"American Factory" in the heartland with Chairman Mao (Cao)

Just watched "American Factory" on Netflix, and wanted to make a few observations about it.  It's the Oscar winning documentary produced with the help of the Obamas ("Higher Ground") and made by documentary filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar (Participant.)
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What makes the film compelling is that two cultures come together to try to create something new and different.  The Chinese company Fuyao Industrial Glass Company takes over the old General Motors plant in Dayton Ohio.

Complications ensue.

Not at all like the Ron Howard directed film "Gung Ho" which starred Michael Douglas Keaton and was about the conflicts when a Japanese company took over a car plant. (I had written a script "Bases Loaded" about the same topic which was pitched and passed by Ron's company prior to their making the same basic film a year later. But I digress.)  Both films deal with the culture clash over the "Asian" workplace versus "The American workplace."

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What makes the film "American Factory" so compelling (and tragic) is the irony that is written large over the film but is not addressed.  There's an interview with the filmmakers and the Obamas after the film that is worth watching, where they both suggest that the filmmakers "did not take sides" and appeared to tell a story from "both points of view."

That may have been the desired methodology for the film, but it is not what the footage showed.

Chairman Cao (Cho Tak Wong) comes to the U.S., and the filmmakers were allowed to film his meetings with his employees - where the Chairman says one thing ("If they unionize I'll shut down the plant") and the translator says something more diplomatic "Chairman says he would prefer if unionizing was not part of the plant's future."  Their American counterparts (not bringing their own translators obviously) were left hearing mixed messages throughout the film.

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The Chairman

It reminded me of the time I was hired to write "The Adventures of Little Nemo" and prior my trip to Tokyo, the Producer asked for a brief meeting where I would outline the story. I pitched my story about how Nemo's dream state was part of his subconscious, and that what was happening in real life to him, played out in metaphors during his dreams, and after speaking for five minutes the translator said one sentence.  The producer frowned.  I looked at the translator. "Did you just tell him what I said?"  She shrugged. "Basically." The meeting was short, and my time on the film was shorter.

Translation is everything. There are amazing scenes of the Chinese supervisor telling his employees what he knows about American culture "They're lazy, they don't want to work beyond 8 hours, they talk all the time instead of working" and when he's speaking to the American workers in English, it's all about "finding their enthusiasm for the work!"  

The film has the Chinese employers showing "happy, singing children" videos to the American workers who grouse "What the hell am I doing looking at Chinese kids dancing for?"  Everything goes downhill - the workers are getting hurt and injured, they're earning minimum wage ($14 and hour and still are) in adverse conditions - 200 degree furnances that are delitirious to all the worker's health.

Then the film travels to China to learn those workers are forced to work 12 hour days, no time off - no overtime, six days a week.  It's grueling forced labor, and the workers do their best to seem like it's "getting them ahead."

But the most revealing part, for me, was the billionaire Chairman driving in a car alone, then going to the Imperial Palace in Beijing, lighting incense (for his relatives) and lamenting how he misses the old Beijing, the old China, where he could hear crickets and children laughing in street. He actually says "Am I the problem? I have many factories? Am I responsible for changing the planet?"

(Hint: "YES.  YOU ARE.")

Unfortunately no voice from heaven made that case, and the film shows the local union being voted down, and those who helped organize the union vote being fired or pushed out or being forced to do dangerous tasks to encourage them to vote. Then an administrator walks with Chairman Cao and points out that they're firing more workers and replacing them with robots as if that's a valuable thing.

The film ends with the title card that says the factory has earned profit since its opening and the workers are still being paid $14 an hour.

From Dayton Daily News
Fuyao's reaction to the film is to say that a scene was "mistranslated" where one of the Chinese bosses threatened anyone who tried to unionize.

Here's the great irony.

China is a country that adopted a political belief system that was supposed to honor workers. It comes from the actual phrase "Workers of the World Unite!" Marx and Engels weren't writing about how to make more leisure time - they were writing about the horrific conditions in England where children were dying in workhouses, dying in factories, dying to make someone somewhere a profit.

The entire country was built on that ideal - that workers should not be treated as objects, as pieces of glass easily discarded in different colored bins.  Yes, Chairman of Fuyao, you are responsible for doing this - but so is everyone who supports the system.  

The idea that someone (like me) would have to write about how the Communist Party has failed its workers is beyond ironic. The idea that the bottom line, or profit (whether to line a boss's pockets or the ruling elite) is no less heinous whoever is forcing people to live their lives in quiet desperation.

I think any reasonable person would agree that humans are not on the planet to be exploited. That lives are not expendable or should be dismissed.

Humans come to the planet to experience all the joy that living a life can bring.  Hard work comes with rewards - but there's no reason that people should be working 12 hour days, earning no benefits, free health care, a home with amenities or minimum wages so they don't see their children ever.  This is insanity.  This is the worst that humanity can offer.  

I'm not pointing (wagging) a finger at the Chinese government or at Fuyao - just pointing out that one doesn't have to be humiliated into change. 

When someone is successful, they can change the paradigm. There are companies that have made its employees equal partners, profit shareholders, and those companies see an increase in every area of its business. From profitability to genuine happiness about working for that company. There's no logical reason why people can't share the wealth, the profit, or the work of making a company grow.

There's no reason that Fuyao couldn't do the same - after all, the idea expressed repeatedly is that "American workers are too lazy" - which is a misrepresentation of history. American workers fought hard to get their rights, died in strikes, they fought hard to get benefits, they fought hard to get health care - and our government, our leaders, business leaders turn their eyes downward to avoid the obvious.  

At the end of his life, the Fuyao Chairman will not remember if he met the bottom line - he won't remember any of his wealth. He'll only remember those he gave love to, and those who loved him in return.  If work doesn't include the idea of "loving the people who work for you, or that you work with" then it's not work; its a form of slavery.

So while I appreciate the filmmakers thinking they've made a "non political film" and they just "turned on their cameras" - there is a higher power, a spiritual power that made sure that people could see what capitalism, even when run by Communists can do to destroy the human spirit, and destroy the planet while doing so. People think of scenes as "happy coincidences" when the truth is they have guides, teachers, helping them to decide where to point the camera, where to edit a scene, and how to present it. It may feel like a learned skill - but those of us in the film business know there's more to it than that.

