Lifetime Diary of a Rebel

I thought I’d list some of the memorable highlights in my sometimes rebellious life. Some of these actions I still fully approve of, others I don’t, but none do I really regret since life is a learning process, and we learn from our mistakes.

September 1961 – taking part in the Committee of 100’s mass civil disobedience sit-down demonstration in Trafalgar Square along with Bertrand Russell, Sheila Delaney, John Osborne and about 10,000 others. Too many for the police to arrest.

Easter 1962 – taking part in my first Aldermaston March, organized by CND, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Early Summer 1962 – taking a full-time job at CND’s head office. I was there six years.

Easter 1963 – Defying my boss at CND and joining the anarchists and Committee of 100 supporters to divert from the Aldermaston March route to visit the top-secret government bunker (Regional Seat of Govermment in the event of nuclear war) at Warren Row.

Early 1960s – joining other CND supporters to heckle Prime Minister Harold Macmillan at Luton Hoo where he spoke and the Luton Girls’ Choir sung ‘Land of Hope & Glory’, after which they all stood for the National Anthem ‘God Save The Queen’, but I joined the CND supporters in sitting down for this and refusing to sing, to the horror and disgust of Tory ladies in big hats.

Mid 1960s – trying to storm Buckingham Palace with other Committee of 100 supporters in a banned protest against the official State visit of the fascist Queen Frederika of Greece. I got halfway up the Palace garden walls on the backs of other demonstrators, but the spikes at the top stopped me getting over. One demonstrator did get over I believe, but the Monarchy survived!

Summer 1966 – taking my first visit abroad, with Youth CND’s Project 67, by train to Moscow and Leningrad via Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic and the People’s Repubic of Poland, arriving at the Soviet border at Brest-Litovsk.

Summer 1966 – visiting Lenin’s Mausoleum in Red Square, Moscow.

Mid-1960s – joining about 5,000 others standing up and giving the clenched-fisted salute while singing ‘The Internationale’ in the Albert Hall, led by Comrade John Gollan, General Secretary of the Communist Party. This was at the 33rd Anniversary gathering of the Daily Worker, later Morning Star,  newspaper.

1967 – taking part in a riot by Teddy boys which partly wrecked Brian Epstein’s Saville Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue when they brought the Safety Curtain down in the middle of Chuck Berry’s act. I remember ripping out a whole row of seats and telling police as they arrived they were too late as we had wrecked the joint.

Late 1960s – writing to the Soviet government about the danger of the USSR being invaded by the United States across the frozen Bering Straits - I received a reply assuring me: ‘comrade, our northeastern frontiers are fully defended’.

Summer 1968 – hitch-hiking with a fellow CND employee, Sheila Cooper, to Berlin, Capital of the German Democratic Republic as guests of the GDR Peace Committee (Friedensrat der DDR). We caught a train the last leg from Hanover to West Berlin, where residents shook their fists at me for wearing a badge with the GDR emblem on it. We walked through Checkpoint Charlie and the British woman army officer on duty asked what time we were returning from the ‘Soviet sector’ of the city. I replied we weren’t returning! (Well not for another three weeks, but I didn’t tell her that initially.)

Summer 1968 – being in the GDR capital when its troops supported those of the Soviet Union and three other Warsaw Pact countries in the intervention in the neighboring Czecho-Slovak Socialist Republic to crush Dubcek’s ‘Prague Spring’. I fully supported this intervention at the time. The British Communist Party leadership didn’t and their newspaper the ‘Morning Star’ was banned in East Berlin.

Summer 1968 – attending a rally in Marx-Engels Platz in the GDR capital and sitting on the visitors’ platform looking at thousands of people, including a sea of blue shirts (the Free German Youth) and white shirts/red neckscarves (the Young Pioneers). The rally speakers praised the intervention to halt counter-revolution in the CSSR, and at the time I fully approved. I was by then a hard-line member of the British Young Communist League.

Summer 1968 – Being taken by National People’s Army officers to the Western side of the Brandenburg Gate on a viewing platform to inspect and approve the ‘Anti-Fascist Wall/ ‘Wall of Peace’. West Berliners were looking back at us across the Wall from a similar viewing platform. We were shown a film and given pamphlets in the Brandenburg Gate giving the reasons why the Wall was built. I still  believe it was absolutely necessary, though not shooting people trying to cross illegally or mining the borders. A financial arrangement in the form of a returnable deposit should have allowed GDR citizens to visit the Western sectors of the city.

Summer 1968 – giving a farewell speech to our GDR hosts at the FDGB (GDR TUC) hotel in Kuehlungsborn thanking the hotel collective for their hospitality, saying I approved of the Soviet-led intervention in Czechoslovakia, but that I had observed bourgeois practices in the GDR itself and they might be next to face Soviet-led intervention to restore Socialist norms. This speech was not well received, our interpeter, Peter, called me an ‘idiot’. Sheila, my CND colleague, called me prospective ‘cannon fodder for fascism’ because of my gullibility in approving of the Soviet-led intervention.

Late 1960s – getting arrested in Grosvenor Square, London outside the U.S. Embassy in a mass protest against the war in Vietnam. I was not arrested for violence though, but for sitting down and obstructing the police.

Late 1960s – attending a Young Communist League Congress in Scarborough, where the Soviet delegate was booed by the YCL leadership for their intervention in Czechoslovakia. We hardliners, however, gave them a standing ovation for the intervention. We also gave a standing ovation to the delegates from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, who presented a statuette of the Great Leader Kim Il-Sung to the YCL leadership. Later we hardliners had a conversation with the Bulgarian delegate about the revisionist nature of the British YCL leadership in condemning the intervention in Czechoslovakia.

