The American Institute of Parapsychology is an organization founded in 1993 to conduct independent research in the field of paranormal studies, and to offer education and counseling for those wishing to explore the meaning of psychic, paranormal or spiritual experiences. The institute also provides information services to the media and general public on scientific parapsychology and related areas.
The organization encourages the scientific study of paranormal/psychic experiences and promotes the dissemination of parapsychological knowledge and understanding. Equally important is the AIP’s Code of Ethics, which promotes professionalism in the field of parapsychology and paranormal studies.
Membership in AIP is open to everyone – professional parapsychologists, amateur parapsychologists and paranormal investigators, psychic consultants, and those who simply enjoy or are interested in parapsychology. Our membership includes several of the world’s most prominent parapsychologists and authors.
Advantages of AIP Membership
Associate Member: For the person who wants to pursue an interest in parapsychology.
Annual dues: $50.00 U.S., $60.00 international
Life Membership: All the advantages of associate membership for your lifetime with no further dues payments required.
One-time dues: $600.00 U.S., $1,000.00 international
Professional Membership: For Certified members. (See certification page)
If you want to apply for AIP membership…
Please read the AIP Code of Ethics:
AIP Code of Ethics and Conduct
By joining the American Institute of Parapsychology, I am indicating my agreement to subscribe to the following Code of Ethics as a condition of membership:
The Code of Ethics and Conduct (CEC) advises and sometimes directs appropriate actions when dealing with witnesses, the authorities, other investigators and the public. This Code helps to preserve common sense, ethical behavior and responsible principles within a field too often riddled with self interest and lack of concern for those affected by paranormal activity.
The Code constitutes a binding principle of AIP field investigators’ activities. All AIP investigators must indicate acceptance and defend themselves against any accusations brought to the attention of AIP that they are in serious breach of its clauses. Consequences up to and including dismissal from the American Institute of Parapsychology may follow.
Except where specifically stated, words shall have the commonly accepted meaning, all cases of doubt to be resolved by reference to the Webster’s English Dictionary.
(a) Reference to the singular includes the plural, and vice versa.
(b) The term “must” indicates mandatory action on the part of the investigator.
(c) The terms “shall” or “should” indicates strongly recommended (but discretionary) action by the investigator.
(d) The term “desirable” indicates preferable action by the investigator.
(e) An original report is the report made and filed by the investigator and may contain confidential material. An edited report is one cleared for general distribution and publication, and may have been edited or rewritten. It must not contain any confidential material.
(f) Confidential information shall mean information not to be disclosed according to all existing laws of the land regarding personal information and its publication, as well as material deemed confidential by clauses of the CEC itself.
(g) Publication includes parapsychological and other periodicals, newspapers, circulars, news media, books, and electronic media (e-mail, web sites, etc.).
This Code Of Ethics and Conduct consists of three sections: Responsibility to the witness; responsibility to the public; and resposibility to parapsychology.
Section 1: – Responsibility to the Witness.
1.1 The identity of the witness to an alleged paranormal event must be deemed confidential and can not be disclosed – especially to media sources such as TV and newspapers – unless specific and recent consent is obtained from the witness. Confidential material includes the name of the witness, home address or place of work, telephone numbers, or other data that may allow the identity of the witness to be ascertained.
1.2 The witness should be counseled about the potential consequences of the public disclosure of details such as those above. Their decision on disclosure or non-disclosure must be regarded as binding.
1.3 Whenever possible, all interviews shall be scheduled by prior appointment. If a witness declines immediate assistance via an interview or appointment then their wishes must be accepted.
1.4 It is desirable that all interviews shall be conducted by two investigators, and in the event of the witness being a woman or minor (under 18 years of age) that one of those present is female.
1.5 All requests by the witness (or, in the case of a minor, a parent or other responsible person) for a third party to be present during an interview must be honored.
1.6 If the witness refuses to cooperate in any way, or to meet another investigator, their decision must be accepted, the option for further contact resting with the witness.
1.7 An investigator must not enter or attempt to enter any private property without the permission of the owner, tenant (or occupant) or authorized agent. An investigator must never attempt to gain entry to any property under false pretenses.
1.8 When dealing with a child witness, if further investigation is likely to re-initiate any trauma associated with the experience, then the investigator should not proceed.
1.9 When dealing with a witness who may be psychologically disturbed, the investigator should call in a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist to evaluate the claims. If this is not possible, the investigator should record the witness’s claims with a minimum of stress and provocation.
1.10 In photographic or artifact cases, a receipt should be issued for any items borrowed for analysis, and the witness should be assured that these items will be returned, unless the witness agrees otherwise.
1.11 Any damage to property caused by an investigator during the course of an investigation (for which the investigator admits liability) shall be compensated by that investigator without the need to be asked to do so.
