SF Weekly asks Krippner to assess an eminent scholar's summation of the state of the field:

Since Charles Richet first applied statistics to psychical research [in 1884], no experimental procedure has emerged which would invariably produce the same results, no matter who followed it. Furthermore, no mechanism underlying [psychic phenomena] has been discovered.... Finally, no practical use of ESP or psychokinesis has been validated by laboratory research.

Krippner's milky blue eyes light up. "Yes!" he cries. "Yes, this is a wonderful summary! Who wrote that?"

Actually, he did. Back in 1977.

The professor smiles and then laughs. "But that was so articulate! I must have written it on one of my good days." He shakes his head. "Unfortunately, it's true. I will have to stand by my statement."


The odds of randomly guessing the five-digit number sequence 25132 are 100,000-to-1. That was the numeral parapsychologist Charles Tart randomly selected from the RAND book of random numbers. He then wrote 25132 in magic marker on a slip of paper that he placed atop a ceiling-level shelf in his sleep laboratory, where a woman who claimed to regularly undergo out-of-body experiences would spend the night hooked to an EEG. At 6:04 a.m, "Miss Z" awoke and called out the number 25132.

Tart published his paper in 1968. He says that his critics at that time theorized that Miss Z had entered the lab with a "collapsible miniature periscope" concealed within her vagina. This criticism was not repeated when Krippner attempted a version of experiment with a male student in his Brooklyn lab. The male subject subsequently claimed to have looked down at the shelf upon a print of a sunset. Whether he did so is uncertain — but it was a print of a sunset Krippner placed on the shelf.

Lab subjects floating outside their bodies and glancing down at shelves violates just about every established principal of physics. But nothing came of it. Neither psychologist delved further into the matter; Tart, in fact, didn't learn Krippner had bolstered his work for another 40 years.

The laws of the universe have not been toppled. But neither has Krippner's desire to explore alternative hypotheses. Yes, he concedes, his work in the dream lab was never adequately duplicated — but what about later analysis of his data claiming telepathic "accuracy was significantly better during calm nights with little sunspot activity and few electrical storms than 'stormy' nights marked by high geomagnetic activity"? How much sunspot and geomagnetic activity was taking place during those subsequent, failed attempts to match his success?

It's these kinds of gnawing questions that keep Krippner from agreeing with the skeptics 100 percent of the time. Yes, ESP debunkers' arguments are logical. But, unlike Krippner, they weren't struck with the realization his uncle Max was dead moments before grieving relatives phoned. Krippner lists this 1946 incident as "my first paranormal experience." They didn't envision the death of President Kennedy, as Krippner did, while undergoing a 1963 psilocybin session under Timothy Leary, months before the grim events in Dallas. "It's my own reinforcement history that has made me an advocate instead of a counter-advocate," Krippner says. "If I didn't have these personal experiences inside and outside the laboratory, my natural inclination would be extremely skeptical about all of this."

And the skeptics never sat down with Amyr Amiden. In 1994, Krippner, student Michael Winkler, and a team of Brazilian researchers spent a bizarre interlude with the self-professed psychic. Over the course of three days in Brasilia, Amiden allegedly "apported" — that is, spontaneously produced — so many stones and jewels and coins and other trinkets that a rule was devised: Whoever was closest to the object when it hit the ground got to keep it. "There was a crackling sound — and it made the room smell like a lighter," recalls Winkler. "I was right next to [Amiden]. It's not like he had anything up his sleeves — his sleeves were rolled up to his elbows. To this day, I just can't explain it."

Neither can Krippner, but Amiden had an idea. Inserted into the marginalia of the paper Krippner and half a dozen researchers produced, in Krippner's own hand, is the following passage: "[Amiden] claimed that 'green people' visited him when he was a child and that he was 'transported' to their planet." Another member of Krippner's party later wrote that Amiden claimed to "bilocate" to multiple places simultaneously, and occasionally ran into himself. He also supposedly tied himself to his bed while sleeping, lest he float out the window.

Amiden spurned Krippner's plea to undergo further examination in a controlled environment, while under the eye of a trained magician, and on camera (he claimed he was medically unfit to do so). The mystic was extraordinarily displeased with Krippner's reportage of their time together. The professor's responsible use of words like "possible," "alleged," and "ostensible" was not well-received. "Amyr is very upset. He has forbidden me from writing about him," says Krippner, shaking his head. "But I don't think you'll be taking any chances if you write about him yourself."

