99th Birthday of Comedian Jackie Gleason, Collector of Occult Literature

John Herbert “Jackie” Gleason was born 99 years ago today (February 26, 1916) in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. Gleason was a comedian, actor, variety show host and musician. He is perhaps best known for his character Ralph Kramden in The Honeymooners TV series. Gleason also had roles in  26 motion pictures (including Minnesota Fats in The Hustler in 1961) , 11 different TV shows, and 5 stage performances. He also made a wealth of musical recordings.

According to Wikipedia: “Gleason was a voracious reader of books on the paranormal... After his death, his large book collection was donated to the library of the University of Miami. [http://scholar.library.miami.edu/jg/index.html] A complete listing of the holdings of Gleason’s library has been issued by the online cataloging service LibraryThing.

According to Library thing, Gleason’s occult library has about 1,700 books, journals, proceedings and pamphlets addressing such topics as: witchcraft, folklore, ESP, UFOs, reincarnation, mysticism, spiritualism, mental telepathy, the occult, ghosts, clairvoyance, cosmology, demons, hypnosis, life after death, mediums, psychical research, voodooism, and others.

A fascinating, little known fact about Gleason’s collection, recounted by  OTO’s OHO Hymenaeus Beta is that EGC Bishop Harry Smith had moved to Miami Beach in the mid-1960s, made friends with Gleason and advised him on his library and collecting;. Harry knew a great deal about 19th century spiritualism and early parapsychology.

An online catalogue of his library can be viewed here: http://ibisweb.miami.edu/search~S11?/aJackie+Gleason+Collection./ajackie+gleason+collection/-3,-1,0,E/2exact&FF=ajackie+gleason+collection&1,1428

One wonders if his Honeymooners line: “Bang, zoom, right to the Moon” was borrowed from a working to travel astrally from Malkuth to Yesod?






Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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