THE BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF PARAPSYCHOLOGY
Alejandro Parra is the PF International Affiliate for Argentina. The following informal biography was written for a booklet distributed to other International Affiliates. Each affiliate was asked five questions about their background and interest in the field, the situation of parapsychology in their countries, and about their hopes for the future. A more formal biography will be posted in the coming months.
From Mr. Parra ...
I have always been interested in paranormal phenomena as well as in philosophical and metaphysical issues. I got involved in parapsychology as an adolescent, at the beginning of the 1980s. My first readings were the writings of Argentinean parapsychologist J. Ricardo Musso. I continued my studies and was affiliated to some organizations. During the 1990s I dedicated myself to parapsychology on my own and founded the Revista Argentina de Psicología Paranormal.
The Instituto de Psicología Paranormal (IPP) is a non-profit research and educational institute, which I established in 1994. It was recognized by the government agency for private education in Argentina. We have held conferences that have been attended by many people, mainly psychologists, counselors, educators, and physicians. The first one was 1994, the second in 1996, and the latter (1998) “Psi Encounters” included representatives from such countries as Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Dominican Republic, México, Panamá, Portugal, Puerto Rico, and Spain. In addition, the IPP publishes a journal, the Revista Argentina de Psicología Paranormal, which started publication in 1990. To date, 50 issues have been published. Our main source of pride is the IPP’s parapsychological library, which contains around 2000 books, 7000 issues of journals and magazines, and hundreds of files of articles and monographs on the field. It is the most important collection of it kind in Argentina. We also have about 2000 hours of video tape on parapsychological topics.
Part of the activities of the Institute is to educate the public about parapsychology and to conduct research in this area. Since 1998, our fields of interest are Ganzfeld-psi research, clinical parapsychology, RNG-PK research, and psychometry research focusing on psychics's abilities, among others. We have recently concluded a study on clinical parapsychology, using questionnaires and other diagnostic instruments together with Daniel Gomez Montanelli. All of our research is being supported by the BIAL Foundation. Among the IPP’s active research members are: Juan Carlos Argibay, Juan Gimeno, Ivan Lepes, Griselda Massa, Daniel Gomez Montanelli, Jorge Villanueva, and myself.
Argentina has had productive parapsychological activity for short periods at the hands of such researchers as J. Ricardo Musso, Orlando Canavesio y Enrique Novillo Pauli, between 1950 and the beginnings of the 1980s. Although Argentinean psychology is diverse in clinical matters, parapsychology lags behind due to a lack of research. Parapsychology is not included in university psychology curricula, there is no funding for the field, and the little work that is conducted is centered in Buenos Aires. As in other Latin American countries there are many charlatans and consequently the media see the parapsychologist as a fortune-teller and parapsychology as a pseudoscience.
During the last ten years we have achieved much. We hope to introduce parapsychology into the universities slowly by using other such names as paranormal psychology, borderline areas of science, etc. Some colleagues and I are trying to create a database on parapsychology that should be available at the end of 2002. We hope to form working groups within the IPP. We also hope to work on PK, using RNGs and DMILS. Between 2002-2003 we will start a research project to improve PK using specific training strategies, do DMILS with meditators and religious prayer and Qi-gong practitioners, and conduct nationwide RSPK investigations. We also hope to organize in 2004 an important parapsychology congress with participants from different countries.
Submitted in June of 2001
Autobiography of Parra prepared for the PF Lyceum Blog, “Lives in Parapsychology,” first posted on June 26, 2006
Other Sources of Biographical Information on Parra
Biography of Parra on the Parapsychological Association Website
Abbreviated CV of Parra in Spanish on the Instituto de Psicología Paranormal website