Rhine Whine

Have you ever heard of the Rhine Research Center Institute for Parapsychology“?

I had heard about them for years and i’ve always heard they were THE place to go for information on psychic or paranormal phenomena.

According to the Rhine meetup group, their goal is “to improve the human condition by creating a scientific understanding of those abilities and sensitivities that appear to transcend the ordinary limits of space and time.[ref]

As the so-called authority on parapsychology research, i thought i’d visit their site (http://www.rhine.org/) in search of some proof of the paranormal. I am particularly interested in finding some evidence of psychic ability, so i figured The Rhine Center should have some studies i could read.

I looked all over their site but couldn’t find any studies. But i did come across a document titled “Requests for Demonstrations or Evaluations of Psi Ability”[1], so i downloaded it and this is what i found:

Am i reading this correctly? They decline requests to demonstrate or evaluate PSI (psychic or paranormal phenomena) because “Modern research has moved beyond the need for mere demonstration of psi ability to a focus on the process of how psi occurs“?

What? The Rhine Center can’t be bothered actually proving or demonstrating the existence of PSI, they just pretend it’s real and spend their time fantasizing how it might work? Wow. Is this really something they should admit?

I wish i had a job where my bosses didn’t worry whether i actually did something, but instead were just happy thinking about how i might work if i did work.

So how does one test their psychic abilities? The Rhine Center has the answer in the same document:

Got it. Let’s all sit around the kitchen table and make up our own uncontrolled tests.

How COULD they endorse somebody? They can’t demonstrate PSI and they don’t test for PSI!!! Are they serious?

That’s my Rhine Whine for the day.

Mason I. Bilderberg

1. Since i downloaded the document used in this piece (evaluation_for_psi_ability.pdf), The Rhine Center removed it from their web page – that’s weird – or maybe they realized their silly admission of not testing or being able to demonstrate PSI abilities. Fortunately, a copy can still be found at archive.org’s WayBack Machine. Scroll about halfway down, you want to click the link that says “rhine.org/research_docs/popular/evaluation_for_psi_ability.pdf” OR you can download it directly from me right here.

7 responses

  1. Hello Mason.
    I am John G. Kruth, the Executive Director of the Rhine. The page you found was removed because it was out of date, but the information provided on this page still stands. First, let me say that I believe you missed the main point of that page which was included in bullet number 2.
    “The Rhine Center currently lacks the time or resources to adequately evaluate claims of unusual abilities”
    We get literally hundreds of requests a year to verify psychic ability of individuals, and we cannot provide this service to the public. We are a formal, academic research center, and we are not able to respond to every individual who believes they have ESP.

    Second, from a purely scientific perspective, the evidence for the phenomena examined by parapsychologists (telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and PK) have been demonstrated repeatedly in laboratories, so we no longer focus our research on the Proof Oriented Research. Instead, we focus on Process Oriented Research that tries to identify the mechanisms behind the effects that are being demonstrated in the lab.

    The Rhine does not endorse or certify anybody as psychic. There are not only legal reasons for this, but it is becoming more and more apparent that everybody has some level of psychic ability just as everybody has some abilty to hit a golf ball. Through practice and training, you can improve your psychic ability just like you can improve your golf game. Of course, not everybody is going to be Tiger Woods, but even Tiger has his off days.

    Having said all of this, we do have experiements at the Rhine that are currently looking for physcial effects that provide evidence of specific sorts of PSI abilities. Our new website is still under construction, but there is a lot of good information there. If you want to know more about the Rhine, please send a note to us through the website at http://www.rhine.org or contact the office directly. We are always happy to discuss the scientific work that we are doing and to educate people on the reality of the current state of parapsychological research. – John G. Kruth

    1. John,

      Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post.

      I would like to find evidence of PSI. But to my knowledge, successful demonstrations of PSI in a laboratory environment have never been reliably replicated by a neutral, third party under proper and strict scientific controls.

      As i’m sure you know, replication of results by other experimenters is the gold standard for validating claimed results. If the original findings are true and accurate, they should be able to be repeated. Otherwise the original results may simply be due to normal and expected statistical variations and/or errors.

      In my quest to find PSI, i went to the Rhine website to find lab experiments (successes and failures) i could analyze and/or have reviewed. I was surprised when no such experiments could be found. I was hoping Rhine, of all institutions, would make proof of PSI readily available.

      I understand Rhine doesn’t have the resources to test every claim, but to a person like myself in search of PSI, the lack of access to the proof makes the process aspect of research a leap of faith.

      How can i obtain access to detailed experiment data?


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