An Explanatory Note to Those Interested
This is the first -- and, for all we know, may be the last -- issue of this Bulletin. Whether the idea is feasible and worthwhile depends on the reception you give it, and the interest you may take in it in the future.
The idea is a simple one. There are a considerable number of educated and intelligent people who are not only interested in various problems of psychic research and parapsychology, but who carry on, to a varying degree, with experimental work of their own. And there are others who would like to do so, if they were in touch with persons of similar interests, and had some means of acquiring and giving out information. Our own private correspondence shows that there is a real need for some kind of clearing house for facts and ideas. There should also be some means whereby those who wish to, could learn the names and addresses of other investigators, and perhaps correspond with them to mutual advantage. But there is no need to elaborate the idea further, for those to whom this is being sent.
This first issue, which is experimental and tentative, goes to only some 15-20 people, and it is mimeographed because printing is much too expensive under present conditions. To get it to you costs between 20¢ and 25¢. You are not being asked to pay for it. But we do want to know your ideas about it, and how much, if anything, you would care to pay for future issues. There are many ways, we think, in which it could be built up into something useful and interesting. We want to print short articles, data, items of various kinds supplied by our “members,” and addresses and references and other helpful material. And perhaps a few notes, each time, of the Fortean variety. Nobody expects to make any money out of the Bulletin, but we shall have to have some help on the expense if we go ahead with the idea. Let us know what you think -- and give us one or two names, of people of the “right sort” to whom we could send copies.
As an illustration of the kind of service we have in mind, take the matter of the “vitality globules,” or spiriton, to which most of these pages are devoted. Dr. Haley, President of the California Society of Psychical Research, has been studying them at intervals for years. Mr. William G. Randall, an attorney of Pasadena and Los Angeles, has recently made some valuable observation. Mr. E.C. Krieger, an Ordinance engineer in Indiana, is actively interested, and had asked friends in the South Pacific to make observations. Mrs. Helen Totreck, in Massachusetts, takes an active interest in this and similar problems. Tesla worked at it a bit, but didn’t get very far. What the ASPR and the Duke University psychologists have to say, we shall detail when and if they reply to our letters. Maybe the Fortean Society has some useful information. The only worthwhile theory we know about is that of Dr. Haley; and it ought to be better known and reinforced by other investigations. Somebody ought to find out how to photograph these entities; we’re trying to do it here, but no luck so  far. Well, a few of these people are in contact by correspondence, but there’s no real cooperation, and the few available facts are scattered about and hard to find. And the phenomenon is important enough, in its implications, to merit continued study.
What we suggest is, that people now interested in this and similar subjects, allow us to print their names and addresses in this Bulletin, and/or send us any pertinent data, or suggestions and ideas, or inquiries somebody else on the list may be able to answer. (For instance, somebody tell us how to photograph the spiritons). Whatever you send in will have to be brief and compact, because this is a bulletin for information and contact; but the point is, you can often find out where to make inquiry, and who else is working on the same problem.
Another problem, which should interest medical men and physicists, is that of “Vitic” or “carbon force”. The present writer said something about it in the Fortean not long ago, and many letters of inquiry came in. Now, it may be there is somebody, somewhere, who knows all about carbon force, but we don’t, and we would like to, and so would a good many other people we know. Our main idea is to make such information accessible.
Having gotten this off our mind, let us turn to the matter of the vitality globules, or spiritons. First of all, how do you see them and what do they look like? If you look toward a patch of blue sky, and have the sun behind you, and then focus your gaze in the air about 5-10 feet ahead in front of you, you will presently see a great number of translucent or whitish specks, all in rapid darting motion. Their paths are short, and each one flashes in and out of vision; nearly everyone can see them, quite easily.
It is necessary to say at once, that these are NOT muscae volitantes, NOT the translucent disks, rods, straws, specks or other small appearances familiar to most people, and which are said to be caused by foreign matter in the eye, or on it. All of these move with the eyeball or eyelid, but the globules do not. They appear to be, and almost certainly are, “objective” entities, paroptic, or “exentoptic.” This writer came across a reference to them, years ago, in some Theosophical writer (Leadbeater?). They were inscribed by the term used here, and were said to be atoms or units of “vital solar energy”, derived from the sun, and the source of all life phenomena. All of this, from Oriental wisdom.
