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Nostradamania

October 07, 1990

We at Griffith Observatory had our hands full with damage control during the Nostradamania and earthquake panic of May, 1988, when many self-proclaimed psychics and astrologers had their way with our collective psyche and predicted a catastrophic quake that never came.

I am therefore mystified by Malcolm Dean's review of James Randi's "The Mask of Nostradamus." Almost half of the review was devoted to a discussion of the alleged "Mars effect" of Gauquelin (misspelled in Dean's report as Gauguelin ).

Familiar with the history of that controversy, I know it has nothing to do with Nostradamus, James Randi or Randi's new book.

Dean's own investment in astrology makes him an odd choice as a reviewer of this book. Randi's scholarship and emphasis should instead have been evaluated by a historian well informed on the cultural history of 16th-Century France.

E. C. KRUPP Ph.D.

Director

Griffith Observatory

LOS ANGELES

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