Okay, I think have all my graphic ducks and citations lined up in a row, before I start...
I could get into this about half a dozen ways, but I was going to remark that I have seen some pretty interesting fringe theorists on YouTube lately. I caught David Wilcock interviewing Graham Hancock; then I discovered a fellow named David Icke. All of these appear to have achieved some degree of fame in conspiracy theory circles, but I was unfamiliar with David. These guys are certainly thinking out of the box, and they're obviously highly intelligent. What's missing, many times, is that they don't rigorously attempt to shoot down their own theories, i.e., they don't try every normal explanation they can think of, first. Or if they do, they don't present them systematically. I do.
Case in point, one of the theories being advanced in this interview was that Moses was fooled or intimidated by an evil alien with advanced technology, posing as God, into building a super-weapon for him, i.e., the Ark of the Covenant. All this is based on the reductionistic logic that real technology, and real contact with ancient aliens, has been mythologized in religious terms. But what if it's the reverse? Real religious experience has been mythologized as dogma, magic or advanced technology (not necessarily in that order). My Guru, Meher Baba, said that Moses was on what he called the sixth plane of consciousness, just below God Realization. He has also indicated, elsewhere, that what sounds like physical ascension, i.e., up into the clouds, etc., was metaphorical for spiritual experience. If my Guru was of the spiritual attainment I ascribe to him, and which he asserted for himself, then both Wilcock and Hancock are way off the mark. It's possible that things got all mixed up, such that advanced technology was mythologized along with spiritual experience; it's possible a super-weapon was claimed as the original Ark of the Covenant, to legitimize it or to explain it. The point is, all this is wild speculation--but it isn't presented or owned as being wild speculation. It's presented as being almost certainly correct, with no logical holes in it--even though it has holes you could drive a truck through, if you had studied mysticism from good sources (i.e., rather than herb-ingesting shamans) as I have done for about 45 years.
I was amused to see, in that interview, that Hancock said he had had some 50 trips on a native psychedelic brew, but a mentor of his (as I recall) had had 500. Wilcock then jokingly questions the mentor's sanity, which light-hearted jab Hancock sees no humor in at all, defending the fellow by saying how rational he is.
I suppose you're thinking that I'm not in a position to say anything...
I also discovered two prominent men who are publicly teaching about reincarnation and the afterlife, i.e., in my own chosen field: Jay Lakhani, who teaches religion at Eton College, and Hans Wilhelm, who has created a series of short videos explaining a great number of related sub-topics. Both seem to be doing an excellent job, though I might not agree with either of them on all points. I tried contacting both, though it is extremely difficult to get through to these public figures. I haven't heard back yet.*
I note that none of these people have a degree in reincarnation. Lakhani's training is in physics, despite the fact that he is teaching religion. Wilhelm appears to be self-taught, after a medium convinced him absolutely of his father's survival after death (which shows the potential power of these confirmations). Wilcock is also self-taught, having (I have to look it up)...I can't find any degree for him. I vaguely recall his own account of his life story, and I think he attended and dropped out or reached a certain level in academia. Graham Hancock's background is journalism, not archeology or anthropology. Ah, Hancock obtained a degree in sociology, graduating with honors, but I don't see, on Wikipedia, what degree it was. He is not generally addressed as "Dr. Hancock," so presumably it wasn't a doctorate.
I have a masters in Counseling and Human Systems from Florida State University. So my academic credentials for teaching esoteric studies, and in particular reincarnation, are as good as those of any of these men. Reincarnation is as closely-related to counseling psychology, as it is to physics; or, as the study of ancient civilizations is to sociology.
Now, the only reason I bring all that up, is that I had the feeling, from Abby, that I had pushed one or all of you over your boggle threshold. And that the straw which broke the camel's back, of all things, was my insistence that Francis A. Durivage plagiarized a large body of Mathew Franklin Whittier's work.
So, I have to address that, and then move on to an interesting find in the "Old 'Un" sketches that Durivage was getting published in the 1849 "Flag of Our Union," which volume I recently found online in the Library of Congress.
