Celebrity crazies are a dime a dozen, but Shirley MacLaine is crazier than most. An actor of some fame in the 1960s and 1970s, she became a New Age woo-meistress in the 1980s, writing several books (Out On a Limb, Dancing in the Light) that were unfettered by such conservative standards as reason, rationality, truth, and accountability, and which (nevertheless) helped popularize a plethora of insane New Age beliefs. And MacLaine made sure she ran the full gamut from reincarnation to channelling.
Now, although her earlier woo was particularly concerned with reincarnation, transcendental meditation, channeling and past-life regression, she has lately been mostly focused on UFOs, and in her 2007 book Sage-ing While Age-ing she discusses her alien encounters and witnessing of Washington DC UFO incidents in the 1950s (curious that they weren’t reported before). As for channeling MacLaine and the ABC television network must be held partially responsibility for the fame of JZ Knight. In 1987 ABC did a mini-series based on MacLaine’s book Out on a Limb, in which MacLaine converses with spirits through channeler Kevin Ryerson. One of the spirits who speaks through Ryerson is a contemporary of Jesus called “John”, who speaks, rather than Aramaic, a kind of fake Elizabethan English. “John” tells MacLaine that she is co-creator of the world with a god, which MacLaine accepts because, remarkably, this is a belief she has expressed earlier (i.e. that she is a god). It is pretty remarkable, isn’t it, that “John” told MacLaine exactly what she wanted to hear. Proves that the channeling works, right?
MacLaine briefly lived with Dennis Kucinich, who is known to be more than a little susceptible to woo himself.
Diagnosis: Moron, and so egotistically oriented that the fact that she believes that p is sufficient evidence-for-her that p (indeed, she explicitly claims that she can create her own reality – which is, in fact, a rather common claim among reason-challenged people despite its obviously contradictory force). I suppose the grandness of ego is an important factor in explaining the attraction between celebrities and mystical powers.