Tag Archive: clairvoyance


The Marquise de Ganges

The Marquise de Ganges

The Marquise’s death did not bring any financial gain to her two brothers-in-law.  They must have known before they killed her that she would not have mentioned them in her Will, considering their behaviour toward her.  Even if they had hoped for her money, they certainly couldn’t have passed off her death as natural.

***

The Abbot and the Knight fled.  The Knight took up service with the Venetians who were at war with the Turks at the time.  He fought bravely everywhere he went.  Even with temerity, to the point that his companions in arms became certain that he wanted to die in combat.  He did in fact die under the walls of Candia in 1659 after a battle lost by the Venetians.

The Abbot changed his name and managed to flee to Holland where he started a new life.  For many years, he consecrated himself to piety, expiating his faults by extraordinary mortifications.  He finally converted to protestantism and died very old, highly respected by all.  As for the husband, he was arrested as an accomplice and condemned to perpetual banishment.  He went to the Venaissin County, which was then papal territory and a haven for many a cutthroat, then died soon afterwards, unknown and forgotten.

***

The most guilty in this sad story is the husband who, from start to finish, kept a cool head and cooked up the plan which would allow him to get his hands on his wife’s money.  The comportment of his two brothers is different.  In the opinion of Louis Pauwels, whose work I have translated, it was of a pathological and paranormal nature…

Their whole comportment was absurd.  Any specialist of mental disorders would recognize morbid behaviour here.  Whether the origine of it was in hate, jealousy, powerlessness, a death wish or erotic delirium…  The Abbot’s comportment, coming back to fire on the young woman in front of ten witnesses is characteristic.  Just like his brother, he is under the influence of something or someone who has entered his mind like a parasite and is making him act like a sleepwalker.  Louis Pauwels is sure that the next day, this man would remember absolutely nothing of what he had done during the night.  This is what Roman Catholic theology calls “lucid somnambulist possession”.  Under its influence the individual loses conscienceness of himself and allows a foreign spirit (or mind) to take possession of his soul a bit like a parasite in a body…

***

The History of criminology and psychiatry is full of cases where individuals have “acted out” after one of these personality splits.  In L’Obsession, Jules Claretie describes the story of a painter, at the end of the XIXth Century, who was obsessed by the idea that his second personality takes over his body at certain times, without him ever being able to foresee what misdeed his other self will commit.  The painter is finally cured by an Alsatian doctor who suggests to him that he is witnessing the death and burial of the “other one”.

To write his novel, Claretie spent months gathering information at the Salpetriere mental asylum.  In the same way, in La Somnambule, Mintorn recounts the story of a pastor, an exemplary husband and father who, in a somnambulist state seduces and rapes women and kills children, without his normal personality being conscious of it…

These stories obviously bring to mind the chef-d’oeuvre of Robert Louis Stevenson, Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde

***

Such states enter into the genesis of many crimes.  In particular, crimes of passion.  Trances, split personalities and also “hypnotic states” have been the subject of resounding judicial controversies for well over a century.  In January 1888, in a little Algerian town, the body of Madame Grille is discovered in a luxurious colonial villa, lying naked on a bed beside a young man of 22, Henri Chambige, whose face had been smashed by a shot from a firearm.  Saved, the young man declared that he and this married woman were passionately in love, but that the woman did not have enough courage to flee with him, and had proposed that they end it all with a double suicide.  The victim’s husband assured that his wife had been hypnotized.  This gave rise to a long battle of experts, which opposed the Nancy school, with Bernheim maintaining that crimes under hypnosis were perfectly possible, to the Salpetriere school which, with Charcot, savagely denied it…

***

So, who could have hypnotized the two assassins?  Their brother, an accomplice, or in a manner of speaking, the Marquise herself…

Diane, Marquise de Ganges, painted by Mignard as Saint Roseline (Hospice de Villeneuve-les-Avignon).

Diane, Marquise de Ganges, painted by Mignard as Saint Roseline (Hospice de Villeneuve-les-Avignon).

This is where the paranormal enters the picture.  In the beginning, even before her marriage, the Marquise did not seem very sure of herself:  strong-willed people do not visit fortune-tellers to find out whether the man they have chosen is the right one.  Louis Pauwels is reminded of a story recounted by Paul Bourget in L’Irreparable.  Perfectly relaxed and happy before her marriage, a young woman changes radically, as soon as the ring is on her finger, into a being who is perpetually depressed and worried.  In the Marquise’s case, the clairvoyants could have played the role of fixing this anguish, being “catalysts”, convincing her that someone wants to kill her.  Gradually, her fear becomes so strong – particularly as the prediction is made a second time – that it creates a sort of psychosis of assassination in her two brothers-in-law.  According to the schema described by many mental illness specialists and psychiatrists, which consists in projecting one’s own ideas and tendencies onto those of other people.  To the classical:  “I love her, therefore she loves me” is substituted here “I don’t love them therefore they hate me, and therefore they want to kill me”…  And this fear is projected with such force onto the two men, who are themselves weak-minded, that it finishes by completely destroying their personalities.  Doubtless helped along by the husband as well, they finish by acting like hallucinated, irresponsible beings.  “Someone possesses my soul and governs it!  I am only a slavish, terrified spectator of all the things that I accomplish”, says the hero of the Horia, Maupassant’s short story.

There are cases like this where it is the victim who plays the role of the executioner…

***

As for the clairvoyants, the first one is La Voisin who was to become the sinister heroine of the Affair of the Poisons which provoked a real crisis under the reign of Louis XIV, with the effacement of La Montespan and the discovery by the Lieutenant of Police of Paris, Gabriel de La Reynie, that the greatest names of the kingdom were implicated.  History has not remembered the name of the second one.  But both predict to the Marquise that she will be assassinated in a family affair.  And it is there that the paranormal intervenes a second time.  Louis Pauwels thinks that the clairvoyants only read, by telepathy, the young woman’s fear.  The force of her obsession was such that she managed to transmit their prediction to them…

They are greatly responsible for having formulated this prediction.  When clairvoyants read death in cards or via other mancies, they usually abstain from saying so.  For either they are telling the truth and then, many examples prove it, nothing can stop the wheel of Destiny, or they are mistaken and the result can be identical.  Louis Pauwels says that he knows two people who died on the exact date that had been predicted to them.  One in a car accident, the other from a heart attack.  Because it was their destiny or because they died of panic?

***

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The Marquise de Ganges

The Marquise de Ganges

Three months go by, then the Marquise’s husband, during one of his rare visits, invites her to travel to his marquisate of Ganges, tucked in between the Cevennes and the deep gorges of the Herault.  Until then, the Marquis had always gone alone to this ancient, fortified town, but this time the Abbot and the Knight go with them.