In "Some Aspects of Pioneer California Journalism," J.M. Scanland, in "The Bookman: An Illustrated Magazine of Literature and Life," Vol. 23, March 1906-August, 1906, pg. 44, we see the following:
If you didn't believe me, and took the time to look it up, you may have found this, already. I recall that a friend and fellow-reincarnation researcher--who may be one of the four regular readers of this blog--found this online for me, so she will recognize it.
They don't tell us when Durivage plagiarized from his editor on the "Picayne," but I subsequently learned that Mathew was writing for a rival paper, the New Orleans "Daily Delta," in the summer of 1846, signing as "F." If you find that paper online, you will see the police reports all bearing that signature, and they are precisely in a style which Mathew developed while doing the same reporting job for the New York "Transcript" a little over ten years earlier. Even those reports, for the "Transcript," are attributed by historians to another reporter for that paper--a fellow with no prior journalistic experience. I also have evidence that Mathew was in New Orleans (under cover for the Abolition cause) in the summer of 1848.
It turns out that all this is not outrageous at all--it is entirely logical, and expected. When an extremely talented writer goes underground, and publishes with dozens of secret pseudonyms for 45 years, some of that work comes to the attention of the public. Some few of the best pieces, having been plagiarized or claimed for famous authors, is still known, today. The great majority of it, having achieved some temporary fame in its day, is known only to literary historians. But not knowing the real author, they assign it to those unscrupulous writers who falsely claimed it--or else, if it remained unclaimed, they argue amongst themselves about its authorship, and variously assign it to this one or that one.
But I have found the key--I found the original author of all these works first, and matched him with the works themselves, afterwards. It is not, as it may appear to you, that I am willy-nilly claiming these things for my past-life hero. I am careful; I examine all sides; I try my best to shoot down my own theories. Something you will not see these other public presenters do very often. I don't do like they do on the "Ancient Alien" series--present some startling evidence, and then chant "Could it be?" and "If so," over and over, like a mantra. They build a case on 5% evidence and 95% speculation, leaving the residual impression that the percentages were reversed. They also jam the square peg into the round hole, by using everybody's good evidence to prove their own theory about aliens from other galaxies visiting the earth in pre-history. I'd say they have proven the existence of advanced civilizations on earth, and perhaps the moon and Mars, in pre-history. They even presented evidence for reincarnation--but their attempt to use that evidence to prove ancient aliens was shaky. They were on my home turf with that one, and I could see the flaws in their logic more clearly. (I vaguely seem to recall that they somehow got from the evidence for reincarnation, like Carol Bowman's Leininger case, to ancient alien-encoded DNA, which is very weak in my opinion.)
But, I digress (again).
So we have good evidence that Francis A. Durivage was a plagiarist; and there are numerous points at which Durivage and Mathew could have met. The clues pointing to Mathew's authorship of this series, "The Old 'Un," are legion. It's proven far beyond a reasonable doubt. I could write a small book just presenting those clues. If you spent two or three days with me, I might be able to show you all of it before dinnertime on the last day. We would have to go through every "Old 'Un" sketch I have individually, and cross-reference each "Mathewsian" element with others of his known works. You would be convinced before we got through a third of it, but I would insist on doing the job right, since I'd been challenged. However, I obviously can't do that in a blog. The Catch-22 is, if I present a few representative samples to a skeptic, he or she automatically says to him- or herself, "Is that all you got?" No, it's not all I've got. Like Charlie Brown being tricked by Lucy into kicking the football, I've been tricked into presenting a few pieces of evidence to skeptics who don't have enough time to read my entire study. It's like tricking an army into sending a few emissaries, and then killing them. I know the drill, and I ain't doing it.
You will either have to read my books, or you will have to accept my assertion that Mathew's authorship of "The Old 'Un" is a done-deal. Because I can back this up, with bells on.
