Channel: spr.ac.uk
Viewing all 158 articles
Browse latest View live

Induced After Death Communication: A Miraculous Therapy For Grief and Loss

Allan L. Botkin and Craig Hogan

From the publisher’s website: Induced After Death Communication (IADC) is a therapy for grief and trauma that has helped thousands of people come to terms with their loss by allowing them the experience of private communication with their departed loved ones. This is the definitive book on the subject.

Botkin, a clinical psychologist, created the therapy while counseling Vietnam veterans in his work at a Chicago area VA hospital. Botkin recounts his initial—accidental—discovery of IADC during therapy sessions with Sam, a Vietnam vet haunted by the memory of a Vietnamese girl he couldn't save. During the session, quite unexpectedly, Sam saw a vision of the girl's spirit, who told him everything was okay; she was at peace now. This single moment surpassed months—years—of therapy, and allowed Sam to reconnect with his family.

Since that 1995 discovery, Botkin has used IADC to successfully treat countless patients—the book includes dozens of case examples—and has taught the procedure to therapists around the country.

Induced After Death Communication. Hampton Roads, May 2014. ISBN-13: 978-1571747129

TV-NUPES celebrates its first anniversary

On 10 May 2015 TV-NUPES' YouTube channel celebrated its first anniversary. Every Friday TV NUPES releases a new short video (3 to 5 min), usually bilingual (English and Portuguese), with a researcher discussing a topic on the relationship between science and spirituality.

On 10 May 2015 TV-NUPES - the YouTube channel on Science and Spirituality (www.youtube.com/nupesufjf) - celebrated its first anniversary. TV NUPES has received over 45,000 views in more than 100 countries, mainly in Brazil, USA, Portugal, UK, Canada, Germany, Spain, France and Australia.

Every Friday TV NUPES releases a new short video (3 to 5 min), usually bilingual (English and Portuguese), with a researcher discussing a topic on the relationship between science and spirituality. Scholars from a wide range of fields have taken part on the videos which cover such subjects as Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Physics, History Theology, Sociology, Philosophy, Psychology and Education.

TV NUPES is produced by NUPES (Research Center in Spirituality and Health, School of Medicine, Federal University of Juiz de Fora – UFJF – Juiz de Fora – MG – Brazil) that develops interdisciplinary research on the relationship between spirituality and health (www.ufjf.br/nupes-eng).

During its first year, TV NUPES released 50 videos.  Tthe most viewed (2,000+ views) are:


5 Myths in Science and Spirituality – Introduction  / Ciência, Religião e Espiritualidade: como conciliar?

Prof. Alexander Moreira-Almeida MD, PhD


Neuroimaging studies in spiritual experiences / Pesquisas de neuroimagem em experiências espirituais  

Dr. Alessandra Ghinato Mainieri PhD


Myth 01: Universe is composed only by matter/physical forces /

Mito 01: O universo é composto apenas por matéria e forças físicas  

Prof. Alexander Moreira-Almeida MD, PhD


Myth 2: Brain produces mind / Mito 02: O Cérebro produz a mente /

Prof. Alexander Moreira-Almeida MD, PhD


Research on Chico Xavier's mediumistic writing / Pesquisa sobre cartas psicografadas por Chico Xavier

Dr. Elizabeth Feire, PhD

Prof. Alexander Moreira-Almeida MD, PhD


Near Death Experience (NDE) / Experiência de Quase Morte (EQM)


Sample of other videos:

What is well-being? / O que é bem-estar?

Prof. Robert Cloninger MD, PhD


Creationism x Evolutionism?  Selfish Gene?/ Criacionismo x Evolucionismo? Gene Egoísta?

Dr. Andrew Pinsent MA, DPhil, STB, PhD


What is NUPES - UFJF? / Apresentação NUPES – UFJF

Prof. Alexander Moreira-Almeida MD, PhD


Myth of perennial religion/science conflict / O mito do eterno conflito entre ciência e religião

Prof. Ronald L. Numbers PhD

History and philosophy of scientific research on spirituality

 / História e filosofia das pesquisas científicas sobre espiritualidade

Ms. Alexandre Sech


Gap in addressing spiritual needs of patients / Por que a espiritualidade não é abordada na clínica?

