THE CHARACTER OF THE HUMAN AGENT
By this time you will have some grasp of the
character of William Sadler. However, it may be helpful to probe his nature
in greater depth. While Sadler had great integrity and honesty, he was
human, and he made some momentous mistakes. I shall explore those in later
We cannot understand why William Sadler was
chosen to serve as the agent for a Divine Revelation unless we examine
his character and personality. What was it about him that led to that choice?
Was it the mere opportunity of location in middle America? Why the United
States? Why not another country? What elements of integrity, honesty, intelligence,
and perception did he possess which would make him a likely choice? Was
there a threat of loss if the Papers had been entrusted to someone else?
Did he possess the grit, determination, and self confidence to hold fast
amidst a maelstrom of opposing forces?
Numerous incidents and policy decisions by
William Sadler and his wife Lena show the nature of their characters. Much
of this was summed up in the several descriptions of incidents and remarks
by G. Vonne Meussling.
Why did Sadler decide to devote much of his
energies to the rural tent Chautauqua circuits until their practical demise
in the 1920's? They certainly were not a vehicle for obtaining fame or
fortune. They required travel by train or automobile to the byways of America,
with rough sleep in many small hotels and cottages, and with the vagaries
of weather and hazards of the roads besetting them at every turn. For every
hour spent on the rural lecture circuits Sadler lost that much opportunity
to put money into his pocket. The letters to Willie White through 1907
show his success in surgery and the lucrative income they brought.
Sadler made this decision because of his concern
for the common people of America. They were close to his heart. He knew
they needed medical knowledge to improve their physical well being. This
practical concern for others had been instilled in him through his early
Church associations. But he also followed his heart. If he had no concern
for his fellow man he would not have followed that route. As he stated
"Human health and happiness cannot be greatly promoted if the civilized races do not bear in mind two great truths: first, the influence of the mind in the prevention of disease; second, the marvelous power of nature to heal."
If no one else was offering a helping hand,
he felt an obligation to do so. He decided to give public health lectures
since "he had to live with himself as he was and the world as it was."
His courage and deep convictions motivated him to speak "...in common
words the needs and hopes of common people." His letters reflect his
thinking. When circumstances pushed him out of the charity work of the
Seventh Day Adventist Church he turned his attention to the "outside" world.
Meussling described the situation:
"It was not easy for Sadler to get a place on the program of the Chautauqua circuit because there was no precedent for the medical lectures he proposed. When he first talked to the manager of the Redpath Chicago circuit to tell him about the health lectures he would like to present, 'the manager looked at me and said he couldn't think of anything nearer zero for a Chautauqua audience than health lectures, and if he ever planned to consider such a move he certainly wouldn't pick me to do it.' Sadler was refused a contract. However, he had determination. He believed in 'giving precedence to essentials,' and to him the theme of mental and physical health was essential. During the following year he gave some health lectures in small towns a safe distance from Chicago. The manager of the Redpath Chautauqua circuit, always looking for new talent, heard him and in the following year he sought Sadler to sign a contract."
(The reason for going beyond the Chicago environs
was to prevent accusation of advertising which was of great concern to
the medical profession, and to the formal Medical associations.)
In his private papers Sadler described his
success this way:
"But we (wife and registered nurse) finally made the grade and gave our sample performance in 1907 in Appleton, Wisconsin. There was not first aid in those days such as now taught by the Red Cross. The Lyceum (Chautauqua) sent scouts to hear and see the various lectures and performances, and the Sadlers' performance at Appleton was picked up for the ensuing season. Three years later I sat in the same manager's office and signed a contract for the biggest money that had even been paid for Chautauqua performance with the exception of William Jennings Bryan."
Sadler's reputation quickly spread. Gay MacLaren,
in his book on the Chautauqua circuits, Morally We Roll Along, Boston,
1938 described Sadler's influence.
"Sadler Day was an important occasion on any
Chautauqua. Dr. William and Dr. Lena with the aid of a nurse gave helpful
first-aid demonstrations, the nurse playing the part of the patient. . . . the
Chautauqua talent usually "doubled in brass," as the old circus saying
"In speaking to audiences concerning the immediate needs of their day, he had an influence in improving the quality of the life of man and of society. We cannot assess him by his fame because he did not have fame but 'Fame, in and of itself, is not proof of influence . . .' Perhaps the frequently mentioned speech or person was less influential than a seldom mentioned speech or person."
