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Saturday, December 13, 2014   6:39 PM

The latest schedule of events for Parapsychology and Anomalistic Psychology

Carlos has been blogging about our upcoming massively open online course or MOOC (technically it's still a mini-mooc at 315+ registrants so far),Parapsychology and Anomalistic Psychology: Research and Education. I've just put up the individual events in the course in the Parapsychological Association events calendar. The course itself starts January 5th and ends February 14th, 2015 and has something happening every day of the week except Sundays on theWizIQ teaching platform.

The course includes live lectures that will be available as recordings within an hour or so of the live session completing. PowerPoints and other materials that are related to the lecture will also be available before the lecture takes place, and at least until the spring of 2016 on the WizIQ.com social media teaching platform where the course takes place.

Recordings of the live lectures will also be uploaded to our YouTube Channel, Parapsychology Online, within a week or so of the live lecture having completed.

In addition we'll have about a dozen "Poster Sessions," that is stand-alone PowerPoints from a variety of our colleagues on a wide array of topics relevant to the work we all do.

The Schedule So Far

Here is the current list of content presentations and their dates and times (in EST):

  1. Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado Introduction to the Scientific Study of Psychic Phenomena,January 6th at 2pm Eastern.
  2. Dr. Alejandro Parra, Clinical and Counseling Aspects of Psychic Phenomena,January 7th, at 2pm Eastern.
  3. Dr. Daniel Benor, Paranormal Healing Studies: Research, Practice and Life Lessons,January 8th, at 2pm Eastern.
  4. Dr. Edwin C. May, The Multiphasic Model of Precognition, January 10th, at 2pm Eastern.
  5. Dr. Everton de Oliviera Maraldi, Dissociation, Belief and Identity: Results from a Multi-Methods Study of Mediums, Atheists and Others in Brazil,January 12th, at 2pm Eastern.
  6. Dr. Nancy L. Zingrone, Modern Parapsychology: Geographic View, January 13th, at 2pm Eastern
  7. Joe McMoneagle, Perceptions of a Paranormal Subject, January 19th, at 2pm Eastern.
  8. Dr. Dean Radin, Supernormal: Science, Yoga and Psi, January 24th, at 2pm Eastern
  9. Dr. Richard S. Broughton, Will an Evolutionary Perspective Help Us Understand How Extrasensory Perception Works?,January 28th, Noon Eastern.
  10. Dr. Chris Roe, The Qualitative Study of Mediumship, January 29th, 2pm Eastern.
  11. Cherylee Black, We are All Experiencers, January 31st, 2pm Eastern
  12. Dr. Alexander Moreira-Almeida, Implications of Mediumship for the Mind-Brain Relationship,February 2nd, Noon Eastern
  13. Bryan Williams, Beyond the Brain? Exploring the Neuropsychological Correlates ofESP.,February 3rd, Noon Eastern.
  14. Christopher Laursen, The Potential of Disciplinarity: Working Between Disciplines to Better Understand Anomalous Experiences,February 5th, 2pm Eastern.
  15. Dr. Jeffrey Kripal, What the Study of Religion has to Offer Parapsychology,February 6th, 2pm Eastern.
  16. Dr. Paul H. Smith, Remote Viewing: Antecedents, Conditions, People, Protocols, Applications,February 7th, 2pm Eastern.
  17. Dr. Fátima Regina Machado, Psi-Related Experiences in Daily Life and Their Association with Beliefs, Attitudes, and SubjectiveWell-Being: A Brazilian Survey,February 10th, 2pm Eastern.
  18. Dr. Stephen E. Braude, The Challenge of Macro-PK, February 12th, 2pm Eastern.
  19. Dr. Etzel Cardeña, Hypnosis and Psi, February 13th, 2pm Eastern.

We have about 6 or so additional guest speakers we are still talking with on their titles, their times, their dates and in one case, whether they can really fit the course into their schedule this year or no. (And YES I said this year. We're hoping to do a free online course like this one every year.)

We also have quite a number of "Poster Sessions" (stand-alone PowerPoint presentations that will cover a variety of other topics, provide bibliography for the course, and cover some notable individuals in our field, their lives and contributions.

When we get the rest of the speakers set up, we'll let you know who they are, and when the Poster Session presentations are finalized, we'll update you all on that too.

Enrolling

We've been enrolling attendees since early December and were up to 318 this morning. If you are interested in joining the course, go to WizIQ.com and put "Parapsychology" or "Anomalistic Psychology" into the search box. This will bring up two widgets, one for the current course, and one for a hop-on/hop-off course Carlos and I taught in from Spring 2013 through Spring 2014. Clcik on the current course. You will be taken to the course home page where you can click the "Enroll" button. If you already have a WizIQ free account (as in you attended our November 2-day online conference,Parapsychology and Psychology: Research and Theory), you'll be taken directly to the new course and be enrolled. If you don't have a free WizIQ account, you'll be taken to a sign in page where you can use your Facebook details or create a new account with your email and a password. Easy! Peasy!

If you need any help don't hesitate to get in touch with me. I can send you an invitation that will have an email attached with more detailed information. You can also check out the WizIQ tutorials on our YouTube Channel,Parapsychology Online, where there is a playlist of YouTube tutorials for the November conference.

Can't Make the Live Sessions So Why Bother?

Well, here's the answer to that: all the live presentations will be recorded and will be available along with PowerPoints and all the other materials on the WizIQ social media platform at least until the Spring of 2016 and maybe longer. In addition, within a week or so of the live presentations, there will be recordings (minus the chat box to protect attendees' privacy) uploaded to the Parapsychology Online YouTube channel into a new playlist dedicated to theParapsychology and Anomalistic Psychology course. So not to worry; if 2pm Eastern is 3:30am in your home town, you can still watch the recordings at your liesure.

