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cults

Skepticism 101
Cults, Myths, and Religion

Dr. Michael Shermer considers the characteristics of cults, how they differ from sects, religions, and myths, the role that myths and religions play in culture and people’s lives, and what Scientologists really believe.

eSkeptic for April 3, 2020

Dr. Michael Shermer considers the characteristics of cults, how they differ from sects, religions, and myths, the role that myths and religions play in culture and people’s lives, and what Scientologists really believe.

Science Salon # 101
Hugo Mercier — Not Born Yesterday: The Science of Who We Trust and What We Believe

In Science Salon # 101 Michael Shermer speaks with Hugo Mercier about his new book: Not Born Yesterday: The Science of Who We Trust and What We Believe.

eSkeptic for January 28, 2020

In Science Salon # 101 Michael Shermer speaks with Hugo Mercier about his new book: Not Born Yesterday: The Science of Who We Trust and What We Believe.

Science Salon # 97
Amber Scorah — Leaving the Witness: Exiting a Religion and Finding a Life

In Science Salon # 97 Michael Shermer speaks with former Jehovah’s Witness Amber Scorah about the psychology of religious belief and her new book Leaving the Witness: Exiting a Religion and Finding a Life.

eSkeptic for December 31, 2019

In Science Salon # 97 Michael Shermer speaks with former Jehovah’s Witness Amber Scorah about the psychology of religious belief and her new book Leaving the Witness: Exiting a Religion and Finding a Life. PLUS Peter Kassan reviews Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans by Melanie Mitchell.

eSkeptic for March 29, 2017

It was 20 years ago this week, March 20–26, 1997, that 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult “graduated” from this life to ascend to the UFO mothership that they believed would take them to an extraterrestrial paradise.

eSkeptic for February 10, 2016

Most Americans continue to grow up without thinking very deeply about other religions (other than mocking them on a superficial basis), and never question the assumptions of their own faith. In this week’s eSkeptic, Donald Prothero reviews Sacred Cows: A Lighthearted Look at Belief and Tradition Around the World, by Seth Andrews, in which he does all that, and more.

Reading Room
All Sacred Cows

Sacred Cows (detail of book cover)

Most Americans continue to grow up without thinking very deeply about other religions (other than mocking them on a superficial basis), and never question the assumptions of their own faith. In this article, Donald Prothero reviews Sacred Cows: A Lighthearted Look at Belief and Tradition Around the World, by Seth Andrews, in which he does all that, and more.

INSIGHT
Stranger Than Fiction: A Review of the HBO documentary, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

Donald Prothero reviews an explosive new documentary film about the controversial Church of Scientology.

eSkeptic for April 1, 2015

On the heels of Sunday’s HBO documentary film by Alex Gibney, Going Clear, in this week’s eSkeptic we present an article by Dr. Michael Shermer from Skeptic magazine 17.1 on the cult-like nature of Scientology.

13-12-25

In this week’s eSkeptic, Swoopy’s back for a special episode of Skepticality and Karen Stollznow’s back for a special episode of MonsterTalk.

11-04-08

In this eSkeptic, Michael Shermer announces his lecture schedule for Illinois and Wisconsin for April 2011.

08-03-05

In this week’s eSkeptic, we present Michael Shermer’s Los Angeles Times opinion editorial on Scientology, followed by several Letters to the Editor that ran in response. And then, we present, in part, Jean E. Rosenfeld’s Los Angeles Times op-ed rebuttal to Michael’s piece.

05-07-07

In this week’s eSkeptic, Lee Traynor participates in an exorcism and lives to tell the tale.

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Retrospective

Skeptic cover art by Pat Linse

Art of the Skeptic

In celebration of Skeptic magazine ’s 100th issue, we present sage graphic art advice for skeptical groups and a gallery of art reflecting more than 47 years of skeptical activism from Skeptic’s long time Art Director, Pat Linse

Detecting Baloney

Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic) by Deanna and Skylar (High Tech High Media Arts, San Diego, CA)

The Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic)

For a class project, a pair of 11th grade physics students created the infographic shown below, inspired by Michael Shermer’s Baloney Detection Kit: a 16-page booklet designed to hone your critical thinking skills.

FREE PDF Download

Wisdom of Harriet Hall

Top 10 Things to Know About Alternative Medicine

Harriet Hall M.D. discusses: alternative versus conventional medicine, flu fear mongering, chiropractic, vaccines and autism, placebo effect, diet, homeopathy, acupuncture, “natural remedies,” and detoxification.

FREE Video Series

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Understanding the difference could save your life! In this superb 10-part video lecture series, Harriet Hall M.D., contrasts science-based medicine with so-called “complementary and alternative” methods.

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Myths of Terrorism

Is Terrorism an Existential Threat?

This free booklet reveals 10 myths that explain why terrorism is not a threat to our way of life or our survival.

FREE PDF Download

The Top 10 Weirdest Things

The Top Ten Strangest Beliefs

Michael Shermer has compiled a list of the top 10 strangest beliefs that he has encountered in his quarter century as a professional skeptic.

FREE PDF Download

Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future (paperback cover)

Who believes them? Why? How can you tell if they’re true?

What is a conspiracy theory, why do people believe in them, and can you tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?

FREE PDF Download

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

Mind altering experiences are one of the foundations of widespread belief in the paranormal. But as skeptics are well aware, accepting them as reality can be dangerous…

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Myths About Evolution

Top 10 Myths About Evolution (and how we know it really happened)

If humans came from apes, why aren’t apes evolving into humans? Find out in this pamphlet!

FREE PDF Download

Learn to be a Psychic in 10 Easy Lessons

Learn to do Psychic “Cold Reading” in 10
Easy Lessons

Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

FREE PDF Download

The Yeti or Abominable Snowman

5 Cryptid Cards

Download and print 5 Cryptid Cards created by Junior Skeptic Editor Daniel Loxton. Creatures include: The Yeti, Griffin, Sasquatch/Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, and the Cadborosaurus.

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