INTERVIEWQuestions & Answers
Q. Hello Mr. Stiennon, my name is Delphine, I am 21 years old and I would like to join a journalism school. I knew and practiced Phosphenism thanks to my mother, from the age of 7. I remember that at the beginning, she made me make three phosphenes every night in my bed to help me sleep better, she used to say, and I have always continued to this day. Now, with hindsight, I understand better why I have beautiful and very colourful dreams.
She also made me practice a lot what you call “reading under phosphene”. All my homework assignments and during the school holidays the “holiday notebooks” were done with this method. I am convinced that without this practice I would never have been so successful at school. I also used the Phosphenic Mixing method to pass my bachelor’s degree in literature that I passed with honours.
A.: That’s a very nice testimony you’re giving me here!
Q. : Thank you for accepting my interview as I understand that you are reluctant to talk to journalists.
A.: Indeed, processing information does not necessarily mean mastering the subject you are dealing with, hence the risks of interpretation and distortion, except for investigative journalists who give themselves more means. Moreover, in the past, there have been journalists from major television channels who have tried to make a report or a program on Phosphenism.
I spent a lot of time explaining to them what it consisted in, but without giving me a reason, one day they gave up on the project. I think that the subject was completely beyond them, especially the aspect of “involvement with religions”.
I recognise that reading Dr. Lefebure’s book “The Key to Supernatural Phenomena” can only be confusing and leave one dubious if one is not really educated in Phosphenism.
As far as you are concerned, I accepted because your approach is different inasmuch as you know Phosphenism from having experienced it and you have first of all taken the time by yourself to study the subject by getting all of Dr. Lefebure’s books as well as his complete course. So you don’t come with a blank notebook and a pen. So I will do my best to answer you.
Q. : It is curious that Phosphenism, which seems to be part of the trilogy: Hypnotism, Magnetism, Phosphenism, is not better known.
A.: Yes, if you want, you can say so, we can speak of a trilogy. Magnetism and Hypnotism were mainly studied around the 1800s, while Phosphenism dates from the 1960s. I must stress an important point about Phosphenism, which is that it is not a method that is free of rights. Of course, this guarantees a better integrity of the method, but at the same time it limits its diffusion.
Dr. Lefebure’s method covers three aspects:
– The pedagogical aspect, which could be of interest to a very wide public;
– the individual development aspect which could be suitable for a few teachers of various disciplines who would like to add a string to their bow;
– the initiatic technical aspect, which is more complex and can only be taught by teachers from Dr. Lefebure School.
Q. : Phosphenism is therefore relatively recent, or more exactly, what is recent is Dr. Lefebure’s work on phosphenes which he called Phosphenism, because the practice itself can be considered ancestral. Be that as it may, if we consider the current means of communication, it is nevertheless curious to note that few people are aware of its existence outside certain circles.
A.: We are in 2014 and the Internet is relatively recent too. Moreover, in his time, Dr. Lefebure was not what we can call “a good communicator”, quite the opposite. And for my part, I must admit that I have always done everything to maintain Phosphenism in a certain “confidentiality”.
Q.: Why do you say that Dr. Lefebure was not a good communicator and why didn’t you yourself try to spread his method much more widely when you are his spiritual successor and heir?
A.: As far as Dr. Lefebure is concerned, the reason is very simple, he was above all a researcher completely obsessed by his work, which led him to many errors, especially in the field of communication. As for me, I haven’t graduated from business school and the laws and rules of marketing escape me somewhat. Moreover, I have never found a single person in my relationships who has the makings of a marketer.
Being in charge of Phosphenism is a bit like being a coachman driving a stagecoach with a hundred horses in it. As long as the horses are walking at a slow pace, so very slowly, you can control the reins. But if you throw even a small gallop, then things can quickly get complicated if you don’t have the training and the structure to manage. This is why, not having at my side the person or persons with sufficient capacities and resources, I have not been able to achieve a massive diffusion of Phosphenism to date.
But in this day and age, things are very different because there are more and more people on the Internet who are interested in e-marketing. So I don’t despair of meeting one day someone who would like to take care of the diffusion, especially towards the United States and English-speaking countries. Because let’s not forget, on the one hand, that the Internet is mostly English-speaking and, on the other hand, that no method, to my knowledge, has had a worldwide impact without having passed through the USA.
