Category Archive: M

Feb 16

Dr. John E. Mack – A Positive Perspective on Inter-Species Communication

Lillee Allee

Lillee Allee

Representative at National Paranormal Society
Lillee Allee has studied religion, spirituality and paranormal investigation for over 40 years. She is the widow of John D. Allee, an internationally known dark magician. She continues to consult in paranormal investigation. Her specialties include: Marian and cultural spiritual phenomena/apparitions, spiritual support to teams and clients who want spiritual counseling after investigation, evp work and old school audio, the accuracy and research of past life regression and seance, and spiritual protection. Lillee was also one of the first to incorporate trained canines into paranormal investigations. She hosts a radio program on the network, Happy Mediums, with Debra Ann Freeman, who also consults with paranormal investigative teams in Southern New England. Lillee is a published author and journalist, and legal clergy with degrees in psychology and mass communication. Lillee walks on the middle path sees learning as a life-long endeavor and is looking to make a difference and contribution to this field before she too will be heard on someone’s EVP. Lillee is always available to educate and consult and continues to enjoy guesting on other’s radio and television programs.
Lillee Allee

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Dr. John E. Mack graduated from Oberlin College and Harvard Medical School. A rather traditional practitioner in the beginning of his career, Mack was a graduate of Boston analytical society and received his certifications in psychoanalysis for adults and children. One of his main interested was how one uses cognitive skills to create their Weltanschauug. One’s worldview is a combination of ethics, beliefs and philosophies which lead to particular behaviors or actions. These orientations added to his interest in dreams and teen suicide. He was awarded a Pulitzer prize for his biography of British officer T.E. Lawrence, known commonly as Lawrence of Arabia.

His curiosity was piqued by the psychological implications of the Cold War that led him to interview a variety of politicians. He was an active member of Physicians for Social Responsibility.

While a noted and highly respected psychiatrist and writer, his work took a rather unexpected turn. Many were shocked that a renowned Harvard psychiatrist would move into alien abduction research, but he did. Most likely, John E Mack will best be remembered as a ground-breaking researcher in the field of alien abduction. His first studies centered around a theory that this phenomena may be related to mental illness. He retained an interest in people’s idea of connectedness to others, and studied visionary experiences and spiritual quests.

The interest in Mack’s theories continues to be strong. His original book on aliens, Abduction, was recently released for Kindle and in trade paperback, with a new edition and format, based on Mack’s personal preferences. The significance of this book is found in its hypothesis that both species could benefit from such interaction, and detracted from the then-more popular view of humans being victims of a more intelligent or advanced species. While Abduction is based mainly on interviews and the idea of connections between cultures, Passport to Cosmos deals more with the philosophy and psychology behind such experiences.

A film version of his life is currently being developed by Makemagic Productions with one of Rob14619_886204754743631_424831510683728602_nert Redford’s companies. Mack died at the age of 74 in 2004. William Shatner, in May 2014, stated to Larry King that he is writing a novel based on Dr. Mack’s work with the abduction phenomena.

The John E. Mack Institute’s (JEMI) mission is “to explore the frontiers of human experience, to serve the transformation of individual consciousness, and to further the evolution of the paradigms by which we understand human identity.” The organization, named in recognition of “John E. Mack, M.D. (1929-2004), Pulitzer prize-winning author and psychiatry professor at the Harvard Medical School, has the goal of continuing to honor his courageous examination of human experience and the ways in which perceptions and beliefs about reality shape the global condition.”

The Written Works of John E. Mack, MD

As author:

*Passport to the Cosmos: Human Transformation and Alien Encounters (1999)

*Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens (1994)

*A Prince of Our Disorder: The Life of T.E. Lawrence (1976)

*Nightmares and Human Conflict (1970)

As collaborator:

*The Alchemy of Survival: One Woman’s Journey (1988)

*Vivienne: The Life and Suicide of an Adolescent School Girl (1977)

As editor:

*Mind Before Matter: Vision of a New Science of Consciousness (2007; replaced by Paul Devereux)

*Alien Discussions: Proceedings of the Abduction Study Conference Held at M.I.T. Cambridge, MA (1995)

*Human Feelings: Explorations in Affect Development and Meaning (1993)

*Development and Sustenance of Self-Esteem in Childhood (1984)

*Borderline States in Psychiatry – Seminars in Psychiatry (1975)


*When Worldviews Collide: A Paradigmatic Passion Play, a manuscript about the Harvard inquiry, was largely complete at the time of his death and is in-development as a motion picture, according to The John Mack Project: A True Story”. MakeMagic Productions. 2011.

* *Elisabeth and Mark Before and After Death: The Power of a Field of Love, the story of Dr. Elisabeth Targ, outline and interview transcripts only. (Blumenthal, Ralph (May 9, 2013). “Alien Nation”. Vanity Fair.)


*Paths Beyond Ego: The Transpersonal Vision (1993). *The PK Man: A True Story of Mind Over Matter (2000) by Jeffrey Mishlove *Secret Life (1992) by David M. Jacobs.

Chapter contribution:

*The Long Darkness: Psychological and Moral Perspectives on Nuclear Winter (1986)

*The Psychology of Terrorism Vol. 1: A Public Understanding (2002), *The Psychospiritual Clinician’s Handbook (2005).

Sources for this article include: Wikipedia, Retrieved February 13, 2015. John E Mack Institute, Retrieved February 14, 2015. MakeMagic Productions, Retrieved February 14, 2015

Images from google search. Retrieved February 15, 2015.

Jan 13

Miss Cleo

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

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Youree Dell Harris (born August 12, 1962), better known as Miss Cleo, is an American psychic and alleged shaman who achieved fame as a spokeswoman for a psychic pay-per-call service from 1997 to 2003.

Harris has used aliases throughout her career, including Cleomili Harris and Youree Perris.

Early life and career

In 1996, in Seattle, Washington, Harris and her partner opened a production company which produced several of her plays. She acted in her first project, an autobiographical play entitled Women Only: A Celebration of Love, Life and Healing.
Her last project, Supper Club Cafe, was not successful, and she “left town with a trail of debts and broken promises”. Some of the cast of her productions claimed that they were never paid, and that Harris “told her cast members she had bone cancer” and “her medical costs would prevent her from paying people immediately”, but she wrote each actor and crew member a letter telling him or her how much money she owed them.

Psychic Readers Network

In the late 1990s, Harris began to work for the Psychic Readers Network under the name Cleo. She appeared as a television infomercial psychic in which she claimed she was from Jamaica.

The Psychic Readers Network is said to have coined the title “Miss Cleo” and sent unsolicited emails, some of which stated, “[Miss Cleo has] been authorized to issue you a Special Tarot Reading!… it is vital that you call immediately!” Charges of deceptive advertising and of fraud on the part of the Psychic Readers Network began to surface around this time.

In 2001, Access Resource Services doing business as Psychic Readers Network was sued in various lawsuits brought by (among others) Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Florida, and the Federal Communications Commission, although reports later said that “many customers were satisfied with the service”.

