The Psychic Side of Winston Churchill

There is little doubt that the landscape of the free world would be significantly different if not for the presence of Winston Churchill. Without Churchill the ending of World War II may have ended with Nazi Germany remaining in control of much of Europe. Much has been written about Churchill, his steadfast leadership, unyielding courage and eloquence as a speaker. What you may not know about Churchill was his openness to psychic phenomenon and unique types of spirituality.

It is quietly acknowledged that Churchill utilized psychics and seers in his personal life, and, during World War II, he approved of the use of more ‘esoteric’ ideas to win a desperate war against Nazi Germany. Some historians feel that the real story behind England’s use of unconventional methods (such as clairvoyants, astrologers and occultists) by secret services and spy agencies such as MI5, and the rumored MI6, still remains classified or has been removed from the records all together. churchill Many feel that Churchill’s sympathy towards psychics and clairvoyants was due to Churchill himself having psychic experiences.

During the Second Boer War (1890 to 1902), a war between the British and Afrikaans-speaking settlers in southern Africa, Churchill was captured. He managed to escape and later wrote in his autobiography his escape was, "guided by some form of mental planchette (the pointer used on a Ouija board) to the only house in a 30 mile radius that was sympathetic to the British cause.". Had Churchill approached any other home likely he would have been recaptured and executed for escaping. Churchill himself, in his autobiography, would credit his escape and survival to psychic experiences.

Other incidents involving Churchill’s psychic intuition also came during World War II. During a dinner with government officials, at 10 Downing Street Churchill excused himself from his dinner guests, went to the kitchen and ordered the meal be set up on a hot plate in the dining room. Then Churchill ordered all the kitchen staff to evacuate to the bomb shelter. Churchill calmly returned to his guests and resumed the meal. And air raid occurred and within a few minutes the kitchen took a direct hit from a bomb. Churchill and his dinner guests were unharmed, the kitchen staff would not have been so fortunate.

Another time Churchill entered his limousine on the opposite side from what is customary. He remained seated on the opposite side of the limo than was typical for him, sitting directly behind the driver. On route, a bomb struck the vehicle, severely damaging one side of the car – the side were he usually sat. Both driver and Churchill were unharmed. Later, Churchill confessed to his wife that he heard a voice tell him to "stop!" as he went to enter the limousine, so, he went to the other side of the limousine, entered and remained on the opposite side of the car behind the driver.

During World War II Winston Churchill became linked with a number of people who were, or would become, well known in the field of the psychic phenomena and divination. After Churchill’s death, many more stories would surface about his links to the occult . For example: Maxwell Knight, head of MI5, was later revealed to have connections with Aleister Crowley (the founding father of modern occultism and creator of Thoth Tarot). It is reported that Maxwell Knight, Dennis Wheatley (who would later become famous for his fictional books on magick and the occult) and none other than Ian Fleming (who would later write the James Bond series) attended a seance sponsored by Crowley. It is has long been suspected that Knight, Wheatley and Fleming together with Aleister Crowley hatched a top secrete and successful plan to capture Rudolph Hess, Hitler’s second in command, but luring him to England base on Rudolph Hess’ interest in the occult. Additionally, both Churchill and Crowley were both known to be high ranking Freemasions in England.

churchill druids

Winston Church join Ancient and Archaeological Order of Druids in 1908

Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding is credited with saving England during the Battle of Britain (one of the greatest aerial battles in history where the underdog British found a way to beat back the vaunted German Luftwaffe). Dowding was also a devote follower of Spiritualism. Some have indicated Lord Dowding’s removal from being commander of the RAF Fighter Command was related to his affiliation with psychic mediums, possibly consulting them during the Battle of Britain. Some historians say Dowding and Churchill discussed psychics such as Joe Benjamin and Leslie Flint. Lord Dowding would go on to write about Spiritualism after the war. He and Churchill were said to be close until his removal from Air Command. Joe Benjamin would go on to advertise himself as "Churchill’s favorite psychic" in the 1950s. But, that may not have necessarily been true …

A little known book in 1997 was published call Churchill’s Witch detailing Churchill’s relationship with Helen Duncan, a Scottish psychic medium. In a strange twist of fate, Helen Duncan was imprisoned under the Witchcraft Act in England. Her crime? During a seance in Portsmouth, England in November, 1941 Helen announced that the HMS Barham had been sunk. The British military was keeping the sinking of the HMS Barham a secret.

Although charged with "claiming to possess magical powers", most historians acknowledge that Helen Duncan’s arrest and conviction had more to do with protecting military secrecy. Churchill called the whole incident, "tomfoolery". Critics claimed Helen learned of the sinking of the HMS Barham from some family member who had been notified privately about loosing a loved one on the HMS Barham. Supporters, and Helen Duncan herself, denied the accusation. Later, Churchill would become instrumental, with the assistance of psychic medium Estelle Roberts in having the Witchcraft Act repealed in 1951.

Historically, we know Churchill had a life long interest in the mystical. He joined the Ancient and Archaeological Order of Druids in 1908, likely a result of his being a Freemason. Churchill’s critics and political enemies often pointed to his association with ‘occult’ practices in an attempt to discredit his character. Yet, it was exactly this kind of esoteric background that served Churchill well in countering the Nazis threat. Few know that the Nazis had their own psychics and occult advisors. It was a program called the Institute for Occult Warfare and it was credited with some important Nazis successes before, and during, World War II. Churchill and his advisors knew of the use of occult by Germany and sought to counter it anyway they could. Dennis Wheatley would call it total warfare – which meant fighting militarily, intellectually and spiritually.

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It’s likely in today’s political climate that Churchill could be elected to government office given his open acceptance of alternative spiritual practices. Along with Churchill, we’d likely be denied the exceptional services of people like Lord Downing, Maxwell Knight, Dennis Wheatley and others who happen to find value in psychics and alternative spiritual beliefs … they just couldn’t pass the ‘political correctness test’. In the last 50 years or so, there seems to have evolved an intolerance for any elected official to consult with clairvoyants or even utilize astrology. Maybe Churchill (and the host of others interested in alternative spiritual practices who were pressed into service during World War II) were just all the right people in the right place at the right time. We do know that a free Western society would likely not exist without their service.

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Additional Resources:
Winston Churchills Psychic Experiences
Allies and the Occult
Occult Warfare
Mediums of WW2
British Occult Secret Service