Saturday, May 30, 2009

Army Funds ‘Synthetic Telepathy’ Research

The Army has given a team of University of California researchers a $4 million grant to study the foundations of "synthetic telepathy." But unlike old-school mind-melds, this seemingly psychic communication would be computer-mediated. The University of California, Irvine explains: The brain-computer interface would use a noninvasive brain imaging technology like electroencephalography to let people communicate thoughts to each other. For example, a soldier would "think" a message to be transmitted and a computer-based speech recognition system would decode the EEG signals. The decoded thoughts, in essence translated brain waves, are transmitted using a system that points in the direction of the intended target.

All across the military, there’s interest in translating thoughts into computer code, and vice versa. Darpa-funded researchers have taught monkeys how to control robotic limbs with their thoughts. Defense contractor Northrop Grumman is building binoculars that tap the unconscious mind. Honeywell has built a system that monitors pre-conscious nueral firings, to help pick out targets in satellite imagery. The JASONs, the Pentagon’s premiere scientific advisory board, has warned of the dangers of enemies implanted with brain-computer interfaces. And the Defense Intelligence Agency just released a report, saying the military needs to spend more on neuroscience - up to and including "mak[ing] the enemy obey our commands."

Have You Had a Near-Death Experience?

As many of you know, our office mates in our building include IANDS, the International Association for Near-Death Studies, Inc. IANDS is embarking on a project which may lead to a television series about near death experiences and their impact on people's lives. They are looking for experiencers who would like to share their stories. We are passing this notice along to you as we believe that many of you may be interested!

IANDS is cooperating with a television production company on a possible TV series about near-death experiences and their impact on people's lives. We are inviting experiencers to consider participating.

The producers are interested in the following types of experience:
· Near-death-like experiences
· Shared near-death experiences
· Distressing near-death experiences
· Out-of-body experiences (without other elements of an NDE)
· Tunnel experiences
· Angel experiences
· Light beings experiences
· Light experiences (without other elements of an NDE)
· Life review experiences
· Meetings with dead relatives
· After-death communication
· Apparitions

If you have had an experience like any of these--especially if your life has been strongly affected by it--and would like to have it considered as the basis for an episode, please let IANDS know (see below).

This is a preliminary request for experiences, as there is no guarantee that the series will be picked up for broadcasting. Your willingness to participate does not ensure that your experience will be included, as we cannot guarantee that it will be selected. The producers, not IANDS, will select the accounts they wish to use. If your experience is selected, there is no guarantee that you will appear on camera.

We will review all experience accounts that come to the office. Someone will notify you if the TV producer wants to talk with you. Please DO NOT call the IANDS office to check on your status. If the producer wants to talk with you, you will be notified; if you do not receive a message that the producer wants to talk with you, the producer has decided not to use your experience.

We will post an announcement on the IANDS website when we know whether the series has been picked up for broadcasting.

Here's how to send your experience for consideration:

Send us an email or letter, including these four things:
· your name, address, phone number, and email address if you have one
· a full description of your experience and its impact on your life
· a statement that you agree to having your experience considered for a TV show
· a statement that you agree not to submit your experience to any other TV show unless it is not selected by these producers

If you are using email, send to

If you use regular mail, send the letter to:

2741 Campus Walk Ave
Durham, NC 27705-8878

Be sure to include the description of your experience!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Alexandra Sokoloff reads and signs THE UNSEEN

- paranormal thriller based on the history and work of the Rhine lab.
Thursday, June 4,

7:30 pm

Raleigh, NC

(919) 828-1588

We do not normally promote events which are not sponsored by RRC, but this one sounds like so much fun that we wanted you to knowabout it! Acclaimed paranormal suspense author Alexandra Sokoloff (The Harrowing, The Price) has had a longtime fascination with parapsychology and the work of Dr. J.B. Rhine and Dr. Louisa Rhine.

She has incorporated some of the history and work of the Duke parapsychology lab and Dr. Rhine's ESP experiments into her new novel, The Unseen (St. Martin's Press, May 26, 2009).
In this spooky thriller, two Duke psychologists discover a file from a long-buried poltergeist investigation conducted in the 1960's. They decide to take two psychically gifted students into an abandoned Southern mansion to duplicate the experiment, unaware that the entire original research team ended up insane or dead.