In 2002, the FTC charged the company’s owners and Harris’ promoters, Steven Feder and Peter Stotz, with deceptive advertising, billing and collection practices; Harris was not indicted. Her promoters agreed to settle for a fraction of the amount they took in. It emerged that Harris was actually born in Los Angeles, and that her parents were U.S. citizens.

Subsequent career

Harris voiced the character Auntie Poulet in the 2002 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

In 2003, the New York Daily News reported that TV music network Fuse had signed Harris as a spokeswoman. In early 2005, Harris was reportedly appearing on television as Miss Cleo in advertisements for a used car dealership in Florida, according to the Broward-Palm Beach New Times.

Taken from:

Feb 02

Charles Manson

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)


Born in Ohio in 1934, Charles Manson is notoriously connected to the brutal slayings of actress Sharon Tate and other Hollywood residents, but he was never actually found guilty of committing the murders himself. However, the famous ‘Tate-La Bianca’ killings have immortalized him as a living embodiment of evil. Images of his staring ‘mad eyes’ are still used today to illustrate countless serial-murder news stories. The Manson Family—including Charles Manson and his young, loyal dropout disciples of murder—is thought to have carried out some 35 killings. Most were never tried, either for lack of evidence or because the perpetrators were already sentenced to life for the Tate/La Bianca killings. In 2012, Manson was denied parole for the 12th time.

Early Life

Charles Manson was born Charles Milles Maddox on November 12, 1934, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Kathleen Maddox, a 16-year-old girl who was both an alcoholic and prostitute. Kathleen later married William Manson, but the marriage ended quickly and Charles was placed in a boys school. Although the boy ran back to his mother, she didn’t want anything to do with him. Charles was soon living on the streets and getting by through petty crime.

By 1951, Manson began spending time in prison, and early on, before he discovered the benefits of being a “model prisoner,” he was considered dangerous. He would eventually spend half of the first 32 years of his life behind bars.

A new chapter in his life began in 1955 when he married a 17-year-old girl and moved with her to California. She became pregnant, but Manson resumed a life of crime again, once again stealing cars. It wasn’t long before he was back behind bars, and by 1956 his estranged wife had left with their child and her new lover. Manson later had another child with a different woman while out on probation.

Petty Crimes

He was described by probation reports as suffering from a “marked degree of rejection, instability and psychic trauma” and “constantly striving for status and securing some kind of love.” Other descriptions included “unpredictable” and “safe only under supervision.”

From 1958, Manson was in and out of jail for a variety of offenses, including “pimping” and passing stolen checks, and he was sent to McNeil Island prison in Washington State for 10 years. During this time he had also raped a fellow male prisoner while brandishing a razor. Paradoxically, it was while he was incarcerated that he tapped into his creative talents and learned how to read music and play the guitar.

Helter Skelter

Manson was released on March 21, 1967, and the following year he would spearhead a murderous campaign that would make him one of the most infamous figures in criminal history.

In many ways, Manson reflects personality traits and obsessions that are associated with gurus of cult-quasi-religious groups that began to emerge in the 1960s and are still with us today. He was pathologically deluded into believing that he was harbinger of doom regarding the planet’s future, in much the same way that cult and evangelist figures today claim prophetic knowledge of the world’s end.

Manson was also influenced not only by drugs such as LSD but by art works and music of the time such as the Beatles song “Helter Skelter” from their White Album. He had a strong belief and interest in the notion of Armageddon from the Book of Revelations, and Scientology and more obscure cult churches such as Church of the Final Judgment were also fleeting interests.

After 1967, Manson gathered a group of followers who shared his passion for an unconventional lifestyle and habitual use of hallucinogenic drugs, such as LSD and magic mushrooms. “The Family,” as they became known, moved to San Francisco and later to a deserted ranch in the San Fernando Valley. His followers, numbering around 100, also included a small hard-core unit of impressionable young girls. They began to believe, without question, Manson’s claims that he was Jesus and his prophecies of a race war.

In August 1969, a series of Hollywood murders were to shock the world and tarnish the 1960’s free love and peace legacy, when Manson gathered a group of his most loyal Family followers to carry out a massacre among Tinseltown’s elite and “beautiful people.” The act would shock the nation and effectively bring the era to an end.


The first victims fell on August 9, 1969, at Roman Polanski’s Beverley Hills home at 10050 Cielo Drive. Manson chose four of his most obedient comrades—Charles “Tex” Watson, Susan Watkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Linda Kasabian—to carry out these heinous crimes. Kasabian acted as the getaway driver and was to become the star witness during the trial.

The victims inside the house, actress Sharon Tate; writer Wojciech Frykowski and his partner, the coffee bean heiress Abigail Folger; and celerity hairstylist Jay Sebring, had returned to the Polanski residence after dining out. Polanksi himself was away in London shooting a film.

The first victim of the night was 18-year-old Steven Parent, a friend of Tate’s gardener. He was shot as he drove up to the house and was spotted by the intruders. Linda Kasabian was horrified by the shooting of the boy, and she remained outside to keep watch. When the other three broke into the house, they herded the occupants into the living room and tied them up. Manson himself took no part in the actual killings but directed his murderous disciples to the address and instructed them to kill everyone.

According to one of the Family member’s statements, the Polanksi household had been targeted because it represented Manson’s rejection by the showbiz world and society.

Jay Sebring was shot and brutally kicked as he tried to defend Ms. Tate. During the terrifying fracas, both Frykowski and Folger managed to escape from the house but were chased and stabbed to death. At the trial, Kasabian described how she saw Frykowski staggering out of the house covered in blood and was horrified at the sight. She told him she was “sorry,” but despite her pleas to his attacker to stop, the victim was bludgeoned repeatedly. Folger escaped from the house with terrible injuries but was caught on the front lawn and stabbed 28 times.

The most inhumane killing is arguably that of Sharon Tate, who despite pleading for the life of her unborn child was mercilessly stabbed in the stomach by Susan Atkins. Kasabian told of Atkins’ chilling words to Tate before she stabbed her: “Look, bitch, I have no mercy for you. You’re going to die, and you’d better get used to it.” Atkins then used Tate’s blood to write the word “pig” on the front door. Instead of this brutal massacre sating the pathological Manson, he instead criticized the murderers for being sloppy.

The following night, on the August 10, 1969, Manson took Family members Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten to the Los Feliz address of wealthy supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, and the couple was murdered in a similarly horrifying fashion.

Arrest and Trial

Ironically, Manson and his Family were arrested not on suspicion of the murders but simply on the belief that they had vandalized a portion of the Death Valley National Park while they were hiding out in the Mojave Desert. In 1969, the county sheriff had them in custody, not realizing that he had murder suspects on his hands. But it was the confessions of Susan Atkins, while held in detention on suspicion of murdering Gary Hinman during an unrelated incident, that led detectives to realize that Manson and his followers were involved in the Tate/LaBianca killings.

Various motivations were examined during the course of the trial. The most feasible being that Manson’s pathological ego, insanity and belief in Armageddon were influences that led him to leave behind a trail of destruction.

Manson believed that he was the new Messiah and that after a “nuclear attack” he and his followers would be saved by hiding in a secret world under the desert. His prophetic visions included a belief that the race war would result in a black victory, and Manson along with his Family members would have to mentor the black community, as they would lack experience to run the planet.

