Happy Medium

From Merlin to Charles Dickens, the spirits of the late and the great are all present at the party in magician-channeler Lawrence Furman's head

The talk ranged over a variety of traditional mystical subjects: astral travel during dreams, death as a doorway to another life, the guides and beings that are here to help us. "All these energies are here to work with you," the voice said. "You do not have to traverse the difficulties of life by yourself."

Blanca Mejia, a young real estate broker, was especially eager to contact those helpful invisible spirits. She listened intently to the channeling. At the end of "Merlin's" lecture, she asked, "How do I fine-tune my connections with my guides?"

"You are a star seed," Furman-as-Merlin said, referring to her supposed link to space beings. "They're trying to communicate with you in your dreams." He gave some advice on recording her dreams as a first step toward making contact.

"Hold on a minute," he added, "I may take my leave and someone else may come in to speak to you." With that he shifted his body for a moment and emitted two weird, high-pitched wails. Then he began speaking in a soft, high, singsongy voice, extending his arms toward Mejia and moving them up and down in a peculiar, slow-motion way. "We...are...your...friend," the new voice said in a creepy, drawn-out manner. "You...are...one...of...us." Before leaving the "being" told her, "We...will...talk...to...you ...in...your...dreams." Mejia breathed it all in with closed eyes, a slight smile on her face.

Furman changed voices again, and the English-accented "Merlin" asked, "Well, how are you feeling?

"Great," she responded.
"Merlin" told John, a first-timer to a Furman channeling session, about yet another being A an unwelcome one drawn to John because of his drinking. After giving some advice on "boogie busting," or spirit de-possession, "Merlin" declared, "I shall now take my leave." Furman nodded for a while in his chair, groaning, and then opened his eyes.

"Happy landing!" Marcy Roban said as Furman looked around the room, disoriented.

"Hi," he finally said.
As the small group looked on with something approaching awe, Furman explained how he felt during parts of the trance session. "When that E.T. came in, it was like a line came down and lifted me up. I was totally electrified."

His audience seemed equally dazzled. Mejia said, "The energy was so intense. I felt the vibrations, closed my eyes, and sucked it in. The light was really bright." John also was impressed. He'd never seen Furman before, and the psychic picked up on his concerns about drinking. They and the others had paid $15 for the privilege of hearing him -- and his "entities."

Furman's renown in the world of local metaphysicial devotees has grown to the point that he now has a mailing list of 350 and a core group of nearly 100 people who periodically visit for small weekly readings in his North Miami home. For individual sessions he charges $70; group sessions at his home cost $10 for return visitors, while first-timers pay nothing. His clients and devotees are eager to testify to his psychic abilities, no matter how skeptically the mainstream world may view this sort of thing.

"He told me things about my life that there was no way he could know," says North Miami Beach attorney Charles Serfaty of his early visits with Furman. That includes details of Serfaty's breakup with his girlfriend and facts about his siblings.

Avid testimonials, of course, don't prove that what Furman does is genuine, but they underscore the sincerity of those who attend his sessions. At the same time, Furman has so far avoided the trappings of a cult. No one worships him, and living in a rented house with his wife, Allorah, he hasn't gotten rich from either magic or spiritualism. "I don't set myself up as an authority," he points out. "I help people gain access to more parts of themselves."

Lawrence Furman has had plenty of experience learning about the different parts of himself, too. In fact he's supposedly had so many different beings coursing through his body that he once made a list just to keep track of them.

Furman's immersion in channeling began with a search for a new direction in his life during a trip to Hawaii two summers ago. He went with his then-girlfriend and roommate, Lori (now his wife, Allorah) Creevay, and a friend, Tom Villard. Furman certainly found a new direction: By the end of the weeklong vacation, he and Allorah claim, he had channeled numerous entities in a nearly nonstop marathon, including a few dead literary titans. They talk about it all in the same matter-of-fact way the rest of us might describe a trip to Aventura Mall. (This and other odd stories that follow are merely their view of the supposed psychic events in their lives, uncluttered by such journalistic phrases as "alleged entities," "they claimed," and so on; these tales can be read with such cautionary words in mind.)

The parade of supernatural visitors began unexpectedly. Near a waterfall amid huge boulders in a remote section of the island of Kauai, Furman sat down to pray for a revelation about what his next step in life should be. He was losing interest in the theater group he was then touring with, and his studies with a prominent local psychic, Paul McClain, were luring him deeper into mysticism. As he meditated he felt a female angelic presence that quickly entered A and left -- his body. When he opened his eyes, he saw, in the real world, Creevay walking naked out of the water toward him, looking like a blond goddess. As he moved to embrace her, he felt yet another feminine being move through him, and it was in that being's voice, the voice of "Nonah," that he began speaking to Creevay. At first she thought he was kidding her, an actor having a bit of improvisational fun.

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