Category: People in Parapsychology


Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation
I recently participated, via Skype, in Alexandre Sech Junior’s doctoral defence of a thesis about William James and psychic phenomena. I was delighted by the quality of the thesis and the responses Alexandre gave to my questions. The degree was granted by the Health Program of the School of Medicine of the Federal University of Juiz de For a (Minas Gerais, Brazil).

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Dr. Alexandre Sech Junior

Alexandre, who I met in Brazil some years back, and with whom I have corresponded, has a masters degree in philosophy from the Pontifical Catholic University of Parana. He is a member of the Nucleo de Pesquisa em Espiritualidade e Saude (Group of Research in Spirituality and Health), which is part of the Federal University of Juiz de For a. Alexandre is the main author of an article about James that I mentioned before in this blog (click here), and has been active in other ways.

Here is the summary of his thesis, which is in Portuguese.

The Occult in the Works of William James and its Influence in the Conception and Development of the Concept of Stream of Consciousness

“This study deals with the occult expressed through exceptional mental phenomena – mediumistic trances, mystical experiences, automatisms and anomalous experiences of healing – and their relations to the works of psychologist and philosopher William James (1842-1910). Therefore, it is limited to the English and American context of science in the Victorian and Edwardian periods. In its first phase, the research gave priority to the exegesis of primary sources, such as: The Principles of Psychology, Psychology: Briefer Course, The Varieties of Religious Experience and A Pluralistic Universe. I also analyzed articles from works of the collection The Works of William James such as Essays in Psychology, Essays in Psychical Research, Essays in Radical Empiricism and Essays, Comments, Reviews.”

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William James

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“Furthermore, this study deals with secondary sources related to the life and thought of William James and of medium Leonora Piper (1857-1950), as well as other scholars that somehow were associated to his work. The second phase consisted of searching for new archival evidence from the William James Papers kept at Houghton Library at Harvard University in Cambridge, USA, and also from the Society for Psychical Research Papers preserved at Wren Library and at Cambridge University Library in Cambridge, England. Letters, journals, notebooks, private notes, lecture notes, marginalia, manuscripts and rough drafts of scientific observations and reports of William James and research associates who might have been present at the séances arranged by him have been photographed, categorized and analyzed, totaling almost 2,000 documents. I present this thesis in a threefold manner and although it is not a biographical study, this research adopted a chronological approach to present William James’s writings. The first part presents various concepts of the occult through history up to their relation to the exceptional mental phenomena within the context of this inquiry. The second part establishes the importance of the occult in the life and works of William James arguing the relevance of their phenomena for the definition and scope of a radical science of mind envisioned by him. The third and last part presents indications and evidence, which indicates that James might have put his project into practice. New and not yet published documents indicate the possibility of a direct influence of the occult in the conception and development of James’s important concept called Stream of Consciousness, leading this thesis to the conclusion that Jamesian tradition in psychology owes more to the occult than history currently admits. My main conclusions are that James’s interest in the occult was more than mere eccentricity; his many years of interest and dedication to occult phenomena had an important role in the development of his project of psychology. This means that in order to understand the works of William James in a thorough manner, one must consider the interface between his psychology and the occult; and finally, that phenomena deemed as paranormal which involve exceptional aspects of mental life may represent a legitimate way to understand human nature to its fullest extension.”

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Leonora E. Piper

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Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 1909, 23, 2–121.

I hope we will see soon publications based on this fascinating study.

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

I first met Alexander Moreira-Almeida, M.D., PhD, in Charlottesville, Virginia, when he came to attend a conference about mediumship sponsored by the Parapsychology Foundation. Alexander is a psychiatrist from Brazil that works at the University of Juiz de Fora. I visited him in Brazil with my wife an colleague Nancy L. Zingrone, and met several of his graduate students, many of whom were working on projects related to mediumship and other topics.

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Dr. Alexander Moreira-Almeida

Alexander currently holds various positions, among them: Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Federal University of Juiz de Fora [UFJF], School of Medicine, Director of the Research Center in Spirituality and Health (NUPES) at UFJF, Chair of the World Psychiatric Association Section on Religion, Spirituality and Psychiatry, and Chair of the Section on Spirituality of the Brazilian Psychiatric Association.

Alexander’s dissertation was about the relationship between mental mediumship and psychopathology. Over the years he has published on the subject and his general results do not support the idea that mediums suffer from mental problems.

Interview

How did you get interested in parapsychology?

I grew up in a family, like many others in Brazil, with strong and mixed religious/spiritual interests. I was exposed mainly to Catholicism, Umbanda (an African-Brazilian religion), Spiritism, and to a variety of esoteric/spiritualist movements. At the same time, since an early age, I had a strong interest in natural sciences and philosophy. I was also influenced by Spiritism and its proposal of using a rational and scientific approach to spiritual issues, of reconciling religion and science.

So I became interested in exploring and understanding anomalous experiences from a rational/scientific perspective. In 1995 I was a medical student at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF), Brazil. In the same week, two articles were published in national press media covering psychic surgery. It was the first time I heard about John of God.  What intrigued me the most was the fact that the two articles had totally opposing views of psychic surgery. One presented it as quackery and the other as a real and effective treatment. At that time it became clear to me that both articles had preconceptions about the subject, since none presented clear evidence to support their claims.  Then, I asked myself why someone did not simply start by checking if the “surgeries” were real or fake. So, with another colleague, and under supervision of a Pathology Professor of my medical school, we developed a study on the spiritual healing and surgeries performed by John of God, my first study on issues related to spirituality or parapsychology (click here).

During my residence in psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry of the University of São Paulo, Brazil, I started more in depth studies of spiritual experiences. I was especially interested in studies on the origins, the sources, of spiritual experiences and how to differentiate them from mental disorders. With another resident and two psychiatry professors, we founded the NEPER (Center for the Study of Religious and Spiritual Problems) of the Institute of Psychiatry – USP, a multidisciplinary research group in religion/spirituality and health that includes psychiatrists, neurologists, pharmacist, psychologists, a historian, an anthropologist and a philosopher. This was first research group in spirituality and health in a medical school in Brazil. During that time I got to know the studies on anomalous/spiritual experiences performed by Ian Stevenson, Bruce Greyson, Stanley Krippner and Etzel Cardeña.  At the same institution, I obtained a PhD in Health Sciences (2004) with the doctoral dissertation: “Phenomenology of Mediumistic Experiences, Profile and Psychopathology of Spiritist Mediums.”

After my PhD, I was a posdoctoral fellow (2005-6) at Duke University (USA) under supervision of Prof. Harold Koenig. During that time, in addition to perform studies in epidemiology of religion, I also became familiar with the Parapsychological Association, the Parapsychology Foundation and the Rhine Research Center, what allowed to met many good researchers in parapsychology that were very supportive of my work.

What are your main interests in the field and how have you contributed to its development?

My main research interests involve the exploration of the association between religiosity and health, empirical studies of spiritual experiences as well as the methodology, history and epistemology of this research. My main focus now is on spiritual experiences, especially on their differentiation from mental disorders and their implications to mind-brain relationship.

We have performed several epidemiological studies with clinical (bipolar, dialysis patients, rehabilitation) and general population (elderly, college students,  pregnant women on the impact of religion and spirituality (R/S) on health outcomes (depression, anxiety, quality of life, pain, substance use/abuse etc). In order to foster new studies about R/S in Brazil, we have translated and validated, or developed in Portuguese three different scales (click herehere, and here).

Interdisciplinary studies of spiritual experiences are essential to advance the scientific understanding of them. Most of my studies on spiritual experiences have been focused on mediumship. I started with my PhD investigating the phenomenology and the mental health of 115 spiritist mediums in São Paulo, Brazil. Our findings have shown that mediums, despite having many anomalous experiences that have been called “psychotic” and/or “dissociative,” have good mental health. Actually, there were  correlations of the frequency of full trance and hearing spirits with better social adjustment and lower psychiatric symptoms. I have been involved with studies and discussions in the international psychiatric community (through conferences and papers) about the distinction between spiritual experiences and mental disorders (click here; see video).

I have become more focused on the investigation of the sources of spiritual experiences and their implications for mind-brain relationship, especially regarding the evidence if mind is or not reducible to brain activity (click here). In collaboration with Andrew Newberg MD and Julio Peres, PhD, we have been involved in neurofunctional imaging studies of mediumistic experiences. We performed a study at the University of Pennsylvania, USA that was published in PlosONE in 2012, and two at Aachen University, Germany (with Julio Peres, PhD, Ute Habel, PhD and Alessandra Mainieri, PhD). We have just ended a study on the evidence of survival provided by the Brazilian medium Chico Xavier.

We have promoted international conferences in Brazil and symposia in international congresses such as (American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association and World Psychiatric Association) to discuss mind-brain relationship and also the clinical, research and theoretical implications of studies with anomalous experiences.

Why do you think that parapsychology is important?

It is important because it fosters research in several sorts of human experiences that are often neglected in other fields of science. If we wish to have a comprehensive picture of the universe and of the human nature we cannot afford  neglecting and ignoring any aspect of human experience.

In your view, what are the main problems in parapsychology today as a scientific field?

I believe that naïve acceptance of materialist scientism and myths about the history and epistemology of the relationship between science and religion/spirituality are two major blocks. The materialist perspective of human being and the universe is a worldview, a metaphysical assumption and not a scientific fact. It is important to show that most founding fathers of modern science and psychology were not adept of materialism. Currently I am involved in historical studies on the studies of mediumship performed by William James.

I discussed some of these problems in the paper “Reflections on the Future of Scientific Investigations of Psi Phenomena”, published at the Special Issue Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Journal of Parapsychology (2012, 76, 33-35, supplement). I will answer with some ideas I developed there. Parapsychology has also suffered from past sterile controversies inside the field of parapsychology (e.g. between laboratory and natural observations, and between ESP and survival research), and between this field and mainstream science.

Parapsychology often assumed positivist and naïve inductivist views of science. This illusory ideal included overvaluation of measurements and laboratory experiments, even in intrinsically qualitative issues, as well as the quest for the unreachable scientific goal of finding the perfect evidence or developing a crucial experiment.  This epistemological stance also favored an “anti-theoretical” approach, in the belief that mere collection of more and more refined experimental data would lead to complete scientific knowledge. This is a major factor which has been impairing theoretical development. In contrast, I believe that research should be conducted within the framework of what philosophers of science have called “scientific research programms” or “paradigms.”

Finally, another current development that may have impact in the future of the field is the recent economic and scientific flourishing in many countries not belonging to the axis Europe-North America. This widening of the range of participants in the scientific game is expected to enhance international collaboration, to foster creativity, and to generate new insights, hypothesis and research strategies. Diversity and creativity, allied with intellectual rigor and impartiality, are, I believe, essential ingredients in the scientific exploration of psi phenomena.

Can you mention some of your current projects?

Our research group (NUPES – Research Center in Spirituality and Health, School of Medicine, Federal University of Juiz de Fora – UFJF, Brazil) is currently composed by researchers from several areas (Psychiatry, Geriatrics, Nursing, Physical Therapy, Philosophy, History, Psychology, and Statistics). We are currently involved in several exciting projects. There is multidisciplinary research (neuroimaging, psychiatry, neuropsychology) comparing hallucinatory experiences between mediums and patients with schizophrenia. Another study, using a controlled and blind protocol, investigates the obtention of anomalous information by mediums.  Another project is the “Mind-brain debate in contemporary psychiatry” (click here , funded by Oxford University and Templeton Foundation. This project engages a wide range of disciplines (psychiatry, psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, and history of science) in order to: 1) increase interest and awareness by general and academic audiences on the state of art of academic discussions on MBP; 2) stimulate new and well informed studies; 3) encourage networking  and the establishment of new research groups of MBP. As part of the project we promoted the “1st Mind-Brain International Symposium” in São Paulo, Brazil. We had more than 500 attendees and speakers from several disciplines. In March/2017 we will promote the 2nd Mind-Brain Symposium. Several videos on the subject have been produced and at available at TV NUPES, a bilingual – English-Portuguese – YouTube Channel. The project also involves research, a Facebook Page, and an award for an essay competition “The mind-brain debate and its controversies”.

Currently I am also chairing the Sections on Religion, Spirituality and Psychiatry of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) and of the Brazilian Psychiatric Association. In order to promote research and education on the interface between spirituality and psychiatry, the WPA released recently a Position Statement.

Selected Publications

EDITED BOOK:

2012 Moreira-Almeida, Alexander, Santos, Franklin S. (Eds.) Exploring Frontiers of the Mind-Brain Relationship. New York, EUA: Springer.

PAPERS IN REFEREED JOURNALS:

2015 Moreira-Almeida, Alexander, Araujo, S. F. Does brain produce mind? A survey of psychiatrists’ opinions. Archives of Clinical Psychiatry v.42, p.74 – 75.

2015 Silva, Cristiane Schumann; Lucchetti, Giancarlo; Moreira-Almeida, Alexander. Validation of the Portuguese version of the Brief Multidimensional Measure of Religiousness/Spirituality (BMMRS-P) in clinical and non-clinical samples. Journal of Religion and Health, v.54, p.435-48.

2014 Sleuitjes, A., Moreira-Almeida, Alexander, Greyson, B. Almost 40 years investigating near-death experiences: an overview of mainstream scientific journals. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease v.202, p.833 – 836.

2014 Moreira-Almeida, Alexander, Koenig, Harold G., Lucchetti, Giancarlo Clinical implications of spirituality to mental health: review of evidence and practical guidelines. Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria v.36, p.176 – 182.

2014 Beauregard, Mario, Schwartz, Gary E., Miller, Lisa, Dossey, Larry, Moreira-Almeida, Alexander, Schlitz, Marilyn, Sheldrake, Rupert, Tart, Charles. Manifesto  for a Post-Materialist Science. Explore v.10, p.272 – 274.

2014 Alminhana, L, Moreira-Almeida, Alexander. Anomalous experiences and schizotypy: a necessary distinction between pathological and non-pathological psychotic experiences. Psyche & Geloof. , v.25, p.217 – 134.

2014 Rocha, A. C., Parana, D., Freire, E. S., Lotufo Neto, Francisco, Moreira-Almeida,

Alexander. Investigating the accuracy of alleged mediumistic writing: a case study of Chico Xavier’s letters. Explore. v.10, p.300-8.

2013 Stroppa, André; Moreira-Almeida, Alexander . Religiosity, mood symptoms, and quality of life in bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disorders, v. 15, p.385-93.

2013 Moreira-Almeida, Alexander. Religion and health: the more we know the more we need to know. World Psychiatry. v.12, 37-38.

2013 Gomes, F. C. ; Andrade, A. G. ; Izbicki, R. ; Moreira-Almeida, Alexander ; Oliveira, L. G. . Religion as a Protective Factor against Drug Use among Brazilian University Students: A National Survey. Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria v. 35,29-37.

2013 Tostes, J.S.R.M.; Pinto, A.R.; Moreira-Almeida, Alexander. Religiosity/spirituality in clinical practice: what does the psychiatrist need to do? Revista Debates em Psiquiatria, v. 3, p. 20-26.

2013 Moreira-Almeida, Alexander. Explorando a relação mente-cérebro: reflexões e diretrizes. Revista de Psiquiatria Clínica, v. 40, p. 105-109.

2013 Moreira-Almeida, Alexander. Scientific research on mediumship and mind-brain relationship: reviewing the evidence. Revista de Psiquiatria Clínica, v. 40, p. 233-240.

2013 Moreira-Almeida, Alexander. Implications of spiritual experiences to the understanding of mind-brain relationship. Asian Journal of Psychiatry, v. 6, p. 585-589.

2013 Alminhana, L, Menezes JR, A., Moreira-Almeida, Alexander. Personalidade, religiosidade e qualidade de vida em indivíduos que apresentam experiências anômalas em grupos religiosos. Jornal Brasileiro de Psiquiatria.v.62, p.268-274.

2013 Sech Junior, A., Araújo, S. F., Moreira-Almeida, Alexander. William James and Psychical Research: Toward a radical science of mind. History of Psychiatry. v.24, 62-78.

2012 Peres JFP, Moreira-Almeida, Alexander, Caixeta, L., Leao, F. C., Newberg, A. Neuroimaging during Trance State: A Contribution to the Study of Dissociation. Plos One, v.7, e49360.

2012 Moreira-Almeida, Alexander. Assessing clinical implications of spiritual experiences. Asian Journal of Psychiatry. v.5, p. 344-346.

2012 Moreira-Almeida, Alexander. Implicações dos estudos brasileiros em psiquiatria e espiritualidade. Revista de Psiquiatria Clínica. v.39, 181.

2012 Lucchetti, G ; Granero, A. L. ; Peres MF ; Leao, F. C. ; Moreira-Almeida, Alexander ; Koenig, Harold G . Validation of the Duke Religion Index DUREL (Portuguese Version). Journal of Religion and Health, v. 51, p. 579-586.

2012 Taunay T.C. ; Cristino, E. D. ; Machado, M. O. ; Rola, F. H. ; Lima, J. W. O. ; Macedo, D. S. ; Gondim, F. A. A. ; Moreira-Almeida, Alexander ; Carvalho, A. F. Development and validation of the Intrinsic Religiousness Inventory (IRI). Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria, v. 34, p. 76-81.

2012 Lucchetti, Giancarlo ; Aguiar, Paulo Rogério D. C. ; Braghetta, Camilla Casaletti ; Vallada, Candido P. ; Moreira-Almeida, Alexander ; Vallada, Homero . Spiritist Psychiatric Hospitals in Brazil: Integration of Conventional Psychiatric Treatment and Spiritual Complementary Therapy. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, v. 36,124-135.

2012 Taunay, Tauily Claussen D'Escragnolle, Gondim, Francisco de Assis Aquino, Macêdo, Daniele Silveira, Moreira-Almeida, Alexander, Gurgel, Luciana de Araújo, Andrade, Loraine Maria Silva, Carvalho, André Ferrer. Validação da versão brasileira da escala de religiosidade de Duke (DUREL). Revista de Psiquiatria Clínica, v.39, 130-135.

2012 Lucchetti, Giancarlo ; Lucchetti, Alessandra L. G. ; Peres, Mario F. P. ; Moreira-Almeida, Alexander ; Koenig, Harold G. . Religiousness, Health, and Depression in Older Adults from a Brazilian Military Setting. ISRN Psychiatry, v. 2012, p. 1-7.

2011 Moreira-Almeida, Alexander ; Cardeña, Etzel . Differential diagnosis between nonpathological psychotic and spiritual experiences and mental disorders: A contribution from Latin American Studies to the ICD-11. Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria, v. 33, p. S29-S34.

2011 Silva, Cristiane Schumann ; Stroppa A ; Moreira-Almeida, Alexander . The Contribution of Faith Based Health Organisations to Public Health. International Psychiatry, v. 8, p. 62-64.

2010 Moreira-Almeida, Alexander, Pinsky, Ilana, Zaleski, Marcos, Laranjeira, Ronaldo. Religious involvement and sociodemographic factors: a Brazilian national survey. Revista de Psiquiatria Clínica , v.37, 12-15.

2010 Menezes, A., Moreira-Almeida, Alexander. Mental Health of Mediums and Differential Diagnosis Between Mediumship and Mental Disorders. Journal of Scientific Exploration. , v.24, 595-608.

2010 Moreira-Almeida, A. O crescente impacto das publicações em espiritualidade e saúde e o papel da Revista de Psiquiatria Clínica. Revista de Psiquiatria Clínica v.37, 41-42.

2010 Menezes, Adair, Moreira-Almeida, Alexander. Religion, Spirituality, and Psychosis. Current Psychiatry Reports.v.12, 174-179.

2009 Moreira-Almeida, Alexander. Differentiating spiritual from psychotic experiences. British Journal of Psychiatry, v.195, 370-371.

2009 Almeida, Angélica Aparecida Silva de, Moreira-Almeida, Alexander. Inácio Ferreira: institutionalizing the integration of medicine and paranormal phenomena. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research. v.73, 223-230.

2009 Moreira-Almeida, Alexander. Mitos históricos sobre a relação entre ciência e religião. Revista de Psiquiatria Clínica, v.36, 252-253.

2009 Menezes, A., Moreira-Almeida, A. Differential diagnosis between spiritual experiences and mental disorders of religious content. Revista de Psiquiatria Clínica. v.36, 69-76.

2009 Moreira-Almeida, Alexander, Koss-Chioino J. Recognition and Treatment of Psychotic Symptoms: Spiritists compared to Mental Health Professionals in Puerto Rico and Brazil. Psychiatry, v.72, 268-283.

2008 Moreira-Almeida, Alexander, Neto, Francisco Lotufo, Cardeña, Etzel. Comparison of Brazilian Spiritist Mediumship and Dissociative Identity Disorder. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, v.196, 420-424.

2007 Moreira-Almeida, A, Lotufo Neto, Francisco, Greyson, B. Dissociative and Psychotic Experiences in Brazilian Spiritist Mediums. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, v.76, 57-58.

2007 Chibeni, S. S., Moreira-Almeida, A. Remarks on the scientific exploration of “anomalous” psychiatric phenomena. Revista de Psiquiatria Clínica, v.34, 8-16.

2007 Moreira-Almeida, A ; Lotufo Neto, Francisco ; Greyson, B. . Dissociative and Psychotic Experiences in Brazilian Spiritist Mediums. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, v. 76, p. 57-58.

2005 The Spiritist View of Mental Disorders. Transcultural Psychiatry 42(4): 570-91.

2005 History of Spiritist Madness in Brazil. History of Psychiatry 16(1):5-25.

2004 Mediumship Seem by Some Pioneers of mental Health. Revista de Psiquiatria Clínica v.31, no 3, p. 132-41.

2004 “Profile and Psychopathology of Spiritist Mediums”. Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria, v26 (Supl II), p. 109.

2004 “Phenomenology and History of Spiritist mediums: a qualitative approach”. Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria, v26 (Supl II), p. 108.

2003 Methodological guidelines to explore altered states of consciousness and anomalous experiences. Revista de Psiquiatria Clínica, v. 30 no 1, p. 21-8.

2000 Psychic Surgery: an investigation. Revista da Associação Médica Brasileira, v.43, No 3, p.194-200.

2000 Núcleo de Estudos de Problemas Espirituais e Religiosos. (Center for the Study of Religious and Spiritual Problems). Revista de Psiquiatria Clínica, v.27, no 2, p.113-5.

BOOK CHAPTERS:

2014 Moreira-Almeida, A, Menezes, A., Zangari, Wellington. Dissociative and conversive disorders In: Tratado de Neuropsiquiatria – Neurologia Cognitiva e do Comportamento e Neuropsicologia.1 ed.São Paulo : Atheneu, p. 681-694.