As Manson and the Family were to be the beneficiaries of the race war, he told his followers that they had to help initiate it. According to defense witness and killer Van Houten, this was the primary reason why they murdered the LaBiancas. Manson had taken the wallet of murdered Rosemary Bianca with the intention that he would deposit it in a section of L.A. where an African American might find it, use it and then possibly have the murders pinned on them.

Later in court, Van Houten, who was just 19 when she took part in the LaBianca killings, alleged that Manson had taken advantage of her vulnerability and dislike for her mother. Although she believed, like the other members, that he was a man of vision.

Thirty years later, during a parole board hearing, she said she was horrified by what she had done that night and desperately wanted to redeem herself. Van Houten was denied parole in 2006 and again in 2010.

Susan Atkins, possibly the most disturbed of all the killers, admitted in initial confessions to fellow prisoners that she had wanted to cut out Tate’s unborn baby but didn’t have the time. She also revealed that other grisly and macabre acts were to be perpetrated against the victims and that a list of other high-profile Hollywood stars were on a list to be killed and mutilated. These included Elizabeth Taylor and husband Richard Burton, Frank Sinatra, Steve McQueen and Tom Jones. When asked why they wanted to kill such people, Atkins replied that they (Manson and Family) wanted to commit murders that would shock the world and make people take notice.

The trial began on the November 18, 1969. Ronald Hughes was a young lawyer with experience and knowledge of 1960s counter culture. He was assigned as Manson and Van Houten’s attorney but decided to drop Manson in favor of defending Van Houten, who he thought could convince the jury that she was under the influence of Manson. The move may have cost him his life, as in 1970, Hughes went camping and disappeared. His decomposed body was found several months later, and it is thought he was the victim of retaliation killing by members of Manson’s Family for, in their eyes, betraying their leader.

During the trial, Manson released an album titled Lie in an effort to raise money for his defense. Manson reveled in media attention and during court proceedings turned up with an X carved into his forehead. Some of his female followers copied the act and shaved their heads, sometimes sitting outside the court house. The X was gradually modified until it turned into a swastika.

Throughout the trial, the killers often giggled and exchanged grimaces with Manson, showing no remorse for their crimes.

On January 25, 1971, Manson was convicted of first-degree murder for directing the deaths of the Tate/LaBianca victims. He was sentenced to death, but this was automatically commuted to life in prison after Californian’s Supreme Court invalidated all death sentences prior to 1972.

Kasabian was granted immunity for her part in acting as star witness. Susan Atkins was sentenced to death, but her sentence was later commuted to life in prison. She was incarcerated from 1969 until her death in 2009.

Beach Boys Connection

One interesting aspect to this disturbing saga was the emergence of record producer Terry Melcher, son of Doris Day and friend/producer of popular 1960s band the Beach Boys. Before the Manson Family’s murderous spree, Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys had allowed Manson and several members of his Family to stay at his home after picking up two female members of the Family who’d been hitchhiking. It was through this association that Manson got the opportunity to audition for Melcher, who was living at Polanski’s house at the time. Melcher wasn’t interested in signing a contract with Manson. However, Manson allegedly did record some music at Dennis’s brother, Brian Wilson’s home studio, and the Beach Boys released a song written by Manson entitled “Cease to Exist” (renamed “Never Learn Not to Love”) on their 1969 album, 20/20, as a single B-side.

Life in Prison

Manson is serving his time in Corcoran State Prison in California. Even behind bars, he has still managed to attract followers. A woman named Afton Burton, who calls herself Star, claimed that she and Manson are in a relationship. In an 2013 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, she said that “I’ll tell you straight up, Charlie and I are going to get married. When that will be, we don’t know. But I take it very seriously. Charlie is my husband. Charlie told me to tell you this.”

At the age of 19, Star moved from Illinois to Corcoran, California, to be near the prison where Manson is incarcerated. In November 2014, 26-year-old Star and 80-year-old Manson got a marriage license. Star also runs several websites aimed at getting Manson released from prison.

Taken from:…

Feb 02

Leo Martello

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)


Leo Martello (1931–2000) was a prominent American [Witch], gay rights activist, and author. He drew heavily on his Italian heritage, teaching the Strega Tradition which was named after the Italian word for Witch.  Born to a working-class family in Dudley, Massachusetts, he became interested in Western esotericism as a teenager.

As a founder of the Witches Anti-Defamation League (later the Alternative Religions Education Network) he was known for his lively and sometimes confrontational style. For example, in his books he tried to popularize the “Witches’ Curse” which was “I wish you on yourself”. He was profiled in Margot Adler’s Drawing Down the Moon.

Early life
Martello was born on September 26, 1930, in Dudley, Massachusetts, being raised on a small farm rented by his father, the Italian immigrant Rocco Luigi Martello. Following the economic turmoil of the Great Depression, the Martellos were forced from their land and moved first to Worcester, Massachusetts and then to Southbridge, Massachusetts. It was here that Leo was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church, but his parents divorced soon after. Unable to care for him alone, his father sent Martello to the Catholic boarding preparatory school attached to Assumption College, Worcester, which was run by the Augustinians of the Assumption. He spent six years at the school, later describing it as the unhappiest period of his life. He began studying graphology, and by the age of 16 was making appearances on radio as a graphologist, also writing stories for magazines.

Martello later claimed to have experienced psychic phenomena as a child, sparking his interest in occultism. By his early teenage years, he had begun studying palmistry and tarot card reading with a Gypsy named Marta. He also later claimed that his father had informed him that his grandmother, Maria Concetta, had been a psychic known as a Strega Maga (“Great Witch”) in her hometown of Enna, Sicily, Italy. According to Martello’s account, Concetta had worked as a folk magician and tarot card reader, and attracted the hatred and envy of the local Catholic clergy. He also related that on one occasion, she had killed a Mafioso using magic when he threatened her husband for not paying protection money.Martello related that when he was 16, his father told him that he had cousins in New York City who wished to meet him. He proceeded to do so and – according to his account – they informed him that they were initiates of an ancient Italian witchcraft religion, La Vecchia (“the Old Religion”). After identifying his possession of psychic powers, they initiated him into the tradition on his 21st birthday in 1951, making him swear an oath never to reveal the secrets of the La Vecchia. Moving to the city, he studied at Hunter College and the Institute for Psychotherapy.

Martello never produced any proof to support his claims, and there is no independent evidence that corroborate them.[3] An anonymous woman who had known Martello informed the researcher Michael G. Lloyd that during the 1980s, he had told her that he had never been initiated into a tradition of Witchcraft, and that he had simply adopted occultism in the 1960s, in order to earn a living.

