CHAPTER FOUR

Exits

In 1973 John and his then girlfriend and future wife Diana Becchetti had attended a six-week course together at the California Institute of Psychosynthesis, and it was here that Diana had discovered her vocation. She had gone on to take advanced training in the techniques of psychosynthesis, and after the May Lectures she had gone to Italy to spend some time working with Roberto Assagioli. The founder of psychosynthesis was now eighty-six and very frail. Although Diana went to him as a student, they soon struck up a close relationship in which she figured as a kind of combination of daughter figure and beloved disciple. 'I realised when he died,' Diana later said, 'that I had been sent to serve Roberto in the last months of his life, to bring him joy and contact and humanness

John joined Diana in Italy after the gathering in the Bahamas and spent three weeks with her there. He was eager to have Roberto's opinion of the communications, and he wrote a long report of events and information received up to that time for him to read. Fortunately, he recorded the remarks Assagioli made after he had read the report. Assagioli spoke English well but jerkily and in a high-pitched voice with pronounced Italian inflections, which makes the tape difficult to transcribe, but after listening to it several times phrase by phrase I have been able to decipher the following interesting comments: ". . . Very pleased with the report because of the agreement between the communications and my intuition is really remarkable. The main points should be a basis for our co-operation ... Mediums are not always reliable because they are open to different influences and they cannot discriminate ... The point which I really doubt is that of a landing, a physical landing of these beings . . . As regards the New Wave from 1975 on, and the coming of higher beings: I think it will be a gradual thing, but the main point is the realisation by humanity that there are higher beings, which they are strangely reluctant to admit. I think that to help them to recognise that is good. And this is one of the main esoteric teachings. The time has come for the recognition of that, of the hierarchy that is there ... The only point of caution is that there are dark forces that try to prevent all this happening, and one of their ways is to insinuate false teachings in the communications. It is not so difficult for them for they are sly and under the guise of something fine they can be misleading. So we must always be on guard. . .'

Assagioli was well versed in the esoteric traditions and teachings, and he could speak of the hierarchy of higher beings, and of the dark forces that opposed them with complete naturalness, as if he had long ago accepted the reality of such entities. What is most interesting, of course, is that Assagioli found nothing intrinsically preposterous in the idea of communications emanating from an extra-terrestrial intelligence. What he said about the unreliability of mediums and the possibility of false teachings being insinuated into communications must always be borne in mind when we attempt to assess this material. But it was a possibility that both Phyllis and Andrija were aware of, for Phyllis said to Andrija when she came out of trance at the conclusion of the Ryr channelling, 'Are you sure that we are dealing with the right people?'

To a non-psychic who falls in with people involved in the psychic scene it is impressive to find that they have a consensus reality. Intensely subjective though psychic and spiritual experiences are, they belong to an area of human experience that his been well mapped, and knowledge of the topography of this strange area is shared by psychics and psychologists. Freudian psychologists tend to lump psychic experiences together as products of morbid or pathological mental states, and Jung and Assagioli were pioneers in taking psychism seriously and studying the varieties of its manifestations.

In conversation with me, Diana said of Assagioli: 'He believed that certain things were lower psychism and certain things were higher, in the sense that lower psychism was astral projection, telepathy, clairvoyance, mediumship, whereas higher psychism was intuition, illumination, inspiration, and he felt very much that if we tune into and focus all our attention on the lower aspects of psychism we won't allow the higher development to occur.' What worried Diana about the communications and John's involvement was that she felt that there was a good deal of lower psychism involved in them.

John promised Assagioli that when he returned to Ossining in July he would bring back to Italy a further report on what transpired in the next series of communications. He also promised to consult the Management on the question whether it would be in order for a healing to be attempted on Roberto. Assagioli had agreed to this on the condition that no attempt should be made to cure his deafness for he said he had lived with that condition long enough to have learnt that it had certain advantages.

Phyllis was already at Ossining when John arrived on 18 July. Lyall was due to come on the 2oth, but, Andrija said, they had already learnt from the Management that be had decided against getting more deeply involved in the work. Andrija had held a communication alone with Phyllis the night before, in which Tom had said, 'Dr Watson was given an opportunity and declined. If he had said yes he would not necessarily have had to do that project. We were asking for faith. He knew for the last three years that he would be involved in healing. Within his heart this pleased him, but he asked for more and we were willing to give this, but he was not willing to test us.'

Phyllis, Andrija and John were all disappointed by this news, but in the same communication there had been more encouraging news about Bobby. 'He has made a commitment, but under certain conditions,' Tom said. 'In his heart his commitment is made, but he is now trying to make us make a commitment to him. Things will be resolved and all your systems in motion by the middle of August.' That was unexpected news, for when Phyllis had last seen Bobby in Orlando he had not intimated that he was now willing to make his commitment to work with the group again. He had, however, tried to exercise his healing powers on Phyllis herself.

On 8 July, Phyllis had had a heart attack. She had been in her office with two close friends when she had suddenly collapsed. They had driven her round to her doctor, who had immediately sent her to hospital, where she was in intensive care for four days. When the worst of the crisis was over and she was convalescing she had had an argument with the doctor about smoking, and by threatening to discharge herself from the hospital and convincing him that the stress she underwent without cigarettes was likely to cause a relapse, she managed to prevail upon him to allow her four or five cigarettes a day. The doctor therefore arranged for her to be moved to another room, immediately next to the intensive care unit, where although she was alone she was still under continual observation for she was wired to electronic monitoring equipment. She was supposed to remain in bed all the time and call a nurse if she needed anything, but on the second day she got bored and wondered what would happen if she detached the belts that connected her to the electronic devices. She did so and nobody came to investigate, so she took the opportunity to go to the toilet. The next day she became more adventurous and left the room for about twenty minutes to take a shower, and still nobody seemed to have noticed her absence. She thought it extraordinarily inefficient, for a nurse was supposed to be keeping an eye on the monitoring equipment in the next room, but she wasn't disposed to complain and she continued to enjoy her surreptitious daily excursions throughout the rest of her convalescence. She soon felt fully recovered. Among the tests she was put through before being finally discharged was one on a running machine. Her heartbeat was monitored while she ran, and the doctor was amazed at the steadiness of the beat and at the length of time that she kept up the running. He told her she seemed to have more than recovered, and that she had the heart of a girl of twenty. He was obviously very puzzled.

The doctor and the hospital staff were even more puzzled on the day she left. Phyllis only heard the story three days later from the superintendent of nurses, who was an acquaintance of hers. Apparently after she had left the hospital the electrocardiogram had continued giving a read-out of her heartbeat, as if she was still wired to the machine. Technicians were called to check the machine for faults. They dismantled it and put it together again, and it still went on recording Phyllis's heartbeat. It continued to do so, in fact, for eight hours after she had left the hospital.

