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Forums Forums Answering Skeptics and Debunking Cynics Debunking Cynics, call Diogenes, Idle Gossip & putting my money where my mouth is

last updated by  Jude 16 years, 9 months ago
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  • #62767
    Pam B
    Keymaster

    Warning: This thread contains derogatory, and abusive language, aimed at people who believe in John Edward, life after death, after death communication, and anyone who enjoys this board. If you don’t want to hear it — don’t read on.

    Every time someone from another discussion board gets banned for violating our guidelines — (in my living room, this isn’t a “public forum”) — they tend to go back to their own board and boast about their experience here, in an attempt to stir up other members to come here and support them.

    When that happens, our daily “new member” numbers jumps up noticeably with cutsie nick names like “luvtinayothers”
    and comments in their sig lines like “i do what the voices in my head tell me to”. It’s not hard to figure out why, especially when I can access what site someone comes here from.

    The following are selected excerpts from a thread located at a skeptical discussion board.

    I’m only sharing this, because I keep getting emails from these people, who are under some delusion that if you post on this board, you’re not allowed to go out and read other boards, or pick up a book, and that you are dissuaded from skeptical thinking or discussion. They seem to think that I’m somehow able to control your ability to do such things, therefore qualifying us as a “cult.” By the way, don’t forget to drink your purple Kool-aid before reading on ;)

    I place these comments from that other board here, because if this is what people are saying on an internet discussion board that prides itself in “uncensored skeptical discussion and critical thinking”, some of you might be dealing with similar viewpoints in your personal lives. I want to give everyone an opportunity to respond to these viewpoints, and tell us what you think about this kind of discussion: seeing as you are the subject of the discussion.

    The title of my thread sums it up for me. This is the opportunity to “debunk the cynic”. Call Diogenes, because the skeptic Diezel’s call for responsible, tolerant behavior is refreshing and admirable. I consider it idle gossip to speculate on what someone’s motives might be for doing anything at all. “Putting your money where your mouth is” is my posting this thread here at all, because I’m accused of not allowing our members to hear “opposing views”. Some of these comments are based in ignorance and hate, with an attempt to mask it under “skeptical thinking”. When was the last time the word “idiot” had to be used to make a convincing empiracle argument?

    There are 3 dozen or so new members here now, from that other board, that will have an opportunity to see your responses, and hear YOUR point of view.

    I know that some of these comments might initially make you angry, but please try to respond within our guidelines of tolerance and respect. Remember that bigotry is learned, and that they have the same right to NOT believe, as we do to believe.

    Here then, are the opposing views:

    #74597
    Pam B
    Keymaster

    Claus Larsen aka “Cantata”
    Well, well….
    I don’t consider myself trolling on the JE Friends board. I went there to see for myself (exhibiting true skeptical behaviour) if it was as bad as some here had claimed.

    Ladyhawk:
    Logical debate is like kryptonite to these kinds of people. These are the FIENDS…whoops, I mean, FRIENDS of John Edward…. (How could I get that mixed up???)

    Tricky
    You know, it might be illustrative (as well as fun) to go to the Edward website and post as a believer. Claim you have had a paranormal experience, then keep becoming more and more outrageous with each post until you reach the threshold of their credulity, assuming, of course, there is such a thing.

    TLN
    They don’t want to hear alternative points of view. It’s too dangerous to their fantasy world.

    Diezel
    In that definition, which seems to be used on this board also, I can’t help but say that you are a troll on the Friends of JE board. Especially since you knew you were going to piss people off and get banned. You can’t claim you went there in search of debate or education. You know better than that. Anyone that has been on this board for any length of time knows that.

    Sorry Claus, but you were a troll.

    That’s all well, but anyone going over to the JE board knows that they are not interested in the truth.

    I have really been thinking about this lately. We don’t like trolls and don’t like people using ad hominem attacks, yet I see us doing it also. I just want to be fair across the board.

    TLN
    Claus and I actually have points to make and I suspect Claus is actually interested in reaching people. No, we don’t like trolls, but we don’t ban them just becasue they disagree with us. Censoring all other points of view is the halmark of a cult.

    I was, for a time anyway, interested in helping people and trying to prevent them from being victimized.

    I feel the difference between me doing that and a Mormon knocking on my door is my point of view can be proven empirically.

    Sorry, but I can’t agree. As long as you aren’t being racist in front of me, I am not going to seek you out and correct you.

    Diezel
    And, I would have to disagree about your empirical comment also. You think it is ok, because you think you are right. Well, so do the JW’s. [Jehova’s Witnesses] Empirical or not, you are using the same excuse.

