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Reincarnation Course

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

I am copying this announcement of a remarkable reincarnation course from the website of the Parapsychology Foundation.

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Parapsychology Foundation Research Fellow, Dr. James G. Matlock, will be teaching his annual online course Signs of Reincarnation starting January 30th, 2017 and running for 15 weeks.

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Dr. James G. Matlock

Signs of Reincarnation is an online M.A.-level discussion course that covers all aspects of reincarnation studies, including ideas about reincarnation in different traditions, research methods for studying cases, the results of research with children’s and adult spontaneous cases, regression under hypnosis, and past-life readings of psychics and mediums. It addresses criticisms of the research and different interpretative frameworks that have been put forward for the research findings, through original lectures and readings from the reincarnation research literature.

Matlock’s course is conducted on the widely-used Moodle distant learning platform through The Alvarado Zingrone Institute for Research and Education. Designed to appeal to all those with a serious interest in reincarnation studies, students in previous courses have included people with past-life memories and researchers. Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove, the Dean of Programs in Transformation Psychology at the University of Philosophical Research, had this to say about it: “Having completed Jim Matlock’s course, Signs of Reincarnation, I can say that I am not aware of any other educational resource that offers such a comprehensive overview and analysis of the research data that has been collected over a period of many decades. Not only does Matlock review the most salient cases, he explains why each case lends weight to various interpretations and theories of ostensible reincarnation. Furthermore, in the process of preparing this course, Matlock has developed his own theory of reincarnation and he argues convincingly as to why it offers the most parsimonious explanation of this complex and fascinating body of knowledge. While the course focuses primarily on the published cases within the reincarnation literature, it also draws upon the larger fields of anthropology and cultural history.”

A student of metaphysics who took the course wrote “The course has high personal impact, and has enhanced my understanding immensely of the concept of spiritual growth. I found the class to be both challenging and fun and had a well established base line that shed light on an area of life, in a way that I had not experienced before. Thank you Jim for your communicator skills and ability to format this course in such a manner that my ideas have been changed by the lectures and readings which flowed succinctly toward provoking thought and wonder, of a topic that is so much a part of our daily life.”

The course is set up so that students can access the materials and discussion forums at any time, allowing for participation from all parts of the world. There are no pre-requisites, although it helps to have a college background and to be able to read and write well in English. All lectures and readings are provided in PDF format for download to desktop computer, tablet, or other device. Self-paced over the 15 weeks, students are expected to commit between 6 and 8 hours per week. There are optional written assignments at the conclusion of each week and a certificate of completion is awarded at the end of the course.

Here’s a list of the units for each week:

  1. Introduction to the Study of Reincarnation Signs
  2. The Belief in Reincarnation
  3. Research Styles and Interpretative Frames
  4. Child Studies: Episodic Memories, Statements and Recognitions
  5. Child Studies: Behavioral Signs of Reincarnation
  6. Child Studies: Physical Signs of Reincarnation
  7. Child Studies: The Interval Between Death and Rebirth
  8. Child Studies: Cross-Cultural and Cross-Historical Patterns
  9. Child Studies: The Psychology of Past-Life Memory
  10. From Child to Adult: The Developmental Continuum
  11. Past-Life Memory in Induced States of Consciousness
  12. The Contributions of Shamans, Psychics, and Mediums
  13. Mind/Brain Relations, Survival of Death, and Reincarnation
  14. Postmortem Survival and Reincarnation: Philosophy and Theory
  15. The Process of Reincarnation

The regular registration fee is $300. For students and those who live on fixed incomes, the course costs $150. Research assistantships and other in-kind arrangements may be available. All registrants will receive an ebook copy of I Saw a Light and Came Here: Children’s Experiences of Reincarnation, due to be published on February 1.

For more information go to the courses page on Dr. Matlock’s website by clicking here.

 

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

Here is a study to test for the possibility that observations could affect an interference pattern, something consistent with von Neumann’s suggestion that human observation can affect physical systems.