1.12 Specialized techniques, or equipment unfamiliar to the witness must not be used during the interview other than by clearly stated consent (which should be obtained in writing). The use of any such aid or aids shall be restricted to interviews conducted by fully qualified practitioners with a publicly acceptable mandate to use such methods.
1.13 The witness is entitled to be informed of the conclusions reached by the investigation if he or she so requests.
1.14 The physical health and psychological well-being of the witness should be of primary concern to the investigator throughout the investigation. If it is ever suspected this may suffer by continued investigation, work must be suspended or abandoned forthwith.
1.15 AIP regards the technique of regression hypnosis to be wholly unsuitable during the investigation of a case. It must never be used. If a witness approaches and requests such a method the AIP investigator is obligated to explain the reasons for our decision not to employ the technique. They must acquaint the witness with the generally accepted psychological debate regarding its nature, possible long term effects – such as adaptation of memory – and our absolute ban upon its use. If the witness insists upon taking the matter further they should be directed not to any other investigator but to a qualified practitioner (psychologist, psychiatrist, etc.). If the witness still then decides to proceed with regression hypnosis via another source the AIP investigation must be concluded.
Section 2: – Responsibility to the public.
2.1 All investigators must cooperate fully with police and any other official body, particularly in circumstances which may affect public security or matters of life, death and injury to other persons.
2.2 If, during any investigation, a situation is encountered which is, or is liable to become, dangerous to the general public, or result in damage to property, the investigator must without delay notify the police or other responsible body and take all reasonable steps to protect public and property.
2.3 Investigators are reminded that they have no special privilege and may be required to disclose confidential information to a court of law. If such matters of jurisprudence intervene other clauses of the CEC are temporarily superceded.
2.4 AIP investigators must at all times weigh their responsibility to inform the public about parapsychological phenomena against the often different requirements of the news media. The investigator should refrain from issuing unsupported statements, expression of theories lacking in evidence and non-objective speculations about cases under investigation. If an opportunity is taken to offer a rational perspective on the phenomenon via a public forum it should always be recalled that you are representing both the AIP and scientific parapsychological research. You must strive to do so in a responsible manner.
2.5 The credibility of a witness or colleague should not be impugned in public unless the evidence and community interest provides an overwhelming mandate. You should always be prepared to justify this act, if necessary, to the rest of the AIP team.
Section 3: – Responsibility to Parapsychology.
3.1 The free flow of information shall not be restricted for personal gain. AIP investigators will inform colleagues of their work in progress and allow its use upon publication by other responsible members of the parapsychological community. This is subject to the provision that these other parties reciprocate with due credit to source. AIP members may use information for their own purposes, e.g. to write articles and books, but must not inappropriately delay release of information to the parapsychological community to further such aims.
3.2 Full credit must always be given to colleagues and other sources whose work you draw upon, unless they have expressly requested not to be identified.
3.3 Interviews conducted during an investigation shall – where practicable – be recorded on audio tape, video tape or other recording device. However, if the use of a recorder is objected to by the witness (or other responsible person in the case of a minor) written documentation should be as thorough as circumstances allow. This should also be properly transcribed as soon as possible after the interview.
3.4 All case reports should indicate the persons present, their status, and their relationship to the witness/witnesses during any interviews.
3.5 Any information, confidential because of factors inherent within this Code, must not be made available in the edited report. Only the edited report should be made available for external use.
3.6 The identity of a witness must be regarded as confidential and not included in the edited report unless the witness initiates self disclosure. If any doubt persists protection of the witness should override all other considerations. To fully protect witnesses in sensitive occupations, investigators may need to restrict from some parts of publications details of the time, place and other circumstances surrounding the incident – especially those that might allow the tracing of a witness who has required non disclosure of their identity.
3.7 So as not to bias witness testimony, the investigator should not discuss their personal theories with a witness during the course of an initial investigation. In particular, the investigator must not make irresponsible or alarmist statements which are based on opinion rather than fact. The first priority of any investigation must be to allow a witness to tell their story without intervention. If such details are discussed at a later point they should be emphasized as a theory and supported with any objective evidence available. In the report to the parapsychological community personal theories regarding a witness or a case should be clearly indicated as such and separated from the main facts of the investigation.
3.8 At no time should a researcher become personally or romantically involved with a witness or an experient. If the investigator finds this is happening he or she should discontinue his/her role as this witness’s investigator and refer the witness to another appropriate investigator to follow-up.
As a condition of my membership in the American Institute of Parapsychology, I agree to conduct my practice and all professional interactions in strict accordance with the Code of Conduct as defined. If I am charged with a violation of the Code, I understand that an investigation may be conducted upon receipt of a written complaint signed by a complaining victim. I will be given an opportunity to present my version of the complaint to the Ethics Committee. I understand that my membership and/or certification could be suspended for a specified period of time or revoked by a unanimous vote of the Ethics Committee. In any case, I agree to hold the American Institute of Parapsychology harmless for such actions.