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Part 1 of 3

The Enigma of Raymond Dart
by Robin Denicourt
International Journal of African Historical Studies, Vol. 42, No. 2
©  2009 by the Board of Trustees of Boston University



Dart has entered the literature as one of the great scholar-scientists of the era… the brilliance and accuracy of Dart's claim… Dart had become a hero in South Africa, and the boldness and originality of his work, built his reputation as one of the great figures in interpreting the human record. The conventional image in print is of a scientist ahead of his time, with a major breakthrough that took two decades for the world to recognize… Raymond Dart was born in Brisbane, Australia -- dramatically so, during the flooding of the town in 1893… Dart was clearly an outstanding student… Dart's career in Johannesburg fulfilled a valuable role in developing medical teaching… the Australopithecus article that marked him for international fame… the bold statement that it represented "an extinct race of apes intermediate between living anthropoids and man ... an extinct link between man and his simian ancestor”… a rare confidence… remarkable on two grounds… the high reputation that Dart had gained… Of course Dart was not the only scientist of his generation to identify distinct racial groups… wild hypotheses seem not to have damaged his credibility in palaeoanthropology where his critics evaluated his views on their own terms… As the holder of a chair in anatomy, he had to be taken more seriously in writing on the physical anthropology of African peoples… We now know, of course, that a complex network of Indian Ocean trade has linked the African farming communities of the east African coast to the wider world for more than two millennia… the Swaziland research did make one claim that would last: that for the early first-millennium origins of the Iron Age in southern Africa …. interpretation also needs to go beyond that of Saul Dubow's discussion of Dart and "scientific racism...Dart may have lagged behind some of the challenges and changes to the established approaches in physical anthropology, but he had not been responsible for creating them. "Scientific racism" is not inevitably associated with practical racial discrimination. Dart though never actively political is credited with opening the Wits Medical School to non-white students, and with criticising discriminatory policies. Early in his South African years he stated publicly there was no justification in biology for intolerance on racial grounds… In the apartheid era, Dart's followers could comfortably distance themselves from the most extreme racial paradigms and Dart could concentrate on different topics such as the osteodontokeratic… Dart's enthusiasm for exotic origins and links in the past of the African continent, especially his challenge to the African origins of Great Zimbabwe, reinforced white prejudices and was echoed in Southern African white communities well into the 1970s. Isolated from European culture at the furthest end of a vast continent, historical links to ancient Mediterranean civilizations were immensely reassuring… young academic institutions of the dominions needed to demonstrate their strengths. The Australian Dart helped put South African science on the world map, and scientific achievement on the Southern African map… An element here might be the brashness of the outsider to a world of science dominated by metropolitan Europe: the independent Australian character…maverick … Part of the explanation for Dart's approach is the baleful influence of Sir Grafton Elliot Smith… If Elliot Smith was a major influence on Dart seeking to create a reputation in anthropology and archaeology, Phillip Tobias was a major influence on maintaining that reputation through and beyond the last decades of Dart's life. Because of the high regard in which Tobias has been held -- and continues to be held -- his championing and defence of the Dart reputation has had real impact… some of Dart's continuing influence must be attributed to his personal charm and charisma alongside the awe in which he was held… it is not impossible that a second of his many adventurous hypotheses might in time be seen as an inspired guess matching a newly accepted argument…. Even recently interpretations of population movements from (and at times into) the African continent have conveniently ignored geographical limitations and boundaries and the principle of Occam's Razor, to support complex explanatory models…. We have referred to the distance drawn by Glyn Daniel between scientific archaeology and "the lunatic fringe" as if there is a clear line applicable at all times…. There are problems with such a simple approach… This seems too simplistic and pious a division between good and bad, science and pseudo-science, us and them. There are many examples in which the rational and the irrational coexist. We are frequently reminded how Isaac Newton was an enthusiast for astrology while laying the basis for scientific physics; that while Conan Doyle defined the epitomy of rationality and logic in his detective novels his greatest passion was for the spiritualist movement; and in seeing how many contemporary leaders of scientific research attest to an unwavering fundamental religious faith coexisting with their research methodology… Dart was a distinguished (if at times eccentric) teacher. His descriptive anatomy appears robust, though not free from criticism… He could have maintained a career involving contributions restricted to formal anatomy. But he chose to dip into unfamiliar worlds… In the division of scientific from non-scientific method, one may argue that the "discovery" of Australopithecus was not methodologically a scientific discovery but a fortunate stumbling on the truth. It is good to remember scholars for their lasting contribution to our knowledge, but we need to be aware that the process of creating that knowledge is not always clear, clean, and, methodologically sound.

-- The Enigma of Raymond Dart, by Robin Denicourt

Apologist: a person who makes a defense in speech or writing of a belief, idea, etc.; one of the authors of the early Christian apologies in defense of the faith.

-- Apologist, by


Raymond Dart (l89l-1988) is famous for the 1925 discovery of the Taung cranium from South Africa he named Australopithecus africanus, and its identification as the first support for Darwin's hypothesis of the African ancestry of mankind. Dart's claims, first rejected, were later seen as one of the great scientific discoveries of the twentieth century. This formed one surviving part of a substantial corpus of wild claims made in Dart's writings. These included the taming of fire; the osteodontokeratic; cannibalism and the killer ape; Boskop man; work on racial origins; on exotic invaders into southern Africa from the ancient Near East, the Mediterranean, and China; on phallic symbols; and Stone Age miners.

Dart's career and work presents the intriguing circumstance of a scientist and writer who challenged science with a daring proposal which was considered false and was later fully accepted as scientifically valid, and used his reputation to forward numerous arguments which could not stand up to scientific scrutiny.1

Almost every survey of world prehistory, the "origins of mankind," or the history of palaeoanthropology and archaeology includes Dart's 1925 achievement. Through this discovery, Dart has entered the literature as one of the great scholar-scientists of the era.

Dart's claims were described later that year in Nature by a leader in the field, Sir Arthur Keith, as "preposterous,"2 a view echoed by other researchers. It would take until after the discovery of the Transvaal Australopithecines in the later 1930s before the scientific community began to acknowledge the brilliance and accuracy of Dart's claim, and it was the mid 1940s before the major critics stepped back. But already by that date Dart had become a hero in South Africa, and the boldness and originality of his work, built his reputation as one of the great figures in interpreting the human record. The conventional image in print is of a scientist ahead of his time, with a major breakthrough that took two decades for the world to recognize.

It is therefore ironic that in a very productive career of writing, together with numerous public presentations, the majority of themes and arguments that Dart pursued in archaeology and physical anthropology could indeed be described as "preposterous"
-- clearly so in terms of today's knowledge, but many running directly against the methodology, knowledge, and scientific understanding of his own time. While Dart's description of Australopithecus seems methodologically scientific, his analysis was one of many interpretations in his body of work made with less than strictly scientific methodology, but one that proved sustainable through the later scientific research of others.

Most current references to Dart's role are brief and reverential.3 This paper seeks to interpret the enigma of a scientist who doggedly pursued numerous lines of argument seen as false and misguided, but one of which -- the identification of Australopithecus africanus -- has created his lasting reputation. The career of Raymond Dart, and the fate of his views, raise questions about the nature of science in early twentieth-century "colonial" culture and the particular world of white South Africa's emerging ideologies. We argue that the phenomena of Dart's broad-ranging hypotheses in archaeology, biological anthropology and beyond do not have a single cause. They reflect the intersection of his personality, his own non-metropolitan background, his eccentric influences, and the interpretative models of the inter-war period (especially on race), with a white South Africa that embraced the opportunity for a new role in world science alongside specific ideological needs to reinforce social structure and identity. They also serve to raise questions about the boundary between science and pseudoscience.

"Man of Grit"

Raymond Dart was born in Brisbane, Australia -- dramatically so, during the flooding of the town in 1893. Attending Ipswich Grammar School, he initially followed his family's strongly religious and fundamentalist views, and decided to become a medical missionary. However, before moving to study medicine at Sydney University, he accepted a scholarship to study science at the University of Queensland and here, brought into contact with both zoology and geology, he moved away from his fundamentalist assumptions and changed his worldview, seeing "the discrepancies between Fundamentalism and the facts"4 and accepting an evolutionary model.

He continued to Sydney University in 1914 to study for his medical degree. A resident of St Andrew's College, his contemporaries included another great Australian in the history of archaeology, Vere Gordon Childe (a tutor at the college whose radical views led to opposition that forced his resignation) and the future Australian Labor foreign minister and UN pioneer H.V. Evatt, with whom Dart wrote a student article.

At the very start of his medical studies Dart was able to attend the 1914 meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science held in Sydney. Here he heard the (Australian born) Grafton Elliot Smith (1871- 1937), whose reputation as a distinguished anatomist is accompanied by his infamy (to archaeologists) as a leading proponent of hyper-diffusionism, of which Glyn Daniel has written "why does the world tolerate this academic rubbish?"5

Hyperdiffusionism is a pseudoarchaeological hypothesis suggesting that certain historical technologies or ideas originated with a single people or civilization before their adoption by other cultures. Thus, all great civilizations that share similar cultural practices, such as construction of pyramids, derived them from a single common progenitor.According to its proponents, examples of hyperdiffusion can be found in religious practices, cultural technologies, megalithic monuments, and lost ancient civilizations.

The idea of hyperdiffusionism differs in several ways from trans-cultural diffusion, one being that hyperdiffusionism is usually not testable due to its pseudo-scientific nature. Additionally, unlike trans-cultural diffusion, hyperdiffusionism does not use trading and cultural networks to explain the expansion of a society within a single culture; instead, hyperdiffusionists claim that all major cultural innovations and societies derive from one (usually lost) ancient civilization. Ergo, the Tucson artifacts derive from Ancient Rome, carried by the "Romans who came across the Atlantic and then overland to Arizona;" this is believed because the artifacts resembled known ancient Roman artifacts.

Mainstream archeologists regard the hydrodiffusionism hypothesis as pseudoarchaeology.

-- Hyperdiffusionism in archaeology, by Wikipedia

Elliot Smith became a crucial influence on Dart's career, providing him with opportunities for employment but powerfully idiosyncratic outlooks on human prehistory. Dart attributed to Elliot Smith his leaning towards these interests, noting in 1929 that "anthropology in recent years has received a great stimulus through the "Diffusionist theory" of Elliot Smith relative to cultures.''6

Dart was clearly an outstanding student. He took on a job of University Demonstrator in 1917 while still studying, but with the Great War still being fought, in 1918 he joined the army as a Captain (aged twenty-five), his ship stopping off at Durban and Cape Town to give him a first sight of South Africa where he was to spend most of his life. As the war ended soon after Dart's arrival in London, he stayed to take up a position as Elliot Smith's assistant at University College London, teaching anatomy but also beginning a program of research in medicine that could have led his reputation in a quite different direction, While in London, Dart was able to examine in 1922 the Broken Hill fossil from Northern Rhodesia (now Kabwe in Zambia), which had been found the previous year.7

It was to Elliot Smith that Dart owed the appointment that made his career and life in South Africa, In January 1923 -- aged only twenty-nine -- he moved to South Africa to take up the position of full professor of anatomy in the medical school of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg (the university had received its charter in 1922), which was to be his home for the next sixty-five years until his death in 1988 at the age of ninety, five. He long remained active in writing, public presentations of his work and support of research that followed his own enthusiasms, with fieldwork privately funded through the Bernard Price Institute of Palaeontological Research (founded 1945) and other bodies.

Taung and Australopithecus

Dart's career in Johannesburg fulfilled a valuable role in developing medical teaching -- he was dean and head of the medical school for eighteen years, However there was a major shift in his research interests. As he was to explain:

The abysmal lack of equipment and literature found me to develop an interest in other subjects, particularly anthropology, for which Elliot Smith had fired my imagination.8

He added that "here in Johannesburg, as with Elliot Smith in Cairo, bones had to be studied instead of brains. Physical anthropological issues screamed for initiation in this stupendous continent of Africa."9

Of Dart's papers published in 1974,10 a broad categorization suggests topics in medicine and anatomy numbered five out of six to 1923, seven out of thirteen to 1924, but only 5 percent (twenty-four papers) to 1974, compared to fifty-nine in physical anthropology and ninety-four in archaeology.

His first paper in this area11 was on "Boskop man," a topic we consider further below, and he completed several papers in archaeology and physical anthropology before the Australopithecus article that marked him for international fame.

The story of the discovery of the Taung skull is well known and is now part of the history, even the folklore, of studies of early man. In brief, Dart encouraged his students to collect fossils, and one of these students, Josephine Salmons, brought in a fossilized baboon skull found at a lime works quarry in Taung(s) in the then northern Cape Province (today's North West Province). Dart showed this to geologist colleague R.B. Young who arranged for further samples of bone-bearing breccia to be brought from Taung. It was one of those that contained the famous Taung child skull.

The timetable of events has been reconstructed by Tobias.12 The breccia containing the skull was handed to Dart on 28 November 1924, and he began work on 1 December to free the fossil from the rock. The South African teaching year had already finished for the summer, and fortunately this year Dart was not involved in external examining. The cleaning process took three weeks and was completed around 23 December, but clearly during the physical procedure Dart developed his unambiguous hypothesis that this was an early hominid, quite different from any found to date in Africa and evidence to support Darwin's hypothesis of the African origins of man. In another seventeen days he completed his description, comparison, analysis, the naming of Australopithecus africanus, and the bold statement that it represented "an extinct race of apes intermediate between living anthropoids and man ... an extinct link between man and his simian ancestor." The article was despatched together with its illustrations on 6 January 1925 (six weeks after the arrival of the find) to catch the boat to England; it reached the editor of Nature on 30 January and with the initial encouragement of Keith and other scholars -- the "refereeing" seems to have been by telephone13 -- Nature published it on 7 February 1925.14 Indeed, Dart responded to local journalistic nquiries certain that the paper would be published in Nature by that date.

Such a process implies a rare confidence. Solly Zuckerman assessing this event wrote sarcastically of the "fossil ape-like skull which, presumably by divine guidance, Dart immediately recognized as the 'missing link' ..."15 and was skeptical that one could use purely visual impressions for a diagnosis of relationships of animal bones. The hypothesis was remarkable on two grounds. There was no reliable stratigraphic dating to provide a chronological framework for the find. Indeed this has remained a problem16; Dart quotes identifications of the limeworks deposit as "probably Pieistocene"17 though he had thought it Pliocene.18 The ancestral claim was primarily on morphological grounds and, since this was the skull of a child of about 5 years, the more difficult for comparative purposes. Further, the location, in the open dry lands of South Africa, contrasted starkly with the forest environment of Africa's great apes that had inspired Darwin's 1871 prophesy about the African origins of man.

In the cautious scientific world of the twenty-first century it is instructive to note this accelerated time scale of the exercise that led to the discovery and announcement of Austrolopithecus. It makes an interesting contrast with the timetable for the announcement of the most important and exciting recent hominin discovery, that of Homo floresiensis. There the key skeletal material was discovered in early August 2003, and the scientific study began on 22 September 2003. 19 The definitive articles reporting these finds were sent and received by Nature on 3 March 2004 (only five-and-a-half months later, held up to await additional dating evidence). They were reviewed that month positively but with recommendations for additional information, analyses, and CT scans that led to further work on the material. The revisions of the two articles were resubmilted and accepted on 18 August and 8 September -- but only published on 28 October 2004 as Morwood noted, one year, one month, and one week after the analysis began.20

In Nature a week after Dart's announcement, the four leading British scholars in the field commented on the claims: Keith, Elliot Smith, Smith Woodward and Duckworth.21 In general they praised Dart's description of the material but put on hold their acceptance of his claims and classification while awaiting the full publication of the material. Keith doubted the creation of a new family, seeing Australopithecus as the same genus or sub-family as the chimpanzee and gorilla, and noted the need for geological evidence to settle its relationship. Elliot Smith too grouped the find with the African great apes and sought geological dating.

Doubts continued to be expressed about the claims made by Dart, and those who had supported their publication began to distance themselves from his conclusions. Most startlingly Sir Arthur Keith, once he had studied casts of the finds in London, wrote in Nature in July 1925: "An examination of the casts exhibited at Wembley will satisfy zoologists that [Dart's] claim is preposterous,"22 He was referring specifically to Dart's claim for a new family and a position intermediate between living anthropoids and man.

"Preposterous" is a strong word in science. It should be remembered that at this time Keith was a leading proponent of the role of Piltdown Man, even if one rejects suggestions that he was directly implicated in the fake.23

A skull, a supposedly very ancient skull, long used as one of the most powerful pieces of evidence documenting the Darwinian position upon human evolution, has been proven to be a forgery, a hoax perpetrated by an unscrupulous but learned amateur. In the fall of 1953 the famous Piltdown cranium, known in scientific circles all over the world since its discovery in a gravel pit on the Sussex Downs in 1911, was jocularly dismissed by the world's press as the skull that had "made monkeys out of the anthropologists." Nobody remembered in 1953 that Wallace, the great evolutionist, had protested to a friend in 1913, "The Piltdown skull does not prove much, if anything!"

Why had Wallace made that remark? Why, almost alone among the English scientists of his time, had he chosen to regard with a dubious eye a fossil specimen that seemed to substantiate the theory to which he and Darwin had devoted their lives? He did so for one reason: he did not believe what the Piltdown skull appeared to reveal as to the nature of the process by which the human brain had been evolved. He did not believe in a skull which had a modern brain box attached to an apparently primitive face and given, in the original estimates, an antiquity of something over a million years...

The Piltdown hoaxer, in attaching an ape jaw to a human skull fragment, had, perhaps unwittingly, created a creature which supported the Darwinian idea of man, not too unlike the man of today, extending far back into pre-Ice Age times...

Today Piltdown is gone. In its place we are confronted with the blunt statement of two modern scientists, M. R. A. Chance and A. P. Mead.

"No adequate explanation," they confess over eighty years after Darwin scrawled his vigorous "No!" upon Wallace's paper, "has been put forward to account for so large a cerebrum as that found in man."

We have been so busy tracing the tangible aspects of evolution in the forms of animals that our heads, the little globes which hold the midnight sky and the shining, invisible universes of thought, have been taken about as much for granted as the growth of a yellow pumpkin in the fall.

Now a part of this mystery as it is seen by the anthropologists of today lies in the relation of the brain to time. "If," Wallace had said, "researches in all parts of Europe and Asia fail to bring to light any proofs of man's presence far back in the Age of Mammals, it will be at least a presumption that he came into existence at a much later date and by a more rapid process of development.'" If human evolution should prove to be comparatively rapid, "explosive" in other words, Wallace felt that his position would be vindicated, because such a rapid development of the brain would, he thought, imply a divinely directed force at work in man. In the 1870's when he wrote, however, human prehistory was largely an unknown blank. Today we can make a partial answer to Wallace's question. Since the exposure of the Piltdown hoax all of the evidence at our command -- and it is considerable -- points to man, in his present form, as being one of the youngest and newest of all earth's swarming inhabitants.

The Ice Age extends behind us in time for, at most, a million years. Though this may seem long to one who confines his studies to the written history of man, it is, in reality, a very short period as the student of evolution measures time. It is a period marked more by the extinction of some of the last huge land animals, like the hairy mammoth and the saber- toothed tiger, than it is by the appearance of new forms of life. To this there is only one apparent exception: the rise and spread of man over the Old World land mass.

Most of our knowledge of him--even in his massive-faced, beetle-browed stage--is now confined, since the loss of Piltdown, to the last half of the Ice Age. [f we pass backward beyond this point we can find traces of crude tools, stone implements which hint that some earlier form of man was present here and there in Europe, Asia, and particularly Africa in the earlier half of Ice Age time, but to the scientist it is like peering into the mists floating over an unknown landscape. Here and there through the swirling vapor one catches a glimpse of a shambling figure, or a half-wild primordial face stares back at one from some momentary opening in the fog. Then, just as one grasps at a clue, the long gray twilight settles in and the wraiths and the half-heard voices pass away.

Nevertheless, particularly in Africa, a remarkable group of human-like apes have been discovered: creatures with small brains and teeth of a remarkably human cast. Prominent scientists are still debating whether they are on the direct line of ascent to man or are merely near relatives of ours. Some, it is now obvious, existed too late in time to be our true ancestors, though this does not mean that their bodily characters may not tell us what the earliest anthropoids who took the human turn of the road were like.

These apes are not all similar in type or appearance. They are men and yet not men. Some are frailer-bodied, some have great, bone-cracking jaws and massive gorilloid crests atop their skulls. This fact leads us to another of Wallace's remarkable perceptions of long ago. With the rise of the truly human brain, Wallace saw that man had transferred to his machines and tools many of the alterations of parts that in animals take place through evolution of the body. Unwittingly, man had assigned to his machines the selective evolution which in the animal changes the nature of its bodily structure through the ages. Man of today, the atomic manipulator, the aeronaut who flies faster than sound, has precisely the same brain and body as his ancestors of twenty thousand years ago who painted the last Ice Age mammoths on the walls of caves in France.

To put it another way, it is man's ideas that have evolved and changed the world about him. Now, confronted by the lethal radiations of open space and the fantastic speeds of his machines, he has to invent new electronic controls that operate faster than his nerves, and he must shield his naked body against atomic radiation by the use of protective metals. Already he is physically antique in this robot world he has created. All that sustains him is that small globe of gray matter through which spin his ever-changing conceptions of the universe.

Yet, as Wallace, almost a hundred years ago, glimpsed this timeless element in man, he uttered one more prophecy. When we come to trace out history into the past, he contended, sooner or later we will come to a time when the body of man begins to differ and diverge more extravagantly in its appearance. Then, he wrote, we shall know that we stand close to the starting point of the human family. In the twilight before the dawn of the human mind, man will not have been able to protect his body from change and his remains will bear the marks of all the forces that play upon the rest of life. He will be different in his form. He will be, in other words, as variable in body as we know the South African man-apes to be.

Today, with the solution of the Piltdown enigma, we must settle the question of the time involved in human evolution in favor of Wallace, not Darwin; we need not, however, pursue the mystical aspects of Wallace's thought -- since other factors yet to be examined may well account for the rise of man. The rapid fading out of archaeological evidence of tools in lower Ice Age times -- along with the discovery of man-apes of human aspect but with ape-sized brains, yet possessing a diverse array of bodily characters -- suggests that the evolution of the human brain was far more rapid than that conceived of in early Darwinian circles. At that time it was possible to hear the Eskimos spoken of as possible survivals of Miocene men of several million years ago. By contrast to this point of view, man and his rise now appear short in time -- explosively short. There is every reason to believe that whatever the nature of the forces involved in the production of the human brain, a long slow competition of human group with human group or race with race would not have resulted in such similar mental potentialities among all peoples everywhere. Something -- some other factor -- has escaped our scientific attention.

There are certain strange bodily characters which mark man as being more than the product of a dog-eat-dog competition with his fellows. He possesses a peculiar larval nakedness, difficult to explain on survival principles; his periods of helpless infancy and childhood are prolonged; he has aesthetic impulses which, though they vary in intensity from individual to individual -- appear in varying manifestations among all peoples. He is totally dependent, in the achievement of human status, upon the careful training he receives in human society.

Unlike a solitary species of animal, he cannot develop alone. He has suffered a major loss of precise instinctive controls of behavior. To make up for this biological lack, society and parents condition the infant, supply his motivations, and promote his long-drawn training at the difficult task of becoming a normal human being. Even today some individuals fail to make this adjustment and have to be excluded from society.

We are now in a position to see the wonder and terror of the human predicament: man is totally dependent on society. Creature of dream, he has created an invisible world of ideas, beliefs, habits, and customs which buttress him about and replace for him the precise instincts of the lower creatures. In this invisible universe he takes refuge, but just as instinct may fail an animal under some shift of environmental conditions, so man's cultural beliefs may prove inadequate to meet a new situation, or, on an individual level, the confused mind may substitute, by some terrible alchemy, cruelty for love.

The profound shock of the leap from animal to human status is echoing still in the depths of our subconscious minds. It is a transition which would seem to have demanded considerable rapidity of adjustment in order for human beings to have survived, and it also involved the growth of prolonged bonds of affection in the subhuman family, because otherwise its naked, helpless offspring would have perished.

It is not beyond the range of possibility that this strange reduction of instincts in man in some manner forced a precipitous brain growth as a compensation -- something that had to be hurried for survival purposes. Man's competition, it would thus appear, may have been much less with his own kind than with the dire necessity of building about him a world of ideas to replace his lost animal environment. As we will show later, he is a pedomorph, a creature with an extended childhood.

Modern science would go on to add that many of the characters of man, such as his lack of fur, thin skull, and globular head, suggest mysterious changes in growth rates which preserve, far into human maturity, foetal or infantile characters which hint that the forces creating man drew him fantastically out of the very childhood of his brutal forerunners. Once more the words of Wallace come back to haunt us: "We may safely infer that the savage possesses a brain capable, if cultivated and developed, of performing work of a kind and degree far beyond what he ever requires it to do."...

