Friday, March 19, 2010

Betty Books, Famous Medium, Part One

Famous Mediums

I plan to continue a short series of blogs on various well-known credible mediums from the past. First is:


Some of the most widely read channeled books of the twentieth century were written by Stewart Edward White, a very successful novelist of adventure and Western tales, relating material channeled from the other side by his wife, Elizabeth Calvert Grant White, who was initially identified only as "Betty". Their experiences with the spiritual world began casually in 1919 when some friends visited their home with a Ouija board, considering it a mere toy and hoping only to entertain them with it. One thing led to another, though, and the board began taking on a mind of its own, repeatedly spelling "Betty" even though Betty had become bored with the game and had gone to sit beside the fireplace. At the repeated insistence of the board, she finally rejoined the others. At this point, the board became highly active and repeatedly spelled out, "Get a pencil–Get a pencil." But it was not until some days later that Betty did privately pick up a pencil at home and this launched her first experience with automatic writing which was to last for several months before experimenting with hypnotic trance. This produced the best results and Betty was soon a fully functioning trance medium.

The Betty Book was published in 1937, the third of a series that began in 1925, followed in 1938 by Across the Unknown. Betty died in 1939 and that launched a whole new chapter in this amazing story; Betty began communicating with her husband from the Other Side, through a family friend, psychic Joan Darby (a pseudonym for Ruth Finley, who later, after her death came through Arthur Ford). The Unobstructed Universe is Stewart Edward White's report of the messages from Betty as channeled through Joan.

Within days after my husband, Don Pendleton, passed away, I found a sense of peace in reading the last Chapter of Stewart Edward White’s book, Across the Unknown, about his loss of his wife. I had recalled reading it previously so I pulled it from my bookshelf, and found comfort and a sense of knowing in his Chapter titled, I Bear Witness. I very much identified with his words, his emotion, and his experience of being strongly aware of her presence after her death. White had written of those same feelings I was then experiencing.
I also identified with White for another reason. Stewart Edward White was a best-selling author of Westerns and Adventures, prior to his nonfiction series of Betty Books, ...and in the same way, Don had been a successful novelist for years, Action/Adventure and Mystery, before writing nonfiction about channeling...i.e. our book To Dance With Angels; and the paranormal, our book, Whispers From the Soul: the Divine Dance of Consciousness. It appears Stewart and “Betty” had a strong love bond as Don and I had, and shared interests in metaphysics, spirituality and the paranormal. Synchronistic? I think so.

I do know that at a time of grief, White’s writing was helpful for me. Maybe some of you will find that same inspiration if you are at a difficult time dealing with the loss of a loved one. I also wrote about this in my book, A Walk Through Grief: Crossing the Bridge Between Worlds.
His book, (and the last Chapter mentioned) are now public domain and can be read at the Gutenberg Australia site.

Here is an excerpt from his chapter:



FOUR months ago the manuscript of this book was put in final form and sent to the publishers. And so was completed another full turn in the spiral of Betty's work. But not, apparently, the work itself. According to the Invisibles something of this yet remained to be accomplished –something they refused to define, except that it was different from what had gone before.

"Like a blossom," said they.

"A blossom?" Betty asked.

"Something that occurs at the end of effort, as a demonstration to others. It is a natural attribute of your accomplishment. Of course you could go on living as you are, but then you couldn't have the demonstration at the top of your endeavor."

At that time the true meaning of this escaped me altogether. My interpretation was that Betty was about to begin another spiral of instruction, with the difference they mentioned appearing largely in the treatment. Accordingly, when she was overtaken only two weeks later by a serious and rackingly painful illness, I was convinced that the success of the job demanded her recovery. It seemed to me defeat at this point would mean that everything we had built up through all these years, and that so many people had taken from us and believed, would crumble into disrepute. And so I fought with every means at my command to hold her back from the Great Adventure.

Another strong incentive to battle, of course, was our natural dread of separation. I shall not dwell on this, but it is necessary to touch upon it sufficiently. We had been married for thirty-five years. In that time we had been apart for but three periods of any length: twice during my explorations into unknown parts of Central Africa; and once during my service in the World War. We had met together the adventures of life, and they had been varied: years of pack horse travel in the Rockies and Sierra; the cattle ranges of Arizona before the movies came; fourteen months in Africa; sixteen seasons in Alaska--here, there, and everywhere in the wild and tame corners of the earth. And adventures also among people, and ideas, and for twenty years the pioneering in these strange dim regions of the higher consciousness.

In the course of this last exploration we had finally arrived at the settled conviction that permanent separation is impossible. Nevertheless it is only human to dread the temporary parting: to contemplate such an interim as something dismal to be endured. I feel sure that this was a stronger consideration with me than with her. There is always a difference between any conviction, however profound, which is arrived at by study and inference; and the understanding belief which comes of experiencing directly the thing itself. For years Betty had been running back and forth to the other consciousness as easily and naturally as a cat in and out of a house--remember her various essays at experimental dying--whereas I had stayed on the inside only looking out. That she should face her final transition to this consciousness with serenity, then, was only to be expected. And it was equally inevitable that, in spite of any amount of philosophizing, there remained in the depths of my being, essentially unmodified, the primitive fear of death and separation.

