Friday, May 21, 2010

When did religion and psychics become bed buddies?

When I first started getting involved in calling out psychics, I was amazed (or amused?) that psychics would often invoke "god" in their advertisements and discussions.  Being brought up Catholic, I remember being told that psychic powers and the like were not supported by the Catholic church.  The bible even condemns psychics.

Leviticus 20:27 says: "A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads." And Deuteronomy 18:10-12 even says "Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in a the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you."

I'm not suggesting that the bible is correct or an authoritative text, I am simply attempting to solidify the basis for my point. 

At a recent dinner with DJ Grothe, I mentioned my astonishment at how many psychics try to tie themselves to religious belief.  He, as I would have, suggested that they are simply not agreeable beliefs and that most Christian doctrines forbid belief in mediums and psychics.  The reality appears to be different from what we expect.   

With my recent article on Another pseudo-psychic comes to town and why it matters, I received a number of emails from people who are supportive of psychics and the fundraiser.  Almost without fail, each of them mentioned their willingness to pray for me.  Most also suggested that I was hateful, heartless and/or god-hating.  (For the record, I don't hate anyone.  I especially do not hate things that do not exist (like a god). And by "god", I'm probably talking about your god.)

I think this shows, more than anything, that something I often claim is more likely the case/reason for this: most people who sit in the pews/attend church/follow a religion have little knowledge about the actual doctrines/official positions of their churches.  (Catholics who are anti-evolution are a good example.)  Or, even more simply, they have never read the bible and believe it says nothing of the sort.

I'm interested in learning about how you see it... comment away!


Ryan Hulshof said...

I have been thinking of this for a while now as well.

While there were a few posts ( i am referencing the comments on the loraine scott article) that were from religious folk supporting the fact that psychics are full of it. There was by far more that ended their post , as you have seen with something to the nature of " i'll pray for you."

My best guess is that woo is woo is woo. I mean all said and done religions, psychics, ghost stories, etc. Are all affirmations (to some) that ' something' else is out there. And that our world is not governed by science, reason, and yes, even random chance.

So it creates a very broad "us " versus " them " category. Due to most people seeing trying to debunk a ghost story as something similar to debunking someones faith.

Religion and the supernatural have been having an increasingly incestuous relationship. And that is what the people promoting the supernatural want. They want the protective armor of religion to be able to brand anyone who opposes them and their harmful bs as hateful.

On a personal note, it is 2010 people, if your faith, or your power cannot stand scrutiny, then it is not something that is benefiting the world. If we are wrong, by all means, show the trueness of your power, and prove that. But don't simply try and find a better ivory tower. That is simply intellectually dishonest.

Anonymous said...

The people who believe in church, are re-born etc. are often gullible and that's just what fake psychics want.

Stupid people to hand over their cash.

Anonymous said...

2012 is coming!

Psychic's on Parade!

Anonymous said...

Religion and psychics and the best of buddies they both share so many of the same loves
1) they love to screw people out of their money
2) there are both based on bullshit
3) they both beleive in things you cant see
4)they both need idiots to follow

I guess the only real diffrence is religion needs a fresh supply of little boys to keep their priests happy, where psychics need dead kids to keep their leaders busy

Anonymous said...

Sarnia Skeptic, I believe in God, I believe there is a better place after death, which I have always known opposes your beliefs. I however do NOT believe in psychics. I do not believe you are a hateful and heartless person, in fact very much the opposite! I continue to be very grateful to you and all the skeptics for speaking out against the ABUSE psychic predators continue to inflict on grieving families, in their own best interests of money and fame. I respect your opinions on all issues, even thou I may not always agree with them and I actually look forward to your topics of discussion. What is this world coming to when I can respect you, when I believe in God and you do not?(sarcasm)

I think your disbelief in God is being used to "manipulate" others into believing this is "your purpose" in debunking psychic frauds. It is a pretty good scam when you think about it....perfect way to get many who do believe in God to climb aboard a sinking ship when the captains of the sinking ships continue to claim they either talk to God or they themselves think they are god by manipulating people's grief and memories of a loved one. They are using the "beliefs" of people (in God) and your disbelief (in God) to their own advantage. Remember psychics never do anything unless they themselves gain from it.

RYAN SAID: Religion and the supernatural have been having an increasingly incestuous relationship. And that is what the people promoting the supernatural want. They want the protective armor of religion to be able to brand anyone who opposes them and their harmful bs as hateful.
VERY WELL WORDED RYAN for this is exactly what their motives are. The name of the psychic game is manipulation!!

Kathy Caughlin/Victim of Psychic Predators

Anonymous said...

Kathy, I don't believe in any gods as well. There are a lot of us - in Canada, about 23% of the population do not believe. This number is growing. Can you provide any evidence to prove your belief that there is a god and what makes your god the correct one?

