NTS LogoSkeptical News for 28 April 2001

Archive of previous NTS Skeptical News listings

Saturday, April 28, 2001

Astrology - The Ultimate Original Science


ASTROLOGY dates from the first Human Consciousness.

ASTROLOGY is the original science.

ASTROLOGY is also the ultimate organizational tool.

Astrology developed because clueless ANCIENT beings needed a way or a scheme to better understand their surroundings. They also needed someway or something to give them insight about their FUTURE. What these ancients developed to help solve these dilemmas was a set of mathematical formula's, a system.

This Original Science, ASTROLOGY, beget all of the following; ASTRONOMY, GEOMETRY, MATHEMATICS and WEATHER PREDICTING; to name just a few of the world's current scientific disciplines.

No doubt,...Upon evolving awareness and/or consciousness, the first things Earth's early inhabitants noticed were: Days and Nights, then the phases of the MOON, also they had to see the SEASONS and the endless HEAVENS.

To those early humanoid beings living on planet Earth, Solar Eclipses must have been utterly terrifying.

Lamb of God


British Veterinarians Confirm:
The Lamb of God Has Foot-and-Mouth Disease

(LONDON) Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College in London has confirmed that the recent epidemic of foot-and-mouth disease has spread to the Lamb of God. "This is a particularly virulent strain of foot-and-mouth," said epidemiologist Howard Campbell. "We've never seen it spread to allegorical animals before." Upon the release of the findings, all metaphoric livestock in the British Isles were immediately destroyed, starting with the black sheep of every household. "We are trying to separate the sheep from the goats, since, as usual, the scapegoats will be the first to go," declared Prime Minister Tony Blair. "We are putting a priority on locating any lost sheep, but have carefully tagged the offspring of Her Majesty the Queen to avoid inadvertently sending any of those useless buggers like sheep to slaughter."

In America, Southern Baptist churchgoers were startled by the news that not only had the Lamb of God tested positive for foot-and-mouth antibodies, but was apparently on the lam. On Monday, the Lamb of God was discovered by French customs officials while trying to slip into France on the Eurostar train, hidden in the Prada trunk of American Christian and socialite Mrs. Betty Bowers. "Honestly," said a beautifully turned out Mrs. Bowers in an exclusive interview with French Vogue, "Quelle surprise! I had no idea He was in there. When I peeked in the trunk when we were leaving Claridge's, I just thought that Maria had packed my Yohji Yamamoto wool sweater!"

"We are warning everyone to wear protective gear when in possible contact with the Blood of the Lamb," said French authorities in Calais. "This includes being washed in the Blood of the Lamb, as well as less enthusiastic encounters. Although, as far as we know, simply pleading the power of the Blood of the Lamb appears to be safe as long as no bodily fluids are exchanged." Mary-worshipping Roman Catholics, the only denomination that actually drinks the Blood of the Lamb during services, have been sent special warnings to substitute South American goat's blood during mass until things blow over.

"This is really going to put a crimp in our Easter festivities," declared Pastor Deacon Fred of Landover Baptist, America's wealthiest church. "This isn't like eight years ago when the Lamb of God just got a bad case of the mange. We could work around that. But leave it to those pansies in England to ruin everything. Just because they can't raise cattle worth a lick, it looks like the whole Second Coming's going to be called off. That's why we always tell our farmers to practice abstinence -- it's the only way to be sure stuff like this doesn't spread like the clap in a Chinese whorehouse."

Bible Decoder

From Vic Stenger and Dean A. Batha


Is Rabin's Assassination scripted in Bible ?

Did a UFO crash land in Roswell, USA ?

Is Kennedy's assasination a conspiracy ?

The BIBLE has all the ANSWERS

Bible Codes

The Bible Codes phenomena, which had an unprecedented coverage in the media, is based on the idea of Equidistant Letter Sequences (or ELS) which are embedded within a given text.

Orthodox Jews believe that God dictated the Torah, (the first 5 books of the Bible), to Moses, letter by letter, and that encrypted in the text are names and events.

Recently, researchers in Israel discovered a staggering phenomena of hidden codes in the Hebrew text of Old Testament that reveal an astonishing knowledge of events and personalities that cannot be explained unless God inspired the writers to record His precise words.

The existence of the "hidden codes" phenomenon was first published by Professor Eliyahu Rips along with his colleagues Doron Witztum and Yoav Rosenberg. They researched into the seemingly unique patterns encoded in the Book of Genesis. Scanning the text by computer using a scientific method called Equidistant Letter Sequences (ELS) has disclosed that "hidden" in the Torah text are words or meaningful combinations of letters.

For example, it has been found that the [Hebrew] word appears at the beginning of both the books of Genesis and Exodus, with an equidistance in both cases of 50 letters, starting from the first occurrence of the letter [Hebrew letter] in each book. Mathematicians have calculated that the probability of this occurring randomly, and not by deliberate design, is less than one in three millions.


Bible Decoder

Bible Decoder is a program which can perform fast code searches on the text of the Bible. The program allows you to do search in your own language. The default language configurations built into the system are Hebrew, English and Greek.

It's blazing fast search engine lets you view search results in seconds. Apart from its unparalleled speed, user friendly interface and its multicolor graphical matrix displays of code search results, the program has many features as described below. They even have a shareware version, so you can try it before you buy it.

See my discussion of the Bible Code in the draft chapter 8 at
Do not distribute. Comments welcome.

Vic Stenger

Minister Charles Simpson has the power to make you a LEGALLY ORDAINED MINISTER within 48 hours!!!!


As a minister, you will be authorized to perform the rites and ceremonies of the church!! WEDDINGS
MARRY your BROTHER, SISTER, or your BEST FRIEND!! Don't settle for being the BEST MAN OR BRIDES' MAID Most states require that you register your certificate (THAT WE SEND YOU) with the state prior to conducting the ceremony.

A very hard time for you and your family Don't settle for a minister you don't know!! Most states require that you register your certificate (THAT WE SEND YOU) with the state prior to conducting the ceremony.

You can say "WELCOME TO THE WORLD!!!! I AM YOUR MINISTER AND YOUR UNCLE!!" What a special way to welcome a child of God.

The Catholic Church has practiced the forgiveness of sins for centuries **Forgiveness of Sins is granted to all who ask in sincerity and willingness to change for the better!!

Since you will be a Certified Minister, you can visit others in need!! Preach the Word of God to those who have strayed from the flock

After your LEGAL ORDINATION, you may start your own congregation!!

At this point you must be wondering how much the Certificate costs. Right? Well, let's talk about how much the program is worth. Considering the value of becoming a CERTIFIED MINISTER I'd say the program is easily worth $100. Wouldn't you agree? However, it won't cost that much. Not even close! My goal is to make this life changing program affordable so average folks can benefit from the power of it.

Since I know how much you want to help others, you're going to receive your Minister Certification for under $100.00... Not even $50.00... You are going to receive the entire life-changing course for only $29.95.

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Search for Momo continues


Hannibal Courier-Post, April 19 2001

Article about the Bigfoot-like "MoMo", or Missouri Monster, which was reported particularly in 1972. Witness Bill Riley and Richard Greenwell of the International Society for Cryptozoology are quoted.

Is your child possesed by demons?


If you believe your child is showing signs of demonic possession, don't worry, just pick up the phone NOW and dial 0800-DEMON-KID, alternatively head for your nearest church and dunk the child in Holy Water.....

How To Tell If Your Child Is Under Demonic Possession

There are very obvious signs that your child is possessed, projectile pea and ham soup coloured expectoration is always a dead give-away, but there are also many subtle signs that you may not always spot. With this guide you will be able to find out for sure whether your kid is just a little shit or if he/she is possessed by an unearthly entity.

The Tell-Tale Signs Of Demonic Possesion:

Three 6's - Just as in the film The Omen, your child may well have "666" (the number of the beast) some-where on their body. This is the most obvious sign that your child is pure evil incarnate.

"The Exorcist" - Yes, the original guide to possessed kids, if you have a child that shows any of the symptoms of "doing a Linda Blair", then call in the specialists!

Sacrifices - Has your child ever killed a small animal in the name of Satan? When was the last time you checked their bedroom thoroughly for hidden sacrificial altars under the bed or black candles in their wardrobe.

Strange Voices - When you thought it was cute that they would put on a silly high pitched voice, it wasn't really them! Yes indeed, this is a sure sign of demonic possession.

Invisible Friends - Now come on, that must have worried you, why do you think they lock adults up if they talk to some-one that no-one else can see? Talking to a demon is the only plausible answer for this activity - have your child incarcarated imediately.

Glowing Red Eyes - You thought this was something to do with the flash on your camera didnt you? WRONG ! Call in the white jacket brigade immediately.

"That Kid From Down The Street" - You know that best friend they have, the one you think is a bit odd.... Correct! You had already spotted your first demon child, and of course it is catching.... this child is trying to pass his/her demonic possession around like the bloody flu !

Tantrums - These are NOT "just a phase all kids go through", this is the demon fighting for control over your child, why the hell do you think they always happen more often in public places? It's plain and simple - the demon is trying to get your child to run amok where there is plenty of damage to be done.

Uncontrolable Child - See above, if your child runs riot in shops and other public places, then the demon has gained control and is playing your child like a puppet on a string.

Santa Claus - Man in red suit who comes down the chimney.... I don't think so! Now let us examine this a bit closer - SANTA is an anagram of SATAN, you would think that would be a dead giveaway wouldnt you! He comes down the chimney - i.e. out of a hot fiery place.... He wears a red suit? has red skin more like! and last but not least he is associated with the giving and receiving of gifts - sacrifices... Nuff said.

Are your kids possessed? Send details NOW!

What is Happening at the South Pole?


at http://www.enterprisemission.com/antarctica.htm

In recent weeks, a series of disturbing and mysterious reports have been coming out of Antarctica, centered around a strange "anomaly" recently detected on that perpetually frozen Continent. The stories, covered extensively by internet news sources (like Kent Steadman's Cyberspace Orbit site), draw eerie parallels to material as diverse as a French novel, the "X-Files" movie, and as we shall see, even Arthur C. Clarke's "2001 - A Space Odyssey."

All the intrigue centers around a fairly recent, but potentially "breakthrough" discovery on that faraway Continent. In 1957, the Russians built a base in eastern Antarctica which they named "Vostok" (East), which also happens to be the name of the first series of manned Russian spacecraft. In the 1970's, via airborne radar surveys, they belatedly began to suspect that they had "inadvertently" (as the story goes) built their base at the tip of a large subglacial lake. In the years since, orbital radar mapping (shown below) combined with surface seismological measurements have confirmed that "Lake Vostok," under over two miles of solid ice, is the largest lake discovered in the last 100 years -- roughly the size of Lake Ontario but much deeper in places (more than 3000 feet!), with about four times the volume.

