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Approved For Reese 2003/04/18 : CIA-RDP96-00787R0N000100030002-8 r% H% Boom Times on the Psychos Frontier Glendower: I can call spirits frorn the vasty deep. Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man; But will they come Wien you do call for then, ? -Ilenry /V For all the enormous achievements of science in posting the universe that man inhabits, odd things keep slipping past the sentries. The tap on the shoul- der may be fleeting, the brush across the cheek gone sooner than it is felt, but the momentary effect is unmistakable: an unwilling suspension of belief in the and memory? Could there be a para- normal world exempt from known nat- ural law? Both in America and abroad, those questions are being asked by increasing numbers of laymen and scientists hun- gry for answers. The diverse manifes- tations of interest in so-called psychic phenomena are everywhere: - In the U.S., The Secret Life of Plants becomes a bestseller by offering an astonishing and heretical thesis: greenery can feel the thoughts of humans. - At Maimonides Medical Center in New York City, the image of a paint- DEVICE SET UP TO RECORD OUT-OF-BODY TRIP AT AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR PSYCHICAL RESEARCH Questionable procedures costumed in the prim gown of laboratory respectability. rational. An old friend suddenly remem- bered, and as suddenly the telephone rings and the friend is on the line, A vivid dream that becomes the morning reality. The sense of bumping into one's self around a corner of time, of having done and. said just this, in this place, once before in precisely this fashion. A stab of anguish for a distant loved one, and next day, the telegram. Hardly a person lives who can deny some such experience, some such seem- ing visitation from across the psychic frontier. For most of man's history, those intrusions were mainsprings of action, the very life of Greek epic and biblical saga, of medieval talc and '.astern chronicle. Modern science and psychol- ogy have learned to explain much of what was once inexplicable, but mys- teries remain. The workings of the mind still resist rational analysis; reports of psychic phenomena persist. Are they all accident, illusion? Or are ApprQiS?ld planes and dimensions of experience ing is transmitted by ESP, and seems to enter the dreams of a laboratory sub- ject sleeping in another room. - In England, a poll of its readers by the New Scientist indicates that near- ly 70% of the respondents (mainly sci- entists and technicians) believe in the possibility of extrasensory perception. - At the University of California, Psychologist Charles Tart reports that his subjects showed a marked increase in ESP scores after working with his new teaching machine. - In Los Angeles, a leaf is cut in half, then photographed by a special process. The picture miraculously shows the "aura" or outline of the whole leaf. - In Washington, the Defense De- partment's Advanced Research Projects Agency assigns a team to investigate seemingly authentic psychic phenome- na at the Stanford Research Institute. - Orth Fl9~l~? ~ r f spoons and keys apparently with the force of his thoughts. - In the Philippines, Tennis Star Tony Roche is relieved of painful "ten- nis elbow" when an incision is made and three blood clots are apparently re- moved by the touch of a psychic healer, who knows nothing of surgery or of mod- ern sanitation. - In the U.S., the number of col- leges offering courses in parapsychology increases to more than 100. - In the U.S.S.R., researchers file reports on blindfolded women who can see" colors with their hands. - I n California, ex-Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who while on the Apollo 14 moon mission conducted telepathy ex- periments with friends on earth, founds the Institute of Noetic Sciences. His new mission: investigate occurrences that will not yield to rational explanation. - In London, Arthur Koestler ex- amines psychic research with the zeal of the believer. Koestler, one of the fore- most explicators of Establishment sci- ence (The Sleepwalkers, The Act of Cre- ation), speaks of "synchronized" events that lie outside the expectations of prob- ability. In anecdotes of foresight and ex- trasensory perception, in the repetition of events and the strange behavior of random samplings, Koestler spots what he calls the roots of coincidence. In his unforgettable metaphor, modern scien- tists are "Peeping Toms at the keyhole of eternity." That keyhole is stuffed with ancient biases toward the materialistic yt,~ jar ~tlaslr~C1~Pt1'HKy~~"~'r'rY onse- ~ ~ e e r g field laymen and scientists alike by bending of psychic research. Once skeptics aban- Approved For ase.2QQ CLOCKWISE. FROM LEFT: At Durham's Psychical Re- Medical Center in New York City: Artist anti i?sycnic uigu search Foundation, Robert Morris displays test in which Swann with painting completed after his "out of body" ad- subject outside of room "influences" movement of a cat: venture in outer space: gerbil in tests for precognitive pow- sensory-isolation and telepathy experiment at Maimonides crs at The Institute for Parapsychology in Durham, N.C. Approved For Release 2003/04/18 : CIA-RDP96-00787R000100030002-8 don those prejudices, says Koestle"? 