Monday, April 25, 2011

Parapsychological Association to Host Convention in Brazil

The principal international scientific organization studying parapsychology and the nature of consciousness, the Parapsychological Association (PA) will be hosting its 54th annual convention on August 18-21, 2011 in Curitiba, Brazil. Leading scientists and other academics from around the world will gather to present the latest parapsychological research into psi and other phenomena, such as extra-sensory perception, psychokinesis, psychic healing, altered states of consciousness, mediumship and survival of bodily death. Open to the public and academics alike, with most events in English but simultaneous translation available in English and Portuguese, the PA convention coincides with UNIBEM's 7th Psi Meeting and the 6th Journey into Altered States, adding local academic and experiential dimensions to the combined events.

In addition to hosting the largest contingent of PA members and affiliates outside of the US and Europe, Brazil contains a rich diversity of groups and individuals that engage in a range of apparently paranormal approaches to healing. Curitiba, Brazil is a modern city that has attracted attention around the world for its innovations in sustainability.

The convention will open with a reception featuring the release of the Portuguese edition of the book Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the Scientific Evidence, first published in 2000 by the American Psychological Association, and edited by psychologists Etzel Cardeña, Steven Jay Lynn, and Stanley Krippner. Ihnvited speakers include Dr. Wellington Zangari, Professor of Psychology at the University of São Paulo and coordinator of INTER PSI, a laboratory conducting studies and interdisciplinary research at the crossroads between anomalistic psychology and social psychology. Dr. Zangari will be speaking about the new horizons in psi research in Brazil. Dr. John Alexander, a leading advocate for the development of non-lethal weapons and a Senior Fellow at the Joint Special Operations University will provide a cross-cultural review of applications of psi phenomena. Dr Michael Winkelman, author of several books on shamanism, psychedelic medicine, and consciousness will deliver the PA’s annual J.B. Rhine banquet address titled, "Evolved Psychology and the Deep Structure of Psi: The Shamanic Paradigm." Dozens of presentations on a variety of parapsychological topics, as well as a panel session on ayahuasca and exceptional human experiences will round off the event.

The PA convention will offer an opportunity for attendees interested in that wide range of human functioning popularly known as the ‘psychic’ or ‘paranormal’ to hear the latest and most advanced scientific thinking about parapsychological topics. Additional convention information and online registration is available at

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

7th Meeting of the League of Researchers on Spiritism

Dear Colleague,

We are glad to invite you to the 7th MEETING OF THE LEAGUE OF RESEARCHERS ON SPIRITISM (7th LRS Meeting or ENLIHPE in Portuguese), São Paulo, Brazil, August 20-21, 2011. The event will be hosted by the CCDPECentro de Cultura, Documentação e Pesquisa do Espiritismo, an emerging center for studies in Spiritism in Brazil.

The goal of the seminar is to bring together Brazilian and international scholars working on current issues in Spiritism. Thereby we will learn about different worldwide spiritist research and create a setting where work in progress can be improved and discussed in-depth. Especially the attendance and moderating function of members of League of Researchers on Spiritism offers an excellent possibility to receive meaningful feedback for submitted work. Therefore, we encourage submission of analytical, empirical and experimental research.

Proposal submission deadline: 15th June 2011.


To promote the exchange of ideas on Spiritist theories and practices and to motivate the publication and debate of academic works that interface with Spiritism themes.

Submission of works

Works can encompass a wide range of topics in the interface between Spiritist themes and the following knowledge areas:

Exact Sciences (e. g. , astronomy, physics, chemistry etc)
Biology (e. g., phisiology, botany etc)
Health areas (medicine, veterinary etc)
Applied Social Sciences (economy, management etc)
Human Sciences (philosophy, sociology, psychology, education etc)
Linguistics and arts (music etc)
Multidisciplinary Studies.

Instruction for the authors
Submission period: March 15th 2011 to June 15th 2001

Works should be submitted either as poster presentation or papers/manuscripts.

