Modern Miracles (Anglais) Broché – 27 juillet 2006
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Broché, 27 juillet 2006
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Professor Haraldsson is one of the few Western academics with an interest in parapsychology that has tried to determine whether Sai Baba is a fraud, a 'miracle-worker' or both. A major weakness of Haraldsson's study of Sai Baba's abilities as chronicled in this book is the fact that Sai Baba wouldn't allow Haraldsson to perform controlled experiments on him. Instead, the book relies on Haraldsson's firsthand observations of Sai Baba's purported materializations and extensive interviews of devotees and ex-devotees of Sai Baba. The strength of this work rests in the thoroughness of Haraldsson's interviews with many individuals that had known Sai Baba since he was a young man.
The claims of Sai Baba's powers are so outlandish to most Westerners that Haraldsson's interviews and his own observations will do little to persuade them that Sai Baba had great paranormal abilities; however, for those who are well-versed in the voluminous literature devoted to the paranormal, this book makes a significant contribution to this literature. One conclusion to draw from this book is that the simple sleight-of-hand explanations that debunkers invoke to discredit Sai Baba seem inconsistent with stories of the interviewees. These stories involve, for example, the materializations of fruit that is out of season in rural India and of piping hot sticky sweets. In fact, the claims of miracles by the interviewees in this book are so mind-boggling that they couldn't possible be explained by standard magician's tricks. The relevant question then becomes whether the stories of the interviewees are accurate. And this is the rub. Since Haraldsson didn't perform controlled experiments on Sai Baba, the reader is left figuring out how much to trust a few dozen individuals that knew Sai Baba intimately.