It is worth noting, also, that the Qabalists have their Aschim, or Souls of Fire, or Fiery Lives. They are rated as an Angelic Order, that is, as living and intelligent entities, and belong to the Sephirah of Malkuth (the earth-plane) on the Tree of Life.
These Theosophical and Qabalistic concepts are necessarily incompatible with the views now developing in P.R. circles; that is, that the globules may be vital or energetic units. Note Dr. Haley’s views, described further on.
It is reported that Nicola Tesla studied the globules at one time, and thought they were “ionized particles.” Perhaps --  but particles of what? The objective which seems to us insuperable is expressed by Dr. Haley. An ionized particle is just as material as a dust speck (especially if big enough so you can see it), hence should be affected by strong winds, air currents, jets, fans and the like. But no you can’t blow a globule, at least by all present reports. They would, of course, permeate any wind or air jet, but if they are “material” particles, in ordinary use of that word, it’s incredible that their motion and distribution should not be affected at all.
Can they be seen under any other conditions than those mentioned? Well, yes; against a white porcelain wall or large surface, indoors if the light is “right.” Also (says Dr. Haley) you can see them by looking at a ground glass screen placed in front of a mercury vapor lamp. They are then, he says, more numerous than when seen against the sky.
The Theosophical writer referred to said they were much less numerous at night. This (says Mr. Randall) is important, if true. Some one with an Hg lamp should check on this, by day and at night -- and pass on the results to the Round Robin.
Some persons see the globules as faintly brown or yellow. Mr. Randall notes luminous trails (this, just before sunset, and while standing in the shadow of a steep ridge, with air and sky above still sunlit). Is this luminous trail an after-image? Is it common to see them as colored? How many people see them as momentarily black?
Mr. Keith Hayes, San Diego physicist, is trying to photograph them. One would suppose anything visible, refracting or diffusing light, could be netted by some of the modern photo-techniques. And if anybody has doubts about their “objectivity,” the photographing ought to settle that. These globules, however, are much more than a mere optical curiosity. Consider briefly what Dr. Haley has to say.
DR. PHILIP HALEY
As noted before, Dr. Haley is President of a group known as the Calif. Soc. for P.R. He is in active practise in San Francisco and has been engaged in psychical research for many years. The personnel of his group has changed many times, but most of them have been professional men of excellent standing, several from university faculties. No one, so far as we know, has ever questioned the character of these investigators or their competence as observers. About 1925 Dr. Haley wrote a book, printed about 100 copies, now out of print and probably unobtainable. Most of it is concerned with idioplastic reproduction, creation, apportation of food stuffs. Put six pieces of apple into a jar and take out eight, and so on. It’s one of the most astonishing records in modern P.R. work, well documented, with good photographs, and this casual mention is an injustice. But, part of this book is concerned with vitality globules, and Dr. Haley has also put out some mimeographed material about them.
Dr. Haley calls the globules, SPIRITONS, thinks they are living, or vital in nature, perhaps residual life atoms or “soul-seeds;” and he believes that they produce, or become, or are intimately related to the so-called entoptic lights (really paroptic), which are known to behave in an intelligent manner, to give signals and warnings. These  lights in turn (Dr. Haley thinks) may be dynamized by the human aura, and under seance conditions are often seen to contain, or to become human faces (a phenomenon attested by many observers). This is an elementary phase of materialization, and the spiriton, or globule, is somehow connected with it. When the spiriton appears as a light, it is called a spiroculon.
This is a very inadequate synopsis; doesn’t do even half-justice to Dr. Haley’s years of thought and experiment. But it gives the drift of the theory, and helps explain why vitality globules seem worth studying. And no one is entitled to any off-hand, casual opinion on Dr. Haley’s meticulous work.
