Announcement

Collapse

Skeptiko forums moved

The official forums of the Skeptiko podcast have moved to http://skeptiko.com/forum/.
As such, these forums are now closed for posting.
See more
See less

Looking for Carroll Beckwith; A detective's search for his past life.

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Looking for Carroll Beckwith; A detective's search for his past life.

    This book is somewhat different from most past life regression books in that
    it is narrated from the perspective of the patient himself.

    It basically tells the story of a skeptical police detective who, on a dare of sorts, reluctantly decided to undergo a past life regression which was
    consequently confirmed as being an actual retelling of some 19th century artist's life, the artist's name was Carroll Beckwith.

    The way he confirmed most of the things he witnessed in his regression
    was by reading a lengthy diary written by Beckwith.

    For more general background this short video is available YouTube - REINCARNATION, past life on proof positive.

    Before reading the diary, Snow (the detective) made a list of items based on
    what he'd seen in his regression.
    These items, of which there were 28, would either disprove or prove his case.

    Here they are as listed in the book:

    1.Did he paint the portrait of a woman with a hunchback?

    2.Did he die in 1917? (this item isn't really accurate, he saw the date in his regression, but didn't know what it referred to)

    3.Did he die in the fall of the year? (this item is based on a scene he saw right after beckwith's death which suggested it was fall)

    4.Did he die in a large city?

    5.Did he live during the nineteenth century?

    6.Did he and his wife spend some time in France?

    7.Did he win awards or recieve recognition for some of his paintings?
    Was he ever at a celebration where many people were congratulating him?

    8.Did he paint portraits but hate doing it?

    9.Did he paint portraits because he needed the money?

    10.Were his paintings full of sun and bright colors?

    11.Did he use the name Jack?

    12.Did he use a walking stick?

    13.Did he drink wine?

    14.Did he express an almost desperate need for money?

    15.In my regression, I saw myself arguing with someone about poor lighting
    for one of my paintings.
    Can I find an incident of Beckwith doing this?

    16.If Beckwith was married, did his wife's name sound something like Amanda?

    17.Did Beckwith and his wife argue about money?

    18.Did his wife play the piano?

    19.Did Beckwith and his wife have children?

    20.I said during the regression that my wife could not have children.
    Could Beckwith's?

    21.In my regression, I said my wife and I were happy, even though we didn't
    have children.
    Were the Beckwith's happy?

    22.In my regression, I saw myself working in a studio with lots of windows
    and skylights.
    Did Beckwith work this way?

    23.Did beckwith ever visit or stay at an estate with a large garden?

    24.Did a woman very important to Beckwith die of a blood clot?

    25.I describe my studio as being filled with unsold paintings, was Beckwith's?

    26.I said, "I'm a good painter, but it took so long".
    Did Beckwith feel at the end of his life that he was finally successful or a good painter?

    27.I said during the regression, "I'm happy when I paint".
    Was Beckwith?

    28.In my regression I said "I don't think they liked me, but they liked my
    painting"
    Was this true?


    It goes without saying that you don't need to be an expert in cold
    reading to guess some of these items, but it's the accumulation of
    all of the correct ones that make for a very solid case for reincarnation.
    Snow ended up confirming 27/28 of the items, the one he got wrong
    was item item 16, but he didn't think that her name was really Amanda in the
    first place and so the item was pure conjecture.

    Feel free to offer alternative hypotheses to reincarnation.

    Edit: I forgot to mention that he had already verified some of the items before he read the diary, but
    that didn't really matter when it came to whether they corresponded to the regression or not.
    Last edited by majinrevan666; November 20th, 2009, 02:43 AM.

  • #2
    Did he try to fit the same guesses to any other artists/people from the 19th century? A lot of these are pretty generic: argue about money, play the piano, a studio with lots of light.