Alex will read from and discuss The Unseen at Quail Ridge Books and Music in Raleigh, Contact Quail Ridge Books for more information on this event.
Free; wine and cheese reception.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A word about patients' psychic experiences: Listen by Beth Wechsler

from American Nurse Today Date: March 2009 Vol. 3 Num. 3

Beth Wechler will be speaking at the Rhine Center (Stedman Auditorium) on June 5th, 2009.

In her dream, a young pediatric nurse answered the phone at the nurses’ station and was told to go to the lobby where a gravely ill patient was being admitted. She went down to find a little boy in blue, pink, and white pajamas. When she looked at the boy, she realized she had cared for him, and she knew he would die from cancer the next day. The boy came gratefully into her arms.
At the hospital, she told her supervisor about her dream. Then the phone rang, and her dream began to unfold. The child was in the hospital lobby, dressed in the blue, pink, and white pajamas. He came into her arms, and by the next day, he was dead.

Challenging assumptions

This nurse had a psychic (extrasensory or psi) experience: precognition in a dream. Such experiences have interested people, especially those who care for the sick and dying, in all cultures throughout history. Psychic events are a topic of vast interest to clinicians and of equally vast silence among them.

Psi phenomena challenge some basic assumptions we make about science. Nurses who talk about these events often risk ridicule: sometimes, science can be just as dogmatic as religion. But ignoring evidence can be just as serious as inventing it. Psychologist Lawrence LeShan said that the refusal of medicine to deal with psychic events is itself a subject worthy of study. (See Science and the unseen in pdf format by clicking the download now button.)

Peace and comfort

What relevance does this have to nursing? When accepted into our belief systems, psi events change our worldview and our understanding of our mind, which contrary to three centuries of medical belief, may be more than just a product of our brains. Virtually all Eastern philosophies understand psi events as the initial stages of awareness of other levels of reality, including what happens to the mind during sleep and the transition to death.

Nurses witness—and should be able to talk about—psi phenomena that occur as patients come close to death. Nurses also should be willing listeners when patients want to discuss psi phenomena. These phenomena include experiences with take-away apparitions, in which someone who is already dead comes to accompany the dying patient through the transitional state between life and death, what Tibetan tradition calls the bardos. Studies in India and the United States suggest that patients who experience take-away apparitions also experience a sense of peace and comfort with dying.

Feeling is believing

While a visiting nurse, Amelia Cabral and a colleague cared for an elderly woman who was dying from breast cancer. The patient lived with her daughter, who was a widow.

Many times, the daughter called to say her mother’s time was near. But when the nurses arrived at the house, the patient would say it wasn’t time yet because her deceased husband hadn’t called. Then, late one night, the patient phoned Amelia to say that her husband had called.

When the nurses met at the patient’s home, they felt a warm, comforting breeze. The patient asked if they could see her husband. They couldn’t. The patient then thanked the nurses for caring about her, said good-bye to her daughter, closed her eyes, and died. At that moment, the breeze quickened, and a gauzy “sense” rose from her. The patient’s daughter and both nurses had the same experience. The nurses said they don’t know what they saw or sensed that night, but it has remained vivid their minds.

Being receptive

How common are these events? Polls conducted in 1984, 1988, and 1989 by the University of Chicago’s National Opinions Research Center suggest that nearly half of Americans report after-death communication from the deceased. These apparitional experiences of continuing contact are reassuring to the bereaved, just as take-away apparitions are reassuring to the dying. Repeated studies also suggest a positive correlation between mental health and extrasensory experiences.

Psychic experiences among patients have a long history. So nurses need to be able to speak to each other about these experiences and listen to patients who describe them. If you’re receptive, you’ll hear some remarkable stories.

Selected references
Dossey L. Reinventing Medicine: Beyond Mind-Body to a New Era of Healing. San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco; 2000.
Feather SR. The Gift: ESP, the Extraordinary Experiences of Ordinary People. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press; 2005.
Mayer EL. Extraordinary Knowing: Science, Skepticism, and the Inexplicable Powers of the Human Mind. New York, NY: Bantam Books; 2007.
Radin D. Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality. New York, NY: Paraview Pocket Books; 2006.

Beth Wechsler is a licensed independent clinical social worker in private practice in Mashpee, Massachusetts. The author of Psychic Moment—Coming to Our Senses, Beth can be contacted at