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    sorry about the typos folks.


    Originally posted by asafoetida

    think your “What part of that is so hard to understand?” comment to be unnecessarily sarcastic. I posted my opinions openly and honestly. There are certainly other skeptics here that take a harder line than I do. I’ve been nothing but respectful and honest.

    I never suggested that this was a cult or anything like one.



    My comment wasn’t meant to be sarcastic, but I can see how it came across that way. I really don’t understand why skeptics/cynics from Randi’s board want to post here and I was sincere in trying to understand why. I do think there is some honest misunderstanding about the purpose of the “answering skeptics” folder and hopefully it can get clarified.

    You’re right– you didn’t make the “cult” comment. I read the thread at Randi’s today and made assumptions. Sorry about that–RC


    Originally posted by marcia
    I find it a little disconerting to respond to someone who chooses to use a name that includes as a foe….that implies first and foremost that I am to consider you an adversary. Again, not the reason for this board or the intent of it’s members…..thus the word “friends” of John Edward. You are clearly stating that you are not a friend, certainly not of his, and by association, of ours.


    asafoetida is a gum resin that gives worsteshire sauce most of its flavor. I didn’t expect you to research it, but I think it’s fair to say that you jumped the gun a bit.

    Having said that, I am willing to hear what you have to say, as long as it doesn’t develop into as someone said previously….you say it’s black, I say it’s white. I visit skeptic boards, I never stoop to calling anyone stupid, although I will say I could safely use the term hostile. Why the hositility?

    Beats me. I’m not familiar with your experiences, and I’ve certainly never called you stupid.

    One of the things I see as a common theme is that skeptics want to “wake me up” or alert me to the fact that I am so pitiful that I am being taken in. So ok, I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you have the interest of John Q public at heart, which is frankly more than you allow me…..

    pardon my english Marcia, but what the hell do you know about “what I allow you”? You’re accusing me of the same thing that you are guilty of yourself, ie; assuming to know my thoughts and/or motives.

    so what can you specifically tell me, other than the fact that I haven’t thoroughly researched the art of cold/warm/hot reading or mentalists trickery anything that would change my mind? Because I am familiar with it and can’t quite make it fit John Edward…….pray tell how do you? Can you tell me what information you have that I don’t or how I am misunderstanding the information I do have about the art of cold reading that could be construed as you being the expert and me being the novice? When I have read skeptic sites discussing a reading, it seems to be those folks slipping into the the very vague generalities they accuse John of using in order to make their point. I often find myself wondering if we have been watching the same broadcast.

    I can’t believe I’m about to say this. This is the last thing I expected, but the people that have responded to me so far are, for the most part, the most closed-minded, pre-judicial people I have ever encountered on the entire internet! Do you understand what I’m saying? Fundamental Christians have extended a warmer welcome to me. There are snake-handling, poison drinking people from Sand Mountain that have shown me more courtesy! I came here in the spirit of honest debate. The fact that you’ve been spammed by hundreds of other skeptics is irrelevent. We get slammed at all the time, but at least people are allowed to speak their peace and make their case. They are given honest well thought out replies with plenty of references and you people aren’t even interested in hearing what I have to say!

    I knew this was a possibility when I first posted, but I thought there’s at least be more manners involved. Don’t worry, I’m leaving. I will be true to my word.

    Can you tell me what seminars you have attended and what your experiences have been that might have led you to a specific conclusion that there was collusion of any sort as that seems to the most recent popular conclusion.

    I have said absolutely nothing about collusion, nor do I know what you’re talking about. As to seminars, that’s one of the topics I was looking forward to discussing here. I attended a discussion by Dr. Schwartz at the CSICOP/secular humanism conference in Atlanta back in November. I actually had some nice things to say about the guy, but I don’t see any point in it now.

    I am willing to listen to anything you think might provide edification on the subject, but I am not willing to have myself or other members called names or be belittled in any way. If you are able to do that, then you have my attention….my concern is that in actuality, that is not your true desire. Can you prove me to be mistaken?

    Marcia, I think my introductory posts showed that I was being polite and honest. If that’s not enough to keep you from assuming the worst, I really don’t see the point.


    Nice research on my name. Asafoetida was also used to ward off evil spirits as garlic and other pungent substances were. The name means, “Stinking Gum”.


    I haven’t read the thread you’re talking about, but if you have you would know that I didn’t contribute to it. (I mentioned my JREF screen name in my first post.) I won’t be held responsible for what others have said.

    Guys, I’m not one of those people who threatens to leave and then comes back later to say, “Oh yeah?” I’m done. I thought the responses to my initial introduction would take a few days to sort out and then I could discern whether or not I was welcome here. It’s obvious that this much time will not be necessary on my part. I’ll probably lurk for a while to check on follow ups, but I’m not about to waste any more time on a group of closed-minded, presumptious, persecution-complexed people as I’ve seen so far.

