The Book 4th Edition
“The most convincing proof of the reality of life
after death ever set down on paper.”
"Ask any critic of the paranormal to account for
the evidence of the cross-correspondences, and you can be
assured of bewilderment or, at best, ignorant dismissal."
A recurring argument in psychic research is that the information
produced by mediums as evidence for the afterlife could
have come from the medium's own unconscious or from reading
the mind of the sitter. However psychic has been most successful
in showing that with genuine mediums neither telepathy nor
their unconscious has anything to do with information transmitted
from the afterlife.
The 'Myers Cross-Correspondences' have now become classic
evidence for survival and are most influential and persuasive
in helping many people come to terms with life after death.
Frederick W.H. Myers (pictured left) was a Cambridge Classics
scholar and writer late last century. He was also one of
the pioneers who founded the Society for Psychical Research
and was involved in investigation of the afterlife. When
he was alive he was particularly interested to find a way
of proving that information transmitted through mediums
could not have come from their own unconscious.
The method he thought up was cross-correspondences—a
series of messages to different mediums in different part
of the world that on their own would mean nothing but which
when put together would make sense. He and his fellow leaders
of the Society for Psychical Research felt that if such
a thing could be accomplished it would have very high 'probative
value' and be a high level of proof of continued existence.
After he died in 1901 more than a dozen different mediums
in different countries began receiving a series of incomplete
scripts through automatic writing signed by Frederick Myers.
Later there were scripts signed by his fellow leaders of
the Society for Psychical Research, Professor Henry Sidgwick
and Edmund Gurney, as they too died.
The scripts were all about obscure classical subjects and
did not make sense on their own. But when the mediums were
told to contact a central address and the scripts were assembled,
they fitted together like the pieces of a jig-saw. In all,
more than three thousand scripts were transmitted over thirty
years. Some of them were more than forty typed pages long.
Together they fill 24 volumes and 12,000 pages. The investigation
went on so long that some of the investigators, such as
Professor Verrall, died during the course of it and began
The mediums used by Myers and the others from the afterlife
were not professors of the Classics. They were not highly
educated and all messages transmitted were outside their
learnt knowledge and experience. On one occasion one of
the mediums, Mrs. Coombe-Tennant, was conducting a discussion
using 'automatic writing' between the spirit entity of Professor
Sidgwick and his living colleague G. W. Balfour on the 'mind-body
relationship', 'epiphenomenalism' and 'interactionism'.
She complained bitterly that she had no idea what they were
talking about and lost her temper that she was asked to
transmit such difficult things.
Myers did say it was extremely difficult to transmit his
messages from the spirit world across to the mediums. He
described as being like:
…standing behind a sheet of frosted glass which
blurs sight and deadens sound dictating feebly to a reluctant
and somewhat obtuse secretary (Wilson 1987: 176).
The information transmitted in the Myers experiments was
so accurate that it stunned the members of the Society for
Psychical Research. At one stage those who were investigating
the Myers Cross-Correspondences hired private detectives
to put Mrs. Piper, one of the mediums involved, under surveillance.
Her mail was opened, private detectives followed her, questions
were asked about her friends and about those she spoke to.
All the investigations proved her innocent of fraud or conspiracy
The evidence is absolute. All the original documents are
on file and there are at least eight complete sets of copies
in existence for any investigator to study. For those who
have initiative to investigate, sufficient information is
available. And whilst for the investigator of the Myers
Cross-Correspondences the information available is challenging,
the rewards are evidentiary proof of the afterlife.
One person who took the time to study the Cross Correspondences
in depth was the former secular-humanist Colin Brookes-Smith.
After researching them he stated in the Journal of the Society
for Psychical Research that survival should now be regarded
as a sufficiently well-established fact to be beyond denial
by any reasonable person. Further he argued that this conclusion
should not be kept in the obscurity of research records
but should be presented to the public as:
a momentous scientific conclusion of prime importance
to mankind. (Murphet 1990: 64).
The Willett Scripts
Another very convincing piece of evidence for the afterlife
was provided by one of the mediums who had received some
of the Myers communications. After her own death in 1956
at the age of 81 Mrs. Coombe-Tennant, using her pen-name
Mrs. Willett, transmitted a long and detailed book of personal
reminiscences containing incredibly intimate detail about
her own life through the medium Geraldine Cummins, who had
never met her or her children. Published as Swan on a Black
Sea the Willett scripts, as they are sometimes also known,
are considered by many, including Colin Wilson, to be:
The most convincing proof of the reality of life after
death ever set down on paper (Wilson 1987:183).
Colin Wilson, himself a former skeptic and now a writer
with an international reputation did investigate. He writes:
Taken as a whole, the Cross Correspondences and the Willett
scripts are among the most convincing evidence that at
present exists for life after death. For anyone who is
prepared to devote weeks to studying them, they prove
beyond all reasonable doubt that Myers, Gurney and Sidgwick
went on communicating after death (Wilson 1987: 179).
The Myers Cross Correspondences have successfully showed
using the experiential scientific method that what was transmitted
from the medium was not from the medium's own unconscious.
On the Internet
Konstantin Oesterreich, The Cross Correspondences
Previous Chapter : Book
Index : Next Chapter