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Observations placeholder

Whitton, Dr Joel - Case history Michael Gallander 07



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Life between life – Dr Joel Whitton and Joe Fisher

Further dredging of Michael's subconsciousness scooped up more ugliness. He was Angela Fiore, a peasant girl from a tiny village near Genoa who became the brutalized mistress of an officer in Napoleon's occupying army in 1809.

He was also Robert Macready, a scholarly English gentleman of late Victorian times who, fraught with guilt and sexual neuroses, indulged so excessively in alcohol and drugs that he died, pallid and frail, after walking in front of a carriage in his early forties. In Robert’s slide into delirium, Michael was quick to perceive echoes of the unconscious suicidal tendencies that haunted his own life. He was prone to 'become absent-minded', as he put it, and had been awakened' several times in the middle of the street by blaring car horns or an alarmed pedestrian's tug on his arm.

Yet there were encouraging signs that Michael was undergoing deep and positive change. Although the guilt and sense of dread maintained their obstinacy, he was more intuitive, more assertive and more at ease, both with himself and with others. Perhaps most encouraging of all, Dr Whitton was displaying all the contained excitement of a tracker dog hot on the scent. After more than three years of probing Michael's reincarnational history, he sensed he was ready to sneak up on a life that should, with luck, be the catalyst that would release eight centuries of bottled-up emotion. He remembered how Michael had, in the very first session, touched upon and then recoiled from the year 1915 and, in hope of circumventing this resistance/ he decided to steer him into the interlife prior to this immediate past life. In what Dr Whitton now regards as the case's most crucial session, he coaxed his subject into meta-consciousness and waited patiently as his face became suffused with the wonder and the bewilderment common to all who trespass in the bardo. Dr Whitton allowed several minutes to pass before he asked the first question:

'What will you be born as?'... There was a long pause.

 'A woman.'

 'And what will be the purpose of your next life?' . . . Another long pause.

'To make preparation for the next entity in the soul’s learning process. To repay karma.

' Further questioning revealed that Michael's soul was counselled in the inter-life to attempt-no matter how great the earthly penalty to resolve the conflicts that had wreaked so much havoc over so many lifetimes. The agenda indicated the orchestration of sexual trauma as well as an intent to break away from dogmatic religious attitudes. If all went according to plan, this next life would be a tough yet pivotal incarnation, a life that would sharply reverse the steady accumulation of indebtedness.

For Michael Gallander, veteran of the trance state that he was, the next few sessions would prove to be the most arduous of them all. Reassured by his visit to the inter-life, he began to tackle - often hesitatingly and never willingly - traumatic episodes from the life of Julia Murchison, who was born in 1910 into a God-fearing, poverty-stricken family in rural Kentucky. Time and time again, Michael's body arched and thrashed across Dr Whitton's floor as he confronted what he hadn't wanted to remember. Screaming, weeping, protesting and sighing in voices that ranged in timbre from those of a small child to a young woman, he chronicled the events of Julia's brief but highly purposeful existence . . .

After the premature death of her mother, Julia is raised by her father, a drunkard who habitually beats and torments her. Brutally raped by this man at the age of five, she represses the event - 1915 was, after all, the year from which Michael had fled - and grows up deeply troubled. Nevertheless she's a wilful, plucky girl who makes a conscious decision to pull away from the constrictions of her Southern Baptist community.

Leaving home at the earliest opportunity, she heads for Louisville where, while dreaming of travelling to California to star in the silent movies, she works as a waitress and then as a prostitute. Her childhood rape had left her unable to achieve orgasm, and it is her unconscious determination to recover the memory of this traumatic incident that leads her into prostitution. But working as a whore fails to produce the primal experience she needs. So, despite her loathing for her father, she lays plans to seduce him hoping - again unconsciously – that a repetition of her childhood rape will cause her to rediscover the past and learn from its lessons.

'Maybe I'll be able to feel,' Dr Whitton is told in a wistful Southern accent. Julia, now in her twenties, is wearing a provocative white petticoat in readiness for her father when he next visits Louisville for a church service. It's early on a Sunday afternoon when she hears him stumble on the outside steps leading up to her second floor flat and, sure enough, he's drunk when he opens the door to her shouted 'Come in!' Standing unsteadily in her hallway, he senses the intended seduction and has a feeling that it's nothing but a tease. As he starts to get angry Julia keeps pouting and giggling, pouting and giggling. He tells her to stop, but she does nothing of the kind. Provoked beyond the desire for sex, he pulls a knife, rushes at her, and stabs her to death . . .