“What I have hoped for” (he writes) “is that some investigators will experimentally establish a connection between the non-auric and the auric phase of the spiriton. This would, when demonstration of the objective phase of the spiriton was made, complete the proof; for we already have ample photographic evidence of the reality of both the spirit light and the ectoplasmic emanation” (or aura).
Maybe somebody, somewhere, scientist or layman, knows just what the globules are, or has additional facts about them. If so we hope this Round Robin will find him out, induce him to let his light shine forth the rest of us.
Re- the effect of the aura on the globules -- if any. Somebody ought to experiment with the Kilmar screens (or is it Kilner?). One can see the aura with them, all right; maybe the globules would be visible too. Or, with some other kind of screen.
If anybody reading this has Kilner’s book, and will extract from it the directions for making the screens (cells), including the proportions of dicyanin and alcohol (if that’s the solvent), and will send it to the R.R., we’ll be grateful and pass it on to other people. Mr. E.C. Krieger wants it, particularly.
Also, if anybody has Brian Brown’s book, Dynamic Power of the Inner Mind (Doubleday, Page & Co. 1924) and will lend it or sell it, address Mr. Krieger. Anybody who knows anything about VITIC or Carbon Force, please Mr. Krieger, and / or this editor.
Anybody who has any ideas about how to photograph vitality globules, please write Mr. Hayes, and / or this editor.
Mr. Randall, looking for the globules, has noted some very extraordinary appearances; also has made a useful classification of entoptic perceptions. Maybe he will let us have a condensed report for this bulletin.
Our idea is NOT to write all of this bulletin ourselves, which God forbid! We want items, suggestions, ideas, questions, experiences from individual investigators, in psychics, parapsychology, ESP in all its phases.
A Maybe-related subject, to much of what has been set in this bulletin, is the “paroptic vision” of Jules Romains (Louis Farigoule). About 1919 he finished a book called EYELESS SIGHT, put into English and printed by Putnam, 1924. Paroptic vision, as Romains used the word, is visual perception of external objects, without using the eyes -- extra-rational; the organs for this are epidermal ocelli. Boirac worked on this, previously. The facts are very remarkable,  not too hard to verify, caused quite a furore at the time. It seemed to be, we still think it was, the promising development of modern science for the relief of the blind. And then, there are innumerable questions, for the psychic research student, in the functioning of the ocelli, or modified skin cells; some kinds of “psychism” and clairvoyance may involve them. Of course, to the pseudo-scientific orthodoxy of the ’20s (and of today, for that matter) all these astonishing facts and methods were taboo; a bas and Ah Bah with them!
One would think that psychologists, physiologists, medical men generally, would follow up such leads, a little way anyhow. Has anyone followed up on Romains work? If so, we have never heard of it, but maybe that’s our ignorance… This faculty of seeing without eyes ought to interest P.R. men who have to do with dark-seance work -- especially since the power is enhanced by slight hypnosis. The whole psycho-biolocal problem invoked by the (undeniable) facts is full of knots… On the practical side, and of supreme human interest, is the chance of some degree of vision for the blind… Is there a single psychological laboratory in this country, or anywhere, that has tried to work out Romains premises in a practical way? Or is it one more of those things that “science” is not yet ready for?
If any reader of this bulletin knows somebody who has heard of somebody who has read of somebody who has done anything at all along the line of Romains’ work, in the last 25 years, please pass us the information.
Note: about the pamphlet, “Letter to a Soldier.” Mr. Thomas Sugrue “There Was A River”, now in charge of publications and other activities for the Cayce Foundation (Association for Research and Enlightenment), did the present writer the honor of reproducing this “Letter” or part of it, and this brought in a number of inquiries. No more copies are available just now, but perhaps we can have a few more mimeographed.
