Chapter 54





Before continuing with the events in 1972 that ultimately led into the CIA-funded "Eight-Month Project" at Stanford Research Institute (SRI), it is meaningful to begin elaborating upon a particular topic that can lead to a more exact and larger understanding of what was involved.

The importance of that topic cannot be emphasized enough, especially with regard to those who would like to enhance their own powers.

The topic centers on what are referred to as "frames of reference," the contexts and boundaries of which constitute substantial mental frameworks through which people process whatever information they encounter.

Frames of reference are thus of extraordinary importance, so much so that it is surprising (even astonishing!!!), how little investigative attention is paid to them. Indeed, many people don’t even know they have frames of reference, and are completely unaware that their "realities" are, as it were, produced and confined by them.

The mental fulcrum of this topic can be stated quite simply: how one thinks about something has a great deal to do with whether it will be adequately understood or not.

Beyond this simple statement, however, it is quite well known that people think about a given thing in different ways, with the predictable result that the given thing becomes surrounded with different versions of it.

Thereafter, what might be called direct and accurate mental contact with the thing itself can become distorted, deflected, or lost within this or that version, with the predictable result that the version ultimately takes mental precedence over the thing itself.

There is a predicable result here, too. The versions can be mentally understood within this or that frame of reference, but in ways that may have very little direct connection to the thing itself.

The import of the four paragraphs above can be reduced to a very simple formula composed of five essential parts:

    1. There are people.

    2. There are things.

    3. Between the people and the things are the ways the people think about the things.

    4. The ways of thinking result in different versions, realities, and understandings about the things.

    5. Yet, the things ARE what they ARE despite the different versions, realities, and understandings -- and which may or may not MATCH what the things ARE.

As simple and basic as this five-part formula is, the whole of it is none the less deeply, VERY deeply, cocooned within complexities so dense and turgid that each of the five parts vanish from any possible perception of their actual existence.

There are a great number of identifiable reasons for this. But certainly a fundamental one is that people, on average, attribute more value to THEIR versions, realities, and understandings than they do to things themselves.

If this is considered as calmly as possible, it can be seen that people exist and that things exist, but that versions, realities, and understandings are merely mental constructs having only quasi-existence according to the value attributed to them.

Furthermore, human history both illustrates and confirms that the quasi-existing mental constructs constitute only temporary affairs.

Taken altogether, versions, realities, and understandings that individuals are somehow exposed to in order to format their thinking processes constitute FRAMES OF REFERENCE all individuals utilize to assess what they do and do not become aware of.

The phrase FRAME OF REFERENCE is important enough to be included in most dictionaries which define it as:

"A set or system (as of facts or ideas) serving to orient or give particular meaning."

One cannot quibble too much with this definition, except to mention that "facts" of and in themselves seldom signify much unless they can be associated to "ideas" whether imprinted from socio-cultural environments or somehow gotten up fresh from within this or that individual.

And indeed, as just about everyone experiences at one time or another, various idea-based frames of reference need not necessarily be bothered with any "facts" at all.

As it is, however, "facts" exist everywhere, and it is not too much to say that we live in a Universe thickly populated with them. But they usually mean little unless they can be incorporated into "ideas."

For clarity, we more or less have to say that say that "facts" exist naturally, but that "ideas" about them one way or another need to be incorporated into mental constructs which, in turn, serve as frames of reference.

The bottom line here is that what might be called the HUMAN PROCESS OF THINKING is obliged to acquire at least basic workhorse frames of references through which each individual thinks about this or that so that they can format their own "ideas" with regard to whatever.

From this, it can hypothetically be supposed that the NUMBER of frames of reference one has available can become important. For example, one might have ten frames of reference. But fifty, a hundred, or perhaps a thousand of them might be better, depending on what is involved.

The utter importance of the NUMBER of frames of reference becomes apparent if the frames are associated with the concept of NEXUS.

This term is taken from the Latin NECTERE, which means "to bind together." In English, NEXUS is defined as "connection, link; a connected group or series."

In this sense, the NUMBER of frames of reference one has available will probably link up, or connect together, to provide a mental nexus via which encountered information will be processed.

Frames of reference and their resulting nexus, are sometimes referred to as mindsets, habits of mind, frames of mind, and maps of mind. But whatever the terminology, they all have one thing in common: they can, as they mostly do, prejudice or bias how one views and interprets information.

Those interested in enlarging their frames of reference with regard to this topic might wish to read MAPS OF THE MIND by Charles Hampden-Turner (1981), and FRAMES OF MIND by Howard Gardner (1983).


