A quarter-century ago, DR provided a highly detailed chronicle of
the neo-astrology test-backfire (& its coverup) by the
for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal
(CSICOP: www.csicop.org), in his now-easily-Google-able 1981 article,
[All citations here to the article use the pagination of the 32pp offprint distributed by FATE.
If consulting the original FATE 1981 October issue, merely add 66 to the page-number of any reference-citation here.]
Anti-Cult Movement's Embedded
DR had long since moved past this unpleasantness (since it was hardly an experience anyone would wish to relive, and dwelling on such a panorama of human frailty cannot be healthy) — when he increasingly found that CSICOP csuckups (& dupes) are continuing to specially internet-post ever-more reality-detached false excuses and desperate libels, to try explaining-away the embarrassing and unregenerate — albeit valuably revealing — misbehavior of CSICOP in connexion with the founding “Scientific Investigation” of the vaunted Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal —
the infamous foulup→suppression→threats→lies→smears spiral-down-quackmire that attended CSICOP's 1975→∞ testing of neo-astrologer Michel Gauquelin's alleged “Mars effect”, the occultist claim that sports ability is correlated with the astrological house the Sun resides in, at an individual's birth.
Since CSICOP was always just an establishment goon-squad, the sTARBABY tale is simply another chapter in one of history's most persistent lessons: establishments that are publicly-oriented (i.e., we're not here primarily discussing academically-serious bodies like the National Academy of Sciences) are by their very nature characterized by certain inter-related features. These include: power-obsession, intellectual rigidity, vindictiveness, lying, suppression, and (above all) lack of any principle, besides the Vicar of Bray's.
One who investigates the sTARBABY controversy via internet will quickly see that virtually nobody outside the CSICOP cult lauds its sTARBABY actions, since it's easy to see who told the truth in John-Dean-esque detail. CSICOP long since lost this dispute, but shares the mentality of other leaders one might think of, in being unable to admit it — meanwhile pretending to be the very exemplification of rationality and integrity.
CSICOPpers' main there-was-not-either-a-coverup argument is that
dissenters' articles were published (in some cases, importantly
and-or fatally too-late
[which is a kind of censorship]) — without noting several items:
[a] CSICOP's continued smearing and lying show that not only did a coverup occur but — it's still occurring — three decades later, and counting.
[b] Councillors' several bribes and threats (micro-detailed in “sTARBABY” and never denied by CSICOP, for a reason well known to the perps) constitute a slightly more important coverup issue — second only to the fact that the guilty parties still rule CSICOP with utter — almost sneering — impunity.
[They have selfishly confused political survival with achievement, when their main achievement has been a unique disgrace of rationalism. The mark of their integrity persists over the decades. A 1997 Skinq article on the “Mars Effect” concluded it didn't exist, without noting that DR had in 1975 warned Kurtz it didn't and was based upon corrupt data. Indeed, the article, while citing K, Z, & A, pretends DR (who computed “their” test) never existed.
The paper is posted at www.skepsis.nl/mars.html.]
[c] Does publishing a dissenter's article show CSICOP's no-coverup purity if said article is countered with printed sand-in-the-eyes pseudo-science by those ruling (and-or being rewarded by) CSICOP, while the dissenter is being threatened?
CSICOPs' disgraceful fantasy-alibi
junk is frequently augmented by
and ad hominem
diversions from the simple facts DR published a 1/4 century ago.
How can CSICOP claim that there was never-ever-ever a coverup of the sTARBABY affair and-it's-old-news-anyway? — even as its own dishonest and vicious slander about this history continues (and has indeed all-along primarily constituted that very coverup), just as thriving and current as a generation ago & probably much more wide-spread via internet. Can a Committee selling a repulsive, shyster-level defense-document called “Crybaby” (still posted by Paul Kurtz & Free snicker Inquiry at
http://www.freeinquiry.com/skeptic/resources/articles/klass-crybaby.htm) even try to claim it isn't deliberately using character-assassination? And: hey, aren't crybabies the sort who run away and hide from confrontation? — which has been CSICOP's not DR's response to sTARBABY. Classic psychological projection.
[CSICOP's ad-hominem-generating delusion (stoked by Kurtz & A.Randi): DR's existence is the problem with the sTARBABY saga. This nuttiness crested with a 2005/8/10 A.Randi-triggered phonecall to DR's wife, inspired by the further wish-fantasy that DR had died. (Evidently some ecstatic CSUCKOPs had taken seriously — and reported to headquarters — DR's “Epitaph”.) Silly dream. Yes, DR will eventually disappear. (Though his scholarly achievements will probably not entirely disappear.) But the sTARBABY stain will never die. Indeed, CSICOP's cultist pathology has so far ensured that the stain has instead monotonically grown. And set.]
Rationalist DR urges the reader to netsurf for the slander —
and to get down far enough into this muck (most especially
to perceive fully the depths to which the 2nd-hand slander-machine
CSICOP-Chairman-for-Life Paul Kurtz has sunk.
Also to see the demented communal portrayal of DR, showing
at the very least the isolation of the slanderers from realization
of DR's status among genuine scientists and scholars.
(Note also that while DR cites all his detractors' websites [not just out of fairness but to demonstrate the quality of his enemies' ethics and intellect], not even the most professedly neutral “rationalist” accounts of the sTARBABY affair have so-far told their readers where to find DR's website: evidently, CSICOP rightly understands that, vis-à-vis sTARBABY, the more one knows about the real DR, the more obvious the truth.
[Note fellow-atheist Kurtz' insensitivity to analogy or empathy here. The “mainstream” medium shies away from citing websites doubting god's existence for the very same reason: the more one is exposed to realities, the less likely delusions will be believed.]
Also: not a single CSICOPper who's attacked DR lately has ever phoned DR to get his side of anything — because insecure cultists never do that.) All of this is symptomatic of the same careerist poison that originally corrupted CSICOP's and Chairman Rug's reputation for honesty among knowledgeable onlookers, and has by now lodged as irremovably as arsenic within the organization's cultish body.
CSICOP's Grand-Theft Smear:
The sTARBABY affair proper will be dealt with below. However, it's worth taking a short time-out to look at CSICOP tactics, especially since seeing-through botched ad-hominem attacks requires no scientific background whatever, by contrast to the sTARBABY-coverup's statistical trickery. So, we examine a smear that's as dumb and careless as it is deliberately vicious and dishonest.
(On the vile level of Bush-Rove attacks [on McCain in 2000; in 2004, upon Kerry's record; and in 2006, on his careless joke], in that the perps positively know that the target isn't guilty — but, for a Higher-Purpose, they figure the lie is a useful tactic anyway.)
During the above-recommended net-searches, you will readily find repetition of a CSICOP lie that DR stole travel-funds, a lie that CSICOP has itself (Skinq 1981-1982 Winter p.66) put on sale for (if it sold over 40 copies) more net cash than it's mock-arguing about, in peddling CSICOP Councillor P.Klass' “Crybaby” (which 1st broadcast this attack). In truth, the only genuine theft here was Chairman Kurtz' stealing from then-CSICOP-Councillor DR his rightful travel-funding (to the annual CSICOP Councillors-meeting, to confer, debate with, and warn Council at a key juncture in CSICOP history) — when debate-ducker Kurtz withheld DR's full 1978 + 1979 travel-expense total (c.$230 + c.$400 = c.$630), sending only a $350 cheque despite repeated requests for the entire amount. Since DR cashed the cheque, while still out $280 ($230 of it just for ultra-cheap cross-country 1978 travel — even neglecting food, etc) but didn't go to the 1979 meeting, CSICOP charges he stole $120 ($350 − $230). Comments:
If DR had committed a shameful act, it is curious that he put a public spotlight on his “theft” before Council did! — when “sTARBABY” (p.16 footnote, pp.27-28) revealed that DR had been punitively (idem p.13 vs. p.14) not-reimbursed for his cross-country 1978 travel. (DR could have added: cross-country 1977 travel to NYC meeting, countless phone-calls 1975-1979, among other CSICOP-related expenses and work that represented ordmag $1000 in losses.) DR had in 1979 vainly requested re-imbursement for 1978 & 1979 travel, stating (doubtless to Council's can-we-be-this-lucky? delight) that he would not come to the 1979 meeting unless the total for both was received ahead of time (a reasonable caution, given Kurtz' 1978 reneging — and his 1979 rage at DR's heresy on PK's Gauquelin project) — so Kurtz cutely sent roughly (but not quite) the cost for the cross-country 1979 trip, not the total. (Details: “sTARBABY” pp.27-28.)
