The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Babbitt, Elwood, 1922-

Elwood Babbitt Papers

1974-2000
2 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 517
Depiction of Elwood Babbitt, 1970.  Photo by Gary Cohen
Elwood Babbitt, 1970. Photo by Gary Cohen

Clairvoyant from youth, Elwood Babbitt developed his psychic abilities at the Edgar Cayce Institute, and by the mid-1960s, was well known in Western Massachusetts through his readings and lectures, often opening his home to other seekers. Charles Hapgood, a professor at Keene State College, worked closely with Babbitt studying the physical effects of the medium’s trance lectures, and by 1967, he began to take on the painstaking process of transcribing and copying them. With communications purporting to come from Jesus, Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, and the Hindu god Vishnu, among others, these lectures formed the basis for several books by Hapgood and Babbitt, including Voices of Spirit (1975) and Talks with Christ (1981). Babbitt ultimately established a non-profit, alternative school, the Opie Mountain Citadel, which was essentially run out of Babbitt’s home in Northfield.

The collection consists of proofs of publications, lectures, some correspondence, film reels, and transcripts of spiritual communications for which Babbitt was the medium.

Language(s): German

Subjects

Channeling (Spiritualism)Hapgood, Charles HMediums–Massachusetts

Contributors

Babbitt, Elwood, 1922-
Slonecker, Blake, 1981-

Blake Slonecker Collection

2008
4 items 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 795

An historian of twentieth century social movements, Blake Slonecker received his doctorate at the University of North Carolina in 2009 and joined the history faculty at Waldorf College soon thereafter. In a dissertation examining the utopian impulses of the New Left (published in 2012 as A new dawn for the New Left: Liberation News Service, Montague Farm, and the long sixties), Slonecker explored how the political and cultural activism of the 1960s helped reshape American political culture in the decade following.

In June 2008, Slonecker conducted oral historical interviews with four individuals who were part of the extended community centered on the Montague Farm and Packer Corners communes during the late 1960s: Tom Fels, Charles Light, Sam Lovejoy, and Richard Wizansky. In wide-ranging interviews, the former communards discuss topics ranging from the fraught politics of the era, political and cultural activism, gender roles and sexuality, and daily life on the communes.

Gift of Blake Slonecker, Aug. 2013

Subjects

Amherst CollegeBabbitt, Elwood, 1922-Bloom, Marshall, 1944-1969Brotherhood of the Spirit (Commune)Clamshell AllianceGreen Mountain Post FilmsJohnson Pasture Community (Vt.)Liberation News Service (Montague, Mass.)Montague Farm Community (Mass.)Musicians United for Safe EnergyPacker Corners Community (Vt.)Students for a Democratic Society (U.S.)

Contributors

Fels, Thomas WestonLight, CharlesLovejoy, SamWizansky, Richard

Types of material

AudiocassettesOral histories (document genres)
Hapgood, Charles H.

Charles H. Hapgood Papers

1955-1996
6 boxes 2.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 445

Charles Hutchins Hapgood (1904-1982) was working toward a doctorate in French history at Harvard when the Great Depression derailed his plans. After a succession of jobs and wartime service, however, Hapgood returned to the academy, teaching history at Springfield College and Keene State for over three decades. He is best remembered as an advocate of several scientifically heterodox ideas, arguing that the earth’s outer crust shifts on geological time scales, displacing continents, and that the earth’s rotational axis has shifted numerous times in geological history. A long time friend and supporter of the medium Elwood Babbitt, he was author of several books, including The Earth’s Shifting Crust (1958), Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings (1966), The Path of the Pole (1970), and Voices of Spirit : Through the Psychic Experience of Elwood Babbitt (1975). Hapgood died in Fitchburg, Mass., on Dec. 21, 1982, after being struck by an automobile.

The Hapgood Papers contain a small grouping of correspondence and writings that offer a glimpse into some of Charles Hapgood’s late-career interests. Although the correspondence is relatively slight, relating primarily to publications in the last two or three years of his life, the collection is a rich resource for the lectures and writings of Elwood Babbitt.

Subjects

Channeling (Spiritualism)Mediums--Massachusetts

Contributors

Babbitt, Elwood, 1922-Hapgood, Charles H
Hapgood, Beth

Beth Hapgood Papers

1789-2005
67 boxes 35 linear feet
Call no.: MS 434
Depiction of Beth Hapgood and members of the Brotherhood, ca.1969
Beth Hapgood and members of the Brotherhood, ca.1969

Daughter of a writer and diplomat, and graduate of Wellesley College, Beth Hapgood has been a spiritual seeker for much of her life. Her interests have led her to become an expert in graphology, a student in the Arcane School, an instructor at Greenfield Community College, and a lecturer on a variety of topics in spiritual growth. Beginning in the mid-1960s, Hapgood befriended Michael Metelica, the central figure in the Brotherhood of the Spirit (the largest commune in the eastern states during the early 1970s) as well as Elwood Babbitt, a trance medium, and remained close to both until their deaths.
The Hapgood Papers contain a wealth of material relating to the Brotherhood of the Spirit and the Renaissance Community, Metelica, Babbitt, and other of Hapgood’s varied interests, as well as 4.25 linear feet of material relating to the Hapgood family.

Subjects

Brotherhood of the SpiritChanneling (Spiritualism)Communal living--MassachusettsGraphologyHapgood family--CorrespondenceMassachusetts--Social life and customs--20th centuryMediums--MassachusettsNineteen sixties--Social aspectsOccultism--Social aspectsPopular culture--History--20th centuryRenaissance CommunityRock music--1971-1980Warwick (Mass.)--History

Contributors

Babbitt, Elwood, 1922-Boyce, Neith, 1872-1951Hapgood, Beth--CorrespondenceHapgood, Charles HHapgood, Elizabeth ReynoldsHapgood, Hutchins, 1869-1944Hapgood, Norman, 1868-1937Metelica, Michael
Brown, Daniel A.

Daniel A. Brown Photograph Collection

1968-2003
ca.450 items
Call no.: PH 011
Depiction of Meditation on Blueberry Hill, 1971. Photo by Gary Cohen
Meditation on Blueberry Hill, 1971. Photo by Gary Cohen

Having joined the the Brotherhood of the Spirit commune in 1973, Dan Brown remained a member for a decade as it evolved first into Metelica’s Aquarian Concept and then into the Renaissance Community. Throughout his time as a member, he photographed his fellow communards as they moved through a variety of localities, including Turner’s Falls, Gill, and Warwick, Mass. Since leaving the community in 1983, he has written and lectured regularly on its history for audiences throughout the region.

One of the principle photographers of the Brotherhood and Renaissance Community during the period 1973-1983, Brown preserved an archive of approximately 450 photographs documenting the commune from its founding in 1968 through the time of Michael Metelica’s death in 2003. In addition to his own work, he collected and preserved images of many other photographers, most notably Gary Cohen.

Subjects

Babbitt, Elwood, 1922-Brotherhood of the Spirit (Commune)Communal living--MassachusettsMetelica, MichaelRenaissance Community (Commune)

Contributors

Brown, Daniel ACohen, Gary

Types of material

Photographs