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Basler Psi-Verein
Neuweilerstrasse 15
CH-4054 Basel
Tel: 0041 61 383 97 20
Email: info@bpv.ch





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POWERFUL SEANCES WITH STEWART ALEXANDER IN BASEL APRIL 2008
by Kai Mügge

The 18th and 20th of April 2008 we had the opportunity to witness the famous Stewart Alexander at two of his very last sittings outside the UK.
I am a 39 year old social-pedagogue and Film-maker by profession, who studies the history of Spiritualism and associated phenomena, especially in the history of Physical Mediumship, now more than 20 years.

We Germans once had an intensive connection to the world of physical Mediumship through the work of many famous German Researchers, in the first row Albert Freiherr von Schrenck-Notzing, who has written the well-known “Phenomena of Materialisation” or f.e. Friedrich Zöllner, whose work with Slade lead to one of the most progressive and intellectual publications of that time “Fourth Dimension and Occultism”, or Aksakows (a Russian who was s.th. like a diplomat in Germany) most thorough documentation of the early mediumistic spirit-manifestations in “Animism and Spiritism”.

So my assistant Marita and I were very pleased to have the opportunity to witness the “Grand old Gentleman” of English Physical Mediumship on two occasions.
And despite many people, whose opinion I trust (f.e. Hans Schaer or L.Werthmüller) regard Mr.Alexander as genuine, I found it attractive to witness this well-known medium performing outside his safe environment.
Every one of us knows that physical mediumship and the alleged phenomena were always and are still today regarded as suspicious by many because many charlatans infiltrated the history of psychic science - with different motives - and who were regularly caught in hoaxing the alleged supranormal phenomena, what was passionately discussed in the scientific and spiritualistic communities through the centuries.

 

Pic00: The Basler PSI Verein

So one of the first positive surprises were, that Mr. Alexander was travelling alone with his wife, and had no supporters from his home-circle with him.
The reason I refer to this is, that every sitter from the original home-development-circle accompanying the medium, might be regarded by many as suspicious, because many of the phenomena that occur seem not to be able to be hoaxed without the help of helpers. The transparency of Mr. Alexanders sittings was then further on heightened by several other facts, I want to share with you from the beginning of my account:

  1. Stewart’s wife was NOT with him while the séances took place. The only people in the room full of strangers (approx. 30 sitters in a circle and a half circle in second row), Stewart had a connection to, were Dr. Hans Schaer and Sabine and Lucius Werthmüller, who can be regarded as 100% credible and honest.
  2. Stewart sits bound by plastic-ties – checked by several sitters before darkness - outside and before the cabinet and is so part of the sitters circle. He is hold for nearly all the time at both hands. The arms are tightly fastened by plastic cable-ties on the chairs arm-rest. On his knees he wears illuminating stripes to localize his position
  3. Frequently a red light is used to guide sitters to the place beside the medium to witness several physical experiments – so the medium is frequently seen on his place in his state of trance with the cable-binds round his arms
  4. Stewart and/or his controls here and there repeatedly tell the sitters to quiet down, while physical phenomena were taking place – f.e. to be able to hear the faint direct voices that originate from different places in the room. Only at two instances a song was sung and the cassette-recorder was playing for at all not longer than 5 minutes in the 2 hours-seances. So any accusations that loud music shall cover audible acts of fraud cannot be charged. In the contrary, several times the attention of the sitters were directed by the medium to upcoming phenomena, when illusionists would have wanted to distract the sitters attentions, especially shortly before physical phenomena occur.
  5. While some of the most baffling phenomena were taking place – f.e. with the alleged ectoplasm morphing and forming in the illuminated space above the table in front of the bound Mr. Alexander or in full view of his hands - people were allowed to stand up from their places to get a better view, what is not so usual. Someone, who tries to hold people in a safe distance for not to become exposed while manipulating tricks, may have behaved differently!
  6. All focus-objects as well as the cabinet, the stool and the well-known little table (on which ectoplasm becomes visible in the process of morphing and developing the hand of one of Stewarts controls) were accessible for all. So on Sunday I thoroughly checked more than 20 min. - totally alone with all the instruments – everything!
    I checked the structure of the stool, in which the medium was taking place - for hidden mechanisms to free it from the plastic-strips (cable-binds). I checked the metal ring that was brought on under the armrest to fasten the strips (see photos). I checked the cabinet from every side, the curtains, the bell, the sticks, the cable ties, the specific construction of the red-light-table (the place, where the ectoplasm flows) a.s.o.
    I found nothing suspicious

.

