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Telepathic Overlay by Ingo Swann

The issue of telepathic overlay is very complicated at first if you know nothing about it. But after you know
enough, it then becomes a rather simple matter.

It is the learning that is difficult, and for a number of reasons.

Among the first of those reasons is that the topic of REAL and ACTIVE telepathy is avoided in most societal contexts. One sees references to telepathy in fiction and in some few superficial non-fiction books. One even sees telepathy mentioned in parapsychology contexts, but parapsychology has no real important place within most mainstream societal contexts.

It is generally accepted that our species probably does have telepathic powers. But when one gets beneath the superficial treatment of telepathy, one finds that hardly any extensive and serious work has been undertaken in the
direction of really sorting it out.

There are good probable reasons for the lack of really serious work regarding telepathy.

Certainly one of the reasons for the avoidance is that people fear having their minds read or invaded. After all,
telepathy IS defined as mind-to-mind contact, and the mind-invasive principle is implicit in this definition.

Additionally, if telepathic contact with other minds is possible, then it IS but one short developmental step to one
of the ugliest topics on Earth -- mind-control.

It is quite probable, then, that people who fear having their minds (or what passes for them) invaded and read by a
telepath probably not only don't want telepaths around but don't want the topic opened up for research and development.

As it turns out, then, not very much is really known about telepathy, most probably for the reasons above. I can
make this statement because I've spent many years tracking down information not only about telepathy and its many
types, but information about social treatment of it and its close relationship to other related topics.

It is helpful here at the start to point up that although telepathy is delicately defined as mind-to-mind, it more literally might be defined as from one mind INTO another mind.

Parapsychologists occasionally have studied the mind-to-mind thing. But other types of research have considered the
mind INTO another mind thing.

Some of those other types of research have included those of mental influences, mind-control, mob and mass psychology, telepathic contamination, and various forms of subconscious and subliminal study.

In the contexts of remote viewing, telepathic overlay would introduce into the responses of a remote viewer a kind
of dirty-data contamination originating in the mind of someone else.

The pathway for the contamination probably would not be a conscious one, but a subconscious one.

So the telepathic introduction of the dirty data would take place without much realization on the parts of anyone associated with the viewing. [You may wish to refer to my essay regarding the Signal-to Noise Ratio already


Before going on, I'm obliged to point up a peculiarity I've observed during the many years remote viewing was under
research and development.

It is this:

# SOME will get what telepathic overlay means and implies even though very little is said about it;
# OTHERS will never get it no matter how much is said of it.

People with very strong and overpowering egos usually reject the possibility of telepathic overlay, as do those
who don't seem to have any naturally active superpowers of bio-mind.


It should also be mentioned that telepathic overlay has extensive meaning to situations outside of remote viewing
contexts. As you will see below, it is only by touching upon some of those situations that what is meant by telepathic overlay can be fleshed out.


There is one other important reason why it would be difficult to comprehend the meanings of telepathic overlay as that phenomenon relates to remote viewing. This has to do with understanding remote viewing itself, what it really is versus what many think it to be. I'll address this particular issue near the end of this essay.

The most generally accepted definition of TELEPATHY holds that it consists of the apparent communication from one mind to another otherwise than through the channels of the senses.

I have taken this definition from a perfectly respectable dictionary. So two of its initial and all-encompassing flaws must be pointed up.

First, it is difficult to comprehend how "the channels of the senses" can be subtracted from the telepathic equation since some kind of sensory mechanisms must be involved if communication from one mind gets into another mind.

We do have subconscious and subliminal senses, and so this flaw in the definition probably should be corrected to
read "otherwise than through the channels of the physical, conscious senses."


In this context, it's worth noting that specimens of our species can be described in many ways. And one of those
descriptions can easily hold that each specimen is a walking, talking bio-mind organism replete with astonishing arrays of "senses," and most of which have NOT been identified.

Indeed, it's not too much to say that we are highly designed and extremely refined sensory machines both as regards bio-body and its internal sensing apparatus and mechanisms.

