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Phillip the manufactured Ghost


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#1    Agent_21

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 09:54 PM

The Toronto Society for Psychical Research set out in 1972 to determine mentally create a thoughtform, or artificial ghost, by intense and prolonged concentration. A group was formed of eight people, none of whom had any demonstrable psychic abilities.

They fabricated a man named 'Phillip' and gave him a fictitious history. He was 'born' Phillip Aylesford in 1624, joined the military at 15 and was knighted at 16. He was befriended by Prince Charles (Charled I) and fought for the Crown during the Civil Wars. He also worked as a secret agent and knew Cromwell. Phillip had an affair with a gypsy. His wife discovered the infidelity and accused the girl of witchcraft. The gypsy was burned at the stake and Phillip committed suicide at 30.

more to follow...


#2    Cufflink

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 10:06 PM

I remember reading the account of `Phillip', in one of John Spencer's ghost books.

I think it is the best evidence of the tulpa theory, but what troubles me is that skeptics will try and cite this one example as a way of wrapping up all ghost experiences.

It would be like disregarding every UFO sighting, because of the `experiences' of Whitley Streiber or George Adamski.


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#3    Agent_21

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 10:08 PM

In September 1972 with Phillip's story set, the group began  convening at the house of Iris Owen (who with A R G Owen was conducting the experiment) at her house in Toronto. Here they meditated and tried to establish a line of communication with him. They visualised him and discussed the details of his life, hoping eventually he would materialize. No visual apparition appeared, but sometimes members of the group reported feeling a presence in the room. Some claimed to receive unusually vivid mental pictures of 'Phillip'.

Following months with no success, the group moved on to Spiritualist methods including table-tilting, which they hoped would produce psychokinetic effects. The idea for this came from the work of British psychologist K J Batcheldor, who had achieved such effects in seance-like conditions. (Batcheldor's theory was that the atmosphere of expectancy and belief that permeated seance rooms creates the effect Spritualists attribute to spirits.)

On the third or fourth table-tilting session, the group felt a vibrating coming from within the tabletop. These became raps and knocks; and the table moved beneath their hands. When one member of the group wondered out loud if this was Phillip, a knock sounded in response. Using a simple code of one rap for 'yes and two for 'no', the group began communicating with the entity.

Part 3 to follow


#4    Agent_21

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 10:33 PM

Although the spirit of Phillip was able to give historically correct answers concerning events and people, it could not give any information about itself not already manufactured by the group.

Sessions with Phillip continued for several years. He would sometimes greet latecomers to a meeting by lowering the table top towards them. On other occasions he managed to trap members in the corner of the room by maneuvering the table. He could also, by rapping, beat time to music.

In 1974 a film was made in which tha table was seen levitating by one inch and gliding along four feet in distance. The following year, the group was invited by Kent State University to participate in Psychokinetic experiments. Interest in recording spirit voices was also great at the time and attempts were made to evoke a vocal response from Phillip. The group thought they obtained whispered answers, some clear, particularly in response to questioning from Iris Owen.

The Owens believed they succeeded in demonstrating that a group subconscious could produce physical effects characterizing a poltergeist - 'PK by committee', as they called it. The messages rapped out came from the group's collective subconscious. They further believed that they were only a short step from an actual physical materialization. Unfortunately this was not achieved. Around 1977 interest waned and the groups activities shelved. The experiments were time consuming without sufficient headway made.

Since then the Owens have assembled small groups to pursue more experiments. Little progress apart from rapping has resulted.


#5    peachykeane

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 12:37 AM

There is the possibility that, as is reported to happen with the ouija, some bored entity saw what was going on and decided to muscle in and oblige them by furnishing them with the information and historical details that were already on record and playing the role of Philip. It could not tell them any more than they already knew about him because it was gleaning information from the researchers minds to play the part, thus not being able to go beyond what they already knew.


#6    Cufflink

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 04:00 AM

I'm glad you pointed that out, peachy, because it's a damn good theory, and a theory that scientists have (deliberately?) ignored.  Same goes for tulpas.