It's time for a change.

Gee that sounds familiar.

If there's any silver lining, it was in the court system. According for Forbes, some workers at Fuyao fought back... and won. 

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Fired ‘American Factory’ Workers Successfully Fought Back by Lisette Voytko

Netflix’s documentary American Factory, released a month ago, raised big questions about labor law and how far companies can go to bust a union. It also prompted a much simpler question: What happened to the workers in the movie who were allegedly fired by the Chinese conglomerate Fuyao for organizing?

At least some of them pursued cases against Fuyao—and left with settlements. Jill Lamantia, who was featured prominently in the documentary, tells Forbes she settled a claim against Fuyao, filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and received three months of back pay, totaling about $15,000. According to Fuyao, Lamantia was one of three workers who were awarded a total of $120,000, including back pay, from Fuyao through NLRB settlements, according to documents unearthed by the Dayton Daily News that did not identify the workers. All alleged they were fired for supporting the union drive. 

Lamantia was relieved, saying, “I didn't know if the case would stick or not stick.” Fuyao, meanwhile, maintains it was not at fault, but that “it elected to settle the charges in 2018 so the Company could move forward with focusing on its business operations.”

But those cases offer a small glimpse into the aftermath of Fuyao’s efforts—and struggles, as documented by filmmakers Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert—to revive a previously shuttered GM plant. The movie captures an inevitable culture clash between the Chinese company and its American workers, who attempt to form a union amid what certainly seem like trying conditions. In the middle of it all, Fuyao’s chairman, Cao Dewang, says during a visit to the Dayton, Ohio, plant: “If a union comes in, I am shutting down.” Then later, Jeff Liu, Fuyao’s U.S. president, is shown telling Dewang that “a lot” of union supporters were fired.

It’s illegal under U.S. law to threaten or fire employees for trying to form a union. Fuyao claimed the translations of Dewang was incorrect, while Liu called his translation misleading. The filmmakers stand by them. But the film, which is the first acquired by Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company, dropped at a moment when labor’s role in U.S. manufacturing has become a particularly hot, and fraught, topic."

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The irony I wanted to point out is that the film highlights the inequity of management and workers, not just China vs. America, but also delves into the "love of money" versus "love of planet." Worth seeing.  

And the one country that is in a unique position to focus on helping the "workers of the world to unite" (I've been across China from Shanghai to Beijing, Chengu to Hong Kong) would be a country that founded itself on those principles.  It's amazing to me that corporate giant General Motors turns out to be the one company in the film that demonstrated (after hard fought battles) genuine care for their workers (before they cast them into the snow.)

The tragedy of American worker's history is that management has found ways to diminish, demean dissenters, union organizers - (Lobbyist LRI in the film) convincing people that the union would hurt them rather than help them. 

The same logic tells us universal health care is a bad thing, or that the climate is not worth fixing. Sure; if you're never planning on coming back to the planet, it wouldn't be. If possible, could those people who are making worker's lives miserable or polluting the planet be asked not to return? 

I think I'll light some incense.


Happy Valentines Day from the Flipside

In terms of this research, I often find myself in the odd position of defending turning on the camera.  

"It’s easy - just lean forward, push the button.  Record. Transcribe. Compare what one person says to the other.  If it was imaginary, it would show up in terms of random thoughts, entrenched beliefs or cryptomnesia - something someone said or heard or believed to be true."

That is essentially what I've been doing for over ten years. 

Filming people accessing the flipside via deep hypnosis, via mediums, via no hypnosis - saying the same things about the journey that are contrary to whatever we've been told up til now. Proving to themselves at least, that their loved ones still exist.

What shows up in the research is consistent and reproducible - two hallmarks of science.  

My observations; At first it’s startling. 

Then a bit infuriating. (“Really? People have been making up this fear based stuff for millennia and no one called them out on it?”) 

Then humbling. (“Well, if all roads lead to home, then everyone’s on the same path, it’s just a matter of degree. So there’s no point in trying to change anyone's opinion on the topic.”) 

Sometimes revelatory. (“Many of us have had lifetimes on other planets, we should stop using the term “alien” because we’re all aliens.)  Who can you report this to?

I just came from a two hour session where I spoke to two individuals on the flipside via the medium and my pal Jennifer Shaffer. 

One person was/is a close friend who passed, whose last conversation with me was about there “being no afterlife.”  The second with a famous person who recently died who spoke fluent Italian.  

I conducted his interview in Italian.  

Jennifer doesn't know or speak Italian - so I said to her “I’m going to ask this fellow a question on the other side, and I want him to respond with an image, that you will say to me in English.”  

This was way outside her usual methodology - which would be for her to repeat (to herself) every question I ask “in English” to the person on the other side. 

But in this case, I’m asking the questions in Italian - a question that she had no idea what I’m asking and could not repeat. 

And then the person on the flipside puts an image into her mind, a response to my question and she responds by describing that image.

For example, I asked; “Have you reached out to your wife since your crossing over?  If so, how do you do that?”  ("Hai parlato con la tua moglie dopo sei morto? Come fa cosi?")

Jennifer Shaffer said (in English) “He’s showing me ice cream.”  I thought about it for a moment.  

I said to him in Italian, “Are you trying to show her ice  (giaccio) or ice cream (gelato)?”  (Quale' parola voi usare? Giaccio or gelato?"  She replied “He say’s it’s the first one you said.” (“Giacchio” means “ice.”)  I thought about that for a moment.

I then asked in Italian, “Are you telling Jennifer that you give your wife chills when you’re reaching out to her and that’s how she knows it’s you?” And before I could finish asking the question, Jennifer tapped her nose.  (Her gesture for "yes!")

“He’s saying that’s correct, whatever you just said.”

To reiterate, I'm interviewing a person on the flipside who was an American, but fluent in Italian, because he was raised there as a child, and he is responding to my questions by "projecting an image" to Jennifer (using an international language, “her mind”) and she is responding to me in English. 

