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« If We Could Only Get Alito to Play This Game... The RantsWin One, Lose One »

Allison DuBois - Even More of a Hypocrite Than Previously Thought
2005.11.07 (Mon) 20:38

You'd think that, with all the research we've done into media whore and self-proclaimed psychic Allison DuBois, nothing about her would surprise us any more. Well, hypothetical hypothesizing person, you'd be dead wrong. It turns out that Allison is even more of a hypocritical asshole than even we thought — and that's saying a lot.

Case in point — on the advice of Fan-man, one of our readers, we procured a copy of a recent episode of Medium and watched it. If you aren't familiar with the show, the basic premise is that the protagonist (modeled on Allison) is a psychic who assists the District Attorney in solving crimes. The people behind the show also choose to pretend that their stories are based on Allison's "real life psychic adventures." In this particular episode, Allison encounters a rival psychic who is being used by a defense attorney in court. This rival psychic, Olga Z, seems to feed pertinent information to the defense attorney during his cross examinations which, due to the uncanny accuracy of the information, serves to rattle the witnesses and debunk their testimony (we won't even get into the obvious and missed opportunities for the prosecutor to cry "Objection — irrelevant!"). Anyway, for no readily discernable reason, Allison doubts the mysterious Olga Z (why would anyone doubt a psychic?) and decides to look into her. The results of her investigation uncover a host of problems that bear an eerie resemblance to the criticisms that are often leveled at the real-life Allison herself!

For example, as Allison flips through a newspaper, she sees an advertisement for good old Olga:

The ad in question
The ad states: "Know your future before it happens — World renowned psychic Olga Z — Read her book! Visit her website! Arrange for a reading!

After seeing this ad, Allison brings her discovery to the District Attorney's attention. Their conversation proceeds as follows:

District Attorney: You've got to be kidding me. Watt [the defense attorney] hired a psychic of his own?
Allison DuBois: A pretty good one, too...according to her website. Supposedly, she's been working with the Albuquerque Police on missing persons cases for years...although they won't corroborate that on the record. Supposedly, even the FBI calls her for a consult every once in a while...although they too won't corroborate. She's worked missing persons, kidnapping cases, serial killings, you name it. She's even written a book.
District Attorney: (skeptically) According to her website.
Allison DuBois: (confirming) According to her website.
[all emphasis is ours]

The parts of the conversation that interest us particularly are the parts that we've bolded. It's almost as if the show is saying that the complete lack of corroboration or empirical evidence suggests that we shouldn't believe that Olga Z is a true psychic. Wow — too bad for the real-life Allison that her claims also sport a complete lack of corroboration and evidence to back them up. For example, the real-life Allison claims to have assisted the Texas Rangers on a missing persons case...although not only won't they corroborate that, they also unequivocably deny it. She also claims to have assisted the Glendale Arizona Police Department...although they, too, won't corroborate Allison's story and also flatly deny having used her "services." Of course, Allison has a whole host of things she's supposedly done to assist law enforcement...according to her website. In fact, her own claims are about all she has. So, by the television show's reasoning, the real-life Allison must also be a fraud, just like Olga Z, right? Hey, they said it, not us.

Let's also take a look at the ad that stirs things up in the episode. At the end of the conversation that we transcribed above, the District Attorney states that he's not worried about "some woman who advertises in the newspaper." So, apparently, according to the show, Olga's newspaper ad, which shouts out for people to "read her book" and "visit her website," makes her more likely to be a phony. Okay, sure, we can roll with that. The catch is that if we swapped out the name "Olga Z" in the ad and replaced it with "Allison DuBois," we wouldn't need to change any of the other text to reflect Allison's real-life hype. As we are painfully aware, Allison has been asking people to read her book for quite some time now, and even has two more books in the works. Where did we find out about her book? Why, on her website, of course. We'll admit that we don't have any evidence that Allison advertises in the newspaper — but surely other forms of advertising count. How about whoring herself out on any television or radio program that will have her? According to her appearance schedule, said media whoring seems to dominate most of Allison's waking hours. So, if the lesson from the show is that "psychics" who whore themselves out via advertisements are likely to be phonies, then we can rest our case against Allison right here.

Later on in the episode, it is revealed that Olga Z is not a real psychic — of course, this is revealed to Allison through the rantings of a disgruntled ghost (good, solid evidence if we've ever heard any). It turns out that Olga is getting her incredible information from rather mundane sources — an assistant district attorney is feeding the facts to her. In the "psychic" profession, this is known as hot reading. In a hot reading, the supposed psychic has advance information about their subject from some ordinary source, thereby leading to a very precise reading. In short, hot readers have no need for psychic powers since they already have the information they need to put on their show. Could it be that, once again, the Olga Z character is parelleling the real-life Allison DuBois here?

So, to our surprise, it turns out that the television show Medium actually does accurately portray the psychic abilities of the real life Allison DuBois. The only problem is that it isn't the Allison DuBois character on the show who provides the accurate portrayal — it's Olga Z. Maybe the real-life Allison ought to have a tête-à-tête with the show's producers: you know, tell them to "Ixnay the Orroborationcay stuff" before they give away the real-life Allison's own weaknesses.

But enough about the show — lest you think we're taking Allison to task for the whimsical prevarication of television writers, we'll remind you that Allison's real life escapades are vastly more hypocritical than the show she spawned. Take, for example, one of the newest updates to the allisondubois.com web site. By way of background, and as we've discussed before, Allison claims to have all kinds of scientific validation of her "mystical abilities," and the academic that she leans on for this validation is Dr. Gary Schwartz of the University of Arizona. To summarize our entry on him: Dr. Schwartz has never met a loony theory that he didn't love (and turn into a book, a lecture, or at least a foreward). He tested Allison using what are, by all accounts other than Gary's, incredibly shoddy controls, and pronounced her to be the "real deal." Dr. Schwartz has been very vocal in his support of Allison's "abilities," and there can be no doubt that his support helped her career to flourish, leading to all kinds of fame and money for Allison. What does Allison have to say about Dr. Schwartz on her web site now?

A short list of people who have been included on shows with me that I do not endorse is Dr. Gary Schwartz. I was disappointed to find out that the four years that I spent in the lab for "science" is being used for financial gain by Dr. Schwartz even after I expressed my disapproval. I never asked for a cut of any project that Gary sold because money wasn't the issue it was trust and that was quickly broken by Gary's blatant actions. It was never the agreement when we entered the lab for science to understand our abilities better that we'd be Gary's income.

Whoa, there, Allison! You leaned on Dr. Schwartz's experiments in order to lend an air of academic and scientific validation to your bullshit, and used that validation to springboard yourself to fame and fortune, and now you're begrudging him the opportunity to do the same thing? Wow. What a monumental hypocrite. But hang on, true believers; it gets worse as we read on...

Many of our "sitters" in the lab, unknown to the mediums, turned out to be writing their own books that Gary wrote forewords for, hmmm.

Jesus Christ in drag, Allison, you did the exact same thing, you hypocritical, backstabbing moron! You wrote your own self-aggrandizing book, Don't Kiss Them Good-Bye, and the foreward was by...wait for it...Gary Schwartz. Your own web site (as seen through the Wayback Machine) states:

This is the foreword to my up and coming book, "Don't Kiss Them Goodbye". The foreword is written by Dr. Gary E. Schwartz, Ph.D. of the Human Energy Systems Laboratory at The University of Arizona.

How the fuck do you have the gall to slap this insult on the table when you did the exact same thing as the dubious malefactors you call into question?! Holy fuck!

To be clear, we share Allison's apparent skepticism when it comes to the situation at hand — Dr. Schwartz's research certainly looks even more questionable when we discover the mutual financial masturbation that appears to be going on — but unlike Allison, we aren't guilty of perpetrating the same shell game ourselves. "Hmmm" indeed, Allison.

Okay, Allison, take it on home for us:

I work very hard to be a compassionate, detail specific medium and am also disappointed that Gary continues to use questionable mediums in his lab who have had many complaints called in against them.

How's My Channeling? Call 1-800-DUM-WHOR
First off, if there's a place to call in complaints about you, please let us know and we'll start dialing now, you sanctimonious hypocrite. And we're far from the only people complaining — just Google some phrases like "allison dubois bullshit" and you'll see what we mean. You, Allison, are the queen of questionable mediums, so you really ought to watch what you say about your peers.

Are we picking on Allison? Absolutely, and as far as we're concerned, she's earned every bit of it. Not only is her pathetic "psychic" carny act indistinguishable from the host of phonies, con artists, and assorted cold and hot readers on the market today, she also seems to have an insatiable need to shit all over everyone else for doing exactly what she does. So not only is she a world-class bullshit artist, she's also a monumental hypocrite.

So many trite sayings come to mind — pots calling kettles black, people in glass houses throwing cement highway dividers — but none of them really do justice to the depths of hypocritical behavior of which Allison appears capable. It's incredible to us that someone who makes a living by whoring out her own brand of bullshit would then turn around and crap all over others who are doing precisely the same thing, especially when those others have helped to catapult her own career. If only we believed in karma, we'd say that Allison would eventually get her payback. Hey, here's a prediction for you: If she keeps pissing all over her peers in various fields of quackery and lunacy, maybe Allison will end up getting lynched by a marauding band of angry bullshit artists! Trust us — she'd never see it coming.

Allison DuBois: Debunked! (2%Co)

— • —
[  Filed under: % Allison DuBois Week  % Bullshit  % Two Percent Toons  ]

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.twopercentco.com/rants/tpc-trkbk.cgi/236

Comments (35)

% Trackback » 2005.11.07 (Mon) 21:02
"More on Allison Dubois" from Skeptico

Allison Dubois takes hypocrisy to new depths, according to this superb article from The Two Percent Company.Just read it. [More]


jesse (s.t.r.), 2005.11.08 (Tue) 14:53 [Link] »

This has nothing to do with allison, but

"Jesus Christ in drag" is the best thing I have read in a long time. I might accidentally lift that for my own auditory usage.



Collin, 2005.11.08 (Tue) 18:27 [Link] »

Wow. This woman was totally off my radar before reading this. I'm thinking that her strategy is to discredit her cronies and free up their clients to come to her. I wonder what's going to happen next. I suppose I could ask her. Ha.



