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Below are the excerpts taken from Michael Raduga book “The Phase. A Practical Guidebook”, which list the most prominent researchers of the OOBE field which were conducting their research before the arrival of Michael Raduga to the scene.

Stephen LaBerge
Stephen LaBerge
Stephen LaBerge was born in 1947 in the United States. At the age of 19, he received a Bachelor’s Degree in mathematics from Arizona State University, after which he enrolled as a graduate student in the Chemistry program at Stanford University. In 1969, he took an academic leave of absence. He returned to Stanford in 1977 and began studying the human mind, including subjects related to dreaming. LaBerge received his Ph.D. in psychophysiology in 1980. He founded the Lucidity Institute in 1987.
Stephen LaBerge has made the largest scientific contribution to the study of phase states. It suffices to say that LaBerge was the first in the world to prove during a fullfledged scientific experiment that it is possible to become conscious while dreaming This was done through logging specific signals made with the eyes by a person dreaming while sleeping under measurement instruments. These experiments also proved that eye movement in the physical body and perceived body are synchronous.
Lucid Dreaming, first published in 1985, is LaBerge'smost well-known book. Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming, a book that LaBerge wrote with Howard Rheingold, was published in 1990. It was mainly thanks to the efforts of LaBerge that mind-machines for achieving dream consciousness were created, such as DreamLight, NovaDreamer, and DreamMaker.
The key feature of LaBerge’s work and achievements is an absolutely pragmatic approach to the nature of the phenomenon. Arguably, he is one of the few authors and researchers totally lacking in irrationality. Everything that can be read and learned from his books is verifiable and accessible for everyone, with no peddling of out-of-this-world superpowers.
Michael Raduga. The Phase. A Practical Guidebook. Pages 436-437.

Carlos Castaneda
Carlos Castaneda
Due to Carlos Castaneda’s desire to follow the spiritual practice of the Warrior’s Path, which entails erasing one’s personal history, the details of his biography are unclear. As far as Castaneda’s early years are concerned, it can only be stated that he was born outside of the United States sometime between 1925 and 1935. He enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the 1960s, where he received a Ph.D. in anthropology on the basis of his books.
Castaneda’s entire life path was devoted to studying the teachings of a certain Juan Matus or Don Juan Cachora. It is more than likely that his persona is a composite-image of an Indian Shaman, a sorcerer, and an heir of the culture of the ancient “Toltecs”.
Castaneda wrote a dozen books; however, the book The Art of Dreaming (1993) has the most to do with the phase state. It contains several effective techniques for entering the phase through dream consciousness. His subject matter is soaked in a large amount of mysticism and virtually devoid of any pragmatism.
Despite the fact that the main orientation of Castaneda’s work did not touch upon the phase state, he nevertheless became one of the founding fathers of this field, as his general popularity reached massive proportions worldwide.
Carlos Castaneda passed away in 1998.
Michael Raduga. The Phase. A Practical Guidebook. Pages 437-438.

Robert A. Monroe
Robert A. Monroe
Robert Monroe was born in the United States in 1915. In 1937, he graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in Engineering. He worked for some time as a radio program producer and director until he established his own radio company in New York, which rapidly expanded.
In 1956, his company also conducted a study about the effect of sound waves on the abilities of the mind.
In 1958, Monroe had an accidental personal experience with the phase phenomenon, which strongly stoked his interest in the subject to which he would devote his entire career. In 1974, he founded the Monroe Institute, which was entirely devoted to studying unusual states of consciousness and the ability to influence them through audio stimulation and other technologies. One of its main achievements was the creation of the Hemi-Sync system, which was designed to help a person reach altered states of consciousness, including out-of-body states, by synchronizing the two hemispheres of the brain.
His first book, Journeys Out of the Body, was published in 1971. Two books then followed: Far Journeys (1985) and Ultimate Journey (1994).
Robert Monroe has, so far, made the largest contribution toward popularizing the phase state. However, he understood the phase more as an actual exit of the mind from the body, which is why the term “out-of-body experience” (OBE) was introduced. The book Journeys Out of the Body was such a massive success that Monroe quickly became an undisputed authority in the field.
However, the large influence of mysticism on Monroe’s work and views cannot be ignored. This is especially apparent after his second book. The majority of phenomena described in the book have not been verified in practice. The only attempt at conducting a full-fledged scientific experiment proving that the mind left the body was unsuccessful. In the end, typical misconceptions about the phase became widespread, as did awareness of the existence of out-of-body experiences.
Robert Monroe passed away in 1995.
Michael Raduga. The Phase. A Practical Guidebook. Pages 438-439.

