Parapsychology Journalism: The People, The Theory, The Science, The Skeptics
David Metcalfe and I have just finished our third Evolver Webinar session with guests Dan Booth Cohen and Emily Volden and I have been struck by some interesting observations. The first of these is that everything fits together. That is to say, While my guests are all working in vastly different areas of research, it isn’t very hard to see how they tie together. Jim Carpenter’s First Sight theory ties together with the healing studies of Bill Bengston, which tie together with with Systemic Constellations which tie together with Rupert Sheldrake’s Morphic Resonance, and on and on. They are all very consistent with one another with no apparent contradictions.
I find that I’m beginning to get a feel for how this works and I think that one way to communicate this by explaining need-based psychic ability since this is a thread that runs through the work of all three of our guests so far. Here goes:
Modern psychology has discovered that most of our consciousness is subconscious; maybe about 90%; it’s hard to put an exact number to it, but the basic gist of it is that our conscious awareness is not where most of total awareness resides. First Sight says that psychic ability is an integral part of that 90% that isn’t conscious awareness and tends to show up in our conscious awareness only when all other types of awareness fail, or in some cases, people can intentionally access that psychic ability to a degree.
It shouldn’t be a secret to anyone that our subconscious intentions are often at odds with our conscious ones, but when they are aligned, it can be very powerful. What appears to be the case is that genuine need is an excellent way to align both conscious and unconscious intent. It’s not 100%, but it will produce psi effects more consistently and more strongly than any other method. This has come up twice in these webinars. Bill Bengston’s mice studies had a 100% cure rate for the the mice, and Emily Volden reported over 90% success in obtaining meaningful psychic information for her clients. These are fantastic numbers and what they have in common is that they are completely based on need.
Bill mentioned anecdotally, both in the webinar and in his book that his type of healing works best on aggressive cancers and recent problems, -where need is the strongest-. Chronic problems are harder to fix because they have a component (it’s speculated) of people being accustomed to them. One of that statements that Bill made during the webinar was that people are often angry when they’ve been healed of a chronic problem because they’d learned to identify with it. The need isn’t as clear so neither is the healing.
If psychic ability is primarily need based, it’s easy to see why it’s hard to duplicate in the lab in most cases. Need is not something that can be faked because it requires one subject to have a genuine need and another to fill it. We know from First Sight that this isn’t entirely a conscious decision, -that part might only be 10% of what’s going on.- And we know that the subconscious knows things that we don’t have access to consciously. This was spectacularly demonstrated in W.E. Cox’s train crash studies in the 1950’s.
W.E. Cox, in a well-known study (1956), analyzed the number of tickets sold for 28 passenger trains that crashed between 1950 and 1955. He found that the trains that crashed always had fewer people than similar trains on the same day of the previous week. The data was also analyzed for weather conditions, and number of sold tickets on the previous day, week, and month. Because every statistical result can be explained as random fluctuation, the author calculated the probability of accumulating the same statistics randomly. This probability was less than 1/100. In other words, we can say with 99/100 certainty that people really have – and use – their psychic intuition to avoid dangerous situations.
And for the terrorist attacks of 9/11 the numbers are actually fairly in alignment with the Cox study:
American Airlines flight 11, a Boeing 767-223ER with capacity of 165 according to American Airlines, had 76 passengers, 11 crew members, and the 5 hijackers. United Airlines flight 175, a Boeing 767-222 with the same capacity, had 51 passengers, 9 crew and 5 hijackers. American flight 77, a Boeing 757 with capacity of 180-188, carried 53 passengers, 6 crew, and 5 hijackers. United flight 93, another Boeing 757, carried 33 passengers, 7 crew and the 4 hijackers.
These are load factors of about 57% for AA flight 11, 33% for UAL flight 175, 32% for AA 77, and 20% for UAL 93 — pretty low compared to the industry average for the period (see next graf). The kicker is that these are the percentages with the hijackers counted among the passengers. Not counting the hijackers, the load factors were 46% for AA flight 11, 30% for UAL flight 175, 29% for AA flight 77, and 18% for UAL flight 93.
The point I’m making here is that the subconscious has precognition, telepathy and clairvoyance at its disposal, however, we don’t have conscious access to it. Because of that, you cannot merely create the appearance of need through any sort of deception. The subconscious cannot be deceived and because of that, if there is no real need, (regardless of whether a person was fooled or not by the ruse) there will be no consistently strong display of psychic ability.
The test mice all had an obviously strong need, as did Emily’s clients and that was certainly true for the people who avoided the doomed trains and planes. In those situations the psychic ability displayed was both strong and consistent. What’s more, in the case of the Bengston experiments and the accidents, no previous psychic experience or ability was required. This is something that’s predicted by First Sight. Belief is not necessary.
Need based psychic research is very tricky, but what I have seen over and over again is that scientists are very clever people and can undoubtedly find a way to create lab experiments that create genuine need in people and get that typic of psychic response to kick in. Bengston has already done this, so we just need more experiments that create high levels of genuine need that requires psychic ability to attend to. (Or, maybe this has been done already and I’ve missed it.)