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Will Rupert Sheldrake’s Wikipedia entry become the next front in the battle to bring psychical research to the public, does talking about parapsychology increase the likelihood of possession, is there a tacit supernaturalism in popular science? Find out in this week’s Psi in the News. 

  • Friday, October 11th, and Saturday, October 12th, former Army Remote Viewer, Paul Smith, will be presenting a two day seminar at the Rhine Research Center, titled “What the Military Learned about Controlled Remote Viewing – and What You Can Too!” (Rhine Research Center)
  • On October 15th, in the Paleography and Manuscripts Room at Senate House Library in London, Sarah Sparkes will present Psychic Synopsis – Indexing the Unconscious Mind of Senate House Library as part of Sharon Kivland and Mura Gosh's Reading as Art. Turning the Pages of Victorian Psychology. (Sarah Sparkes)
  • October 17th, in London, the Body and Mind: Mesmerism in Nineteenth Century Culture and Literature conference will explore “the relationship between the sciences and Victorian mesmerism, psychical research and parapsychology.” (British Society for Literature and Science)
  • Windbridge Institute is currently looking for donors to help fund their upcoming Bereavement and Mediumship Study, which seeks to examine the emotional impact of mediumship readings.  (Windbridge Institute
  • At the University of West Georgia, Christine Simmonds-Moore is looking for local participants to take part in a Beliefs, Disbeliefs and Experiences Survey 2013 to begin testing for volunteers to take part in a larger study on the effects of the “Shakti Helmet,” which is said to cause altered states of consciousness in some cases, among other claims. (University of West Georgia
  • Paranormal experiencers and abductees are being sought to assist with a study by completing the APAI (Anomalous and Paranormal Activity Inventory). (Society for Psychical Research
  • Robert Mays, of the International Association of Near Death Studies, will be hosting a webinar with the New York Open Center, focusing on the implications of NDE’s. The webinar’s guest speakers include  Eben Alexander, MD, Lorna Byrne and Anita Moorjani, all of whom have reported having a Near Death Experience. (New York Open Center)
  • The Parapsychological Association has announced the winners for this years Gilbert Roller Fund award. Stephen Braude (Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Former Chair of the Department at the University of Maryland Baltimore County) and Mark Bocuzzi, of the Windbridge Institute, have been awarded to continue “scientific field investigations into macroscopic psychokinetic phenomena.” (Parapsychological Association)
  • On his First Sight website, newly elected Parapsychological Association President, Dr. Jim Carpenter, discusses his vision for the field of parapsychology and the future of the PA. (First Sight)
  • David Furlong, Director of the Spirit Release Forum, provides a write up of the recent Spirit Release and Mental Health conference held at Oxford House, in Bethnal Green, West London. (SpiritRelease.org)
  • Alberto Groisman, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, did a talk on 'Ayahuasca Religions, Mediumship and Religious Agency' at the Breaking Convention, which is now available on Vimeo. (Ecology, Cosmos & Consciousness)
  • Rhine Research Center Visiting Scholar, Carlos Alvarado, interviews Massimo Biondi,  director of Gestioni e Servizi Editoriali, an active participant in parapsychological research since the late 1970’s. (Parapsychology: News, History, Research)
  • We reported in the last Psi in the News on Gary Truce, professor of health and wellness at the Decker School of Nursing, who recently gave a talk for Birmingham University’s “Arts & Minds” lecture series on his experiences in parapsychology, titled “Paranormal Occurrences & Spirit Phenomena: Practical Experiences in Haunting & Spirit Investigations.” It seems the talk has drawn some criticism from one of Truce’s colleagues, Dr. John Weaver, who feels that the topic of parapsychology might encourage dangerous religious delusions of possession in some students. (Pipe Dream)
  • In his most recent blog post, Dr. Andreas Sommer, University of Cambridge, discusses the “tacit supernaturalism of popular science,” and how the public discussion of science often presents a skewed image of progress. (Forbidden History)  
  • On the flip side, a new post up on Gizmodo from Matt Novak points out the role that tech magazines have played in debunking claims of extraordinary and supernormal abilities. (Gizmodo
  • Rupert Sheldrake, who recently strolled through TED’s saucy attempt at public shaming, is now facing the wrath of those wry word wranglers over at Wikipedia. Writing on his website, the former Research Fellow of the Royal Society, provides insight into his experience, and warns about what he sees as a threat to the potential for Wikipedia to become a more legitimate resource. (Science Set Free
  • In a new Reality Sandwich piece, Craig Weiler, of the Weiler Psi Blog, examines some of the errors that Rupert Sheldrake’s Wikipedia article currently contains. (Reality Sandwich
  • On his own blog, Weiler, continues the discussion with some detailed insights into the problem of ideologues holding court on Wikipedia, and how the current situation with "Guerilla Skepticism" is creating a very skewed public image of parapsychological research. (Weiler Psi Blog
  • Weiler Psi Blog regular, Sandy, asks the question, Why can’t we talk about Morphic Resonance, on her blog, PsiSigh. (PsiSigh)
  • On the Subversive Thinking blog, the question is raised on how to properly deal with Wikipedia's ideological flame wars. Is the solution to fight fire with fire? (Subversive Thinking
  • Daily Grail, Greg Taylor adds some additional thoughts, along with a link to a video from the James Randi Education Foundation that details the skeptical sub-culture’s desire to bring the sputtering torch of unyielding reason to Wikipedia, the “single most important tool in the skeptical tool-box.” (The Daily Grail
  • Annalisa Ventola, Executive Director of the Parapsychological Association, has pointed out that this matter has already been settled in 2007 during a request for arbitration on entries under the heading of Paranormal. Word of warning – this link leads directly into the mindscape of the Wiki-world, and it’s a bit unnerving to look at if you’re not prone to bathing in a nightmare of inane categorical minutiae. (Wikipedia
  • Author of Unbelievable, Stacy Horn, has a new entry to her blog which provides a brief biological sketch of Helmut Schmidt, a former researcher for Boeing who pioneered investigations of Psycho-Kinesis via Random Number Generators. (Unbelievable
  • The annual conference for the Society for Psychical Research received some video coverage this year from Robert McLuhan, of Paranormalia. In this short YouTube video he interviews a number of attendees to find their thoughts on the future of psychical research. (Robert McLuhan)
  • In a new article up on Huffington Post, the author of Monastery without Walls, Bruce Davis, discusses the similarities between Near Death Experiences and advanced meditative states. (Huffington Post)
  • A new post on the Thinking Deeper blog details Mika Iwasaki and Tatsu Hirukawa presentation at the SPR Annual Conference, which detailed their research into 18 new Japanese Near Death Experiences. (Thinking Deeper)
  • Author and psychical researcher, M.J. Wayland, discusses insights on the statistical difficulties of field investigation gleaned from G.M. Tyrrell’s classic work, Apparitions. (M.J. Wayland)
  • And finally, Mrs. Willet’s Mediumship. (Ñ??av?ra Thera Dhamma Page)

Note: Special thanks to Tom Ruffles, of the Society for Psychical Research, John Kruth, of the Rhine Research Center, and Jack Hunter, Editor at Paranthropology Journal, for a number of links included in this edition of Reality Sandwich’s Psi-in-the-News.
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