Can you hear the dead speaking?
With so many psychic and tarot card readers on TV there certainly is room for a show devoted to specifically contacting the dead. Not since psychic’s Dale Shearer and Jeanne Dixon has there been such a warm welcome to a psychic.
The dead seem to talk with us, at least to some of us; that’s the story everyone is getting from the new hit TV show hosted by John Edward’s called ‘Crossing Over.’ He tells people about the their dead family and friends who passed on by impressions he receives from them. Edwards is an old fashion medium with a new channel to broadcast on. Done in a professional manner, it has separated him from theCaribbean accent of Miss Cloe who offers to “find the answers for free” by Tarot card reading. With his new, honest, and intelligent approach, he can bring a skeptical attitude to the skeptic that doubts the reality of psychic phenomena.
Of course there is a much notoriety and money to be earned by the psychics. Dionne Warwick’s Psychic Friends Network had employed almost 1,500 psychics at about $4 per minute logged in an estimated 3 million minutes a month according to Baltimore-based Inphomation Communications, Inc. (“Who could’ve foretold psychic spree?” Dallas Morning News, March 19, 1996, pp. 1-C, 6-C). According to these estimates, Warwick’s service alone would gross $144 million annually.
Richard Dworman, the editor of the Infomercial Marketing Report, estimated that Psychic Friends Network’s gross annual income was $100 million. Psychic Friends Network boasted to have the best real psychics, but they couldn’t predict themselves going out of business! Funny how that works.
James Randi, whose stage name is “The Amazing Randi,” has publicly exposed a number of psychics, spiritualists, channelers, and “Christian prophets” with words of knowledge, such as the charlatan Peter Popoff (who is back again on a main channel on TV).
It was Jeanne Dixon who was the first to commercialize the Psychic Network, which offered several $3.99 per minute “900” lines ending in “J-E-A-N-E.” She had the first live videoconference psychic; tarot card and astrological guidance service over the Internet; but she was unable to predict her own death by her charts.
Psychics and mediums have been around for thousands of years and have recently enjoyed a renewed interest in their profession of future forecasting and contacting departed loved ones. Channeler's and medium’s claim to make contact with ancient spirits. Like Ramtha, a 35,000 year old spirit channeled through J.Z. Knight who tells the people you are God (For more on channeling). Or space creatures from other worlds who take on Biblical names like Emmanuel, and Lazarus to mock the Bible. Or spirits who claim to be “Ascended Masters” or “wisemen” from other worlds and dimensions; there are as many flavors to channeling as Baskin and Robbins ice cream. Then there is the practice of necromancy, contacting the dead, which is what John Edwards is doing.
Channeling is done in various means, it can be done through artwork even music. Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones stated, “The Stones” songs came spontaneously like an inspiration at a séance. The tunes arrived ‘en masse’ with the Stones being songwriters needed to only be willing and open mediums. Yoko Ono has said of the Beatles, “They were like mediums, They weren’t conscious of all they were saying, but it was coming through them. Lennon claimed that at times his musical inspiration was “like being possessed; like a psychic or a medium.”
He also stated, “But my joy is when you’re like possessed, like a medium, you know. I’ll be sitting around and it will come in the middle of night ... I’m just sitting here and the whole [expletive] song comes out ”(John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Andy Peebles, The Last Lennon Tape, 1981, p 113.)
Jim Morrison called the spirits that at times possessed him for his inspiration “The Lords,” and even wrote a book of poetry on them. Folk rock artist Joni Mitchell’s attributes her creativity from her spirit guide, called “Art.”
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross atheistic psychiatrist who has done a huge amount of work on OBE’s and contact with the dead claims to have "spooks . . . guardian angels, whatever you call ‘ them" who speak to and guide her.”
In the majority of those gifted with these powers occult backgrounds have been the springboard for these powers to operate and for contact, especially the Ouija board. “The legacy of AA. Bill Wilson and his close friend, Bob Smith, were both heavily involved in the occult even before they conceived of AA. Nor did that involvement cease after AA’s founding. The official AA biography of Wilson reveals, without embarrassment, that for years after AA’s founding regular seances were still being held in the Wilsons’ home and other psychic activities were being pursued, including consulting the Ouija board. “Bill would lie down on the couch. He would “get” these things [from the spirit world] . . . every week or so. Each time, certain people [demons impersonating the dead] would "come in... long sentences, word by word would come through ....
