“I wanted to recreate the CIA’s experiments live by using the audience because it is so compelling on stage,” David Narayan says about his show The Psychic Project.
Based on the research conducted over a 22 year period from 1972-1995, to see if psychic spying could be used as a weapon to ‘plug the growing psychic gap’, it is nothing if not original.
The CIA actually aimed to produce ‘psychic warriors’
Mesmerising audiences up and down the country since its inception three years ago, and coming to the Old Fire Station tomorrow (Wednesday) and Thursday night, prepare to be amazed, because the audience ultimately decides if the experiments were conclusive or not.
It’s a passion project for David since discovering that police training guidelines insisted that any psychic leads needed to be taken seriously.
The initial US research project was launched because leaks suggested that Russia was streets ahead in the field, and the CIA needed to catch up with this new potential mental weapon if it was to have a chance to compete.
All of which is wrapped up in David’s show. “I started it because I found the whole thing so fascinating. It’s such an interesting concept. I knew I wanted to do something with the idea and develop it further.”
He uses the thousands of released CIA documents to recreate the actual experiments used to determine the validity of psychic and their potential.
“There was one experiment when five psychics were plugged into a machine to try to capture their power and energy. The CIA actually aimed to produce ‘psychic warriors’”.
So how easy was the show to craft? “I didn’t make it easy for myself,“ David concedes, “but I was determined to recreate the original experiments. So it’s a mind-reading show using the scientific experiments rather than me, and letting the audience decide if the results are real or not.
So is the audience made up of believers? “It’s about half and half. The sceptics enjoy it just as much, because it is so compelling, and in this age of fake news very prescient.
“More than anything it’s a fascinating and true story brought to life.”
As for going forward, David is constantly introducing new experiments to the format.
“The audience gets so engaged, but you don’t have to take part if you don’t want to. You don’t have to be a psychic spy if you come to my show.”
The Psychic Project is at OFS, Oxford on Wed 24 and Thurs 25 July.
Tickets at oldfirestation.org.uk