Psionics -- Practical Application of Psychic Awareness

Can psychic powers be used for detrimental purposes? What are the limits of psychic ability? Certainly some inferences can be obtained by drawing upon the history, the literature, and the folk-wisdom of psi. I sometimes use the term "psionics," taken from the science fiction literature, to describe the applied branch of psi exploration.

Psionics is not particularly concerned with the truth value of scientific, pseudoscientific or religious theories about the nature of psychic functioning. It is concerned with the practical utility of such theories for individual practitioners. It is concerned with reliability, consistency and magnitude of psi effects, not in the laboratory, but in the world of business and professional affairs.

Harmful Purposes

Many traditions teach that psychic abilities can only be used for good purposes, for instance healing. Other harmful applications are said either not to work or to rebound back upon the evil-wisher. Dr. Louisa E. Rhine, who had made a lifelong study of spontaneous psychic experiences, took such a stance in responding to the question of a seventh-grade inquirer:

No Nancy, ESP could not possibly be used to hurt anyone physically or mentally. It is true that sometimes people get the false idea that someone is influencing them by ESP. They think it is by telepathy, but this is very unlikely. Telepathy seldom, if ever, works that way, for no one can send his thought to another and make him take it...

The only way a person could be hurt would be by his belief that he could be so affected. It is possible sometimes for a person to "think himself sick" for other reasons and in the same way he could think himself sick by believing that someone was affecting him by telepathy. But, if so, his sickness would be caused by mistaken suggestion, not by telepathy.

Mrs. Rhine's answer is reassuring and also reflects an understanding of the psychological mechanisms involved in mediating psi. It seems quite reasonable to think individuals can reject telepathic suggestions as easily as you, the reader, might reject any statement you read in this book. For an aware and enlightened individual this would certainly be the case. It is also the case that much of what we think of as psychic phenomena is merely due to suggestion.

The anthropological literature regarding tribal cultures indicates that the violation of a taboo and the placement of a hex can result in death within a few days. This has be attributed to an extreme operation of the stress-response syndrome by modern researchers. We might consider the reported instances of deaths, illness, and accidents from hexes, voodoo, spells, and curses to be the result of suggestion. Although, we might just as easily ask ourselves whether, if psi could heal people independently of suggestion, it could not also be used to harm them. Perhaps psi -- like electricity -- is a neutral force from a moral perspective? A number of apparent hexes seem to have occurred without even the knowledge of the victim. 

The research of the Soviet physiologist Leonid Vasiliev suggests that telepathic hypnotic induction may be occasionally instrumental in effective behavior manipulation over distances. Similar telepathic experiments have been used to awaken sleeping subjects, with slightly less success. However, few subjects are so susceptible and we have yet to understand the mechanisms that differentiate good and poor subjects. 

National Security Applications

Ancient History and Folklore

The Bible. In the Bible as related in Kings II, vi, the prophet Elisha used clairvoyant abilities to inform the King of Israel about the battle plans which the king of Syria had formed against him. Informed of Elisha's abilities, the Syrian king sent a host of chariots and horsemen to capture the prophet. However, according to the biblical account, Elisha used his abilities to blind and confuse the Syrians so that they would be captured by the Israelites.

Similar and even more dramatic tales are told of the exodus of the Jewish nation from Egypt; of the original Hebrew conquest of Canaan; and of the subsequent military conquests of Saul, David and Solomon.

Asian Martial Arts. The earliest treatise on warfare, The Art of War, written in 500 b.c. by the Chinese general Sun Tzu, details the intimate link between success in battle and the skilled management of a "force" which was called ch'i. The basic principles are elucidated in this amazing document.

Sun Tzu argues that wars are won through a combination of conventional military tactics and a variety of extraordinary methods which involve the knowledge and control of ch'i, which flows through the body of the warrior and can be used to influence the mind of the enemy to produce illusions, deception and weakness.

The warrior cultivated ch'i through self-knowledge gained by following the mystical Taoist traditions. Mental stillness and other psi-conducive stated enabled the warrior to obtain a poise and concentration so intense that it was effortless in its deadly spontaniety. Such training emphasized the ability to maintain the meditative state in the midst of intense physical activity. The martial arts trained the warrior to take advantage of the slightest break in the enemy's concentration.

Joan of Arc. A peasant girl with no military training, followed her visions and voices to lead the bedraggled armies of France to victory against the English. Many ostensibly miraculous events -- the subject of continuing historical debate -- led to the French Dauphin's appointment of Joan as the titular head of his army. Joan was burned at the stake in 1431 as a witch. In 1456, an ecclesiastical court proclaimed the iniquity of her first trial and annulled its judgment. In 1920, she was cannonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.

The World Wars

In June 1919, in an action against the Hungarian Republic, Czech soldiers were put into a hypnotic state and asked to clairvoyantly scan the landscape to determine the enemy's strength and position. A pamphlet titled Clairvoyance, Hypnosis and Magnetic Healing at the Service of the Military, written in 1925 by karl Hejbalik, reports that the information obtained through these non-normal means always proved correct when later checked through normal means. The contemporary Czech psychotronic researcher Zdenek Rejdak interviewed the individuals involved in the Czech psi maneuvers. According to Rejdak, they confirmed Hejbalik's account "in all details."

The Nazis are said to have assembled many powerful occult adepts from Tibet and Japan to train and advise them. One of the most important and powerful groups in Germany was the Nazi Occult Bureau, which attempted to use occult forces for espionage and the magical control of events including a conscious, pseudo-Nietzschean attempt to replace Christianity with the ancient Teutonic myth of the war god, Wotan. Coincidentally, in the early 1930s, the great Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung noticed a marked pattern of imagery of the war god Wotan in the dreams of his German patients. The situation was so dramatic that it prompted him to write, in an essay in 1933, that the German people were subconsciously preparing themselves for war.

Hitler obtained extensive occult training from the German nationalistic Vril Society and the adept circle known as the Thule Group. Teachings of these groups account for many aspects of Nazi culture which are inexplicable in terms of ordinary historical scholarship. 

Hitler's personal psychic abilities, especially clairvoyant and precognitive visions, were by some accounts instrumental in many of the dramatic tactical victories during the early period of the war. Eventually, his intoxication with power and the use of drugs so poisoned his mind that he compulsively followed instructions received through visions, and these led to disastrous strategic errors.

British and American intelligence employed astrologers and clairvoyants to anticipate the occult advice being given to Hitler and his forces. According to The Psychic Spy by Linedecker, the Allies resorted to using a group of out-of-body practitioners to scout key locations inside enemy territory from an island in the Atlantic.

Lord Hugh Dowding, head of the Royal Air Force during World War II, and often called "the man who won the Battle of Britain," had experiences during the war which led him later to become a major figure in the spiritualist movement. Released secret documents of the British Army reveal that Dowding's wife was a sensitive. Using methods now known among psi researchers as "remote viewing," she was able to detect enemy air bases that the army had not discovered through conventional surveillance. These abilities were coupled with a spiritualistic belief which so impressed Lord Dowding that he believed himself to be in contact with spirits of the British airmen who had been downed in battle.

Another of the great Allied commanders during World War II, U.S. Army General George S. Patton, reputedly possessed rare psi abilities. Patton believed himself to be the reincarnation of an ancient Roman general. General Omar N. Bradley, Patton's commanding officer during the war, has confirmed Patton's clairvoyant and precognitive abilities, referring to them as his "sixth sense." Bradley details a wartime example: after crossing the Moselle River near Coblenz with some three divisions moving south, Patton suddenly stopped his advance and collected his forces for no known reason. Questioned by subordinates about this strange behavior, Bradley expressed confidence that Patton had "felt" something that "was not apparent from the information we had at the time," which justified his action. The following day, Patton's forces were hit by a strong and otherwise unexpected counterattack which the general was able to repel only because he had earlier stopped to regroup.

Soviet interest in psi was kindled during World War II by a series of unusual events which transpired between Joseph Stalin and the well-known Polish psychic, Wolf Messing. By using telepathic hypnosis to suggest to Stalin's guards and servents that he was Lavantri Beria, the head of Soviet secret police, Messing was reputedly able to walk past them unchecked into Stalin's personal dacha and into the very room where Stalin was working. Stalin's subsequent tests of Messing's abilities were published in the Soviet Journal, Science and Religion.

Eastern Europe 

In the 1920s, Professor Lionid Vasiliev, Director of Leningrad University's Department of Physiology, initiated a series of experiments into the effects of mental suggestion at a distance. Vasiliev was motivated in part by reports of the French physiologist Pierre Janet, and perhaps also by the extraordinary power which the monk Rasputin once held over the entire Russian ruling family. Vasiliev began by attempting to influence a hypnotized subject to move his arm, leg, or even a specified muscle on cue without verbal instructions. Eventually, the hypnotist achieved success in the experiments with subjects separated by distances as great as 1700 kilometers (i.e., from Leningrad to Sebastopol).

