My Harshest Public Critics
(and threatening telephone messages)

Jerome Clark -- Editor, International UFO Reporter  (published by the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies [CUFOS]); former Editor of Fate  magazine

George P. Hansen -- author of the 45-page article, "CSICOP and the Skeptics: An Overview" in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research (JASPR)  (Vol. 86, No. 1, Jan. 1992 -- see page 42)

Brian Zeiler -- A notoriously obnoxious participant on the Internet Usenet Newsgroups

 
The central focus of the above three critics' attacks is my "Letter to the Editor," published in the Winter 1978 issue of Skeptical Inquirer  magazine, in which I had speculated about a possible psychiatric explanation for the irrational/bizarre intellectual behavior exhibited by "many" paranormalists, some of whom were being singled out for ridicule in the magazine by being nominated for the "Uri Award." (Upon becoming aware of Clark's initial attack in 1985, I expressed regret at having used the word "many" rather than "some.")

 
Read my 1978 letter to Skeptical Inquirer.

Read my article about this controversy as published in the Summer 1993 issue of Tampa Bay Skeptics Report.

Read Zeiler's 1996 Usenet Newsgroups attack on me, and my reply (which contains my and Hansen's "Letters to the Editor" of JASPR  [April 1994; 88(2):181-183] that were published in the wake of Hansen's article, as well as a comment from Hansen's own editor characterizing Hansen's position as not being "sensible").

Read Clark's additional 2001 attack on me, and my reply


Larry Dossey, M.D. -- Within a four-page Letter to the Editor of the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research  (Vol. 63, No. 856, July 1999), Dr. Larry Dossey had the following to say (p. 249) about my little Sept. 1995 article (in CSICOP's Skeptical Briefs  newsletter) discussing a claim of alleged invincibility to being stabbed with a knife or sword -- the so-called Deliberately Caused Bodily Damage (DCBD) phenomenon (JSPR  is the British counterpart to JASPR,  referred to above):

So-called "skeptic" groups have begun to expend great energy in trying to discredit DCBD events. The funniest example I've run into is the request that [Dr. Jamal] Hussein himself submit to being stabbed by members of a group [referring to Tampa Bay Skeptics but not by name] associated with CSICOP, the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, while surrounded by policemen (Posner, 1998 [sic]). Requiring Hussein, an investigative scientist, to prove these phenomena on himself is like requiring the legendary heart surgeon Michael DeBakey to submit personally to coronary artery bypass surgery by a clumsy, doubting surgeon to prove that the procedure really works.

Well, not quite, Dr. Dossey. My article was indeed "funny," but you appear not to have appreciated the real humor. The only "great energy" I expended was in offering Dr. Hussein and his associate the courtesy of a reply to their claim (as quoted in my article) that DCBD powers can be bestowed spontaneously to "all people" (presumably Hussein qualifies as a "person") "without restrictions or reservations," with "100% success." I imposed no "requirement" upon Hussein -- he  is the one who, through his associate, requested a meeting with me.  I hope he didn't expect me to volunteer to be on the receiving end of a sword!


Det. Ray Krolak -- On Nov. 4, 1999, Detective Ray Krolak sent me an e-mail complaining about my comments relating to him in this article and again in my chapter about Noreen Renier from the 1994 book, Psychic Sleuths: ESP and Sensational Cases.  Read his complaint and my reply.

Brian David Andersen -- Read my article about Andersen vs. Posner in the Summer 1999 issue of Tampa Bay Skeptics Report.

Richard H. Hall -- Read my article about Hall's slanderous comments, made at the 1999 annual MUFON conference, in the Fall 1999 issue of Tampa Bay Skeptics Report.

A "Fan" Letter -- Here's a "fan" letter that I received in March 2004, followed by my reply.

Michael Bara and Richard Hoagland -- Read the vitriolic response of Michael Bara (representing Richard Hoagland's "Enterprise Mission") to my cover story about Hoagland ("The Face Behind the 'Face' on Mars") in the Nov/Dec 2000 issue of Skeptical Inquirer  magazine. Bara describes my article as being filled with "blatant lies, distortions and Clintonian half-truths," but largely absolves me of any personal responsibility since I am "just a good foot soldier, a mind-numbed robot marching in lock-step (or is it goose-step?) with the orders of the Church [i.e., CSICOP] to destroy anything and everything that threatens its view of the universe." Be sure to also see my response to Bara's tirade.

Virginia Levy -- In 1998, this then-charming woman made an effort, though unsuccessful, to win the Tampa Bay Skeptics "$1,000 Challange" for proof of paranormal powers. Over the next decade she would become a demented liar, as exemplified in this 8/8/08 Tampa Bay Times (formerly St. Petersburg Times) article. A nearly-two-hour DVD is available from Tampa Bay Skeptics documenting her interaction with TBS (and me), and we have also uploaded the entire video in 12 annotated parts to YouTube.

Threatening Telephone Messages (click here to listen) -- Twice in 1990, and once more in 1992, I received threatening telephone messages, which were recorded on my home answering machine and preserved. I filed police reports for the record, but I didn't request that they pursue formal investigations. The first message ("Get out of town. If you don't, by tomorrow, it'll be too late.") came on September 15, 1990, three days after I had called and spoken with the NYPD and a New York newspaper reporter, seeking clarification of claims made by a "psychic" on a national TV show that summer with respect to clues being offered in a serial-killer case. I had earlier left a message with a receptionist for the TV show on September 7 but the producer did not return my call. The second threat ("Get out of town, now!") from the same whispering female came on October 16, 1990. (I had tried following up with the show sometime that month shortly before the threatening call -- I canít find a record of the precise date -- but could not get through to anyone there who would answer my questions.) The third threat, this time in a deep male voice ("You're a dead man!"), came on March 28, 1992, two days after I had called and spoken with a CBS-TV producer in New York about clues being offered by the same "psychic" in another police case. Will a gifted "psychic" please come forth and positively identify the voices for me?

 

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