Prof. Alexander Moreira-Almeida MD, PhD


How to assess patients' spirituality? How to take a spiritual history? / Como abordar a espiritualidade dos pacientes?

Prof. Alexander Moreira-Almeida MD, PhD


Is it possible to change our personality? How? / É possível mudar nossa personalidade? Como?

Prof. Robert Cloninger MD, PhD


Galileo and the Church: myths and facts  / Galileu e a Igreja: mitos e fatos

Prof. Ronald L. Numbers PhD


For further information contact: alex.ma@ufjf.edu.br

NUPES’ website: www.ufjf.br/nupes-eng

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ufjf.nupes

TvNupes: www.youtube.com/nupesufjf

Online forum - 'Recent Advances in UK Parapsychology'

The Parapsychology Foundation's first online forum, 'Recent Advances in UK Parapsychology', took place on 20 May 2015. Sessions are still available on the WizIQ website.
The Parapsychology Foundation's first online forum, 'Recent Advances in UK Parapsychology', took place on 20 May 2015.
The forum took place on the WizIQ social media teaching platform.  The forum is free, and recordings of all presentations remain available after the event.

Further information, including how to register, is available on the PF website:



The WizIQ page for the course is here:



A YouTube video by Nancy Zongrone on the forum is here:


Member Survey

Other Realities?: The Enigma of Franek Kluski’s Mediumship

Previous Member Survey
Zofia Weaver

From the publisher’s website: Franek Kluski produced what might justifiably be described as the widest and most striking range of phenomena in the history of physical mediumship. A Pole whose professions included banking and journalism, his involvement with psychical research lasted for a brief period between 1918 and 1925. During that time he took part in meticulously documented séances devised and attended by eminent researchers.  Much of the information about him has until now been available only in Polish, and today references to him in English tend to be restricted to the famous ‘Kluski hands’, the paraffin wax moulds casts of which were intended to become the ultimate Permanent Paranormal Object. Theories as to how such moulds might have been produced continue to cause controversy, yet this was just one aspect of the phenomena surrounding this remarkable man. Based on original Polish sources, by painting a detailed portrait of the man in the context of his times this book aims to rectify the omission of Kluski from the gallery of important mediums.

Zofia Weaver is a past editor of the Journal and Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research. One of her main areas of interest in psychical research is the investigation of famous Polish psychics.  Together with Mary Rose Barrington and the late Professor Ian Stevenson she has written a comprehensive study of the Polish clairvoyant Stefan Ossowiecki, published in 2005.

Tom Ruffles

Dr Zofia Weaver, co-author with Ian Stevenson and Mary Rose Barrington of A World in a Grain of Sand: The Clairvoyance of Stefan Ossowiecki (2005), and a past editor of the Journal and Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, has produced a short book packed with information on the mediumship of Warsaw-born Teofil Modrzejewski (1873-1943), who used the pseudonym Franek Kluski.  He is not as well known in the English-speaking world as other mediums, notably D D Home and Eusapia Palladino, or even Rudi Schneider, largely because much of the reporting of his mediumship was in Polish.  Weaver has helped to redress the situation by making available material not previously translated into English and providing a balanced assessment of Kluski’s extraordinary career as a medium.

That career was an unusual one.  The most significant portion of it was also surprisingly short, comprising some 340 sittings held between 1918 and 1925.  He was already 45 when he began in late 1918, and fell into it by accident: he attended a séance and discovered that he too seemed to possess mediumistic abilities, though he did claim to have had psychic experiences in childhood.  He began to hold séances himself, but never gained financially from doing so, never performed in public, and did not seek recognition.  He thought mediumship in general to be a ‘circus’, of which he had no ambition to become a part.  His choice of pseudonym itself played down the remarkable events which surrounded him – Weaver says that kluski is a particularly dull type of pasta.