    Did they have children or not, btw? There seem to be two guesses about this.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Ersby View Post
      Did he try to fit the same guesses to any other artists/people from the 19th century? A lot of these are pretty generic: argue about money, play the piano, a studio with lots of light.
      I don't know, it's not mentioned in the book.
      I wasn't too impressed with those minor details either, but there's only
      so much you can get from a regression I suppose.

      In any case, it's the fact that all of the items turned out to be correct
      except for the one he was admittedly doubtful of that impresses me the
      most about this.

      Did they have children or not, btw? There seem to be two guesses about this.
      They did not.

      One item is about whether they could have kids while the other is whether
      they did, although the impossibility of the former implies the impossibility of
      the latter. (he might have been thinking of adopted kids when he listed those items)
      Last edited by majinrevan666; November 20th, 2009, 02:44 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        In order to properly evaluate these guesses, we have to know what was said and what the criteria for success was. For example, you say yourself that he didn't think that the artist died in 1917, just that the date was important. But in the list, it says "Did he die in 1917?" - which would appear to be different from the original statement.

        I maintain that a lot of generic guesses about someone, using a large amount of data (his diary) to find correspondences isn't very impressive.

        Comment


        • #5
          We've talked about Beckwith before, particularly in this thread:

          http://forum.mind-energy.net/skeptik...ney-souls.html

          I find it particularly interesting that no one mentions that Carroll Beckwith translated The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I'd also love to see a photograph of the painting.

          Ersby's point is well taken: Snow had 40,000 pages of diary to look for hits.

          ~~ Paul

          Comment


          • #6
            I popped into the library at lunch and looked up James Carroll Beckwith in some multi-volume encylcopedia of artists and then checked the predictions against another artist. To keep it random, I simply turned one page back and chose the artist with the longest entry: Max Beckmann.

            Although Snow had an entire diary to use and I had a little under one page, I soon noted "hits" on 1917 being important, died in a large city, 19th century, he and wife spent time in France, won awards. After that I didn't have enough biographical detail to say yes or no, although I'm pretty sure he didn't use the name Jack.

            But that an artist chosen at random, with minimal biographical material should bring up a series of hits and only a couple of misses (which could be explained away - oh, Max died in winter not the fall, but the impression he got could've been of winter) doesn't really mark this out as being very evidential.

            edit: wikipedia mentions a period of poverty in the 1940s, so you can add in a couple more hits about needing/arguing about money
            Last edited by Ersby; November 20th, 2009, 07:24 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post

              I find it particularly interesting that no one mentions that Carroll Beckwith translated The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I'd also love to see a photograph of the painting.


              ~~ Paul
              Both of these suggestions imply deception.

              Let's try to exhaust other possibilities first.

              Snow says that he only saw the painting once, when he
              returned to the gallery it had already been taken elsewhere.
              He couldn't find it then.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ersby View Post
                I popped into the library at lunch and looked up James Carroll Beckwith in some multi-volume encylcopedia of artists and then checked the predictions against another artist. To keep it random, I simply turned one page back and chose the artist with the longest entry: Max Beckmann.

                Although Snow had an entire diary to use and I had a little under one page, I soon noted "hits" on 1917 being important, died in a large city, 19th century, he and wife spent time in France, won awards. After that I didn't have enough biographical detail to say yes or no, although I'm pretty sure he didn't use the name Jack.
                Yeah, most of these predictions were neither here nor there, but you
                can't really fault him for that, it was all he could go by.


                edit: wikipedia mentions a period of poverty in the 1940s, so you can add in a couple more hits about needing/arguing about money
                It seems that Beckwith had a particular obsession with money, not
                just a general need.
                Snow says he was pretty well off in his later years, but still wasn't satisfied.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by majinrevan
                  Both of these suggestions imply deception.

                  Let's try to exhaust other possibilities first.
                  Who said anything about deception?

                  There seems to be a lack of imagination when it comes to thinking about chains of association.

                  Carroll Beckwith translated The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He thus became interested in hunchbacks and then painted a picture of one. Or vice versa.