Ironically enough, science, which can show us the flints and the broken skulls of our dead fathers, has yet to explain how we have come so far so fast, nor has it any completely satisfactory answer to the question asked by Wallace long ago. Those who would revile us by pointing to an ape at the foot of our family tree grasp little of the awe with which the modern scientist now puzzles over man's lonely and supreme ascent. As one great student of paleoneurology, Dr. Tilly Edinger, recently remarked, "If man has passed through a Pithecanthropus phase, the evolution of his brain has been unique, not only in its result but also in its tempo .... Enlargement of the cerebral hemispheres by 50 per cent seems to have taken place, speaking geologically, within an instant, and without having been accompanied by any major increase in body size."

The true secret of Piltdown, though thought by the public to be merely the revelation of an unscrupulous forgery, lies in the fact that it has forced science to reexamine carefully the history of the most remarkable creation in the world -- the human brain.

-- The Real Secret of Piltdown, from "The Immense Journey," by Loren Eiseley

The expansion of the human brain during evolution, specifically of the neocortex, is linked to our cognitive abilities such as reasoning and language. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG) in Dresden have been studying a gene called ARHGAP11B for many years. This gene is found only in humans and triggers an increased production of brain stem cells – a prerequisite for a larger brain. Together with colleagues at the Central Institute for Experimental Animals (CIEA) in Kawasaki and the Keio University in Tokyo, both located in Japan, they could now show that this human-specific gene, when expressed to physiological levels, causes an enlarged neocortex in the common marmoset, a non-human primate. This suggests that the ARHGAP11B gene may have indeed caused neocortex expansion during human evolution.

-- Evolutionary key for a bigger brain: Dresden and Japanese researchers show that a human-specific brain size gene causes a larger neocortex in the common marmoset, a non-human primate, by Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

And it was Keith who was to publish a detailed account of the Australopithecus skull, leaving Dart's own monograph unpublished.24 Dart issued a shorter description of the teeth but his further publications on the find were mainly about its significance, rather than more detailed scientific studies.

What confirmed Dart's claims was the discovery of further Australopithecines by Robert Broom and others in the southern Transvaal cave sites of South Africa from the mid 1930s onwards. These gave support to the hypothesis generated from Dart's single, juvenile, undated skull, and confirmed in the wider scientific world the high reputation that Dart had gained among his local South African supporters. W. Le Gros Clark was influential in securing acceptance at the Pan African Congress of Prehistory in 1947, and that year Sir Arthur Keith formally acknowledged Dart's claim.25 Only in 1959 would Dart release (co-authored with Dennis Craig) his book length public account of the achievement of discovering, identifying, and defending the claims for Australopithecus at Taung.

Makapansgat and the Taming of Fire

Dart re-entered the area of detailed scientific work on Australopithecus with the finds at Makapansgat, in the northern Transvaal. Indeed, only five months after the Taung announcement, Dart noted the apparent presence of carbon in bone assemblages from the site and stated ''there seems little doubt from the evidence available that the bone-bed is the 'kitchen-midden' result of human occupation at a remote epoch."26 But it was over two decades before he could test this bold statement. In a field project initially led by Phillip Tobias (who would become Dart's protege), and continued under Dart's staff, Australopithecine fossils were discovered from 1947 onwards and described in great detail (and without challenge) by Dart in a series of technical articles. Ironically he first ascribed them to a species different from both the Taung and the southern Transvaal sites, as Australopithecus prometheus. This pattern of a new species for a new find is typical of the fate that has befallen many hominin fossil finds at the hands of their discoverers.27 Dart is also widely credited with suggesting the name habilis for Homo habilis.28 In due course the Makapansgat finds would be considered by most scientists to belong to the same species as the Taung child, A. africanus.

Dart's named his hominid finds as A. prometheus because he saw the use of fire as another skill of the early hominid community. Some of the vertebrate bones from the site were considered to contain free carbon, which he attributed to the deliberate use of fire by human predators:

The special significance of the Makapansgat valley limeworks deposits in unravelling these early human mysteries lies in their being true hearths and thus providing information ... concerning man's hunting skill, his probable weapons and his use of fire.29

Subsequent research and discussion has not supported Dart's claim for the human use of fire by Australopithecus at Makapansgat, or indeed for the presence of fire, and at least some of the blackening has been explained by manganese.30 While there is still active debate about the dates for the first controlled use of fire, the claims for Makapansgat are not even considered.31 In due course Dart seems to have backtracked on his certainty here.32

More strangely, Tobias has stated33 that Dart's confidence in the hominid source of fire at Makapansgat had persuaded him to identify a fossil baboon skull as Australopithecus prometheus two years before the actual Australopithecus was found, and to write a paper for this claim which he withdrew before publication.

It was, however, the Makapansgat site which led to one of Dart's most controversial claims, that of the Osteodontokeratic.
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Part 2 of 3

Osteodontokeratic Culture and Cannibalism

The most famous of Dart's unaccepted claims was that the faunal assemblages which included the Makapansgat Australopithecines reflected a complex pattern of human selection (rather than accumulation by predators), deliberate fashioning, and use as systematic equipment of tools and weapons. Since he applied this to the fashioning of bone, tooth and horn he linked them by defining an "osteodontokeratic" culture, describing a "Bone Age" which preceded the "Stone Age," for no stone with signs of use were found with the Makapansgat breccia. This theme became the focus of Dart's lectures and enthusiasm, with numerous articles as well as a major monograph arguing the case.34 In his personal memoirs he devotes far more space to this topic than to his landmark discovery and identification of Australopithecus at Taung.

What led to the osteodontokeratic hypothesis was the non-random occurrences of animal parts and the fractures on many of these. This persuaded Dart that the sample showed deliberate selection and preparation for tool use: saws or scrapers from teeth, use of long bones for clubs and so on. Individual bones he interpreted as tools of quite specialized function, including a dagger,35 and even platters, bowls and drinking cups made from skulls.36

Sensuous “dakinis” trembling with lust, who not uncommonly appear as figures of horror, goddesses with bowls made of skulls and cleavers in their hands….effigies of human skulls were worked on their breasts and other parts of their raiment…In their right hand they hold a bell or fan, and in their left a bowl cut out of a human skull…fiends now collect the fragments into a huge silver basin shaped like a skull…he puts into the boiling oil a skull filled with a mixture of arak (rum), poison, and blood…In the Hevajra Tantra the adept must drink the menstrual blood of his mudra out of a skull bowl …The eating bowl of the immured monk was not the usual human skull, but was also made from the cured skin of a woman’s breast…stones with which human skulls had been staved in, for the “strengthening of holy order”… They drink treachery like milk ... skulls, bones, smokehouses, oil and fat bring great joy”… the Buddha Hevajra and his consort Nairatmya: surrounded by eight “burning” dakinis he performs a bizarre dance of hell and is so intoxicated by his killing instinct that he holds a skull bowl in each of his sixteen hands, in which gods, humans, and animals are to be found as victims…damaru (a drum made from two skull bowls), kapala (a vessel made out of a human skull), khatvanga (a type of scepter, the tip of which is decorated with three severed human heads), ax, discus, switch, shield, ankusha (elephant hook), arrow, bow, sling, prayer beads made from human bones as well as the severed heads of Brahma…Ritual curved knives, with which they dismember corpses; a skull bowl out of which they slurp all sorts of blood; a small two-ended drum prepared from the brain-pans of two children, with which she summons her companions and a scepter, upon which three skulls are skewered, — are all considered part of a dakini’s standard equipment...the adept may catch the sukra from out of the vagina in a vessel and then drink it. It is not rare for the drinking bowl to be made from a human skull… the women hold a human skull filled with various repulsive substances and a cleaver… Various ritual objects are handed to the women during the ritual of which the majority, if not all, are of an aggressive nature: cleavers, swords, bone trumpets, skulls, skewers… Chopping off hands and splitting skulls are minor things; they can be left to the others! But sewing [people] up in fresh yak skins and letting them roast in the sun — disemboweling while alive, or launching the entrails skywards on bent rods, these are the methods that are loved in Ngolokland… The Maha Siddhas collected alms in a skull bowl… the moment has arrived in which the animal demons (the masked dancers) fall upon the already dismembered lingam and tear it apart for good. The pieces are flung in all directions. Assistant devils collect the scattered fragments in human skulls and in a celebratory procession bring them before Yama, seated upon a throne… The female cannibals are offered a bali pyramid consisting of a skull, torn-off strips of skin, butter lamps filled with human fat, and various organs floating in a strong-smelling liquid made from brain, blood and gall…. René von Nebesky-Wojkowitz describes a number of culinary specialties from the Lamaist “demon recipe books”: cakes made of dark flour and blood; five different sorts of meat, including human flesh; the skull of the child of an incestuous relationship filled with blood and mustard seeds; the skin of a boy; bowls of blood and brain; a lamp filled with human fat with a wick made of human hair; and a dough like mixture of gall, brain, blood and human entrails (Nebesky-Wojkowitz, 1955, p. 261).  

-- The Shadow of the Dalai Lama: Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism, by Victor and Victoria Trimondi

Dart developed detailed descriptions of hunting strategies, including breaking open water turtles, clubbing animals and hamstringing them on the run. He saw the damage to baboon skulls as evidence of "well aimed blows on the head with some sort of weapon," with the use of clubs to cause a double fracture. He went on to suggest that the Taung hominid had also slain the fossil baboons found there. He weakened his argument by hyperbolic language about the bloodthirsty regime reflected in these finds, and this led to hard lines being drawn between antagonists on discussions of human nature. "Bludgeoning was characteristic of all South African man-apes." The use of weapons in hunting he suggested was as much cause as effect of hominid bipedalism.37

Since there was damage to some Australopithecus skulls, similar to that seen on baboon skulls, Dart went further to argue that the victims of the hunters included fellow members of their species. Cannibalism in early man he defended as probable in the light of later anthropological and historical evidence on modern mankind.

The osteodontokeratic became a matter of faith for Dart's followers, who could see signs of human usage by looking at the materials, much as "eolith" stone tools from the Pliocene had been supported in Europe and elsewhere. It was an interesting hypothesis and it had deeper impact, for it led to the popular image of man's nature as the killer ape, popularized in writings such as Robert Ardrey's African Genesis.38 The idea was always controversial and while accepted by some prominent prehistorians, it was felt by many scholars to be unsupported by the evidence. Indeed the vigor with which Dart repeated arguments for the osteodontokeratic reflected his awareness of the skepticism with which it was greeted by most scholars and scientists.

However non-human explanations for the non-random accumulation -- including hyena lairs and leopard predation -- continue to be accepted as the most likely source of the selective process.39 Later reconstructions suggest that the use of carnivore teeth on their prey created the impression of the ''well aimed blows to the head." But Dart engaged in vigorous debate with his critics, and challenged from the start the carnivore explanation. Unfortunately much of the debate was in terms of strongly held beliefs and passionate arguments, and may merit revisiting. The osteodontokeratic dominated Dart's last years of his teaching career; he published his major study in 1957 and "retired" from the University staff in 1958 aged sixty-five. But his research and writing activity continued vigorously for much of the remaining thirty years of his life.

Boskop Man

Dart's first article in the fields of palaeoanthropology and archaeology had been published in Nature in 1923, the year of his arrival in South Africa: a survey of the available evidence for a "Boskop" race.40

Although now vanished from the narrative of hominin evolutionary history, Boskop Man, identified from discoveries made in the Transvaal in 1913 (and defined by Robert Broom in 1917 by the species name Homo capensis). flourished under Dart's tutelage for some time. The concept of "Boskop Man" was applied to remains seen as predating those of the Bushmen (San) and the "Strandloper" community of coastal food collection (assumed to be another extinct racial group), with a larger brain capacity than these more recent groups. Dart published a description of "Boskop" finds from the southern Cape Province, identifying them as a race previously occupying all Southern Africa.41 At this stage he was cautious about their affiliation, noting similarities with both Neanderthaloid and with more advanced Cro-Magnon specimens from Europe, and not committing to recognising a separate species Homo capensis.

Evidence of interbreeding or survival of "Boskop" traits came to influence interpretation of other communities in both the fossil record and living communities, so that a skull might even be described as a Bush-Boskop-Bantu hybrid.42

At one level Boskop Man may be seen as no more than a classificatory framework which outlived its usefulness. The broader the range of available skeletal material to study, the weaker the case for this group, so that physical anthropologists came to side with the critics of the term. In a short but definitive review of the issue in 1958, Ronald Singer noted that "it is still a failing among not a few anthropologists ... to plan vast migration routes of so-called prehistoric 'races' which are represented only by odd skulls."43 After a thorough dissection of the entity Singer concluded "it is now obvious that what was justifiable speculation (because of paucity of data) in 1923, and was apparent as speculation in 1947, is inexcusable to maintain in 1958." The concept of Boskop Man was complicated by each new find: at the Cave of Hearths, another site in the Makapan Valley, a mandible was described both as Boskopoid and as Neanderthaloid."

In his critique of "scientific racism," Dubow45 sees a deeper problem, in the search for a pre-modern ''race" which combined physical and cultural attributes. Boskop man was quite different from the contemporary Bushmen (San) of Southern Africa, who were at times seen as a hybrid of Boskop Man and a H. sapiens ancestor. In this interpretation, Dart was locked to a paradigm of typological identity which created straitjackets into which it became increasingly difficult to fit the actual bodies.

Racial Types

The human biology, prehistory and history of Southern Africa were long dogged by a model which Dubow46 has grouped as "scientific racism" -- broadly speaking, a taxonomy of distinct biological races of man, with the assumption that physical race, language and culture are inextricably linked, and with an extension that may connect behavioral characteristics to these groupings -- Dart interlaced the "childlike" physique of the Bushmen with their "childlike" behavior.47 In the 1920s such views were not unusual; in some South African historiography a linked classification survived into the 1970s and even 1980s, despite the artificiality of the model.48

Such a typology stretched the evidence. Dart could not argue for pure physical races but rather for admixture: he described the Bantu tribes of the upper Zambezi and South-West Africa "of an extremely mixed character with a dominating admixture of Bushman blood, and certainly strongly impregnated with Semitic and other Caucasian as well as Mongolian blood."49 In describing three "Strandlopers" from Namibia (former South-West Africa) he makes comparison with Bush and Boskop types but adduces, as with the Southern Kalahari Bushmen, "contamination not with the African Negro but rather with the brown and Mongolian stocks that are ethnically foreign to South and Central Africa."50

Of course Dart was not the only scientist of his generation to identify distinct racial groups, and then find large samples forced them to a complex pattern of admixture to explain variance. "I showed that the Bantu are constituted from a Bush and Negro matrix, but that before they fused, the Bush race had already been infiltrated with brown (Mediterranean) racial elements and the Negro with Nordic elements. Further, for the last thousand years or more, Asiatics of both Armenoid and Mongoloid character have been absorbed into the racial complexity which confronts us in the modern African population."51

An attempt to pull all this together exposed the limitations of the methodology. In his contribution on "Racial origins" to Schapera's 1937 survey of African cultures of Southern Africa52 -- astonishingly, still reprinting as late as 1959 -- Dart conceded that neither European nor Bantu nor Bush is a pure race in South Africa, intermingling with Indians, Malays and other orientals. However his narrative attempts to reconstruct a sequence of population movements that were increasingly complex and improbable: a Boskup race derived from previous admixtures, a Bush race arriving from the north and hybridising with the Boskup, the introduction of Mongoloid elements from Indian Ocean trading but more widely dispersed Semitic traits from northern ("Armenoid'") origin. The Bush race had influence from ancient Egyptians that showed why the Bush-Hottentot languages were so intimately related to the Hamitic group of languages.53 Facial features of the Negroid African populations of southern Africa he calculated as 51.2 percent Negroid, 25.0 percent Bush, 22.3 percent Caucasoid and 1.5 percent Mongoloid. When this otherwise valuable book finally went out of print, Tobias wrote the introductory chapter to its successor and stated clearly "a microtaxonomy of sub-Saharan peoples [is] most difficult if mot impossible."54

Within this model the sites of Mapungubwe and Bambandyanalo in the Limpopo Valley on South Africa's northern border, explored from 1932 onwards, were a particular challenge, associating African culture (linked to the Great Zimbabwe complex) with "Bush-Boskop" human remains. Dart declined responsibility for analysing the skeletal material, but was involved in their interpretation, classifying the site as "pre-Negro"55 and therefore further support for the non-African framework for the stone ruins of southern Africa. Elsewhere he suggested an influence "foreign to Africa and probably Mongolian" in one of the Bambandyanalo skulls.56

Foreign Influences on African Culture and People

A major theme in the worldview of European settler communities in southern Africa has been that, as they perceived the indigenous peoples to be uncivilized, non-African influences were held responsible for features that contradicted this. Dart was fascinated by the model of cultural diffusion associated with his mentor Grafton Elliot Smith. In the battles over interpretation between the new archaeological research and the traditional settler view of these exotic origins and links, Dart's cultural diffusionist ideas reinforced those of the settlers.

Dart issued a manifesto of his hyper-diffusionist views in Nature in March 1925, only the month after announcing Australopithecus africanus. It is interesting that these wild hypotheses seem not to have damaged his credibility in palaeoanthropology where his critics evaluated his views on their own terms. Yet his March 1925 paper is astonishing in its boldness and in its claims.57 Here he lays out clearly his views of the southern African links with, and influence from, the civilizations of the ancient Near East and elsewhere, weaving a selection of data chosen from within what, by then, was already a strong sequence of more scientific prehistoric information.
Following his visit in 1927, Miles Burkitt58 would write a major survey of South African prehistory, followed the next year by the definitive study from Goodwin and van Riel Lowe.59

One stimulus to Dart was claims for Babylonian or Phrygian hats in the rock paintings of the Later Stone Age in the Kei valley in the Eastern Cape -- an interpretation that has no supporting evidence in the wider range of rock paintings or the excavated sequence of the region.60 Dart paraphrased this as "the scene of the rape of a naked Bush girl by clothed foreigners wearing Babylonia-Phrygian headgear" seeing this also as the arrival of outside metallurgists into a stone-age society.61 Woven into the narrative of exotic links are isolated coin finds, place names, a photograph of a Zulu woman with ancient Egyptian headgear, and a panoply of unrelated and selected miscellanea that lie far from a calm scientific and testable methodology. Thus two wild hypotheses under the same authorship were accepted for publication in Nature within six weeks: the first would be seen as one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs of the twentieth century, the other lies on the furthest shores of pseudoscience.

It is an old joke that archaeologists see sexual symbolism in anything round or long that cannot otherwise be explained, so it is unfortunate that Dart put this into practice. He saw sexual symbolism in the bored stones of southern Africa,62 and phallic symbols elsewhere (though be noted that such interpretation was not accepted by the leading prehistorian of South Africa A.J.H. Goodwin). He rejected as inadequate the explanation of bored stones as weights for digging sticks. (We now recognize that objects may have been created by Later Stone Age communities and collected for symbolic or other amuletic purposes by later African farmers.) Dart took the argument further in tracing phallic influences associated with the Mapungubwe and Zimbabwe cultures, which "appeared to have reached Southern Africa from Egypt, Mesopotamia, or India, perhaps from all three, along with perforated stones upwards of 6.000 years ago."63 Dart traced southern African perforated stones and stones with phallic significance back to ancient Egypt, including a link to predynastic maceheads. Phallic-shaped objects were also connected with the Phoenicians. 64

These influences were dated to early in the southern Africa record, and Dart identified specific symbolism "in Southern Rhodesia and ... South Africa so intimately associated with ancient mythology of Predynastic Egypt that they must be related to one other .... The bearers of those [Mediterranean] cultures brought with them to South Africa not only their stone tools and aquatic ways of life but also their stories and myths."65

Dart returned regularly to themes of exotic linkage. He could write

we are now in a position to state that the whole of the eastern portion of the African continent for some hundreds of miles inland ... was exploited by the old colonists ... from South-west Asia in remote ancient time ... these very ancient voyagers not only visited these territories and carried off their denizens, particularly their women, but also intermarried with them and settled down amongst them, bringing to them novel arts and customs.66

Other connections are seen: early Chinese voyagers' links with the east Africa coast from as least as early as the first millennium BC; different Chinese links with southern Africa,67 including Chinese hats as well as Phrygians are found in the rock paintings, and also ancient Egyptians (headgear has a lot to answer for), with the innovative suggestion that the land of Punt in ancient Egyptian texts may have lain south of the Zambezi. Dart also referred to a mysterious undated "galley" found near Cape Town, a find that has not been recorded in the literature.

The stone ruins and associated finds of the Limpopo basin loomed large in these discussions and in particular the site of Great Zimbabwe stimulated explanations of exotic origins. These had been undermined by the archaeological fieldwork undertaken by Randall-MacIver in 1905 and reinforced by Gertrude Caton Thompson in 1929. This work positioned the material solidly within the African cultures, which would subsequently be labeled Iron Age, built by African communities.68

Dart clashed in person with Caton Thompson at the 1929 meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science held in Johanncsburg.69 In her privately published autobiography she gives an account of this debate, quoting a rather partisan sounding report in the Cape Times: "He [Dart] spoke in an outburst of curiously unscientific indignation .... After further remarks delivered in a tone of awe-inspiring violence ... he stormed out of the room ... Miss Caton Thompson disposed of him allusively and effectively in a brief reply."70 Dart's memoirs concede to the conflict of ideas71 but indicate his preferred model. "The distribution of ancient copper, tin and gold mines in Southern Africa, along with the comparison that could be made between bronze made in the Transvaal and the bronze statue of Pepi I of the 6th Dynasty [of Egypt] ... and the bronze gates of Shalmaneser in Assyria, demonstrated the ancient nature of the mining background to Rhodesia's ruins." But he was also willing to emphasize Arab influence rather than more ancient sources, going beyond most proponents of that view in seeing the links as from the pre-Islamic Arab world.72 He visited Great Zimbabwe for the first time in 1930, with a follow up visit in 1935, by when he came to favor a Phoenician influence for the ruins.73

A more extreme view -- because it mixed his expertise in physical anthropology with his archaeological interests -- was the claim of wider Asiatic influence on both the cultures and populations of Southern Africa. An undated pendant from near Makapansgat was identified because its unusual form gave further evidence of "foreign contacts of great antiquity."74 First argued in 1925, he repeated his views on foreign influence from the fifth millennium BC over a generation later.75 Here he clearly identifies the influences on (Northern) Rhodesia from the maritime intercourse of Egyptians, Sumerians, and Indians with a port of entry on the eastern coast of Africa.

Dart's proselytizing of non-African influence on African culture was well outside his area of expertise. It was however a passion. He held to diffusionist views about cultural influences and sought physical evidence to support this. In 1929 he wrote of the need for anthropometric survey of Bantu peoples separated into their tribes. "By such a survey properly carried out, my belief concerning Egyptian, Semitic, Arabic and Mongoloid infiltrations into the population ... could be determined or rebutted."76

As the holder of a chair in anatomy, he had to be taken more seriously in writing on the physical anthropology of African peoples, and his argument for Asiatic genetic influence on Southern African indigenous groups reflected his interest in cultural exchanges. He identified Mongolian features among the San (Bushmen) -- influences brought in by an Indian Ocean trading and sailing route. He first began to see Mongolian features in a Kalahari visit in 1936, to select Bushmen, whom he described as "living fossils," for "exhibition" in Johannesburg.

In 1943 Dart suffered a nervous breakdown, but he recovered with renewed energy. He developed an ambition to write a major work about invasions from Europe into the fertile Crescent of the Near East77 but this project seems not to have been fulfilled.

Perhaps Dart's most ambitious use of supposed biological date for revising the narrative of human prehistory is a presentation he gave as his presidential address to the South African Archaeological Society in 1951.78 This complex, bold, and detailed paper, astonishing today in its claims, must have seemed already at the outer edges of science to the Society's leaders, who included the pioneers of scientific archaeology in the region. Although the Society published it, with funding provided by Dart's university, subsequent literature has ignored this aberrant work. The paper is a reminder that developing a complex and sophisticated analysis from a totally flawed hypothesis can only produce flawed results. Dart accepted an argument advanced 20 years earlier by Laurence Snyder that "if any people shows blood-group frequencies similar to a group of peoples not related to it, the conclusion may be drawn that the former traces back to the latter somewhere in its ancestry, or else the former has undergone crossing with the latter group or some similar people." He then used comparisons of the percentage of different blood groups in peoples throughout the world to create a detailed sequence of population movements -- from northern Europe to South Africa, from the Nile Valley to Australia, from the Philippines to the Americas, within a chronology for four major migrations stretching from 7000 BC to 100 AD. These stages saw the successive "negritization," then "caucasianization," then "indonesianization" of the Orient. Such a model would be dramatic as a set of general hypotheses; as a detailed narrative rewriting of prehistory it is quite remarkable. To Dart "blood-groups provide our only clue to the hereditary pattern of races at the dawn of written history"; but the scientific world chose to rely on a broader range of evidence and bypass this dramatic claim.

Dart echoed this theme of improbable migrations in an article unambiguously named "A Hottentot from Hong Kong"79 in which purely anatomical evidence is used to back the case for long distance migration. But here he sees reverse genetic movement "to demonstrate that Boskop (Hottentot) types as well as Bush (Pygmy) types had been dispersed from Africa eastwards as far as China at some time in the prehistoric past of this continent." He echoed a general impression of Mongolian features in both Bush (San) and Bantu (Negro) populations of South Africa. But he was able to make direct comparisons between Hong Kong Chinese from skulls available to him, and local skeletal specimens, comparing especially one Chinese skull with those of "Hottentot" skulls from the Eastern Cape.

