Saturday, March 31, 2007

Jerry Wills: UFO contactee turned psychic healer

In the July/August 1988 issue of The Arizona Skeptic, I wrote an article called "A Visit to the 'Psychic Showcase.'" This article was about my visit in April 1988 to a psychic fair put on by "Truth Investigations Unlimited" at the Biltmore Commerce Center in Phoenix. In that article, I reported on a demonstration of "mind transference techniques" by Phoenix magician Lee Earle (who began by stating "I have been accused of being a fake, a fraud, a phony, and a cheat"), channeling of "Equinox" by Joan Scibienski, a UFO lecture by Brian Myers and Tina Choate of the Center for UFO Research, and a talk by Jerry Wills.

Here's the portion of the article about Jerry Wills:
As a special bonus, we were given a chance to hear from an actual UFO contactee named Jerry Wills. Wills claimed that his contacts began in 1965 in the woods of Kentucky and lasted about five years. He was contacted at least once a week, sometimes two or three times a week. He spent from an hour to a day in telepathic communication with aliens, and they gave him their theology, astrophysics, biology, physics, chemistry, sociology, and so on. Unfortunately, the only piece of alien technology he shared with us was a light-up crystal (called "The Guardian") that was for sale at a nearby table. Although Wills claimed aliens taught him how to make these crystals, literature on the table where they were being sold claimed that Wills was himself the inventor.

Wills gave a similar talk the second day, but this time he spoke of contacts with extraterrestrials taking place around 1971-1972. He also added new features, such as claiming that some of his friends were also contacted by extraterrestrials, and that the aliens gave him a ring. When asked where this ring was, he said he had traded it for an arrowhead and the ring was destroyed in a fire. He claimed that the aliens had given him information which he used to design a 3-D (television?) system for Toshiba and a Claymore mine detonator.

I should note that I met Wills at the "Focus on You" expo on December 5, 1987, at which time he was selling the lighted crystals (Jim Lowell of TUSKS was interested in purchasing one until he was told the price). At that time, he stated that he made no paranormal claims for his crystals. Now, however, the literature promoting these crystals states that "You can learn to use it to heal yourself and others as well as creating a sense of peace and well-being about the person wearing it" and "The Guardian is used like any crystal in healing, however, the light when it touches the skin has great healing effects." Further, it is claimed that The Guardian "is meant to be used by all who are to raise the consciousness of the planet."
In a later issue of the Arizona Skeptic (vol. 6, no. 3, November/December 1992), I gave an update on Jerry Wills from Saucer Smear:

Jim Moseley, "Beckley Does It Again!" Saucer Smear (November 1, 1992):3. Reports on Tim Beckley's "National New Age & Alien Agenda Conference" held in Phoenix, at which Jerry Wills played guitar in an impromptu rock session. Wills, whose story as a UFO abductee was reported in the pages of this newsletter (AS, July/August 1988, p. 3), now claims to have been one of the aliens who crashed and died at Roswell, New Mexico, but was reincarnated as a human. (See also Robert Sheaffer's "Psychic Vibrations" column in the Skeptical Inquirer, Fall 1991, p. 33.)

A photo of this rock jam session may be found online here.

Jerry Wills now has a website with an "About Jerry Wills" page which tells a different set of stories:
I have always been able to feel the flow of life, or the life force essence, around and within living things. From an early age I have had the ability to join and experience life from different perspectives because of this intuitiveness. In the beginning I didn't know everyone wasn't capable of this. Innocently, I engaged the flow of life energy from everything around me.

Growing up on a remote farm in Kentucky provided many years of isolation from the rest of the world. During my teen years I started to better understand how energy moves through all living things - plant, animal and human. Eventually my abilities progressed to where I was able to help myself and others.

During the spring of 1973, I was exploring my belief system and those of others. It was quickly evident I had a gift for healing and was soon providing this as a ministry. I learned a valuable lesson about God and my association with the Creator. My gift only ask me to love, and be true to myself.

On November 11th at 11am 1981, I experienced a "near death" incident after falling from the top of an airplane hanger. During the experience I was shown and told by "someone" what my potential role in helping others would be, if I allowed my gift to fully mature. Thanks to another healer who had a similar gift, I was encouraged to help others.

In 1999 I became known to the public. This was quite by accident. A news story was brought to public attention after FOX TV aired a segment about my assistance to a near dead comatose man during the winter of 1998. The medical community had completely exhausted their attempts to help this man.