Just because most have not learned to identify and develop MOST of their inherent sensing systems and channels
is no reason to exclude telepathic "communication" from "channels of the senses."


As to the second flaw, the accepted definition above leaves one with the conviction that that telepathy exclusively involves MIND.

But that involves what one thinks the mind is and is not. And in that regard many past definitions of the mind are entirely questionable -- while many of them have been abandoned anyway.

In any event, MIND itself has a number of definitions, as many as twenty or more in some sources.

But it is commonly understood as (1) the element or complex of elements in an individual that feels, perceives, thinks, wills and, especially, reasons; and (2) the conscious events and capabilities in an organism.

Subliminal and subconscious researchers will think those two major definitions are hilarious -- pointing up that the activities and qualities incorporated in those definitions are but the merest tip of the profound iceberg of Mind.


As it is, however, when it is said that telepathy is mind-to-mind contact, the above definitions imply CONSCIOUS perception or awareness of something telepathic. The above definitions also imply that if we cannot consciously
identify something as being telepathic, then telepathy doesn't exist.

In this regard, that there may be subconscious or pre-conscious telepathy of which one is unaware sort of falls by
the wayside. The idea of subconscious or subliminal telepathy is thus somewhat alien to the usual concepts of


A third complicating factor regards the following. After intuition, telepathy is the second most commonly experienced of the superpowers of the human bio-mind.

But like intuition, a careful study of historical and living testimony about telepathy reveals that there are very many types of it, and not all of which can be incorporated into the standard definition of conscious mind to conscious mind.

There is thus a spectrum of telepathy, and which spectrum can best be described as varieties of information
exchanging at either the conscious or pre-conscious levels.


The above having thus been said, we must now get to work to dig deeper into what is involved.

n the cultural West immediately before the term "telepathy" was coined (in 1882), the information exchanging was called thought-transference.

The exact meaning of that earlier term is important -- for it involved two concepts that went missing after thought-
transference was renamed telepathy.


In the thought-transference model, those two concepts were SYMPATHETIC STATES and RAPPORT.

It was accepted that if two or more people became involved in sympathetic states or rapport, then transference of thoughts and EMOTIONS could be exchanged -- even though the mechanisms involved were not easily identifiable.


The concepts of the existence of sympathetic states and rapport can be traced back into antiquity (under other terms, of course.)

But the concepts were named as such during the High Renaissance and from that time they ultimately followed through into the study and research of Mesmerism.

In general, the Mesmerism model was almost completely involved with researching the causes and effects of sympathetic and rapport states -- and which, it was discovered, could be induced by various methods.

The hypothetical mechanisms of information exchange were thought to consist of sympathetic states and rapport during which something "fluidic" took place between two or more people.

The sympathetic and rapport states were themselves thought of as fluidic -- or, as might be said today, altered states of consciousness, during which people become somewhat aware that altered states seem to flow into and out of each


Anton Mesmer is best remembered as the so-called discoverer of hypnotism -- but which in fact was adapted from his work by later researchers and is a rather gross form of the subtle states the Mesmerists worked with.

As hypnotism is understood, though, it is a state which needs to be induced in someone by another person, the hypnotist -- and after which the hypnotee is under the control of the hypnotist.

A large number of studies regarding the effects of hypnosis clearly establish that the hypnotee not only responds to the conscious commands of the hypnotist, but also is often found to be in telepathic rapport with the unexpressed or subconscious motives and agendas of the hypnotist.


This type of thing is occasionally referred to as telepathic bonding at levels beneath the consciousness of the hypnotist.

But if we introduce the concept of telepathic overlay, then it could be said that some kind of information overlay from the hypnotist is being transferred to the hypnotee via telepathic routes that are not known to or even suspected by the hypnotist.

As a gross example of this, the hypnotee then gives the answers the hypnotist wants, or which answers fit into the
unexpressed expectations and convictions of the hypnotist which have somehow become overlaid into the hypnotee.