Fan-man, 2005.11.08 (Tue) 21:35 [Link] »

It's the hypocrisy that irritates me the most because the real Allison is using television/radio interviews, her web site and a hit TV show to push her bullshit on ignorant people. Common people, ignorant to the facts, believe what they hear and see when it's predicated with the words "based on true events." Television executives don't feel an obligation to police the influence they have on audiences, so yes, it is imperative to speak out against bullshit-----everytime. I don't think I always agreed with that in the past, but I do now. Partly because of the bullshit of Allison Dubois, but mainly because of how enraged I became when my brother told me that his son's 7th grade history teacher showed Oliver Stone's "JFK" in class as a learning tool. The fuck you say?! Yeah. Why not just teach sex education with "Mary Potter and the Sorcerer's Bone?"
I watch the show "Medium." My wife got me hooked on it and I like it. It's a good fiction TV show. It does bother me knowing that a lot of people will watch it and think that shit really happens, but that's the show's gimmick. It would be less interesting and less of a hit if the common person knew it was all horse crap. There is another show similar to "Medium" on TV starring Jennifer Love Hewitt called "Ghost Whisperer." As far as I know, that show doesn't proport to be based on true events. They don't have to because they have the very beautiful and well endowed Ms. Hewitt as the star. No truth to the rumor that the original title "My Boobs See Dead People" couldn't make it past network censors.



HBloom, 2005.11.09 (Wed) 09:05 [Link] »

It is interesting to think that none of these Allison rants would be necessary if so large a portion of the general public didn't believe her.

She and her get-rich-anyway-I-can schemes are not nearly as irritating as the fact that there are idiots out there seeking what she is selling. We should be yelling about all the idiots who produce people like her. She is no different than a priest or rabbi... filling a need in our economy. Debunking her is as simple as 2% has shown. Enlightening the morons out there is a whole different crystal ball of wax.



gravitybear, 2005.11.11 (Fri) 12:42 [Link] »

Sounds to me like Allison and Dr. Schwartz had a falling out over money. Maybe something like this...
Allison and Dr. Schwartz are happily sharing any money made from their collaboration. Then Allison reaches a certain level of 'fame' and figures she doesn't need the good Dr. anymore, so she drops him. He gets mad because he doesn't get his cut anymore, but Allison has called his bluff. Allsion knows he can't go after her after proclaiming her 'the real deal' because he has to keep up the honest scientist act. She then lets it be known that she is, to paraphrase, Shocked. SHOCKED that someone is using her gift to make money. Then she gets to keep all the money.

Blatant hypocrisy? Yeah.



The Two Percent Company, 2005.11.11 (Fri) 15:56 [Link] »

jesse: All yours — go for it!

Collin: "Ha" is right — Allison seems to have sworn off readings for now and instead is focusing on her three book deal and her media-slut work. However, once her books are behind her, her show is cancelled, and no one wants to hear from her on the radio, we're betting she'll be right back to readings — in which case, we applaud her brilliant long-range planning.

Fan-man: Yup. People are so bombarded by the stupid validation of bullshit, that we feel the need to do our part to counter that bombardment with a bit o' fact-based information. As you said, "based on a true story" sells better than "we made it up," so we shouldn't expect the television networks to change gears any time soon. In short, if we want the facts out there, we've got to get them out ourselves.

HBloom: Yeah, we would love to have all of our debunking Rants put out to pasture due to overwhelming popular support for critical thinking, but it just ain't gonna happen any time soon, as you seem to agree.

Yes, we get angry with the marks who so willingly buy what people like Allison are selling, but don't forget that people like Allison are taking advantage of those who just lost a loved one. She is, quite simply, exploiting the emotional fragility of her victims to make a buck. It's sick behavior, and we detest her for it. In these cases — where the victims aren't thinking clearly due to their loss — we find it hard to blame them.

That said, there are plenty of people who haven't suffered a loss and who believe people like Allison freely and willingly. Our goal is to get the correct information in front of them. If they are intelligent and at all interested in critical thinking, then we will most likely win them over. If they prefer to stick their fingers in their ears and ignore our arguments, then they are the morons of whom you speak. As far as we can tell, there's nothing we can do to eliminate that problem short of mandatory birth control.



The Two Percent Company, 2005.11.15 (Tue) 19:54 [Link] »

Well, gravitybear, as the sages say: oh, what a tangled web we knit when first we spout complete bullshit...like Allison and Gary. You know, we almost feel sorry for Gary here. Well, no, not really.



Tharpa Doyle, 2005.11.26 (Sat) 20:06 [Link] »

The only thing as bad as the lack of critical thinking amoung the 'True Believers' is the lack of (actual) critical thinking amoung the 'Skeptics'. By and large, both groups never question their own biased projections.

Doubt is a good thing- we desperately need critical thinking in our world- but if you don't doubt your doubt as well, you're really no more reasonable than those you attack with such eye rolling. If the True Skeptics characterize the Enemy by its extremes only, they might find it easy to miss some of the sober, careful and open minded researchers who are wise enough to follow evidence, not pre-conceptions.

Example: I saw a UFO some years back. I don't know what it was, and make no conclusions. But in telling the story I noticed one vivid thing- the more educated, i.e. 'rational' the listener, the more they rejected anything but a prosaic explanation without ever having looked at one BIT of evidence in the field. "There is no evidence, why should I look!" is a typical response. How do they know this? Common knowledge! Where's the skepticism? Or has skepticism become a position, a religion of the rational (which is hardly reasonable!), a series of assumptions about the world to defend at any cost, instead of an approach, a technique?

The evidence of psi ( Dean Radin is a good start) is not conclusive. But it's a timid ideologue who doesn't find it provocative and worthy of an open mind.

Be brave people. You don't have to pretend to have all the answers! The history of Science is littered with the smug, and the wrong.



kayani, 2005.11.28 (Mon) 10:27 [Link] »

i want to read stories



The Two Percent Company, 2005.11.30 (Wed) 14:03 [Link] »

Ah, the old "educated and rational folks are mean" gambit. If we're the "educated and rational," does that make you...uneducated and irrational? A foolish opening, Tharpa — checkmate in five moves.

First off: can you say "anecdotal"? There is nothing in your story to support extraordinary hypotheses in any way. Bishop takes rook.

Next: educated and rational people (the real ones) have considered the "evidence" for phenomena like the one you offer, and found it lacking. How silly to think that this one instance should be afforded special treatment, and considered completely apart from the preponderance of observations which in no way proved to be anything out of the ordinary. Extraordinary claims, you know...knight takes pawn.

In addition: bias is not a bad thing. What you're trying to invoke is prejudice, the act of deciding something before considering the issue. Bias, in this case, simply means that we have a preference for testable, replicable, verifiable evidence before we accept any hypothesis as the explanation for a given event. If you'd like to label that as "biased," feel free — just don't expect us to get offended. Knight takes bishop.

Do we find the "evidence of psi" provocative? No. We find the concept of psi provocative — hey, it'd be pretty darn cool to read minds, or lift a cinder block from across the room! However, the "evidence" of psi is far less than merely "not conclusive" — it isn't even evidence. No psychic hypothesis has ever been supported in controlled conditions repeated by independent experimenters. (And please, don't make us laugh with Dean freaking Radin. Our sides hurt too much.) Bishop takes queen.

And further, we aren't pretending to "have all the answers." We are, quite rationally, refusing to endorse any hypothesis that cannot be scientifically tested. Your special guy Dean Radin was on television, talking about "the difficulties in testing psychic powers because they tend to go away when the people who have them are being tested." And you want us to accept this as a valid, scientific phenomenon? Let's get this straight: if we get a hit, psychic powers work; if we don't get a hit, the psychic powers just didn't work that one time. Are you suggesting this sort of "scientific testing" with a straight face? Amazing. Knight takes rook.

The history of Science is littered with the smug, and the wrong.

Holy hell, Tharpa, try and get this through your head: it is quite all right for an individual scientist to be wrong. It is perfectly fine for a specific hypothesis to prove incorrect. However, the scientific method itself has an absolutely phenomenal track record of weeding out those wrong scientists and incorrect hypotheses from the ones that actually get it right. That is why we trust the scientific method, and why we will not leave our minds open enough to let any and every crackpot theory just waltz right in and take up residence. Just like creationists, either you go through the proper channels of rigorous, controlled testing and re-testing, or we'll laugh in your face. Period. Check and mate.



Tom, 2005.12.01 (Thu) 09:52 [Link] »

Hi ,
My name is Tom ... I do not belive in Organized religion. I am a scientist by nature and believe in evolution. I am an amateur fossil hunter as well. I had a near death experience 11 yrs ago. Which led to an out of body experience. Im 32 yrs old now and communicate with the other side. I can and do communicate with those that have left this world of existance. I invite you to contact me. I can show you first hand. Mediums are real. We can and do communicate with the other side. We can get info from spirit. I didnt ask for this. It just happend to me. I never gave it a 2nd thought before my accident. but the accident opened it up for me. Ive lost friends do their religious beliefs because of my ability , ive scared a lot of people with it and ive helped people as well. It is indeed truth and part of life. We do live on ... This isnt the end ... But a skeptic will not always look at the evidence , of which there is inumerous amounts..
Tom



Fan-man, 2005.12.01 (Thu) 13:03 [Link] »

Oy Vey!



The Two Percent Company, 2005.12.01 (Thu) 13:13 [Link] »

Tom,

We are going to be very direct with you — please don't mistake this for anger, although it may look very similar in your eyes. You see, it's just that we've heard this exact same story so many times, we feel like our eyes are going to bleed. It always starts with an assertion designed to show us that the commenter is a logical person who scoffs at bullshit, and then leads into a personal account of why their pet form of bullshit is 100% really and truly real. Along the way, the commenter almost always demonstrates serious errors in critical thinking, and sometimes (though not always) devolves into an insult aimed at "close-minded skeptics." Your comment follows the standard pattern pretty closely.

Here's the assertion that you are a logical person:

I do not belive in Organized religion. I am a scientist by nature and believe in evolution. I am an amateur fossil hunter as well.

Then the personal experience of bullshit (snipped for brevity):

I had a near death experience 11 yrs ago. Which led to an out of body experience. Im 32 yrs old now and communicate with the other side. I can and do communicate with those that have left this world of existance. ... We do live on ... This isnt the end ...

And here, wrapped into one part, is a veiled insult aimed at "closed-minded skeptics," along with a serious error in critical thinking:

But a skeptic will not always look at the evidence , of which there is inumerous amounts..

