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More Things you Can do When You’re Dead: What Can You Truly Believe? By Tricia. J. Robertson

Publication Details: White Crow Books, ISBN-13: 978-1910121443
Publish Date: November, 2015

From the publisher’s website: In this eagerly awaited sequel to her successful Things You Can Do When You’re Dead, foremost psychical investigator Tricia Robertson digs deeper into her extensive casebook to discuss a wide range of physical and mental phenomena which provide evidence for survival after death. Yet again this book is written with a no-nonsense approach to phenomena and in a knowledgeable, enjoyable, easily understood style.

Book one really fired up people’s appetite for more about paranormal phenomena in general and survival in particular. This book examines more cases of genuine poltergeist activity, apparitions, mediumship, paranormal healing and reincarnation, but also digs a bit deeper into direct voice mediumship, drop-in communicators, psychic art, near death experiences, materialised spirit figures, earthbound spirits, automatic writing, inspiration, obsession, possession, genius and informed discussion on what an afterlife may be like. Tricia also discusses science and psi and resistance, in general, to the acceptance of the reality of such clearly demonstrable events.

This book contains a deal of original material, humorous at times, which is not available anywhere else.  You may love it, you may hate it, but once again you will certainly not be bored.

A former teacher of mathematics and physics, Tricia is a long term council member, past Vice President and Immediate Past President of the Scottish Society for Psychical Research.  She is a tutor for the Department of Adult and Continuing Education (DACE) at the University of Glasgow. In conjunction with Professor Archie Roy she provided a session programme of 20, 2 hour, lectures per session for DACE in a series entitled “An In Depth Study of Psychical Research.” This course has now been running for six years.  The paranormal- what is the evidence?’  In addition to 29 years of experience in investigating spontaneous cases Tricia has appeared on various radio and TV programmes and has been invited over many years to speak to varied organisations throughout the UK.

The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World, by David Jaher

Publication Details: Crown Publishing Group. ISBN-13: 978-0307451064
Publish Date: October, 2015

From the publisher’s website: History comes alive in this textured account of the rivalry between Harry Houdini and the so-called Witch of Lime Street, whose iconic lives intersected at a time when science was on the verge of embracing the paranormal.

The 1920s are famous as the golden age of jazz and glamour, but it was also an era of fevered yearning for communion with the spirit world, after the loss of tens of millions in the First World War and the Spanish-flu epidemic. A desperate search for reunion with dead loved ones precipitated a tidal wave of self-proclaimed psychics—and, as reputable media sought stories on occult phenomena, mediums became celebrities.

Against this backdrop, in 1924, the pretty wife of a distinguished Boston surgeon came to embody the raging national debate over Spiritualism, a movement devoted to communication with the dead. Reporters dubbed her the blonde Witch of Lime Street, but she was known to her followers simply as Margery. Her most vocal advocate was none other than Sherlock Holmes’ creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who believed so thoroughly in Margery’s powers that he urged her to enter a controversial contest, sponsored by Scientific American and offering a large cash prize to the first medium declared authentic by its impressive five-man investigative committee.  Admired for both her exceptional charm and her dazzling effects, Margery was the best hope for the psychic practice to be empirically verified.  Her supernatural gifts beguiled four of the judges. There was only one left to convince…the acclaimed escape artist, Harry Houdini.

David Jaher’s extraordinary debut culminates in the showdown between Houdini, a relentless unmasker of charlatans, and Margery, the nation’s most credible spirit medium. The Witch of Lime Street, the first book to capture their electric public rivalry and the competition that brought them into each other’s orbit, returns us to an oft-mythologized era to deepen our understanding of its history, all while igniting our imagination and engaging with the timeless question: Is there life after death?

Review by Tom Ruffles

Indridi Indridason: The Icelandic Physical Medium, by Erlendur Haraldsson and Loftur Gissurarson

Publication Details: White Crow Books, ISBN 978-1-910121-50-4
Publish Date: October, 2015

From the publisher’s website: The authors´ preoccupation with Indridi Indridason spans several decades. Erlendur Haraldsson first read about him in the 1960s, perhaps earlier. He joined the Psychology department at the University of Iceland in 1973 and, during his course on paranormal phenomena, he would regularly discuss Indridason, Iceland’s most prolific physical medium. Loftur Reimar Gissurarson, one of Haraldsson’s students, soon became interested and wrote his BA thesis on Indridason (Gissurarson, 1984).

