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Fre14-se"--260/08/07 : CIA-RD96-00 SG1J Managing the Psychic In Criminal investigations By THOMAS J. GORDON.. - JERRY J. TOBIAS The term "extra sensory per- ception" possesses a certain fascination and magical charm. To many. it conjures up images of strange and mysterious events. The thought of an individual pos- sessing the ability to read thoughts, predict the future,or reveal the past seems incred- ible. Yet, the media reports these occur- rences with considerable regularity, and professionals are showing increasing in- terest in this phenomenon. I list:at:a:ally. the term came inaz general use during the 1930s and suggests unusual human abilities which are scientifically unexplainable. These are often referred to as "psychic powers" and looked upon as supernormal or paranormal, as they do not adhere to the accepted principles of scien- tific knowledge or exploration. Psychic and Police Work Perhaps at this time you are wondering: "What does this have to do with police work?" The answer is quite simple. With increasing frequency, law enforcement officials involved in investigations are being approached by individuals who claim to posFss powers of extrasensory perception and wish to offer their services. However, to the average police officer. often skeptical by nature and suspicious by virtue of training, the psychic is placed in the same category as one who reads tea leaves or tarot cards and is viewed with little credibility. The fact that police officers view the services of a psychic with less than en- thusiasm should not be surprising since police organizations are typically among the most conservatiye of social institutions. Officers are trainaA toeon/Islet investiaa- lions in an orderly fashion. They develop and organize leads, gather and maintain evidence, interview witnesses and/or sus- pects. and proceed in a methodical deduc- tive manner. Consequently, the introduc- tion of a paranormal investigative technique not only raises the specter of the occult, but is often perceived as damaging to the credibility, expertise, and professional prerogatives of the police. In a sense, it is an embarrassment. While it is true psychic "investigators" have been consulted in a number of police investigations, they are typically brought in out of desperation on the part of the authorities, and then only when the inquiry appears stalled and intense pressure for ? )2-x-fte.t.a.,t, 00280008-4 a results is being exerted by the media ar community. Needless to say, the use of parapsyche ogical investigative techniques by la enforcement officers remains a contmve sial issue. However, despite these co cems. individuals with bona fide psych ability offer a unique and potentially vai. able investigative skill. Thus, it is not U intent of this article to encourage or di courage the use of the psychic, but rather provide some general auidelines for a management of psychic investigatio should a decision be made to proceed in tt, direction. Guidelines The first and perhaps most important st in managing psychic investigations is t selection of the psychic(s) to be involved the cast. This process can be facilitated contacting reputable institutions or orgas zations involved in psychic research whi may be able to provide a list of prospei or identify individuals who have demc strated a "track record" in other investif tions or within a laboratory research settir Proceeding in this fashion accomplishes least three objectives: ( I ) identification THOMAS J. GORDON is currentty employed in an administrative capacity with the Oakland County Oflice of Substance Abuse Services and has served on a part-time basis with the Hazel Park Police Department for over nine years. He holds the B.A. in psychology and M.A. in clinical psychology from Oakland Uni- versity arid is currently a doctoral candidate in educational/soc- ial psychology at the University of Michigan. JERRY J. TOBIAS. Ed.D., P.O. Box 503, Bloomfield Hills, Michi- gan 48013, is a professor of education and human services at the University of Detroit, and a youth officer for the Southfield Township, Michigan, Police Department. ? Approved For Release 2000/08/07 : CIA-RDP96-007.88R00010028000874 58 THE POUCE CHIEF/MAY 1979 Approved For Release 2000/08/07 : CIA-RDP96-00788R000100280008-4 - tor whom there is some docu- ,.Ividence of psychic ability, (2) in- rig the chance of success in the invcs- on, and (3) providing further legiti- 2tion for the decision to explore para- Irma] investigative techniques. Next, a series of operational decisions ust be made. Although situational cir- =stances may require some alteration in ae 'following recommendations, each sould be carefully considered: 1. The decision to engage in psychic Ivestigation should be kept confidential ? after the psychic has completed the ask, It has been our experience that aaintaining the confidentiality of the ?per- lion until its completion allows thc psychic D work unfettered by pressures and caper- tions external to the investigation. It also naintains the propriety of the investigative -ffort and virtually eliminates the potential gra "circus" atmosphere. 2. The selection of a team of officers to work with the psychic is of central impor- !once. The team should be composed of at least two or three officers who are fairly zpen-minded in regard to the existence of psychic ability. It must be remembered that while most psychics expect some skcpti- concerning their abilities. hostile or --Tr( skepticism may divert their attention ultimaieiy decrease their effective- ness. Consequently. the selection of mem- bers may be crucial to the success of the 'operation. Likewise, the recommended use of more than one officer has practical implications since it will normally allow sufficient man- power for operational security and logistics (e.g., travel to the crime scene, securing and transporting evidence for the psychic to review, etc.), as well as provide additional opinions, observations, and/or corrobora- tion during debriefings, reviews, or brain- storming sessions. 