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Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife Paperback – January 14, 2013
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I was reintroduced to Mrs. Piper, to a resurrected Mrs. Piper, because now I could really see her, so to speak, through the medium of Michael Tymn's book. The drama of belief/ disbelief, of paradigm threats and retreating back to safe grounds of disbelief or denial, and so forth, are all illustrated very well in the tale of Mrs. Piper. But what Tymn's book reveals most clearly, startling so at times, is the profound evidentiality of Mrs. Piper's work. - Paul D. Biscop, Ph.D.
About the Author
A resident of Kailua, Hawaii, Michael E Tymn is vice-president of the Academy of Spirituality and Paranormal Studies, Inc., and editor of the Academy's quarterly magazine, The Searchlight. He is the author of several books, including The Afterlife Revealed, Transcending the Titanic and The Afterlife Explorers, which are published by White Crow Books.
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Top Customer Reviews
Leading Victorian intellectuals on both sides of the Atlantic, such as the renowned physicist Sir Oliver Lodge, Cambridge philosopher Henry Sidgewick, psychologist William James, and many others, longed to take on the materialists at their own game. That is, they sought to find solid evidence that would refute materialism. Accordingly, these eminent men and women started the British and American Societies for Psychical Research, in London and in Boston.
It is important to stress that many of these early researchers, such as Richard Hodgson and Frank Podmore, started off as hard-core skeptics, determined to debunk fraudulent mediums. And indeed, these men were instrumental at exposing several frauds, mostly professional "physical" mediums.
However, after studying "mental" mediums such as Leonora Piper, their opinions gradually changed, and they came to believe that mediums such as Mrs Piper were in fact genuine. Most of these women were not professionals, but were upper and upper middle class women who kept their mediumship a closely guarded secret, even from their friends.
Contrary to what "skeptics" may write, men such as Hodgson and Podmore were not gullible fools. Hodgson had Piper trailed by detectives, and not the slightest suspicious activity was ever noted. She was also brought to London England (where she knew no one and so could have no confederates) to be studied, and the results in London were every bit as impressive as they were in her home town of Boston.
Leonora Piper seemed to produce messages from deceased persons, many of whom were known to the researchers in life. The messages were produced while she was in a trance, either through writing on paper, or at times, when she seemed to be possessed by the deceased and spoke directly to the sitters.
Everything Piper said or wrote in a trance was recorded (except for some material of a confidential nature). The records of her mediumship are therefore permanent and objective, and can be studied by anyone at any time.
Michael Tymn's book is an excellent study of the Piper mediumship. He considers the alternative explanations of fraud and super-ESP, and shows why they are untenable. Highly recommended, and a pleasure to read.
(Chris Carter is author of Science and the Afterlife Experience)
Science and the Afterlife Experience: Evidence for the Immortality of Consciousness
I was particularly interested in the chapters on the research of Richard Hodgson, who had been expected by the SPR leadership to discredit Mrs. Piper as he had tried to discredit all established mediums, including Madam Blavatsky and Eusapia Palladino. Before he went to investigate Mrs. Piper he stated that he was going to show how she was able to use tricks so successfully, or in his own words, how Mrs.. Piper obtained information, 'previously by ordinary means, such as inquiries by confederates'.
Michael shows us step by step the information that came through in the sittings which gradually led to a complete transformation of Hodgson and his return through Mrs Piper after his death. One example -the 11 sittings of Mr J. Rogers Rich who made detailed notes and was overwhelmed when his recently deceased friend Newell came through and in his own voice said "Well, of all the persons under the sun, Rogers Rich, what brought you here? I'm glad to see you old fellow. How is X and Y and Z , and all the boys at the club?". All the while Mrs Piper appeared to be twirling an imaginary moustache, something which Newell frequently did while alive.
I think the book will also be of enormous interest to any budding mediums because of the light that it sheds on the complexities of mediumship and the development of trance. I loved the detail of it all and especially the sitting arranged by Hodgson where close friends of the sitters came through and chatted at length giving so much evidence. I also loved the fact that the controls seemed to be having conversations with each other and showing human emotions toward each other.
early mediums in American history. A great read
although not for the beginner.