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A President Who Was a Medium

Posted on 07 March 2016, 8:36

The following words were penned in 1910 by a man about to become president of his country.  However, they seemingly apply just as much, if not more so, to today’s world. 

“As for the less evolved spirits who comprise the great majority of the earth’s inhabitants, for the most part they live without thinking of eternal life, ignoring the objective for which they have come into this world.  For such people, evolution is more difficult than for those who know the destinies of the soul beyond death and the reason for incarnation.” 

He also wrote this in the Introduction of his book published in 1911, just before he assumed the presidency: 

“Thus we intend this work for those workers who also have pure hearts, and whose consciences have not yet been polluted by materialism.  Here they will find the foundations of a very lofty philosophy to satisfy their most noble aspirations, and explain the meaning of life, the reasons for their sad situation, and which will show them the law of retribution, open their minds to new and vast horizons, make them understand that our lives do not play out in the miserable patch of an earthly existence, but for time they have Eternity, for space, the Universe; and finally, it will put them in a better condition to sustain their struggle for life, a struggle ever more ferocious given the selfishness of the rich and the ignorance of the poor.”

He was Francisco I. Madero, (below) the leader of the 1910 Mexican Revolution and 33rd president of Mexico, serving from 1911 until his assassination in 1913, at age 39.  The fascinating story of Madero, called the “Apostle of Democracy” in Mexico, is told by C. M. Mayo in her 2014 book Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution, which includes her English translation of Madero’s book, Manual espirita (Spiritist Manual).


Born into a wealthy family – one involved in banking and ranching – Madero was educated by the Jesuits in Mexico and further studied in the United States and France.  It was while in France that he was introduced to the writings of French educator Alan Kardec and became a devout believer in Spiritism.  After returning to his home in Mexico in 1893, “his every move was motivated by his Spiritism and even precise messages he received from the dead,” Mayo writes, adding that modern history books gloss over or ignore Madero’s association with Spiritism, “as it simply does not chime that an educated man could be sane and at the same time believe in tables rising from the floor without human agency or hearing messages from invisible entities.”

While adding to his family’s business empire in Mexico and building a personal fortune, Madero found time to study homeopathy and become a healing medium.  He also developed the ability to do automatic writing, receiving messages from his brother, Raul, who had died as a child in 1887.  He dedicated himself to charitable work and, along with his wife Sara, operated a soup kitchen.  When, in 1907, a fellow Spiritist criticized Theosophy, Madero wrote:

“...I believe the only enemy we should take seriously is materialism.  The other religions with more or less zeal, try to encourage good works, and right there, that’s everything we the true Spiritists are about.  It’s the same with Theosophy… .  I have always believed that Theosophy and Spiritism must eventually arrive at the same thing, for they have the same foundations, that is, the soul’s unending progress by means of evolution and the conviction that each is responsible for his acts and only by his acts will he owe his progress.”

According to Mayo, “many of Madero’s followers never imagined that his beliefs were anything but a typical Mexican gentleman’s Catholicism.”  He wrote his Spiritist articles under pseudonyms and otherwise exercised discretion in discussing his beliefs, which he summarized in one message:

“We are not our physical body; we are spirits, and as such we are immortal and we are destined, lifetime by lifetime, not by any ritual intermediated by clerics, but by freely chosen good works, to evolve into ever higher levels of consciousness and so return to God.” 

Between 1904 and 1908, Madero became increasingly active in politics and began formulating a plan to become president and end the autocratic tyranny in Mexico, substituting a democratic rule for that of Porfirio Diaz, who had served as Mexico’s president since 1876.  Much of Madero’s inspiration, according to Mayo’s research, came from instructions from the spirit world, primarily from his deceased brother Raul and from a spirit giving the name Jose.  One message coming from Jose read:

“You bear an enormous responsibility. You have seen…the precipice your country is about to fall from.  A coward you will be if you do not prevent it… . You have been elected by your Heavenly Father to accomplish a great mission on earth… It is necessary that, for this divine cause, you sacrifice everything material, everything earthly, and dedicate all your efforts to its realization.”

