January 19, 2022
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Everything Oahspe - About Oahspe Origin and History of Oahspe - Short Biography of John Ballou Newbrough January 15, 2010

John Ballou Newbrough

John B. Newbrough was born on June 5, 1828, near Mohicanville, Ohio. Though he was raised on a farm by a family with limited means, he eventually was able to attend Cincinnati Medical College and establish himself as a practicing physician. During his schooling, however, he gained experience in dentistry and, after finding life as a physician too disturbing for his sensitive nature, he turned his efforts to dentistry instead.

He later moved his practice to New York City where he developed a revolutionary and inexpensive composition for dental plates that made the appliances more accessible to thepoor. He also joined the 1849 gold rush to California, where he was successful at accumulating a small fortune; he later compounded that fortune in the gold fields of Australia. After that, he returned to New York City where he resumed his practice in both medicine and dentistry for the next 23 years.

Throughout his life, Newbrough displayed a natural mediumistic ability of high caliber, and he often received spirit communications that made him aware that we are not alone, and that there is much more meaning and purpose to our lives than what we experience during ourlimited time on the mortal plane. He became convinced that the information received from friends and relatives who had crossed the veil was of limited value and that, if he wanted to receive enlightened information from more highly developed sources, he needed to prepare himself in ways that would make himself more amenable to their enlightened presence.

Perhaps this idea came from information given by the higher angelic sources who already had begun to take interest in his development but, nevertheless, he converted to a strict vegetarian lifestyle and followed a prayerful discipline to purify both mind and body. During this time, he continued to be exercised mediumistically by an overshadowing who asked him countless questions that no mortal could answer intelligently but at least helped to direct his mind intomore spiritually enlightened channels. When his overshadowing decided that conditions were finally suitable, he suddenly began to receive Oahspe. He was told to purchase a typewriter and to sit for half an hour before dawn daily, at which time the overshadowing typed the manuscript through his hands. He was instructed to put all the typed pages aside until thework was completed and, after working for one year, he was told to read and publish the text.

It would be logical to assume that the angelic overshadowing who cultivated Newbrough's development for the specific task of transmitting Oahspe would also develop other mediums for the same purpose at the same time. It would seem unnecessarily risky to place all your hopes for so important a task upon one individual. Rather, it seems logical that the angelic hosts would nurture several mediums at the same time to see who would develop the best qualities that would be most suited to their purpose. There is ample evidence to suggest that this was probably their methodology since several highly developed mediums living at that time also received high-quality communications which included information similar to the messages Newbrough received. Other writings that were published at nearly the same time had teachings similar to some parts of Oahspe. We believe these other writings support and confirm the value of Oahspe, and suggest that other individuals were being cultivated simultaneously for the same possible purpose. Even Oahspe states that other people in other places would be inspired similarly and that they would be brought together. We believe this project was orchestrated and conducted by a massive pleroma of high-raised angels.

Although other avenues were being explored, it is evident that Newbrough displayed the right degree of development at the right time and, consequently, the task of producing Oahspe was placed in his hands. This was not done because he was a high-raised prophet or saint, but because he was a very talented and highly-developed medium in the right place at the opportune moment.

Oahspe was not "his" book. It was as much news to him as it was to other people who read it,and he was as much impressed by its message as anyone else. It was for this reason that he decided to undertake the building of his community called Shalam, based on the parable describing the society of the future in Oahspe's "Book of Shalam". He was told by the angelic overshadowing that the world at that time had not yet reached a level of developmentamenable to the ideas of Shalam, but if he wanted to try to build such a community, he was certainly free to do so. Perhaps Newbrough overestimated his own worth, perhaps his enthusiasm for Oahspe clouded his judgement, but he did attempt to follow the example of the Book of Shalam, perhaps too literally. Within a few short years Newbrough died from pneumonia. Not long after his death, Newbrough's experimental community failed.

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