Can CSICOP produce a copy of any document
showing that it asked DR to re-imburse CSICOP (for a $120 fiscal discrepancy)
during the two years that passed
between the heinous Grand Theft (1979)
and the miraculously-timed 1981 CSICOP-bookkeeping Revelation
of it (allegedly in CSICOP's suddenly-un-brain-dead Buffalo office),
which resulted in Kurtz' unleashing this diversionary smear IMMEDIATELY
following the 1981 publication of “sTARBABY”?
[Has the Jungian synchronicity here hyper-ironically pseudo-justified the “P” in CSICOP: has our Committee humiliated its sponsors by embedding a Paranormal claim into its salvation-by-smear tactics?]
Since no such document ever existed, we may ask: is it perhaps less unreasonable to wonder whether a character of Kurtz' sneakiness (see, e.g., the double-cross at “sTARBABY” p.13 vs. p.14) might carry on a 2 year non-mention of the $120 discrepancy with canny deliberateness, figuring that if DR were notified of this loose-end and sent Kurtz the difference: CSICOP would gain $120 but lose the only hook PK could think of, on which to hang a charge of dishonesty by DR.
[By this point in our saga, it won't be news that Kurtz is no genius. But one might suppose that even he would realize why his ploy has backfired (staining his own and not DR's rep), obviously achieving the very opposite of his intent because: if Kurtz had credible evidence of serious DR theft (or indeed any misbehavior that mattered throughout the sTARBABY history), why would he have to resort to this not-credible, not-even-serious nit? Backed, let us not forget, by the whole Council, which signed the published Skinq statement selling “Crybaby” (though cautiously not actually signing it), which featured the Grand Theft.]
Is it CSICOP's contention that DR spent several years (1975-1978)
voluntarily performing highly specialized mathematical projects for CSICOP,
which constituted what were (at that time) CSICOP's
only reliably-computed astronomical investigations
(never once requesting a cent for these, though P.Kurtz mailed DR
a few unsolicited $100 cheques [in token payment for the work] during
PK's most desperate period: “sTARBABY” p.9, or [before 1978]
for travel costing hundreds of dollars) — all so he could keep
lying-in-wait, to finally pounce in 1979 and swindle Paul Kurtz
out of a contextually trifling amount (barely $100)?
NOTE WELL: CSICOP's Council (by announcing Councillor P.Klass' ravings
would unanimously have you believe so.
(Given DR's 1976-1978 generosity in time & effort to advance CSICOP's titular goal and to protect it from technical and ethical disasters, plus his years of spending his own funds [asking for no recompense at all] as a contribution to the CSICOP effort [so long as he saw it as a worthy charity, an illusion that had vanished by 1979]: it was pretty difficult to portray him as a greedy thief — which is why the transparently desperate resort to a $120 trifle inadvertently reveals the very reverse of the Kurtz smear-machine's intent.)
[All of which brings us up against the question that DR asks of all the eager smearers unleashed by the spectrum of phonies he's exposed over the years: who's really being hurt by such low tactics? In each of these cases, DR asks: which side is increasingly respected for genuine creativity and frankness? On the other hand: which side is ethically disemboweling itself by ever-more-transparent careerist priorities? Does the latter party seriously believe that such spiritual suicide can go on for decades without cost? Without an internal corruption that lingers forever as a chronic-disease, burrowing into one's withering conscience? Without knawing lifetime-fear of sudden new-evidence embarrassments? — and thus the horrid truth's realization by those trusting souls one has persistently lied to and relayed fantastic smears through? Question: If providence is a natural by-product of intelligence, then (even aside from ethical considerations): just how bright are those who choose such paths? See “sTARBABY” p.24.]
Ironic contrast: nearly all of the DR-slandering Councillors have — via grants, books, etc — cashed-in bigtime (for amounts whose total is obviously hundreds of times larger than DR's Grand Theft) from their allegedly-virtuous crusade against kooks. DR never even tried to do so, since that was not his understanding of CSICOP's purpose.
[The rock-bottom reason for CSICOP's decades of smearing DR is to cover up a scandal (even while denying a cover-up ever existed), an embarrassment which revealed the reportorial dishonesty endemic to CSICOP's world of popsci-income-über-alles & technical duffer-dum. In brief: “sTARBABY” might lower some fiscal inflows.]
It's a propagandist's white↔black challenge to invert such wide contrasts in both acquisitiveness and integrity — but, then, one of CSICOP's own longtime Councillors has privately laughed off CSICOP as primarily a low-class propaganda-mill.
When DR cashed Kurtz' cheque ($350) towards a cross-country trip for the 1979 meeting, he was obviously not attempting theft but was thereby [a] ensuring re-imbursement for his 1978 loss, even while [b] still (ibid p.28) urging CSICOP's transmission of the rest of funds (c.$280: mostly the cost of his trip to the 1978 meeting) that would yet be required if he was to go to the 1979 Council meeting. DR was prepared to make that trip if the money arrived, but did not wish to find himself still out hundreds of dollars (net) to an increasingly untrustworthy-looking (ibid, e.g., pp.14, 18, 20) Chairman, if he went and then Kurtz continued to refuse to pay up. (Only the lowest type of cultists could transform such caution into a “theft” of $120 = $350 − $230.) Kurtz didn't pay — and (knowing all the expenses DR had borne on his own for years in CSICOP service) naturally had no grounds for requesting the $120 difference back. And he didn't.
Why was Kurtz playing such games? Simple: he was planning to boot DR from the Council at this private meeting — so he naturally preferred playing all-ways-coy about funding DR's travel to that same meeting. (Just one more example [of many] of arbitrariness that ill-becomes an allegedly rationalist icon.) So: exactly whose dishonesty is revealed by the whole non-sent cheque incident?
Considering careerist Kurtz' wealthy life-style and his own
fiscal power-plays (involving
hundreds of thousands of dollars) that caused his sometime
with the American Humanist Association,
this whole neon-red herring is a mote-vs-beam hyper-farce.
[DR was known as the most naïvely-idealistic-unacquisitive of all CSICOP's active Councillors, never once trying to make a buck out of what he foolishly regarded as an anti-exploitation rationalist mission. (Even while his fellow Councillors were hustling grants and publicity-schemes worth tens of thousands of dollars. Indeed, this is exactly why DR had no persuasiveness among CSICOP's publicity-equals-money Councillors, who went into full Pavlovian salivation when Abell & [then-]prof B.Singer offered them chapters in their upcoming Scribner's book, Science & the Paranormal.) In the same tradition, DR has for years sent out his journal DIO as a public service free of charge to prominent institutions and libraries. So it is rather weirdly comic to watch Kurtz of all people attempting to portray him as fiscally grabby. Contrast-query: does Kurtz' Prometheus Press give away ITS most special contribution to civilization?]
Has anyone repeating CSICOP's smear bothered to check the record
to find out whether CSICOP was any more prescient in character-prediction
than in astronomical investigations? How has DR's putative
played out since sTARBABY? Regarding integrity:
DIO has never had a problem admitting its own
(very rare) mistakes
immediately, openly, repeatedly, prominently, humbly, and thoroughly
(see the small [nonetheless quite redundant] list of these errors at
DIO 11.2 
p.31 n.2), with grateful thanks to our correctors, plus strong self-criticism
— even to the point of
(In huge print, right on the cover of his own journal:
DIO 11.2 ;
see also, e.g., ibid n.21.)
[Maybe it's just a side-issue that (despite occasional oblique forays) the great majority of DR's academic output has been in genuine scholarship, not in the CSICOP world of pop-sci desperados and kook-mud-wrasslers.
DIO has produced a stream of academic and ethical contributions, discoveries, and analyses, ensuring it an academic status and immortality that is not even in the same galaxy as CSICOP's. (Which helps explain why not one of this avalanche of dozens of scholarly contributions is ever mentioned when CSICOP postings discuss DR.) Might as well cite some of them here (just click to brief summary below), since the average CSICOPper-reader will likely not be motivated to seek the facts elsewhere — not that any of it will change the cemental mind that CSICOP is supposed to be opposing, not emulating.
The fact that DR was right on the science of the Gauquelin test's backfiring
seems generally stipulated-to even by most of the wackiest CSICOP cultists.
(Hardly deniable, after DR's 1981 revelation of the fact
[“sTARBABY” pp.22, 25-26]
that the majority of CSICOP's own hitherto-private referee reports
had taken his side on the matter.)
to this day, CSICOP apologists have promoted a wide-spread new myth and-or lie
that despite admitted scientific disaster,
there was NOT a coverup.
[This alibi lately seems to be evolving into: well, OK, but it didn't last long. Yet another lie: it's still going on.]
