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Father's Day: Reflections on Forgiveness



My father was not always a nice man (I say “was”, because even though he is still on Earth, I do not speak to him and have nothing to do with him, so I don't refer to him in the present). In fact, he was so verbally, physically, and mentally abusive, that when I was in the 9th grade, my mother had to have him put in jail to protect us, after he attempted to kill her twice. My father, paralyzed by his psychotic ways, refused to admit guilt or wrong-doing up until the day before the trial, when he shuffled into the courtroom in shackles, and turned to face us and apologized through tears. Years later, he would do other things to terrorize our family, including using my personal information to take out loans and defrauding myself and others. He is now in jail for attempting to kill his mother.


My father was, to say the least, a complicated man. You might read the above, and say, "Wow, he was an absolutely horrible father." He actually wasn't all bad and evil. My father and I had some wonderful moments too. I remember once, he surprised me with tickets to a charity dinner, where we got to meet hockey players. I was thrilled and we spent the day together in the sun, and collected over 100 autographs. He also loved animals, and about three years before we left him, he took in 2 stray cats.


Images of my father showing love and affection are often clouded, however, with more painful memories that include my father being my mother with a baseball bat. I often struggle with this---how do we reconcile the image of someone who has bad and good in them? Obviously, for some, the disparity is very clear, and we do need to terminate friendships and relationships from those that are dangerous or unhealthy. But instead of seeing some people as "good" and some people as "bad", I see it more as an internal struggle that we must continually work on.


A key to our spiritual growth in times of trauma, tragedy, and darkness is forgiveness. Forgiveness requires that in some capacity, we see each other Mostly, this is about our relationship with Source, and constantly revisiting and redefining that relationship. There are spectrums to rage, psychosis, generosity and harmony in all of us. Our human connectedness requires us to understand that had a few things gone a little differently in life, we could have ended up very different than the person we are now. 


In the wake of the Orlando terrorist attack, I am reminded of every homophobic comment that has ever been said to me. I'm also reminded of the bitchy remarks I've said myself about others ("Ew! Did you see that ugly shirt that guy is wearing?"). We will never understand fully why the Orlando shooter did what he did. It is impossible. A moment in history can never be fully known because we can never know all the emotions, thoughts, and desires that went into that specific moment.  However, an experience like this also requires us to pause for a moment and become accountable. In a way, every moment of homophobia, hatred, envy, and complacency in the wake of hate towards others, contributes to these larger moments and historical events.  Granted only one man showed up in a bar to murder people. But the energy we have all allowed in a certain moment has led to a culture of confusion, rage, complacency, and falseness. This is a moment for us to be accountable to ourselves. 


Many folks come to readings or events, and immediately begin to spew venom at me about their parents or loved ones. "Well, he BETTER come through and apologize to me" one lady said to me, referring to her dead father who was an alcoholic. Remember, the dead don't have agendas---it's US that have an agenda. When the soul leaves the body, they enter a place of spiritual evolvement. It is not automatic--but instead, it is hard won. But it is a place of a higher vibration.


Rather than start on a rage against a family member that is gone, I ask my clients to focus on how forgiveness and understanding can become a larger part of their narrative. We don't forgive for the other person, and we don't forgive to recreate history. We forgive so that we can approach the situation with a possibility for a deeper understanding of ourselves and others.


When I made a decision many years ago to forgive my father, I did not release him from any wrongdoing or change the fact that he was so terrible. Instead, I was able to embrace that my father, like many people, had shadow and light in him, and he ultimately allowed himself to be ruled by shadow. In turn, this destroyed my relationship with Source, and only when I was able to have faith again in Source and the Other Side, I forgave my father.


Reflection and Prayer on the Events in Orlando

Reflection and Prayer on the Events in Orlando
I would be remiss to not post something about the attacks in Orlando this weekend. As a spiritual teacher, medium that connects to the afterlife, and openly gay male, I feel some responsibility to share some thoughts about the situation. Honestly, I have found myself in periodic moments of tears and grief that have been so tremendous in the last few days, I have not had a moment to gather thoughts. I cried first for all the hate, and now for all the love.

