I am going to present a piece of evidence which I discovered yesterday, bearing on one of my famous literature claims for Mathew Franklin Whittier. But first, I want to comment on proof and skepticism.
Yesterday, I watched a lovely demonstration of mediumship online, from 2012 at a Spiritualist church, conducted by one Jeanine Glynn. Of the several readings, there was ample evidential material--names, idiosyncratic details she would have had no normal way of knowing, etc. Not only that, but as I have watched hundreds of readings, now, on YouTube, I am very familiar with how the mediums work. I can spot someone who's "fishing" or jumping on a statement to make it seems as though they had said it first, and so-on. Even the some of the best mediums occasionally resort to such things, perhaps if they are having a bad day, the cameras are rolling, and they don't want to look bad. Some of them are so well-disciplined as to never use these tactices, even unconsciously. I've seen Lisa Williams do it, but I don't think I've ever see John Edward do it. I mean things like, "Did he have a green Chevy?" No, he had a green-and-white Ford." "That's right, a green Ford." This isn't a good example, it's just what I could come up with on short notice. Generally, it means the medium got an impression from the person on the spirit side, or from the spirit team working with him or her, and interpreted it incorrectly. In an honest and genuine medium, it's not an indication of fraud, it's an indication of misinterpretation of symbols, which the medium then might or might not try to gloss over. As said, some of them are so disciplined and well-trained, that they candidly admit this is what's going on. But their "hits" remove all doubt that it's a genuine process, if one is logical about it.
Now, I happened to read the comments below this video, while I was leaving one of my own. These people think they are very clever, but they are ignoramuses. Comments like:
It's all an act, they all ask the same ambiguous questions give this woman bleached hair and a scouse accent you've got derek 'the fraud' accorah. Ask a 60+ woman "do you have a parent in the spirit world? It's rather likely. And they rarely if ever get a name right. I feel sorry for all these gullible, bereaved folk.?
Very little evidence. Lots of generalizations. Doesn't mean that all mediumship is like that. I have had private sittings with some of the great mediums, sadly now all deceased Leslie Flint, direct Voice, recordings of his seances are now on You Tune under New Leslie Flint Trust, and Irish mental medium Albert Best. They were great. This demonstration is just a lot of guesswork.?
If this so called person can mention things like what's happening in July, why can't she say her own name? Why do these 'spirits' come out with all these vague, generic facts, but never say their name, or the name of the person they've got the message for?
AND IT REALLY DOES BEWILDER ME , IN THIS DAY AND AGE, PEOPLE STILL BELIEF IN THESE VILE , DISCUSTING , FRAUDSTERS..
cant watch it.making me cringe?
very little evidence more of a tarrot card reader very general?
The woman in blue is clearly a stooge in the audience so that if anything goes wrong the cairvoyant can go back to her to save her pitch.?
Does anyone here know of a young person that was taken quickly in maybe a road accident? I should think the chances are pretty high of that! As is the possibility of someone committing suicide. These fraudsters are just playing on probability. Anyone could do that. Total bollocks.?
God despises this behaviour.Its an abomination in his eyes.People should not attend these places or have anything to do with the occult.Its demons talking and total deception.Leviticus 19:31 'Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.'(NIV) Leviticus 20:27 "Men and women among you who act as mediums or psychics must be put to death by stoning. They are guilty of a capital offense."(NLT)
These critics are of different types, and different persuasions. One purports to be knowledgeable, but he's not being objective. This medium got ample "hits" to show that she's quite genuine, though perhaps not as many as we are accustomed to seeing with the great ones, like Gordon Smith. She got some names right without wrong guesses; she got some very specific details. These people weren't paying close attention, or perhaps they didn't watch the entire demonstration. And no, I don't think she's a fraud, using "plants." I have never seen evidence for the use of plants in these demonstrations. I went to see John Edward live, specifically to rule out the possible normal explanations of "plants" and video editing, and I saw evidence which refutes both. The evidence which rules out plants, had to do with two ladies whom he specifically went to in the audience (they weren't raising their hands because the deceased person had died of brain cancer that spread to the chest, rather than being in the chest as Edward had said, so he had to point them out in an area of about five people in an audience of 3,000). One of them was crying immediately after the reading, because she had been in California and unable to attend the death (I think it was of her mother). But that wasn't the evidence. The evidence was that some 15 minutes later, when the session was over and everybody was filing out, I looked over at this woman, and she was still crying softly, with nobody else paying any attention to her. I don't care how much you pay an actress, no "plant" is going to keep up the charade with nobody looking, 15 minutes later. Edward had, as I recall, gotten at least two names right, the illness and the circumstances--and this was not a "plant."
Then we have our rabid fundamentalist, who would consign this sweet, grandmotherly lady to death row, for helping grieving persons and passing along advice and encouragement from their loved ones in heaven. These people are psychotic, except their drug of choice is bad religion. I poked fun at them when I was Mathew, as I have shared regarding his signed report of the "Millerite" meeting, recently.