New York City: 1950–68
Based in New York City, in 1950 Martello founded the American Hypnotism Academy, continuing to direct the organization until 1954. From 1955 to 1957, he served as treasurer of the American Graphological Society, and worked as a freelance graphologist for such corporate clients as the Unifonic Corporation of America and the Associated Special Investigators International. He also published a column titled “Your Handwriting Tells” for eight years that ran in the Chelsea Clinton News, and supplied various articles on the subject of graphology to different magazines. In the city, he also embraced his homosexuality, and began to frequent the gay scene. In 1955, Martello was awarded a Doctorate in Divinity by a non-accredited organization, the National Congress of Spiritual Consultants, a clearing house for registered yet unaffiliated ministers. That year, he founded the Temple of Spiritual Guidance, taking on the role of Pastor, which he would continue in until 1960, when he retreated to devote himself to his writing and to his new philosophy of “psychoselfism”. In 1961 he published his first book, Your Pen Personality, in which he discussed the manner in which handwriting could be used to reveal the personality of the writer.

Martello claimed that in the summer of 1964, he moved to Tangier, Morocco, where he researched the history of the tarot at the University of Fez, resulting in the publication of It’s in the Cards (1964). Returning to the U.S. in 1965, he moved in to an apartment in Greenwich Village, New York City, writing a book on astrology, It’s Written in the Stars, and a book on psychic protection, How to Prevent Psychic Blackmail. He also began attending the Spiritualist gatherings that were operated by Clifford Bias at the Ansonia Hotel. In 1969 he decided to publicly reveal himself as a Wiccan, claiming that he had gained the permission of his coven to do so. Intent on countering the negative publicity that Wicca had been receiving, he set about writing The Weird Ways of Witchcraft (1969), also authoring The Hidden World of Hypnotism (1969).

Public activism
Gay Liberation: 1969–70
In July 1969, Martello attended an open meeting of the Mattachine Society’s New York branch. He was appalled at the Society’s negative reaction to the Stonewall riots, and castigated those self-loathing gay people in the audience who accepted the categorization of homosexuality as a mental illness. He proceeded to publish his thoughts in an essay in which he stated that “homosexuality is not a problem in itself. The problem is society’s attitude towards it.” Those gay rights activists who rejected the Mattachine Society’s approach and who favored a confrontational stance against the police and authorities founded the Gay Liberation Front (GLF), with Martello elected the group’s first moderator. Martello supported the GLF’s stance that condemned “this rotten, dirty, vile, fucked-up capitalist conspiracy” that dominated American society, and he volunteered by producing articles both for the group’s newsletter Come Out! and for the wider press. He was involved in the GLF’s campaign against The Village Voice’s decision to ban the word “gay” from advertisements; the magazine preferred the term “homophile”, which had also been used by the Mattachine Society. In wanting to break from previous gay liberation organizations, the GLF embraced the term “gay” and Martello dismissed “homophile” as sounding like a nail file for homosexuals.

The GLF was structured around a system of anarchic consensus, which made it difficult for the group to reach conclusions on any issue, and heated arguments became commonplace at its meetings. In November 1969, the group’s membership voted to provide political and financial support to the Black Panthers, an armed African-American leftist group. This was heavily controversial among the GLF, given the homophobic nature of the Black Panthers, and resulted in a walk-out of many senior members, including Martello, Arthur Evans, Arthur Bell, Lige Clarke, and Jack Nichols. That month, Martello was invited to a private meeting of these disaffected GLF members which resulted in the formation of the Gay Activist Alliance (GAA). Although continuing the GLF’s emphasis on taking a confrontational approach to conventional American society and authority, the group was more tightly organized and structured, and focused exclusively on attaining equal rights for gay and lesbian people. Two GAA members, Clarke and Nichols, convinced the businessman Al Goldstein to invest $25,000 in a new newspaper written by, and aimed at, the country’s gay community. It was launched in December 1969 as GAY, and it soon gained a readership of 25,000. Martello contributed a regular column known as “The Gay Witch”, reaching his widest audience to date, also authoring a variety of other articles that appeared in it.

WICA and WADL: 1970–74
In 1970, Martello founded the Witches International Craft Associates (WICA), through which he issued The WICA Newsletter, set up to explain what Wicca was to the wider public and to serve as a resource through which occultists could contact one another. In April 1970 he appeared on the WNEW-TV Channel 5 documentary series Helluva Town, performing Wiccan rites with several assistants in Central Park. That year saw one of New York’s first substantial gatherings of occultists, the Festival of Occult Arts, as well as the first Earth Day celebration and the first Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day parade. These events inspired Martello’s desire to hold a public Wiccan Sabbat celebration. Acting under the auspices of WICA, in late summer he approached the New York City Parks Department asking for permission to hold a “Witch-In” in Sheep Meadow, at the south end of Central Park, on October 31, 1970. The Department refused, and when Martello stated that the Wiccan community would gather there regardless in their capacity as private individuals, he was threatened with police action. Martello gained the legal assistance of the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), who informed the Parks Department that they were in breach of the First Amendment. The Department subsequently reversed their decision, and the event went ahead.

Inspired by his victory over the Parks Department, Martello founded an organization devoted to campaigning for the religious rights of Wiccans, the Witches Anti-Defamation League (WADL), which would eventually be renamed the Alternative Religions Education Network (AREN). For WADL, he authored an essay titled “The Witch Manifesto”, likely influenced by Carl Wittman’s “Refugees from Amerika: A Gay Manifesto” (1970), which demanded that the Roman Catholic Church face a tribunal for crimes committed against accused witches in the Early Modern period and that they pay reparations to the modern Wiccan community for those actions.

In 1971, a young gay Wiccan named Eddie Buczynski contacted Martello, and requested initiation. Due to Buczynski’s inexperience in the religion, Martello turned him down, although struck up a friendship with him and introduced him to other covens who might initiate him, also introducing him to Herman Slater, who would become his long-time partner. Slater was ill with various medical complications, and on one occasion was rehabilitating at the New York University Medical Center when Martello performed a healing ritual on him with the assistance of Buczynski. Martello would come to be known as a regular at The Warlock Shop, an occult store opened by Slater in New York. Through The WICA Newsletter, Martello had met Lady Gwen Thompson, the founder of the New England Covens of Traditionalist Witches (NECTW), and decided to introduce Buczynski to her, resulting in Buczynski’s initiation into the tradition in Spring 1972. Martello and Thompson later fell out, with some unconfirmed accounts claiming that it was because he lent her money and she did not pay him back. In October 1972, Buczynski founded the Welsh tradition of Wicca, with Martello becoming an early initiate and taking on the name of “Nemesis” within that tradition. In turn, Martello welcomed Buczynski into his La Vecchia tradition, and initiated him up to the third degree.

In November 1972, Martello lectured at the first Friends of the Craft conference, held at New York’s First Unitarian Church. In April 1973, he moved to England for six months, where he was initiated and trained in the three degrees of Gardnerian Wicca by the Sheffield coven run by Patricia Crowther and her husband Arnold Crowther. He continued to encourage acceptance of homosexuality within the Wiccan community, authoring an article titled “The Gay Pagan” for Green Egg magazine.

Later life
Martello died of cancer in June 2000.
Personal life
Pagan studies scholar Michael G. Lloyd described Martello as “a lanky, hungry scrapper with piercing eyes, the face of a dark angel, and a mouth like a bear trap.” He was often noted for his scruffy appearance, typically wearing second hand clothes.