Despite his bad behaviour, she still has confidence in her husband.  She is sure that he still loves her a little and that he particularly loves the beautiful children that she has given him.  Still, she is so worried that, before leaving, she goes to a notary to make a secret Will.  If something happens to her, she wants to leave her estate to her children, and only to them.  Anything that she might write later would be false and dictated under constraint.  This alone must be her Last Will and Testament…

Here she is at Ganges where the arrival of her caleche has drawn a few townspeople into the street.  Then the heavy doors of the manor house close behind her.  Her husband is there to welcome her under the porch.  Coldly, he announces that he has to leave almost immediately, called to Toulouse for important political business.  He will leave his wife in the care of his two brothers and will return as quickly as he can…  The young woman understands everything.  She now knows that they want to kill her, and that her brothers-in-law are criminals.  They are readying themselves and the whole empty house vibrates with the terror which descends inside her.  The poor thing guesses that she has a few hours respite;  until nighttime perhaps or the next day.  They have all the time in the world anyway and the walled house is so big that no-one would even hear her cry out.  She is in her bedchamber and looks around her.  Her windows open onto a deep ravine and there are three doors, none of which can be locked.  So, trembling, she sits down on her bed and waits.  Already, night is falling and no servant comes to bring her clothes, or lights.  What are her dear children doing now, in Avignon?  And, above all, what will become of them?

Diane's bedchamber in the Chateau de Ganges.

Diane’s bedchamber in the Chateau de Ganges.

When it is dark, she sees, as if in a nightmare, the Abbot and the Knight enter.  But the nightmare is real.  They both approach.  They are dreadfully pale and look hallucinated.  The Knight draws his sword and the Abbot holds a pistol in one hand and a glass in the other.

The Marquise screams, she begs and asks to be allowed to live.  In the name of her children.  In vain.  The two monsters close in on her and say that she has to die.  So, sensing that there is nothing more that she can do, that she has been abandoned by both God and men, she seizes the glass and swallows its contents in one gulp.  There remains a deposit at the bottom.  The Abbot, who is the most determined one, tells her to swallow it all.  The liquid burns her throat and stomach atrociously.  She throws herself onto the bed, twists her body and furtively spits the liquid onto the sheets.  She tells them that they are cursed because she is going to die without having been able to confess herself.  Finally, something which seems to touch them…  Eternal hellfire.  Like automatons, they go to find the chaplain, who is under their orders.  During their short absence, the Marquise makes herself vomit, then slips, dishevelled, stumbling, through a window on the ground floor.  In the deserted streets, she runs and arrives before a house that she thinks she recognizes.  It is that of the Maugirons, notables who came to visit her once at Saint-Andre.  She begs for water.

Diane, who had taken refuge with friends, was wounded five times by her brother-in-law's sword.

Diane, who had taken refuge with friends, was wounded five times by her brother-in-law’s sword.

The Maugirons, very upset, do what they can.  But already the Knight has arrived, looking like a mad somnambulist.  He pushes everyone away and plunges his sword five times into the young woman’s body.  At the fifth blow, the sword breaks in the middle.  He flees, running to join his brother who is waiting outside.  Everything has happened so fast that the Maugirons have been unable to stop it.  The two brothers have returned to their manor and the Knight wipes the blood off his boots and jacket.  He sees, through the window, one of the Maugirons’ domestics passing by, followed by a doctor.  The Abbot realizes that, if they have sent for the doctor, the Marquise is not yet dead.  He rushes outside and runs towards his sister-in-law’s house of refuge.  He manages to force a passage to her bed and, there, he presses a pistol to her heart and fires.

The Marquise was in fact still alive, and she survived her horrible wounds for another nineteen days…

The clairvoyant had told her that she would die three times.  The poison, the sword, the pistol.  Three weapons and so much determination to put an end to her life…

But who really killed her?  The Marquis’ two brothers of course.  But why?  Violence of unrequited desire?  Obtuse hate from two good-for-nothings?  Sordid interest, exalted by the husband’s complicity?

Surely.  But in this strange crime, of a cruelty perhaps without example in this century which counts however some terrifying ones, there was also the Marquise’s haunting certainty that she was going to be killed.  Contagious terror of assassination with which the clairvoyants had inoculated her, fear of being killed which engendered the assassins.

Vertigo in fact, which can wrap itself around everybody:  he who thinks himself to be persecuted and those who become persecutors.  Banal, sordid story of an inheritance, too?  Doubtless.  But, above all, murderous folly unleashed by a prediction.  When one believes that all is fated, all is then fated.  And he who believes the worst attracts the worst…

***

To be continued.

The Marquise de Ganges

The Marquise de Ganges

Back in Avignon, the future Marquise de Ganges tells her fiance about the gruesome prediction of her death.  The Marquis de Ganges is twenty years old.  He bursts out laughing.  Their wedding takes place in January 1658, followed by memorable festivities.  The young woman is now the Marquise de Ganges, an adorable creature of whom Saint-Simon has just said that her eyes “are a miracle of tenderness and vivacity”

The Marquis de Ganges has two brothers.  One fancies himself to be a great lover, and is a spendthrift.  So much so that, in two seasons, he has managed to go through all of his inheritance.  The other is a priest.  A strange priest who gambles, runs after women and drinks too much.  The two brothers, who don’t get along, are at least in agreement on one point:  they find their sister-in-law excessively desirable and their attendance at her home is assiduous.

The Marquis de Ganges is there a lot less.  He is often in Paris, attempting to make a career for himself by being present at Court and, very soon after his wedding, indulging in love affairs.  He is still just as charming, and his wife, who is delighted to see him whenever he cares to return home, consoles herself in his absence by looking after their two children…

In the XVIIth Century, Avignon, which belonged to the Pope, was ruled by Roman Law which forbade a husband administering his wife's possessions.  Diane was therefore sole mistress of her fortune.

In the XVIIth Century, Avignon, which belonged to the Pope, was ruled by Roman Law which forbade a husband administering his wife’s possessions. Diane was therefore sole mistress of her fortune.

