Proof of the Afterlife from the Queen of Soul

Proof of the Afterlife from the Queen of Soul

Aretha Franklin 1968.jpg

Aretha in Billboard 1968. Wikimedia.

I began interviewing people on the flipside with the help of Jennifer Shaffer (who works with law enforcement cases nationwide) a few years ago. We hear all kinds of unusual information in these "chats with the flipside" - if someone comes forward and asks me to "pass along some information" to their loved ones, I do my best to do so.

The first people we interviewed I put in "Hacking the Afterlife"  but then once we began to "talk to" friends of mine who had passed away, a number of them brought their friends - and those friends brought their friends - our "group chats" can get pretty crowded.  

Luana Anders, our moderator (in Dementia 13)
But as noted, my friend Luana Anders (who is on the flipside) is our moderator, and the keeper of the "backstage passes" for purposes of our discussion.
(Actually it was Tom Petty (someone I never met) who dubbed her as the "person with the clipboard behind the velvet rope who has the backstage passes." Hence the title to the book "Backstage Pass to the Flipside: Talking to the Afterlife with Jennifer Shaffer.")

For example, Bill Paxton came forward to speak to us shortly after his passing (as well as two other mediums that I know) and there's a film on Gaia (the sound was poorly mixed, apologies, so they're replacing it as we speak) where I highlight excerpts from three different mediums who spoke directly to my old friend Billy, including Jennifer.  Viewers can see Jennifer on camera realizing who "Billy" is - as she didn't know who she was talking to until he showed her a visual of himself going to view the Titanic.

All three mediums gave the same answers to the same questions I asked him - and since I'd known him since both our careers began, I was able to verify the details he was giving. So thank you Billy and Happy Birthday (May 17th.)  

If anyone would like a taste of what it's like to "talk to" and "get answers" from a friend on the flipside, the film "Backstage Pass to the Flipside: Talking to Bill Paxton" will be uploaded in a few days (again apologies for the "overmixed" version). 

Now, on to other flipside matters.

After Aretha Franklin passed, she "showed up" during one of our interviews.  

Jennifer Shaffer's pic taken by Dave Chappelle

After her passing, Aretha appeared to Jennifer in our "class" which is attended by friends of mine who are on the flipside, and then friends of friends (including Ray Charles who was in my film "Limit Up" as I worked with him) and there are other members of our class who are "friends" of hers (Sydney Pollack, who directed "Amazing Grace"), and those friends of hers invited her.  However she wasn't prepared to "speak" with us when Jennifer first saw her. So I invited her to "take a seat" and observe what people were doing, and encouraged her to speak up if she wanted to at a later time.  

                                   My film where Ray Charles plays God and
                                   Danitra Vance is a guardian angel

I am aware that the process they go through to communicate is "complex" like higher math, and in order for them to do so, they require the same kind of focus and concentration that Jennifer Shaffer does when she does a session.  So by suggesting Aretha "take a seat" is to suggest that they can observe the process of "lowering their vibration" to be able to "talk" or "send images" to a medium.  It apparently is something that has to be learned or observed.  

By the end of our session, she wanted to say something. 

From "Amazing Grace" Warner Bros.

This was filmed with Jennifer Shaffer on 8-24-18 My questions are in italics, Jennifer's replies are in bold.

Rich: Does Aretha want to talk to us?
Jennifer: Yes. She says “She’s having a blast, she’s having so much fun... I feel like she’s still learning... how to learn how to heal herself... I felt her doing that. Does she have a sister? I feel like she’s up there with her... there are two up there with her... one is... down here?
(Note: All of her sisters have crossed, but she may be referring to someone who “feels like a sister” as she says later.)

Rich: I read that she didn’t leave a will. 

Jennifer: She says “She does have a will but they don’t know where it is.” "It's not with an attorney....  No, they won’t know where it is. It it feels like one of her sisters does, or someone who is like a sister to her." “She won’t know (where it is) but she will know...” She’s explaining that she won’t know... but that she should know...
What’s her name (who should know)?
Something with an S.

Okay, you want me to write about this?
She wants you to write about it... (Jennifer aside) I can’t believe I’m talking to Aretha! I just have to go with it. I’ve never heard her voice up close.  She’s putting me in a sweat... Hold on. She says “She wants to go back to the will. Feels like it’s in a house back in the 1980’s.”

