Psychokinesis in the Metapsychics of the Roaring Twenties

Renaud Evrard is Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Lorraine (Nancy). He is the co-founder of the Center for Information, Research and Counseling on Exceptional Experiences. He is the author/editor of several books on the clinical, historical, anthropological, and sociological approaches of exceptional experiences. He is Past President of the Parapsychological Association.

At the onset of the Institut Métapsychique International, founded in 1919 in Paris, several physical mediums were tested in the new laboratory. Among those who occupied the public debate were Marthe Béraud (alias Eva C.), Teofil Modrzejewski (alias Franek Kluski), Jan Guzyk, and Rudi Schneider. We can see a progression in the methodological search to find an optimal balance between the conditions of control and the conditions of production of the phenomenon. The pinnacle of this search are the experiments by Eugène and Marcel Osty using infra-red beam and automatic photographs. However, these scientific developments cannot be extracted from their historical context. They are marked by controversies opposing metapsychists to mainstream scholars (Henri Piéron, etc.) or rivals (Harry Price, etc.). Restoring the record is a real challenge for the historian of science.

The Parapsychological Association is an international professional organization of scientists and scholars engaged in the study of psi (or ‘psychic’) experiences, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, psychic healing, and precognition. The primary objective of the PA is to achieve a scientific understanding of these experiences.

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Published on April 15, 2022