Johannes Greber when young. Johannes Greber in his fifites.
Shortly after his ordination, Greber was instrumental in providing help to the poor and to the sick in the Hunsrueck, a rural, mountainous section with poor soil and whose inhabitants were mostly small farmers. Greber became aware of their hardships with disease, primarily tuberculosis, and arranged for the training of young, qualified women to become nurses at the nearest hospitals. Greber possessed a knowledge of natural healing methods and used herbs and natural remedies to cure the diseased. In a period of a few short years, tuberculosis was nearly eradicated among the inhabitants of the Hunsrueck.
During World War 1, Greber felt the need to transport those of the Hunsrueck, who were starving from lack of food, to Holland where there was an abundance of food. After much prayer, without the help of the Church and State, who felt his plan could not work, Greber transported children in groups of 75-100 to Holland. Greber selected the neediest children first, regardless of their religious background. He was able to transport more than 14,000 children from his area, the Hunsrueck, to Holland. At times, when money was short, Greber financed the transport with his personal income. He founded a self-help organization, Hilfsbund, that contintued to provide help to the poor and sick after the war in 1918.
In 1918, Greber, with God's help, was able to protect his village from marauding looters (so-called "political prisoners" who had been released from jail after World War I. In one instance, he was inspired to direct members of his parish to fend off these looters who would go into small villages and steal food and wares from individual houses. Greber met with the men of one village and advised them how to fend off the looters. Pastor Greber, inspired by God's spirits, advised the men that when they become aware that the looters are approaching town, someone must run to the post office and telephone the next town that the looters are coming. Then, that town should telephone the next town, and the next town, and the next town, so that all of the villagers in every town are prepared for the coming of the looters. Then, he told the men in the village to grab axes and hoes and stand on street corners and look the looters in their eyes with a determined look. The looters arrived but were intimidated by the stand the villagers were taking against them; non-violent, yet very effective and decisive. The looters veered off into the next town and encountered the same thing. Villagers there were just as prepared with axes and hoes standing on street corners. Town after town, the same thing. So the looters tried again the following week but to no avail; the villagers were once again successful. The looters convened a meeting to put an end to this intimidation and decided that Pastor Greber was behind it. So the looters decided that Pastor Greber should be killed as soon as possible. One day, Pastor Greber was to go to a neighboring town on foot (this was before the car). He walked through the fields towards the woods and he looked around and saw somebody was running after him. This somebody finally caught up with him. The first thing he said to Greber was, "Now we are going to finish you. You're the one behind this here game you are playing. We are going to finish you! You are not going to do this any longer! This is the end of you!" The man, standing about four feet away from Pastor Greber, took his army rifle and pointed it at Pastor Greber's face. Greber was inspired and stood there, still, and looked at the criminal very sternly, fearless and determined with a look that the man had never seen before in a victim. This perplexed the would-be murderer, who went ahead and pulled the trigger of his army rifle: click, click, click. Nothing happened; no bullets were discharged. The criminal was bewildered, he didn't know what to say. He looked at Greber. Greber stood there staring him down, determined and fearless. The criminal, perplexed and a little frightened, dropped his gun and ran away. Pastor Greber picked up the gun and pulled the trigger: bang! bang! bang! There was nothing wrong with the gun. God's spirits had spared Pastor Greber's life whose work had yet to be fulfilled. For Pastor Greber was not like any incarnation: he came to this earth on a mission for his fellow Man, and no impish criminal was going to stop him.
The picture to the left is of Johannes Greber (standing in the middle with right hand in his coat) surrounded by his siblings during Greber's silver anniversary celebration as a Roman Catholic Priest in Kell in 1925. Late in the summer of 1923, Greber was visited by a parishoner who urged Greber to attend a prayer meeting that the parishoner was in the habit of attending. A prayer meeting--sounds appropriate for a Catholic priest to be a part of. The parishoner, however, described what went on during the prayer meetings: a young farm boy with an elementary school education would often lapse into a state of trance to make way for a spirit to enter into him. The spirit would then make use of the farm boy's organs for speech and "impart wonderful tidings to it's hearers." The messages exceeded far above and beyond that of the intellectual capacity of the boy as well as the knowledge of the others who were present for the prayer meeting. Initially, Greber would have nothing of it. He dismissed such things as quackery and charlatanism from what he had read of it in the newspapers. Greber was also concerned with his position in the community. A Catholic priest who attends sittings for communicating with spirits, popularly known as seances, might run the risk of making himself look ridiculous. The parishioner kept urging Pastor Greber to at least sit in and observe, ask questions in order to ascertain the veracity of the proceedings. Greber relented, but only at the last moment while still remaining skeptical. The picture below is Greber's parish in Kell, Germany, as it looked during his work there.
What Greber expected to expose as a piece of charlantry and fraud turned out to be an encounter with one of God's high spirit messengers. The spirit's words left Greber speechless and awed. This was no kind of conversation one has with a little farm boy--it certainly wasn't the farm boy speaking from himself, whom Greber had become acquainted with before the meeting took place: this speech is coming from that farm boy's head? Impossible. The episode left an indelible impression on the otherwise very skeptical, very cautious, and very Roman Catholic Johannes Greber. After continued attendance for the next two and a half years, Greber was given permanent leave from the Catholic Church to tend full time to his self-help organization. God had given him a harmonious leave for a higher direction; (he was never excommunicated).
