The Weiler Psi

Parapsychology Journalism: The People, The Theory, The Science, The Skeptics

My First Time (participating in Psi research)


I’ve continued my account of being a Psi research participant back on my own blog. This is a short preview. You can read the rest of the story here.

My first experience as a research participant was in April 2010. I was pretty naive in regards to what I was getting myself into. At the time I wanted a cure for being psychic. I now know how misguided that idea was, but back then I thought science could fix everything and I wanted it to fix me.

I have suffered from incidents of RSPK (recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis) throughout my life, usually while under stressful circumstances. I was in graduate school in 2010 and having serious ethical concerns with regards to a member of my thesis committee. It was an impossible situation. I was being harassed and the university made it clear that protecting the reputation of tenured professor took priority over the protecting the well being of a student. I was told that this kind of abuse is just the price one pays to “earn” a doctorate. I was even threatened with legal action if I ever went public with my concerns. Needless to say, I felt helpless. Which is probably why anomalous events started to occur.

It was bad enough that things happened at university that were hard to account for. For example, during an argument with another grad student over his inappropriate treatment of an undergrad, his computer crashed and the data that he had been painstakingly entering onto a spreadsheet before the disagreement began was lost. (He referred to me as a witch after that.) Odd electrical malfunctions seemed to follow me around the lab. To make matters worse, the stress was spilling over into my home life as well. That was the real problem. My husband was subjected to life in what now seemed to be a “haunted” house. It was haunted, I suppose, but it wasn’t ghosts doing in light bulbs or moving furniture. I was doing those things. I couldn’t talk to him about what was going on. I felt so ashamed.

I had initially contacted parapsychologist William Roll through the message boards of the Parapsychological Association. It wasn’t long before we had our first conversation over the phone. I remember thinking what a nice man he was. He asked me a lot of questions about my experiences with RSPK. The conversation was very lighthearted at first and I really enjoyed talking to Bill. But then the discussion took an unexpected turn for the worse. Dr Roll suggested that my marriage was in trouble and asked questions that seemed really inappropriate about my relationship with my husband. I was totally shocked. How could I have liked this man? That was when the phone line started making this horribly loud screeching noise. The connection was almost lost. And then Bill changed the subject again as if he had never brought up anything upsetting in the first place. He told me to forget about those last few questions. Just ignore them and move on. The telephone connection improved. And the next thing I knew, Dr William G. Roll was asking me to make a visit with him to see Dr Michael Persinger at Laurentian University, in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.

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About Sandy

I'm an NDEr who is still trying to figure out why I came back. I usually just post on my own blog (http://psisigh.blogspot.ca/ ), but it's nice to visit The Weiler Psi Blog too.

5 comments on “My First Time (participating in Psi research)

  1. marcustanthony
    May 8, 2013

    Yes, universities are not the best place to be open about spiritual or psychic experience. When I went back to university to get my doctorate, I made a point to be as open about what I was doing as possible. I wrote my thesis on what I call Integrated Intelligence, which is a specific theory which draws the intuitive and spiritual into intelligence theory. Eventually I simply decided to be as open as I wanted to be, and to hell with what anybody else thought of me. My attitude was that I was accountable to Spirit first, society second, academia last. Of course there was a large price to pay for that. Ten years of research, one PhD, forty journal papers, numerous academic conference papers, the organiser and host of one international Futures conference… and rejected for even casual work by university after university. I have had no less than 10 interviews for academic positions, and was rejected for all of them. Recently I have managed to gain a sessisonal lecturer’s position, but I know people who enrolled in doctoral programmes in my field – Futures Studies – after me who are already fully-tenured, but having done a tiny fraction of the work that I have. The academic world remains populated by talking heads, a legacy of 20th century mind-body dissociation.

    Follow your Bliss, as they say – but don’t expect the world to owe you anything just because you do.

  2. Stephen Leslie
    May 6, 2013

    ” I was in graduate school in 2010 and having serious ethical concerns with regards to a member of my thesis committee. It was an impossible situation. I was being harassed and the university made it clear that protecting the reputation of tenured professor took priority over the protecting the well being of a student. I was told that this kind of abuse is just the price one pays to “earn” a doctorate. I was even threatened with legal action if I ever went public with my concerns. ”

    This just shows that academic corruption goes way beyond the suppression of parapsychology. The system is falling apart. Cut-throat competition, grad student and adjunct professor serfdom, systematic discrimination against those (especially women) who want to settle down and start a family, and a culture of arrogance and denial from many of those on top is rotting the academic system. I think that as the paradigm of materialism starts to collapse, we must also reconsider academic science as a whole. By making the academic culture less brutal, perhaps we can also make it more innovative as well.

    • Sandy
      May 6, 2013

      I ended up walking away from academia, and I’m thankful I did while I could still look at myself in the mirror without flinching. I could have bought a PhD, or traded sex for one. Or become “one of the boys” and turned a blind eye when required to. I didn’t want a degree that badly. I thought I could “just say no” and try to navigate around the bad stuff long enough to graduate. But it doesn’t work that way. They want you to become one of them because so long as everyone has something on everyone else, the status quo is maintained.

      Not all universities are this messed up, but there are lots of worse horror stories than mine.

    • Sandy
      May 8, 2013

      In my case, I wasn’t following my bliss. I was studying mainstream science and presenting myself as being as materialistic as possible in doing so. Unfortunately, there is still a strong bias against women in science. It seems like the smarter you are, the less senior men in the establishment like it. I’m reminded of Dawkins and his surprisingly sexist comments about women. That kind of attitude shouldn’t be the norm, but in many universities it’s quite acceptable.

      I actually talked to a former victim of my former thesis supervisor, someone who (rumor has it) slept with him, and got her PhD. She’s a tenured professor now. Her advice was to put up with the harassment and do what ever was “required” to graduate. The thing is, I have no respect for her. She didn’t do women in academia a favor by becoming a tenured professor this way. And she’s continuing the cycle of abuse by suggesting it’s just part of the requirements for graduation.

      It’s not like I’ve never experienced working in male dominated environments before. I’m retired military. I can remember back to the days when I was the only women on parade with about 500 men. But I suppose I expected military life to be a little more challenging than going to university to study science should be. They actually aren’t all that different.

      • Mark
        June 13, 2013

        Dawkins wasn’t being sexist. He was just being a jerk, like he always is. It was that female pseudoskeptic, who is also a total jerk, (as most pseudoskeptics are) who tried to make it into a sexism thing. I love seeing my enemies fighting each other.

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This entry was posted on May 5, 2013 by in Uncategorized.
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