RAY HYMAN DEFAMES PSI INVESTIGATOR PROF. GARY SCHWARTZ
view is that Professor Gary Schwartz is in a position to take legal action against
Professor R Hyman - estimated damages $3 to $5 million).
follows is a general assessment of the legal implications of Prof. Ray
Hyman's attack on Prof Swhartz' afterlife experiments.
I have had many interested
parties asking me to look into professional debunker Prof. Ray Hyman's fundamental
anti-psychic partiality. This is because there have to be valid reasons for Hyman's
continued hostility and 'negativity' towards psychic matters when psychic phenomena
are being proved in so many parts of the world.
Prof Ray Hyman's overall
treatment of Prof Gary Schwartz' The Afterlife Experiments is regarded by psi
investigators as most unfair, highly willfully negative, full of omissions, full
of misrepresentations and lies.
In any legal context, grossly unfair and
unreasonable conduct such as willful misrepresentation, malice, omission of critical
information and 'lying' in an imputed endeavor to do harm to Professor Gary Schwartz'
reputation is actionable per se (see below).
Further, a history of any wilful
omissions and misrepresentations to ridicule, denigrate and belittle would contribute
towards the malice element.
Preliminary issue: Was Prof Ray Hyman deeply
negatively prejudiced against psi before reviewing Prof Schwartz' afterlife research?
Initially, before anything is stated, if the answer is in the affirmative it would
indicate prima facie malice.
This is critically important to all of us
because as Professor Charles Tart, a highly respected psi empiricist stated:
more than a hundred years of the highest quality scientific research which, to
any genuinely rational mind, demonstrates the existence of several kinds of paranormal
phenomena (telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition and psychokinesis being the major
ones), parapsychology research remains marginalized, rejected and actively persecuted.
As a psychologist that tells me there are powerful, irrational forces involved"
(Prof Charles Tart reviewing George P. Hansen's incisive book The Trickster
and the Paranormal)
Hyman has consistently NOT found anything positive
in psi in the last fifty years or so while a number of prominent psychic researchers,
physicists and other scientists with the highest credibility and sensitivity to
psi have - people like Nobel Prize winner Dr Brian Josephson, Dr Dean Radin, Prof
Gary Schwartz, Dr Jessica Utts, Dr H E Puthoff, Dr Charles Tart, Prof Ian Stevenson
and so many, many others.
Considering this, it becomes vitally important
to ask the key relevant question: notwithstanding Hyman's qualifications, are
there powerful irrational forces which cause him to lose all technical 'competence'
to conduct psychic experiments and evaluate psychic material with true empirical
Read the following passage very carefully:
in paranormal phenomena is still growing, and the dangers to our society are real
in these days of government budget-cutting the Defense Department may be
spending millions of tax dollars on developing 'psychic arms'
us in this battle against the irrational. Your contribution, in any amount, will
help us grow and be better able to combat the flood of belief in the paranormal."
Hyman put his name to that willful extremely negatively prejudicial statement
in 1985 (Hansen 1991:198). Yet he has the audacity, the effrontery and cynicism
to try to assess serious psychic research by some of the most highly credible
scientists in the United States.
Hyman indirectly threatens psi empiricists
with 'ridicule' and 'risking their reputation' is a kind of indirect bullying
and malice that would not be acceptable by scientists. The latter part of the
good thing for the growth of science
' does not reduce
his threat. In 1981 he wrote:
"I have no quarrel with
any scientist who wants to investigate the claims of an alleged psychic. Indeed,
the willingness of such men to risk their reputation and to face ridicule is probably
a good thing for the growth of science in the long run."
Hyman as chair of a parapsychology subcommittee for a National Research Council
committee allowed a report stating among other things that there was "no
scientific justification from research conducted over a period of 130 years for
the existence of parapsychological phenomena" (Druckman & Swets, 1988
In doing so Hyman apparently misrepresented and misled his superiors
by willfully and knowingly omitting the conclusions of the NRC commissioned work
by Robert Rosenthal which were fundamentally inconsistent with and diametrically
contradicted Hyman's statement (Hansen 1991:198).