2013 Moreira-Almeida, Alexander ; Araújo, S. F. . ICD-10: World Health Organization Classification of Mental and Behavioral Disorders, 10th Revision. In: Kenneth D. Keith. (Org.). The Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural Psychology. 1 ed. New York: Wiley-Blackwell, p. 673-677.

2013 Peres JFP, Moreira-Almeida, Alexander, Caixeta, L. Neuroscience of trance and mediumship In: The Survival Hypothesis. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company,254-274.

2012 Moreira-Almeida, Alexander. Research on mediumship and the Mind-brain relationship. In: Moreira-Almeida, Alexander, Santos, Franklin S. Exploring Frontiers of the Mind-Brain Relationship. New York, EUA: Springer. p.191-231.

2012 Moreira-Almeida, Alexander, Cardeña, Etzel. Diagnóstico diferencial entre las experiencias espirituales y psicóticas no-patológicas y los trastornos mentales: Una contribución al ICD-11 desde los Estudios Latinoamericanos In Ciencia y religión: horizontes de relación desde el contexto latinoamericano, edited by Jaime Laurence Bonilla. e ed 1, 261-290. Bogotá – Colombia: Universidad de San Buenaventura.

2011 Moreira-Almeida, Alexander ; Alberto, Klaus Chaves . Allan Kardec and the development of a research program in psychical experiences. In: Jader dos Reis Sampaio. (Org.). A Temática espirita na pesquisa contemporânea. São Paulo: Centro de Cultura, Documentação e Pesquisa do Espiritismo, v. , p. 132-158.

2011 Moreira-Almeida, Alexander . A brief overview of the philosophy and development of Spiritism’s methodologies. In: Emma Bragdon. (Org.). Spiritism and Mental Health: Practices from Spiritist Centers and Spiritist Psychiatric Hospitals in Brazil. 1 ed. London: Singing Dragon an imprint of Jessica Kingsley Publishers, v. 1, p. 29-36.

2011 Moreira-Almeida, Alexander . The spiritist view of mental disorders. In: Emma Bragdon. (Org.). Spiritism and Mental Health: Practices from Spiritist Centers and Spiritist Psychiatric Hospitals in Brazil. 1 ed. London: Singing Dragon an imprint of Jessica Kingsley Publishers, v. 1, p. 37-46.

2010 Moreira-Almeida, Alexander, Stroppa A. Importance and impact of spirituality in mental health: the challenge of recognize and integrate spirituality at patients’s care. In A Arte de Cuidar – Saúde, Espiritualidade e Educação, edited by Franklin Santana Santos, 197-213. Bragança Paulista – SP: Comenius.

2010 Mendonça Netto, S., Moreira-Almeida, A. Methodology for research in spirituality and health. In A Arte de Cuidar – Saúde, Espiritualidade e Educação, edited by Franklin Santana Santos, 182-196. Bragança Paulista – SP: Comenius.

2010 Hageman, J. H., Peres JFP, Moreira-Almeida, A, Caixeta, L., Wickramasekera II, I., Krippner, S. The Neurobiology of Trance and Mediumship in Brazil In Mysterious Minds: The Neurobiology of Psychics, Mediums and other Extraordinary People, edited by Krippner, S.; Friedman, H., 85-111. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger/ABC Clio.

2009 Moreira-Almeida, A. Algumas reflexões sobre as implicações das experiências espirituais para a relação mente-corpo. In Cuidados Paliativos – Discutindo a vida, a morte o morrer, edited by Franklin Santana Santos, 283-300. São Paulo: Atheneu.

2007 Moreira-Almeida, A. É possível Investigar Cientificamente a Sobrevivência após a Morte? In A Arte de Morrer – visões plurais, edited by Dora Incontri; Franklin Santana, 36-44. Bragança Paulista – SP: Comenius.

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

Dr. Alan Gauld, a retired Reader in Psychology (University of Nottingham), is well known in parapsychology for his discussions of various topics, among them survival of death, poltergeists, and the history of psychical research. Regarding the latter, he is the author of The Founders of Psychical Research (1968), a book that influenced me, and that to this day remains what I believe is the best discussion of the early work of the workers at the London-based Society for Psychical Research, such as Frederic W.H. Myers and Edmund Gurney.

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Dr. Alan Gauld

 Gauld Founders 2

 Gauld Cornell Poltergeists

 Gauld Mediumship and Survival

 Although I had corresponded with Alan before, I believe I first met him in a conference hosted by the Society for Psychical Research in Bournemouth in 1994. It was great meeting someone whose work I had admired and followed closely for years. In the last decade, as I started to write about historical aspects of dissociation, and hypnosis in general, I have had occasion to cite Alan’s A History of Hypnotism (1992) repeatedly, a work that, like his other books, has become a standard.

Gauld History Hypnotism

Alan is a past president of the Society for Psychical Research. He was granted the Outstanding Career Award by the Parapsychological Association, and the Myers Memorial Medal by the Society for Psychical Research.

Interview

 How did you get interested in parapsychology?

So far as I can remember my interest in things psychic began when I was about six. It originated not from any precocious interest in science, philosophy or religion, but probably from watching an early Walt Disney cartoon in which Mickey Mouse and his friends, as ghost hunters, were given a somewhat trying time by a group of ‘lonesome ghosts’ in search of amusement. Intrigued, perhaps, by these mischievous spooks (as I recall, their antics also figured now and again in Mickey Mouse Weekly) I not long after ventured with various friends of about my own age on an excursion to a reputedly haunted building nearby. It was a largish place, still under construction, and my part in the enterprise finished when I climbed several feet up some scaffolding, fell off and cut my head.

The undignified end to my first psychic investigation did not, however, quash my interest in the subject, although during the ensuing war years that interest was somewhat distracted by the London ‘blitz.’ After the war it emerged again in somewhat more serious form, encouraged by the fact that my mother had a longstanding interest in such matters (and had something of a reputation herself for possessing ‘psychic’ gifts). The consequence was that during the post-war years I acquired and read various old and new books on the subject, proposed (successfully) before the school debating society ”that this house believes in ghosts,” and retained my interest during my military service. In my first week at Cambridge, in 1952, I sought out the secretary of the Cambridge University SPR and signed up.

Membership made a huge difference to the extent and nature of my involvement in the subject. The CUSPR (founded in 1906, but now alas extinct) arranged regular lectures by well-known psychical researchers, many of whom I got to know (several lived in Cambridge), and organized experiments and investigations. My interest was heightened when, on one of these investigations in my first year, I experienced some rather odd happenings in a wonderfully atmospheric old house near Sudbury, and wrote the case up in the student newspaper, Varsity. During the next few years I encountered various other curious phenomena, joined the main SPR, and became convinced that there were matters here not readily susceptible of any ordinary explanation. By the time I left Cambridge for Nottingham in 1962 I had become a member of the SPR’s Council.

What are your main interests in the field and how have you contributed to its development?

I have dabbled at one time or another in most aspects of parapsychology, but my principal interests have been in spontaneous cases, and in the problems of physical and mental mediumship. My publications have often had an historical slant, though I have tried to bring out their relevance to current issues. But as to my contributions (if any) to the development of the field, I can hardly assess them. Perhaps, despite their flaws, I have been to an extent a ground-breaker. I was (so far as I know) the first to go through, sort, and make use of the correspondence, diaries and papers of F.W.H. Myers (then in the hands of his granddaughters), the first to produce what was in effect a short monograph on ’drop in’ communicators, and the first to apply cluster analysis to a large collection of cases of hauntings and poltergeists. I have also been something of a delver into obscure historical cases and old authors, little-known but worthy of resurrection. I have much enjoyed all these activities, but how far they may have amounted to a contribution of any significance to the development of the subject I would not presume to say.

Why do you think parapsychology is important?

I have to confess that I have never worried much about the general importance of parapsychology. Mostly I have just asked myself is this that or the other ‘parapsychological’ phenomenon interesting, and does it interest me? For as long as I can remember I have been (perhaps unduly) fascinated by all sorts – too many sorts! – of mysteries, not utterly insoluble metaphysical mysteries, but mysteries, be they historical, criminal, cryptozoological, astronomical, cosmological, palaeontological, archaeological or whatever, on which it seems at least possible that further factual evidence or factual considerations may throw new light. That is just my turn of mind. And of course among these assorted enigmas parapsychological ones have had a prominent place.

I certainly believe, as I said before, that among the phenomena loosely lumped together as ‘parapsychological’ are some for which there is evidence not easily wished away by any facile ordinary explanation – this is what makes them so intriguing and makes them potentially important. But before one can properly assess their actual importance one needs to know far more about their nature, causes and origins than has so far been unearthed. For instance it is often claimed or supposed that if ‘psychic’ phenomena really occur they would be outside the scope of physical explanation and that a purely ‘materialist’ view of the world would accordingly be put out of court. That would be important. Yet the concept of the physical is itself very difficult to define or delimit and has changed a lot over the centuries as physics has advanced. And today’s physics seems pregnant with further impending change – we can feel the infant kicking, but we can’t yet properly determine its size and coming strength. Under these circumstances can we really assert with any great confidence that physical science or a science descended from today’s physical science could never adequately accommodate parapsychology? It is interesting to speculate on these matters, but premature to pronounce on their ultimate importance.

In your view what are the main problems in parapsychology today as a scientific field?

Among such problems an important one is the powerful influence of what has been called ‘scientism’ in and around the upper echelons of science. Scientism consists in a resolute belief that the orthodox concepts and methods of science, particularly physical science, are, or will turn out to be, adequate to handle all the problems of natural knowledge and the philosophy of science. It is not infrequently to be found allied with a strongly anti-religious secularism. Supporters of scientism, who are usually not reticent in expressing their opinions, tend to take a pretty hostile attitude towards parapsychology, though commonly without any detailed knowledge of the subject. Perhaps they suspect it of providing hope and comfort for deluded religious believers. Perhaps indeed they fear (mistakenly in my view) that if parapsychological phenomena turned out to be genuine, their own cherished materialistic worldview would necessarily be scuppered.

For whatever reasons, supporters of scientism, or persons with inclinations that way, seem rather often to attain positions from which they can make life difficult for would- be parapsychologists. They are to be found on committees that award research grants and offer places to research students, on appointments boards, on the editorial boards of academic publishers, and among the referees consulted by leading academic publishers. And if by any chance a reputable academic journal actually publishes an article detailing apparently positive results in a parapsychological experiment it is not unknown for hostile forces to gang up on the author(s) in a manner suggestive to some (though I am sure unjustly) of organised vigilantism. Persons thinking of applying for an academic post in a psychology or even a philosophy department might do well to keep quiet about any interest they may have in parapsychology – heads of departments, whatever their personal views, might well fear that if their departments became known for supporting or sustaining parapsychology they might lose favour with vital grant-giving bodies.

It was not always this bad. My experience of university psychology departments goes back to the 1950s, and although I never hid my parapsychological interests, and indeed offered final year special options, and supervised final year practical projects in parapsychology and in hypnosis, I cannot recall ever having encountered any serious hostility (discounting of course occasional jokes at my expense). And I remember feeling, probably around the 1970s – say 1977, when Benjamin Wolman’s massive Handbook of Parapsychology was published (by a well-respected academic publisher) – that parapsychology might before too long ‘make it’ as an academic subject. Around that time there were quite a few well-known parapsychologists in university departments and equivalent institutions. Money seemed to be available for research students undertaking PhDs in parapsychology (I was once spontaneously approached by a representative of a leading British grant-giving body, who told me that they would be happy to consider applications from such students). Interesting work was under way – Ian Stevenson and Charles Honorton were well into their ground-breaking research programmes.

But now? Well, things are not that good, though they are not altogether bad. There are still able young people interested in parapsychology, some at universities. But clearly what is currently most needed is money to reinvigorate and sustain the subject. In its early days it was largely supported by wealthy and well-educated private persons who were themselves much involved in the ongoing work. More recently a small number of very rich individuals have helped with substantial funding, mostly to particular investigators. But now we must ask – for in these hard days precious few government grants are likely to be given to projects that bring no electoral benefits – where are today’s friendly billionaires? My experience of billionaires is small, but I can’t imagine that many of them nowadays are likely to bankroll enterprises that are, if not exactly other-worldly, certainly not worldly. It therefore rests with us to find funds, seek support for relevant societies, rouse interest where we can, and keep the subject in active being, until better times dawn or we can bring them to pass.

Can you mention some of your current projects?

At the moment I am trying to pick up the threads of a project I was working on a few years ago but had to suspend in favour of other things. It involves looking into some early investigations of mental mediumship.

Selected Bibliography

Books

The Founders of Psychical Research. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1968.

(With A.D. Cornell) Poltergeists. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1979.

Mediumship and Survival. London: Heinemann, 1982.

A History of Hypnotism.  Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1992.

Articles and Chapters

A Cambridge apparition.   Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 1955, 38, 89-31.

(With A.D. Cornell) A Fenland poltergeist.   Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 1960, 40, 343-35.

The ‘super-ESP’ hypothesis.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 1961, 53,220-246.   (Albert E. Hunt Memorial Lecture.)

(With A.D. Cornell) The geophysical theory of poltergeists.   Journal of the Society for   Psychical Research, 1961, 41, 129-147.

Frederic Myers and ‘Phyllis’. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 1964, 42, 316-323.

Mr. Hall and the SPR. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 1965, 43, 53-62.

Could a machine perceive? British Journal of the Philosophy of Science, 1966, 17,  44-58.

(With G.M. Stephenson) Some experiments relating to Bartlett’s theory of remembering. British Journal of Psychology, 1967, 58, 39-49.

The Emmanuel House Ghost. Emmanuel College Magazine, 1967, 49, 11-15.

(With A.D. Cornell) A ‘ghost’ on TV. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 1969, 45, 14-17.

(With J.D. Shotter) The defense of empirical psychology. American Psychologist, 1971, 26, 460-466.

Professor C.D. Broad, 1887-1971 – a biographical sketch. Journal of the Society for   Psychical Research, 1971, 46, 103-107.

A series of ‘drop in’ communicators. Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 1971, 54, 273-340.

The haunting of Abbey House, Cambridge. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research,1972, 46, 109-121.

The domain of psychology. Bulletin of the British Psychological Society, 1972, 25, 93-100.

(With C, Lamb and A.D. Cornell) An East Midlands poltergeist. Journal of the Society for   Psychical Research, 1973, 47, 1-20, 139-155.

ESP and attempts to explain it. In S.C. Thakur (ed.) Philosophy and Psychical Research. London:  Allen and Unwin, 1976, pp. 17-45.

Discarnate survival. In B.B. Wolman (ed.)  Handbook of Parapsychology. New York:  Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1977,   pp. 577-630.

Psychical Research in Cambridge from the seventeenth century to the present. Journal of the  Society for Psychical Research, 1978, 49, 925-937.

Parapsychology,   In W.E.C. Gillham (ed.), Psychology for Today. Revised edn., London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1981, pp. 210-226.

Andrew Lang as psychical researcher. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 1983, 52, 161-176.

Ghosts in the Machine. In S, Nash (ed.) Science and Complexity. London: Science Reviews Ltd., 1985, pp. 65-73.

Recollections of E.J. Dingwall. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 1987, 54, 230-237.

Reflections on Mesmeric Analgesia. British Journal of Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis, 1988, 5, 17-24.

History of Hypnotism. In L.M. Heap (ed.) Hypnotism:  Current Clinical, Experimental and   Forensic Perspectives. London: Croom Helm, 1988, pp. 12-24.

Cognitive psychology, entrapment, and the philosophy of mind. In J.R. Smythies and  J. Beloff (eds.)  The Case for Dualism. Charlottesville, VA:  The University Press of Virginia, 1989, pp. 187-253.

Mesmeric analgesia and surgery: A reply to Spanos and Chaves. British Journal of   Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis, 1990, 7, 171-174.

The early history of hypnotic skin marking and blistering. British Journal of Experimental   and Clinical Hypnosis, 1990, 7, 139-152.

Hypnosis, somnambulism and double consciousness. British Journal of Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis, 1992, 9, 69-76.

Reply to Spanos and Jones.  Contemporary Hypnosis, 1992, 9, 81-83.

The function of a society for psychical research at the present time. Proceedings of the   Society for Psychical Research, 1993, 57, 253-273. (Presidential Address to the Society for Psychical Research.)

(With H.P. Wilkinson) Geomagnetism and anomalous experiences, 1868-1980. Proceedings  of the Society for Psychical Research, 1993, 57, 275-310.

A series of ‘drop in’ communicators. Supplementary information. Proceedings of the   Society for Psychical Research, 1993, 57, 311-316.

Experiences in physical circles. Psi Researcher 1994, 14, 3-7.

Notes on the career of the somnambule Léonie. Journal of the Society for Psychical   Research, 1996, 61, 141-151.

Joseph Delboeuf (1831-1896): A forerunner of modern ideas on hypnosis. Contemporary   Hypnosis, 1997, 14, 216-225.

Discussion commentary: Clearing the decks again? Contemporary Hypnosis, 1999, 16, 146-149.

A case of ostensible mesmeric clairvoyance from the 1840s and a sequel. International     Journal of Parapsychology, 2001, 11, 153-161.

(With Peter A. McCue)  Edgehill and Souter Fell:  A critical examination of two English ‘phantom army’ cases.  Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 2005, 69, 78-94.

Memory. In E.F. Kelly, E.W. Kelly, A. Crabtree, A. Gauld, M. Grosso and B. Greyson, Irreducible Mind. Lanham, MD:  Rowman & Littlefield, 2007, pp. 241-300.

Henry Sidgwick, theism and psychical research. In P. Bucolo, R. Crisp and B. Schultz (eds.), Henry Sidgwick, Happiness and Religion, Department of Human Sciences, University of Catania, 2007, pp.160-259.

Reflections on the life and work of Ian Stevenson. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 2008, 22, 18-35.

(Obituary of) Tony Cornell. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 2010, 74, 207-213.

Two cases from the lost years of Mrs. Piper.  Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 2014, 78, 65-84.

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

It has always been a pleasure to see Dr. Elizabeth Roxburgh at conventions, and to see her papers about mediums and clinical issues related to psychic experiences. I particularly enjoyed one of her early papers, co-authored with Chris Roe, ““A Survey of Dissociation, Boundary-Thinness and Psychological Wellbeing in Spiritualist Mental Mediumship” (Journal of Parapsychology, 2011, 7, 279-299). This is an important contribution to the new era of psychological studies of mediumship, a study that was part of her PhD thesis at the University of Northampton.

Elizabeth Roxburgh 4

Dr. Elizabeth Roxburgh

Elizabeth is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Northampton, where she conducts research, teaches, supervises doctoral students, and is course leader for the BSc (Hons) Psychology and Counselling degree. My last personal contact with her was when she came to the US to participate in a forum organized by the Parapsychology Foundation in 2015,  “Recent Advances in UK Parapsychology.” In addition to Elizabeth, this included the participation of Professor Chris Roe, Callum Cooper, Rachel Evenden, and David Saunders.

Interview

How did you get interested in parapsychology?

It all began when I was about 10. I awoke one night and I saw a sparkle of white light and felt my hair being tugged. My family and I were staying with some friends at the time and my mum said it might have been the two daughters messing around with some matches. However, I wasn’t convinced (the light looked nothing like the spark of a match as it was much brighter and quite large), and when I got home, I kept on talking about it to my mum and she eventually said that the family in the house thought that there was a spirit there as they had felt its presence literally and unusual things had happened in the house (particularly in the room I was staying in…thanks for that!).

Whilst growing up I put this experience to one side and haven’t had any similar experiences since. I then did my undergraduate degree in psychology in 1997 at Staffordshire University and worked for the NHS for a number of years as an assistant clinical psychologist in various different mental health contexts. It was here that I came across the medical model and the belief that experiences, such as seeing visions, hearing voices, and sensing the presence of the deceased were considered symptoms of a ‘mental disorder’ and labelled as ‘hallucinations’. I quickly became very critical of this view for a number of reasons and decided that I wanted to investigate unusual experiences from a less reductionist perspective. I had always been fascinated by ‘parapsychology’ and think the first book I read on the subject was in fact called ‘In search of the light: The adventures of a parapsychologist’ by Susan Blackmore, who at the time was interested in NDEs. She talked about devoting her life to the field of parapsychology and the adventures she got up to at the Rhine Research Center (an institute for parapsychological research in North Carolina). So, in 2003, off I went to the Rhine Research Center after receiving a scholarship from the Parapsychological Association to attend the Rhine summer study program. It was there that I had an introduction to all the different research that had been conducted in the area of parapsychology (and where I first met Christine Simmonds-Moore and Nicola Holt; Nicola was also on the program at the time and is incidentally my birthday twin!).

In 2005 I left the NHS and clinical psychology (I was training to become a clinical psychologist) and a few months later saw a bursary advertised to do a PhD on the psychology and phenomenology of mediumship at the University of Northampton (where Nicola Holt was working at the time) under the supervision of Professor Chris Roe and Professor Deborah Delanoy. I was successful in receiving this bursary (I always felt this was ‘meant to be’!) and began my doctoral research in early 2006 at the Centre for the Study of Anomalous Psychological Processes in the Psychology Division at the University of Northampton, and was awarded my PhD in 2010.

I was fortunate to secure an academic position at the University of Northampton on completion of my PhD and I am now a Senior Lecturer in Psychology where I specialise in teaching and supervising research on the phenomenology of anomalous experiences, mental health, counselling, and qualitative research methods. I am a BACP Registered counsellor, teach on the MSc in Counselling (a practitioner training program) and was recently appointed as course leader for the BSc Psychology and Counselling degree. I am also a current Board member of the Parapsychological Association and member of their Anomalous Experiences Committee.

What are your main interests in the field and how have you contributed to its development?

My research interests are broad but stem from a passion to develop a scientific understanding of anomalous, spiritual and transpersonal experiences through careful application of a range of interdisciplinary methodologies. I am particularly fascinated by the growing field of ‘clinical parapsychology’ (exploring mental health and anomalous experiences) and its applied focus given that many individuals have had anomalous experiences (AEs) or believe in such phenomena. Some also report having existential questions after their experience or experience psychological distress and do not know where to seek support or are concerned that they will be labelled ‘mad’. I believe that there is a need to research the actual impact or interpretation of these experiences and I am interested in how individuals make sense of their experiences. Therefore, the research approaches that I have used thus far have been mainly qualitative and have taken experiences at face value without trying to prove that ‘paranormal phenomena’ exist. Rather my aims have been to increase our understanding of these experiences as psychological, social, and cultural events. This was demonstrated at the Qualitative Research in Mental Conference, Chania, Crete, in 2014 (and again in 2016) where I chaired a Symposium of four qualitative research papers on ‘Making Sense of Anomalous Experiences’.

