Tricia Robertson has explored after death communication for more than 30 years.
photo by: Skeptiko
That’s Matt Damon from the movie Hereafter, showing the other side of mediumship and how hard it can be on the mediums themselves. It’s a topic that today’s guest, the very, very excellent Tricia Robertson has explored for, well, for decades now in her work with after death communication, experiments, writings and just generally as an explorer of the topic. Here’s a clip from my interview.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:01:05] So this will not offend your religious beliefs, and I thought, wow, why would you say that? How do we know that? Why would we even care? I mean, I understand you’re trying to meet people where they are, people are having questions about after death communication, I understand that. But on a different level, why would we possibly care if we’re going to the next level of understanding what this stuff really is? Why would we care about someone’s religious beliefs?
Tricia Robertson: [00:01:37] Well, it’s got nothing to do with religion whatsoever. But if you take the hypothesis that a lot of people believe in God, a cosmic consciousness, an energy that they’re going to go to, they need to try and understand it. And I do not know what the next level of testing would be. No, I don’t want to offend anyone’s religious belief. I mean, I would never take it away from them because some people need that to hang on to, but whatever we show with our survival of consciousness and the evidence, it should fit anybody’s religious beliefs.
Alex Tsakiris: Welcome to Skeptiko where we explore controversial science and spirituality with leading researchers, thinkers, and their critics. You know, there’s one topic that has always intrigued me, and you know, if you’ve listened to this show, it’s frontier science, exploring the intersection between science and spirituality. Because it always seems like there’s a lot of potential that’s untapped there in that, you know, what is less scientific about studying and measuring the hypothesized disincarnated spirit that may communicate with you through a medium, why is that somehow less scientific than calculating the radius of a proton?
Well, I think this is exactly the case kind of approach that today’s guest Tricia Robertson has taken through her collaboration with Professor Archie Roy of the university of Glasgow, and since his passing she has continued that kind of research. She’s really someone who’s dived into after death communication, she’s written a couple of very interesting, terrific books. If you’re all in doubt about this phenomenon, then, Things You Can Do When You’re Dead! True Accounts of After Death Communication, and her follow-up book, More Things You Can Do When You’re Dead! will certainly convince you.
So I thought this was a really cool opportunity to talk with Tricia, especially she was suggested to me by my friend, Mark Ireland, who wrote the book Soul Shift. We had Mark on the show a long time ago, and I’ve stayed in contact with Mark and Tricia actually wrote the foreword to that book.
So Tricia, thanks so much for joining me on Skeptiko, I’m glad you’re here.
Tricia Robertson: [00:04:08] You’re welcome.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:04:09] So tell folks some more about your background. So you’re not a medium, right?
Tricia Robertson: [00:04:17] Not at all, no.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:04:19] So tell folks about your background, your interest in that, and then let’s have this chat about the science of it, as you guys in the UK call out or psychical research.
Tricia Robertson: [00:04:32] That’s it, you got it.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:04:33] That throws people off over here, and they say, what’s psychical, what does that mean?
Tricia Robertson: [00:04:38] Some people call it part of psychology, but part of psychology is normally done in a university. Psychical research was started really in 1892 or 1882 when the Society for Psychical Research in London was formed whereby eminent people of the time, professors, all sorts of learned people were examining the claims of spiritualism, that there was a life after death and you could communicate with people who had passed. That’s how it started. All the details that are actually in the first book of how that started.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:05:19] I think most people are familiar with that history. It’s a very intriguing history, particularly that all the leading scientists at the time were on board in terms of investigating this, and some of them, you can even kind of throw stones at some of them, but several of them were of the highest caliber and certainly were capable scientifically of doing that. So what about you?
Tricia Robertson: [00:05:42] That’s how it started. That’s why it’s called psychical research as opposed to parapsychology. Now, they did not start this to knock it, they started it to see is there any truth? What is the evidence? That’s what I’m all about. What is the evidence for any particular phenomenon?
And my own particular interest at the moment is survival of consciousness after physical death. I taught math and physics just as an ordinary schoolteacher in what you would call a high school. And I did that for years, and I had no interest in religion. I had really no particular interest in life after death. I was too busy getting more of my life, enjoying myself.
And then about 1983, for some reason unknown took, took an intellectual interest in this. So I took myself to the nearest big spiritualist church to listen to what was going on.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:06:37] That’s something else that’s going to be this kind of culture difference. Spiritualist churches, we do have them here in the States and I’ve actually visited one. There’s one that’s pretty prominent, that’s relatively close to my house. But I get the feeling, I get the sense that they’re different over here. I mean, they’re really an odd ball, odd duck here, more so than they are… What are people going to encounter? What is the whole idea of a spiritualist church?
Tricia Robertson: [00:07:07] It is a recognized religion now in the United Kingdom and they have their principles like the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of Man and continuation of consciousness after physical death. I am not a spiritualist, I merely was interested in the idea. And I don’t know why, because I was married at the time, we had two good jobs, two cars, two children, the usual thing and I was very happy. But for some reason my friend and I decided to look into this, just a friend. And when I got there I was intrigued intellectually about what was going on. And I used to listen to people getting messages, as they call them, from the mediums and then eventually I manage to accost people in the foyer and say, “Can you tell me what that was about? Was it meaningful to you?” And so on and so forth.
