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“On the book's dust jacket, Isaac Asimov is quoted as saying of Randi, "His qualifications as a rational human being are unparalleled." If a constant stream of malicious innuendo is the hallmark of a rational human being, then Asimov was right on the mark.”

I suspect that Isaac Asimov whatever dimension he is residing in now would take those words back if he could.

Recently I was reading a book were a minister came through a medium and stated that he could not move forward in his new dimension or realm of existence until every one of his congregation had crossed over so he could apologize to each and every one of them for his teaching of invalid Christian beliefs.

I suspect this was something he saw a need to do rather than this being forced upon him.

Many years ago I was in the front row of an audience at a TV programme being hosted by James Randi about psychics and the paranormal.

He attempted a simple conjuring trick to 'entertain' the audience before the filming began. It had to be filmed three times because he couldn't get it right! The audience were highly amused.

As a master of Flim-Flam Randi has no peers.

This is a really interesting posting Michael. It supports what I was saying in the Combat thread about exposing both sides of an argument in this type of discussion and not ignoring known objections. When examined in context the Randi remarks take on a very different sheen.

If one had simply read Flim Flam it would have created a view that Serios was a fraud and Eisenbud an idiot. If I had taken Flim Flam to heart and then read the works you make reference to I would feel that I had been duped.

Once I feel a person has deliberately misled me, it is difficult then to take that person's further utterances seriously. Frankly they are either dishonest or their research is weak.

Thanks for posting it.

Does Eisenbud published his research with Ted Serios in a scientific journal?

Recently I was reading a book were a minister came through a medium and stated that he could not move forward in his new dimension or realm of existence until every one of his congregation had crossed over so he could apologize to each and every one of them for his teaching of invalid Christian beliefs. - William
--------------------------------------------

I remember reading the near death experience of a somewhat famous Catholic Priest who was also a writer where he stated after his NDE, "Everything I have written, taught, and believed all my life has been so much dross!"


"Recently I was reading a book were a minister came through a medium and stated that he could not move forward in his new dimension or realm of existence until every one of his congregation had crossed over so he could apologize to each and every one of them for his teaching of invalid Christian beliefs. - William"

Part of the explanation for this may be that when people cross over if what they experience doesn't match their expectations they may assume it is a plot by the devil to lead them astray and they won't go where they need to go. In this case it may have been necessary for his congregants to see him in person to accept the explanation that things were really different than he taught. If they didn't believe him maybe it was his responsibility to see to it that they eventaully did make a proper transition.

William, what book was that?

Art, can you reference the NDE

"Art, can you reference the NDE?" - Kris
------------------------------------------

No, it was years ago. I've read so many near death experiences over the years there is no way I can remember where it came from. They all run together in my head. I just remember reading it. I do remember though that he used the word "dross" and I had to go look up what it meant. I'll tell you I've read a plethora of NDE's the last nine years.

An excellent addendum to "The Magic Bullet", Michael. To those who've yet to read it, might I recommend Stephen E. Braude's "The Gold Leaf Lady..." and its sixth chapter (The Thoughtography of Ted Serios: A Postscript, pp.107-126) for further relevant information on Serios' techniques. Such data only magnifies the intellectual dishonesty and rhetorical machinations of James Randi. That people of his ilk (Shermer, Hyman, Wiseman, et.al.) feel the need to employ such tactics emits an odor of desperation, perhaps heightened by the the dread fear of re-examining the assumptions upon which they've constructed their worldview. Such is an understandable human reaction, but their accusations of delusion directed at those who don't accept the dogmas of their religion (scientism) has long since stretched past absurdity into farce. And while their snarkiness flows, the phenomena remain, resisting the mud bath as well as the attempts at dismission or comprehension. If all sides are seeking the comfort of certainty, we can only offer the certainty of the mystery.

Art..might be St Thomas Aquinas, thirteenth century theologian and mystic. Nearing the end of one of his many marvellous works, he had some kind of a vision of God and promptly gave up writing.."All I have written is like straw". Apologies if I'm wrong.

Art, I think you are referring to Andrew Greenly - a Chicago priest who was also a mystery writer. I'll check that out...

Make that Greeley (not Greenly). I couldn't find anything with a quick search, but he did NDE research (he's a sociologist) and written about NDEs and mystical experiences.

Vitor: Did Randi publish his debunking of Serios in a peer reviewed scientific journal?

