Arthur Augustus Ford, Arthur Ford, medium Arthur Ford,

 Medium Arthur Augustus Ford.    USA

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 Arthur Augustus Ford Medium

Born: January 8, 1896 in Titusville, Florida, United States

Died: January 4, 1971 in Miami, Florida, United States

 

In his autobiography written in collaboration with Marguerite Harmon Bro, the highly respected Medium Arthur Ford, an ordained minister of the Disciples of Christ Church, explained the working relationship that he enjoyed with his Spirit Guide, Fletcher. When Ford wished to enter trance, he would lie down on a couch or lean back in a comfortable chair and breathe slowly and rhythmically until he felt an in-drawing of energy at the solar plexus. Then he focused his attention on Fletcher's face, as he had come to know it, until gradually he felt as if his Spirit Guide's face had pressed into his own "at which instant there is a sense of shock," as if he were fainting or "passing out." At this point, Ford says, he loses consciousness--and when he awakens at the completion of a seance, it is as if he has had a "good nap."

Born into a Southern Baptist family on January 8, 1896, in Titusville, Florida, young Arthur had no real psychic experiences as a child, other than the occasional instances when he seemed to know what people were about to say. He was drawn to the religion, but he annoyed the local clergy with his persistence in asking questions about church doctrines, especially those concerning life after death. Although he was excommunicated from the Baptist church at the age of 16, in 1917 Ford entered Transylvania College in Lexington, Kentucky on a scholarship, with the intention of becoming a minister. His education was interrupted when the United States entered the First World War that same year, and Ford joined the army in 1918.

Ford advanced to the rank of second lieutenant, but he was not among the doughboys who served in the trenches overseas. Although he never saw action in Europe (the war ended soon after he enlisted), Ford observed firsthand the ravages of the terrible influenza epidemic as it struck the army camps. He began to have visions concerning those who would die of influenza, and at the same time, he heard the names of the soldiers who would be killed in action in Europe. For several frightening months, Ford thought that he was going insane. It was not until he had returned to his studies at Transylvania College that Dr. Elmer Snoddy, a psychology professor, suggested that Ford might be experiencing some kind of extrasensory phenomena, rather than insanity.

In 1922, Ford married Sallie Stewart and was ordained a minister of the Disciples of Christ Church in Barbourville, Kentucky. He began to gain immediate attention as a powerful presence in the pulpit, but his developing mediumistic abilities were creating an increasing amount of friction with his conventional ministry and his personal relationships. After five years of marriage, he divorced his wife and left the church to begin lecturing about life after death. It was not long before his lecture appearances included his entering self-induced states of trance and relaying messages from the Spirit World to members of his audiences. Ford's spiritistic talents were rather spontaneous and undisciplined, however, until he made the acquaintance of the great Hindu Yogi Paramhansa Yogananda (1893–1952), who taught him how to achieve a Yogic trance state and establish control of his burgeoning psychic abilities.

In 1924, Ford encountered another important influence in his life, the entity Fletcher, who would become his Spirit Control. In this particular instance, it was more a matter of re-acquaintance, for Fletcher was a boyhood friend of Ford's who had been killed in action in Europe during World War I. With the advent of Fletcher as his Spirit Guide, Ford began a life-path that would soon lead to world fame. In the late 1920s, Ford established the First Spiritualist Church of New York, the first of numerous churches and spiritual organizations that he would found or lead. Such luminaries as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930) called him one of the most amazing Mental Mediums of all times.

In 1929, Ford received a message that he believed to have originated from the Spirit of the late master magician Harry Houdini (1874–1926) and conveyed it to Mrs. Houdini's attention. Immediately a storm of fierce arguments pro and con erupted in the media. It was well known that before his death Houdini had left a coded message with his wife that he would attempt to send her from beyond the grave to prove life after death. Some feature writers championed the authenticity of Ford's relayed after-death communication from Houdini, while others quoted his widow as saying that the message was not correct.

On February 9, 1929, however, according to Ford's supporters, Beatrice (Bess) Houdini wrote the Medium to state with finality: "Regardless of any statement made to the contrary: I wish to declare that the message, in its entirety, and in the agreed upon sequence, given to me by Arthur Ford, is the correct message prearranged between Mr. Houdini and myself."

