Historic video footage of Cleve Backster using a polygraph machine to demonstrate that plants have a consciousness was recently released on YouTube in a video titled “Primary Perception, Plants Wired to Polygraph Machine, Consciousness of the Talking Plants.” The video contains footage showing a famous experiment from the late 60s in which a philodendron plant had a significant electrical reaction to the death of brine shrimp, located in a separate room, at the exact moment the shrimp were dumped in boiling water. Baxter concluded: “A few brine shrimp die and the plant feels their deaths. I think that it’s the smallness of the event that makes it so significant. It means that even on the lower levels of life there is a profound consciousness or an awareness that binds all things together.”
The video also contains an interview with Baxter, a form CIA lie detector specialist, in which he discusses the first time he hooked up a polygraph machine to a dracaena cane plant and discovered that the plant reacted to his thoughts. Regarding that historic moment, Baxter said, “I must say that as of 14 minutes along in that initial observation on the morning of February 2, 1966 my life has not been the same.”
Backster went on to discover that bacteria have reactions similar to those of plants. He also measured electrical activity in eggs and found that they also respond to the environment. Eventually, he measured the electrical activity of human cells.
His research suggests that a basic form of communication exists among all life, from bacteria to larger organisms, and that this form of communication is a “primary perception” as compared to forms of perception such as vision, hearing, or touch.
The scientific community has still not embraced Baxter’s work. He has faced decades of cold responses from the academic community, despite having various scientists from around the world replicate his results.