In the healing of any traumatic neurosis, there's an element that demands repetition of the causative event to bring the trauma into the conscious mind. Demonstrating its occurrence within a lifetime, Sigmund Freud labelled this phenomenon 'the compulsion to repeat'.

Dr Whitton's case studies show, further, that the principle holds good from lifetime to lifetime. Making conscious, under hypnosis, a traumatic event which took place in a previous existence can lead to cessation of physical and psychological disorders.

Blindly Julia sought this repetition in working as a prostitute and, when it couldn't be found, she obeyed the compulsion initiated by her inter-life experience to search for a more drastic repeat performance. Julia miscalculated - not expecting to be killed as she was about to act out her childhood rape.

 In this life, Michael has retrieved those painful memories which explained, at last, his fantasy about the murder of a woman in a white gown. Being Julia was unpleasant in the extreme but, as the sessions edged towards completion, Michael felt the oppression of centuries drain from his body, leaving him with a hitherto unknown sensation of well- being. No longer was his relationship with Sharron fraught with a sense of dread; his guilt and self- loathing ebbed away, and all absent-minded inclination to do away with himself evaporated. He discovered he could look into the mirror each morning without despairing and, when he fed the pigeons and gave money to derelicts on the street, he found he was motivated by joy as well as by compassion.

Friends and relatives detected changes in Michael's attitude towards life. He managed to shed a puritanical predisposition towards leisure and pleasure that enabled him to relax more easily and feel freer within himself when, for example, he danced with his wife. Sharron, who accepts her role in Michael's reincarnational history, could hardly believe her husband's transformation.

 'He's been freed from preoccupation,' she said. 'His mind is no longer his jailer.'

There were other dividends. In becoming aware of his personal tapestry of cause and effect spanning eight hundred years, Michael discovered that his concept of reality had been thoroughly overhauled.

'I have been allowed, 'he said, speaking of his visits to the interlife, 'the barest glimpse of levels of creation that are far above anything I can even begin to put into words. I was made to feel that everything that we do has meaning at the highest level. Our sufferings are not random; they are merely part of an eternal plan more complex and awe-inspiring than we are capable of imagining.'

Final visits to the interlife - this time the period straddling the incarnations as Julia and Michael - further illuminated the nature of Michael's recovery. Before he was born, Michael was advised that his life's purpose would best be served by choosing the same parents he had had as Hildebrandt and by renewing the important relationship with Rachael. The resulting interaction with these individuals could help bring about the necessary awareness of his intended path. Furthermore he was counselled that he must persevere until he finally understood, and solved, his difficulties.

Notwithstanding this advice, Michael's oversoul, presumably discouraged by past failures, planned the current incarnation without anticipating the rapid progress that was to follow. Comparing his life's performance so far with his interlife observations, Michael realized that sketchy plans made for future incarnations had been brought forward to the present life to keep pace with the accelerated speed with which he was dispatching the challenges of his karmic script. In other words, Michael had managed to live several lifetimes within one incarnation, an achievement open to all who pursue their destiny with exceptional vigour. Within one incarnation, he has achieved results that, ordinarily, would require the labour of lifetimes. Michael's desire to get well - so vital to the eventual success of the therapeutic process – sprang directly from Julia's determined, though doomed, efforts at self-therapy.

As Manly P. Hall writes in Death to Rebirth, 'The individual pays his karma very largely by the process which perpetuates an attitude existing at a particular time. If this attitude exists at the time of the previous death, it will go on to become the drive for the re-embodiment of the new personality.' Michael Gallander's karmic case study shows that what remains undone in one life can always be completed in the next incarnation, assuming, of course, that there's an abundance of willpower. By harnessing his power of will to seek out, acknowledge and transcend his crimes and conflicts, Michael has freed himself to pursue the idealism expressed in the interlife before he was reborn as Hildebrandt.


…fundamentalists who believe that strictly doctrinaire living will be rewarded by an audience with Jesus Christ and a pew in the kingdom of heaven are courting disappointment. Dr Whitton's subjects with narrowly religious past lives have discovered in the inter-life that the complex and protracted course of personal evolution cannot be supplanted by the simplistic notion of being 'saved'.

Victor Bracknell, the past-life personality of Michael Gallander, …. was a pious seventeenth-century puritan, unshakeable in his conviction that he was doing God's will. He was equally unshakeable in his belief that he would be rewarded at death by the sight of Jesus.

But the life between life brought him no Christ-like vision, no heavenly haven. Instead, he was confronted with the conflicts that had caused him, in his blindness, to inflict suffering on others.


The source of the experience

Whitton, Dr Joel

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Psychological trauma