that comes from their beliefs. You would think that their faith would comfort them and would not cause them to attack non-christians. The sad thing is that they never realize their unreasonable behaviour.Below is the number one entry on Miriam-Websters definition of hypocrisy:

  • David Ellis

    Great piece. I had a similar experience after the death of my dog, Lucy. We had been together for 17 years and though I never contemplated suicide, I was terribly depressed. But through a LOT of meditation, Lucy (or maybe God or an old friend…) told me what she was going to look like, and when I was going to see her again. I could also sense her presence coming from the west, and I knew she had been reincarnated. With this intuition, the internet, some kind souls and a little bit of what could only be called divine guidance, I found Lucy in her new body. She looked EXACTLY like the picture I’d seen, and I met her on the EXACT day I’d been told. As an interesting side-note, I learned something else that’s both profound and relevant, politically. It is this: Souls are reincarnated at BIRTH, not at conception. At least in the case of dogs. During the gestation period, a fetus is much like a sperm; it can move independently and has it’s own operating system, but it’s not a separate soul. How do I know this? Well, I was told that I would see Lucy 7 1/2 weeks after she died. The gestation period for dogs is about 9 weeks. So obviously Lucy couldn’t have been reincarnated before she died! And I didn’t know at the time that dogs took 9+ weeks to be born; I only put this all together several months later. One last thing: God makes us WORK for answers. He/She doesn’t tell us the whole deal, and it’s not written in a book. We have to work for it, and progress often comes slowly, although sometimes we get blinding revelations, like your story here! Anyway, Lou (Lucy) is looking at me now with an old shoe in her mouth as I type this….. and it’s a nice day outside…. I’m a very lucky guy to be re-united with my best friend. And with every passing day, I’m sure that Lou (Lucy) and I are connected at some very fundamental level. It’s called love, for lack of a better word. Thanks for “listening”… and peace.

  • GAD

    Damed if I do, damed if I don’t. If I say that this is all nonsense and delusional, I’m damed for being insensitive. If I say nothing then I have to live in a world where nonsense like this flourishes unabated by reason.

  • R. Russell

    Well, so much for my project of being satisfied with life, so that when I die, I just die. I thought it was a good idea. I know there are many who are disappointed with life, who look for a better one in the next world, but I just want to accept everything as it is given to me. It seems like the goal of many religions anyway. What do I do now?So sad about your son though. I am so happy that this helped you out. Vivid dreaming is an interesting subject in itself.

  • E favorite

    David Ellis – are you a practicing Christian? If so, have you ever told clergy or members of the congregation abut this? I’de be interested in what they said.Do you think your experience is tied to the supernatural?

  • David Ellis

    E Favorite, I consider myself a Buddhist Orthodox Christian, but I don’t belong to any church. Before you say I’m crazy, let me say this: Buddhism is a philosophy, not a doctrine, so it’s quite possible to be a Christian / Buddhist. And I’m Orthodox in the sense that I think the Old Testament is a load of hooey, but I believe in the teachings of Jesus. I think Jesus must have been at least influenced by the teachings of Buddha, as they’re too similar to be coincidental.No, I haven’t told clergy about my experience. For two reasons: 1.) I think clergy are mostly egotists and are too busy worshiping themselves to be interested in the TRUTH… 2.) my story above is so personal that I haven’t really found a great way to tell it, without sounding arrogant, myself. I’m still trying to “get it right.”Thanks, and Cheers…..

  • Jon White

    Cabin John said: “Jon White completely missed the point. It wasn’t Christianity that helped, or could help, this mother who needed help. Thank Goodness she isn’t a brainwashed Christian like him, because if she had gone to her dogmatic minister for comfort, and he had tried to force her through the “Christ is the only way” straightjacket, she’s still be in extreme pain.”

  • elkofan

    To Zephora Krebbs; my husband drowned accidentally, I hope you never experience such a loss even though you deserve to. To Patty, thank you.

  • Jill

    I don’t think Georgianna’s experience is necessarily that unique. Whether psychic or not, I know a lot of people who have had some kind of experience with seeing a deceased love one sometime after death. I especially think these dream experiences are pretty common. I had one also when I lost my grandmother. But I don’t attribute it to a visiting spirit. I think it was a dream and a memory. Even so, it was incredibly comforting, and for me at least, that was enough. Even if this is the only life we have, and if there is absolutely nothing afterwards, I find comfort in the fact that our loved ones often change our lives, and impact them even after they are long gone. The love you get from a spouse, child, parent, etc., even after this person dies, does not disappear. It stays with you, and can provide you peace and comfort even after they are long gone.

  • Sorry, Sally

    This post is playing over on the “A Note from Sally Quinn” page:”I am “Gigi”, the mother of Justin, the young filmmaker who died.I wept when I read Sally Quinn’s article about my wonderful son, and his death, and my subsequent agony, and my experience with the medium. Thank you so much, Sally Quinn, for handling the subject of my afterlife encounter with such sensitivity, in spite of the fact that you knew that you and the producers of “On Faith” might be ridiculed for it.But I must venture forth to be corrective about one thing Sally Quinn wrote. That is: “It’s always a matter of faith.”In the matter of a session with a medium, that is simply not the case. When the medium walked in, I was skeptical as hell and terribly afraid I’d be disappointed. I was terrfied of getting ripped off. What if this medium knew how to hack into the emails of the person whose address we were at, and knew from our correspondence just who we were grieving for?? What if this guy were just a total, brilliant sham artist??Oh no, this was NOT about having any faith!!!Well, by the time that session was over, I did indeed have faith. AND IT WAS BECAUSE I HAD PROOF. The medium, Glenn Klausner, knew things about Justin, and other things as well,that he only could have learned from Justin. Tiny little details that he only could have learned sitting right there, communing with Justin. My faith is based purely empirically…I have seen an afterlife encounter with my very own skeptical eyes and ears.That’s why I walked away peaceful.But don’t take my word for it. Google a guy named Bob Olson, a guy who started out more skeptical than I’ve ever been about anything, and ended up a believer, because the truth just can’t be denied. I consider Bob Olson the “medium industry watchdog.” He started out on a mission to bust ’em all and hang ’em high, and then got his mind torn apart…check him out. He has several websites.”

  • Jon White

    Yes, Gigi, I agree with you completely about the experiencial aspect of an unsolicited psychic experience. It is as real as any other experience in this material life – such as my experience in typing the words to this post.

  • Peter

    Wow. That is absolutely insane. This lady is crazy and although there is some good that came from her delusion, the avoidance of her suicide, it can be reasonably considered that she makes any valid point. She is now wonderfully deluded, which is good because she is obviously unabel to cope with reality and must invent one to continue living. Sad.

  • David Ellis

    JaJoz,Peter, To the rest of you hateful, mostly Christian egomaniacs:It’s no wonder we’re in such deep dodoo. When Jesus returns, you’re going to know the real meaning of Hell.

  • Rebecca

    Thanks for the newspaper article quote, Sally. If you could find it, it’s pretty sure any number of “psychic mediums” could also find it and use it as a springboard for their con.

  • Mr Mark

    One is reminded of the joke about the psychic who writes a column for the local newspaper. She walks into the editor’s room one day and is handed her walking papers, as the editor editorializes, “of course, you saw this coming.”

  • Anonymous

    “So called Christians” attack a lot of things I suppose. Like lying, adultery, murder and suicide. If a religious person is against suicide are they being intolerant? Psychics and mediums fall into this equally condemnable category. Not because “God says its bad”, but because its a crock. Even the ancients knew that.

  • Bill

    Typos can be weird. I meant “cool million”

  • J L

    I’m Justin’s friend. The medium didn’t know anything about Justin because Georgianna didn’t contact the medium. I did. I never mentioned any name or any background info to the medium.I was there when Georgianna had her reading. There were a lot of evidence provided. Everything was right on target.I go to church everyweek and make it a point to read the Bible and read daily messages from Joel Osteen. My faith in God is now even stronger than ever.I know Georgianna well. She’s not delusional – she’s not any of those you wrote negatively. She’s not under medication.Georgianna is simply sharing her experience. She’s not promoting medium psychics. I read all posts – the positive ones, the good ones and the negative ones. You may write that you don’t agree with what is written or about the experience, but certianly you can spare those negative comments on Georgianna. She’s the one who lost a beloved son. Does any of those who posted negatively had the same experience as Georgianna?And yes, there is a God.

  • Brian

    Assuming that they both provide about the same psychological benefit to a person who lost a loved one, how does the cost of a medium compare with that of a licensed psychiatrist/psychologist?

  • dane

    Why does the Post publish ghost stories, however moving or scary? The writer of this story is in grief, and thus is to be excused. A good number of the rest of you are simply delusional and it’s depressing to think of the consequences of, say, your right to vote.

  • Matt

    This is a sad commentary on how some people even in today’s modern world still need charlatans and fantasy to help them deal with death. I feel sorry for this person because she is grieving but also being taken advantage of in her grief.

  • Chris Magee

    So many skeptics!!! Georgianna, I too lost a child, so I know how you feel. Thank you for sharing your experience. I was raised Catholic but stopped going to church as a teen. I’ve thought of myself as agnostic as an adult. I was never sure of an afterlife until I lost my baby girl 5 yrs ago. She was only 5 weeks old and died of a rare, undiagnosed congenital heart condition. I too was beside myself with grief. The only thing that made me go on was my then-20-month-old son (he’s almost 7 now). Several times after my daughter died, my son would start talking in bed, staring up at the ceiling. I’d hear him say his sister’s name along with Mommy and Daddy (he was lying down between us in bed). The first time he did this, he was smiling but then cried and waved bye-bye up at the ceiling. The second time this happened (a few weeks later), I asked him if his sister was there. He didn’t answer. I asked him if he saw his sister. Again, no answer. Then I asked him where his sister was. He pointed up to the ceiling where he’s been staring and said “right there”. It was then I was sure she was and always would be with us. I believe that the very, very young and those close to death themselves are able to see those who’ve passed before us. There’s too much anecdotal evidence to not believe this. Ms. Bloom, please know that there are many of us out here who are with you in thought and in spirit.

  • Joe

    you don’t need to be delusional to be fooled by a medium, just mistaken and needy, for all the reasons noted by others. when you pay a psychiatrist, it’s not because you believe they have magical powers, it’s because you think they can help you gain the insight you need (it’s called insight because it doesn’t come from outside one’s self, let alone from the “other side.” yes, you can trick yourself into some approximation of insight, that’s part of the medium’s bag of tricks – amateur psychology will impress most folks. to suggest that the medium’s success supports the existence of God is awkward, since every mainstream religion rejects the notion of the dead contacting the living (only God can do that) and considers the use of mediums nothing short of idolatry. so now you have skeptics, medium believers, and religious faithful, all triangulating. what a mess.

  • Huh?

    The writer of the post we are all responding to writes:”Oh no, this was NOT about having any faith!!!”Then why, pray tell, was it posted to “On Faith” in the first place?

  • Joe

    you don’t need to be delusional to be fooled by a medium, just mistaken and needy, for all the reasons noted by others. when you pay a psychiatrist, it’s not because you believe they have magical powers, it’s because you think they can help you gain the insight you need (it’s called insight because it doesn’t come from outside one’s self, let alone from the “other side.” yes, you can trick yourself into some approximation of insight, that’s part of the medium’s bag of tricks – amateur psychology will impress most folks. to suggest that the medium’s success supports the existence of God is awkward, since every mainstream religion rejects the notion of the dead contacting the living (only God can do that) and considers the use of mediums nothing short of idolatry. so now you have skeptics, medium believers, and religious faithful, all triangulating. what a mess.

  • One who had to say

    I hope that all of the sarcastic remarks some day need to be swallowed like my own cutting remarks to my mother and other “woo-woo” friends of hers. I used to “tell it like it was” as well, until one day I realized that my back problems of 18 years had nothing to do with what I had done here in this lifetime. The person who helped me through this did not charge me one cent. The experience coincided with several strange occurrences in other circumstances in other countries with different people. Ever since the day that I saw what had happened to me (without drugs or hypnosis), I have not had a single back problem since. This is definitely not science, I agree. However, I have absolutely no other way of explaining my good health now except for through a sort of past-life resolution which I really, really didn’t even believe was possible. The day after I had to go back to my mother and ask her for forgiveness of all the horrible, sarcastic remarks I had made to her. Ever since then I have been exposed to more and more experiences that I have not sought out for myself. In fact, I like what I do within these three dimensions just fine thank you, and I have no reason to go out looking for these “paranormal” experiences. They just hit you, and I hope that each one of you who is so closed-minded so as not to believe in the possibility of what Ms. Bloom recounts gets your own wake-up call before you have to come back and do this all over again. I do agree with the skepticism of some of the posters that one should be wary of con artists, because they do exist. However, listen to your gut and make sure that you are not “reacting” to your own emotions, but “sensing” or “feeling” that this is the right thing to do. (And I am one of the most analytical, left-brained people you’ll ever meet now saying this after 3 years of having it beaten into me that it is okay to be more balanced.) Best of luck to all of you who do not realize the power of your own words and the energy they impregnate onto your own destiny. Also, congratulations to the Post for taking on this polemical topic and allowing for the discussion to take place.

