Skeptics make psychic phenomena downplayed and disregarded by society. Abusing those who report it as stupid and gullible. And dissuading the audience from taking psychic claims seriously.


So says Englishman Robert McLuhan, proud author of his new book “Randi’s Prize” coming out in November this year. Robert has written a book, which he describes as a critical exposure of the way in which the skeptical community deals with claims of the paranormal. According to Richard, skeptics are more concerned with abusing the claimants with accusations of stupidity or gullibility, and of downsizing the paranormal for which Richard claims there is “widespread evidence” of “as an aspect of human consciousness and experience”, not to be ignored “as if it didn’t happen”.

“Campaigning sceptics” like James Randi, Richard Wiseman, Susan Blackmore, Ray Hyman et. al. are nothing but debunkers having a good laugh at these woo woos, McLuhan implies.

As a paranormal claimant with a wide assortment of woo, having investigated my claims of medical perception, also known as medical intuition or dowsing, for three years and exclusively with the skeptical community, I might have something to say about this matter.

The problem is that the
woo are experiencing it,
and the skeptics are not

I agree that the skeptical and the woo community are two entirely opposite polarities, both trying to grasp this seemingly evasive yet so engaging subject of the paranormal. One saying, “prove it first”, the other saying, “disprove it first”. The problem comes when the paranormal, it seems, is mostly something in the mind of the experiencer, rarely yielding actual physical manifestations or observations. The problem is that the woo are experiencing it, and the skeptics are not.

As a woo skeptic, or perhaps a skeptic woo, I have tried to marry these two approaches in my own life, leading to great frustrations in the skeptical community which terms me as an infiltrating impostor, liar and a fraud, and the woo being significantly turned off by my expressions of scientific method, confirmation bias, evidence, and other big skeptical words. I find myself somewhere in the middle, where neither of these two extreme opposites wish to join me.

Skepticism and woo are a married couple fighting for the single custody of their only child. Both skeptical investigators, and paranormal investigators, look at claims of the paranormal but from entirely opposite perspectives, and oh do they fight!

Skeptical investigators are accused of being close-minded debunking mean people who only ridicule the claimants, and having hijacked the realm in which things are allowed to be called reality, they refuse to let anything paranormal pass the test and gain entry to reality. Paranormal claimants are convinced that skeptics know the paranormal is real, who for some various conspiracy theories refuse to let the public find out!

Meanwhile, paranormal investigators are looked down upon, by both skepticism and science, which both claim ownership of the most pristine worldview regarded as “reality”. Not enough academic – scientific – credentials. Questionable testing methods. Paranormal investigators are not called “scientists”, they are regarded as woo.

So which side do I choose? Having a paranormal claim, behind which lies a genuine experience, I am thereby a woo. But choosing to look at my woo from a skeptical perspective, honoring the skeptics’ pledge to science, and knowing that science works to find truth, not personal human experience, I am both.

But are skeptics all that
bad as often portrayed
by the proponents of woo?

But are skeptics all that bad as often portrayed by the proponents of woo? No they are not. Skeptics are open-minded people, in that they are willing to be proven wrong given the evidence, and they are open to that evidence. It is woos who often struggle when their beliefs in the paranormal face opposing evidence and come crumbling down, this indicating the lack of open-mindedness in the woo.

I have had not one but two skeptically arranged tests, with two of the world’s leading skeptical investigation groups! Both were very easy to arrange, there was no resistance by skeptical debunkers. The tests were conducted fairly, and had I only given the correct answers I would have passed the test! So much for Randi’s prize being corruptly unachievable!

Yes skeptics are often mean, hostile, and very uncomfortable people to deal with when you as a paranormal claimant insist on your woo experiences. But that is because they are unhappy with all the harm done by woo. Meanwhile, it is skepticism that saves the world from Christian cults that let children eat pieces of broken glass with mercury on them.

And the harshness and lack of peace and love toward woos aside, skeptics actually run and conduct very well-constructed tests. And unlike the woo who often do, the skeptics do not cheat.

Accusations against the skeptical community as close-minded, resistant to new discoveries, and perhaps inferior and unconscious, come across as just bitter resentment and resistance in woos to finding that there is a difference between the real, tangible world, and the personal experiences that we have within, and that what we thought was real, might just be something personal that we can’t take out and show to other people. Not magical. And sadly, the skeptics know it, and the woo don’t.

Robert McLuhan’s Blog introducing his new book “Randi’s Prize” is found at Paranormalia.

Me and some friendly Skeptics:

Look! It’s Brian Dunning! Wow!

Michael Shermer!

JREF’s Jeff Wagg

JREF’s D.J. Grothe