Monday, 8 December 2014

Lies "n" the lying liars who tell 'em.

This Is further to my piece earlier today which discussed the utter credulity of people viewing a post the facebook page "Ghosts n All Things Paranormal". Well guess what they are at it again tonight, blatantly and demonstrably LYING to their followers:

Now if you can't read that, admin Christine states:

"This photo was taken following a real werewolf attack earlier this year. I can vouch for its authenticity as its from my college. This case is still under investigation. Courtesy of the American Institute of Metaphysics. Christine" 

This is blatantly and demonstrably untrue. While many users have highlighted the likely hood of the authorities releasing such a photo and other such gaps in plausibility, which is all very good and exactly the type of critical thinking I called for earlier, proving its fake is actually much simpler than that. Let's not bother with the heavy lifting of researching police policy and behaviour. Why crack a nut with a hydrogen bomb?

A simple Google search reveals this rather gory image's true origin: it's a screenshot from a 2010 horror film called The Dead Matter, and comes courtesy of horror make-up master Tom Savini. You can see the image in context here.

Why would the admin of this page perpetrate such an obvious and easily exposed fraud? Well either they enjoy playing the expert with hidden arcane knowledge of the paranormal that they feel their followers will admire them for, something in the paranormal community that I've hit upon before. Or they are trolling... they get a kick out of making believers look foolish and credulous. I suspect the former. 

The page frequently mentions "American Institute of Metaphysics archives" , who I assume is The Institute of Metaphysics an organisation offering "Doctorates" in demonology and "conspiratorial studies"(!) and the like. 

Knowledge of this organisation and the belief that inclusion of its name will bring credibility to a fabricated story, implies that the author of this post is as at least as gullible as he/she wishes their audience to be.

Look if you are a believer let me offer you a piece of advice with respect: This type of rubbish, these blatant and ridiculous fabrications seriously damage your reputation and your credibility, especially if you are trying to conduct earnest research in these areas. This particular page has over 58,000 likes! 

People you have to vote with your feet, if a page is caught trying to deceive you, make as many people aware of it as you can, call these people out.... otherwise you make my job way to easy. 

Away with the fairies: some people will buy anything.

Way back in those halcyon days in 2007 when you still thought Ricky Gervais was funny and Mika and his jaunty pop tune about being chubby and proud was going to be the next big thing, artist and illusion designer Dan Baines created this fantastic model of a dead fairy as an April Fool's hoax. 

Pretty impressive right? And perhaps not too surprising that quite a few took the photos and the tale of its discovery by a dog walker at Firestone Hill near Duffield constructed around them, seriously. The thing is that even after Dan came out and admitted that his fairy was fake (I hasten to use the word "fraud" because I don't believe that Dan's intention was ever to actually deceive anyone) people were still coming to his site and insisting that it was real, some suggesting that the story of fakery was a cover-up, others going as far as telling Dan that he must return the corpse or face terrible consequences!   

But this was way back in 2007, we were ignorant back then, some of us actually bought that Mika song. Surely this isn't still being shared and reported as if real today, in these enlightened times, when we have the next big thing Mehgan Trainor and her jaunty pop tune about being chubby and proud .... sigh.... of course it is, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this!

From the source of constant inanity that is Ghosts n All Things Paranormal on Facebook. 

Depressing enough, add in some totally credulous comments:

And my favourite, the following person insists that this must be fake because this isn't what happens to fairy's bodies: 

Without wanting to sound condescending, I actually used to feel sorry for people like this, I used to think all they need is a nudge in the right direction, a hint to not accept things like this at face value... To think a little more critically...

Now, I'm not so sure. After all they have the tools to check things like this out for themselves, are they too deluded to even bother, or do they simply not want to know the truth?  Or are they *gasp* just fundamentally.... well.... stupid? 

If I were being charitable, I'd say "wilfully ignorant" but is that really all that different? 

Perhaps the reason we don't label beliefs such as this, and the people who hold them as "stupid" is because we don't want our own beliefs labelled as such. Are we protecting them in order to protect ourselves? The truth is the if a position is held due to good reasoning and solid evidence we can defend it... If it isn't... Perhaps it should be called out....