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 Interviews with People Who Make a Difference: Paradigm Wars: Research at the Frontiers of Consciousness  
Interview with Marilyn Schlitz PhD
   as interviewed by Daniel Redwood DC

Schlitz: They had a pool of target sites, different geographical locations, 40 of them. On each of ten days they would go to a random generator and randomly select one of those target sites. They would then go to that location, and stay there for a period of 20 minutes. Meanwhile, the person in the United States was attempting to describe that geographical location. Then all of those sets of mentations, the viewers' descriptions of the site, and the actual list of geographical locations, was given to five independent judges. They were asked to go visit the sites and to evaluate the degree of correspondence between the subject's mentation and the geographical location. So it was a way of blindly matching the degree of correspondence between these two data points.

Redwood: What kind of results did you get?

Schlitz: We got phenomenal results. We got six direct hits out of ten, which statistically had a probability of about four in a million. So this was one of my first experiments, and it led me to really feel confident that there was some kind of anomaly that deserved further attention. We then did a replication between Durham, North Carolina and Florida, again with significant results.

I then did an experiment at the Julliard School in New York, with students that were studying music, dance, and drama. In this case we did what is called a "ganzfield" experiment, where you provide a sensory deprivation procedure for the person, and then their job is to try to describe a video clip, that someone is watching in another room. And again, we got strong results, about a 50 percent success rate, whereas you'd only get 25 percent on the basis of chance. That gave us more support for the idea that some kind of nonlocal exchange of information could occur between two people.

I was also interested in the possibility that we could begin to apply these kinds of abilities to the area of psychic healing. That got me into the area of research that we call "distant mental interaction on living systems," or DMILS. Those experiments were essentially to look at claims made by psychic healers that they can heal somebody at a distance. What we did was to bring a volunteer into the lab, have them sit down in a quiet room, and monitor their autonomic nervous system activity. Meanwhile, a healer, a psychic, or an experimenter who had been trained to do that kind of thing, was in another room. At random times throughout the session they would attempt to calm the distant person's physiology, or activate it, whatever the direction was that was pre-specified. Then we would sum the average amount of autonomic activity in the intentionality periods compared to the control periods.

Redwood: So you've got various physiological monitoring devices hooked up to the person they're trying to affect?

Schlitz: That's right. And what we found is that in 13 experiments we did when I was at the Mind Science Foundation, overall the results demonstrated highly significant differences in the mean amount of autonomic activity in those two separate conditions. Then, that led me to a set of experiments looking at remote staring. This is the idea that one person can get another person's attention at a distance. So we used the same kind of experimental design, looking at autonomic nervous system activity. You would come in, and we would measure your autonomic activity. Then you'd be sitting in a quiet room and you wouldn't have any idea when I would be staring at you. All you'd know is that there is a video camera pointed at you, and you're sitting in a quiet room for 20 or 30 minutes.

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 About The Author
Daniel Redwood, DC, is a Professor at Cleveland Chiropractic College - Kansas City. He is editor-in-chief of Health Insights Today ( and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of the......moreDaniel Redwood DC
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