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Loehr, Franklin (Davison) (1912-1988)

Loehr, Franklin (Davison) (1912-1988)

Clergyman and parapsychologist. He was born November 19, 1912, at Oskaloosa, Iowa. He studied at Monmouth College, Illinois (B.A., 1933) and McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois (B.D., 1936). He was ordained as a Congregational minister, pastored various churches, and served a period as a chaplain in the U.S. Army Air Force. While serving a church in Los Angeles, in 1952 he founded and became director of research of the Religious Research Foundation.

While pastoring in Los Angeles, Loehr conducted some informal research on the power of prayer to stimulate plant growth originally as a demonstration of the power of prayer for his church members. His book The Power of Prayer on Plants (1959) described the development of his initial interest into what became a three-year laboratory study. His work was later duplicated under rigorous laboratory conditions by Bernard Grad at McGill University in Montreal.

In 1958 he married Grace Wittenberger, a medium. He began research on her mediumship, in particular her past-life readings. These readings are concerned with claimed former incarnations of individuals, throwing light on their present-day personality. In this regard, Loehr coined the term "psychography" to describe the mapping of the past life influences upon the personality in the present. Grace Loehr's work was documented in Roy C. Smith's book, Incarnation and Reincarnation (1975).

Loehr's work at the Religious Research Foundation focused primarily on survival of death, about which he wrote widely. He himself became a medium and communicated with his colleague Henry Clements for four months after Clements' death in which the spirit entity minutely described the transition of death and the new awareness he received once established on the other side.

The work of the Religious Research foundation, Box 208, Grand Island, FL 32735, has led to the production of a number of books. Loehr died on July 10, 1988 shortly after his address to the first International Conference on Paranormal Research meeting in Colorado.


Loehr, Franklin. Death with Understanding. Grand Island, Fla.: Religious Research Press, 1987.

. Power of Prayer on Plants. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1959.

. Psychography: A Method of Self Discovery. Grand Island, Fla.: Religious Research Press, 1990.

. Science, Religion, and the Development of Religion as a Science. Grand Island, Fla.: Gnosticours, 1983.

Smith, Roy O. Incarnation and Reincarnation. Los Angeles: Religious Research Press, 1975.

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