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Fig. 22
Fig. 22

Mental Radio

by Upton Sinclair


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...I don't like to believe in telepathy, because I don't know what to make of it... and I would a whole lot rather give all my time to my muckraking...I don't expect to sell especially large quantities of this book... In short, there isn't a thing in the world that leads me to this act, except the conviction which has been forced upon me that telepathy is real...--p. 229

Upton Sinclair took a gamble publishing this book. A lifelong Socialist who ran for high office several times, a muckraking author who had exposed the abuses of capitalism, was dabbling with what was seen as the occult. The impetus for this was his dear wife, Mary Craig Sinclair, known as 'Craig,' who had been aware all her life that she could sense things that had not yet happened, or which she had no rational access to. In the late 1920s, this came to light when Craig had an odd feeling that their friend Jack London was in mental turmoil, just prior to London's suicide. The Sinclairs started to investigate how deep this particular rabbit hole went...

The core of this book is a series of doodles which Upton and others made outside Craig's presence, which she was able to duplicate, apparently telepathically or through clairvoyance. Sinclair claims that Craig had over a 75% success rate over 290 tests, including 25% matches, and 50% partial matches. This success rate is obviously a lot higher than probability, considering that the potential set of drawings is a lot larger than, say, a deck of cards.

Sinclair's top reputation as a 'speaker of truth to power' was actually a compelling reason to take this book seriously. The response to Mental Radio was very positive, impressing academics in the field of psychology and other scientists, including Albert Einstein, who wrote the introduction to the German edition. William McDougal, Chair of the Psychology Department at Duke University, who wrote the introduction for this edition, conducted his own experiments with Craig. McDougal and J.B. Rhine later went on to found the Parapsychology Laboratory at Duke, which conducted the first academic investigations of ESP. Walter Franklin Price, founder of the Boston Society for Psychical Research, asked the Sinclairs if he could analyze their research notes. In April 1932, Price published an analysis of the Sinclair experiments in the Society's Bulletin in which he concluded that the data could not be explained by coincidence or fraud.

Production notes: In order to effectively display the large number of images in this book, I've embedded the images in each file, rather than thumbnailing them as usual. This is possible because these images are monochrome line drawings and smaller than an equivalent grey-scale file. However, be aware that some of these chapters may take awhile to load on a slow Internet connection.--J.B. Hare, May 15, 2008.

Title Page
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Chapter XIV
Chapter XV
Chapter XVI
Chapter XVII
Chapter XVIII
Chapter XIX
Chapter XX
Chapter XXI
Chapter XXII
Chapter XXIII
Chapter XXIV
Chapter XXV
Chapter XXVI