On the Wild Side: The Big Bang, ESP, the Beast 666, Levitation, Rainmaking, Trance-Channeling, Seances and Ghosts, and More...

Martin Gardner, Author Prometheus Books $34 (257p) ISBN 978-0-87975-713-7
In this round-up of Skeptical Inquirer columns plus essays and reviews published in various magazines, Gardner scores both hits and misses in his debunking of the paranormal, the occult and borderline science. Easy targets include parapsychologist J. B. Rhine, whom he accuses of cover-up of fraud; a Florida hollow-earth cult; the Reagans' obsession with astrology; Wilhelm Reich's orgone box; and speaking-in-tongues, especially as practiced by the likes of Oral Roberts, Jim Bakker and Pat Robinson. In attacking Linus Pauling's use of vitamin C as an anti-cancer therapy, Gardner omits discussion of the most significant evidence. The book paints with a single negative brush UFOs, electrical wizard Nikola Tesla's modern disciples, Israeli psychic Uri Geller, fugitive homicidal guru Ira Einhorn, James Lovelock's Gaia theory of Earth as a living organism and black magician Aleister Crowley. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/30/1992
Release date: 04/01/1992
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