Monroe, Robert Allen (1915-1995)

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Monroe, Robert Allen (1915-1995)

American businessman and an exponent of out-of-the body travel. Monroe was born October 30, 1915, and grew up in his native Lexington, Kentucky. Following his graduation from Ohio State University, he went to work in radio and television in New York and then built a successful career in advertising.

His numerous journeys out of his body reportedly began in 1958 following a brief illness. After several somewhat frightening experiences in which his body cramped and vibrated, one day he found himself floating near the ceiling and looking down on his sleeping physical body, a common experience of people who spontaneously leave their body. He became fearful that he was either dying or going insane when subsequent experiences occurred, but his fears were allayed when he learned of parapsychology and the frequency of out-of-the-body experiences.

Over the next decade he claimed to have experienced pre-cognitive dreams and visited various "dream worlds" that were largely unknown to anyone else. He came to think of them as extra dimensional. He also participated in tests at both the University of Virginia and the Topeka (Kansas) Veterans Administration Hospital in which he tried to produce his out-ofthe-body experience under controlled observation.

His primary concern throughout these years was to verify the new realms he had been exploring and to develop techniques by which others could join him in that endeavor. In 1971 he founded The Monroe Institute That same year, an autobiographical volume, Journeys Out of the Body, was published. Scientists were impressed by his ability to objectively report on his experiences and to consider alternative explanations.

Monroe went to work developing and improving the methods employed by the institute. By 1975 he claimed to have developed a system to control brain wave emissions and help synchronize the emissions from the right and left hemispheres of the brain.

Although Monroe has critics who have complained about the romanticized and exaggerated accounts included in his autobiography, he also has his enthusiastic supporters, including Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, who had an out-of-the-body experience at the institute.

Monroe died March 17, 1995.


Monroe, Robert A. Journeys Out of the Body. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1971.

. Ultimate Journey. New York: Doubleday, 1994.

Rogo, D. Scott. Leaving the Body: A Complete Guide to Astral Projection. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1983.

Stockton, Bayard. Catapult: The Biography of Robert A. Monroe. Norfolk, Va.: Donning, 1989.