Pic01: Stewart Alexander in front of the Basler PSI-Verein

Séance, 20th of April 2008
WHITE FEATHER OPENS THE EVENING

Every sitter is being thoroughly searched at the entrance of the room.
The last minutes of white light begin at approx. 6.00 p.m. and we can observe the medium introducing his trance-state through jerky breathing and several abnormal face-expressions.
At that time, the sitters were once again addressed by Lucius Werthmüller to finally recognize if really everybody feels to be able to stand such a sitting in more or less total darkness.  
With the shut down of the light, Bea, a well-known Switzerland medium, opens the sitting with a beautiful prayer.
Then for less than a minute music plays until the first control addresses the sitters with a warm welcome.
It is the very old mans typical voice of the trance-personality “White Feather”, a redskin Indian, who is in control as a gatekeeper supervising all upcoming communications and manifestations.
He stresses the distinctiveness of the moment, when “the curtains between our two worlds are lifted for a short period of time to become aware of the wonder, that there is no death!” Regarding the manifestations that the spirit team has planned for the séance White Feather tells he now withdraws to make place for the upcoming communicators.

Séance 18th of April 2008
CHRISTOPHER

A few seconds after White Feathers has retreated a second personality, Christopher, appears through Mr.Alexanders natural voice-apparatus.
Christophers task is to equal and lower the emotions of those sitters, that sit for the first time or are too nervous because of other reasons.
“I know, this is not, what you were awaiting.”
We hear an agitated fast speaking childish voice, frequently laughing about his own jokes, which continues: “I know you were awaiting higher teachings and now it’s only me…(mischievous laughing).”
Loud laughs of the sitters.
C. addresses several sitters personally and jokes with them. After 5 or 6 minutes Christopher also retreats.

PIC02. Mr. Alexander sits in front of the cabinet with the small illuminated table as part of the sitters circle

Séance 18th of April 2008
WALTER STINSON & PHYSICAL PHENOMENA

After Christophers retreat one of the most distinguishable trance voice appears and identifies itself as one of the more powerful spirits manifesting through Mr. Alexander, the control-personality “Walter Stewart Stinson”.
Walters task as part of the spirit-team working through Stewart is the prearrangement (building up energy with the sitters) and processing of several supra-normal experiments that seem to defy the laws of our natural sciences.
While he small-talks with different sitters, again and again ladies to whom he powerfully flirts, and through his rich and very unique speaking characteristics – a very clear and life-like vision of this trance-personality develops and lingers in the sitter’s perception.
He speaks a well audible Bostonian accent that seems to belong to a subtle and humorous, but also strong character.

He wants a change now in the sitters order and requests a lady to sit beside him on his right side for an experiment.
Red light is lit, the sitters change their places.
Red light is closed.
Walter addresses the female sitter now placed beside him on his right side with some compliments and asks for Lucius to turn the red light on again, that everybody is able to see the two plastic-binds connecting every of his arms to the chairs arm-rests.
Everybody is able to confirm this visually, because Lucius red-light-torch is very bright, while the sitters beside him also confirm it with their tactile senses.
After this, the sitter on his right side now places her hand on Mr. Alexanders left hand.
Red light is closed.
Immediately an indefinable short noise is heard and the sitter announces that the arm has simply rushed into the air. The trance-personality asks for the red light.
Red light is lit.
Everybody can see Mr. Alexander rising up his right arm in head-height, while on the arm-rest the two cable-binds hang unopened. His left arm is still bound and hold by Sabine on his left side. The sitter of the free arm side is now requested by Walter to check the resting cable-ties on the arm-rest, while his arm stays free in head-height. The sitter confirms that the cable-ties are still connected with the arm-rest. She brings her hand again onto Stewarts floating hand. Walter requests darkness.
Red light is shut.
Again an immediate noise is heard and now the sitter confirms that the arm is back on the arm-rest, bound like before, all happening within a second or two.
Red light is lit.
Everybody sees the arm is fastened again. The lady-sitter checks the fastenings of the cable ties and confirms them to be back tightly pressing Stewarts arm onto the arm-rest.
Red light is closed.

