Reminisces of the educator who introduced Jose Silva to the world
(At the 1986 Silva Method International Convention in Laredo, Dr. West told his version of his first meeting with Jose Silva, an event that eventually led to public recognition and acceptance of the Silva Method.)
by Dr. N.E. West
I first met Jose Silva in August 1966. At that time I was teaching at Wayland Baptist College in northwest Texas.
I received a telephone call in June of 1966 from a man of whom I had never heard, saying his name was Jose Silva, that he had a parapsychology research project that he had been conducting in Spanish, that he had some students who had proved to be very well equipped to do this kind of work, they were graduating from a junior college in Laredo, that he was looking for senior college scholarships where they could continue their parapsychology work and also get senior college training, and wondered if I could help in any way.
I was skeptical, as most psychologists are skeptical, and said that "What you say is interesting, but I must come and visit you."
We came in August of 1966, met at the motel dining room.
He invited us to his office. I went over for three hours, from 7 'til 10, and ·stayed until 5 in the morning.
By that time I was quite impressed.
There were three things that impressed me about him.
First was his sincerity. Most of us in the scientific world deal with charlatans a lot, but a man who is sincere may be wrong, but he is not a charlatan.
Second , he gave some demonstrations of what had been done with students to improve their learning skills.
As a professor, I was very much concerned with what we call under achievers: students who have the ability but somehow or other do not have the skill. That impressed me tremendously.
The third thing, he performed some other demonstrations that convinced me that he had the kind of ability that he had talked about.
Going back home, I talked with Dord Fitz in Amarillo, who has an art institute. Dord thought this would be a good thing to present to art students. So between the two of us, we arranged for Jose to come to north Texas, to speak at our college, to our classes, and then I went with him to Amarillo.
You know the story of the Amarillo episode, where after the lecture 90 people signed up for a course that did not exist.
I'm a kind of a mid-wife. I'm not very important - I just helped to deliver.