Which is a pretty daring hoax to attempt, when you've repeatedly threatened the party who insisted on honest reportage, and then ejected him to make sure that the rest of the cult understood the penalty for any future attempts at similar watchdog-integrity.
Probably the most unevadable evidence of coverup (since it's right in print) is CSICOP's publication (Skinq 1980 Fall p.85) of L.Jerome's congratulations to CSICOP on its sTARBABY project. (The 2nd time Kurtz had used a Jerome letter for KZA-“success” self-congratulation. Earlier 1978 incident: “sTARBABY” p.11.) The letter Kurtz published of course insulted DR. I.e., boot an honest critic, and then use your ill-gotten editorial power to dance-stomp on his (supposed) grave. This is nakedly power-mad, vindictive, see-what-happens-to-my-critics Kurtz. It's also HCAndersonly-naked dumb Kurtz: without that utterly outrageous, gratutious, upside-down-world letter, the “sTARBABY” article might never have come to pass — for this supposedly-last-word letter made real all DR's worst predictions as to what CSICOP under Kurtz would turn into. (In spite of Council's repeated assurances [e.g., “sTARBABY” p.22] to DR that it would rein him in. Fat chance.)
[Note that the present DR postings similarly might not have happened had not CSICOP cultists posted fantastic slanders (triggered by Kurtz' promotion of “Crybaby” et-ilk). Would a rationalist icon (or even a smart crook) throw mud and needlessly awaken a sleeping challenger?]
Note: CSICOP's sole “evidence” against the existence of
a coverup has never been anything but: CSICOPpers'
longtime-unanimous insistence that it couldn't be true. (Which borrows
anti-reality tactic of the very superstitions CSICOP supposedly opposes.)
As if CURRENT lockstep-cultism disproves PRIOR lockstep-cultism?
Anyone doubting that CSICOP's behavior was a dishonest and cowardly disgrace ought to take just 1 minute to read the details of DR's 1979/4/19 note to CSICOP — written during the height of Kurtz' dodgings: “sTARBABY” p.22.
[Note typo: for “no-compromise” read “no-comprehension”.]
Thus the following moderately detailed summary — which may have to be augmented in the future (DR genuinely hopes not), depending upon whether anyone else of CSICOP's originators cares finally to own up to the truth of the case.
DR isn't holding his breath.
In 1975, SUNYAB's Paul Kurtz published in The Humanist
(which he then edited) the famous 186-scientists-condemn-astrology statement.
It was a good idea, but Kurtz unfortunately
bundled it with an article which attacked the French neoastrologer
Michel Gauquelin (G) on an invalid basis.
G threated suit; so, in panic, Kurtz agreed to test G's theory,
using the genuine statistical expertise of
SUNYAB statistician Marvin Zelen (later Harvard & Jimmy Fund)
and apparent astronomical expertise of UCLA astronomer George Abell.
Simultaneously, Kurtz and others (including DR) formed
the Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal
(“CSICOP”, most wisely pronounced:
“SickCop” or “SuckUp”.)
[Note: DIO's 1st document on sTARBABY was posted on 2006/6/21, referring to CSICOP as the “Keystone CSICOPs” and “SickCop”. Immediately at the next Council meeting (2006/9/23), CSICOP dropped the “COP” part of its name, citing as its excuse that the original name had caused some to confuse it with pro-paranormal groups. (An alleged factor that had obtained for the last 30 years without causing a change.) If CSICOP can't even tell the truth about something this trivial…. So: CSICOP [as DR will often continue to call it] has seen this site. But has so far been afraid to tell its audience where to find it. DIO suggestion: retain the old name's 2nd “C”. (In honor of CSIC's yet-lingering inability to face the obvious: that 30y of personal attacks on DR IS part of the sTARBABY coverup — whose very existence CSICOP laughably continues to deny exists. “CSIC” triggers the right pronunciation — and it so neatly stands for “Committee for Smearing Its Critics”)]
In 1977, CSICOP started its journal, Skeptical Inquirer (“Skinq”), to — as DR naïvely thought — continue the fight against growing world irrationality.
Kurtz, Zelen, & Abell — henceforth “KZA” —
were soon running their 1976-published test specifically
on G's strongest-looking claim: that natal positions of Mars
had a statistically significant correlation with high sports ability.
As a positional astronomer (Abell was not),
and a member of CSICOP's founders and board, DR repeatedly
warned CSICOP Chairman Kurtz
(e.g., 1975/11/15 typed report, solicited for and written for
Humanist publication — the key warning in which was
finally published by Skinq in 1977)
and his fellow researchers, Abell
(telephone 1975/12/6) & Zelen (telephone 1976/3/8) against
running their Kurtz-Zelen-Abell (KZA) proposed test as designed.
[During this period and later, DR emphasized these symptoms to KZA and pointed out that the “Mars Effect” was simply astrology under a fancy name.]
DR's reasons for caution (all repeatedly transmitted to KZA):
DR was suspicious that a natural effect, which the trio thought explained the correlation, was unable to do so.
If the sample was prebiassed, disaster awaited. Note symptoms of bias DR cited in his 1975/11/15 report & in Skeptical Inquirer [Skinq] 2.1  p.81.
While plunging into an astrology test that ultimately dragged the names of some of the world's leading scholars into association with fraud and lying character-assassination, KZA not only didn't know the relevant astronomical math — they also didn't know the 1st thing about the astrological tradition, e.g., that the two celestial sectors [1&4], for which G was claiming above-chance correlations, were effectively the Ascendant and Midheaven, which have consistently been astrologers' fave celestial spots at least since Hipparchos' 130 BC Commentary — over 2100 years ago. I.e., the sTARBABY history was no accident. It initially required mere arrogance, ignorance, technical inability — before evolving into bribing, threatening, suppression, lying, back-ground snoopery, and smearing. In short, max-macho-stupidity plunged CSICOP and its cheering-on pop-science establishment into a mess that would inevitably evolve into max-disgrace.
Having already been for years involved in exposing fraud
(e.g., Skinq 2.1  pp.69-70 & 73,
a journal which KZA presumably read)
in astrology's patron saint C.Ptolemy, DR was wary of trusting
an astrologer's sampling. (And gave specific statistical
for suspicion in the Mars Effect case;
as well as sph trig & statistical analyses of Ptolemy's fakery:
ibid p.73 n.6.) Nonetheless, KZA plunged ahead
(“sTARBABY” p.5) in utter — and revealing
— innocence of and-or [Abell] competitive contempt-for DR's years of
astronomical publications in the world's leading professional journals,
including his discovery of planetary perturbation-amplitude as a function
of distance (MN Royal Astr Soc 147:177f ), as well as
inducing the most accurate estimate
of Pluto's (not-ready-for-planethood) mass
anyone published until direct confirmation of Pluto's tinyness
(1976-1978, i.e., at the very time both of CSICOP's Expert-Astronomer clowns
[OG&GA] were scoffing at DR expertise).
KZA spurned all DR warnings. Thereby ending up wasting dozens of pages,
years of time, and eons of rationalist credibility — fruitlessly
smacking their dukes ever deeper into a lost-cause-from-the-start sTARBABY.
[Abell finally became utterly unhinged. (See his 1978/10/5 Jaws phonecall [“sTARBABY” p.14], which he was ashamed of 'til the day he died. Apparently, this impulsiveness was not unique. An L.A. reporter described him to DR as tempermentally ready-fire-aim. Which is a succinct summing up of the K&A mentality that blindly plunged into a test without ever for a moment considering possible risks to the rationalist movement.) This, out of long-building frustration at his own embarrassing math-limitations, plus the inexplicable-to-him 1975-1979 delay in his cut-throat-pushing DR out of his path onto the CSICOP Council. Though Abell had once been a contributing researcher [still justly remembered for his discovery of Abell clusters, though this had virtually nothing to do with sophisticated positional-astronomy math], he had by the mid-1970s turned his ambitions rather to pop-media. Also revenue from his textbook. [Which includes a sample horoscope that shows he wasn't even familiar with lunar parallax — an effect most astronomers (besides National Geographic assassin-consultants: DIO 1.1  ‡4 Note C; [p.29]) have known about since the 2nd century BC.] Abell's consistently offensive attitude towards DR included a rabid and long-unkillable suspicion (who's insane, here?) that some secret party was doing DR's astronomical work for him!! — which (externally) calmed down only upon his success in getting DR eliminated from Council in GA's own favor. Let's just sum it up by observing that Abell never made DR's mistake of seeing CSICOP as a cooperative idealistic venture of non-competitive comrades.]
