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JREF Swift Blog
Swift, named for Jonathan Swift, is the JREF's daily blog, featuring content from James Randi, the JREF staff, and other featured authors.

The Naked Emperor PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Hank Schlinger, Ph.D.   

(Author's Note: After sending an email to a CNN reporter about his story on Rom Houben, the Belgian man who was misdiagnosed as being in a coma for 23 years and who is now able to communicate about his experience via Facilitated Communication, I was contacted by someone from Campbell Brown about a possible appearance on the show to talk about why we should doubt the validity of the communications.

It turns out that they did not use me, and instead interviewed neuropsychologist Joseph Giacino, who they also interviewed the week before when the story first broke. After watching the segment, I penned the following, which I have slightly modified for Swift.)

 
Fake Doctors With Real Drugs: The News From Canada PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Steve Thoms   

Dear Swift Friends:

My name is Steve Thoms and I'm the editor of the new pan-Canadian skeptic blog, Skeptic North. Thanks to some friendly promotional assistance from Phil Plait, Skepchick.org and many other sites to whom our team owes a debt of gratitude, you may have heard of us by now. If not, that's okay, because we've only launched on October 1st. We're a team of skeptical writers, professionals and activists from across Canada, brought together in one place for the first time. Our aim is to be the authority of all things related to skepticism in Canada, and it is with this last point in mind that I come to you all with an urgent call for action and assistance.

 
This Cruel Farce Has To Stop! PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Update!

For those who may need further evidence for my contention, the proof can be found at http://tinyurl.com/ye9d9lp -- where it is clearly seen that the “facilitator” is looking directly at the keyboard, while the subject is asleep! There can be no further doubt.  This FC claim is simply untrue, a farce, a lie – and the “facilitator” knows it! And no, this man is not going to write a book, but the "facilitator" is, and if this humbug is not stopped, she'll make a fortune doing so. Put a stop to this, someone!"

But who will see that the caretakers for this unfortunate man are corrected and made to answer for this situation?

Original article:

I'm enraged. Several perceptive persons have sent me to msnbc.com - where we can see Dr. Nancy Snyderman relating a story.  It's a heartrender, described thus by Dr. Snyderman:

A mother [in Belgium] says her son has emerged from what doctors thought was a vegetative state to say he was fully conscious for 23 years but could not respond because he was paralyzed.

No, that is not what the man said, Dr. Snyderman. That's what an incompetent layperson typed for him! I ask you to first go to http://tinyurl.com/y8lku48, and note the section of the video from 12 to 35 seconds, then come back here.

 
Terrorists At The Mall PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Naomi Baker   

harwin2Opportunities to expose people to critical thinking occur frequently. Last week I received one of those emails we all get on occasion -- one that had been forwarded several times, each time with a dozen or so addressees. The oldest email in the chain was dated November 16, but referred to an event that occurred mid September, 2009. This is what it said:

I hope this makes it to every person in Texas....we need to shut this store down FOR GOOD!!

Today I went to the Harwin Central Mall to pick up some crystals. The very first store that you come to when you walk from the lobby of the building into the shopping area had this sign posted on their door. The shop is run by Muslims. I couldn't stay in the building, it made me so sick.

Feel free to share this with others.

Your browser may not support display of this image.

Imam Ali flew one of the planes into the twin towers. Nice huh?

(Note: If you can't read the sign in the picture, it says: "We will be closed on Friday, September 11, 2009 to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Ali (A.S.)")

 
Thanks, Favors, News PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Brandon K. Thorp   

Nineteen days ago, we published a request for your suggestions on the future development of Swift, as well as a call for freelance writers and columnists. Lots of people requested writers' guidelines, and we got a handful of really excellent stories. Thank you to Sean Sturgeon, Matt Fiore, Penn Bullock, Naomi Baker, and Luke Doug Haines. (Send more!)

As a result of your suggestions, we'll operate a little differently from now on. The very first thing we'll do is disable or severely modify the Vote Up/Vote Down button in the "Comments" section.  That button has buried a great many worthwhile thoughts, and it'll be gone within the week. My apologies to those whose opinions have been stifled.

 
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