Mark Ireland is the Co-Founder of Helping Parents Heal, which has 90 affiliate groups worldwide and 17,000 members. Mark is also the author of two important books that balance spiritual acceptance with critical thinking, shedding light on the evidence for the continuity of life after physical death.
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT THINGS LIKE:
- Mark’s dad Richard Ireland was a renowned 20th-century medium whose clients included Mae West, Amanda Blake (Miss Kitty in Gunsmoke), Glenn Ford, and Mamie Eisenhower plus Mark’s personal experience with Mae West when he was a boy.
- How Mark’s original path changed after the passing of his son Brandon.
- Cynics vs skeptics, religious concerns over the paranormal, and rigid skepticism.
- The relationship between artistic talent and the psychic is itself a talent.
SOME QUESTIONS IRENE ASKS MARK:
- How does knowing that physical death is not the end help to illuminate the importance of the life we are living now?
- What are mediumship research studies and how do you screen mediums?
- What is synchronicity?
Link to listen/download song referenced during the interview:
You can reach Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org
Listen to the podcast here
Mark Ireland – Author And Co-Founder Of Helping Parents Heal
I have become familiar with an extraordinary organization that no one in our readers would ever want to belong to, but it is a very important and needed support group to know about. Helping Parents Heal is a nonprofit dedicated to assisting parents who have lost children by giving them support and resources to aid in the healing process. It is my honor to introduce our esteemed readers to Mark Ireland, the Cofounder of Helping Parents Heal, which has 90 affiliate groups worldwide and 17,000 members. Helping Parents Heal is having its annual conference in Charleston, South Carolina and I’m looking forward to seeing Mark there.
Mark is also the author of two important books that balance spiritual acceptance with critical thinking, shedding light on the evidence for the continuity of life after physical death. Mark, welcome to the show. Let’s know what is going to be a very interesting and enlightening interview with this question. Please begin by telling us about your dad, Dr. Richard Ireland, who was a renowned mid-twentieth-century psychic medium and the famous people he counseled.
I didn’t know it at the time because growing up as a kid, I figured that was my dad. He is a normal dad. Contrasting the things he did with other kids’ dads, I later learned that he was rather exceptional in many ways. He had an extreme psychic talent. He was also a medium. He could bring through messages from people who had passed that were highly specific and provided validations. It healed people and I saw that from a very young age.
My dad was unusual in that he grew up during the depression and went to a Methodist church as a child and then started asking some deep questions of his pastor at about the age of twelve. That challenged a lot of traditional thinking in terms of orthodox religion. Then after that, he wasn’t given satisfactory answers. He went out on his own and did a lot of reading. He had this innate connection, too. He needed to reconcile that into his own being like, “I’m connected to God,” and there are more through his experiences. He went upon his search.
Growing up, I saw a man who had confidence in the continuity of life from this phase to the next and also the value of his relationship with God. I saw undeniable evidence that these things were real in terms of his being able to know everything that was going on and also that we continue after death. That gave me a lot of confidence from a young age. Some people might say they have a belief or a hope. I had as close to knowledge as you could get.
You certainly weren’t growing up afraid of death or anything.
Not at all. As far as the celebrities, the one that sticks out to me the most is Mae West because he was most engaged with her. I got to meet her when I was nineteen years old, which was pretty cool.
That must have been an experience.
My dad was a real character, too. We got to go into her apartment and still looked like it was 1928 in there. Then we went into her bedroom and he said, “Can my son sit on your bed so he could say he’s been in Mae West’s bed?” She said, “Sure.” I sat on the edge of her bed. It was a silly thing. I also know that he counseled Amanda Blake from Gunsmoke. She was Miss Kitty in Gun Smoke. That’s an old show. I met her once.
I know David Janssen, Glenn Ford, and some others he counseled. I even have a card from Mamie Eisenhower that was sent to my dad in 1956 around the time he married my mom. It was congratulating him on behalf of her and the President. I had a very interesting childhood. Even in the house, seeing the things that he knew. I had an older brother who couldn’t get away with very much. He would go hot rodding in his car or have somebody buy beer for him when he was underage. My dad would intercept all of these kinds of things and agitated my brother.
It’s a little hard to be brought up with a guy who knows everything going on when you are trying to see a kid and have some of your secrets and all of that thing. How did your father become a minister because he’s called a minister?
He always felt a close connection to God and the spiritual world around him. Even though, he didn’t fully mesh with traditional religion. At the age of 12 or 13, he stumbled into a spiritualist church. Back then in the 30’s or 40’s, that was an edgy thing to do. What convinced him, the things that he had experienced that have made sense and that there was a purpose behind them was he went into this church. It was a very short time after one of his best friends had died.