Are you sure you are correct? What if you are not? I have met many who lose their faith after a tragedy when they say to themselves, there can't be a god if it allows xxxx. This one revelation causes a spark in their mind that wakes them up and allows them to question their faith and accept the possibility that their faith was wrong. Once this happens, it is like a snowball rolling down a hill. I recently met a person that was a christian first and then at 18 turned to Jehovah Witnessing for over 20 years. She then was in a car accident and suffered so much pain and no one was listening to her prayers. She was stuck in bed and could only watch TV and saw the real world. Bang, she tuned to the internet and found the answers to reality. Now that was a big leap going away from JWs and becoming an atheist on her own!

There are countless ministers, pastors and priests that learn the real truth about their religions and leave it for atheism. A lot of people in Seminary school also leave when they find out what it is all about. It is all documented and in peoples books that they have written.

I became an atheist at the age of about 16 because I found the answers in science and evolution that a god was not required! I am sure if you had enough willpower to look at the evidence and question your faith, you could become aware of the real world. This is the only life you have and there is nothing after death - you just stop.

Yes, that is life and unfortunately, your sister's untimely death makes that a tragedy and sad. I console myself by saying we are so insignificant in this huge universe that nothing really matters and in 100 years, nothing we do will have mattered. There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on this one planet.

Hoping your sister is in a better place is just an illusion. Sorry if that is hard but that is the truth. Do you really need to fool yourself to continue living your life?

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your advise. To answer your I have no proof but, I hope you did not miss my point? Psychics use god like they use the police. It provides false credibility. Again I believe in god but I do not believe in psychics. Because I believe in god, it does not empower me to judge others who do not believe in god. If psychics could not "use" god what would be their connection to the dead and to people's pain and suffering? They would be out of business! Although 23% of the population does not believe in god, this leaves 77% of the populas that perhaps do believe in god. So the psychics have 77% of the population to further manipulate by using god! This is my point!
I am not going to justify myself to you regarding my sister's murder illusions about my sister's death and or what the hard truth is you think I should be facing regarding my sister's death. If I am judged by others as being a "weak" individual because I believe my sister, my husband and my parents are all in a better place, then others should understand why they are being judged as heartless and hateful because of what they believe or do not believe. Again this was my point. I could be wrong in what I believe and I could be right in what I believe but this end belongs to the individual.

Perhaps some have been dealt a heavy dose of the "real" world and have been dealing with that reality for 36-years. According to you believing someone who had a great significance in my life, who was violently murdered, and dumped in a ditch like a piece of garbage, should be deemed as insignificant in this huge universe that she and nothing else really matters. Sorry I just can't wrap my head and my heart around your reality of the insignificance of my sister's life. But if that works for you, I am no position to judge you for it!

Kathy Caughlin/Victim of Psychic Predators

Anonymous said...

As a planet filled with life, the universe and nature does not care at all whether we live or die. In the whole scheme of it all we are all insignificant. Your sister was significant to you as you are significant to others around you. Your significance diminishes with time and in 100 years, we all will be insignificant unless you do something that makes you stand out above the crowd like Einstein, Newton, Darwin, Lennon, etc....

We are here today and for us, that is significant but not in the bigger picture.

I have never seen a "psychic" wo doesn't believe in god(s). Talking to the dead and them hearing them respond is delusional and only the religious would be gullible enough to believe it. Your argument doesn't make sense since if you believe in a god and the afterlife, what makes you not believe in mediums and psychics. There is a disconnect there that is not logical. If you firmly believe all psychics are frauds, then you belief in a god and afterlife needs to be looked at seriously.

Your faith may comfort you but it is an illusion. I can be cold and say "shit happens and get over it" but I don't want to hurt you and your memories. But as an atheist, if it happened to me, I would have to deal with it without religion and a faith with all that it provides (they will get theirs in the afterlife). I would seek justice with evidence and the law but knowing that we can not pull evidence out of a hat without proof, I would have to accept shit happens. It happens all the time in nature.

Without new evidence or witnesses or someone squealing or confessing to the crime, it won't get solved.

What Robbie (Poulton) Thomas is doing is wrong just like all those religious organizations using faith and the delusion to get peoples money. There isn't any difference. So as a non-theist, I oppose them all.

You can keep your faith if you chose to but it is illogical to accept it and not accept psychics. It can also be argued that belief in your god (Yahweh) and not Alla or Zenu is the same.

Ryan Hulshof said...

You know shitting on a person who has lost a loved one and then been harassed by morons , in order to seem like a bigger atheist is pretty weak in my opinion.

I don't believe either, but if someone on a personal level wants to, i have no problem with that. Especially to the point of which i would enter into a debate with someone for no real reason other than i disliked that she believes in god.

I don't think kathy was looking to start a debate, and if anyone can get a pass on my natural tendency to question, it is someone like her. Personal beliefs are not the problem, it is the clout wielded by organizations. And to the best of my knowledge Kathy is not a high ranking member of any religious organization, so ambushing her with a religious debate is not helping anything.

