An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

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9780312130664: An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Six hundred and sixty-six entries, along with hundreds of illustrations, on such topics as the Abominable Snowman, astrologer Jeane Dixon, and the monster of Loch Ness expose the cranks, charlatans, and myths of past and present.

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Review:

While this is more like a dictionary than an encyclopedia, it's certainly not what I had expected from "The Amazing Randi," the man known for his zeal in debunking paranormal claims. This is an easily accessible and honest study of remarkable events which proved to be less than supernatural and makes a handy reference source or ground point to compare possible paranormalities with known tricks and hoaxes.

From Booklist:

RBB has reviewed several books advocating occult views recently, for example, Encyclopedia of Afterlife Beliefs and Phenomena [RBB Ap 15 95] and Divining the Future (in this issue). Here is one debunking the occult. Described as "James Randi's decidedly skeptical definitions of alternate realities," it includes an introduction by Arthur C. Clarke. Some entries just define terms (anima mundi, ankh, and kachina), but many of the approximately 700 entries attempt to expose people and movements Randi sees as frauds (e.g., L. Ron Hubbard, Madame Blavatsky, crystals, channeling, pyramid power). Many entries are loaded with sarcasm. For example, the author says that in modern times, witchcraft "is a harmless distraction for otherwise idle persons to embrace." He does, however, point out that many practices erroneously attributed to witchcraft are really related to followers of satanism. Randi goes on to say that "homeopathy . . . falls into the category of magic." He is much kinder to acupuncture, merely describing it and including a diagram of acupuncture points. After describing the chanting practices of Hare Krishnas, he concludes, "It is very boring." Appendixes debunk the "Curse of King Tut" and end-of-the-world prophecies. A bibliography lists other skeptical books on the occult. See also references and an index make access easy. Illustrations consist of black-and-white photographs and drawings.

Readers who have occult beliefs will be dismayed and annoyed by what they read here, but libraries that want to provide balance in their collections will find this an antidote to the many recent reference books promoting the occult.

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James Randi, Arthur C. Clarke (Introduction)
Editorial: St Martins Press (1995)
ISBN 10: 031213066X ISBN 13: 9780312130664
Nuevos Tapa dura Cantidad: 1
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Ergodebooks
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Descripción St Martins Press, 1995. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX031213066X

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James Randi
Editorial: St Martins Press (1995)
ISBN 10: 031213066X ISBN 13: 9780312130664
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Descripción St Martins Press, 1995. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P11031213066X

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