This friend and he had been playing in a creek the night before. The young man, his mom called him to go because they were going to go into town to see a movie and have dinner. He says, “Richard, I will see you tomorrow.” My dad blurted out, “No, tomorrow you will be dead.” My dad didn’t even know why he said it. It came out of him. Lo and behold, he found out the next morning that the mom and the son had died in a car accident.
When he stumbled into this church, a few weeks or a month later, whenever it was, this minister that was giving the service taped and blindfolded his eyes and asked for people to write questions on pieces of paper and send them up. My dad said, “What should I write?” The woman who gave it to him said, “Just write a message please and then write your name, Richard Ireland,” so he sent that up. The minister came to my dad eventually and he says, “I have got a Richard Ireland. I have a young man here. He gives me a secret name for himself and that name is Payze. No one knew this, but my dad and his friend. They had secret code names for each other and the secret code name was Payze. This man would have had no way of knowing this.
He went on to say, “Young man, you will be doing what I’m doing someday.” That’s how it started, originally, he went through the seminary affiliated with the National Spiritualist Association of Churches and that’s where he was first ordained. Then years later, he started his interdenominational church because he was less into dogma and more into love and inclusiveness.
He founded a church that embraced people from all backgrounds, all faces, or even those who didn’t believe in anything. That later spurred him on to do demonstrations in secular venues and even nightclubs and things because he felt like, “I have to go to them and reach the people who would never come to a church.” Even if it’s showing them psychic phenomena that open their mind up to like, “Maybe there’s more to life than a body and a brain.”
It’s like we are doing here. We are letting everyone know that there’s so much more and we are going to everyone. It strikes me also when I got that message, “Be loving and kind to everyone.” That was exactly the church your father founded. Spiritualist principles.
He melded some of the basic spiritualist principles but didn’t necessarily bring in all that dogma. While it had a, I would say, Judeo-Christian feel to some extent, maybe more the Christian feel because they were Christian hymns sung and a lot of the teachings of Jesus who were part of the sermons of things. It wasn’t the same dogmatic message.
He also felt the gifts that he had were the things in the New Testament that are called the Gifts of the Spirit. Yet, the mainstream Christian church doesn’t let anybody practice these things or they act like it was reserved for one period of time. His whole spin was, “These have always existed and they continue to exist. They are to be celebrated and embraced.”
It’s a little scary to certain organizations and people when they may have to give up control.
That’s part of it. Even parishioners sometimes are afraid because they are so conditioned to this static boxed-in way of thinking and they are not used to thinking for themselves or breaking beyond that way of thinking what they have been trained to accept and the way they have been trained to think.
Growing up like this and seeing this, why didn’t you choose your father’s path? You chose a different path. You strayed away from that in the beginning. Then when Brandon passed, you became more interested in what your father did, which led to your new path. Would you like to talk to us about that?
My dad always told me I was very psychic from a young age, but to me, it’s like, “What do you mean? I can’t do what you do.” I didn’t fully understand what it meant to be psychic or he’d even point out other people like, “So-and-so is psychic.” I’m like, “I don’t see them giving people messages with that level of detail or anything like that.”
I later came to understand that there’s a wide range of abilities. Not that, everybody has some degree of ability. It’s an inward natural thing. Like in music. I play guitar. On one end, you have Eric Clapton that’s highly gifted. You could have somebody that does all the training and development in the world, but if they don’t have that innate natural ability. They are never going to get to that level, at least in my opinion. It’s the same thing with the psychic.
I didn’t feel like I had the same level that my dad did. How do you measure up to that for one thing? If you have seen the best and you are the child of the best, look at how many sons of famous people try and do what their dad did and it’s a bust. That’s part of it. The other thing was I had different interests. Who wants to be their parent? I grew up. I was maybe a little more worldly than my dad and went down the mainstream path, went to college, got a degree, got married young, had kids young, and went into the business world and was pretty successful and enjoyed that.
What did you do?
There are a couple of different things. I’d say, most of my career has been in sales management within marketing and printing. Right now, visual merchandising type work. It’s more in managing sales teams. I have been at the VP level before. That’s what my background has been. As you go down that path and you have the pressures of corporate America, you end up working more hours and you end up spending most of your mental effort on that. Not as much on the other things that are the most important.
When Brandon passed in January 2004, that was the catalyst because that shook everything to the foundation. It brought me back to what’s most important. Then I re-engaged into looking into my dad’s field and having my own experiences that helped solidify that faith and knowledge I had that helped my wife and I and our whole family and friends heal much faster and be able to move on. Not exist, but to go on in a productive and sharing way that could be of service to others as well.
Which makes you a role model for so many people that they too can get past these devastating losses. How old was Brandon when he died?
Eighteen years old.
Thank you. I know you have been through your husband’s passing.
I have been through my own also. We both have gone through it.
These are tough things. I’d have to say that was the low point in my life that day once I knew what had happened.
He was in an accident?