According to their records there was no hope he would ever regain consciousness. To complicate matters, there were serious infections which had further deteriorated his condition. His medical benefits exhausted, it was suggested his life support be terminated. Desperate for a miracle, his wife contacted me through a mutual friend. Until this time it was the only way I could be contacted - referrals from those who knew me... When I arrived to the hospice I found this man lying on his back, tubes and monitors attached to various areas of the body and head. Entering my state (that's what I call it...) I found him asleep, deep within his body. Tired and afraid, he had gone deeply into a coma not wanting to be aware of the activity around him. Placing my hands upon him I saw the problems and how to repair them - this is always how the process occurs. After spending about 50 minutes doing my work, he awoke from this terminal coma. Weeks later I visited him again to finish my work. Now he's doing really well - and is quite alive.

I enjoy this work. My greatest rewards come from seeing the faces of clients and their families once they realize the problem (or symptoms) have vanished. To date I have assisted in what many consider miracles. The blind have been brought from darkness, the near dead have returned to health and the terminally ill have recovered their lives. I have seen those with cancer, AID's and long lists of medical conditions with terms only doctors understand. These to me are miracles, a validation God exists. ...

In 2004 EarthWays was formed. It is my hope this organization will help educate those who are interested to advance their skills and be a source of hope for any who need it.

What has happened to "The Guardian" and the extraterrestrials? How come he wasn't making claims about a near-death experience in 1987, if it had happened just six years previously?

Author Rod Haberer has a forthcoming book titled "Healer: The Jerry Wills Story." Perhaps it will shed some light on these questions. I've emailed Rod Haberer to ask: "When will the Jerry Wills books be available? Does his story include any references to UFOs, aliens, or "The Guardian"?"

UPDATE (December 6, 2007): Rod Haberer never replied, which is perhaps not surprising considering that he has long been a purveyer of nonsense. In 1998, Haberer was the producer of the "10-Files" segment on Phoenix's Channel 10 News which promoted Jim Dilettoso's bogus pseudoscientific analysis of video footage of the "Phoenix Lights" UFO. In the New Times story "The Hack and the Quack" appeared the following regarding Haberer:
Rod Haberer, producer of the "10-Files" piece, says that he's "comfortable with what we put on the air." But when he's asked what software the station used to match and scale the daytime and nighttime shots, he admits that they didn't use a computer at all. Channel 10 simply laid one image from Krzyston's video atop another in a digital editing machine.
Haberer appears to be a guy who doesn't want critical examination of facts to get in the way of making a buck.

5 comments:

AlisonM said...

Maybe the aliens came back and wiped his brain? Or maybe his accountant just told him he should try a more profitable line of work.

rhaberer99 said...

Hi Jim - Rod Haberer responding to your comments. Thanks for the hack job - I haven't responded to you about the date of publication because I don't have one yet. I am currently working with an agent on some refinements before publication.

The quote from the New Times was a particularly low blow which I appreciate. The New Times did a hatchet job on anyone associated with the Phoenix Lights - and was completely uninterested in exploring the truth about anything. The fact is, you don't need a computer program to overlay two photos - any idiot who has ever worked in film or photography knows that. We used AVID computer editing system to compare video taken on the night the Phoenix Lights were sighted with video we shot from the exact same location. It was a perfectly valid comparison of video that the New Times chose to ignore to support their own theories.

As opposed to your writing, and that of the New Times, I've been trained as a journalist to keep an open mind about all things. And that includes what I've seen with my own eyes, and what people have told me about their interactions with Jerry Wills.

I don't pretend to know where he came from, or who he really is. I only know from dozens of interviews and my own observations that this person has a unique gift. The book will lay out what I've seen and what others have experienced - and allow the reader to decide for himself. Unlike you, I don't allow prejudices to interfere with my job as a journalist.

If you want to play the role of super-skeptic to get your own self-serving publicity that's fine with me. I'm happy to work on something I find rather fascinating - and for the record have not profited one penny by my endeavors.

Jim - there are two sides to every story. Every real journalist knows that - a concept bloggers like you never seem to grasp.
If you want to discuss what I have done - with an open mind - I am free to discuss it with you anytime.

Rod Haberer

Jim Lippard said...

Rod:

I was unable to determine from your complete lack of response for nearly two years that this meant that you don't have a publication date yet for the book that has been advertised on your website for that entire time. Perhaps replying that you don't have a publication date yet might have clued me in.

Tony Ortega's piece in the New Times, contrary to your statement, was actually the best piece of journalism on the subject, that actually bothered trying to find a genuine explanation for what was actually two distinct events at two different times on March 13, 1997, planes from 8:15-8:45 p.m., and military flares at 10 p.m.. The "10 Files" piece you produced, by contrast, ignored significant evidence (like the testimony of Mitch Stanley) and credulously promoted the accounts of credential-free bullshit artists, while purporting to give "both sides" of the story. It would be nice if your story were made available online, so that readers of this blog could compare Ortega's work to yours for themselves.

Ortega's story specifically critiques the details of the "10 Files" test, and your response here offers no rebuttal. Your test didn't bother to match the scale of the shots, while Ortega got a Ph.D. astronomer to review your test and repeat it more accurately--and he found a match on the ridge visible in both shots, meaning that the lights really did disappear behind the ridge of the mountain, as would be expected if they were the dropped flares.