It goes without saying, of course, that frames of references are most useful and productive if the ideas upon which they are based can be formulated to most closely MATCH essential reality as contrasted to NOT-reality or unreality.

In this particular sense, the topic of frames of reference is extremely important to the real story of remote-viewing and to the comprehension and development of the necessary faculties in individuals. So it will be expanded upon at various points in the many chapters ahead.

But the purpose of introducing the topic at this point serves as a fundamental basis to begin clarifying a number of factors about the SRI project which otherwise have suffered from an overwhelming burden of erroneous, faulty, irrelevant, and even illusionary frames of reference.

This "clarifying" was horribly difficult even at the start-up of the project, and it remains so down until this writing -- so much so that the quintessential frames of reference for the remote-viewing project are cocooned within versions that are inappropriate to them.

It is helpful here to note that QUINTESSENCE is defined as "the essential essence of a thing in its purest and most concentrated form." The most appropriate antonym, or direct opposite, to quintessence, is, of course, POLLUTANT, defined as "something that befouls or taints, especially by contamination."

In elaborating the distinction between quintessence and pollutants in relationship to the story of remote-viewing, it might seem that this writer, usually so humble otherwise, is suddenly assuming a dictatorial mountain-top position over the whole landscape of what is involved.

Well, one of the thick, turgid, and major layers that WAS and still IS part-and-parcel of the real story of remote viewing is composed of the MANY conflicts between frames of reference that collected around the project, and which have also burdened every interest in remote viewing since.

If, then, the larger REAL story of remote viewing is to be put on record by THIS writer, the REAL story of those conflicting frames of reference must also take its appropriate place within the larger one.


To now move expeditiously onward, you will of course have noted the title of this chapter -- TRANSFERRING OUT OF PARAPSYCHOLOGY -- which, at first take, might not make much apparent sense.

But even if the meaning of this chapter title seems obscure at first, its most obvious implication is that the SRI project, from its initial 1972 outset, was conceptualized by Dr. Puthoff so as to enable constructive work toward discovering and establishing what were referred to as "novel approaches."

"Novel approaches" clearly implies a significant change or shift with regard to frames of reference.

It is especially important to point up three factors in this regard:

  1. One of the disadvantages of frames of reference is that they can mentally become locked in or locked down with the result that many find it exceedingly difficult to change them.

  2. Thus, throughout the project, it was always difficult to convey the aspect of novel approaches to many.

  3. And it is this aspect that HAS BEEN TOTALLY FORGOTTEN by now, even by some who should know better.

The best way to elucidate this situation is to first describe what was departed from or transferred out of -- after which the title of this chapter will become more understandable.


Since its promulgation, parapsychology was (and still is) most certainly composed of its own special frames of reference that historically evolved within its workings during the first sixty years of the twentieth century.

Parapsychology’s frames of reference achieved wide and powerful exposure, at first principally through the research work and popular books of Dr. J. B. Rhine during the 1930’s and thereafter.

The broad societal result was that anything "psychic" became loosely interpreted through those special frames of reference, or at least through what people could understand of them in a popularized grab-bag kind of way -- including scientists of other disciplines who knew little or nothing of parapsychology (and didn’t want to.)

The wide-spread popular download from those frames of reference (whether well understood or not) was, so to speak, that "if it could be thought of as psychic, it was parapsychological."

But even before the advent of Dr. J. B. Rhine, the inner core of parapsychologists never had in mind anything that resembled this mistaken and ambiguous popular version of their own formatted research discipline composed of definite contours.

The central difficulty in determining the great differences between the popular version and the official inner-core idea of parapsychology is that few bothered themselves to READ about the criteria (i.e., frames of reference) that were set up by parapsychologists to identify and circumscribe their emerging discipline.

Those criteria can be found unambiguously set forth in several early publications, but they were more neatly brought together and published in PARAPSYCHOLOGY: SOURCES OF INFORMATION, by Rhea A. White and Laura A. Dale published in 1973.

Since interested readers will probably have difficulty in locating a copy of this book, the formal definition of parapsychology found on page 13 is provided as follows:

"PARAPSYCHOLOGY (the modern and more restrictive term for psychical research) is the field which uses the scientific method to investigate phenomena for which there appear to be no normal (that is [physical] sensory) explanations.

"Basically this refers to phenomena subsumed under the general term PSI, which in its motor aspect is called psychokinesis and in its more familiar mental aspect, extrasensory perception (comprising telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition). All these phenomena have been observed under laboratory conditions.

"In the vastly more complex and intricate world of actual life, some form of PSI often seems to be a probable explanation of such human experiences as dreams that come true, waking visions of events occurring at a distance, inexplicable hunches, and similar occurrences.

