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Dear "Psychics": SHUT UP PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

NOTE: A few hours after this article was published, metaphysicalbridge.com was redirected to another site. I don't think this article had anything to do with it, but who knows?

I've stated many times that what makes skeptics special is not what they believe in, or what they DON'T believe in, but that they're always willing to change their opinions in the light of new evidence. That said, I'm a bit upset with a site I recently found. There is no new evidence here.

Metaphysicalbridge.com claims to offer free readings about the missing and unsolved crimes. The main site is merely a modified version of shopping cart software, which leads me to believe that their main priority might actually involve the selling of their woo-woo products rather than actually helping people with their "gifts."

Here's their disclaimer:

This site was designed to bridge the gap between the metaphysical realm and life as you know it. If you are visiting our site, you may have a need, question, or simple curiosity about what we are about.

We can accept emailed pictures of you, loved ones, etc... to work from or you may email us any other information that may be helpful to us.

Email requests for our impressions will be conducted as quickly as we are able, provided and published free of charge. We request you be patient and check back often.

Remember that while we are gifted, we are still only human, just as you are. We will never be 100% accurate, but the impressions we receive will be our own, and they are freely shared for whatever they are worth.

Thanks for confirming that I'm human; I was beginning to wonder. CJ and Geri say they are "gifted," and yet they lay claim to the inherent fallibility that relieves the rest of us from being perfect. So what makes them special? I can give readings and say "I'll never be 100% accurate." But you know, if I'm vague enough and use a little bit of common sense, I'll be accurate some times, and after some external confirmation is received, I can point to that and say, "Hey, I was right! Behold how generous I am to share my gift with you!"

So why am I so angry with these particular performers? They're not particularly unusual, but their callous attitude towards the missing disgusts me. They offer to give readings that, by their own admission will be unreliable, to friends and family of the missing. Here are some of the things they've said:

Well, my initial impressions on Trenton are that I believe him to still be alive, and I feel like a custody issue is involved here. I also believe that he was loved deeply by whoever abducted him. This could also be clouding my perception that he is alive. He was/is comfortable with whoever he is with.

Next:

I get the impression that Trenton is gone, but not as in having passed gone. Too, I believe he is with his father, which is NOT the father who is searching for him. I see his mother (now deceased) with her head in her hands, torn......not knowing WHICH man is really Trenton's father, but knowing that things are out of control for her. There was also a sense that she knew that what she was doing was wrong and a fear that the father searching for Trenton would learn that she hadn't been completely faithful to him......Sadly, IF Trenton has passed on, dna tests will not help bring closure for the father that is searching since the dna will not match

OK, one of you is wrong, possibly both of you. And I ask, what good do you think you're doing? Trenton's website reveals that the last person he was seen with, his mother, committed suicide two weeks after he went missing. Maybe you could just let the police do their jobs and keep your wild useless guesswork to yourselves.

One more case:

I feel that Tara was strangled/suffocated by an acquaintance that had asked her out, or that wanted a serious relationship with her, but she politely refused. He then set the fire to cover his tracks.

The article on Tara reveals that she was found dead in a burning apartment. Police work determined that she was murdered before the fire was set. Thank to the psychics, we now know that it may have been someone she knew! Or maybe even someone who wanted a romantic relationship with her! How would we have ever guessed that?!

Feh. Honestly, I'm just fed up with these self-important buffoons pretending to be "gifted" and deigning to bestow their gifts upon us. I say again: SHUT UP. We don't need your help, we don't want your meddling, and the world would be a better place if you'd spend your time picking up litter off the roadside rather than spewing these vapid "readings."

 

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written by MadScientist, February 15, 2009
They're the worst sort of low-life, preying on the bereaved and despondent.
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written by BillyJoe, February 15, 2009
Their only saving, if there is one, is if they actually believe they have a gift.
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written by Adavidson, February 15, 2009
The world would technically be a better place if they layed of the crazy and concentrated on the enviroment.
They could help animals trapped in oil spill-areas. Or snd them to Africa and get them to build some schools, something to that effect. Some of them could actually become quite competent psychologists if they would bother to get a real education. Their skills in reading other people (cold-reading)could be an especially good talent within sports psychology. However if pages like this keep educating people the entire "art-form" will have nothing but entertainment value only, followed by religion, (I guess within the next 30 years).
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written by Cuddy Joe, February 16, 2009
"We can accept emailed pictures of you, loved ones, etc... to work from or you may email us any other information that may be helpful to us."