Radin, D., Michel, L., & Delorme, A. (2016). Psychophysical modulation of fringe visibility in a distant double-slit optical system. Physics Essays. 29 (1), 14-22.

Abstract: To investigate von Neumann’s proposal that an “extra-physical process” is involved in the measurement of a quantum system, an online experiment was conducted using a double-slit optical system. In a counterbalanced fashion, participants focused their attention toward or away from a feedback signal linked in real-time to the double-slit component of an interference pattern. A line camera continuously recorded the interference pattern at 4 Hz, and for each camera image fringe visibility was determined for the central 20 fringes. During 2013 and 2014, a total of 1,479 people from 77 countries contributed 2,985 test sessions. Over the same period 5,738 sessions were run as controls by a computer programmed to simulate human participants. The results showed that with human observers the fringe visibility at the center of the interference pattern deviated from a null effect by 5.72 sigma (p = 1.05×10-8), with the direction of the deviation conforming to the observers’ intentions. The same analysis applied to the control data resulted in an overall deviation of -0.17 sigma. After consideration of alternative explanations, these results were found to support von Neumann’s conclusion that the mind of the observer is an inextricable part of the measurement process. This type of experiment offers a means of empirically resolving long-standing questions about the role of consciousness in the physical world.

The authors write:

“The present study . . . is consistent with von Neumann’s speculation that an extra-physical factor plays a role in the QMP. That said, these results do not support a strong role for the mind, as in consciousness literally causing a collapse of the quantum wave function . . . Rather, a more modest function is suggested whereby the mind has the capacity to modulate probabilities associated with the transition from quantum to classical behavior. In terms of absolute magnitude these modulations are subtle. In the present experiment the percentage change in fringe visibility due to observation was on average about 0.001%. Still, it is important to not confuse the size of an effect with its theoretical importance.”

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

I recently mentioned in a recent blog the forthcoming ParaMOOC 2017. As I said, this is a series of high level free online lectures on various aspects of parapsychology that will start on January 16th with live sessions through February 24th, and last-Sunday-of-the-month discussion forums until August 31st. Each presentation is illustrated with slides and given by guest lecturers. Eventually all the presentations will be available on YouTube.

The project is organized by Drs. Nancy L. Zingrone and Carlos S. Alvarado, and it is supported by the Parapsychology Foundation.

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Like previous ParaMOOCs, lecturers come from various countries. This year we have participants from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, Japan, and the United States.

To enroll and for additional information click here. See also  our YouTube announcement here.

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Here is the full program (all presentations will be real time at 2:00pm Eastern time):

January 23: Ed Kelly (PhD, US)

From Physicalism to Idealism: My Engagement with the Paranormal

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Ed Kelly

January 25: Gerhard Mayer (PhD, Germany)

The Specific Conditions of Parapsychological Research

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Gerhard Mayer

January 31: Ohkado Masayuki (PhD, Japan)

Children’s Prenatal and Perinatal Memories

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Ohkado Masayuki

February 3: Christopher Laursen (PhD, Canada)

Parapsychology and the Poltergeist

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Christopher Laursen

February 4: Alexander Sech Junior (PhD, Brazil)

Some Historical Aspects of 19th Century Studies of Psychic Phenomena

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Alexandre Sech Junior

February 5: Everton de Oliveira Maraldi (PhD, Brazil)

The Concept of Creative Dissociation: Contributions to the Study of Artístic Mediumship

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Everton de Oliveira Maraldi

February 10: Jack Hunter (PhD Candidate, England)

Between Realness and Unrealness: Anthropology, Parapsychology and the Ontology of Non-Ordinary Realities

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Jack Hunter

February 11: Daryl Bem (PhD, US)

Feeling the Future: Laboratory Experiments on Precognition

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Daryl Bem

February 14: Julia Mossbridge (PhD, US)

Predicting the Unpredictable: Evidence and Working Model

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Julia Mossbridge

February 15: Christine Simmonds-Moore (PhD, US)