Now, as I began to key in the 1849 "Old 'Un" sketches in the "Flag of Our Union," the third one is a retelling of a story told to the author, in private, by an impersonator named Dan Marble. This is not the first time Mathew has told us that he knows humorous writers and stage comedians personally. He seems to have known Temperance lecturer and impersonator, John Gough, personally, and he clearly knew comic singer Ossian Dodge, who claimed the "Quails" travelogue. (Here is Mathew's story representing their meeting, told in-character as "Jedediah Simpkins" in the Boston "Weekly Museum." You will immediately see the style similarity to "Ethan Spike.") Mathew may have mentored young Charles Farrar Browne, who has been called the first stand-up comedian. At any rate, Browne got his start by re-working one of Mathew's pieces from the "Old 'Un" series, about a military re-enactment of the Battle of Yorktown. Browne was a printer's apprentice for "The Carpet Bag," the paper that Mathew contributed to prodigiously and had a financial interest in. (There's no way of knowing whether Browne got the sketch directly from Mathew--as I suspect--or indirectly, from Durivage's publications of "The Old 'Un." I could show them to you back-to-back, but I have to draw the line on how much work these entries take, somewhere. It's in my first book.)
In any case, it's Mathew's possible contribution to Dodge's routine that interests us, here. There is evidence that Mathew traveled with Dodge, at one point, when the latter was performing. I finally proved it when I found a reference, by "Quails" (Mathew's disputed travelogue persona in the 1849-52 Boston "Weekly Museum"), that he had seen a "Boston Boy" perform in Rochester. This mention appears in the Dec. 8, 1849 edition of the "Museum." Dodge was in the area (his hometown was near Cayuga, NY), to be with his father during the latter's final illness, and to see to funeral arrangements. Knowing Mathew's language, I was pretty sure he called the performer a "Boston Boy," rather than naming him as he would normally do by way of plugging the artist, because it was actually Ossian Dodge. He knew that the editor and others were broadly hinting that Dodge was the author of "Quails," and he was playing along because it deepened his cover. But this little slip, which Mathew thought he had cleverly disguised, means that "Quails," who saw the "Boston Boy" perform, couldn't be Dodge, himself.
I knew I was that close, but I couldn't find a record of Dodge's performance itinerary anywhere. Finally, I found the reference in Frederick Douglass's paper, the "North Star." Douglass, himself, had attended Dodge's concert in Rochester, within the right time-frame. But this means that Mathew and Douglass attended, together. (I have multiple pieces of evidence that Mathew had seen Douglass speak in previous years.) And I have mentioned that during this period, Mathew appears to have been acting as a secret liaison for William Lloyd Garrison, reporting his contacts through this seemingly innocuous travelogue persona, "Quails."
I couldn't access the "North Star" just now online (without spending some huge amount of cash for the privilege), but here's a screen capture from my book, where I quote it, which is actually more apropos:
Note my reaction in italics, below. This is literal, and the date of the discovery is noted for a reason. When I got this impression, I recorded it in italics, after the discovery. I never cheated by working anything backwards to make it appear evidential. Note, also, that Douglass complains he was "proscribed," which means, when Mathew and Douglass arrived, together, Douglass was not allowed to sit in the white seats. No doubt Mathew sat with Douglass in the balcony. It occurs to me now, though it didn't when I put this in my first book, that Douglass praises this particular part of the act because he knows Mathew wrote it. The irony, here, is that Dodge turned out to be a racist con-artist. Mathew was fooled by him at this time, and because he was Mathew's friend, Douglass was also disarmed. But Dodge's best material may well have actually been Mathew's--and this is a pattern I've seen again and again. Mathew made more-famous people look good--but he was gullible, and often, he inadvertently ended up making the wrong people look good. I don't think that was the case with Dan Marble, however.