“[In 1938] as he started to write [the AA manual], he asked for guidance...The words began tumbling out with astonishing speed. He completed the first draft in about half an hour... Numbering the new steps . . . they added up to twelve--a symbolic number; he thought of the Twelve apostles, and soon became convinced that the Society should have twelve steps.” (Quoted in Occult Invasion by Dave Hunt pp.297-298)
So it was through mediumship that Wilson received the manual for Alcoholics Anonymous from the demonic world. And the Ouiji board and other means has been an influence on books and music as well. The Ouija board was developed specifically to communicate with the spirits of those who have died (although according to God’ instructions in the Bible there is no such thing as contacting the dead, they are instead in contact with familiar spirits-demons, fallen angels).
Jane Robert’s with her husband in 1963 began to experiment with an Ouija board, very soon they were contacted by a spirit entity who took on the biblical name of Seth. In time afterwards, she was able to go into a trance during which this spirit-being would speak through her. She was later able to write a best-selling books series filled with occult information. As with Roberts many who travel experimenting with occult objects open themselves up to hear voices and eventually are contacted by spirit guides that are disguised demons who are more than willing to give knowledge and some fairly accurate information to have a willing subject for their deception.
The John Edwards story
This is John Edwards story as well.John grew up on Long Island as an ordinary kid in a nice Italian family. He had a normal childhood playing ball, did what any other kids would do. The only difference is that he was able to predict phone calls and tell who was coming to the house beforehand. As a child, John recalls experiencing psychic phenomena, he would see auras around his teachers. He would describe family events at which he was too young to have been present, insisting he remembered being there. He had visions of dead relatives he had never known. He had out-of-body experiences, at night, in his dreams; he would travel down the stairs, out the door, through his neighborhood and beyond. He didn’t really understand this was not normal and never thought of it as psychic phenomena. He actually considered himself a skeptic, until at age fifteen he had a psychic visit his home and was made aware of his own psychic gift. It was his mother who continually brought psychics to their house, and one day John was there for a reading planning to debunk her. Psychic Lydia Clar told John’s that his spirit guides were ready to work with him, setting him on the path to exercising his “psychic gift.” She told him that he was special and that his life’s work would be about bringing comfort and hope to people here in the physical world, this would be done by: reuniting them with those who they loved and lost who are dead.
At 15 years of age John was already prepared by experience to the next step when his spirit guides began open communication with him. Jonathan Edward graduated to become a practicing psychic medium. What is missing is the understanding of this being in the family. As stated, there is always a prior occult connection that opens one up to these spirit guides; with Jonathan it was with his mom and psychics.
Trained as a medical administrator, John’s early practice of giving readings in his home has expanded to give him national acclaim. This 30-year-old is convinced and now he tells both clients and audiences that we all have our own psychic abilities; we just need to learn how to be open and receptive to them.
Do dead relatives show up ina television studio when he wants to contact them? Does he have a direct line to the spirit realm that is supposedly all around us? He is able to relate a spirit telling him about a certain hat a child wore, or how a child died of a certain disease. It can become surreal to watch him move along with this information being relayed. Although he admits that sometimes “I know exactly what the spirit means, other times I have no clue, and sometimes neither does my client.” Edwards speaks very fast, as if the spirits information he is getting can quickly go away at any time. Much of the information is very general, but some is very specific and not likely that he conjured up these facts on his own. Yes he may very well be hearing from a spirit. The TV audience is quite comfortable with this practice; after all we have seen it in the movies a hundred times.
It has been known that those in the audience can wait around for almost two hours before the show and they will be talking among themselves for others to hear and share information. This was a technique Peter Popoff used and was exposed by the magician the amazing Randi as Popoff’s wife fraternized with the people before hand and broadcasted to a hearing aid in his ear the specifics needed for his reading. While Edwards may not have a hearing aid, there is the possibility of his knowing some things about certain people prior to the program. But this does not explain his uncanny ability to be on target for information privy only to those who are in the family.
There are some timeworn techniques used. Edwards like other psychics and prophets will ask a lot of questions and make statements to see what is on target. It’s called priming the pump; “I’m getting a ‘T’ for someone's name. Asking “who this is”, is there someone in your family with a T in their name or with the name Ted. He gets a name and asks this could be someone that has passed over or someone you know, he does this usually without being specific at first. Or he will say, “He’s showing me something, a boat or car. What is this, please?” Some statements are way off and wrong, but some are right.
He will also look at what people wear; clothing or jewelry can give hints. He then can ask about the deceased giving them something. He then fires away numerous questions to the people on dates or colors, names situations until he hits a target of sorts. These are all natural explanations that can accompany his ability to hear spirits
“John knows the general public is skeptical, but his accuracy and integrity have managed to convince even avowed non-believers that life doesn’t end when we pass over.
Edwards recently took part in a study by the University of Arizona’s Department of Psychology concerning the science of mediumship The results provided data to suggest that highly skilled mediums are in fact able to obtain accurate and replicable information about departed ones. The average accuracy rate was over 83% from readings of various mediums, including Edward, over a several month study. And from what I have seen, John Edward is the one that brought that average number up. His accuracy is phenomenal.
