The Belief Effect in Psychokinesis: Sheep, Goat or Jackass?

The Belief Effect in Psychokinesis: Sheep, Goat or Jackass?

 © Brendan D. Murphy 

Repeated ignorant or stubborn denial of the existence of certain powers does not keep them from existing—except for us! —Harold M. Sherman

Have you ever noticed how closed-minded skeptics (CMS) rarely if ever have any experiences with the siddhis (psychic faculties) or “the paranormal” in general? Soviet research into psychokinesis involving Nina Kulagina demonstrated qualitatively that a skeptic’s mere presence does have an effect on a psychic’s ability to function properly. Hence, with a CMS (or several) in the room or otherwise involved in the experiment, a psychic is more likely to “fail,” thus “proving” the CMS right (at least in his own narrow reality tunnel). It is merely a case of self-fulfilling prophecy.

New-science researcher and film maker David Wilcock has suggested that if consciousness creates all known energy, can manipulate matter, and is ultimately a vibrational movement of aetheric/zero point energy, then the level of consciousness, intelligence, or love present is directly proportional to the vibrational speed of aether/torsion in that locality. Higher speeds invite higher degrees of intelligence and/or love because there is then more energy available, meaning will has more fuel for exerting effects on “external” systems.[1]

Dr. Valerie Hunt’s research in Infinite Mind showed a correlation between auric frequencies and the “level” of consciousness occupied by the individual. Healers, mediums and mystics showed higher frequencies in their electromagnetic fields than others not of those categories, illustrating that those possessed of “higher” consciousness are, in some sense, literally “on a higher frequency.” Those fixated on or believing solely in “material reality” exhibited lower dominant frequencies and were bereft of the higher.

In fact, gamma frequencies in the brain of 40-100 Hertz—the highest of the better known bands of brainwave frequencies (the higher band being Lambda, reaching up to about 200 Hz[2])—have been linked to the ability to manifest intention in the world. Gamma states represent the brain in hyperdrive, working at its most intensely. “This oscillation is conducive to creating links across many parts of the brain,”[3] facilitating an integrated whole-brain state.             Paradoxically, the extreme high and low ends of the brainwave spectrum have the same states of consciousness associated with them, and different oscillations can be present at once in different parts of the same brain.[4] To illustrate, Russian PK psi star Nina Kulagina (1926–1990) —who, under controlled experimental conditions, could (among other things) separate an egg yoke from the white from a distance of 6 feet while it floated in a saline solution using only her intention—exhibited low frequency theta brainwaves of 4 Hz—normally associated with a deeply relaxed trance—whilst simultaneously showing extreme physiological agitation/arousal, including a pulse rate of 240 bpm. These strenuous efforts left her absolutely exhausted, and temporarily blind on that particular occasion.[5]

Perhaps all of the above explains why Kulagina’s PK abilities “worked better in an atmosphere of friendly mutual trust and belief”—PK, as we know, generally requires intense states of physiological arousal and higher frequency brainwave activity, all of which drains large reserves of bioenergy. PK is a higher brain function. Kulagina experienced less stress when working alone and it was said that her PK ability was mood-dependent (both her own mood and that of the observers) and expended more energy in a hostile or skeptical atmosphere[6] (where the collective vibration would have been lowered). Hostile skeptics have something of an innate psi- or consciousness-damping effect; they literally operate at a lower frequency, their mind fields interfering with those of the test subject. The fact that separate minds interact via measurable electromagnetic fields (and some not-so-measurable fields) has been proven by Hunt and others, and I detail much of this research in The Grand Illusion Vol.1.

Some time before 1919, Emma Hardinge Britten said, “experience has shown that the conditions under which spiritual phenomena are produced through mediums are not only helped or hindered by their mental states, but also by the will, magnetism, and mental states of those who surround them.”[7] The situation hasn’t changed a great deal since then and similar observations have been made by today’s researchers such as physicists Amit Goswami and Russel Targ.[8]

The difference between open-minded skepticism and closed-minded skepticism can be the difference, for example, between genuine and obvious mediumship as compared to a less successful demonstration (or a complete non-event). Well known American medium Allison DuBois comments amusingly that when she “brought through” her first deceased professional psychic-medium, communicating with and understanding him was very easy; communicating with deceased former skeptics, on the other hand, she likens to pulling mud through a colander. For her, the more open-minded people are more pleasant in death than those who lived with closed minds.[9]

Negativity causes chaos or entropy in the local ambient (and personal) energy fields, whereas positivity, gratitude, or love cause coherence, beauty and order—just look at the instances of saints and yogis whose dead bodies have remained impervious to decay weeks, months, and years![10] Hence, the mere presence of a skeptic (especially a dogmatic and belligerent one) during psychical research may cause disorder and potentially negate psi effects; they create incoherence or “psi-damping” effects (just one of the many reasons that no sane or well informed psychic would ever get involved with the thought fields connected to any “super skeptics’” psychic “challenges”). Closed-minded skeptics act as human frequency scramblers and—somewhat ironically—psychically manifest their own beliefs, albeit unconsciously. (Fear of failure—which might be likely to increase around hostile observers—also plays a role in some psi experiments, creating inner conflict in the subject that can negate results.)

