Thursday, November 6, 2008

Believers are closed-minded and dumb

Lately I've been watching some old videos on YouTube of paranormal-debunker, James Randi. I came across the story of James Hydrick. I was a small child when this story was active, so I'd never heard of it. The important part for the purposes of this post is the interview that I'll mention further down, but if anybody is not familiar with the story, here's a video of James Randi exposing the fraud (and check out the much younger Bob Barker!):

So after his fraud was humiliatingly exposed, Hydrick sat down for an interview in which he confessed his fraud. Check out some of the things Hydrick said during the interview:

Hydrick: "He [the magician] would show how easy it was to trick people. Slight-of-hand, etc. Things like that impressed me. How close-minded a lot of people really were. It was so fascinating to see how people would miss things just like that. The obvious things they would miss."

Notice that, unlike today's believers, Hydrick himself does not call the skeptics closed-minded, he calls the BELIEVERS closed-minded! He continues...

Hydrick: "I tricked the whole world. .... I just wanted to see how open minded people were. I wanted to see if these people who were so-called intelligent and I was so-called dumb; I mean, surely I'm here for a reason. My whole idea behind this in the first place was to see how dumb America was. How dumb the world is."

Isn't that interesting? He implied that the skeptics who can see through his fraud are the intelligent, open-minded ones! Current religious dogma says that if we don't believe that their imaginary gods are present, that we are closed-minded. I love this, it's awesome!

Surely the believers will protest now, saying that they're not closed-minded, because they believe that so many things are possible. Well people, the problem is that you are closed-minded to how some of these tricks might have been done, which is what our friend Hydrick is saying. You think the only way it could possibly be done is through psychic powers, and are closed-minded to all of our experience which says that such a thing is not possible. You are closed-minded to all of the ways in which you could have been duped. You are closed-minded to all of the ways in which religions and their leaders use trickery to convince people.

He goes on to describe how he used his 'powers' to convert other inmates (Hydrick was in prison) to Christianity.

I'd take a Bible and open it up and say "If the Lord is here with me make these pages move!" or I'd open the Bible and say "Hold the Bible. Father in the name of Jesus Christ make these
pages move." And the pages would move! And the guys are going "Oh my God!!!" Everytime it worked. Then I would say "It's in you."Or I take a pencil and put it there and say I've got to call the Lord; but you are going to have the power to do this if you accept the Lord. The next thing you know you would see them with this big cross and handing Bibles out to people!

Oh, using fraud to convince people of the existence of a god? Wow, I never would have suspected that people did stuff like that. You don't suppose that Jesus would've.... no, surely he wouldn't....

Time and time again people come forward with supernatural claims, and time and time again, they are exposed as frauds, or merely incapable of performing during testing. And yet there are still dumb, closed-minded people who believe that this kind of thing occurs.

You can read the full article here.

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