Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Sammy Davis Jr – Dancing With The Devil

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Super group Led Zeppelin. Lead guitarist Jimmy Page harboured an intense interest in Aleister Crowley and the Occult.

Magician David Fox investigates…

They say the Devil has all the best tunes – and maybe there is an element of truth in this well-worn cliché. Many of the finest rock acts over the past half century are clearly indebted to the infernal influence of Old Nic himself…

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Sammy Davis Jr was an early member of the Satanic Church.

Would you sell your soul to The Lord of Darkness for temporal gain? The late great Sammy Davis Jr was a celebrity member of the Church of Satan. Founded in 1966 by Anton Szandor Lavey, the legions of Lucifer have boasted several world famous luminaries among their congregation – the most recent being Antichrist Superstar Marilyn Manson!

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Anton Szandor Lavey founded the Church of Satan in 1966.

Indeed, the 1960s heralded a new age of rebellion and decadence. Civil-rights protests, a growing spiritual re-awakening – and of course Rock and Roll music – are defining hallmarks of the era. The Rolling Stones classic ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ controversially portrays the Prince of Evil as the perennially misunderstood anti-hero. The Beatles also chose to include the self-proclaimed Great Beast 666 Aleister Crowley on the cover of their multi-platinum ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ album in 1967.

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The Beatles multi-platinum selling album ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band‘ (1967). Crowley can be seen at the top left.

Led Zeppelin’s lead guitarist Jimmy Page developed a deep interest in the Occult, and most notably Aleister Crowley. The English mystic’s doctrine of Thelema (Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law) seemed to resonate strongly in the mind of the musical genius. Page duly purchased Crowley’s former home – Boleskine House on the banks of Loch Lomond in Scotland.

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Aleister Crowley’s libertarian doctrine of Thelema appealed to musicians such as Jimmy Page, David Bowie and Ozzy Osbourne

The Beast had conducted a complex magical operation at the spacious manor at the turn of the twentieth century known as the Abramelin Ritual. Consequently, it was widely believed to be haunted by ghosts and demons – a terrifying legacy of Crowley’s diabolical dabblings! Curator Malcolm Dent, a close friend of Page who lived at Boleskine for several years, frequently spoke of supernatural phenomena at the residence. Visit link: Malcolm Dent at Boleskine House.

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Jimmy Page at Boleskine House near Loch Ness.

Black Sabbath would define the genre of Heavy Metal with their ground-breaking self-titled album in 1970. Deliciously dark, menacing and sinister, the riff to the title track is played in the spine-tingling tritone of G to C# which incidentally was banned by the Medieval Church for fear of summoning daemonic forces. Bassist Geezer Butler harboured a deep interest in the supernatural, and the lyrical content throughout their best known work reflects his fascination.

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Black Sabbath would define the Heavy Metal genre with thunderous tracks such as NIB, Black Sabbath and Paranoid.

A new wave of heavy metal groups and rock bands from the 1970s onwards continued to explore the darker realms of our existence. From British Black Metal fore-runners Venom, to Los Angeles Thrash legends Slayer, the lyrics became more intriguing, disturbing and down-right shocking. The Devil seemed to be lurking on the periphery at all times, casting his anarchic authority over the proceedings like an ominous orchestral conductor subtly manipulating the creative strings.

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US legendary Thrash Metal band Slayer. Pushed the boundaries throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

In recent years, Rock and Roll music has enjoyed a sensational resurgence and is now appreciated by fans of all generations. Old Nic has been firmly accepted as part of our main-stream culture. Contemporary acts such as Queens of The Stone Age and Royal Blood frequently pay homage to icons such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin – politely recognising their common infernal heritage! The Devil clearly works in mysterious ways – but is he really such a fearsome fellow? After all, ‘Lucifer‘ is actually Latin for ‘bringer of light’ or ‘The Son of the Morning Star’.

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The archetype of rebellion. Perhaps the Devil simply represents the belligerent streak which resides in each and every one of us?

The author of the article is David Fox, a professional entertainer and freelance writer who currently resides in the UK.

Visit David’s new website at: www.davidfoxmagician.co.uk or contact him at: email@magician-midlands.co.uk

Tutbury Ghost Captured on Film?

