Thelma Moss

Year of birth : 1918
Education : Carnegie Institute of Technology, University of California, Los Angeles

Books by the Master

"The Probability of the Impossible"... "The Body Electric" ... " My Self and I "


Thelma Moss, Ph.D. (January 6, 1918 — February 1, 1997) was an American psychologist and parapsychologist, best known for her work on Kirlian photography and the human aura.

Born Thelma Schnee, a native of Connecticut, she graduated from Carnegie Tech, and originally pursued a career in acting and in writing scripts for film and television. She was one of the earliest members of The Actors Studio; as a scriptwriter, her biggest success was the screenplay for the 1954 Alec Guinness film Father Brown.

However, she struggled for years with persistent psychological problems, rooted in depression and grief at the loss of her husband (he died of cancer two days after she gave birth to a baby daughter). She survived two suicide attempts. For treatment for her problems, she underwent a course of LSD psychotherapy; she later published an autobiographical account of her treatment, My Self and I, under the pseudonym Constance A. Newland; the book was a bestseller in 1962.

Moss returned to academia in the mid-1960s, studying at the Neuropsychiatric Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles and interning at the Wadsworth Veterans Hospital; she earned her Ph.D. in psychology from UCLA and became a professor at the same institution. For a time in the 1970s she led UCLA's parapsychology laboratory (when such a place existed). She explored a wide range of specific subjects in parapsychology (hypnosis, ghosts, levitation, alternative medicine), though her research on Kirlian photography was the most significant theme in her work for the remainder of her career. Moss came to believe that Kirlian photography depicts the astral body. She made several trips to the Soviet Union to explore Russian work in the field, and wrote two books on that and related subjects, plus lesser works.