Materialised Figures Appear at Home Circle
Psychic News, No. 2646 Saturday, February 26, 1983
SOLID spirit forms, an experienced Spiritualist told PN last week, are being obtained at Rita Goold's Leicester home circle. Spiritualist Alan Crossley testified that one figure appeared in "a beautiful lace dress." Another manifested in "a complete military uniform."
Mr Crossley was also reunited with his wife, who passed four years ago. In addition he stated his belief that one of the main communicators is martyred physical medium Helen Duncan. She "reminisced several incidents that were known only to me and herself." He heard her "familiar voice again."
Alan sat with Rita, her husband Steve, and circle members Pat and Barry Jefferys on seven consecutive nights.
"It was one of the most momentous occasions of my life", he said. "After 40 years' or so experience in psychic matters, particularly physical mediumship, and I have sat with the finest mediums this century, the events now unfolding at Leicester are not matched by anything I have seen before."
Alan, author of "The Life of Helen Duncan", witnessed a plethora of physical phenomena including direct voice, levitation, apports, and "above all the materialisation of human forms of those who have passed from this earth".
"In my opinion, they offer the greatest challenge so far to science, the Church and other academic bodies throughout the world in establishing once and for all the efficacy of spirit communication with those on earth."
For Mr Crossley the events at Leicester herald a new departure in spirit communication, not least because of the setting.
"Gone are the cabinets, black draperies and semi-religious trappings," he explained. "The sittings are notable for their informality. From my point of view, the new methods and techniques used by the spirit operators mark the greatest turning point in psychic history. Void of all mystique, there is none of the spooky atmosphere so common in former years."
Describing the diversity of phenomena, Mr Crossley added:
"I have never before witnessed direct voice so loud and clear and sustained for such long periods as at Rita Goold's sittings. I saw manipulation of objects and their levitation at speeds which are quite amazing, plus the production of apports."
But it is the materialisations which Alan Crossley feels are a new breakthrough in contact between the two worlds.
"The forms are clothed not in ectoplasm as was usual in the past, but with fabricated material actually created by the spirit operators," he testified.
"They range from a beautiful lace dress - worn by Laura Lorraine, Rita Goold's grandmother, a regular communicator through the circle - to a complete military uniform, worn by Sir Oliver Lodge's son, Raymond."
The absence of ectoplasm in evolving materialisations is seen by Mr Crossley as a new development in mediumship.
"There are many features concerning the new phenomena which clearly distinguish them from all previous methods," he said. "This shift away from old techniques can only help rather then hinder progress towards a better understanding of the whole subject. The question many will ask is: 'How do they do it?' That is, of course, too complex a question at this stage and one that has not so far been revealed."
A particularly poignant part of Alan Crossley's week was talking once more to Helen Duncan, a regular communicator through the circle.
"I knew Helen Duncan well," he said, "and sat in her séances on several occasions. My book was written primarily to vindicate her from the persistent slander and gossip which carried on long after she passed. My talks with her at Leicester where she reminisced to me several incidents that were known only to me and herself strengthened my conviction, as well as hearing the familiar voice again, it was indeed Helen Duncan."
After her trial at the Old Bailey in 1944 under the Witchcraft Act, the law was changed to enable Spiritualists and mediums to practise without the threat of prosecution.
"Now," said Mr Crossley, "she comes back in determined mood to launch the greatest breakthrough the world has ever seen. "It is over 20 years since Helen passed, but here she is, fighting to prove there is no real death. I spoke to Helen frequently during my stay in Leicester. She has left me in no doubt she means business. Helen realises the die is cast, and backed by the most powerful spirit forces now aims to put the scene right. I witnessed the power of these forces and can testify to their sheer intelligence, skill of operation and above all, the evidential nature of the communicators."
Mr Crossley was reunited with his wife during the Leicester séances. He testified:
"The ultimate in personal experiences came when my wife Irene, who passed four years ago, manifested to me on no less than four occasions with individual mannerisms and characteristics so familiar to me. With her final visit she brought a single red rose and kissed me. Well, what can one say in the light of such happenings, except that it was not only very moving, but the most wonderful experience of my life."
Mr Crossley discussed the repercussions of what he experienced in Leicester.
"This timely emergence of a form of mediumship so very different from the past clearly indicates an elaborate spiritual plan with far-reaching implications," he said. "My week at Leicester leads me to feel a great leap forward has begun so far as spirit communication is concerned. "I believe that those included in what is known as the outer circle from the Other Side are paving the way toward the most spectacular scenario to burst upon the psychic scene. Make no mistake, to underrate the implications they pose would be the greatest folly. An opportunity has arisen where the way is wide open to give the world renewed certainty of the fact that the human personality survives so-called death and above all can, under suitable conditions, communicate between the two worlds."
For investigators Mr Crossley had these words:
"I should warn researchers and so-called experts who have any ideas of resorting to the old tactics of trussing up mediums, gagging them or subjecting them to indignities of any kind, think again. Throttling a medium is like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Those days have gone. The evidence of mediumship will stand or fall on its merits. If one is endowed with normal faculties of observation and intelligence, this should suffice."
Rita Goold told PN last week that intimations of her mediumship were apparent years before she discovered it herself.
"It developed over a number of years," she said, "but everywhere we lived we have had the sensation we were living in haunted premises. A lot of odd things happened. We began to ask, 'Why does it follow us around?' But apparently it was me. It has all occurred in gradual stages over the last three years. I am a little apprehensive about where it is all going to lead. Sometimes I ask myself the question, 'Why me?' It has changed my life, job and career-wise. Sometimes I wonder what the spirit world expects of me and whether I can live up to it."