Martello defended the growing rise of feminists in Wicca during the 1970s, criticizing what he deemed as the continual repression of women within the Pagan movement.He also espoused the view that any Pagan who was involved in the U.S. government or military was a hypocrite. He was also critical of Wiccans who espoused a division between white magic and black magic, commenting that it had racial overtones and that many of those advocating such a view were racist.

Martello thought it unimportant that many Wiccans had lied about the origins of their beliefs, being quoted by Pagan journalist Margot Adler in her book Drawing Down the Moon as having stated “Let’s assume that many people lied about their lineage. Let’s further assume that there are no covens on the current scene that have any historical basis. The face remains: they do exist now. And they can claim a spiritual lineage going back thousands of years. All of our pre-Judeo-Christian or Moslem ancestors were Pagans!”.

Jan 25

Margaret Murray

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

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Margaret Alice Murray (1863 – 1963) was a prominent British anthropologist and Egyptologist, well known in academic circles for scholarly contributions to Egyptology and the study of folklore. Although her reputation as a witchcraft historian is poor and she has been roundly criticized by contemporary historians (as well as by many Wiccans and Neopagans), her works became popular bestsellers from the 1940s onwards and were popularly believed to be accurate. Although her thesis of a highly organized universal Pagan cult existing throughout early modern Christian Europe (and particularly the idea of a pan-European, pre-Christian Pagan religion that revolved around the Horned God) remains largely discredited and rejected, her theories have significantly influenced the emergence of Wicca and reconstructionist Neopagan religions during the 20th Century.

She was born in Calcutta, India on 13 July 1863, and she attended the University College of London as a student of linguistics and anthropology. As a young woman, she was a pioneering campaigner for women’s rights, and her scholarly interests and her willingness to pursue them against the barriers of the day were quite atypical for a Victorian woman, indicating considerable personal strength. She accompanied the renowned Egyptologist Sir William Flinders Petrie on several archaeological excavations in Egypt and Palestine during the late 1890s and was named Assistant Professor of Egyptology at the University College of London in 1924, a post she held until her retirement in 1935. She became a fellow of Britain’s Royal Anthropological Institute in 1926, and was voted President of the Folklore Society in 1953 at the age of 90.

However, Murray’s best known and most controversial legacy was her book, “The Witch-Cult in Western Europe”, published in 1921 during a period in which she was unable to find field work in Egypt. It laid out the essential elements of her thesis that there was a common pattern of underground Pagan resistance to the Christian Church across Europe, and that the European witch-hunts and the associated trials had not been the result of superstitious delusion and social pressures, but were an attempt by the Roman Catholic (and later the nascent Protestant) churches to eliminate a rival sect. She also maintained that Pagan beliefs and religions dating from Neolithic times through to the medieval period secretly practised human sacrifice until exposed by the witch hunt around the middle of the 15th Century.

The book may well have been influenced by “La Sorcière” (published in English as “Satanism and Witchcraft”), an 1862 book by Jules Michelet, which, although largely inaccurate, was still notable for being one of the first sympathetic histories of witchcraft. According to Michelet, medieval witchcraft was an act of popular rebellion against the oppression of feudalism and the Roman Catholic Church, taking the form of a secret religion inspired by Paganism and fairy beliefs and organized in the main by women.

Her “The God of the Witches” of 1931, clearly written for a more popular audience than standard academic works, expanded on her claims that the witch cult had worshipped a Horned God whose origins went back to prehistory, and claimed that reports of Satan during the witch trials of the Middle Ages actually represented Pagan gatherings, with their priest wearing a horned helmet to represent their Horned God.

In “The Divine King in England” of 1954, she expanded further on her earlier claims there was a secret conspiracy of Pagans among the English nobility, the same English nobility which provided the leading members of the Church. Her theories of secret conspiracies involving early English sovereigns and nobles, and her re-writing of the deaths of Thomas à Becket and Joan of Arc as Pagan martyrdom, however, have not been taken seriously as history even by her staunchest supporters.

Critical analysis of Murray’s work, mainly published in obscure journals, often failed to influence the reception of her books, and she became popularly regarded as a leading expert on witchcraft, and many found her theories attractive for the stress laid on freedom for women, open sexuality and resistance to Church oppression. Her work strongly influenced Gerald Gardner and later Wiccan pioneers, and the use of terms, concepts and phrases like the “Old Religion”, “coven” (as well as the specification of a thirteen-member coven), “Esbat”, the “Wheel of the Year” and the “Horned God” are largely influenced by, or derived directly from, Murrayite theory.

It is generally agreed today that, although her work did much to alert attention to the previously concealed history of European religion, Murray’s ideas (heavily influenced as they were by the ideas of the anthropologist Sir James Frazer in “The Golden Bough”, also largely discredited) extrapolated more than could be supported from her limited sources. Her questionable methodology, poor sourcing, selective quoting from the testimony of accused witches and subjective interpretation or manipulation of evidence in order to conform to her theories have been roundly criticized, and there have even been accusations of deliberate falsification of evidence.

Murray died on 13 November 1963 at the age of one hundred.

Jan 22

Samual Liddel Mathers

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

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mathers2Samual Liddel Mathers was born in 1854 at what is now 108 De Beauvoir Road, London, N.I.. His birthday is January the eighth, making him a Capricorn. Mathers claimed to be a descendant of the clan MacGregor and of Highland Scottish blood. Thus, this is why he added the name “MacGregor.” Mathers, according to William Butler Yeats, had two ruling passions in his life: “magic and the theory of war.” (It is interesting to note that although Mathers studied and wrote about military techniques, he was a strong vegetarian and avid anti-vivasectionist.)

It was Mathers who made the first English translation of Knorr Von Rosenroth’s, “Kabbalah Denudata.” This work was commissioned by Dr. Woodman and Dr. Westcott. It was about that time that the first discussions of the Golden Dawn were taking place. Mathers had an additional mentor who probably had the most impact on his life. This was Dr. Anna Kingsford (1846 – 1888), and it was to her that he dedicated the “Kabbalah Unveiled.”

Dr. Anna Kingsford was one of the early fighters for women’s rights. This characteristic was adopted by Mathers who demanded that women share equally in all ways in the Golden Dawn. She was also an anti-vivisectionist and a vegetarian. And, at a time when almost every male in English society smoked a pipe or cigar, Mathers was a non-smoker. Without a doubt that Dr. Kingsford, as a friend and as the leader of the Hermetic Society, was of great influence on the young and impressionable MacGregor Mathers.

Mathers used two mottos in the Golden Dawn. One was his Outer Order motto and was the motto of the entire MacGregor clan. The other comes from a mars talisman. They are respectfully:

S.R.M.D. which stands for S’ Rioghail Mo Dhrem, meaning “Royal is my race.”

D.D.C.F. which stands for Deo Duce Comite Ferro, meaning “God as my guide, my companion a sword.”

Unlike many back then and even now, Mathers dedicated his entire life to the Western Mystery Tradition and to the magical way of life. He was not only the Chief of the Second Order of the Golden Dawn, he was the author of almost all of the important Golden Dawn teachings and documents. He masterfully took a dry system of angelic magic brought forth by the early British Astrologer Dr. John Dee and developed it into what may very well be one of the most powerful magical systems in the world.