Mediums are of interest to ‘clinical parapsychologists’ as their experiences could be interpreted as symptoms of a ‘mental disorder’ by Western psychiatry, so for my doctoral research I was particularly interested in what we can learn from this group of individuals that might be useful for people who become distressed by hearing voices or seeing visions. I was also interested in how some individuals who hear voices come to label these experiences as instances of mediumistic communication. In addition, mediums seem to experience a hidden or alternate reality that exists beyond ordinary sense experience which has implications for the study of consciousness; for example, they claim to have access to information not ordinarily available to them, they experience physical sensations that were associated with the deceased personality (such as bodily aches and pains, sensed changes in height, weight or posture), and they report spirit guides suggesting a personality process that expands or extends the limits of everyday consciousness as conventionally understood.

I began the research with participant observation of a mediumship training course at the Arthur Findlay College, Stanstead Hall, home of the Spiritualist National Union, which really helped increase my knowledge of the culture surrounding mediumship and the language used. I was also able to gain first-hand insights into the experiential components of mediumship which helped when thinking of questions to ask in my interview study. As the late Rhea White said:  ‘In doing research on a particular aspect of human life you should begin, not with a research protocol or hypothesis but with exploratory investigations of the research population itself. Only when you have steeped yourself in their empirical world can you possibly be in a position to devise hypotheses and a research design’ (White, 1997, p. 101).

A survey conducted as part of my research compared Spiritualist mediums with non-medium Spiritualists on a range of wellbeing and personality measures and found that mediums scored better on psychological wellbeing and lower on psychological distress. Consequently, there is no evidence to suggest that mediums experience negative mental health; in fact, they seem to have better psychological wellbeing than comparable others. Likewise, when compared with population norms from a sample of patients (experiencing hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, or depression) mediums scored more positively on both wellbeing and psychological distress. There were no significant differences between mediums and non-mediums on measures of dissociation, fantasy-proneness or boundary-thinness. In exploratory analyses mediums scored significantly higher than non-mediums on measures of Openness to Experience, Neuroticism, and Extraversion, but no significant differences were found for Agreeableness or Conscientiousness (Roxburgh & Roe, 2011).

In follow-up interviews using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), mediums emphasized the importance of childhood anomalous experiences and mediumistic experiences within the family context as explanations for how they became practising mediums. Some mediums also spoke about how important mediumship and Spiritualism was in helping them to construct a personal experiential framework for making sense of initially distressing experiences, which reflects the importance of connecting with a community that shares the same belief system. Particular importance seemed to be placed on controlling the communication process, setting boundaries, and not allowing mediumship to interfere with daily life (Roxburgh & Roe, 2014). Mediums contemplated that spirit guides may not be real entities but aspects of themselves and spoke about preparatory practices they use to communicate with spirits such as mental detachment, meditation, and making a demand for a positive outcome (Roxburgh & Roe, 2013).

Within a few months of completing my PhD, I was awarded a research bursary from the Bial Foundation, Portugal to investigate the prevalence and phenomenology of synchronicity experiences in the therapy setting. This research found that 44% of a random sample of 226 therapists had experienced synchronicity in the therapeutic setting (Roxburgh, Ridgway, & Roe, 2015) and that synchronicity experiences are perceived as useful harbingers of information about the therapeutic process, as well as being a means of overcoming communication difficulties (Roxburgh, Ridgway, & Roe, 2016).

In 2012, I was asked to participate in the third meeting of experts on clinical parapsychology (alongside Isabel Clarke, Renaud Evrard, Thomas Rabeyron, and Wim Kramer) that was hosted by the Institut Métapsychique International in Paris, April 2012. This meeting focused on clinical practices with people who have had anomalous experiences and was co-organized by The Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health, Germany and a Dutch foundation, Het Johan Borgman Fonds. An outcome of this meeting was that I developed ideas for future research, and was successful in winning another research bursary from the Bial Foundation to investigate the counselling experiences of clients who report anomalous experiences (e.g., sensing the presence of the deceased after bereavement, spiritual crisis, near-death experiences) and the training needs of therapists who might work with such clients (counsellors and clinical psychologists).

In addition, I also became involved with the UK Spiritual Crisis Network (SCN), which is a charity organisation that accepts that some people understand mental health issues as a spiritual awakening or profound personal transformation, and was invited to talk about the latest research on anomalous experiences and mental health at their 2nd annual conference ‘Mending the Gap: Global collaboration towards a more humanistic understanding of mental health and anomalous experiences’. I also gave a presentation on clinical parapsychology in 2015 as part of the WizIQ web-based series ‘Parapsychology Foundation Forum: Recent Advances in UK Parapsychology’ and have been asked to give a keynote presentation on anomalous experiences and mental health at a conference entitled ‘Psychotherapies Across Time, Space, and Cultures’ at the University of Glasgow in April 2017.

I enjoy networking and sharing ideas about parapsychology and I am interested in international collaboration. In August 2011, I presented two papers at the 54th annual convention of the Parapsychological Association (PA) in Curitiba, Brazil. Following this conference, I won (in collaboration with Professor Chris Roe) a Santander grant which enabled us to visit colleagues (Wellington Zangari, Fatima Machado, Everton Maraldi) at the University of São Paulo in May 2014 to discuss mutual areas of research interest and just recently Everton visited the University of Northampton alongside colleagues from the Brain, Belief, and Behaviour research group from Coventry University. In 2015 I also attended the ‘First Transpersonal Research Colloquium: Gathering Our Research Community Together’ in Milan where I had the opportunity to engage in dialogue with researchers worldwide (delegates are participating from Austria, Canada, China, Greece, Germany, Israel, Macedonia, South Africa, Spain, UK and the USA!) on training related to research methods and procedures applicable to the study of parapsychology and transpersonal psychology.

I am currently disseminating my research in the area of clinical parapsychology to students on the BSc in Psychology and Counselling programme as well as the MSc in Counselling programme at the University of Northampton. I am also currently supervising two PhD students: Charmaine Sonnex is studying the ‘Effects of Pagan healing practices on health and wellbeing’ and Louise King is exploring ‘A transpersonal understanding of spiritual experiences in individuals with epilepsy’

Why do you think that parapsychology is important?

As parapsychology could be considered within the umbrella of the vast topic of psychology, all the reasons why it is important to study psychology could also apply to parapsychology!  Parapsychology can tell us a lot about human nature, our potential, how we interact with others, our experiences and beliefs, and the nature of reality and consciousness. As we are essentially biological, psychological, spiritual, social, and cultural beings it is also important that parapsychology reflects this in its interdisciplinary approach to research. We also have a responsibility to try to establish a scientific understanding for the phenomena that people experience and to help people make sense of their experiences. This is particularly important given that surveys have consistently shown that a high proportion of the general population believe in or experience AEs. For example, Dr. Simon Dein, in a paper entitled ‘Mental Health and the Paranormal’ published in the International Journal of Transpersonal Studies in 2012, cites surveys conducted across the world in which over half the general population have reported at least one AE. AEs can occur at anytime in an individual’s life but have often been reported after negative life events. Common reactions include fear, anxiety, distress but it is also important to acknowledge that some people do find them comforting and positive or have existential questions after the experience. Interestingly, research within the field of clinical psychology has found that it is not necessarily the AE itself that has an impact on whether or not the person experiences distress, but rather how they appraise such experiences, their perceived levels of social support, and whether or not there are opportunities to reduce stigma in a context that normalises and validates the experience (Brett, Heriot-Maitland, McGuire, & Peters, 2014; Heriot-Maitland et al., 2012; Roxburgh & Roe, 2014; Taylor & Murray, 2012). However, most health care professionals in mainstream services tend to ignore the spiritual or transcendent aspects of people’s AEs or worse interpret them within a pathological framework. Therefore, I think (clinical) parapsychology has a role to play in trying to understand what might help someone to process the experience and make sense of it.

In your view, what are the main problems in parapsychology today as a scientific field?

I think the main problems stem from ignorance, arrogance, prejudice, and a reductionist and materialist view by some members of the scientific community, alongside sensationalist and incorrect portrayal of parapsychology within the media. This has resulted in a lack of funding and resources to undertake parapsychological research as well as researchers and academics finding it difficult to undertake parapsychological research for fear of the potential repercussions. Schouten’s (1993) estimation, that the total amount of human and financial resources that has been dedicated to the study of parapsychology since 1882 is about the same as two months’ worth of research in mainstream psychology, is often cited to emphasise the challenges that have been faced in this respect!

Can you mention some of your current projects?

I recently completed a Bial Foundation funded project on counselling for anomalous experiences which involved three qualitative studies. The first study explored the counselling experiences of clients who report AEs in therapy and is due to be published this year in Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, the journal of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), which has over 40,000 members. The title of the paper ‘“Most people think you’re a fruit loop”: Clients’ experiences of seeking support for anomalous experiences’ (is a participant’s words not ours!) sums up how clients felt when they sought support for AEs. The second study explored the experiences of therapists who had worked with clients reporting AEs to better understand how AEs are addressed in therapy. This paper is entitled ‘“They daren’t tell people”: Therapists’ experiences of working with clients who report anomalous experiences’ and has been published in the European Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy (in a special edition entitled ‘What is paranormal: Some implications for the psychological therapies?). The third study investigated the needs of students undertaking training to become therapists and the paper ‘“It’s about having exposure to this”: Investigating the training needs of therapists in relation to the issue of anomalous experiences’ is currently under review.

The implications of this research are that 1) individuals who believe they have had AEs may not seek support for fear of being dismissed or pathologised, 2) findings emphasise the importance of reaching a ‘shared explanation’ which addresses differences in beliefs (spiritual and cultural) about the causes of AEs and mental health issues, 3) therapists should explore the meaning of AEs to help clients make sense of their experiences and to identify any precipitating factors involved, and 4) there is a need for training opportunities on the topic of AEs, greater awareness of where to refer or signpost individuals to, and access to accurate and balanced information about AEs.

In terms of my next project I am hoping to undertake further research on mediumship in collaboration with colleagues in Brazil. I am also planning to explore the concept of the ‘Highly Sensitive Person’ (high sensory processing sensitivity) with a couple of qualitative studies but also some experimental research. Watch this space!

 Publications

Journals

Roxburgh, E. C., & Evenden, R. E. (in press). “Most people think you’re a fruit loop”: Clients’ experiences of seeking support for anomalous experiences. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research.

Roxburgh, E. C., & Evenden, R. E. (2016). “They daren’t tell people”: Therapists experiences of working with clients who report anomalous experiences [Special Issue]. European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling, 18, 123-141.

Roxburgh, E. C., Ridgway, S., & Roe, C. (2016). Synchronicity in the therapeutic setting: A survey of practitioners. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 16, 44-53.

Roxburgh, E. C., Ridgway, S., & Roe, C. (2015). Exploring the meaning in meaningful coincidences: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of synchronicity in therapy [Special Issue]. European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling, 17, 144-161.

Roe, C. A., Sonnex, C. and Roxburgh, E. C. (2015). Noncontact healing: What does the research tell us? European Journal of Integral Medicine. 7(6), p. 687. 1876-3820.

Roe, C. A., Sonnex, C., & Roxburgh, E. C. (2015).  Two meta-analyses of noncontact healing studies. EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing, 11, 11-23.

Grivell, T., Clegg, H., & Roxburgh, E, C. (2014). An interpretative phenomenological analysis of identity in the therian community. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research, 14, 2, 113-135.

Roxburgh, E. C., & Roe, C. A. (2014).  Reframing voices and visions using a spiritual model:  An interpretative phenomenological analysis of anomalous experiences in mediumship. Mental Health, Religion, & Culture, 17, 6, 641-653.

Roxburgh, E. C., & Roe, C. A. (2013). “Say from whence you owe this strange intelligence”: Investigating explanatory systems of spiritualist mental mediumship using interpretative phenomenological analysis. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 32(1), 27-42.

Roxburgh, E. C., & Roe, C. A. (2011). A survey of dissociation, boundary-thinness and psychological wellbeing in Spiritualist mental mediumship. Journal of Parapsychology, 7, 279-299.

Roxburgh, E. C., & Roe, C. A. (2009). Thematic analysis of mediums’ experiences [Letter to Editor]. Journal of Scientific Exploration. 23, 348-351.

Roxburgh, E. C. (2007). Book review [Familiar voices: Corroborative evidence of life after death by Tom Cross]. Paranormal Review, 42, 33-34.

Roxburgh, E. C. (2006). Mediumship, spirit awareness and developing your potential: A personal view of Course 20 at the Arthur Findlay College. Paranormal Review, 40, 18-23.

Roxburgh, E. C. (2006). Gwen Tate Lecture: Mediumship and how it works. Paranormal Review, 3, 24-26.

Roxburgh, E. C. (2006). The 49th SPR Study Day: 1905-2005: 100 years of progress? Paranormal Review, 38, 21-25.

Book Chapters

Roxburgh, E. C., & Roe, C. A. (2014). A mixed methods approach to mediumship research. In A. J. Rock (Ed.), The Survival Hypothesis: Essays on Mediumship (pp. 220-234). NC: McFarland.

Roe, C. A., & Roxburgh, E. C. (2014). Non-parapsychological explanations of mediumship. In A. J. Rock (Ed.), The Survival Hypothesis: Essays on Mediumship (pp. 65-78) NC: McFarland.

Roe, C. A., & Roxburgh, E. C. (2013). An overview of cold reading strategies. In C. M. Moreman (Ed.), The Spiritualist Movement: Speaking with the Dead in America and Around the World (pp.177-203). California: Praeger Publishers.

Roxburgh, E. C., & Roe, C. A. (2013). Exploring the meaning of mental mediumship from the mediums’ perspective. In C. M. Moreman (Ed.), The Spiritualist Movement: Speaking with the Dead in America and Around the World (pp. 53-67). California: Praeger Publishers.

 

Carlos S. Alvarado, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

Stephen E. Braude is a philosopher who became well-known in parapsychology for his critical writings during the late 1970s and 1980s. Over the years I have seen Steve in various conventions. My contact with him in recent times is related to his editorship of the Journal of Scientific Exploration, for which I serve as an Associate Editor.

Dr. Stephen E. Braude

Dr. Stephen E. Braude

Some of Steve’s best known works are his books ESP and Psychokinesis: A Philosophical Examination (1979, 2nd ed., 2002), and The Limits of Influence: Psychokinesis and the Philosophy of Science (1986, 2nd ed., 1991).

Braude ESP and PK

Braude Limits of Influence

Interview

How did you get interested in parapsychology?

As I’ve documented in detail in several of my publications, including my book Immortal Remains and my essay “The Fear of Psi”, what corrupted me was a table-tilting session in my home while I was in graduate school. It impressed me profoundly, but I was both sensible and cowardly enough to conceal this fact from my mentors, finish my PhD, get a job, establish a decent reputation doing mainstream work in philosophical logic and the philosophy of time, and finally get tenure. At that point I realized that if I was an honest intellect I needed to confront my table-tilting experience, and learn as much as I could about parapsychology and what other philosophers have had to say about it.

Braude Immortal Remains

So it wouldn’t be quite right to trace my interest back to those days in grad school, because I really put the whole subject out of mind until years later, when–liberated by tenure–I had the freedom to reflect on that earlier experience and immerse myself in the literature.

 

What are your main interests in the field and how have you contributed to its development?

That’s evolved somewhat, as my study of the data progressed. First, I dealt with just the laboratory evidence (since I was still in the grip of the illusion that it was the strongest and most persuasive evidence available) and produced my book ESP and Psychokinesis. By the time that was done, I’d already starting absorbing the evidence from physical and mental mediumship and realized how much better it was than even many parapsychologists realized. So I dealt initially with macro-PK and physical mediumship in my next book, The Limits of Influence. From there I moved on to mental mediumship and started to consider what I wanted to say about the topic of survival. But I knew also that people suffering from multiple personality disorder (now called dissociative identity disorder) behaved in ways that in many respects resembled the behavior of mental mediums. So I realized I couldn’t do a responsible job of confronting the evidence for survival without knowing more about the relevant areas of abnormal psychology and psychopathology. So I took a philosophically rewarding detour, studied the history of hypnosis and psychiatry, and became very familiar with MPD research and those conducting the research. This detour also allowed me to grapple further with some important issues in the philosophy of mind which I’d begun addressing in my first book (in particular, the failures of mechanistic analyses of the mental). Eventually, all this work led to my writing my book on multiplicity and dissociation, First Person Plural. By that time, I was sufficiently chronologically challenged for a book on survival to be more than appropriate, and I eventually wrote Immortal Remains.

Then I decided to write a kind of memoir, describing my most interesting–but not necessarily my most successful–PK investigations. That resulted in my book The Gold Leaf Lady. And most recently I produced a collection of essays, with revised and updated versions of several papers I’ve considered to be among my best, and supplemented with a couple of new essays written specifically for that volume: Crimes of Reason. Now, as a semi-retired person, I find I still chase macro-PK cases when I can drum up the financial support.

Braude Gold Leaf Lady 

Why do you think that parapsychology is important?

You’re probably expecting me to say something like: “It will provide distinctive insights into the nature of mind or reality in general.” And no doubt that’s true. But I disagree with those who think that the study of ESP and PK distinctively reveal flaws in conventional physicalist or mechanistic analyses of the mental. As far as that topic is concerned, I’d say that psi phenomena are no more illuminating than most ordinary mental phenomena, like memory and volition. A clear-headed analysis of those phenomena does, I believe, show why mechanistic explanations of mental phenomena are unsatisfactory. However, conclusive evidence for postmortem survival would finally put an end to physicalist pretensions. It wouldn’t by itself sabotage mechanistic analyses of the mental, because problems with mechanistic theories are hardware-independent (for more on that, I heartily and self-servingly recommend Crimes of Reason).

Braude Crimes of Reason

In your view, what are the main problems in parapsychology today as a scientific field?

Physics envy, an obsession with bringing psi into the lab and subjecting it to (totally illusory) tight controls, when in fact we have no clue how strong or pervasive experimenter or onlooker psi may be, and even though we have no clue what role psi plays in life–hence, even though we have no clue whether lab conditions place the subjects in performance straitjackets and are wholly or largely inappropriate for getting a handle on the phenomena. Next, but connected with that, an indefensible (and often cowardly) reluctance to deal honestly and carefully with the evidence for large-scale phenomena, or spontaneous phenomena generally. As far as that matter is concerned, many parapsychologists remain as smugly ignorant as the worst skeptics of the field as a whole. I explore this rant in much greater detail in many of my writings–e.g., Limits of Influence and several chapters in Crimes of Reason.

Can you mention some of your current projects?

I’ve recently returned from Buenos Aires, where I was studying a promising PK subject who can partially levitate tables under good conditions including bright light. Those interested can find a paper about this subject, by Juan Gimeno, in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, vol. 29 no. 4. I plan to collaborate on another paper with Juan and his colleague there, Darío Burgo, bringing their research up to date and describing also the results obtained during my visit to Argentina.

Shortly before that trip, I returned to Germany for more sessions with physical medium Kai Mügge. We got some genuinely interesting results, but it was not the success my colleagues and I had hoped for. I describe our sessions in JSE vol. 30 no. 1. For reasons noted in my paper, it’s unlikely that I’ll work with Kai again. But I remain naively optimistic that we’ll be able to work something out.

Apart from that, my primary scholarly activity is continuing my on-the-job training as Editor-in-Chief of the JSE.

Selected Bibliography

Books:

ESP and Psychokinesis: A Philosophical Examination. Philadelphia: Temple Uni­versity Press, 1979 (Revised ed. 2002).

The Limits of Influence: Psychokinesis and the Philosophy of Science. New York & London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986 (2nd ed., 1991, Revides ed. 1997).

First-Person Plural: Multiple Personality and the Philosophy of Mind. New York & London: Routledge, 1991 (Revised ed. 1995).

Immortal Remains: The Evidence for Life After Death. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003.

The Gold-Leaf Lady and Other Parapsychological Investigations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.

Crimes of Reason: On Mind, Nature & the Paranormal. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.

Articles:

Toward a Theory of Recurrence. Noûs 5 (1971): 191-197.

Tensed Sentences and Free Repeatability. Philosophical Review 82 (1973): 188-214.

Are Verbs Tensed or Tenseless? Philosophical Studies 25 (1974): 373-390.

Tenses, Analyticity, and Time’s Eternity. Philosophia 6 (1976): 39-48.

Tenses and Meaning Change. Analysis 37 (1976): 41-44.

On the Meaning of ‘Paranormal’. In Jan K. Ludwig (ed.) Philosophy and Parapsy­chology. New York: Prometheus Press, 1978: 227-44.

Telepathy. Noûs 12 (1978): 267-30l.

Objections to an Information-Theoretic Approach to Synchronicity. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 73 (1979): 179-193.

The Observational Theories in Parapsychology: A Critique. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 73 (1979): 349-366.

Taxonomy and Theory in Psychokinesis. In B. Shapin & L. Coly (eds.), Concepts and Theories of Parapsychology. New York: Parapsychology Foundation, 1981: 37-54.

The Holographic Analysis of Near-Death Experiences: The Perpetuation of Some Deep Mistakes. Essence: Issues in the Study of Aging, Dying and Death 5 (1981): 53-63.

Precognitive Attrition and Theoretical Parsimony. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 76 (1982): 143-155.

Radical Provincialism in the Life Sciences: A Review of Rupert Sheldrake’s A New Science of Life. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 77 (1983): 63-78.

You Can Say That Again. Philosophic Exchange 17 (1986): 59-78.

Psi and Our Picture of the World. Inquiry 30 (1987): 277-294.

When Science is Non-Scientific. Journal of Near Death Studies 6 (1987): 113-118.

Death by Observation: A Reply to Millar. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 82 (1988): 273-280.

Some Recent Books on Multiple Personality and Dissociation. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 82 (1988): 339-352.

Mediumship and Multiple Personality. Journal of the Society for Psychical Re­search 55 (1988): 177-195.

Evaluating the Super-Psi Hypothesis. In G.K. Zollschan, J.F. Schumaker, and G.F. Walsh (eds), Exploring the Paranormal: Perspectives on Belief and Ex­perience. Dorset: Prism, 1989: 25-38.

Multiple Personality and the Structure of the Self. In D. Kolak and R. Martin (eds), Self and Identity: Contemporary Philosophical Issues. New York & Toronto: MacMillan, 1991: 134-144.

Survival or Super-Psi? Journal of Scientific Exploration 6 (1992): 127-144. Reprinted in Darshana International 32 (1992): 8-28.