Contemporary Soviet interest in remote hypnotic manipulation has advanced considerably since this early research. Research and development now continues at the Institute of Cybernetics of the Ukrainian Academy of Science and the Institute of Psychology of the Moscow Institute of Control Problems. Experiments are no longer limited to influencing only trained subjects, but now also focus on hypnotic influence over untrained and unsuspecting persons, and occasionally even large groups.

In one Soviet study, reportedly conducted at Kharkov University, a telepathist is claimed to have been able to stimulate the brain of a rat for three minutes after clinical death. In another Soviet study, the psychokineticist Nina Kulagina is reported to have influenced a frog's heart to stop beating. In another Soviet experiment conducgted by Professor Veniamin Pushkin, at the Research Institute of General and Pedagogical Psychology, the same psi practitioner was reportedly able to influence the blood volume in the brain of other individuals. The subjects became so dizzy that they could no longer stand and had to sit or lie down.

The Soviets have also practiced the strategic application of telepathic manipulation. Engineer Larissa Vilenskaya, a Soviet emigre engaged in various forms of psi practice and investigation, reported on an NBC Brinkley Magazine television special that researchers recruited gifted subjects for the purpose of negatively influencing foreign political leaders while watching them on television.

The Czechoslovakian who pioneered the hypnotic method of training ESP, Dr. Milan Ryzl, defected to the United States in 1967 when he was made to understand that the Czech government wished to support his research for military and espionage purposes. Ryzl has written that secret psi research associated with state security and defense is going on in the USSR. One such project was for the purpose of using telepathic hypnosis to indoctrinate and "reeducate" antisocial elements.

United States 

As early as 1952, the U.S. Department of State used visualization exercises to train its operatives in the use of intuitive psi faculties. A number of CIA-funded secret reports are not available through the Freedom of Information Act on projects incorporating psi research, including Projects Bldbird, Artichoke and MK-ULTRA. One of the goals of each of these operations was to achieve reliable psi capability in laboratory subjects.

It was during the Eisenhower administration, according to knowledgable sources, that the CIA set up an interagency committee to follow psi research. This committee has been active for three decades, and has sponsored a number of international scientific conferences to which Soviet neurophysiologists and cyberneticists were invited. Counter-intelligence cases during this period led the CIA to infer that the Chinese military had achieved significantly superior mind control abilities -- presumably thanks to training by the Soviet Union.

There were some attempted applications of psi in the U.S. military during the Vietnam war. U.S. marines were trained to use dowsing rods to locate land mines during the war. The first report of such was was by the weekly, The Observer, published for the U.S. forces in Vietnam in 1967. The report summarized the situation: 

Introduced to the Marines of the 2nd Batalion, 5th Marine Regiment, the divining rods were greeted with skepticism, but did locate a few Viet Cong tunnels. 
Many reports have emerged from Vietnam of spontaneous ESP experiences -- often saving the lives of American troops under jungle guerilla war conditions. One marine sergeant has reported that entire platoons learned how to sensitize themselves to such intuitive signals, as a basic survival mechanism.

A significant acceleration of government-sponsored research in psychic research and related areas occurred during the Nixon administration. During this period, physicists at Stanford Research Institute, now SRI International, received increased funcing from a number of government sources, including NASA for psychic studies. They made the claim that select psychics, including scientologist "clear" Ingo Swann, Israeli psychic Uri Geller, and ex-police chief Pat Price (now deceased) produced clairvoyantly obtained evidence of remote physical sites (they called it "remote viewing") with such accuracy that the most secret reaches of any military installation of the surface of the earth -- or Mars for that matter -- were no longer safe from view.

These experiments persuaded the Office of Naval Research and the intelligence community to continue supporting the effort. In 1973, according to knowledgable sources, the CIA and the National Security Agency -- responsible for the codebreaking and the codemaking efforts of this country arranged a top secret demonstration of clairvoyance, or "remote viewing," at SRI. Swann and Price, given only geographic coordinates, sketched the target site accurately -- an island in the Indian Ocean. The SRI research apparently demonstrated that secret military targets, in the U.S. and overseas, can be described in great detail. Objects as small as the head of a pin have been described by remote-viewers over distances of many kilometers. Other experiments have successfully described military targets, such as airports, from distances of several thousand kilometers.

From the military's point of view, such capabilities have clear application for obtaining otherwise unavailable information about enemy locations and operations. From the point of view of the intelligence community, a trained, accurate psi practitioner would be an ideal agent. He or she could use psi skill to break secret codes, penetrate guarded military installations and reveal strategic plans. Another important use of remote viewing could be for safety inspection of military equiupment.

In 1972, according to John Wilhelm writing for the New York Times (1977), it sent a team of scientists, under the auspices of DARPA (Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency) to SRI to "objectively evaluate" the claims of researchers Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff. DARPA was particularly concerned over the interesting coincidence, if that is what it was, that its multi-million-dollar computer at SRI went inexplicably haywire while Uri Geller was attempting psychokinesis in a nearby lab. DARPA sent Ray Hyman, a noted psychologist, magician and skeptic; Robert Van de Castle, a psychologist and expert in sleep and dream research from the University of Virginia and also past-President of the Parapsychological Association; and George Lawrence, a second psychologist/skeptic. The report of the investigation was negative. Nevertheless, reports that "remote viewing" replication was underway at Fort Mead, an important center of the National Security Agency, suggest that the military and intelligence communities do not take the certainties of either proponents or skeptics at face value.

Before becoming President, Jimmy Carter reported sighting an Unidentified Flying Object near his home in Georgia, and, as is well known, requested a full report of the phenomena upon taking office.

According to Uri Geller's report, while living in Mexico he developed a relationship with the wife of the President of Mexico, Mrs. Lopez-Portillo, who had a fascination with psychic phenomena. Researchers at an institute under the direction of the Mexican President's sister, Margarita Lopez Portillo, conducted some investigations of Geller 1977. President Carter, during a visit to Mexico, heard of the Mexican interest in psychokinesis and immediately ordered an extensive Defense Intelligence Agency investigation. A report resulted, titled Parapsysics Research and Development -- Warsaw Pact which was the third major report on psi research released by the Defense Intelligence Agency.

In 1978, a survey of 14 active psi research laboragtories by Dr. Charles Tart revealed that five of those laboratories had been officially approached by officials or agents of the U.S. government who were gathering information on psi. The total known figure, at the time, for funding to mainstream psi researchers amounted to several hundred thousand dollars a year. Almost all the researchers surveyed maintained that using psi for espionage or military purposes was a very real possibility, and several were certain it was being done.

Probably more than in other areas of scientific investigation, it is information about who funds psi research research that is classified, not only what is being done. Former White House staffer, Barbara Honegger reported, for instance, that the very word "parapsychology" was classified at the CIA -- that is, a directive existed that it is not to be used in telephone conversations except over secure lines; and that any report with the word in it is automatically classified.

Of all the services, the Navy has historically been the most open-minded about taking psi research seriously and funding it. In 1975, the Navy reportedly funded SRI to see if psychics could detect sources of electromagntic radiation at a distance; and, in 1976, to see whether they could influence a magnetometer at Stanford University. The SRI scientists reported that they could. Critics of this set of results, however, argue that the project was guilty of "optional stopping" to achieve its results. The Navy was interested because magnetometers, which measure magnetic fields, are important in detecting submarines.

The Navy, according to knowledgable sources, also tested self-professed psychics to see whether they could accurately describe maneuvers of a foreign Navy. A New York self-professed psychic, Shawn Robbins, has reported working with the intelligence community to track the movements of foreign nuclear submarines. Robbins was originally tested at the Maimonides Hospital Psychophysics Laboratory in Brooklyn, New York. (However, her psi abilities were not determined to be significant at that time.)

Columnist Jack Anderson claims the navy also funded the controversial research by polygraph expert, Cleve Backster, on the alleged ability of plants to detect and respond to unspoken thoughts and feelings of living organisms, ranging from humans to brine shrimp. However, according to other sources, it was the army that funded Backster's research, in the hopes of "training" plants to cost-effectively detect intruders in dangerous, security-sensitive areas.

According to information revealed to Barbara Honegger, during the Reagan administration for the first time the CIA officer in charge of keeping abreast of psi research noted in his periodic report to the National Security Council that there is growing reason to take the field more seriously.

The fundamental reason for this increased interest is initial results coming out of laboratories in the United States and Canada that certain amplitude and frequency combinations of external electromagnetic radiation in the brainwave frequency range are capable of bypassing the external sensory mechanisms of organisms, including humans, and directly stimulating higher level neuronal structures in the brain. This electronic stimulation is known to produce mental changes at a distance, including hallucinations in various sensory modalities, particularly auditory. The analogy of these results to some spontaneous case reports in the psychical research literature has not escaped notice by the CIA, which is following the research.

A development during the first months of the Reagan administration was the release by the House Science and Technology Subcommittee, chaired by Representative Donald Fuqua, containing a chapter and supporting appendix on the "Physics of Consciousness" (mispelled "conscience" in the table of contents). The report recommends that psi research deserves serious attention by Congress for potential future funding. It states that "general recognition of the degree of interconnectedness of minds could have far-reaching social and political implications for this nation and the world."