And as time went on, I was just gathering data, not scientifically, about what was going on and that intrigued me even further.
And then Professor Archie Roy and I met in 1987 and he was interested in these things too and we both began to go out to what you call spontaneous cases where people are reporting things and examining other aspects of paranormal phenomena.
And then Archie and I, we used to give lectures at Glasgow university at nighttime on Introduction to Psychical Research. And once you start these things, things come into your wake, and that’s really how it all started.
And then one thing led to another, we had our own particular cases and Archie and I formed this group called PRISM, Psychical Research involving selective mediums. We used to meet in London with other professors and scientists and people from the spiritualist community and we’d try to devise experiments to test various hypothesis. And that’s what science does. Science says, let’s look at this. How can we test it? Is there any truth in what that claim is? That’s what science is.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:09:15] Well, maybe. One of the things that I’ve kind of been led to in this show, when I’ve been doing this show for a long time, and we’ve really looked into after-death communication scientifically. Are you familiar with the work of Dr. Julie Beischel?
Tricia Robertson: [00:09:30] I’m working with Julie at the moment. Julie asked me to work with her. Anyway, the work that Archie and I did, we’ve got three published papers in peer reviewed journals, and these three papers are well accepted throughout the world. Julie Beischel knows my work and she’s asked me to help her at the moment, along with other people, with a project that they’re doing, not similar, similar but different if you know what I mean, using more parapsychological jargon in a university type setting.
Yes, I’m very well aware of Julie, and as I say, we had these three papers. So Archie and I devised this experiment, Archie and I really did it ourselves, and it took us 5 years’ study and we’ve got 1600 points and a graph at the end. It’s not a thing of small numbers. It took us five years.
Now, this type of thing to me is an observational science, you have to observe what is happening, it’s an experiential science, what is happening to the people. So we set out to test a hypothesis that all medium statements are so general they can apply to anyone and after five years’ work, long hard work, setting out real life settings. The information is all there in the published papers, it’s very boring.
We would get someone else to fill a room with 40 people. We didn’t know who these 40 would be. I would bring a medium of some kind, Archie didn’t know who the medium was going to be. And then we did blind readings, they were all blind readings, where I would be in one room with the medium, they would never see the audience. Archie would never see the medium and we did all these experimental things, and obviously the whole thing was recorded.
So you have 40 people in the room, we got the medium to make six different statements to intended recipients. Now, how did we know the intended recipients? Archie would put out seat numbers in the venue once we got there. He would be the only person that would know what the seat numbers were. I didn’t know what the seat numbers were, I hadn’t a clue what was going on and then I would just get a knock at the door to say, “You have your first reading.” So to the medium I would say, “Can you tune in and see if you can find the first recipient that’s been chosen by seat number?” And this went on again and again. So there were lots and lots of information. This went on for five years, and to our surprise, as much as anyone, it worked.
Now, you have to remember, I’m only using good mediums that I know are good mediums. The trouble with mediumship is there are so many mediums who are not good mediums. There are some flaky mediums. There are some people who are deluded. But using the best mediums that I would trust and using a scientific method of reduction of data etc. etc. we nullified that hypothesis against chance to a million to one.
Now, if we’d only used the very, very best mediums, it would have been a lot more than that, but we did use a mixture of mediums to see what result we were going to get.
So as far as that goes, we were convinced that using good mediums, they do give relevant information to the relevant sitter. That’s the boring stuff.
The more interesting things is what are they telling the people? What is the nature of the statements? They have to be specific statements that are either right or wrong, correct or not correct. There’s nothing in the middle and if the people weren’t sure, we’d count that as not correct. So we were being very, very hard here on the mediums with that scientific thing.
Now, nobody in the world, so far, and the last paper was published in 2004, no one has seriously criticized our work. No one. And Professor Chris Roe who’s Head of Parapsychology at Northampton University, he actually cites our work everywhere he goes and so does Gary Schwartz believe it or not, and so do a whole lot of other people. Then there’s Professor Bernard Carr, he’s an astronomer. All of these people accept our work as genuine because they know the way that the work was done.
So that was interesting in itself, but at the moment I’m more interesting in survival of consciousness, what do the other cases show us and what might that survival of consciousness be like?
Alex Tsakiris: [00:14:03] You know, just to recap a little bit, because there’s a good video out there that people can watch on YouTube that does a nice job of demonstrating how this experiment was done. And it’s clever, it’s simple, as a lot of these experiments can be, you know, it’s really not just earth-shattering science, but it’s solid.
So the idea is you take a medium and again, you stated it quite perfectly, in that, you know, one of the skeptical claims, and you’ve all heard it, they’re just saying general statements that could apply to anyone. And that’s what you sought to test. So an easy way to test that is just to say, well, let let the medium do their thing blinded, and as you said there are a couple of different blindings. The medium does a reading and then that reading is distributed to 40 people and they have to say does it fit or does it not fit? And that seems like a pretty fair test. And as you said, if you analyze that statistically, it comes out with a pretty strong result.
