Paul H. Smith, Ph.D.

Paul H. Smith, Ph.D., Major, US Army (ret.) is a psychic spy–an alumnus of the Department of Defense’s Star Gate remote viewing (RV) program. Trained by Dr. Harold E. Puthoff and Ingo Swann, the founders of remote viewing, Paul in turn taught RV to new military remote viewers, and also briefed and demonstrated remote viewing to senators, admirals and generals. A Desert Storm veteran, he retired from the Army in 1996, and is an author and frequent conference speaker and interview guest. President and chief instructor for Remote Viewing Instructional Services, Inc., he is also a founding director and past president of the non-profit International Remote Viewing Association. His book Reading the Enemy s Mind (Tor/Forge 2005) was a Readers Digest Book Bonus Feature and Editors Choice selection. He is also author of The Essential Guide to Remote Viewing (Intentional Press, 2015) and co-produced the “LearnDowsing” and “Remote Perception” home study courses. He has a BA from BYU and an MS from the National Defense University (both concentrating in Middle East studies), and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin.


    IRVA 2022 – Myths and Misunderstandings about Controlled Remote Viewing

    IRVA 2022 – Outbounder Remote Viewing Experiment

    IRVA 2021 – Confusion in the Ranks: Remote Viewing and Consciousness

    Consciousness plays a major role in remote viewing―perhaps THE major role. And our misunderstandings about what consciousness is and how it works can get in the way of remote viewing success. Paul H. Smith, who served for seven years in the U.S. government’s remote viewing program at Fort Meade, Maryland, leads us in a discussion of what consciousness is, what it isn’t, and how to understand it in a way that can help us get more in touch with our underlying abilities.

    IRVA 2020 – IRVA Founders Panel

    The International Remote Viewing Association was founded in March, 1999 by a group of some of the most influential figures from both the scientific and applications sides of the field. This panel discussion will be led by several of those early founders, discussing a range of topics – from the past, present, and future of remote viewing, to questions raised by our conference attendees. Truly a highlight of the 2020 conference!

    IRVA 2020 – Outbounder Workshop

    A conference favorite, the "Outbounder Workshop" is a participatory experiment following an experimental protocol conducted during Stanford Research Institute research into remote viewing. A team of "outbounders" visit a physical location not known to the facilitator or the attendees, and conference-goers are walked through a simple remote viewing effort to describe the outbounder team's location & experience.

    IRVA 2015 – The Ideogram Legacy

    Paul Smith and Lori Williams give 2 perspectives on everything ideograms as joint speakers in this invaluable presentation. The Ideogram Legacy: Ingo Swann’s Doctrine on Ideograms and What Difference it Makes Ideograms are a naturally-occurring phenomenon discovered by Ingo Swann and integrated by himinto controlled remote viewing. They can be useful in other forms of remote viewing as well. My presentation will explain how ideograms came to be central to CRV, clear up the many misconceptions that exist about them and how they are used, demonstrate some key aspects of the nature of ideograms and how and why they form, and give attendees the opportunity to get some direct experience with Ingo Swann style ideograms.

    IRVA 2014 – Don’t Know Much About History

    In the remote viewing world we seldom hear people say, “Wow, I would really like to learn more about remote viewing history.” More often you will hear “Oh, that’s just history. I already know everything I need to know about that!” Usually, what they mean by “history” is the squabbles over who did what when and who deserves the credit in the distant remote viewing past. But this is not the kind of “history” I am going to talk about.

    Surely you’ve heard the quote (paraphrased from George Santayana) “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it”; or if you find that unfamiliar, then you’ve certainly heard the phrase “reinventing the wheel.” Both phrases carry the same message. In terms of remote viewing they mean: If you don’t know enough about what went on in remote viewing past, you’re going to waste a lot of time learning lessons or discovering things that were already discovered before.

    I am going to introduce you to some of the most important discoveries made and lessons learned in the past that equate to how to actually do remote viewing successfully right now. I will, of course, give credit to and mention names of those who first discovered the principles and practices. But most importantly, I will show you how to leverage history to learn from the giants of the past (both the taller ones and those not quite as tall) so that you can stand on their shoulders to make new discoveries.

    IRVA 2014 – Dowsing For Amelia

    Founding IRVA member, Paul Smith Ph.D, teaches us how to dowse and how this technique was used in gathering information on the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.

