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Philip the Imaginary Ghost
By:Michael Tymn <METGAT@aol.com>

Much has been written about Philip the imaginary ghost created by a group of Canadian researchers during the 1970s. Many parapsychologists have concluded from this and other similar experiments that such spirit manifestations are no more than manifestations of the human mind.

Allan Kardec, the pioneering French psychical researcher, discussed this a hundred years earlier in his 1874 book, "The Book of Mediums," (published after his death). Kardec wrote: "Frivolous communications emanate from light, mocking, mischievious spirits, more roguish than wicked, and attach no importance to what they say...These light spirits multiply around us and seize every occasion to mingle in the communication; truth is the least of their care; this is why they take a roguish pleasure in mystifying those who are weak, and who sometimes presume to believe their word. Persons who take pleasure in such communications naturally give access to light and deceiving spirits."

In another place, Kardec asks a communicating spirit if animals can communicate. The spirit says they can't. Kardec points out that there have been some purported communication from animals. The spirit replies: "Invoke a stone and it will answer you. There is always a crowd of spirits ready to speak for anything."

Kardec added: "Just the same if you invoke a myth, or an allegorical personage, it will answer; that is, it will be answered for, and the spirit who would present himself would take its character and appearance. One day, a person took a fancy to invoke Tartufe, and Tartufe came immediately; still more, he talked of Orgon, of Elmire, of Damis, and of Valire, of whom he gave news; as to himself, he counterfeited the hypocrite with as much art as if Tartufe had been a real personage. Afterward, he said he was the spirit of an actor who had played that character.

"Trifling spirits always profit by the inexperience of interrogators, but they take good care never to address those who they know are enlightened enough o discover their imposturer, and who would give no credit to their stories. It is the same among men."

And so it may very well be that Philip was simply a mischievious spirit.