There is no RationalWiki without you. We are a small non-profit with no staff — we are hundreds of volunteers who document pseudoscience and crankery around the world every day. We will never allow ads because we must remain independent. We cannot rely on big donors with corresponding big agendas. We are not the largest website around, but we believe we play an important role in defending truth and objectivity.
If everyone seeing this today donates $5, we will meet our goal for 2018.
| Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.|
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate $5, $20 or whatever you can today with !
Michael E. Tymn
| It's fun to pretend|
|Fails from the crypt|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Every medium was right!
- 2.1 Eva Carrière
- 2.2 Geraldine Cummins
- 2.3 Helen Duncan
- 2.4 Camille Flammarion
- 2.5 Eileen Garrett
- 2.6 Gustav Geley
- 2.7 Kathleen Goligher
- 2.8 Thomas Glendenning Hamilton
- 2.9 Minnie Harrison
- 2.10 Richard Hodgson
- 2.11 Cecil Husk
- 2.12 Gladys Osborne Leonard
- 2.13 Oliver Lodge
- 2.14 Frederic Myers
- 2.15 Stanislawa P.
- 2.16 Eusapia Palladino
- 2.17 Leonora Piper
- 2.18 Ethel Post-Parrish
- 2.19 Charles Richet
- 2.20 Estelle Roberts
- 2.21 W. T. Stead
- 2.22 George Valiantine
- 2.23 Etta Wriedt
- 2.24 Patience Worth
- 3 Psychic healing
- 4 Publications
- 5 See also
- 6 External links
- 7 References
Tymn is a 1958 graduate of the San Jose State University School of Journalism. He has contributed more than 1,500 articles to 40 publications over the past 50 years although the majority of these publications are paranormal related. His metaphysical and paranormal articles appear in FATE, Mysteries, Atlantis Rising, Vital Signs, Venture Inward, Nexus, Psychic News, Psychic Times and the Christian Parapsychologist. He is currently resident of Kailua, Hawaii.
Tymn claims that survival of consciousness after death has been proven and says he is impelled to bring this evidence to the attention of others, especially those in despair. He also claims to have a library of approximately 700 books on life after death.
Tymn has a religious background and now describes himself as an "unorthodox Christian". He co-runs White Crow Books, a spiritualist publishing company that claims fraudulent historical mediums were genuine.
Every medium was right!
Tymn has no formal training in science, but he promotes his work as being grounded in scientific ideas. His work does not acknowledge studies which have debunked many of the early mediums. Tymn ignores any evidence of fraud in mediumship.
Tymn is a spiritualist, he believes that spirits can be invoked in dark séance rooms to take over people's brains and bodies to communicate through them in trance sessions (even though he has never experienced or witnessed this himself and no scientific data has ever proven this). He seems to accept many of the old Victorian reports of mediums communicating with spirits in seances at face value and claims they are genuine as "scientific evidence" for life after death.
In the description to his book The Articulate Dead, Tymn has written there have been "many charlatans" in spiritualism yet in the book he mentions no fraudulent mediums. Tymn claims every historical medium was genuine.
Tymn avoids mentioning mediums who have self-confessed to fraud such as Frederick Tansley Munnings and William Roy. He also ignores magicians such as the Davenport brothers and Anna Eva Fay who fooled people into believing they could communicate with spirits.
Tymn has written the alleged spirit materialization of the medium Eva Carrière known as "Bien Boa" was a real spirit. However, a man called Areski admitted in a 1906 newspaper article that the entire thing was a hoax and that he had dressed up as Boa.
Tymn has claimed the medium Geraldine Cummins through automatic writing communicated with spirits. Tymn does not mention that psychical researchers who studied Cummins discovered her mediumship was fraudulent. Cummins had long standing connections with friends and families of the deceased that she claimed to have contacted. She also worked as a cataloguer at the National Library of Ireland and would take information from history and religious books which she would regurgitate in her automatic writings, including Swan on a Black Sea.
Tymn believes the cheese-cloth ectoplasm and mask-like dolls of Helen Duncan were actually spirits even though the photographs of her spirits look like cheesecloth and dolls and such props were found in the séance room by investigators. The psychical researcher Harry Price analyzed Duncan's ectoplasm and discovered it was made from cheesecloth and in other cases a rubber glove.