This is a highly important remark. We live
in a world today that is preoccupied with fame and fortune. Whether it
is William Clinton's desire to go down in the history books as a caretaker
of the American way of life, or Martin Gardner's ambition to be the Protector
of secular mechanistic scientific philosophies, those men work for fame,
if not for fortune. Yet the processes which move the world come from the
common level. Jesus left an imprint on a few human souls who forever modified
this world. He was able to do so because he taught truths to the world,
and not facts. By altering the attitudes of a few minds under a summer
tent, Sadler impacted upon the health attitudes of America in a way thousands
of scholarly tomes could not do. And this is where Sadler's heart was.
That Sadler fit so well with the average conservative
minds of Americans is attested by conditions of acceptance onto Chautauqua
circuits. As Meussling stated it:
"Supporting the conservative norms of rural
and small-town America, Chautauqua managers took more than an incidental
interest in the personal beliefs and opinions of their lecturers. ...Sadler's
message involved him with more personal habits and opinions than would
be the case with political orators and others. To be effective ... Sadler
had to develop confidence and trust in his audience. This could only be
done by adaptation to the needs of the audience. His ethos became crucial
to his success. Acknowledging the norms of Chautauqua ideals and traditions,
Sadler gained the respect of his auditors. By adapting his style to their
expectations he held their attention. By avoiding the use of medical jargon
while employing simple terms and ordinary illustrations he made effective
You should recognize that this ability by Sadler
was not one he pondered over for many months, in some academic effort,
but one which he knew instinctively. He knew and understood common persons,
and empathized with them.
In an effort to obtain information on the practical
side of Sadler's Chautauqua activities I requested copies of his files
from the Special Collections department of the library at the University
of Iowa in Iowa City. I was disappointed with only a dozen letters and
notes. I had made a similar request on Harry Loose, the Chicago detective
who was so important to future unfolding developments in the Revelation.
I obtained nearly 250 documents which showed his contracts with the Lyceum
Bureau, dates, the money he was paid, expense reports from trips to various
cities, and typical examples of correspondence with the Chautauqua management.
These documents provided considerable insight into the nature of Loose,
his methods of handling himself, and so on. Sadler was a heavy weight on
the Chautauqua circuit. He should have had ten times the volume of records
compared with Loose. Where were all the Sadler materials?
In effort to resolve this puzzle, and with
the expectation that perhaps the Sadler files might be classified under
some other category, I visited the library with Richard Preiss Monday morning
of March 31, 1997. I again was disappointed. Bob McGown, the librarian,
informed me that when the files were transferred from the Chautauqua archives
to the library in 1940 they suffered considerable water damage. The Sadler
materials may have been some of those which suffered that loss.
Several advertising brochures were in the files,
and those provided some insight into Sadler's activities. The brochures
were printed on "slick" paper stock with photographs and were of good quality.
They were designed for and mailed to local Chautauqua managers throughout
the country. They were specific on details of the background and presentations
of the Sadler "talent." I found samples from the years 1910, 1915 and 1920.
The respective photographs showed Sadler and Lena obviously aging during
The 1910 Announcement advertised the formation
of "Dr. Sadler's Chautauqua Company." He had lectured by himself in 1907,
Lena had accompanied him in 1908, with Anna Kellogg assisting in many of
the lectures. Sarah Mildred Willmer, the close friend to Anna, was added
to the company in 1910 with her unique performances in entertainment. The
brochure stated that "Dr. Sadler's Company is a whole Chautauqua in itself,
except the music."
The list of lectures were given under the classes
of Popular Health Lectures, Unique Slum and Social Lectures, Demonstration
Health Lectures, (Lena assisted by Anna), Domestic Science and Household
Hygiene, (conducted by Anna with lectures by "The Drs. Sadler), and
and Classical Readings, (Sarah).
Newspaper reports from one tour indicated the
popular appeal and praise received everywhere for the Sadler program.
The Daily Northwestern, Oshkosh, Wisconsin:
Dr. William S. Sadler gave a lecture on 'The
Physiological Influence of Faith and Fear,' which was pronounced to be
one of the most useful lectures given during the series.