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Captured during a photo-shoot in Tutbury, Staffs, is the figure a ghost or supernatural being? Copyright 1993 Brenda Ray.

Who is the mysterious cloaked figure?

The idyllic village of Tutbury, Staffordshire is a popular haunt for day trippers who come to savour its unique charm and famous castle. Mary Queen of Scots was incarcerated here in the 16th century, and it has developed a reputation as one of the most haunted places in the British Isles.

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Appearing only once in a series of shots, the figure represents a peculiar puzzle! Copyright 1993, Brenda Ray.

In 1993 Brenda Ray captured the image of a peculiar cloaked figure in the village whilst conducting a photo shoot. This has since been the subject of much speculation, and the story surrounding the mysterious apparition is truly incredible. Indeed, perhaps at some time in the future, Brenda may decide to publish an account of her extraordinary experiences.

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An award-winning short-story writer, Brenda has been interested in the supernatural since childhood.

The supernatural is a subject which has interested Ms Ray since childhood and often features within her literary work. An award winning author, Brenda has recently published two collections of short stories: ‘The Siren of Salamanca’ (2008) and ‘Gondwanaland’ (2013) to much critical acclaim.

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Humorous, mysterious, thought-provoking and highly entertaining – Brenda’s recent collections of short stories.

As someone who was brought up on a diet of Edgar Allan Poe, HP Lovecraft and Roald Dahl, I could identify and appreciate Brenda’s genius immediately. Haunting, vivid and tantalising, her stories often leave the reader with more questions than answers. After all, there is nothing more mysterious than the unresolved…

For more details about Brenda and her work please visit: Brenda Ray Writes

Visit Brenda’s Amazon Page to obtain copies of her books: Brenda Ray Amazon

David Fox is a professional entertainer and freelance writer based in the UK. Visit his website at: www.davidfoxmagician.co.uk

 

 

Dreams – what do they mean?

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The Moon of the Tarot represents the realm of the subconscious… The realm of dreams….

What are dreams and why do we have them? The ancients believed them to be cryptic communiqués from the Gods. In more recent times, Sigmund Freud held dreams to be revelations of repressed anxieties whilst his student, Carl Jung, considered them to be important messages we can use to resolve problems. They come in a variety of forms: vivid, pleasant, nightmarish, recurring… Here are seven of our most common dreams and their meanings.

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1. Falling

We will all experience the sensation of falling in a dream at least five times in a lifetime. It is agreed that this type of dream is indicative of losing control of a particular aspect of your life. Through the act of falling, we are being subconsciously prompted to reclaim the initiative and organise ourselves better.

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2. Naked in a Public Place

One of the most unpleasant dreams is to find yourself stark naked in a public place! Are you afraid of being found out for making a mistake? Facing up to the situation now and being honest will always gain you respect in the eyes of your peers. This could be daunting, but you won’t be spotted au naturel in dreamland again!

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3. Not Prepared for an Exam

There is nothing worse than not being ready to sit an exam. The dreamer may never even enter the exam room, but the feelings of helplessness are terrifying. Students are being warned to take more responsibility for their studies. The dream may also represent a fear of failure and of new challenges. Remember the mantra: if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again…

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4. Being Chased

Your legs seem to be encased in concrete and whoever (or whatever) is pursing you is gaining ground rapidly… This dream is said to symbolise a refusal to stand up to a particular person, or problem, in your life. Can you identify your pursuer? If so, you will discover the source of your consternation. If you cannot see this threat, you may in fact be running away from an unsavoury aspect of yourself.

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5. Missing a Train, Bus or Plane

In the internet age, we all have hectic schedules and it is normal to miss a transport connection. Dreaming about such a stressful occurrence is commonplace and suggests that you need to think more carefully about your time management. Perhaps your diary is too full and it’s time for a vacation? It could also indicate that you are feeling regret for not seizing an opportunity.

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6. Flying
The feeling is normally exhilarating. Dreamers who recount ‘flying’ during their sleep usually do so positively. This phenomenon reveals that you are attaining new giddy heights in personal development. Be proud of your achievements and continue to reach for the stars. However, if you feel somewhat ‘tethered’ to the ground in your dream, something in waking life may be holding you back.

