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More Lives Than One?: Evidence of the Remarkable Bloxham Tapes by Jeffrey Iverson

November 14, 2015

MLTOI used stories from this book to excite interest in pupils before a discussion on reincarnation. It never failed to fascinate.

The morality of using ‘popular’ works to get pupils interested is dodgy. But how else do you get working class, reluctant pupils in a minority subject to engage? You have t make sure that the ensuing discussion allows that the author might be, as many reviewers have suggested, a ‘fraud’.

People were hypnotised and asked to ‘regress’ their memories further back than when they were born. They were recorded on what have become known as ‘the Bloxham Tapes’, which were written up in this book.

One impressive case was Jane Evans, whose lives were varied and packed with details. Her earliest recalled life was as Livonia, wife of Titus, tutor to one of the sons of the Roman governor (Constantius) in York (Eboracum) during the 3rd century. In 1189 she was Rebecca, wife of a wealthy Jewish moneylender, also in York. In 1450 she was Alison, an Egyptian servant in the French household of Jacques Coeur, a wealthy merchant and financier in Bourges. In the early 16th century she had been Anna, a lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon. In 1702, she had been a London sewing girl named Ann Tasker. In the early 20th century, she had been Sister Grace, a Catholic nun living in Des Moines, Iowa.

Whenever television viewers saw Jane Evans under hypnosis and heard the astonishing stories come naturally from her, they were rightly impressed. Her narratives seemed completely free from any attempts at acting a part. When fear and anguish came into her voice, it was clear that she was racked with real emotions. And her easy grasp of often difficult names of people and places made it seem that she was indeed remembering things that she’d only known about intimately.

Iverson searched the historical record and found a number of facts that matched the stories told by Jane Evans. He ended up agreeing with Bloxham that the tapes provided strong evidence for reincarnation. His publisher touted Iverson’s book as providing “the most staggering evidence for reincarnation ever recorded…accounts so authentic that they can only be explained by the certainty of reincarnation”

MLTO 2My favourite story is that of Rebecca. She described her plight as a Jew in medieval York, living in a thatched cottage in an area known as ‘Dewberry’. Good Friday was always a flashpoint and Jews stayed in doors for their safety. After the Liturgy, Christians grabbed the flaming torches used to light the minster and set the cottages on fire. Jews escaped to Clifford’s tower and some escaped, using money bags as bribery. She describes how she is hiding in a church crypt and worried about her husband and son.

Critics pointed out that the church ‘outside the copper gate’ (a reference to the copper market – the street is still there) didn’t have a crypt – but later, after the tape was made, archaeologists discovered that it (St. Mary’s Church, near Coppergate) DID have a crypt.

But the story seems to have been based on a radio play about the York massacre. On several occasions, Ann describes the circular yellow badge that Jews were forced to wear. The badge wasn’t used in York until the 13th century and it wasn’t circular or yellow, but oblong and white.

It is said that our memory contains much that is subconscious. A woman who suddenly starts talking in an Icelandic language could have been a baby in a pram when a radio programme included some words from this language – and the memory be retained.

A posh man suddenly talks as a common sailor and describes his being press-ganged and fighting the ‘Frenchies’ on a ship which he calls ‘Aggie’ (Agnes?). It has a complicated gun mechanism which has been verified by ballistics experts at the British maritime Museum.

But a critic says that ‘nautical and archaic words used by Huxtable were commonplace in the boys’ adventure stories and comics popular in his childhood, and it is clear from Bloxham’s tapes of the sessions that Huxtable was familiar with Robert Newton’s performance in the film “Treasure Island”!’

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