Talking With the Spirits, 10



Anomalous Mental and Physical Phainomena of Brazilian [Spirit-]Media : a Review of the Litterature

Everton de Oliveira Maraldi

Wellington Zangari

Fat.ima Regina Machado

Stanley Krippner


pp. 258-9 Umbanda

p. 258

"Umbanda ceremonies ('giras') ... are commony used for healing, giving advice, and providing magical spells, and are filled with percussive music and dancing."

p. 259

"many Umbanda temples are now integrating elements from different esoteric and shamanic-like traditions ... (Isaia & Manoel, [2011]; Weiss & Nunes, 2005)."

Isaia & Manoel, 2011 = Artur Cesar Isaia & Ivan Aparecido Manoel : Espiritismo e religio~es afro-brasileiras. Sa~o Paulo.

Weiss & Nunes, 2005 = Rosa A. A. Weiss & Maria J. F. R. Nunes : "New Age and Multi-religiosity in Brazil". In :- Michaela Moravc^i`kova` (ed.) : New Age. Bratislava (Slovakia).

pp. 260-1 miraculous abilities of mediumship

p. 260

"Mediums and psychics are frequently said to possess privileged or private information about the living or the deceased that could not be obtained by normal means, sometimes concerning future events.

Some mediums are apparently able to reproduce the same writing or painting style of famous deceased writers or painters ... .

Some mediums ... also ...

p. 261

move objects without physical contact."

{In every case, an obliging divinity (who hath formed a friendship with the medium) is performing the moving for the mortal medium.}

pp. 262-3 Lessa

p. 262

"Lessa earned her doctorate from ... the University of Sa~o Paulo with a dissertation on precognition (Lessa, 1975). During her doctorate course, she was intern ... at the ... Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man ..., in Durham, NC, having Dr. J. B. Rhine as her advisor. ... . ... in her study, ... The participants ... consisted of ...

p. 263

a group she called 'esoteric' that was formed by Buddhists, Hat[.]ha Yoga practitioners and Spiritists -- 37 of them were Kardecist mediums."

Lessa, 1975 = Adelaide Petters Lessa : Precognic,a~o. Sa~o Paulo : Duas Cidades.

pp. 263-5 Gieseler

p. 263

"other studies with Umbanda mediums were conducted by ... Gieseler... (Gieseler, 1985a, 1985b). ...

p. 264

Gieseler went through consultations with mediums incorporated by their guide spirits.

He asked for information about friends of his friends or their relatives. The ... spirit guides gave him ... answers ... very generic ... .

{By the regulations of the divine world, an inquirer is not allowed to pry into the secrets of others by requaesting such information of the deities; so that in asking such information Gieseler was violating standard privacy-rules of permissions -- which is why their responses were vague ("generic").}

Besides that, they seemed to tergiversate by talking about the researcher's life, referring especially to future events.

{Gieseler was the one doing the tergiversating, for, besides violating privacies of others, he was attempting to evade his moral duty of discovering the truth about himself.}

Gieseler also decided to consult the incorporated spirits about the location of lost or stolen objects ... . ... In general, ... the spirit guides performed or taught

certain rituals that would ... help the consultant find the lost or stolen objects."

{The rituals would summon minor specialized helper-spirits, so that through them "the consultant" (in this case, Gieseler himself) could find the objects without pestring the more important guide-spirits about so minor a matter.}

Gieseler, 1985a = Patric V. Gieseler : "... Umbanda Ritual Trance Consultation, Pt I". PARAPSYCHOLOGY REVIEW 15.6:5-9.

Gieseler, 1985b = Patric V. Gieseler : "... Umbanda Ritual Trance Consultation, Pt II". PARAPSYCHOLOGY REVIEW 16.1:11-14.

