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December 30, 2008

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I have a friend back in the UK who lives near Glastonbury and after visiting the area to walk up Glastonbury Tor I can safely say that if there is an epicentre for woo in the UK, it is Glastonbury.

Pure 100% unfiltered New-Age crackpottedness.

The city council could make its own and sell them to concerned citizens "for entertainment purposes only." Then the woo consumers would partially subsidize the Wi-Fi.

I love the way woo believers are never above making a buck out of their fellows. Many, many is the time I wish I had fewer scruples.

LOL Stewart, I have thought the very same thing. Here would be my scam:

I would sell the placebos used in medical trials. I would claim the same success rate that the placebos showed in the trials.

Same effectiveness as control medication in trials of drugs like viagara, lepitor and Panax!

Up to 70% as effective as prescription drugs and only 10% of the cost!

Big Pharma claims that their drugs are the only thing to buy, when they themselves show the effectiveness of our pills!

Well, that sort of thing, you get it.

I'll make hundreds.

LOL

Man... rocks and pyramids are so pretty! Why'd New Agers have to ruin 'em for everyone else?

It also amazes me how these folks think all new tech must be harmful. Why doesn't anyone ever claim WiFi cured them?

I say, if the New Agers want to believe in imaginary harm caused by wireless signals that can be counteracted with imaginary therapy that uses pretty rocks, let them have their fun. At least they're not taking their delusions into court and suing to demand that everyone else stop using Wi-Fi or radio.

At least they're not taking their delusions into court and suing to demand that everyone else stop using Wi-Fi or radio

Looks like they are gearing up for it though.

from the article:

At a public meeting to discuss alleged health problems in the Somerset town, residents complained of numerous symptoms including headaches, dizziness, rashes and even pneumonia.


But perhaps they aren't suing in Glastonbury, but sadly, people already are elsewhere.

Remarkably poorly written and researched article. You obviously have red nothing and know nothing of Reich's work, otherwise you would not be parroting the Skeptic's Dictionary, which is always lacking in accuracy and impartiality. I suppose you would not know this, having never done any research of your own on a subject.

By the way, what your quote from the Skeptic's Dictionary does not mention is that the injunction that got Reich sent to prison was not merely and injunction of the research devices, which were never used to generate any kind of profit and were never claimed to do any of the things the original accusations stated, the injunction was an injunction against ALL of Reich's research, ALL his books and printed materials, and resulted in the bulk destruction and burning of materials unrelated to Orgone, including the work "The Mass Psychology of Fascism", which was also banned in Nazi Germany.

So kudos to you for being hopelessly misinformed and spreading false and misleading misinformation.

What a douchebag you are.

Finally, just because somebody says something is based on Reich's work, does not make it so. You could have researched this, but you already made your mind up from fourth hand misinformation perpetuated solely for titillation.

You are just as bogus as the idiots selling crystals and such garbage on the internet to other people who are as stupid and lazy as you.

One should always be skeptical. Skepticism, however, is no substitute for doing the real work of actually studying a subject. This type of skeptic is really just a fraud with a bloated, masturbating, ego.

Remarkably poorly written and researched article. You obviously have red nothing and know nothing of Reich's work, otherwise you would not be parroting the Skeptic's Dictionary, which is always lacking in accuracy and impartiality. I suppose you would not know this, having never done any research of your own on a subject.

Smearing the source – real newbie mistake.  Care to tell us exactly what was wrong with the article?  Showing your work, of course.

Oh and the same for The Straight Dope article I also quoted that you conveniently ignored.

By the way, what your quote from the Skeptic's Dictionary does not mention is that the injunction that got Reich sent to prison was not merely and injunction of the research devices, which were never used to generate any kind of profit and were never claimed to do any of the things the original accusations stated, the injunction was an injunction against ALL of Reich's research, ALL his books and printed materials, and resulted in the bulk destruction and burning of materials unrelated to Orgone, including the work "The Mass Psychology of Fascism", which was also banned in Nazi Germany.

So what?  How does that indicate Reich’s work is genuine?  (Hint: that’s why I didn’t include that bit.)

So kudos to you for being hopelessly misinformed and spreading false and misleading misinformation.

Right back at ya.  it’s called “projection.”

What a douchebag you are.

Ditto.

Finally, just because somebody says something is based on Reich's work, does not make it so. You could have researched this, but you already made your mind up from fourth hand misinformation perpetuated solely for titillation.

Are you saying Matt Todd wasn’t using an Orgone device?  What are you saying, exactly?

You are just as bogus as the idiots selling crystals and such garbage on the internet to other people who are as stupid and lazy as you.

