Stephen Braude exclusively on Elfvinginstitutes blog


 seb kenwood portrait corrStephen Braudes great investigation of Physical mediumship

 Stephen Braude is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, parapsychologist and former president of the Paranormal Association, PA.

CAMILLA: Hi dear Stephen Braude,
In regards to the investigation with physical medium Kai Muegge, whats Your story?

STEPHEN: For reasons discussed in detail in my paper in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, I believe that Kai has employed a magic trick on at least a few occasions in the past. And Michael Nahm, in the companion article to mine in the JSE, raises some serious allegations about some of Kai’s other phenomena. However, I have not found any compelling reason for thinking that Kai could have cheated in the carefully controlled seances conducted under my supervision, especially those in Austria in 2013. It’s true that the evidence, even in those best cases, is not as strong as in the very best cases of physical mediumship from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. But I remain especially impressed and intrigued by the evidence we have so far for table levitations and objects moving at a distance from the medium (while the medium is under intrusive control). The ectoplasmic manifestations still need better controls, along the lines mentioned in my paper.

CAMILLA: Did you even consult some stage magicians to have their views?

STEPHEN: No magicians were present at sittings I conducted, although magicians have indeed sat with Kai. I’ve consulted several renowned magicians about the case, none of whom have yet given me reason for dismissing the phenomena I’ve found most intriguing, and who in some cases have supported my reasons for thinking that at least some of the phenomena are genuine.

I’ll add that I personally have no problem with the possibility that Kai might have used trickery on some occasions. Many of the greatest mediums have done so, for understandable (though not necessarily forgivable) reasons, and the fact remains that under the very tightest controls in those classic cases, it’s clear that no fraud was involved when phenomena occurred (perhaps the best example of this is the case of Eusapia Palladino).

As far as I’m concerned, from what we know now about Kai, he may yet deserve to be added to that exalted class of mediums, but not until he agrees to even better video documentation (with more cameras and better lighting) and tighter controls for ectoplasmic manifestations.

I’m hoping Kai will agree to another series in Austria. In my view, Kai still has the chance to demonstrate to the public (and not just to his loyal and uncritical spiritist followers) that he’s a genuine physical medium. I believe that Kai should have little or no problem reproducing the table and object-movement phenomena under better conditions, and I’d be delighted to help Kai remove the cloud that now hangs over his mediumship. I encourage your readers to examine both Nahm’s JSE paper and mine for the full story.

CAMILLA: What do you consider, in general, about Physical mediumship? And perhaps the Scole Experiment in particular?

STEPHEN: I wrote an entire book on the subject (The Limits of Influence) and had a lot to say about it in another book (The Gold Leaf Lady). I believe there are some utterly convincing cases of phenomena produced under much better controls than Kai has so far permitted e.g., the cases of D.D. Home, Eusapia Palladino, and Rudi Schneider. The Scole investigation, while certainly interesting, is not in that class.
Kai undoubtedly has been more willing to submit to serious controls than any other current medium, but for the reasons discussed in my JSE article, more needs to be done (though we’re getting very close to what we need!), and I sincerely hope Kai will continue to cooperate with me. I want this to happen both for him and for science.

Nota bene! A printed interview with professor Stephen Braude in regards to the examination of the Felix Experimental Group is published in Ascala Magazine, one of Swedens leading papers on Spirituality and Mediumship. It could be ordered from Ascala Magazine (n.b. in swedish)

Photo: Jon Braude