Until the day when she learns – there is always some kind soul to tell you these things – that her husband is unfaithful to her and that he is spending enormous amounts of money.  Her money, in fact, for she is a lot richer than he.  So the poor little Marquise begins to worry.  Even more so because she is unable to confide in anyone.  Particularly not her two brothers-in-law, who continually look her over with concupiscent eyes and are waiting only for a moment’s weakness to throw themselves on her.  And what does an unhappy woman do?  She goes to consult fortune-tellers.  Not La Voisin this time, of course.  This time it is another who is installed in Avignon, which allows her to visit her parents at the same time.  This fortune-teller is very good too because at the moment that she turns over the first tarot cards, she sighs:

“Jesus Mary!  You will die young…”

The Marquise asks whether there is no way to escape this fate.  The fortune-teller studies the cards for a long time, then finally says:

“Give everything that you own to your husband!”

The unhappy Marquise knows that this is practically done already, for she has just had word from Versailles.  The clairvoyant insists.

“Give him everything and retire quickly to a convent…  Sweet Jesus!  I see death everywhere!  The convent, I see only that to lengthen your life…  The death of someone close to you will soon announce your own!”

The Marquise asks how she will die.

The fortune-teller hesitates, then, as livid as the Marquise, she finally reveals:

“I still see death…  But I have never seen it like this.  My cards tell me that you will die three times!”

Neither the clairvoyant, nor the Marquise, knows what this means.

***

Her children are now a bit older and her brothers-in-law are pressing her each day to go hunting with them.  Finally, she agrees to go with them.  But they have barely entered the garrigue than the priest tells her that she is driving him crazy with desire and that he wants her immediately.  She resists him and, with difficulty, manages to flee.  He calls after her that he is going to get her anyway and that he will tell the Marquis that she has lots of lovers, and that he will believe him and is a violent man.

Another day, when they are alone in the big house, the other brother-in-law, the knight, attempts to rape her.  She manages to escape, leaving her pretty pink tulle corset behind.  The perverse priest and the disgusting knight hate her terribly from then on.  Meanwhile, the husband drifts from place to place, travelling, gallant at Versailles, gambler in Paris…

Joannis de Nochere, the Marquise de Ganges’ grandfather, has just died.  He leaves a colossal fortune to his granddaughter.  One of the biggest fortunes in France.  The marriage contract clearly states that these riches are not part of the dowry.  They belong to the Marquise alone, and she can dispose of them as she wishes, either by donation, or by Will.  Is it the repeated predictions, the increased hate of her brothers-in-law or the more and more revolting behaviour of her husband?  The little Marquise is now filled with fear which throws shadows at night on the walls of her bedchamber, which infiltrates in daylight the long corridors of her home and even appears to rise from the fountains and cypress trees in her vast garden.  She tells her governess:

“I am sure now, Nanette.  They want to kill me.  Yesterday, the priest gave me a cream dessert which had a bad taste.”

***

To be continued.

The Marquise de Ganges

The Marquise de Ganges

It is 1656, in the ancient quarter of Saint-Germain-des-Pres, whose narrow alley ways and high houses, the tops of which touch each other above the street, have always favourized the most equivocal fermentings of the mind.  In this sombre XVIIth Century, throughout which flames regularly devour witches, the little Rue d’Hautefeuille, bordered on one side by a disused Jewish cemetery and on the other by student lodgings, is no exception.  It could even be said that inside the few houses with little towers in this street, magi and fortune-tellers, adept in all types of mancies, are in charge of Paris.

One October afternoon, a young woman who is barely twenty years old, wearing deep mourning, has her carriage stop at the entrance to this little street.  If she wasn’t completely veiled, it could be seen that she is very beautiful.   So beautiful that the whole of the Court of the young Sun-King [Louis XIV] is ecstatic about it.  So beautiful that the Queen of Sweden, visiting Versailles, cannot refrain from saying:

“In all of the kingdoms that I have crossed, I have never met a woman who can compare to this beautiful Provencale!”

This beauty had been married at thirteen to an amiable officer fifteen years her senior.  She had very much loved him.  But he had recently died at sea after seven years of a happy union.  Now, his young widow is about to remarry, in obedience to her parents’ wishes.  This time her husband will be a gentleman of her own age, the Marquis de Ganges, Governor of Saint-Andre-de-Majencoules, an advanced post in the Cevennes.  The Marquis is also very beautiful, and so joyful!  Always dressed in the latest fashion, frequenting the best Parisian tailors, he is to be seen at Versailles at both the Petit and the Grand Risings.  He is always hunting, often in the King’s company.  He is exactly the same age as Louis XIV.  To resume, he is a perfect cavalier, who will go magnificently with this young, rich heiress…

Catherine Deshayes, wife of Monvoisin

Catherine Deshayes, wife of Monvoisin

A high oak door, flanked by torches, a flight of marble steps, and the young woman is at the lodgings of Catherine Deshayes, the wife of Monvoisin, whose profession is fortune-teller.  Upon entering the vestibule of the one whom the Greats, her clients, call La Voisin, the future Marquise has a moment’s hesitation.  She is shown a sinister hallway all hung in black and constellated with cabalistic signs.  But the maid leads her smilingly towards the magician’s lair.  The place has obviously been decorated by a succubus with refined taste and everything is intended to put the visitor in the right mood.  Between the standing statue of Belzebuth and a set of mirrors which allow people from the Past and from the Future to be seen, La Voisin lolls in an Egyptian armchair.  Fascinated, the young woman contemplates behind her a very crude allegory representing lust…

Draped in dark taffeta studded with little green dragons, her face hidden under a sort of nun’s cornette, La Voisin appears wary at first, and wants to know why the young woman has come to her.

“In a few days, I will have to make a capital decision.  I would like your spirits to advise me.”

The magician relaxes and tells her that she will ask them to answer her.  She asks her not to say anything but to write down, on the piece of paper that she hands to her, the questions that she wants to ask the spirits.  The young woman does not want to write anything down, fearing that the paper could be used against her.  La Voisin assures her that she will burn the paper before her eyes.

The young woman takes the pen which is being held out to her, backs away and writes two lines on the paper, which she then gives to the clairvoyant, who rolls it into a ball and drops it immediately into the mouth of a furnace where aromatic herbs are burning.  Using an elementary sleight-of-hand, La Voisin has of course hidden the paper on which is written:

“Am I young?  Am I beautiful?  Am I a girl, a woman, or a widow?  Should I marry or remarry?  Will I live a long life, will I soon die?”

She leaves, having made an appointment to return in three days.  The time needed by the spirits to come up with the answers.  The time needed by La Voisin to gather information from one of her many spies who investigate for her around Paris…

When the future Marquise returns, she hears this:

“You are young, you are beautiful, you are a widow.  Soon you will remarry…”

Then, touching the head of a stuffed salamander with big orange spots, she concentrates for a moment then says this, which is true clairvoyance:

“I have to tell you…  yes… I have to tell you, that you are going to die young!”

