“Stereo”, by David Cronenberg (1969)


Now that we have some insight into the concept of experiential space, we may consider interaction among the experiential space continua of a highly unique group of individuals.

In general, a study of the varying dimensions of human experience in the context of man in his society is known as human social cybernetics. In our experiment, eight Category-A subjects underwent pattern brain surgery whose program was developed within the academy’s organic computer dialectic system. The object of surgery was to extend, by a process called biochemical induction, the natural, electro-chemical network of the human brain. This extension would provide each subject with telepathic capabilites. A telepathist is one who can communicate with other minds by means which do not involve perception by the senses. Thus, telepathy is a form of extra-sensory perception or ESP.

Our subjects were to be kept in isolation at the institute for three months, where they were to prepare for their first meeting as a group. This meeting was to take place at the academy sanitorium in the Ontario north woods.

Telepathic dependency is an extreme form of psychic addiction. It is essentially an electro-chemical addiction. The dependent, surrending the autonomy of his own nervous system to that of the object of his dependency, and altering his patterns of electro-chemical discharge to mimic those of his object. When the object of dependency is telepathically unavailable for long periods of time the new nervous patterns find themselves suddenly without a constant source of electro-morphological reinforcement… and, severe psychic disorientation begins to manifest itself in the dependent. At its most intense level a frustrated dependency can result in the irreversible destruction of critical brain tissue. In as much as the establishment of a partial telepathic dependency of the subject upon his researcher is an unavoidable part of the parapsychological experimental gestalt, the means to maintain this dependency at a controllable level must be considered an organic element forming that experimental gestalt.

During the institute phase of the induced telepathy series… our subject, possessed of a statistically excessive, dependency susceptibility quotient, wounded himself in the forehead, with a hand drill. The wound, a hole about one-half an inch in diameter, completely penetrated the subject’s skull and seemed to afford him the relief of imagined cranial pressures. Temporary euphoria, and electro-chemical dissociation, which he sought.

It will perhaps clarify these matters if we consider the specific configuration of the Category-A subject. Category-A is a classification which finds its meaning within the scientific metaphysics of the aphrodisiast and theorist Luther Stringfellow. It is not what is usually considered an objective classification. Based for example, upon physical or psychological characteristics. Category-A, is rather a certain field reaction of the researcher to an intensive period of personal interaction with each of his potential subjects. There is also, therefore, the element of an aesthetics of human form in the Category-A system of subject classification.

Dr. Stringfellow made his name as an exponent of the existential organic approach to the sciences, long before his work in the socio-chemistry of the erotic achieved its present international eminence. A Category-A classification is the existential organic methodology put into practice. Dr. Stringfellow has repeatedly stressed the vital necessity for the use of this approach. Particularly, in the new social sciences, where variables are infinite and complexity is of the highest possible order.

The nature of erotic research requires that the sexual emotional involvement of the researcher with each subject be taken to its farthest possible extreme. It is only in this way that the researcher, in whose consciousness a total mosaic of his particular research project exists, can divine in each of his subjects a color, a texture, and a shape. And so assign to that subject, his proper place in the research mosaic.

It was hoped that many important questions would be clarified, if not answered, during the course of our experiment with induced telepathy. Two of the eight subjects consented to having portions of their larynx removed, making it physically impossible for them to speak. In addition, large portions of the speech centers of the brains of these subjects were obliterated so that the psychological faculty of speech itself would be impaired. Would the maturing and strengthening of the telepathic capacity in these speechless subjects surpass that of the subjects who still retained the ability to speak?

It was anticipated that the telepathic experience would be much more than simply reading another’s mind. One telepathist would perhaps be able to apprehend not only verbal patterns, as they arose in the mind of another, but would also encounter simultaneously the germinative layers of memory, learning, emotional response, and psycho-physiological impulse, which actually generate thought and language. How dependent upon language is thought? Is abstract logical thought even possible without language?