I think it was a more current Catholic Priest and not one from the thirteenth century? Maybe one from the 20th Century?

Okay, this is going to be difficult to explain but I'll have a shot at it. I think for thousands of years people have had NDE's, death bed visions, mystical experiences, etc. and they come back and talk about God's love and forgiveness and universal salvation but the monks and scribes who wrote down their stories just couldn't figure out how it is that God let's everyone into Heaven? So they twist the story around, change the sequence of events, embellish it, and add their own take to the story so what we are left with barely resembles the original mystical experience. The reason I believe this to be true is because I've read so many NDE's where they talk about not being judged, everything planned out, overwhelming Love, etc. Most religions have free will as part of their doctrine because without it the religion becomes pointless. If everything is predestined and God is in control all the time then there that pretty much makes religious doctrine pointless.

Hi, Tony

I am not defending Randi, but if Eisenbud did not publish his study in a peer reviewed scientific journal, I don't see any reason why Randi couldn't do the same with his criticisms.

Well, look what I found about Eisenbud's research:

http://www.answers.com/topic/ted-serios

"At one point, a rumor circulated that Serios had confessed to fraud, a fact that both Eisenbud and Serios staunchly denied. His work has fallen into the shadow created by the confession of Masuki Kiyota to having faked similar effects after he had passed a number of tests by both Japanese researchers and Eisenbud."

If Masuki could cheat, I don't see any reason to think that Serios was a real psychic.

Vitor

Rumors count for very little we both know that.

It is known that you can do stuff similar to what Serios did, however can you do it the exact same way as he did is the question.

Could Masuki do the following that Vitor did?

Fifth, Serios at times produced an image on a camera that was some distance away from him - as far as 66 feet in one instance.

Sixth, Serios also produced images on a camera that was in another room altogether.

Seventh, Serios was placed inside a Faraday cage - an electromagnetically shielded environment in a laboratory - with the camera outside the cage; he still produced an image.

Can you see what I am trying to say?

For example if I broke a pencil with my fingers no one would be amazed. If I stared at one and caused it to break that would be another story, now wouldn't it?

It is how you the event in question which amazes people, not the event itself.

Art

I think if the Dying Brain does make NDEs I want to know why it has to wait till near death to bring out these ideas of universal love and no judgment. Why can't they come out just a bit earlier!

Vitor

You might want to reread what Michael wrote on this subject. He did stuff that could not have been faked. ( the conditions didn't allow for it)

The question is did Masuki do it just like Serios did, if he didn't then you have case.

I am especially impressed with Prescott's 5-7th points.

Hi, Kris

this is what I found about Masuaki Kiyota:

**********************************
http://www.answers.com/topic/masuaki-kiyota

Kiyota, Masuaki (1962-)
Remarkable young Japanese psychic born April 30, 1962 who appears to have extraordinary talents in metal bending and nengraphy (psychic photography). Kiyota rivals famed psychics Uri Geller and Matthew Manning in his unusual demonstrations. Kiyota was elaborately tested and filmed in the 1970s while producing his phenomena. In addition to an appearance on a Nippon Television program, Kiyota was also featured on the American program "Exploring the Unknown" (narrated by Burt Lancaster), presented on NBC October 30, 1977. Later in the decade, he was investigated by Walter Uphoff and his wife Mary Jo, who visited him in Japan.

Kiyota's reputation as a paranormal metal bender suffered considerably with his own admission that he had cheated on two occasions. In the course of a television demonstration in Tokyo on February 3, 1984, Kiyota was challenged by observers who accused him of cheating during the metal bending. Kiyota admitted that he had assisted his claimed psychic efforts by physical exertion with his hands. A month later, in the course of an interview on April 27, 1984, with a Mr. Kasahara and Soji Otani, Kiyota further admitted to cheating on one earlier occasion during a "metal-bending party" in 1983. Kiyota stated that he had used normal muscular effort to produce metal distortions. These admissions have cast doubt over other performances by Kiyota. It is possible that the great publicity given to his claimed metal bending abilities put him under pressure to supplement paranormal ability with fraud, as has been often claimed in the case of earlier psychics and Spiritualist mediums.

