A Skepchick digs up ghost-hunter dirt

Alison Smith is a cool skepchick over at She has it out for TAPS, The Atlantic Paranormal Society, the club behind the show “Ghost Hunters.” Alison noticed that TAPS constantly referred to themselves as a non-profit organization, so she did a little research to figure out if that was true.

She began by checking the WHOIS info on the group. This is public information you can find by visiting I just went to and looked up, which told me (in part):

The Atlantic Paranormal Society
Jason Hawes
88 Brayton Ave.
Warwick, RI 02886
Email: [email protected]

Created on…………..: Wed, Sep 20, 2000
Expires on…………..: Sun, Sep 20, 2015
Record last updated on..: Thu, Mar 30, 2006

So, since they’re in Rhode Island, Alison checked with the RI Secretary of State, who had no record of TAPS as a non-profit organization. TAPS has been around for quite a while — the web site has been there for at least six years — so there’s really no reason why they shouldn’t be registered by now as a non-profit. Alison noted that they’ve been accepting donations and holding fundraising raffles on their web site under the guise of being a non-profit.

Non-profit issues are tricky if you don’t have a lawyer around to help you out — I was pretty unclear on all the issues myself when I started, as I got a lot of contradictory advice, even from professionals. Knowing that, normally I’d be willing to give an organization a pass for getting a bit mixed up. Plus, it doesn’t appear as though TAPS collects a large amount of money through donations (though of course they’ve refused to reveal their financial information so there’s really no way to tell). However, when Alison contacted them to inform them of their misleading use of the term “non-profit,” they gave her quite the blow-off. She has also mentioned that their e-mail messages and voicemail messages have been rather aggressive and intimidating, which annoys me to no end. So, go read Alison’s article here and see if you agree that TAPS is purposely misleading the public on the group’s non-profit status.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. So let me get this straight,

    TAPS is purposely misleading the public on the

    group’s non-profit status.even though "there’s really no way to tell"

    Well if that's the case,isn't it the same as saying that Rebecca is

    a part-time private dancer,"a dancer for money,do what you wont

    me to do" even though theirs really no way to tell?

    Or that I keep people locked in my basement,even though theres

    really no way to tell..You guys are so funny,like a bunch monkeys..


    Is it possible that T.A.P.S are no longer stationed in RI,and your

    narrow search will not reveal updated changes?

    Is it possible that your friend is receiving bad vibes

    from T.A.P.S because "She has it out for TAPS"

    Question "Rebecca?" do you think that if someone

    has it out for you,The target shouldn't be allowed to

    hold a grudge,or retaliate with hostility..

    Truth be told,you have it out for me and have not been

    nice to me yourself,In fact I'm on moderation,so question Rebecca?

    If someone doesn't like you,are we supposed to be nice

    and polite to them ? More importantly Do we HAVE TO??

    So as T.A.P.S are not nice to your friend as you

    are not nice to me,I don't see a difference,yet I'm sure you

    have your reason,however "there’s really no way to tell"


    Take care M.Dmon

    PS perhaps it's time you practice what you preach

    before you start your bitching,or as the bible would say,

    Let he who's without sin,cast the first stone..

    JOHN 8:7

  2. At the very least, their response to Ms. Smith seems inappropriate for an organization with their purported goals. If they really wish to be taken seriously, they have to respond to criticism and skepticism in a reasonable manner.

    That would include being clear about their status (or lack thereof) as a nonprofit organization.

  3. Ha, no angry e-mails, ex. Skepchicks is a nonprofit in Massacusetts, which is the easy part. I have to sit down with our hard-working lawyer one day next week and go over the final paperwork for 501c3.

  4. Wow, looks like they issued a clarification. Ah, the BS-calling power of the internets.

    Sorry to do this in your comments Rebecca, but could you email me your address? My hard drive crashed recently and I lost most of everything. Got some good news that may be worth of some celebratory drinks.

    I have more time now to procastinate at work so I will definitely be checking out the blog.