The primary sources cited in the report are the research studies of Harold Puthoff and Russell Targ at SRI International, and a report prepared by William Gough, Technical Director of the office of Program Assessment and Integration of the U.S. Department of Energy. Gough published the cited report under the auspices of the Foundation for Mind-Being Research.

A statement of U.S. government interest in psi-war scenarios appeared in the private publicjation, Military Review, by Lieutenant Colonel John B. Alexander. Alexander asserted that psychotronic weapons already exist and that their lethal capacity has been demonstrated. He was referring here predominantly to the claims of Lt. Colonel Thomas E. Beardon that third-generation psychotronic weapons, including what he called a "photonic barrier modulator: which induces physiological changes at distances, near or far; the 'hyperspatial howitzer," which allegedly can transmit nuclear explosions to distant locations; and a radionics-type device which, Bearden contended, sank the U.S. nuclear submarine Thresher in 1963.,

Alexander's claims were unnecessarily alarmist in nature and a number of them are known to be either exaggerated or erroneous. He stated, for instance, that research in the Transcendental Meditation Sidhis Program has produced evidence that individuals are taught in the program to levitate. Investigations into this claim have found it unsupported by any valid observations or measurements.

In 1988, the U.S. Army commissioned a study on a variety of techniques purporting to enhance human performance.

Accident prevention

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

The claim is made with the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program that the practice of TM by many individuals creates an unexplained effect on the "social field" which results in reduced accidents, foul weather, sickness and crime -- as measured by statistical social indicators.  Although these claims are presented in a quasi-empirical fashion -- with statistics and control groups -- they have yet to be seriously presented or evaluated in the academic literature of either sociology or psi research. The methodological problems inherent in any study conducted by an organization for the purpose of promoting training offered by that organization are sufficient to merit skepticism in the absence of independent replication.


Dowsing, a poorly understood technique for finding underground water and minerals, seems to be gaining popularity as a result of increasing need for efficient development of resources. Some researchers maintain that dowsing involves an extraordinary sensitivity to anomalies in weak magnetic fields. This is probably true, but still does not represent the entire picture.

Henry Gross, perhaps America's best known dowser, has in many instances been able to locate oil, water, minerals and even lost people by using only a map. Gross's abilities were confirmed somewhat in tests conducted by J. B. Rhine and published in 1950 -- however these laboratory studies were admittedly not related to dowsing as practiced by Gross in his everyday life. Journalistic documentation of Gross's actual work including the prevailing conditions, the people and areas involved have been published in a series of books by Kenneth Roberts.

In many instances Gross was apparently successful in pinpointing wells when conventional geological techniques had failed or had indicated there was no water. He dowsed water for many industrial concerns including RCA Victor and Bristol-Myers pharmaceutical company. He reportedly map-dowsed from Maine fresh water in Bermuda where none had been found in 300 years. In Kansas he dowsed thirty-six wildcat oil wells and of the seventeen that were drilled, it is claimed he was correct in fifteen instances. Seismic predictions were wrong in nine out of seventeen cases. Although a strong advocate of Gross's abilities, Roberts also discusses a number of his failures.

Henry Gross's talents were investigated by the New Jersey psychiatrist and psychical researcher, Dr. Berthold E. Schwarz. His investigations included psychiatric interviews, physiological studies and field trips. Schwarz found Gross -- a modest, friendly game warden -- to be a man of complete honesty. The physiological data, as well as direct observation, indicated that Gross expended a great deal of energy in the dowsing process. In the field studies, Schwarz claims he observed Gross successfully dowse seven oil wells in an area where oil was not geologically expected. Gross also apparently ascertained depth, flow and other quantitative measures that were presumably beyond the ability of normal sense perception.

At the Laboratory of Physiological Cybernetics at the University of Leningrad under the directorship of Professor P. I. Gulyaev, research has been focused on the human ability to perceive faint electrostatic fields. This research has led to renewed Soviet interest in a phenomenon known in this country as dowsing, which the Soviets call the "bio-physical effect." Studies in this area were initiated by the Soviet geologist N. N. Sochevanov, who has reportedly documented several dozen cases in which dowsing has been successfully employed in mining and drilling projects. Dowsing is also currently taught to professional minerologists and geologists in the Soviet Union.

Dowsing has reportedly been successful in locating commercial grade gold ore near Krasnoyarsk, tin deposits in Kirghizia and Tadzhikstan, iron in the southern Urals, copper-nickel ores near Krasnoyarsk, lead and zinc ores in the Tadzhik SSR, and gypsum in the Ukrainian SSR. Other reports describe finds in unspecified locations of molybdenum, bismuth, tungsten, bauxite and other economically and militarily valuable metals.

These findings may, if valid, be strategic importance, given that the future security of a nation depends on continued access to mineral resources. Because of this importance, it would be reckless to overvalue the anecdotal evidence suggestive of dowsing or other psionic claims. Section III summarizes a body of psychological research demonstrating many types of cognitive errors to which all humans -- skeptics and proponents alike -- are susceptible. A clear perspective on dowsing (or any other folklore claims) can only be attained when skeptical arguments are carefully weighed against claims of proponents. 

Treasure Hunting

One of the most dramatic uses of psychic talent to recover treasure reportedly occurred here in the United States. The National Inquirer commissioned the Chicago psychic Olaf Jonsson to assist treasure hunters in the search for the sunken ruins of Spanish galleons loaded with gold and silver bullion. Jonsson seemed to sense the spot as the search vessel approached it and he asked the crew members to form a circle and concentrate with him. Going into trance, he actually relived the sinking of the ships. Under his directions the divers reportedly recovered part of the fortune, valued at $300,000. 

Some psychics have a difficult time, probably for psychological reasons, using their abilities for their own direct financial gain-although they perform satisfactorily when they charge others for "life readings," etc. Even Uri Geller fared very poorly in Las Vegas. (Although it would be interesting to test habitually successful gamblers for ESP.) The inabilities seem to be more a reflection of a person's personality, rather than a limitation upon psi itself.

Accuracy of Information Transmission

A number of case histories also testify to this possibility. For example, Dr. Georgi Lozanov, director of the Institute of Suggestology and Parapsychology in Sophia, Bulgaria, is said to have demonstrated a very impressive communications technique using the majority-vote technique.

Dr. Georgi Lozanov with a subject (courtesy Milan Ryzl)

The telepathic receiver sits in front of two telegraph keys, one for each hand. Some distance away, the sender telepathically suggests that the receiver press either the right or left key, according to the beats of a metronome. Each telepathic suggestion is repeated ten times. The receiver must get six of these correct for the message to be considered received. Lozanov reported at the 1966 Parapsychology Conference in Moscow that phrases and entire sentences have been sent this way with about 70% accuracy. Thousands of such tests are said to have now been demonstrated before many scientists.

As the name of his institute implies, Lozanov is concerned with many of the psychological factors effecting ESP scores.

Using techniques derived from yoga, Lozanov combines suggestion and relaxation in a way that is different from hypnosis in that his subjects remain in the waking state. Used in education, these techniques show phenomenal promise to increase language learning, memory, artistic and musical ability. Lozanov also is applying his techniques towards the development of mental healing and dermal vision.

One of Lozanov's many research activities involves the evaluation of the predictions made by the blind, peasant woman, Vanga Dimitrova, who may be the modern world's first Government supported prophetess. (In fact, the Institute of Suggestology and Parapsychology, with over thirty staff members, is supported by the Bulgarian government.) Studies are reported to have shown that Dimitrova's predictive abilities -- particularly strong in terms of finding lost relatives and friends--are about eighty percent accurate.56

In Prague, Czechoslovakia, things were somewhat different. Dr. Milan Ryzl, a biochemist at the Czech Institute of Biology, had spent years trying to interest the government in supporting psychic research -- all with very little success. Undaunted, Ryzl continued his own studies which involved hypnotic techniques for developing ESP subjects. After practicing on some 500 individuals, Ryzl claimed to have found fifty with very strong, testable psi abilities.

Milan Ryzl

Ryzl used his psychic subjects to predict the winning numbers in the Czech public lottery. He was successful for weeks in a row winning the equivalent of several thousand dollars. However, Ryzl's psychical research successes also proved to be detrimental to his safety. The Czechoslovakian regime became very interested in his work. He found himself constantly followed by secret agents. His manuscripts were stolen. Eventually he was asked, in rather forceful terms, to spy on his scientific colleagues in other countries. The authorities made it very clear they were interested in the development of psi techniques for espionage purposes. The government exercised such control over his life that Ryzl had no choice but to comply or defect. His escape from Czechoslovakia was a masterpiece in precise timing. He actually contrived to leave the country with his entire family in three automobiles and many valuable possessions including his prized library. Ironically, Ryzl recalls that the details of his defection had been predicted for him fifteen years earlier by a psychic who had been a friend of the family.

