Robert McLuhan

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Fails from the crypt

Robert McLuhan is a British author, pseudoscience promoter and spiritualist.

He has no formal training as a scientist, but he promotes his beliefs as being grounded in scientific ideas. He is a council member of the Society for Psychical Research.[1]


McLuhan studied English Literature at Oxford. He has worked as a freelance journalist and has been a member of the Society for Psychical Research since 1993.[2]


McLuhan runs a blog called "Paranormalia" where he posts tirades against atheism and rants against scientists and skeptics for dismissing his beliefs in parapsychology and woo. Popular threads on his blog include "Fuck-off Atheism"[3] "Russell Targ's The Reality of ESP"[4] and "Michael Tymn on Leonora Piper".[5] McLuhan believes that fraudulent mediums such as Leonora Piper, Eusapia Palladino, Eileen Garrett and Gladys Osborne Leonard were genuine. On the topic of physical mediumship he has written "I think physical mediumship is a genuine phenomenon, but one that can easily be faked."[6]

In opposition to the psychologist Richard Wiseman; McLuhan has stated that he believes it was unlikely that the séances involved in the scole experiment were fraudulent.[7] McLuhan has written on his blog that everything from reincarnation and spiritualism to psychokinesis has been scientifically demonstrated.[8]

He has stated that some cases of poltergeists are real.[9] In many cases he has rejected psychological factors as an explanation for claims of the paranormal.

Randi's Prize[edit]

He is the author of Randi's Prize (2010) in which he claims to debunk the skeptics on the topic of the paranormal; however, McLuhan misses many important works from the skeptical literature.[10] The book title is a reference to James Randi's Million-dollar challenge.

McLuhan dedicates over 40 pages to the medium Eusapia Palladino and admits she cheated on occasion but concluded she had genuine paranormal abilities of levitation; this is in opposition to magicians and scientists who discovered the trick she used to "levitate" the table.

In 2011, McLuhan debated Wiseman on the paranormal.[11]


See the main article on this topic: Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia

In 2013, McLuhan wrote on his blog Paranormalia that the members of a group called Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia (GSoW)‎ were coordinating to label paranormal subjects as pseudoscience, destroy Rupert Sheldrake's Wikipedia article, and promote a skeptical point of view about psychic phenomena. In 2014, McLuhan argued that skeptics had ruined articles on the paranormal on Wikipedia, and announced his intent to create a paranormal encyclopedia.

Strangely, no such conspiracy of truth-denying, Wikipedia-controlling skeptics appears to exist.

In 2014, McLuhan was interviewed on a paranormal podcast where he expressed his opinion that Ian Stevenson had proven reincarnation. He also criticized Wikipedia for allegedly claiming "paranormal effects" do not exist and promoted a conspiracy theory that skeptics have ruined paranormal articles on online encyclopedias. McLuhan claimed he was in the process of creating a paranormal encyclopedia for the Society for Psychical Research in opposition to wikipedia.[12][13]


  • Randi's Prize: What Sceptics Say About the Paranormal, Why They Are Wrong, and Why It Matters (2010). ISBN 1848764944.
  • Poltergeist People: A Paranormal Casebook (2012)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]