Tricia Robertson: [00:15:07] In case you’re wondering how we did the statistics. Once the mediums had made all of their statements, and I had sheets for everyone of the statements, there would be a break in the proceedings. The medium was finished now, an actuary would give the people a talk of some kind. I would go away somewhere, and I would photocopy 41 copies of each statement. So you’ve got 41 copies of six statements to distribute to the populous in that audience, and when the people came in the seat numbers were randomized. Archie did randomization. Say you come in with your partner or your wife, anybody, they weren’t particularly allowed to sit together. Archie had another randomized pack numbered from 1 to 50 or something like that, and as they came in they were asked to come forward randomly and the pack was shuffled three times by somebody else, and they would have to take the number and they would have to sit on the seat they were given. If you were given 24, you had to keep your butt on seat 24 for all of the proceedings.
And you will know as well as I do, it’s quite difficult sometimes to get people to do what they’re supposed to do. “Oh, can I not sit with my friend?” “No, you can’t, you’re in seat 24, you friend is in whatever other seat.” So we were very strict with the audience, we had to keep them doing what they were doing.
So after the break, when Archie has given a small talk, then I would have the six sets of papers. Everybody got the six sets of statements. And then they were given time to go through each one and tick if that applied to them. “Your father’s name was Bernard.” It’s either right or it’s wrong. And each medium was told to make specific statements because they know me and they’re afraid of me and that’s how we actually gathered the data. So there was no dubiety about it whatsoever.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:17:08] Right. It sounds solid, it sounds like good science. So Tricia, one of the things that I guess I’m kind of interested in on the show and I’ve been pursuing for the last few years is this idea of, if you pound on the science angle like you have, then I think you get to what I call level one, you know, level one is your point, follow the data. So you follow the data and you say, this stands up, this stands up to the usual test that we would have in science, that’s peer reviewed, that passes that test. It’s statistically significant, it passes that test.
And that gets us to the level two question in my mind, which is, why isn’t this more accepted? And I think we can go round and round on that. And I have on this show interviewed so many skeptics, leading skeptics in the UK, in the US, who front having legitimate concerns, and they’ll tell you all their concerns in a very scientific way.
But I’ve come to kind of question whether or not those concerns are as they seem, like legitimate concerns about the science, or whether they point to more fundamental structural problems in science in general. In terms of science is very married, as we know to a materialistic paradigm and look behind why we’re married to that materialistic paradigm. What that means in terms of the general population, feeling isolated, feeling alone, feeling afraid, and whether or not that might be a better way to divide and rule people, than have people running out and considering their infinite possibilities that their soul might provide.
Tricia Robertson: [00:18:58] It’s never going to change. As I say, 1882 the society was formed in London, and there is so much excellent information, evidence there, but conventional science, not all of them, and other people, they will not accept it because their brain can get into the head this could be a possibility. Unless you’ve actually had an experience or read, in fact, books like mine, I keep it simple. I keep it down to what’s actually happening. I don’t fill it with jargon. I present the evidence and you can make up your own mind. It’s like we’ve two levels of proof in our world, we’ve got science, we’ve got two apples and two apples will always make four apples. And then you have proof as in a court of law, beyond reasonable doubt, and that is the type of science that we do with psychical research.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:19:54] I think that misses the point because science, the fundamental question in science, that science is still grappling with is, does consciousness exist? Right? So I can play your clips like I do on this show of Neil deGrasse Tyson, one of the most prominent scientists, public scientists in the United States saying that consciousness is an illusion. Consciousness as an Epiphenomenon of the brain is the standard working hypothesis that we have right now.
Tricia Robertson: [00:20:21] Absolutely.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:20:22] But it’s absurd. It doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t make any sense experimentally. We’ve proven that for a hundred years, not just the psychical research, but quantum physics stands in the way of that, in terms of the observer effect.
So I guess what I’m saying is, I think it’s missing the point to think that, “Oh, you know, I’ve proven it this way, and now I’ve proven it this way. And gosh, darn it, those skeptics, they don’t have the mind for it.” Taking one step back and saying, no, they’re doing it perfectly. They’re doing it perfectly for a particular purpose, and even if that means that that individual who is causing, you know, if it’s Richard Wiseman or whoever it is, you know, is standing in the way of it. Whether it means that they are aware of the role they’re playing or not. I think we have to take a step back and say, maybe there’s something behind the agenda that they’re pushing.
And then I think that leads us to a more interesting discussion about where we go with where we really want the frontier science to go, leaving behind science as we know it. To say, we don’t need their approval to start asking some, I don’t know, next level questions. Like, I’ll give you an example. That was a long rant, but I’ll bring it home with this.
In one of the interviews I heard you say, “Now this will not bother your religious beliefs. So this will not offend your religious beliefs,” and I thought, wow, why would you say that? Why do we know that? Why do we care? Why would we even care? I mean, I understand you’re trying to meet people where they are, people are having questions about after death communication, I understand that. But on a different level, why would we possibly care if we’re going to the next level of understanding what this stuff really is? Why would we care about someone’s religious beliefs?
Tricia Robertson: [00:22:23] Well, it’s got nothing to do with religion whatsoever. But if you take the hypothesis that a lot of people believe in God, a cosmic consciousness, an energy that they’re going to go to, they need to try and understand it. And I do not know what the next level of testing would be, I just don’t know, and neuroscientists don’t understand it either. Dr. Peter Fenwick is a friend of mine, and they will admit they do not know what consciousness is. They don’t even know where it lies. Does it lie in every cell of your body? Does it lie in your brain? Which I don’t think it does because the evidence of the actual cases don’t show that at all because consciousness is very alive when there’s no physical body. So I don’t know what the next level of experimentation would be.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:23:12] maybe the purpose of your reading is to kind of shake you out of some of your religious beliefs. So I’ll just start with that, you know, to poke at you a little bit, Tricia, why do we want to say that this won’t offend your religious beliefs?