Getting Clear About Wholeness. In K.R. Rao (ed.) Cultivating Consciousness. New York: Praeger, 1993: 25-37.

Psi and the Nature of Abilities. Journal of Parapsychology 56 (1992): 205-228. Also in J. Morris (ed.) Research in Parapsychology, 1991. Metuchen, N.J. & London: Scarecrow Press, 1994: 193-220.

The Fear of Psi Revisited, or It’s the Thought that Counts. ASPR Newsletter 28, No. 1 (1993): 8-11.

Does Awareness Require a Location?: A Response to Woodhouse. New Ideas in Psychology 12 (1994): 17-21.

Dissociation and Survival: A Reappraisal of the Evidence. In L. Coly & J.D.S. McMahon (eds.), Parapsychology and Thanatology. New York: Parapsychology Foundation (1995): 208-228.

ESP Phenomena, Philosophical Implications Of. In D.M. Borchert (ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Supplement. New York: Macmillan (1996): 146-147.

Commentary on The Social Relocation of Personal Identity. Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology 2 (1995): 205-8.

Multiple Personality and Moral Responsibility. Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology 3 (1996): 37-54.

Postmortem Survival: The State of the Debate. In M. Stoeber and H. Meynell (eds), Critical Reflections on the Paranormal. Albany: SUNY Press (1996): 177-196.

Commentary on A Discursive Account of Multiple Personality Disorder. Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology 4 (1997): 223-226.

Some Thoughts on Parapsychology and Religion. In C. Tart (ed), Body, Mind, Spirit. Charlottes­ville, VA: Hampton Roads (1997): 118-127.

Peirce on the Paranormal. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 34 (1998): 199-220.

Terminological Reform in Parapsychology: A Giant Step Backwards. Journal of Scientific Exploration 12 (1998): 141-150.

Commentary on False Memory Syndrome and the Authority of Personal Memory-Claims. Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology 5 (1998): 299-304.

Paranormal Phenomena. In E. Craig (ed), Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London & New York: Routledge (1998).

Dissociation and Latent Abilities: The Strange Case of Patience Worth. Journal of Trauma and Dissociation 1(2) (2000): 13-48.

Out-of-Body-Experiences and Survival of Death. International Journal of Parapsychology 12 (2001): 83-129.

The Problem of Super Psi. In F. Steinkamp (ed), Parapsychology, Philosophy, and the Mind: Essays Honoring John Beloff.. Jefferson, NC & London: McFarland (2002): 91-111. Reprinted and translated in A. Parra (ed), Mente Sin Fronteras, Buenos Aires: Editorial Antigua (2014): 275-299.

The Creativity of Dissociation. Journal of Trauma and Dissociation 3 (3) (2002): 5-26.

Counting Persons and Living with Alters: Comments on Matthews. Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology 10 (2003): 153-156.

The Nature and Significance of Dissociation. In J. Radden (ed.), The Philosophy of Psychiatry: A Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2004): 106-117. Reprinted in Pedagogic Reality (Yugoslavia) 48, nos. 7-8 (2002): 626-638.

Les Psychographies de Ted Serios. In C. Chéroux and A. Fischer (eds), Le Troisième Oeil: La photographie et l’occulte. Gallimard (2004): 155-157. Reprinted as The Thoughtography of Ted Serios. In C. Chéroux and A. Fischer (eds), The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult. New Haven: Yale University Press (2005): 155-157.

Personal Identity and Postmortem Survival. Social Philosophy and Policy 22, No. 2 (2005): 226-249. Reprinted in E.F. Paul, F.D. Miller, & J. Paul (eds) Personal Identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2005): 226-249.

The Misuse of Memory in Psi Research. Aquém e Além do Cérebro (Behind and Beyond the Brain): Proceedings of the 6th BIAL Foundation Symposium. Porto, Portugal: BIAL Foundation (2006): 199-219.

Memory Without a Trace. European Journal of Parapsychology 21, Special Issue (2006):182-202. Reprinted in AntiMatters 1, no. 1 (2007): 91-106.

The Fear of Psi: It’s the Thought that Counts.” In Taylor, G. (Ed.), Darklore Volume 2, Daily Grail Publishing, Brisbane (2008): 99-111.

The Conceptual Unity of Dissociation: A Philosophical Argument. In P.F. Dell & J.A.ONeil (eds) Dissociation and the Dissociative Disorders: DSM-V and Beyond. New York: Routledge (2009): 27-36.

Dissociative Identity Disorder. In T. Bayne, A. Cleeremans & P. Wilken (eds) The Oxford Companion to Consciousness. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2009): 234-235.

Perspectival Awareness and Postmortem Survival. Journal of Scientific Exploration 23 (2009): 195-210.

Toward a Theory of PK. AntiMatters vol. 3(3) (2009): 171-197.

Psi and the Philosophy of Mind. AntiMatters vol. 3(4) (2009): 147-172.

Parapsychology’s Future: A Curmudgeonly Perspective. Journal of Parapsychology 76 (supplement) (2012): 15-17.

My Career on the Margins. In R. Pilkington (Ed.), Men and Women of Parapsychology: Personal Reflections: Espirit, Volume 2. San Antonio & New York: Anomalist Books (2013): 89-102.

The Possibility of Mediumship: Philosophical Considerations. In A.J. Rock (Ed.), The Survival Hypothesis:Essays on Mediumship (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2014): 21-39.

Investigations of the Felix Experimental Group: 2010-2013. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 28 (1) (2014):

Macro-Psychokinesis. In E. Cardeña, J. Palmer & D. Marcusson-Clavertz (eds), Parapsychology: A Handbook for the 21st Century (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2015): 258-265.

Follow-Up Investigation of the Felix Circle. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 30 (1) (2016): 29-57.

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

Perhaps no other psychologist in the world is identified so much with parapsychology than Stanley Krippner. He received his doctoral degree at Northwestern University in 1961 and is currently Professor of Psychology and Integrative Inquiry at Saybrook University. Stanley, who I first met in the late 1970s in California, is well known for many contributions to parapsychology, among them his studies of ESP in dreams. Another contribution is his series of anthologies containing detailed reviews of the literature, Advances in Parapsychological Research (for the last volume click here).

Stanley Krippner

Dr. Stanley Krippner [Photo taken by Stuart Fischer]

Advances Vol 2

Advances Vol 9

Examples of his research on ESP and dreams in the laboratory include: Krippner, S., & Persinger, M. (1996). Evidence for enhanced congruence between dreams and distant target material during periods of decreased geomagnetic activity. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 10, 487-493; Krippner, S., Honorton, C., & Ullman, M. (1973). An experiment in dream telepathy with “The Grateful Dead”. Journal of the American Society of Psychosomatic Dentistry and Medicine, 20, 9-17; Krippner, S., Honorton, C., & Ullman, M. (1972). A second precognitive dream study with Malcolm Bessent. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 66, 269-279; Krippner, S., Honorton, C., Ullman, M., Masters, R.E.L., & Houston, J. (1971). A long-distance “sensory bombardment” study of ESP in dreams. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 65, 468-475; Krippner, S., & Ullman, M. (1970). Telepathy and dreams: A controlled experiment with electroencephalogram-electro-oculogram monitoring. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 151, 394-403; Ullman, M., & Krippner, S. (1969). A laboratory approach to the nocturnal dimension of paranormal experience: Report of a confirmatory study using the REM monitoring technique. Biological Psychiatry, 1, 259-270; Ullman, M., Krippner, S., & Feldstein, S. (1966). Experimentally-induced telepathic dreams: Two studies using EEG-REM monitoring techniques. International Journal of Parapsychology, 8, 577-603.

Ullman Dream Telepathy

His work covers many areas and topics, and it is not limited to parapsychology. This includes anthropology and various psychological topics, such as creativity, dissociation, dreams, hypnosis, psychotherapy, psychedelics, PTSD, and shamanism. An overview of his contributions appears in Jeannine A. Davies and Daniel B. Pitchford (Eds.), Stanley Krippner: A Life of Dreams, Myths and Visions (Colorado Springs, CO: University Professors Press, 2015).

Davies Stanley Krippner

Much information about Stanley appears in his web page (click here) and in the following autobiographical writings: (1975). Song of the Siren: A Parapsychological Odyssey (New York: Harper & Row; and (2013). My parapsychological odyssey. In R. Pilkington (Ed.), Men and Women of Parapsychology, Personal Reflections: Esprit Volume 2 (pp. 199-224; San Antonio, TX: Anomalist Books).

Over the years he has earned many awards. A few of the most recent ones are: Lifetime Achievement Award (International Network on Personal Meaning, 2014), Human Treasure Award (Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 2013), Charles Honorton Integrative Contribution Award (Parapsychological Association, 2011), The Ways of Knowing Award: Exploring Culturally Based Healing Traditions and Practices (Life Science Foundation and the University of Minneapolis Center for Spirituality and Healing, 2008), Lifetime Achievement Award (International Association for the Study of Dreams, 2006), Award for Distinguished Contributions to Professional Hypnosis (American Psychological Association, Division 30 [Psychological Hypnosis], 2002), Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology (American Psychological Association, 2002), and Outstanding Career Award (Parapsychological Association, 1998).

Stanley Krippner Zimbardo

Stanley receives the Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology (American Psychological Association, 2002) from Dr. Philip Zimbardo

Stanley is also known for helping many persons, something that is not mentioned often enough. This includes colleagues and students, among others. His contributions, thus, transcend academia, and include a real and quiet attempt to help his fellow human beings.

I encourage my readers to peruse Stanley’s publications, as seen in the bibliography after the interview. Generally I present from 50 to 65 references in the interviews. Here I present more because Stanley has more publications than anyone else I have interviewed. I focus mainly on parapsychological topics, and related issues. Those of you wishing to see a longer list click here.

Interview

How did you get interested in parapsychology?

After meeting him when he spoke at the University of Wisconsin, J.B. Rhine invited me to visit the Duke University Parapsychology Laboratory and I was able to do so a few years later when I was working in the special education department of the Richmond, Virginia Public Schools. He put me up at his home, introduced me to his wife and two daughters, and spent considerable time discussing psi research with me. Rhine also suggested I visit “Lady Wonder,” a horse with alleged psychic powers who lived with her owner on a Virginia ranch. I reported that the horse gave remarkable answers on a huge typewriter, but it was obvious to me that she was responding to cues from her owner. He also asked me to visit a young woman who possessed the alleged ability to read newspapers while blindfolded. I did so and immediately observed that the blindfold was not secure enough to prevent peeking.

When I became a graduate student at Northwestern University, I was able to invite Rhine to be the invited speaker at the annual Phi Delta Kappa banquet. This was an educational society, and there was no objection to the invitation. The psychology department objected to Rhine’s appearance and the department chair ordered his faculty to boycott it. The one professor, Donald Campbell, who ignored the boycott expressed his reservations regarding psi research but was polite in doing so. He later was elected president of the American Psychological Association, and we remained friends until his death.

A fellow graduate student, Arthur Hastings, and I drove Rhine to Chicago for his next engagement, passing by my parents’ farmhouse. It was a thrill to introduce them to Rhine who lived in a farmhouse himself, the one I visited several times over the years.

While at Northwestern University, Hastings and I arranged a meeting of graduate students interested in psi with Gardner Murphy after his seminar for the psychology department. Subsequently, Murphy, his wife, and I became close friends and colleagues.

I was still at Northwestern when Rhine asked me to check out a poltergeist case at nearby Gutenberg, Iowa. I asked Hastings to accompany me. After a day of interviews and observations, we concluded that the disturbances were engineered by a grandson who had been given the unpleasant task of taking care of his grandparents. His efforts were successful and they fled their home in terror. This episode became the topic of my first article reporting psi research. Hastings and I wrote about expectancy set and how it can lead to misinterpretations of easily explained phenomena.

When the Parapsychological Association was formed, I became a Charter Member. By this time I was director of the Child Study Center at Kent State University, and I could have stayed there, received tenure, and retired happily. But the maintaining factor in my parapsychological interests kicked in. At a Parapsychological Association convention, I met Montague Ullman who had received a grant to study psi effects in dreams. Half a dozen prospects had turned down his offer to direct the laboratory and, perhaps in desperation, he asked me. I eagerly accepted and worked with Ullman at the Maimonides Medical Center for ten years — until the funds ran out. We published dozens of articles (many co-authored with Charles Honorton). Ullman often referred to our partnership as a “dream relationship.” In any event, this is what maintained my interest in psi research, which persists to this day.

Ullman Krippner Dream telepathy Monograph

What are your main interests in the field and how have you contributed to its development?

My interests in the field cover the waterfront. I need to keep informed because I have edited nine volumes of Advances in Parapsychological Research, which I would list as one of my “contributions.” Following a symposium on Kirlian photography and acupuncture, Plenum Press asked me if I would like to edit a yearbook on the topics. My own reaction to Kirlian photography was that it was best viewed as an art form, at least at that time, and I was not an expert on Traditional Chinese Medicine. So I created a spin that turned the offer into three volumes on psi research, featuring excellent literature reviews of PK, ESP, survival, and various other topics. After disappointing sales, Plenum Press was happy to turn the series over to McFarland, which has published the subsequent volumes. The series still does not make anyone any money but its preparation is now subsidized by Saybrook’s University’s Chair for the Study of Consciousness.

My most influential publication was Varieties of Anomalous Experience, co-edited with Etzel Cardeña and Steven Lynn, and published by the American Psychological Association, most recently in a second edition.

Cardena Varieties second ed

Of course, my major contribution to the field was my ten years directing research into anomalous dreams at Maimonides Medical Center. During that decade I authored or co-authored (usually with Montague Ullman and Charles Honorton) over one hundred articles, a monograph, and a popular book. I designed two precognitive dream experiments (with Malcolm Bessent as the sole participant), installing such safeguards as hiring graduate students from a local university to monitor dreams with no knowledge of the purpose of the experiment. When asked to comment on the psychic dream research by the San Francisco Weekly, arch-critic Ray Hyman commented, “There’s no smoking gun to say they didn’t have something,” but added that no one has ever duplicated the “striking success” of the Maimonides dream lab. When Wikipedia trashed the Maimonides work, several friends attempted to insert Hyman’s comments into my entry but Wikipedia refused. Nor would Wikipedia admit James Randi’s statement, in the same article, that “in this field…there are so many people who are prejudiced and biased. But I can depend on Stan. And I don’t think he’s biased at all.” Instead, Wikipedia featured an appraisal of the Maimonides work by C.E.M. Hansel that was not only biased but inaccurate.

On the positive side, I designed a 4-night experiment in an attempt to replicate Charles Tart’s 1968 study with a “Ms. Z” who reported an OBE in which she correctly identified a five-digit number on a shelf in Tart’s sleep lab. My study eliminated all of the alternative explanations proposed by Tart, and on the fourth night, our participant reported an OBE in which he correctly identified an image that had been placed on a similar shelf, but in a way in which nobody could have seen the image and passed on its identify by cuing or by telepathy.

Another contribution was to survey (with Michael Persinger) the dream telepathy “hits” and “misses” from the perspective of geomagnetic field activity; “hits” were significantly associated with “calm” nights, and “misses” with “stormy” nights. When the spontaneous precognitive dreams of psychic claimant Alan Vaughan were subjected to a similar analysis by James Spottiswoode and me, we found the same results. Later, I led a team that worked with the claimant medium Amyr Amiden in Brazil; his recurrent spontaneous PK was significantly associated with high geomagnetic activity as well as psychophysiological measures.

Finally, I have presented papers on psi research at half a dozen conventions of the American Psychological Association, and have stimulated research efforts on psi by students at Saybrook University and several other colleges and universities both here and abroad.

Why do you think that parapsychology is important?

Psi research is important for several reasons. Various meta-analyses of the data have demonstrated that the evidence for psi is overwhelming. At the very least, psi research may point out that statistical anomalies and/or experimenter effects are more profound than mainstream science suspects. In addition, surveys of spontaneous cases of psi-like experiences have found many links to personality traits but not to psychopathology. Our work at the Maimonides Medical Center was published in most of the US psychiatric journals, and modulated the earlier claim that claiming to dream about future events or other people’s activities was a sure-fire marker of schizophrenia and other disorders.

In addition, parapsychological researchers have pioneered novel methods of collecting and analyzing data about human (and non-human) behavior, and (in another innovative move) have published non-significant results in their journals . Hence, even if the psi hypothesis is eventually found to be unsubstantiated, our work has not been in vain.

But what if there is, indeed, a capacity for living organisms to engage in remote sensing and remote perturbation? For these traits to have persisted over time, they must have had a survival advantage, and I have turned to “costly signaling theory” (CST) to support this thesis. Psi could well have provided adaptive functioning, helping living creatures avoid danger, identify sources of support, and facilitate communication and cooperation. These signals are “costly” because they involve effort, energy, and time. Peacocks exhibit plumage during mating season, birds manifest warning calls, and bees perform elaborate dances to signal a source of nutrients. These behaviors are not easy to produce, and if they were faked, they would not carry accurate information that would confer survival benefits. From an evolutionary perspective, costly signals are inherently “honest” and promote species collaboration. Montague Ullman spoke of the “honesty” of dreams, and this lack of guile is due to the likelihood that REM sleep and its accompanying dreams were costly signals, psi-related dreams included. This topic is dealt with at length in the Postscript to the book Mysterious Minds, which I co-edited with Harris Friedman. It is also compatible with the “first sight” theory of James Carpenter, which I consider to be a major theoretical contribution.

Krippner Mysterious Minds

Psi research is important for another reason, in that many debunkers have over-reacted whenever the topic is mentioned verbally or in print. Decades ago, James McConnell trained planaria to turn left or right, then fed them to untrained planaria that seemed to learn the skills more quickly than non-cannibal planaria. Other researchers reported that trained responses in rats could be transferred to untrained rats by peptides extracted from their brains. Attempts at replication fell short of confirming these neurobiological changes, the conformation of which would have led to major revisions in biological theory. The positive results were attributed to experimenter effects, methodological defects, and extrinsic influences — but not to fraud and deliberate manipulation of the data, as has been asserted by debunkers of psi data.

The tendency of debunkers to go overboard when faced with positive results from parapsychological research is exemplified by the outrageous statements they have made concerning the Maimonides experiments. I took up each of these charges in the book Debating Psychic Experiences (also co-edited by Harris Friedman) finding that only one of them (lack of replicability) had any basis in fact. The psychology and sociology of debunkers, most of who have been well trained to engage in scientific pursuits, will make an important contribution to the literature on bias and “logic-tight compartments,” especially by men and women who hold important positions in academic and research institutions.

Krippner Friedman Debating

In your view, what are the main problems in parapsychology today as a scientific field?

It is fairly easy to “round up the usual suspects” when discussing the major problems facing parapsychology’s attempt to enter the scientific mainstream. Parapsychology needs to be recognized as a legitimate disciplined inquiry (i.e., a science) and not, as Wikipedia claims, a “pseudoscience.” The “usual suspects” include underfunding, the lack of serious media coverage, and the paucity of accredited graduate schools allowing students to conduct psi-oriented research. Many of my colleagues would add the absence of replicable experiments to this list and there is some degree of validity to this claim, but this issue plagues mainstream psychology (and many other sciences) as well, evidenced by articles in recent issues of Science and Nature on repeatability and falsifiability A more serious problem is the prejudice parapsychologists encounter, even among scientists who should know better. But, as cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman revealed in a computer simulation study, organisms (including humans) evolved to produce “fitter” behavior, not to construct accurate representations. For mainstream scientists, those “fitter” behaviors often include attaining awards, tenure, and professional prestige—all of which trump the search for truth.

Sometimes I suspect that advances in other fields, such as physics, biology, and the neurosciences, will run across some data that cannot be explained by dominant paradigms. I can imagine these investigators saying, “Years ago, parapsychologists found much the same thing but their experiments were so poorly constructed and they made so many bizarre proposals that they were not taken seriously.” This is what happened when positive psychology garnered respect – and massive funding – from mainstream sources. Humanistic psychology is rarely mentioned in positive psychology’s articles and books. When this omission is brought up in open forums, the usual response is, “Yes, humanistic psychologists had some of the same ideas but these notions were not backed up by solid research and the leaders in this field were very ‘New Agey,’ not serious thinkers.” Neither of these assertions is correct, of course, but they continue to be cited.

There is some excellent work being done by sleep and dream researchers who have investigated ways in which one’s waking life experiences are reflected in the content of their dream reports. The research designs exist that would allow investigators to determine if some of these dream reports also matched future life experiences. If such experiments demonstrate that dreams can be premonitory, would parapsychologists get any credit for what we have done for decades in our studies of precognitive dreams? Parapsychologists have offered a number of viable theoretical hypotheses that would be of value to the social and behavioral sciences generally, yet most of them fall on deaf ears.

In the meantime, I have done my best to bring psi research to the attention of conventional psychologists. I have presented more psi-oriented papers than anyone at the annual conventions of the American Psychological Association, and chaired a symposium on parapsychology at an annual convention of the Association for Psychological Science. Psi is a complex phenomenon, one that will require a systems approach to comprehend. Parapsychology has become a transdisciplinary discipline, rather than a multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary discipline. As a result, newcomers to the field have a massive amount of material from many fields of disciplined inquiry to study and comprehend before they can make their own contributions. This situation, by itself, may discourage interest in the field.

Can you mention some of your current projects?

In addition to my work with graduate students and my professional presentations, I am a frequent guest on podcasts, which gives me an opportunity to speak on behalf of parapsychology and associated topics. Along with several former Saybrook students, I am currently involved in a remote viewing study. The participants’ judging is finished and one of them attained 19 “hits” and one “miss.” He did his ‘viewing” from Southeast Asia, where he had to pay close attention to the time framework. With one of another of my former students, I am co-editing a book on various approaches to clinical work with dreams, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder nightmares. My two co-authored books on PTSD (written with Saybrook graduates who are clinicians) have received better notices from mainstream reviewers than any of my books on parapsychology! I am also continuing my cross-cultural study of gender differences in dream content, using the method co-authored by my old friend Robert Van de Castle.

I am studying the recurring dreams of an assistant chaplain who dreams about soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan and Iraq; all were known personally by her colleague, another assistant chaplain, and contain specific names and locations that have been verified.

Before my memory deteriorates even further, I would like to do more autobiographical writing and set the record straight before Wikipedia corrupts it.

Stanley Krippner drums

Selected Bibliography

Books Authored or Co-Authored

Jones, S.M.S., & Krippner, S. (2012). The voice of Rolling Thunder: A medicine man’s wisdom for walking the Red Road. Rochester, VT: Bear.