There can be no doubt, however, that ALL hypnoid states are also sympathetic and rapport states in which the telepathic exchanges of information can and do result in ways which not only include conscious but subconscious

As we shall see ahead, deep hypnosis or even light hypnosis is not necessary for this kind of telepathic overlay to take place. Such can occur as a result of even light rapport and which would not be considered as hypnotic.

Moving back now to 1882, the scientific concept had come to the fore that the brain was the mechanism for everything. And so early psychical researchers wished to emulate that concept in order better to be seen as
scientific. One cannot really blame them, for the rapport of the modern scientific model had infected almost the whole
of the Western world.

However, sympathetic and rapport states were considered as unscientific -- belonging, as scientific spokesmen said,
to the pre-scientific and superstitional past.


In order to escape from the so-called "unscientific" past regarding thought-transference, the early psychical researchers wished to abandon the thought-transference model.

So they theoretically redefined the concept by calling it telepathy -- and which was first advertised as inter-
communication between brain and brain by means other than that of the ordinary sense channels.


As it happened about the same time, the concept of radio and radio broadcasting had come to the fore, and which
concept was definitely scientific. Radio broadcasting involved sending and receiving equipment via which information could be sent out across distances and picked up by receiving equipment.

This seemed an ideal analogy for telepathy. So telepathy (actually empathy broadcast or sent across distance) came to be thought of as brain sending across distance to another receiving brain.

The radio model of sending and receiving signals across distances has since been thought of as the definition of


The concept of "brain-to-brain" was modified after World War I to "mind-to-mind" when the then-new field of psychology began emerging in strength.

After that, psychiatrists dealt with brain, but psychologists dealt with mind. Hardly any psychiatrists entered into psychical and parapsychological research. And so the whole of what was involved became a problem in
psychology -- and from which arose para-psychology and which studied the so-called "paranormal" phenomena of the Mind.


Now it is very important to point up that, as a result of all those conceptual and nomenclature changes, the old model which incorporated sympathetic states and rapport vanished altogether.

To my knowledge, it was only the earlier Soviet researchers of the 1920s and 1930s who reinstated those two
important factors, recombining them into their novel definitions of bio-communications. The West, including the US, has not yet reconsidered and restored them into the prevailing concepts of parapsychology and telepathy.

So the phenomena and effects of rapport and sympathetic states are not generally recognized. However, you can
satisfy yourself along these lines by attempting to identify situations characterized by sympathetic and rapport states,
but which are not otherwise recognized as such.


Within the contexts of all of the above, then, the problem or the situation of telepathy is, first of all, a matter of sympathetic states and rapport.

RAPPORT is defined as relation marked by harmony, conformity, accord or affinity.

SYMPATHETIC is defined as
# existing or operating through an affinity, interdependence, or mutual association;
# showing or being linked by empathy; and
# sensitivity to the emotions or moods of others.

If we add to this "empathic sensitivity to the thought-forms or thoughts of others," then we do arrive at a combined, approximate definition of telepathy -- one which goes far beyond the simplistic mind-to-mind thing.


Within the remote viewing contexts, TELEPATHIC OVERLAY would consist of picking up on information from someone
else's head and mistaking that information for the "signal."

The SIGNAL, of course, would consist of information pertinent to the distant location or "target." Picking up on "signals" from someone else's head and accepting them for the RV signals can be called telepathic overlay.

The question now emerges: Does this kind of thing happen? Yes, it certainly does -- but only within certain kinds of circumstances.


Accessing the target information is the goal of remote viewing. Accessing any other kind of information is "noise," in the sense of being contamination which distorts the clear reception of actual signals.

Accessing telepathic overlay information is therefore noise -- and, as it might easily be understood, would be quite deadly to the remote viewing faculties, processes, and results of RV.


Please see my essay regarding the Signal-to Noise Ratio.


As discussed in other of my database essays, the Signal-to-Noise Ratio is fully involved here.

Telepathic overlay is not the only form of noise which degrades the remote viewing signals.