Now, look at the introduction to Mathew's third "Old 'Un" sketch in the Feb. 10, 1849 edition of the "Flag":
This is really hard to read, even though I attempted to clean it up, so here's the digitized text:
When, latterly, the inimitable and humorous Dan Marble arrived in this city, we promised ourselves much pleasure and amusement from his advent, not only from his genial and truthful impersonations on the stage, but from hs society; as the immortal Dan shines so brilliantly in private life as he does upon the stage. This gentleman is 'just nat'rally bound,' on every visit in our time-honored metropolis, to furnish us with the material for a sketch that has never been in print or made use of on the stage; and to do Dan justice, he has never, since the conclusion of the compact, failed to redeem his pledge. We are indebted to him for the 'arkansas man who had never seen a piano,' and some other things which have had their success. The following varacious narrative was communicated by him on his last visit:
I have not seen "The Arkansas Man Who Had Never Seen a Piano," but perhaps I will run into it in the remainder of this 1849 volume of the "Flag," or perhaps even elsewhere, under another pseudonym. It would certainly be interesting, if it appears under one of Mathew's other known pseudonyms. I wonder if I can find it online...
I found it, but it's unattributed. This copy is on page 78 of the Jan. 29, 1848 edition of the New York "Rural Repository," under the title of "The Man Who Never Saw a Piano." It's precisely in Mathew's style, and it is not credited to "The Old 'Un." Note the reference to a "genuine character." Mathew often wrote about such people, sometimes calling them "original geniuses." Actually, I hadn't read down when I just wrote that--look, he does refer to him as a "genius"! (When I'm good, I'm good.) I've never seen Mathew use the word "mought." This may have been his attempt at Arkansas dialect, per Dan Marble's version. In January of 1848, Mathew would have been living in New York City, sending letters signed "X.F.W." to the Boston "Chronotype." The "Rural Repository" was published in Hudson, New York, about 120 miles north of New York City. We don't know, however, that this was the sketch's first appearance. Searching now on interior lines, instead of just the title, I also find a story called "A Piano in Arkansas" by one T.B. Thorpe, published in the same magazine in 1854, which appears to take the idea and run with it in a longer sketch (Thorpe's writing style is more verbose than Mathew's). The same appears in various editions of the "Cyclopedia of Wit and Humor." The original sketch, meanwhile, also appears in the December 1866 edition of "Ballou's Monthly Magazine," in "The Boston Musical Gazette" of Jan. 3, 1848; the Jan. 29, 1848 edition of "The Rural Repository Devoted to Polite Literature," the March 6, 1849 edition of the Claremont, N.H. "Philharmonic Journal" (where it is given the title "That Piano"); and "Turner's North Carolina Almanac" for 1861 (being titled "The Man Who Never Heard a Piano"). In none of these instances, is the sketch signed. But the earliest of these appears to be the "Boston Musical Gazette." Mathew would have had to submit it to some publication, either in New York or Boston, prior to this time.
"The Old 'Un" doesn't come right out and say it--but normally, where Mathew--a humorist by trade--meets privately with a stage impersonator or comedian, it's not just a one-way street. They are sharing material. So where Mathew acknowledges a debt to Marble, you can assume that Marble also owes a debt to Mathew.
This is precisely what I "flashed on" with regard to Ossian Dodge, that Mathew was writing some of Dodge's material, and that's why they were traveling together. Except that as Dodge was a con-artist, in this case it was a one-way street. Dodge typically bought his material from others, and advertised openly for it in the papers. I found one example of a song he wrote, himself, about Temperance reformer Father Mathew, and it's very amateurish. Remember that we must always gauge a plagiarist by his worst productons.
I did manage to find a portrait of Danford Marble on Find-A-Grave, and it looks distinctly familiar, but of course this isn't evidential since I already knew who he was. Unless, that is, it turned out not to be Marble, in which case it would be negative evidence, having now committed myself. Such things have happened, when my cognitive assumptions overrode my intuition. But my intuition has a pretty good track record, and it is the overall track record one has to objectively look at. (In the scientific method, this is the basis for "statistical significance.") In this case, since Mathew's authorship of "The Old 'Un" is a done deal, and it's a done deal that the author met personally with Dan Marble, and it's a done deal that I'm the reincarnation of Mathew Franklin Whittier, it's also a done deal that I met Marble.