Late 1960s/early 1970s – insisting on putting up a ‘Vote Gordon McLennan, Communist’ poster in our kitchen window in Camden Town, against my mother’s wishes. My bedroom at the time had an altar to atheistic Communism consisting of a Soviet red flag, a statue of Lenin in place of the Cross, and a volume of Lenin’s writings in place of The Bible. Also the room was festooned with Soviet/Maoist posters and two tapestries of Lenin and Stalin.

Summer 1970 – taking the Communist Party’s Lenin Centenary trip to the Soviet Union, this time by Aeroflot the Soviet airline, where we received VIP treatment (caviar, champagne and chocolates). I thanked the air stewardess in Russian with the words: ‘Thank you, Comrade!’

Early 1970s – having two articles published in the Communist Party’s Theoretical Journal ‘Marxism Today’ and its special supplements/discussion papers. I called for the rehabilitaton of Comrade Stalin as a Marxist-Leninist giant, and said giving democracy to the enemies of Socialism was ‘revisionist nonsense’ since the purpose of the Socialist state was to crush them. I also approved in these articles of the Soviet-led intervention in Czechoslovakia. I had similar letters published in favor of the intervention in various other leftwing papers, including CND’s paper ‘Sanity’.

1976 – my second visit to the GDR, this time touring the whole country with my life-partner, who pointed out the defects I preferred to ignore. On my return I resigned as Treasurer of the local Communist Party, and was told by the Secretary that I was a former comrade who once agreed with her Stalinist views, but had now proved to be ’emotionally unstable’, which I understood to be a code meaning ‘a gay man in a steady relationship with a non-Communist’.

Late 1970s/early 1980s – getting arrested with my life-partner outside Upper Heyford RAF/USAF base in protest against nuclear weapons.

Early 1980s - getting stopped by police with some CND supporters crossing a snow-covered field with a mattress, intending to use it to climb over the barbed wire-topped fence into Molesworth Cruise Missile base.  We weren’t arrested, but our mattress was confiscated.

1982 – staging a two-person demonstration with my life-partner in a City of London church where Defence Minister John Nott was speaking. The Falklands/Malvinas War was on at the time, and we held up banners calling him a murderer and reminding him of one of the Ten Commandments: ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’. Nott spoke briefly to my partner trying to justify the government’s policy.

1980s - three visits to the Federative Socialist Republic of Jugoslavia (FSRJ) which both my life-partner and myself felt was not only a beautiful country, but we approved of their economic system – Market Socialism consisting of competing cooperatives and publicly owned enterprises. To us this seemed the future economic system rather than the emphasis on vast and often inefficient State monopolies.

My life-partner lived to see the start of the tragic break-up of the Yugoslav federation and the Soviet Union. He thought the three Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) were mad to leave the Soviet Union, and had similar thoughts about Slovenia and Croatia seeking to leave the Yugoslav federation. I still feel the break-up of these two Socialist unions was a tragedy, as was the annexing of the GDR by West Germany. They should have kept the good and thrown out the bad. They all seem to have done the complete opposite – kept all the corruption and thrown out the achievements of Socialism. Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union also suffered terrible wars, genocides and terrorism after their break-up.

1986 – getting arrested in Oxford Street for sitting-down in protest at the American bombing of Libya. My partner was with me, but was not arrested. I was later released from the police van without charge. This too was a demonstration supported by CND, and its leaders Joan Ruddock and Fr Bruce Kent also sat down outside the nearby American Embassy in Grosvenor Square.

1991 - making a comment on TV’s ‘Question Time’ hosted by Robin Day protesting at the Gulf War in Iraq. The following week my partner and I went on a march protesting against it, and someone recognized me from my brief TV appearance.

1991 – attending a meeting addressed by Tony Benn in a room at the Houses of Parliament calling for an end to the Monarchy. MPs and Peers of the Realm were there, and my partner gave a little speech condemning the royals as descended from a line of murders and crooks. I was proud of him for this speech in such an important place and gathering.

Early 1990s – protesting at the erection of a statue to ‘Bomber Harris’ in The Strand outside St Clement-Danes, the RAF church. A medaled old soldier tried to tear up my placard, and I grabbed at his medals. I later appeared on the pages of the Daily Record in Scotland, seen by my partner’s relatives (my partner had died in September 1991).

I don’t think I’ve done anything particularly outrageous since then, though I have been on several demonstrations, all quite legal. CND demos, the big 2,000,000 strong demo in 2003 against the War in Iraq, and the recent TUC demo against the Cuts as part of the CND contingent demanding we save £100 billion by scrapping the Trident nuclear missile system.

So I have come full-circle, and as I say it has been a learning experience, helped greatly by my life-partner George Miller. I remain a leftwing Socialist, but now realize all human political systems are prone to corruption and I am strongly Spiritualist believing we are here to learn lessons and progress spiritually. Till we do, all political systems will remain corrupt.

I have voted Liberal-Democrat in recent General Elections believing them to be the most progressive of the three main parties, but after the disgraceful Con-Dem coalition like many others I will be deserting the Lib-Dems for another party. Probably Ed Miliband’s Labour Party now it has distanced itself from New Labour.

