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Heather Ryman

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ESP: Real or Fake?
by Heather Ryman   
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Last edited: Sunday, May 15, 2011
Posted: Sunday, May 15, 2011

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This is an essay that I wrote back in College and hope that you all enjoy it. I was the online one that wrote this and just so you know I did get an A on the essay.

ESP: Real or Fake

            ESP also known as extra sensory perception goes over several different kinds of abilities.  One of the first that most people think of is the ability to read a persons mind or thought also called telepathy.  This ability has been feared and miss understood for a numbers of years.  It also has been difficult to explain to either those who do not believe in such abilities or those that do not also have the ability.  Skeptics have for years said that there is no such thing as ESP and that those that claim to have these abilities are nothing but frauds and should be arrested for fraud.  While, yes there are many people out there that are going to try to fraud the people who are seeking these frauds help.  Keep in mind also that most everyone is born with some kind of ESP ability and slowly lose this ability as we grow up.  This essay will show both sides of the argument and will explain the author's personal views on the subject.  It will also provide some insight to those interested in learning more about the ESP abilities to a person.  There will be some other things included to make a case for why ESP is real and why some believe it is fake.

            Now, there may be a few people that will ask, "What is ESP?"  Well what ESP is very simple to understand once it is understood that is not some kind of magic or evil dark sorcery. ESP is extra sensory perception which means that a person can sense, smell, hear, or see things that are not part of an average persons ability to see, hear, smell, or sense.  Now that does not have mean that the people that do have these extra abilities is a freak or strange or anything like that.  It just means that they are able to do things that others cannot do.   Most often, those with ESP are often referred to as being psychics or being able to see spirits.   While that is true that is not all they can do but before we delve into the basics of what people with ESP can do or cannot do. Let us first learn a bit of the history of the discovery ESP.

            J.B Rhine (Hunter, 2001), who discovered the existence of ESP from listening to people who foretold things before they happened, first popularized ESP in the late 17th century. This made way for the science of Parapsychology and other studies of the unusual happening of the world such as Magic and even some the studies of the occult. Also if we look back in one of the oldest history books in the whole world, the bible, there are many instances that show that some one had a flash of  insight of a future event and be proven correct about it. One example of this is the story of Joseph in the old testament. He would have dreams and most often they were very correct and he was able to help people because of it. He ended up being a very powerful person after his own brothers had sold him into slavery. However, he had ended up being of much use to the one that had bought him in the palace. In short, that was ESP at work even way back then. Also, think of Noah who was told by God, even though no one else actually heard this, to build a ship and gather two of every creature that he could.  He was told to take all of his family and the lock themselves into the ship or ark and wait for the single from a dove before they could leave the ark. Honestly, it shows that a person who sees a spirit or an angel of the Lord then why could not a person see a ghost or the spirit of a loved one instead. This all relative in a way to the fact that people with ESP has been around for a number of centuries. Now let us go even deeper into the basics of ESP.

            ESP may mean extra sensory perception however; this is a very broad area so to really help everyone understand this area of parapsychology the author has chosen to only talk about three specific types of ESP. The three that will be discussed in this essay is Telepathy also know as mind reading, clairvoyance also known as remote viewing, and the two different forms of cognition such as pre- and post- cognition.  These are the three most well known types of ESP among most people in the study of ESP.

            The first one that we will discussion in this essay is the mind reading also called telepathic ability. This ability is often referred to as an ability to read the thought form a persons mind, and for most people they would feel that it was an invasion of their privacy. Now keep in mind that not everyone has this ability to do this or any other kind of ESP. However, also keep in mind that people miss understand what having this ability can do to the person or people with it have to deal with on a regular basis. Imagine for a moment that you are in a room with two hundred people or even two hundred televisions and you asked to not listen to anything that is said on the TV's or the conversations that the people are talking about.  How can you not hear everything that is going on without earplugs?  Well people with telepathy are not able to stop listening they just have to learn to not listen, which in some ways is not easy. In addition, think of it like this that people often have things going on in their minds that they do not normally say aloud but think to themselves. 

            Well lets say that you where ask if you thought that person was rude, and they were, now let us also say that this is your boss and you do not want to sound like a rude person so you tell them that you did not think so.  However, in your mind you are thinking that yes they were very rude. Now let us say that this boss also had the ability to read your mind and knew that you were really lying.  How would it feel if someone used this ability against you, to either fire you or promote you would that be fair to you or anyone else for that matter?  Well no it would not but at the same time if you did not know that the boss could do it then how would you know either?  Well, then that also raises the ethical question of should they use this kind of ability.  Keep in mind most people who have these kinds of abilities are most likely not going to announce that they have them out of fear of being teased or in worst-case scenario harmed for this ability.