                  Snow had once learned these facts, without now realizing it. He therefore thought that the facts came up during hypnosis because of a previous life. Then he started searching for the painting. He didn't even have to know that Beckwith had painted a hunchback, just that he was a painter associated with hunchbacks.

                  That's all there is to it. After that, it was a mere matter of cold reading the 28 regression statements in the 40,000 pages of diary. That's 1,481 pages of diary per statement. And don't forget that if he knew Beckwith was a painter, then items 1, 7a, 8, 9, 10, 15, 25, 26, 27, and 28 were warm readings. And if he knew about the hunchback painting, then item 1 was hot.

                  ~~ Paul

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post

                    Carroll Beckwith translated The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He thus became interested in hunchbacks and then painted a picture of one. Or vice versa.
                    Makes sense so far.
                    Snow had once learned these facts, without now realizing it. He therefore thought that the facts came up during hypnosis because of a previous life. Then he started searching for the painting. He didn't even have to know that Beckwith had painted a hunchback, just that he was a painter associated with hunchbacks.
                    Snow was indeed interested in art before his regression, but I think he
                    would have remembered something like that, especially since the regression
                    bothered him quite a bit.

                    Let's concede the point anyway.

                    That's all there is to it.
                    All there is to what?
                    There's still the visual appearance of the painting to be accounted for.
                    Remember, he didn't know the name of the artist, he just spotted the
                    painting in the gallery and knew that this was the one he had seen.
                    Even without that, that's just one item.

                    After that, it was a mere matter of cold reading the 28 regression statements in the 40,000 pages of diary.
                    I agree that a lot of statements are quite generic, but when was the last
                    time you saw a cold reader give an almost entirely accurate reading?
                    He could have been wrong on any number of things.
                    The fact that they didn't have kids alone is a major hit.
                    Not every painter has had a close person die of a blood clot, at least,
                    I don't think so.
                    Not every painter has used a cane.

                    Snow basically filled his book with statements like (paraphrased) "I just knew that there was a rational explanation, I must have read about Beckwith somewhere" etc.
                    Don't be so quick to think that he had merely parts of the painter's life
                    which he had heard of or read somewhere, he himself failed at proving your hypothesis.


                    ~~ Paul[/QUOTE]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by majinrevan
                      All there is to what?
                      There's still the visual appearance of the painting to be accounted for.
                      Remember, he didn't know the name of the artist, he just spotted the
                      painting in the gallery and knew that this was the one he had seen.
                      Even without that, that's just one item.
                      The one he had seen when? All he had to do was find a painting of a hunchback and he was off and running. It didn't matter who the artist was, because he didn't know who the artist was beforehand.

                      I agree that a lot of statements are quite generic, but when was the last
                      time you saw a cold reader give an almost entirely accurate reading?
                      He could have been wrong on any number of things.
                      The fact that they didn't have kids alone is a major hit.
                      Not every painter has had a close person die of a blood clot, at least,
                      I don't think so.
                      Not every painter has used a cane.
                      And if one or two of those facts had been wrong, we'd still be excited by the story. Also, do we have a transcript of the regression session so we can verify that he didn't say additional things that didn't make their way onto the official list?

                      Snow basically filled his book with statements like (paraphrased) "I just knew that there was a rational explanation, I must have read about Beckwith somewhere" etc.
                      Don't be so quick to think that he had merely parts of the painter's life
                      which he had heard of or read somewhere, he himself failed at proving your hypothesis.
                      How could he prove or disprove the hypothesis that he had an association between a hunchback and a painter? If he can't remember that he had learned that, then he just can't remember. That's the trick with lost memories: They are lost.

                      However, once he found out it was Beckwith, he could have been straightforward enough to mention that Beckwith had translated The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I'm not accusing him of dishonesty, but that's a huge hole. I'm also unimpressed with the fact that we can't find a photo of the painting anywhere.