Can we be so sure of that? And should we care about
Tricia Robertson: [00:23:29] that? Well, I just do say the, do the not tick thing. I just show you what happens and what you make of that. No, I don’t want to offend anyone’s religious belief. I mean, I would never take it away from them because some people need that to hang on to, but whatever we share with our survival of consciousness and the evidence, it should fit anybody’s religious beliefs.
Absolutely. Anyone, unless you.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:23:56] Why, why would it, why do we think, why would we care if it fits anyone’s religious beliefs? And clearly it’s not. I mean, I’ve spoken to a lot of Christians on this show who wouldn’t tell you directly that this does not fit their religious beliefs and that it’s satanic. So it’s not rubbish to them.
It’s not nonsense to them.
Tricia Robertson: [00:24:17] No, no, but you see, this is where you come into a fundamentalism and any form of fundamentalism. It’s like the super skeptic, super skepticism as it religion as well. They firmly believe there’s nothing, but. Hard things, tables, chairs, and what’s happening around the boat. They believe that like our religion and they will not change the viewpoint.
And I don’t give a top any toys at that is entirely up to them. They are not ready to change. Now, there are people with fundamentalist, religion, but for example, seeing near death experience, when someone has a near death experience, if there were a Christian, the interpret that lovely feeling as being Jesus.
That’s it interpretation. I hadn’t do would see some other God and the Jewish people might see Moses, but that is their interpretation of what they believe. But it’s interpreted in a different way that doesn’t make the experience any different. The experiences are the same, just interpretation is different.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:25:19] I just think we have to be really careful when we say stuff like that. Cause it gets, I mean, I’ve studied that for. Tons, you know, I interviewed Gregory Shaun who did a cross cultural analysis of a near death experience across all cultures, across native cultures, uh, you know, precolonial cultures and overtime, which is probably the best way to get at that.
But when we throw that out there that, you know, if you saw Jesus, then that means that’s your interpretation. It begs the question of what is really going on. In these extended realms. And as soon as we start talking about extended realms and say, this to me is like the problem. When we talk about science and you talk about fundamentalist, religion, I’m like, we don’t even know what that means.
We don’t know what fundamental is. Science means, right? If we accept that, perhaps the fundamental. Ground of all, this is consciousness and realism and materialism failed, then all, some most science, as we know, it is fundamentalist in a really, in a way that distorts all our results. Anyway, think about everything we’re measuring now, unless we’re measuring consciousness in the equation, we can’t really rely on our measurement.
Tricia Robertson: [00:26:33] You can’t measure your consciousness. You can’t, you can’t measure love. You. Can’t say I’m going to measure how much I love my wife or my children. You kind of measured it the same with consciousness,
Alex Tsakiris: [00:26:42] but you publish three peer review papers. So I’m glad you measured it. I’m glad you’ve measured it the way that you did.
And so I think we have to hold both of these things and hold them. Kind of loosely. And one is the fact that we do want to know nudge a little bit closer to the truth. We even if that truth is, you know, provisional and, and w w has subject to change and yeah. Is never really going to be right. Cause we’re looking at, from the wrong side of the telescope, it’s still does move us a little bit further down the path.
Tricia Robertson: [00:27:15] Well, I hope so. I mean, I just look at the evidence to say, well, if this happened, which it did, how do you explain that? What w what other way can you explain, for example, I don’t know if you read the, my mother case in one of my books where a woman came to me and a daughter had been murdered. I didn’t know her at all.
And so I suggested she’d bring me an envelope with something that the longterm doctor. And I took it to several regions.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:27:40] That story, tell that story from, from the beginning. Okay. So, so first of all, you’re not, uh, you’re not a medium, you’re a researcher of after-death communication and you’ve somehow connected with professor.
Archie Roy. And he says, wow, Trisha, you are great. You’re on the ball. You’re really smart. And you know how
Tricia Robertson: [00:28:00] to do this? We worked well together. Yeah. We worked well together now. So now
Alex Tsakiris: [00:28:04] people start finding you and they start coming to you. No
Tricia Robertson: [00:28:08] doubt. People find me all the time.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:28:12] So, so now you run into this case that is like this psychic detective you’re kind of pulled into this psychic detective kind of
Tricia Robertson: [00:28:18] thing.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:28:20] Explain what happened. Cause again, you’re not the medium, but you are the go between here.
Tricia Robertson: [00:28:25] I like to think on the common sense person in the middle, because all of this does have some sense behind it. It’s just that we don’t know what the, what the game is. We don’t know how to play the game, but we could only observe what happens anyway, this woman.
Got ahold of me. And she said her daughter had been martyred six months previously and the police were not making any headway with it whatsoever. And obviously she wanted me to get given a reading with a medium, which I wasn’t going to do because it’s far too early.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:28:58] I’ve heard you tell this story before.
And I, and I have a couple of questions that I haven’t heard you talk before. So when the mother comes to you. Do you know if she had any communication directly with her daughter or was there any, like, you know, you hear electrical lights going on and off or a presence or she had nothing. She had
Tricia Robertson: [00:29:18] nothing.
