Like a character in a historical novel, this mysterious woman of past lives work becomes more fascinating the more that I research her. Thanks to my friend and incredible researcher Afonso Silva in Portugal, I received the pdf of a book, actually another pamphlet, Hoag wrote and published in 1969, "Technique of Past Lives Recall". To recap, Hoag and Swygard were obviously working together at some point, they were doing the exact same explorations in consciousness in the same city (Miami, Florida), but neither mentions the other in their published works. And Hoag published earlier than Swygard, in 1968 and '69, Swygard not until 1970. This 1969 pamphlet is only 28 pages long but filled with these tidbits. On the first page, Hoag says,
"This might be the first time you have heard of the awareness techniques."
(Interesting side note - Swygard always capitalizes "Awareness Techniques".) So Hoag was using the same name for her work. Then she says:
"You can "run" your past lives, as the process is called because it is like a motion picture "running" through a projection machine..."
(Another tidbit. Hoag refers to "running" past lives as did Swygard. Afonso found references to Swygard being in the film business in Miami in the 1960's, so its interesting that a film reference was used to describe the process.)
There are scattered internet references to Swygard (but little biographical information) and he is generally credited with being the innovator of the Awareness Technique. But Helen Hoag had The Awareness Research Foundation in Miami at the same time as Swygard, the late 1960's. Hoag's published material was in pamphlet form and never compiled into trade paperbacks like Swygard's, possibly that is the reason she is even less known. But both "running" and "the awareness techniques" were mentioned in print previous to Swygard's publication in 1970. And Hoag's publication date of 1968 matches the earliest book that I have found about past lives in the modern era, Ruth Montgomery's "Here and Hereafter."*
Curiouser and curiouser.
*Ian Stevenson published "Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation" in 1966, but this is reincarnation research based on accounts of children recalling details from their previous existence, which I separate from exploring past lives without conscious memories.
I was reading Awareness Techniques Book 1 and noticed this in the Preface by William Swygard:
"Most of the work involved in the book... its writing, publication and distribution, was done by the delightful members of the Miami group. They will put out more books such as this one...I thank them for being with me over the years."
This "Miami group" is intriguing, I assume Helen Hoag was a part of it, but the above is the only mention of others involved. And this is the first time I noticed that others were involved in the "writing, publication and distribution" of the original pamphlet. I mentioned this to Wendy Nethersole, who I hope to have an interview with shortly. She learned her method, Past Life Soul Regression, from Linda Backman who, according to her website, "studied and co-taught with Dr. Michael Newton, author of the seminal books on Life Between Lives regression therapy, and co-created and served on the Founding Board of the Society for Spiritual Regression (now The Newton Institute) as Membership Chair and President" before leaving to establish the Ravenheart Center to continue past and between lives research. But Newton never mentions Backman's participation, and the mention of Newton is only on the web page for Backman's book, "Bring Your Soul to Light." So maybe Swygard and Hoag's situation is not uncommon, but its still curious. At least in Backman and Newton's case, their work continues, even after Newton's passing in 2016.