I feel a little flummoxed by the writers’ group prompt question, “Why didn’t you call?” I sit here wondering, and no reason comes to mind. After a while, Albert Einstein’s famous quote comes up, “When I have a problem and an hour to solve it, I spend 55 minutes thinking about what lies beneath the problem and 5 minutes trying to solve it.”
With that philosophy and quote in mind I ask, “What underlies the problem?” The most fundamental question is, “Who is the who we are wondering about that we haven’t called?” “Who is the most important person to my physical existence?” Like everyone else, that would be my mother. But no, it wouldn’t be her because she died eighteen years ago and she wasn’t a spiritualist. To the best of my knowledge her only afterlife desire and plan was to be buried beside her husband, which she is.
That brought up a very strange thought, and it’s a thought that only I can answer. That’s right, of the seven billion people alive today, I am the only person who knows how to contact the most famous dead people of their era. People who promised to call back and speak personally to the person who asked, in exactly the right way. There was the small problem of asking in the right way, but a great monetary reward for doing it. The reward was $100,000 in 1922 dollars. Reasonably invested the gain on that money would surely have exceeded the inflation rate in value to 2017, and even at the modest inflation rate the prize would be worth $1,424,172.62. However, if the $100,000 was invested in the stock market, even in the Dogs of the DOW it would now be worth approximately $10,000,000. The calculations are hazy of course, but the point is that the prize offered by this famous foursome is large enough to pique one’s interest. Supposedly the prize is still available to anyone who can prove they contacted any one of these celebrities.
Those now long dead people hoped to contact the surviving members of their group, but after they were dead, anyone would do. But to make sure some fraudulent person didn’t try to pretend they had spoken to one of them from beyond the grave they created a secret password. Now they are long dead, but no one has come forward with the secret password and claimed the money, or proved convincingly that they’ve spoken to any of them.
In the early 1920s these four people were world-famous spiritualists, and they were touring the world and the United States promoting spiritualism and simultaneously debunking false spiritualists. These people had made huge personal fortunes from their earlier careers, and they were seeking ways to live forever. They were seeking ways to come back from the dead. They are still among the most famous people in the world, but their fame rests upon their previous professions. One of them created a method for resurrecting his fame thousands of years in the future! It’s like the ancient Pharaohs of Egypt building pyramids, so they could be found in a distant time and brought back to life.
The intent of the monetary prize wasn’t to create literary fame in the distant future, but to create fame and interest in resurrecting these dead people. The goal was to resurrect the dead person and create a two-way conversation between them, who are dead and buried in the usual sense, and living human beings, even in the distant future.
Their idea was that if a solid two-way connection could be established between the living and the dead, even in a distant time, then the dead could affect in a meaningful way the ongoing events in that future world, and if technology had eventually progressed far enough, to return in the flesh. A further prize for the future person, beyond the money, would be that the dead people could tell the living ones a sure and certain way for them to enter the afterlife in the best way possible. These future people could become immortal in a very good way, and not as vampires. The huge sum of money is still unclaimed, and so is the proof of a way to attain a beautiful eternal life.
The four people I am writing about of course are Conan Doyle, Harry Houdini, and their wives. Click to see pictures of them all together.
Why haven’t you called them and claimed your rewards?