Eventually it came to be widely known that the various words in the Houdini code spelled out the secret message: "Rosabelle, believe." Ford's detractors argued that there was nothing paranormal involved in the Medium's providing the secret message to Mrs. Houdini. Houdini's Spirit had not whispered the words to Ford, they insisted. Rather, Ford had carefully studied an interview that Bess Houdini had given the year before in which she had inadvertently revealed the code to several reporters when she explained that the message her late husband would pass on from the world beyond was based on their old vaudeville mind-reading routine that used a secret spelling code.

Arthur Ford was at the center of another great afterlife controversy when Fletcher brought forth Bishop James A. Pike's son James A. Pike, Jr., who had committed suicide in February 1966, at the age of 22, as well as other communicating entities during a seance on September 3, 1967. This particular seance, which took place in Toronto, Ontario, was unique in that it was not limited to a drape-darkened room, but was taped and televised on CTV, the private Canadian Television Network. Allen Spraggett, the religion editor of the Toronto Star and a former pastor of the United Church of Canada, arranged the seance and later told the Associated Press that he believed that during the seance there had been strong evidence for communication with the dead or of extrasensory perception at the least.

At the beginning of the seance, Ford placed a dark handkerchief over his eyes, commenting that it was easier to go into trance if he did not have light, and the bright lights of the television studio would make the reception of the trance state that much more difficult. Once he had attained the trance state, Fletcher soon made an appearance. Fletcher said that he had two people eager to speak. The first communicating entity was that of a young man who had been mentally disturbed and confused before he departed. He revealed himself as James A. Pike, Jr. He said how happy he was to speak with his father. Next Fletcher brought forward George Zobrisky, a lawyer who had taught history at Virginia Theological Seminary. Zobrisky said that he had more or less shaped Bishop Pike's thinking, a point which the clergyman readily conceded. Louis Pitt then sent greetings to the bishop, who recognized Pitt as having been acting chaplain at Columbia University before Pike had become chairman of the Department of Religion.

Fletcher next described an "old gentleman," who, after some discussion, Bishop Pike recognized as Donald McKinnon, a man who had been the principal influence on his thinking at Cambridge. The last Spirit to come forward told Fletcher that he had called himself an "ecclesiastical panhandler" in life. Bishop Pike appeared to know at once what man had carried such a humorous self-described title. Allen Spragget, serving as moderator, asked Fletcher for a precise name. "Oh," said the spirit control, "something like Black. Carl. Black. Block."

"Carl Block," Bishop Pike agreed, "the fourth bishop of California, my predecessor." Then addressing the spirit directly, Bishop Pike said, "I admired and respected you, and yet I hoped you weren't feeling too badly about some changes."

Speaking through Fletcher, Bishop Block told his successor that he had done a "magnificent job" and that he had "magnificent work yet to do."

Bishop Pike said later that he did not see how any research done by Arthur Ford could have developed such intimate details about his life and such facts about the roles that certain individuals had played in shaping his thinking. He felt that the details had been "quite cumulative…not just bits and pieces, an assortment of facts." Bishop Pike stated that the information provided through Fletcher had formed a pattern. "Also, the persons who purportedly communicated had one thing in common--they were in varying ways connected with the development of my thought. They knew me at particularly significant times in my life, turning-points."

In many ways, the life of Arthur Ford was quite tragic. In 1930, a truck went out of control and struck the car in which he was driving with his sister and another woman as passengers. The two women were killed outright, and he suffered serious internal injuries, a broken jaw, and crushed ribs. During his long hospitalization, he became addicted to morphine and attempted to free himself of the resultant insomnia by drinking heavily. While at the height of his popularity, he was also an alcoholic, suffering blackouts and failing to appear for scheduled demonstrations.

In 1938, Ford married an English widow, Valerie McKeown, whom he had met while on tour, but in spite of their initial happiness together, his bouts with alcoholism doomed the marriage from the beginning. His public displays of drunkenness had become so humiliating that his faithful Spirit Control, Fletcher, threatened to leave Ford unless he began to exercise some degree of self-control. Ford continued to drink and Fletcher left the Medium. Soon thereafter, Ford entered a deep depression and suffered a complete physical breakdown.

