Review by KEN KORCZAK
This book recommends that everyone speak to the dead, and I agree. I’ll be blunt: I’ve tried speaking to the dead, and I’m happy to report that it works. And, yes they talk back. If a cynical, hard-headed skeptic like me who loves empirical science and rational thought can speak to the dead and gain value from it, then anyone can.
Not only is it possible to speak to the dead, but it will make you feel absolutely on top of the world. I’m not kidding. Having a conversation with a dead loved one – or any deceased person – is like undergoing a terrific psychological cleansing. It’s amazingly uplifting.
Even if you absolutely cannot believe that the dead live on somehow — on another plane or in some kind of afterlife — and even if you are the ultimate rational atheist, you can still benefit greatly from speaking to the dead. If you don’t believe me, try it. Maybe you are a super rational, empirical materialist — I still dare you – I double dog dare you – to use some of the methods this author, JULIA ASSANTE suggests for contacting the dead.
So this is a pretty terrific book. What I like about it most is the author’s dogged insistence that the issue of death should be a positive and uplifting subject in our society. Death, dying and being dead is something which should be stripped of the fear and sense of the macabre our mainstream culture has overlaid it with. As the author says, our two greatest achievements in life are probably being born and dying – and death is definitely not the end.
|Julia Assante, Ph.D.|
Here, now, I will air some quibbles I have with this book:
First, the author gives a vigorous and breathless endorsement of the Spiricom device – an electronic contraption which supposedly enabled a man by the name of William O’Neil to contact the deceased American physicist, Dr. George Mueller.
O’Neil recorded an amazing 20 hours of two-way conversation with the deceased Dr. Mueller. The Spiricom was bankrolled by a wealthy inventor and industrialist, George Meek, who was said to have revolutionized the air-conditioning industry, and got rich on his numerous patents.
To make a long story short, the Spiricom experiment has been all-but proven to be a hoax – and it was probably a hoax perpetrated by William O’Neil. Even George Meek was hoodwinked. The Spiricom device worked only once – and only for Mr. O’Neil. After that, the contrivance was passed from hand to hand, and owner to owner, and not a single other person was able to make the heap work, much less contact a famous dead scientist.
William O’Neil was known to have been diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia – it’s listed on his death certificate. Remember, the Spiricom worked for O’Neil and O’Neil only.
It was also the case that O’Neil had some financial interest in making the Spiricom work. He was being bankrolled by the wealthy George Meek. Success with the Spiricom meant that the gravy train could keep rolling for O’Neil – and O’Neil needed the money. He was living in a burned out shell of a decrepit old house at the time.
Now get this: O’Neil was a self-proclaimed psychic and medium, but he also was well known to be a performing ventriloquist. That’s right! And not only was William O’Neil a schizophrenic ventriloquist, it was also known that he owned what is called an “electronic-larynx” device – this was a small microphone worn at the throat that could help a ventriloquist “throw” his voice –and also make his voice sound totally different. It gives the voice a kind of electrical-robotic sound – as was the quality of the voice of the supposedly eager to communicate and dead Dr. George Mueller.
Interestingly, O’Neil never allowed himself to be photographed from the front while using the Spiricom – was it so that he could hide the fact he was wearing and electronic larynx? I ask readers to add up all the evidence and and draw their own conclusion.
I bring this up because the author should have known better than to endorse the legacy of the Spiricom. She holds a Ph.D and thus must be well familiar with not only citing sources, but vetting those sources for accuracy. She stumbles here in the case of the Spriricom. This is unfortunate because her overall thesis is one that is highly controversial – and this means that every bit of information offered is critical to sustain overall credibility. All it takes is one glaring error for skeptics and debunkers to pounce.
Another minor quibble is that the book is overwritten, wordy and seems repetitive and padded at times –but others might disagree.
Overall, I absolutely recommend this book. I also liked the author’s skillful overview of how beliefs about death and the afterlife shifted and evolved from ancient times, through a series of dominating structures which hold sway over society for a few centuries, only to change.
Ken Korczak is the author of: MINNESOTA PARANORMALA