By: Don Allen Re: EHP Challenge - 1/7 I scanned in the following text mailed to me by Ange

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By: Don Allen Re: EHP Challenge - 1/7 I scanned in the following text mailed to me by Angela Thompson, Research Coordinator for the Bigelow Foundation. This was in response to a request I posed to her regarding any info she might have handy about John Alexander, who is also a co-founder of PSI TECH and naturally, I'm interested to find out more about his earlier work. Thanks Angela! :-) This text concerns Mr. Alexander's 1989 challenge of the National Research Council's findings on "Enhancing Human Performance" . While not wholly focused on UFOs, I found it interesting background and worth sharing. Standard Disclaimer - --------------------- It is being posted for informational purposes only. I make -no- claims and you are free to do what thou wilt with it. :-) The underscore character '_' has been used to delineate emphasis in the original text. Note: The *original* NRC report that Mr. Alexander critiques is called "Enhancing Human Performance". It is shown in the 1989 copy as being available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Ave.,N.W. Washington, DC 20418 I don't know if the data is still current, but the phone number listed in the article shows (202) 334-3313 . It gave 1989 prices of $22.50 for paperback and $32.50 for hard cover, so you'd need to call/write for more current prices. ========================================================================= A Challenge to the Report New Realities - March/April 1989 by Col. John Alexander, US Army, Ret. Is the National Research Council's 1988 report on Enhancing Human Performance another "Condon Report" ? More than 20 years ago, the U.S. Air Force commissioned the University of Colorado to study the issues concerned with unidentified flying objects (UFOs). This 1968 study came to be known by its chairman's name, Dr. Edward Condon, a well-known physicist who served as the director of the National Bureau of Standards from 1945 to 1951 and who had held several other important academic, industrial, and government posts. The Condon Report "officially" discounted the existence of UFOs. Predictably, the National Academy of Sciences convened a panel immediately after the report appeared that endorsed the report's findings and its methodology. Deputy Director of the Stanford University Center for Space Science and Astro-physics Dr. Peter Sturrock has noted, however, that whereas most prominent scientists, in their public statements, tend to downplay the significance of UFOs, many of them privately question the Condon Report and other official statements on the matter. These dissenting views were expressed to the House Committee on Science and Astronautics in 1968, and in subsequent books and book reviews of the Condon Report by Chiu, Hynek, Jacobs, Keuttner, McDonald, and others. Nevertheless, the Condon Report still stands today as the authoritative work in the field. During the two decades since its publication, the Findings of the Condon Report have been conveniently cited by anyone wishing to stop UFO research, who has only to refer to the report and explain, "The subject has already been evaluated and there is nothing to it." It's an easy way out for those nay-sayers because Dr. Condon's reputation is strong, the source of the commissioning lofty, and the report's conclusions so acceptable to conventional wisdom that few are willing to challenge it without some strong motivation. A recent report with similar lofty credentials has now been published in the field of human potential, and those of us who seek to employ the new techniques for training and education described therein, or wish to see the U.S. Army pursue many of the "New Age" ideas it investigated, will similarly have to fight to overcome the conclusions of this report. This will be especially true for those who are endeavoring to bring those techniques and thinking into use within traditional organizations, such as most military, commercial, or educational establishments. The name of the report is "Enhancing Human Performance" (EHP). It was prepared by the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences under a contract from the U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral Sciences (sometimes known as ARI), and published in 1988. The NRC's commission was to conduct a two-year study (at a cost of nearly $500,000) to review technologies being explored by the Army for enhancing human performance, including psychic research. The EHP Report found that virtually all further research in the selected areas of its inquiry would be worthless, except for sleep learning, which the committee concluded deserved a second look. In those areas in which they concluded that any benefits were, in fact, derived, these findings were attributed to some normal transfer mechanism, such as body language or extra attention to trainees, and not to the merits of the discipline reviewed. There was a very strong flavor of "nothing novel here" pervading the report. << cont >> --- FMail 0.94 * Origin: Mom,the fire's going, bring some more Cooper material (1:123/26.1) SEEN-BY: 102/2 138 752 850 851 852 890 891 943 1006 103/100 105/30 147/7 SEEN-BY: 170/400 202/1 209/209 710 232/16 273/10 290/627 396/1 640/75 @PATH: 123/26 4 301 19 396/1 209/209 102/2 851 890 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (4) Sat 17 Jul 93 21:54 By: Don Allen To: All Re: EHP Challenge - 2/7 St: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ @EID:2da0 1af1aec0 @MSGID: 1:123/26.1@fidonet.org 6313378b @PID: FM 2.02 << cont from last >> The field of parapsychology was hit head on. As stated by EHP Committee Chairman John A. Swets at the press conference introducing the report, "Perhaps our strongest conclusions are in the area of parapsychology. The committee finds no scientific justification from research conducted over a period of 130 years for the existence of parapsychological phenomena." Despite such a wide- sweeping statement, nowhere does the report explain why the "130 years" was chosen. Certainly it is not representative of the dates relevant to the body of research they claim to have reviewed during the study. The EHP committee then went on to recommend that the "best work" ongoing in the field of parapsychology should be monitored. I'm not sure how the committee found those two statements to be internally consistent. On the one hand, they had disclaimed, in one broad stroke, over a century's worth of psychic investigation; on the other, they were concluding that the best of that discredited research should be monitored. Did they, or did they not, support further parapsychological research? Obviously, the findings and final report of the NRC's committee are not very comforting or acceptable to those of us who have worked in the field of enhancing human performance. The EHP committee's conclusions have been denounced by no less than the board of directors of the Parapsychological Association (PA) Inc., the international professional organization of scientists and scholars who study parapsychological, or psychic, phenomena (which may be defined as apparent interactions between the mind and the physical world, such as ESP, clairvoyance, and the like). The PA is an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and membership is attained only by formal approval of its council. The members of the PA were so outraged at what they considered to be distortions and outright errors in the EHP Report that they took the unusual step of commissioning a team to analyze the parts of the EHP Report referring to the work of PA members and to prepare a rebuttal. This rebuttal took the form of a formal 23-page report released late last year. I believe that the EHP committee's findings and statements regarding paranormal phenomena reveal a great deal about how it operated as a body and how it arrived at its findings. The weaknesses evident in the committee's conclusions on parapsychology were apparent across the whole range of areas studied. In this article, however, I focus only on the specifics of the committee's findings concerning parapsychology. Researchers in other areas-in particular biofeedback, accelerated learning, and neurolinguistic programming-have raised similar objections, although less formally than the PA report. My contentions concerning the parapsychological findings rest on matters relating to the underlying organization of the study's commission and to the composition of its board: namely, that some of it's members were known to be _a priori_ committed, strongly and publicly, to a negative position on the question they were appointed to evaluate objectively. What could have happened to lead the premier scientific body in the United States to proceed in this manner and to reach such conclusions? I was a briefer to the NRC committee members as they researched the EHP Report. I have served as chief of Advanced Human Technology for the Army Intelligence and Security Command (1982-84) and, during the preparation of the EHP Report, was director of the Advanced Systems Concepts Office at the U.S. Army Laboratory Command. I believe I am personally well qualified to review the committee's findings. I was aware of the EHP study from its inception in 1984, and I raised doubts about some of its proposed procedures when the contract was being let. From the Army's perspective, going to the NRC was a logical choice for evaluating the various novel approaches to enhancing human performance that the Army had already been exploring. As one of the world's largest training organizations, the Army was a likely agency to study the significance of these crucial techniques. Many organizations in the Army had already been experimenting with various techniques to enhance human performance, and frequently they had reported some very exciting results. For example, in using NLP modeling techniques, performance in pistol shooting was shown to be markedly improved, while training time and ammunition usage were reduced. Accelerated learning methods had been shown to lead to the acquisition of foreign-language skills in less time and with greater efficiency. Most of those