{Explication of why the deities were intent on "talking about the researcher's life" :- If one is to pry into the secrets of other persons (as Gieseler seemed intent on), therefore in order for such secrets to make sense to the pryer, correlatively the pryer must be shewn how such secrets relate to the secrets in the pryer's own life, including any secret plans for the future ("future events"). The deities are too merciful, too benevolent to leave an inquirer without compraehensive understanding of how any required information concerning others might be helpful to one's self -- and, indeed, are cautious to warn when too much knowledge of the private secrets of others might be harmful to one's self. The writer being quoted (P.V.G.), however, rudely ignored these essential and universally-accepted rules of etiquette.}

pp. 264-5 hypotheses concerning psychokinesis & concerning psi

p. 264

"Gieseler's hypothesis is that the spirit guides do not use their psi directly, but they help the consultants (or clients) to use

{Contrary to these allegations by Gieseler and by Batcheldor :- The fact of the matter is that mortals themselves lack miracle-working power ("psi"); so any "psi" must be inserted and manipulated by the deities (so-called "spirit guides") themselves.}

p. 265

theirs, similar to what British researcher Kenneth Batcheldor (... 1979 ...) proposed ... .

According to Batcheldor, ... The fundamental principle was

{Actually, there are 2 fundamental principles : (1) the power of deities to perform mircles, and (2) the natural praeference of deities to perform such miracles on behalf of mortals believing in them.}

the 'total belief' in PK ... so that it would propitiate {praecipitate} the production of a PK event."

{Why, of course, deities will perform miracles only for persons having faith ("total belief") in power of deities to perform divinely-arranged miracles!}

"In his second article, Gieseler (1985b) explores how and why the same psychodynamics ... would be induced in Umbanda's consultations and would propitiate {praecipitate} ESP occurrences. Firstly, he examines ... the training of mediums ... . Then, he examines the role of

the mediums as facilitators for their clients' psi."

{The medium can facilitate a friendship of the client with a deity, who can in turn perform, for that client, the acts accounted as "psi".}

Batcheldor 1979 = K. J. Batcheldor : "PK in Sitter Groups". PSYCHOENERGETIC SYSTEMS 3:77-93.

{His misunderstanding (i.e., his supposition that mortals themselves -- independently from deities -- are in direct possession of clairsentient powers) was apparently derived from his peculiar interpretation of his own personal experience : "I went directly to the packet ... hidden ...!" (p. 264, quoting Gieseler, 1985a, p. 7) However, deities may be on certain occasions overshadowing us without their being particularly noticeable to us; and in this occasional condition of ours, the deities may perform diverse wondres, which we may mistaken ascribe to our own imagined (but merely suppositious and illusory) "psi" (which we, however, actually must of our own accord utterly lack, or else we would be constantly performing tremendous miracles all day long every day nonstop throughout this lifetime, and throughout every lifetime of ours).}

pp. 267-8 practitioners of traditional African religion score lowest in tests of psychokinesis and of remote viewing

p. 267

"Candomble` cultists scored lowest of all ... .

{Apart from the possibility that the African deities involved may not concern themselves with these particular abilities; another explanation could be that the African deities are aware than persons who demonstrate these abilities too publicly may run a risk of being murdered by secret police at the behest of the ploutokrateia -- or at least that such could be a possibility in some unfree countries.}

p. 268

... However, the finding showed that non-cultists performed better than the cultists in the remote viewing tasks".

pp. 273-4 medical manoeuvres

p. 273

[quoted from Moreira-Almeida, Almeida, Gollner, & Krippner, 2009, p. 4] "During this procedure, healers ... under the influence of spiritual entities ... perform ... unconventional and disconcerting maneuvers. ...

Many observers claim that

p. 274

these procedures are performed with no anesthetic {n}or antiseptic procedures yet result in no pain {n}or infection."

Moreira-Almeida, Almeida, Gollner, & Krippner, 2009 = A. Moreira-Almeida,T. M. Almeida, A. M. Gollner, & S. Krippner : "A Study of ... John of God". J OF SHAMANIC PRACTICE 2.1:21-31.

p. 274 particular medical practitioners

"Jose` Pedro de Freitas (1921-1971), known as 'Ze` Arigo`.' ... (Fuller, 1974 ...)."

"Joa~o Teixeira de Faria de Faria, known as "Joa~o de Deus" (John of God) or "Joa~o de Abadia^nia" (John from Abadia^nia) (Bragdon, 2002; Cumming & Leffler, 2007)."

Fuller, 1974 = John Grant Fuller : Arigo` : Surgeon of the Rusty Knife. NY : Thomas Y. Crowell.