This is a blatant call for information which turns this psychic scam into a hot read game. Can you imagine the details a grieving family would put into such emails in hopes these clowns can help them? Coupled with google research on the abduction, murder, whatever, in question and any fool could come up with a reading that seems to contain a hit or two.
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written by daveg703, February 16, 2009
It's not just their callous attitude that I find abhorrent, but the obvious arrogance of such people, (despite their phony professed humility), setting themselves up as better than the rest of the us, (i.e., "gifted"), and then showing by their clumsy, vague guessing games that they are no such thing.

I regret that I must take issue with BillyJoe, however:

Their only saving, if there is one, is if they actually believe they have a gift.


Belief in anything, noble or otherwise, is no excuse for reprehensible behavior. Millions have suffered or died because of the "belief" of the instigators that they were following their chosen course in history.
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Metaphysicalbridge.com already has run and hidden...
written by Chris Long, February 16, 2009
Yep, Metaphysicalbridge.com is gone ! The URL is now a redirect to an unrelated site.

Funny, how they bob and weave at a moment's notice, like maggots startled by the intrusion of light...
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written by Josh111485, February 16, 2009
Another tragedy, besides these scum-bags preying the vulnerable and bereaved, is that there probably isn't a hell for them to got to. smilies/angry.gif
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written by DrMatt, February 16, 2009
You know, if anybody actually manifested unexplained skills that actually were useful in crime investigation, that'd be marvelous, wonderful, and a whole new branch of science.

But I think those who claim to do so but actually carry out useless hot reading should spend a few years in jail for interfering with justice. Belief that they have such abilities is no excuse. If I believe I am above the law, that doesn't make it so.
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written by Steel Rat, February 16, 2009
Their only saving, if there is one, is if they actually believe they have a gift.


I know that Randi thinks a fair portion believe they have a genuine gift, but I'm not that generous. I think the percentage of those who do believe they have a genuine gift is exceedingly small, unless, of course, the gift they believe they have is the gift of con artist.
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written by Metz, February 16, 2009
It is hard to believe that in the so called "Modern Age" so many still live mentally in the stone age , and believe such rubbish.
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ID Theft
written by Radwaste, February 16, 2009
I bet these people already have enough information from some people to raid bank accounts. Having not seen the site, I still would never send someone I don't know, or a company I have not researched, any personal information.
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Psychic, But Only After a Crime?
written by GMJ, February 16, 2009
If any of the scam artists actually had psychic powers wouldn't it be a good idea to use that power to prevent people from disappearing or being abducted?
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written by Cuddy Joe, February 16, 2009
If any of the scam artists actually had psychic powers wouldn't it be a good idea to use that power to prevent people from disappearing or being abducted?


I once belonged to a skeptical forum where a poster began a new thread thus:

If psychic powers were real and worked as claimed, then we should expect ________ .

After several weeks perhaps two dozen participants were still coming up with things you'd expect to see, and not see, if psychic powers were true.



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Get A Life (a respectable one), Lowly rated comment [Show]
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written by Chris Long, February 16, 2009
Laura typed: "These psychics didn't wake up one day and say "lets just make some crap up"."

Correct. They actually said, "We need an easier way to scam more money faster..."

It sounds like Laura has had dreams crushed on more than one occasion. She also urges "a little research" before criticizing. uh, when it comes to psychics, NO research is required before beign critical and calling it a scam. Get it, Laura ?
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written by daveg703, February 16, 2009
Re: Laura the Indignant
Here is a great idea...IF YOU DON'T LIKE or BELIEVE IN WHAT SOMEONE HAS ON THE INTERNET, THEN DON'T READ IT! Or, if you just happen to read it and don't like it.....SHUT UP!


Splendid advice, Laura. Now that you have realized its worth- take it! smilies/cheesy.gif
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I Stand By My Post!, Lowly rated comment [Show]
Maybe you should re-read my post CHRIS, Lowly rated comment [Show]
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written by Willy K, February 16, 2009
I Stand By My Post!
written by Laura, February 16, 2009
Say what you want.....No one will change MY opinion and your words will never hurt me so I will just sit back and laugh at your ignorance


Of course no one can change your opinion.
You are what is known as a "stupid" person. It's not an insult, it's a fact. You are also so arrogant that you should be considered dangerous.

A "stupid" person is one who is mentally incapable of learning. You can only be "trained." It's too bad that your training was faulty.

I sincerely hope that you do not have any contact with children, or worse yet, have any of your own. smilies/cry.gif

Please post some more of your stupidity. It sometimes gets boring for us skeptics when we have to agree with each other all the time! smilies/tongue.gif
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To daveg703
written by Laura, February 16, 2009
I know "what it's worth" and THAT'S why I WON'T shut up........but thanks for caring, yeah right.
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Chris, Lowly rated comment [Show]
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written by Squid, February 16, 2009
So, if no one will change your opinion, and posters on here won't change theirs... why are you here?