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7. Dreaming of a Deceased Loved One

When a dearly departed family member or friend pays you a visit during your dream, it should be considered a great blessing. Many cultures believe that this is actually the spirit of the deceased returning to offer reassurance and guidance. The more vivid the dream is, the more details you can draw upon in order to find a solution to a problem.
We hope this short guide will help you unlock the mysteries of your dreams. Why not keep a pen and paper at the side of your bed and write them down on waking? Because, as Shakespeare once said: ‘We are such stuff as dreams are made on.’

The author of the article is David Fox, a professional entertainer based in the UK. David also functions as a freelance writer. His website is: www.davidfoxmagic.co.uk

Do you have any of your own stories you would like to share with us? Send an email to: email@magician-midlands.co.uk

UFO Attack! The Strange Tale of Robert Taylor – A Victim of Alien Assault?

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An artist’s impression of what Taylor reported

Since time immemorial human beings have pondered the existence of alien life. Are we alone in this universe? Or do intelligent beings exist which could pose a threat to our very existence?

I have always harboured an interest in UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects) and this was piqued following a very illuminating conversation with a security guard at Cambridge University several years ago. The gentleman in question told me about his career working with the police at airports around the UK.

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Strange objects in the sky are reported every day like this saucer in New York State, 1966

He reminisced about the first time he obtained a statement from a distressed pilot regarding a strange object that had circled his plane over the North Sea. Poker-faced, the policeman dutifully recorded the aviator’s observations and filed the report. As a hardened law enforcer, he dismissed the captain’s account as a delusion – possibly triggered by fatigue or stress. Nonetheless, after taking scores of similar statements by the time he decided to retire several years later, his opinion had somewhat softened. He was now willing to believe in the existence of extra- terrestrials, and had even observed some perplexing phenomena in the sky himself.

However, this is not the only example of the authorities seriously considering the existence of intelligence beyond our world. The bizarre story of Robert Taylor (1919 – 2007) from Livingston, West Lothian, resulted in the police opening a criminal investigation. To date, it is the only known case of a law enforcement agency filing criminal charges as a result of a potential alien assault.

On the evening of 9th November 1979 Taylor, a forestry worker, appeared at his home in Livingston in a distressed state. His clothing was torn and he bore scratches on his face and legs. His anxious wife promptly summoned a doctor along with the local constabulary.

Taylor explained that he had parked his van close to the M8 motorway and entered woodland at Dechmont Law. After walking along a path for several hundred yards, he suddenly became aware of an acrid burning odour. Suddenly, in a clearing before him, a large ‘silver domed’ object loomed large.

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Many UFO photographs and sightings are hoaxes like this one from Sheffield, UK

The dark silvery saucer hovered above the treeline and appeared to have propellers. Taylor was only able to observe the craft briefly before he was set upon by a host of aggressive spherical entities. The metallic balls seized him and attempted to drag him towards the mother ship. After struggling violently for a few moments he lost consciousness.

When Taylor awoke, the UFO and its sinister crew had vanished. On returning to his van, he was unable to start the engine and was forced to trudge back home to Livingston in a disorientated and ragged state.

Incredibly, the police took Taylor’s account very seriously and he accompanied them on a trip back to the site of his alleged attack. Mysterious markings were found in the clearing and a criminal investigation was duly opened.

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Taylor returned to the scene of his attack with the police, and strange markings were found around the clearing

A commemorative plaque has since been placed at the site, and Ufologists celebrate Taylor’s close encounter as evidence that we are not alone. The fact that the authorities chose to accept his account as credible helps to legitimise their cause. However, sceptics are not so convinced. Some believe that the forestry worker may have experienced some sort of break-down or seizure; whilst others dismiss the Dechmont UFO as a crude hoax.

Nonetheless, the case will continue to raise many questions. Why were the police so willing to accept Taylor’s account? And for what purpose would he fabricate such an outlandish story which could potentially harm his reputation?

Do you have any other interesting stories about UFOs or strange phenomena? If so, please email them to us at: email@magician-midlands.co.uk

The author of the article is David Fox a professional entertainer and freelance writer based in the UK.