Tymn has written that the French astronomer Camille Flammarion was a believer in psychic phenomena, whilst this is true it was Flammarion who said "We cannot trust the loyality of mediums. They nearly all cheat" and after sixty years into investigating mediumship wrote that the spirit hypothesis has not been proven. Tymn does not mention this.
Tymn mentions the mediumship of Eileen Garrett and claims she was in contact with spirits. What Tymn does not mention is that Garrett came to reject the spirit hypothesis of mediumship. Garrett wrote "In all my years' professional mediumship I have had no "sign", "test" or slightest evidence to make me believe I have contacted another world." She considered that her trance controls were personalities from her subconscious and admitted to the psychical researcher Peter Underwood "I do not believe in individual survival after death".
In her autobiography Garrett abandoned the spirit hypothesis in favor of a "magnetic field" that can be contacted. Tymn does not refer to her autobiography.
Tymn claims Garrett communicated with spirits from the R101 airship crash. Tymn did not research this case in detail as the paranormal debunker Melvin Harris went back to the primary sources and read over the R101 séance material and discovered that the whole thing was a hoax, the entire thing had been fabricated by spiritualists as the alleged communications themselves contained no secret information about the R101 airship. Archie Jarman also researched the R101 airship and compared the information to Garrett's and wrote an 80,000-word report on the topic concluding that the séance information was valueless and that we should "best forget the psychic side of R-101; it's a dead duck— absolutely!"
The French psychic researcher and spiritualist Gustav Geley is usually mentioned by Tymn, however Geley was discovered to be a dishonest researcher as after his death photographs were discovered which he had hidden which showed fraud of the medium Eva Carriere. Wires could be seen running from Carriere's head supporting fake ectoplasm. Tymn does not mention this.
Tymn claims that the ectoplasm and levitations of a table by the medium Kathleen Goligher were genuine and were caused by spirits, citing the work of the spiritualist W. J. Crawford in defense of this view. Crawford has been described as credulous when it came to the subject of mediumship and "insane" as he had an obsession with underwear. Tymn does not mention any of the evidence which exposed Goligher as a fraud.
There were no scientific controls in the séances, and Goligher and her family had their hands and legs free at all times. The physicist Edmund Fournier d'Albe investigated Goligher at twenty séance sittings and observed Goligher holding the table up with her foot. He discovered that the "ectoplasm" substance in the photographs of Crawford was muslin. In a séance he observed white muslin between Goligher's feet. D'Albe published his observations in The Goligher Circle in 1922 which exposed the fraud mediumship of Goligher and because of the exposure she retired from mediumship in the same year. None of this is mentioned by Tymn.
Thomas Glendenning Hamilton
Tymn claims the photographs taken by the spiritualist Thomas Glendenning Hamilton depict genuine ectoplasm spirits. In reality the photographs of Hamilton show the substance to be made of tissue paper and magazine cut-outs of people. The famous photograph taken by Hamilton of the medium Mary Marshall (1880-1963) depicts tissue paper with a cut-out of Arthur Conan Doyle's head from a newspaper. Skeptics have suspected that Hamilton may have been behind the hoax.
Tymn writes that he is 98.8% convinced that the medium Minnie Harrison had produced real spirit materializations. You only need to look at the photographs of her materializations to see that they are bogus. All Harrison did was dress up in a cloth. Compare Harrison  to her "materialization"  both have the same nose and face.
Tymn has written the psychic researcher Richard Hodgson was a skeptic and only became a believer in spiritualism after studying the mediumship of Leonora Piper, this is not true. Hodgson himself claimed to witness spirits throughout his life. In 15 Charles Street he would lock himself in his room and claimed that spirits were in communication with him. He locked the door to his room and allowed nobody in with him as he believed they would disturb the "magnetic atmosphere". Hodgson was also described as an over-zealous and an unreliable witness by Joseph McCabe after reading a letter he had written. None of these facts are mentioned by Tymn.
Hodgson was personally obsessed with Piper. He would stand outside her house, observing her for long periods of time even in the winter blizzards of 1888. The American psychologist Walter Prince who knew Hodgson well commented that the mediumship of Piper had "wrecked" his mind.