'ley some extent in the existence of some -Witted to finding phenomena. And few will be free to slF"? 2003/ 1>BrtoQW -@8 767sR000 cOiOk 0004controls necessary in a That exploration is already being conducted by a number of serious para- normalists in a wide range of disciplines. In his Foundation for the Research on the Nature of Man, in Durham, N.C., the grand old man of paranormal stud- ies, J.B. Rhine (see box page 70), still keeps watch on test animals for precog- nitive powers. At the nearby Psychical Research Foundation, William Roll and a research staff investigates "survival af- ter bodily death." In studies with a "sen- sitive" and his pet cat, Roll finds ev- idence for a human ability "to leave" RUSSIAN FINGER-READING TEST Basically show biz. the body and "visit" the animal. At the University of Virginia Medical School, Psychiatrist Ian Stevenson also studies the plausibilities of reincarnation. At the Division of Parapsychology and Psychophysics of the Maimonides Medical Center, Dr. Montague Ullman directs tests in which message senders "think" images into the brains of sleep- ing subjects. "If we had adequate fund- ing," says Ullman, "we could have a major breakthrough in this decade." In Connecticut, Businessman Robert Nel- son directs the Central Premonitions Registry, meticulously recording the prophecies of the dreams and visions that people send him. All of these researchers believe to Psychologist Gardner Murphy, profes- sor at the District of Columbia's George Washington University, and a dean of psychic researchers, "It may well turn out that parapsychology will be a mul- tidisciplinary thing, owing much to psy- chiatry, neurology ... medicine, bio- chemistry, social sciences." One of parapsychology's most famous propo- nents, in fact, is an anthropologist: Mar- garet Mead. It was her passionate ad- vocacy that helped give the Parapsycho- logical Association its greatest claim to legitimacy. After several vain attempts to enter the eminent American Asso- ciation for the Advancement of Science, the P.A. won membership in 1969-af- ter a speech by Mead. Her argument: "The whole history of scientific advance is full of scientists investigating phenom- ena that the Establishment did not be- lieve were there. I submit that we vote in favor of this association's work." The final vote: 6 to 1 in favor of admission. Immense Claims. As parapsychol- ogy gains new respectability, so do its terms gain wide currency: "psi" for any psychic phenomenon; "clairvoyance" for the awareness of events and objects that lie outside the perimeters of the five senses; "out-of-body" experience for seeming to journey to a place that may be miles from the body; "psychokinesis" for the mental ability to influence phys- ical objects; "precognition" for the foreknowledge of events, from the fall of dice to the prediction of political as- sassinations; and the wide-ranging term ESP for extrasensory perception. For all its articulate spokesmen and scientific terminology, however, the new world of psi still has a serious credibil- ity problem. One reason is that like any growth industry or pop phenomenon, it has attracted a fair share of hustlers. In deed, the psychic-phenomena boom may contain more charlatans and con- be found on the stage and in the au- dience of ten Ringling Brothers circus- es. The situation is not helped at all by the "proofs" that fail to satisfy tradition- al canons of scientific investigations. De- spite the published discoveries, despite the indefatigable explorations of the psychic researchers, no one has yet been able to document. experiments suffi- ciently to convince the infidel. For many, doubt grows larger with each ex- travagant claim. To Science and Mathematics Ana- lyst Martin Gardner (Relativity for the Million, Ambidextrous Universe), an- nouncements of psychic phenomena be- long not to the march of science but to the pageant of publicity. "Uri Geller, The Secret Life of Plants, telepathy, ESP, the incomplete conclusions of Koestler -all seem part of a new uncritical en- thusiasm for pseudo science," says Gard- ner. "The claims are immense, the proof nonexistent. The researchers, almost without exception, are emotionally com- unconscious, is all too familiar." Daniel Cohen, former managing ed- itor of Science Digest and author of the debunking