The Ionasphere


I Married the Wizard of Oz!

Our Adventures in Parapsychology, Paraphysics, and Metaphysics

by Iona Miller, ©2001

When I first met Richard Alan Miller in 1976, his career in Parapsychology was in full-swing.  We had both come up with a strong background in Theosophy.  Not only that, his interests in metaphysics, alchemy and Magick, which paralleled my own, as well as our mutual interests in Jungian and Transpersonal Psychology made us a formidable couple.  So click the heels of your Ruby Slippers together three times, and come along for the ride.

Rick was notorious in Seattle, known as the "Emerald City" as their local media-savvy magician/witch and operated Beltane Occult Books and Beltane Herb Co. at the time, centers for a variety of what have come to be known as New Age activities and services.  But these were no channeling housewives nor slacker hippies, for Rick was trained as a rigorous scientist, having built a cloud chamber, then a linear accelerator for the national science fair in high school, and a plasma jet in college.  Clearly he was destined for experimental, rather than theoretical physics.  Wherever he went as a "strange attractor," he surrounded himself with an innovative group of individuals.

Miller had worked for duPont and Boeing in infrared countermeasures and in biophysics as an instrumentation specialist at the University of Washington, Department of Anesthesiology, under pain specialists Dr. Ray Fink and  Dr. John Bonica.  There he participated in the first studies in the U.S. on acupuncture.  He had been taught by eminent scientists such as Dr. Charles Muses (hyperdimensional math) and Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorki (quantum biochemistry).  Linus Pauling and Richard Feynman, on sabbatical from Cal Tech, were his first chemistry and physics teachers, in the John Day Lecture Series at the UW.  Along with 12 graduate students, he audited David Bohm's 1970 class in Quantum Geoelectrodynamics.  In graduate school, his thesis advisor was Dr. R. B. Murray, winner of the Nobel Prize in solid state physics.  He also picked up such enrichment courses as Helmut Schmidt's "Eight Lectures on Yoga on the I Ching."

And he brought that rigor, and his security clearance, to the then embryonic science of parapsychology where his work was picked up for publication by Dr. Stanley Krippner, now Dean of Consciousness Studies At Saybrook Institute, the Transpersonal Psychology graduate school.

Miller had learned, as Kuhn told us, about the structure of scientific revolutions and how science purges itself of outmoded notions roughly every 20 years.  He considers science to be the leading religion of the times--the modern day form of magic.  And he was well-poised to be a player in the latest revolution which was forecast and outlined by Marilyn Ferguson in 1980 as The Aquarian Conspiracy, and by Fritjof Capra in The Tao of Physics and The Turning Point, and by Ken Wilber in The Holographic Paradigm.

The wise and wonderful Oz says, "Pay no attention; don't look at the man behind the curtain..."  But since I was no naive Dorothy, but more like Glinda, the good witch of the South, I had a front-row, center seat for the festivities.  Unlike Dorothy, there was no "falling asleep" in these excursions through a variety of multidisciplinary consciousness-altering "fields."


Rick began his professional career as a physicist, then as a biophysicist and instrumentation specialist.  His first foray into Parapsychology, or more accurately Paraphysics, came in Nov-Dec of 1972.  He conducted experiments in Kirlian Photography with Karl Elmendorff at the University of Washington.  He was aided in this effort by Dr. John Bonica and Dr. Neidemeyer, who had worked on the Manhattan Project.

Miller wrote the field theory for Kirlian photography; these experiments showed the effect to be a secondary emission of electrons ionizing local gases, rather than a bioluminescent phenomenon of extrasensory or spiritual importance.  People were pre-disposed to see physical demonstrations of so-called auras, and so they attributed the phenomenon to this traditional analog, because it served their belief system.  This effect also can occur among researchers where it is known as experimenter-bias.

However, even when Miller's finding was published as "The Physical Mechanisms in Kirlian Photography" in 1975 in The Energies of Consciousness, edited by Stanley Krippner and David Rubin for Gordon & Breach, the superstitious interpretations continued, and continue to this day.  Other contributors to this Krippner book included Edgar Mitchell, Victor Adamenko, William A. Tiller, John Pierrakos, Theodore Barber, David Bresler, and James Hurtak.

