TRADITIONAL MUSICIANS FROM the Andes Mountains and authors of new books on pre-Atlantian times, lost colonies of ancient America, and ghosts will headline a five-hour symposium titled “Spirits and Voices from Distant Shores” from 2-7 p.m. Saturday, March 22, at Spirit United Church, 3204 Como Ave. SE, Minneapolis.

The Saturday symposium, sponsored by the Minneapolis Theosophical Society, will include free refreshments. Admission is $35 adults, $45 for couples or families, and $30 for students, seniors and Theosophical Society members. Register at the door or in advance at Minneapolis Theosophical Society, c/o Von Braschler, 1034 Dayton Ave., St. Paul, MN 55104. Email vonbraschler@gmail.com or call 651.235.6645.

Frank Joseph, of Wabasha, MN, will discuss his new book The Lost Colonies of Ancient America and another recent release, Before Atlantis. Joseph is the author of some 30 books on ancient civilizations and mysteries and is a leading international researcher on Atlantis and pre-Columbian civilizations. He will speak at the symposium on ancient civilizations, specifically ancient American civilizations that have been long ignored and forgotten. He will offer copies of his new books and be on hand to sign them.

Von Braschler, of St. Paul, will discuss his forthcoming book from Inner Traditions titled Confessions of a Reluctant Ghost Hunter: A Cautionary Tale of Encounters with Malevolent Entities and Other Disembodied Spirits. The new book offers a narrative account of his own training and work in removing deceased people from homes and churches and his personal discovery that some spirits should be left alone. He is also the author of the recent book, Seven Secrets of Time Travel. Copies of his books will be on hand for sale and signing.

Alma-AndinaThe seven-piece band Alma Andina, now based in Minnesota, will play traditional music from the Andes Mountains and Latin America, where members of the band originate. The band plays spiritual songs that honor the mountains, water, sky, and valleys. Alma Andina plays traditional South American Andean instruments, such as the charango (a strummed string instrument), zampoñas (pan pipes) and quenas (wooden flutes). The band’s director, Vladimir Garrido, compares the work of Alma Andina to that of Chilean musicians who were exiled during the regime of dictator Augusto Pinochet. They performed a fusion of native and non-native music.


Joseph,-FrankA conversation with Frank Joseph
Frank Joseph, former editor-in-chief of Ancient American Magazine, explores the latest findings from archeology, anthropology, paleontology, geology and biology to shed new light on the vague history we hold for the the 20 million year timeline from the rise and fall of pre-humans and human culture. He discusses ancient seafarers and early migrations across the oceans.

Before-AtlantisFrank, you will be speaking about two new books. What is Before Atlantis about, in a nutshell?
Frank Joseph: It shows that early hominids, like the dolphins’ ancestors, were evolving into sea animals, until, like similarly sea-bound, pre-modern elephants, they returned to the land. Before Atlantis demonstrates how our hybrid origins as aquatic apes made us what we are, namely, a schizophrenic species, half compassionate, quick-witted mammal, half greedy killer-chimp.

Lost-ColoniesWhat is your other new book, Lost Colonies of Ancient America, about?
FJ: Each chapter deals exclusively with one of the different peoples who arrived at our continent before Columbus. My book examines the latest, best evidence for Egyptian cocaine dealers in Colombia, Phoenician vintners in Maine, Roman merchants in Kentucky, Knights Templar in Minnesota, and other colonizing folk from the ancient Old World, who contributed to the publicly unknown prehistory of America.

What did you learn during the writing of these books that everyone should know?
FJ: Although I have been studying possibilities for overseas visitors to our continent from the ancient Old World for more than thirty years, only pulling it all together in Lost Colonies of Ancient America did the high drama of these various peoples finally expand into a broad, continuous panorama I never before envisioned. A similar experience came about while writing Before Atlantis, the immense scope of which extends from our early evolution and brush with extinction to our first civilization and earliest global culture — all long prior to and entirely different from official textbook versions of the past.

What inspires you to explore ancient history?
FJ: The more we learn about what happened, the clearer we understand how we got here and where we are going. Only a fool or a blind man sees no connection between past, present and future. We do the things we do because of the things we did. Our identity lies in our origins. History makes sense of the world.

