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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If Your County Seal Includes a Giant Christian Cross, Then It’s Time for a Redesign

This is the official seal for Lehigh County, Pennsylvania:

You have a farm on the left and some factories on the right… and a giant Christian cross right in the middle.

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This Indiana School District Just Admitted Illegally Promoting Christianity Many Times Over in a Local Newspaper

The Kokomo Tribune, based in Indiana, just ran an unbelievable story about a school district that infuses Christianity into damn near everything they do.

They claim they’re just living out their Christian values — which is legal — and not indoctrinating the students at all… but their actions say something very different.

Here’s a look at reporter Lauren Slagter‘s story about Eastern Howard School Corporation:

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Atheist Billboards Go Up in Puerto Rico to Promote Upcoming Conference

Billboards sponsored by American Atheists are now up in San Juan and Ponce, Puerto Rico, to mark the upcoming conference there this August:

Translated, that reads: “We’re Puerto Ricans and we’re ChristiansWe’re ex-Christians — We’re atheists!”

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