Sinclair, Mary Craig
Category: Ordinary person
Mary Craig Sinclair - ‘Craig’ - was the wife of Upton Sinclair, a Pulitzer Prize-winning American author who wrote over 90 books and it is he who wrote the book - Mental Radio - from which I have obtained the observations and method she used .
Craig Sinclair was both a very sensitive individual but she was also very ill. She suffered from violent headaches and [as Sinclair put it] ‘glandular imbalance’, which probably means the menopause, though we will probably never know. For those who discount the idea that the menopause is a sickness, they need to experience the full blast to know just how ill it can make you. Many of the symptoms of the menopause mimic manic depression. Mary also had other illnesses, this account describes how she died…………
Stacy Horn – Duke University from her book ‘Unbelievable’
I pieced together the last year of her life based on letters, articles, Upton Sinclair’s autobiography, and a most excellent Upton Sinclair biography called Radical Innocent by Anthony Arthur.
The Sinclairs were living in near-seclusion towards the end. Western Union telegrams had to be thrown over a high fence that Sinclair had constructed in order to provide a “serene, undisturbed atmosphere” for Mary Craig, who had a heart condition. A rare visitor said “deeply shrouded electric lamps, with bowls of pink camellias, stood in every corner of the room, while his wife, who was scarcely able to move, so frail her heart was, sat in the semi-darkness like a heroine of Poe.” At one point Upton described cooking over 3,000 pots of rice for Craig as part of a special diet. He was looking after her and reading to her “almost constantly,” he so desperately didn’t want her to leave him and did everything he could to keep her alive.
It was just downright painful reading about her final days. “I do not have any relief from constant and most uncomfortable fibrillation,” she wrote Rhine. Upton described it as a distressing and “endless quivering of the heart” that made it impossible for her to sleep. Craig asked Rhine to suggest hypnotists who could give her “curative suggestions,” but Rhine knew few hypnotists, and none in her area. Mary Craig died a little over a month after writing Rhine, and she was terrified right up until the end. “Her fears dominate her whole being,” Upton wrote his son. In a particularly harrowing chapter in his autobiography, Sinclair described her in her last days as a “hideously tormented human being.” He begged the doctors to end her suffering, but they refused. “It was life. It is our human fate. It happened to me and it could happen to you. The universe is a mystery to me. How beauty, kindness, goodness should have such an end visited upon it will keep me in agony of spirit for the rest of my days on this planet … why she should have died in such untellable horror is a question I ask God in vain.”
She died on April 26, 1961 aged 78.
I think her abilities were obtained because she was so ill, but she learned how to hone and use the abilities she gained by illness.
It is important to emphasise at this stage that neither Craig nor Upton was interested in ‘telepathy’ or mind control, but Craig’s sickness provided the spur to investigation.
Mental Radio – Upton Beall Sinclair
Craig was of the most intensely materialistic convictions. Her early experiences of evangelical religion had repelled her so violently that everything suggestive of ‘spirituality’ was repugnant to her. Never was a woman more ‘practical’, more centred upon the here and now, the things which can be seen and touched. I do not go into details on this, but I want to make it as emphatic as possible, for the light it throws upon her attitude and disposition
But shortly after the age of forty, her custom of carrying the troubles of all who were near her resulted in a breakdown of health. A story of suffering needless to go into; suffice it to say that she had many ills and mental control suddenly became a matter of life and death.
In the course of the last five or six years Craig has acquired a fair sized library of books on the mind, both orthodox and scientific and ‘crank’. She has sat up half the night studying, marking passages and making notes, seeking to reconcile various doctrines, to know what the mind really is, and how it works and what can be done with it. Always it was a practical problem; things had to work. If now she believes anything, rest assured that it is because she has tried it out in the crucibles of pain, and proved it in her daily regimen
Upton Sinclair himself was a fearlessly honest campaigner against social injustice and corporate wrongdoing. His books were used as the vehicle for his attempts to expose what he believed to be ‘wrongs’ – but they were all written as very readable fiction novels. Oil, for example, was a novel published in 1927 and written in the context of the Harding administration's Teapot Dome Scandal [which centred on actual bribery and corruption in government]. It is a social and political satire. Up until he wrote Mental Radio, his books had been almost entirely concerned with exposing the misdeeds of large corporations or government. For example his novel The Jungle exposed conditions in the U.S. meat packing industry, causing a public uproar that contributed in part to the passage a few months later of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act. In the 1920s Sinclair moved to California, where he founded the state's chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. He also ran in the 1934 Californian election as a Democrat campaigning to ‘End Poverty in California’. In essence, Sinclair was a very successful brave honest author with a strong social conscience.
But as he put it, he found himself blessed with a wife 'who became interested, and who not only investigated telepathy, but learned how to practise it'. For well over three years they conducted their own experiments, until eventually, totally convinced of the existence of telepathy, Sinclair wrote Mental Radio – a book so outside his normal genre, he could have risked his reputation for investigative and highly pragmatic and balanced journalism. He was so convinced by the experiments however, that he proceeded on the basis that the world ought to know what he had unearthed .
The final book is fascinating. The experiments are not hugely complex and the style in which he writes is easy and informal, but the results are extremely significant and important for me because I do not believe for one moment that he was making this up or doing it for money. He had no need to write books of this sort when his other books were highly successful, as such the observations are both valid and credible.
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