August 5, 2005
A Potential Applicant of Very High Profile, Bigfoot=Bigbison, Internut Advice, Talk About Misrepresentation, Another Dry Hole, Cruise to Nowhere, Good Science, Bulletin!, Get-Rich-Quick Scheme, Van Praagh On the Ropes, Dangerous DVD, Indisputable Prize-Winner, He’s Disturbed, Our Stance on Atheism, Another News Flash, Astonishing, and In Closing….
Table of Contents:
Flash! Dr./Major David Morehouse, PhD, describes himself as “the worlds leading Remote Viewing teacher,” and he says he has trained “tens of thousands in this fascinating and life changing protocol.” Formerly a highly-decorated special operations officer in the US Army, he is the subject of a soon to be released movie, and author of the international best-seller “Psychic Warrior” which is available in 14 languages!
We are pleased to announce that we are presently in touch with Dr. Morehouse – through an intermediary – and he just may agree to try for the JREF million-dollar prize by performing Remote Viewing on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), certainly a prestigious venue, and one that will lend considerable authority to the tests. Mind you, I haven’t yet heard personally and directly from Dr. Morehouse, but I feel that a man who has successfully trained so many students in his art, will certainly be able to pass the simple tests required by the JREF, and take away the big prize. Until now, we’ve had only amateurs and students trying for the prize, but this is a full-time pro.
Dr. Morehouse offers for sale a $249.95 course in Remote Viewing via 21 CDs that give the student 22 hours of instruction, a 284-page workbook, 3 sealed missions, and an eye mask. You can go to toolsforwellness.com (tinyurl.com/8dn8e), scroll down to “LISTEN TO A SAMPLE” and you’ll be able to hear a 5-minute excerpt from that course. In that sample, Dr. Morehouse tells us that out of 14,500+ students who have taken the course, only two were failures! That gives us a huge crowd – you do the subtraction! – of potential winners of the JREF million, though I’m sure that Dr. Morehouse will snap it up before anyone else, and he’s the obviously one to test, with his expertise and ability in this art.
I’ll only mention briefly the fact that other Remote Viewers who have applied for the prize, all backed out, some after several years of dickering over details of the protocol. I feel confident that this teacher/expert will not disappoint us in that fashion. We’ll keep you informed of this matter as it develops, of course.
Some researchers at the University of Alberta decided to apply the modern technology of DNA testing to claims of recent Sasquatch sightings. We hope that their findings are respected more than the evidence submitted at the O. J. Simpson trial back in 1995, when one juror said she wasn’t convinced by it because there was one chance in 6.7 billion that it might not be a match – even though there aren’t that many persons on this planet. In the present case, it wasn’t identification of a specific individual that was being sought, just the species….
Sasquatch – also referred to as Bigfoot, Yeti, Meh-Teh, and the Abominable Snowman – is described as a large, hairy, two-legged ape-like creature that’s said to haunt the wilderness areas of western Canada and the United States. Stories of this beast date back to a time before Europeans settled the continent. Since scientists have catalogued the DNA of nearly all large animals in the Yukon such as bears and bison, a DNA test was conducted at the U of A of hair samples that several residents of Teslin, Yukon, say were left behind when an example of this so-far-mythological creature made a late-night run through their community in early July.
Not being much of a fantasist, University of Alberta wildlife geneticist David Coltman suspected that the hair was actually left behind by a much more mundane Yukon bison, and said that if it were to be of a Sasquatch, and if that beast is indeed a primate, then he would expect the sample to be closer to humans, chimpanzees or gorillas. This was the second report of the creature at this location in just over a year; a group of Teslin residents reported that they heard branches cracking and saw a big human-like creature run by a house, leaving behind large footprints. They collected the hair tufts, and gave them to Dr. Coltman.
Well, the DNA testing was done, and just as Dr. Coltman had surmised, it was from a bison. No mysterious monster, nor an alien from Mars – just a regular bison, though one long-dead. It appears to be from a tanned hide, too. As they often say in French, “Quel fromage!”
