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Tell My Mother I'm Not Dead: A Case Study in Mediumship Research

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Tell My Mother I'm Not Dead: A Case Study in Mediumship Research

Post by Candlelight.kk on Tue 23 May 2017, 00:58

12 Sep 2014, 23:39

Just discovered this book - and immediately added to my reading list.  thumb  
Anyone else read it? If so, would be great to hear your review here.

Tell My Mother I'm Not Dead: A Case Study in Mediumship Research
By Trevor Hamilton

From the publisher’s website: This book divides into two parts. The first is a personal narrative of the impact of the death of the author’s son Ralph on him and his family and his efforts to see if there was any evidence for his continued existence (generated largely through visits to mediums) that a thinking person could take seriously. The second is an attempt to evaluate that evidence objectively (based on an extensive survey of current and past scientific research in the UK and the USA). The title reflects the inevitable tension between emotion and intellect in such an enquiry.

Trevor Hamilton retired from his post in higher education at the end of 2006 to write full time. He has degrees from Oxford, London and Sussex Universities. He is the author of a well-received biography of F.W.H. Myers, one of the founding figures of the Society for Psychical Research.


Reviewed for the SPR by: Tom Ruffles
© Society for Psychical Research 2009
Trevor Hamilton is best known as the biographer of Frederic Myers, a significant figure in the history of the Society for Psychical Research (Immortal Longings: F.W.H. Myers and the Victorian Search for Life after Death). This is a scholarly work with the impersonal approach implied by that term. Tell My Mother I’m Not Dead is very different in tone. It is a brave book in which Hamilton explores the evidence for the survival of bodily death following the loss of his son Ralph in a car crash in 2002.

The book splits neatly into two parts. The first talks about Ralph and the effect of his death on Trevor, his wife Anne, and Ralph’s brother, as they go through the grieving process. Embedded in these personal reflections Hamilton describes a series of ten visits to mediums, of varying quality, over a nine-year period, describing the experience, listing the statements, and subjecting these to close analysis. An appendix tabulates the statements, and in the best session the correct ones accounted for 90% of the total made.

During visits Hamilton was alert to issues of body language, fishing, cold reading, generalisations, even the law of large numbers, and factored these into his assessment. Along with the low incidence of errors, he found very few examples of a scattershot throwing-out of names and assertions in the hope that something would stick, and while some of the statements could apply to a large number of people (the Forer/Barnum Effect), many were precise in relating to his situation. The consistency of a number of the readings constitute, he feels, a kind of replication, so often elusive in paranormal research.

The second part opens out the discussion by assessing the evidence for survival of bodily death arising from his personal experiences, set it in the context of investigations of many kinds undertaken by researchers around the world. He draws on a wide range of sources, and the result is a fascinating case study which also acts as a useful summary of the current state of research. He finds much of value, but all too often underreported and ignored by the wider scientific community. The discussion is broken down into eight main headings, useful questions for anyone with an interest in the subject to consider:
..............

Read this review in full HERE on the SPR website
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