Slightly off topic but is Carl Sargent still involved in producing gaming material? I loved his greyhawk stuff & am just coming to the end of his Night Below campaign (converted to 3rd ed). It has been a great 'adventure path'. I havent seen anything from him for many years.
This appears to be even more of a mystery than wormy. I did some poking around on the net and I think that I've come up with a theory. I think that Sargent's 'breakdown' and retreat from public life has more to do with the academic world than the gaming world. During the 80's, the height of his parapsycological research, Dr. Susan Blackmoor visited his lab in Cambridge and noticed some problems with his experiments' methods. In 1987 she publishes a paper casting some (mild) doubt on his findings, and as a result of not sharing all his data he is reprimanded. This is the same year he leaves the academic world and joins the gaming world. hmmm...But the story is not done. While writing for greyhawk, shawdowrun, and earthdawn, the academic controversy fades away and is forgotten (as his research findings are used again and again by people in the field of parapsychology)... Until 1996, when Dr. Susan Blackmoore again questions his findings, this time scathingly, in her book 'In Search of the Light'. Its about this time that Sargent Dissapears from the scene. double hmmm...
OK, so this is what I think. His academic legacy discredited, and the world that he had escaped to crumbling around him (we all know the financial problems TSR was going through at that time)Carl Sargent booked it back to the motherland and retreated from a public that probably felt increasingly hostile.
Just my little theory :) I could be completely wrong.
You can check out Dr. Blackmoore's webiste: http://www.susanblackmore.co.uk/Note%20on%20Sargent.htm
Well, it is not absolutely correct to say that the academic world was completely hostile to him. One of my lecturers when I did my MSc, Richard Wiseman did some work on the ganzfeld studies, and did speak about Carl Sargent's work quite favourably. Compared to most experimental paradigms in parapsychology and the huge problems with cheating, the problems with Sargent's work were quite minor(Apart from the fact that it invalidated their results). Both Sargent and Honorton's work has been continued, but the claims made by the researchers using the ganzfeld technique are much smaller these days.