If I can set the stage for the following, I'll offer by way of explanation; "I was a hall monitor in high school." I'm not sure how I got the gig, I don't remember lobbying for it - but I would sit at the end of the hallway asking for a "pass" before allowing someone to go on their way.
And sometimes I'd stop fights "Hey! You really don't want to do that!" That was one thing that came out of my mouth one day - as if I knew the arc of this person's life and that punching out a fellow student, or being bloodied by the victim was not something they wanted to do.
|Glenbrook North. Billy Meyer 21 has his hands where they should not be.|
I was a football player in high school, guard then middle linebacker, I roamed the field with abandon, would work myself into a semi trance prior to the game, and generally was considered a formidable foe. (I once heard the coach of our opponent say out loud "Stay away from Martini. He's the best player on the team!")
I like to think I heard it that way. (Coach AllBright of New Trier. He had been my coach freshman year, then he was elevated to Senior coach at the toughest school in the league that year. And indeed they did stay away from me the entire game (except for one pass where they fooled me badly because I thought "finally!" and race up to make the tackle as the ball sailed over my head and went for 20 yards.) But enough about me.
|"Enough about me. What do you think about me?"|
with Rebecca Broussard, Anne Cusack on set of my film
"Point of Betrayal" film directing era
This is a post about the flipside. I guess I'm talking about my football bonafides (8 years in grade and high school) because I have a fondness for the Chicago Bears. I grew up with the names Butkus and Ditka, and later was thrilled to see McMahon, The Fridge, Dave Duerson and company swallow the entire league in their Super Bowl run.
I mention this because I talked to Dave Duerson recently.
|Dave Duerson. Super Bowl Winning Chicago Bear.|
For those of you not aware, Dave killed himself back in 2011; he was having brain problems and issues from CTE, left a note for them to donate his brain to science and then shot himself. A year later, his colleague Junior Seau did the same thing.
Fans of this blog will note that during a session with Paul Allen (I thought, hey Paul Allen passed, I wonder if we can chat with him?) he came clearly through, talked to us about his passing, his legacy, his brain institute, and told us that a "football player was the person to greet him on the other side."
|Paul started Microsoft, but purchased a football team,|
something he loved since he was a kid. Seahawks.
More specifically two football players.
Jennifer Shaffer, my partner in this endeavor, was accessing Paul Allen through Luana Anders, my pal on the flipside who is a mirror image of Jennifer in that she's a medium "over there" that helps people chat to us "over here."
I can tell you as far as the public record is concerned, Paul Allen donated 300 million to his brain institute. As far as I can discern they are NOT studying CTE, but they are studying the brain. However, these players told us that Paul had spent time and money trying to create stronger helmets (nothing I could find in the research) and that he felt badly because he owned a team and knew that players were suffering and that he could do something about it.
|Jennifer Shaffer and Gina Seau|
Then I saw on ESPN Junior Seau's widow Gina talking about CTE and how much it affected her life, so I reached out to her on social media. Something like "I know this sounds weird but I think Junior showed up in a session I was filming the other day with Jennifer." Gina was intrigued, curious and we spoke about her coming up to meet Jennifer ... and I suggested an experiment. "Let's do a session with Jennifer - I won't tell her anything about you, and let's see if Junior shows up." I told her I would film it (I did) and that it would be part of a chapter in an upcoming book. (It will be.)
I did not tell Jennifer anything about her at all.
We went to Jennifer Shaffer's office and started filming. In a few minutes, she was connected to Gina's husband (didn't know his name, but he kept showing her a version of "mini me" (Junior)). Jennifer correctly stated part of his birth name (which I wasn't aware of) and she said that her husband was chatting with his wife earlier in the day (she said she "heard him") - and knew the objects in her purse she brought to show Jennifer.
And then suddenly Jennifer looked at me and said "Oh! This is the guy! That football player who showed up with the Microsoft guy!"
|UPI photo. Junior Seau|
It was startling. I filmed her seeing that "Polynesia football player" during the session with Paul Allen, and now her she was recognizing him from that event, live on camera)
We spent the next hour with Junior - as he apologized to his wife for the wacky behavior he credited to CTE, all the things that had gone wrong, and described in detail what it was like to live with CTE. He offered that players and the league need to do more, protect more, find better ways to armor their heads and shoulders. (Gina said that it was comforting to know that he's still around, especially for the children he left behind.)
About a month later, during the start of a session, Jennifer said; "That Microsoft guy is back. He says we're not done. Then Junior came forward and said "You're missing the other player."
And then he brought Dave Duerson forward. (Dave told us that "The Fridge " had "given CTE to a number of people" while playing football, but noted that how he's suffering from it now). Jennifer didn't know who "the Fridge" was, but I did when he said it.
|William Perry "The Fridge" from Yahoo Sports article|
"likely suffering from CTE"
All I can say is that we hear it often. "We know we are still here. Our loved ones don't believe we are. It's annoying because we are still involved, we want to help them, we have a different perspective and can see things they cannot. But they insist that we don't exist."
I've noted previously that we talked to Aretha Franklin and she told us that her niece would find her "handwritten will." I did the research, discovered that indeed her niece was the executor for her estate, and let her know we had chatted with her aunt. She said that she was in contact with her own mother on the flipside, but didn't believe what Jennifer had said to tell her. Then after she did find the handwritten will, I wrote to her again, and she said that "she always felt she would find the will, and while she believed she is in contact with her own mom on the flipside, that what Aretha told us was inaccurate."