U.S. Air Force Top Secret Anti Gravity Technology

Posted by Dean A. Batha


Retired Air Force Colonel Donald Ware has claimed that a three star general revealed that "the new Lockheed-Martin space shuttle (National Space Plane) and the B-2 (stealth bomber) both have electro-gravitic systems on board" and that "this explains why our 21 Northrop B-2s cost about a billion dollars each."

I feel that it is also worthy to note that the Selected Aquisition Report (with which United States lawmakers track the cost of major U.S. weapons projects) valued the B-2 program at $45 billion. With 21 aircraft built, that works out at $2.14 billion each, twice the cost as stated above.

After taking off conventionally, the B-2 has the option of switching to anti-gravity mode. It has been said that using it's anti-gravitic technology, the B-2 can fly around the world without refuelling.

The F-117 stealth fighter also has hybrid propulsion and lift technologies which may be electro-gravitic systems. Utilizing conventional thrust for public take-offs and landings, switching to anti-gravity mode would allow an extended cruising range, lightning fast manouverability, and for shrouding the airframe in invisibility (by having its local counter-gravity field bend light around the airframe).

How are anti-gravity systems controlled?

It has been known for sometime now by "Black World" technologists that the key to controlling gravity is Element 115 on the Periodic Table - Ununpentium. The most important attribute of this heavier, stable element is that the gravity A wave is so abundant that it actually extends past the perimeter of the atom. These heavier, stable elements literally have their own gravity A field around them, in addition to the gravity B field that is native to all matter. By controlling the gravity A wave, you can control gravity. By fuelling an aircraft reactor with ununpentium, you have an aircraft capable of utilising anti-gravity propulsion.

New Age Travel Agency

Posted by Dean A. Batha


Trips to Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, the Pyramids, and many more sacred places are forming now.

Welcome to the premiere information and reference network for visiting Mother Earth's most sacred sites. Here you'll find all the information you'll need to experience these powerful places first hand, along with a list of qualified tour leaders who specialize in providing experiential and transformational travel programs. If you're interested in travel that includes both an inner journey and an outer experience, you've come to the right place.

From earliest times, our ancestors felt a mysterious attraction to certain places where they sensed a special presence—an energy that seemed to emanate from a higher power. To help connect with the power they built sacred shrines and temples, many of which could not be duplicated by architects and engineers today. With the coming of a new millennium, some people are sensing that the lost secrets of past civilizations may soon be re-discovered. Are the calls of the ancient sacred places growing stronger? Or are we hearing them more clearly as our need to "remember" forgotten teachings becomes more urgent? NewAgeTravel.com invites you to begin your journey now...

I wonder if they give a discount for out-of-body travelers and remote viewers?

Humankind has not stepped foot on moon

From USAToday at


I am Bart Winfield Sibrel, the writer, producer and director of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon, the documentary that inspired the recent Fox special, Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon? I served as senior consultant for and key interviewee of the Fox show. USA TODAY commentary writer Michael Medved composed his article without reviewing my film (''Faking a hoax,'' The Forum, April 9).

My film contains newly discovered evidence of mislabeled, 31-year-old unedited footage from the first mission to the moon, Apollo 11, dated three days into the flight. In this footage, Neil Armstrong is clearly visible staging part of the mission photography.

Humankind has not stepped foot on the moon. End of story. Proof of this is in my film and was not licensed for the Fox special. The Soviets had five times the experience and expertise. Yet, they never once put a man on the moon. This whole endeavor really pushes people's buttons when it comes to national pride.

For Medved to equate believing in this coverup with denying the Jewish Holocaust of World War II simply proves the superficiality of his investigation caused by his misdirected patriotism, or, as it has been historically noted, ''zeal without knowledge.'' Were there only three witnesses to World War II? Of course not. Yet, this is the total number of witnesses to landing on the moon in 1969.

If Medved is courageous about his convictions, why not take ''one small step'' and have me join him on his radio show for an open debate about the recently discovered truth of America's journey to the moon? This would truly be ''a giant leap for mankind.''

Bart Winfield Sibrel
Film director
Nashville, Tenn.

Uri Geller 'makes pet rabbit disappear'

From Ananova at


A BBC reporter had a spooky coincidence when she interviewed psychic Uri Geller.

Melanie Doel, from BBC Wales, was asked to draw something in secret to see if Geller could replicate it.

She drew her son's pet rabbit and Uri drew the same animal. She then returned home to find the actual pet had gone missing.

Doel said: "The picture Uri Geller did was really similar to mine and the same size. I don't think he could see what I was doing and there was no-one else in the room.

"When I got into the car afterwards, my husband phoned to say that at lunchtime, the time I was with Uri Geller, Meggie had escaped.

"It was spooky. The rabbits are in a chicken run in the garden and none have ever escaped before. We are really baffled."

Although the runaway rabbit was spotted in the garden, the family have not been able to catch it, reports the Western Mail.

Friday, April 27, 2001


Copyright 2001 Michael Shermer, Skeptics Society, Skeptic magazine, e-Skeptic magazine (www.skeptic.com and ). Permission to print, distribute, and post with proper citation and acknowledgment.
We encourage you to broadcast e-Skeptic to new potential subscribers.
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Saturday, April 28, 2:30p.m., UCLA, Young CS 50
Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
For details go to latimes.com/festivalofbooks

The Learning Channel will feature a one-hour documentary tonight, April 27th, at 10:00pm (Friday) & 1:00am (Saturday) on "Understanding Evolution." The show will be repeated several times on the Learning Channel and the digital Disney Science Channel, so watch local listings. It includes Richard Dawkins, Jonathan Weiner, Richard Milner, myself, various politicians, creationists, etc., some of which was shot in Kansas last summer during the local controversy over teaching Darwin in the schools.

In response to my first Scientific American column I received a couple of critiques that I thought I would share as a stimulus to the general subject of science and progress. I do not have time to construct a specific response, however, because I've got a publisher's deadline to meet in finishing my biography of Alfred Russel Wallace. Instead I include excerpts from Why People Believe Weird Things that address this question.
Shermer's column on "Darwin's Dictum" was amazingly uninformed and inaccurate about the philosophy and history of science in the twentieth century. He now calls anyone who criticizes him a "postmodernist" and claims his critics merely wish he nuanced his positions.

However his claim that philosophy and history of science in the first half of the 20th century done by scientists adhered to an objectivist philosophy if false. Mach, Poincare, Duhem, Planck, Eddington, Bohr, Heisenberg, Pauli and many others held a non-realist philosophy of science. He then claims that after WWII philosophers and historians took over the field and turned it into postmodernism. He then gives a confused imitation of postmodernist jargon that shows he doesn't undrstance application of the words he is using (applying dialectical to the oppressive society for instance). Many philosophers after WWII have been scientific realists and in fact argued against the anti-realists positions of the official physicists' 1950s -1970s mainstream Copenhagen doctrine. Shermer then goes on to quote Sandra Harding's quote about Newton's Principia as a "rape manual," which is torn out of context to make the right wing denuciation of 'political correctness. (Harding claimed that those who dismiss gender metaphors in science as irrelevant because "mere metaphors" are selective in what they dismiss as metaphors. It is as metaphorical to call Newton's physics mechanics as it is to call it a rape manual.) It is hardly a matter of nuances but of biased and ignorant sloppiness. (Though I'm sure many on this list who wish to tar anyone who disagrees with them with the brush of postmodernism, rather the way accusations of communism were used in the early 1950's will enjoy it and be oblivious to its inaccuracy.)
Val Dusek

From Shermer's "Darwin's Dictum":
"In the second half of the twentieth century professional philosophers and historians took over the profession and, swept up in a paroxysm of postmodern deconstruction, proffered a view of science as a relativistic game played by European white males in a reductionistic frenzy of hermeneutical hegemony, hell bent on suppressing the masses beneath the thumb of dialectical scientism and technocracy. (Yes, some of them actually talk like that, and one really did call Newton's _Principia_ a "rape manual.")"

Are you referring to people like Kuhn, Feyerabend, and Lakatos in this passage? If you are, I don't think you've given them a fair shake. I am very intrigued by questions these three historians/philosophers of science have raised (and others before and after them).

1) It is difficult, if not impossible, to argue that science progresses toward some point of complete, objective knowledge through induction.

2) The concept of incommensurability of theories raised by Kuhn and taken up by Feyerabend poses many problems for the commonly held notion that science "builds" toward a more complete and objective description of the Universe.

3) Does science progress toward a fixed point--a state of complete knowledge about the nature of our Universe? Or does it merely progress in the sense that it becomes a more efficient puzzle-solving mechanism? If the later is true, then how can we say, in good faith, that science 'progresses.'

4) If Quine is right when he says, "Any seemingly disconfirming evidence can always be accomodated to any theory" by altering the background conditions, doesn't this mean that there is no way to conclusively refute a theory under test, and thus, there neccesarily must be other sociological and psychological conditions at work when one theory is chosen by science over another.
John Zupansic

From Why People Believe Weird Things, Chapter 2, by Michael Shermer (references in book):

I believe that science and scientific paradigms are not only different from all other non-scientific paradigms, but contain certain features that make them progressive. Progress, taken in a value-neutral sense, means the cumulative growth of knowledge over time. Let us examine first what a paradigm is, and then, what constitutes progress.

The Kuhnian usage of paradigm is generally adopted here, where a paradigm defines the "normal science" of an age, founded on "past scientific achievements--that some particular scientific community acknowledges for a time as supplying the foundation for its further practice." Today, textbooks are the primary proselytizers and protectors of the paradigm, presenting to the next generation the past generations' knowledge and theories. Before textbooks, Kuhn notes that the classics served in this capacity. They did so in two ways that form the basis for Kuhn's definition of paradigm:

Their achievement was sufficiently unprecedented to attract an enduring group of adherents away from competing modes of scientific activity. Simultaneously, it was sufficiently open-ended to leave all sorts of problems for the redefined group of practioners to resolve. Achievements that share these two characteristics I shall henceforth refer to as 'paradigms,' a term that relates closely to 'normal science'."