                      ~~ Paul

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
                        The one he had seen when? All he had to do was find a painting of a hunchback and he was off and running. It didn't matter who the artist was, because he didn't know who the artist was beforehand.
                        Seen in the regression.
                        It's not just any old hunchback, it's THE hunchback.
                        He had gone through a few hunchback paintings before he made his discovery, none of them fit.
                        And if one or two of those facts had been wrong, we'd still be excited by the story. Also, do we have a transcript of the regression session so we can verify that he didn't say additional things that didn't make their way onto the official list?
                        That depends which facts would have been wrong and how certain he would
                        have been that they were right.
                        I for one would be considerably less impressed if he got more than two or three wrong.
                        The objection has no merit anyway.
                        If it isn't already, then it should be a logical fallacy of some kind.

                        I don't have a transcript, but he does.
                        Unless you wish to say that he wasn't being truthful about trying to disprove
                        the case, us not having the transcript means very little.
                        How could he prove or disprove the hypothesis that he had an association between a hunchback and a painter? If he can't remember that he had learned that, then he just can't remember. That's the trick with lost memories: They are lost.
                        You could check all the conceivable ways that you could have remembered
                        such a thing.
                        You'd think that after a month or two his memory would kick in.
                        It's not a complete disproof, but it's the most you can get by the very definition of lost memories.
                        However, once he found out it was Beckwith, he could have been straightforward enough to mention that Beckwith had translated The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I'm not accusing him of dishonesty, but that's a huge hole. I'm also unimpressed with the fact that we can't find a photo of the painting anywhere.
                        Why?
                        Maybe he just didn't see the fact as very significant, I certainly don't.
                        Although, if this fact does play a role, and it's not dishonesty that's at play,
                        but faulty memory, then you would have solved the case he couldn't solve
                        during several months of intense investigation.
                        I wonder if there's a way to contact him about that...

                        As for your not being impressed with the lack of visual reference for the painting, this DOES imply dishonesty, or, at the very least, delusion.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by majinrevan666 View Post
                          I agree that a lot of statements are quite generic, but when was the last
                          time you saw a cold reader give an almost entirely accurate reading?
                          A good few eyars ago I did some cold readings, just to see how easy it was, and I got one that was pretty accurate. I'll post it in the following post.

                          He could have been wrong on any number of things.
                          The fact that they didn't have kids alone is a major hit.
                          I can't find any reference to Max Beckmann having kids either. [edit: checked in the library - he had a son]

                          Not every painter has had a close person die of a blood clot, at least,
                          I don't think so.
                          Perhaps you should check.

                          Not every painter has used a cane.
                          A lot of older man have canes.

                          Snow basically filled his book with statements like (paraphrased) "I just knew that there was a rational explanation, I must have read about Beckwith somewhere" etc.
                          You said yourself that he was interested in art before the regression. This alone explains the Paris hit: if he knew about art then he would've known about the large number of US artists travelling/working in Paris.

                          Don't be so quick to think that he had merely parts of the painter's life
                          which he had heard of or read somewhere, he himself failed at proving your hypothesis.
                          I'm not sure what this means. As far as I can see the hypothesis that Snow remembered a few key facts and then built up a generic life story of an artist of the time and was able to look for "hits" in a large amount of text. This hypothesis seems pretty solid to me.
                          Last edited by Ersby; November 23rd, 2009, 06:51 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            COLD READER: Okay... Iím sensing a male on the other side of the same age as you. The same generation, at least. Heís telling me about Michael. Whoís Michael? Thereís a connection to that name here. And also he saying you need to learn how to cook. Maybe that sounds a little rude, but have you been learning to cook properly or thinking about it? He says perhaps you should.

                            SITTER1: Well, no, no Michael in my life at the moment, though I've known a few in the past. As for cooking, I handle the cooking for the girlfriend and Iím always looking for new dishes to create.

                            COLD READER: Okay, this guy is telling me you both knew Michael, and this would be a few years back. This was when you were living in the flat you didnít like with the heating that didnít work properly.

