Category: Other spiritually gifted people
Wolf Grigorevich Messing (Russian: Во́льф Григо́рьевич (Ге́ршикович) Ме́ссинг), (Polish: Wolf Grigoriewicz Messing), (Hebrew: וולף מסינג), (10th September 1899 — 8th November 1974) was a psychic, clairvoyant, telepathist and magician, who specialised in mind control and mind reading.
He was Polish by birth being born in the village of Góra Kalwaria, 25 km southeast of Warsaw, at a time when Poland was a territory of the Russian Empire. He was also Jewish. Messing had to flee after the Nazi invasion of Poland, when Hitler put a 200,000-mark price on his psychic head, but the price tag was because of the prophecy he made about Hitler, not just because he was Jewish.
Up until he died and even now some 50 plus years later, Wolf Grigorevich Messing is still thought of in Russia and the old eastern block countries, as a sort of superstar. In his time, he was known to all levels of society, from Stalin and Hitler to local housewives. He was a legendary figure to a vast number of Soviets, Austrians, Poles and Germans, for more than a quarter of a century. Messing was a household name even to celebrated scientists. Russian’s Nobel prize winning chemist, Dr Nikolai Semyonov, Vice president of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR said in Science and Religion “It is very important to scientifically study the psychic phenomenon of sensitives like Wolf Messing”.
Messing was viewed with a mixture of deep admiration, fascination and fear; after all a person able to control minds is a potentially dangerous man, and the secret police and military were very interested in Wolf Messing. But the advantage of being able to control minds is that you can control any minds – including those of the secret police and the military.
Wolf Messing seems to have led an almost charmed life as a consequence of his abilities, surviving, even thriving, during the most repressive years of Soviet rule. As the government proclaimed in all directions that telepathy did not exist and that no psychics (branded as "rogues") existed in Russia, they employed Wolf Messing through their Ministry of Culture, just as they would employ any other entertainer. Messing almost nightly gave public performances that included telepathy. He called his act "Psychological Experiments" and toured in almost every city in the U.S.S.R. Even during the most repressive and brutal Stalin years, when you'd think the last thing a Russian wanted was to have someone read his mind, crowds lined up for Messing's telepathic act. “Rumour had it that he could even do miracles.”
Some background on his methods
People who read minds need a bridge – a link between them and the person whose mind they are reading. In Messing’s case he thought of the person themselves as the bridge – he uses the word ‘inductor’.
... It's not mind-reading, it's like the "reading of muscles" ... When a human thinks hard about something, the brain cells transmit impulses to all muscles of the body. Their movements, invisible to the eye, I can easily feel. ... Often I'm performing mental tasks without direct contact with the inductor. The pointer to me here is the breathing frequency of inductor, the beating of his heart, voice timbre, his walking nature etc.
Comments like this are of course pounced upon, as they seem to imply a heightened ability to use body language and facial and eye movements. And I’m sure he did, but if you look at the observations you will realise his abilities are way beyond anything one could achieve using body language. And it is worth adding this:
"When I'm blindfolded," Messing said, "telepathy is even easier for me. If I don't see the sender, I'm able to concentrate totally on perceiving his thought."
He blotted out memory, he placed his desires at zero, he stopped thinking and relaxed in order to achieve his aims and then he ‘prayed’, wished for all his might on what he wanted to be achieved. Although he does appear to have been gifted, he also practised and practised to improve his skills and he did have a tutor.
The tiny town of Góra Kalwaria, 25 km southeast of Warsaw, and Messing’s birthplace was a Jewish village similar in many ways to the village in which Chagall was born. Chagall stated that the major influence in his life at that time was the culture of Hasidic Judaism with its teachings derived from the Kabbalah. In other words Marc Chagall’s early life was steeped in spiritualism, symbolism, ritual, faith and prayer. Chagall went to a Jewish school, and studied Hebrew and the Bible. And so did Messing.
Messing’s family was dreadfully poor and exceedingly religious.
Wolf Messing – the true story of Russia’s greatest psychic – Tatiana Lungin
The life of the Jews living in that tiny town was hard, as it was, however, for many others. It was a monotonous existence, filled with fear and struggle for pieces of bread, for a tiny place under the sun… My father worked in a garden that did not belong to us, and he nursed fruit trees and raspberry and currant bushes. Even now I can see the tender eyes of my mother….. our family was religiously orthodox, at times to the point of fanaticism. Thoughts of God permeated not only the consciousness of my parents, but every significant step and action in their lives. They looked upon God as a demanding but just master of the destinies of men. My mother died of a heart attack with my name on her lips, and my father and brothers died violent deaths in the Majdanek concentration camp and the Warsaw ghetto.
