Gene Semel investigates the history of Sony’s Psi experiments, The International Association for the Preservation of Spiritualist and Occult Periodicals seeks to save America’s Spiritualist history, Osirian Dawn discusses telepathic romance, and Rupert Sheldrake shakes up TED in this edition of psi in the news.

For those of you who missed the Edge Realms webinar on March 12th, you missed Russell Targ guiding Edge Realms contributors Daniel Pinchbeck, Conner Habib, Ryan Hurd and Tony Vigorito in an impromptu Remote Viewing trial. Conner Habib was the most successful in the group, but Pinchbeck had some provocative results as well.  

“We are excited to announce that Windbridge Institute co-founder and researcher, Mark Boccuzzi, was awarded a new research grant from the Helene Reeder Memorial Fund for Research into Life after Death. The project is to replicate and extend his work on Invited Ostensible Discarnate Interactions with Electronic Equipment.

This is Mark's second HRMF award. He presented the first part of the study at the 55th Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association last year.

We are very thankful to the fund for the support required to continue this research.”

  • After initially denying that he expressed an appreciation for certain aspects of social darwinism, or even that he knew what social darwinism is, James Randi has admitted the quotes Will Storr included in his recent book,  The Heretics: Adventures with the Enemies of Science, are accurate. (The Daily Grail)
  • Will Storr discusses his work, and the process of writing The Heretics: Adventures with the Enemies of Science, on a recent episode of the Little Atoms podcast. (Little Atoms)
  • Robert McLuhan reviews Russell Targ’s latest book, The Reality of ESP: A Physicist’s Proof of Psychic Abilities. (Paranormalia)
  • Reality Sandwich’s own OddEdges interviews Russell Targ for the Evolver Podcast. (EvolverNetTV)
  • We hear a lot about various government programs that have looked into Psi, but one of the things that we don’t hear much about is how prevalent this research was (and is) at the commercial level as well. Thanks to some investigative reporting from Gene Semel there’s a nice piece up on Disinfo about his trip to discover the reality behind Sony’s ESP research, and why their CEO at the time of completing the R&D project said that they had proven Psi exists. (Disinfo
  • Due to the controversial nature of topics that deal with mediumship, clairvoyance, and attendant phenomena, many libraries are less careful about how they handle historical material and periodicals related to parapsychology and Spiritualism from the 19th and early 20th century.  The International Association for the Preservation of Spiritualist and Occult Periodicals (IAPSOP) is trying to mitigate this through a digitization project focused on these rare, and often neglected resources.  John Crow provides an overview of their mission in a short piece with links to various aspects of the project. (Religion in American History)  
  • One of the folks working on the IAPSOP project is Marc Demarest, who shows the value of this research in a recent post which details the changing face of marketing Spiritualism and alternative health in the early 20th century. These changes have affected how these areas are marketed even today, and you can see the results any time you end up encountering spirituality in the marketplace and media. (Chasing Down Emma
  • Demarest has also announced that the website spirithistory.com, which highlights ephemera from the deep waters of America’s Spiritualist history, will now be archived on the International Association for the Preservation of Spiritual and Occult Periodicals website. (Chasing Down Emma
  • Reality Sandwich’s very own Osirian Dawn has a piece on the telepathic love story shared by Dr. Julie Beischel and Mark Bocuzzi, of the Windbridge Institute for Applied Research in Human Potential. (Reality Sandwich
  • Beischel and Bocuzzi have also announced an upcoming book, Psychic Intimacy: A Handbook for Couples, that will provide insights into relationships that have been gleaned from their research. (Windbridge Institute)
  • Alex Tsakiris has also posted an interview with Dr. Beischel which looks at her research on the therapeutic potentials available through mediumship. (Skeptiko)
  • Christopher Laursen, who runs the Extraordinarium website, is featured in this brief video discussing the Toronto Society for Psychical Research’s attempt to invoke an imaginary ghost named ‘Philip’ in a seance experiment. (YouTube)
  • Patrizio Tressoldi has written a piece on his blog at the Parapsychological Association website which calls for a renewed focus on “methodological and statistical standards for all empirical contributions to PA conventions.” (Parapsychological Association
  • Nobel Laureate, Brian Josephson recently gave a talk at Cambridge on ‘Heretical Science,’ and issues that arise when empirical evidence doesn’t fit preconceived assumptions popular within the scientific community. (University of Cambridge
  • A recently published paper on the “Implications of spiritual experiences to the understanding of mind–brain relationship” from Alexander Moreira-Almeida, Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, looks at how neurological studies of meditation indicate an interesting functional relationship between thoughts and physiological changes in the brain. (Science Direct)
  • Last years Exploring the Extraordinary conference saw an early iteration of this paper which looks at ‘Psychics, crystals, candles and cauldrons: alternative spiritualities and the question of their esoteric economies.’ (Taylor Francis Online)
  • Another recent paper looks at ‘The Impact of Dreams of the Deceased on Bereavement: A Survey of Hospice Caregivers.’ (National Center for Biotechnology Information)
  • The Belfast Telegraph has an excerpt from Colm Keane’s new book  Going Home — Irish Stories from the Edge of Death, detailing some reports of Near Death Experiences in Northern Ireland. (Belfast Telegraph
  • Here is an interesting abstract for a paper from Cal Cooper, University of Northampton, which touches on Egyptian concepts of life after death, reported psychic experiences and the changing face of anomaly in the land of the Nile. (Alex Tanous Foundation
  • Cooper is also featured in this video interview, discussing his book Telephone Calls from the Dead, which is an updated look at a study conducted by D. Scott Rogo and Raymond Bayliss looking at anomalous experiences with telephone, answer machine, emails, text messages and other areas where people have received anomalous, and seemingly post-mortem, messages from those who have passed away. (Mission 99)  |
  • Cooper and Professor Chris Roe, University of Northampton, are featured in this short documentary presenting an overview of parapsychology and their work in the field. (Parapsychology101)
  • In this recent interview Chris Carter talks about his book Science and the Afterlife Experience, and discusses various theories regarding the Survival Hypothesis. (Subversive Thinking
  • Some reflections from Ben Radford on Dr. Parnia’s new book, Erasing Death: The Science That is Rewriting the Boundaries Between Life and Death. (Discovery News)
  • Robert Searle offers a review of Dr. Parnia's book as well, under it's UK title, The Lazarus Effect. (Esoteric Other Worlds
  • Could CO2 be the cause of most Near Death Experiences? A recent study showed some correlation to high amounts of CO2 in the blood in those who reported experiencing an NDE. (Halifax Courier
  • Here is a round up of videos featuring doctors discussing the topic of Near Death Experiences. (Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life)
  • The Consciousness Conversations is an upcoming live webinar featuring Ervin Laszlo, Claire Zammit, Craig Hamilton, Lynne McTaggart, Marilyn Schlitz, Pim van Lommel, John Hagelin and Fred Travis and hosted by The Intelligent Optimist’s Jurriaan Kamp. Discussion will focus on the repercussions of research into consciousness, and what this means for the future of culture and society. (The Intelligent Optimist)
  • The National Health Service in the UK has recognized mindfulness meditation as a form of therapy. (Guardian UK)
  • Peter Rogerson reviews Peter Lamont’s book Extraordinary Beliefs: A Historical Approach to a Psychological Problem, which details some interesting aspects of the skeptic vs. believer debate, including the role of professional magicians in psychical research. (Magonia)
  • Dean Radin, Institute of Noetic Sciences, presents a talk titled, “Men Who Stare at Photons,” at the  2013 Electric Universe conference in January. In this talk Radin outlines some of the current research on Psi and non-local consciousness. (Entangled Minds
  • Rupert Sheldrake’s talk at TEDxWhiteChapel has drawn negative attention from P.Z. Myer, Jerry Coyne, and other ardent media skeptics. Due to their request that Sheldrake’s talk be removed, the TED organization called for a community discussion to explore the issue. (TED.com)
  • Here is one of the original pieces that lead to all the puffing, Jerry Coyne declares ‘TEDx Talks completely discredited.’ (Evolution is True


