From the book The Dead Have Never Died Edward C. Randall
Dr. Isaac J. Funk, a man of much learning, spent forty years in psychic research. He published the result of his investigation and many of his conclusions, but he always lived in awe of the criticism of science. I spent many hours with Dr. Funk going over the details of my own work, and I discussed with him many of the problems with which we had to deal. He was much interested in the investigations that I was making with Mrs. French, and for that reason I arranged for her to go to New York where she spent eleven days with him and his associates. There, under conditions that he desired, she demonstrated the work she was doing with me. The result he published in his Psychic Riddle.
He was always anxious for proof that the voices which he heard were independent, and he wanted evidence of the identity of those with whom I had speech. These points he regarded as important to prove the continuity of life, and in his work he was unable to satisfy himself concerning them. His method was to attempt to prove a fact by the process of elimination, that is, to prove truths by demonstrating their opposite. He, like all other scientific men, attempted to rear a structure by tearing the structure down. This process has impeded the progress of nearly all psychic investigators, and I often said to him that one should seek what he wanted to find with open and receptive mind, always having in his thought that conditions cannot be changed to satisfy any one's particular notion; that we must accept conditions as we find them and make them better, to enable us to gain the end desired. In all of Dr. Funk's published works he left a loophole in his conclusions, that he might avoid criticism should he be found in error.
Some time ago the doctor left his physical body, and one night soon after, during one of the last sessions I had with Mrs. French, a man's voice spoke my name. The tone was familiar, but I could not associate the voice with any one whom I had known in the earth-life, although I knew a spirit was speaking.
I replied, Your voice is familiar, but I do not recognize it.
He replied, I am Dr. Isaac Funk. I have been out of the body but a short time and being interested in your work, I have been permitted to come.
I then said: You may be Dr. Funk, as you claim, but we cannot permit you to consume our time unless you establish your identity. This is one of the rules that we adopted some time since, for the reason that, knowing the person, we can form some judgment as to the value of what he may say. If you are Dr. Funk and desire to continue this conversation, you must establish that fact.
He quickly responded: You are entirely right about that; what you ask is fair. I ought to be able to establish my identity.
I said: Certainly, if you are Dr. Funk you can give us some proof of your identity. During your earth life you always made a great point of establishing identity.
Then he enquired: How shall it be done?
I answered: That is not for me to suggest. You know how technical the body of scientific gentlemen to which you belong always is. If you are going to have a test here, we want it to be evidential. If you are going to prove your identity, you must do it without suggestion from me.
He replied, after a pause: Identity was what I invariably wanted satisfactorily proved. I recall a conversation I had with you in my private office at which no one was present but ourselves.
Yes, I suggested, we had many such interviews.
He then said: I refer to one at which I asked you to make a special test at one of your meetings with Mrs. French. I asked that when some one with an independent voice was speaking, you put your hand upon the table and have Mrs. French put her mouth upon your hand; you were then to place your free hand over her head, holding it firmly, and in that situation see if you could hear the independent voice. I wanted such evidence to demonstrate that Mrs. French did not do the talking. No one knew of that conversation but ourselves, and that ought to be proof to you that I am Dr. Funk.
I replied: Yes, I do, recall that conversation at the time and place. I now recognize your voice, and your proof is satisfactory.
I then put my hand on the table. Mrs. French at my suggestion put her mouth upon the back of my hand, I put my free hand over the back of her head, holding it firmly, and then I said:
Is this what you asked me to do?
Dr. Funk replied: Yes.
I immediately said: Dr. Funk, you do the talking, and we will demonstrate that your voice is independent.
Afterward there was a general talk between Dr. Funk, certain of my group of co-workers upon his side of life, and me, and some plain things were said. I told Dr. Funk that because of his prominence, and as one who had investigated this important subject for many years, he could have been a great force for good; that many people in this world of men were interested in him and his writings and were guided by his conclusions, but that he never published them in full, for which reason his readers could not reach a better conclusion than he did. I told him that he had failed at the crucial moment, and had nullified the good he could have done. I added that I regarded this as a great misfortune not only to him, but to the world at large.
He replied: I realize that now more than ever. It is a fact that I was afraid of the criticism of men of science. I now regret very much that I did not fully publish my conclusions. In my own mind there was no doubt.
A spirit answered and said to him:
You were the custodian of much knowledge. Through your investigations you learned many things. By reason of your position you could have done much good. That was your stumbling block, and before you can progress, you must become strong where you were weak.