Let's take your comment as a whole. You claim to be a scientist by nature, but then make the demonstrably false statement that there is "inumerous amounts" of evidence supporting the existence of spirit mediums. That is 100% untrue. There is certainly a lot of anecdotal evidence for the paranormal — like your account above — but there isn't a shred of scientific evidence for such claims. Not one shred.

Want to bring up Gary Schwartz and the other loony professors who claim to have scientific evidence of the paranormal? Bzzzzzt! Sorry — if they aren't releasing their data and allowing peers to both review it and attempt to replicate their results, then it isn't science...it's bullshit. See, we've looked at the so-called evidence, and we've taken part in experiments. It isn't that we aren't willing to look at the evidence, it's that it doesn't exist.

Look, you're welcome to believe whatever you want to believe — hell, we would fight for your right to hold your beliefs. But don't confuse your faith-based beliefs with the fact-based beliefs of science. It's silly and, frankly, insulting.

As far as your offer to show us first hand that your abilities do exist, you're welcome to try. Please use our Contact Page to send us details of your claims. We will then work out a test of your claims, and we will be happy to publish the results on our site.

Be specific. If you can only get the names of your target's dead pets from the spirits, then tell us that and we'll design the test accordingly. So be as specific about your claims as possible. Be warned in advance — if you require something from us in order to do your thing, we may not provide it. For example, we are not going to provide any personal information, or locks of hair, or vials of blood. In the end, it is our prerogative to decide what we are willing to share; so again, it is important that you be specific up front.

Please do not post your claims on one of our Rants — it would be off-topic no matter where it landed. You may certainly reply via comment to our other points outlined above, but please stick to doing so only on one Rant — not both Rants that you double-posted your initial comment on. We would suggest that "An Ongoing Conversaton About Beliefs" is more relevant to your thoughts than "Allison DuBois — Even More of a Hypocrite Than Previously Thought."

We will wait for your e-mail via our Contact Page.



% Trackback » 2005.12.02 (Fri) 13:21
"In Which We Try to Accept a Psychic Challenge" from The Two Percent Company's Rants

The gauntlet has been thrown down, and we have accepted the challenge. Now all that remains is to see if the self-proclaimed medium who issued the challenge actually accepts our acceptance. Perhaps a little explanation is in order. Just yesterday, we... [More]


Chris, 2005.12.03 (Sat) 03:17 [Link] »

I can't believe you people spend so much time ranting and being negative. You even have a website dedicated to it. Unbelievable! Well, I hope you enjoy the rest of your negative, whinging lives!!



Fan-man, 2005.12.03 (Sat) 09:27 [Link] »

Chris,
There are web sites out there dedicated to a lot worse than fact based debate my friend. Since this is an older rant and I'm sure you have better things to do other than surf the web looking for others to chastise, I'm betting you're a friend of psychic Tom. That said, this is probably the only rant that you've read through (I can't say that for certain, I'm not a fucking psychic or anything). My ascertation is fact based: see, I noticed that you posted on this rant, but no others. I used deductive reasoning, that's how it works.
BUT now for the good part. This is where I demonstrate that you're a negative hypocrite. You came to this web site and found something you didn't like. It's not like it was flown in your face and you couldn't stop it. Regardless, you found it necessary to tell the authors of this web site that you were appalled by their negativity. You could have done that through a private email. There is a private contact address. You don't. Instead, you post your own negative comments so that everyone can read them. You shooting down someone else's beliefs, how ironic to the intent of your post is that? That does make you negative, doesn't it? Leave well enough alone and don't post anymore or you also become negative AND whinging.



Kelly o, 2005.12.03 (Sat) 18:26 [Link] »

I also watch Medium and have read some of these rants. Am I a true believer.No.Am I a true non believer. No. I just finished a course in bereavement support and the problem is we dont want people that we love to die and so sometimes people chose to believe and that should be o.k. as long as it is not harming the process of grief or anyone else. If this Allison is full of shit than shame on her for she is feeding off of the pain of others and likely getting paid for it. I have never seen a u.f.o.,a ghost, heard voices,or things of the like.However, I have had very close to life dreams the ones where you wake up and you think that they are real for a moment. After my boyfriend died in my dreams he came to me and although he did not speak with his voice he managed to tell me that he was o.k. now and no longer the angry person that he used to be. Was this just me thinking about him and dreaming what I wanted to hear or was this something else. The fact is I don't know. I have had other dreams and strange coincidences but they could just be coincidences. Who can honestly say for sure. No one here can.



The Two Percent Company, 2005.12.04 (Sun) 01:09 [Link] »

Kelly o,

You start off with:

...we dont want people that we love to die and so sometimes people chose to believe and that should be o.k. as long as it is not harming the process of grief or anyone else.

We agree 100%. In fact, we have an entire post dedicated to much the same idea — it's called Believe What You Want to Believe, and it deals with our opinion that people should be completely free to believe whatever they want to believe, as long as they aren't infringing on the rights of others. We have a feeling that you would agree wholeheartedly with what we say in that post.

Sure, no one can know "for sure" whether ghosts, gods, or other paranormal phenomena actually exist. However, there comes a point when there have been so many tests conducted and there is such a monumental lack of evidence for something that we think rational people just need to treat is as non-existent. For our part, we've done a lot of research into the paranormal, and we've taken part in plenty of experiments ourselves. To date, we haven't come across a single convincing piece of evidence for anything paranormal, and at the same time we've come to understand the myriad of ways in which perfectly normal occurrences can seem like paranormal events. As a result, we have come to the conclusion that the probability of these phenomena existing is as close to zero as makes no odds, and we act accordingly.

Of course, we are always open to new evidence, but we aren't holding our breaths. We've found that most people who claim to have paranormal abilities turn tail and run away when it comes time to test those claims. In fact, we've been dealing with just such a person in another post.

As far as Allison goes, she is nothing more than a high-priced carny act. Her "predictions" are textbook examples of cold reading, and her academic validation looks an awful lot like subjective validation. On a more personal note, she is incredibly arrogant, and she is a first-class hypocrite. She exploits the pain and suffering of people who've lost loved ones in order to stockpile fame and fortune, and as far as we're concerned, she's a miserable human being.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Kelly.



The Two Percent Company, 2005.12.04 (Sun) 01:12 [Link] »

Oh and thanks, Fan-man! Well said, and you saved us some time. You wouldn't believe how many people like Chris have been crawling out of the woodwork today.



Someone, 2005.12.05 (Mon) 20:57 [Link] »

you seem so agressive, so desperate to prove wrong allison or anyone else different from you for that matter. this world, this logical and objective world we live in, can you honestly believe in nothing but flesh and bones? is essence absent? you may dislike anyone else who believes in something else other than the visible and tangible, you may find that person stupid and irrational and trust me i wish the world could be so simple, that with reason and logic we could cast away our inner subjetivism. but your anger has tainted you vision. by far you're not individuals of truth, of impartial truth. you're in fact exactly like all the hoaxes you rant against to...trying so hard, to impose, to believe that the world is just as you see it, and there's nothing else. my words are not in favor of parapsichological fenomena but they're indeed in favor of objetivism, wich your site and your rants dont seem to posses. cold/hot reading is a viable explanation, but you're crearly overgeneralizing with pseudo-sciencie, yes, pseudo, because your objectives and methodology are insufficient and frankly poor in content. you all seem like a big child, humillated, that in anger seeks a different truth, a truth that suits a very specific purpose, in this case, proving false something. life beyond death is it a hoax? can you actually , as a group respond to this question with absolute confidence? with a 100% accuracy? since you claim to know the truth behind allison dubois...can you assure me that there's nothing else but flesh? i mean you can prove that there is flesh an bones, you can prove that there is thought and reasoning through science...can you prove love?
we're being of substancial and essencial nature, wether you like or not. and some believe in substance, some believe in essence, and some take both and embrace them. i know, is really really easy to believe in science, in what we can prove...but is that everything? since being a nihilist doesnt suit everyone...i would recommend you taking different aproach to this matter, since your angers takes away all your credibility. you may believe that mediums and psychics are just one big fairy tale, a quimera that walk right out of a science fiction show...but almost in every country, police deparments are assisted by a "legal advisors" such as Mrs. dubois.

its ok for you to believe in whatever you want, i respect that, in fact, i love it, since is part of our uniqueness. we're all different universes and just because we all have a set of eyes, doesnt mean we all see the exact same things. you may want to expose people who claim to see/talk with the dead. go ahead, i wish i had proof that this world is the only thing we got or that there's a world waiting for us after we rot. i dont, no one does. even though rational and open science would never admit that there's something else than the tangible and empiric...there's a whole other side of science that uses this "hoaxes" as a tool...and trust me, it works. and it works so well that is an utter humilliation that one cannot explain how...
i'll never come back here, because ill dissapear among all the anonymus surfers of this net. all i have to say to you is that anger is not a good way to prove someone wrong. your own world isnt real, is not shared by everyone, you cant prove it since you cant place your "tangible" thoughts in someone elses mind, even the mind doesnt seem to be real....think of everything you hold to be true...the blue of the sky, the warmness of a tender caress...it aint real unless you think is real...thats 101 in basic human behaviour. i just hope you find peace and understanding trough your rants. since every single angry word you type, every mean comment leaves a scar somewhere. i urge to you to find your own truth withouth disqualifying others, since you dont really hold any truth in your rants, just subjective anger disguised as a valid truth. you see...even when we try to unveil the lies, we fall in our own pit of deceive, since its clear you try so hard to believe in your own words as a universal truth.

please be at peace.



The Two Percent Company, 2005.12.05 (Mon) 22:21 [Link] »

Boy, are we fucking sick and tired of people like Someone. It's always the same line of shit — "no one can be sure," and "don't be so angry." It makes us want to slap them upside their fat, ignorant heads. Here's just a smattering of the unintelligent, milquetoast whine that Someone has spewed onto our site:

this world, this logical and objective world we live in, can you honestly believe in nothing but flesh and bones? is essence absent?

Well, there's that Emeril guy. He has essence, doesn't he? Seriously, moron, quit the Newage bullshit. You clearly have no solid, meaningful or practically useful definition of the word "essence." Statements like this one tend to signal that the author is incapable of constructing a cogent argument. If that's the case, then please keep your piehole shut. No one wants to hear your meaningless bullshit.

by far you're not individuals of truth, of impartial truth. you're in fact exactly like all the hoaxes you rant against to...trying so hard, to impose, to believe that the world is just as you see it, and there's nothing else.