Twice while she was in hospital Bobby had tried to get in to see her and had managed to do so briefly on one occasion, masquerading as a relative who had come a long way to pay the visit. He had attempted to do a healing but had been allowed little time and it was doubtful that Phyllis's recovery was due to his efforts. There were so many unusual elements in the case that Andrija had asked for an explanation during the communication he held alone with Phyllis on 17 July. 'We are sorry that we had to inconvenience her,' Tom had said, 'but we decided this was the best way. We had much work to do.' Phyllis had been getting too little rest and had been generating too much energy inward, which had weakened the heart. 'So we decided that this Being needed to be brought down so that we could repair and fix the heart at the same time.' Her heart was now as good as when she was a child, Tom went on, and also its function and composition had been changed. 'It is a method not known in your world,' he said, and tried to explain that the heart now had nine sorts of antennae which functioned both as sensors and transducers. 'What it will do is filter-the energy. Part of it will filter the energy, part of it will be used as a satellite for us, and it filters and purifies the blood. Energy can then be dissipated into the ether without a blowout.' Andrija asked whether the abnormal reactions on the hospital equipment were due to this energy, and Tom replied: 'This is correct. The energy that we use radiates out from this Being. We have talked to you before about the sonars [heart implants, mentioned by Ryr in the communications held on Stocking Island on 21 June]. This sonar continues to radiate after it is activated. It is also the same principle as is used in healing. When we use these beings for healings, after the healing or the actual physical contact has taken place, then the healing continues. The sonars continue to radiate out for approximately eight to twenty-four of your hours.'

'Nobody in the world seems to have known this,' Andrija said wonderingly.

'Nobody before has hooked one of our beings into one of these machines,' Tom said.

In the same communication, Tom had spoken at some length about the relation between sexual and spiritual energies. Being involved in the type of work they were all involved in, he had said, tended to activate sexual energy and desire to a high degree.

'It's obvious that we need tremendous help in this area,' Andrija said, 'for it seems to be the main obstacle to our carrying out the commitments that we make.'

'You must realise that I do not understand that emotion,' Tom said. But he apparently managed to get some help from colleagues better acquainted with the problems of physical beings, for after a long pause he went on: 'They are explaining to me that there is nothing wrong with this emotion, but if the being is not able to transmute the vibration it becomes like a furnace that is stoked. And the furnace must have a safety valve. The refined way of doing this would be to elevate the energy or to walk off the steam. Within all of you there is a pipeline, and if the energy is not funnelled upward so that the steam can be released properly, it then becomes a heartburning furnace. If you let off too much steam from the furnace it dissipates the energy of that furnace and it no longer is functional as it should be. This is the problem in your physical world. There is too much involvement in releasing the energy instead of refining the energy.'

What this amounted to, of course, was an advocacy of sublimation instead of satiation of sexual desires, and although it was not particularly original it was apparently particularly relevant to Andrija, for the following day he made a decision to terminate a liaison which he knew had been jeopardising his work.

John also made a decision on the same morning, 20 July. Here is how he describes it: 'Early in the morning while in bed I got to thinking about my frustration with the wealthy people I know who claim to be committed yet still do not give money even though they know it is urgently needed. I realised that whilst I had given a lot, of money I had not in so doing endangered my own financial security, so in real terms I had given nothing. I felt that that indicated some lack of faith in myself and in God, and that if I overcame that my frustration would go away, for it is of course frustration with myself , and not with others. I also believed that money would only begin to flow from others when I had dealt with my hang-up about it. When I honestly faced my problem in this way it simply melted away and I was overwhelmed with a sense of relief, joy and peace!

The Management seemingly understood and appreciated that Andrija and John had both resolved personal problems that had been affecting their work for on the night of 2o July they held a party to celebrate the reaffirmation of their commitment. Early in this session, which was to be the weirdest they had had to date and one of the longest, Tom said, 'This room is filled with our people this evening. We have come to surround you with protection and with light.' Because of the large number of extra-terrestrials present, they were given to understand, questions on a wide variety of topics would be able to be dealt with promptly, and they proceeded to take advantage of this situation. Among the points of information that their questions elicited in the course of the next hour were the following:

- that a certain chemical element taken in very minute doses has the property of heightening psychic powers; both the element and its organic source were identified by name, but as it is a poison and has to be handled with great care I have judged it advisable to withhold these details from the present narrative;

-that the structure of Christianity is in decline and will continue to decline, but there are groups within Christianity who disagree with the dogmatic aspects of the religion and will preserve its essential core;

- that the Management have people 'attempting to do the work that is necessary' placed in all the governments of the major countries of the world except the Chinese;

- that the US and Russian governments had had a secret agreement for many years to suppress information about UFO sightings and contacts, but they were now going to be put under increasing pressure by people demanding release of official information;

- that the telephone lines of the Ossining house were tapped by government agencies, but there was no need to worry because 'we know how to erase';

- that the most reliable esoteric writings were those of 'the Tibetan' channelled through Mrs Alice Bailey;

- that the group working with Uri was still optimistic about getting him to come back into service, but 'we cannot make him change his decision, we can only try to inspire, and if his ego is not tempered there is not much we can do'.

Some other minor bits of information were conveyed, then Tom said, 'All of our people are now smiling. We are all around you. This room is filled, this house is filled, and the top of your house is filled. We are very happy to be with you. You must understand that this is a party in your world.' 'Perhaps John and I should address ourselves to this marvellous multitude, and tell them how we feel,' Andrija said. 'They would like to address themselves to you,' Tom said, and after a short pause he delivered a celebratory speech:

'All this array of people and beings - because we are people as you are people - is a gathering of all that have worked for many hundreds and thousands of your years in order to help you. Whether you realise this or not, we have come the farthest that we have ever come in order to help mankind. We are all very excited and exhilarated with being close to the completion of our project. In your time it is short, but in our time it has been very long and we realise how short it has now become. As I look around this group that has gathered in your home, on top of your home and outside your home, I see nothing but joy and peace and love that is being generated to all of you, and with all of this power that we bring to you, and this love, we cannot fail in this mission. There will be no way that we can fail in this mission because at this time we have also on the planet Earth new physical being-, that will help to see that ' we do not fail. This we have never had before. We have never had the communication system that you now have, the awareness that you now have, and the openness that you now have. We are sad that some of you fail, but remember, in the past everything failed, so we expect a casualty rate. We do not like it, but we know that this is so. We would like you to keep in your hearts the understanding that this is an honest and sincere effort and a pure love that we have for you beings!

Profoundly moved, Andrija asked the reason for the celebration at this particular time and was told, 'The cosmic event that is going on is because of the final acceptance by our Council that our project will be completed. This came about due to the -work of you three. We are having a party of joy. You would use the expression, "dancing in the streets"! Moreover, the immediate cause of the celebration was the fact that the decisions Andrija and John had individually made that morning would enable the work to be accelerated and ensure its eventual success.

'We would like to have your permission to introduce the Being to many that have come,' Tom said at the conclusion of the session. They agreed, and there was a pause of a couple of minutes before Tom said that the session should now be ended and Phyllis brought back. Andrija slowly brought her out of trance, and when she was fully conscious Phyllis spoke with undisguised excitement and awe about the experience she had just been through. She kept saying there weren't the words to describe it, but she managed to convey something of her vision in a series of exclamations.

'My God, Andrija! They were outside this place. It was beautiful. It was absolutely glowing. And there were ledges and there were all kinds of people, but they weren't physical' And they had this glow. I was on the top of your house and all these people were surrounding this whole house, and they were smiling, beaming. The ledges were all round your house.'

'What did they look like?' Andrija said. 'Were they like people?'

'No, not like people, not really,' Phyllis said. She struggled to find words, 'They had different forms, as if they came from different planets or galaxies or something. But they all had this smile. They were laughing and giggling and they were like kids that were bubbling over and that had just got too much of something or other. But there were some with long robes. And one took me by the hand, and they said, "We want you to know how many are working with you." And there are thousands and thousands and thousands. The ones in the robes were looking on like fathers or grandfathers looking at their children and saying with great pride, "You've done it!" The higher ones had such pride in their people.'

