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Psychic in the White House

The life and times of Jeane Dixon, America's "national psychic", who advised presidents from FDR to Reagan and predicted the assassination of JFK

By Alex Tomlinson

FT243

History-minded tourists visit Strasburg, Virginia, for its 18th-century inn and Civil War battle­fields, but cannonballs give way to crystal balls at the Jeane Dixon Museum and Library, a monument to the pop prophet’s “life as a psychic, devout Catholic, humanitarian, real estate executive, presidential advisor, animal lover and devoted wife”. [1] [The Jeane Dixon Museum and Library at 132 North Massanutten Street, Strasburg, VA, has closed, but will hopefully reopen at a new locat­ion.]

Four large rooms are packed with Dixoniana. There’s antique furniture, tapestries, and Victorian statues from Jeane’s home, marble-topped tables covered with scrapbooks, autographed glossies of celebrities and politicians, many of whom she advised, and pictures of Mike the MagiCat, her telepathic pet. [2]  Dixon’s bed is on exhibit; a lacy confection that once belonged to Empress Eugenie of France, now person­alised with teddy bears and angels dangling from the canopy; the lavish Chinese bed in the room opposite was a gift from Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek. New Age music adds an “ethereal ambiance”, but there’s little that’s unambiguously occult.

A round table decorated with Triffid-like gilded candlesticks displays a series of cards explaining Dixon’s syncretis­ation of the Zodiac with the Apostles, [3] while surrounding shelves describe her best-known prophecies. Of the library’s many books, there are few about the paranormal, and these are ordinary works on Nostradamus, the Shroud of Turin, and Edgar Cayce; Dixon was not a scholar. Her crystal ball is displayed next to an article about health and astrology illustrated by “the Simpsons”, and considerable space is devoted to cat figurines, silverware, and a formidable collection of Catholic tchotchkes. There are BVMs of every description, from mass-produced gimcrack to a magnificent painting of Mary, Queen of Heaven, along with several portraits of Dixon. A formal likeness shows her looking saintly and slightly undead in what might be a shimmering nurse’s uniform, while the rest are saccharine, hallucinat­ory, or creepy.

The woman behind these images was petite and formidable. She was vain and chatty, had a weakness for funny hats, and started each day facing east while reciting the 23rd Psalm, before attending Mass. Dixon ate little meat, neither smoked nor drank, and according to museum owner Leo M Bernstein: “She was modest. She was ethereal. I didn’t look at her like a woman.” [4] Passers-by sometimes mistook Jeane for an angel or the Virgin Mary and she described herself as God’s messenger, a prophet in the biblical sense. She also cultivated her legend until the real person behind it became a mystery.


MISS PINCKERT AND MRS ZUERCHER
Dixon said she was born Jeane Pinckert in 1918, one of seven children of Frank Pinckert and Emma Von Graffee, German immigrants who settled in the town of Medford, Wisconsin. Herr Pinckert had a successful lumber business and when he retired at the age of 45 the family moved to Santa Rosa, California, where Jeane grew up. She was home-schooled by her parents and a European governess, received voice and polo lessons, learned riding from American Indians, and astrology from a Jesuit priest.

Her unusual talent first appeared as a toddler, when she asked to play with “the letter trimmed in black”; Frau Pinckert did not have such a letter, but one soon arrived from Germany announcing the death of a relative. [5]  The implications of this became clear a few years later when mother and daughter visited a gypsy camp.

The fortune teller inspected eight-year old Jeane’s palm and was staggered to see a Star of David and a Half Moon, chiromantic configurations that appear once in a millennium and signify greatness as a mystic. The gypsy presented her with a crystal ball; so, while other children were playing with toys, little Jeane was using crystallomancy to advise celebrities. A few years later, she fell in love.