findings were reported as anecdotal data based on subjective input from participants. It therefore made sense to try to determine objectively which of these techniques were worth pursuing on a coordinated basis. In order to get an independent evaluation of the Army's efforts in enhancing human performance, Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel Maxwell Thurman (then a lieutenant general and later a full general and vice chief of staff of the Army) directed that a study be commissioned. << cont >> --- FMail 0.94 * Origin: Mom,the fire's going, bring some more Cooper material (1:123/26.1) SEEN-BY: 102/2 138 752 850 851 852 890 891 943 1006 103/100 105/30 147/7 SEEN-BY: 170/400 202/1 209/209 710 232/16 273/10 290/627 396/1 640/75 @PATH: 123/26 4 301 19 396/1 209/209 102/2 851 890 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (5) Sat 17 Jul 93 21:54 By: Don Allen To: All Re: EHP Challenge - 3/7 St: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ @EID:edf1 1af1aec0 @MSGID: 1:123/26.1@fidonet.org 6313378c @PID: FM 2.02 << cont from last >> It was feIt by several in the top leadership of the Army that contracting such an august body as the NRC (which was established in 1916 (by the National Academy of Sciences to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purpose of "furthering knowledge and advising the federal government") would provide a credible report on which the stewardship of the public funds for Army research allocations in the field of enhancing human performance couId be based. If there were indeed "better ways of doing business," i.e., improving training, then substantiation was needed. The task of administering the contract fell to ARI. It was they who proposed that Dr. George Lawrence, a civilian army psychologist with a background in biofeedback, be assigned as the Contracting Officers Technical Representative (COTR). A COTR is normally an unbiased observer who does not participate in the study and who is there to ensure that the study is technically sound. Unfortunately for those who support enhanced human performance techniques, Lawrence was far from unbiased. He had a prior history in the field-which may be seen in the reference list of the EHP Report--of being firmly and publicly in opposition to several of the areas to be studied. In fact, in a previous assignment with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Lawrence had been instrumental in the cancellation of funding for psychic ("psi") research at Stanford Research Institute (SRI). That was in late 1972, when SRI was working with famed psychic Uri Geller. To accomplish that end, Lawrence had gone to SRI with a well-known critic of the psi-research field, Dr. Ray Hyman, a psychology professor at the University of Oregon. After reviewing what they had observed there for DARPA and writing their internal memo, Lawrence and Hyman effectively killed DARPA's funding for SRI, which was the only government-supported research under way in that area at the time. Prior to the formal organization of the EHP board, Lawrence told me in personal conversation in 1984 that he was seeking approval from the NRC to get Hyman on the EHP committee, an effort at which he proved to be successful. The issue to be raised concerning the credibility of the EHP Report here is that the only person assigned to the committee who had had any previous familiarity with the parapsychological research literature was Ray Hyman -who was known from the outset to have his mind already made up. Hyman is a founding member of The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP)-or PsiCops as it is known in less friendly terms-the self-appointed vigilante committee that opposes parapsychological research. Hyman's personal views and CSICOP's position on psi research were undoubtedly known, through their many prior publications, to the leadership of ARI and to Lawrence at the time that he set about influencing the constitution of the committee. Thus, I questioned from the beginning the issues of "bias" and "objectivity" as they related to the committee's constitution. For it seems clear that Lawrence, and then Hyman and James Alcock (another charter CSICOP member and public critic of this research), proceeded on an intentional path to discredit the work in parapsychology. The background of the authors, as well as their "findings," speak for themselves in this regard. Early on, I discussed the bias of the EHP committee membership with Lawrence and his superiors. My aim was not to remove Hyman from the committee, but rather to include a researcher in the field (or at least a competent scientist who was more open-minded to the existence of parapsychological effects) to balance Hyman's views. The PA also expressed their concern to the NRC and offered to suggest other qualified members to get a more balanced representation on the EHP committee. Senator Claiborne Pell (D. RI), who has long been interested in matters concerning higher human potential, likewise requested that a fair and impartial hearing be afforded and suggested names of competent scientists who might offer a broader