Andrija explained what had happened in the communication, and about the party and the reason for it, and how at the end Tom had asked permission to take Phyllis to meet their people. 'What blasts my mind out,' he said, 'is that here we are, just three ordinary little schmos, and the Council of the supergalaxy chooses to drop in!'

They all laughed. It was just too incredible and beautiful, utterly preposterous but totally believable because at the time none of them had expected anything like this, and as Phyllis in trance was always quite oblivious to what she channelled the correspondences between her experiences and what Tom had said were sufficient proof for Andrija and John that there really had been this intergalactic gathering of beings around them. There seemed no other way of expressing their mixed feelings of delight and amazement than by laughter.

Lyall had arrived that morning as arranged, but because of his decision not to get more involved in the work of the group he had not participated in this session. He had spent the past month in London and at his home in Bermuda and had devoted a lot of thought to the work of the Ossining group and the question of his own commitment and future work. Basically, he explained to me some time later, he felt that he had to remain a loner and could not work as a member of a group. His training and expertise were as a naturalist and biologist, and he felt that the Earth had marvels and mysteries enough to engage him, and despite all the evidence he could never be quite comfortable with the idea of intelligent superbeings from elsewhere intervening in Earth's affairs, Nor could he see how he could ever be entirely satisfied that the communications came from an external source and not from the unconscious of one or more of the people involved. His respect for Andrija as a scientist was immense, but he was convinced that he was also a shaman, a 'magic man' as he said, and was the key figure in the story.

I took the opportunity to ask Lyall about the puzzling appearance of the will. That really was a mystery, but he was not prepared to take it as proof positive of the existence of the Management. He had investigated the incident. The will had been drawn up by solicitors in Johannesburg who said they had received instructions from him by telephone. They had then posted the will to his home in Bermuda and it had come back with his signature on it, whereupon they had forwarded it to his parents. But, Lyall said, he had not made the phone call, had not signed the document, and had not even been in Bermuda at the time when he was supposed to have returned it from there. He didn't see how anyone could have contrived such an elaborate hoax, or who could have done so, and he admitted that it looked like a materialisation event conceived and executed by some intelligence, but even so it didn't prove anything and he was content to shelve it as an unsolved and probably insoluble mystery. His work in the Philippines and in Indonesia had accustomed him to living with the insoluble and the imponderable.

So Lyall was no longer a participant in the communications, though he remained for several days at Ossining as a guest. On the day following the 'party' John and Andrija retired in the evening with Phyllis to Andrija's room to conduct another session which revolved around two questions that Andrija put to Tom at the start: What had been going on elsewhere on the planet the night before to cause the celebration? and, What precisely was meant by preparing mankind for the landing?

The first question, Tom indicated, showed that they still did not fully appreciate the importance of their role. They had to understand, difficult though it was to accept, that together the three of them constituted the energy core for the work of transformation that was going to be done on the planet. Their function was that of a trigger or a catalyst, and the previous night 'there was not so much a global awareness as there was in the three of you a true commitment made'. They had to remember, too, that they were really beings from other levels who had chosen to come to Earth to do this work.

John asked about his specific role. He well understood that Andrija and Phyllis had special abilities and experience to equip them for the work, but he didn't really understand what his contribution could be. 'Your balance and support for these two will be your main role,' Tom said, 'your love, your logic, and your balance.' Andrija and Phyllis, because of their past work and experience, were in the habit of questioning, checking and looking for proofs, which was right and good up to a point but could be overdone, and John would 'serve the purpose of being more open and helping them to see that there are other things besides their constant striving for positive proof, so that they will not be trapped'.

Andrija should not be so concerned as he was about the immensity of the task or feel that he alone was responsible for its accomplishment. 'We have set many things in motion on your planet ... There will be many that will come to you. Doors will be opened. The advancement of knowledge will be very rapid. We will put these things into motion. We are helping you, Doctor. You have had knowledge and you have had faith in us for many years. Now have a little more faith and understand that this will not have to be done by you alone as it has in the past.'

In answer to Andrija's question about the meaning of preparing mankind for the landing, Tom now gave a detailed description of the nature and purpose of the event.

The landing would be a physical, visible event that would take place all over the planet over a period of nine days. Many different types of craft would land and beings would descend from them and be among men. Some would remain on Earth as teachers and some would go on after a while to work in other areas, for then the planet Earth would have begun to evolve in its truest sense.

Thinking of the landing as the Second Coming, John asked, 'Will the beings that remain collectively represent the Christ or will the Christ be among them?'

'You must remember that all of you and all of us have the Christ within us,' Tom said. 'It will be a collective consciousness ... Man is now coming out of the true dark ages of the planet and becoming aware of the existence of other life forms in other parts of the universe. Men have always assumed that there was someone sitting up there taking care of their problems, but they also assumed through their ego that they were the only existents and that this being called God was only concerned with them. Man now has to understand that there are other forms of life and that the universe does not revolve, or evolve, just around man.'

The beings that were going to come to Earth would bring technologies that would help man deal with some of the problems he was faced with, but their main purpose would be what we would call a spiritual one. It would be 'to raise the vibration of the souls, to bring them out of darkness - and when we say darkness we do not mean negativity but true darkness, for they do not see and do not understand the cosmic, and they also do not understand that when they hate and when they are angry this creates a problem for the universe. Only by raising the level of the consciousness of this planet, and perfecting the love and the core that is inside each human being, can we go on then to perfect other planets in the galaxies. This planet is one of the lowest that the soul comes to learn a lesson. The tragedy of this planet is its density. It is like a mire, it is sticky, and these beings get trapped in this stickiness. With your help we are going to raise the level of this planet, make it a lighter planet. The energy then coming from it will be sent into the universe and will help raise the levels of consciousness and the levels of other planets ... We have spoken to you before of this Being and young Bobby and their relationship in the etheric: your planet will be raised to that type of vibration.'

To prepare man for the landing, Tom now explained in specific answer to Andrija's question, meant to nullify his fear of other beings and bring him to awareness of their existence. The group must use their own initiative and knowledge of the world to work towards this end, but they would be helped in some ways. For instance, there was the project to interfere with the electronics of mass communications. This would make people ask questions, and at the time of the landing the most stubborn non-believers would remember the interferences and thus be prepared to begin to understand what was going on.

John and Andrija thanked Tom for this elucidation of the cosmic plan and their role in it. Tom then asked if they had any further questions, and Andrija took the opportunity to raise the question of the proposed healing of Roberto Assagioli. Tom said that the healing could and should be done. It would require a number of sessions and the combined energies of three couples: Bobby and Phyllis, John and Diana, and Andrija and another female. But a distant healing would take a long time, and it would be best if they could work on Assagioli at his home in Italy. Andrija said this was no problem, and they would arrange to make the trip in the near future. Tom stressed that the most essential preliminary would be to secure Bobby's co-operation.

It was partly on account of this that John and Phyllis went down to Daytona Beach the following day. Also, in an earlier communication, Tom had said that John should go and talk to Bobby and it was not necessary for Andrija to be present. So he did so, and was delighted to find Tom's information confirmed. Bobby was willing to work with the group again and to join them on the trip to Italy to work on Assagioli. Meanwhile he and Phyllis would work together in Orlando for two or three weeks and then go up to Ossining, where it was proposed that they should all gather to hold further communications the second week in August.