  • M

    Why has Mobedda’s original comment been removed? WaPo won’t censor the garbage spam posts that have shown up several times on this sight, but will remove a valid opinion? That’s pretty scary, and 1st Amendment-unfriendly…

  • GZiemann

    Let me get this straight — all the dead people just hover around, waiting for us to summon them so we can feel better? So the whole heaven and hell thing is wrong? They just stay here?I don’t want to be disrespectful to anyone’s feelings, but once you buy into the idea of “good people” floating around instead of being whisked off to heaven, you inevitably are left to ponder where the not-so-good people are.That’s the jumping-off point for a Stephen King novel, Wes Craven movie, or this week’s episode of “Ghost Whisperer”.

  • Mira

    From firsthand experience, I believe mediums are frauds who prey on those in profound grief. But if this woman has found peace, well, who am I to try to take that from her?

  • Bill

    The mind has a physical basis. It is the result of electrochemical interactions in the thousand trillion interconnections between the 100 billion neurons in the brain. Using magnetic resonance imaging, thoughts can be “seen”. However, this unbelievably complex organ has a very hard time understanding very large numbers. That is why it can’t understand its own function. It can’t understand the concept of billions of years, and so often doesn’t believe in evolution. It cannot understand the size of the universe – 150 billion light-years, and thus the earth’s place in it. The mind is firmly anchored to its material existence. If you’ve ever been under general anesthesia, where the conscious functioning of the mind is halted, you know that the time between when you go under and the time that you come to absolutely does not exist for you. Those who are in serious accidents often have no memory of the accident itself. This is not due to some kind of repression, but instead to the fact that the mind is disabled during the time that permanent memories are normally formed. If thought could exist without brain function, then neither of these things would happen. There are some people that will never believe what I’m saying – they “know” better. But once again – for those interested in reality – the world is the way it is – not the way we may wish it to be.

  • musafir

    Have nothing to say about Mrs. Bloom’s post but Ja Joz is a hoot, enjoyed reading the comments.

  • Mr Mark

    Bill -Excellent points about brain function.I’m always amused at the out-of-body/light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel experiences of those seriously injured. When such injuries occur, the brain shuts down higher functions and concentrates on basic involuntary functions. Yet if we are to believe the OOB people, they experience their highest state of consciousness during the time that their brain is functioning at its most-base level. They experience “the other side” at the point where their brains can’t even keep contact with the side they’re already living on.Amazing, ain’t it?

  • dcampbell

    I know this is true. And even if it is not true for everyone it is for me and for many others. And, more and more people are having the gift of this experience.

  • diebrucke

    Oy. It’s delusion all the same no matter what form of mysticism/religion you choose. But if it’s comforting…

  • DCAMPBELL

    Kudos to One Who Had To Say…

  • Sanity Personified

    Jacob Jovevz,,,, you need to go POOF!

  • Liz

    I’m very sorry for the pain Ms. Bloom has had to endure in her life. However! There is no such thing as a psychic, reputable or otherwise. However, again! This story illustrates the power of the human mind.

  • Tom

    Justin just contacted me and asked me to tell his mother that mediums are frauds.

  • Bill

    Mr Mark,Thanks. You probably know that researchers have recently discovered how to produce out of body experiences at will, by causing confusion between the sensory inputs that the mind uses to form its image of the “self”. Of course this is something that could reasonably be expected to occur naturally to someone in a condition near death. Commenting on this particular column, there’s at least one proof that mediums and psychics are fake that everyone should believe. Namely that after decades “The Amazing” Randi still has his million bucks! I do believe everyone has a right to their own beliefs, but the purpose of a forum like this can only be to hear from ALL sides. I do wish people would put a little more effort into learning a little about science, since so many issues these days critically depend on it .

  • Anonymous

    ICH LUBIN AUCH!LAST CHANCE! IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN! FASHTASE?!

  • yoyo

    Initially,I thought the article was a spoof,like Tinkerbell’s comments on another thread,that she

  • Maria Brazda

    I’m so very sorry you lost your son. I am praying and fasting for God (Jesus Christ) to help comfort you all the days of your life and draw you near to him.

  • Fred

    I’m glad you found comfort, but you got scammed. All so called psychics are scammers. You cannot communicate with someone who passed away. These psychics are leeches and parasites who take advantage of people’s grief.

  • Norrie Hoyt

    TO ALL WHO DISMISSED THE REPORTED OCCURRENCE OUT OF HAND:You might be right but you shouldn’t be so sure of your correctness.If you seriously studied the scientifically investigated cases of “spirit contact” through mediums in the 19th and early 20th centuries, you’d find that things actually happened that have no other possible explanation than psychic contact between the living and the dead through the facilitation of a medium.You really should keep an open mind. Not to mention not crassly commenting on a mother’s bereavement. Shame!

  • Georgianna Bloom

    This post is from Ms. Bloom, the woman who lost her son Justin. Yeah, that’s right, me—that poor, tragic, conned woman.After reading all your comments about how my medium must have “cold read” me, I did a search on “cold reading” and educated myself about it. I spent most of this evening doing that.And I have to tell you all this: Glenn Klausner did not “cold read” me. I offered him no information. I didn’t say a word. I knew how important it was to not “feed” him. I just sat there and waited for him to say something.And every single thing he said he got from my son, and other relatives. You people weren’t there; you can’t know the truth of this.But I do.And I feel so sorry for all of you, for being so lost in either skepticism or religious dogmatism.I hope you all find peace.

  • Scott

    I have been Catholic my entire life, and learned of spirits and such encounters, but dismissed it to dreaming or some other type of psychological/psychiatric explanation.However, I too had been very overwhelmed with the loss of my mother, and had been dreaming about her always in the home where we grew up under her watchful eye and loving wise way. She was generally quiet, a good listener, and expressive with her eyes.In my last dream set in her room, after her death. I was packing her closet, packing shoes, dresses, etc. I came across a small door in the back left of the closet I had never discovered as a child hiding so many times in this walk-in.In suprise, I turned out of the main closet door to tell my father of it, he is still living, but in the room was my mother also helping with the packing. I was shocked, scared, and cried to her, “Mom, Mom, is that you?” She didnt turn to me, so I repeated this with tears. She then turned to me and smiled peacefully and said in a reassuring tone, “Oh, Honey . . . ” as if I didnt need to miss her, I would be fine and she apparently is.Oddly, this typing just now brough on a tear or two. Must still miss her . . . frog in my throat.So, I do believe that those departed can bring peace to us . . . in an encounter as described, or maybe through just a dream. Who knows, but I feel better these days.

  • George Samuels

    Where is your Son’s “Heaven?” Does each Faith have its own Beliefs and Heaven? If so, is each Heaven on the same level of is one above the other? If not who’s Heaven is on the bottom. Is Heaven intergrated or segregated? What happens if you don’t believe in C

  • George Samuels

    Where is your Son’s “Heaven?” Does each Faith have its own Beliefs and Heaven? If so, is each Heaven on the same level of is one above the other? If not who’s Heaven is on the bottom. Is Heaven intergrated or segregated? What happens if you don’t believe in C

  • Athiest Science Buff

    The big secret is that the “science” behind the afterlife is becoming better understood. And I mean real science allowing for existence outside of the body. I’m an atheist and don’t buy any religion whatsoever and don’t subscribe to beliefs that make me feel better. But I have noticed hints in mainstream science press that led me to anonymous scientific reports that strongly suggest the pattern of a human brain can exist outside the space-time we’re physically stuck in. CERN researchers proved teleportation and out-of-universe physical connection in experiments reported in the late 90s in the science press and in Washington Post. I’ve heard Deepak Chopra is writing about quantum field/afterlife connection now but I saw it in the mid/late 90s here when CERN was doing breakthrough quantum field proofs. Here’s a very good book for starters: Evolution’s End by Joseph C. Pearce published way back in the 90s. Very few people have picked up on this rather obvious huge development in our understanding of the universe and what’s beyond it! Einstein called quantuum field theory “spooky” and wasted the last half of his life avoiding the the next level of science that he helped create. The equipment needed to prove those theories has only existed for a decade or so — thus this is very new and like I said, few people are clued in.

  • DG

    Ms Bloom, thank you so much for sharing your story. I am also shocked at the closed (I should say “slammed shut”) minds of people on all sides of this discussion. “There are more things in heaven and earth than are drempt of in” … most of our philosophies. To dismiss “possibility” is the worst of human flaws. I believe that God is not limited to communicating with us in only one way. He speaks science, He speaks nature, He speaks organized religion. He speaks whatever language we need to hear Him in. He spoke to you in a way that was meaningful to you. And I thank Him for that, and for convincing you to stick around a little while longer! Please don’t let the closed minded arrogant people on this post disturb you. Anyone who is so certain they “know the answer” probably dosn’t even know the question.

  • Herbert Incognito

    Ms. Bloom:Please forgive the pseudonym. I am replying because it appears you misunderstand the nature of cold reading. You don’t have to offer anything. The “medium” just offers and offers and it’s human nature to take what we want and forget the rest. To exist with the sort of suffering and misery, to the point of wishing for death, is something I am intimately familiar with. It’s natural to seek some way out of the muck without resorting to that most final of solutions. I do not mean to deny the validity or power of what you experienced when you visited the so-called “medium”. You felt what you felt. But the man who facilitated that was, consciously or otherwise, at his core, a fraud, peddling [false] hope to people in desperate situations. I have attempted suicide before, and waking up in the ICU not knowing where I am or what day it is, with the sound of my parents crying the first thing to reach my awareness is about the worst I’ve ever felt. For several days it wasn’t clear whether I’d survive or not. I still feel terrible, years later, for what I put them, the rest of my family, and all of my friends through. I don’t pretend to have an inkling of knowledge of what you’ve gone through with the tragic loss of your son. I know my own experience, though, and what might have been. Ultimately, though, it’s irresponsible of the Post to be giving free publicity to charlatans and frauds who pretend to be able to communicate with the dead, but who merely prey on human frailty and suffering with confidence tricks.

  • Russell Holloway

    Norrie Hoyt;I read many of the Oxford University inquiries into extra sensory perception from about 1900,and they were not at all conclusive.They are still available in some libraries.I’d like you to name one incident “that can have no possible explanation other than psychic contact between the living and the dead through the facilitation of a medium.” Just one.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry to tell you this but mediums are fakes. All of them, every single one. They’re cheats who prey on people who are week and have a talent only for making them feel better by lying to them.I’m glad you feel better but perhaps you should be rational and attribute it to what it is, you getting yourself back together. If you feel that a medium helped you do that then so be it but in reality it wasn’t because you had any contact with the dead, who are dead (there are no souls, etc.)

  • Duff

    Everybody, read my lips, I’m only going to say this once!Psychics are con artists!!! Got it!!!If you can’t understand that simple point, you deserve what you get in life.

  • Logic

    I’m sorry, a psychic you said? A psychic? What complete and utter bollocks. Honey, that psychic did an act called cold reading and you fell for it. Whether there is an afterlife or not, that psychic talked to NO ONE!I am sorry for your loss, but start thinking rationally. Next time, surround yourself with friends and family, not some swindling psychic who knows you are grieving and has no problem lying to you.

  • Danny B

    Great story! It reminds me of two personal visits I received from a friend many years ago, one in a dream-like state, and one fully conscious. There is no doubt in my mind that our spirit guides are with us and help us. All we have to do is ask.But my real reaction is to the person who said afterlife is against all the laws of physics. I doubt this person is a physicist! In fact, our bodies are a heap of matter brimming with energy, beyond that which is in the atoms contained in our bodies. The law of conservation of energy (among others) would suggest energy must go somewhere.

  • Bill

    Atheist science buff,I’m not sure what you mean by “out of universe physical connection”. And it’s very difficult to understand how quantum teleportation has anything to do with an afterlife. Also,there is no “science of the afterlife”.Science approaches the afterlife in a much more pragmatic and simple fashion – and there have been scientific examinations. All a medium has to do is communicate a fact that could only be reasonably obtained from a dead person. Simple. However, not so simple when the medium has to do this in the presence of someone well versed in their tricks. Someone who is a “psychic” and or magician themselves. I’ll repeat – if any of these people were in the least legit – they would have claimed Randi’s $$$ long ago. Why haven’t they? Anyone?When cold fusion came along – many people were immediately skeptical because it would overthrow laws of physics – but they still did experiments to make sure. Talking with the dead would overthrow all our physics, biology,and chemistry. It would actually be amazing that any science, including development of the computer you are typing on, actually worked since our knowledge would be so off base. But nevertheless experiments have been done – and serious well constructed ones have found nothing.Sure people can be convinced of anything – and if it helps them its fine. However, many others falling for mediums end up feeling cheated and swindled.

  • Dave

    I don’t know which is more dismaying; that someone educated enough to write something like this would go to a medium, or that so many people would respond to it in such an enthusiastic and affirmative way. “Logic” puts it best – “Complete and utter BULLOCKS.”