More projection.

One should always be skeptical. Skepticism, however, is no substitute for doing the real work of actually studying a subject. This type of skeptic is really just a fraud with a bloated, masturbating, ego.

And again.  Come back when you have something of substance to say.

This might spend some time in the spam filter from links:

You obviously have red nothing and know nothing of Reich's work, otherwise you would not be parroting the Skeptic's Dictionary, which is always lacking in accuracy and impartiality.

Well, then tell us what's wrong. Provide constructive criticism. As for impartiality, well, science isn't about impartiality. You follow where the evidence leads.

By the way, what your quote from the Skeptic's Dictionary does not mention is that the injunction that got Reich sent to prison was not merely and injunction of the research devices, which were never used to generate any kind of profit and were never claimed to do any of the things the original accusations stated, the injunction was an injunction against ALL of Reich's research, ALL his books and printed materials, and resulted in the bulk destruction and burning of materials unrelated to Orgone, including the work "The Mass Psychology of Fascism", which was also banned in Nazi Germany.

I'd certainly like to know more about this, but I have a feeling you won't be enlightening us.

As for the "profit" thing: Who cares?

So kudos to you for being hopelessly misinformed and spreading false and misleading misinformation.

Which you won't be providing better information about.

Finally, just because somebody says something is based on Reich's work, does not make it so.

Whether or not it's really based on it doesn't really matter. They all strike me as silly.

You could have researched this, but you already made your mind up from fourth hand misinformation perpetuated solely for titillation.

I'd say it's probably more like a lack of first-hand information from people like you. You know, like evidence for the claims. There's no evidence yet, therefore we can dismiss it until someone provides evidence. That's how skepticism works. You assume the negative until someone falsifies it.

You are just as bogus as the idiots selling crystals and such garbage on the internet to other people who are as stupid and lazy as you.

Says the guy who's doing nothing except trying to tear people down for shits and giggles.

If you want to defend Reich, defend him. Don't just tear down the scientific method from an uninformed arm chair.

YOU said:

Well, then tell us what's wrong. Provide constructive criticism. As for impartiality, well, science isn't about impartiality. You follow where the evidence leads.

I say :

No, you are wrong. GOOD Science IS about impartiality, especially when it comes to incomplete information, or information you refuse to look at.

If you know anything about Reich, are familiar with his works, you will have read him. Clearly, YOU have not. THAT is my issue with you and your bullshit article. You talk out of your ass and pretend that THAT is good science. It is not, and it also makes a miserable skeptic. And an ignorant one, that is, one that refuses to even look at anything else. This is not skepticism, this is you being a prick. That's all.

How about you give us just one example of a repeatable experiment that proves the existence of orgone energy?

No, you are wrong. GOOD Science IS about impartiality, especially when it comes to incomplete information, or information you refuse to look at.

You're the one who's getting hot and bothered without recommending anything specific for me to look at. I can't refuse to look at something if you don't suggest anything for me to look at.

Why be so tight-lipped?

If you know anything about Reich, are familiar with his works, you will have read him. Clearly, YOU have not. THAT is my issue with you and your bullshit article.

So, how about giving us one specific experiment to read about or heck, possibly conduct ourselves?

You talk out of your ass and pretend that THAT is good science.

We ridicule the ridiculous. If you want to have a scientific discussion about Reich and orgone energy, try throwing some science at us. Don't just whine.

It is not, and it also makes a miserable skeptic. And an ignorant one, that is, one that refuses to even look at anything else. This is not skepticism, this is you being a prick. That's all.

This is Todd being a lockstep conformist, who blindly believes everything his authorities tell him about skeptics while completely ignoring their real responses.

No, you are wrong. GOOD Science IS about impartiality, especially when it comes to incomplete information, or information you refuse to look at.

Well, you haven’t provided any “information” to “look at.”  Your claim.  You back it up douchebag.

If you know anything about Reich, are familiar with his works, you will have read him. Clearly, YOU have not. THAT is my issue with you and your bullshit article.

And you have not shown one shred of evidence that you know anything at all.

You talk out of your ass and pretend that THAT is good science. It is not, and it also makes a miserable skeptic. And an ignorant one, that is, one that refuses to even look at anything else. This is not skepticism, this is you being a prick. That's all.

You talk out of your ass and pretend that THAT is skepticism. It is not, and it also makes you a miserable skeptic. And an ignorant one, that is, one that refuses to even support his claims. This is not skepticism, this is you being a prick.

You see Todd – it’s easy writing a content free rant.  All you’ve done so far is posture. 