In addition to providing biographical details and outlining what is known about Kluski’s character,  Weaver sets this period in the context of Poland’s fortunes before the First World War and its emergence as an independent state in November 1918.  It seems likely that Kluski was involved in the conflict as he had extensive military connections and was a volunteer during the Polish-Soviet War (and he had actually fought a duel in his twenties).  After the war he had a day job in banking, in addition to being a journalist and man of letters, though he never wrote about his séance room activities and was reluctant to talk about them.  In addition to his military friends he had a wide range of professional connections.  People from both spheres attended his séances and Weaver provides details of a few of these individuals, giving an insight into the milieu in which Kluski moved.  In short he did not conform to the typical stereotype of a medium only partially connected to this world.

Kluski’s mediumship was intensively scrutinised, not only by Polish psychical researchers, but by others further afield, notably Charles Richet, Camille Flammarion, Everard Feilding, Barbara and Hewat McKenzie of the British College of Psychic Science, and particularly Gustave Geley.  Kluski was happy to work with sympathetic investigators, and they were impressed by what occurred in their presence.  A primary source is the 586-page Polish-language book, Reminiscences of Séances with the Medium Franek Kluski (1926), by Colonel Norbert Okolowicz, who attended many of Kluski’s séances, and Weaver draws on it extensively.  A further important source is Gustave Geley’s Clairvoyance and Materialisation (1927), which has much to say about Kluski.  In addition Weaver has been able to examine Polish records compiled by others, and provide information on Kluski and his achievements that has not hitherto been available in English.

The sheer range of what went on around him is astonishing.  Kluski is probably best known for the production of wax moulds said to be made by the immersion of spirits’ materialised body parts, but there was a great deal more.  Phenomena included strange phosphorescent mists, movement of objects, odd noises and raps, odours, apports in and out of the séance room and lights moving around.  Figures were frequently visible, sometimes only partly materialised.  At other times they became increasingly clear until they achieved their final form, seeming to take their energy from the participants by rubbing their clothing, or growing from a small to full size in accordance with the sitters’ intention. It is important to note that Kluski did not insist on complete darkness; dim red light and luminous plaques aided vision, and a number of the figures were self-illuminating.  Sitters often recognised the visitors and there was interaction between them; the materialised apparitions demonstrated personality, some could read sitters’ minds and would respond to thoughts.  The participants’ attitudes set the tone, and the degree of group cohesion, along with Kluski’s physical and mental health, influenced the production and strength of phenomena.

In addition to the human figures, too dissimilar to Kluski to be the result of impersonation, materialisations included dogs, cats, squirrels, a large bird, all suggesting that not only humans survive bodily death, and an ape-like creature which Geley called ‘Pithecanthropus’ and which was said to smell like a wet dog.  Strange phenomena were not confined to the séance room but occurred outside it as well.  These included floating lights, compass needles in a display case moving when Kluski leaned over them, and affecting electric lighting.  On one occasion at a regimental dinner he held a fluent conversation with Tartar officers in their language, despite not knowing it, and only understood he had done so when told the following day.  He was able to exercise clairvoyance, and most dramatically (a somewhat relative term when discussing Kluski) had a facility for bilocation, including one occasion when Geley saw him in Paris while he was actually in Warsaw.

Weaver deals at length with the wax moulds, the subject of vigorous controversy in the pages of the SPR’s Journal in the 1990s following first a book review by Michael H. Coleman in 1989 which dismissed them, and then stimulated further by Weaver’s 1992 paper ‘The Enigma of Franek Kluski’.  The hope that they (or at least the plaster casts taken from them) might represent an unambiguously permanent paranormal object has not been fulfilled, but if they were a trick, it was an accomplished one in the confines of the séance room, surrounded by witnesses.  In a refinement to the normal procedure Geley and Richet added blue colouring to the paraffin to guard against pre-prepared wax moulds being smuggled in, and the wax in which the mould was made was found to be blue, showing that it had to have been created in situ.  An alternative safeguard was to add cholesterol to the paraffin; the advantage over a dye is that it does not discolour the wax on its own, but when sulphuric acid is added it becomes red.  These are controls which critics need to account for when assessing how the moulds might have been produced.