  5. Which, of course, leads me to the inevitable question:
    Have you managed to work out all the legal bits with
    And is asking me this going to result in angry e-mail and agressive voicemail messages?

  6. Somehow the wacky fans of Ghost Hunters think Allison and I are the same person. Oh, and Mondo Skepto and SAPS are the same website.

    Unfortunately, Jason Hawes, the "Ghostfather" of TAPS has launched a vendetta against Allison on MySpace. He's urging all his fans to email her with their threats and complaints. My, that's so mature of him! Since these highly intelligent fans think we are the same person, my blog is filling up with insults meant for Allison.

    The mind boggles…

  7. Oh hey M-dog your back again. Coolsey. I was hopping I could share some things with you, it's off topic- because you stoped trying to make legitimate arguments after your first post… but on a whim I looked at your internet presence again (after your little tiff about wanting to dig into my "garbage" I thought it was only fair.)

    So M-diggity, it turns out you're a lot nutttier than we've given you credit for.

    You call yourself "Rev Mikal Dmon Spiritual Counselor"

    (here's the link:

    On that same forum you complain about the Ghost Hunters show… no honor amongst theives eh?

    And claim to be the leader of— no correct me if I crack up laughing for seven hours— The Psychic Impurium Council… wow. Really.

    GROW UP, your living in a giant RPG. I don't know what horrible things that happened to you to make you retreat to this fantasy world but it's ok to come out.

    It's better out here.

  8. Shane, for an e-mail address, try the links to your right.

    (Only valid until the website gets a major overhaul of course, since then the links might just as well end up on the left side, or at the bottom).

    Regarding Mikal's claim that TAPS may have moved, perahaps he should read Allison's article on her own website rather than talking nonsense.

    You see, it says quite clearly in that article that no official body in Rhode Island has any record of TAPS, or any non-profit even using the words "atlantic" or "paranormal" in their name, neither past or present. So obviously, they didn't simply move elsewhere. It's pretty clear they never even registered their organisation in the first place. We can be sure that if they had, they would have pointed out to Allison that they in fact really ARE a non-profit (and shown her where they were registered), instead of doing a half-assed job at covering up their mistakes.

    The only thing that "there's really no way to tell" is if they intentionally deceived people, or if they are just a couple of idiots who forgot to get their paperwork in order. People have found themselves in court for much less than that.

  9. I wish I lived in a giant RPG, then I could have super powers. Maybe I could set up my own psychic council and we could do battle over the realms of thought with the evil spirit demons like the one in Sylvia Browne. We'll save you Sylvia!

    Our auras are strong with quantumn energies the likes of which science cannot concieve – extra dimensional connections from the prana-source in our brains to those realms beyond (or within) – dimensions that we cannot perceive since they are wrapped up in infintesimal space as predicted by string theory.

    If anyone has a strong chakra and wishes to join the WooPorn Psychic Council then simply let the animalistic natural flow (the pull of the weasel) guide you.

  10. Dear Vampy

    "Unfortunately, Jason Hawes, the “Ghostfather” of TAPS has

    launched a vendetta against Allison on MySpace. He’s urging

    all his fans to email her with their threats and complaints. My,

    that’s so mature of him!"

    Alison Smith

    "If you feel that TAPS should be held responsible for their

    actions, please, consider writing a complaint."

    I am neither T.A.P.S or Allison but it would seem that

    T.A.P.S reaction maybe in response to the "mature" Allison..

    I'm not vested,and agree with you,but I also recognize

    who started it..And see no difference in comparison of the


    Thanks for sharing your opinion,I hope you

    reflect on mine Take care

    Mikal Dmon Spiritual Counselor

  11. Hello slashnull

    Please don't follow the failed attempts

    of your peers turning topics into personal indictments

    and slander..Education and enlightenment comes from

    many places,It's no secret I find mine through spirituality

    This doesn't make me Superior or Godly,it keeps me

    from being evil.

    because If my attention strays from the path is seek

    I may find something else to hunt instead

    I don't see a priest at hand,so I don't feel I owe anyone

    a confession of anything.I'm here like you,to talk about

    interesting topics and unfortunate for me,I don't deserve

    this much attention.