While admitting that a single skull is a weak basis for a grand hypothesis, Dart made claims for skeletal links between Mongoloid and southern African materials, invoking "racial intermingling or hybridisation of Mongolians with the pre-Bantu inhabitants of Africa."80 He argued this should not cause surprise because ''there is ample evidence that Mongolian peoples came to Africa regularly by sea during the Sung and Ming dynasties" and asked "at what time ... when the East African coast was free from true negroes -- the Bush-Hottentot inhabitants of East Africa were in nautical contact with Mongoloid peoples.''81 He continued to argue that "an unrecorded sea-traffic which was more Mongolian than Mediterranean ... once dominated the East African coast ... more remote in time than either King Solomon or Queen Hatshepsut.. .. The ancient process of sea-traffic in the Indian Ocean ... carried Pygmy peoples eastwards and was thus responsible for the negritisation of the Orient" He was a little more circumspect in noting the parallels between "ships" of Sarawak and one from Okavango in Namibia.82

This and other selective evidence fed into Dart's early view that there was "an endless procession of emissaries of every great navigating power" to South Africa in pre-European times with the Indian Ocean routes bringing Asiatics to Southern Africa.83 He clearly held to this view for much of his life -- a line of argument diametrically contradictory to the line of development of scientific archaeology, even before the contribution that could be made by modern genetics.

We now know, of course, that a complex network of Indian Ocean trade has linked the African farming communities of the east African coast to the wider world for more than two millennia. Ironically, in what might be seen as a return to some of Dart's themes from a different angle, it has now been claimed by Felix Chami84 that pre-Iron Age communities also had external links, and he has raised the question of earlier links with the north of the continent, as beyond to the east. The archaeological evidence for such possibilities has only emerged very recently and will require further assessment.

Mining before the Metal Ages

Very early in Dart's South African work he was developing theories about mining that linked the subcontinent to the ancient civilizations of the old world. In June 1924, he argued in Nature that the pre-European mining of southern Africa could be attributed to "an ancient people," with a hint that the source of nickel found in the bronzes of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia might be sought in this region.85 Five years later he advanced the argument more boldly, stating that the scale of the mining would "preclude any belief that the products of the industry were consumed by a local population."86 This confirmed his views of southern Africa as the probable source of nickel in the bronze of the ancient Near East, and the presence of the bronze age with "the actual presence there at a remote age of skilled and intelligent craftsmen from a superior cultural area." Noting distant biological influences into the southern African native populations, he concluded, ''there can be little question that the South African Bronze Age synchronizes with the Bronze Ages of the nearest ancient cultures, namely, those of Egypt and Sumeria."

Dart's enthusiasm for such debates on a wider range of topics in African prehistory was encouraged by the opportunity to join the eight month Italian Scientific Expedition through Africa in 1930, during which he visited the ruins of Great Zimbabwe which stimulated his support of the Elliot Smith diffusionist model. In Zambia he began one of his most persistent lines of argument, one that he continued until late in his life, that for ancient mining in the Stone Age. At Mumbwi Caves from excavation of cave deposits he and his colleagues claimed that Late Stone Age communities (with a picture of continuing Middle Stone Age artefact styles and indeed the persistence of handaxe technology) had been miners of metal. Slag materials associated with LSA burials and artefacts were identified as showing ''traces of iron"87 and this led the group to a conviction that these hearths represented slag of furnaces used to smelt iron: "the oldest-known iron foundry in the world.''88 Recognizing the conflict of this model with the associated Stone Age culture he decided that indigenous labor must have been used by non-indigenous miners. On the absence of any iron finds from the Stone Age deposits ''they might be explained by their having rusted away" ... the more likely explanation is that the metal ... was too precious for any of it to be lost"89 -- a useful explanation for archaeologists wishing to prove any theory!

Within three years independent tests suggested the "slag" was a cemented cave deposit, ironically the excavators' first hypothesis,90 and the iron finds were naturally occurring minerals.91 Further work at this site demonstrated a sequence of Later Stone Age settlement into the first millennium AD, though possibly acquiring pottery from Iron Age neighbors, followed by Iron Age settlement around the eleventh century AD, and with some admixture of deposits.92

The ancient mining theme continued at the manganese mines in Chowa near Broken Hill (Kabwe), which lie thought demonstrated contemporaneity with Mumbwa. Like many mines exploited in the twentieth century this mine showed signs of pre-European use but with ambiguous cultural associations, and Dart concluded that ''the manganese mining community were predominantly Stone Age people" with the same mixed cultural material as at Mumbwa.93 The mixture of material he explained by arguing that metal seekers and manganese gatherers of foreign origin, familiar with the uses of manganese, arrived among Stone Age people using "very primitive" types of Early Stone Age implements. He considered this manganese mining pre-dated the Neolithic mines of western Europe.

For both sites Dart developed the view that substantial mining had been undertaken by Stone Age communities working for an external trade, and led by visitors from the Mediterranean: "the obvious channel for that cultural migration was the eastern coast-line. the sea and the water highways ... when the people came ... they arrived in a Moustierian community which had not yet been released from the trammels of Acheulian influences.''94 For making metal with furnaces, "either the metal-gatherers instructed the local inhabitants in that technique, or brought with them followers expert in that technique .... they founded their metallic enterprise amidst an old palaeolithic culture."

He also argued that there had been a search for pyrolusite to be exported for glass making in the Near East. He allocated a chronology of 4000-2000 BC to this mining and the primary link hinted at in the article was back to Ancient Egypt, though he was more cautious in putting this in print. The symbolism of haemalite as a representation of blood explained the early haematite quarrying back to the Middle Stone Age.95

We see here the influence of Elliot Smith's hyperdiffusionism with its primacy for Ancient Egypt. Such writing from others than Dart might have been ignored in the 1930s as a sideline of eccentricity. But, given Dart's reputation in South Africa from his Australopithecine discoveries, his articles on both sites went straight into the distinguished pages of the Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa.

Early mining returned later in Dart's life. In 1934 Dart first heard of finds of ochre on artefacts at Border Cave in Swaziland and he pursued the idea of ancient ochre mining at a site he dated to the Middle Stone Age.96 Excavations under Dart's mentorship waited until much later when his proteges Adrian Boshier and Peter Beaumont made controversial claims for archaeological work in Swaziland from the late 1960s97 continuing the traditions of advancing ideas outside the conventional. Dart and Beaumont announced these results from haematite workings al Ngwenya (Bomvu Ridge) as evidence for iron ore mining initially. They initially dated this nine millennia old and later dated the antiquity of mining to least 28,000 years old, and possible older.98 They emphasized continuity with the mining claims for Chowa, reinforcing Dart's views of a foreign mining group. "The claim made almost 35 years ago, that 'manganese was being deliberately mined in Zambia by a foreign people familiar with its potentialities in Late Stone Age time' ... have been fully justified."99 These claims have not generally been accepted by the archaeological community. However the Swaziland research did make one claim that would last: that for the early first-millennium origins of the Iron Age in southern Africa -- where Castle Cavern produced fifth century AD radiocarbon dates.100

Explaining the Enigma of Dart's Work

Raymond Dart generated multiple hypotheses and interpretations across the boundaries of archaeology, palaeoanthropology and biological anthropology, most of which were not sustainable, and many of which were dismissed or ignored by fellow scientists when they were made. The one has stood the test of time -- Australopithecus africanus -- seems the exception, by good fortune as much as critical methodology.

Such an assessment is at odds with the biographical studies, which either take all Dart's work at face value101 or select the minority which has had lasting use.102 A critical interpretation also needs to go beyond that of Saul Dubow's discussion of Dart and "scientific racism."103 We argue that the explanation for Dart' s ideas, their persistence and their popularity outside of the scientific community can be attributed to the intersection of several factors, especially the nexus of Dart's personality and background with the society in which he worked for most of his life. South Africa was receptive to ideas that would not challenge the racial categories that reinforced perceptions of power and difference -- from the past as well as the present. But it needed the individual whose personality, interests and influences could deliver this.

The primary emphasis of Dubow's study was "the role of ideology in the creation and maintenance of white supremacy during the inter-war years" in South Africa.104 He is therefore defining the context, and arguing for an effect of, some of Dart's work, but explores only part of the explanation for it. Dubow's conclusions are broadly true but not a complete explanation. Dart was a physical anthropologist working after the Great War. In this period the discipline was grounded in a belief in racial typology, as a classificatory system and a practical approach to interpreting study materials: "the underlying premises of inter-war physical anthropology took notions of innate racial difference for granted."105 This continued world wide, alongside a widespread scientific enthusiasm for eugenics, until the rise of Nazism encouraged scientists to re-examine and abandon these approaches. Operating in the relative intellectual isolation of Johannesburg from 1923, Dart may have lagged behind some of the challenges and changes to the established approaches in physical anthropology, but he had not been responsible for creating them.

"Scientific racism" is not inevitably associated with practical racial discrimination. Dart though never actively political is credited with opening the Wits Medical School to non-white students, and with criticising discriminatory policies.106

Early in his South African years he stated publicly there was no justification in biology for intolerance on racial grounds.107

[C-SPAN 2: Global Climate Change. Senate Foreign Relations Committee]

[Jeff] Here’s Al Gore earning his keep by pretending to care
about the rain forest, while lobbying Congress
on behalf of the sugar cane ethanol industry.

[Senator Christopher Dodd, D-Connecticut] Let me come in on the Brazilian effort here,
with the issue of the possibility of expanding into
that Amazon River basin, with further deforestation,
to produce more ethanol out of sugar cane, is a worry.
And apparently, you’re not as concerned about that.

[Al Gore, Alliance for Climate Protection, Founder & Chairman] No, no, I am. I simply forgot.

[Motor Roaring]

[Children screaming & crying]

[Al Gore, Alliance for Climate Protection, Founder & Chairman] What’s been going on there, it is really very troubling.

[Indigenous Woman] We are human beings!

[Indigenous Woman] Humans! All we want is to survive!

[Newsman] The invasion of sugar cane monocultures
in the region clashes with the indigenous people’s right to land.
These are images of a last ditch attempt,
by the Guarani-Kaiowa, to resist eviction.
[December 15, 2005]

[Al Gore, Alliance for Climate Protection, Founder & Chairman] It’s important to note that the exploitation
of the sugar cane growing areas in Brazil does not have
to inevitably have the knock-on consequence
of causing destruction in the Amazon.

[Newsman] Sugar cane fields are burning.
They’re set alight before the harvest,
to eliminate the leaves and tops of the plant,
which makes cutting more efficient.
[Somber music]
Environmentalists blame the seemingly
endless sugar cane fields for air and water pollution
on an epic scale.
And along with deforestation, the threat it poses
to the environment is becoming clear.

[Dramatic music]
[December 15, 2005]
Once the indigenous families were expelled,
the land owners set their homes on fire.
[Dramatic music]

-- Planet of the Humans, written, produced and directed by Jeff Gibbs

It happened that, for white South Africa, a racial typology model reinforced assumptions, political needs and economic structures in the interwar years. Then, following the National Party victory in 1948 and the gradual definition of the apartheid system, ideas of racial typology hardened in South Africa as they were being dissolved in science, but Dart was neither involved in nor responsible for those trends. Academics cannot take all the blame for the misuse of their ideas.

The osteodontokeratic became a matter of faith for Dart's followers, who could see signs of human usage by looking at the materials, much as "eolith" stone tools from the Pliocene had been supported in Europe and elsewhere. It was an interesting hypothesis and it had deeper impact, for it led to the popular image of man's nature as the killer ape, popularized in writings such as Robert Ardrey's African Genesis.

America's most distinguished university warmly receiving Nazi diplomats and propagandists on campus, they helped Nazi Germany present itself to the American public as a civilized nation, unfairly maligned in the press. Influenced by their administrators' example, and that of many of their professors, college and university students for the most part adopted a similar outlook...

The Harvard University administration during the 1930s, led by President James Bryant Conant, ignored numerous opportunities to take a principled stand against the Hitler regime and its antisemitic outrages and contributed to Nazi Germany's efforts to improve its image in the West. Its lack of concern about Nazi antisemitism was shared by many influential Harvard alumni and student leaders. In warmly welcoming Nazi leaders to the Harvard campus; inviting them to prestigious, high-profile social events; and striving to build friendly relations with thoroughly Nazified universities in Germany, while denouncing those who protested against these actions, Harvard's administration and many of its student leaders offered important encouragement to the Hitler regime as it intensified its persecution of Jews and expanded its military strength....

Princeton's student newspaper contemptuously dismissed what it called "the almost ridiculous protests of those favoring an Olympic boycott." The Daily Princetonian declared in an editorial that advocates of a boycott made any "true sportsman or true American righteously ashamed that the United States" included in its population individuals so "narrow and selfish." Their arguments against participation in the Berlin games were "as groundless as they are warped." Just as Presidents Conant, Angell, and Butler had claimed that Nazi policies should not influence relationships among academics, the Daily Princetonian editors insisted that "[a]thletics have nothing to do with politics or race..."

It is truly shameful that the administrative, alumni, and student leaders of America's most prominent university, who were in a position to influence American opinion at a critical time, remained indifferent to Germany's terrorist campaign against the Jews and instead on many occasions assisted the Nazis in their efforts to gain acceptance in the West...

Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, Columbia's president from 1902 to 1945, failed on numerous occasions to take a principled stand against barbarism. As president of the Carnegie Foundation for International Peace, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931, and head of one of the nation's leading universities, Butler was more widely known to the public than any leader of American higher education during the 1930s. Long prominent in Republican politics and a candidate for that party's presidential nomination in 1920, he often traveled to conferences abroad and met with world leaders. The media gave his comments on international affairs considerable attention. He was therefore in a position to exert significant influence in shaping American views of Nazi Germany...

Despite the Nazis' reactionary policies on women and curtailment of their access to a university education, many administrators, faculty, and students at the elite women's colleges known as the Seven Sisters -- Vassar, Smith, Mount Holyoke, Wellesley, Bryn Mawr, Radcliffe, and Barnard -- shared a sanguine view of Nazi Germany and enthusiastically participated in academic and cultural exchanges with the Third Reich. Such attitudes and behavior were widespread in America's colleges and universities during the 1930s, but the Seven Sisters were particularly influential in shaping American views of the Hitler regime because they were among the most active participants in student exchange programs in Germany...

Impressionable students were also often influenced by American lecturers who presented a largely favorable view of the Hitler regime during its early years. At Wellesley, for example, Dr. Robert C. Dexter, formerly head of the Brown University Sociology Department and a director of the League of Nations Association, lectured in November 1933 on the "excellent time he [had] enjoyed" in Nazi Germany the previous summer. Dr. Dexter told the students that it was no wonder that the German people backed Hitler, because France was using its superior armaments to build a "wall of steel" around them. The German people were also reacting to the corruption of the Republican governments in the Weimar period. Dexter denounced the press reports of Jewish persecution as "grossly exaggerated" and claimed "that while he was in Germany he had not seen one instance of outright violence." Although he did not approve of the complete exclusion of Jews from civil offices, he explained that there were "extenuating circumstances": the Jews had "held a disproportionate amount of the country's wealth and ... professional positions." Dexter emphasized that it was most important not to interfere in Germany's internal affairs. The "worst enemies of the German Jew," he pontificated, were not the Nazis, but "the Jews of other countries who are spreading untrue propaganda." This might lead resentful Germans to lash out at Jews to defend their country's honor.

Seven Sisters colleges sponsored social events to promote German-American friendship. Wellesley College arranged a dance and reception for German naval cadets from the battle cruiser Karlsruhe when it visited Boston harbor in May 1934 flying the swastika flag on its goodwill tour around the world for the Nazi government. Ignoring the Boston Jewish community's protests against the German warship's visit, Wellesley invited the cadets to campus for a dance. Boston rabbi Samuel Abrams denounced the Karlsruhe as an instrument of "hate and darkness." By contrast, the Wellesley College News portrayed the cadets as very appealing young blond men "immaculate in flawless black uniforms," whose "friendly grins" made them appear "soft and sincere." Soon after the cadets' arrival, "the floor was filled with dancing couples." Everyone enjoyed the punch and cookies...

Students and faculty at the Seven Sisters expressing admiration for the "New Germany" influenced many college youth toward greater sympathy for the Hitler regime. In May 1934, Radcliffe's Debating Council sponsored a debate between the Radcliffe and Brown University teams on whether "Hitlerism is the best thing for Germany." Presenting the affirmative, "the gentlemen from Brown" argued that Hitler had rescued Germany from anarchy and forestalled a Communist takeover. He had ended an ineffective Reichstag's "feudalistic wrangling," stimulated economic recovery, and "restored unity, morale, and self-respect" to a nation exploited by vindictive Allied powers. Hitler's foreign policy did not present a menace to peace....

The revisionist historians of the origins of the World War convinced many Americans that either the Allies themselves were primarily to blame for starting the conflict, or that all belligerents were equally to blame. Revisionist arguments appealed to much of the American public as they became increasingly isolationist during the 1920s and resentful of their nation's allies for failing to repay wartime loans. The United States had refused to ratify the Versailles Treaty and would not join its wartime allies in the League of Nations. [2] Many Americans during the interwar period, convinced by revisionist historians that vindictive Allies had imposed unnecessarily harsh conditions and reparations at Versailles on a Germany no more guilty of initiating hostilities than they were, sympathized with Hitler's determination to restore Germany's military strength and lost territories. They credited Hitler with restoring confidence and honor to a prostrated and seemingly unfairly stigmatized nation. By repeatedly disparaging Allied wartime propaganda about German military abuse of civilians, the revisionist scholars, and those who popularized their arguments in the mass media, convinced many Americans that reports of Nazi persecution of Jews were greatly exaggerated or even false....

Besides influencing their students in the German clubs to adopt a favorable attitude toward Nazism, some prominent professors of German also served as propagandists for the Third Reich in other forums, including Friedrich Auhagen and Frederick K. Krueger, prominent participants in the University of Virginia Institute of Public Affairs roundtables, and Professor Paul H. Curts of the Wesleyan University German Department. In October 1934, Curts explained to a student assembly at Wesleyan that only Hitler could provide Germany with what it needed. Having witnessed the Night of the Long Knives from Hamburg, Germany, Curts reported that most Germans had no objection to "the quick blow of retaliation that the leader made" against what they considered "a radical conspiracy." 23 Speaking at New Haven's Exchange Club about two weeks later as someone who had vacationed several times in the Third Reich, Curts accused the American press of publishing exaggerated accounts of disorder there. Curts declared that the Nazis had no intention of spreading their doctrine outside Germany...

The Bergel-Hauptmann case illuminates the extent of support for Nazism by German Department faculty and students in American universities during the 1930s, and the widespread unconcern about it among university trustees, who were often highly influential business leaders. Members of NJC's German faculty, including its chair, did not hesitate to make their enthusiasm for Hitler's Germany known in public forums, and there is considerable evidence that they spoke favorably about it to their students on many occasions in class. The German Department placed impressionable students in an environment in which they were very susceptible to being influenced by pro-Hitler propaganda. It required its majors to reside for at least a year in the German House, under the supervision of an ardent Nazi faculty member. Nationally prominent Jewish leader Samuel Untermyer asked New Jersey's governor for a legislative investigation of the NJC German Department, which he called "a hotbed of Nazi sedition."...

In an April 1936 article published in a Jewish magazine, Lienhard Bergel explained that Nazi faculty in the NJC German Department made special arrangements for the students traveling to Germany for study to maximize their chances of being influenced by Nazi ideology. One of the aziNJC professors would personally select a German host family for the student to reside with when abroad that was particularly committed to Nazism. The professor justified his or her personal involvement in the placement by explaining that it was for the purpose of making sure that the student was exposed to a "genuinely German atmosphere."

-- The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower: Complicity and Conflict on American Campuses, by Stephen H. Norwood
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Part 3 of 3

In the apartheid era, Dart's followers could comfortably distance themselves from the most extreme racial paradigms and Dart could concentrate on different topics such as the osteodontokeratic.

Dart's enthusiasm for exotic origins and links in the past of the African continent, especially his challenge to the African origins of Great Zimbabwe, reinforced white prejudices and was echoed in Southern African white communities well into the 1970s. Isolated from European culture at the furthest end of a vast continent, historical links to ancient Mediterranean civilizations were immensely reassuring. But his early major claim for Australopithecus demonstrated the African origins of mankind. This was not just a challenge to those who saw Asian origins from the finds of Homo erectus (Pithecanthropus), but also the priority for Europe implied by the find of Piltdown Man from England, only exposed as a fake in 1953.

Further, Dart's actual studies of humans -- from skeletal remains or living individuals -- struggled to fit real evidence into the distinct racial typology, leading constantly to explanations of hybridity, as we have shown above. His own empirical research chipped away at the validity of distinct racial classifications, although he was loath to admit it.

The local acceptance in South Africa of Dart's views may also reflect the nature of "colonial science." In the early twentieth century, Britain's dominions (and not least Australia and South Africa) were anxious to demonstrate that they could be contributors to scientific research, not just consumers of it from London.108 Students would still go from Australia, South Africa or elsewhere to the metropolitan heartland to acquire research training, but the young academic institutions of the dominions needed to demonstrate their strengths. The Australian Dart helped put South African science on the world map, and scientific achievement on the Southern African map.109 White South Africa in the 1920s and 1930s was a fetnile ground for someone willing to give the region a new role and status in world science, and the Taung find showed South Africa could house scientific research of world importance.

In 1925 Jan Smuts, Prime Minister until the previous year, specifically selected for praise the role of human palaeontology in South Africa.110 Dart's discovery led to his immediate rise in status. Already a full professor at 29, he was made Dean of the Medical School within months of his discovery, and other honors followed and continued for the subsequent decades. In time Dart's status grew such that public criticism by others in the field was muted and indirect; in his later decades of work scientists were unwilling to say in print what they thought in private. In exploring Dart' s relations with other scientists, full use has yet to be made of the Dart papers at the University of the Witwatersrand.111

The disadvantage of such a pioneering role is of course isolation. The opportunities to test ideas among colleagues in the same disciplinary areas were few, though colleagues in other disciplines were encouraging. But what led an Australian with medical training, placed in an isolated and under-resourced teaching position in South Africa, to play such an iconoclastic role and across so many fields and topics?

We must look in part to his personality to explain his approach to the fields of archaeology and physical anthropology. Having rebelled at university against his parents' fundamentalist religious beliefs, he continued to be a rebel (though some might suggested he endorsed a new fundamentalism).

In his co-authored autobiography Dart wrote:

I may be asked how it is possible in following the feckless hobby of an amateur detective to know where the trail will lead or what will prove the most valuable clue in the solution of human mysteries? Usually what helped me most was the general agreement of a lot of other people that I was on the wrong track! Knowing the fallibility of human opinion, especially popular opinions or dogmas adopted without satisfactory reasons, it generally proved valuable to explore the reverse of the accepted view.112

An element here might be the brashness of the outsider to a world of science dominated by metropolitan Europe: the independent Australian character. Sir Arthur Keith would criticize Dart for "his flightiness, his scorn for accepted opinion, the unorthodoxy of his outlook."113 More politely, Tobias describes "his tendency to overstate the case'" alongside "his willingness to free his mind from the shackles of authority ... a man rich in idiosyncrasies, a born actor with overwhelming charisma."114 But what began as a radical approach to issues in prehistory would be seen as adherence to discredited ideas: instead of looking forward to new but untested ideas, looking backward to discredited ones.

Part of the explanation for Dart's approach is the baleful influence of Sir Grafton Elliot Smith (1871 - 1937), to whom Dart attributed his interest in anthropology. Elliot Smith's excursions from his professional field of anatomy into the more exotic fields of archaeology marked him as a major "hyper-diffusionist" (in Glyn Daniel's account of this direction of argument). He put especial emphasis on the role of Pharaonic Egypt in the generation of world cultural trends; the view that civilization was not independently acquired but spread from a single source. In Daniel's analysis115 Elliot Smith, the research scientist in anatomy, "abandoned any pretence at scientific method ... his theory was formed and everything was squeezed into this theory." Daniel continues, "Why does the world tolerate this academic rubbish ... ? First these is a deep-seated desire for a simple answer to complicated problems."

In an article after his retirement Dart acknowledged how when he first encountered Smith: "he was now through his discoveries in Egypt revolutionizing our knowledge of how culture had spread throughout the world."116 Tellingly. he notes that Elliot Smith bequeathed his library to Raymond Dart: they would form part of the University of Witwatersrand Library.