Kuhn was challenged by Margaret Masterman for not defining paradigm clearly. His 1977 expanded definition of "all shared group commitments, all components of what I now wish to call the disciplinary matrix," without extensive examples and discussion, still fails to give the reader a sense of just what Kuhn means by paradigm. Because of this lack of clarity, the following definition will be used, based on that given for science:

A scientific paradigm is a mental model shared by most but not all members of a scientific community, designed to describe and interpret observed or inferred phenomena, past or present, and aimed at building a testable body of knowledge open to rejection or confirmation.

A paradigm is usually shared by most but not all because most of the time competing paradigms coexist--a necessity for new paradigms to displace old ones. But paradigms are not equal. For some, tea-leaf reading and economic forecasting, sheep's livers and meteorological maps, astrology and astronomy, all equally determine what is reality, in an ontological sense. Obviously I do not accept this, which is why I added the modifier "scientific" to my definition. As difficult as it is for economists and meteorologists to predict the future, they are still better at it than tea-leaf readers and sheep's liver diviners. Astrologers cannot explain the interior workings of a star, predict the outcome of colliding galaxies, or chart the course of a spacecraft to Jupiter. Astronomers can for the simple reason that they operate in a scientific paradigm that is constantly refined against the harsh judge of nature herself.

I also assume that science is progressive because science has certain built-in self-correcting features: experimentation, corroboration, and falsification. These characteristics make scientific paradigms different from all other paradigms, which include pseudoscience, non-science, superstition, myth, religion, and art. The reason that pseudoscience, non-science, superstition, myths, religion, and art are not progressive is that they do not have the goal or the mechanism to allow the accumulation of knowledge that builds on the past. Progress, in this cumulative sense, is not their purpose. This is an observation, not a criticism. Individuals in these paradigms do not stand on the shoulders of giants in the same manner as scientists. While there is change in myths, religions, and art styles, it is not progressive change. Artists do not improve upon the styles of their predecessors, they change them. (Materials and techniques may improve, but these changes are incorporated to enhance the skill of the artist, not to help the style of art progress.)

Priests, rabbis, and ministers do not attempt to improve upon the sayings of their masters; they parrot, interpret, and teach them. Pseudoscientists do not correct the errors of their predecessors, they perpetuate them. Science has a self-correcting feature that operates like natural selection in nature. Science, like nature, preserves the gains and eradicates the mistakes. When paradigms shift (for example, during scientific revolutions) scientists do not abandon the entire science; just as a new species is not begun from scratch. Rather, what remains useful in the paradigm is retained, as new features are added and new interpretations given. Einstein emphasized this point in reflecting upon his own contributions to physics and cosmology:

"Creating a new theory is not like destroying an old barn and erecting a skyscraper in its place. It is rather like climbing a mountain, gaining new and wider views, discovering unexpected connections between our starting point and its rich environment. But the point from which we started out still exists and can be seen, although it appears smaller and forms a tiny part of our broad view gained by the mastery of the obstacles on our adventurous way up."

The shift from one scientific paradigm to another may be a mark of improvement in the understanding of causality, the prediction of future events, or the alteration of the environment. There can be cumulative growth and paradigmatic change. This is scientific progress, which in the context of this analysis may be defined as follows:

Scientific progress is the cumulative growth of a system of knowledge over time, in which useful features are retained and non-useful features are abandoned, based on the rejection or confirmation of testable knowledge.

Though I have defined science as progressive, I admit it is not possible to know if the knowledge uncovered by the scientific method is positive ("certain"), or not, because we have no outside source--no Archimedean point--from which to view Reality. There is no question that science is heavily influenced by the culture in which it is embedded, and that scientists may all share a common bias that leads them to think a certain way about nature. But this does not take anything away from the progressive nature of science. Progress in this sense is meant as a value-neutral description. Progress is neither good nor bad; it simply is. Many think progress is good, but there are plenty who think progress is destructive, and they, in turn, generally dislike science and technology--at least they are consistent.

It must be noted as well that those who do not embrace science and technology may be just as happy as those who do, maybe even more so. But this is an a-scientific statement because happiness is a subjective, nonquantifiable emotion. We cannot judge or define progress based on happiness. We cannot, in any absolute sense, equate happiness with progress, or progress with happiness. But if an individual finds happiness in the progress produced by science and technology, there is a rational way to quantify and define how this progress can be accomplished. As scientific progress was defined above, the definition for technological systems can similarly be made:

Technological progress is the cumulative growth of a system of knowledge and artifacts over time, where useful features are retained and non-useful features are abandoned, based on the rejection or acceptance of the technologies in the market.

Therefore it becomes possible to make a rational distinction between progressive and non-progressive cultures (that makes no judgments on whether these differences are good or bad, moral or immoral):

Progressive cultures have as a primary goal the cumulative growth of a system of knowledge and artifacts over time, where useful features are retained and non-useful features are abandoned, based on the rejection or confirmation of testable knowledge, and the rejection or acceptance of artifacts.

Cultural progress is inextricably linked with both scientific progress and technological progress. Culture, of course, involves much more than science and technology, but for a cultural tradition to be progressive, it must meet the above definition of cumulative growth through an indebtedness to the past. In science, useful features are retained and non-useful features are abandoned through the confirmation or rejection of testable knowledge. The scientific method, in this way, is constructed to be progressive. In technology, useful features are retained and non-useful features are abandoned based on the rejection or acceptance of the technologies in the market. For science, the market is primarily the community of scientists. For technology, the market is primarily the consuming public. Other cultural traditions (art, myths, religion) may retain some of the features found in science and technology, such as being accepted or rejected within their own community or by the public, but none have as their primary goal cumulative growth through an indebtedness to the past. Thus, only science and technology are truly progressive.

Cultures that encourage the development of science and technology will be progressive. Cultures that inhibit the development of science and technology will be nonprogressive. This does not make one culture better than another culture, or one way of life more moral than another way of life, or one people happier than another people. But if an individual or group desires a lifestyle that includes the vast diversity of knowledge and artifacts, cherishes novelty and change, seeks an ever-growing standard of living as defined in the Industrial West, then a progressive system based on science and technology will produce that culture.

No doubt this is not a popular position. Among academics as well, the word "progress" has taken on a pejorative meaning, implying superiority over those who have not progressed as far. In my oral doctoral defense I was firmly advised by my committee to replace the modifier "progress" with "change when referring to science. My response to those who challenge the validity of science and the scientific method as a means of understanding causality in the world, is to quote one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century, if not the millennium, Albert Einstein:

"One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike--and yet it is the most precious thing we have."

Demon 'drove family out of their Canadian home'

From Ananova at


A Canadian family are using prayers to try and rid their home of a cruel demon.

William Hudson, from Winnipeg, claims his wife Martha has been beaten by the demon and has brought in a minister and pastor to help sort the problem out.

The family have moved out because of the ghostly goings-on, but now burglars have broken in to the empty house and stolen food, clothing and electronic equipment.

"A tortured soul has staked its claim to our house and will not let go," said Mr Hudson.

"It's beaten my wife, terrifies my children and causes bad things to happen. It's forced us out."

Pastor Dan Murdock told the Winnipeg Sun: "We hope that through the Bible and Jesus Christ we can get these people back into their home."

The house has also been blessed with holy water by a priest brought in by a policeman, who heard about the family's plight after the empty house was burgled.

"We were happy the policeman believed us. You know, we thought we might be going crazy," said Martha, who mysteriously got bruises on her hands, ribs and arms, which she attributes to the demon.

Mr Hudson said if they can't get the demon out they want to move, but first they must find someone else to take over the lease of the house.

Four MPs die after 'angelic' fig tree is felled

From Ananova at


The deaths of four Cambodian MPs may be linked to the felling of a 100-year-old fig tree.

Some officials in the Cambodian National Assembly believe the tree, in the assembly grounds, was a guardian spirit angel which protected people from harm.

It was cut down to make way for a new office block. Traditional belief holds that people who abuse the spirits will have bad karma in the future.

Deputy Secretary General Chan Ven says a special Buddhist ceremony will be held in the grounds to try and purge angry spirits.

National Assembly security guard Kong Ny said two of his friends had also died.

"Their deaths were related to a disease, but we also think it was related to the spirit's anger," he said.

But not all officials are convinced by the explanation.

Legislator Princess Norodom Vacheara told the Phnom Penh Post: "Those who died were old and sick."

My Encounter With Grey Space Aliens

Posted by Dean A. Batha

Or "I was smokin' in the desert on day..."


My Encounter With Grey Space Aliens

by Richard J. Boylan, Ph.D., Abduct.D.

2826 O Street, Suite 2
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 455-0120

[from http://www.ufonetwork.com/boylan/articles/account.html]

On April 12, 1992, after leaving Alamogordo I proceeded west on Interstate 10 towards Deming, NM in my Chevy Blazer. I had my CB radio on, listening to and talking with truckers along the way. At Deming I turned off onto U.S. 180, heading northwest towards my destination for the night, a campground in Gila National Forest. Highway U.S. 180 is a two-lane blacktop road that goes in an almost straight line for 53 miles between Deming and Silver City, through absolutely empty and featureless Sonoran scrub desert. It's mostly flat, with an occasional gentle rise, and this night had maybe three cars on it besides mine the entire length.


Almost at once I saw what looked like a huge luminous cloud of smoke stretched across the highway from the leftmost part of the rise to the rightmost part and up to the sky, a solid curtain across the highway. I presumed that it was my bad luck to be running across a forest fire. So I went back on the CB to ask anyone out there, "Where's the fire? Does anyone know about the fire on 180?" Again, it was spooky. No answer from Arkansas Twang or anyone else. I started to broadcast again, then gave up lamely, since I was just about upon the presumed smokecloud. I cursed my luck, and in a second calculated what a long detour I would have to drive if this fire blocked the highway, versus the risk of plowing through the smoke blind, hoping it was just a hundred feet thick or so and I could break through to the other side and complete my journey. I drove into the smoke, taking my foot off the gas to slow down in case I didn't pop through the other side quickly. I didn't. Not for an hour.


Then I went into a state of paralysis. I could not move my body. I sensed the approach of two persons, who got on either side of me. Each placed a firm grip on my forearms. I cannot recall viewing them. The funny thing about their hands was that theirs was a three-finger grip. Their fingers were long and didn't feel like human fingers. They did not have articulated bones, but felt like a continuous cartilage inside with a padded fleshy exterior. The grip consisted of two fingers on top of my forearm and one finger underneath. The fingers were not much wider than human ones but quite long. And their grip was like a vise. It was clear I was going with them. I had no better idea, anyway.