Although a believer in mental mediumship, Hodgson was a critic of physical mediumship which he claimed was fraudulent. Some of the mediums that he exposed as frauds were William Eglinton, Eusapia Palladino, Henry Slade and Rosina Thompson. Tymn believes all of those mediums were genuine. Tymn cherry-picks information he likes and ignores any evidence of fraud.
According to Tymn the materializations of the medium Cecil Husk were real. Tymn does not mention that in a séance in 1891 Husk was caught leaning over a table pretending to be a spirit by covering his face with phosphor material. The magician Will Goldston also exposed the "spirit" materializations of Husk were fake. In a séance Goldston wrote "I saw at once that it was a gauze mask, and that the moustache attached to it was loose at one side through lack of gum. I pulled at the mask. It came away, revealing the face of Husk." Tymn does not mention the exposure by Goldston.
Gladys Osborne Leonard
Tymn claims Gladys Osborne Leonard was a genuine medium who communicated with spirits. In 1917, Edward Clodd examined the mediumship of Leonard and wrote she had known her séance sitters before she had held the séances, and could have easily obtained information by natural means. Tymn does not mention Clodd.
In a séance on December, 3, 1915 Leonard described an army photograph featuring Raymond the son of Oliver Lodge sitting on the ground with an officer placing his hand on his shoulder. Tymn believes Leonard could not have known about this photograph by natural means and has attributed the information as evidence for spirit communication. However, the skeptic Walter Mann refuted the spiritualist interpretation of the photograph and uncovered Leonard's fraud. Leonard had already seen the photograph as she had five days to obtain the photograph before the séance.
Leonard's supposed "spirit" control Raymond was asked specific questions and he failed to answer them. Raymond could not remember the name of a single soldier he had been with before his death, and failed to give the name of a single soldier in the photograph.
Tymn believes Oliver Lodge's son "Raymond" communicated through the medium Gladys Osborne Leonard, however, Dr. Charles Arthur Mercier wrote an entire book debunking both Lodge and the "Raymond" communications. Tymn does not mention Mercier or the book. Lodge was gullible as he believed the table-rapping of the Fox sisters was genuine. He was duped into believing psychic phenomena and spiritualism by trickery. At St. George's Hall, London the stage mentalist David Devant performed a fake "clairvoyant" act where he would read a message sealed inside an envelope. Oliver Lodge who was present in the audience was duped by the trick and claimed that Devant had used psychic powers. In 1936 Devant in his book Secrets of My Magic revealed the trick method he had used.
Tymns claims the classicist and psychical researcher Frederic William Henry Myers gave strong evidence for spirit communication. Myers was a devout spiritualist who was duped by fraudulent mediums such as Gladys Osborne Leonard and Leonora Piper into believing spiritualism. He had no science education and little understanding of psychology. His ideas about a "subliminal self" have been rejected by the scientific community.
Myers was also a fraud, he had homosexual relationships with psychical researchers and affairs with the female mediums he investigated to biasedly vote in their favor. The psychical researcher Trevor H. Hall wrote Myers had an affair with the medium Ada Goodrich Freer. The skeptic Joseph McCabe discovered false information in Myers book Phantasms of the Living (1886) a book which documented anecdotal experiences of apparitions and phantasms. Myers included an alleged "personal experience" by a retired Judge Edmund Hornby involving a visitation from a spirit, however the whole thing was a hoax and Hornby admitted there was no truth in it. Myers did not do proper research on the subject. Tymn does not mention any of this and described Myers book as an "outstanding work".
Tymn has used a photograph of the medium Stanislawa P. with ectoplasm on his blog which he claims is genuine. She was a fraudulent Polish medium (not to be confused with Stanisława Tomczyk a different fraudulent Polish medium). In 1930, Stanislawa P. was tested at the Institut Metapsychique in Paris. The psychical researcher Eugene Osty suspected in the séance that Stanislawa had freed her hand from control. Secret flashlight photographs that were taken revealed that her hand was free and she had moved objects on the séance table. Tymn does not mention any of this.