Bragdon, 2002 = Emma Bragdon : Spiritual Alliances : Discovering the Roots of Health at the Casa de Dom Ina`cio. Woodstock (VT) : Lightening Up Pr.

Cumming & Leffler, 2007 = Heather Cumming & Karen Leffler : John of God : the Brazilian Healer ... of Millions. NY : Atria Bks/Beyond Words Publ.

p. 276 Centro Espi`rita Nosso Lar Casas Andre` Luiz (CENCAL)

"As CENCAL follows the Spiritist philosophy, the patients also receive spiritual assistance in the form of prayers and 'mediumistic communications'

(spiritists believe that the patients, even though not deceased, are able to temporarily leave their bodies to use the body of a medium, and then expressed their suffering verbally)."

{This activity could be rather more intelligibly described in terms of the patient's guardian-angel's (fravas^i's) occupying, and speaking through the mouth of, the spirit-medium.}

pp. 278-80 physical mediumship

p. 278

"Brazil has many interesting examples of physical mediumship, such as the famous medium Carmine Mirabelli (1889-1951), whose ... phenomena ranged from

materializations of spirits to

{actually, /manifestations/, not "materializations" : for, subtle substance cannot be converted into (i.e., degraded to) material substance by any means whatsover}

levitation and movement of objects without contact (Dingwall, 1961; Goes, 1937).

{In every such case, the "levitation and movement of objects without contact" was accomplished by lifting performed by an invisible deity (which, though quite immaterial, can easily manipulate material objects).}

... Mirabelli presented striking paranormal abilities (Palhano, 1994) ... .

Other illustrative instances of physical mediumship can be found in the cases of

Anna Prado (Faria, 1921; Magalha~es, 2012),

{see also "HRNPhMT"}

Francisco Peixoto Lins, known as 'Peixotinho' (Beloff & Playfair, 1993; Ranieri, 2003), and

Oti`lia Diogo (Rocha, 2011)."

p. 279

"systematic and impartial investigation was conducted by Krippner, Winkler, Amiden, Crema, Kelson, Arora, & Weil (1996) concerning ... anomalous physical phenomena ... of a Brazilian medium called Amyr Amiden, who lives in Brasi`lia ... . ...

p. 280

The setting for the research was the International Holistic University in Brasi`lia. ... The medium remarked that

he rarely has volitional control over the phenomena,

{indicating that the phainomena are performed on his behalf by an external agent, praesumably a divinity (or divinities) specializing in those feats}

but that there are 'signs' that they will occur, for example, the taste of acid in his saliva, the loss of his color vision, the appearance of sweat on his hands."

Dingwall, 1961 = E. J. Dingwall : "Book Review of Hans Gerloff : Das Medium Carlos Mirabelli : ... Untersuchung". J OF THE SOC FOR PSYCHICAL RESEARCH 41(708):80-2.

Goes, 1937 = Eurico de Goes : Prodi`gios da Biopsychica obtidos com o me`dium Mirabelli. Sa~o Paulo : Typographia Cupolo.

Palhano, 1994 = Lamartine Palhano, Jr. : Mirabelli -- um me`dium extraordina`rio. Rio de Janeiro : CELD.

Faria, 1921 = Nogueira de Faria : O trabalho dos mortos (Livro do Joa~o). Rio de Janeiro : Federac,a~o Espi`rita Brasileira. & (download)

Magalha~es, 2012 = Samuel Nunes Magalha~es : Anna Prado : a mulher que falava com os mortos. Brasi`lia : Federac,a~o Espi`rita Brasileira.

"HRNPhMT" = Ademir Xavier : "An Historical Review of a Notable Physical Medium in the Tropics : Anna Prado". PARANTHROPOLOGY 3.4:49-51.

Beloff & Playfair, 1993 = J. Beloff & G. L. Playfair : " Peixotinho : a Latter-day Kluski?" J OF THE SOC FOR PSYCHICAL RESEARCH 59(832):204-6.

Ranieri, 2003 = R. A. Ranieri : Materializac,o~es luminosas : Peixotinho. Sa~o Paulo, LAKE.

Rocha, 2011 = N. M. Rocha : O foto`grafo dos espi`ritos. Sa~o Paulo, EME.