No. When you read my other book, you will get the whole story. It was a day in January of 2004. It was the 10th. I had been on a business trip the week prior. I got home Friday night. I came into the house and felt compelled to go straight to his room, which on a normal Friday night he wouldn’t be there. For some reason, I went there. I open the door and he is laying in bed watching TV. I smiled at him, didn’t say a word, gave him a hug, and he gave me a hug back. Then I left his room. Then I went into my master bedroom and saw my wife.
The next day, he told me that he had intended to go on this hike in the mountains behind our home in Scottsdale, Arizona. Within a short period of time, I had an ominous feeling about that. I dismissed it as being a worrisome parent, but this seemed much stronger than a normal worry. I almost felt like there was another presence there. Then I said, “No, you are imagining this.” I dismissed it.
My wife and I ended up leaving. We went across town for the day. Then it was later in the day that I got a call from my older son Steven and he was distraught. He says, “Dad, Brandon is on the mountain with the guys and there’s something wrong with him. He stopped breathing and he’s having trouble. Can you call for help and get a helicopter up there because they are having intermittent cell phone service.”
I did that. I got in my car and scrambled back. It was about a 45-minute drive, at least a 30-minute drive. I don’t remember exactly. By the time we got up to the base of the mountain, there were 100 spectators, an ambulance, a fire truck, and a helicopter that brought his body down. At first, they introduced us to a chaplain. I thought that was bad news because I figured chaplains, that’s their job.
It took him a little while and I finally asked him. I said, “Did my son pass?” He says, “I’m sorry, yes he did.” That was the low point. That was hitting the bottom and then going back up from there. There were a variety of experiences short time thereafter that began that healing process and pushed me to be where I am now and to help other people.
What a blessing. As for the experiences with your dad, you weren’t closed. It’s like what happened to me. I was open enough when I started to learn that there was more. Let’s talk about your first book the groundbreaking Soul Shift: Finding Where the Dead Go. It provides evidence as you have been saying that physical death is not the end. It also speaks to the importance of the life we are now living. How does knowing that physical death is not the end, help to illuminate the importance of the life we are living now? You must be an expert in this.
The first thing that says is there’s a purpose. If there’s a continuity of life, then there’s meaning to life. Whereas, if somebody views it like, “I’m a physical being and that’s it. When I’m gone, it’s ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” They may not care about anything, but gratifying themselves in this life. Whereas, I feel like there’s something more. There’s continuity, meaning, purpose, and love. Underlying all of that, the main thing is love. The love you felt for someone here will continue. You need to share that love with other people while you are here and be of service so you can enlighten them and make their lives better so they can find their path and purpose, and they can fulfill it.
One of the things that spurred me to heal after I lost my husband, more after he transitioned over, was the fact that I had a son. I said, “I have to get through this because somehow, I have to find my way through this.” I had gotten a message so I know that there was more up in the moment that I said, “I have to be a role model to show him that you can get hit by a grenade and somehow come through on the other end.”
My son has said to me, “Mom, there’s been nothing worse than seeing you in complete despair, and nothing better than being able to see you have joy again.” That’s what I tell people. That’s why if you can heal, if you can make sense of it and you can move on, there are other people who need you. You can be a tremendous role model for people.
Early in my second book, which you have already read this part, I remembered a woman named Sandy Canally saying to me, “Focus on what you do have, not what you don’t have.” If we all look at that and think, “I am missing my son so much but I have a loving wife. I have another son. I have a grandbaby. I have all these other friends and life is still rich.” If I flipped in it, if it had been the other child, I would still be in the same boat. You miss this one child. Would you miss the other as much? Of course, you do.
No one can replace Brandon, but Brandon spurs you on now in a different way. You are still connected with him in a different way. He’s still part of it. I am so along the same line with you about that. I’m reading and learning much from your second book titled, Messages from the Afterlife: A Bereaved Father’s Journey in the World of Spirit Visitations, Psychic-Mediums, and Synchronicity. One of the many topics that tackle is rigid skepticism and religious concerns over the paranormal. Please talk about these mindsets and how you handle them, which I am fascinated by because I run across those mindsets, too. I’m eager to know what you say to people who say this. There can’t be any validity to what you are doing.
It’s interesting because they are both very dogmatic. They are on opposite ends of the spectrum. They are both religions. One is a religion of hopelessness and meaninglessness. The other one is a religion of hope. I would say, one that is conditional or very rigid in its views. In terms of the skeptics, open-minded skepticism is a very healthy thing. I am an open-minded skeptic. I don’t believe everything without checking it out.
I look into things, but I will allow myself to be convinced of the reality of certain things if the evidence is there and it makes sense. Whereas, the skeptics I’m talking about are more cynics than skeptics. They are not open-minded even with enough evidence. They oftentimes aren’t even willing to look at the evidence or consider it, but they will dismiss it.