Hammy is SO going to kick lumps out of me for this.  tongue.gif  

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#7    dancin'hamster

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 05:13 AM

QUOTE (peachykeane @ Oct 10 2003, 12:37 AM)
There is the possibility that, as is reported to happen with the ouija, some bored entity saw what was going on and decided to muscle in and oblige them by furnishing them with the information and historical details that were already on record and playing the role of Philip.
The fact that 'Phillip'also began to speak goes back to my theory on poltergeists........externalised energies.
I have forgotten whst else I was going to say due to lack of sleep.......sorry blush.gif

Hammy x x x

(who is very, very, very tired..........)

Well maybe ............. but I don't think so!

This thing was created by a group of individuals. It took them quite a time to produce enough energy for it to manifest. Had it been a 'low' spirit (the ones associated with ouija boards) it would have popped up sooner.


#8    dancin'hamster

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 05:14 AM

oh pooh.........see what I mean????????????

*runs and hides before the ridicule starts*


#9    Cufflink

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 05:15 AM

Nope, apparently, not.

*phew*

Looks like I got away with it.  grin2.gif  

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#10    dancin'hamster

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 05:18 AM

I'll be back for you later Cuffy  wink2.gif  


#11    Cufflink

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 05:21 AM

On the other hand.... scared.gif  

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#12    peachykeane

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 12:31 PM

Well you might be right Hammy but Cufflink makes a good point in regards to the way some researchers leap on stories like this and use them as catch all explanations for all related phenomona.
IMO this habit of arguing that it's either all in the mind or the work of an outside entity may both be wide of the mark, there may be an intricate, symbiotic relationship between the two that manifests as a paranormal event.


#13    dancin'hamster

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 04:40 PM

Peachy swetheart .......... I do agree with some of what Cuffy says....but don't tell him!

I used to believe really strongly in ghosts and spirits but have come to accept that 99% of it has a rational explaination. It's the other 1% that totally fascinates me!

Hammy x x x




#14    Cufflink

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 05:58 PM

QUOTE (dancin'hamster @ Oct 10 2003, 04:40 PM)
Peachy swetheart .......... I do agree with some of what Cuffy says....but don't tell him!

  ohmy.gif

Hammy agrees with me.... grin2.gif  

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#15    peachykeane

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 06:05 PM

My veiw is it's more like 90-95% but it's all just numbers anyway.

Rational explanations I can accept but my bugbear is parapshycologists who will try to dismiss one far out, unproven theory by adopting another far out unproven theory and by dint of the fact it does not contain dirty words like spirit or entity, their theory becomes the acceptable face of paranormal thinking.

For instance...Enid Sugden was watching TV one night when the apparition of her deceased father appeared in front of her and said 'Get out of that chair Enid luv, an articulated lorry's about to crash through the living room wall!'
Enid does as he advises and rushes into the kitchen just as one of Eddie Stobarts finest comes hurtling in through the double glazing and stone cladding to ruin the new laminate flooring from B&Q, but at least Enids still alive.

Dr Chris French or Richard Wiseman (take your pick) are called in to investigate the event and after much speculation and examination come to the conclusion that Enids subconscious picked up on the slightly altered timbre of the distant engine as the brakes gave out, and minute nerve endings picked up on the mass of air being pushed through an open window by the out of control vehicle as it approached. In order to give her gut feeling more authority, thus increasing the chances of her acting on it, her subconscious then summoned a vision of her father (a protective, guiding authority) telling her to shift it double quick. The quality of this vision was also aided by a nearby plugged in hairdryer which was leaking electro magnetic emissions thus altering Enids brainwave pattern and making her more receptive to a paranormal experience.

Ok it's a bit of a joke example but it's not so far off some that I've heard. Really some of these explanations are no more prosaic than any spirit hypothosis but they are always vaunted as 'the explanation' when they are nowhere near. I'm not saying I know spirits exist or that the human mind isn't a vast untapped potential of barely dreamed of powers and abilities but sometimes if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck...it's probably cos it is a duck!






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