For a thoughtful discussion on the subject of Kiyota's cheating and its implications, see the correspondence from Ian Stevenson, Emily Williams Cook, Carolee A. Werner, Michael Dennis, H. H. J. Keil, and Peter Phillips, with an additional communication from Jules Eisenbud, in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research (vol. 79, no. 2, April 1985).

http://www.answers.com/topic/nengraphy

Japanese term for the psychic photography (or thoughtography) of the young Japanese psychic Masuaki Kiyota, who emerged in 1977 claiming and demonstrating a number of unusual psychokinetic abilities. He later admitted that he had accomplished everything through fraud. The Japan Nengraphy Association, headed by Tsutomu Miyauchi, was formed to investigate such phenomena, which appears to have some genuine practitioners. The association is headquartered at Awiji-cho 2-25, Kannda, Chioda, Tokyo.
********************

I think it should be very important to get the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research (vol. 79, no. 2, April 1985) to see if there is a way to Masuaki and Serios could fake the phenomena.

The question still remains Vitor.

The issue isn't the product, but how did you get the product.

For this to work you have to show that Masuki could do the same things Serios and with the same depth.

Could Masuki do nengraphy under the 7 points that Serios did still remains the question.

One fraud does not prove another fraud.

More information here:

http://www.urigeller.com/books/metal-benders/h22.htm

And more references here:

http://www.tricksterbook.com/ArticlesOnline/DeceptionBySubjects.pdf

Another example would be the extensive investigations carried out with Masuaki Kiyota (e.g., Eisenbud, 1982; Kasahara, Kohri, Ro, Imai, & Otani, 1981; Keil, Cook, Dennis, Werner, & Stevenson, 1932; Shafer & Phillips, 1982). Kiyota later admitted to having used trickery although NOT in these experiments (Stevenson et al., 1985; see also Phillips, 1987; Stevenson et al., 1987; Uphoff, 1987a, 1987b).

STEVENSON, I., COOK, E. W., WERNER, C. A., DENNIS, M., KEIL,H. H. J., & PHILLIPS, I? (1985). On Masuaki Kiyota. Journal of the
American Society for Psychical Research, 79, 294-296.

STEVENSON, I., COOK, E. W., WERNER, C. A., DENNIS, M., & KEIL, H. H. J. (1987). Dr. Stevenson and colleagues reply. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 81, 90-9 1.

UPHOFF, W. H. (1987a). More on Masuaki Kiyota. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 81, 87 - 90.

PHILLIPS, P. R. (1987). Reply from Phillips. Journal of the American Society
for Psychical Research, 81, 91-92.

UPHOFF, W. H. (1987b). Uphoff’s reply to Stevenson and colleagues and Phillips. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 81, 92-93.

I think we should get all these references to came to a more solid conclusion about all this.

Vitor

We also need to discuss what is a rational expectation of evidence for fraud and it's limits in this case.

For example could fraud produce the effects mentioned in Prescott's seven points.

"Does Eisenbud published his research with Ted Serios in a scientific journal?"

This question may be relevant to an evaluation of Serios' abilities, but it's not relevant to what I discussed in this post. My point was that skeptics have provided very selective accounts of what Eisenbud wrote in his book. Whether Eisenbud's report is trustworthy is another matter. I don't know, though I have no particular reason to doubt him.

What I do know is that it is misleading to suggest that Eisenbud scored the Queen Elizabeth image as a hit when he actually scored it as a miss, or to say that sleight of hand can explain all of Serios' *reported* phenomena, or to say that Eisenbud never mentioned testing Serios under strict conditions, when in fact he devoted a whole chapter to this subject.

If Randi had summarized Eisenbud's research accurately and then said, "But I don't believe him, because his results were not published in a peer-reviewed journal," I would say, "Okay, fair enough." Reasonable people can differ about the importance of publishing one's results in a scientific journal. But Randi didn't do that. He simply ignored all the material in Eisenbud's book that would have cast doubt on the fraud hypothesis. This cannot be an accident. Randi figured that 99% of his readers would know nothing about the Serios studies, so he could get away with a one-sided and misleading presentation.

Like a slick lawyer, he acknowledged only the facts that helped his case and disregarded all others. This may be an effective debating tactic, but it's not the way to get the truth.

Incidentally, I don't know if Eisenbud published his results in a peer-reviewed journal. If he did, it was probably a parapsychology journal. Most skeptics would dismiss any article appearing in such a publication, peer-reviewed or not. They would say that parapsychology journals are too flaky to be trusted (see Randi's comments on the mental illness of psi researchers, cited in my post).