    Can we agree to respect each others differences?

    Can we acknowledge the this message board is

    not a Mikal Dmon fan club?

    we still haven't concluded if it's a legitimate complaint

    to say an organization is cheating the public"when there

    really is no way to tell"

    Regardless what rpg you're involved with,I don't see

    how that sheds light on the question at hand..

    Take care

    Mikal Dmon Spiritual Counselor

  12. I really don't see how telling people to complain if they disagree with the way an organisation conducts itself in any way equals asking your fans to spam a poor girls mailbox because she has exposed your flaws.

    One is a legitimate complaint, the other is harassment. If you fail to see that difference, then perhaps it's not surprising that there's loads of other stuff out there that you haven't quite fully grasped (yet?).

  13. Okay Exlax

    I'll make this simple so even a monkey

    could understand

    There are only two quotes involved

    1)He’s urging all his fans to "email her with their

    threats and complaints"

    2)If you feel that TAPS should be held responsible

    for their actions, "please, consider writing a complaint"

    Being an objectionable person,I can see a similar

    request from both statements,asking me to wright

    in and complain

    Do you see that?

    Maybe I'm retarded and live on Mars,however please

    focus your attention on the key words in parenthesis,

    that allegedly came form both parties involved..

    So,pardon my ignorance, but I still don't see the

    difference when both parties wont me,to wright

    and complain..

    You don't see that??

    I also wouldn't characterize Allison's' preemptive attack

    as just some "poor girl" portrayed like she's innocent.

    I already presented the FACT, T.A.P.S responses

    comes after Allison's preemptive "out to get them"


    Do You see that?

    I would suggest you reserve your sarcasm,

    it contradicts the point you were making..

    It's obvious my vision is 20 20

    Devils' Advocate:Mikal Dmon

  14. Regarding Mikal’s claim that TAPS may have moved, perhaps he should read Allison’s article on her own website rather than talking nonsense.

    Dear Exlax,I most certainly read the article before I

    reached an opinion on it.How dare you accuse me of

    speaking nonsense

    Alison never said it was never registered if I'm not

    mistaken she claims it's no current active registration

    in Rhode Island..

    Because I'm aware of courthouse procedures involving paper

    regarding these matters,There are several reasons why this could be

    possible,other than a direct illusion being offered as the only reason..

    It's possible that Atlantic paranormal has never existed,because

    T.A.P.S stands for THE Atlantic Paranormal Society,so is it possible

    Smart Mouth,that A.P.s,does not stand for T.A.P.S,and therefore

    will not be registered by that name?

    There are several other possibilities however,

    it's clear you're only interest is believing T.A.P.S

    is the boggy-man..

    Stop drinking the kool-aid

    learn to think for yourself..

    Devils' Advocate:Mikal Dmon

  15. Mystery Solved!!Moving on..


    The funds that are gathered are used to purchase equipment, consumables (tapes, film, batteries, office supplies, etc.), website expenses, and of course travel expenses. Always has, always will.

    We have since changed non-profit to "free volunteer organization" to clear up any misconceptions. We have been working on filing for the appropriate status but it is very difficult for a paranormal group to do in Rhode Island, and it takes time.

    We apologize for this and hope that you realize that our intentions are good but, we are still human.

  16. I think we blew one of his fuses.

    It's ok just go to the fuse merchant on level 21 pay 36 gold for a plus 9 fuse.

  17. I'm just relieved that Becca is back, and I don't have to deal with his posts anymore. What a maroon.

  18. Ah I love him. He's like a puppy dog that farts rainbows whenever you kick him.

    You know it's mean to mess with someone with such an obvious lack of sensability but you just got to see what comes out next.

  19. His malapropisms are classic…almost like those of Shakespeare! As an 'objectionable' person, indeed! I'm not sure if I should thank him for the laugh, or ask him to make me a new cup of tea to replace the one I spit out from laughing :)

  20. at first i thought that was on purpose… almost like those of Shakespeare.