The reason for this is it doesn’t fit their worldview. That’s the same thing for those who are on the fundamentalist religious end of the spectrum sometimes too, where they have a locked-in way of viewing the world. If it doesn’t fit in that, then they can’t accept it. It’s denied and pushed away. The way I answer it is to challenge. First off, I spend a lot of energy answering them in those two chapters of that book.
On the religious front, I would contradict them with their scriptural passages that support this thing. Whether they realize it or not, there are contradictions in the Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments. You have to take that into consideration or otherwise, you are denying that. You have to look and say, “At the end of the day, you have to discern. You have to read, interpret, and think for yourself, too.” It’s not taking what somebody serves up on a platter and saying, “This is the truth.” Looking at that and truly digesting it, do the hard work yourself.
The same applies to the skeptic. Just because you have been told this materialistic paradigm is reality, that it’s all matter. They never even look at the fact that underlying matter is energy and vibration. Quantum mechanics tells us that. They are locked into this way of thinking like, “It’s all matter.” Thoughts are generated by brain activity. There’s no such thing as a soul. They can’t prove any of that. They cannot prove that consciousness is produced by the brain. There are so many paranormal things that prove that it can’t be near-death experiences with situations where the person who’s out of body reports things.
Anita Moorjani. She reports where she’s out of body. Her body is dying of cancer. She’s down the hall far away from the room where her body is. She overhears from that vantage point and her husband and the doctor there. All the specifics the doctor is sharing with her about her condition, sharing with the husband about her condition, and that she’s probably going to pass soon. Later, she does get revived and comes back. A skeptic could say, “She still had enough brain activity to hear this or whatever.” Not if they are down the hall, I’m sorry. Those kinds of things or certain things that mediums share can also provide that validation as well. You couldn’t have that information if everything’s contained in the brain.
I could not agree with you more. I want to ask you. You have participated in mediumship research studies and you also created a credible resource that certifies mediums, which talks to how your open-minded skepticism is healthy and you find the evidence for this being real. What are mediumship research studies? How do you screen mediums and how can our readers find high-caliber mediums through your service?
If they want an example of one of these experiments that I participated in, they will find a link to it on my website. The Discovery Channel aired this episode quite a while ago when I was at the University of Arizona Energy Systems Laboratory. What they did there was put me in a room with a medium, but the medium’s back was to me. The medium could not see me. They were asked a series of questions by a proxy, which was the researcher who asked these questions of the medium. Then the medium had to provide answers pertaining to me and specific deceased loved ones of mine.
That was pretty interesting because that medium in that case was Laurie Campbell, who I still know. She lives in Southern California and she’s an exceptional medium. When she was asked things about how did the son die? She was given the name Brandon and told me how Brandon died. She says, “I feel something in my chest. I feel like I can’t breathe and I feel like I want to throw up.” Brandon died of an asthma attack. It’s what it was. His friend who was hiking with him said that he vomited before he passed out and died. That’s a little snippet of things that she said.
Another thing that was interesting. She was asked the question, “What could Brandon share with the sitter,” meaning me, “to let him know about their relationship or that it’s him?” She said, “I feel like the person behind, there’s a book being written and I feel like it’s about him. It’s about the person who died and it’s being written by the sitter.” That was Soul Shift. It was 80% done right then and I was still working on it at the time. There were a number of other things, but that was one experiment.
Then the other one was at the University of Virginia Division of Perceptual Studies. It was conducted by Dr. Emily Kelly. That one was more where they sent you five different readings and then you had to look at them and see what pertained to you and tell them which one you thought was yours and then grade it. They did this with a large group of people and then sent the information back. They can’t share with the sitter the specifics of your situation or whatever. Overall, in talking to her afterward, that it was a highly successful exercise, statistically speaking.
What I have done with my mediumship certification program is I don’t claim to be a scientific researcher. I don’t have a lab or any of that, but I use scientific principles. What I’m trying to do is I’m coming from a point where, “I know mediumship is real and that disability exists and I want to be able to help people because they come to me all the time looking for references, especially since my books came out.”
I thought, “I know a number of celebrity mediums and top-notch people who are fantastic, but a lot of them, will have 1, 2, or 3-year waitlist because they are so well-known and they may charge more too because that’s their sole way of earning a living and they use that to regulate how many readings they get. I needed options for other people who maybe either couldn’t afford that or needed to get in sooner.”
I opened this up to people who felt they had the ability and had their practice for a while, but wanted to go through a testing process. What it consists of is they have to go through five blind readings. By blind, they go on Zoom typically is the most common way we do this. They will give a reading to someone they don’t know. They are only introduced at the time they go into the meeting room without video and audio only. The sitter can share the first name and that’s pretty much it.
They have a dialogue where the sitter can answer questions like, “Yes, that makes sense,” or, “No, that doesn’t make sense,” or, “Yes, that fits.” The medium has to give them a reading from that. Then it’s recorded and then afterward the sitter plays that back and transcribes it into individual statements such as, “Did you have a son pass? Was the son’s name Greg? Was Greg’s favorite food lobster Mac and cheese?”
