Thursday, 25 December 2014


Please don’t ask me to be normal,
Don’t want to be like that.
Don’t want to live on a large estate and own a dog and cat.
Don’t want a missus and kids and such and holidays by the sea.
Just want to be what I’ve always been –
An individual just like me.

There aren’t so many of us left you know,
A dying breed they say,
Don’t own an iPod or Blackberry, the thought just turns me grey.
Don’t appear on Facebook, and I’d never ever be gay!
Just want to be what I’ve always been –
An individual – that’s the way.

That’s the way to be happy, that’s the way to be free.
Don’t go on chartered air-flights,
With my face jammed down on my knee,
Don’t want to have to queue for the loo, desperate for a pee,
Eating curled up sandwiches,
And drinking lukewarm tea.

I’m far too old to be normal,
To have to conform and such.
And even though I’m eighty-nine, I still don’t need a crutch.
I am what I am through where I have been,
Through what I have done and what I have seen –
Yet still I remember my years that were ‘green’.










Monday, 22 December 2014











Wednesday, 26 November 2014




2014, the year that is now coming to a close, has been memorable in many ways and with many events.  Events that were long planned as anniversaries of world wars reached their time.

Events whose recollection will persist for a long time, and other events that were mind-blowing at the time – but whose memory tends to fade as others equally bizarre take their place.

One of the latter has kept me puzzled ever since it hit the headlines.  

Remarkable it was as we learned of how three mature women had been held in a state of imprisonment and ‘slavery’ within a ‘normal’ house, yet who were free to leave and do such ‘normal’ things as shopping…

The women who had been held and ‘confined’ and ‘enslaved’ for 30 years, appear to have been held, not by physical restraint, but by the mental ‘dominance’ of two other people – visible people - people who were ever-present.

That in itself was almost unbelievable – yet now I am going to try to take your ’unbelief’ even further…

Just try to imagine the same domination – ever-present domination – domination that derives from a source that is ‘invisible’.  Yes - invisible, yet having powers that are capable of turning a normal happy life into sheer hell.

This was the situation of Morag – a lady whom I once met and who told me something of her own ‘story’.

Happily married, with two school-age children, she would, each day, see her husband off to work and send the children off to school – and then would find herself ‘entering’ another world. 

Her surroundings did not change, but the world of her mind, and the world within her body both changed. 

And these changes came as the result of the insistence and dominance of ‘voices’ within her mind and ‘physical presences’ within her body.

Imperceptibly at first, as Morag began her morning chores and housework, a ‘voice’ appeared in her mind – gentle, soothing, encouraging and helpful.  Relaxing to this and getting on with he tasks, the ‘voice’, and accompanying physical presences slowly became critical.  Everything that she did began to be criticised.  The disparagement and comments became more and more intense, moving away from the immediate tasks into her general life – needling, needling - condemning, condemning.

“She was not fit to be a mother”… “she was not fit to live and continue polluting the world with her presence”…. “She must kill her children and then kill herself…”

Every day, Morag found herself cowering in a corner of a room with the curtains drawn at the windows.

Then, as the afternoon slowly moved on, the inner darkness gradually lightened and the  dominance became less and less – and Morag was able to stand and open the curtains – and prepare to welcome her children as they returned home from school.  Every day…

Difficult to believe, isn’t it?  I would not have believed it either, but for the fact that for a short period in my life, I experienced something remarkably similar.

That was over thirty years ago, yet the memory of those experiences still remains very potent. 

Yes, the memory is still there. 

Normally, memories fade with time - diminish in potency.  Whereas this memory remains because I choose to keep it ‘alive’. 

Why?  Because it forms the beginning and the core of everything that I write – from my book to this Blog.

I write to inform anyone who will read and who is prepared to accept and be influenced by honest testimony – to inform them that everything that I experienced then was created by intrusive ‘entities’, ‘physical and mental presences’, ‘spirits’.

