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Thank you Richard & Michael!

I'm very much looking forward to reading this book.

The second edition of The World of Ted Serios, published in hardcover in 1989, 22 years after the paperback best-seller, is available "from $107" in 12 used copies on Amazon at

I fortunately got a copy much cheaper over five years ago It is the version serious students should consult, because its Preface states:

"no one, despite numerous unsubstantiated claims to the contrary, has yet found a way to relegate his efforts to the world of deception and fraud. The present edition does so in a more lucid and compelling way.... [T] new edition has battened down a few hatches with new material, some never before published. The final chapter presents highlights of the ongoing controversy about Ted and the world he has created on film."

I liked this reply, re capital-S Skeptics:

MP: As a psychologist, what do you think accounts for militant hostility toward the very idea of the paranormal?

RR: No one wants to think about the aggressive possibilities inherent in psi. That is one aspect of things. The other is a kind of reversal, not unlike siding with the aggressor. My guess is that these people suffered a narcissistic blow as children when they were told that wishes could not bring about events, that one's thoughts could not influence the outside world. And so, with a kind of vengeance, having accepted this, they turn against those who suggest that perhaps, particularly unconsciously, we can influence the world at times.

PS: That 2nd edition was also published by McFarland.

Great interview!

Just downloaded the Kindle version.

Excerpts from The World of Ted Serios, 2nd edition (1989), by Jule Eisenbud; Ch. 12, page 185:

“In principle, Fukurai’s experiments should have been a definitive test of [i.e., definitive support for] widely accepted theoretical grounds for rejecting the possibility of radiations as the vehicle for thoughtographic images. In actuality, however, … due to an inherent peculiarity of all paranormal phenomena, the only principle that can be relied upon within the field is that “principle” is not the most reliable guide to fact. The extreme variability of parapsychological data, as well as the overall unrepeatability of experiments in the field, has tended sooner or later to nullify any regularities that now and again appear to emerge. For this and other reasons, at any rate, it has been difficult to wean investigators and theoreticians away from the idea of obscure electromagnetic emanations of some sort behind paranormal phenomena, theoretical considerations and Fukurai’s experiments notwithstanding. Not surprisingly, the idea has continued to surface in the modern garb of quantum theory.”

The concept of a non-material level of “reality” is indeed too mind-boggling to accept easily, or at all.

Excerpts from The World of Ted Serios, 2nd edition (1989), Chapter 14 (Epilogue), by Jule Eisenbud.

“In his three years in Denver prior to the publication of the first edition of this book in 1967, Ted produced over 400 paranormal prints on 100 different themes. Then, what both Ted and I had dreaded the very start came with unseemly directness…. In a session on June 15, 1967, Ted kept getting blackies which he felt should have been pictures. [page 207]
[A failed test was observed by two photographers who wrote about it in aa pair of articles in Popular Photography in the October 1967 issue. As bad as the failure was this (page 222–23):] “Ted, discouraged and with enough beer under his belt to fell a horse, sullenly refused to hand over his gismo when asked to do so.”

“What most than anything seemed to turn public opinion against Ted were repeated assertions … ‘that his feats had been duplicated by a conjurer known as “The Amazing Randi.”’ Indeed, according to Martin Gardner in a review in Nature, Randi ‘demonstrates it regularly and with more skill.’

The fact is that at no time in James Randi’s well publicized career was he ever able to demonstrate an image on film under conditions remotely approximating those used by Ted. On October 4, 1967, for example, millions of viewers of the NBC Today show were treated to one of Randi’s special demonstrations. … Randi struggled with a botched attempt to obtain a recognizable image with a lens-transparency gimmick that any alert seeing- or non-seeing eye dog would have been able to spot at once. when he tried to ditch it under the table …. [At the end he announced[ with appropriate flourish and brio that he gladly accepted my challenge to duplicate Ted’s feats under test conditions. The show’s host (Hugh Downs) … bravely accepted the bid and informed his by now largely bored audience that this was just what was needed and that the test would be duly arranged and the results broadcast on a later show.

“But Randi, who was not known as an escape artist for nothing, lost no time in backing out of his ill-considered offer. … What counted, Randi took to saying, was not that he couldn’t do it (not that he couldn’t or hadn’t) but could Serios actually do it, a somewhat disingenuous switch after it became public knowledge, from about 1969 onward, that Ted’s thoughtographic days were over for the nonce. [pages 226–227]”

Excerpts from The World of Ted Serios, 2nd edition (1989), by Jule Eisenbud; Ch. 12, page 183:

“Not unexpectedly, Fukurai’s work came under severe attack. According to him, a pair of physicists, one the former president of the Imperial University of Tokyo where Fukurai held a professorship, “maliciously” rigged an experiment in which they were asked to participate as witnesses so that the lady sensitive would appear to have cheated. They then saw to it that she, Fukurai, and thoughtography were roundly attacked in the press, resulting in Fukurai’s resignation from the university. When the true facts came out, a confession of “carelessness” and an apology were offered by the former university president, but a few weeks later the accused sensitive, vowing never to take part in another experiment, fell ill and died (“of influenza”) while another of Fukurai’s sensitives committed suicide when she learned of the first one’s disgrace.”

Eisenbud was a class act; Randi is a crass act.

Thank you for a great post, Michael!

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