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Telepathy is the psychical influence of thought via experient influence over the biological basis of consciousness and the mental process by which we perceive, act, learn and remember; Including mental forms and processes such as the nervous system in which processes and transmits information by electrochemical signaling. Characteristically, people are dynamic information-processing systems whose mental operations can limitedly be described in computational terms as the mind has demonstrated its capacity to store and process visual, auditory, and basic arbitrary packets of information. Experients of telepathic phenomena express influence in regards to the creation, transference, modification, and deletion of single and multiple information packages. (Kelly, 2011)

Additional Definitions

1. (Greek τηλε, tele meaning “distant” and πάθεια, patheia meaning “to be affected by”,[3]) describes the purported transfer of information on thoughts or feelings between individuals by means other than the five classical senses (See Psi). [4][2] The term was coined in 1882 by the classical scholar Fredric W. H. Myers, a founder of the Society for Psychical Research,[2] specifically to replace the earlier expression thought-transference.[4][2] A person who is able to make use of telepathy is said to be able to read the minds of others. Telepathy, along with psychokinesis forms the main branches of parapsychological research, and many studies seeking to detect and understand telepathy have been done within the field.

2. Within the field of parapsychology, telepathy is considered to be a form of extra-sensory perception (ESP) or anomalous cognition in which information is transferred through Psi. It is often categorized similarly to precognition and clairvoyance.[7] Various experiments have been used to test for telepathic abilities. Among the most well known are the use of Zener cards and the Ganzfeld experiment.

Zener cards are cards marked with five distinctive symbols. When using them, one individual is designated the “sender” and another the “receiver”. The sender must select a random card and visualize the symbol on it, while the receiver must attempt to determine that symbol using Psi. Statistically, the receiver has a 20% chance of randomly guessing the correct symbol, so in order to demonstrate telepathy, they must repeatedly score a success rate that is significantly higher than 20%.[8] If not conducted properly, this method can be vulnerable to sensory leakage and card counting. [8]

When using the Ganzfeld experiment to test for telepathy, one individual is designated the receiver and is placed inside a controlled environment where they are deprived of sensory input, and another is designated the sender and is placed in a separate location. The receiver is then required to receive information from the sender. The exact nature of the information may vary between experiments.[9]

Telepathic Association

Early studies of telepathic experiences focused on call cases. Call cases are an instructive form of hallucinatory extrasensory experience. These cases are characteristic of a distressed individual “calling” a loved one. When such experiences occur, the sender of the call is rarely thinking of the receiver. In other words, it is as though the sender is making a generalized call for aide without specifying the recipiency. Later speculations derived that the sender of the call may not be sending a message, but rather is speculated to be an “active” member of an association where the sender is seeking out information on those of whom the sender is emotionally close to. This is similar to how associative networks work in the brain (a Hebbian process). Some support for this speculation emerged in later studies, as in many cases involving experients of telepathic phenomena, the sender had no conceivable reason to communicate to the recipient. Such views have inspired little attention by the parapsychological community in regards to research to date. (Kelly, 2011)

Recipiency may still be correlated to strong emotional association, but it is assumed that the sender is requesting assistance, not information. However, other candidates for correlation may be physical association (e.g. similar DNA; family), or could be related to the paranormal belief (receptivity to psi) of the recipient where those who believe in psi are more likely to assimilate the information into conscious awareness. In any case, telepathic experience is assumed to be purposefully orientated rather than stochastic (random). This suggests that a call may simply be a generalize call for assistance at-a-distance to those in which the sender shares a strong association of some kind. (Kelly, 2011)

Phases of Telepathy

In regards to phases of telepathy, current modeling suggests three phases. (1) The first phase is characterized by the formation of a quantum entanglement state of one human brain with another human brain. During this phase, the quantum states of the brains of the subjects are entangled via either spatial proximity or some form of interaction or association. (Kelly, 2011)

(2) The second phase is characterized by the sustainment of the entangled state of the two brains. In this phase, it is assumed that the formed entangled state of the two brains may hold for an extended period of time in a region of the brain under special conditions. (Kelly, 2011)

(3) The third phase is characterized by the collapsing of the entanglement state between the two brains. It is when the entangled state of the two brains is collapsed by the measurement of one of the brains that the brain states of both individuals synchronize to be definite states from an entangled state. (Kelly, 2011)

At this time, the other individual, at-a-distance, will perceive the change. Such modeling continues by assuming that when information is in an entangled state [superposition] no definite perception in relation to the state yet exists. However, when the superposition state collapses into a defined state, a definite perception in relation to the collapse appears. It is at this time that the assumed telepathic effect becomes perceptible. (Kelly, 2011)

Types of Telepathy

Parapsychology describes several different forms of telepathy, including latent telepathy and precognitive telepathy.[4]

Short Range Telepathy,(Kelly, 2011)

Long Rang Telepathy, (Kelly, 2011)

Latent Telepathy, formerly known as “deferred telepathy”, [10] is described as being the transfer of information, through Psi, with an observable time-lag between transmission and receipt.[4]

Precognitive Telepathy is described as being the transfer of information, through Psi, about the future state of an individual’s mind[4]

Telepathic Cognition

Telepathic cognition is defined as “the phenomenologically direct knowledge of another person’s thoughts or mental states.” In cases of telepathic cognition, one individual is retrieving information from another, i.e. one individual is able to “pick up on” the thoughts of another individual. The person from whom the thoughts originate does not play and intentional part in the information teleportation processes. Instead, the process is assumed entirely evoked by the receiver. In other words, in regards to telepathic cognition, the “receiver” is the telepathist (an individual with telepathic ability capable of evoking telepathic processes). Here, the telepathist will become aware of the other individuals mental state or states, but should be able to clearly identify that the thought did not originate in their own mind. (Kelly, 2011)

