Thursday, May 31, 2012

Psychic Contributions to Physics

Extrasensory Perception of Subatomic Particles (PDF), (HTML)

Abstract - A century-old claim by two early leaders of the Theosophical Society to have used a form of ESP to observe subatomic particles is evaluated. Their observations are found to be consistent with facts of nuclear physics and with the quark model of particle physics provided that their assumption that they saw atoms is rejected. Their account of the force binding together the fundamental constituents of matter is shown to agree with the string model. Their description of these basic particles bears striking similarity to basic ideas of superstring theory. The implication of this remarkable correlation between ostensible paranormal observations of subatomic particles and facts of nuclear and particle physics is that quarks are neither fundamental nor hadronic states of superstrings, as many physicists currently assume, but, instead, are composed of three subquark states of a superstring.

Occultism and the atom: the curious story of isotopes (PDF), (HTML)
For example, Besant and Leadbeater reported in 1908 in the journal The Theosophist their discovery of a variation of neon - five years before the English chemist Frederick Soddy gave the name of "isotopes" to atoms of an element differing in mass. Their colleague, C. Jinarajadasa, who made sketches and notes during their investigative sessions, wrote in 1943 to Professor F. W. Aston, inventor of the mass spectrograph, at Cambridge University, England, informing him that Besant and Leadbeater had discovered in 1907 the neon-22 isotope by psychic means five years before scientists found it. (How the two Theosophists identified isotopes will be explained later). The distinguished scientist replied that he was not interested in Theosophy!

Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Skeptiko Interview with Dr. Melvin Morse

In the skeptiko podcast interview with Dr. Melvin Morse, Morse tells of the case of a child drowning victim who had been underwater for 17 minutes and after being rescued had no heartbeat for an additional 45 minutes. Dr. Morse never saw any sign of life in the patient. At the time he thought she had died. It was only long afterward that he found out she survived.

Yet during that time, the patient experienced floating out of her body and remembered being intubated, hearing a phone conversation the doctor had, and hearing the nurses talking about a cat that died. When she regained consciousness she asked the nurses where her friends from heaven were. She also remembered that heaven was "fun".

The full interview is here.

So by chance or coincidence or fate or whatever, I happened to be in Pocatello, Idaho and there was a child there who had drowned in a community swimming pool. She was documented to be under water for at least 17 minutes. It just so happened that a pediatrician was in the locker room at the same community swimming pool and he attempted to revive her on the spot. His intervention probably saved her life but again, he documented that she had no spontaneous heartbeat for I would say at least 45 minutes, until she arrived at the emergency room. Then our team got there.

She was really dead. All this debate over how close do these patients come to death, etc., you know, Alex, I had the privilege of resuscitating my own patients and she was, for all intents and purposes, dead. In fact, I had told her parents that. I said that it was time for them to say goodbye to her. This was a very deeply religious Mormon family. They actually did. They crowded around the bedside and held hands and prayed for her and such as that. She was then transported to Salt Lake City. She lived. She not only lived but three days later she made a full recovery.

Alex Tsakiris: And what did she tell you…

Dr. Melvin Morse: Her first words, the first words she said when she came out of her coma, she turned to the nurse down at Primary Children’s in Salt Lake City. She says, “Where are my friends?” And then they’d say, “What do you mean, where are your friends?” She’d say, “Yeah, all the people that I met in Heaven. Where are they?” [Laughs]

The innocence of a child. So I saw her in follow-up, another one of these odd twists of fate. I happened to be in addition doing my residency and just happened to be working in the same community clinic in that area. My jaw just dropped to the floor when she and her mother walked in. I was like, “What?” I had not even heard that she had lived. I had assumed that she had died. She looked at me and she said to her mother, “There’s the man that put a tube down my nose.” [Laughs]

Alex Tsakiris: What are you thinking at that point when she says that?

Dr. Melvin Morse: You know, it’s one of those things—I laughed. I sort of giggled the way a teenager would giggle about sex. It was just embarrassing. I didn’t know what to think. Certainly, I’d trained at Johns Hopkins. I thought when you died you died. I said, “What do you mean, you saw me put a tube in your nose?”

She said, “Oh, yeah. I saw you take me into another room that looked like a doughnut.”

She said things like, “You called someone on the phone and you asked, ‘What am I supposed to do next?’”

She described the nurses talking about a cat who had died. One of the nurses had a cat that had died and it was just an incidental conversation. She said she was floating out of her body during this entire time. I just sort of laughed. And then she taps me on the wrist. You’ve got to hear this, Alex.

After I laughed she taps me on the wrist and she says, “You’ll see, Dr. Morse. Heaven is fun.” [Laughs] I was completely blown away by the entire experience. I immediately determined that I would figure out what was going on here. This was in complete defiance of everything I had been taught in terms of medicine.

Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Meditation Music

Here is some music that may help with the meditation I discussed yesterday:

  • Put a Little Love in Your Heart
    Think of your fellow man
    lend him a helping hand
    put a little love in your heart.

  • Get Together
    C'mon people now,
    Smile on your brother
    Ev'rybody get together
    Try and love one another right now

  • Shower the People
    Shower the people you love with love
    Show them the way that you feel

If you click on the links above you will go to another site which has the lyrics of the song.

If you search the internet, you may be able to find mp3 downloads or youtube videos of this music.

Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Monday, May 28, 2012

How to Tap into Universal Love

Update: I have added this post to my web site and made a few updates to it. Please refer to Tapping into Universal Love on the meditation page on my web site for the most recent version of this information.

God is love.

People who experience being in the presence of God during near death experiences describe having an overwhelming feeling of being loved.

God is omnipresent.

You can tap into this source of universal love without having a near death experience.

To do it you use your spiritual capabilities - the capabilities that all spirits have and that as an incarnated spirit you have access to even though you are incarnated.

Spirits interact with their world through their mind. They think of a place they want to go to and they start moving there. They are telepathic, they think of someone and their thoughts go off to that person. Spirits use their mind the way an incarnated person uses tools. Spirits create by using their mind.

We use the same word "create" to describe how people use their imagination because it is the same thing.

To create a tap into universal love, use your imagination. Imagine a light beam of love coming down to you from above. Hold your hands in front of you with your palms facing upward to receive it. Relax any tension or tightness you may feel in your chest, open your heart, and let the love flow out into the world.

Try this meditation:

Step 1:

Imagine a light beam of love coming down upon you from above. Hold your hands in front of you with your palms facing upward to receive it.

Say to yourself, "Love is all around why don't you take it?" (If you know the tune, you may sing it to yourself).

Step 2:

Relax any tension or tightness you may feel in your chest, open your heart, and imagine love emanating from your heart and flowing out into the world, or to a situation you don't like (to desensitize yourself to the situation), or to someone who might be a problem for you (to develop forgiveness and tolerance).

Say to yourself, "Love is all around why don't you make it?" (If you know the tune, you may sing it to yourself).

Repeat these two steps for the duration of the meditation session.

If you feel like smiling while you do this, go ahead and smile. It is probably an indication that you are doing it right. Also, sometimes smiling a little bit can help you reenter this state.


I recommend some music to play during this meditation in this post.

Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Experience of Oneness

I made a minor change to my web page on Varieties of Mystical Experiences in the section Kensho and Kundalini. I added a link to a web page by Christine Farrenkopf discussing scientific research on the changes in brain activity that occur when meditators experience a sense of oneness sometimes referred to as a nondual state. (UPDATE: I changed the link on my web site to go to this post.)

From Farrenkopf's web report:

The "peak" of meditation is clearly a subjective state, with each individual attaining it in different manners and having different time requirements. However, the sensation and meaning behind this moment is consistent among all who reach it. At the peak, the subjects indicate that they lose their sense of individual existence and feel inextricably bound with the universe. "There [are] no discrete objects or beings, no sense of space or the passage of time, no line between the self and the rest of the universe" (Newberg 119).