It is clear that whoever wants to be in charge of dissemination will not only win the jackpot, but will also work for the evolution of humanity. In any case, history will simply have to remember that I will have spent my life trying to protect and preserve Dr. Lefebure’s work for future generations and this, believe me, is no small matter. Between the opportunists and those who would like to amalgamate Phosphenism with more or less dubious disciplines…
Q. : I found on the Internet someone’s website, rather lightly argued I must say, who says he knew Dr. Lefebure and I can’t find his name on your site.
A.: It always amuses me enormously when I read that someone claims to have known Dr. Lefebure. I spent almost eight years next to the character and I was the one who organized much of his agenda, especially with regard to the conferences and training he gave.
And during all these years I never knew him with anyone other than myself. I was also present at his death and at his funeral… So when someone says “I knew Dr. Lefebure” they should say “at a conference”. In other words, they have known him no longer than the duration of a conference.
Q.: So it created some jealousy that Dr. Lefebure designated you as his successor and indicated in his will that you would take care of the distribution?
A. : Perhaps not jealousy but rather misplaced lust. Moreover, I will confide in you that after Dr. Lefebure’s death, an official of an organization that was very well known at the time came to offer me 1 million dollars if I gave him all the rights that Dr. Lefebure had bequeathed to me in his will.
Of course, at the time, this was a very large sum, but I remember perfectly well answering him “neither I nor Phosphenism are for sale”. Shortly afterwards, business about cults broke out and I discovered that he was part of one of the 176 organisations under the supervision of the French State…
I remind you, if there was still need, that with Phosphenism there is no guru to whom one must give allegiance; no dogma (believers as well as atheists can practice); no followers cut off from the world, but simply individual practitioners perfectly autonomous and well integrated into society. There is also no hierarchical relationship established between Phosphenists who almost all do not know each other, and as there is no community as such, no psychological pressure can be exerted on practitioners who decide to stop.
It should also be noted that no one is shamelessly enriched or lives in luxury thanks to Phosphenism. Finally, Phosphenism is not intended to infiltrate the authorities and it is for all these reasons that it is the only esoteric organisation/world initiative that is NOT classified as a “sect”.
Phosphenism has therefore NEVER been classified as a “cult” and this is why you will not find it in the list of the 3.200 organisations classified as such, of which 176 are listed as dangerous). In this respect, we can affirm that Phosphenism is not a sect but a “secticide”.
Phosphenism is the diffusion to the general public of a teaching that was once confidential and reserved for an elite of initiates. Moreover, everyone can learn about Phosphenism through the Internet without depending on anyone. Once the principle of phosphene is understood, all that remains is to apply it in one’s daily life, whether personal, family or professional.
Q.: Can Phosphenism help to generate important revenues?
A.: At the moment no, for two reasons. The first is that there is no real diffusion, just a small communication that allows us to cover the running costs. The second reason that I have already explained is that I have never met anyone who has wanted to invest in broadcasting as a profession.
Q. : What do you mean by running costs? Can you be a little more precise ?
A.: I’ve always managed to make a turnover that covers my salary, which has always been around the “minimum wage”, never more, and the costs related to the diffusion of Phosphenism. So, if you put aside my salary, which barely covers my needs, everything that the diffusion of Phosphenism brings in is first and foremost invested for its preservation, notably through a website and the translations, mainly in English, of Dr. Lefebure’s books.
This part alone has been a real financial investment. To be convinced of this, just look at the rates charged by professional translators and multiply by the number of books and web pages. Of course, this investment was spread over several years. Today it’s all over, as practically everything has been translated. All that remains to be done is to exploit and disseminate.
Added to this are also the advertising costs, which are quite high. Especially advertising on Google. When some people spend 50.000$ per month to promote their products, I spend 500$! But the more you can spend, the more you can put keywords at very high bids and thus very quickly find yourself in a dominant position on a market. If you are able to put an important keyword for your activity at 0,5 dollars per click or even more, I let you calculate what this can represent as a budget each day and for each month if you have a hundred or so Internet users who click on the link…
That’s also what Internet is all about: only those who are able to invest significantly financially can have an effective presence and therefore make themselves known. However, let’s face it, without some advertising, your product, whatever it is, will never be known. This is absolutely impossible.
Q.: Why try to live modestly, is there a special reason linked to Phosphenism?
A.: No, absolutely no special reason, except reserving the profits for distribution.
