Psychic services as an employer benefit, a lesson in logic, how pseudo-science saved scientific progress, Dr. Eben Alexander appears on Oprah, and more on the recent neuroimaging study of Brazilian mediums, in this edition of psi in the news.

  • Forget health insurance, how about a connection to the afterlife?  Robert Fahey has designed a mediumship program for companies that he says ups productivity and profitability by giving employees a greater sense of meaning in their lives. (Employee Benefit News)

  • As you may be able to predict, a recent study shows that with an increase in disposable income comes an increasing in public spending on ‘psychic services.’ (Herald Online) 

  • Charles Choi presents a brief outline of the recent study of Brazilian mediums, detailing what the findings suggest regarding lower frontal lobe activity and human creativity. (Live Science)

  • Gordon Bonnett ponders the possibilities of the most recent neuroimaging study of Brazilian mediums, from a skeptical perspective. (Skeptophilia)

  • Over on the Bad Thinking blog we have a brief thought experiment on the possibility of discarnate entities (more popularly known as ‘ghosts’) which gives a good base for discussing the role of traditional logic in investigating truth claims, and the use of ‘Modus Potens’ which helps parse out the validity of If/Then truth statements. (Bad Thinking)
    Affirming The Consequent In The Search For Ghosts

  • Subversive Thinking flips the tables and applies Bayesian probability theory to expose possible flaws in that oft repeated maxim of rationality, “Extradordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” (Subversive Thinking)

  • For centuries the media has proclaimed a ‘rising tide of irrationality,’ but is this really the case? Rebekah Higgitt discusses the role of so-called ‘pseudo-science’ in the history of scientific progress. (Guardian UK)

  • These ideas are further fleshed out in a response to Higgitt’s piece posted on The Renaissance Mathematics blog. 
    (The Renaissance Mathematics)
    Humanity’s interest in the so-called pseudo-sciences has not always been bad for science. 

  • Paul Devereux takes the psychology out of parapsychology with a discussion of the biophysical experiments of Dr. Michael Persinger and Blake Dotta at Laurentian University, Ontario in a recent piece for Reality Sandwich. (Reality Sandwich) 

  • A brief interview with Dr. Caroline Watt, founding member of the Koestler Parapsychology Unit, and Senior Lecturuer in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh. (Otherworld North East Research Society)

  • Allow your loved ones the opportunity to begin their investigation into the uncharted waters of the mind this holiday season, and give them the gift of ESP.  Stacy Horn, author of Unbelievable, which details the history of the United State’s premier parapsychological institute the Rhine Research Center, recommends checking out their online shop where you can get reproductions of the famous Zener cards which J.B. Rhine used in his original ESP experiments. (Unbelievable Blog)

  • Matt Cardin, founder of The Teeming Brain, brings us an exploration of creativity, psi and synchronicity through the example of authors and researchers like Robert Anton Wilson, Dr. Jim Alexander, and Dr. Jeffrey Kripal in “Why the Demon knows more than you.” (The Teeming Brain) 

  • Craig Weiler uses his experience with a submission he sent to to explore the difficulties of publishing accurate information on parapsychology and psi research in mainstream venues. (Weiler Psi Blog)
    Cracking the Code of Mainstream Silence on Unconventional Ideas

  • Dr. Barry Taff, formerly with UCLA parapsychology lab, discusses a similar situation from his experience working to patent medical devices in the field of energy medicine. (

  • That mysterious knocking noise is probably just mice or shifty plumbing, but what happens when all evidence points to something else? One memphis family was forced out of their home by what they believe is poltergeist activity. (Fox News Memphis)

  • Thanksgiving is over for this year, but it still plays a part in psychical investigation. Marc Demarest quotes the publisher Henry Holt’s recollections of a holiday message that became an important part in the history of mediumship research. (Chasing Down Emma)!/2012/11/happy-thanksgiving-from-mrs-piper.html

  • There is an interesting study of conscious mental activity during a deep hypothermic cardiocirculatory arrest from the Resuscitation Journal, Official Journal of the European Resuscitation Council, which provides some background for the kind of research that is playing a part in the international efforts to study the NDE phenomena. (Resuscitation Journal)

  • Christof Koch, the Chief Scientific Officer of the Allen Institute of Brain Science and Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Biology at California Institute of Technology, Bruce Greyson, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia, Stuart Hameroff, and Dr. Eben Alexander were featured in an episode of Morgan Freeman’s Through the Wormhole, to discuss the current scientific debate on conscious survival after death. (Huffington Post)

  • Is science ready to tackle enlightenment? Jeff Warren goes over some of the current research which might be leading mainstream scientists to take a second look at traditional ideas about enlightment. ( Psychology Tomorrow Magazine)

  • One of the most common examples of evidence on the internet for an anomalous presence are photographic orbs, but is there anything actually anomalous about them?  South Sound Paranormal Research takes up “the obligatory conversation about orbs,” in a recent post. (South Sound Paranormal Research)

  • Mark Demarest discusses the popular conception of Spiritualism through a critical examination of how the subject is treated in a 1939 issue of Life Magazine. (Chasing Down Emma)

