Thursday, October 26, 2006

Lecture Announcement from the Parapsychology Foundation

Sylvia Hart Wright to Give a PF Perspectives Lecture
at Baruch College in New York City
on November 16th

Thursday, November 16th, 2006 in New York City
On Thursday evening, November 16th, 2006, at the Newman Center of Baruch College in New York City, noted author of When Spirits Come Calling (Blue Dolphin, 2002), Professor Sylvia Hart Wright will deliver a PF Perspectives Lecture called "Family Influences on Psychic Awareness." It has always been thought that some people are much more psychic than others, and that psychic awareness often runs in families. But more than heredity may be at work. Now mounting evidence suggests that certain kinds of experiences during the first ten to twelve years of life may greatly intensify psychic abilities. Stress, in childhood, among other influences, appears to play a pivotal role. In her talk, Professor Wright will draw on data she’s collected in interviews with over 100 psychics as well as on data collected for a wide range of medical and scientific studies.

The lecture will be offered from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in Room H763 in the Baruch College Newman Conference Center at 151 East 25th Street in New York City. PF staff will be ready for check-in at 6:30 p.m. The donation at the door is $15.00 ($13.00 for Club Members). Space in the room is very limited, reservations are required. Call 212-628-1550 or email to reserve.

New PF Lyceum Blog Post

Announcing the 15th PF Lyceum Blog:

With this blog, written by Guest Blogger, Edward F. Kelly, the Parapsychology Foundation inaugurates their new weblog series, "Recent Publications." Kelly writes a brief introduction to the ground-breaking new book Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century, written by Kelly and his colleagues Emily Williams Kelly, Alan Gauld, Adam Crabtree, Michael Grosso and Bruce Greyson. Irreducible Mind will be published in November by Rowman and Littlefield. To read more about it, check this latest installment in the PF Lyceum Blog Series by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

RSS Feed

Public Parapsychology now has an RSS feed. Much thanks to the anonymous commenter who pointed out the problem. Please keep those suggestions coming!

Subscribe to Public Parapsychology

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Virtual Suggestion Box

Now that I've been at this blog for about a month, I'm beginning to form a vision of what Public Parapsychology should be. While I'll certainly continue to link to conference and lecture announcements, calls for participants, parapsychology in the news, and present summaries of recently published research, no blog dedicated to public scholarship would be complete without the input of the public that it serves. To that end, I ask you, the reader, to tell me what you would like to see presented in this blog. I welcome your suggestions and ideas for future content as well as your questions about myself or the field. Please comment here with your comments/suggestions, and I'll do my best to address them in due time.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Stephan A Schwartz Interview and Conference

Tonight on the radio show Coast to Coast, writer and philosopher Stephan A Schwartz will discuss his latest work researching how consciousness affects the structure of water.

Also, check out the upcoming Schwartzreport Conference this November in Virginia Beach, VA.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Rhine Research Center Lecture Announcement

Physical Phenomena Surrounding Crises and Death

Sally Rhine Feather, Ph.D.
RRC Executive Director

Jacqueline Jordan, M.A.
Certified Grief Counselor

Unexplained physical phenomena that suggest some type of psi operation whether from the living or the deceased have been reported throughout history and from all cultures, and yet have been largely ignored by conventional science.

Sally Feather will report on a broad category of "spontaneous psychokinesis" reported by ordinary people at times of stress, crisis or death, while Jackie will offer anecdotal "shards" and theoretical perspectives of the "thanatokinesis" phenomenon as evidence of post-mortem survival of consciousness.

With a doctorate in clinical psychology and many years of work in parapsychology, Sally has in recent years been collecting and studying psi reports, first for a book on ESP experiences, and now for an in-depth look at those who experience unexplained physical or PK effects. She is continuing the case collection initiated by her mother Louisa E Rhine in the 1940's that is now the largest of its kind in the world.


A 1996 graduate of the Rhine Summer Study Program, Jacqueline approaches this topic from her own personal experience with the phenomenon, as well as from her doctoral research at Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center. She holds a M.A. in Consciousness from John F. Kennedy University, as well as a Certificate in Grief Therapy.

When: Friday, October 20th, 2006 at 7:30 pm
Where: The Stedman Auditorium on the Duke Center for Living Campus.
Registration Fee: $20 - $15 Students, Seniors & Members
To Register: Call 919-309-4600, ext. 201 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or register online.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Abstract from Dean Radin

Found via Dean Radin's Blog:


The hypothesis that water "treated" with intention can affect ice crystals formed from that water was pilot tested under double-blind conditions. A group of approximately 2,000 people in Tokyo focused positive intentions towards water samples located inside an electromagnetically shielded room in California. That group was unaware of similar water samples set aside in a different location as controls. Ice crystals formed from both sets of water samples were blindly identified and photographed by an analyst, and the resulting images were blindly assessed for aesthetic appeal by 100 independent judges. Results indicated that crystals from the treated water were given higher scores for aesthetic appeal than those from the control water (p = 0.001, one-tailed), lending support to the hypothesis.

