Category Archive: F

Sep 08

Charles Hoy Fort

Charles_Hoy_fortCharles Hoy Fort whose researches into mysterious and unexplained phenomena made him a forerunner with regard to modern interest in UFOs and the paranormal. Fort was a prodigious collector of newspaper clippings and, on the basis of 100,000 press cuttings, compiled four books: The Book of the Damned (1919) New Lands (1923) Lo! (1931) and Wild Talents (1932).

These works were subsequently brought together as The books of Charles Fort and published through the auspices of the Fortean Society in 1941.

Fort was interested in unexplained showers of frogs, snails, snakes, and fish that fell from the sky; in the appearance of supernatural or inexplicable lights; in ghosts and poltergeists; and in such events as the case of the Devil’s Hoofmarks.

Freed in 1916 and 1917, after two inheritances, from the financial stress that had dogged him all his adult life, he devoted most of his time to what had become his “obsession … [the] search for the unexplained.” The search took him through complete runs of scientific journals, popular magazines, and newspapers and led him to London, where he scoured the publications not available in the New York libraries. His odyssey taught him one clear lesson: that strange events, far from being isolated marvels, were “quite ordinary occurrences.”

From this massive archival research; Fort wrote The Book of the Damned. Friend and novelist Theodore Dreiser took the manuscript to his publisher, Horace Liveright, and gave him ab ultimatum: if he didn’t publish Fort, he would no longer publish Dreiser.

Published in the Spring of 1919, Book opened with these words; “A procession of the damned. By the damned, I mean the excluded. We shall have a process of data that science has excluded.” In the procession were giant hailstones, red and black rains, gelatinous meteorites (traditionally known as pwdre ser, or “rot from the stars”), falls of various substances, archaeological anomalies, and what would be called, three decades later, unidentified flying objects. Except to the humorless, Book was no crank book; rather it was a parody of a crank book, rich in satirical asides in which Fort proposed “theories” he regarded as no less preposterous than those scientists were offering to explain the manifestly unexplainable. “Science of today—the superstition of tomorrow,” Fort wrote. “Science of tomorrow—the superstition of today.”

To Bohemian writers and intellectuals the effect was electrifying. Booth Tarkington wanted to know, “Who in the name of frenzy is Charles Fort? … People must turn to look at his head as he walks down the street; I think it’s a head that would emit noises and explosions, with copper flames playing out from the ears.” John Cowper Powys remarked on Fort’s “curious genius,” and Ben Hecht hailed Fort’s “onslaught upon the accumulated lunacy of fifty centuries.” In the same review, published in the Chicago Daily News, Hecht coined the adjective “Fortean.”
The title of Fort’s next book, New Lands (1923), picks up (though without acknowledgement) from words and sentiments expressed in the first paragraph of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 1836 essay “Nature,” which ends with these sentences:

“There are new lands, new men, new thoughts. Let us demand our own works and laws and worship.”

Fort writes, again sarcastically, of literal new lands, namely huge floating land masses from which fish fall and aerial vessels are dispatched. Lo! (1931) dealt with the usual range of physical anomalies, though with a particular focus on UFOs and unknown animals; in his fascination with the latter, he anticipated the later science of cryptozoology. Wild Talents (1932), published the year of his death, dealt with extraordinary phenomena associated with human beings.

In 1920 the Forts moved to London, where Charles resumes his researches in the British Museum. In the next few years, he contributed four letters to the New York Times. All dealt with his view that extraterrestrial beings were visiting the Earth; humanity remains blind to their presence even though the evidence for their presence—in the form of reports of unearthly aerial phenomena be credible observers—exists in abundance.

By the end of the decade, Fort’s health was in decline. He and Anna moved to the Bronx in 1929. Despite his problems he completed his two last books, and he was amused when in 1931 his friend Tiffany Thayer organized the Fortean Society, which Fort, as skeptical of his own authority as of anybody’s, refused to join. He died on May 3rd, 1932.

In 1941 Henry Holt published the omnibus Books of Charles Fort, which went through numerous printings and kept Fort’s name alive even after the Fortean Society folded in 1959. The international Fortean Organization (INFO) was formed in 1965; its quarterly INFO Journal publishes articles and short items on unexplained physical phenomena. Fortean Times and Strange Magazine chronicle and analyze current and historical anomalies.

