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Observations placeholder

The Masters and Houston Witch’s cradle or ASCID - 01 Vaughan's account of experiment



Type of Spiritual Experience


Interesting how his logical mind interfered with the information that was coming through, the chattering mind kept taking control, despite the cradle.  And the chattering mind with its logic kept getting it wrong, whereas his intuitive mind – when he let it, was often very close to the mark.  Also of interest is how the past present and future became indistinguishable.

He was also carrying out his own [unsuccessful] experiment at the time - though whether Masters and Houston knew is not mentionned.  Vaugan believed that history followed patterns, sorts of blueprints for events, like the standard themes for stories, with only the characters changed.  Thus once he obtained an image he tried to fit it to the pattern motif which is where he appears to have got unstuck - and probably messed up Masters and Houston's experiments too.

If you are going to look for patterns it may be better not to look for patterns and prophesy at the same time

Note that Vaughan very honestly admitted that most of this was logic not prophecy - most of it.

A description of the experience

Patterns of Prophecy – Alan Vaughan

Altered states of consciousness, such as in meditation and dreams .., provide the overwhelming majority of spontaneous ESP experiences. A related state, hypnosis or trance, has also proved helpful in gaining access to the unconscious mind from which ESP seems to come.

In November 1969, while doing research for an article on the mind researchers R. E. L. Masters and his wife, Dr. Jean Houston, I had an opportunity to be a subject in their Witch's Cradle, or Altered States of Consciousness Induction Device (ASCID). The cradle is designed on a principle from the Middle Ages when witches were suspended in large sacks from trees to swing until they entered an altered state of consciousness in which they would "visit the Devil."

In the modern device, the blindfolded subject is strapped upright in a swing suspended from a universal joint so that the motion of his own body rocks him into a trance (or whatever particular state he happens to enter). In my case, I seemed to enter into a light hypnotic trance. I told Mr. Masters that I was interested in prophecy, and so he cooperated by asking me questions to which I made prophetic replies. I sent a summary of these to the CPR on December 5, 1969.

What was of particular interest to me was the way that I found myself replying to the questions. Memories of previous predictions came up if I had formerly thought on the subject; fragments of things I had read seemed to appear; half-remembered reactions to various news reports returned and assumed a prophetic form; and also some completely new information came to mind that I could not trace in the past. So it seemed to be a very mixed bag indeed. Here are all the predictions:

1. A madman will attack the Pope in an attempt to kill him early next year. As it happened, a madman, as he was described in the press, made an attempt on the Pope's life the following November. I had not previously thought about the Pope, but Mr. Masters thought I said that the Pope would be killed, so perhaps this was on his mind and I picked it up, either telepathically or even logically, and then softened it to "an attempt."

2. The President of Brazil will be thrown out of office . . . Oops. That was a memory of an event a few years ago.

3. Mrs. R will die in three months. Mrs. R is still very much alive, though at the time she had been in ill health. The logical mind seemed to carry present knowledge to a possible, but wrong conclusion.

4. Jacqueline Kennedy will be estranged from Onassis by her son John and will take up permanent residence in the United States. I had read of John's resentment against his step- father and again logically carried through a possibility. I felt that Mrs. Onassis was too fond of New York to stay long in Greece, and indeed, she does seem to spend a great deal of time in New York, where she keeps an apartment.

5. Ethel Kennedy will not remarry. I had read rumours that she might marry the singer Andy Williams, and my instanteous reaction was, "No, she is too devoted to the memory of Robert Kennedy." Those rumours of marriage have since died down.

 6. Ted Kennedy will suffer more tragedies in the next few years but, by overcoming them, will gain the confidence of the American public to be elected president in 1976. Shortly after Robert Kennedy's death I had two dreams about Ted Kennedy that indicated that he would one day be elected president and would be able to carry out successfully some plans laid down by President John Kennedy. As for the year, I had already concluded that President Nixon would follow the pattern of President Eisenhower and thus be elected for a second term in 1972. Therefore 1976 seemed the likely year for Ted Kennedy's candidacy. So this prediction was a combination derived from dreams, a study of synchronistic patterns, and logic. [logic was wrong]

7. In 1970 there will be a meeting of the world's top economic leaders in an attempt to avert an international monetary disaster. . Wall Street will be severely affected. By this time there have been a number of such meetings, and Wall Street reacted adversely to the floating of currencies and the devaluation of the dollar. I had been in England when the pound was devalued in 1968, and had since paid some attention to the international monetary system. It seemed badly out of kilter, and so I would consider this a logical prediction.

8. The Vietnam War will be substantially over in 18 months. Only a small token force of U.S. troops will then remain. If I had been right, that would have put it in the summer of 1971.But I did have a psychic feeling that summer would be the time and amended the prediction in an interview I gave in February 1971, which was published in May `1971: "After U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam by the summer of 1972, he said, 'There might be small occupation forces, but we won't be involved in any shooting.' "  On schedule, President Nixon withdrew ground troops from Vietnam in the summer of 1972. A, small American ground force remained until the cease-fire was signed. To get that date, I borrowed from another of my predictions, also published in May 1971:"President Nixon's re-election in 1972 will be mainly because of his having been able to end the Vietnam War, just as President Eisenhower was elected for a second term for ending the Korean War." So this prediction was mainly based on logical deduction from previous study of synchronistic patterns.

The source of the experience

Vaughan, Dr Alan

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Science Items

Activities and commonsteps