R.C. "Doc" Anderson: The Hardest Working Psychic in the Bible Belt

Unpredictable: The Strange Life of R.C. “Doc” Anderson, The Hardest Working Psychic in the Bible Belt

A promotional postcard for Anderson's many skills for hire

A promotional postcard advertises Anderson’s many skills for hire

As a youth, one of Robert Charles “Doc” Anderson’s earliest “visions” was of his brother’s face being blown to pieces by a German sniper. He told this story to his mother, who told him he was “waxin’ dramatics” and “gave (him) a good thrashin’… then she told my pa and my father worked me over too”. It doesn’t take a psychic to see where this story is going. The very next day a telegraph arrived with the news that Anderson’s older brother had been killed in action in Germany. He referred to himself as an astrologer, but built a career on his prophetic visions, including the death of FDR (and approximate date of his death) – which got him questioned by authorities and nearly arrested.

Anderson would gain attention for a number of written predictions, including the FDR predictions, he made on Christmas day in 1944 – described in Doc Anderson: The Man Who Sees Tomorrow as “one of the most impressive documents in psychical history”. In it, he predicted correctly the date that WWII would end in Germany; also predicted was the fact that post war Germany would be a country “disunited”, and that our war ally Russia would become “one of our worst enemies”. Anderson alluded to what could be seen as descriptions of the advent of the A-Bomb, and its’ game-changing use in Japan in 1945: “…we will create a devastating device that will tear the elements apart in it’s intensity, and that something will happen about the earlier part of August, 1945, that will change the whole course of the war against Japan…” Nuclear bombs were, of course, dropped on Hiroshima (8/6/45) and Nagasaki (8/9/45), and the war in Japan was over within days.

The molasses-voiced Anderson was described in one of the several tomes written about him as a “hearty, robust” man, a “six-foot-two inch giant” who sported a “trim, stylish mustache and beard”. After the success of his early predictions, he opened an office on the Tennessee/Georgia border near Chattanooga, where – over decades – he built a “psychical” empire for himself and his enthusiastically supportive wife, Ruth, and the couples’ four daughters. Over the course of decades, his business card expanded to include many specialties, among them: Matador, Circus Strongman, Prize Fighter, Marriage Counselor, Philosopher of Humanity and Astrologer.

A slack-jawed onlooker nearly gets the vapors after Anderson smashes a glass using only the power of his brain

A slack-jawed onlooker nearly gets the vapors after Anderson smashes a glass using only the power of his brain

His predictions were accurate enough to garner him national attention on many occasions. Notable clients over his 40 plus year career would include a few Hollywood types – such as Doris Day, Eddie Albert (of ‘Green Acres’), and Denver Pyle (who played Uncle Jesse on ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’). Anderson was dubbed by various creative reporters as “The Man Who Sees Tomorrow”, “The Georgia Seer”, “The Man With The Radar Mind” and a “Master Mentalist”. His entertaining repertoire included various feats of the mind, including an act in which he claimed to be able to smash a glass by merely thinking about it. In the late 60’s, in a fit of theatrical genius that was likely inspired by his relationship with client John Shaw, an “oil man” from Texas, Anderson flawlessly blended Roman-Catholic mysticism, the art of dowsing, and hard core Capitalism in a new endeavor he referred to as “stigmata”. He claimed to be able to locate underground oil deposits with ease, as blood would appear and flow from his palms when he passed over a potential well.


Doc claimed that “he always knew (ahead of time) when he was going to get hurt” prior to several injuries of various severity in his days as a matador. In 1980, he told a Chattanooga news crew that at the age of 72 he was planning a “Final Olé” in Mexico that upcoming March. Alas, it was not to be. No one can know for sure if Doc had any premonitions of his impending doom – which was to take place just one day prior to his scheduled flight to Mexico and “Final Olé”.  Anderson tried to navigate a flooded roadway along a creek on the way to his office that morning. His car stalled in rising flood waters caused by heavy rains, and he foolishly attempted to walk to dry land. Witnesses along the roadside saw him lose his footing and become swept away in the rushing current. Rescue crews were unable to locate his body for a few days due to flood waters, and his body was eventually recovered just 100 yards from where he was seen being drawn under the water. Doc’s personal assistant claimed after the funeral that Anderson indicated to him before the tragic event that he “knew”.