(Note: It was found in a house in Detroit. I don't know who owns it or when she lived in it.)

Rich: So is it in a computer, in a file somewhere that’s named “will?”
Jennifer: I asked her: “Is it supposed to be found?” I’m getting it might never be found. She says they’re “still not looking in the right place.”

(Note: I suggested it was a file - typed up - not Jennifer. Typed onto a computer, as I was misunderstanding what she was saying was it was an old "file" - I was thinking efile).

Things could change...
I think they’re going to find something – and (then) I think it’s going to be contested... Hold on. She keeps showing me Whitney Houston. (Listens) She says she had a great love for Whitney, felt like she felt a great responsibility for Whitney – I don’t know.
Okay, I’ll look that up.

(Note: I did. Aretha was very close with Cissy Houston, Whitney’s mom, and took care of Whitney often. (Did not know that, nor was Jennifer aware of it). They were very close, and Whitney's bio says they spent a lot of time together. Not something I knew, or that Jennifer could have known. I asked her where the will might be - and she had a hard time describing it to us.  "Locked away" in a place "where no one knows it is" but in a file "with other items" etc. Reportedly Aretha didn't own a computer or ever wrote on one.)

Rich: You did say a girl with the name S has your will. Who is that?
Jennifer: Did she have a daughter?
I don’t know – I don’t think so.
It feels like (a daughter named) Shannon. Shaneen... or Shawna?

(Note: The name was "Sabrina." When the film "Amazing Grace" came out, I looked up who was involved with Aretha's estate.  It turns out Ms. Sabrina Owens, her niece was unanimously appointed to be executor. I reached out to Ms. Owens and she said "Aretha didn't own a computer so this couldn't be her."  However, she offered that it wasn't that she didn't believe in the afterlife, she wrote that since her mother (Aretha's sister) had passed, she felt she was around her often.)

Filmed in April, 2019

Hello Jennifer. Class. 
I’ve got goose bumps.
I was just talking about how I reached out to Aretha’s niece Ms. Owens, how she wrote me back. Aretha, can I ask you some follow up questions? You told us the will was written in 1982. What did you mean by that? Was it typed up in 1982?
It was handwritten in 1979 feels like.
Did someone else write it, like a secretary?
She wrote it.

(Note: Some of the details were inaccurate - like it being written in 1982 or 1979. According to the NBC report below, it was written in 2010. However that doesn't mean she didn't write it earlier as well.)  Jennifer is just responding to what she's seeing or being given. I try to include both the inaccurate and accurate details - everything is subject to interpretation. The 1982 may refer to another document.  When something is inaccurate, that allows people to "toss everything out" - which may be the best for them, but doesn't eliminate the many details that are accurate.)

I wrote to your daughter, (Aretha's sister's daughter).
“Thank you.”
Are you aware of what I wrote to her?
So is it accurate? What did we get wrong?
The typewriting thing...

(Note: I wrote about it being "typed up" which is inaccurate.  So it's like she was corrected that part of it. It was handwritten.)

The will?
It was written in 1979 – it felt like her dad was present...
Maybe her secretary or his secretary typed it up?
I feel like it was handwritten.
By who?


(Note: Her dad being present could have been him "from the flipside" as well.)

Who... has this document? Is this someone in your family...?
“Someone in her family,” she says.
Would your daughter Sabrina know who this is?
“Yes.... They don’t know that they have it but they do.”
So it’s in a two story house, upstairs?
Feels like it’s in an office.
Is it a female or male who owns this house?
Is it in a filing box or a cabinet?
In a little box.
Are there other things in the box?
Yes, newspaper clippings. I saw like old newspaper clippings.
Okay, that’s pretty specific. Anything you want me to tell your daughter, Sabrina?
She blew (her) a big kiss. Now she’s showing me a ring.
Is it Aretha’s ring or her mom's ring?
It’s Sabrina’s ring – she says it’s a ring that Sabrina has that she should clean and wear.
Is this a ring Aretha gave to her Sabrina's mom? Or that you used to wear?
She gave it to Sabrina... gave the ring to Sabrina.  But it was originally Aretha’s. 