Tymn is the author of the book Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife which was released in 2013. In the book he ignored all the data and references which proved Leonora Piper did not communicate with spirits in the seance room. Piper in her own words denied that spirits spoke through her. Tymn ignores her confession and claims spirits did speak through her. Tymn has also ignored Dr. Lloyd Tuckett's 75 page skeptical analysis of Piper's mediumship published in 1911. For Piper's errors see here.
Tymn admits that the supposed ectoplasm "materialization" of a spirit called Silver Belle in a series of photographs with the medium Ethel Post-Parrish look "like a painting or a mannequin", however, he goes on to say that he believes it was still a real spirit materialization and that the reason the "materialization" only looked that way is because the "spirit" had to project its image into the "ectoplasm" and had difficulty in doing it because it could not remember what it fully looked like.
What Tymn does not mention is that the photograph was taken by Jack Edwards and was revealed to be a hoax. A photograph was taken of smoke and by a double exposure a cardboard figure was superimposed onto it. The woman standing outside of the cabinet curtain was also an accomplice involved in the deception. The supposed "spirit" was nothing more than a cardboard figure.
Tymn usually quote mines the psychical researcher Charles Richet on "spirit materializations" but whilst Richet believed them to be real he denied that the materializations had anything to do with spirits and rejected the spirit hypothesis of mediumship. Tymn claims that Richet was an "objective" researcher, however, Richet was revealed to be in a sexual relationship with the medium Eusapia Palladino that he investigated. Tymn does not mention this fact.
Tymn has written the medium Estelle Roberts communicated with a Native American spirit guide called "Red Cloud". The paranormal debunker Melvin Harris examined some photographs of Red Cloud and wrote the face was the same as Roberts and she had dressed up in a feathered war-bonnet. A photograph of Roberts can be found here  which has the same face as "Red Cloud"  it's clear that Roberts and Red Cloud were one and the same.
W. T. Stead
Tymn claims the spiritualist William Thomas Stead experienced spiritualist phenomena. Tymn does not mention Stead had been duped by fraudulent mediums such as William Eglinton and Etta Wriet. The physiologist Ivor Lloyd Tuckett wrote Stead had no scientific training and was credulous when it came to the subject of spiritualism. Tuckett examined a case of spirit photography that Stead had claimed was genuine. Stead visited a photographer who had produced a photograph of him with deceased soldier known as "Piet Botha". Stead claimed the photographer could not have come across any information about Piet Botha. However, Tuckett discovered that an article in 1899 had been published on Pietrus Botha in a weekly magazine with a portrait and personal details.
Stead was also duped into believing the stage magicians Julius and Agnes Zancig had genuine psychic powers. Stead wrote the Zancigs performed telepathy. In 1924 Julius and Agnes Zancig confessed their mind reading act was a trick, and published the secret code and the details of their method under the title of Our Secrets!! in a London Newspaper. Tymn does not mention any of this.
Tymn has written that the direct-voice mediumship of George Valiantine was genuine. The British journalist Ernest Clephan Palmer attended some séances with Valiantine. Valiantine denied that he had used the trumpet, however, when Palmer investigated the trumpet "a good deal of moisture" inside the mouth piece was found, which indicated that it been spoken into by a human and not a "spirit". Tymn does not mention this.
Valiantine was caught in fraud by the Scientific American who offered $2,500 to any psychic or medium to produce a "visible psychic manifestation." Valiantine took the challenge and claimed that in his presence whilst sitting down spirits would speak through a trumpet that floated around a darkened room. For the test, Valiantine was placed in a room but what he didn't know was that an electrical connection had been rigged to his chair and was connected to a light signal in an adjoining room which would activate if he left his chair. The light signal was activated and all the trumpet activity coincided when Valiantine had left his chair. He cheated so did not collect the award.
Harry Price investigated the "direct voice" mediumship of Valiantine in London. In the séance Valiantine claimed to have contacted the "spirit" of the composer Luigi Arditi who spoke Italian. Price wrote down every word that was attributed to Arditi and they were found to be word-for-word matches in an Italian phrase-book. Tymn does not mention any of these facts.
