by Ernst Senkowski

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Everybody is responsible for his actions. 

Under certain aspects the discussion of this theme may seem to be a waste of time and place. If certain phenomena are considered to be a priori ‘impossible and unprovable’, then any further discussion would be of no avail. But how could the scope and reach of something unknown be defined? Which physical ‘laws’ could rule out paranormal events? Where could be stated that (instrumental) transcommunication is impossible ?  

The notion of ‘proving’ something – which is usually used unreflectively – is etymologically related to that of ‘indicate = show’, and in the modern era replaces the Latin synonym ‘demonstrare’ previously used in scientific discussion. It is possible to have strict mathematical proofs within a system of conventional ‘logical’ rules of connexions which are based on unproven and unprovable axioms; in this respect mathematicians have had to find their way back to a considerable degree of humility (GUILLEN). In the juridical sense, to ‘prove’ something is (remarkably!) synonymous with ‘to convince a supreme (!) court of the correctness of a claim’, whereby the selection, the admissibility and the evaluation of the evidence(s) are in the last resort psychically determined by the judge’s freedom of decision and the variable interpretation of written laws and commentaries. 

VARELA holds that nothing is proved. For him there are only more or less convincing arguments. And what is convincing, in his view, depends on the argument, on the form of argumentation, on the person doing the arguing, and not least on the attributes of the listener – and (it) is embedded in the historically formed socio-cultural environment.  

It is precisely this inertia-laden environment, which, since several centuries, has been influenced by mechanistic-materialistic and dogmatic confessional ideas, that hinders the acceptance of the paranormal phenomena. Le SHAN comments (acc. to German translation of 1986):

‘Fact is that the paranormal represents a quite normal part of human possibilities, our relations to others and to our environment, but we have mystified it to such extent, have made it seem so strange and out of place, that we don’t know what to make of it. We cannot activate this part of our being – instead we decide uncritically either for or against its existence and leave aside sound common sense when we concern ourselves with it.’  

The existence of ITC can only be denied by people who believe they are entitled to pass judgement without possessing sufficient personal experience, or by those who, in LeSHAN’s words, ‘leave aside sound common sense’ for whatever reason. Regarding the potential existence and tactics of ‘extraterrestrial’ and ‘extracosmic’ entities, pls. see DEARDORFF, NASITTA, MARCINIAK. 

The difficulties encountered in classifying a phenomenon or in explaining it within a pre-existing system do not justify the denial or twisting of facts, facts which in any case we will not get quit of in the long run. RESCH pointed out: ‘It is not science that has to determine the phenomenon, it is the phenomenon which has to determine science’ [38]. Besides, it only takes one ‘adequately’ controlled experiment with a positive outcome to ‘prove’ the existence of a phenomenon [39].  To this, here a helpful example according to BANDER: 

‘A further experiment (involving RAUDIVE) was performed on March 27, 1971 in a shielded laboratory of BELLING & LEE Ltd. of Enfield, England, in the presence of LOVELOCK, a physicist and electrical engineer, and of HALE, one of the five leading experts, and the British top figure in the field of electronic shielding. Under strictly controlled conditions, approximately 20 voices were recorded and subsequently analyzed. HALE had previously expressed that no voices of any kind could possibly be recorded. After the experiment he declared in public: From the results we obtained last Friday it results that something happens which I cannot explain in normal physical terms. ELLIS, who denies the existence of the voices, made the highly predicative comment: ‘ a lot of questions remain unanswered’ (see chapter A-6.1).

[38] It fits here reminding of the scientist who made statements about the size of fish without taking the mesh size of his net into account.

[39] One should not forget that even Galileo ‘recanted’ on the correct assumption that the results of his observations and findings would in any case win through sooner or later.

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Many purportedly paranormal phenomena, in particular such produced during spiritistic seances in the dark, are manipulated (L. MUELLER). In a ‘grey zone’, authentic manifestations are hard to separate from those produced, consciously or unconsciously, by fraudulent means (GAUGER); this is because in mediumistic fields the intersubjective ‘real’ world apparently flows seamlessly into a chaos in which the reproduction at choice of defined events is not feasible, and the subjective experiences of different observers lack sufficient correspondence. 

Allegations of fraudulent manipulation are very rare in the field of ITC, and those having occurred have been made almost exclusively for transparent reasons by insiders against their own former colleagues, and then been taken up by wrongly informed third parties, without convincing ‘proof’ being ever provided. Defamatory statements are irrelevant. Outsiders tend more to overestimate the importance of psycholinguistic and understandable technical misinterpretations of recorded voices in a rash and generalizing manner, or - devoid of any knowledge of the subject - to bring forward far-fetched earthly sources of any kind. The hard core of quite a few hundred thousand voices cannot however be ‘devalued’ by using the term ‘artefact’ so readily applied in certain circles of academical parapsychologists.  

