The Raelian Movement
for those who are not afraid of the future
Source: Sunday Herald
Research proves the existence of a 'sixth sense'
Scottish academics find proof of mediums' ability to use extrasensory
By Karin Goodwin
Scottish academics claim to have found scientific proof of a 'sixth sense'
after completing radical experiments which seek to establish how spiritual
mediums obtain information supposedly transmitted from beyond the grave.
The controversial research, led by a University of Glasgow professor,
appears to discount the common assumption that mediums are merely picking up
signals from body language, or relying on guesswork and prior knowledge.
The findings come as a res urgence of interest in seances has been noted
nationally by experts, with an increase in spiritualist church attendances
and meetings and a spate of television programmes involving alleged
Head researcher, Professor Archie Roy, said: 'There is no doubt from the
work we have done that mediums can obtain information using more than the
five normal senses.
'The results so far have been assessed with hard maths and statistics. We
believe that we have disproved the idea that all mediums are able to do is
make general statements.
'Until recently parapsychology was quite disinterested in spontaneous work
with mediums. Now there seems to be a different attitude. You can do a lot
of very good work with mediums as long as you are patient, spend a lot of
time and are not too confrontational.'
Professor Roy's experiments, said to be the most conclusive to date, used
scientific techniques such as double blind testing in which the medium and
the recipients, or audience, were placed in separate rooms.
Communication was established using a microphone and the identities of all
involved kept under wraps. Now Roy wants to conduct further research to
discover how the positive results of the last experience could be explained.
He said: 'We now have to move beyond these findings. One theory is that the
medium can access information in other people's minds but how does the
medium do this? This research will have to be followed up by all sorts of
His work has already sparked fierce debate in the academic community. Yet
even doubters have admitted his methodology seems sound, though many believe
it will need to be replicated if it is to regarded as authoritative.
According to Gordon Smith, a medium involved in the experiments that spanned
over four years, although some of his work can be explained by normal
phenomenon the research proves he is also using senses that we don't
He said: 'Basically you are using a heightened sense. It is just like radio
waves. If there is an emotional tie with the person you want to contact a
medium can pick up the signals.
'A lot of scientists would argue that I am downloading the information from
somewhere and I wouldn't argue with that. There's not always a spirit
contact. If you were very emotional you'd give off a lot of feeling and I
would be able to pick up the fact that you were going through a crisis time.
'However with a lot of the work I've done with Archie Roy I can't even see
the audience and so I can't fall back on body language.
'When you are working with the scientific community you can't make general
statements -- it is totally different from the way you might see people on
TV just trawling for information with general statements like 'I can feel
someone over here has lost someone'.'
Despite widespread scepticism regarding the claims of mediums, seance
attendances have rocketed. The Spiritualist National Union now has some
20,000 members and estimates regular attendances of around three times that
number at over 300 churches in the UK.
While they believe some of the interest has been sparked by television
series such as Living TV's ghost-hunting show, Most Haunted, and
high-profile stunts such as the supposed Princess Diana seance, they also
point to social factors.
John Weir, Scottish chairman of the SNU, said: 'There has certainly been an
upsurge in interest. Young people particularly are looking from something
different that is not being given to them elsewhere. Spiritualists are
answering a need in the community.
'The only person who can really know if it is genuine is the one who gets a
message. When that happens it is certainly a wonderful experience and it can
be really uplifting for someone going through grief. People are mostly in
need of comfort.'
Yet many have warned against the exploitative techniques used by some
Though unscrupulous spiritualists can be prosecuted under the Fraudulent
Mediums Act, brought in after the second world war to stop psychics claiming
contacts with dead soldiers, the industry is not officially regulated.
Dr Richard Wiseman, psychology professor, at Hertfordshire university said:
'Whether a medium is genuine or not, they may still make you feel better
about your loss and no harm is done.
'However there is the danger that they can be exploitative. The concept of
bereavement counselling is about reaching closure. But a medium can work to
keep that link open and if you start to become dependent on that medium
that's where it can become dangerous.'
"Ethics" is simply a last-gasp attempt by deist conservatives and
orthodox dogmatics to keep humanity in ignorance and obscurantism,
through the well tried fermentation of fear, the fear of science and
There is nothing glorious about what our ancestors call history,
it is simply a succession of mistakes, intolerances and violations.
On the contrary, let us embrace Science and the new technologies
unfettered, for it is these which will liberate mankind from the
myth of god, and free us from our age old fears, from disease,
death and the sweat of labour.
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