Kluski’s general health was not good and he suffered during séances, finding them exhausting.  At times Kluski turned more to automatic writing, which placed less strain on him.  The words were sometimes in a language he did not know, albeit he was a polyglot, and the handwriting and content (though not necessarily the views, perhaps influenced by Kluski) were acknowledged by sitters as appropriate to particular deceased individuals.  Messages occasionally arrived from people who were living but asleep at the time.  Weaver notes that his mediumship continued after 1925, but again the emphasis was on automatic writing.  He clearly felt that there was a tension between his mediumship and his religious faith and he eventually stopped altogether in September 1939 because of Church disapproval; one suspects though that he did not find it difficult, considering the physical toll, and perhaps he felt he had nothing to prove so no reason to continue.

Weaver draws comparisons with other mediums and concludes that while elements of Kluski’s mediumship can be found in theirs, what makes it noteworthy was its scale.  To explain it away as trickery is to assume a high degree of gullibility, but many of the sitters were highly experienced and aware of methods of cheating.  That is not to rule out deception completely, and an assumption of expertise can lead to complacency; but if the sitters had been gullible then Kluski’s success at fooling them so comprehensively would betoken a degree of idiocy as incredible as the things they witnessed.   If fraud, it was of a sophisticated kind that could hoodwink sharp and knowledgeable researchers so thoroughly.  While séances seem to have been well-controlled (Kluski was prepared to participate naked, which definitely shows a willingness to cooperate), sceptics will argue that holding them in Kluski’s own apartment was a fatal weakness.  Yet he was happy to work in red light, and there were still manifestations when Kluski was away from home, including visiting the Institut Métapsychique International in Paris in 1920 where he was studied by Geley, its director.  Again that does not rule out fraud completely, but it does make it more difficult to dismiss the phenomena.

Kluski is a significant figure in the history of psychical research who deserves to be better known, and for more than just the production of ‘spirit hands’.  What makes him special in Weaver’s eyes is that his mediumship manages to combine just about every aspect of mental and physical mediumship.  In trying to evaluate this wealth of data she asks: ‘what is impossible?’  If we can’t answer that, how can we dismiss Kluski’s evidence as not being possible, however unlikely it is?  Alan Gauld, who contributes the foreword, characterises Kluski as ‘a uniquely puzzling individual’, so the use of ‘enigma’ in the subtitle is well chosen.  Any kind of conclusion is elusive, but Kluski, as a result of Dr Weaver’s efforts, can assume his place among those mediums of the first rank whose accomplishments pose challenges for our understanding of the world.  She concludes with the suggestion that physical mediumship should be taken more seriously today for what it might tell us about, in her words, ‘realities not available to most of us’.  Who knows, in so doing we may find another Franek Kluski.


An interview with Carlos Alvarado, in which Zofia Weaver discusses the book, can be found here:  https://carlossalvarado.wordpress.com/tag/zofia-weaver-franek-kluski-physical-mediumship/

Other Realities? White Crow Books, March 2015. ISBN 978-1-910121-39-9

Oratorio based on Frederic Myers to premiere at Manchester

An oratorio, The Immortal, composed by Mark Simpson and based on Frederic Myers, a founder of the SPR, is to premiere at the Manchester International Festival on 4 July.

An oratorio, The Immortal, composed by Mark Simpson and based on Frederic Myers, a founder of the SPR, is to premiere at the Manchester International Festival on 4 July. An interview with Simpson is in the Guardian:


Hereafter: 12 Accounts of Personal Experiences from the World Beyond

Beatrice Brunner

From the publisher’s website: This book contains 12 accounts of personal experiences from the world beyond.  They come from deceased human beings who transmitted their individual story through the deep trance medium Beatrice Brunner during the years 1961 to 1969.  In a vivid manner they describe their initial experiences and encounters in the next world.  These reports are impressive testimonies of the continuation of life after death.