perspective. All of these cries fell on deaf ears, and the NRC made the final selection by processes not made public. It should be made clear that the EHP committee consisted, for the most part, of well-intentioned people. The problem was that they had had very little experience in the specific areas they were commissioned to examine. It was my impression in talking with many members of the EHP committee during the initial briefings that they had no real understanding of the technologies we were describing to them. Furthermore, several had a vested interest in maintaining a traditional approach, as "new" ideas might conflict with their standing in academic or professional fields. Dr. Peter Sturrock noted in 1977 that mainstream scientists generally made no public criticism of the Condon Report and labeled the subject "not respectable" or an "intellectual poison." But, wrote Sturrock, "a survey of members of the American Astronomical Society, which permitted members to express opinions under the cloak of anonymity, indicates that scientists are probably more interested in and open-minded towards [UFOs] than one would judge from their public statements." A similar dichotomy between public statement and private thinking may explain why the strong opposition of some critics to psi research has not been publicly contested by other scientists, who, according to the findings of several recent anonymous polls, have shown themselves to be inclined toward, or at least open to, the existence of psi phenomena and the validity of psi research. << cont >> --- FMail 0.94 * Origin: Mom,the fire's going, bring some more Cooper material (1:123/26.1) SEEN-BY: 102/2 138 752 850 851 852 890 891 943 1006 103/100 105/30 147/7 SEEN-BY: 170/400 202/1 209/209 710 232/16 273/10 290/627 396/1 640/75 @PATH: 123/26 4 301 19 396/1 209/209 102/2 851 890 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (6) Sat 17 Jul 93 21:54 By: Don Allen To: All Re: EHP Challenge - 4/7 St: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ @EID:2c40 1af1aec0 @MSGID: 1:123/26.1@fidonet.org 6313378d @PID: FM 2.02 << cont from last >> Thus, I contend, the study began with a biased COTR, a biased commitee member, and a basically uninformed committee. Now let's explore how the committee functioned. The committee's operations comprised a series of early information-gathering briefings by expert witnesses and six meetings, for several days at a time, as a body. There was also considerable informal interaction among the committee members and the briefers, so that, early on, I was able to talk with nearly all the members. In addition, their various subcommittees made a total of ten site visits and conducted twelve additional briefings and interviews. For most of the time during the two-year period, the members of the committee continued to work at their regular occupations. Upon completion of the study, one or two members of each subcommittee wrote up the findings of their respective subject areas, which were then circulated to the other committee members for their approval-thus providing for consensus. Hyman admits he prepared the first draft of the report's chapter on parapsychology, but he claims that his version was twice as long and more comprehensive than what later appeared. This is somewhat explained by the NRC's internal editing process that cut Hyman's chapter down. (The entire EHP committee had a chance to review that version.) What happened next, however, to the committee's draft is startling and was only learned well after the report was published. At a meeting on human technology conducted by the Office of Technical Assessment, I and others had a chance to talk privately with Ray Hyman. He informed us that after the EHP commitee finished its draft, its work report was sent to two anonymous committees for review. Those anonymous committee members and the NRC staff further edited the report. Even Hyman does not know who those anonymous editors were. He stated that his draft, while very critical, did not contain the final report's sweeping castigation of all psi research. Nowhere does the published report mention or imply that anyone other than the people listed in that report participated in the preparation of it, even though the report was in fact edited at one stage by people who had not attended the briefings and meetings or studied the literature. Those anonymous editors had only the written input of the EHP committee and their own preconceptions on which to base their comments. I believe this to be an especially serious methodological flaw in the preparation of the EHP Report. As I mentioned previously, I was one of the initial briefers of the committee. Our intent was to give the group an overview of the topic areas and of what we had observed previously in the field. The subjects that I covered dealt primarily with published remote viewing data and psychokinesis. My psychokinesis material was based heavily on my research experience, particularly with macro-psychokinesis or metal-bending (PKMB): bending metal with little or no apparent physical force, due ostensibly to a psychic or mental