This subject was dear to Sadler's heart. He
strongly believed in the effective influence of God in our lives, and how
our attitudes of faith, rather than fear, can mightily alter our health.
The Tribune, Terre Haute, Indiana:
The Sadlers grew on the people during the ten days and the largest audience of the season was a compliment to his ability last night.
The Star, Appleton, Wisconsin:
Dr. Sadler made a hit last night. His address on The Slums was second to none. To say the lecture was interesting does not do justice to it, and an audience has not left the Chautauqua more pleased than was the crowd that attended last evening.
The Crescent, Appleton, Wisconsin:
. . . The lecture aroused much interest. The
lecturer did not advance a set of fads and fancies or propose impracticable
things. His plea for the simple life is sane and sensible. He is not extremist.
Background information on the Sadlers was provided
in order for the local "Committeemen" to assess the value of their talent
and their professional abilities.
The Doctor's labors for the submerged classes began years ago, while he was yet a student, and have continued since . . . A dozen years ago he was joined in
by Dr. Lena K. Sadler who gave special attention to the organization of
Rescue Work . . . -- for years appearing each morning before the bar in the
old Harrison Street Police Station in behalf of these unfortunates . . .
The Doctor, in his Health Lectures, is intensely interesting and practical. He is positively unique. His methods are new and original. His delivery is animated and his audiences are captivated by the simplicity of his style and the force of his witty illustrations.
In the 1920 brochure similar words are repeated:
Dr. Sadler is a good example of his own teachings -- he is a hard worker, but a simple liver. The doctor is enthusiastic, sincere, and dead in earnest. His audiences catch his spirit and enter into his enthusiasm for righteous living. He delivers a health message for its own sake -- he represents no medical fad, cult, or "school."
The praise of the newspapers was universal,
from the Journal of Racine, Wisconsin, the Sentinel-Post
of Shenandoah, Iowa, the Courier of Charleston, Illinois, and on
Alfred L. Flude, one of the Chautauqua managers
published this remark:
As an attraction for Chautauqua programs the
Sadlers are distinctly different from any other feature ever offered the
Chautauqua public. . . . In my judgment there is no attraction upon the Platform
of greater value, and it would be hard to find another attraction which
leaves behind so much of practical knowledge and common sense, as do the Sadlers.
S. M. Holladay, another Chautauqua manager
had this to say:
The Sadlers are among the best lecturers ever appearing in the Middle West. I had them in seventy-seven towns during the past summer and wish to state that their work was high grade, constructive, and very profitable to each community where they appeared. I wish to give them an unqualified recommendation.
I offer photographs of Sadler, Lena, Anna Kellogg, Sarah Wilmer, and of the Chautauqua group including Bill Sadler, Jr. You will find these on the files identified as Chautauqua Brochures.
When Sadler decided to enter psychiatry he
carried with him the same practical attitudes and concerns that conditioned
his entire life. Although he respected Freud, he rejected his notions of
fixed sexual symbols. He accepted Freud's teachings with a strong dose
of salt. As he stated in Americanitis -- Blood Pressure and Nerves:
"Now, I don't mean by this that I am a believer in all the nonsense that has been put out under the guise of modern Freudian philosophy. When I have a patient who has a sex worry, I find the Freudian system very helpful in trying to get at the bottom of the thing and helping them over their trouble; but when it comes to the belief that all forms of worry, tension and nerves are of a sex origin, then I dissent. While we all recognize much that is valuable in Freud's teaching, it should be stated that he has not convinced the majority of psychologists and psychotherapists that all nervous disorders have a sex origin.
"We recognize that there are other human instincts and impulses just as strong as the sex urge. First of all there comes the instinct to live, to get food, and then, in many individuals, the religious emotion is very powerful, so that we cannot accept the Freudian doctrine that all our nervous troubles are due to suppression of the emotions and further that the particular emotion suppressed responsible for the trouble is the sex emotion."
Many doctors in our modern world had an unconscious
desire to make their patients dependent upon them. Whether motivated out
of greed, or social control, they did not develop a stern and disciplined
relationship with those who sought their help. Sadler demonstrated the
contrary. As Meussling expressed it:
"In expressing himself freely with patients, Sadler instilled the trust factor; his patients sense that nothing that they revealed ever shocked him. Patients had an adoration and respect for him. Although he was never unkind, he was frank in pointing out mistakes and seldom offered compliments. This was in accord with his philosophy that people can do a great deal in maintenance of their own health."
