Frederick Spencer Oliver

From Kook Science

Frederick Spencer Oliver
Born 28 May 1866(1866-05-28)
Washington, D.C.
Died 15 November 1899 (33)
Los Angeles, California
Burial Oak Hill Cemetery, Ballard, California
Noted work(s) A Dweller on Two Planets (1905)
Spouse(s) Edwina May Smith (m. 1894)

Frederick Spencer Oliver (May 28, 1866 - November 15, 1899) was an American medium, credited as the channel — the "Amanuensis" — of the book A Dweller on Two Planets, attributed to Phylos the Thibetan, which was published posthumously in 1905 by his mother, Mary Elizabeth Manley-Oliver.

Selected Bibliography

Press Coverage

  • "PUBLISHES WORK OF SPIRIT AUTHOR - MONEY FURNISHED IN MYSTERIOUS WAY - Mother of Mystic Writer's Amanuensis Declares That Mortal Did Not Dictate "A Dweller on Two Planets"", Los Angeles Herald 32 (117): 5, 27 Mar. 1905, 

    Such is the title page of the most unique book ever issued from the presses of the Los Angeles publishing company. Mary Elizabeth Manley-Oliver has published the book and she claims that it was written by an invisible person, with her son as amanuensis. The work was started when Frederick Oliver was 18 years old and was completed two years later in 1886. The amanuensis died in 1889 and the manuscript was intrusted to Mrs. Oliver to be given to the world when the author dictated and the funds were provided. The story of the struggle made by her to bring the book to the notice of the public has much of pathos in it, and the faith of the little woman who struggled on alone after the loss of her husband, at one time a prominent physician, and her only son, has at last been rewarded.

    Doctrine of Reincarnation

    The book treats of theosophical subjects and the doctrine of reincarnation is foremost. The story is supposed to be based on the life of Phylos and opens in Atlantis, where he is seen as a boy. His wanderings from one planet to another and his different incarnations are used as a means of introducing theories and prophesies regarding the different sciences. In the preface to the book, which is written by Frederick Oliver, he explains his connection with Phylos by saying: "I am mentally and spiritually but a figure beside the author of the great, deep-searching, far-reaching and transcendent questions presented in the following pages. A Dweller on Two Planets is absolute revelation and an adept of the arcane and occult in the universe is the author." He says that for a year previous to the beginning of the work his occult preceptor educated him by means of mental tasks, and that when the book was in progress he did not know at what time he would be called upon to write.

    "Some times," says Mrs. Oliver, "my son would have to get up in the night to write. He would do the work by lamplight or in the dark; it did not matter. The book was not written in the way most stories are, for some times a page near the end of the book would be revealed and next to it one that should be at the beginning. When a page was finished a number was given to him and when the revelation ceased, after two years, all the pages fitted in just as they were numbered."

    Letter From Mystic Author

    Following the preface in the book is a letter, said to be from Phylos, in which he says: "I make no pretenses when I say that I — the Christian student and occult adept — am one of a class of men who do know and can explain mysteries. The masses of humanity on this planet are awakened to the fact that their knowledge of life is insufficient for the needs of the soul. I have sought to explain the great mystery of life."

    Mrs. Oliver says Phylos told her son that the book would not be published until after the new century and that money would come for that purpose. In spite of this an attempt was made in 1897 to publish the book and money was secured, but the funds were dissipated. At the death of Mrs. Oliver's son, which occurred in this year, she, took upon herself the trust which she considered sacred, and since then she has been waiting for the money.

    "One day it came," she said. "I do not know from where. A friend of mine told me that she had it for me, but I knew she could not give it herself as she did not have it. It has cost $1100, but now it is ready for the world."

    A portrait which is said to be of Phylos adorns the front page, and this, too, was created by the amanuensis at the instigation of the author, who guided his hand as he made the lines.

    To the little woman with bright eyes and a resigned expression on her face this book is the world. It contains all that is left to her of her son, and her hopes are bound up in it. She has ceased to sigh over his death, for she believes that he is a spirit.