A new video! Close-enough transcript below.

Hey Ellen.

We need to talk about Theresa Caputo. She’s the “Long Island Medium” who claims to be able to talk to the dead, and you’ve had her on your show in the past and you’re planning to have her on your show again.

To be fair, if Theresa Caputo can do the things she claims to do, it’s not just okay for you to promote her but it is your moral imperative to promote her. She has discovered the afterlife, the most important discovery in human history. She’s going to win a nobel prize. Several. All the nobel prizes, even that fake one for economics, because I know somebody’s gonna be turning a major profit here.

But if Caputo can’t really do the things she claims to do, promoting her is like using your show to sell jars of unicorn poop as an anti-depressant. It’s dangerous, immoral, and well, full of crap.

You’ve probably guessed by now, because you are smart and insightful and funny, that I think Caputo is full of crap. You are correct. I’ve seen her act, and it’s the same act that I’ve seen John Edward do, the same act I’ve seen Sylvia Browne do, and the same act I’ve seen magicians do, magicians who admit they’re not psychic and who admit that they’re just doing a magic trick called “cold reading.”

I won’t go into all the details, but know that cold reading can involve throwing out common things that likely apply to a number of people in a large audience that has specifically come to hear from dead relatives, or noticing things about people that allow you to make educated guesses, or making general statements that can be interpreted in several different ways. When the medium gets something wrong she can just abandon that person and move on to someone else or just keep talking and pretend the person was agreeing with you all along.

If you’re wondering what’s the harm in someone pretending to be psychic, look at the faces of the people Theresa Caputo abandons when her guesses aren’t connecting. Look at them start to cry while they force a smile and pretend that it’s not a big deal that they thought their dead mother was speaking to them from beyond the grave but it turns out it was just that other guy’s dead second cousin’s best friend.

Maybe Caputo makes some people feel better, but is that worth making all those other people feel like crap? Is it worth bringing up a woman’s memory of her mother dying of Alzheimers only to corrupt that memory? To turn her vibrant mother into an insipid ghost who can’t say one meaningful thing but can only talk about how she used to be chilly? To encourage an entire audience of millions to give their time, energy, and money to other charlatans who will lie to them instead of allowing them to find closure?

I don’t think so, Ellen. It is my opinion that Caputo is running a scam, and you’re helping her. You said that she can convince skeptics – well I’m a skeptic, and I’m not convinced yet. Let her try her magic trick on me. Or better yet, let her try her trick on James Randi, a magician who has offered a million dollars to anyone who can prove they have paranormal abilities. She’ll even have a head start, since we both have Wikipedia pages describing half our lives. When “psychics” start out with bits of knowledge about their targets, it makes the cold reading so much easier.

If you’re worried that skepticism doesn’t make for good TV, know that Randi used to be a regular on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, where he exposed people like Uri Gellar and Peter Popov in front of millions.

Ellen, you were the first woman Johnny Carson invited to the couch after a set. You could be the first woman to host a talk show that presents the skeptical side of pseudoscientists who target people who are grieving.

You’ve been an incredible ally for women, animals, and LGBT activists. Why not start being an ally for those of us who also value science, critical thinking, and compassion for grieving people?

Do the right thing. Don’t promote Theresa Caputo.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org and appears on the weekly Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast. 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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109 Comments

  1. Avatar of juryjone
    March 29, 2014 at 12:11 pm —

    Brilliant. I hope she sees this and takes heed. We have enough credible talk-show hosts.

    Of course, Ellen is not confrontational, so the best we can probably hope for is Caputo not being a guest on her show anymore. But that’s a step in the right direction.

  2. Avatar of Cygore
    March 29, 2014 at 1:15 pm —

    Juryjone: Alternatively, she could have a magician on and explain Cold Reading, and just not mention Caputo.

  3. Avatar of kiba
    March 29, 2014 at 3:49 pm —

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjPsnfysrp8

    But it’s worth mentioning that I’ve never met a single person who ever truly believed such ‘mediums’, even the emotional ones. Normal people love to be entertained. Normal people even like to play with their own emotions by suspending disbelief just long enough to simulate such feelings as would arise if there really were such ‘mediums’ walking around (few really believe). I think skeptics and cultists are often the only people who do take sideshows seriously. If most people really could be made to believe that every death is but an automatic gateway to endless bliss, the whole human race would commit collective suicide as cultists sometimes do. We do not because we both doubt that oblivion is better, and that heaven is not earned. Normal people (the vast majority) are logical, practical, and cautious. Ellen is a fine example here, for she is an entertainer, not an encyclopedia. I contrast an entertainer with an inanimate object here because good educators are also entertaining. The bottom line is that most people know themselves well enough to play such games without harming themselves or others. In other words, I do not regard Ellen hosting this ‘medium’ to be a promotion of lying, or of a falsehood; rather, it’s a game. Such games open up new avenues of thought, and indeed are the fuel of critical thinking in the first place. We watch magic shows to feel simultaneously the simulation of wonder, as well as try to figure out the trick. For the audience, it is an entirely intellectual pleasure.

    • Avatar of marilove
      March 29, 2014 at 5:10 pm —

      Yes, some people are aware that this is just cold reading, but not everyone is. This woman and others like her take advantage of people at their most vulnerable. It’s not okay.

      Comments like yours bother me. They are full of authority, as if we should immediately trust your word and take everything you’ve said at face value, but it’s nothing more than speculation. “It’s worth mentioning that I’ve never met a single person who ever truly believed such “mediums”, even the emotional ones.”

      Okay, great. It’s worth mentioning that YOU have never met someone who has sincerely believed in mediums? It’s as if you’re subtly trying to impress on us that your voice and your opinion is the one we should listen to because YOU said it. No other reason; just because you said it.

      It’s interesting that you lay down OPINIONS and a bunch of “this is how *I* feel about this” while trying to make it seem as if it’s solid truth, all by your tone. But you’ve presented us with *nothing* but a bunch of words with no proof behind them, and with the implication that we should take your baseless words at face value.

      Sigh.

    • Avatar of marilove
      March 29, 2014 at 5:16 pm —

      And why are you sharing with us a video of someone explaining cold reading, as if we have no fucking idea what that is? We know. And a video of a guy telling us what he does is cold reading does not in any way prove any of your points. Like, at all. And I honestly don’t understand why you couldn’t have just started your opinion-laden comment by saying, “As we here all know, what this woman and others like her do is the “art” of cold reading.” LIKE YEAH NO SHIT.

      Look, even if MOST people are aware that this is just a “game”, some people do take it rather seriously, AND it’s easier to impress upon people when they are vulnerable, and this woman and others like her do just that: They PLAY THEIR GAME *on vulnerable people* all while making a lot of money doing it. It’s NOT OKAY

      Some “psychics” get in on REAL POLICE WORK, which is also *not okay*. It’s disrupting the flow of justice and it’s presenting lies and bullshit in a very real and very serious police case. I don’t understand why this is so hard to grasp: Taking advantage of vulnerable people to make a buck is not okay.

    • Avatar of skeith
      March 29, 2014 at 5:33 pm —

      “Normal people love to be entertained. Normal people even like to play with their own emotions by suspending disbelief just long enough to simulate such feelings”

      It’s also worth mentioning that I’m not in favor of this type of statement. You say that “the vast majority” of people are “normal” and are “logical, practical, and cautious.” But you provide zero evidence or documentation of that, beyond your own word, and in the process you frame people who are NOT those things as “not normal.”

      This is not okay. It is not okay to have such contempt for other people. It is not okay to say that if they don’t fit within the narrow confines of your definition of “normal” (love to be entertained, are logical-practical-cautions, like to play with their own emotions which frankly to me sounds unpleasant and I question this as being part of the criteria to be normal) they must be abnormal and we shouldn’t care about them.

      • Avatar of marilove
        March 29, 2014 at 7:48 pm —

        It’s also worth mentioning that I agree with you, skeith. (SERIOUSLY, is it not obvious how condescending “It’s also worth mentioning” sounds when what comes after is just opinion and conjecture?!)

        Anyway, kiba puked up some opinions on the screen about human behavior and expects us to take his mostly word salad at face value ‘cuz kiba finds it worth mentioning.

        • Avatar of marilove
          March 29, 2014 at 7:51 pm —

          Excuse me, I don’t know if kiba is a “he” and thought I had gone through all of my pronouns to make them gender neutral but apparently not. So replace that with “they”.

    • Avatar of Jon Brewer
      April 1, 2014 at 6:26 pm —

      You think normal people are rational? Adorable. (In reality, superstition is a side effect of human intelligence. We see a correlation and immediately make a causal link.)

    • Avatar of Jack99
      April 4, 2014 at 2:45 pm —

      Kiba, it’s also worth mentioning that I’ve met lots of people who DO believe such mediums. There, my anecdote beats your anecdote.

  4. Avatar of Rabidtreeweasel
    March 29, 2014 at 4:19 pm —

    Ellen practices TM, and is unlikely to exhibit much skepticism toward the notion that all consciousness exists below the level of gross perception. The mindset TM promotes makes other forms of pseudoscience easy to embrace, especially if those forms support the TM worldview.

    • Avatar of marilove
      March 29, 2014 at 5:31 pm —

      What is TM?

      • Avatar of antichthon
        March 29, 2014 at 5:51 pm —

        Transcendental Meditation.

      • Avatar of delphi_ote
        March 29, 2014 at 11:43 pm —

        The wooest woo that ever wooed. You can literally fly through the air through meditation.

        • Avatar of Jon Brewer
          April 1, 2014 at 6:34 pm —

          Well, now we know where R Kelly got that song from.

          I generally put TM in what I call dragon-class woo: Woo less plausible than if I claimed to be a fire-breathing dragon. As an ideology, TM leads to “You just didn’t wish hard enough.”