Then the sitter would go back and grade that. Maybe one statement would be, “Did you have a son pass?” “Yes.” “Was his name Greg?” “No, it was Gary. It was close, but I have to say that’s incorrect.” The third one, “Was his favorite food lobster mac and cheese.” “Yes. I can’t believe you got that. That’s accurate. Not only is it correct, I’m going to assign a bonus to that one.”
After I get that with all these statements, it might be 40, 50, or 60 statements. I grade them as either correct or incorrect. The ones that are indeterminable, I pushed to the side. Indeterminable might be like, “Your son had a friend in Europe named Matt, and Matt went to a concert with your son.” The parents may not be able to find Matt, so we are not going to worry about that. We set that to the side. All the other statements, we grade them for being correct or incorrect. Then those that are assigned a bonus get some extra points.
The grading system is, the medium to pass has to have at least 70 points. It starts with the percentage accuracy. There are two factors. They have to be at least 60% accurate and have 70 total points. You get five bonus points for a bonus statement. You’d either have to be at a very minimum 60% accurate with 2 bonus statements for 70 points, or you’d have to be at least 70% accurate with no bonus statements.
For most of the mediums, I have looked at and analyzed a lot of the data and my top people are in the 85% to 95% range. I’d say for accuracy, they are 85% to 90%, and then some scores are up around 100. The average of the people who have passed is probably 75% accurate and a total score of 80 or 85. That’s essentially how it works.
The people with the highest scores are the ones that you recommend?
I put them all on the site as long as they pass. I haven’t designated which ones have the highest scores. I’m trying to think about how to go about that, but I don’t want to be unfair to those who did pass. It’s like in fifth grade and you had a C+ average and somebody else had an A average. You both passed and you made it to the next grade. Do I call that out and say, “These are my honor roll.” I’m contemplating whether to do that and how to go about that. The bottom line is everybody on that site has gone through the process and passed.
Tell people about your service. Where would they go? People can also come on the show and read our interviews with mediums also. If they want to check because your people have been vetted, where would they go to find your service?
Go to my site because I have links to various sites on there. My site is MarkIrelandAuthor.com. On my site, I have links to Helping Parents Heal. I have links to the Certified Mediums site. I also have links to my father’s site, where they can see videos of my father on the Steve Allen Show to get a flavor of how good he was.
You talk about in your book about synchronicities. Would you like to explain what they are? Do you have a couple of examples for people who are like, “These are coincidental. What’s a synchronicity?”
The term was coined by Carl Jung the famous psychologist. It means a meaningful coincidence. What it gets to is that life isn’t random stuff happening. That there’s a pattern or something that brings about a connection of important things that need to connect in some way. The synchronicity is how I view that. I have a number of synchronicity stories in the book. I don’t know if you have gotten to that chapter yet or not. My favorite is fairly long. I will tell you this one because it’s mind-blowing.
This goes back a number of years. When Soul Shift first came out, I was trying to promote it. Back then, Facebook hadn’t taken off, so I was using MySpace. Through that, I connected with a woman in New Mexico who had lost a son or had a son pass. I told her about the book. She read it and liked it. Then we became friends.
Then around a similar time, there was a woman in Florida, whom I’d gotten to know. Her name’s Kim. The woman in New Mexico is Denise. Kim, her son, had a bad liver and he had a transplant, but it only lasted six months and then he died. Kim read my book. She was in Florida in the Pensacola Area and Denise was in New Mexico and her son had died in an accident. It was an automobile. He was in a truck accident.
A short time after this, after I got to know both of them, Denise had gone to a conference for bereaved parents. Now this is before Helping Parents Heal existed so it was a different organization. The meeting was in Portland, Oregon, where I live now. After going to this, Denise came back to me. She says, “I met a woman there named Kristen. She was having a hard time because she doesn’t believe in anything at all. She thinks it’s this life and that’s it.”
While she was there, I did get her at least to go to this one session by a man named Mitch Carmody. Mitch talks about signs and at least piqued her interest to some degree. Denise was grasping at straws saying, “Do you have any ideas on how we could help her?” I said, “Why don’t you get her address and I will send her a copy of my book and write her a little note.” I did that.
When I got the address, I noticed that Kristen lived in Gulf Breeze, Florida, which is a suburb of Pensacola. They are like twin cities. They are adjoined by a bridge. I sent this letter and I said, “Dear, Kristen, here’s my book. Here’s my background. I hope this is helpful to you. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or if you want to talk, let me know.”
I sent this and it wasn’t long afterward, I got an email back from Kristen. In the letter, I mentioned my other friend Kim because I knew they lived close together. I said, “I know someone in there who has had a son passed. Her name is Kim. You might reach out to her because the two of you might be able to help each other.”
