Sunday, 24 July 2011



For a considerable number of years, I have realised that I am acutely sensitive to a variety of electrical and magnetic phenomena. As with many other human reactions, it is not easy to describe these internal responses, nor to quantify them or give them any scale of measurement that others may use in comparison. That others are sensitive, and are responding, albeit unknowingly, can be judged from their unconscious behaviour, and also from the consequences to them, which are usually harmful.

This may seem a long way from mental health issues, but in fact may have everything to do with them. My whole adult life and working career have been involved with electricity in one form or another. From the intricacies of Naval radar in WW2, through a Degree in Electrical Engineering, to my role as a measurement specialist in the UK Nuclear Power Programme – electrical phenomena and equipment were at the heart of my life.

My interest and involvement did not cease with my early retirement, but gathered force and in a different direction. It was a direction that was governed by the fact that I discovered that I am very sensitive to a wide range of electrical influences, both natural and man-made. Realisation came initially through reading a small but very vital paperback – The Ion Effect by Richard Soyka. He describes the onset of serious mental health problems caused by naturally occurring changes in the electricity of the surrounding air. To me, it is a seminal book - there are still second hand copies available on line.

The reason that I mention it now, is that Soyka asserts that at least a quarter of individuals are acutely sensitive to their electrical environment, while many of the remainder are affected without realising it. I give very detailed descriptions of the sources of electrical stress and their consequences for mental health right through the book that I have written. Written primarily for voice hearers, it has descriptions that apply to all the common mental health ailments.

I am not writing this now in order to keep plugging the book, (which is free on line 
 ) but to tell you what my background is, as I go on to describe some recent experiences that are relevant.

I live in rural surroundings with virtually no external sources of electrical and electro-magnetic interference. Thus, almost all that I encounter comes from devices that I control, being then aware of any change in my environment resulting from anything being switched on or off. Recently, I was reminded of this state of affairs through my reaction to two newly acquired and vastly differing devices.

The first is so ‘every day’ and simple – an electro-magnetic deterrent against rodents. Installed in my loft, its aim was to stop rats and anything else that wished to make it their home. A friend plugged it in for me while I was downstairs doing other things. Very soon, I realised that all was not well in my head – I developed a headache that experience told me resulted from electromagnetic transmission. Experiment with random switching on and off left me in no doubt that the device was the culprit.

Now, this was from a distance of more than 30 feet, and through a total of 3 feet of stone wall – and from a very insignificant device. If it had been left running night and day, and I had not been aware of its presence, soon I would have been suffering from unquantifiable effects in my head which could then have created or exaggerated mental health problems, if I had been suffering from any.

Far more powerful and instantaneous were the effects of a newly arrived Internet wireless ‘hub’ or ‘router’ for my computer. As soon as it was switched on, it had to be switched off. The effect was diabolical. It is so difficult to describe the effects in my scalp and inside my head. All I can say is that they were absolutely intolerable, and the only way in which I can understand how they are tolerated in most homes, is that they are just another ‘add-on’ to the general electro-magnetic smog in which most individuals live.

The micro-waves in an oven are contained by the in-built screening. The micro-waves from a wireless router or hub are specifically designed to flood the whole house or building. If they can pass through walls and floors and into the street, they will experience no problem in passing through the human body and skull, where they can overwhelm the minute and subtle currents and voltages that control the senses and actions. Picture the growing child – from the moment of conception; at home; at school - possibly for 24 hours a day – and you might get some idea why there are so many children with problems

Someone who wrote eloquently about the electro-magnetic smog is the orthopaedic surgeon Robert O. Becker. Researching the very small electrical currents that flow through bones at the site of fractures, he realised the full extent to which the body relies on minute internal electrical functions: functions that are so easily disrupted by external electrical fields. From his 1985 book The Body Electric, this is what he wrote:

“It may be hard to convince ourselves that something that we cannot see, breath, touch, taste or smell can still hurt us so dreadfully. Yet the fact must be faced, just as we have learned a healthy fear of nuclear radiation. Certain scientists, some perhaps acting in a programme of deliberate misinformation, keep telling the public that we still do not know whether electro pollution is a threat to human health. That is simply not true. Certainly, we need to know more, but a multitude of risks has been well documented…”