The annals of spiritist and psychical literature from the 1930s till the 1980s are quite awesome in quantity. They are rife with the names of experimenters, scientists, mediums, and the skeptics. But one will search in vain to find the name "Johannes Greber" despite his contribution to the field in understanding the laws and purpose of communicating with holy spirits; a contribution that no one has yet to supersede for its clarity, consistency, and significance.
Greber's house in Teaneck, New Jersey, is seen here to the left. The person in this photo is unidentified. This house was the location of the Johannes Greber Memorial Foundation which Fred Haffner (see his photo below) faithfully managed and ran for many years. The impact of Greber's work has largely gone unnoticed by the majority of researches in the field of spirit communication and psychical research. Maybe the reason for this is because Greber's work is too religious for the psychics and too spiritistic for the religious, and is not objective enough in the minds of the scientists who want to remain aloof of religious language, God talk, and Christianity. Whatever the case may be, Greber's work has not gone unnoticed by many serious-minded persons who have become convinced by this work that God does communicate today through His holy spirits as He did in the days of the ancient Israelites and the earliest Christians. Over the years Greber's book has sold over a quarter of a million copies, in three languages (English, French and German). To the left is an informal photograph of Johannes Greber posing outside of his house in Teaneck, New Jersey, date unspecified. The photopgraph to the right shows Fred Haffner who was Elizabeth Greber's friend and who also managed the Johannes Greber Memorial Foundation from the 1950s through the 1980s. This photo is dated June 20, 1965. According to his own taped testimony, Haffner missed meeting Pastor Greber by a mere week. Haffner is seen wearing glasses and a tie; to the right of Haffner is Frieda Ulm; to Haffner's immediate left is Edward Niemann; and to Niemann's left is Hermann Ulm. Edward Niemann is the deep-trance medium that Greber was guided to seek out, as he describes in his book, Communication with the Spirit World of God. Edward Niemann was the medium through whom a holy spirit announced to both Johannes and Elizabeth during a prayer meeting that they were to be married. The holy spirit speaking through Niemann actually performed a "ceremony": Elizabeth, this is to be your husband; Johannes, this is to be your wife. Within months, Johannes and Elizabeth were married.
The only known biography of Johannes Greber was written by a Physicist interested in the paranormal by the name of Werner Schiebeler. His work, Johannes Greber: sein Leben und sein Werk (Schutterswald: Martin Weber, 1998), a slim, paper-back volume of 182 pages, provides the interested reader with more information about the life and work of Johannes Greber. The book is in German only. The book also provides photographs of Greber as a very young seminarian in Trier, an informal pose of Greber with five other people in 1925 (p. 49), posing outside of his house in Teaneck, New Jersey (p. 67), his two children as youngsters dressed in little childhood, dark-blue sailor suits with white trim and as teenagers posing with their mother, Elizabeth, on the steps of their home in Teaneck (p. 60), and other photographs of Greber's church in Germany, the little boys used as deep-trance speaking mediums for speaking with Greber (photographed as adults), among other photos. Many of these photos are found on this webpage (see above).
The Johannes Greber Memorial Foundation was established in Teaneck and operated out of Greber's house under the management of Fred Haffner during the 1950s, 60s, 70s, and early 80s. The Foundation was responsible for the printing and sale of Greber's book and New Testament translation. Over the decades the book went through seven printings in English, and appeared in German, French, and other languages; the seventh edition of which was a gold, paperback, printed in 1987. For decades, Haffner dutifully mailed out the books.
By the late 1980s, the Foundation was made defunct by a woman, namely Lafollete Becker, who had assumed operation of the Foundation after Haffner. She shredded about 35,000 copies of Greber's book and closed down the Johannes Greber Memorial Foundation because she was convinced that Greber himself instructed her to to so during a prayer meeting. She claimed that Greber, speaking as a spirit through a medium, said that his book was a total mistake and that it should be destroyed. Long before Becker took over the Foundation, however, Joseph Greber related the following incident to a friend of this writer. That incident is as follows: A few weeks after Pastor Greber had passed away in 1944, he allegedly spoke through his wife, Elizabeth, during a prayer meeting (Elizabeth was a medium and was used often by the holy spirit world to assist Greber in his translation of the New Testament as well as relaying messages from the spirit world of God during prayer meetings). This was the only time that Greber would ever speak to that particular prayer group. His message was remembered by his son, Joseph, as the following:
Lafollete Becker was misguided by a lying spirit who wanted to stifle the Foundation and the knowledge of communcation with God through the holy spirits whom Christ promised to send to mankind. To that end, the evil spirits were successful in that destruction, as is often the case when humans takes charge of events that God has assigned to others.. Today Johannes Greber's famous book is available at Amazon.com (Jalan books), as well as at several sites as PDF files online.