See, there's a big difference between us believing that our views are correct and the true believers holding the same belief — our views have actual scientific evidence to back them up. But that doesn't matter to you, does it, asshat? Tell you what, if you've got a better way of evaluating claims and explaining how the universe works, feel free to inform us what it is. Otherwise, fuck off.

you all seem like a big child, humillated, that in anger seeks a different truth, a truth that suits a very specific purpose, in this case, proving false something.

In fact, in this Rant, we weren't "proving false something" — we were demonstrating that Allison DuBois is a fucking hypocrite. So go ahead and argue against one or more of the points we've made, and we'll listen to you. Oh, sorry, you can't do that, can you? You've just come here to spew out some moronic gobbledygook that has nothing to do with what we've written. Our bad, sorry.

life beyond death is it a hoax? can you actually , as a group respond to this question with absolute confidence? with a 100% accuracy? since you claim to know the truth behind allison dubois...can you assure me that there's nothing else but flesh? i mean you can prove that there is flesh an bones, you can prove that there is thought and reasoning through science...can you prove love?

Ooh, here's the obligatory "you can't prove that these things don't exist" part of the moron's speech. Hey, dickhead — we covered this in another post. Go read it, then go fuck yourself.

i would recommend you taking different aproach to this matter, since your angers takes away all your credibility.

Motherfuck! Where did all of these fuckheads get the idea that anger negates an argument? That's simply incorrect. Scientists and critical thinkers can and do get angry, and in fact should get angry when confronted with morons like this fuckhead; and their anger doesn't in any way detract from the points they are making. We are so fucking sick of hearing this load of shit over and over again. This is for all you fucking kooks who've dropped by lately: either explain why anger negates the logic of an argument, or fucking stop trotting out this bullshit line.

you may believe that mediums and psychics are just one big fairy tale, a quimera that walk right out of a science fiction show...but almost in every country, police deparments are assisted by a "legal advisors" such as Mrs. dubois.

Tell you what, dipshit. You provide one single documented example of a psychic actually helping law enforcement — that is, providing actual helpful information via confirmed psychic powers — and we'll shut up. Oh, sorry, once again, no specifics from you. Instead of research, people like you prefer to do your whining well below the radar, where logic and evidence can't touch you. You fucking ignorant prick.

i'll never come back here, because ill dissapear among all the anonymus surfers of this net.

Finally, at least there's something we can be thankful for. Sadly, there are scads of you asshats out there just waiting to make this same vacuous non-argument over and over and over again. It seems we'll never be at a loss if we suddenly have a craving for fucking idiots.

your own world isnt real, is not shared by everyone, you cant prove it since you cant place your "tangible" thoughts in someone elses mind, even the mind doesnt seem to be real....think of everything you hold to be true...the blue of the sky, the warmness of a tender caress...it aint real unless you think is real...thats 101 in basic human behaviour.

Ah, back to the Newage bullshit again. Thanks, you're really convincing us that your non-method of approaching the world is much more effective than science. Asswad.

i just hope you find peace and understanding trough your rants. since every single angry word you type, every mean comment leaves a scar somewhere.

The only people we are "scarring" with our words are the purveyors of bullshit, and that's just fine by us. We aren't here to make morons happy, so if you don't like our site, then we must be doing our job.

please be at peace.

If you really want us to be at peace, then shut the fuck up. And while you're at it, learn to fucking spell, you brainless asshole. For fuck's sake.



Stasia, 2006.02.20 (Mon) 22:09 [Link] »

A whole lot of nasty shit you have to say about her, but one thing comes to mind, have you yourself not had a parnormal experience? a dream that came true a day or more later? The first time I saw the show Medium (and yes I realise it is 99% only a show and not real) I wanted to learn more about the real medium, I went looking for her book, after a few months saw it was ready to be released months later, I think its great she is writing, I think it is intersting all the stuff she is doing to help police and whoever needs or asks for it, man, theres always people like you out to dog on everyone, ok so she is selling books, she has to put bread on the table hasnt she? eh your not worth it, stuff ya, obviously you have nothing better to do, disgruntled emplyee who got sacked from the show perhaps?



The Two Percent Company, 2006.02.21 (Tue) 22:38 [Link] »

Aw, c'mon, Stasia, get a clue. Have we had "strange" things happen to us? Sure — everyone has. The difference between you and us is that we don't turn to outrageous woo-woo paranormal claims when these weird things happen. Instead, we look to science, which has a remarkable track record of explaining any incredible story you may have (even the scary ones).

We're also not at all shocked that, even though you know that Medium is just a television show, you still blindly believe Allison and say that you "think it is intersting all the stuff she is doing to help police and whoever needs or asks for it." Let us ask you this, Stasia — why do you believe that? What evidence has Allison offered to support her claims? We can answer that for you — fuck all nothing. For our part, we have offered evidence debunking those same claims; and you believe Allison anyway. Why? Could it be — gasp! — that you are a credulous moron who just really, really wants to believe in bullshit like Allison is peddling despite strong evidence to the contrary?

And really, we must admit that we love people who come to our site, fail to read or comprehend anything we've said, take the time to compose a reply in which they tell us how wrong we are and insult us, and then say something like "eh your not worth it." If only you could see the sheer fucking stupidity of that statement.

If you want to believe in ridiculous bullshit claims like Allison's, go right ahead. But make no mistake about it — you're wrong. It's bullshit. You are a credulous fool who has been suckered in by a bullshit artist. Don't like that classification? Then feel free to fuck off. After all, we're not worth it. Right?



Donna, 2006.03.28 (Tue) 21:21 [Link] »

I read the Allison Dubois book today and was reminded of cotton candy; it was woefully lacking in substance. None of her stories had corroborative detail, no facts that could be checked--there were not even any compelling anecdotes.

Just because I'm not psychic I'm not willing to posit that nobody else is--but there's nothing in her book to convince me otherwise.

Two Percent Company your comments are dead on.



Hero, 2006.05.29 (Mon) 20:44 [Link] »

I just love your comments! And go on being angry - why should all the evil greedy crackpots who fool others, get respect? They don't deserve it and it's nice that you are giving them their right names. Even though Carla Baron is even worse than Dubois...



The Two Percent Company, 2006.06.05 (Mon) 15:01 [Link] »

We had never heard of Carla Baron before your comment, Hero, but after some digging, it seems that she could be a media-slut-in-waiting, just itching for the fame that Allison DuBois devours messily today. Case in point: she's about to get her own show (though it's on CourtTV, so who'll notice?). We'll definitely be keeping an eye on her.

And we're glad that you understand our anger. Way too many people can't seem to understand it, and in fact seem to labor under the delusion that our outrage regarding a particular issue somehow negates our opinion of said issue. For our part, we can't understand why people aren't more angry at human garbage like Allison DuBois and Carla Baron.



hugo, 2006.06.20 (Tue) 13:41 [Link] »

I remember my science teacher (1958) telling the class that life could not be supported in the deepest part of the ocean, "it's too deep, dark and cold to support life." He was dead sure about it too. Well "science" certainly has come a long way hasn't it? There was a time when the molecule was the smallest thing known to science. Although, ancient mystics knew there were much smaller particles in the fabric of creation. Now we all know. It's great we have the method of science to measure with, but it's also great we have advanced thinkers and dreamers that can intuit truth. Electricity and gravity are INVISIBLE and EXISTED even though they weren't measureable and I'm certain there were many people who were close minded to the possibility their reality back in the day. My understanding is Einstein believed in some kind Creative force in our universe. Hate to use the term God, but I think that's what he meant. He was a pretty smart guy and a damn good scientist to boot. I just read where scientists now believe the "probability" of other "dimensions" exists. Keep an open mind boys and girls.
Peace



kaitlin, 2006.06.20 (Tue) 17:11 [Link] »

Wow; there's a lot of insulting and fucking going on here. Media slut or not, I can't imagine that some people have so much less to do with their lives than spend hours ranting so violently and attacking people so vehemently with such little provocation, especially regarding a topic of such little relevance in a world that needs attention elsewhere. Put this kind of data digging and 'educating of the public' towards the actions of our government and it's onslaught on the environment; expose political and industry deceit with more potential for and power of destruction than this one woman has and do something positive with all this passion of yours....

It is obvious you are a person or are persons of some intelligent merit, for your vocabulary and, for the most part, grammar are above average (until it comes to the effluence of 'fucks', 'asshats' and 'assholes' you liberally spout about when you descend into one of your rabidly visceral attacks on someone who disagrees with your close-minded approach and/or, more importantly in this matter, your rather vicious attitude towards the whole supernatural/spiritual/medium affair in general, not just Mme DuBois and her questionable translation of her history and experiences). This somewhat rabid approach for communications, unfortunately, costs you points in esteem or merit, although I am quite certain, based on the lack of compassion or emotional restraint you show in your communications that your arrogance would never allow you to elevate to point of actually caring what someone thinks about your behavior or thoughts or the emotional impact of others they might have. You are obviously a very *SMALL* person of little positive merit in your world... Are all your friends as vicious and ugly as you?

But that's besides the point of this rant... sort of. While I'm not defending her personally or any other medium, I am curious as to why you vilify Dubois as if she has personally affronted you somehow? Dubois may or may not be as vicious a hypocrite as you would like to paint her to be... I'd like to believe you vilify her more than she's worth... But what I find more disturbing than another instance of possible hoaxing of the general public and snake oil salesmanship is that you've pulled the same kind of narrow-minded, violent and ill-thought out campaign against her and other mediums in general that the Christians did to vilify the former herbalists and medicine women/healers of former times, painting them in alliance with evil, having despicable, vile motives, and producing all sorts of wild 'scientific' tests to 'prove' a witch - simply because you can't experience it yourself in your little labs. The scientific tests used in medieval days were as applicable to proving witchcraft then as your standard lab is to proving 'spirit'/'psi' or whatever it is, now.

I'm no medium, and I'm not remotely attempting to legitimize - at least scientifically - 'mediums'. Personally, I don't trust anything human, much less our human ability to consistently or reliably perceive beyond those 5 senses... though I do know SOMETHING exists there. We're just too -- many [negative] things to quantify it accurately or utilize it consistently, if we can at all.