Questions for Todd:

  1. Care to tell us exactly what was wrong with the article?  Showing your work, of course.
  2. Oh and the same for The Straight Dope article I also quoted that you conveniently ignored.
  3. How does that additional piece you quoted indicate Reich’s work is genuine?  (Hint: that’s why I didn’t include that bit.)
  4. Are you saying Matt Todd wasn’t using an Orgone device?  What are you saying, exactly?

As I said before, come back when (perhaps I should day if) you have something of substance to say.  don’t forget to answer the questions.

Let me explain something to you, Todd. Science isn't about you being impartial. It removes one preferences from the process; if you're doing it right, whether you're impartial or not doesn't matter. The only thing the people involved have to be is able to abandon their preferences in the face of overwhelming evidence.

Remarkably poorly written and researched article.

Then you will have no problem pointing out exactly what is wrong with this article. You will be able to do that, right Todd?

You obviously have red nothing and know nothing of Reich's work, otherwise you would not be parroting the Skeptic's Dictionary, which is always lacking in accuracy and impartiality.

And you will thus be able to provide evidence that supports your claim then. Won't you. Like a good skeptic would.

I suppose you would not know this, having never done any research of your own on a subject.

Presumably, like a good skeptic, you can provide evidence to support this claim?

By the way, what your quote from the Skeptic's Dictionary does not mention is that the injunction that got Reich sent to prison was not merely and injunction of the research devices ... ALL his books and printed materials, and resulted in the bulk destruction and burning of materials unrelated to Orgone, including the work "The Mass Psychology of Fascism", which was also banned in Nazi Germany.

As has been pointed out twice now, the Straight Dope article, which you conveniently ignore, does mention how Reich was treated. Of course, since this does not fit in with your preconcieved notion of Skeptico's article, you left it out. You cherry picked what to criticise and what to ignore. Bad skeptic.

Hell, you even threw in the argumentum ad Nazism - Reich's book burned by US government, Reich's book banned by Nazis. Therefore banning Reich's books is acting like the Nazis. Bad skeptic.

So kudos to you for being hopelessly misinformed and spreading false and misleading misinformation.

You do have evidence to support this claim, don't you? And of course, since Skeptico linked to an article that does talk about the things you claim he didn't know (the article you have ignored so far), all of a sudden you look like a posturing pompous fool with reading comprehension problems and an inability to set aside your own prejudices. Bad skeptic.

What a douchebag you are.

Wow, that's certainly a convincing argument; a content free insult. Bad skeptic.

Finally, just because somebody says something is based on Reich's work, does not make it so. You could have researched this, but you already made your mind up from fourth hand misinformation perpetuated solely for titillation.

Wow, you got something right (see if you can guess what). Obviously though you can provide some evidence that the things in question here were not based on any of Reich's work. Right? You do have some evidence, right Todd?

You're not a bad skeptic, are you Todd?

You are just as bogus as the idiots selling crystals and such garbage on the internet to other people who are as stupid and lazy as you.

So, you have some evidence to back up all these claims, right Todd? You are not just being a monumental hypocrite in typing content free drivel raving about people with no evidence for their claims, whilst you provide no evidence for your claims. You're not a hypocrite are you, right Todd?

Shall we check your other posts to see if you backed your claims up with solid evidence, just like you want Skeptico to?

...

Oh.

I guess you are in fact a massive hypocrite after all Todd. How embarrassing for you.

One further thought on this comment:

you would not be parroting the Skeptic's Dictionary, which is always lacking in accuracy and impartiality.

You did then check all of the sources linked to from the Skeptic's Dictionary article so you could state with certainty that it was not accurate, didn't you Todd?

Like, for instance, this article. Written by a former Orgone believer. Obviously, since you read it all and can state definitively that the Skeptic's Dictionary was inaccurate you can tell us all exactly how, where and why this source for the Dictionary is inaccurate. You can do that, right Todd? You are not just making baseless claims without having done any research, right Todd?

I mean, you wouldn't be highlighting your own monumental hypocrisy and bias would you Todd?

In keeping with my new trend of defending the woo while not supporting the woo, lemme interject a couple of things..

What a douchebag you are.

Wow, that's certainly a convincing argument; a content free insult. Bad skeptic.


Content free insults are the pride of many skeptics (including you jimmy as I recall). Todd is simply arguing one point while calling Skeptico a douchebag, not because he is a douchebag.

Obviously though you can provide some evidence that the things in question here were not based on any of Reich's work

He doesnt have to do anything to prove anything is not something. That is the job of people who claim that it is part of Orgone.


Sorry, apparently this is more fun for me these days than actually shooting down these idiots.