My brothers and sisters, we are in a global crisis---a climate of rage, anger, sadism and depression that has grown into something very scary, and very real. It is here, and there is no escaping it. It has become too common for a news story to flash on, and for us to have this moment of deep knowing that our lives will never be the same---Sandy Hook, 9-11, Blacksburg, Santa Monica---moments where we know, another layer has been pulled off. It's a spooky feeling almost---spooky in the sense that it feels out-of-body. And that's because it is---in moments like this, I think that we are feeling the global consciousness pulling on our energy, and asking us for us to help, and also to change.

Yet, why does it feel that just as we were healing the psychic wounds of attack, horror, and betrayal, another terrorist tries to destroy us. Immediately, we sense our lives will never be the same. But, a tragedy such as this awakens something so powerful in us. The human Spirit is so resilient in times like this, and to me, that can be a beautiful thing. And remember, that it is often the most difficult, traumatic, and saddest of events that brings about the most changes in our lives. Marianne Williamson writes, "Sometimes it is our suffering that mysteriously delivers us to the holiness within ourselves." 

How do we make sense of all this? Are we to learn lessons? As many of you know, and I teach in basically every course I teach, the soul lives on after death. If I haven't proven it to anyone else, I have to myself---the soul never dies, and the love we feel for those is eternal. Does that change the fact that a deranged homophobe killed 49 people and injured many more, likely damaged the lives of millions of Americans? No. But it is a spiritual and metaphysical truth that we can take some comfort in. The soul does not die. People continue. Like those on the Other Side who continue to love us, we must also continue to love them. We also must HONOR them. Today, in meditation, I heard a clear message from one of the victims of the tragedy, "Don't give up now. You on are close to losing the human race as we know it. Fight, my dear brother. Now is now the time to give up." And I believe that to be true. We can't give up. Love can never, ever, ever, ever die. 

I encourage everyone to be seen and known in this time. To be seen as the compassionate and loving people that they are. Remember, the Dali Lama says that compassion and tolerance does not imply weakness, but strength. We do not have to condone anything. We must, must, must continue to love. It is the only option. Sure, be pissed off, be angry, but in a moment of reflection, please go back to love. And at the same time, don't let the gravity of depression, technology, and being "busy" pull you back to a place of complacency and acceptance. Remember, that our spiritual journey here is continual work. It never ends. 

Even when we don't understand, we must love. We are all connected. As humans, we are imperfect. We can never fully know our deep connection to everyone. Let's pray that it starts to run through our veins in a deeper way. That we start to know, feel, and understand how every soul, and every cell is in us--that is truly the essence of God. Though the attack was on a gay bar in Orlando, every human being was attacked during that early morning shooting. We must end this illusion--and this deception--of separation. We are all connected, we are all in this together. To think otherwise is delusional. Furthermore, I hope that as a gay community, we can use this as a moment to unite. The GBLT community has come so far, but you know what---there is much work to do, and to be honest, we can do better. Let's start with kindness within our community--lets grow and expand. Let's continue it. Let's allow it to go deeper. Let's be the best we can be. Let's all be connected in every moment. Caroline Myss, my spiritual teacher, says ""Live as though you have the power to change the world because you do."

Here is a prayer that I wrote in the wake of the tragedy.

Dear God,

Protect me in this time of great spiritual disorder and confusion.
Connect me with my angels, guides, and loved ones so that i a blessed with clarity and confidence to serve my brothers and sisters. Give me answers, so i may help others find solutions. Give me answers, so i may know myself better.
Rid me of my anger, self-deception, shadow, and narcissism---God, i surrender to you.
Let source run through me so that i may bring great healing into the world, and illuminate for me, the connection between every soul that exists.
I humbly ask for love, light, and peace to melt every cancerous feeling of hate, rage, and judgment and connect us all, as one, and i take this moment to remember that with God,
everything is possible.
I expect Miracles

