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“More than 100 million Americans have had a paranormal experience,” says Joel Martin, recognized as the most knowledgeable chronicler in the United States on psychic phenomena and related topics. “There is overwhelming amount of research that reveals the fact that scores of normal people have had some form of communication or contact with loved ones from the hereafter.”
Martin was born and raised in New York City where his father’s side of the family was prominent in New York’s famed Yiddish Theater. On this mother’s side were six consecutive generation of clergy. By age five, Martin appeared on stage as a musician and continued performing and acting throughout childhood on TV, radio, and stage. In his teens, he worked at WNYE-FM, New York City’s educational radio station as a production assistant and performed in dramatic programs. He worked on the production of hundreds of instructional and public TV programs with such notable figures as Robert F. Kennedy; John Lindsay, then mayor of New York, as well as Marcel Marceau among others seen on New York City’s stations WNYC-TV, WNET-TV, WPIX-TV and WNYE-TV.
As a New York City public school teacher, he began teaching disadvantaged children in the inner-city, balancing both careers simultaneously. Still in his twenties, Martin became an instructor of educational media at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. There he lectured on teacher education and TV while holding the position of TV Coordinator/Producer for Teacher Education. Later, he was named TV consultant for a national teacher-training project under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. His activities included creating an award-winning documentary about childhood autism.
In 1969, Martin was news reporting for WBAB radio on Long Island. For years, Martin turned a skeptic eye on topics like life after death, mediums, and other psychic activities. But that was to change very dramatically. The next year he began hosting a weekly talk show which quickly proved popular because it successfully attempted to deal seriously, even scientifically, with such easily lampooned subjects as the existence of ghosts, ESP, séances and unexplained phenomena. It quickly developed into one of the major radio programs of its kind in the country.
TURNING POINT: THE PARANORMAL
The Joel Martin Show marked a professional turning point for Martin. He left teaching to devote himself full-time to his nightly radio show. Until then, he had not taken the paranormal seriously, even when one story he reported about an alleged UFO crash produced a huge response from thousands of listeners, causing sufficient commotion to attract news coverage by other major media. “I like to think of the show as a large, psychic classroom,” Martin explained, “where I was as much a participant as anyone else. Because we did the broadcast live, there was no pre-arranged gimmickry. Anything can happen, and it usually did."
Martin was the first radio reporter on the scene in 1974, the night six members of one family were murdered, in what would become the Amityville Horror, one of the most infamous ghost stories in America. The Amityville Horror movie and best selling book was based on a story about an alleged haunted house on Long Island. Reporting for UPI, he established the approximate time of the murders. During the next five years, Martin devoted many programs to whether or not the Amityville house was haunted. Finally, in 1979, an attorney who was part of the story confessed that it was made up. Martin's national exclusive radio interview exposed the Amityville Horror as a hoax.
ENTER GEORGE ANDERSON
In 1980, Martin experienced another professional turning point. He was introduced to a gifted psychic George Anderson, who opened a door to Martin’s future. Anderson claimed he could talk to the dead. Still the skeptic, Martin allowed George to “read” him. Anderson provided such accurate details about Martin’s private life, including the tragic death of his former wife, and other personal information he could not have known or gleaned in any other way. Here, for the first time, Martin experienced absolute proof of the role psychic phenomena can play in bereavement. Martin began to consider the paranormal more seriously. He started by applying investigative news reporting skills to try to understand what he considered the “scientifically unexplained” especially in the areas of life after death and communication with the departed. His growing curiosity about mediums resulted in serious investigations and tests, many live on the air, with help from scientists, magicians, clergy, and other experts, pro and con. He put Anderson on his program and set records for audience phone response. “I saw the good Anderson was doing, especially with the bereaved,” Martin said. “I tested his accuracy rates and saw him week in and week out help people. I became a believer.”