. Well, I think what she was looking for was information about daughter’s Mark, to be honest, more than anything else. So I said to her, I said, well, I’ll meet you again in a couple of days, bring me something that belonged to your doctor in a sealed envelope.
That was all I said was a sealed envelope. So I met the mother and she brought a Brown envelope with something in it that was lumpy. It just felt like lumpy things. It wasn’t a watch. It wasn’t a ring. It was just lumpy. So I said, leave it with me and I’ll take this to a few mediums and see if we can get any information at all.
So I took it to a couple of regions who made a couple of random statements. One said, bizarrely, before this, they got the girl was murdered. And they said before, this girl was murdered. That, that very day she’d been to the dentist. Now I found that a most peculiar statement
Alex Tsakiris: [00:30:09] so now when you, you’re taking a huge leap here, right? Cause this is criminal, this is a criminal investigation. Did you give any thought to what you were getting involved in when you, when you did this?
Tricia Robertson: [00:30:22] Nope. I see if people need help regarding these things, I try and offer the help with it.
We had a con just. Going to do this and my computer, my publisher keeps text you before I put on the phone working here. And then my mother came to me. If I have envelope, took it to two different mediums and there was nothing you could see much all the toll. Then
Alex Tsakiris: [00:30:46] I, then the dentist thing, other than the dentist thing, which is, well,
Tricia Robertson: [00:30:49] I did, I don’t know.
I don’t know if that’s right or not. I haven’t a clue. The other region said a black taxi was involved and that turned out to be true as well, but it meant nothing to me. I don’t know the mother, I don’t know the, the murder case. Uh, it was six months earlier. You nothing about it whatsoever, which is good.
So I took it to a medium that I do know, and I was able to walk into the house where the meeting was sitting on the laptop, but a big desk, I flew the envelope on the, on the table and I said, Can you tell me if, what you get from this envelope and the medium who knows me, well said, do I have to? And I went, yeah,
Alex Tsakiris: [00:31:30] she was like playing a video game and smoking a cigarette and I’m like, totally disinterested.
Tricia Robertson: [00:31:34] They get it in one hand up. Solutely seriously. It was like, do I have to? And I went, yeah, no, the thing is I have a very good reputation. So people know if I ask him something, it’s not something silly. No. So I said nothing’s pretty done and grudgingly. Very good. Archingly let me put the hand on the thing.
And immediately we see a second. Diff what, a half a second later, the cigarette was still in one hand and the Mitchum said. I’ve got a girl here that was murdered. And I just went as you didn’t of course, I’ve got taking notes and then described her. I get a bit longer burn here, down to here. And once again, she’s telling him, and then.
Then Beecham gave me 29 pieces of information, specific information about this girl. She misses
Alex Tsakiris: [00:32:29] it real specific. Give, give folks an example because some of the stuff that came out, she,
Tricia Robertson: [00:32:34] she, she misses her three cats. She lived up, we call it a close. I don’t know what you call it in America. She lived up a close one up when the light, the street she lived in was a cul-de-sac.
She had tattoos above a breast and describe the colors and the shapes of the tattoos. Another tattoo on her arm described and colored as well. She said date, we’ll call our boyfriend Gordon. That wasn’t his name. She said the garden was the first one to know that I was dead and he forced
Alex Tsakiris: [00:33:05] my way, which that’s kind of an interesting detail there that, and I love the way you pulled this out in this one is either in the book or in an interview I heard you do, cause that is post.
More of them in, right. So some people go, Oh, they’re just going. I love when, when, when doubters are skeptic people go, well, they’re just accessing the Akashic.
Tricia Robertson: [00:33:27] Exactly.
This is what I absolutely love about this case. And it happened to me and I know it then. Then I have to see the ghetto said because it was like a three week conversation. The medium said a, um, she’s telling me that today, her mother, my mother, she said, my mother has moved my photograph from the top of the mantle piece to the top of the television.
And of course I’m writing this down. I have no clue if this is right or wrong. And then then the real Cracker. She’s telling me that when she was younger, she was important. Feel present. And I thought bloody hail. I mean, you cannot guess somebody you don’t know was in Colton Ville prison. I don’t know anyone who’s been in prison far less a younger girl.
This girl was 26 by to when she was in prison. When she was younger. And she also said that she had a pregnancy that she had, she had an abortion when she was younger. Oh, and what else was there? There was, I’m trying to remember. No, there was that the cats, the culdesac, the tattoos, the fact that she was in prison, the fact that Gordon was the first one to know she’d died and trying to never us, So anyway, 29 pieces of information and I wrote it all down so that I then made arrangements to it easily to, to beat the mother in her own house, which had never been to before. So I walk into the house and the first thing I see in the lounge is affordable enough of a Gettel and top of the television.
And I said, Oh, is it I’m trying not to use her name? I said, Oh, is this, this your daughter? She said, yes, that’s her. She said that I moved to two days ago, which was the time I was speaking. To the medium. So once again, you’ve got your post-mortem information. How would she know where the photograph was moved from there to the top of the television and day?
And anyway, there’s was 29 pieces of information, specific individual piece of the nation, but I chicken die. I, I don’t know if I did the wrong thing or not. I only read 22 pieces to the mother because the gal gave me an account of how she was murdered. She said it was two men that murdered her and all it injuries, what?
