An Extraordinary Clairvoyant and an Extraordinary Policeman.
Why and how this book came about.
Clairvoyance does not fit into the mainstream scientific worldview of the Western world. Becoming aware of objects or events that are beyond the reach of physical senses is simply not possible in the world of space and time according to the current scientific model. Science concerns itself with natural phenomena so stories of “supernatural powers” belong with belief systems, not evidence-based models of patterns observed in nature. Such stories are dismissed as anecdotes, products of human imagination and desire for meaning, combined with failures of memory and observation.
However, accounts of anomalous phenomena occur throughout human history and on closer examination form regular patterns. There are a number of organisations that collect and study such reports; the oldest of them is the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) formed in the UK in 1882. By now there exists a large amount of data, based both on spontaneous reports and experiments, that testifies to its existence regardless of how it is interpreted.
I have been researching such data for some decades now. Being Polish by birth, I focus my research on Polish contributions to the subject, and bringing them to the English-speaking audience
It is more than twenty years since I first heard of the Polish clairvoyant Krzysztof Jackowski. At that time I had already been a member of the SPR for many years, and was then editor of the Society’s Journal. My personal interests focused on research into mediumship in Poland, which, prior to the Second World War, had a fascinating history of experimentation and some exceptional mediums (Barrington et al., 2005; Weaver, 2015). I was already working on a volume about the famous Polish clairvoyant Stefan Ossowiecki, so hearing about someone who seemed equally gifted but was actually living was very exciting.
Jackowski’s name became more prominent because of a case in the mid-1990s. The case in question took place in 1994-95 and involved three men who disappeared while on a business trip to Kaliningrad (Koenigsberg). Their families asked Jackowski for help and using a photograph of one of the men he sensed that the man was dead, as were his companions; their throats had been cut and they had been decapitated. The clairvoyant could hardly believe what he saw but when he tried again he saw three headless bodies in a forest at a specific location. Understandably, the families did not want to believe it but a few days later Russian police revealed that the bodies had been found as Jackowski had described. The killer turned out to be a business contact of the three men, who, by cutting off their heads, tried to divert suspicion to the local mafia who executed informers in this way. Jackowski did not contribute to the finding of the bodies on that occasion, but the story got into the media, who were impressed by the accurate description of the bodies and their position. The case catapulted him into the public eye.
The first book about Jackowski and his gift, Jasnowidz z Człuchowa. Moje tajemnice [The Clairvoyant from Człuchów. My secrets], appeared in 2000 (Szczesiak, 2000). It described more than 40 cases from the period 1994-1999, many of them confirmed in writing, some officially by the police forces in question, and included interviews with the police officers and families involved. There were cases of locating bodies of missing persons who had drowned – a murder case confirmed by the police officer in charge – all of them with precise descriptions of people and places (in one case, of exactly how a man committed suicide, including the kind of string used).
I contacted the author of the book, who assured me that the documentation did exist, and its contents were confirmed by other reliable sources. In 2001 I contacted Jackowski himself, and he was very keen to cooperate in any experiments that the SPR might propose, with the caveat that, unlike his hero Stefan Ossowiecki, he was unable to “read” through envelopes.
And then life took a different course and our plans came to nothing. My personal situation changed suddenly because of serious illness in my family, and the experiments never took place. But now I think that no amount of experimenting would have tested Jackowski’s range of clairvoyance in the way that the real-life cases tested it during the years that followed. Throughout those years he insisted on written official confirmations of his contributions to solving criminal cases from the various police forces and he kept letters from institutions and private persons acknowledging his help.
By this time, his vastly expanded documentation has also been examined in depth and verified by the co-author of this book, Krzysztof Janoszka (pronounced Yanoshka), who, when Jackowski’s story began, was just a child. This has created a dossier of case studies that is a significant addition to the evidence for and understanding of clairvoyance, particularly in the area of psychic detection, where reliable records are few. It also means that since the start of his [Jackowski’s] career there have been twenty more years of research into clairvoyance and its connection to mediumship.
