Flint, Leslie (1911–1994)(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
Leslie Flint was possibly the best independent direct voice medium of all times. He was born in a Salvation Army home in Hackney, London, in 1911. His mother was a vivacious unmarried woman, living with her own mother. When she brought home the baby Leslie, his father offered to marry her and make the baby legitimate. However, after three years of discord, Flint’s father joined the army to serve in World War I, and his mother went to work in a munitions factory. Because his mother loved to go out and have a good time, Flint would be dropped off at the local cinema most evenings. There he developed a great love for films, but the arrangement didn’t last long for his mother ran off with one of her admirers and Flint never saw her or his father again. He went to live with his grandmother.
When he was seven, Flint had his first psychic experience. His aunt received the news that her husband had been killed in the war and when she went to see her mother—Flint’s grandmother—Flint saw the spirit of the dead man with her, there in the family kitchen. No one believed him when he told them. At another time he saw a neighbor who had died some weeks before.
Flint grew up to take a variety of menial jobs including gravedigger, cemetery gardener, semiprofessional dancer, cinema usher, barman, and coal miner. When he was eighteen or nineteen he started going to a wide variety of churches, looking for “some clue, some grain of truth in which I could believe…. After many weeks of earnest seeking in the various denominations of the Christian church I had found neither conviction nor any hope of it and I was beginning to despair.” Then he learned of a meeting of Spiritualists and decided to attend. At that meeting, trance medium Annie Johnson singled out Flint for a reading. She told him that he had a spirit guide who liked to dress in an Arabian manner, and that he himself would one day be a great medium. After attending several meetings and getting the same message from different mediums, Flint accepted an invitation to a development circle. He also received a letter from a stranger in Germany claiming that Rudolph Valentino was trying to contact him. On demanding proof, the heavy dining table at the development circle lifted itself up onto two legs. Much later in his development, Valentino came and spoke through him.
Flint continued to sit for seven years with a dedicated circle, after his first group broke up. This second group was led by Edith Mundin, who later became Flint’s wife. Flint found himself slipping into trance and not knowing what took place but, upon waking, discovered that he had been the instrument to bring comfort to many others. Flint had a spirit guide who was a Cockney boy named Mickey, who had been killed in a street accident in Camden Town in 1910, and a Native American named White Wing. Rudolph Valentino also became one of his guides.
When at the cinema, Flint would hear whisperings of voices. Other members of the audience also heard them and blamed Flint for creating a disturbance. He would eventually have to leave the movie house. As the voices grew in strength, Flint no longer went into trance and was able to hear all that was said by the spirit voices. Edith learned of a Spiritualist church whose medium had run off with a member of the congregation. Flint went there and did his first public presentation, falling into trance again and delivering many valid messages. From there he was invited to many of the surrounding churches.
Flint and Edith very much wanted to present to a wider audience the direct voices that Flint produced for their more intimate circle. This, however, required complete darkness, as does all physical mediumship (an artificial voice box is built up from ectoplasm taken from the medium, and darkness is necessary for this). Flint met Noah Zerdin, one of the founders of The Link Association of Home Circles, at a séance. Through Zerdin’s circles, Flint’s direct voice mediumship advanced to the point where Zerdin thought it should be tested on the general public. To do so, they built a lightproof cabinet in which Flint would sit, with the cabinet standing on the stage of the auditorium. He demonstrated in this way at the Scala Theater, the Kingsway Hall, and in Birmingham, Leeds, and Manchester. No microphones were allowed in the cabinet; the Tannoy Company overseeing that and assuring the audience there were no hidden microphones anywhere, only the ones visible out on the stage. As Flint later said, “The extraordinary thing was that the voices were clear even though the microphones were up to two feet away from the cabinet.”
Flint himself never received a fee for his demonstrations, being solely interested in bringing comfort to others. The voices of Thomas Alva Edison, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sir Oliver Lodge, Lord Birkinhead, Charlotte Bronte, Maurice Chevalier, Sir Winston Churchill, Mahatma Ghandi, Ellen Terry, Oscar Wilde, Rudolph Valentino, former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Cosmo Lang have all come through Leslie Flint and have all been recorded. These tapes still available.
Flint worked tirelessly for many years. He allowed all sorts of tests to be made on him by the Society for Psychical Research and others. He was photographed by infrared to detect any movement. He allowed his mouth to be taped shut and he was tightly bound into a chair. He was made to hold a specific amount of colored water in his mouth for a long period of time and then had it measured afterward. He had a throat microphone attached to his throat. Through all of this, the voices still came, and sometimes more than one voice would speak at the same time. Leslie Flint finally retired to Brighton and died there on April 16, 1994, at the age of eighty-three. Aubrey Rose said, “Leslie Flint displayed a rare dedication to his calling as a significant avenue linking two worlds. We salute him as one of the outstanding mediums and dedicated servants of this disappearing twentieth century.”