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The Gold Leaf Lady and Other…
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The Gold Leaf Lady and Other Parapsychological Investigations

by Stephen E. Braude

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As far as paranormal researchers go, Braude seems pretty legit - he's appropriately skeptical of fuzzy controls and not given to get swept away by a promising candidate, but he refuses to ignore the possibility of psi activity (and states flat out that he does believe in it, which is good insofar as knowing your biases is always good). I have to admit, this is the kind of book that makes me question my assumptions about reality. It's true that no one's ever produced total and conclusive proof of psi activity, but it's also true that those experiments are carried out under a cloud of general social disapproval. We don't criticize particle physicists for not being able to produce results without millions of dollars in time and equipment, after all. So I'm willing to grant Braude just as much as he's presenting - that there are some people who can do remarkable things that do not appear to have a non-psi explanation (or possibly that such remarkable things happen regularly around some people, if you want to take causation out of the equation entirely) but these effects are, for whatever reason, very small, and much smaller than effects that were recorded during the heyday of spiritualism in the Victorian Age. ( )
  jen.e.moore | Jun 21, 2015 |
The subject matter was intriguing, but the tone of the book was highly defensive. I got the impression that the author has had to spend a lot of his professional life justifying his interest in psychic phenomena to his academic colleagues, often without success.

The book was a strange mixture of things: case studies, both contemporary and historical; a philosophical discursion on the nature of synchronicity; and a rather odd chapter promoting the author's wife's skills in astrological predictions.

It had me scratching my head at times, but overall it was interesting enough to keep me reading and it raised some questions in my (admittedly highly cynical) mind about my previous assumptions in relation to paranormal affairs. ( )
  AJBraithwaite | Apr 4, 2013 |
Recommended to those interested in parapsychology. The case with the gold leaf lady is mindboggling to say the least. Braude is a good writer, and this book takes you through some of the ups and downs of being a parapsychological investigator. Some hoaxes, some disturbed persons and a few genuinely intriguing cases. The book is well worth the price for the parts on The Ridiculous James Randi, who is shown to be a complete fraud, liar and hoaxer in his own right. How Randi can be seen as some kind of beacon of rationalism is to me beyond understanding. Anyhow, look forward to reading Braudes other works. ( )
1 vote K461R | May 18, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0226071529, Hardcover)

For over thirty years, Stephen Braude has studied the paranormal in everyday life, from extrasensory perception and psychokinesis to mediumship and materialization. The Gold Leaf Lady and Other Parapsychological Investigations is a highly readable and often amusing account of his most memorable encounters with such phenomena. Here Braude recounts in fascinating detail five particular cases—some that challenge our most fundamental scientific beliefs and others that expose our own credulousness.
 
Braude begins with a south Florida woman who can make thin gold-colored foil appear spontaneously on her skin. He then travels to New York and California to test psychokinetic superstars—and frauds—like Joe Nuzum, who claim to move objects using only their minds. Along the way, Braude also investigates the startling allegations of K.R., a policeman in Annapolis who believes he can transfer images from photographs onto other objects—including his own body—and Ted Serios, a deceased Chicago elevator operator who could make a variety of different images appear on Polaroid film. Ultimately, Braude considers his wife’s surprisingly fruitful experiments with astrology, which she has used to guide professional soccer teams to the top of their leagues, as well as his own personal experiences with synchronicity—a phenomenon, he argues, that may need to be explained in terms of a refined, extensive, and dramatic form of psychokinesis.
 
Heady, provocative, and brimming with eye-opening details and suggestions, The Gold Leaf Lady and Other Parapsychological Investigations will intrigue both adherents and detractors of its controversial subject matter alike.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:38 -0400)

For over thirty years, Stephen Braude has studied the paranormal in everyday life, from extrasensory perception and psychokinesis to mediumship and materialization. The Gold Leaf Lady and Other Parapsychological Investigations is a highly readable and often amusing account of his most memorable encounters with such phenomena. Here Braude recounts in fascinating detail five particular cases?some that challenge our most fundamental scientific beliefs and others that expose our own credulousness. Braude begins with a south Florida woman who can make thin gold-colored foil appear spontaneously on her skin. He then travels to New York and California to test psychokinetic superstars?and frauds?like Joe Nuzum, who claim to move objects using only their minds. Along the way, Braude also investigates the startling allegations of K.R., a policeman in Annapolis who believes he can transfer images from photographs onto other objects?including his own body?and Ted Serios, a deceased Chicago elevator operator who could make a variety of different images appear on Polaroid film. Ultimately, Braude considers his wife?s surprisingly fruitful experiments with astrology, which she has used to guide professional soccer teams to the top of their leagues, as well as his own personal experiences with synchronicity?a phenomenon, he argues, that may need to be explained in terms of a refined, extensive, and dramatic form of psychokinesis. Heady, provocative, and brimming with eye-opening details and suggestions, The Gold Leaf Lady and Other Parapsychological Investigations will intrigue both adherents and detractors of its controversial subject matter alike.… (more)

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