Anti-ScienceParenting

Good Morning, Gullible America

In London, I told Sid a story about my youth; specifically, about how I was in a program called “Gifted and Talented,” reserved for just a few kids who teachers thought could benefit from extracurricular activities like science experiments, logic puzzles, and field trips. The crux of the story was that the GT group always faced an uphill battle, receiving little to no funding or support from the school board and constantly needing to justify our existence. Sid immediately ignored the point in order to focus on mocking me whenever possible — for instance, I may have become a bit frustrated pushing on a door that was meant to be pulled, prompting Sid to giggle and make snide comments about how gifted I am. And yes, we’ve all seen that Far Side cartoon. Shut up.

Well, apparently I didn’t realize it but I am actually even more special than anyone in the ’80s could have guessed. And not “special” in that way. Shut up.

No, I’m actually an Indigo Child. Yes, that’s right, an Indigo Child. I’m sure this doesn’t come as a shock to most of you who know me, since really it should’ve been obvious from the get-go, but this just goes to show that sometimes we miss what is right in front of our noses. Like how to open a particular door.

If you don’t believe me, you obviously aren’t a fan of ABC’s Good Morning America, a program that recently presented a news story on the Indigos. Here’s an article, in case you missed the show but still want to torture your brain. The article mentions that most Indigos are “highly accomplished, deeply spiritual, and gifted with psychic abilities.” Highly accomplished? Describes me perfectly! Deeply spiritual — well, I WAS when I was a kid, but of course my poor parents had no idea how to maximize my Indigo-ness at the time, so I’ve since lost that. But I’m definitely gifted with psychic abilities, since I can clearly see that the future of ABC holds more and more new age bunk passed off as news. The article also mentions that Indigos have piercing blue eyes, which, of course, I do. Piercing, see?

If you look somewhere in the middle, you’ll see a sentence devoted to the skeptical side of things. This is immediately followed by

However, Marjie Bershad, Sandie’s mother, says she knew her daughter was different “in utero.”

“There was always something different about her — more adult, more focused,” Marjie Bershad said.

I was the same way, but apparently my mother and father didn’t understand what signs to look for. I was a very adult, very focused fetus. My parents actually have an ultrasound showing me sitting in the womb at approximately seven months, smoking a pipe and playing gin rummy. My mother spent four hours in labor, during which time I completed the Sunday New York Times Crossword.

Sandie said her most memorable experience was when her friend’s recently deceased father appeared to her. . . . Sandie said that the father had revealed some private things to her that no one could know about his marriage.

“I had to keep that back for a while because I didn’t want to say anything when he first died,” she said.

How did that go, exactly?

GHOST: Oooooh, Saaaandie!

SANDIE: Yes, Mr. Baxter?

GHOST: Saaaandie, please tell my daughter that I love her!

SANDIE: Okay, Mr. Baxter, sure . . .

GHOST: And Saaaaaandie?

SANDIE: Yes, Mr. Baxter?

GHOST: Saaaaandie, tell my wife that I . . .

SANDIE: Yes?

GHOST: Tell her that I . . . I . . .

SANDIE: What is it, Mr. Baxter?

GHOST: Tell that lying whore I know about Don Peterson from down the street and I don’t care because I’ve been boning his wife since last Labor Day.

Anyway, it should be obvious to everyone except the Indigo geniuses and the ABC producers that these people are sadly delusional. Everyone wants to be special. Everyone wants to be gifted, and/or talented at something, and most people are, but there is a sad subset of people who feel the only way they can stand out is through fantasy. They’d prefer to be “gifted with psychic abilities” rather than just empathetic, and “misunderstood” rather than just assholes that the other kids don’t want to play with. Who wouldn’t? But with their parents already causing plenty of psychological damage by encouraging this stuff, it would be nice if “news” organizations didn’t feed into their fantasies any more.

Click here to send your angry letter to Good Morning America!

