An Interview with the Late Colin Fry - Part 1
By Naomi Walker
Back in 2012, I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing the great Spiritualist Medium, Colin Fry. Here's the interview as it happened:
Colin Fry is one of the world’s most renowned mediums. He has worked as a Spiritualist medium and a healer for over 34 years and toured extensively around the world. He has featured on his own TV shows: Sixth Sense with Colin Fry in the UK, The Happy Medium in New Zealand and Den Andre Siden in Norway.
He plays to over 130 theatres a year worldwide and ensures that he also visits smaller venues to enable as many people as possible to come and see him.
Colin has written four best-selling books and his long-awaited autobiography, The Happy Medium, is due for release in the summer of 2012. He is a very busy man. As well as working as a medium, healer and author, along with his partner, Mikey, he has recently launched ‘Senses by Colin Fry’ an online shop of aromatherapy based products and a skincare range.
The day I travel to the sleepy Sussex village where he currently lives, I find a busy scene as he prepares to go on tour. It’s one of the hottest days of the year so far.
After a long car journey, sitting in his conservatory with a cold drink feels close to bliss. But I soon forget all about the heat as we talk. His answers to my questions are spell-binding, at times deep, and full of surprising insights into the life of this man the public call ‘The People’s Medium.’
N. Was your gift natural and how did you develop it?
C. People often ask, ‘when did you know?’ Well, I’ve always known from a very young age. I think it’s being old enough to know what to do with it. I bluffed my way into a Spiritualist Church for the first time when I was 15 by claiming I was with someone. This was Brighton Spiritualist Church. I met an elderly lady. I watched her demonstrate and she gave phenomenal messages. She said she would take me on. I was the youngest person she had ever helped to develop.
The first time she let me do a demonstration myself, I was about 17. In the hour demonstration, I gave about 16 messages. I thought it was great. Afterwards, I asked her what she thought. She wasn’t pleased at all! She said, ‘You were cutting off communications to get to the next one. In this business we do quality not quantity!” She wouldn’t let me go back on platform for another 6 months. She was furious with me, but I learned a lot from that.
Overall, I sat in development circles for over 20 years. I think that is the only way to do it. Having the gift is not enough.
I’m not against newcomers but they sit in circle a couple of times and then they are getting cards printed saying that they are professional mediums. You can understand why the sceptics attack when this happens.
I believe that you should only be able to say you are a professional medium, semi-professional medium or take a fee, if you are affiliated to a Spiritualist Church or registered with a religious body. If we don’t start to self–regulate the law may come down on us.
There were many well-known Spiritualists who fought for the Fraudulent Mediums Act. It gave us a legal right to practice. Up until this was introduced, you could be arrested and charged under the Witchcraft Act. A number of mediums were arrested, charged, fined or imprisoned purely for undertaking an act of their religion. Then the act came in. It’s now been changed and it’s all part of the Consumer Protection Act.
Many Spiritualists were absolutely up in arms about this, my attitude was, if you are conforming to the law, what have you got to worry about?
N. How do you perceive Spirit?
C. The thing about mediumship is that every communication is unique because you are dealing with a different human personality and whatever their ability might be to connect. Sometimes the communication is clairvoyant and sometimes clairaudient. The vast majority of the time, for me personally, it is an impression that Spirit place in the mind. It’s a mental connection.
N. Can they learn to improve their communication in the spirit world?
C. I’m sure they can, just like you can in this life. If someone was quiet and reserved in life, they’re not going to become a chatterbox when they pass over. They’re not going to become the font of all knowledge. They are going to be pretty much who they were when they were here. Some naturally find it easier than others. They can get help on that side of life but, at the end of the day, the onus in on them to communicate.
N. Do spirits communicate to you all the time or do they have to make an appointment like visitors from this side of life have to?
C. They are always there. This is the discipline of development. You can’t be taught the gift but you should be taught that there is a time when you should know not to be a medium.
I disapprove of psychics and mediums who think they can walk up to someone in a supermarket and say, ‘Excuse me, do you know your mother is standing next to you?’ You could offend them, upset them or frighten them. To me it’s using mediumship as a party piece.
My feeling is that people can come to us if they want to. They can come to a Spiritualist Church, a National Theatre Tour or have a private sitting, that’s their choice. No medium has the right to inflict what they do on someone who doesn’t want or ask for it.
