Archbishop Cosmo Lang, was the Church of England’s top expert on the supernatural during W.W. II. and an advisor to Winston Churchill and the war effort, among Churchill’s other occult advisors were Dennis Wheatley, Louis De Wohl. Dr Alexander Cannon and allegedly, Aleister Crowley.
That Churchill used astrologers and mediums for advice is well known, and advised by devout spiritualist R.A.F. leader Lord Dowding, sought out several well known mediums such as Joe Benjamin and Leslie Flint. But Churchill became the victim of one of Spiritualisms greatest frauds, which is said to have thrown him into deep depression.
William Roy, was the cleverest fake of all and the medium whose tricks are still used by fakes and frauds today. Born William Plowright at Surrey England in 1911, and always interested in conjuring, he married Mary Castle a nightclub owner, and watching back stage, he learned tricks such as mind reading and slight of hand, from those appearing. He also studied Spiritualism, and felt the bereaved would give him an easy living, and set up his office from home.
When people rang for an appointment, he would research who they were, in the newspapers, births marriages and deaths section, and notes kept from graves at local cemeteries, and an accomplice would call at their house on a pretext, and elicit information, and when they called at his home, an accomplice would take their bags and coat and ask them to empty their pockets, saying the contents would influence the medium.
The waiting room contained another accomplice who would chat to those inside, while a peep hole and ear piece, gave more info. He had a small microphone behind his ear, covered by ear long hair, and a copper rod glued to the bottom of his shoe, and when he stood on a rod inserted between the floorboards, contact would be made, and the accomplice would read from the bags wallets and coats, the personal information straight into his ear. He would scour the papers each day, and was bang up to date with the news.
Among those duped alongside Churchill was Canadian premier Mackenzie King. Leaders of show business and industry, and scores of the vulnerable and bereaved. The training of a medium takes many years and fake mediums are usually exposed by other mediums themselves, and Maurice Barbanell in 1955, with a dramatic front page article in the Two Worlds magazine, broke the news of his fakery that many had long suspected, but it was his confessions in the Sunday Pictorial, sold for big money in 1958, which brought out so much appalling detail, one of his ploys with widows, was to pretend he was speaking as the dead husband, and asked them to give him money to continue gods work for the bereaved, in one case he was given 15,000 pounds as a gift. The suicide of his second wife Dorothy, left him free for another prosperous marriage.
He set up again in another area as “Bill Silver, talks with god for you “ and again conned many consumed with grief from their savings. His death in 1977, meant that the Scotland Yard took possession of all his trickery, his memory cards, tickets, miniature microphones etc for their museum and training center, Many of the American T V evangelists use these same tricks today, to trick many out of millions.
Winston Churchill, along with Aleister Crowley were 33rd degree masons, there are 33 vertebra in the spine, and the degree initiations are said to awaken the chakras along the spine. So Masonic’s is as occult as it gets, yet Churchill who claimed psychic ability, was conned, here he was with Lord Rothschild, in charge of the war effort, desperately looking to fake mediums for advice. On his visit to medium Helen Duncan in prison, he swore her to secrecy but told her he was absolutely furious over the whole episode.
The government claimed that Duncan was prosecuted for being a fraudulent medium, yet said that she could give out real secrets involving the D day landings, how, if she was a fraud? Even by government standards this is total lying rubbish. Why were no other fake mediums prosecuted? Duncan was only prosecuted because she was genuine, and to silence her. The law on fraudulent mediumship is being changed this year, the changes are ill thought out, but public safeguards are very necessary.
T Stokes lecturer in paranormal studies
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