  • Dave

    I don’t know which is more dismaying; that someone educated enough to write something like this would go to a medium, or that so many people would respond to it in such an enthusiastic and affirmative way. “Logic” puts it best – “Complete and utter BULLOCKS.”Danny B – where the energy goes is into the worms and the daisies.

  • Dave

    I don’t know which is more dismaying; that someone educated enough to write something like this would go to a medium, or that so many people would respond to it in such an enthusiastic and affirmative way. “Logic” puts it best – “Complete and utter BULLOCKS.”Danny B – where the energy goes is into the worms and the daisies.

  • Fuji

    I don’t believe in psychics, but if it helped you find peace, and I want to write it off to a placebo effect, no matter. The important thing is that you feel better.

  • E favorite

    I’m fascinated by the responses here – mainly because I’ve never heard such a large, diverse group talking about mediums before. I imagine its something discussed rarely and in hushed tones. I’m learning a lot.As I mentioned in a previous post, mediums, like organized religion, are selling comfort. I see they’re also in some cases, selling major relief from trials that is not found elsewhere – and not for lack of looking. This woman walked into the medium feeling suicidal and walked out feeling good. I doubt that any other treatment would work more quickly and doubt that whatever the medium charged would be more than psychotherapy or medications. I think the phenomenon worth studying here is not mediums’ ability to contact the dead, but the origins of the therapeutic effect of perceived supernatural intervention.Like another contributor here, I once had a very lovely visit from a recently deceased friend. I assumed that it was my imagination at work. Sure felt good though, and luckily for me, the contact was free-of-charge.

  • Keith

    I’m so glad you found the solace you desperately needed.

  • Dapreena Stephens

    No disrespect but nothing can be done without God. I am not sure where you landed in all you have been through as far as religion but scratch the religions of the world and just let God. Justin’s death was awful I am sure but God could have gotten you to where you needed to be as well as strenghtened you for much more. What happens when you experience something else tragic, off to another medium. Mediums’ exist for those who won’t let God. God is infinite and will always exist and assist for us and within us if we just but let him. The medium that ‘heped’ you cannot do anything without the help and permission of God. So cut out the middle man.

  • irishjazz

    Comfort, however intellectually, scientifically or religiously valid, is still comforting. My sympathies to the grieving mother, suspicions toward the psychic, and bemused tolerance to all who believe this article, however touching, isn’t posted as controversy bait.

  • Chris Everett

    What happened to Mobedda’s original comment, which was the FIRST comment on this forum? Is this forum a sham? Mobedda hit the nail on the head by writing (and I parapharase):WHAT THE HECK?!!! ARE YOU NUTS?!!! THIS IS SICK!!!This comment goes right to the core of the issue. Georgianna, in her pain and ignorance, is being fleeced by con artists who are content to defile Georgianna’s memory of her dead son for profit. What could be more outrageous and infuriating? Who could be more in need of a dose of reality?Shame on the Washington Post for pandering to feelgood superstition at the expense of truth and reason. Shame again for censoring the public response to the article, thereby deliberately misrepresenting public opinion. Sick.

  • TAINT

    uhh ok crazypants.

  • Stax

    sucker

  • Sorry, Sally

    What a minute —- Didn’t the alleged Georgianna write that she didn’t give the medium any information beforehand?– Didn’t she say she met with the medium in New York?– Didn’t she say that she specifically sought out a medium to speak with her dead son, Justin Peterson?– Wasn’t the newspaper story about Justin Peterson’s death published in the New York Post?– Didn’t the newspaper story appear before her meeting with the medium?– Couldn’t that begin to explain how the medium would know things about Justin even though Georgianna claims she told the medium nothing?

  • R. M. BROWN

    There is so very much that we don’t understand and may never be capable of understanding in this life. I am a Christian, but have come to see the wisdom in being open-minded about spiritual things outside the realm of traditional Christianity. I participated in a “sitting” a nearly three years ago at which a person with psychic abilities was present. She told me some very interesting things for which she did not charge me a penny. Out of respect for the others who participated, I will not disclose any particulars, but I left realizing that there are indeed some people in this world who are more sensitive to the spirits of the deceased than we are. The business of mediums and psychics will always have its naysayers, but what about the fact that police forces have used pychics to track down missing persons and not without remarkable success?

  • Alex

    Mrs Bloom, my heartfelt condolences on the loss of your son Justin. I appreciate you sharing your story with us. While I believe the phony mediums far outnumber the real ones, true mediums and phychics do exist. I believe you have in fact communicated with Justin, and I’m happy you can now accept his passing, because you know there is another level of existence after this life, and that you will meet again there. Peace to you.

  • Chris Everett

    Atheist Science Buff:I am an athiest scientist (physicist). I’m afraid your conception of science, and specifically of modern physics, is misguided. There are no studies that suggest anything about brain patterns being able to exist “outside the space-time”. You write that the reports are anonymous. That should be a clue. Science is the most public of activities; mystery is prohibited from the explanatory framework (although nature itself is inexorably mysterious). It sure sounds cool to say “CERN”, but the experiments you refer to don’t exist and there’s no such known thing as “out-of-universe physical connection.” The closest thing I can think of are some French experiments that were able to “transmit” a quantum state from one photon to another physically separated but entangled photon. I put the word “transmit” in quotes because the intrinsic randomness of the process prevents actual information from being communicated.It’s common for people to spout scientific terminology in the service of their wacky beliefs and/or economic interests, knowing that public scientific literacy is sufficiently poor that people will be razzle-dazzled by all the quantum space-time electrodynamic muon quark string theory black hole event horizon mumbo-jumbo. You mention Deepak Chopra. I have read some of his books. He is a crank (that’s the physics verion of quack). I think he may also be an M.D., which would make him a quack as well. Interstingly, my mother was a neighbor of his at one point, and the neighborhood consensus was that he is a nasty man. Alot like the mediums being discussed here. Go figure.

  • J L

    To Sorry Sally — Didn’t the alleged Georgianna write that she didn’t give the medium any information beforehand?– Didn’t she say she met with the medium in New York?J L – Yes.– Didn’t she say that she specifically sought out a medium to speak with her dead son, Justin Peterson?J L – No. I was the one who contacted the medium. I didn’t even give Gigi’s name to the medium. — Wasn’t the newspaper story about Justin Peterson’s death published in the New York Post?J L – Yes. — Didn’t the newspaper story appear before her meeting with the medium?J L – Yes. — Couldn’t that begin to explain how the medium would know things about Justin even though Georgianna claims she told the medium nothing?J L – Sorry, Sorry Sally. Even if you look at all angles, the medium didn’t know anything but my first name. And I can’t be Googled. I was with Gigi when she had her reading. And the whole session was recorded on tape.

  • J L

    To Sorry, Sally.One more thing – when I contacted the medium, all I told him was that I’m making an appointment on behalf of my friend (not even mentioning Gigi’s name). The medium learned of her name, Gigi (without the last name) about 40 mins before the reading.I’m Justin’s friend.Peace and God bless you.

  • J L

    To Sorry, Sally.One more thing – when I contacted the medium, all I told him was that I’m making an appointment on behalf of my friend (not even mentioning Gigi’s name). The medium learned of her name, Gigi (without the last name) about 40 mins before the reading.I’m Justin’s friend.Peace and God bless you.

  • Chris Everett

    A lesson in scientific skepticism:Let’s say that someone comes to you and says “X is true.” A good scientific skeptic runs through the following train of logic (or something similar):1. Is “X is true” a scientific proposition? In other words, is it possible in principle to construct a study or experiment that would produce objective evidence that would compel a belief that “X is true”. As an example, consider the proposition “astrology is true.” This proposition could be tested by, say, looking for correlations between personalities and birthdays. In fact, this and many other studies have been done, and no objective evidence has ever been found in favor of astrology.2. If “X is true” is a scientific proposition, what is the evidence? By evidence, I mean objective data based on the standards of scientific investigation (reproducable, peer-reviewed, controlled, etc.) I also mean that the sum total of the LITERATURE on the topic must be compelling; not just one study out of hundreds that has been cherry picked because it suggests support for X is true. An example of fraudulent evidence can be found in the ESP literature, where randomness produces variations around the mean that are cherry picked and falsely asserted to be real effects.3. If “X is true” is scientific but currently unsupported by evidence, are its proponents working to establish it scientifically? If they are, then the proponents are likely to be credible people regardless of the truth of X. This is the case for string theory, for which no compelling evidence exists but its proponents are discovering ways that one day might establish it as scientific fact.3. If the proponents of “X is true” are NOT trying to establish it as scientific fact, why not? If you get to this question, you are already at the point where “X is true” is most likely mere superstition. Often, proponents will tell stories of scientific conspiracies to bury the “TRUTH”, preventing “cutting-edge” researchers from getting funded or published in peer-reviewed journals. This is bunk. Science has tensions between orthodoxy and fringe, but when you consider all the bizzare ideas that are now mainstream science (e.g. quantum mechanics, relativity), it’s clear that science is open to new information.4. Is the proponent of “X is true” depending on anecdotal evidence? If so, then the level of credibility of the proposition is the same as the level of credibility of every proposition that is supported solely by anectodal evidence. This includes all religions, all occult phenomena, UFOs, alein abductions, etc. An unbiased person would have to either accept all as true or all as fantasy. If you accept all as true then you are up against the fact that they are largely mutually contradictory, which means that your conception of reality is incoherent, which is grounds for rejection of the hypothesis that all are true, which means that they can only be considered as fantasies.5. Does the proponent of “X is true” explain it using a logically and mathematically well-defined model (e.g. the Copernican model of the solar system, the equations of Relativity, the Standard Model of particle physics), or do they “explain” by analogy? If they explain by analogy then they don’t actually know what it means to understand something. Analogies are useful for illustrating principles, but that’s all. Using analogy as explanation is a form of bait-and-switch, where the proponent says “X is true”, then tells you a moving story about Y that builds your trust in the proponent to the point that you simply spot him the fact that X is true despite the lack of any real explanation.

  • Mr Mark

    For the author and her friend to assert that the medium that they met with knew nothing at all about Georginna and Justin before their meeting is to misunderstand how mediums work and to underestimate their tricks and penchant for mendacity. Any decent sleight-of-hand artist performs what appears to be “magic” right out in the open before the eyes of his marks. That’s the whole point – if the marks knew how SIMPLE the actual deception was, they wouldn’t fall for it.In the case of mediums and cold reading, the mark is hardly aware of the amount of information they are giving to the medium. The medium need only draw a few pertinent bits of info from the mark to get them started on the full deception. From the second you meet the medium they are working you for info. The better they are the less you feel that they’re working you. Just because you don’t realize you’re being manipulated doesn’t mean you aren’t being manipulated. Is that so hard to understand?Mediums are charlatans. I am amazed by the people who rush to the defense of these con men based on their belief that the medium provided some level of comfort to their victim. Well, Freud had great initial success with his patients by loading them up with the wonder drug cocaine. It was only after a few months on the drug that the down side of the supposed cure made itself apparent. Within a short period of time, Freud himself was a cocaine addict and his wonder drug was fully discredited as a cure.Were Ms Bloom touting cocaine as the agent that eased her pain I doubt that any one here would be waving the “whatever works for ya” defense. Yet here we are, with numerous posters defended con artists whose tricks are no more real nor elaborate than the old cups-n-balls routine of the street magician.Stop and think for a minute. Go out and rent a few episodes of Penn & Teller’s Bull*hit TV series and you’ll learn all you need to know about the wonders and magic of mediums and their ilk. It’s no mystery. That is, if you really want to know the truth.

  • Chris Everett

    Raul Walters,Your seem to have posted your comment as a superposition of comment posts! (I couldn’t resist). Your basic understanding of quantum mechanics is correct, but when you mention “quantum consciousness” you are getting into pseudoscience. Also, there is no connection between the many worlds theory of Hugh Everett (not Everest, I should know) and speculation about black hole connections to other universes (which really isn’t science). It’s true that the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics requires measurement and observation, which are associated with consciousness, to collapse the wavefunction, but at the same time the many worlds theory does’t involve a collapse, and decoherence doesn’t require consciousness. As things stand there is really no first-principles scientific foundation for consciousness whatsoever. It is still a mystery. Only neuroscience really has anything to say about it, and even then its only able to produce maps between brain and mind, with no explanation of why we EXPERIENCE consciousness. It’s a disturbing shame that science is being coopted by superstition in the popular imagination. Although science has produced nearly all of the seemingly miraculous progress of mankind, and it stimulates the imagination to profound heights of speculation, it’s important to keep in mind the science is ultimately a very, very conservative field with the highest standard of proof of any endeavor (except logic and mathematics). Keep in mind the history of science, and realize that at every point in time there have been ideas at the “cutting edge” of science, most of which are ultimately proven wrong (e.g. the four elements of air, earth, fire and water; astrology; geocentric solar system; chemically-fueled sun; luminous ether; the humours; the “plum-pudding” atomic model; Newtonion space-time; the wave nature of light; the particle nature of light (those last two were kind of a joke); the eternal non-expanding universe; the solitary milky-way galaxy; mirror symmetry; rejection of plate tectonics; unhealthy “night air”; canals on Mars).