The subjects then meditated. When they reached the peak, they pulled on a string attached at one end to their finger and at the other to Dr. Newberg.2 This was the cue for Newberg to inject the radioactive tracer into the IV connected to the subject. Because the tracer almost instantly "locks" onto parts of the brain to indicate their activity levels, the SPECT gives a picture of the brain essentially at that peak moment (Newberg 3). The results revealed a marked decrease in the activity of the posterior, superior parietal lobe and a marked increase in the activity of the prefrontal cortex, predominantly on the right side of the brain (Newberg 6). Such changes in activity levels demonstrated that something was going on in the brain in terms of spiritual experience. The next step was to look at what these particular parts of the brain do. Studies of damage suffered to a region of the brain have enabled us to draw conclusions about its role by observing loss of function.

It has been concluded that the posterior, superior parietal lobe is involved in both the creation of a three-dimensional sense of self and an individual's ability to navigate through physical space (Journal 216). The region of the lobe in the left hemisphere of the brain allows for a person to conceive of the physical boundaries of his body (Newberg 28). It responds to proprioceptive stimuli, most importantly the movement of limbs. The region of the lobe in the right hemisphere creates the perception of the matrix through which we move.

From a subjective point of view, when in the nondual state, it seems like the self disappears and the experiencer becomes "one with everything". From an objective point of view, research on meditators shows that the experience is due to a decrease in activity of the posterior, superior parietal lobe in the brain. These results are consistent with other research which shows that region of the brain is responsible for the sense of self. At first glance, this may seem like a materialist explanation for the experience of oneness, but it is consistent with hypothesis that consciousness is non physical and the brain acts as a filter of consciousness. It indicates that the sense of self is not an objective fact. The sense of self is a subjective opinion, an illusion, produced by the brain.

It is also interesting that people who have near death experiences also report a sense of oneness which suggests the experience of oneness is a real experience of our true nature when we are not constrained by the physical brain. Whatever the explanation, the experience of oneness does show that the sense of self and separateness we consider to be our normal reality is merely a subjective opinion.

Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mario Beauregard on Near Death Experiences

Mario Beauregard's recent article on Near Death Experiences, Near death, explained discusses some cases of NDEs and discusses why skeptical explanations for the phenomena are wrong. He concludes NDEs are strong evidence for the afterlife.

The scientific NDE studies performed over the past decades indicate that heightened mental functions can be experienced independently of the body at a time when brain activity is greatly impaired or seemingly absent (such as during cardiac arrest). Some of these studies demonstrate that blind people can have veridical perceptions during OBEs associated with an NDE. Other investigations show that NDEs often result in deep psychological and spiritual changes.

These findings strongly challenge the mainstream neuroscientific view that mind and consciousness result solely from brain activity. As we have seen, such a view fails to account for how NDErs can experience—while their hearts are stopped—vivid and complex thoughts and acquire veridical information about objects or events remote from their bodies.

NDE studies also suggest that after physical death, mind and consciousness may continue in a transcendent level of reality that normally is not accessible to our senses and awareness. Needless to say, this view is utterly incompatible with the belief of many materialists that the material world is the only reality.

His response to criticisms of the article are provided in a second article: Near-death, revisited

Corroborated veridical NDE perceptions during cardiac arrest (and several other phenomena discussed in “Brain Wars”) strongly suggest that so-called “scientific materialism” is not only limited, but wrong. In line with this, nearly a century ago, quantum mechanics (QM) dematerialized the classical universe by showing that it is not made of minuscule billiard balls, as drawings of atoms and molecules would lead us to believe. In other words, QM acknowledges that the physical world cannot be fully understood without making reference to mind and consciousness, that is, the physical world is no longer viewed as the primary or sole component of reality (this was well explained by Wolfgang Pauli, one of the founders of QM...)

Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dean Radin: Consciousness and the double-slit interference pattern: Six experiments

In the recent past, I have posted about the ability of consciousness to influence the physical world at the level of quantum mechanics and in the brain. This shows that consciousness is not an epiphenomenon, nor is it an illusion, and that conscisouness cannot be produced by matter or physical processes. Many of the founders of quantum mechanics such as Erwin Schrödinger, and Max Planck believed this to be true.

Now Dean Radin has published a research paper describing more evidence of this. His latest experiments show how meditators concentrating on an experimental apparatus can cause a photon to change from a wave to a particle. He used a double slit apparatus and found that when meditators concentrated on the apparatus, the interference pattern caused by light waves decreased and the pattern more closely resembled that which would be caused by particles rather than waves.

Consciousness and the double-slit interference pattern: Six experiments Dean Radin Leena Michel, Karla Galdamez, Paul Wendland, Robert Rickenbach, and Arnaud Delorme, PHYSICS ESSAYS 25, 2 (2012)

Abstract: A double-slit optical system was used to test the possible role of consciousness in the collapse of the quantum wavefunction. The ratio of the interference pattern’s double-slit spectral power to its single-slit spectral power was predicted to decrease when attention was focused toward the double slit as compared to away from it.


factors associated with consciousness, such as meditation experience, electrocortical markers of focused attention, and psychological factors including openness and absorption, significantly correlated in predicted ways with perturbations in the double-slit interference pattern. The results appear to be consistent with a consciousness-related interpretation of the quantum measurement problem.
© 2012 Physics Essays Publication. [DOI: 10.4006/0836-1398-25.2.157]

Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Randi's Unwinnable Prize: The Million Dollar Challenge

Last month I wrote a couple of posts in a discussion forum explaining why the Amazing Randi's million dollar challenge has not been won. This is important to understand because pseudoskeptics often claim that because no one has won the prize, all claims of paranormal powers must be false.

However, the truth is that that a number of paranormal phenomena have been shown to be genuine and the million dollar prize has not been won because it is simply not a good way to demonstrate paranormal powers. The million dollar challenge requires that the applicant has to beat 1 million to one odds. Setting such a high barrier for success makes sense if you are risking a one million dollar prize. However, 1 million to one odds are much higher than the scientific standard of proof so this challenge is not necessarily the best or fairest way to determine if paranormal abilities are genuine. Designing a test that is fair to both the applicant and the challenger requires sophisticated knowledge of statistics (How many trials would be needed for a psychic to have a 95% confidence level that they could beat million to one odds if their accuracy was 75%?) Most psychics don't have the understanding of statistics necessary to look out for their own interests and therefore most applicants will not be able to demand a protocol that gives them a fair chance of winning. This is the most likely reason no one has won the prize.

Furthermore, most applicants who know about Randi or understand the details of the challenge would be reluctant to spend the time, effort and expense of applying because they would not trust it to be a fair test or have confidence that they would be judged fairly or rewarded fairly if they succeeded.

  • Randi supposedly has said, "I always have an out. (Fate, October 1981)", and "I am a charlatan, a liar, a thief and a fake altogether." (This is reported to have been said on PM Magazine, on July 1st, 1982.) Applicants for the prize have legitimate reasons not to trust Randi. An interview in Will Stoor's book The Heretics quotes Randi in making several deceptive statements.

  • The prize is in bonds but Randi won't say when the bonds mature or who issued the bonds so no one knows what the prize really is. Why won't he say what the prize really is? Applicants are legitimately afraid the prize is some sort of worthless trick.

  • The applicant has to pay for their own travel expenses involved in attempting the prize. Why would they do that when they have good reasons not to trust Randi and they don't know what the prize really is?

  • Randi has a history of making mean spirited statements. He has been forced to retract statements in the past. However, applicants have to sign an agreement not to sue Randi even if he makes makes misleading, defamatory, slanderous, or libelous statements about the psychic.

  • The applicants for Randi's prize have to prove themselves to a very high statistical standard far beyond the level that is generally considered proof in science experiments. An experiment could be designed to satisfy this standard with fewer than ten trials. However, a psychic, depending on their rate of accuracy, might need hundreds of trials to have a fair chance of obtaining such an unlikely result1. Most psychics won't realize this because they don't have the necessary expertise in science or statistics and this may be the primary reason no applicant has ever won the prize. One scientist who did apply for the prize never heard back from Randi.

Why would anyone be willing to spend their time and money to try to win the challenge when they don't trust Randi, or believe that the challenge is fair, or that the prize is real?