    IRVA 2012 – Remote Viewing’s “Game-Changer” — How You and I Can Help ‘Remote Viewing’ Become a Household Word

    If you plan to attend the 2012 Remote Viewing Conference, you probably already believe that remote viewing is profoundly important, and deserves wider support and recognition in our culture. The panel at last year’s conference debated how best to spread the word and engage society’s interest in this new form of applied consciousness. Though the panelists wrestled sincerely with the issue, I felt that they discovered no new strategies. Mostly, they recommended just the usual sorts of top-down approaches used since remote viewing’s first public beginnings, such as giving media interviews, engaging public-opinion makers, and so on. In the early days of remote viewing’s public debut these strategies worked, and they still have some value. But as public attention wanders, the top-down, media-heavy approach has lost much of its force.

    In my presentation, I will engage you in a new approach to “spreading the remote viewing word.” I will help you capture, then channel that native human enthusiasm for this exciting subject that all of us remote viewing devotees bring to the table. Using entertaining and even amusing exercises and learning experiences set in a socially-safe environment, I will take you through a work-shop style approach that will prepare you not just to deal comfortably with questions and challenges from friends and loved ones who may be uncertain about your interest in the “paranormal.” I will also teach you how to “take the fight to the enemy” – to persuasively introduce the fresh and potentially life-changing world of remote viewing to new people who may want to become part of that world, too – but don’t yet know it. Learn how to become part of this bottom-up, “grass roots” strategy that can seize the momentum that the top-down approach has lost.

    IRVA 2011 – The Paradigm Argument Against Psi and what to do about it!

    Those individuals who are interested in remote viewing have had friends, relatives — or even skeptical people out of the blue — challenge the reality of remote viewing and explain to them why it “can’t possibly” be true. One of many skeptical arguments they may hear is that, “If remote viewing is real, then science is wrong. But science has been right about everything else. There is less evidence for remote viewing and other kinds of ESP than there is for scientific phenomena, so you are smarter to believe in science than in remote viewing.” For reasons Mr. Smith will explain in his presentation, he will call this the “paradigm argument,” and he will give a fuller explanation of it than the relatively simplistic version stated it here. He will go on to explain why and how this argument is wrong, and how accepting the reality of remote viewing and ESP does no damage at all to science. And he will give you a handy, gentle response you can use with anyone who tries this argument on you.

    IRVA 2010 – Dowsing: An Introductory Workshop

    As a practical follow-up to his 2007 Remote Viewing Conference talk The Shotgun Wedding Between Dowsing and Remote Viewing, Paul will lead a hands-on introductory dowsing workshop. IRVA will provide a simple pendulum so the attendees can learn the difference between discrete and continuum dowsing. The attendees will also have the opportunity to try out their skills on a several elementary dowsing tasks.

    IRVA 2010 – Panel Member: The Remote Viewing Training Controversy: Does it work? Is it necessary? Is there evidence?

    Some members of the remote viewing community are surprised when they learn that IRVA’s directors and officers often have widely differing opinions about remote viewing and its practice. Of course, there is no reason why IRVA’s leadership should be any more uniform in its beliefs than are the leaders of other organizations of comparable size and interest. Indeed, much can be learned from differences of opinion, and it is often healthy to air these in a setting from which all may benefit. One such controversy is whether formal remote viewing training (as offered, for example, by Lyn Buchanan and Paul H. Smith of IRVA’s board) is really of any value or use. On the other side of the issue are two other IRVA board members, Stephan Schwartz and Russell Targ who both have argued that one can learn all one needs to know to do remote viewing in fifteen minutes. They question the value of long term training programs as offered by Smith, Buchanan, and others. Recently, both Targ and Schwartz have added to their argument. In his 2009 Remote Viewing Conference presentation Russell Targ took purveyors of remote viewing training to task for presenting what he sees as an overly complex methodology for which no evidence for success has been offered. Stephan Schwartz has expressed a similar complaint in various online postings. Together they suggest that a traditional double-blind judging approach should be used to either support or reject the claims by remote viewing instructors as to the success of their training approach. For this panel, both sides will come together to express and discuss their views, with audience participation encouraged for the final segment.

    IRVA 2009 – Smoking Gun III:Evidence for Successful Remote Viewing Applications in the Real World

    This is the third in a series of “Smoking Gun” presentations showing powerful evidence for the reality of remote viewing. The first “Smoking Gun” was at the 2004 Remote Viewing Conference, where I showed many accurate remote viewings done by my own students and a few others. The second “Smoking Gun” was at the 2006 Remote Viewing Conference when, thanks to public release of 90,000 pages of declassified Star Gate Program documents, I was able to show the actual results of some of the remarkably successful remote viewing work done by military remote viewers. My presentation for the 2009 Remote Viewing Conference moves on from prior work to look at the successes of a simple protocol with immense promise for now and into the future to apply the power of our non-local human minds in very practical ways. I will show you startling examples, and I will show you evidence for this potent way to use our own minds to produce valuable and useful results.