"PSI is also a useful concept in explaining much that happens in mediumship. Since parapsychologists have established that PSI is a part of living behavior, many have hypothesized that what in the early years of psychical research was thought to be evidence of communication with the dead can better be explained in terms of the combination of some form of PSI with the dramatizing propensities of the unconscious minds of the medium and other persons involved.

"It is these building blocks of telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and psychokinesis that parapsychology uses to extend the bridge of knowledge into the unknown.

"But contrary to uninformed popular opinion, parapsychology does NOT deal with astrology, numerology, Tarot cards, theosophy, witchcraft, or other occult systems of practices-- or, if so, only insofar as they empirically demonstrate that at their base some form of PSI is operating."

It is worth mentioning here that the term EMPIRICAL has three definitions. It is the third meaning that is being utilized just above, i.e., "capable of being verified or disproved by observation and experiment."

However, the first definition of the term is: "relying on experience or observation alone often without due regard for system of theory."

From the foregoing quotation regarding parapsychological frames of reference, it can be seen that parapsychology was defined by parapsychologists themselves as a "restrictive" field of research which uses the "scientific method" to investigate human-associated phenomena that apparently have no physical explanations.

However, although this definition seems straightforward, appropriate, and even logical enough, there are certain significant, but subtle implications within it that can escape observation unless they are pointed up.

The term RESTRICT of course means "to confine within bounds, to prohibit, to limit," while the term RESTRICTIVE is defined as "anything that restricts," but ALSO as "limiting the reference or references of."

The definition of parapsychology clearly indicates that parapsychology is the field of PSI research that was to be restricted to and by "the scientific method."

Most dictionaries define SCIENTIFIC METHOD simply as:

"Principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses."

But the same dictionaries usually do not indicate that the chief workhorse of the scientific method IN PRACTICE involves quantitative statistical analysis.

STATISTICS is defined as:

  1. "A collection of quantitative data; a branch of mathematics dealing with the collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of masses of numerical data; and

  2. A statistic is a function of the observations in a sample designed to estimate a parameter of the population from which the sample was drawn, or to carry out a test of significance of a hypothesis."

Returning briefly to the parapsychological definition of parapsychology as "the more restrictive field which uses the scientific method," it is now more clear that:

  1. the initial designers of parapsychology parameters restricted THEIR frames of reference to be consistent with the frames of reference of the scientific method, and

  2. which methods lean very heavily on statistics and statistical analyses.

Indeed, it is amply recorded that this was conceptualized and set in motion in order to "make parapsychology scientifically acceptable," on the political assumption that doing so would permit the full acceptance of parapsychologists into the ranks of the mainstream-funded modern sciences themselves.

And although parapsychologists did NOT (and mostly still do not) fully comprehend the enormity and seriousness of mainstream societal resistance to PSI, this effort was fully appropriate, quite honorable, and understandable.

From the foregoing discussion, it can be seen that parapsychology perhaps should not have been called simply that, but rather might have been referred to as something like STATISTICAL PARAPSYCHOLOGY. Indeed, it is quite well understood that parapsychologists adapted to quantitative statistics with a vengeance.


To now get on with this somewhat laborious effort, it needs to be pointed up that there are phenomena that are amenable to quantitative statistical analysis, and there are phenomena that are NOT.

For ease of terminology, phenomena that are not amenable to quantitative analysis are usually thought of as being QUALITATIVE in their ESSENTIAL nature, so much so that they cannot be broken down or reduced to bits, pieces, or bytes in order to measure, count, and quantify them.

Much beyond stating that they exist, it is exceedingly difficult to address the exact nature of qualitative phenomena, but which will figure into discussions in chapters ahead.

At this point, however, it is worthwhile to briefly consider the distinctions between MICRO and MACRO -- if only because those distinctions ultimately came to figure largely in the project at SRI.

MACRO refers to large, extensive, or generic. And so MICRO of course refers to small, minute, or particular. Indeed, the meaning of MICRO as a prefix to another term -- such as microscope or microphone -- is taken as meaning "to enlarge" something that is small or minute.

One of the advantages for considering the distinctions between MICRO and MACRO is that the micro can more easily be discovered, identified, and dealt with in quantifiable statistical terms.

Since it is easier to deal with micro affects, effects, and phenomena, it is understandable why micro quantification procedures have been successful and why the methods of modern science were founded upon them in such full part.

It should now be pointed up that there is an important distinction between early psychical research and later parapsychology.

The early psychical researchers interested themselves in macro-PSI phenomena. Those interests, however, could not be integrated into the micro quantification procedures demanded by science proper.