The challenge is not really serious. Most applicants who understand the details would be reluctant to spend the time, effort and expense of applying because they would not trust it to be a fair test or have confidence that they would be judged fairly or rewarded fairly if they succeeded. The most likely reason no one has won is because most applicants do not have the expertise in statistics needed to demand a protocol that will give them a fair chance of winning. The prize is a publicity stunt designed to give materialist pseudoskeptics a one liner: "Why has no one won the prize?!?!" The correct answer is: ... Because it is not a good way to measure paranormal powers and anyone who understands the situation would have very good reasons not to apply.

It is sadly ironic that so many of Randi's followers, who pride themselves on their critical thinking skills, are fooled into thinking this prize is a legitimate test of paranormal phenomena. There are many independent forms of empirical evidence for ESP and the afterlife. The entire movement of pseudoskeptics is based on misdirection. Randi's followers believe they are helping to protect people from fraud, but in fact they themselves are victims of many deceptions perpertrated by the leaders of the pseudoskeptic movement. I discuss this in greater detail on my web page on Skeptical Misdirection.


(1) In an experiment to measure psychic ability, there are three numbers that need to be considered:

  • The first number represents the confidence that the outcome is not due to chance. The million dollar challenge requires the psychic perform at a level that would occur by chance only once in a million times.
  • The second number is the rate of accuracy of the psychic's abilities. For example, a psychic might have an accuracy of 75% in some task where the probability of being correct by chance is only 50%.

  • The third number is the number of trials which are needed to give the psychic a high level of confidence that they would win the prize given their rate of accuracy.

In order to achieve the required confidence that the psychic's performance is not due to chance, the challenge could require two tests of ten or fewer trials. However, the psychic might not be able to pass such a test if they are not 100% accurate. But, if the psychic is given a sufficient number of trials, they may demonstrate a success rate that, while not 100% accurate, still cannot be explained by chance at the level of confidence demanded by the challenge.

In order for the psychic to have a 95% confidence level that they could beat million to one odds if their accuracy was 75%, they might need over 100 trials. Most psychics are not well enough versed in statistics to know how to measure their rate of accuracy or how to calculate the number of trials they need to have a good chance of winning the prize.


Skeptical Organisations and Magazines A Guide to the Skeptics at

For many years this "prize" has been Randi's stock-in-trade as a media skeptic, but even some other skeptics are skeptical about its value as anything but a publicity stunt. For example, CSICOP founding member Dennis Rawlins pointed out that not only does Randi act as "policeman, judge and jury" but quoted him as saying "I always have an out"! (Fate, October 1981).


Contenders have to pay for their own travelling expenses if they want to go to Randi to be tested: Rule 6: "All expenses such as transportation, accommodation and/or other costs incurred by the applicant/claimant in pursuing the reward, are the sole responsibility of the applicant/claimant." Also, applicants waive their legal rights: Rule 7: "When entering into this challenge, the applicant surrenders any and all rights to legal action against Mr. Randi, against any person peripherally involved and against the James Randi Educational Foundation, as far as this may be done by established statutes. This applies to injury, accident, or any other damage of a physical or emotional nature and/or financial, or professional loss, or damage of any kind." Applicants also give Randi complete control over publicity

Flim-Flam Flummery: A Skeptical Look at James Randi at

Recently I picked up Flim-Flam again. Having changed my mind about many things over the past twenty years, I responded to it much differently this time. I was particularly struck by the book's hectoring, sarcastic tone. Randi pictures psychic researchers as medieval fools clad in "caps and bells" and likens the delivery of an announcement at a parapsychology conference to the birth of "Rosemary's Baby." After debunking all manner of alleged frauds, he opens the book's epilogue with the words, "The tumbrels now stand empty but ready for another trip to the square" – a reference to the French Revolution, in which carts ("tumbrels") of victims were driven daily to the guillotine. Randi evidently pictures himself as the executioner who lowers the blade. In passing, two points might be made about this metaphor: the French Revolution was a product of "scientific rationalism" run amok ... and most of its victims were innocent.

The Psychic Challenge by Montague Keen Source: hosted at

Now for the more serious bit: first, the $1million prize. Loyd Auerbach, a leading USA psychologist and President of the Psychic Entertainers Association (some 80% of the members of his Psychic Entertainers' Association believe in the paranormal, according to Dr. Adrian Parker, who was on the programme, but given no opportunity to reveal this) exposed some of the deficiencies in this challenge in an article in Fate magazine.

Under Article 3, the applicant allows all his test data to be used by the Foundation in any way Mr. Randi may choose. That means that Mr. Randi can pick and chose the data at will and decide what to do with it and what verdict to pronounce on it. Under Article 7, the applicant surrenders all rights to legal action against the Foundation, or Mr. Randi, no matter what emotional, professional or financial injury he may consider he has sustained. Thus even if Mr. Randi comes to a conclusion different from that reached by his judges and publicly denounces the test, the applicant would have no redress. The Foundation and Mr. Randi own all the data. Mr. Randi can claim that the judges were fooled. The implicit accusation of fraud would leave the challenger devoid of remedy.

These rules, be it noted, are in stark contrast to Mr. Randi's frequent public assertions that he wanted demonstrable proof of psychic powers. First, his rules are confined to a single, live applicant. No matter how potent the published evidence, how incontestable the facts or rigorous the precautions against fraud, the number, qualifications or expertise of the witnesses and investigators, the duration, thoroughness and frequency of their tests or (where statistical evaluation is possible) the astronomical odds against a chance explanation: all must be ignored. Mr. Randi thrusts every case into the bin labelled 'anecdotal' (which means not written down), and thereby believes he may safely avoid any invitation to account for them.

Likewise, the production of a spanner bent by a force considerably in excess of the capacity of the strongest man, created at the request and in the presence of a group of mechanics gathered round a racing car at a pit stop by Mr. Randi's long-time enemy, Uri Geller, would run foul of the small print, which requires a certificate of a successful preliminary demonstration before troubling Mr. Randi himself. A pity, because scientists at Imperial College have tested the spanner, which its current possessor, the researcher and author Guy Lyon Playfair, not unnaturally regards as a permanent paranormal object, and there is a standing challenge to skeptics to explain its appearance.

Randi's dishonest claims about dogs by Rupert Sheldrake - from hosted at

Randi also claimed to have debunked one of my experiments with the dog Jaytee, a part of which was shown on television. Jaytee went to the window to wait for his owner when she set off to come home, but did not do so before she set off. In Dog World, Randi stated: "Viewing the entire tape, we see that the dog responded to every car that drove by, and to every person who walked by." This is simply not true, and Randi now admits that he has never seen the tape.

Beware Pseudo-Skepticism - The Randi Challenge at

Since the prize money is in the form of bonds, then it is possible that the bonds are worthless. For example, maybe a lot of the bonds are from corporations that are on the verge of going bankrupt? Or maybe the corporations don't have to pay off the bonds for another 40 years? In our example, Bob had to pay everything back in 24 months... this is called the "maturity" of the bond. Some bonds don't mature for a few years, others don't mature for a few decades. If Randi awards the prize of a bond that doesn't mature for 40 years, then legally I do have a million dollars... but I can't USE the million dollars until the bonds mature! As you can see, there are a lot of different scenarios where the bonds could be LEGALLY worth a million dollars, but in reality they could be worthless.


The next logical step is to find out what the bonds are really worth. To do that, I e-mailed Randi at the address he provided on his website. I politely pointed out where it said the prize was in bonds in the Challenge rules, and then I asked what corporations issued the bonds, what the interest rates were, and when the maturity dates are. These are the main factors at determining if the bonds are worthless or not. Randi replied with, "Apply, or go away." I explained to him that I wanted clarification on what he was offering. That this had nothing to do with my claim, but they were questions aimed at getting more information about the Challenge. Randi replied with, "Immediately convertible into money. That's all I'm going to get involved in. Apply, or disappear." Obviously that doesn't answer my question at all. Immediately convertible into how much money? Convertible through who?