Who We're Grateful To ...

We couldn't have done this course without the good folks at WizIQ, who have taught us how to use the system (and aren't to be blamed for the course logo on the "About the Course" page -- I hadn't gotten the message yet that I could only add a logo to the course page once, sigh ...), have been my favorite go-to place for online teaching professional development courses for the past almost six years, to the more than 30 colleagues and friends around the field who have committed to presentations, submitted poster sessions, or are in preparation to do so. We also couldn't have done this without the financial support of the Parapsychology Foundation, Natasha and Jonathan Chisdes of Chizfilm.net and our local colleague, Dr. Phil Morse.

We're also especially thankful to Lisette Coly who not only will be issuing the Certificates of Completion to course attendees who fulfil the requirements, and not only contributed financially to our support during the preparation period, but has also brought us back into the Parapsychology Foundation fold as paid part-timers in 2015, a smooth transition because we have never stopped volunteering for the PF, and we're excited about getting to help out with the re-emergence of the PF in 2015.

Anyway, come join us!

Our course on WizIQ has been okayed for 1,999 attendees and I know if we get close, they'll let us expand it a bit, so come join us, publicize the course among your friends, and just don't miss this opportunity to see some of the best and brightest in our field share their knowledge, their research, and their points of view!

 

Monday, September 29, 2014   8:33 PM

Happy Birthday to Fanny Knipe, PA's Best Convention Planner, on the Occasion of her 90th Birthday!

Today, September 29th, 2014, is the 90th birthday of the woman who was responsible for giving us wonderful Parapsychological Association conventions from the 1980s through mid-2000s, Laura F. Knipe, known to her friends as Fanny.

As an organizer Fanny had a talent for picking comfortable venues, overcoming unexpected problems, and making sure we had everything we needed for a terrific conference from the piano for our own Jazz Prof PA past-President Dr Stephen Braude and our Classical Piano Virtuoso PA Full Member Rick Berger, to all the tech we could ever want, not to mention great wine with the banquet when the budget could bear it.

Fanny Knipe and a Volunteer at the 1984 Dallas PAFanny was always able to pull together all of the background organizational tasks—that often started the year before—into a smooth-running experience from registration to the final PA Business meeting. She took many trips to scout out great venues in those days. As many of you will remember she was also the long-time organizational center of the American Society for Psychical Research on 73rd Street in New York City just off Central Park West. 

Fanny agreed to put together a reminiscence on the occasion of her 90th birthday, so before we get to the Birthday Greetings we have for Fanny. Here's her story in her own words.

 

Some Reminiscences of My Years with the ASPR and the PA

by Laura F. Knipe

The ASPR

I started working for the American Society for Psychical Research (ASPR) in September, 1967, when the Society, open to the public, was located at 880 5th Avenue, Manhattan. There was a library in the front room, with the office in the entrance area. The larger room in the rear was for the editor of the Journal. Dr. Karlis Osis’s research office was not there but was located in a professional office of an apartment building in the east 70s. [The photo above is Fanny with a volunteer at the Dallas PA in 1984.]

In the early fall of ’67 LOOK magazine printed a lengthy article about Bishop James Pike being lost in the Judean desert and dying there. A psychic had given a location in which to find him, but no one considered it until it was too late. There was a note at the end of the article that you could “become a member of the ASPR, 880-5th Ave. NYC—send $10.” Bishop Pike had been active in New York and there were many phone calls from New Yorkers requesting information.

I was in the office a few Saturdays and Sundays that winter. The renovations at 5 West 73rd St. were ongoing until September, 1968, and continued even after Dr. Osis’s group and the library and business office moved into the building. There were then twelve employees, two of whom, Rhea White and Laura Dale, worked from Long Island.

By the fall of 1968, Dr. Osis, his staff and I had settled in at 5 West 73rd St. The lecture program began then. Lectures were held in the Carnegie Building at 46th Street and First Avenue, across from the UN building. After one season the programs were moved one block north to the United Engineering Building.

The first lecture I attended was given by Dr. William G. Roll. Before the lecture, started there was quite a stir in the front of the audience with everyone greeting a very elaborately gowned woman not known to me but (obviously) familiar to many others there: It was Eileen J. Garrett of the Parapsychology Foundation. Roll’s lecture was excellent and the ASPR had a good response to it. Lecture programs were off to a fine start. (Years later, when I was president of the Fairhaven Historical Society, I asked Bill Roll to lecture and he filled the hall. More kudos for him!)

Lecture programs continued through the '70s in the United Engineering Building but unfortunately many New Yorkers were uncomfortable leaving the lectures at 10 p.m. and so short talks were presented in the library at the ASPR. The annual meeting and dinner with lecture were successful and very well attended especially the one held at the Harvard Club on 44th Street.

While Dr. Osis headed research, I was really running the building, making sure that everything worked, from renting the basement and fifth floor as offices to non-profit organizations for additional income to fixing faulty plumbing!

The PA

Years later I volunteered with the help of Dr. Osis’s secretary to request that the PA have the meeting at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey in 1983. I made arrangements with the University for the dorms, auditorium, special display space and the banquet. [The photo to the left is from the Sonoma PA in 1986 with (from the left) Keith Harary, Charles T. Tart, and Tron McConnell.

The PA conventions I have arranged-- the accommodations and all of the venue within the site-- have been in 12 cities: Madison, New Jersey (Fairleigh Dickenson University, August 1983); Medford, Massachusetts (Tufts University, 1985); Montreal, Canada, (1988); San Diego California (1989 and 1996); Chevy Chase, Maryland (1990); Las Vegas, Nevada (1992); Toronto, Canada (1993); Durham, North Carolina (1995); Brighton, England (1997); Halifax, Canada (1998); and Vancouver, Canada (2003).