One of four internationally-known mediums to collaborate in a recent study on psychic phenomena, John’s talent provided data to suggest that highly skilled mediums are, in fact, able to obtain accurate and replicable information about departed loved ones. During experimental readings of six deceased individuals, two sitters took notes and rated the responses for accuracy against preset information. The mediums’ average accuracy was 83% for sitter one and 77% for sitter two; thus, performing well above guessing rates. (Control subjects who attempted to guess the information averaged 36% accuracy for all categories of information combined.) Since factors of fraud, error, and statistical coincidence cannot explain the present findings, other possible mechanisms should be considered, such as super psi and survival of consciousness after death. “In order to disprove the law that all crows are black, it is enough to find one white crow” - William James, MD. http://talkshows.about.com/library/presskit/blskeptic.htm
First - we need to understand that it does not matter how accurate Edwards is, what matters is where the source of power comes from. On this subject most people are spiritually inept to have an answer.Leviticus 19:26 records some of the many laws and precepts given to God’ people when they were under Moses: “You shall not … practice divination’ or soothsaying.” This is exactly what Edwards is doing, something very ancient that God has tried to protect people from participating in.
Edwards explains, “When I do a reading I am communicating a message from an individual whose soul has left their physical body, and the survival of their consciousness communicates with me. I pass on the messages to the person they want to communicate with. There is certainly a difference among legitimate mediums in how well the messages are delivered, but the messages do not come from the medium they come from Them.”
“Clairvoyance is also how spirits show me what they looked like in while in the physical body, either by showing me themselves or someone I can identify who fits the same description.
Clairaudience is clear hearing. This allows me to hear sounds, including voices, that come from the spirits. Mostly what I hear is information in my mind’s voice. The best way I can describe it is to imagine you are reading a book, and at the same time having a thought like, “Did I turn the stove off?” I have two voices happening in my mind, one being my own thought voice which I have to bring down through meditation, and the other voice which would be the other side coming through.
“The final word on after death communication is, I believe, that whether we receive one word of validation from someone who has passed, or enough to fill a book, it is important to acknowledge the enormous energy spirits are expending in order to come through. They are coming through for us because they love us and because they know the ultimate message is a vital one. In these modern, often cynical, times, it is important to remember that we are all spiritual beings, and as such, we cannot die. We can only live and learn forever. (On http://www.berkeleypsychic.com/Reader/archive/june)
When “Crossing Over” debuted on Sci-Fi in July 2,000, its ratings have jumped 60 percent, making it the cable channel’s highest-rated weeknight program. USA Cable introduced this new half-hour nightly series by broadcasting a one-hour special called Messages from the Dead: The John Edward story on Sunday night. His show is so popular that he is in national syndication. The approximate time for the waiting list is now 2 years because of overwhelming calls since the beginning of 2002.
Recently, Edward’s was featured in a HBO special, Life Afterlife: America Undercover. Home Shopping Network also produced a series of instructional videotapes where Edward’s teaches people how to use their own abilities to communicate with the other side. Edward’s has created two of his own videos, One Last Time: After Death Communication and Building Bridges to the Spiritual Realm.
Popular would not be an accurate description of John Edward’s the 31-year-old Long Islander. He is now an internationally acclaimed psychic medium, having published a series of best-selling books, including his autobiography ``One Last Time’’ and ``What If God Were the Sun.’’ His recent book, One Last Time: A psychic Medium Speaks to Those We Have Loved and Lost was a perennial on the New York Times bestseller list and has brought him national attention on television shows such as Roseanne, Leeza, Entertainment Tonight, The Maury Povich Show, and The Crier Report.
John Edward’s most recent book PRACTICAL PRAYING shares on using the Rosary to Enhance your Life.This book explores the power of the rosary as a tool to bring focused energy and creative thought into your everyday life. Edwards shares how his belief in the power of prayer alone can help to illuminate a path for each individual to follow… using God’s gift of free will to chart our own course. Divided into three sections his book has: Section I deals with John’s overview of the process of prayer, his thoughts about writing on this subject matter, and the history of the rosary as authorized by the Catholic Church. Section 2 is how he has utilized the power of prayer through the use of the rosary. Section 3 is an audio CD that goes over the process of using the techniques of practical praying. Includes a FREE BONUS Meditation CD and a FREE Rosary Card! http://www.johnedward.net/PracticalPraying.htm
On Larry King Live, John spoke with a caller and asked if the woman’s husband had recently passed. He said her dead husband wished to communicate with her. He John went on to ask if the cause had been lung cancer. The caller replied yes. The next question asked was whether the man was a smoker, (a likely conclusion). Then he said some unpredictable and very specific insights. He asked if the woman if she buried her husband with a pack of cigarettes. She replied yes. John shared that the woman’s husband humorously said they were the wrong brand she replied that they were the wrong brand. It is this convincing that substantiates to the TV viewing audience that John is in fact a real psychic medium. His appearances on Larry King Live the CNN had the switchboard inundated with such a massive volume of calls that it was blown out for hours after the show ended.