Practically speaking, the minds of the experimenter/s and the subject are entangled in aether/zero point field/vacuum/time-space/implicate order, and therefore psi-negative beliefs belonging to the mind or torsion/scalar field of the former can deleteriously affect the psi operations of the latter’s.

Need, novelty, and emotion also play a part. Carl Jung (1875–1961)—the originator of the theory of the psychological archetypes—noted with interest that the English medium Eileen Garrett fared poorly in parapsychologist J.B. Rhine’s card-guessing experiments because she was unable to conjure any feelings for Rhine’s “soulless” test-cards.[11] Much experimentation has also shown that psi effects have a tendency to start out higher in the initial stages of testing and then drop off as the participants lose interest and boredom sets in (the “decline effect”).

In 1942 psychologist and parapsychologist Gertrude Schmeidler initiated her infamous “sheep-goat” experiments, designed to test whether belief and open-mindedness would enhance psi function in contrast to skepticism. Two groups, “sheep” who believed in or were simply open to psi, and “goats” who did not believe, were put through identical standard controlled ESP tests. The outcome indicated that believers in the possibility of ESP scored better than those who did not: the disbelievers scored lower, ergo belief is a legitimate variable mediating psi functions.[12]

Some disbelievers have actually produced results significantly below chance,[13] manifesting their negative belief in psi—to statistically significant levels. The irony is delicious. Dr. Mario Varvoglis, was President of the Parapsychological Association from 2001–02, and has been involved in psi research since the mid-1970s. Of Schmeidler’s research he has said that the sheep-goat discrepancy “has been confirmed by many other researchers. A meta-analysis by [psychologist Tony Lawrence], covering 73 experiments by 37 different researchers, clearly confirms that subjects who believe in psi obtain, on the average, higher results than those who do not believe in it.”[14]

Lawrence’s meta-analysis involved all sheep-goat forced-choice* experiments conducted between 1947 and 1993 and consisted of more than 685,000 guesses by 4,500 participants. The overall results were strongly in favor of the sheep-goat effect—to such an extent, in fact, that to reduce the results statistically to chance would have required an additional 1,726 unpublished and/or non-significant studies. No plausible explanations for this result other than psi have been put forth.[15]

As author David Hamilton puts it regarding his own psychic explorations: “Faith, I discovered, meant the difference between broadband and dial-up.”[16]American psychic and author Harold Harold Sherman (1898–1987) had noted in the early 1940s that while it is possible to receive thought impressions from a skeptic, it is extremely difficult for someone of that mindset to act as receiver.[17] Even for professionals, trying to “receive” from a skeptic can be a big ask (as per DuBois’ previous comments). Varvoglis confirms that the more open we are to psi experiences, the better the chances that the world will “respond” by creating them.[18]

Co-developer of the early American military’s remote viewing program (and one of the remote viewers) Ingo Swann weighs in on Schmeidler’s sheep-goat tests, stating that the results initially came as a bombshell because, “Skeptics and disbelievers, of course, very much desired not to be seen as dysfunctional regarding something they were trying to debunk.” Ergo, after these experiments were replicated variously by other researchers with similar results, “skeptics and disbelievers decided NOT to take part in ESP tests. In any event, here was something to be swept under mainstream carpets…”[19]

It is important to realize, as author and former host of the PBS television series Thinking Allowed Jeffrey Mishlove points out, that the sheep-goat studies do not necessarily distinguish those who believe in ESP from those who do not. In most studies, the “sheep” merely accepted the possibility that ESP could occur in the test situation, while many of the “goats” were willing to accept that ESP could occur between people who loved each other, or in certain times of crisis; but they did not accept that ESP might operate for them in their test situation.[20] On that basis, imagine how psi-negative the beliefs of the fanatical and hostile “skeptic” must be. Far better to be open to possibility than closed to it for fear of one’s beliefs being wrong.