Another acclaimed researcher and writer is Dr Cyril Smith. His book Electromagnetic Man is yet another publication that defines the reaction of living things to their electrical environment. Find him on the Internet and you will discover such a mass of research into these effects, and then, perhaps, you will, like me, stop and wonder just why…

When so much is already known and published, just why is this knowledge not translated into a wider understanding and application in the regular analysis and treatment of individuals with mental health problems? It is already well known that to live under an overhead power line is a sure way to invite mental depression… it is already well known that electric over and under blankets can produce unwelcome or harmful effects… it is already well known… I could go on at great length…

Governments appear to be waking up to the fact that cases of depression are increasing almost exponentially: that individuals are showing signs of dementia earlier in their lives than hitherto. To me, the causes are so obvious. To me, the remedy will not be found in newer and more powerful drugs, but first, in acknowledging the truth of what I, and so many renowned researchers are saying, and second, in educating people so that they themselves can take responsibility for their own and their children’s lives.

But do not wait for Governments to act. Much of the remedy will lie in your own hands. Simply do an audit of your own living space and discover how much you can eliminate or reduce by limited use. Remember, if you are a parent, the mental health, the behaviour problems of your children are your responsibility, and remember that their lives are being grossly affected by all of the electronic gizmos and gadgets that flood their lives and which are used without restraint – even such apparently harmless gear as hairdryers and hair straighteners will be taking their toll...

Remember, I began writing because of the actual effect upon me of merely two very simple and common devices – just don’t get me started on some of the many, many others… long-life light bulbs, mobile phone masts… I said, “Don’t get me started!”

But be aware of this also – when someone feels unease in their head to the extent that logical thinking becomes difficult, or when they feel disoriented for no apparent cause, it is then that they may be at their most vulnerable, and be easy targets for the intrusion by voices and physical presences.


Sunday, 3 July 2011



My mind to me a kingdom is,
Such present joys therein I find,
That it excels all other bliss
That Earth affords or grows by kind.

Sir Edward Dyer (c 1540-1607)

My mind. My kingdom. Would that it was always so! Would that it had always been so! I had cause today to reflect upon what had been, to me, a gross violation of the ‘sanctity’ of my inner life. By a Consultant Psychiatrist, no less, and even though more than forty years have passed, I still seethe with an inner rage that it should have happened. And it happened thus:

In the early nineteen-sixties, and as the result of a medical misdiagnosis and very inappropriate subsequent treatment, I ended up with a very severe clinical depression, and as an in-patient in the local hospital psychiatric ward. (Described in the first three chapters of my recently published book.*)

My wife used to collect me at weekends, and return me on Sunday evening. On one occasion, it seems, we must have returned following a personal row, the circumstances of which we flatly refused to discuss with the Ward staff. Again, on the following day, I refused to enlighten the Consultant. Shortly afterwards, possibly the same day, he said that he believed that I would get some relief from my general condition with the help of an injection of Pentathol. And so he proceeded, and dribbled it in. But as I lost the last vestige of consciousness, I heard him say “Tell me about N…”, naming my then wife.

Not until thirty years later did I find out what it was he wanted to know, and, generally, what it was that I told him. 
At that time, i.e., in the early ‘nineties, I took part in a Class Action against the makers of Librium, et al, and in the process obtained all of my medical notes. I found it difficult, if not impossible to read them more than briefly, until the time when I needed detail for my book. It was then that I found a letter, written to my then G.P., in which the row was described (it had become a ‘blazing’ row, by then) and ostensibly the cause, although having mentioned our refusal to discuss the matter, he didn’t enlighten the G.P. about the method by which he had obtained the knowledge.

 Whether or not his statements were correct, I have no way of knowing for he also took away part of my memory with that wonderful therapy, E.C.T. – another violation of my mind. But there this letter remains in my Hospital and G.P. files in its unpleasant exposure of my personal life, obtained without my permission, and in gross violation of the privacy of my mind.