To skeptics, only results published in a peer-reviewed *mainstream* journal count. But the mainstream journals refuse to publish or even to *read* parapsychology articles. So it's a Catch-22: Parapsychologists have no credibility unless they publish in mainstream journals, but mainstream journals won't publish articles submitted by parapsychologists, because parapsychologists have no credibility ...

And round and round we go!

I'd never heard of these guys(Eisenbud and subject Serios)but I'm learning fast. What's becoming clear to me is how much stuff there is out there...mind boggling.

"Recently I was reading a book were a minister came through a medium and stated that he could not move forward in his new dimension or realm of existence until every one of his congregation had crossed over so he could apologize to each and every one of them for his teaching of invalid Christian beliefs. - William"

“William, what book was that?”

Took some time but the book title is “on the edge of the etheric” by *Findlay. P 168 Findlay was an interesting person that did research on the medium John Sloan for 12 years. If he made any mistake he felt that spiritualism would become a world religion and have much influence on the world. Some mediums that proved to be fraud appeared to derail spiritualism as a major world religion and lack of central control of the clergy.

Maybe he failed to understand the complexity and resistance of the human mind. I know I bring these concepts up far too often but after teaching over 200 seminars and showing a video called the business of paradigms at about the 80th showing I began to realize the profound implications of what Barker calls the paradigm effect.

Watching the same video that many times before it opened a door for me is an interesting phenomenon as I also noticed the same applies to books especially books that appear to have a profound message. I have reread Emmanuel’s book and others many times over the past 18 years and appear to get new insights often from these books. The same applies to the book the open door which I have been rereading and contemplating the “masters” teachings for 12 years.

Paradigms are hidden from our view and we all have them. To deny we have them is delusional. One only has to look at the religious fundamentalists or the materialists to see this affect being played out. Just yesterday I was watching a TV special were a scientist doing research on the big bang stated that to ask what was before the big bang is a meaningless question. His materialistic paradigm would not allow him to realize that what caused or was before or even if the big bang is valid would be a profound question. From his point of view the entire universe was contained in an area smaller than an atom before the big bang.

It did not occur to him that his big bang could be the beginning of a thought from what most call God. My point being even a so called brilliant scientist’s mind can be overwhelmed by his existing paradigm which is hidden from him.

Don’t know if this made any sense to anyone or if anyone else sees such things or if it is just my paradigm. By the way most paradigm shifts are a very very rare occurrence. And paradigm shifts almost always occur by those outside the existing paradigm. Why? Paradigms are so powerful those within the existing paradigm can very seldom see outside there existing paradigm. Politics, religion, nationalism, patriotism, economic models, social models, etc are classic examples of this.

What most call a paradigm shift is a change of thought or idea within an existing paradigm. The human mind will almost always hang on to its existing paradigm in spite of the evidence. It is too mentality painful to the ego to do otherwise. Of course without paradigms the world would be in chaos. That perfectly imperfect world again.

* one may want to check out Leslie Flint’s tapes as Findlay comes through and talks about spiritualism and how disappointed he is in the direction spiritualism took.

Indeed, William. Paradigm shifts....("I'd love to believe in God and life after death, but there's not a shred of evidence for it"- Professor of biology, Lewis Wolpert, UCL LONDON)... Professor Wolpert, I suspect, has never looked at the evidence,because Ms Blackmore(I believe) has done that for him...and saved him the trouble. "Did you find anything, Susan, my dear?" No, professor, thirty years of exhaustively banging my head against a brick wall has convinced me there's nothing" "Oh well my dear, we already knew that didn't we.

I don't think I will be paying to much heed to Wolpert after his ridiculous debate with Rupert Sheldrake.

cdc

If Misako Kiyota can fraudulently reproduce Serios's thoughtgraphy effects whilst being investigated by the same researchers as Serios, i.e., Eisenbud, Stevenson, et al, then this Seriously (no pun intended) undermines the case that these effects are genuine.
The only argument remaining is that the evidence from Serios emerged from more stringent conditions than with Kiyota. But even this is undermined by Eisenbud's reluctance to publish in a peer reviewed journal, Michael Prescott's argument notwithstanding.
M.

"But even this is undermined by Eisenbud's reluctance to publish in a peer reviewed journal, Michael Prescott's argument notwithstanding."

You're assuming that Eisenbud *didn't* publish in a peer-reviewed journal. All I said was that I didn't know if he'd done so or not. As it turns out, he did. Here are three references to named articles I've found:

EISENBUD, J., & ASSOCIATES. (1967). Some unusual data from a session
with Ted Serios. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research,
61, 241-253.

