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The Betty Book is a Masterpiece of “Spirit Writing” Literature Channeled by Betty White With Help From Her Famous Author Husband Stewart Edward White

Review by: KEN KORCZAK

Stewart Edward White was a popular author in his day. From about 1900 through the early 1920s he published some three dozen books, both fiction and nonfiction, and they sold well.

His first book, The Westerners, was made into a Hollywood movie. Eight of his books would get movie treatment. The majority of his work featured outdoors themes that explored America’s “vanishing wilderness.” He wrote about his personal adventures with camping, cabin-building, panning for gold, hunting, fishing canoeing, Alaskan adventures and hiking deep outback trails.

His writing made him the first to be awarded the rare designation of Honorary Scout by the Boy Scouts of America in 1927, a recognition also given to the likes of Charles Lindbergh and James L. Clark. He hobnobbed with such luminaries as former President Teddy Roosevelt. Many of his works were later adapted into TV shows for The Wonderful World of Disney.

It was in 1919 that his life took a strange detour.

Stewart and his wife were at a party where someone suggested they noodle around with an Ouija board, “just for laughs.” Stewart describes himself as a skeptic, but more so, just basically unfamiliar and uninterested with occult phenomenon and esoteric thought. His overall notion was that psychic phenomenon had “been disproven.”

A Ouija board for sale in 1919.

His party friends disliked the planchette normally used with an Ouija board so they substituted an overturned whiskey glass. No one was in a serious mood so they asked goofy, inane questions. They hooted with laughter and scoffed with derision as the Ouija board only seemed to be obliging them by spelling out absurd and simplistic responses.

At one point, however, the Ouija expressed frustrations with the party folks. It abruptly spelled out: “Why do you ask such foolish questions?” This intrigued Stewart White.

But there was another thing that caused Mr.White to become even more intrigued — it was the way that shot glass moved under his fingers. He was aware of the scientific theory that such movement was caused by involuntary motions of the hands driven by cues from the subconscious mind — what today is called the ideomotor effect — and yet, he had a nagging sense this wasn’t what was happening. He couldn’t shake the feeling that “some other force” was involved.

One other thing gave him pause. At one point, the Ouija started spelling out the name “Betty” over and over again. Betty happened to be Stewart’s wife. She was standing off to the side no longer paying attention to the party game. Her husband told her the Ouija was requesting her participation. Betty shrugged her shoulders and obliged. She sat down and put her finger on the shot glass. The Ouija then began spelling out over and over again: “Get a pencil … get a pencil … get a pencil.”

The small peculiarities of the Ouija party captivated Betty just enough to pick up a pencil a few days later. Yes … despite having little or no interest in the occult or spiritualism … she decided to go ahead and try her hand at automatic writing!

A rare photo of Betty White along with her husband Stewart Edward White.

Automatic writing is when someone writes down information without conscious intent. The hand seems to move on its own as it spells out words. The paranormal suggestion is that the writer has set his or her mind aside and is channeling information from an unseen agent, such as a spirit or nonhuman entity of some sort.

Those who lean skeptical say it is information percolating up from the subconscious, or basically the same ideomotor effect that drives the Ouija. There is no outside influence. This information is coming strictly from inside the brain of the writer — who is also probably just deluding him or herself, the skeptics say.

As for Betty White, she just put all theories aside. Neither she nor her husband proclaimed to have an agenda, no investment in any particular theory, philosophy or occult influence — and for some extraordinary reason — Betty began the fantastically tedious process of trying to make headway with automatic writing!

This was remarkable — because this effort can be elusive and banal in the extreme. And for what reward, exactly? It involves endless hours of sitting with a pencil poised over a sheet of paper and getting into a certain frame of mind — a state that would allow her hand to flow, to seemingly write stuff down as if the her hand had a mind of its own.

A 19th Century depiction of automatic writing.

I dare say 99 out of a 100 people … no, more like 999 out of a 1,000 people … who give this a try once or twice give up in abject frustration. But Betty persisted. She was able to generate just a few words and phrases at first. Later came more complete sentences. The information imparted by these phrases and sentences was just intriguing enough for Betty to soldier on. The interest, support and participation of her husband was certainly helpful.

Betty eventually reached the point where she could generate pages of material via automatic writing. She then graduated to what today we could call “channeling.” She sat back in a mild trance state and dictated by voice information coming directly into her mind while her husband wrote it all down.

But just with who or what was Betty communicating? Ghosts? The spirits of dead people? Some sort of super-intelligent disincarnate intelligence? It seemed to be the latter. It was through a suggestion of a friend that Betty and Stewart decided to call their unseen source “The Invisibles.”

That’s not what the nonphysical entities called themselves. Indeed, these beings who were so eager to speak through Betty were also highly reluctant to talk about themselves. The details about their own true nature would be “an unnecessary distraction,” they said. The information they wanted to impart to the human race was paramount.