Instructions for paper submission
  1. Papers should be intelligible to as wide an audience as possible. 
  2. Only unpublished papers in Portuguese or English are accepted. 
  3. Manuscripts will be peer reviewed by members of the meeting scientific comitte. 
  4. All manuscripts should be sent to the following address:
  5. Each author should submit no more than three (3) manuscripts.
  6. Each manuscript should not have more than four (4) authors.
  7. Each manuscript should be sent to in the form of two (2) separated files: FILE 1 containing author's NAMES, manuscript TITLE and ABSTRACT; FILE 2 containing manuscript TITLE and FULL TEXT with no authorship identification. 
  8. Manuscripts should not have more than twelve (12) pages;
  9. Abstract: minimum of 1150 characters (~10 lines) and maximum of 1750 characters (~ 15 lines).
Manuscript general formatting instructions
  • Text editor: MSWord 6.0 or later.
  • Page format: upper margin: 3cm; lower margin: 2cm; left: 3cm; right: 2 cm.
  • Fonts: Times New Roman 12;
  • Paper size: A4 (width: 21cm, height: 29.7cm);
  • Paragraph spacing: simple; 0pt before; 6pt after;
  • Figures, tables and plot fonts: Times New Roman 8 or 12;

General instructions for manuscript editing and formatting (sections, references etc) follow closely ABNT rules (Brazilian association of technical norms).

Instructions for poster submission

  • Each poster should have no more than four (4) authors;
  • Each author should submit no more than three (3) posters;
  • Each poster should be sent to in the form of two separated files: FILE 1 - containing author's NAMES, poster TITLE and ABSTRACT; FILE 2 containing the TITLE and the poster FULL TEXT with no authorship identification. 
  • Poster should be formatted according to the following sections (FILE 2): Title, abstract, introduction, objectives, methods, data analysis, conclusion and references.
Poster general formatting instructions

Senders will receive by email a confirmation of manuscript/poster submission. Editors of the 7th LRS Meeting reserve the right to return manuscripts or posters that are not in accordance with the above instructions. The approaval and publication of final works will be submitted to author´s copyright transfer agreement.

For more information, please, feel free to email us at

Monday, April 4, 2011

2/2 - Pragmatics and Intention in mediumship works.

To find each of the language levels discussed before in many automatic writtings by C. Xavier is an interesting exercise. Mophology, sintax, semantics, pragmatics and intention all show up vividly in the many psychographic letters, but not with the same intensity and uniformity. Such observation reveals hidden aspects of the mediumship process that are totally in accordance with the notion of interference of the mediumship vehicle. The presence of medium's interference is a strong evidence of a communication process in action, since every communication occurence is affected by interference to some degree. The influence of interference in automatic writtings depends, however, on the linguistic level that is taken into account, but it increases at lower levels. the higher the cognitive functions that are required to manifest certain linguistic features (at higher levels) so the weaker will the interference be.

Pragmatics and intention in F. C Xavier automatic writtings is directly related to the strong impression they have caused on relatives and parents. These people were called to 'decodify' their content, due to the presence of intentional and pragmatic elements that are not publicly available. It is necessary to recognize that in every communication process, the emitter strategy is only effective if a set of beliefs and knowledge is shared among all players in the process. The medium however is far from being able, by any normal means, to access such vast repertoire of memories and past facts that become so deeply intertwined in the pragmatic content revealed a posteriori by the relatives. The emitter (the Spirit or discanate entity) is the agent that has the pragmatic competence and intention, while the medium is the intermediary, that sometimes interferes as an irreducible noise source most clearly apparent at the lower levels of the process. 
As private aspects are involved in automatic writtings, higher linguistic levels are involved that are less prone to the medium's influence. Interference acts on lower levels such as syntax and morphology (for exemple, presence of misprints and other morphological mistakes).
Therefore, if communication is not simply 'to transport information', F. C. Xavier automatic writtings can only be explained if he, the medium, was assisted by the discarnate Spirit who is the true author or message emitter. Although pragmatics and intention are less prone to medium's interference, there are equally notable 'xenographic' communications, or automattic writtings in languages that are not known by the medium. These phenomena also shows that the discanate entities can also have control of the lower levels. In a few words, this is a 'draft' of a linguistic model that best explains the phenomenon of mediumship messages produced by F. C. Xavier and we belief that it can also be applied to other mediums as well. 

Our little effort here is part of an initiative that resulted in an article published in Paranthropology.