If Elliot Smith was a major influence on Dart seeking to create a reputation in anthropology and archaeology, Phillip Tobias was a major influence on maintaining that reputation through and beyond the last decades of Dart's life. Because of the high regard in which Tobias has been held -- and continues to be held -- his championing and defence of the Dart reputation has had real impact. Tobias was Dart's protege and choice as his successor as professor of anatomy; he too became dean of the Witwatersrand Medical School. Tobias remains one of the "greats" in modern palaeoanthropology and physical anthropology, and his reputation has been further extended by his principled political and social stand during the apartheid years of South Africa, starting with his elected role as president of the progressive National Union of South African Students immediately after the election of the white Nationalist government. Not many fossil-hunters have been a significant student political leader as well as director of a major medical school! Tobias' work, as South Africa's leading physical anthropologist, actually contributed indirectly to undoing many of Dart's ideas especially on racial classification117 but Tobias remained a strong public champion of his mentor and "father-figure." Tributes by Tobias to Dart include a major accolade and an obituary where, acknowledging that Dart's osteodontokeratic hypothesis had been largely rejected, he credited him nonetheless with creating the discipline of taphonomy as a result.118

Finally some of Dart's continuing influence must be attributed to his personal charm and charisma alongside the awe in which he was held, although many early students may have "dismissed him as him 'mad' ..."119 As a source of encouragement, resources and institutional support Dart built and maintained a large circle of proteges and admirers, not always to the liking of the newer generation of professionals.

The Nature of Scientific Advance

Much of this story demonstrates the sometimes tenuous link between hypothesis and proof. Scientific method is ideally derived from the generation of hypotheses and their subsequent testing. But the testing, the replicability, varies between different sciences. In archaeology some hypotheses are readily testable, because the database is large, but other hypotheses lack multiple sources of evidence. Thus Dart could generate an extreme hypothesis, but if the sources for testing were limited (a sole Australopithecus site, the Great Zimbabwe ruins, the iron working in the sites of Zambia) it could remain neither validated nor invalidated for some time.

While Dart's publications included solid descriptive material in anatomy, physical anthropology and archaeology, this paper argues that his interpretative themes -- most pursued doggedly throughout his life -- represented a less than scientific approach. One of these themes -- the identification and position of Australopithecus africanus -- has been accepted as a contribution to science while the others have been left behind. We have attempted to explain the framework in which a promising anatomist took and maintained such a path, but the narrative raises a number of questions about the nature of scientific enquiry in archaeology and palaeoanthropology.

One simple view is that all ideas have their time and then pass in the light of revised and better supported views, and we should not judge the approaches of the past by the standards of the present. But this does not really apply: at the time that Dart advanced many of his wilder views, in the interwar decades and immediately after, prehistoric sciences were already established and growing in strength. Dart's views and lines of argument were leading in quite opposite directions, which he developed and adhered to for over five decades.

A harsher view is that if one throws out large numbers of improbable hypotheses at least one of them (in this case the evolutionary position of Australopithecus) may turn out to be confirmed. In this light it is fortunate that the claim was one of Dart's earliest publications in the field, but in fact it was not accepted outside South Africa for more than a decade by which time his other themes had already entered the literature. While the methodology and many of the conclusions in Dart's writing must be challenged, it is not impossible that a second of his many adventurous hypotheses might in time be seen as an inspired guess matching a newly accepted argument.

Physical anthropology and archaeology are not for the most part experimental sciences. However for much of their scope they are testable by the expectation of replication, of recovering larger samples. The rarer the material, least replicable the samples, the easier it is to generate dramatic hypotheses which are not readily refutable, and which bypass the desideratum of a scientific hypothesis, that it should be structured so as to be readily nullifiable by scientific method. Even recently interpretations of population movements from (and at times into) the African continent have conveniently ignored geographical limitations and boundaries and the principle of Occam's Razor, to support complex explanatory models.120

We have referred to the distance drawn by Glyn Daniel between scientific archaeology and "the lunatic fringe" as if there is a clear line applicable at all times. This approach is reflected in a recent collection of essays edited by G. Garrett Fagan121 on ''pseudoarchaeology'' in which Daniel's professorial successor Colin Renfrew takes a similarly unambivalent line. "There are problems with such a simple approach.122
Though largely accepting the divide of science from pseudoscience Garrett Fagan 121 does concede "pseudoarchaeology is not therefore restricted to maverick, unprofessional writers with very strange ideas about antiquity. It is a trap that can ensnare professionally trained academics when their egos, ideologies, or other personal beliefs get in the way of their commitment to open enquiry." He identifies pseudoarchaeology as characterized by a number of attitudes: "Dogged adherence to outdated theoretical models; disparaging academia; appeal to academic authority; huge claims; selective and/or distorted presentation; the kitchen-sink mode of argument [weight of selected data]; vague definitions; superficiality, sloppiness and grossness of comparison; obsession with esoteric; a farrago of failings; expectation of a reward at quest's end."

This seems too simplistic and pious a division between good and bad, science and pseudo-science, us and them. There are many examples in which the rational and the irrational coexist. We are frequently reminded how Isaac Newton was an enthusiast for astrology while laying the basis for scientific physics; that while Conan Doyle defined the epitomy of rationality and logic in his detective novels his greatest passion was for the spiritualist movement; and in seeing how many contemporary leaders of scientific research attest to an unwavering fundamental religious faith coexisting with their research methodology.

There is only one subject matter for education, and that is Life in all its manifestations…You cannot shelter theology from science, or science from theology…we should aim at the integration of science and religion, and turn the impoverishing opposition between the two into an enriching contrast…[If the condition of mutual tolerance is satisfied, then] a clash of doctrines is not a disaster—it is an opportunity…The clash is a sign that there are wider truths and finer perspectives within which a reconciliation of a deeper religion and a more subtle science will be found…our existence is more than a succession of bare facts... Self-realization is the ultimate fact of facts.”

-- Alfred North Whitehead, by Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Dart was a distinguished (if at times eccentric) teacher. His descriptive anatomy appears robust, though not free from criticism, given the failure to secure publication of his descriptive work on the Taung child. 124 He could have maintained a career involving contributions restricted to formal anatomy. But he chose to dip into unfamiliar worlds of archaeology with his extreme hyper-diffusionist ideas and untestable hypotheses, and also to follow paths of interpretation in physical anthropology that stretched credibility. Without Taung, if these had been his major outputs, he might have developed a quite different reputation. If he had then at a later stage of his career made a claim that the undated Taung skull represented a new genus and family ancestral to man, he would have been greeted with even greater skepticism. As it was, this early claim was the one that gained local and eventually wider scientific acceptance and established a reputation, which allowed his other ideas to be proselytized.

In the division of scientific from non-scientific method, one may argue that the "discovery" of Australopithecus was not methodologically a scientific discovery but a fortunate stumbling on the truth. It is good to remember scholars for their lasting contribution to our knowledge, but we need to be aware that the process of creating that knowledge is not always clear, clean, and, methodologically sound.



1. I am grateful for advice and assistance to Graham Connah, Darren Curnoe, Donald Denoon, Saul Dubow, Brian Fagan, Neil Parsons, and not least to Revil Mason for having introduced me to some of the players in this drama. However, none of these are implicated in my conclusions.

2. A. Keith, “The Taungs Skull,” Nature 116 (1925), 11.

3. A detailed, but uncritical and hagiographical, narrative biography of Dart was published as F. Wheelhouse and K.S. Smithford, [i[Dart: Scientist and Man of Grit[/i] (Sydney: Transpareon Press, 2001), complementing Dart’s own memoir, R.A. Dart and D. Craig, Adventures with the Missing Link (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1959), and other sources (P.V. Tobias, Dart, Taung and the Missing Link (Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 1984). Critical assessment in print of Dart’s career is limited: an important article published thirteen years ago by Saul Dubow (“Human Origins, Race Typology and the Other Raymond Dart,” African Studies 55 [1006], 1-30), and briefer mention in a book by the same author (S. Dubow, Scientific Racism in Modern South Africa [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995]).

4. Wheelhouse and Smithford, Dart.

5. G. Elliot Smith, The Ancient Egyptians and the Origin of Civilization (London and New York: Harper, 1911); G. Daniel, The Idea of Prehistory (Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1964).

6. R.A. Dart, “The South African Negro,” American Journal of Physical Anthropology 13 (1929), 309-18, 315.

7. Wheelhouse and Smithford, Dart, 48.

8. Ibid., 58.

9. R.A. Dart, “Associations With and Impressions of Sir Grafton Elliot Smith,” Mankind 8 (1972), 171-75.

10. Wheelhouse and Smithford, Dart, 331-43; M. Dart, “Raymond A. Dart – List of Publications 1920-1967,” South African Journal of Science 64 (1968), 134-40; I. Fischer, Professor Raymond Arthur Dart: A Bibliography of His Works (Johannesburg: University of the Witwatersrand Department of Bibliography, Librarianship, and Typography 9cyclostyled], 1969).

11. R.A. Dart, “Boskop Remains from the South-East African Coast,” Nature 112 (1923), 623-25.

12. Tobias Dart, Taung, 16-34, correcting some errors by Dart and Craig, Adventures.

13. Tobias, Dart, Taung, 37.

14. R.A. Dart, “Australopithecus Africanus: The Man-Ape of South Africa,” Nature 115, 2884 (1925), 195-99 (reprinted in South African Journal of Science 64 [1968], 51-57).

15. S. Zuckerman, From Apes to Warlords (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1978), 15, 45.

16. Tobias, Dart, Taung, 38-39.

17. Dart and Craig, Adventures, 50-51.

18. R.A. Dart, “The Status of Australopithecus,” American Journal of Physical Anthropology 26 (1940), 167-86.

19. M. Morwood and P. van Oosterzee, The Discovery of the Hobbit (Sydney: Random House, 2007), 111, 118, 122, 182-87, 229.

20. P. Brown, T. Sutkina, M.J. Morwood, R.P. Soejono, Jatmiko, E. Wayhu Saptomo, and Rokus Awe Due, “A New Small-Bodied Hominin from the Late Pleistocene of Flores, Indonesia,” Nature 431 (2004), 1055-61; M.J. Morwood, R.P. Soejono, R.G. Roberts, T. Sutikna, C.S.M. Turney, K.E. Westaway, W.J. Rink, J.-X Zhao, G.D. van den Bergh, Rokus Awe Due, D.R. Hobbs, M.W. Moore, M.I. Bird, and L.K. Fifield, “Archaeology and Age of a New Hominin from Flores in Eastern Indonesia,” Nature 431 (2004), 1087-91.

21. A. Keith, G. Elliot Smith, A.S. Woodward, and W.L.H. Duckworth, “The Fossil Anthropoid Ape from Taungs,” Nature 115 (1925), 234-36.

22. Keith, “The Taungs Skull,” 11.

23. P.V. Tobias, “Piltdown: An Appraisal of the Case against Sir Arthur Keith,” Current Anthropology 33 (1992), 243-93.

24. Dart and Craig, Adventures, 64.

25. A. Keith, “Australopithecenae or Dartians,” Nature 159 (1947), 377.

26. R.A. Dart, “A Note on Makapansgat: A Site of Early Human Occupation,” South African Journal of Science 22 (1925), 454.

27. R. Derricourt, “Patenting Hominins: Taxonomies, Fossils and Egos,” Critique of Anthropology 29 (2009), 193-204.

28. P. Tobias, Into the Past: A Memoir (Johannesburg: Picador Africa, 2005), 218.

29. R.A. Dart, “The Makapansgat Proto-Human Australopithecus Prometheus,” American Journal of Physical Anthropology 6 (1948), 259-83, 275.

30. B. Wood, “An Interview with Phillip Tobias,” Current Anthropology 30 (1989), 215-24, 216.

31. S. James, “Hominid Use of Fire in the Lower and Middle Pleistocene: A Review of the Evidence,” Current Anthropology 30 (1989), 1-26.

32. Dart and Craig, Adventures, 157-58.

33. Wood, “An Interview,” 215-16.

34. R.A. Dart, The Osteodontokeratic Culture of Australopithecus Prometheus (Pretoria: Transvaal Museum Memoir 7, 1957).

35. R.A. Dart, “Further Light on Australopithecine Humeral and Femoral Weapons,” American Journal of Physical Anthropology 17 (1959), 87-94.

36. R.A. Dart, “From Cannon-Bone Scoops to Skull Bowls at Makapansgat,” American Journal of Physical Anthropology 20 (1962), 287-95.

37. Dart and Craig, Adventures, 114, 201.

38. R. Ardrey, African Genesis, (New York: Atheneum, 1961).

39. R.K. Brain, The Hunters or the Hunted? (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981): D.L. Wolberg, “The Hypothesized Osteodontokeratic Culture of the Autralopithecines,” Current Anthropology 11 (1970), 23-37; P. Shipman and J.E. Phillips, “On Scavenging by Hominids and Other Carnivores,” Current Anthropology 17 (1976), 170-72.

40. Dart, “Boskop Remains.”

41. Ibid.; Wheelhouse and Smithford, Dart, 57.

42. R.A. Dart, “Recent Discoveries Bearing on Human History in Southern Africa,” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 70 (1940), 13-27.

43. R. Singer, “The Boskop ‘Race’ Problem,” Man 58 (1958), 173078. The trend at times remains; see R. Derricourt, “Getting ‘Out of Africa’: Sea Crossings, Land Crossings and Culture in the Hominin Migrations,” Journal of World Prehistory 19 (2005), 119-132.

44. R.A. Dart, “The First Human Mandible from the Dave of Hearths, Makapansgat,” South African Archaeological Bulletin 3 (1948), 98.

45. Dubow, Scientific Racism, 56-58; Dubow, “Human Origins.”

46. Dubow, “Human Origins.”

47. Ibid., 32.

48. M. Wilson, The Thousand Years before Van Riebeeck, Sixth Raymond Dart Lecture (Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 1970); R.M. Derricourt, “Classification and Culture Change in Late Post-Pleistocene South Africa,” in C. Renfrew, ed., The Explanation of Culture Change: Models in Prehistory (London, Duckworth, 1973), 625-31.

49. R.A. Dart and N. del Grande, “The Ancient Iron-Smelting Cavern at Mumbwa,” Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 19 (1931), 379-427, 421.

50. R.A. Dart, “Three Strandlopers from the Kaokaoveld Coast,” South African Journal of Science 51 (1955), 175-79.

51. Dart, “Recent Discoveries,” 22.

52. R.A. Dart, “Racial Origins,” in I. Schapera, ed., Bantu-Speaking Tribes of South Africa: An Ethnographic Survey (London: Routledge and Cape Town: Maskew Miller, 1937), 1-37.

53. Ibid., 22.

54. P.V. Tobias, “The Biology of the Southern African Negro,” in W.D. Hammond-Tooke, ed., The Bantu-Speaking Peoples of Southern Africa (London: Routledge, 1974), 3-45, 11.

55. Dart and Craig, Adventures, 71-72; Wheelhouse and Smithford, Dart, 184-85; see also Dubow, “Human Origins,” 16-19.

56. R.A. Dart, “A Hottentot from Hong Kong: Pre-Bantu Population Exchanges between Africa and Asia,” South African Journal of Medical Science 17 (1952), 117-42, 125-26.

57. R.A. Dart, “The Historical Succession of Cultural Impacts upon South Africa,” Nature 115 (1925), 425-29.

58. M. Burkitt, South Africa’s Past in Stone and Paint (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1928).

59. A.J.H. Goodwin and C. van Riet Lowe, The Stone Age Cultures of South Africa, Annals of the South African Museum 27 (Cape Town: South African Museum, 1929).

60. R.M. Derricourt, Prehistoric Man in the Ciskei and Transkei (Cape Town, Struik, 1977).

61. Dart and del Grande, “Ancient Iron Smelting,” 403.

62. R.A. Dart, “Phallic Objects in Southern Africa,” South African Journal of Science 26 (1929), 553-62; R.A. Dart, “A Chinese Character as a Wall Motive in Rhodesia,” South African Journal of Science 36 (1939), 74-75; R.A. Dart, “The Ritual Employment of Bored Stones by Transvaal Bantu Tribes,” South African Archaeological Bulletin 3 (1948), 61-66.

63. R.A. Dart, “Rhodesian Engravers, Painters and Pigment Miners of the Fifth Millennium,” South African Archaeological Bulletin 8 (1953), 91-96, 94.

64. R.A. Dart, “Further Data on the Origin and Phallic Character of Conical and Perfrated Stones,” South African Journal of Science 29 (1932), 731-41, 737.

65. R.A. Dart, “Paintings that Link South with North Africa,” South African Archaeological Bulletin 18 (1963), 29-30.

66 Dart, “Historical Succession,” 426.

67. Dart, “A Chinese Character.”

68. M. Hall, “’Hidden History’: Iron Age Archaeology in Southern Africa,” in P. Robertshaw, ed., A History of African Archaeology (London: James Currey; and Portsmouth NH: Heinemann, 1990), 59-63.

69. Dubow, “Human Origins,” 99.

70. G. Caton Thompson, Mixed Memoirs (Gateshead: The Paradigm Press, 1983), 130-36.

71. Dart and Craig, Adventures, 68-71.

72. Wheelhouse and Smithford, Dart, 118.

73. Ibid., 203.

74. R.A. Dart, “A Polished Stone Pendant from Makapansgat Valley,” South African Archaeological Bulletin 4 (1949), 83-86.

75. Dart, “Rhodesian Engravers.”

76. Dart, “South African Negro,” 315.

77. Wheelhouse and Smithford, Dart, 229.

78. R.A. Dart, African Serological Patterns and Human Migratoins (Claremont: South African Archaeological Society, 1951).

79. Dart, “Hottentot from Hong Kong.”

80. Ibid., 136.

81. Ibid., 137-38.

82. R.A. Dart, “Death Ships in South West Africa and South-East Asia,” South African Archaeological Bulletin 17 (1962), 231-33.

83. Dart, “Historical Succession”; Dart and Craig, Adventures, 74.

84. F.A. Chami, “Diffusion in the Studies of the African Past: Reflections from New Archaeological Findings,” African Archaeological Review 24 (2007), 1-14.

85. R.A. Dart, “Nickel in Ancient Bronzes,” Nature 113 (1924), 888.

86. R.A. Dart, “The Bronze Age in Southern Africa,” Nature 123 (1929), 495-96.

87. Dart and del Grande, “Ancient Iron Smelting.”

88. Wheelhouse and Smithford, Dart, 145.

89. Dart and del Grande, “Ancient Iron Smelting,” 419.

90. Dart and del Grande, “Ancient Iron Smelting,” 382.

91. Wheelhouse an dSmithford, Dart, 188.

92. R. Derricourt, Man on the Kafue: the Archaeology and History of the Itezhitezhi area of Zambia (London: Ethnographica, and New York: Lilian Barber Press, 1985), 239-47.

93. R.A. Dart, “The Discovery of a Stone Age Manganese Mine at Chowa, Northern Rhodesia,” Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 22 (1934), 55-70.

94. Dart and del Grande, “Ancient Iron Smelting,” 400, 423.

95. R.A. Dart, “The Birth of Symbology,” African Studies 27 (1968), 15-27.

96. Wheelhouse and Smithford, [i]Dart,

97. Wheelhouse and Smithford, Dart, 266-70.

98. R.A. Dart, “The Antiquity of Mining in Southern Africa,” South African Journal of Science 63 (1967), 264-67; R.A. Dart and P. Beaumont, “Amazing Antiquity of Mining in Southern Africa,” Nature 216 (1967), 407-408; R.A. Dart and P. Beaumont, “Evidence of Iron Age Mining in Southern Africa in the Middle Stone Age,” Current Anthropology 10 (1969), 127-28; R.A. Dart and P. Beaumont, “On a Further Radiocarbon Date for Ancient Mining in Southern Africa,” South African Journal of Science 67 (1971), 10-11.

99. Dart and Beaumont, “Amazing Antiquity.”

100. R.A. Dart and P.B. Beaumont, “Iron Age Radiocarbon Dates from Western Swaziland,” South African Archaeological Bulletin 24 (1969), 71.

101. Wheelhouse and Smithford, Dart.

102. Tobias, Dart, Taung.

103. Dubow, Scientific Racism; Dubow, “Human Origins.” See G. Strkalj, “Where was Raymond Dart Wrong?” African Studies 57, 1 (1998), 107-111 for a critique of Dubow.

104. Dubow, Scientific Racism, 1995, ix.

105. Ibid., 287.

106. Tobias, Dart, Taung: 14; Dubow, Scientific Racism, 1995; 45-46; Dubow, “Human Origins,” 11-12; F. Wheelhouse, Raymond Arthur Dart: A Pictorial Profile, Professor Dart’s Discovery of “The Missing Link” (Sydney: Transpareon Press, 1983), 18.

107. Dart, “Note on Makapansgat,” 79.

108. S. Dubow, A Commonwealth of Knowledge: Science, Sensibility and White South Africa 1820-2000 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006).

109. Dubow, “Human Origins,” 6-7.

110. Dubow, Commonwealth of Knowledge, 207.

111. G. Strkalj, “Review of Dart: Scientist and Man of Grit,” PaleoAnthropology 1 (2003), 35-36.

112. Dart and Craig, Adventures, 241-42.

113. Quoted in Dart and Craig, Adventures, 31.

114. Tobias, Into the Past, 216-7.

115. Daniel, Idea of Prehistory, 88-107.

116. Dart, “Associations.”

117. Tobias, Into the Past, 68.

118. P.V. Tobias, “Homage to Emeritus Professor R.A. Dart on his 75th Birthday.” South African Journal of Science 64 (1968), 52-50; P.V. Tobias, “Raymond Arthur Dart (1893-1988),” Nature 337 (1989), 211.

119. Tobias, Into the Past, 24.

120. Derricourt, “Getting ‘Out of Africa.’”

121. G.G. Fagan, Archaeological Fantasies: How Pseudoarchaeology Misrepresents the Past and Misleads the Public (New York: Routledge, 2006).

122. W. Stoczkowski, “Review of Fagan: Archaeological Fantasies,” Antiquity 81 (2007), 472-73.

123. Fagan, Archaeological Fantasies, 29.

125. Wheelhouse and Smithford, Dart, 176-77.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:04 am

Science Has Always Been Inseparable from Politics: Scientific research doesn’t take place in a vacuum; it can only happen with society’s blessing
by Ubadah Sabbagh
Scientific America
April 25, 2017

Even now, on the heels of the March for Science, we see some scientists hesitate to acknowledge the fact that science is political. Why wouldn’t they? We hold it up as the golden standard of objectivity, and synonymize it with words like ‘unbiased’ and ‘rational’, divorcing it from our human capriciousness. It’s quite natural to associate those notions with science. After all, you’d be hard pressed to find a more objective way of discovering the true nature of nature than by utilizing the power of the scientific method. But there’s an important distinction to be made between science and the scientific method.

We use the scientific method to minimize bias and maximize objectivity. That is what’s rational and unbiased. The scientific enterprise, however, is not, and it’s nothing short of clinging to a fanciful myth to suggest that it ever was.

The reality is that engaging in scientific research is a social activity and an inherently political one. Imagine for a moment that you were going to start a new country today. There are things you’d be compelled to do by default; coming up with laws, for example. Funding science is not a default position when creating a country, it’s a decision we made once as a society, and continue to revisit as we make new policies and pass budgets. Science has been linked to the politics of society since the first person thought it was a good idea to do research, and then convinced their neighbors to give them money to do it.

Scientific research doesn’t take place in a vacuum, it can only happen with society’s blessing. In this way science is a political institution de facto, governed by society and beholden to its political will.

Society controls who

But it’s not just the decision of whether or not to do science that’s political, society has also historically wielded the power to select who is permitted to become a scientist. We see, now, the sexist and racist obstructions that have allowed science to be dominated by white males. To many African Americans growing up in a prejudiced society, the path to becoming a scientist is among the paths of most resistance. In the case of women scientists, they could only work as “volunteer” faculty, leaving accolades for their male counterparts to collect. Extraordinary scientists like Esther Lederberg, who discovered the lambda bacteriophage, or Lise Meitner, who literally split the atom, were written out of the textbooks as they watched their male collaborators accept Nobel prizes without them. Such is also the story of Rosalind Franklin, a personal hero of mine, who changed the entire field of biology and was instrumental in discovering the double-helical structure of DNA that we know today.

So, let’s keep in mind society’s ability to control who can become a scientist today. Moving towards Muslim bans and mass deportations not only weakens the talent we can import, but also robs many immigrants of the opportunity to fulfill their potential, and becoming the great contributors to society that they would have otherwise been. These actions threaten America’s leading position in research worldwide.

Society controls how

There’s also the matter of society’s control over how science is conducted. Scientists, the normal humans that they are, are just as susceptible to being swept up by the cultural currents of their society as anyone else. There was a time when naturalists and anthropologists found that their ‘science’ justified the subjugation of what were considered inferior races. It wasn’t too long ago that the CIA funded mind control studies, subjecting unknowing patients to hallucinogenic drugs and harmful chemicals.

Lest we forget, the US Public Health Service also conducted the Tuskegee syphilis experiment which denied black men treatment for the disease in order to study its effects, despite its availability. The true nature of the experiment was kept secret from the subjects, and the public at large, and it spanned four decades. Studies like this were allowed to take place until society, through the vehicle of politics, decided to make a change (institutional review boards, etc.). These changes are ethical and moral ones, which place the well-being and safety of the individual over the need to answer a scientific question, and they should always take place with conversations that include scientists and lawmakers.

Keep this point in mind today, when you see trends of muting federally-employed researchers and preventing them from communicating their research to each other and to the public. Science and secrecy don’t work very well together.

Society controls what

When we cast our vote in an election, part of what we’re doing is determining what will be prioritized in scientific research. Our elected officials control our money, and therefore control our scientific pursuits.

