X-Message-Number: 14104
Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2000 12:50:07 -0700 (PDT)
From: Scott Badger <>
Subject: Re: introduction and Re: Bringing Back the Dead

From: Ruthanna R Gordon

> I'm finally delurking, partially to correct a 
> misconception, but mostly because it seems silly to 
> lurk around people who I hope will be the familiar 
> faces at the beginning of my second lifetime.

> My name is Ruthanna Gordon.  I'm a graduate
> researcher in Cognitive Psychology.  I study
> memory--

Welcome Ruthanna.  It's good to have another
psychologist-type aboard.

> I'm also one of the near-invisible minority of 
> religious cryonicists.  Specifically, I'm 
> Judeo-Pagan, with the Pagan half of that leaning
> heavily towards Wicca.  
> Scott Badger said:
>> "Respectfully submitted," precisely because I 
>> wanted to emphasize my belief that everyone's 
>> right to their opinion is to be respected 
>> regardless of whether I agree with it or not. 
>> My apologies to Mr. Krug if he felt personally
>> insulted in some manner. 
>....but goes on to say:
>> Though I try to be respectful, I admit that I am
>> more openly skeptical of psychics, astrology,
>> wiccan, telekinesis, palmistry, dousing, and a 
>> host of other pseudoscientific notions. In 
>> addition, I am proud of my open skepticism. I 
>> carry the banner of science and I voice my
>> criticisms of these practitioners because I
>> believe they often bilk the public with their scams
>> and I believe that pseudoscience in general
>> undermines rational thought and behavior in our
>> population.
> These things are not all in the same category.  
> Wicca is not 'pseudoscience' but religion, and 
> no more claims domain over science than do 
> Judaism or most sects of Christianity.  Less, in 
> fact, because no one is expected or required to
> prioritize some orthodox set of beliefs over
> the evidence of science.  

I must admit that when I wrote the above I was
considerably less familiar with Wicca than the other
areas mentioned and should not have lumped them all
together without knowing more. After doing some
investigation, however, I'm not sure my attitude is
changed. Most of the web sites describing Wicca that I
came across had a certain luddite mentality to them.
They were generally anti-science blaming technology
(and greed) for the damage done to the world ecology.
In addition, I found that Wicca's believe in magick
and perform spells which are alleged to do the


Healing Ritual
To Heal a Friend or Relative
Easy Heal-All Spell 
Skin/Acne Healing Spell 
AIDS Ritual 
Headache Spells and Remedies 
Healing After a Personal Loss 
Banishing Depression 
Healing and Preserving Rainforests


Severing Negative Ties 
For Yourself or a Loved One 
Repelling Negativity 
To Make Someone Leave You Alone 
House Blessing 
Protection in the Snow 
Psychic Protection


Weight Loss Spell 
A True Beauty Spell 
Magickal Rite of Beauty 
To Change Eye Color


Spell to get a Call 
Make Someone Dream of You 
To Communicate With Someone

Personal Power Spells

Empowerment Ritual 
Psychic Spell 
Third Eye Ritual 
Memory Rite 
Confidence Spell 
Spell for Poetic Inspiration 
An Artist's Inspiration Spell 
Cloud Eye Rite


A "Bring Me Love" Spell 
Spell to Ease a Broken Heart 
Attraction Spell 
Unconditional Love 
Aphrodisiacs (Sexual Enhancers)

Success Spells

Spell to Head for Success 
To Get a Break in Showbusiness 
Success in a New Venture


The Green-and-Gold Money Spell 
Rich Witch Spell 
To Help Pay Debts

Releasing Energy Towards a Goal 

Peace Ritual 
To Dream of the Future 
Rain Spell 
To Keep Your Computer Working 
Finding that Which is Lost

Now I ask myself...

Am I openly skeptical of the Wiccan belief that these
spells are effective? Yes, I believe I am. 

I'm sorry. this is not the proper forum to debate
Wicca, so I'll stop. Feel free to write me directly
though. There are hundreds of web pages devoted to
Wicca and everyone interested should do their own
research. For those who want to hear the skeptic's
perspective on this and about anything else, check


> I appologize for lecturing and hope you don't 
> take it the wrong way.  I'm not being insulted or
> attempting to insult--only to dump more knowledge 
> into the pool.  If it helps, I've spent at least 
> as much bandwidth demythologizing cryonics for
> Wiccans.  

Great! Thanks on behalf of all cryonicists. 

I agree with you that certain psychic phenomena have
received too little rigorous scientific attention. The
government did some stuff on remote viewing with some
pretty interesting findings I understand (the Stargate
Research Project), though the data is not very
convincing to many.

Also, a note of thanks to George Smith for some
clarification. We're still buds, right dude?

For the record, once again, my previous (perhaps
somewhat derisive) comments were directed at psychics
who claim they can communicate with the dead, NOT with
whether there is such a thing as an afterlife or not. 
And again, I do feel obliged to respect everyone's
"right" to their point of view, not the point of view
itself.  And if I criticize, be aware that I am
attacking the argument, not the person. Those who feel
personally attacked are making faulty inferences. My
concerns for the feelings and sensitivities of those
who are excessively insecure and defensive when their
belief systems are challenged have reasonable limits.
Those limits are met when I feel restrained from
identifying logical fallacies or unhealthy memes. It
is, of course a two-way street. I don't want to
continue to harbor misconceptions because other people
are afraid of hurting my feelings.

Thanks all ... and a warm welcome once again to
Ruthanna. It'll be great having a grad student in
cognitive psychology contributing to the group.


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