Wednesday, September 17, 2014   12:33 AM

Fall 2014 Term at the Rhine Education Center: Four New Courses

PA Member John G. Kruth has been at work over the summer months recasting the Rhine Education Center's course structure into a new curriculum that is a combination of 4-week courses, 8-week courses, some academically-oriented, some a little bit more popular, and some eligible for a variety of new certificate programs. Some weeks back I made a video that introduces folks to the changes at the Rhine Education Center.

Here's the link:

In this video I go over some of the changes and give folks information on where to find more information about the four courses which are taught totally online: Research Methods in Parapsychology (taught by John G. Kruth starting with an online lecture Wednesday night, September 24th); Developing Your Intuition (taught by PA member Loyd Auerbach, starting with an online lecture Monday night, September 29th), History of the Rhine Research Center (from the beginning to 1940, team-taught by myself and Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado, both of us two-time past-Presidents of the PA, starting also with an online lecture Monday night, September 29th, a few hours before Loyd's course starts); and Premonitions: Peeking into the Future (also team taught by Alvarado and I, starting Monday night October 27th). John's course runs 8 weeks, and Loyd's and the two taught by Carlos and I run 4 weeks each.

One change in the REC program this fall is that "auditing" is the default. If you're interested in being graded for your work in the course, you can arrange that with your instructors, otherwise you won't need to achieve a grade to get through course. However, only graded courses are eligible for the various certificate programs.

For more information about Loyd's Developing Your Intuition course, we've uploaded a video by Loyd to the Rhine Research Center's YouTube channel:

Here's the link:


For more information on John Kruth's course, I uploaded a video done by John that talks about his course in more depth.

Here's the link:

We'll be putting up some more videos on the courses over the next couple of weeks, so it's best to subscribe to the Rhine Research Center's channel to make sure you get the updates.

On the Rhine Research Center's channel you can also explore Welcome to the Week videos from previous courses to get a sense of how the courses have been taught in the past, and also to see some other videos we've uploaded or linked to that show tours of the Rhine Research Center, or quick looks at some of the Rhine's Friday Night Talks.

Carlos and I are really dedicated to improving educational opportunities for folks in the field, whether your interest is general or more academic. Another couple of great places for more information is Carlos' blog "Parapsychology" which can be found by clicking on the link in the blog title in this line, and by subscribing to our YouTube Channel,ParapsychologyOnline.

Come join us! Should be a great term at the Rhine!

Friday, September 30, 2011   4:00 PM

Missed the PA? Come to "Parapsychology and Consciousness" October 14th-16th in Virginia Beach!

I just finished writing a monster blog for the Parapsychology Foundation's website that reviewed the PA Convention that took place this past August in Curitiba, Brazil. My main goal in that blog was to highlight the amazing legacy of the Parapsychology Foundation and its centrality to the field, even now in these tough economic times. In the first part of that blog I focused mainly on which grant recipients and former Perspectives Lecture and International Conference speakers had also contributed to the most recent PA. In the second part of the blog I did the same thing with the amazing group of speakers who will be presenting at Atlantic University's"Parapsychology and Consciousness" conference in a couple of weeks. If you're interested in reading through that blog, go to and click on "News" for the Breaking News page, or click the "blog" button at the bottom of the home page. If you're impatient just click this link and you'll wend your way to the blog itself.

Three Good Reasons to Come to Virginia Beach for “Parapsychology and Consciousness” on October 14th ...

Atlantic University is not going to be doing parapsychology conferences every year. Our Annual Conference series which starts with “Parapsychology and Consciousness” is conceived of as a way to feature aspects of our existing program in a unique setting. Our Masters of Arts in Transpersonal Studies has a number of tracks: Consciousness Studies in which parapsychology lives is only one of them. So if you think you can give our conference a miss this year because there will be another one next year, think again. Next year, our conference will focus on Leadership; the next few years after that it will focus on creative writing, dream studies and dream work, and/or transpersonal arts, among other possible topics. We don't anticipate being able to return to scientific parapsychology for many years.

So this is a once in a lifetime event, er .. uh ... well, at least at AU it is a once-in-a-decade kind of opportunity!

