Book Review - Shooting for the Stars

This article is an electronic version of an article originally published in Cultic Studies Journal, 1994, Volume 11, Number 2, page 223. Please keep in mind that the pagination of this electronic reprint differs from that of the bound volume. This fact could affect how you enter bibliographic information in papers that you may write.

Book Review - Shooting for the Stars. 

Ross Clifford and Philip Johnson. An Albatross Book, Sutherland, Australia, 1993, 223 pages.

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, neardeath 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, AA new paradigm is offered that takes seriously the spiritual ache found in today's fastpaced 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

Cultic Studies Journal, Vol. 11, No. 2, 1994