Convinced of his gift Edwards says, “I can’t really defend what I do,” Edward said. “I just kind of share what I do. And if it helps somebody, great. If not, then don’t watch.”
So how can this be explained? There is a real supernatural side to all this despite those who have enhanced their natural talents and can read a person in voice and sight. There are familiar spirits who see certain events in peoples lives and can relay them to an open recipient (John) with incredible accuracy.
Paul states in Acts 16:16 “Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling.” Obviously one can have some type of accuracy but notice Paul said it was a spirit, it was not done by her own latent powers. And he by the true power of God told the spirit to leave. So we see the power of God removes this psychic ability not give it.
The Bible also condemns the practice of Necromancy (communication with the dead), which is the modus operandi of many psychics and spiritualists. God forbids this for no other reason than our protection. Deuteronomy 18:10-12 states “There shall not be found among you any one that” and names various practices to be warned of among them are, … that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter… or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer...” (one who calls up the dead).
The living and the dead are separated and they are not to contact each other. God has forbidden this practice for the simple reason that man is not equipped for this. Also the fact that the dead cannot communicate to us or us with them. Unfortunately many people are unaware of this kind of explanation or refuse the warning as valid. The Bible teaches that lying spirits who disguise themselves as someone we once knew come and give this information. The question comes up, “Why would they go to all that trouble to tell someone a piece of factual information they already know?”
Let me quote Edward’s own explanation again, “They are coming through for us because they love us and because they know the ultimate message is a vital one. In these modern, often cynical, times, it is important to remember that we are all spiritual beings, and as such, we cannot die. We can only live and learn forever.”
This is so that we can believe that it doesn’t matter how we live our lives here, but that we are ALL going to be ok later. This is direct contradiction and challenge to the Bibles record by the spirits that are communicating to him. The Bible does tell us there is such a thing as familiar spirits who watch our lives and can remember details thus deceiving us into thinking it is the very person we think has contacted us from the dead.
Edward’s explanation offered to those who miss their loved ones and are hurting deeply over their absence is not a valid one. This is the very same thing said to Eve in Genesis by the one who brought death to the human race, not to worry we don’t really die. Edwards tells us that they all are in a wonderful place, and that all of us will someday join them. Their emotions are soothed by a fictitious happiness of being there. This is not what these people need, they need real hope and not some medium- psychic explanation of universalism giving them a false hope beyond the grave.
Leviticus 19:31: “Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.” Isaiah 2:6 speaks of how wide spread the practice was amongst the Hebrew people in his day. Isaiah recognizes God’s judgment upon His people for their association with the occult: “For thou hast abandoned thy people, the house of Jacob, because they are filled with influences from the east, And they are soothsayers like the Philistines.” Isaiah also said (8:19-20) “And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (alsoIsa.19:3). Faith in a psychic’s ability can be not only spiritually dangerous but emotionally dangerous as well. Followers can become totally dependent on their psychics for making even simple decisions, they then consult the dead on behalf of the living.
God has commanded His people not to go after those who speak to the dead or conjure up the dead for their own protection, He wants to be sought and be their comfort. Only God can give true comfort to the bereaved. Even the King of Israel was punished when he consulted those who contact the dead; with God he has no preferential treatment on this he punished Manasseh the king who did so 2 Kings 21:6 “… practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft, and consulted spiritist’s and mediums. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger.”
Believers are warned, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). Those who claim they have power or a gift from God and are under a spiritual influence must be tested to see if they really are speaking correctly: according to the word of God.
“You shall not practice divination or soothsaying” (Lev. 19:26). “Now the works of the flesh are plain…idolatry,sorcery.” (Gal. 5:19-20).
Lets not overlook a lengthy disclaimer that runs at the end of each episode. It reads in part: “The materials and opinions presented...are not the views, opinions or responsibility of the producer (Studios USA) and are not meant or intended to be a form of advice, instruction, suggestion, counsel or factual statement in any way whatsoever.” It is meant for entertainment, but this is certainly more then entertainment for people who are looking for answers and hope in their lives. But for the old fashion skeptics, cynics, Bible believers and those who see under the surface of the way things look; it has them think “Hmmm I wonder why that’s there?”