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The REALL News

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The official newsletter of the Rational Examination Association of Lincoln Land

Volume 3, Number 1 -- January 1995


Electronic Version

If you like what you see, please help us continue by sending in a subscription. See the end of newsletter for details.


In This Issue

From the Editor -- Bob Ladendorf
From the Chairman -- David Bloomberg
A Look into the Sun - and Other Tabloids, Part 3 -- Bob Ladendorf
Supermarket Tabloids: The Persistence of (Alleged) Vision -- Bob Ladendorf
Letter to REALL
Subject Index
Author Index


Purpose

The Rational Examination Association of Lincoln Land (REALL) is a non-profit educational and scientific organization. It is dedicated to the development of rational thinking and the application of the scientific method toward claims of the paranormal and fringe- science phenomena.

REALL shall conduct research, convene meetings, publish a newsletter, and disseminate information to its members and the general public. Its primary geographic region of coverage is central Illinois.

REALL subscribes to the premise that the scientific method is the most reliable and self-correcting system for obtaining knowledge about the world and universe. REALL not not reject paranormal claims on a priori grounds, but rather is committed to objective, though critical, inquiry.

The REALL News is its official newsletter.

Membership information is provided elsewhere in this newsletter.

Board of Directors: Chairman, David Bloomberg; Assistant Chairman, Prof. Ron Larkin; Secretary-Treasurer, Kevin Brown; Newsletter Editor, Bob Ladendorf; At-Large Members, Prof. Steve Egger, Wally Hartshorn and Frank Mazo.

Editorial Board: Bob Ladendorf (Newsletter Editor), David Bloomberg (electronic version editor), (one vacancy).

REALL
P.O. Box 20302
Springfield, IL 62708

Unless stated otherwise, permission is granted to other skeptic organizations to reprint articles from The REALL News as long as proper credit is given. REALL also requests that you send copies of your newsletters that reprint our articles to the above address.

The views expressed in these articles are the views of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of REALL.


From the Editor

-- Bob Ladendorf

With the completion of my three-part series on the supermarket tabloids, I want to raise an issue that needs to be studied in the future, namely the tabloid television shows. From shows that pay to talk shows that display every kind of trivial perversion, America has become a nation of complainers and exhibitionists. All these serve as a distraction from the real issues and matters of the day: war, poverty, environmental concerns, lack of critical thought, and crime.

Perhaps these issues are so big and seemingly too complex to understand that Americans absorb themselves with simple, trivial matters, from celebrity gossip to "weeping" statues.

With the New Year, we all need to redouble our efforts to fight the irrational with critical thinking, the paranormal with the real, and pseudoscientific assertions with scientific evidence. As we enter our third year of existence, we thank you again for your support and hope that a good year as you bring skepticism to those matters that count!

As a reminder, if you have any further comments or suggestions, please send them to me at REALL's address listed elsewhere on this page, or send us e-mail at the following addresses:

REALL E-mail Contacts:
Bob Ladendorf: robertcl49@aol.com (Note: 1st 8 are letters)
David Bloomberg: david.bloomberg@f2112.n2430.z1.fidonet.org

We always like to hear from you!

/s/ Bob Ladendorf


From the Chairman

-- David Bloomberg

Last month, I wrote here requesting a possible homepage site. Well, I didn't get any responses, but I'm definitely still looking! Now, I'd like to add a request for the E-Mail addresses of our members. I'd like to put together a mailing list so we can send out information via E-Mail when we can. So, for those of you with addresses, if you'd like to be included on the list, please let me know either by phone, letter, or, of course, E-mail to: david.bloomberg@f2112.n2430.z1.fidonet.org

This month's meeting is going to feature the CSICOP video, Beyond Belief! We showed this video once before, a little over a year ago, but I think it's good enough that it deserves another showing. In addition, we've gotten a number of new members who regularly attend meetings but who haven't seen this video yet. Also, this video is not as long as the videos we've been seeing lately and will allow for discussion afterwards. For more info on the meeting, see the enclosed notice.

I'm not sure what we'll be doing in February yet (if you want to put your two cents in, we'll discuss it at the January meeting), but we're planning a special speaker for the March meeting. There will be more info on this in next month's newsletter.

Speaking of next month's newsletter, February is our second anniversary! So you'll get a special extended anniversary issue, featuring articles by both regular authors and at least one new writer. Plus, you'll get the "REALLity Checklist" -- 1994 in review. You may notice that we left "REALLity Check" out of this issue to make room for the subject and author indices, but that will be back next month, too.

As always, if you have any comments, compliments, or even complaints, we want to hear about them! Happy New Year, everybody!

P.S. Books (and Darwin fish) are in! If you ordered either, come to the meeting and pick `em up!