EISENBUD, J., & ASSOCIATES. (1968). Two experiments with Ted Serios.
Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 62, 309-320.

Eisenbud, J. (1972). The Serios 'blackies' and related phenomena. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 66, 180-192.

I also found a reference to an unnamed article:

"Eisenbud shows other pictures from the session in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 1970, 64, 261-276."

There may be other articles. I'm not saying these four are the only ones. But they're sufficient to show that "Eisenbud's reluctance to publish in a peer-reviewed journal" is a non-issue.

"If Misako Kiyota can fraudulently reproduce Serios's thoughtography effects whilst being investigated by the same researchers as Serios, i.e., Eisenbud, Stevenson, et al ..."

That's exactly the opposite of what the quoted material said. The quote from the Trickster website, cited by Vitor, mentions the Eisenbud and Stevenson tests and then says, "Kiyota later admitted to having used trickery although NOT in these experiments."

In other words, it has *not* been established that Kiyota used trickery in his sessions with "the same researchers as Serios, i.e., Eisenbud, Stevenson, et al."

Vitor even put the word "not" in all caps when he quoted it.

While any use of trickery raises doubts, it *may* be the case that Kiyota's experiments with Eisenbud were monitored carefully enough to rule out trickery. There are many examples of mediums and psychics who resorted to cheating at times, yet who, in more controlled conditions, demonstrated apparently real abilities. Eusapia Palladino is one such case.

In any event, as I said before, the point of my post is not that Ted Serios was genuine. It is that the skeptics who have published criticisms of Eisenbud's work have misrepresented what Eisenbud himself actually wrote. Even if Serios was an outright fraud, that doesn't excuse the misleading arguments made by Eisenbud's critics.

The point, in other words, is not to defend Serios but to call attention to the deceptive tactics used by some skeptics. That's why the post is categorized under "Skeptics."

“Professor Wolpert, I suspect, has never looked at the evidence”

There is evidence that indeed this was the case with one ultra skeptic group. They had a very well established library with many paranormal books but when one person joined to find out just what kind of organization they were he discovered not one paranormal book has been checked out that year he belonged to that organization.

You see we tend to read what agrees with our cherished beliefs. We love to read what other authors write that agrees with us. It is like validating our beliefs. Like attracts like in this world and the other realms of existence.

I have had discussions with atheists on the Internet and have recommended some book and they tell me they don’t need to read such a book, as they already know that there is no life after death. Then they go on to tell me they have a rational logical mind and believe in the scientific method.

By the way the same applies to religious fundamentalists these two groups of people are more alike than different and they don’t have a clue they are.

Maybe the difficult question is why does anyone even care what they think? Ouch.

Okay point well received Michael. Out of interest, how well do you rate the evidencial value of Serios's thoughtographic efforts? Are these evidences undermined by fraud elsewhere? In my view the evidence is reasonably compelling, especially the more stringently controlled sessions......although I'm not as comfortable with this data as I am with the Piper mediumship data or the reports of D.D Hume for example.

Good post, Michael. In fact, there are other articles about Ted Serios.

01- EISENBUD, Jule & et al (1970). An archeological tour de force with Ted Serios. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, (1), (pp. 40-52)

ABSTRACT: "An attempt was made to induce Ted Serios to obtain paranormal film images of the distant past. He produced, along with other normally inexplicable images, 8 differing prints of a Neanderthal man group recognized at the time (and later ascertained) to be in the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The E\'s rule out any normal means of obtaining this result, including the use of microtransparencies. "

02-EISENBUD, Jule & et al (1970). Two camera and television experiments with Ted Serios. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 64(3), (pp. 261-276)

ABSTRACT: "In the 2 experiments Ted Serios succeeded in putting onto videotape (by no known mechanical means) images corresponding to those he put onto camera film in the experiments in question. A detailed study of the appearance and dissolution of the video images obtained is possible through a 24 frame/sec filmstrip made of the videotape record. The significance of various aspects of the data, including the relation of the images to a hidden target provided in 1 of the experiments, is discussed."

03- STEVENSON, I; PRATT, J.G. (1968). Exploratory Investigations of the Psychic Photography of Ted Serios. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 62, 103-129.

04-STEVENSON, I; PRATT, J.G. (1969). Further Investigations of the Psychic Photography of Ted Serios. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 63, 352–364.

05- EISENBUD, J. (1975). On Ted Serios’ alleged “confession.” Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 69, 94–96.