I did nominally join the European Left, a collection of Communist and leftwing/ecological parties in the European Parliament as an individual supporter. I won’t consider joining most leftwing parties in Britain as they are so anti-EU, and as an internationalist I strongly favor the European Union as a way of stopping further wars in Europe. However I think it can be reformed and made more democratic, and hope future Socialist states might break away to form their own Socialist European Union one day, probably after I’m long gone to the Socialist utopia on the Other Side!

Allotment started

Today was my first real time up the newly acquired allotment plot. In two or three hours I purchased a new lock for the shed and some garden tools from John, the allotment manager, fixed the new lock on, got rid of a lot of rubbish (now awaiting disposal), planted a trough with some bulbs which weren’t doing any good indoors, and also managed to dig over one bed and remove the dead plants/weeds.

Tomorrow I plan to sweep out the shed and veranda floor (which hasn’t been done for months it seems), bag up some of the rubbish and perhaps start digging over another bed. Next week I’ll think about getting things to plant in the troughs and some of the beds.

Met the young woman on the adjacent plot. She’s only been cultivating her plot for a few months, so is also fairly new. I’ve now met three of my immediate four neighbors – three adjacent plots to one side of mine and one on the other side, due to the way the plots are laid out.

I now need to study up on compost and how to process it, what to do with it. There’s plenty of material, but all I’ve ever done when I’ve had gardens is dig over the soil, bung in some seeds/bulbs and hope for the best. It always seemed to work, but no doubt I’ll learn new tricks as I go along.

Still marching 50 years on!


This evening I traveled by train and Tube (subway/metro) to Trafalgar Square. I came up the same steps into the Square I did 50 years ago to join the biggest civil disobedience (sit-down) demonstration ever held in this country against the insanity of nuclear weapons. This was in September 1961, and about 10,000 were in the Square that day including Sir Bertrand Russell, John Osborne, Sheila Delaney and many many others. We sat down for hours, a few were arrested, including Canon L. John Collins, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. This was quite ironic as he wasn’t taking part in the demonstration, merely offering moral support as an onlooker. CND in those days didn’t believe in breaking the law – the demonstration was organized by Bertrand Russell’s break-away direct action group, the Committee of 100. I sat in the Square for hours, but the police couldn’t possibly arrest and process 10,000 people, there weren’t enough police vans, police cells, and the courts couldn’t have coped either. So eventually most of us got up and went home, knowing we’d beaten the State by blocking the Square for hours. There were more sit-down demonstrations in London and other cities, and also at bases and nuclear weapons establishments around the country. More recently CND has adopted the Committee of 100’s tactics, and in the 21st Century has organized sit-downs blocking the gates of the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston in Berkshire.

February 1961, at the age of 15, was when I attended my first demonstration. I was then an onlooker, in that same Trafalgar Square where Bertrand Russell was addressing a crowd of Committee of 100 supporters, the first big demo by that organization. I followed as they marched up Whitehall to the Ministry of Defence, pinned a notice on the door, and then staged a sit-down demonstration outside.

Later that year I joined my first march with my local CND group (Welwyn Garden City) along Fleet Street to protest at the major national newspaper offices on the nuclear weapons issue (I can’t now remember the exact details).

So as I came up the steps from the Underground into the Square and saw the CND banner with its big symbol (known as the peace symbol in USA – it is in fact specifically for Nuclear Disarmament as it comprises the semaphore initials N and D enclosed in the circle of life) I was taken back 50 years to those Trafalgar Square demos in 1961. As I was handed a placard proclaiming ‘Scrap Trident’ and spend the money on health, education and public services I remarked to the young woman who gave it to me that it was 50 years ago I attended my first demo in that Square and Bertrand Russell was speaking from the plinth. I said I didn’t expect to still be demonstrating on the same issue of British nuclear weapons 50 years later. She said we’ll carry on for another 50 years if necessary. I hope it won’t be.

Tonight’s small demonstration was organized by an ad-hoc committee, including CND, to protest at the Budget and the cuts to all public services. The only thing escaping cuts being the Trident nuclear missile system, its planned replacement estimated to cost the British taxpayer a colossal 100 billion pounds. We marched down Whitehall, like Bertrand Russell over 50 years ago, this time to Downing Street where there was a demonstration with speakers from various organizations, including CND.

As one speaker said, this was just a small ‘calling card’ in advance of the main TUC (Trades Union Congress) organized demo against the cuts on Saturday. I shall be joining as part of the CND contingent with my current local CND group, Wimbledon (though I actually live in Battersea). The nuclear weapons issue is very relevant to the opposition to the cuts, as scrapping Trident replacement alone would make the cuts unnecessary. This weapons system of mass destruction (the bogus ‘justification’ for the war on Iraq) is not only illegal and useless militarily, we simply cannot afford it, and it is obscene to spend such vast sums when so many live in proverty or are dying from lack of food.

My name is also on an anti-Trident poster in the subway from Westminster Underground station to the Houses of Parliament, next to that of Andrew Papworth, a fellow-campaigner I knew and marched with back in the early 1960s. A few of us olduns are still around, still demonstrating.

I must admit after Tony Blair totally ignored the 2,000,000 strong march against a war in Iraq in 2003 I haven’t seen the point in the many demonstrations against the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and now, of course, Libya. It seems, as today’s demo pointed out, while public services are cut there are endless funds for weapons of mass destruction and wars abroad.

However we mustn’t get despondent. Marches and demonstrations alone may not change governments or their policies, but public pressure can. There was talk of strikes tonight organized by the TUC against the cuts. Where we do want cuts is in the insane waste of money on useless and illegal weapons of mass destruction like Trident. Even Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he was against like-for-like replacement of Trident before the last General Election, and before he sold his soul and principles to the Con-Dem coalition.