    (sorry it was a REALLY good line so I had to use it.)

    Still, I'd like to hope that somehow he's learning to be a just a bit more skeptical… just a bit.

    At least it'd be nice if he understands that qouteing the bible does nothing for a logical argument other than make him look like a poo flinging monkey.

    Poo….. i crack myself up.

  21. I doubt TAPS are purposefully misleading the public in any nefarious way. As Rebecca says non-profit issues are tricky, and small organisations may just use the term without knowing the legal meaning. So they were called on it by someone who thinks they're no good and they've changed what they say on their website. Whether they were being deliberately malicious like a retarded martian or just ignorant and not bothered is up for speculation, but my bet is on ignorant.

  22. I would agree with that as well. It would be very easy for them to think that they can call themselves Non-Profit and that's the end of it.

    I mean if they're trying to squezze that exrta 700 a year there are easier ways.

    However the response is strange.

  23. Hello bug_girl said,

    are you tired of doing your job?

    If that's the case you can always step down..

    Make no mistake,I didn't ask you to censor

    my post,nor do I feel you're adequate enough to

    moderate a two year old.

    I don't feel Moderators are entitled to take pop shoots

    at your audience,especially considering that my hands

    are tied..

    I also believe that moderators shouldn't be vested into

    heated debates,because who will police the police?

    Fear not my friends,I've invited a friend of mine from

    the A.C.L.U. to stop in,so you'll have less of me to worry

    about,yet if I were you,I would still be worried..

    Oh,this game is defiantly over!

    Devils' Advocate M.Dmon

  24. I agree with you slashnull,and thank you

    for that unbias opinion,which coincidently has

    nothing to do with me..

    Take care my friend M.Dmon

  25. Hahahahahahaaaaaahhaha!

    The ACLU?

    How are your civil liberties being messed with?

    A owner of a blog has the right to refuse service to anyone just as a the owner of a bar can throw you out for being beligerent.

    I also am fairly sure you are lieing or "conjuring" the ACLU freind through means of psychic insanity.

  26. errr… "An" owner.

    I was originaly going to go with proprietor hence the "A" but forgot to add the n.

    Regardless to say I was just enjoying the insanity of our good buddy M-dog to do any proof reading… not that I do any usually.

  27. We consider cases involving issues such as freedom of speech, privacy, freedom of religion, discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation or disability, police misconduct, censorship in schools or libraries, fairness in application of school discipline, workplace privacy, access to government documents, inhumane jail and prison conditions, and other issues of fair treatment by government.

  28. Mikal said:

    I don’t feel Moderators are entitled to take pop shoots

    at your audience,especially considering that my hands are tied…

    I was trying to find something on Google Images to make a joke about Mikal's calling Expatria "Exlax," so I first read that as "poop shots." Yes, Expatria will fulfill all your mentally constipated needs! :-)

    Oh,this game is defiantly over!

    Devils’ Advocate M.Dmon

    How many Devils are there? Do they ever play God's advocate? But you know "defiantly" could almost work…

    You're a riot, Mikal.

    Don't forget to wear your helmets!

  29. Mikal said:

    I don’t feel Moderators are entitled to take pop shoots

    at your audience,especially considering that my hands are tied…

    I was trying to find something on Google Images to make a joke about Mikal's calling Expatria "Exlax," so I first read that as "poop shots." Yes, Expatria will fulfill all your mentally constipated needs! :-)

    Oh,this game is defiantly over!

    Devils’ Advocate M.Dmon

    How many Devils are there? Do they ever play God's advocate? But you know "defiantly" could almost work…

    You're a riot, Mikal.

  30. The thing our friend here should note is that private websites for which you must register to post are not an area where speech is protected. Now, I don't feel that any of his rights HAVE been violated. I don't think it's wrong for him to be in moderation. His attitude and some of the things he's said have merited such disciplinary action. He's made the point that we've said 'mean things' to him and have not been punished, but as I recall most of us at least kept civil tongues in our heads, even if we spoke insulting words.