Society decides what kind of knowledge scientists are permitted to obtain and disseminate.
The Vatican famously imprisoned Galileo and forced him to recant his scientific assertions that the Earth revolves around the Sun to avoid being burned at the stake. Under Stalin, the Soviet government supported the science of Lysenko, a pseudoscientist who rejected basic principles in biology, because his theories supported the principles of Marxism. This gave rise to Lysenkoism, a term used to reference the manipulation of the scientific process to achieve ideological goals. This term seems more and more relevant today.

Of course, control over what research scientists can conduct isn’t some arcane phenomenon that ended with the collapse of communism. Our elections decide our science. In 2001, President Bush imposed a ban on government funding for research on embryonic stem cells – halting the potential development of cure to scores of illnesses. He explained why he did this: “My position on these issues is shaped by deeply held beliefs”. Yet, the entire NIH budget didn’t suffer because of it. Funding was mostly allocated to research projects not related to stem cells or the environment. Priorities change elections. Likewise, during his terms, President Obama made it a priority to allocate funds for his favorite initiatives like translational science, the Precision Medicine Initiative, and the BRAIN Initiative. At the same time, NIH funding still fell short of what was requested from Congress during the course of his administration.

Today, the impact of elections on scientific research is palpable. Since his election, President Trump wasted no time before he began to launch attacks on clean air and water, on climate science, and on basic medical research. His proposed budget puts the public’s health in danger and slashes billions from the budgets of the NIH, the EPA, and other research institutions. Of course, it’s not only the president that we elect, but also Congress. A recent hearing on the scientific method and climate change devolved into an embarrassing public exercise in bickering and name-calling. In an intense exchange with climatologist Michael Mann, the Chairman of House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, no less, claimed that Science magazine was not an objective source.

An entanglement of society, politics, and science

In a thriving democracy, society forms politics, politics controls science, and science informs both society and politics. This isn’t new information, we all know it, yet some of us refuse to acknowledge the intimate interplay between society, politics, and science.

It is fact that scientists are no strangers to activism; there’s plenty of precedent.

In the 1930s, scientists formed the Association for American Scientific Workers (AAScW) with the goal of inviting scientists to take moral stands and involve them directly in political and social issues. At the time, they resolutely stood against fascism and were instrumental in improving the quality of science reporting. In 1946, Albert Einstein weighed in on racism in America in his eloquent essay The Negro Question, which he characterized as a “disease of white people”. Not only that, but he also co-chaired an anti-lynching campaign. Even later, during the Cold War, scientists didn’t all shy away from political engagement. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) expressly opposed the war in the Vietnam, and Carl Sagan was a prominent voice on the dangers of nuclear proliferation during the Reagan era.

Today, John Holdren, Chief Science Advisor to President Obama, refreshingly urged scientists to tithe away ten percent of their time to public service and activism. I can’t remember the last time I heard a prominent scientist make such a statement.

In many ways, the line between science and politics, if there ever was a thing, is already blurred. There are scientific concepts, supported by a robust body of factual data, which are now inherently politicized, not because of a controversy in the scientific community, but because they threaten one party’s agenda. Think climate change or evolution.

The scientific method is a remarkable tool for creating verifiable information, always expanding the boundaries of our knowledge, and challenging our preconceived notions of what reality is. It’s an investigation we’re making into ourselves. We’ve decided to pool our money together and divvy it up to women and men who work tirelessly at the forefront of knowledge to discover more. We decided this because we realized that science helps us live longer, healthier, and more enriching lives.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:44 am

Mind Science Foundation
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/27/20

The Mind Science Foundation (MSF) is a private nonprofit scientific foundation in San Antonio, Texas, established by philanthropist Thomas Baker Slick in 1958.

The Mind Science Foundation’s modern-day mission is to raise awareness and levels of funding for one of the major unsolved questions in science: how consciousness arises in human beings (Science July 1, 2005).

Awards and sponsorship of research

MSF is a principal, international supporter of pilot data grants for consciousness research. Some recent award recipients include:

• Fred Gage – Salk Institute for Biological Studies
• Susan Greenfield – Oxford University
• Christof Koch – California Institute of Technology
• V.S. Ramachandran – University of California San Diego[1]

Lecture events

In addition to funding leading researchers in the field, the Mind Science Foundation hosts a Distinguished Speakers Series to heighten public awareness of practical topics related to human consciousness. Examples of past speakers include:

• Jonas Salk – Inaugural Speaker, Distinguished Speakers Series
• Steven Laureys – University of Liege, Belgium
• J. Allan Hobson - Harvard Medical School
• Kay Redfield Jamison Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
• Temple Grandin – Colorado State University
• Jane Goodall – Goodall Institute

Sponsoring events

The Mind Science Foundation also supports international symposia and conferences focused on the scientific study of consciousness. MSF has also helped sponsor events with the following organizations:

• Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness
o ASSC-8 Satellite meeting (Antwerp, 2004): “Coma and Impaired Consciousness”
o ASSC-9 (Caltech, 2005)
o ASSC-10 (Oxford, 2006)
• Mind and Life Institute
o Public Meeting with the Dalai Lama (M.I.T., 2003)
o Public Meeting with the Dalai Lama (Washington, D. C., 2005)

See also

• Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness


1. "Mind Science Foundation Hosts `Artful Brain' Lecture Featuring V.S. Ramachandran, MD, Ph.D." BusinessWire. 8 November 2004. Retrieved 7 December 2013.

External links

• Official website
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:53 am

Esalen Institute
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/27/20

Esalen Institute
Esalen buildings and hot springs
Founder(s): Michael Murphy; Dick Price
Established: 1962
Focus: Humanistic alternative education
President: Gordon Wheeler
Key people: Terry Gilbey, General Manager and CEO; Camille Wright, Chief Financial Officer; Cheryl Fraenzl, Director of Programs
Owner: Esalen Institute
Location: Slates Hot Springs, Big Sur, California, United States
Address 55000 Highway One, Big Sur, CA 93920[1]
Website Esalen Institute

Meditation Room at Esalen

Esalen Art Barn, 2005

The Esalen Institute, commonly called Esalen, is a non-profit American retreat center and intentional community in Big Sur, California, which focuses on humanistic alternative education.[2] The Institute played a key role in the Human Potential Movement beginning in the 1960s. Its innovative use of encounter groups, a focus on the mind-body connection, and their ongoing experimentation in personal awareness introduced many ideas that later became mainstream.[3]

Esalen was founded by Stanford graduates Michael Murphy and Dick Price in 1962. Their intention was to support alternative methods for exploring human consciousness, what Aldous Huxley described as "human potentialities".[4][5] Over the next few years, Esalen became the center of practices and beliefs that make up the New Age movement, from Eastern religions/philosophy, to alternative medicine and mind-body interventions, to Gestalt Practice.[6]

Price ran the Institute until he was killed in a hiking accident in 1985. In 2012, the board hired professional executives to help raise money and keep the Institute profitable. Until 2016, Esalen offered over 500 workshops yearly[7] in areas including personal growth, meditation, massage, Gestalt Practice, yoga, psychology, ecology, spirituality, and organic food.[8] in 2016, about 15,000 people attended its workshops.[9]

In February 2017, the institute was cut off when Highway 1 was closed on either side of the hot springs. It closed its doors, evacuated guests via helicopter, and was forced to lay off 90% of its staff through at least July, when they reopened with limited workshop offerings. It also decided to revamp its offerings to include topics more relevant to a younger generation.[9]

As of July 2017, due to the limited access resulting from the road closures, the hot springs are only open to Esalen guests.[9]

Early history

Further information: Slates Hot Springs

The grounds of the Esalen Institute were first home to a Native American tribe known as the Esselen, from whom the institute adopted its name.[10] Carbon dating tests of artifacts found on Esalen's property have indicated a human presence as early as 2600 BCE.[11]

The location was homesteaded by Thomas Slate on September 9, 1882, when he filed a land patent under the Homestead Act of 1862.[12] The settlement began known as Slates Hot Springs. It was the first tourist-oriented business in Big Sur, frequented by people seeking relief from physical ailments. In 1910, the land was purchased by Henry Murphy,[13] a Salinas, California, physician. The official business name was "Big Sur Hot Springs" although it was more generally referred to as "Slate's Hot Springs".[14]

View of the building on the bluff housing the hot springs


Stanford grads meet

Richard Price in 1968

Michael Murphy and Dick Price both attended Stanford University in the late 1940s and early 1950s.[15] Both had developed an interest in human psychology and earned degrees in the subject in 1952.[16] Price was influenced by a lecture he heard Aldous Huxley give in 1960 titled "Human Potentialities". After graduating from Stanford, Price attended Harvard University to continue studying psychology. Murphy, meanwhile, traveled to Sri Aurobindo's ashram in India where he resided for several months[17] before returning to San Francisco. They met in San Francisco at the suggestion of Frederic Spiegelberg, a Stanford professor of comparative religion and Indic studies, with whom both had studied.[18] By then they had both dropped out of their graduate programs (Price at Harvard and Murphy at Stanford), and had served time in the military.[16] Although they had not met until this point, their experiences were similar enough for them to begin their partnership creating Esalen.[16]

After Price was hospitalized for eighteen months he was inspired to change the way people could experience a new way to live their life and experience new ideas and thoughts without judgment and influence from the outside world. He was inspired by his own interest in Buddhist practices and along with his own understanding of Taoism, he formed his teachings. He then took what Fritz Perls had taught him and created a process that is still taught and followed today. Today students all over the world follow the practices set up by Price in guidance, healing and the process and principles.[19]

Lease property

Price and Murphy wanted to create a venue where non-traditional workshops and lecturers could present their ideas free of the dogma associated with traditional education. The two began drawing up plans for a forum that would be open to ways of thinking beyond the constraints of mainstream academia while avoiding the dogma so often seen in groups organized around a single idea promoted by a charismatic leader. They envisioned offering a wide range of philosophies, religious disciplines and psychological techniques.[20]

In 1961, they went to look at property owned by the Murphy family at Slates Hot Springs in Big Sur.[21] It included a run-down hotel occupied in part by members of a Pentecostal church.[22] The property was patrolled by gun-toting Hunter S. Thompson. Gay men from San Francisco filled the baths on the weekends.[22]

Henry Murphy's widow and Michael's grandmother Vinnie "Bunnie" MacDonald Murphy, who owned the property, lived 62 miles (100 km) away in Salinas. She had previously refused to lease the property to anyone, even turning down an earlier request from Michael. She was afraid her grandson was going to "give the hotel to the Hindus," Murphy later said. Not long after, Thompson attempted to visit the baths with friends and got into a fistfight after antagonizing some of the gay men present. The men almost tossed him over the cliff. Murphy's father, a lawyer, finally persuaded his mother to allow her grandson to take over[22] and she agreed to lease the property to them in 1962.[23][24][25] The two men used capital that Price obtained from his father, who was a vice-president at Sears.[26] They incorporated their business as a non-profit named Esalen Institute in 1963.[27][28]

Develop counterculture workshops

Murphy and Price were assisted by Spiegelberg, Watts, Huxley and his wife Laura, as well as by Gerald Heard and Gregory Bateson. They modeled the concept of Esalen partially upon Trabuco College, founded by Heard as a quasi-monastic experiment in the mountains east of Irvine, California, and later donated to the Vedanta Society.[29] Their intent was to provide "a forum to bring together a wide variety of approaches to enhancement of the human potential... including experiential sessions involving encounter groups, sensory awakening, gestalt awareness training, related disciplines."[30][31] They stated that they did not want to be viewed as a "cult" or a new church but that it was to be a center where people could explore the concepts that Price and Murphy were passionate about. The philosophy of Esalen lies in the idea that "the cosmos, the universe itself, the whole evolutionary unfoldment is what a lot of philosophers call slumbering spirit. The divine is incarnate in the world and is present in us and is trying to manifest," according to Murphy.[16]

Alan Watts gave the first lecture at Esalen in January 1962.[32] Gia-fu Feng joined Price and Murphy,[33] along with Bob Breckenridge, Bob Nash, Alice and Jim Sellers, as the first Esalen staff members.[25] In the middle of that same year Abraham Maslow, a prominent humanistic psychologist, just happened to drive into the grounds and soon became an important figure at the institute.[34] In the fall of 1962, they published a catalog advertising workshops with such titles as "Individual and Cultural Definitions of Rationality," "The Expanding Vision" and "Drug-Induced Mysticism".[32] Their first seminar series in the fall of 1962 was "The Human Potentiality," based on a lecture by Huxley.[3]

Fritz Perls residency

In 1964, Fritz Perls began what became a five-year long residency at Esalen, leaving a lasting influence. Perls offered many Gestalt therapy seminars at the institute until he left in July 1969.[35] Jim Simkin[36] and Perls led Gestalt training courses at Esalen. Simkin started a Gestalt training center[37] on property next door that was later incorporated into Esalen's main campus.[38]

When Perls left Esalen he considered it to be "in crisis again". He saw young people without any training leading encounter groups. And he feared that charlatans would take the lead.[39] However, Grogan[who?] claims that Perls’ practice at Esalen had been ethically "questionable",[40] and according to Kripal, Perls insulted Abraham Maslow.[41]

Gestalt Practice developed

Dick Price became one of Perls' closest students. Price managed the Institute and developed his own form he called Gestalt Practice,[42] which he taught at Esalen until his death in a hiking accident in 1985.[43] Michael Murphy lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and wrote non-fiction books about Esalen-related topics, as well as several novels.[44]

Leads counterculture movement

Esalen gained popularity quickly and started to regularly publish catalogs full of programs. The facility was large enough to run multiple programs simultaneously, so Esalen created numerous resident teacher positions.[45] Murphy recruited Will Schutz, the well-known encounter group leader, to take up permanent residence at Esalen.[46] All this combined to firmly position Esalen in the nexus of the counterculture of the 1960s.[47]

The institute gained increased attention in 1966 when several magazines wrote about it. George Leonard published an article in Look magazine about the California scene which mentioned Esalen and included a picture of Murphy.[48] Time magazine published an article about Esalen in September 1967.[49] The New York Times Magazine published an article by Leo E. Litwak in late December.[50] Life also published an article about the resort.[51] These articles increased the media and the public's awareness of the institute in the U.S. and abroad. Esalen responded by holding large-scale conferences in Midwestern and East Coast cities,[52] as well as in Europe. Esalen opened a satellite center in San Francisco that offered extensive programming until it closed in the mid-1970s for financial reasons.[53]

Programs and management

Entrance to Esalen Institute

The institute continues to offer workshops about humanistic psychology, physical wellness, and spiritual awareness. The institute has also added workshops on permaculture and ecological sustainability.[54] Other workshops cover a wide range of subjects including arts, health, Gestalt, integral thought, martial arts, massage, dance, mythology, philosophical inquiry, somatics, spiritual and religious studies, ecopsychology, wilderness experience, yoga, tai chi, mindfulness practice, and meditation. The institute was closed for the first half of 2017 and forced to drastically reduce staff. They also decided to revamp their offerings upon reopening to include topics more relevant to a younger generation.[9]

Center for Theory and Research

In 1998, Esalen launched the Center for Theory and Research to initiate new areas of practice and action which foster social change and realization of the human potential.[55] It is the research and development arm of Esalen Institute.[56] As of 2016, Michael Cornwall, who previously worked in the Institutes' Schizophrenia Research Project at Agnews State Hospital, was conducting workshops titled the Alternative Views and Approaches to Psychosis Initiative at Esalen. He was inviting leaders in the field of psychosis treatment to attend the workshops.[57]

Management changes

Esalen has been making changes to respond to internal and external factors.[58][59][60] Dick Price was the key leader of the institute until his sudden death in a hiking accident in late 1985 brought about many changes in personnel and programming.[61] Steven Donovan became president of the institute,[62] and Brian Lyke served as general manager.[61] Nancy Lunney became the director of programming,[63] and Dick Price's son David Price served as general manager of Esalen beginning in the mid-1990s.[64]

The baths were destroyed in 1998 by severe weather and were rebuilt at great expense, but this caused severe institutional stress.[65] Afterward, Andy Nusbaum developed an economic plan to stabilize Esalen's finances.[66]

In 2011, the Institute commissioned the company Beyond the Leading Edge to conduct a Leadership Culture Survey to assess the quality of its leadership culture. The results were negative. The survey measured how well the leadership "builds quality relationships, fosters teamwork, collaborates, develops people, involves people in decision making and planning, and demonstrates a high level of interpersonal skill." In the "relating dimension" the survey returned a score of 18%, compared to a desired 88%. It also produced strongly dissonant scores in measures of community welfare, relating with interpersonal intelligence, clearly communicating vision, and building a sense of personal worth within the community. It ranked management as overly compliant and lacking authenticity. However, the survey found that Esalen closely matched its overall goal for customer focus.[67]

Gordon Wheeler dramatically restructured Esalen management.[68] These changes prompted Christine Stewart Price, the widow of Dick Price, to withdraw from the institute, and found an organization named the Tribal Ground Circle with the intention to preserve Dick Price's legacy.[69][70]

Early leaders and programs

Aldous Huxley

In the few years after its founding, many of the seminars[71] like "The Value of Psychotic Experience" attempted to challenge the status quo. There were even Esalen programs that questioned the movement of which Esalen itself was a part—for instance, "Spiritual and Therapeutic Tyranny: The Willingness To Submit". There were also a series of encounter groups focused on racial prejudice.[72]

Early leaders included many well-known individuals, including Ansel Adams, Gia-fu Feng, Buckminster Fuller, Timothy Leary, Robert Nadeau, Linus Pauling, Carl Rogers, Virginia Satir, B.F. Skinner, and Arnold Toynbee. Rather than merely lecturing, many leaders experimented with what Huxley called the non-verbal humanities: the education of the body, the senses, and the emotions. Their intention was to help individuals develop awareness of their present flow of experience, to express this fully and accurately, and to listen to feedback. These "experiential" workshops were particularly well attended and were influential in shaping Esalen's future course.[73]

William Schutz at Esalen, circa 1987

Staff residency

Because of Esalen's isolated location, its operational staff members have lived on site from the beginning and for many years collectively contributed to the character of the institute.[74] The community has been steeped in a form of Gestalt that pervades all aspects of daily life, including meeting structures, workplace practices, and individual language styles.[75] There is a preschool on site called the Gazebo, serving the children of staff, some program participants, and affiliated local residents.[76]

Scholars in residence

Esalen has sponsored long-term resident scholars, including notable individuals such as Gregory Bateson, Joseph Campbell, Stanislav Grof, Sam Keen, George Leonard, Fritz Perls, Ida Rolf, Virginia Satir, William Schutz, and Alan Watts.

Esalen Massage and Bodywork Association

Bodywork has always been a significant part of the Esalen experience. In the late 1990s, the "EMBA" was organized as a semi-autonomous Esalen association for the regulation of Esalen massage practitioners.[77]

Past initiatives and projects

Esalen Institute has sponsored many research initiatives, educational projects, and invitational conferences. The Big Sur facility has been used for these events, as well as other locations, including international sites.

Arts events

Esalen Institute from the air in May 1972

In 1964, Joan Baez led a workshop entitled "The New Folk Music"[78] which included a free performance. This was the first of seven "Big Sur Folk Festivals" featuring many of the era's music legends. The 1969 concert included musicians who had just come from the Woodstock Festival. This event was featured in a documentary movie, Celebration at Big Sur, which was released in 1971.

John Cage and Robert Rauschenberg performed together at Esalen. Robert Bly, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Kenneth Rexroth (who led one of the first workshops), Gary Snyder and others held poetry readings and workshops.

In 1994, President and CEO Sharon Thom[79] created an artist-in-residence program to provide artists with a two-week retreat in which to focus upon works in progress. These artists interacted with the staff, offered informal gatherings, and staged performances on the newly created dance platform. Located next to the Art Barn, the dance platform was used by Esalen teachers for dance and martial arts. The platform was later covered by a dome and renamed the Leonard Pavilion after deceased Esalen past president and board member, George Leonard.

In 1995 and 1996, Esalen hosted two arts festivals which gathered together artists, poets, musicians, photographers and performers, including artist Margot McLean, psychotherapist James Hillman, guitarist Michael Hedges and Joan Baez. All staff members were allowed to attend every class and performance that did not interfere with their schedules. Arts festivals have since become a popular yearly event at Esalen.[80]

Schizophrenia Research Project

Encouraged by Dick Price, the Schizophrenia Research Project was conducted over a three-year period at Agnews State Hospital in San Jose, California, involving 80 young males diagnosed with schizophrenia.[81] Funded in part by Esalen Institute, this program was co-sponsored by the California Department of Mental Hygiene (reorganized: CMHSA) and the National Institute of Mental Health. It explored the thesis that the health of certain patients would permanently improve if their psychotic process was not interrupted by administration of antipsychotic pharmaceutical drugs.[82] Julian Silverman was chief of research for the project. He also served as Esalen's general manager in the 1970s.[83] The Agnews double blind study was the largest first-episode psychosis research project ever conducted in the United States. It demonstrated that the young men given a placebo had a 75 percent lower re-hospitalization rate and much better outcomes than the men who received anti-psychotic medication. These results were used as justification for medication-free programs in the San Francisco Bay Area.[84] Esalen has recently[when?] begun to revive some of this interest in schizophrenia and psychosis, and hosted the R.D. Laing Symposium and workshops on compassionately responding to psychosis.[85]


Starting in 1969, in association with Viking Press, the institute published a series of 17 books about Esalen-related topics, including the first edition of Michael Murphy's novel, Golf in the Kingdom (1971).[86] Some of these books remain in print. In the mid-1980s, Esalen entered into a joint publishing arrangement with Lindisfarne Press to publish a small library of Russian philosophical and theological books.[87]

Soviet–American Exchange Program

Boris Yeltsin

In 1979, Esalen began the Soviet–American Exchange Program (later renamed: Track Two, an institute for citizen diplomacy).[88] This initiative came at a time when Cold War tensions were at their peak. The program was credited with substantial success in fostering peaceful private exchanges between citizens of the "super powers".[89] In the 1980s, Michael Murphy and his wife Dulce were instrumental in organizing the program with Soviet citizen Joseph Goldin, in order to provide a vehicle for citizen-to-citizen relations between Russians and Americans. In 1982, Esalen and Goldin pioneered the first U.S.–Soviet Space Bridge, allowing Soviet and American citizens to speak directly with one another via satellite communication. In 1988, Esalen brought Abel Aganbegyan, one of Mikhail Gorbachev's chief economic advisors, to the United States. In 1989, Esalen brought Boris Yeltsin on his first trip to the United States, although Yeltsin did not visit the Esalen facility in Big Sur. Esalen arranged meetings for Yeltsin with then President George H. W. Bush as well as many other leaders in business and government. Two former presidents of the exchange program included Jim Garrison and Jim Hickman. After Gorbachev stepped down, and effectively dissolved the Soviet Union, Garrison helped establish The State of the World Forum, with Gorbachev as its convening chairman. These successes led to other Esalen citizen diplomacy programs, including exchanges with China, an initiative to further understanding among Jews, Christians and Muslims, as well as further work on Russian-American relations.[90]

Prices and finances

2017 closure

On February 12, 2017, a number of mud and land slides closed Highway 1 in several locations to the south and north of the hot springs and caused Esalen to partially shut down.[91] On February 18, 2017, shifting earth damaged a pier supporting the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge north of Esalen and forced CalTrans to close Highway 1.[92] CalTrans determined that the bridge was damaged beyond repair and announced an accelerated project to replace the bridge by September.[93][94][95] Following closure of the bridge, Esalen was cut off, and resorted to evacuating dozens of guests by helicopter.[9] A landslide at Mud Creek south of the hot springs severely restricted vehicle access to the resort, and Esalen temporarily closed its doors. Then, on May 20, 2017, a new slide at Mud Creek closed Highway 1 for at least a year.

On June 20, Eslalen announced that it would lay off 45 staff members through at least July, leaving only about 10 percent of its staff.[9][96]

Esalen partially reopened on July 28, 2017, offering limited workshops.[97] It plans to add more seminars after the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge reopens in September 2017.