The anti-nuclear weapons movement has had considerable successes worldwide in the last 50 years. First we had the Test Ban Treaty of 1963, banning nuclear tests in the atmosphere. This would not have happened without public pressure. Then we had the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which also banned underground nuclear weapons tests. Cruise missiles with nuclear warheads were stationed at Molesworth and Greenham Common during the early Thatcher years, but they are now gone, Greenham reclaimed for the local people again. In fact all that is left of Britain’s nuclear arsenal (the Blue Streak missile failed and was scrapped, the Vulcan nuclear bombers are long-gone, Polaris was replaced by Trident) is the Trident submarine-based nuclear missile system, which depends on the Americans for much of its obscene technology. Other successes include the Nuclear Non-Ploriferation Treaty limiting the spread of nuclear weapons and committing all countries to ban them completely (no time limit unfortunately). Also South Africa gave up nuclear weapons having developed the technology and even tested them. It was not immediately invaded as a result!

I am confident Trident will be scrapped since the cost alone is so immense, and the thing is not only illegal and obscene since it indiscriminately targets civilians and would cause massive nuclear fallout/radiation, but it is totally and utterly useless. Nuclear weapons cannot be used, and therefore they cannot deter an aggressor or a terrorist, nor can they prevent or win wars.

They were used against civilians only twice, at the end of the Second World War on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This was undoubtedly the Americans rushing to test and demonstrate their newly developed atomic bomb before the War ended. They wanted to demonstrate the effect on civilians and cities, not to end the War as so often proclaimed (the Japanese were already agreeing peace terms) but as the first blast in the Cold War with USA’s wartime ally, the Soviet Union. 

Those two bombs were dropped on Japan as a warning to Joseph Stalin, but all they did were to prompt his spies to make sure the USSR got the Bomb within a few years, and thus the insane nuclear arms race started, and nearly caused a nuclear catastrophe in 1962 with the Cuba Missile Crisis. Caused by nuclear weapons, and not just Soviet ones being shipped to Cuba, but American ones in Turkey bordering on the Soviet Union. The crisis was only defused and the world saved from nuclear war when Kruschov agreed to remove nuclear missile sites from Cuba off the coast of Florida if Kennedy agreed to remove his nuclear missiles from Turkey bordering the USSR. It was a very dangerous nuclear stalemate which nearly destroyed the world, caused by nuclear missiles themselves.

The Japanese, as I said, were already suing for peace before the two atomic bombs were dropped. Their kamikaze pilots proved that the Japanese were willing to die for their God-Emperor, so Hiroshima and Nagasaki would not have ended the War. The Americans had to capitulate in order to get Japan to surrender. Yet another compromise, like in the Cuba Missile Crisis decades later. Instead of being arrested and tried for war crimes, Emperor Hirohito was allowed to stay on the Japanese Throne. Once they had secured the safety of their Emperor, the Japanese ended hostilities. Had Hiroshima and Nagasaki been decisive, the Americans would not have had to concede this humiliating concession. Of course they were as guilty of war crimes as Hirohito or Hitler – as were the RAF and the political leaders of the Allied powers. Bombing of civilians which occurred in cities across Europe and the Far East was most definitely a war crime. Cities like Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden as well as Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the victims of Allied bombing raids, all totally illegal and targeting innocent men, women and children who died terrible deaths, many burnt alive, others blasted to bits, and many in Japan dying from cancers caused by the radiation. Even those not born at the time suffered deformities and cancers.

Since World War II the Americans considered using nuclear weapons in the Korean War, also in the Vietnam War, but they desisted because they knew public opinion would never tolerate it. So nuclear weapons have become useless, expensive and very dangerous status symbols. All they do is secure the original five nuclear powers (USA, USSR/Russia, Britain, France and China) a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, where they pass resolutions of doubtful legitimacy such as the recent one permitting intervention in Libya (Russia and a number of other countries abstained).

Nuclear weapons have not prevented wars, nor have they won any. Nuclear armed USA lost the Vietnam War, nuclear armed USSR had to pull out of Afghanistan. Nuclear armed Britain did not deter Galtieri from reclaiming the Malvinas/Falklands, nor did nuclear weapons reclaim them for British settlers. Nuclear armed France had to pull out of Algeria and its former colonies in North Africa. Nuclear armed USA and UK were still attacked on 9/11 and 7/7 by Al Quaida, so what bloody good is the so-called nuclear deterrent quite apart from the moral issue and the fact that such weapons of mass destruction are illegal?

Worse, by using the threat of nuclear annihilation against completely innocent civilians for political ends the nuclear weapons powers set a very bad example to terrorist organizations like Al Quaida, ETA, and the IRA who also used these tactics and targeted innocent civilians with bombs for political motives. The danger is terrorists will get hold of the materials for a nuclear device, and this remains a very real threat so long as these materials and warheads, etc. are produced and stockpiled. No terrorist organization could produce a nuclear device from scratch if the materials and elements were not already being manufactured.

As to military exercises by Nato countries in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya, well this just encourages countries like Iran and North Korea to acquire nuclear weapons. Being regarded by Nato as extremist countries led by fanatical regimes, it is unpredictable whether or not they would use nuclear weapons if invaded. So the message being sent out by Nato interventions in extremist dictatorships is: ‘get a nuclear bomb and we’ll leave you well alone’. As they spread to more countries, many led by unstable or extremist regimes, then use of nuclear weapons becomes much more likely. The fact that India and Pakistan are now nuclear powers is very worrying given the wars and skirmishes that have occurred in the past between them, and the extremist and unstable elements in the area. But persuading such countries to give up The Bomb will not be very successful while the five big nuclear powers insist on holding on to theirs. A worldwide ban on nuclear weapons, carefully monitored, has to be implemented as suggested, though not enforced with a time limit, by the present Nuclear Non-Ploriferation Treaty.