With love, Thomas


Thoughts on the Psychic Field

It is the dawn of a new era, and many people are tapping into their own innate psychic abilities and intuition, which are helping them to live reacher, deeper, and more meaningful lives. Intuition is as natural as seeing colors, smelling flowers, and breathing air---it comes hard-wired in our bodies!  Unfortunately, this increase in the accessibility of psychic gifts has been misconstrued by some as a license to become a professional psychic and medium seemingly overnight, and this is what I am concerned about in my field. Because there is no regulatory body for psychics and mediums, almost anyone can "claim" to be a psychic or medium without any training or parameters. 
I think this has led to an overall decrease in our standards in the field, as well as way too many people advertising themselves as psychic healers, who are absolutely not ready for the lifelong commitment to service that this work requires. People have become authorities who are not. Schools to license thousands and thousands of psychics at a time like some sort of diploma mill have become common among well known folks in my field. Some people have told me in my mentoring programs that I am "tough" or "strict". You're damn right I am. Because when you read for someone, it's their life in your hands. It's not a joke or a game. It's very serious. Especially if you are earning a living from it. I tuned into a couple of radio shows in the last few months where psychics were giving readings, and I was disappointed.....if any of those readers were in my class, they would not be allowed to be giving professional readings. They would be in Psychic 101. 

As much as I believe everyone is intuitive and everyone can see/feel/hear in the empathic way that psychics too, I believe that only a few people have soul contracts to be psychic healers and professional mediums. And trust me, if this work is supposed to find you, it will---you cannot escape it or run from it. Some people need more training than others.....for me, I was born with this ability. For others, it is learned and grown over time, and that path can be equal. 
Instead of being driven by ego, a need to be famous, etc.....I encourage folks that are new in this path to let Spirit and God guide them to the profession.....if you are choosing to advertise or endorse yourself as "one of the worlds best psychics" or other labels such as this, I hope the details, predictions, and validations of your readings live up to this.

Psychics Have Problems Too

Psychics Have Problems Too

A few months ago I found out that a tabloid newspaper in New York City (The Daily News) decided to run a story about me that was, to say the least, less than flattering. The tabloid has since published a second story, which basically repeats the same information, and also discusses a claim that I am involved with a lawsuit with a PR firm.

Up until now, I have never issued a statement about this situation. I always have the thought that negative towards negative, makes more negative, and thought I would just avoid commenting on the articles . However, I have decided that I need to speak the truth so that people understand my perspective, which has been inaccurately reported. I also have learned that if not addressed, untruths, and inaccuracies, once written, can and will be perceived as truth. I do not want my silence to be perceived as weakness or accepting these “stories” as facts. It’s been disappointing to me that people have chosen to read that story and gossip about it rather than understand the facts. In fact, the most disappointing thing is probably that other psychics and mediums---often well known ones who I look up to and respect---have taken the story and tried to use it to slander me, rather than research the details of it. I question how this decision is at all “spiritual” in nature.

The Daily News story focused primarily on a mistake that I made in my early twenties regarding a situation in Chicago around 2007/2008. The story was full of inaccuracies and included very questionable sources. It also included made up quotes---things I did not say that were included in the story as if I said them.

Let’s get some things straight before I explain what actually happened:

First, the story talked about my drag hobby in Chicago, and how I at times would host events in Chicago as a drag queen. I have always found drag queens to be a lot of fun, and yes, I at one time (and sometimes still do!) dress in drag. In fact, I love drag queens! The story implied that something about this was corrupt or suspect, which I found completely homophobic. I did not dress in drag to hide my identity or become someone else! I love drag queens and will continue to support and love them!  I don’t see how this is relevant to my work as a psychic medium.  

The story also implied that I “dropped” my last name to “avoid” being identified because of my situation in Chicago. That is also completely untrue. First off, I have never officially changed my name, and I still have the last name Flanagan. I go by “Thomas John” for simplicity reasons. John is my middle name. Several other famous psychics utilize alternate versions of their names, too, such as John Edward, Tyler Henry, Char Margolis, and Sylvia Browne. Also, I dropped Flanagan, because my father and I are completely estranged, and I don’t want his last name. He currently is in prison for attempting to kill his mother (after being imprisoned for attempting to kill MY mother as well as 48 other accounts of abuse) and I want nothing to do with him. It always bothered me that I have his name, so I don’t use it. I am in the process of legally dropping Flanagan.

Next, there is no current or pending lawsuit with ZTPR or Zack Temperman. Unfortunately, when you are in the public eye, your every move is ridiculed and examined. Zack and I had a professional disagreement about an invoice, and it has been resolved. I am a business person, and I am entitled to dispute a bill or invoice, and that is exactly what I did with Zack. We have resolved this, and there is no current or pending lawsuit. Both Zack and I have confirmed this. We are not suing each other.