The most frustrating convention for me was the 1985 meeting at Tufts University. It was unusually hot for New England and French exchange summer students had wrecked the air conditioned dormitory, so PA Convention attendees had non-air conditioned dorms. The last day of the meeting, Bob Morris remarked from the stage that these had been some “hot fanny nights.” Bob was droll. Then there was a problem for vegetarians not being given vegetarian food at the banquet. The last day I had to remember to pick up the four electric fans I had borrowed from my neighbors and from my house in Fairhaven.

After the Tufts experience, there were thoughts of upgrading the accommodations and I was ready to help the cause. I believed the members would like to go to interesting cities with pleasant venues at least once. I tried to keep that in mind when selecting possible venues.

I learned some important lessons at the next meeting I handled. It was not for the PA but for the ASPR.

In October, 1987 the ASPR sponsored a program of prominent and interesting people including Raymond Moody, John Beloff, Julian Isaacs, Rosemarie Pilkington and Arthur Berger.

The program at the DuPont Plaza in Miami, Florida, was to last two days, a Saturday and Sunday. The local arrangements partner had promised to handle the publicity and to give me names and rates of prospective hotels for the events but did neither. At the eleventh hour I consulted a young man who was an active volunteer at the ASPR and who now lived in Miami: he gave me the names of possible hotels in which we could hold the two-day meeting with good locations and parking. Fortunately my uncle lived in Miami and he drove me to all the local radio stations with the announcement that there was a two-day meeting and they broadcast all the information, and most importantly that the lectures started the next day. By Sunday there was a fair turnout. There were lessons for me to learn, and I did!

At the PA convention in Montreal the following year, several men from the near-east in army uniforms were in the registration area when it opened. I greeted them and asked “and will you be going to the U.S.?” One replied, “No,” but the officer standing next to him looked stunned! Dean Radin remembers the men too. Dean gave a wonderful talk at the banquet. Senator Claiborne Pell who was the invited banquet speaker, spoke too.

The first San Diego convention was a success. The excellent guest speaker was Michael Crichton, who was very well received. After the meeting I called to thank him and said I would like to send him a check for expenses. He said he was happy to speak and declined the check. I thanked him again.

The PA convention in Vancouver seemed to have the best of everything—great little hotel, priced right, in a beautiful city and perfect weather. I look back with pride on the care I took with the conventions. We were always able to add to the PA’s coffers, much more than even we expected.

Happy Birthday to Fanny

Because I'm writing this, I just wanted to say before I include the greetings of the rest of us, that I had the luck to help out in a couple of the conferences that Fanny organized, principally the Durham PA in 1995 (with the help of the Rhine Research Center staff of the day) and the Vancouver PA in 2003. Lisette Coly of the Parapsychology Foundation and I organized the 2001 PA in New York City, and Annalisa Ventola and I organized the 2012 Durham PA with the help and support of Susan Freeman and the volunteers and staff of the Rhine Research Center. I also organized the 2005 Parapsychology Foundation conference in Charlottesville. That's a preamble to what I want to say which is that, basically, I learned everything I know about organizing conventions from Fanny. She showed a keen understanding of convention budgets, how to get the best rates for the hotels she approached (such as never call the 800 number or the corporate office of a hotel line because you always get better deals from building a good relationship with the local hotel), and how to make sure all the expectations of the membership were met, from comfortable rooms to the presence of the piano (sadly not possible for two of the conferences I organized), how to set up the poster area and handle the registration so well that registration was a joy and all the records were in the proper order for submission to the PA. She also has an uncanny ability to know how many people are coming, and when it's safe to play a little bit with the expected profit and upgrade the wine or the dessert or add more flowers to the banquet tables.

I have so many favorite memories of Fanny's presence at our conventions, but I confess—probably because I'm a nosy soul—that I especially loved hanging around with Fanny and Rosemarie Pilkington and leafing through their great collection of photos from PAs gone by. Happy Birthday, Fanny! You've done great service to the PA!

And just a note, I called Fanny around 8:30pm tonight when I realized I wouldn't be able to get the blog up on the site before Tuesday the 30th. We have not spoken on the phone in so long that we actually had a three hour catch up phone call. It was absolutely wonderful talking to Fanny again, and Annalisa, I'm sending you an email full of good advice about future PA conferences. My fondest wish for all of us is that when we get to our 90th, we're all just like Fanny on her birthday: cooking on all four burners!

And now on to Rosemarie Pilkington.

From Rosemarie Pilkington

Fanny Knipe on her 90th Birthday
An Appreciation

I accompanied Fanny on many of her errands in preparing for PA conventions so I know first-hand how hard she worked. She is a shrewd business woman and negotiated with hotels, florists, et al to get the best deals for the groups. Back in the day she had an unerring sense of color and style and always provided beautiful settings for the annual banquets and worked tirelessly to assure that everything ran smoothly. [The photo below is PA Member Rich Strong and Fanny at the Montreal PA in 1988.]

But few people know that Fanny also has her own psychic abilities, which—although she is very fond of talking-- she didn’t speak about much. For instance, very often she’d be talking to a new acquaintance and ask them a question which, it would turn out, elicited from them some troubling area of their lives that they were reluctant to speak of to others.

Once at the ASPR Dr. Osis was asked if he could have psychics try to locate a small private plane that had gone down somewhere between Connecticut and Buffalo, New York. Besides the pilot, it was carrying two executives of a major American company. Dr. Osis asked several psychics but also asked Fanny to give it a try. She took a map of the area out of her desk and pointed out to him exactly where she felt the plane had crashed. It was fall and she told him that the plane would not be found until after “every leaf was down.”