But why bring it back into the light after such a long time? Surely the passage of time…? 

Yes, but circumstances have a habit of stirring up old thoughts, and today being Veterans Day I had some old thoughts stirring. Yes, I am a Veteran, and although I did not see fierce action, nevertheless I served in a destroyer that was mined. Thirty-five friends and shipmates were fragmented or incinerated within a short distance of me, and I count myself so very fortunate not to have joined them. I don’t need special occasions to make me remember them, for the burn scars on my hands are a still visible reminder as I type, but there are times when I want to think of them – to mourn them. And I want to do it deep within the privacy and solitude of my mind.

There are other profound and personal memories and experiences that I would dearly love to revisit, and while I would not try to relive them in my mind, I need to explore them in all of their nuances – recollections of goals achieved, hopes realised or dashed. Memories there are of individuals in all of the huge range of circumstances that life throws up. Memories that are so deep and intimate that one would hold them close, and never share except with a close and trusted friend.

But I cannot do any of this. Yes, my memory is sound now, and recall is very clear and lucid, but the privacy is non-existent. The privacy and solitude of my mind were violated once more nearly thirty years ago. Again, I must refer you to my book, and the description in Chapter 6 of the circumstances that brought me to the point where I wrote:

My 11 am sitting place was in an upstairs room looking north east to the nearby mountain tops - Scafell, Great Gable, Yewbarrow and others. I settled into my chair, easing my neck onto the high wingback, and rolled my head gently from side to side to smooth out any tensions. And then something happened that was so dramatic and far-reaching, and yet, paradoxically, was totally devoid of drama. A ‘presence’ that I could not see, moved from the space in front of me, into me, and immediately my mind was charged with another ‘voice’ or provoker of thoughts, thoughts over which, then, I had no control, and which were not initiated by me. In my head began conversation as between two separate people, one of whom was me.

                  I began to ‘hear voices’.

Just consider: it was broad daylight; mid-morning; I was wide-awake; I was not under any form of stress; I did not drink or use drugs. My sole purpose in being in that place at that time was to be still and at peace, and contemplative. Yet here, suddenly, there was within me that which was ‘me’, and that which was ‘not me’.

These events occurred in the autumn of 1979. Because of what I had been doing earlier, from the spring of that year, and virtually until that moment, I have no doubt - not the remotest shadow of doubt - that this intrusion into me, both physically and into my mind, was of spiritual origin.

It is now year 2015, and nothing that has happened throughout these intervening years has done anything to induce me to change my mind. On the contrary, constantly, and even as I write this, I am reminded of these spiritual presences, and their intention to influence me in what I think and do.

Let me try to illustrate this in context with an example from my morning listening today – the Sunday programme, on BBC Radio 4. In order to try to educate young people in the reality of the Holocaust, the programme followed a group that was being taken to Auschwitz, and to the sites of other Nazi concentration camps. Some of the children were asked for their reactions, and it was while they were responding to the sight of mounds of shoes, and tonnes of human hair, that there welled up within me a deep emotional response. But it was not my response…

I have my own thoughts and emotions about the atrocities that were committed against the six million Jews and others in those places. Images conveyed by all of the film and personal accounts of survivors throughout the last sixty years. Descriptions of a visit made to Ravensbruck by my late father, or to Belsen by a young neighbour. I cannot imagine the suffering of six million individuals, and so, when I want to try to envisage, and personally mourn, I have in my mind certain people who have struck images in my memory as I have seen them transported to their fate. I bring these images to my mind, when I choose, not when prompted by an inner ‘whoever’.

If I want to dwell upon, and empathise with those committed to the Russian gulags, I conjure up the fictional Ivan Denisovitch to represent them. If it is the victims of arbitrary imprisonment and torture in a South American dictatorship, I am provided with a focus by the book ‘Prisoner without a name; cell without a number’, or by the words of Doctor Sheila Cassidy who was held and tortured in Chile, and whom I once met. And one single image provides me with a focal point for all of the starving and lost children of the Third World.