          • Avatar of timothy
            April 5, 2014 at 9:49 am

            “I generally put TM in what I call dragon-class woo …”

            That’s awesome, Jon! :-D

    • Avatar of Jon Brewer
      April 4, 2014 at 2:06 pm —

      She also has been involved in protesting Eskimos hunting seal. We’re talking about a part of the world where, due to its isolation, a loaf of bread costs $6, and white people want to take away the only affordable way to feed your family. #FourthWorldProblems

  5. Avatar of Matt Kovach
    March 30, 2014 at 2:47 pm —

    sadly Ellen is no different than Oprah and even if she did see this open letter , she would still promote Caputo

  6. Avatar of Cinzia La Strega
    March 31, 2014 at 12:49 am —

    You make a strong case for the very real harm mediums (even ones presented as “entertainment”) can do to people. It’s important to remind people like me, who tend to simply dismiss such programs as mindless “fodder” without thinking critically about their effects.

  7. Avatar of tyrant
    March 31, 2014 at 10:16 am —

    I just want to say that apart from your commentary, which I think is excellent, your new videos look really well-made. You come across great, with nice colors, lighting etc.

  8. Avatar of kiba
    April 1, 2014 at 3:16 am —

    @marilove & skeith: Me condescending? Really? You’re a couple of rude nutters, aren’t you? I, a skeptic, make a simple, fun, non-controversial comment in good faith, in agreement with the fundamental point of this community that Caputo is a fraud (and mediumship in general), and you decide to angrily piss and moan at ME? Text generally has whatever tone you read into it, whatever irrelevant assumptions you bring to it, and whatever erroneous conclusions you draw from it. But your explicit hostility is just about the limit case of unreasonableness.

    1. The fact that I obviously agree with you that psychics are a bunch of phonies is not enough? Nope. Evidently, I must express it in the way you’d prefer it to make you feel. Perhaps you are subconsciously playing with your emotions! Do interwebz fights get your blood up?… I doubt you possess the self-reflectivity to be amused. Are you honestly attempting to harm me with the rhetorical tactic of demanding that I provide “proof”, by which you probably think you mean some kind of study, that my personal experience is my personal experience? I couldn’t have been more clear about my subjectivity. However, objectively, do you really think that healthy superstition (as described above) is somehow pernicious to an ancient and extremely successful species that remains and always has been superstitious?

    2. For fun, for your enjoyment, I posted a very excellent video of Orson Welles, one of the great magicians and artists of the 20th century (you’re welcome, by the way), and you immediately took that as an insult, specifically that the link implies that I think you don’t know what cold reading is?

    3. Oops! I dropped the “N” word! No, not THAT “N” word! I typed the word “Normal”! Therefore, I must be bigoted and full of contempt for all sorts of good people, and obviously think we shouldn’t care about superstitious people, eh, skeith?! Ha!

    I think you both need professional help. Your reactionary fear bears all the hallmarks of fanaticism. You would do well to recall Santayana’s admirable words about redoubling your efforts, having lost the ability to recognize your goal. Bottom line: the three of us are in agreement that Caputo doesn’t really talk to the dead. Shall I be doubly redundant for you, and say it is my ‘personal opinion’ that the vast majority of relevant people also think she’s full of crap? What more do you want from your ally, dear Inquisitors? Perhaps you would feel better if we, the rational, suspended our critical thinking in order to tremble with you over a non-existent superstition crisis.

    • Avatar of mrmisconception
      April 1, 2014 at 6:10 am —

      Well, that was quite the abelist rant (nutters? need professional help? really?).

      I’m not sure how they came to the conclusion that you were condescending but I will assure you that I came to that same conclusion using nothing but your actual words in this reply, not speculation.

      Oh, and they never said you were bigoted or full of contempt, that’s all on you. I believe it is called projecting.

      See, we can be condescending too?

      • Avatar of skeith
        April 1, 2014 at 7:09 am —

        mrmisconception:

        Condescending was marilove’s word. Here’s how I came up with the word contempt.

        kiba defines normal, and asserts that normal people do not believe in people like Caputo. However, there are people who do believe in Caputo; this is demonstrable in reality. The only conclusion to draw is that those people are not normal. I could put this into syllogistic form.

        In addition, the entire thrust of kiba’s post is, “Do not be concerned about Caputo, friends! It is all in good fun!” Here’s an example of that tone:

        “The bottom line is that most people know themselves well enough to play such games without harming themselves or others. In other words, I do not regard Ellen hosting this ‘medium’ to be a promotion of lying, or of a falsehood; rather, it’s a game.”

        kiba is clearly OK with Caputo being on Ellen, and combined with the earlier assertion that the only people who believe in Caputo are abnormal, this conveys complete contempt for the people who are (in kiba’s estimation) abnormal. Those people don’t deserve our concern or protection; we should just play our game with Caputo and not worry about them.

        More clear?

        • Avatar of mrmisconception
          April 1, 2014 at 7:35 am —

          I was using “I’m not sure” as a rhetorical device to show how they had, in a completely separate post, shown themselves to be condescending. I do have a good idea why marilove and yourself found kiba to be condescending, I just don’t “know” for sure. So no worries.

          And kiba, if you are still wondering about why Caputo and her ilk are not harmless I would suggest a visit to What’s the Harm. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are above believing such things, unless you have never found out you were wrong about anything in your life.

          • Avatar of skeith
            April 1, 2014 at 5:42 pm

            Oh. Sorry! LOL. S’what I get for checking the internet first thing in the morning.

        • Avatar of marilove
          April 1, 2014 at 9:10 pm —

          Actually, I appreciate you clarifying…might help kiba understand why he is coming off as such a condescending jerk.’

          Oh, wait a second! Sorry, kiba. I don’t mean to reply to other people on the internet, just like you! Apparently when I do it, it means I’m fanatical! Oops.

      • Avatar of marilove
        April 1, 2014 at 8:52 pm —

        Gotta say, I’m now pretty positive kiba is male.

        I’m acting hostile! I’m nutters! I need professional help! I’m acting fanatical! All the while condescendingly mansplaining a point he clearly does not actually understand while acting as if he is coming from a place of authority.

        Yawwwwwn.

        • Avatar of mrmisconception
          April 1, 2014 at 8:54 pm —

          You are most likely right, but I try not to gender so as not to mis-gender. But if I had to venture a guess…

          • Avatar of marilove
            April 1, 2014 at 9:03 pm

            If I’m wrong, I will gladly eat my hat (meaning I will apologize and grovel appropriately – I do not mind being wrong; it happens); but I doubt I am.

          • Avatar of marilove
            April 1, 2014 at 9:07 pm

            Also, the fact that he suggested I need “professional help” all because I merely replied to his comment … are you kidding me? There is a LOT of projection going on in his reply, lol.

            Kiba, I replied to your comment, with one of my own, and you left a tl;dr tirade about how “nutters” I am, how fanatical, how I need professional help, and on and on and … are you even AWARE of how much you overreacted and how fucking ironic that is? It’s laughable, really. You’re laughable!

        • Avatar of kiba
          April 9, 2014 at 8:08 pm —

          “Mansplaining”, marilove? Gender bias now? Ha! More fuel for my postjudice. You have a natural talent for misdirection in conversation, this time muddling by means of irrelevancy. Ergo, if you’re not a magician, you should be. Good money in that line. Also, over-sensitivity is typical of your personality type: people with a persecution complex, no sense of humor, and for whom anything short of ass-kissing must be condescension. So, like I said, you’re a religious fanatic. Quite an achievement without an explicit religion.

          • Avatar of marilove
            April 9, 2014 at 8:25 pm

            I am so over you and your condensation. “no sense of humor, ”

            Yeah I’m just a hysterical woman, right? *eye roll*

    • Avatar of skeith
      April 1, 2014 at 6:45 am —

      Your use of the word “nutters” as an insult is more of an insult to yourself than to anyone else, pretty much in-line with your earlier declaration that you know what is “normal” and can define it, conveniently in such a way that the definition includes yourself. Nobody can insult you more than you have, without even intending to do it.

      You clearly have a very high opinion of yourself, but your posts do not support that opinion. You claim I have no self-reflection, but you are completely incapable of accepting polite criticism. Yes, my post was polite. I insulted you not even once, but rather than consider what I said and either agree or disagree, you detonated a insult-bomb onto me.

      “What more do you want from your ally, dear Inquisitors?”

      You are no ally of mine, nor of anyone. Don’t claim to be one.

      • Avatar of kiba
        April 9, 2014 at 8:20 pm —

        Again, you prove your fanaticism by your infantile over-sensitivity and penchant for irrelevancy. This has been a most remarkable demonstration of the increasing impossibility of conversation on da interwebz. I know what normal is, and so do you. To claim to know the truth (that Captuo is a fraud), as this community does, and to claim that sharing the truth is ethical, and hiding the truth is unethical (as Skepchick nobly does right in the video above), is to make an authoritative pronouncement from Reason about what is normal. Normally, no one ought believe in ‘mediums'; that is to say, normal people don’t believe in bulls**t. You don’t disagree with me at all, so stop pretending you do because you don’t like the tone you mistakenly read into my first post.

        • Avatar of marilove
          April 9, 2014 at 9:28 pm —

          Oh my fucking god. You were the one that used “nutters” and other clearly abelist language and also the over-used insults of “why aren’t you just a hysterical feminist!”. Just stop it. No one is impressed by you. You are making yourself look fucking terrible.

          • Avatar of kiba
            April 12, 2014 at 4:22 pm

            Obviously, I never said or implied anything about gender at all, yours or mine. That’s been your personal cudgel for reasons unknown and uninteresting. Furthermore, I don’t think it’s healthy to cultivate my self-image based on how I think other people think I look, so I hope you won’t mind if I don’t take your rebuke as advice for self-improvement. I think I’m making myself look rather extraordinary, and since, like you, I care about exposing frauds like Caputo, I think we should be friends, not enemies. Hand shake and a hug?

          • Avatar of marilove
            April 13, 2014 at 6:29 am

            You have yet to even address the fact that you called me “nutters” and more. I’m not the only one who has told you how abhorrent that is and yet you have completely ignored that. Completely. And you want to be friends? Are you kidding me?

            I do not owe you jack shit. And you have been nothign but condsending and then out-right offensive.

            Fuck you.

            Anyone who thinks abelist and coded sexist insults is okay and who can’t even bring himself to apologize is not worthy of my friendship, and quite frankly, I find it rather offensive that you even asked.

            Fuck that shit. I don’t owe you crap.

          • Avatar of marilove
            April 13, 2014 at 6:30 am

            “I think I’m making myself look rather extraordinary, and since, like you, ”

            Yep, you are: An extraordinary asshole.