Laura, you said that our words won't hurt you. Why are you suggesting that we are trying to hurt you with our words and opinions? Why would we want to hurt you? Because we disagree on things? Or do you choose to believe that we are trying to hurt you, when in fact, (myself, at least,) we are not attempting to hurt you?

The sad fact is that storefront psychics are phony... and they know it. I would suggest that you look up "The Psychic Mafia" by Keene for a look at how these people operate. (Note: I am NOT saying that there are no real psychics out there plying their trade. I am saying that I certainly haven't met someone with real powers or ablilites.)

You don't know me, and I don't know you. From your words, you came to this site for a fight. Consider this... explore this site. Follow the links. There is plenty of information on this site and others concerning the paranormal. Read them with an open mind. You have already allowed for the possibility of the fantastic and the supernatural... allow for the possibility of the normal and the natural as well.

Consider the possibility that the reason you came here is because there is some small shard of doubt in your heart that psychics aren't real.

Read. Study. Think. Then Decide.

We can't change your mind. We can only point you in the right direction. What you do after that is up to you.

Good luck.

Squid
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daveg703
written by Laura, February 16, 2009
Thank you for the nickname "Indignant". Very mature. Who says that what I believe in is unjust or wrong? I don't think anyone has the right to say what is right or wrong to believe in.......I was expressing my opinion just as all of you have. We all have a right to our own opinion and beliefs. I would NEVER make fun of something YOU believed in. I was simply trying to open some eyes here and if it isn't something you believe in then I respect that. I would hope to get the same respect.
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written by Willy K, February 16, 2009
written by Laura, February 16, 2009 ...I would hope to get the same respect.


I can respect you as a human being.

I don't have to respect your ideas or beliefs or opinions, no one does. smilies/tongue.gif

Like Squid just said "We can't change your mind. We can only point you in the right direction. What you do after that is up to you."
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written by GMJ, February 16, 2009
These crooks, liars and morons who call themselves psychic seem to attract very thin skinned followers. Of course the charlatans who call themselves psychic also resent any questioning. Based on how touchy some of them are you would think they would use their woo to locate all of us with their non existent power and give us a headache or at least find our phone numbers with their puney litte excuse of a brain give us a call.
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Squid
written by Laura, February 16, 2009
Thank you for your post, it is nice to here from an educated grown-up. I completely understand what you have posted and respect your opinion. Like I said before, the only reason for my posts here are because I know these psychics that have been ridiculed and I know 100% for sure that they are not fakes. I completely agree that there are TONS of fakes out there and "wanna be's" and it is a shame. I met these 2 psychics by chance and because I saw that they are the real deal I feel like defending them is important because articles like the one above caused too much stress on them that they did not deserve and they are very genuine in what they do. The media caused the closing of their site because they DON'T want fame or recognition and I commend them on that. I hate to see 2 wonderful people who only want to help those in need that request help be put through the grinder.

I feel YOU have no intention in hurting anyone it is just the rude things others have said about me (who don't know me)that are trying their hardest to cause harm. No, their words don't hurt me but I will defend myself and that is the only reason for my posts. Thank you for being a kind, intelligent person and I appreciate your information.
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To Willy
written by Laura, February 16, 2009
As an adult I never thought I would have to deal with being called "a stupid person". You don't know me and I am far from stupid. I am a caring, compassionate person that has worked in hospitals saving lives since I was 17yrs old. I could have been a doctor if I could have afforded schooling. I am married (15yrs now) and have 4 children that are in all advanced classes. I still love to learn even though I am currently waiting on a heart transplant. So, if that makes me "stupid" then I suppose I don't have an updated definition of the word. I hope that answers your questions of the difference of "learning" and being "trained" and either confirms or denies me being "stupid".
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written by Steel Rat, February 16, 2009
So it is ok to put words in other peoples mouths?? They NEVER said they need a "faster way to scam more money" or they wouldn't do FREE READINGS! (you might want to look up the word "free" on Wikpedia).


You mean like "Free with your paid subscription"? "free" readings are a way of suckering you in, and it sounds like it's worked remarkably well.

