Zeitschrift für Anomalistik Vol. 18 (2018) Nos. 1+2

Zeitschrift für Anomalistik 18 (2018), Nos. 1+2, pp. 6–8

Editorial: Zeitgeist

Gerhard Mayer

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Zeitschrift für Anomalistik 18 (2018), Nos. 1+2, pp. 9–34
DOI: 10.23793/zfa.2018.9

Approaches to Altered States of Consciousness in Contemporary Western Science and Technology

Birgit Menzel


Abstract – This article presents a discussion of publications in Anglo-American and German research, mainly since 2000, on topics related to Altered States of Consciousness (ASC). It is motivated by an unprecedented expansion of brain-research which has fostered a boom of reductionist models of the human mind with visions of a technologically augmented humanity and numerous successful neuro-enterprises. At the same time a new movement has emerged toward integrative approaches to ASC, also toward a reconciliation of science, the humanities and spirituality. In the first part, a number of specialized studies is described, followed by an overview of four comprehensive new textbooks which offer comprehensive basic models of explanation for the question of consciousness. The second part contains a discussion of two diametrically opposed approaches to ASC, the project of Transhumanism as a movement in favor of neuroscience in the service of Neuro-enterprise, and Fritjof Capra’s and Pier Luigi Luisi’s Systems View of Life which is paradigmatic for an integral approach to ASC.

Keywords: consciousness – altered states of consciousness – neuroscience – transhumanism

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Zeitschrift für Anomalistik 18 (2018), Nos. 1+2, pp. 35–66
DOI: 10.23793/zfa.2018.35

Metamorphoses of the Bête du Gévaudan – or: the appeal of the uncommon and unknown

Meret Fehlmann


Abstract – The Beast of Gévaudan was a wolf-like animal that killed ca. 100 victims between 1764 and 1767. The events have never been fully resolved, thus inviting many speculations. The theories about the true nature of the beast serve to trace social and cultural explanatory models concerning aggressive lupine behaviour. Related to the return of wolves’ discourses about the nature of these animals and their eventual threat to humans are becoming more important. The paper retraces negotiations about knowledge, its legitimacy and its social acceptance based on the history of the Beast of Gévaudan.

Keywords: Bête du Gévaudan – predation – wolf attack – France – cryptozoology – reception – folklore

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Zeitschrift für Anomalistik 18 (2018), Nos. 1+2, pp. 67–75
DOI: 10.23793/zfa.2018.67

Comments to „Metamorphoses of the Bête du Gévaudan“

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  • Ulrich Magin: Humans or Wolves? The modern case of the “Lichtermoor Strangler“
  • Gerhard Mayer: The “Problem Wolf“ – and a case of coincidence
  • Michel Meurger: War of the Camisards, “Meneurs de Loups“, and Cryptozoology

Response from the author:

  • Meret Fehlmann: Concerning the Beast of Gévaudan, again

Zeitschrift für Anomalistik 18 (2018), Nos. 1+2, pp. 76–103
DOI: 10.23793/zfa.2018.76

Clairvoyance for the Government: Gerard Croiset and the Search for Hanns Martin Schleyer (1977)

Uwe Schellinger


Abstract – In 1977, the president of the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations, Hanns Martin Schleyer, was kidnapped by the terrorist Rote Armee Fraktion [Red Army Faction] (RAF) during the so-called „Deutscher Herbst“ [German Autumn]. In their search for Schleyer, the directors of the special deployment commando in charge for localizing him engaged the then widely known Dutch clairvoyant Gerard Croiset. He was brought in contact with this deployment commando by parapsychologist Hans Bender of Freiburg. In Germany, the utilization of paranormal skills in police investigation has an extended history under the term ‘criminal telepathy’. On the basis of the available sources, this paper reconstructs the development of the search for Schleyer by paranormal means, the differently interpreted results as well as the subsequent reaction in German print media. The incompleteness and inconsistency of the existing sources is addressed.

Keywords: Gerard Croiset – Hans Bender – Hanns Martin Schleyer – Red Army Faction [Rote Armee Fraktion] – RAF – German Autumn [Deutscher Herbst] – clairvoyance – criminal telepathy

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Zeitschrift für Anomalistik 18 (2018), Nos. 1+2, pp. 104–132
DOI: 10.23793/zfa.2018.104