SFE: The Science Fiction Encyclopedia. (n.d.). Authors : Fort, Charles : SFE : Science Fiction Encyclopedia. Retrieved July 25, 2014, from http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/fort_charles
Many Parts: Remnants of an Autobiography by Charles Hoy Fort. (n.d.). Many Parts: Remnants of an Autobiography by Charles Hoy Fort. Retrieved July 25, 2014, fromhttp://www.resologist.net/parte10.htm
Charles Fort. (n.d.). – The Skeptic’s Dictionary. Retrieved July 25, 2014, fromhttp://www.skepdic.com/fortean.html

www.sf-encyclopedia.com

Welcome to the third edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Our aim is to provide a comprehensive, scholarly, and critical guide to science fiction in all its forms.

Feb 02

Gavin Frost

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)

FrostGavinYvonne-167x122

Gavin, born in 1930, was raised in a tight-knit family group ruled by his hard-working, hard-drinking Welshman grandfather, who was the family’s patriarch. All of the family’s sons and cousins worked in its galvanizing business, and members lived together on a wooded ridge outside Aldridge where the Welsh patriarch had built homes for each of his children. When the old man passed in 1936, the family promptly moved away from Aldridge, and Gavin was enrolled in boarding school.

During the war years, the family’s kitchen garden and business paid dividends, and family members sought advice from Granny on putting down eggs, storing, and canning, so that there would be food through the winter. That ancient knowledge became essential to life and health. The methods Gavin learned in youth served his family well in later years.

At war’s end, a particular hero of Gavin’s graduating class was a decorated navy commander who taught mathematics. From that man, Gavin derived his love of mathematics and physics, and in college he continued in the two disciplines.

In his final year at the University of London (King’s College), Gavin grew interested in the prehistoric peoples of the British Isles, and in the reconstruction of their spiritual beliefs. The influence of T.C. Lethbridge (Witches) and Glyn Daniel (Megalithic Monument Builders), and the heady atmosphere in London after the repeal of the Witchcraft Act, made this a formative time in Gavin’s life.

After earning an honors degree, Gavin was requested to work for the Department of Atomic Energy, but before he moved to the wilds of Cumberland, he was initiated into the Coven of Boskednan. (Boskednan is a Nine-Maidens circle in Cornwall.) Today the spirit-through-fire scar that the initiation entailed is still visible on his wrist.

The Coven of Boskednan was formed after a number of London University students contacted a Penzance group that had formally been at the university. Gavin’s group was instructed on what books to study and what lectures were pertinent if members hoped to be considered for initiation. Individual tasks were also allocated. Gavin’s was to walk around Cornwall on the cliff path, carrying tents and supplies, which turned out to be quite a trail – he encountered numerous signs with warnings such as “Dangerous path. Beware of land slips.” When the tasks were
completed and further interviews held, four members of Gavin’s group were initiated.

Roots of that Penzance coven’s practice always intrigued Gavin because (a) they seemed to owe nothing to Gerald Gardner’s work, and (b) the order of service) as shown in the The Good Witch’s Bible) did not resemble that of most other groups.

Gavin’s move to Cumbria and research proceeded. He completed his doctoral thesis and moved on to other research. Soon he had a long-term “significant other” in Dorothy Whitford. Gavin and Dorothy moved to de Havilland Aircraft in Hatfield, near London, where his research concentrated on the investigation of long-wave infrared radiation for the British equivalent of the Sidewinder missile. Much of that missile’s testing was carried out at night on Salisbury Plain. This gave Gavin time during the day to explore nearby ancient monuments such as Stonehenge and to talk with local historians on what may be called the pagans of Stonehenge.

At the time archeologists, led by Gerald Hawkins’ Stonehenge Decoded, were re-investigating the old monuments and the people who built them.  Fascinating discoveries were being made. One that Gavin vividly recalls was that of a skull that showed evidence of three trepanning surgeries – holes carved into it for brain surgery or perhaps for reduction of pressure. One such scar had been covered with a screwed-on silver plate, yet the man had lived to a great age after the operations (as shown by regrowth of bone). Incredibly, scientists estimated that his age a death was as much as three hundred years.

Gavin and Dorothy married in January 1953 and honeymooned in Ireland. At that time, finding pagan sites was difficult and, most likely, not the highest priority for a young married couple. A trip to the Isle of Man to see the TT races was more memorable for seeing Old Man Honda that for the visit to the Witch’s Mill. Although Dorothy assured him that he met Gerald Gardner, quite frankly Gavin has no memory of it.

