Rafael Cruz Worked for Scam Company that Carson Promoted

Remember Mannatech, the fraudulent supplement company that Ben Carson was paid lots of money to promote? Turns out that Rafael Cruz was a salesman and consultant for that very company as well. There's a lawsuit going over it which claims that Cruz helped the company skirt laws in Mexico to sell their products. … [Read more...]

Peter Popoff Exposed by a Former Employee

When James Randi went on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and exposed "faith healer" Peter Popoff as a fraud in 1986, that was really my first introduction to organized skepticism. But Popoff returned in the 90s and found another willing batch of suckers. A former employee has now revealed what she saw on the inside. … [Read more...]

A ‘Naturopath’ Tortures Her Children

Dave Gorski recounts the details of an absolutely horrifying thing that happened right here in my hometown of Grand Rapids. A "Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor" (read: licensed practitioner of throwing salt over my shoulder) named Heather Dexter refused to take her three children in for treatment for pertussis, after also refusing to have them vaccinated to prevent them from getting it in the first place. The torment her children went through, in her own words: … [Read more...]

Stupid Atheist Memes, Part…I Don’t Remember

This edition of Stupid Atheist Memes is kind of mixed, actually. The meme does make a very good point about prayer and how confirmation bias leads believers to consider absolutely any outcome as a successful test of its efficacy. But then it goes and ruins it in the last line by pretending that confirmation bias is an indicator of a "cult mentality" rather than of routine human thought processes. … [Read more...]

No, Everything Doesn’t Happen for a Reason

Tim Lawrence writes at some length about what I consider one of the most irritating phrases in the English language: "Everything happens for a reason." My response to hearing someone say that ranges from eye rolling to rage, depending on what they're talking about. Lawrence takes his opposition to this platitude a lot further than I would, saying that you should remove those who say it from your life: … [Read more...]

‘Witches’ Gather to Cast Spells on Donald Trump

A group of "witches" offended by Donald Trump's anti-immigrant racism and xenophobia has decided that the best way to fight against him and keep him from becoming president is to cast spells and put curses on him. They've even cast a spell that would, they say, destroy his ridiculous combover. … [Read more...]

Rod Parsley’s Prosperity Gospel and Faith Healing Nonsense

About 20 years ago, I first encountered Rod Parsley on one of the half dozen Christian TV networks on my cable. He's a standard issue prosperity gospel-preaching and faith-healing con artist, but he's particularly charismatic and incredibly good at keeping his audience enraptured as he spews the dumbest things imaginable. Here's video of him claiming that a woman's baby was healed of brain tumors because she gave him money: … [Read more...]

Donald Trump’s Amway-Style Naturopathic Health Scam

In addition to his Trump University, which was determined to be an unaccredited scam by the state of New York, Donald Trump also had a short-lived multi-level marketing company that sold both get rich quick dreams (what MLM doesn't?) and a completely useless set of naturopathic "remedies," vitamins and work-free weight loss products. Britt Hermes, a former naturopath turned legitimate biomedical researcher, nails him for it: … [Read more...]

Jennifer LeClaire is Not Happy With John Oliver

You've probably seen by now John Oliver's brilliant take down of the "prosperity gospel" that is preached by most of the nation's (world's?) televangelist con men and women from last week. Jennifer LeClaire, editor of Charisma News, is quite displeased with Mr. Oliver for making fun of what she claims he doesn't understand, but I'm afraid she rather obviously misses the point of his critique. … [Read more...]

Pat Robertson Explains His Faith Healing Scam

As a teenager, I watched the 700 Club nearly every day. Even as a Christian then, it always seemed weird to me that he would spend several minutes on every show calling out unspecified healings. He would declare that someone out there is being healed of a respiratory infection or a bad back, and then once a week or so they would do a segment on someone who saw that on TV and was just sure they were the one being healed. On a recent show, Robertson explained this decades-old practice. … [Read more...]

Really, CNN?

Man, it must be a really slow news day over at CNN. Or maybe they're just waiting for another Malaysian airliner to disappear or get shot down. So what are they reporting in the meantime? They're reporting on what "psychics" think about where the stock market is going. … [Read more...]

WGN Anchor Hammers a ‘Psychic’

WGN anchor Larry Potash slammed a "psychic" who failed completely at a cold reading in the studio. When she offered to do a private reading for him, he said she did, "Awful! Not even close! I mean, if you're going to sell yourself as a psychic, at least be good at it! It's an old parlor trick." Yep, it is. Here's the video: … [Read more...]