Leslie Flint (1911–1994) was an English Medium noted for his 35 years of independent Direct Voice Mediumship, a rare mediumistic ability in which discarnate beings purportedly speak from a point in space near a medium.With Leslie Flint, spirits of the dead allegedly spoke from a point above and slightly to the left of his head.
The voices that manifested around Flint were sometimes clear and other times gravelly or hoarse. Rarely did Flint ever go into trance but remained aware of what the voices were saying throughout the sitting. He said he only used trance when the power was weak and spirits urgently wanted to communicate. He claimed the spirits did not use his own vocal cords. In addition to bringing messages from the dead, Flint also brought messages from living individuals who were in a state of deep sleep or coma. Psychical researchers tested him and never found any evidence of fraud.
Flint was born in a Salvation Army home in Hackney, a district of London. His mother, a factory worker, was unemployed. His father served in the army in World War I. He was raised primarily by his mother and maternal grandmother at their home in St. Albans.
Flint had his first psychic experience at age seven during the summer of 1918. He was in the kitchen of his home with his grandmother when his aunt Nell came in crying. She had just learned her husband had been killed in France in World War I. Flint saw her followed by a soldier carrying a kit bag containing his uncle’s belongings and by another soldier who appeared to be lost. This second soldier kept trying to get his aunt’s attention, to no avail. Finally he vanished. Later, Flint was shown a photograph of his dead uncle and recognized him as the woebegone soldier in the kitchen.
After this experience, Flint began hearing the voices of the dead. When he attempted to describe these experiences to his family, he was reprimanded and so decided to keep quiet about them.
In his teens, he became interested in Spiritualism and attended his first Séance at age 17. He attended a Spiritualist service and witnessed the mediumship of Annie Johnson, who described a spirit guide around him, a being who seemed to be an Arab but was not really an Arab. This guide, said Johnson, wanted Flint to develop his ability as a medium. Flint initially ignored this message, though it was repeated to him by other mediums. As evidence of his budding ability, he fell into a trance at one Séance and delivered evidential messages to those present. However, he chose not to pursue mediumship, instead becoming a teacher of ballroom dancing.
He finally was propelled to act on the message when he received a letter from a Munich woman who told him a spirit claiming to be Rudolph Valentino (a silent-film star who had died in 1926) was trying to contact Flint and had given her his name and address. This apparently explained to Flint the mysterious “Arab” guide who was not really an Arab—Valentino was famous for his portrayal of a character known as “the Sheik.” He then attended a Home Circle where Valentino allegedly manifested himself with Rapping, spirit writing, Table-Tilting and other physical phenomena.
Flint pursued his mediumship by participating in Séances and joining a home circle. Edith Mundin, a former sitter of his circle, persuaded him to become a medium at her own private circle. She was older than he and had a son, Owen, from a previous marriage. The relationship between Mundin and Flint grew, and they married.
With practice, Flint’s Clairvoyance rapidly developed, and he could see the spirits in attendance at a circle. Then independent direct voices manifested. Their first appearances occurred in movie theaters. As Flint watched films, he became aware of strange whisperings around him. Others could hear them as well and thought they were Flint. He was sometimes hounded out of theaters for not keeping quiet. This phenomenon happened so often that he quit going to movies. The theater whisperings led to the manifestation of independent spirit voices at Flint’s Séances. The first spirit to speak claimed to be Valentino.
With the manifestation of the voices, Flint felt ready to take his mediumship to the public, which he did in 1935. He held Séances at which the voices of dead friends and relatives would speak to those present. In order for the voices to manifest, the Séances had to be conducted in absolute darkness and with a limited number of sitters. Flint had Control spirits, one of whom professed to be an 11-year-old Cockney boy named Mickey. Mickey said he had been run over by a truck. He always spoke in a cheerful, boyish voice. Besides Valentino, other spirits alleging to be famous persons, such as Thomas Alva Edison, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Professor Charles Richet, a noted psychical researcher, came through.
