Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
Release Decision: 
Original Classification: 
Document Page Count: 
Document Creation Date: 
November 4, 2016
Document Release Date: 
August 25, 2003
Sequence Number: 
Case Number: 
Content Type: 
PDF icon CIA-RDP96-00792R000700290004-6.pdf590.01 KB
186 The Journal of Pardo If6 d For Release 2003/09/10 CIA-RDP96-00792R000700 logy in the Ibero-American World a high concentration of Spiritists whose beliefs threaten the estab- lished Catholic dogmas. However, when he uses parapsychological evidence of certain phenomena as a scientific backup to establish facts, when this same evidence is still very controversial for many parapsychologists, his position is untenable. Nonetheless, his work has to be seen in the cultural and ideological background from which he has w(gked (Alvarado, 1991). Another dim researchers with ion of Brazilian psychical rese ducted by the engi des Andrade, who in chobiophysical Research clear that the Institute in as well as purely psychical things about this Institute is t movement (Playfair, 1975). A ducted well-planned and detail it emerge cases along the lines of Ian Steve are particularly interesting-for e monograph entitled 0 Poltergeist de volve very dramatic phenomena: a persons, apparitions of strange cre evaluating and interpreting the ca carnate agencies hypothesis, som ponents (Alvarado, 1984b; An Amorim (1990) has remarked cases: Andrade interprets the di# case [the Guarulhos's case] ents especially in the big and Spiritist elements ecclesiastic of popular 199) and psychical research PP). The name ded to explore, ossible witchcraft com- Also, as Michel-Ange interpretation of the ent types of occur supportive of a Spiri banda tradition has se cities. It combines Africa d may be characterized as ces present in this al million adher- atholic, Indian, elatively extra- ilian sects. (p. According to A 'im, not only does Andrade inter t his cases along the Spiritist but he also accepts the central be s of this religion, such as t< existence of all sorts of spirits, like us and Umulums. He a believes that the sorcerer is able to ractice magic within th." erreiros (a place specialized in these pro ures) to harass victiti ccording to Quimbanda laws (the black magic side of the Umba ~d religion). Conce ng Andrade's interpretation of the aforementioned case of Guarulhos, Amorim (1990) also states: is the work by le is that con- 3ernani Guimar- n Institute of Psy- s chosen to make it biological and physical of the most significant rom within the Spiritist piritist himself, has con- gations of reincarnation work. His poltergeist cases le, the one published in a 4hos (1984). These cases in- damage to furniture and and spontaneous fires. In Thus, he rejects the usual attributions of RSPK outbreaks to a living agency. In defense of his position he points to the fact that a psycho- logical examination of Noemia [a participant in the case], the most prob- able RSPK agent, was conducted by two psychologists belonging to the IBPP team. He states, "Mrs. Noemia didn't display any form of psychi- cal abnormality that could justify viewing her as belonging to the `psy- chokinetic agent of a poltergeist' category in conformit with the theo- retical atterns suggested by the current hypothesis " .. He adds that his mac K tests ... of her capacities were also ative. (p. 199) It is impo t, however, to point out t to some extent the cases investigate Andrade and his as ates seem to reflect the influence of the be s and culture of zilian society (Hess, 1990). Andrade has also p 'shed one of first systematic treatises of parapsychology in Po guese en ' d Parapsicologia Experimental (1967). A basic introdu ry ma al of the quantitative method used in parapsychology, it clu a detailed description of the sta- tistical model used in expe s with ESP cards. There are other groups t Brazil who are interested in a more scientific approach to psych' esearch. One of these groups is the recently established ECLI Y- tituto de Investigacoes Gientificas em Parapsicologia. This cup at s to pursue a different approach, one separate from the ore tra 'onal approaches associated with Spiritist or Catholic entations t ical of most Brazilian research centers. It received pport from th University of Sao Francisco to organize its first c ference in para chology, held in 1990, which i included partici nts from the Uni sity as well as researchers from Argenti , Brazil, and Mexico. e group plans to conduct experimental search that will be repor in its new journal, called