Spiritualist CV


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A Spiritualist CV for the TVNZ 1 'Current Affairs' Programme Close Up.

In May, 2009, Chris Lynch, a producer for the 7pm weeknights NZ TV1 'current affairs' programme Close Up was working on an item on Spiritualism. He had been given my name and rang to ask if I would be willing to take part in a programme to put an opposing point of view to the medium he was arranging to interview. I said I would be quite happy to do that as I had crossed swords with Ken Pretty in the past. He asked me to write something about my experiences of Spiritualism and said he would get his assistant, Jill, to arrange an interview with me. For background to this request see Carolyn The One Medium Who Could.......

28/05/2009 11:16:18

1. Introduction
For millennia man has sought to communicate with the spirits of the dead. Is it a hopeless quest, as the sceptics would have it, the ultimate con? Most people want some kind of reassurance about life beyond the grave, not only to comfort themselves about friends and relatives who have passed on, but also from a selfish point of view.  Is death really the end? And that question tends to loom larger as the years roll by and our 'allotted span' of three score years and ten draws ever closer.

2. My Background
The question of the reality of life after death never impinged much on my life until 1984. I registered a few deaths in the family with varying degrees of sadness. My two grandfathers passed away unnoticed by me circa 1950 and 1952 when I was aged but three and five. I remembered my grandmother dying in 1976 an uncle in 1979. Then my father-in-law died in 1984 and in a way that marked the start of my psychical research at the time I did not realise it. However apart from a vaguely Christian upbringing which brought with it believe in life after death, that was it. Essentially I was a scientist and death was really a long way off. It was only some five months after my father-in-law died when a friend, out of the blue, told me that my wife was having an affair, and hearing his explanation for how he knew, that I began to wonder about the reality of life after death.

Norman did not know my first wife. He moved in very different social circles. I only found out about my wife's affair to a chance comment I'd made to her a couple of nights before. That comment caused her to think that I already know so she confessed. Norman told me that he had been told about my wife's affair by ‘spirit’, that nebulous term which is very common among Spiritualists for information that appears to come into their minds from an unidentified source. Norman followed up the information about my wife's having an affair with the further information that I had found out about it on Wednesday and night. It was by then Friday afternoon when he told me this, and I had indeed found out about my wife's affair on the Wednesday night.

This incident began my research into Spiritualism and the paranormal, which later branched out into meaningful coincidence. That's why I, as a scientist, began to try to understand how Norman could have impossible knowledge, information that he had no conventional means of aquiring. I found out about the mysterious fellowship of Spiritualists, people who met in houses generally or sometimes in the halls for Spiritualist services. These services generally took the form of an opening prayer, then a hymn, an ‘inspired’ address, another hymn, a demonstration of survival and finally a closing hymn and prayer. Sometimes on the wall you would see a poster listing the Seven Principles of Spiritualism. But it was a shadowy movement, with little publicity in the press. I looked in vain for advertisements of Spiritualist services. People would recommend mediums that they knew. It was all very much word of mouth. It was not like now where Spiritualism perhaps in the wake of the New Age movement, has become much more visible. 518 2388 ch 28/05/2009 11:29:26

That time in my life late in 1984, became even more traumatic because not only had I lost my wife and children, but also my job. My boss who was also my best friend, reorganised the division and my job vanished. I was moved to headquarters into computer services, a job I didn't like and so I took voluntary severance And took up a job I'd been offered in London. It turned out that that I was much better placed in Chelsea to investigate Spiritualism in depth as the headquarters of several Spiritualist organisations were located close by.

Over the past 25 years I have seen well over 100 mediums ‘perform’. Most were a disappointment. I would say that have seen three good mediums in 25 years, the last one being in 1999 in Auckland. However he was just visiting from England. The other two were a woman from Tyneside and Scottish man from Dundee. The Tyneside woman came very early in my investigations, working with a psychic artist. I understand that Natalie and Ruth have talked to you about psychic art in the last few days. This Tyneside woman, Ruby Grey, was uncannily accurate in what she told me about myself, both as things were then and even more uncannily as things would unfold in the future. Here was a Tyneside house-wife talking to me alone in an empty hall, when I'd gone back after the meeting to query something about one of the psychic drawings.