/s/ David Bloomberg


A Look into the Sun -- and Other Tabloids

by Bob Ladendorf

Part 3 -- The Lure of Money

In the first part of this series on tabloids, I pointed out that not all of the major supermarket tabloids are alike, that only the Sun and the Weekly World News (WWN) [not the National Enquirer, Star or Globe] provide extensive coverage of supposed paranormal and pseudoscientific occurrences. In the second part, I demonstrated that the articles in the Sun and the WWN have weak or vague sources and the events allegedly occur in obscure, and often foreign, locations. In Part 3, I examine the tabloids raison d'etre, as well as briefly reviewing their long history in American life.

"Never shoot above the heads of the people" was Frank Leslie's motto, and to Leslie, the news meant sensation, as John Tebbel relates in his book, The Media in America.. "With a true instinct for the mass market," Tebbel says, "he looked for the war in Nicaraqua, the bloody conflict in Kansas, the sensational New York murder." Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper was a big hit, which started a spin- off of a whole series of magazines. "In spite of its name," Tebbel comments, "this `newspaper' was actually a weekly magazine of a kind now plentiful all over the world . . . ." Frank Leslie started his magazine in . . . 1856.

Even before that, there was the penny press, and, in 1845, the weekly national Police Gazette, with its sensational crime articles. There followed the "yellow journalism" era around the turn of the century, and tabloid newspaper wars in the 1920s and `30s. In the `20s, bodybuilder and tabloid publisher Bernarr Macfadden developed the "composograph," a photograph that was altered or enhanced.

Which only goes to show that there really is nothing new under the sun. Perhaps humankind has always held a fascination with sex, crime and the supernatural. The "common folk" of England crowded in to see new Shakespeare plays, such as Hamlet, which features those three sensational themes prominently. Now days we have the royal couple's dalliances, the O.J. Simpson trial, and alien abductions.

Sensational stories sold newspapers then, and they sell them now. According to Time magazine, the ongoing Simpson story has raised the weekly National Enquirer's circulation by 500,000 a week, and during the past half year, 21 of the issues featured Simpson-related stories on its covers.

As the expression goes, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that all this sensationalism feeds a public's ravenous appetite for gossip and is thus motivated by money. No matter that the truth may be trampled in the process. But what about the people behind the sensationalism of the news - the writers and editors - who take the brunt of ridicule and criticism from more mainstream journalists? How do they with the sensationalism and fabricated stories? There again, money talks.

"Salaries for established reporters are $75,000 and more" at the WWN, according to Sue Hubbell writing in the Smithsonian magazine. "A recent hire, with no tabloid experience, has started out at $53,000, and editors make salaries well into the comfortable six figures."

In contrast, beginning journalists average $20,000 a year, those with five years' experience average $30,000, and senior editors at the largest newspapers earn $60,000, according to the 1994-95 Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Department of Labor.

"Most of Eddie's [Eddie Clontz, WWN editor] staffers are alumni of Harvard or Bryn Mawr or other good schools," writes Hubbell. "They include a veteran of the New York Times, a former Capitol Hill reporter . . . , the retired editor of juvenile nonfiction for J.R. Lippincott." Hubbell also writes that Clontz once confessed, "We have to pay them a lot because we are, in effect, asking them to end their careers . . . . We're the French Foreign Legion of journalism."

Another reason that tabloids are decried is because of their "checkbook journalism." The National Enquirer has an editorial budget of $16 million , a "good portion" going to pay for informants, according to Time. For instance, a female maid to the murdered Nicole Simpson received $18,000 for her version of O.J. and Nicole's turbulent relationship. Gennifer Flowers received $150,000 from the Star for her story claiming she had an affair with President Bill Clinton. The Chicago Tribune reported in its March 20, 1994, edition that British tabloids were just as eager to pay for sex stories, with the News of the World paying a whopping $262,500 to Bienvenida Sokolow, a defense minister's wife who allegedly had an affair with a chief of the British defense staff who was also married.

Although only about 20 percent of respondents to a Roper Poll in 1984 said that supermarket tabloids were "accurate," establishment press journalists have little room to smile, as Hubbell points out in the Smithsonian article, for a "comparable Roper Poll conducted the same year about the credibility of the media in general found that 24 percent of the respondents trusted newspapers and only 7 percent of them trusted magazines."

Although that poll would seem in one way to indicate a skeptical attitude among respondents, the results may be skewed by the respondents' possible guilt about admitting belief in the tabloids. As other, more recent surveys show, Americans have much higher percentages of belief in the supernatural than about the accuracy of tabloids. Perhaps what is needed is a new survey of nationwide tabloid readership as well as in-depth individual studies to determine any correlation between belief systems and tabloid articles.