I was led forward and to the left, in the general direction of what I had presumed was the "snowpatch" gleaming in the moon- light. Soon we arrived at a landed metallic vehicle. I stopped about five feet in front of midpoint of its long side. It was shaped like a flattened arch, with rounded ends. The bottom seemed more flat, but that may be because it was partially sunk into the sand. It was a metallic color, about the color of Airstream trailers, only not so bright. The length I would estimate at 35-50 feet and the height at midpoint at 10-12 feet. A resource person I consult with remote viewing capability determined that the craft had been in distress and had made a hard landing, and that one of the three crewmen was hurt.

Alien Zoo

Posted by Dean A. Batha


Have you seen a ufo or had a paranormal experience? Tell us about it, call the AlienZoo Sightings Hotline at 602.343.0567


The Allies of Humanity

Author: M.V. Summers
Pages: 133
Format: Adobe Reader (eBook)

Allies of Humanity contains what may be the most important message being communicated in the world today. It is a genuine transformational message aimed directly at the underlying purpose of the alien intervention in order to raise the awareness that we will need to face the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead

©2000 M.V. Summers


Psi Spies

Author: Jim Marrs
Pages: 230
Format: Adobe Reader (eBook), Print

Jim Marrs, author of Alien Agenda and Crossfire (later the basis for Oliver Stone's Academy Award winning movie JFK), unravels the mystery behind the psychic phenomena known as remote viewing.

©2000 AlienZoo, Inc.

Thursday, April 26, 2001

Articles of Note

From: Barry Karr

From Ivan Kelly - Head of the CSICOP Astrology Subcomittee

My massive critique of astrology "The Concepts of Modern Astrology: A Critique" is now online at


Make sure readers of the on-line readership are aware of this...Cheers,
Ivan Kelly

From Ace Compiler Joe Littrell

Loch Ness Monster Hunter Nets Big Witch Trouble


"Veteran monster hunter Jan Sundberg landed himself in hot water with a white witch on Tuesday as he began an underwater attempt to catch the most famous and elusive resident of Scotland's Loch Ness."

Villagers Kill Woman Seen As Witch


"Villagers in the Papua New Guinea highlands killed a woman accused of sorcery with axes, knives and a shotgun, the AAP news agency reported on Thursday."

Experts: Autism not caused by MMR vaccine
By Huntly Collins


"A vaccine that has been the cornerstone of pediatric health in the United States for three decades is not responsible for a dramatic rise in autism among the nation's children, according to a comprehensive scientific review released yesterday."

Doyle denies role in gasoline boycott
by Neal Rubin
Detroit News


"Like locusts, bell-bottom pants and other recurring plagues, the solution to high gasoline prices has resurfaced on the Internet."

Washington Post


"Occasionally, the Schools and Learning page will dissect an educational maxim or historical tidbit that is just plain wrong. Staff writers Jay Mathews and Valerie Strauss offer up the stories behind two commonly held beliefs."

Review: God, Faith, and Health

Jeff Levin's new book, God, Faith, and Health: Exploring the Spirituality-Healing Connection, is reviewed in a Salon article by Ivan Oransky, "In bad faith -- A researcher offers evidence that religion is good for your health. Too bad so much of it is bunk."


"Therapeutic Touch" only therapeutic for bank accounts?

By Paul W Harrison Source: Women's Quarterly at


The so-called "healing touch" and other new-age medical procedures increasingly practised by registered nurses among others has come under fire in "The Women's Quarterly." Among other disturbing consequences, the following real-life occurrences (the first one humorous if it were only part of a Monty Python skit) are mentioned:

"A nurse asked a man in much pain if he would "like some help with relaxation techniques." Instead of reporting the unusual amount of pain to the physician, the nurse sent in an aide to do Healing Touch. When the patient saw her waving her hands over him, he thought he was getting his last rites and panicked, thus delaying his healing. Another man was so startled by the hand waving that he fell out of bed and broke his arm.

"A woman with abdominal pain went to a TT [Therapeutic Touch] nurse who had a private practice. The nurse recommended TT treatments only, and the woman died of complications from a ruptured appendix a few days later.

"A woman who phoned her HMO nurse when she developed severe abdominal pain was told that she should use the pain to get in touch with her inner self. Nothing else. The woman went to an emergency room, where she was found to have a pelvic mass, later determined to be a large ovarian tumor."

How many more people are going to suffer or even die in lieu of valid care as a result of these either well-meaning or exploitative practices?

-- Paul Harrison

Egyptian Egyptologists Debunk Claims of Two French Archaeologists

Posted by Raymond Nelke

Thanks to:
for the source of this story


Egyptian Egyptologists Debunk Claims of Two French Archaeologists

By Chris Hahn, Cairo Bureau Manager

The largest of Egypt's pyramids, Khufu (Cheops) on the Giza Plateau, has long been the subject of outrageous claims made by laymen and scientists alike. These so-called theories range from the purpose of the pyramids being a landing device for extraterrestrial spacecraft, their ability to keep razors sharp and preserve otherwise perishable foods, and that (at least in the case of Cheops) secret passages and chambers abound. Recently, two French archaeologists claimed to have found evidence of the precise location of the entrances to some of these hidden cavities.

Ostensibly using a sophisticated architectural database of royal funeral sites from the first through the sixth dynasties, and then using macrophotographic techniques to closely examine hundreds of meters of walls within the pyramid, the French researchers Jacques Bardot and Francine Darmon are now so certain of their findings that they are prepared to present them to the Egyptian government and request a joint Franco-Egyptian team investigation.

Jean-Pierre Corteggiani, an Egyptologist with the Institut Francais d' Archeologie Orientale (IFAO) based in Cairo, who is not associated with the researchers, was unavailable for comment. However, he was recently quoted in an ABC News Online Sci-Tech article as saying 'the two archaeologist's claims should be treated with "the most extreme caution." This same news source also reported that the department of Egyptian antiquities at the Louvre museum in Paris "did not know" the two scientists in question – Jacques Bardot and Francine Darmon.

Dr. Zahi Hawass, the Undersecretary of State for the Giza Plateau told Egypt Revealed that he does not know about any evidence of hidden cavities, and that he does not believe that any such cavities exist. Hawass went on to say, "If the director of the pyramids knows nothing about what they are saying, it means that it is not true".

Science's Elusive Realm: Life's Little Mysteries

Posted by Raymond Nelke

Thanks to: http://www.anomalist.com/ for the source of this story


Science's Elusive Realm: Life's Little Mysteries


SANTA FE, N.M. — Physicists observe the natural world and extract from it laws and principles that reliably explain everyday phenomena. At the smallest scale, they use quantum mechanics to predict the behavior of subatomic particles and small molecules. At larger scales, they devise theories to explain magnetism, the conduction of heat and electricity and other phenomena that occur the same way in a wide variety of materials.

Scientists boast that these principles predict how most matter will behave in physical and chemical experiments.

But there is one region that eludes them. That is the region containing matter on a scale of 10 to 1,000 angstroms (an angstrom being one billionth of a meter) — bigger than a simple molecule but smaller than a living cell. This is the realm in which the constituents of cells interact with one another.

It is where proteins fold, charged ions move through cell membranes and messenger molecules read DNA instructions in the cell nucleus. Even the most advanced microscopes can only glimpse this activity, because the energies they use tend to destroy living tissue, said Dr. David Pines, a physicist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

At this level, things do not act according to well-described theories of chemistry and physics. Rather, systems this size seem to obey a unique set of rules that cannot be deduced from studying their individual components.

There are too many atoms in the systems to be described by electromagnetism and quantum theories but too few to handle statistically.

This is the realm of "the mesoscale," and scientists like Dr. Pines and Dr. Robert Laughlin, the Nobel laureate from Stanford, are attacking its mysteries.

"I think we'll see some answers, but it will take a generation or two," Dr. Laughlin said in a recent interview. "It won't happen tomorrow."

Work has begun under the auspices of the Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter or ICAM, a new and independent unit of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley, which administers the lab. Led by Dr. Pines and Dr. Laughlin, the physicists, chemists and biologists of ICAM met here this year to discuss how scientists might try to understand and maybe even design matter that organizes itself into living systems.

Unlike the Santa Fe Institute and other centers that study complexity, ICAM scientists tend to shun computer models and the jargon of complex systems. Nor do they have much faith in efforts to understand life by sequencing genes and looking for similar patterns in different organisms.

Without deeper organizing principles, they say, the mere accumulation and organization of genetic data will not shed light on how life works.

Research on the mesoscale must be based on experiments, Dr. Laughlin said. "It's about making stuff, putting matter into new situations so you may discover something new. Then you do your best to disprove your theory. Physics teaches us that rules dreamt up without the benefit of physical insight are nearly always wrong. Correct rules must be discovered, not invented."

As an example, he cites 19th century physicists who believed light needed some kind of medium, called ether, to spread through the universe. But this wholly fabricated invention was overturned when Albert Einstein accepted at face value experiments that found light travels at a constant speed and "went on to make his astonishing predictions about the dilation of time and the equivalence of mass and energy, both of which have now been verified in countless experiments," Dr. Laughlin said.

Nanotechnology is exploring matter at the mesoscale and holds promise for discovering new principles, Dr. Laughlin said. But until it develops some theories, it will not be able to test new ideas about how living systems are organized. Mathematicians are beginning to make important contributions that help model and understand biological systems, he said, but laboratory experiments still need to guide their thinking.

To start with, ICAM researchers are focusing on one beguiling fact: complex systems can arise out of simple constituents that interact with each other in ways not necessarily obvious.

In Dr. Laughlin's view, life is constructed according to engineering principles or laws that do not change, though they are observed at different scales under different conditions, Dr. Laughlin said. For example, the laws of hydrodynamics — the science that deals with the motions of fluids and the forces acting on solid bodies immersed in fluids — are the same in a wide variety of materials. Do these so-called "protected" laws exist at the mesoscale? No one attending the ICAM meeting claimed to have the answer. But they discussed a variety of ways to find out.

One approach involves studying the way small molecules called amino acids fold themselves up to make functional proteins. When a gene directs messenger RNA to make a protein, it activates machinery that produces a linear chain of amino acids that code for the protein. Scientists used to think that the same linear sequence of amino acids always led to the same protein, said Dr. Peter Wolynes, a chemist at the University of California at San Diego. They also thought that proteins followed more or less the same course when they folded.

But now, Dr. Wolynes said, scientists know that a huge variety of amino acid sequences can fold up to form the same protein. Moreover, the same string of amino acids fol ded differently creates a protein that acts differently in the body. These findings have turned protein folding into one of the most intractable problems in biology. For example, a big protein like myoglobin, the iron-bearing pigment in muscles, can be made by any one of many millions of different amino acid sequences.

