LEONORE PIPER, medium
The Book 4th Edition
The most investigated medium ever.
“I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of
regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.”
C. G. Jung
One of the most spectacular and outstanding mental mediums
who ever lived was the American Mrs. Leonore Piper from
Boston. No one, not even the most hardcore closed-minded
skeptic, after investigating her mediumship for a period
of almost thirty years ever suggested fraud.
Professor William James, Professor of Psychology at Harvard
University, personally organized séances for her
for a year and a half. Then Professor Richard Hodgson, Professor
of Law, the greatest and most notorious debunker in the
world took over. And finally Professor James Hyslop, Professor
of Logic and Ethics from Columbia University took control
of the investigations.
Together they brought hundreds of sitters to her under
false names, they hired detectives to follow her and intercepted
her mail. She was taken to England where she knew no one
and arranged for her to stay with members of the British
Society of Psychical Research where she could be constantly
She would go into a trance, then a control—an intelligence
from the afterlife by the name of Dr Phinuit—would
take over and start to give a great deal of accurate information
and messages from those who had passed on.
Just one example from the many thousands of examples over
many decades where Mrs. Piper was deadly accurate in her
mental mediumship was when the Rev. and Mrs.. S.W. Sutton
participated in a séance in 1893. The Suttons, according
to Richard Hodgson's report, were highly intelligent people.
They participated in a séance with Mrs.. Piper to
see if they could contact their little girl who had recently
died. Hodgson supplied a stenographer so that what was stated
through Mrs.. Piper about the Suttons' little girl is now
held in the archives of the Society for Psychical Research
(see Proceedings 1898: 284-582).
Mrs. Piper was able to establish contact between the Suttons
and their very much-loved little girl from the afterlife.
The information left no doubt whatsoever that the little
girl was actually communicating from the afterlife with
her mother and father still living on the earthplane.
She confirmed that she used to bite buttons. She identified
her Uncle Frank and a friend who had died with a tumor and
made reference to her brother by his pet name. She made
reference to her sore throat and paralyzed tongue and that
her head used to get hot before her death. She referred
to Dinah her doll, to her sister Maggie, and to her little
toy horse. She also sang two songs, the same songs she had
sung immediately before she died. The Suttons had no doubt
that they had made contact with their little girl and were
especially happy when she reassured them: 'I am happy...
cry for me no more'.
One very important skill Mrs.. Piper was to develop was
the ability to have two intelligences communicating through
her at the same time. An investigator from the Society for
Psychical Research (SPR) Richard Hodgson, stated in one
of his reports to the SPR that he witnessed an intelligence
from the afterlife communicating through Mrs.. Piper to
a sitter while Mrs.. Piper was unconscious and at the same
time her hand was writing a totally different message about
a different subject to Hodgson himself.
Initially, there had been a great deal of criticism and
skepticism about Mrs. Piper's mediumship. But when the information
and the messages from the afterlife were so consistently
accurate over so many years, eventually even the second
most skeptical member of the SPR, Richard Hodgson, formally
conceded that Mrs. Piper's mediumship was genuine and he
acknowledged that the information was coming from intelligences
in the afterlife.
Richard Hodgson 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. He had been especially chosen by the SPR and
sent to investigate Mrs.. Piper's mediumship in its very
early stages. 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'.
Hodgson was determined to expose Mrs. Piper. He engaged
private investigators to follow her, to report on whom she
met outside her home, to intercept her mail, to invite negative
'dummy' sitters unknown to anyone to her sittings and to
do everything possible to prove that Mrs.. Piper was not
a genuine medium.
Despite all the opposition and all the obstruction and
controls, the incredibly accurate information kept pouring
through Mrs. Piper. Then Hodgson started to argue that her
control, Dr Phinuit, was a 'split-off ' portion of Mrs.
Piper's mind. It was argued that since Dr Phinuit could
not identify who he was when he lived in this dimension,
he could not be real. Or that because he could not answer
certain questions on philosophy then he really did not exist.
Or that telepathy explained all. The imputation of these
arguments of course is to completely deny the existence
of the afterlife.
Clearly, Hodgson's objections were not technically valid.
Writers on psychic phenomena, even contemporary writers,
have been too enthusiastic to write favorably about what
Hodgson claimed about mediums. But these writers repeatedly:
• failed to show that he was under a great deal of
pressure from the leadership of the SPR to find against
• failed to show that Hodgson's presumption of fraud
was a deliberately uncontrolled extraneous negative and
• failed to show that the onus shifted onto Hodgson
to technically rebut the evidence produced by Mrs.. Piper
about the afterlife
• failed to criticize Hodgson for not using science
to reject the afterlife
• failed to show that he was not sensitive to nor
did he have the essential psychic knowledge to properly
administer validity and reliability tests.
In his initial objections, Hodgson himself failed to show
• his claim about telepathy was a valid claim
• Mrs. Piper had the competence to read other people's
• Mrs. Piper could read minds while unconscious at
• Mrs. Piper's telepathy extended to those who were
hundreds of miles away from the séance while she
• the accurate information was not coming from intelligences
from the afterlife
• the information was being transmitted directly
from a split mind.
There is no escaping the issue of who had the technical
burden of proof. The onus clearly was on Hodgson to prove
that his objections were valid. But he did not prove anything.
He just said words to the effect:
'... I can't prove anything at all ... I can't prove
fraud, I can't prove cheating, I can't prove trickery
against Mrs. Piper but trust me; don’t believe anybody
else except me; just believe me because only I have the
truth about these things but no one else has’.
That kind of personal, intentionally prejudicial, unsubstantiated
dogmatic claim was not the professional way to present rebuttals
then, nor is it today.