The young woman wants to know whether the cards ever make a mistake.  La Voisin replies that they rarely do.  The young woman begs her to try again.  The fortune-teller slowly rises and goes towards her oven.  In a recipient she takes a pinch of resin which she rolls in what appears to be incense, then throws the little ball into the fire.

A green and blue flame rises, which she carefully inspects.  She turns back toward the young woman.

“There is little hope…  You will die young from a violent death!”

***

To be continued.

Out-of-body travelling

Algiers where the painter Parsus was asleep when he was transported on board a sinking ship.

The writer and researcher Aime Michel who is interested in extraordinary phenomena was told the following story by the painter Parsus.

“I was staying at the Abdel-Tif Villa in Algiers at the time, in a little apartment with my wife.

“One night while asleep I see a glaucous glimmer.  Slowly this glimmer takes form.  I then feel myself transported into a narrow corridor.  A weak light is falling from above and all the bottom is invaded by water.

“All at once I have the impression that the corridor is starting to sway…  No!  More rolling and pitching…  I’m still asleep but I understand:  I’m in a ship that’s sinking!

“Suddenly a tall man appears.  He’s stumbling.  He seems exhausted.  His hair, his shirt, largely open on his chest, are dripping with water.  Now, he advances with difficulty towards me or rather he seems to climb the narrow corridor which is slanting sharply, holding onto the walls.  I have the impression that he’s going to collapse any moment.

“Now he stops.  He hides his face in his hands.  He turns his head toward me, his hands slide and on his face I can read infinite distress.  Then suddenly I recognize him.  Yes, it’s him!  It’s really him, my friend N… that I’d left in Paris a few weeks ago.  His face is now haggard and violaceous.  He’s panting, it’s frightening to watch.

“I let out a terrible cry and wake up…  I wake up but I have to make an immense effort to persuade myself that I’m not dreaming.  For the tragic vision persists.  I’m still at the end of this gangway where the water is mounting and I scream

‘It’s him, it’s him!…  he’s on the Rollon, it’s sinking!’

“I am however sitting on my bed and my wife has just woken up with a start.

“Terrified, she sees me get up for, although awake, I’m still one of the people in the scene.

“Now I rush to my friend’s aid.  I have the time to take three steps…  the vision effaces itself completely and I find myself standing, completely awake, but exhausted and trembling.  My wife is very upset to see me like this.

“I find the strength to say to her:

‘I saw N… in his boat, the Rollon, which was sinking!’

‘But you know that he’s not on his boat at the moment!…  Right now, he’s surely in Paris.’

“I sit back down on the bed, convinced that what I’ve just seen, I mean “lived”, is something more than a dream:  I had such an impression of being on board this boat myself!…

“Over the following days, I try to forget about it.

“Three weeks later, I’m sitting at the terrace of a cafe.  Beside me someone is reading a newpaper.  The title of an article reads:

‘The disappearance of the Rollon is confirmed.’

“I borrow the newspaper from my neighbour and read that my friend’s boat has disappeared off Sardaignia.  The probable day of the sinking is also that of my ‘hallucination’.”

Did Parsus dream?  Did he have a simple hallucination?…  Or is it a phenomenon of a completely different nature?  Here is a second story.  It will hardly clarify the question.

During a storm in the China Sea, Saint Francis Xavier was seen both on his own boat and at the helm of a boat in danger.

It is a story that is in the dossiers of Duke University which specialises in parapsychological things.

One afternoon in 1947, a young American girl, whom we shall call Pat, was in England at the home of her boyfriend Allen’s mother.  Pat had met Allen in Germany and at the time this happens, he is still there, a soldier of the Allied Army of Occupation.

In the middle of a conversation, Pat is suddenly troubled and becomes very pale.  Allen’s mother says:

“You don’t look at all well, my little Pat!”

The young girl exclaims, in prey to great anxiety:

“Oh!  Quickly, quickly!  Quickly, something terrible is going to happen to Allen…  he’s in a jeep…  he’s in a jeep on a road with trees…  I know this road well.  Oh!  Quickly…  I have to go there…  I’m going there, I’m going there!”

She leaps from her chair, desperately gesticulating…  then sits down almost immediately.  Uncomfortable, she smiles and says:

“Excuse me!  It’s silly…  I really don’t know what happened to me!…”

Two days later, she receives a letter.  Allen asks her with vivacity if she had come on Wednesday to Germany and what clothes she was wearing that day.  She writes a very kind letter in which she reassures him, and indicates that she hadn’t left England and that she had been at his mother’s that afternoon.

Two days later, another letter from Allen.  He writes:

“Listen to me, Pat.  Something unheard-of has happened to me.  Last Wednesday I was in a jeep on the M. road between O. and D.  We have often taken it together…  I wasn’t alone in the jeep.  I was beside the driver, a German, and in the back there were three people:  two fellow soldiers on either side of a German prisoner we were taking to D.  The soldier sitting behind me was Gerry, whom you know.

“We were following a truck with a trailer on the part of the road that has a lot of trees.  All at once, just when we were going to pass it, you erupted from a little track on the right and you rushed at the jeep waving your arms.

“The driver braked and, excuse me for saying this, called you a ‘nutcase’.

“It was as fast as lightning, but Gerry and I perfectly recognized you before you disappeared.  Gerry even yelled:  ‘Look!  It’s Pat!’  And I answered:  ‘So it is!  I thought that she was still in England!’  At that same moment the heavy trailer disconnected from the truck, zigzagged for a few metres, then crashed on the bank of the ditch.  Just at the entrance to the track from which you had appeared!

“It’s certain that if the driver hadn’t braked when he saw you, if he’d continued passing the truck, we would certainly have crashed onto the trailer.”

Duke University made a careful enquiry into this case.  It had Allen, Gerry, the second soldier, the German prisoner and the driver interrogated separately.  All of them were able to describe Pat precisely.  They all identically described the clothes that she was wearing…  the clothes that she was wearing that Wednesday afternoon, while she was in England, one thousand kilometres from there.

Where was Pat really that day?  In England or on a little forest road in Germany?

***

To be continued.

Before taking any decision, the Greeks went to consult an oracle.

A writer goes to see Wanga Dimitrova.  He wants to find answers to the questions that everyone asks himself.  Shall I be ill?  Shall I fall in love?  Become rich and famous?  And another one, which the clairvoyant never refuses to answer, however much it may cost:  when shall I die?

