The New Age: Notes of a Fringe Watcher

By Martin Gardner | Go to book overview
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7 Targ: From Puthoff to Blue

Mind Race, by Russell Targ and (Stuart) Keith Harary, was published in 1984 by Villard Books, a division of Random House. Physicist Targ was formerly at SRI International, where he and his associate Harold Puthoff "validated" the clairvoyant powers of Uri Geller. Mind-Reach an earlier book by Targ and Puthoff, concerned their work with Geller and their experiments in clairvoyance, or "remote viewing," as they prefer to call it.

Mind Race summarizes the SRI's remote-viewing research, but most of the book is devoted to the theme that psychic powers are perfectly normal, that anyone can develop these abilities by following the book's simple instructions. Geller has mysteriously vanished--there is not a word about him in the book. Puthoff, once an ardent Scientologist, remains at SRI, but Targ has left the big Menlo Park think-tank to join Harary in founding a psi-research organization they call Delphi Associates.

Keith Harary, better known by his nickname "Blue," is famous in psi circles for his OBEs (out-of-body experiences) at the Psychical Research Foundation, in Durham, North Carolina. His pet kitten, Spirit, was placed in a cage, and Blue, in another building, would project his astral body into the lab. The kitten reportedly calmed down whenever Blue's invisible body arrived. In one test, reported by the foundation's director, William Roll, Spirit meowed 37 times during the control period, but not once during the OBE period.

There are, say the authors, nine ways in which psi can be useful to the readers: it can help them to detect hidden defects in their cars, locate parking spots, advance in business by following correct hunches, win at racetracks and casinos, find lost children, tune in to the "feelings and emotions of distant friends, relatives, or sweethearts," be "in the right place and at the right time for worthwhile opportunities," use the psi content of dreams, and take along an "unlikely item that will later prove to be invaluable" when going somewhere.

The authors have not the slightest doubt that psi powers are useful in gambling. Targ won a lottery on a hunch, he tells us, while the book

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