                            SITTER1: I didn't know a Michael then.

                            COLD READER: Wait a second. Is the cooking is a new thing for you? You never bothered that much when you were single, is that right? Because Iím being shown these pots and pans and they all look new. Heís telling me itís a new talent, and youíre quite proud of it. And do you have a stuffed toy that sits in the kitchen? Up on a shelf? And do you like to cook alone? I mean without anyone interfering.

                            SITTER1: Thereís no stuffed animal in the kitchen. Yes, I prefer not to be interfered with while cooking. And my interest in cooking is relatively recent.

                            COLD READER: You know, Iím still seeing an animal in the kitchen. Maybe itís like a statue or picture, but thereís some animal thing there. Also, thereís something broken in the kitchen, is that right? Something you should really replace, but it kind of works, so you stick with it. In fact, I just realised: this is the old kitchen in the flat with the heating problems theyíre showing me.

                            SITTER1: The kitchen in that flat had a cow picture hanging on the wall. It was my grandmother's. And the microwave sort of worked. It was VERY loud. Iíve recently replaced it.

                            COLD READER: Right. Thereís an important date for you in October or on the 10th of a month, because Iím being shown a ten.

                            SITTER1: My girlfriendís birthday is the 10 th of April.

                            COLD READER: And thereís something about you doing a training course. Not participating, but actually training someone else. Is that a recent thing?

                            SITTER1: My friend is being a temp receptionist at work this week. We worked on how to do something today.

                            COLD READER: The grandmother Ė the one who owned the picture Ė sheís passed now, hasnít she? I feel sheís coming through. She was brought through by the other spirit whoís pulling back now. Heís saying ďMRĒ as he fades, so I think those are the initials of the mutual friend.

                            SITTER1: "MR" could be Michael Rxxxx, a friend I'm no longer in touch with.

                            COLD READER: Okay, so heís the connection between you. And your grandmother passed a while ago. Sheís showing me a boy, brown hair, round face, big eyes. Who would that be? Who was the small boy in the family when she was around?

                            SITTER1: I canít think of a small boy. All her grandkids were teenagers or older when she passed. Hmm, could be my other grandma, also passed long ago, had a very young grandson when she passed.

                            COLD READER: you have to remember Iím old, at least I feel like it anyway, so a small boy could be as much as thirteen or fourteen. And is there a favourite dish that you cook? Iím being shown pasta, so would that be the kind of food you do well?

                            SITTER1: While I fix pasta at least once a week, I'm better at baking fish. Still no on the boy. Just nothing on that one.

                            COLD READER: And I donít know if you know this, but did your grandmother used to sing? Was she the singer in the family? Maybe thereís more than one, but sheís definitely telling me she sang.

                            SITTER1: The grandma I know best didn't sing. To my knowledge, neither did my other one.

                            COLD READER: Sheís still saying she sang. Maybe this was earlier in her life, I donít know. Are you the hoarder? Youíve kept all kinds of stuff from all times of your life?

                            SITTER1: Yes, I'm a horrible hoarder. Not as bad as I could be, my girlfriend keeps me in line.

                            COLD READER: Now sheís telling me about the clear-out. Either youíve done this or are thinking about it, but sheís talking about feeling hemmed in by the stuff youíve accumulated.

                            SITTER1: Don't know that I feel a need to get rid of things now, but my girlfriend and I did some clearing out a few months ago.

                            COLD READER: Thatís what Iím seeing. Sheís says itís good to let stuff go sometimes. You canít keep a souvenir of everything. Thatís one of the things sheís learnt since she passed: that material possessions donít define your life and who you are: You do.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by majinrevan666 View Post
                              Seen in the regression.
                              It's not just any old hunchback, it's THE hunchback.
                              He had gone through a few hunchback paintings before he made his discovery, none of them fit.
                              Did he record a detailed description at the time of the regression? Maybe made a sketch?

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X