(This fellow wasn’t an Italian, I just knew he was fluent in Italian, so I used it as an experiment to prove beyond any doubt, it was actually him.)

Jennifer had met and knew the person we were speaking with - but had no clue that he spoke Italian.  But I did. We had mutual friends, and he later told me some private information about those friends.

And we got about an hour interview with him in this same fashion. (To be in our next book "Backstage Pass to the Flipside Book 3")

He's not gone. Just not here.

The other person we chatted with today was a close pal who passed away recently after a long bout with cancer. He appeared at first as a famous guitar player to her (whom he resembled, and he did play guitar - we played often together.)  She at first said she was "seeing this famous guitar player."

When I asked him to come forward, I asked if this was the famous guitar player, or my friend who played guitar?" She asked "Well, did he look like this guy?"  He did.  He stepped into our interview chair.

I asked him to describe to her our last conversation together and she said “He’s telling me you are hard headed.”  I said “That’s correct; we had an argument where I argued that life goes on and he said “I’m not buying it.” I tried to tell him I wasn't "selling it" but citing the research.  He still was "unconvinced" there was an afterlife. I was hard headed by not letting him have his own opinion on something that he was fearing was going to happen to him. "He didn't want to think about it, so he didn't want to accede the point."

However, I asked him to give me something to say to his wife and family that would prove "beyond a shadow of a doubt" that it was him - that he still exists. He jokingly said he wasn’t going to give me anything specific other than “tell them I said thank you and I love you and will be with you forever.” 

I asked why and he finally admitted he wasn't going to give me anything specific because 1. they wouldn't believe it anyway, and 2. then he would be allowing me to “win the argument.”  

Which is pretty funny when you think about it.

I'm not reporting who these two people are at the moment, because it's not the right time to do so - neither family has had a chance to have a memorial service for their loved ones. Both were and are beloved by everyone who knew them, but it was fun to chat with them today and prove, at least to myself through the amazing medium Jennifer Shaffer, that these folks still exist.

Happy Valentine's Day. Love love.

Better Called Saul the Tax Collector who turned a Prophet who had an NDE

The topic popped up yesterday.  Someone was quoting "Paul the Apostle" in reference to the idea that "mediums shouldn't be listened to" or that talking to people on the flipside was equal to "conversing the demons."

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Saul the Tax Collector turned A Prophet (Mantegna)

I answered with my general knowledge of Paul, having grown up under his influence (one of the most influential writers of the New Testament, we can thank him for a number of rules that were doled out in churches including "women covering their heads" and avoided mass "during that time of the month") and a general knowledge that he lived and wrote having never met the man in person that he claimed to know intimately.

First we can offer that he wasn't an "apostle."

He was a self appointed apostle. When he had his "conversion" on the road to Damascus, Jesus was reportedly already resurrected.  (He wasn't, he was in hiding, on his way to Kashmir but that's another story (as told in my book "Hacking the Afterlife"))

So Saul, the tax collecter (later known as Paul the Apostle) is with some pals, walking on the road to Damascus when a voice "from heaven" says "Paul why are you persecuting me?" And he says "Who dis?"  (Actually said, Lord, who art thou?" or something more appropos - but basically didn't recognize the voice cause he'd never heard it before, obviously).  And reportedly Jesus gave him a "what for" lecture, blinded him on the spot for three days.  The pals traveling reportedly "heard" the same voice, but didn't "see anyone."  (Of course, neither did Saul, the tax collector.)

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Looking rather tax collectory in this Lutheran depiction

Then, the story goes, Jesus (in spirit form) shows up to a fellow in Damascus (Ananias, a Christian) and tells him to go and heal the blindness of Saul the tax collector. 

This guy (Ananias) protests “but that’s the guy arresting Jews who are believers in Jesus and getting them killed!” (a pretty funny notion, as … Jesus shows up with a message and instead of saying "Jesus! You're alive!" this fellow argues with him; “No way Jose! I’m not doing you any favors… oh… well.. okay. If you insist. After all, you don't show up here that often as it is.”)

While researching this idea that Saul had this transformation that earned him his accolades - I was reading his “Apocalypse of St. Paul” and saw that he clearly had a “near death experience.”

I’ve filmed many people talking about the afterlife, some who are under deep hypnosis, some who are not - some who had near death experiences, some who did not.  

But they all report going to these “different realms” - or as he calls them “seven levels of heaven.” They’re not Heavens per se - but frequency shifts.  (When people under deep hypnosis are asked "So what happened after the death from that previous lifetime?" they most often say "I went home."  Home as in not here - not of earth - but home as in the "afterlife" or "Heaven.") 

So for example we’re on one level (people often claim that we exist here on the planet on the "third level" but it’s relative) and then when one goes up to see their council it is often described as the "fifth level."  In his account he sees the 12 apostles - he never names them, nor does he identify any of them - but sees 12 people on his “council.” 

Anyone familiar with my work or Michael Newton’s work will recognized the “council of elders” - everyone has their own council and the number ranges from 3 to 15 generally - people who don’t “sit in judgment” (else why the heck would they be there?) but help us understand our path and journey.

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Councils of Twelve or Twelve Apostles? Does it matter?

In this account - from the Nag Hammadi library - Paul reports a near death experience that is pretty much IDENTICAL to what people say under deep hypnosis - other than claiming who these individuals are. Some people claim to see Jesus, but others claim to see Buddha, Mohammed, Archangels - all kinds of folks appear on councils.

My point is - if you’re going to take ANYTHING that Paul the converted tax collector says - we should also take this account seriously. That is - report it the way a police officer would. “So what did you see? How many people were there? How were they dressed?” etc.
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I am startled to read this because I’ve been filming people saying the same relative things (without any of the religious overtones or claims or power structure) for the past decade. 

And here is a guy (credited often as the "founder of Christianity") who is trying to interpret what he’s seeing - and basically crafting a story that fits his belief system to surround what he experienced. I have new respect for Paul - not as a person who should be followed or agreed to or even quoted as a sage - but for having the chutzpah to report a near death experience and not getting strung up immediately for doing so. (Although he lost his head for Nero fiddling while Rome burned many years later.)