Another good reason: because of the economy we have broken out our $395 ($375 for seniors/students) price into day prices and evening prices, so you can choose to attend the evening lectures ($30 each), or just Friday afternoon ($80), or just all Saturday ($160) or all day Sunday ($160) depending on which presentations interest you the most. And because it is off season here in Virginia Beach, rooms in our conference hotels — the Wyndham and the Holiday Inn Express — are less than $100 a night. The Holiday Inn Express also  includes a hot breakfast in the room price in case the Continental breakfast we are serving at the conference is not enough, not to mention an ocean view. Try booking that during the season for less than $200! (Lots of other hotels are arrayed along both sides of Atlantic and Pacific Avenues and some of them are even less expensive this time of year.)

But the best reason to come to Virginia Beach for “Parapsychology and Consciousness” from October 14th through 16th is the line up!

The conference starts Friday, October 14th at noon with a reception and continues through Sunday evening at 6:15pm. Himself, Carlos S. Alvarado (two-time past President of the Parapsychological Association and Scholar in Residence at Atlantic University, and well, my husband ...) organized the speakers. They are: Dean Radin, Roger Nelson, Ed May, Julie Beischel, Jim Carpenter, John Palmer, Loyd Auerbach, Bob Van de Castle, Christine Simmonds-Moore, Doug Richards, Frank Pasciuti, Ginette Nachman, Henry Reed, David McMillin and of course, Carlos and I. We had hoped to include Steve Braude too but he had to cancel.

So the conference kicks off at noon on Friday October 14th with a reception, registration and opportunities for book-signing in the lobby of the Visitor's Center at Edgar Cayce's Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.) at 6700 Atlantic Avenue in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Kevin Todeschi, an Atlantic University (AU) graduate, and the CEO of both Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. and AU, will convene the conference proper in the Main Auditorium around 2pm with welcoming remarks, followed by comments from Carlos and I. The first speaker on Friday afternoon is Christine Simmonds-Moore, who in addition to being a faculty member at Atlantic University and a researcher attached to the Rhine Research Center, has recently taken up a tenure-track position in the Department of Psychology at the University of West Georgia. Her presentation “How do Synesthesias relate to Anomalous Experiences” will cover an online survey of synesthesia experiences and a laboratory experiment in which strong synesthetes were compared with matched controls on an ESP task. For abstracts of both this talk and one Christine will give on Saturday click here.

Following the coffee break, Ed May is the next speaker up. He is well-known in our community as a physicist, the founder of Laboratories for Fundamental Research, and for his decades spent managing the Stargate Program. Ed will give an invited address called “Application of Fuzzy Sets to Natural Anomalous Cognition (a.k.a Remote Viewing) Targets.” For abstracts of both this talk and his contribution to a panel discussion later in the program click here.

Conference attendees will break for dinner after Ed’s talk — we have provided a great list of all the terrific restaurants up and down Atlantic Avenue and elsewhere in Virginia Beach and the seafood in this area is truly exceptional!  After dinner we will hold our fourth quarterly Visiting Scholar Lecture, this time presented by invited speaker, Roger Nelson, formerly of the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Laboratory and the founder of the Global Consciousness Project. For an abstract of his update on the GCP, click here.

On Saturday morning, October 15th, the second day of the conference will start with an invited address by long-time AU faculty member, Doug Richards. He will review the way in which scientific parapsychology has been intertwined with the history of Atlantic University and the A.R.E. since the rebirth of AU as a graduate school in 1985.  For an abstract of both of his talks click   here.  Following Doug’s presentation, James Van Auken, a faculty member at both Atlantic University and the  Cayce/Reilly School of Massotherapy, will moderate a panel called “What a Masters in Parapsychology Should Look Like.” I will give a talk called “Designing a Curriculum for a Masters in Parapsychology.” Following my presentation, three of our faculty members, Carlos, Doug and Christine will give talks on courses they designed for the existing Masters of Transpersonal Studies degree: “Atlantic University’s Principles of Parapsychology Course” (Doug),“History of Parapsychology” (Carlos) and “Psychology of Psychic Experiences” (Christine). (As you click off to these abstracts you may have to scroll down, if the presentation listed here is not the first presentation the speaker is giving in the conference.) Because of the recent ruling from our accrediting agency (see my previous blog), both of the last two courses mentioned are back on the drawing board as we search for a wider focus on this difficult topic.