James Lamb Dixon was a much older man and 12-year-old Jeane was heart­broken when he got married. Over time, she considered becoming a nun or an actress, and was playing roles like Mary Magdalene in The Life of Christ at the Holly­wood Bowl when James re-entered her life. He had divorced and began courting her, with Frau Pinckert acting as duenna. Pious Jeane had misgivings about marrying the divorced son of a Methodist minister but they received an ecclesiastical dispens­ation and were wed; Jeane doesn’t mention where or when, only that James gave her a five-carat diamond ring. The couple moved to Washington DC during World War II, [6] and Jeane Dixon, with her rich husband and influential friends, would soon be famous.

Sceptics gleefully picked apart Dixon’s predictions yet seldom looked into her background. [7] First, she was born in 1904, not 1918. Her siblings confirmed the earlier date, but Jeane insisted on 1918 for reasons that went beyond vanity. [8] Her real name was “Lydia”, which she denied, allowing only that her middle initial was “L”, and there were 10 Pinckert children, not seven.

The family lived in Wisconsin until about 1910, then went to Missouri. In 1912, Jeane attended La Grange School outside Carthage and in 1919, the Pinckerts moved to San Bernardino, California, where they operated a gas station and grocery store. Two years later, Jeane went to work for the Bank of Italy in San Francisco.

Her early life was unremarkable but one fact needed whitewashing; in 1928, Jeane married a Swiss immigrant named Charles Zuercher. [9] They were divorced and he died in 1940.

When James married Jeane (probably in San Diego in 1939), he was around 42 and owned several Los Angeles car dealerships, while she was an attractive 35-year-old divorcee who worked for him. By making herself 14 years younger, however, she effectively erased Mrs Zuercher.


THE WASHINGTON SEERESS

Washington was full of servicemen during the war, and Jeane volunteered to help entertain them with fortune-telling. She acquired a reputation as a seeress, which led to her doing readings for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1944–1945. Dixon visited the White House twice, crystal ball tucked discreetly inside the sleeve of her mink, and told the ailing FDR how long he would live, and that America should be fighting with Germany against the Soviet Union. There is no offic­ial record of the visits and staff members did not remember her being there, but Elliott Roosevelt said his father was interested in ESP and had discussed Dixon. [10]

After the war, Jeane lived the life of a Washington matron; she shopped, had her hair done, and attended embassy cocktail parties. James placed a rose on her pillow every morning (an artificial rose is there now), but he was “a stern taskmaster who expected her to be at his beck and call”. [11] Nevertheless, she chose their home, a four-story Victorian row house he didn’t want, and became Secretary-Treasurer of James L Dixon Realtors. She claimed that working in the office was James’s idea for protecting her from never-ending requests for psychical help, [12] but there were pract­ical reasons for being there.

Jeane was hired by the San Francisco bank for her “genius at figures and accounting”, [13] and presumably worked in a financial capacity for James in California. When it came to business, she was reputedly “tougher than hell, much tougher than her husband really”. [14]

Nevertheless, she still gave readings at parties [15] and branched out into other forms of divination (See “The Divining Mrs D”).

Dixon’s most impressive predictions are from the 1950s and 60s, when she foretold the launching of Sputnik, UN Secretary General Dag Hammerskjold’s plane crash, the deaths of three Apollo astronauts, and much else; she will always be remembered, however, as “the woman who predicted Kennedy’s assassination”. [16] Space does not permit a fair evaluation of her accuracy, but the JFK prophecy is a good example of how she claimed to experience looking into the future.

The countdown to Dallas began in 1952, as Jeane knelt before a statue of the Virgin Mary in the Cathedral of St Matthew the Apostle. [17] A radiant image of the White House appeared and the number “1960” formed above it; dark clouds spread from the numerals and dripped down onto the building like “chocolate frosting on a cake” [18] and a man stood there, “young, tall, and blue-eyed, with a shock of thick brown hair. An inner voice told her that he was a Democrat, and that the President elected in 1960 would meet with a violent death while in office”. [19] Then the vision vanished.