These are just a couple
of examples of extremely serious matters showing Hyman to be seriously irretrievably
one sided and dedicated to an anti-paranormal crusade. Asking him to evaluate
material on paranormal matters is not dissimilar to asking the head of the Ku
Klux Clan to give an impartial dissertation on the potential and merits of the
Hyman, a proven negatively minded skeptic, should NEVER try to asses
any psi research. It is most unfair, unreasonable and inequitable abuse of academic
position for Hyman to continue to give the impression he can perceive psi with
equanimity! An adjudicator with integrity is one who has a proven track record
of strict objectivity in psi assessment. Hyman does NOT have this.
then should Hyman have ANY credibility when assessing psi?
every right to be skeptical. His beliefs are his own. He can stay with CSICOP
in any capacity till he dies. But it would be cheating, lying and fraudulent conduct
on his part to try to project himself as having the technical competence (legal
sense) to assess psi impartially. I state that the cumulative effect of decades
of public anti-psychic crusading would continue to motivate Hyman to be anti-psychic.
1. he could become the object of 'ridicule' in the
United States and the world if after decades of negative results he suddenly finds
2. it would impute that he was WRONG all the time in psi matters,
3. it would impute that he did not conduct his previous experiments with
due objectivity and due diligence,
4. it would impute he was motivated
by covert incentives to find against psi,
5. it would possibly impute technically
'fraudulent conduct' to find against psi,
6. it could even impute willful
'lies' and 'willful misrepresentation,'
7. he would lose any status he has
in the eyes of his contemporaries,
8. he would automatically lose his 'authority'
on skeptical assessment,
9. he would lose all credibility,
would lose any funding,
11. he would become a non-entity,
12. he would
be dumped by the materialists and hard core skeptics,
13. he would inexorably
be ostracized into obscurity.
Inevitably, for Hyman (or anyone)
this would be a huge price to pay. Quite objectively there are powerful incentives
for Hyman to consciously or unconsciously continue to be highly negative, to be
highly critical, highly captious about successful psi reports; he could even be
expected to deepen his anti-psychic bias. In fact, he is emotionally and intellectually
programmed not to perceive psi with equanimity - and to continue to remain negatively
prejudicial against positive psi results.
What would be the predictable
response of a hard core skeptic like Hyman who:
- spent his whole lifetime
finding negative results,
- attained professional recognition and 'status'
for his negativity,
- was massively reinforced for his negativity,
occasionally sought by the media for his criticisms,
- has used his position
at university to promote skepticism and denigrate psi,
- is on record for
articulating anti-psychic sentiments nationally,
- was/is on CSICOP executive
actively disseminating anti-psi propaganda
if you tell him: "You
are absolutely WRONG in your beliefs; you are WRONG in promoting skepticism; you
are WRONG in being anti-psychic; now there is ubiquitous unrebuttable objective
scientific evidence showing that psi is valid ?"
There would be
extreme denial, immediate hostility and a tendency to ridicule the opposite view.
There would be a physical response by way of heightened anxiety - (this could
be shown by way of EEG); there would be intense rationalization of the held beliefs.
Hyman would argue and over-rationalize his own entrenched skeptical beliefs that
he feels comfortable with.
Psychologists call this process 'rationalization
to avoid cognitive dissonance.' This means there will be a lot of justification
for the held beliefs against the inconsistent information - even if the 'inconsistent'
information is scientific!
Further, Neurolinguistic Programing tells us
that whenever a person such as Hyman is confronted with information which is directly
opposite to his/her own beliefs, critical 'deletions' occur - the mind starts
to filter out information - leaving out and information which could be biologically
and emotionally destabilizing.
All these negative processes can be seen
very clearly in the way Hyman tried to ridicule Prof Gary Schwartz' scientific
study of mediumship (Hyman 2003).