Now. There are five types of proof, corresponding to five types of audiences. The first, in order from easiest to hardest, is the one who believes everything. "It's all good!" is their motto. They are, in a sense, the easiest to convince, but in a sense they are the hardest. Because while they believe everything on the surface, deep down, they don't believe any of it, not really. If they are hit hard enough with the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune," they are likely to flip over and join the ranks of the hardcore cynics.
Next is oneself, proving something to oneself. If one is strictly and rigorously honest, this isn't as easy as it might seem, but still, you know that you aren't a fraud; you know all the details (having uncovered and documented them, yourself), and you know when some piece of evidence is significant. So you don't have to fight yourself, except where your own skepticism is concerned. At least you don't have to fight anyone else's skepticsm. I know, for example, that in year 2003, I wrote to an interviewer that I thought I had once been a peripheral figure among the Romantic poets. I don't have to prove to myself that I didn't fake it. I remember my subjective processes when I wrote that--I know I was reaching intuitively into myself, and reporting something I had been perceiving at least since grade school, if not earlier.
The third class is the genuinely open-minded skeptic. For such a person, I would have to show that you can, to this day, look up the online interview in which I made that statement, on Archive.org's "Wayback Machine." I could not possibly have tampered with this, so it proves that I actually made that statement when I say I did, and it gives the exact wording, just as I quote it in my book.
Fourth, and last, is our cynic (the religious fanatic is not in his right mind, so I'm not even giving him the honor of a category). I can show this cynic the archived interview on Archive.org, and he will come up with an explanation of some kind. I can't even think of one--how about "it's a general statement that anybody could make, and which you could interpret any number of ways." That's dishonest. It isn't general, and I can't recall ever seeing anybody else say it. Or, the other one that comes to mind is, "He worked it backwards--he guessed at a lifetime as a peripheral figure among the Romantic poets, and then he went looking for one." That's more rational--a good theory, in fact--but it doesn't hold up to investigation. That's simply not how it went down. But I have gone into that many times, before. I stumbled upon this past-life match looking for something else, and had a subjective experience of recognizing myself in an engraving of Mathew's eyes. I had no idea he was anything like me in personality or talents, except that he physically looked like me. The rest all came later, because this historical figure is essentially unknown. He only comes up briefly in the John Greenleaf Whittier legacy, and is given short-shrift even there. He's portrayed as the black sheep of the Whittier family, who had just barely enough talent for his "Ethan Spike" satires to gain some grassroots fame, which has long since expired. Even this, I had never heard of when I first saw the engraving.
So our cynic would have a good theory, but if he was honest, he would look into it and admit that this wasn't the answer. However, he never does. He sticks with his theory just like the fundamentalist does, evidence or no evidence. He takes the high ground of rationality by force, and holds it by force, unfairly.
I have concluded that Mathew Franklin Whittier was the original author of two poems that the future Elizabeth Barrett Browning published, in a compilation entitled, simply, "Poems," in 1844. The first is entitled "The Lost Bower," and the second is entitled "Lady Geraldine's Courtship." This second poem (both poems, actually) is written in very much the same style as "The Raven," and not only that, there is a nearly identical line found in "Geraldine" and "The Raven." Scholars, finding this correspondence, charge Poe with imitation--a charge he apparently was aware of, himself, because when he published his compilation, "The Raven and Other Poems," he lavishly dedicated it to Barrett. This, obviously, by way of what we now call "damage control." He would rather admit to imitating Barrett, than to admit he had stolen it from Mathew Franklin Whittier, as Barrett had also stolen her two poems. It was a real can of worms, and best for the two of them to pretend Poe was a great fan of hers, than to have the truth come out.
Mathew's hands were tied publicly, for reasons I've dealt with, before. He did not want the publicity of a fight, and he also knew that he would probably lose. But that didn't stop him from leaving coded messages in his published works for years to come.
I just found another one, yesterday. And the reason I went through the categories of proof, is that this proves it, to me. Not because I am sloppy, but because I have the totality of the evidence at my fingertips. I know how the entire tapestry is put together; and I know Mathew's modus operandi intimately. I know this is Mathew's poem; I know the signature is code; and I know why he signed it this way. I know what his deep motivation was, and his deep feelings. Nobody else has the grasp of these things that I do, though I have tried to convey them.
If an honest skeptic took the time and trouble to become aquainted with the entire body of my evidence, and he or she remained honest, it would be convincing to him or her, as well. But remember that the original authorship of "The Raven" is directly tied to this evidence. If Mathew was the real author of "Lady Geraldine's Courtship," being a tribute to his courtship with Abby, then he wrote "The Raven" as well, about his grief and faith crisis after she died. The matching line is simply something he re-used, either intentionally or unintentionally; and the subject of that line, purple curtains, was an actual object he owned, which held some deeply personal significance for him, relating to Abby.
Here is the poem, which I found in the Aug. 6 1853 edition of the Portland (Maine) "Transcript."