Much of what we know of the Tarot comes from Mathers and his wife. Today, we take the Tarot for granted, but without the ground breaking work of Mathers and the Golden Dawn, our Tarot symbolism might be basic and trite. Also, the Z Documents of the Order were gigantic contributions in the area of magical methods and techniques. To this day, most reputable sources on invocation, skrying, divination etc. borrow from the Z Documents knowingly or unknowingly. (The Z Documents should not be confused with Z-5, a series of books by Patrick Zawelski.)

Mathers was an eccentric. He loved the drama of good ritual. He often dressed in his Highlander garb when working on or with the Celtic pantheon. Later, he would change his living decor to Egyptian as he produced the public invocation to Isis in Paris. These invocations were very successful, and it was Mathers who brought forth the Egyptian pantheon into the Golden Dawn.

Mathers was seemingly very good with language. He was able to read and translate English, Hebrew, Latin, French, Celtic, Coptic and Greek. This, in itself, is quite interesting in that there is no record of him being taught so many languages in school. He must have learned them through another source or in another way.

Here is a list of books and material Mathers authored:

  • Practical Instruction in Infantry Campaigning Exercise (1884) (French)
  • The Tarot: A Short Treatise on Reading Cards (French)
  • The Fall of Granada: A Poem in Six Duans (1885) (French)
  • The Qabbalah Unveiled (1888) [Originally in Chaldee, but he translated the seventeenth century version of the Kabbala Dunatta by Knorr Von Rosenroth from Latin.
  • Egyptian Symbolism (Published in Paris)
  • The Grimoire of Armadel (French)
  • The Tarot, Its Occult Significance and Methods of Play (1888) (French?)
  • The Key of Solomon the King: Clavicula Solomonis (1889) (Hebrew)
  • The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage (1896) (French)
  • Astral Projection Ritual Magic and Alchemy -(Credit) Original Writings of the Golden Dawn Volume #1

Mathers has been much maligned by authors such as Crowley. Even many modern authors have portrayed a negative view of him. However, many of these authors had connections to organizations that broke away from Mathers and the Golden Dawn.

S.L. MacGregor Mathers, in many ways, remains somewhat of a private individual. No one really knows how he died. Violet Firth (Dion Fortune) claimed it was from the Spanish Influenza of 1918, but at best this is probably just a guess on her part. Moina Mathers claimed he was coherent right up unto the time of his death and that exhaustion from years of work with the secret Chiefs of the Third Order was responsible. It is very peculiar indeed that no body or grave site has ever been located of MacGregor Mathers, and there is no cause of death on his death certificate.

Whatever Mathers was or has become, in our minds, his work lives on in the life and Light of the Golden Dawn.

For more information about Mathers, please read the article The Truth about S.L. MacGregor Mathers.

Dec 08

Frederic William Henry Myers

Frederic_William_Henry_MyerBirth: February 6, 1843 in Keswick, England
Death: January 17, 1901 in Rome, Italy
A leading theoretician during the first generation of psychical research. He was born February 6, 1843, at Keswick, Cumberland, England, and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. For 30 years Myers filled the post of an inspector of schools at Cambridge. Here his resolve to pursue psychical investigation was born in 1869 after a starlight walk and talk with Henry Sidgwick.

His theory was that if a spiritual world ever manifested to humans, a serious investigation must be made to discover unmistakable signs of it. For “if all attempts to verify scientifically the intervention of another world should be definitely proved futile, this would be a terrible blow, a mortal blow, to all our hopes of another life, as well as of traditional religion” for “it would thenceforth be very difficult for men to be persuaded, in our age of clear thinking, that what is now found to be illusion and trickery was in the past thought to be truth and revelation.”

Myers had in mind an empiric method of deliberate, dispassionate, and exact inquiry. It was in this spirit that, in 1882, the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), London, of which he was a cofounder, came to be established. He devoted all his energies to its work and concentrated with a deep grasp of science on the psychological side. Of the 16 volumes of the society’s Proceedings published while he lived, there are few without an important contribution from his pen.

In Phantasms of the Living, a collaboration with Edmund Gurney and Frank Podmore (and one of the society’s first major studies of the paranormal), the system of classification of paranormal phenomena was entirely his idea.

The words “telepathy,” “supernormal,” “veridical,” and many others less in use today were coined by Myers.

In the SPR he filled the post of honorary secretary. In 1900, Myers was elected to the presidential chair, a post that only distinguished scientists had previously filled.

To periodicals such as the Fortnightly Review he contributed many articles. They were collected and published in 1893 under the titles Science and a Future Life and Other Essays.

His chief work, Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death, was posthumously published in 1903. It is an exposition of the potential powers of the subliminal self, which Myers pictured as the real ego, a vast psychic organism of which the ordinary consciousness is but an accidental fraction, the life of the soul, not bound up with the life of the body, of which the so-called supernormal faculties are the ordinary channels of perception.

Myers challenged the Spiritualist position that all, or most of, supernormal phenomena were due to the spirits of the dead, contending to the contrary that by far the largest proportion was due to the action of the still embodied spirit of the agent or of the percipient himself. The theory brought order into a chaotic mass of psychical phenomena. On the other hand, it greatly enhanced the probability of survival after death. As the powers of the subliminal self did not degenerate during the course of evolution and served no purpose in this life they were obviously destined for a future existence. Why, for instance, should the subconscious so carefully preserve all thoughts and memories if there would be no use for them?

William James suggested that the problems of the subliminal mind should be called “the problem of Myers.” And he added, “Whatever the judgment of the future may be on Mr. Myers’ speculation, the credit will always remain to them of being the first attempt in any language to consider the phenomena of hallucination, automatism, double personality, and mediumship as connected parts of one whole subject.”

Theodore Flournoy, a profound psychologist himself, considered Myers “one of the most remarkable personalities of our time in the realm of mental science.” Further, he observed, “If future discoveries confirm his thesis of the intervention of the discarnate, in the web and the woof of our mental and physical world then his name will be inscribed in the golden book of the initiated, and, joined to those of Copernicus and Darwin, he will complete the triad of geniuses who have the most profoundly revolutionised scientific thought, in the order, Cosmological, Biological and Psychological.”

Walter Leaf compared Myer to Ruskin and considered him in some respects his peer. According to Charles Richet “if Myers were not a mystic, he had all the faith of a mystic and the ardour of an apostle, in conjunction with the sagacity and precision of a savant.”

“I never knew a man so hopeful concerning his ultimate destiny,” wrote Sir Oliver Lodge in memoriam. “He once asked me whether I would barter–if it were possible–my unknown destiny, whatever it might be, for as many aeons of unmitigated and wise terrestrial happiness as might last till the secular fading of the sun, and then an end. He would not.”

Myers was working not only in the first generation of parapsychology, but at a time when psychology was struggling to separate itself from the dominance of physiology. The kind words of Myers’s contemporaries about his psychological theories reflect his general high standing in the intellectual community and the larger consideration that was being given to Myers’s theories concerning the human personality. His psychological theories, which could possibly have made a significant place for the paranormal in the consideration of the psychological community, were, however, displaced by the competing thought of his contemporary, Sigmund Freud, and the emergence of psychotherapy. In the success of Freudian thought, Myers’s ideas were pushed to the fringe.

