[Ebook] ↠ An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural Author James Randi – Thomashillier.co.uk


An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural In This Remarkable Encyclopedia, James Randi Casts His Cynical Eye On The Dubious Genes Of The Occult And The Supernatural With Entries And Hundreds Of Illustrations Throughout, This Book Examines The Shady World Of Manipulators, Occultists, And Shamanists In Microscopic Detail Topics Include Jeane Dixon S Long String Of Failed Predictions, The Elaborate Hoax Surrounding The Mystery Of The Abominable Snowman, And Much


10 thoughts on “An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

  1. says:

    Excellent stuff A fascinating and funny look at so called occult and supernatural occurrences and abilities Provides an excellent grounding in the basics of the spiritualist movement, as well as discussions of numerous psychic and unexplainable phenomena Randi balances his occasionally somewhat mean spirited no pun intended criticisms of the people who believe in this nonsense with a farsevere pen lashing of the self aggrandizing, manipulative, greedy sorts who prey upon their vu Excellent stuff A fascinating and funny look at so called occult and supernatural occurrences and abilities Provides an excellent grounding in the basics of the spiritualist movement, as well as discussions of numerous psychic and unexplainable phenomena Randi balances his occasionally somewhat mean spirited no pun intended criticisms of the people who believe in this nonsense with a farsevere pen lashing of the self aggrandizing, manipulative, greedy sorts who prey upon their vulnerable audiences Randi peppers the text with punchlines and witty asides, and it makes for a very engaging and amusing read Also, thanks to this book, my husband has given me permission to name our firstborn Theophrastus Philippus Aureolus Bombast von Hohenheimcommonly known as Paracelsus , whom Randi describes as a superstitious, argumentative, offensive braggart who alienated everyone with whom he came in contact seems like an excellent namesake I just had to check my use of namesake, thinking I may have used it incorrectly To some, I have but by OED standards, a namesake is just something with the same name as another and can be used for either the name source or the name recipient Likewise for eponym Thanks, Wikipedia Ahem Anyhow, Randi also describes Paracelsus as follows A natural wanderer and vagabond, this scholar managed to lose every friend he ever made, and his superiority complex soon earned him a terrible reputationwell earned, as indicated in the preface to one of his books He wrote In this midcentury, monarchy of all the arts pertains to me, Theophrastus Paracelsus, prince of philosophy and medicine For to this am I chosen by God that I may extinguish all fantasies of all far fetched, false and putative worlds and presumptuous words, be they of Aristotle, Galen, Avicenna, Mesue, or any of their adherents So, yes a fine fellow to name your child after We ll call the kid Theo.Also, Randi notes that Pythagoras almost certainly did not create the Pythagorean theorem Say what I love books like this Also of note is the amusing easter egg entry for Martinet Jardinier of Nebra Ska Martin Gardner Hee


  2. says:

    James Randi, professional magician and skeptic, has put together an encyclopedia with something for everyone Yes, no matter who you are, unless you re a thoroughgoing atheist, Randi is bound to offend your beliefs at one point or another As Arthur C Clarke says in his introduction, the book should be issued with a mental health warning, as many readers if they are brave enough to face unwelcome facts will find some of their cherished beliefs totally demolished Randi is dryly sarcastic ab James Randi, professional magician and skeptic, has put together an encyclopedia with something for everyone Yes, no matter who you are, unless you re a thoroughgoing atheist, Randi is bound to offend your beliefs at one point or another As Arthur C Clarke says in his introduction, the book should be issued with a mental health warning, as many readers if they are brave enough to face unwelcome facts will find some of their cherished beliefs totally demolished Randi is dryly sarcastic about hundreds of topics, including Catholic relics, speaking in tongues, Jehovah s Witnesses, yoga, the origins of Mormonism, dowsing, magnetic hills, UFOs, and every spiritualist of the past several centuries A typical entry defines a nymph as in the real world, the immature form of the dragonfly and certain other insects, or a young woman with robust sexual interests Take your choice Comprehensive, exasperating and exasperated, witty, and unsparing, Randi s encyclopedia providesdebunking per page than any other resource Mary Ellen Curtin


  3. says:

    I am reading this because it is part of Scott Adams reading list.This book is very interesting, to learn about all of the various silly things that people have believed in over the years.While the author is critical of the evidence gathering ability of people who believe in these things, he does not usually use any evidence to prove that something is ineffective and comments like which is clearly made up and other similar nonsense means that he is not using the same levels of proof and evide I am reading this because it is part of Scott Adams reading list.This book is very interesting, to learn about all of the various silly things that people have believed in over the years.While the author is critical of the evidence gathering ability of people who believe in these things, he does not usually use any evidence to prove that something is ineffective and comments like which is clearly made up and other similar nonsense means that he is not using the same levels of proof and evidence that he demands of others.Also comments like but x has since been proven as a liar with no citations or references are unhelpful.Had the author used some citations in the book this could have been 5 star


  4. says:

    Picked up in a charity shop for 1.99, I hadn t planned on actually reading this cover to cover but Randi s sneerily amusing dismissals of all manner of flapdoodle and nonsense are addictive after a while Along the way, he skewers everything from crystal skulls to Hollow Earth theories, from the Bermuda Triangle to Nostradamus and all sorts of minor scams and scammers.True, his constant digs at Sir Arthur Conan Doyle seemingly every single time he gets to take a shot at spiritualists and spirit Picked up in a charity shop for 1.99, I hadn t planned on actually reading this cover to cover but Randi s sneerily amusing dismissals of all manner of flapdoodle and nonsense are addictive after a while Along the way, he skewers everything from crystal skulls to Hollow Earth theories, from the Bermuda Triangle to Nostradamus and all sorts of minor scams and scammers.True, his constant digs at Sir Arthur Conan Doyle seemingly every single time he gets to take a shot at spiritualists and spiritualism which he gets plenty of opportunity to do becomesthan a little redundant but that probably isn t a problem if you re just dipping in and out of it.At times, the entries are frustratingly brief and Randi s assertions are made with about as much evidence though surely farrationality as whatever it is he s savaging, leaving some of them feeling unfinished and nothing like as authoritative as they could be But these are minor complaints when so much of the book is as funny as it is valuable.Two appendices, one detailing and debunking the Curse of King Tut and the other, in which forty nine different end of the world prophecies are dismissed and derided are great fun Perhaps the book s biggest failing aside from, as Arthur C Clarke notes in the foreword, no entry tearing the utter gibberish of creationism to bits is one even slightly of it s own making Randi s encyclopedia of a world in which people will seemingly believe any old nonsense was published in 1995, before the overwhelming majority of people had got hold of the internet.It needs an updated second edition, desperately


  5. says:

    Many entries of interesting sorts, Randi is best when giving the historical facts, but sometimes falls into judgment I suppose an argument could be made that simply including the subject would count that way , reminding me of the way the Skeptical Inquirer debunks things Still, entertaining and educational when one does not forget the salt Garrett Vance


  6. says:

    This is an interesting, amusing, and accessible introduction the subject Unfortunately, it is marred by factual errors and by the author s failure to distinguish witty commentary from gratuitous nastiness.


  7. says:

    Great fun Only to be taken one small dose at a time, in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed with woo and thenceforth thinking every person you pass on the street is surely a raving nutcase.


  8. says:

    Thorough, informative but somehow both dry and unnecessarily snarky.


  9. says:

    Very entertaining and full of sarcasm


  10. says:

    This is another of those books that I was attracted to because of it s alphabetical arrangement, but the information within is fascinating from why people are attracted to the symmetry in natural formations like crystals to the mandrake plant which is related to the potato and often grows in the shape of a human body When it is drawn from the ground, it s supposed to emit a horrendous human like shriek that will drive a human insane And that s just a couple of things it covers it also delves This is another of those books that I was attracted to because of it s alphabetical arrangement, but the information within is fascinating from why people are attracted to the symmetry in natural formations like crystals to the mandrake plant which is related to the potato and often grows in the shape of a human body When it is drawn from the ground, it s supposed to emit a horrendous human like shriek that will drive a human insane And that s just a couple of things it covers it also delves into witches, Sasquatch we re familiar with him up here in the Northwest , UFOs, unicorns and so on a great book for mystics and magic lovers everywhere


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