There’s something else to be learned here. Those who reported seeing “a big human-like creature” running by, weren’t necessarily lying or inventing a story. Not at all. Teslin is really out there in the wilderness, about 15 miles from the northern border of British Columbia, but I’m confident that bison don’t run through town every day. More likely, this just might have been someone in an old bison robe playing a gag on the neighbors, or that bison hair might have been laying around, unnoticed, for a long time. The point is that people can be mistaken, and aren’t always just making up stories.
We must credit TV station NBC4 in Washington, DC, which originally posted the Bigfoot article on their web site – as well as other media outlets that revealed the nitty-gritty on the story. As reader John Banghart reports:
They [NBC4] provided an update on the DNA testing during their 6 o’clock TV news. Turns out it was just your run-of-the-mill bison. No surprise there, but I must commend them on following up on the story and broadcasting during their prime news hour. It’s refreshing to see science make the news slot most often reserved for sensationalist mumbo-jumbo.
A chap has been writing me about some sort of secret government-sponsored “mind weapon” that puts sounds into his head – not an uncommon complaint for me to receive. I’ve tried to get him to accept my advice that he should seek medical help, but he persists. I did all I could, and finally had to cut off communication with him so that too much of my time would not be wasted trying to get him to be pragmatic about the matter. Immediately, seeing that his messages were not getting through, he enlisted others in his “network” to fire notes at me. I just had to share one of them with you here, this one fairly typical of a paranoid personality. He imagines that he has great powers, that I am similarly gifted, and that I’m fighting his attempts to be recognized:
First, Mr. Randi requires a certain amount of power to maintain his act. It requires technology to which the normal person does not have access. But we are out to expose this technology, and more, since by keeping it suppressed it is used mainly for unethical purposes. Like making millions of dollars for people who are otherwise barely qualified to flip burgers.
I can make stuff float and disappear, in fact I have applied for patents in this regard. Spent $80.00 bucks just to let them know I know. Pneuma (compression waves) and reflecting superposition can be used for so much more than to make money for someone that likes to dress up as a girl.
Therefore, you threaten him, and he will use his power and influence to discredit you. He would not be making the money he makes if we get loud and credible. But, that is just too bad for him. I'M SERIOUS.
Git' it while the gittin' is good - is my advice.
Well, I’m tossing out those dresses and lingerie, I can assure you. I never fooled anyone, anyway. The beard always gave me away. But I gotta get me some of that pneuma stuff so I can fool the other magicians.
Getting serious, though, such delusions are fostered by websites to which the earlier correspondent directed me as absolute proof of strange powers, because it was maintained by a “real scientist.” I was sent to www.mindjustice.org, (tinyurl.com/cnv9n) where we see perfect examples of paranoia that would delight any student of the subject. The organization sponsoring this site describes itself as
A human rights group working for the rights and protections of mental integrity and freedom from new technologies and weapons which target the mind and nervous system.
They deal with “victims' claims that the government is targeting them and testing new classified remote mind control weapons” on them. This is classic material. But go to www.heart7.net (tinyurl.com/94djl), which gets into the weirdo “MKULTRA” matter, a subject I just haven’t got the time nor the energy to get into here; it’s prime paranoid fodder. What particularly interests me is that one “authority” who pops up in both these sites is Eldon Byrd, a prime supporter of “psychic” Uri Geller. That – in itself – should provide the kiss of death for these fables. Comedian Woody Allen – I kid you not – is also brought in as a participant in this dastardly plot…!
A correspondent in Australia, Dr. Jamie Mulcahy, BVSc, is dismayed to see that EPRT (Electro Pressure Regeneration Therapy) devices are widely advertised there, and directs us to www.electroregenesis.com.au (tinyurl.com/c7hm8), where we find on the very first page rather good confirmation that he’s found some bona fide quackery. Here’s a choice quote from the part of the page titled "UCLA Paper Presentation":
The healing effects of electricity have always been ill understood. However, with the advent of subatomic particle physics and the electron theory of electrical current, explanations of electricity acting as an antioxidant become more likely.