The young couple was extremely happy when Dorothy became pregnant and Gavin obtained three offers of employment. One was at MIT, one with the group that became Hewlett Packard, and one with Canadair in Montreal, Canada. Gavin and Dorothy elected to emigrate to Montreal to work on the Canadian missile program. Canadair’s Research Institute. Gavin declined, joining instead the firm’s Training and Simulator group.

On one assignment Gavin visited a remote village in Chile, and in his four days there, he got his first taste of religion and Healing as practiced by shamans. The villagers could not believe that an outsider (especially a Caucasian!) would have any interest in their procedure or would be receptive toward it. He saw many parallels in what they were doing to what he had been taught in England.

Gavin later moved to California, Where he became senior project engineer on the radar system used in the F-104 military jet. This gave him the opportunity to travel around the world extensively. In Milan, Italy, he seized the opportunity to investigate Leland’s Aradia, through police contacts and records. In his search, he uncovered both truth and fiction.

The long work hours required in the aerospace industry took their toll on Gavin’s personal life, and when an opportunity arose to become his firm’s European representative, he took it. He and his family moved to Munich, Germany. Although the hours and work expectations were still high, there was more free time in Munich with a group of German sorcerers in Geiselgasteig, the old Bohemian arts’ colony south of Munich.

Because Dorothy had no interest in the occult or in writing for a living, the family was beginning to fragment and, upon their return to the United States, Gavin and Dorothy divorced. It was not an amicable divorce, and it became evident that if Gavin remained in southern California, Dorothy would continually harass him and any new associates. So, accompanied by his new love interest, Yvonne Wilson, Gavin accepted a post as international sales manager for a firm in St. Louis, Missouri. There, he and Yvonne began the long process of getting the U.S. government to accept Wicca as a religion. (See Church and School of Wicca, below).

Gavin felt that his international travel gave him opportunities that were not available to most Wiccans. For example, the King of Thailand arranged for Gavin to live as a monk for one week in a monastery outside Bangkok. Further, Gavin’s copy of the Bhagavad Gita bears the signature of Madame Indira Gandhi, who also introduced him to some authentic Tantrist.

Yvonne Frost
Yvonne, born in 1931, felt she was reincarnated into a family of Kentucky foot-washing, hard-shell Baptists in the heart of the Depression. A large group of relatives from the Cumberland Gap area moved from the poverty in Kentucky to Depression-era Los Angeles. As the eldest of four children, Yvonne lived in silent obedience and conformity, wondering why she did not fit in. The best lessons of those early days were a frugal approach that she never outgrew and a gratitude for every good experience that enriched her life.

A marriage to a well-meaning “Neanderthal,” as she described him, lasted ten years. At some point in that era, she came across Velikovsky’s Worlds in Collision and mentioned it, with excitement, to her Sunday-school teacher. His response: “If it isn’t in the Bible, I don’t want to hear about it.” She says she never looked back.

For the next eight years, Yvonne lived as a self-supporting, single woman. In that time she earned her degree in Orange County, California, and began exploring alternative paths of spirituality. She considered espousing Buddhism, but found the Eastern philosophy too passive for her spiritual needs. She finally discovered Spiritualism. At a seance in 1965, a voice came to her through the medium’s trumpet: “Can I be your little
girl?” Because she was single, she was taken aback, but she still managed to answer, “Yes. You come when it’s time.” (Bronwyn was born in 1969.) In another seance her spirit guide, Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace (the first proponent of evolution), brought her a green cabochon stone, which she had set into a bracelet. Wallace once pointed out (as a spirit) that a photo in his biography had been printed as a mirror image. Yvonne found a copy of the book and confirmed the complaint.

Her career at that time was in the aerospace industry; Gavin was her boss’s boss. During Gavin’s stint in Munich, he began writing a novel titled Pagans of Stonehenge and asked her to edit it for him. The two eventually became linked romantically. Once Yvonne met Gavin and learned of the Craft, she found that some of its aspects overlapped with the teachings of Spiritualism and Buddhism; for the first time, she felt she was finally on the right path. After Gavin’s divorce, the couple moved together to St. Louis.

Once there, Gavin’s work as an international sales manager led to more travel and longer hours away from home. Yvonne used her time alone to type all of the school’s lectures (see The Church and School of Wicca, below) and the draft of The Witch’s Bible.

