In this book the reader follows British born author and journalist, Joe Fisher, as he investigates the whole phenomena of spiritualism, channelling, and mediumship. It should be noted at the outset that Fisher is not a Christian, and I only mention that here, as it is interesting to see how his final conclusions make more sense in a Christian world view.
During the course of his five year research, Fisher was lead to becoming a regular attender with a gathering of people interested in paranormal phenomena. It was here that he was introduced to a number of spirit entities, including his own spirit guide, a spirit that claimed to be a Greek lady who was his former lover in a past life they shared together. Fisher became more convinced of the truthfulness of the claims of his guide, and the other spirits, which spoke through the medium, especially since some of the information that was transmitted appeared to be uncannily accurate. However, as he continued to check the information he was provided with (geographical data, historical facts, dates, times, people, places, and events), in library archives, doubts eventually began to rise in his mind. It soon became more and more apparent that significant pieces of key information was either extremely conspicuous by its absence, or directly contradicted what he had been told.
Fisherís doubts grew more so when he measured the claims of his own guide against those of other popular mediums. Although the spiritís that spoke through the various mediums he met claimed to be in contact with his own spirit guide much of the information they provided contradicted.
As a result of all the conflicting information Fisher began to feel that these spirits were either, at best guessing, or at worst, deliberately lying.
After lengthy in depth research, and becoming more and more frustrated with the many contradictions, and blatant lies of the guides, Fisher challenges the spiritís with the findings his research has uncovered. The response of the guideís, however, was not to admit falsehood but rather to be slippery and evasive.
Fisher eventually meets up with a former member of the group, Sandford Ellison, who had previously offered to tell him of the "other side" of the story of the spirit guides. Ellison reveals that his time with the guides lead him into becoming increasingly manipulated and controlled by them, eventually leading to the break down of his marriage. He explains to Fisher how the guides demanded more and more time of , while at the same time poisoning his mind against his wife. He was, in effect, turned into a puppet on a string ready to jump to do their bidding. It was only when he made the break from their control that his former relationship with his wife was restored.
Looking back on his dealings with the guides, Fisher was able to see how they worked. As well as resorting to blatant half truths and downright lies, they used such tactics as flattering their listeners, and were highly intelligent masters in manipulation. They were slippery and difficult to pin down, able to change the subject, when questioned about contradictions in facts. Although they often spoke of "the good" for humanity, love, and "forward development", it became apparent that their true motives were to control and live vicariously through physical beings - hence the name of the book "Hungry Ghosts".
The final part of the book finds the author still grappling with the question of what exactly the guides are. Enough evidence was gathered to demonstrate that some of the information could not have been gathered by natural means, so conscious fraud on the part of the mediums did not seem to be the best choice of explanation. It seemed that these entities, whatever they were, were not what they claimed to be (i.e. spirits of the dead). Despite them being able to deliver great amounts of supernatural information, they lied about their identities, and would be caught out over and over again. His conclusion? That these spirits were lower earthly spirits, lying beings, which were desperate to attach themselves to human hosts, like parasites. Fisher recognises that others have also come to this conclusion throughout the ages. He refers to other historical sources, including the Bible, that identify these spirits as malevolent, evil beings, demons.
The epilogue to this 2001 edition shows Fisher still somewhat haunted by his experience with the spirits and sounding out a personal warning for those who would seek to enter the world of spirit guides.
In that same year, tragedy was to strike. The publisherís of Joe Fisherís book, Paraview Press, explain how the author eventually took his own life after being tormented by the spirits he had been in contact with. The publisherís further explain how it is all the more incredible that Fisher took his life as he was known as one who wrote against suicide in a previous book he had authored:
"Troubled by personal problems - as well as by the spirits he claimed to have angered in writing the Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts - Joe Fisher took his own life on May 9, 2001." (http://www.paraview.com/fisher/index.htm)
As mentioned earlier, it must be remembered that Fisher, although brought up in a family that had some Bible based beliefs, was not a Christian himself, but rather one who leant more towards New Age beliefs and practices. As such, he could not be accused of being biased against the practice of mediumship. He started off as a sceptical and objective enquirer, an investigative journalist, eventually become a believer in the phenomena of spirit contact, but found that the spirits he was in touch with were not what they claimed to be. His conclusion was that these spirits were real but lied about their identity. They were demons. Fisherís mother would say to him: "Demonís...Youíre talking to demons. And I donít like the sound of it one bit." (p. 128).
There is a warning here for every person who is, either involved, or thinking about, contacting spirit guides through spiritualists, mediums, or channelerís. The tragic end of Joe Fisher could easily become your own. This is not the only incident of a life ruined through contact with spirit entities, beings that the Bible calls demons, or evil spirits.
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