Accordingly, I now realize definitely, Betty's strongest incentive in her fight was myself. This was not clear to me then, or my own attitude might have been different. She could not foresee how I would take her going, and she was reluctant to bum her bridges. For over two months it was just this that held her, in spite of the greatest pain and in face of what must have been almost overwhelming temptation.

"I could go so easily!" she told me, "at any minute. I have to fight against it in the night." She asked me a little wistfully, "If it came about that way, you wouldn't mind too much letting me go, would you?"

And I, in my ignorance, replied emphatically:

"I most certainly would!"

Two months passed and she became weaker and weaker, until finally the physical frame was worn to the point where only her fighting spirit held her. By now she could only whisper a word at a time, gathering strength for each effort. In the evening the doctor came to the house. I took him to see her, but was not myself looking toward her, when I heard him exclaim: "My God! The woman still smiles!"

Then for the first time I allowed myself to entertain a doubt as to the wisdom of our persistence. What job could there be that was worth such suffering? A little later Betty closed her eyes. We were not sure whether she was conscious or in coma. I went into another room, sat in an easy chair, and "projected" in her direction as strongly as I could these words:

"You are now where you can decide whether or not the job requires you to stay here and endure this. As far, as I am concerned, I release you gladly. I will take you by the hand, go with you just as far as I can, and place it in the hand of the one who is waiting."

A minute or so later the doctor came to tell me it was over: that suddenly Betty had spoken up, as clearly and gaily as had always been her habit.

"It's all right," said she. "I've had a talk with my boy. You can take me


Now comes the part I almost despair of setting down adequately. But it is the big thing, and I must try. My first momentary reaction was of relief that she need no longer go through such agonies. The next was a faint but growing surprise that the apprehension of death as a dark veil, an impenetrable barrier, a sharp division was whisked away. It became as thin as a mist. Instead of being a big portentous thing, it was really a comparatively unimportant and trivial detail, after all. Then, as the minutes passed, I became literally astounded that all the things I had been dreading, and bracing myself for, simply weren't there. For it was becoming increasingly, most gloriously, evident to me that the only serious threat of death did not exist.

This next is very difficult to convey. Let me see if I can give an inkling.

You know the cozy, intimate feeling of companionship you get sometimes when you are in the same room; perhaps each reading a book; not speaking; not even looking at one another. It is tenuous, an evanescent thing—one that we too often fail to savor and appreciate. Sometimes, in fact, it takes an evening or two of empty solitude to make us realize how substantial and important it really is.

Then, on the other hand, you know how you draw closer by means of things you do together. And still more through talk and such mental interchanges. And most of all, perhaps, in the various physical relationships of love and marriage.

Now when you stop to think of it, all these latter material contacts, right through the whole of life, are at root and in essence aimed at really just one thing: that rare inner feeling of companionship suggested feebly in the sitting-by-the-fire idea. That is what we really are groping for in all friendly and loving human relations, hampered by the fact that we are different people more or less muffled from each other by the barriers of encasement in the body.

Well, within a very few minutes that companionship flooded through my whole being from Betty, but in an intensity and purity of which I had previously had no conception. It was the same thing, but a hundred, a thousand times stronger. And I realized that it more than compensated for the little fact that she had stepped across, because it was the thing that all our physical activities together had striven for, but—compared with this--had gained only dimly and in part. Why not? Actually it was doing perfectly what all these other things had only groped for. So what use the other things? and why should I miss them?

Does this sound fantastic? Maybe; but it is as real and solid as the chair I am sitting on. So much so that I have never in my life been so filled with pure happiness. No despair; no devastation; just a deeper happiness than I have experienced with her ever before, save in the brief moments when everything harmonized in fulfillment.

And furthermore it has lasted, and is with me always.


This, I now believe, is the "great blossom" of which the Invisibles spoke; the final significance to which all of Betty's twenty years of work was to lead. Here is her concrete proof of one reward that can come to those who follow in her footsteps, her final evidence that her instrument of twenty years' forging is strong enough to withstand the
supreme test:

Of course I do not delude myself that those who pursue Betty's teachings to this culmination are going to be able, all of them, to gain this point of view in face of loss. Not all of them, nor completely. But it is a demonstration that it can be done; and it is forerunner of what will, one day, be the universal experience of those who follow the trail she has blazed across the unknown.

End of this Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook
Across the Unknown by Stewart Edward White and Harwood White


Natalie said...

Thank you Linda. That is so beautiful, and EXACTLY what I needed to hear right now. :)

Blasé said...

A real life Author!