effect. I personally noted at the time how increasing numbers of physicists and engineers are working in the psi field, in addition to those who actually call themselves "parapsychologists." By excluding physicists, engineers, and many other physical science professionals from the EHP committee, the NRC clearly failed to provide the wider range of expertise needed to explore an area that bridges both the behavioral and the physical sciences and that raises teleological questions concerning the very nature of reality. Study Chairman Dr. John A. Swets did an excellent job during this briefing phase of reminding the group that they were to keep an open mind on the topics that were to be examined. Ray Hyman, the only committee member to raise questions during my presentation, early on established himself as the group's expert on parapsychology, a position that the committee members appeared to be glad to relegate to him. He would become their spokesperson in this area of study from that day forward, which is strongly evidenced in the text of the final published report. Throughout the report's chapter on paranormal phenomena (pp. 169-208), a substantial amount of criticism is referenced to Hyman's prior publications. Thus, it is hard to conceive how this report could be considered unbiased when it was written by one with such a vested interest in supporting his previously stated positions-and whose position on the EHP committee provided him with an opportunity to dismiss so facilely the work of others critical to his own. Possibly the predisposition of the committee can best be seen in its comment on page 130 that "the claimed phenomena and applications range from the incredible to the outrageously incredible." The members then proceed to discuss the area of "psychic warfare" at some length-an area of applications that has been advanced by very few and is supported by very few others-as if these were mainstream inquiries in parapsychology. I admit, psychotronic weapons lack traditional scientific documentation, and I do not suggest that research projects be carried out in that field. Nevertheless, the EHP committee reached far to pick such fringes to denigrate the whole and gave these applications top billing in the committee statement. << cont >> --- FMail 0.94 * Origin: Mom,the fire's going, bring some more Cooper material (1:123/26.1) SEEN-BY: 102/2 138 752 850 851 852 890 891 943 1006 103/100 105/30 147/7 SEEN-BY: 170/400 202/1 209/209 710 232/16 273/10 290/627 396/1 640/75 @PATH: 123/26 4 301 19 396/1 209/209 102/2 851 890 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (7) Sat 17 Jul 93 21:54 By: Don Allen To: All Re: EHP Challenge - 5/7 St: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ @EID:ec11 1af1aec0 @MSGID: 1:123/26.1@fidonet.org 6313378e @PID: FM 2.02 << cont from last >> One suggested military application, that of the "Warrior Monk," was distorted dramatically. A Warrior Monk, as apparently understood by the committee and as cited in the report, is one who would have theoretically mastered "almost all the techniques under consideration by the committee, including the use of ESP, leaving their bodies at will, levitating, psychic healing, and walking through walls." Yet the First Earth Battalion, from which this application was derived, was strictly a notional unit, a brainchild of Lt. Col. Jim Channon that allowed people to think boldly about _possibilities_. The Warrior Monk aspect of Channon's idea chiefly refers to the tradition of combining a spiritual quest with the martial arts, much like the tradition of the samurai. (Specifically, Channon's Warrior Monk would be taught holistic skills that are presently accessible, such as Aikido, proper nutrition, and accelerated learning techniques.) To my knowledge, Channon has never suggested, in any authoritative report, that in the present day we could and would train and field advanced meditators who could perform such feats as the committee described. The overall effect of the committee's introducing such "outrageously incredible" and scientifically unsupportable phenomena and applications such as the "anti-missile time warp," the "hyperspatial nuclear howitzer," and an inaccurate claim for the First Earth Battalion into the report's chapter on parapsychology is the provision of further fertile ground for sensationalistic journalists who seek to focus on examples of just how "far out" the Army has gone in its thinking-even when no serious consideration has ever been given to these applications. I believe this is far more damaging to the field of parapsychological investigation than the committee had meant it to be. Nevertheless, the members' decision to include "such colorful examples" as the "context for our agenda" has the subtle (even if it was unintentional) effect of encouraging the reader's suspicion of not only the phenomena presented in the chapter, but also parapsychology in general. Of even greater concern in the report's parapsychology chapter are the committee's omissions and inaccuracies. For example, the committee asserts on page 171 that "nothing approaching a scientific