Follow David on Facebook: www.facebook.com/davidfoxmagician

Twitter: DavidFoxMagic

Website: www.davidfoxmagician.co.uk

 

 

 

Elvis Presley Ghost Sightings

‘even in the darkest of night, you can always hear the King’s call’

Phil Lynott

Everyone loves Elvis. His star shines brighter than ever before, and both young (and not-so-young) rock and rollers the world over continue to affectionately embrace his legend. At the time of writing it is estimated that The King has sold over ONE BILLION records worldwide! An astonishing legacy and a fitting testament to his enduring appeal. But since his untimely demise in 1977, has Mr Presley returned to this earth for a posthumous encore (or several) from beyond those pearly rhinestone-studded gates?

It’s time for a Little Less Conversation folks! Let’s slip on those Blue Suede Shoes and investigate some weird and wonderful events which are guaranteed to leave you All Shook Up…

The ghost of Elvis sitting in a doorway?

This mysterious photograph was taken on new year’s eve 1977 at Graceland. Many believe that it is an apparition of the beloved musician gazing out across the pool area. However, Suspicious Minds conclude that it is simply a trick of the light and merely wishful thinking. Nonetheless, this image fuelled much speculation at the time.

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Elvis behind the blind, or just the Devil in Disguise?

There have been numerous reports of paranormal phenomena at Graceland over the past forty years. Mysterious images have been captured on film, inexplicable sounds are often heard, and a peculiar presence is frequently encountered in the kitchen area. Most reports are promptly debunked and stamped ‘Return to Sender’ but some remain unexplained…

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Who is the mysterious quiffed figure who was captured on security camera at Graceland?

Apparently Las Vegas is another popular haunt for The King, and residents of the Hilton Hotel have witnessed his appearance in the lobby and casino. This was where Elvis performed his final show on 12th December 1976 and, if these claims are to be believed, he remains attached to the venue. Even more outlandish sightings around the city involve Elvis’s ghost driving a Cadillac!

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Viva Las Vegas! The Hilton Hotel was the venue of Elvis’s final gig.

Poltergeist-type activity often occurs in the RCA Recording Studios at Nashville, Tennessee, where the great man cut his early recordings and paved the way for superstardom. Objects frequently move as if they have a mind of their own, loud banging and footsteps are heard which cannot be explained, doors are opened by unseen hands, and lights switch on and off by their own accord! It is widely accepted throughout the studio that it is Elvis himself causing everything to Shake, Rattle and Roll!

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Elvis recording his early classics at the RCA Recording Studios, Nashville, Tennessee

Such spooky tales are likely to leave many of us sleeping with the lights on and reaching for our Teddy Bear. There are truly many things in this world that cannot be explained, and eye-witnesses are convinced that they have been blessed with a visitation from The King of Rock and Roll himself. That said, those with a Wooden Heart would argue that such tales can be readily explained after scientific investigation. Graceland is one of the most filmed and photographed locations on the planet so the occasional queer image is bound to surface from time to time.

Nonetheless, the spirit of The King lives on. We will all continue to celebrate the great music and talents of Mr Elvis Aron Presley regardless. That truly is The Wonder of You…

The author of the article is David Fox. A professional entertainer and freelance writer who is based in the UK. For more about David, visit his website:

David Fox Magic

Magician Mystic Soldier Spy – The extraordinary life of Uri Geller

‘Nowadays even presidents, vice-presidents and heads of big agencies are opening their minds to accept psychic phenomena because they know it works.’ 

Uri Geller

Uri Geller needs no introduction. A household name the world over, the indefatigable Israeli has been amazing audiences for the past five decades. Minds are read, metal mysteriously bends, watches and clocks which have not worked for many years suddenly spring to life and impossible predictions are made which will soon come to pass. These are the hallmarks of the mild-mannered entertainer’s sensational performances. However, recent revelations of Geller’s involvement with secret intelligence agencies, most notably the CIA, have further enhanced his legendary status.