Here, from the Nag Hammadi library is the "Apocalypse of Paul" -

The Gnostic Society Library
The Nag Hammadi Library

The Apocalypse of Paul
Translated by George W. MacRae and William R. Murdock

[...] the road. And he spoke to him, saying, "By which road shall I go up to Jerusalem?" The little child replied, saying, "Say your name, so that I may show you the road". The little child knew who Paul was. He wished to make conversation with him through his words in order that he might find an excuse for speaking with him.

The little child spoke, saying, "I know who you are, Paul. You are he who was blessed from his mother`s womb. For I have come to you that you may go up to Jerusalem to your fellow apostles. And for this reason you were called. And I am the Spirit who accompanies you. Let your mind awaken, Paul, with [...]. For [...] whole which [...] among the principalities and these authorities and archangels and powers and the whole race of demons, [...] the one that reveals bodies to a soul-seed."

(*Note: So... a little child says "I know who you are Saul... among the principalities and these authorities and archangels and powers and a whole race of demons... the one that reveals bodies to the soul-seed.")   First - people who have a near death event, often report meeting someone who is "wise" and tells them things. In Michael Newton's research, people often claim to be met by a "guide" - and that guide can be of any age (it's a construct after all.) So little child is no different than "man with a beard." 

Based on the Flipside research, I can actually translate the above. Research shows that everyone has a "council." On these councils we find all kinds of individuals - including "archangels" (they're non incarnating folks who have never incarnated, but are found in many councils) - "principalities" refers to realms, as there are reportedly quite a few, "race of demons" doesn't refer to evil people per se, but folks from other planets who often show up on councils look like all kinds of creatures including "grays" and "lizards." 

Thirty percent of people who visit a Newton Institute trained hypnotherapist claim to recall "off world" lifetimes. In my most recent research, interviewing people not under hypnosis who access their "councils" - they often report seeing one or two of their council members as "aliens" - until the council member points out we are all "aliens."

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It's just in these reports and I'd be lying if I didn't report them.  "One reveals bodies to a soul seed" is the process of incarnation.  Our "soul seed" or conscious energy shows up to animate a human being. We bring about a third of that to a lifetime - the other two thirds stays back "home."  (That's what the research shows.)

Back to the text:

"And after he brought that speech to an end, he spoke, saying to me, "Let your mind awaken, Paul, and see that this mountain upon which you are standing is the mountain of Jericho, so that you may know the hidden things in those that are visible. Now it is to the twelve apostles that you shall go, for they are elect spirits, and they will greet you." He raised his eyes and saw them greeting him."

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Monastery of Temptation; Jericho.

(*Note: He doesn't name these 12 apostles.  We assume he's referring to those fellows who hung out with Jesus, but in terms of councils, there are often 12 on the council... anywhere from 3 to 15 normally - but they often appear in "robes" - so they might look like "judges" - even though they don't judge us, or anyone - they help people access why they chose their lifetime, and what they did (or didn't learn) from that choice. I'm not surprised he saw them at all.)

"Then the Holy Spirit who was speaking with him caught him up on high to the third heaven, and he passed beyond to the fourth heaven. The Holy Spirit spoke to him, saying, "Look and see your likeness upon the earth." And he looked down and saw those who were upon the earth. He stared and saw those who were upon the [...]. Then he gazed down and saw the twelve apostles at his right and at his left in the creation; and the Spirit was going before them."

(*Note: He was in the third heaven when he meets his council. Well - news flash, people after refer to various realms when under deep hypnosis. I've heard this realm we are in (earth and its physical properties) as being "the third level" - and then I've heard people refer to where their councils are as "the fifth level" and then a level beyond that where people might be waiting to incarnate as "the seventh level."  It's hard to talk about without getting caught up in hierarchy - but that's not the point. Paul is talking about levels that show in in near death research as well as the deep hypnosis research talking to people about the "between lives realm.")

"But I saw in the fourth heaven according to class - I saw the angels resembling gods, the angels bringing a soul out of the land of the dead. They placed it at the gate of the fourth heaven. And the angels were whipping it. The soul spoke, saying, "What sin was it that I committed in the world?" The toll-collector who dwells in the fourth heaven replied, saying, "It was not right to commit all those lawless deeds that are in the world of the dead". The soul replied, saying, "Bring witnesses! Let them show you in what body I committed lawless deeds. Do you wish to bring a book to read from?"

(*Note: Okay, there's no whipping over there or at least no accounts of such a thing. You'd have to mentally construct a whip to have one handy. 

But people do report feeling "pummeled" by the memory of the negative things they've done to other people. And the council showing them what pain they engendered by having them experience that "same pain."  

So if a fellow was actually being "whipped" it was likely Saul himself - seeing that he had whipped others and was being whipped to remind him not to do that in the future.  The toll-collector (a reference to Charon, of course, another myth entirely) but is more like a self reflective comment as he was Saul the tax collector who whipped people into paying up.)

And the three witnesses came. The first spoke, saying, "Was I not in the body the second hour [...]? I rose up against you until you fell into anger and rage and envy." And the second spoke, saying, "Was I not in the world? And I entered at the fifth hour, and I saw you and desired you. And behold, then, now I charge you with the murders you committed." The third spoke, saying, "Did I not come to you at the twelfth hour of the day when the sun was about to set? I gave you darkness until you should accomplish your sins." When the soul heard these things, it gazed downward in sorrow. And then it gazed upward. It was cast down. The soul that had been cast down went to a body which had been prepared for it. And behold, its witnesses were finished.

(*Note: Again. Likely is Saul seeing what crimes he had committed and was experiencing them first hand in his "life review" which many claim to have experience during a near death experience. The idea that they would be so specific about their deaths (showing up in the second hour, etc) that it seems likely he was having a past life review. See for some examples of dramatic past life reviews).

"Then I gazed upward and saw the Spirit saying to me, "Paul, come! Proceed toward me!". Then as I went, the gate opened, and I went up to the fifth heaven. And I saw my fellow apostles going with me while the Spirit accompanied us. And I saw a great angel in the fifth heaven holding an iron rod in his hand. There were three other angels with him, and I stared into their faces. But they were rivalling each other, with whips in their hands, goading the souls on to the judgment. But I went with the Spirit and the gate opened for me."