For once, Wanga refuses to answer anything.  She says:

“There is something much more important than all that.  You have just written the story of an adventure which really happened.  Why, at the end, do you make your heroine die, when she is still alive?  If you respect the truth, your book can only be better… “

So speaks Wanga, who knows the slightest material changes in the lives of all those who come to see her.  But who sometimes refuses to answer.  As if, for her, the psychical and the spiritual are more important.  As if this daughter of Thrace, the land of Orpheus, the prophet and magician of the Arts, believes only in poetry, intelligence, the Conscious.  A Conscious which englobes intelligence itself, and which floats on this ocean of co-existence, the nearest coasts of which we are only just starting to explore.

***

In the Balkans, Wanga Dimitrova is well-known.  When this text was written, over thirty years ago, no photograph of her existed.  The Soviet authorities hoped to “domesticate” or at least find a physical, rational explanation.  Because of this, Wanga became the first prophetess in modern times to be given a salary by the Government, and be protected and even encouraged, for the social role that she played.  This shows a real absence of prejudice in the land of triumphant materialism.

***

The Committee of organization was put in place by the Institute of Suggestology and Parapsychology in Sofia.  This is a very serious institution which establishes the archives of Wanga’s revelations and verifies if her prophecies come true.  Wanga has two secretaries at her disposition and everything that she says or does is examined in the Institute’s laboratories.  Around thirty researchers work there under the direction of Georgi Lozanov, who is Doctor in Medicine and has worked for twenty-five years in parapsychology.  He is very well-known for this in the Communist world. and for some time now, American researchers come to see him, to exchange information with him on the hidden powers of the psychism.

***

The price of a consultation with Wanga is multiplied by five for non-Bulgarians.  The money goes to the State which generously supports Lozanov’s Institute…

***

It all started for Wanga in her childhood.  She manifested an extraordinary sensitivity.  Her family was very poor and her father, who was an agricultural worker, had to go to Greece to find work.  It was at this epoch, when she was thirteen, that Wanga’s sight started to go.  Her father showed her to a Greek doctor who recommended an immediate operation.  Through lack of money, the operation cannot take place, and at nineteen, Wanga is completely blind.

Her paranormal sight is then unveiled and predictions begin, firstly in connection with the death of loved ones, which all come true.  Her parapsychological power has in fact the lugubrious particularity of “sensing” the death of all those who come to consult her.  Whether it touches the consultant directly, or his entourage.  And it is very rare that she makes a mistake.

***

Sometimes it would doubtless be better that she remain silent, but she assures that this is impossible:

“I am sorry.  I can’t say anything about the life of those who come to see me if I can’t also speak of their death… “

Luckily, Wanga sometimes makes mistakes.  For, as is the case with all of the great clairvoyants and telepaths, her powers are very variable in time.  Illnesses, personal problems, for example, affect them for varying lengths of time.  Lozanov’s Institute has however been able to determine that, over a period of fourteen years, Wanga’s predictions and her clairvoyances about the present and the past are 80% correct.

***

Sometimes, she has instantaneous panoramic visions of the past, the present and the future of her “patient”.  At other times, it takes several hours to find a minor element.  Georgi Lozanov has also noted that it is possible to “block” the clairvoyant.  By simulating mental confusion, by taking on someone else’s identity, or by showing hostility or scepticism toward her.

***

The way that a visitor presents himself is a determining factor in the declenchment of the divination process.  After which, it seems that Wanga has no more power to control the voices or the images that she assures she hears and sees.

***

This explains nothing, but the phenomenon can be described.  Lozanov has done it.  At the moment of the telepathic and divinatory trance, there is a contraction of Time and a dilation of Space.  Like the famous “global perception” of the dying.  Lozanov speaks of “concept of the great present” and this of course poses immediate philosophical problems, which are, for the moment, insoluble.  Those of the determinism which rules our life, that we call predestination, fatum, or karma, which means, for those who believe in the transmigration of souls, the sum of the acts of their anterior lives which, according to Brahmanism, weighs heavily on our future destiny…

***

To begin to find an answer, we must first change our opinion on a Time which is only the addition of chance events uniformly happening one after the other.  Physicists, too, have had to renounce their rational and predetermined conception in the matter.  Margaret Mead, the great American anthropologist, who was very interested in parapsychology, uses these terms:

“There are few reasons to believe that humans could live, if they have knowledge of catastrophes which they are incapable of preventing… “

***

At Delphi, politicians, military men or ordinary people came to consult the Pythia who prophesied in a state of sacred delirium.

Pythia comes from the word "python". The skin of this serpent killed by Apollo decorated the prophetic tripod.

Here, nothing much has changed over the last five thousand years.  Sheep still travel through these mountains which have seen the combats of Philip and Alexander against Thracian warriors, the most bellicose of Antiquity.  Today, this countryside is known as “the Switzerland of the Balkans”.  But this discrete region possesses the most eloquent clairvoyant in the world.  Who, unlike her Greek sisters of Antiquity, does not need a tripod or volcanic gas to predict the future.

We are in Petrich in Bulgaria and the oracle lives in a little, low house in this mountain village.  But we are still in the time of Socialism where everything is planned, and Wanga’s astounding gifts provoke no spectacular public manifestation, nor even any of those long queues which are characteristic of the countries of the East at this time.  He who comes to consult Wanga Dimitrova, the Bulgarian prophetess, has to pass by a sort of committee which will fix an appointment a long time in advance.  Which avoids too long a wait, and any excessive fatigue for the clairvoyant, who is blind from childhood.  She can see the future and the past with confounding precision.  She can find missing people and reveal illnesses, in a way that only two or three other people in the world are able to do.  With this difference, that she hates performing as some sort of side-show attraction, just as much as she hates leaving her Rhodope mountains for an instant.

A few years beforehand, she had fallen ill, and two doctors were then able to examine her attentively.  She greeted them by telling them that she detested doctors, explaining that, when she was little, her eyes hurt and she had been so well treated that she was now blind.  She tells them to leave.  The doctors pretend to obey, but because they absolutely want to establish some sort of contact with her, they come back an hour later.  The clairvoyant is sitting alone on a Turkish divan, and is even less welcoming.  She tells them that she never sees anything about sceptics like themselves.  The two men seize this pretext to advise her to dine in peace, saying that they know that she had received more than forty people that day…  Perhaps they could come back later?

The prophetess does not reply.  Half-an-hour later she comes out of her kitchen and again wants to chase them away, saying that she had already told them that she would only receive them the next day.

Her visitors point out that they have come a long way, and that they have to leave that same evening.  Wanga is standing in the doorway at this moment.  Suddenly, her face changes.  She has difficulty breathing.  She seems to follow an object moving on the ceiling with her eyes…  Now she staggers, and the whole left side of her face collapses.  In a demented gesture, panting and upset, she slices her left palm with her five grouped fingers.  She cries out:

“Who is Gregor?”