That’s pure gobbledygook, obviously. And this is certainly not from a ”UCLA Paper Presentation,” as advertised; it wouldn’t get past the UCLA front door. And elsewhere on this quack site, we find the quotation, “Everything in Life is vibration” ascribed to Albert Einstein. Bullshit. Albert never said any such thing. Go to Google and search for that quotation, and you’ll find that it’s been repeated ONLY by the nut-sites, with no attribution of any sort that would allow it to be verified. It’s simply a fiction.
No other comment needed....
NZ reader Heather March tells us:
Found your site via "A Word A Day" and read the whole thing. Wish I had read it before spending $5000 on drilling for water at the exact spot "dowsed" by late father-in-law – which, he said, marked the crossing of two streams at different depths. Went as deep as the drill rig could go – far deeper than either stream. No water.
The excuse? – Oh, the streams must have moved.
I cautioned Heather not to berate her father-in-law before understanding the reasons behind his firm belief in his powers. I sent her to www.randi.org/library/dowsing for an understanding of the “ideomotor effect” that has understandably confused him….
Reader Michael J. Wyatt tells us that TV chef Alton Brown has proven H.L. Mencken’s statement that “One horselaugh is worth ten thousand syllogisms,” by posting this letter:
Dear Tom Cruise,
Your lack of belief in the existence of clinical depression tells me one thing: you didn’t spend $10 to see War Of The Worlds. If vitamins can possibly help me out of this spiraling funk, please let me know which ones. Dinos? Pebbles? Freds?
Please, I’m crying out for help.
Alton, marinate a chicken breast in a dry white wine, barbeque, cover with Sauce Bernaise, and enjoy. Then pick up a puppy and get your face licked. That’s my two-course recipe for depression. You agree?
Reader Renfield Kuroda in Tokyo brings our attention to the news that an extensive study has found that echinacea appears not to have any effect on the common cold. This can be seen at www.nytimes.com (tinyurl.com/86pcf).
An excerpt that Renfield offers:
"We were trying under the best possible conditions" to get echinacea to work, Dr. Turner said, explaining that the experimental design was so sensitive that it had found protective effects from other cold remedies that could not be duplicated in the real world. But Dr. Bauer, one co-author, was among those saying the study should be repeated with other echinacea species, preparations and doses. "I am always in favor of further studies," Dr. Bauer said. He himself takes echinacea, he said, and will continue to do so.
But Renfield comments:
What amazes me is: What exactly is wrong with Dr. Bauer that he can't believe his own science?
Hold on, Kuroda-san! Any scientist who opts to go back and repeat experiments using other parameters, is a true scientist. I applaud Dr. Bauer, and look forward to seeing further reports on this subject. If he believes that the variety of Echinacea he uses does have positive effects, then he can design and conduct experiments to test that possibility, and whatever the results are, we've learned something! The tests already performed didn’t prove that Echinacea doesn’t work as well as the “complementary medicine” people would have us believe; what has been shown is that tests done with those specific materials, using the described protocol, by those researchers, did not provide proof that the substance was effective to a significant degree. Those tests await attempts at independent replication, after which more specific conclusions can be offered.
That’s the way real science works….
On this same subject, reader John Hankinson chimes in with a quotation from another media account on this item:
Given the great variety of echinacea preparations, it will be difficult to provide conclusive evidence that echinacea has no role in the treatment of the common cold. Our study, however, adds to the accumulating evidence that suggests that the burden of proof should lie with those who advocate this treatment.
And John adds:
This is where we always end up getting stuck! The scientific community research these hypotheses and usually find no supporting evidence. They then state that the burden of proof lies with the claimant – but that has very little impact when compared with making bold claims of cures for “what ails you.”