Researchers in socialist countries have continued the emphasis on the practical applications of ESP initiated by scientists such as Ryzl. Actually, since Ryzl's defection, western psychical research has become somewhat more oriented toward practical uses.

Psychic Archeology

The use of psychics for archeological exploration has probably been the most extensively explored area of potential psi application. Its beginnings include the investigation of Glastonbury Abbey, perhaps England's old Christian ruin, by Frederick Bligh Bond. 

At the University of Toronto, Professor J. N. Emerson of the department of anthropology has reported on his use of psychic assistance in doing archeological field work. His friend, a psychic, George McMullen, has shown extraordinary ability to psychometrize artifacts and relate accurate details about the history and circumstances surrounding the object. George has also proven his usefulness in examining archeological sites before the digging begins. Just by walking over a site, he has been able to describe its age, the people who lived there, their dress, dwellings, economy and general behavior. He has also provided specific excavation guidance. Emerson estimated that George's clairvoyance is 80% accurate. Furthermore. Emerson has been able to achieve even greater degrees of accuracy by using teams of several psychics and evaluating their reports using a majority-vote technique.

In the Soviet Union, techniques of dowsing are applied to archeology. Chris Bird reports that the Russian anthropologist Pushnikov has successfully used psychic dowsers to probe the remains of the Borodino battlefield, seventy miles from Moscow, where the Russians battled Napoleon in 1812. Other Russian excavations utilized the talents of dowsers in probing the estate of the legendary Czar, Boris Gudenov.

The work of the Mobius Society is well known to the general public and the psychical research community. Stephan Schwartz began by looking at the role of psi in archeology. In his first book, The Secret Vaults of Time, he described a dozen cases in which archeologists have been successful in uncovering difficult to find locations and artifacts using psi methods. He then synthesized for himself a methodology, similar to the intuitive consensus method of Kautz, which relied on the overlapping judgments of a number of independent practitioners. He has successfully used this method in a number of explorations. One of these, off the California coast on Santa Catalina Island, was broadcast on television. His explorations in Egypt have been the subject of several publications and scientific presentations.

Following guidance obtained from interviews with psychic respondents, researchers from the Mobius Group; in Los Angeles initiated an underwater archeological project in the Carribean Sea. In September 1987, two respondents, Hella Hammid and Alan Vaughan were taken out in a small boat and within an hour had agreed on a site and dropped a buoy. The next morning divers noticed that a sequence of fire coral when viewed from one angle seemed unnaturally symmetrical. When one of the fire corals was chipped, it revealed what was later determined to be a bronze keel bolt. The buoy dropped by Vaughan and Hammid was approximately 10 feet from the site. Four weeks of excavation revealed an unusually intact wreck buried 3 to 5 feet beneath the eel grass and sand. Nothing was visible except the fire coral covered keel bolts and some ballast mixed with natural rock. It required substantial excavation to uncover the remains of a collapsed American armed merchant brig that sank in the early decades of the nineteenth century.

What are the odds of finding the wreck described by luck? There is no completely satisfactory statistical answer to this question. The Mobius researchers justify their approach:

Unlike a laboratory experiment with a known baseline, no absolute probability can be given in an archeological experiment; fieldwork applications of psi are inherently different from in-lab experiments. However, vigorous concurrent utilization of non-psi electronic location technologies can serve as field controls in a double or triple blind setting, producing results as significant, in the author's view, as low p values. For example, 85,000 shipwrecks identical to the one reported here could be fitted into just the Northern Consensus Zone, and under optimal conditions, it could take several months of magnetometer survey work to locate one such wreck. This wreck was psychically located, and the location verified, in less than five hours.
Critics respond that the Mobius reports do not account for buoys dropped at other sites where shipwrecks were not located.

Psychic Police Work

The use of psychics by police for solving crimes goes back many decades. As early as 1914, the Frenchman W. de Kerler, calling himself a psycho-criminologist, demonstrated on many occasions, without any reward or publicity, his ability to solve crimes that baffled police. Some of his many alleged exploits have been recorded. In 1925, another case of clairvoyant detective work came to the attention of the German public. In this case, the psychic, August Drost, was on trial for fraud. The case resulted from an incident in which he had attempted, with little success, to help officials solve a burglary. During the trial, which lasted for several weeks, much of the testimony pointed toward Drost's successful ESP crime solving in other cases. He was acquitted and continued to practice his unorthodox detective work.

Another psychic detective, Janos Kele, worked for years in Hungary and Germany without ever accepting fees or rewards. His abilities were tested by Professor Hans Dreisch at Leipzig University who pronounced him a "classic clairvoyant." He was also successfully tested by Dr. Karlis Osis, then at Duke University. According to Dr. Stephen Szimon, a deputy police chief in Hungary, Kele averaged 80 per cent accuracy in the clues he provided for tracing missing persons.

Today in the United States, a number of police officials have publicly credited clairvoyants who have helped them with difficult investigations. One of the most prominent of these seers is Marinus B. Dykshorn, a Dutchman, whose autobiography is titled, My Passport Says Clairvoyant. Dykshorn's career spans three decades and three continents. He currently resides in the U.S. For his psychic detective work he has twice been made an associate member of the Sheriffs Association of North Carolina. In May, 1971, he received a commission from Louis B. Nunn, the governor of Kentucky as a Kentucky colonel, "in consideration of outstanding achievement." Dykshorn's book contains ten notarized affidavits from individuals who have received benefit from his clairvoyant abilities. It is particularly interesting to note in his book the difficulties that he had getting researchers interested in testing his abilities, well after his practical successes had been acclaimed.

A psychic who has established lasting relationships with police authorities is Irene F. Hughes of Chicago.

Irene Hughes

She is the head of an organization called the Golden Path where she has taught classes in psychic subjects and tests students interested in developing their own psychic abilities. On the wall of her office, a plaque signed by three Chicago policemen expresses appreciation for the leads she has given in solving a number of cases. In one particular homicide case, Mrs. Hughes was able to provide police with the name and address of the murderer -- adding that the case would take a long time to solve. It was, in fact, almost three years before the fugitive was found. According to crime reporter Paul Tabori, she is credited by police in Illinois with having helped to solve no less than fifteen murder cases.

Other tested psychics who are known to have worked with police officials include Olaf Jonsson and Alex Tanous. Undoubtedly there are more who prefer to work quietly and without publicity. Police departments receive a regular stream of tips that allegedly come from psychic insights. Most of them simply do not prove useful. Nevertheless, this area deserves further exploration.

Paul Tabori writes of the Viennese Criminological Association meeting he attended in the early 1930s devoted to the question of "so-called occult phenomena" in police procedure and judicial investigation. Many learned academics voiced the opinion that clairvoyance, telepathy, and even hypnosis were too unreliable to be used with any advantage in police and judicial work. Equally insistent however were lawyers and police themselves who stated practice had proved the value of psi in certain investigations and that it was foolish to reject it simply because of experimental and theoretical difficulties.

Great caution must be exercised in evaluating psi claims related to crime investigation. Skeptical Dutch researcher, Piet Hein Hoebens, for example was able to find major loopholes in claims regarding the Dutch clairvoyant Gerard Croiset -- "the Mozart of Psychic Sleuths." Newspapers throughout Europe acclaimed Croiset as a great psychic, at the time of his death in July 1980. This is particularly disturbing, since Croiset's abilities were attested to by W. H. C. Tenhaeff, a psi researcher at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, who had studied Croiset's alleged abilities for several decades.

W. H. C. Tenhaeff

Hoebens investigation strongly suggests either incredibly shoddy research or fraud on the part of Tenhaeff. 

With such a history, it is understandably risky for me to report psi crime investigations with which I am personally acquainted. Yet, for some years I have been monitoring Kathlyn Rhea, a psi practitioner now living in Novato, California.

Kathlyn Rhea

Author of Mind Sense and The Psychic is You, she is well-known for her work with police departments., She has been active on well over 100 cases. 

One case in particular provides evidence that Kathlyn Rhea was directly instrumental in locating a missing body. I personally obtained complete corroboration from the law enforcement officials involved. The case occurred several years ago in Calavaras County, California, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada gold country. An elderly man, Mr. Russell Drummond, has been camping with his wife in the county. He was reported missing by his wife, after he left his campsite to use the latrine and never returned. 

The local county sheriff organized a search party of some 300 persons. However, after a two-week period of intensive combing through the adjacent areas, the searchers were unable to locate the body or any sign of what happened to Mr. Drummond. The sheriff therefore proclaimed that Drummond must have either left or been taken away from the county.

His wife was desperate at this point. Not only was she without her husband, but since his whereabouts was unknown she could not collect his pension or insurance.

Six months after the indicent, Mrs. Drummond contacted Kathlyn Rhea. Mrs. Rhea sat down using her normal methods, which involved no profound altered state of consciousness. She simply dictated into a cassette recorder her impressions of what had happened to Mr. Drummond. She described in detail, in a tape lasting 45 minutes, how he lost his sense of orientation and began wandering away from the campsite in an easterly direction. She described a gravel path near a small, chalet-like cottage, where there were trees and brush. There she described how he had a stroke and fell underneath one of the brush-like (madrone) trees in that area. She described still being under that brush, six months later, completely intact. This would be unusual for a body left in the woods for six months.

