Larry Kettelkamp Montague Ullman - Essay

Montague Ullman

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

It is apparently the intent [of Kettelkamp in Investigating Psychics] to introduce the younger reader to the field of parapsychology by presenting its stellar performers, the men and women who have become newsworthy in recent years…. Biographical sketches of the psychics are given along with a summary of their most striking achievements. A dramatic picture emerges, based partly on fact but more often on uncritical assessment of claims. The style is largely anecdotal. No sources are given. The accomplishments of these five psychics, regardless of their interest and importance, cannot convey an accurate or balanced picture of the field of parapsychological research. Kettelkamp is more apt to give a somewhat distorted picture to the uninformed reader. (p. 142)

Montague Ullman, in Science Books & Films (copyright 1978 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science), Vol. XIV, No. 3 (December, 1978).

Kettelkamp's conception of holistic medicine leads him to treat every manner of healing [in The Healing Arts], from natural herbs to acupuncture to cryosurgery to laying on of hands, as complementary methods that "share certain important [but unspecified] basic principles." Besides giving … a broad perspective on the subject, this ecumenical approach gives Kettelkamp the opportunity to bring up … a variety of intriguing current topics … but it doesn't lend itself to rigorous assessment of ideas and evidence. Many interesting but tentative findings are simplistically presented as established fact, and [the] final chapter on spiritual healing is especially irresponsible in its implication that various claims for psychic healing, the relationship between intuition and electromagnetic fields, etc., represent serious scientific conclusions. (pp. 129-30)

Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1979 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), February 1, 1979.