Attendance and costs

In 2012, 600 Esalen workshops were attended by more than 12,000 people. Topics ranged from sustainable business practices to hypnosis to "The Holy Fool: Crazy Wisdom From Van Gogh to Tina Fey and The Big Lebowski."[22]

As of 2015, a weekend workshop, including the program, meals, and a place for a sleeping bag in a communal area, cost a minimum of $405 per person. A couple could rent a private room for $730 per person. Week-long workshops begin at $900 and couples are charged $1,700 per person to stay in a private room.[98] In 2013, the Institute charges participants in its month-long, residential licensed massage practitioner training programs, $4910, including board and room.[99] In 1987, a weekend workshop along with a single room and meals cost $270, and a five-day workshop cost $530.[100]

Revenue and expenses

In 2013, the Institute reported revenue of $18,513,254, $13,066,407 from programs, and after expenses of $13,515,552 a net income of $4,997,702. In that year it paid CEO Patricia McEntee $152,077[101] In 2014, it reported total revenue of $15,934,586, expenses totalling $14,472,201, and net income of $1,462,385. McEntee was paid $157,839.[102]

The company spent nearly $10 million for renovations from 2014 to 2016, including $7.4 million to renovate the main lodge and add a cafe and bar. It also spent $1.8 million on a six-room guesthouse. There is only limited internet cellular service available, but Esalen is planning to make some of its workshops available to online participants.[9]

Lease terms

The annual cost of its 87-year lease for the 27 acre site[96] from the Vinnie A. Murphy Trust—which extends through 2049—was $344,704 in 2014. McEntee told the Monterey County Weekly that the cost of the lease is highly discounted, and that the terms of the lease allow the trust to re-assess the lease terms in 2017. This could potentially increase the institute's rent to market value.[103]

Past teachers

Past guest teachers include:

• Ansel Adams
• Joan Baez
• Ellen Bass
• Robert Bly
• Gregory Bateson
• Ray Bradbury
• Joseph Campbell
• Fritjof Capra
• Carlos Castaneda
• Deepak Chopra
• Phil Cousineau
• Harvey Cox
• David Darling
• Erik Davis
• Warren Farrell
• Moshe Feldenkrais
• Richard Feynman
• Matthew Fox
• Fred Frith
• Betty Fuller[104][105][106]
• Buckminster Fuller
• Spalding Gray
• Stanislav Grof
• Michael Harner
• Andrew Harvey
• John Heider[107][108][109][110]
• Paul Horn
• Chungliang Al Huang
• James Hillman
• Albert Hofmann
• Aldous Huxley
• Sam Keen
• Ken Kesey
• Paul Krassner
• R. D. Laing
• George Leonard
• Dennis Lewis
• John C. Lilly
• Amory Lovins
• Abraham Maslow
• Peter Matthiessen
• Rollo May
• Terence McKenna
• Robert Nadeau
• Claudio Naranjo
• Sara Nelson
• Babatunde Olatunji
• Dean Ornish
• Humphry Osmond
• Linus Pauling
• Fritz Perls
• J. B. Rhine
• Carl Rogers
• Ida Rolf
• Gabrielle Roth
• Jerry Rubin
• Douglas Rushkoff
• Virginia Satir
• Will Schutz
• Charlotte Selver
• B.F. Skinner
• Huston Smith
• Gary Snyder
• Susan Sontag
• David Steindl-Rast
• Paul Tillich
• Arnold J. Toynbee
• George Vithoulkas
• Alan Watts
• Robert Anton Wilson
• Andrew Weil
• Marion Woodman 

In popular culture

Cultural influence

Esalen has been cited as having played a key role in the cultural transformations of the 1960s.[111] In its beginnings as a "laboratory for new thought", it was seen by some as the headquarters of the human potential movement.[112] Its use of encounter groups, a focus on the mind-body connection, and their ongoing experimentation in personal awareness introduced many ideas to American society that later became mainstream.[3] In its early years, guest lecturers and workshop leaders included many leading thinkers, psychologists, and philosophers including Erik Erikson, Ken Kesey, Alan Watts, John Lilly, Buckminster Fuller, Aldous Huxley, Linus Pauling, Fritz Perl, Joseph Campbell, Robert Bly and Carl Rogers.[113]

Esalen has also been the subject of some criticism and controversy.[114] The Economist wrote, "For many others in America and around the world, Esalen stands more vaguely for that metaphorical point where ‘East meets West’ and is transformed into something uniquely and mystically American or New Agey. And for a great many others yet, Esalen is simply that notorious bagno-bordello where people had sex and got high throughout the 1960s and 1970s before coming home talking psychobabble and dangling crystals."[6][115][116][117]

The Human Potential Movement was criticized for espousing an ethic that the inner-self should be freely expressed in order to reach a person's true potential. Some people saw this ethic as an aspect of Esalen's culture. The historian Christopher Lasch claimed that humanistic techniques encourage narcissistic, spiritual materialistic or self-obsessive thoughts and behaviors.[118] In 1990 a graffiti artist spray painted "Jive shit for rich white folk" on the entrance to Esalen,[74] highlighting class and race issues. Some thought that this was a regression of progress away from true spiritual growth.[74] Michel Houellebecq's Atomised traces the New Age movement's influence on the novel's protagonists to older generations' chance meetings at Esalen.

Popular media


In the comedy-drama Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969), sophisticated Los Angeles residents Bob (played by Robert Culp) and Carol Sanders (Natalie Wood) spend a weekend of emotional honesty at an Esalen-style retreat,[119] after which they return to their life determined to embrace free love and complete openness.

In the film What About Bob? (1991), Bill Murray's character mentions that he hasn't felt this good since Esalen, upon his arrival at his psychiatrist's vacation home.


In Edward St Aubyn's comic novel On the Edge (1998), Esalen features prominently.[citation needed]

In Thomas Pynchon's novel Inherent Vice (2009) and Paul Thomas Anderson's eponymous 2014 film adaptation, the Chryskylodon Institute is modeled after Esalen.[120]

In Norman Rush's novel Mating (1992), Esalen is referred to as a "twit factory." [121]


The BBC television series, The Century of the Self (2002), is critical of the Human Potentials Movement and includes video segments recorded at Esalen.[122]

The Mad Men show finale, "Person to Person" (airdate May 17, 2015), features Don and Stephanie staying at an Esalen-like coastline retreat in the year 1970.[123]

In True Detective season 2, the Panticapaeum Institute is largely based on the Esalen Institute.[124]

In You season 1, Beck's friends tell Joe that Peach had gone to "Esalen" and Beck to a writers' retreat.


On July 10, 1968 The Beatles guitarist George Harrison was given sitar lessons at Esalen by Ravi Shankar for the movie Raga (film).[125]



1. "Contact Us".
2. Goldman 2012, pp. 2–
3. Misiroglu, Gina, ed. (2009). American Countercultures: An Encyclopedia of Nonconformists, Alternative Lifestyles, and Radical Ideas in U.S. History. Armonk, N.Y.: Sharpe Reference. pp. 238–239. ISBN 978-0765680600. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
4. Kripal, Jeffrey J. (15 April 2007). Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226453699 – via Google Books.
5. Anderson 2004, p. 64
6. "Where 'California' bubbled up". The Economist. 19 December 2007.
7. "Esalen Institute Launches Campus Renewal with Special Gift for Most Significant Renovation in 52-year History". May 15, 2015. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
8. Kripal 2007
9. Krieger, Lisa M. (21 July 2017). "Esalen's survival story: A tale of transformation". The Mercury News. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
10. Kripal 2007, p. 30
11. Documentation provided by Steven Harper of radiocarbon dating, performed by members of the Sonoma State University Cultural Resources Faculty, that produced the following results: 4,630 +/- 100 years BP (before present). Harper notes confirmation by similar tests from Big Creek (4–5 miles south of Esalen Institute), which produced: 6,400 years BP, as cited in The Prehistory of Big Creek by Terry Jones (2000).
12. "Thomas B Slate, Patent #CACAAA-092028". The Land Patents. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
13. Kripal 2007, p. 32
14. Kripal 2007, p. 95
15. Goldman 2012, p. 56
16. Abraham, Kera; Andersin, Mark C. "One Half-Century at Esalen Institute". Monterey County Weekly. Monterey County Weekly. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
17. Kripal 2007, p. 60
18. Kripal 2007, p. 47 et seq
19. "Esalen Legacy - Dick Price".
20. Anderson 2004, p. 48
21. "Dick Price: An Interview". Esalen. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
22. Hockaday, Peter (May 18, 2015). "Hippies, nudity, and Don Draper: Inside Big Sur's Esalen Institute featured in 'Mad Men'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
23. "John Andrew Murphy", United States Census, 1940; Salinas, California; roll T627_267, page 19A,, enumeration district 27–5, Family History film 715. Retrieved on August 10, 2016.
24. "Michigan Births and Christenings, 1775–1995". Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch. 2009–2010.Missing or empty |url= (help)
25. Kripal 2007, p. 98
26. Kripal & Shuck 2005, p. 148
27. Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 960. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.
28. Goldman 2012, p. 19
29. Kripal 2007, p. 91
30. The Aquarian Conspiracy
31. The Mother of All Webs Who Gotcha! Gyeorgos C. Hatonn. page 211
32. Anderson 2004, p. 65
33. Anderson 2004, p. 63
34. Kripal & Shuck 2005, p. 2
35. Perls 1992
36. Kripal 2007, p. 175
37. Fadul 2014, p. 204 Encyclopedia of Theory & Practice in Psychotherapy & Counseling
38. Leyde, Tom (March 20, 2015). "Esalen Institute to get a face lift". Santa Cruz Sentinel : Architecture, March 20, 2015. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
39. Perls 1992, p. 249
40. Grogan 2008, p. 196
41. Kripal 2007, p. 157
42. Callahan 2014
43. The Only Way Out Is In: The Life Of Richard Price Barclay James Erickson, in Kripal & Shuck 2005
44. Kripal 2007, pp. 274, 291–2
45. Anderson 2004, p. 151
46. Anderson 2004, p. 156
47. William Irwin Thompson, "Going Beyond it at Big Sur" in At the Edge of History: Speculations on the Transformation of Culture, p. 27-66, Harper & Row (1971) ISBN 978-0686675709
48. Kripal 2007, p. 207
49. Anderson 2004, p. 160
50. Litwak, Leo E. (December 31, 1967). "A Trip to Esalen Institute – Joy Is the Prize". The New York Times Magazine. pp. 119 et seq.
51. Anderson 2004, p. 172
52. Anderson 2004, p. 219
53. Kripal 2007, p. 181 et seq
54. "The Esalen Farm & Garden: Cultivating Soil, Plants and People".
55. Esalen Center for Theory and Research.
56. Kripal 2007, p. 439
57. Alternative Views and Approaches to Psychosis, November 2012. An Esalen Center For Theory and Research Initiative at Esalen Institute.
58. Anderson 2004, pp. 147ff
59. Goldman 2012, p. 44
60. Kripal 2007, p. 463
61. Kripal 2007, p. 389
62. Goldman 2012, p. 65
63. Kripal 2007, p. 376
64. Goldman 2012, pp. 107ff
65. Kripal 2007, p. 436
66. Kripal 2007, p. 437
67. "Leadership Culture Survey Online Summary". Esalen Leadership. Archived from the original on 2012-07-29. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
68. Goldman 2012, p. 44
69. Goldman 2012, p. 65
70. "Tribal Ground Circle". Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
71. Kripal 2007, pp. 101 et seq
72. Kripal 2007, pp. 182 et seq
73. Kripal 2007, pp. 104
74. Kripal 2007, p. 401
75. Kripal 2007, p. 172
76. "Gazebo School Park Early Childhood Program".
77. Goldman 2012, p. 67
78. Anderson 2004, p. 102
79. Kripal 2007, p. 434
80. "EsalenArtsFestival2011". Archived from the original on 2013-02-26.
81. Anderson 2004, pp. 217–219
82. "Rappaport, M. "Are There Schizophrenics for Whom Drugs May be Unnecessary or Contraindicated?" International Pharmacopsychiatry 13 (1978) p. 100 et seq" (PDF).
83. "Julian Silverman".
84. Cornwall 2002, p. 4
85. "January workshops".[dead link]
86. Kripal 2007, p. 527
87. Kripal 2007, p. 320
88. "Track II (Citizen) Diplomacy" at The Beyond Intractability Knowledge Base Project.
89. Track Two, An Institute For Citizen Diplomacy Archived 2011-10-26 at the Wayback Machine.
90. Esalen CTR: Accomplishments in Citizen Diplomacy.
91. "Esalen's Temporary Closure: Frequently Asked Questions | Esalen". Retrieved 20 June2017.
92. Johnson, Lizzie (February 25, 2017). "Bridge failure severs Big Sur's ties to outside world". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
93. "News, Breaking News and More: Monterey County Herald". Archived from the original on 2017-02-23. Retrieved 2017-06-20.
94. Marino, Pam. "UPDATE: Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge on Highway 1 closed to traffic until further notice".
95. Pogash, Carol (21 February 2017). "Big Sur ravaged by floods, mudslides and storms: 'Paradise can turn on you'". The Guardian.
96. Lindt, John. "Esalen Institute in Big Sur will lay off 45 employees". The Tribune. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
97. Mahoney, Erika. "Big Sur's Esalen Reopens After Record Long Closure". NPR 90.3 KAZU. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
98. SHAPIRO, MICHAEL (December 31, 2015). "Getaways: Esalen Institute in Big Sur is a place to learn, grow and heal". Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
99. "Esalen Massage Practitioner Training Course Catalog" (PDF). Retrieved 18 October 2016.
100. Kahn, Alice (December 6, 1987). "Ways to 'Do' Esalen". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 18,2016.
101. "2013 IRS Form 990" (PDF). Retrieved October 18, 2016.
102. "2014 IRS Form 990" (PDF). Retrieved October 18, 2016.
103. "Esalen's a nonprofit, but a visit doesn't come cheap". October 4, 2012. Retrieved October 18,2014.
104. Anderson 2004, pp. 159, 178, 179, 207, 220, 234, 253, 320
105. Kripal 2007, p. 490
106. Wildflower, Leni. The Hidden History Of Coaching, Open University Press (2013) p. 17
107. Kripal 2007, p. 547 [listing numerous citations]
108. Anderson 2004, p. 159
109. Heider, John The Tao of Leadership Green Dragon Publishing (2005)
110. "John Heider".
111. "40 years later, Woodstock's spiritual vibes still resonate", Houston Chronicle. August 6, 2009.
112. Martin, Douglas (January 19, 2010). "George Leonard, 86, voice of '60s counterculture – The Boston Globe". Retrieved 20 October 2016.
113. Ollivier, Debra, ed. (25 May 2012). "Esalen: 50 Years Ago, A 'Crazy Place On A Godforsaken Road' Launched The New Age Movement". The Huffington Post. Huffington Post. Retrieved 20 October2016.
114. "Esalen's Identity Crisis", Los Angeles Times Magazine. September 5, 2004.
115. "Like countless spiritual pilgrims, Esalen Institute faces its own midlife crisis".
116. Norimitsu Onishi (August 19, 2012). "Celebrating the Past, and Debating the Future". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
117. Kera Abraham and Mark Anderson. "One Half-Century at Esalen Institute" Archived 2013-01-29 at Monterey County Weekly. October 4, 2012.
118. Lasch 1978, p. 13
119. Anderson 2004, p. 140
120. "The Southern California Landscape of Inherent Vice". Los Angeles Magazine. 12 December 2014.
121. Rush, Norman. (1992). Mating (1st Vintage International ed.). New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 067973709X. OCLC 25747644.
122. The Century of the Self]. YouTube segments. 2002.
123. Dean, Will (17 May 2015). "Mad Men recap: season seven, episode 14 – Person to Person (warning: spoilers)". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
124. Gallagher, Caitlin. "Is The Panticapaeum Institute From 'True Detective' A Real Place? Ani's Father's Retreat Resembles An Actual Facility". Bustle. Retrieved October 3, 2015. ...there is one real place that Vulture pointed out might have inspired both Mad Men and True Detective — and that's the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California.
125. George Harrison & Ravi Shankar - Raga - Big Sur, CA, US (10.06.1968)]. YouTube segments. 1968.


• Anderson, Walter Truett (2004) [1983]. The Upstart Spring: Esalen and the Human Potential Movement: The First Twenty Years. Addison Wesley Publishing Company. ISBN 0-595-30735-3.
• Callahan, John F., ed. (2014). Manual of Gestalt Practice in the Tradition of Dick Price. The Gestalt Legacy Project. ISBN 978-1-3049-6247-8.
• Cornwall, Michael W. (2002). Alternative Treatment of Psychosis, A Dissertation presented at the California Institute of Integral Studies (PDF). San Francisco, CA.
• Fadul, Jose A., ed. (2014). Encyclopedia of Theory & Practice in Psychotherapy & Counseling. Lulu Press. ISBN 9781312078369.
• Goldman, Marion S. (2012). The American Soul Rush: Esalen and the Rise of Spiritual Privilege. New York University Press. ISBN 978-0-8147-3287-8 – via Project Muse.
• Grogan, Jessica Lynn (2008). A Cultural History of the Humanistic Psychology Movement (PDF). The University of Texas at Austin. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-10-04. Retrieved 2015-10-02.
• Kripal, Jeffrey (2007). Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-45369-9.
• Kripal, Jeffrey; Shuck, Glenn W., eds. (2005). On The Edge Of The Future: Esalen And The Evolution Of American Culture. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-21759-8.
• Lasch, C. (1978). The Culture of Narcissism. New York: W.W. Norton.
• Perls, Frederick (1992). In and Out of the Garbage Pail. Real People Press [1969]; Gestalt Journal Press. ISBN 978-0-939266-17-3.

Further reading

• Callahan, John F., ed. (2014). The Life and Practice of Richard Price. The Gestalt Legacy Project. ISBN 978-1-312-06228-3.
• Lattin, Don (2004). Following Our Bliss : How the Spiritual Ideals of the Sixties Shape Our Lives Today. HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-009394-3.
• Norman, Jeff (2004). Big Sur. Images of America Series. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-2913-3.
• Miller, Stuart (1971). Hot Springs: The True Adventures of the First New York Jewish Literary Intellectual in the Human-Potential Movement. New York: Viking Press. ISBN 0-226-45369-3.
• Murphy, Michael (1971). Golf in the Kingdom. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-019549-1.
• Murphy, Michael (1992). The Future of the Body. Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam. ISBN 0-14-019549-1.

External links

• Esalen Institute website
• Notes on Gestalt Practice
• "In Murphy's Kingdom" article by Jackie Krentzman
• "Huxley on Huxley". Dir. Mary Ann Braubach. Cinedigm, 2010. DVD. Archived from the original on 2014-11-08. Retrieved 2013-08-05.
• "Totally on Fire: The Experience of Founding Esalen" from Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion by Jeff Kripal
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:12 pm

Leidos [Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/27/20


In the 1970's, a major psi research effort began at the California think-tank, SRI International, in Menlo Park, California, USA (formerly called Stanford Research Institute). The program was established run by (The Cognitive Sciences Laboratory of a similar organization). (The Palo Alto based in the Cognitive Sciences Laboratory of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). link> Harold Puthoff, later Russell Targ joined the program, and then Edwin May. The SRI program concentrated on remote viewing research (and coined the term). May took over the program in 1985 when Puthoff left for another position. When May left SRI International in 1989, he reestablished a similar psi research program within the international science-for-hire organization called SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation), located in Palo Alto, California, USA. That program is still engaged in research and is best known for using sophisticated technologies, like magnetoencephalographs (MEG), to study brain functioning while individuals perform psi tasks, and theoretical models of micros-PK. The laboratory also develops theoretical models of __-PIC and approaches remote viewing research more than the "physicalist" perspective.

At about the same time that the SRI program began, another psi research program was established by Montague Ullman and Stanley Krippner at the Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, USA. (No -- much earlier) This team, which later included Charles Honorton, is best known for their work in dream telepathy. Just as this program was winding down in 1979, Charles Honorton opened a new lab, called the Psychophysical Research Laboratories, in Princeton, New Jersey, USA. Honorton's lab, which continued operating until 1989, was best known for research on telepathy in the ganzfeld, micro-PK tests, and meta-analytic work.

Also in 1979, another psi research program began in Princeton, New Jersey, within the School of Engineering at Princeton University. This was founded by Robert Jahn, then the Dean of the School of Engineering. The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) lab is still conducting research, and is best known for its massive databases on micro-PK tests, PK tests involving other physical systems, its "precognitive remote perception" experiments, and its theoretical work attempting to link metaphors of quantum mechanics to psi functioning.

Marilyn: please write a paragraph on the Mind Science Foundation, along with dates of operation. Could you write a similar paragraph about SURF too please?

Dick: please write about the University of Utrecht and now University of Amsterdam

Deborah: please write about Edinburgh University, unless I should steal this text from the Koestler Chair EU Web site?

I'll add something about my (Dean's) program at UNLV on the last wrap.

-- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Parapsychology, DRAFT 3, by, 1991/1992?, Working notes -- Ed May 6/6/95, In "C2 May -- SAIC" folder, Box D, Approved For Release 2003/09/16: CIA-RDP96-00791R000200190055-7

Leidos Holdings, Inc.
Traded as
S&P 500 component
ISIN US5253271028 Edit this on Wikidata
Industry National security, defense, healthcare, engineering
Science Applications Incorporated (SAI)
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)
Founded June 1969; 51 years ago
La Jolla, San Diego, California, U.S.
McLean, Virginia, U.S.
Founder J. Robert "Bob" Beyster
Headquarters Reston, Virginia, U.S.
Key people
Roger Krone (CEO)
Revenue Increase US$10.17 billion[1] (2017)
Operating income
Increase US$559 million[1] (2017)
Net income
Increase US$364 million[1] (2017)
Number of employees
32,000[1] (2017)
Footnotes / references

Leidos, formerly known as Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC),[6] is an American defense, aviation, information technology, and biomedical research company headquartered in Reston, Virginia, that provides scientific, engineering, systems integration, and technical services. Leidos works extensively with the United States Department of Defense (4th largest DoD contractor FY2012), the United States Department of Homeland Security, and the United States Intelligence Community, including the NSA, as well as other U.S. government civil agencies and selected commercial markets.



SAIC company logo (2010)

The company was founded by J. Robert "Bob" Beyster in 1969 in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, California, as Science Applications Incorporated (SAI).[7][8] Beyster, a former scientist for the Westinghouse Atomic Power Division,[9] and Los Alamos National Laboratory[10] who became the chairman of the Accelerator Physics Department of General Atomics in 1957,[11] raised the money to start SAI by selling stock he had received from General Atomics, combined with funds raised from the early employees who bought stock in the young enterprise.[12]

Initially the company's focus was on projects for the U.S. government related to nuclear power and weapons effects study programs. The company was renamed Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) as it expanded its operations. Major projects during Beyster's tenure included work on radiation therapy for the Los Alamos National Laboratory; technical support and management assistance to the development of the cruise missile in the 1970s; the cleanups of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station after its major accident, and of the contaminated community of Love Canal; design and performance evaluation of the Stars & Stripes 87, the winning ship for the 1987 America's Cup; and the design of the first luggage inspection machine to pass new Federal Aviation Administration tests following the terrorist bombing of Pan American flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.[13]

Contrary to traditional business models, Beyster originally designed SAIC as an employee-owned company.[7][8] This shared ownership was accompanied by shared responsibility and freedom in business development, and allowed SAIC to attract and retain highly educated and motivated employees that helped the company to grow and diversify. After Beyster's retirement in 2003, SAIC conducted an initial public offering of common stock on October 17, 2006.[14] The offering of 86,250,000 shares of common stock was priced at $15.00 per share. The underwriters, Bear Stearns and Morgan Stanley, exercised overallotment options, resulting in 11.25 million shares. The IPO raised US$1.245B.[14] Even then, employee shares retained a privileged status, having ten times the voting power per share over common stock.[15]

In September 2009 SAIC relocated its corporate headquarters to their existing facilities in Tysons Corner in unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, near McLean.[16]

In 2012 SAIC was ordered to pay $550 million to the City of New York for overbilling the city over a period of seven years on the CityTime contract.[17] In 2014 Gerard Denault, SAIC's CityTime program manager, and his government contact were sentenced to 20 years in prison for fraud and bribery related to that contract.[18]

As Leidos

Leidos employees in 2017 Capital Pride in Washington, D.C.

In August 2012, SAIC announced its plans to split into two publicly traded companies.[19][20] The company spun off about a third of its business, forming an approximately $4 billion-per-year service company focused on government services, including systems engineering, technical assistance, financial analysis, and program office support. The remaining part became a $7 billion-per-year IT company specializing in technology for the national security, health, and engineering sectors. The smaller company was led by Tony Moraco, who beforehand was leading SAIC's Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance group, and the bigger one was led by John P. Jumper.[21] The split has allowed both companies to pursue more business, which it could not pursue as a single company which would have resulted in conflicts of interest.[22] In February 2013, it was announced that the smaller spin-off company would get the name "Science Applications International Corporation" and stay in the current headquarters, while the larger company would change its name to Leidos,[23] (created by clipping the word kaleidoscope) and would move its headquarters to Reston.[24] The split was structured in a way that SAIC changed its name to Leidos, then spun off the new SAIC as a separate publicly traded company. However, Leidos is the legal successor of the original SAIC and retains SAIC's pre-2013 stock price and corporate filing history.[25]

On September 27, 2013, SAIC changed its name to Leidos and spun off a new and independent $4 billion government services and information technology company which retained the Science Applications International Corporation name; Leidos is the direct successor to the original SAIC.[2][3] Before the split, Leidos employed 39,600 employees and reported $11.17 billion in revenue and $525 million net income for its fiscal year ended January 31, 2013,[6] making it number 240[26] on the Fortune 500 list. In 2014, Leidos reported US$5.06 billion in revenue.[3]

In August 2016, the deal to merge with the entirety of Lockheed Martin's Information Systems & Global Solutions (IS&GS) business came to a close, more than doubling the size of Leidos and its portfolio, and positioning the company as the global defense industry's largest enterprise in the federal technology sector.[27] As of February 2019, the company has 32,000 employees.[1] In 2018, Leidos reported US$10.19 billion in revenue. It ranked 311 on the 2019 Fortune 500 list.[28]

In January 2020, Leidos purchased defense contractor Dynetics for approximately $1.65 billion.[29][30][31]


Leidos has four central divisions: Civil, Health, Advanced Solutions, and Defense & Intelligence. The Civil Division focuses on integrating aviation systems, securing transportation measures, modernizing IT infrastructure, and engineering energy efficiently. The Health Division focuses on optimizing medical enterprises, securing private medical data, and improving collection and data entry methods. The Advanced Solutions Division is centered around data analysis, integrating advanced defense and intelligence systems, and increasing surveillance and reconnaissance efficiency. The Defense & Intelligence Division focuses on providing air service systems, geospatial analysis, cybersecurity, intelligence analysis, and supporting operations efforts.[32]


CEO: Roger Krone[33][34]

After more than 30 years of Beyster's leadership, Kenneth C. Dahlberg was named the CEO of SAIC in November 2003.[35] In May 2005, the company changed its external tagline from An Employee-Owned Company to From Science to Solutions.