    IRVA 2009 – Panel Discussion:Remote Viewing and the Nature of Consciousness

    The nature of consciousness is a hot-button topic today. Psychologists, neuroscientists, philosophers, and other professionals continue to engage in an ongoing debate as to what consciousness means. In reality, we may never know. Is it a product of the biological and classical physical interactions of the human brain; or is it something more fundamental, perhaps electromagnetic, or the result of quantum physics principles that we don’t yet fully understand. Could it be something even more profound than that — something beyond the scope of science and physics, any kind of physics, for us to understand?

    Because consciousness seems to play a central role in remote viewing, and the underlying faculty that makes remote viewing work may be central to consciousness, this year’s conference committee invites panel members with differing views and expertise to address this question: Just what is the connection between remote viewing and consciousness, and what does it tells us about human nature?

    IRVA 2007 – Searching, Finding, Locating – The Shotgun Wedding Between Dowsing and Remote Viewing

    Doubters often ask, “Well, if remote viewing works, then why hasn’t a remote viewer found Osama bin Laden?” My usual response is: “How do you know a remote viewer hasn’t?” since it is quite possible a remote viewer has located bin Laden, but because of such skeptical doubters, no one has paid the necessary attention. The fact is, such questions reflect a profound misunderstanding of what remote viewing is, and what it can do. While remote viewing can be used (and often is) for the so-called “search problem” — that is, trying to discover the location of someone or something that is missing — it is not ideal for that specialized purpose

    Remote viewing is a descriptive process. In other words, a remote viewer can describe the setting and surroundings of a missing child, a drug-smuggling ship, a terrorist headquarters, or dangerous enemy missiles. But it is a poor choice if what you need is an address or specific geographical location for those targets. So remote viewers can find missing things…they just can’t locate them. In the military remote viewing program we often encountered this problem, and over time worked out some useful methods for dealing with it, sometimes with great success. In my presentation I will talk you through the problem, and then introduce you to the solutions we developed, showing actual results straight from the CIA’s own once-secret archives. I will then lead you through and illustrate methods we employed, to help you gain a first-hand understanding of the “search problem” and how it might be solved.

    IRVA 2007 – Panel Discussion: A Remote Viewer’s Code of Ethics

    Ethics as applied to remote viewing will be defined and explored by the panel with audience participation. Among the issues that will be discussed are targeting rules, what boundaries should be imposed on using the skill, and tasker as well as viewer ethics.

    IRVA 2006 – Smoking Gun II: Astonishing Evidence From the Archives

    The presentation focuses on real cases of remote viewing (ESP) spy work done by actual remote viewers in the military’s psychic espionage program. Included in the presentation are original images and documents from the CIA’s archives from the official Star Gate remote viewing program showing some of the spectacular work done by these military psychic spies in support of national defense during the Cold War.

    IRVA 2004 – Smoking Gun: Extraordinary Claims vs. Exceptional Proof

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof has long been the battle cry of those who criticize claims of the paranormal — particularly when it comes to extra-sensory perception (ESP). Providing such “extraordinary proof” is made doubly hard because the critics raise the standards of what is acceptable as evidence whenever parapsychologists meet the previous standards. The playing field is not level.

    The truth is that the evidence for ESP has long ago gone beyond the “normal” standards of evidence to the exceptional and is rapidly approaching the extraordinary. I will talk briefly about why the insistence on extraordinary proof, but will spend most of my time showing you the actual evidence, starting with summaries of some of the state-of-the-art parapsychology research (presentiment, staring, Ganzfeld experiments, and perhaps others) but spending the lions’ share of the time displaying and discussing for you many actual remote viewing results. Even the most doubtful will find it hard to dismiss the “exceptional” evidence they will see in the course of this presentation.

    IRVA 2004 – Associative Remote Viewing: Introduction and Exercise

    IRVA 2002 – Operational Failure:Why it’s hard for an operational RVer to remote view photos — and what you can do about it

    IRVA 2001 – Remote Viewing’s Biggest Buggaboo:How we come to think we know what really isn’t so

    Is it real, or is my mind just making it up? This is always the question remote viewers must ask themselves. Mental “noise” is the one thing that gets in the way of every attempt to “be psychic.” How can you tell the difference between noise and signal? Did you know that there is psychological research that can help us understand this phenomenon… and that there are ways to work around it when we can, and adapt to it when we cannot? Come hear one of the leading teachers of remote viewing explain what it is, what it ain’t, and what you can do about it!

    IRVA 2000 – RV101: A Brief Introduction To Remote Viewing