‘Psychic’ Fraud Marks Gets 10 Years

Rose Marks, the matriarch of an entirely family of "psychic" con artists, was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of many counts of fraud for bilking desperate people out of millions and millions of dollars. Insert the obligatory "she should have seen this coming" joke. … [Read more...]

CA Farmers Turning to Dowsing

Those of you who have been involved with organized skepticism for any significant length of time likely know about dowsing, an absurd bit of supernatural nonsense that says you can find water with two "divining rods" and a gut feeling. California farmers are so desperate for water due to the calamitous drought there that they're turning to dowsers for help. … [Read more...]

Psychics Will ‘Cure’ Cancer — For a Fee

Carrie Poppy decided to do a little experiment to see just how shameless "psychics" can be. So she went on one of the most popular online "psychic" sites and asked a bunch of the con artists there if they could cure her cancer. Most of them said yes, but only if she pays for a private session, where presumably their magic powers are amplified. … [Read more...]

The John Edwards Scam

Skeptic magazine has a report on a John Edwards performance (and that's exactly what it is) in front of a wildly enthusiastic crowd of 2500 people who had paid $45 each to have him talk to their dead relatives. But the crowd included three skeptics, one a psychologist. They describe his transparent con job. … [Read more...]

Murdered Man’s Brother Slams ‘Psychic Detectives’

Keith Bennett was murdered in 1964 but his body has never been found, but a group of "paranormal investigators" have been trying to help find him. The victim's brother Alan is not happy about that and hasn't been for a long time, calling them frauds who are of no help at all. … [Read more...]

Get Your Homeopathic First Aid Kit

Paul Fidalgo's Morning Heresy is a must-read for me and Tuesday he introduced me to something I did not know existed, a homeopathic first aid kit. It's being sold on Amazon and it's so absurd that I have to wonder if it's a joke. Or it could just be that the company sees a niche to exploit. … [Read more...]

Belief in Astrology Goes Up

Chris Mooney reports on a new survey that shows that a higher percentage of Americans believe that astrology is at least somewhat scientific than at any time in more than 30 years. That's kind of depressing, don't you think? It feels like a blow to scientific progress to me. … [Read more...]

A Bizarre New Claim on the Shroud of Turin

Sharon Hill reports on a bizarre new "theory" from some Italian researchers that the Shroud of Turin may be real because there might have been an earthquake and that earthquake might have released neutrons and those neutrons might have been capable of creating such imprints. The Telegraph has the details: … [Read more...]

National Geographic Lies to Kids

I am so glad I got the hell out of ScienceBlogs when National Geographic bought the site. As if the pseudo-scientific crap on their cable channel wasn't bad enough, now they're flat out lying to kids. This is the cover of the latest issue of National Geographic for Kids: … [Read more...]

Another Positive Thinking Fraud

I've made no secret of my utter loathing for the whole concept of motivational speaking, "life coaches" and the entire new agey, positive thinking racket. Here's an example that practically makes my skin crawl, a con artists named MaryAnn D’Ambrosio, "Ph.D." It's a deck of cards that promises: … [Read more...]

Another Marks Family ‘Psychic” Goes to Prison

I've written before about Rose Marks, the "psychic" who was convicted of fraud but has not yet been sentenced. Now her "top lieutenant" -- her daughter -- has been sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to repay $2.2 million in restitution. … [Read more...]

Ooh, 2014 ‘Psychic’ Predictions

It's a new year and that means a whole new set of yearly predictions from "psychics" that won't come true at a rate above chance unless they're so vague or obvious that anyone could predict them. Lamont Hamilton, who predicted that in 2013 Congress would pass comprehensive immigration reform, the UN would pass a global tax, that Justice Ginsburg would retire and many more misses, has a few more: … [Read more...]