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Last Updated:
Tuesday, August 01, 2006 05:31:34 AM

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Death of the Scientist Who Put the Paranormal on the Academic Map
by T. Stokes, Lecturer in Paranormal Studies

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 01, 2006 05:31:34 AM

Joseph Banks Rhine (1895-1980)
Joseph Banks Rhine (1895-1980)


ohn Beloff was a psychologist who was so taken with J. B. Rhine’s landmark book, “Extrasensory  Perception” which documented painstaking efforts to  obtain experimental evidence for psychic functioning, that he used his fascination with parapsychology  to produce his first book, “The Existence of mind” a philosophy of the mind and its concepts, and was a reaction against the now largely discredited behaviourists and  positively favoured Dualism, and he used the paranormal to defend his literary position.

The famous J.B. Rhine was so impressed with the book that he invited John Beloff to visit his laboratory in North Carolina in 1965.

John Beloff


Beloff had already been conducting experiments since 1961, in particular the use of will power over radio active random waves, which was a big step up from the falling dice and coins of previous tests, and is still used today and is still called, “Mind over Matter testing” ( M & M ).

Over the years I have witnessed much of this stuff, and I have seen false readings declared genuine, and some genuine dismissed as false, but John was very good at disproving the paranormal, which was largely his intention. As a psychologist he was hardly impartial; using psychology to investigate the paranormal is like asking an electrician to look at a plumbing job.

John was famous for his off putting manner which can disrupt experiments, but in  1983 Arthur Keostler left his entire estate to establish a chair of parapsychology, and largely due to his friend John Beloff, it went to Edinburgh and is there to this day.

In 1973 Beloff wrote the excellent; “Psychological Sciences” with a disappointing last chapter on the paranormal.

Three more books followed, containing more and more on the paranormal as he saw it. He was over many years a member of the Psychical research society, and editor of its SPR Journal. He became president in 1974.

A gentle studious man, he clamed he found no evidence of psychic functioning.

Yet he epitomised the scholar who wears 2 hats. In his role as a psychic investigator he denies its validity, yet being from a family of strict Jews he would be aware that the books of the Old testament are full of astrology, gematria, palmistry, necromancy etc, yet all this was O K and perfectly valid for his religious life.

In fact he even secretly believed he had been born before.

Einstein was a lot more honest in these categories, and his powerful intuition meant he believed strongly in the paranormal, which he said was part of his religious background.

But the paranormal world is full of cross dressers, of the 186 scientists that condemned astrology recently, a large number of those believed that Christ was born in a stable to a virgin, was crucified on a cross and rose from the dead, and that it was right to eat his body and drink his blood in the communion rites.

Until we can get proper unbiased experts to examine the fields of the paranormal who do not come with a pre-determined outlook, the whole arena of the paranormal sciences will be a playground to the biased and uneducated.


Source: Email from Author

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