August 28 marks the season-ending episode of the SyFy channel’s highly entertaining and often controversial series, Joe Rogan Questions Everything. Tonight’s episode is called Psychic Spies.
Have you ever wondered what it might like to be psychic? So has Joe Rogan, to the extent that he says that “perverts” would be one of the types of people who would have to be careful what they think if everyone around them was psychic, and could read their minds.
“Did the U.S. use psychics during the Cold War, only to later ignore them? Can psychic powers be measured?” Rogan says he will “get to the bottom” of claims of psychic abilities.
“I’m going to slide down the paranormal rabbit hole and find out how much of this is real,” Rogan says.
He meets with John Krueth at the Rhine Center of Psychic Research. It was founded in 1939, and did research for Duke University.
“I can safely say that you are 100 percent convinced in psychic abilities?” Joe asks Krueth.
The man answers in the affirmative, and then when Rogan asks for proof, Krueth takes Rogan into a completely dark room and a machine is supposed to sense if he can increase his psychic energy abilities. “Now over 400,000,” Krueth says. He tells Rogan that he’s seen the same high readings in Tai Chi masters. Rogan is a martial artist, so, who knows?
Joe Rogan was basically breathing deeply in and out and trying to focus his energy. He doesn’t feel that the machine, which measures “light,” really measures psychic abilities.
Joe then meets with Ed Edwards, a supposed “psychic healer,” to see if the guy can really heal people. Edwards tries to “push” Rogan closer to him, and rock his body, reversing his polarity. However, it doesn’t seem to work against Rogan.
Rogan is then shown during one of his podcasts, with his pal, Duncan. Rogan discusses with Duncan about the military’s use of psychics for “remote viewing” enemy installations, etc. Joe tells Duncan that he is going to talk to Major Ed Daines, who has had experience with remote viewing, and even using remote viewers to help detect Osama Bin Laden.
Daines was involved in Project Stargate. He says that Bin Laden was found in 2007, but he wasn’t gone after because it would “put the military industrial complex out of business.”
“It’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle in a very structured way,” Daines says.
“When it comes to hits and misses, what’s the ratio?” Rogan asks.
“It used to be 50-50. Now, with a team of psychic readers, it’s 100 percent,” Daines says.
As to the reason why they don’t do it any more, Daines says that too many military officials thought it involved the occult, though it doesn’t.
Rogan then goes to talk to Paul Smith, who was involved in Project Stargate, and he takes with him a skeptic, who worked with the magician the Amazing Randi, who has offered $1,000,000 to anyone who can prove he/she has psychic abilities.
Rogan and Smith then try to both do remote viewing as a test. Smith tells Rogan he remote viewed a U.S. frigate and an attack on an American warship that happened 50 hours later.
“What uses have been shown for remote viewing?” Rogan asks.
“Horse racing, stock market investing,” are two things that Smith mentions.
They send a team out on four-wheelers. Paul says: “The first thing you have to do is relax and focus in on where they are and what they’re doing.”Then, he says: “Put your hand on the paper (with a pencil in his hand). What comes to mind?”
Rogan draws some “random” shapes, and they go to the location to see if anything Rogan drew matches up with the location the team went to on the four-wheelers. They compare Rogan’s results with the skeptic’s, and the skeptic gets “fairly good results,” Rogan says.
“The temptation is, to make the drawing on the paper fit with what’s there,” Smith says. But, sometimes, a person might have an exact hit, or several exact hits.
“I like it,” Rogan says. “I like how you rock it.”
After commercials, Rogan says he’s tried out remote viewing, and says that “I suck” at it.
Rogan then goes to talk to a mentalist, Banachek, who says all the remote viewing and other psychic stuff is “bunk.” The man demonstrates that he can do similar things that psychics claim that they can do. He uses magic tricks, like the Amazing Randi might.
Banachek, the mentalist/debunker freaks Rogan out, as he seemingly reads Duncan’s mind and says that the word Duncan is thinking of is “lotion.” Duncan confirms that is the truth.
“Come on, son,” Rogan tells the guy. “You have to tell me how you do that.” He says this after the man tells him two numbers on a dice Rogan has chosen.
“I know this guy is messing with us, and it’s all tricks, but he’s doing this inches away from my face,” Rogan says about Banachek, the magician.
Banachek then places a coin and duct tape over each of his eyes. “Is the man on the bill facing you or facing away?” Banachek asks.
“Facing me,” Rogan says. Banachek then tells him every number in the serial number on the bill Rogan’s holding.
“So, how are you doing this?” Rogan asks Banachek.
“I want to know how easy it is for him (Banachek) to convince people he has psychic abilites,” Rogan says.
Banacheck tells Rogan he can’t tell him everything, all of his secrets, but that there are natural means for everything he’s doing, not supernatural ones. He does an example, asking Rogan to think of two geometric shapes, one inside of another.
Next, he talks to Dr. Bob Knight, who tells Rogan that he has a machine which can read people’s minds. He claims he can record Rogan’s thoughts, and then play them back to him.
“What you’re seeing,” Rogan says, “is a human head.”
We’re shown in the doctor’s lab a scene of a brain hooked up to the machine, and thoughts being recorded and played back.
“There are people out there right now building machines that will read our innermost thoughts,” Rogan says to the camera.
He talks to Dr. Pamela Douglas, who tells him of a doctor at Berkley who has had amazing result getting pictures from peoples’ minds.
UCLA Neuroscientist Dr. Pamela Douglas talks about “real” and “false” memories, and that people who hear stories about crimes might then act as if the things they heard involved them. She cautions that sometimes, “false” memories can seem to be as real as the “real” ones.
Douglas tells Rogan that she hopes we won’t be soon in a world where people can read the thoughts of others.
“At the present moment, we’re not there,” she says. But, the ethical and legal ramifications of doing such “mind-reading” should be looked at carefully.
“It’s possible to get a lot of false positives,” Douglas tells Rogan.
“Don’t get me wrong,” Rogan says. “I hope that psychics are real. But, throw in a big fat monkey wrench like Banachek and…”
“If you are a psychic, send me a message,” he adds, closing the episode. “Send it to my mind. I’m waiting.”
That concludes the final episode of the season. I hope that Joe Rogan Questions Everything will be renewed for another season by the SyFy channel. Joe has been criticized by both true believers, and people who think that no one should even consider the possibility that things like aliens, UFOs, Bigfoot, and psychics exist.
I like that Rogan has an open mind, though, and that he’s willing to believe certain claims, if he’s shown enough proof. Sometimes, I’ve been somewhat ticked off that Rogan doesn’t accept certain things like eyewitness reports as “proof,” but, to be honest, such reports are not hard evidence, just circumstantial evidence. It might be 100 percent true, but it’s not hard evidence.
I kind of feel, despite getting ticked off at times as I watch, that Rogan’s on the right track, if he at times succeeds in pissing off so many people.
What are your opinions? Are psychic abilities real? Please leave your comments below!
Written by: Douglas Cobb