These stories seemed to imply that I was using a publicist to fabricate my abilities as a psychic, and this is not the case. Every publicist has a job and duty to make their clients look spectacular, and the publicists I have hired, have done a great job.

As a person in the media, I have at time used publicists, and I have always used them with great success. I have no problems paying my bills or paying people for work they do. It is common for people in the public eye to use publicists to help raise their media profile.

The Daily News also calls into my question my legitimacy as a psychic. For example ,it stated that since I obtain payments through Paypal and credit card statements, that I could get the details from my readings through researching people with background checks.

Since this has come up in the past with people who are skeptical, let me address a few things here:

I have been involved in research studies and tested repeatedly, and passed with flying colors. I have been on the radio over 300 times in my life, giving live, spontaneous readings to total strangers, and there is no time to research these people ahead of time. I have read people on shows like Dr. Phil, where I was put through a battery of blinded tests, and never allowed to know anything about people that I was reading.

I have made hundreds of predictions for people’s future lives that have come to pass. You can’t “Google” the future.

Quite simply, while some things have come up that can be researched or common names can be found online, every reading produces some information that simply can’t be researched ahead of time. The work speaks for itself. EVERY reading ALWAYS contains validations that could only be known by people in Spirit.

Because of what I do, there’s always skepticism and people needing to reevaluate their beliefs. I respect and treasure that as part of the process of spiritual evolution. I never “force” my beliefs on anyone. However, I do want the facts to be known that as a psychic and medium, my record speaks for itself. If someone chooses not to believe, I totally understand and respect that. But I ask that you judge my body work of with a full set of facts.

Now, back to the mistake that I had made in my early twenties regarding a sublet in Chicago, where I went to college. The story in the New York Daily News is filled with implications and untruths, so I want to explain exactly what did happen.

In my early twenties, after graduating from The University of Chicago (I have a four year degree with a diploma from the University of Chicago, where I studied Psychology and Human Development), I was working in research in areas in Chicago. Around this time, I had a lot of things on my plate—I had recently lost my job, my father was being released from prison, and I was going through a host of personal issues with someone who was stalking me. I wanted to move home to Massachusetts and leave Chicago.

Before I could move home, there were a few obstacles standing in my way. Namely, I had a lease on my apartment that was unbreakable. I had nearly a year left on the lease, and there was no way that I could afford paying the lease off. I decided to find someone to sublet my apartment without my landlord knowing, a terrible choice which came with consequences.

I posted my sublet in the local Craigslist. I quickly found a couple that was interested. I laid out a plan for them to pay me each month in advance so that I could send my check to the landlord. This seemed like the perfect option, however the whole situation backfired.

Within a week of moving the couple that sublet from me decided that they no longer wanted the apartment. They wanted their money back. I had already spent the money to move and pay bills so I was once again in a bad situation. My solution was to find ANOTHER subletter, who wound up writing me a check that bounced. My landlord, and first subletters, called the police. The landlord found out about the second subletters as well so my self-induced nightmare continued. I was charged with “defrauding” tenants with an illegal lease and writing a bad check.  

During this time, I had also unfortunately reconnected with my father. My father is a dark and evil man. While I was dealing with this other situation in Chicago, my father also involved me in some other shady business dealings. Because we have the same name (first and last), it was relatively easy for him to do this. Also, as a 22 year old who had no connection with his father since he was 13, I was vulnerable to this relationship. Most of our communication was done by telephone and letters, and this perpetuated the situation even more.

It took me some time, but I did indeed pay everyone back (the first subletters and my landlord). Actually, one of the people that was involved in the case (one of the subletters) is now a close friend!

I wasn’t running a Craigslist scam. I made some terrible choices to try to get out of a lease.

Word of my arrest made it back to friends in Chicago and some people turned against me. Those who did tried to sell the story to the tabloids. Fortunately for me 90% of the journalists who had been approached came to me for comment and actually researched that it had been a chain of mistakes, not a crime spree. Unfortunately ONE rag decided NOT to research the details, resulting in a misquoted piece of fiction some have taken as. After this initial story came out, other journalists have researched the truth and realized that my account is accurate. I want to thank those journalists for being true professionals.

