Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bubba the psychic meets the crystal skull

A couple of months ago, I wrote about the alleged mystical properties of crystal skulls.  The story is that there are thirteen crystal skulls in the world, and when they're all brought together, the world will vanish in a flash of woo-wooness.  Or the Age of Aquarius will begin.  Or there will be a Cosmic Convergence, whatever that means.

Or maybe nothing will happen.  Which is my guess.

When I wrote that, little did I know that one of the crystal skulls had just visited a town near where I live.  This particular skull, which is named "Max," belongs to a Houston woman named JoAnn Parks.  Parks was taking Max around to see the US, and did a stop in Erie, Pennsylvania to teach a workshop in "hands-on interfacing with the crystal skull."

"There are many people who think he’s from another planet and is encoded – an encoded messenger," Parks told reporters for AOL News. "Some believe he was part of Atlantis as well. I think he's been in cultures that have come and gone that we didn't even know existed."

Those are our choices?  An "encoded messenger" from another planet, or it comes from Atlantis?  Another explanation, such as that it was made by people, does not occur to you?

You might wonder how Parks got Max.  She was given the skull by a Tibetan healer named Norbu Chin in 1977, just before he died, with the instructions, "Take this and some day you will know what it is for."  Chin told Parks that he had been given it by a Mexican shaman in 1970, and that the shaman said it had come from a Mayan tomb where it had been found in 1924 by Indiana Jones.

When Parks came into possession of the skull, she put it in a box in her closet.  But she started dreaming about it, that it was talking to her.  So she put pillows on top of it, and told it, "I don't want anything to do with you."  Because that's obviously what you do when you dream about something.  But finally she saw a  TV special about crystal skulls, and she brought it to the Houston Museum, and they sort of went, "Huh."  So she brought it back home, where she continued to dream about it.

Then, one day, she patted the skull on its, well, skull, and said, "Skull, I don't want nothing to do with you," and she heard in her mind, "My name is not 'Skull,' my name is 'Max.'"  Max went on to tell her that he was a "tool and a teacher" and could "serve mankind in a special way."  Including, apparently, making Parks a lot of money, because she decided to take him on the Woo-Woo World Tour, and she's still doing it today.  She has met a number of celebrities along the way, including Willie Nelson and (surprise!) Shirley MacLaine.

Which is how she ended up in my neck of the woods, in Erie, Pennsylvania.  One of the people who got to "interface" with Max was an Erie spiritualist and psychic named (I am so not making this up) "Bubba Suprynowicz."  Bubba had an encounter with Max that is breathtaking in its detail.

"The first time I sat down with him ... I went into a trance state. I don't know what happened after that," he told reporters.

Well!  That convinces me!

Now, don't get me wrong.  All sarcasm aside, I think that Max the Skull is quite a beautiful artifact.  Whether it's 5,000 years old (which is what Parks says) or is a recent creation made with power tools (my personal belief), it's quite an impressive bit of rock.  But if you want me to believe that it is more than just a piece of polished quartz, you're going to have to do better than anecdotal reports of dreams and trance states in which nothing apparently happened.  As usual, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, which so far has not been forthcoming.  Until such time as Max causes the needle to move on a Psychic-o-Meter, or he talks to me personally, I'm still voting for the "polished piece of quartz" explanation.

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