Mathew Franklin Whittier in his own words
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Before I begin, I want to make clear that I abhor hype, just as in my past life as Mathew Franklin Whittier, I abhorred "fluff." If you are unknowingly conditioned to a "hype-addiction," this presentation may seem dull to you, the way healthy food not saturated in sugar and salt seems insipid to a person accustomed to eating processed foods. I tend to be understated, just as Mathew was--his editor said he "hid his light under a bushel," and his brother remarked he was "not forthcoming on his own account." You will have to add in the superlatives, yourself. But this is also a strictly honest presentation, whereas hype tends to be exaggerated (or downright dishonest). If I claim anything, I can and do back it up. If I say my books are readable, know they are highly entertaining; if I say I have brought something to a high degree of plausibility, know that I explored every possible alternative explanation, and proved it. And if I say something is significant, you'd better believe it is significant.

I am the producer of the independent film, "In Another Life: Reincarnation in America," which, until I requested YouTube to take down the pirated versions, was seen by over half a million people. It is offered to colleges and universities by Films Media Group (the same company which carries Bill Moyers' programs). I have a master's degree in counseling and human systems from Florida State University, 1981. I have studied Eastern mysticism since 1973, and the Western research into reincarnation since beginning work on my film in 1997. I could say more about myself, but I feel freer praising my former incarnation, as though he were someone else.

Mathew Franklin Whittier, my 19th-century self, was a brilliant humorist who enjoyed grass-roots fame writing in the "Down East" (Maine) accent under the pseudonym of "Ethan Spike," an outrageous Archie Bunker-type character. Mathew actually created many other humorous characters, and wrote in other genres including essays, adventure stories, journalistic reports, book and lecture reviews, travelogues and poems, but he hid this larger body of work under unrecognized pseudonyms--to the tune of roughly 1,500 published works (as many as I have been able to find). A great deal of this work was claimed by other writers, including four who are now famous. In this book and its sequel, for example, I have proven that Mathew charged Edgar Allan Poe with having falsely claimed authorship of "The Raven," when they were both writing as literary critics for two different major New York City newspapers, at the time the poem was published. (The remainder of the evidence, presented here for the first time, clearly points to Mathew as the real author.) Deeply idealistic, and a profound student of philosophy and mysticism, Mathew championed several progressive social causes from behind the scenes, including Abolition, world peace, and Spiritualism.

"Mathew Franklin Whittier in his own words" is a paranormal proof case, a detective story, an exposé, and a love story. In order to truly prove reincarnation, it had to be scholarly; but for all that it is a fun book, and a rewarding book. The Appendix includes 27 of his best works (primarily, the character he is historically known for, "Ethan Spike"),* while the text is peppered with excerpts from his other works, both humorous and serious. The title is a play on words, and for those who might have missed it, means that because I am Mathew reincarnated, whether I am quoting him directly, or speaking about him, it is all "in his own words."

I have proven, at least to the legal standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt," that I am indeed the reincarnation of Mathew Franklin Whittier. Many authors have made such a claim as regards a past life, or lives, but very few have approached their cases as rigorously as I have. For one thing, I have practiced a strict form of honesty, as a spiritual discipline, since 1973. I've carefully examined the best cases, and I know what it takes to truly prove a reincarnation case. This article explains my methods in detail. This is NOT a novel or a fictionalized account.** There is no made-up dialogue representing what might have been said between historical persons. The case is not based on mere speculation, nor on coincidences and similarities between myself and my proposed past-life personality (the method used by some prominent reincarnation investigators). I did not simply pick someone in history I wanted to be, or who had some similar traits. Rather, I felt deep recognition for a single portrait of Mathew, at a time when I knew absolutely nothing about him except that he was an author. All the parallels between Mathew and myself--and they are both numerous and profound--emerged afterwards.

At the conclusion of the study, I tally up the raw paranormal data from all three sources (psychic readings, past-life regression, and memories or reactions recorded in normal waking consciousness), which came to over 90 impressions, indicating how plausible I feel each is when compared with the historical record. I also indicate whether it was possible for me to have seen the evidence prior to recording each impression ("cryptomnesia"). All my initial impressions (excepting speculations after-the-fact) were plausible to some degree--a feat in itself, since by chance, many, if not most of them should have turned out to be impossible. A number of these impressions reached the "highly plausible" level, with multiple pieces of historical evidence supporting them; and a handful were established as historically valid beyond a reasonable doubt. But remember this--it only takes a few of these strongest validations to establish that we are, in fact, dealing with a genuine past-life case. Once this is acknowledged, all the other information must logically be taken within this context. I also included two timelines in the Appendix: a timeline for Mathew's life, and a timeline for the research. That way, you can have an overview of the events in his life, and you can also see clearly what I remembered vs. when I confirmed it in the historical record.

This also functions as a scholarly work about an American writer, Abolitionist and Spiritualist, and it breaks a great deal of new ground. (This is the kind of understatement I warned you about, in the introduction.) If people wish to bring new evidence to my attention, including (especially) diaries and personal letters, they can e-mail me directly. If, on the other hand, scholars wish to use my findings, I require the courtesy of a citation, no matter how much it might embarrass them in front of their materialistic colleagues. The scholars have had 150 years to recognize what I knew from past-life memory; that's long enough to show that they could not have done it on their own.

Best regards,
Stephen Sakellarios

*Listen to Maine storyteller Vernon Cox performing one of Mathew Franklin Whittier's "Ethan Spike" stories, in character, about his "First and Last Visit to Portland." This is Mathew's first "Ethan Spike" letter. The introduction to this one, which is missing, here, addressed the issue of regional braggadocio; subsequent sketches addressed political, social and spiritual issues. It was in response to--and in imitation of--these early "Ethan Spike" letters, that James Russell Lowell began his famous "Biglow" letters. Part II of "Mathew Franklin Whittier in his own words" contains 27 of Mathew's best sketches, reprinted for the first time (with one or two exceptions) since they were published in newspapers across the country and overseas. (Vernon's website)

**I did finally write a novel based very closely on Mathew and Abby's romance and marriage, entitled "Twin Stars Descending," after my research was completed. The story is about 95% based on real-life events, portrayed in his various fictional works and poetry, as well as in Abby's own writing. Past-life memory and, where absolutely necessary, literary license, comprises the remainder.