Pages Navigation Menu

Parapsychology articles and news

Spirit photographs of William Hope

Posted on Dec 22, 2008 in Mediumship, Parapsychology | 2 comments

William Hope<br />
s spirit photo

William Hope (1863-1933) was the founder of the Crewe Circle – six photographers who photographed spirits in the beginning of the 20th century. He later, around 1922, became a professional medium.


The photographs of Hope looks too good to be true, almost. Actually, his work was investigated by Henry Price from the Society for Psychical Research, who found him cheating during the photography process.

Yet, Hope continued to practice photography of spirits and even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was one of his supporters.

Over 20 of Hope’s spirit photographs can be found on flickr, by clicking here

Read More

She cured her bad cold in 17 minutes with this free simple method

Posted on Dec 14, 2008 in Healing, Health | 2 comments

A new member at our healing forums posted about a simple yet effective, so he claims, technique to fight with various health conditions. Specifically he tells about a woman whom he told it, who could help her get over bad cold in about 17 minutes.

Here’s an excerpt of what he wrote:

I finally found a woman friend with a severe cold that after 12 days was actually getting worse and while on the phone would be consumed with coughing for like 30-45 seconds straight, She did that 3 times n 5 minutes while I was on the phone with her, and she was feeling so bad and not doing any housework etc and was in consultation with her Doctor for it who told her it sounded like a virus that a lot of people were getting and it was taking them longer than 2 weeks to cure.

She stared at a small patch of skin on her hand , for 17 minutes. She reports that in 5 minutes she was about 25% better, in 10 minutes she was well over 50 percent better and and after 17 total minutes she stopped and was almost cured, felt fine, then did all the work that had been building up and didn’t cough a single time the rest of this evening, with the only remnant of her cold being a fraction of the nasal congestion.

To read more about the background and the application of the proposed method, read the original post about curing cold for free.

Read More

Participate in medium experiment

Posted on Dec 10, 2008 in ESP, Mediumship, Parapsychology, Research | Comments Off

OpenSourceScience, led by Alex Tsakiris, the host of Skeptiko podcast about parapsychology, with the help of several other people have started their long-awaited experiment to determine the possibility of anomalous information being received by mediums.

You too can help this experiment at this time. Just go to this site and fill the skeptic’s survey. It goes like this (from the site):

You’ll hear from four people. Each one wishes to connect with a deceased person. You’ll match the deceased to one of four descriptions and provide reasons for your answer. You may review and change your answers before submitting your results. Remember to explain your selection.

Here’s what you know about the deceased:
– all are deceased and somehow connected to the sitters
– all are men
– each of the descriptions match one of the deceased
– three passed away younger in life; one was only 13
– two of the names, Luke and Gabriel, have been designated as younger names, but do not necessarily correspond to younger descriptions
– one name, Bill, has been designated as an older name, but does not necessarily correspond to an older description (see below)

There’s some more explanation at the site about the controls etc.

To learn more about the experiment, download episode 59 of Skeptiko from http://www.skeptiko.com/index.php?id=70.

To discuss the experiment, join the discussion at Skeptiko forum on this topic.

Read More

Explore journal devotes issue to PEAR lab

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 in Parapsychology, Research | Comments Off

Explore – The Journal of Science and Healing had an issue which discusses PEAR lab at its research. PEAR lab – Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research – was established at Princeton University in 1979 by Robert G. Jahn, then Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, to pursue the rigorous scientific study of the interaction of human consciousness by using sensitive physical devices, systems, and processes common to contemporary engineering practice. It was one of the most known parapsychology research centers in the world.

The lab researched a wide variety of subjects, in the core of parapsychology, such as non-local mind, human-machine interaction, remote perception and more.

Now, the Explore journal opened for free a whole issue devoted to the work of PEAR lab. Articles available for download in text and PDF formats.

To read about some serious parapsychology, visit Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing

Through Dean Radin’s blog.