These warnings may not be so idle. Not long after Amiden grew furious with Krippner and severed their ties, a burglar broke into the professor's Bay Area apartment. Krippner was cleaned out — and all of the Amiden "apports" in his home were stolen. "I would link Amyr's warning with the theft," says Krippner. Then he smiles. "If I were a superstitious person."

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13 comments
philthom4s
philthom4s

Would there be all on four types of person in him? Also, is he going to be in Calgary any time soon to  do a show or to be paid for services?

Phillius | www.mybite.ca

psychespace
psychespace

FYI, the documentary that I hope to make is not in any way associated with the student film described below by the esteemed Dr. Jean Millay. It is not a Saybrook project; it is rather a project I have undertaken with my production company "Native Land Productions". With the approval of Dr. Krippner, it will honor and celebrate his 80th year on the planet. Please write KRIPPNER in the subject line when you send your stories, archival footage, and memorabilia to me at: psychespace@earthlink.net.. Thank you! Nadine Vaughan, Ph.D.

psychespace
psychespace

I have known Stanley Krippner since the mid 1970s when I met him on the Princeton Campus at an East Coast meeting of the Humanist Psychology Institute.  Many years later, he served as the chairman of my doctoral dissertation committee. Since then, he has remained an esteemed colleague and friend. Krippner is the most scientifically sophisticated person I know . His research, as his words, are modest when compared with the enormous body of work he has contributed to the field of psychology and the world. As a filmmaker, I now look forward to making a documentary of his life and works. I encourage you to send your stories and early footage (all subject to verification), about this remarkable man, to me at: psychespace@earthlink.net.  Please write KRIPPNER in the subject line. Thank you! Nadine Vaughan, Ph.D.

Jean Millay
Jean Millay

Dr. Krippner is one of the most intelligent, spiritual, leaders in the study of consciousness of our age. Among his scientific research, he bravely introduced Humanistic Psychology to the U.S.S.R. a decade before Ronald Reagan began calling it "The Evil Empire." Stanley Krippner's powerful influence there helped pave the way for Glasnos, at the end of the Cold War. He is greatly loved for his work in many other countries, such as Brazil. Ever since he allowed me to participate in one of his dream telepathy studies in 1969, I have followed his extraordinary contributions to knowledge. He deserves a Nobel Prize. A film about his life was begun by a non-professional film maker, a few years ago, and was dropped for many illogical reasons, though one was for running out of money. The footage is still available, and with help from others, it could be completed. Helpful donors should contact: www.saybrook.edu.

Custom Logo Design
Custom Logo Design

i am the one saying on media that it is impossible to find a loophole in our security... and it happened 2 days after my comments.

mMzotec Shaman
mMzotec Shaman

I had a reoccuring dream of 911 about 6 months before the planes hit nyc.I had been on tour with dead just before that tragic event.I am Mazotec shaman

Briandrake9
Briandrake9

One of the world-class healers that Stan Krippner documented and worked with who earned a Master of Science in Omnicorporeal Reality for his paranormal abilities is Dennis Adams in Mt. Shasta, CA. Search for him on the internet and you'll see why Stan Krippner's work is so important - for helping us understand and extend the realm of what is truly possible. Dennis Adams teamed with healer Olga Worrall and proved under scientific conditions that life essence can be altered with the mind. Results were published in a journal of psychic research in 1983. Adams also showed other researchers such as Henry Dakin how the mind can be used for a variety of effects on matter.

Juris D Ahn
Juris D Ahn

Astounding. Important information for us all.

Michael M. Hughes
Michael M. Hughes

Superb article about one of my favorite researchers. However, please correct the spelling of mescaline (there's an "e" at the end).

Levinasfan
Levinasfan

Stanley sensei, Laurence's Goddad.

freds4hb
freds4hb

I already knew you'd write this Joe.

Eric J. Lindblom PhD
Eric J. Lindblom PhD

No, I hadn't heard about the ants. Thanks for asking, though. Eric J. Lindblom PhD

CPR
CPR

As one of the ants who's lived in Stanley's pocket over the years, I thank you for this excellent piece. You hardly scratched the surface of this amazing man's life, but it's a worthy start.

 
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