Biography of Elsa Barker

Elsa Barker (1869-1954) was born in Leicester, Vermont and became an American novelist and poet. Barker lived most of her adult life in New York City. From 1910 to 1914, she lived in Paris and London. She was initiated in S.L. MacGregor Mathers’ Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega in Paris. As she frequently traveled between Europe and the USA, Elsa Barker became MacGregor Mathers’ emissary to the American temples of the A.O. The minutes book of the Ahathoor temple mention that, on July 3, 1911, just prior to Elsa Barker’s return to the USA, Mathers had received applications from 9 members to form a new temple, Neith Temple No. 10.

Elsa Barker produced through automatic writing the scripts for Letters from a Living Dead Man (1914), War Letters from the Living Dead Man (1915), and Last Letters from a Living Dead Man (1919). These remarkable communications attracted much attention in England, where they were first published. At the time the scripts were produced, Elsa Barker was new to automatic writing, and was also unaware that the communicator (subsequently identified as David P. Hatch, a Los Angeles lawyer), who signed the communications "X," had passed away. These letters record the impressions of an intelligent traveler in a strange country, his mistakes, prejudices, ideals, and new insights.

Elsa Barker's other publications include The Son of Mary Bethel (1909), The Frozen Grail & Other Poems (1910), Stories from the New Testament for Children (1911), The Body of Love (1912), Fielding Sargent (1922), The Cobra Candlestick (1928), The C.I.D. of Dexter Drake (1929), and The Redman Cave Murder (1930). Barker died August 31, 1954. Her rose-cross remains today in the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega and is worn by its current Chief Adept in America, David Griffin, who today serves as emissary between Europe and America as once did Elsa Barker.