John Van Auken is a well-known lecturer on the ‘readings’ of Edgar Cayce. He is a Director at the Edgar Cayce organization, the Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E) having been associated with the A.R.E. since the late 1960s. He is the author of many books dealing with mysticism and ancient mysteries. He co-authored with Greg and Lora Little, Edgar Cayce’s Atlantis and Ancient South America. The latter mentions Plato just once, while an article on Van Auken’s own website(a) entitled Atlantis & Mu (Lemuria) has Plato completely ignored, which in my opinion leaves him unfit to discuss Atlantis. The article has been removed since.
Even more disturbing is his association with the rather dubious ‘diploma mill’, The International Metaphysical University(b), considered by some(c)(d) to be fraudulent.
Some years ago Van Auken was challenged by William Hutton to give the references of the six Cayce ‘readings’ that he had referred to in a lecture. The readings did not exist and the best that Van Auken could do was claim to have “misspoken”(e)!
Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) was born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. He was reared a Christian and even taught Sunday school. He considered becoming a minister, but a lack of both education and funds prevented him from taking this course. The story goes that at the age of around 20, Cayce (pronounced KC) lost his voice and through self-hypnosis cured himself. He eventually found that he could cure others while in a trance and eventually his fame spread to such an extent that he was reported in the New York Times of 9th October 1910.
In due course Cayce’s trances were producing prophetic utterances or ‘readings’, that produced ideas totally at variance with his Christian upbringing, such as reincarnation and contact with the dead. During his lifetime over 14,000 ‘readings’ were recorded. In 1931 the Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.) was founded by Cayce to manage a depository of his ‘readings’.
Towards the end of 1944, Cayce became very ill and on New Year’s Day, 1945 he ‘prophesised’ that he would be miraculously healed of his illness. He died three days later. Arguably, an even more disappointing prognostication was his claim that Jesus Christ would come again in 1998. The Cayce Petroleum Company was another failure in the 1920’s when Cayce and his associates unsuccessfully searched for the ‘Mother Pool’ of oil in Texas based on some of his ‘readings’.
Robert Bauval in his Secret Chamber reveals that Cayce seemed to have had a photographic memory and worked for up to fifteen years in a bookstore where, no doubt, he had access to the works of Donnelly, Steiner, Blavatsky and others[p158]. The terminology employed by those writers is frequently used by Cayce in his ‘output’! His Reading 364-1(e) reveals quite clearly that he was acquainted with theosophical literature as well as other works of fiction such as A Dweller on Two Planets. It is, therefore, a clear possibility that this familiarity may have influenced his sub-conscious and his later prognostications.
A number of these ‘readings’ related to Atlantis and have been published in a separate volume, Edgar Cayce on Atlantis. He is most famously known for his claim that Atlantis would rise again in 1968 or 1969. Dr. Mason Valentine discovered the so-called Bimini Road. A suggestion that this underwater feature had been known to members of A.R.E., years before its ‘discovery’, has been made by Picknett & Prince in The Stargate Conspiracy.
John Gribbin, the British science writer has imaginatively suggested[1029.91] that “if Cayce was indeed perceiving the future during his psychic trance, what he ‘received’ was a distorted version of the newspaper accounts of this story, which he duly reported in his own words in 1940.” On a more scientific note Gribbin explains (p.93) that “we can say beyond that Atlantis will not rise again from the Atlantic floor – there is no continental crust there to rise”.
K. Paul Johnson has written Edgar Cayce in Context, a well-balanced book that investigates in detail Cayce and his prognostications. In 1922, Cayce gave a lecture to the Birmingham Theosophical Society. Johnson relates how one Arthur Lammers, a theosophist, stayed with Cayce in 1923, during which sojourn, it appears that Theosophy was extensively discussed. Around the same time Cayce was developing a friendship with one Morton Blumenthal, also an ardent theosophist. Coincidentally, it was in 1923 that some of Cayce’s ‘readings’ began to display great similarities with some of the views expressed in Madame Blavatsky’s ‘revelations’. A further interesting fact is that Alexander Strath-Gordon met Edgar Cayce on a number of occasions in the 1920’s prompting speculation that he may have ‘influenced’ some of Cayce’s Atlantis readings, an idea that must be considered a possibility.
