Volume 94, Issue 90

Tuesday, March 13, 2001


NEWS

USC gets the budget blues - "Conservative" figures go to council tomorrow

Ex-U of T profs sue for equality

Toronto university plagues by unfortunate incidents

New Web site says no ixnay on the apsternay

Amnesty report sours celebration for Women's Day

Arizona U studies psychics' abilities

Drunk drivers, knives, and crack, oh my!

Arizona U studies psychics' abilities

By Joel Brown and Yasna Markovic
Gazette Staff

You better call in the Ghostbusters at this crazy Arizona laboratory.

Sabrina Geoffrion, personal assistant and lab co-ordinator to University of Arizona psychology professor Gary Schwartz, said she was one of the researchers at the U of A Human Energy Systems Lab that conducted experiments into the ability of spiritual mediums to communicate with the dead.

She confirmed the researchers invited a panel of mediums to meet with 10 study patients who had recently lost a loved one, adding the researchers then studied the mediums' ability to receive information from the dead while under observation.

The mediums were not allowed to gain any prior knowledge of the deceased before initiating psychic contact, Geoffrion added.

For a maximum of 10 minutes the participant and medium would sit in silence as the medium focused on receiving psychic impressions, she said, adding a yes and no question period followed.

Geoffrion said the study was set up to ensure minimal communication between the medium and the participant in order to maintain authenticity.

Schwartz and his assistants were impressed with the mediums' results, Geoffrion said, adding personal names and information of the deceased were often revealed.

She said in some instances highly personalized and obscure facts were discovered by the mediums.

"I was really surprised by some of the detail in the information that came through," she said "The information was pretty specific and accurate. It was pretty amazing."

The success of a medium is often dependent upon a patient's belief in the supernatural, as well as an after-life, Geoffrion confirmed, explaining the mediums had trouble connecting with skeptical participants.

Jacquie Lawson, a fourth-year sociology student at Western, said she would consider attending a medium or psychic.

"I think there could be some truth to them," she said. "You have to keep an open mind towards these things."

Geoffrion said the mediums showed profound results when communicating with one of her own deceased relatives. "The reader gave some pretty clear information from my grandmother. They described her dogs in detail and revealed names specific to [my grandmother] and my family. One reader even kept on saying they were hearing the song 'Good Ship Lolly-pop' but didn't know why. My grandmother used to call me Shirley Temple," Geoffrion said.

Further studies into the areas of psychic and medium ability are being planned by Schwartz and his colleagues.

Raveneyes, the head psychic of Raveneyes Psychic Service in London, said she believes in the accuracy of the study and the ability of mediums to communicate with the dead.

"We use a small percentage of our brain," she said. "We don't know what the rest is capable of."

She said she dismissed those in society who remain skeptical of supernatural abilities. "Some of us find the skeptics the most fun to read."


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