N. In your shows, do you often feel that people are very hesitant when they are accepting a message?
C. Yes, people are sometimes hesitant – taken aback – but if they have come to my evening, my assumption has to be that they want a communication. I sometimes cut messages short in order not to hurt people when they are too upset. I’ll say the necessary and then come away from them.
This is why I will only work with an audience or face-to-face. I will not do internet, phone or postal readings.
We are not just a message-giving service. We have to take responsibility for all the people who are giving and receiving messages, while that process is actually happening, because mediumship is to heal, not hurt.
N. Is that because implications of what you are saying to them can have a huge impact on their lives and change the course of their beliefs?
C. Of course. I’m sometimes concerned that some mediums do not worry about the huge responsibility we are taking on. It’s not just a way of paying the bills. You’re taking on a vocation in life and if you can’t accept that, then leave it alone.
N. Why is it that some loved-ones never come back and communicate?
C. I’ve been a working medium for 34 years and I cannot give you an answer. This is what I have observed, though. I think some can, some can’t and some don’t want to. They may look at loved-ones here and think, ‘This won’t help you, it will hurt you.’ It’s not for the greater good. I’ve turned many people away in the past and said, ‘I’m not what you need. Go and see a bereavement counsellor, go to your doctor, but I am not what you need.’
N. Is there a period of time you think that people should wait after a bereavement before contacting a medium?
C. I’ve read for someone in the first week when I’ve felt it was appropriate and I’ve also redirected people when they’ve been bereaved for over 3 years.
I did it earlier this week. I said to a group, ‘I’m stopping this sitting, this in not going to make you happy or cure your grief. If you want to see other mediums, that’s your choice but my advice to you is to leave it alone for at least a year and talk to a bereavement counsellor. In that particular case, just knowing their loved-one had survived death just wouldn’t have been enough.
I can’t bring them back, no one can do that. All I can receive from them is their thoughts, their feelings, their memories and their communication. For many people that is enough; but for some, it won’t heal them.
The word that always bothers me is when people say that they are desperate. I say, ‘If you’re desperate, I can’t help you. If you are desperate, I can’t heal desperation. The only person who can heal desperation is you. You need to speak to a counsellor. Spend time in counselling and then perhaps think about going to see a medium.
N. What about reincarnation? Many people worry that when they pass over, their loved ones may have moved on to other lives.
C. I don’t believe in reincarnation. I know many mediums who do, but in 34 years as a working medium I’ve never received any evidence of it. I respect people and religions who do believe in it. However, like many things in the world of religion, I think reincarnation has been used to control people.
Historically, people in very low positions have been told, ‘Accept your position and if you behave, next time you may come back as something better.’ I also think it’s used as a means to avoid the inevitability of physical death because of a fear of what is to come. I don’t fear what is to come and I don’t think that anyone should.
I believe that our earthly existence gives us signs of everything that is to come. We start in this small, humble, vulnerable state and we grow and we learn and we evolve. Why would that process stop at death and then allow us to be reborn and start all over again? What is the point of reaching university and then going back to kindergarten?
Everything in existence follows the same pattern. A plant grows, it flowers, sheds its seed and continues life; not for itself but for what it has produced. Same with humans - our children and our family - they are the continuation.
My niece will be my continuation in this world and her children will be my continuation in this world. I have to move on from it at some point and I have to be something more.
N. When you die do you believe that you stay on the same spirit plane or do you progress through different levels?
C. People ask me to describe what the spirit world is like and I say eternity is an extremely big place.
Magnus, my guide, said, “Many attempt to look towards the horizon and rush towards it and when they reach that horizon, all that they find is another horizon. But what they lost was the journey because they rushed through the journey.” He went on to say that like many, he always wanted to know what the destination was and now felt that there is no destination, there it's just the journey.
So many people want to know what is the destination is. Maybe people are not supposed to know.
N. If we knew would it change who we are in our lives?
C. Some people say, ‘Do we live in the Matrix?’ Maybe the Matrix is God’s making, maybe He has created all this and He is still building it, however you understand God. I believe in a creating force that continues to create, continues to programme.
Maybe the universe will become a deleted programme, but there will be an upgrade. We, as creations within the overall creation, we are just meant to journey through it and there can’t be a destination if it’s still being created.
N. When you communicate with spirits, are they always those who have been, or will be, human?
C. I used to occasionally go and sit with a trance medium. During one sitting, there was a communication with a spirit who clearly stated. ‘I am a human spirit but I’ve never had an earth existence.’?
If we live in this multi-dimensional universe, why should an Earth existence be the only choice for a human? Is this the only option? No I don’t think it is!