On Saturday afternoon in a paper session entitled “Parapsychology and Psychology,” Atlantic University’s own Henry Reed will talk about “Intimacy and ESP.” Henry is well-known in the International Association for the Study of Dreams and has been serving as a faculty member since before the University was reborn as a graduate school in 1985. (If you're interested, you can view a powerpoint on the history of the school I put together in 2010 with the help of CEO Kevin Todeschi, in honor of the 80th anniversary of the founding of the school.) The second speaker in the paper session, John Palmer, is well-known to the PA community having served as both past-President and Board member.  His paper will tackle a persistence problem for scientific parapsychology, the “Source-of-Psi” problem. Jim Carpenter, also well-known to PA will present his“First Sight” theory. The last paper in the session will be given by Frank Pasciuti, a clinical psychologist from Charlottesville, Virginia, who will examine the relationship of his discipline to parapsychology. (For Frank's biography and abstract click  here.)

Saturday evening, Atlantic University will present Dean Radin, the Senior Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and author of The Conscious Universe andEntangled Minds, among other important publications. Dean's lecture is called “Before the Tipping Point: Reconsidering the Nature of Consciousness.” (For the abstract of Dean’s presentation click here.)

Sunday, October 16th is the last day of the conference and will begin with a paper detailing research that I conducted with Carlos and our colleague from the University of Virginia, Natasha Agee. The research, funded by the Bial Foundation in Portugal, looked into the relationship of psychic experiences, the psychology state/trait of absorption and adult memories of childhood imaginary companions. My talk will be followed by a talk by Loyd Auerbach, PA member, well-known field investigator, faculty member at both Atlantic University and John F. Kennedy University, and chocolatier! Loyd’s talk, “The Haunting of USS Hornet,” will provide an update on an on-going investigation. (For an abstract of this and Loyd’s other talk click here.) A panel discussion on the future of the field will follow with presentations by: Bob Van de Castle, like Henry Reed, a decades-long active member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, a decades-long active member of the PA as well, and with appointments both on the faculties of the University of Virginia and here at Atlantic University; Carlos; Ginette Nachman, an MD/Ph.D. who has been on the Board of the RRC; and Ed May. The talks will be: “The Mutlifaceted Nature of Psi Dreams: Some Suggestions for the Future” (Van de Castle), “Researching Out-of-Body Experiences” (Alvarado), “Biomedical Aspects of Psi” (Nachman), and “The Future of Psi Research: A Physics Perspective” (May). (Again you may have to scroll down the linked PDFs if the paper listed here is not the first presentation of the conference for that speaker.)

After lunch on Sunday, the final session of the conference will include two papers and an invited address. In the papers, David McMillin of the Meridian Institute will present a talk called “Edgar Cayce’s Psychic Process.” This will be followed by Loyd Auerbach’s “The Field Investigators’ Best Tech: Psychics and Mediums as Paranormal Sensing ‘Technology’.” Finally, Julie Beischel, one of the founders of The Windbridge Institute for Applied Research in Human Potential, will present her invited address, “Modern Mediumship Research: Experiments, Experiences, and Explanations.”

The conference registration page contains prices for the entire conference ($395 full price, $375 for students and seniors), and for segments of the conference (Dr. Nelson’s Visiting Scholars Lecture and Dr. Radin’s Saturday evening lecture are $30 each, Friday afternoon attendance is prices at $80, and all day Saturday and all day Sunday at $160 each). The conference information page also has click throughs to the hotels, both of which are in the $80-$95 range in October. More information is available on the Atlantic University website. If you download the Media Press Kit you’ll find not only the conference brochure and schedule but also the abstracts booklet.

Come and join us! It’s going to be a unique and exciting conference in a wonderful venue!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011   3:21 PM

Atlantic University's Blog and the fate of our proposed MA in Parapsychology program ... sigh ...

The Atlantic University Blog and the upcoming Parapsychology and Consciousness Conference ...

So today the first thing I'm doing is letting everybody know that Atlantic University has set up a blog. My first really substantial blog entry is, of course, on our upcoming Parapsychology and Consciousness conference, to be held from October 14th through October 16th this coming fall here in Virginia Beach.

So just take the plunge and register for the conference! Oops, ah, sorry, got carried away!. So just click here for the link to our new blog site. :-)

The fate of AU's hoped for MA in Parapsychology  ...

