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Ominous pattern

Jun 09, 1997 09:01 AM
by K. Paul Johnson

I just finished going through a section of my library's shelves
with a list of items that haven't circulated in the last 18
months.  Having gone through 3.5 sections, which is about 700
books, I only found a few that had been stolen:

Quotations for the New Age
Karma, the Great Teacher
Cosmopolitan's Guide to Fortune Telling
Astrology in Modern Language
Secrets of the Face (how to read character)

The subjects covered in the sections thus far scanned include
computers, unexplained phenomena (UFOs, Bigfoot, etc.),
journalism, libraries, philosophy, dreams, and psychology.  Yet
the *only* books stolen were New Age/occult titles.  What does
this say about the kind of people who read them?

I know, it could've been just one person and thus no basis for
hasty generalization.  But every library I've worked in has had
the same problem: New Age and occult books are among the most
frequently stolen.  This suggests to me that the paranoid
fundamentalists may have a point-- there really is something
evil in the character of people who are attracted to popular
New Age stuff, e.g. crystals, astrology, fortunetelling?

Comments?  Why this pattern?

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