Four years later, Parade magazine reported that “for the 1960 election, Mrs Dixon thinks it will be dominated by labour and won by a Democrat. But he will be assassinated or die in office, ‘though not necessarily in his first term’.” [20] Kennedy was elected in 1960 and Dixon saw gloomy clouds and caskets over the White House.

In January 1963, Dixon said Kennedy would be dead before the end of the year. [21] By April, she predicted that he’d be shot, and, in October, that he would probably die in his first term. On 13 November, Dixon tried warning Kennedy that he would be assassinated if he travelled “down South”. [22] She told radio host Long John Nebel: “Something is going to happen to Jack this week” [23] and, on the 22nd, allegedly announced: “this is the day it will happen”. [24] A shroud she saw over the White House had darkened and she phoned Nebel to say that the President should not take part in any “political thing” in Dallas: [25] one and a half hours later, Kennedy was dead.

The funeral was held in the cathedral where Jeane had had the fatal vision. She watched on television as the president’s casket was placed on a caisson and saw:
“John Fitzgerald Kennedy dancing an Irish jig on top of it. He was happy and gay and free! The funeral procession moved slowly down the avenue with the President continuing his merry twirling… I saw Uncle Sam raise both his hands, as if pronouncing a benediction, and when I glanced back at the caisson only a fleecy trail of smoke remained where the President had danced.” [26] (Her visions have been criticised for “vulgarity”, [27] but they often resembled crude political cartoons.)

Kennedy made Dixon’s reputation, but other visions augured change for the whole human race. Jeane was lying in bed in July 1952 when a giant snake coiled itself around her and wordlessly communicated that she must look to the east for “God’s wisdom and guidance”. [28] Ten years later, another vision explained why.

On the morning of 5 February 1962, Jeane looked out her bedroom window and saw “a bright blue sky over a barren desert”. There was a pyramid, and the sun contained the patriarch Joseph who apparently directed the actions of Queen Nefertiti and her “Pharoah husband”, presumably Akhenaten. They approached carrying a baby wrapped in rags and the scene changed; the infant had become a man with a cross in the air above him that “dripped over the earth”. People of every race and religion surrounded him “in worshipful adoration” [29] and Jeane joined them till the vision ended, whereupon she presumably had breakfast.

Dixon believed that a descendant of the Egyptian royal couple was born that day to poor parents in the Middle East and that the “Child of the East” would unite mankind under a new form of Christianity before the end of the century. Several Christian writers saw the snake as Satan and the child as the Antichrist and concluded that, “the devil is using her [Dixon] to deceive the multitudes and to prepare them to receive the great delusion which is to come…” [30]  By 1969, she had taken up this interpret­ation, possibly to deflect criticism, and continued making predictions.

Journalist Martha Rountree was told that she would not live in her new house and it burnt down before she could move in. Jeane saw Marilyn Monroe committ­ing suicide, Red China invading the Soviet Union, and giant squid becoming “an inexpensive and very healthy food source”. [31]  One vision showed Negroes “being pushed by an underground force [Communists]” to seek “equal powers and jobs before they have the intellect­ual capacity and understanding to accept equal responsibility”, [32]  which makes uncomfortable reading on several levels (see “Jeane and the G-Men”).

MAKING A PROPHET
Newspaper columnist Ruth Montgomery worked with Dixon to write a book about her life and predictions called A Gift of Prophecy: The Phenomenal Jeane Dixon (1965), which sold 3,000,000 copies and made Jeane famous.

Dixon became a regular on television and radio, a popular lecturer, and the Gallup poll named her the 11th “most admired women in America”. Supermarket tabloids carried her annual New Year’s predictions, Jeane’s astrology column was syndicated and she hired ghost writers to produce books on everything from Jesus to cooking by horoscope (“I’m a Capricorn, my astrological foods… are beets, saffron, quince, and barley”); [33]  Ruth Montgomery was dropped. [34]

Apart from literary work, Jeane read excerpts from A Gift on a 45-rpm record, supplied predictions for the world’s first “Horoscopes-by-Phone” and, in 1968, Milton Bradley put out Jeane Dixon’s Game of Destiny: A Card Game of Numerology and Astrology. A message on the box informs purchasers: “All royalties received by Jeane Dixon from this game will go to the ‘Children to Children Foundation’ – a medical hospital for children all over the world.”