On a wider scale, there have been significant developments in the study of consciousness and related areas, and they may point to ways of accommodating this dossier and its implications within a scientific context.
Police Sergeant Krzysztof Janoszka
In November 2014, Krzysztof Janoszka, then a student at the Police Academy in Poland, contacted the SPR. He had written a diploma thesis on the use of psychics in police work and wanted to draw our attention to the phenomena demonstrated by Jackowski. By now (2022), as well as having become a qualified police officer (CID sergeant at the City Police Headquarters in his home city), he has also written a book based on his thesis and on interviews with Jackowski (Janoszka, 2018). Thanks to Janoszka there is now in the public domain plenty of valid documentation supporting specific cases.
Janoszka graduated from the Police Academy in Szczytno in 2014. Becoming a student at the Police Academy (the only higher education establishment of this kind in Poland) was for him a dream come true. He was happy there, meeting many wonderful people and acquiring essential skills and knowledge.
He became particularly interested in the problem of people trafficking and studied the subject, which resulted in The Academy’s awarding him a prize for the best licentiate thesis for his work on children as victims of trafficking. He specialised in criminology and internal security and is a graduate of Gdańsk University with a Master’s degree in criminology; he also has a Master’s degree from Warsaw University’s Faculty of Law and Administration.
Krzysztof has been working as a police officer since 2015, starting out as a “front line” constable; he is now a sergeant and sees his future in the police force. He therefore comes to the subject of parapsychology from a different perspective, and with a different set of experiences (such as “having eyes in the back of your head” while on patrol) from those who write about clairvoyance and detection (not that there is much written on it), who tend to be parapsychologists or journalists.
His research, written up as a dissertation for his Master’s degree at Warsaw University, provides much of the material in this book, particularly in Chapters 6 and 7. Its title is The use of parapsychology in investigative work on the example of the cooperation between Polish police and the clairvoyant Krzysztof Jackowski (Janoszka, 2014).
Janoszka learnt about Jackowski from the media and from contacts with police officers while still a student at the Police Academy, and encountered an ethical and philosophical problem. He could not reconcile what he learnt about the actual criminal and missing person cases that involved the clairvoyant and had been confirmed by the police officers, who worked with him, with the denial of what looked like obvious facts by the official police spokespersons. So he decided to investigate these cases for himself. One step he took in the investigation was to invite Jackowski to give a lecture to the independent students’ association at the Police Academy.
Janoszka visited the clairvoyant at home in December 2012 to present the invitation and was both surprised by the modest circumstances in which he lived and fascinated by what he had to say.
The very idea of discussing such a subject turned out to be unacceptable to the higher authorities, who were fearful of damaging the image of the police, and the students were ordered to call off the talk after it had been announced in the local press. The move backfired resulting in media accusations of double standards and suppression of freedom of speech. The students protested and even the President of the Police Generals’ Association intervened on their behalf to no avail. However, despite the controversy, the lecture finally took place a year later in December 2013 away from the Academy’s premises.
Janoszka’s interest in clairvoyance and its use by the police caused him quite a lot of trouble on a personal level, at the start of his intended career in the police force. In the end he got away with only being given a warning for infringing the Academy’s internal regulations, a minor misdemeanour. One of the lecturers told him that nobody expected a rank-and-file student to risk his future career by putting forward an opinion different from the official policy of the Headquarters.
But that episode made him decide to take a closer look at how the police collaborated with Jackowski and he examined that relationship in his diploma thesis. His aim was to document a number of criminal cases where the police used Jackowski by interviewing the police officers involved and other experts in law and criminology. Alongside this project his acquaintance with Jackowski turned into friendship and resulted in a book of Janoszka’s interviews with the clairvoyant (Janoszka, 2018). Much of the verified evidence presented here and supported by interviews with those involved stems from that book, alongside the material from the already mentioned Master’s thesis (Janoszka, 2014).
