This study day will explore the claim that mind-altering substances, specifically psychedelics, can play an important role in triggering mystical and psi-conducive states of consciousness. Humanity has valued such substances throughout history but only in the last century have their effects been investigated scientifically and studies of the link with psychical research are even more recent. Five leading experts will come together to discuss the historical, anthropological, psychological and parapsychological aspects of the topic. There will be particular focus on the use of substances such as psilocybin, LSD and ayahuasca to occasion mystical and psychic experiences. Scientific studies in this area are currently restricted by legal constraints, so this problem will also be addressed. The day will end with a general discussion, including audience participation.
Dr Palmer will talk about his work on a 21st century approach for research and intervention within the conceptual framework set down by Frederic W H Myers.
This talk takes another look at the evidence for poltergeist activity and aims to determine whether the forces involved derive from living agents or from discarnate entities. Examples are given of recordings from several well investigated cases, together with an update of acoustic properties of unexplained rapping sounds generated during poltergeist activity.
This talk will explore the connections between archaeological sites and psychical research in the early twentieth century. Dr Thornton considers the history of the SPR and highlights a case study of the use of psychometry in archaeological research.
The SPR’s 38th International Annual conference will be held at the University of York between Friday 5 and Sunday 7 September 2014.
This talk summarizes Dr Braude's investigation of the Felix Experimental Group (FEG) and its exhibitions of classical physical mediumship. It’s been nearly a century since investigators have had the opportunity to carefully study standard spiritistic phenomena, including the extruding of ectoplasm, and the FEG is the only current physical mediumistic circle permitting any serious controls. Stephen will detail the progressively stringent séances he supervised, culminating in some very careful experiments with video documentation in a secure and private location belonging to one of the investigators. He will also evaluate the arguments both for and against the paranormality of the phenomena in light of recent evidence for some fraud in the case.