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Theos-World "A Skeptics Guide to the New Age"

Mar 01, 1999 05:09 PM
by D. Porter

Hi all,

I was in the local library the other day and a bright yellow book caught my
eye. It was called 'The Skeptics Guide to the New Age' by Harry Wood and
Published by the Australian Skeptics Association.

It's the usual debunking fare - but I think a few of the entries aren't
very well reseacrhed or fair so I was thinking of writing to the author and
attempting to set him straight. I was only going to deal with 2 entries for
starters - Atlantis and Aromatherapy, but then I realised there was an
extra section at the back devoted to biographies of great 'frauds' - the
author lists Uri Geller, Sai Baba and of course we would expect Madame

Here are some things said:

"Given to hypochondria, fits of passion, and walking in her sleep, Helena
was nevertheless a gifted child"

"She believed in spirits, and would hold long conversations with someone
invisible, and through clairvoyance, would make dire predictions of death
and misfortune for friends and visitors, unfortunately often coming to pass"

"Her introduction to the supernatural started with a brief spell as an
assistant to Daniel Dunglas Home, the spiritualist medium, and then in July
1851, she was shipwrecked when the steamship Eumonia sank after an
explosion. She was rescued, and put ashore in Egypt where she made her way
to Cairo and began her first serious study of the occult with an old Coptic

"With money sent to her by her father she continued her travels to Canada
studying the occult with Red Indians, went on to Mexico, thence to New
Orleans where her prime interest was voodoo. Later she went to India, Nepal
and Tibet where she had many strange experiences, among them, witnessing
the 'astral soul' of her guide separate from his body, and being rescued
from the desert by a party of horsemen from a lamasery, whom she believed
she had directed to her by her psychic  powers."

Anyway, there's more but I had to return the book before I had a chance to
copy the rest down. What i want to know is - Is it worth writing to the
author to set him straight on not just HPB but Atlantis, Armotherapy etc
etc all the so-called new-age topics he supposedly 'debunks'. I should I
just ignore it.

And what about James Randi? I sent him an email once and he said I was a fool.


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