Stewart Edward White

The Invisibles insisted that what they wanted to tell humanity was not just urgent, but “extremely urgent.” They said humankind had become lost is a miasma of trivial thoughts and petty pursuits They said that “thoughts are things,” and therefore, bad thoughts, negative thoughts and useless thoughts were doing great damage to the human condition.

They told Betty and Stewart that the dominant philosophy of materialism — that people were mere physical matter interacting with a purely physical world — was a dead end. They said humanity had become cut off from “a larger truth and reality” about their individual and collective existence — which they said extends far beyond the borders of the physical body.

They said the human brain was not merely a lump of meat acting and reacting to stimulus from the material world. The suggestion was that we had become convinced that we are mere biological machines, and that our reality ended at the border demarcated by the outline of our skin.

The Invisibles then imparted a vision of each human being as a much vaster entity composed of a nonphysical component that was just as real as the physical body. Although the Invisibles, Betty and Stewart all disliked loaded terms such as “spirit” or “soul” because of the religious baggage attached to these definitions, they nevertheless used them for the sake of convenience.

The Invisibles stressed the idea that a person’s “soul” was also a bona fide “thing with actual physical substance.” About this, Stewart  White asked them:

“I may be literal-minded. But I am going to ask whether this spiritual body as you describe it is a symbolic statement meant to convey a concept or whether you mean it literally as you describe it, as a material thing.”

The Invisibles answered:

“It is ACTUALLY MATERIALLY THAT in its own condition of health and development. It is flesh and it is blood.It may not be the same kind, but it is as real, as warm, as living as your own.”

At this point Betty paused to actually experience directly what the soul or spiritual body was like. After about a half hour, she offered:

“It is a pulsing, living body purified of organic frailty … durable, flexible, susceptible of more powerful action through susceptibility of sense.”

And so the majority of the information offered in The Betty Book is a kind of instruction manual for how human beings can expand their vision and understanding of themselves and get into greater touch with what is actually the larger aspect of who we are. Think of the physical body as the tip of the iceberg that peaks above the surface of the water — and the nonphysical or “spiritual aspect” as the greater, more significant and more important component of each individual person.

Tina Keller M.D., a pioneer of Jungian analysis.

The kind of information and instruction offered by The Invisibles through Betty is some of the most remarkable channeled material I have ever read. Every page is deeply substantive and intellectually challenging — this is anything but more of the same New Age pap offered since, say, the 1960s, when a resurgence of channeled writings began to re-emerge  into popular circulation on our bookshelves.

Even the great Swiss psychologist Carl Jung was deeply impressed by The Betty Book. Shortly after The Betty Book was published Jung gave a copy to his long-time associate Dr. Tina Keller, a pioneer in psychiatric medicine and psychoanalysis. Keller said she read an re-read The Betty Book and all of the subsequent channeled books that followed it. Keller said:

“Betty White, the brilliant woman who had accidentally discovered her mediumistic gifts, dictated to her husband, the writer and explorer Stewart Edward White, a long series of teachings, full of wisdom and salty humor, for practical application of living. They were communicated by different personalities of quasi-personalities whom the Whites called “The Invisibles” …. My own experiments, based on the books, proved this to be both true and extremely important.”

The late Jane Roberts and “Seth”. Roberts channeled the disincarnate entity to write dozens of books.

As for myself, I can think of no greater compliment to make about The Betty Book than it offers channeled information on par with the work of the great Jane Roberts, author of the Seth books. Roberts is the gold standard for intelligent and authentic channeled material, in my opinion.

Betty White’s information is far superior to, say, the healing advice and Atlantis predictions of Edgar Cayce, or the largely bland and vague pronouncements we get from so many of the popular psychic mediums selling books today.

There’s some additional information in the appendix that is fascinating. Stewart and Betty get together with some like-minded friends and conduct a series of experiments in which The Invisibles bring forth a variety of physical phenomenon to demonstrate their reality. This includes producing visible auras around the bodies of the participants. The Invisibles also conjured a series of “masks” which appeared over the face of Betty causing her to look like her child self. Other masks gave her more bizarre, exaggerated caricatures.

After the success of The Betty Book, Betty and Stewart produced several more volumes derived from Betty’s mediumship, the most successful of which was THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE released in 1940. This book sold so rapidly that the printers had difficulty keeping up with month-to-month demand.


I think it’s significant to note that the financial success of all the channeled Betty books was no big deal to Stewart and Betty White. They were fantastically rich and had been so from birth. Both were the children of multi-millionaires. Betty was from one of the most venerable aristocratic families of Rhode Island. Stewart’s grandfather and father made millions in the lumber business. Stewart and Betty lived an exciting lifestyle of globe trotting, yachting and exotic adventure. That means the old skeptic’s charge of “they were just selling sensational books to make money” cannot apply.

It’s safe to say that Stewart Edward White, his books and the metaphysical books he produced with Betty are largely forgotten today. Some of them were reprinted as paperbacks with sensational titles and lurid images in the 1970s. They were sold in airports and drugstore racks designed as impulse buys for folks with casual interest in the paranormal.

Whatever the case, Betty White’s channeled information eloquently edited and assembled by her talented husband deserve a prominent place in the pantheon of the best metaphysical writings ever produced.