Revista Bras' 'ra de Parapsicologia. Accor g to its president, Wel- lington Z gari, it will include abstracts English as well as in Spanish. he journal will also include tran tions from major ex- perime al and theoretical articles publish in the English-lan- guage urnals. T re are also other groups involved in paraychology in Brazil that are beyond the scope of this paper because of limitations of space and because of our initial goal of evaluating Brazilian para- psychology from the perspective of its impact on the Ibero-Ameri- can countries. Argentina For many years Argentina has been the top-ranking country in Ibero-America in terms of experimental parapsychological research. Approved For Release 2003/09/10 CIA-RDP96-00792R000700290004-6 Approved For Release 2003/09/10 CIA-RDP96-00792R000700290004-6 188 The Journal of Parapsychology Parapsychology in the Ibero-American World 189 However, research has diminished in the last few years, partly be- lished a journal called Revista Medica de Metapsiquica summarizing cause of the recent deaths of two of the leading contributors, J. Ri- the research of the society. Included among the articles published cardo Musso and Enrique Novillo Pauli. in the journal was a study of the use of dowsers by the government Early research began in Argentina about the same time the Duke to find water in towns where the lack of water had become a hard- University Laboratory was established in the United States. The ship for its inhabitants. During this period, the work of Canavesio 1930s witnessed one of the most important events in the history of was important because of his connection to the government, a con- Argentine parapsychology. In 1931, the first institute of psychology nection that helped to legitimize parapsychological studies in Argen- was established at the University of Buenos Aires. The institute in- tina (Musso, 1973). cluded paranormal psychology as one of the areas to be investigated The creation of the Instituto de Psicopatologia Aplicada in 1948 by the department. Parapsychology appeared to be joined to psy- by the Secretary of Public Health was another important develop- chology from the beginning. The chairman of the psychology de- ment. The aim of the government was to establish tight control over partment, Enrique Mouchet, was interested in clairvoyance research the Spiritist activities in Argentina, which were considered to be a and had come to the conclusion that it was necessary to include social evil. More specifically, the aim was to control the exploitation paranormal psychology in the syllabus of courses offered by the de- of people engaged in nonscientific practices such as healing, and so partment (Musso, 1973). on. However, Argentinian researchers have had to struggle with the The Institute created a subsidiary, the Comity de Investigaciones traditional spiritualistic methodology that characterized the study of Metapsiquicas, which was assigned to conduct experimental research psychical research in this country in the past. The research being with gifted subjects, specifically during mediumistic sessions. The conducted in the young Duke Parapsychology Laboratory had a ma- Committee intended to explore the medical and legal implications jor impact on the new generation of Argentinian researchers. The of Spiritist practices, as well as to determine whether genuine para- move toward a more quantitative approach to the study of scientific psychological phenomena were exhibited during these sessions by parapsychology was pioneered by a young engineer by the name of the gifted subjects. The Committee was also interested in uncover- Josa Fernandez, who was teaching physics at the University of Bue- ing negative factors that might induce mental illness, such as neu- nos Aires. Although Fernandez belonged to a Spiritualist group rosis, in the participants. More specifically, it seems that the real ob- called ATMAN, he had been in search of an adequate methodology jective of the Committee was to determine whether the promoters to investigate the psychic phenomena manifested by mediums and of these mediumistic sessions were practicing medicine illegally clairvoyants. He hoped to be able to apply statistical principles to the (Parra, 1989). responses given by the mediums. Fernandez presented the results In 1949 Jose Fernandez founded the Sociedad Argentina de of these experiments in 1941 to a meeting of the Sociedad Cientifica Parapsicologia. Fernandez, who was already known for his quanti- Argentina. Fernandez's efforts to introduce