The Myth of the Million Dollar Challenge at

The procedures for the Challenge included several hurdles in favor of, and multiple "outs" for Randi and the JREF that any discerning individual capable of any kind of extraordinary human performance would think twice about (and here I'm not just referring to psychics and the like).


While the JREF says that "all tests are designed with the participation and approval of the applicant", this does not mean that the tests are fair scientific tests. The JREF need to protect a very large amount of money from possible "long-range shots", and as such they ask for extremely significant results before paying out - much higher than are generally accepted in scientific research (and if you don’t agree to terms, your application is rejected).


Furthermore, applicants must first pass a 'preliminary test', before they are allowed to progress to the actual 'formal' test which pays the million dollars. So an applicant must first show positive results in a preliminary test (yielding results against chance of at least 1000 to 1, apparently), then once through to the next stage they would then have to show positive results against much higher odds to claim the prize (by all reports, at odds of around 1 million to 1). Failure in either test means no cash prize, and a fail beside their name.


As a consequence, you might well say "no wonder no serious researcher has applied for the Challenge." Interestingly, this is not the case. Dr Dick Bierman, who has a PhD in physics, informed me that he did in fact approach James Randi about the Million Dollar Challenge in late 1998


At that point Randi mentioned that before proceeding he had to submit this preliminary proposal to his scientific board or committee. And basically that was the end of it. I have no idea where the process was obstructed but I must confess that I was glad that I could devote myself purely to science rather than having to deal with the skeptics and the associated media hypes.

Copyright © 2012, 2015 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Consciousness is not an Illusion or an Epiphenomenon

I have updated my web page on Skeptical Fallacies to include a section Consciousness is not an Illusion or an Epiphenomenon

Skeptics will sometimes say that consciousness is an illusion or that consciousness is an epiphenomenon of the brain. An epiphenomenon is caused by some phenomenon but cannot affect the phenomenon that causes it.

Saying that consciousness is an illusion or an epiphenomenon does not really explain consciousness. See the section Consciousness cannot be Explained as an Emergent Property of the Brain for an explanation of why giving a scientific name to a phenomenon is not the same as explaining it.

The Wikipedia article on Epiphenomenon says,

An epiphenomenon can be an effect of primary phenomena, but cannot affect a primary phenomenon. In philosophy of mind, epiphenomenalism is the view that mental phenomena are epiphenomena in that they can be caused by physical phenomena, but cannot cause physical phenomena.

The Wikipedia article of Ephphenomenalism says:

Epiphenomenalism is the theory in philosophy of mind that mental phenomena are caused by physical processes in the brain or that both are effects of a common cause, as opposed to mental phenomena driving the physical mechanics of the brain. The impression that thoughts, feelings or sensations cause physical effects, is therefore to be understood as illusory to some extent. For example, it is not the feeling of fear that produces an increase in heart beat, both are symptomatic of a common physiological origin, possibly in response to a legitimate external threat.[1]

If consciousness cannot affect the brain, then consciousness may be an illusion. However, there is significant evidence that consciousness can affect the brain.

One form of evidence that consciousness can influence the brain comes from the placebo effect. In certain situations, if a patient is given an inactive substance but is told that he is being given a drug, the patient will experience the effects that the drug is said to cause. One example of this occurs when a patient is given a sugar pill but told it is a pain killer. In this situation, patients report that pain is reduced and in fact studies have indicated that this effect is caused by the production of naturally occurring opioids in the brain.

The Wikipedia article on the Placebo Effect says,

The phenomenon of an inert substance's resulting in a patient's medical improvement is called the placebo effect. The phenomenon is related to the perception and expectation that the patient has; if the substance is viewed as helpful, it can heal, but, if it is viewed as harmful, it can cause negative effects, which is known as the nocebo effect. The basic mechanisms of placebo effects have been investigated since 1978, when it was found that the opioid antagonist naloxone could block placebo painkillers, suggesting that endogenous opioids are involved.[31]

What is significant about the placebo effect is that it requires the patient to believe they are being given a drug. With a real drug like a pain killer, the patient will experience the effects even if they don't know they are being treated with it. However, for the placebo effect to occur, the patient must be conscious of the fact that they are being treated. This shows that conscious awareness of a medical treatment can cause the brain to produce opioids. It shows that consciousness can affect the brain.

Another form of evidence that consciousness can affect the brain comes from the phenomenon of self-directed neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to the ability of neurons in the brain to change their organization or grow. This can occur when someone learns a skill or recovers from an injury. Self-directed neuroplasticity occurs when neurons in the brain change their organization or grow in response to self observation of mental states.

One situation where self-directed neuroplasticity occurs is meditation. During meditation, a person will observe, (ie. be conscious of) their inner state: their mental activity and the sensations in their body. This conscious attention has been found to cause changes in the brain.

The article Self-Directed Neuroplasticity: A 21st-Century View of Meditation by Rick Hanson, PhD discusses this:

One of the enduring changes in the brain of those who routinely meditate is that the brain becomes thicker. In other words, those who routinely meditate build synapses, synaptic networks, and layers of capillaries (the tiny blood vessels that bring metabolic supplies such as glucose or oxygen to busy regions), which an MRI shows is measurably thicker in two major regions of the brain. One is in the pre-frontal cortex, located right behind the forehead. It’s involved in the executive control of attention – of deliberately paying attention to something. This change makes sense because that’s what you're doing when you meditate or engage in a contemplative activity. The second brain area that gets bigger is a very important part called the insula. The insula tracks both the interior state of the body and the feelings of other people, which is fundamental to empathy. So, people who routinely tune into their own bodies – through some kind of mindfulness practice – make their insula thicker, which helps them become more self-aware and empathic. This is a good illustration of neuroplasticity, which is the idea that as the mind changes, the brain changes, or as Canadian psychologist Donald Hebb put it, neurons that fire together wire together.

The article Mind does really matter: evidence from neuroimaging studies of emotional self-regulation, psychotherapy, and placebo effect. (Beauregard M. Prog Neurobiol. 2007 Mar;81(4):218-36. Epub 2007 Feb 9) says,

The results of these investigations demonstrate that beliefs and expectations can markedly modulate neurophysiological and neurochemical activity in brain regions involved in perception, movement, pain, and various aspects of emotion processing. Collectively, the findings of the neuroimaging studies reviewed here strongly support the view that the subjective nature and the intentional content (what they are "about" from a first-person perspective) of mental processes (e.g., thoughts, feelings, beliefs, volition) significantly influence the various levels of brain functioning (e.g., molecular, cellular, neural circuit) and brain plasticity. Furthermore, these findings indicate that mentalistic variables have to be seriously taken into account to reach a correct understanding of the neural bases of behavior in humans.

The scientific evidence from the placebo effect and from self-directed neuroplasticity shows that consciousness cannot be an illusion or an epiphenomenon produced by the brain because consciousness can affect the brain.

Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Consciousness Cannot be Explained as an Emergent Property of the Brain

I have updated my web page on Skeptical Fallicies to include a section explaining why Consciousness Cannot be Explained as an Emergent Property of the Brain

Some skeptics, when asked to explain how consciousness is produced by the brain will say it is an emergent property. They may say the complexity of the brain somehow causes consciousness to emerge. This is not an actual explanation, it is just a scientific sounding way to say that they cannot explain it. It creates the impression of an explanation without offering any actual explanation.

An emergent property is a property that is not necessarily caused by the individual parts of a system but emerges when they are arranged in a certain fashion. For example, a wheel rolls. This is not necessarily a property of matter. Matter might be formed into a solid cube which does not roll. But when matter is arranged in a wheel, it will roll.

However, merely stating something is an emergent property is not an explanation. Saying consciousness is an emergent property of the brain does not explain consciousness. When you examine a wheel you can understand why it will roll. The laws of physics explain how the ability to roll is caused by a particular arrangement of matter. When you examine a brain you cannot tell how it produces the subjective experiences of consciousness. Physics cannot explain how the subjective experiences of consciousness, what it is like to feel happy, or what it is like to see blue, or what it is like to feel pain, will arise from a particular arrangements of neurons in the brain.