  • Chris Everett

    Mr. Mark,Touche. Or more accurately, toupe! The toupe fallacy to be exact. The toupe fallacy is a logical fallacy that is exemplified by one who might say “I can always spot a toupe.” He says this because when he DOES spot a toupe he is able to say “I spot a toupe!” But he has no idea how many toupes he ISN’T spotting.It’s the same with mediums and other con artists. We have all experienced someone trying to pull a fast one on us, and that reinforces the belief that we can always spot a fast one. But like a good toupe, we have no idea when we are being sucessfully fooled.

  • Sorry, Sally

    I have this response:Release the tapes!We are given a less-than-two-minute “excerpt” from the session with the medium.I am surprised by what little comment there has been about the contents of this clip.We don’t hear anything but the voice of the medium saying things — “he was liberal and conservative, at the same time” and “he wants to no be remembered for the way he died” — that would apply to every person who has ever lived.People on this forum, claiming to have actual knowledge of these events profess that the reading was filled with impossible insights.Then, release the tape, in its entirety. Also, post a transcript in which to note where the medium has said things he couldn’t possibly know. Document those points to show that they are true. Also, provide an affadavit from the medium saying that he had no knowledge before the meeting of any of this.I know it sounds like I’m a skeptical scientist. But I need the tape, transcript and affadavit in order to have faith in this.Release the tape!

  • Also

    Link:

  • E favorite

    Here’s my 2nd hand psychic story: A grieving widow, non-religious and highly educated, made one visit to a psychic who told her that her deceased husband was doing well, in the company of his long-deceased mother and aunt, both of whom she named. The widow knew the name of the mother was right and learned later that the aunt’s name was accurate too. The psychic then told her that her husband wanted her to “fulfill her life” – words the husband had used on his death bed. This brought the widow comfort. She’s since remarried and leads a happy, rational, psychic-free life.I don’t think the psychic actually contacted the husband. I also don’t see that in this case, any harm was done, though I think ongoing contact would have been harmful and costly. However, legitimate psychotherapists can also do harm, for instance, by keeping people in fruitless therapy and giving them addicting drugs. Religion can do harm by attaching a whole sin/guilt component to the afterlife. In short, I think psychics can be no worse than conventional bad medical treatment and religion, and are better in some cases, because the “treatment” is brief and effective. Another benefit – No threats of eternal damnation if you stop believing in psychics once your trauma has passed.

  • Sorry, Sally

    But if I get bad medical treatment, I can sue. I can complain to the medical board and threaten the person’s license.With the medium, if he gets it right, he’s a genius. If he gets it wrong, the “atmosphere” is not right and the spirits aren’t talking.Basically, a medium is someone who presents himself as person who can do no wrong.That’s not religion. That’s not science.

  • Georgianna Bloom

    I also believe in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Children have a sense of these things, and you can tell what is true by listening to them. You cannot prove to me they do not exist!Tomorrow, I plan to start believing in the Flying Spagetti Monster!

  • arrabbiato

    Sally, you told the story this way:”A week later, in mid July, Justin was dead. At 2:30 one Saturday afternoon, he went out on the ledge of his apartment to have a cigarette, lost his balance and fell six stories to his death. “But that wasn’t the reality of the situation, was it? Certainly not as told by the two who were with him in the apt. and his roommate. Did you not know or bother to read any news stories about his death? Why did you write the above concerning the manner of Justin’s death? Is it because you were told that by his mother? Did you not think people would wonder if there was more to the story than that? Either you were being deceptive, or extremely naive, Sally. Either way it doesn’t say much for either you, or the Post’s journalism standards. You had an obligation before running this column to check out such factual issues before writing.

  • Mr Mark

    Dear Norrie -Thanks for the post on Leonore Piper. I leave it to someone with more time than me to debunk it, but I’m always skeptical of articles that use phrases like “closed-minded skeptics,” “the facts about Mrs. Piper are not in dispute” and “history records this most exciting victory of genuine, psychic mediumship communicating with intelligences from the afterlife,” while making sweeping generalizations the norm in painting critics of Piper (“Some of the most eminent scientists and scholars after scientifically investigating Mrs. Piper’s mediumship unanimously agreed in absolute, unqualified terms that Mrs. Piper, had proved the existence of the afterlife.”and “Mrs. Piper, the brilliant gifted American medium repeatedly won other battles against closed-minded, many times dishonest negative skeptics.”) Notice how Piper is “gifted” and “brilliant” while her detractors are “close minded” “dishonest” and “negative skeptics.” Now, THERE’S a fair and balanced assessment!Ms Piper’s defenders seem to use the same defenses that are used to defend the clairvoyance of the very well-known Edgar Cayce. Perhaps a few words from his detractors are in order here:Controversy and criticismSkeptics of Cayce’s purported powers point out that all of the evidence for Cayce comes in the form of anecdotes and testimonials from true believers, none of which is considered scientifically rigorous. They are also critical of Cayce’s support for various forms of alternative medicine, which are now regarded by skeptics as quackery.(Source: I wonder how Ms Piper would hold up to today’s scientific testing?Just a thought, Norrie: is there documented evidence of the times Piper was wrong, or are we to believe she was right 100% of the time?

  • Norrie Hoyt

    TO ALL THE SCEPTICS ON THIS THREAD:Did you know:That parapsychological researchers call you guys “goats”?That if you took a test of your own paranormal powers, such as telekinesis, that you would score so low that your score could NOT have occurred by chance?And that this means you were in fact usuing your own paranormal powers to sabotage your results, because you don’t believe in the paranormal?PLEASE READ THIS:The Sheep – Goat EffectA number of different psychodynamics could conceivably lead to psi missing, but one of the most solidly established is quite simple: belief. In 1942, Gertrude Schmeidler, professor of psychology at City University of New York, set up a questionnaire to explore students’ beliefs about psi. She used the term “sheep” to refer to those who were confident about the reality of psi and “goats” for those who doubted its existence or its pertinence in the context of the test. After the questionnaire, she gave the students a classic psi test with ESP cards in which they tried to guess sequences of target- cards. Then Schmeidler compared the results of the psi test and those of the questionnaire.The remarkable conclusion was that the “sheep” had a significant deviation above chance, while “goats” were significantly below it.This difference between believers and disbelievers, known as the “sheep-goat effect,” has been confirmed by many other researchers. A meta-analysis by Lawrence (1992), covering 73 experiments by 37 different researchers, clearly confirms that subjects who believe in psi obtain, on the average, higher results than those who do not believe in it. We all tend to select information which confirms our beliefs and avoid that which seems not to fit with them. Selective perception undoubtedly plays a role in our interpretation of apparently paranormal experiences. Skeptics are justified in stating that those who believe firmly in psi will tend to see its occurrence everywhere, even to the point of confusing their own interpretations with the actual events.On the other hand, disbelievers will also tend toward the complementary fallacy, always finding some so-called “rational” explanation for a psi experience, even when it happens to them.But the sheep-goat effect suggests that the differences run deeper than mere interpretation: one’s attitudes toward psi affects the likelihood that such phenomena will occur in the first place. The more an individual harbors a reductionistic view of the world, the less chance such phenomena will emerge (let alone be witnessed by them); the more one is interested in interconnectedness, and open to psi experiences, the more likely the world will “respond” by creating such experiences. **************************************************Want to change your minds?

  • Norrie Hoyt

    Walk The Line and Mr. Mark,Vicktor Zammit may well be a crackpot and a nutjob.But what he wrote about the investigations of Mrs. Piper, shorn of his emotive and tendentious language, can be found in any number of perfectly accurate articles.I only posted his writing because it was the best concise summary of Mrs. Piper I could quickly find on the internet.Regards.

  • Walk The Line

    “That if you took a test of your own paranormal powers, such as telekinesis, that you would score so low that your score could NOT have occurred by chance?And that this means you were in fact usuing your own paranormal powers to sabotage your results, because you don’t believe in the paranormal?”So the fact that people do not have telekinetic powers proves that we do have telekinetic powers.Brilliant. Simply Brilliant.Perhaps you want to re-think your circular reasoning?

  • Anonymous

    Raul:I found your post to be quite interesting, although I don’t agree with your conclusion about “mediums” because they have been demonstrably proven time and again as charletans vis a vis the cold reading.However, isn’t it true that the only way to explain the universe through quantum mechanics is through a computer simulation? That there is in fact, hard scientific evidence that our universe, and everything in it, is really a computer simulation that is being directed by some post-human civilization? I’m very interested in this, because I have a creepy feeling that the computer simulation theory is the only way TO explain how our world-I don’t know WHY I think that, but I do. It rings true to me.

  • Chris Everett

    The utter cartoonishness of Norrie Hoyt’s post is a clue to its absurdity. It’s funny how the existence of the afterlife isn’t scientifically accepted today, given that it’t been “unanimously agreed in absolute, unqualified terms” by some of “the most distinguished scientists this world has ever seen.”I guess that if “even the second most skeptical member of the Society for Psychical Research” conceded the existence of the afterlife then it must be true. Unfortunately, I went to the SPR’s website. They’re a bunch of loonies. Their publications include “ADVENTURES IN THE SUPERNORMAL”, “SPIRT MESSENGER” and “DIMENSIONS OF ENCHANTMENT: THE MYSTERY OF UFO ABDUCTIONS CLOSE ENCOUNTERS AND ALIENS”. I guess they really are the worlds greatest scientists. I mean scientologists. Or maybe proctologists. Or maybe just bums.

  • Mr Mark

    Anon writes:”I have a creepy feeling that the computer simulation theory is the only way TO explain how our world-I don’t know WHY I think that, but I do. It rings true to me.”First off, Anonymous, you need to come up with a moniker for yourself. On to your question, which I’ll answer with a question:Would you have been able to believe that our world/reality was all a computer simulation…if we hadn’t invented computers? Think about it. It’s a theory that is sprung from our technological advancement. We as humans seem predisposed to distrust any advancements made with our own minds. We believe that there must be a dark side to every silver lining.Religion promotes such thinking, ie: God v Devil. Both came from heaven. One is good, one is bad. Religion continues to distrust science – how could it be good if it came from the mind of man, rather than god? In America, the Republics have won election after election by fostering a distrust of the intellect (see Stevenson, Adlai, Gore, Al etc). It follows that – horrors! – life might all be a computer simulation!Computers are just the latest technology. In the past, the cutting edge of information storage was books, so god wrote down the good and bad in his “book.” Had the Bible been written in the last 20 years, god would be storing his info on an “infinite hard drive” (sidebar: back in the mid-1990s, who could conceive of a harddrive that held over a gig of memory? Today, you get a 160G HD for less than a trip to Disneyland).I wouldn’t worry about the computer simulation thingy if i were you. I’m pretty sure that reality is actually a form of the technological breakthrough that is TWO steps down the road…whatever that is. 🙂

  • Norrie Hoyt

    Walk The Line,In your latest post you are simply ignoring and misrepresenting the science and statistics of the sheep/goat experiments.If a person simply lacked psi, his guessing score would be close to the normal probability of getting right and wrong answers.TELEKINESIS EXAMPLE: Toss a coin 100 times and try to make heads always come up. If heads comes up 52 or 48 times, that’s simply chance – you don’t have telekinetic powers.If, on the other hand, heads comes up, say, 90 times, or 10 times, that’s so far out from normal probability that IT COULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED BY CHANCE!The science of probability can tell us the exact probability of getting a particular anomalous result. The probability of getting 10 or 90 heads in 100 tosses is undoubtedly one in millions or billions.Since that result could not have happened by chance, it means that the result was caused by some variable, in this case telekinetic powers.You goats use your telekenetic powers to achieve extraordinarily (impossibly) low scores because you actively disbelieve in telekinesis.Sheep use the same telekinetic power to achieve high score.Regards.

  • Norrie Hoyt

    Mr. Mark, Walk The Line, and Chris Everett,There’s a good book on Mrs. Piper and the psychic investigations we discussed earlier:GHOST HUNTERS: WILLIAM JAMES AND THE SEARCH FOR SCIENTIFIC PROOF OF LIFE AFTER DEATH, by Deborah Blum (2006).PUBLISHERS WEEKLY reviewed it:From Publisher’s WeeklyStarred Review. In a compelling tale with resonance for today, Blum evokes a surprising sympathy for her band of tough-minded intellectuals—among them philosophers, psychologists, even two future Nobelists—who, around the turn of the 20th century, pursued the paranormal in an attempt to bridge the gap between faith and science at a time when religion was besieged by the theory of evolution and a new scientific outlook.Foremost in the Society for Psychical Research in America was the brilliant philosopher and psychologist William James, who like the others, risked his reputation in this unorthodox pursuit.Blum unearths the history of their research, their passionate friendships and debates, as well as their private doubts about the meaning of their work.Much of the society’s efforts were devoted to exposing charlatans, but even the most dogged of the members, Richard Hodgson, was baffled by Boston’s Leonora Piper, a reluctant medium of rare gifts.As Hodgson obsessively studies this medium, the story grows weirder and weirder, but Blum, who was nominated for an L.A. Times Book Award for Love at Goon Park, tells it straight, never overdramatizing the strange events.She achieves deep poignancy at moments that in less gifted hands could have seemed most laughable. The result is a moving portrait of a fascinating group of people and a first-rate slice of cultural history.

