FAQ of Newsgroup Chaos
Dan Kettler © 1998-2000
Update: May 6, 2000
The USENET newsgroups connected with astrology, psychic phenomena and UFO research is the subject. The questions are of hostility and off-topic writing, and how the high volume has produced censorship. What can be done? These FAQs and answers show beginning solutions.
This FAQ is a preliminary, and it is of Dan Kettler. Edmond Wollmann produced another more comprehensive FAQ.
This FAQ consists of my edited writing of:
Edmond Wollmann P.M.A.F.A
...from a posting in the alt.paranormal newsgroup during July 1998 obtainable from DEJANEWS
Spin Doctoring Cynical Propagandists (SPINICS) FAQ coming soon!
writing of myself
... that of an anonymous new person posting to the newsgroups:
"Q" anonymous "newbie" (rewritten in question format)
"K" Dan Kettler
"W" Edmond Wollmann
A discussion about this FAQ took place in alt.astrology/alt.paranormal. This is the text of that discussion.
Since sherilyn, anonym, Rick Ellis, and others who will be listed have chosen to abuse the internet and use it as a bully pulpit to promote defamation and propaganda against belief systems they are bigoted against, a FAQ will be created to define the SPINIC cult also known as the Skepti-cult.K: For clarification, SKEP-TI-CULT is a term used to define pseudo-skeptics, not necessarily
The FAQ, the books, the publications will all go forward to warn the general public of the abuse and propaganda on usenet by spinics.
...a site about so-called "skeptics"
K: I have quotes of people dissuaded from posting, or even reading these newsgroups, at:
K: Exactly how people censor advocates on Usenet, is shown here.
Because I was attacked fairly hard, I have decided to post through Dejanews
under this name and not bring back any nightmares.
K: It's another confirmation of the fear-type censorship of the SKEP-TI-CULT (not signifying
W: These are not scientists, and not skeptics, they are spin doctoring, bigoted, cynics.
K: I have quotes from these bigots at http://www.psicounsel.com/intelllig.html
...pour over my posts with a fine tooth comb looking for violations to
get my accounts canceled to further censor me.
They have attempted the same with me. Anyone who attempts to expose CULTS
attacked with lies, propaganda, and through misuse of libel laws. This is true on the
INTERNET, and through PRINT, RADIO and TV media. I have examples of that at...
At the above site, see quotes from a book about CULTS
YAHOO (search engine) www.yahoo.com
TYPE: skeptics what they do and why
I will publish a book about this usenet abuse and the censors and bigotry
supported by Internet Service Providers.
10 million more people are logging onto the internet every couple of years...K: Those numbers make this matter very important. Censorship should be stopped whenever
...particularly the alt.paranormal
FAQ of May. 31, 1998,
in section 12 with a variety of methods of helping to
clean up unmoderated groups.
the skepti-cult group (www.skepticult.org)
having fun with the fights and
mocking people like you? Isn't that their purpose, to have fun?
W: ... [they] spin that idea to make the person who sees through it like me seem oversensitive.
K: It's all a spin, just propaganda.
...[they] list posts etc. taken out of context to make me look like I am
internet search engines-this is SERIOUS defamation of my businesses and I will
pursue all involved the rest of my life.
...everytime I make headway with an ISP they call in recruits to spam the
crap out of a group to
"beat me down" and spin excessively because they see I am winning and fear other providers
may catch onto their abuse.
people seem to be in an uproar that there are even people who don't believe
100% in the paranormal in this forum.
K: No-one, in my experience, is in "an uproar" over people not believing "100%
in the paranormal." The only problem people like Edmond and myself have is
the complete disruption and censorship in newsgroups because of the activities
W: Nope... [not an accurate assessment] no one is using critical thinking tools who
believe 100 % in anything without logical questioning...
Q: Are there really propagandists in alt.paranormal?
I have clients that are Phds with their own clinical practices... [yet]
spinics try to paint
me as a nut.
That, obviously, is
They do the same in their attempts to paint me
because they are afraid my exposure of them will be believed -- my writing and references at:
I have proven, with references to other sites, what this CULT does -- their activities both on and off the NET.
Aren't people very opinionated towards some of the "people" in alt.paranormal,
so much the subject of alt.paranormal.
K: They are unable to successfully show that astrology or other aspects of the paranormal
have no validity. Therefore they attack the people of these newsgroups who advocate
There is a section at the above-referenced
site, titled, over-generalization in which I show they
write, principally, about PEOPLE not issues.
W: They use only the fallacy of abusive ad hominem and the dejanews records confirm that:
http://www.dejanews.comK: They are PSEUDO skeptics, SKEP-TI-CULT (of no particular organization).
If they were skeptics they would seek ways to refine their argument techniques to get to the "truth." They don't.
DEFEAT ideas they are bigoted against, they focus on me because I AM intelligent
educated AND an astrologer, and not because I am, supposedly, incompetant.
W: It seems that many (especially newbies) are duped by them into believing they
are well meaning skeptics. The evidence after my observation of their tactics for
5 years now, is that they are not.
Being a newbie myself, I must say that I came here expecting good debate
paranormal, and instead, doesn't it seem like there are hundreds of fightings posts
more or less?
