Author-Publisher Tells of Unexplained Transformation
Posted on 19 June 2017, 7:31
In his recently released book, A Dog’s View of Love, Life, and Death, Jon Beecher, (below) who uses the pen name J. R. Archer, has Rosie, an orphaned mongrel, telepathically explain to Seamus McGarry, a dying quadriplegic, that he has nothing to worry about, that death is just consciousness separating from the body. When Seamus telepathically asks Rosie how she, being just a dog, can know so much, Rosie tells him that she comes from a higher vibration and that her primary purpose is to provide service.
While Seamus struggles with just existing and dying, millionaire William Roper’s struggle is in becoming “one with his toys.” That is, until a homeless man and a mongrel named Rags comes into his life. Dolores Fannon, a recovering alcoholic, copes with everyday trials and tribulations, while Milo McGarry, having been sober for more than 20 years, is struggling to keep the dog shelter he works at from closure. The shelter, being the venue that brings dogs together, also provides the opportunity for the dogs to help unwitting humans in need.
Seemingly common to the various characters in Beecher’s book is an existential vacuum, a feeling of emptiness, meaninglessness, and hopelessness that pervades so many immersed in the mundane and slaves to materialism. At some point in the pursuit of comfort, pleasure, and luxury, they lose sight of the “larger life.” They lose their instincts, intuitiveness and spiritual awareness. However, our canine friends, not being consumed with such materialistic pursuits, have been able to retain these qualities.
This “larger life” is a subject that has captivated Beecher since he had what might be called a near-death experience (NDE) some 17 years ago. It wasn’t one of those NDEs in which the experiencer floats above his body and watches people attempt to revive him, or tells of meeting deceased relatives and seeing every moment of his life flash before him. If he did have those experiences, he doesn’t remember them. In fact, Beecher was given no indication that he was near death. “I fell over while I was sleepwalking and landed on my face,” he recalls the accident. “I was unconscious. I almost knocked my front teeth out, my lip was severed and required 30 stitches, and my jaw was broken on both sides and had to be wired up for six weeks. You could just say that I went to bed and woke up on the floor on the other side of the room.”
While Beecher, a 60-year-old resident of Guildford, England, has none of the usual NDEr recollections, he has experienced something that many other NDErs have reported – a complete change in his outlook on life. “It wasn’t so much that I became interested in spirituality as one might become interested in a hobby,” he explains. “Before the accident I was an atheist and a materialist. I had no belief or interest in anything to do with life after death, the paranormal, or religion. During the next couple of years I felt very different about life. I can’t say prior to the accident I had a fear of death; like most people of that age I never really thought about it in depth. But now I had no fear of death; I’ll go further; I embraced it, not in any morbid way but because now I understood, or at least, came to believe that death is nothing more than a transition from one state to another. I also felt somehow connected, as if I had been plugged into a greater reality. I’ve had plenty of time to think about it and even now I can’t explain adequately how I felt then and how I feel now.”
At the time of the accident, Beecher was CEO of a London-based independent record company. “Within a year or so of the accident, the music business, which had been my life, now felt trivial and unimportant, as did all the Porsches, big houses, expensive clothes, and all the other material stuff I had deemed important and accumulated over the years,” he muses. “It was actually quite depressing at the time because I hadn’t joined the dots and understood that the way I was feeling was connected to the head trauma. At one point I even thought I was having a breakdown.”
Upon leaving the music business, Beecher founded White Crow Books, which to date has published 165 books, all having spirituality as a central theme. Most of the books have been republications of old books that Beecher thought should be brought back to life and made available to people today, but 40 of them, including A Dog’s View, are fresh from the writers’ fingers.
Beecher began noticing the changes in his outlook within a few weeks of the accident. He could not remember dreaming before the accident, but now he was dreaming most nights and remembering them. “I liked the dreams,” he says. “They were a novelty for me and I wrote them all down. Because I was journaling, I noticed after a while that some of them were precognitive — something, which I thought was impossible.”