Harold Sherman, who was ahead of his time, articulated the role of belief and the subconscious mind in the attempt to function as a successful receiver in a psi endeavour, explaining that telling yourself with certitude that there is no such thing as psi is tantamount to instructing your subconscious mind to shut down the psi faculties so they do not operate for you.[21]

The late American intuitive Edgar Cayce found that there were various factors that could prevent him from giving a reading for someone by hindering or blocking his subconscious mind; for instance, the thoughts of those in the room who were “not in accord with the type, class or character of information sought at that particular time.” Because of the sensitivity of the process, as well as the difficulty of interpreting the Akashic records themselves, “anyone present for a reading had to be unified in his or her desire to be of help to the questioner.” The absence of this synergistic factor could and in some cases did blunt Cayce’s ability “to reach that position, that plane, that sphere, from which the [data] was being sought.”[22]

The openness of individuals present during a “psychic reading”—in particular the individual being read—is widely acknowledged by intuitives as being of major significance in determining whether or not a given reading is going to be successful. “Openness” does not mean plying the intuitive with information and “helping them along” if they get “stuck,” but being open to the possibility that the psychic just might be genuine and might come up with information otherwise unknown to them, demonstrating psi ability. It also means not being openly obstructive.

Many, many times, open-minded skeptics who simply considered it possible that psychic ability actually exists have had readings done by genuine intuitives and been “converted” into believers on the spot. Other times, they were forced to reconsider not just the possibility that the psychic in question was genuine, but the probability of genuineness based on the sheer improbability of the accurately presented information being derived by lucky guesses or “cold reading.” The closed-minded skeptics, on the other hand, have a way of precipitating extremely poor performance on behalf of legitimate intuitives which, of course, convinces them that what they “knew all along” (i.e., that “psi doesn’t exist”) was “absolutely right.” I am reminded of ex-skeptic Steve Pavlina’s comment that all skepticism achieves is the manifestation of more reasons to continue disbelieving: “It would be hard to manifest a more boring reality than that.”[23] Boring, limiting, and disempowering. In a dream-like reality such as ours, it pays to be open-minded.

Assuming our reality to be a mechanistic and observer-independent universe devoid of consciousness merely creates that appearance in that individual’s subjective perception and experience of it. When you open your mind, strange things can start to happen that otherwise would not be permitted by your subconscious filters and your limiting conscious beliefs. “Skepticism” as popularly practiced in organized groups allows the fearful mind to keep lock-step with the status quo (or some previous and outdated status quo!), largely drawn, perhaps, by the appeal of the illusion of safety in numbers, and the assurance of perceived authority.

When the dominant paradigm changes, then the “skeptic” will have his tacit permission to change his mind in keeping with the flock, and even then, many skeptics will be so strongly identified with their old beliefs and imprinting that they will be incapable of even keeping up with the shifting status quo (new models of reality). It will be largely the next generation who receive the imprinting of the new paradigm that inherit it without any major quibbles. The “unbelievers” who still think (or at least act like) we live in a Newtonian-Cartesian universe ruled by the false mind-matter dichotomy will simply die off, as per the Planckian dictum that science advances one funeral at a time.

The power of belief was demonstrated profoundly to various members of the American Psi Spies (government-funded military remote viewers) in their “nonphysical” excursions. They discovered that when a target site had some form of psi protection against them, they could circumvent that protection and resume viewing if the session monitor simply asked the viewer what he would find without the protection there.[24] The mere belief in the reality of the psychic blockers on the part of the remote viewer meant that those blockers or scrambler frequencies appeared to succeed in doing their job. However, their effectiveness could be undermined by not believing in them or disregarding them altogether.

Out-of-body (OB) explorer and author Robert Monroe’s (1915–1995) experience with a Faraday cage where he found he could not penetrate it in his OB state may have been caused by his own internal expectations and beliefs. Perhaps he suspected there was an EM component to the mind-field in the OB state that created the effect of the Faraday cage apparently blocking his path, since he knew that Faraday cages are designed to block all EM frequencies. Maybe if the OB explorer believes the mind to simply be electromagnetic, he will find that devices such as Faraday cages and magnetic fields impact upon his awareness in a tangible way despite his lower-density and higher-frequency state. Could such be the power of belief? (Granted, that this line of thinking effectively disregards that all of reality is a sort of mental simulation, a virtual reality, and that OB states are simply one level “deeper” into one’s own consciousness.)