Yes, because these people are going to make SURE there are no good debates
either astrology or the paranormal because they don't WANT it to succeed.
Isn't it true that in alt.paranormal, one side is saying that they should
be the only ones to post
here because they are the true believers in the paranormal?
To the best of my knowledge, no-one has written that only believers should
post. I, myself,
have suggested that in alt.paranormal as an unmoderated group, proponents not
wishing to debate should ignore those who wish to debate, and for those who want
to debate, it's best they attempt to persuade people to debate in sci.skeptic, but
this is a suggestion for the proponents of the paranormal, not an attempt to censor
Details of the above are at:
http://www.psicounsel.com/altparfaq.html -- May 31, 1998 FAQ
-- about what the best evidence is, and
where to debate that evidence
The main reason for this
suggestion is that it's difficult to distinuish which are true
skeptics and which are pseudo-skeptics, and honest debate often turns into
widespread exchanges of insults, inhibiting serious discussion.
For moderated groups, I've advocated open debate over whether such a thing as the paranormal exists, or if astrology is valid. The moderator can stop posts in such a newsgroup, and decide which posts are disruptive. This is only if people want to debate, not because they have been intimidated or harassed into debate.
In no way have I advocated stopping people from debate, either by a FAQ, or by contacting INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS. People have written lies written about what I advocated in alt.paranormal.
Isn't the other side [skeptics] saying that they can post here since it
is a free open alt. forum,
and they too have an interest in the
It's not an issue whether they "can post," but whether they have the right
CENSOR by disrupting the newsgroups, or whether ISPs have the right to
favor people of certain persuasions, so that they may violate the ISPs Acceptable
Use Policies, or the charter and FAQ of a newsgroup when the ISP's AUP refers
to such documents.
They also periodically post
their deceptive FAQs. This is false propaganda.
They are attempts
to control activities, censor, and convince new people on the Net of falsehood. I have rebuttals
to 5 of these at...
...when they [pseudo-skeptics] do [make reasoned arguments] ...we get into
a serious discussion they go along until they reach their level of understanding and then
start the name calling again.
Q: Should I be forced to choose sides trying to rid one side of the other?
Can one make another leave an alt.group of any kind?
That is not an issue, "mak[ing] another leave an alt. group.
If anyone has tried, I don't know of
The main issue, for now, is preventing and stopping abuse by promoting eduction for ISP's to become enlightened, and promoting education of the many proponents of the paranormal.More on this at:
...if you have a "legal business" in this field, and you can't take the
then are you in the wrong business?
...taken on so called skeptics in front of a television camera-and I guarantee
you I was not the one
incapable of taking any heat. KNOWLEDGE is what removes stupidity. Therefore I learn as much as
I can in every field.
Q: What do you think of a friend of mine who was attacked on usenet all the time until he finally left?
W: I will be going nowhere and there will be no intimidating me.
It's good to leave, if that is what one feels truly comfortable doing deep
down inside. Fear as a
motive, however, is unhealthy, in my opinion.
Q: Shouldn't you expect the heat if you put promotions, advertisements, or URL's on usenet?
No-one is exempt from actionable issues, lawful issues, social issues,
anymore on usenet than they
are in everyday life...
is legal, under certain conditions, to promote and advertise on the
Netiquette publications on the Internet do not forbid it. Generally, Internet Service
Providers permit such promotion when the FAQ and CHARTER for a given newsgroup allow it.
For the most part, the "heat" you refer to is unwarranted, and an excuse
to harass proponents of the paranormal.
Q: Do you consider fighting the skeptics the easiest or smartest action?
It's not what I consider "fighting," but more like exposing them
-- educating the ISPs, NET ABUSE
facilitators, USENET admins, proponents of the paranormal, UFO information, other
NEW AGE matters, and Astrologers
Implementation of ITEM
12 by a group of people, of the May 31, 1998 FAQ linked from:
http://www.psicounsel.com/altparfaq.html will help.
Complete text of ITEM 12 "What to do" is here.
This is the outline:
12. a 1. Action regarding Internet Service Providers
A. Contact with ISPs about individuals
B. Other action regarding ISPs
2. Post to NET ABUSE newsgroups when appropriate
b. List the offenders by posting to the newsgroup
c. Repeat messages to each flame encountered
e. Recruitment of additional people to do the above
1. Ads on Compuserve, AOL, etc.
2. Ads on Search Engines
3. Banner ads at metaphysical sites
4. Ads in other newsgroups like
f. Post to the alt.paranormal newsgroup
Widespread implementation will lead to positive change, so that more people read and post to alt.paranormal, alt.paranet.ufo, talk.religion.newage and alt.astrology about the topics of the newsgroups, because there is little or no hostility, and they witness a high percentage of writing about the topic.
skeptics mocking and making fun of a few people, who continue to feed them
that they thrive on.
K: If you change that to pseudo-skeptics, I can accurately state, from careful observation,
they attack many on USENET just for writing as proponents of the paranormal, New Age ideas,
or UFOs as extraterrestrial craft. They put forth a greater effort at lying about the few, such
as Edmond Wollmann and myself, who expose them.
We don't "feed them the material they thrive on." We write the truth plainly, and our words are twisted and taken out of context. Other allegations about us are entirely false.
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