I asked Rita about the new developments and why ectoplasm was unnecessary to produce materialisations.
"The full forms are there in the room," she said. "In the past the cabinet, red light and ectoplasm were necessary, but now our people have said that the whole room is a black cabinet, sealed off in the dark.
"They work from luminous light in the room, but they are now developing a way by which they can come with their own light. So we can now see outlines of figures. Three or four hands have been showing up in the light. The best way I can describe it is that it looks as if moonlight is shining on them."
Considering the rapid speed of development, I asked Rita if the outer circle had given any indication of their ultimate intentions.
"Helen has said we will eventually be able to see them all in the room," Rita explained. In the past communicators said: 'One day you will get table levitation. One day you will be able to touch us. These things have all happened. There is no reason to believe that everything will not come true. The circle's communicators "are determined to prove an afterlife if it is the last thing they do."
Rita stressed that money has no place in her mediumship.
"It is my mother"
"I am not a professional medium," she stated. "I do not make a living from it. It is not a thing one should pay for. It is not a secret home circle and has not been private for the last year. We have sat all over England in a home environment. People from all over England come to us. We sit three to four times a week. Strangers come through friends and relations."
PN assistant editor Alan Cleaver has been fortunate to visit the Leicester circle several times, often at crucial stages in its development. Alan attended a séance when Helen Duncan's daughter, Gena Brealey, of Luton, Beds, visited the circle to confirm or deny it was her mother communicating. Within minutes she knew. Helen apported to her daughter a single red rose. This had a special significance known only to the two of them. When she was given the rose, Gena broke down in tears of joy and cried,
"What greater proof could I have?"
For more than an hour mother and daughter spoke to each other about intimate details only they knew, often using Scottish slang they then had to "translate" to the other sitters. Afterwards Gena declared:
"Yes, it is my mother. There is no doubt about it."
Alan has also been present when other people spoke to their "dead" relatives at the circle. All have been satisfied beyond doubt with the contact. On one occasion Alan spoke briefly with a voice claiming to be his "dead" grandmother. Although the link was too short to be utterly conclusive she did ask about "Martin." Nobody else in the séance room knew who Martin was. In fact, it is Alan's elder brother.
"In my opinion, he is the one Gran was most likely to ask about since they were very close," said Alan.
An outstanding feature of the communicators at Leicester is their intelligence, particularly that of Raymond Lodge. When Raymond first communicated with his father in the 1920s - and indeed when he was alive - he loved cryptic clues. It is clear he is still keen on using these. As the members of the outer circle first began to make themselves known to the group they used cryptic clues for their names. Eventually one of the clues spelt out the name Raymond Lodge. All Rita and the others knew of Raymond was that he was the son of scientist Sir Oliver Lodge. When they asked him for evidence of who he was he replied,
"You have had all the proof you need already."
The sitters did not understand this until Rita managed to obtain a copy of "Raymond" by Sir Oliver, a book in which he details the life and afterlife of his son. In it, Rita discovered Raymond loved to use the same type of cryptic clues they had themselves been receiving for some weeks. At a séance on August 6 1982 the circle received a clue concerning a new outer circle member. It read:
"Good King, Hal is not in hot water, the first verb. You are not in a rut. Then quietly go west with a visionary aid. The Russian head has two capitals. He who hesitates is lost."
This was particularly clever because the phrase "he who hesitates is lost" had been shouted at Rita by her "dead" father when she was in a car heading for an accident. Rita swerved on to the grass verge on clairaudiently hearing the message - and narrowly missed the car heading towards her. It only took a few minutes for Rita and the others to work this clue out. Some have taken several hours. Hot water means the letter "H." According to the clue King Hal is not in it; so you end up with "al". The first verb is "be" from "to be." "You are not in a rut," was also solved. Take the 'u' (you) out of rut and you have "rt". Hence the first name is Al/be/rt". Then "quietly" is "Shh." Go West is "W". "With a visionary aid", a visionary aid is an eye. The Russian head has two capitals." A Russian head is a Tzar of which the first two letters are "Tz". The reference to "he who hesitates is lost" is well known in crossword clues where hesitates means "er". Hence the second name is "Shh/w/eye/tz/er," or more correctly "Schweitzer." So number eight in the outer circle was revealed as Albert Schweitzer, the missionary surgeon and founder of the famous Lambarene Hospital in Africa.
Alan was also present at one of the first séances when sitters were allowed to see and touch a hand. The séance trumpet - an aluminium cone with a luminous strip at each end - was brightened as much as possible. At first all that could be seen was the silhouette of a hand and what seemed like black lines.
"Then I saw the hand properly for the first time," Alan recalled. "The hand was smaller than a human one, probably five inches in length, and looked as smooth as porcelain. It had no nails and no bone joints. It was thinner than a 'normal' hand. Perhaps the best description of it is as a hand without the bones. We were shown it moving its fingers and wriggling about quite freely. At one point the whole arm appeared. There seemed to be no joints even on the elbow. It was naked."
Alan was asked if he wanted to touch the hand and told to hold his hand out back upwards. The trumpet came up to his hand to supply the light.
"Then I felt it," said Alan, "and the others saw my hand being stroked. The hand felt hot and clammy with an almost sticky quality to it. It stroked me for maybe 40 to 45 seconds. It then stroked Pat and Barry's hands."
Alan has since visited the circle and the hands are more formed. He has felt the bones of the hands and the varying size of different ones.