In response and after reading the critique of 'the 12th Planet' I have added
some nuance to the genre description about the use of outright lies, how if
you are really successful you get mentioned in www.skepdic.com and the tool
of 'assumed authority'. :)
More seriously, I do worry about my brother's need for this type of
material. The key to it may be in the 'need for awe' that appears in
discussion from time to time. Here we have an intelligent person who is
unable to find affinity with a god but by virtue of training is also
disconnected from science. In my case the awe I feel for the exquisite
complexity in nature and future potential never ceases to grow (did you read
my recent poem, Wheeler's Beach?) - the more we know, the more there is to
know. We both want answers and unfortunately 'answers' can be provided from
any source, if you have a receptive mindset.
I mentioned my brother's tendencies to a psychologist recently and he just
smiled and said 'ah - magical thinking'. It seems that there is a tendency
towards magical thinking in difficult personal circumstances. My brother has
some of that.
It is a shame that there are so many who prey on this misfortune.
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