Remote Viewing

PJ's Guide to RV Field Semantics


In this field, semantics are a big deal. Not just to the picky, but to those interested in either clarifying or confusing the subject.

There is the scientific terminology related to parapsychology, remote viewing, or anomalous cognition in general or in specific.

There is the methodology terminology related to the psi methods of Ingo Swann, which were designed to be used within the remote viewing protocol, and that is a whole subject in itself.

Then there is the "general" terminology that just talking about the field on the internet brings one into contact with. Some of these terms or phrases relate to Swann's methods; some relate to remote viewing in general. These are what this file addresses.

What's confusing is that different groups of people in this field tend to define these terms differently, which can be very confusing for people new to the subject!

I am not trying to be a dictionary here, nor a glossary, nor am I trying to describe how every individual everywhere defines these words. These are my personal notes, created from what I have found after talking with many experienced people in depth about this topic since November 1995.

This file will continue to grow over time. My definition of the categories of people I've included here: "The Literal Definition" meaning what is the generally accepted one for the public, as far as I can tell. "Science-people" are scientists and psychic researchers. "Methods-people" are usually those who utilize Swann's CRV or some derivative of that.

So far, here are the terms I've had time to tackle:

A psychic
A remote viewer
Out of Body Experiences (OBE)
Acquiring the Signal Line
Facilitate a Movement Exercise
Fell out of Structure
Iterate the Coordinates
Viewer Profile
Accuracy Rate


a psychic

The Literal Definition: Someone who consciously acquires psi data, via just about any method, but usually mostly via ESP, telepathy, clairvoyance, clairaudience, precognition, scrying, or dowsing.

Science-people Definition: Same as the literal definition, except it can "infer" they do not generally work within a scientific RV protocol, or they would probably be called remote viewers.

Methods-people Definition: A person who acquires psychic data but doesn’t use the psychic methods Ingo Swann developed.

a remote viewer

The Literal Definition: Someone who views something remotely. The traditional term was used for various technologies, such as satellite photography or hidden cameras for instance. In this case, it would describe "psychically seeing" something that is not local to your physical location.

Science-people Definition: A psychic who works within the scientific remote viewing protocol. (See: "Protocol" for more definition.) There is no actual assumption of "sight" being the form of psi data received in this case, it could be any form of psi reception. (Methods have no bearing on this definition.)

Methods-people Definition: Someone who uses the psychic methodology compiled by Ingo Swann in the 1980’s ("CRV"), which was designed to be used within a remote viewing protocol. Swann helped coin the term "remote viewing" in the lab back in the 1970’s, and he worked as a remote viewer in the lab--this is the main reason his methods are associated with the term RV. Using his methods the experience is seldom "visual" data received, comparative to other types (hearing, smell, taste, touch, conceptual, ambience-sense, et al.).

out of body experiences (OBE)

The Literal Definition: The event of having the sensation that one is physically disconnected from their body, as if "they" are somewhere physically elsewhere than inside the biological form. (Note that this does not say, "the experience of being aware of something outside of your body, as if you were there at another location." That is generally just considered ‘being psychic,’ or a form of 'disassociation,' or in some cases, some people refer to that as 'bi-location.' OBE refers to the sensation of feeling distinctly separated from the physical body.)

Science-people Definition: Close to the literal definition. In the case of scientifically testable psi, OBE is not necessarily distinct from many other experiences, methods or types of data; psi data acquisition may be experienced or gone about differently by different lab subjects.

Methods-people Definition: An experience or form of psychic work that is not technically RV in the "structured/formal" sense. Greatly avoided in the formal CRV methodology as it is considered detrimental to staying in structure and recording data during the experience.

PJ’s Notes: It’s possible that RV and OBE are each at opposite ends of the same experiential spectrum. Intense target contact can sometimes produce most symptoms of an OBE, and many OBEs may begin by a type of RV. Some methods may produce or even dominantly work via OBE as a form of psi. In the more "common and traditional" sense however, remote viewing is mostly a very in-your-body, communicating-during-the-process experience. As a caveat to that though, it is also possible that one may be "55% out of their body" for example, yet still communicating to some degree, yet also feeling separate from the body. Suffice to say that if you consider RV from the science perspective, the experience isn’t what matters, the data is, and RV is whatever kind of psi you want to do as long as you’re working within an RV protocol. If you consider it from a Swann methods-perspective, OBE is not only "not RV" in the CRV sense, but in fact is close to the opposite.