          • Avatar of marilove
            April 13, 2014 at 6:37 am

            “You’re a couple of rude nutters, aren’t you? I, a skeptic…”

            Do you not think I can’t go back and read your bullshit? Do you think I want to hug someone who has called me nutters and who clearly refuses to address how awful and problematic that is? OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE, you are so condensing and self-centered and entitled, it’s ridiculous.

            No, you’re not on my side and you’re NOT my ally. You have no right to claim that. None. Not after your sexist, condescending bullshit.

            I am just completely fucking amused at the fact that you think I’m about to be pals with you. You’re utterly full of yourself. And full of shit.

            I mean for fuck’s sake, are you kidding me?!?!?!?!?!

            I don’t owe you my friendship. Just because you claim to be on my side does not mean you actually are. And it is BLATANTLY obvious that you think you have done nothing wrong and that I owe you something. HAHAHAH NO.

          • Avatar of kiba
            April 17, 2014 at 12:40 pm

            @marilove: I wave the white flag. I surrender! I will do whatever you say. Just relax, and get a good night’s sleep. When you awake refreshed, calm, and filled with an overwhelming desire to bury the hatchet, please shoot me a message at . I like you. You’re a lovely person of conviction (though a bit of a potty typer, truth be told). I have no quarrel with you, I desire no quarrel with you. Give peace a chance, tranquility now! etc, etc. Please?

          • Avatar of jynnan_tonnyx
            April 17, 2014 at 1:16 pm

            @kiba: Dude, you’re not fooling anyone with this “pretend to be reconciliatory while condescendingly painting the other person as irrational and aggressive” bullshit. Just stop.

            You’re an asshole. The chance for you to come across as anything other than an asshole has long since come and gone. Just walk away.

          • Avatar of kiba
            April 18, 2014 at 5:46 pm

            Pretty sure you’re just an alt of marlilove or skeith, “dude”.

          • Avatar of marilove
            April 17, 2014 at 4:30 pm

            “I will do whatever you say.”

            HOLY SHIT. A decent person shouldn’t need someone to tell them how to interact with people. That’s on you. It’s not my job to teach you. And you STILL have yet to apologize for calling me and the other women here “nutters” and other cliche sexist bullshit. Good christ, I even mentioned in the comment you’re replying to here that you haven’t even apologized, AND YOU STILL DON’T GET IT?

            Don’t bother apologizing, please. I know it will be empty bullshit. Because you clearly have NO understanding what you’ve done wrong. Instead, you just want to wave a white flag and have me forget what a condescending, sexist jack ass you are? I think not.

            Burn that white flag. It’s useless.

            “Just relax, and get a good night’s sleep. When you awake refreshed, calm, and filled with an overwhelming desire to bury the hatchet, please shoot me a message at .”

            ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME HERE? You’re an asshole. Stop telling me how to relax. Fuck you.

            I like you. You’re a lovely person of conviction”

            I don’t like you. I don’t care if you like me. Stop trying to tell me how you feel about me:

            I

            DO

            NOT

            GIVE

            A

            FUCK.

            Oh: Fuck off.

          • Avatar of kiba
            April 18, 2014 at 5:44 pm

            Still going on and on with this accusation that I am a “sexist” in a completely gender neutral environment of complete anonymity? Says more about you than me. We’re all just names here, and only you seem to live day to day in this extraordinary fantasy of yours that I called “the women” here ‘nutters’, when, in fact, I obviously called anonymous people who somehow took offense at nothing but friendly camaraderie “nutters” because that’s crazy. I won’t apologize for initially trying to be nice. I joined this conversation five minutes after happily joining this community in order to talk about skepticism and science. Now I know who to avoid. Read above, and examine the facts in the form of a chronology:

            1. I posted an excellent clip of Orson Welles explaining cold reading for its entertainment value, as well as for people who don’t know this method of trickery. Then I said that, in my opinion, I doubt most people (i.e. normal/reasonable) believe Caputo, and I’d say her waning popularity and websites like this are proof of that.

            2. You aggressively responded by saying that my opinion “bothers” you because it sounds like it’s “full of authority”, whatever that means (because it’s optimistic?). I posted my positive experience, and you immediately implied that I’m a threat to the cause of truth and justice and the American way or whatever. Really?

            3. Then skeith stumbles over and says “it’s not ok” for me to use the word ‘normal’ to refer to a state of mind that doesn’t believe in or abide by lies and fraud… on Skepchic.org… Really?

            4. You continue the assault by accusing me of somehow implying that this community doesn’t know what cold reading is because I posted a clip of Orson Welles that I thought you might enjoy. :\

            5. Skeith says that because I used the word “normal” to refer to the state of mind of non-belief in unprovable invisible entities, I must (and this is rather incredible) “have such contempt for other people… who don’t fit into the narrow confines of my ‘definition’ of normal [scare quotes]… and think we shouldn’t care about them”!

            6. Skeith reiterates his claim that because I used the word “normal” in a sentence, my opinion can be formed into a syllogism the conclusion of which can only be that I despise other people and want them to suffer! Okay, buddy……………. Yeah, that’s what I think. :P lol

            7. Then you chime in yet again, and claim that my very first sentence in this community “It’s worth mentioning that” (which clearly means, “In my experience/In my opinion”, in a friendly manner) is offensive because it sounds condescending somehow.

            8. I rightly objected to all this crap, and wondered aloud how the hell the two of you could come to such bizarre and hostile conclusions.

            9. The both of you (and now jynnan_tonnyx) immediately responded by calling me hostile, as well as throwing out the baseless accusations that I am, first of all, male, second that I am sexist, and now third that I am a “douchbag [pretending] to be reconciliatory while condescendingly painting the other person as irrational and aggressive”. Quite frankly, I don’t have to paint any of you as anything other than what your posts clearly show you to be: irrational and aggressive.

            I did everything I could. I explained how you misinterpreted the tone and meaning of my initial post (no one else did, and jynnan_tonnyx is clearly a white knight troll taking up a pitchfork and torch to join the mob). I ceased to engage in the inane back and forth with the sincere offer of peace and friendship between us, though I will not apologize for honestly trying to discuss the video Rebecca posted. But you even took my peace offering to be yet more proof of your distortion of me, so I give up. I’m the one who deserves an apology here. Over the course of the last few weeks, all you have done is insult and swear at me from the start, with increasing rage. What should have been a friendly discussion about cold readers and the state of our society is now your colossal comical self-portrait. Congratulations.

            When you’re ready to make up, mail me at kiba-at-hotmail.

          • Avatar of jynnan_tonnyx
            April 17, 2014 at 4:40 pm

            @marilove:

            I hope my reply to this douchebag didn’t come off as White Knighting or anything like that. I know you’re perfectly capable of responding to this yourself. I just got tired of his bullshit and felt the need to say something.

          • Avatar of marilove
            April 17, 2014 at 5:13 pm

            Not at all! You summarized it quite nicely :)

          • Avatar of marilove
            April 18, 2014 at 7:27 pm

            Are you kidding me, kiba? You’ve officially made this all about you you you you. Fuck off. You wasted your time with your tl;dr screed because I read none of it. I don’t care.

            And I did not make an “alt”. What the fuck is wrong with you? I’ve been around these parts since 2007. Skeith has been here for quite some time, though not that long. You’ve been here what? A coupla weeks?

            Get off your high horse. I hope it kicks you in the ass in the process. You’re so self-centered, it’s astonishing.

          • Avatar of skeith
            April 18, 2014 at 9:23 pm

            Wow, I can’t believe kiba’s still going on back here. You’re a very excitable person, kiba. I’d suggest taking a break from the internet, but that would deprive me of all this enjoyment from finding out you’re =still= going on about this.

          • Avatar of jynnan_tonnyx
            April 22, 2014 at 10:32 am

            “…throwing out the baseless accusations that I am…[pretending] to be reconciliatory while condescendingly painting the other person as irrational and aggressive”. Quite frankly, I don’t have to paint any of you as anything other than what your posts clearly show you to be: irrational and aggressive…When you’re ready to make up, mail me at kiba-at-hotmail.”

            …this is a joke, right?

    • Avatar of marilove
      April 1, 2014 at 8:48 pm —

      “You’re a couple of rude nutters, aren’t you?”

      Are you fucking kidding me? Not only were you being condesending, now you’re just being insulting and (IRONY ALERT) rude as hell.

      Fuck off.

      There. That’s me being rude.

      I didn’t bother reading the rest of your comment. Anyone who thinks “nutters” is appropriate in this space is not worth my time.

  9. Avatar of Jon Brewer
    April 1, 2014 at 6:32 pm —

    One slight clarification: If you have a Wikipedia page, that qualifies as ‘warm’ reading. Cold reading is when you do the trick with no knowledge of the mark in question; for instance, mentioning a common name may lead to a relative who recently died which prompts a “He/she says everything’s fine here in the light, and don’t worry about the money.”, ensuring that the dead relative is in heaven, and it just happens that after a death, inheritance and funeral expenses are often issues. It’s even easier with a larger group.

    (I’d add valuing honesty. Someone like Caputo is, well, not the worst kind of charlatan—the worst kind of charlatan is one whose scam kills children—but pretty emotionally up there.)

  10. Avatar of pandakun
    April 4, 2014 at 6:50 pm —

    This woo has a certain citrus drink after-taste. I here by dub it: woo-tang.

  11. Avatar of kiba
    April 22, 2014 at 2:05 am —

    @marilove & skeith: I shall await your heartfelt apologies. kiba1776-at-hotmail-dot-com, if you prefer privacy. If my thoroughly harmless and well-clarified text offended you in any way real or imagined, I apologize. Let’s be friends, and make the world a better place together.

    • Avatar of marilove
      April 22, 2014 at 3:05 am —

      You are fucking delusional. I have nothing to apologize for and neither does skeith. What the fuck? You’re pathetic. Fuck off.

      • Avatar of kiba
        April 24, 2014 at 2:56 pm —

        @marilove: Well, I tried. Your personality makes you very difficult to deal with.