Here the information is received and perceived by the telepathist, but the thought did not develop from a chain of prior thoughts belonging to the telepathist. Instead, the thought appears to “pop up,“ but is immediately associated with a specific individual other than the telepathist, or simply identified as not originating from the telepathist. The type of telepathist described above could be defined as an experient of spontaneous telepathic phenomena, in that the information appears to “pop into mind” rather than being intentionally requested. Experients of intentional telepathic phenomena are telepathists whom select or specify another individual from whom they wish to extract information. (Kelly, 2011)

Stages of Telepathic Cognition

In regards to intentional telepathic cognitive techniques, several stages are assumed to exist through which the telepathist acquires information. During spontaneous (non-intentional) telepathic cognition, these processes are assumed to run automatically via the subconscious. However, since the processes are run subconsciously, there is no conscious directive. To obtain a level of conscious direction, the telepathist is assumed to require achieving each step in order to perform successfully. Stage 1 of the telepathic cognitive process involves initiation, i.e. the telepathist recognizes his or her need for information consciously, and therefore subconsciously. Stage 2 involves selection, i.e. the telepathist begins to decide what topic will be investigated, and whom the subject will be. Selection techniques vary per the limitation of the telepathist. Stage 3 involves exploration, i.e. the telepathist begins to gather information on the decided topic, and new knowledge comes into knowing (i.e. conscious awareness). The telepathist then associates the new information with information previously known in regards to the topic. Stage 4 involves formulation, i.e. the telepathist begins to evaluate the information that has been gathered. Stage 5 involves collection, i.e. the telepathist now “knows” the information he or she set out to gather. The final Stage 6 involves search closure, i.e. the telepathist has completed hs or her search for information, and will continue by summarizing the information that was found via the exploratory search process, which involves mind mapping. (Kelly, 2011)

Selection techniques include, but are not limited to; eye to eye contact, touch, spatial proximity, or the use of an electronic medium (e.g. phone or computer; real-time programs such as chat or internet phone). Telepathic cognitive processes (ESP processes in general) appear limited to exploratory search parameters. Exploratory search is a specialization of information exploration in which represents the activities carried out by telepathists. Exploratory search includes a broad class of activities for the telepathist to implement including investigating, evaluating, comparing, and synthesizing. (Kelly, 2011)

Telepathic Interaction

Telepathic interaction is “the causal influence of one mind on another without the intervention of the five senses.” Individuals who engage in telepathic interaction (telepathic impressionists) appear to do so in regards to commands, based on the telepathists subconscious need to have the individual (subject) feel a particular way. (Kelly, 2011)

However, it appears that telepathic interaction is involved in a manner causing a mild hypnotic state in the individual (subject) via a telepathists command to do so, void of the telepathist having to produce mentally any feelings associated with a hypnotic state within him (the telepathist). It is this method of telepathic interaction I call “hypnotic telepathic interaction” or “hypnotic telepathy” that appears to not only evoke strong emotions in the subject, but also typically results in an action on the subjects behalf more often than the method associated with simply “commanding” an act. Therefore, hypnotic telepathic interaction appears to be the strongest form of telepathy and the most dangerous, raising an assortment of moral and ethical questions as to how such an ability should be utilized in practical applications. (Kelly, 2011)

Further studies on my part have lead to the conclusion that initial telepathic “impressions” (i.e. commands or evoked feelings) do not always fade away with time, but rather occasionally result in the same strength of emotion or “need to act” anytime associated images of the telepathist, or associated feelings pertaining to the feeling evoked by the telepathist, are mentally accessed. Telepathic interaction appears to work more efficiently if the subjects mind is in a relaxed or fatigued state. In regards to the mental state of the telepathist, in intentional telepathic interaction, the telepathist is typically in a relaxed state, while in regards to spontaneous telepathic interaction, the telepathist is typically in a stressed state. (Kelly, 2011)

Stages of Telepathic Interaction

In regards to intentional telepathic interaction techniques, several stages are assumed to exist through which the telepathist impresses information. During spontaneous (non-intentional) telepathic interaction, these processes are assumed to run automatically by the subconscious. However, since the processes are run subconsciously, there is no conscious directive. To obtain a level of conscious direction, the telepathist is assumed to require achieving each step in order to perform successfully. Stage 1 of the telepathic impression process involves initiation, i.e. the telepathist recognizes his or her need to impress information consciously, and therefore subconsciously. Stage 2 involves selection, i.e. the telepathist begins to decide what idea or call to action will be impressed, and whom the subject will be. The telepathist will need to induce the information transfer process at this time. Selection techniques vary per the limitation of the telepathist. Stage 3 involves induction, i.e. the telepathist induces the subject into a hypnotic state. Alternatively, this state is broken down into two sub-stages. In the first sub-stage, if the subject is uncomfortable, the telepathist will need to focus on reducing discomfort. Sub-stage 2 involves the telepathist defining the role of the subject (i.e. directing the subject’s attention solely onto the telepathist and the telepathist focusing on what he or she needs the subject to think or do). Stage 4 involves suggestion, i.e. the telepathist directs the focus of a dominate idea or call to action by shifting the subjects “focus” on a idea or call to action to a “command” to accept the idea or to act. Selection techniques include, but are not limited to; eye to eye contact, touch, spatial proximity, and the use of an electronic medium (e.g. phone or computer; real-time programs such as chat or internet phone). (Kelly, 2011)