Janet Mitchell asked her if the men were in the plane and Fanny said no, the plane was empty.
Perhaps because Fanny’s predicted location was different from all the others, Osis never reported what she said but later after the leaves had fallen from the trees the plane was found exactly where Fanny had said it was. All three men had been thrown from the plane. Osis acknowledged her publicly and apologized for not having enough faith in her report to file it.

This was only one of several “Remote Viewings” that Fanny did successfully. But she’ll always be remembered for the superlative job she did in keeping the ASPR running and in helping create memorable PA conventions.

From Mary Rose Barrington

Happy remembrances of an afternoon out from the Brighton conference, with a rather dramatic ending, endured heroically by you and Rosemarie. Best wishes, Mary Rose Barrington. [The photo to the right is from the Brighton PA in 1997. From the left are Fanny Knipe, Mary Rose Barrington, and Arthur Ellison.]

From Richard & Kathy Broughton

All our best wishes for your 90th birthday. Lots of fond memories of being “partners in crime” in the days of running the PA, “Faxes from the other side” and other great times. A Joshua Slocum commemorative cup plate still casts a blue shaft of light through our kitchen window and the old wooden lamp that we pinched from your neighbour’s flat in NYC still illuminates our living room in merry old England. Happy Birthday from Richard & Kathy Broughton.

From Jim Carpenter

My warmest birthday wishes to Fannie Knipe! What a lovely and positive person. You deserve much love and celebration, and I hope you get it! Jim Carpenter

From Lisette Coly

I wish you the Happiest of Birthday greetings with fond memories of your visits to the PF while on 57th Street and various meeting at conferences. Both my mother and I always admired your efforts to keep the parapsychologists in line and as we know first hand that’s not easy  Hugs, Lisette.

From Deborah Delanoy

90? It doesn't seem possible (who knows where the time goes…). I hope you have an absolutely wonderful birthday and a great year – indeed, a great following decade! With fond best wishes, Deborah.

From Sally Rhine Feather

I'm delightful to see this birthday tribute to you, Fanny. You were such an integral part of the PA conferences for so many years. Your outgoing personality and friendliness, along with your expertise at your craft, were a big asset for me as I re-entered the PA world back in the mid-1990’s. Thanks for the memories, Fanny. ---- Much love, Sally

From Erlendur Haraldsson

Fanny Knipe was a precious person for the American Sociey for Psychical Research. She was always in the office and kept everything well organized and orderly. For those of us who worked there in the early '70s she was a pillar of stability, knowledgeable about whatever we needed to know, and particularly reliable. There was so much clarity and integrity about Fanny. And she was a delightful person to deal with and became a great friend.

The Parapsychological Association learnt to appreciate her organzing ability and reliability, and they found no person better qualified than her to organize some ot the PA conventions that took place in the US in the 1970s and 1980s. We could be sure, whatever she did, she did well and thoroughly. My cordial congratulations to Fanny on her ninetieth birthday!

From Stanley Krippner

I have nothing but pleasant memories of Fanny over the many decades I have known her. She was ingenious and efficient in the way she found venues for PA conventions. She has a splendid sense of humor that enlivened every meeting she attended. But she does not suffer fools gladly. Fanny has displayed keen judgement and can quickly separate the wheat from the chaff. Happy Birthday Fanny! It has been a pleasure to have known you all these years! Stan Krippner

From Jim Matlock

Fanny was one of the first people--perhaps the first person--I met in parapsychology. She was Executive Secretary of the ASPR when I visited there in 1985 and 1986 to organize the archives, and she was always supportive and encouraging of that project. Happy Birthday, Fanny!

From Dean Radin

I wanted to express my good wishes for Fanny's 90th birthday. I fondly recall working with Fanny on arrangements for several PA conventions, and I always enjoyed catching up on news when we chatted on the phone or in person.

From Marilyn Schlitz

Dear Fanny: Happy Birthday!
Appreciating all your contributions to the PA, to each of us who attended your well run conferences, and the humor you brought to it. Will never forget your fan club, a la Bob Morris. With fond best wishes, Marilyn Schlitz. [The photo to the left is Fanny Knipe and Marilyn Schlitz at the Heidelberg PA in 1991.

From Stephan Schwartz

Fanny --  Once again you are leading the way; I am a mere 72. May this be a wonderful birthday, and the best year ever. And thank you for your many years of tireless work advancing the field of consciousness research. -- Stephan

From Rex Stanford

Hi Fanny,

I much regret being late with congratulations on your 90th birthday, but a number of things have been preoccupying me, so I have to try to feel better by saying, "Better late than never!"

You provided so many good tips and so much uniquely insightful, highly practical, help with organizing things for more than one PA Convention that it seemed hard to imagine how such a convention could be organized without your help! You also shared your valued thoughts on many other matters whenever I sought them. Your advice obviated innumerable potential problems for the PA in convention planning, and it included, as I recall, some help, via a telephone, with some important choices for the very last PA Convention with which I was involved as an organizer, the one in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Not only was your advice, time and again, appropriate and highly effective, but you seemed to know every potential for problems in planning and helped me and others on our team to obviate them. I always knew I could call on you as needed! Thanks!

Also greatly appreciated were our many telephone talks over the years on a diversity of topics and situations, often of mutual concern, and I always have thought of you as someone whose thoughts on a variety of important matters I would never want to miss! I knew you would be ready to provide practical, highly useful reflections and suggestions, even if my initial thoughts and inclinations had been quite different. Experience, thoughtfulness, readiness to help, and frankness in giving advice, what more
could I (and so many others) have wished?!

Thank you very much for everything, and both Birgit and I wish you, albeit belatedly, a very happy 90th birthday!