(*Note: "Fellow apostles" is a bit of a stretch. He was Saul, didn't know the apostles, so it could be meant as a figurative term "fellow souls" or "Members of my class" or "My soul group." Again with the whips in hand - I can only report with some confidence that there's no one else in the history of the planet that has reported seeing people on the flipside carrying whips during an NDE.)

"Then we went up to the sixth heaven. And I saw my fellow apostles going with me, and the Holy Spirit was leading me before them. And I gazed up on high and saw a great light shining down on the sixth heaven. I spoke, saying to the toll-collector who was in the sixth heaven, "Open to me and the Holy Spirit who is before me." He opened to me."

(*Note. Yeah, like that would work. "Hey look everyone, it's Saul the tax collector and he's shouting something? I think he's saying "Open the gates!  Should we pretend there is a gate?  And who are all those dudes following him with whips?") 

Then we went up to the seventh heaven, and I saw an old man [...] light and whose garment was white. His throne, which is in the seventh heaven, was brighter than the sun by seven times. The old man spoke, saying to me, "Where are you going, Paul? O blessed one and the one who was set apart from his mother`s womb." But I looked at the Spirit, and he was nodding his head, saying to me, "Speak with him!". 

And I replied, saying to the old man, "I am going to the place from which I came." And the old man responded to me, "Where are you from?" But I replied, saying, "I am going down to the world of the dead in order to lead captive the captivity that was led captive in the captivity of Babylon." The old man replied to me saying, "How will you be able to get away from me? Look and see the principalities and authorities." The Spirit spoke, saying, "Give him the sign that you have, and he will open for you." And then I gave him the sign. He turned his face downwards to his creation and to those who are his own authorities."

(*Note: This is where we are in common territory. I've filmed numerous people arriving at a destination and seeing an "old man."  Everyone describes the old man (or old woman) differently - not the same clothes, or hair, or color eyes - but always differently. As if that was a personification of what we might want to see when we felt we had "arrived."  

Either way - the construct is created between the two individuals. The perceiver and the actual "light being" - who is often described as light before they "manifest into human form" so the human can comprehend (or learn from) the experience.  And in this instance, Saul has flipped the normal story - most people want to "return home" at this point. They see someone they identify as "god" and feel "unconditional love" and say "I want to stay!" And this guide, teacher, loved one says "You cannot stay you must return!"

So in this case - it's Saul who says "Yeah, okay, I'm up here in the 7th realm, nice to see you my friend, but look, I can't stay because I gotta go back to the "land of the living" (c'mon, land of the dead? how apocryphal) and teach them what I've seen. Maybe they'll follow me as well.  Then he says "I'll give him a secret sign so I can get in there" (for "secret signs" see "Book of Mormon" for the secret handshake, glory hole, or the Masons for their secret handshakes which all have to do with the hands of Jesus on the cross.  Just saying.)

"And then the heaven opened and we went up to the Ogdoad. And I saw the twelve apostles. They greeted me, and we went up to the ninth heaven. I greeted all those who were in the ninth heaven, and we went up to the tenth heaven. And I greeted my fellow spirits."

Ogdoad, in gnostic mythology - the 8th realm of the dead where 8 "primordial deities" live.  Suddenly Paul shifts to a Gnostic reference although he's seeing 12 "primordial deities"
Above is the "ten celestial spheres" as written about in Peter Apian's Cosmographia (Antwerp, 1539)

Woah, hold on their cupcake. It's not like we can't do math. What happened to the 8th realm? Why skip that one? Did you see something you didn't want to report? And here - in this "uppermost region" he sees his council (again).  And he counts 12.  Which is common, normal... and maybe they're dressed in robes, maybe not - he doesn't describe a thing about them. Did they all have arms and legs? Were they standing or sitting? I've been interviewing them for years now - and they all say relatively the same thing. "We are always with you. We can always assist you. Just think of us and we appear."  I guess Saul forgot to mention that part.

Saul finally winds up in the 10th realm.  He's saying in essence his fellow spirits are "up there" or "above everyone else." In a hierarchical sense?  Either way - it sounds like a near death experience to me.

So, look, I know this is heretical, sacrilegious etc.  But it's fun to point out that everything that Saul the tax collector, self appointed apostle says is reflected in a variety of near death experiences, as well as people under deep hypnosis, as well as the 50 or so I've filmed of people not under hypnosis accessing the same councils, the same realms, the same story.

What I've learned in this research is that with effort, anyone who has ever existed on the planet can be asked questions, and a person can receive answers which they can look up or verify. A long way of saying "If you see my pal Pablo, "Better Called Saul" tell him I said hello."


Interview with Pan Society talking to the Flipside

I was contacted by Laura of the Pan Society about appearing on her blog broadcast.  She was casually familiar with posts I've made about accessing the flipside.  When we finally connected, she suggested that we do a show about "evil and pain in the afterlife."
Laura Giles Pan Society
I jokingly said "Well, that interview would be me saying one sentence, and then we'd have the rest of the hour to discuss."  As I mentioned in my note to her this morning:

"Thanks for recording it. I will send you a transcript as soon as I can... it's worth looking over to see what else you may have recalled or remembered.  That is why I try to emphasize "learning new information."  The idea that you have had guides around you, that can communicate with you (including the fabulous "Pearl") is something you already know.  

But in this interview you got to learn more new information about them - including sort of what they present themselves as, the qualities of you that they represent, and how they can help guide you if need be.  (And guided you into my world).  

Just fabulous to meet them and you, and thanks for allowing us to take that adventure.  

As I said, if we had done a show about "evil and pain," I would have said "Well, based on the research, both of those are relative to this planet, that they don't exist per se, but are a produce of an ideation or mental construct of trying to navigate this lifetime."  

And then we would have spent an hour discussing how that may or may not be reflected in both our research.  

But instead - we got to explore a whole world - and wow! I forgot! We spoke to a pool of water.  I just got a chill recalling that.  

