IntroductionThe author desires to express his thanks and gratitude to those thousands of people all over the world who stood loyally by him through the times of stress he was made to pass through. It is impossible to list these good people here. There are too many. But I do want to publicly thank a few who, in many ways, showed their loyalty and friendship to me in those dark and fateful hours. First, of course, comes Senator Wm. E. Borah. He has gone to his reward. I hallow his memory. Then there is Milburn Kenworthy, Chris A. Hagan, Charles Schroeter and Anne Schroeter, Bill Marineau, Dr. C. W. Tenney, Jim Palmer. There are hosts of others too. The reason they are not all mentioned by name is because this book could not contain all their names. But their friendship is known and appreciated, not only by me, but by my family. I feel I owe these good people a debt of honor. That debt shall be paid by fearlessly fighting for the things I believe to be of God, just as long as I live. How long that will be I don't know. I care very little. But no matter how long it may be, these good friends will always find me giving the very best in me to the task of bringing to this earth, not traditions or superstitions about God, but the facts of God as I have discovered those facts to exist. Those few in Moscow who sent wires to the Review Board--they were forgiven long ago. And I know them all. I have also forgiven everyone who, under the baneful influence of one whose viciousness ran away with his good judgment, attempted to hurt me and mine. May the Spirit of the Infinite God abide with them forever. I shall never try to harm them. I shall try to help them.
FRANK B. ROBINSON.
Dr. Robinson's Favorite HymnLEAD, KINDLY LIGHT
Lead Kindly Light--amid th' encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on.
The night is dark--and I am far from home;
Lead Thou me on.
Keep Thou my feet I do not ask to see the distant scene,
One step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou
Shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path, but now;
Lead Thou me on.
I loved the garish day; and spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will; remember not past years.
So long Thy Power hath blest me, sure, It still
Will lead me on.
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent till
The night is gone.
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.
JOHN H. NEWMAN.
Cardinal Newman was born in London, Feb. 21, 1801. He was a Church of England Clergyman, young, unimaginative, and very superstitious. On a pilgrimage to Rome, he became violently ill. The sailing vessel on which he was traveling was becalmed between the Island of Sardinia and Palermo. When an official of the church was called to administer the "last rites", John Newman, looking him in the eye said "I shall not die, for I have not sinned against the light". He recovered. Then he wrote this beautiful hymn which is Dr. Robinson's favorite. He plays it continuously on his pipe-organ, and he says "This hymn brings me closer to God than any other piece of human writing".
Dr. Robinson's Favorite PoemEACH IN HIS OWN TONGUE
BY WILLIAM HERBERT CARRUTH
A fire mist and a planet,
A crystal and a cell,
A jelly-fish and a saurian,
And caves where cave-men dwell;
Then a sense of law and beauty,
A face upturned from the clod--
Some call it evolution,
And others call it God.
A haze on the far horizon,
The infinite, tender sky,
The ripe rich tint of the cornfields
And the wild geese sailing high;
And all over upland and lowland
The charm of the goldenrod--
Some of us call it autumn,
And others call it God.
Like tides on a crescent seabeach
When the moon is new and thin,
Into our hearts high yearnings
Come welling and surging in;
Come from the mystic ocean
Whose rim no foot hath trod--
Some of us call it longing--
And others call it God.
A picket frozen on duty,
A mother starved for her brood,
Socrates drinking the hemlock,
And Jesus on the rood;
And millions who, humble and nameless,
The straight, hard pathway plod--
Some call it consecration,
And others call it God.
Statement by Mrs. RobinsonI MARRIED FRANK B. ROBINSON ON NOVEMBER 23RD, 1919. The ceremony was performed in the old Leavitt home on Conger Avenue in Klamath Falls, Oregon. My father was the late Circuit Judge A. L. Leavitt, one of Oregon's old pioneers. Graduating in law from the University of California, my father, with Sam Summers and a group of friends from Oakland, began a trek to the Northwest in search of fame and fortune. Dad found a certain amount of fame-- but little fortune. He was a politician.
The destination of these pioneers was Spokane, Washington, but my father and Sam Summers never got farther than Klamath Falls, or Linkville, as it was then known. That was in the year 1880. He was soon appointed County Clerk of Linkville, and on July 24th, 1889, he married Florence Reed, a school teacher, at Merrill, or what was then known as Tule Lake. Although Dad was handicapped through life as the result of an attack of scarlet fever when he was five years of age, which kept him in bed until he was fourteen, he carved for himself a little niche in the hall of Oregon's historical fame. He was loved by all who knew him.
Dad passed away a few years ago, closely following our mother, who, too, was very greatly loved throughout the whole Klamath Basin. He passed away as he had predicted, "with his boots on." Dad always told us that he would "die in the harness with his boots on." After mother passed just a few years ago, Dad began to decline. He lost all interest in life, and those of the immediate family knew that so great was his devotion to our mother that he would not last very long after she was gone.