Rock, A., & Krippner, S. (2011). Demystifying shamans and their world: A multidisciplinary study. Charlottesville, VA: Imprint Academic.

Feinstein, D., & Krippner, S. (2008). Personal mythology: Using ritual, dreams, and imagination to discover your inner story (3rd ed.). Santa Rosa, CA: Energy Psychology Press/Elite Books.

Kierulff, S., & Krippner, S. (2004). Becoming psychic: Spiritual lessons for focusing your hidden abilities. Franklin Lakes, NJ: New Page.

Krippner, S., Bogzaran, F., & de Carvalho, A. P. (2002). Extraordinary dreams and how to work with them. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Krippner Extraordinary Dreams

Krippner, S., & Welch, P. (1992). Spiritual dimensions of healing: From native shamanism to contemporary health care. New York: Irvington.

Ullman, M., & Krippner, S., with Vaughan, A. (1989). Dream telepathy: Experiments in nocturnal ESP (2nd ed.). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Krippner, S., & Villoldo, A. (1987). The realms of healing (3rd ed.). Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts.

Villoldo, A., & Krippner, S. (1987). Healing states. New York: Fireside/Simon and Schuster.

Krippner, S. (1980). Human possibilities: Mind exploration in the USSR and East Europe. Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday.

Krippner, S. (1975). Song of the siren: A parapsychological odyssey. New York: Harper & Row.

Krippner Song of the Siren

Ullman, M., & Krippner, S. (1970). Dream studies and telepathy: An experimental approach (Parapsychological Monograph No. 12). New York: Parapsychology Foundation.

Edited or Co-edited Books

Cardeña, E., Lynn, S.J., & Krippner, S. (Eds.). (2014). Varieties of anomalous experience: Examining the scientific evidence (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Krippner, S., Rock, A. J., Beischel, J., Friedman, H. L., Fracasso, C. L. (Eds.). (2013). Advances in parapsychological research. Vol. 9. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Krippner, S., & Friedman, H.L. (Eds.). (2010). Mysterious minds: The neurobiology of physics, mediums, and other extraordinary people. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Krippner, S., & Friedman, H.L. (Eds.). (2010). Debating psychic experience: Human potential or human illusion? Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Krippner, S., & Ellis, D.J. (Eds.). (2009). Perchance to dream: The frontiers of dream psychology. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Krippner Perchance to Dream

Krippner, S., & Waldman, M. R. (Eds.). (1999). Dreamscaping: New and creative ways to work with your dreams. Los Angeles: Roxbury Park/Lowell House.

Krippner, S., & Powers, S. (Eds.). (1997). Broken images, broken selves: Dissociative narratives in clinical practice. New York: Brunner/Mazel.

Krippner, S. (Ed.). (1997). Advances in parapsychological research. Vol. 8. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. Krippner, S. (Ed.). (1994). Advances in parapsychological research. Vol. 7. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Krippner, S. (Ed.). (1990). Dreamtime and dreamwork: Decoding the language of the night. Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher.

Krippner Dreamtime

Krippner, S. (Ed.). (1990). Advances in parapsychological research. Vol. 6. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Krippner, S. (Ed.). (1987). Advances in parapsychological research. Vol. 5. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Krippner, S. (Ed.). (1984). Advances in parapsychological research. Vol. 4. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Krippner, S. (Ed.). (1982). Advances in parapsychological research. Vol. 3. New York: Plenum Press.

Krippner, S. (Ed.). (1979). Psychoenergetic systems: The interaction of consciousness, energy and matter. New York: Gordon and Breach.

Krippner Psychoebergetic Systems

Krippner, S. (Ed.). (1978). Advances in parapsychological research. Vol. 2. New York: Plenum Press.

Krippner, S. (Ed.). (1977). Advances in parapsychological research. Vol. 1. New York: Plenum Press.

White, J., & Krippner, S. (Eds.). (1977). Future science: Life energies and the physics of paranormal phenomena. Garden City, NJ: Anchor/Doubleday.

Krippner, S., & Rubin, D. (Eds.). (1975). The energies of consciousness: Explorations in acupuncture, auras, and Kirlian photography. New York: Gordon & Breach.

Krippner Rubin Energies of Consciousness

Krippner, S., & Rubin, D. (Eds.). (1974). The Kirlian aura. Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday.

Krippner, S., & Rubin, D. (Eds.). (1973). Galaxies of life: The human aura in acupuncture and Kirlian photography. New York: Gordon & Breach/Interface.

Chapters

Krippner, S., & Achterberg, J. (2014). Anomalous healing experiences. In E. Cardeña, S. J. Lynn, & S. Krippner (Eds.), Varieties of anomalous experience: Examining the scientific evidence (2nd ed., pp. 273-301). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Cardeña, E., Krippner, S., & Lynn, S.J. (2014). Anomalous experiences: An integrative summary. In E. Cardeña, S. J. Lynn, & S. Krippner (Eds.), Varieties of anomalous experience: Examining the scientific evidence (2nd ed., pp. 409-426). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Krippner, S. (2013). My parapsychological odyssey. In R. Pilkington (Ed.), Men and women of parapsychology, personal reflections: Esprit volume 2 (pp. 199-224). San Antonio, TX: Anomalist Books.

Fracasso, C., Friedman, H., & Krippner, S. (2013). Near-death experiences from a Christian vantage point. In J. H. Ellens, (Ed.), Heaven, Hell, and the afterlife: Eternity in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Volume 2: End time and afterlife in Christianity (pp. 293-299). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Krippner, S., & Bragdon, E. (2012). Contributions of Brazilian Spiritist treatment to the global improvement of mental health care. In E. Bragdon (Ed.), Spiritism and mental health: Practices from Spiritist centers and Spiritist psychiatric hospitals in Brazil (pp. 257-266). London, England: Singing Dragon.

Krippner, S. (2012). Parapsychology and dreams. In D. Barrett & P. McNamara (Eds.), Encyclopedia of sleep and dreams: The evolution, function, nature, and mysteries of slumber, Vol. 2 (pp. 479-481). Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood.

Hageman, J.H., & Krippner, S. (2012). A survey of Afro-Brazilian mediums: Gender differences and distinguishing characteristics. In D. Eigner, G. Fleck, S. Kreitler, & L. Repolyi (Eds.), Consciousness: Cultural and therapeutic perspectives (Vol. 2, pp. 77-108). Frankfurt, Germany: Peter Lang.

Hageman, J.H., Peres, J.F.P., Moreira-Almeida, A., Caixeta, L., Wickramasekera, I., II, & Krippner, S. (2010). The neurobiology of trance and mediumship in Brazil. In S. Krippner & H.L. Friedman (Eds.), Mysterious minds: The neurobiology of physics, mediums, and other extraordinary people (pp. 85-111). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Krippner, S. (2010). The scientific study of anomalous dreams. In J. Millay (Ed.), Radiant minds: Scientists explore the dimensions of consciousness (pp. 39-42). San Francisco, CA: Author.

Krippner, S. (2010). National and gender differences in reports of extraordinary dreams. In J. Millay (Ed.), Radiant minds: Scientists explore the dimensions of consciousness (pp. 44-54). San Francisco, CA: Author.

Moreira-Almeida, A., Moreira de Almeida, T., Gollner, A.M., Krippner, S. (2009). A study of the mediumistic surgery of John of God. Journal of Shamanic Practice, 2(1), 21-31.

Krippner, S., & Wickramasekera II, I. (2008). Absorption and dissociation in spiritistic Brazilian mediums. In T. Simon (Ed.), Measuring the immeasurable: The scientific case for spirituality (425-438). Boulder, CO: Sounds True.

Krippner, S. (2007). Anomalous experiences and dreams. In D. Barrett, & P. McNamara (Eds.), The new science of dreaming (Vol. 2, pp. 285-306). Westport, CT: Praeger.

Krippner, S. (2006). Getting through the grief: After-death communication experiences and their effects on experients. In L. Storm, & M. A. Thalbourne (Eds.), The survival of human consciousness (pp. 174-193). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Krippner, S. (2005). Psychoneurological dimensions of anomalous experience in relation to religious belief and spiritual practices. In K. Bulkeley (Ed.), Soul, psyche, brain: New directions in the study of religion and brain-mind science (pp. 61-92). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Krippner, S., & Hövelmann, G. (2004). The future of psi research: Recommendations in retrospect. In M.A. Thalbourne & L. Storm (Eds.), Parapsychology in the twenty-first century (pp. 167-188). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Krippner, S. (2004). Psi research and the human brain’s “reserve capacities.” In A. Combs, M. Germine, & B. Goertzel (Eds.), Mind in time: The dynamics of thought, reality, and consciousness (pp. 313-329). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.

Krippner, S. (2002). The scientific study of anomalous dreams. In V.G. Rammohan (Ed.), New frontiers of human science: A Festschrift for K. Ramakrishna Rao (pp. 119-141). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Krippner, S. (1999). From chaos to telepathy: New models for understanding dreams. In S. Krippner & M. R. Waldman (Eds.), Dreamscaping: New and creative ways to work with your dreams (pp. 265-269). Los Angeles: Roxbury Park/Lowell House.

Krippner, S., Wickramasekera, I., Wickramasekera, J., & Winstead, C.W., III. (1998). The Ramtha phenomenon: Psychological, phenomenological, and geomagnetic data. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 92, 1-24.

Krippner, S. (1997). Dissociation in many times and places. In S. Krippner & S. Powers (Eds.), Broken images, broken selves: Dissociative narratives in clinical practice (pp. 3-40). New York: Brunner/Mazel.

Krippner, S. (1997). The varieties of dissociative experience. In S. Krippner & S. Powers (Eds.), Broken images, broken selves: Dissociative narratives in clinical practice (pp.336-361). New York: Brunner/Mazel.

Krippner, S. (1994). The Maimonides ESP-dream studies. In K. R. Rao (Ed.), Charles Honorton and the impoverished state of skepticism: Essays on a parapsychological pioneer (pp. 40-54). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Krippner, S. (1993). Telepathy and dreaming. In M. A. Carskadon (Ed.), Encyclopedia of sleep and dreaming (pp. 612-613). New York: Macmillan.

Krippner, S. (1991). An experimental approach to the anomalous dream. In J. Gackenbach & A. A. Sheikh (Eds.), Dream images: A call to mental arms (pp. 31-54). Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing.

Krippner, S. (1991). The role of “past life” recall in Brazilian spiritistic treatment for multiple personality disorders. In A.S. Berger, & J. Berger (Eds.), Reincarnation: Fact or fable? (pp. 169-185). London: Aquarian.

Krippner, S. (1991). Observing psychic wonder kids: Pitfalls and precautions. In A. A. Drewes & S. A. Drucker (Eds.), Parapsychological research with children: An annotated bibliography (pp. 26-29). Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press.

Greene, F. G., & Krippner, S. (1990). Panoramic vision: Hallucinations or bridge into the beyond? In G. Doore (Ed.), What survives? Contemporary exploration of life after death (pp. 61-75). Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher.

Krippner, S. (1989). Some touchstones for parapsychological research. In G. K. Zollschan, J.F. Schumaker, & G.F. Walsh (Eds.), Exploring the paranormal: Perspectives on belief and experience (pp. 167-183). Lindfield, Australia: Unity Press.

Krippner, S. (1989). Touchstones of the healing process. In R. Carlson & B. Shield (Eds.), Healers on healing (pp. 111-113). Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher.

Krippner, S. (1989). A call to heal: Entry patterns in Brazilian mediumship. In C. A. Ward (Ed.), Altered states of consciousness and mental health: A cross-cultural perspective (pp. 186-206). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

Krippner, S. (1988). Parapsychology and postmodern science. In D. R. Griffin (Ed.), The reenchantment of science: Postmodern proposals (pp. 129-140). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Krippner, S., & George, L. (1986). Psi phenomena as related to altered states of consciousness. In B. B. Wolman & M. Ullman (Eds.), Handbook of states of consciousness (pp. 332-364). New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

George, L., & Krippner, S. (1984). Mental imagery and psi phenomena: A review. In S. Krippner (Ed.), Advances in parapsychological research (Vol. 4, pp. 64-82). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Krippner, S., Honorton, C., & Ullman, M. (1983). An experiment in dream telepathy with the Grateful Dead. In P. Grushkin (Ed.), Grateful Dead: The official book of the Dead Heads (p. 90). New York: Quill.

Krippner, S. (1982). Holonomy and parapsychology. In K. Wilber (Ed.), The holographic paradigm and other paradoxes: Exploring the leading edge of science (pp. 124-125). Boulder, CO: Shambhala.

Krippner, S. (1982). Psychic healing. In I. Grattan-Guiness (Ed.), Psychical research: A guide to its history, principles, and practices (pp. 134-143). Wellingborough, UK: Aquarian Press.

Krippner, S., & Hastings, A. (1981). Parapsychology. In A. Villoldo & K. Dychtwald (Eds.), Millennium : Glimpses into the 21st century (pp. 104-119). Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher.

Krippner, S. (1980). Psychic healing. In R. Herink (Ed.), The psychotherapy handbook (pp. 503-506). New York: New American Library.

Krippner, S. (1980). Folk healing and parapsychological investigation. In M. L. Nester & A. S. T. O’Keefe (Eds.), Exploring parapsychology (pp. 2-3). New York: American Society for Psychical Research.

Krippner, S. (1980). Psychic healing. In A. C. Hastings, J. Fadiman, & J.S. Gordon (Eds.), Health for the whole person (pp. 169-177). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Krippner, S. (1978). “Psychic healing”–A multidimensional view. In J. L. Fosshage & P. Olsen (Eds.), Healing: Implications for psychotherapy (pp. 48-83). New York: Human Sciences Press.

Krippner, S. (1978). The interface between parapsychology and humanistic psychology. In M. Ebon (Ed.), The Signet handbook of parapsychology (pp. 79-87). New York: New American Library.

Krippner, S. (1976). Research in paranormal healing: Paradox and promise. In M. L. Nester (Ed.), Exploring ESP and PK (p.15). New York: American Society for Psychical Research.

Krippner, S., & Murphy, G. (1976). Extrasensory perception and creativity. In A. Rothenberg & C. R. Hausman (Eds.), The creativity question (pp. 262-267). Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Krippner, S., & Murphy, G. (1975). Parapsychology and education. In T. B. Roberts (Ed.), Four psychologies applied to education: Freudian, behavioral, humanistic, and transpersonal (pp. 478-481). New York: Schenkman.

Krippner, S. (1975). Parapsychology. In J. Paradise et al. (Eds.), 1976 yearbook: Annual supplement to Collier Encyclopedia (pp. 72-78). New York: Macmillan Educational Corporation.

Krippner, S. (1974). Telepathy. In J. White (Ed.), Psychic exploration: A challenge for science (pp. 112-131). New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

Krippner, S., & Ullman, M. (1974). Telepathic perception in the dream state. In L. LeShan, The medium, the mystic, and the physicist (pp. 292-299). New York: Viking Press.

Ullman, M., Krippner, S., & Vaughan, A. (1974). The influence of telepathy on dream content. In R. L. Woods & H. B. Greenhouse (Eds.), The new world of dreams (pp. 406-408). New York: Macmillan.

Krippner, S., & Ullman, M. (1974). ESP in the night. In J. B. Maas (Ed.), Readings in Psychology Today (3rd ed., pp.62-65). Del Mar, CA: CRM Books.

Krippner, S., & Fersh, D. (1972). Spontaneous paranormal experience among members of intentional communities. In G. B. Carr (Ed.), Marriage and family in a decade of change (pp. 220-233). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Ullman, M., & Krippner, S. (1972). ESP in the night. In Readings in Psychology Today (2nd ed., pp. 46-51). Del Mar, CA: CRM Books.

Ullman, M., & Krippner, S. (1969). Two studies using EEG-REM monitoring techniques. In G. Schmeidler (Ed.), Extrasensory perception (pp. 137-161). New York: Atherton Press.

Journal Articles

Krippner, S. (2015). Research perspectives in parapsychology and shamanism. Paranthropology: Journal of Anthropological Approaches to the Paranormal, 6, 2-53.

De Oliveira Maraldi, E., & Krippner, S. (2013). A biopsychosocial approach to creative dissociation: Remarks on a case of mediumistic painting. NeuroQuantology, 11(4), 544-572.

Hageman, J., Krippner, S., & Wickramasekera, I. II. (2011). Across cultural boundaries: Psychophysiological responses, absorption, and dissociation comparison between Brazilian Spiritists and advanced meditators. NeuroQuantology, 9, 5-21.

Alvarado, C., & Krippner, S. (2010). Nineteenth century pioneers in the study of dissociation: William James and psychical research. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 17, 19-43.

Krippner, S. (2004). The dreams and visions of Eva Hellstrom: A Swedish psychic claimant. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 68, 210-225.

Krippner, S. (2002). Stigmatic phenomena: An alleged case in Brazil. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 16, 207-224.

Krippner, S., Winstead, C.W. III, & White, R.A. (2002). Phenomenological analyses of first-person reports of “healers” and “healees” in unexpected recoveries. Exceptional Human Experience, 17, 64-80.

Krippner, S., Wickramasekera, I., & Tartz, R. (2002). Scoring thick and scoring thin: The boundaries of psychic claimants. Journal of Subtle Energy, 11(1), 43-61.

Krippner, S. (2002). A systems approach to psi research based on Jungian typology. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 96, 106-120.

Krippner, S., & Faith, L. (2001). Exotic dreams: A cross-cultural study. Dreaming, 11, 73-82.

Krippner, S. (2000). A cross-cultural model of dissociation and its inclusion of anomalous phenomena. European Journal of Parapsychology, 15, 3-29.

Krippner, S., Vaughan, A., & Spottiswoode, S.J.P. (2000). Geomagnetic factors in subjective precognitive experiences. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 64, 109-118.

Krippner, S. (1996). A pilot study in ESP, dreams and purported OBEs. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 61, 88-93.

Krippner, S., & Persinger, M. (1996). Evidence for enhanced congruence between dreams and distant target material during periods of decreased geomagnetic activity. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 10, 487-493.

Krippner, S., Winkler, M., Amiden, A., Crema, R., Kelson, R., Lal Arora, H., & Weil, P. (1996). Physiological and geomagnetic correlates of apparent anomalous phenomena observed in the presence of a Brazilian “sensitive.” Journal of Scientific Exploration, 10, 281-298.

Krippner, S. (1995). A psychic dream? Be careful who you tell! Dream Network, 14(3), 35-36.

Krippner, S. (1995). Psychical research in the postmodern world. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 89,1-18.

Krippner, S., Winkler, M., Weil, P., Amiden, A., Lal Arora, H., Kelson, R., & Crema, R. (1995). The magenta phenomena, Part II: Twenty Sessions in Brasilia, March 1994. Exceptional Human Experience, 13, 44-63.

Krippner, S., Braud, W., Child, I. L., Palmer, J., Rao, K. R., Schlitz, M., White, R. A., & Utts, J. (1994). Demonstration research and meta-analysis in parapsychology. Journal of Parapsychology, 58, 275-286.

Krippner, S., Bergquist, C., Bristow, J., de Carvalho, M., Gold, L., Helgeson, A., Helgeson, D., Lane, J., Petty, C., Petty, W., Ramsey, G., Raushenbush, M., Reed, H., & Robinson, S. (1994). The magenta phenomena, Part I: Lunch and dinner in Brasilia. Exceptional Human Experience, 12, 194-206.

Krippner, S. (1992). Fechner’s interest in psychical research: Perspectives from parapsychology and humanistic psychology. Journal of Pastoral Counseling, 27, 63-78.

Krippner, S. (1990). A questionnaire study of experiential reactions to a Brazilian healer. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 56, 208-215.

Persinger, M. A., & Krippner, S. (1989). Dream ESP experiments and geomagnetic activity. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 83, 101-116.

Krippner, S. (1985). Parapsychological research: Past, present, and future. Psi Research, 4(3/4), 4-35.

Krippner, S., & Solfvin, J. (1984). Psychic healing: A research survey. Psi Research, 3 (2), 16-28.

Krippner, S. (1984). Psychic healing: Past, present, and future. Spiritual Frontiers, 16, 3-6.

Krippner, S. (1983). Three more recommendations for parapsychology’s future. Zetetic Scholar, No. 11, 151-153.

Krippner, S. (1982). Parapsychological research: A century of inquiry. Parapsychological Journal of South Africa, 3(2), 60-69.

Krippner, S. (1982). Parapsychological research: A century of inquiry. Journal of Indian Psychology, 2, 19-26.

Krippner, S. (1982). Parapsychological research: A century of inquiry. Journal of the American Society of Psychosomatic Dentistry and Medicine, 29, 121-127.

Krippner, S. (1982). Eidetics: Some parapsychological considerations. Journal of Mental Imagery, 6, 69-71.

Krippner, S. (1981). Psi phenomena and transpersonal experience. Phoenix: Journal of Transpersonal Anthropology, 5, 11-17.

Krippner, S. (1980). Humanistic psychology and parapsychology. Parapsychological Journal of South Africa, 1(2), 45-77.

Krippner, S. (1980). A suggested typology of folk healing and its relevance to parapsychological investigation. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 50, 491-500.

Krippner, S. (1979). Transpersonal experience and psi phenomena. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 11, 64-65.

Krippner, S., & Greene, G. (1979). Transpersonal experience and psi phenomena. Forum for Correspondence and Communication, 10(2), 7-10.

Krippner, S. (1979). “Psychic healing” and psychotherapy. Journal of Indian Psychology, 1, 35-44.

Krippner, S. (1977). Evaluation of a clairvoyance training program. New England Journal of Parapsychology, 1, 95-101.

Krippner, S. (1977). Preliminary investigations of Kirlian photography as a technique in detecting psychokinetic effects. International Journal of Paraphysics, 11, 69-73.

Krippner, S. (1977). Current parapsychological research in the United States. Psychoenergetic Systems, 2, 277-280.

Krippner, S. (1976). Psychic healing in the Philippines. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 16, 3-31.

Krippner, S. (1976). Psychotronics and the study of human personality. International Journal of Paraphysics, 10, 40-43.

Krippner, S. (1975). Evaluation of a clairvoyance training program. International Journal of Paraphysics, 9, 90-92.

Krippner, S. (1975). Paranormal communication: Dreams and other conscious states. Journal of Communication, 25, 173-182.

Krippner, S., & Bova, M. (1974). Environmental influences on clairvoyance and alterations in consciousness. International Journal of Paraphysics, 8, 48-56.

Krippner, S., & Davidson, R. (1973). Paranormal events occurring during chemically-induced “psychedelic” experience and their implications for religion. Anglican Theological Review,55(3), 324-334.