Synesthesia and Psi

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Christine Simmonds-Moore

February 16: Peter Bancel (PhD, France)

Why the Global Consciousness Project Does Not Measure Global Consciousness

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Peter Bancel

February 18: Alejandro Parra (PhD, Argentina)

Learning to Read the Soul of Things”:

An Up-to-Date State of the Art Review of the Token-Object Effect and Psi

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Alejandro Parra

February 21: Charmaine Sonnex (PhD candidate, England)

A Review of Non-Contact Healing: Trials and Tribulations

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Charmaine Sonnex

February 22: Fabio da Silva (PhD, Brazil)

Could the Presentiment Studies be Useful for Psi Training Groups Research?

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Fabio da Silva

February 23: Etzel Cardeña (PhD, Sweden)

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Personal Reflections About Parapsychology

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Etzel Cardeña

For more information on the course you can watch our YouTube announcement here.  And to sign up for the course itself click here.

Poltergeist Case

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

Here is a recent report of a poltergeist case.

John Dixon, A case of ostensible poltergeist phenomena resulting in lingering haunt phenomena. Australian Journal of Parapsychology, 2016, 16, 7-39.

Abstract: An ostensible poltergeist case was investigated after a series of unexplained disturbances, including object movements, was witnessed at a small bar. The initial disturbances ceased after a 13-month period, which coincided with the departure of a staff member who displayed traits similar to RSPK agents. The case was investigated by surveying the remaining staff to document the disturbances they had personally experienced. This survey focused upon quantitative data, while follow-up questions looked at qualitative aspects. Five criteria were created to help determine if the disturbances were due to poltergeist or haunt phenomena. The results of the survey and interviews supported the hypothesis that poltergeist phenomena were occurring at the bar. After another 13-month period a second survey was conducted in order to compare disturbances against the results of the initial survey. The results of the second survey showed that poltergeist disturbances had ceased, having been replaced by disturbances seen in haunt cases. After researching possible causes of RSPK, it was concluded that the suspected RSPK agent may have been experiencing Spiritual Emergency which manifested as poltergeist activity. This in turn could have attracted a discarnate entity/entities that remained on the premises after the suspected RSPK agent had ceased employment at the bar.

 

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

Those of you that follow this blog regularly will remember previous mentions of the ParaMOOC (click here, and here), a free, massively online course built around a series of high level lectures presented by researchers in the field

The next course, ParaMOOC 2017 will start on January 16th with live sessions through February 24th, and end-of-the-month discussion forums until August 31st. The course will consist of around 15 live (real time) presentations from guest lecturers, illustrated with slides, not to mention a few presentations from us, as well as weekly discussion forums.

Up to now the following researchers, from different countries, have confirmed their participation:

Peter Bancel (PhD, France), Daryl Bem (PhD, US), Ed Kelly (PhD, US), Jack Hunter (PhD candidate, England), Alexander Sech Junior (PhD, Brazil), Christopher Laursen (PhD, Canada), Everton de Oliveira Maraldi (PhD, Brazil), Ohkado Masayuki (PhD, Japan), Julia Mossbridge (PhD, US), Gerhard Mayer (PhD, Germany), Alejandro Parra (PhD, Argentina), Christine Simmonds-Moore (PhD, US), Charmaine Sonnex (PhD candidate, England), and Fabio da Silva (PhD, Brazil).

Some of the lectures are:

Daryl Bem: Feeling the Future: Laboratory Experiments on Precognition

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Daryl Bem, PhD

Christopher Laursen: Parapsychology and the Poltergeist

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Christopher Laursen, PhD

Julia Mossbridge: Predicting the Unpredictable: Evidence and Working Model

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Julia Mossbridge, PhD

Ohkado Masayuki: Children’s Prenatal and Perinatal Memories

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Ohkado Masayuki, PhD

Christine Simmonds-Moore: Synesthesia and Psi

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Christine Simmonds-Moore, PhD

Charmaine Sonnex: A Review of Non-Contact Healing: Trials and Tribulations

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Charmaine Sonnex, PhD Candidate

For enrollment (free) and additional information follow the link.