Krippner, Winkler, Amiden, Crema, Kelson, Arora, & Weil 1996 = S. Krippner, M. Winkler, A. Amiden, R. Crema, R. Kelson, H. Lal Arora, & P. Weil : "... Anomalous Phenomena Observed in the Presence of a Brazilian Sensitive". J FOR SCIENTIFIC EXPLORATION 18:281-98.

pp. 282-3 psychography

p. 282

"Chico Xavier (1910-2002) was probably the most famous and important Spiritist medium in Brazil. He was considered very gifted in automatic or mediumistic writing ('psicografia' in Portuguese), and produced over 400 books [written by automatic writing] on a wide range of subjects ... . Xavier's talent for writing poetry and reproducing (or 'intermediating') the style of great literary writers ... presented reliable evidence of anomalous phenomena. ...

Among other things, Xavier ... to receive automatic messages from the deceased in response to requests from their families ... in this respect ...

p. 283

include very specific information provided about the deceased that was sometimes not accessible to the family, but was later confirmed to be true (Severino et al., 1994) ... . ... Even the parapsychological literature contains very little information about him (... Playfair, [1975])."

Severino et al., 1994 = Paulo Rossi Severino & the AME-SP team : Life's Triumph : Research on Messages Received by Chico Xavier. Sa~o Paulo : Fe` Editora.

Playfair, 1975 = Guy Lyon Playfair : The Flying Cow : Exploring the Psychic World of Brazil. London : Souvenir Press. (reprinted 1977 St Albans : Panther; reprinted 2010 Guildford : White Crow Bks.)

pp. 283-4, 288 artistic mediumship : bilocation in 2 distinct worlds

p. 283

"Practiced by Brazilians, such as the famous Luiz Antonio Gasparetto ..., mediumistic painting is characterized by the ... ability of an individual to serve as an instrument for deceased artists to continue to produce their works of art.

p. 284

"Maraldi & Krippner (2013) conducted a series of investigations into the painting activities of Jaques Andrade. Born in 1945, Jaques Andrade ... has dedicated most of his religious life to mediumistic painting ... (Lima 1998; Lins 1999)."

p. 288

"several incongruent {from a conventional point-of-view} findings : 1) there was a general reduction in skin conductance ... unusual to find ... associated with constriction of the blood vessels and increased muscular tension during the imagination task ... . 2) The increase in muscle-tension during the eyes-closed imagination condition and the associated increase in ... alpha brain wave activity during imagination are also paradoxical -- these two measures ... are typically negatively {oppositely} associated, not positively {correlatively} associated. ...

People with incongruences between Central Nervous System and Autonomous Nervous System can be described as ... inhabiting two worlds ... . ...

{The "inhabiting" of "two worlds" would needs be due to two consciousnesses inhabiting the body simultaneously -- that of the resident mortal, and that of temporarily-abiding divinity.}

These incongruences are ... are essential to ... dissociative processes ... ."

{The sojourning divinity is dissociated from this world, being a natural denizen of a transcendent world.}

Maraldi & Krippner 2013 = E. O. Maraldi & S. Krippner : "Remarks on a Case of Mediumistic Painting". NEUROQUANTOLOGY 11.4:544-72.

Lima 1998 = I. W. R. Lima : "Pesquisa de atividade psicopictogra`fica de Jacques Andrade". ('Research concerning Psychopictographic Activity of Jacques Andrade') PROCEEDINGS OF THE 3RD PSI MEETING, Curitiba.

Lins 1999 = R. D. Lins : "Psicopictografia : um nova abordagem ...". In :- Teoria Parapsicolo`gica Geral. Recife : Instituto Pernambucano de Pesquisas Psicobiofi`sicas.

pp. 288-9 similarly paradoxical effects for expert psychography-media

p. 288

"In an investigation conducted by Peres et al. (2012) with ... advanced Spiritist mediums ... dedicated to the

p. 289

practice of automatic writing, the most experienced mediums evidenced {evinced} a low activation of brain areas responsible for attention and planning while doing automatic writing ... . ... . Although experienced mediums reported being in a deeper trance, having little or no awareness of the content produced, the less expert mediums ... usually reported

they wrote phrases that had been dictated to them in their minds."