On his previous trip to Italy John had chance to meet in a Florence hotel a film-maker he had known in California, and they had discussed the possibility of making a film about Assagioli's life and work. So John now returned to Italy to discuss the project with Roberto, as well as to be with Diana.

He had been away only two weeks, but in that time Roberto seemed to have become much older and frailer. He was suffering from severe arthritis and pulmonary trouble, and was in pain nearly all the time, but in spite of this he engaged in the work of planning the film with much vigour and enthusiasm. John told him all about the most recent communications and that the Management had said that he could and should be healed, and Assagioli said he would welcome the healers and co-operate with them in any way possible just as soon as it could be arranged. When John returned to New York he had prepared, with Assagioli's help, a rough shooting script for the film, and had made all arrangements for filming to start at the beginning of September.

In the communications held at Ossining daily throughout the week 9-16 August some new themes were introduced and old ones were elaborated upon. This was a series that was prolific in its information content, but it began with a session, on 9 August, devoted almost entirely to discussion of the problems of channelling through Phyllis and further elucidation of the theme of bio-engineering. It was a particularly interesting communication from an overall evidential point of view because it purported to explain events in Phyllis's life eleven years before, events which neither Andrija nor John knew about at this time.

In 1967 Phyllis had been almost totally blind. The condition was attributed by a specialist to glaucoma, and her sight had been steadily deteriorating for four years and not responding to treatment, so that by 1967 she could neither drive nor read. She went to a different specialist, who diagnosed a brain tumour and sent her to hospital. But before any treatment was attempted she acted on an impulse and signed herself out of the hospital, demanding that the specialist should give her six weeks to see if she could heal herself. She went to a remote spot in Pennsylvania, near where she had been brought up, and 'sat on a mountain for five weeks'. At the end of that period her sight was completely restored. She attributed the self-healing to meditation and self-analysis. She had always believed, she says, 'that if you cannot hear it's because you refuse to listen, and if you go blind it's because you refuse to see'. So she 'looked inside very closely and realised that what I was refusing to look at, what I was blind to was the fact that I was using my psychic abilities to control people and make them dependent on me'. This, she says, 'is what my analysation of it was'.

Tom's version of the story was different. Her blindness, he said, 'was our fault ... In 1963, when an implant was put in this brain, because of the sensitivity of this being and us not realising that this sensitivity had been carried from our zone to this physical planet, this created a problem in the physical body and this was the reason for the loss of eyes. We were also responsible for removing her from the hospital because we knew at that time that this implant which was a physical implant would be found. We then had to work on overcoming the mechanics of the physical implant. At the time that we did this we also in error erased part of her memory. This is why it has been difficult for her to find the proper words . . . We also did another thing which was in error, and which she does not understand and has never questioned. At one time this Being played concert piano, but she no longer can remember a note.'

This is an interesting explanation of facts that were known only to Phyllis at the time of this communication, namely, that she had gone blind and had apparently miraculously recovered her sight, and that she had once been able to play the piano but was no longer able to do so. Readers disposed to believe that her unconscious generates the information that she 'channels' might argue that the difference between her conscious explanation of the recovery of her sight and the explanation she gave in trance does not invalidate their theory because conflicting intelligent functions are a common phenomenon in psychopathology. But the sequel poses problems for this explanation.

Andrija asked what was the purpose of the device they had planted in Phyllis's brain in 1963, and Tom said it was 'to translate our language into your language'.

'May I just ask,' said Andrija, 'what kind of language is yours? Is it digital, numerical, tonal? What is the nature of your language?'

'It is not truly any of those,' Tom said, 'although perhaps we would say it would be more tonal than anything else you would understand.'

'And what is the frequency range you would operate in tonally?' Andrija asked.

'It would be 98.6 in your terms, 'Tom said.

'We have different terms,' Andrija said. 'Does that mean cycles per second, hertz, kilohertz, megahertz or what?'

'I will verify this,' Tom said, and after a long pause continued: 'It is something beyond your knowledge, but they tell me it would be closer to megacycles.'

'Okay, I understand this,' Andrija said. 'So your implant was to step down your high frequency language to our very low audial frequency, to transpose your values to our values. Is this the means you are using right now to communicate with us?'

Tom confirmed that it was, that the implant was functioning, but that they had not been able fully to rectify their error of erasing part of Phyllis's memory, which was why they often had difficulty in finding the right words for their communications.

(Perhaps Phyllis's use of the word 'analysation' instead of 'analysis' in her explanation, quoted above, of how she recovered her sight may be an example of the kind of difficulty they encountered.)

That Andrija was at home discussing electronics with Tom came as no surprise, for in the past he had invented an electronic healing device about which I will have more to say later.

He now asked whether this instrument would be of any help in Phyllis's case.

'I must verify this,' Tom said, and after pausing to do so went on: 'They tell me it would be all right because it is similar to a charge.'

'Yes, this is what essentially happens,' Andrija said. 'The charge on the membranes of the cells is increased, and this increases the function.'

This dialogue is, as I have said, particularly interesting from an evidential point of view, for to maintain a parapsychological explanation of the communications it would be necessary in the light of this material to argue that both Andrija and Phyllis generate the information at an unconscious level. Andrija did not possess the knowledge about Phyllis's past to create Tom's explanation of her blindness and memory loss, and Phyllis did not possess the technical knowledge to supply the term 'megacycles' and particularly to specify the effect of Andrija's healing device. These facts create problems for the two most obvious parapsychological explanations of the communications: that Tom is a secondary personality of Phyllis's, or that Phyllis is functioning as a channel for information emanating from Andrija.

The communication that they held the next day was an unusual one. Tom began by putting a proposition: that they should take Phyllis right away to their dimension and hold a meeting with her present so that things could be explained to her directly and she could report back. 'When she arrives,' he said, 'we will turn her vocal over to you and you can ask her questions ... She may or may not answer you. We are not sure. We have never attempted this before.

Andrija agreed to the experiment and he and John waited patiently while the interdimensional journey took place. After about half a minute, Tom said, 'We have her now here before all of us to understand what is happening. The body is now split in two. We are going to be working in our world as well as yours.'

Andrija said, gently, 'Im addressing the Phyllis who is here on Earth and asking her to reach the Phyllis who is out there in space. Is it possible for you to speak to me from where you are?'

Phyllis was silent for some time, then said in a low, hesitant voice, 'I'm in a big building. We're having a meeting.' For the next seven or eight minutes the silence was punctuated only by short incoherent phrases from Phyllis, presumably her responses to what was being said at the meeting. Her voice expressed by turns puzzlement and distress: 'No, I don't want to ... No, it does not ... Yes, I will tell him, but they don't understand ... You understand, they don't understand ... I'm in a place, and there are nine ... They are my friends ... I have to make you understand ... But I can't do that ... But he doesn't even remember ... I'm in this big place and there are nine, and they are reminding me of the commitment ... I know them ... They are very very loving ... They don't understand our emotions ... They say they've made an error in me ... It can be corrected ... I'm working in two places. It's very difficult.'