Rex

From Charles Tart

Hi Fanny! Thank you for all those years you always greeted me at registration with a smile that made me feel I'd come home! Plus a zillion things you did behind the scenes! Charley

From Jessica Utts

Hi Fanny, Congratulations on turning 90! We sure miss you at the PA meetings. And we miss your ability to find charming, inexpensive places to hold those meetings. No one has been able to replace you in that! Now we rely on volunteers from the membership to host the meetings, which sometimes  works well and sometimes doesn't. You did a great service to us all with your skill in that area. I hope you are enjoying your retirement! With best wishes, Jessica. [The photo below is Caroline Watt, Fanny and Prof Robert Morris at the Toronto PA in 1993.]

Final Remarks

If anybody else would like to add memories of Fanny and the PA and Birthday Greetings—Because as Carlos Alvarado says, everybody should celebrate their Birthday for at least a month!— Rosemarie and I will make sure she sees them, and I'll be more than happy to edit them into the blog for posterity. So if you'd like to join in the fun, send me your Happy Belated Birthdays to nancy@theazire.org and between Rosemarie and I, we'll make sure Fanny gets them.

I would also like to thank Rosemarie Pilkington for first, having this wonderful idea to say Happy Birthday to this energetic and hard-working woman on the occasion of her 90th birthday. Second, I'd like to thank Rosemarie for publicizing our call for birthday greetings on the various chat lists around the field.

And Fanny? Happy Birthday and many more!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014   12:33 AM

Fall 2014 Term at the Rhine Education Center: Four New Courses

PA Member John G. Kruth has been at work over the summer months recasting the Rhine Education Center's course structure into a new curriculum that is a combination of 4-week courses, 8-week courses, some academically-oriented, some a little bit more popular, and some eligible for a variety of new certificate programs. Some weeks back I made a video that introduces folks to the changes at the Rhine Education Center.

Here's the link: http://youtu.be/qYy2CVnPcLU

In this video I go over some of the changes and give folks information on where to find more information about the four courses which are taught totally online: Research Methods in Parapsychology (taught by John G. Kruth starting with an online lecture Wednesday night, September 24th); Developing Your Intuition (taught by PA member Loyd Auerbach, starting with an online lecture Monday night, September 29th), History of the Rhine Research Center (from the beginning to 1940, team-taught by myself and Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado, both of us two-time past-Presidents of the PA, starting also with an online lecture Monday night, September 29th, a few hours before Loyd's course starts); and Premonitions: Peeking into the Future (also team taught by Alvarado and I, starting Monday night October 27th). John's course runs 8 weeks, and Loyd's and the two taught by Carlos and I run 4 weeks each.

One change in the REC program this fall is that "auditing" is the default. If you're interested in being graded for your work in the course, you can arrange that with your instructors, otherwise you won't need to achieve a grade to get through course. However, only graded courses are eligible for the various certificate programs.

For more information about Loyd's Developing Your Intuition course, we've uploaded a video by Loyd to the Rhine Research Center's YouTube channel:

Here's the link: http://youtu.be/LEtfi9khTD8

 

For more information on John Kruth's course, I uploaded a video done by John that talks about his course in more depth.

Here's the link: http://youtu.be/qPeoIQhA_R4

We'll be putting up some more videos on the courses over the next couple of weeks, so it's best to subscribe to the Rhine Research Center's channel to make sure you get the updates.

On the Rhine Research Center's channel you can also explore Welcome to the Week videos from previous courses to get a sense of how the courses have been taught in the past, and also to see some other videos we've uploaded or linked to that show tours of the Rhine Research Center, or quick looks at some of the Rhine's Friday Night Talks.

Carlos and I are really dedicated to improving educational opportunities for folks in the field, whether your interest is general or more academic. Another couple of great places for more information is Carlos' blog "Parapsychology" which can be found by clicking on the link in the blog title in this line, and by subscribing to our YouTube Channel,ParapsychologyOnline.

Come join us! Should be a great term at the Rhine!

Friday, September 30, 2011   4:00 PM

Missed the PA? Come to "Parapsychology and Consciousness" October 14th-16th in Virginia Beach!

I just finished writing a monster blog for the Parapsychology Foundation's website that reviewed the PA Convention that took place this past August in Curitiba, Brazil. My main goal in that blog was to highlight the amazing legacy of the Parapsychology Foundation and its centrality to the field, even now in these tough economic times. In the first part of that blog I focused mainly on which grant recipients and former Perspectives Lecture and International Conference speakers had also contributed to the most recent PA. In the second part of the blog I did the same thing with the amazing group of speakers who will be presenting at Atlantic University's"Parapsychology and Consciousness" conference in a couple of weeks. If you're interested in reading through that blog, go to www.parapsycholgy.org and click on "News" for the Breaking News page, or click the "blog" button at the bottom of the home page. If you're impatient just click this link and you'll wend your way to the blog itself.

Three Good Reasons to Come to Virginia Beach for “Parapsychology and Consciousness” on October 14th ...

Atlantic University is not going to be doing parapsychology conferences every year. Our Annual Conference series which starts with “Parapsychology and Consciousness” is conceived of as a way to feature aspects of our existing program in a unique setting. Our Masters of Arts in Transpersonal Studies has a number of tracks: Consciousness Studies in which parapsychology lives is only one of them. So if you think you can give our conference a miss this year because there will be another one next year, think again. Next year, our conference will focus on Leadership; the next few years after that it will focus on creative writing, dream studies and dream work, and/or transpersonal arts, among other possible topics. We don't anticipate being able to return to scientific parapsychology for many years.

So this is a once in a lifetime event, er .. uh ... well, at least at AU it is a once-in-a-decade kind of opportunity!