While nuclear weapons held by the big 5 nuclear powers have not helped win any wars or deterred terrorist attacks this is partly because their use is just not credible in any conceivable situation. Did General Galtieri really believe if he occupied the Malvinas/Falklands the British would nuke Buenos Aires? The Americans thought about nuking Hanoi in Vietnam and Pyongyang in North Korea, but decided against it – public opinion would not tolerate another Hiroshima or Nagasaki. There was also the threat of Soviet nuclear retaliation of course, though this didn’t apply in the case of Argentina/Malvinas/Falklands or France/Algeria/Morocco.

Nuclear weapons must be scrapped. The Nuclear Non-Ploriferation Treaty commits nations not to acquire nuclear weapons, and those that already have them to get rid of them as soon as practicable. The nuclear powers have ignored this provision of the Treaty, as witnessed by UK planning to replace Trident. However nuclear weapons stocks have been vastly reduced but still there are enough to make the planet uninhabitable.

I predict Trident will be scrapped probably because of the enormous cost which our economy cannot afford, but possibly because the Americans will pull the plug on it. Barack Obama is keen, unlike his predecessors, on getting rid of all nuclear weapons worldwide, and should USA ever scrap Trident Britain can do little about it. So much for our so-called ‘independent nuclear deterrent’. It is neither ‘independent’ nor a ‘deterrent’. Just a nuclear membership card to the UN Security Council. This needs to be scrapped, and all UN decisions/resolutions passed by majority vote in the General Assembly with no nation having a veto.

Yes, I’m still marching against nuclear weapons 50 years on, and I will do so as long as they exist, certainly as long as Britain has them, and as long as I am able to. When I can no longer march, I’ll continue to campaign in other ways via the Internet, etc. We’ve achieved a lot in 50 years, and a world free of nuclear weapons cannot now be that far away since even military men are now admitting they are totally useless and a complete waste of money.

‘You Can’t Speak To The Dead’

The title, in quotes, refers to a poster seen on the London Underground system sponsored  by some hard-line skeptics’ organization. I think it was for a book insisting that all mediumship was fraud or simply cold reading, a very convenient ‘explanation’ by hard-line skeptics which simply doesn’t correspond to the facts.

Nobody would deny that there are many bad and mediocre mediums, and also charlatans posing as psychics. Equally, there are very gifted mediums and channelers who relay information they could not possibly get from cold reading or by any conventional methods.

In a recent blog I wrote about physical mediumship where all sorts of physical phenomena occur, including full and partial materializations of deceased people and Direct Voice in which the dead literally speak to their relatives, friends and others.

However as I have not yet been to a physical seance, I will just restrict this blog to some of the things the ‘dead’ have told me personally, or what they have told my friends.

Among the things my deceased partner has told me, via various methods of communication, are the following: where certain things were he’d hidden away in cupboards in our flat before he died – things I didn’t even know were there (including some negatives of photos a friend had given to George. I asked him if he’d had the negatives and if so where were they as they weren’t with our other negatives. Next day a telepathic message told me they were on the top shelf of our larder! They were.) Also he told me that the post-humous letters I write him are read by him and appreciated (this was not a telepathic message, but came independently and not via a medium, just the day after I asked him if I should stop writing the letters.) A night or two after he died he stopped my mother smoking too much (by physical means he made sure she only had one or two cigarets left to smoke. During his illness before he died smoking was badly affecting him due to his pneumonia.) He told most of his friends he was OK, speaking to one of them in my kitchen. He materialized briefly to another friend, and also told this friend on another occasion that he had to get away, and that his passing in the end was very quick, which it was – quite sudden in fact.

Over the past nearly 20 years since his death he has also told me many other things. That a friend would get seriously ill while I was abroad on holiday (this was true, I came back to find the friend very seriously ill with septicemia.) On another holiday I mentally told my partner in spirit that there was nothing much to see in a town in Tunisia where a coach had stopped for an hour or so. He told me to turn right, and I found a beautiful bay I would otherwise have missed. He told me on another occasion the name of the newly-born daughter of a friend of mine. Not a name you’d come across very often – Danielle.

More recently he told me he had seen me remember the anniversary of his passing by switching a spotlight on his memorial  banner and kissing his photo, he told me about something hidden away in a bag I’d forgotten was there, of something I would see as soon as I got down the London Underground system the next day (it was a gold suitcase on wheels, not something you see every day).

My grandmother, thru the medium Colin Fry in a crowded Fairfield Halls, gave me specific details of how she died, gave her name, and intricate details of my mother’s recently renovated kitchen and how I had damaged one of the working surfaces, and then tried to cover up the damage. Also exactly where this damage was as you entered the kitchen.

My father told me, just after his funeral, that he no longer wanted a picture of terrorist George Grivas on his wall. Years previously he had ranted to my mother about tapestries of Stalin and Lenin I had on my bedroom door, saying I had pictures of murderers on my walls. The Grivas picture fell out of its frame in the hour or so I was in his house just after his funeral. It had been on that wall in the frame for years before.