volume Myths of the Space Age, remains unpersuaded by what he sees through the Koestlerian keyhole. "After decades of research and exper- iments," Cohen observes, "the parapsy- chologists are not one step closer to ac- ceptable scientific proof of psychic phenomena. Examining the slipshod work of the modern researchers, one be- gins to wonder if any proof exists." The criticism that psychics find hardest to counter comes not from sci- enlists but from conjurers. Theoretically, magicians have no place in serious sci- ence. But they are entertainers whose business it is to deceive; thus they feel that they are better qualified to spot chi- canery than scientists, who can be woe- fully naive about the gimmicks and tech- niques that charlatans may use for mystical effects. James Randi, who ap- pears on television as "the Amazing Randi," duplicates many of Uri Geller's achievements with a combination of sleight of hand, misdirected attention and patented paraphernalia, then calls them feats of clay. "Scientists who fall for the paranormal go through the most devious reasoning," Randi says. "For- tunes are squandered annually in pur- suit of mystical forces that are actually the result of clever deceits. The money would be better spent investigating the tooth fairy or Santa Claus. There is more evidence for their reality." Pure Deception. Charles Reyn- olds, editor and member of the Psychic Investigating Committee of the Amer- ican Society of Magicians, agrees. "When evaluating the research, we have found that the researcher's will to be- lieve is all powerful. It's a will that has nothing to do with religion; there are Marxists, atheists, agnostics who cling stubbornly to the ancient faith in black magic. Only now,it's called `the paranormal.' " That faith is nowhere more evident than in the U.S.S.R., which has been beset in recent years with controversial sensitives. One, Ninel Kulagina, was ap- praised as capable of causing objects to float in mid-air. As Martin Gardner notes, "She is a pretty, plump, dark- eyed little charlatan who took the stage name of Ninel because it is Lenin spelled backward. She is no more a sensitive than Kreskin, and like that amiable American television humbug, she is basically show biz." Indeed, Ninel has been caught cheating more than U.C.L.A. Psychologist Thelma Moss ex- plores the mysteries of Kirlian photog- raphy-pictures believed by some to show the "aura" of living things. Insert: Kirlian photos of normal elbow (left) and same elbow while experiencing mild electrical shock. 66 Approved For Release 2003/04/18: CIA-RDP96-00787ROGGI O008OOO GE. INSERT. DR. T CLOCKWISE FROM LIApproved, For.I$ >ee2003/04110 A i ~ s~~~ =(~Ui 00~ Q~Q QQ,Q s l fraud the Menninger Foundation prepares a biofeedback test for a who duplicates psychic feats with a combination of sleight- yogi on bed of nails: Ex-Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who of-hand, psychology and theatrical gimmicks checks set of experienced "altered state of consciousness" in outer space, "ESP" cards: Trinidadian "'sensitive" performing card clair- at his Institute for Noelic Sciences in Palo Alto, Cal.: voyance experiment at The Institute for Parapsychology. securely blindfolded. James Randi, an- alyzing photographs of Kulcshova, promptly announced that her act was "a fraud." To prove his point, he invit- ed testers to blindfold him with pizza dough, a mask and a hood. Then he pro- ceeded to drive a car in traffic. "I won't tell you how I did it," he says. "But it was not parapsychologically. It was pure deception, just as hers was." Such rev- elations have not deterred the parapsy- chologists in the U.S.S.R. or elsewhere. They freely concede that many of their subjects do sometimes cheat, but still may have paranormal powers, In and out of the laboratory, many paranormalist investigators conduct ex- periments that mock rigorous and log- ical procedure. Claims are made, and the burden of proof is shifted to the doubter. Ground rules are laid down by the psychic subject and are all too eagerly accepted by his examiner. If the venture proves unsuccessful, a wide range of excuses are proffered: an un- believer provided hostile vibrations; the subject was not receiving well; negative influences were present; testing rules were too restrictive. It is all reminiscent of the laws in Through the Looking- Glass, where people approach objects by walking away from them. And it cre- ates an atmosphere in which even a gen- uine paranormal subject might have a hard time certifying his abilities. No one has contributed more to the paranormal explosion than Uri Geller, the handsome, 26-year-old Israeli for- mer nightclub magician who seems equally adept at telepathy, psychokine- sis and precognition. "I don't want to spend my whole life in laboratories," Geller recently