I note that DR's [a] warning of bias-symptoms in G's results and [b] pointing out G's astrologer-background are attacked in “Crybaby” as the sort of evil DR bigotry and ad-hominem approach that justified DR's ejection. (Albeit much later, of an odd sudden.) Question: Does anyone offer a prize for new world's records in resentful-ineducability?
[“Crybaby” & CSICOP attempt to justify censoring DR's 1978/9/18 report (and booting DR) because of an “ad hominem” attack on Gauquelin in this report. (Read the “Crybaby” quotes of DR's alleged “ad hominems” and see if they are anything but factual. Klass even calls the fact that G had done horoscopes “irrelevant”.) Note that DR's implications of untrustworthiness in G's work made fools of CSICOP's investigators, who'd entered into their G-project while rebuffing repeated DR warnings of this. It is, needless to add, tear-drainingly touching to ponder CSICOP's censorial concern for G's welfare, but one would think that a “skeptical” mind (which CSICOP is supposed to be devoted to be internationally encouraging) might wonder: was this sweet censorship primarily intended to protect G? Or CSICOP?]
During my 1st contact with Kurtz (phone: 1975/11/3), he urged that
(within c.2 weeks, to beat a publishing deadline!)
send him a paper on the Mars Effect
(for the American Humanist Association's Humanist,
which he then edited), on which he sent me reams of background material.
In the DR report (sent 11/15 but not published,
possibly due to Abell's helpful-proprietary advice)
DR instead proposed a far simpler test-challenge
(which CSICOP has still never adopted, since doing so now
would imply which Councillor knew what he was doing, all along):
could Gauquelin simply show practical value in his purported discovery,
by using horoscopy to regularly beat the posted odds on sports events?
(See Skinq 2.1  p.82.) The KZA test
went on (& ate page-space) seemingly-interminably
up into 1978 in the Humanist; when the test
eventually came out in favor of Gauquelin, DR then attempted
to keep CSICOP from being damaged by association
with the Humanist in the KZA-test quackmire —
emphasizing to Council that up-to-now
(a temporal point
deceitfully omitted in Council-hawked “Crybaby”)
CSICOP was clear of the mess, since only the Humanist
had run KZA's stuff on G, so far.
But Kurtz was by this time in so deep into the KZA test (and so
— as if his rep would rise or fall on
the awesome achievement of actually beating a neo-astrologer!)
that he was determined to keep on suppressing dissent (from early on
and right through: “sTARBABY” pp.4, 8 footnote, etc, etc),
socking away at his sTARBABY
and through epochal and demented
egoism dragged CSICOP (and thus by horrific association, the names of CSICOP's
many eminent [if windowdressing] scientist Fellows) into the neo-astrology
disgrace, a fateful mistake which his trio then compounded by attempting
(via standard bad-loser sample-slicing&dicing statistical Jimmying)
to pretend that absolutely
nothing had gone wrong.
[Deliberate sham on Kurtz' part. Contra CSICOP's party-line post-disaster one-eighty (from Councillors-are-genii to Kurtz-&-other-Councillors-didn't-understand-anything!: “sTARBABY” e.g., pp.21-22), Kurtz knew perfectly well he'd lost the KZA Challenge. He'd been in visible and repeatedly audible (almost pathetic) agony over incoming Mars Effect test-data (e.g., “sTARBABY” p.10), including in the presence of DR and his wife Barbara during PK's 1978 April visits with us, back when we were close friends and supposedly soldiers-together. (We had initially bonded partly because Kurtz [like DR] is an atheist, creditably not part of the “soft” wing of humanism.) Details: “sTARBABY” p.12.]
Such papal reluctance to admit fallibility appears to come bundled, standard, with institutions' moguls. (See similarly “Contributions” and “Germs”.)
[Testers' finger-pointing attempts to blame others for CSICOP's neo-astrology mess constitute among the funnier scenes in “sTARBABY”: see, e.g., pp.18&20.]
Though deliberately having no rôle in sampling,
DR was the astronomical and statistical computer
of its entire 2nd neoastrology test. The successful one.
And was paid for the work by CSICOP cheque.
[Note: CSICOP's cheating on reportage of the 1st test was not only dishonest — it also (as DR anticipated: “sTARBABY” p.22) ensured that all DR's work on the 2nd test was wasted, since the (other) kooks would naturally emulate CSICOP by sample-splitting the valid (2nd) test into seeming meaninglessness, too. Which of course is just what has happened ever since…. Note that current CSICOP alibiing emphasizes that the Committee didn't fudge DATA. So? — is it more ethical to fudge the Challenge's RULES instead? — by post-test sample-splitting?]
Drawing on DR's scientific expertise only became necessary because the bigname-astronomers whom Kurtz had (for two frustrating years) vainly counted upon to do the job (UCLA astronomer Abell & Harvard historian Owen Gingerich) had of course never been able to get it done.
[With typical CSICOP integrity, “Crybaby” attempts to explain-away this embarrassment by citing a Gingerich “leave”. Comments:
[a] Klass silently ignores Abell's non-functionality.
[b] Kurtz was goosing both Abell and Gingerich for far longer than Klass implies (see “sTARBABY” pp.9-10), and got nothing from either — until long after DR had already instantly transmitted all the results. Abell had been looking at G's European data since 1975 (ibid p.9), and data on the 1976 Jan-Feb Humanist Challenge had been coming in since that year, and data for the 2nd test were arriving in 1977. Yet neither Abell nor Gingerich had successfully computed a single Mars sector when Kurtz finally in late 1978 asked DR to do the job.
[c] Klass never mentions that Gingerich's people were in fact at work on the computations. Were all OG's people on leave for a year? My, but Harvard must be generous.]
This time (since the sample was unbiassed by either side), the test naturally came out against astrology's validity. But simultaneously with victory in the 2nd test, CSICOP was attempting to cheat its way out of its loss of the 1st test (above) — using post-hoc sample-splitting.
So, DR pushed for open admission of the truth.
Result: CSICOP at its 1978 meeting instituted an ejection-rule for Councillors
— which the magician James Randi, sometimes known as The Amusing Randi
(DR's self-purported friend&protector [read:
referred to as “the Rawlins rule”,
“drink the Kool-Aid, Dennis”
(and CSICOP thinks it's anti-cult?),
later boasting of how well such repulsive tactics had kept
“valuable” DR “in line” —
so that no-one-would-ever-know
of brand-new-Randi-pals Kurtz&Abell's fumblings.
[Good job, Randi.] See below; also
(Notice that these cloddishly threatening remarks — in Kurtz'
and other CSICOPers' presence — were never denied in any CSICOP
“reply” to DR's charges, probably because too many persons were
in the room and because more than one CSICOP Councillor taped conversations,
that anyone misreporting a CSICOP-related conversation
is taking a hell of a risk. One more reason why the various devastating
in “sTARBABY” carried enough weight to terrify
CSICOP's smearers into fear of denying them, and into running away
from such substantive matters by trying to create arguments
about side-trivia (see “Crybaby”) and into running away from
their own 1981 press-conference.)
[Council's behavior clumsily betrayed its guilt with an obviousness that showed how little its members (other than Ray Hyman) understood the cultishness of its own people. To Kurtz' elated relief, rationalism's vaunted “skeptics” proved to be as nutty as their Enemy. Almost none wanted to have to face the obvious: CSICOP's Leader [a] had disgraced The Cause — and [b] was so determined to hold on to his personal power, that he did not care how low were the means used to effect that over-riding end. (See, too, equally-surprised BJClinton and his equally-indiscriminate grovellingly servile Liberal-lobby sup-pliants at DIO 8  ‡5 §H [pp.50-55].)]
CSICOP's & Randi's hysteria was in reaction to DR's succinct oldie
(in response to CSICOP's attempts to
him off with a section-chairmanship):
“A man who can't be bribed, can't be trusted.” Result: CSICOP ejected from its board — and systematically smeared as insane — the astronomer (DR) who had warned against the botched test and performed the competent one. And simultaneously replaced him with the astronomer (Abell) who had co-overseen the bungled 1st and couldn't compute the 2nd one (for 2y) until phoning DR (1978/10/5) to find out how.
[I.e., he couldn't even re-compute the 2nd test (until phoning), despite Kurtz having sent him all the answers — over DR's specific request that this not be done, so DR's and Abell's results would be independent, a common-sense precaution that has been standard procedure in multiple astronomical computation at least since Newcomb & Oppolzer in the 19th century. (Intelligent procedure meant nothing to Kurtz, since he was in an unceasing panic for years over the G-test, and always frantically sought speed over propriety. Priorities which, of course, are exactly those that got him into the neo-astrology mess in the 1st place.)]
