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#2899: UMaryland Professor Slurs Vodou for Book Profits (fwd)


Oh, boy, here we go AGAIN!  

Over and over, the Vodou religion is objectified, stereotyped, and 
misrepresented as a hodgepodge of malevolent magic, to the detriment of 
Haitians.  These negative stereotypes impact negatively on Vodouisants and on 
Haitians in the ares of immigration, health care, employment and many other 

Although there are literally millions of Vodouisants, Haitian and 
non-Haitian, white propaganda from the colonial period through the American 
military occupation of Haiti from 1915 - 1934 until the present day continues 
to present the Vodou religion as false, evil charlatanism.  The time has come 
for those claiming to be educated men and women to stop slandering this 
religion and begin to accurately describe the nature of our faith - or else 
sit down and be quiet, and stop using foul images of our religion to sell 

Robert Park, Ph.D., currently at the University of Maryland, has written a 
book titled "Voodoo Science: The Origins & Politics of Bad Science".  Here is 
an excerpt from a review by Salon, at 
http://www.salon.com/books/it/2000/03/15/voodoo/index.html, giving an 
indication of the character of this book:

"When USA Today carried a full-page ad last year for a mysterious tincture 
called "Vitamin O," described as "stabilized oxygen molecules in a solution 
of distilled water and sodium chloride," few noticed that the ad was 
describing common salt water...Then Robert Park, a physics professor at the 
University of Maryland, exposed the scam... The Vitamin O scheme is an 
example of pseudoscience, also known as junk science or, as Park has dubbed 
it, "voodoo science." The label encompasses all manner of scientific concepts 
and claims that are wrong by established academic standards..."

" 'It's a target-rich field,' Park says. Many of his favorite targets are 
skewered in his first book for a general readership, 'Voodoo Science: The 
Road From Foolishness to Fraud,' due this spring from Oxford University 
Press. The book attempts to debunk today's most foolish scientific claims: 
magnetic therapy, cold fusion, so-called free-energy schemes and alien 
abductions, to name a few. "

I was not aware that I was one of the "targets" in Park's "target-rich" 
field, and I don't like it!  Surely Dr. Park is an educated man, and is aware 
that Vodou is a religion!  I doubt very much that he would have dared to 
publish a book titiled "Jew Science".  And surely he can not be unaware of 
the negative impact of negative stereotypes.

The Vodou religion is centuries old, and is based on the worship of God, the 
veneration of ancestors, and respect for the natural forces of the world.  We 
do not practice deciet and fraud!  In fact, our clergy sometimes work with 
academicians and with physicians in the field of public health, designing 
culturally competent approaches to health care; and in other fields on other 

The University of Maryland site, at http://www.umd.edu/, lists a directory 
which includes the following information:

PARK, Robert L. park@aps.org
Physics 301-405-6153 
Rm.2342, Physics Building. 20742-4111

Dr. Stephen Halperin is Dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical and 
Physical Sciences at the University of Maryland.  His contact information is 
given as:

HALPERIN, Stephen shalper@deans.umd.edu
Prof and Dean
College CMPS 301-405-2316 
Rm.3400, A.V. Williams Building. 20742-3281

Other interested parties may include:

Afro-American Studies Program
University of Maryland at College Park
Suite 2169, Lefrak Hall
College Park, Maryland 20742

Dr. Rhonda M. Williams is the Director of this program, and her email is:


The American Physical Society ( http://www.aps.org/index.html )of which Dr. 
Robert Park is apparently a member, has a piece talking about Park's book, 
and there is a write-in comments page at http://www.aps.org/Mail.html.


Interestingly, there is another person, Robert *Parks*, who is also using the 
term voodoo in a similar context:

"THE WITCH DOCTOR OF WALL STREET, A Noted Financial Expert Guides You 
ThroughToday's Voodoo Economics, Robert H. Parks, Ph.D." can be found at 
http://www.hutch.demon.co.uk/prom/wallst.htm.Robert H. Parks (Short Hills, 
NJ) is professor of finance at the Lubin Graduate School of Business at Pace 
University, New York, NY.

We'll get to him later.  ;-)

Peace and love,

Bon Mambo Racine Sans Bout Sa Te La Daginen
(Kathy S. Grey,
Master of Science, University of Massachusetts)

"Se bon ki ra", 
     Good is rare - Haitian Proverb

The VODOU Page - <A HREF="http://members.aol.com/racine125/index.html">http://


Dr. Robert Parks, Professor of Physics, University of Maryland
Dr. Stephen Halperin, Dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical and 
Physical Sciences at the University of Maryland
Dr. Rhonda M. Williams, Director, Afro-American Studies Program, University 
of Maryland
Dr. Melinda Chateauvert, Afro-American Studies Program, University of Maryland
Dr. Ernest J. Wilson, Afro-American Studies Program, University of Maryland
Dr. Francille Wilson, Afro-American Studies Program, University of Maryland 
Dr. Eustache Jean-Louis, Director, Center for Community Health, Education, 
and Research, Dorchester, MA