Reference: Charles T. Tart coined the acronym/term OBE (originally he called it OOBE, for "out of the body experiences") a couple of decades ago. He has some papers on the topic, including studies done with the legendary Robert Monroe (of The Monroe Institute) as a test subject, which can be found on his web site at:


The Literal Definition: A system of rules and guidelines put in place for a given situation. In some cases, a ‘methodology;’ however the term ‘protocol’ is usually applied more toward situational requirements than step by step processes.

Science-people Definition: The combined set of rules defined for a given experimental situation. ("Protocol" then being singular, referring to the set.) In this case, the "RV Protocol" is the set of rules put in place in connection with a given RV experiment, demonstration or application. Most of these rules are defined by the findings of published and unpublished scientific research, the input of scientific critics, and the necessities related to the type of situation. As a result, a good protocol is not an easy thing to design without the input of someone experienced in setting up modern scientific psi environments. The protocol elements and details may vary somewhat from from lab to lab. They may include everything from target selection criteria; tasking criteria; the physical environmental setup during the psychic process; control of stray, random, and any other element which might interfere with, or cast doubt upon, the situation itself; judging criteria; feedback criteria; and any number of other things.

Notice there is no mention of psychic methods in this definition. Although many trials are set up to use one method or another, that is not really considered a part of the scientific protocol itself. Most remote viewing studies are not concerned with method, they are only concerned with the data, however the remote viewer may choose to go about acquiring it. It could be via CRV, astral projection, scrying, trance channeling, dowsing, or any other methodology. The protocol is a set of rules applied to the situation, and in the science sense, without an acceptable RV protocol, one cannot claim the term ‘remote viewing’ with any justification. The term RV was coined in the early 1970’s specifically to separate ‘being psychic’ from ‘being psychic within a scientific protocol.’ So you might say, the original term RV was defined BY the protocol itself. People working outside of the Remote Viewing protocol are simply "being psychic" – not remote viewing. The difference is mostly a matter of semantics in one sense; but in a practical sense, it is a matter of credibility.

Methods-people Definition: This is where things get a little bit confusing. Long ago, people working with a certain psychic method (that being CRV at the time), decided their "methods" would be referred to as "protocols." When you hear methods people refer to "the protocols," they are not talking about the formal RV protocol--the set of rules which should be in place to call ‘psychic work’ instead ‘remote viewing,’ as described above. Instead, they are talking about the details of their methodology. Usually the giveaway is that methods people use the plural term protocols, and science people use the singular term protocol. (Not always, but usually.) In the media, this use of the same general term to mean a totally different thing has caused a great deal of confusion and miseducation. It also, unfortunately, relates to something else: many people (particularly modern psi methods students) referring to ‘the protocols’ as methods have little practice of (or sometimes even knowledge about), the real RV protocol. The result of this is that the majority of people claiming they are doing remote viewing are, in the strictest sense, not.


The Literal Definition: The shape of a thing; the sequence of events.

Science-people Definition: When it comes to RV, this is a word used mainly by methods people, not science people.

Methods-people Definition: A term that kind of combines the method details (which many call ‘protocols’) into one gestalt. "Staying in structure" means not violating the methodology steps or rules; "falling out of structure" means violating those steps or rules.

Acquiring the signal line

The Literal Definition: N/A. This is a phrase made up to accompany a certain theory which is part of the formation of a certain psychic methodology (CRV).

Science-people Definition: Has no relevence to science except with those psychics and scientists familiar with CRV methods.

Methods-people Definition: "Tuning into the vibe" or "getting in touch with intuition" or however you want to phrase it. This is CRV’s term for it. Acquiring= getting, becoming; signal line= psychic wave, vibe, info, frequency, etc.

Facilitated a movement exercise

The Literal Definition: N/A. This is a phrase made up to accompany a certain theory which is part of the formation of a certain psychic methodology (CRV).

Science-people Definition: N/A. Probably has no relevence to science as a formal phrase, although interviewers in the science lab certainly do this.

Methods-people Definition: The monitor suggested the Viewer perceive data about the target from elsewhere than wherever they currently are. An example might be, "50 feet to your left, something should be visible." Then the Viewer attempts to describe whatever that might be. Sometimes the viewer may start at the beginning of the methods sequence for the new location. Facilitated= suggested, participated in, helped sponsor; a movement exercise= the event of attempting to shift your psychic perception in spacial locality.