Dedicated as we are to keeping you informed, we give you here – in full – the latest news flash and full report from Shawn Bishop re the answer of the journalist mentioned by Mr. Bishop at www.randi.org/jr/072205meters.html#12:
A reader suggests, concerning the complaint made by Brenda Dunne, director of Princeton University’s PEAR laboratory, that the JREF offer is not genuine:
It seems to me that if the JREF challenge is a "scam," it would be easy and simple for one of the detractors, such as Sylvia Browne, Brenda Dunne, et al, to accept it and expose the scam to the world, then they could go about their business with impunity. Why would they not do this?
Even better, since the JREF challenge is widely advertised, and we’re an open, reachable, 501(c)3 charity foundation which has made a public, binding, legal commitment to this offer, Sylvia and Brenda would have an open-and-shut legal case against us! Bring on the lawyers, ladies!
Reader Joe Granski tells us:
James Van Praagh was on LoveLine [radio] tonight on the east coast. I didn't hear the entire show, only the last hour or so, but what I heard was spectacular. Unlike most talk shows, there was no placating and encouragement of Van Praagh's nonsense. Adam Carolla, probably the most vocal skeptic and atheist on the radio, did not hesitate to call him out.
A woman called in named Anita, whose son had fallen off a cliff and died. Van Praagh did all the typical, untestable, mumbo-jumbo implying foul play, etc. Van Praagh told Anita that her son “wanted her to move on” and "psychically divined" that the woman had a shrine to her son set up in the living room with pictures and flowers. The intended reaction to this prediction was shock and amazement, but it was met, instead, with reason.
Here's (more or less) the conversation that followed:
At this point Van Praagh redirected the conversation.
Later in the show Adam Carolla was speaking more generally about psychics and intuition. Basically what he said is that whenever anybody takes their family to the airport they have a brief moment where they fear the plane will crash. When it doesn't happen they just forget about it, but on the rare occasion that it does they think, A-HA!
Van Praagh then went off on some incomprehensible rant about time and living outside of the third dimension. When he’d finished, Carolla's response was "See, you're smart though: If I wrote a book about my theories on this, no one would buy a goddamned copy... no denomination would follow my validity."
It was all said humorously, but it's nice to see a nationally syndicated personality basically call this guy a fraud who's just in it for the money. All in all, Adam Carolla wasn't as hard on Van Praagh as he could have been, but he was far more reasonable and skeptical than the more "legitimate" talk show hosts like Larry King. He was very clear, throughout, that he didn't believe any of it.
What was also funny was that Van Praagh was just doing what Adam Carolla and Dr. Drew do every night: listening to a person's voice and problems and making educated guesses about them. Only they do it more accurately, they make more concrete guesses, and admit when they're wrong. Further, they don't credit some arcane and esoteric BS, but, instead, credit the years they've been doing the show and listening to people's problems.
I realize that LoveLine isn't anything more than entertainment and pop-psychology, but it is a national forum and many young, impressionable people listen to it and are influenced by it. In this culture where skepticism is confused with cynicism, I'm glad that, at least occasionally, a tiny ray of light can get through. If only one 14-year-old out there took to heart that Van Praagh is a fraud, he or she would then be a little more skeptical of the next pop-mystic, and the next, and the next. And he or she would talk to their friends and the ball could start rolling.
This show was just a very small blip on the national scene, but, the way things are now, these blips are about all we've got.
Reader Anders Juhlin, of Skövde, Sweden, reports:
I just saw "Billy Connelly Live" on DVD. In one of his rants he goes after pseudoscience and makes this spot-on quote: "Feng Shui – move a chair and you'll be happy." I fell off my chair laughing. It's an old chair, but nonetheless I did it.
Ah, but were you any happier, Anders?
Some things, I must admit, just cannot be explained. Read what Aussie Geoff Green reveals to us:
I have had first-hand experiences of premonitions as an officer in the Australian Army in the Vietnam war.
