The banquet speech provides a suitable occasion for a survey of the whole or some part of our field. I shall use it to argue that this year sees parapsychology facing a serious crisis, a double crisis in fact, although this is not, I believe, apparent to everyone within the field. I intend to explain my grounds for my belief that such a crisis is on us, to indicate one way in which we can better prepare ourselves to meet it, and to provide some of the material necessary for a defense of the kind I think necessary. It is with some care that I do not say parapsychology is again facing a severe crisis: of its kind this is either the first, or at least much the most serious crisis the subject has faced.
Of course, parapsychology has often faced severe financial crises and in this respect it is perhaps now better off than in most preceding years -- but it is not of these that I am speaking. A cynic might indeed say that we are about due to face the first of the crises that affluence brings, the wealth that has brought such teething trouble to the social sciences in this country. But whatever the economic interpretation, the crisis itself is an intellectual one. The evidential foundations of our subject, or at least the major branches of it, are severely threatened, in a way they have not previously been threatened, not by Spencer Brown nor by the exposure of medium after medium, nor by the devastation of Hettinger's work, or the elimina-
Reprinted from the Journal of Parapsychology, volume 25 ( 1961), pp. 305-318, by permission of the author and editors.