Sadly, Danford Marble died a mere three months after Durivage published this sketch in the "Flag." But the real irony, here, is that when Mathew wrote this sketch, he was openly crediting Marble with the story. Durivage had the odd habit of printing Mathew's work verbatim--and thus, he also printed Mathew's disclaimer, i.e., as though it was his own! Other plagiarists, like Charles Dickens and Albert Pike (who stole young Abby Poyen's poetry), would tinker with their stolen works. But I don't think Durivage ever did. Instead, he wrote some of his own pieces under the same stolen pseudonym. I don't know which approach is more arrogant, but it's fortuitous, for me, that he did it that way.
I have a great deal of evidence which indicates that Mathew was, by nature, a secret facilitator. He was a behind-the-scenes man, encouraging and supporting the public figures who were trying to further those causes most important to him. He both attacked his enemies from the cover of secrecy, and supported the more public advocates of his own adopted causes from the same cloaked position. Whether this is admirable or not, I can't say. Had he come forward, he could not have been nearly as effective, for as long. But I also think that just as I experience, today, the leading figures didn't take him seriously. They saw his talent, but they only recognized the tip of the iceberg. Because he wasn't famous, ipso facto, they assumed he couldn't have hidden greatness. Not at the level they did, or fondly believed they did.
But fame is bad news. It means you're probably doing something wrong. I've harped on this theme continually, and presumably nobody understands it, because everybody still goes for the famous ones, not being interested in my own work.
There are two self-evident facts: 1) the masses are ignorant; and 2) fame is a popularity contest. What more do you need, logically? There is no way out of it. If the masses are ignorant, and fame is by definition a popularity contest, then if you are famous, you have somehow appealed to the ignorant masses. And whatever the "hook" is--wherever is that part of your presentation which appeals to them--there lies your problem. Something ignorant in your presentation is making it palatable to those masses.
The person who eliminates these errors from his presentation, will be invisible, or distasteful, to the ignorant masses. He or she will be ignored.
So we have Mathew encouraging, and feeding ideas to, the prominent figures for the sake of the larger cause--even though they are actually not working at the level he's working at. Same thing I've been doing since 1997, when I started work on my documentary, "In Another Life: Reincarnation in America." Same thing I did for Dr. Jim Tucker, successor to Dr. Ian Stevenson. On my own initiative, and on my own dime (at a time when I was in financial trouble), I shot what was probably the first extended video interview of him, and posted it, online. It subsequently went viral, and can be found on YouTube. Today, there are quite a few presentations featuring him; but in 2007, when I shot this interview, there were only the occasional sound-bites. I wanted the man to be heard at length. Here's a posting I found on YouTube, this morning:
I never added any credits to that video, and nobody knows I shot it, except I recall that Dr. Tucker, himself, credited me and linked to the posting on my own website, when he placed it on his Department's website at the Univ. of Virginia. I wrote to him suggesting he post it independently, so as not to associate his research with mine, and thus discredit his Department. I did that for the practical reason that my research is more advanced, and it would make his (and Dr. Steveson's) work look bad, because people would erroneously view it as flaky so that his work would suffer by association. Not that I told him that, of course. But you can see that if I thought my work was inferior, my ego would have prevented me from making that suggestion.
So long story short, many years pass, having kept in touch with Dr. Tucker (by way of keeping an eye out for xenoglossy cases for him), and finally I broach the subject directly, would he like to see my own research? He didn't have time; but when I pressed the matter, he agreed to look at my strongest verified past-life memories. I gave him three; he dismissed the first two out-of-hand (one of which was obtained under hypnosis), while grudgingly admitting the third might have merit, but he expressed no interest in pursuing the matter. He basically went into skeptical denial on me, in the brief ensuing e-mail discussion. (I mean that literally, and could demonstrate it if necessary.) Tom Shroder, whom I featured in my documentary, had done precisely the same thing to me, earlier. He read a small portion of my book, but when he got to the point that he saw I was claiming Mathew as the original author of "A Christmas Carol," he tersely asked me if I had any evidence directly linking Mathew with Dickens. I wrote him back that I did (a note from Dickens to Mathew, thanking Mathew for a letter, actually), but he stopped corresponding with me at that point.