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

I recently published a paper about auras. Its title is “The Variety of Aura Experiences” (Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 2016, 80, 223-229). The paper is a call to study the features of auras.

I may summarize the paper as follows: Regardless of the large occult and experiential literature on the topic there are no studies about such basic data as the proportion of reports of specific shapes, colors and other aspects of auras in a given sample of cases, or even in repeated observations by particular individuals. To illustrate how interesting and rich the topic is I used the example of the variety of shapes of auras and presented several descriptions. It is pointed out that there is a need to study other features, as well as to conduct studies that transcend the purely descriptive, such as the study of correlates of features, something that eventually will generate testable hypotheses and explanatory models.

The descriptions include accounts I have collected in previous research, as well as published accounts. I presented examples of halos, surrounds and outlines, glows, flashes or glimmers, beams, clouds, and examples of more than one form. Here are some examples.

“Only once saw ‘aura’—very radiant sapphire blue light, round figure of the healer . . . Dazzling and extending widely around him as he entered a hall, and stood on a platform.”

“When I look at people I clearly see sort of a shine that surrounds them, on their heads, shoulders and arms, with a width reaching 20 or 30 cm., and if I look more into the shine I start to see subtle colors . . .  Also, when I fix my sight on objects . . .  I see a shine around the whole object that varies in width from 1 to 2 cm, but this shine has no color, it is white and colorless.”

“Flames came out of him, as if they were sparkling and glimmering. When his hands came close to my body . . . I noticed an energy, similar to when the hands are put close to the television, accompanied with an agreeable warmth.”

“I saw a young woman whose face transformed and radiated a reddish smoke while she was trembling.”

I wrote at the end of the paper:

“While I have only used a few published sources to present descriptions of auras, I believe these cases are enough to illustrate the variety of accounts, and how interesting the descriptions are. Yet I am not aware of any systematic descriptive study of this, or of any other aura feature. The existing literature on the topic depends on the experiences of a handful of individuals, and at present we do not have clear and systematically-collected information about the shape of the aura (and its various other features) as we have in the case of apparitions, OBEs, NDEs, and other psychic experiences . . .”

“There are of course other things to explore about aura features in addition to their perceived shape. This includes colours, the place in the body around which the aura is seen . . . and how far it extends from the body . . . Second, going beyond a descriptive catalog of aura features it is necessary to explore factors potentially related to those features . . . [such as the circumstances of the observations] . . .”

“While I have focused here on features—a particular interest of mine—there is much to do along other lines. In addition to exploring various correlates, among them psychophysiological ones, a research programme about aura vision could approach the topic focusing on the two individuals involved. These are the persons around whom the aura is observed, as well as the observer.”

 

At the End of 2016

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

Another year has gone by, and very fast. Merry Christmas to all my readers.

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I am glad to say that the number of followers of my blog has grown during 2016. This means that my blogs are not as boring as I thought they were.

As before, my blogs are classified under the following topics: Conferences and Other Events, Digital Resources, Education, Organizations and Groups, People in Parapsychology, Phenomena, Recent Publications, Voices from the Past, and Writing History. A few, such as the current one, are posted under Uncategorized.

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Alvarado (in deep thought thinking about the next blog)

One of my favorite series of blogs is People in Parapsychology. During 2016 I posted various interviews with workers in parapsychology such as:

Alexander Moreira-Almeida

Alan Gauld

Elizabeth Roxburgh

Stephen E. Braude

Stanley Krippner

Other series of blogs are Author interviews, Recent Articles About the Histories of Spiritualism and Psychical Research, and Historical Notes About Out-of-Body Experiences. The latter has included postings about the writings of Hector DurvilleRobert Dale Owen, and Eugène Osty.