A young conscript soldier who was just about to go into an ambush position, handed his Sergeant a letter to his fiancée. He later became a stockbroker in Melbourne. Another soldier was given a silver-plated bible by his mother which he put in a pocket over his heart. One day he forgot to put it in the pocket, but it didn’t matter as he was only a cook anyway, and he now owns a motel in Adelaide. Yet another soldier, a breezy, extroverted and cheerful tank driver, suddenly one morning just before assaulting a bunker system became uncharacteristically subdued and sad and was seen looking into the distance unseeingly. Shortly thereafter he was sent on a clerical course and is now a practicing accountant.
I, too, can personally add to these incidents. One morning I realized that I had not reported for duty in the control bunker the previous night (I had forgotten I was on) and as I lay there thinking about this I saw an orderly approaching me and I had a sudden premonition that I was in big trouble with the CO, and as it turned out, I was.
I can recall dozens of these incidents, so do not speak to me about there being no paranormal incidents.
James, I saw you in Melbourne in the early 90's, great stuff.
We of course mailed off the million-dollar check to Geoff immediately upon receipt of this letter....
Here’s another of those gratifying letters that we receive from time to time, and which make the JREF very happy that we exist:
I want to thank you for giving me the strength to stand up for myself, and speak out against the stupidity in the world. Recently, I have found myself feeling more free to tell people that I do NOT believe in god, and that I am an atheist. I’m a stay-at-home dad, selling candles on the side. Part of this occupation includes a message board where reps can talk with each other.
I refer you to a thread on this message board. It can be seen at www.eeisi.com (/tinyurl.com/a53u2). To sum it up: A rep was asking for prayers for her younger sister, who is a drug addict. Many other reps expressed their sympathy and told her that they would include the sister in their prayers. Just how many actually did is a mystery. Enter me, saying “Hey, I don’t really believe in prayer, but here are some ideas for how you can deal with the situation.”
I was set-upon by many for being rude….
Her sister died, and she asked people to redirect their prayers to herself and her family. All this after so many people say, unequivocally, that prayer works, that they know it works, and that I’m insensitive and rude for suggesting otherwise. Nevermind the fact that in this case the prayers didn’t work. They always have an “out,” in that god is a mysterious, spiteful, hateful, and random god. “I guess we just didn’t pray enough,” they’ll say. “It was her time,” they lament. “She’s in a better place now,” they cry.
I have no real hope of ever convincing anyone here of their ignorance. I really have no desire to, as well, because it really isn’t the right place to do so. I don’t want to cause trouble, which means, I suppose, that I don’t have all of the necessary courage to stand up for myself and “bring the good word” to the masses.
Still, I’m making progress.
A day went by....
After emailing you last night, I decided to post a nice long rant on that same message board about how INTOLERANT everyone had been about my differing viewpoints… but if I had been Muslim and said “I don’t believe praying to your god works, but I’ll pray to Allah for you,” I would have been praised for being so kind.
I think it boils down to, as long as you’re fooling yourself in ONE way or another, you’re okay… you’ll be tolerated.
Something my dad says, “Your intolerance of my intolerance makes you a hypocrite.”
This is an important, personal, message to all my readers. There has been a heavy discussion going on in the JREF Forum about a basic question introduced by Hal Bidlack, and I quote forum member prewitt81 here:
If, upon my first arrival to this website, the main page of the JREF had declared the foundation to be an atheist society, I would've closed the window and probably never came back. Fortunately, it didn't and I wasn't instantly turned off.
After spending some time here and listening and learning from people with different viewpoints – it is an educational foundation, is it not? – I found out that atheists/agnostics were not the evil or immoral people I had always been taught they were. Nor were they sad and depressed because they “lacked a purpose in life that only faith in a creator could give.” I began to change the way I looked at things. I started questioning my beliefs and trying to rid myself of those that didn't stand up to scrutiny. It is an ongoing process, but I have taken some big steps in what I feel is the right direction. The “me” of yesterday would feel so sorry for me today because of some ideas I have given up, but I look back and feel bad for the little boy who was afraid of an angry God and an eternal Hell. I am happier now.
