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« The Reason for the Season? The RantsSkeptics' Circle #51 »

Pat Robertson's Latest Round of Woo
2007.01.03 (Wed) 22:45

Sorry, we must have missed something — what's the difference between religiosos and psychics again? This AP article has us all confused:

In what has become an annual tradition of prognostications, religious broadcaster Pat Robertson said Tuesday God has told him that a terrorist attack on the United States would result in "mass killing" late in 2007.

"I'm not necessarily saying it's going to be nuclear," he said during his news-and-talk television show "The 700 Club" on the Christian Broadcasting Network. "The Lord didn't say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that."

Robertson said God told him during a recent prayer retreat that major cities and possibly millions of people will be affected by the attack, which should take place sometime after September.

Let's see: vague predictions, waffling and escape-clause caveats on the few vague details provided, and a little educated guesswork — gee, sounds like a psychic to us. Let's see how some of Robertson's results stack up:

The broadcaster predicted in January 2004 that President Bush would easily win re-election. Bush won 51 percent of the vote that fall, beating Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.

In 2005, Robertson predicted that Bush would have victory after victory in his second term. He said Social Security reform proposals would be approved and Bush would nominate conservative judges to federal courts.

Lawmakers confirmed Bush's 2005 nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. But the president's Social Security initiative was stalled.

"I have a relatively good track record," he said. "Sometimes I miss."

Yeah, our amazing prophetic superpowers also predicted that Bush would win in 2004, but we wouldn't classify his 51% as winning "easily." And guessing that Bush would nominate conservative judges wasn't a prediction, it was a fait accompli. Moreover, while in 2004 it may have seemed that Bush was on an unstoppable roll, the Social Security prediction was just plain wrong. So by trying to predict obvious results, Robertson sometimes manages to be correct, and sometimes still gets it wrong. No more or less than chance and a rudimentary understanding of the current political climate would give you. Gee, sounds like a psychic to us.

Here's another similarity — subjective validation:

In May, Robertson said God told him that storms and possibly a tsunami were to crash into America's coastline in 2006. Even though the U.S. was not hit with a tsunami, Robertson on Tuesday cited last spring's heavy rains and flooding in New England as partly fulfilling the prediction.

Heavy rains and flooding are the same as a tsunami? Yeah, and our friend's basement flooded in 2006 — shouldn't that fulfill the divine prophecy as well? He lives in a coastal state, after all. And what's with this "partly fulfilling" spiel? God was only partly right? What, the omnipotent, omniscient boy wonder got an A-? Sheesh, what a lazy bastard that God guy is. Or maybe, like the spirits, he mumbles. So it's just Pat misinterpreting the totally correct messages coming through. Once again old Pat seems just like a psychic.

Okay, one last similarity:

Robertson suggested in January 2006 that God punished then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with a stroke for ceding Israeli-controlled land to the Palestinians.

And there you have it, folks, that's the game! Predictions after the fact: a classic hallmark of the psychic industry. Nicely done, Pat. Of course, psychics even get this kind of shit wrong all the time (à la Sylvia Browne and Allison DuBois, to name two of our, er, favorites). But wait! Bonus points: Pat has also opted for one of those "impossible to verify" predictions by telling us what God intended. Well done, Pat!

In all seriousness, none of these similarities are surprising in the least. After all, there really is no discernible difference between a belief in psychics and a belief in a magical sky daddy (excepting, of course, the political pull). They're just different toppings on the same gooey sundae of credulity. We do have to admit, though, that Pat's psychic skills and love of the camera place him near the top of his profession as a sideshow prognosticator. Of course, that's not saying much at all.

It almost makes one wonder if there's any sort of conflict between religious and psychical sects. Oh, tell us, Pat, please do!

Q: I'm confused about the difference between someone who is a psychic and someone who is a prophet. Is a prophet the spiritual equivalent of a psychic?

A: Absolutely not. The word psychic comes from the Greek word psuke, which means soul. These are people who have soulish impulses that come primarily from demon spirits. That's where all this comes from. There are some people who have a natural psychic feeling, but a prophet is hearing from the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God touches the spirit of man, whereas demonic forces do not touch your spirit. What they do is touch your soul. The apostle Paul said the psuke man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God.

