Paul Dong & Thomas E. Raffill
Marlowe & Company, New York, 1997
Paperback, 250 pp., $12.95
Available via Publisher's Group West

(Reviewed April 1998)


In certain essays already placed elsewhere in this database, it has been theoretically suggested that research and development of the superpowers indwelling in our species are not supported (socially, scientifically or philosophically) because if they were supported then the way social power is distributed would have to undergo certain modifications.

If this would theoretically be the case, then it is easy enough to see that ways and means would be found to relegate to the non-relevant any and all clues to the superpowers, not only with regard to their existence within the species, but also regarding how to develop them into functioning. This would permit the consigning of the superpowers to limbo -- where layers upon layers of confusions could be heaped upon them.

Conversely, IF any major form of broad social interest were to be taken with regard to identifying and enhancing any of the superpowers, then there would have to be equally broad and compelling social reasons to do so.

One such compelling reason might come about if one of the world's big governmental powers took it upon itself to begin researching, developing and enhancing this or that format of the biomind superpowers -- a development that surely might give concern to other governments, causing as well a hasty reassessment of relevance's.

Indeed, a compelling reason such as this took place in the very early 1970s.

As mentioned in certain materials earlier placed in this database, the principal reason, back in 1972, that specifically mandated the American intelligence community to fund research into human superpower potentials was to assess the "threat potential" of similar work in the former Soviet Union and its colonized East Bloc nations.

The Soviet effort in this regard had been building and on-going during the four decades prior to 1972 -- and the rather tardy discovery of whole of it came as an astonishing "surprise" to American analysts when they finally realized how large and serious the involvement of Soviet scientific and military agencies actually was.

Up until about 1981, the major American media tended superficially to romanticize this situation as the "Psi warfare gap." However, it can be pointed up that the American mainstream social systems of sciences, leading intellectuals and media labor within pronounced misconceptions and phobias regarding the superpowers. And so rather than informing the public as to the exact nature of the Soviet work and its extent, the Psi-phobic editorial policies of the major media seized upon the "gap" to poke fun not at the Soviet work but at the American intelligence agencies.

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989, the "threat potentials" of the Soviet work were considered at an end -- and the American intelligence agencies formerly involved took active steps to discredit any advances made within the American work they, themselves, had funded (for about seventeen years). Thus, the American scientific habit of pretending that the superpowers don't exist once more was reinstated as the status quo of American mainstream illusionism.

In fact, though, nothing of the kind is at an end -- because by 1979 the accumulating Soviet and the American efforts (supported at such high levels as they were) triggered a not unreasonable result among thinkers of other nations -- principally China and Japan.

After all, and for one thing, the Soviet and American work DID, in their times, create a lot of noise, smoke and wonderment at the international level. And so if the United States could become concerned enough to attempt assessing the Soviet threat potential, why should not responsible analysts of the OTHER powerful nations attempt to assess the threat potentials of BOTH the American and Soviet work?

For another thing, one of the basic factors regarding the human superpower functions is that IF truly organized and impartial attempts are undertaken to determine their real existence, it is not at all difficult to conclude that an entire spectrum of them does exist in verifiable fact.

Further, IF this kind of conclusion IS achieved, then it would not be necessary to try to build upon the Soviet or American work. After all, very competent thinkers and researchers exist in other countries -- and presumably they could engineer various novel ways and means of researching and developing whatever they can get hold of.

One of the principal difficulties of learning anything about the nature and progress of human superpower research in China and Japan is that evidence of it is hardly ever rendered into English, and never made much of if it is. And indeed, in their book CHINA's SUPER PSYCHICS, authors Paul Dong and Thomas Raffill complain about the reluctance and avoidance of American sources to report on Chinese and Japanese research, even though some of it makes headline news in Asia.

Paul Dong is an internationally known writer. Now a citizen of the United States, he was born in Canton, China, and has maintained close ties with the Chinese scientific community. He is one of the few writers in the West with in-depth access to scientific developments in the People's Republic of China. He is also a chi gong instructor. Thomas E. Raffill, a translator and consultant, has been a student of Paul Dong's chi gong meditation since 1987.

In their book, the authors state that "China's Psychic Research" has gone through three stages, the first beginning in 1979 with "Discovery and Rise to Prominence." The second stage involved "Controversy and Conflict." The presently on-going third stage involves "Experimentation and Study" -- and which can also be read as "development and training."

Throughout the book, the authors make two significant factors quite clear -- both of which should carefully be understood and carried in mind, since both factors contribute to a Chinese state-of-the-art that has no comparison in the United States or Europe.

The first significant factor is that the Chinese research and development enjoys official and very impressive government support and in-depth cultural leadership. "Over one hundred scientific and academic institutions in China" took part in the initial stages of the research, and since then the number of research agencies "has grown rapidly."

Many of these agencies are identified. For example: Beijing High Energy Physics Institute; the Institute of Aerospace Medico-Engineering (Beijing); the National Defense Laboratory 507; Quinghua University; Beijing Teachers' College; many academies of Chinese medicine -- and "newly formed human body science laboratories all over the country."

From an intelligence-gathering perspective alone, it's worth pointing up that the "Over one hundred" research institutions in China is a far greater number than the nineteen or twenty known to have been involved in the former Soviet Union.

The second significant factor is that the entirety of the Chinese research is mounted upon fundamentals totally and radically different from any approach in the West and especially in the United States.

Very briefly outlined here, the Chinese research and development is fundamentally based in the concept that "human body science is to view the person as a massive system, and an open system in close connection with the whole universe around it." This concept unifies the macroscopic and microscopic levels, and leads to the idea of "the man-universe paradigm." This theory then is expanded to deal with the larger systems of the human and the environment -- and leads to the workable concept that "exceptional human functions" (EHF's) exist and can be demonstrated and researched as such.

