‘Dead’ celebrities

Any of us searching the web for information about cosmic realities, whatever they may be, have to sift through a bevy of claims, often unsubstantiated.

A few years ago a friend turned me onto an organization whose medium supposedly channeled master teachers and history’s mega-celebrities. At the time of my introduction, I was naive about how mediums worked and what they could actually do. The material this guy channeled was seductive and provocative. It included a revisionist version of Jesus who spouted his opinions in colorful street language reminiscent of George Carlin or Lenny Bruce.

This Jesus persona didn’t think very highly of how organized religions had veered from their original inception. He was not a happy prophet. He was much more like a Bernie Sanders or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a voice of radical love for the people—albeit in an edgier voice.

The more I got into reading the transcripts of this alleged channeling, the more red flags I got. The writings sounded cultish. The biggest clue was secrecy. Readers were forbidden from sharing or discussing the text with outsiders (meaning those who did not join and agree to secrecy). Questioning authority was not allowed, either. Thus, open-minded, academic skepticism was not tolerated. It was “my way or the highway.”

I eventually decided that ego played too big part in this group. I think the devotees liked getting inside scoops on the universe from these channeled celebrities. Skepticism was not tolerated, and for me, there was no way to authenticate the guest list. You just had to accept that if Jesus said he was Jesus, even if he revised what so many people of faith perceived as Jesus, that was it.

CHANNELING ERIK

Around that same time, I discovered Channeling Erik on YouTube. Erik was also a connoisseur of the f-word. The story goes that he was a young man with bipolar issues who shot himself to death. His distraught mother, a physician, eventually hired mediums, one of which was Jamie Butler, to get answers. Salty Erik became an edgy spokesperson for the spirit world through Jamie’s channeling. One feature that emerged on YouTube was the afterlife interview with dead celebrities, both saints and (often extreme) sinners. You had Jesus, you had Hitler. You had Amelia Earhart, you had Jack the Ripper.

As I said I was pretty naive at the time about what mediums could do. Jamie was full of smiles and good cheer, happy-go-lucky to the max. She held that demeanor while through clairaudience and clairvoyance she appeared  to translate what the spirits that Erik “fetched” had to say without a speck of occult surliness or over-baked drama.

The first interview I saw featured Robin Williams. The second featured Abraham Lincoln. I was impressed with how easy the conversations flowed and how the language purportedly coming from these spirits changed. Abraham spoke quite differently than Robin did. I liked how Jamie’s eyes searched the space around her as if she could really see these spirits.

I immediately wondered why academic afterlife researchers had not been lining up to steer Jamie beyond the party entertainment level of Channeling Erik. If she were really, truly able to chat with deceased luminaries, proving that they were not so deceased, it could offer revolutionary insights into the nature of reality.

As I watched more videos, I noticed a few things. First, the interviewer (Erik’s mom) made no attempt to authenticate the identities of the celebrity guests. It was just assumed that they were who Erik had been sent to find. Second, the questioning was naive and annoying. I longed for a skilled interviewer who could take a conversation out of mediocrity, show these spirit visitors more respect, and actually teach us something. Third, it seemed to become a fledgling profit-making venture .

Eventually, comments on the site suggested that Jamie’s fee got too high, so she was replaced with less-expensive alternatives. None of the follow-up mediums impressed me as Jamie had. I never got closer to discovering if Jamie was a true medium or just a good bio-pic impressionist. She gave great show, but was not prompted to give great evidence.

Today on YouTube I find even more mediums out there schmoozing with dead celebrities. The “spirit interpreter” as mediums are sometimes called is portrayed as relaying what the dead person is saying in complete, conversational sentences. This creates an impression that for those with the right heredity, schmoozing with dead people is easy.

By contrast, some very famous top tier mediums can’t convey verbatim conversations. Even when they use expression like “he’s telling me,” they often cannot answer simple, direct questions like you’d expect if they were actually talking. For example, mediums often struggle to get names and other specific details, something that militant skeptics pounce upon.

UNDERSTANDING CELEBRITY

Whether from the afterlife or still here in the flesh, celebrity is primarily myth-making. Unless we know them as personal friends or relatives, we perceive them through the public images cultivated for them by a support team of managers and handlers. A celebrity is an industry, a profit center.

To me, most afterlife interviews with celebrities revolve around that familiar public image. We often freeze them in time as their image used to be, not as who they have become since crossing. Afterlife interviews sometimes even demand that celebrities entertain us as they did before. They’re asked to respond to rumors and gossip about their pasts far more than what’s happening for them now.