    In light of the debate a number of people have weighed in:

    Craig Weiler offers us reflections on when ‘The Psi Wars Come to TED’ (Weiler Psi Blog)

    Sharon Hill celebrates the idea of ‘TED Under Fire for Pseudoscience Again,’ with some added perspective in the comments from Chris Jensen Romer. (Doubtful News)

    And, Robert McLuhan discusses the implications of ‘Rupert Sheldrake at TED’ (Paranormalia)

  • The discussion continues in a broader context at IAI with James Le Fanu, Rupert Sheldrake, and Stephen Law in conversation over ‘The Limits of Science.’ (IAI
  • Egil Asprem continues his critique of Rupert Sheldrake’s latest book, The Science Delusion (or Science Set Free), in part four of his series of articles titled: Scientific delusions, or delusions about science? (Heterodoxology)
  • Writing for the Commitee for Skeptical Inquiry website, Sharon Hill has a piece discussing the stereotyping of those involved in the skeptic movement. (CSI)
  • Guy Lyon Playfair remembers Brazilian physical medium Anna Prado in an interesting piece which highlights some of the difficulties involved with investigating these areas of human experience. (White Crow Books
  • The blog of the Felix Circle has an interesting piece on W.J.Crawford, and his experiments with the medium Kathleen Goligher during the early 20th century. Before his suicide Crawford noted that his work proved to be  'going some way towards discovering the 'psychic' laws behind telekinesis phenomena'. (Felix Circle)
  • A group of scientists at the University of Science and Technology of China in Shanghai report that they have measured “spooky action at a distance” at four orders of magnitude faster than the speed of light. Still, it’s important to note, no information is transferred during these exchanges. (Technology Review)
  • The Religious Studies Project podcast hosts David Gordon Wilson in conversation with Dr. Ann Taves, Virgil Cordano OFM Chair in Catholic Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara, on the possibility of studying religious experiences outside of theological frameworks. (Religious Studies Projects
  • Anthropologist Edith Turner is interviewed on the Future Primitive podcast. Turner’s work has been a key inspiration for the founding of the Paranthropology Journal. (Future Primitive)
  • Jack Hunter, Editor of the Paranthropology Journal, gives a talk on ‘Mediumship and Folk Models of Mind and Matter.’ (Anthropology, Consciousness and Culture)
  • Robert Searle provides us with a chapter-by-chapter outline of Kurt Leland’s The Multidimensional Human: Practices for Psychic Development and Astral Projection (Esoteric Other Worlds)
  • Ta’i Carmen presents an interesting introduction to the emerging ‘science of intuition.’ (Parallax)
  • The Hauntological Society gives us a succinct overview of the concept of retrocausality. (The Hauntological Society)
Note: Special thanks to Dr. Dave Leech, 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.