As I said, maybe a week later I get an email back from Kristen and she says, “Dear, Mark, thanks so much for the book. I appreciate it and thank you for letting me know about Kim. I have got to tell you. I already know Kim and it’s not in a good way because my daughter was killed in a car accident and Kim’s other son was in that other car that hit my daughter.” I’m like, “What are the odds of this? This is 1 in 30 million because there are 30 million people in the US.” My gut reaction was, I responded and I said, “This is crazy.” I said, “I don’t know what this means, but there must be some meaning to this. My feeling is it’s about healing. It has something to do with healing.”
I was baffled. I called Kim up and I said, “You never told me about this. This is wild.” She had mentioned that what had happened was her other son had been delivering Chinese food that evening and it was raining out. Kristen’s daughter had gone to a party and got a ride home from a girl she didn’t know. That girl was driving and dropped the compact disc on the floor and reached down to get it. When she reached down, she spun the car out of control and it went right into the path of the other vehicle. It hit on the passenger side and that’s what happened. Kristen was angry because she didn’t have that foundation or a belief.
There was a tense relationship between those women at the time. It was a tough thing. I felt like it had to be about healing that relationship somehow. A short time later, Denise in New Mexico, and I remember I have these three women across the country. Denise applied for and got sponsored for a grant for two women to go to a spiritual retreat. It was in Montana, Wyoming, or Idaho. I don’t remember which, but she had applied and she took Kristen. Kristen and her went to this and it was a week long. At the end of it, I get an email from Denise saying, “Mark, Kristen is like a new person. This has transformed her.” I felt much better after hearing that.
Kristen then sent me a note a short time later, and she says, “Dear, Mark, I wanted you to know that I’m no longer a physicist. I’m now an engineer.” I knew exactly what that meant because in one of the last chapters of my first book, Soul Shift, I said, “The difference between a physicist and an engineer is that a physicist insists on knowing how something works and an engineer is glad to know that it works.” After that happened, Kristen and Kim did get together and started conversing again. Before long, Kristen started the Helping Parent Heal chapter and Kim was helping her. Then Kim was into organ donation and Kristen was helping her.
Look what you did. How you connected them and what a blessing it ended up being for both of them.
I didn’t do much. All the work was behind the scenes. I connected the dots.
You were the vehicle.
All of us are vehicles.
Speaking of your stories, how about sharing one of your favorites that involves your wife experiencing a direct visitation from your son?
This is one of my favorites and it’s not even involving a medium. To set the stage for the story, first off, the day that my son passed on the mountain, there was another group of hikers. In that group, there was a man named James Linton, who was a musician. He wrote his music, great guitar player, and a great vocalist, and had his in-house studio.
We didn’t know who he was, but we had heard from the boys after Brandon passed that there was another group of people up there, but they didn’t get any information as to who they were. Two weeks after or 1 week after, there was an online obituary and all these people sign in a guest book. I saw this entry from James Linton saying, “We were the people up there. If you want to talk to us, we were there when your son passed.”
We were able to meet him and then got to know them. Fast forward six months later, we are about to go on a cruise. That cruise originally was going to celebrate Brandon’s graduation from high school. Since he had transitioned, we took his best friend Stew instead along with our older son Steven. Brandon was a bass player, so we loaned his bass guitar to James Linton.
James said he was recording some music in his studio. He didn’t have a bass. Even though Brandon was right-handed and James was left-handed, he still was good enough to be able to make that work. We go on the cruise. We are gone for a week. We come back. The day we get back, my wife Susie is sitting on the foot of our bed. While she was there alone in the room, she saw out of her peripheral vision a shadow figure. She knew intuitively inside that it was Brandon. She could feel it was Brandon. It lasted for maybe 30 seconds or something like that.
The very next day, James calls us without any knowledge of this happening. James says, “Susie, I have got something to tell you, but I don’t know how to tell you.” She was afraid you may have dropped the bass guitar and broken it. He said, “I was recording this song. As I was going along, I felt like there was another presence in the room with me. I saw a shadow figure out of my peripheral vision and I saw flashes of light and I thought I was hallucinating. I went to get something to eat and I drank water. I took a shower. Every time I came back it was stronger and stronger.” Then eventually I thought, “I will give in.” He verbally said, “Brandon, what do you want?” At that point, he was guided to rewrite the lyrics to the song he was working on and rework the bass track. It ended up being this song called The Other Side. This unbelievable song. He said, “This is the best song I have ever written, but I didn’t write it.”
I would love to hear that song. Is that recorded somewhere that we could hear that somewhere?
I have an MP3 of it. I will send it to you. I plan to put it on YouTube soon too, so I can share it. If somebody even denied the channeling of the song, which I believe. Even if you denied that, what are the odds of those two people having those experiences back to back that are nearly identical, a day apart without each other knowing about it?
