A Lawyer Presents the Case for the Afterlife


The Book 4th Edition

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26. Lawyers Who Were Convinced by the Evidence

Furthermore, let me say that over twenty years in the active practice of law, largely in trial cases, coming in contact with many great minds, has qualified me to do certain things: i.e. to estimate the weight and value of evidence fairly; to detect fraud in any guise; to know when a fact is proved.”
Edward C. Randall, attorney and afterlife researcher
(Heagerty 1995:39)

Space does not permit us to delve deeply into the writings of the number of lawyers who have investigated and accepted the paranormal and the afterlife. Accordingly, I have chosen three very exceptional lawyers who would be representative.

More than the members of any other profession, lawyers and judges are trained to evaluate the credibility of witnesses, and the strength of evidence. So I was impressed when I found a number of lawyers and judges, at the top of their profession, who investigated the evidence for the afterlife and were prepared to make a public stand to support it, with absolutely nothing to gain, and often at great personal cost.

These were men of the highest intellectual caliber who all approached the subject in a rational and objective manner applying the legal test of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. All had been open-minded skeptics to begin with and all maintained their conviction until their deaths.

Judge John Worth Edmonds’ dramatic conversion

Judge Edmonds was at the height of his career in early 1851 when he decided to investigate the mediumship of the Fox sisters. He had been a member of both branches of the New York State Parliament, and, for some time, President of the Senate and a Judge of the New York State Supreme Court.

He detailed his investigation of the afterlife and his conclusions with the same precision as he would write a judgment on a matter before the court, in a letter addressed "To the Public," published in the New York Courier and dated New York, August 1, 1853.It is worth quoting this judge, using his own words. It shows his depth, his intellect, his emotions, his empirical perception, his feelings and his his rationale. It also shows the long process which all informed open-minded skeptical enquirers go though, as they try to balance the evidence of their own eye-witness experiences with their “intellect” and materialist conditioning:

It was January 1851 that my attention was first called to the subject of "spiritual intercourse." I was at the time withdrawn from general society; I was laboring under great depression of spirits. I was occupying all my leisure in reading on the subject of death and man's existence afterward. I had, in the course of my life, read and heard from the pulpit so many contradictory and conflicting doctrines on the subject, that I hardly knew what to believe.

I could not, if I would, believe what I did not understand, and was anxiously seeking to know, if, after death, we should again meet with those whom we had loved here, and under what circumstances. I was invited by a friend to witness the "Rochester Knockings." I complied more to oblige her, and to while away a tedious hour. I thought a good deal on what I witnessed, and I determined to investigate the matter and find out what it was. If it was a deception, or a delusion, I thought that I could detect it. For about four months I devoted at least two evenings in a week and sometimes more to witnessing the phenomena in all its phases. I kept careful records of all I witnessed, and from time to time compared them with each other, to detect inconsistencies and contradictions. I read all I could lay my hands on, on the subject, and especially all the professed "exposures of the humbug."

I went from place to place, seeing different mediums, meeting with different parties of persons, often with persons whom I had never seen before, and sometimes where I was myself entirely unknown-sometimes in the dark and sometimes in the light-often with inveterate unbelievers, and more frequently with zealous believers.

In fine, I availed myself of every opportunity that was afforded, thoroughly to sift the matter to the bottom. I was all this time an unbeliever, and tried the patience of believers sorely by my skepticism, my captiousness, and my obdurate refusal to yield my belief.

I saw around me some who yielded a ready faith on one or two sittings only; others again, under the same circumstances, avowing a determined unbelief; and some who refused to witness it at all, and yet were confirmed unbelievers. I could not imitate either of these parties, and refused to yield unless upon most irrefragable testimony. At length the evidence came, and in such force that no sane man could withhold his faith.