quantitative methodol- tative approach to psychic phenomena, continued to promote the ogy in Argentina had a major impact on the approaches that other statistical approach used by the Duke researchers. This approach young researchers were to follow in establishing scientific parapsy- was reflected in the Society's main objective, which was to study and chology there. investigate parapsychological phenomena with emphasis on the de- Another development during this period was the creation of the velopment of statistical methods. By then Fernandez had received Asociaci6n Argentina Mrsdica de Metapsiquica in 1946 by a group from Rhine a copy of Extra-Sensory Perception After Sixty Years (Pratt, of physicians headed by Orlando Canavesio. The aim of this society Rhine, Smith, Stuart, & Greenwood, 1940). The book had a major was to evaluate the medical and legal status of parapsychology sci- impact on Fernandez, who applied Rhine's mathematical models to entifically and to promote its development in scientific circles as well his own research. Fernandez also circulated the book among his as to determine its proper classification, that is, to decide whether friends (Musso, 1973). the discipline belonged to psychology or physiology, or whether it The Society conducted the first serious experiments on clairvoy- could be considered to be a new branch of science. ance in Argentina using ESP cards and statistical procedures. The Canavesio himself wrote his doctoral thesis on a, study of ele}}c~~- study, with gifted subjects, obtained significant results. Fernandez troencephalographic records of giftedAspbleovedT}}For }~e1e se2D03/09/10: CIA-RDP96-0 92r o 060 *m4'-? these experiments in a pamphlet entitled Approved For Release 2003/09/10 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700290004-6 190 The Journal of Parapsychology Parapsychology in the Ibero-American World 191 Psicologia Experimental. The Society also conducted other experi- ments such as the one with the well-known clairvoyant Conrado Cas- tiglione. The study used the empty-chair technique similar to that used with Ludwig Khan and with Gerard Croiset (Musso, 1973). The first Instituto Argentino de Parapsicologia was established in 1953. It brought together several men who represented the most critical approach of the time, men such as Jose Fernandez, Orlando Canavesio, J. Ricardo Musso, and Naum Kreiman. The Institute was organized to include a main scientific research department, along with several sections, such as the medical-biological section and a physics and mathematics section. The principles of the Institute re- flected the critical approach their members followed in conducting their research. One of these was to subject every hypothesis to sci- entific examination, so that only those that would withstand the most stringent tests would remain. In addition to the creation of the Institute, this period of the 1950s was also characterized by a grow- ing interest in publishing books on parapsychology. One of the first systematic treatises on parapsychology in Spanish written by J. Ri- cardo Musso (1954) was called En los Limites de la Psicologia: Desde el Espiritismo hasta la Parapsicologia [On the Limits of Psychology: From Spiritualism to Parapsychology]. Other developments included a pa- per by Musso in 1957, which was published in a journal put out by the ministry of education of the province of Buenos Aires. It was the first time a paper on parapsychology had been published in a government review. In addition, parapsychology was incorporated as a course in five different universities. In 1960, Ricardo Musso was awarded a professorship at Rosario University to teach parapsychol- ogy, and, for the first time in any country, a course in parapsycho- logy was made a requirement for a doctoral degree in psychology (Rueda, 1989). In 1962 the Institute conducted studies confirming the sheep- goat effect, using primary-school children as subjects. The results were published in the Journal of Parapsychology (Musso, 1965). Other important experiments included "An ESP Drawing Experiment with a High Scoring Subject," also published in the journal of Parapsychol- ogy (Musso & Granero, 1973). Moreover, Musso and his wife and colleague, Mirta Granero, conducted an international experiment on long-distance ESP called the "Antarctic Experiment." Although the results were not statistically significant they were important be- cause the experiment involved subjects from twenty different coun- tries (Musso, 1973, p. 168). The expansion period of