That’s an amazing story. That should give our readers a lot to think about and try to think about things that go on in their lives that are very interesting. A voice came into my head. What was that about? I had never experienced anything like that either. It gets you. It opens you up. Also, I want to ask you. You published your dad Richard Ireland’s book titled, Your Psychic Potential: A Guide to Psychic Development. Could you share what your dad, who was one of the top psychic mediums of the twentieth century said about the relationship between artistic talent and the psychic, which is in itself a talent? People don’t understand this at all so I’d love you to tell us about that.
Even the way I got this book was crazy. Twelve years after my dad had passed, and this is shortly after Brandon passed, somebody gave me this manuscript that I’d never seen before. I’m like, “Where did you get this?” The person knew my dad and I was out of state at the time. My dad was in Arizona. I was in Denver for five years. He said, “Your dad gave it to me for safekeeping.” I said, “Why are you giving this to me now twelve years later?” He goes, “I don’t know. I feel like I’m supposed to.” It was months later than that, I had a reading with Allison DuBois, who was at the time, not famous, but now she is, because of the show Medium the real Allison DuBois.
One of the first things she said to me is, “I have your father here and he is showing me a book and it’s his book, but he’s handing it to you for you to take forward. Does that make sense?” Yes, it made sense. It was crazy because that was a short time after. That’s how I got the book published. In terms of answering your question, my dad felt we all have an aptitude, abilities, or gifts. He would typically call psychic an ability more than a gift because he believed everybody had it or has it and I do too. There’s a level to which somebody can get. Like musically, the analogy I have used before. I play guitar, but I’m not Eric Clapton. Eric Clapton had this natural ability and he probably worked hard so I could work as hard as I want and get pretty good, but maybe I will never be Eric Clapton either.
I grew up playing the violin, but I’m not Itzhak Perlman. There you go. It’s the same type of thing.
It’s a creative ability too because those things tap into the intuitive side of us. It’s like, “I compose music sometimes, songs, and I do writing.” When I write these books, some of it’s inspired writing. It’s not me reporting facts and things. It comes to me. The same holds true for like if I’m putting a song together or whether it’s something that molds clay or whatever, the psychic is it’s an ability like that. It’s a different one that we haven’t recognized.
I agree with your dad. It’s something that people are born with. If they are born with it and they have the natural ability and they work on it and they train it all, they hone it to a very fine art form. It’s true. You have a quote that I love. I’m going to share it amongst many others that you have because people should go buy your books.
This quote is wonderful. “This slide is a short ride and someday we will ditch these bio suits. After which time, our spiritual essence will gravitate onto the next realm of experience reuniting with loved ones who have passed.” Why is it important to heal the pain of grief and the life we are living now before we ditch our bio suit and move on to the next realm of experience?
It’s fairly simple. If we don’t heal that grief, first off, we are going to live in misery for the rest of our time here. Secondarily, we are not going to complete the mission we came here to accomplish. We each have one. We each have a path and a purpose for being here. You have to heal that grief so that you can go forward. Also, you can be a better healer for others having gone through that. You can touch other lives in a more profound way because it’s you know what it’s like. You have experienced it yourself and you can be of greater service to others.
You have to heal that grief so you can go forward. You can be a better healer for others having gone through that. You can touch other lives in a more profound way because you know what it's like. Click To Tweet
It does help with grief when you can because I have experienced it myself. When you can heal have people help you to heal and it opens you up for the rest of your life. It doesn’t negate the person you are grieving at all. They want you to heal. They don’t want you to be suffering and living in that pain forever. Tell everyone how they can connect with you and where they can purchase your books. If you want to tell them about Helping Parents Heal, whatever you’d like.
In terms of connecting with me, go to my website. There’s a contact button there if you want to email me or if you want to look at the books, buy the books, or look at any of the media connections that I have there. I have a lot of articles I have written, other interviews that I have done, some clips from TV interviews I have done, and that Discovery Channel piece. There’s a link to a documentary. There’s a lot there. That’s MarkIrelandAuthor.com.
As far as Helping Parents Heal, as you mentioned, I cofounded that along with Elizabeth Boisson. It’s been around several years ago and it’s grown like wildfire. It started as a single-location group meeting that Elizabeth started. Then thanks to a medium friend of mine, Tina Powers in Tucson giving me a nudge to do something that she felt like my main mission was to help parents who had been through this. I thought about how could I do something on a bigger scale than what Elizabeth did. I thought, “Why reinvent the wheel?” She’s got the meeting thing down. We need to have other resources to be able to build this out with a newsletter and a website and blueprint her methods to have other people have groups.
We have 90 affiliates and we are worldwide now. We are not in the US. We have 17,000 plus members on Facebook. We had a conference with 400 people at the first one and 600 signed up for the second one. Unfortunately, we had to postpone it because of the COVID-19 situation. We are tentatively looking at spring next year 2024 assuming everything’s back to normal. We may have a venue change, but we don’t know yet. We will keep people posted and they can sign up for that.