06-EISENBUD, J. (1977a). Observations on a possible new thoughtographic talent. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 71, 299–304.

07- EISENBUD, J; STEVENSON, I; PRATT, J.G. (1981) Distortions in the Photographs of Ted Serios. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 75, 143–153.

08- EISENBUD, J. (1981). Cutting the deck with Susie Cottrell. Skeptical Inquirer, 5(3), 68–70.

09-EISENBUD, J. (1982). Some investigations of claims of PK effects on metal and film by Masuaki Kiyota: I. The Denver experiments. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 76, 218–233.

All this seems very good. But...

http://www.adam.com.au/bstett/PaThoughtography.htm

"Outstanding in the field of sightless vision was Susie Cottrell, a student at the University of Kansas, who appeared in the American Johnny Carson "Tonight Show" in 1978, and whose claims were extensively tested by a Denver psychiatrist and parapsychologist Dr Jule Eisenbud, and other highly qualified academics. Susie Cottrell?s repertoire included predicting the selection of a nominated card, the order of the cards in a deck, the sequence of suits, the naming of cards in sealed envelopes and predicting which persons would select the highest cards in a simple dealing of the pack, all with outstanding success far greater than mere chance.

In one instance, the cards were dispersed on a pedestal underneath the table at which Susie Cottrell was seated, with video cameras trained above and under the table to ensure that no cheating took place.

Another of Dr Eisenbud?s amazing discoveries was psychic Ted Serios, a Chicago bellhop, who became the subject of Eisenbud?s book, The World of Ted Serios.

The book describes in detail how the psychic projected pictures in his mind on to Polaroid film, one of which was recognized as the missing nuclear submarine Thresher. The only aid used by the psychic was a small cardboard tube through which he would peer to focus on the camera. On another occasion Serios psychically produced two photographs of Patty Hearst for Fate magazine and shortly afterwards the missing heiress was apprehended. Eisenbud?s experiments with Serios were written up in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, in which Eisenbud refers to tests conducted in sealed rooms, behind lead glass and in some cases, where the camera used was kept isolated from Serios.

(...)

Likewise, 20 year old Susie Cottrell?s psychic powers disappeared entirely when subject to controlled tests. Her ability to predict which cards would be selected was exposed for what it was ? trickery and sleight-of-hand. The tests of Susie Cottrell?s putative powers were carried out by the Committee for the Scientific estimation of Claims of the Paranormal at the request of Susie?s father and under the supervision of world famous magician and psychic debunker, James Randi. Her blatant cheating was recorded on a hidden video camera. Irvin Biederman, a psychologist, summed up the tests saying, "On the basis of the tests, one cannot discriminate between Susie Cottrell and a fraud."

It is only a matter of time before any new invention or discovery is adapted for perpetrating a hoax or a deception. The camera was no exception and in the nineteenth century spirit photography boomed as soon as its potential was realized. How Serios accomplished his miracles has a much more mundane explanation. A small tube of cardboard is needed about 2.5 centimetres long and 1.25 centimetres in diameter with a magnifying lens at one end and a colour transparency cut to fit the other. This is concealed in the hand and when pointed close to the camera the ambient light illuminates the transparency directing and focussing the image into the camera?s lens. If the Polaroid camera is focussed to infinity the developed print will be of poor but nevertheless interesting quality. "

And...