Her distress increased, but when John assured her that her physical body was protected she become calmer. Then suddenly her speech became more fluent as she explained what she was being told about their commitment. 'We were here before. That was in the beginning. Then we incarnated for some reason or other, not in this particular position, but in order to get the feel of this planet. We lived here, each of us, maybe three or four times before, but it was to get the pulse, but at the same time we performed a service ... I don't quite understand what is so important about this planet. It's like, really bad. It's holding back the universe, that's what it's doing. This planet is holding back the universe. So then we made this commitment. This is something you're going to have to help me understand. We committed to be the beings here that would open up the consciousness of the physical beings that live here. We're physical beings, but at the same time we're not, none of us are...'

Andrija said, 'So we're committed to open up people's consciousness. For what purpose?' And Phyllis relayed the answer:

'Well, because this planet has lagged behind, it hasn't progressed like it's supposed to. They say that if this planet does not progress ... You see, beneath this planet there are other different civilisations, and this planet is stuck.'

'Yes, it's a brake on the whole system,' Andrija said.

'So we are here to raise the level of consciousness of this planet, to explain to people that there are other beings, other civilisations, that there are other people with more technology that can help raise it, but this planet is so bogged down in pure ego, and without harmony and out of balance, that it's upsetting the master plan. Does that make sense to you?' Phyllis sounded as if it didn't make much sense to her.

'Yes, but what do we do about it?' Andrija said. 'How do we raise consciousness? So far we've done very little.'

'They say you are wrong,' Phyllis said. Then apparently her role in the 'master plan' was explained to her in more detail, and she learnt about the bio-engineering work that had been done on her and the mistake that had partially incapacitated her. Part of the original plan had been that she would be able to relate information about physics and mathematical formulae, but they had found that this didn't work. However, they could use Uri for this purpose.

Yes, Andrija said, Geller had transmitted complex mathematical formulae flawlessly when he had worked with him. He asked Phyllis to ask whether Uri was part of the same mission that they were involved in. She reported back that he was, and that 'he would be a perfect being if they could add humility and softness', but that when he had been prepared for earthly existence with implants when he was young they had programmed in an excess of ego consciousness 'because they thought he needed ego in order to function because this entire world was all ego'. His testing time, Phyllis learnt, would come in the following January/February period, and after that he might come back into service.

'Wait a minute now, I have to go somewhere,' Phyllis suddenly said, and after some time she said in her trance voice, 'This is Tom. We have taken the Being away to explain things to her.'

'Welcome back, Tom,' Andrija said, and there followed abut fifteen minutes of normal communication on a variety of topics. In the course of this there occurred a brief and amusing exchange which nicely illustrates the difficulties the communicators have in finding appropriate terminology in Phyllis's brain.

Andrija said, 'May I be so bold as to ask for some characterisation of the nine beings that Phyllis went and talked to? Who are they, in our simple language?' He was particularly interested in this information because of his previous communications with 'The Nine' through Dr Vinod.

'In your world, to use one of your phrases,' Tom answered, 'they would be nine bananas.'

Andrija laughed. 'We don't quite understand the meaning of that phrase. Is it a mafioso expression or something.'

'They are tops, 'Tom said.

'Oh, I see, they're the top bananas!' Andrija said. 'Are they the same nine that appeared years ago through Dr Vinod?'

'Yes.

When Phyllis returned to her physical body and came out of trance she was exuberant and eager to express the new understanding she had acquired through her conference with the nine beings who, she thought, were a kind of cosmic governing Council. She recounted what she had learnt with her own kind of eloquence: 'This universe is so big, you wouldn't believe! They showed me this chain of all the galaxies and planets and things, and, you know, this planet is doing such, dumb, stupid things! Inside each galaxy there are solar systems, is that right?'

'Yes,' Andrija said.

'Well, I guess I learnt something about astronomy. And each solar system inside the galaxies, each one has to do its thing in order to clean up the galaxy, and that galaxy in turn becomes a part of the universe. What has happened is we've done something to screw up our solar system, our solar system in turn has screwed up our galaxy, our galaxy in turn because of us has screwed up the master plan of the universe. Because there are other solar systems and galaxies that we're holding back. The problem is that in this entire universe there is no other planet like this one. One thing that came through very strong is that every being that lives in the universe must exist at one time or another on this planet, and if this planet goes all those souls that haven't had a chance to be here will go with it, they won't have had this necessary part of the growth process.'

'Yes, I can understand that,' Andrija said. 'We're a sort of bottleneck in a huge production line.'

'So part of our work must be to get across this idea that we are part of a larger whole,' John said. 'I mean, that is the expansion of consciousness, isn't it?'

Gradually, the project they were engaged in was becoming more and more grandiose. At first they had understood that the purpose was to demonstrate to the world, through Bobby, the reality of paranormal healing abilities. Then they had learnt that this was part of an overall programme to prepare mankind for the landing, and that the purpose of the landing was to rescue the planet from the consequences of the dire spiritual and ecological crisis that, as millions of people had begun to realise in recent years, put the very survival of humanity in jeopardy. But now it appeared that this rescue operation was not for the Earth's sake alone, but was part of a cosmic plan, as the Earth and its life forms were part of a cosmic order, and that much more was in jeopardy than the continuation of physical life on the planet Earth. It was indeed a grandiose conception, and the way it had been revealed by degrees suggested that there was an intelligence at work behind the communications, measuring out the amount of novelty they could assimilate at any one time and gradually building up the general picture.

It was as if, too, some intelligence had been guiding their lives. Tom said, in one communication. 'The things you three have done over the past years were not by coincidence.' And they all felt this, were aware that events in their separate lives over several years, the manner of their coming together when they did, and the fact that their different endowments and connections neatly complemented each other, were all factors in a coherent pattern. John regarded his meeting Roberto Assagioli at this time as part of the pattern too, for things that the old psychologist had said, particularly on his last trip to Italy, had in a way prepared him to comprehend the cosmic relevance of the project. For instance, speaking as an esotericist rather than a psychologist, Assagioli had said to John in one of their conversations: 'Communications from higher sources depend upon humanity, and its readiness and ability to respond positively. Mankind is at varying stages of comprehension and understanding. This is part of our work towards preparing mankind for the externalisation of the Hierarchy.

John had ascertained in an earlier communication that Roberto was known to the Management, and at the conclusion of the 10 August session Tom said that they should immediately afterwards hold a distant healing meditation in order to send him strength. On 12 August John asked, 'Can you tell us anything about Assagioli's condition at this moment?' Tom replied, 'He had a moment of severe weakness yesterday, and we tried to generate energy. There is an improvement. Do not forget your healing this evening. The next day there was a phone call from Diana, who said that Roberto had become much weaker in the last few days and she feared that he was going to die. John gently reproached her for adopting a negative attitude, and said he was sure Roberto would be healed and that he would consult the others and see if they could make the trip to Italy earlier.

As it happened, Bobby was due to come up to Ossining that same day, 13 August, and soon after his arrival in the afternoon they assembled to hold a communication with Phyllis as channel. Tom began by welcoming Bobby: 'We come in peace and love and we are grateful that our brother is here . . . We were with you through your trial and we surrounded you with love. We had faith in you, and we know at times that you doubted and we sympathised with this. There will be times in the future when you will doubt but remember always that our love is with you and we will try to give you peace and surround you with harmony. Because of you and these three beings we know that our project will be completed. We are grateful for your commitment.'