Patricia Garfield
Patricia Garfield
Patricia Garfield was born in 1934 in the United States. From the age of 14, she kept an uninterrupted daily dream journal that would allow her and all of humanity great insight into dream phenomena associated with the phase.
She was one of the founders of The Association for the Study of Dreams. Dr. Garfield holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. She is the author of a great number of books, with the 1974 best-seller Creative Dreaming being the most widely lauded. It was one of the first pieces of literature to approach the phase state in a practical and non-specialist way, and received worldwide interest and appreciation. The book contains good practical guidelines and also describes the dreaming practices of various cultures.
Michael Raduga. The Phase. A Practical Guidebook. Page 439.

Sylvan Muldoon
Sylvan Muldoon
Sylvan Muldoon was born in the United States in 1903. He is considered to be the American pioneer in the study of the phase, although he used the esoteric term astral. He inadvertently woke up in the phase at the age of 12, where he saw a cord connecting his perceived body to his real body. Muldoon first thought that he was dying during the experience, although he eventually concluded that this was an instance of “astral projection”. He had repeated experience with the phenomenon, but was still unable to become an advanced practitioner due to a lack of full control over the practice.
After coordinating efforts with Hereward Carrington, the famous American investigator of the unknown, the two published the sensational, jointly authored book The Projection of the Astral Body in 1929. The authors published two other books: The Case for Astral Projection (1936) and The Phenomena of Astral Projection (1951).
Despite a large serving of esotericism, Muldoon’s books, (especially the first one) contain a lot of helpful, practical information and explanation of the most diverse phenomena that can occur during the phase. However, Muldoon is considered to be the greatest popularizer of irrational esoteric terms and theories, which subsequently became quite widespread.
Sylvan Muldoon passed away in 1971.
Michael Raduga. The Phase. A Practical Guidebook. Page 440.

Charles Leadbeater
Charles Leadbeater
Charles Leadbeater was born in England in 1847 (1854 according to some sources). After dropping out of Oxford due to hard times, Leadbeater became an ordained priest, but then became quite active in the occult. This led to his becoming a member of the Theosophical Society in 1883. Leadbeater became one of its most famous participants.
The combination of a bright mind, scientific knowledge, and interest in the paranormal led him to publish many books on many diverse topics. One of them, Dreams: What They Are and How They Are Caused (1898), was one of the first works to touch upon the phenomenon of the phase.
Leadbeater’s writing is saddled with a ton of esoteric terms and theories. In it, the term astral plane is predominantly used for the phase. Nevertheless, the book is not without some helpful guidelines concerning techniques.
Charles Leadbeater passed away in 1934.
Michael Raduga. The Phase. A Practical Guidebook. Pages 440-441.

Robert Bruce
Robert Bruce
Robert Bruce was born in England in 1955. He has performed his life's work while living in Australia. After studying and promoting dissociative phenomena for many years, by the beginning of the 21st century he had become one of the leading authorities in the astral projection field. He is also a specialist in many other paranormal fields of study.
Robert Bruce wrote several books, the most important and well known of which is Astral Dynamics (1999). The author holds quite open esoteric views, which are very strongly reflected in his theories and terminology. The helpful, practical guidelines in his books are quite often loaded with a large amount of information that has not been verified or proven by anyone. Robert Bruce is also a propagator of typical superstitions and stereotypes concerning the phase phenomenon.
Michael Raduga. The Phase. A Practical Guidebook. Pages 441-442.

Richard Webster
Richard Webster
Richard Webster was born in New Zealand, where he still resides.
He is the author of about 50 publications that have sold many millions of copies around the world. Some of them, like Astral Travel for Beginners, are completely devoted to the phase state. However, the book is saturated with widespread misconceptions about the phase phenomenon and misguided theories trying to explain it. The technique-related aspect of the book is also presented ineffectively.
It is quite likely that the author himself has no practical experience, which can also be said for the contents of his other dozens of books devoted to various topics.
Michael Raduga. The Phase. A Practical Guidebook. Page 442.

Charles Tart
Charles Tart
Charles Tart was born in the United States in 1937. He received his Ph. D. in psychology in 1963 at the University of North Carolina. Tart also received training at Stanford University. He was one of the founders of transpersonal psychology.
He became one of the most preeminent researchers of unusual states of awareness after the publication of Altered States of Consciousness (1969), the first book that he worked on. It was one of the first books to examine entering the phase through dream consciousness. The book received popularity when the use LSD and Marijuana were often viewed as vehicles to elevated consciousness, and the book even describes the use of chemical substances in the context of phase states.
Michael Raduga. The Phase. A Practical Guidebook. Pages 442-443.