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Eugène Osty

In addition, I have reported on important projects, such as parapsychology MOOCS, the Parapsychology Foundation’s YouTube channel, and the Psi Encyclopedia, produced by the Society for Psychical Research.

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Some recent blogs about articles have been: Recently Published Articles About Mediumship, New Study of Electroencephalographic Detection of ESP, Recent Articles About Poltergeists, Table Phenomena in Argentina, Survey About Synchronicity, and Statistical Power in Experimental Parapsychological Research.

Other blogs have been about particular books. Some, such as Hereward Carrington’s Eusapia Palladino and Her Phenomena, are about publications from the old days of psychical research. But others are about recently published books, such as Transcendent Mind, by Imants Barušs and Julia Mossbridge.

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In my secret identity I also work on other projects, many of which are sponsored by the Parapsychology Foundation. Two blogs about this are Third Parapsychology Foundation Book Expo,  and Parapsychology Foundation Forum: Physical Mediumship.

I also write scholarly articles, many of which are generously supported by grants from the Society for Psychical Research. These have been mainly articles about various aspects of the history of psychical research. Some blogs posted in 2016 about this work include:

Albert de Rochas, Psychic Forces and Doubles

New Article About William James and Leonora E. Piper

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Leonora E. Piper

Psychic Messages About Other Planets

Joseph Maxwell on Mediumistic Personifications

Parapsychology and the Study of the Mind: Changing the Historical Record

It has given me great satisfaction to write for the above mentioned Psi Encyclopedia,  an online project ably edited by Robert McLuhan. Several of my articles have been posted in the Encyclopedia during 2016. To date I have only posted one blog about this work. This is about Sylvan J. Muldoon and Hereward Carrington’s The Phenomena of Astral Projection.

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As for the 2017, I plan to continue along the lines that I have followed during 2016, hoping to continue to inform my readers about serious developments in parapsychology around the world and about the history of the field.

Once again, my best wishes for the Holiday Season.

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Blog Staff

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Nancy L. Zingrone and Carlos S. Alvarado

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Spotty (left) and Pinky (right). Master proofreaders.

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

In one of my last published articles, “Classic Text No. 107: Joseph Maxwell on Mediumistic Personifications” (History of Psychiatry, 2016, 27, 350-366, I will send a pdf reprint on request, carlos@theazire.org), I discuss changes of personality in mediums as discussed by French jurist and physician Joseph Maxwell. The article is basically a reprint of an excerpt published by Maxwell in his book Metapsychical Phenomena: Methods and Observations (London: Duckworth, 1905; translated from Les Phénomènes Psychiques: Recherches, Observations, Méthodes. Paris: Félix Alcan, 1903).

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Joseph Maxwell (on right) and Albert de Rochas in a seance with Eusapia Palladino in 1895

 

Here is the abstract:

“The study of mediumship received much impetus from the work of psychical researchers. This included ideas about the phenomena of personation, or changes in attitudes, dispositions and behaviours shown by some mediums that supposedly indicated discarnate action. The aim of this Classic Text is to reprint passages about this topic from the writings of French psychical researcher Joseph Maxwell (1858–1938), which were part of the contributions of some psychical researchers to reconceptualize the manifestations in psychological terms. Maxwell suggested these changes in mediums were a production of their subconscious mind. His ideas are a reflection of previous theorization about secondary personalities and a particular example of the contributions of psychical researchers to understand the psychology of mediumship.”

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Maxwell saw personification as “the presentation of statements and behaviours apparently representing foreign beings or personalities.” His work is discussed in the context of developments in Spiritualism and the study of changes of personality, such as double and multiple personality cases. “This included the cases of Mary Reynolds . . . , Félida X. . . . and Ansel Bourne . . . , among many others . . . French student of dissociation Pierre Janet . . . became known for his observations of secondary personalities appearing during hypnosis . . . This literature included much about the effects of suggestion on personation, such as Richet’s . . .  induction of dramatizations of various characters using suggestion.”

