R. C. "Doc" Anderson

From Kook Science

"Doc" Anderson
Born Robert Charles Anderson
16 April 1908(1908-04-16) [1]
Enterprise, Polk Co., Iowa
Died 21 March 1980 (71)
Rossville, Walker Co., Georgia

Robert Charles "Doc" Anderson (April 16, 1908 - March 21, 1980) was an American psychic fortune-teller, astrologer, strongman and sometime matador that called himself the "Roman Style Bullfighting Champion of the World." In addition to his sundry predictions of the future and scrying of the past, Anderson also claimed to be able to produce telekinetic effects, such as the shattering of drinking glasses, and claimed that his hands would manifest stigmata as a method of oil dowsing, this latter ability being touted during the 1970s to induce investors to buy into the Texas oil fields of John R. Shaw, also known as "Ivan the Terrible," a wrestler turned wildcatter.[A]


Early Life

Anderson outlined his life prior to becoming a professional psychic as follows: he was born in Enterprise, Iowa, a mining town, into a poor family, one of a pair of fraternal twins; his sister, Agnes, died within the first year. His mother, Anderson said, was May Vanzella (Waddle) White Cloud, a "Sioux Indian princess," "a medicine woman and a clairvoyant," and his father, Nelson Anderson, a Swede coal miner. At the age of six, Anderson said, he had been initiated as a medicine man by a Sioux shaman; and that, by eight years old, he was working in a coal mine, first in Enterprise, and later in Zeigler, Illinois. Some six or seven years later, in his early teens, by his accounting, Anderson began working as a boxing promoter and prize-fighter, then spent the remainder of the 1920s hoboing, moving from one career to another, including stints as a starring wrestling attraction with the "Prince Oglie Carnival Shows," as a whaler and merchant sailor, an oil-well rigger, a cowboy and rodeo rider, a bartender and bouncer, a lumberjack, and a medicine man, all before he was 18 years old. At some time during his career as a merchant sailor, Anderson claimed he made a tour of British India and the Himalayan kingdoms, where he was apparently introduced to the 13th Dalai Lama in Tibet and learned about Agartha, among other adventures.

Following his globe-trotting teen years, Anderson reported that he enlisted with the United States Marine Corps., where he served as an athletic and judo instructor and spent time in Nicaragua (presumably during the U.S. occupation in 1927), after which time he spent his early twenties touring as a strong man act under the name "Young Sampson" (or "Little Samson") and took up Roman Style Bullfighting. Anderson also said he had fought in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) on the Republican side and then in Mandatory Palestine or Israel, suffering gunshot wounds in the latter operations; this period as a combatant would seemingly have occurred after his marriage to Ruth Funderburk in 1936.

As one might expect, there is some dispute as to whether Anderson's accounts of his past are entirely accurate.

Selected Bibliography

w/ Warren Smith

w/ A. L. Gary

Interviews & Profiles

  • Shinbaum, Ernest (Feb. 1957), Palmer, Ray, ed., "The World's Most Amazing Man", Search Magazine (Evanston, IL: Palmer Publications) 
  • Ames, Clinton (Sep. 1968), "The Man with a Radar Mind", Beyond (Hicksville, NY: Beyond Inc.) 1 (1) 
  • Bolen, James (Mar. & Apr. 1976), "Interview with R. C. 'Doc' Anderson", Psychic (San Francisco, CA: Psychic Magazine, Inc.) 7 (1) 

Selected Filmography

  • Anderson appears in Unknown Powers (1978), a documentary compiled from a cancelled three-episode television series by Don Como. In the six-and-a-half minute segment, Shaw and Anderson relate their claims regarding the locating oil in Texas by walking the fields and waiting for the manifestation of stigmata on Anderson's hands to indicate the presence of oil, and footage is shown of Anderson in a trance-like state, holding up his bleeding palms, in a field outdoors and in his office.

Press Coverage


War with Russia (1950)

La Macarena Bull Fight (1956)

A Letter to Ike (1956)

"Full-Fledged 'Seer'" (1958)


Wallace to Win Presidency in Landslide (1968)

Life on the Moon (1969)

World War III (1977)

Oil Dowsing by Stigmata (1973-1979)

  • Religion News Service (6 Sep. 1973), "He Finds Oil Through 'Stigmata': Psychic's Bleeding Hands Prove Astounding", Abilene Reporter-News (Abilene, TX): B-1, 
  • USPS (July-Sept. 1978), "'Ivan the Terrible' Pinned in His Final Fall", Law Enforcement Report (Washington, D.C.: Postal Inspection Service): 13, 

    John R. Shaw, known to Dallas wrestling fans in the 1960's as "Ivan the Terrible," pleaded guilty September 7, 1978 to one count of mail fraud. With the alleged assistance of a self-styled psychic named Doc Anderson, Shaw persuaded investors to put their money into Texas oil fields that Anderson reportedly said he located "by the power of the stigmata." The scheme began in early 1968 when Shaw, a professional wrestler with no experience in the oil business, formed John R. Shaw and Associates, an oil drilling firm. He had no money and the funds to operate were obtained by selling fractional interests in 30 oil wells to be drilled in West Texas. At least 300 persons invested more than $3 million in wells which were drilled in fields previously abandoned by major oil companies as not economically feasible. Of the 300 investors, most were reportedly induced to invest by an alleged psychic, "Doc" Anderson of Georgia, a former boxer and circus strongman who claimed to have extraordinary ESP powers. These powers supposedly were inherited from his mother who had received them from a Sioux Indian Medicine Man. Anderson became acquainted with Shaw sometime in the mid-1960's, and after Shaw began operations as John R. Shaw and Associates, Anderson allegedly began advising clients to invest in oil. In most instances, Anderson, during a psychic reading, would reportedly advise a client to invest in oil, however, not to invest in such companies as Texaco or Exxon, but smaller and more aggressive companies. Shaw, Anderson's best friend and millionaire oil man from Texas, "coincidentally" would be visiting Anderson, who would then offer to try and persuade Shaw to allow the client to invest in one of his oil wells. Shaw was then summoned and Anderson allegedly asked him, as a personal favor, to allow the client to invest with him. After some haggling, Shaw would always assent. Anderson and Shaw reportedly told prospective investors that Shaw's 100 percent success in finding oil was the result of "Doc" Anderson spotting the wells. Anderson allegedly would go to the prospective fields, walk across them, and locate drilling sites when his hands began to bleed from the palms. Shaw and Anderson claimed that such noted celebrities as Eddie Albert, Doris Day, Denver Pyle, and Judy Canova were personal friends of "Doc" Anderson, and had made a large amount of money. Investigation proved this to be false.

  • Fulton, Loretta (9 Sep. 1978), "Eastland Man Pleads Guilty in Oil Scheme; Psychic Powers Claimed by Georgian", Abilene Reporter-News (Abilene, TX): 1-A, 10-A, 
  • Unkn. (17 Sep. 1979), "Quick and easy for swindlers, not for victims", Daily News Leader (Staunton, VA): 9,  — "After selling non-existent oil and gas lease investments for nearly 10 years, former wrestler John 'Ivan the Terrible' Shaw went to jail late in 1978 to serve six months of a three-year sentence. Shaw and an accomplice, Robert Charles 'Doc' Anderson, took at least $3 million from more than 300 victims. A former boxer and circus strongman, Anderson, claimed his psychic powers caused his hands to bleed when oil existed below prospective drilling sites. He never did locate any oil. Because of ill health, Anderson is now reporting to a probation officer, Elkins says."


Client Statements

Walter C. Robinson Editorials

Other Solicitations