My brother used to be a customs officer.
Aaron, my, brother, filmed various psychic phenomena around the world: psychic surgery in South America and the Philippines, ancient artifacts that were dug up in Mexico, like the crystal skull that had predictive powers, people all over who communicated with dead people, the Japanese kid who could teleport, and so on. But he stayed away from the really strange stuff, like people who had been abducted by aliens in UFOs and interfered with sexually. There was a professor at Harvard who believed in alien abduction, but Aaron was too smart for that kind of stuff. He was into reincarnation.
As for psychic phenomena in general, he never came right out and said he believed in any of it, but when I asked if he did, he always threw the question back at me.
“Well,” he said, “how do you explain this guy driving a car even though he was blindfolded?”
(I didn’t know the answer at the time, but this particular guy was investigated later on. He was peeking under the blindfold.)
Or “How do you explain this guy being able to describe a drawing I made in, the next room?”
(Sleight of hand, it turns out. The magician substituted one drawing for another.)
Or “How do you explain this guy reading my mind about Aunt Bea?”
I was surprised by this last question. When Aaron was working for network television, he showed me the studio where the mind-reader who had a weekly program rehearsed ahead of time with certain members of the audience, so he would be sure to get the answers right. Apparently, Aaron had forgotten that it was all a trick. (In general, it turns out that when mind readers give an accurate cold reading, they have been told by the subject personal information which the subject then forgets having told them! This has been documented on film.)
Reincarnation There are loads of reports about people who have been reincarnated. There are enough dead people so that everyone alive could have lived at least one or two prior lives. In fact, there are 11 or 12 dead people for every live person—which is impressive because there are many more people alive now than at any one time in the past. In fact, there are about twice as many people alive now then there were at the turn of the last century. This says something about the likelihood of being reincarnated, but I don’t know what. A lot of people believe in reincarnation.
Important Principle: People tend to believe something that a lot of other people believe—the more people believe it, the more believable it is. But that does not make it actually true.
My brother filmed a number of people who were made dreamy by a hypnotist and then delivered somewhere into the past where they began talking in whatever language that person had previously spoken, often French for some reason. I did not think these experiments made good T.V. because you couldn’t actually see what they were doing in the past; and their voices, although loud, were often unintelligible, a little like “talking in tongues,” which you would recognize if you have ever been in a religious service where parishioners engage in such practices.
An aside: Dream states are very important for psychic phenomena. For instance, mediums (media?) always go into a dream state before contacting the spirit world. My brother was always interested in his dreams, which I think was mostly attributable to his being in psychoanalysis all those years.
I, myself, had an interesting dream once. I dreamed of a company called Boise Cascade, which is a paper and wood company. To the best of my awareness, I had never heard the name before. The name sounded very sinister and portentous in my dream. The next few days, and for months after, I followed the stock of Boise Cascade. I was into stocks at the time. The stock was remarkably unchanging over the course of a year. If I could have predicted that from my dream, I could have made a lot of money. Everyone knows that if a stock goes way up, you can make a lot of money investing in it. If it goes way down, you can still make a lot of money by shorting the stock. What people don’t realize is that you can even make money with puts and calls if you know the stock is going to move in a narrow range. It’s hard to explain to a layman. In any case, I was not prepared to give credence to my dream to the extent that I was inclined to invest money in the stock one way or the other.
Im[portant principle: Even knowing ahead of time that something will be strongly effected by events, it is important to know in what way exactly that thing will be affected. For instance, I know that global warming will affect the stock market, but I don’t know just how it will affect it.
Once after my brother and his assistants regressed a young woman back to a prior life hypnotically, a serious mishap occurred at the end of the session. They brought her back from the 18th century too quickly with the result that she shot by so fast they couldn’t stop her until she ended up in the 22nd century in the Port of Phoenix. (That’s right. by the time the 22nd century has rolled around, California has fallen into the Pacific Ocean and Phoenix is a port.) It took a certain amount of juggling to bring her back to the present. (She may have resisted psychologically since Phoenix is a really nice place with good fishing.)
Aaron, himself, went back to previous lives a few times; but he was disappointed.
“I usually end up a custom officer or some other minor government official.”
That was surprising. Most people have lived famous lives in the past: Fredric the Great, perhaps, or the Empress Theodora.
“Are you sure you weren’t Joan of Arc?” I asked him. “A lot of people were Joan of Arc.”
“Most people are only reincarnated in the same sex,” he said impatiently and waved his hand dismissively, making me feel a little embarrassed for asking such a foolish question. (c) Fredric Neuman 2012
Psychic Phenomena in my family #7 Reincarnation.
My brother used to be a customs officer.