But I must also confess to you that it is also to avoid the easy criticism of those who think that the spiritual search does not rhyme with living normally, and I am not talking about living very comfortably. These same people who are the first to criticise that one can have an executive’s salary are the first to have at home, computer, HI-FI system, home cinema and all the latest comfort in household appliances and of course recent mobile phones…
Q.: How many people work at PHOSPHENISM Publishing and Dr. LEFEBURE School?
A.: My answer will certainly surprise you, but we are only 2 people at all times: my wife and myself. Plus a childhood friend (Alain L.) who works part time as a sports educator and answers some of my letters (from his home) when I’m overwhelmed. I also have two other very long time friends (Alain P. and Pierre D.) who are in the computer business and who help me in my spare time. Without their precious help this site would never have seen the daylight.
In addition to this mini team, there are two other collaborators, one of whom is the director of a cartography agency (Delphine M.) and the other is a webmaster (Marie B.). A friend (Rose Marie M. retired) who proofreads for me. And finally, a few long-time friends who also help me when I need it. To this “technical” team I add the people who are part of the referral and ethics committees, all of whom have a job (lawyer, police commissioner, judge etc.). Having known Dr. Lefebure, they are with me the “guardians” of Phosphenism.
Q.: I was surprised to find relatively few criticisms of Phosphenism on the Internet. Is it because Phosphenism is not known enough?
A.: I don’t think so, because the method has been disseminated since 1956 and several thousand people have already practiced it. Dr. Lefebure’s book “Le Mixage Phosphénique en pédagogie” has had 16 editions, which makes since the first edition something like 60.000 copies sold and I don’t count the PDF version. Have you heard about the book “When China Wakes Up”?
A.: Have you read it?
A.: I have often asked this question at conferences and although almost everyone has heard about this book, very few people have read it. Well, if you do a little survey among your friends, you will find more people who know or have heard about Phosphenism than people who have read the book “Quand la Chine s’éveillera” by former minister Alain Peyrefitte. Well, it must be said that I ask this question to people who are in the field of personal development or the initiatory path.
But all this to say that it is indeed curious, given the spirit of the human being, that there are no virulent criticisms on the Internet. As of today, there are only one or two comments that are not really criticisms per se and which, moreover, have been posted by people who have not even experimented long enough to really be able to afford to make a judgement. It’s a bit like wanting to lose a few pounds and only dieting for a day or two and claiming to be an expert in judging whether the diet is effective or not.
Then you have to remove those who are humorous and don’t really know what it’s all about. I was even surprised that this attracted a few clients who later became sympathizers like Guy who had done a little investigation before he met us. With his permission, I am reproducing here in full his writing in response to an ironic comment on a blog, because I think he has done a very good and objective job: for the sake of this little survey, I first looked at the legal structure of the company that distributes the work of the late Dr. Lefebure.
From a fiscal and social point of view, and despite checks by the State services, at intervals of several years, no faults were found. The company was in full compliance with regulations. On the legal level, again despite several investigations, nothing suspicious has been reported.
This being the case, I have taken an interest in the content of the website. The least that can be said is that it is very dense and consists of numerous sections with original 3D illustrations, which is not within everyone’s reach. Not forgetting the animations also in 3D to illustrate the basic principles of the method. Everything indicates that we are not dealing with “do-it-yourselfers”.
There are also small sites that present a particular theme. There is one for educational aspects, another more oriented towards personal development and others on specific themes such as the encyclopaedia of phosphenes (physiological) and the encyclopaedia of Phosphenism. They have thus created their own Wikipedia explaining the reasons for their approach.
Q.: Why is Phosphenism not on Wikipedia, which is a free encyclopedia?
A.: There are several reasons. Wikipedia is not intended to talk about limited liability companies. However, to preserve Dr. Francis Lefebure’s work and ensure that it is not misused, Éditions Phosphénisme has registered the trademark Phosphénisme. In fact, talking about Phosphénisme on Wikipedia could legitimately be perceived as a diverted advertisement.
And there are also sites made by practitioners in their own name. All this is listed on the link page of the site. There are also many sites that present the method in various languages. Some sites such as the English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese etc. sites are a copy of the French site.
Others are a little less consequent but give most of the information, such as the Dutch or Japanese site. I was even surprised to see that there is a site in Romanian. There are also drafts in Chinese, Korean, and Russian, just that!
Q.: Who can do all this? Who could be behind all this?