Telepathic Simulation

Ostensible telepathic content-simulation or “telepathic simulation” has been defined as “a case in which an individual’s mental state appears to produce a similar mental state in someone else.” In other words, the telepathist’s mental state produces a similar mental state in the subject. Via this type of telepathy, the subject and telepathist do not “know” the mental state of the other participant, nor is the mental state “impressed.” In the case of this type of telepathy, the telepathist does not “know” telepathically what the mental state of the subject is, but rather it appears that the mental states of the telepathist and subject instantaneously become qualitatively identical. (Kelly, 2011)

The identicalness of the mental state is debatable, as there is no empirical evidence to support this at this time. However, reports in regards to this form of telepathy suggest exact, or nearly exact, mental states rather than more associative states (e.g. a star for a star, rather than a star for a pinwheel or daisy). This type of telepathy also appears to be more non-invasive as the subject is typically is unaware that, or does not “know” that, the mental state is “not their own,” as it appears to be less intrusive than impression. The skilled telepathist would however be able to identify that the simulated mental state originated from (him) if the telepathist knowingly shared the idea with a subject. In other words, the telepathist can share (his) own mental state with the subject, or the telepathist can evoke the sharing process of the subject’s mental state to replace (his) own mental state. (Kelly, 2011)

In the end, I believe the most efficient way to view telepathic content-simulation is as though the mental states have be shared via the exact transmission of the state from one participant to the other. The most common way in which this type of telepathy is utilized is to provide comfort and or motivation.In regards to comfort, if the telepathist and subject find themselves in a situation in which only the telepathist feels comfortable or safe, the telepathist can share (his) own behavioral state, or anxiety-neutral mental condition, with the subject, whereby non-invasively sharing (his) sense of security and comfort with the subject. A similar instance of this involves the sharing of the telepathist’s belief that an action is a “good idea.” This sense of security is shared with the subject leading the subject to bypass their natural inclinations. (Kelly, 2011)

Stages of Telepathic Simulation

In regards to intentional telepathic simulation techniques, several stages are assumed to exist through which the telepathist shares information. During spontaneous (non-intentional) telepathic simulation, these processes are assumed to run automatically by the subconscious.However, since the processes are run subconsciously, there is no conscious directive. To obtain a level of conscious direction, the telepathist is assumed to require achieving each step in order to perform successfully. Stage 1 of the telepathic simulative process involves initiation, i.e. the telepathist recognizes his or her need for sharing information consciously, and therefore subconsciously. Stage 2 involves physical interaction, i.e. the telepathist must physically interact with the subject or group of subjects. Interaction is assumed a requirement for any form of telepathy. Interaction’s role in telepathic simulation involves linking the telepathist’s mental state to the mental state of the subject(s) in a way that the quantum mental state of each participant cannot be sufficiently described void of a full consideration of the other participants, even though the participants are spatially separated (i.e. initiating quantum entanglement). Stage 3 of the telepathic simulative process involves psychophysical interaction, i.e. the participant’s measure (become aware) of the shared information. Physical interaction is achievable via any action through which the telepathist and subject(s) has an effect upon one and other. This two-way effect, or interconnectivity, is assumed essential for telepathic simulative processes. Examples of types of interaction can include communication between participants of any kind (e.g. talking), close spatial proximity, or direct physical touch. (Kelly, 2011)

Telepathic Precognition

Precognitive telepathy has been defined as “the phenomenologically indirect knowledge of another person’s future thoughts or mental states.” This definition suggests that precognitive episodes of telepathy are not a result of direct mind-to-mind psi phenomena, but rather indirect precognitive clairvoyance. (Kelly, 2011)

I have found that in regards to clairvoyant precognition, associated processes are most comprehensible as the result of information receptivity pertaining to potential trajectories of future events. I assume Nature is in and of itself a universal information system, i.e. and objective environment aware of its inner happenings. Therefore, I assume the system (Nature) is aware of past events and real-time events. I also assume that the possible future paths of objects and events are anticipated by the system based on past and current happenings. However, the system does not appear to allow exact measurements of positions and velocities. Because of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, certain pairs of physical properties within the system, such as position and momentum, cannot both be known to arbitrary precision. In other words, the more one property is known, the less precisely the other can be known. (Kelly, 2011)

This of course raises a particular issue for experients of precognition.Since it is impossible for the system to determine both the position and velocity of an object, with any degree of accuracy or certainty, then the nature of the system promotes uncertainty of future events leaving the experient with more than one potential trajectory per object. The system appears only partly concerned with analyzing predictable trajectories, while being primarily concerned with the analysis of random phenomena. The central objects constantly under analysis are random variables, stochastic processes, and events. These can include mathematical abstractions of non-deterministic events, measured quantities consisting of single occurrences, or in which evolve over time in a random fashion. The experiences of non-deterministic events arise from infinite and unpredictable behavior, as knowledge is never absolute in practice even in regards to Nature, and especially in regards to the experient. (Kelly, 2011)

