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This Week In Doubtful News PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sharon Hill   

Here is a rundown of the top stories in pseudoscience and paranormal news from the past week courtesy of Doubtful News.

As mentioned by Professor Bruce Hood and several others at The Amazing Meeting this past week, Jim McCormick, maker of a phony, dowsing-rod-based bomb detection device, has been charged with fraud along with five others. A BBC Newsnight investigation in 2010 showed the device did not work and led to the British government banning its export to Iraq and Afghanistan. Here's hoping justice is served and this garbage device disappears forever.

Other claims that don't hold up - those made by Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioners. Professor Richard Wiseman showed this technique did not improve people's lie detection skills.

In psychic news, Louisiana judge declares fortune telling is free speech. And, do not miss this VERY interesting article where John Edward ADMITS he is a "psychic improv artist" just out to "help somebody in their healing process".

In a tragic story, a pregnant woman's odd behavior was seen as a sign of being possessed by djinn, when in reality, she could have been suffering from a mental illness. Her family was found guilty of killing her.

Did you know that blue lasers can cure your food allergies? No, they can't. But a chiropractor used this treatment on child with a dangerous egg allergy and made the family REALLY mad.

The U.S. Creation Museum is promoting itself via cartoonish dinosaur billboards to try to drum up business from other states. 

After international outrage about creationism intruding in South Korean textbooks, scientists respond that they are making progress against the push.

Critical thinkers in Canada rejoice! You now have an organized voice: Bad Science Watch – an independent non-profit watchdog group dedicated to improving the lives of Canadians by countering bad science.

A cannibal cult was uncovered in New Guinea, with arrests made. It's not a pretty story but it's a part of human culture.

A new app for your smartphone adds images of Mary or Jesus for your hoaxing enjoyment. Pictures as "evidence" are practically worthless anymore.

An annoying story: Dr. Oz is very popular and effective at selling magazines. People trust him even thought he pushes harmful pseudoscience.

The most ridiculous story of the week came from an ex-CIA employee who is pushing his new piece of fiction while claiming he saw the truth about Roswell. Yeah, only he saw the files. Hmm.

Thanks to all at the Amazing Meeting who mentioned they liked our news site. We so appreciate your support! Come visit Doubtful News  for more stories, updated every day. Be sure to check out the comments on the stories for some additional info and add yours.

Follow us @Doubtfulnews on Twitter.


Sharon Hill runs Doubtful News, a unique feed of news stories about the paranormal, pseudoscience, the weird and the unexplained with questioning commentary.

Comments (5)Add Comment
written by MadScientist, July 17, 2012
But ... I can't look into Prof. Wiseman's eyes as he makes those claims - how do I know he's not lying? Unfortunately, as with the bogus bomb detector and the polygraph test, I doubt the NLP crowd will fade into oblivion as they deserve.
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The Strength of One
written by Dubious Dick, July 18, 2012
As we have posted on the forums here and many others around the World, we are delighted that some of the main fake detector fraud conmen have been charged with fraud in the U.K. AT LAST!

Following Randi exposing ADE651 in 2008, we started a concerted internet based cmapaign to try to ensure that the crooks were brought to justice. The process has at last commenced!

There are aspects of this story that we cannot yet discuss openly, either for reasons of sub judice, or as a result of peronal confidentiality issues etc.

In all the hoo ha over this and with many people having made a difference along the way, I want to make it absolutely clear that this may have got nowhere if it were not for the dedication and commitment of one man. Techowiz!

Others more famous may get the limelight, but I can assure you that without Techo we would not be where we are today on thi story.

Now let's hope the prosecutions go through, long jail terms are handed down, money recovered and a good skeptic piece of history emerges as payback for all the deaths and destruction this fraud has cost.

As I have stated on my blog, there is mcuh mopping up to do, and may unanswered questions, but we will endeavour to hammer home the gains made.

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written by Dubious Dick, July 18, 2012
18 July 2012

The following attended City of London Magistrates Court yesterday.

Gary Bolton - GT200. Deferred a plea awaiting sight of prosecution files. September Bail date.

Simon Sherrard - ALPHA6. Plead Not Guilty. September Bail Date.

Sam Tree and Joan Tree - Quadro Tracker/MOLE/GT200/ALPHA6. Plead Not Guilty. September bail Date.

Anthony Williamson - XK9. Plead Not Guilty. September Bail Date.

Further info as possible.

All best.

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Doubtful News is not an honest site
written by Doubting Rich, July 21, 2012
I think that JREF should stop pushing Doubtful News, as the site owner is a bully whose comment policies are a lie.

In the comment policies:

"1. All viewpoints are welcome."

Except for those I politely posted. Scientific viewpoints on a matter of genuine controversy, not pseudo-scientific nonsense, not paranormal and not CAM (I am a science graduate, rationalist atheist, thorough sceptic with no "new age" beliefs).

"2. No name calling or provoking."

Except when the site owner is calling a commenter names, having deleted his post and refusing to allow him a post to respond. Except when the site owner calls a commenter who disagrees with something written in a reasoned, polite manner a troll.

One of the policies also states "the scientific consensus is respected here". To me this sounds neither scientific, sceptical nor indeed full of doubt.
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For the avoidance of any confusion!
written by Dubious Dick, July 21, 2012
Dubious Dick and Doubting Rich are in no way connected! I have no idea what Doubting Rich is on about but...nowt to do with me! In case anyone may have seen a similarity in the names!
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