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1930 __ « Mental Radio : Does it work, and how ? »
Upton Sinclair (1878-1968)
Comment : Mental Radio: Does it work, and how? (1930) was written by the American author Upton Sinclair. This book documents Sinclair's test of psychic abilities of Mary Craig Kimbrough, his second wife, while she was in a state of profound depression with a heightened interest in the occult. She attempted to duplicate 290 pictures which were drawn by her husband. Sinclair claimed Mary successfully duplicated 65 of them, with 155 "partial successes" and 70 failures. These experiments were not conducted in a controlled scientific laboratory environment. The preface was written by Albert Einstein who praised Sinclair's observation and writing abilities as well as good faith and reliability. Einstein writes "The results of the telepathic experiments carefully and plainly set forth in this book stand surely beyond that which a nature investigator holds to be thinkable. On the other hand, it is out of the question in the case of so conscientious an observer and writer as Upton Sinclair that he is carrying on a conscious deception of the reading world; his good faith and dependability are not to be doubted." William McDougall was influenced by the book to establish the parapsychology department at Duke University. Walter Prince of the American Society for Psychical Research in Boston conducted an independent analysis of the results in 1932. Based on his analysis it was his opinion that chance, educated guessing, or conscious or subconscious fraud were not sufficient in explaining the data. He asserted that telepathy had been demonstrated in Sinclair's data. However, Sinclair's results have not been replicated. The existence of telepathy is still a matter of extreme controversy, and most scientists would claim that evidence for it does not exist. A scientific methodology that always shows statistically significant evidence of telepathy has yet to be discovered.Upton Sinclair is primarily known as the Pulitzer Prize- winning author of "The Jungle," "Oil," and "Dragon's Teeth," and as a fiery advocate of social justice and reform. Few know, however, of Sinclair's deep interest in, and connection to, psychic research. Sinclair's own wife, Mary Craig Kimbrough, claimed to have "mind reading" or telepathic abilities, and asked Sinclair to help her better understand these abilities. He devised a fascinating series of 300 tests that incontrovertibly proved the reality of telepathy while revealing the vast, untold powers of the mind. In one room, Sinclair would make a drawing and place it into a sealed envelope, while in another, Mary would "tune in," retrieve the image, and make her own copy. Or she would record a telepathic message sent from someone far away. Her accuracy rate was astonishing, leaving no room for random chance as an explanation, as they continued to collect scientific data over three years. In "Mental Radio," Sinclair describes remarkable experiments, comparing telepathy to radio broadcasting, with one brain sending out a "virbration" and another picking it up. The results convinced Sinclair that telepathy is real, that it is unaffected by distance, that it can be culitvated, trained and - most importantly - can be verified and studied scientifically. William McDougall, known as the "Dean of American Psychology" at the time, was so inspired by the Sinclair's work that he established the parapsychology department at Duke University, which went on to become, for a time, the country's premier paranormal research institution. (Compiled from various sources)
Original excerpt : « Chapter II.Telepathy, or mind-reading: that is to say, can one human mind communicate with another human mind, except by the sense channels ordinarily known and used.seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting and touching? Can a thought or image in one mind be sent directly to another mind and there reproduced and recognized? If this can be done, how is it done? Is it some kind of vibration, going out from the brain, like radio broadcasting? Or is it some contact with a deeper level of mind, as bubbles on a stream have contact with the water of the stream? And if this power exists, can it be developed and used? Is it something that manifests itself now and then, like a lightning flash, over which we have no control? Or can we make the energy and store it, and use it regularly, as we have learned to do with the lightning which Franklin brought from the clouds? These are the questions; and the answers, as well as I can summarize them, are as follows: Telepathy is real; it does happen. Whatever may be the nature of the force, it has nothing to do with distance, for it works exactly as well over forty miles as over thirty feet. And while it may be spontaneous and may depend upon a special endowment, it can be cultivated and used deliberately, as any other object of study, in physics and chemistry. The essential in this training is an art of mental concentration and autosuggestion, which can be learned. I am going to tell you not merely what you can do, but how you can do it, so that if you have patience and real interest, you can make your own contribution to knowledge. »
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