I can tell you that in doing the same kinds of explorations, I had a scientist with a PhD have a conversation with a "rock" that she held up out of a riverbed in her "place of healing" - I've had numerous conversations with trees - each one different, each one the person saw the tree, went up to the tree, I asked them to hug the three - and then to describe if they "felt anything about the tree that was unusual" and they all said "There's an entity here."  

Some described their lifetime on the planet (I remember one said they lived 640 years on earth, and considered humans no different than the insects that crawled over her - perhaps a bit more dangerous but no less or more important) - and like I said, the one who dropped the "plant a trillion trees" idea on me.  I later discovered they estimate there are 3 trillion trees on the planet - so that's not an insignificant amount, but obviously would make a dent in climate change. 

I've also asked about the "cleaning salt water" process in the past (from scientists like Hawking, Einstein, Sagan or Tesla) and all gave variations of the SAME things you mentioned. I don't know how much science you have in your background - but you mentioned (or the water mentioned) the same things that these sage physicists offered... so... WOW.

Like I say - I'm glad Pearl reminded me to take you there. I really was about to wrap it up, and had this thought "Pearl is telling you to take her to a place of healing."  I know what a place of healing refers to - it was short hand, I often ask a person at the end of our discussion to go there - but I wasn't about to, and it did pop into my head as if Pearl put it there.  

I try not to judge whatever I hear, sense or see during these sessions... it's easy to do afterwards, but while its occurring I've found I've had many unusual questions pop up.

I don't know about you, but I was exhausted yesterday after our hour - I mean as if "holding focus" for that long was exhausting. And I wasn't doing any of the work!  I was just holding on to what you were saying... and allowing questions to "bubble forth" to see what we might learn.

So - obviously you have an open channel to these folks. And if you have a hypnotherapist you "trade" with - meaning someone you trust to take you back there, you should pursue this on some level. I know Scott De Tamble ( my pal who was trained by Michael Newton and has let me film a number of sessions with him, has hypnotherapist friends and they do sessions "over the phone" like we did, skipping ahead to ask questions or get answers for things they're working on.  Something you have the obvious capacity to do!

Will send over the transcript as soon as I can."

Here's the interview:

As I posted on Facebook today:

Unusual podcast yesterday with Laura Giles of the Pan Society. A demonstration that a person doesn't have to use hypnosis to access the flipside. In her field, she was aware of her guides, but not with the kind of detail we explored. (A deep hypnosis session is preferable, as that can assist in long term healing.) 

This is a simple demonstration that shows a person always has assistance from the flipside. (Her guides say the same things others do). 

Warning: once you listen to this podcast you will never see water with the same eyes. If you don't want your consciousness filter altered I recommend NOT listening to the entire conversation. 

If you do then I suggest it's because your guides want you to open yourself up to the possibility. (For other examples with same results see


Talking to the Flipside without hypnosis

Interview with Pan Society, demonstrating one doesn't have to use hypnosis to access the flipside.


Talking to the Afterlife This Afternoon with Jennifer Shaffer

Talking to the flipside... with Jennifer Shaffer

Today was an unusual event. I had two old friends come by and meet up in Jennifer Shaffer's office in Manhattan Beach.  I've known them both for decades, one is slightly familiar with the kind of research I've been doing, the other was much less so.

Both had lost loved ones over the years, and there was at least one of those folks that we shared in common.  

Jennifer had met one of them through me on Skype in the past - and she brought a friend along for this unusual experiment.

I turned my camera on and let Luana Anders on the flipside lead the way. (Luana knew both of them well.)

This is my cousin Mary Vey Martini. I've spoken
to her on the flipside; here she is with her pup.

One friend wanted to speak to her dog who had passed away some years ago. I knew the dog, and in the past the dog had shown up in a session - mainly because I suggested it out of the blue.  "Hey can we talk to "so and so?"  My friend was confused - "How do we do that?" and Jennifer said "Why am I seeing a giant shag rug?"

That shag rug was our friend's dog.  The dog came through and had a number of things to say, about having the best of all possible lives, about how wonderful it was to share this person's lifetime.  But we did this session on Skype over a year ago, so it wasn't that fresh in our friend's mind - plus there's the inevitable "what did I just hear?" aspect to it.  

It's something that happens often in this research.
Luana Anders, our guide on the flipside
I have been working with Jennifer for five years now, basically once a week I bring my camera and film our interactions with people on the flipside. Luana Anders helps facilitate the sessions, organizes who we're going to speak with on the other side.

But if there's another person in the room observing these interactions, the details tend to "fly past them" - and later wonder if what they heard was what they heard.

That's why I film everything.

Today was no different.  I turned on the camera and let Jennifer speak directly to these two pals from their loved ones on the other side.

My friend with the dog had her father come forward - I knew her dad, and he expressed his joy with his daughter's life and work. The father accurately pointed out to Jennifer where he had lived in Los Angeles, naming the various cities where he owned property.  
Jennifer and George Noory
The person that I knew that they both knew came through as well. This colleague was funny, reminded them both of when they all knew each other in college - and at some point, I asked if he wanted to mention anything specifically to his old friend.  He said "I'm glad my friend got the gift I gave him."  

The friend asked what the gift was. "My compass" our friend on the flipside said.

I looked at his friend and he shook his head - "A compass? No. I don't have his compass."  And then after a beat - he froze. "Wait a second. His widow gave me a compass. It was his compass, but she gave it to me after he passed."
Boat Compass For Sale
Jennifer described the compass precisely - what box it was in, how it came into his possession, etc.  The look on his face shifted, and he realized he was speaking directly to one of his oldest friends who happened to be off the planet whose ashes he had scattered.

Then the friend's son came through - he had died suddenly a few years earlier, I knew no details about the son, didn't know the son - but the son came through and cleared up a number of puzzling things about his passing.  

Luana helps us to communicate with pals on the flipside

Some had thought he had taken his own life, others were unconvinced - he came through and described accurately what medicines he was taking, how it was a mistake that mixing them had taken his life - how he had wanted to wake up the next morning. He had definitely not planned to check himself off the planet.