Myers on Spiritualist Phenomena

In Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death, physical phenomena received but little consideration. Myers believed in telekinesis, but in spite of his own experiments and those of Sir William Crookes, its genuine occurrence did not appear to him sufficiently believable to justify discussion in his book. Nevertheless, in dealing with possession he suggested an ingenious explanation, i.e., that the possessing spirit may use the organism more skillfully than its owner and may emit some energy that can visibly move ponderable objects not actually in contact with the flesh. Of his own investigations between 1872 and 1876 he said that they were “tiresome and distasteful enough.”

On May 9, 1874, in the company of Edmund Gurney, he made the acquaintance of medium William Stainton Moses. The two became such close friends that when Moses died on September 5, 1982, his notebooks were handed to Myers for study.

Myers’s articles in the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research (vols. 9 and 11) contain the best accounts of this remarkable mediumship, althyough his conclusions were not solely based on personal experiences with Moses. He also participated in some startling sessions involving C. E. Wood and Annie Fairlamb Mellon.

In 1894, on the Ile Roubaud, Myers was the guest of Charles Richet and participated with Sir Oliver Lodge and Julien Ochorowicz in the experiments conducted with Eusapia Palladino. The Cambridge exposure of Palladino’s fraud shook his belief and he then wrote: “I had no doubt that systematic trickery had been used from the first to last, and that there was no adequate ground for attributing any of the phenomena occurring at these sittings to a supernormal cause.” Later, however, he participated in another series of sittings with Palladino in Paris and at the solemn adjuration of Richet he declared himself convinced that both telekinesis and ectoplasm were genuine phenomena. He also sat with Mrs. Thomas Everitt, Elizabeth d’Esperance, and David Duguid.

Further, Myers experienced crystal gazing and he investigated the haunted Ballechin House in Perthshire, Scotland. As a result, he published two papers in the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research: “On Alleged Movements of Objects without Contact, occurring not in the Presence of a Paid Medium” (vol. 7, pts. 19 and 20, 1891-92).

Myers Speaks from the Grave?

Myers died January 17, 1901, in Rome, Italy. After his death, a flood of claimed communications from his spirit came from many mediums. The most important ones were those received through Leonora Piper, Margaret Verrall, and Alice K. Fleming (known publicly as Mrs. Holland). As regards the latter, Frank Podmore and Alice Johnson agreed that the “Myers” control was a subconscious creation of the medium. The views there expressed were alien to the mentality of the living Myers.

Verrall apparently obtained the contents of a sealed letter that Myers had written in 1891 and left in the care of Sir Oliver Lodge for such a test. However, when the letter was opened in 1904 the contents were found to be entirely different.

In 1907, Eleanor Sidgwick obtained good identity proofs through Leonora Piper. On her behalf, Verrall asked some questions to which she did not know that answer and received correct replies as regards the contents of the last conversation that had taken place between Mrs. Sidgwick and Myers.

Many other impressive indications of his surviving self were found in cross-correspondences, especially during Piper’s second visit to England in 1906-07. The whole system of cross-correspondences appears to have been elaborated by him, and the wealth of classical knowledge displayed in the connected fragments given by several mediums raises a strong presumption that they emanated from Myers’ mind.

The most striking evidence of this nature was obtained after Piper’s return to the United States by G. B. Dorr in 1908. Frank Podmore considered it “perhaps the strongest evidence yet obtained for the identity of any communicator.”

In The Road to Immortality (1932), a book supposedly written by Myers through Geraldine Cummins, a stupendous vista was opened up, apparently by Myers, of the soul’s progression through the after-death states. As regards the authorship of the book, Sir Oliver Lodge received independent testimony through Gladys Osborne Leonard from “Myers” of his communications through Cummins. Lodge saw no reason to dissent from the view that the remarkable accounts of the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh states “are the kind of ideas which F. W. H. Myers may by this time [1932] have been able to form.”

Berger, Arthur S., and Joyce Berger. The Encyclopedia of Parapsychology and Psychical Research. New York: Paragon House, 1991.
Gauld, Alan. The Founders of Psychical Research. New York: Schocken Books, 1968.
Haynes, Renée. The Society for Psychical Research, 1882-1982: A History. London: Mcdonald, 1982.
Myers, F. W. H. Human Personality and the Survival of Bodily Death. London: Longmans, Green, 1903.
——. Science and a Future Life: With Other Essays. London: Macmillan, 1901.
Myers, F. W. H., Edmund Gurney, and Frank Podmore. Phantasms of the Living. London: Trubner, 1886.
Pleasants, Helene, ed. Biographical Dictionary of Parapsychology. New York: Helix Press, 1964.
Salter, W. H. “F. W. H. Myers’ Posthumous Message.” Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research 52 (1958).

Dec 06

Dr. Franz Anton Mesmer

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)

franzThe modern era of hypnosis and hypnotherapy really begins with Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815), the Viennese physician who left the word “mesmerism” to posterity. For various reasons, he also gave hypnosis the rather unsalubrious reputation that still persists in some quarters today.

Of course, as we now know, hypnosis and trance states are fundamental human traits, which have been around for as long as humanity itself. Ancient texts from Egypt, China, Greece and Rome all describe practices that we might now regard as hypnotic. For example, a 3rd Century CE papyrus discovered at Thebes describes a divinatory rite, in which a boy slave is entranced by the flickering flames of an oil lamp in order to give oracular advice (I).

It would, of course, be wrong to speak about “ancient hypnotherapy”, since most of the suggestive historical examples we have concern magical practices, rather than healing per se (although magic is often concerned with healing, of course). Mesmer was the first to lead hypnotism out of the realms of the occult and into scientific study, although some might argue that he didn’t lead it very far!

As a young man, Mesmer studied theology and law before moving on to medicine.

The theory which made his name and ensured his notoriety was that of “animal magnetism”, something which had its origins in his doctoral thesis, completed at the University of Vienna in 1766. Mesmer was highly influenced by the work of Isaac Newton and the theory of gravity. He theorized that the “tidal” influences of the planets also operate on the human body through a universal force, which he termed “animal magnetism”.

At the time that it was written, Mesmer’s thesis aroused no controversy, and at the age of 33, he went on to found a perfectly conventional practice in Vienna. As he approached his forties, however, he found himself increasingly dissatisfied with the approach to medicine that was current at the time – a combination of bleeding, purgatives and opiates that was often more painful and terrifying than the conditions it sought to treat.

Mesmer favoured an altogether gentler approach, and his devotion to his patients was quite extraordinary. His breakthrough case was that of Franzl Oesterline, a 27 year old woman suffering from what Mesmer described as a convulsive malady, “the most troublesome symptoms of which was that the blood rushed to her head and there set up the most cruel toothaches and earaches, followed by delirium, rage, vomiting and swooning” (II). These symptoms were so severe that Fraulein Oesterline moved into Mesmer’s house to receive round-the-clock care.