By age 6, Wolf knew almost the entire Talmud by heart. He had one ‘mystical’ experience as a child that changed his life. At age 11, with practically no money in his pocket, he ran away, boarding a train which got him to Berlin
Psychic Discoveries behind the iron Curtain – Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder
In Berlin, Wolf Messing got a job as a messenger in the Jewish quarter. Taking a parcel to a Berlin suburb one day, he fainted from hunger on a bridge. Friendless, a long way from home, he was taken to a hospital. No pulse-no respiration. Body cold. Messing was taken to the morgue. He would have been buried in a common grave if it hadn't been for a medical student who chanced to notice a very faint heartbeat in Messing. It was almost undetectable, beat rarely, but there was a beat….… Following the best horror-movie scripts, pulse and heartbeat gradually flickered back in the body, and three days later he came to. In the hospital Dr. Abel, a psychiatrist and neuropathologist, explained that Messing's condition was a very rare case of’ lethargy’. "I not only owe my life to Dr. Abel, but also the discovery and development of my psychic abilities," Messing wrote in his autobiography.
Dr Abel helped Messing, convincing him he had psychic powers that could be developed. Then with the help of Dr. Schmidt, a psychiatric colleague of Abel’s, and Schmidt's wife, Abel trained Messing in telepathy.
“Dr Abel spent much time working with me, searching for new variations on my telepathic abilities. He taught me to control my will and psyche and taught me confidence”
Abel then found him an impresario – a manager – a Mr Zellmeister, who got Wolf a job in the Berlin Panoptikum as the "Wonder-boy". Using his ability to self-induce catalepsy and a trance state, Wolf climbed into a crystal coffin, induced in himself the state of catalepsy, and lay there like a corpse every weekend from Friday till Sunday evening.
'l must have spent at least three solid months of my life in a coffin," said Messing, "and for this I was paid all of five marks a day’.
He appeared at the Berlin Wintergarten [see observation] and in a circus. By the time he was fourteen, he was being treated almost like a slave bought and sold by his managers as a sort of exchangeable commodity.
“This time I was sold to the Busch Circus, which was famous throughout Europe. I had already grown accustomed to this buying and selling process. I travelled throughout Europe with the circus. My employers, concerned about my popularity on stage, instilled in me the idea that success was the key to all good things in life. Nonetheless, I managed to find time to educate myself, and the greater part of my salary often went on tutorial fees. Time was on my side and I soon became quite a celebrity.”
As time went on, with better and kindlier managers, Messing started to tour all over the world eventually ending up in Europe, South America and India. By the late 1920s, he had become well off, able to stay in first class hotels.
He had a brief foray into 'spiritualism' – table turning, automatic writing and the use of ouija boards. He actively participated in a number of séances in the 1930s. “During the 1930s, spiritualism was rather fashionable in certain Polish Circles. Because of the sheer number of mediums available [sic] in the country, the ranks of the spiritualists swelled”. But magic and spiritualism are worlds apart, magic is a far more advanced skill and Messing grew very annoyed at the number of charlatans that joined the ranks. So he left them to it, tilting their tables.
After Messing fled from the Nazis, he crossed into Russia hidden in a wagonload of hay in November 1939. “A Polish immigrant, a Jew and a psychic-any sensible person would have said he had nothing going for him”. At Brest Litovsk in Russia there were thousands of other refugees fleeing the Nazis. The Soviet Union was a country unknown to Messing - he didn't even speak the language.
At the Ministry of Culture he applied for a job. "We don't want fortune tellers or sorcerers in this country:' they said. "And telepathy doesn't exist". It would be necessary to change their minds, Messing decided. Perhaps a demonstration of his abilities would help to show them this was no trick………. It is indeed handy knowing mind control. After the demonstration, the manager of the Ministry of Culture immediately hired him, and his Soviet saga began.
Three years later, as a private Soviet citizen, he was able to personally buy and present two fighter planes to the Soviet air force.