Krippner, S., & Zeichner, S. (1973). Telepathy and dreams: A descriptive analysis of art prints telepathically transmitted during sleep. A.R.E. Journal, 8, 197-201.

Krippner, S., & Dreistadt, R. (1973). Electrophysiological studies of ESP in dreams: Content analysis of witness-participant variables. Human Dimensions, 2 (3/4), 34-37.

Krippner, S., & Hubbard, C. C. (1973). Clairvoyance and alterations in consciousness evoked by the Electrosone-50 and other devices. Journal of Paraphysics, 7, 5-17.

Krippner, S., & Murphy, G. (1973). Humanistic psychology and parapsychology. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 13(4),3-24.

Krippner, S., & Ullman, M. (1973). Experimentally-induced paranormal effects in dreams and other altered states of consciousness. Journal of Paraphysics, 7, 147-161.

Krippner, S., & Nell, R. (1973). Clairvoyance and the lunar cycle. Journal of Paraphysics, 7, 180-186.

Krippner, S., Honorton, C., & Ullman, M. (1973). An experiment in dream telepathy with “The Grateful Dead”. Journal of the American Society of Psychosomatic Dentistry and Medicine, 20, 9-17.

Krippner, S., Hickman, J., Auerhahn, N., & Harris, R. (1972). Clairvoyant perception of target material in three states of consciousness. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 35, 439-446.

Krippner, S., Honorton, C., & Ullman, M. (1972). A second precognitive dream study with Malcolm Bessent. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 66, 269-279.

Krippner, S., Becker, A., Cavallo, M., & Washburn, B. (1972). Electrophysiological studies of ESP in dreams: Lunar cycle differences in 80 telepathy sessions. Human Dimensions, 1(1), 14-19.

Foulkes, D., Belvedere, E., Masters, R.E.L., Houston, J., Krippner, S., Honorton, C., & Ullman, M. (1972). Long-distance, “sensory bombardment” ESP in dreams: A failure to replicate. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 35, 731-734.

Krippner, S. (1971). Telepathic transmission in sleep. Psychiatric Spectator, 6(12), 2-3.

Krippner, S., Honorton, C., Ullman, M., Masters, R.E.L., & Houston, J. (1971). A long-distance “sensory bombardment” study of ESP in dreams. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 65, 468-475.

Krippner, S., & Davidson, R. (1971). Implications of experimentally induced telepathic dreams. Journal for the Study of Consciousness, 4, 105-114.

Krippner, S., Ullman, M., & Honorton, C. (1971). A precognitive dream study with a single subject. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 65, 192-203.

Krippner, S., & Zirinsky (1971). An experiment in dreams, clairvoyance, and telepathy. The A.R.E. Journal, 6, 12-16.

Ullman, M., & Krippner, S. (1970). An experimental approach to dreams and telepathy: II. Report of three studies. American Journal of Psychiatry, 126, 1282-1289.

Krippner, S. (1970). Electrophysiological studies of ESP in dreams: Sex differences in seventy-four telepathy sessions. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 64, 277- 285.

Krippner, S., & Davidson, R. (1970). Religious implications of paranormal events occurring during chemically-induced “psychedelic” experience. Pastoral Psychology, 21(206), 27-34.

Krippner, S., & Fersh, D. (1970). Paranormal experience among members of American contra-cultural groups. Journal of Psychedelic Drugs, 3, 109-114.

Krippner, S., & Ullman, M. (1970). Telepathy and dreams: A controlled experiment with electroencephalogram-electro-oculogram monitoring. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 151, 394-403.

Honorton, C., & Krippner, S. (1969). Hypnosis and ESP performance: A review of the experimental literature. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 63,214-252.

Krippner, S. (1969). The paranormal dream and man’s pliable future. Psychoanalytic Review, 56, 28-43.

Krippner, S. (1969). Investigations of “extra-sensory” phenomena in dreams and other altered states of consciousness. Journal of the American Society of Psychosomatic Dentistry and Medicine, 16, 7-14.

Ullman, M., & Krippner, S. (1969). A laboratory approach to the nocturnal dimension of paranormal experience: Report of a confirmatory study using the REM monitoring technique. Biological Psychiatry, 1, 259-270.

Krippner, S., & Ullman, M. (1969). Telepathic perception in the dream state: Confirmatory study using EEG-EOG techniques. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 29, 915-918.

Krippner, S. (1968). Experimentally-induced telepathic effects in hypnosis and non-hypnosis groups. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 62, 387-398.

Krippner, S. (1968). An experimental study in hypnosis and telepathy. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 11, 45-54.

Krippner, S. (1967). The cycle of deaths among U.S. Presidents elected at twenty-year intervals. International Journal of Parapsychology, 9, 145-153.

Ullman, M., Krippner, S., & Feldstein, S. (1966). Experimentally-induced telepathic dreams: Two studies using EEG-REM monitoring techniques. International Journal of Parapsychology, 8, 577-603.

Krippner, S. (1965). Coding and clairvoyance in a dual aspect test with children. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 20,745-748.

Krippner, S. (1963). Creativity and psychic phenomena. Gifted Child Quarterly, 7, 51-63.

Krippner, S. (1962-1963). An expansion of consciousness and the extensional world. Parapsychology: Indian Journal of Parapsychological Research, 4, 167-184.

Krippner, S. (1962-1963). Creativity and psychic phenomena. Indian Journal of Parapsychology, 4, 1-20.

Krippner, S., & Hastings, A. (1961). Poltergeist phenomena and expectancy set. Northwestern University Tri-Quarterly, 3 (3),43-47.

Stanley Krippner 11

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

Dr. Dick Bierman is currently an emeritus professor at the University of Amsterdam, where he is in the Brain and Cognition Program of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. He supervises students working on issues related to consciousness, intuition, and anomalous experiences,. He recently also joined the university of Groningen at the Heymans-lab. Heymans, Dick wrote to me, “was one of the first serious experimental researchers of the paranormal, and the very first one who introduced systematic manipulation of potentially relevant variables like alcohol consumption.”

Dick Bierman

Dick Bierman

In the past, he has been a visiting researcher at Interval (Paul Allen’s thinktank in California) and a visiting researcher at StarLab in Brussels. Some of his parapsychological publications include:

Bierman, D.J., & Bijl, A. (2014). Anomalous “retrocausal” effects on performance in a Go/NoGo task. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 28, 437-452; Bierman, D. (2011). Anomalous switching of the bi-stable percept of a Necker cube: A preliminary study. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 25, 721–733; Bierman, D. (2010). Consciousness-induced restoration of time symmetry (CIRTS). A psychophysical theoretical perspective. Journal of Parapsychology, 24, 273–300; Bierman, D. J. (1999). The PRL autoganzfeld revisited: Refuting the sound leakage hypothesis. Journal of Parapsychology, 63, 271–274; Bierman, D.J., Broughton, R.S., Berger, R.E. (1998). Notes on random target selection: The PRL autoganzfeld target and target set distributions revisited.  Journal of Parapsychology, 62, 341-350; Bierman, D.J., & Radin, D.I. (1997). Anomalous anticipatory response on randomized future conditions. Perceptual and Motor Skills 84, 689-690; Bierman, D.J., & Houtkooper, J.M. (1975). Exploratory PK tests with a programmable high-speed random number generator. European Journal of Parapsychology.1 (1), 3-14.

Bierman on presentiment and time

Interview

How did you get interested in parapsychology?

I think curiosity is part of my nature. But the actual reason was that at the Institute for Atomic & Molecular Physics, where I did research for my PhD, I also was editor of the institute’s newsletter. This was in the late sixties when young people rebelled against those in power. The power person at the institute was the physicist Prof. Kistermaker and everybody knew he was interested in parapsychology and did secret psi experiments in the lab over the weekend. So, as a ‘rebel’, I wrote a funny piece about this ‘hobby’ of his. Skeptics would have liked it. BTW Kistemaker later became my PhD supervisor so there were no hard feelings. In spite of my ridiculing Kistemaker’s interest I also got curious and at the time thought this should be an easy-to-solve signal-noise problem. So I designed a well-powered study with over 2000 school kids in the Busschbach tradition, trying to guess what random picture their teacher was looking at.

The study was a methodological failure because we used the same target sequence (on punched paper tape) over and over again and hence ran into the so called stacking effect. A humbling experience for a physicist.

What are your main interests in the field and how have you contributed to its development?

My main interest is to understand the phenomena and integrate them in main stream science. My secondary goal is to help maintain and create a sufficient level of knowledge in European academia in order to have a ‘fast take off’ once the topic becomes an accepted academic topic. It is important to always set up the research in the framework of a theory. We have contributed the RIPP-RNG to the fieldMany PK-experiments have used them and they are also used in the Global Consciousness Project. I am currently working on a new PK-test environment that is embedded in an automatic and simple pre-registration and remote real time data storage environment. And we have done many (conceptual) replications because we think replications are extremely important and jumping from one successful protocol to another one does not forward the field.

After many years of research I think the field has ‘established’ that ‘miracles’ do happen but that psi under lab conditions is rather elusive and that we have a paradox of researchers reporting effect sizes of 0.3-0.5 (in RV) but no profits. The paradox being that it can easily be shown by simulation that using the Associated Remote Viewing protocol with this kind of effect sizes, one doesn’t need any grants anymore. My preliminary conclusion is that whatever psi turns out to be, it can’t be used in a robust way or we currently overestimate the effect sizes.

Any theoretical approach should account for the elusiveness.

Why do you think that parapsychology is important?

There is a hunch that further research might shed light on the free-will issue. An issue that by the way is becoming more and more important in fundamental physics around the topic of retro-causation. I suspect that free-will, in spite of the neuroscientific evidence suggesting otherwise, has a role in our existence. I am agnostic/skeptical with regard to other more philosophical or world view (spiritual) consequences.

In your view, what are the main problems in parapsychology today as a scientific field?

The main problem is that the topic is underestimated. It is not a question of just an extra sensory capability. Single phrase solutions of the problem, like it’s all ‘non local consciousness’, are counterproductive in my opinion. Having the ‘solution’ of the problem ready actually implies that further research is not really necessary. Many serious colleagues in main stream are not so sure that there is even a problem to be solved. What I see in our psi-community is a disdain for main stream science and especially for physics, because their materialistic approach is thought to be the source of all ‘evil’. That is not a good starting point for integration.

Can you mention some of your current projects?

In a recent project we attempted to see if we could fit the meta-analytic ganzfeld data to a model that assumed questionable research practices. We could not get a good fit without assuming some psi in the database. But the psi effect size to obtain the best fit was very low and we concluded that, if this model was correct, the power of ganzfeld studies was way too low and that the only solution for this power problem was to use selected populations like musicians.

It seems therefore a logical next step to focus on the development of ‘selection instruments’ for good subjects and, what might be even more important, for good experimenters. Most of our research occurs in the framework of main stream intuition research where we allow for a retrocausal component (presentiment). As far as I know there haven’t been presentiment studies with special populations (with the exception of meditators).

By far the most important project that I envision is an experiment where the computer analyses the presponse and decides on the basis thereof that the future must be ‘emotional’. In one condition the computer then, on purpose, creates a non-emotional future, thus creating a so called time loop paradox. I hope to work on this in the forthcoming year at the university of Groningen.

In order to see if, in spite of my belief of the contrary, it is possible to create a robust income by associative remote viewing, we will run another ARV experiment next year. We hope to expand our automatic ARV system when the grant for this research is finally available. In the end I am a Popperian and thus have to try to reject my own theoretical ideas as worded in CIRTS (consciousness induced restoration of time-symmetry).

Selected Publications (click here  and here)

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

I was saddened to learn from an email sent to me by Dr. Massimo Biondi that Silvio Ravaldini, from Italy, passed away on November 24 this year. For many years he was the main editor of the journal Luce e Ombra  as well as the Director of the Fondazioni Biblioteca Bozzano-De Boni. He is probably unknown to most of the readers of my blog, but he is worth remembering. Details about his life appear below in a short obituary that Massimo sent to me.

Silvio Ravaldini

Silvio Ravaldini

I first met Silvio in 1995 when my wife Nancy L. Zingrone and I went to Italy. We met him in a conference in Riccione. But even nicer than the conference, was meeting Silvio, and what followed.

Silvio & Teresa Ravaldini at Biondi'a Wedding 1993

Silvio and his wife Teresa, at Massimo Biondi’s wedding in 1993

After the conference was over Nancy and I took a train to Bologna, where we stayed overnight at Silvio and Teresa’s apartment. We were both struck by Silvio’s good nature and his giving and positive personality. That night we all watched a video of the Three Tenors Caracalla concert and had a great time even though neither of us spoke Italian. I was able to understand some of what Silvio said because of the similarities between Spanish and Italian, and Silvio was able to understand some of what I said. Other than that we were gesturing and using words we all knew in English or Italian. It was interesting how well we could communicate. At one point in the evening we understood Silvio to say that he had in his computer a bibliographical database of thousands of entries about psychic phenomena and related topics formed mainly from the annotations that Ernesto Bozzano made in his books. He playfully asked us to give him a topic to search the database.  At the time Nancy was interested in  apparitions and she suggested that topic. Silvio left us for 10 minutes or so and then returned holding what Nancy remembers to have been 42 pages of closely printed references about apparitions mainly from the Italian, French, and English spiritualist and psychical research literatures. This unique source has been published in print in several volumes.

I will never forget Silvio’s face with a big smile and an amazing sense of pleasure, when he saw how absorbed I got during my visit to the Bozzano-De Boni Library. The experience, almost intoxicating, was remarkable, because the collection houses many rare Italian and French books and journals, many of which I had never seen. Somehow I escaped momentarily from my altered state and saw Silvio’s reaction and that made my experience even better.

Bozzano De Boni Library

Bozzano-De Boni Library

Over the years I have had occasional contacts with Silvio, some of them through other persons. He wrote many articles and a number of books. I particularly remember his study of Bozzano, Ernesto Bozzano e la Ricerca Psichica (Ernesto Bozzano and Psychical Research; Rome: Edizioni Mediterranee, 1993), which I reviewed for an American journal.

Ravaldini Ernesto Bozzano

Massimo refers to Silvio’s work and bibliography in his comments below. For my part and for Nancy, in addition to his work, we will always remember him for two attributes, his great kindness, and his keen dedication to the foundation and its work. We are sure Massimo feels the same.

Online Interview with Silvio Ravaldini About Mediumship (in Italian)

Massimo Biondi 2

Dr. Massimo Biondi

Silvio Ravaldini: A Relevant Figure in the History of Spiritism and Psychical Research in Italy

Massimo Biondi

The name and the person of Silvio Ravaldini (December 5, 1925-November 24, 2015) are probably little known to the psychical researchers outside Italy, but they are certainly familiar to many spiritualists all over the world. Because, as a child, he attended séances performed with a non-professional medium in his parents’ home, early in his life he accepted spiritist beliefs, and later became a firm advocate of that belief as well as developed a strong interest in the history of spiritism and psychical research.

When he was forced to move to Bologna (from his native Tuscany), he got in touch with Gastone De Boni, Ernesto Bozzano’s protégé and the leader of Italian spiritualists. At the time in Verona De Boni was the director of the quarterly Luce e Ombra and, occasionally, published books by Bozzano and other authors in the field of spiritualism. De Boni owned all the materials (books, volumes and issues of journals and magazines, letters, documents, photos, etc.) that had previously belonged to Bozzano. The first task De Boni assigned Ravaldini was to write down a report of his old private séances. Afterwards De Boni asked Ravaldini to take part in all of De Boni’s publishing activities. So in 1982, it was natural that when De Boni died, Ravaldini became the proprietor of all the papers and the books of Bozzano and De Boni, as well as the director of Luce e Ombra, a position he continued to hold until his death.

Ravaldini’s first accomplishment, over a few years of intensive activity, was to revive the fortunes of the journal, growing the subscribership. He also arranged for the restorations of the books, collected new papers and documents, and created a “library on the occult” for scholars, students and friends. Luce e Ombra attracted many people with different levels of involvement in parapsychology and spiritism from Italy and other countries around the world. In time, Ravaldini had developed a host of friends and colleagues, among them many well-known people in the field in Italy such as Piero and Brunilde Cassoli, Enrico Marabini, Paola Giovetti, Giovanni Iannuzzo, Alfredo Ferraro, Iacopo Comin, and Ettore Mengoli, and myself. In addition, Ravaldini knew well many Italian mediums such as Roberto Setti, Corrado Piancastelli, Demofilo Fidani, and Marcello Bacci. His list of colleagues outside of Italy included Ian Stevenson, William G. Roll, Hubert Larcher, Erlendur Haraldsson, and Carlos S. Alvarado.

From the 1960s, Ravaldini regularly attended séances with the medium Corrado Piancastelli, and adhered to the “philosophy” of that circle. With some friends he transcribed the tapes of recorded communications of the “spirit” of the circle, publishing bimonthly excerpts of those discourses. In the meantime, from the 1970s he published many articles and book reviews in Luce e Ombra and other Italian “psychic” journals and magazines, recounting both his own experiences in mediumship as well as covering both historical and contemporary topics of psychical research. Moreover, he gave lectures, participated in parapsychological meetings and contributed many chapters to books. His complete bibliography, including published and unpublished writings, amounts to approximately 150 items.

During the Eighties, under my suggestion and that of Ian Stevenson, Ravaldini tried to solve some “drop-in cases” that had occurred during the séances held in his home many years before. His hope was to identify some of the unknown “spirits” who manifested by giving their names or a few fragmentary details. He employed two detective agencies, but only one of those cases was solved, thanks to information discovered by Ian Stevenson in the United States.1

Toward the end of the Twentieth Century, with the financial and entrepreneurial aid of the textile manufacturer Silvana Pagnotta, Ravaldini managed to create a Library Foundation so as to guarantee a future home for Bozzano and De Boni materials. The same day Mrs. Pagnotta died, the “Bozzano-De Boni Library” was inaugurated in Bologna, governed by the Foundation with Ravaldini acting as its first President.

Ravaldino Progetto

The last fifteen years of his life were occupied with work designed to strengthen the Library (developing catalogs and indexes and fundraising), with the publication of Luce e Ombra, and with providing news, books, and copies of documents to scholars in Italy and abroad, as well as with supporting students engaged in master theses on “occult” topics. In addition to this Ravaldini answered questions that came in from all over the world and compiled new books that were destined to be published by different publishers, among these, anthologies of excerpts from old issues of Luce e Ombra (with his prefaces),2-4 a biography of Ernesto Bozzano5 (the only of Ravaldini’s books to be included in the Library of Congress in the United States), a summary of the séances that he attended in his early years,6 a “spiritual” autobiography,7 the communications recently received through a (currently active) medium,8 and a collection of a long series of old lectures on classical mediumship.9 He worked at his usual activities until the last weeks of his life. His last essay, an article on the psychic abilities of animals, was published in the third volume of Luce e Ombra in 2015.10

Ravaldini Realta e Mistero

  1. Ravaldini, S., Biondi, M., Stevenson, I. The case of Giuseppe Riccardi: An unusual drop-in communicator in Italy. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 1990, 56, 257-265.
  2. Ravaldini, S., Biondi, M. Le tracce dell’anima, scelta di brani dalla rivista Luce e Ombra, 1901-1925 [Traces of the soul. Excerpts from Luce e Ombra, 1901-1925]. Rome: GSE Edizioni, 1998.
  3. Ravaldini, S., Biondi, M. La realtà dell’anima, scelta di brani dalla rivista Luce e Ombra, 1926-1950 [The Reality of the soul. Excerpts from Luce e Ombra, 1926-1950]. Rome: GSE Edizioni, 1999.
  4. Ravaldini, S., Biondi, M. Il potere dello spirito, scelta di brani dalla rivista Luce e Ombra, 1951-1975 [Powers of the spirit. Excerpts from Luce e Ombra, 1951-1975]. Rome: GSE Edizioni, 2000.
  5. Ravaldini, S. Ernesto Bozzano e la ricerca psichica: Vita e opere di un pioniere della parapsicologia [Ernesto Bozzano and psychical research: Life and work of a pioneer of parapsychology]. Edizioni Mediterranee, Roma 1993.
  6. Ravaldini, S. Realtà e mistero: Esperienze di vita vissuta a contatto con i fenomeni paranormali [Reality and mystery: Life experiences in contact with paranormal phenomena]. Bologna: Casa Editrice Conti, 1988.
  7. Ravaldini, S., with Dotti, L. Il progetto della mia anima: Una vita a contatto con la medianità [My soul’s project. A life in contact with mediumship]. Rome: Edizioni Mediterranee, 2015.
  8. Dotti, L., Ravaldini, S. Colloqui con le anime: Grandi personaggi ci parlano [Talks with souls: Great personalities communicate with us]. Rome: Edizioni Mediterranee, 2014.
  9. Ravaldini, S. La medianità 1840-2000. I medium, i fenomeni prodotti e gli studi fatti su di loro. [Mediumship 1840-2000: Mediums, their phenomena, and studies done on them]. Unpublished.
  10. Ravaldini, S. I misteri del mondo animale, [Mysteries of the animal world]. Luce e Ombra 2015, 115(3), 223-232.

 

 

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

I am happy to post an interview with Dr. Etzel Cardeña, whose work has been discussed in this blog before (click here, here, and here). I first met Etzel in 1984 when he came to the Institute of Parapsychology at Durham, North Carolina, for their Summer Study Program, where I was teaching.

Dr. Etzel Cardeña

Dr. Etzel Cardeña

Etzel, who has a PhD in psychology (with emphasis on Personality Psychology) from the University of California, Davis, is currently the Poul Thorsen Professor of Psychology at Lund University, in Sweden. In addition to his work in parapsychology, he is internationally known for his work on hypnosis and for various contributions to the literature on dissociation and trauma.

Cardena Varieties 2In addition to this work and supervising graduate students, Etzel has become known for editing comprehensive anthologies that have been very influential, work done together with other colleagues. One of them is Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the Scientific Evidence (Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2014, 2nd ed.), edited with Steven J. Lynn and Stanley Krippner. This is a groundbreaking work not only in its conception and structure, but also because it was published by the American Psychological Association. Another fascinating anthology was Altering Consciousness: Multidisciplinary Perspectives (co-edited with Michael Winkelman, Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2011), which I believe is the best source today for information about altered states of consciousness. More recently Etzel edited, with John Palmer and David Marcusson-Clavertz, Parapsychology: A Handbook for the 21st Century (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2015). This is the one of the most important reference works on contemporary parapsychology.