Returning to the theories of his student days, Mesmer effected a cure by, as he saw it, using a magnet to disrupt the gravitational tides adversely affecting his patient. He successfully induced in Fraulein Oesterline the sensation of a fluid draining rapidly from her body, taking her illness with it. Her recovery after that was complete and virtually instantaneous.

From a modern perspective, we can see that the results were produced by the hypnotic suggestion of a fluid draining from the body – a wonderful healing metaphor that wouldn’t be out of place in a 21st century hypnotherapy practice. Even Mesmer realized that the magnet had nothing to do with the cure. His system rested on the belief that illness was caused by depleted levels of animal magnetism, and that these could be replenished by the healer transmitting some of his own abundant magnetic force across the ether to the patient. The magnet was simply a device that allowed this to happen, along with the complex and lengthy sequence of hand gestures and touch known as the “mesmeric pass”.

Mesmer went on to achieve similarly impressive results with other patients, claiming cures for blindness, paralysis, convulsions and other “hysterical” conditions, as well as effective treatment of menstrual difficulties and haemorrhoids! He became a celebrity, going on tour and giving dramatic demonstrations of his techniques and powers at the courts of the European nobility.

Mesmer’s taste for theatre and showmanship may well have contributed to the hostile reception he received from the medical establishment of the day, although he personally believed that it was because he dared to get results without using conventional medical techniques. In any event, his life and career became dogged with controversy. Most famously, he was denounced as a charlatan after curing the concert pianist Maria-Theresa Paradis of psychosomatic blindness. This didn’t meet with the approval of her parents, who stood to lose a royal pension if their daughter was cured. She was forcibly and rather violently removed from Mesmer’s house, where she’d been staying to receive treatment, whereupon her blindness returned. Although this says more about her parents than it does about Mesmer, the episode was seized upon by his critics as proof that he was a fraud.

Mesmer was irrevocably brought into disrepute when a royal commission was appointed to investigate his findings. The commission, which included such luminaries as Benjamin Franklin and John Guillotine, could find no evidence to support his theories of animal magnetism. They observed that Mesmer was able to cure patients by having them touch “magnetized” trees, but that patients were cured even if they touched “non-magnetized” trees. Therefore, they concluded, Mesmer must be a charlatan.

In many ways, Mesmer is a victim of the old adage “that’s all very well in practice, but does it work in theory?” Of course any serious investigation would fail to find evidence of animal magnetism being transferred through the ether, since none of these things exist – this would have been apparent even in the 18th century. However, just as Mesmer was right for the wrong reasons, so his critics were wrong for the right reasons, and failed to draw the correct conclusions from their observations. The psychological truth of Mesmer’s approach went unrecognized, just as the trance-inducing and suggestion techniques that were the real reason for his success lay undiscovered beneath the layers of the magnetic, mesmeric pass.

Nevertheless, Mesmer’s legacy persisted, into the nineteenth century and beyond, as arguments over his techniques shaped the development of hypnosis as we know it today.

Dec 03

Mother Shipton

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

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MShipton1Mother Shipton was a 16th Century English soothsayer, prophetess and supposed witch who is said to have made dozens of unusually accurate predictions, including the Great Plague of London, the Spanish Armada and the Great Fire of London. Many of the more colourful details of her life (such as her birth in a cave in Knaresborough and her hideous appearance) were later admitted to have been fabricated by Richard Head, the editor of a book of her prophecies published forty years after her death.

Mother Shipton was born Ursula Southeil (or possibly Sontheil) the daughter of the 16-year old suspected witch Agatha Southeil (or Sontheil) in 1488 (or possibly 1486). She was reputedly born grotesquely deformed and hideously ugly, but was nevertheless taken in by a kindly townswoman. Her head was too large, her “goggling” eyes glowed like embers, her cheeks were sunken, her limbs were twisted and ill-formed, and she was born with a full set of teeth which protruded like the tusks of a boar. According to local accounts was referred to as “Hag-Face” and “Devils Bastard” as she grew up, and it was believed by many that the father of such an ugly child must be the Devil himself. Some of the accounts of “strange and terrible noises” or a great crack of thunder and a pungent smell of brimstone at the moment of Ursula’s birth are probably later fabrications to fit in with the fanciful notion that the Devil had been the child’s father.

Fanciful tales grew up around her of strange events which were said to have plagued the cottage as she grew up.

The furniture would mysteriously rearrange itself, plates be flung about, and food vanish before the eyes of astonished mealtime guests. It is said that when pushed beyond the limits of her notoriously limited patience, she would send goblins (or even dragons) to put some of her tormentors to flight. On one occasion, warned that her activities might lead to her being burnt as a witch, she supposedly put her wooden staff in the fire and, when the flames had no effect on it, said: “If this had been burned, I might have too’.

However, neither her growing reputation as a witch nor her appearance (which apparently worsened as she grew up) deterred a York carpenter and builder Toby Shipton from marrying her in 1512 (the inevitable tale developed that she had used a love-potion to bewitch her hapless suitor). Although they remained childless, their relationship was described as “very comfortable”.

Mother Shipton was credited with powers of clairvoyance and through the centuries her predictions, originally passed down by word of mouth, were held in the same high regard as those of her near contemporary, Nostradamus. Her early forecasts were to do with local people and events, and people travelled to Knaresborough from some distance around to consult her. She was particularly successful in solving the sort of commonplace interpersonal disputes, and it was recorded that thieves would publicly return stolen goods (apologizing to the astonished owners for their sin), wandering husbands would beg forgiveness and mend their ways, and corrupt officials would make spontaneous acts of restitution.

But, as time passed, her prophecies became more ambitious and began to relate to the country as a whole, including prominent figures at the court of Henry VIII. For example, she predicted that Cardinal Wolsey (the “Mitred Peacock”) would see York, but never reach it, and in 1530, after falling out of favour with the King, Wolsey set out to find refuge in the north and was within sight of York when Lord Percy arrived with a Royal Summons demanding he return to London to face a charge of high treason.

Her reputation hMShipton3as been kept alive by her foretelling of events in the more distant future: the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, the accession of Lady Jane Grey, Drake’s defeat of the Spanish Armada, the Great Plague of 1665 and, perhaps most famously, the Great Fire of London of 1666. It is claimed that some of her prophetical verses foretold iron ships, motor transport, submarines, aircraft and perhaps even the Internet (‘around the world thoughts shall fly in the twinkling of an eye’). One of the most famous examples of Mother Shipton’s prophecies, which apparently foretells many aspects common to modern civilization and predicts the end of the world in 1881, is now known to be a 19th Century forgery, which did not appear in print until 1862.

Many people now accept that the figure of Mother Shipton is largely a myth, and that the majority of her prophecies were composed by others in retrospect, after her death. The most notable book of her prophecies, edited by Richard HMShipton2ead, was first published in 1684, and Head later admitted to having invented almost all of Shipton’s biographical details.

Mother Shipton died in 1561 (or 1567), and is said to have been buried in unconsecrated ground somewhere on the outskirts of York, possibly at Clifton. Despite the disproofs of many of her prophesies, she was both feared and revered in her own time, and has been remembered by many over the centuries as England’s greatest prophetess.