You should be getting the latest Phactum any day. Our last meeting had a great informative lecture by David Cragin and Jeff Lewis on "Toxic Science" about extra reason needed in sorting out medical statistics. November will include a presentation by a bunch of us for a session at the Nov. 12 - 14th Philadelphia Science Fiction Convention. It will be a panel discussion on "How can we keep Fiction out of Science?". We will also have a informal field trip to catch the Dennis Lee free energy revival meeting (assuming the law doesn't catch him first) at the First Union Spectrum November 10 at 7pm. This is the culmination of a heavily advertised 45 city nationwide tour. You won't have a chance to catch such a colorful con man as this for a long time. Email me to find out where we will all have dinner ahead of time. Depending on the interest of the local press - we may try to hold a press conference as well.
Our next meeting will be Oct. 16th 2pm on Destructive Cults
Attorney Joe Flanagan will talk about his experiences with
"destructive cults" Joe has been both a cult member and an
exit counselor - he will tell us how to recognize a cult and
explain how cults having widely different belief systems
have adopted similar coercive methods to recruit and
retain members. He will explain "sudden conversion
techniques" and "coercive persuasion". He will also cover
how people get into cults and how they can get out again.
In the past - cult members have attempted to disrupt his
We can't publicize this one too widely - Scientologists have dressed up like
Nazi's in the past to try to prevent Joe from being heard. Anyone coming from
center city, please give Eric Hamell an email about possibly car pooling at:
There is lots of general discussion on our PhACT discussion board at:
Eric Krieg eric@...
PS: I close with an announcement of a new SKEPTICAL TV SHOW staring
Mike Shermer (obviously, I'm trying to convince him to let us help him in future episodes):
FOX FAMILY EXPLORING THE UNKNOWN PREMIERE
Tomorrow night, Tuesday October 5, from 10-11pm (but check your local
listings for the time) Fox Family will premiere my new television series,
EXPLORING THE UNKNOWN, hosted by myself and X-Files' Mitch Pileggi. The pilot
--a segment on FIREWALKING in which I traipse across 1,000-degree hot coals
barefoot without getting burned (and without chanting or thinking positive
thoughts--in fact, I was rather nervous);
--a segment on PSYCHIC READINGS in which we set up mentalist and magician
Mark Edward at a mall to do psychic readings on people--he was brilliant at
it and everyone was convinced he was the real thing, until he disclosed that
it was all a trick--wait until you see their faces drop!;
--a segment on OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCES and other mind bending phenomena in
which we travel to Michael Persinger's lab at Laurentian University in
Sudbury, Canada, and I get strapped into his electromagnetic helmet to
experience some weird mental states generated by his computer;
--a segment on PSYCHIC SURGERY in which the Amazing Randi exposes how this
old canard is done with sleight of hand;
--a segment on the alleged NASA UFO sighting from the Space Shuttle;
--very short segments on the face on Mars exposed as nothing more than a
random pattern of rock formations, a biomagnetic family (where irons and
spoons magically stick to skin), and 0faked fairy photos.
Enjoy an entire show with a VERY strong skeptical perspective. In fact, where
I occasionally thought we should be a bit conciliatory, the Fox Family
network folks pushed us to be even STRONGER on the skeptical perspective.
How's that for a change of pace??!!
Copyright 1999 by Michael Shermer and the Skeptics Society. Copies of this
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