Michel Gauquelin's first book L'Influence des Astres described his theoretical breakthrough, using birthdata of eminent physicans, members of the Académie de Médecine. He showed this result to his fiancée Françoise in 1954, and she urged him to perform a replication, so that some statistical significance could be ascertained. They did this, as she recalled:
Our joint work soon produced a sound proof that indeed eminent physicians tended to be born, like Academicians of Medicine, when Mars and Saturn occupied the "key sectors" after Ascendant and Midheaven, and when Jupiter did not occupy these sectors.1
(See Page 5)
That remarkable confirmation went into his first book but there was no acknowledgement of her assistance. The concept of 'witnessing' is important here: she was the first witness to his results. As a part of the marriage-arrangement, she helped to pay for the book's publication.
Françoise married him and dedicated her life to working with him. She had a degree in statistics from the Paris University. Michel's second major opus Les Hommes et Les Astres (1960) was based upon data obtained from registry offices from about six different European nations: the couple were able to access them because of Françoise's command of several European languages (she was Swiss), plus her statistics degree and the charm (so to speak) of a newly-wed couple. Michel recalled:
Beginning in 1956, my wife and I visited a different country each year. During the holidays, and taking advantage of the thirty days of freedom at our disposal, we accumulated new records; during the rest of the year we worked on the statistical calculations. In this way German, Italian, Belgian, and Dutch celebrities were united.2
Without her the replications would never have taken place and no book would have existed. And yet, in that book we find no mention of her name!
When she came to England she used to visit Mike O'Neill. I was working with him on a project3 and so met her at his home once or twice. She once told her story of how shattered she had been to find her name was not on that second book or any book - no acknowledgement, not even a thank-you. The first book was totally his she explained but the second, they had worked on together. Only on the dry data-volumes did the two names appear.
We are not fully able to concur with Geoffrey Dean's judgement (online history): 'Françoise gave mainly moral help and was not involved in the writing of his first two books, even refusing an invitation to participate in the second because she was studying for exams.'
Had her name been on the title-page as it should have been, I suggest that the carefully-gathered data from the European registry-offices would not have been lost as it was: it all (presumably) went into Michel's big card-catalogue which he destroyed at his death. She would have looked after it properly.
Concerning the year 1979-80 which the couple spent in San Diego, California, Françoise recalled:
"We spent an entire year in San Diego, living in a white house two blocks away from Neil's computer. We also had the competent help of Thomas Shanks, ACS Director of Research"4
The couple went there together to work at the big computer of Astro-Computing Services (run by Neil Michelson, the man who started computer-horoscopes). Whereas, in the account of that year's work given by Michel, her presence is brusquely dismissed:
Françoise Gauquelin was working on other research projects and was not involved in any of the present work done in San Diego.5
His wife, the qualified statistician, had come all the way from France to San Diego to be with him - and that's how she's treated! She may have been a prickly and difficult person to get on with but the point is, the world would have been a lot more likely to believe in the results had she, the statistician, been inspecting the results and checking them. The Gauquelin enterprise imploded because in the end so much always depended upon one person: MG - and that isn't how science works.
MG's 1984 report averred that the computer-corrections to his earlier-published data were 'very minimal.' For three of his professional groups the significance-level had been massively reduced, by several orders of magnitude - hardly a 'minimal' adjustment:
|Profession/No./planet||Decrease in Key Sector scores||Decrease in % excess||Change in Chi-sq|
|Sports/2088/Mars||452 => 435||26% =>22%||24 =>16|
|Scientist/3643/Saturn||704 =>685||18% =>13%||19 =>10|
|Actors/1409/Jupiter||283 =>273||20% =>14%||9 =>5|
The table above shows how drastically the values published in 1972 by the Gauquelins6 were reduced, by comparing with the correct values ascertained in 1979-80 in California, which MG published in 1984. These corrections only appeared in one table in small print in a small-circulation journal (Correlation).
Michel did not make clear in subsequent books that such large reductions in Key Sector scores of various professions had come about through the 1979-80 computer-check on his manual computations, and indeed he kept on using his old results - which looked better, but were wrong. I doubt if Françoise would have agreed to such. The couple seperated in 1983.
In that 1984 report Michel's mind was just going off in too many different directions ('Heredity', geomagnetism, character-traits, 12 versus 36 sector divisions, and the merits of Placidus versus Gauquelin sector divisions) for him to achieve a proper mental focus.
From these uncorrected errors, we could suppose that nobody else checked the data. For example, in 1982 a top academic statistician professor Jack Good summarised what the Gauquelins had found as follows:
The basic observation of Gauquelin was that of 2088 European sports champions, of whom 452 were born when Mars was in Gauquelin's sectors 1 or 4, that is, there were 452 "successes."7
Professor Jack Good
The whole inter-continental Gauquelin debate was then peaking, revolving around Mars and sports champions: and a drastically incorrect score, a hugely inflated value, was being used! Professor Jack Good was a distinguished British mathematician who moved to the United States, became a professor at Virginia Tech and pioneered some statistical theory. The above quote is from a discussion in The Zetetic Scholar, to which top experts on the subject (Hans Eysenck, Patrick Curry and the skeptic J. Dommanget) were contributing. So, this was 'as good as it gets'. How come no-one informed Prof. Good about the correct figure? At that peak period of the great debate, how come such vital corrections were not made public? Good later published an article in a statistics journal entitled, 'The Mars Effect.'8
I'm here suggesting, that if Michel had allowed his wife, the statistics expert, to work with him on this matter - she who had come over to America with him for this purpose - then the figures debated would have been reliable.
Or, if only the Astro-Computing Service in San Diego could have produced its own report from those meetings 1979-80 on what the G-data was and what results it had found with the professional groups, maybe using the different frameworks (Placidus houses vs G-sectors, 12 vs 36-fold divisions, 1960 vs 1970 data-sets - perhaps omitting the character-trait work) - that is one of the few things that could have rescued the whole Gauquelin-enterprise from its doom. There would have been an objective and independent assessment for all the world to see.
In his 1984 report of the work in California, MG's prime focus was upon the 'heredity' effect (which I believe is totally nonexistent) - there were just too many different things going on in his mind. The prime issue should have been for MG to validate and re-check his professional-groups, upon which all his claims depended. Instead, the magnetic discs (this was a pre-digital era) ended up in some cupboard.
When Françoise started producing her Journal Astro-Psychological Problems (see page 18), Michel objected to her using his name so she had to use her maiden name, Marie Schneider, as its Editor. She produced that journal over one Jupiter cycle, 1982 - 1994. Then she relapsed into her deep silence for another Jupiter-cycle before her passing in 2007. During that latter period she collaborated with CURA's Patrice Guignard, to upload all of the Gauquelin data in digital form: which little-appreciated act has made possible all 21st-century work on the subject.
I was of course deeply affected by this final tragedy. I had loved Michel very much, had assisted him in his various research projects for a long time. In particular his first CTH studies. I knew how sincerely MG had striven during all his life to carry out his research projects with impeccable objectivity. And finally I knew that I had been totally honest in my use of the CTH method, with replicable positive results.'9