What makes a protein follow one of these many folding possibilities to achieve its functional shape? The answer, Dr. Wolynes said, lies in what he and other researchers call "funnels" in the multidimensional landscape of folding possibilities. Like real funnels that force material to flow in one direction, protein funnels are produced when amino acids try many different configurations and are drawn by an interplay of positive and negative forces to flow or fold in one direction.

But the detailed physical interactions that may create these funnels are not well understood.

Dr. James Shapiro, a professor of microbiology at the University of Chicago and an ICAM researcher, said that interactions among components in a system were the keys to understanding the emergence of complex systems.

These interactions include dynamic properties like feedback and checkpoints, at which the system checks to make sure everything is all right, which are seen everywhere in living cells, he said. All kinds of signals inform cells where they are at a given time, where their neighbors are, what they are supposed to do next and how and when to stop, Dr. Shapiro said.

Feedback and control are processes that lead to protected states in the mesoscale, which need to be explored experimentally. Dr. M. Reza Ghadiri, a chemist at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego has in his laboratory created small systems of organic molecules that faithfully make copies of themselves and use feedback to change their dynamics.

These molecular ecosystems are not life, he said, but they do show emergent properties like the ability to reproduce, form parasites, correct errors and engage in symbiosis.

Dr. Laughlin challenged biologists to double-check some of their classic experiments used to explain how DNA works at a molecular level. For example, many details of accepted theories of how DNA actually makes proteins are "appallingly bad," he said.

"I've just written a paper on this subject, which is considered nutty by many experts and visionary by others," he said. He said it would be published soon in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and added that he welcomed vigorous debate about it.

At Harvard, Dr. George Whitesides is experimenting with magnetite and iron beads to explore how forces of repulsion, attraction and energy dissipation interact to form unpredictable complex patterns. As these simple systems evolve, Dr. Whitesides said, it should be possible to explore the dynamics of interacting particles and perhaps model biological principles.

"We are letting nature tell us what it likes to do," he said. Such experiments have extraordinary implications, Dr. Pines said. Unlike vitalism — a doctrine that says the processes of life are not explicable by the laws of physics and chemistry alone and that life is in some way self-determining — the research into complex adaptive matter says that life is the consequence of molecular interactions.

"If we can discover organizing principles in biology other than evolution, it means we will be able to make living systems in the laboratory," Dr. Pines said. "We can understand how life began."

How to Read Human Auras

Posted by Dean A. Batha


How to see and READ the AURA by Dr Tom J. Chalko MSc, Ph.D. Como ver y LEER el AURA Introduction

There is nothing "paranormal" in the Universe, except our limited understanding of Nature. What we think we "know" on Earth now is just a tiny drop in the Ocean of Knowledge.

In the distant past, people admired things they could not explain and called them "miracles". Long ago, people were able to see Auras. Very advanced spiritual people such as Buddha, Christ and their immediate students were painted with golden haloes around their heads, because some artists could actually see Auras. In Australia remote West Kimberleys you can find prehistoric cave paintings (right), many thousands of years old, depicting people with golden haloes.


What is the Aura ?

Everything in the Universe is just a vibration. Every atom, every part of an atom, every electron, every elementary "particle", even our thoughts and consciousness are just vibrations. We may define the Aura as a vibration surrounding every material object. This definition is sufficient for the purpose of reading Auras, providing that we can train ourselves to see Aura vibration.


The Aura around humans is partly composed from EM (electromagnetic) radiation, spanning from microwave, infrared (IR) to UV light. The low frequency microwave and infrared part of the spectrum (body heat) seems to be related to the low levels of the functioning of our body (DNA structure, metabolism, circulation etc.) whereas high frequency (UV part) is more related to our conscious activity such as thinking, creativity, intentions, sense of humor and emotions. Russian scientists, who are 3 decades ahead of everyone else in Aura research, discovered that our DNA can be altered, by influencing its microwave Aura. The high frequency UV part is very important and most interesting but largely unexplored. And this part can be seen with naked eyes.

Why do we need to see auras ?

Colors and intensity of the aura, especially around and above the head have VERY special meanings. Watching someone's aura you can actually see the other person's thoughts before you hear them expressed verbally. If they do not agree with what this person is saying, you effectively see a lie every time. No one can lie in front of you undetected. We cannot fake the Aura. It shows our True Nature and intentions for everyone to see.

Also, aura is our spiritual signature. When you see a person with a bright, clean aura, you can be SURE that such person is good and spiritually advanced, even if he/she is modest and not aware of it. When you see a person with a gray or dark aura, you may be SURE, that such person has unclear intentions, regardless how impressive, eloquent, educated, "good looking" or "well dressed" he/she seems to appear.

It is ESPECIALLY important to check the aura of any religious leader, "spiritual teacher", "master" or a "guru". Such person should have a clearly defined yellow-golden halo around the head. If he/she does not have it, you are MUCH better on your own.

Fear rises over 'mad monks' haunting new homes

From Ananova at


Town councillors in Wales fear homes planned for a golf course could be haunted by "mad monks".

Developers applied for planning permission to build 200 homes on a 17 acre site in Machynys, south Llanelli.

But councillors say part of Machynys was once a monastery and locals believe the area is haunted by the monks who formerly lived there.

Councillor Hywel Phillips told council members: "The mad monks of Machynys are believed to haunt that part, so they had better watch out."

The homes will be built near the ruins of Machynys House and there are plans for a further 300 properties on another part of the course in 2003.

Councillors have given their approval to the scheme as long as there is no adverse effect on the historical and archaeological importance of the area, reports This is South Wales.

Tuesday, April 24, 2001

Do It Harder!

This is from Dean Edell's site at


April 23, 2001

There is a big study today coming out on back pain, comparing acupuncture, therapeutic massage and self-care education for persistent back pain. Researchers looked at 262 patients between the ages of 20 and 70 years old who have persistent back pain. The participants were randomized into three modalities, traditional Chinese acupuncture, therapeutic massage or self-care educational materials. Ten acupuncture and massage sessions were allowed over 10 weeks.

Bottom-line, acupuncture did not work. Massage, though, did work. It was superior to acupuncture on the researchers' disability scales. After one year, massage was not better than self-care, but was better than acupuncture. The massage group used the least medications and had the lowest costs of subsequent care. Now I'm ready to take my back problems to the doctor. I'm going to get me a massage. That's nice to know.

Source: Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 161, No. 8, April 23, 2001.

Skeptic Holiday

By Pat Reeder

Just wanted to wish all the Skeptics a happy Shirley MacLaine's birthday! Shirl turns 67 today (at least in this lifetime), and has done so much to keep skeptic organizations in business over all those years. For instance, here's a little blurb from the birthday announcement of today's Wireless Flash news service:

"A Los Angeles psychic claims to own a photograph of MacLaine that supposedly weeps tears. In honor of the sniffling snapshot, psychic Ernesto Moshe Montgomery created a special "Shirley Shrine" that features the teary-eyed photo, a waterfall with holy water, golden candelabras and a Jewish menorah."

How could anyone help but weep when you read something like that?

Pat Reeder

Bookies face monster payout over Nessie


Bookies are in line for a monster payout if investigators find evidence of the Loch Ness Monster.

William Hill has slashed the odds about proof of Nessie being found within a year from 500-1 to 100-1.

A Swedish monster catcher has started work at the loch in an attempt to catch Nessie in a giant net.

"At any given time we are facing a payout of up to a million pounds should proof of the existence of Nessie be forthcoming," said William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe.

" With a major search underway it is not impossible the mystery could at last be solved.".

The firm sponsors an annual best sighting of the year award worth £1,000.

Swede Jan Sunberg, from Global Underwater Research, is using sonar mapping and a giant net which he hopes will snare Nessie.

But the expedition is being challenged by a white witch who has cast a protection spell over the mythical monster.

Kevin Carlyon said: "We do not want Nessie, which is part of British heritage, to end up in some silly Swedish Jurassic Park-type theme park."

Bad feng shui prompts hammer attack, jury told

From Ananova at


A man's skull was broken open after a hammer attack over feng shui, a court heard.

The victim's family and neighbours had been feuding after accusing each other of causing bad feng shui in their Hong Kong flats.

Each said the placement of mirrors, photographs of ancestors and rocks were to blame.

Wong Lai-shing has pleaded not guilty to two counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and one of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Paul Dinan, prosecuting, told the Court of First Instance the two families had been fighting over "trivial things" in the lead up to the attack.

Wong knocked on the front door grille of Ho Chi-hing's flat looking for a fight, the jury were told. He then attacked the victim with what appeared to be a hammer when the door was opened.

Mr Dinan said the attack left Mr Ho's brain exposed after the hammer broke open his skull. He also said Mr Ho had suffered brain damage in the attack and would never be fit enough to give evidence in court.

The victim's wife, Mrs Cheong, said: "When I fell on the ground, he still kept on hitting me with the hammer so I used my feet to push away the hammer."

Mr Dinan also said Wong had attacked the couple's then 15-year-old daughter, Ho Wing-sze, when she tried to ward him off with a wooden stool.

The trial, before Deputy Judge Michael McMahon, continues.

Man obeys God's message to become a vegetable

From Ananova at


An ex-drug dealer who dresses as a red pepper says God told him to do it.

For four years Kenny Carter, of Rosedale in Maryland, has been dressing as Peppy the Pepper and greeting shoppers at the Super Fresh shop where he is a community relations manager.

Carter, 40, says God told him of his task in the middle of a church service.

"It was a very powerful worship - I was crying out in the middle of church: 'Oh God! Oh God!' And suddenly I heard an audible male voice that said: 'You will be a vegetable' .

"I looked round, I thought I was going crazy. I began to worship again. I said: 'Lord, speak to me.' And I heard it again: 'You will be a vegetable'."

Earlier in his life Carter claims he was a pimp, a drug dealer and had spent time in jail and rehabilitation, reports the Maryland SunSpot.

After his message in church he asked a friend to make him a pepper costume, made up a song and asked his store manager to let him try out his act on shoppers.

They loved it and he now travels around the company's different branches.

Loch Ness Monster Hunter Nets Big Witch Trouble


EDINBURGH (Reuters) - Veteran monster hunter Jan Sundberg landed himself in hot water with a white witch on Tuesday as he began an underwater attempt to catch the most famous and elusive resident of Scotland's Loch Ness.

The Swede has sparked fury among animal lovers and witches alike with plans for Operation 'Clean Sweep', a trawl of the lake which he hopes will net Nessie, the legendary Loch Ness monster.