told TIME London Cor- respondent Lawrence Malkin. "I've just done a whole year at Stanford Research Institute (TIME, March 121. Now I'll go on to other countries, and let them see if they know what it is I've got." Death Threats. At the Stanford Research Institute Geller successfully worked most of his repertoire of mir- acles. In a film made by S.R.I., Geller picks the can containing an object from a group of identical empty cans, influ- ences laboratory scales, reproduces drawings scaled in opaque envelopes, deflects a magnetometer and correctly calls the upper face of a die in a closed box-eight times in eight tries. If tel- ler's prowess with dice is indeed para- normal, it raises serious and disturbing sor Ray Hyman calls "incredible slop- work. But the S.R.I. scientists are not piness," then other disturbing questions taken aback. One, Russell Targ, plac- may be raised. Assigned by the Depart- idly remarks, "The things you are tell- merit of Defense to report on the won- ing us agree very well with things that drous happenings at S.R,I., Hyman, ac- flat IS.R.I. Colleague Harold Puthoff) companied by George Lawrence, DOD and I believe but we can't prove." Adds projects manager for the Advanced Re- Astronaut Ed Mitchell: "Uri, you're not search Projects Agency, caught Geller saying anything to us we don't in some in some outright deceptions. way already sense or understand." The Unhappily for Geller, his powers text raises some troubling questions. Is have a tendency to vanish in the pres- Puharich indeed in touch with what he ence of sleigh t-of- han d men. On the To- calls "my editor in the sky"? Is his ac- night Slrow, where Johnny Carson in- count of the S.R.I. meeting as true as stituted airtight controls at Randi's his reasonably accurate report of Uri's suggestion, nothing that Geller attempt- meeting a year ago with the editors of ed (during an embarrassing 20 minutes) TIME? If it is, why have the S.R.I. sci- seemed to work. After a group of Eng- entists failed to mention Uri Geller's lish magicians made plans to catch him contacts with outer space? Are they ri~ PSYCHOLOGIST TART WORKING ESP MACHINE Searching for a wider kind of self. in the act during a British tour, Geller abruptly canceled out, citing mysterious "death threats." In the long run, however, Geller's friends may well be more damaging to his cause than are his detractors. This spring the reputable old firm of Dour bleday will publish a book entitled Uri by Dr. Andrija Puharich, who brought Geller to the U.S. from Israel. In a crude mishmash of Mission: Impossible, 2001 and the James Bond series Puharich , CLOCKWISE FROM UPPER LEFT: (author of a previous volume on the psy- Psychic Uri Geller, whose reputed abil- chedelic effects of mushrooms) soberly ity to bend objects with his mind has describes his adventures with Geller. stirred sharp debate; ESP test at the From outer space, highly intelligent American Society for Psychical Re- computers called SPECTRA communi- search; Lie Detector Expert Cleve Back- sate through taped messages, which dis- ster with plant that he believes can appear. "We can only talk to you "read" his thoughts; in psychokinesis through Uri's power," says the mystical test, subject tries to influence sequence voice. "It is a shame that for such a bril- in which bulbs will light. liant mind we cannot contact you di- BEHAVIOR once by ' Soviet Est" s~ ~ H~ h` tiP0o&i0~1~8~~h~1}86~II078teF.~0,Q~~101~0a01fi(ii?ia$ly meets the in- Another Russian . y, osa ales r S.R.1.'s tests were indeed conducted vestigators from S.R.I., he confesses that ova, can "read" with her fingertips while with what University of Oregon Profes- outer-space intelligence directs his properly fearful of that most irrefutable antidote to non- sense: laughter? Or were they, as they now claim, merely "humoring" their subject? Almost as impressive as Geller's rise to fame is the phenornenal success of The Secret Life of Plants (Har- per & Row; $8.95), a vol- ume that is unaccountably placed on the nonfiction shelves of bookstores. The work of two occult journal- ists, Secret Life is an anthol- ogy of the absurd, costumed in the prim gown of labo- ratory respectability. In it are researchers like Cleve Backstcr, a lie-detector ex- pert who attached the ter- minals of his machines to plants. Behold! The vegeta- tion reacted to his thoughts. Most scientists have greeted the experiments with open skepticism-with good rea- son. After his plants would not respond for a visiting Canadian plant physiolo- gist, for example, Backster offered an interesting hy- pothesis: the plants "fainted" because they sensed that she routinely inciner- ated her own plants and then weighed the ashes after her experiments. Backstcr is the essence of conserva- tism compared with the book's more ad- venturous researchers. A New Jersey electronics buff, Pierre Paul Sauvin, at- tached a Rube Goldbergian machine to his plants, and then spent the weekend with his girl friend at a place 80 miles away. He found that even at that dis- tance the plants had responded to his sexual relations with the girl. The tone oscillators went "right off the top," he says, at the moment of orgasm. In Japan, Ken Hashimoto, another polygraph expert, discovered that his cactus could count and add up to 20. George De La Warr, a British engineer, insisted that young plants grew better if their "mother" were kept alive. Ironi- C010R SlREAP(TOP) 004 SNYOEA-HORAP1'C1gyO%0,,. 