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Part III: [ Evidence for the Afterlife ] [ Eminent Researchers ] [ Skeptical Fallacies ] [ Skeptical Misdirection ] [ Suppressed Parapsychology ] [ Web Guide to the PSPR ] [ Life in B Flat ]

Suppressed Parapsychology

Suppressed Parapsychology
Entrenched Powers
Suppression by the US Government
Secret Programs
Suppression by the British Government
In Conclusion

Suppressed Parapsychology

According to a National Science Foundation poll, 60% of people believe in psychic phenomena. Unfortunately, a greater majority is still needed since there is currently little or no overt government funding for parapsychological research.

Why is this so? In the preceding chapters, we have seen the extraordinary evidence for the afterlife and some of the eminent scientists who studied psychic phenomena and found it genuine. Despite this, we have also seen the misleading statements made by skeptics and some of the fallacies spread by skeptics. These misleading statements and fallacies have the effect of confusing many ordinary people about psychic phenomena, but the lack of government funding for parapsychological research is due to a much more serious problem. The problem is that in the U.S., top scientists and government agencies are actively involved in suppressing parapsychological research.

One would expect that subjects as important to the understanding of humankind and the universe as the afterlife, telepathy, psychokinesis, remote viewing, and precognition would be worthy of scientific investigation. Unfortunately, there isn't the critical mass of popular approval necessary to overcome the forces in society that are working to suppress parapsychological research. Parapsychological research is suppressed through refusals to accept its results and by misrepresentations of those results. The forces behind this suppression include 1) individuals who control research funding who are attached to the status quo and who are afraid they will lose status and power if materialism is found to be incomplete and 2) government intelligence agencies that do not want to encourage and abet international competitors in developing paranormal techniques for intelligence gathering and psychic interference with electronic weapons.

(A prime example of this resistance to parapsychological research by scientists and the government is seen in the NSF poll mentioned above which lists the results for belief in psychic phenomena under subject heading "Pseudoscience".)

Conspiracy theories that require coordination at a high levels and cooperation among a large number of groups are unlikely. However there is evidence which is discussed below, to support the belief that parapsychological research is being suppressed by top scientists and government agencies in the U.S. Additionally, we do know there have been unacceptable activities in the U.S. in the past. For example there were drug and medical tests done on people who didn't know about it and didn't agree to participate. Failure to recognize the results of parapsychological research is a pale shadow compared to some the darker deeds that we know have been done and therefore suppression and misrepresentation of parapsychological research cannot be considered impossible.

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Entrenched Powers

There is a great resistance by the scientific community to psychical and parapsychological research. This has been going on for over a hundred years. It was a problem in 1871 when Sir William Crookes unsuccessfully tried to present his research ( http://www.survivalafterdeath.org.uk/books/crookes/researches/contents.htm ) on psychokinesis to the Royal Society and it is a problem today. This resistance is mostly a social artifact left over from the time science led the revolution against superstition, creationism, and anthropocentrism. Like many revolutions, the scientific revolution went too far and those who benefited from its excesses are loath to give up the benefits.

Dean Radin, in his book "The Conscious Universe" in the chapter "Seeing Psi" proposes that some scientists may have too much self interest in preserving the materialist status quo to be objective about psychic phenomena. He writes that if this is true, belief in psychic phenomena should depend how committed a person is to the materialist world view. He then presents evidence to support this contention showing that 68% of the general public believe in the possibility of psychic phenomena, 55% of college professors also believe, 30% of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) division heads believe, but only 6% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) believe in psychic phenomena.

Radin points out that a skeptic might suggest that this dependency is due to greater knowledge about perceptual and memory biases that are said to lead to mistaken belief in psychic phenomena. But it is also true that the skeptics' own perceptual and memory biases might be the cause of their skepticism. It seems unlikely that there would be a great difference in knowledge about perceptual and memory biases between AAAS division heads and NAS members. However, there would be a difference in attachment to the scientific world view since being a NAS member is more prestigious than being an AAAS division head. Therefore the contention that the cause of disbelief is due to perceptual and memory biases in skeptics seems to be justified.

It should be understood that Radin is not saying NAS members are deliberately dishonest about the existence of psychic phenomena. He is saying they are so caught up in the scientific world view, (for example, because they get a lot of personal status from it, or because they spend their careers defining that world view) that they are unconsciously unable to accept that the scientific world view might be so seriously flawed, that it could have such big gaps in it, that psychic phenomena could be real.

In the history of science, there are many examples where the mainstream scientific view was wrong. For example, the theory of continental drift was ridiculed when it was first proposed. This shows that what is a reasonable conclusion to draw from empirical evidence is subjective. Radin is saying that skepticism of parapsychological research by stop scientists is due to subjective factors and not actual problems with experimental design or interpretations of results. The fact that those people who have a greater stake in the correctness of the materialist world view are less likely to believe in psychic phenomena is evidence of this.

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Suppression by the US Government

There is also ample evidence that some agencies of the U.S. government have tried to suppress parapsychological research by deliberately misrepresenting the results of that research. The reason for this is to diminish the likelihood that international competitors will develop psychic techniques that could threaten the U.S.

