27 June 2012

More on lucid dreams and the BBC

text of a recent letter to an academic

I have just sent you a link to our comments on the BBC’s omission of any mention of me from their history of lucid dreams. This omission is despite the fact that it has always been said that no one has denied my priority in the field of lucid dream research.

Moreover they give a link to Stephen LaBerge’s website, but not to mine. I have got far more information and ideas about what could be done to make real progress in research, and people should want to know about my need for funding to get started on it. Stephen LaBerge, having a salary, research assistants, laboratory facilities, access to college dining facilities, and so on, is in a position to be ‘doing something’ in their eyes, whereas I, who could be making much more progress than he does, with even half as much money as he uses, can only continue to work towards being in a position to get measurements made in a laboratory; so I do not count as ‘doing something’ in the eyes of the BBC or anyone else.

Stephen LaBerge is able to raise money to finance his ideas on ‘virtual reality’, whereas I can get no support at all.

When I met Stephen LaBerge at a conference, he expressed no sympathy with my disastrous situation. By that time he knew that my work on lucid dreams had been motivated by my need to get back into a suitable academic position. There was certainly no indication that this modified his rejoicing at the favourableness of his own position, in which he was well-placed to get money to do (nominal) research in this field which I had opened up, while I could get no money at all and hence could do nothing.

He has continued to publicise the possibilities of lucid dreams ever since, but he has never even had the decency to send me a small fraction of anything he received.

His name is on the list of people who have worked on lucid dreams in America, presumably all salaried, from whom I have requested a donation of £1000 a year each to support my work in my independent academic institution. None of these people have had the decency to send me a small fraction of their salaries, which would have appeared to me natural in the circumstances.

We will make some sort of protest to the BBC, although this is very difficult when our secretarial capacity is already so overloaded.

Another American research worker, Jayne Gackenbach, told me that she had put some money of her own into supporting an organisation of people having lucid dreams, so that they could compare notes and publish a journal. But although she had been prepared to put some of her money into that, she had not been prepared to put even an equivalent amount into supporting the person who had originated this field of research in which she was allegedly working.

I asked Jayne Gackenbach if she could suggest ways in which I could get financial support to carry on my own research. ‘Oh no’, she said, ‘Getting money for research is impossible. I have given up on trying to get any’. She conveniently avoided noticing the great difference between her position and mine, that she had all the advantages of a salaried academic career. Being deprived of this, I needed large-scale funding for research in a specific area, to start making good the lack of money to live on and the lack of an institutional environment to provide the minimum conditions necessary for a tolerable life.