Read More

Dr. Caroline Watt on parapsychology

Posted on Nov 22, 2008 in Parapsychology, Research | 1 comment

Dr. Watt

Dr. Caroline Watt is a parapsychologist in the Koestler Parapsychology Unit (KPU) at Edinburgh University. She is currently a Senior Research Fellow (acting Head of KPU).

An Edinburgh online newspaper wrote an article about her and her work. Parts of the article are about ghosts research which I believe is of less interest to most readers of Mind-Energy. What I have fount interesting are some quotes of hers about parapsychology. On a question if she’s a believer she answers:

“I believe in science,” she laughs. “I would say I have probably become more skeptical over time but I am still on the fence. What I have learned is that the quality of the research is very good, probably better than mainstream psychology because you’ve got to bend over backwards to think of normal explanations and rule them out.

The article also describes the problems of the state of parapsychology research:

Resources are, of course, the big stumbling block, with parapsychology departments reliant on private finance. This means that Caroline and her colleagues are just scratching the surface and far from any meaningful explanations for paranormal experiences.

Dr. Caroline Watt join the Koestler Parapsychology Unit in 1986, and she was one of the founding members. She has published over 50 articles on parapsychology. Interestingly, many of the articles she published jointly with Dr. Richard Wiseman, a known psychologist and skeptic of paranormal.

They’ve even published a book together, called simply Parapsychology (International Library of Psychology), about 500 pages about different aspect of parapsychology.

Read More

Personal Development for Smart People by Steve Pavlina review

Posted on Oct 29, 2008 in Books, Health, Reviews | 3 comments

The book I’m reviewing today, Personal Development for Smart People, by Steve Pavlina was one of my most anticipated books lately, since Steve announced it. And I was fortunate to be sent a review copy.

I’ve already written about Steve Pavlina here and there on this site, mostly as related to his and his wife’s experiences with developing psychic abilities, mostly mediumship. I’ve also interviewed Steve’s wife, Erin Pavlina in June 2007. She is a psychic medium. But this book is not about psychic abilities at all.

Steve is one of the most known personal development bloggers today. I’ve known his site for several years now and have found him to be one of the most original and prolific bloggers on the subject. He had many unique ideas and views on many topics and his writing style is very much to my taste.

Steve has published several hundred articles on his site on various topics and it was interesting to see what he could innovate in his book. Steve promised that the book won’t be a rehash of site’s content and I’m glad to say that he delivered.

The book is just about 150 pages but it is so packed with original ideas and concepts that other writers would have smeared it at least on a handful of books. Luckily for the readers, Steve’s ability to present his ideas succinctly, without much repetition packed the book dense with information.

So what is this book about? The book presents a way of how to look at conscious personal development. The book is built from the ground, in a bottoms up approach, which gives it a somewhat philosophical kind of depth. Indeed, Steve has tried, for the purpose of writing the book, to analyze, in his mind, many of the existing successful growth practices. He analyzed them by trying to identify the most basic principles that unite all of them.

His goal was to find a set of basic principles that would be universal, meaning that they should be for everyone and for all areas of personal development and life. They should be timeless – work in the future and should have been working thousands of years ago as well. They should be collectively complete, meaning that all laws of personal growth should be based on them. And the primary principles should be irreducible. Of course, they also shouldn’t conflict with each other.

Steve then introduces the seven principles. Three core principles: Truth, Love and Power. And four secondary principles, oneness, authority, courage and intelligence. These secondary principles are based on the first 3 in different combinations.

So, part I of the book explores these principles. There’s a chapter for each of them. This is the more “dry”, philosophical part of the book, where the reader builds the foundation.

The second part of the book shows how to apply each of these principles in various areas of one’s growth process. There are chapters for habits, career, money, health, relationship and spirituality. Every area is explorer through the lens of the principles.

Some of these chapter include practical advice as to how one should analyze his situation in the given area. Usually this is done by truthfully answering some very difficult questions. Sometimes feelings and emotion are the guide. But everywhere Steve tries to be only the guide, asking the questions and showing the way one should take to analyze his situation and find the correct answer for himself, which might be different for everyone.

