Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Research Participants Needed in the UK

Volunteers are needed for a study being conducted at the University of Northampton (UK) investigating whether a person's physical responses respond to instructions being displayed in a seperate room or the mental intentions of another person.

We are looking for people to volunteer as participants to have their responses measured and/or try to mentally send information to another person.

The Experiment

There are two parts to the experiment. Firstly, all participants will complete four questionnaires whilst at home. Secondly, the experimental sessions will be conducted in the research laboratory at the University of Northampton's Park Campus. People can take part on their own or with a friend.

Participation is open to anyone and we would like to hear from sceptics as well as people who believe in psychic abilities.

If you are interested in taking part or if you have any questions or queries please contact:

Racher Dwyer (Research Assistant)
Telephone: 01604 892486
email: rachel.dwyer@northampton.ac.uk

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Stephan A Schwartz Seminar at Esalen

Stephan A. Schwartz will be presenting a seminar August 24-26, 2007 at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Here is a description of the seminar from the Esalen site:

Of all of the most mysterious things one can experience—spiritual ecstasy, verifiable nonlocal awareness (or Remote Viewing), the Aha! moment of creative genius—Remote Viewing is the one that can be learned. In doing so, one can obtain both sense impressions and "knowingness" concerning persons, places, or events about which one should have no knowledge due to shielding by time or space.

Closely related to nonlocal awareness is the expression of nonlocal intention, traditionally called healing, which uses many of the same techniques as Remote Viewing, but in a proactive way that affects the well-being of another.

Taught by one of the founders of Remote Viewing and a pioneering researcher in healing, this workshop is built on thirty-five years of laboratory and field research. The techniques presented have been repeatedly tested and have shown themselves capable of allowing almost everyone to open to the experience of nonlocal awareness and to express healing intent.

This seminar also covers meditation, offering an approach especially designed for the Western mind. (Meditation has been shown to be the most important discipline a person seeking to open to nonlocal awareness can develop.) The workshop both presents concepts and allows participants to experience firsthand these aspects of extraordinary human abilities.

Visit the Esalen site for more information on how to register.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

PA Conference Update

The 50th Annual Meeting of the Parapsychological Association is just around the corner. Right now I've got at least one confirmed travel companion (a grad student), and I have room in my car forat least one (possibly two) more. Please contact me if you live near the east coast and need a ride to the conference.

Also, if you live in or around New York City, I'm looking for a couch to surf on (just me) for one night...probably Monday, July 30th. I've never seen NYC and it looks like I might have a day to kill on the way to Halifax.

I've estimated the cost of gas to be around $400 round-trip. That's a lot of candy bars. A couple of kind readers have already donated to Public Parapsychology for the trip, but we're going to need some more help if we want to get my Monte Carlo all the way to Canada and back. Any and all donations received through paypal will go directly to my gas tank and benefit not just myself, but my travel companions as well.

Helping us get to the conference will also make certain that I have the opportunity to review, photograph, and summarize the conference here at Public Parapsychology (as well as give two presentations at the conference myself). Hopefully you guys enjoyed the ASPSI conference reviews and would like me to be your eyes and ears for yet another event this summer.













Saturday, July 14, 2007

ASPSI Conference: Closing Remarks

As stated at their website, the first purpose of the Academy of Spirituality and Paranormal Studies is "to encourage dialogue, exchange of ideas and cooperation between clergy, academics of religion and philosophy, scientists, researchers and academics of all scientific and humanistic disciplines in the fields of psychical research and new disciplines, as well as the historic sciences." My impressions at their latest conference suggest that the academy is on track with this purpose. The theme for this year's conference of the ASPSI, What the Bleep do We Know about Life after Death?, is an important question to me and many of my fellow researchers in the field of parapsychology, which is why I found it appropriate to review the conference in this blog.

In the program of the ASPSI conference, the attendees were promised that they would gain the following from attending the conference:

1. Inspiring presentations from some of the leaders in the fields of spirituality and nonphysical studies.
2. New insights on a variety of spiritual and paranormal topics.
3. Ideas that you can use both personally and/or professionally.
4. Meeting and exchanging ideas and information with other attendees and presenters.