But it can be an important noise source if the ostensible remote viewer is unaware that telepathic overlay not only exists but does so in very subtle ways.

Where telepathic overlay is present, its information content OVERLAYS and contaminates the signal line, usually
obscuring the latter from cognitive perception of the viewer.


Beyond its debilitating effects on the remote viewing faculties, telepathic overlay is very interesting of and within itself -- and is also meaningful regarding the entire spectrum of superpowers of the human bio-mind.


TELEPATHIC OVERLAY was identified by myself and Dr. H.E. Puthoff in about 1975, and together we worked to
determine its causes, its relationship to remote viewing, and how to avoid or eradicate it.


We were quite concerned that the viewer was picking up information from the minds of those associated with the
viewings rather than from the distant site itself.

This was also a problem which worried the sponsors very much, and for reasons which should be obvious.

If telepathic overlay was the case, then we didn't have remote viewing at all. We had some format of telepathy.


At first we felt that the sources or causes must be quite complicated. But in the end we discovered that a single situation was the source of most telepathic overlay. When that situation was cured, telepathic overlay tended to vanish.

*That single situation revolved around Who had power over Whom not only during the RV work but as regards the relationships of all involved.*

In other words, the telepathic overlay situation somewhat resembled the subtle telepathic situation of the hypnotist and the hypnotee.

The hypnotist was in power-control of the situation AND the hypnotee. The hypnotee was in some kind of rapport with
the hypnotist in which the hypnotee accepted the commands and suggestions of the hypnotist.

The hypnotist expected the hypnotee to follow commands and suggestions -- which the hypnotee usually did.

But another unexpected effect could be observed regarding a subliminal or subconscious transfer of information from the hypnotist to the hypnotee. The hypnotee often became telepathically connected to the motives, agendas, and desires of the hypnotist.


To aid in clarifying this, we now have to distinguish between:
# telepathy which one or both parties might be consciously aware of, and
# subconscious or subliminal telepathy which neither the hypnotee nor the hypnotist are consciously aware of (and which might be termed sub-telepathy to distinguish it from the former.


Regarding these possibilities and their implications to remote viewing being studied at SRI, several psychologists and hypnotists were consulted regarding this matter. It was generally agreed that something of the kind could account for telepathic overlay contaminating remote viewing sessions.

It is well understood in psychology that if one person has suggestive power over another, the latter will not only accept the suggestions (or commands) but often will somehow mysteriously emulate that person in more subtle ways. The controllee will often sense the controller's wishes, desires and wants without their being vocalized.

The whole of this is a kind of rapport, and certainly a type of sympathetic state with the controller.

Controllees often go so far as to non-consciously emulate the controller's dress, posture, preferences, mannerisms, and etc.


Thus, what we termed telepathic overlay regarding remote viewing has a larger picture and an historical past under many other names in that the whole of this is typical of what is sometimes called charismatic influencing.

Charismatic influencing is also a situation regarding who has power over whom, even if only very subtly so. Charismatic influencing is also a situation which involves rapport and sympathetic states.


Telepathic overlay regarding remote viewing cannot really be understood unless the particular problem it represents is cast against a larger picture and which must be precisely defined.

This larger picture consists of whether the human species is a telepathic species and, as such, is susceptible to sub-telepathic situations and conditions which exist and function beneath conscious awareness of them.

It is thus necessary in this essay to present some evidence of this general sub-telepathic potential -- none of which, by the way, is found in parapsychology studies and documents.


To my knowledge, the first really scientific approach to what was involved took place between the two World Wars
(essentially between about 1924 and 1938) when studies regarding MOB BEHAVIOR were funded and undertaken.

The concept of MASS BEHAVIOR was shortly added to the studies. The two concepts were scientifically dignified as
"mob psychology" and "mass psychology."


Both mob and mass behavior demonstrate quite remarkable phenomena, and one particular phenomenon seems to stand out regarding both types of behavior.

