I think that it is fair to say that the majority of people in the mainstream look upon mediums, people who purport to communicate with the dead, as hucksters and frauds. After all, logic dictates that life after death is fanciful thinking and certainly nothing that should be entertained by people with a modicum of intelligence. We have been brought up as materialist thinkers and know that who we are is determined by our brains. Brains produce our consciousness, our reality, and when the body dies what could possibly survive? We are extinguished forever.
Oddly enough, many in this category of non-believers follow religious teachings that promise an afterlife, life after death that comes with rules. These people will readily tell you that they believe in a world beyond, but what they are really saying is that they hope there is an afterlife. It is faith based belief and exists without one seeing any actual evidence. In other words, such belief has no teeth, no conviction, and leaves many with more questions than answers.
So what evidence do we really have that we are more than our bodies, that our minds (consciousness or soul if you prefer) do survive physical death? Skeptics are very quick to point out and keep repeating the supposed fact that no such evidence exists. They do so because they are either ignorant of the established evidence, or refuse to accept something that challenges the foundation of their education, careers, and self-importance. However, the fact is that the evidence is overwhelming, and comes from many disciplines of research. We know that the mind can act independently of the brain through consciousness research including remote viewing, telepathy, psychokinesis, near death experiences, end of life experiences, after death communications, reincarnation, mediumship and a host of other phenomena that defy mainstream thinking.
As mentioned, mediumship is a legitimate area of research. The fact is that mediums have been studied for more than a century by well credentialed scientists, researchers, and academics, most coming to the conclusion that some people can indeed communicate with discarnate entities. The key word here is some people. In my opinion almost 90% of the mediums in practice today cannot do what they claim. Some are frauds, but the majority are regular folk who have some intuitive ability (as do we all) who see mediumship as a either a lucrative career or a way to make some extra money and feel good about themselves. We are currently seeing a mediumship explosion, an epidemic of practitioners that prey on the bereaved for profit. There are many reasons for this proliferation of mediums, but perhaps the biggest culprit is the media. We see mediums that become famous on hit TV shows, and it looks so easy that many are deluded into thinking that they can do the same thing. The problem of course is that the TV shows are staged and highly edited. If twelve hours of content are filmed that ultimately become twenty minutes of content, do you think that you will be shown the hits or misses expressed by the medium?
I am not suggesting that all TV mediums are frauds. Some are excellent mediums who most certainly can communicate with the dead, and do so with an uncanny degree of proficiency. I know this not only from the established research, but from fifteen years of conducting a medium evaluation certification process for Forever Family Foundation. In fact, a great many of the mediums that the foundation has certified over the years have gone on to fame through TV projects, books, and personal appearances. On the one hand we appreciate their success as it provides awareness to the general public about mediumship and other forms of evidence. On the other hand, once they become famous they have little time to continue doing actual readings, or if so have waiting lists years long at unaffordable prices. The other downside to famous mediums is that they often do appearances where they sell out arenas that hold thousands of people. Virtually every person in attendance believes that their deceased loved one will find a way to make themselves known to the medium during the event. You do the math – in a crowd of 5,000 the reality is that the medium will do less than ten readings, often only a handful. That means that attendees have a .002% chance of receiving a reading, which means there will be a large number of disappointed people going home that night. Mediums might argue that simply witnessing others receive evidential information is helpful, as it means that if their loved one survives, so does yours. There is some merit to this way of thinking, but logic is often trumped by pure emotion, especially among the bereaved. If you want to see a medium in such a venue because you want to see a “celebrity” I get that. Just realize that there is a world of difference between entertainment and mediumship.
The 10% of mediums who can indeed do what they claim often have a life changing impact on their clients. What could possibly be a more effective form of grief therapy than knowing that your loved one still survives? The evidence presented is very specific and accurate, and is information that only the sitter (person receiving the reading) could possibly have known. The connections are not telephone lines to the dead, and a connection is never guaranteed. However, what we have found over the years is that those mediums in this 10% class connect with greater consistency and exhibit much higher accuracy than the rest.
I can think of no other profession, especially in the mental health arena, where practitioners are not subject to licensing bodies that establish proficiency guidelines and ethical standards. The prospect of an incompetent or fraudulent medium sitting with a bereaved person is a horror that can inflict damage on those most vulnerable. That is why it is imperative to learn about the do’s and don’ts of mediumship and become an educated participant.