  • Bob S.

    Ummm… So the strongest evidence for the paranormal is one competent medium a century ago and a sixty-five year old symbol identification exercise?

  • Chris Everett

    To Anon,One of the most important characteristics of a scientific worldview is that it be fully integrated, by which I mean that its implications must be pursued and found to be consistent with the assumptions underlying the original worldview. Take your universe-as-computer-simulation hypothesis. You postulate a meta-universe within which computers are being run which produce this universe as a simulation of which you are a conscious part. Presumably, for you, the existence of the universe now has an explanation (it’s a computer simulation) whereas before it didn’t (if not a simulation, than what?). However, you now have the burden of explaning the meta-universe containing the meta-computer, and presumably the creatures who invented it, built it and programmed it (creating your self-awareness in the process). Do you really think that this hypothetical meta-universe populated by meta-creatures, meta-computers and meta-programs is easier to explain than the perceived universe of your senses? I think not. By your type of reasoning, the best explanation would be that the meta-universe was itself a simulation in a meta-meta-universe.Science is a fundamentally humble activity. The most important scientific discoveries that we make are of the form “I don’t know”. Scientists live with the wisdom that if you can’t explain it, you can’t explain it (at least not yet). It’s the “yet” part that makes science so fun. The need to have everything make sense NOW, to grasp at the most appealing stories as a substitue for scientific explanations that don’t exist (YET!), it to short-circuit understanding and step through the gates of superstition, beyond which reason is utterly lost. I say “utterly” because as I indicated at the beginning of this comment, a scientific worldview must be INTEGRATED. Even a modicum of superstition, however seemingly benign, precludes the possibility of an integrated worldview. It’s like building a skyscraper where one of the load-bearing beams is made of balsa. (Note: readers of my previous post commenting on the analogies will see that I’m using one here; not as an explanation but as an illustration.)P.S. Kudos to Mr. Mark. His posts are eloquent and on the mark. Maybe that’s the root of his moniker.

  • Walk The Line

    “TELEKINESIS EXAMPLE: Toss a coin 100 times and try to make heads always come up. If heads comes up 52 or 48 times, that’s simply chance – you don’t have telekinetic powers.If, on the other hand, heads comes up, say, 90 times, or 10 times, that’s so far out from normal probability that IT COULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED BY CHANCE!The science of probability can tell us the exact probability of getting a particular anomalous result. The probability of getting 10 or 90 heads in 100 tosses is undoubtedly one in millions or billions.”You’re joking, right?If you’re not, you have a very serious mis-understanding of probability statistics.

  • Chris Everett

    Norrie:Your latest post summed it up for me: “She achieves deep poignancy at moments that in less gifted hands could have seemed most laughable.” I guess my hands are less gifted.Why don’t you collect the $1,000,000.00 that Randi is offering you? I would.

  • Walk The Line

    Here is a slightly more skeptical review of Blum’s book, “Ghost Hunters – William James and the Hunt for Scientific Proof of Life After Death” by Joe Nickell:“Blum should have called this book Gullible Travels: Ghost Stories for the Faith-based Inquirer…In any case, I bought the book soon after it was published, hoping to read about how a great mind like that of William James was duped by the likes of Leonora Piper. I hoped for some sort of explanation of the gullibility of James and other eminent men regarding stories of spirits or telepathic communication. What was it about James that led him to accept such rubbish as that spirits might be communicating to the unconscious mind, expressed via automatic writing? How did he and so many other eminent scientists allow themselves to be duped? Why do most scientists reject spiritualism as superstition? My hope for answers to these questions was dashed because these were not questions Blum would ask.”For the whole review, please see:

  • seattledodger

    norrie hoyt: “TELEKINESIS EXAMPLE: Toss a coin 100 times and try to make heads always come up. If heads comes up 52 or 48 times, that’s simply chance – you don’t have telekinetic powers.If, on the other hand, heads comes up, say, 90 times, or 10 times, that’s so far out from normal probability that IT COULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED BY CHANCE!”i swore i wasn’t going to get involved in this thread. it’s too down-market even for me.but this is just too bloody much.mr/ms hoyt. the laws of probablity do indeed allow for a toss of 90 heads and 10 tails. if you flip enough coins, it will happen. you almost never get 50/50 do you? and oddly enough, really smart folks have even researched the distribution of the various probablities.i SINCERELY hope no one is being taken in by this psudo-scientific mumbo jumbo.this entire episode is most deplorable. to essentially capitalize on the pain and vulnerability of someone in grief is truly noxious.the moderators/editors of this blog should be sanctioned by their employers for exposing a fragile person to a public debate and for providing a gratis advertising opportunity of frauds who will, no doubt, use this very effectivly to ensnare others.and as for the assertion that ‘no harm has been done’ — well, we’ll see. what happens the next time this poor woman wants to talk to her son? how much will THAT visit cost in money and in tears? what about the next time she loses a loved one? hope you moderators have good lawyers. or maybe i don’t.

  • seattledodger

    Norrie Hoyt: “You’re of course right, SD, they do allow for it, but please tell me the odds against getting 90 of either heads or tails. They’re astronomical. That result couldn’t have happened by chance, so a “paranormal” variable was at work.”this is madness, but in case the children aren’t in bed yet, we still have a teachable moment. at the beginning of your sentence you admit ‘You’re of course right, SD’ that the laws of probablity allow for a 90/10 split (in fact all but MANDATE a 90/10 split if you flip enough coins), but by the end of your sentence you say the ‘result couldn’t have happened by chance.’ which is it?let’s get to the bottom of this. events with long, long odds do indeed happen. 65 million years ago i’m sure the poor dinosaur looking up at the falling asteroid that was about to rock his world could equally well have asserted what you do: that the odds of a giant rock hitting while HE was alive were, well, astronomical (pardon the pun). he still got whacked. go figure.

  • Yikes

    Yikes, indeed.We’re down to coin flips?Here it is. The chance of a coin turning up heads or tails is 50:50.It’s 50:50 each time you do it.The idea that a succession of heads or tails would somehow influence future flips is wrong. This is known as the “gambler’s fallacy.”Each individual flip is 50:50, and has no relation to other flips. The odds of have 100 heads in 100 tries is not astromical.The odds are 50:50 each time you flipped the coin.Sheesh. Sally and Jon, weren’t we talking about religion or some such?

  • Anonymous

    “By your type of reasoning, the best explanation would be that the meta-universe was itself a simulation in a meta-meta-universe.”Chris, although a cogent response, it doesn’t get to the heart of the scientific analysis vis a vis what quantum mechanics has already demonstrated, that there is in fact a good probability of this universe as computer simulation, and one can’t discount the possibility that the post human civilization that was able to run this program could in fact itself also be a simulation.As far as creating conscious minds in computers, there are some scientists who believe we are but decades away, that the young children of today will be part of a world tomorrow with such beings in existence.Which leads me to believe that if we are simulated beings, we can ithen become other simulated beings by the post-human civiliation that created this ancestor simulation to begin with-in which case the ancient Vedic texts of the Hindus as well as Buddha, may not be too far off the mark-there are millions of worlds-that is a tenet of both Buddhism and Hinduism; reincarnation is accepted as part and parcel of life as we know it.I’ve much more to say on this theory-because I do think there is a VERY good chance that this universe is a computer simulation-I mean, in all the limitless dead space that is the universe, this tiny planet is the only one with conscious human life? If we are in fact the only “conscious being civilization” (and we have no proof that any other humanoid civilizations exist) then it seems more likely than ever that we ARE inhabitants of a simulation-cuts down on the band width to have only one ancestor simulation running.

  • Mr Mark

    Dear Norrie -I admit that I haven’t read Ms Blum’s book on Ghost Hunters, but I promise that I’ll get to it right after I finished the books I’m planning on reading that present the latest scientific studies on chupacabras, yetis, succubi and forest sprites.;)

  • Bob S.

    Yikes – C’mon now! The “Gambler’s Fallacy” refers to the mistaken belief that a run of heads makes heads less likely on the NEXT flip. Two consecutives runs of ten heads (a run of twenty) is, in fact, only a thosandth as likely as a single run of ten.The odds against a run of ninety consecutive tails or heads is 2 *(2^90), which is vastly improbable indeed, but hardly the same as impossible.

  • Norrie Hoyt

    SEATTLE DODGER,We’re going around in a circle semantically. I was using language commonly used by experimenters in interpreting their experiments when I said “It couldn’t have happened by chance.”A more precise statement would have been:”It could have happened by chance but the odds against its happening by chance are so great (millions or billions against) that it almost certainly didn’t, and some variable (paranormal ability) was undoubtedly at work here.”Consider the use of DNA in criminal trials. The prosecutor doesn’t say “The DNA found at the scene was the defendant’s”. Instead he says “The odds of this DNA’s being from someone other than the defendant is 1 in 100,000,000.” Would you convict on that probabalistic basis? Juries do.This quantum universe runs on probability. There is a finite probability of anything happening (the sun won’t rise tomorrow). But when the odds are huge against a happening’s resulting by chance, you have to assume that some variable is causing the result. Almost all scientific experiments are intepreted on this basis.The odds of the goats in sheep-goat paranormal experiments getting their very low scores by chance is so small that you have to conclude that they were unconsciously using a negative paranormal power.

  • Mr Mark

    Norrie writes:”The odds of the goats in sheep-goat paranormal experiments getting their very low scores by chance is so small that you have to conclude that they were unconsciously using a negative paranormal power.”You “have to conclude?” What? ALL other possibilities have been eliminated? Isn’t it just as possible that “they” were unconsciously using a SUPER POSITIVE paranormal power, one so powerful that it attracted a super high number of negative paranormal…er…particles that gave a false reading?Honestly, some people just don’t get science…er…para-science…er…pseudo-science…

  • Norrie Hoyt

    Bob S.,What happened?! I agree with your last post to Yikes!It’s been 52 years since I last spent my time calculating these sorts of probabilities and I’ve forgotten how to do it – I only remember the generalities. So thanks for your calculation.As you say, nothing’s impossible. But if the odds are 20 trillion to 1 against it, I wouldn’t bet the farm on it, or, if it happened, think it happened by chance.Regards.

  • Norrie Hoyt

    Mr. Mark,I think you’d enjoy Ms. Blum’s book more than the one on succubi.Besides, aren’t you interested in William James? If you’re not, our frequent poster, Henry James, will be after you about his brother.Regards.

  • seattledodger

    Bob S: “The odds against a run of ninety consecutive tails or heads is 2 *(2^90), which is vastly improbable indeed, but hardly the same as impossible.”actually it’s not 90 in a row, but 90 out of 100 (or 9 out of 10, though the law of large numbers makes this a bit more complicated). and of course, there’s no ACTUAL EVIDENCE that anyone came anywhere close to these numbers in any reputable study. these folks are making stuff up. it’s desperation time.this is just getting silly.NH, you believe you can talk to dead people, but 9 heads out of 10 coin tosses is just ‘impossible’ is it? i’d call that a failure of imagination compounded by a complete misunderstanding of probability theory. anyway, i know when i’m in over my head. no way that mere reason can compete with this, so ciao kids. i’m due back on earth.

  • Russell Holloway

    Norrie Hoyt;

  • Norrie Hoyt

    Seattledodger,I never said I thought I could talk to dead people.I simply said that the sceptics here shouldn’t dissmiss that possibility out of hand.Then we discussed paranormal experiments and probasbilities.P.S.: Nine out of ten tosses coming up heads is not impossible (nothing is) nor even that improbable. But the low test scores of the goats are so improbable that it’s virtually certain that they didn’t happen by chance.Since you’ve left this thread, I’ll send my post to you telepathically. Please let me know at what time you receive it.It will help me in my calculations of paranormal parameters.Thanks & Best Wishes.

  • Norrie Hoyt

    Seattledodger,I never said I thought I could talk to dead people.I simply said that the sceptics here shouldn’t dissmiss that possibility out of hand.Then we discussed paranormal experiments and probasbilities.P.S.: Nine out of ten tosses coming up heads is not impossible (nothing is) nor even that improbable. But the low test scores of the goats are so improbable that it’s virtually certain that they didn’t happen by chance.Since you’ve left this thread, I’ll send my post to you telepathically. Please let me know at what time you receive it.It will help me in my calculations of paranormal parameters.Thanks & Best Wishes.

  • Chris Everett

    Here’s my last post.The probability of getting 90 heads from 100 tosses of a fair coin is: (1/2)^90*(1/2)^10*C(100,90)=1.37×10^(-17)This is an astronomically small number. The problem is, I don’t believe for a second that anyone has ever, or ever will, be able to produce a series of coin flips like this. Anyone who says that it’s been done in a scientifically legitimate way is a liar.