Pic03: Metal ring through which one of the plastic ties is pulled

This experiment is then being repeated in a slightly changed manner. The mediums arm again frees itself, although the controlling lady had again confirmed immediately before the cable-ties to be correct securing the medium to the chair.
Red light is lit.
The mediums right arm is free and the cable ties that have mysteriously lost their connection to the stool are still closed around Stewarts arm and are taken by the sitter as a souvenir.
Now Stewarts right unbound hand is hold again by the sitter - his left side is still secured and hold by Sabine.
Red light is shut.
We immediately hear the sound of two cable-ties being fastened. They seem to have been taken from the table, where they were lying before. Both sitters left and right confirm that Mr. Alexanders hands weren’t involved in any action taken place.
Red light is requested and shows the arm again tightly fastened.
While all this occurs Mr. Alexander is in trance.
“Walter Stinson” is in full charge of what happens!

Pic04&Pic05: The mediums chair, bought second-hand and prepared  by the PSI-Verein

SÉANCE 20th of April 2008
WALTER PREARRANGES TRUMPET PHENOMENA & DIRECT VOICE

After the experiments with the cable ties Walter explains he now has to collect energy from the surrounding space including the sitters and informs that this could lead to subtle changes in the sitters perception. The room is in total darkness. Everyone is instructed to lay their hands into their laps with the palms upward. Walter requests for the trumpets, which were both placed right between the feet of the medium by Sabine, who translates and sits on the mediums left side.
Walter instructs the sitters now to sing a song together, while he gains the needed energy. During this process he begins to bring the medium out of trance to enable it to observe the levitating trumpets.
In the first row, sitters percept an unambiguous clear drop of the temperature on ground level up to knee-height.
Before the first strophe of “Lustig ist das Zigeunerleben” could have been sung two consecutive times, the trumpets begin to tremble and rumble between the feet of the medium. The first trumpet rises majestically high up into the air.
The singing changes into “Wows” and “Ohs”!
Lucius addresses the medium if he is awake, who answers sleep-drunken and coughing.
While everyone is observing the single floating trumpet, which can be localised through the illuminated rings at the broader end, Stewart talks with sitters and the second trumpet seem to try to lift itself up, trembling on the ground, while the flying one knocks on the ceiling, shoots in front of sitters faces, touch sitters tenderly and gain distances to the mediums chair of approx. 3 meters (6 feet).
Some sitters, who have the impression that the second trumpet lacks of enough energy to lift itself up, propose to sing again to collect new energy.
But the fully awaken medium, still localizable through his illuminated knees, abnegated the proposal and requests the sitters in contrary to be more quiet, because while trumpet-phenomena occur, “direct voices” eventually manifest in the room and often through the trumpets.
The room quiets down and with no sound at all the second trumpet suddenly rises up.
We hear Stewart talking quietly with sitters, while both trumpets seem to independently move into different directions with different moving-manners.
For example: While one trumpet slowly rises up to the ceiling on the left side of the circle above the sitters heads between the first and second row, where it remained for a few seconds,  the other trumpet touches gently sitters heads in the right part of the circle.
From time to time one or the other trumpet begins to tumble and falls to the ground, only to be lifted again a few instances later.
Suddenly a bell is being rung in front of the first-row-sitters in standing head-height, about 2,5 – 3 metres away from the controlled medium and falls to the ground.
While I hear Mr.Alexander talking, I can hear - parallel to this - the typical vibrating breathing sounds of a manifesting direct voice.
Mr. Alexander is also aware of them and directs the sitters attention to it.