        @skeith: When they scroll up, they’ll see two very rude people repeatedly telling an optimistic new member to “fuck off” for no reason. :\

        @jynnan_tonnyx: Because people make mistakes. I’ll humor this response, on the off chance you’re not an alt or a troll.

        1) Certainly no one considers publicly available e-mail communication to be creepy. It’s a way not to continue vandalizing this website with their immaturity.

        2) Responding to baseless insults by simply saying such insults are rude is not by any stretch of the imagination ‘an insult’, but a reasonable response to one. In this case, marilove and skeith wanted to fight because they really must be immature or crazy or simply in error about my tone. If I wanted to insult such aggressors, I’d say they are evil. I don’t think that. Thus, I’m reaching out to them, as I respect this community and its members. They don’t, apparently, and neither do you.

        3) What they want to end is my continued reminders of their initial bad behavior. That’s their problem, not mine, and if you are an actual fourth party, not yours either.

        4) I’ve been socially normal, as opposed to their constant swearing, calumny, and rotten attitude. Furthermore, snotty I am not. Rather, you are making the voice in your head recite whatever I type in such a tone as to justify the behavior the two or three of you evidently feel guilty about — to wit, treating me like garbage for posting a personal experience and an Orson Welles clip for fun, probably because you just like to fight and harass in anonymity. For example, the continued accusations of “abelism”, “rudness”, et al; from marilove, skeith, and now from a white knight; have no basis in fact, which everyone can read for themselves above. The very fact that no one else has responded shows that no one else cared about what I initially posted. If the two or three of you are used to people not defending themselves against your vitriol, you ought to get used to it.

        • Avatar of punchdrunk
          April 24, 2014 at 5:30 pm —

          Nobody else has responded because you’re boring. You’re one of the multitude who roam the internet, shitting up comment threads.
          You’re not funny or entertaining or worth ripping on, just another sad little troll. There’s nothing to explicate, nothing to be learned from your foolishness.
          Watching a dog chase its own tail is at least amusing. Something for you to aspire to, at least.

          • Avatar of marilove
            April 24, 2014 at 5:43 pm

            At least it gave me a chance to sing along quite loudly to that awesome Reel Big Fish song lol

          • Avatar of kiba
            April 25, 2014 at 8:05 pm

            “Punchdrunk”, hmm? Perhaps another alt. Or maybe just another pitchfork’n’torcher aroused by herd abuse? This was never about me; it’s about a misinterpretation and a subsequent lack of civility, which I clearly did not start, and have already apologized for accidentally perpetuating in my vain quest for satisfaction based on the erroneous assumption that common decency is ubiquitous in such intellectual circles as this. I take it you didn’t read what actually happened, or you don’t care. Either way, you weren’t part of the original conversation (unless you’re an alt), so I congratulate you for further wasting this venerable community’s time.

            Please, wait, let me save you some time by responding for you… “fuck. off.”, right? Pfft.

          • Avatar of punchdrunk
            April 25, 2014 at 8:22 pm

            You assumed silence meant agreement. Just letting you know it doesn’t.

          • Avatar of marilove
            April 25, 2014 at 8:25 pm

            Dude, there are no fucking alts. You’re such a newb and no one likes you. You’re so full of yourself. Do you honestly think any of us give enough of a shit to go through the effort of making alts? Holy crap, I don’t need an alt. Go the fuck away, asshat.

          • Avatar of kiba
            May 1, 2014 at 11:34 pm

            @punchdrunk: I assume that silence means they didn’t care because they didn’t unreasonably take what I originally wrote to be offensive, sexist, condescending, apathetic, or any of the other balls of mud that have been thrown my way by the Three Stooges here.

            @marilove: Are you sure no one likes me? Or did you mean “I”, when you typed “no one”? I suppose the most extreme Buddhist might say that self-defense is being “so of yourself”, but most people aren’t persuaded by old Siddhartha’s claim that all this is illusion. I see you’ve positioned yourself at the opposite end of his spectrum, where bullies dwell, where far from ‘no-self’, accusers always claim that they speak for everyone. Now, do I honestly think someone who thinks they are everyone would go to the trouble of making alts? You bet. Happens all the time on da interwebz in my experience, especially among those who would use the word “asshat”.

            Yet, I am, as ever, ready to bury the hatchet, as I desire no ongoing quarrel with you. I am so very sorry if I accidentally hurt your feelings. Just reciprocate, and I promise I’ll go away.

          • Avatar of skeith
            May 2, 2014 at 7:11 am

            Wow. Not only are you =still= hammering on about this (seriously, when are you going to stop appearing on the recent comments sidebar?) but you offer the classic non-apology:

            “I am so very sorry if I accidentally hurt your feelings.”

            Not only do you attempt to gaslight people on the internet, apparently unaware that this doesn’t work the same way it does offline, but you think that a non-apology is worth the bits with which it’s written. Or maybe you don’t know that this is a non-apology? Did you just get internet access last week? Are you really this ignorant (and self-ignorant)?

          • Avatar of marilove
            May 2, 2014 at 1:39 pm

            So kiba,IS a trill. And a reaaaalllllly bad one lolol. Also a dumb shit

            keep embarrassing yourself, kiba. This is fun!

          • Avatar of marilove
            May 2, 2014 at 1:41 pm

            Lol cell phone typos.

            kiba kiba… Fuck off.

        • Avatar of marilove
          April 24, 2014 at 5:35 pm —

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WZNyxo1fgQ

          Well, first of all, I’d like to say fuck off, fuck off
          (Fuck off, fuck off)
          If you don’t get it, why don’t you go shove your head back up your ass
          And don’t waste my time I don’t need your opinion, no
          (Oh my God)

          ‘Cause you don’t know what it’s like
          You don’t know what it’s like
          You don’t know what it’s like to be like me
          You don’t know so keep your mouth shut

          Well this may come as kind of a surprise, surprise
          (Surprise, surprise)
          I don’t like you and I don’t care what you think about what I do
          And most of all, I don’t need your opinion, no
          (Oh my God)

          ‘Cause you don’t know what it’s like
          You don’t know what it’s like
          You don’t know what it’s like to be like me
          You don’t know so keep your mouth shut

          Well, finally thats the way it is
          I like something you don’t and you’re telling me it’s shit
          But it’s a waste of time, you can’t change our opinion
          (We dont wanna be, you know what else?)

          ‘Cause I don’t know what it’s like
          I don’t know what it’s like
          I don’t know what it’s like to be like you
          I don’t know so I keep my mouth

          • Avatar of marilove
            April 24, 2014 at 5:45 pm

            I don’t think these lyrics are quite correct. :(

            That’s okay, the spirit still the same: Fuck off, kiba! :D

        • Avatar of marilove
          April 24, 2014 at 5:37 pm —

          P.S. FUCK OFF. :)

        • Avatar of skeith
          April 24, 2014 at 5:39 pm —

          Are numbered lists the new fad in gaslighting?

          Are you upset that your efforts to create your personal reality aren’t actually working?

        • Avatar of antichthon
          May 2, 2014 at 2:00 pm —

          Kiba, I’ve read this exchange from the beginning. I took your comments in the same way Marilove and Skeith did. You should listen to what they’ve been trying to tell you.

          • Avatar of marilove
            May 2, 2014 at 2:17 pm

            Are you a sock puppet? Maybe I created you in my sleep! Must accuse you of the ridiculous before kiba predictably does.

          • Avatar of antichthon
            May 2, 2014 at 2:30 pm

            I’d love to be an alter-ego of you Marilove, ’cause you’re awesome. But sadly, no.

          • Avatar of kiba
            May 3, 2014 at 5:27 pm

            @antichthon: “Kiba, I’ve read this exchange from the beginning. I took your comments in the same way Marilove and Skeith did. You should listen to what they’ve been trying to tell you.”

            What have they been trying to tell me? That my tone is different from the plain positive meaning that I have been clearly explaining again and again for over a month? All they have been telling me for weeks is to “fuck off”. Real nice manners. Now be specific. Which message? The one where I posted a link to an Orson Welles interview as a happy new member, and then said very clearly that I think (rightly) that Caputo is small potatoes, and hardly any adult really believes her, and then explained how people can derive pleasure from magic tricks without believing it’s really magic? Totally non-controversial and inoffensive.

            Now, be serious. Go read my first post from the 29th of March, which I just summarized, and tell us again that you honestly think I deserved the following excerpts from marilove and skeith as an immediate response:

            1. marilove: “It’s interesting that you lay down OPINIONS and a bunch of “this is how *I* feel about this” while trying to make it seem as if it’s solid truth, all by your tone.”

            Yes… I said I was offering my opinion… that what comments are! Pure hostility right away for no reason.

            2. skeith: “This is not okay. It is not okay to have such contempt for other people. It is not okay to say that if they don’t fit within the narrow confines of your definition of “normal” (love to be entertained, are logical-practical-cautions, like to play with their own emotions which frankly to me sounds unpleasant and I question this as being part of the criteria to be normal) they must be abnormal and we shouldn’t care about them.”

            Astonishing misinterpretation at best; at worst, a lying troll who enjoys bullying. Obviously, I never typed anything of the sort. There is simply nothing in my first comment that even remotely implies contempt for others, no calling anyone abnormal, no call not to care about people, etc.

            If a friendly newcomer is blatantly bullied for no conceivable reason over his first positive post immediately after joining a community, he has every reason to assume the aggressors are nutters. I did; I must still, for every attempt I’ve made to explain how they were mistaken, and every attempt I’ve made to apologize to end this nonsense has been utterly rebuffed.

            The burden of proof is on you to explain how my clearly positive opinions and friendly sentiments are “ableist”, “sexist”, “condescending,” etc, and why I deserved weeks of subsequent insults from two rageaholics who constantly swear at me, simply for defending myself from their incredibly offensive accusations. If you read the whole thing from the beginning, you’d know that I have three times explained how their initial interpretation (that my tone was sarcastic and condescending) was dead wrong. You will have also seen that every time I have tried to apologize, I am met with yet further abuse as part of their childish circus of innuendo. Literally everything I type must be “condescending” or “not serious” or perceived as some kind of trolling tactic, etc. That is not healthy adult communication. It’s very likely abuse because it’s unreasonable to suppose they are still simply mistaken after all this time.