Authors: Dean Radin, Gail Hayssen, Masaru Emoto and Takashige Kizu
Published in Explore, September/October 2006, Vol. 2, No. 5.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Dr. Vernon Neppe on Coast to Coast

This is kind of late notice, but tonight Dr. Vernon Neppe of the Pacific Neuropsychiatric Institute will be on the radio show Coast to Coast discussing his research on deja vu and related subjective experiences.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Online Survey of Paranormal Experiences

Rosemary Breen, a Master of Education (Research) candidate in the Department of Education at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, is conducting an online survey of the paranormal. "Paranormal" is defined as experiences that cannot be explained using the current laws of science. These events include premonitions, out-of-body and near-death episodes, telepathy and apparitions.

This survey is not about beliefs. It is about what people ARE and are NOT experiencing. The survey is open to anyone 18 years of age or older, regardless of whether they have or have not experienced the paranormal. The survey is anonymous and will take only five to ten minutes to complete.

Click here to participate in the survery.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Institute of Transpersonal Psychology Awards Honorary Doctorate to Rhea White

Palo Alto, CA: The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP) announced that it has awarded an honorary doctorate to Rhea White. "White has greatly contributed to the fields of transpersonal psychology, parapsychology and related fields," said ITP core faculty member, Charles T. Tart.

In 1952, Rhea White was forcibly "drafted" into transpersonal psychology, even though there was no such field yet. In her junior year of college, she had a near-death experience resulting from an auto crash that completely changed her life. She has devoted her life to trying to understand "where" she was when she found herself seemingly above the earth, bathed in a sense of unity, peace and aliveness while her body lay unconscious on the hood of her car. She thought she had died--and it was wonderful!

Rhea heard a voice tell her that "nothing that ever lived could possibly die." She felt the "everlasting arms" enfold her. Then she awakened on the hood of her car, unable to move, and in great pain.

After recovering from 11 fractures, Rhea began her studies of mysticism, religion, psychology, psychiatry, philosophy, and literary criticism. She wanted to understand what she had experienced in those few moments and where she could have been and who could have "spoken" to her and why it was so incredibly meaningful.

She began with a scientific approach and studied for four years at Duke University. After Duke, she went to New York as a Research and Editorial Associate at the American Society for Psychical Research, under the direction of one of America's leading psychologists, Gardner Murphy.

Rhea founded the Parapsychology Source of Information center, and began to publish an abstracting and indexing service, Parapsychology Abstracts International. She also became editor of one of the major parapsychology journals, the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, a position she held for many years. In 1984 she was elected as president of the international society of professional parapsychologists, the Parapsychological Association. In 1992 the Parapsychological Association honored Rhea with its Outstanding Lifetime Research Award.

After nearly forty years of study, Rhea realized that if she wanted to understand her near-death experience, science was not going to show her. In 1990 she decided to go back and study the basic data of parapsychology--the actual experiences people report. However, she soon realized that these data could not be viewed properly without considering them along with all the other sorts of nonordinary and anomalous experiences people have. In a vision she saw the need to study all of them as a single class of experience, which she called "Exceptional Human Experiences." She has been pursuing this aim ever since. Several ITP students have drawn heavily on her work here as part of their dissertation research.

For More Information:

Rhea White: For further sources of information, see Contemporary Authors, Vol. 77-80, 1979; Who's Who of American Women (17th ed., 1990). Also S. Krippner, "Rhea A. White: Parapsychology's Bibliographer" (Journal of Parapsychology, 1992, 56, 258) and M. Ullman's foreword to Exceptional Human Experience: Background Papers. (EHE Network, 1994, pp. i-ii; also published as EHE 11[2]).

Institute of Transpersonal Psychology:

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Research Summary: Experimenter Effects in Laboratory Tests of ESP and PK Using a Common Protocol

In the latest of a series of studies addressing the question of whether extra sensory perception (ESP) and psychokinesis (PK) are sufficiently distinct to merit separate terms, researchers from the University of Northampton and the University of Edinburgh, UK tested for both kinds of psi functioning using a common protocol, while also looking for evidence of experimenter effects.