Invited to ask questions to start the discussion, Andrija formulated a complex and searching one: 'Since this is the first time that John, Bobby and I have met with you together it might help us all if you could tell us something which has been a great puzzle, in my mind certainly, and which might give us all a common starting point. We've accepted your existence on faith, as you know, and what we would like to know is something of your natural history. We would like to know what you look like, how you reproduce, what you do for nourishment, what your role is in the universe, how you relate to the Nine, what your interest is in the Earth, etcetera, etcetera. It would help us all immensely if you could give us some idea of who you are in a descriptive sense.'

This bold and challenging formulation initiated one of the most informative communications they had held to date. Tom began his explanation with a clear answer to the main point of Andrija's question:

'We don't have a physical body, although we may put on a mantle of a physical body when it is necessary. It would be difficult to explain to you what we appear like. We appear in many forms. We may appear as a human. We may appear as an energy bar. We may appear as a very bright light. We have evolved beyond the point of needing a physical-type body.'

Andrija recalled that a week or two ago two members of the household had entered the house at 8.30 p.m. and had both seen what they believed was a lightning ball in the livingroom. 'Is that one of your appearances?' he asked.

'We were here,' Tom said. 'At times we use your electrical impulses and your lightning in order to come into your atmosphere and to generate.'

'I see,' Andrija said. 'So you could manifest now assuming that you had certain physical energies to draw upon, for instance, as you suggested, the plasma from lightning, or perhaps water vapour, or even the energy we could give? You could mould this energy into something that would manifest in our world. Is that the idea?' "

'It would be similar to that,' Tom said, 'but our technology you would not understand. For instance, in the manifestation ,that took place in this Being's office: we have a unit that was placed over the office, and through this we were able to manifest a being that appeared in a physical body to her.'

This clearly referred to an incident Phyllis had spoken about and which had occurred some years before. It was such an extraordinary incident, and so curiously linked to the events of this narrative, that I must digress briefly to report Phyllis's account of it.

She had been in the office of her school in Orlando one afternoon waiting for a client who had an appointment for a reading at three o'clock. At ten minutes to three she went out into the reception area to find out from her secretary who the expected client was, and learnt that it was a woman named Mary, who was a regular and who had always been reliable and punctual with her appointments. Seated in the reception area was a stranger, a dark man wearing a dark suit who stood about five feet six inches in height. He looked Italian or Jewish, Phyllis said, except that he had almond-shaped eyes. The stranger said to her, 'I want to see you at three.' Phyllis explained that he couldn't because she had a client at that time, and he said, 'She won't be here.' Phyllis returned to her office and waited. Mary hadn't arrived by ten past three, which was unlike her. Thinking about the stranger, Phyllis wondered how he had known that the client was a woman. She went back to the reception area where he was still sitting, and asked him how he had known this and also that she wouldn't come. He answered ' 'Her car stalled on the Parkway.' Intrigued, Phyllis invited him into her office and asked what he wanted. 'I want you to give me a reading,' he said. She touched his hand and in an instant, she said, she knew that he wasn't from Earth. She told him her impression. He said, 'That's right. Give me a reading anyway.' Phyllis said, 'This isn't why you came, is it? Why did you?' He said, 'You've been asking for signs since 1953.' Phyllis thought she would test him and said, 'If you are who you say, then bring in one of your people.' She had scarcely spoken the words when the being materialised before her eyes. He was about six feet four inches high, well-built, with blond hair and blue eyes, and was wearing a silver-blue jump suite He didn't speak but communicated to her telepathically that his name was Ultima, that he and others were coming to help the planet, and that in future she would be able to call on him in any emergency. He remained in the office for less than five minutes, then dematerialised. The dark man left and Phyllis watched from her window as he got into a white Cadillac with Miami number plates and drove away. One Friday afternoon about two months later, just as Phyllis was about to leave the office to go home, he suddenly reappeared, put his head round the door and said, 'Hi, Phyllis. Everything okay? Just checking on you.'

As a preposterous tale, this ranks equal to the one Andrija and Uri tell about Uri being teleported from New York to Ossining, but to this day Phyllis remembers the incident vividly and swears this is precisely what happened.

To return to the communication. Andrija asked about 'Ultima' and Tom said that it was the name of the unit working in co-operation with them on their present project.

Andrija now asked about UFOs, and whether they were also created manifestations. Tom answered: 'Many of these flying things that you call UFOs come from our place, but they come from other places also, and they do come in physical form. But many of them are not physical. They are like your movie screen.'

When they had been staying at Mill Hill in London at the time of the May Lectures, Andrija and several other people had seen a number of aerial objects. They had counted forty-three in all, and Andrija had taken some photographs. 'On the photographs,' he now said, 'there was a strange, spirally, vaporous kind of figure that was quite large. Now what would that be?'

'That would be one of us,' Tom said. 'We are energy.'

Would it have been a form taken for the occasion, Andrija asked, or what they really looked like as their natural selves.

'It is a difficult to explain to you, Doctor, that we do not really have a natural self,' Tom said. 'We are what we think we are at that time ... We exist in the zone that you call cold. Because of this we have no problem in manifesting in any manner we desire.'

'Yes,' Andrija said, 'on Earth we are just beginning to understand very feebly the zone of cold or superconductivity and we know that there's no resistance there, no friction, in other words that it's the area of perpetual motion. Is that not essentially true?'

'It is true, and this is perfection,' Tom said.

'So from all this,' Andrija went on, 'we gather that you are pure light beings in a sense that we don't even understand because you exist at a velocity beyond light, beyond photons, beyond tachyons. And secondly, I would assume that you are more of the nature of what we would call soul than any other thing we can imagine.'

'We are soul.'

'Are the Nine of the same nature as you are?'

'We are one and the same.'

'Can you explain the profound mystery of why there are nine manifestations of I guess we have to use the word God for lack of a better one.

'I will consult with the Council to see if we may relate this,' Tom said. 'Will you bide with us?' After a pause he went on: 'Nine is complete. Everything is nine. In your world you have said seven many times, when everything is truly nine. There are nine chakras which are the nine principles and elements of God. There are nine bands round this planet Earth. There are nine etheric bodies, and going through your transitions is to attain the nine bodies. Nine is a complete number. It is whole. This becomes one. Over nine it cancels, and nine is complete.'

Andrija mentioned his communications with the Nine of many years ago through Dr Vinod and asked if this material was still valid.

'This does not change,' Tom said. 'But remember this: we are not God. All of you and all of us make God ... Many of your physical beings deify other physical beings, when it is truly them.'

'I think that's the best way I've ever heard it put,' Andrija said, then he changed the subject and asked Tom why he and his like were concerned about the insignificant speck of dust in the universe called the planet Earth.

'We have explained this to you before,' Tom said. 'Sometimes you seem to understand and then you ask the same question again.' There was a suggestion of exasperation in the voice. Andrija explained, however, that he was asking the question for Bobby's benefit, and Tom said contritely, 'We are sorry,' and proceeded to outline the scenario that had been given to Phyllis on her intergalactic trip a few days before and that had been confirmed in two subsequent communications (which have been omitted from this narrative because their essential content is most concisely summarised in the following explanation that Tom gave for Bobby's benefit).