Oscar winning director Vikram Jayanti’s documentary The Secret Life of Uri Geller  charts the charismatic mystery man’s meteoric rise from humble origins to worldwide super-stardom. From an early age Geller developed a heightened sense of perception and an awareness of his psychic capabilities. After serving in the Israeli army during the Six Day War in 1967, he was invited by Mossad (the Israeli secret service) to demonstrate his preternatural talents. Hardened military men were perplexed by Geller’s telepathic abilities and he would later be called upon to assist the state of Israel during times of emergency. Subsequent CIA interest in his inexplicable aptitudes followed, and Geller was promptly summoned to the USA to participate in a rigorous course of scientific experimentation.

Uri Geller at the Stanford Research Institute circa 1973

It was during this intense period of investigation at Stanford Research Institute in California during the early 1970s that Geller would develop his reputation as a man of extraordinary capabilities. Scientists were amazed by his propensity to read minds, find hidden objects and successfully conclude experiments in remote viewing (observing objects, places and people many miles away by using the power of his mind). The experts were unable to discern any logical explanation for these seemingly miraculous feats and conceded that Uri Geller must possess some sort of extra sensory perception (ESP). These findings would eventually culminate with Geller being invited to assist with covert intelligence operations throughout the world.

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Salvator Rosa’s famous painting of Saul’s visit to the Witch of Endor.

Inevitably many will find such a disclosure difficult to digest. However, governments calling upon the aid of psychics and paranormal experts, particularly at times of crisis, is certainly not a novel concept. Since time immemorial, powerful leaders have sought to gain the upper hand against an adversary by invoking the mysterious forces of the unseen. Indeed, one of the earliest accounts of this practice is King Saul’s clandestine meeting with the Witch of Endor in the First Book of Samuel. The King sought divine inspiration prior to a major battle with the Philistines and was terrified by the witch’s ominous prediction. The next day the prophecy was fulfilled: the battle was lost and the King took his own life shortly afterwards.

Dr John Dee. The original 007 and confidant of Queen Elizabeth I.

Thankfully not all interactions between great leaders and soothsayers have ended in disaster. The reign of Queen Elizabeth I is now celebrated as a golden age of British history, and perhaps this can be credited in no small part to the travails of the enigmatic Dr John Dee. Highly regarded throughout Europe as one of the most learned men of his age, it is believed that Dee provided Shakespeare with the inspiration for Prospero in his final play The Tempest. He was a trusted confidant of the Queen and used the number 007 (later to be adopted by Ian Fleming for his fictional character James Bond) when serving as a spy for the Crown. Dee possessed a deep knowledge of the occult arts and was said to have conversed with angelic beings from another dimension. He foresaw the coming of a great British Empire and provided Sir Francis Drake with tactical advice on how to defeat the mighty Spanish Armada in 1588. It is said that he may even have used his magical powers to summon the storm which assisted Her Majesty’s fleet.

Aleister Crowley. Most people are still unaware of his work as a British spy.

The English occultist and self styled ‘Great Beast 666’ Aleister Crowley gained notoriety during the early twentieth century and revelled in his sobriquet of the ‘Wickedest Man in the World’. But was Crowley really so wicked? In recent years academics have begun to appreciate that he may in fact have been a misunderstood genius. Crowley was also a secret agent who worked with British intelligence during both world wars. Whilst masquerading as a German sympathiser in New York during the early years of World War One, Crowley secretly lobbied to ensure that the USA came into the war on the side of the British Empire. Crowley’s close connections with occult groups in Germany during the 1930s naturally made him a person of interest for MI5. The Nazi’s obsession with the occult is well documented and Ian Fleming (the creator of James Bond who then worked with British Naval Intelligence) contacted Crowley in order to entice Rudolf Hess (deputy Fuhrer and a man with a deep interest in the occult) to come to the UK. Hess’s ill-fated clandestine flight to Scotland in 1941 soon followed and was said to have had a devastating impact upon Hitler when he learnt of this betrayal. It is widely believed that Crowley used his mysterious influence to draw him to the UK in order to discuss possible peace negotiations.

The mysterious Wolf Messing who amazed Josef Stalin.