In 1981, Martin and Anderson began hosting Psychic Channels on Viacom Cablevision, the first program of its kind on commercial TV. It provided a forum for both callers and top name guests in the paranormal. The popular show ran throughout the 1980s, with a two-year waiting list for studio audience tickets. Inspired by the public acceptance of Anderson’s gifts and his belief that Anderson's story should be told worldwide, Martin co-authored We Don’t Die (Putnam-Berkley). The book was an immediate success, unwittingly assisted by vocal skepticism from 60 Minutes TV commentator and columnist, Andy Rooney. The book and its authors were featured on dozens of TV talk and network programs. It has gone on to more than thirty printings in several languages. Martin co-authored two more books about Anderson: We Are Not Forgotten and Our Children Forever (Berkley).
In 1981, Martin and Anderson began hosting Psychic Channels on Viacom Cablevision, the first program of its kind on commercial TV. It provided a forum for both callers and top name guests in the paranormal. The popular show ran throughout the 1980s, with a two-year waiting list for studio audience tickets. Inspired by the public acceptance of Anderson’s gifts and his belief that Anderson's story should be told worldwide, Martin co-authored We Don’t Die (Putnam-Berkley). The book was an immediate success, ironically helped by public skepticism from 60 Minutes TV commentator and columnist, Andy Rooney. The book and its authors were featured on dozens of TV talk and network programs. It has gone on to more than thirty printings in several languages. Martin co-authored two more books about Anderson: We Are Not Forgotten and Our Children Forever (Berkley).
In 1997, Martin co-authored Love Beyond Life (HarperCollins and Dell), based on twenty years of research about life after death communications. Both We Don’t Die and Love Beyond Life were named on the USAToday top ten best-selling list of paranormal books in 1998.
Most recently, he co-authored with William J. Birnes, The Haunting of the Presidents (Signet). In all, Martin now has more than one million books in print. He has co-authored or contributed to more than a dozen books about the paranormal. He also wrote articles and a regularly featured column for Psychic World Magazine.
PROJECTS AND CREDITS
His Cablevision show The Joel Martin Show, was a top-rated Long Island nightly interview/talk show (1983-94), earning the prestigious CableACE award.
In 1995, Martin joined Margaret Wendt Productions in Los Angeles to produce, write, consult, research, or appear on many cable network TV programs and documentaries, including Psychic Chronicles for UPN-TV. Other Wendt Productions about the paranormal and unexplained phenomena were for the History, A&E, Discovery and Learning Channels. He contributed his paranormal expertise to several video series including The Healers produced and hosted by Margaret Wendt; and provided research for Wendt video and TV projects about death and dying with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and Jesse Stearn, noted author of the paranormal, astrology and alternative health books.
Today, Martin is in demand by TV producers for his paranormal knowledge. Most recently, he contributed to HBO, CNN, NBC, FOX, ABC, CBS, American Movie Classics, Turner Networks in France, England and Japan for the TV series X Files, as well as the Associated Press and Time Magazine.
Martin feels that the greatest enemies to the exploration of unexplained phenomena are the charlatans and amateur fortune tellers who exploit the general public and give mediums a bad name. Anxious to avoid any connection with these bogus individuals, Joel conducts his investigations of the paranormal with the help from very qualified experts, and interviews only those individual who have, in one way or another, proven their true ability and belief in their gift.
2007: Radio Show with Margaret Wendt, "The Spiritual Truth"
Margaret Wendt and Joel Martin separate good from evil while exposing the truth behind all things spiritual on The Spiritual Truth. With the magic of internet radio, there is now freedom to tell stories like never before—the real spiritual truth and nothing but the truth. Today, as the world continues to present disturbing stories from beyond--- unclear in nature or spiritual mysteries that need to be told--Margaret Wendt and Joel Martin will be there to demystify the stories and separate fact from fiction on their weekly radio show. In a world of charlatans, exploitation and false promises, Wendt and Martin get to the bottom of things. But they’ll also bring you to The Other Side, if you care to go.
Martin lives in Long Island, New York with his family and pets; the father of two grown children, and one very small granddaughter, he travels frequently, loves history, the beach and remains a professional artist.