"Skeptics," what they do and why


One thing we may note, in the previous page, is discouragement (example 2) from continued participation in a paranormal-type newsgroup. In effect, people are being censored and bullied into ceasing their postings to certain newsgroups. This is from a fear of being misquoted or addressed publicly with nasty remarks. The ways so-called "skeptics" express themselves are unusual and primitive.

Others just don't have time or money to waste, wading through the garbage that is strewn over the newsgroup. They are either paying by the minute, or don't have selective newsreaders.

There were a number of questions asked by others on the previous page. "Why," comes up.

Charles Gregory asks, perhaps rhetorically:

"Why should those who have not, [experienced]
a phenomenon] demand we prove it to them?"


It's because of a compulsion that does not fit the realities of life. Life's expereriences, and the laws throughout the Earth don't teach us that we have an obligation to prove such things. The deluded minds of these cultists contain a mechanism, a program, that tells them that people must prove paranormal phenomena to anyone who asks for such proof. Usually, they will accuse those who refuse, of being frauds, liars, charlatans, hypocrites, or whatever comes to mind at the moment. When people make an attempt to satisfy their "extraordinary" requirements, they are often ridiculed for the attempt.

It is such an attitude that leads them to invadenewsgroups, (example 1) and often intimidate the people who have the identification (ie astrologers in the newsgroup "alt.astrology") out of the newsgroup.

Below quoted, is Keith Rowland - Webmaster of the Art Bell Web Pages -- Jan. 2, 1997 revision on the ART BELL WEB PAGES asking people to join the mailing list (list: people send mail, and many see it and respond to it -- like a Bulletin Board System) That list is no longer in existence. You access the Art Bell Bulletin Board System, to exchange messages about topics of the Art Bell show, at the Art Bell Web site.

"In my opinion, don't bother reading the alt.fan.art-bell USENET newsgroup as it has been invaded (example 2) by rude, crude and lewd flamers, who have nothing better to do than turn the newsgroup into a childish name calling playground. <snip>"
In my opinion, one can read and post to alt.fan.art-bell, and just avoid any dialogue with the following, and others like them, no matter how innocent or simple a question or comment may appear, or no matter how hostile they may write.

Generally, those who have done this invading of the Art Bell Newsgroup, either call themselves "skeptics" or they parrot the "skeptic" propaganda.


Glen Quarnstrom <geezer@nursing.home>    aka    <glenq@cyberhighway.net>

Tim Hill <bogart1@earthlink.net>                               Jon Walsh <jw34998@nyssa.swt.edu>

Kristine Campbell <gopens@deltanet.com>             Hugh Morles <oakvik@nmhu.campus.mci.net>

Major Margaret Houlihan <twaddling@my.tent.now> aka  <hotlipz@geocities.com>

Postman                  <i'm@home.here>            aka           <jamiemps@mindspring.com>

Lady Nidiffer <wnidiffe@bcpl.lib.md.us>                        Scot Justice <scotj@edge.net>

Stolen Child <stolenchild@geocities.com>                    LVScott <lvscott@ix.netcom.com>

Jerry Watson jwatson@jill.reno.nv.us                Digger <bhenry@spamfree.polarnet.com>


The above is the current list of actively "crude," "lewd," and hostile writers of alt.fan.art-bell as of April 1997.


Their focus is upon attacking the person they disagree with, rather than the issues. In USENET postings, books, many **magazine articles (example 2) radio and TV (example 3) broadcasts, and their WEB PAGES, they consistently focus upon the person who has made certain points about the validity of Psychic and UFO Phenomena. The attempt, as pointed out by another author, is "lame." It's primitive behavior.

**The first example, above is Brian Zeiler writing of Dr. Posner attacking
the psychological make-up of people who believe in the paranormal.

**The second is Linda Moulton Howe being falsely attacked in Gentlemen's Quarterly.

**The third is Art Bell being falsely accused by Kal Korff, and then Korff having to apologize on the Art Bell show, rather than be sued.

When people, like myself, expose their behavior, they become targets of written lies and denigration of character. Rather than defend themselves, or their positions about phenomena, because they have no valid defense, they attempt to discredit the writer.

They often start an argument they were never invited into, and their main source of "information" is the material supplied by their cult organizations. When confronted with valid and accepted scientific evidence, such as that found in Scientific Studies, they resort to distractions, illogical arguments, and focusing upon personal issues.

Often, they attempt ridicule of people who write of UFO and Psychic Phenomena, rather than to write of the phenomena.

They show a distorted view, and representation of, what had been said or written. They tell the story that a person supposedly wrote a certain thing, when they had said or written something entirely different.

When they use the actual words, it's a quote out of context which conveys a different meaning than what had been intended.

They generate a great deal of personal conflict, focusing upon personal issues about how dumb or illogical they think those with opposing views, supposedly, are. The views are discussed very little, while the personal issues are magnified.

They exhibit a condescending attitude

They won't risk taking time or energy examining theories, even if the theories have a significant degree of merit. It's commonly known as risk aversion.

They criticize psychics, astrologers, or anyone who earns a living from such. Such people are automatically considered "charlatans," without prior investigation. Their hatred is much more intense than for "believers." "Skeptics" liken such people to whoremongers or peddlers of addictive substances.

What could this mean to you?

Whether you are on the INTERNET or not, these events and the meanings behind them could have serious implications for you. CSICOP's activities extend beyond the INTERNET.

Although the activities of the Art Bell USENET group, which run counter to the aims and intentions of the Art Bell radio show are quite "lewd," and "crude" compared to the average pseudo-skeptic, nearly all pseudo-skeptics will readily deceive the public about paranormal phenomena and about you as an individual. They will lie about you and character-assassinate you if you present an obstacle to their aims.