The cessation of hostilities in 1945 would pave the way for a new world order and the dawning of the Cold War era. A tense stand-off between the two major Super Powers naturally intensified the covert activities of intelligence agencies across the globe. The campaign to identify and utilise people who exhibited extra sensory perception and psychic abilities would unearth some exceptional individuals. One such person was the Polish entertainer Wolf Messing who came into the orbit of the KGB (the Russian secret intelligence agency). Messing had been amazing audiences throughout Europe for many years before being forced to flee to the USSR during the Second World War. His ability to influence the thoughts of others, read minds and cast accurate predictions became legendary in Soviet Russia. Josef Stalin was said to have been mesmerised by his incredible talents and it is widely believed that Messing assisted the KGB during the post-war years.

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Jonathan Margolis’ recent publication.

In the early 1970s Uri Geller was invited to a meeting with Wolf Messing in Berlin. The Polish master was clearly amazed by the young Israeli’s amazing talents as well as the fact that Geller is a distant relative of Sigmund Freud (who Messing had mesmerised alongside Albert Einstein many years before). The exchange shared between the two men will perhaps forever remain classified, but it is a great testimony to the respect Messing had for Geller that he chose to divulge the secret techniques he used to perform some of his incredible feats.

As the world enters an era of political uncertainty, Uri looks certain to remain very busy.

Thus, it could readily be argued that governments and leaders who do not take the powers of the unseen seriously do so at their peril. Indeed, with Brexit negotiations looming and some challenging times ahead, perhaps Uri Geller can expect a phone call from Prime Minister Theresa May very soon?

*Special thanks to Uri for his kind assistance with this article.

Recommended Reading

Uri Geller’s website: http://www.urigeller.com/

Uri Geller’s Little Book of Mind Power Uri Geller, Robson Books, 1998

The Secret Life of Uri Geller – CIA Masterspy?  John Margolis, Watkins Publishing London, 2013

The Queen’s Conjurer: The Science and Magic of Dr John Dee Benjamin Woolley, Flamingo, 2002

Secret Agent 666: Aleister Crowley, British Intelligence and the Occult Richard Spence, Feral House, 2008

Aleister Crowley: The Beast in Berlin Tobias Churton, Inner Traditions, 2014

Wolf Messing: The True Story of Russia’s Greatest Psychic Tatiana Lungin, Glagoslav Publications, 2014

The author of the article is David Fox, a professional entertainer and freelance writer based in the UK. Visit David’s website at: www.magician-midlands.co.uk

Wolf Messing: The Man Who Mesmerised Stalin. Clairvoyant or Conjurer?

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‘The future shapes itself from the past and the present, and there are certain models or bonds between.’

Adolf Hitler placed a 200,000 Reichsmark bounty upon his head, Josef Stalin was mesmerised by his extraordinary talents, and Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein were baffled by his telepathic abilities. He gained an international reputation as a psychic entertainer par excellence and enjoyed celebrity status in the former Soviet Union. The legend of Wolf Messing continues to mystify and astound, but why are so few people in the West aware of this incredible individual?

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Messing’s performances were legendary in both pre-war Europe and Soviet Russia

Messing was born in Poland in 1899 into a respectable middle class Jewish family, and from an early age he exhibited extraordinary talents: an uncanny ability to predict future events, divine the thoughts of others, and find concealed items. But it was Messing’s curious capability to inexplicably influence the actions of friends, relatives and neighbours which caused the most amazement. The eccentric young man eventually defied his parent’s wishes to become a rabbi and travelled west to Berlin to seek his fortune.

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Messing is said to have amazed both Einstein and Freud with telepathy.

Prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, Messing toured extensively with a circus and quickly established himself as a sensational showman. Audiences throughout Europe marvelled at what appeared to be genuine feats of telepathy, psychic ability and clairvoyance. His act was unique and clearly very different from that of a classic conjurer or illusionist. Indeed, Messing’s famous meeting with Freud and Einstein illustrates this fact. Both men were extremely curious about his purported ability to read minds and they set him a task. Freud would attempt to transmit a thought to Messing and he would then have to reveal this. The Polish man of mystery successfully completed the task by leaving the room, collecting a pair of tweezers, and returning to pluck a hair from Einstein’s moustache – which was exactly what Freud had ‘willed’ him to do! However, as Messing’s star was rising, so too was the tyranny of the Third Reich, and he was forced to return to his homeland.

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Hitler was said to be wary of Messing and the Nazis placed a bounty upon his head.

 ‘If Hitler declares war in the east, his death awaits him.’