0dR1(7L BT72GP ('4E 04I1E8YGflCIAKRDP96c00787R000100030002-8 69 catty, the a 2003/04/4-9-t CI4' P-96s007'8 0 18 is." Stanford Professor selves to sot c, significant facts about Moss, who has taken more Kirlian pho- illiam Tiller, an enthusiast of the botany. Plants do respond physiological- tographs and done more experimental paranormal, is more assured about the ly to certain sound waves. Talking to a work with them than anyone outside technical cause of Kirlian phenomena plant may indeed make it healthier, be- cause it thrives on the carbon dioxide ex- haled by the speaker. Many psychics and (heir followers believe that paranormal powers may be dependent on mysterious auras or "en- ergy flows," phenomena that they say can be recorded by Kirlian photogra- phy. The technique, developed in the late 1930s by Russian Electronics Ex- pert Semyon Kirlian and his wife Va- lentina, involves introducing a small amount of high-voltage, high-frequency current into the subject and recording the subsequent discharge on photo- graphic film. The result is a photograph showing all "energy body"--a weird aura-around the plant, animal or hu- man part being photographed. Soon, Kirlians claimed that photo- graphing a portion of a leaf, for exam- ple, would produce the aura of the en- tire leaf on film. Some psychics claim that in time the aura of a missing limb might be discernible with Kirlian pho- tography. Today the process is an in- tegral part of paranormal exploration. In the U.S. the leading proponent of the Russia. Moss, a former Broadway actress, on film. -"What we're looking at," he maintains, "is cold electron discharge." Sickly Tissue. Says L. Jerome Stan- ton, author of a forthcoming book on auras and Kirlian photography: "Per- haps some day the technique will be a valuable diagnostic tool. Maybe sick people do have different 'auras.' But as of now, there is no assurance that it is at all useful." Though not accusing Kirlian researchers of faking effects, Stanton notes that the famous "phantom leaf' is easy to duplicate by double-exposing the film, first with the whole leaf, again af- a portion has been removed, and that ter different voltages and conditions can change the picture in incalculable ways. "Working with advanced equipment," he says, "1 could produce Kirlian effects that would astound the unsophisticated, and that includes a lot of scientists and physicists. Remember, electronics and photography are two very complicated found her interest in parapsychological phenomena kindled after 151) therapy. "From the first," she recalls, "I intend- ed to specialize in parapsychology be- cause of the glimpses of psychic phe- nomena I experienced during the LSD treatments. But I certainly don't feel the need to use drugs any more ... When you've gotten the message, you hang up the phone." For Moss, the message is that Kirlian photography clearly dem- onstrates a human aura. "We have done work with acupuncturists and [psychic] healers," she says, "and we find that the corona of the healer becomes intense be- fore healing, and then afterward is more relaxed and less strong. We think were looking at a transfer of energy from the healer to the injured person." Others are less certain. Writing in the Photographic Society of America journal, Bill Zalud concluded, "All spec- ulation hinges on obtaining photographs of normal tissue patterns for compar- ative purposes and, so far, no one has really determined what a normal Kir- A Lon History of Hoaxes The first professional organization to study paranormal phenomena was the British Society for Psychical Research, founded in 1882. Among its membership were prominent scholars and scientists -men of unimpeachable credentials and high moral character. They soon discovered and enthusiastically reported on [lie telepathic abilities of five little girls, daughters of the Rev. A.M. Crecry. The mentalist millennium was at hand. Six years later, the girls were caught cheating and shamefacedly admitted that they had fooled the investigators. They were the first in a long series of de- ceivers of scientists. The society's next major project was an investigation of two "sensitives" from