"The nice thing about meditation is that it makes doing nothing look quite respectable," said comic Paul Dean. Comic Bill Maher says prayer does nothing on his "Real Time" show on HBO. One argument to prove prayer does nothing is that there is so much disaster and evil.
We hear about failures of prayer to heal evil, but do we hear about subsets of evil being healed? Can any subclass of prayer or psychic effects make sense to a modern world? Spindrift explored what could be a prayer factor.
In 1969 near Chicago, Bruce and John Klingbeil began to study the positive, the negative, and biased effects of prayer. Their research was controversial on the fringe of science. It also caused a prayer-a-digm shift.
What did Bruce and John discover? From the premise that a loving prayer nudges disorder toward order, Bruce and John were able to isolate makers that showed the quality of effects in two distinct motives that drive prayer. They also presented a theory about why the subconscious mind edits the memory to forget some details about our psychic and spiritual experiences.
The father and son founded Spindrift Inc. to support research and education in the fields of consciousness, prayer, spirituality, and the placebo effect. They communicated about prayer in scientific terms. They saw the scientific method as a path-finder for following the prayer forces. Bruce and John Klingbeil worked as Christian Science practitioners.
Before 9/11, Spindrift members urged people to take seriously the violent words in the prayers prayed by Muslim terrorists. In contrast to violence in prayers, Spindrift favored bringing positive prayers back into the schools.
Spindrift's challenge is, could prayer go the way of Betamax, Kodak and Polaroid film? Spindrift hopes not. Promising fringe science is not always practical, but Spindrift was an opening for religion to interact with science.
Bruce and John were optimistic that their prayer research would be met with openness. It became clear their optimism had been misplaced. In 1983 church leaders punished them by removing Bruce as a practitioner.
Bruce and John moved to Salem, Oregon, where living expenses were less. The research continued for ten years. The toll of being expelled from their church, the harassment from the spiritual and scientific communities, loss of income, and potential lawsuits tied to Spindrift led to dramatic choices.
People today have the IPad and the IPhone. Spindrift has the IPray. What follows are the Spindrift findings. For a book about Spindrift, click below.
Bill Sweet has given the world a deep, enlightening, and disturbing look into a tragic and profound struggle to bring together science, healing, and religion. His book is a "must read" for everyone interested in the science and politics of religion, prayer, alternative therapies, and healing. It is a sobering story. Bruce and John Klingbeil, the Spindrift prayer and healing researchers, were true heroes. Unappreciated by virtually everyone--the church they sought to serve and protect, the skeptics who taunted them, and the public--they strove for 20 years to do the meticulous work necessary to scientifically explore and document the gift of healing. This book is their story. Read it and weep for what we might have learned from them. This is a true story you won't be able to put down.
-- Jerry E. Wesch, Ph.D., President, ISSSEEM