When skeptics say consciousness is an emergent property of the brain, that is not an explanation of consciousness. It is a rhetorical trick used because they cannot explain how consciousness is produced by the brain. They are only applying a scientific sounding name to fool people, including themselves, into thinking it is an explanation.

Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Another Cause of Skepticism

Recently, on an internet discussion forum I read, a skeptic revealed some personal information about himself. He had lost someone close to him at an unexpedly young age. That experience influenced his attitudes God, the afterlife, and psychic phenomena. The experience helped to make him a skeptic.

Sometimes skeptics can be extremely provoking, but it is wise to remember that they may be influenced by personal suffering that we know nothing about.

I've updated the list of reasons for skepticism on my web site.

When some people experience a personal loss, or experience extreme hardship, or feel concern about the extreme hardships of others, they may be unable to understand how God could allow such suffering to occur. As a result, they may feel angry at God or be unable to believe in God. This may cause them adopt materialism and express hostility toward anything that relates to God such as beilef in the afterlife or anything that contradicts materialism such as evidence for psychic phenomena.

There may be a lot of skeptics who claim superior rationality but in reality are motivated not by reason but by emotion.

This is a big mistake. Don't let loss, disappointment, suffering, or depression turn you away from God or the higher planes. The lower level entities are not your friends, they are not your allies, they cannot help you, they can only be against you. If you turn away from the higher planes, it will be you alone against the universe. What kind of existence will you have among the forces of ignorance, in this life and or in the afterlife, if you are not allied with the light? It might be hard to understand how the system of incarnation and suffering on the earth plane can be good, but there is no other practical alternative than to ally yourself with the light.

Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Old Nordic Mediums

I've previously blogged about photographs of ectoplasm produced by the physical medium Jack Webber
here and here.

Here are some interesting Photographs from physical seances demonstrating levitation.

An English translation is here.

More photos by the same photographer, Sven Türck, are here.

The seances were conducted by Nordic Mediums.

Copyright © 2012 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Why Darwinism is False

Last week I posted about why belief in the afterlife is not compatible with the belief that natural selection is solely responsible for the diversity of life (Darwinism).

Here is an article that discusses some of the other flaws Darwinism. It is a criticism of the book Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne.

Why Darwinism Is False by Jonathan Wells

Darwin called The Origin of Species “one long argument” for his theory, but Jerry Coyne has given us one long bluff. Why Evolution Is True tries to defend Darwinian evolution by rearranging the fossil record; by misrepresenting the development of vertebrate embryos; by ignoring evidence for the functionality of allegedly vestigial organs and non-coding DNA, then propping up Darwinism with theological arguments about “bad design;” by attributing some biogeographical patterns to convergence due to the supposedly “well-known” processes of natural selection and speciation; and then exaggerating the evidence for selection and speciation to make it seem as though they could accomplish what Darwinism requires of them.

The actual evidence shows that major features of the fossil record are an embarrassment to Darwinian evolution; that early development in vertebrate embryos is more consistent with separate origins than with common ancestry; that non-coding DNA is fully functional, contrary to neo-Darwinian predictions; and that natural selection can accomplish nothing more than artificial selection—which is to say, minor changes within existing species.

Faced with such evidence, any other scientific theory would probably have been abandoned long ago. Judged by the normal criteria of empirical science, Darwinism is false. Its persists in spite of the evidence, and the eagerness of Darwin and his followers to defend it with theological arguments about creation and design suggests that its persistence has nothing to do with science at all.50

The article gives detailed explanations in support of these statements.

I don't believe in Creationism. I don't believe Intelligent Design should be taught in schools. However, I do believe there are serious flaws in Darwinism and those should be taught in schools. I also believe scientists should be free to look for empirical and theoretical evidence of Intelligent Design without being persecuted or ostracized.

A major source of problems with Darwinism comes from the fact that it is based on belief in methodological naturalism, the philosophy that only natural phenomena should be studied by science. This is a wrong view. Science should be about uncovering the truth and should not have any built in philosophical bias. However, many mainstream scientists, because of their bias towards methodological naturalism, can't objectively assess the evidence for and against Darwinism. Every bit of evidence is interpreted to be consistent with Darwinism in exactly the same Creationists interpret every bit of evidence to agree with the Bible. This is one reason Darwinists are so hostile to their critics. Their philosophical beliefs are threatened by criticism of Darwinism.

This philosophical bias in favor of methodological naturalism is similar in the effects of reductionism on scientific thinking. It so strongly influences the thinking of scientists that they cannot conceive of possibilities outside of their preconceived ideas. This cripples their ability to understand consciousness and psychic phenomena.

Monday, May 14, 2012

I have updated my web site to include a section on philosophical arguments that the mind is not produced by the brain.

There are very good philosophical reasons to believe the mind is not produced by the brain and therefore the mind is non-physical. Peter Williams discusses several reasons for this in his article: Why Naturalists Should Mind about Physicalism, and Vice Versa, (Quodlibet Journal: Volume 4 Number 2-3, Summer 2002.)

Williams explains that if the mind and the brain were the same, then all the properties of the mind would be properties of the brain. He then demonstrates that the mind cannot be identical to the brain by giving several examples of properties of the mind that are not properties of the brain.


Gary R. Habermas and J.P.Moreland argue against physicalism from the ‘qualia’ of imagined sensory images. Qualia is the subjective feel or texture of conscious experience:

"Picture a pink elephant in your mind. Now close your eyes and look at the image. In your mind, you will see a pink property. . . There will be no pink elephant outside you, but there will be a pink image of one in your mind. However, there will be no pink entity in your brain; no neurophysiologist could open your brain and see a pink entity while you are having the sense image. The sensory event has a property – pink – that no brain event has. Therefore, they cannot be identical." [19]
To put this another way, the subjective feel of mental experiences such as the feeling of pain, the hearing of sound or the taste of chocolate seems very different from anything that is purely physical: "If the world were only made of matter, these subjective aspects of consciousness would not exist. But they do exist! So there must be more to the world than matter." [20]

Williams gives several more examples. These include intentionality, the ability to reason, free will, and moral responsibility. See the linked article for an explanation of why these phenomena demonstrate that the mind cannot be made of matter.

Williams concludes:

At the very least, the mind has several immaterial properties ... It follows that no merely physical explanation of the mind is possible.
More information, including links to further reading, can be found on my web site.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Retrocausality demonstrated with quantum entanglement.

The phenomenon of retrocausality, where a cause comes after it's effect, seems to occur in some experiments in parapsychology. For example, in micro-pk experiments, people seem to be able to affect a random number generator through their intentions after the random numbers have already been generated.

Now retrocausation has been demonstrated by scientists studying quantum entanglement. An article at describes an experiment where photons can be caused to be entangled at an earlier time than at which the cause occurs. This can be done after the photons have been measured or even destroyed.

"The fantastic new thing is that this decision to entangle two photons can be done at a much later time," said research co-author Anton Zeilinger, also of the University of Vienna. "They may no longer exist."

The article is here.

Copyright © 2012, 2013 by ncu9nc All rights reserved. Texts quoted from other sources are Copyright © by their owners.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Reality of ESP: A Physicist’s Proof of Psychic Abilities, by Russell Targ

The Reality of ESP: A Physicist’s Proof of Psychic Abilities by Russell Targ

I believe in ESP because I have seen psychic miracles day after day in our government-sponsored investigations. It is clear to me, without any doubt, that many people can learn to look into the distance and into the future with great accuracy and reliability. This is what I call unobstructed awareness or remote viewing (RV). To varying degrees, we all have this spacious ability.


There are presently four classes of published and carefully examined ESP experiments that are independently significant, with a probability of chance occurrence of less than one time in a million...

The full article is here.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Karl "Falsifiability" Popper believed the soul was nonmaterial.

Many skeptics say theories that contradict materialism are unscientific because those theories are not falsifiable.