It may not be in South Carolina. It may be somewhere else.
Possibly. We have to look at all the logistics. Again, that plays into when it takes place and the whole thing with the COVID situation. Go to my website, sign up for my newsletter, and you will stay posted on that. If you want, you can also go to the Helping Parents Heal website and sign up for that newsletter as well. That newsletter provides other parents’ stories of their experiences, too. It’s very healing to people.
It’s pretty amazing. What I see about our organization on why it’s grown so much. It’s the only one that allows the open discussion of the evidence for the afterlife and for people to share their spiritual experiences. Other groups for parents don’t allow that and that’s what’s differentiated us and how we have grown so fast.
I’m an example because I was invited by Tracy Soussi who’s been interviewed on the show. She invited me to speak about my story online to the Helping Parents Heal community. From there, I also spoke to Kat’s community in England. Again, many people said that was wonderful to know because it helped me with what I’m going through and it helped me to know that there was more to with what you experienced. It’s a wonderful organization. As I said, the one no one ever wants to belong to, but thank God it’s there.
We have 90 meeting actual groups that physically get together and meet, although right now they can’t. Then we have these online groups, too. Like the one Tracy and Brian are involved with, which is for people who don’t have a group near them or they want to go more frequently and see things more often. That group was established for people in remote areas, but it’s open to anybody, as well. That’s why we have multiple groups and they are geographically tied. The one with Kat is for England. As we have more affiliates in England pop up, she may have a group within her closer geographic area, but right now that’s the deal. We are growing so fast. Who knows?
It’s such a wonderful blessing that you are doing for people.
We see people come in a certain state and leave in a much better state. I’m not saying everybody, because some people get stuck and you try your best and maybe they don’t get over the hump. I would say that 90% of the people that I have seen come in, end up in a much better place.
They are surrounded by people who have had similar experiences and have also transformed from it, which is marvelous. People can purchase your books through your website and Amazon, anywhere else, or those different places.
When they first came out, they were on bookshelves in Barnes & Noble stores and other stores. You might still find it here or there at an occasional Barnes & Noble or independent bookstore. Even if they don’t have it, you can get it through any bookstore. They are traditionally published. You can get them on Amazon, BarnesAndNoble.com, or at the Barnes & Noble store or any other store.
If they don’t have it, you can have them order it or you can order it online. They are universally available. If you go to my site, I have links to all the various outlets, even if you are in another country. I have links to Amazon UK. I have links to retailers in New Zealand, Australia, and a lot of other countries. Those books are readily available.
I can personally say that Mark’s books are worth reading. I’m very much resonating with his second book, Messages from the Afterlife, which is wonderful, tremendously. I love the way Mark mixes his concrete knowledge and his reality with being open to it. It’s terrific for people who need more concrete evidence that this is real.
That’s where the second book was more of an intellectual book, more of a scholarly work, which some people will love and some people maybe not as much. For the people that want the warm and fuzzy, I would say, Soul Shift would be more to your liking. It’s still got a lot of evidence and all that, but it’s the personal memoir, my journal, and experiences that include all those elements. The second one dives deep into answering the scientific questions and shows you an experiment that I conducted with my sister prior to her passing and a lot of other things. The issue of religion and this phenomenon.
You are a critical thinker. That’s so important. For all those people who, “I need more proof.” Your book is ideal for that.
You are welcome from my heart truly. What is your tip for finding joy in life?
Give more than you take. Be of service. Enjoy your life. Have fun. Tell those you love, that you love them. Show that love. Express love to strangers. Do good to other people. All those basic things that we were brought up to learn as kids, those are all true things.
You get joy from that and it takes you away from whatever you are going through. It’s so true.
When you serve others, it takes away your pain and it helps you heal.
I can completely resonate. Thank you. You have said that loss is a significant force that can serve as a catalyst for change. It can bring about an awakening, trying out something sacred within us. This insightful and uplifting message is fully in sync with the mission of the show. Thank you, Mark, for a wonderful and enlightening interview. I’m looking forward to connecting with you at the Helping Parents Heal Conference be it in South Carolina or wherever. Let me know. Here is a reminder, everyone, make sure to follow us and like us on social @IreneSWeinberg on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Thanks again for joining us and as I like to say, “To be continued. Many blessings and bye for now.”
- Helping Parents Heal website
- Mark Ireland’s book: Soul Shift: Finding Where the Dead Go
- Mark Ireland’s book: Messages from the Afterlife: A Bereaved Father’s Journey in the World of Spirit Visitations, Psychic-Mediums, and Synchronicity
- Mark Ireland’s website
- Certified Mediums website
- Richard Ireland’s Your Psychic Potential: A Guide to Psychic Development referenced in this episode.
- Helping Parents Heal on Facebook
- Barnes & Noble website