Whoever follows Steve’s blog knows that he changed his diet, from regular to vegetarian, then to vegan. In the last year he switched to eating only raw food. One of the positive effects that Steve mentioned from these changes and that his mental clarity improved with each of this changes. His thinking abilities improved since concentration was easier and mental fog dissipated. This book clearly shows that Steve’s mind capable of going into real depths of thought, giving the process of personal development an almost scientific approach.

The book is titled “Personal Development for Smart People”. And it delivers.

Read More

Interview with parapsychologist JJ Lumsden author of The Hidden Whisper

Posted on Oct 17, 2008 in Books, ESP, Healing, Interviews, Parapsychology, Psychokinesis, Research | 4 comments

JJ Lumsden is a UK based experimental parapsychologist who has just released his debut book “The Hidden Whisper” (See my review of The Hidden Whisper). Centring on a fictional poltergeist case in Southern Arizona, the book seeks to explain various aspects of parapsychology and where paranormal research currently stands. Lumsden gained his PhD at the Koestler Parapsychology Unit (University of Edinburgh), before moving into independent research.

Could you please start by telling about how and why you became a parapsychologist?

As a youngster, I was curious as to how things ‘worked’ in the world, and naturally intrigued by paranormal phenomena. This intrigue grew stronger as I got older; if telepathy and precognition, for example, were real – there were serious implications for our world view and how the universe operated. I didn’t enter the field because of any personal paranormal experiences, or because I wanted to prove or disprove anything. I just wanted to look into things for myself.

What do the studies of parapsychology in the Koestler Parapsychology Unit include?

Things have changed now, but when I attended (2000-2003), there was a buoyant set of research programmes in place. These were conducted by full-time staff, postgraduates working on their PhD studies, and undergraduates doing final year projects. We had a full Ganzfeld suite in the unit, so (as you can imagine) there was a fair amount of research into Extra Sensory Perception. In addition, there was Psychokinesis work, investigations into ‘haunted’ settings, and DMILS (Direct Mental Interaction with Living Systems) studies.

Between 1984 and 2003, almost two dozen people gained their PhDs at the KPU, but in recent years, following the untimely death of Professor Robert Morris in 2004, the unit has been substantially downsized. Nowadays, there are only two permanent members of staff, the laboratory space has been given up, and very few students are taken on. Today, Edinburgh University seems to prefer to focus resources on other areas of psychology.

What specific areas of parapsychology did you concentrate on?

I primarily investigated emotion and its bearing on Psychokinetic functioning (the idea that your mind can influence events in your environment).

Using ‘Random Event Generators’ to generate random data-streams of ones and zeros, (akin to lots of coin tosses with perfectly balanced coins) I looked at how highly emotive states like anger, sadness and happiness impacted on the behaviour of these devices.

Later on, I began to examine psychic healing (still using micro PK protocols), and spent time in Zululand, South Africa – working with indigenous healers (izangoma).

*The REG approach is a measure of so called micro-Psychokinesis. With micro-PK, we rely on statistical analyses to see if the behaviour of a measuring system (e.g. the REG) can be accounted for by ‘chance’ (i.e. the ones and zeros are summed, and compared with mathematical probability). This is in contrast to macro-PK events like levitation, where you can see the event with the naked eye.

What are your thoughts on the state of parapsychological research these days? After the PEAR has closed, there are not much research institutions left in the academia in the field. Why is that? Should it be different?

There’s little doubt parapsychology is going through a tough time right now, with a lack of funding and a lack of institutional support being the primary reasons.

In academia, particular research areas often come in and out of favour. Certain fields might find themselves lavished with resources one moment, and conversely, starved of them the next. I hope that parapsychology is simply experiencing a cyclical dip in appeal (and support), and that we are not witnessing any long term decline. Whilst the funding environment remains difficult, it will inevitably be more of a challenge to advance research programmes, and we should expect the field’s progress as a whole to slow.