If the paranormal and pseudoscientific articles in the Sun and WWN and the gossip stories in the others have any long lasting effects on American minds, perhaps it is in the area of reinforcing myths. That connection is aptly pointed out by S. Elizabeth Bird, a University of Minnesota cultural anthropologist, in her book, For Enquiring Minds. Hubbell writes in the Smithsonian that:

She [Bird] studied tabloids as folklore and notes their preoccupation with eternal themes: the hero who didn't die (Elvis, JFK and Jimmy Hoffa are our current favorites); children raised by animals (remember Romulus and Remus?); ghosts (haunted toasters are big right now); monsters (Bigfoot has replaced dragons); flying saucers (the psychologist Carl Jung once traced back though medieval paintings the image of round, healing objects coming from the skies in times of social disruption); fairy stories about princes and princesses (today's definition of royalty has been expanded to include Oprah Winfrey and Elizabeth Taylor).

The supermarket tabloids may be ridiculed and castigated, but they are read. One of them, the National Enquirer, has been acknowledged as being "accurate" in some of its Simpson stories by none other than the New York Times, causing a firestorm of controversy.

However, in the pursuit of truth, a darker exposure of the tabloid news producers and its readers can be aptly summarized in H.L. Mencken's wry statement, "No one in the world, as far as I know - and I have researched for records for years, and employed agents to help me - has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people."


Supermarket Tabloids: The Persistence of (Alleged) Vision

by Bob Ladendorf

There is no current known scientific evidence to support the claims that horoscopes are valid. There also is very little evidence, if any, for being able to predict particular events in the future, as well as pronouncing one's lucky numbers.

Not surprisingly, all three of these claims are often featured in the supermarket tabloids. A glance at year-end issues last year (late December to early January 1994) shows that the Weekly World News (WWN) features 1994 predictions, a horoscope and lucky numbers; the Globe has Mystic Meg's 1994 predictions, horoscope and lucky numbers; the Star displays Jeanne Dixon's personal horoscope and another horoscope; and the Sun glows with psychic predictions and lucky numbers.

PREDICTIONS

While unable to check every year-end prediction (and I welcome evidence to the contrary), I found that WWN's 1994 predictions and the Globe's Mystic Meg's 1994 predictions did not foresee the biggest celebrity news story of 1994 - O.J. Simpson's arrest and trial for the murders of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman!

Other predictions made by WWN's Emil Lebec that did not come true include Monaco's declaring of war on the U.S., Saddam Hussein's seeking of political asylum in the U.S., the ousting of Castro from Cuba, and Yeltsin admitting himself into the Betty Ford Clinic! WWN's "Hollywood psychic" Bill Blake also missed with predictions, including a producer's pitch to feature Jeffrey Dahmer in a half-hour cooking show called The Ghoulish Gourmet and Madonna marrying Boy George! Funny that he did not foresee Dahmer being killed in prison in 1994.

HOROSCOPES

Horoscopes are known for their vague language. Consequently, with millions of people in existence, a horoscope prediction is bound to be true for someone at some time. Marilyn Wellman, "astrologer to the rich and famous," in the WWN, Jan. 4-11, 1994, tells me (Aquarius) to "Soak yourself in love in 1994" and "Take time to play!" Are those predictions, or merely advice? Mystic Meg in the Globe, Dec. 28, 1993, tells me that "As the love planet starts a three- week stay in the psychic sectior of your chart, your love moves are amazing." Well, Mystic Meg, I am married, so tell me something I don't know!

Meanwhile, Laurie Bradie in the Star's horoscope, Dec. 28, 1993, must have had more than 250 million Americans smiling on Jan. 2, 1994, with these forecasts. Aries: "The frustrations of 1st are nicely closed up on 2nd." (my emphasis) Taurus: ". . . love life gets off to roaring start on 2nd." Gemini: ". . . you settle a family or real estate matter on 2nd." Cancer: "Good news and an educational opportunity surface on 2nd." Leo: ". . . a lucky financial trend gets underway on 2nd." Virgo: "Past kindnesses pay off on 2nd." Libra: "You discover extra funds on 2nd." Scorpio: "You capitalize on a social situation on 2nd." Sagittarius: "You're in the limelight on 2nd and success is yours during the New Year." Capricorn: "Business contacts and ventures pay off on 2nd." Aquarius: "Financial rewards finally come through on 2nd, thanks to partners, starting 1994 off with a real bang." Pisces: "You and mate get exhilarating news on 2nd and look forward to a very prosperous New Year."

Now, if you believe all these forecasts and predictions, I've got this swamp land in Florida that I'd like sell . . . .