This bulletin goes to a few people who are interested (very deeply) in “practical” occultism, Yoga and Qabalistic techniques, and similar studies. We hope they have not, or will not, overlook PATHWAYS THROUGH TO SPACE, by Franklin Merrell-Wolfe (pub Rich. R. Smith, 120 E. 39th, New York City. 1944). Mrs. Helen Lotreck, Northampton, Mass., called our attention to it. It’s described on the jacket as A Personal Record of Transformation in Consciousness; author is said to be a mathematician and scientist. One important thesis is, that Recognition (Illumination, higher consciousness) can be attained via the intellectual disciplines of the West, especially thru the theoretical and speculative concepts of modern science. This makes astonishingly good Qabalism, by the way, though the author makes no mention of that Path. It’s a contribution to Western Yoga, at any rate, and seems to us very valuable.
Half-column article in TIME 2/5/45, Spectral Appendectomy (in Brazil). Forty witnesses, including policemen, newsmen, three doctors “Pitch-dark seance chamber.” One Dr. Gomez, moruit 1925, materializes, performs an appendectomy. No anaesthetic, but patient feels nothing. After 2 hours, appendix appears in a bottle of alcohol, has disappeared from the patient, by X ray photo. Rejoicing among spiritualists, but Catholic press and pulpit outraged, particularly one Mon. Azevedo, who says he can prove one of the doctors did it “under cover of darkness.”  What we don’t understand is (on the basis of meagre facts) how a surgeon could remove an appendix in complete darkness. Explanation sounds more incredible than the alleged facts, as is not infrequently the case. We’re inclined to be credulous anyhow, because we know of a case where a spirit of somebody extracted an ulcerated tooth from a sufferer, put it in a water glass on the table for all to see.
If anybody who reads this has lived in Pindamonhangaba (!!) We would like to find out how or why 70% of the population are spiritualists. And how about getting Dr. Luis Gomez do Amaral to do a few appendectomies in the U.S. -- by invitation of the American Medical Association, of course?
The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research (ASPR) for January ’45, has a 34 page “Outline of Survival Evidence,” by Gardner Murphy. “In this outline no attempt has been made to ‘prove’ survival nor even to cite all the more convincing types of cases, but to present in organized form the classes of evidence gathered by psychical research, with typical examples of each.” (p. 34) The Journal is published at 40 E. 34th St., N.Y. Quarterly, $1.50 per copy.
Scientific Monthly of August 1944 has an article by Dr. A. J. Carlson, President of the American Assoc. for the Advancement of Science. He says that the alleged objective evidence of the belief in survival is entirely mythological.!!!!
Bernard Ackerman Inc., N.Y. publishes a compilation by A.T. Baird of Glasgow, called One Hundred Cases of Survival After Death. It’s a good job of editing and very useful, especially to the newcomer to psychic research. But according to Dr. Carlson (sup) it’s presumably no more than another collection of myths.
Journal of Parapsychology (Duke Univ. Press, Durham, N.C.) carries on with PK studies, and there’s a curious article on telepathic skin writing, by David Efron. And that reminds us, in some printed matter put out by the Church of Light (Los Angeles) there’s a statement, that the spread of cards thrown by machine was predicted some 12 days in advance, in experimental work at Duke. If anyone has a first hand account of this, as issued by the laboratory, we would like to see it. (Cost of the Journal is now $4.00, issued quarterly).
We have been trying for a long time to find out just who YRAM was. We know he was a French occultist, wrote Le Medicine de L’Ame, English version issued by David McKay, Phila., still obtainable from Psychic Observer book list, and elsewhere. And we know he has been dead for 10 years or more. Beyond that, nothing. Inquired of the London publisher but no results. The English version is called Practical Astral Projection; we think it’s a valuable and important book though we never heard anyone else say so. But if anyone knows who YRAM was, or where we can find out, please it on to us. Does anyone have a copy of another book, by this same YRAM? Will you lend it or sell it?
Formerly, Kilner screens (dicyanin cells for observing the aura) could be bought made up. Does anyone know where they can be had now?
A FEW DEFINITIONS -- SCIENCE
Huxley defined science as trained and organized commonsense …
Kirchhoff and Mach describe science as “a complete and consistent description of the facts of experience in the simplest possible terms.”