Schwartz' comments (on Hyman's attempt to rebut the mediumship experiments) show
that Hyman LIED and MISREPRESENTED Schwartz's work and made critical omissions
in the endeavor to reject and make nugatory Schwartz' qualitative research. Read
for yourself the numerous times Prof Schwartz corrected Hyman's misrepresentations
and lies- see
the legal perspective after reading Ray Hyman's public comments on Gary Schwartz'
afterlife research Hyman has unfairly violated the good name, character and reputation
of Gary Schwartz and the empiricists who were involved with the afterlife experiments.
is because, according to Prof Gary Schwartz, Hyman willfully lied, willfully misrepresented
Schwartz' research, knowingly made many misrepresentations about Schwartz' research
that would amount to the imputation that Schwartz is not competent to conduct
empirical research into a psi phenomenon.
Hyman says specifically "Probably
no other extended program in psychical research deviates so much from accepted
norms of scientific methodology as does this one".
This statement alone
is highly defamatory - simply because of the obvious harm it has done and will
do to Prof Gary Schwartz AND because no impartial experts from around the world
would agree with such a groundless generalization in context of historical psi
Hyman's same words inexorably exhibit the legal ingredient
Further, the facts that Hyman does not have a track record as
an empiricist, is not widely published academically and is an armchair critic
with years of executive membership of negatively entrenched CSICOP, coming across
as anti-psi crusader and thus professionally restricted- should alert publishers
to their potential absolute legal liability.
Hyman exercises a carefully
crafted technique of 'verbal terrorism'- of repetitive hit and run ridicule, distortion
and misrepresentation which is couched in pseudo technical language to bamboozle
and fatigue the non-initiated. The damage is done by his tone notwithstanding
anything that Schwartz might subsequently write in reply. Hyman also comes across
as a zealot on a crusade. He himself writes about using "emotional charges
and sensationalistic challenges (to) garner quick publicity" in order to
"persuade the media" (Hyman 1987). This is clearly 'verbal terrorism.'
Some of the very serious actionable imputations of Hyman's unfair criticisms include
- list not exhaustive- that Prof Gary Schwartz:
- is not competent as
a psi empiricist,
- is to be ridiculed for his psi research,
a person to keep away from,
- does not deserve funding,
- is wasting
resources on researching psi,
- had to lie to obtain positive results,
to 'positively' manipulate his research,
- lacks depth of understanding
in psi research.
I urge the reader to read Schwartz' rebuttal. Schwartz
comes across as having been most unfairly and inequitably treated by Hyman's continuous
illegitimate and illegal negativity. Some of the issues of Hyman's endeavour to
belittle, denigrate, ridicule and dismiss Schwartz's research are, very briefly:
- Unscientific' statement to ridicule; Hyman and six other experienced professional
mentalist magicians and cold readers admitted that they could not apply their
mentalist tricks under the strict experimental conditions [no knowledge of the
sitter's identity, and no verbal or non-verbal visual or auditory cues/feedback].
Yet Hyman stated that if he had a year or two he MIGHT be able to figure out a
way to fake what the mediums were doing under experimental conditions (Schwartz
- Hyman makes sloppy and stupid errors in basic information
about Schwartz' background - indicative of the overall treatment of his review
of Schwartz' research. (Schwartz 2003 p5)
- In spite of not being able to
account for the data or to duplicate it using cold reading or fraudulent methods,
Hyman uses a tone of extreme sarcasm and ridicule toward the very idea of physical
survival, omitting to inform readers unfamiliar with the field that that idea
was shared after extensive investigation by some of the most brilliant scientists
who ever walked this earth:
" even more extraordinary- that medium's
(sic) can actually communicate with the dead. He is badly mistaken" (Schwartz
2003 p.5) and "Even more eye-opening is Schwartz's apparent endorsement of
the mediums' claims that they are actually communicating with the dead (Schwartz
Hyman is deliberately very harmful in his imputations
when he states that the experiments with John Edward and George Anderson
attracted considerable attention "because of Schwartz's credentials and position."
claims Schwartz' book presents evidence from 'a series of five reports'. Schwartz
says that is a lie and a gross oversimplification of the extent of the work.
to Schwartz, Hyman is willfully LYING (making 'an egregious error of fact') when
Hyman states that Schwartz 'does admit that his experiments were not ideal
the very last in his sequence of studies used a truly double-blind format."