Again how could Ruby Grey know about me then? How could she know I had a connection to Oxford, which was the first thing she said to me. I don't sound as if I have. Many English people make the stupid mistake of thinking I'm not very bright because I have a northern accent, but that's English snobbery for you. And how could she so accurately predict my future? “Do you write books?” she asked. “No” I replied “I write reports.” “Well, I see you surrounded by books” she countered, “Writing books. And I see a connection to London which will get stronger.” Shortly after that I did move to London for a short- lived job. But did I have to be in London for my psychical research? And it was in London that I met Jenny. And within two years of that meeting with Ruby Grey, I was surrounded by books, shelves and shelves and shelves of them and I was indeed writing books, because of Jenny's mediumship.

So how do you explain that by fraud? Or can you accept the pathetic alternative the sceptics have, their only alternative?  Its all chance?   Oh I forgot.  There is their other favourite chestnut -lucky guess How could Ruby Grey know the future? Did she? How could ‘spirit’ as she called her 'source'? Did something cause those visions, those ideas to come into her head?  Is there some reality, some Source of Intelligence that somehow does know the future in detail, something which does in fact orchestrate it all? 1005 28/05/2009 11:39:20

In 1986, I met Jenny through Egypt.  I had long had a fascination with Egypt and she had a business selling Egyptian papyrus paintings. She was to help me immensely with my psychical research. She became a medium, even though not intentionally.  Just out of the blue she would become aware of 'the Voices' of people.   Than she would begin talking. It was always spontaneous, none of the six o'clock on a Sunday when the median stands up - “Right, we’re ready now”. And the messages she got served a purpose. She gave me messages from my father just after his death in December 1986. But how do I know she wasn't conning me? Well to start with, she didn't actually know much about my father having met him only a couple of times very briefly in 1986, shortly before he died of cancer.

The place she was working, when she became aware of his spirit linking into her mind, is the other answer as to how I know she wasn't conning me. She happened to be painting behind a central heating boiler in the kitchen of a farmhouse which we were renting in the Scottish, near Eyemouth.  It happened two nights in a row. Jenny was a little mystified. “Why is it when I'm painting here then I get your father?” she asked  “That's easy” I replied “You're crawling around behind the boiler.  He spent his life crawling around boilers” These were the big Lancashire boilers which powered Boddington’s Brewery in Manchester. He had started as an engineer's labourer in the brewery in 1947, as it states on my birth certificate, and was deputy engineer by the time he retired in 1983.  He ran the place really. Engineers came and went but Jimmy Cocksey didn't. But Jenny never knew anything about my father's working life.  We never had time to talk much about our respective families.  Both lots had caused us great pain especially in recent years.

And then there were other very strange coincidences proving further communication from the spirit of my father, again through Jenny in Auckland in 1999, just a few weeks before my mother died.

3. Spiritualist Churches Today
That is just a little of my background, why I am convinced there is something in old-fashioned Spiritualism. However if you want fresh, direct evidence for yourself, it's not that easy to acquire. It needs An awful lot of perseverance and that is where the academics fall down. You asked if I could recommend any Spiritualist churches in Auckland. There are plenty, but there's probably little to choose between them in terms of quality. They vary from poor to awful. The same mediums do the circuit of all the churches. It's very much a cliquey world. They all know each other, so it can be very pally sometimes in the services. “I want to come to you Janice. I have I got your father here” It tends to be a little more convincing, even if only marginally, if the medium does not know the person getting the message. However since the person getting the message often seems to reply with “No I don't understand” It really isn’t terribly convincing even then.

However, recent visit to Spiritualist churches have shown me that the New Age movement has taken them over with a vengeance. If anything they are even more ritualised now. They begin with some generalised prayer to something, great spirit or the universe, then there some kind of sentimental ballad the song to ‘raise the vibrations’. The address, definitely no longer inspired, and no surprise there, is usually a passage from a book which has been bought from the Spirituality ie New Age section of the bookshop. Books such as Chicken Soup For The Soul provide the thought of the day or it may be one of the umpteen other new-age self-improvement books, usually American, which are so easily come-by nowadays. Next comes the time and guided meditation, when the Mistress of Ceremonies leads the devotees on a mystical tour, where if they're lucky, they meet and greet their dear departed ‘loved ones.’ There is usually some kind of new-age wallpaper music, lots tinkling flowing-stream type music, bells……. all very peaceful. The leader drones on leading the faithful through some idyllic scene which they are told to imagine, verdant pastures, peaceful flowing rivers in the sunshine, bubbling little brooks etc etc. I switch off. I don't like it. It's too close to mind control and a lot of the punters have weak minds. They sit there with their hands out, their eyes closed, unquestioning, doing as they are told, calling down spirit from above…….or whatever from wherever. When I look around I find that I'm the only person with my eyes open but there is probably a lot of symbolism in that too.