Letter to REALL

Dear David,

As you may know by now the Rocky Mountain Skeptics have been featured in many publications, including the enclosed Time article, for leading the charge in exposing "Therapeutic Touch" (TT). What began as our local effort to expose TT in Colorado institutions for the antiscience that it is, soon took on an international life of its own.

We would like to engage your organization in contributing to the worthwhile effort of exposing what amounts to an institutionalized declaration of war against science. If you think this is an exaggeration read what Patricia Moccia, Chief Executive Officer of National League for Nursing (the major accrediting agency for nursing schools) wrote in Time in response to the enclosed original article:

"The National League for Nursing, mentioned in your story, remains committed to supporting those who explore alternatives to the traditional approaches of Western medicine, which, for all its science, continues to make profits by assaulting the mind, body and spirit of patients. There is indeed more in the struggles around teaching Therapeutic Touch to nurses than meets the eye.... It's the fear of losing control on the part of those who have personal and professional investments in health care's status quo."

What we propose is that your organization survey hospitals and nursing schools to determine the extent TT has been institutionalized. If you think you can help with this please contact me as we are already working with skeptics in England, Australia and Canada.

Also, could you please announce to your members the formation of a new group that we hope can eventually become independent and dedicated to dealing with nursing issues. The group is Nurses for Rational Therapies. At this time their address is the same as ours [Box 7277, Boulder, CO 80306]. We hope to find nursing professionals who can become national leaders promoting sanity in this important area.

Best wishes,

Bla Scheiber, President
Rocky Mountain Skeptics

[If any REALL members are interested in participating in such a study, please let us know by contacting David Bloomberg. He will be responding to this letter to let the Rocky Mountain Skeptics know that we are interested.]