Mrs. Drummond took that tape to the new county sheriff, Claude Ballard, who had been elected during the intervening time. Based on his listening to the tape, Ballard acknowledged a general sense of the location described by Mrs. Rhea. He took his skeptical undersheriff with him to that potential site with the idea that if the location matched the description provided by Mrs. Rhea, he would then organize a new search party. In fact, her description was so accurate that Sheriff Ballard was able to walk immediately to the body and find it without any difficulty. According to undersheriff Fred Kern, the description provided by the tape cassette was 99 percent accurate.

Another case involving Kathlyn Rhea, which I have personally verified, involved the murder of an Ohio woman. Rhea was approach by a local detective for information on this case and she provided him with a detailed description of where the body could be found -- in the country, on a gravel road near a bridge. 

The case is full of several ironies. Based on this information, the detective, visited a site where he thought the body might be found and was not successful. Being somewhat ill and unable to search further, he provided Kathlyn Rhea's description to the police. Simultaneously, some local Boy Scouts uncovered the body at another location which matched Rhea's description in major details. The sheriff's department, which had assumed jurisdiction over the case, took note that an accurate description of the body's condition and location had been turned in by this detective prior to the body's discovery. They detained him as a suspect in the case.

Additional information developed by the detective, working with Kathlyn Rhea, was that the local police chief had actually committed this murder. Rhea suggested that fibers from her clothing would be found in his police cruiser. Acting on this tip, investigators searched the car and did find fibers. The police chief was convicted of the murder and is now serving time in prison.

Journalism and Investigative Reporting

Just as ESP can ostensibly be used in crime investigation, there is a suggestion that it can be useful to the investigative reporter. At least one popular account describes such activity.


Retrocognition is the apparent psi ability to clairvoyantly see past events. Many popular claims in this area are made in connection with ostensible reincarnation. In some instances of documented xenoglossy, individuals have been able to speak dialects of languages that have not been spoken for centuries. The most used application of this ability has been in connection with psychic archeology, in terms of interpreting the history of various artifacts through psychometry.

Precognition in Business Management

Lee Pulos -- a clinical psychologist, restauranteur and management trainer. 
Skilled in the use of self-hypnosis as a state conducive to apparent psychic intuition, 
Pulos built his Spaghetti Factory business up to a chain of twenty restaurants

Professors Douglas Dean and John Mihalsky at the Newark College of Engineering PSl Communications Project have spent ten years testing the precognitive abilities of over 5,000 businessmen. They had heard numerous stories of how fortunes were made by men whose intuitive decisions seemed to defy all logical considerations. In one series of studies they looked at company presidents who had doubled their company's profits during the last five years. They found these individuals scored much higher in the precognitive tests than other executives. In fact, the ESP test seemed to be a much better indicator of executive success than other personality measurements. A number of companies have shown an interest in using this technique to screen applicants for management positions.

One of the interesting outcomes of the PSI Communications work with executives was the high percentage of subjects (about 80%) who openly acknowledged a belief in ESP. When questioned further, the businessmen admitted their belief was not based on either a familiarity with the scientific literature or an acquaintance with some psychics. These tough-minded individuals believed in ESP because they had seen it work in their own lives!

Another major endeavor in the business community is that of financial investments. Large investment companies typically spend millions of dollars in market research and investigation. In spite of all this effort, education and statistical science, major investment companies not infrequently fail to achieve results that equal the performance of the overall market.

In 1982, the St. Louis Business Journal conducted a special event with nineteen prominent stockbrokers and one psi practitioner, Mrs. Bevy Jaegers.

Each participant was asked to select five stocks whose value would increase over a six-month period. Mrs. Jaegers, who has no professional training in corporate analysis, outperformed eighteen of the nineteen experts. During the test period, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell eight percent. Jaeger's stocks were up an average of 17.2 percent. The only stockbroker who bettered her attained an average of 17.4 percent. Sixteen of the stockbrokers chose stocks that lost their value.

Another psionic organization in the San Francisco Bay Area was Delphi Associates. This group was formed by Russell Targ and Keith Harary after leaving SRI International where they had been conducting remote viewing experiments, under government sponsorship, for several years.

Keith Harary
(courtesy Thinking Allowed Productions)

Russell Targ
(courtesy Thinking Allowed Productions)

In a unique pilot study, Harary was able to predict the movement of silver futures accurately for nine consecutive weeks. Actually, he did not predict the price changes directly, rather he was asked to describe an object or scene that he was to view the following week. The objects were randomly coded by the investigators to correlate with movements in the price of silver. The success of this study, even though subsequent tests failed to yield the same extraordinary results, enabled Targ and Harary to financially sustain their continued business and research activities for a period of time. The organization has since disbanded -- although not before Targ and Harary wrote a best-selling book describing their work, The Mind Race.

The applied psi activities of Uri Geller has been reported in business publications and in a biography which Geller co-authored with Guy Lyon Playfair. Geller, of course, achieved notoriety for his unusual work as a psychic entertaine. In retrospect, it's fair to say that, for better or worse, he influenced the field of psychokinesis research. The term "mini-Gellers" now refers to ostensibly talented macro-PK subjects that have been reported in over a dozen countries -- generally discovering their supposed talents after watching Uri Geller perform on television. However, for well over a decade, Geller has discontinued his work as a laboratory subject and has entered the world of psionics. News of Geller's more recent activities have surfaced in a national business publication, Forbes Magazine, in a profile article following up on an earlier story which appeared in the Wall Street Journal. I will quote some portions from that article:

Big businesses," he [Geller] says, "are beginning to listen to people who think they can deliver something with their sixth sense." Consider the possibilities? What if some enterprising outsider were to hire a psychic to abscond with the secrets of IBM's new 1000K RAM chip? Or, if a Boone Pickens has the power to compel a Gulf or Cities Service to bow to the terms of his latest merger offer? What if he knows what the stock market or the gold market or the bond market will do in the next week or next month or next year?

It was Val Duncan, the late chairman of Britain's Rio Tinto Zinc Corporation that made him [Geller] see the possibilities that business could offer. Duncan tested Geller's ability to find minerals on Majorca and later put him in touch with the chairman of South Africa's Anglo Transvaal Mining Company. The Chairman spread out a map and said, "Tell me what you feel." Geller said, "I feel something here." And years later Geller said the company found coal on the spot. "That's when I learned I could do this for very big companies and profit myself also. For seven years I have been doing this and nobody knows anything about it."

Several oil companies, for example, hired him to do some exploration. Acting as a sort of airborne divining rod, Geller targeted 11 prospects, four of which he says proved out. Geller doesn't charge fees, he claims. He relies on people to pay him what his service is worth. In this case a percentage royalty. "It's a little percentage," he says, "but in oil a little is a lot."

Which companies he has worked for Geller won't say. "They do not want their name to be linked to the psychic, to the paranormal." His only really public venture to date is his success in bringing together Japan's Aoki Corporagtion and the U.S. Tishman Reality in a $500 million hotel, condominium shopping development near Disney World in Florida. Both John Aoki and John Tishman were personal friends. But Geller claims to be more than a mere go-between. "My role is that I predict the success of the venture." That's where the power lies in being able to predict future success.

Public Safety

After a mine disaster in Wales, in which 144 people perished, researchers collected reports from individuals who claimed to have had premonitions of the event. Seventy-six reports were recieved. In twenty-four cases, the percipient had actually talked to another person about the premonition before the catastrophe. Twenty-five of the experiences were in dreams.

A study conducted by W. E. Cox indicates that precognition also operates on mass-awareness levels. Cox accumulated statistics on the numbers of passengers aboard 28 railroad trains which were involved in accidents. These figures were found to be significantly less than the number of passengers on the same trains one week before or a few days after the accident. People somehow avoided the accident-bound trains. There were also fewer passengers in damaged and derailed coaches than would have been expected according to the figures for non-accident days. Cox hypothesized that many potential passengers were aware of the oncoming tragedy, but not on a fully conscious level., 

Several practitioners, such as Alan Vaughan, have suggested the use of ESP for safety inspection of such complicated systems as the space shuttle, nuclear reactors, or oil pipelines.

About two months before the assassination of Robert Kennedy in June 1968, Alan Vaughan, then in Germany studying synchronicity at the Freiburg Institute for Border Areas of Psychology, began to develop a strong premonition that Kennedy would be assassinated.

Alan Vaughan
(courtesy Thinking Allowed Productions)

The event, he felt, was part of a complex archetypal pattern which he was tuned into, involving the killings of both JFK and Martin Luther King. Many coincidences and dreams began to support Vaughan's theory. On April 29 and again on May 28, Vaughan wrote letters to parapsycholgists notifiying them of his premonition and hoping that Kennedy could be warned. His letter was received by Stanley Krippner at the Maimonides Hospital Medical Center on the morning of June 4. Subsequently, Vaughan's apparent precognitive abilities have been extensively tested.,

Ironically enough, at least three cases are on record regarding the accidental deaths of parapsychologists who did not heed the warnings of their psychic subjects. Perhaps the subjects had not sufficiently demonstrated their reliability in the past.