Schwartz claims that Hyman is ignoring the fact that a number of the original
studies were conducted double-blind (Schwartz 2003 p8)
Hyman has a large
heading "Could it be cold reading?" after which he makes much of the
claim that he has "devoted more than half a century to the study of psychic
cold readings". He tries to belittle and ridicule by false analogy on the
basis of his supposed personal unverified and unsubstantiated subjective experiences-
pushing subjectivity to its extreme to try to score a few cheap points. He then
goes on to make the outrageously untrue claim that "we (the panel of seven
magicians) all agreed that what we saw Northrup and Edward doing was no different
from what we would expect from any cold reader" completely omitting the crucial
point that all of the panel members agreed that they could not apply cold reading
techniques under the strict experimental conditions. (Schwartz 2003 p8-11)
support his claim Hyman cites Wiseman and O'Keefe - two of Britain's most negative
and notorious anti-psi crusader psychologists (Schwartz 2003 p13).
does not permit me to go into the all details methodically here. I have reached
only up to page thirteen of Schwartz' rebuttal which goes to 50 pages! On virtually
every page Schwartz highlights problems to be dealt with. Echoing Hyman "I
would have to make this review almost as long as Schwartz' book" to explain
adequately each defamatory implication in Hyman's writing.
Read other scathing
reports against Hyman by leading academics and other credible empiricists and
psi writers accusing him of willful omissions to mislead, of lying, of misrepresentations
etc. See especially George P Hansen's incisive 1991 article: The Elusive Agenda:
Dissuading as Debunking in Ray Hyman's The Elusive Quarry and Dr Don Watson's
letter to the Skeptical
Enquirer December 2002.
The objective observer will fully understand Hyman, a skeptical supremo,
being so aggressive against Schwartz' research. Is it any wonder when Hyman was
on record for many years BEFORE he read Schwartz' report for pre-judging the paranormal
as 'irrational?' Hyman would be thrown out of a court of law if he tried to represent
himself as an 'impartial authority on psi!'
We are all informed that Hyman
was a stage magician. This means that Hyman has skills in deception, skills in
the 'verbal sleight of hand,' in making true look untrue, the real unreal. A magician
is trained to fool the people all the time. Hyman as a magician would be a professional
'trickster' and something we all should keep in mind when he tries to assess legitimate
professional scientific work which is fundamentally inconsistent with his own
cherished deeply entrenched beliefs.
His whole approach is verbal slight
of hand. He has previously admitted that he has been unsuccessful in explaining
away the results of parapsychology in spite of devoting a whole career to the
attempt. So instead he does a 'double shuffle' and tries to "justify withholding
any attention to the claims for the paranormal on the part of orthodox science"
(Hyman 1989: p.206) on the basis that he has given parapsychology "a fair
and unbiased appraisal" (Hyman 1989: p.141).
Another example of 'verbal
sleight of hand' is when Hyman refers to psychic researchers as 'believers.' This
is a dirty trick and Hyman knows it. There is a definitive distinction between
a 'believer' - someone who accepts personal beliefs blindly - and investigators
like Richard Hodgson, Professor William James and Professor Hyslop who, although
initially were some of the world's toughest skeptics had the courage to yield
to overwhelming objective, scientific evidence.
Negative prejudicial beliefs
and negative partiality may be conscious or unconscious (the legal implication
would be irrelevant) - as Hyman himself stated, "I do not have control over
my beliefs." This is a powerful statement which explains his entrenched negativity
and his gross misrepresentations and omissions which Schwartz so effectively countered
in his rebuttal. Deeply entrenched beliefs - be they secular or religious- bring
Hyman's beliefs are not in dispute- they are clearly materialistic
and anti-psychic. There is nothing empirical in 'closed minded skepticism' - and
recent closed-minded skepticism has become a personal belief- a fringe secular
religion supported by less than two per cent of the population. It is way out
of step with current science.