parapsychology was interrupted in thrown by a military coup; most state universities were forced to eliminate the study from their curricula. In spite of the prevailing negative conditions standing in the way of university status for the subject, a new quarterly publication was founded. The Cuadernos de Parapsicologia, perhaps the most important publication in the history of Argentinian experimental parapsychology, took the responsibility of disseminating a high level of academic parapsychology. Headed by Naum Kreiman, it has been the most professional organ of sci- entific parapsychology in Argentina to the present time. Owing to the military takeover of the government that elimi- nated most of the parapsychology courses offered at the state uni- versities, parapsychology did not enjoy the same status at the begin- ning of the 1970s as it had during the period of university expansion of the 1960s. Some new developments during this period kept the torch lit, however. Among the most important ones was the creation of the Instituto de Parapsicologia in 1970. It is headed by Naum Kreiman, a bio-statistician and a co-founder of the Instituto Argentino de Parapsicologia in the 1950s. Kreiman has played a key role in the development of the quantitative approach to the study of parapsychology for the last 30 years. From 1964 to the present he has conducted numerous original experiments as well as repli- cations of some of the most important experiments conducted in foreign countries. With the help of his wife and collaborator, Dora Ivnisky, and Ladislao Marquez, he has conducted numerous exper- iments that have been published in the Cuadernos. Among them are exploratory testing with ESP cards (Kreiman & Ivnisky, 1964); ESP using photographs as targets (Kreiman, 1965); the sheep-goat effect in ESP (Kreiman, 1972); the effect of feedback on ESP (Kreiman & Ivnisky, 1973); ESP and memory (Kreiman, 1975); memory and precognition (Kreiman, 1978); psi and volition (Kreiman & Ivnisky, 1980); brain laterality and ESP (Kreiman, 1981); precognition of human actions (Ivnisky & Kreiman, 1981); and remote viewing (Kreiman, 1983). Institute members such as Dora Ivnisky have done extensive work in keeping the Argentinian parapsychological community in- formed of activities around the world by translating numerous ex- periments and theoretical papers from languages other than Span- ish from the Journal of Parapsychology and elsewhere. The diligent experimental work done by Kreiman since the 1950s and continuing to the present time makes him one of the most important laboratory researchers in Argentinian and Ibero-American parapsychology. Another important development during this period was the cre- 1966 when the then current Argentinian government was over- f II t f arapsychology at the Catholic University of Approved For Release 2003/09/10 : CIA-RDP96-00o%0105 1j%2-6P Approved For Release 2003/09/10 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700290004-6 The Journal of Parapsychology Parapsychology in the Ibero-American World 193 C6rdoba by the Catholic priest Enrique Novillo Pauli. One of the principal activities of the Institute was to teach courses on parapsy- chology in the school of psychology at the University. The staff of the Institute also provided consultation and orientation to bishops, priests, and families about phenomena such as poltergeists and bleeding religious images. Unfortunately this institute recently closed down after the death of Father Novillo. Prior to the creation of the Institute, Novillo Pauli had been at the Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man in North Car- olina where he conducted some PK research with seeds as targets under the auspices of the Organization of American States. Novillo Pauli presented the results of his experiments at the annual conven- tion of the Parapsychological Association in 1972 (Novillo Pauli, 1973). During the period of his stay at the FRNM, he also prepared a book on parapsychology entitled Los Fen6menos Parapsicol6gicos: Psi en el Laboratorio (1975), which included reports of his PK studies. The studies were also reported in the Spanish-language parapsycho- logical journals Cuadernos de Parapsicologia (1974) and Psi Comunica- ci6n (1976). In spite of the marked decline since the 1970s, an important re- cent development is the organization of a parapsychology confer- ence in Argentina in 1987, the Primer Encuentro de Parapsicologia, It was sponsored by the University of Salvador of Buenos Aires and held under the direction of Enrique