Former Farsight RVer Cites "Bad Science, Bad Judgment"

[CNI News thanks Skye Turell for bringing this information to our attention.]

Until recently, Prudence Calabrese was the second-most prominent figure at the controversial Farsight Institute, a remote viewer trained by Farsight founder Courtney Brown who became Brown's closest associate and ally and -- some would say -- apologist. Calabrese was a key participant in the infamous "Hale-Bopp Companion" fiasco in the spring of 1997, in which she and Brown claimed on national radio that a planet-sized object of apparent alien origin was following close behind the huge comet, and that a never-named but avowedly famous astronomer had provided backup assurance, with photos, that the object was really there, and really anomalous.

When 39 members of the Heaven's Gate cult committed suicide last March in the apparent belief that they could thereby gain entry to a UFO trailing Hale-Bopp, more than a few horrified onlookers directed a share of the blame at Farsight. Whether fair or not, this guilt by association was a thunderous blow to the institute, from which it has never quite recovered. Yet it appears in retrospect that the Hale-Bopp incident was only the most publicly visible of many troubles at Farsight, brought about by careless application of remote viewing techniques, too much desire for exotic results, and too much belief on Brown's part, at least, that the Institute's errors were offset by the cosmic importance of its mission.

With mounting apprehension, Prudence Calabrese went along with all of this, until finally she could not. As reported in the January 4, 1998 edition of CNI News, Calabrese announced at the new year that she was parting company with Brown and Farsight and setting up her own organization called TransDimensional Systems. At the time, she stressed that her parting with Brown was amicable, but also noted that "we are aware of the limitations in rv, and are reexamining the principles upon which the current systems are based."

On February 9, 1998, Calabrese posted to her own web site [] a frank admission of errors committed by herself and others at Farsight. Interested readers are directed to her website for the full text. All the following excerpts are quoted from that text:

"I am writing this to confess my sins: bad science and bad judgement. I will make no case to exonerate myself. As a person who is quite capable of making intelligent decisions, and as a person trained in the sciences, I am embarrassed at the way I have failed my friends, my fellow remote viewers, and my scientific upbringing.

"What I participated in over the course of a year and a half was nothing less than the manipulation of the public's mind, not by outright lying, but by the selective representation, improper analysis, and overblown presentation style of remote viewing data.

"It does not matter that I never had the intention of misleading the public. It does not matter that I was carried away by what I, myself, had 'seen' during remote viewing. It does not matter that I was a student of remote viewing, involved in a learning process. It does not even matter that I, in as vocal a way as possible within the confines of my employment, spoke openly about the problems inherent in targeting the unverifiable, and drawing conclusions from the data obtained.

"I failed in my moral responsibility to let the public know exactly what was occurring with the data on esoteric targets publicly presented by The Farsight Institute (under the direction of Dr. Courtney Brown).

"The data are both flawed and incomplete.

"When I first learned the method of remote viewing called Scientific Remote Viewing, such questions weren't in my mind. Like many others who read [Brown's 1996 book on remote viewing of alien activities] 'Cosmic Voyage,' I was convinced by Dr. Brown's assertions that this was a scientifically valid way of proving the existence and characteristics of extraterrestrials.

"Through the months I was at Farsight, my intellectual wanderings came full circle. I started as someone who believed there was some reality explaining the UFO phenomenon, but not knowing what that reality was. In the middle, I believed that not only do extraterrestrials exist in the 3-D physical plane, but they are on Earth and on Mars, and a collective body of beings called the Galactic Federation was monitoring our activities. At the end, after viewing and evaluating hundreds of esoteric target sessions, I felt like I did at the beginning: something is out there, who knows where, who knows what. In fact, my beliefs were even less set in stone than when I started. I had come to understand how easy it is to overlay ideas and thoughts onto belief systems, and how easy it is to create an entire world out of nothing.

"The big problem with all esoteric targets -- no matter how wonderful the blind controls, no matter how benign the tasker, no matter how trained the viewer -- is that you simply cannot trust that what you get is actually something that truly exists when the cue references something unknown. You might be telepathically reading the monitor's or the tasker's mind. You might be tapping into some kind of mass consciousness conceptual idea. It's interesting, it's fun, but it's unverifiable. When you couple this with an analyst who is attempting to make sessions fit a scenario, you end up with nothing more tangible than fairy dust. I say this as someone who, based upon other evidence and experiences, believes in the existence of all kinds of beings, dimensions, and definitely not-everyday things!