Stages of Telepathic Precognition

In regards to intentional precognitive techniques, several stages are assumed to exist through which the experient acquires information clairvoyantly (not telepathically). Stage 1 of the precognitive process involves initiation, i.e. the experient recognizes his or her need for information consciously, and therefore subconsciously. Stage 2 involves selection, i.e. the experient begins to decide what topic will be investigated (probabilistic information pertaining to the subject’s future thoughts) and whom the subject will be. Stage 3 involves exploration, i.e. the experient begins to gather probabilistic information, and new knowledge comes into knowing (i.e. conscious awareness). Stage 4 involves formulation, i.e. the experient begins to evaluate the information that has been gathered. Stage 5 involves collection, i.e. the experient now “knows” the information he or she set out to gather. The final Stage 6 involves search closure, i.e. the experient has completed his or her search for probabilistic information, and will continue by summarizing the information that was found via the exploratory search process, which involves mind mapping. (Kelly, 2011)

As a note, to reduce delays, experients should be encouraged to carefully formulate and clearly state their query (verbally or mentally), select the proper class (e.g. investigating, evaluating, comparing, or synthesizing ) of activity for acquisition, evaluate the relevance of the search results, redefine the query if necessary, and repeat previous steps until they have achieved an acceptable answer goal. (Kelly, 2011)

Memory Efficiency and Telepathic Reception

Telepathists can train their mind to act efficiently when extrasensory information is being retrieved. Training can include techniques such as recalling sequences of digits, two-digit numbers, alphabetic letters, or playing cards. To recall the sequences, the telepathist must retrace the route, “stop” at each locus (e.g. part of the sequence), and “observe” the factor (e.g. number). A telepathist can increase difficulty by incorporating images into sequences. Using the method of loci (a spatial learning strategy), a telepathist with average memorization capabilities, post-establishment of route stop-points and committing the associated images to long-term memory with less than an hour of practice, can remember the entire sequence of a deck of cards. (Kelly, 2011)

Increased efforts have lead to individuals capable of memorizing 1040 random digits in as little as a half hour. Telepathists should always keep in mind that it is their “mind” that is the tool they are utilizing to perform. The more efficient the tool, the more the telepathist will achieve. In either case, spontaneous or intentional telepathy, the memory of the telepathist is vital to performance Parapsychological research suggests that extrasensory information is received either unconsciously (e.g. in dreams) or subconsciously to be later consciously “known” or be “known and later recalled” (e.g. intuition and hallucination). If this is true, then an increase in the telepathist’s memory should result in the increase of usable information obtained via telepathic processes, which has continually been in correlation with my research findings. (Kelly, 2011)

The memory of a telepathist can also be improved through simple lifestyle changes such as incorporating the aforementioned memory technique, healthy eating, physical fitness, and stress reduction into their daily lives. To insure memory functionality in later years, experients should be encouraged to stay intellectually active through learning, training, or reading. Experients of all ages should keep physically active as to promote blood circulation to the brain, socialize, reduce stress, keep sleep time regular, avoid depression or emotional instability, and to observe healthy eating habits. (Kelly, 2011)

Therapeutic Applications

Applications in Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalysis involves a body of ideas and is primarily devoted to the study of human psychological functioning and behavior. The three main components of psychoanalysis include:

  1. A method of investigation of the mind and the way in which one thinks.
  2. A systemized set of theories in regards to human behavior.
  3. A method of treatment of psychological or emotional illness. (Kelly, 2011)

In regards to the first component, telepathic cognitives and simulators will excel in investigative efforts due to their innate psychical ability to investigate the minds of other human beings. Through psychoanalysis, the telepathist can utilize their psychical ability to peer into (cognition), or personally experience (simulation), the thoughts, free associations, fantasies (either solely or via the verbal direction of the subject), and in some cases, the dreams of a patient whereby revealing the unconscious conflicts causing a patient’s symptoms and character problems. (Kelly, 2011)

Investigative psychoanalytic techniques include those correlated with telepathic cognition and simulation. While telepathic precognition can be utilized in conjunction with telepathic cognitive or simulation based investigative efforts, it is rarely utilized exclusively. In regards to the second component, theoretical orientations and interpretations in regards to human mentation and development vary, as there are several theories associated with psychoanalysis. Major psychoanalytic theories can be grouped into many theoretical schools (e.g. topographic theory, structural theory, etc.). (Kelly, 2011)

After the analyst has investigated the mind of the client or patient, the analyst then interprets the information for the client or patient to create insight for a resolution of the conflict. Such interpretations typically lead to the patient (with the assistance of the psychoanalyst) confronting and clarifying the patient’s pathological defenses, wishes, and feelings of guilt. In regards to telepathic analysts, it is through telepathic skill and the analysis of conflicts that an analyst can clarify how a patient’s mind is negatively affecting the patient and decide on a form of treatment. In regards to the third and final component, approaches in treatment vary based on the phenomenology of telepathy, theoretical orientation, and the problem requiring treatment. (Kelly, 2011)

The most common problems treatable with psychoanalysis include phobias, conversions, compulsions, obsessions, anxiety attacks, depressions, sexual dysfunctions, a variety of relationship issues (e.g. dating and marital issues), a variety of character issues (e.g. shyness, meanness, obnoxiousness, workaholism, hyperdeductiveness, hyperemotionality, hyperfastidiousness, etc). Overall, telepathic cognitives and simulators will benefit the most from psychoanalytical applications. (Kelly, 2011)

Applications in Hypnotherapy

While other systems of psychotherapy can be advantages to telepathic impressionists, hypnotherapy is their ideal system. Hypnotherapy is a form of therapy in which is undertaken with a subject in hypnosis. Hypnotherapy is typically applied in order to modify a client or patient’s behavior, emotional content, and attitudes, as well as treat various conditions including dysfunctional habits, anxiety, stress-related illness, and assist in pain management and or personal development. (Kelly, 2011)