Doc Anderson artfully fends off an angry bull in Mexico

Doc Anderson artfully fends off an angry bull in Mexico

In 1970, Doc Anderson touted that he had  “ninety five percent accuracy in prophecy”. Here are a few of the predictions that he published that same year:

“we’re going to see cornfields and orchards wired for music”; “there will be a tremendous breakthrough with the discovery that plants and trees have a system similar to the human nervous system”

“vaudeville will return by 1976” on transcontinental flights, as passengers tire of in-flight movies and begin to demand live entertainment.

There will be a boom in “investment opportunities in every part of the nation” for trailer parks in the 1970’s, as high interest rates cause new housing construction in the US to grind to a near halt.

“Lasers will be used on coast to coast automatic highways. Your car will be guided by a laser beam, while you nap or read.”

Doc correctly predicted “Casual Friday”: “Informal dress will be accepted in the business world, and executives will work in dungarees, shorts or slacks!”

Corporations will hire prospective new executives in auctions similar to Antebellum slave auctions in the southern US, with prospective employees paraded in front of groups of businessmen as their attributes and details of their personal lives and resumes are shouted over a loudspeaker.

“Our High Schools will be racked with violence and turmoil”, “police sentries will guard the entrances”, “closed circuit televison will be installed to monitor the activity of students”

“Israel will prevail against all of her enemies”

“I predict that a large glass company will perfect a method to use old bottles to pave our highways”

“The US government under president Nixon will defoliate the entire Canadian border between our two countries. A strip from 50 yards to 100 yards wide will be chemically treated to remove all vegetation. Following defoliation, the border will be sealed with a wire fence to prevent unauthorized crossings.”

“I predict there will be much discussion of a new canal to cross the isthmus that connects North and South America” (A construction firm out of China has plans to dig a new canal as of 2013)

“I predict that a large ship filled with oil from the new fields near the arctic circle will collide with an iceberg. Immeasurable quantities of oil will spill… The efforts of many nations will be necessary to save the wildlife…”

“ARKANSAS: A HILLBILLY DISNEYLAND! I predict that an enormous, highly successful amusement center with a ‘hillbilly’ theme will be constructed within a few years near Bentonville, Arkansas. This will be the largest amusement and recreational complex in the nation…” Wal-Mart corporate headquarters is located in Bentonville, AR. Coincidence? I think not.

“A strange half-man, half-ape will be captured alive in the Oregon forest in 1978”

“I predict a national scandal when law enforcement officers raid a hotel in Wyoming and find a cluster of cottages where husbands take their wives to have them murdered”

“The five cent beer will return to American life when a young man in Maine invents, and markets, an “instant beer pill”. These tiny pills will create a hearty glass of premium beer when they are dropped into a glass of ordinary water”

Doc Anderson during his final TV interview in the early 1980's

Doc Anderson during his final TV interview in the early 1980’s

Works Cited

Smith, Robert E. We Live Many Lives: Case Histories of Reincarnation from the files of Doc Anderson. NY: Kinney Service Company, 1971. Print.
Smith, Robert E. Doc Anderson: The Man Who Sees Tomorrow. NY: Paperback Library, 1970. Print.
Pandelis, Dale (reporter). (air date unknown, 1980). Tri-state Report: Psychics, Part II [Interview]. WDEF, Channel 12. Chattanooga, TN: CBS. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FE5uIrBemc
Pandelis, Dale (reporter). (air date unknown, 1980). Tri-state Report: Psychics, Part III [Interview]. WDEF, Channel 12. Chattanooga, TN: CBS. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOnfWmNHCVw



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  1. Greg Newkirk

    07/30/2013 at 11:47 PM

    Aw man, this was great. Anderson was about as charismatic as they come, and I’d definitely take him over modern day psychics in a heartbeat. Stigmata WHILE dowsing? So great.

