Bond, Frederick Bligh (1864-1945)

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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 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 Glaston-bury 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.


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.