            This is a well-respected community with a noble purpose severely marred by a few immature bullies who are alienating like-minded individuals.

          • Avatar of mrmisconception
            May 3, 2014 at 7:00 pm

            @kiba – You called people “nutters” for not agreeing with you, in what way is that not ableist?

            You were rebuked for using the word “normal” (again with the ableism) to describe people who can see that psychics are entertainment and not real, implying that those who are swindled are not normal, that is condescending.

            And when called on those things you started with the poor me complaint that people weren’t being sufficiently nice to you despite you giving nothing to acknowledge the problems pointed out. You even went so far are to imply that anyone who dared point out that you were being less than perfectly nice was an alt or a troll.

            Some commentators here can quickly become prickly when dealing with those who refuse to acknowledge their faults, but then I have yet to see you do that and it has been over a month. Honestly it is getting really boring.

          • Avatar of kiba
            May 5, 2014 at 8:44 am

            @mrmisconception: No, I called people nutters for blatantly misinterpreting what I originally wrote, not for “disagreeing with me”, as shown in the clear examples in my last post. On the contrary, I was called “ableist” and “condescending” (again now by you) for disagreeing with them about the popularity of Caputo, and using the word ‘normal’ to describe clear-headed rationality. Really? Do you know what website you’re on right now? Do you understand what Skepchick said in her video? The entire point of the skeptical movement is that believing in rank unproved superstition is abnormal. If you think that saying a belief is abnormal equates to hating those who hold abnormal beliefs… well, that too is incredibly wrongheaded.

          • Avatar of marilove
            May 3, 2014 at 7:27 pm

            YOU CALLED PEOPLE NUTTERS.

            Are you aware that we can read your text? That what you’ve written is in black and white? THAT YOU CALLED PEOPLE NUTTERS? And that’s only the half of it?

            Go fuck yourself, dude. Seriously. You’re a terrible troll and a terrible human being and you’re trying to gaslight us when WE CAN SEE WHAT YOU WROTE.

          • Avatar of kiba
            May 5, 2014 at 8:48 am

            @marilove: Yes, I called you a nutter, and I still think so because of the way you continue to behave. The real question is why you think you don’t deserve that title for 1) willfully misinterpreting what I originally wrote in order to get into an argument, long after I clearly, though unnecessarily, explained the positive meaning of my original post several times, and 2) for constantly swearing at me, even long after I sincerely apologized several times. This pretty much describes nutty behavior, and you continue….

          • Avatar of Jack99
            May 3, 2014 at 8:10 pm

            Kiba, you lost any sympathy you might otherwise have had (not just with me) when you used the ableist term “nutters” This has been pointed out over and over yet still you persist in using the term.

            You could educate yourself on the importance of this matter by referring to previous threads such as: http://skepchick.org/2012/09/things-to-do-when-the-internet-makes-you-crazy/

            Ableist language is harmful not to the targets of your insults but to innocent bystanders.

          • Avatar of kiba
            May 5, 2014 at 8:53 am

            @Jack99: I don’t need sympathy from anyone; I need rationality. You obviously don’t know what “ableist” language is. Look it up. You’re like a child incorrectly using a new vocabulary word, according to accepted standards. There was positively no context of gender inequality in my original post, and there remains no gender context in anything I have written since. This is about how I was treated poorly, not the other way around. You can’t just throw around words intended to establish a false context over and over again.

          • Avatar of antichthon
            May 3, 2014 at 8:11 pm

            The strength of this community lies in its honesty and compassion. Civility is irrelevant. Tone is irrelevant. Content is what’s relevant. Your content has been inappropriate. Marilove, Skeith, and others have explained why. Listen to what they’re saying.

          • Avatar of kiba
            May 5, 2014 at 8:58 am

            @antichthon: Strength of this community lies in its compassion?! Ha! By no stretch of the definition can this handful of trolls you call a “community” be described as ‘compassionate’. I clearly summarized how marilove, skeith, and now you others, lied about what I said in order to engage in this mob attack. You continue to lie about what I said, and you have no problem defining me or anything I type in any abusive way you choose. I pointed out what you have done, and rather than admit it and apologize, you continue the abuse, masking it with further insults and recontextualizations. As you will. You’re not getting away with anything.

          • Avatar of Jack99
            May 3, 2014 at 8:12 pm

            Also, weapons grade boring.

          • Avatar of skeith
            May 3, 2014 at 8:19 pm

            Look here, kiba. I’m not the fan of “let’s rehash this argument over and over again” that you are. It’s not like this was an offline argument where there’s no objective record of what was said, like you seem to believe. Everything that was said is upthread and no rehashing is necessary.

            But since you seem so attached to this method of discourse, I’ll play along.

            My initial response to you was completely neutral. Your tone was clearly convivial, but what you were saying was unacceptable. There are zero insults in my comment. I was fully prepared for any type of response from you, including the one you provided (an explosion of negative emotion smeared across the Internet). I was equally prepared to be pleasantly surprised by a response more along the lines of, “Oh, I guess I hadn’t thought this all the way through. I didn’t mean to imply that the people who are swindled by psychics are abnormal and not the concern of the superior ‘normal’ people who are ‘in on the joke.’ Believe me, hipster ableism wasn’t my goal!”

            Instead, I got the aforementioned feelingsbomb, including the lovely ableist “nutters” insult. I explained, a second time, what was unacceptable about your comment in a response to mrmisconception, where you could see it, and where, indeed, it is still visible. As is everything else about this argument that we are, for some reason, rehashing again at your insistence. This was frankly more than anyone who deploys insults like “nutters” deserves, but I did it anyway. The result was another feelingsbomb.

            I’m not sure what sort of response you expect from people given your behavior. I provided two polite, completely neutral explanations of what is unacceptable about your initial comment. You have never addressed anything that I said. All you’ve done is post increasingly shrill insults directed at myself and marilove (usually grouping us together, for some reason). You want to go over this discussion again and again, always characterizing yourself as “rightly” saying this or that without giving any reason whatsoever why you are “right” about everything (or anything). You demonstrate zero willingness to engage in any kind of rational discourse and zero capacity to entertain the possibility that you might not actually be in the right here. You present your opinions as if they are truths; you give no indication that you even understand the difference between a truth and an opinion.

            What kind of response do you expect people to give you? I’m not going marilove’s route of just telling you to fuck off over and over, but the more you post the more certain I am that marilove’s route is the appropriate one. There’s no point in engaging with you if you refuse to engage. Just telling you to fuck off would certainly save time and electrons.

          • Avatar of kiba
            May 5, 2014 at 10:13 am

            @skeith: You yourself are huge fans of the “let’s rehash this argument over and over again”. Pretending to distance yourself from what you have been doing for weeks is not going to work with me. I will proceed one statement at a time.

            1) “My initial response to you was completely neutral.”

            Completely neutral? March 29, 2014, 5:33 pm:
            “It’s also worth mentioning that I’m not in favor of this type of statement. You say that ‘the vast majority” of people are “normal” and are “logical, practical, and cautious.”‘ But you provide zero evidence or documentation of that, beyond your own word, and in the process you frame people who are NOT those things as ‘not normal.'”

            When one offers an opinion and a description of personal experience, as I clearly did, one generally does not offer evidence or documentation, as if an interwebz comment box were a scientific study. With your first sentence, you mocked mine. Then you proceeded to frame what I said in an obviously false context in order to backup marilove’s irrational negative spin on what I said. But then you injected another level of muddling into the mix — you implied out of the clear blue of the left field sky that my saying that non-belief in superstition is ‘normal’, I am actually saying, and I quote, “This is not okay. It is not okay to have such contempt for other people. It is not okay to say that if they don’t fit within the narrow confines of your definition of ‘normal’ (love to be entertained, are logical-practical-cautions, like to play with their own emotions which frankly to me sounds unpleasant and I question this as being part of the criteria to be normal) they must be abnormal and we shouldn’t care about them.”

            Really? I have contempt for other people? I said that “we” shouldn’t care about superstitious people? Not the slightest trace of that meaning can be found in my first post. You engaged in willful or accidental recontextualization immediately, and if willful, that is a classic form of abuse often employed by children and politicians. Like I asked another person here, I must ask you: Do you know what website you are on right now? Do you know what community this is? The entire life mission of Skepchick is to demonstrate the abnormality of superstitious thinking, and thus the unethicality of Captuo being given an air of legitimacy on Ellen without an opposing viewpoint, someone like Skepchick interviewed at the same time, for example. Does this mean I hate Caputo or the few people that believe her? Not by any stretch of the imagination.

            2) “Your tone was clearly convivial, but what you were saying was unacceptable. There are zero insults in my comment.”

            As just shown in #1, your entire comment was insulting. First you mocked my first sentence, then you recontextualized the rest of what I wrote, then you baselessly accused me of hating people who don’t think normally. Again, the whole point of the greater skeptical community is to establish guidelines for normal, critical thinking. Who are you? Where have you been? Do you realize what community this is? If me simply saying that non-critical thinking is abnormal is insulting to you, then kindly accuse Skepchick herself of the exact same “ableism”, please.

            3) “…the lovely ableist ‘nutters’ insult. I explained, a second time, what was unacceptable about your comment in a response to mrmisconception, where you could see it, and where, indeed, it is still visible. As is everything else about this argument that we are, for some reason, rehashing again at your insistence. This was frankly more than anyone who deploys insults like ‘nutters’deserves, but I did it anyway. The result was another feelingsbomb.”

            ‘Nutters’ wasn’t an insult. It was a genuine description in response to being abused by you and marilove first. Bullies always rely on making it their victim’s fault that they abused them. It’s how they distance themselves from ethical responsibility. In this case, right from the start you clearly mocked me, willfully misinterpreted me, and continued to lie about me, and in typical bully form, my self-defense is a “feelingsbomb”! To my readers, this, in fact, is an actual example of ableism. To bullies, self-defense is some kind of unjustified mushy outburst of foolish emotion. For example, this is exactly the kind of abnormal thinking that goes on behind an abusive man’s eyeballs whenever he views the woman’s “emotionality” or “weakness” as the cause of his domestic abuse. The exact same psychological form of behavior is in play here against me. I defended myself from bullying, and the response of the bullies is to accuse me of being overly-emotional. It’s so textbook, it’s laughably disturbing.

