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Old 1st July 2010, 04:06 PM   #1
RSLancastr
 
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For about the past month, I was a regular poster/chatter over at James Van Praagh's web

site: www.vanpraagh.com.

I would strongly ask that you guys NOT go over there. I was treated (mostly)

very kindly over there, even by JVP himself, and do NOT want to reward their kindness by

sending a thundering herd of skeptical trolls their way.

And, due to the way I ended up leaving them, it is likely that ANY skeptic showing up

there is likely to be viewed as a troll.

And, let's face it: Many skeptics showing up at such a site ARE "trolls." I'd like to

think that I wasn't, but maybe I am flattering myself.

I intend to describe much of what happened while I was there in a series of threads here

- one for each "chapter." This thread is the "prologue"

========== RSL IN JVPLAND - CHAPTER 0: PROLOGUE ==========

In 2007, at either TAM5.0 or TAM5.5, I announced my intention to create a new series of

Stop Sites, each focusing on another individual I felt needed stopping.

The intended new sites were:

www.StopBennyHinn.com
www.StopPeterPopoff.com
www.StopKevinTrudeau.com
www.StopJohnEdward.com
www.StopJamesVanPraagh.com

And an umbrella site for them all:

www.StopFlimFlam.com

I registered all of these domain names and created a placeholder "splash page" for each,

similar to the one on the www.StopSylvia.com site.

They all still work, other than the one for Van Praagh, which brings up a "not found"

page from the StopSylvia site. I think This happened when the data from the old SSB domain got

moved over to the new one during my hospitalization. I will fix it when time and

circumstances permit.

And that is where the sites have sat ever since. The splash pages all still say "coming

in 2008" but I never found the time to do any work on them, and my stroke in late 2008

has left them unbuilt. I would not be surprised if fans of these people felt that my

stroke was some sort of "just desserts" for planning to create these sites. People in

these communities love to say "there are no coincidences" and so might see deeper

meaning than "coincidence" in the timing of my stroke.

In mid May of 2010, tired of inaction, I decided it was time to start on one of the

sites. I needed to pick one of the "focuses" and start coming up with plans for

articles. But which focus?

One of the many reasons I chose Sylvia Browne as the focus of my most recent Stop Site

was the fact that there was so much source material on her out there. Tons of books,

hours of videos, and more. these could be combed for contradictions, predictions (which

could be checked) and more. Her readings for the families of the missing on the Montel

Williams Show might be followed up on.

So I figured that the focus of my next site should be someone for whom there was a

similar trove of source material to research and use. The two which seemed to best fit

that bill were Edward and Van Praagh. Each had written several books, and had their own

TV shows ("Crossing Over" for Edward, "Beyond" for Van Praagh). This would seem to be a

good starting point for research into what they say, believe and do. I got up that

morning determined to start researching one or the other.

I felt I knew more about Edward than I did Van Praagh. I had been the "resident

skeptic" on a John Edward fan forum back in 2001, and had done a fair amount of research

into and had many discusions about him back then. (though not with a "stop site" in

mind). Van Praagh - I had watched many episodes of his "Beyond" show back in

2001/2002, but, other than being firmly convinced that he was a cold reader - and not a

very good one at that - I knew little about him.

I did a web search on his name and found his web site. I figured, "what fairer way to

learn about the man than his own web site?" And with that, I logged on to

www.vanpraagh.com.

Continued in CHAPTER 1: DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE

Again, please do not go there. If for no other reason than it could interfere with what I am trying to accomplish. Thanks.

Mod InfoThread closed; for continued discussion see: http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=179581
Posted By:Locknar
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Who is "Kaz?" Read about her at www.StopKaz.com.

Curious about Sylvia Browne? Read about her at www.StopSylvia.com.

Ever wonder "What's the Harm?" with psychics, alternative medicine, etc?

Last edited by Darat; 6th July 2010 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 1st July 2010, 06:41 PM   #2
ExMinister
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Looking forward to Chapter 1.
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Old 1st July 2010, 07:19 PM   #3
RSLancastr
 
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I have received a PM from someone who says they feel this thread is "an anathema to skepticism," at least partly due to my imploring people to not go to vanpraagh.com.

I apologise if this is confusing, possibly even counterintuitive. It is definitely a different approach than I have taken with my earlier sites. But I ask you all to please humor me in this. At the end of the story it will all be explained, and I hope that you will agree then that I was correct in this. If I was wrong, then I will have learned something from it.

So far, this has been a very different undertaking than the previous two sites were. But please believe that, as with those sites, I am doing what I think best at each juncture. Best for skepticism, and best in general. I hope my track record, while no guarantee of future success, at least shows that I have decent instincts.

