Foundation for Mind Research
Organization formed by the husband and wife team Robert
E. L. Masters and Jean Houston in New York to conduct experiments
on the border between mental and physical experience.
Houston is a professor of psychology, and Masters is a
poet and sexologist and the author of many books. Both have
experimented with clinically controlled hallucinogenic drugs.
Masters and Houston also developed the ASCID (Altered
States of Consciousness Induction Device), better known as
‘‘the witches’ cradle.’’ It was suggested by historical accounts of
witches being suspended from tree branches in swinging bags.
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Foundation for Mind Research
Masters and Houston developed a metal swing in which the
subject is secured blindfolded with ear baffles and swings in various
directions. In this situation of sensory deprivation and
confusing movement, the subject experiences enhanced fantasies
and alteration in consciousness. A more primitive and dangerous
form of this activity has long been called ‘‘dervish dangling’’
and has been reported to result in paranormal
Houston, Jean. Lifeforce The Psycho-historical Recovery of the
Self. New York Delacorte Press, 1989.
Masters, Robert E. L., and Jean Houston. Mind Games. New
York Viking Press, 1972.
———. The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience. New York
Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1966.