A.: To pursue this little investigation, I got help from a friend whose job is an investigative journalist. After explaining the data to him, we decided to call the head office directly to ask a few pre-defined questions. Although we didn’t have the person in charge directly, but a person in charge of IT follow-up, we were able to get some answers.
But before that, the history of Phosphenism suggests that the discipline would have known two quite distinct eras. The era of Doctor Lefebure, when he seemed concerned about the recognition of his work, hence the many exhibitions in which he took part, such as the Lépine competition, where he won several awards.
At the same time, we should also note his relentlessness towards the Catholic Church, which he accused of wanting to prevent it from disseminating his discoveries on the scientific explanation of the miraculous apparitions and especially on the famous sun dance, the precursor sign of the Fatima apparitions, and which the Catholic Church called “the jewel of the Catholic Church”. Several telegrams sent to the Vatican got him into trouble.
But far from being stopped by the controversy, he went so far as to put up posters on the walls of Paris explaining how to reproduce this phenomenon while denouncing the omerta that the church would have exercised around his work. At the same time, he gave numerous lectures in various circles ranging from freemasonry to the Rosicrucians, the anthroposophical movement, parapsychology and the naturopathic world.
During this period when he was conducting his research on Phosphenism and his fight for the diffusion of his work, he made numerous communication errors. It is clear that putting up posters on the walls of Paris that were considered anti-Catholic could only attract the wrath of certain parishioners.
Another very amusing aspect of the character was that he gave private lessons in Phosphenism, and prepared a treatment sheet so that the student could be refunded by health insurance… After several years, the Social Security authorities summoned him and he preferred to return his doctor’s plaque.
Today, his work is distributed by his main collaborator at the time “Daniel Stiennon”. This latter having served as his voluntary secretary, in 1986 he set up a company to ensure the publication of books and their distribution. At the same time, he gave courses and conferences both in the general public and in organisations such as Rose Croix Amorc, freemasonry. And from November 1989 to 1991, he was even a consultant to the Senate, which had opened a “section for the study of subtle phenomena and energies”.
It was he who set up this entire communication and dissemination strategy. It should be noted, however, that he did not take over all of Dr. Lefebure’s work. Some aspects are considered obsolete or belong to another era… Moreover, one can clearly see this from the many testimonials.
It would seem that the only concern of the practitioners is at the level of experimentation to obtain psychic phenomena. Practitioners come from all classes, all social backgrounds, all faiths and all ages. To the question asked, what is the policy of diffusion? “No search for profit. The idea is that the sales of the products cover the translation costs, because we use professional translators, and therefore each book represents a substantial budget.
Now that this step has been largely achieved, we have lowered the price of the products very significantly. In the short term all the items on our site, which are available for downloading as PDF, MP3 etc., will be made available at a contributory price”. The search for financial profit is not their concern, because not only do all those who contribute to propagate Dr Lefebure’s brain activation techniques all have a profession, notably in the computer field, for some years now, but they also like to point out that Phosphenism can be practised without having to pay a single cent.
It thus appears that we have to do with enthusiasts who devote some of their free time to the building of a vast network of diffusion of the free practice of Phosphenism. Behind all this there is no dogma or ideology since their only motivation is experimentation. This movement is far from being marginal because, contrary to what one might imagine, many people know of its existence.
I have experienced this with my colleagues at work, where in our group at least one of us knew about this practice. He told me that he was taking drama classes and that one of his teachers had explained to him that he would memorise his texts better if he put himself near the light because he would get a phosphene which helps concentration. Intrigued by this sentence and more particularly by the word “phosphene”, he then discovered the existence of Phosphenism on the Internet.
Two things remain surprising ; if one removes the sarcastic criticisms of the form, one finds no real criticism, especially from scientists or high ecclesiastical dignitaries of all religious persuasions. It should not be forgotten that Phosphenism, according to its author, is the explanation of the origin of religions, which, whatever the explanation given, can only provoke attacks.
I went to look at the Zetetic and there again no virulent traces against this movement. Having contacted one of the members of the Zetetic, I learned that they had tried to dismantle the mechanism, but that they had left it at that (sic). The other surprising aspect is the so-called individualistic aspect. Everyone takes what interests him or her in the method and goes his or her own way.