Those words have a lot of religious ‘baggage’ attached, and it becomes very difficult to speak and write pragmatically about the reality of such presences.  Nevertheless, they are real – a reality confirmed every day of my life for the last thirty years.  

A reality that has been confirmed by every culture that has ever existed and which has left coherent records.

If you would like to find out how it was that I - this pragmatic individual – this ‘feet-on-the-ground’ nuclear engineer – came to be influenced in such a manner that he became dominated, just read on my Blog the Post that is entitled -

“Oh what a world of unseen visions and heard silences….”  

It forms the sixth chapter of my book 
"Listening to the Silences in a World of Hearing Voices" 
which may be downloaded free at 

Then, when you have read the Blog, why not ‘open’ the book itself, and read Chapter 7.
Chapter 7 has the title 
"If You Have A Thousand Reasons For Living."  
In it you will find out just how my life – my physical life and my spiritual life – evolved.  

There is so much to tell that it would be impossible to present even a simple summary. 

For some readers – for example, those who would treat it simply as ‘just another book’ – the journey may become tortuous and tedious, and then they give up or just ‘skip’.  Whereas, those for whom my writing is intended – the voice hearers and their carers – they read it through and through, and then tell me what they have found…

And then I know at last that the years that I have spent writing it have all been worthwhile.

Worthwhile when I receive an email from someone such as Steve – forty-five years old, living in UK.

Steve has been plagued by malign voices for all of his life.

He wrote - “… you and your book are the best things that have ever happened to me – you have saved my life, by drawing me back from suicide… “

And finally – to demonstrate the ‘dominating power’ of these unseen, but physically present ‘entities’, let me tell you the story of Ruth.  A story that still has the power to move me as I try to imagine the terror that she experienced – terror that was created by an evil presence within herself – so evil that it drove her to what could easily have been her actual death.

Aged about thirty-five, Ruth had suffered several episodes of voice-hearing, which had largely been brought under control.  Still, she remained vulnerable, and intrusions were never far away. 

Nevertheless, she was not greatly disturbed by a ‘presence’ that seemed to be ‘gentle’ and not dominating.  However, as it took more of a hold in her life, the gentleness evaporated and the aggravation and criticism grew in intensity – as happened to Morag….

The time arrived when, having declared itself to be God, the intrusion began hammering into her mind, stronger and stronger condemnations: finding fault with everything that she did or thought, until Ruth was finally condemned as not being fit to continue to live and pollute this planet. 



DO..IT !!!

But Ruth quailed at the sight of these thundering wheels and drew back….





She went deep under the water, but then, when coming back again to the surface, Ruth heard a vastly different voice – a calm voice – a firm voice – a voice that spoke one word – SWIM… and Ruth swam.

The river bank was tidal and muddy, and she floundered as she tried to walk – and again the calm voice, and just one word – CRAWL…

Ruth crawled, losing her shoes and all her lower clothes – and in this state she arrived at the front door of the house close by in which lived a friend…. where she was comforted and cared for…

In that calm voice – that firm voice – Ruth heard and experienced what I had heard and experienced, and to which I tried to find expression when I began to write  the Chapter

If You Have a Thousand Reasons for Living…

Yes!  I had been shown – with undeniable certainty – that the very direct opposite of the malign, evil intrusions and presences do actually exist.  Just as in the past, every culture has become aware of the evil and malign presences, so also, and without doubt, they have experienced and accepted the benign… 

Often, the outcome has been the creation of a religion or faith based pattern of living.

Deliberately, I have avoided any mention of religion, and have not suggested that one should find answers there. 

Eighty-eight years of living have taught me that it is pointless and fruitless to draw upon ‘religion’ to further any argument.  Each person has their own personal faith and beliefs – or has none.  Instead, I ask you to make your own choices from what I have written, whether here or in any other of my publications – written, as far as I have been able, without exaggeration or hyperbole.

What I have written, I have experienced. 

What more can I say?