  • TurboCramb

    The probability of tossing 90% heads is slim, however this is absolutely worthless in this discussion. NO PARAPSYCHOLOGIST HAS EVER GOTTEN 90% RESULTS, whether positive OR negative.In the real world, people looking for psychic effects report numbers which are outside of calculated statistical significance by the smallest of fractions. The larger the sample size and the more rigidly controlled the study, the smaller the resulting “effect.”The sole reason for the idea of “psi-missing” is to double the number of “significant” results the parapsychologists can publish.

  • TURBOCRAMB

    Think about this Georgianna, “the spirits” are telling me that your son had an experience with one of your dogs in DECEMBER. He’s telling me clearly that it is DECEMBER.I am also seeing a woman knitting something for your son.A man with a name that starts with an “R” is in the room. He is acting fatherly towards your son.If any or all of those ring a bell, then you can see exactly what your “medium” did.

  • Mr Mark

    Giorgianna -The German Shepherd is the third most-popular dog in the United States and has been for years.This is how mediums work – they pick something obvious that there’s a good chance you’ve had an experience with and you then fill in the blank. Your story is an example of this. It is what cold reading is all about.My family owned a dog once, not a German Shepherd. But off the top of my head I can think of at least three of my friends who owned German Shepherds, and my grandmother owned one that died when I was about 8 years old. Had your medium asked me about a German Shepherd I could have easily filled in the blanks for him.BTW – the most popular breed of dog in the USA are #1 Labrador retrievers and, #2 Golden retrievers. I have to ask: did those two breeds happen to come up during your reading?Then, there’s the subject of beer. Now, THERE’S are rare drink in this country, especially among 20-somethings. And whoever heard of the saying, “put it on my tab?” Yes, anyone who drinks beer and uses the *obscure* phrase “put it on my tab” may as well be reciting lines from Aristophanes’ “The Frogs.”The medium went with something obvious and you fell for it as would many people whose emotions are raw and are grasping at something, anything to ease their suffering.There are no spirits involved here. Just a crafty charlatan and a grieving mother being fed a line of bull.

  • Norrie Hoyt

    Turbocramb and Mr. Mark,I’m afraid you two “goats” (and all the other “goats” on this thread) are butting your heads fruitlessly against a reality you won’t let yourselves see.Please consider this:Mock On, Mock On, Voltaire, RousseauThe Atoms of DemocritusWilliam Blake

  • Bill

    If Glenn is such a great psychic, then he should claim the Randi prize, become famous, and we can all happily converse with our dead loved ones. He’ll never do this though, because he’s a fake who knows he’d be exposed in a minute.

  • Mr Mark

    I think I owe the religionists at On Faith an apology. I thought they were deluded until I met the posters in this thread carrying water for the mediums. Unbelievable!

  • Mr Mark

    Dear Norrie -Please check the dictionary for the definition of the word “reality.” Then, get back to me.

  • Mr Mark

    Dear Georgianna -Of course, you’ve promised not to read this response, but I would mention that my attacks in this thread were directed at the person who is conning you, not at you personally.I don’t think I can say that about your attacks which have been directed at me and others for whom your reports of contacting the dead are all too familiar and all too easily seen for what they are, ie: con games.I am sorry for your loss and even sorrier that you have been taken in by this all-too common – and horribly mundane – flim-flam.Good luck to you.

  • seattledodger

    ms bloom, if you are still monitoring this blog (and i hope you aren’t; i think your instinct to leave is correct), please don’t take the skepticism of many of us personally. we don’t know you and have no real understanding of your pain or your experience, but we do mourn the loss of one so young and also the horrible pain you must feel.pop was a preacher and he spent a lot of his time visiting folks in the hospital and dealing with loss and suffering. he became a pretty good boot-strap psychologist and i watched him for half-a-century provide REAL comfort to those in need. made ’em laugh as well.those who leave us here behind depend upon us to keep them alive in our memories and in our hearts. meaning and purpose will follow from the way that you proceed and honor the memory of your late son. your life is as precious as his and now you must live for yourself AND for him as well. i hope you have some close friends and, since you seem to be a person of faith, i suggest you seek out a pastor or perhaps a church group that could provide you with some counsel.it’s your choice, but there are sound and healthy ways to deal with grief and loss. please take care of yourself and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  • E favorite

    Bottom line – I don’t feel psychics are any more “charlatans” than clergy. Like clergy, though what they’re selling isn’t factual, it can be comforting. Also like clergy, I suspect some psychics are terrible, some mediocre and others benign. A benefit of psychics is that they’re usually a one time thing — you don’t spend a life contributing to their business. Sort of like going on a one-time bender, but not being a regular drinker. Beats pledging to a church and subscribing to a whole set of supernatural beliefs and stories for which there is no evidence.I don’t condone psychics and I wouldn’t recommend one to a friend, but I don’t see them as an unmitigated evil, just a bit of comforting fantasy. Of course the situation you described with your mother was different. She was trying to feign happiness (“My husband is with God). Gigi was seeking comfort and closure (“My baby’s safe”).

  • Dog’s Best Friend

    To all of you attacking Gigi as well as the Psychic Medium. Everyone has the right to their opinion but I have this question for each of you. Do you truly know GOD or Jesus? By the posts I’ve read I tend to think some of you don’t know. Jesus did not preach the choir and tell people if you don’t believe in him you’re going to hell. He loved everyone as an equal to him without judgement. Dogs are amazing. They are non- judgemental. Only if people lived by the examples of dogs. It seems so many people have a constipation of ideas and a diarreah of the mouth. I think you all need to take a deeper look at the World you live in and the deep rooted issues you have inside of you or that has been instilled and drilled in to you. Look at the paparazzi who make a living off of hounding people like the late Princess Diana and many other celebrities making money especially off of a deceased person. Look at the Entertainment Industry(TV/Film/Music) that pollutes the minds of so many with shows like Jerry Springer or the idiotic reality shows that do nothing positive for society. This is what you pay a cable bill for? Do you speak out about it. I highly doubt it. Look at our Government who have sent our sons and daughters off to fight a war for what… Oil?So whether someone like Gigi went to a Clergy person, Therapist or Psychic Medium and got some comfort and healing that’s all that matters. Many Doctors are frauds. Did you know that they get kick backs from giving you prescription drugs? I bet you didn’t know that. To keeping people medicated on harmful drugs that eventually shut down major organs- what do you say to that? What gives a Doctor the right to tell a patient with Cancer that they have 30 days to live? Who are they to play GOD and decide someone’s fate? When you go to a house of worship, you will see the people who work there going up and down the aisle collecting money. Does the money go to mainting the house of worship or in someone’s hands? You have rising gas prices and yet people do nothing about it with the Government. You let the Government dictate to you when you are the tax payer and live in the USA.. land of the free. Wouldn’t you think its easier to exhibit love than to hate. Energy always comes back to you like a mirror reflection in either form and the latter tends to cause dis-ease in you. I can go on and on about this but I think I made my point clear.

  • Dog’s Best Friend

    To all of you attacking Gigi as well as the Psychic Medium. Everyone has the right to their opinion but I have this question for each of you. Do you truly know GOD or Jesus? By the posts I’ve read I tend to think some of you don’t know. Jesus did not preach the choir and tell people if you don’t believe in him you’re going to hell. He loved everyone as an equal to him without judgement. Dogs are amazing. They are non- judgemental. Only if people lived by the examples of dogs. It seems so many people have a constipation of ideas and a diarreah of the mouth. I think you all need to take a deeper look at the World you live in and the deep rooted issues you have inside of you or that has been instilled and drilled in to you. Look at the paparazzi who make a living off of hounding people like the late Princess Diana and many other celebrities making money especially off of a deceased person. Look at the Entertainment Industry(TV/Film/Music) that pollutes the minds of so many with shows like Jerry Springer or the idiotic reality shows that do nothing positive for society. This is what you pay a cable bill for? Do you speak out about it. I highly doubt it. Look at our Government who have sent our sons and daughters off to fight a war for what… Oil?So whether someone like Gigi went to a Clergy person, Therapist or Psychic Medium and got some comfort and healing that’s all that matters. Many Doctors are frauds. Did you know that they get kick backs from giving you prescription drugs? I bet you didn’t know that. To keeping people medicated on harmful drugs that eventually shut down major organs- what do you say to that? What gives a Doctor the right to tell a patient with Cancer that they have 30 days to live? Who are they to play GOD and decide someone’s fate? When you go to a house of worship, you will see the people who work there going up and down the aisle collecting money. Does the money go to mainting the house of worship or in someone’s hands? You have rising gas prices and yet people do nothing about it with the Government. You let the Government dictate to you when you are the tax payer and live in the USA.. land of the free. Wouldn’t you think its easier to exhibit love than to hate. Energy always comes back to you like a mirror reflection in either form and the latter tends to cause dis-ease in you. I can go on and on about this but I think I made my point clear.

  • Norrie Hoyt

    Mr. Mark,I wrote:”Turbocramb and Mr. Mark,”I’m afraid you two “goats” (and all the other “goats” on this thread) are butting your heads fruitlessly against a reality you won’t let yourselves see.”You then wrote:”Dear Norrie -“Please check the dictionary for the definition of the word “reality.” Then, get back to me.”Well, I’m back, and I don’t need a dictionary.”REALITY” is the total of things as they actually are.Note that I spoke of “A REALITY”, not “REALITY”.”A REALITY” is a small slice of REALITY, which is what you get when you look at reality through a particular prism, in this case the prism of “paranormal events”.It’s the reality of paranormal events that you are blind to.As per the Blake poem set out above, your sands of “rationality” have blown back into your eves and blinded you to the existence of the paranormal.Actually, of course, “the paranormal” is simply normal happenings that we can’t yet explain with today’s science.All good wishes to you.

  • Mr Mark

    DBF wrote:”Wouldn’t you think its easier to exhibit love than to hate.”Did you ever stop to think that those of us who point out the fraud of mediums are doing so out of something besides hate?BTW – thanks for the laundry list of bad people who populate our world, but you left out the mediums.

  • Mr Mark

    Dear Norrie -Your “A REALITY” is not a slice of reality, it is a slice of fantasy.It’s very difficult to hold an intelligent conversation with people who invent meanings for words that don’t exist. Your belief in paranormal things in no way qualifies such things as “a” reality.By your measure, Santa Claus and fairies are also “a reality.”

  • Walk the Line

    “Do yourself a favor and learn to read something thoroughly, and not see just what you want to see. You missed just about everything. You jumped onto the German shepherd thing like a rabid dog—it was the only decent point you could make—and you generalized about the beer, missing the beauty of what actually happened. You missed the uncle, the niece, and everything else…you remind me of a religios fanatic or something.”Religious fanatic? I read through Mr. Mark’s message several times and no where does it read like it was written by a religious fanatic. He calmly laid out his points, noting that the German Sheppard is one of the most popular breeds of dog in America, and that it is common for people in their 20’s to be associated with beer. None of the skeptics here are angry/mad with you. We all sympathize with the pain of losing someone very close to us. That is why it is all the more heartbreaking for us to see you waste money on a man who has no more contact with the deceased than you or I. “I’m done with this blog. If you respond, I won’t see it. I’ve had enough of you tunnel-visioned people. Sure there are fakes out there…but you can’t handle the truth…which is that some of the mediums are not fake.”I’m sorry you feel you must leave this blog. No one here is attacking or criticizing you. We’re attacking the psychics/mediums whom prey on grieving and vulnerable persons. However, if you feel that some psychics are real, perhaps you can convince them to take the James Randi challenge and win $1,000,000. Surely they would want the publicity and money that comes from establishing that the paranormal is real. “It would just kill you to wrap your mind around that possibility for one second, wouldn’t it?”It doesn’t kill me to consider the possibility that psychics could be real. In fact, I once believed they were. However, after research, and careful study, I came to realize that what psychics/mediums do is not distinguishable from cold reading. They throw out many guesses and rely on the person to supply the answers. After all, psychics do not give out the specific names of lost loved ones. They rely on techniques such as “I’m feeling that someone with a ‘Ja’ or a “Jay” sound is coming through. Such as a ‘Jared’ or ‘Jaime.’” Or they say “I’m seeing someone who is a grandmother figure coming through.” They don’t say “Your grandmother Jaime, who had a birthday on April 29, 1918, is coming through to me.” “Cowards.”I understand you are grieving, but that does not give you leave to resort to personal attacks.

  • Walk the Line

    Jozevz:Do you post anything that makes sense?

  • Norrie Hoyt

    For the “goats” (nonbelievers in parapsychology):Here’s another take on your beloved Randi:”…However, the bias of people like Randi and the organization ofThey are skeptical, because they are skeptical. That’s all. TheyThere is no scientific reason for it whatsoever. While theyThey might claim that there is no proof that psychic phenomenaLike any good evangelical, these skeptics like Randi and PsicopJust imagine what sort of world THAT would be! Hardly the boringly predictable, ultra-conservative, NewtonianIn conclusion , it’s vital not to be too credulous in examining aCopyright 2006 Asoka Selvarajah. All Rights Reserved.

