Archive for February, 2015

Skeptics with a K: Episode #142

Big stars, big ships, big egos, and not-so-big operations. Plus mind control, propellers, hips, and body builders. Buzzing away, it’s Skeptics with a K.

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InKredulous: Episode #033.5

A mini episode of our satirical comedy podcast, featuring extra material recorded for episode 33.

Recording with Cognitive Dissonance and Scathing Atheist is a dangerous undertaking. The tangents and asides are as funny as the material.

Here is some bonus material, scooped from the cutting room floor and dusted off for you.


Thanks for listening.


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Peter Popoff – My Persistent Pen Pal

When I think about the great moments in skeptic history a few things spring to mind: the 10:23 campaign; The Australian Skeptics getting the Anti-Vaccination to change their name, getting Derek Acorah to channel the spirit of Kreed Kafer, things like that. Of course no list of great skeptical achievements would be complete without James Randi’s many famous stings, and particularly his investigation of the Reverend Peter Popoff in 1986.

Popoff appeared to be a miraculous faith healer with an accuracy rate that would make some well known stage psychics green with jealousy. Sensing something was afoot, Randi, using a radio scanner, discovered the somewhat un-messianic source of these amazingly accurate addresses and ailments: Popoff’s wife was reading off ‘prayer cards’ the audience had filled in before the show, and was passing the information to the Reverend by wireless earpiece. “Hello Petey can you hear me? If you can’t you’re in trouble”. Oh, for simpler and more innocent times, when stage psychics would use earpieces…

Peter Popoff's Miracle Spring Water

Peter Popoff’s Miracle Spring Water

This expose was shown on national news in the US. You would have thought that he would have retreated into embarrassed and disgraced obscurity. And indeed it was that poor Petey filed for bankruptcy in 1987. Hooray!

Except… except fortune favoured plucky Petey, and after his fall from grace he discovered a real, definitely-genuine miracle. As he has described on his show, he became acquainted with a priest from Pripyat (the town near Chernobyl. Yes that Chernobyl) who had prayed to god after the reactor meltdown and god had answered by turning the water in a lake near town into ‘miracle’ water that was free from radiation, safe to drink and had  healing and other wonderful properties.

So Petey dusted himself down and reinvented himself as a televangelist with TV shows on religious TV channels all over the world including the UK to tell everyone about this ‘miracle’. Now I say TV shows, what I really mean is ‘infomercials’ for this ‘miracle’ spring water which he offers viewers for free! Free! Good old Petey. Giving away his miracles for free. So selfless. So lovely. So not at all a way get around advertising rules because he isn’t technically selling something. Nope.

So of course when I first heard about this miracle water a few years ago I immediately filled out a request form on Petey’s website, and just a few weeks later my water arrived… along with a long, seemingly-personalised letter from the man himself! This sparked off a long and protracted correspondence between myself and Petey (and, more recently, my dog) which i’m going to tell you all about in my next few posts. Stay tuned!

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InKredulous: Episode #033

Episode 33 of our satirical comedy podcast.

Your host is Andy Wilson (@InKredulosi) of the Merseyside Skeptics Society and co-organiser of QED conference.

For this episode we have lined up an American Uncivil War between podcast teams Cognitive Dissonance and Scathing Atheist. There will be swearing and epic comic timing.

Thanks for listening. And remember, we love reviews on iTunes, Stitcher or any podcatcher of your choice.



Skeptics with a K: Episode #141

Exploding viruses, bad luck, zapping blood and the Emperor’s New Music Player. Plus obese mice, broken phones, stool transplants and the importance of back-ups. Pouring over hard work, it’s Skeptics with a K.



Leftwing Propaganda Machine – by Chris Coltrane

When:  Thursday, July 16th, 2015, 8.00 – 11.00 PM
Where: The Vines, 81 Lime St, Liverpool


Chris Coltrane is a comedian and activist in the anti-austerity movement that Mark Thomas once described as “the future of British political comedy”. He’s also a keen fan of skepticism from the sidelines, dipping his toes into the anti-homeopathy and pro-choice movements, plus his 2013 stand-up performances at QED and the MSS. “Basically I’m a nice man and I’d very much like the Merseyside Skeptics to like me”, he says.

In July Coltrane will be bringing a work-in-progress preview to us of his new Edinburgh Fringe show, Left Wing Propaganda Machine, a show he thinks will be about “evidence, and how people in power are bad at using it”.

He’ll be using stand-up comedy to argue for an evidence-based drugs policy; for an end to austerity; and he’ll be talking plenty on how every single statistic that British people think they know is wrong. How can democracy even work when we’re so badly informed? And how on earth does someone make that funny? Come and see Chris in July, and see if he’s worked it out.”

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