CSICOP actually believed that it could do this and be just as trusted as before. So who's crazy?
CSICOP is supposed to be fighting evasive behavior; but if you want to experience evasion at its mouth-frothing wildest, then enjoy (on the internet: easy via Google) the logic of CSICOP boardmember, attack-animal, and diversion-artist Phil Klass (CSICOP's own Ann Coulter), as he tries to explain all this away in his “Crybaby”. Phil wants you to understand that: CSICOP's ejecting the whistleblower (at an unannounced election) had absolutely NOTHING to do with the ejectee's insistence on honest science reportage about CSICOP's bungled KZA test. (For a Roman Church parallel, see DIO 4.3  p.132 n.33.)
Unfortunately for this fantasy, CSICOP has never been able to produce
a single document in which Kurtz urges DR's expulsion, until
less than one week
before the 1978/12/6 press-conference
where he was terrified of DR's potential public dissent.
On the final page of “sTARBABY”, DR mentioned that
at the 1980/12/12 CSICOP Council meeting, a Councillor had
agreed that DR's expulsion had never been considered until this time.
But since this was all verbal, the point was (typical of CSICOP's integrity)
never publicly admitted — and was then explicitly denied
in the Council's unanimously-signed,
knowingly false document
(published at Skinq 1981-1982 Winter p.66)
and at least implicitly denied in all other CSICOP smear-material.
[Only Ray Hyman could honestly say that he wanted DR off CSICOP before the spectre of open DR reportage on sTARBABY loomed. He & DR openly agreed on that — which made it all the weirder to find him signing the above-cited document which pretended that this applied to the whole Council. But then such disjuncts are common in cults. E.g., the first person to warn DR that Kurtz was acquisitive, and not excessively bright or honest [DR is embarrassed to acknowledge that this was well before DR realized the truth], was no other than PK's [off-again-on-again] pal A.Randi. Another DR-enlightener was an old friend connected with educational TV who phoned Kurtz to try putting CSICOP on the air — and will NEVER forget the encounter. Sharing DR's understandable astonishment when learning the true character of this university-professor of philosophy (who is occasionally presented in the media as a “Leader” of the rationalist movement), DR's friend has recounted the central exchange (after brief preliminaries) on several occasions (e.g., 1979/1/18 & 2004/12/8).
Reacting to the proposal of putting CSICOP on educational-television,
Kurtz: “What's in for me?”
Caller: “You mean money?”
Unfortunately for CSICOP, proof of the truth regarding the timing and causes behind DR's expulsion (“sTARBABY” p.18) has survived in hard and contemporary documentary form, as we are just about to see. (Again: note that CSICOP has still produced zero pre-1978 December documents to the contrary, because there aren't any.)
As a sample of the documentary background DR may
start now placing serially in evidence, I will quote from
a long-neglected letter
of 1978/11/30 (less than a week before the CSICOP meeting
at which chief-heretic DR was to be “contained”).
[Jim Lippard has posted this letter as a bare item in his valuable Chronology, though its crushing destruction of CSICOP's entire“Crybaby” post-hoc slanderous fabrication may not be entirely clear to readers without the present contextual analysis.]
It is from CSICOP's former Editor (and longtime friend of CSICOP Councillor Prof. Ray Hyman), the late Prof. Marcello Truzzi (whose son Chris gave DR quoting permission: 2004/6/5), written to Bette Chambers, sometime President of Kurtz's American Humanist Association, relaying news of the internal tempest just reported to Truzzi by Hyman:
Ray Hyman called me last night to tell me of the fireworks that may emerge from the [1978/12/6 CSICOP] meeting. It seems that Dennis Rawlins is mad as hell and now plans to attack the astrology study by Kurtz Zelen and Abell from the floor. Paul is afraid of this since the international press will be there. I understand that Paul is thinking of cancelling the public part of the thing just because he doesn't know how to contain Rawlins. Paul is also apparently seeking advice about how he can get Rawlins off the Executive Council.
This letter utterly refutes CSICOP's & “Crybaby”'s central alibi-contention that DR was expelled for any other reason than fear of what was deemed Treason: public dissent on the KZA test. (Question: How did a group of alleged rationalists get themselves into a position of imitating churches by resorting to suppression? Answer: CSICOP's position was as vulnerable to the light of reason as religion's — so it could only maintain it by artificial protection.) The letter specifies exactly when and why the expulsion was desired. (See above.)
Birth & Death:
Since Council has specifically, cohesively, and unanimously denied the truth (which was always obvious anyway), we may perhaps be wryly amused that CSICOP has the mirrorless nerve to call anyone else a liar. Or to attack DR's character, given the behavior of some among its own high figures, e.g., mailing-list appropriation; curious college-credits; the XXXcesive acquisitiveness of a certain chairman's publishing company; a CSICOP leader who's not notoriously numerate (outside money) assuming senior authorship of refined astronomical-statistical analyses he didn't compute a digit of — a sham born of (revealing) vanity, and seeding the death of CSICOP's credibility, as it got CSICOP too-deep-in to what had hitherto been just an Amer Hum Assoc test to ever back out, which led on to the entire wagon-circling sTARBABY scandal.
The 1978/11/30 letter exposes CSICOP's entire party-line on sTARBABY as an agreed-upon lie — by a committee supposedly representing rationalism and science in the fight against occultism's kooks & deceivers. It thus reveals active Councillors for exactly what critics outside and inside have described CSICOP as: a pack of self-promotion experts, scientific non-experts, and desperate cultists, who preferred falsely to smear (or go along with a smear of) an honest scholar's accurate account, in order to pretend that its own precious publicity-generating organization (the protection of which was now a priority ahead of all morality) possessed a competence and integrity which it in truth grievously lacked. (CSICOP Boardmember Ray Hyman in-private [1980/1/12], on CSICOP [the Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal], trying to do Scientific Investigation: “It's like plumbers trying to do hairdressing.” The problem was that too few able scientists were involved since, as Ray summed up CSICOP with admirable succinctness: it's just a propaganda group for the skeptical side — at a very low level.)
The only published statement by the CSICOP Council itself
on DR's expulsion [Skinq 1981-1982 Winter p.66]
cannot cite specific sins (since Council was naturally terrified
that if its falsehoods were specific,
hard evidence might appear, proving it lied).
Nor could it risk denying any of a huge array of quotes,
which in each case the quoted party knew perfectly well was accurate.
[Read those quotes and then try to believe that nobody was hiding anything. Note that the whole reason for bringing-in-pseudo-neutral Klass to “investigate” sTARBABY was to have a 2nd-hand document issued, so that none of the cowering perps need go the record denying any of the data published in “sTARBABY”. Hey, it worked for the “science press”, didn't it? (Big surprise: the establishment press covering-for the establishment.)
But the press attitude was more than suppressive. It was political. The pinnacle of the media's non-neutrality regarding sTARBABY:
As the affair was peaking, DR was asked by a Horizon interviewer what he thought of CSICOP. In the sTARBABY context, and given that CSICOP's middle name (now surname) is “Scientific Investigation”, the only frank answer was that CSICOP was a fraud. This info was helpfully fed-privately to CSICOP (behind DR's back) and then used as a justification for ejection. One later commentator has wondered why DR objected to this incident, justly adding that CSICOP had every right to know what DR had said — as if DR was objecting to the press-person for not keeping the statement secret. Now, let's get serious here: if one makes a statement to the press, it's hardly a sign of desiring secrecy! However, secrecy is what happened, and that has been DR's objection: that the press secretly snuck the statement to CSICOP (a statement which its own question had elicited) and then didn't publish either it or the evidence backing it. Is it the rôle of the press to spy for Approved organizations and to keep the public (which it laughably alleges it serves) from even knowing what its spying has found out?]
So CSICOP instead opted for a lawyer-tactic smear-diversion, by trying to find statements in DR's Skinq 1981-1982 Winter account, “Remus Extremus”, which it could “refute”.
[Both CSICOP's attacks were
 anachronistic, and
 avoided the main issues raised in “sTARBABY”:
[a] test-disaster and
[b] its coverup by statistical trickery & [verbatim-quoted] threats.
I.e., meet article X with
[i] a signed statement attacking article Y, and
[ii] a non-CSICOP-signed smear-article (“Crybaby”) attacking trivia in article X.]
The alleged mis-statements were then called typical of DR's “demonstrably false and defamatory claims”. So, let's see just how false were the even the side-issue statements CSICOP denied, in order to portray DR as a liar:
That Kurtz owned the CSICOP mailing list.
