Dr. Richard Ireland has been many things in his time. Nightclub mind reader. Psychic sleuth. Hollywood seer. In 1961 he founded the University of Life Church (a New Age religious center with a building located on east Baseline in Phoenix.)

Over the years, some of the most hardened skeptics concluded that Richard Ireland's abilities were real.  His capacities included clairvoyance, x-ray clairvoyance, precognition, and spirit communication.  He was the author of two books, The Phoenix Oracle (an autobiography) and Your Psychic Potential (a guide psychic development.


Ireland was born in 1926(?) in Columbus, Ohio. His metaphysical saga began when, as a five-year-old hospital patient, he realized he had the power."


While recuperating from eye surgery, he discovered he could bounce a ball off the wall and catch it even though his eyes were bandaged shut. His psychic capacity developed rapidly and he, forecast accidents that would happen in the family, the arrival of visitors and even the death of a playmate in a car crash. Outraged when this last prediction came true, one neighbor child pelted Ireland's home with stones.  


He performed in the Playboy Club and lounges around the nation. During the 70s Ireland made a series of Hollywood appearances and became known as "the psychic to the stars".. Mae West, who eventually became Ireland's biggest booster, boasted that she rarely made a move without seeking Ireland's psychic guidance. He had photographs of himself with every celebrity he' ever met, up to and including Louis Nye and Lainie Kazan.


One of Ireland's  most popular demonstrations were reading the serial number of a dollar bill whileblindfolded and answering questions written on "ESP Grams," Ireland's copyrighted note cards (also while blindfolded.). Some skeptics have suggested that Ireland's ability to read serial numbers and messages through a blindfold might be nothing more than a trick well known to any child   (The tighter the blindfold, the better your psychic ability.)


Nay, counters Ireland. I see the bill and the numbers as if they were imprinted on the inside of my forehead," he says. The blacks are white, the whites are black. In a way it is as though I am looking at a negative." Ireland refers to this phenomenon as video x-ray clairvoyance."


Local New Age authority, Dr. John Rodgers, reports, "I was invited to a New Age seminar in Tucson, sponsored by Ireland's brother who operated a very successful metaphysical church.  When Ireland began his performance, he asked for a volunteer.  I was up on my feet and I assisted in putting on the blindfold. Cotton and other opaque materials were placed over his eyes before the blindfold was put on. I was right there. I checked to see if he could see down the edge of his nose or any other way.. I can testify to you that he could not see. Yet he successfully read the numbers on a dollar bill."


While in a trance, Ireland would channel two spirit celebrities: Crowfoot and Dr. Ellington. 


In the 80s his national popularity waned. A long-time fixture at such bygone Phoenix niteries as the Playboy Club, the Colony Steak House and the Stein and Sirloin,. Ireland's name rarely showed up on marquees and most of his ESP demonstrations took place on the banquet-convention circuit around the Valley and at his own church.


Ireland claimed he's always donated his nightclub earnings to his New Age church.  But the church was ultimately seized by the county for non-payment of taxes. Ireland blamed this on the minister who was heading the church at that time

Ireland claimed the church's membership rolls once included 1400 names, but, in the years before his death, Sunday gathering numbered fewer than 20 people..
Dr. Ireland died in 1992



The Classic Ireland Pose

The Blindfold. Trust me, he could not see, says Dr. John Rodgers

With Mae West

With Steve Allen

With Glenn Ford