3. Initially, officers assigned to work with the psychic shoulg have only general familiarity with the facts of the crime. Since many bona fide psychics appear to have telepathic ability, this recommendation is not really as unusual as it may first appear. This is particularly important if one is seri- ously interested in validating the legitimacy .of the psychic's findings as opposed to find- ing out what is already known. For exam- ple, there have been several cases in the recent past where well-known psychics have either been called in or give volun- teered to a.ssist the police. Unfortunately, results of these consultations frequently I.?ad something like this. "While Mr. Psychic was unable to provide authorities with any substantial new leads, officials were amazed that he confirmed information previously known only to the police." The point is this, while the confirmation may have been reached independently, it is likely the psyohic unwittingly elicited the information telepathically from the officers around him.' ? 4. All working sessions and interviews with the psychic should be tape recorded. These tapes should then be transcribed by a typist so that a written record of the psychic's impressions, statements. feel- ings, and concerns regarding the case can be maintained for later review and analysis. Needless to say, the use of parapsychological In- vestigative techniques by law enforcement officers remains a controversial issue.... 5. Initially, provide the psychic with general but limited information on the case. This will allow the psychic to develop im- pressions without being unduly influenced by more specific details. As progress is made, more information can be provided and verification of the psychic's impres- sions with existing knowledge about the case(s) can be given. However an exces- sive amount of time should not be spent verifying existing knowledge since this may detract from the primary objective of eliciting new information. If the informa- tion the psychic "picks-up" appears rele- vain, provide supportive feedback and encouragement. This not only provides the individual some idea of how he/she is doing but may strengthen the psychic's resolve and help further focus his/her effort. After the psychic has begun to provide impressions on the case. increased contact can be made with those otficers most famil- iar with specific details of the case for purposes of verification of the psychic's Impressions and exploration of potential standardized set of questions that will pro- vide uniformity to the investigation and will allow a comparison of data if more than one psychic is utilized. Questions (tasks) might include: (I) "Can you draw a composite of your impressions of the perpetrator;" (2) Can you locate the residence of the sub- ject;" and (3) "Would you prepare a profile ? of the subject which might include age. sex, physical description, occupation, academic background. etc.'' 7. Consider the use of more than one p.sychic. This will enable the investiga- tion to proceed in a more scientific man- ner. Composites can be compared as can the responses to specific questions or tasks, thus allowing for a more controlled experiment. 8. If the investigation involves more than one case, be aware of possible cross- contamination of psychic impressions from one case to another. When this occurs, the psychic will have to he questioned in some detail to determine what elicited the impres- sion and specifically to which case he or she believes the information relates. Finally, two remaining caveats. First. while expectations can and should be placed on the psychic investigator, undue pressure to "perform" can have a negative effect on the overall resultc and, .econdly, psychic accuracy may vary censidstratly and every impression may not be useful. Consequently. careful analysis of the psychic's impressions vis-a-vis supporting evidence and/or reasonable supposition must be made. Conclusion Experience suggests only a small per- centage of professionals consider the exis- tence of psychic ability an established fact. Conversely, few professionals rule it out as an impossibility, while many feel it is simply unproven at present. Police, mean- while. remain uncertain as to its fact-find- ing potential. Whether police agencies should explore the utility of extrasensory investigative techniques remains a moot point. Certainly there is controversy; but while fraud and deceit are not unknown qualities in the realm of psychic phenomena. many intri- guing and scientifically unexplainable re- sults have been achieved under controlled experimental conditions as well as span- 4112e0U.S field situations. As with any potential advance in techno- logy or technique. ESP needs to be suffi- ciently field tested. Consequently, police executives are encouraged not to ignori this potential resource but rather place it among their arsenal of investigative tools for fur- ther experimentation and research. Perhaps TIN* Monks* suggews sAIPPAWacimEGWaRe festrit,200010 : CIA-RDP9640tt 631 optima colearf thl; .ebr owmAtt special tasks. There should be a &fined. * ? beyond Ow remit bounds al me spaca.lono cononourn Coosa 6. Be prepared to ask specific questions psychicarli t atamay. ow, mod vow io be no absolufs sway to snore ins pnroorebbn ietepenec bareateneean. ?