This wasn’t quite accurate. Dixon created Children to Children so that money from her psychic ventures would go to charity, yet the foundation’s mission was vague and its ultimate goal was creating the Jeane Dixon Medical Center. Plans called for a gigantic, wheel-shaped complex with an airstrip, petting zoo, and eternal flame, but a scale model was all that was built, [35]  and the organisation was run in an inept, self-serving way that produced the one real scandal of Dixon’s career.

Two articles in the March 1970 issue of Washingtonian magazine reported that 5,000 was collected between June 1967 and May 1972, of which 19 per cent went to charitable causes; the rest paid salaries and publicised its founder. Dixon tried intimidating the Washingtonian’s editor (“I know people who control billions, not millions”), [36] she threatened them with a 5 million libel suit, and brought one for million that was dismissed. The bad publicity soon faded and her name remained synonymous with precognition, not misappropriation.

Dixon appeared in numerous urban legends and repeatedly had to deny predicting college campus massacres, earthquakes, and that all women with pierced ears would die on 4 June 1968. Her name was also useful at the other end of the credul­ity spectrum.

Mathematics professor John Allen Paulos argued that belief in prophecy occurs when “relatively few correct predictions are heralded and therefore widely remembered, while the much more numerous incorrect predictions are conveniently forgotten or de-emphasized,” [37] a phenomenon he christened the “Jeane Dixon Effect”.


TWILIGHT OF A SEER

James died in 1984, but Dixon kept working. She wrote, supported conservative causes and advised the rich and powerful. In 1988, it was learned that Nancy Reagan had often consulted her, but by then the First Lady had switched to astrologer Joan Quig­ley, possibly because Dixon’s powers seemed to diminish with age. [38]

Jeane Dixon died of heart failure in 1997 and her ashes were scattered over Mt Rainier – but the story was not over.

After the 9/11 attacks, government terrorism archives were reviewed and it was discovered that President Richard M Nixon had met with Dixon following the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. She predicted that Palestinian radicals would soon be murdering prominent American Jews, and Nixon set-up a short-lived “counterterrorism committee”. [39]

It was an odd episode, even by the standards of the Nixon administration.

Radio host Barry Farber once said: “Keeping up with Jeane Dixon is like trying to nail a custard pie to the wall!” [40]  Summarising her life is similarly difficult.

Of the countless predictions she made, some were accurate, detailed, and corroborated by witnesses. [41] Parapsychologists never tested her abilities – God’s messenger doesn’t fool around with Zener cards – but describing her power in religious terms meant Dixon had to be saintly, which is why she needed to invent an appropriate biography. As the unthreatening and “very reputable” [42]  face of phenomena that many regard with suspicion, Dixon was the Billy Graham of ESP, [43]  providing supernatural help to the elite while being admired by the general public.

When values were being challenged, she defended patriotism, self-reliance and religion. JFK’s death was redefined as something joyous, and social upheavals were not caused by failures in civil rights or Vietnam, but the “organis­ational geniuses of Russia”. [44]  Dixon often predicted horrors, but in the end mankind would transcend its differences and create a utopia. Whatever Jeane Dixon’s shortcomings as a person or prophet, she was unique: America’s only national psychic.



THE DIVINING MRS D

Jeane Dixon’s most important psychical experiences were “revelations”, rare visions that communicated the will of God. They were distinguished by the clarity of their meaning, an accompanying sense of euphoria and the inevitability of their outcome. Ordinary visions, such as those she experienced spontaneously, or while meditating or crystal gazing, were more ambiguous. Once, while attending a wedding, Dixon saw coffins behind the bride and groom and assumed they were doomed, yet it was the best man and the groom’s brother who soon died.