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 of One Thousand and One Nights, read the story of  Sinbad and 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.

There have been many times in my own life, when I have wished for that boulder!

Sunday, 2 November 2014





To receive such statements by email is both rewarding and humbling.  Rewarding because it gives purpose to the five years that I spent writing the book.  Five years during which I exposed every atom of my inner being in an effort to convince the world that my experiences of voice hearing were valid and not an illness.

      Humbling because the greatest gift that can be bestowed is the gift of life.  Humbling also to know that my writing is freeing the mind of a man who has been deeply troubled for many years.

      John, now 45 years old, has lived with inner voices and physical presence since childhood within a family which, while caring, just could not understand the nature of what he was experiencing and making him suffer so much.  He told me that now he can take my book and show his parents “exactly what I have been experiencing for all of these years.”

      In a recent email he wrote – “I keep going back and back to your book, especially Chapter 16 – it tells me all that I want to know – you have saved my sanity.”

The title of the book is

Listening to the Silences 
In a World of Hearing Voices

(Download free on )

    In it, I describe how I began to hear voices and experience a whole range of other phenomena and intrusions into my mind, body and senses.  All of which, I am certain, are caused by the intervention of spiritual presences, both malign and positively benign. 

    Mostly, I have concentrated upon the activities of the malign, because these are the ones ‘who’, by their deliberate disruption of body and mental function, make individuals ill.

    In the course of now more than 30 years, I have encountered many different ploys that have been used to try to undermine me and disrupt my life, and prevent me from exercising my own free will.  I have recorded and analysed most of these in my book, describing them in the context of my life as they occurred.  In this article, I have separated them from the main text of the book in order that they may become a source of reference in their own right.

    Also, within the book, I write about the many occasions when I have had help, support and encouragement from benign spiritual sources.  These, also, are placed in the context of my life at the times when they happened.  I have decided not to draw then from their place in my story because the context is so vitally important in understanding their implications.  Reading the book will help you to understand why.

    Many occurred within situations that were often very deeply emotional – even soul searching – and, frankly, I find it emotionally difficult to revisit them – even after so many years have elapsed.

    As well as the collection of negative ploys gathered here, they also are placed in Chapter 16 of my book on line – referred to above by ‘John’.  I always use ’they’ when referring to the negative intrusions simply because it is often impossible to be certain whether I am dealing with one or many.

1     They maintain a constant delivery of good, impeccable advice and an ambience of support, which, at first, is comforting.  However, it persists into every act, or thought of an act or plan, to a degree that it becomes obsessive, by which time one can have reached a state of dependence and find difficulty in detaching oneself.  But more than that, this can constitute a form of ‘jamming’ which can cause one to reject the desirable counsel that may come from a good source.

2     They create or latch onto a feeling of buoyancy - “let’s go”,  “get the skates on”, “have you thought of this or that?”,  “surely that’s more important” - just an edge of urgency where none exists.

3     When at the start of a day, particularly a promising one, one has a plan of action worked out, they will put forward a pressing alternative; then if that is rejected, another, and so on, inducing a feeling of panic and the feeling that the whole lot will be aborted and nothing done.
       This ploy is often used when the ‘meteorology’ is such that a woolly, inert mind is being induced naturally, anyway.  In these circumstances, the whole day can be spent in a series of feeble attempts at - nothing.
       Not a lot is required to break this stagnation e.g. company and stimulus from a trusted friend, or ‘boot-straps’, i.e. just beginning on something simple such as digging or other ‘mindless’ activity which does not require precise measurement or decision making.

4     They will instigate or intrude a salacious thought - either general or about a particular person.  If it is taken up and dwelt on they will switch rôles and introduce the supposed ‘exalted one’, whose presence may also be simulated physically, creating the ambience that one has slipped on one’s path to inner purity of thought etc. and that one is not being a fit place of residence for pure spirits.

