Confronting college Ph.D.'s
In October 1967 I received an invitation to lecture on parapsychology to the Graduate Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. When the lecture began at four in the afternoon, there was standing room only.
As usual, I started to explain why I used the Scale of Brain Evolution chart, that the chart made it easier to explain a very difficult subject, such as subjective communication.
No sooner had I said that than a young Ph.D. in psychology said, "Skip the chart explanation. We don't go for theories, we go for the real thing, don't we?" he added towards the individual next to him. The man next to him, another Ph.D., agreed, saying, "Yes, skip the chart and give us the meat of the thing." Another one from another part of the room added, "If all you are going to talk about are the theories of parapsychology, forget it!" Still another one said, "Yes, because parapsychology is a lot of bunk!"
Before I had a chance to continue, several Ph.D.'s were talking at the same time, wanting to get into the action. Of course, I immediately sensed that they did not believe in parapsychology. I believe what someone once said, that the right thing will come for you to say at the right time; and I add, "When you are on the right of things."
So I trusted my intuition. I raised my arms with my palms outward, towards the audience, motioning to quiet them down. When everybody became quiet, I said, "I would like to remind you that I am your guest, and you are supposed to be highly educated. Is this the way highly educated people treat their guests?"
Then after pausing for a moment, I continued, "Who in this room has done research in the field of parapsychology? Raise your hand."
I looked around slowly. Nobody raised a hand.
Then I said, "I have so far done twenty-three years of research in the field of parapsychology, so in this room, right now, I am the only authority in parapsychology. I am not going to tell you about psychology because you are the authorities in that field. And by the same token, you are not going to tell me about my field."
I looked the group over again, slowly, and then went on, "Now, about my chart..." and I continued with my explanation just as I had intended, omitting nothing. I was asked very good and intelligent questions, but had no more problems. I lectured on my research experiences and explained why this research could lead into a new science I call "psychorientology".
When the lecture ended after an hour and a half, I was applauded nicely, and was congratulated by some on the lecture and also on how I had handled the situation.
When everybody left, the organizer wanted me to know that I had achieved two firsts there. One was that they had never before seen so many Ph.D.'s together in one room to attend one of these functions. The other first, in the organizer's own words, was that, "I have never before seen these Ph.D.'s be pushed back into their seats and stay there the way you did it!"
That night, the psychology club gave me a dinner in appreciation for having accepted their invitation to lecture for them. At the dinner were several of the Ph.D.'s who had given me trouble at the lecture, but now they were joking about it.
I said to them, "If you people had known before the lecture that I have no formal education at all, you would not have allowed me to even step on the lawn of your campus, much less allowed me to lecture for you."
Some thought I was kidding about my education, and I said, "It is too late now to consider that; I have already
lectured." Everybody laughed.
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