Nonetheless, despite these tough times, parapsychology perseveres. In recent years, for example, Professor Deborah Delanoy has done sterling work at the University of Northampton, at the Centre for the Study of Anomalous Psychological Processes. Deborah has built up a unit of very capable and accomplished researchers doing valuable research. In turn, there are individual researchers dotted around various Universities who have an interest in parapsychology and who quietly work on their own experiments when they get an opportunity.

To return to the funding point, it should be pointed out that there remain a number of organisations who continue to support and promote parapsychology. These include, amongst others, the BIAL Foundation from Portugal, Trinity College, Cambridge (via the Perrot Warwick grants), and the Society for Psychical Research in the UK.

What areas of parapsychology are well researched, in your opinion, and which need much more effort?

Good question. I don’t think we’ve reached a point with any area of parapsychology where we can step back and declare: “aha – we’ve got it”. Psi (an umbrella term that’s often used when referring to ESP and PK together) is an elusive animal, and has a habit of tripping you up when you think you understand it. As I’m not holding my breath for a definitive experiment any time soon, it remains the case of patiently putting more evidence onto the pile.

Having said that, certain areas have been carefully researched for many years, and there comes a point when a sensible decision can be made as to whether more and more replications are needed, or whether we can move on – to new avenues of enquiry. The literature and meta-analyses from micro-PK research suggest the micro-PK is a valid, low order, but replicable effect. So the question that follows is how can we move things forward? Can we think of fresh methods to ramp up effects? Can we utilise new technologies to better measure the phenomena and the processes that underpin them? If a large cheque came though my letter box, I would love to instigate some MRI studies. In turn, I am always fond of experiments that try to break new ground with creative approaches. In recent years I’ve followed the Global Consciousness Project with great interest.

What are the most promising research areas in parapsychology in terms of establishing the fact that there’s something to it?

In terms of positive results, the Ganzfeld has shown itself to be an effective means of generating supposedly paranormal effects, as has the micro-PK/REG based research already mentioned. Of course, there is always the argument that these laboratory based investigations have limited crossover to the real world – which ultimately is something we need to address. But, once phenomena are established in the lab – it’s pretty likely they exist outside the lab in some way.

Some of the DMILS work has also enjoyed good results, and I’d like to see more of it, as I believe it should help us understand how psi might operate in the real world. If psi is real, it probably didn’t develop to enable us to influence the electrical current of Zener diodes (these form the basis of many Random Event Generators).

Going to your book, The Hidden Whisper, why did you write it? What was your goal in writing it? Do you think you’ve achieved this goal?

When people find out what I do, I get a whole spectrum of responses. Some smile and change the subject, others tell me it’s all nonsense, and others instruct me at great length on esoteric and quite unique universal theories.

In between, there are a lot of people who are unsure as to what parapsychology is, and what parapsychologists do. They would like to know more without enduring a lecture. So, The Hidden Whisper is for them.

Who is the targeted audience for the book?

I tried to write a book that could be picked up and enjoyed by anyone, regardless of their knowledge of parapsychology. I wanted to keep the book accessible and easy-going, and not get bogged down with lengthy didactic explanations. I also hope that people who enjoy mystery stories get a kick out of the narrative.

How much is Luke Jackson, the main character, based on yourself or perhaps other parapsychologists that you know?

Luke is a mix of real life people and fiction. I originally thought the book would take about a year to write, but it took three. Over that period Luke’s character morphed quite significantly. Luke Jackson (Mk.1) was very different to the one we see today.

Why did you select the case of poltergeist for the subject of the book. I would not consider poltergeist as a central aspect of parapsychology.

I wanted to write a book that hooked people into an interesting fast-paced story, and reckoned that mystery fiction – something with a central puzzle – was a good way to do so. I wanted to have an interesting plot which I could frame the science around. Poltergeists seemed to fit the bill.