The book brought Janoszka media attention and an invitation to lecture at the Polish Forensics Association.
He started out with an endearing and idealistic inability to understand the degree to which people, particularly in positions of power, can be driven by their beliefs and prejudices rather than evidence. In his book he gives examples of this, such as a situation where the attitude “we don’t believe in such things” drives sceptics to leave discussions before being forced to examine verified accounts – an attitude also not unknown among academic circles in the West. Clinging to ignorance is safer, and denial of anything smacking of the “esoteric” is the norm in a world where mainstream science adopts materialism (or physicalism) as the only acceptable philosophy.
In an interview with Janoszka, a journalist, Robert Bernatowicz, noted that it would be an act of great courage for some people in positions of authority, in the academia or elsewhere, to admit to being open to examining such issues (Janoszka, 2014, p. 104).
“Telepathy does not exist,” claimed one of the most popular Polish dailies. “No clairvoyant has ever contributed to finding a missing person,” said the press office of the Police Headquarters. “Contacting a clairvoyant can be a painful experience for the families of missing persons, and we don’t know of any cases where this helped,” claims ITAKA, the Centre for Locating Missing Persons. “Clairvoyance is a way of contacting demons,” says the Roman Catholic Church.
In such a climate, with the press often manipulating the facts, it is hardly surprising that the police give out contradictory statements. One of the main dailies published an attack on Jackowski at the very time when the police magazine (published under the aegis of the Police Headquarters) presented information based on police documentation that confirmed the accounts published on Jackowski’s own webpage. These reports stated that the clairvoyant contributed to solving dozens of cases by providing detailed, accurate information unknown to him by normal means. As Janoszka pointed out, the claim by the official police spokesperson that these were vague formulaic acknowledgments issued out of politeness would mean that dozens of police officers were committing offences by telling lies.
It needs to be stressed that the official attitude of the Polish police is not unique; using psychics continues to be an embarrassing subject for police forces in other countries. This is hardly surprising since clairvoyance is not a recognised human ability; it’s surrounded by controversy and provides good feeding ground for the media, with many extraordinary claims and counter claims (see chapter 6). It also needs to be borne in mind that Jackowski’s clairvoyance is not a unique gift; there is much reliable evidence, both experimental and anecdotal, that testifies to the reality of the phenomenon (chapters 4 and 5). What makes his case unique is the fact that for years now, he has insisted on having his contributions to specific police cases confirmed in writing at the time. There is also a multitude of letters from private persons acknowledging his help. We should bear in mind that in the case of missing persons, everyone involved in the search is blind to the location of the target, while Jackowski is blind to any information about the case except maybe a photo or personal possession. This is solid empirical evidence in real life cases. His dossier is a unique set of evidence for clairvoyance outside the lab.
In many thoroughly verified cases, Jackowski has provided details of which he could not possibly be aware of by normal means. These abilities could be tested in laboratory conditions (and in fact the clairvoyant has successfully taken part in a number of tests and competitions, also outside Poland), but such tests provide limited information and little insight into clairvoyance when compared to real-life cases. Experiments such as, for example, identifying an object in a box, are a far cry from a linked continuum of specific details that match a particular real situation and lead to, for example, locating a specific body. Such clairvoyant “visions”, or “readings” are spontaneous, irregular and not repeatable to order, but they do exist. It is impossible to offer a reliable assessment of Jackowski’s rate of success, as many of his cases are undocumented. On the basis of the reasonably well documented accounts Janoszka estimates Jackowski’s accuracy rate to be about 50-60%, which is close to the estimates of success in remote viewing (with 65% reliability being “tops”) offered by Joe McMoneagle, one of the most well-regarded remote viewers in the West today (McMoneagle, 2000, pp. 27-33).
“An Extraordinary Clairvoyant and an Extraordinary Policeman” is an excerpt from The Mind at Large: Clairvoyance, Psychics, Police and Life after Death: A Polish Perspective by Zofia Weaver and Krzysztof Janoszka published by White Crow Books.