Remote Viewing,
Are We Confused Yet?
A Review of Joe McMoneagle's "Remote Viewing Secrets"
By Skye Turell <>
(Note - Joe will be Jeff's guest, Friday, 6-16-00)
Five years ago the U.S. government openly acknowledged their involvement in psychic research. Not just research, but the operation of a team of "psychic spies" for nearly 20 years.
Public reaction was mixed. Some were indifferent, citing this as yet another example of blatant monetary mismanagement -- right up there with studying the aerodynamics of Frisbees (Now, I wonder why that would be of interest?) and $600 toilet seats. Others embraced this revelation with open hearts, "Oh, I've been doing remote viewing for 10, 20, 30 years!"
Suddenly everyone was a remote viewer and half of those opened remote viewing training services. Some training packages started at $3500, just for the beginner course. Others sold instructional videotapes for far less, but sold them by the thousands. You too can remote view in only a week! Just draw a little sketch on the back of this matchbook. All this despite the fact that the "real" remote viewers at Ft. Meade had gone through rigorous daily training, often for months, before they were allowed to go near a real operational target. And these viewers had been screened. There was some indication these individuals might make good remote viewers. And even so the Ft. Meade unit wasn't always successful, not all the time.
"Former military remote viewers" were crawling from the woodwork. One of the Ft. Meade viewers was offered cash to verify someone's false claim to a connection with the unit. Meade viewers found their names listed on executive boards of organizations they'd never heard of.
Others claimed to have been part of even more secret military units and insisted we should accept their superior knowledge, despite their refusal to have their credentials vetted in any way, simply because they claimed it. (Even I, a lowly civilian, know how this works. You get someone who knows someone to give a subtle nod, a positive statement about something not overtly related to the matter at hand, which confirms the person's bona fides. Of course you have to indeed know someone to vouch for you in order to have this work.)
The claims about remote viewing made by these trainers started out grandiose, "We guarantee 100% accuracy," and went up the grandiosity scale from there. And their public appearances, books and websites promoted more and more bizarre predictions, virtually none of which have come to pass. (We're still here, right?)
Even former Ft. Meade viewers were not immune from the lure of the dollar and promise of more than 15 minutes of fame. Some of the worst misrepresentations came from a couple of former unit members.
The legitimate Ft. Meade viewers went into overtime, making radio appearances, posting to email groups, and fielding phone calls, attempting to clarify the confusion and warn against those who had no credentials (or who had apparently simply gone insane).
The net effect has been that the world is now very polarized on the subject of remote viewing. You've got your hardcore debunkers (skeptics keep open minds and debunkers don't fall into this category) and you've got your "believers." Most of the RV students appear to be of the later category. It doesn't matter if they've ever had real verifiable feedback on their performance, or if those sessions were conducted under any sort of controls. They know they are right. Ask them how they know? Well, a bunch of other remote viewers got the same thing! (There are reasons this agreement between viewers can happen, correct data being only one of the possibilities.) Or they'll resent you for even asking. Heaven forbid you should question their experience. They saw it! They remote viewed it!
The sad thing is, the scientists at Stanford Research Institute tried to prevent this polarization from the very beginning. If they could muzzle the negativists by conducting extremely clean research, and keep the believers happy because the lab results were good, theoretically that would end the debates. The very term "Remote Viewing" was an attempt to distance the legitimate research they were doing from the loosey-goosey street "psychics." The neutral terminology no doubt helped manage their conservative government contract holders, but more importantly it also communicated that the substance of their experiments was clearly different, scientific.
Their remote viewings were held under strict lab protocols, which had been hammered out, with much bloodshed, over many years. Each "concern" of the debunkers being met with a further tightening of procedures, to a point now, according to a recent study, where psi research operates with something like 10-12 times more "double blindedness" than your average pharmaceutical study. (The statistical evidence for psi is 7 times more robust than for the fact that aspirin prevents heart attacks - something we all assume to be true. We saw it on the news!) When you've got debunkers drooling to cut you down, you want to get it right the first time.
Not surprisingly, having spent thousands of dollars on training, the student generation is very reticent about the scientific side. It would be a rude awakening to find that you aren't as good as you have been told. Indeed most of the students don't appear to know what kind of controls are used in legitimate studies and have never bothered to read up on the subject. And clearly weren't encouraged to by their trainers. This despite the fact that "remote viewing" is a controlled process. That's what makes it remote viewing and not your garden-variety psychic stuff. In fact, the labs have found that talented viewers perform better when they are completely "blind." A little knowledge, after all, is a dangerous thing. But the less-than-talented? Do they perform well under those controls? That might be another story.
I had a rather circuitous email conversation with one such student who had been claiming that his remote viewing scores were higher than the best lab-performer. The student was making rather pointed statements that perhaps the lab viewers (and the Meade viewers, too) apparently didn't know all that much on the subject. This from a graduate of an organization that is known for doing UFO targets and grading the sessions according to whether their data matches that of the instructor!
I patiently explained how the scoring of sessions is done in the lab - a very rigorous and difficult procedure that, in effect, deducts points for less than stellar performance, but offers no "extra points" for sessions that are blueprint picture perfect, which the world class remote viewers sometimes provide. I typed several pages of explanation. How did he respond? Don't bother me with the facts; this is all too complex. Gawd! You want me to do some MATH? I just want to declare that my remote viewing school is better than those old guys. Don't hassle me with details!
This is just one example and there are many variations on this theme. We don't need to pay any attention to what was learned over the previous 20 years. We like the data we get. We have a new way of doing remote viewing that is easier and the results are better, never mind that we've never done a real remote viewing session in our lives, and would be hard-pressed to even define what remote viewing is. We are more evolved than those other people. That's our story, and we're sticking to it.
This is where the field of remote viewing stands today. Are we confused yet? You bet we are!
In the midst of all of this madness stands Joe McMoneagle, who is probably the best remote viewer in the U.S. Certainly he is the best-documented remote viewer in the U.S., if not in the entire world. He has spent over 20 years both on the research and the applications side of the field. While many like to play the two sides off against each other, Joe is able to integrate and clarify the experience of both.
Joe's new book, "Remote Viewing Secrets: A Handbook" is the most comprehensive book ever written on the how-to of remote viewing. Not just how to do a practice session, but how to use it for real world applications. Not just what makes it work, but what makes it not work. Despite what many have been taught, much was learned over the past 20 years. While Joe is the first to admit that he doesn't know everything about remote viewing - no one does - he does have a wealth of knowledge. If you were to listen to one voice in this chaotic field, you would do well to listen to him.
He'll even answer you the question: If all these remote viewing schools are so evolved and do better work than anyone else, how come Joe receives so many calls from discouraged graduates of these schools, wondering where they went wrong and how come their sessions aren't as good as Joe's are?
Remote viewing is suffering terminal oversell. The real efficacy of this skill is being lost in the shuffle. Joe McMoneagle can tell you exactly what to realistically expect. Sounds like a good starting place to me. _____
Remote Viewing Secrets: A Handbook is available from
Joe McMoneagle's website is
Skye Turell <
"A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves." -- E.R. Murrow


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