In late July 1969, Gavin flew in from Australia, full of excitement. He had traveled on a Qantas flight especially rescheduled so passengers could see the reentry of the capsule carrying the first astronauts to walk on the moon. When he finally paused to take a breath while telling Yvonne about his special flight, Yvonne calmly informed him, “My water broke this morning.” Witnessing Bronwyn’s birth brought Gavin an epiphany. He gave up his career in aerospace, although he worked intermittently for a year or so as a consultant, and committed his life and energies to the Craft.

Effectively, the two of them sawed off the limb they had been sitting on: no more gold credit cards, no more first-class flights, no more captain of industry and management matron. They traded all of that in for a vow of poverty and a full time commitment to living and teaching The Craft.

In retrospect, they both felt that their shared life showed a pattern. They spent a couple of years remodeling a derelict building in St. Charles, Missouri, three years raising pigs on unimproved rural Missouri acreage and restoring an abandoned schoolhouse, twenty years in New Bern, North Carolina. These experiences served to fill in gaps in their respective learning. What the Frosts did not already know about humility from the discomforts of rehabbing buildings and from raising pigs, they learned well and throughly from the Pagan/Wiccan community and the warmth of its reception.

Today their life marches on. Yvonne says, “As we respectively approach out seventieth birthdays, we are eager to met our successors — poor devils!”

The Church and School of Wicca
When Gavin and Yvonne moved to Missouri in 1968, their first act was to attempt to form a coven. They quickly found that they were not comfortable having people come to their home to attend classes. The answer seemed to be a correspondence course, especially since Gavin was still on the road much of the time. Together they wrote a series of lectures that later formed the nucleus of their book, The Witch’s Bible (Nash Publishing, 1972).

In order to meet IRS requirements as a nonprofit organization, the church had to have a defined philosophy. The Frosts symbolized that philosophy using the five points of the pentagram: (1) The Wiccan Rede — “If it harm none, do what you will.” (2) Power through knowledge. (3) The Law of Attraction and of Threefold Return. (4) Harmony with the universe. (5) Reincarnation. The center of the pentagram represented deity.

A furor was created in Wiccan circles when the Frosts published their rituals and revealed that a dildo was used in the female initiation. Despite that furor, they have stood by their teachings.

Having finally satisfied all the IRS demands, the Church of Wicca was issued a Letter of Determination on August 31, 1972, after which fifteen other Church of Wicca facilities were chartered across the United Sates. Six years later, Gavin and Yvonne retired from active leadership in the church but retained responsibility for the correspondence school. The school has since grown to be the largest Witchcraft correspondence school
int he United Sates. It also offers courses in astrology, Tantra, psychic development, healing, herbs and other subjects.

The church continues to work for Wiccan rights, especially by making its teachings available to those in prison and in the military. The church was a leader in the fight against the Helms Amendment. (Senator Jesse Helms). The church and school publishes a periodical called Survival that is edited by the Frost’s daughter, Bronwyn.

http://www.foreverandaday.biz/Pages_i…/GavinYvonneFrost.html
http://www.unexplainedstuff.com/…/People-of-Wicca-Gavin-fro…

Jan 25

Dion Fortune

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)

NPSGraphic
fortuneDion Fortune was born Violet Mary Firth in Llandudno, North Wales on 6th December 1890, the daughter of parents with an active interest in the Christian Science and Garden City movements and the running of hydro-therapeutic establishments. Her interest in occultism was sparked in 1916 when, as a psychotherapist, she came across the startling work of Dr. Theodore Moriarty, who became her first esoteric teacher and inspired her series of short stories The Secrets of Dr Taverner.

Once having embarked upon the occult path she cast her net wide and became a member both of the Theosophical Society and of the Alpha et Omega Temple of the former Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, but becoming discontented with the performance of existing organisations she set about founding her own esoteric group. This was based in an old officer’s mess hut erected at the foot of Glastonbury Tor, that they named Chalice Orchard, and which was the first headquarters of the Community (later Fraternity and then Society) of the Inner Light. Soon afterwards they also acquired a house in the Bayswater district of London which was big enough to accommodate some members in as well as to contain office facilities and a magical lodge.

The Fraternity soon became an initiatory school of high calibre. Members attracted during the 1930s included such later well known figures as W.E.Butler, Colonel C.R.F. Seymour and Christine Hartley, whilst even the 14 year old W.G. Gray knocked upon its doors, but was turned away on account of his youth. Working in trance mediumship Dion Fortune made contacts with certain inner plane adepts, or Masters, whose influence on the Western Esoteric Tradition is still vital to this day.