5     They create an ambience which suggests that the spiritual ‘top team’ has now arrived, that one is privileged to be part of it, but at a junior level, and that in future one will be more a receiver of instructions rather than an initiator of activity and thought as an individual - a ploy which will gradually erode one’s own decision making ability, with a resulting state of dependence.

6     ‘Characters’ in this ‘rôle play’ can be switched until one is uncertain whether it is the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ guy who is proposing something.  (This is annoyingly difficult to describe - one is aware of the situation as it is happening but such a convoluted web has been woven that the strands cannot be separated.)

7     A ‘character’ can appear as at one’s elbow - the cynical, knowledgeable bystander who has seen it all before - nudges one into recognition of the ploy - poses as a friend, man of the world...
It would be so easy to have confidence in him, accept comments, advice, and yet again lose one’s own capability of analysis and decision-making.

8     Some ‘exchanges’ seem to be promoted with the sole intent of arousing a confrontational response in me, just to keep me going for no great purpose other than to inhibit breathing, or they will maintain an endless, pointless prattle with the object solely of keeping me in a ‘listening’ state.  This state causes one to adopt a slightly hunched, ‘cringe’ posture which can make one feel underdog and not in charge of what one is trying to do, by undermining one’s confidence.  It is also designed to take one’s mind off the immediate task with the almost inevitable mistake.

9     They will pretend to be ‘good guys’ being impatient with progress on a major plan or scheme, which, if persisted with, causes me to react rudely, which, in turn, can create a feeling of alienation with a resultant difficulty in re-establishing prayerful intercourse with the ‘genuine’ ones.

10   Pretending to be good spirits, they encourage one to dredge one’s mind for any - usually long past - incidents or thoughts of an embarrassing, shameful or similar nature, especially if others are involved.  Or they will encourage reminiscence about incidents in which others – possibly family or friends - showed up badly, especially as the result of known or imagined (usually sexual) peccadilloes etc.
       They will pretend that the persons themselves are present in spirit, and aware of the thoughts, and will then give the impression that one will be confronted on death; that everyone in ‘heaven’ will be aware of and condemnatory of all this.  In this general context they will insinuate into one’s mind a name which is calculated to produce speculation or reminiscence from the past - often someone with whom one has been close or intimate - always trawling the mind, encouraging recollections, particularly of a sexual nature.

11   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 which 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.

12   They will seize upon and try to exploit even the most minor peccadillo, or even supposed ones, in the context of one’s religion and spiritual growth, and make it become an obsession beyond all reason, while at the same time creating a physical ambience of censoriousness.  This can overshadow the brightest company or activity, almost as if there is a sentence hanging over one - reminiscent of when, in serious past depression, there existed a feeling of ‘gut hollowness’ which totally prevented one’s enjoyment and development, much as I imagine the existence of a cancer in one’s body might.
       They will create around one a feeling of ‘unworthiness’, particularly if the main thrust of one’s life is towards good.  They create the impression that the `lovely people` i.e. benevolent spirits who normally dwell around one’s home, or who, they imply, would otherwise dwell there, are censorious, disapproving, on the point of departing, or indeed have departed; they do their utmost to create in one’s mind an antagonism to such souls.  One can imagine the inner state of someone such as a clergyman with homosexual or similar bent whose life is otherwise impeccable, being mentally and spiritually hounded and made to feel that everything that he does is sullied - this particularly so at, say, a Eucharist.

13   Before one has had time or opportunity to make up one’s mind about a possibly contentious issue they will interject a thought so instantly that it could be one’s own thought.  This will be immediately responded to by an adversary, resulting in the apparently ‘good’ and ‘bad’ guys having a dispute, into which one is drawn without any forethought, totally and inadvertently, and in a whole ambience of dissent being created.

