Exposing Woo in a ‘Whack-a-Mole’ World – DJ Grothe

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D.J. Grothe on the Value of Skepticism, or, ‘Protecting Yourself From Quacks, Crooks & Cons’


This podcast could also be titled, “The Easiest Person to Fool: You.” One skill we Homo sapiens are adept at is fooling ourselves. Charlatans, frauds and cheats depend on this, and make a very good living at taking advantage of our flawed human nature and our propensity to believe some really goofy things. D.J. Grothe, President of the James Randi Educational Foundation, discusses how we can protect ourselves from these liars and scam artists, and explains why science and skepticism are so important.
MP3 File
(42 minutes, 29 seconds, 20:39 MB)

Written By: The Malcontent’s Gambit
continue to source article at malcontentsgambit.com

7 COMMENTS

  1. To claim to talk to the dead relatives of vulnerable old women and take their money is lower than low. It’s cold reading. These frauds go fishing for the most banal, vague and ambiguous statements that can apply to anyone, otherwise known as the Barnum effect. They have to guess right sometime. It would be stranger if they never got it right. There should be a “psychic licence” whereby these fakes would be required to pass scientific controlled experiments in order to demonstrate their delusional “powers”. That should put the lot of these fuck-wits out of business.  

  2. unfortunately i’m not able to listen right now so not sure what advice they’re giving but it all comes down to being conned imo. they say you can’t con an honest cat, i truly believe that. as soon as you start craving something more than you deserve you open yourself up to being scammed, including talking to the dead. sure it’d be nice to talk to dead relatives but if you could then they wouldn’t be dead would they!?

    believing in supernatural helpers, be it god or spirits is dishonest. it means you intend to get what you want out of life from a third party, i.e something for nothing. people who believe in woo tend to be megalomaniacs to some degree. they might try to win arguments with skeptics with comments like “ahh but you can never know for sure…” well nor can you as long as you lazily sit there thinking ghosts are doing all the hard work. people who use woo in a threatening way are no more threatening than kids telling you to watch out because they have a big brother, good for you son, shame your brother’s got the talent but you go on milking it for your own pleasure

    skepticism reqires nothing more than a little humility. if anything sounds too good to be true, it is. human desire is very powerful and will quickly disable a rational mind if it goes unchecked.

    sadly, those lazy, self-serving believing types, tend to get more than they deserve. they deserve a gentle slap to remember their place in the grande scheme but all to often they get utter devistation from those who make a living on false hope and that’s not fair. especially when there are no effective laws. woo merchants hold a safe place where they only have to claim to offer entertainment on billing material to get free reign to fleece people at there lowest, which is no better than some door-to-door thug with a fake ID helping himslef to the family silver but still so many (including humans i know) take the view; “it’s not doing any harm”

    if i could have one wish it would be to spend 10 minutes in a darkened room with colin fry and side-kick sally, see if their spirit friends can warn them where the next swipe is coming from…

  3. Frauds like James Van Praag like to ask an audience, is there anyone here how had a loved one named John pass over recently?  or is there anyone here who had a loved one die of cancer sometimes this year? 

    Yes, my husband John

    Yes. He tells me he loves you very much.  He says you are a sensitive and loving woman. Wait, I am getting something, he says you lived in a house, an apartment, a trailer, some sort of dwelling. I am getting psychic interference from some skeptic in the audience. It had a bathroom. yes. yes. It a had a carpet with a stain you could not get out. It had a white toilet with a lid he did not always lift to pee. He also used to shower, or was it take a bath in there. Am I right?

    Yes! Yes! I am so grateful! You got it all right except the toilet was pink.

    CLAP CLAP CLAP

  4. how much fun could one have at one of these things?

    we already know that psychic sally has an uncanny gift for picking up on things that her stage crew overhear people saying in the foyer and feed back to her earpiece during a show that I can’t believe youtube is not already full of clips of her confidently retelling the story of when Mike Rotch was photographed was Dan Druff all over the front pages of the local paper (I’m sure you could do better, i’m thinking as i type) while evil skeptics nod sagely, or similar peurile stunts

    they get very sanctimonious when people don’t take their “art” seriously

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