    Either way, even if the nature of our offense WERE as bad as his, it's still perfectly reasonable for the moderators of this blog to decide how to handle their commenters. None of us are, in any way, guaranteed the right to be able to post (and post freely) here or at any other web site. If someone has a problem with it, they can start their own site for their own purposes, but its not a matter for the ACLU, who CANNOT force a website to allow someone to post any more than they can force a private club to take a certain person as a member.

    Rather than banning him outright, the mods here have at least allowed him to continue posting his odd and sometimes, frankly, threatening messages. We've all encouraged him to STOP READING THE BLOG if he doesn't like its content, and to STOP READING AND POSTING COMMENTS if they bother him so much. After all, it is not as if he HAS to come to this site, nor as if his computer COMPELS him to read it!

    For instance, I dislike and disagree with just about everything Fox News has to say. So, to that end, I don't read it and don't bother commenting on its stories. It makes perfect sense: my blood pressure stays at a normal level, I'm not put into a situation where others who violently disagree with me feel compelled to shout me down. SO, there's no danger of things turning nasty and me putting myself in a situation where I'm banned or moderated. I just don't read their news! But our friendly neighborhood 'devils' advocate' refuses to listen and, despite everything, the mods have mercy and allow him to indulge his masochistic tendencies. That's more than fair and probably more than he deserves.

    It is not as if this is a matter of a public or govermental official preventing him from speaking or punishing/imprisoning him for doing so, and as long as no one is denying him the right to BE whoever or whatever he wants, the ACLU has no jurisdiction. The best he could hope for is to claim discrimination, though I don't know that your right to profess woo-woo beliefs is protected. Even still, that would only go so far since he started in with the insulting and threatening posts rather quickly. In short, our objectionable friend has no legs to stand on, and his ACLU friend would probably tell him the same thing.

  31. thanks Melusine

    however I'm not the Mods and I said earlier,

    do I have to be nice to those who are not nice

    to me?I think exlax knows what I'm talking about


    But you have a great day

    Devils' Advocate M.Dmon

  32. but as I recall most of us at least kept civil tongues in our heads,

    even if we spoke insulting words.

    Actually You never pulled it off that well

    You're hatred comes across quite clear

  33. Actually my freedoms of speech aren't the violation

    I deduce,but as you pointed out,I no longer have to

    bare that responsibility of making the determination..

    Nor isn't your responsibility to cast judgments on

    how and what I should feel..There are people we

    can turn to when who knows my civil liberties..

    I will not trade their council for some bubble gum jury

    Nor do I accept discipline from anyone who's not my superior

    Mother Nature has made me Moderator of myself..

    Devils' Advocate M.Dmon

  34. Oh, Mikal, if you're going to keep referring to Expatria as a stool softener, then you must consider that he is simply trying to free your mind of…stuff.

    You're going nowhere with your civil liberties business – perhaps you should post more sappy love-song videos to Rebecca. :-)

  35. You’re going nowhere with your civil liberties business –

    perhaps you should post more sappy love-song videos

    to Rebecca.


  36. Blah, Blah, Blah. We ARE human. The people of TAPS are human, we are all human, humans have emotions, humans make mistakes, humans are NOT perfect. Just because the people of TAPS act a certain way at certain times, DOES NOT mean they are out to deceive anyone. Just because Mikal is expressing his opinion, doesn't mean people should put him down in order to make themselves feel more superior because they have some inferiority complex of their own. Most of your people are very imperfect, letting someone lead you away from the topic that you feel so adamant about, the Devil's Advocate has done his job adequately, lol.

    As far as right to free speech are concerned, it's not a right just borne by laws, it's a right we have as a people, everywhere. If you decide that you want to censor that right, it's your decision, but it hurts everyone in the end. By not listening to all that can be said by ANYONE, no matter if you agree or not, if you consider them insulting or not, you are limiting yourself and thus perpetuating ignorance. That is why the majority of the populace in the US are such sheep, they hear only what they want to, it's like saying "NANANANANA" and covering your ears.