“There is no science but that of the general,” says Poincare; and “all facts are scientific when used scientifically.”
According to Malisoff, science is characterized by technique of observation and by elimination of the personal equation. Also, “facts which cannot be questioned are almost mythical.” (And this last, we think, should be written above the doors of every laboratory).
The aim of all exact science, says Merz, is “a complete and simple description admitting of calculation.”
“Science is conceptual shorthand,” writes Pearson. Along with Poynting and many others, he remarks that a “law of nature” explains nothing, governs nothing, is not a force or an energy, but is simply a descriptive formula -- telling How, not Why.
__ RELIGION __
Religion, says Whitehead, is what an individual does with his solitariness. And again “It is the Art and theory of the internal life of men.”
According to Tolstoy, religion is the relationship which man acknowledges with the universe, or to its Source or First Cause. “A reasoning man must therefore be in some sort of perceptive relation to it.”
Carlyle declares that “the thing a man does practically believe, and lay to heart and know for certain concerning his vital relation to the universe, is his religion.”
Ladds defines the minimum concept of religion as the belief in an invisible superhuman Power or Powers, conceived after the analogy of the human spirit, on which man regards himself as dependent for well-being, and which he is in some sense responsible to -- together with all the feelings and practises arising from such belief.
“Any real religion,” says Hoffding, “implies and must give a world view.”
Evelyn Underhill writes that the primal object of religion is to disclose to use the perdurable basis of life, and foster our growth and communion with it.
Linguists tell us, there was no synonym for the word RELIGION among the Hindus, the Hebrews, the Greeks, nor among the Celts and Germans. To the Romans, religion meant the social institution and certain traditional rites. In the Orient, religion was conceived as a science, that is, as an organized body of knowledge, and not at all as personal emotionalism.
To all of which we add 4 lines from James Stephens. “Instinct cannot advance when thought has schooled it in the science of unbelief, and the wall (about the Tree of Life) will not be conquered until thought and instinct are wed; and the first son of that bridal will be called The Scaler of the Wall.”
We want to say a word for the Fortean Magazine, now called DOUBT, and for the Fortean Society and its able secretary Mr. Tiffany Thayer. The Society, of course, carries on the work of Charles Fort and his collaborators (he wrote the Book of the Damned, New Lands, Lo!, Wild Talents). It is committed to no cult or propaganda, is the implacable enemy of the smugness and complacency of official and “orthodox” science.
By this last we mean the pronouncements (very often) of scientific bodies, learned societies and publications, university departments, their bland ignoring of a thousand strange happenings not explainable in terms of current theories – and of their own stupidities and failures.
These are the “damned facts” of which Charles Fort wrote, scattering tares in the snug fields of science with a kind of wild contemptuous joy, but yet verifying and documenting with a careful hand.
Those of us who are interested in psychical research and its allied subjects, also have a long reckoning with this “scientific” ignorance and intolerance. Of course, there are now many hundreds of workers in the sciences, some of them very distinguished, who are well informed and open-mind on these matters, But as for “official” science -- well, the remark of Dr. Carlson, quoted on page 6 of this bulletin, is sufficient commentary.
As to the Fortean, then, we think it is doing an admirable piece of work. We’re not so much interested, personally, in its social and political iconoclasm, though others may find it worth while. But the effort to salvage the “damned” facts, hold them up for all to see and for the confusion of all orthodoxies, is a matter of very great importance.
And once again, as to the in-and-out of the Round Robin; it’s the facts we’re after. We believe every fact is a child of God. We don’t care where it was born, or who nourished and cherished it; but we’re interested in your reasons for accepting it, and for thinking it maybe means this-or-that. We quote Gregory, that “in science there is no finality, there should therefore be no dogmatism” – and also Strindberg, who wrote that the whole business of man is “not to turn his back upon the Light.” This Light may be a poor thing, but our business is to make the best of it, try to feed and brighten it, to make it shine into dark corners.
