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Parapsychology in General
Record Type: Review   ID: 1215

Psi, What is Hidden Behind It?

Bauer, Eberhard, & Lucadou, Walter von (Eds.)

The subtitle of this compilation of seven papers, "Scientists Research Parapsychological Phenomena," indicates that the German editors have attempted a serious survey of parapsychology with the help of some well-known names of the field: Johannes Mischo, Professor of Psychology and Border Areas of Psychology at the University of Freiburg; Eberhard Bauer, psychologist and assistant to the chair of parapsychology and also Prof. Bender's Institute in Freiburg; Walter von Lucadou, also assistant and a physicist (all 3 are former Bender students); Prof. John B. Hasted, director of the Physics Department at Birkbeck College, London University; Prof. Dr. Hans Bender (retired Prof. emeritus at Freiburg); Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Gauger, past Prof. of English Literature of Free University-West Berlin); and Dr. Jurgen Keil, Psychology Lecturer at the University of Tasmania (Australia). The first chapter (by Prof. Mischo) deals with "The Methods, Problems and Results in ESP." He describes different surveys of spontaneous cases, analyzing the position of different populations to ESP, and refers to a 1973 New Scientist article, with a sample of 1,400 participants (scientists and technicians with academic degrees), with 67% considering ESP as possible/or demonstrated. In the analysis of spontaneous cases, Mischo mentions a reanalysis done recently (1983) by S.A. Schouten with the surveys of L.E. Rhine (1954), G. Sannwald (1959/60), and E. Hanefeld (1970, unpublished dissertation). In order to illustrate the different techniques of ASC (meditation, hypnosis), induced relaxation, and Ganzfeld) the author presents a table of Charles Honorton's that shows that the number of significant experiments is a little bit higher for hypnosis-relaxation than for Ganzfeld, although overall sums of the four techniques give highly significant figures. Furthermore, the author discusses "possible predictors" and his "multivariate" experiments with ESP.

The second chapter, by Eberhard Bauer, entitled "100 Years of Parapsychological Research: The SPR," gives a good historical account of the history of the British society. The author confesses to have learned most of it from the works of Alan Gauld, Fraser Nicol, and John Beloff. The third chapter is rather basic. It was written by W. von Lucadou with the title "Parapsychology and Physics" and gives a short account of the relationship between quantum physics and PK phenomena. He mentions some of H. Schmidt's experiments with RNGs. The discussion includes some special details like "backward causation," "double split/photon experiment," digressions with other physicists like E.P. Wigner, Evan Harris Walker, etc. (some of his theories are more thoroughly discussed in the author's latest book called Psyche and Chaos-Freiburg, 1989). The fourth chapter on "Psychokinetic Metal-Bending" is by Prof. John B. Hasted. He reviews findings on metal benders, showing the results with Julie Knowles, the Japanish conjurer Masuaki Kiyota, Nicholas Williams, etc. illustrated with 16 interesting "ad hoc" figures. The Nestor of German parapsychologists, Prof. Hans Bender, discusses in the next chapter, "Spook-Facts and Delusions," one of his favorite areas of psi research. He covers RSPK phenomena based on 60 or more cases very well studied in his Institute at Freiburg. In the sixth chapter, Wilhelm Gauger presents "Reflections of a Literary Scientist about Parapsychology." Jurgen Keil writes on "Parapsychology in the USSR." He describes one of the cases he knew first hand: Nina Kulagina, the woman he personally filmed (with the help of J.G. Pratt and Jarl Fahler). Every one who was not lucky enough to meet this remarkable PK subject personally will profit from Keil's account of her, but even more from his 8mm color film made in a Leningrad hotel, showing her performance with ping pong balls.

Publisher Information:Freiburg, West Germany: Herder Bucherei, 1984. 189p. 8 refs
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