Thanks for clearing that up, Patty. Allow us to translate from Robertsonian to Realitese: a religious prophet pretends to get his information from God, and a psychic pretends to get his information from elsewhere. Either way, of course: they are pretending (or genuinely deluded). For the record, though: shitting all over other phonies who are pulling the same bullshit act you're pulling...yeah, that sure sounds like a psychic to us, too!

Of course, it's telling that Pat can't simply dismiss psychics as frauds — no, they're being corrupted and lied to by "evil spirits." Because in Pat's mind, something supernatural must be going on...it just has to be his version, not the psychics'. How sad to be so trapped in a fictitious worldview that you have to filter other people's fictions through the veil of your own if you are to acknowledge them at all.

Then again, these are the same folks who think that Harry Potter is promoting "real-life" witchcraft and sorcery.

Frauds and lunatics, folks. They're all frauds and lunatics. And sometimes both.

— • —
[  Filed under: % Bullshit  % Religion  ]

Comments (15)

Icequeen, 2007.01.04 (Thu) 02:09 [Link] »

It sure does sound he's been touching the spirits alright.

Isn't he the one that thinks feminism promotes witchcraft? Sorry I get my weirdos mixed up sometimes.

Rockstar Ryan, 2007.01.04 (Thu) 17:51 [Link] »

I just read a comment from Rev. BigDumbChimp's site coining a new phrase and immediately thought of you all:

Patshit Insane.

Esther Dail, 2007.01.04 (Thu) 21:23 [Link] »

I'm not sure if you've seen this site before, it is only a few months old. Robert Lancaster, who set up a site showing Kaz for the fraud and parasite on Christians that she was, has turned to bigger game. He has started a new site, www.stopsylviabrowne.com/, where he has compiled all of her lies and frantic scrabblings for power.

[The original Stop Sylvia Browne site URL was stolen by fuckhole vulture Boris Kreiman from Robert Lancaster. Please use www.stopsylvia.com from now on. — The Management.]

The Two Percent Company, 2007.01.06 (Sat) 00:38 [Link] »

Got it in one, Icequeen. According to Wikiquote, the following is one of Pat Robertson's greatest hits:

"The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians." — 1992 Iowa fundraising letter opposing a state equal-rights amendment ("Equal Rights Initiative in Iowa Attacked", Washington Post, 23 August 1992)

Oh, c'mon, like feminism isn't all about witchcraft and killing one's own children. Sure. Sneaky feminists.

Rockstar: "Patshit insane" — very nice! We're going to have to nick that and start using it in any more Robertson Rants.

And Esther — yep, we've seen the StopSylviaBrowne.com site — it's a nice bit of work! We didn't realize, though, that it was created by the same guy who ran (and still runs) the StopKaz.com site, Robert Lancaster. There's something to be said for the single-mindedness of purpose that Robert shows in these projects. It's a great way to get a message across without any distractions.

[This comment was edited to correct the Stop Sylvia Browne site links, after fuckhole vulture Boris Kreiman stole the original domain from Robert Lancaster. — The Management.]

Glintir, 2007.01.06 (Sat) 11:14 [Link] »

I'm confused again. Pat says that his hooky doo speaks to souls, and their hooky doo speaks to spirits. And we all have a spirit and a soul. Er, uh, what's the difference between a spirit and a soul?

And if I Have both can I trade the in for different prizes?

God, 2007.01.25 (Thu) 10:49 [Link] »

If you continue to believe that you have no telepathic powers, then you shall not experience them. Do remember, you are all thoughts, your bodies are but a result of creative thoughts. And what separates thoughts? Bodies, and the judgements they exude. Do remember little ones, while you are playing polarity deaf and dumb to your unlimited abilites, it's only temporary. You are after all, God, all part of the same fabric, cloaked in bodies. You are so brilliant at self sabotage. I often wonder how long it really will take for this Earth experiment of amnesia to complete. No, I don't need a light, I have my own thank you. I am impressed that you knew I smoked. Are you psychic? Pass the ketchup please.