We have a few copies of the last issue of the Fortean magazine, DOUBT. Does anyone want one of them, gratis? Or address the Fortean Society, Box 192, Grand Central Annex, New York City. Single copies 25¢ or $2.00 a year for DOUBT, plus membership.
- A Note for the Last Page -
To my Personal Friends:
Nearly of all of the persons to whom this Round Robin is being sent, are my friends, by correspondence at least, if not by personal contact. So I can add a note to most of these bulletins, here on the last page, where you can tear it off if you want to pass the rest of the pages along.
I don’t think any of you will believe I am trying to exploit our acquaintance for profit. It takes a good deal of time, as well as some money, to get out even so small a bulletin as this. And if you think the whole idea isn’t worth bothering with, we can just forget it. On the other hand, as I have said before, it might be the nucleus of a really useful project.
If you want to send in anything -- items, questions, references, data, experiences, ideas, suggestions about the make-up of the Bulletin, odd clips of “Fortean” happenings -- and if you will pass the Bulletin along, and / or send in a name or two of persons of the “right” sort, to whom I could send copies, then it may be worth while to carry on. And if you do write me, be sure to give your permission (if willing) to print your name and address. You might pick up some helpful and interesting correspondents that way, and no advertisers will get hold of it.
For the present, if you want to write to anyone named in this issue, please send the letter in my care.
My notion has been, to put out the Round Robin about once a month. And the actual cost to me (paper, mimeographing, envelopes, postage) comes to about 25¢ each copy.
And now, my best wishes to all of you.
N. Meade Layne ---- 3615 Alexia Place ---- San Diego, Calif.
- Brown, Brian. Dynamic Power of the Inner Mind: An Outline of Practical Psychology. Doubleday, Page & Co, 1924. Print. <http://amzn.to/1kaVRnB>
- Romains, Jules (Louis Farigoule). Eyeless Sight: a Study of Extra-Retinal Vision and Paroptic Sense. London and New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1924. Print. <http://amzn.to/1kaVZ6o> [Digital (PDF): <https://archive.org/details/eyelesssightstu00jule>]
- Merrell-Wolfe, Franklin. Pathways Through to Space. New York City: Rich. R. Smith, 1944. Print. <http://amzn.to/1kaW620>
- "BRAZIL: Spectral Appendectomy." TIME. 05 Feb 1945: n. page. Print. <http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,797055,00.html>.
- Murphy, Gardner. "An Outline of Survival Evidence." Journal of American Society for Psychical Research. 39.1 (1945): 2-34. Print. [Issue may be available from aspr.com directly; article is also included in ASPR collected edition, "Three Papers on the Survival Problem" (1945) <http://amzn.to/1nYqc9V>]
- A. J. Carlson, "Science and the Supernatural," Scientific Monthly, LIX (August, 1944). 85-95. Print.
- Efron, D. "Telepathic skin-writing (the Kahl case)." Journal of Parapsychology 8: 272-286. Print.
- Baird, A. T. One Hundred Cases of Survival After Death. New York: Bernard Ackerman, 1944. Print. <http://amzn.to/1hT1jai> [Digital (PDF): <https://archive.org/details/onehundredcasesf00bair>]
- YRAM [Marcel Louis Forhan]. Le médecin de l'âme. Aux éditions Adyar, 1925. Print.
— (English ed.): YRAM [Marcel Louis Forhan]. Practical Astral Projection. London, New York: Rider & Co. Ltd., 1935. Print. <http://amzn.to/1n3Dapr>
Note: YRAM was the pseudonym of Marcel Louis Forhan (November 17, 1884 – October 1, 1917), a French electrical engineer and metaphysician; https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yram. "Practical Astral Projection" was the second book of his "metaphysical trilogy", which included "Aimez-vous les uns les autres" (Do you love each other) and "L'Evolution dans les mondes supérieures" (Evolution in the higher worlds).
- Stephens, James. The Crock of Gold: With Eight Illus. in Colour and Decorative Heading and Tailpieces. New York: Macmillan, 1922. Print. <http://amzn.to/U1BlvR> [Digital: <http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1605>]