Madero’s 1909 book, La sucesiὀn presidencial en 1910 (The Presidential Succession in 1910), the first step in his presidential campaign, was well received by the Mexican populace and paved the way for his election to the presidency. Before the book was published, however, Madero wrote to his father, seeking his approval to pursue the presidency.  Addressing it, “Dear Daddy,” he wrote:

“Although you may be a convinced Spiritist, you have never studied it in more depth in order to discover the mysterious laws it reveals to us, or that we can discover through it.  So: it is good that you know that among the spirits who populate space there is a group that is intensely concerned with the evolution of humanity, for its progress, and every time there is an important event in any part of the world, a large number of them incarnate in order to bring humanity forward, to save this or that people from the yoke of tyranny, or fanaticism, and to give them liberty, which is the most powerful means by which people can progress…”

After much struggle, Madero became president of Mexico on November 6, 1911, but his inability to meld democracy with old guard politics and the ambitions of various military leaders led to his assassination on February 22, 1913, believed to be at the direction of General Victoriano Huerta, who then assumed the presidency.  In spite of the fact that he served as president for only 15 month, Madero apparently was able to achieve certain reforms and is considered a hero to the Mexican people today.

After completing his first book, Madero was told by the spirit Jose, that he should write a second book, Manual espirita.  While the first 150 pages of Mayo’s book set forth the thoroughly researched history of Madero’s life, the last 120 or so pages provide the English translation of Spiritist Manual.  It was authored under the pseudonym Bhima, the name of a Hindu warrior in the Bhagavad-Gita.  No doubt some of his beliefs would have been frowned upon by the mostly Catholic populace, the Church hierarchy and the more educated.  “Mediums, scoffed most scientists, were ‘vulgar tricksters,’ maestros of inflatable bladders, wire dummies, trick mirrors, and muslin painted with phosphorous to create the shiny extrusions of what Charles Richet termed ‘ectoplasm’,” Mayo describes the era.  The Spiritist Manual, published just before his election, was intended, according to Mayo, “to be a beam of light, to heal Mexico and the world with its consoling concepts of nature and meaning of life.” 

Metaphysical Odyssey 

When I listen to the crude, bombastic, and maniacal remarks of the leading candidates for the U.S. presidency, I wonder if the spirits mentioned by Madero – those who are concerned with the evolution of humanity – have been defeated by the lower spirits or if they are just working in different and strange ways.  It would be great if some of those influencing Madero would come out of retirement and become active again.

Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die is published by White Crow Books. His latest book, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife is now available on Amazon and other online book stores.
His latest book Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I is published by White Crow Books.



This was very interesting, Mike!Coming from New Zealand, I hadn’t heard of Madero before. But I find it so exciting and uplifting, to think of these people who occupied such lofty positions, being guided by, and willingly doing so,by higher sources!What chances are there,do you honestly think, of any of today’s great World ‘Posturers’, doing the same?

Sheree Fenwick, Mon 18 Apr, 20:40

I find Madero to be truly amazing on a number of accounts.  To achieve such wisdom in spite of being born into wealth (and materialism) and to hear and courageously respond to his divine calling speaks volumes about this great soul.

Peter R. Mitchell, Mon 14 Mar, 22:51

Excellent article, Mike!
There are always Spirits of Progress trying to inspire all people upon this planet,
but each person has freewill and they must be receptive to their good and wise counsels!

Yvonne Limoges, Thu 10 Mar, 23:57

I thoroughly enjoyed this, Mike.  It’s helpful to know that so great a soul was one of us.

Stafford Betty, Wed 9 Mar, 05:38

Thanks for the information Michael.  Nice article.  The quotes from Madero seem very modern to me and I agree with them 100%. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 7 Mar, 14:33

Very interesting, Michael. The news in the UK is reporting the death of Nancy Reagan and in particular Obama’s praise for her compared to his comment about her in 2008 when he said, ““I didn’t want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about, you know, doing any séances.”
I’m not sure if Nancy attended séances but maybe some of new candidates should give it a try. ☺

Jon, Mon 7 Mar, 12:59

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