Listen: R.T. Smith on the occult

MPR’s Connie Goldman interviews Star Tribune columnist R.T. Smith on his book “Cult and Occult.” Smith discusses what he discovered while writing book, including views on witches and the unexplained.


(00:00:00) I don't want to pretend that this is a an in-depth study of the occult by any means, it's just in a chance for the person who has some interested to get a survey idea of what is going on
(00:00:14) today. That was Minneapolis Tribune columnist Robert T Smith explaining what his new book cult an occult is and what it isn't actually it's a book in the style of his newspaper columns each chapter introducing the reader to another person who has had an Unusual spiritual experience or who has some unusual spiritual belief. Are you one of the cult? I asked mr.
(00:00:37) Smith. No, I started as a terrible Skeptics and scoffers over. I didn't believe anything that I couldn't touch or eat or push around. And I got that way I suppose from all the years of 25 years or so. I've been a journalist. So I started out saying that you know, this is a bunch of nonsense. But as long as you're paying me, I'll do the book, but I ended up I guess not what you'd call a believer in any or all of it, but a sort of believer that anything is possible believer that that there are things that just cannot be Explained in natural terms people still think that witches are devil worshippers and they're not at all. The Satan is take care of that aspect, which is object very much to being called devil worshippers are saying is they deny for instance that there is such thing as a black which they are basically nature worshippers. They believe in the power of nature that you can gain. Power from the Moon and from growing things. They also are believers in reincarnation in almost any form. I expected to find, you know, weirdly dressed people with huge black shadow Dies who, you know flew about in dark bat caves and and told a lot of strange stories, but actually I ran into listen department store Executives and businessmen and journalists and almost any Walk of Life that you can imagine who are involved in the occult who are seriously involved who are as I said sort of normal people whatever that means today who are going about their business as successful in terms of The Establishment and yet who once a week will go to a kovin meeting of which has to practice witchcraft but who believe sincerely in it and who are Saying and there are a lot of people privately involved in the are called the are called still is a sort of secret organization. You don't run out in the street and say hey, I just communicated with my dead husband because there are some people that might put you away and much of it has to be done privately because of the scoffers of which I used to be one and the Skeptics. It's just hard for people in general to accept the more blatant types of are called practices. They're interested. I'm not saying that there's a great Mass out there that wants to get into the alcohol. They're just sort of fascinated by it and interested in the things that are going on
(00:03:54) in the introduction to his book. Mr. Smith says the following in doing this book. I was exposed to many things that cannot be easily explained, but I found that That it helps in people's lives and in a sense. What does it matter if the belief is scientifically true perhaps as I did you will abandon some prejudices and misconceptions get to know the which next door to you. And then who knows I'm Connie Goldman.


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