Forty participants completed a computer-based greyhound racing game. Races occurred in blocks of twelve, and each participant completed two such blocks. One block of races was presented to the participants as an ESP task, while the other was presented as a PK task. However, unbeknownst to the participants, each block contained equal numbers of ESP and PK races in a random order.

Chris A. Roe and Russell Davey each served as an experimenter for half of the sessions, and after briefing each participant, rated the interaction for warmth, spontaneity, and positivity. The authors predicted that the sessions facilitated by Roe would be more successful because of his higher degree of experience in working with research participants and overall sense of 'ownership' of the project.

Overall, the performance of the participants on the ESP and PK games was better than what would be expected by chance alone, but not to a statistically significantly degree. However, for those greyhound races in which the ESP task was disguised, the performance of the participants was significant. As predicted, participants who had been briefed by Roe performed better than those briefed by Davey, and significantly so for the disguised ESP tasks.

Roe, C.A., Davey, R., & Stevens, P. (2006). Experimenter effects in laboratory tests of ESP and PK using a common protocol. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 20, 239-253.

Conference on Near Death Experiences

Registration for the 2006 International Association for Near-Death Studies conference is now open at This unprecedented event at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, one of the world's largest and most prestigious medical complexes, will assemble almost all of the world's leading researchers for a comprehensive review of 30 years of research into near-death experiences (NDEs). For full details, schedules, registration, and accommodations, go to

Computers Put Telepathy to the Test

A joint project by the University of Manchester's School of Computer Science and School of Psychological Sciences aims to test whether telepathy may exist between individuals in the environment of a life-sized video game.

read the official press release

participate in the study

What is 'Public Scholarship'?

After a couple of evenings of tweaking this new blog, I proudly presented the template to a friend for his feedback. The first thing out of his mouth was, "why do you call it 'Public Parapsychology'?"

I pointed to the adjacent box containing my declaration that this blog was dedicated to advancing public scholarship in the field of parapsychology. I figured that was enough clear things up.

"But, what is 'public scholarship'?" he asked.

I paused. It seemed obvious to me, but I couldn't define it. After babbling incoherently for a minute or two, I gave up and said "well, an academic would understand what I was talking about..."

He laughed. "Doesn't that defeat the point?"

So, I scoured the internet for a good definition of 'public scholarship', and found that the term is so potentially confusing that universities have had to form committees just agree on just what they mean by this concept.

At their web page, the Public Scholarship Committee at the University of Minnesota states the following:

At the level of the institution, public scholarship means optimizing the extent to which University research informs and is informed by the public good, maximizes the generation and transfer of knowledge and technology, educates the public about what research the University does, and listens to the public about what research needs to be done.

The Department of Communication at the University of Washington also offers a statement on public scholarship:

Scholarship and citizenship go hand in hand. Although scholars in higher education ultimately work on behalf of their communities, their nations and the world, much of their scholarship stays within the traditional research process, subject to peer review and publication in discipline-based journals and books, although available for review and application by persons and institutions outside of the academy. Scholars also directly engage the world beyond the academy, drawing on scholarship developed in the rigor of disciplinary tradition. Productive efforts of this kind, herein called public scholarship, may take many forms, such as popularization of research-based ideas in a variety of media and formats, facilitation of deliberation about such social values as equality, justice and freedom, and explanation or appreciation of texts, concepts, values or events. Such efforts can promote constructive dialogue with and among students, citizens, diverse communities, and political and cultural leaders.

What does this mean for parapsychologists?

Every day, there is quality research being carried out on ESP, telepathy, precognition, psychokinesis, and other assorted parapsychological phenomena at universities and private laboratories around the world. These phenomena have fascinated mankind for ages, but so little of the research findings have been presented to the public in a responsible way. It seems that as the methodologies employed by parapsychologists become more refined, the wider becomes the chasm between the researcher and the public that he or she serves.

My particular area of research these days has to do with hauntings. Everybody likes a good ghost story, right? But sometimes when I try to describe my particular approach to this fascinating subject, I find it difficult to connect with my audience. It has almost gotten to the point where I don't discuss my research interests at all. There has to be some sort of middle ground between telling a good ghost story, and discussing the intricacies behind the scientific study in a a way that confuses readers or makes them sleepy. Honestly, I have yet to find it. For me, starting this blog is the beginning of the search for that middle ground.

I wish I could say that I'm an expert parapsychologist, but I'm something of a fledgling in the field. And as much as I would like to maintain a blog about parapsychological research that is comprehensive and objective, time restraints will prevent me from being comprehensive...and I don't believe in objectivity.

That being said, I welcome you to Public Parapsychology.