Neville Lancelot Goddard

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Neville Lancelot Goddard
Goddard c. 1939
Goddard c. 1939
Born(1905-02-19)February 19, 1905
Saint Michael, Barbados, British West Indies
DiedOctober 1, 1972(1972-10-01) (aged 67)
West Hollywood, California, US
Resting placeSaint Michael, Barbados
SubjectSelf-help, Bible exegesis

Neville Goddard (February 19, 1905 – October 1, 1972), was an English writer, speaker and mystic. He grew up in Barbados and moved to the United States of America as a young adult. He achieved popularity by interpreting the Bible and the poetry of William Blake.

Early life[edit]

Neville Lancelot Goddard was born in Fontabelle, Saint Michael, Barbados on February 19, 1905, to Joseph Nathaniel Goddard, a merchant, and Wilhelmina Goddard (née Hinkson). Neville was the fourth of ten children. He was also the older brother to cricketer and businessman John Goddard.[1] At age 17, Goddard emigrated to New York City in 1922 to study drama and began his theatrical career as a dancer at the Hippodrome in New York City in 1925.[2][3]

Between 1929 and 1936, he was mentored by an Ethiopian rabbi named Abdullah in New York. During this time, Abdullah introduced him to Kabbalah and taught him Hebrew.[3] New Thought author Joseph Murphy also acknowledged Abdullah as his teacher.[4]

In 1942, at the age of 37, he was drafted into the army and stationed at Camp Polk, Louisiana in the 11th Armored Division. After serving just 9 months he was granted an honorable discharge from his Battalion Commanding Officer Colonel Theodore Bilbough Jr. It was after this brief stint in the Army[5] that he was naturalized as a United States citizen, having been a British citizen up to this point.


Goddard's earliest known career was as a professional dancer. While touring with his dance company in England, he developed an interest in metaphysics after he met Scotsman, Arthur Begbie who introduced him to the world of psychical research, giving Neville his first taste of the spiritualistic seance. When he returned to New York he became associated with a Rosicrucian body.[2] In February 1938, he began lecturing in Old Actor’s Church in New York.[2]

After traveling extensively throughout the United States, Neville eventually made his home in Los Angeles in 1952. In early 1950s, Goddard lectured at The Town Hall on religious topics.[5] In his 1931 lecture "Imagination plus Faith", he spoke of his brief career in television, “I did just what I am doing now, they gave me a lectern, I simply sat at a desk and spoke”. It was during the mid-1950’s that he began his short stint on television. Broadcast in L.A. on channel 11 he had 26 half hour shows which went on air between 2pm and 2.30pm every Sunday. The shows were simple in production, consisting of Goddard speaking extemporaneously to the television audience on biblical esotericism. The program averaged viewing audiences in excess of 300,000 on a weekly basis. The show was eventually cancelled when Channel 11 Studios were unable to secure advertisers suitable to the audience. In 1954, Goddard was reportedly planning a "metaphysical telefilm show", though it is unclear if the project came to fruition.[6] In the 1960s and early 1970s, he confined most of his lectures to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami.


Jonathan L. Walton has contended that Frederick Eikerenkoetter, best known as Reverend Ike, in particular adopted theories and teachings rooted in Goddard's ideas.[7] Rhonda Byrne and Wayne Dyer have noted that Goddard shaped their views.[8] Margaret Runyan Castaneda, ex-wife and later biographer of Carlos Castaneda, was interested in Goddard's work and introduced Castaneda to Goddard's ideas.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Goddard married Mildrid Mary Hughes in 1923. Hughes was born on March 29, 1901, in Lancaster and Blackburn, England, and passed away on November 09, 1979, in New York City. The couple had one child, Joseph Neville Goddard, born on May 19, 1924, in New York City, who later died on March 01, 1986, in the same city. In 1942, Goddard married Catherine Willa Van Schmus. Van Schmus was born on February 02, 1907, in New Jersey, USA, and died on January 01, 1975, in Los Angeles, California, USA. From this union, they had a daughter, Victoria Goddard, born on June 28, 1942.[10]


Goddard died on October 1, 1972, aged 67, from an esophageal rupture. He had been a resident of Los Angeles for roughly 20 years.[11]


  • At Your Command (1939; Goddard Publications)
  • Your Faith Is Your Fortune (1941; Goddard Publications)
  • Freedom for All—A Practical Application of the Bible (1942; Goddard Publications)
  • Feeling Is the Secret (1944; Goddard Publications)
  • Prayer—The Art of Believing (1946; Goddard Publications)
  • Out of This World (1949; Goddard Publications)
  • The Power of Awareness (1952; unknown)
  • The Creative Use of Imagination (1952; Goddard Publications)
  • Awakened Imagination (1954; DeVorss & Company)
  • Seedtime and Harvest (1956; DeVorss & Company)
  • I Know My Father (1960; DeVorss & Company)
  • The Law and the Promise (1961; DeVorss & Company)
  • He Breaks the Shell (1964; DeVorss & Company)
  • Resurrection (1966; DeVorss & Company)


  1. ^ Goddard, Richard. "John D. C. Goddard 1919-1987" (PDF). The Goddard Association of Europe. Retrieved October 9, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c Regardie, Israel (1946). The Romance Of Metaphysics: An Introduction To The History, Theory And Psychology Of Modern Metaphysics. The Aries Press, Chicago. pp. 91–108.
  3. ^ a b "Where Neville Goddard Lived in New York and West Hollywood". Retrieved October 8, 2023.
  4. ^ Horowitz, Mitch (2019). Magician of the Beautiful : an Introduction to Neville Goddard. G & D Media. ISBN 9781722523879.
  5. ^ a b Beronius, George L. (July 7, 1951). "Neville Goddard; Religious Topics Author-Speaker". Los Angeles Times. p. A2. ProQuest 166277786.
  6. ^ "Neville Plans Series". The Hollywood Reporter. 130 (30): 4. July 30, 1954. ProQuest 2338193103.
  7. ^ Walton, Jonathan L. (2011). "The Greening of the Gospel (and Black Body): Rev. Ike's Gospel of Wealth and Post-Blackness Theology". Pneuma. 33 (2): 181–199. doi:10.1163/027209611X575005. ISSN 0272-0965.
  8. ^ Horowitz, M. (2019). "The New Age and Gnosticism: Terms of Commonality". Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies. 4 (2): 191–215. doi:10.1163/2451859x-12340073.
  9. ^ Castaneda, Margaret Runyan (1997). A Magical Journey with Carlos Castañeda. Millenia Press, Victoria, B.C. ISBN 9780969696018.
  10. ^ "Neville Goddard: Marriages, Children and Family Tree: Research Notes". Retrieved October 8, 2023.
  11. ^ "Neville Goddard; Religious Topics Author-Speaker". Los Angeles Times. November 4, 1972. p. C3. ProQuest 157086265.

Further reading[edit]