John B. Alexander, Ph.D.
A former U.S. Army colonel, Dr. John B. Alexander served in key positions in Special Forces, Intelligence, and Research & Development. Joining Los Alamos National Laboratory, he introduced Non-Lethal Defense for which he is an internationally recognized expert. Later he attended the Harvard JFK School of Government Senior Executive Program on National and International Security, served as an advisor to Afghanistan Minister of Defense and senior officials, and recently was with the U.S. Army Science Board. Having traveled to remote areas of every continent on earth, he has studied a wide range of phenomena. He is the author of several books and many articles on international security issues and phenomenology. Currently a Senior Fellow with the U.S. Joint Special Operations University, his eclectic activities include being a Councilor for the Society for Scientific Exploration and a Board Member of IRVA.
IRVA 2009 - Shamanism, Near-Death Experiences, and Remote Viewing
This presentation will address commonalities found in shamans around the world with the phenomenology of both near-death experiences (NDEs) and remote viewing practices. In particular, it will address the ingestion of ayahuaska in shamanic ceremonies in the Peruvian Amazon region, and elsewhere, and the states that are induced. This presentation builds on similar talks given at the International Shamanic Conference in Iquitos, Peru in 2008, and at the annual conference of the International Association for Near-Death Studies that same year.
My personal observation of shamans extends far beyond the Western hemisphere and includes every continent on earth excluding the uninhabited Antarctic. Of importance is the underlying philosophy and world views of indigenous peoples that seem to easily accommodate human experiences that remain controversial, and even befuddle Western scientists. The root of these experiences often have evoked social constraints by religions and governments alike, while pharmaceutical companies have engaged in what has become known as biopiracy to obtain the organic secrets vested in uneducated, yet biochemically sophisticated healers. Explored will be the similarities, and differences, between states induced in shamanic rituals and those of spontaneous NDEs and willful remote viewing.
IRVA 2004 - Stepping Back: Discovering the Nature of Phenomenology
Five decades of personal observation of various phenomena have provided tantalizing clues, but no resolution as to the nature of each. This presentation suggests it is time to reevaluate these diverse topics. This process should begin by divesting investigators of the delimiting parameters that each phenomenon has established. Experience has shown that definitions are frequently prematurely established, leading to the potential exclusion of data necessary for a comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon.
The recommended approach would assemble a comprehensive list of as many observations of anomalous incidents as possible, albeit without attribution of values. This will be difficult as scientists have a tendency to begin all investigations by establishing the limits of their area of study so that the study may be adequately bounded. While bounding may work in most areas of science, I argue that this is exactly the reason why so little progress has been made in studying phenomenology.
Once the observations have been posted, commonalities should be identified regardless of origin. Macro-pattern analysis should then be applied to determine inter and intra-disciplinary common factors. The hypothesis is that previously undisclosed patterns will emerge and provide the underpinnings of an interdisciplinary study that may yield answers to many of anomalous observations. It is further recommended that this process be initiated in an intensive, sequestered environment that facilitates comprehensive interaction between participants.
Stepping back infers the ability of observers to disassociate themselves from preconceived notions about each phenomenon and explore for more fundamental themes that may be discovered.
IRVA 2002 - The Ultimate Conspiracy
From Remote Viewing to Mind Control is one short step for those steeped in the conspiracy theories that abound today. Can remote viewers read your mind or implant thoughts? Did "the Government" cover up Saddam's use of biological agents during Desert Storm? Did they orchestrate the Oklahoma City bombing followed by the attacks on the World Trade Center? Are they routinely kidnapping people for sinister psychological experimentation?
If you are going be involved with phenomena such as remote viewing, you'd better understand conspiracy theory because you are part of it.
IRVA 2001 - Remote Viewing, Science, and You
There is a paradox. Science (in general) does not believe in remote viewing. Many people do believe in remote viewing. People who study remote viewing want to talk with scientists. They often do not want to talk with the general public. Scientists do not want to talk with those who study remote viewing. The general public does want to hear about remote viewing. What's wrong with this picture???
And then there is the Fourth Estate. Where does the media get their information? Are there really two sides to every story? Who are the Scientists? The Nuts? The Skeptics? And how did they get to be proclaimed as such? Ergofusion explains a lot of these problems.