With Edith and other Spiritualists, Flint formed an association called the Temple of Light and moved to Hendon, a suburb of London. He gave numerous public appearances in London, attracting up to 2,000 persons at a time to his performances. In order to fulfill his need for darkness before a large crowd, Flint sat on a chair enclosed in a small cabinet. While most of his Séances were successful, some were not; on some occasions, no spirits manifested at all.
When World War II broke out, Flint attempted to get conscientious-objector status but was denied and drafted into the army. He was not sent to the front but performed domestic labor, office work and bomb defusing duties.
Flint’s popularity attracted the attention of psychical researchers, who sought to test him. Some members of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) thought perhaps Flint received messages clairaudiently and then surreptitiously used his own voice. Flint agreed to be tested on numerous occasions; he even referred to himself as “the most tested medium in this country.”
Tests were devised by the Reverend Charles Drayton Thomas, a member of the Confraternity, a group of clergymen interested in Spiritualism, and the Temple of Light governing committee. The first tests were conducted in 1948 without the presence of SPR members. Flint’s lips were sealed with adhesive tape, and his mouth was tied with a scarf. His hands were tied to a chair, and he was unable to bend his neck. He sat behind a curtain. The test was done again for the benefit of the SPR. Voices manifested, but one of the researchers concluded that Flint could speak through his stomach.
Another researcher theorized that the voices were not real but were auditory hallucinations produced by hypnotism on the part of Flint and a subconscious longing on the part of sitters. However, that theory was disproved when the voices were successfully recorded, first on wire and paper tapes and then on quality audiotapes.
When seen through an infrared viewer, Flint appeared to have a ball of mist over his left shoulder. His spirit controls said it was Ectoplasm, a substance that enabled them to communicate through the medium.
In 1949, Flint gave a successful tour in the United States.
In 1970, he underwent his most significant tests, administered both in London and New York by William R. Bennett, a professor of electrical engineering at Columbia University. Flint’s lips were sealed with plaster, a throat microphone was attached to his throat and wired to amplifiers, his hands were held by sitters and an infrared telescope was used to detect any movements. The throat microphone registered nothing despite the manifestation of the voices, which were weaker than custoMary. Bennett verified that Flint’s vocal cords were not used in the manifestation of the voices and also concluded that infrared somehow weakened mediumship.
In 1976, Flint retired from public Séances. In 1977, he was named “Spiritualist of the Year” in a poll of readers of Psychic News, a British periodical. Flint died in April 1994.
One of Flint’s most famous clients was the actress Mae West, who had private sittings with him in London in the 1940s. Shaw Desmond, an Irish novelist and poet, also sat frequently with him during his home circle days. Automatist Rosemary Brown sat with him as well.
A substantial library of recordings of the direct voices exists thanks to the efforts of Sidney George Woods and Betty Greene, who recorded Flint for 17 years. Woods began sitting with Flint in 1946 and was joined by Greene in 1953. In 1956 they received encouragement from the discarnate spirit of actress Ellen Terry, who told them (through Flint) that a link had been arranged for them so that many spirits could communicate, and their tapes would reach many people all over the world. “We shall bring various souls from various spheres to give talks and lectures,” Terry said. “We need willing helpers on your side.”
Woods and Greene made copies of their tapes for all who wanted them. Thirteen radio and television programs in Britain were devoted to the tapes. Greene died in 1975. Their work came to an end with Woods’s death in 1983. Their collection of tapes has been called “the most complete account of life in the hereafter ever received.”
Samples of the Woods/Greene collection of audio clips and transcripts of the tapes are available on the Internet.
- Direct Voice Mediumship
- Famous Mediums
- Flint, Leslie. Voices in the Dark: My Life as a Medium. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1971.
- “Paranormal Voices Assert: Death No End.” Available online. URL: https://www.xs4all.nl~wichm/deathnoe.html. Downloaded on Oct. 4, 1999.
The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits – Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – September 1, 2007
Edited for the Web by Occult Media, 27 April 2017