GARY MANNION EXPOSURE
Medium caught on video blames his 'spirit team'
but won't allow us to question them
By The Editor
When we reported on Banyan Retreat's video exposure of Gary Mannion's "physical mediumship" I wrote in my Editorial that there were surely only two responses open to him: confessing to fraud and giving no further séances, or denying responsibility for what took place (PN July 2016).
As I suspected, despite the evidence and the expressions of disgust from around the world, particularly on social media, Mannion has now taken the second option. In essence, he is saying that his spirit team controlled him in order to protect him from the infrared filming.
After a few weeks of deliberating on the best way forward, he has elected to take part in a 46-minute question-and-answer session (believed to be a sitter, Michelle Lucey) which he has put on YouTube. Those interested in hearing what he has to say should search for "Gary answers your questions".
In a prelude a confident-looking Mannion describes the session as "my attempt to answer some of the questions" that have arisen since the Banyan Retreat incident. He begins by denying he has ever used trickery in his work and he also confirms that he was not told the séance would be recorded. He adds that his agreement to provide physical mediumship states that the séance must not be recorded.
Describing the Banyan Retreat event as "a set-up", Mannion says he has no memory of what took place from the moment he was tied into his chair until he was untied at the end of the séance. He also says he completely trusts his spirit team: "They know why they do what they do"
The questioner puts it to Mannion that people present at the séance believed they were interacting with materialised spirit beings - "in short, they were deceived" - did he accept that?
Incredibly, Mannion responds: "I don't believe anyone was deceived ... From what Spirit has said in a previous statement there was plenty that happened on that night that was not picked up on the camera."
In effect, he seems to be alleging that his spirit helpers were treating the séance as an experiment to see what could be achieved under those conditions.
Clearly, the answers given by Mannion in the You Tube interview are meaningless since - if we take his explanation at face value - he was not consciously in the room or aware of what was happening whilst his spirit team used his entranced body to simulate physical phenomena.
I requested a response from Mannion via his Facebook immediately the Banyan Retreat posted the incriminating video. He promised to reply but I received nothing from him, yet he has recently complained that our reporting of the events is one-sided, biased and has "twisted" his words.
After viewing the You Tube question-and-answer session it became obvious that the only answers that would be of interest to our readers would be those provided by his spirit team, who Mannion claims were totally responsible for the séance that was videoed.
I therefore invited Mannion, who was visiting the UK, to hold a trance session at which Psychic News could ask his spirit helpers - we have to assume that they are actual beings and not as fake as the phenomena they produced - about why they did on the night in question. I suggested that we videoed the session and made it publicly available so there could be no claim of bias or misrepresentation.
Having seen our more detailed reporting of the Banyan Retreat event and the reactions of various people who had previously sat with him (PN August 2016), Mannion declined to participate, saying our report was "not fair journalism - it's setting out to destroy me"
. He added: "Why would I let you ask my team questions for you to twist what they say? I will pass the articles on to my lawyer and seek advice."
Naturally, I'm disappointed not to have the opportunity to speak with Mannion's spirit team, but here, for the record, are some of the questions I would have liked to put to them:
Why, when you discovered that Banyan Retreat would be filming the séance with an infrared camera, did you not announce this to the sitters and explain that you would either have to cancel the event to protect your medium or to simulate the phenomena by using your medium to move objects and create the other effects that always occur at his seances?Do you not understand that those who attended the session believed they would be seeing genuine phenomena and by faking it in the way you did you were guilty of deception?Why, if your medium was in trance and unaware of what was going on, as he claims, did he need to feel his way around the circle and in and out of the tent he uses as a cabinet?Why did you undress him and invite sitters to touch his body to create the impression that he was a materialised spirit being?How were you able to release him from the cable ties when, apparently, the infrared camera prevented the production of genuine phenomena, such as the movement of trumpet and chairs, all of which are seen being produced by your medium on the video?Clearly, the infrared camera made it impossible for your medium to produce genuine ectoplasm. Instead, he is seen producing white material, putting it in his mouth, and pulling it out to different lengths in beween having a red light put on so that the sitters could observe different amounts. Your medium must have been provided with that material before the séance and it must still have been on his person or hidden in the chair, after the session. Was he not suspicious? And how can you justify such trickery?
Those who continue to support Mannion need to give serious consideration to the issues raised in these questions. But there's more that they should know.
Mannion was in Australia when he first learned, on 13 May, that his Banyan Retreat séance had been filmed covertly. He turned to physical medium Scott Milligan for advice on Facebook. They had known each other for a couple of years and Mannion had helped Milligan with his website in its early days (it is now hosted and designed by Banyan Graphics).
In private messages, when he learned Milligan had seen the video clips online, Mannion wrote: "I ****ed up"
. Milligan advised him to tell his partner, Adam, and his circle leader, Teresa Muzzlewhite. But Mannion responded: "I don't want anyone else knowing", adding, "No, they'll make the whole thing worse". ( ** see Scott Milligan's live chat video below )
Milligan persisted, assuring Mannion that they would stand by him and give him strength if he confessed to them what had happened."I don't want Adam and Teresa to know how ****ed up the whole situation is"
, he replied, and then, after a couple more exchanges Mannion adds: "He doesn't need to know. I'm never gonna sit again so it's something that never needs to come up".
After learning of the video, Mannion originally gave an undertaking to Nic Whitham at Banyan Retreat that he would not hold further physical séances and it was only after hearing that he had broken that agreement and had held a physical séance in Australia that Whitham put the video online for all to see.
Scott Milligan is so annoyed that Mannion has now made a video denying any responsibility for the faked seance, placing responsibility for it on his spirit team, that he has made public those private messages I quoted earlier, during a live chat on his Facebook page.
Despite the controversy surrounding his "physical mediumship", a statement on Mannion's Facebook page (29 July) indicates that he intends to carry on giving séances."I will continue working my way and documenting and showing what the team will allow. If you don't like my work you don't have to come along. Any more hurtful comments will be deleted and you will be blocked...
"This is not me trying to hide anthing. I am simply fed up with all the bullying, harassment and being taken out of context."
Unfortunately for Mannion, it's difficult to take an infrared recording showing blatant fraud out of context and the more people who are made aware of that and the ensuing events the better.