So the later parapsychologists more or less attempted to remedy this lack of integration by focusing on micro aspects of PSI, and statistically presenting their research results in this regard, on the assumption that doing THAT much would commence the integration.

What they failed to take into account, however, was that even in science proper, a micro this or that is of little interest unless it can be ENLARGED to some productive end in a societal system that demands product.

Indeed, statistical parapsychological experiments and research mean very little if they only signify a slight statistical deviation above chance expectation.

In the end, though, and especially as of 1972, statistical parapsychology had accumulated a very large body of work that confirmed little or only slight statistical significance of the phenomena they were testing for. AND they had ignored attempting the discovery of any methods that might ENLARGE any format of micro-significant PSI.

In other words, there was no hint of achieving "practical applications of PSI" anywhere within the contexts of statistical parapsychology.


Before moving toward the end of this possibly difficult chapter, it is worthwhile to briefly comment upon the drawbacks and limits of statistical analysis.

These were somewhat understood as of 1972, but after that they became increasingly commented upon in various disciples, such as archaeology, paleontology, anthropology, genetics, linguistics, and even astrophysics.

As brief background, statistics is the science of collecting and classifying a group of facts according to their relative number and determining certain values that represent characteristics of the group.

The most familiar statistical measure is the arithmetic MEAN, which is an average value for a group of numerical observations.

A second important statistic or statistical measure is the standard deviation, which is a measure of how much the individual observations are scattered about the mean. Other statistics indicate other characteristics of the group of observations.

In addition to the problem of computing certain statistics for a particular group of observations, there is the problem of sampling, or the problem of the sample group.

Sample groups are taken from among larger groups, and so there is always the first problem of whether the sample group constitutes a representative figure for the larger group.

This problem of sampling can be solved only by resorting to the theory of probability and higher mathematics.

There are at least four stress factors that statistical analysis can seldom escape altogether.

First, no matter how sophisticated the mathematics that can be applied to statistical methods, the final yield only indicates a probability, not a certainty, that the assertions behind the mathematics are true.

Second, the probability arrived at may be impossible to demonstrate.

Third, there has been no shortage of new mathematical formulas developed within various disciplines, and so something depends of which formula statisticians utilize to crunch their numbers -- while submitting the same samples to different statistical analyses often yields significantly different probabilities.

Fourth, the contexts of samples considered consistent enough can suddenly undergo change by new discoveries regarding them, and so statistical analysis of a given sample is relative to what the sample is thought to represent at any given time.

It is somewhat amusing to learn that "science" of statistics was invented by a gambler as a way to help wager bits in line with statistically indicated probabilities. Thus, the USE of statistical analysis has always been a risk-taking affair: i.e., this or that statistical number crunching gives this or that probability. After the numerical probability is achieved, all that remains is how much is one willing to bet that the probability is true.

With regard to statistical parapsychology, its researchers confirmed time and again that microPSI is statistically present in the many different kinds of samples with which they have experimented. Indeed, there can be no scientific or any other kind of doubt about this.

This combined work, through the years, confirms the very high PROBABILITY that microPSI activity is somehow constantly going on in just about everyone -- but most certainly within the human species as a whole.


As a result of the foregoing combined observations, it is finally possible to address the title of this chapter in relationship to the project at SRI.

To do this, it must once more be reminded that in late 1969 the interest of various intelligence agencies was shocked into existence by the revelation that significant research of certain phenomena had been going on in the Soviet Union for some time. I have given a rough introduction to of this research in chapter 2.

The agencies did not yet have a good grasp on what the Soviet phenomena consisted of, except for the certainty that they involved "paranormal stuff" along the lines of Western frames of reference having to do with influencing-at-a-distance, mind reading and influencing, telepathy, and PK knock-out potentials.

Between 1969 and about the beginning of 1972, a number of "threat analysis" papers had been prepared and circulated within the various agencies, and among select high government officials.

It was for certain that the Soviet research consisted of a very large, even huge, multi-disciplinary effort, and which was logically assumed to be dominated and controlled by the KGB and the Soviet military. THIS was highly suggestive of "threat potential."

However, it was for sure that the CIA and the American and European military did not possess "matching projects," and would have been laughed out of office and town if they did.

To further complicate matters, the first translations by the Air Force translation center of the captured Soviet documents were badly translated.

The translators automatically had assumed, for example, that the Soviet phrase "electromagnetic bio-information transfer" should be translated as "telepathy," and that the East German term "psychotronics" should be translated as "parapsychology.