Cardena AlteringCardena et al ParapsychologyEtzel is one of the most eminent psychologists involved with parapsychology in recent times. Evidence for this are the more than 20 awards he has received throughout his career. A few of them are: Charles Honorton Integrative Contributions Award (Parapsychological Association, 2013), Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Hypnosis (Society of Psychological Hypnosis, Division 30 of the American Psychological Association, 2007), Morton Prince Award for cumulative contribution to research on dissociative disorders (International Society for the Study of Dissociation, 1999), Pierre Janet Award for the best clinical, theoretical or research paper, (International Society for the Study of Dissociation, 2012), and College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Award for Excellence in Research (University of Texas, 2004).

Interview

How did you get interested in parapsychology?

I still remember vividly listening to my parents discuss J. B. Rhine’s research when I was a child in México. My father was a psychoanalyst with a great interest in parapsychology who held courses on the topic and discussed it with my also very well-read mother and us. He conducted informal exercises with family and friends trying to develop ostensible telepathy and clairvoyance and published with my brother a serial on parapsychology for the layperson. Although he did not use experimental controls I was still very impressed at times, particularly by a friend of the family who had an uncanny ability to diagnose precisely someone whose name had just been given to her. Growing up I took psi phenomena as a given and read some parapsychology research books besides the s/f speculations in books like Childhood’s End and More than Human.

Some years later, while doing a Ph. D. under Charley Tart on hypnosis, he encouraged me to attend an intensive parapsychology summer institute at the FRNM (currently the Rhine Research Center), around 1984. It was an unforgettable experience in so many different ways. The unsystematic knowledge about parapsychology I possessed became more solid and broad as I read a great amount of studies and attended the various lectures at the institute. I also participated in the research being conducted and got a book as a prize for scoring higher than other institute students in a PK experiment with a computer game (Poink) that Richard Broughton was conducting. In a ganzfeld study conducted by Nancy Zingrone  and others, I stumbled onto an indication of the complexities of the phenomena. I recall that I had a very clear and unusual image that I even drew (and I do not like to draw at all) before receiving feedback. When I was shown the target and the three decoys, I said about one of them that that was the exact image I had seen (and had the drawing as corroboration) whether that one was the target or not. As it turned out, the target was the image I ranked second. Other than parapsychology, during the institute I attended some extraordinary modern dance performances at the American Dance Festival at Duke University, and went on a boat trip through the Eno River with the other institute students, full of ominous signs and reminiscent in scary ways of James Dickey’s Deliverance. No one died or got injured but it was an unforgettable and eerie experience.

After my stay at the FRNM, I got a scholarship from the Parapsychology Foundation to conduct field research in Haiti on spirit possession, subscribed to the main parapsychology journals, and kept myself informed of the field through reading them and presenting at and attending the PA and Parapsychology Research Group meetings. Then, about 12 years ago, the Chair I now hold at Lund University in Sweden was advertised and I was offered the position, which has a remit on parapsychology and hypnosis, and which I thought (and continue to think) was a wonderful fit and professional opportunity.

What are your main interests in the field and how have you contributed to its development?

I include my interest in psi phenomena within the field of alterations of consciousness and anomalous experiences. Plato/Socrates and a number of earlier and later thinkers have considered our ordinary state of consciousness as limiting and other modes of being as potentially able to reveal aspects of reality veiled to the ordinary state. Whether this is the case or not (and there are good reasons to believe it is), I think that alterations of consciousness need to be accounted for in any theory of consciousness and its relation to reality. From this perspective, I think that my main contributions to the field so far have been:

1) Normalizing anomalous experiences (including psi-related ones) within psychology through the two editions of Varieties of Anomalous Experience, published by a mainstream press (American Psychological Association), and other peer-reviewed books, papers and presentations. I have also tried to give some “cover,” to those who want to work in the field by co-organizing a published “Call for an Open, Informed Study of All Aspects of Consciousness,” signed by 100 current or past academics and published in a mainstream journal, as well as developing a very impressive list of eminent people from the past who were interested in psi, about to make its debut in the SPR psi webpages. My hope is that these publications will make it easier for faculty who are given the spiel that parapsychology is pseudoscience and that no “real” scientists take it seriously to argue that “real” and very eminent current scientists from Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, Cambridge and other universities, besides figures from the past of the stature of Einstein, Planck, and Curie have supported research on the field.

2) The editing (see below) of an updated Handbook of Parapsychology, as well as upgrading the previous PA newsletter into the bulletin Mindfield, which I have now edited for 7 years.

3) Ongoing programmatic research on the relations between hypnosis, dissociation, alterations of consciousness, and performance in controlled psi experiments.

4) Linking psi phenomena to other disciplines (art and literature in a published paper, classical philosophy in a forthcoming paper).

5) Last but definitely not least, supervising doctoral students who will continue to work in the field. My previous doctoral student, Devin Terhune, got the Swedish award for the best young psychologist of that year, and David Marcusson-Clavertz has already published papers on psi and co-edited a book with me. I have another doctoral student doing important work on dissociation and trauma among young immigrants.

Why do you think that parapsychology is important?

This question can be either answered fairly in a book or succinctly in a couple of sentences. First, it strongly suggests (along with other phenomena discussed by Ed Kelly) that the current limitations to consciousness assumed by most materialist-reductionist models are fallacious. Second, and in agreement with a number of interpretations of quantum mechanics by such people as d’Espagnat and Stapp, it agrees with a model of a unified continuous aspect of reality. Finally, the link between alterations of consciousness and psi gives rise to the speculation, already considered by some classical Greek and Indian philosophers, that the filter of the ordinary state of consciousness might be more restrictive of certain aspects of reality than other states of consciousness.

In your view, what are the main problems in parapsychology today as a scientific field?

Where do I start? I have the advantage of also researching other areas that are more accepted and so I can bring an external perspective as well. One of the largest problems is the wrathful and prejudiced intolerance that characterizes so much of the anti-psi movement. You find the phobia that presumes that accepting parapsychology will bring about the end of science (I have never been able to follow that argument very well), and the petulance that just because some critics have not experienced these phenomena or they do not fit their cognitive schemas then those wanting to research them have to be cretins, spiritual fanatics, or worse. Related to this attitude is a more general arrogance in which some scientists assume that their current account of reality is final or close to final, and that any deviations from it are of course deluded, notwithstanding the history of science showing how “final” accounts of reality have been superseded by considerably different ones, and how much our capacity to know is limited by the nature of our receptors, our evolved limited rationality, and the nature of nature of nature itself. The anti-parapsychology movement has been very effective so far in marginalizing the field and exerted a very high cost on those who want to work in the field, with the main exception of Great Britain. The result is that there are preciously few researchers and theoreticians working in the area. As a comparison, a subfield of a subfield of a subfield, for instance the study of the P300 event related potential (ERP), attracts far more researchers, labs, and financial opportunities than all of parapsychology combined.

But there is also self-inflicted damage, in my view:

1) In agreement with at least one critic, there is a tendency among some (of the very few) researchers to go from one method or question to another, rather than to persevere with a promising question and conduct programmatic research on it to get a better comprehension, as is done by most successful mainstream researchers. For instance, at a recent PA I heard about a study that did not turn out as expected and the presenter explained why that might have occurred, but instead of testing that hypothesis in later studies, s/he declared that s/he would move to another question.

2) Considering parapsychology as an independent “discipline” is unrealistic. It is rather a cross-disciplinary topic of interest to psychologists, physicists, biologists, and so on. This has two consequences. The first is that it implies that psi research should be better integrated into larger disciplines (as researchers like Bem or theoreticians like Carpenter are doing), rather than remaining within a very small community. For instance, studies having both a psi and non-psi component are likely to make greater inroads than those just evaluating possible psi. The second is that, as with other topics, the greater the impact of the researcher in the larger discipline overall, the greater the likelihood that s/he will be heard by people not already commited to psi. For example, statisticians pay attention to Jessica Utts’s pronouncements about psi because of her general reputation as a statistician, not because of psi itself. Similarly, I have been able to publish papers on psi in mainstream journals probably because I am well-known for my work in other areas.

3) Considering the very meager resources in the psi field (and thanks to Bial, there are some rather than almost none), there should be far more inter-laboratory collaborations than is the case. For instance, I think that it is imperative to develop and test with a large number of participants a potential battery of task-related (as Rex Stanford has suggested) tests, psychological measures, and other indicators to determine who is likely to succeed in a psi experiment, and that this should be done as a collaborative enterprise. Even though I do not expect that we will find a strong indicator, even a moderate indicator would be of great help to increase our chances of evaluating phenomena more reliable.

4) Finally, I think that both extremes of granting unjustifiedly too much to critics instead of responding assertively to them, or claiming greater certainties about the nature of psi phenomena than are warranted does disservice to the field. In the first case it allows critics to get away with demonstrable falsehoods, does not require them to produce actual research to support their points, and does not discuss (the very real) limitations of psi research within the greater context of the limitations of empirical research in general. As for claims that we clearly understand psi phenomena, they crash against the reality of the field’s limited success in establishing the conditions under which results can be robustly replicated.

One final point is a problem that I have seen all too often in listservs and other specialized forums in which honest researchers who express doubt as to the evidence of some types of psi and/or point to contradictory evidence are personally attacked or assumed to be cognitively deficient. I know of at least one person who left the field because of this. Despite what I think is an idealization of people working in parapsychology as generally open and selfless, I have found the same dogmatism, egocentricity, and outright nastiness that I have observed in other groups. I am particularly aware of this since some members of the parapsychology community in Sweden started attacking me personally even before I arrived to Sweden, and they have continued their attacks now for more than 10 years, the longest and most malicious temper-tantrum I have ever witnessed.

Can you mention some of your current projects?

We (co-editors Etzel Cardeña, John Palmer and David Marcusson-Clavertz, with contributions from many of the most important workers in the field) just finished a major enterprise, an update of the 1977 Handbook of Parapsychology (Parapsychology: A Handbook for the 21st Century) that provides both a state-of-the-science account of psi research along with information on how to design experiments and analyze them statistically. The book is intended for those interested in the field as well as for beginning and experienced researchers.

One of my doctoral students and I finished recently the preliminary analyses and report of a study on ganzfeld, hypnosis, and the Model of Pragmatic Information (MPI), which we will submit to a journal within the next few months. Although we did not replicate a previous strong correlation between psi z-scores and experiencing an altered state of consciousness, we did replicate moderate correlations between psi scores and low arousal and more focused attention that Chris Roe and collaborators have found in their research. Our results were also consistent with the MPI. We have transcribed the sessions from this and a previous telepathy experiment and at some point will see if quantitative and qualitative content analyses can evidence a relation between specific mentations and psi scoring or missing.

I finished a paper that presents the case for considering anomalous experiences (and potential anomalous events including psi) as essential for any model of consciousness, to be published in a mainstream encyclopedia on consciousness. We (past or current doctoral students and I) have many papers recently accepted or under revision on such related topics as the influence of hypnotizability and dissociation on the stream of consciousness and mind-wandering, and dissociation, posttraumatic symptomatology, and attachment styles among teenage immigrants to Sweden previously exposed to traumatic events. Collaborators from other universities and I are working on papers on spirit possession in the Dominican Republic and posttraumatic symptoms among breast cancer survivors. And if I am unable to control my masochistic tendencies, I might also accept invitations to write two books on alterations of consciousness, psi phenomena, and their ontological and epistemological implications.

Other than that, I am planning to direct the extraordinary play Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett in the fall as Artistic Director of the International Theatre of Malmö, and of course enjoy all of life with the spark of my life Sophie and our little ones.

Selected Publications

Edited Books

Cardeña, E., Palmer, J., & Marcusson-Clavertz, D. (Eds.). (2015). Parapsychology: A handbook for the 21st century. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Cardeña, E., & Facco, E. (Eds.) (2015). Non-Ordinary Mental Expressions. E-book Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

Cardeña, E., Lynn, S. J., & Krippner, S. (Eds.) (2014). Varieties of anomalous experience: Examining the scientific evidence (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Cardeña, E., & Winkelman, M. (Eds.). (2011). Altering consciousness: Multidisciplinary perspectives (2 vols.). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Cardeña, E., & Croyle, K. (Eds.) (2005). Acute Reactions to Trauma and Psychotherapy: A Multidisciplinary and International Perspective. New York: Haworth Press. Also as special issue of the Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, 6(2).

Cardeña, E., & Nijenhuis, E. (2000). Embodied sorrow. Special issue on somatoform dissociation. Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, 1.

Kirsch, I., Capafons, A., Cardeña, E., & Amigó, S. (Eds.) (1999). Clinical hypnosis and self-regulation therapy: A cognitive-behavioral perspective. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Articles

Cardeña, E., & Marcusson-Clavertz, D. (2015). The influence of hypnotizability and dissociation on everyday mentation: An experience sampling study. Submitted for publication.

Cardeña, E. (in press). The unbearable fear of psi: On scientific censorship in the 21st century. Journal of Scientific Exploration.

Marcusson-Clavertz, D., Cardeña, E., & Terhune, D. B. (in press). Daydreaming style moderates the relationship between working memory and mind-wandering: Towards an integration of two hypotheses. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition.

Cardeña, E. (in press). Anomalous experience. In M. Velmans (Ed.), The Blackwell companion of consciousness, 2nd ed. London, UK: Blackwell.

Schaffler, Y., Cardeña, E., Reijman, S., & Haluza, D. (in press). Traumatic experiences and somatoform dissociation among spirit possession practitioners in the Dominican Republic. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry.

Cardeña, E. (2015). On negative capability and parapsychology. In E. Cardeña, J. Palmer, & D. Marcusson-Clavertz (Eds.). Parapsychology: A handbook for the 21st century. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Cardeña, E., & Marcusson-Clavertz, D. (2015). States, traits, beliefs, and psi. In E. Cardeña, J. Palmer, & D. Marcusson-Clavertz (Eds.). Parapsychology: A handbook for the 21st century (pp. 110-124). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Cardeña, E., Marcusson-Clavertz, D., & Palmer, J. (2015). Reintroducing parapsychology. In E. Cardeña, J. Palmer, & D. Marcusson-Clavertz (Eds.). Parapsychology: A handbook for the 21st century. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

Cardeña, E., Reijman, S., Lawaetz Wimmelmann, C., & Jensen, C. G.. (2015). Psychological health, trauma, dissociation, absorption, and fantasy proneness among Danish spiritual practitioners. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice, 2, 170-184.

Cardeña, E. & Terhune, D. B. (2014). Hypnotizability, personality traits, and the propensity to experience alterations of consciousness. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice, 1, 292-307.

Cardeña, E., & Alvarado, C.S. (2014). Anomalous self and identity experiences. In E. Cardeña. S.J. Lynn, & S. Krippner (Eds.), Varieties of Anomalous Experiences (2nd ed., pp. 175-212). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Cardeña, E. (2014). Hypnos and psyche, or how hypnosis has contributed to the study of consciousness. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice, 1, 123-138.

Cardeña, E. (2014). A call for an open, informed, study of all aspects of consciousness. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00017.

Cardeña, E., Lynn, S. J., & Krippner, S. (2014). Anomalous experiences in perspective. In E. Cardeña, S. J., Lynn, & S. Krippner (Eds.), Varieties of anomalous experience: Examining the scientific evidence. 2nd ed, (pp. 3-20). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Cardeña, E., & Pekala, R. J. (2014). Methodological issues in the study of altering consciousness and anomalous experience. In E. Cardeña, S. J., Lynn, & S. Krippner (Eds.), Varieties of anomalous experience: Examining the scientific evidence. 2nd ed. (pp. 21-56). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Cardeña, E., Jönsson, P., Terhune, D. B., & Marcusson-Clavertz, D. (2013). The neurophenomenology of neutral hypnosis. Cortex, 49, 375-385.

Cardeña, E., Iribas, A., & Reijman, S. (2012). Art and psi. Journal of Parapsychology, 76, 3-25.

Marcusson-Clavertz, D., Terhune, D. B., & Cardeña, E., (2012). Individual differences and state effects on mind wandering: Hypnotizability, dissociation, and sensory homogenization. Consciousness and Cognition, 21, 1097-1108.

Cardeña, E., & Alvarado, C.S. (2011). Altered consciousness from the age of Enlightenment through mid-20th century. In E. Cardeña and M. Winkelman (Eds.), Altering Consciousness: Multidisciplinary Perspectives: Vol. 1: History, Culture and the Humanities (pp. 89-112). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Cardeña, E., & Carlson, E. (2011). Acute Stress Disorder revisited. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 7, 245-267. doi: 10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-032210-104502

Marcusson-Clavertz, D. & Cardeña, E., (2011). Hypnotizability, alterations in consciousness, and other variables as predictors of performance in a ganzfeld psi task. Journal of Parapsychology, 75, 235-259.

Terhune, D. B., Cardeña, E., & Lindgren, M. (2011). Differential frontal-parietal connectivity during hypnosis as a function of hypnotic suggestibility. Psychophysiology, 48, 1444-1447. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2011.01211.x

Moreira-Almeida, A., & Cardeña, E. (2011). Differential diagnosis between non-pathological psychotic and spiritual experiences and mental disorders: A contribution from Latin American studies to the ICD-11. Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria, 33 Suppl. 1, S29-S36.

Cardeña, E. (2011). On wolverines and epistemological totalitarianism. (Guest editorial). Journal of Scientific Exploration, 25, 539-551.

Cardeña, E. (2011). Altered consciousness in emotion and psychopathology. In E. Cardeña, & M. Winkelman (Eds.), Altering consciousness. Multidisciplinary perspectives. Volume II. Biological and psychological perspectives (pp. 279-299). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Granqvist, P., Reijman, S. & Cardeña E. (2011). Altered consciousness and human development. In E. Cardeña, & M. Winkelman. Altering consciousness. Multidisciplinary perspectives. Volume II. Biological and psychological perspectives (pp. 211-234). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Terhune, D. B., & Cardeña, E (2010). Differential patterns of spontaneous experiential response to a hypnotic induction: A latent profile analysis. Consciousness and Cognition, 19, 1140-1150.

Zingrone, N.L., Alvarado, C.S., & Cardeña, E. (2010). Out-of-body experiences, physical body activity and posture: Responses from a survey conducted in Scotland. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 198, 163-165.

Cardeña, E., & Krippner, S. (2010). The cultural context of hypnosis. In Lynn, S. J., J. W. Rhue, & Kirsch, I. (Eds.) Handbook of clinical hypnosis 2nd Ed (pp. 743-771). Washington, D. C: American Psychological Association.

Cardeña, E., & Weiner, L. (2009). Trance/possession phenomena. In Dell, P.F., & O’Neil, J. A. (Eds.). Dissociation and the dissociative disorders: DSM-V and beyond.

Cardeña, E., Dennis, J. M., Winkel, M., & Skitka, L. (2005). A snapshot of terror: Acute posttraumatic reactions to the September 11 attack. Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, 6, 69-84.

Cardeña, E. (2005). The phenomenology of deep hypnosis: Quiescent and physically active. International Journal of Clinical & Experimental Hypnosis, 53, 37-59.

Cardeña, E. (2005). Subjectivity and communitas: Further considerations on pain. In Mario Maj, Hagop S. Akiskal, Juan E. Mezzich, & Ahmed Okasha (Eds.) Somatoform disorders. Evidence and experience in psychiatry V. 9 (pp. 121-123). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Cardeña, E. (2004). Introspection is alive and well: Current methodologies to study conscious experience. Proceedings of the 5th Simpósio da Fundaçao Bial. Porto, 43-54. Portugal: Bial.

Cardeña, E., & Gleaves, D. (2003) Dissociative disorders. In S. M. Turner & M. Hersen (Eds.). Adult psychopathology & diagnosis Fourth edition (pp. 476-505). New York: Wiley.

Cardeña, E., Butler, L. D., & Spiegel, D. (2003). Stress disorders. In G. Stricker & T. Widiger, (Eds.) Handbook of Psychology. V 8. (pp. 229-249). New York: John Wiley.

Van Ommeren, M., de Jong, J. T. V. M., Sharma, B., Komproe, I., Thapa, S., & Cardeña, E. (2001). Psychiatric disorders among tortured Bhutanese refugees in Nepal. Archives of General Psychiatry, 5, 475-482.

Cardeña, E., Koopman, C., Classen, C., Waelde, L., & Spiegel, D. (2000). Psychometric properties of the Stanford Acute Stress Reaction Questionnaire (SASRQ): A valid and reliable measure of acute stress reactions. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 13, 719-734.

Cardeña, E., Maldonado, J., Van der Hart, O., & Spiegel, D. (2000). Hypnosis. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 13, 580-584.

Cardeña, E. (2000) Hypnosis in the treatment of trauma: A promising, but not fully supported, efficacious intervention. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 48, 221-234.

Litwin, R., & Cardeña, E. (2000). Demographic and seizure variables, but not hypnotizability or dissociation, differentiated psychogenic from organic seizures. Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, 1, 99-122.

Lynn, S. J., Kirsch, I., Barabasz, A., Cardeña, E., & Patterson, D. (2000) Hypnosis as an empirically supported clinical intervention: The state of the evidence and a look to the future. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 48, 235-255.

Cardeña, E., Lynn, S. J., & Krippner, S. (2000). Anomalous experiences in perspective In E. Cardeña, S. J. Lynn., & S. Krippner (Eds.), Varieties of anomalous experience (pp. 3-21). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Easterlin, B. & Cardeña, E. (1998-99). Perceived stress, cognitive and emotional differences between short-and long-term Vipassana meditators. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 18, 69-82.

Cardeña, E., Holen, A., McFarlane, A., Solomon, Z., Wilkinson, C., & Spiegel, D. (1998). A multi-site study of acute-stress reaction to a disaster. In Widiger, T. A. et al. (Eds.)Sourcebook for the DSM-IV. Vol. IV (pp. 377-391). Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Press.

Cardeña, E., Alarcón, A., Capafons, A., & Bayot, A. (1998). Effects on suggestibility of a new method of active-alert hypnosis. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, 3, 280-294.

Cardeña, E. (1998). Dissociation and PSI: What are the links? In N. L. Zingrone, M. J., Schlitz, C. S. Alvarado, & J. Milton (Eds.). Research in Parapsychology 1993. Scarecrow Press: Lanham, Maryland.

O’Connor, B., Calabrese, C., Cardeña, E., et al. (1997). Defining and describing complementary and alternative medicine. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 3, 49-57..

Cardeña, E. (1997) The etiologies of dissociation. In S. Powers & S. Krippner (Eds.), Broken images, broken selves (pp. 61-87). New York: Brunner.

Cardeña, E., & Beard, J. (1996). Truthful trickery: Shamanism, acting and reality. Performance Research, 1, 31-39.