One of her visitors replies:

“It’s the name of one of my sons-in-law… ”

“Who is Stephana?”

“It’s my son-in-law’s mother… ”

“Your father Alexander is dead?… ”

“Yes… ”

“Your mother Flora is dead too?… ”

“Yes.”

“You were five children… “

Little by little, Wanga’s tone becomes more affirmative.  As if she is now reading in an open book.

“Your brother Peter would really like me to say something very important.  But I don’t understand him very well…  I am so tired!  But it is very, very important!… “

Wanga’s face is congested.  Her eyes slowly roll in their sockets…  Suddenly, she again makes the same gesture with her hands, even more violently.  She shouts, as if she is suffering atrociously:

“Your wife is ill!  Very seriously ill!  You think that it is the menopause…  it is not that at all!  I see blood, an enormous amount of blood!  It is not the menopause…  It is cancer!”

Now, the paragnostic is in full hysterical trance.  With great dramatic gestures, she hammers out the same words, in prey to abundant perspiration.  In a provocative tone, she addresses the other visitor.

“So, my dear!  Why do you pass yourself off as a city man when you are from the country, born in the Plovdiv district?”

“It is true, but now I am both doctor and city-dweller… ”

“Your parents are still alive!  You have two sisters, one of whom is a school teacher and, at this moment, your parents and your sister are building a new house in your native village.  You should help them a bit more!  As for your wife, she is at the cinema at the moment!… “

All of these affirmations of course turn out to be true.  Upon returning home, one of the doctors finds his wife bathing in her blood, a victim of the haemorrhage provoked by a cancer that had not been suspected until now…

The Pythia of Delphi rendered her oracles after having breathed the mephitic vapours which seeped from a crevasse. Accused of political bias, she was sometimes attacked.

A young woman, who has a high position in the Bulgarian Government, recounts:

“Like a lot of other people, my father went one day to visit the clairvoyant.  There were a lot of people, but he didn’t have to wait long.  Wanga came to the door of her little house and received him first, saying that it was because he was the only one present who did not believe in her gift…  Then, she started to tell him numerous circumstances of his life with astounding precision, his three marriages in particular.

“She told him that he had another fourteen years to live, indicating that I, myself, would lose my husband after the birth of our first child.

“She added that I would re-marry, but that my new household would be destroyed following an error that I would commit.  Finally, to crown everything, she revealed to me that my brother would kill himself at the age of twenty in a “stupid” accident.

“Unfortunately, everything came true in the slightest detail, including the death of my brother who, by imprudently jumping from a tram, was run over.  How did the whole of my future existence pass in an instant behind the blind eyes of Wanda, when I was myself only a little girl?”

And this young woman adds thoughtfully:

“I don’t believe in either miracles or religion…  But this woman is installed on an observatory, from whence she can see how the ribbons of destinies are knotted, in their smallest details, and she makes me believe that there is something… “

To be continued.

Uri Geller – part 5

Uri Geller.

We have no rational explanation to offer for precognition and/or telepathy.  The Americans, and even more so, the Russians, are looking for a solution in the paradoxes of Time.  No-one has yet been able to give a satisfactory definition of this concept.  What is its nature?  Does it have an objective reality?  For Kant, Time has no reality outside experience.  Bergson distinguishes between “real” Time which is a succession of psychological, free and creative moments, and “mathematical” Time which is submitted to determinism…  However, they all believe that the flow of Time is irreversible, that is to say, that it flows incessantly from an alpha point to an omega point.  This is where contemporary physicists do not agree…

Targ and Puthoff very well show that this irreversibility is more of a subjective constatation, than a scientific law.  Modern physics have made discoveries where information is in fact propagated, not by the present towards the future, but well and truly in the opposite sense:  it is the Englishman Dirac, for example, whose equations, relative to the electron, furnish two solutions in 1920.  One describes a particle with a negative charge, which effectively suits the electron, the other’s charge is mysteriously positive.  It is only in 1932, that this second solution is revealed to be correct also, with the discovery of the positron.  For Targ and Puthoff, this is a typical case of precognition, the emergence of the positron not having yet happened, while it had already provoked a perception in the present…

***

The Russians have a more materialistic explanation of perception.  The Russian physicist Kozyrev, passionate about the paranormal, says:

“Time is the most important and the most enigmatic element in the Universe.  It doesn’t propagate like Light waves, it manifests itself everywhere instantaneously.  It is Time which connects us to others, and connects all things in the Universe.  This Time, we, the Russians, know how to study it in the laboratory.”

Starting with an asymmetrical pendulum, constituted by a perfected gyroscope and an elastic under tension, Kozyrev was able to demonstrate that, between the pole of the elastic’s traction, which he calls “cause”, and the pole of extension, “effect”, there is a very important “deflection”, or deviation effect, which reveals an increase in temporal density.  Kozyrev says:

“The density is strongest at the pole of traction, which allows me to emit the following postulation:  Time possesses a density which is weak around the cause and strong around the effect.”

Kozyrev notes one disconcerting thing:  chemical reactions, the combustion of sugar for example, affect the gyroscope at a distance.  Without any recourse to a known energy type.

***

Kozyrev was able to prove that it also affects his apparatus, and singularly, more when he thinks of a poem, than when he redoes a mathematical calculation.

***

He concludes that telepathy always depends on Time’s density…  Weak near the emitter, it is stronger near the receiver, as in the case of the elastic.  He says:

“We have good hopes of being able to modify temporal density soon in the laboratory.  When we are in measure to do it at will, we shall be able to produce telepathy on order, with any subject.”

***

The Americans agree.  Doctor Wilson, of the Douglas Laboratories in California thinks:

“I am sure that in ten or twenty years [this text was written over thirty years ago], physicians will have elaborated a theory very close to that of Kozyrev.”