Dad must have had a premonition of impending death for the day on which he died, he dressed up in his "Sunday best," went to the barber shop for a hair-cut, shave, and, of all things, a face massage. Never had we known Dad do that before. My sister took him later in the afternoon to her home, which was on the west side of Klamath Lake. After dinner, when it became quite late, Maybelle, my sister, asked Dad to retire for the night. This he consistently refused to do, stating, "You kids go to bed--leave me where I am in the chair--I'll read for awhile." That is where they found him--dead--the next morning, with his boots on. Judge Leavitt had done his task. He had gone, and was mourned by many thousands throughout the region. Active in Republican politics and occupying every political position to which it was possible for him to be elected, Judge Leavitt will long live in the hearts and memories of all who knew him. So will my mother, for it is a question which was the sweeter of the two.
Four children were born to that marriage, and I am the youngest of the four. Lester is the oldest and is now proprietor of Leavitts Grocery in Eugene, Oregon. Arthur comes next. For more than twenty years, he has been employed by the California-Oregon Power Company. Every summer he takes charge of beautiful Rocky Point, where my husband is now writing his autobiography. Rocky Point is on the west side of Klamath Lake, about thirty miles from Klamath Falls. It abounds with beautiful lake trout, which my husband loves to catch.
The third child to be born to Alfred Lewis Leavitt and Florence Reed was my sister, Maybelle. She, with her husband, Mr. Howard Barnhisel, a prominent realtor of Klamath Falls, now occupy the old home place in which Robbie and I were married.
Within a stone's throw of the cabin in which "Robbie" (I call my husband that) is writing, there stands a tall yellow pine. It has stood there for centuries. At the foot of that pine tree on July 20th, 1900, in a little tent in which Dad and Mother were living, I came. Perhaps that is the reason my brothers and sister call me "squirrel."
As I was the youngest daughter, Dad hated to see me get married and protested the marriage very vehemently. Not that he had anything at all against Robbie--he just hated to see me go, I guess.
It is not my intention to take up very much space in this book, for a much more interesting personality will speak to you through its pages. Knowing my husband perhaps better than, or at least as well as anyone will ever know him, I feel that perhaps I can throw a bit of light on phases of his character and nature which are not seen by those outside of his family. This is the only reason I consented to write a few paragraphs. It may help you to get the true picture, for there are many things a wife can say about her husband which he cannot, or will not, say about himself.
I met Frank Robinson one Sunday afternoon shortly before we were married. He was working at the Star Drug Store in Klamath Falls. The owner was then Carl Plath. He took his meals, with several other employed young folks of Klamath Falls, at the home of Mrs. Rutenic. On this particular Sunday afternoon, one of the girls, a friend of mine, called on the phone stating that she was going to bring a very handsome young man down to meet me. I insisted that I was not interested in any man, regardless of how good-looking he might be. I had other thoughts. (Had I not met Frank Robinson, I should have been in the foreign mission field. Fate willed it differently). My girl friend insisted that she was going to bring this young man down, regardless of whether or not I wanted to meet him. We met on the front lawn. My hair was hanging down my back; and certainly if Frank Robinson fell in love with me, which he did, it could not have been because of my appearance-- unless he likes Indians, for that is what I must have looked like.
However, a lot sometimes hinges on a small thing, and that afternoon, after I had "spruced up" a bit, all went for a walk. That evening I informed my folks that I had met the man I was going to marry. Frank Robinson took me to a show the next night, and inside of one week had proposed to me. Being just as much in love with him as he was with me, we were soon married in the old home place by the Reverend E. P. Lawrence, a Presbyterian minister of Klamath Falls.
An interesting sidelight on the determination of my husband may be seen in the fact that, although he knew and had been plainly told that my father was not in sympathy with the marriage, the first thing he did was to go and buy a marriage license which he carried around in his pocket several weeks before we were married.
The twenty-two years we have lived together have been interesting years. Some of them have been trying years. Yet, as I look back, I don't know that I would ask for one of them to be recalled. There have been times when the going has been tough. There have been times when it seemed all the power of those opposing my husband might become a little too strong; for there were many anxious days during the years from 1934 to 1937. We did not know if a good husband and father would be ruthlessly snatched from us, either to be put in some federal penitentiary or deported to some land--we knew not where.
I have seen Doctor Robinson so hemmed in that escape seemed impossible. Those who would have stopped his work at any cost went to great lengths to accomplish their evil ends. There have been days when our hearts have bled for our husband and father. As we look back upon those days now, we know, both children and I, that the only one who did no worrying was Robbie. I have seen him with his back against the wall. I have seen him apparently overwhelmed by antagonistic forces--and I have seen him smile and tell us not to worry. "Let me do the worrying," was a favorite expression of his through the criminal trials and deportation proceedings.