It is through the therapeutic application of hypnotic telepathy or telepathic interaction that a telepathist will excel in this system of psychotherapy. Traditional hypnotherapy typically involves direct suggestion of symptom removal in conjunction with the utilization of therapeutic relaxation, and occasionally aversions to addictive substances. Hypnoanalysis is a form of hypnotherapy, which is utilized to regress clients or patients to an earlier age as a means to assist the them in recalling or acting out repressed traumatic memories. Hypnoanalysis has been more commonly utilized to treat war related issues such as shellshock and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). (Kelly, 2011)

Cognitive-behavioral hypnotherapy (CBH) is considered and integrated psychological therapy involving clinical hypnosis and cognitive behavioral therapy. Techniques still utilized today in hypnotherapy include age regression, revivification,guided imagery,parts therapy, confusion, repetition, direct suggestion, indirect suggestion, mental state, hypnoanalysis, post-hypnotic suggestion, and visualization. Overall, hypnotherapy is ideal for telepathic impressionists as telepathic hypnotic suggestion typically appears to last longer and appears to be more effective than non-telepathic hypnotic suggestion. (Kelly, 2011)

Applications in Group Psychotherapy

Group psychotherapy is an ideal therapeutic application for telepathic simulators. Group psychotherapy involves one or more therapists treating a small group of clients or patients together as a whole. Basically, group psychotherapy applies to any form of psychotherapy delivered in a group format including group cognitive-behavioral therapy, though typically it is applied to psychodynamic group therapy, where the group context and process is explicitly utilized as a mechanism of change by developing, exploring, and examining interpersonal relationships within the group. Types of group therapy include any assisting process in which takes place in a group such as: support groups, skills training groups (e.g. anger management, mindfulness, relaxation training or social skills training), and psycho-education groups. Specialized forms of group therapy can include non-verbal therapies such as; expressive therapies (e.g. dance therapy and music therapy). (Kelly, 2011)

Therapeutic factors associated with group psychotherapy and practice include universality, altruism, instillation of hope, imparting information, corrective recapitulation of the primary family experience, development of socializing techniques,imitative behavior, cohesiveness, existential factors, catharsis, interpersonal learning, and self-understanding. Regardless of the factor, a skilled telepathic simulator can assist via psychically sharing information to help group members achieve goals of understanding and being understood, and achieve goals of altering one’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior for the individuals and or the group’s benefit and well-being. (Kelly, 2011)

Skepticism and Controversy

The field which studies certain types of paranormal phenomena such as telepathy is called parapsychology. There is a consensus among the fans of parapsychology that some instances of telepathy are real.[11][12] Skeptics say that instances of what seem to be telepathy are explained as the result of fraud or self-delusion and that telepathy does not exist as a paranormal power.[13]

Parapsychologists and skeptics agree that many of the instances of more popular psychic phenomena, such as mediumism, can be attributed to non-paranormal techniques such as cold reading.[14][15][16] Magicians such as Ian Rowland and Derren Brown have demonstrated techniques and results similar to those of popular psychics, but they prefer psychological explanations instead of paranormal ones. They have identified, described, and developed complex psychological techniques of cold reading and hot reading.

A technique which shows statistically significant evidence of telepathy on every occasion has yet to be discovered. This lack of reliable reproducibility has led skeptics to argue that there is no credible scientific evidence for the existence of telepathy at all.[17] Skeptics also point to historical cases in which were discovered flaws in experimental design and occasional cases of fraud.[18] Parapsychologists such as Dean Radin, president of the Parapsychological Association, argues that the statistical significance and consistency of results shown by a meta-analysis of numerous studies provides evidence for telepathy that is almost impossible to account for using any other means.[9]

Telepathy in Popular Culture


Telepathy is commonly used in fiction, with a number of superheroes and supervillains, as well as figures in many science fiction novels, etc., use telepathy. Notable fictional telepaths include the Jedi in Star Wars or Jean Grey in X-Men. The mechanics of telepathy in fiction vary widely. Some fictional telepaths are limited to receiving only thoughts that are deliberately sent by other telepaths, or even to receiving thoughts from a specific other person. For example, in Robert A. Heinlein’s 1956 novel Time for the Stars, certain pairs of twins are able to send telepathic messages to each other. Some telepaths can read the thoughts only of those they touch, such as Vulcans in the Star Trek media franchise. At the opposite end of the spectrum, some telepathic characters continuously sense the thoughts of those around them and may control or dampen this ability only with difficulty, or not at all. In such cases, telepathy is often portrayed as a mixed blessing or as a curse.

Some fictional telepaths possess mind control abilities, which can include “pushing” thoughts, feelings, or hallucinatory visions into the mind of another person, causing pain, paralysis, or unconsciousness, altering or erasing memories, or completely taking over another person’s mind and body (similar to spiritual possession). Examples of this type of telepath include the Carpathians from the novels in the Dark Series, the White Queen from Marvel Comics. Characters with this ability may or may not also have the ability to read thoughts.

Technological Telepathy is also present in science fiction, typically involving the usage of neural implants of some description. A good example is the Conjoiners in the Revelation Space series by Alastair Reynolds. Conjoiners rely on their technological telepathy (referred to by them as “Transenlightenment”) to the extent that they no longer actually speak. Certain Conjoiners are able to read, attack and control the minds of other Conjoiners and machines (though not standard humans) using digital attacks, often having similar effects to other telepaths in fiction.