For a theory to be scientific, it must be testable. For a theory to be testable, it must be falsifiable: there must be a situation, where if the theory is wrong, you can demonstrate it is wrong.

For example, you can test the theory of gravity by measuring how objects fall. If they don't accelerate the way the theory of gravity predicts they should, then the theory is wrong, it is falsified. If objects do fall the way the theory predicts, then the theory is right.

Skeptics often say belief in spirits or psi is unscientific because any unexplained phenomena can be said to be caused by a spirit or by psi and there is no way to disprove it.

What may be surprising to many skeptics is that Karl Popper, who first proposed that falsifibility is necessary for a theory to be scientific, did not believe in materialism. He believed in dualism which holds that the mind is nonmaterial.

The wikipedia article on Karl Popper explains falsifiability:

Logically, no number of positive outcomes at the level of experimental testing can confirm a scientific theory, but a single counterexample is logically decisive: it shows the theory, from which the implication is derived, to be false. The term "falsifiable" does not mean something is made false, but rather that, if it is false, it can be shown by observation or experiment. Popper's account of the logical asymmetry between verification and falsifiability lies at the heart of his philosophy of science. It also inspired him to take falsifiability as his criterion of demarcation between what is, and is not, genuinely scientific: a theory should be considered scientific if, and only if, it is falsifiable.

The wikipedia article on Philosophy of Mind describes Popper as a defender of interactionist dualism espoused by Descartes.

Interactionist dualism, or simply interactionism, is the particular form of dualism first espoused by Descartes in the Meditations.[8] In the 20th century, its major defenders have been Karl Popper and John Carew Eccles.[30] It is the view that mental states, such as beliefs and desires, causally interact with physical states.[9]

The wikipedia article on Rene Descartes explains that dualism as espoused by Descartes holds that the soul is nonmaterial and does not follow the laws of nature.

Descartes in his Passions of the Soul and The Description of the Human Body suggested that the body works like a machine, that it has material properties. The mind (or soul), on the other hand, was described as a nonmaterial and does not follow the laws of nature.

Is belief in psi or spirits unscientific? It depends. It depends on what those beliefs are theorized as an explanation of. For example, if you theorize that spirits are an explanation of mediumship, that can be tested. If a medium is communicating with a spirit, the medium should be able to obtain information about the spirit that medium could not otherwise know. If the medium could not obtain any information about the spirit such as their appearance, their personality traits, the things they did in life etc., then the theory that the medium is communicating with a spirit would not pass the test.

There is, in fact, a lot of evidence that mediums do communicate with spirits. The medium Mrs Piper passed many such tests.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Consciousness is not Produced by the Brain

I have updated the description of the filter model of the brain on my web site:
There is no doubt that the brain and the conscious mind interact. Brain damage can cause loss of some functions of consciousness. Amnesia after a head injury or poor memory due to aging are two examples. Neurological activity can be measured and shown to be associated with mental activity. Nerve impulses from sensory organs result in brain activity, and the conscious mind has awareness of the sensations perceived. When the mind generates the impulse to move, nerve impulses are carried from the brain to the muscles to cause movement. Consciousness is affected by brain activity and it is able to influence brain activity. However this is only a correlation, it is not proof that neurological activity causes consciousness.

The correlation between consciousness and brain activity should also exist if the brain is an interface between a nonphysical mind and the physical body. One way to think of this is that the brain is like a filter of consciousness. This is called the filter model of the brain. In the filter model, consciousness is a nonphysical phenomena and the brain filters consciousness while we are incarnated in our physical bodies. The brain could filter some aspects of consciousness the way a colored glass can filter out some wavelengths of light. What passes through the brain filter is a restricted set of conscious faculties that we have while in the physical body.

The filter model is superior to the hypothesis that the brain produces consciousness because the filter model explains more evidence. You can damage a filter in two ways. You can clog it or you can punch a hole in it. When brain damage causes loss of function like amnesia, that is like a clog in the filter. When brain injury results in increased function, that is like a hole punched in the filter. An example of increased function is when people have increased psychic abilities after a brain injury.

In the filter model one of the functions of the brain is to restrict consciousness. In that case, if you release the conscious mind from the brain as happens during a near death experience you should have expanded, unfiltered, consciousness. This is exactly what happens during a near death experience. People who have NDE's are able to perceive more than they do when in the body. They report seeing in 360 degrees and seeing colors that they do not see when in the body. Blind people report seeing during NDE's. Some near death experiencers report being able to communicate telepathically with other beings. Some report understanding that time is just an illusion or that they seem to have access to all the knowledge in the universe.

More at my web site.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Belief in the afterlife is not compatible with belief in natural selection.

Is belief in the afterlife compatible with the belief that evolution is due solely to natural selection?

No, it isn't. There are three reasons.

  1. Since the spirit can influence the behavior of an individual, the characteristics of that spirit can influence the fitness of the individual. Therefore fitness is not determined solely by the genetic content of the organism.

  2. The ease with which the organism may be controlled by the spirit also affects it's fitness. Species may evolve to more readily respond to the intentions of the spirit. They will develop characteristics that are not a response to environmental factors but are determined by the mechanism by which the spirit interacts with the physical body.

  3. Spirit scientists might influence the evolution of the the human species to make it a better vehicle for incarnation. They might do this directly through genetic manipulations in which case mutations would not occur by chance but be inserted by an intelligent entity. Or, spirits might incarnate only into those organisms that have desirable characteristics. In this case fitness might be determined not by nature but by spirits.

There is a lot of controversy in our society about the whether natural selection really explains the evolution of life on earth. The strongest evidence against natural selection is the evidence for the afterlife. Given the vast amount of evidence for the afterlife, Darwinists have a lot to be worried about. Their theory is incomplete because it does not consider the effects spirits may have on the fitness of the individual.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Evidence for the Afterlife from Quantum Mechanics

I added a section about the evidence for the afterlife that comes from quantum mechanics to my web site:

When physicists study matter at the atomic level, they find that the properties of matter are not determined until a conscious being percieves that matter. This demonstrates that physical matter depends on consciousness for its existence and therefore consciousness cannot arise from matter. The brain, which is composed of matter, cannot produce consciousness so consciousness must have an existence independent from matter. While this interpretation of quantum mechanics in not universally held by all physicists, some of the original founders of quantum mechanics, including Nobel Prize winners in physics such as Max Planck and Erwin Schrödinger, believed this.

More here.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Medium Jack Webber

In a previous post, Ectoplasm and Materialization, I linked to photographs of Jack Webber producing ectoplasm during a seance. Since that time I had a chance, in the comment section of Michael Prescott's blog, to ask Zerdini his opinion of their authenticity. His reply was very informative ...

The response::

Yes they were:

Leon Isaacs, who took the photographs at Webber’s circles, used two cameras placed at different angles…shots using this two-camera technique showed the disposition of trumpets and other objects, establishing that they were not held aloft by any material agency.

Isaac’s pictures were taken by flashlight, the source of the light being screened by an infrared filter which suppressed practically all visible light rays and only permitted infrared emanations to pass.

In effect there was a brief glow at the instant of exposure which had no harmful effects on the medium.

Many of the photos of Jack Webber were taken by a 'Daily Mirror' photographer.

Harry Edwards can be seen in some of the photographs as one of the sitters.

THE following report occupied the best part of the two centre pages of the Daily Mirror on February 28th, 1939. "Cassandra" is the pen-name of a gentleman on the staff of the Daily Mirror who writes a daily pertinent review on matters in general. He is well known for his cryptic and biting sarcasm, and has, on numbers of occasions, given full vent to his opposition to spiritualism.

The séance in question was held in North London at a place to which the medium had never been before, and the people present were complete strangers.

Mr. Leon Isaacs had been asked to take infra-red photographs. The problem arose as to the means of transporting the equipment, and since "Cassandra" had a car, he was asked to help this way. Thus the only reason why "Cassandra" was present was because he possessed a car.

The article was illustrated by a photograph (Plate No. 20), with the following description beneath it "The medium in a trance, lashed to the chair, while a table leaves the ground and books fly through the air ... a photograph taken during the séance attended by 'Cassandra.'