But Kevin Carlyon, high priest of the British White Witches, is determined to put a stop to the hunt by casting a protective spell over the loch and any monsters lurking peacefully beneath the waves.

Sundberg, who is adamant the work of his Global Underwater Research Team is legitimate scientific research, is unimpressed by the interference and plans a distinctly unscientific solution.

"It's all a lot of mumbo jumbo, so we haven't bothered with this guy," he said. "If he shows his face down here again, we'll throw him into the lake. I think he needs to be cooled off a bit."

The legend of a monster in the dark waters of Britain's largest lake dates back to 565 AD when St. Columba, the holy man who brought Christianity to Scotland, spotted a fearsome lake-dwelling beastie.


MONDAY, April 23 (HealthScout) -- If you wonder whether acupuncture is safe, you can relax, according to a review of medical literature from around the world.

Only nine studies have been published since 1956 detailing adverse reactions or problems with acupuncture, the ancient Asian needle therapy used to treat everything from dull pain to arthritis.

To determine how many acupuncture-related problems have been reported in the last half century, Dr. Edzard Ernst, a professor of complementary medicine at England's University of Exeter, and a colleague examined all available medical literature on the subject -- nine surveys in 10 articles, including five from Europe and four from the Far East.

"We analyzed these nine surveys and found there were relatively few adverse effects reported among one-quarter of a million subjects reviewed in those studies," Ernst says.

Anywhere from 1 percent to 45 percent of patients reported needle pain and 2 percent to 41 percent reported a little bleeding, Ernst says. While a few patients reported feeling faint, 86 percent said they had a deep sense of relaxation after treatment. Forty-one percent reported feeling tired after treatment. No study mentioned infection or transmission of disease.

Only two studies noted serious problems: two cases of lung collapse and two cases of a needle breaking, requiring surgical removal, Ernst says. And one patient suffered a burn after moxibustion, a heat application treatment done at needle insertion points.

Ernst says he was surprised to find only nine studies on the subject. "One would have thought that a treatment that started before the invention of science would have received a lot more attention," he says.

His findings were published in the April 15 issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

The reports of side effects show that acupuncture works, says Dr. Marc Micozzi, editor of the textbook Fundamentals of Complementary Alternative Medicine and executive director of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. He says, "People need to understand that part of taking alternative medicine seriously is to take a look at and understand the side effects."

The fact that acupuncture causes tiredness or relaxation is particularly interesting, Micozzi says. "It shows that the treatment is working in those areas. Curiously, a lot of patients occasionally report agitation, though Ernst's study did not show examples of that."

Acupuncture was first mentioned in a Chinese medical test written in the 2nd century B.C. It cited the use of long, thin needles to pierce the skin to create a "harmonious balance" within the body.

Today, proponents say acupuncture produces a range of benefits, from easing pain to curing a variety of gastrointestinal or metabolic disorders.

In North America, Ernst says acupuncture mainly is used to relieve pain, and the treatment can be effective.

"There are two hypotheses: one that acupuncture stimulates endorphins in the brain, which are natural painkillers. The other is related to pain and its communication mechanisms in the nervous system. Acupuncture may stimulate nerve fibers, causing them to fire, thus blocking transmission of the pain impulse in the spinal cord," Ernst says.

Ernst says more research is needed. "While acupuncture is safe when compared to other treatments, that doesn't mean you can assume anything. We need more studies or observations on a constant basis."

For example, he cites anecdotal reports of punctures of the kidney, bladder and spinal medulla, although not many. None of those reports turned up in his review of the medical literature, he says.

In addition, he says he's heard reports of dirty needles causing skin rashes, irritations or infections. And outbreaks of hepatitis B documented in Europe and the United States have been traced to single practitioners reusing unsterilized needles, Ernst says.

One potential pitfall for acupuncture is missing an important diagnosis of disease by skipping a visit to your doctor, says Bruce Dubin, dean of Ohio University's College of Osteopathic Medicine.

"The reports I have heard are about someone who would seek a complementary alternative practitioner and forgo a standard practitioner who practices western medicine," says Dubin. Delayed diagnosis could be a problem, he says.

"In the hands of a trained professional, acupuncture is very safe and effective. Like everything else, acupuncture is not effective for everything. Certainly, it has demonstrated itself as effective for pain that does not respond well to even high doses of medication or chronic pain," "Dubin says.

Superstition Bash Event

Posted by Bela Scheiber

To all North American Groups:
The following message is from Amanda Chesworth for your consideration. Amanda's email address is

- We would like to put preliminary information up on the website for the Superstition Bashes that will be taking place across the continent. Several groups provided me with group names and contact info but not all. For all groups who will be holding a bash, please pass along the name of your group and an email contact. This info will be placed on the site immediately and also used in any preliminary announcements/updates that are sent.

- Other details we can include on the site and in our announcements as events are planned, are the location of the bashes, special activities worth mentioning, times of event, celebrities in attendence, and further contact info. This information can follow the preliminary info above and be placed on the site closer to the actual event date.

Amanda Chesworth


Copyright 2001 Michael Shermer, Skeptics Society, Skeptic magazine, e-Skeptic magazine (www.skeptic.com and skepticmag@aol.com). Permission to print, distribute, and post with proper citation and acknowledgment. We encourage you to broadcast e-Skeptic to new potential subscribers. Newcomers can subscribe to e-Skeptic for free by sending an e-mail to:
2:00pm Sunday, April 29, K.C. Cole, author, Los Angeles Times science writer.
Baxter Lecture Hall, California Institute of Technology

The Hole in the Universe: How Scientists Peered Over the Edge of Emptiness and Found Everything.

Behind the front-page reports of fascinating discoveries in physics, cosmology, and math, lurks a deep underlying mystery--an all-pervasive presence that eludes understanding, yet controls everything else that happens. That mysterious presence is NOTHING. Los Angeles Times science writer K.C. Cole plunges into the void with today's top scientists and theorists, showing how the continuing search for ultimate nothingness is leading to a profoundly new understanding of the origins and nature of the universe.

Every time scientists think they have reached the ultimate void, new stuff appears: a black hole, an undulating string, an additional dimension of space or time, repulsive antigravity, and universes that breed like bunnies. In this lecture based on her newly published book, K.C. Cole shows that in nothing there is everything. Book signing follows lecture.

STAR PARTY: Last month's star party was cancelled due to weather. This Sunday should be clear and our last chance of the season to see Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars all clustered close together. We will probably meet at Mt. Wilson but a final decision will be announced at the Sunday lecture. We will have dinner after at Burger Continental, then ad astra!
Here is the opening and closing of my most recent column for Scientific American (May) out on newstands this week, dealing with the controversy in anthropology over Napoleon Chagnon. An upcoming issue of Skeptic will be devoted entirely to anthropology controversies, including an 8700-word version of this essay. For the complete column go to www.sciam.com and to write a letter to the editor e-mail

To that end I also post my first column, Darwin's Dictum, in case you wanted to comment to the editors on that one as well, as for both columns they've gotten a fair amount of mail (which is good because it means people are reading it), but I've been hammered pretty hard by postmodernists who did not care for my characterization of science in the first column (one wrote a 2500 word letter/history of science complaining that in my 800-word essay I did not properly nuance the various positions!), and definitely did not like my defense of Napoleon Chagnon in the second column. One guy even griped about the name of the column ("Skeptic"), explaining that skepticism is not a part of science and that Scientific American should stick to pure science only (as if Darwin's philosophy of science and anthropological controversies over human nature do not count as pure science).

I am not proposing any sort of letter writing campaign (they subscribe to e-Skeptic so there are no secrets here), but if you were so moved to comment (positive or negative) I can assure you that such letters are read and do count for something. (Reader feedback is how any magazine learns how it is doing.)
The Erotic-Fierce People

The latest skirmish in the "anthropology wars" over human nature reveals a fundamental flaw in how science is understood and communicated.

Michael Shermer

Another battle has broken out in the century-long "anthropology wars" over the true nature of human nature. Journalist Patrick Tierney, in a widely-reviewed book dramatically titled _Darkness in El Dorado: How Scientists and Journalists Devastated the Amazon_, purportedly reveals "the hypocrisy, distortions, and humanitarian crimes committed in the name of research, and reveals how the Yanomami's internecine warfare was, in fact, triggered by the repeated visits of outsiders who went looking for a 'fierce' people whose existence lay primarily in the imagination of the West."

Tierney's bete noir is Napoleon Chagnon, whose ethnography _Yanomamo: The Fierce People_ has been the bestselling anthropological book of all time. Befitting his thesis, Tierney spares no ink in painting a picture of Chagnon as a fierce anthropologist who sees in the Yanomamo nothing more than a reflection of himself. Chagnon's sociobiological theories of the most violent and aggressive males winning the most copulations and thus passing on their genes for "fierceness," says Tierney, is nothing more than a window into Chagnon's own libidinous impulses.

After interviewing all the major players in this drama, and plowing through much of the anthropological literature, my conclusion is that Chagnon's view of the Yanomamo is basically supported by the available evidence. His data and interpretations are corroborated by many other anthropologists. Even at their "fiercest," however, the Yanomamo are not so different from many other nonstate peoples around the globe (recall Captain Bligh's and Captain Cook's numerous violent encounters with Polynesians). And, judging by the latest archaeological research, Yanomamo violence is certainly no more extreme than that of our paleolithic ancestors who appear to have brutally butchered one another with wreckless abandon. If the last 5,000 years of recorded history is any measure of a species' "fierceness," the Yanomamo have got nothing on Western "civilization," whose record of killing includes hundreds of millions murdered in organized violence.

Colorful Pebbles and Darwin's Dictum Science is an exquisite blend of data and theory

Michael Shermer

In 1861, less than two years after the publication of Charles Darwin's _The Origin of Species_, in a session before the British Association for the Advancement of Science a critic claimed that Darwin's book was too theoretical and that he should have just "put his facts before us and let them rest." In a letter to his friend Henry Fawcett, who was in attendance in his defense, Darwin explained the proper relationship between facts and theory:

About thirty years ago there was much talk that geologists ought only to observe and not theorize; and I well remember someone saying that at this rate a man might as well go into a gravel-pit and count the pebbles and describe the colours. How odd it is that anyone should not see that all observation must be for or against some view if it is to be of any service!

There are few thinkers in western history with more profound insights into nature than Charles Darwin, but for my money this is one of the deepest single statements ever made on the nature of science itself, particularly in the understated denouement. If scientific observations are to be of any use, they must be tested against a theory, hypothesis, or model. The facts never just speak for themselves, but must be interpreted through the colored lenses of ideas--percepts need concepts.