How was the book accepted so far, by critics and by general audience?

So far, the reviews have been very pleasing… which is reassuring. A lot of time and effort was spent developing and writing the book, and if it had gone down like a lead balloon – I’d be in a right old grump. The ‘mix’ of fiction and expanded endnotes has been received especially well, which is good, as that was the riskiest part. A number of publishers I spoke with, advised me strongly against it.

One of the reviewers on Amazon suggested you write a series based on this character. Is this something you might want to consider?

There is another book, circulating in the back of my mind, but it is very different to The Hidden Whisper. I have no immediate plans to bring Luke back in any sequel, but you never know.

What other books on parapsychology could you recommend to people who are genuinely interested in it?

There are a number of good introductory books out there, including:

Irwin and Watt’s “An Introduction to Parapsychology”, Dean Radin’s “The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena”, and “Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the Scientific Evidence” (edited by Cardena, Lynn & Krippner).

Then, when you start to drill down into specific areas, there are numerous specialised titles. “Healing, Intention and Energy Medicine” (edited by Jonas & Crawford) is one I can recommend.

If people want to stay abreast of the latest research, the best thing to do is get hold of parapsychology journals, such as the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, the Journal of Parapsychology, the European Journal of Parapsychology, and the Journal of Scientific Exploration.

At the end of the book, you write about the skeptic-believer debate and how both sides need to consider that they might be wrong. What are your thoughts on the state of this debate today?

The broad ‘uninformed’ debate will tick along regardless of the facts. You find people on both sides who hold views that appear to bear no relation to the evidence. The debate between informed critics and advocates of the paranormal is more interesting in many ways, because it is one of interpretation. Informed critics are aware of the experiments and the positive results generated – it’s now a question of what they mean…

At the end of the day, I simply suggest that people form their own opinions by looking into parapsychology for themselves, from a fair and impartial starting point. It is up to both sides of the debate (proponents and sceptics) to put across their positions convincingly. They should do this backed up by evidence, not rhetoric or conjecture.

Let me thank JJ Lumsden for this great interview. I wish him best luck both in his parapsychology research and his writing career.

Read More

The Hidden Whisper by JJ Lumsden book review

Posted on Sep 29, 2008 in Books, ESP, Healing, Parapsychology, Psychokinesis, Research, Reviews, Telepathy | 3 comments

J.J. Lumsden, a UK-based parapsychologist, who did his postgraduate studies at the Edinburgh’s known Koestler Parapsychology Unit has recently published his book about parapsychology, The Hidden Whisper.

The Hidden Whisper is a great introductory book to the different aspects of parapsychology, its concepts, research accomplishments and criticism. The book tells a fictional story of a UK parapsychologist, Dr. Luke Jackson, who while heading to a professional convention in the US, stays for a week at his grandmother’s house in the deserts of southern Arizona. During this week he is asked to investigate an intriguing poltergeist case in the house of one of the local most known families.

The story-line of the investigation is by itself an interesting and thrilling story, written like a good detective book. Its style actually reminded me of Agatha Christie’s books about Hercule Poirot.

The different concepts of parapsychology are intervened in the book by the means of dialog between Luke and other characters. Since the latter are not scientists, the explanations are all on a very basic language, so that any one could understand. These parts are rich with endnotes references.

In fact, the endnotes themselves are perhaps the more important part of the book. There are about 70 page of endnotes, all going deeper into the subjects of parapsychology described in the story. So, to get more insight into the research, its results and criticism, you’ll need to read the endnotes.

The Hidden Whisper cover

The book covers the following subjects in the field of parapsychology:

  • ESP (Extra Sensory Perception)
  • Skepticism (including the “fundamental”, non-scientific skeptical arguments)
  • Spontaneous ESP, different testing methods of ESP and the results of those
  • Ganzfeld experiments
  • Meta analysis in parapsychology
  • Poltergeists
  • Macro and micro Psychokinesis (PK)
  • Presentiment research
  • Using Random Event Generators in micro PK research,
  • Cold reading and other means of pseudo psychics
  • Near Death Experiences (NDE)
  • Healing, including remote healing
  • Out of body experiences (OBE).

