Psi in the News


James Randi lauds the benefits of Social Darwinism and eugenics, Chris Jensen Romer says goodbye to skepticism, Marc Demarest gives us a fascinating piece on the history of ectoplasm, and Rupert Sheldrake inspires mixed martial artists in this edition of psi in the news. 

  • Friday, February 22nd, Dr. Eben Alexander and Susan Rientjes will be presenting at the Rhine Research Center in Durham, North Carolina. Those who can’t attend in person can still access the presentation via a live webinar hosted by the Rhine. (Rhine Research Center
  • In other Rhine related news, the Herald Sun recently did a piece discussing the upcoming fundraising gala that the Rhine will be hosting in March. (Herald Sun
  • Tamra Temple digitized the entire collection of declassified remote viewing material from the Stargate Project. In her latest blog post she presents a downloadable version of a memo sent out during the project which discusses ethical issues in experiments with remote viewing. (Stargate Interactive
  • Another interesting piece from Temple’s collection of digitized documents is this 1995 FAQ from Ed May on the topic of parapsychology. (Stargate Interactive
  • She has also recently uploaded a paper from Hal Puthoff and Russell Targ? on  “Physics, Entropy, and Psychokinesis.” (Stargate Interactive)  
  • Psychical researcher Guy Lyon Playfair bids happy new year to the Enfield poltergeist, and discusses some of the active poltergeist cases around the world, including a few in Turkey and Vietnam. (White Crow Books
  • In the previous article, Playfair mentions the case of Carole Compton, and her poltergeist experience in Italy during the early 1980’s which eventually lead to her arrest,  and over on Ghost Theory we find a full exploration of the strange events surrounding the ‘Nanny they called Witch” trial. (Ghost Theory
  • Biologist Rupert Sheldrake’s research has found a surprising and engaged audience in mixed martial artists and occultists. (Disinfo
  • Hank Hanegraaf, the “Bible Answer Man,” examines reports of Near Death Experiences, and how they relate to the Christian tradition as it’s been historically transmitted. (Patheos
  • Nancy French reviews John W. Price’s new book, Revealing Heaven: The Christian Case for Near Death Experiences. (Patheos
  • Skeptical media man James Randi has issued some unfortunate public statements regarding his appreciation of social darwinism, and controlled breeding programs for those with low IQ and "Mental Aberrations". (The Daily Grail
  • In an unrelated post Chris Jensen Romer discusses the way that skepticism has developed as a movement, and how this has damaged legitimate skeptical inquiry, which, as he points out, is really the basis for any real scientific pursuit. (And Sometimes He’s So Nameless)
  • Howard Whitehouse, PhD recently spoke on the “Challenges of Integration for Altered States” at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Althuogh Whitehouse focuses on entheogenically produced states, this question of integration is a valuable one to think about regarding psi states as well. (ERIE-Entheogenic Research, Integration, and Education)
  • In another sideline that provides some insights into working in a contentious areas of investigation like parapsychology, here is James Cox, Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies in the University of Edinburgh, discussing the phenomenology of religion. (Mentor Mob
  • Tyler Scott Anderson has been doing an series of impromtu thought pieces on YouTube regarding parapsychological topics. His latest piece discusses the problematic skepticism of C.E.M. Hansel, and his book ESP and Parapsychology: A Critical Re-evaluation. The comments section also includes insights from Robert Van de Castle, a leading dream researcher who worked on the Maimonides Medical Center dream telepathy research in the 1960’s. (Tyler Scott Anderson
  • Anderson also has a review up for the book Parapsychology: A Concise History, by former Society for Psychical Research president Dr. John Beloff. (Tyler Scott Anderson
  • Dr. James McGukin, a cardiologist with Carolina Regional Heart Center, discusses his observations of patients that have reported Near Death Experiences, and the changes that occur in their personalities after the event. It is interesting to note that this news item comes from a major medical center, and shows how quickly NDE’s have become accepted experiences to discuss since the major media push behind Dr. Eben Alexander’s recent book sparked the curiosity that had been growing over the past few decades through the work of previous researchers. (Highpoint Regional Health System)
  • Daryl Bem reviews Dr. James Carpenter’s book First Sight: ESP and Parapsychology in Everyday Life, and tackles the question of whether Dr. Carpenter’s book has been successful in opening up issues of Psi to a wider scientific audience. (Psyccritiques
  • Robert McLuhan reviews Will Storr’s latest book, The Heretics: Adventures With the Enemies of Science. (Paranormalia
  • James Randi responds to criticisms of his treatment of the homeopathic doctor George Vithoulkas during a proposed test for the James Randi Education Foundation. (James Randi Education Foundation
  • Stacy Horn, author of Unbelievable, a book which covers the history of the Rhine Research Center and Duke Parapsychology Lab, has a post up showing the Top 10 books on Parapsychology listed on Amazon. (Unbelievable
  • Miguel Nicolelis, a neurobiologist at Duke University in North Carolina, is reporting findings from his research group that point to possible future sense enhancements using brain implants. Their tests with rats have allowed the rodents to “sense” infra red light using the implants. (Guardian UK
  • Another development in artificial ‘telepathy’ from the University of California at San Diego uses temporary electronic tattoos. (i09
  • Marc Demarest gives us an in depth look at the changing face of ectoplasm, and the mysteries of physical mediumship. (Chasing Down Emma)  
  • T.J. Dawe, writing for Beams and Struts, goes over the 10 most commonly reported changes that occur in those who report having a Near Death Experience. (Beams and Struts
  • In another sideline that provides some insights into working in a contentious areas of investigation like parapsychology, here is James Cox, Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies in the University of Edinburgh, discussing the phenomenology of religion. (Mentor Mob
  • Fox 10 News in Phoenix, Arizona has a story on a local woman who has found solace in mediumship after the death of her child. A number of studies that have been done on the therapeautic value of mediumship show that, despite its critics, it is actually one of the more effective ways of coping with death. (Fox 10 News
  • Physicist Jean Burns has a piece up on her Parapsychological Association blog which theorizes on how the mind interacts with matter, and discusses some of the interesting evidence for psycho-kinetic effects. (Parapsychological Association
  • In a new blog post from Michael Sudduth he expands, and clarifies, his previous critique of arguments for post-mortem survival. (Michael Sudduth
  • With Near Death Experiences, astral travel, out of body experiences and other instances of conscious “projection,” the nagging question always remains, are these experiences merely internal, or is there some kind of external manifestation as well. (Unlimited Boundaries
  • A post at Esoteric Otherworlds continues the OOBE theme, and discusses in more detail the reports of experiencers. (Esoteric Otherworlds
Note: Special thanks to Kim Cascone, Daz Smith of RViewer.com, Tamra Temple, Tom Ruffles, of the Society for Psychical Research, Jack Hunter, Editor at Paranthropology Journal, and Matt Staggs, Editor at Disinfo.com, for a number of links included in this edition of Reality Sandwich’s Psi-in-the-News.