When Louis and Mary Leakey went to Africa in search of our hominid ancestors, they did so not based on any existing data, but on Darwin's theory of human descent and his argument that because we are so obviously closely related to the great apes, and the great apes live in Africa, it is here that the fossil remains of our forebears would most likely be found. In other words, the Leakeys went to Africa because of a concept, not a percept. The data followed and confirmed this theory, the very opposite of the way we usually think of science working.

If there is to be an underlying theme in this column--a substrate beneath the surface topography (to continue the geological metaphor)--it is that science is an exquisite blend of data and theory, facts and hypotheses, observations and views. If we think of science as a fluid and dynamic way of thinking instead of a staid and dogmatic body of knowledge, it is clear that the data/theory strata runs throughout the archaeology of human knowledge and is an inexorable part of the scientific process. We can no more expunge ourselves of biases and preferences than we can find a truly objective Archimedean point--a god's eye view--of the human condition. We are, after all, humans, not gods.

In the first half of the twentieth century philosophers and historians of science (mostly professional scientists doing philosophy and history on the side) presented science as a progressive march toward a complete understanding of Reality--an asymtotic curve to Truth--with each participant adding a few bricks to the edifice of Knowledge. It was only a matter of time before physics (and eventually even the social sciences) would be rounding out their equations to the sixth decimal place. In the second half of the twentieth century professional philosophers and historians took over the profession and, swept up in a paroxysm of postmodern deconstruction, proffered a view of science as a relativistic game played by European white males in a reductionistic frenzy of hermeneutical hegemony, hell bent on suppressing the masses beneath the thumb of dialectical scientism and technocracy. (Yes, some of them actually talk like that, and one really did call Newton's _Principia_ a "rape manual.")

Thankfully, intellectual trends, like social movements, have a tendency to push both ends to the middle, and these two extremist views of science are now largely passe. Physics is nowhere near that noble dream of explaining everything to six decimal places, and as for the social sciences, as a friend from New Jersey says, "fuhgeddaboudit." Yet there is progress in science, and some views really are superior to others, regardless of the color, gender, or country of origin of the scientist holding that view. Despite the fact that scientific data are "theory laden," as philosophers like to say, science is truly different than art, music, religion, and other forms of human expression because it has a self-correcting mechanism built into it. If you don't catch the flaws in your theory, the slant in your bias, or the distortion in your preferences, someone else will. Think of N-Rays and E-Rays, polywater and the polygraph. The history of science is littered with the debris of downed theories.

In future columns we will be exploring these borderlands of science where theory and data intersect. As we do so, let us continue to bear in mind what I call Darwin's Dictum: _all observation must be for or against some view if it is to be of any service_.
Michael Shermer is the Publisher of Skeptic magazine, the Director of the Skeptics Society, the host of the Skeptics Science Lecture Series at Caltech, and a monthly columnist for Scientific American. Go to www.skeptic.com to join the Skeptics Society and subscribe to Skeptic magazine.

Cold Fusion Times

Posted by Dean A. Batha http://world.std.com/~mica/cft.html

Cold Fusion research continues Keep up with US and national conferences and read, Fusion Technology, Journal of New Energy, New Energy News, Infinite Energy, Braz. J. Phys., Chin. J. Nucl. Phys., Denki Kagaku oyubi Kogyo Butsuri Kagaku, Env. Res. Forum, Future Technology Intelligence Reports, Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, nzh.-Fiz. Zh., J. High Temp. Soc., J. Sci. Expl.,J. Qingdao Univ., J. Thermal Anal., J. Electroanal. Chem., J. Alloys Comp., Jpn. J. Appl. Phys., Juaxue Tongbao, Kinki Daigaku Genshiyoku Kenkyusho Nenpo, Netsu Sokutei, Nucl. Sci. Tech., Phys. Lett. A, Proc. Japan Acad., Repts. Fac. Saga Univ., Repts Fac. Shizuoka Univ., Suiso Enerugi Shisutemu, Thermochim. Acta, and Trans. Amer. Nucl. Soc.

AND Update with the Cold Fusion Times

Don't miss their page for "True-Blue Skeptics."


What is believed to be "common knowledge" is NOT ALWAYS truly "correct" in the long run.

Consider the following quotes denying the existence of, or impact of, innovations and discoveries of their time.

"... after a few more flashes in the pan, we shall hear very little more of Edison or his electric lamp. Every claim he makes has been tested and proved impracticable."
[New York Times, January 16, 1880]

"Professor Goddard ... does not know the relation of action to reaction ... he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in our high schools"
[New York Times, January 13, 1920]

"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." [Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895]

"640K ought to be enough for anybody."
[Bill Gates, 1981]

"There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will."
[Albert Einstein, 1932]

"I would sooner believe that two Yankee professors lied, than that stones fell from the sky"
[Thomas Jefferson, on hearing the report of a meteorite fall]

If that's not enough to convince you, be sure to read the latest book on CF titled "Excess Heat: Why Cold Fusion Research Prevailed", available now from Amazon.

Excess Heat: Why Cold Fusion Research Prevailed
by Charles G. Beaudette, David J. Nagel (Introduction), Arthur Charles Clarke

That's not Sir Arthur C. Clarke, the famous Science Fiction writer, is it?

Yes. It is. (ed.)

How to build an Orgon-Accumulator

From the Web site at


Wilhelm Reich was the first who built up experimental systems concernig the orgon-energy-continuum. He invented devices as the "Orgon Accumulator" or the "Medical Dor-Buster" (deadly-orgon, "electro-smog"). He discovered the synthesis of one-cellular liveforms directly from the orgon-energy, invented sensors that prove the existance of orgon-energy in controlable and repeatable experiments and researched the effects of orgon on biological live with scientific methods.

He found out that orgon has life-extending and synergetic structure and can be used for weather-manipulation. His research was misunderstood and his books were burned not only in nazi-germany but also in USA in the 60's.

An Orgon-Accumulator is easy to build and everybody can profit from Reich's discoveries. This ought to be the reason why his inventions were destructed from the estabishment.

Monday, April 23, 2001

Human Energy Systems Lab

Posted by Dean A. Batha

For those of you who may not have heard of it, the Human Energy Systems Lab (HESL) is located on the campus of the University of Arizona, Tucson.


The Human Energy Systems Laboratory

The University of Arizona

Mission Statement

Changing one's paradigm is not easy. Millennia passed before humankind discovered that energy is the basis of matter. It may take a few more years before we prove that wisdom and knowledge are the basis of, and can actually create energy which in turn creates matter.


As the physicist Schroeder reminds us, "energy is the basis of matter." Psychology and medicine, however, do not yet appreciate the vast implications of this paradigm shift in physics for understanding body, mind, and spirit. Moreover, as Schroeder suggests, "it may take a few more years before we prove that wisdom and knowledge are the basis of, and can actually create energy which in turns creates matter."

The Human Energy Systems Laboratory was created in 1996 to foster research, education, and clinical applications that embrace these evolving shifts in science, society, and spirituality. Systems principles (e.g. Von Bertallanfy, 1968; Miller, 1978; Laszlo, 1995) offer powerful conceptual and integrative tools for envisioning how dynamic processes interact, become alive, and evolve. The systemic memory hypothesis (Schwartz and Russek, 1997; 1998; 1999) proposes a universal mechanism that not only integrates the physical, chemical, biological, behavioral, social, and environmental sciences, but potentially explains a large array of seemingly anomalous phenomena in psychology and medicine, including homeopathy, cellular memory in transplant patients, energy healing, and survival of consciousness after death.

In the same way that integrative medicine bridges conventional and alternative medicine (including mind-body medicine, energy medicine, and spiritual medicine), integrative health psychology bridges conventional and alternative health psychology (including psychophysiology, energy psychology, and soul psychology).

The Human Energy Systems Laboratory conducts research that integrates mind-body medicine (psychophysiology), energy medicine (energy psychology), and spiritual medicine (soul psychology). The research addresses a range of controversial phenomena, from the merely controversial (e.g. the role of love in long term health, Russek and Schwartz, 1997; Schwartz and Russek, 1998), through the very controversial (e.g. electrostatic body motion and the human antenna-receiver effect, Schwartz, Russek, and Beltan, 1995), to the super-controversial (e.g. detection of human intention and after-death communication, Schwartz and Russek, 1997;1999; 2001).

The Laboratory follows the philosophy of the late Carl Sagan, Ph.D. who said "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." The more controversial the question, the more careful the required research design. Our motto is "Let the data speak" -- whatever they reveal.

The Laboratory

The Laboratory is administratively part of the Department of Psychology in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. The Laboratory collaborates with various University Programs (e.g. The Program in Integrative Medicine) and Departments (e.g. Medicine), as well as community facilities (e.g. Canyon Ranch).

The HESL program is headed by Dr. Gary Schwartz, Ph.D., an experimental psychologist and medical doctor. There's a biography of him on the HESl homepage. His U of A faculty listing and contact information are in the link below.


James Randi, a famous magician and a skeptic, did a good write-up on Schwartz and HESL back in March.


Acupuncture doesn't work for low back pain

Posted by gj bart

Randomized Trial Comparing Traditional Chinese Medical Acupuncture, Therapeutic Massage, and Self-care Education for Chronic Low Back Pain

Daniel C. Cherkin, PhD; David Eisenberg, MD; Karen J. Sherman, PhD; William Barlow, PhD; Ted J. Kaptchuk, OMD; Janet Street, RN, MN, PNP; Richard A. Deyo, MD, MPH

David Ramey, DVM

You idjit physicists have got it all wrong ...

Posted by John Stone

How dumb can you be not to see what this guy sees:?


Human Energy Field and Aura

Posted by Dean A. Batha

This guy must have studied science at the University of Arizona.


Human Energy Field and Aura

Much has been written about the energy of living things but there is little scientific evidence. The energy field surrounding living things is difficult or impossible to measure using current scientific techniques. However, science and spirituality are on a convergent course. Eventually, we will have instruments that can reflect an individual's state of balance. When we turn the corner from science, we must consider the universal characteristics of energy. Quantum physics states that energy and matter are interchangeable. In a similar fashion, each human is composed the divine energy of the Soul in the form of body, thought, and spirit. Energy does not emanate or reflect from a person; the energy is the person, the core. This understanding is fundamental to maintaining your energy field and body in harmony. Since the body is a manifestation of human energy, dis-harmony in the energy field will cause dis-ease in the body. If the human energy field is out of balance, the body will be out of balance.