J.J. Lumsden wanted to show the required critical thinking of both sides of the parapsychological debate. He wants the skeptics to see the research and not dismiss everything out of hand. Similarly, he doesn’t like people jumping to fast conclusions and attaching a paranormal label to even the most strange events.

To summarize, The Hidden Whisper is both an interesting read and a book to study. The story is captivating and the quality of 70-some pages of endnotes and over 12 pages of references to studies are an invaluable resource to anyone who takes these subjects seriously.

Read More

Skeptiko Psychic Medium Research Seeks Participants

Posted on Sep 22, 2008 in Parapsychology, Research | 1 comment

Below is a new press release from Skeptiko / OpenSourceScience. Looks like the research with the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe is taking form:

Del Mar, CA, September 22, 2008—Do you want to connect with a loved one who has passed away? Skeptiko.com and OpenSourceScience.net are sponsoring a research experiment aimed at determining if psychic mediums can really deliver messages from beyond. And, they’re currently looking for participants. According to OpenSourceScience.net founder, Alex Tsakiris:

There isn’t enough quality research into medium communication. There’s tremendous public interest in the topic, but as far as tightly controlled double-blind experiments, there isn’t much. We’re hoping to find participants interested it connecting with a relative or friend who have passed away.

Those interested in participating are encouraged to send an email to: info@skeptiko.com.

About Skeptiko

Skeptiko is the first scientifically oriented Podcast exploring new research in controversial areas of science such as telepathy, psi, parapsychology, near-death-experience, reincarnation, and after-life encounters. Each episode features open, honest debate on new scientific discoveries. The show includes interviews with top research scientists and their critics.

About OpenSourceScience

OpenSourceScience.net is the first scientifically oriented website to bring the power of open source methods to the controversial areas of science such as telepathy, psi, medium communication, parapsychology, near-death experiences, and after-life encounters.

Contact:
Joni Johnston
Skeptiko
Del Mar, CA
858 225-7554
pr@skeptiko.com
www.skeptiko.com

Read More

Interview with John Chang’s Neigong student

Posted on Sep 17, 2008 in Qigong | 9 comments

I have written earlier about this Mo-Pai neigung master in A new video of John Chang – The Magus of Java. John Chang was first shot on the Ring of Fire documentary and later was featured in the book The Magus of Java: Teachings of an Authentic Taoist Immortal height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" /> by Kosta Danaos.

Kosta wrote in his book that his was not the only western student and later I posted another video, which is claimed to be of another of his western students, in 2000, performing telekinesis for the 3rd level. The video is of a poor quality, though. You can see it at Nei-kung telekinesis by John Chang’s student video

In his great blog about martial arts, Martial development, which also highlights the story of neigong and master Chang in many of his articles, Chris interviewed one of Chang’s western students. The interviewee is Jim McMillan, who’s been a long time disciple of John Chang, according to him.

Chris asked Jim the following 5 questions:

  1. How did you first become acquainted with the esoteric practice of neigong?
  2. It is often said that a traditional master will test an aspirant’s character and resolve, before deciding whether to accept them as a disciple. Did you face any such trials, or were you accepted immediately?
  3. What preconceived notions about qigong/neigong masters or methods, if any, has your personal experience since proven incorrect?
    What sacrifices–time, effort, money, et cetera–are required of a student in the Mo Pai? How do these demands compare to your previous experience in various martial arts schools?
  4. How has this training affected your physical and emotional health? Has it made your life easier, or harder?
  5. Many readers are interested in learning more about neikung, but don’t know where to start. Do you have any advice to offer?

To read Jim’s answers, head over to article at Martial Development.

It’s interesting how more and more information turns out about this interesting person.

Read More