The age of science, failing to extinguish belief in the occult, inspired many of the brightest minds to attempt either to refute it or to prove it. The British Association for Psychical Research (successor to the Ghost Club at Cambridge University), formally organized in the late nineteenth century, was one of the early groups devoted to this purpose. The American Association for Psychical Research came into existence not many years later. Today numerous major universities and military and intelligence institutes throughout the world (including Russia) are engaged in psychical research, now known as parapsychology. Even Communist China, still stubbornly committed to scientific materialism, engages feverishly in psychic research in competition with the West.
According to Ernest Jones, Freud’s biographer, even Freud could not escape what he termed the universal neurosis. Its very universality and persistence defies the atheists’ “explanations.” Freud’s own nagging occult beliefs persisted in spite of his attempted psychological explanations and his scathing ridicule of the religious fantasies held by others. According to Carl Jung, in Freud’s later years he finally “recognized the seriousness of parapsychology and acknowledged the factuality of ‘occult’ phenomena.” Before his death, Freud declared that if he had it to do over again, he would devote his life “to psychical research.”