Psychic Discoveries behind the iron Curtain – Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder
Fur-hatted Russian officers were honoured to pose for news Photos with citizen Wolf at a special ceremony at which they received the planes-each with the name W. G. Messing written in large letters on the fuselage. This would be a success story in the West; in the Soviet Union, it's miraculous.
Another frequently repeated belief is that Messing managed to do so well because his stage show rarely touched on personal affairs or politics. And this was true, members of the audience were simply instructed to think of some task they wanted Messing to perform. The sealed instructions were delivered to a jury also selected by the audience.
"Think only of what you want me to do," Messing advised a volunteer at a demonstration before a group of medical people. Was he reading minds then or telling them what they had to tell him? We will probably never know.
Messing died in Moscow, which was then in the USSR aged 75. He died in hospital, after apparently successful surgery on the femoral and iliac arteries, but died of renal failure and pulmonary oedema. He was buried at the "Vostryakovskoe" Jewish cemetery in Moscow.
The book Psychic Discoveries behind the iron Curtain by Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder, mentions Messing and is quite a good introductory read to the general research that was taking place in the Soviet Union in the last part of the last century.
They make some rather annoying mistakes in extracting from his autobiography, which in an area like this is not to be forgiven lightly, as accuracy is essential in transcribing exactly what happened.
The observations we have included on the site nearly all come from his autobiography - Wolf Messing – the true story of Russia’s greatest psychic dictated or told by him and transcribed by his companion Tatiana Lungin.
There are also a number of books in other languages, two of which we show here.
For iPad/iPhone users: tap letter twice to get list of items.
- Messing, Wolf - A prophecy 'Hitler will die if he turns toward the East' and a narrow escape via mind control
- Messing, Wolf - A warning for Stalin ‘your very best friend, Hitler, will become your most vehement enemy’
- Messing, Wolf - An explanation by Messing of how he was able to perform telepathy
- Messing, Wolf - Attending the court-room trial in the case of the mysterious murder of a nineteen-year-old girl
- Messing, Wolf - Count Czartorysky’s diamonds
- Messing, Wolf - How Wolf Messing met Tatiana Lungin
- Messing, Wolf - I am offering a session of psychological experiments, not organizing a strip tease show
- Messing, Wolf - I mentally suggested to him: 'It is a ticket ... a ticket ... a ticket ...'
- Messing, Wolf - In Berlin, penetrating the thoughts of the merchants and trying to hear their inner-most secrets
- Messing, Wolf - In Riga, I drove an automobile through the streets while blindfolded
- Messing, Wolf - Locating Anatole
- Messing, Wolf - Moscow 1940 and the prophecy ‘Soviet tanks will roll into Berlin’ and in 1943, ‘the war will end in May 1945’
- Messing, Wolf - My pulse cannot be felt, my breathing ceases, and the beating of my heart is barely perceptible
- Messing, Wolf - Playing chess blindfold – and winning
- Messing, Wolf - Prophesies the death of his wife, Aida
- Messing, Wolf - Prophesies the death of the young man of Herculean stature with an Ernest Hemingway-style beard
- Messing, Wolf - Saving a young girl from certain prostitution
- Messing, Wolf - Self induced trance - The psychiatrist announced she couldn't feel his pulse
- Messing, Wolf - Set up by jealous rivals who wanted to ruin his reputation
- Messing, Wolf - Sometimes the public will hinder me unconsciously; their stray thoughts echo like a discordant chorus
- Messing, Wolf - The 'hallucination' that changed his life
- Messing, Wolf - The Berlin Wintergarten playing a fakir
- Messing, Wolf - The control of the mind of Professor Leopold Gavrilov
- Messing, Wolf - The meeting with Gandhi
- Messing, Wolf - The meeting with Tolstoy
- Messing, Wolf - The meetings with Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud
- Messing, Wolf - The meetings with Stalin 01
- Messing, Wolf - The meetings with Stalin 02
- Messing, Wolf - The meetings with Stalin 03
- Messing, Wolf - The power of suggestion in hypnotism
- Messing, Wolf - The power of suggestion in hypnotism – Making an arrogant bureaucrat hop
- Messing, Wolf - The power of suggestion in hypnotism – The count who thought that pigeons were building a nest inside his head
- Messing, Wolf - The writer Nadeshda Filipovna Kramova has an interesting meeting with Wolf Messing
- Messing, Wolf – The writer Nadeshda Filipovna Kramova receiving news about her husband caught up in the siege of Leningrad