“”Etta Wriedt was a genuine medium, no ands, ifs,or buts about it. End of discussion. I have no desire to go back and forth with someone who simply wants to believe the pseudoskeptics.
|— Michael E. Tymn's comment after he had been shown the evidence that Wriedt had been caught using chemicals in her trumpets to make "spirit" noises.|
According to Tymn the direct voice medium Etta Wreidt was one of the best mediums to have provided evidence for spirit communication. Tymn does not mention that Wriedt was caught in fraud. The physicist Kristian Birkeland turned on the lights in a séance with Wreidt, snatched the trumpets and discovered that the supposed "spirit" noises produced by her trumpet were caused by chemical explosions induced by potassium and water and in other cases by lycopodium powder.
Tymn says the medium Pearl Lenore Curran channeled a spirit known as "Patience Worth". There is no evidence Patience Worth ever existed. Researchers and scientists who have studied Curran's writings are in agreement that Patience was a fictitious creation of Curran. Skeptical investigator Joe Nickell studied the case in detail and wrote "The weight of the evidence—the lack of historical record for “Patience Worth,” the fantasy proneness of Curran (consistent with producing an imaginary “other self”), the writings’ questionable language, and the evidence of the editing and revision process—indicates that Patience was merely a persona of Curran’s".
Tymn says that he believes psychic healing to be real. However, he does not mention the scientific study conducted by Louis Rose in 1954 which was published in the British Medical Journal. In a hundred cases that were investigated, no single case revealed that the healer's intervention alone resulted in any improvement or cure of a measurable organic disability.
- Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife (2013)
- Transcending the Titanic: Beyond Death's Door (2012)
- The Afterlife Revealed (2011)
- The Articulate Dead (2008)
- Michael E. Tymn — "there is plenty of very good evidence" for life after death
- Biography for Michael E. Tymn
- Michael Tymn Interview
- White Crow Books
- Says he has not experienced spiritual communication but believes those who have
- The Articulate Dead by Michael E. Tymn
- See page 59 in Peter H. Aykroyd, Angela Narth and Dan Aykroyd. A History of Ghosts: The True Story of Séances, Mediums, Ghosts, and Ghostbusters. Rodale Books. 2009
- See page 187 in Georgess McHargue. Facts, Frauds, and Phantasms: A Survey of the Spiritualist Movement. Doubleday. 1972
- Geraldine Cummins by Michael E. Tymn
- Mary Rose Barrington. (1966). Swan on a Black Sea: How Much Could Miss Cummins Have Known? Journal of the Society for Psychical Research. Volume 43. pp. 289-300.
- See pages 105-106 in Eric Robertson Dodds. Missing Persons: An Autobiography. Oxford University Press. 2000
- The Road to Immortality by Geraldine Cummins
- Tymn writes he believes ectoplasm is real
- The Cheese-Cloth Worshippers by Harry Price
- See pages 32-101 in Alfred Schofield. Modern Spiritism: Its Science and Religion. P. Blakiston's Son & Co. 1920
- Is $5-Million for Life After Death Research a Waste?
- Are Ghosts Earthbound Spirits? By Michael Tymn
- See page 56 in Peter Underwood. No Common Task: The Autobiography of a Ghost-Hunter. George G. Harrap & Co Ltd. 1983
- Eileen Garrett. My Life as a Search for the Meaning of Mediumship. Arno Press. 1975
- Things You Can do When You’re Dead! by Michael E. Tymn
- See pages 171-182 in Melvin Harris. Investigating the Unexplained: Psychic Detectives, the Amityville Horror-mongers, Jack the Ripper, and Other Mysteries of the Paranormal. Prometheus Books. 2003
- J. Gordon Melton. The Encyclopedia of Religious Phenomena. Visible Ink Press. 2007. ISBN 1578592097
- Proof of Spirits? You be the Judge!
- The mystery of ectoplasm: Part 5
- Ectoplasm at the Skeptic's Dictionary
- See page 233 in Julian Franklyn. A Survey of the Occult. Kessinger Publishing. 1935
- See page 128 in C. E. Bechhofer Roberts. The Truth About Spiritualism. Kessinger Publishing. 1932
- See page 37 in Edmund Edward Fournier d'Albe. The Goligher Circle. 1922
- See page 115 in Mary Roach. Six Feet Over: Adventures in the Afterlife. Canongate Books Ltd. 2010
- Micheal E. Tymn's woo
- Touching the Dead: Spooky Winnipeg by Tom Jokinen
- The Best Evidence for Life After Death?