If you are reading this on-line, and not the printed page, and you frequent USENET newsgroups, whether they be Astrology, UFO, psychic-related, or otherwise, you may return to USENET from a period of inactivity one day to find that you are not only criticized for your ideas, but are asked to discountinue posting in favor of a belief in astrology in, as one example, "alt.astrology," because the FAQ'S (frequently asked questions) of that newsgroup have been changed to reflect that of a "skeptic" newsgroup.

If you are a believer in astrology, UFO's as a reality, magick, or psychic phenomena, the probabilities I've given examples of may seem far-fetched. If they seem that way, I advise that you look carefully at the examples of activities and attitudes of people who have quit newsgroups. As another example, I've been in e-mail correspondence with people who have left the "alt.astrology" newsgroup, and now are also involved (as the former "alt.fan.art-bell," enthusiasts) with a mailing list. They were also discouraged.

If all the "regulars" of a newsgroup leave, certain newsgroups could actually become "skeptic." As an example, "alt.astrology," though not named such, could be come anti-astrology as easily as "alt.fan.art-bell" became anti.

These fanatics don't have a large audience similar to the paranormal documentary SIGHTINGS, so they invade USENET. Though few in number, their irrational zeal drives them in their mission, so that it seems there are more of them than they actually are. USENET is practically free, so they "USE" it, because that's all they can financially afford. What they cannot obtain in public support for sponsors of a TV show, or funding for their propaganda, they make up for with fanatical people who invade inappropriate USENET newsgroups. As written on a previous page by the founder of alt.paranormal, these "anti" discussions are best suited for newsgroups such as "sci.skepitc."

What makes them "tick," and how can you deal with them?


By noting what happened to alt.fan.art-bell, don't allow your newsgroup to lack activity by those who find your subject valuable. You may find, one day, that the FAQ's (frequently asked questions) have been changed, and you a proponent,no longer are welcome in the newsgroup, as it then becomes an "anti" newsgroup.

When answering skeptic's postings, it should be understood that the average (not all) "skeptic" has a structure to their reality. Dealing with statistical evidence to prove astrology, psychic phenomena, UFO's, etc. is not realistic when the "skeptic" has a reality structure that runs contrary to such evidence.

The discussion with "skeptics" will be prolonged and fruitless when you deal with evidence, rather than the STRUCTURE of reality that exists within the so-called "skeptic."

Behavior patterns, as shown by "skeptics" writing, show their reality structures, their psychology. It's a good idea to point those patterns out.

As one example, the basic concept of linear time, cause-effect, is so ingrained in "skeptics" that they cannot, generally, see beyond it. Linear time is a reality, but only a reality. To the "skeptic" it is all there is. How can you explain something that goes beyond the structure of linear time or cause-effect to them? See, PSI phenonmena goes beyond orthodox science, and beyond the limited concepts of cause-effect that "skeptics" see. There is no possible way a thought can be "transferred" around the globe. It happens, but it's not a "transfer," and it's not anything you can explain, given the "reality structure" of a "skeptic."

Explaining statistical results is fruitless. Even if they witnessed the levitation of a large building, they would swear it did not happen, but that they, themselves, had been hypnotized.

You cannot go beyond the average "skeptic's" reality structures, on to fruitless subjects of "evidence" and "proof" and be doing anything but wasting your time.

Generally, when you deal with philosophical/psychological issues, with "skeptics" they either get involved in a fruitful manner (seldom), or they discontinue quickly. They do not prolong such discussion. One practical result of such discussion is to eliminate the discussion more quickly, unclogging your respective newsgroup early.


Books have been written about "skeptics." such as the writing of Robert Anton Wilson's,  New Inquisition: Irrational Rationalism & the Citadel of Science

What can you do?


People who post to alt.paranormal and similar newsgroups, with opposing views, do so for many reasons, some mixed. Often enough, one of their reasons is for excitement. Without a response, they lose interest and go on to get responses from another group.

If they remember their last visit to your newsgroup yielded nothing, they are unlikely to come back.


Note how they "bait." It's to make sure they get a response. It's like a tug at your ego, and it says, "answer me." Remember, they need attention. Perhaps the only attention they received as children was negative. They had to annoy their parents to get acknowledgement. Many do this over a period of years, and thus are experts who know how to get responses. Don't give it to them, and they will go away eventually.

Alan Berg was a talk show host in Denver. His ratings were high because he was extremely obnoxious -- so much so he was shot and killed by Neo-Nazis. People loved to dislike him. It was an extremely negative thing, but he thrived financially on it. Other people thrive psychologically on that kind of attention.

When you encounter a person who, with sincerity, is seeking truth, be it a "skeptic" or anyone, have compassion. Communicate with them while continuing to maintain your distance from those who are just playing games with you. Remember, those who are sincere will write things in e-mail that they would not in public postings.

If you find that you just cannot contain yourself, and just must place a response posting to a "skeptic," I don't recommend this as a preference, but at least it will save you time and energy.

Have these, and others you make up, on your hard disk. Post them in response to the "skeptics":

Here's one you can reply with:

then select
Science, Logic, and the UFO debate (from the INSTANT LINKS page)

Here's another:

If your mind is already made up, I'd
rather not discuss this with you. If
you actually have an open mind, then we
Here's another:
Why, oh why, do you always think you
prove your truth?
What goes on, actually, so deep inside
your soul?

Here's another:

I wasn't discussing the subject with you, so why do you carry on with the absurd idea that somehow, I MUST prove it to you.
Use this one too:
Let's see, an ANTI in a PRO newsgroup? Are you here for discovery? Are you really interested in what I have to say, or do you just want to convert all of us?