    As for helping, that is admirable, but mostly a lost cause. On that board, anyway. If you wanted to reach the fence-sitters over there, you could have just posted a link to this board and stated that if anyone wanted to learn a few things about the paranormal for themselves, they could come over here and find out. The “believers” wouldn’t bother, but the fence-sitters might. I am sure we still have some lurkers from the last encounter we had with the JE board.

    Sorry, and I am not picking on you, but I still have to say it is trolling for anybody on this board to go over to that board and try to debate.

    Phildonnia
    Here’s a funny one though:

    In the “Scientific Study” forum, there is a notice that “Skeptical Discussion not allowed in this folder”.

    This is science, dammit! Take your skeptical discussion elsewhere!

    Diezel
    Oh, I was a true skeptic also. I went there, checked it out, and realized very quickly that the people did not want to hear what I had to say. I could have said it, but I realized that I would have only been posting to satisfy my own ego, to show myself how smart and right I am and how I could destroy their arguments with simple logic and reason. But, like I said, it would have been for my own ego, my own fun. Because I knew those people didn’t want to hear it.

    Be honest with yourself, you did wanted to post to make yourself feel good, didn’t you?

    budddyh
    Your basic problem is that your definition of inappropriate is different from the board owners’. They can kick off (or not) who they like, and (if you ask me), they’ll get added pleasure out of people coming here and whining about it.

    Claus Larsen aka Cantata
    Sure, I felt good. Not because I know everything (I wish), but because I can argue from reason and not blind belief.

    Diezel
    We need to be consistant and follow the rules we expect others to follow. We get enough bad mouthing for views, we don’t need to create double standards for our behaviour. And yes Claus, I know they have a double-standard for conduct on their board. Let’s try to be better than they are. We think we are already, all I am asking is that we act like it.

    Jeff Corey
    What I didn’t understand was the statement by one moderator that she was banning nasty cynics because they upset the poor grieving people who came to get comfort on her board. Maybe they need to get a little dose of reality once in a while, rather than spending all their time sharing ghost stories on Pam’s site when they’re not travelling cross country to attend Edward’s so-called seminars.

    KelvinG
    It’s not your fault, Claus. You just made their tiny heads hurt. Their not used to a little thing called “thinking.” If they were, they wouldn’t have anything to do with John Edwards.

    De_bunk
    There is no point in posting sensible questions on a board that is totally “ass kissin'” John Edward…..

    Unless you’re like me and would go there deliberately to mess with them, and get banned.

    LadyHawk
    It is a shame that the Fiends of John Edward are not open to engaging in a healthy debate about their hero. As I said before, debate is like kryptonite to some people. I hope Claus (and others) are right in that Pam is trolling the JREF boards.

    Pam: if you are lurking about..check out a thread I started, “What if you were psychic”?. You might be interested in how the majority of folks in the JREF responded. Seems most JREFers could not bring themselves to take advantage of anyone after they’ve suffered a personal loss; a time when folks are the most vulnerable emotionally. Hasn’t your group ever asked yourselves the same questions I posed there? I think we can tell by Johnny’s behavior how he would have answered..

    Frozty
    Not necessarily… the question was what would you do if you were psychic. You don’t think Johnny (or Pam) really believes he is psychic, do you?

    His behavior answers a different thread: “What would you do if you had the balls, gall, and lack of ethics to defraud of the gullible?”

    pgwenthold
    Contrary to popular belief, all opinions are not equal. Some are justifiable, some have no justification, and some are in-between. Basically, the problem with a list of opinions is that I really don’t see why I should care about anyone’s opinion. That’s your opinion. Why should I care?

    xouper
    I hear ya, Phil. No question, they’re a bunch of closed minded wackos over there.

    I saw what I went there to see. It’s their board and they are entitled to behave like idiots and hypocrits if they want.
    I guess what I was getting at here with this long story is that some people get wrapped pretty tighly in their power trips. Pam seems no different. Sometimes, though, ya just wanna smack people like that.

    Ed
    I was outraged at the fact that some poor fucker thought that he was talking to his daughter that died in a car wreck.

    that board is for believers. never mind that i can cold read as well as je. pam clearly has the hots for the guy (nothing wrong with that) my problem comes from the lieing notion that there is some debate possible.

    We should post the paltalk url there and see if we can chat with some of these folks. It strikes me as odd that they put up with an iron curtin “no debate” policy. Wonder why?

    Incidentially, I am working on masking ip’s. if possible the world is ours.

    diezel, these folks are over the line, screw ’em.