Her bike, the Poot I hope the mother doesn’t see this. Pulled her back. And she gave me very specific information about a murder. Now I also didn’t tell them what I did with the girl having an abortion, because I thought it’s about enough. Your daughter’s been murdered. I don’t want to tell you when she read it cause you had an abortion.
I kind of chickened out. I think it was still do that again because you’ve got to be. Are we waiting have the people’s emotions. That’s what it’s all about. Anyway, the 22 pieces I did every single one. It was totally and utterly correct. 100% connect down to the fact that the boyfriend knew she was dead.
And then he formed. The mother to tell them that, get all this. So you have to say to yourself, yeah. As you have. Well, the vision didn’t know that information. He didn’t know that until I walked in the door. I didn’t know the info. The other thing was, it was very, very good. Was. The Gettel said the accounts are my model, the newspapers were all wrong.
They described the clothes I was wearing completely incorrectly. And she gave me the cadet things that she was wearing when she was murdered. And that turned out to be absolutely connected as well. So. It’s not like, Oh, you’re you were sad last Christmas, as, you know, as a lot of mediums do, no, this is specific information and quite frankly, I was blown away by it as well.
Like couldn’t believe it. Now. I know the next question you’re going to ask me as a mother had been working with a woman, detective. Inspector all during this who was wonderful to her giving a great support. So I was hoping that I’d be able to speak to the inspector, but just very weak that in spectrum of Dawn and there was a new person on the case and from experience, I knew there was no point in me trying to speak to the police because it would just say.
He doesn’t matter. They don’t know nutrition or abortion. They don’t know my reputation. So when she described her killers as well, you know what they look like, um, and I thought, no, this is, this is not right. And they never actually ever did get some default, like get smarter. But that was a real, that was a Whoa moment for me.
That was bloody hail. You know, she, she was in continental prison. That’s a Cracker.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:38:17] Yeah, I’ve worked with a lot of, I shouldn’t say a lot, but I’ve done several interviews with psychic detectives who have worked on cases. I knew that was coming, you know, because really what I’ve found more often is that people in your situation will go to law enforcement and they immediately become a suspect.
Tricia Robertson: [00:38:37] Yes, that’s right. That’s right. Yeah. That’s true.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:38:42] Which, you know, it’s just kind of part of the thing.
Tricia Robertson: [00:38:45] Well, it goes back to your original question actually about the world in general. Now, I don’t know about America. I did a very good couple of documentaries for BBC One and I think it was Channel 4, years ago, in which they gave a very fair assessment of what was going on at the time. But a lot of our channels like the BBC now and STV, they’re all owned by people who are avid Christians and they will never show these things in a good light, they just will not do it, it’s biased. I don’t know about America, I can’t say.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:39:24] Oh, man, don’t pull us back into that. You kind of tidy it up at the end and say, “Wow, amazing. Isn’t that great,” when it’s like, no, what does that mean?
If we’re going to talk about the extended consciousness realm, is there a moral imperative? Is there a hierarchy to consciousness? Is there a God? You look at the near-death experience, it clearly points to both a moral imperative, there is a right, there is a wrong. And then it also points to a hierarchy of consciousness. There is something like a God and there isn’t.
Tricia Robertson: [00:40:02] I’d call it a cosmic consciousness. Yeah.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:40:04] Well you can call it what you want. If there’s a hierarchy of consciousness, there’s a hierarchy.
Tricia Robertson: [00:40:09] Definitely a hierarchy, there most definitely is, yeah.
There’s a lovely book I read, it was many years ago called, On The Death of My Son, by Jasper Swain who was a lawyer, a South African lawyer and he didn’t believe in anything. And his son died when he was 19 in a car crash and immediately the son had died he was back in spirit form the next day sitting in the back of the car. Now, Jasper Swain did not believe this or like it at all, but he had to go where the facts were. And the book is a great dialogue between him and his son other consciousness.
An interesting thing his son said was, “Gee dad, there’s no such thing as hell, that’s only in the minds of the people who live on Earth. It’s not like that.” He said, “It’s levels of darkness.” He said, “I can go up to a brighter light than where I am, but it becomes so bright I have to come down again.” He said, “But I can go to the darker realms, but I don’t like it, and I scoot back up again to where I am.” It’s as if you gravitate to your own level of light, your 60-watt bulb or whatever you want. There is this level, I don’t know what it means, but there does appear to be this level.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:41:32] That’s one account, so I think that’s an interesting account.
Tricia Robertson: [00:41:34] There are lots more accounts than that, that’s just one account that adds to all of the huge amount of information that’s actually there.
Another question that throws another spanner in the works is, I don’t know if you know the works of Gerard Croiset the Dutch clairvoyant, do you know Gerard? Gerard Croiset, he’s dead now obviously. Gerard Croiset worked with the Dutch police for 40 years and he wasn’t a very nice man Gerard Croiset. When the police phoned him up he’d go, more or less, “Do I have to?” But it didn’t matter to Gerard Croiset if a person were missing, if they were alive or dead, he would simply get the information and say…
It’s actually in my third book, it’s at the publisher, and one of the things I expand on is the work of Gerard Croiset, which is fascinating for more than one reason. Because if somebody phones up and says, “There’s a nine year old boy missing in such a such a town,” and Croiset just goes, “He’s still alive and I can give you details of where the boy is, while he’s still alive, where you will find him,” and that happens time after time. Or sometimes, “I’m very sorry, they are dead, and you will find their body in the rive under a bridge,” and he can do all of that grudgingly. And he worked with the police for 40 years, never took a penny. Those of us who work, I would say correctly, I’m not knocking mediums that have to take money, we never take any money at all, because it keeps… It’s a Scottish thing, it’s a Calvinistic honesty. You have to keep it real, you have to keep it honest, you don’t make anything out of this. But the fact that Gerard Croiset treats people that are alive the same as people who have passed over is interesting.