This work was also published as part of Kirlian Electrophotography, a data package prepared by Mankind Research Unlimited, Inc. headquartered on Wisconsin Avenue in Washington D.C., a government front organization.  Miller's contribution was the Kirlian Device Circuit Diagram.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your Kirlian experiments?  How did they lead to your more general interest in bioluminescence?  How did your graduate thesis on luminescence and superconductivity lead to your speculative paper on the Biological Function of the Third Eye?


In the spring of 1973, Rick met Burt Webb through the Experimental College at the University of Washington.  The Experimental College was the graduate project (MBA thesis) of another friend, Michael Wells Mandeville, and became the model nationally for community-based continuing education.  Michael is now pursuing his predictions of earth changes based on Edgar Cayce's prophecies, and often appears on talk radio, (

Burt was a technology forecaster in the local chapter of the World Future Society.  He had coordinated the computer exhibits at the Global Village conference at Evergreen State College, sponsored by the Governor's office.  Burt shared Rick's interest in exploring the interface between science and the paranormal.

By September, 1973 Miller had found funding under the sponsorship of Seal Corporation, a thinly disguised front for Army Intelligence, doing business in Maine.  Rick's handler was Ted Krueger.  Experiments conducted here were primarily in ESP monitoring and induction through Hypnosis.

Rick subcontracted Burt for a research project requested by Krueger.  Burt's job was to develop a series of products which could exploit the public's interest in the paranormal.  He reported back with 6 possible product designs.

The techniques for Inducing ESP through Forms of Self-Hypnosis came through collaboration with Yugoslavian hypnotist Milan Ryzl, who was a guest for several weeks.  Employing Ryzl's techniques with his own synthesis, Miller was able to win the First Psychic Tournament, sponsored by Llewellyn Publications at the 5th Gnosticon Conference in Sept. 1975 .  He competed with around 40 other self-styled psychics, such as Noel Tyl, Jean Dixon, Sybil Leek, James Hurtak, Isaac Bonewits.

Another development of this work is the ESP Questionaire, which Miller gave to around 1000 students at both the Gnosticon Festivals and his Experimental College class, where he taught the induction of ESP with self-hypnosis.

Another concurrent project at this time was Project Parafile, a computer-based bibliography of parapsychology and occult references to psi phenomena.  This project was done in the days of card files, and the work was extensive.  A full 10% of the entries related to ESP, even though the field was still in its infancy.

Burt led a group of volunteers who carefully keypunched thousands of citations onto punch cards.  Ken Hockett and another Boeing employee utilized Boeing computers to create a database from the punch cards.

The Seal Reports were Miller's first paranormal works for the government, initiating him into the world of Black Ops as one of the original "Men in Black."  Having shifted his worldview from that of a buttoned-down scientist to that of an open-minded psychonaut and consciousness explorer, he often found his experiments demonstrated the hypothesized psychophysical phenomena.  He embodied the paradox of being an underground regional "edge-celeb," yet at the same time being sponsored by a government often hostile to his worldview and orientation.  In other words, he cleverly got the government to sponsor his parapsychology hobby!  Or so he thought, little realizing how that information might be employed in twisted mind-control experiments, or how his own notoriety with the government could affect his further work.


In 1973, what has come to be known as the Pribram-Bohm Holographic Model was non-existent.  But this Seattle think-tank, lead by Miller and Burt Webb were able to put together the work of Northrup and Burr on the electromagnetic nature of the human being with Gabor's work on holograms and come up with a new notion.  Pribram had postulated 2-dimensional interference patterns, physical holograms, as underlying all thinking.  The holographic component, for him, represented the associative mechanisms and contributed to memory retrieval and storage and problem-solving.

However, Miller, Webb and Dickson boldly asserted that the holographic metaphor extends to n-dimensions and therefore constitutes a fundamental description of the universe and our electromagnetic embedding within that greater field.  Thus was born the "Holographic Concept of Reality" in 1973.  This paper was presented at the 1st Psychotronic Conference in Prague in 1973, and later published by Gordon & Breach in 1975, and again in 1979 in Psychoenergetic Systems: the Interaction of Consciousness, Energy and Matter, edited by Stanley Krippner.