The Bélmez Faces: An Investigation of a Supposedly Strong Case

Gerhard Mayer


Abstract – The so-called Bélmez faces attracted considerable attention in the public and the media as well as in the mostly European parapsychological community in the early 1970s. In 1971, phenomena of supposedly paranormal origin occurred in the Spanish village Belmez de la Moraleda. Discolorations appeared on the concrete floor of a house's kitchen which were interpreted as images of faces of paranormal origin. Due to sensational press coverage, a lot of tourists visited the 'house of faces'. As a reaction to this, attempts of repression were made by the (provincial) government, among others, and the national press started a campaign against Bélmez, apparently based on fake news and false accusations by a journalist. One of the first extensive investigations of the case was conducted by Prof. Hans Bender (1907–1991), together with the Spanish scholar German de Argumosa (1921–2007). Between 1972 and 1973, Bender visited the location in Spain three times in order to get firsthand impressions and conduct interviews. He made several methodological suggestions in order to get more convincing evidence for paranormal events by means of a documentation made quite immune to fraud within someone's grasp. Several reasons can be found to explain such an enormous effort: In Bender's opinion, the case could become very important for parapsychology. He hoped for definite evidence of a paranormal event. A further reason for addressing the faces of Belmez was added in 1973: a German TV channel, with Bender as its scientific advisor, conceptualized a 6-episode series on parapsychological topics under the title Psi for which exciting documentary material, preferably filmed under 'live conditions', should be collected under Bender's supervision. However, the results of an experiment carried out for this purpose did not meet the expectations. This article shall give an impression how Bender approached the investigation of spontaneous cases. lt should illustrate the somewhat complicated interplay between an alleged RSPK case in its public sphere, the social role of so-called skeptics and of mass media looking for a 'good story'. Far from being 'solved', the Belmez case shows the ingredients of a typical RSPK case as well as typical reactions by scientific colleagues, skeptics, and the public.

Keywords: Bélmez faces – electric voice phenomena – EVP – mass media – RSPK – skeptics

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Zeitschrift für Anomalistik 18 (2018), Nos. 1+2, pp. 133–142
DOI: 10.23793/zfa.2018.133

A Family Course – The Importance of Including Subjective Theories of Illness into the Psychotherapeutical Practice on the Basis of a Case Study

Johannes Heim


Abstract – The given article will present and discuss a case study from the private practice of the author. It is concerned with the psychodynamic treatment of a 10 year-old boy and accompanying treatment of his parents with suspected autism spectrum disorder. The focus will be on unconscious transference of generational conflicts from the paternal line to the son. The case study will be used to illustrate and discuss the potential influence of religious or magical beliefs of the patients on the process and the understanding of psychotherapeutic treatments. Within this framework the article focuses on the intersection between religious/magical beliefs and psychoanalytic concepts of primary guilt and feelings of existential shame. Further, thoughts on transgenerational transmission of interpersonal resp. intrapsychic conflicts – from grandmother to father and father to son – are outlined. In conclusion the question of the importance of subjective theories of disease and practical implications for the therapeutic stance in practice will be raised.

Keywords: analytical psychology – belief system – case study – family course – harmful magic

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Zeitschrift für Anomalistik 18 (2018), Nos. 1+2, pp. 143–160
DOI: 10.23793/zfa.2018.143

Shift in interpretation of paranormal experiences through the influence of new media

Sarah Pohl


Abstract – The digital revolution permeates almost all areas of life; therefore, it comes as no surprise that inexplicable / paranormal phenomena and experiences seem to interconnect with the new media. On the one hand, new media technologies belong to the modern way of life and as such are an increasingly important component of paranormal experiences (the inexplicable on cellphone photos, malfunctioning of technical devices in hauntings etc.). On the other hand, paranormal experiences are influenced by representations and conceptions found on the Internet, which change their interpretation and embedding in existing belief systems. Parapsychological expert advice should take these developments into account. A resource-oriented and meaningful approach in dealing with exceptional experiences can help with the integration of such. The relevance of the question about the ontological status of exceptional experiences in the advisory process will be discussed. In this context, we question to what extent, in an era of the Internet and education, spiritual concepts lose their validity and are replaced by pseudo-technical or conspiracy-related worldviews. Is it possible to create a subjective connection to meaning through such conspiracy like concepts? And is it possible to integrate these experiences into one’s own life story, or do these interpretations prevent a successful integration? This problem will be discussed on the basis of a practical example.

Keywords: online consulting – Internet – stigma – brand – single case – state of not knowing – conspiracy

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Zeitschrift für Anomalistik 18 (2018), Nos. 1+2, pp. 161–182
DOI: 10.23793/zfa.2018.161

Book Reviews

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  • Laurence Browne (2017). The many faces of coincidence
    Reviewer: Gerhard Mayer
  • Adrian Owen (2017). Zwischenwelten: Ein Neurowissenschaftler erforscht die Grauzone zwischen Leben und Tod
    Reviewer: Michael Nahm
  • Dennis Waskul with Michele Waskul (2016). Ghostly encounters: The hauntings of everyday life
    Reviewer: Gerhard Mayer
  • Edzard Ernst & Kevin Smith (2018). More harm than good? The moral maze of complementary and alternative medicine
    Reviewer: Florian G. Mildenberger
  • Friedo Mann & Christine Mann (2017). Es werde Licht: Die Einheit von Geist und Materie in der Quantenphysik
    Reviewer: Stephan Krall

Zeitschrift für Anomalistik 18 (2018), Nos. 1+2, pp. 183-189

Abstract Service

Gerhard Mayer

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