    Personally, and this is my own OPINION, I think that the owners of this blog and the site it supports, are just trying to get attention for their own "non-profit" organization, and nit-picking at another business in the same genre just goes to show how petty and needy they are. To go to such lengths to search out the flaws of an organization that is doing better, has become more "famous" that they have, is just sad and child-like. TAPS, in responding the way they have to Alison Smith, may also be at fault, but they probably get a million nuts a day trying to discredit them or disrespect them as people for what they are trying to do, I would probably, though wrongfully, react the same way they did, I'm also only human. Alison Smith sure has gone to A LOT of trouble to try to cause problems for TAPS, which makes me just look at TAPS as if they are actually doing a better job and someone is a tad jealous. It's no wonder they gave her the "brush-off", I would too, ignore the gnat and it will eventually buzz itself away, and as for the part where they tell people to send their complaints about her to her, maybe they are tired of the persistant gnat and just want to swat it.

    I'm not a fan, or an enemy either, of TAPS, I just call things the way I see them.

    Go ahead, refute my claims, get insulting even, if you choose, I'll just laugh at you and the fact that I've made you do something, controlling your responses in some way, manipulating your thoughts and hearts (as I am doing even as you are reading this). This is MY opinion, and I don't really care about yours, it's just fun to see the human condition at work. You can censor me if you like, but that shows your own weakness. Are you angry? Are you disgusted? Do you think you are superior to me in your OPINION? Go ahead, post, I'm just watching to see what you can come up with that you think might actually affect me, someone with a keyboard, far away, that doesn't really care.

    Shadow X

  37. Hey Rebecca,Do you think Boston over-reacted or

    sufficiently reacted to the lite-bright gorilla tactic

    of Milton Hasbro?

  38. Hey Shadow, you seem reasonable in comparisson to M-diggity.

    We are acting the way we are twords him because he has threatened physical violence, and stalking.

    After his first post when we provided evidence to refute his claim and asked for evidence in support of his many claims he went nuts. He posted many increasingly unintelligible messages that were spackled with hate. He posts bible qoutes (usualy out of context) as if they make his point and acts suprised when we respond with witty responses that are meant to ridicule that form of archaic thinking.

    At this point M-diggity is our "fun-button" when he shows up I like to screw with him because you never know what your going to get in response.

    So, M hasnt gone on moderation because of his opnion, he's done it because of his actions (and a little bit of post spamming). Though I'm sure he ran off to his psychic vampire cabal council of elders (which I'm guessing you might be a part of) and told them that the big bad skeptics are screwing with his civil liberties. That we banned him from the site or some other bullshit.

  39. Hello Shadow

    Please ignore comments for the peanut gallery

    "For they know not what they do"??(did I get that right)

    I don't believe threats made it to the board,

    seeing how that only points to shotty moderation vs

    a guy just being a guy..

    I never made any claims of anything here,nor did I

    invite Rent-ta-Cops to splurge into my personal life

    and drag my personal beliefs into every topic,I engage in..

    This I recognize as a violation of my privacy,which is one

    of my civil complaints..

    Please key in on the Mantra "Fun Button" and the reasoning

    behind the excuse,because the word respect is never equated,

    nor is ever deduced..

    I made that rhyme.


    Take care my friend

    Devils' Advocate M.Dmon

  40. Speaking of healthy chuckles..l.o..l.

    I couldn't help myself today from the involuntary chuckles

    which carried me for 4hrs until I got home to verify the post

    Let get this straight,

    "We are acting the way we are twords

    him because He posts bible quotes"

    Whether the verses are in proper context or not,are we supposed

    have Topic regarding GOD and not bring up quotes from the bible?

    What on earth will I do now in all those Hotel rooms?

    You guys are sooooo Funny!

    No wonder why I get "no respect"the bible says;

    "to lov thy neighbor as thyself",Leviticus 19:18

    Mr.Ass says:Oh no you don't Mr.Dmon,how dare you

    provide a bible verse to support your claim on a atheist

    message board..