Well, when DR wrote that he did, it was true.
When DR soon after asked Skinq Editor Frazier how
things were going, with the Council's attempt to get the list from Kurtz,
he said that Council still was working on it.
So the charge was not only true, but mention of it was intended
to push for a healthy change on the list's status.
[Indeed, fear of its destruction-by-desperate-megalo-maniac may have played a huge rôle in Council's curious willingness to go along with whatever PK demanded — a (supposedly) temporary ethical lapse which ultimately necessitated attempting to post-justify the path taken, by pretending DR was insane. That's how initially well-intended people, who get into bed with power-players, become step-by-step corrupted.]
The suggested change is stated to have occurred; if so, this helped CSICOP — which returned the favor by converting it into alleged DR False-Libel.
A ballot-score is displayed, for an (unannounced) election which several Councillors had (prior to “Remus”) told DR had not occurred. (Despite request, no Councillor had been willing to confirm its existence in writing. Councillor Gardner said it had not been an election but an ejection.) My article's questioning of it was based on their statements. So who's lying?
DR stated that Kurtz had been removed as Humanist Editor for “fiscal unaccountability”. In Skinq 1981-1982 Winter (pp.63-64) appears a 1981/10/16 letter from AHA Pres. Lyle Simpson, denying this, again to show DR a liar. Well, DR immediately and vainly wrote Simpson (1981/10/19) about this:
… When I inquired 1978/10/23 (at the top of AHA) re the causes of Kurtz' loss of Humanist Editorship, the 1st phrase mentioned in summing up was ‘fiscal unaccountability.’ Those were the precise words — and their accuracy has been reverified to me and to [Councillor & Skinq Editor] Frazier [from the same extremely high AHA source] in the last few days.
The 1978 report [which L.Simpson co-signed] by the A.H.A Board of Directors (majority of 10 out of 14) ‘To the Members of the Editorial Board of The Humanist’ (sent to various CSICOP Councillors at my request 1978/11/29) specifically states on its p.4: ‘the Executive Committee added the AHA Treasurer [to the interim management committee, against Kurtz' wishes] for reasons of financial accountability, and because the new charter was not yet written.’
Your own [full] 1981/10/16 letter says that the Board vote to relieve Kurtz as Editor (1978/10) was taken on the issue of whether or not the Board ‘had the right to determine [Humanist] business management matters … or whether … editorial autonomy included business matters as well as content. Dr.Kurtz stated that he could not be [Editor] unless he had control of both …. ’ [emphases added] It is clear from your letter (and from a variety of other information) that Kurtz wished to be fiscally accountable to no one but himself — and that the AHA Board terminated him over this issue. (Re the fact that Kurtz was for awhile fiscally unaccountable, we see on p.2 of the 1978 report: ‘Since about 1969, total control over large portions of AHA funds had been vested under the sole authority of the editor.’ [emphases added])
Therefore, my mild statement in “Remus Extremus” stands as verified by your [full] letter of “denial”, namely, that Kurtz was “released as Humanist Editor for fiscal unaccountability”.
The foregoing items are CSICOP's only Council-signed alleged proofs
that DR accounts are untrustworthy. Again: both purported DR sins
(publishing statements on Kurtz' unaccountability, regarding both lists
& finances) occurred after
DR's ejection from Council. (Did CSICOPers somehow psychically know
ahead-of-time that these sins were going to occur?! Some rationalists.)
Likewise, “Crybaby” cites the Grand Theft to show why Council
ejected DR — despite the temporal inconvenience that the 1979 Theft was
allegedly not “discovered” until 1981. (Or: did
“Crybaby” inadvertently here let slip that Councillor Klass
was in-on a sudden-discovery-of-Grand-Theft-if-we-need-ever-it
ploy back in 1979?)
We may search in vain through CSICOP's pre-post-erous p.66 signed statement
for the specific official cause of the ejection at the time.
Other than this, CSICOP's p.66 statement denied no facts. (Early statements from all involved, are the best resource for detecting crime — as both the police and the defense-lawyer clique know all too well, which is why the latter saddled the former with the anti-truth Miranda rule.) It instead offered odd-hominem Klass' ad-hominem-titled account as “detailed” (not vouching for its accuracy), just vaguely claiming that DR had become “very difficult to work with” — which translates: we still haven't been able to scare or bribe him into silence about CSICOP's attempts to deceive the public about:
CSICOP's loss of its astrology-test.
Its attempts to statistically cheat its way out of that loss.
Its threats against and ejections of the party that insisted on
scientifically accurate, honest, & competent reportage.
(J.P.Morgan [“sTARBABY” pp.18&31]: “For every action, there are two reasons. A good reason. And the real reason.”)
Why it protected and-or promoted
(instead of ejecting) those involved in these deceits.
(Note: At the time of DR's expulsion, no reasons at all were cited for this decision, either publicly or even in communications to him. And the “election” wasn't pre-announced anyway, which is contrary to all standard rules of legitimate organizations. When this point was put to CSICOP Councillor Martin Gardner (1980), he replied delicately that such rules were “crap”, since Kurtz owns the show.)
Klass' “Crybaby” excrescence
(which CSICOP was too terrified [of lurking hard documentary refutation]
to referee or even co-sign — while nonetheless distributing it)
is pathetically unable to overturn the all-too-plain facts
provided in DR's now-wellknown account of the affair,
The CSICOP “response” has been almost pure character-assassination
(embodied in the very title of Klass' “Crybaby”),
with the intention of fooling its loyal clan
into disbelieving “sTARBABY”'s statements,
their accuracy depended upon DR. (Very few do.
As future generations will be able to confirm in astonishing detail.)
CSICOP was warned early on that this was the case, which is why
denials of essential facts were and are so scarce.
A DR memo [“Minefield Dancing”]
that almost all quotes were provable and thus that lying would be like
dancing through a minefield, adding that he was not going reveal right away
the very few items which weren't provable —
i.e., he wouldn't help CSICOP know where it could & couldn't lie.
[Klass' “Crybaby” knowingly twists this reasonable tactic to make it appear deceitful and-or uncooperative. But DR's approach was: since loyal-Kurtz-CSUCOPper (“sTARBABY” pp.19-21) Klass' initial tactic was to find out how bad the evidence was (i.e., what alibis & lies might work), DR wouldn't bite at Klass' attempt at a pre-getting-story-straight discovery-process. (Keep in mind: DR had given his full, highly detailed account already. CSICOP was at this time hiding from the press, not wanting to commit itself to a story — until finding out what it could get away with.) Results: [a] No CSICOP denials of essential facts. [b] End of any reasonable controversy over the truth of the case.]
For the central CSICOP Council, the result was akin to the Nixon-White-House's post-Dean-testimony catatonia. (Which, as in the prior case, immediately revealed who was telling the truth.) Few CSICOP-devotees appear to have noticed that (knowing of DR's record-keeping), Klass & CSICOP were conspicuously careful not to deny the many verbatim quotes in DR's published accounts (“sTARBABY” and “Remus Extremus”). Few nonpartisans reading these articles' facts and undenied quotes will have much doubt that CSICOP:
Bungled its middle name (“Scientific Investigation”).
Then tried to keep the public from knowing about it. After all, when you
run a secret election to exile someone,
refuse his challenge (“sTARBABY” p.29) even to publish the very fact of this ejection, and finally
call off your own precious 1981 press-conference [note near-cancellation of press-conference in 1978, and closed-door mini-press-conference of 1979 (“sTARBABY” p.28), both instances also arising out of fear of the sTARBABY aftermath: above] at the very moment “sTARBABY” appeared —
Though it has brought exile from the pop-science community
CSICOP swims in, DR is proud that he published
It appeared in Fate (1981 October) because other forums
(including the AHA's ironically-titled Free Mind)
were afraid to touch a scandal that disgraced (by association)
the many prestigious scientists who had foolishly put
their trust in Chairman Rug. As scrupulously as DR was able, he provided
in “sTARBABY” an accurate Keystone-CSICOPs-pratfall history of
The Committee's carelessly-designed & backfired neo-astrology test
— and gave rich detail of CSICOP's attempts at coverup,
continuing to this day,
largely by publicly slandering the party it had failed to
intimidate into silence.
The reaction which most clearly reveals just how accurate
“sTARBABY” was: immediately upon its appearance, Kurtz
— who LIVES for the media spotlight — actually cancelled his 1981
in (utterly needless) fear of press questions
about “sTARBABY”. Hey, no coverup here….