Messing’s potent prediction did not endear him to the Fuhrer and, after the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939, he was hunted down by the Gestapo. Nonetheless, sanctuary would be found to the east and, after crossing the Russian border, Messing received a summons from the Man of Steel himself. Having escaped the brutality of Hitler, he was now faced with the prospect of a precarious meeting in Moscow with Josef Stalin. Mercifully, the Russian leader was deeply impressed and intrigued by his now legendary status – not to mention his captivating performances. He decided to set the Pole a task to prove he truly had the ability to influence the thoughts of others…

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Stalin was amazed by Messing’s extraordinary feats and apparent psychic abilities.

On a typically bitter Moscow morning, Messing answered a brusque knock on his apartment door to be greeted by the ominous figures of two secret police officers. He was then tersely ordered to rob 100,000 roubles from a bank using only his powers of suggestion and influence. Stalin had devised a seemingly impossible test. Nonetheless, never a man to shirk from a challenge, Messing accepted the task and promptly proceeded to relieve the bank of this massive sum. Somehow he managed to convince the teller that the blank piece of paper he presented was in fact an ‘official document’ which authorised the gargantuan transaction. Stalin was amazed and invited Messing to visit him at his dacha (country retreat) on the outskirts of Moscow.

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Stalin’s dacha was heavily fortified but Messing defied the odds and mysteriously appeared in the Soviet leader’s study.

One of the most heavily fortified places on the face of the planet during this period, and until his death in 1953 – Stalin’s dacha was an impregnable citadel. A perimeter fence was manned constantly, and no fewer than 300 agents of the NKVD (later to be the KGB) prowled the compound ensuring maximum safety for their leader. Indeed, Stalin seldom left his office in the heart of the complex and was profoundly bewildered when Wolf Messing mysteriously materialised in his study unannounced. The Soviet leader was in awe of the Polish wizard and demanded to know how he had achieved the unachievable. Messing calmly explained how he had used his powers of suggestion to convince Stalin’s guards that he was in fact Bera (the head of the secret police). Clearly they had believed him and some accounts state that this sensational feat would earn Messing a commission working for the NKVD. However, he would refute this claim in his biography in later life. Legend has it that he taught the officers of the Soviet secret police the dark arts of telepathy, mind-reading and psychological influence, but Messing dismissed this forcefully as nonsense to his biographer Tatiana Lungin.

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Messing had visions of Russian tanks entering Berlin during the early years of conflict and successfully predicted the date the war ended.

 ‘The war will end on 9th May 1945’

Messing was famous for his predictions, but the one he made in Novosibirsk on 7th March 1944 would cement this reputation. The war did indeed end on the day he said after the cessation of German military operations at 23.01 on 8th May 1945. He had also spoken of having visions of Russian tanks in Berlin throughout the early years of Operation Barbarossa. Messing was now celebrated as a national icon, and would also gain a reputation beyond the Iron Curtain, proudly claiming prominent post-war admirers such as Mahatma Ghandi and Marilyn Monroe. Stalin’s favourite psychic continued to tour and amaze audiences until his death in 1974.

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Wolf Messing claimed to have the ability to see the future and that science could not currently explain this.

Messing’s phenomenal life-story is surely just as astonishing as the incredible feats he is reported to have performed on-stage. There are many Russians today who still believe that he was a true mystic who was blessed with some sort of preternatural power. However, sceptics would argue that his act consisted of effects which are very much the stock-in-trade of mentalists and magicians. Indeed, contemporary entertainers readily convince audiences that they can predict future events, read minds and influence actions. Was Wolf Messing genuinely a man with a wonderful psychic capability? Or was he merely a highly talented magician/mentalist who managed to dupe one of the most powerful dictators the world has ever known? To this day much of his life remains a mystery and there are said to be secret KGB files concerning his famous talents which have yet to be disclosed to the public…

For a documentary click the link: Wolf Messing Psychically Robs a Bank.

The author of the article is David Fox. A professional magician and freelance writer who is based in the UK. For more details, visit his website at: http://www.magician-midlands.co.uk

‘Wolf Messing: The True Story of Russia’s Greatest Psychic’ by Tatiana Lungin is available from Glagoslav Publications