Tom Ruffles

Beatrice Brunner (1910-83) was a German-speaking Swiss trance medium.  Over a period of 35 years (1948-83) she produced some 2,500 lectures, including 91 reports said to derive from departed individuals.  A selection of twelve such reports, received between 1961 and 1969, have been transcribed into faultless English from the German-language tape recordings and published by ABZ Verlag, Zürich.  Typically an account gives some indication of what life was like before death, initial experiences after it, and how spiritual progress has been made since.  The focus is firmly Christian, but earthly religious affiliation is irrelevant; it is the quality of the life which was lived that is important, and divine justice ensures that sins and good deeds are weighed.  Even atheists are allowed entry, and they soon see the errors of their ways when it becomes obvious that God exists and is the supreme ruler.  If their admittance comes as a surprise, even more so is the existence of gnomes and elves living alongside humans described in one narrative.

So what is it like in this place?  All arrive on equal terms, as status on earth is irrelevant here – in fact an easy past life can prove to be a disadvantage as it means more work to catch up spiritually.  This is a world of balance and karma (though not a term that is used).  An increase in earthly prosperity has it appears actually created a change in afterlife conditions.  In the old days, when more people had nothing, arriving in the hereafter was to find comparative luxury.  The humbler circumstances prevailing during life meant that more ‘spiritual purification’ could be achieved prior to death.  With conditions for many improving though, that pre-mortem process is less available, requiring greater effort after it.  Having been pious in life is not enough to guarantee progress in the afterlife if it was in form only; there has to have been sincerity behind it.  The degree of sincere devoutness the person had on earth, and the amount of adversity faced, influence the speed of advancement in the Hereafter.  One gets credit for having remained true to one’s faith in difficult circumstances, or enduring extreme poverty and hardship, or even having had a lot of children.

It can take time for the newly-arrived to adjust, but there is guidance on offer to help smooth the transition (assisting others conferring credit).  Once the adjustment is made, the emphasis is on work.  This is not the sort of afterlife where one relaxes with a cigar and a glass of whisky.  At first life can be rather tedious, often with plenty of manual labour, though there is a suggestion that things get better as one grows spiritually and has atoned for past sins.  There may be a Swiss work ethic reflected here, with Brunner unable to contemplate a heaven where souls simply sit around idle and the means of sustenance are provided without effort.  The work is much the same as on earth, as it is obligatory to learn skills.  It is also necessary to learn foreign languages, the afterlife not having apparently overcome the language barrier.  Fortunately labour is not the sole occupation, as time is set aside to worship God.  One spirit attends an appearance by Jesus which sounds much like a celebrity arriving to greet fans, and for some reason Jesus has guards to look after him.

With that sort of exception it sounds a dull place, with a rigid hierarchy, a surprisingly authoritarian emphasis on receiving permission to do things, and a requirement for obedience.  Everybody we meet is parochial, with little appetite for exploring further afield, even though the territory, we are informed, is vast.  There is also a strange obsession with one’s appearance, hard work and therefore progression enabling nice clothes to be acquired and the higher spirits looking, well, divine.  Those who refuse to work wear drab tatty garments and are ignored by the grafters.  Others cling resolutely to the earth for a time, unwilling to give up its pleasures even though they can only enjoy them second-hand, until they realise how futile it is.  Everybody gets with the programme eventually.

Development thereafter is a personal task, and it is common for those newly arrived to be told that they cannot meet relatives, or only for a brief period, as they must all pursue their own individual paths.  The wishes of individuals themselves count for little in the grand scheme.  There is even a reference to being ‘re-educated’, which has a sinister ring.  It is not a straightforward picture of heaven as a place of unconfined joy.  Mixed in with the idea of upward progress is that of reincarnation, returning to the living world to undertake further learning (going from aristocrat to shepherd in consecutive lives, for example).

The publisher has done a good job with the book’s production but less well with the provision of supplementary information.  There is an introduction, but it mainly deals with general issues of mediumship, much of it in a Biblical context.  An epilogue indicates that Brunner is extremely influential in the German-speaking world: her lectures have been published in Geistige Welt, the oldest Christian Spiritualist paper, since 1948, and there is a very attractive centre in Zürich in which the recordings are played.  Both enterprises are managed by an organisation called Pro Beatrice.  However there is little information on Brunner herself, there is no indication why these twelve accounts should be particularly noteworthy, nor how they relate to the many lectures she gave.