Experiments were done with Croiset by professors from Utrecht University, and you can read it later, it’s far too long to explain. Croiset never missed. There were 400 experiments done with him, all around the world using the protocol, well, kind of a protocol that we used, and Gerard Croiset was never found to be wanting. So where does that leave it? And Croiset said, “I don’t know how I do it. I just ask a question and I get the answer.” So that doesn’t really help us either, does it?
Alex Tsakiris: [00:44:07] That’s where, I think, where we have to get to the bottom of… not get to the bottom of, because we’re not supposed to get to the bottom of it. But I think we do have to have a more systematic way of kind of dealing with these accounts and then incorporating in the experiments.
Because when Mark first contacted me, that’s what he led with because he knew that’s what I’m interested in, is this intersection, can science, can the scientific method, I mean, science is hopelessly lost because it’s wed to materialism and it thinks that consciousness is an illusion and you’re a biological robot and meaningless universe, But there are tools there that we can pick up and use. So I’m always interested in the science.
By the way, in terms of Mark. So Mark Ireland is an interesting guy, and do you know about his history? Do you know about his father, Richard Ireland?
Tricia Robertson: [00:44:54] Yeah, I do. Yes. I didn’t know about him until Mark told me about it. Yeah. Mark sends me all the proofs for his books before he publishes them. So I know all about that. But Mark, if you read between the lines, I mean, I met Mark last year and in Edinburgh and Mark, he really didn’t like the fact he’s father was the Phoenix Oracle, as a boy he didn’t like it. But he’s found his father through his own tragedy actually, which is rather nice.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:45:31] Well, let’s talk about that for a minute as we wrap things up, because I think it gets to this thing I keep hammering you on, just because I like doing that and because I like torturing people who don’t know me.
But for folks who don’t know or don’t remember. So Mark Ireland went through just about the worst thing that I can imagine as a parent you going through, and that was the loss of his son, and that sent him on this journey of trying to connect with his son. And that’s what he chronicles in this book that you wrote the forward to called Soul Shift that I just had up on the screen.
As you just alluded to, one of the interesting things about Mark’s story, and this is a strange coincidence, or it’s not a coincidence, or it’s part of the journey that everybody is on. It turns out that Mark’s father was a stage magician, or maybe more accurately a mentalist. And he would do his act, which basically involved in doing this kind of thing where… This is like a late-night TV thing, he was on late night TV all the time, he was a huge celebrity and then he did Las Vegas shows, but he’d be completely blindfolded, tape over the eyes. Sincerely, completely blindfolded and yet he could see things telepathically. So he’d tell audience members, “Take a bill out of your wallet and I’m going to…
Tricia Robertson: [00:46:57] I know, I saw that, yeah.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:47:00] The digits, right?
Tricia Robertson: [00:47:01] Yeah.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:47:02] But here’s the other part of Mark’s story, or I should really say Richard’s story, his dad. His dad was not such a great father. His dad was an alcoholic and dealt with those kinds of issues. And he also dealt with, what this gift was that he was going out like a show pony, halfway worried that it would somehow escape him and that the act would be up.
So this too gets it, you know, we want to put all this meaning and attach it to what we observe going on with this communication, but that’s the thing that really hooks me into Richard’s story, Richard Ireland’s story. Is it calls into question, where is the right and wrong in this? You know, the Calvinistic, don’t make any money, does that need to be applied?
Tricia Robertson: [00:47:54] No it doesn’t need to, no it doesn’t.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:47:56] Well, how do we know that? You now, I have a lot of friends who are in the magic community, a cult community. Hey, is that okay? Aren’t we all trying to use this extended realm for our benefit in some way? Is that what we should do? What is the moral imperative for each of us?
But you shake your head and you have quick answers, but don’t you think we need to do the work on that? Don’t you think we need to do some kind of where you could put together a science project, where you can put together where you and Professor Roy did some great work? Don’t you think there’s an opportunity to nudge a little bit closer to the truth rather than just say, “Yes, no, I know, I heard it, I have this account, I have that account”?
Tricia Robertson: [00:48:34] Well, I don’t know how you would do that. I can only speak for myself, and my raison d’etre is simply to let people who do not know that the loved ones survive, and consciousness anyway. People are brokenhearted and that’s why I don’t like skeptics because they take away hope from people that their mother has died and never going to hear or see them again. And I have so much evidence, so much experience with that. I know that that’s not true. And that is my only raison d’etre is to try and help people to understand death is not the end and to put two fingers up to the skeptics and say, “You’re not helping, you’re not helping yourself, you’re not helping anyone.”