The REALL News -- 1993-94 Subject and Author Indexes

SUBJECT INDEX

48 Hours -- "R.C." 2:5.
60 Minutes -- "R.C." 2:5.
AARP Bulletin -- "R.C." 1:4.
Abduction -- "R.C." 2:6; "Probe D'roid" 2:6.
Alchemy -- "R.C." 1:5, 2:1.
Alexander, Greta -- "R.C." 2:10, 11.
Alien Abductions -- "Pencil-Neck Aliens" 1:1; "R.C." 1:4, 5,
   2:1,  5,  6;  "The Alien 'Booger' Menace"  1:6;  "No-Back
   Back  Page"  1:6;  "The  Omega  Projection"  1:9;  "Alien
   Suckers"  2:2; "Spawn of Inseminoid" 2:5; "Probe  D'roid"
   2:6; "The Eyes That Spoke" 2:7.
Alternative Medicine -- "R.C." 1:1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8,  10,  11,
   2:1,  3,  4,  5, 7, 11; "A Challenge to Federal  &  State
   Agencies"  2:8; "Alternative Medicine: Entertainment  vs.
   News at NBC" 2:8, "The New Fall Season" 2:10.
   Acupuncture -- "R.C." 2:7.
   Ayurvedic -- "R.C." 2:3.
   For   animals  --  "R.C."  2:1;  "Alternative   Medicine:
   Entertainment vs. News at NBC" 2:8.
   Homeopathy  --  "R.C."  1:1; "A Challenge  to  Federal  &
   State     Agencies"    2:8;    "Alternative     Medicine:
   Entertainment vs. News at NBC" 2:8.
   Office of -- "R.C." 2:11.
   Naprapathy -- "R.C." 1:2.
   Vitamins -- "R.C." 1:6, 2:5, 2:10.
Ancient  Secrets of the Bible, Part II -- "Logic  Abuse  and
   CBS"  1:5;   "Incredible Mysteries of Sun Pictures"  1:8;
   "REALLity Checklist -- 1993 in Review" 2:2.
Andrus, Walt -- "R.C." 2:5.
Arnold, Roseanne -- "R.C." 2:5.
Astrology -- "R.C." 1:5.
Ball Lightning -- "R.C." 1:6.
Balsiger,  David  -- "Incredible Mysteries of Sun  Pictures"
   1:8;  "Farrell  Till's Letter to CBS"  1:8;  "Noah's  Ark
   Hoax Update" 2:1.
Barber, Paul -- "Vampires -- Myth and Reality" 1:5.
Bernardin, Cardinal Joseph -- "R.C." 1:11, 2:2, 3.
Blackmore, Susan -- "Who is Susan Blackmore?" 1:9; "A Matter
   of Life and Near-Death" 2:6.
Boston Globe -- "R.C." 2:5.
Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) or Bovine Somatotropin (BST)  --
   "R.C." 2:9.
Boylan, Richard -- "R.C." 2:11.
Braun, Dr. Bennett -- "R.C." 2:12.
CBS  --  "R.C."  1:2,  6, 2:5; "Logic Abuse  and  CBS"  1:5;
   "Incredible  Mysteries  of Sun  Pictures"  1:8;  "Farrell
   Till's Letter to CBS" 1:8, "Noah's Ark Hoax Update"  2:1;
   "REALLity Checklist -- 1993 in Review" 2:2.
Chicago Sun-Times -- "R.C." 2:7.
Chicago Tribune -- "R.C." 1:1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 11, 2:1, 2, 3, 4,
   5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12.
Clinton, President Bill -- "R.C." 2:2.
Cold  Fusion  --  "A Challenge to Federal & State  Agencies"
   2:8.
Computer   bulletin  board  service  (BBS)  --   "Electronic
   Skepticism" 1:10.
Conspiracies  -- "Saucers for Sale: An Evening  with  a  UFO
   Cheerleader" 1:3; "The Biggest UFO Conspiracy" 2:9.
The Courage to Heal -- "Child Abuse or Science Abuse?" 2:1.
Creationism (Creation/Evolution) -- "But the Bad News Is..."
   1:1;  "The Misconceptions of Evolution" 1:3; "R.C."  1:4,
   7,  8,  11; "Conversation with a Creationist" 1:5; "Logic
   Abuse   and  CBS"  1:5;  "Incredible  Mysteries  of   Sun
   Pictures"  1:8;  "REALL  at the  ISTA  Convention"  1:10;
   "Pseudo-Science  Terminology"  1:11;  "Noah's  Ark   Hoax
   Update"  2:1; "On the Till-Hovind Debate" 2:3,  "The  New
   Fall Season" 2:10.
Crop circles -- "R.C." 1:1.
Crosses, bleeding (see also: Icons, crying) -- "R.C." 1:4.
Cryptozoology -- Letter to the Editor, 2:5
Cults -- "R.C." 1:11.
Curran, Rep. Michael -- "R.C." 2:2, 9.
Dark Suckers -- "The Theory of Dark Suckers" 1:6.
Dateline NBC -- "R.C." 1:1, 11, 2:6, 12; "REALLity Checklist
   --   1993   in   Review"   2:2;  "Alternative   Medicine:
   Entertainment vs. News at NBC" 2:8.
Discover magazine -- "R.C." 1:6.
Dying  to Live: Near-Death Experiences -- "A Matter of  Life
   and Near-Death" 2:6.