It is entirely possible that Beatrice Brunner was able to tap into the afterlife, and the people there were able to channel testimonies through her that will help those whose turn is yet to come to be prepared.  The general consistency of the witnesses would be the result of their world’s reality.  On the other hand there is never any information that would help to identify them as having lived, and it is entirely possible that the consistency is more the result of Brunner’s own views on what the afterlife should be like.

While it always pleasant to think that our consciousness survives death, these reports do not come across as a particularly appealing view of the hereafter.  The communicators talk about ‘coming home’, ‘for the true life is the life of the spirit’, yet it is hard to see how its strictness can compare favourably with the earth life left behind for anyone who has not previously suffered extreme privation and who can therefore anticipate being fast-tracked.  It doesn’t feel like a place to look forward to for the rest of us if these descriptions of it are a reliable indication.

NB This volume was published in 2013.  It was republished the following year in ebook form by ABZ Verlag as Life after Life: A Selection of Individual Experiences in the Beyond.

Pro Beatrice’s website: http://www.probeatrice.ch/index.php/en/

Hereafter. ABZ Verlag, 2013. ISBN: 978-3-85516-011-2

Wax Spirit Moulds

Paul J. Gaunt

From the Spiritualists’ National Union website: This illustrated booklet traces the history of this remarkable phase of physical phenomena, firstly introduced in America around the mid-1870s by Professor W. Denton. Spirit Wax Moulds are one of the most definitive pieces of evidences of physical séance room phenomena and the Britten Memorial Museum is fortunate to hold some of these rare moulds. In the early 1920s Dr. Gustave Geley re-introduced the production of wax moulds with the remarkable Polish medium Franek Kluski. The booklet concludes with a summary of discussions in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research by modern day psychical researchers.

The booklet is available from the SNU online shop: http://www.shop.snu.org.uk/new.html

Tom Ruffles

The Britten Memorial Museum, named after Emma Hardinge Britten, is housed in the Arthur Findlay College at Stansted Hall, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex.  The College is administered by the Spiritualists’ National Union, and the museum contains a wide range of exhibits relating to Spiritualism.  Among these are a number of casts made from wax moulds, artefacts said to demonstrate the reality of spirits.  The museum’s curator, Paul Gaunt (also editor of both the Psypioneer and The Pioneer electronic journals) has compiled this informative booklet which discusses the museum’s collection of casts, other instances of them in the literature, and the debate that took place within the Society for Psychical Research over the evidential value they provide.

The theory behind the moulds is that a spirit would be able to produce one by materialising a portion of itself, usually a hand but also part of a foot or even its face, and pushing it into a bowl of warm paraffin wax.  The resulting wax sleeve could be set in cold water, leaving a mould that would be undamaged upon the limb’s dematerialisation.  Repeated immersions, building up layers, would serve to increase the thickness and strength of the mould.  As wax is so fragile, it can be filled with plaster of Paris which upon setting retains (leaving aside distortions and damage from handling) the shape and detail of the materialised body part in a more permanent form.

Wax moulds date from as early as the 1870s, but those at Stansted Hall were donated by Sutton-in-Ashfield Spiritualist church in Nottinghamshire, where they had been on display since 1938.  These, Gaunt suggests, may well have been the last done by mediums (as opposed to researchers).  An article in the 16 December issue of Two Worlds, which is reprinted, describes their production through the mediumship of William and George Finney, uncle and nephew, at Sutton-in-Ashfield.

According to the Two Worlds article, the moulds were created by the pair in informal conditions, not during a séance but sitting in the dark in a cupboard under the stairs with buckets of melted wax and cold water.  The booklet contains three colour photographs of the museum’s casts, wax still adhering, showing them in all their strange beauty.  One is of a pair of hands with interlinked fingers presented in a way that, it has been argued, would be more difficult to fake than it would a single hand.

The article is followed by an outline history of wax moulds, placing them in the context of the development of Spiritualist phenomena.  Wax moulds were preceded by impressions left in putty and flour, but paraffin offered a more suitable material, and the technique was used by a number of mediums.  Gaunt gives a short overview of some of them, but notes that each generally only tried the procedure for a brief period, and after becoming fashionable in the 1870s it went into abeyance until revived by the remarkable Franek Kluski, subject of a recent book by Zofia Weaver.  Weaver and Gaunt both mention that at least in Kluski’s case it was a messy business, with splashes of wax everywhere, which perhaps made it unappealing for sitters even though the results were startling.