Prior to the accident, Beecher enjoyed shooting. “I used to shoot game every winter during the season, and clays during the rest of the year,” he continues the story. “Two months after the accident my friend called me because we had some shooting days coming up that we’d booked the previous year. I told him I couldn’t go because there was no way I could shoot an animal or even kill a fly anymore. I remember he was puzzled and he said to me, ‘You’ve been killing them for years, what’s changed?’ It was a good question and one I couldn’t easily answer at that time. All I knew was there was no way I would shoot an animal. At the time I didn’t connect this new feeling or the dreams to the head trauma. Since that time I’ve never had the inclination to pick up a gun.”
In 2002, Beecher was journaling and writing about an old friend named Brian, who had died in his house in 1988 from a head trauma. “I was writing about how if I’d have made a different decision that day, such as taking him to hospital, he might be alive now. It had been a while since I’d thought about him.” Beecher then went into the kitchen to make some toast. When he plugged the toaster in, he blew a fuse and knocked out the kitchen wiring. Nothing more was thought of this until a few days later when his sister, Nicky, called to tell him that she had recently become reacquainted with an old school friend called Johnny and his wife, Michelle (a pseudonym for privacy purposes). Nicky insisted that Michelle wanted to talk with her brother. While Beecher found it a very strange request, especially since he did not know Johnny or Michelle, he made the call. Michelle told him that her grandfather had recently died and she had been to see a medium as a result. “As I was listening I was wondering what my sister had got me into,” Beecher says. “As I said earlier, I had no interest or belief in anything like that back then.”
Michelle told him that after receiving some evidential communication from her grandfather, someone named Brian came through, saying he had a message for Jon. While Michelle had never heard of Brian, she thought the Jon being referred to might be her husband, Johnny, and so she took the information. When she got home and started relating the message to Johnny, he interrupted her and said he didn’t think the message was for him. However, he recalled that his friend Nicky had a brother called Jon and that he had a friend named Brian who had died in his house.
The medium told Michelle that Brian was tall and blonde (correct), that he sold jewelry, (also correct) and that the message was that Brian knew Jon had been thinking about him during the past few days (correct) and that he shouldn’t worry about what happened because although his death looked like an accident, it was his time to leave. “The conversation went on for a while, and at the end she said the medium also told her there was a problem with the kitchen electrics,” Beecher adds. “Michelle said she was so convinced she called an electrician who went to her home but found nothing wrong. I asked her when she had visited the medium and I told her my kitchen electrics had blown a few days later.”
Beecher couldn’t quite believe what he had just heard, but he was certain that his sister was not into such pranks and was even more certain that his sister knew nothing about his thinking and writing about Brian that week or the electrical problem he had experienced. In the mean time, he was still trying to understand why he felt so different about everything and started reading life after death literature, including the books of Arthur Findlay and some skeptical books, such as James Randi’s Flim Flam. “I came across an article by Kenneth Ring about people who had had near-death experiences. The article listed a number of after-effects NDEers typically experience and I realized I could tick every one. I came to the conclusion I’d had an NDE but I have no memory of it. I didn’t feel close to death although I was told by the doctor that given the force needed to do the damage I’d done to my face, I was lucky to be alive.”
In 2003, a little over two years after the accident, Beecher decided to find a medium. He went to the Arthur Findlay College website and saw a listing for one not far from where he lived. He recalls her name as Brenda. “On the day of the sitting I wasn’t hoping any particular person would come through, I was just curious to see what would happen,” he relates. “We sat for a few minutes and she told me my father was there, and my uncle on my mother’s side. She said my father’s energy was strong and suggested we should concentrate on him.
Brenda said, “You didn’t live with him when you were growing up.” She went on to describe what he looked like, his mannerisms, what sort of man he was. “That meant nothing to me, because my mother and father had separated when I was two years old. I grew up with my stepfather and I didn’t meet my father until I was an adult. I met him four times and two of those were just before he died in 2001.”
Beecher vividly recalls that Brenda then said, “He wants to show you something so you’ll know it’s him,” and with that she held her hand out and said that he had put a pigeon in her hand. “That was a big moment for me, because the only memory I had of my father was pigeons, and at his funeral I met my uncle (father’s brother) for the first time. During our conversation, the uncle told me that he and my father used to raise and race pigeons, and there was a pigeon loft in the back garden of the house I lived in as a two-year-old.”
