Many notable leaders throughout history have experienced voices and visions, here are some examples (click on the name for more information):
Alexander The Great
Attila the Hun
Martin Luther King Jr
Andrew Abraham Stockenström le Fleur I
William Lyon Mackenzie King
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King of the Franks. Charlemagne which means Charles the Great (Carolus Magnus in Latin), was mainly known as Charles I.
Charlemagne was both a historical and legendary figure. Charlemagne was very religious, and the religion being Christiantiy. Several times, Charlemagne had visions, and angelic visitations from St Gabriel on behalf of God (click on the name for more information).
Winston Churchill was born in 1874. Churchill was Prime Minister of Britain during the second world war, and is renowned for making magnificent speeches from embattled Britain in 1940 and 1941, during which he made a constant and inclusive appeal to all free men and women in the world. However, his father despised him and when he was a child described that he had “a great talent for show-off, exaggeration and make-believe.”
Despite his political successes Winston Churchill suffered from what he described as his “black dog” – depression, and also heard voices. Winston Churchill is credited as being the greatest of all Britain’s war leaders. During World War II, Churchill’s “voices” would tell him to “sit here” or “sit there?” (Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia, 1990, “Hallucinations.”)(click on the name for more information).
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Mahatma Gandhi, the man who almost single handedly achieved Indian independence from Britain, relied on an “inner voice” for guidance (click on the name for more information).
When the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. sat at his kitchen table, in the winter of 1956, terrified by the fear of what might happen to him and his family during the Montgomery bus boycott, he said he heard the voice of Jesus promising, “I will be with you.” He went forward (click on the name for more information).
Andrew Abraham Stockenström le Fleur I (1867-1941)A Fleur succeeded Adam Kok III as Paramount Chief of the Griqua. From 1898 to 1903 he was jailed in Cape Town as a ‘rebel’. Le Fleur is known for his efforts to unite the Griqua nation after he was instructed by voices and spirits to gather the scattered ‘bones of Adam Kok’. He was widely respected as a prophet and, known as the ‘kneg van God’ (servant of God), was the driving force behind the Griqua revival of the early 20th century.
In 18th-early 20th century southern Africa there were people called the Bastards, a name given to them because of their mixed race origins which resulted from the arrival of foreign settlers. The Bastards were the Griqua, Orlam, original Afrikaners, Nama and other mixed race groups. They were farmers and nomads, as well as adventurers and runaway slaves. Many lived a life of oppression and were outcasts, rebels and fugitives. Many were freedom fighters who tried to resist colonial rule and European greed for land and diamonds. Many were stripped of power, many were exiled. Most were forgotten. This painting by Cobus van Bosch shows Andrew Abraham Stockenström le Fleur I (1867-1941). ‘
He received his calling from God on the 9th of May, 1889. His father had now moved to Mataliele, and was the Private Secretary to Lady Kok, wife of Adam Kok III, who ruled over the Griquas in Kokstad now that Kok was dead. While looking for his father’s asses for three days in succession and not being able to find them, he suddenly heard a voice calling out of a stone:-
“Andrew, Andrew, Andrew… I am the Lord God speaking to you, Go and gather the dead bones of Adam Kok and call them as one nation, so that they can be my people and I their God. Behold the two asses you are looking for, are just on the other side of this hill. Go and tell your father what I command you to do, and tell him that Lady Kok will die at eight o’clock tomorrow morning. These two signs will open the minds of you and your father, so that you will know that it is the Lord who has spoken to you, and that the word of Ezechiel be fulfilled.”
King was a skilled politician and alliance builder but was regarded by those who appoint themselves to comment upon these things as lacking the charisma, charm and extroversion that might be what we expect of stereotypical leader even though it is not nearly necessary in a real leader. He never married so lacked a partner who might have hosted elegant soirées at which to wow, seduce and schmooze the privileged and self-entitled classes in the manner to which they had become accustomed.
King certainly played a very great role in helping shape Canada to become the modern country it is, establishing Canada’s independent political stance, independent voice and paving the way for much-admired welfare systems, strong human rights stance and enlarging the role of the provinces in running the country. Through interesting times in which the country seemed intent on going its separate ways he helped forge some unity and common purpose. In 1917 King sided, midst deep controversy at the time, with Sir Wilfred Laurier in opposing Canadian conscription, and later also insisted that Canada’s troops sent to Europe in WWII would remain under Canadian, not British command .
As was not uncommon at the time amongst well-to-do folks, King was a spiritualist and regularly attended seances seeking to connect with spirits, including his deceased mother.
Not only did King hear voices he was comfortable with them and took great comfort in knowing they were there and hearing what they had to say but “made it a rue to ignore advice” given by spirits, trusting always in his own judgment.
King was called upon to make many difficult decisions in the running of a country finding its feet and emerging from the shadows of imperialism onto the world stage and all during the decades of financial turmoil, global upheaval and great human conflict.
Amongst those he would seek counsel of were former Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier and another of Canada’s pioneering leaders: his grandfather – William Mackenzie King, Leader of the Upper Canada Rebellion and first Mayor of Toronto, and whose spirit is reputed today to still stalk the halls of Mackenzie House in Toronto, now a museum.
In 1943 William Lyon Mackenzie King hosted the Quebec Conference at which three “leaders of the free world” – as they might bombastically be termed if it were today – finalized plans for the Allied troop landings into southern Italy and thus beginning of the retaking of Europe from fascism.
Nat Turner was was an African-American slave who led a slave rebellion in Virginia on August 21, 1831. Nat was deeply religious, he was often seen fasting, praying, or immersed in reading the stories of the Bible. He frequently experienced visions which he interpreted as messages from God. These visions greatly influenced his life; for instance, when Turner was 22 years old, he ran away from his owner, but returned a month later after having such a vision. By early 1828, Turner was convinced that he “was ordained for some great purpose in the hands of the Almighty.” While working in his owner’s fields on May 12, Turner “heard a loud noise in the heavens, and the Spirit instantly appeared to me and said the Serpent was loosened, and Christ had laid down the yoke he had borne for the sins of men, and that I should take it on and fight against the Serpent, for the time was fast approaching when the first should be last and the last should be first (click on the name for more information).