Shroder, who at that time was an editor for the Washington Post, did remark that my book was very well-written--and that was before I really had edited it properly, myself. As for Dr. Tucker, I still admire him and think he's a nice guy, personally. But the lower frequency simply can't perceive the higher frequency. The lower frequency perceives something--sort of by way of plugging up the hole. But he doesn't perceive what's really there. If someone sees me as a nutcase, or as a flaky conspiracy theorist, what's happening is that, being on a lower level of vibration, they are plugging in some temporary, substitute reality, because they can't perceive what's really there. Mathew experienced the same thing. He could see them, but they couldn't see him. He could support and encourage them, but they wouldn't lift a finger to help him, because they didn't take him seriously. Actually, the somewhat more advanced ones, who could see a little more of him, took him somewhat more seriously, but not seriously enough. (I have shown you the way his friend and collaborator, B.P. Shillaber, who was quoted as saying that "Ethan Spike" was a "genius," still seems to have perceived him.) That's why, as "Spike," Mathew wrote the following:**
Ironically, the sociopaths could see him--well enough to know that they could make money off his work. This is a very strange phenomenon, which yogi Baba Hari Dass referred to when he said, "Snakes know heart."
Baba Hari Dass, 1923-2018
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
P.S. As I continue to key in these pieces from the 1849 volume of the "Flag," I find a story signed with Durivage's name, which Mathew almost certainly wrote, entitled "Madelina: or, The Star of Madrid." This appears in the Feb. 10, 1849 edition. Seeing the hero's name, "Sebastian de Leon," I was immediately reminded of a story he had written for the Nov. 11, 1848 Boston "Weekly Museum" (having been published just three months earlier), entitled "Leon and Francisca; or the Bandit of the Pyrenees! A Romance of Spain." This one, Mathew signed "The Roaring Rhinoceros"--long story, this has to do with a parody of $1,000 prize-winning tales, etc. etc. and goes into some philosophical depth, besides. The point is, both stories are set in Spain; both are romances which are very loosely parallel to Mathew's courtship of Abby; both involve a "Leon" (or "de Leon"); both have the hero disguised as a bandit. And in the story appearing in the "flag," the old man whom the heroine arranges for her to marry--and from whom her dashing young lover rescuers her--is an elderly French marquis. There's no possible way a Frenchman like Durivage, even second-generation American, could have written that story. I'm surprised he put his name to it, which suggests just how mercernary he was. If your skeptical mind runs into the hole of neither of these being Mathew's work, try this story on for size. It's one of the very rare ones signed with his own name, and the reason is probably that it was published in this weekly paper the day before Abby's birthday, June 2nd, as a posthumous tribute, three years after her passing. Or, if you want a historical tale set in Europe, try this one, signed "Poins," which signature I can definitely prove was Mathew's, because his brother mentioned one piece with this signature in personal correspondence. It, too, contains hidden allegorical references to his courtship with Abby.
*I did get a very warm e-mail from Mr. Wilhelm after I completed this entry. It appears he liked my documentary, but didn't mention my books or my more recent past-life exploration. It was one of those letters which are written so as to conclude a discussion by way of a one-time response, so I don't intend to pursue the contact with him. I do know from one of his videos that he is not in favor of trying to remember one's past lives, so that may be the explanation. (I agree with him as a general rule, except for needed therapy and legitimate research.) The message to Dr. Lakhani had to be made through Facebook messenger, and one might go weeks or months without checking that.
**I have corrected the word "livser," as printed, to "livver," which I believe was probably the original copy, via Photoshop.
Audio opening this page: Carol Bowman,
interviewed for "In Another Life: Reincarnation in America"