The Twelve-Step Program of Alcoholics Anonymous managed to help Ford attain a level of control over his drinking problem, though he was never able to give up alcohol completely. In the 1950s, Fletcher returned as his Spirit Control, and Ford began once again to provide demonstrations of afterlife communications that many individuals found provided proof of survival of the spirit after death. Among Ford's many positive accomplishments during this period of revival was his participation in the founding of Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship in 1956. Arthur Ford spent the final years of his life in Miami, Florida, where he died of cardiac arrest on January 4, 1971.

Source of material is from Unexplained Stuff

 

(1896-1971)

An American Spiritualist Medium and founder of the International General Assembly of Spiritualists. Ford was born January 8, 1896, at Titusville, Florida. As a youth he followed a pilgrimage that took him from Episcopalianism to the Baptists to Unitarianism and finally to the Disciples of Christ. He attended Transylvania College, a Disciples of Christ school in Lexington, Kentucky. Ordained as a Disciples minister, he served a church in Barbourbville, Kentucky.

Ford realized his psychic abilities during World War I. While in the army he would "hear" the names of people he served with, and those names would appear on the casualty lists several days later. In the years after the war he investigated psychic phenomena and eventually joined the Spiritualists. Around 1921 Ford emerged as a trance medium, and "Fletcher," his control for the rest of his life, made his first appearance in trance sessions. He developed a popular following and in 1927 traveled to Great Britain. One of his lectures was attended by veteran Spiritualist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who enthusiastically a told people the next day, "One of the most amazing things I have ever seen in 41 years of psychic experience was the demonstration of Arthur Ford."

Ford founded a congregation in New York City, but soon experienced conflict with the National Spiritualist Association, the main Spiritualist organization of the time. Ford had come to believe in reincarnation, a belief the association rejected. After many years of tension, in 1936 Ford led in the founding of the General Assembly, which had a more open perspective on reincarnation.

Ford achieved fame far beyond the Spiritualist community in 1928 by allegedly breaking the secret code between the late Houdini and his wife Beatrice. Houdini had arranged with his wife that if he died before she did he would attempt to communicate through a secret code known only to them. Arthur Ford is credited with revealing that code through his control, "Fletcher."

As a result of a tragic auto accident in 1931, in which his sister died, Ford was severely injured and became addicted first to morphine and then to alcohol. In his autobiography Nothing So Strange (1958) he states that it took him 20 years and much suffering to overcome his addiction. (In fact, he never over-came his addiction and suffered from alcoholism until the end of his life.)

In spite of his affliction he impressed numerous people with his abilities, including prominent researchers William McDougall and William G. Roll, Jr. of the Psychical Research Foundation. He also traveled widely to demonstrate his mediumship and in Britain visited the Churches' Fellowship for Psychical and Spiritual Studies. In 1955 Ford was active in the formation of a similar organization in the United States, the Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship, now the Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship.

In 1967 Ford again came into public prominence during a television discussion on life after death, when he went into a trance and delivered several messages to Episcopal bishop James Pike. One claimed to be from Pike's son and another from the prominent theologian Paul Tillich. Duly impressed, Pike later publicly affirmed his belief in the reality of psychic phenomena in his book The Other Side (1968). The television program also revived public interest in Spiritualism and psychic phenomena, and within a month Ford received more than 12,000 letters. It was only after Ford's death that Allen Spraggett and William Rauscher, while compiling materials for his biography, discovered his notes for the session among his papers, revealing the fact that he faked the famous séance.

Ford died in Miami, Florida, January 4, 1971. Shortly after his death, Ruth Montgomery claimed to have received messages from Ford, which were later published in her book A World Beyond (1971).

The most decisive incident in evaluating Ford's mediumship seems to be his relationship to the Houdini code. The evidence for the authenticity of the code message from the deceased Houdini received through Ford's mediumship is contradictory. The message itself involved a secret code that was supposed to have been known only to Houdini and his wife. The stage magician Dunninger, however, claimed that the code had been published earlier.

The testimony of Houdini's widow is contradictory. She was said to have told a reporter that she did not know what the message would be, although she later wrote an impassioned private letter to columnist Walter Winchell stating emphatically that the message received from Ford was definitely the one agreed upon with Houdini and that she had not previously revealed it to Ford. She insisted it was not a fraud, as some had claimed.

However, New York Graphic reporter Rea Jaure, in a story headlined "Houdini Message A Big Hoax!" (January 10, 1929) stated that Ford had come to her apartment for an interview and admitted that Mrs. Houdini had supplied the code to him. Jaure produced two witnesses who confirmed her story with sworn statements. Ford's attorney produced three witnesses who affirmed that Ford had been elsewhere at the time of the claimed interview. An anonymous man stated that he had been paid to impersonate the medium.

