As one who has had his share of audio hallucinations (at least I have always considered them such), the case of a British patient identified only as AB continues to fascinate me. Not only so, it causes me to wonder if I should not listen more closely when I do
Occasionally hear voices.
Perhaps we can file AB's case under Shakespeare's suggestion: "There are more things in heaven and earth...than are dreamt of in your philosophy" (as he has Hamlet say to Horatio).
Late in 1984 AB suddenly became aware of voices telling her, “Please don’t be afraid. I know it must be shocking for you to hear me speaking to you like this, but this is the easiest way I could think of. My friend and I used to work at the Children’s Hospital, Great Ormond Street, and we would like to help you.”
As would be the case with anyone, this was very unsettling to AB. But the voice spoke again, giving her information about the hospital to which she was directed to go.
Doctor Ikechukwu Obialo Azuonye diagnosed her with functional hallucinatory psychosis and prescribed counseling and, of course, chemicals; in this case, Thioridazine, which seemed at first to help.
After a while she felt well enough to embark on a vacation trip (while still taking the Thioridazine) only to start again receiving messages from the voices. Now she was informed that she had a brain tumor and would need a brain scan to determine its location.
Dr. Azuonye did finally reluctantly order the scan (more to pacify his patient, as he had found no indicators that a tumor existed) and confirmed the tumor diagnosis, just as the voices described.
The good doctor had referred her to a neurosurgeon who successfully performed the operation, which went well. One last message was received by AB from the voices: “We are pleased to have helped you. Goodbye.” She was weaned off her medication and soon returned to normalcy.
What I wrote above was based on Dr. Azuonye's account, which is available online here (but unfortunately is behind a pay wall). In fact, Dr. Azuonye remained in contact with AB over the years.
Well, all in all a very fascinating case. The "naturalistic" explanation is that in some way the body is able to communicate information to the consciousness. However, Dr. Azuonye relates that the voices also gave AB three pieces of information that she was not aware of but which she was able to confirm. For me, that places the naturalistic explanation at a disadvantage to account for all the facts. However, because I take seriously holism and the idea of an interconnectedness for all of reality, I can extend "naturalism" much farther than skeptics generally do. This is also why I take premonitions and precognitive dreams seriously.