Bill Thetford’s Independence Day


Bill Thetford [co-scribe of A Course in Miracles] died on July 4, 1988.  On that day, not long before he collapsed of a heart attack, he had announced to his close friend Judy Skutch Whitson that it was Independence Day and finally he himself felt free.

“By the time of his death in 1988 at age 65, Bill Thetford had practiced these lessons to perfection, leaving this world of time and space free of guilt and grievances. As his time on earth grew to an end he was able to release all that held him back from true peace.  Would that we could all reach that goal.” Excerpt from review by Alice T. Mac Mahon of “Never Forget to Laughwritten by Carol Howe.
From Carol Howe’s FACEBOOK List: “Never Forget to Laugh”
On the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of Bill Thetford’s passing, it seems timely to offer you the third in a series of extra material not found in his biography, Never Forget To Laugh. For those of you who have not read his amazing story, Bill pronounced ahead of time that he would declare his independence of the Fourth of July, and he did – July 4, 1988. Enjoy!

“Apparently, Bill, from beyond the veil, still has some things to say to those who choose to listen, either through waking experience or in dreams. Visiting in Hawaii at the time of Bill’s passing, Jack and Layle Luckett were on their way to a friend’s birthday party when they were given the news. Their informant started to choke up on telling them and Jack said, “Don’t go into fear. Be joyful. This is a wonderful moment!” although he wasn’t sure how it was going to be returning to their La Jolla apartment without Bill. (Bill and the Lucketts shared a condo at that time.) However, knowing they would tell the assembled group about his passing at the appropriate time and that many strong feelings would be evoked, Jack said, “I was led to a reading from A Course In Miracles and told the group, ‘Hold hands, as I have some wonderful news for you.’” The reading that came to him was from Lesson 253, My Self is ruler of the universe – “It is impossible that anything should come to me unbidden by myself. Even in this world, it is I who rule my destiny. What happens is what I desire. What does not occur is what I do not want to happen . . ..” Jack knew it was perfect and felt Bill had given him the lesson to read.

When they returned home to La Jolla, on entering the condo they shared with Bill, they found fresh red gladioli he had left for them and felt his welcoming presence, hardly the cold, empty place they might have anticipated. They also found on his bed a copy of the Course with a bookmark at Lesson 253 – My Self is ruler of the universe—the very lesson Jack had been led to read as they announced the news. They then proceeded to their bedroom where they found a cartoon Bill had fastened to a pillow. Knowing that Jack had been, among other things, a criminal lawyer, Bill knew he would get a kick out of it. The picture showed the foreman saying to the judge, “We find the guilty defendant not guilty!”

Layle added, “Right after he left—I think it might have been the next day—he spoke inside me and I really felt it. He said, ‘Tell everybody in the Course in Miracles groups to tune into me, that I am available to them and will bring whatever visits, messages, confirmations, verifications – whatever it is they need.’” Layle shared this message with a woman in Australia who said she had been looking for a place to live and wondered if that might be “too dumb” a request for Bill. Layle suggested she ask him, which she did, and the woman recounted, “He came to me in my dream and told me where to look, what to do, how to say it, and everything else.” The next day she found her place to live.

People in the Garden group (the Lucketts’ ACIM group) also had experiences they felt were unmistakably from Bill. One of their group told them of her “big dream.” She indicated that in her dream she saw herself on a city street and felt drawn to a tall, multi-storied building. She stepped in and looked over the offices listed in the lobby. One on the top floor, written in bold letters, stated Office of the Holy Spirit. With great excitement, she took the elevator to the top floor and, as the doors opened, saw a sign shaped like a hand that read, “To the office of the Holy Spirit.” She walked down the hall to the old-fashioned doors with frosted glass inset in mahogany on which was printed in gold, “Office of the Holy Spirit.” Unable to wait another second, she opened the door, looked in and found the room empty except for a desk. Sitting behind the desk with a big smile on his face was Bill Thetford.”

Although a dream, it says it all and it is literally true that anyone, whether they knew him personally or not, can still call on him for help. Seems like all the world could use a little of that Bill Thetford warmth, irrepressible sense of humor, and acceptance. And the way for us to experience those blessings is to offer them.

One thought on “Bill Thetford’s Independence Day

  1. Thanks for sharing these wonderful stories about Bill Thetford, a man who truly was a Course in Miracles student and teacher.


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