Meussling quoted from Sadler's book, Psychiatry:
"The genuine psychiatrist . . . does not want to build up a constituency of semiworshipping weaklings who are ever dependent upon his advice and guidance. He should crave the fellowship of a great group of men and woman who are so thoroughly cured of their neurotic tendencies as to be quite free from the necessity of depending upon him for continuous guidance . . ."
In his Psychiatric Educational Work,
Sadler expressed how he detested the:
". . . increasing menace of pseudo-psychologists, ignorant mental-hygienists
How close Sadler remained to the common man
is exhibited in an amusing review of his Americanitis:
"Dr. Sadler covers the ground adequately; his discussion of toxic Tension, Nervous Tension, and Blood Pressure Tension is couched in terms intelligible to laymen and is yet sound scientifically. The tone of the book is injured somewhat by the jocosity of the author who writes a good deal like a Chautauqua lecturer addressing a hot-weather audience of weary morons."
When Sadler made his decision to enter the
field of psychiatry in 1911, he did so for several reasons. As a physician,
he thoroughly understood the effect of mental attitude on the physical
health of individuals. Persons who have a dynamic interest in life simply
get less sick than those who are uncertain of their direction. As Meussling
"When Sadler entered the practice of psychiatry full time, he did not abdicate his self-chosen mission of health instruction and preventive medicine. . . . Consistent with his efforts to educate the public concerning physical hygiene, he began a public educational program concerning mental hygiene; he urged his fellow psychiatrists to 'make every effort to remove from the public minds the stigma attached to mental, emotional, and personality disorders.'
"Following the pattern of his classes in psychiatry for physicians, Sadler initiated similar instruction of ministers, priests, and rabbis. His 'pastoral psychiatry clinic . . . was designed to help ministers of religion to a better understanding of the psychic, emotional, and personality problems of those who seek his counsel.' The carefully designated purpose of this instruction was to help ministers become personal counselors and (for them) to know when the services of trained psychiatrists was necessary."
From these many examples we can see the pattern
of Sadler's life objectives, and the goals he set for himself in his desire
to help his fellows, regardless of the social position from which they
came. He worked at all levels, and felt at home with everyone. It was this
activity of Sadler which led Dr. John Timothy Stone to ask him to give
a course in pastoral psychiatry for theological students at the MacCormick
Theological Seminary. Other men solicited him; he did not solicit for his
own self aggrandizement.
The fact that three text books on psychiatry,
and Practice of Psychiatry in 1936, Modern Psychiatry in 1945,
and Practice of Psychiatry in 1953, went through repeated printings
shows the influence of Sadler on the psychiatric profession, even into
his old age. While Sadler certainly was not a sole voice influencing modern
medical and psychiatric trends, he just as certainly was an influence which
helped direct the course of thinking for both the medical profession and
the general public.
In Theory and Practice of Psychiatry
he spent many pages discussing the mind-set of human mortals, and how that
affected their lives. This was not some clinical discussion devoid of practical
value, but an effort to mold the minds of professionals to proper attitudes.
In a Section called Psychotherapeutics and a Chapter called Will
Power and Decision, he discusses the topic of Decision and Destiny.
"Before one arrives at a definite decision, will power is comparatively helpless -- it is quite powerless to enforce the mandates of reason and judgment; whereas, after the formulation of a decision every soul power quickly swings into line -- every force of mind and every energy of body are immediately rendered subservient to the decrees and mandates of the will.
"Now, at last -- and through the power of definite decision -- the human will becomes what God designed it should be, the majestic sovereign guide and rule of the whole mental, moral, and physical domain of mortal experience. But the will does not become such a power in one's life until the individual has learned how to decide things -- until he has learned how to reach definite conclusions and then to throw himself whole-heartily and unreservedly into the actual execution and carrying out of those conclusions. That is decision, and it never fails to spell deliverance for all those nervous sufferers who, through patient perseverance, attain this practice."