Click here to read more about Indigo kids from my buddy Sam at Rinderpest.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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14 Comments

  1. I didn't email anyone because Rebecca's eyes keeping staring at me… ahh…. all right. ALL RIGHT! Yes, I too was in a gifted program, but our activities were designed to encourage critical thinking, but rather to subvert it: we did reports on UFOs, Bigfoot, etc, and it was expected that we'd find evidence for these things rather than against…

  2. Oh gracious, I just watched the video from Good Morning America. That girl is a terrible lier! She keeps looking up and to the right, her speach is excessively full of hesitations and she's so stiff and tense. The only time she looked relaxed and natural was when she was talking about going to college for psychology.

    I'd bet her parents, who knew she was so "special" in utero, have prompted her to invent these elaborate fantasies about herself. She probably feels like she has to maintain them to keep her parents approval.

    Hopefully college will knock some sense into her.

  3. Ah, the gifted and talented program. How well I remember that…

    "Wait, you want more money to explore things above and beyond what the school teaches in order to fuel your intellectual growth? Gee, wish we could, but we just bought a whole new batch of left-handed footballs for the team. Good luck with that 'learning' thing, though…"

    Maybe somebody should create some sort of place where kids could go and do nothing but learn and satisfy their curiosity about the world all day long! That would be great!

  4. It's awfully hard to fit proper outrage into 500 words, but I used their damned feedback form to tell them exactly how they're doing a disservice to the public by regurgitating this bullshit. I really wish we could take this elsewhere, though. Maybe we can convince NBC to run a story on the dangers of ABC's credulous reportage. ;)

  5. I used the link to ABC News to write an email. I told them I thought encouraging parents to believe their children have special paranormal gifts discourages them from taking their children for adequate and effective medical care. And a lotta other stuff, too. I also transmitted the story to another group of skeptics, giving Skepchick credit, of course; Indigo Children is mindboggling.

    Basically the girl in the video was cold reading her friends — it seems to be irresponsible journalism to report that phenomenon weighted so heavily in favor of belief in the paranormal and with so little skepticism. The doctor who was interviewed was good; but the pictures of kids in a nursery bending spoons was right out of Matrix. I am afraid Mr. and Mrs. Joe Bluecollar would likely wish their children could bend spoons.

  6. Yeah, sent ABC a note for all it'll do… Well, it did make me feel a little better.

    I too wanted to be "special" in some extraordinary way as a kid. But fortunately my parents did not encourage me to lie about patently ridiculous stuff. Instead they encouraged me to read, draw, write and learn.

  7. GMA seems to be particularly bad. They just put up a "past life" story about a boy whose family believes he used to be a WWII pilot.

    Their evidence? At 18 months, he was taken to an airplane museum, and he was interested in the WWII planes. At 2 years, he had a dream that about an airplane crash. Now, post hoc does not always mean propter hoc, but *still*.

    I didn't even read that deeply into the article, mainly because I just got fed it this morning, but that's now two junk stories from the same source that I've heard about in as many days. Ridiculous.

    I don't have a link to the article itself, but Sploid covered it, if anybody reads that.

  8. if Indigos have "piercing blue eyes" then I guess we can expect the vast majority of them to also have lily white skin, too? (given the statistical incedence in the US/world population)

    seems like some hidden racial subtext there…..

    Just thought I would add that while eye color is on chromosome 15, skin color is on chromosome 16. They aren't linked, and I know that. However, if you look at population frequencies, you'll see what I mean.

  9. jakanapes: There are schools like that–they're called freeschools, or sudbury schools. Sadly (and interestingly), the one in my city is called the Indigo Sudbury School. How's that for coincidence? One of the reasons I'm very wary of enrolling my kids there.

  10. bug_girl, there's a lot of crap buried in there, trying to pick out a few specifics is not worth your time.

    Both my children have large, blue eyes. When one of them comes to me to tell me they have "feelings" about things, I'll tell them, "Honey, feelings are for idiots, you need to rely on cold hard facts and your intellect, because no one's looking out for you but yourself. Now go play with your wrenches and leave me alone."

  11. Rebecca, thanks for linking to Sam's blog. I'm sure he appreciates it, because he's so awesome and cool and talented and handsome and an all around good guy. He may very well be an Indigo Man.

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