14   When composing in my mind what I intend to say to someone, they will ‘offer’ a suitable word where an alternative exists; this is often the most obvious or best choice, but they will try to create the impression that it is their choice.  This can lead to a situation or continuing state in which one becomes reliant on being fed the appropriate word or sequence.  If one has not had cause to question the source but, indeed, believes it to be ‘genuine’ and benevolent, one can end up waiting to be ‘inspired’ and believing that one is a ‘chosen channel’.
Indeed, when one is writing or speaking, possibly promoting an idea or cause, they will invade the mind and/or body, creating an impression of excitement and implying that one has been ‘chosen’ to channel words from an ‘exalted’ source.  In the euphoria of believing oneself to be so chosen it is possible to lose any critical or common sense analysis which one would normally apply and to let oneself be used solely as a mouthpiece, often destroying one’s credibility in the eyes of those whom one is trying to convince.

15   When one is driving, they get a conversation going, often of a contentious nature, or maybe they stoke a current resentment, doing this just prior to the approach of difficult bit of road at which they know that one will meet another, perhaps ill-driven, vehicle.  In doing so they can entirely distract one from one’s normal safe driving with possible disastrous results.

16   They will attempt to build a camaraderie in the car, pretending to be, say, my late father, sharing feelings about other road users’ style of driving etc., constantly working to build up a feeling of reliance on their opinion, or seeking to impress.  They will then attempt to indicate that it is OK to overtake, for example, - it often is.  They are constantly trying to build an aura of ‘rely on me’.  If one did, inevitably the crunch would come.
       This ploy has many variants in other situations - a simple example could be that of the compulsive gambler who is led on with successful tips for winners - until the time when he has ‘staked all’ and then the rug is pulled from under him.

17   Following an incident which could have been, or actually was, aggravating, or any situation which genuinely could have provoked anxiety, they will maintain an ambience of anxiety or apprehension, provoking the ‘low profile’ syndrome.  This could happen following a near miss when driving, particularly if one had been at fault, and has the same effect as if there was a nagging back-seat driver.
       If there are any areas of uncertainty in one’s future, or possible sources of dispute, no matter how real or remote or easy of solution, they will return to them again and again and again, stirring thought, introspection, resentment and anxiety.

18   When one is examining an original thought, they attempt to muscle in, to intrude, giving the impression that they are party to it and its subsequent exploration and indeed will attempt to ‘own’ the new idea.  Further, when one is engaged in deep thought, they will interject a person’s name or an interesting word that will give rise to speculation and, unless corrected, can lock the mind in a channel of irrelevant reminiscences.

19   Sometimes very vivid dreams are followed on waking by a deliberately fragmented conversation, often with the suggestion that one’s mind is being taken over at a deeper level - if one is gullible one can be convinced that one is losing one’s mind, or that it is part of a process by which one will become integrated into the ‘spirit mind’.

20   The moment of waking, or the time of gradually emerging awareness after sleep is most crucial, for one is then at one’s most vulnerable.  One’s first thoughts at these times are ‘answered’; indeed, it might seem that one is already in a conversation.  It is exceedingly difficult to avoid responding, and a dialogue can ensue from which it is hard to break free.  There can be a feeling created on waking, a sense of being with very gentle spiritual people, warm, welcoming and caring.  It is so easy to slip into this ambience, particularly if the rest of one’s life is bleak or fraught.
       But, as one is starting to feel ‘cozy’ and cared for, they start to imply that there are one or two, oh-so-teeny, defects that need correcting before one can be truly accepted and enjoy this ambience and ultimately be accepted into it after death.  Gradually the emphasis shifts becoming more needling and ultimately threatening.  One’s defects become grossly magnified, one’s sense of unworthiness exaggerated, and all the earlier warmth totally disappears.
       Sometimes an intrusion can be of such a cold, inhuman presence that one can feel oneself to be totally devoid of humanity, of love, of caring.  One could become either very ill or very evil. It is virtually impossible for anyone in this state to convey to another the sense of threat or terror that can be experienced at these times.  This inability to communicate can so increase a person’s sense of loneliness, of total isolation that they can easily try to seek oblivion in drink or drugs or suicide - indeed, it is quite possible that in their mind they will be actively encouraged down some desperate or diabolical route.