Cardeña, E. (1996). “Just floating on the sky”. A comparison of shamanic and hypnotic phenomenology. In R. Quekelbherge & D. Eigner (Eds.) 6th Jahrbuch für Transkulturelle Medizin und Psychotherapie (6th Yearbook of cross-cultural medicine and psychotherapy) (pp. 367-380). Berlin: Verlag für Wissenschaft und Bildung.

Cardeña, E., & Spiegel, D. (1996). Diagnostic issues, criteria and comorbidity of dissociative disorders. In L. Michelson & W. J. Ray (Eds.), Handbook of Dissociation (pp. 227-250) New York: Plenum.

Cardeña, E. (1994). The domain of dissociation. In S. J. Lynn and J. W. Rhue (Eds.) Dissociation: Clinical, theoretical, and research perspectives (pp. 15-31). New York: Guilford.

Cardeña, E., & Spiegel D. (1993) Dissociative reactions to the Bay Area Earthquake. American Journal of Psychiatry, 150, 474-478.

Cardeña, E. (1992) Trance and possession as dissociative disorders. Transcultural Psychiatric Research Review, 29 , 283-297.

Spiegel, D., & Cardeña, E. (1991). Disintegrated experience: The dissociative disorders revisited. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 100 , 366-378.

Cardeña, E., & Spiegel, D. (1991). Suggestibility, absorption, and dissociation: An integrative model of hypnosis. In John F. Schumaker (Ed.) Human suggestibility: Advances in theory, research and application. New York: Routledge, 93-107.

Cardeña, E. (1989). The varieties of possession experience. Association for the Anthropological Study of Consciousness Quarterly, 5 (2-3), 1-17.

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

I am glad to have an interview with Dr. Fatima Regina Machado, who I have visited in her country, Brazil, as well as her husband and colleague Dr. Wellington Zangari. I first met Fatima in 1993 when she came to Durham, North Carolina, to participate in the now defunct parapsychology Summer Study Program at what was then known as the Institute of Parapsychology. I was lecturing there at the time.

Dr. Fatima Regina Machado

Dr. Fatima Regina Machado

For many years Fatima has been working—sometimes with Wellington—on behalf of parapsychology in an academic setting in Brazil. She is in fact a pioneer in this field in her country, and her accomplishments are clear both in the interview below as well as in the bibliography that follows. Two of her main areas of interest are poltergeist phenomena and surveys of psychic experiences. Fatima, interestingly, is the only person I know who has two doctoral degrees, as you can see in her interview below. She has PhDs in psychology (social psychology, University of São Paulo, 2009), and in Communication and Semiotics (Pontifical University of São Paulo, 2003).

One of her most important contributions was the report of the results of her second PhD dissertation “Experiências Anômalas na Vida Cotidiana: Experiências Extra-Sensório-Motoras e sua Associação com Crenças, Atitudes e Bem-estar Subjetivo” (Anomalous Experiences in Daily Life: Extrasensorimotor Experiences and their Association with Beliefs, Attitudes and Well-being, Institute for Psychology, University of São Paulo, 2009). The article, “Experiências Anômalas (Extra-Sensório-Motoras) na Vida Cotidiana e sua Associação com Crenças, Atitudes e Bem-Estar Subjetivo,” appeared in the Boletim – Academia Paulista de Psicologia (2010, 30, 462-483). This was important for at least two reasons. First, it appeared in a prestigious forum of Brazilian psychology, a journal published by the Academia Paulista de Psicologia (Paulist Academy of Psychology). Second, this work has inspired similar studies which are currently being conducted by doctoral students.

Other contributions include the following: Machado, F.R. (2009). Field Investigations on Hauntings and Poltergeists. Utrecht II: Charting the Future of Parapsychology. New York: Parapsychology Foundation / Het Johan Borgmanfonds Foundation, 115-150; Radin, D.I., Machado, F.R., & Zangari, W. (2002). Effects of Distant Healing Intention Through Time & Space: Two Exploratory Studies. Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine Journal, 11, 34-58; Machado, F.R., & Zangari, W. (2001). Parapsychology in Brazil: A Science Entering Adulthood. Journal of Parapsychology, 65, 351-356; Machado, F.R. (2001). A New Look on Hauntings and Poltergeist Phenomena: Proposal of a Semiotic Perspective of Analysis. In J. Houran & ; R. Lange (Eds.), Hauntings and Poltergeists: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 227-247; Machado, F.R., & Zangari, W. (2000). The Poltergeist in Brazil: A Review of the Literature in Context. International Journal of Parapsychology, 11, 105-132.

Interview

Rhine Canais OcultosHow did you get interested in parapsychology?
When I was a little girl I liked hearing ghost stories and folklore tales. My grandfathers were really good story tellers. My father’s father was very credulous about supernatural events. My mother’s father was a scientist and always had a naturalistic explanation for the cases I was told. I grew up hearing those fascinating stories, and I always considered the naturalistic explanations also fascinating, very elucidating. In high school, we had a short course on parapsychology taught by a priest who had a Catholic approach to the supposed paranormal events and not very convincing answers to my many questions on the subject. It was quite disappointing to me at that time. After finishing high school, I attended another parapsychology course where they would supposedly explain how telepathy and clairvoyance work and teach some techniques with which we would be able to control our minds and to have extrasensory experiences. But that course did not convince me either. When I went to college in 1991, I met Wellington Zangari, who was really interested in parapsychology from a scientific point of view. He was studying it for some years already. I have to thank him for introducing me to the field. It was a surprise for me to discover that very serious people were studying systematically psychokinetic and extrasensory phenomena/experiences. The first books I had contact with were, in Portuguese, Canais Ocultos do Espírito (Hidden Channels of the Mind), written by Louisa Rhine, and Magia e Parapsicologia, a book on the history of parapsychology written by Bruno Fantoni; and in English, Foundations of Parapsychology, by Edge, Morris, Palmer and Rush, and the Handbook of Parapsychology, organized by Benjamin B. Wollman. A new world was opened to me and I was getting more and more interested. Zangari (who later became my husband) had already founded an institute for parapsychology in São Paulo. Some courses were offered and there was a study group who had meetings weekly. Soon I got involved with the institute activities and left my job (I was an elementary school teacher) to be devoted to the field.

Fantoni Magia y ParapsicologiaWhat are your main interests in the field and how have you contributed to its development?

I am especially interested in the meaning and relevance of psi experiences for the experiencers’ lives. Because I understand that psi experiences are part of daily life and have something to reveal about human nature and the way we interact with our environment – independently of its ontological status, but also because of its possible ontological reality – I invested efforts in developing academic research related to the field in Brazil. In order to do that I helped to introduce the topic into the academy in Brazil primarily through my master’s thesis and Ph.D dissertations. My master’s thesis was A Causa dos Espíritos: Um Estudo sobre a Utilização da Parapsicologia para a Defesa da Fé Católica e Espírita no Brasil (The Cause of the Spirits: A Study on the Use of Parapsychology to the Defense of the Catholic and Spiritist Faiths in Brazil, Sciences of Religion Post-Graduation Program, Pontifical University of São Paulo, 1996). I have two PhD degrees. My first dissertation was A Ação dos Signos nos Poltergeists: Estudo do Processo de Comunicação dos Fenômenos Poltergeist a Partir de seus Relatos (The Action of Signs in Poltergeists: Study of the Communication Process of Poltergeist Phenomena from their Accounts, Communication and Semiotics Post-Graduation Program, Pontifical University of São Paulo, 2003). The second one was Experiências Anômalas na Vida Cotidiana: Experiências Extra-Sensório-Motoras e sua Associação com Crenças, Atitudes e Bem-estar Subjetivo (Anomalous Experiences in Daily Life: Extrasensorimotor Experiences and their Association with Beliefs, Attitudes and Well-being, Institute for Psychology, University of São Paulo, 2009).

Title Page of Machado's Dissertation About Anomalous Experiences

Title Page of Machado’s Dissertation About Anomalous Experiences

As a professional, I consider that exchanging information with the international scientific community is essential for the development of the field because it helps to break barriers and to expand perspectives. In 1993, I attended the Summer Study Program at Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man (today the Rhine Research Center) and it was a great opportunity to get in contact with researchers of the international community and to present what was happening in the Brazilian context in terms of interest, studies and efforts. I became the first Brazilian woman to become a Parapsychological Association member (currently I am a member of its Board of Directors), and since 2001 Zangari and I are International Affiliates of the Parapsychology Foundation. I should also say that the PF was really important to us in terms of support, as was the support of some persons such as Nancy L. Zingrone, Carlos S. Alvarado, and Stanley Krippner, who have served as bridges for my international activities.

I have also done some experimental research, but my expertise is case studies (especially poltergeist ones) and surveys. Zangari and I have been working together in order to develop research and spread good quality information in our country, where the term parapsychology is badly used, confusing the field with all sort of practices. We worked to transform the former independent institute/study group into a research group in academia. Attending and participating in conferences and seminars in different fields of studies was a strategy to present information and break barriers and prejudices against the field. All these actions, combined with the maintenance of our research group, have helped to motivate more people to do research and to present good quality information.

Why do you think that parapsychology is important?

For my PhD in Psychology, I did a survey that shows that 82.7% of the participants (N = 306) reported having had at least one psi experience (ESP or PK), and the majority of them considered their psi experience(s) important or relevant to their lives. Brazil seems to be a country where we can find a high prevalence of psi experiences. Also surveys in other countries show considerable prevalences of psi experiences. This cannot be dismissed. It demonstrates that psi experiences are part of daily life and I believe that they are clues to reveal some aspects of human nature and the way we interact with the environment (independently of its ontological status, but also because of its possible ontological reality) which we still do not understand. Parapsychology is important because it is a field devoted to the investigation of psi and to attempts to obtain and assess scientific evidence for its support. And beyond that, due to the intricate nature of the subject to be investigated, it has the double effect of provoking very interesting debates among scientists (at least among those who are not prejudicially opposed to it) and of improving methodological procedures and conceptual advances, independently (or maybe exactly because) of the surrounding controversies.

In your view, what are the main problems in parapsychology today as a scientific field?

Despite all efforts to “clean up” the popular image of “parapsychology,” as a misused term, we still find some resistance to it. It can be problematic when you ask for grants in Brazil, for instance – and a research field needs resources to keep growing. However, as I said before, I have not met opposition to the study of psi. On the contrary: the interest in studying psi is growing and growing in Brazil. Recently (2010) our research group adopted the term Anomalistic Psychology to designate our field of study, expanding the spectrum of interests. This has attracted more students and interested people in general, besides contributing to the improvement of the dialogue with other study areas and the insertion of psi research into the scientific mainstream. It does not mean that we have abandoned parapsychology. Now we have more possibilities to encourage people to listen to us and understand the relevance of (scientific and serious) parapsychological studies.

Another problem I see in parapsychology as a scientific field is the still poor replicability of psi experiments – not only because of the nature of psi, but also because I do not see many researchers involved in replications of experiments. I think we could also do more replications in cross-cultural studies (never forgetting spontaneous case studies, of course!). It would, for sure, improve the data base and this could help in the development of experimental procedures.

Can you mention some of your current projects?

In Brazil we are living a very special moment in terms of interest in academic research of parapsychological experiences. From 1999 to 2009 our research group was based at Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, where I was a PhD student and latter, a teacher, and it was very important to develop activities and to mature. In 2009, Zangari and I began a project to establish our research group (now called Inter Psi – Laboratory of Anomalistic Psychology and Psychosocial Processes) at the University of São Paulo (USP), the most important public university in the country. Since 2010, our laboratory has been established at USP. I have co-supervised several activities which have been developed with the help of Zangari’s graduate students who have, in turn, worked on master theses or in PhD dissertations (and now we have two post-doctoral fellows). The topics these students have worked on have included anomalous experiences in general (surveys, experimental, field and case studies), and especially ESP, PK, OBEs, UFO abductions and mediumistic experiences. Besides individual research projects, there are some collective projects being developed by different groups of Inter Psi’s participants. We intend to train graduate students to establish their own groups after they finish their doctorates and start working in other universities. In addition to these activities, we have also worked to establish international agreements to do cross-cultural research and exchange students with other universities. We have already received the visit of outstanding foreign researchers such as Nancy L. Zingrone, Carlos S. Alvarado, Stanley Krippner, Chris Roe, and Elizabeth Roxburgh.

Members of Inter Psi (Dr. Fatima Regina Machado (third from right), Dr. Wellington Zangari (fifth from right). Visitors from England: Dr. Chris Roe (first from left), and Dr. Elizabeth Roxburgh (fifth from left)

Members of Inter Psi (Dr. Fatima Regina Machado (third from right), Dr. Wellington Zangari (fifth from right). Visitors from England: Dr. Chris Roe (first from left), and Dr. Elizabeth Roxburgh (fifth from left)

In addition to Inter Psi, I am also a member of the Laboratory for Social Psychology of Religion and a member of the National Association for Research and Graduate Studies in Psychology, where I participate in the Working Group “Psychology and Religion”. In all these activities I have worked for promoting academic research of parapsychological/anomalistic experiences.

Currently I am a post-doctoral fellow of the Sciences of Religion Post-Graduation Program at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo. Among different activities, I have contributed to the dissemination of information on psi research/anomalistic psychology to graduate students, promoting the exchange of information between graduate students from Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo and the University of São Paulo, and by teaching some classes and participating in research meetings.

Now I am preparing an article on the history of parapsychology in Brazil which will be published soon, and a book chapter, co-authored with some colleagues, on Brazilian parapsychological spontaneous cases.

Selected Publications

ALVARADO, C.; MARALDI, E. O. ; ZANGARI, W. ; MACHADO, F. R. . Théodore Flournoy’s contributions to Psychical Research. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, v. 78, p. 149-168, 2014.

MARALDI, E. O. ; ZANGARI, W. ; MACHADO, F. R. ; KRIPPNER, S. . Anomalous Mental and Physical Phenomena of Brazilian Mediums: a review of the scientific literature.. In: Jack Hunter; David Luke. (Org.). (Org.). Talking with the Spirits: Ethnographies From Between the Worlds.. 1ed.Brisbane: Daily Grail Publishing, 2014, v. 1, p. 259-301.

MARTINS, L. B. ; ZANGARI, W. ; MACHADO, F. R. . Possibilidades Darwinistas para o Estudo das Experiências Anômalas. In: Clarissa de Franco; Rodrigo Petronio. (Org.). Crença e Evidência: Aproximações e controvérias entre religião e teoria evolucionária no pensamento contemporâneo. 1ed.São Leopoldo: UNISINOS, 2014, v. 1, p. 127-153.

ZANGARI, W. ; MARALDI, E. O. ; MARTINS, L. B. ; MACHADO, F. R. . Estados Alterados de Consciência e Religião. In: João Décio Passos; Frank Usarski. (Org.). Compêndio de Ciência da Religião. 1ed.São Paulo: Paulinas; Paulus, 2013, v. 1, p. 423-435.

ZANGARI, W. ; MACHADO, F. R. . The Paradoxal Disappearance of Parapsychology in Brazil. Journal of Parapsychology, v. 76, p. 65-67, 2012.

MARALDI, E. O. ; ZANGARI, W. ; MACHADO, F. R. A Psicologia das Crenças Paranormais: Uma Revisão Crítica. Boletim – Academia Paulista de Psicologia, v. 31, p. 394-421, 2011.

ZANGARI, W. ; MACHADO, F. R. . Por Uma Psicologia Anomalística Inclusiva. In: VII Encontro Psi: Pesquisa Psi e Psicologia Anomalística, 2011, Curitiba. Livro de Registro dos Trabalhos Apresentados no VII Encontro Psi: Pesquisa Psi e Psicologia Anomalística. Curitiba: UNIBEM, 2011. v. 1. p. 162-166.

MARALDI, E. O. ; MACHADO, F. R. ; ZANGARI, W. . Importance of a Psychosocial Approach for a Comprehensive Understanding of Mediumship. Journal of Scientific Exploration, v. 24, p. 181-186, 2010.

MACHADO, F. R. . Experiências anômalas (extra-sensório-motoras) na vida cotidiana e sua associação com crenças, atitudes e bem-estar subjetivo. Boletim – Academia Paulista de Psicologia, v. 30, p. 462-483, 2010.

MACHADO, F. R. Field Investigations on Hauntings and Poltergeists. Utrecht II: Charting The Future of Parapsychology Proceedings of an International Conference. New York: Parapsychology Foundation; Het Johan Borgmanfonds Foundation: The Netherlands. p. 115 – 150, 2009.

MACHADO, F. R. Algumas reflexões sobre as implicações dos estudos da psicocinesia na compreensão da consciência e da espiritualidade. In: V Encontro Psi: A Variedade das Experiências Humanas, 2009, Recife. Livro de Registro dos Trabalhos Apresentados – V Encontro Psi. Curitiba: FBM, 2009. v. 1. p. 15-24.

MACHADO, F. R. . Parapsicologia no Brasil: Entre a Cruz e a mesa Branca. Ceticismo Aberto, http://www.ceticismoaberto.com/paranormal/2091/parapsicologia-no-brasil-entre-a-cruz-e-a-mesa-branca, 2009 (publicado originalmente em 2005).

MACHADO, F. R. . Consciência, Espiritualidade e Psicocinesia: Limites e Possibilidades de Estudo. In: III Simpósio Nacional sobre Consciência, 2008, Salvador. Artigos apresentados no III Simpósio Nacional Sobre Consciência. Salvador: Fundação Ocidemnte, 2008. v. 3. p. 1-16.

ALVARADO, C. S. ; MACHADO, F. R. ; ZANGARI, W. ; ZINGRONE, N. L. . Perspectivas históricas da influência da mediunidade na construção de idéias psicológicas e psiquiátricas. Revista de Psiquiatria Clínica, v. 34, p. 42-53, 2007.

MACHADO, F. R. . Da Composição dos Casos Poltergeist. In: II Encontro Psi: Refletindo sobre o Futuro da Parapsicologia, 2004, Curitiba. Livro de Registro de Trabalhos Apresentados. Curitiba: Campus Universitário Bezerra de Menezes, 2004. v. 1. p. 51-62.

MACHADO, F. R. . Função e Significado dos Poltergeist: Uma abordagem semiótica.. In: 6ª Jornada do Centro de Estudos Peirceanos, 2003, São Paulo. Caderno da 6ª Jornada do Centro de Estudos Peirceanos. São Paulo: CEPE, 2003. v. 1. p. 30-43.

MACHADO, F. R. . Poltergeist: Un juego semiótico. Revista Argentina de Psicología Paranormal, Buenos Aires, v. 13, n.3, p. 181-195, 2002.

RADIN, D. I. ; MACHADO, F. R. ; ZANGARI, W. . Effects of Distant Healing Intention Through Time & Space: Two Exploratory Studies. Subtle Energies And Energy Medicine Journal, v. XI, n.3, p. 34-58, 2002.

MACHADO, F. R.; ZANGARI, W.. Parapsychology in Brazil: A Science entering adulthood. The Journal Of Parapsychology, Durham, NC – USA, v. 65, n.4, p. 351-356, 2001.

MACHADO, F. R. . A new look on hauntings and poltergeist phenomena: Proposal of a semiotic perspective of analysis. In: James Houran; Rense Lange. (Org.). Hauntings and Poltergeists: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. 1ed.Jefferson, NC, USA: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2001, v. 1, p. 227-247.

MACHADO, F. R.; ZANGARI, W. The Poltergeist in Brazil: A Review of the Literature in Context. International Journal Of Parapsychology, Nova Iorque, v. 11, n.1, p. 105-132, 2000.

MACHADO, F. R. ; ZANGARI, W. Estudo de três casos poltergeist em São Paulo. In: Tercer Encuentro Psi 1998: Consciencia y Psi como Fronteras de Exploración Cientifica, 1998, Buenos Aires. Actas del Tercer Encuentro Psi 1998. Buenos Aires: IPP, 1998. v. 1. p. 75-81.

ALVARADO, C. S. ; MACHADO, F. R. ; ZINGRONE, N. . Métodos de Investigación en Parapsicología (Parte II). Boletim Aipa, Buenos Aires, v. 2, n.1(3), p. 9-12, 1998.

ZANGARI, W.;  MACHADO, F. R. . The Adolescent Science: Parapsychology in Brazil. The Journal Of The American Society For Psychical Research, Nova Iorque, v. 91, p. 110-121, 1997.

ZANGARI, W. ; MACHADO, F. R. A Psicologia do Ganzfeld (Parte I). Jornal de Parapsicologia, Braga, v. 38, p. 2-3, 1997.

ZANGARI, W.; MACHADO, F. R. . A Psicologia do Ganzfeld (Parte II). Jornal de Parapsicologia, Braga, v. 39, p. 2-3, 1997.

MACHADO, F. R. . A Questão da Nomenclatura em Parapsicologia. Anuário Brasileiro de Parapsicologia, Recife, v. 2, p. 31-45, 1997.

ALVARADO, C. S. ; MACHADO, F. R. ; ZINGRONE, N. . Métodos de Investigación en Parapsicología (ParteI). Boletim Aipa, Buenos Aires, v. 1, p. 13-16, 1997.

MACHADO, F. R. ; ALVARADO, C. S. . Sobre o provincianismo em Parapsicologia. In: I Congresso Internacional e Brasileiro de Parapsicologia, 1997, Recife. Anais do I Congresso Internacional e Brasileiro de Parapsicologia. Recife: IPPP, 1997. v. 1. p. 75-88.

Zangari, W.; MACHADO, F. R. . Survey: Incidence and Social Relevance of Brazilian University Students’Psychic Experiences. European Journal Of Parapsychology, Edimburgo, v. 12, p. 75-87, 1996.

MACHADO, F. R. ; ZANGARI, W. A Psicologia do Poltergeist. Jornal de Parapsicologia, Braga, v. 36, p. 11-16, 1996.

ZANGARI, W. ; MACHADO, F. R. . Incidencia y Importancia Social de las Experiencias Psiquicas en los Estudiantes Universitarios Brasileros. Revista Argentina de Psicologia Paranormal, Buenos Aires, v. 7, n.1(25), p. 19-35, 1996.

MACHADO, F. R. . Considerações sobre ética e educação em Parapsicologia no Brasil. In: XIII Simpósio Pernambucano de Parapsicologia, 1995, Recife. Anais do XIII Simpósio Pernambucano de Parapsicologia. Recife: IPPP, 1995. v. 1. p. 76-82.

MACHADO, F. R. Um Fantasma em Minha Casa? Uma Introdução ao fenômeno de poltergeist ou RSPK. Revista Brasileira de Parapsicologia, São Paulo, v. 4, p. 8-15, 1994.

MACHADO, F. R. A Importância da Educação em Parapsicologia. Revista Brasileira de Parapsicologia, São Paulo, v. 3, p. 27-29, 1993.