literature supports the claims for pyschotronic weaponry, psychic metal bending, out-of-body experiences, and other potential applications supported by many proponents." This is simply not true, as a number of reputable articles and books have been published that address out-of-body experiences and PKMB. The committee members should have been aware of the work of Hasted, Isaacs, Houck, Gabbard, Twemlow, and others who have published much credible work in PKMB and out-of-body experiences. Another specific error is the statement on page 185 that certain experiments in random number generation conducted at the Princeton University Engineering Anomalies Research Laboratory (see the book review of "Margins of Reality", page 65) had not been published in a refereed journal at the time of the survey. That is patently not true. As most researchers in the field know, those results have been widely published in several professional journals, including the "Proceedings" of the lnstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The chairman of the parapsychology subcommittee was well aware of these publications and had actually published a rebuttal to the IEEE paper previously. Under the report's sub-heading "Discussion of the Scientific Evidence" (pp. 198-200), the committee distinguishes among three types of scientific criticism that it believes can be used to evaluate a given parapsychological finding, 1) the "smoking gun '-a specific flaw in the research's methodology that by itself can account for the observed finding and thus eliminate the need to propose psi as the cause; 2) the "plausible alternative"-wherein the critic asserts that the result could have been due to some ordinary (non-psi) explanation; and 3) the "dirty test tube"-wherein it is suggested that the results are suspect because "acceptable standards" were not maintained during the conduct of the experiment. The committee members conclude (p. 200), "We do not have a smoking gun, nor have we demonstrated a plausible alternative." They were therefore left with the "dirty test tube" argument; i.e., that there is some general inadequacy somewhere, that "the best parapsychological experiments fall short" of "the methodological adequacy that they themselves profess." Yet over the "past 130 years"-and long prior to the EHP Report-the experimenters the committee refers to have stated conclusively that they have, in fact, tightened the experimental designs based on prior criticism of their so-called lax protocols and that the data they reported are accurate and valid. Throughout the parapsychology section of the EHP Report, the committee referred only to those published articles that supported its position and ignored material that did not. The committee leaned heavily on a report by James Alcock, another CSICOP member, and selections from a report by John Palmer to substantiate its position, thus leaving the reader with the implication that its criticisms of _selected_ psi research methodology apply to _all_ reports in the paranormal field-which they clearly do not. << cont >> --- FMail 0.94 * Origin: Mom,the fire's going, bring some more Cooper material (1:123/26.1) SEEN-BY: 102/2 138 752 850 851 852 890 891 943 1006 103/100 105/30 147/7 SEEN-BY: 170/400 202/1 209/209 710 232/16 273/10 290/627 396/1 640/75 @PATH: 123/26 4 301 19 396/1 209/209 102/2 851 890 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (8) Sat 17 Jul 93 21:54 By: Don Allen To: All Re: EHP Challenge - 6/7 St: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ @EID:ece1 1af1aec0 @MSGID: 1:123/26.1@fidonet.org 6313378f @PID: FM 2.02 << cont from last >> Of major concern is a committee-requested supporting report, by researchers Robert Rosenthal and Monica J. Harris, given to me by Dr. Edgar Johnson, technical director of the Army Research Institute (the group that funded the NRC study). Johnson confirmed that Study Chairman John Swets asked that this, the only _favorable_ report on a subject studied, be withdrawn from inclusion in the committee's supporting documentation because it was not of "high quality." In reviewing the report co-researched by Rosenthal, an extremely well-regarded Harvard social-science methodologist, I see no basis for such a questionable request. In addressing non-laboratory evidence for the existence of paranormal phenomena-that is, any human experience outside the laboratory that proponents judge to be convincing-the committee states (p. 202) that it is "wary" of using such concrete, personal experience as a basis for making conclusions. Accordingly, the report goes on to debunk entirely any evidence in support of the paranormal that the committee concludes must have been generated by "cognitive illusions and strong delusional beliefs," as opposed to evidence that strictly fulfills "scientific criteria." Using PK, or spoon-bending, "parties" as the principal example of how such "beliefs" operate, the committee dismisses the parties as both deception-conducive and bias-conducive, and "not the ideal situation for obtaining reliable observations." The main problem with this argument is that it fails