Jeron Criswell King, briefly and peripherally famous as “The Amazing Criswell”, was a true product of Hollywood grift. When he was working in Los Angeles as a radio announcer in the early 1950s, he started making off-the-wall predictions to fill the airtime.
For example, one year he claimed that all the women would lose their hair in St. Louis between February 11 and May 11, blanketing the city in chaos and resulting in an outbreak of violence toward hairdressers, lawsuits, and divorce. This sounds to be crazy, but eventually, his predictions of the future brought more popularity at that time and made him a celebrity.
As his fame spread, he started to be invited onto chat shows such as The Jack Paar Show, where he earned himself a regular guest spot. It did not seem to matter that his predictions, such as that Mae West would become the United States President, were wildly inaccurate: people still listened to him.
And he certainly leaned into the role. Jeron Criswell King was known for his sequined tuxedos, a spit-curled pompadour, and stentorian speaking style. But it would be for one prediction, made in March 1963, that the Amazing Criswell became notorious.
In a typically wild-eyed guess, Criswell publicly predicted John F. Kennedy would be prevented by “outside forces” from running for re-election in the year 1964. This certainly came true, as Kennedy was assassinated in November of 1963, never to stand for re-election.
He used to claim that he could predict accurately 87% of the time, a statistic of dubious provenance. With the passage of time, it has been identified that his knowledge and predictions about the future over the year 2000 were proved wrong. In fact, almost everything Criswell predicted was wrong, a record which has seen him dubbed “the anti-psychic”.
Who was Jeron Criswell King?
Jeron Criswell King was born in Princeton, Indiana, on Sunday, August 18, 1907. While still at high school he started working for the local newspaper. After that, he studied at the Conservatory of Music and attended the University of Cincinnati.
But it seems his earlier vocation had more appeal. Criswell returned to his previous newspaper work, and started doing predictions for the future. Likely, more and more papers started printing his forecast reports. His syndicated columns were followed by many people, and a rising number of followers has been observed over the years.
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Jeron Criswell King married Halo Meadows, an eccentric former speak-easy dancer who spent so much of her time sunbathing she was known as buttercup. She was convinced her cousin Thomas had been reincarnated, but it not recorded how much of her husband’s predictions she believed.
Jeron Criswell King was also a longtime friend of the actress Mae West, whom as we already know he considered Presidential material. He made several predictions about her upcoming successes in this fashion, which the great actress obviously thought could do no harm.
At that time, actress Mae West used Amazing Criswell as her personal psychic, and always dropped him off via chauffeur. She also lavished him with home-cooked food (likely prepared for her staff, Mae West not being famous for her skills in the kitchen) and expensive gifts.
The actress also sold her old luxury cars for $5 for Criswell, effectively gifting them to him. This is not all; Mae West also recorded a song for Chriswell titled “Criswell Predicts”. Jeron Criswell King also predicted for the showman Liberace’s brother George Liberace that he would go to the moon by riding a rocket.
Never seen out without thick makeup, lauded by an audience of the glitterati who didn’t seem to care if his predictions were anything close to true, Criswell seemed set for life. And indeed he was, riding the wave of his false predictions all the way to his death at the age of 75 in 1982.
The Amazing Criswell Predicts
Amazing Criswell claimed that he had predicted everything right from the gubernatorial election of Ronald Reagan, and the deaths of Martin Luther King and Jayne Mansfield, to many other things. In 1968, Criswell published his first book, titled “Criswell Predicts,” where all the details about future technology, the world’s leaders, wars, and the end of the world were mentioned.
Some of his predictions from the book are listed below: you be the judge of whether this was the work of a true psychic:
Homosexual Cities: at the beginning of 1970, “perversion flooded the land” according to Amazing Criswell. He predicted that a series of homosexual cities, carefully planned, compact and private would exist from coast to coast.
He predicted that these communities will be filled with restaurants, bars, churches, and stores that can shame the achievements of the Romans or Greeks, people. He said such cities would appear Des Moines, Philadelphia, San Francisco, New Orleans, Miami, Boston, Columbus, Washington, D.C., St. Louis, and Dallas.
And they didn’t.
Space Stations: During the 1970s, Russia and the US would start to set up space stations according to his predictions. He said that man will be free from gravity due to the discovery of antimagnetic forces that can make space travel possible without the need for rockets (apart from the one George Liberace was using, presumably).
The Amazing Criswell said the building of space stations and man’s exploration of space would be the human race’s salvation. His prediction says more than 200 of these space stations will be in orbit by the end of 1999.
And they weren’t.
Television Education: The Amazing Criswell also predicted that children would be educated through the television screen, and no personal teachers will be there. He also predicted that education-memory pills will arrive on the market that all will use to get an education.
And in today’s world of Adderall and online classes, he was not entirely wrong.
Criswell also predicted that Fidel Castro would be assassinated by a woman on August 9, 1970, which didn’t happen. He predicted that Kansas would become the most important state in the US in future, with the largest airports in the world, because of the shifting federal capital to Wichita, which didn’t happen either.
And he predicted the end of the World, in August 18, 1999: those space stations would be coming on line just in time, it would seem. On that day, the earth will be covered with a black rainbow, which signified the coming suffocation and the end of all life.
Criswell also predicted a huge snake encircling the world, a lack of oxygen, and many more things that did not come to pass. In fact he got so much wrong, in part due to the wildness of his claims, that people would listen to him purely to see what he would say next.
Criswell claimed that his predictions are 87% more accurate and true. But despite the fact that most of his predictions were clearly wrong, people still loved him. His talent, it would seem, was not as a psychic but as a salesman.
Top Image: The Amazing Criswell. Source: Edward D Wood Jr / Public Domain.
By Bipin Dimri
Karpinski, A, 2022. The not so Amazing Criswell. Available at: https://detroitdesignmag.com/magazine-content/letter-from-the-editor/the-not-so-amazing-criswell/
Criswell Predicts, 2022. Available at: http://www.criswellpredicts.com/
The Reprobate, 2021. Criswell Predicts! Available at: https://reprobatepress.com/2021/03/29/criswell-predicts/