  • Joe

    Norrie: while it is perfectly OK to simply invoke faith as support for anything (it is not for mortals to ever prove or disprove the existence of any subject of pure faith), it is not legitimate to fall for the circular babble you quote. “They can’t disprove it” is not a criticism of a scientist. Scientists can’t disprove anything the proponents of which can invoke a faith based response to any evidence of non existence (it’s so ephemeral that existint tests can’t detect it). Scientists can only rebut attempts at evidence based support for same by debunking same, which they have done for centuries. Believe what you will, but don’t do so because you think what you have read is persuasive or scientific. It is lousy logic and pathetic science – but salesmanship of the first order.

  • Joe

    Norrie: while it is perfectly OK to simply invoke faith as support for anything (it is not for mortals to ever prove or disprove the existence of any subject of pure faith), it is not legitimate to fall for the circular babble you quote. “They can’t disprove it” is not a criticism of a scientist. Scientists can’t disprove anything the proponents of which can invoke a faith based response to any evidence of non existence (it’s so ephemeral that existint tests can’t detect it). Scientists can only rebut attempts at evidence based support for same by debunking same, which they have done for centuries. Believe what you will, but don’t do so because you think what you have read is persuasive or scientific. It is lousy logic and pathetic science – but salesmanship of the first order.

  • Walk The Line

    “For the “goats” (nonbelievers in parapsychology):”Please refrain from personal attacks on those who do not share your beliefs.“Here’s another take on your beloved Randi:”I do not love Randi, please get your facts straight.”…However, the bias of people like Randi and the organization of skeptics that calls itself Psicop, is worrying for another reason. These are people who, while claiming to be scientists, are actually approaching the entire subject with a deepPerhaps the person who wrote this should learn to check their facts. It was not “Psicop” it was “Csicop” or “Committee for Skeptical Inquiry of Claims of the Paranormal.” Also, James Randi never claimed, as far as I’m aware, to be a scientist.“They are skeptical, because they are skeptical. That’s all. They are believers in “Disbelief”. It’s just the opposite end of the spectrum of Belief. That’s all.”They’re skeptical because they have been provided no evidence for the existence of the paranormal.“There is no scientific reason for it whatsoever. While they pretend to be scientific, their approach is more akin to a religious dogma; that of treating Science like a religion. It isAgain, the world of science, evidence is required for theories. There is no evidence for the existence of the paranormal.“They might claim that there is no proof that psychic phenomena exist. Yet, it can be stated with equal validity that there is no proof that they do NOT. That is a totally equivalent statement. As we have seen earlier, Science cannot PROVE a negative statement. It can only talk about probabilities and likelihood. And, as we have discussed, many psychic manifestations are intrinsically rare or fragile in their very essence.”Which is why in Randi’s challenge he tests people who make specific claims. Such as Glenn Klausner, who claims he can talk to the deceased.Also, are we to believe that Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, Leprchauns, and other beings exist without any evidence?“Like any good evangelical, these skeptics like Randi and Psicop have a hidden agenda in “proving” that the world functions the way they think it does. Frankly, a major motivation is FEAR. MoreI am not terrified of psychic powers because there is no evidence that such a thing exists. Also, just a reminder, it’s not “Psicop.”Hardly the boringly predictable,ltra-conservative, Newtonian “scientific” universe that these people inhabit. For them, it’s a possibility too terrible to contemplate.”Only a mind with limited imagination would consider the world we live in to be boring and without wonder.“In conclusion , it’s vital not to be too credulous in examining a psychic phenomenon, or in rushing to accept the claims of the”professional” investigators in this field. Nevertheless, we must also be extremely wary of the skeptics who, while pretending to be scientific, are often better viewed as ideological fanatics than even mediocre scientists.”In other words, you want to sound like you’re being somewhat skeptical to appeal to those who may have their doubts about psychic phenomena, but reject skeptics who demand evidence. That’s like trying to have your cake and eat it too.

  • Rebecca

    If anyone’s interested, I’ve created an analysis of the cold reading technique used by Glenn Klausner, based on the information Gigi provided about her session with him.It’s here:

  • Walk The Line

    Good write up Rebecca! Obviously it would be great if we had access to the full transcript of the tape, but you did a very good job with what was made available.

  • Mr Mark

    Rebecca -Thanks for deconstructing that cold reading. You show in good detail the way a “psychic” uses general statements to draw out specific information from their mark with the mark imagining the info came from the psychic.Georgianna took me to task for seizing on the German Shepherd issue in this reading. I did so because it was obvious and I didn’t have time to do an extensive review as did you. I think your analysis shows that the same deception used in the German Shepherd remarks is used throughout the process. As you point out, the medium stuck with the German Shepherd because he knew there was a high probability that the mark would have had some contact with a GS, and this particular mark filled in the blank, even though she had to think back decades in her past to do so.Now, if the medium had fixated on, say, an Otterhound (ie: the rarest breed found in the USA) and he had had an instant hit, that might give one pause. But it never works that way with mediums, does it?

  • Bill

    Rebecca,Nice job. Our country’s going down the tubes because we have a faith based foreign policy, faith based economic policy, faith based approach to medicine, etc. Just what we need is the Washington Post giving tacit approval to still more irrationality. I firmly expect the next subject to be dealt with in “On Faith” to be alien abductions.

  • E favorite

    Rebecca – Ditto Bill and Mr Mark. I bet a lot of people reading your deconstruction will get it. When people are just as open to the house of cards that religion is based on, we’ll be making some real progress.Maybe you could address that on your website? Maybe do a similar deconstruction with religious belief? The idea just came to me – in a flash – no details — but I bet you could fill them in.

  • Georgianna Bloom

    Dear Rebecca and Mr. Mark:I said I wouldn’t blog here anymore, but I had to look one more time. I’m glad I did.You said, Rebecca, that Glenn was just sort of schoozing me, or something, when he saw Justin taking a bow and accepting what looked like an Emmy award. The fact is, Justin had posthumously won the Best Director Award after one of his short films was shown at a prominent New York Film Festival in July. I had forgotten to mention that.Also, you say Glenn assumed my mother was dead, because I’m middle-aged. But, as I’ve said before, he had no idea she’d died when I was six–this is something no one ever assumes—and the image he got was perfect—the fly on the wall all my life.He had a lot of lucky hits, Rebecca. I’m sorry, but the tall thin guy smoking a lot with big ears—come on. That’s no generalization. And neither is the exactly yay-high child with the unusually spelled name.No, I don’t suppose they drink beer over there—but Justin was being humorous. I’ve read that generally, the spirits are. I’ve read that they say things like that just to show us who they are.As for Glenn not knowing Justin’s name or who he exactly is—mediums aren’t suppoed to. They’re not even really psychic. They simply see the spirits. You see people all the time…do you know their names or who they are???And to those of you who say I’m attacking—PUH–LEASE. It’s ONLY because I’VE been attacked so much, as “weak”, “naive”, crazed by grief, etc. If you’re going to dish it out, you’d better know how to take it.Gigi

  • Mr Mark

    Dear Giorgianna -I appreciate your staying in this discussion. I know it can be difficult. Set aside your personal situation, no one likes to be attacked for their views. Stick around here long enough, and like me, you’ll wear such attacks as a badge of honor.I can only speak for myself, but as a critic of mediums, I go by what I have learned of them in the past. Your experience – far from being unique – is the norm. In your case, it starts with your being predisposed to believe in an afterlife, a fact you reveal when you say you contemplated suicide because you “wanted to be with Justin.” Having two kids myself, I can’t quite comprehend a grief so overwhelming that I would contemplate suicide if I were to lose one of them, thereby abandoning the other, but that’s just me. But what I can say with some certainty is that I wouldn’t believe that my death would reunite me with that child in some afterlife. My feeling would be that my wife and surviving child had just had their grief compounded by another senseless and purposeless death.I believe this predisposition is an important factor in this experience for you, possibly THE factor driving your trip to the medium. You’re looking not only for confirmation that your son’s spirit lives on, but for confirmation of the afterlife at all. These are things that I can pick up from you on this blog. Is it any wonder a medium could pick up on this and use it to convince you he had some connection to the afterlife?As far as the always-smoking tall guy with big ears, that phrase perfectly describes BOTH of my grandfathers and could also describe my dad except that he wasn’t thin. BTW – older people often have ears that look “big” when compared to the proportions of their skulls. Hair loss alone can make ears appear to be over-sized. The medium’s description is perfectly suited to millions of older men who chain smoke, especially those who smoke as a weight-control habit.As far as you mother’s death: Rebecca hit this right on the nose. You’re just not seeing it. Go back and read her analysis. And, again, the “fly on the wall” statement is hardly unique. You’re the one reading the uniqueness of your situation into an extremely common concept.All things considered, the medium did his “job” – you walked away happy, believing something unique had happened to you, something so spiritual that you felt the urge to write about it on this blog. To the medium, he simply opened his usual bag of tricks, pointed you in a direction you already wished to go and let you fill in the blanks.Again, I wish you luck in dealing with this horrible event in your life.BTW – I hope you don’t consider that I’m “dishing out” anything here.

  • Anonymous

    James Randi challenged me for this million dollars in a TV interview & when I challenged him back he declined a session with me. And anyone who uses a verb such as “amazing” before their name isn’t so amazing!

  • Rebecca

    And this claim coming from “Anonymous” is worth…? Absolutely zero. Tell us who you are and what the challenge was and THEN we’ll have some basis for judging your claim.

  • Bob S.

    I don’t particularly worship Randi (although I really liked his book “The Mask of Nostradamus”) but I believe that the “Amazing” part of his moniker is merely a jab at the folks in the spirit/magic/occult business who DO sometimes use such appellations, as well as being a nod toward the fact that he’s a reasonably accomplished stage magician himself.

  • Bob S.

    Do you suppose it’s safe to assume that when “Anonymous” “challenged him [James Randi] back” that “Anonymous” was unable or unwilling to meet some one or more of the fairly clear conditions of the challenge rules?

  • Anonymous

    I told the reporter for a major news network to tell Mr. Randi that I would challenge him to a reading and to bring the attache case with the million dollars and the reporter who interviewed me spoke to him and said that “Amazing Randi” DECLINED my offer. Lastly, he’s in the same exact news segment I am in, with his million dollar offer and this is after the reporter mentioned my offer to him. He’s all talk and no action just looking for his 15 minutes of fame. You people need to write to him and ask him why everytime a psychic or medium is willing to do a reading for him, he declines yet continues this challenge like an informercial. I will say there are many people who claim to be psychics and Mediums and many of them There are so called “good” & “bad” by the terms we use as a society here on Earth in every aspect of life, careers, families so forth and so on not just pertaining to my work. Look outside of the box just as the comment from Dogs Best Friend wrote. I am thinking about Jesus and all the good works he did and people persecuted him calling his works blasphemous and since then people have come to accept him as “The Chosen One”. By the way, he was A Prophet, A Healer, A Rabbi & A Teacher. He was all about loving unconditionally without judgement and I do the same for those I work with. I in no way am comparing myself to Jesus but we all have Jesus in our hearts if we truly want him there and learn from him. In Light…

  • E favorite

    Georgianna – I can only assume the last few days have been a roller coaster for you – posting this essay, receiving kind support and harsh criticism – sometimes from the same person. It would make anyone vulnerable and you’re already vulnerable because of your son’s death.I’d like you to consider seeing a good psychotherapist – someone who specializes in grief issues. Get referrals from people you trust. Make sure the therapists are fully credentialed – it doesn’t matter if they are MD, Ph.D or MSW – as long as they’re experienced, credentialed licenced from the state and come highly recommended.

  • Rebecca

    Anonymous, if your “challenge” consisted solely of telling a reporter to tell Randi… well, no wonder he didn’t bother responding to you! Psychics wishing to accept Randi’s challenge must agree to be tested under precisely controlled conditions to insure there’s no possibility of cheating. Very few are willing to do so — but those who have agreed have all failed.

  • Kelly

    I think there are some assumptions being made here about how once the person in grief finds out the truth that there is no afterlife, they will be even further devastated – that it is merely delaying the grief. I disagree with that based on personal experience. In a way, it can be a “buffer” to help the person slowly accept the truth.I lost someone almost 2 years ago who was so special to me I felt I would never smile again. I wanted to lay down and simply die of a broken heart. I didn’t see the point to continuing on with life. To assauge my grief I read everything I could about the afterlife and I allowed myself to believe it. It was all that kept me going. OK so I knew that deep down I probably didn’t really believe it but as long as I could buy into it superficially and feel like I beleived it, it got me thru the day. However as we all know, time is a great natural healer. And so as time passes and I am learning to live without my boy (will never “get over” him), I am slowly able to accept my boy is truly gone. And at some point, started reading the “other side” of the view of afterlife – the skeptics view. Yes, some skeptics go too far and yes some are hypocritical – just like any other group of people. And some are busybodies who in my opinion go a little far in “protecting” the public and seem to forget adults have a right to their own choices. But they are also essential in uncovering the Sylvia Browne’s of this world and ensuring proper controls are in place for the psi experiments – or exposing when they are not.I also went to a “communicator” to contact my beloved. I felt they were rather accurate and some things were even a little startling. However after dissecting the session and putting a lot of thought into it, I contend it could have been pulled off by clever cold reading. But I do beleive the communicator truly felt they were making contact. And I have no regrets about the $100 I spent on it and would do it again in a similair situation.So yes I am coming back to where I am regaining logic and reasoning in my life. But I have no regrets about allowing myself to beleive differently for awhile. I truly believe it was the only way I could cope. I admit I am probably a weak person to have needed that, but for me using a temporary belief in the afterlife as a “band-aid” to be able to get thru the coming days helped. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

  • E favorite

    Thanks, Kelly, for posting that. It’s sort of how I feel. Logic isn’t the most effective immediate antidote to some extreme life situations.