Brighton, G.A. Smith and Douglas Blackburn. Smith would allow himself to be blindfolded, his ears to be plugged, his body to be thoroughly blanketed; yet somehow the thoughts of Blackburn reached him. This time, it seemed, the S.P.R. had really justified its existence. When Smith left the S.P.R. in 1892, no other comparable sensitive could be found. Still, the members had seen the telepathy performed with their own eyes; the evidence was held acceptable. It was not until 1908 that Blackburn ad- mitted deceit. "The whole of these al- leged experiments were bogus," he later wrote. The remainder of his statement has echoed to this day: "[Our hoax I orig- inated in the honest desire of two youths to show how easily men of scientific mind and training could be deceived when seeking for evidence in support of a theory they were wishful to establish." The American Society for Psychical Research, organized with the help of Philosopher William James in 1885, suf- fered similar embarrassments. Yet it pursued its quarry with vigor. As James had noted, "To upset the conclusion that all crows are black, there is no need to seek demonstration that no crow is black; it is sufficient to produce one white crow." But after 25 years of read- ing psychic literature and witnessing phenomena, James admitted that he was "theoretically no further than I was at the beginning, and I confess that at times I have been tempted to believe that the Creator has eternally intended this de- parture of nature to remain baffling." Other researchers had not been humble or uncertain. Late in the cen- tury, a self-styled sensitive named Henry Slade toured the U.S. and Europe mak- ing objects vanish and swinging com- pass needles without the aid of a mag- net. lie was so convincing that a German scientist published a book, Transcendental Physics. devoted to Slade's accomplishments. Again, the psychic millennium seemed imminent. But in his biography, A Magician Among the Spirits, harry houdini reported that the conjurer was simply a fraud with a dazzling technique; Slade later con- fessed that it was indeed all an act. 70 Approved For Release 2003/04/18 : CIA-RDP96-00787R000100030002-8 TIME, MARCH 4, 1974 The most irresponsible and odious niche in the world of the paranormal is occupied by the psychic healers, who cannot operate legally in the U.S. but lure unfortunate Americans overseas with claims of spectacular cures. Diag- nosing illnesses and locating diseased or- gans by purely psychic means, they per- form operations by plunging their hands through what appear to be deep inci- sions to grasp and remove sickly tissue. In the Philippines, currently the center for psychic surgery, a number of con- jurers use sleight of hand and buckets of blood and animal parts to work their wonders. Surrounded by adherents who have been "cured," the ill-educated and often filthy surgeons perform "opera- tions"-slashes of the epidermis, knives in the eye cavity, fingers in the abdomen -sometimes painlessly and always with great flourish. As one witness to such "surgery" de- scribes it: "The healer pulled some tis- sue from the area of the `operation' ... froth Tony's hand ... I wanted to have valid medical tests performed on it. The tests, conducted in Seattle, showed that the tissue was `consistent with origin from a small animal ... there is no ev- idence in any of this tissue to suggest that this represents metastatic carcino- ma from the breast of the patient.' " Tom Valentine, author of a book on per- haps the best known of the psychic sur- geons, Tony Agpaoa., documents the ex- perience of a Mrs. Raymond Steinberg of Two Rivers, Wis. Tony "made a ma- jor production" of removing a piece of metal and several screws that had been surgically placed in her hip after an au- tomobile accident. X rays later showed that Agpaoa had removed nothing. True Believer. But the psychics, and those who profit from them, remain undaunted. In a few months, the respect- able publishing firm of Thomas Y. Crowell will publish the story of yet an- other psychic healer, the late great Bra- zilian Arigo, Surgeon of the Rusty Knife. The author: John Fuller, whose pro-fly- ing-saucer books Incident at Exeter and The Interrupted Journey were big sellers during the UFO craze of the 1960s. The afterward is written by Geller Biogra- pher Puharich, who in Uri incidentally tens 01 ex terrestrial Intelligence as- suring him that Arigo was not hurt in his fatal car accident in 1971: "There was no pain. He left his body before the crash." No amount of demonstrable fraudu- lence, no exposure of the fake, the ma- nipulator, the unscrupulous, ever seems capable of dissuading the true believer in paranormality. James Fadiman, of the Stanford School of Engineering, be- lieves that "most (but not all) para- psychologist demonstrators are also