A friend looking after an old man as his carer had a conversation with him before he died about life-after-death, and said: ‘Well nobody’s ever rung me from the Other Side to say they arrived safely.’ When the old man died in hospital my friend received three missed call messages from the cut-off landline in the old man’s empty flat. The missed call messages read: ‘Reg calling…. Reg calling… Reg calling…’ and were timed just after the old man died in hospital.

Messages I got in my head very recently from someone in spirit told me to mention to a friend in America her husband’s slippers. It turned out they were worn out and he was planning to buy a new pair, something I didn’t know beforehand. I was also told to mention to another friend staying in London that his hostess would find something out about a ring. This meant nothing to her at the time, but a few weeks later she found a ring she’d thought had been stolen in a drawer. Again I had no advance knowledge of this, and didn’t even know the woman, never met her.

The thing is, if you’re a hard-line skeptic you’re not likely to get any such messages from the dead. You won’t be visiting mediums, and any messages you might get by other means will be ignored and dismissed as imagination or coincidence. There comes a time, however, when so many so-called remarkable ‘coincidences’ are occuring that this explanation becomes untenable.

Nowadays the so-called dead are communicating also thru electronic equipment such as tape recorders, TVs, computers, radios, etc. Many researchers are working on this. In the past devices have been built to communicate with the spirits of the dead, such as the Spiricom. Some of these only worked when a medium was operating the device, but the more modern methods of Instrumental TransCommunication (ITC) can work with anybody who uses the correct procedure for capturing these messages.

The reason skeptics are able to get away with their accusations of fraud, cold reading and lucky guesswork is that they never actually investigate the hard facts that prove survival and communication with the dead. They also ignore all the hard facts which prove near-death experiences are real and not hallucinations, such as accurate reports of events seen and heard in and around the unconscious, clinically ‘dead’ patient at the time.

If you shut your eyes, close your ears and bury your head in the sand of course you won’t come across any evidence of survival. Turning things around, I’m going to give a reason for this irrational skepticism: wishful thinking.

It must be very comforting to think you can do whatever you like in this life with no fear of repercussions in an afterlife. No complications about wondering what kind of karma or environment you are creating for yourself by your actions here on Earth.

Unfortunately it is not as simple as that. Also, if you close your mind completely to even the possibility of an afterlife when you actually do die you will be confused and may not even accept that you are dead, since you may still feel very much alive. This has trapped many spirits between two dimensions for years, even centuries. Others have simply slept in an unconscious state for similar periods because that is what they expected, but eventually they are awoken and have to come to terms with the fact that there is an afterlife.

I don’t ask everyone to believe in an afterlife, but I do ask people to keep open minds about the subject and to objectively study the evidence for survival. Closed minds do nothing to advance scientific knowledge. Remember the people who scoffed at Galileo and others who claimed the planets all revolved around the Sun, or the people who insisted the world was flat and not round. Science later proved them to be closed-minded skeptics who would not even examine the evidence.

It will prove to be the same with survival. Already scientists are discovering that behind the whole Universe, even in the sub-atomic particles which compose it, seems to be consciousness. In other words, consciousness exists quite separately from the brain of living organisms. It really is time hard-line, close-minded skeptics started opening their minds to new possibilities backed up by quantum physics experiments and theories, and by the overwhelming evidence of survival.


After being on the council waiting list for a number of years I’ve finally been given an allotment plot. (This is a plot of land rented out by the local authority to residents for growing mainly vegetables.) I was offered one a couple of years ago, but it involved two bus journeys and there was no shed in which to keep garden tools, also I was away on holiday the next week and one of the conditions was you had to start work on it almost immediately. It just wasn’t a convenient time.

This plot is the other side of the borough as well (there are none in Battersea), but at least it’s only one bus ride away, and there’s a large shed with a verandah, a tool shed and a greenhouse. All a bit dilapidated, and the plot hasn’t been cultivated for what looks like years, but I’m over the Moon.

I haven’t had a garden or even a balcony for 33 years, so the next thing is to get some gardening tools (the ones on the plot were old and rusted) and start learning gardening again more or less from scratch.

It is a large allotment by the River Wandle, though my plot is the other side backing on to some houses. It will be a good hobby for me and I plan to spent at least one, maybe two or three days there a week in the good weather in Spring, Summer and Autumn.

I may not be the best gardener in the world, but it’s hardly rocket science either. I’m sure I’ll be able to make it look half decent. Some of the other plots aren’t that spectacular, others are full of stuff growing.

So once I’ve got the equipment I’ll start digging over the ground and getting out the weeds and dead plants (not too many of these). I’ve found quite a few things left by the previous tenant which will prove useful, such as some plant troughs I can fill with compost and earth and put some flower seeds/bulbs in. These will go on the verandah to make a place where I can sit when not working on the allotment.

The path needs weeding and perhaps repairing in places. Took my mother up there today, she’s 96 and unsteady on her feet, so found the rather uneven overgrown  path very difficult to negotiate, particularly as she didn’t have her walking stick with her. I couldn’t get her wheelchair up the narrow paths.

At present I’ve rented the plot till the end of September, but I’m fairly sure I’ll keep it on after that. It will be so nice to have somewhere to go and to cultivate, grow a few vegetables and maybe a few flowers.

City dwellers living in flats with no balconies can feel claustrophobic at times. We have many parks and open spaces in London, and I make good use of them, but nothing beats having your own bit of land (even if rented) to cultivate as you want.

For me any vegetables or salad stuff I manage to grow will be a bonus. I’ll be content just to have somewhere to sit in the good weather and look at some greenery, etc. which I’ve grown myself on a piece of land where nobody is going to seriously disturb me.

