The Credophile

Below is a partial list, harvested from James Randi's Encyclopedia of Frauds [etc.] and may or may not represent the actual opinions of the many contributors of the pages and opinions of any given contributor to the site.

I wish to make it extremely clear that I do not blame a person for falling for a con game or fraud: I blame the victimizers, not the victims. The ugly truth is, humans are not born with the critical thinking abilities required to determine valid claims from false and deceptive ones: that trait is learned, not congenital. Those who prey upon the ignorant know that they need only appeal to a victim's ignorance, greed, or idealism: indeed, the professional confidence artists use the best humanitarian traits of human beings against them by appealing to their compassion, empathy, and sense of social justice. Give a madman like, for instance, L.R. Hubbard, a young idealist and he can turn that idealist into an amoral, unthinking, uncaring monster.

Some frauds, deceptions, and foolies:

"Psychics," faith healers, spirit mediums, perpetual motion machine purveyor, astrologers, palmists, mind-readers, kabalists, clairvoyants, tarot card readers, scryers, prophets, alchemists, scapulimancy, graphologists, phrenologists, iridologists, dowsers, Lourdes loosers, acupuncturists, psychic surgeons, biblical inerrantsts, anthropomantists, recovered memory supporters, biorhythm plotters, apportists, cult reconstructionists, Creationists, channelers, levitationists, black supremacists, white supremacists, aura readers, chiropractors, spoon benders, crystal power nuts, angel asses, planchette pushers, astral projectionists, firewalkers, blindfold visionists, exorcists, e-meter monkeys, dream interpreters, Chinese herbalists, Dianetic Dingdongs, glossolalists, flat-Earthers, ley line loons, hollow-Earthers, fire eaters, dactylomancers, fortune tellers, pyramid power enthusiast, I Ching tossers, orgonists, qi gong "masters," reflexology, homeopathy, voodoo, sindonologists, therapeutic touchers, flying saucer fans, millinialists, ancient astronaut nuts, seers, slate writers, Nostradamus nutcakes, diviners, metoposcopists, survivalists, Holocaust deniers, quacks, kooks, and con artists.

Just to name very few of the seemingly numberless practices of chicanery. The extent of the beliefs in the above varies by country: the United States of America is one of the most superstitious / religious in the "developed" world (indeed, it ranks number one out of seventeen on the list), and thus it does not reflect the state of belief in other countries (such as East Germany, which ranks as the least superstitious). That is, while belief in the absurb spans the globe, the USA leads as the highest per capita population. The blame is placed on the refusal of Americans to educate themselves and their children: until they do so, the USA will remain filled with ignorant, belief-inflicted savages. (See the article "What American's Really Believe. And why Faith isn't as Universal as they Think" in the Summer 1999 issue of Free Inquiry magazine for the data.)