'In order for the universe to evolve, it is important for this planet to evolve. The souls that have come to this planet have become irresponsible in their physical bodies. The density of this planet is so heavy and thick and is ... we know not the word to explain to you what this planet does to the soul. This planet is a planet of desire. The souls that are here act as if they are in quicksand, and are being gobbled up and swallowed in this desire. It is important for this planet to evolve or other planets in the universe that are under this planet or surrounding this planet are not able to go forward. It has stopped the growth of the universe. It has contaminated and polluted the universe. It is important for the level of consciousness of this planet to be raised. It is the love from this planet that generates the energy that becomes God ... Many souls when they die are trapped in the atmosphere and are evolved over and over on this planet, and seem to be going nowhere. This planet was originally created to teach a being balance between the spiritual and the physical world, but in this physical world they got involved in a material world, and so these beings never evolve beyond the belt of this planet. Their desires hold them to this planet, and so you have a multiplication that is going on until this planet will sink ... They can't get beyond it because of desire, because of hate, because of greed, because of enjoying their physical pleasures.

We have no objections to the physical, you understand, but it is when this becomes their primary concern and they are not concerned with the evolving of the planet, and with their fellow men, and with trying to find the true God. You explained this, Doctor, when we listened to your conversation the other day and you called it a bottleneck. We consulted and decided that if we looked in a bottle and there was a plug and we couldn't get it out: this is exactly what this planet is. Your description was correct.'

'Could you explain once more,' Andrija said, though I think I understand - how a few humble beings like us, who are very simple beings, can really help to unplug this bottleneck?'

Tom answered: 'The energy that surrounds you and which comes from us, because you are our channels, creates a vortex that then radiates out and then can raise the consciousness of this planet. Even though you feel it is an impossible task, it is not so. You chose this situation. You willingly gave of yourselves to come back to this dense, heavy Earth. You have reincarnated on this planet several times, not because it was necessary but because you needed to understand and to get the feel of this planet in order to raise its level of consciousness. This energy, as I explained, creates a vortex of love and peace and harmony. Everything needs an energy base. We are energy, and we need you to channel our energy.'

This detailed explanation had been chiefly for Bobby's benefit, and Tom now concluded the session by addressing Bobby directly on the subject of his role, asking him first whether he was aware that he had chosen this existence. Bobby said that he was, and Tom continued:

'And we know that you must ask within yourself at times why. First we will explain about Uri. Uri also chose to come to this planet, and we worked with him and we thought that in Uri being able to manifest in a scientific world this perhaps would be the way to get the people on your physical planet to understand the existence of other beings and intelligences; not just us, for remember, there are those who are much superior to you in other civilisations. But also we realised that the area to reach more physical beings would be in the area of health. Bobby chose this role, and he has come here five times before to help raise the consciousness of this planet, but he was not able to complete the work. Perhaps it was both our error and your error, because your world was not ready; although there was a time two thousand years ago when it was. And so we are here again, and through your communications systems we will be able to reach the masses. The time has come for the people of the Earth to demand from their governments, to demand from their religious leaders, to demand from their teachers, knowledge and understanding of what is truly happening. It is now the time of the people. Whereas before, your religions and your governments and your society kept your masses in ignorance and kept mankind tied down, it is now coming to the time when man is demanding answers. It is now the time for us to come through on communications. As Uri comes through on television and opens up and makes people aware that there are others besides him who can do these things, particularly the children, this will cause those in your world to demand answers from their scientific community. But the way to reach men, we have finally decided, is through their own physical bodies in healing, and through Bobby many people will be healed and many will be opened to healing. Are you aware of this, Bobby?'

'Yes,' Bobby said.

'And are you with us?'

'Yes,' he repeated.

A month before, Tom had said, a propos Bobby, 'Things will be resolved and all your systems in motion by the middle of August.' It seemed now that the prediction had been precisely fulfilled, and the group were joyful in their new-found cohesion and clearer sense of purpose, but though they didn't know it, events were looming that were to give them cause to doubt Tom's prophetic abilities.

On 16 August John flew to London and Phyllis and Bobby to Florida, but before separating they made arrangements to meet the following week in Rome and drive to Capalona and carry out the proposed series of healing sessions on Assagioli.

Daily throughout the week they were together at Ossining they had held the distant healing meditations, and on 14 August Diana bid telephoned and said that Roberto was much better. This was confirmed the following day by Tom, who said, 'Assagioli's improvement continues. Only loss of hope in him would cause a problem. He has not lost hope. He will be well.' So it was arranged that Phyllis and Bobby should join Andrija at Kennedy Airport in the evening Of 21 August to catch a night flight to Rome, where they would meet John the following morning.

In Andrija's home at Ossining, at noon on 21 August, just a few hours before he was due to leave for the airport, the phone rang. Andrija picked it up and a voice said, 'We have a message. We will stand by for it to be recorded.' The voice was Bobby's, but it was not his normal voice, it was more like his trance voice, but exaggeratedly mechanical and halting. Andrija quickly attached his recording apparatus to the phone and then listened to the voice, which said: 'We tried to reach Phyllis last night but could not, and therefore we are contacting you as the director and you must take the initiative and responsibility to do the following. Cancel your plans for travel immediately. We will contact you again later. You must all stay exactly where you are until you get further instructions. We ask you to carry out these instructions.'

Two things disposed Andrija to believe that this was a genuine message from Corean and not a hoax perpetrated by Bobby. The first thing was the reference to him as the director, for Bobby had not heard the tapes of the early communications with Corean and therefore could not know that Andrija had been nominated director. Secondly, the tape was blank when he played it back, though when he checked the apparatus by dialling the local time signal he found that it was working perfectly. In his work with Uri, Andrija had had many experiences of tapes being paranormally erased, and also he had known people receive phone calls from Uri when Uri was asleep, so the idea of Corean using Bobby's trance voice without Bobby being aware of the fact was not so unfamiliar and absurd as it will be to most readers of this narrative.

Andrija had to act quickly. He phoned Phyllis's home and learnt from her daughter that she had left for the airport some time ago. He rang Orlando Airport and managed to get Phyllis on the phone just as she was due to get on the plane for New York. He told her about the message and the reasons for his belief in its genuineness and asked her to return home and wait for him to call her again. Phyllis said that Bobby hadn't turned up at the airport, though when she had spoken to him at eight o'clock that morning he had said he would join her there for the New York flight that was now about to leave.

Andrija's next problem was to get in touch with John. He phoned his London number, only to learn that he too had already left for the airport, so he called Alitalia at London Airport and left a message for John to contact him as soon as possible.

Some time later, Phyllis phoned back. She said that she had been to Bobby's house and what she had seen there and what he had said convinced her that he had never had any intention of going to Italy and that he had faked the Corean call. She had noticed a tape recorder beside his phone and accused him of using it to produce the mechanical-sounding voice of the message. 'And my God, Andrija,' she said, 'when I faced him with that - his aura! The fear that came into it!' They had had a bitter argument. Bobby accused Phyllis in turn of lying to him, and said he didn't believe any of them. Phyllis retaliated: 'Don't do this to people's souls. If you don't want to work with us, just say so.' He hadn't even packed for the trip, she said, so it was obvious he'd never intended to go to Italy. Bobby denied that but said anyway that he wasn't even sure that he could heal, and Phyllis said, 'Don't give me that bullshit. You've proved it.'