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Ansel Bourne

“Articulating previous ideas from writings about hypnosis, secondary personalities and mediumship, Maxwell insists that personifications do not depend on spirit influence, but are a function of the unconscious mind. Furthermore, he argues that such personifications depend on the beliefs of the circle surrounding the medium, and thus are a collective production, as argued by others before him . . . But Maxwell does not limit his discussion to the psychological nature of the personification. He also sees these imaginal characters as a necessary part of mediumship in the sense that researchers needed to work with, and not against them. To some extent, these personages are the assistants of researchers wishing to study mediums, and should not be contradicted while, at the same time, not be granted the status of a real being.”

However, not everyone agreed with Maxwell that mediumistic personalities were psychological creations of the medium. This was particularly the case with those that believed in discarnate agency.

One of the reasons behind my motivation to write this article was that Maxwell is not well known among English speaking researchers, even those interested in mediumship. But his work of Maxwell was an influential contribution to the psychology of mediumship, particularly in France. More broadly, Maxwell’s ideas “show not only that psychical research was concerned with psychological issues as a subject of study, but also that the ideas developed in such context contributed much to the study and theoretical conceptions of the hidden levels of the mind prevalent in the last quarter of the nineteenth-century and beyond, something documented in various ways by writings about the history of psychiatry and psychology appearing in the last decades.”

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

Many were the phenomena produced by Eusapia Palladino. She was well known for her physical phenomena, things such as table levitations and materializations, but her repertoire also included many other effects, among them changes in temperature, imprints on substances such as clay, and luminous manifestations.

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Eusapia Palladino

Less discussed were the medium’s mental phenomena. This included, among others, trances and personality changes.

One of the medium’s researchers, Italian psychiatrist Enrico Morselli (1852-1929), listed and classified Palladino’s phenomena in his book Psicologia e “Spiritismo” (Turin: Bocca, 1908, vol. 2, pp. 507-521).

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Enrico Morselli

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Here is Morselli’s list of phenomena, showing this was a rich case of mediumship. He used the words “subjective” and “objective” to refer to mental and physical phenomena. Morselli wrote: “The phenomenology of E.P. is varied and intense in the physical sphere, [but] very poor in the intellectual [one]”(vol. 2, p. 507). His classification, he admitted, was somewhat artificial because many phenomena combined mental and physical components.

Here is his a brief version of Morselli’s classification and list of phenomena:

SUBJECTIVE PHENOMENA

1. Modifications of the state of consciousness (e.g., diminution of normal consciousness)

2. Modifications of the physiological state (e.g., changes in sensory and motor functions)

3. Radiations from the body of the medium (e.g., luminous effects) [unclear why this is included here, maybe Morselli is emphasizing the subjective perception of light]

4. Auto-hypnosis (e.g., trance, catalepsy)

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Palladino in trance

5. Amnesia from the period of “trance”

6. Exteriorization of sensibility (dubious spontaneous and experimental clairvoyance) [the term is generally used to refer to the projection of tactile sensations from the body]

7. Exteriorization of motricity (parakinesis: movement of objects with slight contact with object; telekinesis: movement of objects without contact) [unclear why this is included here]

8. Hypno-magnetic susceptibility (difficult to hypnotize, easy to magnetize using mesmeric passes)

9. Exogenous susceptibility (e.g., verbal suggestion, perceptions)

10. Monodeism (fixed ideas; e.g., obsessions, beliefs)

11. Hallucinatory dream phenomena (e.g., flying and fearful dreams)

12. Automatisms (dissociative: sensory and motor)

13. Mental regression (dissociative: primitive, infantile, playful ideas)

14. Personifications (secondary personalities)

15. Communications and messages in Italian

16. Communications in languages other than the medium’s

17. Pseudodivination of thought (use of sensory means simulating telepathy)

18. Cryptopsychism (use of mental material from memory and surrounding ideas)

19. Artificial mental suggestion (various phenomena produced via suggestion)

20. Lucidity, clairvoyance, second sight (Morselli stated that the medium was incapable of this)

21. Intrahuman telepathy (spontaneous communication with distant persons)

22. Hyperhuman telepathy (communication with spirits, disbelieved by Morselli)

OBJECTIVE PHENOMENA

1. Parakinesis (phenomena with physical contact, e.g., meaningless and intelligent table movements, raising of table)

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2. Telekinesis (e.g., movements without contact, e.g., movement of tables, curtain, and various objects)

