Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 43: Ross Blocher, Co-host of Oh No, Ross and Carrie!

Our latest podcast guest is Ross Blocher, co-host of the Oh No, Ross and Carrie! podcast.

On his podcast, the hosts don’t simply talk about the paranormal, but “dive right in by joining religions, attending spiritual events, undergoing “alternative” treatments, partaking in paranormal investigations, and more.”

Jessica caught up with Ross during a recent trip to Los Angeles and they spoke about how the podcast began, along with some of his favorite investigations.

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A Glimpse Into the Lives of Muslims Who Left the Faith

Voice of America’s Jerome Socolovsky recently attended a private party in Washington, D.C. hosted by Ex-Muslims of North America and got a glimpse into the lives of some courageous apostates:

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Michigan Town That Denied “Reason Station” in City Hall (but Allowed “Prayer Station”) Owes $100,000 in Settlement

Not that long ago, if you were to walk into the Warren (Michigan) city hall, you’d see a Prayer Station, a kiosk of sorts with pamphlets about God, manned by Christians eager to proselytize. It first went up in 2009.

So when resident Douglas Marshall filled out an application to set up a personal “Reason Station” to promote freethought and logic, you’d think he’d get a green light, too… hell, his application was almost word-for-word identical to that of Pastor Darius Walden, who set up the Prayer Station.

But Warren Mayor Jim Fouts is a Christian who has made a habit of opposing atheist groups that want the same treatment as religious groups.

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Was It Right for Skeptics to Try and Expose This Self-Proclaimed Psychic?

Earlier this month, Susan Gerbic, an activist who frequently works to expose paranormal nonsense, wrote about two operations she conceived to try and catch a “psychic” in the act.

In one case, her target was Chip Coffey, one of those guys like John Edward who claims to be able to talk to your deceased loved ones. A lot of gullible people are impressed by these readings, but there are generally two ways to pull off the trick:

In a cold reading, psychics use information you’re giving them to make further “predictions.” For example, if a woman said her son died unexpectedly at a young age, the psychic might suggest there was a tragic accident involved (because why else might a healthy young person die?).

In a hot reading, the psychics have information about you that you didn’t even know they had. For example, maybe you inadvertently told them about your problems through prayer cards (as James Randi once famously exposed), not realized the psychics were being given the details of what you had written.

That latter method was the gist of Gerbic’s operation: She bought several tickets for one of Coffey’s upcoming live shows. And then she, along with a group of friends in on the sting operation, created a fake Facebook page where they talked about who they were hoping Coffey would reach.

For example:

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No Women Allowed at This Church Event… Unless They’re Serving the Men

New Harmony Church in Salem, Missouri has a big “Sportsmen’s Banquet” this Saturday night. (Because Jesus loved “wild game meat.”)

But their promotional poster could use a little tweaking…

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