Visions could be misinterpreted, but she claimed her predictions were corr­ect when they were made, “because she got [them]… through mental tele­pathy. ‘This is the way people feel right now,’ she said. But, if they should change their minds, then that would change the answer. ” [1]  Presumably this means that if a general were planning an invasion, Dixon would correctly predict that war was imminent; if he later changed his mind and there was no war, that didn’t make her wrong.

She was a famous astrologer but cast her horoscopes psychically rather than through traditional means. Medium­istic practices were regarded with disapproval and Dixon does not mention Tarot, but she sometimes asked people to shuffle a pack of ordinary playing cards (another gift from the gypsy fortune teller) before doing a reading; it helped her pick up their particular vibration. One witness reported that Jeane correctly diagnosed an illness by looking at a photograph; another said she cured his warts.

Her calendar was marked with good and bad days (five, seven, and nine were the best numbers, four and eight, the worst), and she might have done this for Nancy Reagan as well; Chief-of-Staff Donald Regan reported that the First Lady prepared a calendar for the president in which “Numerals were highlighted in green ink for good days, red ink for bad days and yellow ink for ‘iffy’ days…” [2]



JEANE & THE G-MEN

Jeane Dixon’s FBI file chronicles the Dixons’ long relationship with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

James and Jeane knew J Edgar Hoover socially, and the Bureau’s Washington Field Office “had liaison with the James L Dixon Company, which… rented property to Soviet-bloc personnel”. In 1966, however, Jeane asked to be “furnished material by the Bureau on an extremely confidential basis, which she might utilise in her speeches to combat the influence that “left-wing agitators are seeking to exert on the youth of the US”. Dixon did not want to be accused of being a mouthpiece for the agency, so the material would be presented “in such a manner that it cannot be attributed to the FBI”. [1] Hoover approved the request and provided “public source background information” about groups involved in campus disturbances. [2]  Four years later, she wrote to the FBI about a tenant who was operating “some sort of Communistic Press” [3] then phoned a few days after that, fearing for her safety.

Jeane was scheduled to speak in Greenwood, Mississippi, on 22 January 1970, when a telegram arrived from the “Greenwood movement” informing her that the audience would be segregated and asking for “verification of delivery” of the message. She interpreted the request as an implied threat from a “militant” and asked the FBI for protection, but they suggested she contact the Greenwood police department. [4]

The file also contains information about an attempt at blackmailing Dixon, [5] newspaper clippings of her predictions with discussion and comments by agents, material from the Children to Children Foundation, and suggest­ions that the FBI investigate Dixon (“this gal should be checked on”). [6] There’s a letter to Louisiana’s Senator Hale Boggs that explains how the Gideon Bible’s “daily bible reading calendar” links together the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy, the Rosicrucians, the Ku Klux Klan, the Masons, the Mafia, and Charlie Brown (Snoopy’s owner). Dixon is mentioned repeatedly since she has “marked all of our Democrat Leaders [sic] for murder or bodily harm”. And there are references to a manuscript, “PREMEDITATED MURDER BY PROPHECY, ANd [sic] Jeane L. Dixon, an alleged ‘divine’ prophetess plays a major role”, [7] which is not included.

A year later, Senator Boggs’s plane vanished over Alaska. Coincidence?


 
THE PRESIDENT'S ASTROLOGER

Jeane Dixon may have met US presidents from Roosevelt to Nixon and offered them friendly words of psychic advice, but it was Ronald Reagan’s years in the White House that saw presidential dabblings in the paranormal hit the headlines, much to the embarrassment of the Republ­ican party.