E-rays  (Erdestrahlen  rays) -- "A Challenge  to  Federal  &
   State Agencies" 2:8.
Encounters  -- "Close Encounters of the FOX Kind" 2:3;  "The
   New Fall Season" 2:10; "R.C." 2:11.
End of the world -- "The Omega Projection" 1:9.
Evolution -- See Creationism (Creation/Evolution)
Exorcism -- "R.C." 1:11, 2:9, 2:10.
Extrasensory  Perception (ESP) -- "Myths  and  Reality:  The
   Science Gap" 1:1.
Eye to Eye with Connie Chung -- "R.C." 2:5.
Facilitated communication -- "R.C." 1:10.
The  Faith  Healers  -- "Book Capsule -- The Faith  Healers"
   1:4.
Faith  Healing  -- "Book Capsule -- The Faith Healers"  1:4;
   "R.C." 2:2, 12.
False  Memory Syndrome (FMS) -- "R.C." 1:7, 8, 10, 11,  2:2,
   3,  4,  5,  6, 7, 9, 12; "Child Abuse or Science  Abuse?"
   2:1;  "REALLity Checklist -- 1993 in Review" 2:2;  Letter
   to the Editor, 2:9.
   FMS  Foundation -- "R.C." 1:7, 8; Letter to  the  Editor,
   2:9.
   FMS-related lawsuit -- "R.C." 2:6.
Fire in the Sky -- See Walton, Travis.
Flim-Flam -- "Book Capsules -- Flim-Flam" 2:4.
Frontline -- "R.C." 1:7,10.
Ghosts -- "Paranormal Fraud Exposed" 1:1.
Greer, Dr. Steven -- "R.C." 2:5.
Gypsy  Fortune Tellers -- "Lights, Camera, Action -- A  Tale
   of Two TV Shows" 1:4; "R.C." 1:8, 2:12.
Handwriting, analysis of -- "R.C." 2:2, 7.
Harkin, Senator Tom -- "R.C." 2:11
Hovind, Kent -- "R.C." 1:7; "On the Till-Hovind Debate" 2:3.
The Hundredth Monkey and Other Paradigms of the Paranormal -
   -  "Book  Capsules  --  The Hundredth  Monkey  and  Other
   Paradigms of the Paranormal" 2:4.
Hyman,  Ray  --  "Ray Hyman: 'The Very Model of  the  Modern
   Major Skeptic'" 2:2.
Icons, crying (see also: crosses, bleeding) -- "R.C." 2:6.
Illinois  Science Teachers Association (ISTA) --  "REALL  at
   the ISTA Convention" 1:10.
Illinois   Times  --  "R.C."  1:11,  2:6,  7,  9;  "REALLity
   Checklist -- 1993 in Review" 2:2.
Institute  for Creation Research (ICR) -- "But the Bad  News
   Is..." 1:1, "Noah's Ark Hoax Update" 2:1.
International  Society of Cryptozoology  --  Letter  to  the
   Editor, 2:5.
Island Skywatch -- See Knell, Bill.
Jackson, La Toya -- "R.C." 2:5.
Jacobs, David -- "Spawn of Inseminoid" 2:5.
Jammal,  George -- "R.C." 1:6; "Incredible Mysteries of  Sun
   Pictures"  1:8,  "Noah's Ark Hoax Update" 2:1;  "REALLity
   Checklist -- 1993 in Review" 2:2.
Knell,  Bill  -- "Saucers for Sale:  An Evening with  a  UFO
   Cheerleader" 1:3.
Kroth, Jerry -- "The Panicky Guy" 2:9.
Landers, Ann -- "R.C." 1:6, 2:2; "REALLity Checklist -- 1993
   in Review" 2:2.
Larue,  Gerald -- "R.C." 1:6; "Incredible Mysteries  of  Sun
   Pictures" 1:8, "Noah's Ark Hoax Update" 2:1;
Loch Ness Monster -- "R.C." 2:2, 4.
Mack, John -- "R.C." 2:5, 6; "Probe D'roid" 2:6.
Mars, "face" on -- "R.C." 1:10.
Member Survey -- 1:10; "REALL Survey Results" 2:2.
Mesmerism -- "A Challenge to Federal & State Agencies" 2:8.
N-rays -- "A Challenge to Federal & State Agencies" 2:8.
Near-Death Experiences (NDE) -- "A Matter of Life and  Near-
   Death" 2:6.
New York Times -- "R.C." 2:5.
Newsweek -- "R.C." 1:6, 2:1, 3.
Nickell, Joe -- "R.C. 2:11.
Noah's  Ark -- "R.C." 1:2, 6; "Incredible Mysteries  of  Sun
   Pictures"  1:8;  "Farrell  Till's  Letter  to  CBS"  1:8,
   "Noah's   Ark  Hoax  Update"  2:1;  "On  the  Till-Hovind
   Debate" 2:3.
Nova -- "R.C." 1:10.
The  Omega Project:  Near-Death Experiences, UFO Encounters,
   and Mind at Large -- "The Omega Projection" 1:9.
Omens  and Oracles: Collective Psychology in the Nuclear Age
   -- "The Panicky Guy" 2:9.
Out  of  Body Experiences (OBE) -- "Who is Susan Blackmore?"
   1:9; "A Matter of Life and Near-Death" 2:6.
Parade -- "R.C." 1:4, 2:2, 2:12.
PBS -- "R.C." 1:10.
Peoria Journal Star -- "R.C." 1:7.
Perpetual  motion  --  "A  Challenge  to  Federal  &   State
   Agencies" 2:8.
Presley, Elvis -- "R.C." 1:7.
Primetime Live -- "R.C." 1:4.