"Several months ago, I restructured the Farsight web site [at the time, Calabrese was the Farsight webmaster], and placed a prominent disclaimer at the top of each of the session pages, stating that the sessions were not done under proper controls, and that the data therein was suspect. The viewers may have had significant target contact, but we simply did not know how to characterize the data. The disclaimer also mentioned that telepathic overlay could have contributed to the data. I was told by Dr. Brown to replace that disclaimer with one that merely stated that we were retargeting things using more refined methods, but that we had not viewed anything contradictory to what we had presented. I felt, from a scientific standpoint, given the types of controls and checks that are standard procedure in both experimental and observational sciences, that this was misleading the public. I stated so, but as an employee, I had to follow the order.

"All of those esoteric 'special projects' done at Farsight, and still linked to in the 'Sessions' section of The Farsight Institute Web Site were done under one or more of the following less-than-optimal conditions:

1. Semi-blind sessions, where the monitor knows the target and the viewer does not. All sessions where the monitor knew what the target was are flawed, due to the potential (and likelihood) for telepathic overlay, subtle leading by the monitor, and leading by cuing from the monitor.

2. Selective presentation (in ALL projects), where only the sessions that the analyst feels are "on target" are presented. Others that have opposing viewpoints, or data not consistent with the analyst's interpretation of the data are discarded. In some cases, the analyst was also a viewer!

3. Leading Cuing, where the tasker makes an assumption and names the unverifiable thing in the target cue. Example: "Martians under Santa Fe Baldy (current time)" or "Anomalous object near Hale-Bopp comet." How can such sessions provide objective data? If the cue says Martians, then Martians the student viewers will find.

4. Deep analytical overlay, due to strong ideas on the part of the analyst about what should or should not be in the data.

5. Methods and procedures that changed on a sometimes daily basis, without the benefit of looking at the comparative results from a selection of controlled sessions, before something was implemented Institute-wide.

"When we realized the gravity of our mistakes, something more drastic should have been done.... I am embarrassed that I did not resign at this time, when the reality of what we had done, and NOT done, had set in. I was still under the impression that this was an educational institute, and as such, we, as staff, were entitled to our own opinions and ideas on how things worked and what we should do. In reality, I was an unwilling, but conscious co-conspirator in this facade. Glossing over our problems, in order to maintain a certain attraction for some potential students, was morally wrong.

"I deeply regret my inaction, which has hurt the field of remote viewing by lessening the credibility of the process.

"In remote viewing esoteric targets at The Farsight Institute, I 'saw' many incredible, unbelievable, wonderful things. I witnessed what appeared to be the civilization of the Greys, the Martian flotilla to Earth, a terrorist nuking New York, and the Galactic Federation. I even saw the Hale-Bopp Companion. The fact the viewers DO see these things is a phenomenon in itself.

"The right thing to have done would have been this: Present, or at least describe, the character of the data, ALL of the data without editing, without any 'most favorable' interpretation, along with a complete, accurate description of how the sessions were obtained; who tasked the session, what did the tasker expect to see, what controls were taken. And then walk away from it. No big epics on-screen, no letters to the world, no radio announcements that the ETs are coming! Let those working in the field critique the methods, critique the data, and critique the controls. If we ever expect to find out if any of these things exist, then we need to present fully the particulars of methods used, and how the data was obtained. This would be scientific remote viewing!

"The truth of the matter is this: we do not understand, yet, what occurs in remote viewing when the subject matter is unverifiable. I personally believe that 'extraterrestrials' exist in some form and have been interacting with humanity for eons. I personally believe that there may have been Martians on Mars. I personally believe in the possibility of many things that I can not prove. I want to search for the truth behind these things, and I will use remote viewing to assist me in some way. I will not, however, use remote viewing as the answer to anything. It is just one more tool that we, as conscious human beings on the planet Earth, possess."

[Prudence Calabrese's new TransDimensional Systems web site is located at]

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