These are not nice things to talk about. I try to forget them. Yet it was in those days of trial that the true character of my husband came to the surface. I think I can say that Doctor Robinson is never his true self unless he is up against odds which seem overwhelming. When those odds come, he smiles. I should say that he knows what the outcome will be from the beginning.
Let me give you one incident which stands out clearly in my mind. It was during his trial on federal charges of passport falsification. Naturally, he was acquitted on those charges. He has never committed a criminal act in his life-- not even a misdemeanor. If he had, it would have been found out a long time ago.
This particular evening, the federal jury was out considering the evidence. Doctor Robinson will tell you about that trial later on. Our two attorneys, Edward W. Robertson of Spokane, Washington, and the Honorable A. L. Morgan, now Circuit Judge of this county, were in our home in the living room. Little was eaten at dinner that evening except by Robbie. He ate a good meal. Attorneys Robertson and Morgan were pacing up and down the living room. They were just as much interested in this case as they would have been had their own sons been on trial. Doctor was sitting at the pipe-organ playing. Attorney Ed. Robertson, one of the very finest characters we have ever met, walked over to Doctor Robinson saying, "My God, man--how can you sit there playing a pipe-organ with that jury out?" Robbie replied, "Ed, you and Morgan pace the floor all you want to--I'm going to bed." Inside of fifteen minutes, he was sleeping as peacefully as a baby. He was fast asleep when the verdict of "not guilty" was brought in, and he did not awaken until morning.
The strain of these two trials was especially hard on Alfred. He did not know what to think. A special newspaper was started here in Moscow by some of Doctor's enemies, and poor Alfred sat alone in his room, wondering what it was all about. But he was a brick. He stood side by side with his Dad through it all. He had the satisfaction of seeing his father completely vindicated on every charge. He had the further satisfaction of seeing every man who had anything to do with those charges go down to defeat. However, Doctor will tell you about that.
My husband is the most kind man I ever met. He loves every member of his family with a passionate love. It has been said that "every kid and every dog in Moscow knows Doctor Robinson," and while he is not too fond of dogs, he would go to any length to protect any animal or any human being that was suffering. That is one thing he cannot stand - suffering. I recall a few instances which may be interesting. Let me first say that I have seen my husband go to the bank where he already had borrowed "up to the neck" and borrow additional money with which to help someone else who needed his help. Doctor is the largest donator to charity in this county. Robinson Park stands here as a monument of his thoughtfulness to others. He will literally give his own clothes away to one more needy than he.
One evening the telephone rang and Doctor Robinson was informed that a certain family whom we will call the "White" family was destitute. He was a bit nonplused at receiving this information, knowing that the Community Chest was so well supplied with funds that no drive was put on that year. Calling up one of the officials of the Community Chest, he told him of the phone call about the "White" family. The president of the Community Chest that year was a Lutheran minister, and he assured Doctor Robinson that he had personally visited the "White" family only that day and found it "amply provided for." The gentleman who phoned Doctor Robinson was quite a substantial citizen, so Doctor called him back and reported to him the result of the telephone conversation with the president of the Community Chest. This led to another phone call on another director of the Chest's activities. This gentleman also informed my husband that the "White" family was fully taken care of and needed nothing.
Here may be noted an insight into Doctor Robinson's character. If there is any question about anything, he will take the word of no one but will go and investigate for himself. This is exactly what he did that evening. Inside of five minutes after the second phone call, he was in the car and on his way to the "White" shack, for that is what it really was. On arriving there, he found five children with absolutely nothing in the house to eat. On the floor, lying on an old rusty set of springs covered with gunny sacks, was the mother who was about to give birth to another child. Not even a bottle of milk was in the house. Doctor Robinson at once hired a physician to take charge of this sad case and called up a grocery store and ordered twelve dollars worth of groceries sent to that house every week.
The next day he made arrangements for a position for the husband and had a local store send down the best bed, the best mattress, sheets, blankets, etc., it had. In addition to that, the children were properly clothed. Shortly after this incident, Alfred came home from school and, backing his Dad into a corner, said, "Pop, those poor "White" boys have to stay away from school because they haven't enough money to buy school books. You give me some money, and I'll go down and buy them." The boys got the books.
This incident was never mentioned in our home again. However, Doctor Robinson had given his last donation to the Community Chest. He will never give it another cent locally as long as it exists. He never forgets.
On another occasion, a little child was lost in the thick underbrush and timber which surrounds Moscow on the north. A search was instituted and hundreds of people scoured the surrounding country. Going out to the scene, Doctor Robinson looked over the ground and then came back to the house and told me about it. "The only way they will ever find that child is by airplane," he said. Calling Spokane by long-distance telephone, he engaged Nick Mamer, a well-known pilot, to bring his plane to Moscow and stay here until the child was found. They found the baby from the plane that evening.