Novillo Pauli. Some of the top- ics discussed at the conference were mental healing studies, altered states of consciousness in relation to psi performance, and quantum mechanics (Alvarado, 1989b). Soon afterward, Argentina suffered the loss of two of its most important pioneers, J. Ricardo Musso, president of the Instituto Argentino de Parapsicologia (which he di- rected until his death in 1989) and, in the same year, Enrique Novi- llo Pauli. Consequently, the activities of Musso's institute declined, and the institute at the University of El Salvador headed by Enrique Novillo Pauli closed down. Since then, the Institute'of Parapsychol- ogy headed by Kreiman has remained as the most important source of professional parapsychology in Argentina. During the 1980s, parapsychology in Argentina was character- ized by a marked decline in experimental activities. Most of the work during this period was conducted by members of the Institute of Parapsychology under Kreiman, who, as in previous years, main- tained a constant interest in reporting original experiments, includ- ing replications of foreign experimental works. They also continued to publish regularly their quarterly journal, which contained trans- lations of some of the most important research published in English. Recently, a new parapsychology journal, the Revista Argentina de Psicologia Paranormal, has appeared. It is published by an indepen- dent group of parapsychologists called LAPAS (Laboratory of Para- psychology) and edited mainly by Alejandro Parra. Judged by its content, the journal seems to be a worthwhile addition to the cur- rent efforts to keep the Argentinian audience well informed on professional parapsychology. However, some of the experiments of the researchers in this group have not been well received by other Argentinian researchers, who consider the experiments to be flawed (Kreiman, 1990; see also Alvarado, 1990). LAPAS has also started a Spanish-language parapsychology information center. The Center is building a computer data bank from which Spanish-speaking para- psycholo,gists may obtain information about a bibliography on para- psychology similar to the Parapsychology International Abstracts pub- lished by Rhea White (Villanueva, 1990). In addition to these recent developments, CSICOP has made its way to Argentina. A former member of Naum Kreiman's research group, Ladislao Marquez, has created an Argentinian version called Centro Argentino Para la Investigaci6n y Refutaci6n de la Pseudo- ciencia (CAIRP). The most important aims of CAIRP are to de- nounce fraud and to promote a critical scientific assessment of the claims made by pseudoscientists. The board of directors, headed by Ladislao Marquez, also includes foreign members, Martin Gardner, for instance. The prospects for Argentinian parapsychology in the 1990s seem less favorable than those of the booming period of previous years. The present difficulties in the Argentinian economy have in- creased for researchers, making it difficult for them to obtain funds to support their research and publications. In a recent survey conducted on the present status of parapsy- chology in Argentina, Naum Kreiman reported that research has decreased substantially over the last five years. Most of the recent research reports have come from Kreiman's Institute of Parapsy- chology. Educational activities in the field are almost nil except for a course being offered at a small university called: John F. Kennedy University (Kreiman & Ivnisky, 1989). In a letter published in the Journal of Parapsychology, Jorge Villa- nueva (1990) pointed out some of the major problems that Argen- tinian researchers face at the present time. Among them are lack of support from public and private institutions, lack of serious books in Spanish to provide responsible information on the subject, and lack of proper technology and other means to conduct sophisticated research. Some of these problems, Villanueva suggests, may be di- Approved For Release 2003/09/10 : CIA-RDP96-00792R000700290004-6 .194 Journal of Parap4 R ed For Release 2003/09/10 : CIA-RDP96-00792R00070ft9~ gy in the Ibero-American World The i , minished by increasing communication and collaboration with for- eign parapsychologists. The theoretical ideas of Ralph 'U. Sierra are also interesting. Sierra, who was interested in the psychology of ESP, believed that to develop telepathy it was necessary to develop first an internal state of tranquility so that the electrical activity of the brain did not interfere with the telepathic process (Sierra, 1966). Some of the most important developments, however, took place during the last two centuries. At the educational level, it is impor- tant to note the work of Celinda Madera who, during the 1970s, Early psychical research in Pi(erto Rico was strongly influenced by the nineteenth-century Sp'ritualist movement that had also spread to other countries. M iumistic seances in which raps and communication with the spiri were common drew attention mostly from people wA~ a religiou interest. It was perhap this infl nce that led Agapito Morales to publish in 1904 a more ~'tical amination of these phenomena. In his booklet Breve Tra de ipnotismo, Magnetismo, Espiritismo y Suges- toterapia, Morales con e ded that all those occurrences could take place without assumin the action of spirit agencies. He interpreted possession as being a uggestion and attributed paranormal phe- nomena to our own syc is faculties. He considered that all of the experiments made til t ay demonstrate that there is an invisible force in our being its c. pable, for instance, of playing a guitar, lifting a table, or 1' Ling our wn bodies. According to him this force is under our co rol. He als believed that mediumistic communi- cation could be explained by means of telepathy between the me- dium and the tter. ,~ Another jor influence in thee formation of a more empirical and critical a proach to parapsych~o4ogy was the work of Francisco Ponte, a de tist who became president of the Puerto Rican Feder- ation of Sp' itists. Ponte visited Europe;in 1912 to familiarize him- self with t e work of several Spiritualistic\centers, as well as psychi- cal resear h centers. He had had the opportunity to participate in mediumi tic seances in Italy with famous ediums such as Lucia Sordi a d Eusapia Palladino. During these canes he witnessed manife tations of apparent telekinesis and terializations (Alva- rado, 987; Ponte, 1914). Later Ponte returned to Puerto Rico and trie to reproduce the same phenomena with local mediums. He reporte me of his find- ings on materializations of body parts during seances to Walter Franklin Prince, then Research Officer of the ASPR. Ponte's work was important because of the critical and empirical approach he brought to his research on seance phenomena (Alvarado, 1979a). 10 This section on Puerto Rican parapsychology partly summarizes information contained in an article by Alvarado (1979a). series of courses and lectures at different campuses of the offered of Puerto Rico. Madera's courses focused on the human- Universit anspersonal aspects of psi. She erself had received train- istic and t e University's Parapsycholo y La oratory vara o, ing at Du b (Al d 1979a). In 1914, estor A. Rodriguez E cudero, a lawyer, published a series of essa about parapsychol gy and Spiritualism in his book Los Caminos de ios. He discussed great variety of paranormal phe- nomena. His m in objective w to show that parapsychology dem- onstrates the spi 'tual aspect f man (Rodriguez Escudero, 1974). Another deve pment i 1977 was the creation of the Instituto de Investigaciones sicofi cas at the University of Puerto Rico, May- aguez campus. Fou e to conduct investigations in parapsychology and related areas, th nstitute carried out studies of various param- eters of Kirlian pho raphy and of the effects of hypnosis on ESP. However, these r ear investigations were never made available for publication. uring is period Alfonso Martinez Taboas began to publish a ne sletter Exp rando to Paranormal, a semipopular mag- azine later e ted by Carlos lvarado starting in 1976. Martine Taboas and Carl Alvarado wrote articles on parapsy- chology i Spanish for the Spa ish journal Psi Comunicacion; they also pub shed in other journals. eir articles covered a wide range of topi s. Among these, Alvarado ote on experimental studies of OBEs (1976), historical precedents f the so-called psychic discov- erie behind the Iron Curtain (1978 the use of historical knowl- ed (1979b), and on J. B. Rhine (198 . Martinez Taboas published a review of the problem of repeatability in parapsychology (1979), critiques of psychological and physiological concepts of poltergeist research (1977, 1980, 1984; Martinez Taboas & Alvarado, 1981), and a discussion of the concept of parsimony applied to parapsy- chology (1983). The work of Martinez Taboas and Alvarado has been very im- portant in the effort to bridge the language barrier between the Spanish researcher and the non-Spanish-speaking researcher. This Approved For Release 2003/09/10 : CrA-RDP96-00792R000700290004-6