    Mod’s, feel free to delete the whole thread. Hell, cancel my membership if you want to. You folks deserve each other.



    asafoetida, I’m just curious, but if there is no God, no life after death, no absolutes, then why does anything matter? If one day the earth will be incinerated by the sun, the earth will lose it moon and have too wobbly an orbit to support life, if the Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxies are going to collide and the earth (since our solar system is in an outer arm of the Milky Way galaxy), why does it matter what anyone believes? If I die with a smile on my face believing that I am going to paradise, or heaven, or whatever you want to call it, If I die with no fear, and you die thinking that it’s the end, what difference does it make? Why are skeptics, if they believe that we perish with no hope of eternal life, then why do you care? Why does anything matter to you at all? Why are skeptics so bound and intent on evangelizing believers to become skeptics? Why do skeptics want us to be fearful of death? Why do they want us to believe that this life is all there is and that there is no hope of eternal life? Why do you care what I believe? – Art


    Hi Asa,

    LOL. If you were sincere in knowing how welcome you are at this board, perhaps you could have waited longer than 2 hours and 47 minutes to determine that we’re the most “closed-minded, presumptious, persecution-complex minded people” you’ve ever come across? Look who’s talking about making assumptions!

    You’ll notice that I already clarified my earlier sarcastic comments and acknowledged that I made assumptions based on the events at Randi’s board today. You were just as sarcastic in responding to my genuine offer to provide some links to good discussion boards where skeptics and believers can post uncensored.

    I don’t want to make any assumptions, but based on your immediate responses to all postings and grand finale less than 3 hours after your introduction, I’m thinking this was a little test that will undoubtedly be reported elsewhere.

    Yes, you got a pretty cold welcome after your pretty cold introduction. What did we learn from you? (1) you’re a skeptic, (2) you came from Randi’s board, (3) you don’t believe JE has paranormal abilities (4) you have a negative opinion of him. You did express respect for the rules and that you would be polite, but asked if people here are interested in dissenting and negative opinions. Maybe if you had told us a little more about yourself and what you hoped to gain/learn/share with us, you might have received different responses!

    Pam B

    I woke up this morning to find this thread moved to the archive for my review.

    I read the last few posts and thought to myself “here we go again, same old story.” So, I went back and read through the thread to try to find out where the thread conversation bad. It showed clues in the beginning, but became blatant with

    “Sorry to hear that you’re no longer open-minded.”

    That’s a twisting of the following statement:

    “As a former open minded skeptic myself, I found that the best way to decide what is and isn’t real was to ask a lot of questions and then, as somebody who has spent thirty years in the medical profession, written books, conducted large medical studies in the U.S. and overseas, seek out the scientific basis, if there was any, for what John Edward and other psychic mediums do.”

    The conversation degraded from there.

    Asa, to answer your original question, there’s no reason for someone like you to post here. I find you to be insulting and argumentative. I disagree with you in the definition of your skepticism verses your cynicism. Your mind is made up, and you want to tell us what’s on your mind. No thanks.

    This part of the discussion board is a place for skeptics to get to know us. An open house, in my living room. Comments like yours above, and the ones you went on to make, (too many to spend pointing out) are not welcome here. Neither are you.

    That answers your original question. I’ll add that I’m saddened that you couldn’t restrain yourself, because it almost looked like you were someone who we could have a decent conversation with. Maybe it’s just bad habits picked up from unmoderated discussion boards, but THIS board raises the bar on respectful conversation. We expect the same level of equality and respect if we were having a face to face conversation. Maybe your sarcasm works in your personal life with those that love and know you, but it doesn’t work here.



    I see that all you did was latch on to things that made you angry and come back at me swinging. I wish instead you would have taken me up on my repeated statements of willingness to listen. If I misunderstood your feelings about John Edward (but I don’t think I did, I just used different verbiage) then it would have also been a pefect opportunity to tell me otherwise.
    I didn’t in any way insinuate you had anything to do with the “John Edward disclaimer” item on Mr. Randi’s site, but as a member, I was asking you what point you see in such posts and how you can take someone seriously that stoops to such levels.
    In other words……..what is it about him that attracts you to participate as a member? I don’t see anything he does that is of any benefit……………obviously you do………I want to hear what it is. In fairness, I did ask you to direct me to any informational site or publication that might cause me to look at John Edward in a different light…………I didn’t see that in your response either.
    You passed up the very opportunity you said you came here hoping to have. I may have actually been the most willing to listen and for some reason I seem to have rubbed you the wrong way the most.
    One more time…………if there is something you can point me towards that you feel is relevant to this subject, I’m willing to look at it. I prefer to educate myself on both sides of the equasion and then make up my own mind and I was also asking if you had done the same, and if so, to tell me what those things were and how they influenced your opinion.