Deeply entrenched cherished negative personal
beliefs such as Hyman's skepticism directly or indirectly skew objectivity and
these beliefs are powerfully hard to shift. Beliefs are not abstract. They are
neurologically hardwired into the body; consistent with the 'homeostatic principle'
for most people any attempt to destabilize them will precipitate fear and aggression
to keep the body in a quiescent state.
Accordingly, when Hyman reads Prof
Schwartz' empirical verification and validation of mediumship his heartbeat would
accelerate, his nerves become extremely sensitive and over-reactive and his blood
pressure would be raised. To protect his self-esteem then he could respond aggressively
by denigrating directly or indirectly the inconsistent stimulus. Hyman is trapped
in the 'comfort zone trap' - the information which he feels comfortable with.
However all of Hyman's bluster and obfuscations do not obscure the fact
that empirical proof of the existence of psychic phenomena has been found consistently
for over a hundred years. And where there is an inconsistency between empirical
results and personal, cherished secular/skeptical/religious belief, positive empirical
results including empirical psychic results inevitably prevails and will ALWAYS
Ray Hyman's record in objective psychic history is very sad
indeed. His negativity is very likely to be historically remembered as having
played a critical part in delaying and retarding psi research - thus allowing
other countries to make significant psychic progress especially in military remote
viewing - something the Chinese government takes seriously by selecting potential
psychics from junior school and continuing to finance psi for military and espionage
purposes ( Dong and Raffill 1997). The view of a number of informed observers
is that history will judge Ray Hyman's closed minded skeptic crusade for half
a century as having been fundamentally deleterious to the United States national
My advice to bona fides psychics and researchers is keep away
from any ALL closed minded skeptics for any assessment. They ARE NOT 'technically
competent' to give an impartial assessment of the work. Their deeply entrenched
anti-psi prejudice will not let them be fair, reasonable, equitable and balanced.
Funding psi research by closed minded skeptics, those with a history
of negativity and others who underneath the façade of empiricism have publicly
stated a priori negative conclusions about psi, is a huge waste of resources.
It is like pouring melted gold down the drain.
Victor Zammit, A LAWYER PRESESNTS
THE CASE FOR THE AFTERLIFE - the irrefutable objective evidence www.victorzammit.com
Dong. Paul and Raffill, Thomas E (1997) China's
Super Psychics Marlow and Company New York
Druckman, D., & Swets, J. A.
(Eds.). (1988). Enhancing Human Performance: Issues, Theories, Techniques. Washington,
DC: National Academy Press.
Hansen, George P. (1991). "The Elusive Agenda:
Dissuading as Debunking in
Ray Hyman's The Elusive Quarry" in The Journal
of the American Society for Psychical Research Volume 85, April 1991, pp. 193-203.
Ray (2003) "How Not to Test Mediums" in the Skeptical Inquirer Jan-Feb
Hyman, Ray (1989). The Elusive Quarry: A Scientific Appraisal of Psychical Research.
Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books.
Hyman, Ray (1987) "Proper Criticism"
reprinted in Skeptical Inquirer, July-August 2001.
Schwartz, Gary (2002)
The Afterlife Experiments Pocket Books New York.
Schwatz, Gary (2003) How
Not To Review Mediumship Research: Understanding the Ultimate Reviewer's Mistake
Tart, Charles, Review comments on George P. Hansen's The Trickster and the Paranormal
in The Professor's Bookshelf Recommended Reading by Charles T. Tart [Online]
Don (2002) Letter to the Editor of the Skeptical Enquirer- December [Online] http://www.enformy.com/SI-lettertoeditor.htm.
-- Victor Zammit (March 2003)
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