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The First International Conference of Parapsychological Studies

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Presentation on theme: "The First International Conference of Parapsychological Studies"— Presentation transcript:

1 The First International Conference of Parapsychological Studies
Carlos S. Alvarado, Ph.D. Parapsychology Foundation

2 Modern Parapsychology Before the Utrecht Conference
Congresses Copenhagen 1921 Warsaw 1923 Paris 1927 Athens 1930 Oslo 1935 Attended Utrecht and Some of the Old Congresses William MacKenzie (Italy) William Salter (England) René Sudre (France) Thornstein Wereide (Norway)

3 Research Before Utrecht 1953
Parapsychology Laboratory at Duke University J. B. Rhine Louise E. Rhine Charles Stuart J. G. Pratt Betty Humphrey Esther Foster Other Researchers Ferdinando Cazzamalli (Italy) Orlando Canavesio (Argentina) Whately Carington (England) Gertrude Schmeidler (USA) René Warcollier (France)

4 Frances P. Bolton Eileen J. Garrett New York Times, February 22nd, 1953

5 Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 1953

6 Organizers of the Conference
Primary Organizers Mrs. Eileen J. Garrett Hon. Frances P. Bolton (including financial support) Dr. Michel Pobers, PF Director Dr. Gardner Murphy, Chairman Professor Th. Fischer, Head of the Dutch Reception Committee Mr. George Zorab, Arrangements Selected Members of the Executive Committee Hans Bender (Germany) Gardner Murphy (USA) H. H. Price (Great Britain) Wilhelm H. C. Tenhaeff (Holland) René Warcollier (France)

7 Early Development of Conference
Organizational Meeting at Institut Métapsychique International, Paris, December, 1952 **** Discussed memo sent by Garrett Pobers makes contacts in Europe **** Discussion with American workers Initial Idea (From Garrett?) Recommendations: Hold conference in Utrecht 2. Murphy as Chair 3. Pobers as General Secretary PF Constitutes Executive Committee in February of 1953 to shape conference


9 Some Presenters at Utrecht
Robert Amadou (France) Hans Bender (Germany) John Bjorkhem (Sweden) Eric Dingwall (England) Jan Ehrenwald (USA) Jule Eisenbud (USA) Haakon Forwald (Sweden) Hornell Hart (USA) Betty Humphrey (USA) William MacKenzie (Italy) Gabriel Marcel (France) Robert McConnell (USA) Joost A. M. Meerloo (Holland) C. A. Meier (Switzerland) Gardner Murphy (USA) J. Fraser Nicol (England) H. H. Price (England) William G. Roll (then from England) Gertrude Schmeidler (USA) Emilio Servadio (Italy) S. G. Soal (England) René Sudre (France) W. H. C. Tenhaeff (Holland) R. H. Thouless (England) S. W. Tromp (Holland) Montague Ullman (USA) René Warcollier (France)

10 Members from Thirteen Countries
Great Britain 24% USA 21% Holland 15% France 12% Germany 6% Austria 5% Switzerland 5% Italy % Sweden 3% Argentina 1% Denmark 1% Norway 1% Finland 1%

11 Working Groups Quantitative studies
Psychotherapeutic and psychoanalytic approach Spontaneous phenomena and qualitative research Personality of the sensitive

12 Quantitative Studies Haakon Forwald (Sweden): “Researches in Psychokinesis by Means of Placement Technique” Paul and Christine Vasse (France): “PK and ESP Experiments with Martie Vasse” Robert Thouless (England): “Experimental Design in Parapsychology” Solco W. Tromp (Holland): “Recent Experiments on Physical Aspects of the Muscle-Tonus-Reflex (Dowsing)”

13 Psychotherapeutic and Psychoanalytic Approach
Jan Ehrenwald (USA): “Psi, Science, and Psychoanalysis” Emilio Servadio (Italy): “Depth Psychology and Parapsychology” H. J. Urban (Austria): “Parapsychological Research at a Psychiatric Clinic” Wilfried Daim (Austria): “Parapsychological Observations During Psychoanalytical Treatment”

