A Message From Beyond from John Thomas. Maybe.

March 22nd, 2010 Posted in General, Ghost Stories

In the summer of 1962, someone passed along a message to J. B. Rhine that was supposed to have come from the ghost of “Johnnie Thomas.” John Thomas was the name of the man who first brought the Rhines to Duke University in order to study communications from his dead wife. Among other things, the ghost claimed that Rhine, “has not advanced much above all of these other material things, and he cannot go on indefinitely in this …”

Rhine was getting a lot of grief at the time about his lack of progress in finding evidence for life after death, and I had to laugh when I read that because apparently even the dead were anxious for progress.

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Thomas would have been even more dismayed by Rhine statements in the Parapsychology Bulletin that year. He announced that, “for many years there has been a sharp decline of interest in the survival problem, with a considerable dimming of hope that parapsychology can produce a definite answer.”

That was true of the scientific community, who were never terribly interested in survival in the first place, even if they were, for a time, curious to see what he’d come up with. What Rhine saw was an end to whatever leeway they had extended.

But everywhere else interest was increasing and it’s been increasing slowly ever since. I just checked the most recent Harris and Gallops polls. I’m disappointed that they no longer ask about ESP or telepathy, and now only ask about belief in ghosts, the devil, reincarnation, and so on. Nonetheless, here is what I found:

– 42 percent of the respondents in a 2009 Harris poll said that they believed in ghosts (up from 40 percent in 2005).

– 71 percent believe in the survival of the soul after death (up from 69 percent in 2005).

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  1. 2 Responses to “A Message From Beyond from John Thomas. Maybe.”

  2. By alanborky on Mar 24, 2010

    Stacy Horn: “I just checked the most recent Harris and Gallops polls. I’m disappointed that they no longer ask about ESP or telepathy, and now only ask about belief in ghosts, the devil, reincarnation, and so on.”

    Stacy, isn’t that suggestive of something to you?

    To me it suggests two things:

    1) ESP or telepathy is less and less perceived as disreputable and lowbrow, and more and more likely to be accepted into scientific orthodoxy, (even if only as a weak effect – though still monumentally stronger than the weakest of all forces, gravity, for which the graviton’s still to be discovered after decades of searching);

    2) the point of such polls is not to find out what people think or believe, but to give the ‘brights’/’intelligentsia’ vindication the rest of the world consists of numbskulls and knuckleheads.

    In spite of the fact I don’t really believe in anything, as a fan of the 3 Stooges I’m proud to count myself among the knuckleheads.

  3. By Stacy Horn on Mar 26, 2010

    Well, they conduct polls on a wide variety of issues.

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