“I couldn’t see how she could possibly know any of this by cold reading or any other materialist explanation,” Beecher continues. “Up to that point, I’d felt the accident and my subsequent change in worldview had been thrust upon me, but now I decided it was all part of some plan, and that was fine.”
Within the next few years, Beecher got divorced, left his business, became a vegetarian, did voluntary work, stopped buying sport cars, bought a Bible, and met with mediums, remote viewers, priests, parapsychologists, and others associated with spirituality and the paranormal. “People who report having near-death experiences or spiritually transformative events often claim they ‘know’ we don’t really die, and they know this and that. I understand exactly how they feel. I know what I know. That said, my logical brain tells me psychiatric hospitals are full of people who think they know things the rest of us don’t, but nevertheless, I have that knowing. Maybe that’s what faith is. It’s hard to explain.”
Two of the mediums he visited told him that they saw him publishing books about spirituality and life after death, which he had never considered at the time, and one day he woke up with the name “White Crow Books” in his head and went from there.
A Dog’s View of Love, Life, and Death was inspired by taking care of his parents’ two dogs after they both had strokes and were unable to take care of them. “I was walking the dogs on the beach during March 2016, and at a certain moment a story came into my mind — a story about dogs knowing more than we think they know, and acting as guides, helping humans move toward a state of unconditional love. A scene came into my mind of a man jumping from a parking lot structure. Before that moment I’d never had any inclination or desire to write a story — not ever, but I went home and wrote down that scene. The following day I took the dogs to the beach again and another scene came to mind and I went home and wrote it down. This went on for eleven weeks and by then I had the first draft of a story. No one was more surprised than me.”
As for his pen name, J. R. Archer, Beecher explains that Archer is his birth name, and while his father and grandparents were not in his life while they were alive, they’ve helped him enormously since they “died.” The pen name is to honor them. He cites a reading he had with a medium from Belgium named Isabelle Duchene a few years ago. Isabelle told him that she had his “father’s father here,” and he was telling her that he was very interested in Jon’s work and what he was doing. It was somewhat surprising to Beecher as he had never known his paternal grandparents and they had passed away many years before. He told her that he didn’t even know their names. Within a few minutes, the medium gave him the names Edward and Maria. Later that day, Beecher checked with a younger half-brother who confirmed that these were the names of his grandparents. “A few people have said they are common names and it may have been a lucky guess,” he muses. “One name might be a lucky guess, but getting both names was remarkable, especially when you consider I didn’t know their names.”
On another occasion, Isabelle told him his mother’s mother was there, and said she was with her sister Louisa and someone named Bill. The message from Louisa via the medium claimed Jon’s mother was feeling very negative at that time and not revealing why, adding, “She must have the eye test.” Beecher was unaware that his maternal grandmother had a sister named Louisa, but, in checking with his mother, found out that the sister’s name was Louisa and that the grandmother’s brother was named Bill. “The suggestion that my mother was feeling very negative didn’t make sense to me because my mother is a very positive person and she hadn’t ever mentioned having any eye problems, but when I contacted her later that day she confessed that some months before she had been diagnosed with cataracts, a condition later requiring surgery but before it could happen she needed to have an eye test,” Beecher recalls. “She hadn’t told anyone, including my stepfather, about the problem, nor had she had the eye test, because she was afraid to have the surgery.”
When asked if those experiences and a number of others too detailed to go into here have given him a belief in God and an afterlife, Beecher responds, paraphrasing the eminent Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, “I don’t need to believe, I know.”
A Dog’s View of Love, Life, and Death by J. R. Archer is available now from Amazon and other booksellers..
Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife, and Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I.
Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed the book.
Jon, Thu 29 Jun, 16:06
I read a book - I forget its title but it was something like “The Greatest Secret”. It was about the freemasons in ancient times and how the final initiation was to blindfold the ‘novice’, make him very frightened - convincing him that death was imminent - then whack him on the head so hard that his soul left his body, temporarily. After recovery, he had obtained “the knowledge”.
Martin, Thu 22 Jun, 13:09
Thank you for your thoughts. I don’t know if I knew prior to this incarnation that banging my head would be a life choice. I’ve never had a feeling about that. What I always have found interesting is that my friend Brian died in my house after suffering head trauma from a fall, and then years later he sent me a meaningful message via a person I didn’t know after I too had suffered a head trauma. I’ve often thought that those two events seem more like some kind of plan rather than just a random coincidence.