Cayce added that the Atlanteans discovered electricity and also had ships and aircraft powered by a mysterious form of energy crystal. He tells us that these flying machines were made of elephant skins! (Reading 364-6)(f) and that they could also travel through water!
With all this technology at their disposal it is incredible that they could have lost a war with anyone, particularly the relatively primitive Athenians. The 17th century fictional work of Sir Francis Bacon, The New Atlantis, contains many references to advanced technology not realised until the last century. An encounter with this widely available work could easily have coloured any ‘readings’ while in a trance. Therefore, it would appear that there is sufficient evidence to suggest the possibity of ‘contamination’ of Cayce’s subconscious to throw doubt on the possible value of any of his ’readings’, without impugning the honesty of Edgar Cayce himself. Since the much-quoted prophecy of ‘Atlantis rising’ in the late ‘60’s is quite possibly the result of such contamination, it cannot be considered as evidence of anything. The Bimini Road itself is still the subject of controversy.
Cayce was also wrong regarding other historical details(d), such as the date of the biblical Exodus, which he declared to be 5500 BC (reading 470-22)(g), an error of about 4,000 years!
William B. Stoecker has written an article, which is highly critical of Cayce’s work(b). Nevertheless, it must be conceded that in one respect Cayce did offer one remarkable suggestion which claims that the Atlantean survivors fled to a number of locations (i) The Pyrenees – Home to the Basques (ii) Morocco – Berber country (iii) Egypt and (iv) North America – forming the Iroquois Nation. Coincidentally, the Berbers, Basques and Iroquois all share a specific DNA type(a).
In 2001, A.R.E. published Edgar Cayce’s Atlantis and Lemuria  by Frank Joseph. In turn, William Hutton wrote a review of Cayce’s offering, in which he concluded that “The foregoing review, while not comprehensive, shows that there is enough material in the book that is contentious, confusing or downright erroneous that almost anyone familiar with the relevant Cayce readings is prompted to ask, ‘How did this book come to be printed under the A.R.E.’s imprimatur?’ Why wasn’t the manuscript sent out to one or more competent reviewers for critical evaluation prior to being edited?”
Unfortunately, Plato is hardly mentioned at all by Cayce except for a brief reference to “the few lines given by Plato.” (Reading 364-1)(g).
There is also the report that David Wilcock, the conspiracy theorist, claimed to be the reincarnation of Edgar Cayce and wished to have a position in A.R.E., where he would also offering ‘readings’. He was questioned by Cayce’s son and grandson “for a little over an hour and quickly realized that he couldn’t answer a single question. They felt he was full of crap within minutes but to give him a fair chance they entertained him by asking him the questions that Cayce prepared while still alive to test the people who would come forward claiming to be his reincarnation.”(i) This daft idea was given further promotion by Wynn Free in The Reincarnation of Edgar Cayce? , which was written with Wilcock.
Another communication with the deceased Cayce is claimed by Leonard Farra(j).
>Forty years ago, in an article in Nature magazine Eugene A. Shinn and Marshall McKusick described Cayce followers as members of ‘a cult’!(k)<
(g) See: Archive 2913
Norman Scherer is a contributor to William Hutton’s Hutton Commentaries. Like Hutton he draws extensively on the ‘readings’ of Edgar Cayce to construct his own views of Atlantis(a). He employs a variety of sources to support a mid-Atlantic location for Atlantis.
Scherer also has a ‘history’s mysteries ‘website(b) where he returns to the subject of Atlantis and Edgar Cayce.
William Hutton is the pen-name of Dr. Wyman Harrison (1931-2014) who was the principal contributor
From December 31, 2012 Hutton ceased contributing to the ‘Commentaries’ and Jonathan Eagle, the webmaster, has continued to maintain it as an archive of all the early material.
Hutton wrote an interesting article in 2001 and revised it in 2004(b) in which he takes issue with the accuracy of details in the A.R.E. newsletter Ancient Mysteries. He further claims that that a number of Cayce’s ‘readings’ have been distorted and some even invented! In this regard he challenged Cayce supporter, John Van Auken who had referred to six readings that did not exist. In response Van Auken claimed that he had ‘misspoken’.
Hutton, who has had an academic career as a geologist is also the author of a number of books relating to catastrophism, one of which was the result of collaboration with Jonathan Eagle, which produced the large 2004 offering Earth’s Catastrophic Past and Future.