  • Thoughts and Visions presents an interview with Anthony Peake, another author whose work looks at the broader implications of the scientific study of NDEs, conciousness and the afterlife. (Thoughts and Visions)

  • Dr. Robin Fox, Professor of Social Theory at Rutgers University, gives us a brief overview of the cultural history of Near Death Experiences, Out of Body Experiences, and Lucid Dreaming, including his own childhood experience with OOBE. (Psychology Today) 

  • Author William Horden discusses his NDE, and how it changed his perspective on living. (Huffington Post) 

  • Annalisa Ventola, Executive Director for the Parapsychological Association, reviews Perspectives on Clinical Parapsychology, and important anthology which demonstrates some of the fascinating, and important work that is being done to address clinical issues that arise from anomalous experiences. (Public Parapsychology)

  • In 1979 D. Scott Rogo and Raymond Bayless published a pioneering study of post-mortem communication via technology called Phone Calls from the Dead. UK parapsychologist Cal Cooper has updated their research for the 21st century, with additional studies and the inclusion of text message, and email correspondence that seems to go ‘beyond the veil.’ (Big Seance)

  • Julian White reviews Roger Clarke’s recent publication, A Natural History of Ghosts. (Starburst Magazine)

  • The Parapsychological Association has announced the upcoming publication of Cuando Hablan los Espiritus: Historias del Movimiento Kardeciano en la Argentina [When the Spirits Talk: Chronicles of the Kardecian Movement in Argentina].  A grant from the Parapsychological Association Research Endowment helped to fund research for the book, which represents one of the first joint efforts between parapsychologists and Spiritualist practitioners in Argentina. (Parapsychological Association)

  • Jaime Laicauco reviews two books on parapsychology, “Paranormality (Why We Believe the Impossible),” by professor Richard Wiseman, and “Handbook to the Afterlife,” by Pamela Rae Heath and Jon Klimo, critically comparing their approaches to the subject in a piece for the Philippine Inquirer (Philippine Inquirer)

  • Leslie Kaufman reviews Dr. Eben Alexander’s book, Proof of Heaven, for the New York Times. (New York Times)

  • Dr. Eben Alexander’s recent appearance on Oprah has stirred up the debate again. Kyle Hill provides an overview of the skeptical arguments against interpreting Alexander’s NDE experience as anything more than a fluke of the human brain. (Scientific American) 

  • One of the critical arguments against NDE’s is that so many of the widely circulated reports are glowingly positive, pointing to the possibility of wish fulfillment. Dr. Nancy Evans Bush, however, has seen a different side of NDE’s, and focuses her work on studying those who have come back from the light with darker tales to tell. In her most recent blog post she weighs in on religious interpretations of the NDE experience, and explains why, even when they are negative, she feels NDE’s still don’t line up with Orthodox visions of Hell. (Dancing Past the Dark)

  • The popularization of neuroscience as an explanatory model presents some problems when people don’t realize its limitations. For those who’ve been following the recent reports on Dr. Stuart Hameroff’s soul theory, Dr. Eben Alexander’s NDE and the recent neuroimaging study of Brazilian mediums, Gary Marcus provides a helpful overview of “what neuroscience really teaches, and what it doesn’t.”

  • Huffington Post ran an opinion poll to accompany Dr. Eben Alexander’s appearance on Oprah, is there life after death? Here’s the results from the poll on what Huff Po readers feel about the afterlife. (Huffington Post) 

  • Humayun Gauhar, writing for Pakistan Today, provides an overview of some of the recent discussion of NDE’s from Dr. Stuart Hameroff and Dr. Eben Alexander, along with some personal anecdotes regarding out of body experiences. (Pakistan Today)

  • Dr. Eben Alexander spoke at the recent Forever Family Foundation conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Michael Tymn, of White Crow Books, was there, and reports back on how media coverage of Alexander’s experience is opening up a broader conversation in the culture on the topic of NDEs. (White Crow Books) 

  • Dr. Eben Alexander’s appearance on Oprah’s ‘Super Soul Sunday’ is given a brief synopsis at the Washington Post. (Washington Post) 

  • Here’s another synopsis, and video, of Dr. Eben Alexander’s recent appearance on Oprah from the Huffington Post. (Huffington Post) 

  • Mark Martin, writing for Salon, asks if a literal understanding of ‘heaven’ in Dr. Eben Alexander’s experience,  and other NDE’s, doesn’t cheapen our relationship with more complex nuances of existence and life. (

  • Dr. Eben Alexander and Robin Young converse on the topic of his NDE for the Here & Now podcast. (Here & Now) 

  • Bill Fox, a columnist for the Oshawa Express, discusses how Dr. Eben Alexander’s recent book has provided him with ‘proof of heaven.’ (Oshawa Express)

  • Thinking of NDE as a gift, more from the media on Dr. Eben Alexander’s recent book, Proof of Heaven. (

  • NDE researcher Jeffrey Long discusses the ‘markers of a near death experience,’ in a video from the Dr. Oz show. (

Note: Special thanks to Tom Ruggles, Soc. for Psychical Research and Jack Hunter, Paranthropology Journal for a number of links included in this edition of Reality Sandwich’s Psi-in-the-News.