Other notable contributors to this volume included Michael A. Persinger, (now famous for his neuromagnetic simulations of alien abduction often demonstrated on TLC and the Discovery Channel), John Curtis Gowan (taxonomies of states of consciousness from Trance, Art and Creativity; Development of the Psychedelic Individual), Robert O. Becker (effects of electromagnetism on physical systems), Theodor Barber, David Bresler, S. D. Kirlian, and Thelma Moss.

Picking up on the work of Pribram independently, David Bohm published his explication of the holomovement in his classic text Wholeness and the Implicate Order, (1980) and the Pribram-Bohm theory was born and embraced widely as a foundation of the new sciences from physics to neuropsychology.  This theory was fundamental to a deep understanding of the later emerging Chaos theory and Complexity, the dynamics of complex interrelated systems.

Rick took a primitive remote terminal to the Omniversal Symposium.  He linked up to the Project Parafile database in Seattle, took questions from the audience and read off the answers returned by the database.  This was the primitive forerunner of what have become laptop computers, but this terminal was briefcase-sized.

Miller and Webb followed up their ground-breaking paper with "Embryonic Holography," which was also presented at the Omniversal Symposium at California State College at Sonoma, hosted by Dr. Stanley Krippner, September 29, 1973.  To our knowledge, this is the first paper to address the quantum biological properties of human beings--the first illustrations of the sources of quantum mindbody.  Dropping a level of observation below quantum biochemistry and conventional biophysics, they proposed that a biohologram determines the development of the human embryo; that we are a quantum bodymind with consciousness informing the whole process through the level of information.  They postulated DNA as the possible holographic projector of the biohologram, patterning the three-dimensional electromagnetic standing and moving wave front that constitutes our psychophysical being.

This work was reprinted much later in the journal Psychedelic Monographs and Essays, Vol. 6, 1993.  However, in the meantime, Miller had drawn the attention of the government in a less favorable way.  "Spooks" (Feds and Army Intell) came to his business, arrested him, searched his files, and seized all work on embryonic holography, for whatever reasons they did not disclose, but we can only conjecture.  Perhaps it had to do with implications of the theory such as physical regeneration of tissue, or the liquid crystal properties of body fluids.  Or perhaps it had to do with his research in Allan Frey's work in the .3-3 gHz regions, which is a microwave input which allows the brain to directly receive voice transmissions.  This discovery has recently resurfaced as synthetic telepathy.   Miller and Webb were able to reconstitute the bulk of the Embryonic Holography paper from memory, but laid low with their findings for many years after this traumatic experience.


[insert scan of MRU card here]

By this time, Miller was the Northwest Regional Director of Mankind Research Unlimited (MRU), the Washington D.C. based paranormal phenomena investigation team.  He worked under the direction of Dr. Carl Schleicher.  A large portion of the work of Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama was turned over to Miller, including original strip-charts, to duplicate his experiments in psychokinesis, one person's mind influencing the body of another, in the same and in remote locations.

Rick as well as many doctors at the University of Washington were wondering what was happening with "psychic surgery."  Rick brought the problem to Dr. Motay, Dean of Pathology at the UW.  This incident was recounted in The National Observer, March 30, 1974:  "Richard Miller, director of Mankind Research Unlimited's Northwest Regional Office here says that a study by the University of Washington's Dept. of Pathology showed that one man, Warder Bacon, probably had his body entered by the psychic surgeons.  'An X-ray before he left for the Philippines shows that he had a great amount of cancerous tissue in his liver,' says Miller.  'He died about two months ago, and the liver showed no traces of cancerous tissues upon autopsy.'  He says that not enough is known about the healers to make a positive or negative statement.  It certainly warrants a definitive study, says Miller, who also is director of the Dept. of Parapsychology and Paraphysics at the Experimental College of the University of Washington."

To this end, Miller conducted experiments with Filippino psychic "surgeon" Tony Agpaoa.  Perhaps the results are best described in his own words, at this time those of a "true believer," although subsequent research has disclosed the sleight-of-hand tricks of psychic surgery, as shown by debunkers on the Discovery Channel.  The former article continued:  "Psychic surgery is an emotional issue.  There have been no authoritative studies of it.  AMA statistics show, says Miller, that persons who have terminal cancer have a one-in-five recovery rate, even after the bad news is pronounced.  The key will be to determine what percentage of persons who have been treated in the Philippines recover, says Miller, who adds that he is working to have a follow-up study started."


