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Cultic Studies Journal

Shooting for the Stars

Psychological Manipulation and Society

Cultic Studies Journal
Psychological Manipulation and Society

Volume No. 11, No. 2 -- 1994

Shooting for the Stars
Ross Clifford and Philip Johnson. An Albatross Book, Sutherland, Australia, 1993, 223 pages.
Reviewer:
Walter Debold

In Sydney, Australia, there was a New Age festival of "Mind, Body, Spirit." Clifford and Johnson, who write and conduct seminars on the New Age, decided to staff a booth offering a Christian perspective on human potential in the midst of what they describe as a "metaphysical smorgasbord." In dialogue with their neighbors, the authors’ manner is not contentious but empathetic as they record the claims of astrologers, near-death experiencers, people who believe in reincarnation, others who live in a cosmic "oneness," and some who have confidence in healing crystals. Clifford and Johnson had contact with "channelers" and people who claim to be clairvoyant, and also with people committed to sacred sex, yoga, the enneagram, witchcraft, yoga, sacred sex, and tarot cards.

Each of the 10 chapters concludes with a section entitled "Insights." By the time the authors get around to assessing the situation, the reader gets the feeling that such a convention of New Agers might be the surest cure for the whole New Age movement. The authors have empathy to spare, but their Insights are not very profound or illuminating.

The jacket claims, "A new paradigm is offered that takes seriously the spiritual ache found in today’s fast-paced world." If this is to be understood as a promise it only leads to disappointment. If you are a busy person you will probably not be able to budget time for this book.

Walter Debold
Seton Hall University
South Orange, New Jersey

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