I could give you many more instances of the generosity of my husband, but this is only the very smallest part of his big nature. To meet him, one may make the mistake of thinking that his bluff, gruff manner indicates that type of man. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I recall that a writer for Collier's Weekly came to the house a few years ago to secure material for a story of Doctor Robinson and his Movement. After spending half a day with Doctor, this man left making the statement, "That man Robinson is the coldest-blooded individual I have ever met " It was on the evening of that same day that the "White" family was cared for.
I suppose that when a man through his work becomes the center of attraction in any line, there are certain penalties which go with such prominence. I know we have them. Salesmen with many new and clever selling schemes try in vain to get an audience with my husband. If he gave them audience, he would have no time for his work, and his work means more to him than anything else. Sometimes I think he is more interested in his work than he is in his wife. Then he will come home, play the organ, and later get little Florence down on her back in the middle of the living-room floor and there they will "rastle" until one of them is tired out.
The appeals for charity are many. None are ever refused if Robbie has the money or can get it. But it must be remembered that all Doctor Robinson gets from the "Psychiana" Movement is a salary, and that is none too large for his needs. Personally, he has no needs. He has one great aim in life, and that is to bring men and women a clearer conception of the Power he believes to exist. He is a deeply religious man--perhaps not in the accepted and orthodox sense of the word, but he is very deeply religious, nevertheless.
Creeds, dogmas, rituals--these mean nothing at all to Doctor Robinson. He believes in the present existence of one Great Spirit, and he believes that the Power of that Great Spirit when fully known, as he believes it can be fully known, is more than sufficient to rectify the many ills this world is suffering from. God is a passion with my husband. He never attends a church unless it is to speak in one, and he would rather never do that. His idea of God is that of an ever-present Spiritual Power, more than able to bring permanent peace, happiness, joy, and material and spiritual abundance to all.
No words of mine can describe Doctor Robinson. If it has been my privilege to know him a bit better than others know him, I am grateful for that privilege. He is a soul from the beyond. He lives among us--yet he is not of us. Human to the 'nth degree, his inspiration, his ability, his dynamic genius come from a source that is a bit higher than human--not that I would wish to give the impression that my husband is a "supernatural" being, far from that. I assure you he is very natural. He is, however, motivated by and from a Source which must be infinite in its nature.
He has been called "the greatest religious genius of the twentieth century." To me, he's just simply "Robbie," a human, loving, inspired, religious teacher. If I were asked to designate in one word the secret of his power and his greatness, I should use the word--Simplicity.
Someone has said that genius is nothing more than hard work. That may be true. If it is, my husband is a genius, for he works incessantly. He goes days and nights, and the marvel of it all is that he is able to stand up under it. I recall a few years ago a long-distance telephone call came in from Mrs. Marriner S. Eccles, the wife of the president of the Federal Reserve Bank. Doctor Robinson had just returned from a four hundred mile drive from Portland, Oregon. He was very tired. However, the little daughter of Mrs. Eccles was ill. "Could Doctor Robinson come?" He could, and he did. Without considering himself for one moment, he left at once on a nine hundred and sixty mile drive from Moscow, Idaho, to Ogden, Utah. His average mileage every year by car is over fifty thousand miles. In addition to this, he makes frequent trips to the East and other parts of the country. It is worthy of note that while he will leave Moscow at one minute's notice, if he believes he can help someone, he has never yet allowed anyone to give him even five cents toward paying his expenses.
Not long ago in New York City, a group of men offered him a certified check for $250,000.00 for control of the "Psychiana" Movement. After looking at the check and the contract which accompanied it, Doctor smiled and turning to this group of men said, "You are the fellows who should be living in the sticks--not I." These men had the false impression that money can buy anything, and only the night before had tried to "high-pressure" Robbie into accepting the check and signing the contract. "Here is where you sign --right here," said one of these chaps in endeavoring to close the deal. Doctor Robinson picked up the paper and, smiling in a droll way, said, "We read the contract to night, and we sign it tomorrow--maybe."
While Doctor Robinson has the reputation of being a very keen business man, in reality he is nothing of the sort. You can sell him any sort of "gold brick" you want to, for he is entirely too trusting. He takes everyone at face value, and the person who knows how, can get away from my husband everything he has. The only thing that has saved him from trouble many times is the fact that before he makes a move of importance he will ask me what I think of it . If I agree, he never will do it; so to protect him, all I have to do is to tell him to go ahead. Then he never will.
We live very happily here in Moscow, Idaho-my husband, Alfie, Florence, and I. That is, when my husband is at home, we do. I do not know of a family more completely in love with each other than this family is. What the future holds for us, we do not know. There is one thing I do know --no matter how fast the "Psychiana" Movement grows, and no matter how many laurels are heaped on my husband's head, the center of attraction as long as we are all here will be his home and his family.