In 1974, Miller incorporated O.A.K. as the Organization for the Advancement of Knowledge, also known to its inner group as the esoteric Order of Ascending Kundalini.  OAK sponsored several projects of its own, and under its auspices director Miller taught Shamanism at Evergreen State College and Parapsychology at Edmonds Community College between 1974 and 1976.  He also taught at the Experimental College at the University of Washington, several classes on parapsychology and the occult, publishing a regular column in The Daily.

Meanwhile, fellow OAK member Burt Webb inspired his colleagues to create a science fiction  short-subject of a religion based on biofeedback, called EAT THE SUN.  Burt plays the High Priest.  The documentary-style film became a cult classic in the underground, revealing the evils of cult indoctrination long before many of the now-famous incidents.  The film describes the Tapazia Ritual, an electronic trial by fire, wherein one's psyche and physiology are put into total synch through a videofeedback process conducted by the Church of Self Amplification, lead by Guru Telemahandi.  But in the movie, something goes wrong to the film's creator, Jim Cox, and they "fry his brain."  The guru's philosophy was summed up in a few choice aphorisms, such as "Eat the Sun, and then you will be your own father," and "The ecology of the soul is to recycle one's consciousness," and the parting-shot, "If they're old enough to pee, they're old enough for me!"  A curious phenomenon about this movie is that, even when told it is a spoof, most people come out believing this actually happened!

Experiments conducted under the Organization included those in biofeedback, in conjunction with Burt Webb and manufacturer J. & J. Enterprises, Inc.  A group of 60 students at the University of Washington were monitored while engaging in Autonomic Training of various physical parameters, and they were trained in the induction of alpha brainwaves through hypnosis.

Around the same time, Miller attended the Claremont Conference with Walter Houston Clark, where he presented papers on Time Distortion and Electrophoresis.

In 1975, Miller produced and Webb directed Paracon I.  The symposium at Seattle Center was attended by some 3000 people during the annual Bumpershoot Festival in Seattle.  It was a day long conference on parapsychology.  There were 5 different tracks covering body, mind, spirit, nature and science.  Burt gave the keynote address in the evening which brought all the subjects together.

In 1976, inspired by the synergy of Rick and Iona's magickal pursuits, OAK sponsored the infamous Tiphareth Experiments, with participation by invitation only.  These experiments became the basis of a later mystical compendium, The Holistic Qabala, (1981).  These disciplines were drawn from traditional and eclectic sources and this Retirement Ritual was designed for the qabalistic invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel, or one's Higher Self,  facilitating creativity and the embodiment of self-actualization or self-realization.  Regular practices included the Banishing Ritual, Middle Pillar Exercise, HGA Invocations, Tantric Lunar Resonance Meditation, (later published in Psychedelic Monographs & Essays) and Qabalistic Pathworking techniques for altering consciousness and stabilizing or integrating changes into a steady state.

Beginning in the late 70's, Rick and Iona collaborated on The Magickal and Ritual Use of Herbs (OAK, 1978; Destiny, 1983), [Burt created the comprehensive ethnographic, botanical and general indexes for this book], The Magickal and Ritual Use of Aphrodisiacs (Destiny, 1985), The Magickal and Ritual Use of Perfumes (Destiny, 1990), and The Modern Alchemist (Phanes, 1994), with artist Joel Radcliffe.

OAK eventually became largely the publishing wing of Miller's endeavors and those of his wife, Iona.  In 1981, still pursuing the elusive psychotronic goals of Eat the Sun, they published The Diamond Body: A Solid State Mandala.  This modern alchemical view of the philosopher's stone linked the Synergetic geometries of Buckminster Fuller with those of Qabalah's famous glyph of the Tree of Life, and forecast the current fad for Merkabah Mysticism.  A synopsis of this work is presented in Iona Miller's article "Buckminster Fuller and the Qabala."

