Bond, Frederick Bligh (1864–1945)
Ecclesiastical architect, archaeologist, and excavator of the
lost chapels of Glastonbury Abbey. Born June 30, 1864, at
Marlborough, Wiltshire, England, he was editor of Psychic Science
from its inception until 1926, editor of the Journal of the
Society for Psychical Research in 1930, and author of a number
of books based on automatic writing. Received mostly in
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Bond, Frederick Bligh
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conjunction with ‘‘John Alleyne’’ (John A. Bartlett) and Hester
Dowden, involved a form of dual mediumship in which Bond
provided the special mental contact.
His vocation and his studies of ancient abbeys apparently
predisposed him to receive a range of psychic communications.
The Gospel of Philip the Deacon was entirely different from the
communications habitual in Dowden’s mediumship. It is an
open question whether The Scripts of Cleophas, the first two sections
of which came under precisely similar conditions, would
have been received by Geraldine Cummins without Bond’s initial
mental impetus. The inspiring influences spoke of themselves
as ‘‘The Company of Avalon,’’ ‘‘The Company of the
Watchers,’’ etc. The bulk of the philosophical writings which
they inspired was published under the title The Wisdom of the
Watchers (New York, 1933).
Besides these and his own inspirational writings, Bond conducted
experiments in psychic photography with Ada E.
Deane (see Thoughtforms) and pursued various other lines of
research. He considered the survival of mind, memory, and
personality as proved facts. In The Gate of Remembrance he proposed
that the recall of the olden-time memories were due to
a cosmic reservoir of human memory and experience in which
the element of personality is preserved and welded into a collective
association extending through all times. This, he
claimed, would not only perpetuate individual character but actually
emphasize the force and clarity of its expression by enriching
it with added elements of a sympathetic nature.
Thus individual personality is, in Bond’s view, progressively
developed and perfected through the multiplying of its sympathetic
contacts. He outlined this conception of immortality in
a series of articles in 1929 in the Journal of the American Society
for Psychical Research. He pictured the subliminal consciousness
as a magnet that is constantly attracting other elements
of personality sympathetically linked with the physical
being of their host.
Hence we are all alike, sharers in the great life of the subliminal
world, and are an integral part of it, the only barriers
being our own intellectual and emotional limitations. The communications
are based upon sympathetic spiritual association.
Where this exists there will always be the probability of a recall
of the veridical memories of old and of their right translation
into language. But where no such spiritual link is present, there
is only the reflection of the personal subconscious mind of the
medium, and there will be no sure indication of the entry of a
really independent personality. This theory brings the extreme
psychological and Spiritualistic views into a well thought-out
harmony. Although it has been widely accepted that Bond’s
claim that psychically acquired information successfully guided
the discovery of the lost chapels at Glastonbury, some critics do
not accept the case as proved, maintaining that the Glastonbury
Scripts disclosed nothing that might not have been deduced
from existing historical records, as well as containing incorrect
statements. This does not necessarily impugn the
honesty of Bond.
In November 1927 Bond moved to the United States, where
he became educational director of the American Society for
Psychical Research at the time of the controversy over the
mediumship of ‘‘Margery’’ (Mina Crandon). Although at first
Bond endorsed her mediumship as genuine, he subsequently
expressed grave doubts; in the May 1935 Proceedings of the
ASPR, he defended the research officer E. E. Dudley, who had
been accused of tampering with the famous ‘‘Walter’’ wax
thumbprints. In effect, this clearly supported the claim that the
prints were fraudulent, and as a result Bond was dismissed.
Soon afterward he returned to England, where he retired to
North Wales.
Bond is sometimes referred to as ‘‘The Rev.’’ This stems
from the fact that while in America he was ordained as a priest
(1932) and consecrated as a bishop (1933) of the Old Catholic
Church in America by Archbishop William Henry Francis
Brothers.
Bond died March 8, 1945, in Wales. He left behind an unpublished
manuscript comprising claimed communications
from Captain Bligh of the H.M.S. Bounty, received through an
American psychic. Bligh was Bond’s great-uncle.
Sources
Bond, Frederick Bligh. ‘‘Athanasia.’’ Journal of the American
Society for Psychical Research (January–May 1929).
———. The Company of Avalon. Oxford B. H. Blackwell,
1924.
———. The Gate of Remembrance. Oxford B. H. Blackwell,
1918.
Bond, Frederick Bligh, and Thomas Simcox Lea. Gematria
A Preliminary Investigation of the Cabala. Wellingborough, England
Thorsons, 1977.
Goodman, Jeffrey. Psychic Archeology Time Machine to the
Past. New York Berkley Publishing, 1977.
Kenawell, William W. The Quest at Glastonbury. New York
Helix Press, 1965.
Lambert, G. W. ‘‘The Quest at Glastonbury.’’ Journal of the
Society for Psychical Research 43, no. 748 (June 1966).
Ward, Gary L. Independent Bishops An International Directory.
Detroit Apogee Books, 1990.