In a tome that is already heavy with profound
discussions Sadler spent more than fifty pages on Religious Therapy
and Philosophies of Life. He not only believed that religion was
the center of our lives, he fully practiced it and advocated it. Although
he left a denominational religious environment over difficulties with personalities
and policies this did not mean that he abandoned efforts to effect a serious
attitude about God in the lives of his audience. He merely used the new
vocation as another path to the same end. Note how he emphasizes this effort
in a section he calls The Inspiration of Religion:
"No one can appreciate so fully as a doctor the amazingly large percentage of human disease and suffering which is directly traceable to worry, fear, conflict, immorality, dissipation, and ignorance -- to unwholesome thinking and unclean living. The sincere acceptance of the principles and teachings of Christ with respect to the life of mental peace and joy, the life of unselfish thought and clean living, would at once wipe out more than one-half the difficulties, diseases, and sorrows of the human race. In other words, more than one-half of the present affliction of mankind could be prevented by the tremendous prophylactic power of actually living up to the personal and practical spirit of the real teachings of Christ."
Other examples could be cited. In Piloting
Modern Youth he and Lena spent another chapter on The Religious
Aspects of Adolescence. They discuss the idealism of youth, and the
tendency of young people to seek heroes and personality idols, and to be
concerned about personal morality. No greater good could come of that natural
inclination than to offer Jesus as the supreme ideal. This young soil is
fertile ground for the development of religious belief, and faith in the
ultimate benevolent design of the universe. Many religious conversion experiences
take place among the young.
How truly unfortunate we threw away that potential
in the human race when we decided that God did not exist, or if he did,
he was off in some remote, unapproachable and unconcerned heaven.
To further show the character of Sadler it may be helpful to quote another passage from that book. Remember, this is 1931, some twenty-three years after he first met SS, eight years after the establishment of the Forum, and well into the interchange between divine agents and the Forum members. In fact, the actual revelation is about to unfold, unknown to Sadler.
What I have to say on conversion must be taken as referring exclusively to its adolescent psychologic aspect; I do not desire to discuss it as a supernatural experience. Any views I might hold on that phase of the subject would be purely personal.
Whatever one may think about the psychological phenomenon called conversion, one thing is certain; we can observe a youth who is fear-ridden, distressed, suffering great emotional conflicts, feeling a deep sense of personal guilt and condemnation; and then, as the result of some psychic shift in the gears associated in the mind of this youth with the supernatural influence of religion, suddenly, in spectacular
fashion he emerges from this darkness into light -- into a psychological state of calmness and freedom from conflict. Faith and confidence have supplanted fear and doubt.
Such individuals believe they have passed from a state of guilt and perdition into one of justification and salvation; and there is no gainsaying the fact that this kind of psychic revolution is taking place right along. What is it? We call it conversion. That is probably as good a name as any. It is a very definite psychologic experience. It may be more. That is not our concern at this time. While it varies markedly in different individuals, its manifestations are sufficiently uniform to warrant us in regarding it as a definite phenomenon.
Sadler goes on to expand on the different form
conversion experiences may take. Some may occur instantaneously; other
may occur over extended periods. The important factor is that religious
belief, and the psychological states associated with that belief, can have
a profound lasting effect upon individuals. Sadler himself underwent just
such a conversion experience. It dramatically conditioned his life. I personally
had such an experience as a youth. Millions upon millions of others have
Perhaps the most important element of such
experience is the deep belief in a personal God, someone who is the Creator
of the Universe, and one who has a personal interest in our welfare. Nothing
is so stirring or moving than fulfillment of a dedication to a God who
can command deep loyalty, and who offers hope for eternity. The saddest
disappointment of the modern world is that the vast majority of people
no longer have hope in a personal God. Modern secular science, and our
godless philosophies threw him away. When we threw God away we threw away
all purpose; we had nothing left but the hope of eternal oblivion, self-gratification,
and material pursuits. We now pay the price for such rejection.
Perhaps we can obtain other insight into youthful
conversion experiences by noting a comment in The Urantia Papers,
Mystery and power have always stimulated religious feelings and fears, while emotion has ever functioned as a powerful conditioning factor in their development. Fear has always been the basic religious stimulus. Fear fashions the gods of evolutionary religion and motivates the religious ritual of the primitive believers. As civilization advances, fear becomes modified by reverence, admiration, respect, and sympathy and is then further conditioned by remorse and repentance.
As regards the study of emotional suppression and emotional conflicts in relation to various psychic states and nervous disorders, I would offer the following classification or grouping of human instincts, emotions, and urges:
He then goes on to list:
Under the worship urge he lists:
This 1929 list compares with discussion which is found in The Urantia Papers, page 402.