http://www.tricksterbook.com/ArticlesOnline/DeceptionBySubjects.html

"Another example of this type is Eisenbud’s work with psychic photography (for overviews, see Eisenbud, 1974, 1977b). He has acknowledged that the strength of his investigations depends upon his ability to spot trickery, and in at least one circumstance he has claimed having “complete confidence” and “considerable experience in this type of situation” (Eisenbud, 1977a, p. 303). One wonders whether Eisenbud has ever detected attempted faking of psychic photography. Randi (1981) has shown that Eisenbud’s (1981) knowledge of trickery is apparently minimal. Eisenbud’s work on psychic photography utilized a subject-based control methodology and relied heavily on his direct, personal observations to control against trickery; as such, only a very weak case has been made for the genuineness of the phenomenon.
The above are not isolated examples. Many others could be cited. For instance, Stevenson and Pratt (1968) wrote: “We never observed any movement on the part of Ted [Serios] which was in any way suspicious” (p. 109). The essential problem in evaluating such reports is that the reader (and the experimenter) has no “baseline.” That is, if trickery really did occur, what was the probability of it being detected? As mentioned earlier, it is difficult in cases like these to establish an empirical control condition because of varying “perceptual set.” Further, one might wonder whether either Pratt or Stevenson had any training in magic. For instance, they wrote: “We are fully aware of the inadequacy of ordinary human vision in detecting quick hand movements such as conjurors employ” (p. 125). The notion of “quick hand movements such as conjurors employ” is largely a myth (see Christopher, 1962, p. vii); anyone familiar with conjuring realizes that. It is worth noting that magicians had observed suspicious movements on the part of Serios (Eisendrath, 1967; Reynolds, 1967), and Brookes-Smith (1968) and Rushton (1968) have suggested normal methods for producing the photos. There is also considerable earlier literature on how to simulate psychic photographs (Black, 1922; Price, 1925a, 1925b, 1933, 1936; Prince, 1925), and MacCarthy gave an impressive demonstration of fake psychic photography while handcuffed (Editor, 1935; Wendlandt, 1935). All the evidence suggests that untrained researchers are most unlikely to detect trickery."

10- REYNOLDS, C. (1967, October). An amazing weekend with the amazing Ted Serios. Part I. Popular Photography, 67(4), 81–84, 136–140, 158.

11- EISENDRATH, D. B., JR., (1967, October). An amazing weekend with the amazing Ted Serios: Part II. Popular Photography, 67(4), 85–87, 131–133, 136.

12- BROOKES-SMTTH, C. (1968). Review of The World of Ted Serios by J. Eisenbud. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 44, 260–265.

13- RUSHTON, W. A. H. (1968). Serios-photos: If contrary to natural law, which law? Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 44, 289–293.

I can get the two last articles. I will return soon.

Paul, do you know where I could find the Sheldrake-Wolpert debate?

Sorry Paul, found it.

Hi,

I put the articles here:

http://www.4shared.com/file/107261696/4021dbdd/Ted_Serios_by_Colin_Brookes_Smith.html

http://www.4shared.com/file/107261709/9e1732/Ted_Serios_by_Rushton.html

"How Serios accomplished his miracles has a much more mundane explanation. A small tube of cardboard is needed ..."

This is the same explanation offered by James Randi and Nile Root. I discussed the problems with this theory in my main post.

Eisenbud may not have been good at spotting trickery, but he wasn't alone in his investigations. There were often multiple observers, and Serios was filmed, and the film was examined frame by frame. He performed his "thoughtography" feats thousands of times. And he was usually drunk. Under those circumstances, it would seem that he should have been caught cheating at some point. There were a couple of suspicious incidents - in one session he put his hand in his pocket abruptly after using the "gismo," and an observer thought he might have been pocketing something (say, a slide). But precautions against using slides were routinely taken, and he apparently produced the images even when he was not in possession of the "gismo."

"The tests of Susie Cottrell's putative powers were carried out by the Committee for the Scientific estimation of Claims of the Paranormal at the request of Susie's father and under the supervision of world famous magician and psychic debunker, James Randi. Her blatant cheating was recorded on a hidden video camera."

This is obviously written by someone who admires and trusts Randi. Since I neither admire nor trust him, I would take his claims with more than a grain of salt. I don't know anything about Cottrell, and maybe she was caught on tape, but I've seen many "definitive" Randiesque debunkings turn out to be so much smoke and mirrors when inspected closely.

Would Randi make a false claim about something on videotape? In another case, we know he did:

http://snipurl.com/imf52

Quoting from that source:

"Randi stated: 'Viewing the entire tape, we see that the dog responded to every car that drove by, and to every person who walked by.' This is simply not true, and Randi now admits that he has never seen the tape."

So I wouldn't want to draw any conclusions from Randi's say-so. That's not to say Cottrell was genuine. I haven't looked into it. If I get some free time, I'll see what I can find.

"I'm not as comfortable with this data as I am with the Piper mediumship data or the reports of D.D Hume for example."

I feel the same way. Serios is not someone I would point to as the strongest case. I think it's likely he had some psi abilities, but I'm much more impressed with Leonora Piper, Gladys Osborn-Leonard, Eileen Garrett, the cross correspondences, etc.

Even if Serios' talents were genuine, he was a less interesting figure than the best mediums - the ones who were studied day in and day out for decades.