The essence of the telepathic bond is the dominance of one of the particles forming the telepathic conglomerate. Whether the conglomerate consists of two telepathists or of a large socially cohesive group, the principle of psychic dominance remains constant. The dominant personality is responsible for the suppression of the heterogeneous elements which the conglomerate comprises. The homogeneous elements which remain are then driven together to form the conglomerate by the laws of telepathic bonding implicit in the Stringfellow Hypothesis. The principle of dominance thus provides the agglutinizing impetus which induces the initial conglomerative motion.

As Stringfellow notes in defining the nature of dominance, the will of the newly formed conglomerate must necessarily be a function of the will of the dominant personality. Only after an indefinite period of symbiotic telepathic cohesion can the dominant personality abnegate its agglutinative role and encourage the emergence of a truly synthetic conglomerate personality.

Stringfellow’s behavior as parapsychologist suggests that perhaps his foremost post-operative research objective was to intuit which among his Category-A subjects was the one most capable of assuming the role of psychic dominant. This subject was then provided indirectly with certain historical and interpretive data concerning his fellow subjects. This data would naturally assure the immediate social dominance of the chosen subject within the context of the experimental, socially isolate gestalt. The function of the dominant would be then to select from his fellow subjects the one psychically most vulnerable. And by the application of subtle, social intimidations followed by a careful series of potent symbolic gestures draw the subject into the field of his psycho-telepathic dominance.

Once a true conglomerate exhibiting complete telepathic bonding has been established between this primary couple, the progression towards a larger and more complex conglomerate may begin.

In psychic research the emotional distance between the researcher and his subject is inevitably diminished until it is no more than the distance between any two persons. The acquiescence of the subject of the demands of the researcher comes nothing more nor less, than an individual act of faith of love. If there can be no love between researcher and subject there can be no experimentation.

In conventional theories of scientific methodology, an experiment proves its validity when it can be universally repeated in every aspect. In psychic research, such an approach is completely untenable. The existential circumstances of any experiment in parapsychology are inextricably mixed with the individuals and the phenomological sets involved in that particular experiment and cannot be abstracted from those individuals or phenomological sets.

The conditions of experiments in parapsychology are unique, non-uniform and non-repeatable. A completely non-scientific burden is therefore place upon the researcher for if the personal relationship between researcher and subject deteriorates the experiment cannot continue along its natural course.

The sensitivity of the experimental parapsychological plexus demands new methods to help maintain the emotional momentum in certain experiments. Proving notice that the motto of the Canadian Academy for Erotic Inquiry has immediate relevance for the Stringfellow induced telepathy series. “Amor vincit omnia.” Or: “Love conquers all.”

We understand that the unique way in which an individual perceives and reacts to his environment is a function of his own experiential space continuum. When object events enter the experiential space continuum of that individual they become an integral organic part of that space. They are actually changed, qualitatively modified in accordance with the creative nature of that space. But we are now dealing with telepathists.

In theory the experiential space continua of two or more telepathists can merge, can blend together to an extent far beyond the range of normal human experience. What would be the organic nature of communal experiential space shared among eight psychosomatic entities? Would one person, one mode of perception and reaction, one experiential space continuum dominate this oversoul? Or, would each mind participate in the synthesis of a uniform newly created emergent space, unlike any of its constituents? How would the physical and social functioning of members of this group be altered? Or, could they function in recognisable modes at all?

There is some evidence to suggest the potential telepathic intensity varies indirectly as the square of the distance between two telepathists. An increase in physical distance may therefore be used by one telepathist as an effective defence against telepathic intrusion on the part of another telepathist. A far more sophisticated intrusion avoidance device known as schizophonetic partition was evolved by one of the female subjects during the group isolation sanitorium phase. In order to subvert attempts by fellow subjects to establish potentially intrusive telepathic rapport, she completely separated her telepathic, non-verbal self from her oral verbal self. The telepathic self functioned as a false self, diverting fellow telepathists from the real or true self, which manifested itself only in occasional, deliberately confused, verbal utterances. She thus protected her true self from telepathic intrusion by abandoning her telepathic faculty to a false self. Not surprisingly, repeated telepathic probes undertaken by other subjects could not discover the true nature of her experiential space continuum.