Another good reason: because of the economy we have broken out our $395 ($375 for seniors/students) price into day prices and evening prices, so you can choose to attend the evening lectures ($30 each), or just Friday afternoon ($80), or just all Saturday ($160) or all day Sunday ($160) depending on which presentations interest you the most. And because it is off season here in Virginia Beach, rooms in our conference hotels — the Wyndham and the Holiday Inn Express — are less than $100 a night. The Holiday Inn Express also  includes a hot breakfast in the room price in case the Continental breakfast we are serving at the conference is not enough, not to mention an ocean view. Try booking that during the season for less than $200! (Lots of other hotels are arrayed along both sides of Atlantic and Pacific Avenues and some of them are even less expensive this time of year.)

But the best reason to come to Virginia Beach for “Parapsychology and Consciousness” from October 14th through 16th is the line up!

The conference starts Friday, October 14th at noon with a reception and continues through Sunday evening at 6:15pm. Himself, Carlos S. Alvarado (two-time past President of the Parapsychological Association and Scholar in Residence at Atlantic University, and well, my husband ...) organized the speakers. They are: Dean Radin, Roger Nelson, Ed May, Julie Beischel, Jim Carpenter, John Palmer, Loyd Auerbach, Bob Van de Castle, Christine Simmonds-Moore, Doug Richards, Frank Pasciuti, Ginette Nachman, Henry Reed, David McMillin and of course, Carlos and I. We had hoped to include Steve Braude too but he had to cancel.

So the conference kicks off at noon on Friday October 14th with a reception, registration and opportunities for book-signing in the lobby of the Visitor's Center at Edgar Cayce's Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.) at 6700 Atlantic Avenue in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Kevin Todeschi, an Atlantic University (AU) graduate, and the CEO of both Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. and AU, will convene the conference proper in the Main Auditorium around 2pm with welcoming remarks, followed by comments from Carlos and I. The first speaker on Friday afternoon is Christine Simmonds-Moore, who in addition to being a faculty member at Atlantic University and a researcher attached to the Rhine Research Center, has recently taken up a tenure-track position in the Department of Psychology at the University of West Georgia. Her presentation “How do Synesthesias relate to Anomalous Experiences” will cover an online survey of synesthesia experiences and a laboratory experiment in which strong synesthetes were compared with matched controls on an ESP task. For abstracts of both this talk and one Christine will give on Saturday click here.

Following the coffee break, Ed May is the next speaker up. He is well-known in our community as a physicist, the founder of Laboratories for Fundamental Research, and for his decades spent managing the Stargate Program. Ed will give an invited address called “Application of Fuzzy Sets to Natural Anomalous Cognition (a.k.a Remote Viewing) Targets.” For abstracts of both this talk and his contribution to a panel discussion later in the program click here.

Conference attendees will break for dinner after Ed’s talk — we have provided a great list of all the terrific restaurants up and down Atlantic Avenue and elsewhere in Virginia Beach and the seafood in this area is truly exceptional!  After dinner we will hold our fourth quarterly Visiting Scholar Lecture, this time presented by invited speaker, Roger Nelson, formerly of the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Laboratory and the founder of the Global Consciousness Project. For an abstract of his update on the GCP, click here.

On Saturday morning, October 15th, the second day of the conference will start with an invited address by long-time AU faculty member, Doug Richards. He will review the way in which scientific parapsychology has been intertwined with the history of Atlantic University and the A.R.E. since the rebirth of AU as a graduate school in 1985.  For an abstract of both of his talks click   here.  Following Doug’s presentation, James Van Auken, a faculty member at both Atlantic University and the  Cayce/Reilly School of Massotherapy, will moderate a panel called “What a Masters in Parapsychology Should Look Like.” I will give a talk called “Designing a Curriculum for a Masters in Parapsychology.” Following my presentation, three of our faculty members, Carlos, Doug and Christine will give talks on courses they designed for the existing Masters of Transpersonal Studies degree: “Atlantic University’s Principles of Parapsychology Course” (Doug),“History of Parapsychology” (Carlos) and “Psychology of Psychic Experiences” (Christine). (As you click off to these abstracts you may have to scroll down, if the presentation listed here is not the first presentation the speaker is giving in the conference.) Because of the recent ruling from our accrediting agency (see my previous blog), both of the last two courses mentioned are back on the drawing board as we search for a wider focus on this difficult topic.

On Saturday afternoon in a paper session entitled “Parapsychology and Psychology,” Atlantic University’s own Henry Reed will talk about “Intimacy and ESP.” Henry is well-known in the International Association for the Study of Dreams and has been serving as a faculty member since before the University was reborn as a graduate school in 1985. (If you're interested, you can view a powerpoint on the history of the school I put together in 2010 with the help of CEO Kevin Todeschi, in honor of the 80th anniversary of the founding of the school.) The second speaker in the paper session, John Palmer, is well-known to the PA community having served as both past-President and Board member.  His paper will tackle a persistence problem for scientific parapsychology, the “Source-of-Psi” problem. Jim Carpenter, also well-known to PA will present his“First Sight” theory. The last paper in the session will be given by Frank Pasciuti, a clinical psychologist from Charlottesville, Virginia, who will examine the relationship of his discipline to parapsychology. (For Frank's biography and abstract click  here.)

Saturday evening, Atlantic University will present Dean Radin, the Senior Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and author of The Conscious Universe andEntangled Minds, among other important publications. Dean's lecture is called “Before the Tipping Point: Reconsidering the Nature of Consciousness.” (For the abstract of Dean’s presentation click here.)