As for the proposed Masters of Arts in Parapsychology program Carlos and I and the rest of our faculty and staff at Atlantic University (not to mention the CEO and Board of Trustees) had hoped to be able to launch in 2012: We have not been given the green light by our accrediting agency to offer the program. In fact, quite the opposite.

Our accrediting agency is staffed by a group of really good people who are very serious about their jobs. Our agency is a "national" accreditor as opposed to the "regional accreditors" who handle bricks and mortar universities. The staff are very professional and do a very good job of overseeing a variety of schools, all online, some professional, some academic, in a variety of disciplines, and from the undergraduate to the graduate level. The agency is, in turn, approved by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation here in the States, another very serious group of folk, and by the US Department of Education.

We submitted a Petition to Propose a Masters of Arts in Parapsychology last May 1st and the Accrediting Commission of our agency reviewed our petition in early June. They declined to give us permission to propose the program. We were caught on the edge of two crossed blades: "controversy" and "parapsychology." They just weren't willing to associate themselves in such a visible way with such a controversial field.

I wrote a 16-page proposal that gave a brief history of the field, acknowledged our controversial status, compared education in the field in the US in 1983 (using an old American Society for Psychical Research Course Listing compiled by the incomparable Marian Nester, then Director of Education for the ASPR) to education in the field in the US today (non-existent except for a few courses here and there, and opportunities to complete a degree under the tutelage of some top folk in the field, i.e., Stan Krippner at Saybrook, Charley Tart, Arthur Hastings, among others, at ITP and so on). I talked about the growth of opportunities primarily in the UK but also in other countries. I included 30 letters of support from senior scientists in the field and others, including members of our Board of Trustees and two of our current students. I also included the CVs of all the faculty I had hired and hoped to hire, and of course, the complete program curriculum with course descriptions and objectives. Carlos provided me with tables of recent scholarly articles in high impact journals, recent scholarly books and, of course, recent dissertations. I also included a table of all the existing programs I knew of and their accrediting agencies.

The text of the petition was 16 pages. The supporting documents including the letters of support topped out at 234 additional pages. A big job putting it together but I had the help not only of our faculty, staff and our prospective faculty, but also of one of my predecessors in my job, and various other folk interested in the future of education in the field.

It wasn't the quality of the petition or the program it described that sunk us but those two dirty words "parapsychology" and "controversy," the former monumentally distorted in our present climate, and the latter, evoking a sincere and often well-founded fear of consequences.

Our accrediting agency are themselves up for re-authorization soon and it is possible they had in their minds an example of a former accreditation agency that lost its authorization as an agency after accrediting another even more controversial field. I don't blame the folk at our agency or on their Accrediting Commission for shying away from approving our plans one bit. They have a responsibility to the other schools they accredit just like I have a responsibility to our students here at Atlantic University. We're all bound by our responsibilities to maintain our compliance with the best practices of higher education administration. And, having had the career I've had in the field, I understand full well the risks of sticking your neck out.

I had just hoped that the time was finally right to put together a graduate level program that focused entirely and specifically on parapsychology, on the wide and deep body of knowledge we have amassed, on the methodology, on the interconnections with other sciences, and so on. I have long resisted the notion of embedding a little bit of parapsychology in a program about something related, or something one step up theoretically like consciousness studies because in those programs, no matter how well they are constructed, the full range of content of our field are necessarily, pragmatically bracketed, stuck in a tiny pot on the hob at the back, not enough to feed everybody but at least not big enough to draw unwanted attention.

I am a firm believer that the title of the program has to have a significant and well-thought-through relationship to the curriculum that is on offer under that title. Our agency, bless their hearts, spent some time with me last week trying to give me options to put together something more palatable, less controversial, that would do at least some of what we wanted to do with the MA in Para program, albeit not all. I'm grateful for those ideas. Our Para Curriculum Subcommittee (AU Faculty Carlos and I, Loyd Auerbach, Christine Simmonds-Moore, and Jim Matlock) will be chewing on them in the near future. In the meantime we have a Masters of Arts in Transpersonal Studies with a single course that includes the word "parapsychology" in the title and a slew of great faculty to mentor folks who want to do their Culminating Project on the field with us. That's good, of course.

In any case what I've said here doesn't really express how disappointed I am that we can't do what's really needed for the field.

