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Category Archive: Skepticism

Dec 11 2013

Another ‘Psychic’ Arrested in Florida

On the heels of the convictions of the Marks family for defrauding people under the guise of being “psychic,” another con man has been arrested in Florida for much the same thing. This one calls himself a “faith healer” and promises to align your chakras and all sorts of other wonderful things for an exorbitant …

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Dec 09 2013

Eyewitness Testimony and the Failings of Memory

Sharon Hill has an article in the Huffington Post about the many failings and misunderstandings of how our memory operates and the implications for the use of eyewitness testimony in criminal trials. She starts with a fact that is now very well-established in science:

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Nov 30 2013

Post-Mortem Debunking of Sylvia Browne’s Fraud

The Skeptical Inquirer has a pair of articles looking at the overwhelming evidence that the recently deceased Sylvia Browne was a con artist getting rich by fleecing the credulous. Bryan Farha tells the tale of how he exposed both her lies and her fraud:

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Nov 29 2013

Chopra’s Argument From Authority

chopra

Deepak Chopra has been in a bit of a row with Jerry Coyne and, predictably, has been making highly illogical arguments. Coyne has rightly bashed him for pseudo-scientific blathering and Chopra has fallen back on a blatant argument from authority.

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Nov 24 2013

I Am the New Sylvia Browne

Famed “psychic” Sylvia Browne is dead, which she did not include in her 2013 predictions for the year. She was supposed to be in Michigan a few weeks ago at, of all places, a casino, but she canceled due to health problems. Claiming to be in poor health turns out to be the only true …

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Nov 20 2013

California Psychics Love Freethought Blogs

On Sunday evening I received the following incredibly sincere email from Jennifer Davis of California Psychics. She clearly spent a lot of time exploring Freethought Blogs to determine that our audience would be very interested in being solicited as customers for their fraudulent services.

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Nov 19 2013

‘Proof’ That Humans are Extra-Terrestrial

There’s a new book out by an ecologist that claims that humans were placed here on earth by aliens, perhaps using earth as a penal colony. But he has proof! Hard evidence! What evidence? Oh, you’re gonna love this. We get sunburned. And bad backs. And alien origin is the only explanation.

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Nov 19 2013

New York ‘Psychic’ Gets Long Prison Sentence

This is the latest in a series of high profile criminal cases being brought against “psychics” for fraud. A con woman from Manhattan has been sentenced to five to fifteen years in prison, which was actually longer than the prosecutors had requested.

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Nov 14 2013

How to Become a Raelian

Carrie Poppy tells the story (well, begins to…this is only part one) of her attendance at a Raelian Happiness Academy, a five-day gathering of people being initiated into the weird UFO cult of Raelianism. There is apparently some kinky group sex involved, though they seem to have missed out on most of it:

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Nov 05 2013

Local ABC News ‘Journalism’

WGNO, the local ABC affiliate in New Orleans, apparently doesn’t even try to uphold the appearance of doing actual journalism. The station, whose motto is “God bless Louisian,” has an “article” — infomercial, really — about a local “psychic” named Cari Roy without even a hint of skepticism or actual reporting.

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Oct 27 2013

‘Psychic’ Phone Network Gets Punked

The term “schadenfreude” was created just for situations like this. A “psychic” network of “clairvoyant mediums” was punked when people took advantage of their offer of a free 5-minute reading by calling over and over again pretending to be different people.

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Oct 25 2013

‘Psychic’ Bus Driver Fired After ‘Premonitions’

A bus driver in Scotland who thought he was psychic has been fired for refusing to pick up children at certain locations on his usual route because he had a premonition that something bad would happen if he did so. And he says he’s going to appeal that decision.

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Oct 21 2013

Shocking News: ‘Power Bracelets’ Do Absolutely Nothing

Here’s the most unsurprising news you’ll ever read: Those Power Balance bracelets that are, or at least were, so popular do absolutely nothing for you. And the maker of them has apparently admitted that after they failed testing by an Australian skeptics organization.

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Oct 15 2013

The Woo of Crystal ‘Therapy’

One of the ways you can be quite certain that you’re dealing with some serious weapons-grade bullshit when it comes to medicine is when you hear phrases like “positive energy” and “restoring balance.” Christopher Wanjek takes a skeptical look at one of those “healing” techniques that utilizes such meaningless twaddle, crystal therapy.

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Oct 13 2013

Geller Orders Gorilla Made of Spoons

Fake psychic con man Uri Geller is apparently not getting enough attention these days (especially in the United States, where James Randi exposed him as a fraud decades ago) so he’s decided to order a statue of a gorilla made out of the spoons he so famously likes to bend.

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