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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Pike, Bishop James A. (1913-1969) Episcopalian Bishop James Pike became a devoted supporter of spiritualism, convinced by the spirit medium Arthur Ford that he'd been contacted by his deceased son Jim. In 1966, at age twenty, Pike's son had shot himself in a cheap New York hotel room. The bishop even wrote a book about the personal evidence that Ford had offered him to prove the contact, and various bits of “proof” he'd discovered himself.
      Pike was deeply impressed by what he described as “evidential” events such as one day finding a safety pin on the floor which was open at an angle which he said was exactly the angle formed by the hands of a clock at the hour his son had died. It is little wonder that Pike accepted everything else offered him to establish the reality of survival-after-death. One wonders what would have happened had his son died at six o'clock.
      Such persons often become interested in survival-after-death ideas when a loved one dies, as was also the case with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sir William Crookes. Pike was unaware of such advantages as the Blue Book and Ford's own personal research files, which enabled the medium to produce all sorts of apparently evidential material of a personal nature to support his claims.
      Pike died tragically in 1969 in Israel during a spiritual pilgrimage in the desert.

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