Based on their research, they co-authored a monograph entitled The Icelandic Physical Medium Indridi Indridason, which was published in the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research (Gissurarson and Haraldsson, 1989). The monograph was subsequently reprinted partially and in full in Renaitre 2000 in France, Luce e Ombra in Italy, andParapsykologiske Notiser in Norway.

Loftur continued the work and co-authored with William Swatos, the book Icelandic Spiritualism: Mediumship and Modernity in Iceland (Swatos and Gissurarson, 1997), much of it dealing with Indridi and the history of Mediums and Spiritualism in Iceland.

Shortly after the year 2000, two Experimental Society minute books dating back to the Indridason period were unexpectedly found that contained new information (Haraldsson, 2009). Some time later, Haraldsson delved into the new material which resulted in three major articles being published in the Proceedings and the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research (Haraldsson, 2011, 2012a) and the Journal of Scientific Exploration (Haraldsson and Gerding, 2010). It soon became obvious that only a book would do justice to Indridi, as he deserved to be known to the wider international public. This is that book.

About the authors

Erlendur Haraldsson is a Professor emeritus of psychology at the Faculty of social science at the University of Iceland who, despite having retired from his former post at the University of Iceland, continues to be an active academic. He has published work in various psychological and parapsychological journals, and done work with Ian Stevenson on reincarnation research and Karlis Osis on deathbed visions. As well as doing work in Iceland, Haraldsson worked in the United States and at the Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health in Freiburg, Germany. While in the United States, he worked with J.B. Rhine.

He has written several books including Modern Miracles: Sathya Sai Baba. The Story of a Modern Day Prophet (2013), At the Hour of Death (1997), and The Departed Among the Living: An Investigative Study of Afterlife Encounters (2012)

Loftur R. Gissurarson studied psychology at the Universities of Iceland and Edinburgh where he obtained his PhD from Robert Morris and John Beloff. He worked as a Post-doctoral Research Fellow sponsored by Trinity College, Cambridge, before taking up a post as Chief Psychologist at the Regional Office for the Disabled in Reykjavik.  Dr. Loftur later joined an Icelandic geothermal development company as Managing Director of Quality, Environment, Health & Safety and is now working for the company mainly in Africa and the Caribbean.

Spooky Science: Debunking the Pseudoscience of the Afterlife, by John Grant

Publication Details: Sterling, ISBN-13: 978-1454916543
Publish Date: October, 2015

From the publisher: Skeptics of the supernatural will enjoy this humorous jaunt through the long history of scientific inquiry into paranormal and psychic phenomena. Life after death, spirit communication, the astral plane, reincarnation: on the relatively rare occasions when scientists have tried to apply their methods to the paranormal, they've often ended up embarrassed – fooled by obvious charlatans, deluded into making irrational and unsubstantiated claims, or frustrated in their attempt to find something that just isn’t there. John Grant – author of Discarded Science and Corrupted Science – investigates the pseudoscience of spooky stuff to fascinating and often hilarious effect.

John Grant is the author of some 70 books and recipient of two Hugo Awards, the World Fantasy Award, the Locus Award, and a number of other international literary awards. He co-edited with John Clute The Encyclopedia of Fantasy (Orbit/St Martin’s) and wrote in their entirety all three editions ofThe Encyclopedia of Walt Disney’s Animated Characters (Hyperion); both encyclopedias are standard reference works in their field. His A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir: The Definitive Reference Guide, published by Limelight in Fall 2013, has the distinction of being the largest film noir encyclopaedia ever written. Among his other recently published nonfiction books are the highly successful Discarded ScienceCorrupted Science, and Bogus Science (all AAPPL/Sterling). He lives in New Jersey, USA.

[NB The supplied cover illustration has an incorrect subtitle – the published book cover substitutes ‘Debunking the Pseudoscience of the Afterlife’ for ‘Confronting the Pseudoscience of the Supernatural’.]