Bobby phoned soon after Phyllis had hung up and told Andrija his side of the story. He said Phyllis was upset with him and accused him of faking some message, but swore he didn't know anything about a message and that he had meant to go with them to Italy, and had in fact been driving to Orlando Airport to meet Phyllis as arranged when his car had broken down. Andrija was conciliatory and told Bobby that he personally believed that the Corean message was genuine, and that he was now waiting for the promised second message before deciding what to do next and would let Bobby know when he received it. Bobby said that whatever happened he must see Andrija soon to talk things over and would come up to Ossining in the next few days.

The next caller was John, from London Airport. An Alitalia official had given him Andrija's message. When he heard the news, John said that he would postpone his flight to Rome until the following morning but would certainly go then whatever happened because he felt that Diana would need him. He checked into a hotel near the airport and phoned Andrija again to give him the number so that he could contact him immediately if there was a second message from Corean.

There was. It came at one o'clock in the morning, New York time, and this time Andrija's equipment recorded it. After all that had happened and all that had been said - for Andrija had had another long heart-to-heart conversation with Bobby in the evening - it would have been an act of supreme duplicity and contempt on Bobby's part to have faked this second message. In a later communication Tom explained that Bobby hadn't faked it, but he had fallen into involuntary trance and his voice had been used by Corean. Presumably his wife had seen what was happening and had recorded the message on instructions that had also asked for it to be played over the phone to Andrija, which was done. For some reason neither Bobby nor his wife had revealed this. Here is my transcription of it direct from the tape:

'This is a message for Andrija. Thank you for stopping the trip. We feel at this time things among your group are unsettled. It appears that it has been left up to you to take the responsibility. We have asked in the past that the group rely on Phyllis's judgment. We feel at this time the group can no longer do this. We feel you are aware of the person, of the ego as you call it, which has become involved in the work. There would have been much damage to the group if this trip had been made under these conditions. We cannot answer your questions at this time. There is a lapse, a time gap, in communications from us to you. We will explain this at another time. We would like to ask that you follow your impressions concerning Uri. We should ask that possibly Bobby could speak with him, and you know Phyllis was against this. We feel the responsibility is yours as the director to use the knowledge that you possess to straighten these matters out. There will be more communications. We will not be able to explain completely tonight. We feel you must sort things out and decide. We do not fully understand all of your emotions, therefore we ask you to be the one. We must leave at this time.'

 

There were three statements in this message which were consistent with earlier communications. First, there was the repeated reference to Andrija as the director; second, the statement, 'We have asked in the past that the group rely on Phyllis's judgment'; and third, 'we do not fully understand all of your emotions'. The latter statement was one that had come into the communications very recently, and Bobby had had no contact with the group since he left London in May, and though the two former statements referred to communications of the earlier period when he had been closely involved he had never, so far as anyone knew, had an opportunity to listen to the tapes. On the other hand, the anti-Phyllis attitude and the recommendation to arrange a meeting between Bobby and Uri were consistent with Bobby's personal feelings and wishes at this time. It was a puzzle, but on the whole Andrija found the internal evidence for the authenticity of the message the more weighty, and he phoned John at his hotel in London to report what had happened, catching him just before he left to catch the flight to Rome.

Diana had no idea of the dramatic events of the last twentyfour hours, and she had kept reassuring the dying Roberto that the healers were coming from America. When John arrived alone she was dismayed, incredulous and angry. He arrived at Capalona at ten o'clock in the morning, and Assagioli died at five-thirty the following morning. Diana had spent all the intervening hours at Roberto's bedside, and when at last she returned to her own home, where John was awaiting her, she lay in his arms and cried for six hours.

Two days after Assagioli's death, while Diana was still grief-stricken and John was doing his best but feeling powerless to comfort her, Bobby went up to Ossining. He agreed, at Andrija's request, to be put into deep trance in order to serve as a channel for Corean, so that Andrija could ask for some explanation of the events of the last few days. 'We feel you are aware of what took place,' Corean began when contact was established. 'We have asked for this group to come together. You have done much in this direction. We feel at this time there is much disturbance among your group. You followed what we asked, the remaining ones of the group still are not sure. Each one brought his own personality into this. We would like to ask these things be settled. There has been much work done, much time spent. We ask it not be wasted. We ask things be settled among the group as quickly as possible so the work may continue!

Andrija said he was certain personality conflict problems could be settled, and asked, 'How did this disturbance look to you from your side at the moment when we were about to embark for Italy? What did you see that we didn't see?'

'There would have been a setback if this trip had been made,' Corean answered. 'Things that are coming to light now would have come out in this trip. We do not feel this would have been the best way to settle these things. We thank you for handling what could have been a bad situation in the way you did. Many will learn in future from this group. This would have been starting things on the wrong foot.'

Andrija asked about Assagioli, and whether it in fact would have been possible for them to prolong his life if they had gone to Italy. Corean answered: 'This man of whom you speak was aware of his death. This man played a very important part. There is much about him that you are not aware of at this time. We will not discuss this now.'

'I would like to ask another question,' Andrija said. 'With reference to your use of the telephone to reach me. Could you tell me how you do that process, since it is Bobby's voice that I hear, even though it is your inflections and personality. To me it is a vastly mysterious process, and I would like to know a little more about it.'

Corean answered: 'First, we would like to say this is the voice of Corean. The voice you hear is travelling through this being. You are aware of the difference in the voice. We have tried to make arrangements for direct tape, as you have asked for the statement. Do you understand of what we speak?'

'Oh, perfectly,' Andrija said.

'Because part of the trouble was in the group we were unable to do so. We have tried more than once to make these communications. There is outside interference of sound, and electrical, that breaks the connections down. We will bring information that you may understand how your electrical systems are used. We feel, though, this is not as important at this time as the work we have asked and the work you have done. These will be things that come only for your self-satisfaction. They will be of no importance concerning the healings and the other work.'

A fortnight before the. session, before Bobby went up to Ossining, there had been a lot of talk in the communications about the Management preparing a statement of purpose and a programme and communicating it by means of direct imprinting on magnetic tape. The mention of the statement in the above-quoted Corean communication is interesting, for no reference had been made to it in the sessions in which Bobby participated in the period 13-16 August, though there had been some mention of the problems of channelling energy for direct tape imprinting. It is of course possible that Andrija, Phyllis or John mentioned the statement in conversation with Bobby, so the reference to it in the Corean communication does not prove Corean's independence of Bobby's conscious or unconscious mind, but as correspondences between the material channelled independently by Phyllis and by Bobby constitute one of the most convincing arguments for the probability that the communications as a whole emanate from a source independent of both of them I think it is worth drawing the reader's attention to this mention of the statement by Corean.

Is it a memory or a longing, the myth of the marvellous stranger possessed of omnipotence and omniscience who appears suddenly out of the blue and changes the world? Certainly there is in man a deeply rooted tendency to relinquish judgment and independence to such a being, to make a God of him, which suggests that the world-wide myth is the projection of a longing.

One might imagine the Ossining communications a product of the mythopoeic imagination, but on closer acquaintance we find they don't conform to this pattern. The marvellous stranger is not omniscient or omnipotent. He insists, 'We are not your gods,' and insists, too, that man has free will and must bear the burden of it, and that the meaning of service is not obedience but co-operation. The events of July and August certainly brought these points home to Andrija, John and Phyllis. They also brought the Bobby Horne story to a climax and, as it turned out, to a conclusion, at least so far as the work was concerned. But for the others there was much more yet to learn, and there were new and even more amazing perspectives to be opened up.

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