Sources:

Christopher, Milbourne. Mediums, Mystics & The Occult. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1975.

Ford, Arthur. The Life Beyond Death. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1971.

 Nothing So Strange. New York: Harper, 1958.

 Spiritual Vibrations. New York: H.P.B. Publishers, 1926.

 Unknown But Known. New York: Harper, 1968.

 Why We Survive. Cooksburg, N.Y.: 1952.

Montgomery, Ruth. A World Beyond. New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1971.

Spraggett, Allen, with William V. Rauscher. Arthur Ford, The Man Who Talked with the Dead. New York: New American Library, 1973.

Tribbe, Frank, ed. An Arthur Ford Anthology: Writing By and About America's Sensitive of the Century. Nevada City, Calif.: Blue Dolphin, 1999.

Source with additions from Answers

 

Arthur Augustus Ford, born on January 8, 1896 in Titusville, Florida, was a psychic, spiritual medium, and a clairvoyant. His unrivaled talent as a medium catapulted him into fame, and he spent his life trying to understand this gift. The information he had imparted during his trance has been verified over and over again, and still, as is the case with most psychics, there are always skeptics around the corner spouting doubts.

This great American Spiritualist and psychic Medium founded the International General Assembly of Spiritualists. As a youth he attended the Transylvania College, which was a Disciples in Christ school in Lexington, Kentucky. He was ordained as a Disciples in Christ minister, and served in a Barbourbville, Kentucky church.

It was during the World War I, while serving in the army, that he realized he had psychic abilities. He would ‘hear’ the names of the people who served with him in the war, and they would appear on the casualty list a few days later. After his return from the war, he investigated this phenomena and joined the Spiritualists, eventually. In 1921, he emerged on the scene as a trance Medium.

The Psychic Journey

One day in 1924, while in a trance, an invisible entity, which called itself Fletcher, made an appearance and from that day permanently assisted him from the other side. This entity, which in psychic parlance is known as a control, spoke through Ford. His way of speaking was slow and delibrate, as opposed to Ford’s way of talking, which was fast and slurred.

By 1927, Ford had a great following, and that year he traveled to Great Britain. The veteran spiritualist, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle –popular for his detective character Sherlock Holmes - attended one of his lectures and enthusiastically admired him. According to Doyle, as informed to his friends the next day, it was the most amazing experience in his 41 years of psychic experience.

Ford believed in reincarnation, which was totally against the beliefs of the main Spiritualist organisation - the National Spiritualist Association - of which he was a member. After years of tension, Arthur Ford helped found the General Assembly in 1936. It had more open outlook on reincarnation.

By 1929, Ford had become popular as ‘Houdini’s Medium.’ It had so transpired that Houdini had arranged with his wife that if he died before she did, he would try to communicate with her through a secret code known only to the two of them. Arthur Ford, through the help of his control - Fletcher - revealed the code. Mrs. Houdini is supposed to have authenticated the code revealed by Ford.

Ford has impressed a number of people with his psychic abilities including well known researchers of the Psychical Research Foundation - William McDougall and William G. Roll, Jr. In 1955, he helped form the Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship in the United States, an organization similar to the Churches’ Fellowship for Psychical and Spiritual Studies in Great Britain.

He came into renown again in 1967 when, during a discussion on life after death on television, he went into a trance and delivered messages to the Episcopal bishop James Pike from his son and from Paul Tillich - a prominent theologian.


Source from Moon Whisper

 

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American Spiritualist Medium and founder of the International General Assembly of Spiritualists. Ford was born January 8, 1896, at Titusville, Florida. As a youth he followed a pilgrimage that took him from Episcopalianism to the Baptists to Unitarianism and finally to the Disciples of Christ. He attended Transylvania College, a Disciples of Christ school in Lexington, Kentucky. Ordained as a Disciples minister, he served a church in Barbourbville, Kentucky.