21   Physical intrusions can and do occur at any time, and the differing intensities and varieties 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 wants 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 which 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.  Having done much to my house by way of development, and not having had craft training or much DIY experience, I have, nevertheless been given, by ‘inspiration’, much help - too great to detail.  It however helps me to make the point that there is much support and knowledge available, but it is received at a much, much deeper level than the other phenomena about which I have written - virtually subliminally.
       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.

22   They induce a feeling akin to foreboding (not about anything specific) so that whatever one tackles there can be created an impression that there is something more important which one should be doing.  Having, nevertheless, continued with the activity of one’s first choice, they induce a feeling that one is doing it the wrong way.
       In the same general context, and as an example, suppose that one had chosen to garden.  There could ‘appear’ the ‘good gardener’ ally, who makes approving noises - or alternatively withholds approval - so that one loses the sense of one’s own judgment, particularly as in most cases the task is one which does not require advice or comment.
       Again, they offer constant advice on ways of doing a job - always sound- until one finds oneself waiting for it before making a move, thereby having one’s capacity for original thought, or consideration of method, undermined; this happens particularly when one hasn’t previously worked out one’s plan or technique.

23   Many times good advice is given or factual statements made.  For example, once when thinking of the herb ‘horsetail’, the specific name Equisetum was fed into my mind - a fact which I already knew.  In such circumstances I then have the dilemma - is this ‘know all’ approach designed to be helpful or annoying?  Is it meant to be positive and helpful and contribute to my work, or is it intended to create in me an aggravation at all intrusions, so that even if there were to be established a desirable, direct and open collaboration, I would resent it?  I don’t know.  Perhaps it is again part of a ploy to make me abandon or lose the faculty for original thought.

24   A ‘heavy’ presence, purporting to be a ‘senior’ heavenly figure, introduces the concept that someone, deceased, does or will wish to apologise for lifetime’s hurts.  This prompts one to go over in one’s mind the circumstances which at the time caused the hurt, with possible renewed resentment against the ‘person’ who is alleged to be present or near at hand and aware of one’s thoughts, with all thought of apology given or received rapidly disappearing.  One could also be led to consider the apologies that one might feel constrained to want to make oneself, with a consequent mental rehashing of past traumas.  This, it would seem, is yet another ploy to get a mind trawl going aimed at bringing to the surface incidents or thoughts derogatory to others or oneself.

25   They will insinuate a word, phrase, name, thought or picture into one’s mind which will start a train of reminiscence and which is calculated to lead to yet more revelations about oneself or other people.  The most remote detail of one’s past is known or has been extracted.


26   When the destroyer HMS Saumarez, in which I was serving, was mined, a number of my friends and shipmates were killed.  From time to time, it is represented, by familiar turns of phrase or by allusions to known incidents, that one or more of them is ‘present’.  It is suggested that they have been trained to be capable of intruding and maybe tormenting.  This raises the much larger question of what happens to a mass of people, mainly young men, who have not ‘lived’ while still alive, who have died in such numbers in world wars:  a question which is too vast to be explored here.

27   It is suggested that the constant intrusions and my responses to them are training for unwelcome spirits to intrude into other people.  At one time, when the intrusions were at their most intense and frequent, there were many occasions in which there was rapid and ‘point scoring’ mental repartee during which I had numerous occasions in which I felt that I had ‘game, set and match’, following which the above suggestion would sometimes be made.  One automatically assumes that there are ‘regular’ individuals actively involved, with a changing group of ‘extras’.  The point is, one cannot possibly know; a point which is explored as fully as I reasonably can in the main body of my writing.

28   They sneer at, or denigrate, people by class, activity, uselessness, aristocratic status, and gender.  They introduce every obvious double entendre under the sun; every possible allusion to a sexual connotation or feminine appearance.