Psychics  -- "R.C." 1:1, 2, 2:3, 2:10; "The Frustrations  of
   Skepticism"  1:3; "Lights, Camera, Action --  A  Tale  of
   Two   TV  Shows"  1:4;  "Predicting  the  Lottery"   1:8;
   "Another Psychic Encounter" 2:3.
   Psychic  Detectives -- "R.C." 1:1; "A Brief Meeting  with
   Jackie   Mari,   Psychic"   1:4;   "Psychics   and    Law
   Enforcement" 1:7; "Police Use of Psychics, Results  of  a
   1993 Questionnaire" 2:4.
   Psychic Hotlines -- "R.C." 1:4.
   Russian Psychics -- "R.C." 1:10.
Psychology Today -- "R.C." 2:5.
Randi,  James  "The Amazing" -- "Book Capsule --  The  Faith
   Healers"  1:4; "R.C." 1:10; "Book Capsules --  Flim-Flam"
   2:4; "A Night of Magic and Skepticism with Randi" 2:5.
Remembering  Satan:  A  Case  of Recovered  Memory  and  the
   Shattering of an American Family -- "R.C." 2:5.
Ring, Kenneth -- "The Omega Projection" 1:9.
Roswell, N.M. -- "The Biggest UFO Conspiracy" 2:9.
Rothman, Milton A. -- "Myths and Reality:  The Science  Gap"
   1:1.
Sagan, Carl -- "R.C." 1:4, 2:5, 2:12.
Satanic Ritual Abuse -- "R.C." 2:9.
Schanzle-Haskins, Ellen -- "R.C." 2:10, 11.
Science journal -- "R.C." 1:10, 2:1.
The Science Gap:  Dispelling the Myths and Understanding the
   Reality  of  Science -- "Myths and Reality:  The  Science
   Gap" 1:1.
Science News -- "R.C." 1:10.
Scooby Doo -- "Scooby Doo, Where Are You?" 2:8.
Secret Life -- "Spawn of Inseminoid" 2:5.
Sightings -- "R.C." 1:5, 2:11; "The New Fall Season" 2:10.
Skepticism,  general: "Myths and Reality:  The Science  Gap"
   1:1;  "So  Now You're a Skeptic" 1:1; "Proper  Criticism"
   1:2;  "The Frustrations of Skepticism" 1:3; "10 Tips  for
   Successful  Letter  Writing" 1:7;  "The  Five  'Laws'  of
   Quack  Science" 1:11; "Pseudo-Science Terminology"  1:11;
   "Scooby Doo, Where Are You?" 2:8, "What It Means to be  a
   Rational Skeptic" 2:10.
State Journal-Register -- "R.C." 1:1, 4, 7, 8, 2:4, 5, 6, 7,
   9, 11; "Child Abuse or Science Abuse?" 2:1.
Sun  International  Pictures, Inc. -- "R.C."  1:2,  6,  2:5;
   "Logic  Abuse and CBS" 1:5; "Incredible Mysteries of  Sun
   Pictures"  1:8;  "Farrell  Till's  Letter  to  CBS"  1:8,
   "Noah's  Ark  Hoax  Update" 2:1; "REALLity  Checklist  --
   1993 in Review" 2:2.
Tabloids -- "A Look into the Sun -- and Other Tabloids" Part
   1, 2:11, Part 2, 2:12.
Talk shows -- "R.C." 2:7, 11, "The New Fall Season" 2:10.
Taos hum -- "R.C." 2:1.
Till,  Farrell -- "Logic Abuse and CBS" 1:5; "Farrell Till's
   Letter   to  CBS"  1:8;  "Incredible  Mysteries  of   Sun
   Pictures" 1:8; "On the Till-Hovind Debate" 2:3.
Time  Magazine -- "R.C." 1:6, 2:5; "Incredible Mysteries  of
   Sun Pictures" 1:8.
Today show -- "R.C." 2:5.
Total Recall -- "Probe D'roid" 2:6.
Traxler,   Ranse   --   "But  the  Bad  News   Is..."   1:1;
   "Conversation  with  a Creationist" 1:5;  "REALL  at  the
   ISTA Convention" 1:10.
US News & World Report -- "R.C." 1:4.
UFOs  -- "Pencil-Neck Aliens" 1:1; "Myths and Reality:   The
   Science Gap" 1:1; "Saucers for Sale:  An Evening  with  a
   UFO  Cheerleader"  1:3; "The Saucer  Error"  1:4;  "R.C."
   1:4,  6,  2:1, 5; "The Alien 'Booger' Menace"  1:6;  "The
   Omega   Projection"  1:9;  "Alien  Suckers"  2:2;  "Close
   Encounters  of  the FOX Kind" 2:3; "Spawn of  Inseminoid"
   2:5,  "The  Eyes that Spoke" 2:7; "The Panicky Guy"  2:9;
   "The Biggest UFO Conspiracy" 2:9.
USA Today -- "R.C." 2:1.
Vampires -- "Vampires -- Myth and Reality" 1:5.
Vampires Burial and Death: Folklore and Reality -- "Vampires
   -- Myth and Reality" 1:5.
Virgin Mary -- "R.C." 2:2, 11.
Vista, CA -- "R.C." 1:8.
Walstad, Bruce -- "R.C." 1:2, 8.
Walton, Travis -- "R.C." 1:4.
War of the Worlds -- "The Panicky Guy" 2:9.
Witches -- "R.C." 1:8, 2:9.
Wright, Lawrence -- "R.C." 2:5.
The X-Files -- "R.C." 1:8.
Yogi, Maharishi Mahesh -- "R.C." 1:1, 2:3.

