spiritualist, parapsychology practitioner and New Age babble producer, most famous for her appearance in The Goop Lab series on Netflix. She is pretty indicative of the general intellectual level of the content of that series. And yes, she is affiliated with Goop, as well as co-founder of the Windbridge Institute.
The Windbridge Institute – full title the Windbridge Institute for Applied Research in Human Potential – is an organization devoted to all sorts of psychic bullshit, and claims – just like that – that levitation, psychokinesis and mediumship are scientifically genuine, because blanket assertions are cheap and those who find such claims intriguing are unlikely to care too much.
Beischel herself has apparently got a PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology which she uses to adorn her lies, falsehoods and misrepresentations. Among her publications is the book Among Mediums: A Scientist’s Quest for Answers (2013), where she claims that mediums such as Leonora Piper actually communicated with the dead. Piper, of course, was a well-known fraud, but like with the other mediums covered, Beischel just skipped over the evidence of fraud parts. Beischel has also voiced her support for the conclusions drawn by Gary Schwartz from his experiments – indeed, she has frequently collaborated with Schwartz.
Otherwise, Beischel has an extensive publication record of pseudoscientific papers claiming that mediums can talk to the dead, published in various parapsychology journals, such as this one, coauthored with people like Dean Radin and Arnaud Delorme, as well as Leena Michel and Mark Boccuzzi of the Institute of Noetic Sciences. Basically, the paper concluded with the trivial observation that mediums who attempted to communicate with the dead experienced changes in electrocortical activity (duh!), that “the impression of communicating with the deceased may be a distinct mental state distinct from ordinary thinking or imagination” – yeah, science! – while still managing to be methodologically bonkers. (Even otherwise sympathetic readers are sometimes forced to dismiss her studies). Boccuzzi, by the way, is apparently Beischel’s husband, and they are currently coauthoring a book, Psychic Intimacy: A Handbook for Couples, that will “highlight practical applications of telepathy for couples.”
Beischel has also written Meaningful Messages: Making the Most of Your Mediumship Reading (2013). Her ridiculous nonsense paper “Anomalous Information Reception by Research Mediums Demonstrated Using a Novel Triple-Blind Protocol”, with Gary Schwartz, is discussed here; the set-up and execution of the study is pretty … illuminating.
Diagnosis: A fabulous illustration of pseudoscience, and a really interesting case study of a strikingly common feature of pseudoscience studies in these kinds of fields, what one might perhaps term pathological self-undermining: though Beischel evidently believes the results of her studies, the designs are so obviously inept and the methodological flaws so obviously terrible that it’s hard to believe it’s not deliberately set up to fail to yield worthwhile results. It’s really rather fascinating.