Month: August 2011

146. Paranormal Podcast Host Jim Harold on the Mainstream Media’s Non-Coverage of the Paranormal

Jim Harold explains why mainstream media outlets stick to conventional “giggle factor” reports of the paranormal. Join Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris for an interview with author, and host of the Paranormal Podcast, Jim Harold.  During the interview Harold explains how the mainstream media reports on the paranormal: Alex Tsakiris: You’re covering an area that has a great deal of interest to the general public, but one that still doesn’t get a lot of serious mainstream media coverage. Are you surprised more media outlets haven’t jumped into it just for the numbers? Jim Harold: I wish I knew the answer to that because that’s my problem with the mainstream media when it comes to something like the paranormal. I can’t tell you why it is. I don’t know that it’s a conspiracy. Maybe it is that people who are in the mainstream media understand this area has a “giggle factor.” They’re almost afraid to treat it seriously because they’ve been trained otherwise. And I think in some cases it may not be a conspiracy. They just think -- this is the way we cover the paranormal. We laugh at it; we giggle at it; we play The X-Files music; we put it as the kicker to end the broadcast and we’re done. So I think it’s more of a convention than anything else. Alex Tsakiris: I’m not going to jump too quickly on the conspiracy idea, but I do think we have to go there a little bit. We have to go back and ask -- who created the template in the first place? Jim Harold: True. Jim Harold's Website Play it: Download MP3 (36:00 min.) Read it: Alex Tsakiris: Today we welcome Jim Harold to Skeptiko. As host of the super-successful “The Paranormal Podcast” show, Jim covers all manner of paranormal topics including ghosts, hauntings, UFOs, parapsychology, and many others that we will get into today. Jim, I’m a long-time fan of your show and I want to welcome you to Skeptiko. Jim Harold: Well thank you, Alex. That’s very gracious of you to ask me to be on the program and I’m honored. Alex Tsakiris: You know, you do have a great show, a unique show. I thought we could start just by telling folks who maybe don’t know about it a little bit about The Paranormal Podcast, some of the history to it. What I’m particularly interested in is your overall perspective on covering the paranormal, if you have any thoughts on that.


145. Stanley Krippner Lends Scientific Weight to Paranormal Dreams

Professor of Psychology and well-respected researcher Dr. Stanley Krippner explains how his research supports the reality of precognitive dreams. Join Skeptiko guest host and paranormal dream expert Andy Paquette for an interview with legendary psychology researcher Dr. Stanley Krippner..  During the interview Dr. Krippner discusses whether or not the evidence for paranormal dreaming is well established: Andy Paquette: You’ve been studying dreams for the most part for the majority of your career. Do you feel that the case for precognitive dreaming is proven? Dr. Stanley Krippner: No, I don’t think anything in science is proven. Science is always open-ended. There’s always a chance of revising scientific theory based on new data. Andy Paquette: Of course, that would work both ways, as well, wouldn’t it? So what you’d really be talking about is what does the currently available information indicate? Dr. Stanley Krippner: That’s right. Andy Paquette: And in your case, from what you’ve seen, what do you think the currently available information indicates? Dr. Stanley Krippner: I think you can make a strong case for precognitive dreams. Stanley Krippner's Website Play it: Download MP3 (35:00 min.) Read it: Alex Tsakiris: Today we’re joined by Andy Paquette, who is a former Skeptiko guest and is also the author of Dreamer: 20 Years of Psychic Dreams and How They Changed My Life. Now, Andy is joining us today because he recently attended the 2011 Study of Dreams Conference in The Netherlands, where he was also a presenter. While he was there he was nice enough to snag a couple of interviews for us and he’s here to share them with us. So Andy, welcome and tell us what you’ve been up to.


144. Lynne McTaggart Reports on Science at the Brink of the Spiritual

Author of The Bond explains how our scientific understanding of human connection leads to spirituality. Join Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris for an interview with Lynne McTaggart best-selling author of, The Bond.  During the interview Ms. Mc Taggart discusses how science can give us a greater understanding of the spiritual: Alex Tsakiris: On Skeptiko we’ve found that a deep examination of many of scientific questions quickly leads to questions of the spiritual. Questions of God, questions of the afterlife, questions about the meaning of consciousness. You don’t seem to go there very much. Why not? Lynne McTaggart: Because I wanted to argue in terms of science. I wanted to say we’re operating against nature. We’re operating against science, emerging science that is coming to the fore. I believe the science—I always look at scientific elements and I sit probably where science and spirituality meet because the science that I write about is very spiritual in a way. If you want to look at it this way, I’m just simply looking at it from the point of view of saying we’ve been living against nature. We’ve been living according to the wrong story and that’s why we’re in the mess we’re in. Alex Tsakiris: When we enter into the materialistic, atheistic, science game that’s been dictated and then we find that it no longer holds together, I think it behooves us to take a step back and re-examine things.  For example, you make a good case for the science interconnectedness, not just at a  subatomic level, but at a level we can feel and experience.  Don’t we then need to look our great wisdom traditions and notice that they’ve been saying the same thing all along? Lynne McTaggart: I think that’s what my books try to do all the time. They just provide the scientific basis for what spiritual traditions have been saying for centuries. In a sense, my books are always the science of religion. And yes, we have to understand. You have to take it back to the whole idea of unity infusing everything that we are and everything that we do. That’s a very spiritual idea. Lynne Mc Taggart's Website Play it: Download MP3 (40:00 min.) Read it: Alex Tsakiris: Today we welcome journalist, part-time consciousness researcher, and multiple best-selling author, Lynne McTaggart to Skeptiko. Lynne, thanks so much for joining me today.