Technologically Enabled Telepathy

Some people, occasionally referred to by themselves or others as “transhumanists”, believe that technologically enabled telepathy, coined “techlepathy”, will be the inevitable future of humanity. Kevin Warwick of the University of Reading, England is one of the leading proponents of this view and has based all of his recent cybernetics research around developing practical, safe for directly connecting human nervous systems together with computers and with each other. He believes techno-enabled telepathy will in the future become the primary form of human communication. He predicts that this will happen by means of the principle of natural selection, through which nearly everyone will have the need for such technology for economic and social reasons.[5][6]

Scientific Investigation of Telepathy

Numerous scientific experiments seeking evidence of telepathy have been conducted over more than a century in the field of parapsychology. Telepathy, as with all parapsychological subjects, remains controversial.


Western scientific investigation of telepathy is generally recognized as having begun with the initial program or research of the Society for Psychical Research. The apex of their early investigations was the report published in 1886 as the two-volume work Phantasms of the Living. It was with this work that the term “telepathy” was introduced, replacing the earlier term “thought transference”. Although much of the initial investigations consisted largely of gathering anecdotal accounts with follow-up investigations, they also conducted experiments with some of those who claimed telepathic abilities.[citation needed] However, their experimental protocols were far more lax than those used today.[citation needed]

In 1917, psychologist John E. Coover from Stanford University conducted a series of telepathy tests involving transmitting/guessing playing cards. His participants were able to guess the identity of cards with overall odds against chance of 160 to 1;[citation needed] however, Coover did not consider the results to be significant enough to report this as a positive result.[citation needed]

The best-known early telepathy experiments were those of J. B. Rhine and his associates at Duke University, beginning in the 1927 using the distinctive ESP Cards of Karl Zener (see also Zener Cards). These involved more rigorous and systematic experimental protocols than those from the 19th century, used what were assumed to be ‘average’ participants rather than those who claimed exceptional ability, and used new developments in the field of statistics to evaluate results. Results of these and other experiments were published by Rhine in his popular book Extra Sensory Perception, which popularized the term.

Another influential book about telepathy was Mental Radio, published in 1930 by the Pulitzer prize-winning author Upton Sinclair (with foreword by Albert Einstein). In it Sinclair describes the apparent ability of his wife at times to reproduce sketches made by himself and others, even when separated by several miles. They note in their book that the results could also be described by the more general term clairvoyance, and they did some experiments whose results suggested that in fact no sender was necessary, and some drawings could be reproduced precognitively.[citation needed]

By the 1960s, many parapsychologists had become dissatisfied with the forced-choice experiments of J. B. Rhine, partly because of boredom on the part of test participants after many repetitions of monotonous card-guessing,[citation needed] and partly because of the observed “decline effect” where the accuracy of card guessing would decrease over time for a given participant, which some parapsychologists attributed to this boredom.[citation needed]

Some parapsychologists turned to free response experimental formats where the target was not limited to a small finite predetermined set of responses (e.g., Zener cards), but rather could be any sort of picture, drawing, photograph, movie clip, piece of music etc.[citation needed]

Zener Card Experiments

Dates run: 1930’s

Experimental philosophy: A Zener Card deck is created, which consists of five cards each of five different symbols. The deck is shuffled, and the subject is asked to guess the identity of each card as it is drawn and viewed by a sender. In this experiment, telepathy is assumed to be weak, and only expected to give a small deviation towards correct answers.[citation needed]

Experimental design: J. B. Rhine, the experimenter, would sit across a table from the subject. He would shuffle the Zener Card deck, and draw cards one at a time. For each card, he would look at it and ask the psychic to guess its identity by reading his mind. A hit rate of significantly more or less than 20% was considered to be evidence of telepathy. Hit rates significantly below 20% were reguarded psi-missing, the phenomenon in which psi may cause missing due to the attitude of the experimenter or subject toward the situation or subject matter.[1]

Results: Rhine’s studies produced results which were significantly above or below chance in a statistical sense.[2] He noted, however, that this experiment couldn’t adequately distinguish telepathy from clairvoyance.[3]

Dual Visual Testing

There are two main categories of targets for telepathy experiments, these include intuition-based targets, and hallucination-based targets. Intuition-based targets are more generalized targets utilized typically for abstract “feelings,” while hallucination-based targets are more “sensory-based.” For this experiment, the telepathist will be using a visual target and will be required to collaborate with a close friend or relative. Both the partner and the telepathist should situate themselves in a meditatively conducive atmosphere and sit back-to-back or face-to-face. Neither participant should be further than two feet from the other. Experimental evidence is not supportable in this type of experiment due to the high probability of sensory cues. Because of this, this type of experiment should be utilized solely for self-evidence of telepathic phenomena. Firstly, the one participant will view in-mind a visual target and attempt to transfer the description of the visual target to the other participant by focusing on a need to do so. This experiment can be modified to include audio or other types of targets. [1]

Participants should limit visual targets to simple designs and replace simple designs with more challenging designs over time. Simple designs can be those of Zener symbols, or visual images of single objects to which both participants are familiar. Colors can also be utilized such as yellow, green, red, blue, orange, and purple. It is advantageous for the experient to utilize the experimental process as an opportunity to learn about their ability via the provision of immediate feedback (i.e. notifying the experient of hits and misses per guess). Per my research, the application of regular telepathy experiments does appear to enhance telepathic performance to a degree, a degree in which appears to be limited by several normal psychological and physiological processes (i.e. biologically speaking, telepathic enhancement appears to have its limits, as does any other human ability). [1]

Ganzfeld Experiments

(Main article: Ganzfeld)

Dates run: 1974 to present

Experimental philosophy: The subject is placed in sensory deprivation, in hopes that this will make it easier to receive and notice incoming telepathic signals. In this experiment, telepathy is assumed to be weak, and only expected to give a small deviation towards correct answers.[4]

Experimental design: The receiver (a possible psychic, who is being tested) is placed in a soundproof room and sits reclining in a comfortable chair. The subject wears headphones which play continuous white noise or pink noise. Halves of ping pong balls are placed over their eyes, and a red light is shined onto the subject’s face. These conditions are designed to cause the receiver to enter a state similar to being in a sensory deprivation chamber.

