Zorab, George A(vetoom) M(arterus)
(1898–1990)
Author and parapsychologist. He was born on January 11,
1898, at Surabaya, Java. His family sent him to the Netherlands
for his education. He encountered Spiritualism when only
twelve years old and was interested in psychic phenomena from
then on. He was also grateful to Spiritualists for relieving him
of his fear of death. He became an active Spiritualist as a young
man and edited several Spiritualist periodicals. He joined the
Studieverening voor Psychical Research (Dutch Society for Psychical
Research) and beginning in 1932, he experimented in
parapsychology with a concentration on spontaneous paranormal
phenomena and quantitative experiments in extrasensory
perception with psychotics. In 1938 he joined the Society for
Psychical Research, London. He published his first book in
1940, by which time he had concluded that the spirit hypothesis
was only weakly supported and the evidence for survival
questionable.
After the war Zorab emerged as an active parapsychologist.
He chaired the International Committee for the Study of Spontaneous
Paranormal Phenomena, The Hague; was a secretary
for the First International Conference on Parapsychological
Studies in Utrecht, the Netherlands, in 1953; and participated
in the Conference on Spontaneous Paranormal Phenomena at
Cambridge, England, in 1955, and the International Conference
on Psychology and Parapsychology at Royaumont,
France, in 1956.
He was named honorary secretary of the Dutch Society for
Psychical Research (1945–57) and directed the Parapsychology
Foundation’s European Research Center at St. Paul de
Vence, France. In 1960 he was selected to become a member
of the Council of the Parapsychology Association, a position
which he refused. He did accept, however, the Perrott-Warwick
Studentship in Psychical Research for 19681969. He was the
European review editor of the Indian Journal of Parapsychology,
contributed many articles to Tijdschrift voor Parapsychologie and
other parapsychological journals, and wrote a number of
books. Zorab remained active in the field of parapsychology
until 1987, due to failing health. He died July 4, 1990.
Sources
Berger, Arthur S., and Joyce Berger. The Encyclopedia of
Parapsychology and Psychical Research. New York Paragon
House, 1991.
Pleasants, H