Then with the vibrations now nearly perfect, the medium can get to work ‘proving survival’. Sadly the proof doesn't amount to much. Normally the medium gets blank looks from their victims…. Sorry I don't understand that….. “Well I've got someone on a grandmother vibration here dear. She might not actually be a grandmother. She might just be an aunt or something. …… oh dear do you not know your family way back????? Well I would ask around when you get home, dear” Grandmothers are fairly safe for middle aged people; they are usually dead. Parents are a bit more iffy.

What kind of proof is all that really? As for the messages from beyond, it hardly seems worth the while of ‘spirit’ going through all the trouble of ‘identification’ to come out with messages such as ‘lots of love, dear’ or ‘I want to give you some flowers’ or ‘We’re all working to solve this problem for you’ or ‘we are very pleased with the progress you are making in your psychic development.’ One of the troubles with Spiritualism, and it is a point which is validly made by the sceptics, is the utter triviality and pointlessness of the messages. Have the dead really nothing better to do than come out with such utter banality. What is the point?

Whether amongst the poor in a community hall on a rundown state housing estate in Manurewa, or amongst the rich in the Arts Centre in Howick, the format was identical. And of course there is always the tea and biscuits afterwards so the social club atmosphere is reinforced. The only difference was that the poor tended to be more friendly to outsider like me.

But it only gets worse. Too many of the mediums in today's ‘Spiritualist’ churches are into all sorts of money spinning new age therapies, shiatsu, reiki, energy balancing and various other money-spinning philosophies, the common factor being they come at $40-$60 a throw. It's very big business and its nearly all women conning other women. You can see why Vicki Hyde et al take such offence at it. Yes, these are cons and so are most of the so-called proofs of survival in the churches, but that doesn't make everything psychic a con. Telling the difference is the key. And to tell the difference, you need to understand the broader picture.

Many thinking people who encounter Spiritualism, soon leave it quite disillusioned. Some may perhaps get a transient comfort but whether that is illusion is debatable. The trouble with Spiritualism is that it never gets anywhere. At best it gives false comfort to the feebleminded or the ones who don't want to question. If you want a discussion in depth, don't go to a Spiritualist church and don't ask a medium. Mind if you went to discuss Christianity in depth you wouldn’t make any more progress with a Christian priest in an Anglican Church. When you start pointing out inconsistencies in the Gospels or the lack of evidence for the Trinity, they run a mile. Whichever religion you pick, the practitioners prefer the ‘lovely sermon vicar’ type of punter.

And if you really want a medium to leave in a hurry ask about ‘possession’. They talk about ‘spirit guides’ or sometimes ‘spirit controls’ although that term is a little less fashionable now. Now if you ask a medium anything you will tend to get all the new-age jargon. We are all part of the ‘divine spirit’, whatever that is. They are all heavily into reincarnation which is basically an Eastern belief system, deriving from Buddhism and Hinduism. It was never a tenet of main stream Spiritualism. But now if you say to a Spiritualist in most of the churches that you don't believe in reincarnation, they look at you as if you're somehow mad. They happily talk about choosing to come back. They can tell you how many levels there are in the afterlife, because they been told this by X,Y or Z or more likely ‘spirit’ during this that or the other ‘circle’. But where is the proof of any of it? It may not be an intention to mislead on the part of the medium, but is there a source of misinformation somewhere else? Is the reality a lot more complicated than the Spiritualists in their naivete like to think?

When I go to a Spiritualist church service, I write everything down. For one thing it stops me falling asleep, and I can also see how similar all the messages are. Mediums have sometimes complained about me writing things down or just been unpleasant afterwards. Ken Pretty springs to mind in that respect, not a pretty sight. You probably are aware that mediums talk about platform work, meaning demonstrations in churches. On one occasion, at the Healing Hands church, when they used to meet in the old Schoolhouse opposite the Papakura railway station, the Mistress of Ceremonies came up to me and complained that the medium didn't like my writing down all the messages. They were private messages, she claimed. “Rubbish” I replied “It is a public meeting, so how can they be private? Anyway why should she worry? They were so private that even the people she was trying to give the messages to couldn't understand them. So what harm is there in me writing them down?” Then a thought came into my head. “By the way I've just got a message from ‘spirit’ for the medium. Perhaps you would be kind enough to give her that message. The Mistress of Ceremonies looked a little surprised at this. “Could you tell her that the only platform she should be on is a railway platform”. The words had just came into my mind – bang. They were very sharp, very much to the point, definitely inspired, and clearly intended as a chastisement for the incompetence of medium. The Mistress Of Ceremonies returned her medium and conveyed my message from spirit. The look of shock and hate in my direction was not altogether unexpected.