What overall message do you want to impart to those who attend the symposium?
FJ: That each one of them is a link in a very long chain — the current outcome of everything that has happened to their precursors over the last two million years. Such an understanding provides us with a sense of place, significance and meaning, even purpose, if we feel such a legacy personally carried within our very cellular nature demands responsibility to those who come after us. A true torch-bearer, conscious of his own, fleeting mortality, does not only want to illuminate his own surroundings, but pass it on to the next runner. Without such idealism, we would have never made it this far and will go no further.


Braschler,-Von7-secretsA conversation with Von Braschler
St. Paul author Von Braschler will round out the symposium with a description of his own training and deadly experiences as a ghost hunter. His book, due out in the fall, outlines some practical things to do and avoid in removing ghosts from buildings. His book is a factual account of mysterious decapitations, animal mutilations, and shape-shifting spirits that sometimes prove too difficult to remove from their haunts.

Von, you will be speaking about your upcoming book, Confessions of a Reluctant Ghost Hunter. What is it about, in a nutshell?
Von Braschler: The book is a narrative, true story of my experiences as a person trained to contact ghosts in haunted houses and encourage them to leave. I was trained by a wonderful professional who lived on Orcas Island in the San Juans back in the early 1980s. She would visit houses and other buildings that were haunted and then make contact with the deceased people who haunted them and encourage them to move on. She was very sweet and effective. I took notes.

Later, however, I moved to Mt. Hood in Oregon where I encountered spirits that did not appear to be anything like somebody’s deceased Aunt Ruth and were not as agreeable once you met them. I had three very difficult assignments in Oregon that made me reconsider how safe it was to walk blindly into a building reported as haunted and attempt to encourage spirits there to leave. My stories include mutilation, decapitation, animal deaths, fires, and floating heads. For some thirty years I suppressed the memories of these very difficult hauntings, but decided to purge myself by telling these stories. My book will provide basic instruction on how to approach ghosts, what to bring, what to do, and what to avoid.

Why were you inspired to write this book?
VB: Today we see many movies, books, and even popular reality shows on TV that seem to glorify ghost hunting as a fun sport. Many people apparently think that it would be very entertaining and perhaps enlightening to summon the spirits. I now believe that walking blindly into any of that could be very dangerous and even fatal. Not every spirit that haunts a building happens to be a deceased person who is simply confused or innocently reluctant to move on. There are other spirits that are much more alien and deadly.

What did you learn during the writing of this book that everyone should know?
VB: Not all spirits who haunt us are deceased people. Some could even be demonic. We are no match for these other spirits and should avoid them. Also, we should think twice about trying to communicate with the dead for two practical reasons. First, we don’t know who or what will come across when we reach out to them; and they can deceive us about their true identity and intent. Secondly, it’s just plain rude to bother the dead, because they need to move on and not be pulled back to this world and this life.

How much of a nuisance are ghosts, in general, and why should someone consider seeking the assistance of a ghost hunter?
VB: It’s truly sad and concerning whenever a deceased person becomes too confused or frightened upon passing to move beyond this physical plane of existence. Of course, they need whatever help we can realistically offer them, often the efforts of a ghost hunter who will take the time to contact them, communicate with them, and gently persuade them to move on, as they can so easily do once motivated. In truth, we probably live with many more ghosts than we realize, since some have fallen into ritualistic patterns of co-existing in this time and place without bothering anyone who shares the same buildings with them. In fact, they are probably not even aware of the living for the most part.

Unfortunately, this is not the whole picture with regard to haunted buildings. Some spirits are not so cooperative and easy going. Some are spirits of a different sort. Some are dark, dangerous, and not of this world. These should be avoided.

What overall message do you want to impart to those who attend the symposium?
VB: Please give serious thought to the dark side of ghost hunting and the sort of sport that has become popular on TV and elsewhere in the media. A lot of it goes too far and is more like ghost stalking. A lot of it pays little compassion to the unfortunate deceased person who might be stuck in place and uncomfortable with that situation. A lot of it is a dangerous intrusion into a spirit realm that is filled with a variety of unknown spirits, some of whom are mischief makers and quite dangerous on contact. Once you get these genies out of the bottle, it’s very difficult to put them safely away.

We need to respect the dead and help the unfortunate souls who are stuck here as reluctant ghosts, but avoid bothering the dead who have peacefully departed and playing with other dangerous spirits who never were anyone’s dead Aunt Ruth, but might make you think they are now.

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Tim Miejan

Tim Miejan is editor & co-publisher of The Edge magazine. Contact him at 651.578.8969 or editor@edgemagazine.net. Visit The Edge online at www.edgemagazine.net.

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