Aura is a traditional term for the protective psychic and spiritual energy fields that surround and penetrate the physical body. Historically, artists depict halos around the heads of individuals to denote their spirituality. Biblically, writers refer to the raiment or countenance of light in an attempt to describe the field of spiritual energy around angels, men, and women. It is from this invisible atmosphere that we receive our first impression of people. We use common-sense terms such as blue mood, red with anger, green with envy, full of energy, or radiant beauty. Such terms are similar to how individuals with spiritual sight describe the aura. From this intuitive nature, we form impressions and experience emotions and feelings regarding them and ourselves. Quantum physics describes the universe as energy, with energy and matter interchangeable. Psychology, Eastern therapy, and complementary medicine have terms for life as energy. Yoga psychology views the aura as an energy field surrounding the body, interacting through spiritual and psychological levels via structures called chakras. So we may conclude that the aura is an energy field that surrounds the physical body and is discernible to those of psychical sight. It encircles each of us as the sun's rays encircle the sun or the halo that surrounds the moon. The appearance of the aura, whether attractive or repulsive, depends on one's physical health, mental attitudes, and spiritual development. The human aura is a dynamic matrix that includes the physical, emotional, and mental-spiritual aspects of self. The aura is the self as energy. All the contributing factors in our daily life register in our aura as colors, lines, dots, emanations, and vibrations. Every one of us is different, and our hidden selves are expressed through the aura. Those individuals who live on a strictly physical, mental, and material level have an entirely different emanation than those individuals who are intellectual and spiritual.

Out of Body Experience Research Foundation

Posted by Dean A. Batha


Out of Body Experience Research Foundation (OBERF) is a registered non-profit organization devoted to researching the out of body experience (OBE) phenomenon.

The Out of Body Experience (OBE) may be defined as "A lucid experience associated with perceived consciousness apart from the body". This definition is further discussed in the section "OBERF RESEARCH".



Studying OBE is difficult. Information regarding the OBE experience is only available, directly or indirectly, from the experiencer. There is generally no associated physical evidence to collaborate the experiencer's account.


Our research methodology has limitations. We will receive a disproportionate number of responses from English speaking adults with access to a computer and the Internet. Respondents are further characterized by their ability to find this web site and their will to communicate their experience. These respondents contacting us are not representative of the population of all OBE experiencers worldwide. We intend to compare and contrast OBE's among different cultural groups to help clarify the significance of this limitation.

As OBE investigators, we have our own personal limitations. We freely admit our bias that the OBE experience is real and associated with a higher power. Our understanding of other's OBE experiences will be filtered through our own belief system, which may introduce some distortion. We will strive to be conscious of this, and diligent in minimizing such distortion. A firm commitment to seeking the truth will be vital for all of us in this endeavor.


There are two groups of people who are skeptical of OBE. There are the "closed mind" skeptics and "open mind" skeptics. Skeptics may have belief systems with both closed and open mind elements.

Closed mind skeptics are characterized by a belief system of unwillingness to seriously consider the possibility that OBE might be real and significant. The OBE experience is so different from their personal life experience that their belief system will not allow them to seriously consider the possible reality and significance of OBE. There are many closed mind skeptics. Sharing a OBE experience with a closed mind skeptic (a significant act of courage) is likely to be unrewarding and stressful. Closed mind skeptics are among the greatest barriers to advancing understanding of OBE. We hope we can all be patient in dealing with closed mind skeptics, and in doing so be remind of the importance of dealing with issues of close mindness in our own life.

Open mind skeptics are characterized by a belief system of willingness, at some level, to consider the reality and significance of the OBE experience. Their conclusion following such consideration is to remain skeptical. To the extent open mind skeptics are rigorous in their search for truth, their input is beneficial in understanding OBE. Several issues raised by open mind skeptics merit discussion.

Some skeptics have pointed out that an anesthetic drug, ketamine, reproduces many of the aspects of the OBE experience. Ketamine is usually given intravenously, and in low doses may produce an intense experience lasting approximately one hour. This experience may include a perception of consciousness apart from the body, seeing a light, feelings of love, etc. There is controversy regarding the degree of similarity of these experiences with OBE experiences. This issue might be clarified by comparing ketamine induced experiences with OBE experiences using the questions and methodology we describe. We emphasize ketamine is illegal as a recreational drug and potentially quite dangerous.


In response to the open mind skeptics, open minded OBE believers stress the consistencies of the OBE experience among diverse cultures and age groups. This suggests the experience is not mediated by unique past life experiences or belief systems. The OBE experience is frequently followed by a significant change in attitude, which is generally described as life enhancing by the OBE experiencer and people around them. This lasting life enhancing aspect of the OBE experience is generally not associated with experiences induced by chemicals (drugs or activities associated with elevated endorphin levels in the brain) or hallucinations.

NDE - The Afterlife, and other fables

Posted by Dean A. Batha

This guy has compiled over 60 testimonials of people who claim to have had an NDE, including some "atheist" NDE's.


It all begins for us at birth. We are thrust from the womb onto the carousel of life, carried away in a blur of activities from childhood to adulthood to old age. Life is certainly busy and we tend not to think about the fact of our inevitable death. It doesn't seem to make any sense that we will no longer exist as we know it. The fact is we will all die and there is no way to avoid it. Like the child being born, we have no choice. Yet, we yield ourselves to the unknown.


The following research conclusions are the most profound insights I have found from the 60 plus near-death experiences I profile on this website. If the near-death experience is a real afterlife experience as they suggest, these insights may be the most important truths ever documented.

The near-death experience reveals the true meaning of life and it is this: we are here to learn to love. This world is part of a divine "university" of higher learning where learning to love is what life is all about. The near-death experience suggests that life and love itself is what many people identify as "God". Love is the power that holds all things in the universe together. Love is where we came from and love is where we will return. Love is the law of the universe.

The near-death experience reveals the importance of learning the many lessons of love. One of the most important lessons learned by near-death experiencers is that practicing unconditional love is the method by which we can return to our divine origins: heaven. It does not matter what religious affiliation you belong to. Merely to love someone is to receive a glimpse of heaven. Heaven begins within you here on earth through love. The best way to get to heaven is to take it with you through the love that you have given and received in life. Hell is a spiritual condition of being separated from love which begins here on earth and is continued after death.

British UFO bureau shuts down due to lack of flying saucers


LONDON, April 22 (AFP) - The British Flying Saucer Bureau which has been hunting for extra-terrestrial activity for half a century, has closed its doors due to a dearth of unidentified flying objects (UFOs).

The bureau, which at one time boasted 1,500 members worldwide, has over the years received weekly reports listing up to thirty UFO "sightings". These days there are very rarely any such reports, according to an article in The Times newspaper on Monday.

The bureau's monthly meetings have now been scrapped due to a lack of participants.

Denis Plunkett, a 70-year-old retiree from Bristol in western England, founded the bureau in 1953 along with his father Edgar.

"I am just as enthusiastic about flying saucers as I always was but the problem is that we are in the middle of a long, long trough," he told The Times.

There just are not enough sightings to warrant continuing, he added.

Plunkett beleives that the end of the Cold War was the catalyst for the current dearth of UFO sightings.

"The number of sightings always rises at times of international tension and declines in times of peace," he explained.

Also the extraterrestrials themselves have probably finished their study of the Earth, Plunkett said. These tudies apparently began following the explosion of the two atomic bombs during World War II.

"The first atomic explosions all took place on the right side of the Earth to be visible from Mars."

Stephen Turoff - Psychic Surgeon


Posted by Harriett Moore

I have some TV footage of Turoff, and I have been to his clinic also. [opinion deleted] I possess several clips of TV footage, telephone conversation tapes and a letter from Turoff's wife all of which afford evidence for my condemnation of him and his supporters. Here are details of just four.

I first came across Turoff when I was told about psychic surgery as a means of dealing with cancer. This wonderful information, this 'cure', this 'treatment' was imparted to me by a homeopath who had been treating my husband. The homeopath diagnosed ME and stress. In fact my husband had Seminoma with secondary spread. The real diagnosis had been made by conventional medicine, biopsy, X-Ray and scan.

We attended Turoff a number of times, we bought his books, donated to his 'charities' and paid his fees. My husband died of his disease. I wrote to Turoff and asked for evaluation of treatment afforded. The response I received from Kathy Turoff mentioned 'bone cancer' - a somewhat different disease.

In the TV footage I possess, Turoff [is] interviewed for a UK audience, and one member of the audience stands up and proclaims that he has been cured by Turoff. That man died a few weeks later of Oesophageal Cancer.

Turoff was shown operating on a female cancer sufferer in his clinic a year or so ago. She had extensive abdominal and bony secondaries. She died shortly after the programme was completed.

A well known sports presenter - Sue Rollaston also attended Turoff. She wrote about it in her book, which I have in my possession. She suffered from cancer, and died of her disease.

Now, there's four people, three of whom I never met. What have they in common? They all had some form of cancer. They all attended Turoff and THEY ALL DIED.

Randi challenged Turoff when he did a series of programmes in the UK some years ago. I also have footage of that. Turoff has neither challenged for or won the million dollars AFAIK.

Turoff's life story is interesting. He claimed in his early days to have been a carpenter from the east end of London, and to have discovered this gift of healing after attending a spiritual church. Over time he evolved into being possessed by a dead German doctor called 'Dr Kahn'. Dr Kahn worked in London during the war - Oh, really? There's no record of such a person. Using Dr Kahn, Turoff performed such wonders as wet cupping, using a blunt instrument to explore behind the eye, or excavate the nasal cavities. Apparently people didn't like the blood and gore much, so then Turoff evolved into 'dematerialisiation' Now, the client doesn't see anything that has allegedly been removed from the body. Clearly, he wasn't going to be left behind by the progress of modern life and the changing ethnic attendance at his clinic so Turoff moved on Sai Baba, and drifts about in white cotton stuff, while attending to his ethnic audience.

When we attended Turoff charged £16 stg per session, A session lasted about 3-5 minutes. He admits to seeing 50 people per morning, four days a week at his clinic. He now charges about £25 per person, and I'm sure the attendance numbers are still valid. He also has a healing clinic in London at least once a week, and he does some clinics in Spain. I have some copies of media coverage from his Spanish activities. Late last year he arrived in the Republic of Ireland for a healing clinic there. I was contacted by my mother who told me that he received a hostile response when he appeared on local media.

Conservatively, I estimate that he turns over £5000 per week. Books, tapes, and trinkets bought at the clinic can be added to this figure, as well as other events such as Church sessions, London Clinic etc. He doesn't offer refunds when the treatment fails.