Review by Tom Ruffles

God’s Magic: An Aspect of Spiritualism, by Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding

Publication Details: White Crow Books. ISBN-13: 978-1910121672
Publish Date: September, 2015

From the publisher’s website: In God’s Magic, Lord Dowding, whose name will be forever synonymous with the Battle Of Britain, puts forward a strong case for life after death.  No one can question the deep sincerity with which his research has been carried out. Having in mind the many instances of survival after death on the battlefield recorded through various channels, Lord Dowding has satisfied himself that these records should be made available as widely as possible, believing that they carry with them the hall-mark of truth.

This is his fourth and final book on the subject and because of the record of Lord Dowding’s career, lies the assurance that he is a practical man not likely to be led astray by specious theories or to harbour delusions when confronted by hard facts.

About the author

By 1940 the Second World War was raging and one of the most prominent men in the UK was Air Chief Marshal Hugh Caswall Tremenheere Dowding – more widely known as Lord Dowding. Dowding was the commander of RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain and is generally credited with playing a crucial role in Britain’s air defence, which contributed to the defeat of Hitler’s plan to invade Great Britain.  What is less well known is, after the Battle of Britain Dowding devoted most of his life to exploring life after death; what we now refer to as psychical research.  He authored four books on the subject: Many Mansions (1943), Lychgate (1945), The Dark Star (1951), and God’s Magic (1960).

After the war ended, Dowding was often contacted by mothers and loved ones of the airmen who died on his watch, and when he asked his local vicar how he should respond to their grieving, allegedly, the vicar replied, “Tell them they’re with God.” Not being content with the vicar’s answer, Dowding continued his own investigation in an attempt to find the truth to the age-old question, “what happens after we die?”  These books are the result of his search.

Review by Tom Ruffles

Science, Mysticism and Psychical Research: The Revolutionary Synthesis of Michael Whiteman, by John Poynton

Publication Details: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, ISBN-13: 978-1443880190
Publish Date: September, 2015
Science, Mysticism and Psychical Research: The Revolutionary Synthesis of Michael Whiteman, by John Poynton

From the publisher's website: Science, mysticism, and psychical research are generally thought to be irreconcilable; this book centres on a towering synthesis achieved by the late Michael Whiteman, an Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Cape Town. It is revolutionary; Whiteman was able to meld mathematical physics and general science with psychical research and Indian and Western mystical texts, clarified by a life-time of psychical and mystical experience, and coupled with an extensive knowledge of philosophy and psychology.

Part One is about the experience of states, spaces, and worlds other than physical. It provides essential groundwork for understanding the psychical and mystical. Whiteman’s own experience is combined with evidence ranging from quantum mechanics to the Upanishads. Part Two centres on two murder cases that Whiteman studied, as an entry to the concept of the corporate structure of personality, and the workings of the mind in personal development. Part Three covers his analysis of ancient texts based on his understanding as a mystic. His interpretations differ radically from standard treatments. Part Four investigates his exploration of non-physical existence. Part Five considers the mystical life, including Whiteman’s own, and how it relates to physical laws. The book concludes with a brief biography.

"Science has been dominated for too long by a blinkered view which insists on the one-level view of reality espoused by materialistic reductionism. One of the most important proponents of higher levels of reality was Michael Whiteman. His prodigious writings combined both mystical and mathematical insights, yet they are not always easy to understand, so his contribution has been hitherto somewhat neglected. With this masterly exposition by John Poynton, his ideas finally receive the scrutiny and dissemination which they deserve. Poynton is arguably a better expositor of these ideas than Whiteman himself, so he has done a tremendous service by explaining them so cogently and comprehensively in this volume." - Bernard Carr, Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy at Queen Mary University of London; Fomer President of the Society for Psychical Research

"Michael Whiteman was an original thinker with a uniquely diversified life. To summarize Whiteman's thought and life is tantamount to capturing a rare tropical bird, but John Poynton has risen to the task. Whiteman lived for over a century, yet his books and essays are more relevant in this millennium than they were when he wrote them.