In 1988, former White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan, who’d resigned the previous year in the wake of the Iran-Contra affair, published his tell-all memoir For the Record, in which he offered an insider’s view of the Reagan administration and described bizarre goings-on hitherto unsuspected by the public, claiming to have “revealed in this book what was probably the most closely guarded dom­estic secret of the Reagan White House.”

The secret, according to Regan, was that the president was in thrall to an astrologer employed by his wife Nancy: “Virtu­ally every major move and decis­ion the Reagans made during my time as White House Chief of Staff,” wrote Regan, “was cleared in advance with a woman in San Francisco who drew up horoscopes to make certain that the planets were in a favourable alignment for the enterprise.”

The trouble had started with John Hinckley Jr’s failed assassin­ation attempt in March 1981; the President, despite taking a bullet, had escaped with his life, but when a traumatised Nancy was shown astrological charts that could supposedly have forewarned her that 30 March was going to be a dangerous day for her husband, she became a regular paying client of the initi­ally unnamed ‘friend’ who had drawn up the charts.

Regan claimed that from this point on the ‘friend’ enjoyed an alarming degree of influence on presidential affairs, leading to situations in which, if the stars were not propitious, the President could become a virtual prisoner in the White House, only allowed out to deal with affairs of state when Nancy gave the OK. The First Lady would, he claimed, change the timing of scheduled events, cancel trips and present her husband with colour-coded calendars (showing ‘good’, ‘bad, and ‘iffy’ days) and lists of times when he had to stay at home.

The ‘friend’ in question (initi­ally thought to be Peyton Place actress and newspaper astrologer Joyce Jillson) was soon revealed to be Joan Quigley, a Vassar-educated socialite turned stargazer and author of a number of books on astrology.

She’d known Nancy since the early 70s, and had offered campaign advice to the Reagans as far back as 1976. And while Quigley became the most notorious of the their astrologers, she was by no means the first. Jeane Dixon herself had advised Nancy before the First Lady had switched alliegance to Quigley, and before that, during their Holly­wood years, both Reagans had consulted the fashionable Carroll Righter, self-styled ‘gregari­ous Aquarius’ and ‘astrologer to the stars’ (who included Cary Grant and Marlene Dietrich).

As the full story emerged in the wake of Regan’s book, both Reagan and Joan Quigley denied that astrological advice had ever actually influenced policy, but Regan (whose relationship with Nancy was notoriously diffi­cult) maintained that Quigley’s power over the President had never­theless interfered with and impeded the effectiveness of the White House.

After the end of the Reagan presidency in 1990, Quigley claimed rather more credit for its successes, publishing a book called What Does Joan Say? – the question Ronnie would supposedly ask before committ­ing to any major course of action – and describing herself as “a very important part of this administration” who guided it through various crises and difficulties. It was even Quigley, rather than Reagan, who should be given primary credit for speeding the end of the Cold War: “I was rather heavily involved in relations between the superpowers. Ronnie must have listened to my advice. There’s no other reason to explain why his ‘Evil Empire’ attitude changed. He went to meet Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva in 1985 with a new attitude. I felt it could be very negative unless I changed his attitude.” DS

SOURCES: “Good Heavens! An astrologer dictating the President’s schedule?” Time, 16 May 1988; “The President’s astrologers”, People 23 May 1988;“Reagan astrologer is no longer silent”, Seattle PI, 23 April 1990.