The third CEO was Walt Havenstein, who pushed for tighter integration of the company's historically autonomous divisions, which led to lower profit and revenue. The strategy was reversed by the fourth CEO, retired Air Force general John P. Jumper, appointed in 2012.[36] On July 1, 2014, Leidos announced that Roger Krone would become its CEO on July 14, 2014.[33] As of 2019, Krone is the Chairman and CEO of Leidos.[34]


In January 2018, Leidos announced it would move within Reston, VA, a quarter mile from 11951 Freedom Drive to 1750 Presidents Street. The new building was completed in early 2020.[37][38][39]


The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) transitioned a Remote Viewing Program to SAIC in 1991 which was renamed Stargate Project.

Who is Edwin May?

Edwin C. May, Ph.D. is internationally known for his work in parapsychology. Having spent the first part of his research career in his chosen Ph.D.-degreed discipline, Low Energy, Experimental Nuclear Physics, he became interested in serious parapsychology in 1971. At that time, he was peripherally involved in a psychokinesis (i.e. putative mind over matter) experiment that was being conducted informally in the physics department at the University of California at Davis. Starting in August 1974, Dr. May spent nearly a year in India researching so-called psychic phenomena with Yogis and other Masters. In 1975, he returned to the States and worked for eight months with Charles Honorton at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. It was there where he was introduced to formal research parapsychology. Beginning in 1976, Dr. May joined the on-going, U.S. Government-sponsored work at SRI International (formerly called Stanford Research Institute). In 1985, he inherited the program directorship of what was now called the Cognitive Sciences Program. Dr. May shifted that program to Science Applications International Corporation in 1991. Dr. May’s association with government-sponsored parapsychology research ended in 1995, when the program, now called STAR GATE, was closed.

Dr. May has managed complex, interdisciplinary research projects for the US federal government since 1985. He presided over 70% of the funding ($20M+) and 85% of the data collection for the government’s 22-year involvement in parapsychological research. His responsibilities included fund raising, personnel management, project administration and planning, and he was the guiding force for the technical research effort. Currently, Dr. May is the Executive Director of the Cognitive Sciences Laboratory, which now resides within the Laboratories for Fundamental Research.

He accumulated over 12 years experience in experimental nuclear physics research, which included the study of nuclear reaction mechanism and nuclear structure. Dr. May’s accelerator experience includes a variety of tandem Van de Graaff generators and cyclotrons operating under 50 million electron volts. Other specialize experience includes four years of ?-ray spectroscopy, one year of trace-element analysis (x-ray, and a-particle techniques), numerical analysis, Monte Carlo techniques, digital signal processing, and cardiac blood flow research. In addition, he has conducted physiology research through the careful investigation of the efficacy of biofeedback in a clinical setting.

Dr. May is fluent in a variety of 3-GL and 4-GL computer languages including C, FORTRAN, IDL, Visual Basic, various machine codes, and SQL.

Dr. May’s eclectic background has provided him with significant expertise in a variety of seemingly unrelated disciplines; thus, he is ideally suited and experienced to direct interdisciplinary research. His Dissertation was “Nuclear Reaction Studies via the (p,pn) Reaction on Light Nuclei and the (d,pn) Reaction on Medium to Heavy Nuclei.” B. L. Cohen, advisor. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA (1968). He is the author or co-author of a total of 130 reports: 16 papers in experimental nuclear physics: 30 papers presented at technical conferences on anomalous cognition; 19 abstracts presented at professional conferences on physics; 79 technical or administrative reports to various clients; and 14 miscellaneous reports and proposals. The Parapsychological Association, an affiliate member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, granted him the Outstanding Achievement Award for his contribution for research excellence. He was President, The Parapsychological Association for 1997.

For more detailed information on Stargate, go to Cognitive Sciences Laboratory website.

Further Reading:

The American Institutes for Research Review of the Department of Defense's STAR GATE Program: A Commentary by Edwin May

May, E. C., Utts, J. M., Humphrey, B. S., Luke, W. L. W., Frivold, T. J., and Trask, V. V. (1990). Advances in Remote-Viewing Analysis. Journal of Parapsychology, 54, 193-228.

May, E. C. and Vilenskaya, L. (1992). Overview of Current Parapsychology Research in the Former Soviet Union. Subtle Energies, 3, No. 3, 45-67.

May, E. C., Spottiswoode, S. J. P., and James, C. L. (1994). Managing the Target-Pool Bandwidth: Possible Noise Reduction for Anomalous Cognition Experiments. Journal of Parapsychology, 58, 303-313.

May, E. C., Spottiswoode, S. J. P. and James, C. L. (1994). Shannon Entropy: A Possible Intrinsic Target Property. Journal of Parapsychology, 58, 384-401.

-- History of the PA Presidency, by

In March 2001 SAIC defined the concept for the NSA Trailblazer Project. In 2002, NSA contracted SAIC for $280 million to produce a "technology demonstration platform" for the agency's project, a "Digital Network Intelligence" system to analyze data carried on computer networks. Other project participants included Boeing, Computer Sciences Corporation, and Booz Allen Hamilton.[40] According to science news site, Trailblazer was a continuation of the earlier ThinThread program.[41] In 2005, NSA director Michael Hayden told a Senate hearing that the Trailblazer program was several hundred million dollars over budget and years behind schedule.[42]

In fiscal year 2003, SAIC did more than $2.6 billion in business with the United States Department of Defense, making it the ninth-largest defense contractor in the United States. Other large contracts included a bid for information technology for the 2004 Olympics in Greece.[43]

From 2001 to 2005, SAIC was the primary contractor for the FBI's unsuccessful Virtual Case File project.[44]

During fiscal year 2012 (latest figure available), SAIC had more than doubled its business with the DoD to $5,988,489,000, and was the 4th-largest defense contractor on the annual list of the top 100.[45] Leidos ranked 292 on the 2017 Fortune 500 list.[28]


• Dynetics, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Leidos since Jan 2020.[46]
• Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc., formerly SAIC - Frederick, a wholly owned subsidiary of Leidos manages Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research.[47]
• MEDPROTECT, LLC supports US government health-payer organizations[47]
• Reveal, develops dual-energy X-ray computed tomography systems for explosives-detection at airports and similar facilities[48]
• CloudShield Technologies a wholly owned subsidiary, specializing in cyber-security
• Varec, Inc., liquid petroleum asset management company
• Leidos Health
• Leidos Canada, formerly SAIC Canada, wholly owned subsidiary, works with Canadian government.[47]
• Leidos Australia (Leidos Pty Ltd), wholly owned subsidiary, specializing in document technologies and cyber-security.[47] Produces TeraText software.
• Leidos UK (Leidos Innovations UK Ltd, Leidos Europe Ltd, Leidos Supply Ltd & Leidos Ltd), wholly owned subsidiary, specializing in managed IT Services, developing of bespoke products. Produces, supports & maintains the Chroma Airport Suite, also responsible for the MOD's Supply Chain.
• Leidos Engineering, LLC, formerly SAIC Energy, Environment & Infrastructure LLC, assembles the legacy of engineering capabilities of Benham Investment Holdings, LLC, R. W. Beck Group, Inc.,[49] and Patrick Energy Services.
• QTC Management, Inc., acquired by merging with Lockheed Martin IS&GS.
• Systems Made Simple (SMS), acquired by merging with Lockheed Martin IS&GS.

Former subsidiaries

AMSEC LLC, a business partnership between SAIC and Northrop Grumman subsidiary Newport News Shipbuilding divested on July 13, 2007. Network Solutions was acquired by SAIC in 1995,[50] and subsequently was acquired by VeriSign, Inc. for $21 billion.[51]Leidos Cyber, Inc., formerly Lockheed Martin Industrial Defender, acquired by merging with Lockheed Martin IS&GS, was sold to Capgemini in 2018.[52]



Then-SAIC had as part of its management and on its board of directors, many well-known ex-government personnel including Melvin Laird, Secretary of Defense in the Nixon administration; William Perry, Secretary of Defense for Bill Clinton; John M. Deutch, President Clinton's CIA Director; Admiral Bobby Ray Inman who served in various capacities in the NSA and CIA for the Ford, Carter and Reagan administrations; and David Kay who led the search for weapons of mass destruction after the 1991 Gulf War and served under the Bush Administration after the 2003 Iraq invasion. In 2012, 26 out of 35 SAIC Inc. lobbyists previously held government jobs.[53][54]

In June 2001 the FBI paid SAIC $122 million to create a Virtual Case File (VCF) software system to speed up the sharing of information among agents. But the FBI abandoned VCF when it failed to function adequately. Robert Mueller, FBI Director, testified to a congressional committee, "When SAIC delivered the first product in December 2003 we immediately identified a number of deficiencies – 17 at the outset. That soon cascaded to 50 or more and ultimately to 400 problems with that software ... We were indeed disappointed."[55]

In 2005, then-SAIC executive vice president Arnold L. Punaro claimed that the company had "fully conformed to the contract we have and gave the taxpayers real value for their money." He blamed the FBI for the initial problems, saying the agency had a parade of program managers and demanded too many design changes. He stated that during 15 months that SAIC worked on the program, 19 different government managers were involved and 36 contract modifications were ordered.[56] "There were an average of 1.3 changes every day from the FBI, for a total of 399 changes during the period," Punaro said.[57]

In 2011–2012, then-SAIC was among the 8 top contributors to federal candidates, parties, and outside groups with $1,209,611 during the 2011–2012 election cycle according to information from the Federal Election Commission. The top candidate recipient was Barack Obama.[58]

As Leidos

In a heavily redacted report dated January 3, 2018, the Inspector General for the Department of Defense determined that a supervisor at Leidos made “inappropriate sexual and racial comments to” a female contractor, and that when she complained of a hostile work environment, Leidos retaliated by excluding her from further work on an additional contract.[59] The report found that Leidos's claim that the contract employee “exhibited poor performance throughout her employment" lacked supporting evidence. It recommended that U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis “consider appropriate action against Leidos” such as “compensatory damages, including back pay, employee benefits and other terms and conditions of employment” that the contractor would have received under the additional contract.

See also

·         CIA
·         Top 100 US Federal Contractors


1.        "Leidos Holdings, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2017 Results" (PDF). February 28, 2018.
2.      Aitoro, Jill R. (September 27, 2013). "What to expect from Leidos and SAIC when they start trading Sept. 30". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved September 29, 2013.
3.      Aitoro, Jill R. (September 27, 2013). "Exclusive: John Jumper explains why the Leidos-SAIC split had to happen". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
4.       "". Retrieved September 29, 2013.
5.       "SAIC, Inc.'s Board of Directors Approves Spin-Off of its Services Business". September 9, 2013. Retrieved September 29, 2013.
6.       Science Applications International Corporation. "Fiscal Year 2013 annual report on Form 10-K"(PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 2, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
7.       Dr. J. Robert Beyster with Peter Economy, The SAIC Solution: How We Built an $8 Billion Employee-Owned Technology Company, John Wiley & Sons (2007) p.xiii
8.       Glass, Jon W. (April 3, 2007). "SAIC creator's book touts employee ownership". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved November 27, 2014. Beyster, 82, retired as SAIC's chairman in July 2004. A nuclear physicist by training and a self-described "evangelist" for employee-owned companies, Beyster said he wrote the book to provide entrepreneurs and business executives a model. He wrote it with Peter Economy, an author or co-author of several business books.
9.       "SAIC, Leidos founder dead at 90". Federal News Network. December 23, 2014.
10.      report, Daily Transcript staff (December 23, 2014). "SAIC founder J. Robert Beyster dies at age 90". The Daily Transcript.
11.      "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 23, 2014. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
12.      "SAIC founder J. Robert Beyster dies". San Diego Union-Tribune. December 23, 2014.
13.      "Our History". Leidos. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
14.   SAIC - News & Media - "SAIC, Inc. Announces Closing of Initial Public Offering" ArchivedOctober 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on August 17, 2013.
15.      Bigelow, Bruce V (September 2, 2005). "Long owned by employees, SAIC says it's going public". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
16.      "SAIC Moves Corporate Headquarters to McLean, Virginia" Archived October 1, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
17.      Paul McDougall (March 15, 2012). "SAIC Pays $500 Million In Record Settlement With NYC". InformationWeek. Retrieved September 25, 2013.
18.      Calder, Rich (April 29, 2014). "CityTime head, accomplices sentenced to 20 years in prison". New York Post. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
19.      Censer, Marjorie (August 30, 2012). "SAIC to split into two public companies". Washington Post. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
20.      "SAIC, Inc. (SAI) to Spin Off Services Business". September 9, 2013. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
21.      Censer, Marjorie (November 5, 2012). "When SAIC splits, Jumper and Moraco will head companies". Washington Post. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
22.      Censer, Marjorie (March 3, 2013). "SAIC to name technology business Leidos". Washington Post. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
23.      Censer, Marjorie (February 25, 2013). "SAIC to name solutions business Leidos". Washington Post. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
24.      SAIC (August 12, 2013). "Leidos Headquarters To Be In Reston, VA" (Press release). PR Newswire. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
25.      SEC Edgar database
26.      SAIC. "Industry Rankings". Archived from the original on August 2, 2013. Retrieved August 9,2013.
27.      "Leidos Deal Closes, Spawning Vast Solutions Enterprise". Retrieved August 23, 2016.
28.      "Leidos Holdings". Fortune.
29.      "Leidos completes acquisition of Dynetics, expanding company's portfolio with new offerings and technical capabilities" (Press release). Leidos. January 31, 2020. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
30.      Thompson, Loren. "Leidos Discovers Its Business Model Adapts Surprisingly Well To Coronavirus". Forbes. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
31.      Pound, Jesse (March 7, 2020). "Analysts say the coronavirus outbreak won't hurt the stock that Stifel calls 'The Terminator'". CNBC. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
32.      "Defense & Intelligence". Leidos. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
33.      "Leidos Announces Roger A. Krone As CEO". July 1, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
34.      "Leadership". Retrieved February 13, 2019.
35.      "SAIC Names Dahlberg New CEO". Wall Street Journal. October 7, 2003. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
36.      Censer, Marjorie (August 30, 2012). "SAIC to split into two public companies". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
37.      "Leidos Announces Move to New Headquarters Facility in Reston Town Center". Leidos Holdings, Inc. January 30, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
38.      Sernovitz, Daniel J. (January 30, 2018). "Leidos to merge workforces into new headquarters space". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
39.      Waseem, Fatimah (April 30, 2020). "Boston Properties Reports Strong Leasing Activity Despite COVID-19". Reston Now. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
40.      Patience Wait (October 21, 2002). "SAIC team gets demonstration phase of Trailblazer". Washington Technology. Archived from the original on March 2, 2008.
41.      "NSA datamining pushes tech envelope". May 25, 2006.
42.      Martin Sieff (August 18, 2005). "NSA's New Boss Puts Faith In Hi Tech Fixes". Space War.
43.      "After Olympics contractors leave behind IT legacy". Washington Technology. Archived from the original on May 6, 2006. Retrieved August 13, 2006.
44.      Eggen, Dan; Witte, Griff (August 18, 2006). "The FBI's Upgrade That Wasn't". Washington Post. Retrieved February 8, 2007.
45.      "top-100-lists 2013". Washington Technology, info business for government contractors. June 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
46.      "Leidos Subsidiaries". Leidos. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
47.     "Companies". Leidos. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
48.      "Reveal CT-800 Baggage Inspection System". Retrieved December 19, 2013.
49.      "R. W. Beck Is Now SAIC Energy, Environment & Infrastructure, LLC". Archived from the originalon April 4, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2013.
50.      "Science Applications International Corporation vs. Comptroller of the Treasury" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 28, 2008. Retrieved April 17, 2008.
51.      "Company History". Archived from the original on March 12, 2016. Retrieved March 29, 2008.
52.      Wilkers, Ross. "Leidos closes sale of commercial cyber business -". Washington Technology. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
53.      The Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed 6/9/13.
54.      "Lobbyists representing Leidos Inc, 2013". Open Retrieved February 27, 2014.
56.      "Robert S. Mueller, III, Director of FBI Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State and the Judicial". FBI. February 3, 2005. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
57.      "SAIC Says FBI Should Deploy its Software". Retrieved September 18,2008.
58.      The Center for Responsive politics. Accessed 6/9/13.
59.      Capaccio, Anthony (May 2, 2018). "Leidos's Treatment of Female Whistle-Blower Gets Pentagon Review". Bloomberg News. Retrieved June 17, 2018.

Further reading

·         The SAIC Solution: How We Built an $8 Billion Employee-Owned Technology Company 1st Edition by Dr. J. Robert Beyster
·         Official website 
·         Coverage of SAIC Iraq Single-source contracts
·         Washington's $8 Billion Shadow (Vanity Fair Magazine, March 2007)
·         Exposé: America's Investigative Reports episode on SAIC from 10/07/2007

External links

Official website

·         Business data for Leidos: 
o    Google Finance
o    Yahoo! Finance
o    Bloomberg
o    Reuters
o    SEC filings
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Stargate Project
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/27/20

Stargate Project was the 1991 code name for a secret U.S. Army unit established in 1978 at Fort Meade, Maryland, by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and SRI International (a California contractor) to investigate the potential for psychic phenomena in military and domestic intelligence applications. The Project, and its precursors and sister projects, originally went by various code names—GONDOLA WISH, GRILL FLAME, CENTER LANE, SUN STREAK, SCANATE—until 1991 when they were consolidated and rechristened as "Stargate Project".

Stargate Project work primarily involved remote viewing, the purported ability to psychically "see" events, sites, or information from a great distance.[1] The project was overseen until 1987 by Lt. Frederick Holmes "Skip" Atwater,...

F. Holmes (Skip) Atwater

Raised in a spiritually oriented family environment, Skip Atwater's childhood was filled with extraordinary psychic experiences. As a young adult he was guided from within to a career as a counterspy during the cold-war era where he used his natural psychic aptitude as a U.S. Army Counterintelligence Special Agent. He initiated the US Army's remote-viewing intelligence program now known to world by the code name STAR GATE.

For ten years Skip was the Operations and Training Officer for this secret remote-viewing program. He recruited and trained an elite cadre of professional intelligence officers to do remote viewing for the Department of Defense and various members of the national intelligence community. He planned, conducted, and reported thousands of remote viewing intelligence-collection missions.

After retiring from the Army, Skip became Research Director at The Monroe Institute. Since then he has published technical research on methods for expanding consciousness, authored the inspirational book, Captain of My Ship, Master of My Soul, and assisted hundreds of individuals in experiencing and exploring expanded states of consciousness. In December 2006 he became the President of the Institute.

Skip Atwater speaks at seminars, conferences, and religious services around the world each year. He has been featured on Coast-to-Coast AM, Jeff Rense, and Lights On with Nancy Lee radio programs several times and has been on numerous other community television and talk-radio shows all over the United States, Australia, England, and Spain. He has appeared on nationally televised programs including Sightings, the Life Science Foundation public television documentary Intuition, the A&E series The Unexplained, The Learning Channel series Science Frontiers, the A&E two-hour special Beyond Death, and The History Channel series History Undercover. He lives near The Monroe Institute in Virginia.

-- Frederick Holmes (Skip) Atwater, by International Remote Viewing Association (IRVA)

an aide and "psychic headhunter" to Maj. Gen. Albert Stubblebine, and later president of the Monroe Institute.[2] The unit was small-scale, comprising about 15 to 20 individuals, and was run out of "an old, leaky wooden barracks".[3]

The Stargate Project was terminated and declassified in 1995 after a CIA report concluded that it was never useful in any intelligence operation. Information provided by the program was vague and included irrelevant and erroneous data, and there was reason to suspect that its project managers had changed the reports so they would fit background cues.[4] The program was featured in the 2004 book and 2009 film, both titled The Men Who Stare at Goats,[5][6][7][8] although neither mentions it by name.


Information in the United States on psychic research in some foreign countries was poorly detailed, based mostly on rumor or innuendo from second-hand or tertiary reporting, attributed to both reliable and unreliable disinformation sources from the Soviet Union.[9][10]

The CIA and DIA decided they should investigate and know as much about it as possible. Various programs were approved yearly and re-funded accordingly. Reviews were made semi-annually at the Senate and House select committee level. Work results were reviewed, and remote viewing was attempted with the results being kept secret from the "viewer". It was thought that if the viewer was shown they were incorrect it would damage the viewer's confidence and skill. This was standard operating procedure throughout the years of military and domestic remote viewing programs. Feedback to the remote viewer of any kind was rare; it was kept classified and secret.[11]

Remote viewing attempts to sense unknown information about places or events. Normally it is performed to detect current events, but during military and domestic intelligence applications viewers claimed to sense things in the future, experiencing precognition.[12]



In 1970 United States intelligence sources believed that the Soviet Union was spending 60 million rubles annually on "psychotronic" research. In response to claims that the Soviet program had produced results, the CIA initiated funding for a new program known as SCANATE ("scan by coordinate") in the same year.[13] Remote viewing research began in 1972 at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Menlo Park, California.[13] Proponents (Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff) of the research said that a minimum accuracy rate of 65% required by the clients was often exceeded in the later experiments.[13]

Physicists Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff began testing psychics for SRI in 1972, including one who would later become an international celebrity, Israeli Uri Geller. Their apparently successful results garnered interest within the U.S. Department of Defense. Ray Hyman, professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, was asked by Air Force psychologist Lt. Col. Austin W. Kibler (1930–2008)—then Director of Behavioral Research for ARPA—to go to SRI and investigate. He was to specifically evaluate Geller. Hyman's report to the government was that Geller was a "complete fraud" and as a consequence Targ and Puthoff lost their government contract to do further work with him. The result was a publicity tour for Geller, Targ and Puthoff, to seek private funding for further research work on Geller.[14]

One of the project's claimed successes was the location of a lost Soviet spy plane in 1976 by Rosemary Smith, a young administrative assistant recruited by project director Dale Graff.[15]

In 1977 the Army Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence (ACSI) Systems Exploitation Detachment (SED) started the GONDOLA WISH program to "evaluate potential adversary applications of remote viewing."[13] Army Intelligence then formalized this in mid-1978 as an operational program GRILL FLAME, based in buildings 2560 and 2561 at Fort Meade, MD (INSCOM "Detachment G").[13]


In early 1979 the research at SRI was integrated into GRILL FLAME, which was redesignated INSCOM CENTER LANE Project (ICLP) in 1983. In 1984 the existence of the program was reported by Jack Anderson, and in that year it was unfavorably received by the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council. In late 1985 the Army funding was terminated, but the program was redesignated SUN STREAK and funded by the DIA's Scientific and Technical Intelligence Directorate (office code DT-S).[13]


In 1991 most of the contracting for the program was transferred from SRI to Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), with Edwin May controlling 70% of the contractor funds and 85% of the data. Its security was altered from Special Access Program (SAP) to Limited Dissemination (LIMDIS), and it was given its final name, STAR GATE.[13]

Closure (1995)

In 1995 the defense appropriations bill directed that the program be transferred from DIA to CIA oversight. The CIA commissioned a report by American Institutes for Research that found that remote viewing had not been proved to work by a psychic mechanism, and said it had not been used operationally.[4] The CIA subsequently cancelled and declassified the program.[13]

In 1995 the project was transferred to the CIA and a retrospective evaluation of the results was done. The appointed panel consisted primarily of Jessica Utts and Ray Hyman. Hyman had produced an unflattering report on Uri Geller and SRI for the government two decades earlier, but the psychologist David Marks found Utts' appointment to the review panel "puzzling" given that she had published papers with Edwin May, considering this joint research likely to make her "less than [im]partial".[1] A report by Utts claimed the results were evidence of psychic functioning; however, Hyman in his report argued Utts' conclusion that ESP had been proven to exist, especially precognition, was premature and the findings had not been independently replicated.[16] Hyman came to the conclusion:

Psychologists, such as myself, who study subjective validation find nothing striking or surprising in the reported matching of reports against targets in the Stargate data. The overwhelming amount of data generated by the viewers is vague, general, and way off target. The few apparent hits are just what we would expect if nothing other than reasonable guessing and subjective validation are operating.[17]

whereas Utts concluded:

No one who has examined all of the data across laboratories, taken as a collective whole, has been able to suggest methodological or statistical problems to explain the ever-increasing and consistent results to date.[18]

A later report by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) came to a negative conclusion. Joe Nickell has written:

Other evaluators – two psychologists from AIR – assessed the potential intelligence-gathering usefulness of remote viewing. They concluded that the alleged psychic technique was of dubious value and lacked the concreteness and reliability necessary for it to be used as a basis for making decisions or taking action. The final report found "reason to suspect" that in "some well publicised cases of dramatic hits" the remote viewers might have had "substantially more background information" than might otherwise be apparent.[19]

According to AIR, which performed a review of the project, no remote viewing report ever provided actionable information for any intelligence operation.[4][20]

Based upon the collected findings, which recommended a higher level of critical research and tighter controls, the CIA terminated the 20 million dollar project, citing a lack of documented evidence that the program had any value to the intelligence community. Time magazine stated in 1995 three full-time psychics were still working on a $500,000-a-year budget out of Fort Meade, Maryland, which would soon close.[20]

David Marks in his book The Psychology of the Psychic (2000) discussed the flaws in the Stargate Project in detail.[1] Marks wrote that there were six negative design features of the experiments. The possibility of cues or sensory leakage was not ruled out, no independent replication, some of the experiments were conducted in secret making peer-review impossible. Marks noted that the judge Edwin May was also the principal investigator for the project and this was problematic making huge conflict of interest with collusion, cuing and fraud being possible. Marks concluded the project was nothing more than a "subjective delusion" and after two decades of research it had failed to provide any scientific evidence for the legitimacy of remote viewing.[1]

The Stargate Project was claimed to have been terminated in 1995 following an independent review which concluded:

The foregoing observations provide a compelling argument against continuation of the program within the intelligence community. Even though a statistically significant effect has been observed in the laboratory, it remains unclear whether the existence of a paranormal phenomenon, remote viewing, has been demonstrated. The laboratory studies do not provide evidence regarding the origins or nature of the phenomenon, assuming it exists, nor do they address an important methodological issue of inter-judge reliability.

