Wednesday, January 15, 2020

#2295: Sherry Hansen Steiger

You can sort of see
how this could be
a ripe topic for authors
struggling with the
Brad Steiger was a legendary crackpot, conspiracy theorist and pseudoscience promoter particularly well known, perhaps, for promoting ancient astronauts and Atlantis nonsense but really into more or less any conceivable brand of silliness. Several of his books were coauthored with his wife Sherry Hansen Steiger, and since Brad passed away in 2018, she will be rewarded with being the focus of the present entry. Many of the Steigers’ books, such as Conspiracies and Secret Societies: the Complete DossierReal Visitors, Voices from BeyondReal Angels: Guiding Spirits, Benevolent Beingsand Heavenly Hosts and Parallel Dimensions and The Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained (which they edited), read as descriptions of the various conspiracies and delusions mentioned in the titles, but the Steigers have also been pretty clear that they tend to at least assign some degree of credibility to more or less every piece of nonsense that comes their way – their books can, as such, be characterized as ambitious attempts at JAQing off.

Not all of their
releases have aged
particularly well
Brad and Sherry are for instance largely responsible for promoting the sad delusions of Al Bielek, having coauthored The Philadelphia Experiment and Other UFO Conspiracies with him in 1990. The book does a comprehensive job of packing all the expected nonsense involving CIA plots, government conspiracies, secret meetings with aliens, trips to Mars, visits from the Men in Black and so on together in a single volume. Another book in the same vein is their The Rainbow Conspiracy: The Greatest Cover-Up of Our Time, which ostensibly concerns a WWII program by the US Navy designed to make their warships invisible to the enemy, but which instead ended up “forever chang[ing] our relationship with extraterrestrials”, a conclusion reached by a substantial dose of imagination and paranoia.

Sherry Steiger is, rather unsurprisingly, also heavily into woo. She has “actively studied the dynamic interaction between the body, mind and spirit in health-related matters as well as the effects of environment and technology on health and wellness,” and given her distaste for methodology, accuracy and accountability displayed in her “studies”, has arrived at exactly the kinds of conclusions you’d expect. 

Given that even her and her husband’s website is currently defunct, we suspect that she is more or less retired.

Diagnosis: Prolific, colorful, and with a very tenuous grasp of the distinction between fiction and reality (or, perhaps more accurately: the Steigers simply never cared about that distinction), the Steigers are probably responsible for recruiting plenty of bored, critical-thinking-challenged people to the fantastic realm of delusion, pseudoscience and conspiracies. Hansen Steiger does seem to be more or less retired, but she is still with us, and famous enough to warrant an entry nonetheless.

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