[And the lapdog US “science press” uniformly [100.000%] let CSICOP get away with it, since much of it too (even science writers not directly attached to CSICOP) sees the sTARBABY saga as giving aid&comfort to the occultist Enemy, regardless of principle. (The sole [small] popular article appearing in the US was in Penthouse-Bob Guccione's OMNI.) In fairness, it must be added that one of the best-known science reporters in the world said that he simply would no longer cover any CSICOP doings: “just a bunch of nuts”, not worth the ink. (Has CSICOP ever understood how much popular coverage it has lost over the decades, due to the best of the press' all-too-accurate perception of CSICOP's actual idealism, neutrality, & trustworthiness?) While DR was perfectly willing to field questions without preparation (and without asking CSICOP to send documents to see what was or wasn't provable), Councillors ducked the press for as long as possible, trying to get their story straight; i.e., they ran for cover — even while claiming (to this day) there was not either a cover-up. (See BJ Clinton's similarly embarrassing gyrations [“BJ, SJ, & OJ”] at DIO 8  ‡5 §H1 [p.50].]
A final comment on slander-as-policy:
All sorts of CSICOPers freely accused DR of insanity or wildness or somesuch, though Skinq readers seem never to have noticed that no documents were produced in evidence of such a charge — merely occasional organized claims of verbal encounters. (Since Phil Klass regularly taped all manner of stuff, I challenge [his estate] to produce any aural record backing the CSICOP fantasy that I misbehaved in any way at public meetings. Or private conversations. Won't happen, because the alleged behavior never happened.) Perhaps the only close participant in the sTARBABY affair that didn't toss around such accusations was DR, who knew that (though Klass sometimes seemed or acted borderline) his opponents weren't crazy. (Though CSICOP Councillor Hyman disagrees: see Lippard Chronology.) They were simply deceiving (or assenting in deception), to protect very clear and real pragmatic (ultimately financial) interests.
It may seem strange or even pathetic that several pretended scholars should have internally defined themselves primarily as CSICOPers. Since they contribute virtually nothing creative to the serious scholarly community, their sense of achievement must come from a crusade of mugging intellectual drunks (which is what pro-wrassling of occultists comes down to) — clinging so to this bullying warfare-career, that normal ethics become expendable trivia. (Crap, to quote a famous Councillor.) But that imbalance was at the core of the origins of the sTARBABY affair: THE-CAUSE-Above-All. Again: these guys think they're fighting irrationality?
Here is the heart of the sTARBABY affair (so laboriously diverted-from by heartless CSICOP). The entire sleazy serial-tragedy represented a watershed disaster for the rationalist movement's main advantage (over occultism):
— without which the battle becomes
merely one side's propaganda vs the other's,
just the sort of mud-wrassling-level fracas
which kooks, publicity-addicts, & hoaxers delight in.
[This was DR's simple, sole principle throughout sTARBABY. (Can present CSICOPpers not understand that as bad as bungling was, the KZA attempt to deceive the public was the intolerable offense, for an institution representing leading rationalists.) So CSICOP diverted attention (via ad-hominems & anachronisms) into a kaleidoscope of colorful imaginary avenues, to make simplicity look complex. See what RayH and I mean about CSICOP as a propaganda outfit?
One of the rare non-anachronistic charges in “Crybaby” (still repeated on A.Randi's website) is that DR had made a phone-call to Univ Toronto astronomer Rob't Garrison after midnight. Since CSICOP had been told by DR that this was not true, Klass shows his integrity in “Crybaby” by not actually stating it to be true but instead quoting another party's article making the accusation. (I.e., making DR responsible for kook-symps' lies about him.) Klass' reservoir of dirt was so thin that he just couldn't resist stooping to something this dubious — and obviously so trivial that no one even thought of ejection over it. (Had this or any other Morganic “offense” by DR been serious, an organization of the slightest decency would have asked DR to answer the charges before it made a decision on ejection. Has any CSUCOP noticed that nowhere does “Crybaby” cite any such procedure? How could it when nothing of the sort ever occurred? Note that when “Crybaby” speaks of such stuff, it pseudo-judiciously states that we-hoped DR would behave better. Hope is a wonderful thing of course. But, gosh, hasn't anyone noticed something? Where do we find in “Crybaby” quotations from CSICOP letters to DR (or even references to phonecalls to DR), urging him to cease his “wild” (pre-dissent-on-KZA) behavior. No such references appear in “Crybaby” because no such communications ever existed. It's such observations that explain why DR gets special chuckles watching Kurtz-csuckups pretending on the internet to be impressed by “Crybaby”. If these “rationalists” can't have the consistency and integrity to apply to such childishly transparent trash the same critical principles they claim to bring against paranormal trash, they should (to borrow from the [pre-bribe] Randi's admonition to fumblers, get out of the game altogether.]
No matter how many enlightening pop articles Skinq publishes (and many have been excellent, all along — some much too good to be in any way associated with an unregenerately dishonest organization), from now to doomsday, that will sadly be the eternal substantial-science legacy of CSICOP.
Was DR the only CSICOP Councillor to take seriously
the otherwise-pretentious title “Committee for the
SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION of Claims of the Paranormal”?
(Recently shortened to CSI — thereby only accenting the sTARBABY irony.)
Should the group have been called instead
Committee for Non-Testable Propaganda Against the Paranormal?
Evidently no one on the rationalist side even cares that, thanks to the rationalist movement's bumplessly-continuing exaltation of Chairman Rug (as if cheating and threatening and deliberately smearing one's way out of agreed-upon test-results don't even matter):
One might object that CSICOP is simply one group. Problem: CSICOP was backed
by a constellation of
(largely inattentive, window-dressing) stars of academe, science,
and rationalism: Carl Sagan (Cornell Univ), Ernst Nagel (Columbia Univ),
Isaac Asimov. (Not to mention Scientific American's
encouragement via Martin Gardner and Gerry Piel.)
If I were an occultist, I would find it hard to imagine there ever would
be a more centrist organization through which to seek meaningful interaction
and empirical testing. Thus, a highly precious opportunity for demonstrating
genuine scholars' desire to deal honestly with occultist claims existed
— but has been squandered-away by
the vanity of pseudo-knights ….
[The sTARBABY cheat-fest is a first in rationalism's largely honorable history. Let's at least try to keep it unique. But if the rationalist community not only fails forcefully, publicly, and substantially to sanction the perps (dream on …) but contrarily glorifies them, then neutral observers may understandably conclude that honor in the community is more spiel than real.]
With Michael Shermer's untainted Skeptic (www.skeptic.com) available for years as an alternative for free thinkers, what has organized rationalism's easy standards towards an ethical albratross told us about the wider movement?
[Before spiralling into a cycle of past-point-of-no-return-determinedly throwing good reputation after bad (and CSICOP will never realize how much cred it thereby lost among knowledgeable newsmen), the sTARBABY affair started out with attempts to paper-over a science-scandal that a few CSICOP-connected bunglers had gotten deep enough into. But deeply enough — and involving CSICOP-owner Kurtz — that truth-admission was increasingly seen as just too damaging to The Cause. By not stitch-in-time attending to that problem, rationalism has now got a much larger problem. Look up Paul Kurtz on the internet: the rationalist movement has showered him with its highest honors for decades. Dozens of prominent rationalists continue effectively to endorse his exaltation. I.e., rationalism's papering-over problem is now far weightier than a quarter-century ago, regarding what sTARBABY showed about rationalism-as-cultism. (And about the whole CSICOP Council. To appreciate the situation by only partly-apt analogy: imagine if the Kurt Waldheim late-realization had involved not merely KW but the entire ruling body of the UN.) It was DR's concern over this very point that impelled DR's determination forcefully to warn the community of what was at stake: see “sTARBABY” p.17 [“hitherto-spared” — and note how “Crybaby” distorts this last-hope-try into alleged hypocrisy]; p.25 [“rationalism's banner”]; p.27 [“seals the matter forever”]. At the time of sTARBABY, DR asked (“sTARBABY” p.20) Bart Bok to find a competent astronomer to replace DR on the Council and (ibid p.30) asked all those tainted by involvement in the coverup to “think of rationalism's reputation ahead of their own immediate interests and resign”. A quarter century later, DR sees no reason to withdraw this request.
Quite to the contrary: the longer the rationalist community fails to excise the sTARBABY poison from its system, the harder for neutral observers ever to take seriously organized rationalism's claim to care for truth. And fair play with dissenters. Within or without.]
Another sTARBABY consequence is the continuing internet flap over the meaning
of Randi's private remark (“sTARBABY” p.23) on the unloseability
of his Challenge to psychics “I always have an out.”