The eminent American physicist Carles A. Muses also assures that it is possible to quantitatively evaluate Time.  Like Richet, he thinks that the energy that it produces is of a vibratory nature.  Doctor Murphy, the President of the American Psychical Research Society, concludes:

“When we have acquired another conception of Time, we shall suddenly understand all of the problems connected to clairvoyance, and all the pieces of the puzzle will fall into place”…

***

Both the Russians and the Americans have done a lot of work on E. S. P. over a long period of time.  The proof is the number of hypotheses which have been emitted to explain the different forms of clairvoyance.  Over a century ago, E. Houston was already speaking of a bold hypothesis, which compared telepathy to electromagnetic waves which had just been discovered by Hertz.  In the West, the materialistic theses (chains of physical causes and effects) are abandoned for subliminal theses.  By subliminal, they mean everything that is situated below the Conscious level.  Doctor Alexis Carrel explains it in a very poetic way:

“The mind is not entirely set in the four dimensions.  It is at the same time in the material Universe and elsewhere.  It is prolonged out of Space and Time, like an algue which fixes itself on a rock and lets its hair float in the mystery of the ocean…”

By ideological conviction, the Russians never wanted to believe in trancendental hypotheses, which attribute clairvoyance to extra-human entities, of a spiritual nature.  This allowed them to go very far in the experimental and applied domains.  Paranormal research was considered there as a science among others, and Jacques Bergier was able to prove that, during the whole of Stalin’s reign, the Pavlov Institute in Moscow was already doing clandestine research on the influence of high-frequency magnetic fields on extra-sensory faculties.

Their most spectacular results concern extra-retinian vision, which permits seeing with the epiderm, the sourcer’s rod for the detection of mines and dowsing, telepathy at very long distances (more than 5,000 kilometres) for espionage purposes, notably in the direction of China, and parapsychology applied to plants, animals and health.  On this last point, it was widely reported in the Press, that Brejnev had been treated by an extremely gifted female healer, Jewgenija Juwasjewna Dawitascwili, nicknamed Dschuna, which means “demon”.  In 1979, she apparently succeeded in “ressuscitating” the master of the Kremlin with a simple magnetic pass.  Dschuna was at the heart of a Soviet offensive for the conquest of all the parapsychological domains, and notably those which would allow them to attack illnesses which are incurable at the moment.

***

There are enormous difficulties in making a synthesis of the vast parapsychological accomplishments.  It is a science still in the cradle, which will really only progress when the “superphysics” that it implies, are themselves founded.

***

During trips to the Moon, the Americans could have made parapsychology take a giant leap.  Edgar D. Mitchell, who was part of Apollo 14 in 1971, performed some telepathic experiments with four people on Earth.  They were full of information, but were given no support, Mitchell not even daring to mention them to NASA, for fear of seeing them forbidden.

***

The Russians most certainly performed this kind of experiment in Space.  Although we have only indirect proof.  After finding out that researchers, like Targ and Puthoff, had been given some money to detect and form telepaths, they set up a special research unit to form telepaths capable of messing up the Americans’ telepathic exchanges…

***

Uri Geller – part 4

Uri Geller.

The scientific approach to telepathy is more than a hundred years old now.  Its great ancestor is the Frenchman Richet, the first President of the Union metapsychique internationale.  From the beginning of the XXth Century, he untiringly leads the investigation through all those who manifest clairvoyancy gifts, and analyses the diverse cases with the aim of finding, in a rigorous manner, the mechanisms of thought transmission, of the “sixth sense”, as it was then called.  But he also gives a global explanation, by a poetic comprehension of the matter, breathing in unison with the Conscious.  A Conscious which is in permanent expansion in the Universe, and which transmits “all the vibrations of reality” to thinking people.  He thus opens the way for the American Rhine, who proves that distance does not alter the telepathic message, and that, on the contrary, it is at a distance of 500 kilometres or more that perception is at its best.  If telepathy is not affected by Space, is it affected by Time?  Rhine then asks.  He proves that it is not, and that certain messages are received before they are even emitted.  This is the case for Uri Geller, who directly perceives images which appear on a television screen.  This is no longer telepathy, but clairvoyance.  The paranormal information arrives without there being any need for it to pass through a person who emits this information.

***

The crucial question of knowing when an experiment begins and when it ends is therefore a stumbling block in the bewildering problem of precognition.  Until then, attempts had been made to explain telepathy by the schema of radio wave function.  A very limited schema, by the way, for all telepathic exchanges are sooner or later infiltrated by clairvoyance:  when Rhine asks his telepaths to read cards bearing symbols such as a cross, a circle or a star, it frequently happens that the subject perceives the preceding or the following card.  As the person is not looking at the cards at this moment, it is necessarily a sort of divination which, for the moment, is totally inexplicable…

***

The Russians were the most advanced in this domain.  They worked a lot on precognition, notably to try to teach pilots of space vessels to detect obstacles in the sideral vacuum, or enemy rockets, by precognition.

***

The Americans multiplied their experiments, but seem to have remained at the hypothetical stage.  Targ and Puthoff, notably, have worked with extraordinarily gifted clairvoyants.  Certainly more gifted than Geller.  The most prodigious was certainly Ingo Swann, a New York artist.  He could describe places that he had never seen.  Targ and Puthoff indicated geographical longitudes and latitudes to him, Ingo settled himself comfortably on a sofa and immediately began:

“2 degrees South, 34 degrees East…, I’m above a big stretch of water, it’s a lake, the altitude is high…”

These co-ordinates are those of Lake Victoria.

“64 degrees North, 19 degrees West…, I’m above the ocean, I see a volcano in the South-East…”

These co-ordinates indicate a point above the Atlantic, twenty miles from the Hekla volcano.

“60 degrees North, 90 degrees West, I’m in the middle of the sea but I see pine trees to the North.”

The co-ordinates of Hudson Bay.

***

The researchers thought at first that this was a simple case of telepathy but they found that telepathy had nothing to do with it.  They put together a fabulous project that they baptised SCANATE, which roughly means “exploration by co-ordinates”.  Their principal objective was precisely to mix up all possible telepathic influences, and this is how they went about it:  firstly, all the targets around the world were chosen by the ordinary employees of the Stanford Research Institute, and by researchers belonging to other laboratories.  Right to the end, those who were participating in the experiment were kept in ignorance of the chosen co-ordinates.  Lastly, the researchers had details described to them which were not found on any map, such as houses, pylons, bridges…

One day, a physicist stationed at the other end of the United States, and completely sceptical about the eventual results of the project, was asked to telephone the following co-ordinates:  49 degrees 20 minutes South, 70 degrees 14 minutes East.  On his orange sofa – a colour that inspired him – Ingo Swann immediately began.

“I see an island and a mountain rising through a layer of clouds.  The terrain is rocky, little plants are growing there…  There are a lot of clouds and it is very cold…  I see buildings arranged symmetrically.  One is orange, it is dominated by a radar antenna and a round disc…”

Ingo then starts to draw a map, which he comments like this:

“Night is falling.  There is an orangey light in the West where I see hills.  To the North, I see a landing-strip and to the East, far away, the ocean.  Now I’m at the edge of the water…  waves are breaking over the rocks, and now there appears to me a basin of sand traversed by a river with many birds flying over it.  Oh!  A high cliff, and a promontory…  Over there, a lighthouse perhaps…  But I really don’t feel like flying over this rocky zone, which is, by the way, very indistinct!”

