Luke Johnson is a certified IT Technician and had formerly worked in Europe within the computing industry. He is now employed within the healthcare sector. His career now involves doing the finances of numerous employees.
He enjoys reading books especially on philosophy, religion, and in particular on the neurology of consciousness. The nature and origin of consciousness is such a complex matter that nobody really knows much about; this is what makes it so interesting. His favourite books and articles on consciousness are the ones written by Sir Roger Penrose, Stuart Hameroff, Donald Hoffman, and Anil Seth.
He is an avid computer programmer, often programming in C/C++, Pascal, Visual Basic, and Assembly Language. In his spare time, he likes to cycle, walk, and listen to various types of music. He usually cycles and walks to keep fit and stay healthy. His musical interests range from classical, ambient, pop to intelligent drum ‘n’ bass and pretty much everything else that is melodious. He has been entranced by melodic music from a very young age. He therefore goes and sees it performed live locally and nationally.
TBE: Thank you for taking the time to talk to The Bookish Elf. You recently published The Godmen, can you briefly describe what your new book is about, and the research you did for it?
Luke Johnson: My book, The Godmen, is purely about exorcists and it is not based on any kind of research that I have conducted. Research, as I see, can lead people in the wrong area when it comes to exposing exorcists truthfully. Dr Emma Cohen, Prof Swaran Singh, Prof Sophie Day, Prof Ronald Geaves, and Sandeep Singh Chohan, have all done extensive academic research on exorcists and their work. But I shall leave it up to others to decide on how useful their research is now. In my experience, it’s best to engage with the community who go and see exorcists about their problems, and just watch what happens to them over time.
TBE: What is the key theme and/or message in the book?
Luke Johnson: The key message of the book is to make the reader aware of the harm that godmen can do to innocent people who go on and seek their help and advice to improve their health and well-being.
TBE: What made you decide to write ‘The Godmen’, a book about people’s belief in religions?
Luke Johnson: I have written ‘The Godmen’ purely to explain something about religion and faith which other books have not done so far.
TBE: Why do you think so many people continue to reject science over Godmen’s tricks?
Luke Johnson: People tend to reject science over the work of godmen because science does not always provide them with what they want in life. Science is very good at keeping people alive but about things like prosperity, wealth and intelligence? Who do you go to have these kinds of things? Furthermore, where is the science to tackle issues like global poverty and famine, and especially in the year 2021?
TBE: Can you explain some of the common types of mistakes people make in their thinking that leads to gullibility and blind faith in the Godmen?
Luke Johnson: There are people who have benefited from seeing a godman, and surely it cannot be a mistake for them to have seen one about their problems. But there are also people who have not benefited from seeing a godman, and they tend to find out eventually that they had made a mistake by seeing one. But if people are not going to get anything worthwhile out of science then seeing a godmen about their problems cannot be really seen as a mistake, as this may be the only option available to them to sort out their problems.
TBE: How do you see the relationship between science and religion? Are they potentially complementary, or do you think they are inherently in conflict?
Luke Johnson: I believe it is up to the individual to decide how they view the relationship between science and religion. There are scientists who have strong religious beliefs and there are godmen who value what science has done for them so far.
TBE: As a skeptic, can you suggest some books that you think young people should read if they want to develop their own critical thinking?
Luke Johnson: I would most certainly recommend the book ‘The Faith Healers‘ by James Randi to anyone who wishes to improve their critical thinking. This book is not as interesting as ‘The Godmen’ but it does nonetheless expose some valuable truths about faith healers.
TBE: How was your publishing experience with Leadstart?
Luke Johnson: My experience with the publisher Leadstart has been very positive and polite, and I would most certainly recommend new writers to submit their manuscripts to Leadstart because they cover so many literary subjects and areas.
TBE: Is there anything you are currently working on that may intrigue the interest of your readers?
Luke Johnson: I am currently not working on any new projects but I am thinking about extending ‘The Godmen’ in the future.