I’ll still be going up Hampstead Mixed Bathing Pond, of course, but mornings are best there on hot Summer days. In the afternoon complete strangers come and invade your space, sometimes spreading their stuff and themselves on to your towel. At the little park where my partner’s memorial tree is planted you sit hoping to be quiet and some kids or passers by will keep interrupting your thoughts. The Lido at the Serpentine and Battersea Park are two other places I go regularly in the good weather, and it is sometimes nice to be amongst other people, my mother enjoys watching the kids, etc. at the Lido. But there are also times you like a bit of peace and quiet out of doors where you can listen to music perhaps, or just enjoy the outlook and fresh air, knowing it is your own private place.

Cooped up in a flat without a balcony means you are isolated not only from Nature but from the weather itself. Many’s the time I’ve turned up for work (before I retired) dressed completely wrong because I had no idea what the weather was like outside, and by the time I got out it was too late to go home and change. A colleague at work couldn’t understand my problem – he had a balcony so was always able to go out and gauge the weather before getting dressed.

An allotment plot won’t solve that problem of course, but it will give me somewhere to go to get in touch with Nature again. Indoor plants are OK, but they don’t cope well with central heating. I’m hoping stuff I grow on the allotment will prove more successful, and if so that will be a great bonus.

Physical Mediumship

This is a most extraordinary form of mediumship, and I am currently reading a book about it by one of the few physical mediums of the present day, Stewart Alexander.

As he says in the book, physical seances conjure up images of elderly ladies sitting around tables in the dark asking: ‘Is anybody there?’ It is, in fact, a very rare gift which can produce really amazing phenomena. This includes much more than simply contacting the spirits of those who have physically died. Physical mediumship has converted many skeptics, scientists and inventors to the reality of the afterlife and phenomena we do not yet have the science to fully understand.

There are several problems with physical mediumship which has resulted in a great decline in the number and quality of mediums able to do this kind of work. First, it takes years of patiently sitting around in spiritualist circles in darkened rooms with nothing very much happening, and not many in our busy world with its many distractions nowadays are prepared to do this.

Secondly, the dark conditions essential for physical mediumship, at least until the medium is sufficiently developed, give rise to skepticism and the possibility of trickery.

Thirdly, the medium herself or himself has to go into a deep trance to produce the phenomena, and therefore has no knowledge or recollection of what took place. S/he is the only person in the seance not to witness the amazing phenomena, so this too might well put off many who would otherwise be eager to develop as physical mediums.

Fourthly, the practice is extremely dangerous, as ectoplasm if suddenly exposed to light can shoot back into the medium’s body causing sometimes fatal injuries. This happened to Helen Duncan the famous Scottish physical medium after a police raid in 1956. Once jailed on charges of being a fraud under the now obsolete Witchcraft Act, her death from burns received when ectoplasm entered her body suddenly when a police flashlight was shone on her during a seance proves she was no charlatan. A very hard way to have to prove she was genuine after all, by sacrificing her life on Earth.

During the final stages of World War II the Admiralty and Intelligence services used planted ‘witnesses’ to frame Helen. These planted witnesses not only contradicted the genuine witnesses present at the seance, but the police failed to produce the cheesecloth which was supposed to be the crucial evidence of fraud. At the trial they said they grabbed the cheesecloth (supposedly representing ectoplasm) but a woman at the seance grabbed it and the police didn’t like to search her because they didn’t have a female officer present. What utter nonsense – to obtain such crucial evidence they would have taken her to a police station where a female officer could search her.

The reason Helen was framed was because she brought drowned sailors into seance rooms to communicate with relatives BEFORE they or any member of the general public had been informed that the Navy ships had been sunk. For public moral the Admiralty wanted to delay such announcements for as long as possible. Again, had she been a fraud, where did Helen get such top secret information? She was not charged with being a German spy, which is the only possible way she might have got the information by conventional methods, since the Germans and British government certainly knew the ships had been sunk.

Back to the present day, and there are a few physical mediums still working, largely in closed groups because of the great dangers of admitting skeptics who might try and grab at the phenomena produced or shine lights and endanger the health and life of the medium. Stewart Alexander describes one such incident in which a young man, invited to a seance, grabbed at a levitated trumpet ‘to see who was holding it’ and next moment he and his chair was levitated to a great height. He was screaming as he felt around the bottom of his chair that nobody was holding it.

Levitation is a frequent phenomena at physical seances, as are apports. These are physical objects brought into the seance room by means of dematerialization and rematerialization, a process our scientists know is possible in theory but are as yet unable to successfully produce. Spirit scientists, however, do it quite frequently. There are numerous examples of this in physical mediumship.

The materializations of spirits themselves, usually using ectoplasm, a substance drawn from the medium and also from the sitters present, form gradually and last only for a short while, when they start to disintegrate. Stewart Alexander speaks of witnessing a face of a spirit gradually ‘melting’ and the whole form sinking slowly into the floor and then becoming a pulsating white mass of ectoplasm. The energy sustaining these physical materializations has to be constantly renewed, but when at full power ectoplasm can become as strong and solid as steel, lifting heavy objects into the air, like the young man’s chair with him in it.

Magicians and conjurors have attended physical seances and admitted they could not reproduce the phenomena under the strict conditions imposed. Everybody is thoroughly searched before entering the seance room, including the medium, who is then bound and gagged in many cases. The seance room is also thoroughly searched for trapdoors, loudspeakers and similar equipment and paraphenalia.