Ford realized his psychic abilities during World War I. While in the army he would "hear'' the names of people he served with, and those names would appear on the casualty lists several days later. In the years after the war he investigated psychic phenomena and eventually joined the Spiritualists. Around 1921 Ford emerged as a trance medium, and "Fletcher,'' his control for the rest of his life, made his first appearance in trance sessions. He developed a popular following and in 1927 travelled to Great Britain. One of his lectures was attended by veteran Spiritualist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who enthusiastically told people the next day, "One of the most amazing things I have ever seen in 41 years of psychic experience was the demonstration of Arthur Ford.''

Ford founded a congregation in New York City, but soon experienced conflict with the National Spiritualist Association, the main Spiritualist organization of the time. Ford had come to believe in reincarnation, a belief the association rejected. After many years of tension, in 1936 Ford led in the founding of the General Assembly, which had a more open perspective on reincarnation.

Ford achieved fame far beyond the Spiritualist community in 1928 by allegedly breaking the secret code between the late Houdini and his wife Beatrice. Houdini had arranged with his wife that if he died before she did he would attempt to communicate through a secret code known only to them. Arthur Ford is credited with revealing that code through his control, "Fletcher.''

As a result of a tragic auto accident in 1931, in which his sister died, Ford was severely injured and became addicted first to morphine and then to alcohol. In his autobiography Nothing So Strange (1958) he states that it took him 20 years and much suffering to overcome his addiction. (In fact, he never overcame his addiction and suffered from alcoholism until the end of his life.)

In spite of his affliction he impressed numerous people with his abilities, including prominent researchers William McDougall and William G. Roll, Jr. of the Psychical Research Foundation. He also traveled widely to demonstrate his mediumship and in Britain visited the Churches' Fellowship for Psychical and Spiritual Studies. In 1955 Ford was active in the formation of a similar organization in the United States, the Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship, now the Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship.

In 1967 Ford again came into public prominence during a television discussion on life after death, when he went into a trance and delivered several messages to Episcopal bishop James Pike. One claimed to be from Pike's son and another from the prominent theologian Paul Tillich. Duly impressed, Pike later publicly affirmed his belief in the reality of psychic phenomena in his book The Other Side (1968). The television program also revived public interest in Spiritualism and psychic phenomena, and within a month Ford received more than 12,000 letters. It was only after Ford's death that Allen Spraggett and William Rauscher, while compiling materials for his biography, discovered his notes for the session among his papers, revealing the fact that he faked the famous seance.

Ford died in Miami, Florida, January 4, 1971. Shortly after his death, Ruth Montgomery claimed to have received messages from Ford, which were later published in her book A World Beyond (1971).

The most decisive incident in evaluating Ford's mediumship seems to be his relationship to the Houdini code. The evidence for the authenticity of the code message from the deceased Houdini received through Ford's mediumship is contradictory. The message itself involved a secret code that was supposed to have been known only to Houdini and his wife. The stage magician Dunninger, however, claimed that the code had been published earlier.

The testimony of Houdini's widow is contradictory. She was said to have told a reporter that she did not know what the message would be, although she later wrote an impassioned private letter to columnist Walter Winchell stating emphatically that the message received from Ford was definitely the one agreed upon with Houdini and that she had not previously revealed it to Ford. She insisted it was not a fraud, as some had claimed.

However, New York Graphic reporter Rea Jaure, in a story headlined "Houdini Message A Big Hoax!'' (January 10, 1929) stated that Ford had come to her apartment for an interview and admitted that Mrs Houdini had supplied the code to him. Jaure produced two witnesses who confirmed her story with sworn statements. Ford's attorney produced three witnesses who affirmed that Ford had been elsewhere at the time of the claimed interview. An anonymous man stated that he had been paid to impersonate the Medium.

 

Sources:

Christopher, Milbourne. Mediums, Mystics & The Occult. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1975.
Ford, Arthur. The Life Beyond Death. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1971.
  ------. Nothing So Strange. New York: Harper, 1958.
  ------. Spiritual Vibrations. New York: H.P.B. Publishers, 1926.
  ------. Unknown But Known. New York: Harper, 1968.
  ------. Why We Survive. Cooksburg, N.Y.: 1952.
  Montgomery, Ruth. A World Beyond. New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1971.
  Spraggett, Allen, with William V. Rauscher. Arthur Ford, The Man Who Talked with the Dead. New York: New American Library, 1973.

 The above writeup was reproduced by permission from "Arthur A(ugustus) Ford." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, 5th ed. Edited by J. Gordon Melton, 2001.

From spiritwritings.com With slight aditions.

 

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