So there is no brotherhood or grouping between the practitioners. Only a tiny minority exchange practical advice and experiences via the Internet. This method is therefore mainly spread by “word of mouth”. There are, however, conferences, for example, the last one given by the Spanish representative in Mexico City brought together up to 500 people three times.
The promoters of this original yoga have adopted a guideline: “never try to convince a person to join the practice, but only give a few basic explanations and let each individual make up their own mind”. Phosphenism being a constant in Humanity, a moment will come when its practice will be known to the greatest number. Whatever we do, whatever we say, there will always be people for and people against, let’s not waste our energy, let’s use it instead to make phosphenes. We are not working for here and now but for the future and for ourselves.
If I want to go further, and write a book on this movement, I have no choice but to adopt the scientific attitude and go through the experimentation myself. So I intend to experiment with this method in order to get a better idea of what it is all about. What I have written reflects only a small part of my notes, it remains nevertheless representative of what I have glimpsed of Phosphenism. I would like to thank the authors of this blog and this forum for introducing me to this discipline.
Q.: In fact, it’s very explicit and it answers a lot of questions I wanted to ask you. And so, as a result of this, has he become a sympathizer?
A.: I would even say that he has become a full-fledged collaborator.
Q.: It’s true that for many disciplines the critics are very virulent on the Internet.
A.: As I said before: “That’s also what the Internet is all about, 90% of Internet users who take their site, blog or forums as a therapy and pour their neuroses, phobias and paranoia into them. Image of our uneasy society…” Criticism is always very interesting, provided it is constructive, i.e. that it brings something forward.
However, you will notice that on the Internet, we very often hear people who are dissatisfied with the practice of this or that method, but this is not the case for Phosphenism since the only and rare people to express themselves are people who have not really experimented, they say so themselves.
Moreover, if you compare it to other methods, you will observe that elsewhere people are outright red-handed and the critics are no longer sarcastic but downright mean and virulent. And what’s more, in some disciplines, even though they are very popular, they outnumber the praise.
Well, it has to be said that we hear the dissatisfied more easily than the satisfied. Because if you are happy you have no particular reason to say it and therefore you will hear the dissatisfied more easily… To sum up, for a method which has been distributed in several thousand copies since 1956, it is really surprising, I admit it and I myself am the first to be surprised, that there is no virulent reaction towards Phosphenism.
But this will certainly come one day, let’s not fear… Perhaps this will allow us to recover more valuable sympathisers like Guy…
Here you go! I’m going to tell you a little story that expresses the darkness of human thought, if need be: When I lived in Paris, the caretaker of the building where Éditions Phosphénisme was located used to keep the flowerpots that the tenants of the building threw away when they moved.
Over the years the flowerpots had completely invaded the courtyard and only the stairwell remained as a place. Thinking she was doing the right thing by putting a little greenery in the building, the caretaker was very quickly confronted with the discontent of two owners who were afraid that when they watered the stairwell, the water would damage the steps…
While it should be noted that it was this same caretaker who was in charge of cleaning the stairwell… As a result, the flowers gradually disappeared from the building.
Q.: What do you miss the most today to make Phosphenism known, as hypnotism and magnetism are known ? Is it a question of money?
A.: No, not especially a question of money, but rather a question of skill that I don’t have and that I am looking for through a partner or collaborator.
Q.: I have found people who teach Phosphenism sometimes under another generic name such as “Luminopedagogy” or “Luminology”, how can I be sure that the teaching given is in accordance with Dr. Lefebure’s recommendations?
A.: It is up to you to require the teacher to prove their certification. I issue a diploma or certification to anyone who has completed training and passed their exam. If the person is not able to show you the certificate with my signature on it, chances are that the information they give you is taken only from what they think they understood, often just by reading a book by Dr. Lefebure.
Therefore, without control by an authority, there is always the risk of misinterpretation and misinformation being given. Moreover, in general, it is always preferable to take information from the source. You may be familiar with this exercise still practiced by psychology students today when they study the mechanisms of rumour: the teacher whispers a short story in the ear of one of his students, then the student has to whisper it in the ear of one of his classmates, then the latter does the same thing, he whispers it in the ear of another student, and so on until the story has gone around the class.
Then, finally, the last one to hear the story must tell it to the teacher. And when the story comes back after it has gone around the classroom, it has nothing to do with the story that started it! Moral: the further away from the epicentre, i.e. the source of the information, the more the information is distorted, sometimes to the point of losing its substance altogether.