Ranging from mathematical physics to psychical research, and plumbing the depths of mystical experience, archetypes, and bisexuality, Whiteman wove a remarkable synthesis of East and West, science and spirituality, and male and female into a seamless fabric that cannot help but entrap and enrapture its reader." Stanley Krippner PhD, Alan Watts Professor of Psychology, Saybrook University

"Wide-ranging yet concise, thorough yet accessible, this is a marvellous introduction to Michael Whiteman's thought. It shows Whiteman to be an empiricist in the best sense, open to evidence of all kinds, whether from physics, psychical research, or mysticism. Dr Paul Marshall, author of Mystical Encounters with the Natural World; co-editor of Beyond Physicalism: Towards Reconciliation of Science and Spirituality.

“Polymath J.H.M. Whiteman combined a deep understanding of science and mathematics with an unusually rich history of first-hand experience of out-of-body and mystical states of consciousness. John Poynton's book provides by far the best available introduction to this important but neglected body of work." - Dr Edward F. Kelly, Research Professor, Division of Perceptual Studies, University of Virginia

Illuminations: The UFO Experience as a Parapsychological Event, by Eric Ouellet

Publication Details: Anomalist Books, ISBN-13: 978-1938398537
Publish Date: August, 2015

From the publisher’s website: What if UFO experiences are the result of large-scale, unconscious, psychic forces?

Parapsychology and UFOlogy are like oil and water. They just don't mix, despite the decades-long efforts of some highly respected researchers to call attention to the paranormal or parapsychological aspects of UFO events. In Illuminations, sociologist Eric Ouellet offers a novel approach to a phenomenon that has thus far resisted all other efforts to explain it, be it as extraterrestrial craft, time travellers, secret government projects, or natural phenomena.

Combining research in parapsychology, sociology, and UFOlogy, Ouellet provides a thought-provoking reassessment of several well-known UFO cases, including the Washington, DC, UFO wave of 1952, the Betty and Barney Hill abduction of 1961, the Rendlesham UFO incident of 1980, and the Belgian UFO wave of 1989-1991. While not claiming to have the final solution to the UFO mystery, he offers much food for thought and a refreshing outlook on a stubbornly elusive phenomenon.

"Parapsychological approaches in this field are rare: your contribution is precious, and it is very timely." -Jacques Vallée, author of The Invisible College.

"As a sociologist and a UFO witness, plus, importantly, a parapsychological researcher, Eric Ouellet ticks all the boxes to appreciate the bagatelle of curiosities that I have encountered in the field during 40 years of UFO investigation." - Jenny Randles, author of Mind Monsters.

ERIC OUELLET is professor of Defence Studies at the Royal Military College of Canada, and at the Canadian Forces College (Canada's Joint Staff and War College). He has a Ph.D. in sociology from York University (Toronto, Canada), and he is the liaison officer for Canada with the Parapsychological Association. He has published parapsychological work in the Australian Journal of PsychologyEdgeScience, and the Bulletin Métapsychique. His other research works focus on military sociology and war studies.

Knowing the Unknowable: Putting Psi to Work, by Damien Broderick

Publication Details: Ramble House, ISBN-13: 978-1605438610
Publish Date: August, 2015
From the publisher’s website: Are Psi, extrasensory perception, psychokinesis, remote viewing, presentiment—these are terms used by parapsychologists for mysterious, anomalous human abilities that still have no accepted scientific explanation. Lacking a solid theory of psi that accords with the vast body of accumulated knowledge gathered over centuries, psi research remains a kind of fringe science—not a pseudoscience, but one that remains incomplete.
 
Decades of increasingly sophisticated research prove that psi phenomena are real. But can they be tamed? Precognition is knowledge of what seems the unknowable future. Yet it’s frustratingly intermittent—so can it ever be used like smart phones, computers, antibiotics, automotive engineering? Might thousands of remote viewers coordinate to warn us of impending disasters?
 
Or a favorite question: Can psi be used to win lotteries? And if not, why not?
 
Damien Broderick, PhD, has explored these questions in three previous books. Now he shows how an almost forgotten method for using psi might be the ideal tool in the age of computer apps and massively multiplayer online games. Searching through nearly a century of research, Broderick teases out a method for building a technology of psi. For putting psi to work.
 
A review of this title by Dr Matthew Colborn appears in the July 2016 issue of the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research.