Critical observers find themselves hopelessly overstretched when confronted for the first time with massive, eminently ‘qualified’ phenomena such as lengthy messages by an electro-acoustic direct voice or a fluent dialogue. In such situations they may cheer up with TIMM’s ‘law of improbability’, according to which 

‘reports of extremely high-level and stable psi phenomena run contrary to general experience; they permit to conclude with a higher degree of probability that they are at least in part the product of error, deception, or fraud. Still it is not said that such exceptional psi results can be regarded as impossible on principle’ [40].

[40] Regarding VOT, TIMM holds that ‘the eventual rest of these effects, that may be contingent on PSI would hardly suffice for a regular ‘communication’, be it with living individuals, or with deceased.’

In fact, the unfortunate sceptic is in the unenviable position of a virgin forest dweller confronted with someone speaking on television: even if the emission is a videotape and the  speaker is therefore not online, our primitive will try in vain to find the speaker within the cabinet and will finally destroy the set in a blind rage [41].  Almost inevitably, the whole thing appears to be magic, the primitive does not ‘understand’ how the image and the sound can come about, and since first-rate illusionists can produce very prodigious things by means of their skilful tricks, the only way that remains to preserve the system, or one’s own peace of mind and spiritual welfare, is to put forward the fraud hypothesis [42].

[41] Dictators use similar ways when trying to do away with their opponents. 

[42] GOETHE, Faust: “Die Botschaft hoer ich wohl, allein mir fehlt der Glaube“ (I well hear the message, but I lack the very belief) and believe strongly – you must believe! With BACCI the communicators demanded ‘belief’ again and again – also in the sense of ‘confidence’.

With the exception of isolated singular cases of telephone voices which are hard to secure against fraud, it is the experimenters themselves who know best what they are doing and not doing. They could therefore in good conscience cease to respond to accusations of manipulation, regarding them as a demonstration of the power of psychic ‘scleromorphisms’ (HEIM), or a result of sheer narrow-mindedness, or spite, and refuse to take part in further demonstrations and discussions [43]. A few remarks on calculating the ‘anti-manipulation probability’ might nevertheless be appropriate here. First of all, critics lack any background rooted in experience and are therefore incapable of recognizing the extent to which an isolated ‘spectacular’ phenomenon demonstrated to them is linked with a wealth of far less impressive preceding events from which it has emerged out of years of experimenting. They are also not able to evaluate the fact that, and the manner in which, in a number of countries, the results achieved independently by different experimenters confirm one another [44].

[43] The requisite worldwide ‘conspiracy’ does not exist! 

[44] Efforts to successfully rebut all possible objections and attacks resemble the battle against the mythological hydra. Practically, it is impossible to provide complete negative evidence.

Secondly would have to be assessed the overall expenditure and efforts that would be needed in order to conduct manipulations of this kind: considerable technical knowledge and means (prepared tapes, highly developed speech(-synthesizer) chips and corresponding storage devices, transmitting and receiving sets and a television transmitter); in addition a number of multi-linguists as speakers and voice imitators as voluntary or paid assistants, all of whom were prepared to take their secrets with them to the grave. Part of the equipment would have to be transported, if the phenomena were to be produced in different places. Considering solely the amount of time involved in all this, this alone would constitute a major hurdle.  

A third set of considerations refers to the synchronization, as far as time and content are concerned, between impredictable questions and the corresponding answers in cases involving fluent dialogues and, as the most important item, the incontrovertible fact that transinformation contains elements which relate very precisely to previously unknown events and individuals (present and absent), and which were not accessible to the ‘swindler’ [45]. Over and above this, even the ordinary contents of such transinformation in many cases exceed the level of the suspect. 

[45] The almost laughable supervision of the socio-environmental contacts of mediums conducted, for example, by the SPR have in no way led to the recognition of the phenomena’s genuineness, despite their negative results.

A final step would be to study the person’s character and any possible motives for manipulation. In particular this problem has been thoroughly discussed throughout the history of mediumism. The most dangerous situation would be one in which genuine results fail to arrive while the experimenter (mediumistic or not) feels himself under pressure to succeed. Financial and missionary ambitions could also motivate fraudulent action (L. MUELLER). 

As far as the field of instrumental transcommunication is concerned, shall be clearly stated here that – leaving aside some absolutely foolish tricks reported to the author about some ‘professional mediums for tape-recorded voices’ - he has not come across a single instance of proven manipulation by any of the experimenters mentioned in this book. This, it is true, does neither exclude the possibility of conscious fraud in principle, nor the well-meant subjective misinterpretation of hard to understand voices and hardly recognizable image structures.  

If one looks at the phenomenon of instrumental transcommunication as a whole, one must recognize – regardless of all criticism – the evolving realization of the English medium TANNER’s prediction: Investigate all forms of wireless communication. We (the dead) are making preparations to contact you via this way (JUERGENSON, page 56).  

CHARI, in a letter to ROGO/BAYLESS: 

‘I have a hunch that all the informational networks used for our normal communication (telephones, telegraph, radar, radio waves …) can also be used paranormally by the ostensible dead as well as the living’ [46].

[46] Wavelengths are fictitious in relation to the earth’s shell.

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