3. Weight phenomena (e.g., changes in the weight of various objects and medium’s body)

4. Thermic-radiant phenomena (temperature changes, cold breezes)

5. Acoustic phenomena (e.g., raps, sounds from musical instruments, voices)

6. Hyloplastic phenomena (phenomena producing marks or tracings on matter at a distance: e.g., writing, imprints)

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Imprints on clay

7. Zollnerian phenomena (molecular phenomena: e.g., appearance of knots in cords, apports)

8. Tangible teleplasty (apparent living form presenting consistency: e.g., touches, limbs)

9. Simple telephany (luminous phenomena: e.g., clouds, luminous points)

10. Visible, active and tangible teleplasm (organized forms: e.g., clear, unclear and human forms, limbs)

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Sketch of materialized figure

 

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

May I congratulate the Parapsychology Foundation (PF) for its 65th anniversary? Today, on the 14th of December. the PF was chartered, and the PF was officially constituted. Congratulations are also due to the PF’s President Lisette Coly.

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Lisette Coly

 Those of you who are not familiar with the PF should check an article written by the officers of the organization, published in 2001. More recently, I wrote a shorter version of this paper and mentioned some recent developments. This will appear soon in the Psi Encyclopedia, a project of the Society for Psychical Research.

As many of you know the PF was the brain-child of medium-author-entrepeneur Eileen J. Garrett who, together with congressman (she did not like to be called congresswoman) Frances P. Bolton, developed the Foundation from 1951 to later years. After Garrett died her daughter Eileen Coly, took the reigns and continued the work.

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Eileen J. Garrett

 

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Frances P. Bolton

I became a consultant for the PF in 1998, and then in 2000, my wife and colleague Nancy L. Zingrone and I moved to New York City to work with Mrs. C. (Eileen Coly) and with Lisette, who wanted to hire us to develop various projects. Those of us who worked with Mrs. C. cannot help feeling sad celebrating a PF anniversary without her. She was vital to the PF, and many are the recollections I have of her character, sense of humor, and management style. Those who knew her beyond her public persona will be aware of the richness of her personality.

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Eileen Coly

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Eileen Coly with Carlos S. Alvarado and Nancy L. Zingrone

Lisette, already the Executive Director, became President when we lost Mrs. C. and continues the work to this day. Nancy and I  recently met with her and were recollecting our work together, and planning for the future. Lisette is a fountain of creativity and our meeting was never dull or without something to be said. Thanks to her the PF keeps developing in new ways, such as an active online presence unrivaled in current parapsychology. This includes posting online a variety of materials in YouTube. This includes many old and new lectures, recent forums, the Book Expo (in which authors and editors discuss their books about psychic topics), and our unique ParaMOOC, consisting of many high level online lectures, most of which are presented by doctoral level researchers via the WizIQ system.

Under Lisette, many of these projects continue in the spirit of the old PF. It is good to see that, in addition to the old projects, such as the famous 1953 conference held at Utrecht, new events are still organized by the Foundation. As before there is a strong interest in helping the field by providing educational resources, and an equally strong interest in keeping a truly international perspective.

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First International Conference of Parapsychological Studies, Utrecht, 1953

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Keep in touch because, more is coming soon from the PF.

Once again, I congratulate the PF and Lisette Coly for never abandoning their legacy or their vision. Happy anniversary.

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Eileen and Lisette Coly at the PF’s Eileen J. Garrett Library, Greenport, Long Island