We are handicapped for words adequately to designate these seven adjutant mind-spirits. They are ministers of the lower levels of experiential mind, and they may be described, in the order of evolutionary attainment, as follows:
1. The spirit of intuition -- quick perception, the primitive physical and inherent reflex instincts, the directional and other self-preservative endowments of all mind creations; the only one of the adjutants to function so largely in the lower orders of animal life and the only one to make extensive functional contact with the nonteachable levels of mechanical mind.
2. The spirit of understanding -- the impulse of co-ordination, the spontaneous and apparently automatic association of ideas. This is the gift of the co-ordination of acquired knowledge, the phenomenon of quick reasoning, rapid judgment, and prompt decision.
3. The spirit of courage -- the fidelity endowment -- in personal beings, the basis of character acquirement and the intellectual root of moral stamina and spiritual bravery. When enlightened by facts and inspired by truth, this becomes the secret of the urge of evolutionary ascension by the channels of intelligent and conscientious self-direction.
4. The spirit of knowledge -- the curiosity-mother of adventure and discovery, the scientific spirit; the guide and faithful associate of the spirits of courage and counsel; the urge to direct the endowments of courage into useful and progressive paths of growth.
5. The spirit of counsel -- the social urge, the endowment of species co-operation; the ability of will creatures to harmonize with their fellows; the origin of the gregarious instinct among the more lowly creatures.
6. The spirit of worship -- the religious impulse, the first differential urge separating mind creatures into the two basic classes of mortal existence. The spirit of worship forever distinguishes the animal of its association from the soulless creatures of mind endowment. Worship is the badge of spiritual-ascension candidacy.
7. The spirit of wisdom -- the inherent tendency of all moral creatures towards orderly and progressive evolutionary advancement. This is the highest of the adjutants, the spirit co-ordinator and articulator of the work of all the others. This spirit is the secret of that inborn urge of mind creatures which initiates and maintains the practical and effective program of the ascending scale of existence; that gift of living things which accounts for their inexplicable ability to survive and, in survival, to utilize the co-ordination of all their past experience and present opportunities for the acquisition of all of everything that all of the other six mental ministers can mobilize in the mind of the organism concerned. Wisdom is the acme of intellectual performance. Wisdom is the goal of a purely mental and moral existence.
Was Sadler influenced by divine revelation?
Was he inspired to his psychological classifications by teachings he was
receiving via SS? Very likely. Why not? They truly are inspirational. On
the other hand, do not the words of Sadler demonstrate his human interpretation
and show how much more humanly limited he is than are the words provided
by divine revelation? Do not the words of divine revelation provide more
noble and more authoritative presentation? The contrast between the words
of Sadler and the words of divine revelation is clear.
Because Sadler was such a prolific writer it is possible to draw out many parallels between his works and The Urantia Papers. He definitely was influenced, but he was also his own man.
|SADLER AMONG HIS PROFESSIONAL PEERS|
|In 1937 the W. K. Kellogg Foundation was considering adding a leading psychiatrist to their professional consulting staff. The long friendship of Sadler to Will Kellogg naturally led Kellogg to consider Sadler a possible candidate. He had his staff inquire concerning Sadler. Dr. Stuart Pritchard sought the||opinion of several recognized psychiatrists. Following are two letters in response to those inquiries.
Copies of these letters were sent to us by the kind assistance of Ms. Patty Grimes, Administrative Secretary at the Kellogg Foundation. The first letter is headed:
September 2, 1937
Dr. Stuart Pritchard
My dear Stuart:
The great rush of the syphilis campaign in Chicago and now the outbreak of infantile paralysis there has delayed my writing you for twenty-four hours. I know you will pardon me.
Last Monday while in Chicago I had an occasion
to have a long conversation with my friend, Professor Wm. F. Lorenz, Director
of the State Psychiatric Institute in Madison and Professor of Psychiatry
at the University of Wisconsin Medical School. During this discussion without
any design on my part the name of Dr. Sadler came up and I have never heard
a more enthusiastic praise of one professional man by another man of the
same discipline than that given to Sadler by Lorenz. Mind you the two men
have not met, so it is not a matter of log-rolling or back-scratching.