Modern American education is oriented toward the cultivation of the mental abilities charted by Benjamin Bloom et al. in their three taxonomies of educational goals: cognitive, affective and psychomotor. Psi functioning has not been included within this taxonomy. This "cultural vacuum" may have been responsible for the growth of many cults and organizations claiming to train psi and other related abilities. The mainstream educational community has yet to awaken to the challenge of assessing the need and potential for parapsychological education within the school system. One area of obvious potential application and some apparent results is in special education for the blind., Some steps toward the evaluation of popular programs for psi cultivation are found in my second book, Psi Development Systems.

Creativity in Art, Literature and Music

Luiz Gasparetto in trance ostensibly possessed 
by the spirit of Vincent Van Gogh

Trance experience is sometimes accompanied by artistic production that seems beyond the experience and talent of the conscious mind. Well-known examples of this phenomena are the literary productions of the Brazilian spiritist Chico Xavier, the artistic productions of Luiz Gasparetto (another Brazilian spiritist) and the classical musical creations of the English medium, Rosemary Brown. In each of these cases, mediums claim that the artistic creations are produced with the aid of discarnate entities.

Agriculture and Pest Control 

The use of magical rituals as an adjunct to agriculture certainly dates back to prehistoric times. It eventually became formalized in the Eleusinean mystery religion of ancient Greece. In contemporary society, some practitioners use "radionics" instruments as devices for focusing concentration and eliminating pests and disease from crops. Many anecdotal accounts, such as those of Arthur M. Young, attest to the success of this method. Controlled experimental investigations have not been published.

Athletics and Sports 

Anecdotal accounts, collected by Michael Murphy and Rhea White, suggest peak moments of psychic perception, psychokinesis, and synchronistic flow are associated with dramatic levels of athletic performance.

Rhea White

Murphy, founder of the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, has developed a database suggesting that athletes develop extraordinary control of the human body -- powers comparable to that those reported of yogis, mystics and saints.

Michael Murphy
(courtesy Thinking Allowed Productions)

Finding Lost Objects

Tribal shamanism, perhaps the world's second oldest profession, cultivated practitioners who were noted for their ability to find lost objects. Adrian Boshier reported that tests for this are a normal part of shamanistic training in South Africa. An experimental model for testing this ability in natural situations has been designed by Patric Geisler, a psi researcher and anthropologist. Popular advertisements in Fate magazine present many claims of this ability.

Scientific Discovery

At the beginning of the twentieth century the theosophist clairvoyant C. W. Leadbeater published a book called Occult Chemistry in which he attempted to use psi perception to determine the structure of molecules. In so doing, he anticipated the discovery of deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen. Later, similar attemppts were reported by French researcher Z. W. Wolkowski who conducted successful tests with a sensitive, Raymond Reant. In the realm of astronomy, remote viewing experiments have reportedly provided unexpected data that was later confirmed by satellite probe. These reports have been very controversial.

Weather Prediction and Control

The ability to control the weather is reputed to occur among shamans of many tribal groups and has reportedly been observed in the American Indian culture as well as the Tibetan. Several ostensible instances with an American practitioner have also been documented by myself and are included in the earlier discussions of UFOs and macro-pk. Followers of the psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich claim to have developed control over the weather through the use of mysterious "cloudbusters" that are said to manipulate "orgone energy."

Animal Training and Interspecies Communication

Sir Arthur Grimble, who served as the British resident Commissioner for the Gilbert and Ellis Islands in the South Pacific, reports witnessi`g a scene in which a native shaman entered a dream state in order to "call porpoises." After a period of time he awoke from his sleep and announced to the tribe that the porpoises were coming. The village of about 1000 individuals rushed down to the beach eagerly expecting a rare feast, and Grimble documents that he observed an entire flotilla of porpoises swim onto the beach, passively offering themselves to the natives: 

They were moving toward us in extended order with spaces of two or three yards between them, as far as the eye could reach. So slowly they came they seemed to be hung in a trance. It was as if their single wish was to get to the beach.
The years since the first publication of The Roots of Consciousness have seen the birth and growth of an international movement to foster and study new forms of communication between humans and cetaceans. In 1976, I became a participant-observer of this movement. An organization, called the New Frontiers Institute, operating in a San Francisco suberb had developed some unusual methods for psychic work akin to travelling clairvoyance occurring during a mutual hypnotic induction. Members of the group included a chiropracter, a housewife from Argentina, an astrophysicist, a psychiatrist and an accountant. I found them to be amiable and was willing to engage in group hypnotic experiences with them. Several such sessions ensued.

Richard Gierak, founder of the New Frontiers Institute

During these experiences, after a lengthy hypnotic induction, we engaged in a form of what might be called group fantasy -- or if more than fantasy were involved, perhaps group astral projection, or, if any of this could be objectively verified, group travelling clairvoyance. Typically, we would "fly" to the top of the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. After, checking to make sure we were all "there," we would "fly" off on further adventures-- each of us describing our experiences verbally to the others.

On one such occasion, we decided to visit Marine World, a Bay Area wildlife amusement park, to see whether we could communicate with a dolphin. As the conversation progressed, the following points emerged:

1) We were with a female dolphin.
2) She was sick and cantankerous.
4) Her name was "Dee" or began with "D."
5) She was in a separate tank without a mate.
6) She did not wish to cooperate with the trainers. 
7) She wanted us to help her escape.
8) She wanted to travel with us astrally.
The issue of helping a dolphin escape was not entirely absurd -- as such an instance had recently been reported in the news. We all felt a great deal of empathy for "Dee," but we were not prepared to engage in illegal activities in her behalf. We offered her another solution. If this ostensible communication were real, we would visit "Dee" at Marine World. If we could somehow objectively demonstrate some type of human-dolphin telepathic communication, the knowledge of this might provoke other humans into rethinking our entire relationship with dolphins in a way that would greatly benefit "Dee" and others of her species. Meanwhile we would use whatever psychic means we had to help "Dee" and to heal her.

This particular session had a remarkable quality in terms of both its vividness and the group coherence. Immediately after awakening from the group hypnotic experience, we phoned Marine World to see if they had a dolphin that resembled "Dee." We were, fortunately, put through to one of the dolphin trainers who told us that there was a female dolphin who matched our description. Her name was "Dondi." Intrigued by our story, he invited us to Marine World for a private visit, to meet Dondi and for some informal testing of our possible communication with her.

During our first session at Marine World, the trainers had placed Dondi in a tank with five five other dolphins. We were asked simply to see if we could identify which of these she was. Five of the six of our group succeeded in this -- although there was some discussion among us and these could not be thought of as independent observations (which would be of relevance for statistical analysis).

The dolphin trainers also told us that, from their own experiences with these very intelligent animals, they had little doubt of the possibility of telepathic communication between cetaceans and humans. In fact, a recent issue of the dolphin trainer's professional newsletter had just featured an article about one of the most honored of their profession, Frank Robson. A New Zealander, Robson was knighted by Queen Elizabeth for the remarkable work described in his book Thinking Dolphins -- Talking Whales. He had achieved heroic status by saving a pod of whales that had become stranded on a sandbar in the South Pacific. Robson described this success, and many other experiences as resulting from a type of telepathy. Thus the dolphin trainers at Marine World were most willing to work with the New Frontier Institute group to explore further the possibility of human-dolphin telepathy.

Over a period of months, members of the group frequented the dolphin tanks at Marine World, paying particular attention to Dondi. Her condition improved markedly -- to the point where instead of being sick, contankerous and uncooperative, she had become the star performer in Marine World's dolphin show.

In May of 1977, a pilot attempt was made to assess the effectiveness of the New Frontiers Institute work with dolphins. The entire experiment was videotaped. In addition, detailed audiotaped records of Dondi's behavior were made by several independent observers (including myself, on this occasion) and were later transcribed. The final results were suggestive of the possibility that Dondi was responsive, over 50% of the time, to telepathic instructions.

Another interspecies explorer, and international organizer of the movement, is Wade Doak of Whangerei, New Zealand, author of ten books on natural history and wildlife, including Dolphin Dolphin and Encounters With Whales and Dolphins.

Wade Doak

Doak maintains that his exploration of interspecies communication began with a simple incident that took place on his catamaran in the waters off of New Zealand. An American visitor sitting on the deck suddenly and unexpectedly experienced an altered state of consciousness which he described as being like "a pinball machine in my head." Moments later, a dolphin jumped out of the water within a few feet of the American and looked at him right in the eye.

That evening, the American reported a strange dream. In the dream, Wade Doak was in the water surrounded by dolphins who were swimming about him in a figure-eight pattern. The dolphins were making a strange noise that sounded like "tepuhi."