4. Meaningful Coincidence
The problem is that there is a real phenomenon here but how do you prove it? I suppose the only way is the way I have been led to, slowly over 25 years. In addition to communication from beyond the grave, came strange coincidence codes from 1988 onwards. Code 557 came three times in three weeks just before Pan Am 103 crashed at Lockerbie just before Christmas in 1988. Lockerbie happens to be situated at 55° 7’N. Was it intended to be evidence that there is something that knows the future in detail and chooses to reveal as little or as much of it as it so pleases. Or was it all just chance as the sceptics doubtless will claim? As if to emphasise the non-chance nature of our Lockerbie experiences, exactly 20 years later came a code repeat. When the plane crashed at Lockerbie in 1988, we live just 40 miles away in the Scottish borders. In 2008 when the code repeat came we lived in New Zealand and the code repeat referred to a plane crash that was noticed nowhere else in the world, except New Zealand, the crash of the Airbus A320 off Perpignan. Everywhere else, the world was more preoccupied with the Bombay hotel siege, with the dramatic pictures of a burning luxury hotel. The crash of a nearly empty plane merited little coverage in most parts of the world. There wasn't even much to film, just the beach and the sea where the plane vanished.

On 27th November, 2008 on the front page of the New Zealand Herald Business News code 557 appeared twice. $5.57 was the share price for both Fonterra and Fletcher Building, the largest and third largest companies in New Zealand. The latter’s share price fall over the previous year was shown as a plunging graph. It could have been a graphic of the path of the doomed Airbus which crashed into the sea 14 hours later. And I'm sure you were meant to contact me today when I was in Foodtown doing my supermarket shopping. Afterwards I drove home and didn't actually glance at my car mileage until I stopped at our front gate. Even I was astonished. “Good God” were my actual words. The mileage was 232557 km. This type of phenomenon is one which I find is very frequent. When I am talking to someone something happens as though to say to them “You really should listen to what he says” I'm sure you could do a thought-provoking story in this field. The trouble is that to do it justice needs more than two or three minutes on Close-Up, especially if you have to waste time letting Vicki Hyde trot out her ‘explanations’

I find myself in between Natalie and Ruth who are old-fashioned Spiritualist who don't seem to have any spontaneous experiences and the likes of Vicki Hyde who are so quick to dismiss everything as rubbish, delusion, fraud or chance. Even Natalie and Ruth are hesitant to dismiss the churches as rubbish. They make excuses for them picking things up ‘on the psychic’ rather than ‘from spirit’. The truth is that most of the stuff in churches is at best confused, at worst gobbledygook. Both Natalie and Ruth, quite rightly, are keen to identify communicators and see that as important in authenticating communications, but even they are usually disappointed in the messages.

My research shows scientifically that there is a real phenomenon here, linking meaningful coincidences and life after death. I've written an entire book about that Airbus crash and the related one on the Hudson River in New York which came six weeks later. There are so many strange coincidences as well as some communication from the spirits of the dead.

5. The Reality of Death
But no I can't summon the spirits of the dead on cue. It's an illusion to imagine that we can pay $70 to the likes of Colin Fry for a seat in a comfortable theatre and expect proof of anything, let alone life after death. Why should proof of survival be dependent on the greedy or be given only to those with deep pockets? The modern psychic world is all about greed and con. Yes they do sometimes appear to get some things from somewhere, but the question is what and from where? No one enquires too closely. But it's all such fun. You see them laughing away in the Colin Fry TV programmes -The Sixth Sense. And with the John Edwards' performances, the women seem to be screaming for a rock star. Do these people really have any connection with the reality of death?  Somehow I doubt it

I went to a mediums evening at the Healing Hands church in Papakura on 1st May. It's now in a building in Wellington Park off Great South Road, Takanini It was not $20 well spent. There were three mediums who varied from poor to appalling. All three got strings of ‘No’s even from people they knew. ‘A night of fun and messages from loved ones’ was how it was promoted.    Is death supposed to be fun? It certainly is to the New Age Spiritualist entertainer it seems. And it's very lucrative.

