Remote Viewing Pioneer Russell Targ Describes The Origins Of ESP Powers

Russell Targ describes his jaw-dropping psychic missions for the CIA and the origins of extrasensory remote viewing,  which he claims is “a natural psychic ability we all have…it was described originally by the Buddhists two thousands years ago, but modern physics has finally caught on”:

Russell Targ is a physicist who was a pioneer in the development of the laser and laser applications, and was co-founder of the Stanford Research Institute’s (SRI) investigation into psychic abilities in the 1970s and 1980s. His work with SRI in what was a new area, called remote viewing, has been widely published. In 1976, Targ retired from Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space Co. as a senior staff scientist.

This talk was on April 14, 2013, at the Vortex Immersion Dome, in Los Angeles. Conceived under a TEDx license, it ultimately was presented under the auspice of Suzanne Taylor’s Mighty Companions non-profit foundation.

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  • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

    Well, if the ancient Buddhists knew about it, it must be true. The logical fallacies come fast and furious around here!

    • Juan

      Yes, he referenced the ancient Buddhists. He also gave example after example and presented, what seemed to me, some pretty compelling statistical evidence.
      Dude, this ain’t some crazy, random, New Age charlatan channelling our benevolent space brothers from the Crab Nebula. This is an establishment guy with a background in real science.
      Guess we won’t be seeing him giving a TED talk any time soon.
      What is it you find objectionable?

      • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

        more ad hominem. I find the utter absence of science objectionable

        • echar

          I find your lack of honesty objectionable. Nothing new from you though. I see your schtick clearly, yawn.

    • echar

      You are funny, I can see a couple logical fallacies in your comment.

      Hasty Generalization and Ad populum. Possibly slippery slope and Post hoc ergo propter hoc. Yet I know logical fallacies are typically a manipulation technique; More like a cheap trick. Did you like my ad hominem Mr. Ray Butlers?

      • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

        that remark was, in itself, another logical fallacy. My “sins” do not negate the sins of others. I assure you I’m a much bigger asshole than James Randi, but James Randi is still right.

        • echar

          James Randi is right about what, oh adult one? Which has nothing at all to do with your original comment btw. James Randi that is, I’d hate for you to try to wriggle out by attempting to distract by bringing up your claims of adultness or my childishness. May as well have said, there’s Superman and ran away.

    • echar

      You are funny, I can see a couple logical fallacies in your comment.

      Hasty Generalization and Ad populum. Possibly slippery slope and Post hoc ergo propter hoc. Yet I know logical fallacies are typically a manipulation technique; More like a cheap trick. Did you like my ad hominem Mr. Ray Butlers?

  • Juan

    Fascinating stuff.
    The guy seems beyond legit to me. Too bad it had to be the fucking CIA and the army he was working for.
    Still, just the fact they were doing these experiments for 23 years on the gov’s dime, seems to suggest that there was indeed some merit to what they were doing. Also, the stats pretty much speak for themselves. Unless of course he’s just lying, which I highly doubt.
    I downloaded the Psychic Trainer app he mentioned. It’s pretty cool. Not doing too bad with it.

    • jesse

      Russell Targ is a liar and con man. It has been demonstrated multiple times that he is incredibly dishonest and has no idea what proper scientific controls are. Sounds like you need some James Randi in your world.

      • Juan

        Sez you . . .
        Looks to me, that Randi is a loud mouthed, self serving assclown with an ax to grind.

        • echar

          He’s also a professional liar (AKA a magician).

          • Juan

            Exactly.

        • echar

          He’s also a professional liar (AKA a magician).

        • jesse

          The big difference here is that Randi doesn’t talk shit he can’t back up. Show me one instance of Targ conducting studies that are peer reviewed and have proper controls.

          • echar

            I can show you an example where Randi lied, but I doubt you are flexible enough to believe it.

          • jesse

            I would love to see it. It has nothing to do with “flexability” I change my worldview based on new facts. That is the benefit of science of Pseudoscience.

          • echar

            I said I can, I didn’t say I will. You’re not worth it.

