The outstanding psychic whom I met in New York was Arthur Ford, who came to some of my lectures in Steinway Hall in about 1950. He was a very peculiar and distinctive gentleman. He liked my presentation, and we met following one of the lectures. He told me that the following week he was going to present a special séance, or group sitting, for men only, and they would all be professional people. I was invited if I wished to come, and I accepted the novel invitation.
On the appointed evening we gathered in Ford's hotel suite, about thirty-five men of professional training — doctors, lawyers, businessmen, two or three psychiatrists and psychologists, and a teacher, clergyman, and editor. It was an unusual assemblage of educated men and trained minds.
After some small talk we became quiet while Arthur Ford went to sleep, or into a state of entrancement. The lights were dim, but one could see every other person in the room. Ford's "control" was alleged to be a Canadian named Fletcher who had perished in World War I. In fact, he had met Mr. Ford overseas during the war and had died there.
Whoever Fletcher was, he acted as the intermediary between the persons in the room and the various individuals in the spirit world who wished to come through and talk with us.
For some two hours there was a constant flow of conversation among the men in the room, Fletcher, and the presumed entities on the Other Side. The professional men seemed to be very interested in and impressed by the information they were receiving. No one shouted "fraud!" and bolted for the exit. Fletcher was highly intelligent, and there was no foolishness or banality about the proceedings. They got right down to business, and they were informative.
Toward the end of the session it was my turn. Fletcher said there was a spirit whose name was German and difficult to pronounce. He said he wished to speak to Gilbert, and his name was Paul! At once I recognized my dear friend from Beverly Hills who had passed away only a few weeks before. Thereupon followed an evidential conversation with Paul, who was completely unknown to Arthur Ford or to any of the strangers in the room. There was no possible way that anyone in the group but I could have known anything about Paul in the normal avenue of obtaining information.
Paul and I had a good chat for perhaps two or three minutes, and he told me one of the lovely vistas where he was, the wonderful libraries, lecture halls, schools, and cultural delights.
Then Fletcher said there was another German, and his name was something like Eckartshausen. Did anyone recognize him? There was silence for a few moments, and I waited to see if he belonged to anyone else in the gathering. Then I spoke up and said, "I think he may wish to speak to me, as I believe he is Baron von Eckarthausen, who was a famed mystic and Rosicrucian writer about two centuries ago in Germany. He wrote a book entitled A Cloud Upon the Sanctuary that I read some while ago. Is it he?"
Fletcher replied in the affirmative and that the German mystic was pleased to have been recognized. Then I decided to ask him a difficult but interesting question.
"Herr von Eckartshausen, there are a number of Rosicrucian groups in this country and the world, and they all claim to be the authentic Rosicrucians, making claims exclusive of one another. From your point of vantage in the spirit world, can you tell me who are the real and authentic Rosicrucians?"
He seemed to be thinking for a moment, and then he gave the sage and rather quixotic reply, "From my point of view, the only truly authentic Rosicrucians are the invisible ones over here!" This was a reply that made one ponder, and I do not report this in derogation of any existing Rosicrucian groups.
Mine was the last psychic contact of the evening. Fletcher bade us good-bye, exchanged a few pleasantries, and left. Arthur Ford woke up ad from a sound sleep, and that was the end of the meeting. But it was evident that the professional men were very impressed. They heard sensible things and received information that made them ponder deeply. They all showed respect for Ford and considered him genuine.
For several years during the 1950s I saw Arthur Ford occasionally at meetings, gatherings, or conventions. He had met June [the author's wife] in Florida in 1950, six years before she met me, and he predicted to her in a public meeting that the man she was to marry would come to her in 1956, that he was a tall professional man, an intellectual and teacher, and that this man was her soul affinity, or soul-mate.
June could not believe him at that time, and she scoffed at the prophecy privately to her family and close friends. But it came true to the letter and exact date. Ford at his best was an extraordinary performer. He was a genuine trance medium, capable of producing definitely authentic phenomena. [It was not Ford literally accomplishing the phenomena; it was the 'guides and controls' manifesting through and in proximity to the 'medium'/'channeler' while existing in the 'ascended realm' of human existence and made available as determined by the intermediary God Force/spiritual 'Oneness.']