I am happy to report that the ASPSI conference fulfilled each and every one of these objectives. I was impressed with the variety of perspectives that were presented. Many of the presentations were given by clinical psychologists, philosophers, religious leaders, and mediums. Personally, I have been absorbed in my own research groove as of late, and most of my professional contacts have been with other scientists. It was refreshing to hear some non-parapsychological, yet critical, perspectives on the survival issue.

I was also impressed with the effort to make the conference financially feasible for attendees. I am an academic patron of the ASPSI. For me, the conference fee was $120, and I had the option of paying and extra $180 for a shared dorm room and meals for the entire conference. That means that for $300 ($400 if you count the $100 cost of academic patronship - which includes a subscription to their quarterly journal, newsletter, and the conference proceedings), one can enjoy the conference, three nights of lodging, and three days worth of meals on the DeSales University campus in Pennsylvania. That is more than reasonable. That's a bargain.

Additionally, because most attendees had their meals in the DeSales University cafeteria (which was not half bad, by the way), there were multiple opportunities to talk and mingle with the presenters and attendees. In fact, I probably talked with more people at this conference than I have in the handful of conferences that I have attended combined.

On the first day of the conference, it was announced that the number of attendees of the ASPSI conference had doubled since last year...probably in no small part to having Dr. Raymond Moody as their keynote speaker. I hope that these reviews will inspire an even larger attendance next year. The 2008 annual conference of the ASPSI will be held on June 6-9 at the same venue. The theme of next year's conference will be Beyond the Veil: Evidence for Life after Death. Hopefully, I will see you there.

The Complete Reviews of the ASPSI Conference:

Day 4: Closing Session
Day 3: Evening Session
Day 3: Afternoon Session
Day 3: Morning Session.
Day 2: Evening Session
Day 2: Afternoon Session
Day 2: Morning Session
Day 1: Keynote Address


ASPSI Conference Day 4: Closing Session

The final day of the annual conference of the Association for Spirituality and Paranormal Studies commenced with a talk by Dr. James E. Beichler titled Let There Be Light: The Scientific Bleep on the Afterlife. Dr. Beichler holds the only advanced degree in paraphysics in the world from an accredited school. He is an associate professor of physics at West Virginia University in Parkersburg. Dr. Beichler discussed how science cannot accept and therefore rejects the notion of an afterlife because it does not have the conceptual tools or the vocabulary to accept the survival of consciousness. The possibility of an afterlife was relegated to a religion during the Scientific Revolution so the tools necessary to develop a theory of the afterlife as well as the nature and meaning of life were never developed. Dr. Beichler predicts that we are on the edge of a third scientific revolution, which will change our fundamental concepts of reality. He is working on a book To Die For: The Living Book of the Dead, which will hopefully be reviewed here on Public Parapsychology in the near future.

Boyce Batey, executive director of ASPSI, psychical researcher, and hospice volunteer, presentated a pattern and content analysis of responses by 30 members of ASPSI between August 2006 and February 2007 to 10 questions in a Survival Research Questionnaire, which he developed.

The conference closed with a panel P.M.H Atwater, James Beichler, and Tom Butler with the theme What the Bleep Do We Know about Life After Death. Each of the panelists were invited to give their take on the subject, and after some debating between Beichler and Butler, audience members were granted an opportunity for some final questions.

See Related Posts:

Day 3: Evening Sessions
Day 3: Afternoon Sessions
Day 3: Morning Sessions.
Day 2: Evening Sessions
Day 2: Afternoon Sessions
Day 2: Morning Sessions
Day 1: Keynote Address

ASPSI Conference Day 3: Evening Sessions

Kevin Kovelant, a masters candidate in Consciousness Studies and Dream Studies at JFK University, and a very dear friend of mine, gave his first ever conference presentation following dinner on Day 3. Titled, Peering through the Veil: Death, Dreams, and the Afterlife in Sufi Thought, Kevin's presentation discussed how Sufism offers a conceptual framework for understanding the phenomena of 'visitation dreams'. During his presentation, he addressed the question, if the dead do visit us in dreams on occasion, what does dreaming have to do with survival after death? Kevin is currently working on completing his thesis "Visitation Dreams from the Dead" after having had many of them throughout his life.

Closing Day 3, Jeanetta W. Dunlap, Ed.D., an Education Specialist as well as a medium and healer gave a workshop on past life memories, guiding the conference attendees through exercises designed to give insight into past lives for personal empowerment.