            Now while telepathy can be a bit of an annoying to live with it is not very difficult to do, based on the life a few people wished not to have their names in the essay so well call them Sarah and Angel. Sara is a person with a number of different ESP abilities that include a few of the ones we are discussing as well as ones that we are not including in this essay.  Now Sarah is able to read the minds of others from time to time however after living with this ability for a number of years she has learned to control her ability and is able to tune out what she does not want or need to hear. Angel on the other hand has the ability of pre- and post- cognition abilities as well as some other kinds of abilities that are not being discussed in this essay.  These two people have learned to include these abilities into their lives. This does not mean that they do not have issues from time to time like all other people do and that does not mean that they are able to be fully accurate for all the things that they do but this is how easily that the people with these kinds of abilities can look and feel like just everyone else.

            Now with clairvoyance or remote viewing, it is more difficult to know if someone is really doing it not that you can tell that with any of the other abilities though.  However, with this ability a person is able to see things for a distance of a few feet all the way to across the world. Now with remote viewing what a person is doing is they are able to view things that are not something that they should be able to see or even know about. Some times this is connected to out of body experiences. There is not as much known about this ability as the others but is still an interesting one to study. It is difficult to say that a person is able to know things just seconds before the call comes in to their home.  Is possible that it was just a fluke?  Yes, it is possible but what if that same person is correct nearly every since time.  Now clairvoyance is difficult to classify as it has nothing to do with future type or past type influences instead the person who is able to tell you what is happening from a distance without seeing or being in the situation that is happening at the moment they are seeing it.

            Here is an example of remote viewing, a person is in Seattle Washington whom we will call Amber, and her father, whom is very ill and we will call Tarl, is in New York City New York.  Amber is spending time with her uncle in Seattle when at 2:45 p.m. she looked at her uncle and said, "Uncle Harry, dad has passed away."  Her uncle is shocked but doesn't think much about it. Then ten minutes later he gets a phone call from Amber's mother say that Tarl had passed away at 2:45 p.m. Harry looks over at Amber in shock.   See the fact that she knew at the exact moment that he passed on had shocked her uncle. You see people with the ability to remote view are able to say things are happen even if they are not there physically to see or experience it.

            Cognition, either pre- or post-, is the last of the common ESP abilities in which the person with either one of the subsections of the this ability is either able to see the past events that happened days, weeks, months, or even years ago or they can see the future events that may occur in some time in the future. Let us look at some examples of the precognition.  Let us start with Anne and Michel who are friends and have known each other for number years. Anne and Michel end up living in different countries Anne in Europe and Michel in Japan.  One night Anne had a nightmare that Michel was in a terrible accident when he was driving to his job the next day.  She woke with a start and called to tell Michel of her dream.  By the time, Michel answered the phone she was in tears and could barely speak in understandable sentences.  Michel listened to what she had to say but just brushed it off as her having ate something bad just before bed.  Later that day in Japan on his way to his job across town, Michel nearly crashes into a service truck and ends up hitting a wall opposite the truck instead. His car is destroyed and he breaks his arm and five ribs but he is alive.  That afternoon he called Anne to tell her about his accident and tells her sorry for not believing her before.  Anne tells him that she is happy that is okay despite his injuries and that is because in her dream he had died.  This is just one kind of positive ending of a precognition premonition. Not all the stories of people with this kind of ability are as pleasant as this.

            Now we are going to take a look at the opposite end of this kind of ability, post-cognition.  This is often associated with people who in a past life live in the events but not always. This ability allows a person to recall or get visions of the past. They are able tell details of an event in a person's life or an event that the person could not have possibly experience themselves because in most cases they where not alive or even in the same area as the event. 

            For this example we will look at a person we will call Artemis who was born in 1996 and when they where ten years of age he had a vision that his grandfather who had passed away 4 years before his birth, had hid something in the family safe that was located in the attic.  No one had ever been up there since the attic door was locked and no one knew where the key had gone.  Artemis told his mother that the where the key was and there was something in his grandfather had hid in the attic. His mother however did not believe him and so the young boy went to look for the key and go to the attic by himself. An hour later, dusty and sweaty, the boy came back to his mother and showed her what he had found. It was a gold ring with a ruby surrounded by several small diamonds. The mother asked him how he found this ring, which had been lost for 14 years, and why was he so dirty. The boy smiled and said that he had seen his grandfather put it there and where he had hid the attic key.  He also said that he was all dirty because the key had been hidden under the house and it was very warm up in the attic. This puzzled the mother since both of the grandfathers had long since passed away to which the boy had said that he had seen it in his dreams and was able to follow what his grandfather had done in his dream to find the object that she now held in her hands. 

            As you can see, dreams can help us in more than just with dealing with current things but helping solve past mysteries and future events.   Now that is not always the case but this is something that is as some statics have shown in the past there are more and more people with these abilities than there were even 10 years ago. (Noting that the there are few ways to show reference to this really.) Now that is not to say that the people are evolving or advancing it is just that more and more people are accepting that they are able to use abilities that most others don't have or don't try to enhance. Many people will not try to enhance the abilities that they may have because they are skeptical or afraid that the skeptics will try to call them a fraud.