Doak was a naturalist and filmmaker by training who had extensively studied communication patterns among the species inhabiting South Pacific coral reefs. In his explorations, he had encountered many exotic forms of communication among the various species -- including the native, micronesian tribes. He suspected that his friend's dream might represent a form of "biological communication" between humans and dolphins.

In order to explore this hypothesis further, he visited a shaman of the New Zealand Maori people. The Maoris call themselves the "people of the dolphin" and legend has it that their tribes was originally guided to the New Zealand islands in past ages by the dolphins themselves. The shaman believed that this dream was not a mere fantasy. He pointed out that "tepuhi" is the Maori word for the sound that dolphins make when they blow water from their blowholes.

Pressing matters further, Doak launched an expedition to contact dolphins in the open waters off New Zealand. He equipped his catamaran with film equipment. However, no dolphins were sighted for several weeks. Finally, on one occasion, some dolphins were sighted in the distance.

Doak jumped into the water and, while underwater, made the sound "tepuhi." At that moment, his film crew was fortunate enough to capture an extraordinary event. Circling the boat, dozens of dolphins simultaneously jumped into the air. Then they swam around Doak in a figure eight pattern -- a confirmation of the dream communication. Doak has since spent the intervening years continuing his efforts to communicate with and even live with dolphins in the open waters. He is also the founder of Project Interlock, an informal, international network of individuals who are engaging in similar experiences.

Intuitive Consensus

The Center for Applied Intuition was founded by William Kautz, who has also been a senior research scientist in the area of mathematics and computer science at SRI International. He developed a method called intuitive consensus:

William Kautz
(courtesy Thinking Allowed Productions)

Essentially, the method of intuitive consensus consists of a careful preparation of the questions to be answered to eliminate ambiguity and vagueness; posing the questions independently to a team of four or more 'intuitives,' followed in each case by a dialogue until clear and detailed answers are obtained; then analysis and comparison with one another and existing knowledge to form a consensus of intuitively derived information. The team approach permits the occasional errors and discrepancies in the information provided by individual team members to be almost completely eliminated. The questioning cycle may be repeated one or more times in order to resolve ambiguities or contradictions, usually traceable to erroneous preconceptions or unintended vagueness in the questions and to otherwise reduce the noise level in the intuitive communication channel. The final consensus takes the form of specific hypotheses amenable to test by ordinary scientific means. In some cases it provides new perspectives and new ideas about the problem under study.
Actually, the method employed by Kautz is very similar to the "Delphi method" which is used in future forecasting. In this method, various experts are questioned about potential future phenomena which fall under their expertise. The primary difference is that Kautz does not employ intellectual or academic experts; he employs people whose knowledge is derived from intuitive sources, which may be taken, in this case, as a possible euphemism for psi sources.

Kautz has been applying this method, under contract, for va"Ious business and professional organizations. He recently completed a study for a Japanese research institute on the "Future of Japan." He has also employed the method to develop scientific hypotheses related to such unsolved problems as the cause of earthquakes, and the cause of crib death in infants, as well as technical problems in genetic engineering. 

While the results he has obtained in these studies are not inconsistent with the possibility of successful ESP functioning, I am personally not aware of any individual instances of Kautz' work which could be put forward as examples of success in this area that could be attributed to psychic functioning. Kautz' approach has been detailed in two books, co-authored with Melanie Brannon, Channeling and Intuiting the Future.

Some Concluding Thoughts About Folklore

There is an ironic boundary separating the worlds of science and folklore. While folklore, as such, carries little or no scientific weight; science, without folklore, has little or no real meaning. This is most evident in looking at the writings of certain critics of psi research. Such critics will, from time to time, grudgingly acknowledge that some studies contain statistically anomalous effects. However, they point out these effects are simply meaningless statistical correlations pointing to no recognizable phenomena or principles.

They may be correct, but only in a rigidly limited sense. I believe they are wrong to eliminate all history and folklore from scientific consideration. For within the real-life, human context which history and folklore provide, the seemingly meaningless statistical correlations of psi research take on a kind of life and color.

In Section II, I have reported some personal experiences which seemed extraordinary to me: an apparent clairvoyant dream experience which led to my career in the media, observations of Ted Owens who attempted to demonstrate that he was half-alien, work with the New Frontiers Institute in ostensible telepathic communication between humans and dolphins, observations of Kathlyn Rhea who located a missing body for the Calavaras County Sheriff. I have been personally struck by these experiences. Whether I interpret them in a skeptical manner or as examples of psychic functioning, is a personal matter. It is not possible to make a rigorous scientific case either way, because there were too many uncontrolled variables in every case.

In Section III, after looking at how little psychology has to say directly about consciousness and how much it has to say about human error and folly, we will examine the evidence from psi research. The strongest evidence (which some knowledable scientists still reject) comes from experiments which bear the least relation to the world of everyday activity. If you choose to accept the data from these studies, they may make more sense to you in the light of material presented in Sections I and II -- and vice-versa.


. Loyd M. Auerbach, "Psi-fi: Psi in Science Fiction." Applied Psi, 3-4, Spring 1984.

. Louisa E. Rhine, PSI. New York: Harper & Row, 1975.

. Ronald Rose, Primitive Psychic Power. New York: New American Library, 1956.

. Joan Halifax-Grof, "Hex Death," in Alan Angoff & D. Barth (eds.), Parapsychology and Anthropology: Proceedings of an International Conference. New York: Parapsychology Foundation, 1974.

. Leonid I. Vasiliev, Experiments in Distant Influence. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1976.

. Sun Tzu, The Art of War, trans. by S. B. Griffith. New York: Oxford University Press, 1963.

. Zedenek Rejdak, "Parapsychology -- War Menace or Total Peace Weapon?" in S. Ostrander & L. Schroeder (eds.), The ESP Papers: Scientists Speak Out from Behind the Iron Curtain. New York: Bantam, 1976.

. J. H. Brennan, The Occult Reich. New York: New American Library, 1974.

. C. L. Linedecker, The Psychic Spy. New York: Doubleday, 1976.

. Leonid L. Vasiliev, Experiments in Distant Influence. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1976.

. Michael Rossman, New Age Blues. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1979.

. E. Read, "In Vietnam Life Can Depend On a Dowsing Rod," Fate, 21(4), April 1968, 52-59.

. SRI report

. SRI report

. A letter from Dr. Ray Hyman reporting his salient observations of Uri Geller during those meetings refered to the penetrating "blue eyes" of Uri Geller. Geller's eyes are brown.

. Paraphysics Research and Development -- Warsaw Pact. Defense Intelligence Agency, Washington, DC, March 30, 1978.

. Charles T. Tart, "A Survey of Negative Uses, Government Interest and Funding of Psi," Psi News, 1(2), 1978, p. 3.

. Barbara Honegger, who received an M.S. degree in parapsychology at John F. Kennedy University, worked in the White House as an assistant to Martin Anderson, Ronald Reagan's Domestic Policy Advisor. She co-authored, with me, a paper titled, "National Security Implications of Psi," for the Applied Psi Newsletter, 1(5), Nov-Dec 1982, which is the basis for much that is reported here of government interest in psi. She has also recently published a book, October Surprise (New York: xxxxx, 1989), detailing behind the scenes activities relating to Iranian arms sales during the Reagan administration.

. Robert C. Beck, "Extreme Low Frequency Magnetic Fields Entrainment: A Psychotronic Warfare Possibility?" Association for Humanistic Psychology Newsletter, April 1978.

. Lt. Col. John B. Anderson, "The New Mental Battlefield," Military Review, December 1980, 47-54.

. Thomas E. Bearden, Excalibur Briefing. San Francisco: Walnut Hill, 1980.

. Thomas E. Bearden, "Soviet Psychotronic Weapons: A Condensed Background," Specula, March-June 1978.

. Candice Borland & G. Landrith, Improved Quality of City Life: Decreased Crime Rate. MERU Report 7502. Weggis, Switzerland: Department of Sociology, Center for the Study of Higher States of Consciousness, Maharishi European Research University, 1975.

. M.C. Dillbeck, T.W. Bauer, & S.I. Seferovich, The Transcendental Meditation Program as a Predictor of Crime Rate Changes in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. Unpublished paper (1978) Available from the International Center for Scientific Research, Maharishi International University, Fairfield, Iowa 52556.

. S. Giles, "Analysis of Crime Trend in 56 Major U.S. Cities," Scientific Research on the Transcendental Meditation Program: Collected Papers, Vol II. Rheinweiler, West Germany, nd.

. G. Hatchard, Influence of Transcendental Meditation Program on Crime Rate in Suburban Cleveland, Unpublished paper (1978). Available from the International Center for Scientific Research, Maharishi International University, Fairfield, Iowa 52556.

. G. Landrith, The Maharishi Effect and Invincibility: Crime, Automobile Accidents and Fires. Unpublished paper (1978). Available from the International Center for Scientific Research, Maharishi International University, Fairfield, Iowa 52556.