    Storm Warning
    I haven’t posted there yet, I’ve just been reading posts…and trying desperately to keep from shouting “YOU IDIOTS” at some of them.

    #74609
    scrambled6
    Participant

    Boy, they’re a pleasant bunch.

    I have a question for them, just one…… Show me?

    If any of them can show or prove to me that life after death DOES NOT exist, than they may have my attention. There is MORE proof (testimonials, ADC, NDE, scientific studies) that it DOES exist than not existing at all. This stems back hundreds even thousands of years ago. This is not somethiing new.

    Can they show me any proof what so ever that there is NOT another realm that exist once we die? Can they? The answer is no. They are only showing us their attitude, their temper and their hostility towards us. Is that all they got? Sadly yes.

    In the meantime……regarding JE and what he does. I don’t defend him, I need not to. What is their explanation of the thirty validatons that I received from him when I had a reading? Oh yes, mind reading, cold reading….

    Yes everyone, JE was reading my mind when my father came through and mentioned about the tile work that my husband & I just did in our bathroom the week of our reading.

    Yes everyone, JE was reading my mind when my father acknowledged a birthday that had just past and that we flew my mother up from Fla. to celebated her 65th.

    Yes everyone, JE was reading my mind of the cause of my fathers death.

    Yes everyone, JE was reading my mind when twenty or so dead relatives came through with exact names let alone specific dates.

    Yes everyone, JE was reading my mind with the cause of my father-in-law’s car accident of what had happen to him prior to hitting a cement barrier.

    Should I go on? There’s more! Oh and the cold reading that JE does, I’ll fill you in later and tell you about them some other time.

    Spent waaaay to much energy on this debate….ok, who’s next………….now don’t forget……show me??

    Take care!
    Cyndy

    #74592
    marcia
    Participant

    I find their posts mostly frightening………..not at all enlightening. I certainly resent being called an idiot by someone who knows nothing about me and has presented me one logical explanation for what they believe. As I have often said, I am not 100% sure about John Edward, but neither can I dismiss what he does. I have and will continue to absorb information about where I can find this “proof” that what I have seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears was a combination of chicanery and my own mind’s over developed wish to believe. Please by all means tell me the name of a good book, or web site that will convince me. I’ve visited all those sites I’d be willing to bet you call “home” and found the cult atmosphere a bit much and the link on each site to the same articles over and over tells me there is little new or unique in your arsenal…….it’s the same old cold reading and private detective work claim over and over and over. BUT……show me something different, I’ll be glad to check it out and apply the logic, the same way I did BEFORE I began to form any opinion about John Edward and what he does. Tell me about your research……..what books, what sites, what seminars have you attended that would lead me to believe you’ve given the other side of the coin the same consideration I’ve given yours.
    Why would you would want to visit or attempt to post to a site you claim has no validity? When I have visited the skeptic sites, I’ve managed to do so without having the urge to post and call people names or belittle their beliefs………..if I’ve found something of interest, I check it out further, if I don’t, I leave quietly and that’s the end of it. So apparently you visit this board for entirely different reason………..it would appear that it’s simply to search for fodder for your negative and nasty postings to each other. How can you expect anyone to take you seriously when that is all you have to offer?

    #75098
    Amanda
    Participant

    Not only do I find these people dangerous and frightening…
    I find them hilarious!!

    OOh!! I think I found a new hobby….I need to go over there and pose as a septic…ahem I mean “skeptic” (now how could I have made that mistake) and see if I can cross any of those fence sitters over to our side!! NOT!

    How sad that these intelligent scientific minds are going to waste bashing us and what we believe.

    Nothing better to do I guess….

    OH…. Pam!!! I drank my Koolaid!!!
    Do I get a cookie now?;)

    #75156
    Pam B
    Keymaster

    Yesssssssssss Amanda, that’s a good girl….here’s your cookie.

    It’s a special cookie, for your pc. You see, when your pc eats this cookie, it prevents you from browsing skeptical web sites, or searching on “skeptical inquiry” at search engines. It also prevents you from going to the library and bookstores in case you might want to research skeptical inquiry. It knows when famous PMS (profesisonal media skeptics) are going to be on Larry King Live and it causes that channel to blank out for an hour.

    Would you expect any less from your cult leader? ;)

    #75157
    sgrenard
    Participant

    I also enjoyed reading the posts in reference to the thread I was involved which piqued their interest. I already told Pam that I hadn’t chuckled and smiled to myself this much in a long time. However, I was disturbed (not exactly frightened) by how whatever I wrote was twisted from their point of view. I found the process interesting. There was also a serious gross misrepresentation of an example I gave.