During this period Dion Fortune wrote several esoteric novels to illustrate the possible practical application of the content of her textbooks and articles in her house journal, the Inner Light Magazine. She pioneered the popular exposition of the Qabalah as a key to the Western Mystery Tradition with her book The Mystical Qabalah, which is still one of the best texts available on the subject. Her other important work, The Cosmic Doctrine, which was mediumistically received early on in her career was at first reserved for senior initiates; its text is abstract and difficult to follow and is intended for meditation rather than as a straight textbook.

During the 2nd World War she organised her own contribution to the war effort on a magical level, with an extended meditation group, and continued to operate in the midst of the Blitz despite a bomb bringing down the roof of her headquarters in 1940. This period was well covered by a series of weekly and then monthly letters to students, later published as Dion Fortune’s Magical Battle of Britain. Any book publishing, and even issue of her magazine, was curtailed by wartime shortage of paper, so that much of what she wrote at this time had to wait until comparatively recently for book publication.

In early January 1946 Dion Fortune returned from Glastonbury feeling tired and unwell, was admitted to Middlesex Hospital in London and died a few days later from leukaemia, at the comparatively young age of 55. She is buried in the municipal cemetery at Glastonbury, with the remains of her close friend and colleague Charles Thomas Loveday close by. Her last novel, Moon Magic, unfinished at her death, was allegedly channelled by her through one of the society’s mediums.

The Society of the Inner Light (the name was changed for legal reasons) continued to operate in much the same way for some years after Dion Fortune’s death, largely under the inspiration of the remarkable mediumship of Margaret Lumley Brown. During this time a new generation of well known writers and teachers such as Gareth Knight, Charles Fielding, Dolores Ashcroft Nowicki, Kathleen Raine and Peter Valentine Timlett passed through its doors. It continues today as an initiatory school with much the same principles as those upon which it was originally founded.
http://www.angelfire.com/az/garethknight/aboutdf.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dion_Fortune

Jan 03

Kate Fox & Margaret Fox

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)

NPSGraphic

katefoxKATE FOX (b.1829-1892) and MARGARET FOX(b.1825-1892)
At ages 11 and 15 respectively, the Fox sisters started the whole spiritualist/seance’ movement in 1848 in upstate New York. Much of modern occultism has its roots in Spiritualism. Spiritualism had no hierarchy, was often practiced in the homes of the followers, and women played a prominent role. It was the Wicca of it’s day.

About four decades later, after years of poverty, failed marriages, and alcoholism, the sisters confessed the strange popping sounds had been made by the girls cracking their toe joints. The thumping sounds heard by their parents were made by simply bouncing an apple on the floor! Catherine even became a Roman Catholic and renounced spiritualism (calling it “evil”) at one point, but she backslid later and settled back into her old ways. They wrote a book exposing the truth called The Death Blow To Spiritualism, confessing the whole thing had been a hoax.

The gals tried a road show, demonstrating how they popped their toes (they were double jointed), but it failed to draw large audiences. A few people just didn’t want to believe their confession, and evidence of this is the fact that even while the Foxes were on tour denouncing themselves as fakes, Kate still gave seances for money to private clients! A year later, failing to get rich by ‘fessing up, they then recanted their confession and tried to return to Spiritualism. Mediums knew they were really fake all along, because they used all kinds of tricks in these seances’ (wires, mirrors, etc.), and were eventually exposed by skeptics, including magician Harry Houdini. Skeptics and disillusioned followers of the day didn’t buy the Foxes latest story…that they had lied about lying.

Spiritualism had indeed received a death blow, and from the very people that started it. The days of a new book on Spiritualism coming out each week were over. Kate was arrested in 1888 for drunkenness and “idleness”. She lived from then on by begging and borrowing and died impoverished in 1892. Margaret died a few months after her sister Kate, and followed her into a pauper’s grave.

The masses left spiritualism like rats leaving a sinking ship. Spiritualism had a brief re-surge after WWI, with lonely people who tried to contact dead loved ones lost in battle. Once again, there were Mediums ready to prey on the desperate. Seances became a popular parlor trick, but died out again with the advent of the radio. Now people could hear the disembodied voices of Burns and Allen, Jack Benny, and Abbot and Costello, as well as news sports and commercials. Once again spiritualism was all but extinguished.

Even though spiritualists today swear the Foxes were legit (it’s called being deluded), they don’t even give seances in the last Medium camp at Cassadagga, Florida anymore. The Fox Sisters, founders of the Spiritualist occult religion, were self admitted fakes and failures.
http://usminc.org/Paranormal/Famous/famous6.html

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