Ruth Montgomery: Psychic Pioneer

With the explosion of psychic services and psychic related articles online it is easy to forget the unlikely psychic pioneer Ruth Montgomery, 1912 – 2001, who pre-dates the Internet and this renewed public interest in the paranormal. Ruth Montgomery was a successful news journalist after graduating Baylor University and Purdue University. Where many know that Ruth Montgomery was a pioneer in news journalism for women, being one of the few female reports in the political journalism field, especially in Washington D.C. from the 1940s all the way into 1969, others only know her as the author of some unique books on spirit guides and the paranormal. It is the combination of Ruth Montgomery’s twin successful careers, news journalist and psychic, that make her a unique and important figure in American culture.

In 1943, Ruth Montgomery would become the first woman reporter hired to the Washington bureau for the New York Daily News. She would be the only woman reporter invited to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s funeral and by 1950 would be voted president of the National Women’s Press Club. During Eisenhower’s Presidency Ruth Montgomery would travel as part of the press corp with Vice-President Nixon to tour Russia. Later in life, in a book ‘Hail To The Chiefs: My Life And Times With Six Presidents’, she would recount her time in Washington D.C. covering politics and six U.S. Presidents.

So, as you can see, becoming a psychic was never in Ruth Montgomery’s personal plans. She considered herself a Christian and, to all indications, only had a mild interest in the spiritual and was skeptical of the paranormal field. This began to change around 1952 when Ruth Montgomery began writing an annual column on the predictions of astrologer and psychic Jeane Dixon. Ruth Montgomery In 1956 Jeane Dixon, in a Parade Magazine article, would predicted John F. Kennedy’s death in office. It was reported that Nixon followed Jeane Dixon’s predictions through his secretary and eventually would meet with Nixon in the oval office in the 1970s (it was Jeane Dixon’s predictions of terrorist attacks in America that seem to prompt President Nixon to create a cabinet committee on counter terrorism). Later, Jeane Dixon would be one of the astrologers consulted by President Reagan’s wife, Nancy. Around 1958, it is said that Ruth Montgomery’s curiosity about psychic phenomena prompted her to write a series of articles skeptical of the psychic and paranormal field, but her perspective was beginning to evolve.

In 1962, Ruth Montgomery would publish the book ‘Once There was a Nun: Mary McCarran’s Years as Sister Mary Mercy’ revealing a deep interest in religion and spirituality. In 1965 Ruth would publish her best seller ‘A Gift of Prophecy’ which was about Jeane Dixon. It was with the publication of ‘A Search For Truth‘, an often overlooked and under appreciated book, that Ruth Montgomery dives into the paranormal and psychic field. Originally, ‘A Search For Truth’ was to be a book debunking psychics and the paranormal as Ruth Montgomery herself was skeptical of the psychic field. The material she’d collected contained information on supposedly paranormal experiences by some of Washington’s elite and other celebrities. The story goes that a spirit guide advised her not to go that direction. Working with noted psychic medium Author Ford, Ruth began experimenting with ‘automatic writing and soon took another approach towards ‘A Search For Truth’. The book became an exploration of the unexplained and how that exploration changed her. By 1969, Ruth Montgomery had retired from Washington journalism and her psychic career seems to have begun.

It is important to remember that from 1960 through the 1970s America was undergoing a cultural revolution, the effects of which can still be felt today. An often overlooked aspect of the ’60’s revolution’ was the spiritual exploration that was occurring on many levels. People were far more open to new ideas on spirituality, and many were looking for better answers than they had been provided by parents, schools and traditional churches. Into this mix came Ruth Montgomery, a noted Washington journalist no less, with first a book on a nun; then about a noted psychic; and then with ‘A Search For Truth’ an exploration of the paranormal and a unique way of looking at life and spirituality. Though not a best seller at the time, ‘A Search For Truth’ sets the stage for the rest of Ruth Montgomery’s books, establishing her as a psychic in her own right.

What attracted many to her books was Ruth’s honesty. She was not part of traditional spirituality, neither East nor West, and, like ‘Edgar Cayce before her, remained primarily a Christian in her beliefs and felt she was only exploring spiritually beyond the confines of religion … all the readers were just along for the ride. And, that ride would take readers into spirit guides, the afterlife, the Akashic records, psychic healing, reincarnation, predictions and the introduction of ‘walk-ins’ (souls who take over another’s incarnation in order to serve the highest good).

Between 1968 and 1996, Ruth Montgomery would write a string of popular books written by her and her spirit guides (through automatic writing). As if to debunk that she had lost her rational faculties, in 1970, she would write ‘Hail To The Chiefs: My Life And Times With Six Presidents’ about her 25 years covering Washington. But, it was her books on the paranormal during this time (Companions Along the Way, A World Beyond, Born to Heal, Companions Along the Way, The World Before, Strangers Among Us, Threshold to Tomorrow and Aliens Among Us) that would create millions of fans and admires. Although some claim that Ruth Montgomery was a ‘spokesman’ for the New Age movement, much of Ruth Montgomery’s works pre-date the term ‘New Age’. However, it is not difficult to see how she is helped pave the way for the New Age movement.

What makes Ruth Montgomery stand out as a psychic pioneer is that she never intended to become a psychic, let alone a spokesperson for the spirituality of psychics. She did seem to want to bring the paranormal into the light and let people judge for themselves the concept of life after death and spirituality without a religious structure while not rejecting religion altogether. Although many skeptics and critics would love to dismiss anyone who claims clairvoyant or psychic abilities (and even believes such abilities are possible), it is hard to just openly dismiss someone like Ruth Montgomery.

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