No Better Place: Arthur Conan Doyle, Windlesham and Communication with the Other Side (1907-1930), by Alistair Duncan

Publication Details: MX Publishing, ISBN: 9781780927978
Publish Date: August, 2015

From the publisher’s website: Following his second marriage in 1907 Arthur Conan Doyle was looking to the future. The years ahead would see the birth of three children, fresh literary success and the discovery of his new faith. Those same years would also see the First World War, the final adventures of Sherlock Holmes and ridicule from the religious and scientific communities for his beliefs

Review by Tom Ruffles

Ghosts, Spirits, and Psychics: The Paranormal from Alchemy to Zombies, by Matt Cardin (ed.)

Publication Details: ABC-CLIO, ISBN 978-1-61069-683-8
Publish Date: July, 2015

From the publisher’s website: This fascinating work provides a complete overview of paranormal phenomena, including the beliefs, attitudes, and notable figures who have attempted to explain, defend, or debunk the mysteries behind the unknown.

Recent interest in the paranormal as pop culture fodder belies its historical status as an important subject of cultural, philosophical, and scientific significance. This book traces the trajectory of paranormal studies from its early role as a serious academic and scientific topic studied by mainstream scientists and eminent scholars to its current popularity in books, film, and TV.

This compelling reference work details the experiences, encounters, and ideas that make up this controversial field of study. The contributed entries examine the broad phenomena of the paranormal, addressing the history of scientific investigations along with its contemporary media depictions to illustrate the evolution of cultural attitudes about the paranormal. A selection of primary documents provides real-life accounts and contributions from noted experts that explore the full scope of themes from spiritualism to poltergeists to astrology. Accompanying images, timelines, quotations, and sidebars make the content come to life and encourage alternative explanations of these events.

Features:

Contains more than 120 factual entries as well as extensive excerpts from several primary documents in the area of the paranormal;

Features contributions from noted experts in its field from across viewpoints —i ncluding believers and sceptics;

Profiles a number of important individuals who have contributed to the history and study of the field;

Includes such topics as near-death experiences, paranormal dreams, the supernatural, magic, and the occult.

Contents page

 

Parapsychology: A Handbook for the 21st Century, by Etzel Cardeña, John Palmer and David Marcusson-Clavertz (eds.)

Publication Details: Parapsychology. McFarland, ISBN: 978-0-7864-7916-0
Publish Date: July, 2015

From the publisher’s website:  Many people have experienced such unusual phenomena as dreams that later seem to correspond with unforeseeable events, thinking of a long-lost friend just before he or she unexpectedly calls, or the ability to “feel” the presence of deceased loved ones. What many do not realize is that these types of experiences have been researched for more than a century by eminent scientists, including Nobel laureates. Most of these researchers have concluded that some of these phenomena do occur, although we are far from explaining them to everyone’s satisfaction.

This book is the first in almost 40 years to provide a comprehensive scientific overview of research in the field of parapsychology, explaining what we know and don’t know about so-called psi phenomena, such as “telepathy,” “precognition” or “psychokinesis.” Contributors evaluate the evidence for these phenomena, accounting for factors such as selective memory, wish fulfillment and incorrect methods or analyses, in some cases offering psychological, physical and biological theories.

About the Authors:

Etzel Cardena holds the endowed Thorsen Chair of Psychology and is director of the Center for Research on Consciousness and Anomalous Psychology (CERCAP) at the University of Lund in Sweden. A fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science, he has more than 300 publications to his name.

John Palmer is the Director of Research at the Rhine Research Center and Editor of the Journal of Parapsychology. He has more than 150 publications to his name. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

David Marcusson-Clavertz is a member of CERCAP and has published research on mind wandering, alterations in consciousness, and parapsychological phenomena in Consciousness and Cognition and Journal of Parapsychology, among other peer-review journals. He lives in Lund, Sweden.

