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Burning Books And The Paranormal

In my recent article “Can Reading A Book Open A Paranormal Door?” I demonstrated that just reading a book on the world of the supernatural may cause strange phenomena to manifest. As a follow-on, I’ll share with you how some people have responded to such paranormal phenomena. It’s by burning the offending book. Thankfully, not quite Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, but you get the picture, right? In 1962, author-publisher Gray Barker released a now-largely-forgotten publication titled Bender Mystery Confirmed. It was a self-published follow-up to Bender’s Flying Saucers and the Three Men, which was also released in 1962. Basically, Bender Mystery Confirmed was a collection of letters sent to Barker by readers of Flying Saucers and the Three Men. Barker then put all of those many letters into book form. One of those whose letters were published in Bender Mystery Confirmed was the late Trevor James Constable, the author of They Live in the Sky.  Constable wrote to Barker:

QUOTE: “Dear Gray, It is difficult indeed for me, as an occultist with some firsthand experience of this field of UFOs, to sort out Bender’s journeys back and forth across the threshold line between the physical and the astral. A biometric examination of Al Bender would probably indicate similar things to what it revealed about certain other researchers – total inability to distinguish between events on two planes of reality.

“Bender’s honesty I do not for a moment doubt. His discrimination I would deem non-existent. It seems almost incredible that the man could relate the full story of the construction of his chamber of horrors in the attic in the way Bender has. This is what convinces me of his honesty. Nothing could be more logical, in an occult way, than that the invisible entities he invited by the preparation of this locale, should indeed manifest to him, and thereafter proceed to obsess him for a protracted period, using hypnotic techniques that brought the man completely under their control.

“As to the nature of the entities involved, it seems that my writings about the ‘imperceptible physical’ as source of many space ships, or so-called space ships, are only too close to the truth. Indeed, if Bender’s experience has any value, I’d like to suggest that it certainly illuminates a re-reading of They Live in the Sky. I don’t believe I know of any case quite like Bender’s, where a man seemingly oblivious to the reality and laws of the occult, brought upon himself the energetic attention of aggressive occult forces. Certainly, the man can thank some kind of Divine intervention for the preservation of his sanity – if everything he writes is true.

“Assuming that Bender has been truthful and honest, I would say that the lesson if his experiences is this. For the understanding of the UFOs and all the bewildering phenomena connected in this field, a working knowledge of occult science is indispensable. This lesson, driven home in innumerable ways since saucers came to mankind, is given new force with the Bender book. But few there will be who will heed it.

“It does not surprise me to learn of the various manifestations you report – in fact, an occultist would be surprised if they did not occur. The psychic lady in Cleveland undoubtedly provides enough prana [‘prana’ being a Sanskrit word meaning ‘life-force’], voluntarily or involuntarily, to permit the near manifestations of low grade entities drawn to her aura by her concentration on the book. The odor of drains and these occurrences in the toilet are old hat to occult students. It might give you pause to wonder just what you are setting on foot for some people, and undoubtedly drawing to yourself. Not for the sake of money did I suggest that you leave this kind of thing behind! The impulse to burn the book is mighty interesting. This impulse springs from the best kind of intuition. When the Fire Gods come, everyone else in the unseen departs. It’s as simple as that, so the lady in question would have been well advised to consume the book in fire, as her intuition so rightly prompted her. The lady who returned the book was also wise, if she felt that way. Send it back to its source – a sound occult system of personal defense, if no higher knowledge is at the individual’s disposal.” END OF QUOTE.

What Constable was talking about here – with regard to one reader burning her copy of Albert Bender’s Flying Saucers and the Three Men and another one who felt so unclean and infected after handling the book that she felt the need to mail it back to Barker – were other people who had written to Gray Barker and whose accounts Barker privately shared with Constable. This is not the only occasion on which someone has burned a book on the supernatural because they got a deep and disturbing vibe from it. One of those is “Lacy,” a flight-attendant who shared her story with me in September 2016. As I noted in my recently published book, The Slenderman Mysteries, Lacy – by her own admission – became very obsessed with the whole Slenderman phenomenon. To the point where, she claimed, she was even seeing the Slenderman on her laptop – as in manifesting before her. Lacy’s way of ridding herself of the skinny, tentacled, thing in black was to trash all of her files and to burn her copy of Robin Swope’s 2012 book, Slenderman: From Fiction to Fact.

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Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.
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