            4) “I’m not sure what sort of response you expect from people given your behavior.”

            I expected civility at first, and lacking that, I had hoped for just a hint of an apology from any of you. Between the two sides arguing here, I alone have apologized, and even that was ripped apart, and subsequently ignored, so where can I go from there?

            5) “I provided two polite, completely neutral explanations of what is unacceptable about your initial comment.”

            Nope. You didn’t.

            6) “You have never addressed anything that I said. All you’ve done is post increasingly shrill insults directed at myself and marilove (usually grouping us together, for some reason). You want to go over this discussion again and again, always characterizing yourself as “rightly” saying this or that without giving any reason whatsoever why you are “right” about everything (or anything). You demonstrate zero willingness to engage in any kind of rational discourse and zero capacity to entertain the possibility that you might not actually be in the right here.”

            Again, the use of the word “shrill” to describe my ever-calm and reasonable responses is more evidence that you’re trying to abusively paint an picture of me as an overly emotional ‘feelingsbomb’ who deserves to be cursed at and ridiculed. Not only have I addressed what you said, I have quoted you directly several times, clearly showing again and again how what you said about me wasn’t true at all. You are a bully, and I will keep pointing it out. If a person is immediately punched in the face for no reason at all, then ceaselessly abused for asking, “What gives?”, she does not have to entertain the possibility that she isn’t in the right!

            7) “You present your opinions as if they are truths; you give no indication that you even understand the difference between a truth and an opinion.”

            …How can anyone even respond to this original type of statement? What is truth? My first post was clearly a description of my personal experience in light of the fact that Caputo doesn’t have a huge army of followers constituting the majority of people in this country, following her around, clamoring for her to contact their dead relatives. Thus, either the majority of people hate their dead relatives, or they don’t believe her. I don’t have to justify such an opinion; it’s evident. The burden of proof rests on those who say mediumship is a major social problem right now. Skepchick wasn’t saying that; she was saying that Ellen inviting Caputo on her show was unethical because it will make the current problem worse, not that superstition is already a national crisis. Skeptics are trying to prevent a national crisis. This was an informal conversation, and you are now attempting the age-old rhetorical tactic of holding everything I say to a much higher and artificial standard than anything anybody else says, especially yourself. I have to justify every utterance with a scientific study, whereas you can claim the opposite of what I say, against all common experience to the contrary, and the burden of proof rests on me? Laughable! It’s not working.

            8) “What kind of response do you expect people to give you?”

            A civil apology.

            9) “I’m not going marilove’s route of just telling you to fuck off over and over, but the more you post the more certain I am that marilove’s route is the appropriate one. There’s no point in engaging with you if you refuse to engage. Just telling you to fuck off would certainly save time and electrons.”

            The word ‘engage’ doesn’t mean my total capitulation. It means mutual respect. The difference between me and the lot of you is that I began my time in this community with respect for you. In all the ways I’ve clearly shown, you chose to engage in bullying instead. As a result, I must believe that you were hurt by my comments because you are sympathetic to mediumship. It just doesn’t make any sense for skeptics to respond so negatively to my claim that superstitious, non-critical thinking is abnormal. This is the very essence of modern skepticism, and the purpose of this website, to establish the normality of critical thinking. :\

          • Avatar of mrmisconception
            May 5, 2014 at 10:32 am

            @kiba – If you are going to be so condescending (and yes that is the correct word) as to call others children because you think they are using a word incorrectly you might want to make sure that you have used said word correctly yourself. I think I will help you because I am not sure you know how to actually look up words.

            You told @Jack99

            You obviously don’t know what “ableist” language is. Look it up.

            and yet you followed it up with

            There was positively no context of gender inequality in my original post, and there remains no gender context in anything I have written since.

            What you described in the second section would be misogyny which no one accused you of, ableism on the other hand is the discrimination against people with disabilities (including mental disabilities) which your use of “nutter” to imply that those your disagreeing with are crazy most definitely is.

            Please stop this, you are proving yourself to be everything you have been accused of and have now shown that you don’t understand how words work according to “accepted standards”. You have misidentified ableist, normal, and troll and I may have missed a few. You’ve also committed the “no true Scotsman” fallacy which is when you redefine a term (in this case the skeptical community) so that the thing you wish (in this case all those people who are being so “awful” to you) fall outside of the definition so that you make your point (in this case that those “awful” people aren’t skeptics or part of the skeptical community). I would have asked you to look it up but I’m not sure I trust your dictionary given its proven unreliability, and if you don’t know which passage I am taking about I will help you.

            The entire point of the skeptical movement is that believing in rank unproved superstition is abnormal. If you think that saying a belief is abnormal equates to hating those who hold abnormal beliefs… well, that too is incredibly wrongheaded.

            You redefined the skeptical movement so that the perceived wrongs you feel exclude those you are arguing against, classic “no true Scotsman”.

            And finally you wrote

            you have no problem defining me or anything I type in any abusive way you choose

            I will give you that one, we are having no problem finding the problems with your arguments, but as I just pointed out you are the only one doing the redefining here.

          • Avatar of kiba
            May 5, 2014 at 4:43 pm

            @mrmisconception: Address what I wrote instead of wasting more time. You are behaving like a child, and, yes, I believe you are either an alt or a friend of theirs because nobody is this clueless. Every criticism of me that you typed is silly and wrongheaded. I clearly clearly clearly followed up my wondering out loud whether they understood the word ‘ableist’ precisely because, if you had actually read the above bull, they accused me of ableism, and then proceeded to accuse me of gender bias, presumably conflating the two, or including the one within the context of the other, suggesting that I regarded being female as a disability, then referring to me in the third person between themselves saying that I am “obviously male”, etc. Again, they’re not going to get away with that kind of bullying. I won’t tolerate it from them, and I won’t tolerate your absurd misconstrual.

            Secondly, your incredibly ridiculous claim that my widely accepted non-controversial definition of skepticism is an example of a ‘no true Sctosman’ fallacy, you are neither a competent logician, nor a skeptic. How exactly would you define modern skepticism, if not strict adherence to critical thinking?

          • Avatar of Jack99
            May 5, 2014 at 12:16 pm

            I’ve been splained by the assman of all kool aid.
            Lets settle this shit right now
            Who else thinks “nutters” is not ableist?
            I’m quite happy to abide by the consensus.

          • Avatar of kiba
            May 5, 2014 at 5:00 pm

            @Jack99: Again, words like ‘nutters’ describe my confrontation with abject irrationality. In this case, it was intentional bullying, as I clearly demonstrated. If you have something to add about what is actually going on here (that I, a new member, was mercilessly attacked by a few bullies who won’t even discuss skepticism, the subject of the article, or peace), rather than fixate of my use of the word ‘nutter’ once to describe that behavior (as anyone would do), please do so, and stop muddling.

            Of course, saying someone is acting crazy in response to their engaging in incessant unjustified bullying is certainly not the same as setting up a false rhetorical context wherein I pictured marilove and skeith as really disabled, etc. I shouldn’t have to explain that the colloquial use of the word ‘nutters’ was meant in the sense of ‘jerks’ for their senseless bullying, which really surprised me, as opposed to meaning that they were mentally inferior. Worse, they immediately conflated ‘abelism’ with ‘gender inequality’, as they proceeded to talk among themselves that I am “obviously a man”, and marilove in particular constantly blowing off everything I typed as “mansplaining”. Is this not in itself a form of discrimination? Of course. The both of them intentionally misconstrued everything I typed, and then ganged up on me in an increasingly rude campaign of insinuation and recontexualization, accusing me of all sorts of horrible things without cause. They are both obvious bullies, and anyone who defends that behavior, even joining in, is part of the problem.

          • Avatar of punchdrunk
            May 5, 2014 at 12:56 pm
          • Avatar of kiba
            May 5, 2014 at 5:08 pm

            @punchdrunk: If the only way you know how to deal with being exposed as a bully is to belittle and dehumanize me (referring to me as “it”, and implying my posts aren’t worth reading and responding to), rather than reply to my well-articulated point of view with reasoned responses, my point is proved. This behavior is not representative of the skeptical community at large.

          • Avatar of mrmisconception
            May 5, 2014 at 5:05 pm

            @kiba – I’m not sure you actually know how words work. Did you not say

            The entire point of the skeptical movement is that believing in rank unproved superstition is abnormal.

            That is patently wrong, the skeptical movement does not label those who believe in superstition as abnormal, wrong yes but not abnormal. Sorry, but simply stating that you are correct does not make you so.

            In what way is addressing an actual quote not addressing the words you wrote. THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT A FUCKING QUOTE IS! YOU’RE WORDS! I hope you are not as bad at communicating in person for the sake of those around you. But then maybe you can get away with this bullshit gaslighting when there is not a written record of your actual words. You know, “that’s not what I said” doesn’t work when we can still see what you said.

            And I am certainly glad that you addressed what I wrote instead of calling me names like silly, wrongheaded, and clueless. Are you done yet?

          • Avatar of kiba
            May 5, 2014 at 5:31 pm

            @mrmisconception: No, the entire point of the skeptical movement is that believing in rank unproved superstition is abnormal. This is indisputably the case.

            “That is patently wrong, the skeptical movement does not label those who believe in superstition as abnormal, wrong yes but not abnormal. Sorry, but simply stating that you are correct does not make you so.”

            lol, Patently wrong, eh? When you graduate from the sixth grade, you might stop gritting your teeth over your personal vocabulary, and be glad upon entering a whole new world where definitions aren’t fixed by God, and ‘abnormal’ and ‘wrong’ are often used as synonyms. As an exercise in futility, I might challenge you to define the word ‘wrong’ without eventually reaching the concept of abnormality. What tripe.

            “In what way is addressing an actual quote not addressing the words you wrote. THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT A FUCKING QUOTE IS! YOU’RE WORDS!”

            In the way where you utterly miss the point of what was written, despite copy&pasting it again and again. Am I to understand the source of your rage this whole time is that I used the word ‘abnormal’ instead of ‘wrong’? This is childish.

            “I hope you are not as bad at communicating in person for the sake of those around you. But then maybe you can get away with this bullshit gaslighting when there is not a written record of your actual words. You know, ‘that’s not what I said’ doesn’t work when we can still see what you said.”