We know that subsequently Hodgson was to swallow his objections,
his rejections, his arrogance, his intransigence against
the acceptance of
Psychic phenomena and to reluctantly confess that spirit
communication was the only explanation for the consistently
accurate information he and others received.
It was really most absurd for these SPR investigators,
after continuously receiving brilliant and deadly accurate
information about hundreds of different things, to claim
that it was not possible for an afterlife intelligence to
be guiding Mrs. Piper.
The situation arose that a great number of people accepted
Mrs. Piper's afterlife evidence because they received accurate
information but the closed-minded skeptical leadership of
the SPR didn't. Their strategy was that if they could discredit
and destroy Mrs. Piper's control Phinuit, they would destroy
any notion that anyone from the afterlife was involved at
It must be telepathy!
When the closed-minded skeptics failed to discredit Mrs..
Piper, their new attack was that Mrs. Piper, while in trance—that
is, while she was totally unconscious?was reading the minds
of those who were at the séance and the minds of
others who were hundreds of miles away from where the séance
was taking place! There is something most bizarre when the
leading skeptics of the Society for Psychical Research (like
Hodgson initially, and Frank Podmore) who had never accepted
telepathy, turned around and claimed 'it must be telepathy!'
when the evidence Mrs. Piper was providing for the afterlife
was objective, scientific, foolproof and absolute.
The facts about Mrs. Piper are not in dispute. Different
authors acknowledge that Dr Phinuit was her first control.
But then one of Hodgson's own friends, George Pellew died
suddenly and he took over from Dr Phinuit, manifesting through
Mrs. Piper when she was in trance. Hodgson was now in a
unique position to ask his dead friend thousands of questions
about their relationship. Over the years Mrs. Piper—or
more correctly George Pellew speaking through her—answered
his thousands of questions correctly.
An incredible test
Over several months Hodgson introduced over 150 sitters
at séances to the entranced Mrs. Piper. Thirty of
these had known George Pellew while he was alive--the others
had never met him. George Pellew was able to correctly identify
all of the sitters whom he had known. Most of them sat and
talked and reminisced with George Pellew, speaking through
Mrs. Piper, as if he himself was there in the flesh. His
only mistake was to fail to identify a person whom he had
not met since the person was a very small girl!
These meetings were so absolutely impressive that Richard
Hodgson wrote his report explaining in detail why he was
wrong in his earlier reports and that now he had irretrievably
accepted the existence of the afterlife. He claimed that
he had communicated with intelligences from the afterlife
and he couldn't wait to get there himself!
Hodgson admits Mrs. Piper's mediumship
Richard Hodgson's hard-core skepticism had led him to committing
some of the most horrific blunders in psychic history. But
they came to an end with Mrs. Piper. He verified the existence
of the afterlife saying:
...at the present time I cannot profess to have any doubt
but that the chief 'communicators' to whom I have referred
in the foregoing pages, are veritably the personalities
that they claim to be, that they have survived the change
we call death, and that they have directly communicated
with us whom we call living, through Mrs. Piper's entranced
organism (SPR Proceedings Vol 13, 1898, H 10).
This was quite amazing. Here was someone whose earlier
immaturity, relative incompetence and inexperience had helped
to destroy the credibility of two international mediums
whom he did not take the time to fully investigate. When
he did investigate Mrs. Piper he accepted the afterlife
because the consistently accurate evidence over the years
just would not go away. Hodgson was defeated by a mental
medium and he knew it.
Mrs. Piper, the brilliant gifted American medium repeatedly
won other battles against closed-minded, many times dishonest
negative skeptics. History records this most exciting victory
of genuine, psychic mediumship communicating with intelligences
from the afterlife.
Giants of science humbled
Some of the most eminent scientists and scholars after
scientifically investigating Mrs. Piper's mediumship unanimously
agreed in absolute, unqualified terms that Mrs. Piper, had
proved the existence of the afterlife. According to Nobel
Prize winner Professor Richet's authoritative book about
psychic phenomena, Our Sixth Sense (1927):
Frederick Myers, one of the most distinguished members
of the Society for Psychical Research stated:
Messages were given to me and certain circumstances indicated
with which it was impossible that Mrs. Piper should be
acquainted (Richet 1927: 128).
Sir Oliver Lodge, one of the most distinguished scientists
this world has ever seen, stated:
I have assured myself that much of the information supplied
by Mrs. Piper during trance has not been acquired by ordinary
every day methods and precludes the use of the normal
sense channels (Richet 1927: 128).
Professor William James from the United States, initially
a hardcore skeptic and one of the most inspirational and
intellectual giants of his time, admitted:
I am absolutely certain that Mrs. Piper, in a state of
trance, knows things of which it is impossible that she
should have had any knowledge in the waking state (Richet
Professor Hyslop, Professor of Logic and Ethics from Columbia
University in the United States, a most obdurate closed-minded
skeptic who for many years disseminated much anti-psychic
propaganda, eventually conceded to the genuineness of Mrs.
Piper's mediumship. He founded the American Society for
Psychical Research and wrote seven books on the evidence
for survival Science and a Future Life (1906);
Borderland of Psychical Research (1906); Enigmas
of Psychical Research (1906); Psychical Research
and the Resurrection (1908); Psychical Research
and Survival (1913); Life After Death (1918)
and Contact with the Other World (1919).
In Life After Death (1918) he famously wrote:
I regard the existence of discarnate spirits as scientifically
proved and I no longer refer to the sceptic as having
any right to speak on the subject. Any man who does not
accept the existence of discarnate spirits and the proof
of it is either ignorant or a moral coward. I give him
short shrift, and do not propose any longer to argue with
him on the supposition that he knows anything about the
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