the medium . . . the catalyst . . . the unwilling Elijah . . . the man
Even those who knew him well struggle with this question. Now, more than a quarter century after his death in 1971, this anthology brings together a variety of perspectives to give us a fascinating picture of an extraordinary and complicated man.
He was catapulted into fame by his unrivaled talent as a medium, and his life was shaped by his efforts to understand and make peace with this gift. The veracity of the information he offered during trance was confirmed over and over, yet there always lingered that shadow of a doubt. Are these suspicions well-founded, or are they the result of our reluctance to accept the possibility that life continues after death?
"The great integrity of Arthur Ford made him especially appealing.... Above everything, he wanted to spread the good news of everlasting life, the survival of consciousness after physical death." Rev. Paul Lambourne Higgins, First President of Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship.
"This book is a great compilation of thoughts about Arthur Ford. He ... was one of a kind, a great original, and we shall not see his like again." Rev. Canon William V. Rauscher, Past President of Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship
"As a general observation on the two great sensitives, Edgar Cayce and Arthur Ford, it may be said that Cayce sought to restore physical and emotional health for subjects by guidance and wisdom from the "Akashic records,' while Ford ministered to the spiritual and mental well-being of subjects with information and assurances from deceased loved ones." Frank C. Tribbe, Editor
Table of Contents
Preface by Paul B. Fenske and Paul Lambourne Higgins
Introduction by William V. Rauscher
1. His Life ... As Ford Remembered It
2. The Trance State and Ford's Spirit-Control, "Fletcher"
3. Ford Responds: His Last Formal Interview
4 Ford and Houdini
5. Bishop Pike and Ford on Television
6. Ford and Contemporary American Psychics - Eileen Garrett and Edgar Cayce
7. Clem Tamburrino, Ford's "Man-Friday," and Ford as Healer
8. Arthur Ford Returns
9. Ford's Thought and Advice Spawns Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship and the Academy of Religion and Psychical Research
10. Four Faces of Ford by Marcus Bach
11. Forty Faces Around Ford
12. Ford Was Well-Received Abroad
13. The Sole Theme of Ford's Mediumship - Spirit Survival of Physical Death Is True
14. Ford's Historical Search for a Philosophy of the Afterlife
15. Survival Research in Action
16. Ford Writes, Lectures, and Preaches
17. Ford is Remembered and Eulogized
Books by and about Arthur Ford
Index of Names
One day in 1924 when I was in trance an invisible personality announced himself as Fletcher and said that henceforth he would be my permanent assistant on the unseen plane. Just that simply our partnership began. Fletcher said he was able to work efficiently with me because he had the right energy pitch or frequency for establishing and maintaining contact. It was years before I had anything like a consistent notion of what he was talking about, but I was delighted that I was to have a dependable colleague who would appear whenever I went into trance and act as interlocutor between the invisible and visible visitors who came to talk together through my intermediacy. Such a partner is commonly called a "control." Of course it was not I to whom Fletcher spoke directly; he announced himself to a friend of mine who was having the sitting - "Tell Ford that I am to be his control and that I go by the name of Fletcher."
At the next sitting my friend asked him, for me, who he was and for what personal reason he had attached himself to me in this helpful manner. Fletcher then explained that he was one of the French Canadian boys who had lived across the river from my home in Fort Pierce. He wished to use his middle name, Fletcher, he said, in order to save his family possible embarrassment because they were Roman Catholics and had certain ideas of the hereafter which did not exactly fit with what he had found. They might even be disturbed, he said, to know that he had not found heaven to be inhabited exclusively by persons of his own faith; indeed, he himself had at first been very much surprised. He said further, that after the family left Fort Pierce he had grown up in Canada, had enlisted in the World War and had been killed in action. He named his company and the place of his death; also he gave the address of his family.
I wrote to the family, asking after various members, including this boy, but not mentioning of course that I had heard from him directly. One of the boys answered, telling me of his brother's death, corroborating Fletcher's statement as to time and place. So I accepted Fletcher at his (invisible) face value. At times, however, I do see him and always as a young man. Sometimes when I am giving a public demonstration and am not actually in trance, his face appears vividly before me.
We soon had a fine working partnership. When I wish to go into trance I lie down on a couch or lean back in a comfortable chair and breathe slowly and rhythmically until I feel an in-drawing of energy at the solar plexus. Then I focus my attention on Fletcher's face, as I have come to know it, until gradually I feel as if his face presses into my own at which instant there is a sense of shock somewhat as if I were passing out. Then I lose consciousness, appearing to be asleep. My body is in a state of sleep and when I waken at the end of a session I feel as if I had had a good nap.
As soon as I am in trance, Fletcher announces his arrival to the sitters in the room by saying "hello" in a slightly French-Canadian accent. Obviously it is my speaking equipment he is using, and for the most part my vocabulary. Sometimes he uses words given him by discarnates but the fact that he catches an impressive word does not mean he can pronounce it correctly. Sometimes he spells out a specialized word as it is apparently being spelled to him; at other times he attempts two or three pronunciations until he seems to get an inner nod of approval that he has said the word correctly.
During the first moments of the trance Fletcher appears to size up the sitters. He may comment upon their geographic derivation. "You come from my part of the country." "I see you've just flown in from the west coast." "You seem to be quite a traveler." Or he may say, "You're a chemist." "You spend a lot of time at an easel." "Another preacher tonight." Or perhaps, "The worried man in the corner." "The woman with a pencil." He has even been known to correct the spelling of a sitter on the opposite side of the room from the sleeping medium. He may ask the first names of the sitters and perhaps add, "The middle initial is X; that's an odd one."
Blue Dolphin Publishing, 1999
Also by Frank C. Tribbe: I, Joseph of Arimathea
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