Stanley Krippner, parapsychologist even James Randi likes


Stanley Krippner, 79, is a parapsychologist loved by believers and skeptics alike. He's been honored with lifetime achievement awards from the mainstream American Psychological Association yet ESP researcher Charles Tart says "Stan belongs on the Mount Rushmore of parapsychology." Meanwhile, James Randi respects him. In the 1960s, Krippner conducted experiments with Timothy Leary and the Grateful Dead. In fact, in 1971, he enlisted the help of the Dead's audience in trying to mentally transmit an image to a sleeping psychic 45 miles away. He also spent nearly a decade running the sleep lab at Brooklyn's Maimonides Hospital where he tested whether sleeping subjects could experience a form of dream telepathy. Irvin Child, the late former chair of Yale's psychology department, wrote in the American Psychologist journal that he believed "many psychologists would, like myself, consider the ESP hypothesis to merit serious consideration and continued research if they read the Maimonides reports for themselves." Krippner's career is mind-bendingly weird and amazing. The SF Weekly's Joe Eskenazi tells his story:

Rather than crossing swords with the critics of parapsychology, Krippner often finds himself nodding his head — "really, I agree with about 95 percent of what they say. Nothing in parapsychology is guaranteed to replicate. So, really, I understand where the counter-advocates are coming from." He does not expect to see mainstream scientific acceptance of ESP in his lifetime. Sadly, he does not even expect to see the day ESP research acquires mainstream approval as a worthwhile endeavor. "And I am not losing sleep over this." Despite spending the bulk of his life in the field, it's just not something he gets worked up over. "I don't have any great emotional investment in this. The world is not gonna stand or fall based on one experiment or another. I have done what I can to expand the boundaries of science and human capacities. If [the argument for parapsychology] falls apart — so be it. If it is established, we've done what scientists are supposed to do."
"The Psychic World of Stanley Krippner: A quest to document ESP"


  1. So this is what happens when a motivated, Type-A genius eats mushrooms at a Grateful Dead concert.

  2. He does seem to be the right person to do such tests, though I still do not believe in such things.

  3.  Phenomenon may exist independent of my belief: they don’t need me. Here is a man who embodies what so many fail to grasp is fundamental  to pure scientific inquiry; dispassion. To seek and then to discover truth is the goal. Here, even Einstein failed when he came upon the Quantum phenomenon of entanglement, calling it “spooky action at a distance”.

    1.  But phenomenon cannot exist independent of repeatable observations. No para-psychological phenomenon can be independently and scientifically repeated. Einstein may not have been able to grasp “spooky action” but it was and is repeatable and examinable. And although not understood at a level that other science might be, it is being studied rigorously and openly.

      No quantum physicist was every caught saying – “Sorry, this behavior doesn’t work in presence of UN-believers”.

      Anybody that is still working on ESP, ghosts, remote viewing, telekinesis or other woo-woo is not to be respected. That boat sailed in the 60’s.

      1.  You obviously have never had a conversation with  Stan. These phenomena are vitally important to the people (and those who love them) who experience them. The experience of the phenomena begs the attention of researchers and the reality of the phenomena just gets dragged along.

  4. As it should be– scientists should not get emotionally involved in their studies.  I know it’s hard, we’re all human, and they undoubtedly chose their profession because of a great love of science.  But at the end of the day every scientist is just one cog in a giant knowledge machine.  Some of the cogs turn out to be superfluous, but we can’t know that at the beginning.  There is nothing too mundane or silly to be given serious study.

  5. Randi doesn’t disrespect anybody unless they are trying to deliberately con people, like the TV evangelist with the hidden radio in his ear getting info on the people he pretends to cure or ‘psychic surgeons’ who use sleight-of-hand to trick people into thinking they’re being cured. Stanley Krippner has done a presentation at  the James Randi Educational Foundation’s The Amazing Meeting in 2007, but it was about “RAPE, WAR, and AIDS”

    Rational and Irrational Beliefs about the AIDS Pandemic”, not his psychic research.

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