{This is no true "automatic writing" : in true automatic writing, the hand moveth without being caused to do so by one's own will, thus surprising one; astonishing one that the involuntary movement could have produced legible writing (as I have experienced).}

Peres et al. 2012 -- in PLOS ONE 7.11.

p. 289 so-called "schizophrenia"

"Although participants reported several

dissociative or psychotic-like experiences, and also

{If there were any "dissociative or psychotic-like experiences", these were being experienced by the deities who were producing the "anomalous" miracle-events. Scurrilous insults if such sorts against deities producing miraculous results, must not pass unpunished.}

presented a pattern of cerebral activation similar to that of schizophrenic patients,

{This is the pattern of activation enacted by deities when transcendentally awakening mortals to the praeternatural reality.}

they did not suffer from schizophrenia or other mental illness and were well-adjusted."

{The false accusations of "mental illness" and of "maladjustment" made maliciously by "psychiatrists" against their involuntary "patients" (held under conditions of false imprisonment) are based on nothing more than the horrified reactions of those pious saints (the "patients") being so unjustly maltreated by blasphemous, ungodly "psychiatrists" who are continuously spouting their nonsensical materialist hypocrisies.}

{There is, of course, no such thing as "schizophrenia"; but paranoid "psychiatrists" make sure hypocritically to accuse all their involuntary-prisoner victims of such inexistent irrealities.}

p. 292 experimental protocol for testing shamanic-journeying

"Rock, Storm, and Friedman (2012) have incorporated elements from shamanic-like journeying in a novel experimental protocol for the study of psi phenomena. Perhaps Umbanda rituals and other Brazilian religious practices could give us some insights on how we could elaborate innovative experimental protocols."

Rock, Storm, and Friedman 2012 = A. J. Rock; L. Storm; H. L. Friedman : "Shamanic-like Journeying and Psi-signal Detection, I : ... Psi-conducive Components of a Novel Experimental Protocol". J OF PARAPSYCHOLOGY 76.2:321-6.

p. 292 culturally sensitive methodology; mediumship-psychodynamics

"in keeping with a more culturally sensitive methodology, Maraldi & Zangari (2013) have defended the importance of investigating the ... religious beliefs ... and conjugal life of mediums ... in order to obtain a better understanding of how

their ... experiences can influence, even determine (or be determined by), their mediumistic manifestations.

{Such "experiences" would need include how they were introduced to, and became favorites of, the deities who are performing all the so-called "mediumistic manifestations" for them.}

Carvalho (1994) and Carvalho and Amaral (1994) also emphasized the psychological, social and cultural factors involved in psi phenomena and mediumship, and developed interesting psychodynamic hypotheses that are still in need of further evaluation."

Carvalho 1994 = A. P. Carvalho : "Some Socio-psychological Aspects of Psi". J OF THE SOC FOR PSYCHICAL RESEARCH 59(834):364-6.

Carvalho & Amaral 1994 = A. P. Carvalho & C. E. G. Amaral : "Mediumship, Psychodynamics and ESP". J OF THE SOC FOR PSYCHICAL RESEARCH 60(836):29-37.

p. 293 literature on other praeternatural phainomena in Brazil


its literature for Brazil

"past-life memories"

Andrade, 1986

"poltergeist cases"

Machado, [2001]

"alien abduction"

Martins & Zangari, 2012

Andrade, 1986 = Hernani Guimara~es Andrade : Reencarnac,a~o no Brasil. Mata~o (SP) : O Clarim.

Machado, 2001 = Fa`t[.]tima Regina Machado : "A New Look at Haunting and Poltergeist Phenomena : ... a Semiotic Perspective". In :- James Houran & Rense Lange (edd.) : Hauntings and Poltergeists : Multidiscipinary Perspectives. Jefferson (NC) : McFarland. pp. 227-47. (reprinted 2008)

Martins & Zangari, 2012 = L. B. Martins & W. Zangari : "Relations Among Typical Contemporary Anomalous Experiences ... and Spiritual Experiences". REVISTA DE PSIQUIATRIA CLI`NICA 39.6.


Jack Hunter & David Luke (edd.) : Talking With the Spirits : Ethnographies from Between the Worlds. Daily Grail Publ, Brisbane, 2014.