Adding Facts to Faith—The 1950s
first office of the Religious Research Foundation was opened by its founder, the
Rev. Dr. Franklin Loehr, in 1952, with the motto Adding Facts to Faith.
Dr. Loehr was both a scientist and an ordained minister and recognized the need
for answers to spiritual questions that were based on proven facts rather than
the dogma of any religion.
For several years, the Religious Research Foundation was active in
spiritual research of all types: prayer, comparative religions, life after
death, psychical research, reincarnation research, parapsychology, etc. Probably
the best-known work of the foundation at that time was the prayer-plant
experiment. With the combination of his degree in chemistry and his years as a
minister, Dr. Loehr was the ideal leader of these laboratory investigations. He
directed a controlled experiment on the effects of prayer on the growth of
plants. 156 people took part in this project over a 3-year period, performing
over 700 experiments, using more than 27,000 seeds with about 100,000
measurements. The results were
outstanding, and proved that prayer is effective. These experiments were written
up in newspapers across the country and published in a best selling book by Dr.
Loehr, The Power of Prayer on Plants, (Doubleday,
During the 1950s something happened that changed the focus of Religious
Research to reincarnation. A spirit being by the name of Dr. John Christopher
Daniels contacted Dr. Loehr and brought messages about past lives of certain
individual people. When tested by Dr. Loehr, “Dr. John”--as he called
himself--proved to be a reliable source of spiritual knowledge. With this, the
focus of Religious Research shifted. When asked the reason for this change to
the study of past lives, Dr. Loehr replied,
…because reincarnation research is
bringing us the first direct scientific evidence of the soul. The basic teaching
of every religion on the nature of man is incarnation–-that there is a spirit,
something not of flesh, which is in the flesh, enfleshed, embodied, in each
human being. In other words, what we call the soul. Every piece of evidence for
reincarnation is doubly evidence of this basic religious teaching of
incarnation. For if you have lived even once before, then that which was you in
that former embodiment, and which carried over during the time of no embodiment
between that life and your present life, and now is you in this incarnation,
this embodiment – that is, defacto, your soul.
Through studying past lives, Religious
Research began researching the soul and its many facets—work which continues
to this day.
History of Religious Research - 1960 to
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