"From this we can see three parts of the man-universe paradigm." The first investigates the human person as an entity in the universe; the second considers the relationship between the inner workings of the body with the environment; and the third studies the quantum mechanical basis of the "man-universe paradigm." This includes quantum measurement, with "the effect of the uncertainty principle on perception at the quantum level. At the macro level, the paradigm takes in the principles of traditional Chinese medicine."

In this "macro" view, the human body is seen as "an extremely complex macrosystem, a macrosystem open to the outside world and having countless numbers of links to the environment." These links "include the exchange of matter and energy" not only at the more familiar conscious perceptual levels, but at very subtle "exchanges of matter and energy" levels reaching down into the quantum levels.

This fundamental overview, "a new field in modern science and technology -- human body science," is seen by the Chinese as a "system science" which "teaches us that reductionism alone is inadequate to the task of understanding the workings of physical systems of [the macro] level of complexity."

Reductionism, of course, is the hallmark of all Western sciences and approaches to phenomena. As the authors state, "Reductionism analyzes each level in terms of lower levels, from the human to the subsystems of the body, to the organization of these parts, down to the cells, cell nuclei, and chromosomes, all the way down to the level of the molecular biology."

The reductionistic approach is inadequate with regard to understanding, or even realizing the existence of, "a high-level perspective, the multidimensional structure naturally formed by the macrosystem of the human body, the different functions of each level, the relationship between levels, and so on."

Research in human body systems science encompasses chi gong, Chinese medicine, and Exceptional Human Functions (EHF). A matter of vital importance "is that the facts demonstrate that practicing chi gong gives rise to exceptional human functions" -- with the result that empirical theory is derived from the actual EHF phenomena, and permitting confirmations that generalizations and systematic ideas can be formed regarding them.

The authors establish that exceptional human functions are specifically derived from biophysical energies -- while the use of the term "mind" is relegated almost exclusively and only to the topic of "mind reading." In this, the Chinese EHF research is similar to the former Soviet research which likewise studied biophysical energies and potentials. In this sense, then, the substance of the Chinese (and Soviet) research differs from the substance of Western and American parapsychology, within which the phenomena are considered solely of mental rather than of physical origins.

Through the three stages of the development of the Chinese interests, it appears that a consensus was earlier reached as to the most likely and fundamental nature of the "biophysical energies" involved, and that these compared positively with the energies associated to CHI GONG.

As a further refinement of verified experiments, it would appear that chi gong, Chinese medicine, and exceptional human functions are "three parts of the same system."

This understanding led to the concept of training an individual's awareness and control of chi gong energies -- and which training in turn is "using chi gong, and Chinese medicine, to raise people with EHF to their highest level of functioning (or 'eigenstate' in the jargon of systems science), and improve the stability of the [exceptional human function] abilities."

A major concept is given substance in this book, one that is radically different from all American and Western approaches. Although various states of exceptional human functions in a kind of natural condition can be found active in numerous children and some adults (who have been studied in China), enhancement (or "training") of the EHF's is otherwise a noted by-product of chi gong training.

As the authors note, "when a person has reached a high stage of chi gong practice, the internal body [systems] produce a strong chi energy flow. This energy can be released through the eyes, palms, or fingers. In the terminology of chi gong, this is called energy healing. While the power can be used for healing, it can also be used to harm the body. This is the 'empty force' used in chi gong for martial arts. The helpful or harmful direction of the power is determined by the mind and the strength of the 'chi' energy developed through practice. We know that the 'chi' of chi gong is closely related to the chi or energy of exceptional human functions."

To help clarify here, in the expanding Chinese framework of exceptional human functions, the functions are NOT themselves seen as separate or even special "talents" of mind in the reductionistic micro-way they are seen via American or Western parapsychology concepts. Rather, they are seen as concomitants of the chi energy macro systems of the body -- or as indwelling functions (or faculties) of the macro-energy human system.

Enhancement (or training) of the functions therefore is not achieved by addressing them as reductionistic micro-issues, so to speak, but by addressing the entirety of the energy macro systems -- of which the exceptional functions are "the more striking manifestations."

There is much to be learned, and seriously considered, in this unusual book. The descriptions of the many exceptional human functions under research and development in China range from merely shocking to dumbfounding -- and demonstrate a wide spectrum of functions from mind-bending psychokenisis to refined forms of mind-reading.

But the descriptions tend to give substance to the following and quite astonishing statement that appears on page 39 of the book:

"It is because chi gong is popular in China today that thousands upon thousands of people with EHF have appeared there. There may be as many in China as the rest of the world put together. IF A SO-CALLED 'PSYCHIC WAR' EVER TAKES PLACE, CHINA'S OPPONENTS FACE CERTAIN DEFEAT [emphasis added.] However, the Chinese government has many purposes for pursuing EHF research. Besides the military and security applications, it also has industrial uses (such as for mineral prospecting), medical applications, navigational and policing application, etc."

This book is well-worth reading, if only to be boggled by the descriptions of EHF's given, and the several ways the exceptional human functions have been researched in laboratories.

[NOTE: Some few readers may wish to refresh themselves regarding their knowledge about chi gong. There are several books available, but recommended here is: THE WAY OF QIGONG: THE ART AND SCIENCE OF CHINESE ENERGY HEALING. Kenneth S. Cohen. Ballantine Books, New York: 1997, and containing a nice Foreword by the well-known Larry Dossey, M.D.]