Title and statement of responsibility area
Kenneth J. Batcheldor fonds
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CA UMASC MSS 378
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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
- Batcheldor, Kenneth J.
Physical description area
0.07 metres of textual material and 1 DVD.
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Kenneth J. Batcheldor, born in Britain in 1921, was a clinical psychologist who conducted a series of table tilting experiments in the 1960s and 1970s. Initially experimenting with the idea of table tilting sessions as a means of amusement, Batcheldor became intrigued when one such session resulted in the table lifting off the floor, seemingly by itself. He continued to experiment with the process and determined that one’s psychological attitude directly affected one's chance of successfully causing a table to tilt using psychokinesis (PK). He developed the concepts of “witness inhibition” – not wanting to see paranormal events – and “ownership resistance” – a refusal to believe that one is responsible for a paranormal happening such as a sudden table movement – and determined that these two psychological attitudes must be overcome to increase a sitter group’s chance of success. Two of Batcheldor’s experimental sessions were described in psychical researcher Guy Lyon Playfair’s book “If this be Magic” and his psychological concepts were used by Iris M. and A.R.G. (George) Owen in their “Conjuring Philip” experiment. Batcheldor died in 1988.
The fonds was donated to the Archives in 2011 by Guy Lyon Playfair with Walter Meyer zu Erpen, President of the Survival Research Institute of Canada, acting as the transferring agent.
Scope and content
The fonds was arranged in part by the transferring agent according to specifications he provided. This particular fonds consists primarily of a typescript of Batcheldor’s “Macro-PK in Group Sittings: Theoretical and Practical Aspects”, as well as a brief biographical description created by Walter Meyer zu Erpen and a DVD containing a digitized version of the typescript.
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This fonds is one of a series of fonds and collections transferred to the Archives by Walter Meyer zu Erpen, President of the Survival Research Institute of Canada, related to survival and parapsychology research. Other such fonds and collections transferred by Meyer zu Erpen are the Survival Research Institute of Canada fonds (MSS 372; A11-60), A.R.G. (George) and Iris M. Owen fonds (MSS 373, PC 328, EL 38; A11-61), Survival Research Newsletters and Periodicals Collection (MSS 374; A11-62), Debra Barr and Walter Meyer zu Erpen Research and Publication Collection (MSS 375; A11-63), Jenny O'Hara Pincock fonds (MSS 376; A11-64), Spiritualist Hymnals and Manuals Collection (MSS 377; A11-65), Mary Olga Park fonds (MSS 380; A11-71), Albert Batten fonds (MSS 379, PC 329, EL 40; A11-67), Howard Reed fonds (MSS 381, EL 41; A11-107). Also related, but not transferred by Meyer zu Erpen, is the Hamilton Family fonds (Mss 14, Pc 12, Tc 70; A.79-21, A.79-41, A.79-52, A.79-56, A.79-65, A.80-08, A.80-25, A.81-09, A.86-56)
Further accruals are possible.