The sender is seated in another soundproof room, and is assigned one of four potential targets, randomly selected. Typically, these targets are pictures or video clips. The sender attempts to telepathically “send” information about the target to the receiver. The receiver is generally asked to speak throughout the sending process, and their voice is piped to the sender and experimenter. This is to assist the sender in determining if their method of “sending” information about the target is working, and adjust it if necessary. Breaks may be taken, and the sending process may be repeated multiple times.

Once the sending process is complete, the experimenter removes the receiver from isolation. The receiver is then shown the four potential targets, and asked to choose which one they believe the sender saw. In order to avoid potential confounding factors, the experimenter must remain ignorant of which target was chosen until the receiver makes their choice, and multiple sets of the pictures of videos should be used in order to avoid handling cues (evidence, such smudges on a picture, that the picture was handled by the sender).[citation needed]

A statistical analysis is performed to find out whether the subject scored significantly above or below chance.[4]

Results: Many meta-analyses performed on multiple Ganzfeld experiments returned a hit rate of between 30% and 40%, which is significantly higher than the 25% expected by chance.[4][5]

Ganzfeld Simulation Telepathy Experiment

Sensory deprivation is defined as the deliberate reduction or removal of stimuli from one or more of the senses. Devices utilized for visual and auditory deprivation include blindfolds, noise-canceling headphones, headphones through which white or pink noise is played, white noise machines, fans, etc. Short-terms sessions of sensory deprivation are typically relaxing, psi-conducive, and conducive to meditation. The fourth level of sensory induced hallucinations requires a deep state of meditation. At this level, thoughts will visually manifest as objects or environments. This level is the ideal level to be obtained by participants in a sensory deprivation-based telepathy experimental setup. When this level is achieved, the prior visual noise will appear to calm and disperse, whereby leaving behind an intense, flat, ordered, blackness. The visual field will become an active space, and experients may feel motion when their eyes are closed. (Kelly, 2011)

The opening of the eyes will return the experients back to the physical world, but the experient will still see the object field superimposed over their physical vision. In this state, the experient may appear to see physical objects in which are not actually physically present. It is in this state that many experients of ESP phenomena find themselves throughout the day to day. The Ganzfeld experimental setup is based on the Ganzfeld effect and sensory deprivation. The Ganzfeld effect is a phenomenon of visual perception caused by an experient staring at an undifferentiated and uniform field of color such as black in a darkened room, red with the eyes closed in a bright room, or white in an outdoor area complexly blanketed with snow. The effect is described as the loss of vision as the experients brain cuts off the unchanging signal from the eyes. The result, “seeing black,” of which the experient may think he or she has gone blind. This effect is canceled, and vision is returned, when the experient is removed from the darkened room, opens their eyes, or comes across an object of another color. This effect can result in hallucinations and altered states of mind, therefore this effect has be utilized in parapsychological experiments as it has been found for many years to be psi-conducive. (Kelly, 2011)


Ganzfeld experiments:

Isolation – Not all of the studies used soundproof rooms, so it is possible that when videos were playing, the experimenter (or even the receiver) could have heard it, and later given involuntary cues to the receiver during the selection process.[6] However, ganzfeld studies which did use soundproof rooms had a number of “hits” similar to those which did not.[2] (Radin 1997: 77-89)

Handling cues – Only 36% of the studies performed used duplicate images or videos, so handling cues on the images or degradation of the videos may have occurred during the sending process.[7] However, the results of studies were not found to correspond to this flaw.

Randomization – When subjects are asked to choose from a variety of selections, there is an inherent bias to not choose the first selection they are shown. If the order in which are shown the selections is randomized each time, this bias will be averaged out. However, this was often not done in the Ganzfeld experiments.[8][9]

The psi assumption – The assumption that any statistical deviation from chance is evidence for telepathy is highly controversial, and often compared to the God of the gaps argument. Strictly speaking, a deviation from chance is only evidence that either this was a rare, statistically unlikely occurrence that happened by chance, or something was causing a deviation from chance. Flaws in the experimental design are a common cause of this, and so the assumption that it must be telepathy is fallacious. This does not rule out, however, that it could be telepathy.[10]

Parapsychologists respond, however that while there are many potential theoretical explanations of psi, parapsychology as a science does not claim to understand what psi is, but

Instead, [parapsychologists] design experiments to test experiences that people have reported throughout history. If rigorous tests for what we have called [say] “telepathy” result in effects that look like, sound like, and feel like the [often more impressive [11]] experiences reported in real life, then call it what you will, but the experiments confirm that this common experience is not an illusion.[2] (Radin 1997: 210)

“Psi” is the name for an unknown factor, not necessarily for a force or factor outside the current range of scientific knowledge.