This has to do with the removing of individuals from their individualizing sense of logic, reason and common sense -- and somehow replacing those with a sense of emotional participation which is collective and rapport-like rather than individualizing in nature.


This type of thing was first referred to as EMOTIONAL RAPPROCHEMENT, the latter word meaning to bring together --
and, in the case of mob and mass psychology to bring emotionally together in a shared rapport or sympathetic kind
of way.

But mob and mass behavior are also characterized by their intensity, and in this regard the term RAPTURE is fitting. It means "a state or experience of being carried away by overwhelming emotions."

The distinctions between "rapture" and "rapport" are quite narrow. The rapture of violence in mob psychology was, of course, a noted characteristic of mob behavior when the shared anger sentiments had reached saturation and began
being acted out collectively.


The term eventually settled on was ENTRAINMENT -- which is somewhat difficult of definition and whose psychological
meaning is often not found in dictionaries.

In its pristine sense, ENTRAIN simply means "to get on a train."

But when used in a psychological meaning, it obviously refers to thinking, acting, and responding in ways which are
collective rather than individual -- in ways which are quite like sympathetic or rapport states. It was this type of
thing which was meant by entrainMENT.


And in this sense, although entrainment can be thought of as intellectual, it usually refers to emotional or EMPATHIC subconscious strata of our species whose potentials are far more collectivizing than are individualistic logic, reason and common sense.

The use of the term "empathic" in mob behavior research documents brought the whole problem very close to some kind of telepathy -- whose original definition was empathy communicated between human specimens across a distance by means unknown.


Researchers of the early 1930s distinguished between mob and mass psychology. The mob was out of control, hence
unpredictable and dangerous. The mass was under control, or at least some modicum of it, and not therefore dangerous.

But other than this, the real distinctions between mob and mass behavior are quite similar, in that mass behavior can quite easily disintegrate into mob behavior replete with riots, violence and other destructive whatnot.


The early researchers of mob psychology brought their work up to the point where it was realized that mob behavior
was somehow infectious in ways which were decidedly NOT visible or easily accounted for.

A perfectly sensible person could become incorporated within the mysterious collectivizing dynamics of a mob and
become "entrained" at a rough emotional level which was somehow susceptible to taking on board those rough emotions.

The person then became a sympathetic participant, an entrained one, and began manifesting rough, and usually gross, emotional behavior out of keeping with common sense, logic and reason.


Some of the early researchers began supposing that mob and mass behavior could be explained only by introducing a
psychic hypothesis -- a psychic telepathic "something" which would account for the entrainment-like infection.

I'm obliged to point up that the words "psychic" and "telepathic" WERE used, and that in this essay they have not been invented by myself and retrospectively applied to the research of the 1930s.


I'm also obliged to point up that the introduction of a "psychic hypothesis" regarding any form of human behavior was taboo in all mainstream formats of modern research during the 1930s -- and is still taboo today.

As it back then turned out, after the need for a psychic hypothesis had been indicated, it appears that ALL research in this area ceased, due, one might suppose, to the political incorrectness of this hypothesis, and/or withdrawal of funding because of it.

In any event, the rigors of World War II soon intervened, and a great deal of research in these areas ceased altogether. Rather roughly speaking, this kind of research resurfaced after the War, but under the concepts of mind-control and behavior modification. Mind-control exponents thought that a psychic hypothesis was not necessary, and who anyway do not study mob psychology.

Both mind-control and behavior modification are, at base, essentially problems regarding who is to have power over whom.


The psychic hypothesis of the early mob psychology researchers focused on the possibility of some kind of subtle, non-conscious telepathic hookups or channels.

At the subconscious emotional response levels, individuals were sensitive to the "entrainment factors" which "infected" all or most of those exposed to them -- and which reduced individuals back into some kind of collective,
hive-like behavior.

There is only one suitable word for this: RAPPORT -- via which sympathetic sub-telepathic infections can be induced into those, well, into those infected by them.

** Copyright 1996 by Ingo Swann. Permission to redistribute granted, but only in complete and unaltered form. **

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