Content free insults are the pride of many skeptics (including you jimmy as I recall). Todd is simply arguing one point while calling Skeptico a douchebag, not because he is a douchebag.

Except there was no content before to justify his claim that I was wrong. It was just an insult without anything else.

He doesnt have to do anything to prove anything is not something.

He does if he claimed it wasn’t.  He said:

Finally, just because somebody says something is based on Reich's work, does not make it so. You could have researched this, but you already made your mind up from fourth hand misinformation perpetuated solely for titillation.

So if he is saying this was not based on Reich's work, when my source said it was, it is up to him to show the source was wrong.  That’s why I asked him what he was saying.

Hey man, screw you! Its a hard job trying to defend these woos! I'm doing the best I can with nothing!

lol! :)

maybe I should stop.

To be fair, you did better than Todd.

Content free insults are the pride of many skeptics (including you jimmy as I recall). Todd is simply arguing one point while calling Skeptico a douchebag, not because he is a douchebag.

Yeah but when I do it it's funny.

But seriously, my point here was that when a skeptic insults someone the woo usually claims it invalidates their argument or proves they don't have an evidence based one. And here we have a woo claiming to be a skeptic using insults where they don't have an evidence based argument, whilst claiming a real skeptic doesn't have an evidence based argument.

My irony meter didn't just overload, it popped out of existence and moments later reappeared as an armadillo at the sheer improbability of Todd's cheek.

He doesnt have to do anything to prove anything is not something. That is the job of people who claim that it is part of Orgone.

I can see where you are coming from, but his point was that Skeptico didn't know what he was talking about because even though someone claimed they did something based on Reich's work it wasn't actually. Only, he didn't say why this was the case. He made an unsupported claim.

Chakra's are too real. They have real effects. One binds soulmelds to them and gets bonus bases on how they are bound and how much soulstuff is invested in them. Oh wait, that's from Magic of Incarnum which is a Dungeons and Dragon's expansion. Never mind.

Isn't it odd how ley lines only exist in Great Britain, and nobody have ever detected (let alone mapped) them anywhere else?

I was watching Torchwood...Ley lines were mentioned. I got a giggle.

My favorite lay line is "Those jeans look great on you, but they'd look even better on my floor."

Oh wait, ley lines. Oops.

I blame Techskeptic: knowing Torchwood, they were using the former.

Jurjen, claims about ley lines exist in other countries they just aren't as common. See for example:
https://geo.org/dowse1.htm

But ley lines are a much more common idea in Great Britain. Then it seems comes Germany then the United States.

I've never heard of them in almost any other countries. Google however shows believers in a variety of different countries. I can't find any in South Korea though. Aha! I've got it. There are no ley lines in Korea and that's why fan death is unique to South Korea. Ley lines normally help prevent fan death by empowering the chakras? Without the normal ley lines we become vulnerable to the fans. Might need to reword it. Maybe throw in the words "quantum" and "vibration" in there.

I'm in the US and I have never heard of them before this article. I'm sure it was imported from england.

The Japanese have at least heard of them; I can think of at least one anime that has "cosmic ley lines" as the show's plot coupons, Outlaw Star.

Well, the idea of ley lines certainly started in Britain, with Alfred Watkins' book The Old Straight Track (possibly based on some ideas from William Henry Black in the late 19th C). However, there was nothing mystical about Watkins' ideas - he just thought they were prehistoric trackways. It wasn't until some time later that assorted dowsers and geomancers (including a couple of German Nazis) grabbed the idea and ran with it. Dowsers are always looking for new ways to explain false positives...

The wiki article on ley lines is a pretty good summary.

Somewhat OT, but funny: The Daily Mash - Complementary Therapists To Be Regulated By Witchdoctor.

"STRICT standards must be applied to alternative medicine, according to the voodoo priest who will run the UK's complimentary therapy watchdog.

Haitian born Papa Limba said his first task as chairman of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council would be to identify which therapists were righteous shamans and which had the bad juju.


[...]

Homeopaths will be able to apply for accreditation by visualising the application form and then beaming their thoughts down the nearest ley line."

Most of my experience with ley lines comes from comic books. They tend to show up pretty frequently in comics with a magical/mystical bent.

I've known people who use them to practise earth acupuncture. There are also real estate agents who can help save you from buying a house located on an unhealthy ley line. Studies have shown that 95% of people who build on an unhealthy ley line finish up getting scammed out of a huge wad of cash.

LOL 100% of people who lived on any (good or bad) ley line, at any time , die.

BTW is there a map somewhere of where these ley lines are? Its such a hilarious concept. How do you find a ley line?

How do you find a ley line?