The existence of telepathy is still a matter of extreme controversy, with many skeptics stating that evidence for it does not exist. A scientific methodology which always shows statistically significant evidence of telepathy has yet to be discovered. Skeptics argue that the lack of a definitive experiment whose reproducibility is near 100% (e.g. those which exist for magnetism) may indicate that there is no credible scientific evidence for the existence of telepathy. Skeptics also point to historical cases in which flaws have been discovered in the experimental design of parapsychological studies, and the occasional cases of fraud which have marred the field.[12][13] Those who believe that telepathy may exist say that very few experiments in psychology, biology, or medicine can be reproduced at will with consistent results. Parapsychologists such as Dean Radin argue that the extremely positive results from reputable studies, when analyzed using meta-analysis, provide strong evidence for telepathy that is almost impossible to account for using any other means[2].


There have been instances of fraud in the history of parapsychology research, such as the Soal-Goldney experiments of 1941-43.


  1. Kelly, Theresa M.(2011) Telepathy: A Quantum ApproachCharleston, South Carolina USA. (ISBN 978-1-257-12278-3)
  2. Carroll, Robert Todd (2005). “The Skeptic’s Dictionary; Telepathy”. Retrieved on 2006-09-13.
  3. Following the model of sympathy and empathy.
  4. Glossary of Parapsychological terms – Telepathy — Parapsychological Association, Retrieved December 19, 2006
  5. Dvorsky, George (2004). “Evolving Towards Telepathy”. Retrieved on 2006-10-24.
  6. TakeAway Media (2000). “”Leviathan: Back to the Future: An interview with Kevin Warwick””. BBC Two.
  7. Glossary of Parapsychological terms – ESP, Parapsychological Association, Retrieved December 19, 2006
  8. Carroll, Robert (2006-02-17). “Zener ESP Cards”. The Skeptic’s Dictionary. Retrieved on 2006-07-18.
  9. The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena by Dean I. Radin Harper Edge, ISBN 0-06-251502-0
  10. Rennie, John (1845), “Test for Telepathy”, Scientific American,V3#1 (1847-09-25)
  11. “What is parapsychology?” From the FAQ of the website of the Parapsychological Association.
  12. “What is the state-of-the-evidence for psi?” From the FAQ of the website of the Parapsychological Association.
  13. on ESP, Retrieved February 22, 2007
  14. Eberhard Bauer: Criticism and Controversy in Parapsychology – An Overview. European Journal of Parapsychology (1984).
  15. O’,Keeffe, Ciarán and Wiseman Richard: Testing alleged mediumship: Methods and results. British Journal of Psychology.
  16. Rowland, Ian: The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading
  17. Examples, Randi, James. Prometheus Books (June 1982) ISBN-10: 0879751983 or Charpak, Georges and Henri Broch.

References (Scientific Investigation of Telepathy)

  1. The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena by Dean I. Radin Harper Edge, ISBN 0-06-251502-0
  2. Randi, James (1995). An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural. St. Martin’s Press. ISBN 0-312-15119-5.
  3. Bem, Daryl J. and Honorton, Charles (1994). “Does Psi Exist?”. Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 115, No. 1, 4-18. Retrieved on 2006-06-23.
  4. Hyman, Ray (March/April, 1996). “The Evidence for Psychic Functioning: Claims vs. Reality”. Skeptical Inquirer. Retrieved on 2006-06-23.
  5. Wiseman, R., Smith, M,. Kornrot, D. (June 1996). “Exploring possible sender-to-experimenter acoustic leakage in the PRL autoganzfeld experiments”. Journal of Parapsychology.
  6. Carpenter, S. (July 31, 1999). “ESP findings send controversial message”. Science News. Retrieved on 2006-06-23.
  7. Hyman, Ray (1985). “The ganzfeld psi experiment: A critical appraisal”. Journal of Parapsychology (49): 3–49.
  8. Honorton, C (1985). “Meta-analysis of psi ganzfeld research: A response to Hyman”. Journal of Parapsychology (49): 51–91.
  9. Carroll, Robert Todd (2005). “The Skeptic’s Dictionary: Psi Assumption”. Retrieved on 2006-06-23.
  10. Carroll, Robert Todd (2005). “The Skeptic’s Dictionary; ESP (extrasensory perception)”. Retrieved on 2006-09-13.
  11. “Most academic psychologists do not yet accept the existence of psi…” Bem, Daryl J. and Honorton, Charles (1994). “Does Psi Exist?”. Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 115, No. 1, 4-18. Retrieved on 2006-09-13.

Further Reading (Scientific Investigation of Telepathy)

  1. Kelly, Theresa M.(2011) Telepathy: A Quantum ApproachCharleston, South Carolina USA. (ISBN 978-1-257-12278-3)
  • Alcock, James (1981), Parapsychology: Science or Magic? A Psychological Perspective, Pergamon Press, ISBN 0-08-025772-0
  • Alcock, James E. (1990), Science and Supernature: A Critical Appraisal of Parapsychology, Prometheus Books, ISBN 0-87975-516-4
  • Hansel, C. E. M. (1966), ESP: A Scientific Evaluation, Charles Scribner’s Sons, ISBN 0684310503
  • Hansel, C.E.M. (1989), The Search for Psychic Power: ESP & Parapsychology Revisited, Prometheus Books, ISBN 0-87975-533-4
  • Hyman, Ray (1989), The Elusive Quarry: A Scientific Appraisal of Psychical Research, Prometheus Books, ISBN 0-87975-504-0

Further Reading

  1. Kelly, Dr. Theresa M.(2011) Telepathy: A Quantum ApproachCharleston, South Carolina USA. (ISBN 978-1-257-12278-3)

External links


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