Michael Grosso

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For the last four hundred years, scientific materialism has in effect repressed and sought to invalidate the reality of soul, spirit, and consciousness. There are signs everywhere of revolt against this subtle form of cultural terrorism.
—Michael Grosso[1]

Michael Grosso (1937–) is an American parapsychologist, psychic and pseudoscience promoter, best known for his belief that humans can levitate.

Background[edit]

Grosso claims he was once "physically attacked by ghosts" and on another occasion foretold in public (from dreams) the near-assassination of Ronald Reagan.[2] Do You Believe That?

Grosso has a PhD in philosophy and describes himself as an "independent scholar and part of an ever growing group of scholars and thinkers critical of the prevailing materialistic view of the world."[3]

Levitation[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Levitation

Grosso is the author of The Man Who Could Fly, a credulous biography of St. Joseph of CupertinoWikipedia's W.svg (1603-1663). Grosso argues that St. Joseph's levitations were real:

All in all, the friar's tale is a whopping body-blow to materialism, for it appears that a peculiar mental state can under rare circumstances attenuate the common effects of gravity. This kind of fact, I think it can be shown, has implications for the theory of religion.[2]

Grosso seems to ignore the fact that anecdotal evidence is not scientific and eyewitness testimony in relation to paranormal claims is often unreliable.[4][5] Skeptical investigator Joe Nickell who has evaluated the reports and Grosso's book noted that his most used source for the levitations was Domenico Bernini's 1722 biography but this was unreliable and open to gross exaggeration as it was published nearly six decades after St. Joseph’s death.[6]

Grosso also endorses a lot of other nonsense and paranormal woo in the book. According to Ben Radford:

Though Grosso's book is indexed and contains hundreds of references, skeptics are conspicuously absent, a predictable but unfortunate omission that might have better grounded his discussion of levitation. The book is also undermined by its endorsement of a hodgepodge of dubious and discredited phenomena ranging from Ted Serios (ably debunked decades ago by James Randi and others) to inedia (claims that people can live without eating through meditation and focus) to reincarnation. Though Grosso avoids the common New Age trap of throwing everything in but the kitchen sink, he comes close, with discussions of near-death experiences, ghosts, demonic possession, out-of-body experiences or astral travel, ESP, consciousness, and so on, most of which have only the most tenuous connection to levitation.[4]

Quantum woo[edit]

Grosso (not surprisingly) is an advocate of quantum woo. He claims that quantum physics may explain levitation and other paranormal phenomena. In an interview, when he was asked the question, "If you actually look at quantum physics, it only operates on the quantum scale. Do you have some reason to think that quantum physics applies on a human scale?", he replied:

Well yes, the quantum physicists themselves. It's a very controversial subject, as I'm sure you know. It might very well serve to explain the phenomenon. So I don't think that this point you make is agreed upon by all physicists. I got an email from Hal Puthoff, another very serious physicist, who said, "You're on the right track with all this speculation, even though they are still speculation, it's certainly worth talking about."[4]

Speculation is not evidence and Hal Puthoff is not a "very serious physicist". He is a discredited engineer and parapsychologist, famous for his endorsement of Uri Geller.[7]

Publications[edit]

  • The Man Who Could Fly: St. Joseph of Copertino and the Mystery of Levitation (2015)
  • Frontiers of the Soul: Exploring Psychic Evolution (1992)

References[edit]