Note: R.C. = REALLity Check

AUTHOR INDEX

Auerbach, Roy -- "The Five 'Laws' of Quack Science" 1:11.
Bartelt, Professor Karen -- "On the Till-Hovind Debate" 2:3.
Bloomberg, David -- "REALLity Check" 1:1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7,  8,
   10,  11, 2:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12; "Myths and
   Reality:   The Science Gap" 1:1; "Origins of REALL"  1:1;
   "The  Frustrations of Skepticism" 1:3; "Saucers for Sale:
   An  Evening with a UFO Cheerleader" 1:3; "Logic Abuse and
   CBS"  1:5;  "Incredible Mysteries of Sun  Pictures"  1:8;
   "Predicting  the  Lottery"  1:8;  "REALL  at   the   ISTA
   Convention" 1:10; "Electronic Skepticism" 1:10,  "Pseudo-
   Science Terminology" 1:11; "Noah's Ark Hoax Update"  2:1;
   "Child  Abuse or Science Abuse?" 2:1; "REALLity Checklist
   --  1993  in  Review" 2:2; "Close Encounters of  the  FOX
   Kind"  2:3;  "Book Capsules -- Flim Flam,  The  Hundredth
   Monkey  and  Other  Paradigms  of  the  Paranormal"  2:4;
   "Alternative  Medicine: Entertainment vs.  News  at  NBC"
   2:8;  "The  Biggest UFO Conspiracy" 2:9;  "The  New  Fall
   Season" 2:10.
Egger,  Professor  Steve -- "Psychics and  Law  Enforcement"
   1:7.
Hartshorn, Wally -- "So Now You're a Skeptic" 1:1.
Hyman, Professor Ray -- "Proper Criticism" 1:2.
Kottmeyer,  Martin -- "Pencil-Neck Aliens" 1:1; "The  Saucer
   Error"  1:4;  "The Alien 'Booger' Menace"  1:6;  "No-Back
   Back  Page"  1:6;  "The  Omega  Projection"  1:9;  "Alien
   Suckers"  2:2; "Spawn of Inseminoid" 2:5; "Probe  D'roid"
   2:6; "The Eyes that Spoke" 2:7; "The Panicky Guy" 2:9.
Ladendorf, Bob -- "Saucers for Sale:  An Evening with a  UFO
   Cheerleader"  1:3;  "Book Capsule -- The  Faith  Healers"
   1:4;  "A  Night of Magic and Skepticism with Randi"  2:5;
   "A  Look  into  the  Sun -- and Other Tabloids"  Part  1,
   2:11, Part 2, 2:12.
McGrath,  Robert  E. -- "Vampires -- Myth and Reality"  1:5;
   "Who  is  Susan Blackmore?" 1:9; "Ray Hyman -- 'The  Very
   Model  of  the Modern Major Skeptic'" 2:2; "A  Matter  of
   Life and Near-Death" 2:6.
Madigan, Tim -- "Scooby Doo, Where Are You?" 2:8.
Mendum,  Mary Lou -- "10 Tips for Successful Letter Writing"
   1:7.
Randi,  James  -- "A Challenge to Federal & State  Agencies"
   2:8.
Scott, Dr. Eugenie -- "But the Bad News Is..." 1:1.
Till, Farrell -- "Farrell Till's Letter to CBS" 1:8.
Traxler,  Ranse  --  "The Misconceptions of Evolution"  1:3;
   "Conversation with a Creationist" 1:5.
Voelkering,  Joe -- "What It Means to be a Rational Skeptic"
   2:10.
Walstad, Detective Bruce -- "Paranormal Fraud Exposed"  1:1;
   "A   Brief  Meeting  with  Jackie  Mari,  Psychic"   1:4;
   "Lights,  Camera, Action -- A Tale of Two TV Shows"  1:4;
   "Another   Psychic  Encounter"  2:3;   "Police   Use   of
   Psychics, Results of a 1993 Questionnaire" 2:4.

A Nod to Our Patrons

REALL would like to thank our patron members. Through their extra generosity, REALL is able to continue to grow as a force for critical thinking in Central Illinois. Patron members are those giving $50 or more. To become a patron of REALL, please see the membership form below. Patron members are:

David Bloomberg, Springfield John Lockard, Jr., Urbana
David Brown, Danville Robert Smet, Ph.D., Springfield
Alan Burge, D.D.S., Morton Edward Staehlin, Park Forest
Wally Hartshorn, Springfield Ranse Traxler, O'Fallon
Bob Ladendorf, Springfield

Letters to the Editor

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Skeptics Online

If you have a computer and a modem, you owe it to yourself to participate in the skeptic message areas on the computer BBS networks. Here in Springfield, call The Temples of Syrinx at (217) 522-4707. David Bloomberg operates this BBS, which carries the FidoNet SKEPTIC, EVOLUTION, UFO, and FMS conferences, internationally distributed message areas for discussing topics of interest to skeptics. He is also carrying ParaNet conferences, all dedicated to UFO and paranormal topics. You can also find a wide variety of skeptic, scientific, UFO, FMS, evolution/creation, and urban legend text files.

The Temples of Syrinx -- (217) 522-4707 (NEW NUMBER!)


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REALL News
Last modified Sun Jul 07 02:06:04 1996. Comments to whartsho@mail.fgi.net