I can only speak for myself, there are some mediums in it for money, yes, certainly. Other than that I have really no interest, I can only tell you what I do.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:49:30] Tricia, why don’t you to tell folks about it, it sounds like you have a new book coming out. Tell folks about that and when it’s going to be out and what else you’re doing and how they can stay in touch with you.
Tricia Robertson: [00:49:39] Well, I’ve got a website, my website is www.triciarobertson.weebly.com. I think it’s an American site actually. The can read more about it. I’ve also done healing studies, they can read that as well.
You’ve put me off what I was going to say now.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:50:01] The new book,
Tricia Robertson: [00:50:02] The book. Well, the third book is not following on from the first two in the same sense. Every book’s a bit deeper than the last one. And the third book is called, I was going to call it, It’s Life and Death Jim, But Not As You Know It, but I thought, no, some people might not get a Star Trek inference in that. So I’ve just called it, It’s Life and Death But Not As You Know It. It really is from the unbelievable to the bizarre, because the stuff in there is just unbelievable. You know, I go into depth about Ted Serios who could think pictures onto film, and Ted Serios, once again, was not the nicest person, but he could definitely do it, but not to order, but he could do it.
And then you’ve got bizarre people. Do you know about Jesse Shepard? He’s an American, he was a musical medium. And I’m not going to tell you because it’s so bizarre and I wouldn’t get all the right words just telling it because it’s very, very in depth. It’s all about weird things. It really is from the unbelievable to the bizarre.
I talk about premonition, there’s another one, retrocognition where you can see in the past. I talk about Ted Serious. I talk about Jesse Shepard. I also do some personal stuff about a few more cases and a few more things on mediumship that are totally and utterly bizarre.
There are also a couple of swear words in the third book, but that’s alright.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:51:41] It’s Life and Death But Not As You Know It, when is that going to be out?
Tricia Robertson: [00:51:45] Well, it’s at the publisher just now. You’d have to ask my publisher. As we were talking he was sending me messages up on the screen here, asking me questions about the manuscript.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:52:03] Okay, so folks can look for it on Amazon?
Tricia Robertson: [00:52:06] Yeah, either amazon.com or UK, you’ll get them anywhere. Or any good bookshop will order them. But it is totally bizarre, it’s even bizarre to me, and you, probably with all of the things that we’ve done already. But I like to keep the vibe, the happy vibe, it’s normal but it’s bizarre. It’s nothing to do with religion at all, nothing at all. The grass is green, the sky is blue, these things happen. We’re trying to understand it, but it’s like everything else, the more you go into these things, the less you understand it. And I don’t go into jargon because I’m not a parapsychologist, I’m not a neurologist, I’m not a neuroscientist, so they go into them the minutiae of what your brain is like, but from what I have seen, and 30 years’ experience, consciousness is not within the brain or the body, it definitely survives. Otherwise, how do you explain the murder case and other cases like it, there are many, many hundreds of them? The truth is out there.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:53:21] The truth is out there.
Tricia Robertson: [00:53:25] Well actually, a hundred years ago the SPR in London wanted to try and clarify these matters and they thought that within a hundred years it would all be explained. But actually it’s not, we’re not any further on with the explanation. We just have more data. In London they’re trying to work out how mediumship works by placing electrodes in the brain which feed into a computer, but that only tells us what’s happening in the brain, it doesn’t really help us in our quest for what is consciousness. It doesn’t, it does not.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:54:05] I would agree.
Tricia Robertson: [00:54:05] I just love it all, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it and I still get people phoning up who have things happening in their house, spontaneous cases. And I try to make sense of them and if I can’t make sense of them, I may call in a medium that I would trust to help, and from day one I make it quite clear… I’m a cross between a psychical investigator and Judge Judy, I don’t take any shit. That’s true.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:54:46] Once again, our guest has been Tricia Robertson. It’s been a delight having you on and congratulations on all this important work and research you’ve done, and obviously the energy you put behind it. And you’re a real people helper, I can tell that you’re out there trying to help people where they are, in terms questions that they have about people who’ve passed over. So, Tricia, thanks again for joining me and Skeptiko.
Tricia Robertson: [00:55:11] Thank you.
Thanks again to Tricia Robertson for joining me today and Skeptiko. I realize I gave Tricia quite a hard time, but then, you know, one of the things I hear from Skeptiko listeners, is you’ve got to be an equal opportunity, I don’t know, I hate to use the term skeptic, but skeptic. We’ve got to get to the level three questions. That’s where I’m always going to be driving. And if it’s uncomfortable for the person I’m interviewing, or if it’s uncomfortable for you, I’m not going to really apologize about that. That’s just part of the Skeptiko drill. So hey, you’re still here. That’s all that matters.
So the one question I tee up from this interview is the question that I was really pushing Tricia on, and that’s, how should we handle someone’s religious beliefs when it comes to after death communication? How much respect should be given them on one hand and how much veracity should we give them? If you know what I mean, in terms of how evidential is that? Does it immediately blow somebody out of the water, if they say I had an experience with Jesus? Does it cause us to say, “Oh, well then that couldn’t have been legitimate or that’s ultimately legitimate”? So you get the idea.
Let me know your thoughts on that. I love when people interact any way you choose to do that, the Skeptiko Forum is my preferred way. But any way you want to connect with me is great. I do have some great shows coming up. I hope you stick with me for all of that. Until next time, take care and bye for now.
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