Well, the two traditional approaches that I know of are:

1. Get a map. Pick a whole bunch of landmarks (the older the better, preferably megalithic), and look for "straight" lines connecting them. Don't worry too much about absolute precision, or exactly what "straight" means on a curved surface (lines which appear straight on the map and "great circle" lines are equally acceptable). Ignore any landmarks that don't seem to fit and never ask what the odds of finding chance alignments are.

2. Get out your dowsing rods and wander about. When you get a "response" that doesn't have any obvious cause, it's probably a ley line - even if it's not related to any landmarks.

I'm pretty sure there's a lot of different theories about precisely where they are, but you have to start buying crap books to get the juicy details.

I don't know where you got your information, Dunc, and I'm sure you researched it carefully and offer it in good faith, but I'm afraid there seems to be some dispute here.

According to this https://geo.org/dowse1.htm>this reputable site:

many "ley hunters" have assumed that just because three or more sites are aligned, they are therefore automatically on a ley line. This simply is not true.

So there you have it. Checkmate on that one, I'm afraid.

But what exactly are they?

Ley lines are cosmic forces originating outside of the Earth. They penetrate and leave the Earth vertically at nodes. The penetrating nodes are called power centers. When entering, ley lines continue to a point 265 feet below the surface of the Earth. At this point, it makes a 90 degree right-angle turn and travels in a perfectly straight line as seen from a "birds-eye view" and in an undulating motion as seen from the side, but always maintaining a depth of 265 feet, relative to the surface of the Earth.

Any questions?

He doesn't seem to want to tell us how to find them, but he does say they "They form a network of force fields over our planet and seem to affect human behavior, although in different ways."

Water lines, which are related to ley-lines, seem to be the main cause of trouble.

For more information on geopathy see https://geo.org/geopath.htm>here

That's right folks, geopathy!

you guys crack me up.

Here is an amusing illustration of John "Whale.to" Scudamore's experience with a satanic ley line:
https://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=998

Wow, negative ley lines can even be neutralised, freeing the afflicted from the ghosts and alien entities that lurk there!

From https://geo.org/geopath.htm>Geopathy

Here's a checklist to help you determine the possible presence of Earth energies and entities.
  • Is there someone in your family who seems hyper, cranky or moody for no apparent reason?
  • Is there a place in your home or office that just doesn't feel right? Or that feels scary, or even evil?
  • Are you moving into a new space that doesn't feel right or that you want to make sure is totally clear?
  • Do you know of a house for sale that has an odd feeling and won't sell?
  • Do you feel like energy is being drained from you?
  • Do you ever feel someone or something is watching you--even though there's no one around?
  • Are there ghosts in your home or place of work?
  • Do you feel unproductive or lacking energy?
  • Is there someone in your family with a disease or a history of illness?

If the answer is yes to one or more of these questions, then Earth energies or entities may be contributing to the problem.

Is there someone in your family who seems hyper, cranky or moody for no apparent reason?
Corollary question: is there someone in your family between the ages of 13 and 19?
Do you ever feel someone or something is watching you--even though there's no one around?
That's just the money you could be saving by switching to Geico.
Are there ghosts in your home or place of work?
I love when woo uses more woo to validate it. Like when theists cite near-death experiences as evidence, or when ghost hunters use dowsing equipment. Eventually all woo will consolidate into some kind of gestalt-woo, which should make it much more easy to argue against.
Is there someone in your family with a disease or a history of illness?
Wow, I'm not sure I've ever seen a question this broad. "Are you breathing? Then ley lines might be contributing to it."

I got the same feeling when I saw a list like this printed in this book

I cant pull up the list, but my sister was reading it, and it asked things like:

"are you creative?"
"do you stop doing something when you get distracted"

And a bunch of other mundane questions...

then they said something to the effect of "if you answered yes to some of these questions you may have ADD"

Now I have not looked into this, I have no idea if ADD is real or not. But if these questions were the set that you ask yourself to see if you do, then everyone has it.

I'm sure we can come up with some latin term for the type of fallacy this is. Something like Argumentum ad Multiplicium (totally made that up), where the thing must be true if one or more of a list of things is true. Obviously its a combination or subset of a couple of other fallacies.

There are lots of idiotic checklists, and yes, there should be a term for it.

Strange, that for all the scientific terminology that pseudo-scientists use, and which channeled entities have picked up through the ether (quantum, vortex, holon, paradigm shift etc), the term "falsifiable" is never among them.

It’s been four weeks now since Todd posted his last content-free response and since I posted a rebuttal and a list of questions for him to answer.  I think it’s safe to assume now that Todd was just posturing and had nothing of substance to add to the discussion. 

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