Because of those inexact translations, it was initially assumed that the Soviets were trying to reproduce the Western modes and frames of reference of statistical parapsychology.

If that was so, then there would not be much "threat," because American parapsychology had, at best, only demonstrated the statistical existence of PSI at slightly above chance expectation. Based on those statistical parapsychology frames of reference, the probability of Soviet PSI was equally low.

For some strange reasons that were never made clear, the early translators of the relevant Soviet documents had trouble translating the Russian term that meant AMPLIFICATION, the first definition of which in English and Russian are quite similar: "to increase, extend, or expand," which in English are generally associated with "development." So, the Soviet "amplification" was translated as "to develop."

[NOTE: For further elucidation here, see Chapter 13, entitled BOOSTING THE BRAIN, in PSYCHIC WARFARE: THREAT OR ILLUSION? by Martin Ebon (1983).]

But at some point, a second English definition needed to be applied:


Agency analysts did not know what this meant exactly, but the idea of "Greater Magnitude" was familiar enough, largely because intelligence agencies and military evaluators are always busy assessing "magnitudes" of just about everything.

It was at this point that the Soviet term "Electromagnetic bio-information" took on alarming significance. After all, electromagnetism is not only universally acknowledged as a source of energy and power, but is closely connected to amplification, which in turn is directly connected to the "threat" of Greater Magnitude.

The upshot of this was a kind of well-covered-up panic the American public never learned about, and Washington threat analysts were ordered back to their drawing boards to consider the unnerving difference between what amounted to unamplified microPSI and the possibility of amplified macroPsi.

At this juncture, whether they believed in PSI or not, members of those intelligence agencies responsible for ensuring the defense of the nation obviously had to commence an active threat assessment aimed at discovering whether amplified or amplifiable PSI of ANY KIND could indeed exist.

It was at this point that statistical parapsychology, including its frames of reference, bit the dust on three counts.

First and foremost, American and European parapsychology of any kind had always held that forms of PSI were anomalous psychological products of the minds or peculiar mental make-ups of given, somewhat special or naturally gifted individuals.

Thus, parapsychology possessed no frames of reference that PSI might be attributable to anything other than some kind of unusual psychological functioning.

Indeed, if the terminology of the Soviet research was taken at face value, then the Soviets were aggressively attributing "bio-information" effects to something more like bio-energetics rather than some unusual kind of mentalism. Parapsychology’s frames of reference along these lines were NOT a match for or equivalent to the Soviet work.

Second, in 1972 what was termed by the intelligence agencies as parapsychology’s MIND-SET was completely focused on statistical microPSI of low or threshold significance.

This of and in itself could not be thought of as leading into any PSI phenomena equivalent to a probable threat potential. So statistical parapsychology again provided no frames-of-reference match for the Soviet efforts.

Third, frames of reference that were totally absent within the contexts of statistical parapsychology, and in fact in parapsychology as a whole, had to do with potentially developing PSI into "practical applications." It could be pointed up that the bigger fault here did not particularly lie with parapsychology per se, but with mainstream societal powers which would not appreciate any REAL development of practical PSI applications.

Nevertheless, as contrasted to the history of early psychical research, most of whom did not mind tackling sociological showdowns and shoot-outs, a study of the history of "scientific" parapsychology show a careful desire for as much sociological neutralism as possible.

Thus, no frames of reference for amplification of microPSI into macroPSI either.


I will now direct the reader back to chapters 28 and 34 of this narrative, both of which are about Dr. Harold E. Puthoff, and who had earlier circulated various proposals to numerous funding agencies in Washington and elsewhere.

In one of those proposals (1971), he had petitioned for funding to undertake studies of the physics of psychoenergetic processes down to and including the level of quantum mechanics.

In other proposals, he had advocated the need for "alternative hypotheses" and "novel concepts" via which telepathy and clairvoyance, for example, might be tested, developed, and enhanced.

The central idea of his proposals was of course suggestive of departing from standard statistical parapsychology frames of reference, i.e., transferring out of those frames of reference into those of the quantum mechanics of consciousness of the "life force."

Furthermore, he already had some idea of the nature of the Soviet work; he was NOT a parapsychologist but a physicist of some reputation; and he was already installed in the nation’s second largest think tank wherein other kinds of government contracts were implemented.

It was thus that the interests of the Washington agencies were transferred out of parapsychology. The statistical parapsychologists were quietly but completely by-passed by the intelligence agencies, and they were surprised and confounded when rumors began circulating that "the government" was going to fund PSI research, not within their auspices, but at SRI which had never before sponsored such research.

And so it was that Dr. Puthoff’s "star" began its remarkable ascent.