A widely known channeler of this variety is J. Z. Knight, who claims to channel the spirit of Ramtha, a 30 thousand-year-old man. Others purport to channel spirits from "future dimensions", ascended masters,[32] or, in the case of the trance mediums of the Brahma Kumaris, God.[33] Other notable channels are Jane Roberts for Seth, Esther Hicks for Abraham,[34] and Carla L. Rueckert for Ra.[35][36]
Psychic Three's studio was nestled in a suburban strip mall and plastered with the classic psychic decor that makes graphic designers consider seppuku—deep purple signs with all-caps yellow text and neon crystal balls. I scampered up a bright red stairwell and into a purple room (same purple as the signs) where a smiling woman wearing a tank top and sweat pants was sitting at a small table. I sat down opposite her and took in the weird mix of art—a small tapestry of what I'm quite sure was Jesus and his disciples on the table, but also a fair share of Buddha statues, too.
In 1958, the English-born Spiritualist C. Dorreen Phillips wrote of her experiences with a medium at Camp Chesterfield, Indiana: "In Rev. James Laughton's séances there are many Indians. They are very noisy and appear to have great power. [...] The little guides, or doorkeepers, are usually Indian boys and girls [who act] as messengers who help to locate the spirit friends who wish to speak with you."[20]
In 1880 the American stage mentalist Washington Irving Bishop published a book revealing how mediums would use secret codes as the trick for their clairvoyant readings.[84] The Seybert Commission was a group of faculty at the University of Pennsylvania who in 1884–1887 exposed fraudulent mediums such as Pierre L. O. A. Keeler and Henry Slade.[85] The Fox sisters confessed to fraud in 1888. Margaret Fox revealed that she and her sister had produced the "spirit" rappings by cracking their toe joints.[86]
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