    Mikal says:Well actually this is a skeptic board and some

    skeptic are also religious..

    Mr.Ass says:Doesn't matter,How dare you "Christians"

    try to preach bibles to me,I know how to lov my neighbor


    Mikal says;No Mr. Ass,Actually I'm Pagan,and love your

    neighbor has nothing to do with sex…

    Rebecca says:"Theirs really no way to tell"

    Mr.Ass says:That doesn't matter,if you were a true skeptic

    you wouldn't know the bible or its verses,you must be

    the enemy

    Mikal says:No Mr.Ass wrong again..

    I'm not a Christian because I know what's in the bible,

    not because of what I don't know..That would just be stupid..

    These were all actual event,on a conversation that never happened..

    Take care my friends

    Devils' Advocate M.Dmon

  41. Ps I hope you indulge in the fact rebecca,I consecutively

    spike any topic I touch.If it wasn't for me,(pardon the pun)

    your topics would be dead..

    Oh,It's true..

    Devils' Advocate:M.Dmon

  42. February 3, 2007 at 2:59 pm, Mikal Dmon wrote:

    "There are only two quotes involved

    1)He’s urging all his fans to “email her with their

    threats and complaints”

    2)If you feel that TAPS should be held responsible

    for their actions, “please, consider writing a complaint”

    I bolded the key word that makes all the difference.

    Anyway, as has been said before, the issue here is TAPS claiming they're a non-profit when they are clearly not. Like I also said in one of my previous comments, …

    February 3, 2007 at 9:29 am , exarch wrote:

    "The only thing that “there’s really no way to tell” is if they intentionally deceived people, or if they are just a couple of idiots who forgot to get their paperwork in order. People have found themselves in court for much less than that."

    I fully realize the fact that they may simply be two idiots who forgot to get their paperwork in order. And I'm pretty sure that's what they are. But as I also said, people have found themselves in court for much less than that. Ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it. Reacting to your critics by having your fans e-mail them with threats is, however, not proper conduct. And fixing the problem half-assed isn't helping either, because as was shown, they still had the "non-profit" bit up in various less visible places.

    Although silencing your critics appears to be a rather typical woo tactic :roll:

    Better to scare your critics away than to heed their words.

    And finally, to quote Randi at some point during TAM5: it seems to be much easier to take fraudulent psychics to task on legal issues unrelated to their purported abilities, than to actually get them to back up their claims with evidence. If we can take Sylvia Browne as an example, it's perfectly legal to charge people $700 for a 20 minute scripted phone conversation, despite the fact you're not really doing what the people who call you think you're doing.

    On the other hand, it's not legal to claim you're a non-profit organisation, and take donations from people, especially if they think these donations are tax deductible, without being a registered non-profit organisation, having transparent, publicly accessible financial records, and perhaps even having 501c3 status.

    It's also not legal to claim a lower income than you really have on your tax returns.

    If we can't stop woos from making bogus claims, at least we can try and get them on other matters. It worked with Al Capone.

  43. BTW, the tax-return was not an insinuation towards TAPS, but just another example of an available method to shut down psychic con-artists and other woo-fraudsters.

  44. Hey he's talking to me again. Yay!

    Do you only read the first sentence of anything people post?

    Just so you know, a sentence is a full idea you cannot take a fragment of it and ignore the rest and assume you know what I was saying.

    You post bible qoutes as if they prove your point. You see that as a full statement. The bible in no way proves there is a god. Just as that lovable movie frightners doesnt prove ghosts exists. You cannot expect anyone who does not have blind faith to accept the bible as proof of anything. It is a lazy non-logical tactic. It is not an argument and even you can see that it deserves ridicule in a conversation about science.

  45. Dear Shadow Obviously I hearing invisible people again,

    can you please up my medication..

    Something said,I can't find garbage and make it what

    I wish..I would argue once garbage hits the ground It's

    mine to claim..

