The Outreach Program works to introduce and integrate parapsychology’s subject matter within diverse disciplines. To reach this goal, every so often, the Parapsychology Foundation sponsors a special event or Foundation staff members travel to take part in or support the activities of others. If you live in the Tri-State area surrounding New York City, or if you live in the Mid-Atlantic States of the United States (Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia), drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org with your postal address so we can keep you up-to-date on our both our local events and our “traveling plans!”
The Outreach Programs in 2005
Coly on A&E
Parapsychology Foundation’s own Executive Director, Lisette Coly, appeared on the A&E documentary, Mediums: We See Dead People, which aired on Friday, October 14th, 2005. The two-hour show featured both psychics and mediums, among them James van Pragh, John Holland and Annette Martin, parapsychologists Loyd Auerbach and Dr. Gary Schwartz, and psychiatrist and philosopher Dr. Raymond Moody, among others.
Ms. Coly’s comments provided a frame for the progression of the special, situating the work of parapsychologists who study mediumship in a wider context, and inserting some much needed skepticism at various points. Particularly noteworthy was the focus on the biographies of the psychic mediums involved, “real time” walk-throughs of various haunted sites such as the building that suffered through the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire which occurred in the early 20th century, missing persons investigations still in progress, and extended interviews with the researchers and psychics. Missing were members of the skeptical community, who would have provided a bit more balance to an otherwise thoroughly interesting two hours. Repeat air dates are not yet available on the A&E website.
The Outreach Program in 2003
Alvarado at the Quest Bookshop
On Friday, November 14th, 2003, Carlos S. Alvarado, Ph.D., the Parapsychology Foundation’s Chairman of Domestic and International Programs, gave a talk entitled “Scientific Research on Out of Body Experiences” at the Quest Bookshop in Charlottesville, Virginia. Invited by Kay Allison, the owner of the Quest Bookshop, Alvarado spoke to a lively group of people, focusing mainly on the research he has conducted on the out of body and near experiences in Puerto Rico, Scotland, Spain, and the United States. Publicity in a local newspaper, The Echo described Alvarado’s work on behalf of the Parapsychology Foundation and also noted that he is known in scientific parapsychology both for his OBE research, which emphasizes both the features of the experience and the psychological characteristics of experiencers, and for his many reviews of the historical literature of the field.
The Outreach Program in 2002
Alvarado at Marymount
In October of 2002, Foundation staff member Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado spoke to a senior seminar in psychology at Marymount Manhattan College, across the street from the Foundation headquarters on the Upper East Side of New York City. About fifteen students attended the lecture. Alvarado gave a brief introduction to the phenomena of parapsychology and reviewed psychological studies of individuals who experience seemingly psychic phenomena. Among other things, students asked questions about how to study parapsychology, and about how to evaluate parapsychology as presented on television.
PF in Brazil
At the end of February through the beginning of March, 2002, Foundation Staff members Dr. Carlos S. Alvarado and Nancy L. Zingrone traveled to São Paulo, Brazil, where they participated in a seminar convened by Inter Psi — Grupo de Estudio de Semiotica, Interconectivadade e Consciencia (Inter Psi — Study Group of Semiotics, Interconnectivity and Consciousness), and sponsored by the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, Brazil within the Center for Peirceian Studies of the Communication and Semiotics Post Graduate Program. Alvarado and Zingrone presented a paper entitled “Relaciones entre la Psicología y la Investigación Psi (Relationships between Psychology and Psi Research).”
The aim of the seminar was to discuss the importance of intuitive communication as used by psychoanalysts and clinicians to refer to ostensible psi experiences which occur within the clinician/patient relationship. While representing the PF within the scientific and academic Brazilian community as an organization historically recognized as supporting worldwide scientific and interdisciplinary research into parapsychology, Alvarado and Zingrone were pleased to deepen ties with their Brazilian colleagues as well as to support the work of PF’s International Affiliates in Brazil, Fátima Regina Machado and Wellington Zangari. Machado and Zangari are co-directors of Inter Psi.