Volume 10, Issue 1, page 5

A Hard-Boiled Look at Seership
THE DOOR TO TAE FUTURE, by Jess Stearn. 327
pp., $11.50. Doubleday & Co., New York, A.Y.

OR A PERSON professing so much skepticism in "fortune telling", Jess
Stearn, calling himself a hard-boiled
newspaper man (meaning, we suppose,
someone not easily fooled), has had
a lot of "future" predicted for him --
not only his own but of his friends.

And tho this strain of skepticism is
injected anew thruout "The Door to
the Future", the reader can see that
the author is being convinced (against
his will, of course), that Pope Benedict
XIV wasn't being as objective as he might
when he said, "The gift of prophecy occurs
in fools, idiots, and melancholy persons".

And they're all there -- well, most of them.
Jeane Dixon, Edgar Cayce, Peter Hu ikos, Nostradamus, Arthur Ford, Mother Shipton -- even
the Jesus of the Bible. Not only what they
said about the past that DID happen, but what
they've promised for the future. And some of
it isn't good.

For example, Jeane Dixon, known as the
"Capital (Washington, D. C.) soothsayer". who
predicted the death of F. D. Roosevelt when he
was serving his fourth term, foresaw Dag Hammarskjold's death in an airplane crash, and
has a long chain of other successes to her
credit. Mrs. Dixon, who has predicted correctly
every presidential election in the last 20
years, has been less quoted on the following:
Nixon would receive the most votes in 1960, but
not all his votes would be counted; that the
successful Democratic candidate would be assassinated, or die during his first term; that
Russia would win the space race; Russia will
dictate the peace; Khruschev, when he goes,
will "disappear quickly". Some big pills to
swallow, but so were some of those that already are history.

But there are other doleful forecasts that
have been "seen" by seers other than Mrs. Dixon
-- the destruction of New York, preceded by that
of Los Angeles and San Francisco, was predicted
by Edgar Cayce, "the sage of Virginia Beach".
Unfortunately, Cayce never was asked by what
means this destruction was to occur -- only that
New York's demise was set roughly for 1998.
And this is a year prior to the space war of
July, 1999, seen by Nostradamus several centuries before Cayce even existed. However,
there are unkind persons who say one can find
anything in Nostradamus, if he's willing to
juggle enough words and symbols. Steam seems
to go along with the interpreter Stewart Munro
Robb, who thinks the "Great Seer" has coded
most of the world's highlights up to the year
3797. After this, Steam (or Robb) sees in the
following verse, a revival of Christianity:
The body without soul will no longer be a sacrifice
Day of death will change to day of birth.
The divine spirit will make the soul happy,
Seeing the world in its eternity.

This reviewer thinks this verse, by itself,
proves as much as any of them that one can make
Nostradamus say anything. If the above verse
predicts a" revival of Christianity", then it's
a different Christianity than that preached in
the orthodox churches of today, in which death
definitely is not the day of birth; this sounds
more like metaphysics than Christianity.

Steam has devoted one chapter to "Astrology, Fortune Tellers, and Frauds" -- mostly astrology -- and confesses so much time spent visiting star gazers -- some at $25 for an hour --
that one wonders how he found time to get his
book written. However, he gives them the advantage of the doubt, and cites the numbers of
times he's learned that they could chart the
course of destiny. He even rehashes the story
of Hitler's leaning on astrologers for his attempted conquest of the world, but got rid of
the astrologers who warned him against his
projected drive against Russia.

As for the frauds, Steam writes, "Making
the rounds of the supper-club mystics, I learned
many diverse things about myself. On the very
day I was making a trip by air to California,
I was also going by sea to Spain. I was going
to be married this year, next year, last year,
and not at all. I was going to lose my job,
get a promotion, and I was going to live to 60,
75, and 84." Which served him right. If you
flip a coin often enough, you'll always get
both heads and tails -- probably equally. You'll
also wear out the coin.

There is a possibility, Steam points out,
that if this psychic ability to look into the
future/past/present with all-seeing eyes, is
developed, and accepted, it will completely
change our mode of life. How far would criminality get if someone can close his eyes, pick
up some dust from the scene of the crime, and
come up with full details of the crime, including the killer's social security number?
What nation could plot a surprise attack on
another nation if the warped geniuses in its own
particular pentagon/kremlin were having their
so-called brains scanned by a mystic who could
see all and tell all? And how long could a
nation's economy be strait-jacketed by strikes
if a mystic could tell, in advance, just how
much pressure the labor-management conferees
would stand before giving in -- to save face and
their own economic doldrums? The possibilities
of a complete overthrow of our hypocrisy-ridden civilization are stupendous. It might even
mean a new course in school on "How to be honest in spite of yourself".

But where does all this knowledge of the unknowable come from? Where does the psychic get
his knowledge of the airplane that's going to
crash next week, and who'll be aboard? How did
Jeane Dixon know President Roosevelt had only a
few months to live when he called her to the
White House for a "reading" -- which was something a majority of the voters hadn't been able
to figure out only a few weeks previously? And
why are some dreams so prophetic, while others
apparently mean exactly nothing?
And what about those of us who spend so
much time and money consulting seers and fortune tellers? Even if we learned of tomorrow's
events, would we do anything about them, or