Lorenz simply knows Sadler's work and has a most hearty respect for it.
This, it seems to me, is a great compliment to Sadler, since Lorenz, himself,
stands at the top of the profession along with Adolf Meyer among American
psychiatrists. Just dropping this to you, thinking you might like to know
that you have made a very bad choice in Sadler!
|The surname and signature are missing from the photocopy but it is obvious from the familiar address that the two men knew each other well.||The second letter is headed:|
Dr. Stuart Pritchard
Dear Dr. Pritchard
I made inquiries concerning Dr. William Sadler of Chicago and have the personal statement of Professor Adolf Meyer that Dr. Sadler would be a suitable person for carrying on an educational campaign among our general practitioners and introducing modern sound principles of psychiatry and mental hygiene into the work of the County Health Departments and medical practice locally.
Dr. Meyer further states that Dr. Sadler has
never had any formal adequate training in psychiatry. He is what might
be called a "one-man institute" of psychiatry but in his writing, and his
outlook he is entirely sound.
Haven Emerson, M.D.
Adolf Meyer was then considered the leading
psychiatrist in the United States.
I also have copies of 21 reviews of Sadler's
book Theory and Practice of Psychiatry, published in professional
journals. These are dated from August, 1936 to May, 1937. They were universally
in high praise of Sadler's work. Following are examples.
Bulletin of the Physician's Association:
"...There is a crying need for physicians to gain a fuller, broader, more humanized fund of knowledge of the human personality. With us there is a great need to dispel the profound pessimism concerning prospects of treatment. A more cheerful, optimistic, outlook will reward any careful and conscientious perusal of this work. Its excellent chapters on psychotherapy will be found to contain many important, highly practical and practicable suggestions, readily applicable to institutional patients.
"For its breadth of view, for its exhaustive evaluation of the various schools of psychology, for its humanized treatment of clinical psychiatry, Dr. Sadler's book deserves wide acceptance."
". . . It may well be doubted if there is to be found between the lids of any other book so much instruction for every day usefulness to the doctor of medicine, for it is a remarkably good textbook of normal and abnormal psychology."
The Hahnemannian Monthly:
". . . On the whole this volume admirably fulfills its purpose as there is certainly a true and definite need for just such a book."
Alumni Review: Presbyterian Teachers Seminary,
". . . It is particularly gratifying to note that in his recommendation of the use of religious faith in rescuing the mind of various neuroses and in preventing the development of emotional instability, Dr. Sadler has placed himself alongside of those great scientists, Millikan, Compton, Mather, Jeans, Eddington, and Pupin who hold the theist faith without compromising the attitudes and procedures of minds severely disciplined to objectivity. For a psychiatrist to put his patient into sympathetic and life-giving touch with God, knowing that here is the highest source of curative vitality, is to suggest to ministers the presence of a new ally in their work for world redemption."
The Medical World:
". . . The doctor will find this volume of great assistance to him in handling the large number of patients he sees with emotional and psychic states."
Texas State Journal of Medicine:
". . . In the opinion of the reviewer, Dr. Sadler has performed an enormous task, and the book is recommended to all physicians interested in rendering a better service to any patient who approaches him for relief."
". . . One really would be hard put to name a single volume in any language which as thoroughly covers all phases of psychiatry from the nursery, up through adolescence and adulthood, and old age."
The Medical Press:
"Among the more important universally known psychiatric treatises, rare are those which present a view of an ensemble so vast, comprehensive, and clear as the work of Professor William Sadler of Chicago."
New Orleans Medical & Surgical Journal:
". . . This volume should please the most critical general practitioner and the most meticulous psychiatric as an aid not only in collateral reading but as a vade mecum of psychiatry."
(The Latin phrase vade mecum means
a written work one carries with him for frequent or regular use, a ready
New York State Journal of Medicine:
". . . The author seems to be neither radical, nor an ultra conservative but rather an exponent of the 'American School of Psychiatry,' the so-called 'middle-of-the-roaders.'"
British Medical Journal:
". . . This massive tome is perhaps rather heavy for those who have no training in psychiatry, but it will certainly be most useful to those who have taken up psychiatry as a career."
Clinical Medicine and Surgery:
". . . Here is a massive and well-written volume which will meet such a need better than any other with which we are familiar, as it is probably the most complete discussion of psychiatry and mental hygiene problems to be found in one volume . . ."
