Santoliquido, Rocco (1854–ca. 1930)
Italian scientist and Italy’s director general of Public Health
who became the first president of the Institut Métapsychique
International, which was founded in 1919 in Paris by Jean
Meyer on the initiative of Santoliquido and Gustav Geley.
Santoliquido’s first experience in psychical research took
place in 1906 in his own home. The table rapped out messages
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in the presence of his niece, ‘‘Louise.’’ He soon became convinced
that the information furnished could not have been acquired
normally. Among the messages was one directed to him
‘‘Instead of criticising my experiments you ought to be working
on your report which is not yet finished.’’ Santoliquido believed
that the report had been posted, but found out that owing to
the negligence of an employee, it was still in his office. He published
a pamphlet on these experiments under the title Observation
d’un cas de mediumnité intellectuel.
During World War I his international hygienic activities
obliged him to reside in Paris. He became acquainted with
Gustav Geley and took him on as a secretary. They often discussed
the problems of psychical research. Santoliquido found
the rich and generous Jean Meyer to endow a research facility,
and in 1918 Meyer founded the Institut Métapsychique International
in Paris, following up on Santoliquido’s and Geley’s
initiative. Santoliquido remained its president for ten years and
was then elected honorary president.
To provide permanent headquarters for international psychical
congresses and research, he founded another center in
Geneva with a provisional committee consisting of Hans
Driesch, Dr. Young, Professor Grandjean and Eugen Osty. This
Centre International de Conferences et de Congres de Recherches Psychiques
de Geneve dissolved after his death.