Sunday, October 16th is the last day of the conference and will begin with a paper detailing research that I conducted with Carlos and our colleague from the University of Virginia, Natasha Agee. The research, funded by the Bial Foundation in Portugal, looked into the relationship of psychic experiences, the psychology state/trait of absorption and adult memories of childhood imaginary companions. My talk will be followed by a talk by Loyd Auerbach, PA member, well-known field investigator, faculty member at both Atlantic University and John F. Kennedy University, and chocolatier! Loyd’s talk, “The Haunting of USS Hornet,” will provide an update on an on-going investigation. (For an abstract of this and Loyd’s other talk click here.) A panel discussion on the future of the field will follow with presentations by: Bob Van de Castle, like Henry Reed, a decades-long active member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, a decades-long active member of the PA as well, and with appointments both on the faculties of the University of Virginia and here at Atlantic University; Carlos; Ginette Nachman, an MD/Ph.D. who has been on the Board of the RRC; and Ed May. The talks will be: “The Mutlifaceted Nature of Psi Dreams: Some Suggestions for the Future” (Van de Castle), “Researching Out-of-Body Experiences” (Alvarado), “Biomedical Aspects of Psi” (Nachman), and “The Future of Psi Research: A Physics Perspective” (May). (Again you may have to scroll down the linked PDFs if the paper listed here is not the first presentation of the conference for that speaker.)

After lunch on Sunday, the final session of the conference will include two papers and an invited address. In the papers, David McMillin of the Meridian Institute will present a talk called “Edgar Cayce’s Psychic Process.” This will be followed by Loyd Auerbach’s “The Field Investigators’ Best Tech: Psychics and Mediums as Paranormal Sensing ‘Technology’.” Finally, Julie Beischel, one of the founders of The Windbridge Institute for Applied Research in Human Potential, will present her invited address, “Modern Mediumship Research: Experiments, Experiences, and Explanations.”

The conference registration page contains prices for the entire conference ($395 full price, $375 for students and seniors), and for segments of the conference (Dr. Nelson’s Visiting Scholars Lecture and Dr. Radin’s Saturday evening lecture are $30 each, Friday afternoon attendance is prices at $80, and all day Saturday and all day Sunday at $160 each). The conference information page also has click throughs to the hotels, both of which are in the $80-$95 range in October. More information is available on the Atlantic University website. If you download the Media Press Kit you’ll find not only the conference brochure and schedule but also the abstracts booklet.

Come and join us! It’s going to be a unique and exciting conference in a wonderful venue!
 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011   3:21 PM

Atlantic University's Blog and the fate of our proposed MA in Parapsychology program ... sigh ...

The Atlantic University Blog and the upcoming Parapsychology and Consciousness Conference ...

So today the first thing I'm doing is letting everybody know that Atlantic University has set up a blog. My first really substantial blog entry is, of course, on our upcoming Parapsychology and Consciousness conference, to be held from October 14th through October 16th this coming fall here in Virginia Beach.

So just take the plunge and register for the conference! Oops, ah, sorry, got carried away!. So just click here for the link to our new blog site. :-)

The fate of AU's hoped for MA in Parapsychology  ...

As for the proposed Masters of Arts in Parapsychology program Carlos and I and the rest of our faculty and staff at Atlantic University (not to mention the CEO and Board of Trustees) had hoped to be able to launch in 2012: We have not been given the green light by our accrediting agency to offer the program. In fact, quite the opposite.

Our accrediting agency is staffed by a group of really good people who are very serious about their jobs. Our agency is a "national" accreditor as opposed to the "regional accreditors" who handle bricks and mortar universities. The staff are very professional and do a very good job of overseeing a variety of schools, all online, some professional, some academic, in a variety of disciplines, and from the undergraduate to the graduate level. The agency is, in turn, approved by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation here in the States, another very serious group of folk, and by the US Department of Education.

We submitted a Petition to Propose a Masters of Arts in Parapsychology last May 1st and the Accrediting Commission of our agency reviewed our petition in early June. They declined to give us permission to propose the program. We were caught on the edge of two crossed blades: "controversy" and "parapsychology." They just weren't willing to associate themselves in such a visible way with such a controversial field.

I wrote a 16-page proposal that gave a brief history of the field, acknowledged our controversial status, compared education in the field in the US in 1983 (using an old American Society for Psychical Research Course Listing compiled by the incomparable Marian Nester, then Director of Education for the ASPR) to education in the field in the US today (non-existent except for a few courses here and there, and opportunities to complete a degree under the tutelage of some top folk in the field, i.e., Stan Krippner at Saybrook, Charley Tart, Arthur Hastings, among others, at ITP and so on). I talked about the growth of opportunities primarily in the UK but also in other countries. I included 30 letters of support from senior scientists in the field and others, including members of our Board of Trustees and two of our current students. I also included the CVs of all the faculty I had hired and hoped to hire, and of course, the complete program curriculum with course descriptions and objectives. Carlos provided me with tables of recent scholarly articles in high impact journals, recent scholarly books and, of course, recent dissertations. I also included a table of all the existing programs I knew of and their accrediting agencies.

The text of the petition was 16 pages. The supporting documents including the letters of support topped out at 234 additional pages. A big job putting it together but I had the help not only of our faculty, staff and our prospective faculty, but also of one of my predecessors in my job, and various other folk interested in the future of education in the field.

It wasn't the quality of the petition or the program it described that sunk us but those two dirty words "parapsychology" and "controversy," the former monumentally distorted in our present climate, and the latter, evoking a sincere and often well-founded fear of consequences.

Our accrediting agency are themselves up for re-authorization soon and it is possible they had in their minds an example of a former accreditation agency that lost its authorization as an agency after accrediting another even more controversial field. I don't blame the folk at our agency or on their Accrediting Commission for shying away from approving our plans one bit. They have a responsibility to the other schools they accredit just like I have a responsibility to our students here at Atlantic University. We're all bound by our responsibilities to maintain our compliance with the best practices of higher education administration. And, having had the career I've had in the field, I understand full well the risks of sticking your neck out.

