Western Association for Biofeedback and Neuroscience — Spring 2017 29 seize the higher ground of resolute skepti- cism, our cardinal scientific virtue. This elevation of free-ranging skepti- cism appears to be a particular affliction of American psychology, as pointed out by Wolfgang Köhler of Gestalt theory fame more than sixty years ago. The chief responsibility of a scientist is ostensibly to avoid making mistakes. Since our field was on probation, so to speak, after the alpha training debacle, the risk of any missteps was further magnified. Any mis- adventures would not only place the indi- vidual on the slippery slope to profession- al oblivion, but the whole field might suf- fer by association. Said Wolfgang Köhler: First, I doubt whether it is advisable to regard caution and a critical spirit as the virtues of a scientist, as though lit- tle else counted. They are necessary in research, just as the brakes in our cars must be kept in order and their wind- shields clean. But it is not because of the brakes or of the windshields that we drive. Similarly, caution and a crit- ical spirit are like tools. They ought to be kept ready during a scientific enter- prise; however, the main business of a science is gaining more and more new knowledge. I wonder why great men in physics do not call caution and a critical spirit the most important char- acteristics of their behavior. They seem to regard the testing of brakes and the cleaning of windshields as mere pre- cautions, but look forward to the next trip as the business for which they have cars. Why is it only in psychology that we hear the slightly discouraging story of mere caution over and over again? Why are just psychologists so inclined to greet the announcement of a new fact (or a new working hypothesis) al- most with scorn? Wolfgang Köhler, Address of the Presi- dent at the sixty-seventh Annual Con- vention of the American Psychological Association, Cincinnati, Ohio, Sep- tember 6, 1959 Wherever there is doctrine, there is also heresy. And there are heretics to be banished to the outer darkness. There was Barbara Brown, first of all, and Elmer Green, exponents of the alpha training that has been so vigorously and urgently discredited. If Joe Kamiya was the father of alpha training, then Barbara Brown was its mother. She single-handedly put alpha training on the map in this country with several best-sellers written in short order in the seventies. Her compendium on alpha band research contained more than 1000 references. Barbara Brown had sent out the invitations to the first meet- ing of the new Biofeedback Research So- ciety. At the 25th anniversary meeting of the AAPB, her name was mentioned only once. When Eugene Peniston later attempt- ed to bring Menninger’s Alpha-Theta training back into the conversation, he was subjected to character assassination by Sterman and others. There is just no other word for it. There was an organized effort to discredit him so that he would never return, and he never did. No gentler soul ever graced our speaker’s platform at the AAPB. For its part, the VA shuffled him off to a desk job in Texas, and he died without ever knowing how his research has borne fruit. Then there was Anna Wise, who was also made into persona