14 Spontaneous Phenomena and Qualitative Research
Hans Bender (Germany): “Precognition in the Qualitative Experiment” Wilhelm H. C. Tenhaeff (Holland): “Psychoscopic Experiments on Behalf of the Police” Hornell Hart (USA): “Traveling ESP” William Mackenzie (Italy): “Biological Roots of Parapsychology”

15 Personality of the Sensitive
J. Fraser Nicol and Betty M. Humphrey (USA): “The Exploration of ESP and Human Personality” Gertrude R. Schmeidler (USA): “Personality Tests and ESP Scores with College Students” W. D. Rasch (Germany): “Psychodiagnostic Examinations of Sensitives” Orlando Canavesio (Argentina): “Electro-encephalography of Metapsychical States”

16 Thanks to Mrs. Garrett and the PF
Resolutions Thanks to Mrs. Garrett and the PF Five Year Plan Publications Follow-Up Committees



19 Additional Resolutions: Follow-up Committees
Future conferences Bibliographical committee Terminology International medical verification center Ethnographic and ethnological studies Psychoanalysis and psychotherapy Future international cooperation through correspondence

20 Importance of the Utrecht Conference
State of the art summary of aspects of parapsychology Congress was a manifestation of professionalization in parapsychology Example of the virtues of international collaboration Impact on parapsychology

21 Impact of Utrecht 1953 on Parapsychology
Field archieved scientific recognition because of congress General perspectives of the field Prospects coming from the congress Direction of Parapsychology Foundation programs


23 Parapsychology Foundation Conferences
International Study Group on Unorthodox Healing (1954) Some of the topics discussed were criteria for miraculous healing and methodologies to study healing. The participants included Hans Bender, Eileen J. Garrett, Hubert Larcher, Francois Leuret, Emilio Servadio, and D.J. Van Lennep. International Philosophic Symposium (1954) Some of the topics discussed were theoretical considerations and the meaning of psychic phenomena. The participants included C.J. Ducasse, Aldous Huxley, Pascual Jordan, Gabriel Marcel, C.W.K. Mundle, and H.H. Price. Conference on Spontaneous Phenomena (1955) Some of the topics discussed included methodologies to study phenomena and the variety of psychic phenomena. The participants included Lydia W. Allison, Kathleen M. Goldney, Hornell Hart, C.A. Meier, Gardner Murphy, Louisa E. Rhine, and W.H. Salter. International Symposium on Psychology and Parapsychology (1956) Some of the topics discussed included psychodynamic processes, personality variables, and attitudes and ESP. The participants included Robert Amadou, Ernesto de Martino, Jan Ehrenwald, Jean Lhermitte, C.A. Meier, and Emilio Servadio. International Research Coordination Meeting (1957) Some of the topics discussed were recent studies of ESP experiences, the concept of precognition and mediumship in relation to survival. The participants included Piero Cassoli, Jan Ehrenwald, J.M.J. Kooy, Emilio Servadio, and George Zorab.

24 Selected Examples of Work Funded by the Parapsychology Foundation: Experiments ESP and paranoia (H. Urban, 1954) ESP and personality variables (J.F. Nicol and B. Humphrey, 1954, 1955) ESP of Australian aborigenes (R. Rose, 1954) Differences in scoring in telepathy and clairvoyance conditions (G.R. Schmeidler, 1955) Comparison of GESP and precognition testing conditions (S.D. Kahn, 1955) Studies with young school children (P. Vasse and C. Vasse, 1955) Physical aspects of dowsing and of ESP and climate (S.W. Tromp, 1955) Other Work Psychological studies of psychics (W.H.C. Tenhaeff, 1954) Spontaneous phenomena in Germany during and after the Second Great War (H. Bender, 1954) Healing cases at Lourdes (D.J. West, ) Out-of-body experiences and apparitions (H. Hart, ). Psychics and psychic experiences in the British Isles (E.J. Dingwall, ) Review of the literature of ESP and personality variables (R. Van de Castle and G. Mangan, 1955) Hauntings and physical and mental mediumship (A. D. Cornell, 1955)

25 Frances Bolton & Eileen Garrett
Gardner Murphy H. H. Price Gertrude Schmeidler Gabriel Marcel Hans Bender W. H. C. Tenhaeff Jules Eisenbud & C. J. Ducasse

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