Your demand for scientific evidence, which you cannot and will not provide yourself (are you afraid to prove what you don't believe in? Afraid you might be... wrong?), despite your great intelligence, is nothing but a front you use to attack people who mean no harm to you or anyone else. You are more of a maniacal egoist than any of the mediums you are attempting to crucify here...

Regardless of your or my overall distrust of 'mediums' or psychics in general, we cannot deny the fairly consistent 'evidence' we have to the existence that SOMETHING out there exists... something beyond our immediate and most profound senses of taste, sight, hearing, smell and touch. This evidence is, unfortunately, the amassed anecdotal 'experiences' of others over several millenia. We cannot conclusively decide that 100% of these experiences were the result of a moldy rye seed or digested mushroom or chemical imbalance, nor that they were all contrived means of survival or manipulation... Not EVERYONE experiences these things the same way or tells others about their experiences or feelings because they want power over someone else or to feel 'elevated.'

Experience is something that we cannot replicate in a petri dish or dissect in a lab. We cannot impart the full experience to others, for all our abilities to communicate. Perception and experience is something we can only 'describe'. And unfortunately, we are such a uniquely complicated and unpredictable, unreliable, creature that we can not one of us experience life exactly like another or even be sure we experienced it the way we think we did... how's that for making it a difficult science? The testers and the test subjects are unreliable... and the terrain being explored undefinable and unmappable... g-r-e-a-a-t...

What impedes us more is that we are a stubborn and infinitely slow to change creature that clings desperately to our trusted ways of proof and experiences, and rely very heavily on our very primal 5 basic sense. Unless we can pick it up in a box, grow it in a lab, stuff it in a frame or throw it on a cd; it can't possibly be legitimized. Doesn't that speak profoundly to our limitations when it comes to things that potentially exist outSIDE this dimension... oh yeah, I'm going 'theoretical' on you... but it can't all be chalked up to human viciousness, insanity or poisons.

It is close-minded, arrogant and remarkably stupid to believe that our 5 sensed/3 dimensional existences are 'IT'. I have to accept, based on observation and experience, that there is a very real possibility that there ARE dimensions of this existence we simply do not have the means to test in a lab yet; I believe there is already some evidence, at least in the mathematical world, that 'proves' the potential existence of 11 dimensions, if not more... whether or not that's true ( and it's entirely POSSIBLE) it's a launching pad to potentially at least partially 'explain' what we perceive as spiritual experiences.

Imagine the diversity of life we observe in these 3 dimensions in which we exist. Exponeniate that diversity across 11 dimensions and tell me how arrogant one would have to be to say that just because we can't PROVE IT, people can't occasionally experience it. Life doesn't end when this physical structure ceases operating as a cohesive unit. Life is the dynamics of energy... the energy, and the elements just change form... and that's where science falls short because we can't capture that transition completely. There are STILL sciences trying to prove the energy of life at all ? what it is, how to quantify it... the concept of genetically coded memory is being reconsidered and researched again- if experience can be coded in the molecular structure of DNA, stored somehow in those infinitesimal chains... what happens to the energy released from the body when the body dies and it's molecular structure disintegrates and it's collective 'memories' are released in the ongoing transition of life?

How DOES one prove something that cannot be contained by standard measures? A bird cannot conceive of the laws of nature at work when it's senses run amok in a magnetic field, but nonetheless falls prey to it; could it be simply that we are as yet incapable of grasping, much less proving further 'laws' that may be at work when someone blunders into a situation that translates in our limited senses to 'spiritual' but may actually be an experience with an extra-dimensional creature. Because we cannot prove with our 5 senses we have to disbelieve it?

And back to experiences... the scientific approach, for all its rules, limits, constraints, laws, etc., can do NOTHING to compartmentalize the infinite variability of experience and perception and STILL has yet to embrace all the unique elements configurations and operations at work in the human mind alone! It cannot identify nor contain all the elements at work in a situation, what forces were in play and co-existed at that moment, what chemical/physiological state each participant was in at the time of the experience, what forms of energy were at work in the event. We've isolated radioactive energy, light energy, magnetic forces, radio waves, heat energy... so many things, but still so much MORE. This one (or more) as-yet-indefinable energy/ies which science has yet to contain and put in a proofing dish or atom smasher is what religion and general humanity has lumped into the landfill generally called spirituality. And I say landfill because there are some treasures and, yes, lots of trash...

The variables are so multitudinous and some of them as yet uncontainable, that if someone WERE to have a brush with another life form we normally cannot experience in our typical senses, and makes or experiences some kind of contact with a life form of another dimension how *would* we prove it? We cannot, for that moment is impossibly passed, the opportunity is irretrievable and that unknown variable be it ghost or otherwise type of being is GONE, and we do NOT have the tools to recreate or retrieve it....

We still cannot predict the weather with real certainty... the interactions of the tangible, definable elements at work are still beyond our grasp to fully identify, predict or contain. The difficulty for 'spiritual' situations to be proven is further magnified not just by the volatility of environmental influences AND the human mind, but also because it is extremely difficult to identify the conjurance of the imagination from something that might otherwise be qualified as truly 'supernatural'.

Am I advocating that DuBois or any other medium is legit? Nah. Am I saying that we cannot prove scientifically that some people can actually communicate with the dead... no - though I am saying there are going to be more false leads than true ones simply because of the volatility of human nature and the unknown territory the 'dead' exist in (if they exist at all) and our ability to traverse or map the terrain.

For me, the jury IS still out on psychic 'stuff' and reliability, despite a plethora of my own 'anecdotal' experiences that cannot be qualified as chemically or stress induced or mental delusions. I can't espouse a religious response per se either. Religion is manmade, corrupt, limited, and created to control people and answer questions (rightfully or not) that we otherwise can't answer, and while I am human - I don't trust us much at all - with very good reason. We suck. Lots of potential, but overall a bunch of losers because the vast majority of us are lazy and ignorant and afraid of the unknown, and the ones in control have very little interest in changing any of that unless it increases their power.

I would love to be able to prove to you the validity of my experiences and the experiences of others I have known - AS I would love to be able to produce a tool which one could point at a person and say 'psychic' or 'fraud' or 'pedophile' or 'liar' or a tool to point into a room and say 'ghost - named Maudlin, born 1942, died by the hands of her uncle on may 29, 1948, parents were... , accompanied by dog, sammy, also a victim of Maudlin's uncle... '

but... we can't... I'd love it to give validity of my own experiences to me! "Did I just experience that right or not?"

I'm no scientist, nor a brilliant mind (not the dullest tool in the shed either, but that's besides the point.) Does the fact that I don't have millions to invest in research or testing equipment or otherwise mean I accept being called delusional or that what I experienced is a lie or a delusion simply because it can't be proven to you? Do I qualify myself as delusional now because I can't replicate it for you? No. I know myself. I trust myself to a point to at least understand that I had no reason to experience what I did... it just happened. I didn't control it, I didn't set myself up, I didn?t have any need or reason to create any of the situations that happened. They just-did -and it was beyond my control, so I'm obviously no great medium or spiritualist.

But just because I'm not a championship league medium doesn't mean that others can't be more sensitive or gifted than me and actually can perceive things more reliably which I only trip up on occasionally.

NOR does it mean I have to trust any Tom, Dick, Harry or Jane who purports themselves to be such NOR do I have the right to vilify them if they do. Truth is, I am highly skeptical - but that's because I distrust humanity as a whole - not just mediums. I wouldn't trust you as far as I could throw you. You talk a mean game and are vicious and cruel... what makes you better than the pronounced hypocrite(s) you decry herein? Just because you aren't out to deceive anyone and make money doesn't make you a better person if you're violent and ugly and destructive.

While there is a verifiable association of deceit with things 'spiritual' there is still a collective cohesiveness of experience in all the anecdotal 'evidence' of supernatural phenomena throughout the millennia that science simply refuses to embrace but can't be ignored. It can't be replicated in a lab but it's existence and the ongoing perception of thousands that they experience SOMETHING still gives rise to the possibility that something else exists. This data has amassed over the millennia, and whether or not the large majority or only a portion of it is the result of fungus, chemical imbalance or chemically induced hallucinations, there is enough out there that would not appear or cannot be proven to have been under such influence of hysteria or chemical environment to still leave doubt that it DOESN'T exist... that it may actually be real.

It is difficult to communicate with others especially when frustrated by people who insist on resolutely holding to meritless, violent or deceitful ideals, philosophies or patterns of behavior. I find myself descending into the same curse-laden insulting rages over things like pedophilia, child abuse, racism, capitalist / political environmental terrorism, advocating ignorance, religious zealots who feel they have the 'god/s' given right to impose their beliefs on others, behave violently and destructively and acquire a sense of superiority they simply do not posses. I despise the capitalistic abuse of the rights of the general welfare, corporate, political or social deceit, media manipulation for the welfare of a select few but to the detriment of many... I abhor any kind of intentional deceit, I hate a society crippled by ignorance, the deceit of the politicians that are supposed to 'protect them' but are more pawns for power mongers than they are there to defend the general public. Cruelty, ignorance, unnecessary violence, and overall stupidity (like people who refuse to change their destructive patterns of behavior for whatever reason and intentionally continue to blunder their way through life leaving a trail of wreckage behind them, never bothering to recognize, take responsibility for and/or clean up their messes) - these are pet peeves of mine

But that does not give me the right to belittle and eviscerate people just because they want to believe in a little bit of something relatively harmless. Frankly, only violence should be met with violence. Those people spoke on your rant page peacefully and you butchered them - shame on you.

Your rant page has become something more than a rant page. I hope you find a way to rant a little more civilly, productively and on matters of greater consequence..

There are such greater 'evils' in the world to battle - like big oil squeezing out alternative energy forms for the almighty dollar that you wish to deny the little medium; like King Coal blowing up over 400,000 acres of Appalachian mountaintop in less than a year, polluting innumerable rivers and ruining the lives of countless thousands of rural town and country folk because King Coal owns the politicians and GW put industry leaders in environmental watchdog positions (putting the fox in the hen house, so to speak)... like continued public child prostitution in Asian countries such as Vietnam and Korea and China. Like the abuse and waste of the welfare state we've created, the millions of children being borne into homes to people ill equipped to raise reasonable, responsible, compassionate adults... these billions of children will go on to perpetuate violence, ignornace etc. People condemn GW for the Iraqi war, I personally regard him with disgust as the years have gone by and I've learned more about his political stances, but truth is Saddham was vile and killed and brutalized more of his own people and others during the same number of years of his leadership than all the deaths incurred since the inception of this war. Regardless of GW's motivation, the action was just, even if his motive was questionable.