Just a quick point, Michael. What do you think would be the majority view(on your blog) on Daniel Dunglas Home's abilities.. with particular regard to the claims of levitation (out of third floor windows etc) Where do you personally think we should peg our level of belief? I struggle with this, but the guy must have been doing 'something' to earn such a reputation.

Hi, Michael

about Susie Cottrell,there is a lot of correspondece between Eisenbud and James Randi published in Skeptical Inquirer. Unfortunely I don't have these issues.

1) Examination of the Claims of Suzie Cottrell. James Randi 3(3)16-21

2) Cottrell Tests: Jule Eisenbud Replies. Jule Eisenbud 4(4)73-74

3) Examination of the Claims of J. Randi and S. Cottrell. Jule Eisenbud 4(3)74-77

4) Examination of the Criticisms of J. Eisenbud. James Randi 4(3)78-80

5) James Randi Responds. James Randi 4(4)74-75

6) Cutting the Deck with Susie Cottrell. Jule Eisenbud 5(3)68-70

7) More Card Tricks from Susie Cottrell. James Randi 5(3)70-71

“Daniel Dunglas Home's abilities.. with particular regard to the claims of levitation (out of third floor windows etc)”

You did not ask me but I have noticed in my research that there have been many incidents of mediums being able to levitate. I have been able to levitate many times but only in my dreams. This may suggest levitation is a common occurrence on the other side.

William Crookes came out in favor that Daniel Holmes’s was indeed a true medium with many paranormal abilities. Then Florence Cooks mother contacted Crookes to validate her daughter’s mediumship. If you have a problem with Holmes mediumship then Florence Cooks mediumship is even more out there.

Of course to explain her physical manifestations, which many witnessed including other scientists, journalist, and a medical doctor, the skeptics have accused Crookes of having an affair with Florence. Maybe he did maybe he did not but that does not explain the testimonies of the other witnesses.

Later Florence may have succumbed to fraud but that often happens to a medium if they try to please or impress the sitters every séance or they start to lose their abilities. Research into spiritualism is not for the faint of heart.

It should be noted that Crookes invited many of his peers to attend these séances to see for themselves and most refused saying they had to be fraud as physical manifestations were impossible. Yet they believed in the scientific method. That is often the reality of the human mind even a so-called scientific mind.

PROFESSOR ALBERT EINSTEIN: “It is well possible that behind our sensory perceptions hide entire whole worlds we have no idea of."

“The greatest skeptic concerning paranormal phenomena is invariably the person who knows the least about them.” H.H. Price

Thanks, William.

You are welcome to my knowledge Holmes was never found to be a fraud by anyone that witnessed his paranormal abilities.

You're way too fast for me Steve lol

"Daniel Dunglas Home"

William Crookes tested Home and proved telekinesis is real in 1871. He tested Home in laboratory conditions that prevented fraud. Crookes even jumped up and down on the pk apparatus to prove it couldn't be moved by normal means.

Crookes book, "Researches into the Phenomena of Modern Spiritualism", (see link below) has diagrams of the equipment and wind-up chart recorder graphs showing the spontaneous movements.

It even has a drawing of the cage in which the accordian was seen to be playing itself.

Here is a link direct to that chapter.

http://www.survivalafterdeath.org.uk/books/crookes/researches/investigation.htm

Don't get smart, Paul,it doesn't suit you.

Eisenbud published a second revised edition of The World of Ted Serios in 1989. In its preface, he stated that it "has battened down a few hatches with new material." And he added an epilogue that contained a sharp criticism of Randi, on pages 226-28, and of the Popular Photography debunkers, on pages 222-24. A used copy is available (for $136) on Amazon, at:

http://www.amazon.com/World-Ted-Serios-Thoughtographic-Extraordinary/dp/089950423X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1243157877&sr=1-2

Probably a copy can be obtained by interlibrary loan.

PS: Eisenbud's discussion of Masuaki Kiyota cn be found in his 1982 book, Paranormal Foreknowledge, available used from Amazon for $40, here:

http://www.amazon.com/Paranormal-Foreknowledge-Perplexities-Jule-Eisenbud/dp/0898850495/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1243157775&sr=1-1

It was intended to be a remark in jest but never mind.

and of course a reference to the fact that you answered your own question before I had a chance to. What a rude reply.

Apologies, Paul, think I was a bit paranoid there. My son uses the 'lol' abreviation always as an 'insult'(when he's joshing with his friends)and I'm so old I'm not familiar with 'net speak'....and I'd had a couple of beers.I'm just a grumpy old git.

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