. Franklin D. Trumpy, "An Investigation of the Reported Effect of Transcendental Meditation on the Weather," Skeptical Inquirer, VIII(2), Winter 1983-84, 143-148.

. Joseph Banks Rhine, "Some Exploratory Tests in Dowsing," JournaI of Parapsychology, 14(4), December 1950, 278-286.

. Kenneth Roberts, Henry Gross and His Divining Rod. New York: Doubleday, 1951.

. Kenneth Roberts, The Seventh Sense. New York: Doubleday, 1953.

. Kenneth Roberts, Water Unlimited. New York: Doubleday, 1957.

. Berthold E. Schwarz, A Psychiatrist Looks at ESP. New York: New American Library, 1965. Originally published as Psycho-Dynamics, the book contains studies of three different psychics.

. A. G. Bakirov, "The Geological Possibilities of the Biophysical Method," trans. by C. Muromcew & C. Bird, The American Dowser, August 1974, 110-112.

. A useful skeptical account of dowsing is Evon Z. Vogt and Ray Hyman, Water Witching U.S.A. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1959.

. Jonsson, incidentally, is the same psychic who participated with astronaut Edgar Mitchell in a less than successful ESP experiment from outer-space. See Edgar D. Mitchell, "An ESP Test from Apollo 14," Journal of Parapsychology, 35(2), 1971.

. "News Ambit," Psychic Magazine, December 1974.

. Ostrander & Schroeder, Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain.

. In May of 1975, Lozanov spoke at several conferences of American educators who are interested in utilizing his techniques. 

. Milan Ryzl, ESP in the Modern World. San Jose: Milan Ryzl, 1972. Available from the author, P.O. Box 9459, Westgate Station, San Jose, Ca. 95117. 

. Frederick Bligh Bond & T. S. Lea. The Gate of Remembrance: The Story of the Psychological Experiment Which Resulted in the Discovery of Edgar Chapel at Glastonbury. 2nd & 4th editions rev. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1918, 1921.

. J. N. Emerson, "Intuitive Archeology: A Psychic Approach," New Horizons, 1(3), January 1974.

. J. N. Emerson, "Intuitive Archeology: The Argillite Carving," Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto, March 1974.

. J. N. Emerson, "Intuitive Archeology: A Developing Approach," Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto, November 1974.

. Chris Bird & Jeffrey Mishlove, "Soviet Parapsychology," Mindspace radio broadcast, May 1975.

. Stephen A. Schwartz, The Secret Vaults of Time. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1978.

. Stephen A. Schwartz & H. E. Edgerton, A Preliminary Survey of the Eastern Harbour, Alexandria, Egypt, Combining both Technical and Extended Sensing Remote Sensor Exploration. Los Angeles: The Mobius Group, 1980.

. Stephan A. Schwartz & Rand de Mattei, "The Discovery of an American Brig: Fieldwork Involving Applied Archaeological Remote Viewing," in Linda A. Henkel & Rick E. Berger (eds.), Research in Parapsychology 1988. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1989.

. A major critic of this report has been Keith Harary, a psi researcher who has served as a Mobius respondent.

. Paul Tabori, Crime and the Occult. New York: Taplinger, 1974.

. Ibid.

. Ibid.

. M. B. Dykshorn & Russell H. Felton, My Passport Says Clairvoyant. New York: Hawthorne, 1974.

. "Interview: Irene Hughes," Psychic Magazine, December 1971.

. Tabori, op. cit.

. Ibid.

. Piet Hein Hoebens, "Gerard Croiset: Investigation of the Mozart of 'Psychic Sleuths' -- Part I," Skeptical Inquirer, VI(1), Fall 1981, 17-28

. Piet Hein Hoebens, "Croiset and Professor Tenheaff: Discrepancies in Claims of Clairvoyance," Skeptical Inquirer, VI(2), Winter 1981-2, 32-40.

. Kathlyn Rhea, Mind Sense. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts, 1988.

. Kathlyn Rhea, The Psychic is You (2nd edition). Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts, 1988.

. Pat Michaels, "Pat Michaels, Clairvoyant Newsman," Fate, August 1966, 442-53.

. William H. Kautz, "Rosemary Case of Alleged Egyptian Xenoglossy," Theta, 10(2), 1982, 26-30.

. Jeffrey Goodman, Psychic Archeology. New York: G. P. Putnam, 1977.

. Douglas Dean, John Mihalsky, Shiela Ostrander & Lynn Schroeder, Executive ESP. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1974.

. Eric Mishara, "Psychic Stock Market Analyst," Omni, February 1983.

. Uri Geller & Guy Lyon Playfair, The Geller Effect. New York: Henry Holt, 1986.

. J. Cook, "Closing the Psychic Gap," Forbes, 1984, 133, 12, 90-95.

. Ibid.

. J. C. Barker, "Premonitions of the Aberfan Disaster," Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 44, 1967, 169-180.

. E. W. CBx, "Precognition: An Analysis, I," Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 50, 1956, 47-58.

. E. W. Cox, "Precognition: An Analysis, II," Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 50, 1956, 97-107.

. Alan Vaughan, "Applying Precognition to Space Systems," Applied Psi Newsletter, 1(2), May/June 1982, 1-6.

. Alan Vaughan, Patterns of Prophecy. New York: Hawthorne, 1973, 37-55. Vaughan is also a researcher and theorist. His book provides a detailed discussion of the archetypal patterns of time.

. For an interesting research study involving Vaughan and his students, see Gertrude R. Schmeidler & J. Goldberg, "Evidence for Selective Telepathy in Group Psychometry," in W. G. Roll, R. L. Morris & J. D. Morris (eds.), Research in Parapsychology 1973. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1974.

. For a skeptical account of Alan Vaughan's abilities, see James Randi, "'Superpsychic' Vaughan: Claims Versus the Record," Skeptical Inquirer, V(4), Summer 1981, 19-21.

. Ibid., pp. 66-69, 101-102.

. Carol Liaros, "Psi Faculties in the Blind," Parapsychology Review, 5(6), November-December 1974, 25-26.

. Yvonne Duplessis, The Paranormal Perception of Color. New York: Parapsychology Foundation, 1975.

. Jeffrey Mishlove, Psi Development Systems. New York: Ballantine, 1988.

. W. V. Rauscher, "Beethoven Lives Through Rosemary Brown," In Marton Ebon (Ed.), The Psychic Scene. New York: New American Library, 1974, pp. 140-150.

. E. W. Russell, "Radionics -- Science of the Future," in John White & Stanley Krippner (eds.), Future Science. New York: Anchor Books, 1977.

. Michael Murphy & Rhea A. White, The Psychic Side of Sports. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1979.

. Michael Murphy, Transforming the Human Body (#S320). Videotape available from Thinking Allowed Productions, 2560 9th Street, #123, Berkeley, CA 94710.

. Patric V. Geisler, "Parapsychological Anthropology: Multi-Method Approaches to the Study of Psi in the Field Setting," in W. G. Roll, J. Beloff, & R. A. White (eds.), Research in Parapsychology 1982. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1983, pp. 241-244.

. Annie Besant & C. W. Leadbeater, Occult Chemistry. London: Theosophical Publishing House, 1919.

. Z. W. Wolkowski, "A Case of Apparent Direct Observation of Matter at the Molecular and Sub-Atomic Level," Proceedings of the Second International Congress on Psychotronic Research, 1975, Monte Carlo, pp. 288-290.

. Janet Mitchell, "A Psychic Probe of the Planet Mercury," Psychic, 6(3), May/June 1975, 16-21.

. Jeffrey Mishlove, Preliminary Investigation of Events which Suggest the Applied Psi Abilities of Mr. Ted Owens. San Francisco: Washington Research Center, 1977, 1978.

. T. J. Constable, "Orgone Energy Weather Engineering Through the Cloudbuster," in John White & Stanley Krippner (eds.), Future Science. New York: Anchor Press, 1977.

. Sir Arthur Grimble, We Chose the Islands. New York: William Morrow, 1952.

. Dr. Charles Tart (who at that time served on my Ph.D. advisory committee in Berkeley) described a similar state in an article titled, "Mutual Hypnotic Induction," published in his classic anthology, Altered States of Consciousness, New York: Doubleday, 1971.

. Wade Doak, Dolphin Dolphin. New York: Sheridan House, 1988. While this most interesting book, and others by Doak, may be hard to find in bookstores, they can be ordered directly from the publisher at 146 Palisades, Dobbs Ferry, New York.

. Wade Doak, Encounters with Whales & Dolphins. Auckland: Hodder & Stoughton, 1988.

. William H. Kautz, Intuitive Consensus: A Novel Approach to the Solution of Difficult Scientific and Technical Problems. Brochure published by the Center for Applied Intuition.

. Published in San Francisco by Harper & Row in 1987 & 1989 respectively.

. E. G. Boring, "The Present Status of Parapsychology," American Scientist, 43, 1955, 108-116.

. P. W. Bridgeman, "Probability, Logic and ESP," Science, 123, 1956, 15-17.

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