to take into account reports by veridical sources, supported by photographic evidence, of PK. In private conversation with Ray Hyman, I mentioned a display of PK that I, along with numerous other highly skilled observers, had witnessed at close range. This involved a naive subject who held a fork by the lower end of the stem and did not touch the tines, and still the neck of the fork contorted a full 90 degrees and then moved back toward the original position. It ended at an angle of approximately 45 degrees. While this had not been conducted according to the strict protocols of a "scientific" experiment, nonetheless careful and critical observers all agreed the event had occurred as described. Hyman's response to me on this occasion was that, while many credible people may have truthfully reported such anecdotal experiences, he does not feel obliged to deal with any findings not appearing in the formal journals, no matter how impressive the reports. (On this point I agree with Braude and others who have argued that the journal literature's ignoring of evidence gathered outside the lab has the effect of missing much potentially significant evidence, in any scientific field.) I submit that this kind of qualitative evidence should indeed encourage further pursuit and investigation of the existence of psi events. The argument that, to prove the existence of psi, _all_ experiments' data must come from the laboratory and be replicable under _all_ circumstances is not valid. At present, we do not understand the phenomena well enough to establish all the parameters for experimentaton. Thus, to exclude observation of unique events because they are not accomplished in a laboratory setting is very short- sighted; to attack the veracity of the witnesses by suggesting that self- deception has occurred is not a scientific response, whether one is critically investigating psi research in general or conducting the EHP study, specifically. During an official site visit by the entire EHP commiItee, this time to the Cleve Backster laboratory, a significant anomalous event occurred while all were watching. The event was the production of an electromagnetic signal reflecting the emotional state of a speaker, who was in another room some distance from the sensor. Although there was no direct link-up between the speaker and the sensor, a dramatic and clearly visible shift was recorded. While Hyman found the tracing of interest at the time, no mention of the event appears in the report. I find this a cogent case-in-point in support of my assertion that, in investigating parapsychological phenomena, the committee selected to report on only those findings it wished to deride (such as psychotronic weapons) and omitted those that failed to support its conclusions, such as this event. This Backster event is not only a piece of evidence that the committee discarded without any specific reference to or general consideration of in its published report, but also one example of the "white crows" that abound in parapsychological research. lf a single flaw can be found in an experimental protocol, the entire experiment is totally discounted by the critics, while in conventional scientific experimentation only the flawed part of the experiment is rejected and a new, better protocol is recommended. Moreover, scientists in other fields often accept that anomalous events occur, even if they are not accompanied by a theoretical construct. As Michael Crichton, M.D., points out in his new book "Travels" (Knopf, 1988), although the physical evidence long and strongly suggested an evolutionary origin of species, it was not until Darwin published his theory that those data were accepted. --- FMail 0.94 * Origin: Mom,the fire's going, bring some more Cooper material (1:123/26.1) SEEN-BY: 102/2 138 752 850 851 852 890 891 943 1006 103/100 105/30 147/7 SEEN-BY: 170/400 202/1 209/209 710 232/16 273/10 290/627 396/1 640/75 @PATH: 123/26 4 301 19 396/1 209/209 102/2 851 890 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (9) Sat 17 Jul 93 21:55 By: Don Allen To: All Re: EHP Challenge - 7/7 St: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ @EID:2cb0 1af1aee0 @MSGID: 1:123/26.1@fidonet.org 63133790 @PID: FM 2.02 << cont from last >> In the EHP Report, the committee observes that "many technique promoters" pay little attention to the research literature, "preferring an alternative route to invention; rather than derive a procedure from appropriate scientific literature, they create techniques from personal experiences, sudden insights, or informal observation of 'what works.' "Under this sequence, the committee says, "research follows rather than precedes the invention" and "science may enter the process after the technique is developed." The members would much prefer the traditional cycle in which a hypothesis is developed, followed by experimentation to prove or disprove it. While this latter approach makes for a nice, clean academic environment, in the real world, the "what works" sequence has led to numerous scientific and practical breakthroughs. Many inventions and training techniques have