frauds," then gives the classic rationale: "Look at it this way. You think you have powers of clairvoyance, and finally you become a celebrity because of it. You're on the stage or in an experimental sit- uation and sometimes your powers fail you. They do very often for most of these guys. So what do they do? They cheat." Robert Benchley once separated people into two categories: those who separate people into two categories and those who do not. Parapsychologist Ger- trude Schmeidler of New York's City College is in the first category. Her stud- ies show that on the issue of para- psychology her subjects divide into be- lieving sheep and doubting goats. The sheep almost invariably score higher in tests of paranormal powers. Will the sheep ever convince the ruminating searchers have also used questionable the number of correct guesses fall be- Perhaps parapsychology's most gul- lible proponent was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the superrationalist detective Sherlock Holmes. Doyle re- mains the greatest proof that intelli- gence and scruple cannot compete with naivete and the desire to accept the par- anormal as demonstrable fact. After the death of his son in the Great War, he turned to spiritualism for solace. This led, in time, to investigations of spirits, and eventually to little winged creatures in the bottoms of gardens. In his 1922 volume The Conning of tlrc F'air'ies, Doyle reproduced photographs of a tiny gob- lin and elves caught by a child's cam- era, The pictures were manifestly staged; the entire project made all but the blind- est believers wince. One who did not was a young American botanist named J.B. Rhine. After an inspiring Doyle lecture on spiritualism, Rhine and his wife Louisa immersed themselves in lit- erature published by the Society for Psychical Research. When Rhine later joined the faculty of Duke University, he began. a lifelong devotion to psychic research. It was he who coined the terms extrasensory perception and psi (for psychic phenomena); it was he who gave his specialty an academic imprimatur by compiling mountains of statistics about psychic subjects who could "read" cards that they could not see. From the start, Rhine was criticized low average and "displacement" when subjects call the card before or after the one they are trying to guess.) H.L. Menc- ken summarized the early views of the dubious when he wrote, "In plain lan- guage, Professor Rhine segregates all those persons who, in guessing the cards, enjoy noteworthy runs of luck, and then adduces those noteworthy runs of luck as proof that they must possess myste- rious powers." Rhine tightened his lab- oratory conditions in the i930s, and much of the criticism withered-but so did his ESP stars. In the 1960s a psychic superstar came along in the person of Ted Serios, a hard-drinking, onetime bellhop from Chicago. Serios' gift was definitely off- beat: lie produced pictures inside a Po- laroid camera using nothing but his mind and a little hollow tube he called his "gismo." Reporters Charles Reyn- olds and David Eisendrath, who ob- served Serios at work in Denver, had little trouble constructing a device that could be secreted inside a gismo to pro- duce all of Serios' effects. The instru- ment contained a minuscule lens at one end and a photographic transparency at the other. When the device was pointed at the camera lens and the shutter was clicked, an image was recorded on film. The Reynolds- Eisend rath story was printed in Popular Photography and many of Serios' followers were shattered. Again the millennium was deferred. Approved For Release 2003/04/18 : CIA-RDP96-00787R000100030002-8 BEHAVIOR goats? Will the goats ever underr the faith of o~1?2~dmva4cFvst* _ secf ' w/os ~j fd t niversrtY of Virg r TR Q00 n- J 0414 ,f 00 Jcc- hou the rndulgs prove depress- events have occurred. five researchers. To date, those demon- in y negative, it is unlikely that acad- Just a few years ago what smug strations have not been made. emies or foundations would encourage Western rationalist would have accred- Any close examiner of psychic in. more chairs, or promote further psychic ited acupuncture? Yet the ethnocentric vestigators and reporters will find a new investigations. prejudice seemed to disappear almost at, meaning for Koestler's roots of coinci- In a way, it is rather a pity that the a stroke when the Western world dence. A loose confederacy of parapsy- sheep cannot get together with the goats. learned of James Reston's appendix op- chologists parodies the notion of the sci- At the very least, the paranormal es- eration. The Now York Times columnist entific method. Harold Puthoff, one of lablishment has questioned the dogma, submitted to acupuncture after surgery the two S.R.I. investigators of Uri Gel- emphasized the ignorance and