Please name someone who was helped by "psychics" in a psychic manner, and not helped in a way that anyone could have done.
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written by Willy K, February 16, 2009
As an adult I never thought I would have to deal with being called "a stupid person"


Why? Does being older make you immune from being called stupid? I don't know you, when I say you are stupid, I am responding to your statements here. Your statements are stupid, therefore you are most likely stupid about many things. Hey, when it comes to higher math I am definitely stupid! Algebra is like Ambian for me. smilies/wink.gif

You are definitely stupid about psychics. They are all lying, cheating con artists. Some of them are so deluded they think they are really psychic.

..because I know first hand they had immediate information (not "vague" info like you accused them of) that no one could know.

Look around dear Laura, you will find this statement is one of the most common statements a stupid person makes about psychics.

Waiting for a heart transplant? My sympathies are with you, but that's no excuse for your delusions about psychics. They are fake, all of them. Be careful, some charlatan will try to take advantage of you, they will offer some bullcrap "miracle" cure for money.

I hope you can understand one thing, the universe doesn't "care" about anyone's "opinion" it will operate in the way it always has. smilies/grin.gif
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sounds like a candidate for the JREF prize
written by MadScientist, February 16, 2009
Well Laura, if you really believe these people are psychic (and they believe it too), JREF is still offering that million-dollar prize. Just think about what someone could do with such money. I wish I were psychic so I could claim it. For people who say it's not about the money - well, they can take the JREF's money and give it to someone else or some other organization. Hell, I'd claim the money if I could just so I could have my name in the books as the one who did manage to claim the prize.
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written by daveg703, February 16, 2009

Laura's wrath- and self-contradictory expressions of same:

...but I will defend myself and that is the only reason for my posts.


===Defend yourself from what? We never even heard of you until you began your initial post with the following hostile, libelous comment!

Where do I start.....oh yeah, looks like YOUR site "James" takes donations. Trying to make money off of bullying people and their beliefs?


Also:
I know "what it's worth" and THAT'S why I WON'T shut up!


===In other words, you won't even take your own advice.

Their services were offered for FREE and I respect that.


===Ah, but their "free" service was offered on a very commercial shopping cart site, one which offered to sell worthless pieces of stone for $3 a pop. People who charge for something of no value deserve no respect.

These psychics... have been HELPING people for years... and not asking for anything in return.


==Except that you send them money for worthless pebbles. It's quite similar to the standard "bait-and-switch", where you lure people in with a great offer- then try to sell them something else.

...don't be a dream crusher to those who never did anything to hurt you.


===Nor did those same people ever do anything to deserve being lied to and deluded by the phony psychics.

Maybe more people need to think outside of the box...many people in this world are.


==All of us here will agree to that-- since the box is filled with pseudo magic, false beliefs, superstition and other examples of ignorance.

So, what's next for you......attacking different religions you don't believe in?


Laura, as an apparent newcomer to logical thinking in general, and the JREF site in particular, you should be aware that we don't believe in ANY religions. However, we have no need to attack them, for we simply hold their beliefs up for rational scrutiny- and they wither and evaporate immediately.

I would NEVER make fun of something YOU believed in.


=== No? But you opened your first post with an attack, and maintained an attitude of hostility in the following ones. A little "fun" is one thing, deliberate hostility is quite another matter. Your own words have contradicted you throughout your posts on this forum, but this is typical of people who defend "psychics" and other frauds.

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@daveg703
written by BillyJoe, February 16, 2009
Their only saving, if there is one, is if they actually believe they have a gift.

Belief in anything, noble or otherwise, is no excuse for reprehensible behavior. Millions have suffered or died because of the "belief" of the instigators that they were following their chosen course in history.

I don't disagree. But I would like to point to the highlighted part of my post "Their only saving, if there is one". Secondly, I intended my comment to apply to the person, not the effects of his actions, pointing out merely that a person who is self-deluded about his having special powers should not be judged as harshly as the person who does this as a deliberate scam to rob the gullible of their cash.

BJ
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written by jcwept, February 17, 2009
If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I would have suspected that you MADE UP metaphysicalbridge.com as a straw man... but I predicted in their forum that they wouldn't let my comment stand, and how right I was.
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written by Cuddy Joe, February 17, 2009
I won't bother responding directly to Laura, who is so obviously in the tank for psychics, but I do appreciate she sees the importance of research and investigation before expending belief. I also appreciate she and other believers acknowledge that some percentage of psychics are completge scam artists. That being the case, any prospective believer must have some way to determine whether their research, investigation, and ultimate belief was the result of a full comprehension of all the evidence available or merely being one of those bamboozled by professional scam artist psychics who know precisely how little it takes to convince some people. Most believers rely entirely on anecdotal evidence by way of personal experience, which is precisely how the scam psychics operate.