Iterate the coordinates

The Literal Definition: N/A. This is a phrase made up to accompany a certain theory which is part of the formation of a certain psychic methodology (CRV).

Science-people Definition: N/A, even science wouldn't be so formal about something so basic!

Methods-people Definition: Read or say the target #.

Fell out of structure

(See "structure" for more info.)

The Literal Definition: N/A. This is a phrase made up to accompany a certain theory which is part of the formation of a certain psychic methodology (CRV).

Science-people Definition: N/A. Has no relevence to science.

Methods-people Definition: The viewer wrote one type of data (e.g., the name of something, or a color) in the wrong area of their piece of paper. Can also refer to larger variations, such as going through the methods or data types in a different order, or temporarily ceasing to record data as it is received, or neglecting to follow certain rules related to ‘breaks’ and other issues within the methodologies.

Viewer Profile

The Literal Definition: N/A. Might be a little similar to any other kind of profile, except this is a statistical type done on remote viewers.

Science-people Definition: The detailed statistics on every part of a remote viewer’s performance. See "Accuracy Rate" for more info.

Methods-people Definition: I only know of one instructor who teaches Viewer Profiling, so this is not all that common in the overall percentage of people currently studying formal RV methodologies. But in this case, it has the same definition as science would assign to it. If there is any difference it is probably that the judging done in the scientific sense of what is accurate is probably far more literal (and hard--meaning, lower statistics on accuracy or feedbackable data) than that done by the Viewer themselves in a training/practice situation; and because the science profiles are recorded mostly by second or third parties, they are probably considered more objectively reliable.

Accuracy Rate

The Literal Definition: Generally, the degree to which something or someone is accurate.

Science-people Definition: The statistics from the Viewer’s Profile. This can be as "hit" oriented as "the % of time a blind judge chooses the correct one of five targets based on the Viewer’s data" or as detail oriented as "over the last 12 years, Jane has had a 63.7% accuracy rate on "material composition" as a descriptive about a target."

The first example has a limited relation to how accurate the Viewer actually is; the Viewer may describe elements of the target accurately every time. In fact, they may describe numerous elements, and all their data may be correct -- but in a science situation, if a separate judge does not choose the proper one of 4 or 5 targets from a set, for whatever reason (and it is a difficult job), the session is not considered a ‘hit,’ although that may not have much to do with the Viewer. Also, there is no measure of whether the viewer had a general gestalt that obtained that "hit," or if they drew a blueprint level sketch of the entire target site; whether they got three pieces of data, or 17 typed pages of it. So, overall ability is not measured in this number. There are other means of measuring accuracy, such as comparing the amount of data got to the total amount possible to get. Also it is difficult to separate a sketch into ‘components’ and measure each of those, the way you can with verbal data.

In the second example with Jane, the issue of unscorable data is also relevent. Jane may have had a great deal of data for ‘material composition’ over the years that was almost certainly correct--but, if that data was not specifically in the feedback, it may not have been included in the overall scoring, because one cannot really prove she was accurate. (Which would bring her numbers lower.)

There are an almost infinite number of ways to measure accuracy, and the very same remote viewing session could produce overall numbers ranging from 15% to 95% depending on what you choose to measure and how. These numbers mean nothing whatsoever unless you understand in detail what they represent, how they were measured, and what they are taking into account. Major types of accuracy rating within the science lab include "Rank Order," "Fuzzy Sets," and the basic detailed measurement of data elements compared to feedback.

Methods-people Definition: This definition varies. The most common use of the term refers to the % of data components in a session that are considered accurate, either by feedback or by ‘fair assumption’ based on what is in the feedback. For example, if you provide 20 pieces of data, and 2 of them are not judgeable by feedback, and 15 are accurate and 3 are inaccurate, that particular session may have an overall accuracy rating of 83% (20-2=18; 15/18=83.333). As the majority of data for CRV students tends to be basic descriptives as Stage 2 and/or conceptual explanations as Stage 4/4.5, it is not all that unusual for even a beginning student to get 80-95% of the data they have provided judged accurate. Also, concerning methods, data included as AOL is not judged in this, although it may be accurate. Note that a session rated 99% accurate from a methods standpoint might still be a "miss" in the science lab.

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