            Now there are many skeptics in the world that say there is nothing scientifically proving the existence of ESP but that is not true since the people have worked in many fields of the parapsychology to prove such existence.  However, the skeptics still say that it is not real and cannot be proven in anyway.  For example, which many of the skeptics use is the ability to know who is on the phone before they answer it.  Some people say well they could have had a caller ID or had planned to have someone call them at a certain time and then forgot about it. Another explanation that they use that it was customary to get call at the very time and it was from the same person each time this however, does not mean that they have ESP. This still does not explain why a person who was at a friends home had known that their father would call them there or how you know who the person is on the phone at work. What about the fact not everyone has caller ID.

            Another example that skeptics use to say that ESP is fake or not real, is when someone knows the exact moment that someone has passed away. The skeptic might say that they had been expecting to get the call because they had known that the person had been very ill. The other reason is that the person had known for sometimes the person had been dealing with a bad illness and just in their gut had expected them to die.  The problem that each of the explanations depend on the gut feeling which is much like predicting or even sensing the death of the person.  It just does not explain the fact that they had known before they where told.

            What would the skeptic say about a person suddenly deciding not to take trip or a particular route on the trip?  Well the skeptic might say that the person just was following an instinct that might have been brought about something someone had said about the trip or the route.  The person might have had a bad dream and just did not really like how it made them feel.  Well that still comes back to the thoughts that the person was using some kind of ESP to make such a choice. In the end, it is hard to disprove one side or the other of the talk about ESP the skeptic's just plain and simply do not want to belief or take something on faith.

            As the author of this essay, I am somewhat biased about this topic because I have always known that I do have some kind of abilities and I trust it. I will say this however; I am willing to admit when I find a person that is completely fake and just cheating the people that believe it, such as, the people who do it as TV type program. However, I believe that there is so much more scientific evidence to support the existence of ESP not just, because I have experienced it first hand.  Parapsychologist all over the world have been able to provide proof in many different forms, although right now I am not able to find any thing to back that up, I know its true based on my own experiences in my own life.

            So in conclusion, there are a number of factors that could come into play about some of the experiences that could be shown in this essay but honestly the fact is unless you experience any of the kinds of ESP type phenomon then you could never really understand the proof even if it slapped you in the face. I honestly hope that every person who ever reads this essay take the time to try many different techniques to help them expand their knowledge on things they may not know anything about. I will leave my readers with this.  If you have an experience like this and need to talk about it contact me because I am not afraid to talk about these things and will help you understand what has happened to you. Thank for reading this essay and have a wonderful day.






Michael Hunter.  (2001). The discovery of second sight in late 17th-century Scotland. History Today,  51 (6), 48-53.  Retrieved April 10, 2011, from Research Library. (Document ID: 73713565).


Dean Radin.  (2000, July). Is there a sixth sense? Psychology Today,  33 (4), 44-51.  Retrieved April 10, 2011, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 54869740).


At long last, proof? (1994, September).  Omni,  16 (12), 78.  Retrieved April 10, 2011, from Research Library.  (Document ID: 4993498).


McKelvie, Stuart J, & Gagne, Helene. (1991, January). A Test of Clairvoyance: Using the Method of Signal Detection. The Skeptical Inquirer,  15 (2), 173.  Retrieved April 10, 2011, from Research Library. (Document ID: 1890541).


White, Diane.  (1990, September 19). Psychic? Or Just Silly? Boston Globe, p. 73.  Retrieved April 10, 2011, from ProQuest Newsstand. (Document ID: 2480286).


Andreas Hergovich, Reinhard Schott, & Martin Arendasy. (2005). PARANORMAL BELIEF AND RELIGIOSITY. The Journal of Parapsychology,  69 (2), 293-303.  Retrieved April 23, 2011, from Research Library. (Document ID: 1257811411).


Lance Storm.  (2003). REMOTE VIEWING BY COMMITTEE: RV USING A MULTIPLE AGENT / MULTIPLE PERCIPIENT DESIGN. The Journal of Parapsychology,  67 (2), 325-342.  Retrieved April 23, 2011, from Research Library. (Document ID: 611416571).


Keith Harary.  (2005, November).  MiND GAMeS: MY JOURNEY THROUGH THE PSYCHIC.  Psychology Today,  38 (6), 74-76, 78, 80, 82, 84-85.  Retrieved April 23, 2011, from ABI/INFORM Global.  (Document ID: 914829171).


Julia Santomauro.  (2005, November). Developing Perspectives on Anomalous Experiences. The Skeptical Inquirer,  29 (6), 22-23.  Retrieved April 23, 2011, from Research Library. (Document ID: 924590011).


Ciarán O'Keeffe, & Richard Wiseman. (2005). Testing alleged mediumship: Methods and results. British Journal of Psychology, 2  96 , 165-79.  Retrieved April 23, 2011, from Research Library. (Document ID: 860817271).

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