One sentiment Michelle Obama expressed in her memoir Becoming is how people made so many assumptions about her based on projections pundits made about her in the media. The same would have to be true about how we project what we believe about any ‘dead’ celebrity we would want to talk with. We’re communicating with a mythology of a heavily groomed public image.

Additionally, it’s sometimes suggested in afterlife literature that on the other side, celebrity as we know it here doesn’t exist. Everyone is seen more as equal than here.

Here’s one explanation: Let’s say that a given soul has 100 incarnations or lifetimes in the material world—that being a number I just made up. The idea is to have a bunch of different experiences to ultimately help that soul mature. That could include being born rich, being born into poverty, being born into hate, being born into love, being surrounded by friends and family, being a loner, being a warrior, being a pacifist, and so on.

A life lived as a celebrity is just one of those life experiences. So when that material lifetime is over, it’s over. The soul absorbs the experience of being a celebrity, but it is just 1/100th of the whole experience. (Mediums often suggest, too, that they can still communicate with any given lifetime personality, so in that sense, a celebrity in an earth life would still be around to chat with as a discarnate personality.)

EXTRA CONSIDERATIONS

I enjoy watching celebrity afterlife interviews even when I don’t buy them as authentic. It feeds my imagination. I enjoy the potential of what great knowledge luminaries could bring us if we knew we were actually communicating with them, like via a SoulPhone™. What would they tell us? What doorways to global progress could they open? What information could they impart from their experiences on earth and from their crossing into a new dimension?

Here are some extra considerations about celebrity afterlife interviews:

• The same alleged celebrity personality may appear through different mediums on different Internet radio, TV shows, books, or blogs and say contradictory things. For example, Jesus comes through in different variations via different mediums. Check for consistency of message. If you have seen/read one afterlife interview, it’s often educational to google “afterlife interview with—” or similar verbiage to discover different interviews with that famous person.

• We come from a celebrity-worshiping culture. As such, dead celebrity afterlife interviews are also commercials for readings from that medium. If you think that a certain medium channeling Abraham Lincoln is real, then it’s just a small step for mankind to think that this medium could channel Daddy.

• Celebrity afterlife interviews are often just a next logical step from celebrity gossip—pure entertainment. Some alleged celebrities don’t talk about what they encountered since passing. They just go on as before, which I find suspicious.

• As entertaining as celebrity afterlife interviews may be, some viewers or listeners are new to mediumship and cannot discern that well yet. They may assume that this as real when it may not be. They may also be in a position of grief and could be quite vulnerable to assimilating as fact some tall metaphysical tales. It pays to be both open-mined and discerning.

• In many cases it would be extremely difficult to verify the authenticity of any celebrity claimed by the medium if you did not personally know the deceased. Any details on the Internet or in books would provide fodder for mediums to glean and recite as if coming from the celebrity. Controlled conditions would have to precede the interview, such as the medium having no idea who in spirit was invited to show up and who could thus not prepare.

• I’ve noticed relatively little public pushback from mediums, afterlife researchers, and authors about the veracity of celebrity afterlife interviews. Sometimes it’s because it’s not considered spiritually cool to quarrel. An authority I asked replied, “Who’s to say what’s real for someone else?”

• By the same token, I’ve seen relatively little afterlife research conducted about channeling dead celebrities. It’s commonly explained as researchers not wanting to be ridiculed by conventional scientists for their choices of research projects. Pursuing answers to woo-woo topics is considered professional suicide (unless you are a Jodie Foster in some fiction like the movie Contact.)

• Strong believers often view skepticism (even open-minded skepticism) as a brand of heresy. It’s as if questioning whether Marilyn Monroe is really chatting with a medium means that the skeptic disavows all soul survival. Bad human! Yet it could also mean that someone is using critical thinking to arrive at the truth of soul survival—the true intent of research.

SOULPHONE

In the everyday world, celebrity opinions, speeches, and endorsements are highly valued—as attested to by the fees sometimes charged for acquiring them. Afterlife interviews can be satisfying in that they keep our favorite celebrities and historical characters alive, which can be comforting.

They are also a preview of what could happen with the SoulPhone, which will have an advantage of a clearer, more authenticated communications connection. Until science can validate the identity of famous people in afterlife interviews, best not to take them as bullet-proof fact.

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