Leaving the doors open to everyone is, in my opinion, the only way to go. If we turn people away at the door, even inadvertently, we're missing out on a wealth of new potential skeptics. I don't want to even imagine where or what shape I'd be in now, had it not been for the JREF. Once we've offended those that need us most, all that's left is the choir to hear the preaching – if you'll pardon the analogy.
Thank you, Hal. It’s not the first time I’ve heard this, but it inspires me to clear the air on this subject in relation to the JREF. I want this fully understood: the James Randi Educational Foundation is not an atheist organization; it is an organization dedicated to offering down-to-Earth, rational, explanations and discussions of the so-called paranormal, supernatural, and occult happenings and claims with which we are constantly bombarded by the media and by groups – including religious groups – who try to convince us of such matters. While I, as JREF president, and those presently working in our office, are declared atheists, there is no bar against others taking positions with us, appearing on our web page or forum, doing business with us, or attending any of our functions. My personal stance is that religious claims are of the same nature as any other claims made without supporting evidence, that is, they are superstitious claims; if those claims come up for examination by the JREF, they must undergo the same sort of analysis as any others.
I’ve said it before: there are two sorts of atheists. One sort claims that there is no deity, the other claims that there is no evidence that proves the existence of a deity; I belong to the latter group, because if I were to claim that no god exists, I would have to produce evidence to establish that claim, and I cannot. Religious persons have by far the easier position; they say they believe in a deity because that’s their preference, and they’ve read it in a book. That’s their right.
The JREF has a stance against any claim for which no evidence is offered, and that must of course include religious claims. However, if any when anyone claims they have proof of any religious miracle or fact, we ask that it be presented, accepting such a claim in the same way that we accept any other. Religious claims are supernatural claims. If they are offered for examination, discussion, or consideration, or as possible applicants for the JREF prize, they must go through the regular procedure, with no special allowances or exceptions.
We are not, as an organization, atheists – any more than we are Caucasians, Americans, or Republicans. We are citizens of the world who are trying to understand that world, and who challenge irrationality; each of us decides for themselves what we wish to investigate, and what is irrational – and we will disagree productively in that respect. Personally, but not on behalf of the JREF, I look upon religious claims as superstitious in nature; but that does not exempt them from consideration.
I must observe that about 40% of my acquaintances consider themselves to be religious. I don’t often argue the matter with them, but I’m admittedly impatient with them when they try to get me to accept their philosophy merely because it’s easier, or because I can’t prove it to be wrong. We agree to disagree on that subject, but these friends offer me the same delight and satisfaction that I receive from my atheist friends. I mean that, sincerely.
I do not, and I will not, allow my serious atheistic beliefs to interfere with the operation of the JREF. My rationality and my sincerity will not allow me that conceit. The JREF embraces persons of many different varieties of philosophy; there are even two Buddhists among us, though I doubt any Holy Rollers have joined our ranks. We don’t ever ask about religious preferences, because we recognize that all persons have value in the overall picture of our population.
Most definitely, however, I will not change nor soften my statement that I am a concerned, forthright, declared, atheist. I'll never waffle in this respect, and I trust that those who read and/or hear my words will accept and believe that my personal convictions do not alter my dedication to reason, fairness, tolerance, and logic.
I hope that this better explains what we’re all about….
You’ll remember that last week I fired off a letter to Walgreen’s Pharmacy concerning their offering for sale a quack book. See
So far, no reaction….
Dr. Douglas Biklen is the genius behind “facilitated communication,” the claptrap idea that has some scientists convinced that severely autistic children are actually geniuses who write poetry and have intellectual abilities far beyond what we ordinary mortals can ever suspect. This bizarre process consists of a “facilitator” holding the typing hand of a child, and “guiding” it on the keyboard of a special machine. The child can be screaming, struggling, looking at the ceiling, or even on the floor with its hand held over the keyboard, yet intelligible words appear. The “facilitator,” however, watches the keyboard carefully….