Apart from the materializations, ‘Direct Voice’ is a common phenomena at physical seances. These are voices of spirits emanating not from the medium but from elsewhere in the seance room. Sometimes thru the seance trumpets, which are more like megaphones made of cardboard or aluminium, or just from an ectoplasmic figure or voicebox situated at some distance from the medium.

One person who was skeptical of the Direct Voices produced by the great English medium, the late Leslie Flint,  became convinced when Flint visited his New York apartment and the voices suddenly appeared there too. Flint had no way of installing hidden speakers or hiding accomplices away in the room beforehand.

David Thompson, Stewart Alexander, Colin Fry and quite a few others still practice physical mediumship in closed circles with invited guests. Some of the physical mediums in the past have developed such strong powers they were able to not only produce the phenomena in red light, sufficient to see clearly the materializations, but a few could also do so in bright light. This is the ultimate goal of physical mediumship, to produce the phenomena in full light so the proceedings can be seen and recorded on film/videotape/DVD.

Infra-red glasses and cameras have been used, but seem to interfere with the phenomena. However some success has been achieved and experiments continue. A hardened skeptic, however, would not be convinced if Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and Princess Diana all materialized in the bright lights of a TV studio and conducted a full scale discussion about the afterlife, then levitated everyone in the studio and materialized the Jungle Room from Gracelands in front of the TV cameras.

I have read a lot about physical mediumship, but have never attended such a seance myself. However this year I am booked into two such seances with David Thompson in various parts of the country, with the possibility of another in London next month with another medium.

I look forward to these with great anticipation, so keep your eyes on this space especially in April, June and August when these seances are due to take place.

The Last Taboo

The last taboo, at least in the area of sex, is that involving those defined as minors. Quite rightly so, since these are vulnerable and immature victims when adult predators are involved. However there are several categories of underage sexual activity, four of which I identify below.

1. Sexual experimentation between minors of roughly the same age.

2. Where local culture or laws permit marriage or sexual activity at a lower age.

3. So called ‘sex tourism’.

4. Where the age of consent is just ignored.

Of these, 3 and 4 are the most serious since they involve adult predators, who know what they do is illegal at home, deliberately traveling abroad or ignoring the law in order to prey on vulnerable youngsters.

I would say that category 1 is to be discouraged, but is not a crime when it is genuine consensual experimentation between minors of roughly the same age. Of course if force is used by one or more of the minors, then it does become a serious offense.

Category 2 is the most problematic since the age of consent, the legal age for marriage and for sexual relations, and also local culture varies so much around the globe.

It is well known that in the Deep South of the United States during the 1950s, for instance, the age of consent was very low by UK standards, and certainly marriages were taking place with one partner being as young as 12 or 13. Often the other partner was considerably older. The often cited case is of Jerry Lee Lewis who married his 13-year old second cousin, Lewis being 22 at the time. Elvis Presley was dating Priscilla when she was just 14. Loretta Lynn married at 13. Jerry Lee’s two sisters were married at 12 and 14.

In Spain I believe the age of consent was 14 at least until recently, and in the Far East (possibly Papua New Guinea) there is a tribe whose culture includes some very dubious rites of manhood involving certain homosexual practices between minors and older youths.

Just because local laws, customs or culture permit or encourage what we in the UK would classify as underage sex does not make it right or permissable. In the Southern States, for example, local evangelical churches actually encouraged marriages at a very young age (soon after reaching puberty) to avoid sexual experimentation outside ‘holy wedlock’ which they termed ‘fornication’, but this does not make it right or acceptable.

So all these practices which may be legal or encouraged by local culture in certain places abroad would be considered illegal in the UK. Take the case of Jerry Lee Lewis and his young wife Myra, for instance. They were no doubt breaking UK laws by sleeping together in their hotel while in London in 1958, even if it was proved that their marriage was legal back home in the States.

In certain Eastern cultures, including Cyprus where my father came from, arranged marriages were, and often still are, common. These sometimes involve girls of a very young age who would be considered minors in the UK.

Exactly what can be done about laws/customs which permit or encourage underage marriage or sexual activity abroad is much more difficult to say. Where it is local custom or religious/cultural rite or pressure, such as in Papua New Guinea and in the Southern States at one time, it should be legislated against by the government of that country. In places such as the United States where individual states have a great deal of autonomy over their local legislation, this could be difficult since it would involve federal government interference in State legislative bodies. Not being an American citizen I am not sure how and in what circumstances such federal decrees over-ruling State laws can be and are enforced.

Where the laws of the country themselves set a very low age of consent it can only be changed by international and internal pressure. What other countries can do, however, is make sure their own citizens do not take advantage of  ‘sex tourism’ to exploit minors in these countries by prosecuting people who do this.

In cases like that of Jerry Lee Lewis and Loretta Lynn’s husband decades ago where what was legal at home was, and still is, illegal abroad, they should have been told they must refrain from breaking the local laws while abroad, and if they do break local laws they should be deported. It is questionable whether they could be prosecuted and if they were it could open a whole can of worms. For instance, gay adults who had a civil partnership/marriage could be prosecuted if they went abroad where such things were still illegal.

This is a very difficult and sensitive subject. In countries where the age of consent is set by law at 16 or above, this should be observed by citizens of that country and visitors alike. When citizens of that country travel abroad, they should also observe the age of consent at home and not take advantage of  differences in laws/culture in other countries.

Only a resolution passed by the UN General Assembly could put real pressure on member countries to observe a universally acceptable age of consent for marriage, civil partnerships or any sexual activity. Enforcing such a UN resolution, of course, would be much more problematic.