Truzzi, Marcello (1935– )
Contemporary sociologist and scholar of parapsychology
and the occult. Truzzi was born on September 6, 1935, in Copenhagen,
Denmark. He attended Florida State University
(B.A., 1957), the University of Florida (M.A., 1962), and Cornell
University (Ph.D., 1970). He taught at several universities
before settling permanently in the sociology department at
Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti. He chaired the department
for 12 years (1974–86).
Born into a prominent circus family, Truzzi has interests encompassing
folklore, stage magic, the history of science, popular
culture, and parapsychology. He has been most identified
with anomalous phenomena and coined the term amnomolistics
to designate the field of study.
In 1972 Truzzi began to issue a small newsletter, Explorations,
renamed The Zetetic two years later. In 1976 The Zetetic was
offered to the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of
Claims of the Paranormal, cofounded by Truzzi, as its official
publication. Within a short time, Truzzi, who viewed himself as
a true skeptic, found himself in conflict with the majority of the
committee members. As a skeptic, he expressed his doubts
about unproven claims and withheld judgement pending definitive
evidence. The majority of the committee proved themselves
to be debunkers who opposed all discussion of the paranormal.
Truzzi broke with the committee when it was
discovered that members had falsified data that tended to support
Michel Gauquelin’s views on astrology.
After separating from the committee, Truzzi founded the
Center for Scientific Anomalies Research and began a new periodical,
the Zetetic Scholar. He edited the Zetetic Scholar for a decade
(1978–87). Besides his more conventional books on sociology,
Truzzi has ventured into the sociology of witchcraft and
the occult and cowritten (with Arthur Lyons) the definitive text
on the use of occult powers in solving crimes, The Blue Sense
Psychic Detectives and Crime (1991).
Sources
Clark, Jerome. Encyclopedia of Strange and Unexplained Phenomena.
Detroit Gale Research, 1993.
Clark, Jerome, and J. Gordon Melton. ‘‘The Crusade
Against the Paranormal.’’ Fate pt. 1, 32, 9 (September 1979)
70–76; pt. 2, 32, 10 (October 1979) 87–94.
Lyons, Arthur, and Marcello Truzzi. The Blue Sense Psychic
Detectives and Crime. New York Mysterious PressWarner
Books, 1991.
Truzzi, Marcello. Cauldron Cookery An Authentic Guide for
Coven Connoisseurs. New York Meredith, 1969.
———. ‘‘The Occult Revival as Popular Culture Some Random
Observations on the Old and Nouveau Witch.’’ Sociological
Quarterly 13 (Winter 1972) 16–34.
———. Where Witchcraft Lives. London Aquarian Press,
1962.