Perhaps you should read Ortega's story again, if you want to offer a genuine critique.

(BTW, Tony Ortega was a winner of the Virg Hill Arizona Journalist of the Year award, the Los Angeles Press Club award for best news story, the 2002 Unity award, and the 2005 Association of Alternative Newsweeklies award for best column, and is currently editor-in-chief at the Village Voice.)

Any real journalist knows that the "two sides" myth is responsible for some of the worst faux journalism ever purveyed, of the sort that was standard fare on the segment you produced. Science and pseudoscience are not "two sides" of a story that deserve equal treatment. You wouldn't produce a story on the Holocaust ending with "Did it happen or not? You decide!", yet you regularly did that with stories where the "other side" you were sensationalizing had as much evidential merit.

The "two sides" myth is not only responsible for poor journalism on matters of science by elevating crackpottery to equal status with scientific evidence, it's also responsible for poor journalism on public policy and other matters where there are *more* than two positions, producing a false polarization between two views that may both be incorrect.

The fact that you've spent years on a book on Jerry Wills and still today state that you "don't pretend to know where he came from, or who he really is" suggests to me that you are as poor a biographer as you are a journalist.

I'm surprised to learn that Fox News doesn't pay its producers, and that you've "not profited one penny by [your] endeavors."

rhaberer99 said...

Hi Jim - Sorry to play tit-for-tat with you - and I actually enjoy your blog very much.

But a couple of more points I would like to make.

The "Not making one penny" comment actually referred to the book on Jerry Wills - not my work at FOX for which I am paid, of course. Sorry for the confusion.

And I wish the New Times and you would take a look at the full body of work we have done on the Phoenix lights, not the one story we produced concerning the Flare sightings later that night.

We have several times pointed out the "two" events - pointing to the second event as a likely flare drop by US Air Force A-10's staging out of Davis-Monthan AFB. We even did a story with the Air Force as they dropped flares in the same area to demonstrate what flares look like from a distance. My problem with the New Times story was its one-sided tone toward our reporting, and its inaccurate portrayal of our story. I have no qualms with the credentials of New Times staff, in fact I believe they do some of the finest investigative reporting in the state. It was just that I spent about two minutes on the phone with their reporter, and his mind seemed made up before even asking me a question. I felt that our efforts to cover this story, which have been much more comprehensive than any TV station in Phoenix, was unfairly portrayed in that one piece...mostly because our story did not include a computer analysis similar to what the one cable channel did - at the time, we just did not have the equipment for that kind of analysis. We simply did the best we could with the equipment we had - but that did not seem to satisfy anyone.

(And if you'd like to compare our lists of awards and Journalism credentials, I can provide that anytime,)

As far as the book about Jerry, I freely admit that I may have been premature posting the book about Jerry Wills on my website before publication - and I freely admit it has been a hard sell. I approached the project with an open mind and the realization that it may never be published - and it may never be. But I remain hopeful. And by the way - I don't consider it a Biography as much as a piece on healing - using Jerry's personal story as a news "peg" to explore the history and science behind this growing phenomenon... including fraud and scientific studies on the subject

As far as your comment about Jerry, I was only admitting that I remain very unsure about his origins or intentions - As I said, the book I've produced so far focuses on his efforts as a healer. There is much more to this man, be it fact or fiction, that I have not yet explored. I only believed that going into other aspects of his life beyond healing may be too much to include in one book. I may be wrong about that too, but only time will tell.

Your point about two sides to every story is well taken - there are often multiple angles and mysteries that can't always be rationally explained. Although your Holocaust comparison is a bit of a low blow. I hope you believe I would never take the concept to those kinds of extremes. But when it comes to the Phoenix Lights, there is a lot of passion and "truth" as both sides see it - and any stand we take to one side or the other is sure to stir passions that we must take into account. We're just trying to be fair.

Thank you again for this exchange, and for allowing me to clarify a few things - I would be happy to talk with you about it some more, because we obviously share a passion for this and other subjects not normally part of mainstream news.

And I never intentionally ignored your request for information - in fact it was so long ago, I don't even remember it. My focus for the last several months has been on trying to refine and publish the book. And at FOX-10 News, I have had a lot on my plate.

Please call and we can discuss this or anything else - This blogging thing is still new to me - I'm still admittedly "old school" but I'm trying.

Thanks,
Rod

Rod Haberer said...

Hi Jim - just trying to keep you updated so you don't get so pissed off again. Still have not published the Jerry Wills book but my agent is still trying. We are still hoping for a deal sometime early next year, but the publishing market is very tight right now. If you'd like to know more, please e-mail me at rhaberer99@yahoo.com. Thanks, Rod