This is a period in Mathew's life when he was attempting a relationship with Abby in the spirit world, just as I have with her, today. It lasted at least three years, perhaps longer, and there is a great deal of evidence for it in Mathew's various works. Of course he was circumspect with his pseudonyms when dealing with this subject. There are many more couples doing this, today, than you would ever guess. They are all hidden, for fear of ridicule and worse ("worse" being the practical effects of shunning, like losing one's employment). I have mentioned Mathew's series, "Over the Way," where "Carpet-Bag" editor B.P. Shillaber would poke gentle (or not-so-gentle) fun at Mathew, who was given the title "The Sensitive Man"--while printing Mathew's actual poems. I could give a sample, but I'm feeling Abby protest: "These are extremely personal--isn't it enough that you give one of them to convince skeptics?" I think she's right. These comparison poems are in the books.
Mathew and Abby appear to having privately joked about her being a "water sprite," perhaps because she had the habit of swimming in the Merrimack River near her family home. But Mathew saw her as almost a supernatural being--his first love poem to her as "Miss Molly Blueberry," which I've shared recently, makes that abundantly clear. After she passed in 1841, of course this perception of her only intensified. So here he characterizes her as a "fairy," but there is a twist. Why would anyone write about a fairy who is subjected to slander? What a bizarre turn for the poem to take! It isn't bizarre at all, it's veiled biography. I have quite a bit of evidence indicating that Abby was subjected to shunning by her peers, which Mathew defended her from, in life. So, too, after her passing.
Above is a sample from the first of a series of three, which Mathew wrote for the Boston-based "New-England Galaxy" at age 15. (In the third one, he even makes a cameo appearance as the poet-boarder of one of the club members.) Abby, four years younger, must have gone through some public humiliation at this time. Based on one of her short-stories, which Mathew published posthumously, it appears she may have been tricked by a pair of sisters into giving one of them a palm reading, which provided the excuse they needed to accuse her of witchcraft. (Yes, people still did that in the late 1820's.) Mathew, living in Boston, stepped up to the plate with these scathing satires, which would have cheered Abby's spirits and hit home to whomever would recognize themselves in them.
I am not guessing, by the way, that this series was written in direct support of a crisis that young Abby was going through, back in their hometown of East Haverhill, Mass. I give all the evidence for this in my books.
So in the 1853 poem, Mathew is portraying Abby as a "fairy," who, in life, had been unfairly subjected to slander, and who is now happily impervious to it. Here's another piece of evidence, which I believe I've already shown you. (If a cynic were now in meditation, he could actually watch his own mental processes as he blocked this now-announced presentation of evidence, by refusing to consider it. I know, because I have gained the ability to watch my own mind, in real time, do the same thing.) When Mathew presented Abby's short stories in the 1849/50 Boston "Weekly Museum," he placed a poem at the top of one of them, in tribute to her--and addressing this same issue:
"Our father says that what before
We told you was not right;
For God has grace enough in store
To save a Water Sprite."
So this is definitely Mathew's poem in tribute to Abby, whom he now loves as a spirit, and with whom he is continuing his relationship. The only difference between Mathew and myself, is that he was only able to sustain it, against the pressures of his own inner skeptic, and (perhaps) nature's physical urges, for a few years. I am going the distance with her, today.
We all have second chances, in subsequent incarnations, to get things right.
But look at the signature--"Bertram." What are the chances? Are you going to invoke the principle of "Chance" on this one? Are you going to tell me that Elizabeth Barrett was the real, original author of "Lady Geraldine's Courtship," which poem Mathew simply admired? Even though it was precisely in Mathew's style (including prior to 1844), and that Barrett doesn't seem to have had a style of her own, as near as I can tell? Even though I can bring together a whole battery of related clues pointing to Mathew's authorship?
"Bertram" is the name of the poet, the male protagonist, in "Lady Geraldine's Courtship," who is writing a letter, in verse, to his friend (Mathew has used similar literary devices elsewhere, including in his very earliest work). Mathew has disguised Abby's identity by turning a 15-year-old daughter of a marquis in America, into an acceptably older British lady of nobility. Otherwise, the gist of the courtship is autobiographical, as one can see from Mathew's other tributes, and from Abby's own short stories, in combination. The only explanation, given all the evidence taken together, is that Mathew was giving us a clue that he was the original author of "Lady Geraldine's Courtship." Precisely as he had hinted that he was the original author of the "Quails" travelogue series, in the example I showed you recently in his introduction to the "J.O.B." series. He is also telling us that this is a real fairy, i.e., the same magical girl he courted many years ago. Note that she "adds jewels of the mind." That's because Abby was brilliant (as our second psychic mentioned four times), and because they shared poetry and literature precisely as one sees in "Lady Geraldine's Courtship."
How you react to this, would tell us which category you belong in. If this was a YouTube video, what kind of comment would you leave us?
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page: "Things With Wings," by Liz Story,
from the album, "Solid Colors"