  • Angela Faraguna

    Georgianna

  • Anonymous

    what a wonderful piece! and peace!i keep watching and waiting for my mother. i know one day, she’ll come to me. tell your boy, gina needs her mom. ;)thanks, and again, a wonderful piece.

  • Anonymous

    what a wonderful piece! and peace!i keep watching and waiting for my mother. i know one day, she’ll come to me. tell your boy, gina needs her mom. ;)thanks, and again, a wonderful piece.

  • Anonymous

    what a wonderful piece! and peace!i keep watching and waiting for my mother. i know one day, she’ll come to me. tell your boy, gina needs her mom. ;)thanks, and again, a wonderful piece.

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  • S. W.

    Dear Sally,In my commenting on the posts that I have viewed here, I don’t know where to begin! I am appalled at the unfeeling posts that I have read! I simply feel that I must write something here in defense of, and on the behalf of several of those who I know personally and believe to be, “reputable” Mediums. I also wish to say something in defense of and on the behalf of Gigi Bloom for whatever her reasons were for going to see the Medium she saw, and to speak a little about the outcome of that visit.And, I’ll write this now and immediately, Sally, in defense of you and on your behalf.In my reading of your article, Sally, and in “my” understanding of it—(similar to many human beings) your article was “filtered” through my own life’s experiences. And (my) judgments about it were made following (as with any given subject)–which, as such, in the end becomes “my perception” according to my “subjective” view (of it). And I want you to know, Sally, that…I felt that you neither endorsed, nor prohibited one’s “Free Will” choice of going to a Medium though you’ve certainly met your detractors and some seemingly angry accusers of doing so in this forum! I feel for you for the wrath, anger and what I view as sheer hostility thrown your way in more than a few of the posts (and I read them all!)! This not only has come your way, Sally, but also towards your friend Gigi who is obviously in pain over the loss of her son. My Gosh, I just have to say! No wonder Journalists in the “Real World” news seem afraid to write about subjects of this sort! God forbid a journalist from a reputable newspaper chooses to write an article about “ The Possibility of Life After Death” or “Are There Those Who Can and Do Indeed Communicate with the Deceased”, or “ People’s Faith and Belief in Spiritual or Paranormal Experiences”, etc, etc! Personally, I wouldn’t mind reading a few (more) articles with captions like those, but then, I am a spiritually curious type and perhaps a more “open” person to any concepts and thoughts that might challenge my understanding, beliefs, perceptions and even my fears. And, even though I may not agree with everything that is shared with me, that I might read, I’m sure in knowing myself that I am still capable of learning a thing or two about any given subject.What I am trying to get across here is that if there is one thing that I have learned in living my life (for lo these many years) on this crazy planet (and I won’t tell those reading this post how many years that is!), it is that I REALLY DON’T KNOW MUCH– in any “for certain” kind of way, about a myriad of subjects! With one exception, I know me! I know the person I am! My personality is such that a part of my behaviour towards other people is almost always empathetic and compassionate where other people’s feelings are concerned. Even if they are not so with me. It’s something that takes practice but is always a worthwhile endevor in trying to get good at! That does not mean that I do not have (my) opinions on things as a human being living on this great planet do. BUT, I don’t feel that my opinions, perceptions, and what I think should be agreed with by every other person to the degree that I push it on them. Everyone has free will! I am not the type to be force anyone to think like me, we’re all different and this is one of the things that make us a wonderful species! We have our own thoughts, likes, dislikes and opinions to share with eachother. And thoughts and opinons about things are likely to change as we learn, grow, and mature… there is really no reason to be pushy and arrogant in “how” we share our thoughts, feelings and opinions. Again, I reiterate; what I might think about any given subject (How I perceive it!) has the possibility of changing the more I learn! And wouldn’t at least some of you who posted such opinionated, mean spiritited, derogatory comments to Sally (and also to Gigi) about her choice to see a medium, and the things that were said about Mediums agree that my statement above might just possibly be applicable to you as well as you grow and learn? I viewed your article, Sally, as not only unbiased, non-judgemental, and from a journalistic perspective. But I feel that you also wrote from the perspective of a concerned and caring friend (of Gigi)! Someone you know well who went to the Medium specifically for the purpose, and in the hopes of gaining some sense of peace and comfort during the stages of grief that she and one can, and most certainly does, go through after losing a “loved one”. Especially a child. Don’t we all as humans feel the pain and grief in our loss of ANY of our loved ones! But most especially we grieve as parents for the loss of any of our children (To most mothers, no matter what the child’s age, they are still our “Baby”!) For goodness sake, all people share the feelings of grief and bereavement when they lose someone they loved! If we didn’t we wouldn’t be “Human”! I think that in discussing this from an intellectual point of view and also a scientific one (though I am not a Scientist myself), we most probably can agree, that as human beings we also share other human characteristics. Such as emotions and feelings. These characteristics of Human Behaviour (Feelings and emotions) are some of the things that we all share that makes us unique.And the ability to “feel” their pain– and to be empathetic and compassionate towards them and those who might be feeling the pain of loss– is what I think should have been shown to Gigi and Sally! Think what you want, but couldn’t you have been softer in your approach in sharing your thoughts and opinions? Maybe a little less threatening, less hostile words of sympathy for Gigi’s pain might have been considered no matter what she chose to do. Yes! Well, that’s my opinion. You may, of course, take it or leave it but at least I put it forth to you in a different manner than so many others here did not. I say, and it’s my opinion also, t SHAME ON YOU who weren’t thinking morer kindly for each of these ladies.As for Mediums, I’ve known spectacular mediums who shocked me with their accuracy. I’ve known some who didn’t at all validate any experience I’d ever had. I do not feel that all Mediums are bad, nor good, just simply better or worse as with any other profession. Thanks for reading! If you made it all the way through, I congratulate you. I hope maybe some learned something here and will reflect upon some of what I’ve shared. If you don’t or didn’t that’s your choice, I won’t be mad at you for it!God bless each of you! I have faith in you!

  • S. W.

    Dear Sally,In my commenting on the posts that I have viewed here, I don’t know where to begin! I am appalled at the unfeeling posts that I have read! I simply feel that I must write something here in defense of, and on the behalf of several of those who I know personally and believe to be, “reputable” Mediums. I also wish to say something in defense of and on the behalf of Gigi Bloom for whatever her reasons were for going to see the Medium she saw, and to speak a little about the outcome of that visit.And, I’ll write this now and immediately, Sally, in defense of you and on your behalf.In my reading of your article, Sally, and in “my” understanding of it—(similar to many human beings) your article was “filtered” through my own life’s experiences. And (my) judgments about it were made following (as with any given subject)–which, as such, in the end becomes “my perception” according to my “subjective” view (of it). And I want you to know, Sally, that…I felt that you neither endorsed, nor prohibited one’s “Free Will” choice of going to a Medium though you’ve certainly met your detractors and some seemingly angry accusers of doing so in this forum! I feel for you for the wrath, anger and what I view as sheer hostility thrown your way in more than a few of the posts (and I read them all!)! This not only has come your way, Sally, but also towards your friend Gigi who is obviously in pain over the loss of her son. My Gosh, I just have to say! No wonder Journalists in the “Real World” news seem afraid to write about subjects of this sort! God forbid a journalist from a reputable newspaper chooses to write an article about “ The Possibility of Life After Death” or “Are There Those Who Can and Do Indeed Communicate with the Deceased”, or “ People’s Faith and Belief in Spiritual or Paranormal Experiences”, etc, etc! Personally, I wouldn’t mind reading a few (more) articles with captions like those, but then, I am a spiritually curious type and perhaps a more “open” person to any concepts and thoughts that might challenge my understanding, beliefs, perceptions and even my fears. And, even though I may not agree with everything that is shared with me, that I might read, I’m sure in knowing myself that I am still capable of learning a thing or two about any given subject.What I am trying to get across here is that if there is one thing that I have learned in living my life (for lo these many years) on this crazy planet (and I won’t tell those reading this post how many years that is!), it is that I REALLY DON’T KNOW MUCH– in any “for certain” kind of way, about a myriad of subjects! With one exception, I know me! I know the person I am! My personality is such that a part of my behaviour towards other people is almost always empathetic and compassionate where other people’s feelings are concerned. Even if they are not so with me. It’s something that takes practice but is always a worthwhile endevor in trying to get good at! That does not mean that I do not have (my) opinions on things as a human being living on this great planet do. BUT, I don’t feel that my opinions, perceptions, and what I think should be agreed with by every other person to the degree that I push it on them. Everyone has free will! I am not the type to be force anyone to think like me, we’re all different and this is one of the things that make us a wonderful species! We have our own thoughts, likes, dislikes and opinions to share with eachother. And thoughts and opinons about things are likely to change as we learn, grow, and mature… there is really no reason to be pushy and arrogant in “how” we share our thoughts, feelings and opinions. Again, I reiterate; what I might think about any given subject (How I perceive it!) has the possibility of changing the more I learn! And wouldn’t at least some of you who posted such opinionated, mean spiritited, derogatory comments to Sally (and also to Gigi) about her choice to see a medium, and the things that were said about Mediums agree that my statement above might just possibly be applicable to you as well as you grow and learn? I viewed your article, Sally, as not only unbiased, non-judgemental, and from a journalistic perspective. But I feel that you also wrote from the perspective of a concerned and caring friend (of Gigi)! Someone you know well who went to the Medium specifically for the purpose, and in the hopes of gaining some sense of peace and comfort during the stages of grief that she and one can, and most certainly does, go through after losing a “loved one”. Especially a child. Don’t we all as humans feel the pain and grief in our loss of ANY of our loved ones! But most especially we grieve as parents for the loss of any of our children (To most mothers, no matter what the child’s age, they are still our “Baby”!) For goodness sake, all people share the feelings of grief and bereavement when they lose someone they loved! If we didn’t we wouldn’t be “Human”! I think that in discussing this from an intellectual point of view and also a scientific one (though I am not a Scientist myself), we most probably can agree, that as human beings we also share other human characteristics. Such as emotions and feelings. These characteristics of Human Behaviour (Feelings and emotions) are some of the things that we all share that makes us unique.And the ability to “feel” their pain– and to be empathetic and compassionate towards them and those who might be feeling the pain of loss– is what I think should have been shown to Gigi and Sally! Think what you want, but couldn’t you have been softer in your approach in sharing your thoughts and opinions? Maybe a little less threatening, less hostile words of sympathy for Gigi’s pain might have been considered no matter what she chose to do. Yes! Well, that’s my opinion. You may, of course, take it or leave it but at least I put it forth to you in a different manner than so many others here did not. I say, and it’s my opinion also, t SHAME ON YOU who weren’t thinking morer kindly for each of these ladies.As for Mediums, I’ve known spectacular mediums who shocked me with their accuracy. I’ve known some who didn’t at all validate any experience I’d ever had. I do not feel that all Mediums are bad, nor good, just simply better or worse as with any other profession. Thanks for reading! If you made it all the way through, I congratulate you. I hope maybe some learned something here and will reflect upon some of what I’ve shared. If you don’t or didn’t that’s your choice, I won’t be mad at you for it!God bless each of you! I have faith in you!

  • arthur cutten

    I’m not a medium, but I have used them. I do believe in them, however.I am a financial advisor who manage millions of dollar and I am solidly grounded. I have a worldwide reputation as a money manager.Now, to tell you what I think of psychics. Three times in my life I picked up feelings that some things were going to happen. Sure enough they did happen. I’m not talking about feelings about buying certain stocks or selling certain commodities. I’m talking about specific events and feelings that no five sense limiting person would ever be able to foresee. When they happened they made me less skeptical and more open.I even explored the possibility of developing these “skills” that I didn’t know I had. After researching it for a while I decided my life and fate was destined to make money, not make predictions of a psychic nature. Of course, in a limited fashion I do apply some timing to what I do; if you call the use of cycles to be psychic then in a way I am. Cycles, however, are grounded in natural laws, not nebulous feelings and impressions that psychics use.So, I believe in the validity of GOOD psychics. Since we are dealing in an area that is very hard to quantify, most psychics are bad ones because they are “wannabees” and not authentic ones. Just like anything in life you must work at finding good professionals to use. Unfortunately, good psychics have more off days than on days. It’s the nature of their work. They are reliant on what is being “transmitted” so to speak, from the other side. If there aren’t any transmissions, there’s nothing to work with. To fault them with bad calls, etc, when nothing is being transmitted is to place fault for the wrong reasons.There, I’ve had my say. You will certainly believe in psychic phenomena when it happens to you. You remain a skeptic till you can have that experience.