|Illustration by Martin's Art Dimension|
“The sober old American Society for Psychical Research, distressed by the boom in psychic interest that somehow did not extend to any serious research, did a survey of bookstores,” Adam Smith (a/k/a Jerry Goodman) noted in his book Powers of Mind.
“In some anguish, it reported that 97 percent of what was on the shelves was ‘occult’ and more properly placed in fiction; only three percent was genuine psychical research. The rest is This Way to the Egress. Use Healing Rays to Repair the Body! Attract All the Money You Need! Influence the Thoughts of Others! Transform Your Surroundings! Predict Future Events.
“I have little trouble with any of these exhortations. Influence the thoughts of others: you dolt, you really don’t have it together, do you, and watch where you’re stepping! Transform your surroundings: paint, soap, brush, mop. Attract all the money you need? What is need? What is you? Use healing rays to repair the body? They aren’t rays, but the body always heals itself, the physician only sets it up, the medicine only helps. Predict future events: that’s easy, the hard part is making the event match the prediction.”
Gold finished by quoting Shakespeare, Henry IV:
Glendower: I can all spirits from the vasty deep.
Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can
But will they come when you do call