under- on a trip to China in 1971; thereafter, lei, is singled out in The Secret Life of lined the arrogance of modern medicine the unorthodox method was examined Plants as a reputable scientist who has and science. Indeed, modern doctors throughout the U.S. Today acupuncture been experimenting with the response? have scarcely breached the frontiers of is under intense study at several med- of one chicken egg to the breaking of an- the mind. Science has all too frequently ical centers. Although some of the ben- other. He is also a promoter of the bi- destroyed the layman's sense of wonder eficial effects of "paranormal" medicine z.arre and controversial cult of Scicntoi- by seeking materialistic explanations for have been acknowledged by Western ogy, which Ingo Swann, another psychic all phenomena. scientists, they are still at NATIONAL T T11CR As C.P. Snow says: "Scientists re- L, t., .,L, r,. =ro - - '-p-- Y,vu,. I %:.,tapN by the brain, why should Sometimes painlessly, always with flourish. there are reasons why the roll of the dice it not influence the roll of and turn of the cards sometimes appear dice? Or make a plant respond? tested by S.R.I., also practices. William to obey the bettor's will. Perhaps the In an epoch when the new physics Targ, a Putnam executive, recently con- laws of probability are often suspended. posits black holes in the universe and tracted to publish Astronaut Ed Mitch- Perhaps Geller and other magicians can particles that travel faster than the speed ell's forthcoming book, Psychic Explo- indeed force metal to bend merely be- of light, and has already confirmed the ration, A Challenge for Science. At the cause they will it. Perhaps photographs existence of such bizarre things as ncu- signing, Targ stated that "the real race can be projected by the mind. Perhaps trinos that have no mass or charge, an- now between the Russians and us is in plants think. timatter and quasars, why should any the area of sciences like lisp." Mitch- Perhaps not. phenomenon be assumed impossible? ell's Institute of Noetic Sciences helped There is only one way to tell: by a What is wrong with Physicist Sir James to fund S.1 11's Geller research, which thorough examination of the phenom- Jeans' attempt to give coherence to an was conducted largely by Puthoff and ena by those who do not express an a unruly cosmos: "The universe begins to Russell Targ, who happens to be Editor priori belief. By those for whom proba- look more and more like a great thought Targ's son. bility is not a mystique but a cornpre- than a great machine"? The questionable connections of hensible code. By those who have noth- The psychic adherent's reply is sim- many psychic researchers, in addition ing to lose but their skepticism. Until pie: anything is possible. But simply say- to the paucity of objectively verifiable re- such examiners are allowed to play the ing that it is so and then supporting the sults in their work, has made it difficult psychic game, it is unlikely that the contention with shoddy or downright to raise funds for research; parapsychol- paranormal will escape the ambiguous fraudulent evidence, is not enough. Psy- ogists barely squeak by with money from utterance against it in Leviticus: "Do not chic phenomena cannot be accepted on a few foundations and gifts and encour- turn to mediums or wizards; do not seek agement from occasional philanthro- them out, to be defiled by them ..." And *A process by which one can learn to control in- pists like Stewart Mott and Manhattan that most wondrous and mysterious of voluntary bodily functions (such as heartbeat) through the visual or aural monitoring of physi- Realtor John Tishman. There is only entities, the human mind, will remain ologicat data. one academic chair on parapsychology an Underdeveloped country. 72 Approved For Release 2003/04/18 : CIA-RDP96-00787R000100030002-8 TIME, MARCH 4, 1974 - .., ............. .. ,. v--- may WA- led from one brain to all- 1S It not possible that ~ru "t"` ~u~w uv,u oc?uua s' tinY Some first-rate minds have -ez gnoran t research aches can be literally y 1 ~~ f is used to lend legitimacy to the most ILI- w child's siren th but the adult's weakness. of the parts of their bod- g That observation is even more valid to ies at will; migraine head- +,t da when shodd or ii p ans., make many of those hypotheses, they in,^nntrm,Prtihl~ s~~,;, ' ~~. _. Y .ILI ties in To ek1 As for the parapsychologists who what are normally invol- `''- - ~ $a _ '{ ?'? '"?? ^'? `"" .. ,,.,,..,.,,.,r w ...v u... r _ "fEmensity of the unexplored and a toter with biofeedback* has '' fl ,.,u~.,,, UIUL ~u,&,U,:,,tu,cutIssup- skeptics that the~? 4, pressed." As Martin Gardner believes, shown "Modern science should indeed arouse clc y we fakery. Yet the new ve rn oesn t give you per- .... _ 5... .~.' ~ ,,,,