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.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Woo-woo workshop weekends

A frequent reader and contributor to Skeptophilia sent me a note asking if I'd heard about the Exeter (New Hampshire) UFO Festival happening this weekend.  I hadn't, and (unfortunately) can't attend because I have other plans, but I thought I'd check out the website.

The home page promised great things, with a banner header showing photographs and drawings of UFOs, aliens, and prominent images of Betty and Barney Hill, famous as the first well-publicized UFO abductees.  In fact, it is certainly the Hills that explains the location; Exeter is in the same county as Portsmouth, the Hills' home at the time of the incident.

The conference itself looks like it will be awesome, if by awesome you mean "weird."  Which I suppose is to be expected.  Here is a sampler of the talks that will be given:
  • Extraterrestrials: They are Here Now.  It's not just Interesting.  It's Important.
  • Remote Viewing and Accessing Higher Consciousness
  • UFOs for the 21st Century Mind
  • ET Contact: Implications for Post-Contact Advancements in Science and Technology
So you can see that I'd fit right in, except for the fact that I'd probably get thrown out for guffawing, especially at the Remote Viewing workshop.

But I needn't be upset at missing the festival; a brief search turned up a whole host of other events I could attend.  If any of these are near enough to you, and strike your fancy, I encourage you to go and then report back here what happened:

The Atoka (Oklahoma) Cryptid Fest, on September 8.  It's being held at McGee Creek State Park, and will feature an appearance of the "professionals from the cast of The History Channel's Monster Quest."  There will be "Bigfoot excursions throughout the day."  And if anyone shows up at the event and sneaks around the grounds in a ghillie suit, it was definitely not my idea.

A Certification Course in Mayan Shamanic Healing and Crystal Therapy, on September 21-23.  It's being held at the Aquarian Book Shop in Richmond, Virginia.  Here we will be taught the "Mayan Healing Modality" wherein we will learn how to do the following:
  • Cleanse your crystals properly.
  • Use obsidian arrows for healing.
  • Activate quartz crystals to restore health.
  • Lay jade stones on the body.
  • Use rose quartz for heart or emotional healing.
  • Work with 20 major energy centers on the body healing.
  • Do a basic diagnosis of the client.
  • Stand in simple shamanic animal postures for healing
We will also learn a variety of important principles, such as Polarity As An Axis Of Energy And Manifestation.  Whatever that means.  We are also told that in preparation for the event, the shop is offering a "10% discount on pendulums."

Oh, goodie.

For my readers in the UK, you might consider The Psychic Fair and Pamper Day, on Saturday, September 29 in Colchester (Essex).  There will be ghost hunts at the beginning and end of the fair, on Friday evening and again on Saturday evening after the fair closes, and tickets for those are £ 40, but otherwise the fair itself is free.  There will be a great many booths offering services and items for sale, including:
  • Angel Therapy
  • Aromatherapy 
  • Astrology 
  • Aura Photography
  • Crystal Healing
  • I Ching
  • Iridology
  • Numerology
  • Psychic Artist
  • Psychic Medium Readings
  • Rune Reader
  • Tarot Readings
  • Theta Healing
Besides this sounding like a table of contents for the New Age Nonsense category of The Skeptic's Dictionary,  this one might be well worth attending because (1) it will represent an amazing assortment of goofy stuff, and (2) it's free.  I'd definitely attend if I was in England.

So, that gives you some choices as consolation prizes if you've missed, like I have, the Exeter UFO Festival.  And that was just from September.  The availability of woo-woo workshops is limited only by your time, money, and tolerance for bizarre ideas -- and, as we've seen over and over in this blog, some people seem to be overly endowed with all three.

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