Popular American author and playwright Robert Anton Wilson (1932–2007) shared an interesting anecdote in Cosmic Trigger regarding his then-youngest daughter, Luna (who was sadly beaten to death in a store robbery at age fifteen). As a child, she had been meditating with two of her siblings when a sudden thud jolted them out of their trances. Luna, who had been on the right of her siblings, was suddenly on the left. Her brother and sister believed she had either levitated or teleported, though Luna herself could not remember moving. When Wilson discussed it with her, she made a stunningly insightful comment by any child’s standards. She told her father: “You believe in ESP, so it happens around you. You don’t believe in levitation, so it doesn’t happen around you.”[25]

Belief is a creative act. In the laboratory of life we can observe this by the fact that disbelievers, on average, experience very little of “the paranormal,” while the more open-minded (not necessarily believers) tend on average to have much more such experience. The Funda-Materialist responds that they are all mistaken or delusional, which of course the Funda-Materialist could never be, since they inhabit an immutable reality and experience “objective” perceptions of it (and rationalizations about it!).

Yet, observe one of the few cases where skeptics actually attempted to provide empirical evidence for one of their “it must be other than psi” rationalizations for psi-positive results. In 1939, psychologists Kennedy and Uphoff asked twenty-eight observers to record 11,125 mock ESP trials to see if “motivated recording errors” could explain positive ESP results. They found that 1.13% of the data were misrecorded (as expected), but of the errors made by believers, 71.5% increased the ESP scores, while for skeptics, 100% of their errors decreased the ESP scores.[26] Such is the power of fanatical disbelief. With such ardency, anything resembling objectivity is impossible.

As author and originator of the Matrix Energetics healing technique Richard Bartlett suggests in The Physics of Miracles, ask yourself “what if there are no rules?”[27] That is a much more psi-conducive form of mental software to run because it opens your own perceptions of reality up to the massive variability and potential of the endless software programs of the Infinite.



A co-founder of Global Freedom Movement, Brendan D. Murphy is a leading Australian author, researcher, and thinker, and a contributing writer for several popular magazines and websites. His acclaimed non-fiction epic The Grand Illusion: A Synthesis of Science & Spirituality – Book 1 is out now! Get it at  “A masterpiece…The Grand Illusion is mind-blowing.”—Sol Luckman, author of Potentiate Your DNA.

* Forced-choice studies tend to engage the analytical left brain more because of front-loading the subject with data from the start, whereas in free-response studies the subject is unaware of what the target may be and leaves the right hemisphere to operate with less interference. Targ and Puthoff found in their early research that the latter method was more effective. Hence you often hear psychics in informal situations say to their sitter before the reading, “Don’t tell me anything!”



  • [1] Wilcock, D., The Science of Oneness, Ch. 3.1.
  • [2] Extraordinary States,
  • [3] Church, D. The Genie in Your Genes, Energy Psychology Press, 2009, p 99.
  • [4] Extraordinary States.
  • [5] Watson, L., Supernature, Coronet Books, Hodder Paperbacks Ltd, 1974, p 139–40.
  • [6] LaMoth, J.D. & L.F. Maire III (Defence Intelligence Agency). Soviet and Czechoslovakian Parapsychology Research, 1975.
  • [7] Swami Vishita, Genuine Mediumship, Advanced Thought Publishing Co., 1919, p 141.
  • [8] Goswami, A., Physics of the Soul, Hampton Roads, 2001, p 40.
  • [9] DuBois, A., We are their Heaven, Fireside, 2006, p 45.
  • [10] See Murphy, B.D., The Grand Illusion: A Synthesis of Science & Spirituality Vol. 1, Balboa Press.
  • [11] Jung, C.G., Synchronicity, First Princeton/Bollingen Paperback Edition, 1973, p 18.
  • [12] Swann, I., Dr. Gertrude Schmeidler.
  • [13] See Radin, D., Entangled Minds,Paraview Pocket Books, 2006.
  • [14] Who is Mario Varvoglis? .
  • [15] Lawrence, T., Gathering in the Sheep and Goats: A Meta-analysis of Forced Choice Sheep-Goat ESP Studies, 1947–1993. Proceedings of Presented Papers: Parapsychological Association 36th Annual Convention, 75–86.
  • [16] Hamilton, D., It’s the Thought That Counts, Hay House, Inc., 2009.
  • [17] Wilkins, H. & Harold Sherman, Thoughts Through Space, Hampton Roads, 2004, p xx.
  • [18] Varvoglis, M., The Sheep/Goat Effect.
  • [19] Swann, op. cit.
  • [20] Mishlove, J., The Roots of Consciousness,
  • [21] Wilkins & Sherman, op. cit., p xxi.
  • [22] Todeschi, K., Edgar Cayce on the Akashic Records, A.R.E. Press, 1999, p 84–5.
  • [23] Pavlina, S., The Death of Skepticism,
  • [24] See Marrs, J., PSI Spies, New Page Books, 2007, p 174–5.
  • [25] Wilson, R.A., Cosmic Trigger, New Falcon Publications, 1977, p 78–9.
  • [26] Honorton, C., Rhetoric over substance: the impoverished state of scepticism. The Journal of Parapsychology, June, 1993.
  • [27] Bartlett, R., The Physics of Miracles, Atria Books, 2009.