These are my chosen images, for the thoughts and prayers that I want to initiate and that I want to control myself. I do not want intrusive ‘others’ giving vent to their emotions within me and using my senses. Throughout the past years, I have kept notes describing what was happening within my mind and body since the intrusion of the voices and presences; notes that resolved themselves into an identifiable series of what I have called ‘ploys’. Here is one that exemplifies what I am trying to describe:

“They can intrude physically and mentally into one’s every moment, delighting in creating emotions or exploiting potentially emotional situations, until one realises that attempts are made to create laughter or tears where one is not in the least stirred up in either direction sufficiently to laugh or cry. Similarly, if the situation arose, they could create anger and supply the words to go with it in a ready flow. They intrude into one’s every thought and action, including the most intimate.

One just longs for an empty space in one’s mind where one can think one’s own thoughts, enjoy one’s own emotions and reminiscences without these intrusions. One develops the most intense hatred of them. One result of this barrage is that one resents any intrusion or contact, thus rendering suspect those that might originate from a desirable spiritual source - they simulate these as well, so as to create animosity in one’s mind to potential or existing spiritual helpers.”

'They' and 'them' identify the intruding spiritual ‘entities’. I do not know who or what they are. They do not have to ‘speak’ in my mind as in the typical situation of ‘hearing voices’. It is exceedingly difficult to describe the sensation within myself that comes from an awareness of ‘someone else’ sharing the same physical space as me. I have tried to do so in another of the ploys that I identified.

“It is all too easy to dwell upon the presence of the voice intrusions. Far more insidious, and possibly ever present, is the mute physical ‘overlap’. Try to imagine a not quite exact ‘fit’, so that in every movement or reaction there is just the little bit of anticipation or lag; of speeding up when it is inappropriate; of not being quite in phase on a turn; of causing forward movement when there are obstacles to be negotiated - whether by deliberate intent or lack of ‘skill’ it is impossible to say. When the presence is continuous or frequently in and out it can become positively loathsome and one longs to be rid of it. If you have a copy, read in the Thousand and one Nights the story of the Old Man of the Sea. Sinbad, shipwrecked and alone as usual, stumbles across an old man who asks for help to cross a stream. Sinbad, in his kindness, takes the old man on his back, and then when the stream is crossed finds himself in a stranglehold, beaten about the head, made to go this way and that, by day and night, at the old man’s whim; be-skittered and be-pissed all down his back and generally befouled. It is only ultimately by making some wine from wild grapes and getting the man drunk that Sinbad is finally freed, and one can sense the ultimate release as he crushes the man’s skull with a boulder. Many times have I wished for that boulder! It is possible from one’s own reactions to these presences to understand how it is that individuals will harm themselves in an effort to get at or get rid of this gross intrusion that is only reachable within their own body.”

Or again:

“Physical intrusions can and do occur at any time; the differing intensities and variety are so great that is difficult to be specific. One example can occur when I am woodcarving. At these times there can appear a ‘heavy’ intruding presence with a ‘working’ mouth of concentration and with laboured breathing - the conclusion being that someone `in spirit` is trying to experience what they did not achieve in life. There is also the implication at other times that someone formerly skilled in life is wanting to impart that skill. This can present one with a difficult choice. There are or have been many musicians, composers, artists, writers and others who have freely acknowledged that they cannot produce their finest work unless their ‘Muse’ is present within them, and many and great are the works that have been produced. (See The Unknown Guest by Brian Inglis). By contrast, I do not want to be ‘taken over’ - I want to work out my own problems; I want the sheer pleasure of first of all visualising, and then creating, my own art or craft; I do not want to be the vehicle for ‘someone’ to operate vicariously and to remove the pleasure of my own originality.

I once had a very good sculpture/carving teacher; he gave advice on concepts and techniques, but did not attempt to influence one’s individual expression, nor did he touch the work unless asked to demonstrate, but was always there with advice if asked. Above all, he inspired immense confidence, and could rescue one from the most depressing ‘artistic disasters’.
This, by extension, is what one would hope for from desirable spiritual helpers.