NOTES
1 http://tinyurl.com/4v9ylj
2 Mike the MagiCat was the subject of a children’s book, Jeane Dixon’s MagiCat. Some saw Dixon’s affinity for cats as that of a witch for her familiar. President Harry S Truman had a cat with the same name.
3 She elaborates on the idea in Yesterday, Today and Forever, William Morrow & Company, 1976. Aries is identified with Peter, Taurus with Simon, Gemini with James the Less, etc. Pisces is both Judas Iscariot and Matthias.
4 “In Strasburg, A Medium Well Done”, Washington Post, 31 July 2002; http://tinyurl.com/3jzoyk
5 Ruth Montgomery: A Gift of Prophecy, Bantam Books, 1966, p18.
6 Dixon was a “dollar-a-year man”, a business executive who accepted a token salary for performing government service; he acquired warehouses and depots.
7 Much of the information in this section comes from Daniel St Albin Greene’s “The Untold Story of Jeane Dixon”, National Observer, 27 Oct 1972.
8 Denis Brian: Jean Dixon: The Witnesses, Doubleday & Company, pp147–148. When Daniel St Albin Greene was researching “The Untold Story of Jeane Dixon”, he received telegrams from Dixon’s siblings stating that she had been born in 1918. He spoke to Curt Pinckert before the article was published, yet Curt had no recollection of sending a telegram and confirmed that Jeane Dixon was born Lydia Pinckert in 1904. Did Jeane send the telegrams in her siblings’ names?
9 op.cit., Greene: “In January 1928, according to a marri­age certificate on file in Santa Ana, Calif., ‘Jeane A Pinckert,’ daughter of Frank and Emma Pinckert, married Charles Zuercher, a Swiss immigrant who had come to California the same year the Pinckerts did. The document says the groom was a 37-year-old ‘superintendent,’ the bride an accountant, aged ‘22.’”
10 op.cit., Brian, p198.
11 op.cit., Montgomery, p33.
12 Ibid, p77. Four years later, Jeane claimed that James wanted her to devote herself to charitable and psychic pursuits, but she felt that working kept her grounded. Rene Noorbergen: My Life and Prophecies, William Morrow & Company, 1969, pp26–27.
13 op.cit., Greene.
14 Harvey Katz: “The Jeane Dixon Touch (II): This Is No Way to Run a Charity” Washingtonian, Mar 1970, p49.
15 “Another merry time was had by 288 top Congressmen and government offic­ials who thronged a white tie dinner-dance tossed by former TV glamour-girl Martha Rountree and her publisher husband, Oliver Presbrey… 300 chickens, 150 lobsters and platters of flaming cherr­ies jubilee vied for attention with two dance orchestras and fortune-telling Jeane Dixon until well past curfew.” Sunday Times, Cumberland, MD, 12 Feb 1956.
16 op.cit., Montgomery, front cover blurb, Gift.
17 Dixon saw the statue’s face come to life in 1958 when the cathedral seemed filled with people of every race and religion in what she claimed was a vision of Vatican II. Presumably, the sculpture she referred to once stood in the Lady Chapel. If so, it was smashed by a vandal in the early 1980s and replaced in 1984 by an unusual statue that now occupies the spot. Dixon claimed to have a number of other visions in St Matthew’s including a fully materialised BVM, a pair of diabolical red boots that walked around a side altar, the apparition of the Zodiac that assigned astrological signs to particular apostles, and a wheel-shaped medical centre.
18 op.cit., Montgomery, p6.
19 Ibid.
20 Jack Anderson & Fred Blumenthal: “Washington’s Incredible Crystal Gazer” Parade, 13 May 1956, p12.
21 op.cit., Brian, p191.
22 Ibid, p60.
23 Ibid, p192.
24 op.cit., Montgomery, p11.
25 op.cit., Brian, p192.
26 op.cit., Montgomery, pp192–193.
27 Mary Bringle: Jeane Dixon: Prophet or Fraud? Tower Publications, 1970, p69.
28 op.cit., Montgomery, p174.
29 Ibid, p180.
30 Gordon Lindsay: The Myst­ery of Jeane Dixon: Prophetess or Psychic Medium? Christ For the Nations, 1973, p29.
31 Jeane Dixon: Yesterday, Today and Forever, William Morrow & Company, 1976, p424.
32 op.cit., Montgomery, p107.
33 Jeane Dixon: Jeane Dixon’s Astrological Cookbook, William Morrow & Company, 1976, p17.
34 Montgomery was the first of several unhappy collaborat­ors. She claimed that her editor and Dixon had press­ured her into writing the book (“Mrs Dixon… has been insisting that I write a book about her since 1960”), that the editor had removed most of the wrong predictions, and that commercial success had interfered with Dixon’s powers. Rene Noorbergen, of My Life and Prophecies, was “convinced Jeane is inspired by the devil.”(Brian, p145)
35 The model was displayed at the Jeane Dixon Museum. Circular layouts are often associated with visionaries, including Laputa, Atlantis, the City of the Sun, John Murray Spear’s circular cities, and Walt Disney’s plans for Epcot.
36 op.cit., Katz, p51.
37 “Dangers of Being a Nation of Number Numbskulls”, New York Times, 23 Jan 1989.
38 According the American National Biography Online, Dixon was godmother to Senator Strom Thurmond’s son and contributed at least 30,000 dollars to the Republican Party in the last ten years of her life. Some of the donations can be seen at: http://tinyurl.com/48tjh8
39 Helen Thomas: “White House Calls Book Vengeful”, Tyrone (Pennsylvania) Daily Herald, 10 May 1988. Jean Dixon was neither the first nor last psychic to become involved with presidents and their families. Mrs Franklin Pierce met with Maggie Fox, Mary Todd Lincoln engaged several mediums and her husband attended at least one White House séance. More recently, Mrs Clinton held “imaginary convers­ations” with the late Eleanor Roosevelt.
40 Michael Isikoff & Mark Hosenball: “Terror Watch: Nixon and Dixon” 23 Mar 2005, www.newsweek.com/id/48973
41 op.cit., Bringle, p136.
42 Denis Brian’s book, Jeane Dixon: The Witnesses, might be the fairest evaluation of her record.
43 J Edgar Hoover, quoted in an FBI memorandum from MA Jones to Mr Wick, 4 Feb 1966.
44 Jeane Dixon had long been associated with Billy Graham, especially by conspiracy-minded and lunatic writers. See “Billy Graham’s Active Role in Satanic Ritual Abuse”, http://tinyurl.com/3jf6es, and “Will Teddy Listen to the Prophet?”, Cedar Rapids Gazette, 16 June 1968.

