Precognition as an unintended ‘gift’ of a childhood of abuse and neglect

September 26, 2022
Science Team

In a recent study, conducted by Kirsten Cameron in conjunction with the scientists at IONS, actual precognition skills were measured in adults with varying abuse or neglect levels in childhood. To access the publication, please see Precognition as an Adaptation to Childhood Abuse and Neglect.

It has long been known that adults who endured neglect and abuse in their childhoods often display hypervigilance, as their nervous systems remain on high alert while scanning the environment for threats. This is an understandable adaption to growing up in a home where they did not feel safe.  Unfortunately, scanning the immediate environment requires that the person actually be in the potentially threatening environment.

Instead, imagine that a child sitting at school could sense or feel into the environment that would be present in her home when school was over. She might be able to sense that this was a day when her father might get drunk after work and that it would be safer if she stayed at a friend’s house, or maybe she could sense that nobody would be home all night and she could prepare to feed and take care of her siblings.  Sensing what might happen before it happens is not hypervigilance, but precognition. A talent for precognition would be the ideal safeguard as it would allow a child or adult to remotely perceive threats before they happen and perhaps avoid the dangerous environment altogether.

Current scientific studies of adults who have been abused or neglected as children find that they have a much higher belief in extra-sensory perceptions (ESP) such as precognition, and they also report experiencing ESP at a much higher rate than the untraumatized population. This is often interpreted by trauma scientists to be evidence of a type of “magical thinking” that comes about from an attempt to gain control in an uncontrollable environment. It is usually seen as a cognitive error at best, and evidence of a mental dysfunction at worst. But with few exceptions, no researcher has attempted to measure any type of ESP performance in adults who were abused or neglected as children and compare their performance to adults who were not abused or neglected.

This study answers the question of whether this high incidence of self-reported experience of ESP in a neglected and/or traumatized population is actually associated with the ability to perform precognition with better results than those who were not traumatized as children. If this ability were present, it would be indicative of some highly adaptive changes made by the young children to remain safe.

Using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire in conjunction with online ESP tasks from the Institute of Noetic Science’s IONS Discovery Lab (IDL), over 200 participants who experienced a wide range of trauma levels in childhood tested their ESP skill. The IDL included three precognitive tasks in which the participants completed multiple trials. When participants were divided into the most severely abused and neglected and least severely abused and neglected groups, it was found that the most severely abused and neglected group performed significantly better on one of the precognitive tasks.

This particular task, called the Long Remote Viewing Task, allowed the respondents to sense into the qualities and the essence of the scene that was to appear to them on the next screen. Participants were asked to rank qualities of a scene in a photo they had not yet seen on 15 measures, and were also asked to write in keywords based on their imaginative understanding of what this scene might be. For example, participants imagined the temperature of the future scene, from cold to hot, and movement in the scene, from still to dynamic. They also assessed the shapes in the future scene (arcs, lines, repeated patterns, etc.).

Feedback from the respondents indicated that this particular task was different from the other two in that it was not test-like (in which there was only one right answer), and instead, allowed them to use their imagination more than the other two tasks. As evidenced by the name of the task, the protocol of sensing into qualities of a future scene was similar to the strategies used by experienced remote viewers.

This evidence of increased precognitive skill may be related to the ability to dissociate. Dissociation, an extraordinarily common symptom of child abuse and neglect, is actually found in the general population in varying degrees. This non-pathological form of dissociation is called absorption/imaginative involvement. This is the same skill that is likely used by serious remote viewers to connect with an unseen present or future scene.

Both abused/neglected children and remote viewers seem to benefit by withdrawing their attention from the immediate surroundings and engaging imaginatively with an unseen environment. It may be that this propensity to dissociate is not so much a dis-association, but rather an ability to alter-associate with scenes and experiences that are removed in time and place.  Regardless, this evidence serves to normalize the ESP experiences of survivors of childhood neglect and abuse, and allows that the very trauma that they suffered may have imbued them with the raw abilities needed to keep themselves safer in difficult situations.

For more information and questions, please contact Dr. Kirsten Cameron through her website here.

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