Identical twins wanted for telepathy study

by | Jun 30, 2024 | Parapsychology, Psi (ESP, etc.), Psychology, Story Ideas | 0 comments

June 2024

The Institute for Noetic Sciences, IONS, is now looking for people who want to participate in a scientific investigation of telepathy.

The American institute is particularly seeking identical twins or other “emotionally bonded pairs” over the age of 18. The participants are required to remember at least two instances of telepathic communication that both members of the pair can confirm.

The goal of IONS’ study is to select one hundred pairs with strong mind-to-mind bonds to participate in future neuroscience studies aimed at investigating this mode of communication.

Telepathic or telepathy-like experiences are common. A typical example is suddenly coming to think of someone you haven’t been thinking about for many years just minutes before that person calls.

In an essay in Aeon magazine, British professor Roger Luckhurst provides a historical and cultural overview of how telepathy has been perceived in Western society since the concept was first coined in 1882. It was the English poet and amateur psychologist Frederic Myers who joined the two Greek words tele and pathos, “distant touch“.

Luckhurst starts off with Elon Musk and his latest futuristic invention, Neuralink (see this story lead). The implant designed to read neural signals in the brain is called Telepathy, a choice of name likely sprung from Musk’s documented inspiration by science fiction culture.

After Myers had given the phenomenon a name, telepathy pertained to the context of spiritualism, which became something of a mass movement towards the end of the 19th century. It had several surprising advocates among men of science, such as the co-founder of evolutionary theory Alfred Russel Wallace.

But it was a sprawling and contested business. Attempts were made to turn telepathy into respectable science. Before Myers died in 1901 he was convinced that proof of this psychic ability was only a few years away. Inventors Edison and Tesla, for their part, were convinced that technology for thought transmission was imminent.

As we know, psychic phenomena weren’t accepted as proper science until the academic discipline of parapsychology, or psi, was established. The Parapsychological Association has been an affiliated body of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) since 1969.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the interest in psychic abilities like telepathy was largely confined to the military-industrial complex, “driven by the curious logic of the Cold War”, writes professor Luckhurst. Remote viewing was of particular interest.

Psi was nevertheless still seen as fringe by the mainstream scientific community. A paper published in Nature in 1974 by Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff caused a large controversy. The article concluded that ‘a channel exists whereby information about a remote location can be obtained by means of an as yet unidentified perceptual modality’.

In the US army, a secret unit called Stargate was set up in 1978, conducting psy-op (psychological operations like mind control and remote manipulation) research. In professor Luckhurst’s view, the Stargate program was “full of the paranoid fantasy” imagined in the film The Manchurian Candidate (1962). Many years later, it was given the comical treatment in the investigative book The Men Who Stare at Goats (2004).

Luckhurst goes on to provide numerous examples of books, films, authors and directors in whose stories telepathy-like abilities play a significant role.

He concludes the essay on a somewhat skeptical note. His impression is that we have always “been promised” that practical telepathy is only a few steps away.

“If it’s just around the corner, as Neuralink promises, it’s because telepathy is always on the point of arriving. It is always ahead of us, forever just out of reach. Like a spectre we can’t help but chase as it disappears over the horizon.”

Here is a different point of view: If telepathy is real, it is nothing we need to wait for. Then it is of course already here. Which is precisely what a number of peer reviewed studies tell us. Several show, for example, that people repeatedly score above chance when guessing who is calling or texting.

Biologist Rupert Sheldrake has compiled a list of scientific studies conducted about telepathy.

Anders Bolling

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