Table of Contents

Preface: Reintroducing Parapsychology (Etzel Cardena, David ­Marcusson-Clavertz and John Palmer)  1

Part One--Basic Concepts

1. An Overview of Modern Developments in Parapsychology (Nancy L. Zingrone, Carlos S. Alvarado and Gerd H. Hovelmann)  13

2. Parapsychology in Context: The Big Picture (Edward F. Kelly)  30

3. The Case Against Psi (Douglas M. Stokes)  42

Part Two--Research Methods and Statistical Approaches

4. Experimental Methods in Anomalous Cognition and Anomalous Perturbation Research (John Palmer)  49

5. Research Methods with Spontaneous Case Studies (Emily Williams Kelly and Jim B. Tucker)  63

6. Macro-Psychokinesis: Methodological Concerns (Graham Watkins)  77

7. Statistical Guidelines for Empirical Studies (Patrizio E. Tressoldi and Jessica Utts)  83

Part Three--Psychology and Psi

8. Psychological Concepts of Psi Function: A Review and Constructive Critique (Rex G. Stanford)  94

9. States, Traits, Cognitive Variables and Psi (Etzel Cardena and David ­Marcusson-Clavertz)  110

10. Ariadne’s Thread: Meditation and Psi (Serena M. ­Roney-Dougal)  125

Part Four--Biology and Psi

11. Psi and Biology: An Evolutionary Perspective (Richard S. Broughton)  139

12. Drugs and Psi Phenomena (David Luke)  149

Part Five--Physics and Psi

13. Quantum Theory and Parapsychology (Brian Millar)  165

14. Physical Correlates of Psi (Adrian Ryan)  181

Part Six--Psi Phenomena: Anomalous Cognition, Perturbation and Force

15. Explicit Anomalous Cognition: A Review of the Best Evidence in Ganzfeld, Forced Choice, Remote Viewing and Dream Studies (Johann Baptista, Max Derakhshani and Patrizio E. Tressoldi)  192

16. Implicit Anomalous Cognition (John Palmer)  215

17. Psi and Psychophysiology (Dean Radin and Alan Pierce)  230

18. Experimental Research on Distant Intention Phenomena (Stefan Schmidt)  244

19. Macro-Psychokinesis (Stephen E. Braude)  258

20. Micro-Psychokinesis (Mario Varvoglis and Peter A. Bancel)  266

21. Implicit Physical Psi: The Global Consciousness Project (Roger D. Nelson)  282

22. Experimenter Effects in Parapsychology Research (John Palmer and Brian Millar)  293

Part Seven--Psi Phenomena: Research on Survival

23. Mental Mediumship (Julie Beischel and Nancy L. Zingrone)  301

24. Reincarnation: Field Studies and Theoretical Issues Today (Antonia Mills and Jim B. Tucker)  314

25. Ghosts and Poltergeists: An Eternal Enigma (Michaeleen Maher)  327

26. Electronic Voice Phenomena (Mark R. Leary and Tom Butler)  341

Part Eight--Practical Applications

27. Psi in Everyday Life: Nonhuman and Human (Rupert Sheldrake)  350

28. Exceptional Experiences (ExE) in Clinical Psychology (Martina Belz and Wolfgang Fach)  364

29. Applied Psi (Paul H. Smith and Garret Moddel)  380

Part Nine--To Sum It Up

30. On the Usefulness of Parapsychology for Science at Large (Gerd H. Hovelmann)  389

31. On Negative Capability and Parapsychology: Personal Reflections

(Etzel Cardena)  399

About the Contributors  405

Index  407

If the Spirit Moves You: Life and Love After Death, by Justine Picardie

Publication Details: Picador. ISBN: 9781447289289
Publish Date: June, 2015

From the publisher’s website: 

When I think about her now, which is most of the time, it's like rewinding a silent film in my head: I see the crucial scenes in our lives together. But what I can't hear is her voice in my head, and that silence is driving me crazy.

After her sister Ruth's death from breast cancer in September 1997, Justine Picardie was desperate to speak to her again, to hear her voice, to find something – anything – that might fill the space she had left behind. Over the course of the next year, Justine's search for Ruth lead her into the underworld of spiritualism, through a series of encounters with mediums and psychics who believe that we can communicate with those we have lost.

If the Spirit Moves You is Justine's remarkable story about her search for the afterlife in an age of reason, scepticism and science. Powerfully moving, both heart-breaking and funny, it is an extraordinary book about the exhausting journey of grief and the enduring power of love.