Compare these issues to the small potential deceit of a woman selling herself as a medium to make a few bucks and offer some people a hope they wish to have, whether it's valid or not, and your rants look really pitiful. Go turn this viciousness on your neighborhood wife beater who's ruining the lives of his family, the child abuser or pedophile... beat them up instead of tearing up innocent people who simply want the right to believe they've experienced something you're too insensitive to experience yourself. Belief in the right place can be a very good thing, promoting decency and encouraging enlightenment... Why don't you try a little.



The Two Percent Company, 2006.06.20 (Tue) 22:38 [Link] »

hugo,

You seem like a nice enough person, but it's important that you understand the many errors in your comment. You start with:

I remember my science teacher (1958) telling the class that life could not be supported in the deepest part of the ocean, "it's too deep, dark and cold to support life." He was dead sure about it too. Well "science" certainly has come a long way hasn't it?

This is a common argument — the argument that since "a scientist" was once wrong, we should question science in general. Very common, actually, and yet utterly incorrect every time we hear it. Specifically, we didn't know your science teacher, so perhaps he was just not a very good scientist. If we were him, given the lack of information about the deep oceans in 1958, we would have said something like "it is extremely unlikely that life as we know it exists in the deepest parts of the ocean." There are several significant differences between what you report your teacher as saying and what we (and others like us) would have said in the same time and place. Rather than saying that life could not be supported, we would have said that it was extremely unlikely. Why? Because in 1958, we had explored so little of the deep ocean that we had virtually no data to go on other than our hypotheses about what the environment would be like. Also, we would have said "life as we know it" and not simply "life." Why is that? Because all life as we knew it in 1958 (and until much more recently, in fact) relied on the sun in some way, shape, or form; and it was (and still is) a good hypothesis that sunlight did not reach the deep ocean floor. In fact, if your science teacher had said what we said, he would have been correct, since the life in the deep oceans relies on energy not directly derived from the sun. Perhaps, if you had questioned your teacher at the time, that's what he was really trying to say. Or perhaps he was just wrong. Either way, neither his lack of knowledge nor his ineloquence in any way detract from the efficacy and success of the scientific method.

Now, let's compare your example to various claims about the existence of psychics, ghosts, and other instances of the paranormal. Unlike the need for careful wording about the existence of life in the deep oceans (from a 1958 perspective), with our statement about these "phenomena" we're able to be more direct: they don't exist. What do we mean by that? Specifically, we mean that the likelihood of them existing is the same as the likelihood that the Tooth Fairy exists, and as such, we choose to treat both psychics and the Tooth Fairy as nonexistent. Why? Because, unlike the almost complete lack of data that we had about the deep oceans in 1958, we have plenty of data when it comes to investigations of the paranormal. It's just that every piece of that data fails to support the existence of the paranormal. That, hugo, is the major difference between your example and the case against the paranormal.

You really get it wrong, unfortunately, when you get to this bit:

There was a time when the molecule was the smallest thing known to science. Although, ancient mystics knew there were much smaller particles in the fabric of creation. Now we all know... Electricity and gravity are INVISIBLE and EXISTED even though they weren't measureable and I'm certain there were many people who were close minded to the possibility their reality back in the day.

Okay, put simply: the "ancient mystics" (not a very concrete citation) had not one single clue about atoms, electrons, protons, neutrons, quarks or the strings of superstring theory. Please don't mistake their vague ramblings about the "fabric of creation" and whatnot for actual scientific knowledge. The scientists who actually posited the existence of such tiny particles used the scientific method to predict their existence, and were proven correct in their predictions by the observable evidence. That's a far cry from imagining some cosmic threads into existence solely within the confines of your own mind. It is, frankly, insulting to actual scientists and skeptics to suggest that "mystics" are even playing the same game, let alone in the same ballpark.

And please do be careful when making assertions like "electricity and gravity weren't measurable." Gravity is easily measurable — try dropping some objects and seeing how fast and hard they fall sometime — and was measured by the scientists who were observing their environment, as opposed to the mystics who were spouting flaky aphorisms. Electricity is also measurable, especially in light of the fact that it is but one factor in the electromagnetic force — magnetism has been observed and primitively understood for millennia. And even before our species began to truly harness electric power, electricity too was measurable and measured by those with enough brains to do so.

There have always been people who were closed-minded "back in the day," and it has always been scientists and the scientific method that have eventually won the day, simply by virtue of insurmountable and copious evidence. If you're going to talk about the multiple revolutions of enlightenment that have advanced us as a civilization, it's important to get straight who the people were who were responsible for those advances.

You also say:

It's great we have the method of science to measure with, but it's also great we have advanced thinkers and dreamers that can intuit truth.

Are creativity and imagination indispensable tools in the pursuit of science? Yes, absolutely. But when the scientific evidence strongly suggests that something we've imagined is simply not correct, we must let go of our fantastic creations and relegate them to the world of fiction, rather than pursuing them in spite of the evidence.

Another of your statements is one of our pet peeves:

My understanding is Einstein believed in some kind Creative force in our universe. Hate to use the term God, but I think that's what he meant. He was a pretty smart guy and a damn good scientist to boot.

Sorry, hugo, but you are completely incorrect. Einstein did not believe in god, or a "force" like the one you speak of. There are tons of quotations attributed to Einstein that seem to paint him as a religious person, or specifically as a Christian (which is particularly outlandish, as he comes from Jewish ancestry and felt strong ties to that culture). You may notice that those quotations — at least in our experience — are offered without any intelligible or accurate citations. If you do your homework, you'll find that the actual words of Einstein were quite different. There are many examples that you can check out — the sources are easily obtainable. For instance:

It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I also cannot imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere.... Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.

— Albert Einstein, "Religion and Science," The New York Times Magazine, November 9, 1930

Or:

It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.

— Albert Einstein, 1954, from Albert Einstein: The Human Side

Or, directly relevant to your comment:

The mystical trend of our time, which shows itself particularly in the rampant growth of the so-called Theosophy and Spiritualism, is for me no more than a symptom of weakness and confusion.

— Albert Einstein, quoted in Madalyn Murray O'Hair, All the Questions You Ever Wanted to Ask American Atheists (1982) vol. ii., p. 29

So before you repeat this misrepresentation of Albert Einstein, do some legwork. As we said, it's a pet peeve of ours, and we aren't alone.

But more to the point, it bears saying that even if Einstein did believe in some god, that would in no way make it any more rational or logical for anyone else to do so. Smart people sometimes believe stupid things; the smarter they are, the easier it may be to rationalize particularly stupid beliefs.

You finish with:

I just read where scientists now believe the "probability" of other "dimensions" exists. Keep an open mind boys and girls.

Perhaps you are referring to superstring theory or M-theory. Both are intriguing possibilities. There is plenty to suggest the validity of these theories (much more than the complete lack of evidence backing up claims of the paranormal), but they have yet to be thoroughly substantiated. We do keep an open mind to theories like these, though, precisely because there is no mountain of evidence refuting them. See the difference? It's important to keep an open mind, but it's equally important that it isn't so open that your brain falls out onto the floor. The five-second rule doesn't help much when it comes to gray matter.



The Two Percent Company, 2006.06.20 (Tue) 22:41 [Link] »

kaitlin,

It's hard to explain all the ways in which your diatribe showcases your ignorance, so we'll just touch on twenty points, and then move on.