Which is fine. Again, it wasn't my idea to pass along to a perfect stranger a note from her aunt on the Flipside. It's not up to me to convince anyone of anything. I did my job passing it along (to her and other musicians who have come forward to help assist their families with lawsuits.) Those folks have heard from this wacky filmmaker in LA who claims their loved ones asked me to reach out to them. I can only report. We may have the details of the message incorrect, or precisely what they said - but the important part of the message is to let them know "they still exist. Are not gone. They just aren't here."
|BACKSTAGE PASS BOOK TWO|
More than once I've been standing somewhere - on our balcony, watching the sunset, and I hear somewhere in my head "I understand you're the guy I need to speak to about contacting my family."
|BOOK ONE BACKSTAGE PASS|
I try not to judge when that happens. ("Robert Kennedy? Really? What could you possibly tell me that I could pass along to anyone?" "John McCain? Really? I wasn't a fan of your politics, and even though you want your daughter to run for Governor, how the hell am I going to get that message to her?")
I don't mean to be coy but Robert came through and asked me to reach out to his daughter Rory (@RoryEKennedy) and encourage her to make a documentary about his life and death, and that the "truth" needs to be told about what "really happened." (Not the official story, two shooters, etc) I said "I'm sorry, that's a tall order, as much as I'm a fan of you and your work, why dig up that kind of trauma? It's history now. How does it help?" (He was saying those behind his death are still alive, and that there are people alive who can tell the story accurately, and he wants his daughter (a filmmaker) to do so.)
I must say - I have resisted writing this into a post - the Kennedy family has enough to deal with without people claiming to talk to their loved ones on the flipside (it will be in the next book) but I will add that the following week, someone else came through - someone who was famous over 150 years ago, the wife of someone we had interviewed - and she said "I want to tell you that you were wrong to tell Robert that his story is history." She said "We still exist, and these events mean alot to us, and it's important to rip the bandage off to get the wound to heal the nation. The whole country is going through that now with the current President, so you might as well report what really happened so people can heal." Note taken.
But when someone shows up to "speak with us" I tell them the same thing:
"Get in line."
We have a line of people who want to speak to us, we have a formal process. They have to get their "backstage pass" from Luana Anders - and then they have to wait until Jennifer and I are together to sort out what it is they want.
|She's got the clipboard.|
So - Junior Seau and Dave Duerson both want to thank the doctors who helped figure out that CTE was behind their demise. They offer that there are more athletes than we know (including hockey players or surfers) who are suffering from CTE and in need of help. They specifically pointed to Joe Namath (who said he had cured his CTE through oxygen therapy) as a person who is on the right track. They claim that Joe's method of curing CTE is worth exploring.
This isn't coming from me or Jennifer. I had NO IDEA JOE NAMATH HAD CURED HIS CTE. Jennifer, in three separate sessions said "There's a quarterback, he has wavy hair, I can't think of his name - but they're showing me this guy." I filmed all three of those sessions and then the last time instead of looking up "quarterbacks who died from possible CTE" I looked up "Quarterbacks. Famous. CTE" and found Joe. (See this article: Joe Namath believes he's found a cure for CTE)
I texted his photo to Jennifer and she wrote back "THAT'S HIM!"
|Joe Namath on YouTube|
So - Junior Seau and Dave Duerson teamed up to tell us that CTE is something that can be protected against with better padding ("think a knight's armor that went from the shoulders up") and that oxygen therapy (hyperbaric therapy) is a method that can cure or help the symptoms. Dave says by 2050 the game will be "virtual and the injuries won't occur at all."
From your lips to God's ear Dave.
Then last week Bill Paxton came through to say hello. Said he wanted to reiterate that he's still one of the funniest guys I ever met (accurate) and that he's still keeping an eye on his family and loved ones. But when I asked him "What should I post on my blog that will be helpful to those who don't believe we can access you?" and he suggested the following clip.
So - this is me and a skeptic talking about the flipside live on camera. I was on Susan Pinsky, Dr. Drew's wife's blog radio talk show and prior to coming on, I was talking to him about the work and said "Hey, you want to see where we can go?" and he said "Sure."
A true scientist doesn't bother with what he believes or doesn't believe (he does not believe in an afterlife) - he allows the data to lead him down the path. In this case, I had no idea what he would say, what I would say - but I can tell you that in the 50 cases I've filmed of people under deep hypnosis, and the dozens I've recorded without hypnosis since. they all say the same things about "guides" and "councils."
This clip is courtesy of my old pal Bill Paxton.
So believe, don't believe - I've been demonstrating for awhile now that ANYONE can talk to the flipside, and they don't need to be under any form of hypnosis. (Although Drew said "I felt hypnotized." I said "That's fine, but I'm not a trick hypnosis guy - and you said the SAME THINGS everyone else says about their council and guides. How could that be if you were making it up?")
And finally, a note about Robin Williams.
|It's been five years since he checked off the planet.|
Happy flipside birthday Robin.
As Jennifer's dad told us "Try to turn grief to nostalgia. Grief has only sad memories. Nostalgia has both sad and happy memories. When you can turn grief to nostalgia you begin the healing process." When we asked Robin for a blurb for "Hacking the Afterlife" he said "love love."
My guess what he means is love what you do, love who you are, love those around you, love the love baby, love what is, could be, ever was, its why to get up in the morning, why to get into bed at night (with whoever's stealing covers), why we choose pistachio over peanut butter.
|Jennifer Shaffer trying to keep a lid on me.|