    I’m very new here but maybe we are coming on a little strong here. Do these things ever work out to a good debate? I’m feel good enought with my thoughts that I don’t know how a person from Randi’s board would hurt my feeling. We all know what we feel and know to be true. Maybe we could help someone else to see our side. Like I said I’m new here. Don’t probobly understand past history


    I don’t think asa hurt anyone’s feelings………maybe the other way around. I’m just not sure what the intention of visiting this board were. asa seemed to think he/she was attacked, while I thought members of this forum were being attacked. Probably some misunderstanding on both sides.

    Pam B

    I’m sure that Asa is a wonderful person, and it may just be that they have some bad communication habits – but “”Sorry to hear that you’re no longer open-minded.” is not conducive to a two-way conversation in my book.

    It’s a pattern that repeats itself over and over here – someone claiming to desire open and respectful conversation, and eventually they slip and show that really don’t have the ability to communicate respectfully.

    The original question was “What I want to know is, is there any point in my posting here at all? ” Personally, that type of introduction doesn’t scream out “I’m here to communicate openly”. If you have to ask that question – should you really be here?

    There’s at least one person that stands out in my mind, that was able to stay here for quite a long time and communicate in a fair, respective and even kind manner – and was a skeptic. I knew he had no intentions of flaming or slamming us personally for our beliefs, he had a sincere desire to learn how our minds worked.

    He may have ticked off a few people from time to time, but I honestly feel it was the medium of internet communications that failed, not the people.

    He’s my White Crow. I truly believe there are skeptics who can respectfully debate, who will agree with our definition of “respectful”. They are few and far between to be sure, but they are out there, and that’s why I keep this forum open to them. Some of us are married to skeptics, and THEY don’t feel the need to belittle us.


    True…………I have a whole family of skeptics myself…..but I’m working on them !
    And you’re right, asa’s introduction didn’t exactly sound like there was going to be a whole lot of openess…….I just would have liked to have had some of my questions about where to find material other than Randi’s site, Skeptic News, Skeptic’s Digest and CSICOP………all of which I’ve read and all which I still can’t apply to John Edward and make it stick. I also wanted to hear how as a member asa could support a site that posted the downright juvenile rantings about John that are on Randi’s main page.
    The first issue I can continue to do my own research about, the second issue I don’t think there could be any possible explanation for, so it no longer matters.
    When and if there are skeptical posts that are truly interesting, I will be anxious to see them.


    Hi and welcome, I’m new here, to and open minded to any conversation, I lean towards believing, but am still not 100%, but can anyone EVER be ??

    Regards Cheryl


    Hi Asa,
    There are certainly some lessons to be learned on communications here. For three pages of messages, the discussion went round and round and covered nothing. As a skeptic, I would like to understand more of Asa’s opinion regarding having watched the show and not having been convinced that something special is going on. I have been an engineer for twenty years, and try to figure out everything I see. I’ve seen almost all of the JE shows and looked at JE from many different angles, and came up with the conclusion that he is getting information that is very specific and not possible to guess. He is not deriving this information from those he is talking to. As a matter of fact, he frequently tells them to not say anything. I think that the most impressive thing about JE is when he is discussing something with someone, and the person concurs with John. If John doesn’t feel that the person is fully getting what he says, he tells them that they are not thinking of the right thing. What is the upside of this for him? He already got the individual to agree and say that he is right – Why would he pursue this further? Once he has a “hit” – if he questions it further, there is only downside – no upside. But pursue it he does… Where he is getting this information, I don’t know. I don’t believe that it is any sort of hoax. I believe that JE is getting this information by himself from somewhere. Whether it is from expired persons is another story. Certanly possible, but a leap of faith is required to come to that conclusion. I am interested in hearing how someone else watched the show and arrived at a different conclusion that mine. What did he see that I didn’t or vice versa?
    Thanks for the time


    I like your reply, I have also watched JE since his first show and I was a believer prior to JE, I saw a guy by the name George Anderson and he was doing the same thing sort of. but he was right on. I bought his books and became a full believer. Then our friend JE came along and really shook the cynics tree. They could not prove how JE does it, oor they are quick to comdem whithout serios research, JE has made it easier to not fear death.

    Spiritually yours,
    Rich C.

    JE has said it in the past, that he don’t have to defend what he does, I agree.:wave:


    Hehe… good comments. Of course it should be noted from the date of Asa’s last post that he didn’t find whatever it was that he was looking for and has long since moved on. Thanks for your observations just the same.

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