  1. Bing says

    Err, is there any additional information about the vibration and frequency that you mention above ? And if not …, are they already measuring the vibration (of the nature) surrounding the person that are being test.
    And talking about the vibration and frequency of the nature, is there anyone think about omnipresence, omnipotence ?

    Sorry with my bad English. :)

  2. says

    Demons inside people. A demon doesnt have to dwell eternally in someone to be in that person in the moments of time he surrenders his mind to them. Example, a person who wants to seduce someone at a bar as much as possible without it being rape will get them drunk, or drugged and then say the chemicals merely allowed the victim to do what they were truly willing to do. The i didnt hurt you; you wanted it, scenerio. You asked for it. It is the demons (angels) who cannot function when skeptics are around. They can not make the connection to their mediam when others are around who knows it is not that person capable of doing these things. Our enemy to truth are not just demons or bad angels, but people who agree with these angels in claiming it is not the angels but the power of humans. The angels lie because they wish God to see that humans are worse than anything they as angels can do wrong. This is why gay sex is more important to angels so that they look normal to have come down and accidently killed bad husbands and take their wives and breed with them. The facts are simple, that the human mind with its will power canot be taken over by other people nor other angels unless willingly or unless chemically incapacitated. Wake up a spirit medium from her trance and the ghost will vanish. So it doesnt matter whether the skeptic is atheist or the skeptic is of God proclaiming judgement. The situation is the same of a person concerned with moral take-over. They are not closed minded. Is a married woman who fights off a total ugly fat stranger trying to rape her, is she closed minded to a new experience? Seduction exists on all levels, and those who tinker with angels who have powers will be convinced the power is their own human power as these rotten angels want them to think. They want to say Look God we made a mistake just like these stupid humans do all the time. And this is why they make Noah movies that say Forgiven us God, let us come back to heaven. That is where angels go back when they cannot stay in human bodies or they’ll drown. There children the Nephilim died, these sons of angels drowned. So angry they want YOUR children to suffer too. get them involved in wiccha craft and psyke powers. They have no business to slam those who refuse to TRY IT OUT and get publicized while they smother this truth from us who know better. The dont know until you tried it is used on all drugs, on all sex, on all concepts so that americans now drink piss and eat crap for nutrients. They twist relaity and truth to soon die of epidemic disease and whine oh poor me when destruction comes. This pleases the wicked both those who are human and those who are angels. MYEXPERIENCE? I stopped a ghost (a demon) from coming down insde me once because I applied what Yahweh Jehovah is. No it was not my power, i didnt stop it; God stopped it by application of what i already knew, wake the person up, and your menace will leave. My mind hadnt been doped enough form his pot smoking for the ghost to use me, so it was using my drugged pot smoked friend (sexually abused at 7) who fell asleep. Calling Jehovah didnt work. Calling my friends name woke him up, and the room light from dilated eyes, and the ghost vanished back to a dark room of night lights. Heed this warning. Do not regard your stand against these powers as being closed-minded skeptic. It is your will power keeping control on yourself rather than be raped by angels the way these psychics are. Dont get used. Feel clean. And proud of it.

    • says

      There are reasons demons are bound away from man for 1000 years. Not just to stop them form lying saying they are dead grandma, but also to stop this idea that measured powers of theirs are indeed all yours; the power you want so you can be like them and like God.

  3. Starheater says


    They call this science “paraspychology”, this term is oriented that this science try to explain those particuliarity of those who have special kind of aptitude. The combination of the 3 components that constitute humain is sometime really unstable. The medium must have the control is the spirit the can reveal to him various things that are usefull to the humain kind. This kind of medium is rare, I should say very rare.
    The most of those mediums are non reliable, even the best have a certain score of non reliablility. The best in percentage can be wright to 80%, it can go a little bit higher, but not much. This reliability is fluctuing from dead wrong to 80% correct.
    In France, medium of good reputation are consult by the service of Police, praticly all the Policeman believe in that sort of hability to find peoples that are lost in the wood or elsewhere. Those medium are paid by different group of persons, I don’t remember if their government contribute for their service to the state Police.
    Most of the medium that make errors in their attempt to find lost persons are sincere, but sometime family that have paid their contributions to a medium are very shock to know that they have been trick.

    In conclusion, paraspychology is not an exact science, but it’s better to have poor result then nothing.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *