MIRACLES: A Parascientific Inquiry Into Wondrous Phenomena by D. Scott Rogo

MIRACLES: A Parascientific Inquiry Into Wondrous Phenomena

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Lots of exclamation points dot the pages of parapsychology author/lecturer Rogo (Mind Beyond the Body, etc.). And no wonder! For Rogo's palette is all the miracle-working of those of pious or saintly persuasion. We learn about levitating St. Teresa of Avila, not to mention the phenomenal flying friar, St. Joseph of Copertino. We bleed with stigmata'd Natuzza Evolo, a Calabrian contemporary who follows in the line dating back to St. Francis of Assisi. We also learn some new tricks: ""Bilocation"" goes out-of-body experiences one better by allowing for simultaneous fleshly appearances of your saint at two different places, while ""inedia"" describes the miraculous anorexia that allows saints to remain firm and plump despite years of not eating or drinking. But what exactly do we learn? Some hagiography, certainly. And some entertaining political and social history--which would be fine if Rogo had a sense of proportion. He is, however, a convinced believer (still crediting Victorian mediums like Eusapia Palladino with ESP). He is willing to acknowledge that ""possessing a hysterical personality may be only a predisposing factor leading to the development of stigmata,"" or ""miracles often seem imitative in nature."" But he never really comes to grips with debunking hypotheses. Instead, he is wildly eclectic: you take a bit of hysteria here, a crucifixion complex there, add some autosuggestion, and voilà--the miracle worker. In the final chapter he attempts a synthesis, noting analogies between religious and non-religious wonders and suggesting that miracle workers are tapping into powers that are potentially available to all. Still, a juicy item for the psychic shelf.

Pub Date: Feb. 19th, 1981
Publisher: Dial