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             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.

Click at the news item you wish to see

This FAQ consists of my edited writing of:

                 Edmond Wollmann P.M.A.F.A

Click at the graphic to link to Edmond's site.

...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.

The FAQ, the books, the publications will all go forward to warn the general public of the  abuse and propaganda on usenet by spinics.

K:     For clarification, SKEP-TI-CULT is a term used  to define pseudo-skeptics, not necessarily
          an organization. I coined the word in 1996. This is explained at:

          ...a site about so-called "skeptics"

Q:   This is my first post to the usenet group here, and after 3 weeks reading alt.paranormal,
            it seems I must know why so few write about the subject of the paranormal?
W:   Thats because they took over alt.paranormal like they are trying to do here
          (alt.astrology) so that public groups have no real representatives in the
          paranormal fields. This way they dissuade any real conversations from new people
          coming on the net looking for discussions on such topics.  That translates to censorship
          by trashing a group so bad no one WANTS to go there TO represent the topic to the public.

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.

Q:     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
            an organization)

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

W:    [bigots] ...pour over my posts with a fine tooth comb looking for violations to
            get my accounts canceled to further censor me.

K:      They have attempted the same with me. Anyone who attempts to expose CULTS gets
             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

W:     I will publish a book about this usenet abuse and the censors and bigotry that is
            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
         possible.  We can emulate Edmond's and my methods to help people for many years to
         come.  Censorship hurts everyone. Methods of helping to kill censorship are indicated in
         the links from:


       ...particularly the alt.paranormal FAQ of May. 31, 1998,
       in section 12 with a variety of methods of helping to
       clean up unmoderated groups.

Q:     Isn't 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.

W:    ...[they] list posts etc. taken out of context to make me look like I am specious on
           internet search engines-this is SERIOUS defamation of my businesses and I will
           pursue all involved the rest of my life.

W:    ...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.

Q:    Don't 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
           of pseudo-skeptics.
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?

W:    I have clients that are Phds with their own clinical practices... [yet] spinics try to paint
         me as a nut.

K:    That, obviously, is propaganda.  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.

Q:      Aren't people very opinionated towards some of the "people" in alt.paranormal, and not
            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
            the validity.

      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:


If they were skeptics they would seek ways to refine their argument techniques to get to the "truth." They don't.

K:      They are PSEUDO skeptics, SKEP-TI-CULT (of no particular organization).

W:   To DEFEAT ideas they are bigoted against, they focus on me because I AM intelligent and
           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.

Q:     Being a newbie myself, I must say that I came here expecting good debate on the
           paranormal, and instead, doesn't it seem like there are hundreds of fightings posts
           more or less?

W:   Yes, because these people are going to make SURE there are no good debates on
            either astrology or the paranormal because they don't WANT it to succeed.

Q:      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?

K:     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
             the skeptics.

             Details of the above are at:

        http://www.psicounsel.com/altparfaq.html -- May 31, 1998 FAQ

        http://www.psicounsel.com/faqevid.html -- 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.

Q:      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

K:      It's not an issue whether they "can post," but whether they have the right to
          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...


W:      ...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?

K:     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:


Q:      ...if you have a "legal business" in this field, and you can't take the skeptical heat,
            then are you in the wrong business?

W:      ...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.

K:      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?

W:    No-one is exempt from actionable issues, lawful issues, social issues, anymore on usenet than they
            are in everyday life...

K:   It is legal, under certain conditions, to promote and advertise on the INTERNET.  Most
          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 for pseudo-skeptics
          to harass proponents of the paranormal.

Q:      Do you consider fighting the skeptics the easiest or smartest action?

K:      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

                               d. sense-honesty-civility

                               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
                                     alt.paranormal.psi, talk.religion.newage,
                                     and others

                               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.

Q:  Aren't skeptics mocking and making fun of a few people, who continue to feed them the material
         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.

----END ----

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