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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Bender, Hans (1907-1991) Impressed by the results of a Ouija board session when he was seventeen, Hans Bender became interested in psi and eventually was appointed the first chairman of the Department of Parapsychology at the Albert-Ludwig University in Freiburg, Germany. This effectively brought Germany into the world of psi, a mixed blessing. Bender worked with parapsychologist Wilhelm Tenhaeff (1894-1981), performed experiments with the psychic Gerard Croiset, and certified it all as genuine.
      For his unquestioning acceptance of psi, Bender came in for a great deal of criticism from his colleagues in science, who referred to him as der Spukprofessor (“spook professor”). He also accepted the spoon-bending of Uri Geller as a genuine example of psychokinesis.
      Shortly before he died, it was discovered that Bender did not have the doctorate that he had claimed all his life and that in his extensive writings on psi, he had ignored very wellestablished evidence against the phenomena and had greatly enhanced the facts and figures in favor of it. It appeared that Bender was requiring his readers to believe that everything of which he himself was convinced was factual. His work and writings are now no longer taken seriously.

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