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To the Skeptics:
Why the Seth Material Is Not Fraudulent

 

This article is directed primarily to the skeptics who frequent Wikipedia, or to any skeptic who knows about the Seth Material.  I am the most frequent editor of the articles on Jane Roberts, the psychic who channeled Seth, and the Seth Material, and I have tangled with many skeptics.  Fortunately, the skeptics have recently lost a series of rulings on Wikipedia, and they can no longer insert doubtful or qualifying language into such articles with impunity.

Invariably the skeptics who edit the articles have not read the Material.  Without knowing anything of substance about Jane Roberts or Seth, they simply assume as a matter of course that Jane Roberts was a fraud, and that the Seth Material was contrived.  They are so convinced that all paranormal phenomena is fraudulent that they do not bother to learn about it before they condemn it.  Such an approach, of course, lacks integrity.  Before rejecting Christianity, I at least bothered to read some of the Bible.

Skeptics are devotees of the double-blind study, which is convenient because psychic activity doesn't lend itself to such studies.  They forget, or perhaps do not know, that most studies simply confirm the biases of the scientists administering them (I can't at the moment remember the name of this principle, or the researcher who discovered it).  If the skeptics understood reality, they would know that such studies are generally invalid anyway because they change the nature of what is being studied.

I like to think that skeptics, like most people, can recognize the truth when they see it.  Perhaps this is why they don't read the Seth Material:  they are afraid they will be convinced by it.  Or perhaps they are foolish enough not to trust their own judgement.  I can imagine that some of them might say, "If the Seth Material convinces me that it is true, then I have been fooled."  In either case, an examination of the Material would establish that it is certainly not fraudulent, and may indeed be the truth that mankind has been seeking.

Frauds are not usually perpetrated over a twenty-year period.  Most frauds require tremendous skill, planning, cunning and energy to perpetrate successfully, and the artifice involved can be sustained for a limited time.  Thus, to say that the Seth readings are fraudulent is to suggest that Jane Roberts and Robert Butts (her husband who transcribed the sessions) perpetrated a fraud for two decades (35 years if you count the years that Butts continued to work on the Material after Roberts died) not very probable.  Furthermore, Roberts and Butts published the Material in such an open and honest fashion that the sheer effort involved in contriving it would have been impossibly overwhelming.  The total volume of the readings is greater than the Bible by many times.  They would have had to contrive not just the readings, but all the copious personal notes that accompanied the readings.  (I estimate that the notes and footnotes increase the volume of the Material by a good 50%.)  What kind of super human beings were they that they could contrive such a huge volume of work?  The answer is simple:  they didn't contrive it.

The greatest argument against the fraud theory is the quality of the Material itself.  There is an aphorism which I like to use:  "The proof of the pudding is in the eating."  It dates from the days in England when pudding was made in a cheese cloth, and it means:  "If the taste is excellent, then the ingredients and the recipe must also be excellent."  And so it is with the Seth Material:  the proof of the Seth Material is in the reading.  In other words, the quality of the Material is so extremely high that it must be genuine.

The Seth readings are consistently intelligent, consistently cogent, consistently clear, consistently original, and consistently insightful.  Indeed, the readings are just simply consistent, meaning that they do not contain any significant contradictions over the twenty years that they were produced.  Even the tone of the readings i.e., Seth's character as it was expressed through them was consistent from the first reading to the last.  The Bible has its inconsistent portions, not so the Seth Material.

Unlike other "channelled" material from other psychics, Seth was never coy, mysterious, pretentious, dogmatic or vague.  He didn't put on pious airs; rather, he was clear, concise and direct.  All of his statements were supported, if not by proof, then by detailed explanations.  Reading the Material is very much like reading the lectures of a professor.

To this should be added the fact that Seth did provide some proof of his existence, as when he materialized images of himself when guests were present, or changed the shape of Jane's face, or added fingers to Jane's hand, or caused flames to increase or decrease.  Also there were those times when Seth described events that other people were experiencing, or knew things that Jane Roberts could not have known.

The Seth Material set forth a whole slew of original ideas and theories.  Jane Roberts, as Seth, was the first psychic to describe and explain who God is; she was the first to explain our exact relationship to God; she was the first to explain how the Creation occurred; she was the first to set forth the multiple-universe theory; she was the first to state that time and space are illusions.  She postulated a cohesive set of theories which anticipated every possibility and every objection.  She answered every serious question that man has ever had about his existence.  No other psychic has set forth so comprehensive and cohesive a world view.  No fraudster could do such a thing.

Indeed, if Jane Roberts could devise such brilliant theories, why would she need to pretend to be a psychic?  If, instead, she had presented herself to the world as a theoretician and a philosopher, claiming Seth's ideas as her own, she would be more respected and more famous today than she is.  It is because she presented herself to the world as a psychic that she gets no respects from the scientific community.  This refutes yet another part of the fraud theory:  that she made it all up to sell books and become famous.  If she was wise enough to devise the Seth Material, then she couldn't have been foolish enough to lie about its origin.

The integrity of the Seth Material is palpable.  When read from the beginning, it becomes clear that Roberts and Butts had their own skepticism, and that Roberts was conflicted over the entire endeavor.  For example, Roberts spent the first year pacing back and forth furiously during the sessions, refusing to lose consciousness, because she could not stand the idea of sitting passively and becoming a mouthpiece for a spirit.  Her husband, Robert Butts, spent a year devising tests for Seth, sealing things into envelopes which Seth had to divine.  Seth's performance in these tests was middling, yet Roberts and Butts made no effort to hide that.  Such details as this, and all the other tribulations they endured as a result of the sessions, could not be fabricated.

Setting aside the fraud theory, some might propose that Roberts was a schizophrenic, that she went into a trance and allowed a repressed portion of her personality to speak but that theory doesn't hold any water.  Schizophrenics are mentally ill, and mentally ill people don't produce well-written books full of fascinating ideas.  In addition, Seth had the uncanny ability to pick up right where he left off in previous sessions, so that there was a fluidity to the Material.  He would dictate the beginning of a chapter in one session, continue it in another session three days later, continue it yet in another session two days after that, and then complete it in a fourth session, without writing drafts as all writers do.  No ordinary human being, schizophrenic or not, can produce well-written books without producing drafts.  There were many witnesses to the sessions, so there is plenty of verifiable evidence that she produced the Material in this way.

Another proposition is that Roberts was not channelling an independent individual named Seth, but rather a higher portion of her own psyche, or perhaps a portion of her subconscious.  This isn't plausible, however, first because rumblings from the subconscious are usually irrational and disjointed, and second because science doesn't recognize the existence of a higher psyche.  Science would consider such possibilities just another form of schizophrenia.  And if a higher psyche does exist, then that takes us back into the realm of paranormal activity.

Getting back to my discussion of double-blind studies, a correspondent recently said this:  "If you put the world under a microscope, you might get more detail, but you won't get the unifying answers."  That's what the Seth Material is about:  the unifying answers, the "big picture".  There is little in the Seth Material that can be proven, but I believe that any person who reads it will be convinced by it.  Indeed, the Seth Material may be just what many skeptics have been looking for:  a rational, logical, dispassionate discourse on man's place in the universe.  I was an atheist once, and I continue to be a skeptic (in the true sense of the word), but the Seth Material does not test my credibility, and it will not test yours.