Scientology and the Spoonbenders: Jon Atack on a previously unpublished Ingo Swann essay - 2017-07-08
Jon Atack graciously agreed to read and comment on a 1973 Ingo Swann essay on Scientology that was recently dug up by our intrepid researcher, R.M. Seibert. We knew he'd have some interesting things to say about this presentation, which Swann aimed for fellow researchers into the parapsychological.
In the early 90s, I became intrigued by the exploits of the Spoonbenders – a group of "psychics" who were employed by US Intelligence agencies. Uri Geller and two more "psychics" were the subject of a series of tests made by two physicists at the "Stanford Research Institute" (SRI) – which sounds as if it were affiliated with Stanford University – it wasn't.
A very successful book – Mind-Reach – was published in 1976. The late, great Martin Gardner critiqued the evidence offered for paranormal activity in the SRI tests. I was fascinated that two of the "psychics" – Ingo Swann and Pat Price – and one of the two experimenters – Hal Puthoff – were Scientologists. Gardner claimed that ten members of the support team were also involved in Scientology.