At some point, I will write about all of this in a future book, and explain more about the learning that took place as a result of all of this. However, for now, I feel like this is enough to clear the air and explain my side of these attacks on my character and personality.

I make one claim in life, and that is that I speak to dead people, and I can predict the future. And to be honest, I think I’m damn good at both of them. I’ve had this gift all my life. And people that are gifted, intuitive, psychic can make mistakes, too. We are not God. We are human. People who dressed in drag once can also be mediums. People who had a run in with the law in their 20s can still be spiritual. I drink sometimes, I’m egotistical sometimes, I swear, I’ve even had casual sex.  I’m not a perfect person. The important thing is I think that we grow, learn, and evolve from every mistake we make. I ask to be judged for my body of work today, the person that I am today, and not by a mistake I made almost 10 years ago that has been resolved.


What Famous Dead People Have Taught Me about the LIving

Five Lessons from Dead Famous People

As a psychic medium, I get to meet a lot of cool people---dead and alive. In my readings, I've had a lot of dead people come through that were "famous" in the physical world---including JFK, Michael Jackson, Princess Diana, and Whitney Houston. All of these celebrities have come through with specific messages for people I was sitting with doing readings. Celebrities have come through to speak to close friends, family, ex-boyfriends, and even their enemies. 

We're fascinated by celebrities in our lives---we want to know where they are going, what they are wearing, and who they are dating. But what happens when a celebrity goes to the Other Side? Do they stay famous? Do they meet up with other famous folks? What do they think about their lives here in the physical world? 
Here are Five Things Dead Celebrities Taught ME from the Other Side: 
  1. Nobody's famous in Heaven During one of my first professional psychic readings, I was shocked when Michael Jackson came through to connect with a close friend of his. Though they had been close in life, they had lost touch in the last ten years of Michael's life, and the friend's primary reason for the reading was NOT to contact Michael. Still, Michael came through and told the friend specific things that only the person sitting with me would validate. One of the insights that Michael shared was that he was "relieved" to no longer have to be famous. He mentioned that nobody is famous on the Other Side, and the concept of "fame" or "notoriety" does not exist. However, souls travel in "soul packs" which means that they may travel with souls they knew in their physical lives--so sometimes, the famous folks stick together, even in Spirit! 
  2. They stay connected: Even though someone dies, they stay connected to what is going on in the physical world. In a recent reading, I connected with a close friend of the late Prince. He communicated how the outpouring of love and support in the wake of his death has truly shown him for the first time in his life how loved he really was. Spirits who have passed away can still see, feel, and experience the lives that we lead down here. They often attend their own funerals, visit during birthdays or special times, and guide the living during challenging times. 
  3. Spirits review their lives: When a Spirit dies, they complete what is known as a life review, where they review everything from birth to death. They experience all of the things they did to others here---whether it be positive or negative. You can imagine that if someone made poor choices here, their life review can be pretty challenging and painful. During a reading with a Hollywood agent, I connected with with the spirit of Robin Williams. In the reading, he talked about how though it seemed like the right choice at the time, he realized after transitioning that his decision to end his life caused a lot of people he loved an enormous amount of pain. 
  4. Dead people are funny. When a close friend of the late Joan Rivers contacted me for a reading, the first thing she did was criticize her outfit. Spirits often retain their personalities. This is to say, if they are shy in the physical world, they are shy on the Other Side. If they liked to crack joke in the physical world, they are funny and outgoing in the Spirit World. However, personalities can also evolve, too and change. I've had spirits come through who were shy and quiet in the physical world in a very strong, boisterous way! 
  5. We have the agenda--not them. Many times during readings I will have someone ask me about the messages their loved ones have for them. Someone might come through, but it seems like they do not have a specific message. Remember, that it is often us that carry agendas into readings. I remember a reading several months ago, I was reading for a former romantic partner of Liberace. The sitter was "mad" that he didn't apologize for this, or didn't bring up this specific event. Remember, that the consciousness of the soul, though fully in the light, is not accessible in every moment. The souls of the deceased almost never come with agendas. They come based in love and light.  
Famous or not, when someone crosses over, a tremendous amount of spiritual growth and development happens.

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