Having said that, I suggest that any psychic believer who feels they've come to their belief only after a full and comprehensive graps of all the evidence be asked just one thing:

What sort of evidence would you accept to disprove psychic powers?

Anyone who cannot answer this question is not openminded, nor willing to consider all the evidence.

I will not hold my breath awaiting answers from psychic believers.

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We need some Web 2.0 magic!
written by WWWWolf, February 17, 2009
Completely out of blue... a random thought has occurred to me: We need a Web 2.0 Psychic Site. smilies/wink.gif
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@ Cuddy Joe
written by BillyJoe, February 17, 2009
I like your approach. Something to make her think rather than shout back after being shouted at.
Heaven knows who voted you down.
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written by daveg703, February 17, 2009
Well, it was fun (sort of) while it lasted, but it appears that Laura now feels sufficiently enlightened by her brief exposure to rational people, and has gone elsewhere.

As for Jeff's comment:
I don't think this article had anything to do with it, but who knows?

Look at it this way. Jeff writes the article and we respond. The next day the metahoosicalbarge site vanishes. Is that coincidence- or an actual paranormal occurrence?
I see it as a true pair o' normal experiences. (It is my understanding that only highly intelligent people can appreciate puns. We'll see.)
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written by Willy K, February 17, 2009
written by daveg703, February 17, 2009 I see it as a true pair o' normal experiences. (It is my understanding that only highly intelligent people can appreciate puns. We'll see.)


I'll give you $0.20 (a pair of dimes) for your new paradigm. smilies/tongue.gif

My virtual doctor(s) gave me a meta-physical. In order to conserve the total number of fermions in the universe, virtual particles come in pairs, so it must have been a pair o' docs.

See what you've started, a chain reaction! smilies/wink.gif
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written by daveg703, February 17, 2009
To Willy K
Ah! I make post haste to acknowledge a worthy ad-versary!smilies/smiley.gif
Tho I fear for what may come of this- at least we know Laura is not likely to enter the fray in a timely manner, for she does not strike me as the pun-ctual type.
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Play nice now ...
written by pxatkins, February 18, 2009
Some good food for thought in this thread. Laura represents a large sector of Earthlings. We should be asking if taking the piss out of them is the best way to disabuse them of woo. If indeed we should care at all. This week's 'Randi Speaks' mentions that our taxes support these people, at least in part, but the flip side, of course, is that we benefit from the taxes they pay (and there are, or seem to be, a lot more of them than us) smilies/smiley.gif

I think we need to take more care in focusing on charletans and not alienating those who are simply looking for answers.
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written by Squid, February 18, 2009
I agree with pxatkins. If the only thing we do is insult believers, then we alienate them and put them on the defensive. If you're on the defensive, you're not going to listen to the other side or to any arguments that don't support your beliefs.

Believe me, I've been on both sides of this argument. If you really want to help, be nice.
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written by daveg703, February 18, 2009
Well put, people!
However, we had the reverse situation when Laura arrived with guns blazing from both hips. WE were the ones on the defensive- and responded as such. Net result: A Mexican standoff, with neither side having the slightest affect on the other, except for umbrage taken.
I believe most of the folks attending church on Sunday, (or synagogue on Saturday) are decent people, good citizens, etc. I also feel they are intellectually harmless, because the majority are not rabidly proselytizing their beliefs to anyone that will hold still long enough. On the other hand, we have heaps of rabid - and noisy - fundamentalists whose unjustifiable arrogance in "knowing" they have all the answers we find so obnoxious, because they are busy corrupting the minds of children. I believe that our only hope for the long haul is education, such as thru channels like the JREF, and particularly for the young. Simultaneously, we can also hope (prayer, unfortunately, not being an option) that the ignorant will eventually die off before leaving too much of a legacy of damaged young minds.
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written by Cuddy Joe, February 20, 2009
It is a myth that new information takes root only if offered "nicely". In fact, both approaches, the hammer and the feather, can be effective depending on the recipient. The Lauras of the world are affected by neither approach.

"Hey jacka-s-s! There's a rattlesnake under your chair!"

"Even if it means getting bit,I refuse to accept that until you say it nicely!"

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Cuddy Joe
written by BillyJoe, February 20, 2009
Have you seen studies that support your claim, because my impression is that your case is, at least, overstated. Although you did say both approaches can be effective, but you didn't say equally effective. My impression, also, is that Laura could be persuaded and that she would be more likely to be persuaded by a considered and polite response. I did't think her initial posts were rude just angry that people she trusts and admires have been pilloried here and she was simply coming to their defence. I don't think responding in kind helped her in any way to come to the realisation that she has been scammed by these people and that there is no basis for their claimed powers.
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