NOTE: You can read The Betty Book for free on the Australian Project Gutenberg site here:  THE BETTY BOOK FREE

ADDITIONAL NOTE: You may be interested in my reviews of similar books, just click the links below:

AFTERLIFE CONVERSATIONS WITH KEN KESEY (AND OTHERS) BY WILLIAM BEDIVERE

THE GHOST OF ERNEST HEMINGWAY BY FRANK DEMARCO

GHOSTS I HAVE SEEN AND OTHER PSYCHIC EXPERIENCES BY VIOLET TWEEDALE

A VOYAGE TO ARCTURUS BY DAVID LINDSAY

APPLICATION OF IMPOSSIBLE THINGS BY NATALIE SUDMAN

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Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS

All NEW: KEN’S BOOK REVIEW SITE ON FACEBOOK: REMOTE BOOK REVIEWING

Author Fergus MacRoich explains “Why I Write” (VIDEO)

KEN KORCZAK:

As a book reviewer with a high “power ranking” at Amazon.com and owner of this site, I get about 200 to 300 free books per year from writer’s all over the world seeking a review.

Last year I managed to read some 120 books, and ended up reviewing about 30 of them. Less than 30 actually deserved a review, but my philosophy is to take the good with the bad — whatever the case, there is usually just a handful of all those books that vividly jump out and stand as something special.

One recently was FRIED CHICKEN, JESUS AND CHOCOLATE by Fergus MacRoich. (See my review HERE).

So today I thought it would be illuminating to take a closer look at a guy who managed to pen an exceptional piece of literature, Fortunately, Mr. MacRoich has made that easy by posting the following video, “Why I Write.” Aspiring writers everywhere, pay attention!

Author Steve Anderson enthralls with poignant stories of ordinary people in small-town Ohio

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Review by: KEN KORCZAK

There exists in America a special place where you’ll find a transition zone between two distinct cultures.

It’s a mixture of the staid, straightforward practically of Midwesterners with the wild, mysterious blend of the Deep South as shaped by the edge of the Appalachian wilderness. That location is southeast Ohio.

If a writer could capture the flavor of that unique mixture of Americana by telling the stories of ordinary people with a collection of short stories – anyone reading it would gain a certain deeper understanding of the American experience.

It would also be incredibly entertaining!

I’m delighted to report that Ohio author and film-maker STEVE ANDERSON has accomplished this subtle task with this collection of short stories titled: 1979.

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Steve Anderson

On the outside these tales would seem to be a series of coming of age “booze and boobs” vignettes featuring hormone-driven pre-adolescents and teenagers who are just waking up into a world where temptations abound – cheap wine, beer, sexy young girls, (and a few lusty older women), fast junky cars, cheap dope and the delicious discovery of that first kiss coupled with a daring grope of breast.

However, by design or accident, these stories deliver more than just surface-level entertainment. Let’s face it; each offering here is a little work of art. The writing often transcends the quality of being merely entertaining yarns to delivering that sense of:

“There is something real here that strikes a chord. I’m not sure what it is, but I can feel it.”

I can’t decide if Steve Anderson is one of those natural writer who is able to make stories like these just flow off his fingertips, or if he is one of those dogged writers, rewriters and revisers – but who cares? He writes extremely well.

Reader will quickly forget that some guy is trying to enthrall them with words because we’re swept away by each of these stories right from the first sentences, and before you know it, the story is done. Then you realize you have just forgotten that you were sitting in an uncomfortable chair squinting at words on a page because you were magically transported 35 years into the past to a small town in Ohio– it’s as if you lived a few visceral hours through the eyes and feelings of the characters.

I like writers who understand that if you just tell a story, everything else will take care of itself – and also comprehend the importance of character. Anderson’s characters pop off the page, alive, fresh and vivid, almost certainly because he based his creations on real people he knew while growing up in the 1970s.

I don’t want you to think what you’re going to get here is a lot of bland “Happy Days” nostalgia ala an idealized version of what life might have been like in 70s-era small town America. Anderson shows that, like the mean streets of Detroit, the tough hoods of New York or the gang infested barrios of Los Angeles – small towns can incubate their own festering brand of mean street cruelty.

With the cool gaze of an unflinching observer, Anderson regales us with sweat-inducing scenes, such as a man getting brutally whip-beaten with a metal car antenna; a tornado breaking the back of cow; wild-eyed southern boys pulling off the pants of a young boy in an alley and then meting out a tooth-knocking thrashing before they nearly cut off his testicles with a dirty pocket knife.

Yes, you’ll find sweetness and sentiment here, good times and laughs, but there’s also loneliness and boredom, betrayal and alienation, lust and violence – all part of an unvarnished look at the basic reality of life — delivered to your doorstep courtesy the pen of one … savvy … wordsmith!




Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of: BIRD BRAIN GENIUS

All NEW: KEN’S BOOK REVIEW SITE ON FACEBOOK: REMOTE BOOK REVIEWING

Follow @KenKorczak