Pic06: Two days the Basler PSI Verein prepared the room for sittings in total darkness


SÉANCE 20th of April 2008
DR. BARNETT SPEAKS THROUGH THE ECTOPLASMIC VOICE BOX

Suddenly a faint voice is heard, introducing himself as the direct voice of Dr Barnett, who explains with the typically suppressed voice, that he now only speaks through the ectoplasmatically formed voice box only to hold back enough energy to become materialised later in full form. The sitters cheer excited.
Dr.Barnett is also part of the spirit-team and responsible to build up healing energies
Lucius addresses the medium, but it is in trance-state again.
Dr.Barnett explains the voice box was successfully built up and is positioned 30 centimetres from the left shoulder of the medium (1 foot).
We hear the medium breath deeply.
Dr. Barnett now addresses sitters, that experiment themselves in physical circles and announces that he is willing to support the rapport to the spirit world and the building up of energy for physical manifestations, as soon as he is called by the circle-leaders namely.
The sitters thank for that.
Dr. Barnett retreats for upcoming personalities.

SÉANCE 18th of April 2008
FREDA JOHNSON CONNECTS SITTERS WITH LOVED ONES BEYOND AND DOES A BOOK TEST

The following trance personality also expresses herself through an extremely typical voice-mannerism, that really seem female, although it is spoken through the mediums male voice-cords. Freda Johnsons task, who was a Manchester teacher on earth, is to organise reunions between sitters and passed over relatives or at least transfer evidential information between them.
After Freda had explained and joked about the uncomfortable situation to come through a male body, she addresses a female sitter and gives information from her grand-mother. Then Freda asks the addressed sitter for another experiment. She admits from the beginning, that her accuracy is not always perfect, but if the sitter at home takes the fifth book in the fourth or fifth row in the first bookshelf on page 89 and counts to a certain line, that she would then find something written there about “teeth”.
(Unfortunately this test could not have been confirmed until the moment I am writing this.)
Freda retreats to make place for Walters initial experiments.

SÉANCE 20th of April 2008
WALTER EMANATES ECTOPLASM THROUGH THE MEDIUMS ORGANISM IN RED LIGHT AND INVITES THE SITTERS TO STAND UP AND BEND FORWARD TO OBSERVE EVERYTHING CLEARLY

Walter addresses the sitters now and requests a female one to sit in front of him with the table between them, on which, illuminated by red light under the glass-surface, the ectoplasm will become visible, the “living energy”, as Walter describes it repeatedly.
Out of its undefined state as a subtle black mass, Walter says, he will be able to materialise his hand, which then shall correspond with the ladies hand above the table.
Walter asks Hans Schaer to control the rheostat that enables him to lower and heighten the amount of red light coming through the glass-surface.
Red light is lit.
Sitters change places, the medium is visible, sitting there in trance, clearly bound tight by the plastic ties to his stool and hold by his hands by the adjoining sitters.
The red light under the tables surface is now lit and illuminating it.
The red torch-light is shut.
I can observe clearly the illuminated table’s surface.
Walter requests the lady on the other side of the table to place her hand on her side of the illuminated area and the sitters to observe.
Within 30 seconds after the closing of the torch-light, when the medium was last seen controlled by plastic ties and hold hands through his neighbour-sitters, a black mass seem to swell gradually morphing into the middle of the table’s surface.
Walter gives the permission to everyone to leave their places to stand up and bend over to observe more clearly the developing process.
The mass now is reducing to a size of a very big hand, but still with no features.
Now the mass seem to reorganize and I can clearly see something like a claw or malformed very big hand.
Again something changes and a clumsy hand becomes now more and more visible, now beginning slowly to behave like a human hand by moving fingers and turn it from one side to the other to become visible in different perspectives.
Now the hand grabs the much smaller womans hand.
The sitter tells that it is a dry, warm and seemingly male hand that approaches her.
It grabs and lifts her hand a little bit, turns it around, shakes it.
“Didn’t you ever want to shake the hand of a man, that is dead more than 100 years now, Ma’am, hmmm?” Everybody is laughing.
Now, the hand retreats from the table.
The complete performance from the moment the black mass appeared above the tables surface lasted not longer than approx. 2 minutes.
Almost immediately Walter asks for the red light.
Red light is lit.
The medium is still bound and hold in his chair.