    It’s weird reading over his predictions too, because so many of them don’t seem quite as far fetched today as they might have back then. Maybe his Canadian border prediction was supposed to be Mexico.

    The laser controlled car? It’s basically Google’s self-driving car.

    Violence in high schools? Armed sentries? CCTV? Sheesh, right on the money.

    One of the weirdest ones, about corporations picking people like slave auctions, their personal lives announced over loudspeakers? Tell me that isn’t just the incorporation of social media mining into corporate hiring practices.

    And, of course, the prediction of Wal-Mart’s HQ. This guy was the real deal.

  2. White Trash Peg

    07/31/2013 at 1:11 AM

    The Hillbilly Amusement Park in Bentonville, AR was uncanny! I didn’t include a few others that were really rather spooky, just because the article was getting slightly epic in length:

    “Thick, high walls will surround entire neighborhoods and safeguard homeowners from burglars… these walled neighborhoods will be guarded by electronic detection units… This form of living will become normal for many suburbanites”

    “I predict the next mayor of New York will enforce a rigid law-and-order policy… he will endeavor to ‘clean up’ the Times Square/Broadway area… closing down book stores, erotic movies and nude plays” (Rudy Giuliani totally did all that in the 90’s)

    “I foresee a new director of the FBI” – J. Edgar Hoover keeled over dead 2 years later

  3. Coppertop

    07/31/2013 at 5:36 AM

    Real or not, this dude’s an awesome character. Professional psychic AND a matador? With the most manliest of mustaches? Definitely going to check this dude out.

    In the meantime: Get to work on the beer pill, people.

  4. alanborky

    07/31/2013 at 10:46 AM

    Peg I’ve never heard of this guy until now but is there any film of him doing that glass shattering trick or at least better photos?

    The way he’s slouched down in his chair with his hands out o’ sight must look a tweaky bit suspicious to anyone who can’t conceive a psychokinetic explanation.

    Then again maybe they’re right and the glass was made to shatter by him wildly waggling about some object that set the glass vibrating.

    I can’t imagine what though.

    • Coppertop

      08/01/2013 at 5:35 AM

      There’s a dirty joke in there somewhere.

  5. White Trash Peg

    08/08/2013 at 11:10 PM

    I’m officially a collector of all things RC Anderson, so I will keep an eye out for any film footage!

  6. Granddaughter

    09/04/2013 at 8:36 AM

    I was 20 when he died. I lost my hero that day. He was the only Grandfather I had. He WAS the real deal.

    • Chele

      08/21/2014 at 10:28 PM

      Hi there. We heard that there was someone in the family who took over your grandfather’s practice. Is this true? If so, would you be willing to share the name and place of the practice? Thanks so much!

  7. Barbara C.

    09/05/2013 at 5:14 AM

    I’ve never heard of him. Great article White Trash Peg! I think I’ll do some research. You peaked my interest.

  8. Denver Buergel

    04/07/2014 at 9:31 PM

    With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any problems
    of plagorism or copyright infringement? My site has a
    lot of completely unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it
    appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without
    my agreement. Do you know any methods to help reduce content from being
    stolen? I’d certainly appreciate it.

    • White Trash Peg

      04/09/2014 at 6:46 AM

      From my own (personal) paranormal based website, I’ve had tons of original content swiped (This is a slippery slope in the case of folklore, obviously, but it does take time and effort to gather previously unpublished stories.), and have even seen it go entirely uncredited in a few published works. One building I wrote about has been closed to the public for years, and some joker even had the audacity to steal my personal account of a walk-through that took place years before his book was published. After flipping through his book, I took solace in the fact that he has the writing ability of a chimpanzee banging on a typewriter – and I sent him an email about his plagerism (which he ignored entirely). I’m sure if your written work is sold for profit, there are legal actions you can take, but I’ve found a good old fashioned “go fuck yourself” note is far more satisfying for the soul.

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