Here's hoping that sometime, somewhere we all find ourselves in a climate that's finally devoid of skeptical rant, in which academic freedom doesn't come with a cost that is just too high to pay.

Monday, May 16, 2011   11:41 PM

Atlantic University's upcoming October conference, "Parapsychology and Consciousness"

Atlantic University is a small online graduate school in Virginia Beach, Virigina offering a Masters of Arts in Transpersonal Studies. Last year (a year and 13 days ago), Carlos S. Alvarado and I were hired by AU and started an entirely new phase of our lives.

We've been working on a number of things this year, but one of the most important is the inauguration of a new series of annual conferences to highlight various aspects of the work and interests of Atlantic University. Since 1985, when Atlantic University was a residential school, Doug Richards (known to a lot of PA members) has been teaching a course called 'Principles of Parapsychology." This year, between October 14th and October 16th, 2011, Doug, Carlos and I, and other Atlantic University faculty members Henry Reed, Bob Van de Castle, Loyd Auerbach and Christine Simmonds-Moore are taking part in our conference, "Parapsychology and Consciousness." David McMillan of the Meridian Institute and Kevin Todeschi, the CEO of both Edgar Cayce's A.R.E. and Atlantic University will also be taking part.

We're really excited about all of the folks who will be joining us to give papers: Julie Beischel of The Windbridge Institute, Dean Radin of IONs, Ed May from Laboratories for Fundamental Research, Roger Nelson of the Global Consciousness Project, Steve Braude of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, John Palmer of the Rhine Research Center, Jim Carpenter in private practice in Chapel Hill, Frank Pasciuti in private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Ginette Nachman of Durham, NC. The topics range from "Biomedical Aspects of Psi" (Nachman) to "How Do the Synesthesias Relate to Anomalous Experiences" (Simmonds-Moore) and "Before the Tipping Point: Reconsidering the Nature of Consciousness" (Radin), among many others.

The conference starts at noon on Friday October 14th and continues through 6pm on Sunday October 16th. Of course we think "Parapsychology and Consciousness" brings together a unique and unprecedented mixture of some of the best speakers in the field, as well as some of the most interesting aspects of the varied research in scientific parapsychology.

The Visitor's Center at Edgar Cayce's A.R.E., where the conference will be held, has a great large auditorium and a number of function rooms we'll be using as well, plus a bookstore, a top floor meditation room with a view of the ocean and tons of parking. The campus of the A.R.E. is very unique. It's a block from the Atlantic Ocean (the reason for the great view from the meditation room). The campus also includes a meditation garden, a meditation labyrinth modeled on the one at Chartres, and the A.R.E. Heath Center and Spa. The spa is on the ground floor of the "Headquarters" Building which also houses the Cayce/Reilly School of Massotherapy, Atlantic University, and a variety of units of the A.R.E. Two other buildings complete the campus, and by the time of the conference, construction will have started on the new Educational Building. The campus backs up to First Landing State Park. (Virginia Beach is a very interesting place and we have fallen completely in love with it. More on that in another blog.)

The conference hotel, the Wyndham Oceanfront, is 10 blocks away from the "Parapsychology and Consciousness" conference venue, south of the A.R.E. on Atlantic Avenue. We have rooms blocked off for the conference there. The hotel has a great restaurant, the Surf Grille, with beautiful views of the oceanfront. The Wyndham runs a shuttle to the A.R.E. We also have rooms blocked off for the conference at the Holiday Inn Express, another oceanfront hotel down in the "strip", an area full of hotels and restaurants. The Holiday Inn Express doesn't have a shuttle but the HRT bus is close by, and if you're coming in by car, it's a quick trip up Atlantic Avenue to the A.R.E. The closest airport is Norfolk International Airport. Carlos and I love this airport (having been in a ton of airports over the years); small, easy to get around, with a shuttle.

Anyhow as time goes on, I'll write some more about the details. We're putting together the best experience possible and really looking forward to having all these great speakers in town. If you go to Atlantic University's home page -- -- you can find a link to the conference description, and to biographies and abstracts, plus a page for registration (there's an early bird price at the moment) as well as reservation pages for the two conference hotels.

Carlos and I have been involved in a lot of great conferences over the years, but we're really looking forward to this one and hope you'll all be able to join us this October 14th to 16th in Virginia Beach!

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