Jeffrey Mishlove

Jeffrey Mishlove is a clinical psychologist, parapsychologist and broadcaster. As host of the public television series Thinking Allowed (1986-2002) – and currently as host of the YouTube channel New Thinking Allowed  – he has interviewed hundreds of prominent experts on topics relating to scientific research, consciousness and spirituality.

Career

Jeffrey Mishlove was awarded a doctoral diploma in parapsychology from the University of California, Berkeley, 1980.1 His is the only such diploma to be granted from an accredited American university and the only one that states the field of study as ‘parapsychology’ rather than ‘psychology including parapsychology’.

Mishlove is past president of the Intuition Network, an organization dedicated to fostering intuition in others. He is also past vice-president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology and recipient of the Pathfinder Award from that association for contributions to the study of human consciousness.

Mishlove currently teaches parapsychology, as well as a course on William James at the Holmes Institute, which offers an accredited, distant learning masters degree. The courses are required for ministers in training for the Centers for Spiritual Living (formerly the Church of Religious Science).

Mishlove was host of the television interview series Thinking Allowed, in which he interviewed hundreds of leading thinkers on cutting-edge topics from consciousness studies to parapsychology and more between 1986 and 2002. He is the author of The Roots of Consciousness (1975) an encyclopaedic volume of consciousness studies which is widely used as a text for introductory college courses in consciousness studies and which has subsequently gone through two more editions. A revision of his doctoral dissertation, Psi Development Systems, was released in 1988 as a Ballantine paperback: this evaluates methods purported to train psychic abilities. Currently he is active in interviewing more leading thinkers for New Thinking Allowed, which has its own dedicated social media presence and YouTube channel.

Ted Owens

Mishlove investigated the claims of Ted Owens for his PhD and  chronicled them in The PK Man: A True Story of Mind Over Matter (2000).2 Owens was an American who garnered attention by claiming macro-psychokinetic (PK) powers, notably an ability to control the weather on a large scale, direct lightning strikes, and cause or predict accidents. Owens claimed that these abilities were channelled through him by alien intelligences. 

Sabotaging sports events  Mishlove catalogues an apparent ability of Owens to wreak havoc on sports competitions by hindering teams he opposed. This was mainly achieved by causing human error such as dropping an easy catch in baseball or unexpectedly fouling in American football. Teams said to have suffered Owens’s treatment include Philadelphia Eagles, Baltimore Colts, Los Angeles Rams, Baltimore Bullets, Virginia Squires, Dallas Cowboys and many more.

Alleviating drought conditions  In January 1976, Owens wrote to Hal Puthoff and Russell Targ, Stanford Research Institute physicists who had carried out psi experiments, claiming he would end a devastating California drought by psychically triggering torrential storms until the state was deluged. On February 5, a few days after Owen’s communication, the first snowstorm to hit San Francisco since 1887 smashed onto the West coast, bringing weeks of stormy conditions. During this period there were many UFO sightings in the area, as reported by local news media.

In another case, Owens was asked to intervene during an Australian drought in 1980. Here too, shortly after the entreaty, stormy weather ensued for enough time to reverse the drought conditions, and, again, UFO phenomena were reported extensively in the local media.

UFOs  In October 1975, Owens agreed to a request by a Chicago radio presenter for a UFO demonstration in the local area. There followed not only a UFO flap, but also a series of electromagnetic anomalies, poltergeist disturbances and human and machine errors at O’Hare Airport. Finally, Owens promised to sabotage the Chicago Bears football games for several months, without anyone being hurt. Mishlove documents newspaper clippings that reported a mysterious radio signal coming from a bridge in the city, unusual technical problems at O’Hare airport, unusual weather patterns and a disastrous season for the Bears. Unusual UFO activity and associated mysterious deaths of animals were also noted.  

The ‘San Francisco Experiment’ documented in The PK Man includes an instance in which Owens predicted that he would cause a UFO to appear within a 100 mile radius of San Francisco. At one point, he predicted to Mishlove that the event would be photographed and that the photograph would be published on the front page of a local newspaper. This happened a few days after Owens provided this specific information. The UFO sighting was witnessed by hundreds of individuals, from the air and the ground. It was photographed and a videotape was  shown on the Channel 9 evening news in San Francisco. This is one of the best attested sightings in the history of UFOlogy.

Earthquake  Pressed for a PK demonstration by radio broadcasters in Dallas, Texas, Owens agreed in the near future to cause extreme weather, including high temperatures, heavy rain and stormy conditions, without causing fatalities. All these things occurred, destroying a good portion of the Texas wheat crop. However, an earthquake also occurred at this time, and the effects led to fatal car accidents.  

Explanations

In The PK Man, Mishlove explores two rival hypotheses: that Owens used PK in the way that he claimed, or alternatively, that he was somehow looking into the future to know when and where these events would occur, then claiming to have caused them by PK ability. Mishlove asks whether he really would have caused events that led to injuries and suggests that the precognition hypothesis seems more parsimonious.

Psi Development Systems

In 1984, Mishlove published Psi Development Systems based on his PhD thesis, covering contemporary psi research and ancient psi-conducive religious and mystical practices. He describes popular systems of psi development, from spiritualism and theosophy to more contemporaneous LeShan Psychic Training and Transcendental Meditation. He goes on to catalogue new developments in parapsychology, such as research into meditation, relaxation and hypnosis as psi-conducive states. In the final chapter, which is closest to his PhD work, Mishlove details ways of developing psi and of measuring their success.3

New Thinking Allowed

Following on from the first series Thinking Allowed decades earlier, Mishlove has continued and expanded the original remit, interviewing experts in depth on topics germane to parapsychology, consciousness studies and spirituality. Several hundred interviews are available for free viewing,4 and the archive grows by an average of twelve a month. In an introductory three-minute video to the New Thinking Allowed channel on YouTube, Mishlove describes his vision of parapsychology as not just an experimental science, but also an area of inquiry that has its roots in ancient cultures globally. He plans to create an archive of videos in anticipation of the day when academic institutions offer programs in parapsychology as he envisions it.

Michael Duggan

Literature

Mishlove, J. (1984). Psi Development Systems. McFarland and Co. Jefferson, North Carolina.

Mishlove, J. (2000).  The PK Man: A True Story of Mind Over Matter. Charlottesville, Virginia, USA: Hampton Roads.

References