The map that the paragnostic had drawn was that of the French island of Kerguelen, in the Southern Indian Ocean, and its outline is much more precise than that done by Cook two centuries earlier, or by Tremarec, who discovered the island…  Of course, all the details mentioned are exact, as a very detailed enquiry was able to determine later…

***

Dr Charles Richet was one of the foremost physiologists of his time.

No explanation has been given.  However, since this study, we know that this form of vision at a distance is suscitated by the right hemisphere of the brain.  We already knew that both hemispheres of the brain had functions and aptitudes which were completely different from each other.  The left is specialised in analytical and logical activities, the right, in intuition, and the global and poetic comprehension of things.  And, above all, the left hemisphere better measures Space, the right, Time.  Space and Time are the fundamentals of the Conscious, and the brain has an equal need to apply both of its parts to them.  This well proves that, for the most difficult problems presented to the human species, the scientist needs the artist, and that no creative work is possible without the complementarity of the rational and the intuitive.  Charles Richet’s genius was to understand, as early as 1908, that his hypotheses would remain, for the essential, “buried in darkness”, if he couldn’t manage to embrace this “immense intelligence, on the surface of which we live” by scientific experimentation.  It is true that this winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine had begun his career by writing an excellent book of poetry.

***

To be continued.

Uri Geller – part 3

Uri Geller.

Uri Geller manages to capture images sent to him via a television screen or from a calculator’s memory.  The person who loads the machines does not know what the image is.  Uri manages to receive the images anyhow, although with less clarity.  This is a troubling innovation:  does it mean that he doesn’t need a human intermediary to read the image?  The experiment is pursued in this sense.  A researcher places an object inside one of the ten film containers spread out over the table.  Uri has to identify the one which contains it, without touching anything.  Whether the object is a magnet, a ball bearing, sugar or water, he designates the right container twelve times out of twelve.  Then a dice is placed in a metal classer, which someone shakes energetically.  Like the other telepathy experiments, Geller is allowed to “pass” a certain number of times.  Out of ten answers to be given, he passes twice and guesses eight times the number on the dice.  The probability of luck in this experiment:  one chance in a million.

Because the Stanford Research Institute‘s team is composed only of serious and competent people, who are laying their reputations on the line with this type of experimentation, their conclusions are more than prudent.  Apart from the absolutely uncontestable experiments in telepathy, they only talk about Uri Geller and a “chain of coincidences”.  Other men of science who have worked with the Israeli speak in the same terms about the phenomena that he declenches, because the state of Science and its language are still incapable of reporting it properly.  Targ and Puthoff repeated the experiment once more, several years after having met Geller.

One evening in 1975, when they are passing through Washington, one of their colleagues from the East Coast, asks them to drop everything and meet him.  Although they are already late, the two men accept to receive him in their hotel room.  The scholar arrives out of breath, and shows them a series of recent photographs on which Uri is trying to bend a bar of iron.  On several of these photographs, above his head, an arm in a sleeve of light material is clearly visible.

Very impressed, Russel Targ and Harold Puthoff try humour:

“That must be the famous arm which always comes, when needed, to help Uri!”

Their colleague does not at all feel like laughing.  He recounts that, a few days after having taken these photos, the photographer awoke in the middle of the night.  An arm was floating above his bed.  It appeared terribly real, this arm, dressed in a sleeve of light grey material.  And on top of that, it ended in a hook.  Puthoff jokes:

“An extra-terrestrial, perhaps, or one of Venus de Milo’s arms.”

He looks at his watch.  It is nearly midnight.  Suddenly, the three men distinctly hear the sound of a key in the lock.  The door opens and a man enters the room.  And this man, who is wearing a light grey suit, has only one arm.

In fact, he is just a client of the hotel who had previously occupied this room, and thought that his luggage was still inside.  A simple coincidence therefore, another one, which has taken a slightly poetic turn this night.  Poetry which, according to Eddington, Einstein’s friend, is particularly adapted to the comprehension of today’s physics.  Physics which seem to obey the pre-established, rational conception that we have of them a lot less now, than they do a series of chance events, which make possible today, phenomena which appear to be quite startling…

***

We don’t hear a lot about Uri Geller today.  Some people say that he was just a clever mystifier of the 1970’s.  They are completely wrong.  It is possible that his gifts one day disappeared, as quickly as they had come, notably telekinesis.  This faculty is in fact intimately connected to stages of life:  it culminates in adolescence and totally disappears at mature age.  Illnesses, a bad function of sexual or thyroid glands, can also perturb it.  In 1972, when Targ and Puthoff are testing Uri, he is twenty-five.  He impresses the two physicists so much, that they completely turn their backs on their speciality, quantum electronics, to consecrate themselves to the study of parapsychology.  At the Stanford Research Institute, nobody thinks that they are crazy.  On the contrary.  The State even gives them an important grant for their research.

***

They are right, however, to be wary of Geller’s gifts as well as of chance.  In the example of the playing cards, there could have been a manufacturing fault.  These sorts of coincidences, as improbable as they are, give enormous problems to scientists who are interested in parapsychology.  Arthur Koestler, the author of Zero et l’Infini, talks at length on it.  But for him, it is very hazardous to conclude, in the case of the damaged cards, that it was entirely due to coincidence.  For him, this incident, as modest as it is, reminds us that universal order covers all activity, and that it is only the present and temporary limits of our minds which prevent us from finding the connection between the man and the event, the pack of damaged cards and the fact that it was precisely into Uri’s hands that this strange pack of cards arrived that night…

***

Geller’s exhibitionist side is a moral problem which has nothing to do with his paranormal gifts.  All of the great paragnostics are exhibitionists, and most of them cheat as well, sometimes.  Because they impose such tension on their willpower, that the awaited phenomenon must be produced.  If it isn’t, the consequences can be dramatic for their psychism, which is already sorely tried.  As for the experiments which took place over six weeks at the S. R. I., Targ and Puthoff used the most sophisticated controlling instruments available to track Uri’s telekinetic powers, and possess kilometres of film which prove their reality.  For the moment, they have not been able to draw any scientific laws from them.  But they are convinced that these phenomena obey hidden harmonies.  It is good that the mind discovers only slowly the vertiginous gulfs that they cover.  Because reason would otherwise be swallowed up in them…

***

To be continued.

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