But beyond that, he said to his father "C'mon dad! You know I would have gone out with a bang if I wanted to do it. I would have left a note! I would have written an epic swan song! You know what kind of writer I was! My goodbye note would have been epic! That's proof enough that I did not plan it." 

The father was in shock. He had just heard one of his oldest friends verify that he indeed could communicate with him, and now his son was telling him new information - something that was irrefutable. "Everything he is telling you is true. Yes, if he had planned it, he would have planned it in a bigger way."

It was thrilling to see. 

Both of these friends were able to sit with Jennifer and hear verifiable details about the afterlife, verifiable things only they knew, things they could only have known.

In 90 minutes, she proved on camera - that life goes on.

Now - I'm not mentioning who these pals are because they asked me not to.  I will transcribe their session and make it as anonymous as I can and put it into our next book: "Backstage Pass to the Flipside 3; Talking to the Afterlife with Jennifer Shaffer."  If they read the chapter, they'll know it happened - but for the rest of the planet, they won't know that these two pals had this epiphany today.

Because even those details don't prove a truth to everyone - they prove a truth to the individual who experiences these kinds of experiences.  

It's a bit like talking about skydiving or space travel - if we haven't done it, we can talk about it, believe in it - but unless we've experienced it, we don't really have a knowing of that event.  Knowing can be through experience. Burning a hand over a flame, skydiving, scuba diving - all are experiences.

I have experienced Jennifer's talents first hand.  I knew many of the people who came forward today who knew these friends and proved beyond a shadow of doubt to them that their loved ones still exist. 

It's a shame they can't shout these results from the rooftops - to tell their friends that life goes on, that they've experienced it first hand.

Because not everyone signs up for a lifetime to know how the play ends. Not everyone is supposed to "believe" that it's possible.  All I can do is film and transcribe and put these sessions into books.  But as I often say - don't take Jennifer's word for it, don't take my word for it - do your own research, find out for yourself what loved ones want to reach out to you.  

They've been trying to do so ever since they departed and the only reason they can't is that their loved ones back here on the planet "doesn't believe" that they can.

So try to open yourself up to the possibility that life goes on. That tip came from Harry Dean Stanton during a session with the flipside, when he showed up after his passing and before his memorial service to tell me to tell his friends to "believe in the afterlife."

I laughed. "Harry all your friends are atheists. They aren't going to believe that you came to me to tell me to tell them to believe in the afterlife."  He said "Then tell them to believe in the possibility of an afterlife. Then they won't waste another minute of their life, like I did, arguing about it."

Harry showed up today - I mentioned that he's the Linda Ronstadt documentary, and he had some advice for both of his pals, one who knew him well, and the other who knew him in passing.  The message still holds, and is still important to repeat; believe in the possibility - and that helps them to reach out to us directly.

Pretty amazing. 


Maverick and Hell and Meghan McCain

Someone posted this comment on my page today regarding the idea that John McCain spoke to me and Jennifer Medlyn Shaffer during one of our sessions:
"If john mccain was talking to Richard there must be hotline to Hell!" It's a funny comment, but my reply to this comment is funnier (see posted below).

Hey, I can fly! (just kidding) In this talk I mention our interview with John (Maverick) 

My reply to the comment that "John McCain must be in hell" -

"Let's be clear. I didn't vote for the guy - so when I "heard" his voice in my apt. say "I understand you're the guy I need to speak with to pass along a message to my family" I was startled. I may even have been in the shower, so it was extra weird.  I first said to myself "Why would I ever heard the voice of John McCain? I'm not a fan - I knew his chief of staff back in the 90's, but never met the fellow."  So I replied; "Get in line.  If you want to speak with me you know what's required. Get a pass from Luana Anders and Jennifer Shaffer and I will speak with you."

I'm not making this up - that's what I said. On my way to my weekly meeting with Jennifer in her office in Manhattan Beach, as I drove along the coast, I said his name aloud "John. McCain."  

Again - I wasn't looking to chat with him, but prior to this meeting did my usual amount of research into his life and journey. What kind of music he liked, how many times he was married, what his journey might have been like.  I know he's a hero - I know he suffered immeasurably by being tortured, I knew he couldn't lift his arm above a certain height.  I have respect for the guy even if I did not agree with his overall political journey.

So when I got to Jennifer's office and turned on the camera, she said "Maverick is here."  At first I thought of the Tom Cruise movie - but then remembered that was his nickname.  Jennifer is apolitical as it is - she keeps her opinions in the confines of our sessions, but for her to blurt out "Maverick is here" meant she could not think of his name. I said "Who's that?" She said "That guy. The Senator who died recently. What's his name."

It's on camera. She didn't know his name - if she had thought he might show up, she might have thought to look up his name. But she didn't know it.  He had stuff he wanted to say - and I asked Luana (on the flipside) why he was allowed to "jump the line" (its our running joke - she holds the "Backstage Pass" list for these sessions.  It was Tom Petty who suggested that Luana "holds the clipboard to the vip lounge" and what inspired the title of the books; "Backstage Pass to the Flipside: Talking to the Afterlife with Jennifer Shaffer.") She said "He earned it."

I'm answering your comment in full - knowing that you were kidding, or perhaps not - but the idea of anyone "being in hell" on the flipside is a joke. I've filmed over 50 sessions of deep hypnosis, compared it with thousands of other cases (Dr. Wambach and Michael Newton) and they all say the same thing; "there is no hell. It's a made up thing by humanity to keep people in line."  It's not my opinion they say that - not my theory they say that - I film them saying it.

So ain't no hell for John to come from. 

I posted the interview on - and on - anyone can find it.  Anyone who reads it can tell by my questions I was not in awe of the fact he'd shown up - in fact I pressed him on many questions. I asked him if he'd encountered any of the soldiers he'd killed in Vietnam.  I asked him what seeing them was like. I asked him about his torture, about his experience in the Senate - about anything that popped into my head.  And "he" answered the questions with humor, wit and the usual kinds of things he was known for.  At some point, I dropped my skeptical tone - appreciating finally for a moment that it's hard for them to come forward like this in this fashion - they know how ridiculed they would be doing so, or that I would be doing so.