            Truly absurd. More smearing to add to your strawman image of me. You are seeing what I write, I guess, but you haven’t understood a thing.

            “And I am certainly glad that you addressed what I wrote instead of calling me names like silly, wrongheaded, and clueless. Are you done yet?”

            I said what you wrote was silly; I said what you argued was wrongheaded; and who but a clueless person says silly and wrongheaded things? A bully, though it’s possible to be a clueless bully, I suppose. I clearly did address your actual arguments, and showed every one of the premises to be elaborately wrong, being imaginative descriptions of a kiba that doesn’t exist. I was never condescending, ableist, sexist, nor anything but kind and crystal clear about the precise meaning of everything I typed, be it the reasonable opinions contained in the my first post, and my subsequent defenses (still in genuine shock, by the way) against your preposterous bullying.

          • Avatar of mrmisconception
            May 5, 2014 at 5:16 pm

            @kiba – Fine, you used “nutters” in a way that is outside of “accepted standards” and shame on us for not knowing that you weren’t meaning to be ableist. Wow, our bad. Can you let it fucking go now?

          • Avatar of kiba
            May 5, 2014 at 5:49 pm

            @mrmisconception: “Fine, you used ‘nutters’ in a way that is outside of ‘accepted standards’ and shame on us for not knowing that you weren’t meaning to be ableist. Wow, our bad. Can you let it fucking go now?”

            I’m not the one holding on. My use of that word was both well within the, if you will excuse the term, “norm”, as well as completely irrelevant to the overarching dispute. I apologized for any harm I may have caused already. I’m hoping for an apology for the unbelievable bullying besides.

            I mean, really, who means to be ableist? Why even take what I wrote in the worst possible light, except in accordance with a vicious prejudice? If a speeding driver cuts off another driver on the highway, you might hear the latter driver exclaim, “What a nut!” Is that abelism? No way. He might just as easily have cried out, “What a jerk!” In the same way that the safer driver is shocked by the unsafe driver, I was shocked to read marilove and skeith accuse me out of the blue of “trying to make it seem as if it’s solid truth, all by your tone…the implication that we should take your baseless words at face value. Sigh,” and “It is not okay to have such contempt for other people. It is not okay to say that if they don’t fit within the narrow confines of your definition of ‘normal'”. That tone was never there, and anyone would be hard pressed to find a definition of ‘mentally normal’ that doesn’t come close to or even overlap mine, that is, essentially, not being superstitious, thinking critically, etc. Here again, I am being held to a higher standard of speech than everyone else. I use common, colloquial language, but incredibly detailed clarifications are demanded of me, not because I am actually being unclear, but because I am being bullied.

          • Avatar of mrmisconception
            May 5, 2014 at 6:41 pm

            @kiba –

            More smearing to add to your strawman image of me. You are seeing what I write, I guess, but you haven’t understood a thing.

            I think I have identified the problem here, you have just admitted it

            When you graduate from the sixth grade, you might stop gritting your teeth over your personal vocabulary, and be glad upon entering a whole new world where definitions aren’t fixed by God, and ‘abnormal’ and ‘wrong’ are often used as synonyms.

            So in your world words mean whatever the fuck you decide they mean even if it’s not what others would recognize as the definition, and then you say that I am using my own personal vocabulary. Yet everyone here seems to be using the same vocabulary as I am, interesting that. Using Occam’s Razor I would venture that my definitions of the words that we differ on is closer to standard definition, but then I didn’t “finish the sixth grade” so how would I know. Nice try at poisoning the well by trying to paint me as young, it’s ridiculous and laughably wrong.

            Anyone can “win” an argument if they can arbitrarily decide what words mean, you have no shame. But please continue to believe you are oh so rational in your reasoning.

          • Avatar of kiba
            May 12, 2014 at 1:25 am

            @mrmisconception: 1) “So in your world words mean whatever the fuck you decide they mean even if it’s not what others would recognize as the definition, and then you say that I am using my own personal vocabulary.”

            Not my world only, but the world of the rational in general. In the actual skeptical community at large that Rebecca Watson and I have been a part of (as opposed to you few on her site, and, of course, I’m not saying I know her personally, but I have been engaged in the movement for a long time), the word ‘abnormal’ is used by skeptics and scientists as a polite, that is, ethically neutral, term to describe that which is not the norm, i.e. not the statistical majority. Devoid of positive or negative connotation, the words ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ are thus almost always used with scare quotes and other contextual devices to show that it is never used to imply some kind of reference to natural law. So, when I said politely and admittedly optimistically that I do not see any evidence that the majority of people (the norm) believe Theresa Caputo can really talk to the dead, I specifically did not say that in the context of ethical judgment. I didn’t say the minority that does believe her are ethically bad people, nor that they are biologically inferior beings.

            As you know, Marilove, Skeith, then you, et al, immediately pounced on me, saying that my completely ordinary use of the word ‘normal’ was not ethically neutral, and further put words in my mouth and ideas into my head to the effect that my use of this word alone unambiguously meant that I consider believers in supernatural phenomena to be ‘abnormal’, ***and therefore*** (what syllogism, I know not) I have “contempt for other people” and “if they don’t fit within the narrow confines of your definition of ‘normal’ they must be abnormal and we shouldn’t care about them”. Well… What can I say? If ever there was a willfully farcical misreading of a harmless statement, this is it. I can only correct you so many times.

            2) “Yet everyone here seems to be using the same vocabulary as I am, interesting that. Using Occam’s Razor I would venture that my definitions of the words that we differ on is closer to standard definition, but then I didn’t “finish the sixth grade” so how would I know. Nice try at poisoning the well by trying to paint me as young, it’s ridiculous and laughably wrong.”

            It’s really not my problem that only a handful of commenters in the entire world of skepticism, rationalism, and scientism, don’t appreciate that the words ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ are ethically neutral terms employed to describe statistical majority. For example, any animal behavior or description of health might be described as ‘normal’ or ‘abnormal’, and this designation is understood with respect not only to the present, but to some at least roughly defined span of time. Most squirrels have always eaten nuts. If an isolated group of squirrels took to hunting fisher cats in a pack, a zoologist could well say, “These squirrels are abnormal!” without coming off as condescending toward these squirrels. Quite frankly, these accusations against me are so absurd, I had to believe I was talking to kids, hence my jab about graduating from elementary school. :\ What am I supposed to think here? That it’s now impossible to speak colloquially, or informally, with people? That every statement I make must be fully analyzed by you inquisitors who blatantly hold the prejudice that everything I say is to interpreted in the most negative sense possible? That is a form of bullying because it is a form of willful misinterpretation in order to establish a double-standard. Clearly.

            3) “Anyone can ‘win’ an argument if they can arbitrarily decide what words mean, you have no shame. But please continue to believe you are oh so rational in your reasoning.”

            Again, I have not arbitrarily decided anything. The common uses of the word ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ in the scientific community are ethically neutral. Now, if I were to use these words on a religious website, one could well take them to be used in the context of some “natural law” or another, but this is Skepchick.org, and I clearly implied nothing ethical at all in my original post. On the contrary, I even explained my use of the word ‘normal’ by saying this means the evident majority of people do not seek her out, so either they have no interest in talking to their dead relatives, or they have better things to do than believe her. In a phrase, they treat her like most people in the modern era have always treated carnival magicians: a fun diversion, but certainly not the truth.

          • Avatar of skeith
            May 5, 2014 at 6:42 pm

            I’m not even going to read any more numbered lists. You remind me of my ex, he liked numbered lists and gaslighting, too. That’s why he’s my ex.

          • Avatar of kiba
            May 12, 2014 at 1:43 am

            @skeith: “I’m not even going to read any more numbered lists. You remind me of my ex, he liked numbered lists and gaslighting, too. That’s why he’s my ex.”

            I read everything you write because I still have respect for you. In this situation, it is you who have been gaslighting me. Maybe that’s why you’re his ex, not the other way around. Just the fact that you have chosen to conflate me with an abusive person from your past is personally disturbing.

            Immediately following my first inoffensive post, you and your associates ganged up on me, and attempted nothing other than to get me to question my perception of what I had written. Textbook gaslighting occurred, but it didn’t come from me, and part of that campaign of abuse has been to accuse me of the very thing being perpetrated against me. I’ve been part of the skeptical and scientific community for a long time, and I’ve taken part in many such discussions, and nothing like this has ever happened to me before. Nothing I have contributed to such forums has ever been interpreted this way. Your bullying tactic will not succeed.

          • Avatar of mrmisconception
            May 5, 2014 at 6:44 pm

            And @kiba could you please point out when I bullied you. I was condescending to you, as you were to me, but I never bullied you. I defy you to show where I did.

          • Avatar of kiba
            May 12, 2014 at 2:00 am

            @mrmisconception: “And @kiba could you please point out when I bullied you. I was condescending to you, as you were to me, but I never bullied you. I defy you to show where I did.”

            You sided with marilove and skeith for reasons unknown. Maybe personal loyalty because you’ve known them for a long time. I don’t really care. They put words in my mouth from the beginning, made all kinds of offensive accusations against me, refused to accept my apology back when they were originally saying it was my tone and not the content of what I had written, and, of course, they constantly hold everything I type to a different standard than everyone else, and falsely respond to me as if they are responding to offensive ideas I never communicated in order to make it look like I hold offensive beliefs, etc. Now they are responding to me only to say that they are no longer reading what I am writing to them. Throughout all of this, you sided with them through the evolution of their abuse towards me. You engaged in the typical pack behavior of talking to marilove and skeith as if the three of you were ‘in the know’ about my alleged inadequacies, you took part in their attempt to turn this into a petty gender-based narrative (which is blatant sexism, by the way). I say they are bullies for starting and perpetuating all of this destructive negativity. Would you prefer I call you by the lesser designation of collaborator? I still have no quarrel with you, nor even them insofar as I maintain hope that they have somehow, after weeks of this nonsense, completely misunderstood me, as unlikely as that is.

          • Avatar of skeith
            May 5, 2014 at 7:29 pm

            Although, I do have to wonder if kiba even realizes that there was a transition between:

            “There is simply nothing in my first comment that even remotely implies contempt for others, no calling anyone abnormal, no call not to care about people, etc.”