I had just hoped that the time was finally right to put together a graduate level program that focused entirely and specifically on parapsychology, on the wide and deep body of knowledge we have amassed, on the methodology, on the interconnections with other sciences, and so on. I have long resisted the notion of embedding a little bit of parapsychology in a program about something related, or something one step up theoretically like consciousness studies because in those programs, no matter how well they are constructed, the full range of content of our field are necessarily, pragmatically bracketed, stuck in a tiny pot on the hob at the back, not enough to feed everybody but at least not big enough to draw unwanted attention.

I am a firm believer that the title of the program has to have a significant and well-thought-through relationship to the curriculum that is on offer under that title. Our agency, bless their hearts, spent some time with me last week trying to give me options to put together something more palatable, less controversial, that would do at least some of what we wanted to do with the MA in Para program, albeit not all. I'm grateful for those ideas. Our Para Curriculum Subcommittee (AU Faculty Carlos and I, Loyd Auerbach, Christine Simmonds-Moore, and Jim Matlock) will be chewing on them in the near future. In the meantime we have a Masters of Arts in Transpersonal Studies with a single course that includes the word "parapsychology" in the title and a slew of great faculty to mentor folks who want to do their Culminating Project on the field with us. That's good, of course.

In any case what I've said here doesn't really express how disappointed I am that we can't do what's really needed for the field.

Here's hoping that sometime, somewhere we all find ourselves in a climate that's finally devoid of skeptical rant, in which academic freedom doesn't come with a cost that is just too high to pay.

Monday, May 16, 2011   11:41 PM

Atlantic University's upcoming October conference, "Parapsychology and Consciousness"

Atlantic University is a small online graduate school in Virginia Beach, Virigina offering a Masters of Arts in Transpersonal Studies. Last year (a year and 13 days ago), Carlos S. Alvarado and I were hired by AU and started an entirely new phase of our lives.

We've been working on a number of things this year, but one of the most important is the inauguration of a new series of annual conferences to highlight various aspects of the work and interests of Atlantic University. Since 1985, when Atlantic University was a residential school, Doug Richards (known to a lot of PA members) has been teaching a course called 'Principles of Parapsychology." This year, between October 14th and October 16th, 2011, Doug, Carlos and I, and other Atlantic University faculty members Henry Reed, Bob Van de Castle, Loyd Auerbach and Christine Simmonds-Moore are taking part in our conference, "Parapsychology and Consciousness." David McMillan of the Meridian Institute and Kevin Todeschi, the CEO of both Edgar Cayce's A.R.E. and Atlantic University will also be taking part.

We're really excited about all of the folks who will be joining us to give papers: Julie Beischel of The Windbridge Institute, Dean Radin of IONs, Ed May from Laboratories for Fundamental Research, Roger Nelson of the Global Consciousness Project, Steve Braude of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, John Palmer of the Rhine Research Center, Jim Carpenter in private practice in Chapel Hill, Frank Pasciuti in private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Ginette Nachman of Durham, NC. The topics range from "Biomedical Aspects of Psi" (Nachman) to "How Do the Synesthesias Relate to Anomalous Experiences" (Simmonds-Moore) and "Before the Tipping Point: Reconsidering the Nature of Consciousness" (Radin), among many others.

The conference starts at noon on Friday October 14th and continues through 6pm on Sunday October 16th. Of course we think "Parapsychology and Consciousness" brings together a unique and unprecedented mixture of some of the best speakers in the field, as well as some of the most interesting aspects of the varied research in scientific parapsychology.

The Visitor's Center at Edgar Cayce's A.R.E., where the conference will be held, has a great large auditorium and a number of function rooms we'll be using as well, plus a bookstore, a top floor meditation room with a view of the ocean and tons of parking. The campus of the A.R.E. is very unique. It's a block from the Atlantic Ocean (the reason for the great view from the meditation room). The campus also includes a meditation garden, a meditation labyrinth modeled on the one at Chartres, and the A.R.E. Heath Center and Spa. The spa is on the ground floor of the "Headquarters" Building which also houses the Cayce/Reilly School of Massotherapy, Atlantic University, and a variety of units of the A.R.E. Two other buildings complete the campus, and by the time of the conference, construction will have started on the new Educational Building. The campus backs up to First Landing State Park. (Virginia Beach is a very interesting place and we have fallen completely in love with it. More on that in another blog.)

The conference hotel, the Wyndham Oceanfront, is 10 blocks away from the "Parapsychology and Consciousness" conference venue, south of the A.R.E. on Atlantic Avenue. We have rooms blocked off for the conference there. The hotel has a great restaurant, the Surf Grille, with beautiful views of the oceanfront. The Wyndham runs a shuttle to the A.R.E. We also have rooms blocked off for the conference at the Holiday Inn Express, another oceanfront hotel down in the "strip", an area full of hotels and restaurants. The Holiday Inn Express doesn't have a shuttle but the HRT bus is close by, and if you're coming in by car, it's a quick trip up Atlantic Avenue to the A.R.E. The closest airport is Norfolk International Airport. Carlos and I love this airport (having been in a ton of airports over the years); small, easy to get around, with a shuttle.

Anyhow as time goes on, I'll write some more about the details. We're putting together the best experience possible and really looking forward to having all these great speakers in town. If you go to Atlantic University's home page -- http://www.atlanticuniv.edu -- you can find a link to the conference description, and to biographies and abstracts, plus a page for registration (there's an early bird price at the moment) as well as reservation pages for the two conference hotels.

Carlos and I have been involved in a lot of great conferences over the years, but we're really looking forward to this one and hope you'll all be able to join us this October 14th to 16th in Virginia Beach!

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