Jon, Wed 21 Jun, 08:15
The accident, despite the injuries, didn’t seem like a big deal at the time. I felt I dealt with those without a problem. As I mentioned in the article the next couple of years were difficult because I didn’t know why I was feeling the way I was. That’s why for me the Brian episode and subsequent initial experiences with mediums were so important. They made me pay attention.
Despite the life upheaval I created in my life as a result I do feel I have benefited enormously. That said, I wouldn’t recommend it as a life choice. ☺
Thanks for your interest.
Jon, Tue 20 Jun, 20:05
Yvonne Limoges, Tue 20 Jun, 20:05
Wonderful story! The progression of his many life changing experiences is a fascinating.
I have never had an NDE, but growing up around mediums in my family (while being a quite a skeptic and believing my entire family must be nuts), proof upon proof kept piling up which eventually convinced me about the truthfulness of spiritual/paranormal matters…Finally, my own personal experiences clinched the deal.
One gets to a point when one knows its true.
I believe Jon Beecher knew prior to incarnating in this existence that something transformative would occur and that it would change his life and put him upon a wonderful path of a spiritual mission.
Also, let us not forget that every time we enter the spirit world while our body sleeps we are taught many things, especially if we are receptive to it. He has received much help from superior spirits, and has psychic and mediumship abilities!
I’m very grateful, and I am sure others as well, for the work he has promulgated.
Many Blessing to him!
Mike, I’ve read several accounts besides this of people who had head injuries and found when they recovered that they had new psychic abilities or the kind of spiritual insights that many NDErs describe.
I’m sure Jon Beecher’s injury was tough on him, but considering how much it seems to have led to a spiritual transformation, I can’t help envy him a little. A non-fatal crack on the noggin might be a good exchange for transcendent experience. I wonder if I could persuade someone ... er, no, never mind.
Rick Darby, Tue 20 Jun, 19:45
Thank you for your kind words. Your parrot story reminded me of Rupert Sheldrake’s parrot telepathy experiment. In case you don’t know about it here’s a ink.
Jon, Tue 20 Jun, 19:29
Wonderful book review and background on the author. This book would be the perfect gift for some of my friends who, like many dog owners, are continually impressed with their telepathic abilities. And it’s not just dogs. One friend has a parrot who begins to call out her name about 10 minutes before she returns home from shopping.
Would love to meet Jon if he ever comes to the Islands.
All the best,
Bart Walton, Tue 20 Jun, 18:41
I found this story about “Jon Beecher” and “White Crow Books” quite interesting !!!
Thanks for sharing ...
Richard Brannon, Tue 20 Jun, 17:29
Michael, I have a story about my poodle, Emma. She’s 4 yrs old and she’s been with me since
she was 10 weeks old.
Last Halloween evening, four older kids came up my steep steps. Emma barked because they
had on costumes and she wasn’t used to that. I took the bowl of chocolate bars to the door.
Emma was nose level with the bowl. I told the kids to take some and that Emma would not
hurt them. They did.
About 20 minutes later my neighbor came over. I had just made a chocolate dessert and
asked her if she wanted some. She did. About one-half hour later, I gave her another piece.
After that she left.
I went into the bathroom brushed my teeth - came out of bathroom and Emma is sitting
right in front of the door just staring at me. I said “excuse me” and brushed passed her.
I went into the closet to get into my pjs. Came out and Emma is sitting in front of the closet door - so unlike her. Again I brushed passed her.
I went into the third bedroom to get my glasses so I could read in bed. I turned around and
almost fell over because Emma was right behind me just sitting there.
I got down on her eye level and said “I don’t know what your problem is but I could have just
fallen over you and hurt myself. What is wrong with you?” And I heard these words in my
head, “Everyone got something but me.”
So I gave her a treat and she went happily off to bed. I had just recently answered an email
to someone about telepathy and William James, and I thought how wonderful the universe was
to give me a real life example!
I watch her more closely now and hopefully I see what she needs more often.
Karen Herrick, Mon 19 Jun, 08:52
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