Death is no laughing matter, believe me. I have been too close to death for the last few years with Jenny, and especially the last few months.  Jenny's death has been the most traumatic experience of my life. And those clowns can produce not a shred of proof of survival at all.  Fortunately I've had my own proof of Jenny's survival, directly. I went to the Spiritualists services to test the mediums.  Jenny was intimately concerned with my research. I know her spirit is still around. I go to see if any of them can pick anything up about Jenny or me.  So far they've all failed, dismally. Jenny had cervical cancer for eight and a half years, thanks to the incompetence of the NZ cervical screening system. No, she didn't have conventional treatment and that's perhaps why she lived so long. I had thought for quite a while, had a sneaking suspicion, feared if you like, that her death would be the next stage in my research into life after death.

And so many strange things happened in connection with her death and funeral. I will be writing another book soon describing all those things that happened around her dying. One of the last items Jenny and I saw on television at the hospice was actually a Close-Up item about Lisa and her “Bucket List”. Lisa died in the same hospice exactly a week before Jenny. She lived in the same street in Papakura and had been to the same cancer support group. Jenny didn't have a bucket list. We carried on working until the end. Was it just chance that Jenny got the best room in the hospice, the only room with a clear view of the flight path into Auckland airport, so we could see the Airbuses….. It was a beautiful room with our own veranda and a lovely view of the Botanical Gardens. We had the sun from ten in the morning till sunset. After we were left alone in her room for the first time, I had tears in my eyes and my voice was breaking, as I said to Jenny “At least God has given you a lovely place to die.”

I don’t know if you want to experience a couple of Spiritualist church services to see what they come up with, I am probably going to give it a go. You have to turn up just as punters. There is no point in cameras. It has to be anonymous really, the nearest they get to spontaneous. There is one at 2 pm on new North Road, at the Church of the Golden Light. It is run by a Scottish woman who is a bit of a battle-axe and delights in a car with a number plate 1 WITCH. Most of the services are around 7 PM I was thinking of going to the Mt Albert one. A number of coincidences have suggested to me that I should be an Observer on Sunday 31st May. 3364 15303

There is a lot here which is intended to make us think. There is a lot more to reality than the world we can touch with our five senses. Vicki Hyde’s world is barren and empty. The punters in today’s Spiritualist churches are largely misled, their minds filled with fantasy. There is room for a middle way, the application of logic to the real experiences of real people in the real world.

The sceptics could say I made the car mileage get to 232557 by fiddling it, by driving around the block driving around Papakura etc etc etc, but what would be the point? Real scientists don't fiddle results.  In fact there are photos at various points on the way home from Foodtown. There was a fantastic sunset looking over the railway line at Mitre 10, Takanini. Then there was the strange coincidence of the HELL hearse at the panel beaters beside the railway bridge. In any case, the timestamp on the camera images shows I didn't drive around. No, fraud is not a satisfactory explanation and neither is chance. There are real phenomena here. They are meant to make people wonder

As I said at the beginning, people have wanted proof of life after death for millennia. Perhaps what Jenny and I have shown over the last 25 years is as much as anybody can. In 1900, William James, professor of psychology at Harvard, and a noted psychical researcher, made the following observation “I sometimes think that the Almighty intends this area of investigation to be forever an enigma. He gives us enough to make us wonder, never enough to make us certain”.

I think on the balance of probability I have produced enough evidence to make people fairly certain. Surely you can help me at least make some people start to wonder, if not the sceptics.

28/05/2009 16:35:55

Dr Brian Cocksey

Reformatted into Doomsday rainbow format because MS Front Page no longer supported  by web hosting servers  22nd January 2015, 6:55pm. Updated 6th March 2015 4:45pm. 

The sites rainbow spectrum coding was here amended 10th April, 2015 7:22pm .  I have adopted Newton's probable intended selection of colours - There had to be seven main colours although the spectrum is continuous and thus the actual number infinite. See Wikipedia article on the colour indigo.  I felt this had to been done before I update this site with a brief outline of the eighth Airbus crash, Germanwings Flight 4U9525, perhaps the most complex example yet of a precise foreknowledge of the future and a clear inference of the reality of an externally orchestrated destiny.  The Ancient Greeks were very close to the truth, albeit symbolically.

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