Pic07&08: The table which is used for the ectoplasm-experiments;
the rheostat controlling the amount of light coming through the table’s surface

Walter says, he wants everyone leaving the room after the closing of the séance full of confidence and free of suspicion.
“So can you imagine that there are people, who suspect it was the mediums hand being involved? To make this clear, Lucius, please release the medium from its cable-ties!”
Mr. Werthmüller rises up, approaches the medium, which is visible for everyone and cuts the table-ties, which is the only possibility to release it, after the cable ties are once fastened.
“Now I want you to show, that it was by no means the mediums hand!”
Walter requests the both sitters on his left and right side, Bea and Sabine, to move their chairs in front of the unoccupied sides of the table and to take their places there.
The two females do so.
“Now listen folks…!”, Walter says, “everyone of us now places both hands on the illuminated surface, where they stay observable while the whole upcoming process!”
Red light is still lit.
Everyone sitting round the table – including the medium - now lays their hands on the red-glowing surface and it is easily possible to differentiate the four pairs of hands from one and another.
Walter requests the closing of the bright torch-light.
The pairs of hands remain calm on their places – even the mediums hands.
Within a few seconds from the side of the mediums place suddenly a ninth hand appears above the lit section and all sitters at the table confirm with their tactile senses, what all eyes are observing: a big, dry and seemingly male hand touches and manipulates the hands of all sitting round the table.
All this, the movements and changes of the hands and the substance on the tables surface were very clearly observed by myself and my assistant.
For not longer than for a blink of an eye our perception was interrupted and we had a favourable view directly onto the table. 
Now Walter informs us, that he has to budget the usable energies, why he dematerialises now.
We hear cable ties being fastened.
Walter requests for red light.
The medium is bound again onto the armrest of the chair – allegedly by supra-normal means.
So Walter wants to have checked the cable binds very thoroughly, which is done and confirmed by the sitters beside him.  
Red light is closed.

Pic09: The table after the séance with bell, sticks, ties, illuminating stripes from mediums knee


SÉANCE 20th of April 2008
DR.BARNETT MATERIALISES AND LAYS HIS HANDS ON THE HEAD OF A SITTER, WHILE THE MEDIUMS HANDS ARE LOCALIZED

Walter speaks now with a very proud undertone: “Now people, wasn’t that something, hmm!?” The sitters answer: “Yes!”
“Now the medium will be brought into the cabinet by us!”
We hear the mediums chair being pushed or pulled into the cabinet. The adjoining sitters describe what happens. And with the sounds of the curtains being closed the illuminated knees of Mr. Alexander vanish behind.
We hear again the curtains being manipulated.
We perceive the suppressed voice of Dr. Barnett from the cabinet.
The sitter on the cabinet’s right side, Sabine suddenly tells us that two warm hands were placed upon her head, remaining there still.
At the same time, we hear footsteps in the free space in the middle of the sitters circle.
Another woman, positioned approx. 2 metres (6 feet) from the cabinet and 3 metres (9 feet) from Sabine - who further on confirms two hands positioned on her head - declares someone is standing behind her, whose both hands are touching her head and massaging her back .
Within the next 2 minutes someone walks back into the cabinet and the ladies being touched now tell the perceived hands have retreated.
From the cabinet we can hear the fastening of the cable ties.
Walters voice speaks again and stresses, how powerful the manifestations today have been and what a great privilege it is for everyone joining such a performance.
“And now I bring the medium back into your circle!”
We can hear the mediums chair being pushed or pulled out of the cabinet.
Walter bids farewell and the sitters thank and say goodbye.
Bea does a closing prayer.
The séance is closed.
Red light is lit. The sitters remain calm.
The mediums chair is again positioned in front of the cabinet with the medium fastened by cable ties. Lucius rises and has to cut through them to free the exhausted and a little disoriented Mr.Alexander.
This time the sitters slowly and calmly leave the room first – usually the medium leaves first – but because of the powerful manifestations Mr. Alexander needs more time than usually to regain himself today.

Pic10:Mr. Alexander and the author