But I have a reputation on the flipside (funny to say it, but I don't know how else to put it) of being someone who when asked to "pass along a message to a family member" I will do so. Even if the family member is incredulous, angry, or somehow thinks I'm exploiting their loved one's memory. ("You're a grief thief" someone wrote to me - as if it was a bad thing to steal someone's grief.  If that's true, I'll wear that badge.)

I think what impressed me most was John talking about the "medals" he had won on the flipside. He mentioned a particular medal I've heard of before, one that is "awarded" to people who've done an incredible service to humanity - and it was mentioned in an interview with a medium, Tony Stockwell.  

Tony had never seen or heard of "medals on the flipside" before - but I had. And he described one of his council members wearing a "star."  I asked if it was a pin or a medal, and he said "no, I'm seeing it now - it's an actual star and it is glowing and serves a function to elevate people to other realms."  The point isn't about the star - it's about the fact that Tony was being shown this star when I asked him if he saw that his lead council member was "wearing anything that he'd earned from a difficult lifetime."

With during a typical interview session

Apparently Mr. Maverick has earned three - one for his sacrifice during the Vietnam war (he was offered a ticket out and remained to be tortured so he wouldn't be considered above his fellow men), he earned one by his bout with cancer, demonstrating that he could fight through anything, he earned it for his service to humanity with the many people of his home state that he helped that we'll never know.  

When I heard that he had "earned the same kind of medal that Tony earned, but three of them" I knew I should pay closer attention to his simple request.

And that was to pass along a message to his daughter.  So politics aside, if you know anything about the journey we all take - you'll know that it takes a great deal of effort to be able to show up at a stranger's home, "speak loud enough so he can hear you" and then show up at a medium's session a week later, and have specific detailed messages to give.

We all vibrate at the frequency that our work takes us - musicians hang out on the flipside, politicians hang out, as do painters, bankers, etc - they all radiate "the same frequency" of the energy of their endeavors. Again - not my opinion, just my observation from the data.  

So - yes, this is a long reply - and it's because even though I'm not a voting member of Arizona, I respect Maverick's journey - and his desire to communicate with his daughter.  

George Noory of Coast to Coast fame offered to pass along the unedited transcripts - I have no idea what his daughter thinks of them, but if you hear she's running for office; you'll know who suggested it. 
(Not me.)


Home For the Holidays

As we enter the holiday season, there's a certain amount of stress, angst and worry about our loved ones no longer being on the planet - or a feeling of disconnectedness that some feel. They can't be home for the holidays, and so instead they feel awful for the holidays.

Here's the deal.  You can't be home for the holidays unless you're dead.

I've been filming people under deep hypnosis for over a decade, and have had over 50 people reply to the question "so what happens next?" they say "I go home."

They are referring to "home" as being "not here." They're talking about the afterlife. They're talking about where they came from before they were here - and where we all go when the play is over, when the performance is through.

When asked to define "home" they say "a place of familiarity" "a place of non judgment" "a place where I feel unconditionally loved."  I've heard people describe this place after they had a near death experience, I've heard people use those terms when describing the moment they met the "love of their life" - their husband or wife in a kismet moment - where they "knew" (past tense) that the person they're meeting for the first time was going to be their husband, wife, lover, etc.

Happens all the time.

But how do they know? Well, they just do.  It's a past tense form of expression - but when meeting a person for the very first time they report "I knew them."  Which points to where they first met them - home.

Back home.

Yes, I'm aware that the concept of being "home for the holidays" comes from the same root equation.  Home is a place of love, of happiness, of warmth and connection... but I'm telling you that HOME is where we all return after our life is done here.

Home for the Holidays - and all the days.

Until we decide to return.

So when you hear someone say they want to be "home for the holidays" or that they miss being "home for the holidays" appreciate that the phrase has two meanings.  Indeed, we all miss being "home" - however we chose to come here, we weren't pushed out of a car that was speeding by - we choose our parents our path, our journey. (Or so the reports claim).

Yes, I know there are alot of people who are offended by this idea - that they "chose" their lifetime - but I can only point to the thousands of cases from Dr. Helen Wambach ("Reliving Past Lives") or Michael Newton "Journey of Souls" or the cases I've filmed in "Flipside" "It's a Wonderful Afterlife" or "Hacking the Afterlife."

However - if a loved one is gone during this time period and you want to speak with them you can.  You can do a deep hypnosis session (I tend to recommend hypnotherapists trained by the Newton Institute because I've filmed so many of them) but one can visit a medium (I work often with Jennifer Shaffer at and have a direct conversation with that loved one who can't be "Here" for the holidays.

They haven't gone anywhere really - they're just not here. And don't take my word for it, speak to them directly yourself.  As Jennifer and I point out in the books "Backstage Pass to the Flipside: Talking to the Afterlife with Jennifer Shaffer" anyone can do the same.  One doesn't need a hypnotherapist or a medium if they want to reach out on their own.

I write on Quora often and recently a person wrote and said he was a skeptic, but he had "followed" what I recommended (it's in "Backstage Pass") on how to "connect with a loved one on the other side."  He said he had imagined, meditated on the idea of sitting across from his deceased mother for ten minutes, and finally asked her a question. "Who was there to greet you on the other side?"  He was startled to hear her say a name.

He had never heard the name before.  "Hugh Nessel."  He wrote it down and then reached out to his sister, the keeper of family memorabilia and asked if she'd heard of the name - and she replied "Yes. It was her maternal grandfather."  Something this gent didn't know - could not have known - and yet was told by his departed mother.

Not gone, just not here.

So on this holiday season - bring them all close by talking about them in present tense, by allowing that although it's difficult that it's possible to communicate with those no longer on the planet, and ask them in real time "to communicate" in some fashion - could be a dream, a sign (lights going on and off, a particular song or scent) and allow that it's possible for them to reply.  I've heard consistently that they appreciate it.  And they'll let you know they do in the best way they can.

So stay here for the holidays and focus on sending love to everyone you know or who have ever met.  It will eventually find it's way back to you.

Ho ho ho

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