The Two Percent Company, 2007.01.25 (Thu) 13:45 [Link] »

Dude, it's like watching the unholy union of Deepak Chopra and a malfunctioning lava lamp. You're trippy, "God."

TimmyAnn, 2007.02.02 (Fri) 02:58 [Link] »

Yeah, I totally remember feminists burning their bras and then throwing their children into the fire as they waved goodbye to their husbands before going off somewhere to have sex with the other members of their covens! Wow, he totally nailed that one!

TimmyAnn, 2007.02.02 (Fri) 03:24 [Link] »

Just when I was beginning to think the SPAM filter didn't hate me, anymore.......Oh, well, I know my post will appear eventually.

TimmyAnn, 2007.02.03 (Sat) 00:14 [Link] »

Wow, the SPAM filter really hates me now. It's been, like twenty hour or something and still my posts aren't here.

Jeff from the Two Percent Company, 2007.02.03 (Sat) 00:22 [Link] »

Hey, no fair, TimmyAnn — your two previous comments have been approved since Friday morning (at least by the time I got up, but admittedly, I go to work pretty late). Now you're picking on the spam filter, instead of the other way around!

Though I'll also admit that it certainly does seem to deserve it. I have no idea what it's got against you, but it really has tackled all of your recent comments. We'll have to give it a stern talking-to. In the meantime, just post any comments you have, and we'll get them approved as soon as possible.

Tom from the Two Percent Company, 2007.02.03 (Sat) 00:34 [Link] »

I see the problem, TimmyAnn. Somehow, your IP address has made it into one of the databases of known spam sources. Specifically, it is in the bsb.empty.us list (which we don't have anything to do with, but which our spam filter checks). So every time you post, your comment is moderated until we approve it manually.

Sorry about that — I have no idea how to fix this. Disabling the IP lookup would work, but frankly that feature stops a lot of spam, so I'm loathe to do that. We promise to approve you as soon as we see your comments, though.

As a note, if you don't see your comments after a while, try reloading the page. Sometimes that will cause them to show up (assuming we've already approved them).

TimmyAnn, 2007.02.03 (Sat) 02:26 [Link] »

Okay, now I can see that two of you have replied to me, but I can only read the first few words, because I can only see them in the "recent posts" on the main "Rants" page! Que pasa?

TimmyAnn, 2007.02.03 (Sat) 02:30 [Link] »

Oh, nevermind, they are there now. Sorry to be a whiner. I'll stop now!! I swear!!

Jenna, 2007.04.10 (Tue) 11:57 [Link] »

I can see where Pat got some of his ideas for the above quote on feminism, as stupid as the conclusions he drew from them happened to be. During the feminist movement there were a few radical groups that taught women that they did not need their husbands for example. So what? Many women were told and believed they were meant to lead submissive and supportive lives behind the men in their lives and this new idea of independence as women was empowering to them. They now had a sisterhood that they could trust and lean on.

Lesbianism seemed to be more popular at the time as well. But correlation does not mean causation and lesbianism already existed to a certain degree, but was not publicly supported, thus was kept secret. This newfound "sisterhood" also contributed in that they felt closer to women and that meant sexually as well.

This also led to feminists forming certain pagan religious groups that provided support among the sisterhood while also combining a sense of oneness with the eart - this reconnection with nature was already a trend in the 60's. Despite all of this it definitely was not the same political climate by 1992 when he was quoted. Feminism evolved over the last 40 years. While maintaining the same basic beliefs of equality, it has also become less radical, partly due to accomplishments in the advancement in women (though there is still much to be done), partly because the era of civil rights has been ushered out.

Also, "Kill their children"? I can tell you with good authority that Andrea Yeats was definitely not a feminist. Oh that's right, she was a Christian, driven to systematically drown all of her children through some delusional belief that unless she killed them before the age of accountability, they would grow up as heathens and go to Hell.

Sorry if this was off topic. So what the fuck is the difference between talking to supernatural beings who predict the future, and talking to God who does the same? There is no evidence for either, and I bet that Andrea Yeats' husband would have prefered that she didn't take the bible or the rantings of a lunatic cult leader so seriously! Wicca is absolutely ridiculous, but more harmless than Christianity in my opinion!

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