29   On one occasion a female friend who was visiting asked me to help her to accomplish something personal and intimate which she could not achieve because of the difficulties of looking and reaching simultaneously.  Having been married more than once, and having brought up a daughter and stepdaughter, I have no problem or embarrassment with female exposure or anatomy; but while I was delicately preoccupied I felt an intrusion, or more specifically, an insinuation, into myself.  Almost immediately, I was completely suffused by someone else’s embarrassment, and female embarrassment at that.  ‘Who’ had been persuaded to intrude and by ‘whom’, and under what pretext, I have obviously no way of knowing

30   Over the years since voice hearing began a certain number of ‘trigger’ words have become established, any one of which, if intruded into my mind, is guaranteed to start me thinking about a particular person or circumstance.  Whether I continue with that line of thought is up to me, once I realise that I have been prompted, but it is so easy automatically to follow a prompt without immediately realising that one had been thus triggered.
       Some of the words, in no special order, are: Tigger, up-front, Jacqueline, Alexander, davenport, ferret, Cole Island, Bosanquet, Nicholas, Setty, the ‘mem’,  

31   I had a friend who was a long time a-dying from an inoperable brain tumour.  My friend was nursed for some time in his home where I used to visit him, and where one found him obsessed with his catheter and fears about its possible leakage, and with an array of tissues which he classified as ‘dabber, mopper and wiper’.  Following his death, I went early to the crematorium and arrived before the coffin.  The ‘catafalque’ thus being bare it had a burnished brass sheen which made it look like some ancient priestly altar, and as I was taking in this scene my friend’s ‘voice’ in my mind said dramatically  “O Ra! O Osiris!” and ‘chuckled’.  Next, as I was checking the availability of my handkerchief against the inevitable moisture in the eyes, I ‘heard’ “Have you got your dabber and mopper and wiper?”, and a moment later - “Have you got the regulation lump in the throat?”.

32   Following my friend Val’s untimely death I was standing shaving one morning and suddenly her unmistakable ‘voice’ was in my mind saying, “Can’t catch me I’m a bumble-bee”.  The sort of joke she would have made.

33   In the field of bird-watching reference is made to the ‘jizz’ of a bird, i.e. those essential features which become imprinted on the mind of a keen watcher and which, even though a bird has only been glimpsed momentarily, nevertheless can lead to identification.  If you think about it, certain people have ‘jizzes’, and these can be introduced into the minds ‘eye’ and cause one to start thinking about the person, or even to believe that the deceased person is present in spirit.  One who springs to mind in my own ‘repertory is an anxious, nail-biting individual.  Another is a very keen young army officer, brisk moustache, winning smile and positively exuding eagerness

34          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, which is only reachable within their own body.

35   Listening and concentrating - but not to, or on you, as you attempt conversation in a crowded cocktail party.  The chat in the adjoining group is so much more interesting to the person in front of you as they strain to catch the gossip. Their eyes are focused in a peculiar way, directed towards you, but beyond you.
           This, unfortunately, can be the permanent state of someone whose mind and body have been intruded into. The intrusion does not have to be overtly malevolent or aggressive; it does not have to threaten or mouth obscenities, it is just there, a presence in one’s mind and sometimes subtly physical in one’s body, demanding that one listen, or keeping one in suspense expecting to be ‘spoken to’, or anticipating, indecisively, a physical action.
          I am reminded of a woman who briefly passed through my group of friends who exemplifies what I am trying to convey.  While, say, gardening and carrying on herself with what she was doing, she would say “Listen, Roy....” while she thought of something to say and hold the centre of attention, and, until I learned to ignore the call, I would stand in suspense, waiting for the next remark.
              Or a neighbouring farmer who has a son who became more competent and alert than his father, and willy-nilly dominated him, deriding his efforts, until the father became incapable of connected thought or initiative in the presence of the son, and dithered, drawing down more ridicule on himself.  It used to be pathetic seeing the otherwise highly competent father reduced virtually to a quivering, indecisive, inadequate.
           But this can be the near-permanent state of someone who is dominated by intrusive spirits.  A person can be kept in suspended animation waiting for the next ‘conversation’ or next physical imperative (this last is the most difficult to describe): they can be ‘coursed’ like a hare between two greyhounds as one voice says “Do this”, while an equally impelling voice says “No, do that”.  Meanwhile, within, the body is becoming permanently locked into what, as in our mammalian ancestors, should be only a transient response to a passing threat