Miller and Miller further pursued this interdisciplinary thread in the Diamond Body Trilogy, which includes Electro-Magick: Self-Realization through Yogatronics, Video-Graphics and Light-Loops, an advanced biofeedback technique implementing a mind/computer interface.  The final volume, Yogatronics: Experiments in Perceptual Synergetics foresaw this application of synesthesia and Virtual Reality for inducing discrete states of consciousness.  This led to Iona Miller's collaboration with Burt Webb on two papers in 1992, on Virtual Magick and Virtual Therapy.

From 1992 to 1998, Richard was the first instructor in Metaphysics on AOL's IES, and the archives of those classes are available and being codified.  During this period he assembled an extensive, searchable Metaphysical Library of available works for FTP download from the Internet.

Rick and Iona had never written screenplays before, but Burt Webb had experience in screenwriting and in designing technological-looking sets for Star Trek movies.  So when our literary agent requested we try a script, we were all game.   PSI-OPS was a proposal and script treatment written at the request of our agent Bernard Shir-Cliff for his friends at FOX who wanted to produce a TV show around the Unknown.  Rick, Iona, and Burt came up with a Mission Impossible-type team of researchers whose adventures would take them through the gamut of the paranormal.  Our proposal came in second to a little show called the X-Files, but we've noticed it was followed shortly by Psi-Factor which certainly shares a lot in common with our original proposal.  We guess great minds think alike?

In 1992, OAK published Iona's Anatomy of the Star Goddess: Quantum Cosmology, Virtual States, Energy Science, and Scalar Fields.  Also in 1992 came Dreamhealing: Chaos and the Creative Consciousness Process with shaman/therapist Graywolf Swinney.  In 1996, she published Lost In Translation: the UFO Phenomenon as an Informational Virus, a prescient description of the phenomenology of what are now known as memes.

In 1999, she co-authored SYNDEX I & II: A Synergetic Perspective on Number Dynamics with Bob Marshall, graphically demonstrating a solution to the prime number enigma and the 9/11 basewave in the number continuum.   In 1999, Iona's alchemical article on drug-free experiential journeys "Chaos as the Universal Solvent" was published in Tom Lyttle's Psychedelics ReImagined (Autonomedia), which features a foreword by Tim Leary.  During this period she also self-published Chaosophy '93: A Journal of Chaos, Consciousness, and Philosophy; Chaosophy 2000: CRP Monographs; and Chaosophy 2001: Neuropsychology and Quantum Metaphysics.

Though we have been divorced since 1994, we are still best of friends and our work continues.  Now in 2001, Miller and Miller are investigating leading-edge Neuropsychology, Neuromagnetic Therapy, Brain Fingerprinting, and PGO Waves.  We are still in the process of realizing our Qabalistic Pathworking game in VRML, a further illustration of our interest in altered states and synthetic realities.  Our work and interest in the deep nature of Reality, Quantum Metaphysics, quantum cosmology, psi phenomena, altered states (including dreams and REM), natural psychedelia, neuropsychology, and consciousness studies continues unabated.

Burt Webb continues to be our friend.  Notably he is the longtime science consultant to the Laura Lee Show.  He runs his own computer business in Seattle, called Cybercon; and is now employed as vice president of a famous computer company in management and programming.  He is often requested as a speaker at science fiction conventions, and most recently appeared on panels discussing a variety of science and technology issues.

Iona Miller (The Ionasphere: Collected Works and The Temple of Living Light at is a multimedia artist, web author and designer and continues working through the Asklepia Foundation ( and Chaosophy Journal on the relationship between experiential journeys, healing, creativity, illumination, dreams, consciousness and chaos theory with Dr. Stanley Krippner as mentor.  Richard pursues his career as the foremost international expert in the growing and marketing of botanicals, under his company Northwest Botanicals, (  In that regard, he appears in Who's Who in the West,  and America.  His current parapsychological interest is in exploring synthetic telepathy and writing a book on self-induction of ESP.

Rick and I have also had many adventures in the world of Magick, the Occult, and Mysticism with a wide variety of players in those fields...but that, as they say, boys and girls, is another story.  Along the way we found a lot of Brains, Heart, and especially Nerve!  And learned "There's no place like Home."

"We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto!!!..."

E-mail R.A. Miller:    R. Miller Homepage:  nwbotanicals

E-mail Iona Miller:    I. Miller Homepage:

E-mail Burt Webb:       Burt Webb Homepage:

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