The danger inherent in schizophonetic partition as a telepathic intrusion avoidance device is that the false telepathic self tends to become increasingly parasitic on the true oral/verbal self. The true self begins to suffocate in as much as it is starved of contact with the outside, and the false self gradually becomes the only self to interact with other selves. In the instance of our female schizophonetic subject, the true self began to express its moribond existence through the telepathic emission of violent images of decay: vampirisim, disentegation and necrophilia, which sporadically interrupted the functioning of the telepathic false self. The intensity and frequency of this emission of morbid, telepathic images rapidly increased until it began to create the same depressed mode in those close to her.

Another important function of our experiment was to be the practical testing of the Stringfellow hypothesis. The Stringfellow hypothesis takes the form of the following equation: the rate of telepathic flow between two minds, is directly proportional to the intensity of the relationship between the two minds. The units used to measure flow and intensity are taken from psycho-chemistry. In less mathematical terms, we may say that this hypothesis indicates that even between mature telepathists there can be no telepathic communication until some sort of existential emotional relationship has been established in conventional sensory ways. Thus, among complete strangers there would exist only a kind of noise, a short wave static. The Stringfellow hypothesis also suggests that here the potency of human eroticism would play an important role. A strong sexual attraction would be a substantial basis for the establishing of a geometrically increasing rate of telepathic flow.

The politics of experience on the level of individuals is a correlative of the politics of social groups. The politics of telepathic experience may be studied as a projection of the power struggles among individuals into the extremities of psychic potency and complexity, a projection that is, into the future of human social evolution.

The role of the induced telepathy series, in the total Canadian social experiment, is theoretically secure. That role emerges out of Dr. Stringfellow’s concept: the telepathic commune, a group characterized by the blending of experiential space continua and the constant instantaneous exchange of data among the nervous systems forming the commune. Stringfellow indicates that at the most basic structural level the telepathic unit, which empasizes acts of faith and love, seems the most plausible replacement of the obsolescent family unit. The communal telepathic experience translated into the larger social national context would presumably carry with it intrinsic qualities of willing reciprocal dependency and a mutual experiential creativity. The social responsibility of telepathic prototypes is therefore of the utmost gravity. For it is only by their individual efforts that the creation of the first and most critical telepathic communes can be realized.

For those of exponentially and maturing telepathic capacities, the question of phenomenological refinement must inevitably become one with the problem of the internalization of the sensory. The telepathist faces the obsolescence of the senses and the possible atrophy of the human sensorium in all but its most mundane operations. During a certain phase in the telepathist’s evolution, the sensory will attempt to internalize to avoid its extinction on the level of intellectuality and emotion. This avoidance could take two forms. One would be: the forced psychic ingestion of the entire universe is conveyed in terms of sensory information. This would partially manifest itself in in the instantaneous translation into the vocabulary of the sensory of all purely psychic, abstract or extrasensory phenomena. Second form of avoidance would be the reification of the psychic, the abstract or the extrasensory, and its subsequent externalization or projection.

The process begun by the subjectification and displacement of the nonsensory would find a point of equilibrium and complete itself only with the indiscriminate return or internalization of both the projective nonsensory information and its sensory screen, the passive external world as perceived by the senses. In both instances, the distinction between the sensory and the nonsensory, the concrete and the abstract, the psychic and the physical, would be lost utterly.

These opposite poles of human sexuality are traditionally held to be heterosexuality and homosexuality. Yet this same bipolar structure of sexuality is ignored when the question of normality and deviation arises. The norm is taken to be heterosexuality and both bisexuality and homosexuality are considered deviations from that norm.

The primary justification for normality of heterosexuality is reproduction. Only a heterosexual relationship can, as yet, result in regeneration. This argument collapses, however, once it is demonstrated that the sexuality involved in reproduction represents only a very small, almost accidental segment of the total human sexual spectrum. Academy research has established that both heterosexuality and homosexuality are equally, what might be termed perversions, relative to the potential human sexual field. In this context, the true norm is an expanded form of bisexuality which we term omnisexuality.