This is total nonsense. I tested it in full some years ago in Madison, Wisconsin, and found that those in charge were unable to handle reality.
The PBS TV program “Frontline” October 19th, 1993, did a total expose of this farce, but the academic world ignored their work. Facilitated communication continued to obtain funding, and Biklen hardly noticed the fuss. See www.pbs.org (http://tinyurl.com/bfpa5) for a full transcript.
Now this incredible news: Syracuse University has named Douglas Biklen as dean of their School of Education! He was formerly a professor in the school’s Cultural Foundations and Teaching and Leadership programs, and assumed his new position as dean on Aug. 1. The Syracuse University web page, making this announcement, proudly cited his interest in quackery and pseudoscience! Read this:
Biklen introduced the technique of facilitated communication to the United States from Australia in 1989 and is author of “Contested Words, Contested Science: Unraveling the Facilitated Communication Controversy” (Teachers College Press, 1997, co-edited with Donald Cardinal) and “Communication Unbound: How Facilitated Communication is Challenging Traditional Values of Autism and Ability/Disability” (Teachers College Press, 1993).
“This ability to appoint Doug Biklen to the deanship of the School of Education is an exquisite opportunity,” says Vice Chancellor and Provost Deborah A. Freund. “Doug brings international renown for his scholarship, and his passion for the school is truly inspiring. Under his leadership, the possibilities for the school will be limitless. I am delighted that Doug will have the opportunity to serve as dean during the 100th anniversary of the school to which he has dedicated his professional life."
What utter madness this is! Biklen is touting sheer nonsense, a technique that does not work, that is damaging the families of autistic children, that is medieval wishful thinking. It’s been clearly shown to be an outright scam, and now Syracuse University has moved its prime supporter to the highest office in the school, with complete disregard for the alumni who must suffer this embarrassment, the fortunes that they will continue to squander on this fruitless fairy-story, and the fact that they are lending false encouragement to the unfortunate families of these children. Those families will throw their money at the frauds who “facilitate” nothing but their own well-being; the children are the ones who lose.
The Syracuse University tells us that Biklen has traveled“around the world to Italy, India, Australia and the United Kingdom, among many other countries,” preaching this misinformation to academic centers and to the public. Just as the authorities in South Africa deny the existence of AIDS, Biklen promotes quackery. Johnny Carson once quoted to me, “A credulous man is a deceiver,” but I cannot imagine that an educated person like Biklen actually believes that “facilitated communication” is anything but a farce. He writes books on the subject, he lectures on it, but he surely knows better. And now he’s the Dean of the School of Education at Syracuse University! Incredible!
I note that the Frontline program is not cited in the University’s announcement of Biklen’s elevation. His numerous books are listed, his other TV appearances, an ABC-TV “Primetime Live” show, and a CNN film documentary – but not that PBS program, wherein the truth was told.
The Ivory Tower has taken in another refugee from reality – and he’s being paid handsomely for being there.
You can read the whole sad story at sunews.syr.edu (tinyurl.com/bjzjv) and send your comments to S.U.
Please hold any comments on my bad French.... The ”fromage” reference in the ”Bigfoot” item was just a joke, you see....Blatant plug: Dark Deceptions: The Séance Experience, will be presented as part of this year's New York International Fringe Festival, August 12-28, 2005. Our very own Todd Robbins, creator of Carnival Knowledge, will be using Spiritualism trickery to give his audience the impression that the dead have returned to walk among the living! This show is not for children! Are you afraid of the dark? You will be! It’s at the Players Theatre. Take a cautious peek at www.darkdeceptions.net, or go to www.fringenyc.org to buy tickets on-line or to get the phone number for phone orders.
Until next week.....