    There's a difference from twisting and extracting,isn't it

    Shadow..why would anyone fuss over garbage..

    Take care M.Dmon

  46. Hello exarch I understand what you're saying up to a point

    than you lose me when you confuse an independent contractor

    vs a non-profit organization..

    If T.A.P.S run as non-profit than your claims are correct,

    however if it's a misnomer,or play on words,than I think

    it's not the end of the world for them..

    Either case doesn't the I.R.S. reserve the right

    to challenge our records or audits them?If so

    wouldn't you think they are capable of saying

    T.A.P.S are wrong, or we capable of saying they

    are wrong?

    There's really no way to tell,right?

    So why not just move on to something more important??

    Take care my friend M.Dmon

  47. Except your not "extracting" your ignoring. Which is fine, just stop being pissy when you get called on spewing… well lies basicly. You do seem to tread that fine line of ignorance and just plain being a liar.

    Do you honestly believe that you can take five percent of a statement and call it the full thing? It's idiotic. Is it just in the spirit of spite that you do this? (cause I can get behind that, I'm a spitefull bastard and we may have common ground there.) Or do you beleive this is actualy a valid tactic of argument?

  48. Mr Ass said:"You do seem to tread that fine line of

    ignorance and just plain being a liar. Do you honestly

    believe that you can take five percent of a statement

    and call it the full thing?"

    Mikal says:Well Mr. Ass If I'm the liar you claim,yes..

    Mr.Ass said:"It’s idiotic."

    Mikal says:No Mr.Ass,it is a noun or pronoun..

    Idiotic,is an adjective,characterized by idiocy..

    Therefore it,has a purpose,and is obviously beyond

    your grasp..Which is probably why you don't get it..

    Mr.Ass said:Wonk,wonk,wa wonk wonk..

    Mikal Says:I learn so much by watching you Mr.Ass,

    now dance for me,you little monkey..

    These are actually conversations on

    events that never happened..

    Devils' Advocate:M.Dmon

  49. Mikal, the "independent contractor" (which I assume is your designation for Sylvia Browne) is doing the same thing as the TAPS people (the organisation that is up until now, not a non-profit), and that is scamming their fans. Sylvia does it by claiming to be psychic, TAPS does it by claiming to investigate ghosts, when they are in fact just filming a few tricks they set up themselves.

    In other words, my second point in that post was that it's sometimes easier to catch a scammer on something unrelated to the scam they're purveying, and that something is money. While the law says precious little (nothing in fact) about the supernatural, it's crystal clear when it comes to matters of finance. So while it may not be possible to make a scammer pay for scamming people, it might be possible to make them pay for improper management. This is what happened in this case. TAPS was taken to task for using the designation "non-profit", when that designation, and all the legal and financial implications this brings with it, were not appropriate. In other words, people who donated to TAPS were mistakenly assuming that TAPS's financial records were properly managed, when for all we know, they could have put some of that money in their own pocket.

    Now personally, I don't really care what the TAPS guys did with the donations they got, but by calling themselves a non-profit, they (perhaps inadvertently) made people believe that their organisation was under a level of government scrutiny which, in actuality, it wasn't. That means the level of trust people put into the organisation was unwarranted.

  50. I don't agree with your analysis "that it’s sometimes easier to catch a scammer on something unrelated to the scam they’re purveying"

    Laws are tricky and constantly changing,it's never been established

    that theirs any illegal trouble,which could indicate to me,theres any

    reasonable cause for scrutiny

    I see this only as a cheap shot,and nit picking when it's Fact

    what's clear is they're only mistaken,and never pocketed any funds..

    Who are we to JUDGE?

  51. The fact that pretending to be a psychic and scamming people out of their money that way is not illegal (yet) doesn't make it any less reprehensible.

    The pain and suffering that the believers who come to them for hope are put through is real, and a clear indication that psychics will shy away from nothing to make a buck.

    In other words, they must be stopped. And if that means catching them on breaking some other point of the law, so be it. I have no sympathy for them, since they obviously show no sympathy for the people they scam.

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