Further, even if it could be demonstrated unequivocally that a paranormal phenomenon occurs under the conditions present in the laboratory paradigm, these conditions have limited applicability and utility for intelligence gathering operations. For example, the nature of the remote viewing targets are vastly dissimilar, as are the specific tasks required of the remote viewers. Most importantly, the information provided by remote viewing is vague and ambiguous, making it difficult, if not impossible, for the technique to yield information of sufficient quality and accuracy of information for actionable intelligence. Thus, we conclude that continued use of remote viewing in intelligence gathering operations is not warranted.

— Executive summary, "An Evaluation of Remote Viewing: Research and Applications", American Institutes for Research, Sept. 29, 1995[21]

2017 Records online

In January 2017, the CIA published records online of the Stargate Project as part of the CREST Archive.


The Stargate Project created a set of protocols designed to make the research of clairvoyance and out-of-body experiences more scientific, and to minimize as much as possible session noise and inaccuracy. The term "remote viewing" emerged as shorthand to describe this more structured approach to clairvoyance. Project Stargate would only receive a mission after all other intelligence attempts, methods, or approaches had already been exhausted.[22]

It was reported that at peak manpower there were over 22 active military and civilian remote viewers providing data. People leaving the project were not replaced. When the project closed in 1995 this number had dwindled down to three. One was using tarot cards. According to Joseph McMoneagle, "The Army never had a truly open attitude toward psychic functioning". Hence, the use of the term "giggle factor"[23] and the saying, "I wouldn't want to be found dead next to a psychic."[24]

Civilian personnel

Hal Puthoff

In the 1970s, CIA and DIA granted funds to Harold E. Puthoff to investigate paranormal abilities, collaborating with Russell Targ in a study of the purported psychic abilities of Uri Geller, Ingo Swann, Pat Price, Joseph McMoneagle and others, as part of the Stargate Project,[25] of which Puthoff became a director.[26]

As with Ingo Swann and Pat Price, Puthoff attributed much of his personal remote viewing skills to his involvement with Scientology whereby he had attained, at that time, the highest level. All three eventually left Scientology in the late 1970s.

Puthoff worked as the principal investigator of the project. His team of psychics is said to have identified spies, located Soviet weapons and technologies, such as a nuclear submarine in 1979 and helped find lost SCUD missiles in the first Gulf War and plutonium in North Korea in 1994.[27]

Russell Targ

In the 1970s, Russell Targ began working with Harold Puthoff on Stargate Project, while working with him as a researcher at Stanford Research Institute.[28][29]

Edwin May

Edwin C. May joined the Stargate Project in 1975 as a consultant and was working full-time in 1976. The original project was part of the Cognitive Sciences Laboratory managed by May. With more funding in 1991 May took the project to the Palo Alto offices at SAIC. This would last until 1995 when the CIA closed the project.[1]

May worked as the principal investigator, judge and the star gatekeeper for the project. David Marks noted this was a serious weakness for the experiments as May had conflict of interest and could have done whatever he wanted with the data. Marks has written that May refused to release the names of the "oversight committee" and refused permission for him to give an independent judging of the star gate transcripts. Marks found this suspicious, commenting "this refusal suggests that something must be wrong with the data or with the methods of data selection."[1]

Ingo Swann

Main article: Ingo Swann

Originally tested in the "Phase One" were OOBE-Beacon "RV" experiments at the American Society for Psychical Research,[30] under research director Karlis Osis.[31] A former OT VII Scientologist,[32] who alleged to have coined the term 'remote viewing' as a derivation of protocols originally developed by René Warcollier, a French chemical engineer in the early 20th century, documented in the book Mind to Mind, Classics in Consciousness Series Books by (ISBN 9781571743114). Swann's achievement was to break free from the conventional mold of casual experimentation and candidate burn out, and develop a viable set of protocols that put clairvoyance within a framework named "Coordinate Remote Viewing" (CRV).[33] In a 1995 letter Edwin C. May wrote he had not used Swann for two years because there were rumors of him briefing a high level person at SAIC and the CIA on remote viewing and aliens, ETs.[34]

Pat Price

A former Burbank, California, police officer and former Scientologist who participated in a number of Cold War era remote viewing experiments, including the US government-sponsored projects SCANATE and the Stargate Project. Price joined the program after a chance encounter with fellow Scientologists (at the time) Harold Puthoff and Ingo Swann near SRI.[35] Working with maps and photographs provided to him by the CIA, Price claimed to have been able to retrieve information from facilities behind Soviet lines. He is probably best known for his sketches of cranes and gantries which appeared to conform to CIA intelligence photographs. At the time, the CIA took his claims seriously.[36]

Military personnel

Major General Albert Stubblebine

Main article: Albert Stubblebine

A key sponsor of the research internally at Fort Meade, Maryland, Maj. Gen. Stubblebine was convinced of the reality of a wide variety of psychic phenomena. He required that all of his battalion commanders learn how to bend spoons a la Uri Geller, and he himself attempted several psychic feats, even attempting to walk through walls. In the early 1980s he was responsible for the United States Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), during which time the remote viewing project in the US Army began. Some commentators have confused a "Project Jedi", allegedly run by Special Forces primarily out of Fort Bragg, with Stargate. After some controversy involving these experiments, including alleged security violations from uncleared civilian psychics working in Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIFs), Major General Stubblebine was placed on retirement. His successor as the INSCOM commander was Major General Harry Soyster, who had a reputation as a much more conservative and conventional intelligence officer. MG Soyster was not amenable to continuing paranormal experiments and the Army's participation in Project Stargate ended during his tenure.[11]

David Morehouse

In his book, Psychic Warrior: Inside the CIA's Stargate Program : The True Story of a Soldier's Espionage and Awakening (2000, St. Martin's Press, ISBN 978-1902636207), Morehouse claims to have worked on hundreds of Remote Viewing assignments, from searching for a Soviet jet that crashed in the jungle carrying an atomic bomb, to tracking suspected double agents.[37]

Joseph McMoneagle

Main article: Joseph McMoneagle

McMoneagle claims he had a remarkable memory of very early childhood events. He grew up surrounded by alcoholism, abuse and poverty. As a child, he had visions at night when scared, and began to hone his psychic abilities in his teens for his own protection when he hitchhiked. He enlisted to get away. McMoneagle became an experimental remote viewer while serving in U.S. Army Intelligence.[38][third-party source needed]

Ed Dames

Dames was one of the first five Army students trained by Ingo Swann through Stage 3 in coordinate remote viewing.[39] Because Dames' role was intended to be as session monitor and analyst as an aid to Fred Atwater[40] rather than a remote viewer, Dames received no further formal remote viewing training. After his assignment to the remote viewing unit at the end of January 1986, he was used to "run" remote viewers (as monitor) and provide training and practice sessions to viewer personnel. He soon established a reputation for pushing CRV to extremes, with target sessions on Atlantis, Mars, UFOs, and aliens. He is a frequent guest on the Coast to Coast AM radio shows.[41]


1.       Marks, David. (2000). The Psychology of the Psychic (2nd Edition). Prometheus Books. pp. 71-96. ISBN 1-57392-798-8
2.       Atwater, F. Holmes (2001), Captain of My Ship, Master of My Soul: Living with Guidance; Hampton Roads Publishing Company
3.       Weeks, Linton (1995), "Up Close & Personal with a Remote Viewer: Joe McMoneagle Defends the Secret Project", The Washington Post, 4 December issue.
4.      An Evaluation of Remote Viewing: Research and Applications Archived 2017-01-13 at the Wayback Machine by Mumford, Rose and Goslin "remote viewings have never provided an adequate basis for 'actionable' intelligence operations-that is, information sufficiently valuable or compelling so that action was taken as a result (...) a large amount of irrelevant, erroneous information is provided and little agreement is observed among viewers' reports. (...) remote viewers and project managers reported that remote viewing reports were changed to make them consistent with know background cues. While this was appropriate in that situation, it makes it impossible to interpret the role of the paranormal phenomena independently. Also, it raises some doubts about some well-publicized cases of dramatic hits, which, if taken at face value, could not easily be attributed to background cues. In at least some of these cases, there is reason to suspect, based on both subsequent investigations and the viewers' statement that reports had been "changed" by previous program managers, that substantially more background information was available than one might at first assume."
5.       Heard, Alex (10 April 2010), "Close your eyes and remote view this review", Union-Tribune San Diego, Union-Tribune Publishing Co. [Book review of The Men Who Stare at Goats]: "This so-called "remote viewing" operation continued for years, and came to be known as Star Gate."
6.       Clarke, David (2014), Britain's X-traordinary Files, London: Bloomsbury Publishing, pg 112.: "The existence of the Star Gate project was not officially acknowledged until 1995... then became the subject of investigations by journalists Jon Ronson [etc]...Ronson's 2004 book, The Men Who Stare at Goats, was subsequently adapted into a 2009 movie..."
7.       Shermer, Michael (November 2009), “Staring at Men Who Stare at Goats” @"...the U.S. Army had invested $20 million in a highly secret psychic spy program called Star Gate .... In The Men Who Stare at Goats Jon Ronson tells the story of this program, how it started, the bizarre twists and turns it took, and how its legacy carries on today."
8.       Krippner, Stanley and Harris L. Friedman (2010), Debating Psychic Experience: Human Potential Or Human Illusion?, Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger/Greenwood Publishing Group, pg 154: "The story of Stargate was recently featured in a film based on the book The Men Who Stare at Goats, by British investigative journalist Jon Ronson (2004)".
9.       Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain: The astounding facts behind psychic research in official laboratories from Prague to Moscow by Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder, Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1970, A New Age Bestseller [1] and [2]
10.      "Some of the intelligence people I've talked to know that remote viewing works, although they still block further research on it, since they claim it is not yet as good as satellite photography. But it seems to me that it would be a hell of a cheap radar system. And if the Russians have it and we don't, we are in serious trouble." Omni, July 1979, Congressman Charles Rose, Chairman, House Sub-Committee on Intelligence Evaluation and Oversight.
11.    Memoirs of a Psychic Spy: The Remarkable Life of U.S. Government Remote Viewer 001 by Joseph McMoneagle, Hampton Roads Publishing Co., 2002, 2006.
12.      The Ultimate Time Machine: A Remote Viewer's Perception of Time, and the Predictions for the New Millennium by Joseph McMoneagle, Hampton Roads Publishing Co., Inc., 1998.
13.      "STAR GATE [Controlled Remote Viewing]". Federation of American Scientists. 2005-12-29.
14.      Interview, Ray Hyman, in An Honest Liar, a 2014 film documentary by Left Turn Films; Pure Mutt Productions; Part2 Filmworks. (The quoted remarks commence at 21 min, 45 sec.)
15.      Annie Jacobsen (28 March 2017). Phenomena: The Secret History of the U.S. Government's Investigations into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis. Little, Brown. pp. 168–. ISBN 978-0-316-34937-6.
16.      Evaluation of a Program on Anomalous Mental Phenomena by Ray Hyman.
17.      "The Evidence for Psychic Functioning: Claims vs. Reality" by Ray Hyman; Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 20.2, Mar/Apr 1996.
18.      Utts, Jessica. "An assessment of the evidence of psychic functioning" (PDF). Central Intelligence Agency (US).
19.      "Remotely Viewed? The Charlie Jordan Case" by Joe Nickell; Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 11.1, Mar 2001.
20.     Waller, Douglas (1995-12-11). "The Vision Thing". Time magazine. p. 45.
21.      Executive summary Archived 2017-01-13 at the Wayback Machine, "An Evaluation of Remote Viewing: Research and Applications", American Institutes for Research, Sept. 29, 1995
22.      The Ultimate Time Machine by Joseph McMoneagle, Hampton Roads Publishing Co., 1998, p. 21.
23.      Mind Trek: Exploring Consciousness, Time, and Space Through Remote Viewing by Joseph Mcmoneagle, Hampton Roads, Publishing Co., 1997, p. 247.
24.      Memoirs of a Psychic Spy : The Remarkable Life of U.S. Government Remote Viewer 001 by Joseph McMoneagle, Hampton Roads Publishing Co., 2002, 2006, Revised and updated version of McMoneagles' The Stargate Chronicles, first edition.
26.      "The remote viewers". Retrieved 28 April 2018.
27.      "Fort Meade, Maryland, where psychics gathered to remotely spy on the U.S. Embassy in Iran during the hostage crisis". 28 April 2018.
28.      Nickell, Joe (March 2001). "Remotely viewed? The Charlie Jordan case". Skeptical Inquirer. 11 (1).
29.      "Dr. Harold Puthoff". The Arlington Institute. 2008. Archived from the original on 2013-03-03.
30.      "Interview: A New Biopic Charts the Life of Ingo Swann, the 'Father of Remote Viewing'". 28 April 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
31.      "Secret Agents on Jupiter: Why Did the CIA Hire a Legendary Psychic?". Sputnik News. 28 April 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
32.      "Advance!: AN INTERVIEW WITH INGO SWANN". The Wise Old Goat - The Personal Website of Michel Snoeck. 28 April 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
33.      "An Outsider's Remote View of All Things: Ingo Swann". 28 April 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
34.      "A DYNAMIC PK EXPERIMENT WITH INGO SWANN". 28 April 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
35.      Pat Price URL: (Scientolipedia)
§  Schnabel Jim (1997) "Remote Viewers: The Secret History of America's Psychic Spies" Dell, 1997 , ISBN 0-440-22306-7
§  Richelson Jeffrey T "The Wizards of Langley: Inside the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology"
§  Mandelbaum W. Adam "The Psychic Battlefield: A History of the Military-Occult Complex"
§  Picknett Lynn, Prince Clive "The Stargate Conspiracy"
§  Chalker Bill "Hair of the Alien: DNA and Other Forensic Evidence of Alien Abductions"
§  Constantine Alex "Psychic Dictatorship in the USA"
37.      "Psychic Warrior: Inside the CIA's Stargate Program: The True Story of a Soldier's Espionage and Awakening". 28 April 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
38.      Memoirs of a Psychic Spy : The Remarkable Life of U.S. Government Remote Viewer 001 by Joseph McMoneagle, Hampton Roads Publishing Co., 2002, 2006, Revised and updated version of McMoneagles' The Stargate Chronicles, first edition
39.      "US Army Major Ed Dames was one of five officers trained to monitor and analyze 'remote viewing', a technique said to allow users to psychically 'see' locations, events or other information from great distances. The top-secret project, run by the Defense Intelligence Agency, was dubbed Project StarGate". Sputnik News. 28 April 2018.
40.      "Stargate: People and researchers". 28 April 2018.
41.      "Coast to Coast AM: Major Ed Dames". 28 April 2018.

Further reading

·         Subject : Grill Flame (August 26, 1981) CREST database Central Intelligence Agency FOIA Reading room.
·         Caroll, Robert Todd (2012). "Remote Viewing". In the Skeptic's Dictionary. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-27242-6.
·         Hines, Terence (2003). Pseudoscience and the Paranormal. Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-57392-979-4.
·         Hyman, Ray (1996). "Evaluation of the Military's Twenty-year Program on Psychic Spying". Skeptical Inquirer 20: 21–26.
·         Marks, David (2000). The Psychology of the Psychic (2nd Edition). Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-57392-798-8.
·         Morehouse, David (1996). Psychic Warrior, St. Martin's Paperbacks, ISBN 978-0-312-96413-9. Morehouse was a psychic in the program.
·         Mumford, Michael D. et al. (1995). An Evaluation of Remote Viewing: Research and Applications. Prepared for the CIA by The American Institutes for Research.
·         Ronson, Jon (2004). The Men Who Stare at Goats. Picador. ISBN 0-330-37547-4. Written to accompany the TV series Crazy Rulers of the World. The US military budget cuts after the Vietnam war and how it all began.
·         Schnabel, Jim (1997). Remote Viewers: The Secret History of America's Psychic Spies, Dell. ISBN 0-440-22306-7
·         Smith, Paul (2004). Reading the Enemy's Mind: Inside Star Gate: America's Psychic Espionage Program, Forge Books. ISBN 0-312-87515-0
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:57 am

Frederick Holmes (Skip) Atwater
by International Remote Viewing Association (IRVA)
Accessed: 6/27/20

F. Holmes (Skip) Atwater

F. Holmes (Skip) Atwater

Raised in a spiritually oriented family environment, Skip Atwater's childhood was filled with extraordinary psychic experiences. As a young adult he was guided from within to a career as a counterspy during the cold-war era where he used his natural psychic aptitude as a U.S. Army Counterintelligence Special Agent. He initiated the US Army's remote-viewing intelligence program now known to world by the code name STAR GATE.

For ten years Skip was the Operations and Training Officer for this secret remote-viewing program. He recruited and trained an elite cadre of professional intelligence officers to do remote viewing for the Department of Defense and various members of the national intelligence community. He planned, conducted, and reported thousands of remote viewing intelligence-collection missions.

After retiring from the Army, Skip became Research Director at The Monroe Institute. Since then he has published technical research on methods for expanding consciousness, authored the inspirational book, Captain of My Ship, Master of My Soul, and assisted hundreds of individuals in experiencing and exploring expanded states of consciousness. In December 2006 he became the President of the Institute.

Skip Atwater speaks at seminars, conferences, and religious services around the world each year. He has been featured on Coast-to-Coast AM, Jeff Rense, and Lights On with Nancy Lee radio programs several times and has been on numerous other community television and talk-radio shows all over the United States, Australia, England, and Spain. He has appeared on nationally televised programs including Sightings, the Life Science Foundation public television documentary Intuition, the A&E series The Unexplained, The Learning Channel series Science Frontiers, the A&E two-hour special Beyond Death, and The History Channel series History Undercover. He lives near The Monroe Institute in Virginia.

IRVA 2012 - Quantum Mind RV with Spatial Angle Modulation™
One of the more popular theories attempting to explain how remote viewing works involves quantum mechanics. Quantum Mind Theory offers an explanation as to the mechanism by which quantum principals may be involved. Spatial Angle Modulation™ or SAM is a new audio support technology developed by The Monroe Institute within the context of contemporary scientific revelations about consciousness based on a quantum mind hypothesis and shows promise as a aid to remote viewing.

The SAM audio support technology was developed within the context of contemporary scientific revelations about consciousness. The result of this effort is an innovation based on the established principles of acoustic resonance and fits well into our long history of audio guidance systems.

Rather than binaural beating to achieve its effect, Spatial Angle Modulation™ (SAM) uses a single frequency tone digitally movement-modulated for presentation in a stereophonic field. Using stereo headphones or speakers, the spatial angle of the apparent sound source moves more rapidly than the brain can process as a Doppler shift anomaly. As a result, the brain produces a modulation or change in the tone - a tremolo effect similar to binaural beating. It is this tremolo effect coupled with the size and orientation of the movement arc produced that give SAM its ability to influence regional brain activity and changes in states of consciousness.

The SAM audio support technology provides a means of inducing altered states of consciousness ranging from deep relaxation to expanded perceptual abilities and other "extraordinary" states. When SAM is combined with other sensory-information techniques (such as sitting in a darkened room), social-psychological conditioning tools (such as group communities), and educational curriculum (in which new cognitive, "consciousness expansion" skills are learned), it has the ability destabilize the ongoing baseline state of consciousness (usually the normal waking state). And, as the process continues, the SAM stimuli are modified and become patterning forces to engender various altered states of consciousness. Eventually, a new self-stabilized structure - the desired altered state of consciousness - forms and is supported by SAM thus providing access to a variety of beneficial applications like remote viewing and personal experiences of expanded states of consciousness. In Monroe terminology, this new technology enables you to move across the "bridge to other reality systems" and integrate your experiences, craft a genuinely meaningful life, realize your true Self and, thereby, benefit all of humankind.

IRVA 2009 - Project 8200 . . . The Untold Story
Project 8200 was a remote-viewing effort conducted from 1982 to 1986 that attempted to corroborate information provided by Pat Price a decade earlier. Pat was "discovered" by SRI International in the early days of STAR GATE, a US Government sponsored remote-viewing research and intelligence-collection program. Eventually, Pat was recruited by the CIA and provided them with surprisingly accurate intelligence information until his reported death in 1975. In 1973, prior to going to work for the CIA, Pat Price provided a lengthy unsolicited report of self-targeted "remote viewing" information regarding what he believed to be underground UFO bases. Project 8200 used the next generation of STAR GATE remote viewers in an attempt to verify or refute the information provided by Pat Price. The results of Project 8200 were never officially reported to higher authorities but some of the information has been available in public domain conferences, articles, and through the Internet. There is, however, more to this story . . . never-before-released remote-viewing information that hasn't been shown to the public until now!

IRVA 2002 - The Role of the Monitor in Remote Viewing
The monitor serves as an important member of the remote-viewing team. In this information-gathering remote-viewing partnership, it is the responsibility of the monitor (not the remote viewer) to insure that sufficient information necessary to permit target identification or discrimination is produced during the effort. The remote viewer's responsibility is confined to describing his or her mental percepts. This talk will outline the activities of the monitor's role in remote viewing and emphasizes that heart-to-heart trust, rapport, openness, and seriousness of purpose between the monitor and the remote viewer coupled with an acceptance of psychic functioning all enhance the remote-viewing process.

IRVA 2001 - Hemi-Sync® and Remote Viewing
Hemi-Sync is a patented auditory guidance system developed by The Monroe Institute to engender states of focused consciousness. We contracted privately with Robert Monroe to work with Joe McMoneagle, an experienced, highly skilled remote viewer for the military Star Gate program. The training sessions continued for ten non-consecutive weeks over a period of one year.

Each training week I conducted an audit remote-viewing session to try to determine any improvement in Joe's remote-viewing performance. During one of these, I decided to use coordinates of some unusual structures on the planet Mars that Dr. Puthoff from SRI had provided me. As it turned out Joe described eight different coordinate-designated locations on Mars.

This presentation will describe the Hemi-Sync process; the associated remote-viewing training used with Joe McMoneagle, and illustrate the results of this specialized training by sharing actual recordings of Joe's historic remote viewing of Mars

IRVA 2000 - Military Training In Remote Viewing Skill
Monroe Institute: Skip Atwater
Monroe Institute: Project 8200


Frederick Holmes “Skip” Atwater
by Remote Viewing/Remote Perception
Accessed: 6/27/20

F. Holmes “Skip” Atwater as a young military intelligence officer.

Captain F. Holmes “Skip” Atwater was the founder of the US Army’s remote viewing unit. Starting in 1977 with the program’s first code name, “Gondola Wish” Skip, working with another officer, Major “Scotty” Watt, recruited and trained the first remote viewers to be assigned to the unit. As the organization was periodically renamed “Grill Flame,” and later “Center Lane,” Skip continued to be the backbone of the unit, serving concurrently as training officer and operations officer. Many of the most successful operational techniques and transferable skills used throughout the duration of the project he developed. After helping oversee the transition of the unit from the Army to the Defense Intelligence Agency under the new code name “Sun Streak,” Skip continued to support operational innovation as the unit’s operations officer until his retirement from the Army in early 1988. He went on to become the laboratory director of the Monroe Institute in Virginia, then became the Institute’s acting director after the death of Laurie Monroe, and finally president of the organization, from which he retired in 2012. Skip is author of numerous scientific papers dealing with the technology developed at the Monroe Institute, and of his own memoir, Captain of My Ship, Master of My Soul: Living With Guidance. You can find his website here.

Army remote viewing program founder F. Holmes “Skip” Atwater in 2010.
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