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Observations placeholder

Whitton, Dr Joel - Case history Michael Gallander 04



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Life between life – Dr Joel Whitton and Joe Fisher

Michael's first year of sessions with Dr Whitton was not yet over when, after much resistance, he encountered Hildebrandt as a twelve-year-old. This time, however, his attention moved pointedly to other players in the grim medieval drama. Hildebrandt's parents were more than familiar . . . they were his parents in the current lifetime. Circumstances hadn't been so very different for him in twelfth-century Westphalia - here he was, born of a loveless union which had pitched him into a disturbed childhood. His feelings of rejection sometimes tipped over into active antagonism . . .

Hildebrandt's father is teaching his son how to wield a sword. The boy, brimming with past resentment, senses his opportunity and stabs his father in the eye. Some weeks later, the grievously injured ruler dies of a brain abscess. Everyone believes his death is accidental, but Hildebrandt knows better . . . With every session, Michael leamed more . . . Hildebrandt's mother is a manipulative woman who schemes and conspires to ensure her interests are successfully navigated through the cross-currents of court intrigue. At age thirteen, Hildebrandt is considered to be on the threshold of manhood and only a short period of time separates him from control of the principality which measures, in breadth, 'a day's ride through the forest', His incipient maturity, however, makes him sexually attractive to his mother who, not content with a string of affairs in the court, makes playful advances towards her son. This inveigling so repulses the young prince that he reacts by pushing his mother ever closer to the edge of a tall flight of stone steps. In the ensuing struggle, the failed seductress plunges down the steps, breaking her neck. As she falls to her death, she grasps vainly at her son's arms, leaving his triceps badly scratched ...

Once this episode had been recalled, Michael's troublesome rash would never recur. Something was happening; some kind of slow thaw seemed to be at work in the icebox of his psyche. It was all very encouraging but there was so much more to experience as Hildebrandt and others. Another nine months of sessions were required to elicit a step- by-step account of the knight's disastrous love match . . .

Just before Hildebrandt inherits his kingdom, he meets and falls in love with a girl named Rachael, the daughter of a literate Jew (none of Hildebrandt's family can read or write) who serves as court physician. At about the same time, the prince is being heavily influenced by a court monk who, having manoeuvred Hildebrandt's parents for years, has little difficulty in manipulating the son and heir.

While Hildebrandt and Rachael think they have managed to keep their relationship secret, the monk's' spies discover not only that the pair are passionate partners but also that Rachael is pregnant. Consequently, the monk suspects that Rachael will ask Hildebrandt to marry her and, abhorring such a union as sacrilegious, he plants a seed of distrust in Hildebrandt's mind. He insinuates that Rachael wants matrimony so that she can steal the throne.

'And you cannot marry a Jew,' the monk tells the ruler-to-be 'They are the accursed of God; you must arrange a proper political marriage.'

Now Hildebrandt is an idealistic youth keenly aware of his inability to convert his idealism into action. Wanting to impress his will upon the world, he nevertheless feels like a reed shaken by the wind of circumstance. And so when Rachael breaks the news that she is carrying his child, the prince explodes with the realization that yet again events are dictating the course of his life. Anticipating the very scheme proposed by the monk, he flies into a rage. Hildebrandt's fury and frustration are so great that he hits Rachael hard in the stomach and crushes her neck with his large hands. Then, in one swift movement, he dashes her against the buttress of a castle balcony, tipping her over the battlements and into the moat below.

In the state of shock that follows, Hildebrandt looks down disbelievingly on the body of his loved one, half-submerged in the stinking, refuse-strewn water. Gasping, choking and vomiting, he staggers back from the battlements to block from his mind all that has happened. Indeed, so strenuous is this act of repression that his knuckles are clenched until they start to bleed. When he emerges at last from this numbing withdrawal, Hildebrandt is unnervingly quiet and self-contained. It is as if Rachael has never existed . . . 'This repression breeds a neurosis that transforms him into an obsessive Christian zealot who, as local organizer for the Third Crusade, twists his self-loathing into vengeance against the Moslems in the Holy Land. He would grant no mercy because he could feel none . . .

There were moments during the dramatic renactment of Rachael's murder when Dr Whitton, despite his experience in handling emotional intensity during trance sessions, was concerned lest Michael's contortions provoke a heart attack. Nevertheless both doctor and patient weathered the storms of Hildebrandt's trauma and Michael found himself panting on the broadloom as normal consciousness returned, wondering how much more he could bear to witness. Drained and devastated by these gut-wrenching episodes from his deep past, he at least understood why, in this life, he felt a compulsive need to punish himself. Not only had he been responsible for the most wretched violence, he had killed none other than Sharron, his wife. For there was no doubt in his mind that Sharon and Rachael were elements of the same soul joined to his own deeds and misdeeds by the unspeakably long arm of karma. This connection was corroborated when Sharron subsequently entered trance and was carried back into a life as Rachael. She recovered vivid memories of her murder by Hildebrandt . .

It was a warm spring evening. I was in a bedroom with an opening leading out to a parapet. I was arguing with Hildebrandt and moving from the parapet to the bedroom and back again to the parapet. We were both dressed in loose gowns. Hildebrandt wore tights or hose and a shirt under his gown. I was wearing nothing under mine. We were hitting at each other and screaming. This yelling was in a language that I didn't understand and, when I tried to catch the meaning it was as if English had been dubbed over some of the words. Hildebrandt shouted at me, 'You whore Jewess! No Jew bastard will inherit from me!' We were finally both out on the parapet and Hildebrandt punched me hard in the stomach. I doubled over and blood dribbled from the side of my mouth. Then he grabbed me around the throat and started to strangle me. He continued strangling and I went limp. He thrust me across the balustrade and something snapped in my back, He released me with a slight shove and my body fell over the balustrade and into the moat where I lay face up, my hair loose and floating, tangled with scum and debris. Later, in the courtyard of the castle, a group of women carried my body on some sort of bier. My face was exposed, but the rest of my body, even my hair, was completely swathed in white material.

The source of the experience

Whitton, Dr Joel

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Psychological trauma