Gaunt includes sections on experiments with Kluski at the Institut Métapsychique International in Paris and in Warsaw conducted by Gustave Geley (three photographs, two of hands and one of a foot, from Geley’s 1927 Clairvoyance and Materialisation are shown, the hands revealing remarkable skin features), and on the rather fractious debate that took place in the pages of the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research in the early 1990s over whether it was possible to reproduce moulds like Kluski’s by normal means.

Gaunt’s conclusion from the debate is that a living hand can be removed from a wax mould IF the wax is of a reasonable thickness caused by repeated immersion; but the thinness that Kluski is reported to have achieved through a single immersion, and without setting in cold water, should make the operation impossible as the mould would be too fragile for withdrawal without its destruction.  His verdict is that, pending further research which adheres to Geley’s precise method (which recreations so far have failed to do), Kluski’s moulds can be considered good evidence for the return of spirits.

Spirit Wax Moulds. The Arthur Findlay College, March 2012. 23pp. £3.99.

University of Northampton parapsychologists engage in archival research in New York

A news release from the University of Northampton ​describes the visit of five members of the university's Centre for the Study of Anomalous Psychological Processes (CSAPP) to New York as part of a project funded by the Society for Psychical Research to engage in archival research at the Parapsychology Foundation.

A news release from the University of Northampton ​describes the visit of five members of the university's Centre for the Study of Anomalous Psychological Processes (CSAPP) to New York as part of a project funded by the Society for Psychical Research to engage in archival research at the Parapsychology Foundation.

The release can be found here:


Article on SPR in Haunted Magazine

Issue 14 of the free online 'Haunted Magazine' contains an article by the SPR's Hon. Secretary, Professor John Poynton, on 'Psychical Research and the "Attitude of Incredulity"'. The cover article is on the Enfield poltergeist, and includes an interview with SPR Council member Guy Lyon Playfair.

Issue 14 of the free online 'Haunted Magazine' contains an article by the SPR's Hon. Secretary, Professor John Poynton, on 'Psychical Research and the "Attitude of Incredulity"' (pp. 20-23)..

The cover article is on the Enfield poltergeist, and includes an interview with SPR Council member Guy Lyon Playfair.

The magazine can be found here:


Leonora E. Piper: A Neglected Report

Carlos S Alvarado has published a blog post discussing his note on the medium Mrs Piper which was published in the SPR's Journal.

Carlos S Alvarado has published a blog post discussing his note on the medium Mrs Piper which was published in the SPR's Journal.  This concerned a report on her by Charles Richet which had appeared in the SPR's Proceedings in 1890.

The post can be found here:


Contagion: In the Shadow of the South Shields Poltergeist

Darren W. Ritson and Michael J. Hallowell

From the publisher’s website: Almost ten years on after the famous South Shields Poltergeist case of 2006, and its disturbing book of 2008, Darren W. Ritson and Michael J. Hallowell bring you Contagion, a fascinating and ground-breaking new study of the world of poltergeist activity. After researching a number of different and bewildering poltergeist cases, post-South Shields, the authors have come to some startling conclusions and raise some serious thought-provoking hypotheses regarding the aspect of poltergeistry known as 'contagion'.

A review by Alan Murdie will appear in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research.

Contagion. Limbury Press, July 2014. ISBN: 978-0956522894

read more

Provisional programme for the joint SPR/PA conference

The provisional programme for the joint conference which is being held by the SPR and the Parapsychological Association at the University of Greenwich (16-19 July) is on the website.

The provisional programme for the joint conference which is being held by the SPR and the Parapsychological Association at the University of Greenwich (16-19 July) is on the website.  Please scroll down below the accommodation information:


The programme is downloadable as a PDF, at the bottom of the page.

New SPR President!

At the SPR Council meeting on 18 June, Professor John Poynton, our long-serving Hon. Secretary, was elected President of the Society. The role of Hon. Secretary has been taken by Professor Donald West.