- Alex Baird. The Life of Richard Hodgson. Psychic Press Limited, London. 1949
- See page 101 in Is Spiritualism Based on Fraud? By Joseph McCabe
- See page 142 in Deborah Blum. (2006). Ghost Hunters: William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death. Penguin Group USA. 2006
- See page 376 in Janet Oppenheim. The Other World: Spiritualism and Psychical Research in England, 1850-1914. Cambridge University Press. 1985
- The mystery of ectoplasm: Part 3
- See page 90 in Rodger Anderson. Psychics, Sensitives and Somnambules. McFarland & Company. 2006
- See page 4 in Will Goldston. Tricks Of The Masters. G. Routledge & Sons, Ltd. 1942
- Gladys Osborne Leonard by Michael E. Tymn
- See pages 215-241 in Edward Clodd. The Question: A Brief History and Examination of Modern Spiritualism. Grant Richards, London. 1917.
- See pages 187-188 in Walter Mann. The Follies and Frauds of Spiritualism. London: Watts & Co. 1919
- See page 97 in Alfred W. Martin. Psychic Tendencies of To-Day. D. Appleton and Company. 1918
- Spiritualism and Oliver Lodge by Charles Arthur Mercier
- When an “Ape-Man” Materialized in a Scientist’s Lab
- See pages 15-16 in John Booth. Psychic Paradoxes. Prometheus Books. 1986
- Frederic Myers by Michael E. Tymn
- See pages 194-195 in Jenny Hazelgrove. Spiritualism and British Society Between the Wars. Manchester University Press.
- See Pages 35-37 in Trevor H. Hall. (1980). The Strange Story of Ada Goodrich Freer. Duckworth.
- See pages 97-98 in Joseph McCabe. Is Spiritualism based on Fraud?: The Evidence Given by Sir A.C. Doyle and Others Drastically Examined. London: Watts & Co. 1920
- The mystery of ectoplasm: Part 1
- See page 880 in Lewis Spence. Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology. Kessinger Publishing. 2003
- The mystery of ectoplasm: Part 1
- Mrs Pipers Plain Statement
- Tymn on Leonora Piper
- The Mediumship of Mrs Piper by Ivor Lloyd Tuckett
- The mystery of ectoplasm: Part 4
- M. Lamar Keene. (1997). The Psychic Mafia. Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-1573921619
- Robert H. Ashby. The Guidebook for the Study of Psychical Research. Rider. 1972. ISBN 0091139015
- See page 419 in William Kalush, Larry Ratso Sloman. The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero. Atria Books. 2006
- Paid Debunkers: How the Public Is Misinformed by the Media and Academia About Psychic Phenomena
- Why Red Indians So Often “Control” Mediums
- See page 21 in Melvin Harris. Investigating the Unexplained: Psychic Detectives, the Amityville Horror-mongers, Jack the Ripper, and Other Mysteries of the Paranormal. Prometheus Books. 2003
- Remembering Titanic Victim William T. Stead 100 Years Later
- See pages 52-53 in Ivor Lloyd Tuckett. The Evidence for the Supernatural: A Critical Study Made with "Uncommon Sense". Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Company. 1911
- See page 8 in John Booth. Psychic Paradoxes. Prometheus Books. 1986
- The Voice: Was It Really Confucius Speaking?
- See page 78 in Ernest Clephan Palmer. The Riddle of Spiritualism. Kessinger Publishing. 2003
- See page 413 in William Kalush, Larry Sloman. The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero. Atria Books. 2006
- See page 203 in Harry Price. Search For Truth: My Life For Psychical Research. Collins. 1942
- An Interview with Victor and Wendy Zammit
- Was Etta Wriedt the Best Medium Ever?
- See page 126 in Joseph McCabe. Is Spiritualism based on Fraud?. London: Watts & CO. 1920
- When spirit entities take over the arm
- Ghost Author? The Channeling of ‘Patience Worth’
- Is psychic healing for real?
- Louis Rose. (1954). Some Aspects Of Paranormal Healing. British Medical Journal. Vol. 2, No. 4900. pp. 1329-1332