The Book 4th Edition
26. Lawyers Who Were Convinced by the Evidence
Furthermore, let me say that over twenty years in the active
practice of law, largely in trial cases, coming in contact
with many great minds, has qualified me to do certain things:
i.e. to estimate the weight and value of evidence fairly;
to detect fraud in any guise; to know when a fact is proved.”
Edward C. Randall, attorney and afterlife researcher
Space does not permit us to delve deeply into the writings
of the number of lawyers who have investigated and accepted
the paranormal and the afterlife. Accordingly, I have chosen
three very exceptional lawyers who would be representative.
More than the members of any other profession, lawyers
and judges are trained to evaluate the credibility of witnesses,
and the strength of evidence. So I was impressed when I
found a number of lawyers and judges, at the top of their
profession, who investigated the evidence for the afterlife
and were prepared to make a public stand to support it,
with absolutely nothing to gain, and often at great personal
These were men of the highest intellectual caliber who
all approached the subject in a rational and objective manner
applying the legal test of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.
All had been open-minded skeptics to begin with and all
maintained their conviction until their deaths.
Judge John Worth Edmonds’ dramatic
Judge Edmonds was at the height of his career in early
1851 when he decided to investigate the mediumship of the
Fox sisters. He had been a member of both branches of the
New York State Parliament, and, for some time, President
of the Senate and a Judge of the New York State Supreme
He detailed his investigation of the afterlife and his conclusions
with the same precision as he would write a judgment on
a matter before the court, in a letter addressed "To
the Public," published in the New York Courier
and dated New York, August 1, 1853.It is worth quoting this
judge, using his own words. It shows his depth, his intellect,
his emotions, his empirical perception, his feelings and
his his rationale. It also shows the long process which
all informed open-minded skeptical enquirers go though,
as they try to balance the evidence of their own eye-witness
experiences with their “intellect” and materialist
It was January 1851 that my attention was first called
to the subject of "spiritual intercourse." I
was at the time withdrawn from general society; I was
laboring under great depression of spirits. I was occupying
all my leisure in reading on the subject of death and
man's existence afterward. I had, in the course of my
life, read and heard from the pulpit so many contradictory
and conflicting doctrines on the subject, that I hardly
knew what to believe.
I could not, if I would, believe what I did not understand,
and was anxiously seeking to know, if, after death, we
should again meet with those whom we had loved here, and
under what circumstances. I was invited by a friend to
witness the "Rochester Knockings." I complied
more to oblige her, and to while away a tedious hour.
I thought a good deal on what I witnessed, and I determined
to investigate the matter and find out what it was. If
it was a deception, or a delusion, I thought that I could
detect it. For about four months I devoted at least two
evenings in a week and sometimes more to witnessing the
phenomena in all its phases. I kept careful records of
all I witnessed, and from time to time compared them with
each other, to detect inconsistencies and contradictions.
I read all I could lay my hands on, on the subject, and
especially all the professed "exposures of the humbug."
I went from place to place, seeing different mediums,
meeting with different parties of persons, often with
persons whom I had never seen before, and sometimes where
I was myself entirely unknown-sometimes in the dark and
sometimes in the light-often with inveterate unbelievers,
and more frequently with zealous believers.
In fine, I availed myself of every opportunity that was
afforded, thoroughly to sift the matter to the bottom.
I was all this time an unbeliever, and tried the patience
of believers sorely by my skepticism, my captiousness,
and my obdurate refusal to yield my belief.
I saw around me some who yielded a ready faith on one
or two sittings only; others again, under the same circumstances,
avowing a determined unbelief; and some who refused to
witness it at all, and yet were confirmed unbelievers.
I could not imitate either of these parties, and refused
to yield unless upon most irrefragable testimony. At length
the evidence came, and in such force that no sane man
could withhold his faith.
After depending upon my senses, as to these various phases
of the phenomenon, I invoked the aid of science, and,
with the assistance of an accomplished electrician and
his machinery, and eight or ten intelligent, educated,
shrewd persons, examined the matter. We pursued our inquiries
many days, and established to our satisfaction two things:
first, that the sounds were not produced by the agency
of any person present or near us; and, second, that they
were not forthcoming at our will and pleasure.