been developed from intuitive insights operating outside of the traditional peer-review system. To be sure, there is adequate reason to be prudent when investigating any new techniques and a need for careful review of quantitative and qualitative results by anyone or any committee responsible for evaluating the claims and findings associated with those techniques. But it is absolutely imperative that any such review process be constructed and executed in an unbiased manner, which, I contend, was not done in the EHP study. It was made clear to the committee members by those of us conducting the initial briefings that they were not being asked to evaluate the _conclusions_ of the research in the field of enhanced human performance, but only to address the value of the Army's continuing _work in_ and _further investigate_ these areas. I told them that it mattered not whether they were personally convinced of the existence of the various psi phenomena; their function was to determine whether further government research here was advisable or not. At present there is widespread reluctance within the general research community-and even more so among federal funders-to spend public monies to investigate topics for which they might be criticized. The memory of Senator William Proxmire's "Golden Fleece Award"- which was intended to ridicule appropriations of public funds for specious or spurious research projects-lives on as an easy way out for timid or fence-sitting administrators to inhibit potentially breakthrough research in many important "borderline" areas. By finding seven of the eight areas investigated in the report undeserving of further, major Army funding or research support, largely on the cited basis of inadequate "scientific evidence," the committee perpetuates the catch-22 dilemma underlying the intrinsic research/publication/funding relationship. On the one hand, as the members acknowledge on page 171 of the study, their "inclination is ...to restrict ourselves to the evidence that purports to be scientific" i.e., reported in refereed journals. But, at the same time, by cutting off further Army funding for research, they effectively restrict experimenters in the field from publishing in the very scientific literature that they cite as the standard for acceptance of their work! How is one to break this cycle? This dilemma is further complicated when the subject matter not only flies in the fact of existing doctrine, but is seen to threaten the very foundation of that belief. As one senior engineer once told me when I asked him to build a unique piece of equipment for me, "Don't tell me anything that says I have to re-learn physics, because I don't want to hear it." What, then, are we to conclude about the EHP Report? After all, it is the product of three years of effort and nearly $500,000 of the taxpayers' money (which is comparable to what is spent each year from all sources on psi research). First, it is significant that a determined group of psi debunkers could find no "smoking gun" and no "plausible alternative" to the psi hypothesis. We are thus left to judge the merits of the vague and unfalsifiable "dirty test tube" criticism. Second, we should worry about the fact that the highest scientific court in the land operated in such a biased and heavy-handed manner, and that there seems to be no channel for appeal or review of their work. What, we may ask, are they afraid of? Is protecting scientific orthodoxy so vital that they must deny evidence and suppress contrary opinion? Dr. Peter Sturrock reported that "any review of the UFO phenomenon to be published in one of the mainstream scientific journals must begin with a discussion of the Condon Report, explaining where and why the author disagrees with the findings of that report. Even more important, any proposal to the Air Force or any other federal agency requesting funds for UFO research must begin by explaining why the Condon Report is not to be accepted as the last word on the problem." This requirement persists despite the fact that the body of that report flatly contradicted many of its oft-cited negative conclusions. It now appears that the EHP Report, with all of its flaws, will be likewise considered impervious to criticism and is about to be enshrined in the scientific consciousness in a position all too similar to that of the Condon Report. ** End ** (C)1989 John Alexander. John Alexander earned his Ph.D. in thanatology (study of death and near-death experiences) under Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and previously served as president of the International Association for Near Death Studies. He spent 32 years in the regular Army, receiving many awards and medals, and reached the rank of full colonel. He is particularly interested in developing new ideas for training personnel that would improve human performance and lead to a better understanding of the nature of reality. He is co-authoring a book, "The Warrior's Edge" (Wm. Morrow, to be published in late 1989), based on his work in advanced human technology.

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