THE DIVINING MRS D
1 “Miss Dixon: Door Open, But Can GOP Get In?”, Gastonia Gazette, 24 Oct 1967.
2 Helen Thomas: “White House Calls Book Vengeful”, Tyrone Daily Herald, 10 May 1988.

JEANE & THE G-MEN
1 Memorandum from unnamed Special Agent in the Washington Field Office to J Edgar Hoover, 28 Jan 1966.
2 Memorandum from Mr Wick to MA Jones, 4 Feb 1966.
3 Letter from Jeane L Dixon to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2 Jan 1970.
4 Memorandum from Mr DeLoach to TE Bishop, 13 Jan 1970.
5 Joe Beaird: “Psychic Jeane Dixon Was FBI Stooge”, 27 Dec 1999; http://tinyurl.com/4fjnbd
6 Letter from correspondent (name removed) to J Edgar Hoover, 16 Feb 1968.
7 Letter from correspondent (name removed) to Sen. Hale Boggs, April 1971.


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A glamorous studio portrait of the young Jeane

 

Dixon meets Nixon

 

Jeane with crystal ball and telepathic cat Mike

A saintly-looking Jeane in her official portrait. Photo by DR Shoop

 

The Divining Jeane Dixon

 

Jeane with parents and some of her siblings on their farm at Santa Rosa, California, 1919

Jean and Mike the MagiCat hobnobbed with all the stars, in this case Bob Hope

 

Jeane with Ronald Reagn

 
Author Biography
Robert Damon Schneck is a regular contributor to FT and author of The President’s Vampire: Strange-but-True Tales of the U.S.A. (Anomalist/Barnes & Noble). He collects odd and obscure Americana from the safety of his tinfoil-lined aparment and can be reached at presidentsvampire@earthlink.net.

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