After depending upon my senses, as to these various phases of the phenomenon, I invoked the aid of science, and, with the assistance of an accomplished electrician and his machinery, and eight or ten intelligent, educated, shrewd persons, examined the matter. We pursued our inquiries many days, and established to our satisfaction two things: first, that the sounds were not produced by the agency of any person present or near us; and, second, that they were not forthcoming at our will and pleasure.

While these things were going on, there appeared in the newspapers various explanations and "exposures of the humbug," as they were termed. I read them with care, in the expectation of being assisted in my researches, and I could not but smile at once at the rashness and the futility of the explanations. For instance, while certain learned professors in Buffalo were congratulating themselves on having detected it in the toe and knee joints, the manifestations in this city changed to ringing a bell placed under the table. (cited by Doyle, 1926, i, 126)

The judge went on to explain how his own secret thoughts had been revealed (much as was reported in the Scole experiments) and that plans he had kept in his own mind and spoken of to no-one were known to the spirit communicators (Doyle, 1926, i, 129).

He notes also that he had heard the mediums use Greek, Latin, Spanish, and French when they were ignorant of these languages. He records that facts were revealed which were unknown to any of the people present but afterwards found to be true. (Doyle, 1926, i, 129)

Judge Edmonds (pictured) maintained his convictions in spite of attempts to ridicule and attack him and preferred to resign his position as a Supreme Court Judge rather than keep quiet about his life-changing discoveries.

He went on to become a medium himself and also detailed the trance mediumship of his daughter, Laura, who in trance spoke in nine languages unknown to her in waking life (First Spiritual Temple Website

Above all, he retained until his death his excitement about what he had learned through communication with higher spirits.

Judge John Worth Edmonds’ decision to make his discoveries public would have influenced many American people.

As a senior judge, he would have had in-depth understanding of assessing credibility of anything presented to him for consideration and an expert in the admissibility of evidence. He had the opportunity of examining the evidence at first hand and then building on it with personal experience.

Distinguished Lawyer Edward C. Randall and Judge Dean Shuart

Edward C. Randall practiced law in Dunkirk, New York, and in the city of Buffalo, where he has attained distinction both as a lawyer and businessman. He acquired not only high professional honor, but organized and financed various industrial enterprises. He was one of the leading men in the industrial world and was the executive head of various companies in addition to being president of a number of corporations.

Initially an open-minded skeptic, he came to accept the evidence for the afterlife through hearing the incredible voices that came in the presence of direct voice and materialization medium, Emily French.

He and his wife spent twenty two years in recording sittings with her and he became a major writer on the afterlife. (See Randall The Dead Have Never Died).

For five years they were joined by a prominent judge, Dean Shuart of Rochester, “a learned jurist and man of such impeccable character that he had been repeatedly elected to the responsible office of Surrogate Judge.”

Randall writes that every person who attended the circle was initially skeptical and sure that the voices were fraudulent. And that each person was allowed to conduct however many exacting experiments they needed to be convinced that they were genuine.

I strongly recommend the reader to obtain a copy of Edward C Randall’s The French Revelation, obtainable from the book’s editor, email

Dr. Aubrey Rose

Dr. Aubrey Rose OBE, CBE, a leading British Human Rights lawyer, has stated in his recent book The Rainbow Never Ends that he totally accepts the evidence for the existence of the afterlife.After empirically investigating transmissions made by one of his colleagues through direct voice medium, Leslie Flint, he stated that without doubt the voice came from the afterlife, and was that of Judge Lord Birkett, who had crossed over some time before.

From the afterlife, he says, he heard Lord Birkett state: "When I was on your side, I supported the death penalty, but now I am here, I can see that it was wrong. We have no right to take life".

These highly intelligent, logical, successful lawyers and judges were fortunate to have had the opportunity of sitting with brilliant direct voice/materialization mediums who provided them with evidence of the afterlife that they simply could not deny. All were initially skeptical, but, to their credit, once they had the opportunity of carefully examining the evidence for themselves, they accepted the evidence and had the courage to become open campaigners for the existence of the afterlife.


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