Ingo Swann in "Remote Viewing - The Real Story" ( http://www.biomindsuperpowers.com/Pages/2.html ) explains that the intelligence community in the U.S. became interested in parapsychological research when it became clear that the Soviets were heavily engaged in such research. Another factor that upset the defense department was that computers belonging to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which were working on military projects at SRI, went haywire when Uri Geller was being tested on the floor below. If someone could psychically affect electronic circuits, they could interfere with any modern weapons system that used electronics.

The DARPA Debunking of Uri Geller (1972)

In late 1972, after DARPA computers seemed to have been affected by Uri Geller's psychic powers, DARPA sent the prominent skeptic Ray Hyman to debunk Geller.

Hyman reported that Geller was doing what magicians could do. However, Hyman did not test Geller under controlled conditions that would enable him to distinguish between stage magic and paranormal abilities. In his book "Uri", Andrija Puharich, a scientist who validated Uri Geller's psychic abilities, names two individuals from DARPA who started rumors that Geller's abilities were not genuine. This was exposed as a disinformation campaign when Targ and Puthoff at SRI obtained positive results with Geller under tightly controlled conditions and their research was published in the Nature article: "Information Transmission Under Conditions Of Sensory Shielding" by Harold E. Puthoff, Ph.D., and Russell Targ, Nature, VOL 252, No. 5476, Oct. 18, 1974, pp. 602-607.
http://www.uri-geller.com/books/geller-papers/g3.htm

NRC report on parapsychology (1987)

In 1987, the National Research Council (NRC) issued a report that was the result of a request by the US Army for an evaluation of several subjects, one of which was parapsychology. The report incorrectly stated that there was no justification for parapsychological research. During an interview on Skeptiko Podcast, Chris Carter, author of "Parapsychology and the Skeptics", described this report:

There was even a National Research Council (NRC) report in 1987 which announced to the press: "The Committee finds no scientific justification for research conducted over a period of 130 years for the existence of parapsychological phenomena." It was a total hatchet job.
http://www.skeptiko.com/blog/?p=38

According to the Wikipedia article on the NRC, the NRC is the working arm of the National Academy of Sciences and was founded to help develop military technology during World War I. Interestingly, as was pointed out above, the National Academy of Sciences members are likely to be highly biased against the validity of psychic phenomena. More information about this "hatchet job" can be found in the chapter "A Field Guide to Skepticism" in "The Conscious Universe" by Dean Radin ( http://www.skepticalinvestigations.org/guide/field_guide.htm ).

CIA Report On Remote Viewing (1995)

The CIA, at the direction of Congress, requested the American Institutes for Research to prepare a report on remote viewing. The report was released in 1995. The report incorrectly concluded that remote viewing was not useful for intelligence purposes.

Edwin C. May, who had participated in intelligence programs using remote viewing, wrote in "The American Institutes for Research Review of the Department of Defense's STAR GATE Program: A Commentary" ( http://www.lfr.org/LFR/csl/media/air_mayresponse.html ) that the CIA had deliberately limited the scope of the report to ensure that the report would not find any cases where remote viewing had been useful for intelligence purposes.

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Secret Programs

Given the above examples of overt misrepresentation of parapsychological research by the government, one would not be surprised if there were secret programs too.

Skepticism in the Media

Some of the incredulity about psychic phenomena spread by the mass media is due to collaboration with government agencies. In his book "Uri", Andrija Puharich, wrote that individuals working for DARPA directly influenced Time magazine to publish an article that denied Geller's psychic abilities were genuine and tried to discredit the scientists who studied Geller at SRI. More details can be found in Puharich's book:

"Uri" by Andrija Puharich
http://site.uri-geller.com/en/books

Infiltration of Skeptical Organizations

According to the Wikipedia article on Ray Hyman, Hyman was a founding member of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), a skeptical organization, and he also consulted for the Defense Department. This is fairly straight forward evidence suggesting that the Defense Department has infiltrated skeptical organizations. If one prominent member of a skeptical organization was working openly for the Defense Department, it seems possible, in light of the above examples of government misrepresentation of parapsychological research, that other prominent skeptics, also members of skeptical organizations, could be working secretly for government agencies.

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Suppression by the British Government

Another case of government suppression of a psychic occurred in England during World War II. The British Admiralty was afraid the medium Helen Duncan would provide a channel for spirits to reveal secret plans for the D. Day invasion of Europe. To protect this military secret, Helen Duncan was wrongly convicted of fraud. This case is discussed in greater detail in the chapter on Skeptical Misdirection in the section Helen Duncan, framed by the British government.

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In Conclusion

The phenomena of parapsychology are real. The report in Nature by Puthoff and Targ, and the statements by Edwin C. May are only two of the many sources of evidence of that reality which have been published since Crookes proved the existence of telekinesis in 1871. But, in light of the evidence provided above, it seems that the skeptics are still in control of the agenda. Despite the fact that the majority of people in the U.S. believe in psychic phenomena, and despite the fact that scientific evidence gained from parapsychological research has proven a number of those phenomena are real, there are forces that are preventing these subjects of immense importance to human understanding of the universe and our place in it from being investigated with the full vigor that they deserve.

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