The heading was "Cassandra got a surprise at Séance," and his report, in his caustic manner, reads as follows:

"I claim I can bring as much scepticism to bear on spiritualism as any newspaper writer living, and that's a powerful load of scepticism these days. I haven't got an open mind on the subject--I'm a violent, prejudiced unbeliever with a limitless ability to leer at the unknown. At least, I was till last Saturday. And then I got a swift, sharp, ugly jolt that shook most of my pet sneers right out of their sockets.

"Picture to yourself a small room in a typical suburban house. In one corner a radio-gramophone. In the centre a ring of chairs. At the far end an armchair."

"About a dozen people filed in and sat in the circle. I hope they won't mind my saying it, but they struck me as a credulous collection that would have brought tears of joy to a sharepusher's eyes."

"Almost everyone a genuine customer for a lovely phony gold brick."

"They sat down and the medium, a young Welsh ex-miner, was then roped to the arm-chair. The photographer and I stood outside the circle. The lights went out and we sailed rapidly into the unknown."

"The medium gurgled like water running out of a bath, and we opened up with a strangled prayer."

"The circle of believers answered with 'All Hail the Power of Jesu's Name,' and I was told that we were 'on the brink.' I thought we were in Cockfosters, Herts, but I soon began to doubt it when trumpets sprayed with luminous paint shot round the room like fishes in a tank. They hovered like pike in a stream, and then swam slowly about.

"The medium snored and struggled for breath."

"Hymns, Trumpets"

"Somebody put a record on, and we were soon bellowing 'Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do.' The trumpets beat time and hurled themselves against the ceiling."
"A bell rang."
"There was considerable excited laughter, and in a slight hysteria we sang 'There is a green hill far away,' followed by the profane, secular virility of 'John Brown's body.'

"A tambourine with 'God is Love' written on it became highly unreasonable, and flew up noisily round our heads.

"The rough stertorous breathing of the medium continued, and a faint tapping sound heralded a voice speaking from one of the trumpets that was well adrift from its moorings. A faint, childish voice said in a voice of deep melancholy that it was 'Very, very happy.' More voices spoke."

"Water was splashed about (there was none in the room when we started) and books took off from their shelves."

"Table moved."

"The medium remained lashed to his chair."

"A clockwork train ran across the floor."

"Suddenly a heavy table slowly left the ground. The man who was sitting next to it said calmly 'The table's gone !' The photographer released his flash-you see the result on the right."

"At no time did the medium move from his chair. I swear it."

"The table landed with a thump in the middle of the circle. A book that was on it remained in position."

"I'll pledge my word that not a soul in the room touched it. It was so heavy that it needed quite a husky fellow to lift it. I felt the weight of it afterward."

"What price cynicism ? What price heresy?"

"Don't ask me what it all means, but you can't tell me now that these strange and rather terrifying things don't happen."

"I was there. I saw them. I went to scoff."
"But the laugh is sliding slowly round to the other side of my face."
(Signed) 'CASSANDRA.'

And this:


THE séance reported took place on May 24th, 1939, and occupied two pages of the Sunday Pictorial dated May 28th, 1939.

Mr. Gray prefaced his report with an affidavit as follows:

"I, BERNARD GRAY, of 27, Barn Rise, Wembley Park, in the County of Middlesex, journalist, make Oath and say as follows -
"1. That my description of the incidents enumerated in the Article written by me hereunto annexed and marked 'B.G.' to appear in the issue of the Sunday Pictorial of the Twenty-eighth day of May One thousand nine hundred and thirty-nine under the heading of' I Swear I Saw This Happen' is true.
"2. I further make Oath and say that the incidents so described in such Article did occur in my presence."
This oath was sworn before a solicitor yesterday.

I bound him to his chair, hand and foot, with knots and double knots which a sailor once taught me.

Just to make sure he couldn't wriggle out and back without my knowing it, I tied lengths of household cotton from the ropes to the chair legs. And I sewed up the front of his jacket with stout thread.

So began my second investigation into the mysteries of Spiritualism.

The man I had trussed up was Jack Webber, formerly a Welsh miner. He's now a medium - a man for whom such remarkable claims are made that I selected him for my first test.

Through him, I was told, are performed some of the most astonishing miracles of spirit power, physical demonstrations intended to prove the reality of life after death.

And in this, my second adventure into Spiritualism during my association with the Sunday Pictorial, I want physical phenomena.

Startling deeds, not words, as proof. Not testimonies of people claiming to be healed, not messages from the dead. Just material facts which a materially minded man like me can grasp.

I want final and complete conviction. That is more important to me than Hitler, the Axis, or even the threat of war. And that is why I have asked the Editor to allow me-for a while-to leave politics, and go in search of Truth.

So we sat, fourteen of us, a cheerful, talkative group of very ordinary people, in a plainly furnished room at Balham, London.

There was a Metropolitan policeman. A consulting engineer. A waiter. A postman. A foreman plumber. Several women of various ages. And next to me, between the medium and me, Mr. Harry Edwards, leader of the Balham Psychic Society, by trade a printer.

We all held hands loosely, Mr. Webber settled himself back as comfortably as my knots would allow, and out went the light, leaving only a red bulb gleaming dully through the darkness from the middle of the room.

Things began to happen immediately. They went on happening with remarkable rapidity, with startling variety, for ninety minutes.
But I do not want to recount them in order. For I want to describe first two astonishing happenings which make the rest seem small in contrast. Happenings which I, personally, can only compare with the miracles of the New Testament.


I am sitting, remember, only one removed from the medium. An hour of the séance has gone by. The early tenseness, the trace of excitement, which perhaps affected me at the start has disappeared.

I am my normal, cool, and vigilant self-alert for any sign of deception, accustomed to the eerie glimmer of light we get from the red bulb near the ceiling.

In the corner, so near I can touch him, the medium is breathing heavily, gulping occasionally, moaning uneasily at times, like a man with a nightmare.

Suddenly, he gurgles alarmingly, as if making some still greater effort.
Before me rises a kind of tablet, rather like a slate, and from the upper surface it sheds a luminous white light.
I watch it intently, not in the least perturbed. I saw it in its normal state before the séance started. An ordinary piece of four-ply wood, about a foot long and nine inches wide.

Now it hovers in front of the medium's face, its soft radiance lighting his features so clearly I can see the closed eyes and the twitching lips.

It moves gently down to his hands and I see quite clearly that the arms are still bound to the chair.

The glowing tablet has moved over to me. It hangs motionless so close to my face I feel that if I breathe hard I shall blow it away.
"Watch!" says Mr. Edwards, giving my hand a squeeze.

Then above the tablet I begin to see something white emerging from the darkness. Almost invisible at first, it grows stronger every moment, like a motor car headlamp advancing through fog ; until I can clearly see it as a diaphanous ellipse, standing on its end, as it were, on the tablet.

"Ectoplasm," says Mr. Edwards. "Watch closely in the centre of it !"
No need to tell me. My eyes are glued on it, though, I want to emphasize, I'm still cool and unemotional.

Now, framed in this luminous halo, I can perceive dimly what appear to be features. They are becoming clearer, easier to trace. There's the nose, and - yes the mouth. The eyes, and, my God ! The eyelids are moving.
The tablet moves still closer. The eyes, soft and natural, are looking directly into mine. I jerk myself back to a detached, inquisitive state of mind, examine the thing in front of me closely and searchingly.

It's not like the pictures of spirit faces many of us have seen in Spiritualist papers. It's not white and unearthly, like the frame in which it is set. RATHER IS IT A HUMAN FACE - BUT SOFTER, FINER, AND SOMEHOW DIFFERENT.
I can trace the cheek-bones fading back from the eyes. The lips, they are quite clear. The chin, rounded and delicate, is silhouetted against the lower rim of the halo.

I recognize it suddenly as the face of a very old lady. Just like a lovely miniature - for it is much smaller, now I come to think, than the face of any human adult.

