Some may have doubts about the validity of this and the second, unsolved, case from Matlock's Facebook course, with aspects of passive xenoglossy
. I think he includes them to extend our understanding of how they play into children's lives and their parents' experiences of them, rather than from Stevenson's perspective of trying to present strong cases to convince psychologists and psychiatrists who are skeptical about the existence of reincarnation.
Victim souls have not been limited to vicarious suffering; as a branch of mysticism they are frequently associated with mystical phenomena such as bilocation, clairvoyance, visions, xenoglossy
, and stigmata.
59) are intriguing, the related topics of possession and xenoglossy
receive little or no evaluation, and there are even more compelling and relevant cases not covered in Parapsychology (e.g., Iris Farczady-see Barrington, Mulacz, & Rivas, 2005) that are, as yet, beyond explanation in normal terms.
Although they note that records were not always comprehensive and often leave questions unanswered, in their summing up they discuss aspects that lend support to the genuineness of Indridi's mediumship, such as the communication of facts unknown to him that were later verified, correspondences between characteristics of communicators and the individuals they purported to be when alive (individuals Indridi had never met), and skills that Indridi did not possess, such as xenoglossy
and the ability to sing the male and female parts of a duet.
It includes 16 selections arranged in nine subsections, "Apparitions," "Deathbed Visions," "Out-of-Body and Near-Death Experiences," "Mediumship," "Cases of the Reincarnation Type," "Cases of the Reincarnation Type with Birthmarks and Birth Defects," "Maternal Impressions," "Possession," and "Xenoglossy
." Kelly's selections and comments seem to me appropriate and well-founded.
The recordings, spanning more than a hundred years, are divided into: trance speech (words spoken by mediums in a presumed altered state of consciousness during a seance), direct voices (speech in a seance without an apparent natural source), precognitive claims, xenoglossy
(speaking in a tongue apparently never learned by the speaker), glossolalia ("speaking in tongues" or in an incomprehensible language), paranormal music (reputedly channeled from a dead composer or interpreter), raps and haunting phenomena, and electric voice phenomena.
Other theoretical experiments historically suggested as "ideal" in differentiating survival from other explanations for mediums' accuracy involve the retrieval of the combination to a lock (or other code) during a reading that only the discarnate knew; asking the medium to respond to a language (in that language) that the discarnate spoke but that the medium does not (i.e., xenoglossy
); obtaining information during a reading from a discarnate unknown to the sitter, medium, or experimenter (i.e., drop-in communicators); and acquiring information that cannot be fully understood until information from another reading is obtained (i.e., cross-correspondence) (Braude, 2003, pp.
On ESP, we not only get descriptions and examples of telepathy and clairvoyance, and so on, but also featured are dowsing, clairsentience, xenoglossy
, and the not commonly featured "clairtaste" and "clairsmell." And on PK, we get not only a run-down on Schmidt's RNG experiments, but also a brief account of an experiment Schmidt conducted with his pet cat on how it might be possible for an animal to warm itself by using "an-psi" to turn on a 200-watt lamp linked to an RNG.
These include the retrieval of the combination to a lock (or other code) during a reading that only the discarnate knew; asking the medium to respond to a language (in that language) that the discarnate spoke but that the medium does not (xenoglossy
); asking the medium to perform a complicated intellectual task using skills and expertise that the discarnate possessed but that the medium does not (e.g., solving a difficult mathematical proof); obtaining information during a reading from a discarnate unknown to the sitter, medium, or experimenter (i.e., drop-in communicators); and acquiring information that cannot be fully understood until information from another reading is obtained (i.e., cross-correspondence) (Irwin, 1999, pp.
, speaking in a foreign language that the person involved was never known to have learned, was one of the phenomena that greatly interested Ian.
Fontana would have done far better in this regard to discuss such xenoglossy
cases as the Sharada case--a case that has been heavily documented and moreover does far more to support the survival hypothesis than these direct-voice cases do.
From an evidential perspective, however, the chapter would have been stronger had Schmicker included a discussion of xenoglossy