    I pointed out that their leader, when appointing impartial referees (after all its his million) for his challenge always seems to pick his buddies. I pointed out that if you were a party to a legal case in which the judge and jury were your friends, this would not only be unethical it would be illegal. This was translated to …I “said Randi was a criminal.” I am happy that a number of them were skeptical enough of the reports they got to come and see for themselves and I had no objection to that.
    As people who call themselves skeptics I would expect nothing less. The stuff that Pam posted above shows that some of these folks were quite willing to opine without investigating objectively themselves, the very thing we on this side object to.

    I am positive there are some fairly bright people over there given the level of some of the conversation but it is a pity they waste their time as you indicate instead of open mindedly being skeptical of issues and developing NEW hypotheses or theories to account for their worldviews and beliefs. But again, I am reminded that for some of us abandoning our beliefs and worldview is an enormously difficult thing to do. It was and continues to be for me.

    #75184
    prudy
    Participant

    I’m sorry, but… oh, chortle chortle chortle guffaw guffaw! With the exception of Diezel, these folks are pretty hard to take seriously, even as trolls! I’m always amused by people who 1) believe that intellect is superior to spirituality and 2) somehow believe that *they* are intellectually superior! I love how they talk about “helping” us poor mental deficients by introducing us to those paragons of virtue, Logic and Truth! And let’s not forget Empirical Proof! My goodness, do any of these people actually own a dictionary? If so, they should look up the word empirical. As for logic, I see no evidence that any of these correspondents have a particular talent for the discipline. Besides, the machinery of traditional logic is of precious little use in the more demanding sciences… obviously there are no chaos mathematicians in this group of profound thinkers.

    Here’s my favorite quote from Claus Larsen aka Cantata:

    gurgle. This is a rather telling little statement. It can be rewritten this way: “I like to argue and I love being right so I go looking for people whom I (mistakenly) believe are even stupider than I. This way I can pretend that I’m brilliant.”

    There’s a spriritually elevated character, eh?

    Folks, there’s no reason to be upset about anything these people have to say. There are no candidates for any category of the Nobel prize in this group. If I were a better person, I’d feel sorry for them and their pathetic bids for validation. To me, it’s more important to cultivate kindness than it is to cultivate (or presume to cultivate) intellect. It’s unfortunate that I can’t control my all-too-human propensity to laugh at people who seriously believe they’ve got everything figured out, and can’t wait to “teach” the rest of us.

    Regards, Prudy

    #75183
    Tanner2
    Participant

    I have to admit at first I was really ticked off reading what they were saying. But when I got to the point of Pam having the hots for John, I had to laugh out loud. If you really have nothing to say, you might as well make something up and throw in some foul language. They were even fighting with each other.

    Thanks for giving us a taste of what it could be like if this board wasn’t monitored so closely.

    Tanner

    #75169
    RC
    Participant

    The thread at Randi site is hilarious. That’s all I can say. I was going to respond, but I have many more important things to do.

    I have to give them credit. They finally got me to look at Randi’s discussion board. I even registered. Strange that they demand a mailing address to participate in the discussion board. Of course I put a fake one. Guess I’ll never get the Randi Xmas catalog.

    Now, Pam, where’s my Kool-Aid?

    #75166
    VTFlowerGirl
    Participant

    This is why I don’t deal with the skeptics anymore.

    The first reason is the because I believe what thoughts you think, either positive or negative, multiply and that energy comes back to you in the form it was sent out, positive or negative. Dwelling on what such sad, closed minded sewer dwellers think is nothing but a waste of time and creates nothing but bad energy.

    However, via positive thoughts, such as prayer, etc….. we can change their bad energy to good energy for ourselves so that we may stay balanced. I think of white light so hot it’s purifying.

    Now I wanted to use this someplace else, but I guess I can use it here. Regarding skepticism:

    “TC Lethbridge measured people’s psychic potentials with his pendullum and found vast differences with a cross-section of people. He also found that everyone’s potential varied depending on their health and emotional state. According to him, most pepole were in a range from zero to fifty, but a few people actually had negative psychic potential. He described these people as “vampires” drawing energy away from others. If you have ever been in the company of someone who left you feeling drained and exhaused, you will have met one of these “vampires”. Fortunately, there are not too many of them around.

    I have found that skeptics often have the same draining effect. For many years, I did home psychic parties and it was always easy to tell if there was a skeptic in the room, as my results were never as good. Incidentally, after one of those parties, a skeptic came up to me and booked a party for her friends. she had been impressed with what I had done, even though I had not been very happy myself. At her party, my results were much better, and this must have been because she was no longer skeptical, or was at aleast willing to suspend disbelief.