36   On one occasion when I was walking between my house and workshop, I was physically ‘gutted’, for want of a better word.  This was completely spontaneous and without explanation - none was needed, for the meaning was obvious.  It was as if a hand had reached in and torn out my solar plexus.  Physical recovery was fairly quick, but the mental shock and implication stayed much longer.
       On yet another occasion, when playing rounders or cricket in my field with some nephews and nieces, I was running vigorously when my legs were ‘kicked’ from under me and I fell heavily.  It was equivalent to the most blatant foul I had ever experienced when playing rugby at school or in the Navy.

37   Once, while working on my private water supply, which is isolated and out of view, I was caused to fall by a ‘wrestle’.  This demonstrated, and was confirmed by implication, that I could be caused to fall and be injured somewhere with no chance of summoning help (or fall in a dangerous location – e.g. train or vehicle.).  It was impressed upon me that I should always plan where I was going and what I was going to do, and that if I was going to be alone in an isolated location, I should ensure that someone was aware of where I could be found.  It was further impressed upon me that I would get immense help and protection if there was forethought in all my actions – that if I wanted to draw from the help which is always available, I should prepare beforehand for such activities as healing and counselling.
        It is virtually impossible to convey to someone who has not experienced it, the actuality of physical/spiritual intrusion.  Until the reality of both thought intrusion and physical presence is accepted by those whose rôle it is to care for individuals who find it difficult or impossible to cope with what they are experiencing, very little progress will be made in this caring, and the only ‘solutions’ offered will be confinement and mind-suppressing drugs.

Thursday, 2 October 2014


Early Closing Thursday

by Roy Vincent (1925 - )

"It will make you much better", he said,
"No, it won’t make a hole in your head.
The current’s quite small,
Hardly any at all,
And of course you won’t wake up quite dead."

The nurses, all gentle and kind,
Never told me that bits of my mind,
Would soon disappear,
That I’d feel very queer,
And not know before from behind.

Memories once precious to me,
Have vanished, no trace, all agree.
The voice of my child,
That amused and beguiled,
Was erased by the ‘cure’, E.C.T.

At Work, was I then in disgrace
From this hole in my mind – this great space?
For I found, to my shame,
This face - What’s his name?
Or this name – Who’s got the right face?

Who began this outrageous farce?
Who decides to switch on and to pass
A current designed
To ‘repair’ this bent mind?
Do they really know elbow from arse?

Why ‘Early Closing Thursday’?

Because it makes just as much sense as 

‘Electro Convulsive Therapy"

“There is no theoretical basis to justify it.  There is considerable criticism of its extensive use because it may produce permanent brain damage, especially losses of memory and intelligence.”

So writes the Oxford Companion to the Mind.  

For most people, the implication of ‘therapy’ is of some process that will aid recovery from whatever ails them, physically or mentally, and achieve it benevolently, without harming them.  

By what stretch of the meaning of words can a process be so described that actually harms the very thing, the human mind, that it is claimed to be saving?

“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.”
The poet, Dyer*, could not have guessed
What would be done to minds distressed.
This precious place with knowledge filled,
Shocked, drugged, benumbed - then killed.

(*Sir Edward Dyer 1540 – 1607)

The 'story' of how I came to be subjected to 23 completely un-necessary sessions of ECT, is told in Chapter One of my book

"Listening to the silences - 
in a world of hearing voices."

It is available to download free on

Because the book is long, I have extracted Chapter One, and another key Chapter in my second Blog -