As I noted above, Sadler made known his opinions
of psychic phenomena in all of his written works, and especially in this
massive volume which received such high universal praise from his peers.
What more could one say about Sadler's professional abilities, and his
character. Sadler was not a channeler, he strongly condemned channeling,
and he abhorred all forms of spiritualism and psychic communications. Anyone
who would attempt to force him into that mold simply does not know what
he is talking about.
It is truly unfortunate that someone like Martin
Gardner should distort and pervert reality in order to rescue his secular
philosophies from the certain fate of eternal oblivion when the Great God
above all of us shows his power in such glorious works.
I now show the remarks of James C. Mills, who knew Sadler personally, and who volunteered a Statement of Character, unsolicited. In a letter dated April 29, 1993, Mills offered the following:
"When Mrs. Mills and I first met Dr. Wm. S. Sadler in 1951 I was a confirmed material scientist. My experience to date included an A.B. (degree) with a Chemistry major of 44 hours, 20 hours of Physics, 25 hours of Biology and graduation with honors. This was followed by five years of teaching chemistry, eight years of highly technical sales in the paper industry, and seven years to technical service and sales with Wyandotte Chemicals Corp. (Now BASF).
"I was a complete agnostic loaded with all of the arguments of the logical positivists of Philosophy as to the meaninglessness of all religious statements, and some very sour memories of my own experience with institutional religions. To me, objective science was my toehold to sanity.
"In Dr. Sadler I found a man whose mind worked brilliantly as a scientist. His was probably the most keen mind I had ever encountered. In it, honesty and analysis stood out like brilliant lights. His objectivity was incomparable. My first feelings in relations to Sadler and the Papers was 'Our unseen friends have certainly selected the most qualified person available to stand at the forefront of an event which undoubtedly will be one of the most controversial of our century.'
"At first I naively suspected that he might of had something to do with the authorship of the papers. I devised several innocuous questions to test the supposition. He failed them all. Subsequent conversations with him showed his personal skepticism about the whole (series of) events as the result of his application to them of the same type of reasoning that supported his data gathering in leading to the publication of the Mind at Mischief.
"When he told me of the events which led him to acceptance of the validity of the phenomenon, it became apparent that it was through a process which could have been carried out by Dr. Sadler only in his own mind, and by no one else.
"My personal acquaintance with Dr. Sadler extended over a period of 18 years. We had many private, but non-professional discussions. One that particularly influenced my assessment of his personal integrity had to do with his decision to forego a personal, lucratively successful practice of surgery for an
uncertain career in Psychiatry. He told me that he had felt very uncomfortable with his obvious success in surgery that had led to the successful healing of many bodies, but failed to erase the scars of each trauma in the mind of that patient. He said, 'I could heal the body, but could not do the same with the mind.'
"Dr. Sadler's honesty was oft-times painful to the listener but always on the mark. Truth itself is always important to the scientist, and he was a genuine scientist. I felt this in our first meeting, and he consistently maintained this position. He would have been the first to expose any human machinations involved with the revelation that he could detect, and he critically looked at it for a long time.
"Typically, I once asked him his opinion of Sigmund Freud under whom he studied during his and Lena's year in Vienna. His reply was characteristic. 'I was a pupil of Freud's but never his disciple.' He was always his own man.
"I regret I can give you nothing about Dr. Lena Sadler for personal experience. She died earlier than our admission to the papers. People at 533 who remembered her always spoke of her in terms of great love and respect. My impression was that she was a perfect alter-ego to Dr. Sadler.
"To fob off the revelation as a human product on gullible human minds is something I am convinced that Dr. Sadler was totally incapable of on ethical and purely moral grounds. The suggestion is completely repugnant to me. Deception of any kind was not a part of his character. This eliminates, to me at least, any possibility of 'channeling.'
"It seemed to me that Dr. Sadler for long, regarded the whole procedure as an aberration in human behavior that greatly puzzled him as a psychologist. He told my wife and I, after some questions on our part during our first interview, 'If I told you every single detail you would not know any more than I do.' This was not sophistry on his part; he meant it. I know he ran every test in his experiential catalogue and then could not come to a satisfactory conclusion to himself.
"Dr. Sadler was simply incapable of a fiction as a divine revelation."