  1. We love — love — people who come to our site and tell us how we're wasting our time by writing about what we write about, and do so in a lengthy diatribe that is, by their own logic, an even bigger waste of time. Bravo, kaitlin, you've demonstrated your own stupidity right away, in paragraph numero uno.
  2. You tell us that we should spend our time going after the real problems in the world, and you list some off (both up front, and then again later, for good measure). Of course, if you bothered to do any research, like...oh, reading any other part of our site, you'd see that very little of our writing is dedicated to the rightly justified debunking of Ms. DuBois. In fact, the very problems you rebuke us for not covering are, in part, covered pretty well in our numerous posts, thanks very much. So that's twice in the first paragraph that you've illustrated your own stupidity.
  3. Don't like our swearing? Tough fucking shit. However, if you want to make the immensely flawed argument that swearing or anger somehow negates our logical arguments, then you'll need to actually explain why. We hear this all the time, and never — not once — has our laughable accuser bothered to describe how the use of the word "fuck" — or any other word that carries similar baggage — cancels out logic and reason. Please do enlighten us. Or, more to the point, if and when you realize that you can't explain that, then please do shut the fuck up.
  4. From here you descend into a half-assed psychoanalysis of us that, quite honestly, we've heard more times than we can count. Congratulations on completing that introductory psychology class — you're now ready to be a television star like Dr. Phil! Seriously, kaitlin — go fuck yourself. You don't know the first thing about us as people, and your bullshit assumptions show just that. This is among the lowest and most useless forms of argument, and one that we see all too often.
  5. You refer to our "narrow-minded, violent and ill-thought out campaign" against Allison DuBois. Please explain these baseless criticisms. We'll elaborate on our confusion for you. See, our criticisms of Allison are not in any way narrow-minded. We took Allison's claims, and we investigated them. What, exactly, is narrow-minded about that? Or didn't you bother to read our posts? We can't even remotely fathom how our written words could constitute violence, so we'll just assume you're making that bit up, which doesn't come as a shock. And as far as being "ill-thought out," we spent more than enough time thinking through the posts we've done on Allison DuBois, and that planning clearly shows in the organization and logical progression of those posts. Did you not pay much attention in your freshman writing class? In short, your complaints in this regard make no sense at all. Or were you just being an ass? Ah, yes, that's much more likely.
  6. You go on to compare our logic-based critique of Ms. DuBois to the Salem Witch trials — in which faith-based beliefs were used to justify murder. Actually, we've decided not to bother explaining all the reasons why that argument is the most ridiculous and laughable sort of crap — any reader we care to have on our site can already see that.
  7. You state, numerous times, that you truly do believe in the existence of "something" that could be classified as paranormal or psi, but that you believe it not because of any evidence, but because of personal experience. That's wonderful for you — really. Your view is silly, but as you don't appear to be conning people out of money, or forcing your beliefs onto others, we have no real problem with your steadfast belief in bullshit. Such a silly belief doesn't make you an asshole. Your comment, however, does.
  8. You accuse us of demanding scientific evidence that we "cannot and will not provide" ourselves, and imply that this is because we are afraid of proving what we don't believe in. In all sincerity: what the fuck are you talking about? Of course we can't provide the proof of the paranormal that we are asking for — we wouldn't be asking for it if we already had it! And even more obviously, if we had such proof, why would we hold the opinions we do about the paranormal, i.e., that it doesn't exist? Seriously, what the fuck are you on about?
  9. If you think that people like Allison mean no harm to anyone, you are delusional. If you think that people like Allison do no harm, you are ignorant. If you sincerely meant every word of your comment, we're guessing you're both.
  10. You make the statement that "we cannot deny the fairly consistent 'evidence' we have to the existence that SOMETHING out there exists." Your poor grammar aside, sorry, no. We can deny it, since there is no fucking evidence with which to support your assertion. Yes, we know — you'll take any old anecdote as evidence and you'll leave it at that, but we ask for a little more before we accept wild claims. Again, you're free to believe any piece of shit claim that gets tossed in front of you — just don't expect rational people to follow suit.
  11. You state that not all of the anecdotal evidence of the paranormal can be chalked up to "human viciousness, insanity or poisons." True, not all of it can be. Spend some time researching human perceptions and human memory and you'll understand all the real phenomena that explain the much larger portion of these anecdotes. Subjective validation, pareidolia, malleable memory, and other easily understood concepts are much better and more substantiated explanations for these experiences than, say, ghosts and goblins.
  12. You spend several paragraphs asking "questions that science cannot answer." In brief, some of these are just woo-woo wrapped in a pseudoscientific veneer, some are questions that science has already answered, and some are, in fact, questions that science hasn't answered yet. If you think that the paranormal has a better chance of answering them, go to it. We'll put our money on science, thanks. As a species, we do still have so much more to learn, and only a fool would set aside the scientific method in that quest in favor of unsubstantiated bullshit. You, kaitlin, are apparently such a fool.
  13. You ask: "Does the fact that I don't have millions to invest in research or testing equipment or otherwise mean I accept being called delusional or that what I experienced is a lie or a delusion simply because it can't be proven to you?" First off, you don't need millions of dollars (or pounds, or euros, or any other currency) to engage in paranormal research. We don't have millions either, and yet we've managed to do a fair bit of investigation, research and experimentation ourselves. Your "poor me" whine is an asinine cop-out, and nothing more. And whether you accept being called delusional or not is of no consequence — if you readily believe in the paranormal despite the complete lack of evidence, then you are deluding yourself. If you don't like that label, don't blame us — just stop deluding yourself.
  14. You say that you don't trust people, but that you also don't have the right to vilify them. That's bunk, plain and simple. Why don't you have this right? Do you live somewhere where the laws prevent you from being truthfully critical of people? If you see someone doing harm, do you not protest? Or do you just advocate a saccharine-sweet world where no one is mean to anyone? Hey, Osama Bin Laden is just misunderstood, really. Let's be nice to him. Bullshit. We may not vilify a hack like Allison DuBois to the extent that we vilify a fiend like Bin Laden — we're quite in favor of death for him, and only in favor of justice for her — but we still call a spade a motherfucking spade. And that's not to mention the fact that you spent quite some time vilifying us in your comment above. If you don't have that right, then perhaps you should turn yourself in to the authorities. Or you could just stop whining about made-up bullshit.
  15. You say that you wouldn't trust us as far as you could throw us. That's fine — we don't expect blind trust (that would be the psychics you're thinking of). We present the facts as we've found them, and we encourage people to think for themselves. We certainly invite people to challenge our facts, if they can do so logically and rationally. Like most people who come here to criticize our posts on the paranormal, you have chosen not to address any of our actual points, and instead to write your own diatribe of exceedingly silly bullshit. Hmmm...now, why would you avoid addressing our actual points? Unless, of course, you have no way to refute them, which we strongly suspect.
  16. You state the following: "I abhor any kind of intentional deceit, I hate a society crippled by ignorance, the deceit of the politicians that are supposed to 'protect them' but are more pawns for power mongers than they are there to defend the general public." Whoa, kaitlin — don't look now, but that's exactly what people like Allison are helping to perpetuate. What about this are you having difficulty grasping? You claim to hate intentional deceit; yet you embrace the bullshit that so many bullshit artists are using to spin their lies. You hate a society crippled by ignorance; yet you go on for paragraphs defending that ignorance, and lambasting the very science, reason, and logic which are undeniably the best tools available to aid all humanity in our struggle to shake off ignorance. Excuse us, kaitlin, but that's an incredibly moronic position to take given your self-professed hatred of intentional deceit and rampant ignorance.
  17. Which people spoke on our page peacefully and were in turn eviscerated by us? Please, point them out. If someone comes here and calmly and rationally states a belief that we don't agree with, we calmly and rationally explain why we don't agree with it. If, on the other hand, someone comes out fighting, asserts bullshit as fact, attempts to psychoanalyze us, and acts like a pompous moron, we cut them down. Do we have the right to do so? You'd better fucking believe it, sister — especially on our own fucking site. So take your "shame on you" bullshit and shove it up your ass, kaitlin. We're sick and fucking tired of dipshits like you.
  18. Thanks for filling us in on the really important topics that we should be writing about instead of the paranormal. Oddly, we don't agree with all of your list. But then, that's why we — not you — choose which topics we write about. Yes, some of the topics you mentioned are important to us, and we have in fact written about some of them (which you'd know if you'd bothered to do any homework at all before writing your comment), but your priority list isn't a universal truth, no matter how much you believe it may be. But, if we start another site that's all about making you happy, we'll be sure to drop you a line.
  19. It's hard to express how many times we've explained this, but we do not beat up people who "simply want the right to believe they've experienced something," you fucking ignorant ass. In fact, we've written a post explaining that we have the exact opposite opinion (we're tired of linking to it for morons like you — find it yourself). People are free to believe whatever they want to believe, and we'd gladly fight for that right. But don't confuse our respect for civil liberties with a respect for a belief itself. Why don't we try a little? Why don't you try a little fucking research before you toss around baseless accusations. For fuck's sake!
  20. Twenty's a nice round number, but we only had nineteen points we felt like making. So we'll just take this opportunity to say: "Fuck off."

Now take your ignorant bullshit somewhere else, kaitlin. We're fucking sick of you and all of your worn-out, flawed arguments. We've heard them all before, and they've fallen short every time.



hugo, 2006.06.21 (Wed) 21:10 [Link] »

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the scientific community of the time dead set against Galvani's experiments with electricity? My point being, even the majority of the scientific minds of that time were dead wrong. Thanks for your intelligent and thoughtful response to my e-mail. I look forward to more exchanges in the future.



The Two Percent Company, 2006.06.22 (Thu) 15:07 [Link] »

Actually, it seems that we do need to correct you. As the link states, "Scientific colleagues generally accepted Galvani's views." Any "opposition" to his experiments came only in the form of competing hypotheses.

However, and we cannot stress this enough, the issue of whether or not Galvani's peers were "dead set" against his experiments with electricity (or, more specifically, bioelectricity) is a completely irrelevant issue. Why? As we said in our previous response:

This is a common argument — the argument that since "a scientist" was once wrong, we should question science in general. Very common, actually, and yet utterly incorrect every time we hear it.

Even though your example about Galvani seems to be inaccurate, we'll accept it as "true" only for the purposes of this discussion, so we can make our point clearly. If you replace the "a scientist" in our statement above with "some scientists" or even "all scientists," our assertion remains the same. The point will always remain that just because a scientist — or every scientist — makes a mistake, it does not follow that science itself is mistaken. Science itself — the scientific method, that is — is simply a tool with which we weed out bad hypotheses from good hypotheses. It has a remarkable track record, and this is why we trust the scientific method and the results it offers...it is not that we put our trust in the scientists themselves (though we actually do trust those who provide consistently replicable and useful results), but rather in the methodology they use to arrive at their conclusions. The distinction is vital to understanding what we're saying.

Now let's apply this reasoning, and your example, specifically to the subject of paranormal phenomena. We're going to make some assumptions about the point you were making here, so please bear with us. The mistake you seem to be making is in assuming that "the scientific community" has ignored paranormal claims, and therefore has not examined or will not examine the data and arrive at a logical conclusion. You seem to be saying that you believe the scientific community is opposed, a priori, to the testing of paranormal claims. You seem to think that, just like your hypothetical scientists opposing Galvani, the scientific community is suppressing the testing and/or evidence of paranormal phenomena, and you're pointing to the fact that Galvani was (at least in some ways) correct in his hypotheses to suggest that perhaps those who make paranormal claims are correct as well.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that the scientific community, which includes every person in history who has contributed to humanity's collective knowledge of the universe, has already examined the data regarding paranormal phenomena, and found it sorely lacking in both validity and veracity.

The problem arises in the common assumption that scientific accomplishments are achieved by "mavericks" — hey, we all like the lone wolf hero, competing against impossible odds and impenetrable barriers, and fighting for what he knows is right. But that's not how science works. Science is a collaborative effort, and in each generation, true scientists — even the amazingly clever ones, like Newton, Maxwell, Einstein or Witten — plant their feet firmly on the shoulders of those who came before them.

The point here is that none of today's scientists are working in a vacuum. Serious scientists aren't "testing" the paranormal, but that's because it has already been tested and found wanting. Some folks (by which we don't necessarily mean you, hugo) may not be satisfied unless every scientist who ever lives personally conducts tests of the paranormal to his or her own satisfaction, but that's just silly. Scientists have important things to do. If the data on the paranormal has already been examined, the experiments have already been done, and in case after case, nothing has been shown to be valid, then there comes a point when you simply have to say: "Okay, so it doesn't exist." But believers in the paranormal don't want to let go. They would seem to prefer having every scientist repeat every experiment over and over again just to make them happy. Science would get nowhere if we didn't rely on the work of those who come before us, and that previous work all demonstrates quite clearly that the paranormal is nothing but fiction.

To put it more concisely: if your hypothetical example about Galvani were true (which, it seems, it isn't), then the scientists who were telling Galvani not to do his experiments were, quite simply, stupid — because at the time (in the late eighteenth century), there had been no test results that refuted Galvani's hypotheses. Fast forward to real life, present day: scientists are telling paranormalists not to bother with their experiments. These scientists are quite smart — because there have already been countless test results that do refute paranormal hypotheses. It isn't the opposition to an idea that you have to look at, it's the rationale behind that opposition.

