Gary riffs on one of his favorite side-topics: spiritual manipulation and magic.

Jeane Dixon, astrologer and alleged “psychic,” became famous when she supposedly predicted that John F. Kennedy would be assassinated sometime during either his first or second term of office. It was in 1952 that Dixon claimed that “the 1960 election… will be dominated by labor and won by a Democrat. But he will be assassinated or die in office ‘though not necessarily in his first term.’” Dixon’s prophecy was repeated “to investigative reporter Jack Anderson, who published it in Parade magazine” in the May 13, 1956 issue.[1] She didn’t name anybody in particular but simply said it was going to be a Democrat. That’s a 50/50 chance, since the two-party system in the United States almost guarantees that the president is going to be a Democrat or a Republican. This was hardly a prescient prediction for someone who came to be known as the queen of prognostication.[2]

Like any good counterfeit prophet, Dixon did some research and played the odds. “[S]he merely employed the well-known 20-year cycle that every president elected in an even decade year since 1840 died in office.”[3] The 1934 edition of Ripley’s Believe It or Not includes a chart that shows the so-called twenty-year presidential curse. Beginning with William Henry Harrison in 1840, every president elected every twenty years since 1840 had died in office: Abraham Lincoln in 1860, James Garfield in 1880, William McKinley in 1900, Warren G. Harding in 1920, and of course, Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1940.[4] Based upon this historical curiosity, a person could postulate that the same thing was going to happen to whoever was elected president in 1960. Ronald Reagan broke the cycle in 1980, although there was an attempt on his life.

People believe or remember only those things that the “prophet” gets right. They don’t normally go back to check what predictions failed to come to pass. Dixon was wrong more times than she was right. “Among her failed predictions: a world war started by Red China in 1958; Russia to be the first to put a man on the moon and a stunning wave of suicides in the U.S. She also stated repeatedly that President Nixon had ‘excellent vibes’ and would be remembered as one of the great modern presidents.”[5]

Dixon claimed to have received a divine vision on February 5, 1962, about a coming world religious-political ruler: “A child, born somewhere in the Middle East shortly before 7 A.M. (EST) on February 5, 1962, will revolutionize the world. Before the close of the century [the 20th century] he will bring together all mankind in one all-embracing faith. This will be the foundation of a new Christianity, with every sect and creed united through this man who will walk among the people to spread the wisdom of the Almighty Power… Mrs. Dixon claims that this man’s influence will be felt in the early 1980s and that by 1999, the ecumenical religion will be achieved.”[6] In addition to getting this one very wrong, she also failed to predict her death in 1997.

Thinking Straight in a Crooked World

Thinking Straight in a Crooked World

The nursery rhyme ‘There Was a Crooked Man’ is an appropriate description of how sin affects us and our world. We live in a crooked world of ideas evaluated by crooked people. Left to our crooked nature, we can never fully understand what God has planned for us and His world. God has not left us without a corrective solution. He has given us a reliable reference point in the Bible so we can identify the crookedness and straighten it.

Buy Now

Gary riffs on one of his favorite side-topics: spiritual manipulation and magic. 19th century “spiritual photographer” William Mumler provides the entry-point into the discussion. Harry Houdini, Andre Kole, Danny Korem, Penn and Teller and many others have devoted a large part of their lives to proving that spiritual manipulators are simply using tricks and illusions to convince the gullible of their “mystical” powers.

Click here for today’s episode

Click here to browse all episodes of The Gary DeMar Podcast

[1] David Wellechinsky, Amy Wallace, and Irving Wallace, The People’s Almanac Presents the Book of Predictions (New York: William Morrow, 1980), 392.

[2] There are some who claim that “she predicted clearly that John F. Kennedy would fail to win the presidency.” Dozens of web sites repeat this claim but offer no original source documentation. No source is given for this claim in Terence Hines’ Pseudoscience and the Paranormal, 2nd ed. (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1988, p. 71). Hines quotes H. Tyler, “The Unsinkable Jeane Dixon,” Humanist 38 (3), 6-9. The same unattributed claim is made in Todd Carroll’s The Skeptic’s Dictionary (104). Since I don’t have a copy of Tyler’s article, I can’t determine whether he gives an original source for his claim. This is typical of so much of what passes as “scholarship” today. Cut-and-paste “research” is not much better than the predictions of Jeane Dixon.

[3] Bill Hendrick, “Believe it . . . or not,” The Atlanta Constitution (January 5, 1998), D1.

[4] Roosevelt was elected in 1932 and reelected in 1936, 1940, and 1944, and so he fits the pattern because of his 1940 election. He died in 1945 before he could finish his fourth term.

[5] Wellechinsky, Wallace, and Wallace, The Book of Predictions, 394.

[6] Quoted in Robert Glenn Gromacki, Are These the Last Days? (Schaumburg, IL: Regular Baptist Press, 1970), 90.