There can be a very great danger in accepting a ‘Muse’ into one’s person. It can often be represented or inferred that this is the spirit of someone who formerly was a well-known artist, musician etc. The belief that one has been chosen by this famous person can be very flattering, but, if continued, gradually one could lose one’s own identity and capacity for originality.”

But a pendulum swings between two extremes, and so does the ‘pendulum’ of the Voices. Throughout the thirty years that I have had these experiences, I have come to know with absolute certainty that the good, the benign, the benevolent also exist. But they do not come as the others do, with the intention to destroy; the do not come blackguarding and befouling the mind that they would control and ultimately destroy. They come almost ‘silently’, subliminally, with courtesy and with good intent.

I have been taught by dreams and fantasies,

Learned from the friendly and darker phantoms,
And got great knowledge and courtesy 
From the dead kinsmen and kinswomen,
Ancestors and friends.

Edwin Muir’s words contain the essence of the benign – and though it sounds old fashioned, courtesy is at the heart of the exchanges within the mind, and which are aimed at providing support and encouragement. 

Within my book are many examples of the good that has resulted from these exchanges with the ‘benign’ intruders. 
But do not take the poet’s words too literally.
Do not look for, or expect to ‘hear’ the voices of deceased friends or loved ones. 

The voice of anyone, the ‘ambience’ of anyone, can be created in an attempt to persuade you that such a person is nearby.
Any voice, any presence can be imitated!

Knowledge from the ‘benign’ sources comes virtually subliminally, by instant transfer. 

Whereas the unwanted voices and presences produce effects and emotions within oneself that are destructive, but which one is able subsequently to describe and discuss, there are many occasions when the welcome presences induce emotions that are so deep, warm and private that it is not possible to describe them or share them with others.

I have tried to include examples of the positive help and encouragement that I received at appropriate places within the narrative of my book, and it is virtually impossible to take them out of context and incorporate them here.

There are, however, two that will always have a special meaning for me, and which might be revealing for others:

I had two very good friends whose house fronted a road that I used frequently, and where it was so convenient to stop on my way. There was always a good welcome, although Edna became convinced that it was her coffee that was the prime objective. Moving into their lounge, I passed a photograph that always touched me with its poignancy. It was of Judith their daughter, who had died of leukaemia not long before. She was in profile looking into the cot of her latest child – and the loss to Judith and to Jack and Edna was something that I found most touching. In time, it was as if Judith was actually there, and was conveying to me the fact that she was now happy, and that I must tell her Mother that it was so.

I have never sought ‘messages from beyond’, and take my time trying to assure myself of their genuineness. However, my delaying did not suit Judith, for shortly afterwards, when I was following Edna out to my car, and just as I passed the photograph, I received a resounding thump between my shoulder blades, and an insistent voice in my head saying “Tell her now! Tell her now!!” Edna, when I told her, was over the moon, for she had fretted about Judith and the loss to Judith of her children, and to learn that she in fact was now happy was all that Edna needed to know.

My second was personal to me and to my brother, but many others to whom I have related it have welcomed it wholeheartedly:

I am now 89, and am at the stage of life when one speculates about the next ‘phase’. One day recently, I was quietly trying to imagine the moment of actual transition between this life and the next – not in any maudlin sense, but with my natural curiosity. Then gently, a most warm and friendly voice in my mind said distinctly “Don’t worry, Roy, you will be met. And tell your brother the same.”

That was all – but who needs more? In my memory, I was carried back to when I sat beside my Mother’s bed as she lay dying. She was still there physically, but her ‘spirit’ was already moving on, for she was obviously with her sister Ethel who had died some years before, and I distinctly heard my Mother speak to Ethel, saying, “When will I meet my Mother?”

There is much speculation about ‘life after death’, and many are the researches and experiments that are conducted to try to prove or disprove it. For myself, there is no conceivable experiment that could be conclusive. But now, fortunately, I have no need of speculation or experiments, for with all that I have been shown and have experienced during the last thirty years, I have been left without a shadow of doubt that there is.

Roy Vincent, Summer 2013

Revised Spring 2015

* “Listening to the Silences, in a world of hearing voices “

Available free at 

and in paperback.

(See ISBN 9781847477590) )