This post is by Steven Rumbelow.
When we were shooting Beyond in Saskatchewan a few people on our crew recommended that we listen to a local channeler, Bub Hill, an unassuming real estate agent living in Moose Jaw. He’s also an archery champion and well known taxidermist. He has been a champion hunter too. This is all to say that Bub Hill is the most unlikely mixture for the usual channeler.
I take channelers and psychics generally with a grain of salt. I find a lot of them to be trying to supplement a flagging income, rarely reliable and often use thinly veiled questions to feed their statements. You can usually tell from their linguistic patterns and body language if they are inventing, via their fishing statements, as they go. I also tend not to believe some paranormal organizations who sometimes endorse psychics because organizations tend to have agendas. With a few exceptions, I have rarely in my life run into people who are true psychics, mediums or channelers and usually it’s very easy to distinguish the real ones from the faux ones.
One psychic we interviewed for Beyond referred to the possession of a hotel by a fictional character from Tolkien and mistakenly said it was a creature mentioned in the book of Genesis. She had no idea that the Balrog was an invention of Tolkien. She also professed to rid the house of the ghosts of several rabbits along with a teenage T-Rex that somehow managed to fit in a basement closet. Needless to say, she did not make it on to the series.
This is all to say that when we went to meet Bub Hill, all my usual radar was up despite the fact that he came highly recommended by a noted psychologist and founder of the parapsychology department at the University of Regina along with many other trustworthy observers. My wife who is also my executive assistant has a degree in philosophy and is not easily convinced by would-be psychics, so she went in with skepticism as well.
We first met Bub at a gathering where he showed up late, was friendly but remained fairly remote and detached from the proceedings despite the fact that everyone obviously knew and respected him. He seemed very normal, somewhat conservative and didn’t stay long after the last person of the group did their thing. During that night, we set up a meeting and from his down to earth demeanor I was a little intrigued.
When I actually met him, his attitude disarmed me. He explained that he didn’t endorse or even believe in much of what he channeled but he did it because he loved the feeling he got from the meditative state he achieved during the channeling. He was very careful to make sure that I understood that he did not endorse or argue the points made by ‘Joshiah’ which was the name given to the group of beings who channeled through Bub. They claimed to have never been incarnate in this veil of reality, earth. He also said to bring a list of questions and to feel free to ask them telepathically of the Joshiah group without asking them aloud because Joshiah was more comfortable with telepathy than spoken English.
I was intrigued. We went prepared with a list of 20 questions held in my back pocket and my wife had a copy in her bag. Joshiah had a concentrated fan base of credible observers like doctors, professors and academics who traveled from all over the world to hear him speak. I decided I was going to shoot the interview myself because, if the opportunity arose I would convey camera directions to Joshiah and see if I could get him to hit his marks and moves by telepathic instruction. That struck me as a real opportunity to test the reality of Joshiah.
We were settled into the wood paneled basement of Bub’s house where he originally did his channelings, surrounded by memorabilia and cuddly toys for his grandchildren. He made a few statements/disclaimers about his lack of complicity with the statements and sat back with his eyes closed for what seemed like a very long time but turned out to be about 4 minutes. Suddenly, with eyes kept closed and seemingly in a state of REM sleep, he inhaled a sharp and loud intake of breath and started in. His voice struggled with English. The accent was unlike any I had ever heard in my extremely widely traveled career. It was an accent any skilled actor would have trouble creating. The closest accent might have intermittently be likened to a hybrid of a Dutch / English / Scottish / South African accent which sometimes lapsed into Yiddish and sometimes Welsh. He would sometimes struggle for words, as if speaking was foreign to him.
The channeling went on for 45 minutes. As a film and theatre director who has studied the anthropology of the actor and audience behavior and has even performed experiments in actor/audience relationship with primates in London Zoo, I am not easily fooled by performances and am fully aware of performers’ tricks. He was employing none of them and to any actor, 45 minutes without a script while sitting in a chair doing an unknown accent would take any performer several months to rehearse, except for perhaps Robin Williams. This was not a skilled actor and his first channel (his wife has recorded them all) was as consistent as the one we were shooting. The Beyond page has a clip from the channeling episode so you can get an idea of how he speaks when channeling Joshiah.
Another key genuine factor was temperature. The temperature went up immediately at the start of his channel and the basement stayed uncomfortably warm until he came out of the session. The temperature returned to normal within seconds. Every time we attended his sessions, it was the same. He would always break out into a profuse sweat immediately following a session but never broke one bead of sweat during the channeling.
It is also interesting to note that following a session he didn’t display any of the normal ego-driven insecurities of a fake. He was unaware of Joshiah’s statements and sometimes when informed he would say things like “Really? Do you agree with that?” or “Yes, but I wouldn’t necessarily believe it.” In the channeling, Joshiah would always impel people to connect telepathically and to sidestep the language because it was more efficient to communicate telepathically than with speech.
So, what about the telepathic questions you may ask? Well, four answered questions into the session, my wife and I looked at one another in astonishment as we realized that each question was being answered in order without any reference being made to our list. That’s when I started really trying telepathic and environmental tests. I would move in so close with the camera that the lens was almost touching his nose. Nothing fazed him. Anyone in performance would have broken character even if only slightly. There was not even the slightest flinch from him. Here’s the other huge kicker, when I communicated to him telepathically to make certain moves ‘on my mark’, he performed them seamlessly. If you watch the episode, you’ll see one move where I instructed him telepathically to do a head turn on my mark and I use his move to stimulate a pan and it worked perfectly. Normally that kind of move would need four to seven takes on a feature film set.
The content of his statements were extremely complex philosophically. They had footings in Cartesian thinking but in many ways were far beyond Descartes. Joshiah explained that what we perceive as our reality is almost like a theme park illusion that we who participate in the creation and continuation of the illusion are continually changing and modifying. Time and space are not real and the relativistic universe does not exist in reality. Time and space are illusions created by an electro-magnetic ‘veil’. Those who choose to live in it are looked upon as sensation seekers but we are all really part of one non-local community, which sounded a lot to me like a total endorsement for non-local thought, non-local healing, etc.
He said we are constantly changing our universe but are only aware of it when we have gaps in our knowledge or leftover memories that don’t jive with the facts. There is some rather good thinking in quantum and hard matter physics research to confirm some of this. Also the study of EM frequencies and it’s involvement with light tends to confirm the same illusion of space and time, as does what Einstein called the ‘spooky effect’ in string theory which shows instantaneous events over huge distances without the passing of any time.
These ideas are not new and Deepak Chopra seems to have arrived at much the same conclusion from a starting point as an Endocrinologist. His interpretation of the Universe is much the same. So too did Buddha.