(Note: Ms. Owens says she has a number of rings from her aunt Aretha.  Her email mentions that she knows her mother is watching over her, and that she often reaches out to her for guidance (and helps her finding things "as a result of asking"). Ms. Owens says she knows our "loved ones stick around to guide and protect us," but did not believe the information provided by the medium was accurate." She says she was not surprised to find the wills where they were, or that the wills were handwritten - as Aretha was "old school." I mention this to point out that I'm not claiming that we helped her find the will - we did not - but we did pass along accurate information to her.)

Jennifer Shaffer in action

So - let's put it this way.  This post is a litmus test for people about the flipside.  

I contend that the research demonstrates that "life goes on, that are loved ones are like butterflies while we focus on the chyrsalis" and many of us are not open to the idea that life goes on, or that we can communicate with our loved ones (who are the butterflies in this analogy while we remain the caterpillars).  

In some cases, they're "open" to the idea that their loved ones guide them, but not open to the idea that the conversation can be as direct as we are doing.  And I respect that as well, because it's not up to me to change anyone's idea or opinion about anything.

However, there are some who will see these "edited transcripts" as proof positive that there is an afterlife.  After all, I didn't know she had a niece, didn't know her niece's name began with the letter S or sounded like Shawna; I didn't know that she had a handwritten will, or that she gave anyone a ring ever.  

Yet these were all accurate things that happened.

I do know that I've verified many of the sessions that Jennifer and I have done with those on the flipside, and have written about them (Harry Dean Stanton, Bill Paxton, etc) and this is just one more.  
Partners in chatting to the flipside

We did not find Aretha's handwritten will as directed by Aretha.  But we did learn things that only Aretha knew, that only Aretha could observe, or pass along to us.  It's not my job to convince anyone that there is an afterlife, nor is it Jennifer's.  The reason we do this work is to "open up people's minds to the possibility that there is an afterlife."

Here's the article from NBC's website:

"Aretha Franklin's handwritten wills, if real, shed light on a titanic — and complicated — life..."

Image: Aretha Franklin performs at New York's Radio City Music Hall

Aretha Franklin at Radio City Music Hall in July 1989. Mario Suriani / AP file

May 21, 2019 

By Alex Johnson

"Representatives of Aretha Franklin's estate and her family have asked a judge to tell them what to do with three handwritten wills found hidden in her home, one of which includes a big surprise.

The wills were discovered May 3 in Franklin's Detroit-area home, two in a locked closet for which the key was hard to find and one in a spiral notebook stuffed under cushions on a sofa, according to documents filed Monday in probate court in Oakland County, Michigan.

When Franklin died in August, lawyers reported that she had no will.

3 handwritten wills found in Aretha Franklin's home
The 16 scrawled pages haven't yet been authenticated as being in Franklin's handwriting, attorneys for Franklin's four sons and the personal representative in charge of the estate wrote. And even if they are real, it's not clear that they're valid, according to the court documents, which ask the judge to sort through it all and determine where to go next..."

Image: Purported Aretha Franklin will
A page from one of three handwritten wills believed to have been left by Aretha Franklin, who died last year.Oakland County, Michigan, Probate Court

Only respect to Aretha and her family and loved ones.  I'm very glad they found a written example of what she wanted to pass along.  And glad to be able to repeat it here.

Harry Dean Stanton and pal.

Finally, last Thursday, I was writing a reply on Quora about "proof of the afterlife."  I pointed out that Harry Dean Stanton had come to a session with me and Jennifer after he passed but before his memorial service.  Harry Dean reported things about who was in the room when he died (a detail I didn't know but later verified) what he said to those people in the room (a detail I didn't know but later verified) and he had specific private messages (about health) to friends of his that were going to be at his memorial service.  I passed those messages along privately and each one of them was startled, as they were absolutely accurate.

But when I sat down to interview Jennifer last Thursday, she said "Harry Dean Stanton is here."  I asked "Why?" She said "it's about something you wrote.  How it reverberates."  I said "That's funny, I was quoting Harry Dean this morning to someone on Quora.  I was telling the story of we had asked Harry what he wanted me to say at his memorial service; "Tell people to believe in the afterlife."

Knowing what a skeptic he was in life, how he was famous for being an atheist who said "nothing happens when we die" ad nauseum, I laughed and said "Harry. None of your atheists friends are going to believe me if I say that at your memorial service."

He said "Then tell them to BELIEVE IN THE POSSIBILITY OF AN AFTERLIFE and then they won't waste any more of their life arguing about it like I did."

Jennifer said "He wants to thank you for posting that."  Okay. You're welcome Harry.

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