See Related Posts:

Day 3: Afternoon Sessions
Day 3: Morning Sessions.
Day 2: Evening Sessions
Day 2: Afternoon Sessions
Day 2: Morning Sessions
Day 1

Friday, July 13, 2007

Skeptics in the Pub Presentation

Next Thursday, 19 July, at 4:10 pm, in Room 309 of the Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths College, Dr Francesca Collins of Monash University, Australia, will be giving a presentation entitled "Very superstitious: Dissociation, control and paranormal beliefs". Here is the abstract of Francesca's presentation:


The last fifteen years has produced significant research linking belief in the paranormal to the experience of psychological dissociation. In this presentation, emerging research findings regarding the relationships between dissociation and the reporting of unusual experiences in non-clinical populations will be reviewed. Specific attention will be given to the relationship between the experience of dissociative phenomena and paranormal beliefs including: traditional religious belief, psi belief, witchcraft, superstition, spiritualism, extraordinary life forms and precognition (Tobacyk, 1991). This will be followed by a discussion of my recent investigation into the relationship between dissociation, locus of control and specific paranormal beliefs. The specific aims of the study were to: 1) confirm the existence of relationships between dissociation, paranormal beliefs and locus of control within a non-clinical population; and 2) determine whether these relationships represent a true correlations between distinct psychological constructs or reflect a general tendency among the highly dissociative to report unusual experiences. Data from 132 adult undergraduate students from Monash University revealed a positive relationship between self-reported dissociativity and unusual beliefs. The most striking, and perhaps the most easily understood, was the relationship found between dissociation, external locus of control and a tendency toward superstition. These results will be discussed in terms of the role of dissociation in the everyday functioning of non-clinical individuals.

The talk is open to staff, students and members of public and entry is free. Full details of how to get to Goldsmiths can be found at www.goldsmiths.ac.uk. More information about Skeptics in the Pub can be found at http://skeptic.org.uk/pub/

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

ASPSI Conference Day 3: Afternoon Sessions

Following lunch, David Lindsay, executive director of the International Academy of Consciousness (IAC) gave a presentation titled Out-of-Body Experience: The Definitive Afterlife Research Tool for the 21st century. During his presentation, the conference attendees learned a little bit about IAC, its laboratories and research projects. A new field, projectiology has been proposed for studying OBE's, and a further field, conscientiology has been proposed by the IAC for studying consciousness. These fields endorse self-experimentation, encouraging their researchers to proactively induce OBE's for themselves, rather than relying on the third-party observations of research subjects.

Reverend Lawson M. Smith discussed Life after Death as Presented in Heaven and Hell by Emanuel Swedenborg. Rev. Smith is a pastor of congregation in Kempton, Pennsylvania and principal of its elementary school. His presentation consisted of highlights from Swedenborg's 1758 work on the subject of life after death.

For the last session of the afternoon, the directors of the American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomena, Tom and Lisa Butler, gave an introduction to EVP's - voices recorded on electronic devices. Their presentation covered some basic information on paranormal voices with examples. Personal stories associated with the examples illustrated why the directors feel that EVP's provide evidence for the personal survival of death in an individual conscious state.

Both Lisa and Tom are ordianed Spiritualist ministers, certified mediums, and commisioned healers. Lisa has a degree in psychology and Tom has a bachelor of science degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.


See Related Posts:
Day 3: Morning Sessions.
Day 2: Evening Sessions
Day 2: Afternoon Sessions
Day 2: Morning Sessions
Day 1

Monday, July 09, 2007

ASPSI Conference Day 3: Morning Sessions

Day 3 of the annual conference for the Academy of Spirituality and Paranormal Studies (ASPSI) began with a presentation titled Life Within Life: A Case Study Suggestive of Integrating Past Lives and Altered States of Reality into the Present by Dr. Steven Hoyer, a clinical psychologist and adjunct instructer in the department of psychology and counseling at Pittsburg State University. Dr. Hoyer presented a fascinating case study about a woman whose near death experience involved traveling to an alternate reality, living out an entire lifetime there, and then returning to her own life. Dr. Hoyer also promoted a book that he co-wrote with the woman, Fireweaver: The Story of a Life, a Near-Death, and Beyond. After his talk was over, copies of the book flew off the table. In fact, he might've sold more books than anyone else there as far as I could tell. After hearing such a fascinating tale, I was tempted to buy a copy for myself, but I already have a stack of books that I'm way behind on reading.