It really comes down to a question of efficacy: hypotheses and tests of concrete, real phenomena have proven both fruitful and functional, as both our gang and Skeptico have pointed out, which is what makes them concrete and real. Hypotheses and tests of the paranormal, supernatural, woo, or whatever you want to call it...have not been either fruitful or functional, despite plenty of tests. Why should scientists waste their time on fanciful and quite useless research, when there's really so much out there that we could be doing with our time in this universe?



hugo, 2006.06.22 (Thu) 16:38 [Link] »

What is the possibility that the tools and methods used at this time by science do not effect this particular phenomena in a way that is measurable? Is that a high possibility. A low possibility? Is there a history (I'm sure you guys would know) in scientific experimentation of a case where discovery was hampered because the equipment and methods used were simply not able to read or measure the data?

I did do some legwork, like you suggested. And found Einstein mentioned God several times in quotes. These quotes were also supported on other sites. The quotes seemed not of an athiest, but seemed to me to be of a person still questioning. But who can truly say what was in his heart? And as you've said, even smart people can believe stupid things. But that would also have to include Edison and Marconi. Who I understand were involved with such experimentation. And if we're really honest these people were not merely smart, probably closer to brilliant. In fact, one could argue that they changed the course of human civllization (Is that too much?)
I came across this site when I googled up Allison Dubois' web page. I never did get to her page.
I have my own personal experience that lends me to believe what I believe, but I understand and respect your thoroughness in searching for the truth. I've read where people have called you close minded (Oops. I think I may have inferred that.) On the contrary, I sense you're completely open to new discoveries if they meet with your thorough standards. Thanks.



The Two Percent Company, 2006.06.22 (Thu) 21:03 [Link] »

hugo,

Your most recent comment starts with a very reasonable question — is it possible that the paranormal effects that science is trying to measure are simply not able to be measured with the equipment that we have at our disposal? In the sense that we cannot detect — and thereby confirm or deny the presence of — a spirit hovering nearby when Allison DuBois gives a reading, it is accurate to say that we lack the tools to definitively prove or disprove the existence of spirits or mediums. In contrast, if someone asks if there is electrical current running to a receptacle, we certainly do have the tools available to definitively answer such a question.

However, just because we can't definitively prove or disprove the existence of paranormal phenomena doesn't mean that we can't conduct tests that can disprove specific paranormal claims. Let us show you a different way to look at this. Take our posts on Allison DuBois, in particular the first in our original five-part series. Our approach was stated as follows:

We have chosen to analyze Allison's own statements — her specific claims that she contends set her apart from the rest of the psychics on the market today.

And why did we choose this approach instead of, say, trying to disprove the existence of spirits or mediums? The answer to that question can be found in another of our posts, which states, in part:

Here's the problem — it is absolutely impossible to prove that Allison's powers do not exist. We know that the phrase "you can't prove a negative" is technically inaccurate for semantic reasons, but the intent of that phrase actually paints a pretty valid picture of the process of scientific inquiry. No one can "prove" a negative assertion such as one stating that "mediums" do not have spirit powers. The same is true of most examples of paranormal and supernatural "phenomena" that you can think of. Take, for example, an attempt to prove that fairies don't exist. A fairy believer says that fairies live in the hollow tree down by the river. So, we go down to the tree to look, and there are no fairies. When we report back, the fairy supporters say "they were out to lunch," or "they were invisible," or "well, they still exist, just not in that tree." See the problem?

Since we don't have any tools or processes that can definitively show that, across all of existence, spirits either do or do not exist, what can we do? The answer is to do exactly what we did do — test the specific, testable claims made by people like Allison. In this way, we allow the claimant to define their own abilities, and we test them against those very claims.

For a perfect example of what we're referring to, check out the case of Natasha Demkina, the girl with X-ray eyes. In case you aren't familiar with Natasha, she claimed to be able to use some form of X-ray vision to diagnose medical conditions just by looking at people. Since we cannot see through Natasha's eyes, a test was designed based on her own claims. As James Randi relates:

In the test, Ms. Demkina correctly identified the medical conditions of four out of seven patients, and misdiagnosed three. She was informed in advance of the seven possible conditions, and was required to assign them correctly — a "forced-choice" test. She had claimed in advance that she would be 100% correct, but agreed with the researchers that she would have to get at least five successes to pass the test. Professor Josephson seems unaware that proper scientific tests require that the protocol be agreed upon in advance and then adhered to — as this one was; he prefers to re-structure the rules when the test fails to prove the point he prefers.

One of the test subjects had as her "secret" the fact that she had a hip replacement, and her somewhat awkward gait might have hinted at that. Also, Demkina's people were in conversation with some of the subjects before the test. These were both factors that should have been eliminated, I would say. One cannot make excuses after the test is agreed to and carried out, however. Those factors have to be eliminated in advance by the experimenters. To offer such facts as excuses would be to follow Josephson's methods, and I find that not acceptable.

This is a great example of a test that can be carried out without the need for tools or processes for detecting the paranormal event behind the claimed ability. In point of fact, we tend to think that this test was way too easy — it was multiple choice, the level for success was set below the level in Natasha's own claims, and some medical conditions were, as Randi notes, somewhat easier to ascertain visually than others. In addition, the data was tainted when Natasha's own people were allowed to talk to the participants. All this said, though, Natasha still failed when it came to her own claims. Not only did she not get 100% of the diagnoses correct as she said she would, she didn't even get five out of seven right, which was the agreed upon success rate in order to declare Natasha's claims valid. The point being: it really isn't all that difficult to test paranormal claims, as long as you aim to test the specific claims themselves.

In the end, if a claimant were to pass one of these tests of their own claims, it would prove that "something" was going on. It would, as you imply, require more precise tests that we may not be able to yet define, or for which we don't yet have the available technology, to assign the cause of such a "something" as "spirit medium powers" (or whatever paranormal cause is being claimed). But the fact remains — unfortunately for the psychics — that no person who claims to have paranormal abilities has ever convincingly passed muster even in preliminary tests of their own claims, like Randi's test of Natasha Demkina. That is, not only can they not demonstrate that the "something" going on is psychic or spiritual, they can't even demonstrate that "something" is even going on in the first place!

Regarding Einstein, as you say, we can never know what was truly in his head. Quotes may be taken out of context, or from different times over the course of a person's life, and may seem to have meanings that they were never intended to have. For our part, every quote we've seen that is validly attributed to Einstein, with citations that are readily available to the public and have been since Einstein was still alive and could answer questions, has painted him as a non-believer. If you did come across others that are well-documented, we would certainly like to see them. Feel free to post links here, or to send them to us via our Contact page, if you like. As a note, his famous "God does not play dice" remark isn't an expression of his spiritual faith, but rather reflected his staunch opposition to the uncertainty and "randomness" implicit in quantum mechanics; so don't rely on that one, whatever you do! But seriously, in the end — and as we've said — it's an interesting discussion that really bears no relevance to the current state of scientific knowledge. What Einstein (or Edison or Marconi) believed on a non-evidentiary basis in no way establishes or even lends credence to such beliefs themselves.

You say:

I came across this site when I googled up Allison Dubois' web page. I never did get to her page.

That's actually good to hear. Hey, we've been to her page, and it's nothing but an Allison-centric waste of time, padded with commercials for her books and her "psychic friends." Quite honestly, even if someone maintains a belief in the paranormal after reading the material on our site, we hope that, at the very least, they can see that Allison is nothing but a laughable carny act. Maybe for some people, psychics can exist, but we hope that they at least understand that Allison is not the "real deal."

You close with:

I've read where people have called you close minded (Oops. I think I may have inferred that.) On the contrary, I sense you're completely open to new discoveries if they meet with your thorough standards. Thanks.

No need to just infer those accusations of closed-mindedness against us — our site is full of people calling us just that! As you say, though, we certainly are open to new discoveries that are not yet scientifically substantiated (superstring theory and M-theory are two perfect examples, and we recently discussed some very interesting properties of light, and the potential uses thereof). But, as you also say, we aren't open to every wild idea that comes down the pike. We're glad that you can see the difference — many people apparently cannot.

And in all sincerity: you're absolutely welcome around here, hugo. As we've said (and despite what some people believe), agreeing with us is not a prerequisite for commenting here. An ability to discuss things rationally, intelligently, and logically is all we ask for, and as far as we're concerned, you meet those criteria perfectly.



cynicia, 2006.06.23 (Fri) 12:57 [Link] »

Hmmm.....we think the individual who writes the bulk of this site and refers to himself as the royal 'we' should shove his head in a gas oven, but not before his granny has washed out his foul mouth with a strong caustic soap.

We see that Alison Dubois has clearly wedged herself up his nose and is invoking a disgusting amount of venomous drivel. Alison is of course the real deal, but like many she has been seduced by the trappings of glamour, money, prestige. A very common human weakness. Could it be that he doth indeed protest too much, taking a sledgehammer to whack a gnat?

He comes across as a very arrogant, patronising and immature individual. We'd just like to say to him 'Grow up, and go get a Real life'.



The Two Percent Company, 2006.06.23 (Fri) 13:40 [Link] »

cynicia,

You know, it gets really fucking annoying dealing with clueless idiots like you over and over and over again. We'll give you a cursory response, then we'll close comments on this post since most of the comments we get here lately seem to be from morons.

First of all, for the cheap and stupid seats, we are not one person. For fuck's sake, you stupid, brainless cocksucker, why is this so hard to grasp? What the fuck would we gain by claiming to be a group if we truly were one person? Fuck, that's stupid.

Second, if you don't like our language, then go fuck yourself. Seriously. Fuck off.

Third, if you actually bothered to read what we wrote, and you still think that Allison is "of course the real deal," then your stupidity is far beyond help. So, either you didn't bother to read what we wrote, or you have the intelligence of a fucking rock. We're guessing it's both. As a matter of fact, we've got a nonexistent bridge to sell you — interested, dipshit?

Fourth, your metaphor about us using a sledgehammer to whack a gnat only works if you believe that Allison is a pathetic carny act, and not a real psychic. Understand? Probably not. Moving on....

Fifth, if you don't have any kind of valid, rational point to make, please stop commenting here. Dropping by to do the equivalent of calling us "a doody head" is not welcome. If you do so again, your comment will be removed.

Now seriously — fuck off. Moron.



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