    TC Lethbridge was one scientist who accepted the psychic world as being real……another was Solco tromp, a professor of ggeology. Tromp believed that parapsychologists, doctors, and psysicists would have to work together in harmony to explain the reality of dowsing. He doubed that this would ever happen, as he considered most scientists to be lacking in courage and insight. Not much has changed since 1949 when Tromp made his observations.”

    —-excerpted from “Dowsing for Beginners” by Richard Webster.

    Dowsing is much like what John Edward does. A lot of people just don’t understand. Like John says, there’s no message for those cynics because there’s nobody there to hear.

    Just my two cents, since the gloves are off.

    #75234
    kimk
    Participant

    Well, I normally wouldn’t waste my time replying but I have to this time. You see, I owe so much to Pam and everybody here. If it wasn’t for you guys, how would I ever live in my fantasy world? Besides, I’m tired of reading those big bad books about dead people and using my computer for research.

    Now that I have this board to read, I can continue to only believe what you tell me and never have another original thought in my little tiny brain. Given the fact that I am a teacher and graduate student, you can see how I am the last person who would ever want to actually THINK. It’s a good thing their board exists so we can learn the truth.

    Now Pam, exactly how much Kool Aid does one have to drink for the full effect? Pass the cookies…I’m afraid I might start thinking for myself again…… :D

    #75203
    AriesMoon
    Participant

    ARIESMOON’S IMAGINARY “DEBATE” WITH A CYNIC

    ARIESMOON: I like to watch Crossing Over with John Edward. I think what he does is real.

    CYNIC: Oh really? Have you ever heard of cold reading? John Edwards is a con artist and you are a gullible fool.

    ARIESMOON: Yes I have heard of cold reading and I don’t think Mr. Edward falls into this category – he is much too specific with the information he gets.

    CYNIC: John Edwards claims to be able to talk to dead people. There is no scientific proof that this is possible. If he thinks he really can talk to dead people, he should take the million dollar challenge. Of course, he won’t because he’s a fake and you are a moron for believing in him.

    ARIESMOON: I believe Mr. Edward has stated that he is not interested in trying to prove himself to anyone. Besides, he was tested in studies at the University of Arizona and those studies go a long way in proving survival of consciousness.

    CYNIC: Mr. Edwards is not interested in trying to prove himself? How convenient. The Arizona studies are seriously flawed and directed by a man who believes in the easter bunny. You and others like you are stupid and deluded. I’ll bet you believe in ghosts, the Loch Ness monster and UFO’s too!

    ARIESMOON: So far you have called me a gullible fool, a moron, stupid and deluded and you have never met me. This is an extraordinary claim!! I am not any of these things.

    CYNIC: Yes you are.

    ARIESMOON: Then prove it! Do you have scientific data to back up your “belief” that I am a stupid, deluded, moronic, gullible fool? You shouldn’t make such statements unless you can back them up with evidence. Show me the proof. Show me the scientific laboratory repeatable double-blind studies that were done that prove your beliefs! We both know that I do not have to prove that I am NOT all those things, there is no way to prove a negative. The burden is on you.

    CYNIC: There are no such studies!

    ARIESMOON: Then how can you have a debate with me about what kind of person I am? All you have is anecdotal evidence and that proves nothing. You are not thinking critically! Use your brains! Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof!

    CYNIC: I am smarter than you, I like to sting you with words and I think it is fun. It is even more fun when I ridicule you in front of my friends. It makes me feel important! You see, the only way that I can really feel good about myself, is by putting other people down. Besides, I’m just trying to save you from a charlatan you idiot.

    ARIESMOON: I give up.

    NOTE TO ANY SKEPTICS READING THIS: This board is the ONLY place that I know of on the web where people can ask questions, discuss and explore their feelings about John Edward and other related topics without being belittled and ridiculed. That is why we come here. We are not perfect. We are not a cult. We are not “followers” of JE. Some of us are curious. Some of us are comforted. Some of us firmly believe in life after death. Some of us are not as sure. You have made fun of our “Scientific Studies” folder, but the fact that such a folder exists on this site points out that we don’t just blindly believe in anything and everything “paranormal” but that we want to know what kind of testing is going on, what possible headway is being made towards the proof that you skeptics so strongly demand from us. You don’t corner the market on intellect. Give us a little credit for the exploration.

    #74938
    sgrenard
    Participant

    Bravo Ariesmoon!

    #75499
    Amanda
    Participant

    Hey!

    I don’t think my koolaid’s working!!! :shrug:
    What time does our space ship leave?

    :alien:

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