"Try and speak to us," says Mr. Edwards, encouragingly.
I am watching the lips. They part a little, move with an effort.
There's a whisper. What is she saying ? Who is she speaking to ? Yes - I've got it.

"Who's she speaking to ?" I ask, without taking my eyes off the face for a second.
"You," replies Edwards."Speak to her!"
"Who are you ?" I ask, gently.
"I am--," she answers, and whispers a name I shall not repeat - it is personal.

"I cannot stay," she goes on. "I just want you all to see me. God bless you, my boy ..."

The tablet and its burden move away. I can see it floating around our circle. Other sitters are exclaiming that they can see it, quite plainly, that it's wonderful.

The tablet returns to me. The features in the miniature are fading, like outlines yielding to the dusk of a summer evening. Now the halo is going too.
Only the tablet is left. Its gleam disappears with the suddenness of a light being extinguished. The tablet falls with a clatter at my feet.

"Lights on," says a voice instantly.
There's the click of a switch. In less than five seconds the whole room is bathed in electric light. Everybody is in his or her place, holding hands.
The medium is bound just the same in his chair unconscious in his trance.

The deep voice which comes from the medium's corner - they call it the voice of Black Cloud, Webber's Indian spirit "guide" says:
"I want the gentleman sitting next to Mr. Edwards to hold the medium's right hand. I want the lady on the left of the medium to hold his left hand."
Edwards guides my hand over his knees to the hand of the medium. I feel my fingers seized in a powerful grasp. The pressure tightens till it hurts. I set my teeth and wait.

The medium is moaning like a man in pain.
I can feel a soft fabric rubbing against my wrist. "Can you feel his coat ?" asks the deep voice in the corner.
"I can feel some kind of material on my wrist," I answer, readily.
"I am dematerializing his coat and taking it off."
Now the coat is rubbing the other side of my wrist. Something drops to the floor with a light, rustling impact.

Simultaneously, it seems, somebody presses the switch.
The medium is in his shirt-sleeves. He is no longer wearing his coat. Round his arms, over his shirt now, are the ropes, still fastened by my patent knots.
The thin strands of cotton from the ropes to the chair are unbroken.
On the floor, the medium's jacket. Not a stitch holding the edges together broken. My twisted thread round the button just as I had left it.

"That is merely intended to prove to you that the spirit world exists and has power to dematerialize," says the deep voice in the corner, when the lights are off again. "Later I hope to replace the medium's coat."

Half an hour later the lady on the other side and I are asked to hold Webber's hands a second time. Again the grip is firm enough to be painful.

A rustling. Cloth rubbing against my wrist again. Yes, and now the other side.
Lights. Webber is wearing his coat once more. Over and round each arm, the bonds. The cotton intact. The thread just as before. BUT THE BONDS AND THE COTTON ARE OVER THE COAT.
"My hand was gripped by his all the time," says the girl across from me, rubbing her fingers. "And I felt the coat go through my wrist. Didn't you ?"

Well, those two happenings, or miracles - call them what you like, take a bit of explaining away.

There were other things too. Heaps of them.
"I can feel a hand on my head," said Mr. Edwards, casually, just as if it were quite a natural thing for a hand to emerge from nowhere.

"I can feel something on my head," I said a moment later, and gripped Edwards's hand more tightly to make sure it hadn't been raised.

Something was pulling my hair pretty hard. I realized then with a sense of shock that the "something" was definitely fingers, yet rather different from human fingers. They felt sharper, more like claws, seemed almost metallic at the tips.
My neighbour chuckled.
"I know what they're doing," he said, highly amused.
The fingers pulled me firmly by the hair in Edwards's direction, till my head was touching his. My hair was pulled and twisted about for fully a minute. "We're being tied together," said my neighbour, laughing. "Can't you feel your hair being twisted with mine ?"
We were tied together, too ! We couldn't separate, and the séance was held up for a moment or two while the lights were put on so that we could be unraveled.

"A mischievous trick," said everybody else, laughing at our plight. Mischievous, all right. Inexplicable, too. I'll swear nobody moved before, during, or after the knots were tied in our hair.

Frequently throughout the proceedings the luminous trumpets were shooting about the room three at a time, with the speed and accuracy of swallows in flight.

"I should like to be absolutely sure nobody is holding them," I said boldly, though I myself considered it impossible.

One of the trumpets shot straight at my head with the speed of an express train, pulled up sharp just as it touched my temple, and I cringed expecting a knock-out blow.

That tin cone proceeded to run itself on my face and round my head, pressing first the broad end, then the narrow end, against my lips to prove it had no earthly connection at any point on its surface.

A bell which I'd seen on a table in a corner rose into the air and rang a rhythmic accompaniment to our singing. A pair of clappers, similar to those used by a dance band drummer, floated about clacking merrily in time with the music.

In a powerful bass voice, which has been recorded on gramophone discs, "Reuben" led some of the singing. Toys in the room, illuminated by a strange incandescent glow, leapt from the table and sailed about near the ceiling.

A boy, I was told, plays with the toys - a boy who died some years ago.

As something moved off the table and began to dart about the room, Mr. Edwards explained that it was a doll.
Whatever it was, it settled on my knee, and frolicked up and down my leg. I could feel it as well as see it glowing, like an outsize glowworm. It came to rest finally on my knee. And when the lights came on, I found that it was indeed a toy elephant, such as any child would use in play.

You see, therefore, it wasn't a gloomy gathering by any means. The strange pranks with the toys - a clockwork engine wound itself up and ran itself down near the ceiling - distinctly enlivened the proceedings.

All these little things, however, paled into insignificance beside a remarkable demonstration of furniture removing by unseen hands.


I saw it in passage, because it was outlined against the red light.
And of course there were spirit messages for some of the sitters. I do not want to write about them. In this series of articles I am concerned more with incidents. Well, that is my testimony. I cannot explain anything I saw.

And although many of my friends will think I've gone crazy - I say again : I SAW IT HAPPEN.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

David Bohm one of the top theoretical quantum physicists believed in parapsychology.

I have updated the Eminent Researchers page on my web site to include David Bohm.
David Bohm was one of the best quantum physicists of all time and one of the most significant theoretical physicists of the 20th century (wikipedia).
David Joseph Bohm FRS[1] (20 December 1917 – 27 October 1992) was an American-born British quantum physicist who contributed to theoretical physics, philosophy of mind, neuropsychology. David Bohm is widely considered to be one of the most significant theoretical physicists of the 20th century.[2]

David Bohm was widely considered one of the best quantum physicists of all time.[2]

In the article, David Bohm and Jiddo Krishnamurti which appeared in the Skeptical Inquirer, July 2000, Martin Garner wrote that Bohm was favorably impressed with parapsychology including Rupert Sheldrake's morphogenetic fields. Bohm took Uri Geller's psychic phenomena seriously and carried with him a key bent by Geller. Bohm believed in panpsychicsm, in one interview he said, "Even the electron is informed with a certain level of mind,"

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Erwin Schrödinger (Nobel Prize in Physics) believed consciousness was not prodced by the brain and could not be explained in physical terms.

I have updated the Eminent Researchers page on my web site to include Erwin Schrödinger.

Erwin Schrödinger received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933. He believed consciousness was not produced by the brain and could not be explained in physical terms.
Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger ( 12 August 1887 – 4 January 1961) was an Austrian born physicist and theoretical biologist who was one of the fathers of quantum mechanics, and is famed for a number of important contributions to physics, especially the Schrödinger equation, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933. In 1935 he proposed the Schrödinger's cat thought experiment.[2]ödinger

Schrödinger wrote:

"Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else."

Other quotes by Schrödinger:

The observing mind is not a physical system, it cannot interact with any physical system. And it might be better to reserve the term "subject" for the observing mind. ... For the subject, if anything, is the thing
that senses and thinks. Sensations and thoughts do not belong to the "world of energy."


I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is deficient. It gives a lot of factual information, puts all our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously.


There is obviously only one alternative, namely the unification of minds or consciousnesses. Their multiplicity is only apparent, in truth there is only one mind.ödinger