Thanks,

RSL
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Who is "Kaz?" Read about her at www.StopKaz.com.

Curious about Sylvia Browne? Read about her at www.StopSylvia.com.

Ever wonder "What's the Harm?" with psychics, alternative medicine, etc?
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Old 1st July 2010, 08:18 PM   #4
ExMinister
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If we had no desire to go over to the Van Praagh chat room prior to reading this thread, then why would we suddenly need to go over there now?

Just because you mentioned it?

So I have to humbly disagree with your critic. To each his own, I guess.
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Old 1st July 2010, 08:32 PM   #5
Jekyll's Guest
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Originally Posted by ExMinister View Post
Just because you mentioned it?
Celebrity sponsorship, of course.

Like Chucky Cheese stickers on a NASCAR car.
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Old 1st July 2010, 08:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Again, please do not go there. If for no other reason than it could interfere with what I am trying to accomplish. Thanks.
Well it depends. Will we find little voodoo likenesses of you with pins stuck in it?
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Old 1st July 2010, 08:56 PM   #7
RSLancastr
 
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Originally Posted by Kopji View Post
Well it depends. Will we find little voodoo likenesses of you with pins stuck in it?
Pssibly! Bythe time I left, many there liked me, a few there hated me, most probably didn't have much of an opinion of me one way or the other.

Kinda like here, come to think of it.
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Who is "Kaz?" Read about her at www.StopKaz.com.

Curious about Sylvia Browne? Read about her at www.StopSylvia.com.

Ever wonder "What's the Harm?" with psychics, alternative medicine, etc?
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Old 1st July 2010, 09:18 PM   #8
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Well this sounds promising.

I never really visit psychic or religious forums unless it is to briefly satisfy some curiosity about a specific thing. (I'm not sure why I don't, but it just feels like lost time I'll never get back...)

I would think that the dislike of you would be more universal over there, and the jref like/dislike would be more mixed. Skepticism has a different quality than belief, not so focused on group agreement.
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Old 2nd July 2010, 08:47 AM   #9
RSLancastr
 
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Originally Posted by Kopji View Post
Well this sounds promising.

I never really visit psychic or religious forums unless it is to briefly satisfy some curiosity about a specific thing. (I'm not sure why I don't, but it just feels like lost time I'll never get back...)

I would think that the dislike of you would be more universal over there, and the jref like/dislike would be more mixed. Skepticism has a different quality than belief, not so focused on group agreement.
At this point in the story, I had not expressed my skepticism much beyond stating that I am a skeptic. That would change later.
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Who is "Kaz?" Read about her at www.StopKaz.com.

Curious about Sylvia Browne? Read about her at www.StopSylvia.com.

Ever wonder "What's the Harm?" with psychics, alternative medicine, etc?
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Old 2nd July 2010, 11:53 PM   #10
stephenenelson
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So like a computer programmer to start with 0...

("One of us! One of us!")
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Old 3rd July 2010, 05:04 AM   #11
rjh01
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At least he is not a typist. If he was he would have chapter 0 after chapter 9.

If you do not understand that check your keyboard.
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Old 3rd July 2010, 09:13 AM   #12
RSLancastr
 
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Originally Posted by stephenenelson View Post
So like a computer programmer to start with 0...

("One of us! One of us!")
And it looks like the final chapter will be 7! 0-7, very programmeresque.
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Who is "Kaz?" Read about her at www.StopKaz.com.

Curious about Sylvia Browne? Read about her at www.StopSylvia.com.

Ever wonder "What's the Harm?" with psychics, alternative medicine, etc?
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Old 3rd July 2010, 09:14 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
At least he is not a typist. If he was he would have chapter 0 after chapter 9.

If you do not understand that check your keyboard.
...followed by chapters - and =
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Who is "Kaz?" Read about her at www.StopKaz.com.

Curious about Sylvia Browne? Read about her at www.StopSylvia.com.

Ever wonder "What's the Harm?" with psychics, alternative medicine, etc?
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Old 5th July 2010, 01:15 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by RSLancastr View Post
all chapter in 1 post.

Last edited by Aepervius; 5th July 2010 at 01:44 AM.
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Old 5th July 2010, 10:23 AM   #15
RSLancastr
 
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Thanks, Aepervius!

I wish I could edit the OP to add that at the top - sort of a table of contents!
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Curious about Sylvia Browne? Read about her at www.StopSylvia.com.

Ever wonder "What's the Harm?" with psychics, alternative medicine, etc?
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