Following that, Reverend Daniel L. Kivel, a Spiritualist minister, medium, and trustee in the Independent Spiritualist Association shared his personal experiences following the death of his son on Memorial Day weekend in 2006. In a talk titled Visitations, Rev. Kivel described the communications that he has recieved from his son, as well as reports of visits to several of his son's close friends and their reactions.



The last talk of the morning sessions was titled Over a Century of Research on After-Death Communication. Sylvia Hart Wright, a retired librarian and City College of New York professor, outlined the work of numerous researchers in the field, starting with the work of the Society for Psychical Research and carrying on into the present. Her paper emphasized that studies done in the U.S. and abroad have documented that it is commonplace for healthy, normal people to experience contact with the dead.


See Related Posts:
Day 2: Evening Sessions

Day 2: Afternoon Sessions
Day 2: Morning Sessions
Day 1

Friday, July 06, 2007

D. Scott Rogo Part 2

It looks like the Summer issue of the Journal of Scientific Exploration is out, containing the second installment of my reviews of the D.Scott Rogo series. Anomalist Books has summarized the main points of my review well, so those of you who don't get the JSE can read about at their blog.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

She Blinded Me with Science

I just got off the phone with Marcel Cairo a couple of hours ago, who had me as a guest on his show, AfterLifeFM. Like I said before, this was my first interview, and knowing that, Marcel really rolled out the red carpet for me. Thank you, Marcel, for making my first time so special ;-).

We talked about a lot of stuff, from how I got interested in parapsychology and the start of this blog, to some of the projects I am working on, and my upcoming trip to the PA conference. Along the way, I answered a few general questions about the field and my own beliefs (or lack thereof) about post-mortem survival. I think I did alright, though I've made a mental note to banish the word 'whatnot' from my vocabulary permanently.

Since I didn't totally bomb my first interview, y'all get a link to the show:

Click here to hear the voice of 'The Intrepid PsiChic'.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

July Programs at the Rhine Research Center

July 11 7PM Making Consciousness Real and Meaningful in Today's World, a presentation by management consultant Evelyn Rice about relevance of consciousness studies for the modern business world.

Much is spoken about being present; living in the now, surrendering resistance to what is, being conscious in an ever-changing world, etc. Yet, true accomplishment of such is unlikely when approached through the future-oriented mind and it's learned conditioned strategies. Evelyn Rice of Rice & Associates lays the foundation for an open discussion around "various pointers toward truth and consciousness"; and what these pointers may mean for the Rhine and its future direction. Rice has been a management consultant for the past 21 years working with companies such as Unilever, IBM, Northrop Grumman, numerous financial institutions and the U.S. Government around leadership, teambuilding, conflict resolution, creativity and problem solving, supervisory skills and bringing practical self awareness/spirituality/consciousness into the corporate arena.

Free of charge at the Alex Tanous Library of the Rhine Research Center.

July 20 7:30PM Poltergeists, Psychics and Psychokinesis: A Biological Connection? a talk by Ruth Reinsel Ph.D., Director, The NeuroPsience Laboratory, New York, NY.

Case studies of poltergeist agents, and mediums and psychics of the 19th and 20th century, indicate that many paranormal phenomena involve strange noises or raps, environmental disturbances, and sometimes, movement of objects or furniture. Over a century ago, these were thought to be signs of spirit communication. Today, many of these phenomena would be classified as psychokinesis (PK), or mind over matter. How these phenomena are produced is still not understood, but they do seem to have grounding in human physiology. The bodily reactions observed during and after large-scale PK clearly involve the autonomic nervous system. These observations suggest a common link between poltergeists, physical mediums, and psychics who produce PK; a link that has more in common with biology than with the supernatural.

Free of charge at the Stedman Auditorium.

Visit the webpage of the Rhine Research Center for more information.


Interview on AfterLifeFM

Tomorrow night at 7pm Eastern (4pm Pacific), I'm going to be interviewed by Marcel Cairo on his (relatively new) live podcast AfterlifeFM.com. This is my first interview, so Marcel has promised to go easy on me. We'll be talking about whatever comes up, so if you have any questions for me, he can take your calls live at 646-478-5711 after 7pm.