As an aphrodisiast, Dr. Stringfellow proposes the use of synthetic aphrodisiac drugs to assist those who wish to attain a fully three dimensional sexuality. The proper use of psychic aphrodisiacs such as those being developed by Dr. Stringfellow at the Canadian Academy for Erotic Inquiry is not to increase sexual potency or fertility, but to demolish the walls of psychological restraint and social inhibition which restrict persons to a monosexuality or to a stunted bisexual form of omnisexuality. A telepathist then, by virtue of the omnisexual nature, of his experiential space continuum, may readily be seen to be the possible prototype of three dimensional man.

Certain unexpected result however, threw the future of the project into doubt. When preliminary confrontations between any two subjects were arranged, the subjects not only reported no instances of telepathic communication but quite emphatically avoided even the most casual sensory contact with each other. At the same time, electroencephalographic probes indicated that such telepathic communication as was denied by the subjects was in fact taking place, and at a remarkably high rate of flow. How could such flow exist among strangers?

In an emergency program modification, five of our eight subjects were combined in an enforced community study. These five subjects, although psychochemically the least volatile of the group, almost immediately retreated into a state of false incapsulation,  refusing to communicate in any way, with either researchers or each other. Before further investigations could be made two of the five subjects committed suicide in their residences at the institute. Another, pierced his skull with an electric drill, an act of considerable symbolic significance. Careful separation of the remaining subjects was maintained.

The study of human erotic morphology deals more directly with this question. Morphology is the study of form and structure. Erotic morphology is the study of those forms which evoke an erotic or sexual response when they are perceived or otherwise communicated. Not only the shape of objects or body parts, but also the morphology of motion, of movement in certain patterns, can convey erotic signals of a very complex nature.

Finally, the combination of shape plus motion can attain an erotic significance which is contained in neither shape nor motion when taken separately. But, the telepathist does not have to perceive a breast or thigh or sexual motion directly. He can apprehend the thought of a breast, thigh, or erotic motion in the mind of another telepathist. And this thought is received with greater impact than the perception of the actual breast, thigh, or erotic motion would itself have been. Thus, although both telepathists in our hypothetical confrontation are male, they have made an erotic morphological communication which is essentially heterosexual, or male-female. We can begin to see why the telepathic experience is essentially omnisexual in nature. Why the male-female bisexual categories can no longer apply.

In the sanitorium phase of the induced telepathy series, measures were introduced to prevent further instances of interruption caused by frustrated telepathic dependency. A single compact electromagnetic receiver transmitter was provided for the subjects, undergoing primary group isolation. The receiver transmitter was to feed the subjects reproductions of a variety of patterns of electrochemical discharge unique to Dr. Stringfellow, the group’s common researcher.

The prupose of these transmissions from the institute was to ease the difficult transition from the inevitable telepathic dependency established individually between Stringfellow and each subject, to a group telepathic cohesion and a group telepathic autonomy.

The necessity of sharing the transmitted electrochemical patterns, either through the sharing of the receiver transmitter itself or the telepathic sharing of the experience of receiving the patterns, would provide a basis for the formation of a telepathic commune, which did not depend upon Stringfellow as a psychic cluster nucleus.

Dr, Stringfellow indicated that he himself entered a severly depressive psychological mode upon separation from the induced telepathy group. An event, suggesting that to some extent telepathic dependency functions reciprocally, even between telepathists and non-paranormals.

Five intensive months of work with the remaining subjects revealed ways to gradually increase the tolerance among them, or group exposure. It was found that the telepathic experience was likely to be an overwhelming and extremely exhausting one, verging on pain and hallucination. The most crucial problem for the telepathist apparently was to develop within himself the means to control and modulate the rate and quality of telepathic flow between himself and another. The inexperienced telepathist simply cannot cope with the complexity and effort involved in the social telepathic situation.

The first meeting of all the subjects as a group took place at the Academy sanitorium, somewhat later than originally planned. The sixth subject arrived two weeks after the others, when it was certain that he had fully recovered from his self inflicted violence. It will be sometime before the data on this period accumulated through electroencephalographic information retrieval can fully evaluated.

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