I used to think that new age books stretched the credibility of readers, but the award has to go to Nickells book. He claims that miracles, levitations, and the rest of the supernatural phenomena he critiques are the result of illusion, lies, and credulous or stupid people. The explanations he offers for miracles are so far fetched as not even to be considered. The history of religions stretches for thousands of years. Are all the testimonials of catholics, hindus, buddhists and the rest all false? What could possibly be the purpose behind so much fakery and illusion? Nickells claims its for money and fame. If that were true, monks and nuns are wasting their time in a monastery, they should go to Las Vegas instead. The book breaks the bounds of credibility. His explanations are so far fetched as not worth considering. He uses special pleading, begging the question, and arguments from ignorance among other fallacies. While it is true that cases of stigmata and other phenomena have been faked, even the vatican knows that. But their are genuine cases that are not disproven. To believe this book, we would have to believe that all religious phenomena have been faked or illusions for the past 6,000 years among hindus, buddhists and catholics. Amazing! This book is not recommended and offers a very poor critique of such phenomena. True believers are even among skeptics and such will not believe in the paranormal no matter what the evidence is.