At the SPR Council meeting on 18 June 2015, Professor John Poynton, our long-serving Hon. Secretary, was elected President of the Society.  The role of Hon. Secretary has been taken by Professor Donald West.  At the same time Dr David Rousseau stepped down as Hon Treasurer and was replaced by retiring President Dr Richard Broughton.

In recognition of his sterling service over the past four years as President, Dr Broughton was elected a Vice-President of the Society.

This is Professor Poynton’s second term as President, a position he also filled in 2004-7.

For a full list of current Council members, please see:


SPR President to give talk at Birkbeck College

Professor John Poynton will give a talk entitled 'Psychical Research in the 21st Century' at Birkbeck College, Malet St, London on Friday 26th June. All welcome.

Professor John Poynton will give a talk entitled 'Psychical Research in the 21st Century' at Birkbeck College, Malet St, London, in Room 101, at 7pm on Friday 26th June.  All welcome.

The talk will examine the origins of the persisting 'scientific incredulity' that Henry Sidgwick bemoaned in the first SPR presidential adress in 1882.

ESP Wars East and West: An Account of the Military Use of Psychic Espionage As Narrated by the Key Russian and American Players

Edwin C. May, Victor Rubel, and Loyd Auerbach

From the authors’ blurb: Was there really a government-sanctioned psychic programme in the US? What were their goals? Were they successful? Were there fights in Congress about the programme? Did our Military support it fully? Was the US programme set up in response to a Soviet programme? Did the Soviet Union actually create psychic (psychotronic) weapons and generators? What was the involvement of the KGB? Have psychics had any influence over politics and decisions in the US? In the Soviet Union? In Russia? Has Russia continued with psychic espionage even as the US shut down its programme? Has there been a psychic arms race…a series of ESP Wars?

Read the real stories of the American and Soviet/Russian ESP programmes and how ESP was used in intelligence gathering and other applications.  Learn the greater story of why these major powers saw fit to put stock in something so many academics dismiss out of turn and what practical value was found for Military and Intelligence operations. Delve into the politics that led to, supported, and eventually shut down the psychic espionage programmes – and why the US programme, at least, has not been resurrected in light of the events of the first decade of the 21st century.

ESP Wars. CreateSpace, August 2014. ISBN-13: 978-1500743000

read more

'A sneak preview of SPR/PA conference highlights'

SPR/PA conference abstracts

Defending Bridey's Honor: The Reality of Reincarnation

Miles Edward Allen

From the publisher: The idea that we live more than one life on Earth has been taught since philosophy and theology were invented. But not everyone accepts it. There are secular critics who find the idea unscientific, religious critics who feel it violates their unassailable doctrines, and just plain critics who attack it on pragmatic grounds. Not only does the author of this book demonstrate the faults in such criticisms, he presents conclusive evidence that reincarnation is a reality, at least for some of us, some of the time.

Defending Bridey's Honor. CreateSpace, June 2013. ISBN-13: 978-1490312101

The Immortal Mind: Science and the Continuity of Consciousness Beyond the Brain

Ervin Laszlo with Anthony Peake

From the publisher’s website: Scientific evidence for the continual presence of consciousness with or without connection to a living organism

• Examines findings on the survival of consciousness beyond life, including near-death experiences, after-death communication, and reincarnation

• Explains how this correlates precisely with cutting-edge physics theories on superstrings, information fields, and energy matrices

• Reveals how consciousness manifests in living beings to continue its evolution

Evidence now points to consciousness existing beyond the brain, such as when the brain is temporarily incapacitated, as well as to the survival of consciousness after death. Conventional science prefers to dismiss these findings because they cannot be accommodated by a materialist view of reality. Spirituality and religion embrace the continuity of consciousness and ascribe it to a nonmaterial spirit or soul that is immortal. As such, spirituality/religion and science continually find conflict in their views. But what if there truly is no conflict?

A review by Robert Charman will appear in the SPR's Journal.

The Immortal Mind. Inner Traditions, November 2014. ISBN-13: 978-1620553039

read more

Viewing all 158 articles
Browse latest View live

Latest Images