N. Are we talking different planets? Different dimensions? Different places that we can’t even comprehend?
C. If we can imagine it, it probably can be.
N. Do you think there are some places we cannot even imagine?
C. Yes, not as we are now. A 3-year-old would have problems explaining the theory of a particle accelerator but, after evolving, at 35-40 they may be able to. We are not evolved enough in this present state of our existence to understand everything.
If we understood everything, we would be Gods. And that is frightening!
For example, they think they may have found what binds the universe together, the God Particle. I would question whether science is sufficiently evolved to be playing around with that stuff. Science can cause us huge problems and even harm us.
The problem with society is that we are becoming drone like. It’s easier to be kept as a drone and believe that the system will protect you and look after you but what if the system is poisoning you? Science claims to make us well, people are living longer but at what cost?
N. Do you that sometimes people are kept alive by science mainly to comfort the relatives?
C. Yes. That is why people find what I do so frightening. I say do not be frightened of death it’s just the next stage of life. I’m defying the convention, where science, at whatever cost, wants to keep people alive as long as possible. It puts a huge strain on society, never mind the indignity they have to go through.
I was standing outside of a venue last night having a cigarette and a woman said to me, ‘Oh Colin, what will that do to you!’ I said, ‘I’m not bothered, I know where I’m going.’ Everyone is frightened of the big C – well if that’s what is going to take you over, well, something has to. I never said that I wanted to be here for a long time.
One of the implications of my work is that I know there is a bigger picture. I sometimes see things on the internet and in magazines and think, ‘This isn’t about the continuation of life. This is Disney!’ By all means, believe in angels, but keep it real. This isn’t Disney. This isn’t Tinkerbell! It is a force, a real force! I have a lot of time for Jacky Newcomb. I listen to Jacky and think, ‘Yes, I can believe in what you’re saying.’ It makes sense and she keeps it real. With some other people, I just think, ‘Your ideal job would be a tour guide at Disney World!’
It’s the same when some mediums talk to you about their guides, it’s like a competition! My guide’s better or more evolved than your guide… I just think, ‘Get a life!’
N. Why is it that many spirit guides seem to be monks, Native Indians and similar?
C. If you go back into the beginnings of Spiritualism, there were a lot of Arabic guides or guides who had led a cloistered life - nuns, monks, priests - and then in the 1800s something happened. A man called Wild Bill Hickok brought a show to the world called ‘The Wild West Show’. This show featured Native Americans. Suddenly there were a lot of Native American guides.
Howard Carter and Lord Canarvon discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun and suddenly we had Egyptian guides.
In the 40s, 50s and early 60s there was a huge interest in creatures from other worlds and we started to get alien guides. If a subject comes into the popular consciousness, we seem to get the associated guides.
Never let another medium tell you who or what your guide is. For example, if I tell you your guide is a beautiful French nun called Isabella, you will immediately start to create that persona in your mind. The problem is, when your real guide comes close and tries to work with you, they either can’t work with you or they have to take on the persona you have created. Magnus said once, “There are many Chinese guides who have been no nearer to China than Leyton Orient.”
N. How would someone meet their guide?
C. I’ll tell you my story. From when I was a very small boy, I had a guide who I called The Old Man. The Old Man used to stand at the end of my bed. He looked like Dr Who, only taller and thinner. Dr Who at the time for me was William Hartnell.
For years I would talk about my guide and call him The Old Man. Then in my 20s, I began to develop trance mediumship and The Old Man started to speak. He told everyone to call him Magnus. So, until I was 25, I didn’t know my guide’s name, to me he was just The Old Man.
Many people put so much effort into trying to find out who their guide is that they don’t follow their inspiration. If, at some point, they need you to know who they are, they’ll let you know. But until then just feel and work with their influence.
N. When Magnus works with you, do you perceive him in the same way as any other spirit?
C. We normally have arguments as he has often said to me that I will always do the opposite of whatever he tells me. I’ve said to him that very few people on this side of life tell me what to do so I’m not going to let someone from the other side of life tell me what to do!
N. Do you know why he chose to work with you?
C. I don’t think he had much choice! But I think there must be some connection between Magnus and I. Also, he is not my only guide. He says that he represents a collection called, ‘The Diamond’ because they are multi-facetted. He told me that there are 176 aspects of ‘The Diamond’ who are capable of working directly with me or through me. There are also many thousands who have evolved so much that they cannot connect with this plane anymore.