While these things were going on, there appeared in the
newspapers various explanations and "exposures of
the humbug," as they were termed. I read them with
care, in the expectation of being assisted in my researches,
and I could not but smile at once at the rashness and
the futility of the explanations. For instance, while
certain learned professors in Buffalo were congratulating
themselves on having detected it in the toe and knee joints,
the manifestations in this city changed to ringing a bell
placed under the table. (cited by Doyle, 1926, i, 126)
The judge went on to explain how his own secret thoughts
had been revealed (much as was reported in the Scole experiments)
and that plans he had kept in his own mind and spoken of
to no-one were known to the spirit communicators (Doyle,
1926, i, 129).
He notes also that he had heard the mediums use Greek, Latin,
Spanish, and French when they were ignorant of these languages.
He records that facts were revealed which were unknown to
any of the people present but afterwards found to be true.
(Doyle, 1926, i, 129)
Judge Edmonds (pictured) maintained his convictions in spite
of attempts to ridicule and attack him and preferred to
resign his position as a Supreme Court Judge rather than
keep quiet about his life-changing discoveries.
He went on to become a medium himself and also detailed
the trance mediumship of his daughter, Laura, who in trance
spoke in nine languages unknown to her in waking life (First
Spiritual Temple Website http://www.fst.org/edmonds.htm).
Above all, he retained until his death his excitement about
what he had learned through communication with higher spirits.
Judge John Worth Edmonds’ decision to make his discoveries
public would have influenced many American people.
As a senior judge, he would have had in-depth understanding
of assessing credibility of anything presented to him for
consideration and an expert in the admissibility of evidence.
He had the opportunity of examining the evidence at first
hand and then building on it with personal experience.
Distinguished Lawyer Edward C. Randall
and Judge Dean Shuart
Edward C. Randall practiced law in Dunkirk, New York, and
in the city of Buffalo, where he has attained distinction
both as a lawyer and businessman. He acquired not only high
professional honor, but organized and financed various industrial
enterprises. He was one of the leading men in the industrial
world and was the executive head of various companies in
addition to being president of a number of corporations.
Initially an open-minded skeptic, he came to accept the
evidence for the afterlife through hearing the incredible
voices that came in the presence of direct voice and materialization
medium, Emily French.
He and his wife spent twenty two years in recording sittings
with her and he became a major writer on the afterlife.
(See Randall The Dead Have Never Died).
For five years they were joined by a prominent judge, Dean
Shuart of Rochester, “a learned jurist and man of
such impeccable character that he had been repeatedly elected
to the responsible office of Surrogate Judge.”
Randall writes that every person who attended the circle
was initially skeptical and sure that the voices were fraudulent.
And that each person was allowed to conduct however many
exacting experiments they needed to be convinced that they
I strongly recommend the reader to obtain a copy of Edward
C Randall’s The French Revelation, obtainable from
the book’s editor, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Aubrey Rose
Dr. Aubrey Rose OBE, CBE, a leading British Human Rights
lawyer, has stated in his recent book The Rainbow Never
Ends that he totally accepts the evidence for the existence
of the afterlife.After empirically investigating transmissions
made by one of his colleagues through direct voice medium,
Leslie Flint, he stated that without doubt the voice came
from the afterlife, and was that of Judge Lord Birkett,
who had crossed over some time before.
From the afterlife, he says, he heard Lord Birkett state:
"When I was on your side, I supported the death penalty,
but now I am here, I can see that it was wrong. We have
no right to take life".
These highly intelligent, logical, successful lawyers and
judges were fortunate to have had the opportunity of sitting
with brilliant direct voice/materialization mediums who
provided them with evidence of the afterlife that they simply
could not deny. All were initially skeptical, but, to their
credit, once they had the opportunity of carefully examining
the evidence for themselves, they accepted the evidence
and had the courage to become open campaigners for the existence
of the afterlife.
Previous Chapter : Book
Index : Next Chapter