            – which, as near as I can tell, is the root of kiba’s affront toward me, to:

            “The entire point of the skeptical movement is that believing in rank unproved superstition is abnormal.”

            Leave aside the fact that both of these statements are factually wrong. It’s interesting how kiba went up in arms over (among other things) my saying, “It’s not okay to call people abnormal,” but later asserted that calling people abnormal is exactly what skepticism is all about. So … my original interpretation of that problematic comment was accurate, then. That’s what kiba is admitting.

          • Avatar of kiba
            May 12, 2014 at 2:39 am

            @skeith: 1) “Although, I do have to wonder if kiba even realizes…”

            If you have something to say to me, talk to me, not over me in order to create an atmosphere in which you make me the outsider in order to dismiss everything I say.

            2) “…which, as near as I can tell, is the root of kiba’s affront toward me…”

            Near as you can tell? I have been crystal clear. Several. Times.

            3) “Leave aside the fact that both of these statements are factually wrong.”

            Actually, let’s not leave aside the entire crux of the issue. I have proved via textual evidence several times now that the first statement is factually correct. I did this for the sake of convenience, as readers would have to scroll all the way to the top to know what I said, and how you and marilove violently misinterpreted it in order to bully me. My second thesis, “The entire point of the skeptical movement is that believing in rank unproved superstition is abnormal,” is indeed factually correct. As I told mrmisconception, the words ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ are widely used in the skeptical & scientific communities as ethically neutral descriptors either of statistical majority and minority, respectively, or as predictions of near-future states of normalcy according to a scientific trajectory or some ethical criterion, as a goal that ought to be accomplished for an ethical reason, or to more easily transition socially, and so on. The skeptical movement holds to both — that the majority of people are largely non-superstitious, and more so every day, and also that people ought not be superstitious. If you don’t subscribe to this definition of skepticism, or the larger rational, scientific movement, I don’t know what to tell you. You’d be on another planet, not me. What do you think Skepchick means when she says “critical thinking”? Why do you think she appealed to Ellen DeGeneres? Because A) most people more or less already think Caputo is a phony, and B) most people should think so.

            Again, I ask you, how do you define the skeptical movement? If you have a problem with my clear, common, and non-controversial (besides you) definition, say why, then tell us yours. Please.

            4) “It’s interesting how kiba went up in arms over (among other things) my saying, “It’s not okay to call people abnormal,” but later asserted that calling people abnormal is exactly what skepticism is all about. So … my original interpretation of that problematic comment was accurate, then. That’s what kiba is admitting.”

            It’s like you didn’t read anything I wrote to you over the last month. I can’t keep showing you why your interpretation of my use of the word ‘normal’ is completely mistaken, verging on willful misinterpretation. My use of the word had no ethical connotations, no judgment at all. You alone provided that for the strawman of me that you’ve created here. Leaving aside ethical judgment, if there is nothing abnormal with Caputo and Caputo’s supporters’ reasoning processes, what do you think is Watson’s problem with them and the proliferation of their belief in mediumship via Ellen?

            I did not judge their value as human beings at all, but I also pointed out that one cannot compartmentalize different aspect of life. Two components of rational life are A) seeing reality for what it really is, and B) ethical behavior based on that information, including public media and policy. How is saying so controversial, condescending, or offensive in any way? If you think what I originally posted was negative in these ways, you must accuse Rebecca Watson of the same things. Please excuse me for asking at this point whether you are a skeptic at all. If the root of your problem with me is that you are a believer in mediumship, I’d prefer to steer clear of further debate. Otherwise, I’m completely at a loss as to what issue you could possibly have with my seriously non-controversial description of skepticism, as well as your refusal to admit the evident fact that the vast majority of people on this planet are not at this moment flocking to Caputo, and those that do obviously treat her like a sideshow.

          • Avatar of mrmisconception
            May 12, 2014 at 7:33 am

            @kiba – You would have a better chance of making anyone believe you don’t care what we think if you weren’t back here, yet again, after 6 weeks arguing that you don’t care what we think. These windmills are thoroughly tilted at.

    • Avatar of jynnan_tonnyx
      April 22, 2014 at 12:32 pm —

      Why in the world would you want to be friends with someone you’ve repeatedly characterized as irrational and aggressive? That makes no sense. Either you’re being insincere (in which case fuck off), or you no longer stand by your earlier insults, in which case YOU are the one who should be apologizing.

      Either way, everyone in this conversation has made it clear to you that they want it to end, which makes your continued persistent attempts at private communication a rude (not to mention creepy) transgression of personal boundaries, bordering on harassment. You’ve given us every reason to distrust and dislike you, and little reason to suspect that you are well-intentioned.

      If you are genuinely well-intentioned, I’m sorry, but your social ineptitude and general snottiness have made you no friends here; quite the opposite. If you want to be friends, try starting over under a different name without being rude or ableist or insulting or creepily insisting that people email you apologies.

      And if you’re not well-intentioned, and came here just to troll and harass feminists…well, fuck off, obviously.

      • Avatar of marilove
        April 22, 2014 at 8:40 pm —

        kiba has been doing this for a while and I think we finally made his head explode when he realized his condescending, mansplaining bullshit wasn’t flying.

    • Avatar of skeith
      April 22, 2014 at 7:20 pm —

      BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

      You know, it’s really hard to gaslight people when everything you said, and I said, and marilove said, is still available and all anyone has to do to see it is scroll up.

  12. Avatar of Angel Montgomery
    October 10, 2014 at 8:22 am —

    Was just curious regarding your thoughts on Kim Russo. I found her episode with Linda Dano particularly intriguing. I, too, was one of those kids who never enjoyed the Magic Show near as much as trying to figure out the “trick”? With today’s Social Media and endless internet info, I always wonder just how hard one would have to dig to find some little nugget of hidden history or celebrity comment—then cold mine it for gold. And I’ve seen Ms. Caputo in person, and she did hone in on a few obscure “details” (like the name “River Belle”)—but nothing Steve Martin and a “Leap of Faith” DVD couldn’t explain.

    However, I may view “mediums” like Houdini, but my belief in “psychics” came with the PROOF. My Granny’s best friend for 70+ years also had a “gift” when it came to the departed—she helped law enforcement find missing bodies. Over the years, she gave a lot of families a little closure—but I never ONCE heard her speak of communicating with the afterlife.

    And yes, Elaine did do “readings” for people (including a few celebrities), but there was nothing “cold” about them—and usually pretty hot on target. My favourite was the lady who wanted to know if her husband would be transferred to Africa—but Elaine asked her about a dispute, with a non-family member…regarding a toothbrush. Who argues about a toothbrush??? Much less with someone outside your own bathroom! (lol)

    This is my first visit to your site, so please pardon me if you’ve previously addressed Ms. Russo, or YOUR feelings regarding “psychics”. I have a deep sense of Faith that says God gives the gift of prophecy to some—but I don’t recall the Bible mentioning channeling the dead. ?:)

    • Avatar of kiba
      October 20, 2014 at 1:36 am —

      Angel Montgomery, I think you may have missed the spirit of this site and community. The euphemisms are defined as follows:

      Science: Thinking only in terms of physical monism, that all knowledge is phenomenal and all phenomena are reducible to the one ultimate quantitative description of Reality.

      Critical thinking: Thinking only in terms of physical monism, that all knowledge is phenomenal and all phenomena are reducible to the one ultimate quantitative description of Reality.

      Skeptical: Thinking only in terms of physical monism, that all knowledge is phenomenal and all phenomena are reducible to the one ultimate quantitative description of Reality.

      As such, expect the only responses to your post to be scientistic, critical, and skeptical. They will say things like, “Anecdotes do not establish facts!”, and even if you were to end up being a well-respected scientist who has won the political game of conquering wide acclaim and money, and you actually succeed in establishing evidence of psychical phenomena after a long decades of meticulously peer-reviewed study, the preeminent logical presupposition of this community (that such manifestations are still rooted in one and only one physical substance) will remain a perfectly intact axiom. Nothing ‘supernatural’ will have been established, but perhaps their interpretation of the phenomenon will be modeled after mere spooky action at a distance via Bohmian prespace, or some more conventional natural randomness that reverberates mental images through the only “medium” they believe in — matter.

      The last sin you committed was to mention your faith and the Bible. For the former openness, you will be mocked. But for the latter admission, the mocking will escalate to relentless attack. Good luck. :)

      That warning aside, I would reply to your take on such “psychics” that absolutely everything you see on TV is staged. I cannot judge your personal experience, but some people do have a hyperactive logical cruncher in their heads, and it is possible to refine this purely logical power to seemingly leap to extraordinary (and correct) conclusions, no non-physical powers necessary. Lastly, I would propose a philosophical riddle to you: if psychic powers exist, they interact with the ‘medium’, who is a person walking around, and thus a physical body in the world. Therefore, psychics themselves say that their non-physical power interacts with the physical world. If so, examine your personal definition of ‘physicalness’, and ask yourself if the so-called psychic phenomena does not fall under the same definition. This is critical thinking. I think you will find it does, and then you will understand those who will no doubt talk past you, and you, them.

      P.S. The Bible mentions channeling the dead several times, first in the context of it being immoral to try and encourage, and the second and ever after in the context of it being the sin of theft (fraud) against gullible people.

      • Avatar of mrmisconception
        October 20, 2014 at 8:39 am —

        Oh you again, and I see your dictionary is still broken. It seems to be giving the same definition for wholly disparate concepts.

        Also, the word supernatural refers to that which can not be quantified. If someone were to establishing evidence of psychical phenomena after a long decades of meticulously peer-reviewed study, regardless of the amount of acclaim or money attained, the skeptical community (and more importantly, the scientific community) would embrace it as yet another field of study (and one that would set all other disciplines on their heads to boot). What it also would do is stop calling said phenomena supernatural since it has been quantified.

        As for how I would address Angel Montgomery. I probably wouldn’t address their post since what they posted is a personal belief not an incorrect assertion, something we have no issue with.

        In plain words, stop defining the skeptical community, you are really bad at it. Now bring on the long numbered list that “proves” you don’t care what we think.

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