          • jesse

            lol if you’re going to talk the talk you need to walk the walk.If you say you have proof and don’t provide it that is the same as not having proof.

          • echar

            I am not a part of your system.

            *throws Jesse on the ground

            bwahahaha, pardon. Having fun now.

            I’d rather let it hang, it’s enough that I know.

          • AnnOnaMice

            I’d say that being published in Nature, Proceedings of the IEEE, and even the peer-reviewed Journal of Scientific Exploration are a few instances.
            I don’t know enough (or anything about psi “powers”) to say what kind of controls one would have for psychic studies.
            I’m not a skeptic, I just look at the evidence across the spectrum of the field… apparently many people find statistical evidence that there is such a power, just not “on tap” for people to easily exploit or study.

          • jesse

            The paper in nature is exactly what I was talking about in reference to proper controls and dishonesty. Targ greatly exaggerated and misrepresented his findings and caused alot of embarrassment among himself and colleagues. Proper controls for ESP means insuring that trickery can not be used and Targ went as far as to assist people they were testing in using trickery. I have listed multiple links about how every test conducted under proper controls has turned up nothing I suggest you read them.

          • AnnOnaMice

            I’d say that being published in Nature, Proceedings of the IEEE, and even the peer-reviewed Journal of Scientific Exploration are a few instances.
            I don’t know enough (or anything about psi “powers”) to say what kind of controls one would have for psychic studies.
            I’m not a skeptic, I just look at the evidence across the spectrum of the field… apparently many people find statistical evidence that there is such a power, just not “on tap” for people to easily exploit or study.

      • echar

        Where is the proof of your claims? From my perspective, James Randi appears to be just as much of snake oil salesman as the ones he attacks. For example. His Ted talk is one big sales pitch for his academy and books.

        • jesse

          You want proof? How about the 25 million dollars spent researching remote viewing by the CIA? If thats not good enough how much money would you like us to waste on researching bullshit? 100 mil? 200 mil?

          • echar

            That’s not proof, that’s you admitting you have no proof as well as being rude.

          • jesse

            I apologize if I sound rude I am passionate about this topic and meant no disrespect. However I am not the one making an outrageous claim, if you wish for people to believe ESP exists the burden of proof lies on you, not me. Tons and tons of research money has been spent to figure out that its all nonsense. Proof :http://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/esp

            http://news.discovery.com/human/psychology/esp-study-120315.htm

            http://www.livescience.com/23852-esp-psychic-powers.html

          • jesse

            I apologize if I sounded rude, I am passionate about this topic and I love to debate fiercely. You are the one making extreme claims and not backing them up. If you wish for people to believe that ESP exists the burden of proof lies on you. Tons of research money has been spent figuring out that ESP isn’t real. I tried posting this comment with proof but i am assuming it didn’t get approved so just go to google and type esp study.

          • echar

            The only claim I made is that I can show you proof of Randi being a liar. As for E.S.P. I don’t know one way or the other if E.S.P. exists.

            I have not seen proof that it does not exist. I see plenty of people that say it does exist. I accept that.

            I feel that scientism can do more harm than good with the obsession with proof, and being the only source of turth.

            Also Randi is a poor example, you may as well have went into a Wisconsin bar wearing Vikings gear and yelling the packers suck.

            You may have gained more mileage had you evoked the name of Michio Kaku, or Carl Sagan.

          • jesse

            If that is the case then I suggest reading The Demon Haunted World by Sagan where he comes to the very same conclusions Randi does. Also Randi’s The Faith Healers is a fascinating read, the forward by Sagan is pretty good too.

          • echar

            My last sentence was pointing out the tendency of atheists and the followers of scientism of using the cult of personality.

          • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

            “scientism”? that’s a lot of heavy lifting. why do you have to deride science in order to have parlor tricks? I don’t get why there’s so much at stake for you

          • echar

            Sorry I am not narrow minded enough to communicate on your level. If you wish to step down off your high horse perhaps we can communicate, but first you have to accept stepping in all this horseshit surrounding you.

          • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

            and the logical fallacies continue. yawn

          • echar

            You must not be wearing your waders?

          • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

            and the result of that “research”? it ended when the cold war ended. there is no such thing as remote viewing. And leave James Randi out of this.

          • Matt Staggs

            I’m inclined to a great degree of skepticism regarding remote viewing, having explored the subject a great bit a few years ago. Have you read Jon Ronson’s “The Men Who Stare at Goats”? (Don’t watch the execrable film.)

      • echar

        Where is the proof of your claims? From my perspective, James Randi appears to be just as much of snake oil salesman as the ones he attacks. For example. His Ted talk is one big sales pitch for his academy and books.

      • Matt Staggs

        I believe that you’re entitled to follow any mention of your Holy Profit’s name with “Praise Be Unto Him”. I think that for purposes of brevity you’re also allowed to use the abbreviation “PBUH”. Example: “Sounds like you need some James Randi, PBUH, in your world.” You may want to follow up with your local High Priest of Scientism for clarification of these issues. As someone who values skepticism but abandoned “Skepticism-with-a-capital-S” years ago, I may be out of date on current dogma.

        • jesse

          First off I only brought up Randi (PBUH) because he directly dealt with and debunked Targ in his book Flim-Flam. Second, all I did was state that there is no evidence backing up ESP, rather than have an intelligent discussion I get bombarded with attacks because I brought up Randi (PBUH). If someone disagrees with me fine but bring me evidence and insight, not ad hominem attacks. I presented evidence to support my position even though the burden of proof lies on the one making the clam. Matt, I would expect a moderator would know how to debate in a respectful manner yet you resort to childish attacks. I honestly expected better from you.

          • Matt Staggs

            I like the cut of your jib, Jesse (PBUH).
            “Flim Flam”, along with “Not Necessarily the New Age” were both immensely influential in my teenage years. My comment wasn’t intended to be childish, only a commentary on the religiosity afforded to Randi, who looks all the world like a wild-eyed Old Testament prophet. I mean, I think you opened the door for that comment by saying “Sounds like you need some James Randi in your life.” I live down south, and have been hit with “You need Jesus in your life” more times than you can count. Very similar.

  • Guest

    And people wonder why TED Talks doesn’t want to be associated with this non sense.

  • jesse

    And people wonder why TED Talks doesn’t want to be associated with this non sense. I would be pretty impressed if someone could give me a hypothesis explaining how neurons in your brain can leave your skull and physically effect something. Please give me a casually mechanism for how this happens.

    • echar

      People wonder because they had plenty of guests with risque themes long before this recent brand suicide. All because some atheist blowhard and his trusty sidekick cried militant tears in the craven image of Richard Dawkins. Beyond that there is a long list of very serious scientists that have openly denounced the recent actions of Ted.

      • jesse

        Please share this long list with me.

      • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

        you argue like a child, withering with resentment and anger

        • echar

          I was having fun, you argue like someone who’s full of shit. Also a hypocrite! Claiming logical fallacies yet using them yourself. Nice attempt at raising yourself to a place of authority, btw.

  • InAwe

    Disregarding the speaker for a while, and considering the discussed idea alone, I’m not sure why thinking that ESP is plausible is such a leap.

    When you consider quantum non-locality and such, ESP seems as though its thread of the same fabric. At the very least, it makes sense to dwell deeper into this intriguing but unexplained phenomena and wonder what else may be uncovered in the process.

    Spiral out.

    • Juan

      We can’t have that. Because we KNOW that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ESP. Richard Dawkins told us.
      Covering ears and shouting la, la, la, la, la . . .

      • jesse

        If you or anyone can demonstrated any esp in a controlled setting I would be more inclined to believe it.

        • http://twitter.com/RayButlers Ray Butlers

          exactly. apparently, science kicked his dog

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Dave Lindorff is a veteran investigative reporter, a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to Businessweek, The Nation, Extra! and Salon.com. Here he writes for his This Can't Be Happening!...

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