Tact, brother. The lack of it is one of the reasons we get branded as " hate groups" and negative in general. Every time someone says god damn it, it is not your duty to say, no he didn't. Save ire for those worthy of it. Not grieving people who came here to support us and did no form of preaching or provoking.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry Kathy for this debate as Ryan states. I am sorry that my disbelief in any god may offend you and others BUT all I did was state the facts and to believe in a god and not believe in mediums and psychics doesn't make sense. You may be the one exception to others in your position who do believe in them.

I am not sorry about my atheism and will stand and debate it at any time no matter who is involved.

I have developed an intolerance to those that believe in woo woo and gods.

Anonymous said...

You did not offend me in the least and I still believe in god AND I DO NOT BELIEVE IN PSYCHICS even thou you can not wrap your brain around that. I don't expect you to stop defending what you believe and you obviously got so wrapped up in your own demise over people who do believe in god that you failed to get my point and you now have become my point.
What I am not clear on is and correct me if I am wrong, people who believe in god and WHO DO NOT BELIEVE IN PSYCHICS are not welcomed to support your efforts in denouncing psychics? Somethings in life are not as black and white to all people and until you have walked a mile in someone else's shoes, being hostile to them doesn't solve anything.


Anonymous said...

You are wrong. That is not what was said. I am not sure even where you got that idea from. It was nowhere in these texts.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps your right...thanks for sharing your advise with me.


Trevor Dailey said...

"When did religion and psychics become bed buddies?"

Perhaps these links will answer your question:

Trevor Dailey said...

I should add this excellent audio presentation by Eugene Burger

on the Fox sisters.

Unknown said...

Gods or psychics... I don't want anything to do with either of those. Both freak me out equally. I'm good with my Atheism thanks.

sarniaskeptic said...

Kathy, Ryan and others,
I haven't read through all of the comments (where did everyone come from?) but I thought I should make a few points.

1.) I'm not an accommodationist in any sense of the word. I do not think that, as an atheist, I have to pander to the religious beliefs of others.

2.) Anyone who is against psychics is welcome to be against psychics - the more the better - but it doesn't mean that they're going to get a free ride on other irrational beliefs.
2b.) With that said, I don't think that someone who believes in god should not be protected from psychic predators - frankly, whether or not the Caughlins, McMasters, Canos or any others believe in god is not relevant to the argument against people like Robbie Thomas.

3.) My blog wasn't about belief in god or belief in psychics (I didn't think) but it was more about the separation from what the church tries to teach and what most "believers" are listening to.

4.) I have had to apologize for the "method" in which I have "attacked" someone's beliefs - I understand both sides of that argument. I've never been sorry for the message itself.

5.) Kathy's point about the people who are contacting me is valid. In the same way that I welcome the actions of "believers" and "paranormal people" against psychics, the people contacting me were likely trying to build support against me by suggesting that I'm a common enemy for anyone with a belief in psychics and/or gods.

I would suggest that Stop Robbie Thomas was setup to address people like Robbie Thomas specifically. My blog is likely to offend even some people who would side with us on our goal to stop psychic predators.

RealityinSarnia said...

I am with you Robert! I'm good with my atheism as well.

I too can't understand someone's non-belief in psychics and yet believes in the afterlife or gawds!

RealityinSarnia said...

Hey anonymous at at 9:03pm, have you heard of NOFX and the song "Best God In Show"? The lyrics are below and they almost use your word of intolerance! They used "abhorrence".

Awesome song and ranks up there with Imagine.

I've no consideration,
Zero mutual respect
For billions who suffer from
Rational thought neglect
I don't wanna waste a sentence,
I don't want a convert-sation
That's gonna end in disdain,
Disbelief and aggravation

And I find it's getting harder to hang out
With grown adults who actually believe
In Santa Claus and Noah's Ark
And that their god is the best
My distaste has turned into detest

Who would read a 2000
Year old medical journal
Techniques for bloodletting,
Advice on Trichinosis
Would you navigate the globe
With a map of a flat earth
Without DNA testing,
Would you believe virgin birth

And I find it's getting painful to put up
With grown adults who actually believe
In Unicorns and Creation,
And God always takes their side
That's when my innocent jabbing turns snide

Thank God for the Grammy,
Thank God for the touchdown
Thank God for blowing up
The enemy's sacred ground

So how am I supposed to take
Anything you say seriously?
When you've swapped free will for faith,
Hope and pre-destiny

And it's getting agonizing to hang out
With grown adults who actually believe
Mythology and history
Trump physics and science
My aversion has turned to abhorrence

Reality in Sarnia

Anonymous said...

great points in your comments sarniaskeptic

I am with you that the message is important and sometimes people worry too much about the method

feelings of empathy for the caughlins for sure and they can believe in god if they want but it does not give robbie thomas any clearance in abusing them

god belief is not applicable one way or another