It turns out that Randi has two utterly contradictory alibis:
 Randi's initial story (which required nearly 2 decades to concoct) for the “out” statement is cited in a 2000/1/17 communication from Matt Kriebel. (As of 2007/6/13, it could be found at
http://groups.google.com/group/sci.skeptic/msg/c1e88067b489be96.) In this trial-balloon version, Randi claimed that the “out” referred to his stage act, not the Challenge. Thus, according to Kriebel, DR is typically-sneakily mis-using a quote to lead the reader to “a flase [sic] conclusion”. Kriebel adds that DR has been “rather weasily” in not making clear DR's own statements in the contexts of sTARBABY's quotes.
[DIO readers are encouraged to consult Kriebel's fantasies in his original posting, while comparing them to the reality of the actual text of “sTARBABY” — and, as we are about to see, Randi's own later version! Understand: Kriebel has abusively arrived at the truth of not just the “out” statement but of a vast dark plan of dishonest use of quotes throughout the entire “sTARBABY” account — on no other evidence than a fellow cultist's unchecked bare statement on a single incident. And CSICOP thinks it's anti-cult….]
 Fast-forward to the 2007 Wikipedia entry on Randi's foundation
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Randi_Education_Foundation), which now instead states that Randi's full “out” statement was not out of context, after all, but was truncated by awful DR.
[Whose evilness is all that remains fixed, even as the evidence adduced to demonstrate it now flips 180°. See similar oscillating-evidence-for-unshakable-tenet retreat by the Muffia & Gingerich cults, who for decades tried to weasel out of an ever-accumulating vise of evidence that Gingerich-hero C.Ptolemy had stolen the Ancient Star Catalog, an astrologer-theft now universally acknowledged by genuine scholars of the subject and perhaps even Gingerich.]
According to the New&Improved Version, Randi's “out” statement was indeed about the Challenge, after all. But Randi now says his full statement was: “Concerning the challenge, I always have an 'out': I'm right!”
[a] The last sentence is invented. (And obviously irrelevant. After all, CSICOP was right that there is nothing to astrology — but that hardly saved them from sTARBABY-disaster.)
[b] What happened to flatout-contradicting version#1? — which claimed that the Randi statement had nothing to do with the Challenge and that stating it did was just weasily-DR's typical deceit.
[c] If, as part of a smear campaign to cover for your own cult's crimes against truth, you wish to accuse someone of dishonesty, well, try to get your story straight about just what the dishonesty was. Otherwise, observers just might figure out who the real weasel-liar is.
[d] These are the ANTI-dishonesty stars of rationalism?
[e] DR hopes that readers will not make the same confusion, which the press and its public are prone to make in other areas, of confusing publicity-seeking pop icons with legitimate scholarship. There is a genuine rationalist tradition: Lucretius, Mill, Russell, etc. CSICOP's cultist falsehoods are not exactly in the tradition of these immortals.
In any case, arguing about Randi's always-have-an-out statement
is a max-needless waste of time
— because only the most cemental “rationalist”
could fail to notice that THE WHOLE sTARBABY AFFAIR
(in which Randi was central, treacherous,
is the very epitome of always-have-an-out
which has continued for 3 decades.
CSICOP's latest slimy writhe:
the evolving Wikipedia coverage of “The Mars effect” (still posted as of 2007/1/4), which merits preservation (and DR has ensured such) as a classic distortion of the sTARBABY saga.
[Wikipedia commendably prefaces its “Mars effect” page with a prominent warning that the entry is unsatisfactory. And the Wikipedia Mars effect entry's two-sidedness on the point in question has since been much improved.]
It promotes the fantasy that those poor-deluded CSICOP-critics just haven't understood that the Kurtz-published 1976 Humanist “Zelen Test” of Gauquelin's neo-astrology was proposed NOT to find out whether it was valid but merely as a judicious preliminary and-or side-issue probe! — a probe which CSICOP merely continued in order to find out [DR: waaay too-late] if the data were unbiassed.
[See “sTARBABY” p.11 comments on KZA's bait&switch. Curiously, the Wiki article commendably realizes that DR had already revealed strong evidence of bias before the Kurtz-Zelen-Abell test and before KZA finally (even later than that) awoke to it — and accurately notes that this is why DR had advised Kurtz [1975/11/15] against ever issuing the Zelen challenge in the 1st place.]
This is someone's deception (not necessarily the anonymous partial-author's) — and an awfully clumsy one at that: far too easily checkable. See quotes at “sTARBABY” (Fate 1981 Oct; p.5 of reprint); or the original 1976 Jan-Feb Humanist paper (evidence you somehow won't find in CSICOP-peddled “Crybaby”): “A Challenge” to Gauquelin, “We now have an objective way for unambiguous corroboration or disconfirmation …. [so we can] settle this question”. Hardly a cautious preliminary probe. (See also “sTARBABY” p.7.) Which is exactly why DR warned Kurtz, Abell, and Zelen against such a course.
[Hmm. If Kurtz-et-ilk aren't guilty-as-charged on sTARBABY, then: why do those who cultishly suck-up-to-CSICOP-Chairman Kurtz have to resort to illogic and fabrication to get-him-off?
Note: Wiki's author tends to call KZA's test the “Zelen test”. CSICOP propaganda has thus Orwellianly re-named an experiment once proudly proclaimed (Humanist 1977 Nov-Dec) as that of CHAIRMAN Kurtz & Zelen & Abell — before “sTARBABY” appeared. (I.e., despite repeated warnings [ibid pp.4ff], Kurtz full-throttle pushed the others aside, to make himself the weighty Pb-guy — the Captain-Smith of rationalism's Titanic disaster.)]
The Wiki author's argument (his caps): the test “was NOT a test of the Mars effect, but a test of the base-rate (chance) expectation.” Cute ploy. However, as every observer of the affair (scientist or no) is aware, the original 1976 Zelen paper's control-group plan of testing the Mars effect was: see if the natural base-rate equals G's Mars-sports correlation rate of 22%, not the expected random 17% rate. If the base-rate (from c.17000 data) turns out to be 22%, G is refuted. If 17%, G is vindicated. The result was 17%, so G “won” — as all statisticians who've looked at the matter realize: Elizabeth Scott of UCal Berkeley (“sTARBABY” p.9), Ray Hyman of U.Oregon & CSICOP (ibid p.26), Persi Diaconis of Stanford U, Richard Kammann of U.Otago. (Kammann's valuable account is available via Jim Lippard on the web — detailing the history of CSICOP's losses in both statistics and trustworthiness.) Note the private remarks even of Kurtz & Abell at “sTARBABY” pp.9, 12, & 27.
[The Wiki author's argument is almost on the level of saying that Houdini wasn't debunking ESP when he replicated Conan Doyle's favorite psychic effects — because H was not testing ESP but just doing ordinary-laws-of-nature magic.
No. Like Houdini, Zelen was attempting to show that G's neo-astrological stats had an ordinary natural (non-astrological in this case) explanation. So this was not a probe but a definitive Challenge (and was originally so titled in the 1976 Humanist) to G's neo-astrology, aimed at giving a final judgement upon his claim.]
WHO'RE These Folks?
Does it help the rationalist community to have pols&dolls who're popularly (if misguidedly) perceived as among rationalism's standard-bearers, behaving-for-private-profit irrationally? Persistently. Evidence-imperviously. Interminably….
Partial Summary of purportedly
greedy-nutty-wild-dishonest-amateur DR's post-CSICOP adventures —
none of which, curiously, are ever mentioned on CSICOP smear-sites.
[Nor even are his pre-CSICOP discoveries. Both précised elsewhere.]
(The following repeats material on other pages hereabouts, but this convenient compendium may save readers some search-bother.)
Discovery that the sole Babylonian attestation of yearlength was based upon well-known Greek solar observations. (This finding has caused the relevant cuneiform text's permanent British Museum display.)
Revelation of the star (10i Dra) that was used to orient the Great Pyramid. (Nature 2001/8/16, DIO 13.1 .)
First critical edition of Tycho's 1004-star catalog, representing years of unfunded DR labor, establishing several notable advances over previous historical star catalogs. (These advances itemized at DIO 3  p.3.)
Several novel proofs of the usurpation of the Ancient Star Catalog (see, e.g., DIO 2.3  ‡8 §§C22, C25, C31 [pp.110-113]), which — along with key contributions by R.Newton, G.Graßhoff, K.Pickering, & D.Duke — broke (ibid §C2 [p.103]) the back of long-stubborn defenses of (ancient) astronomy's top plagiarist.
Exposure of the modern high official who gave the Brits a few extra years of theft of the planet Neptune (see DIO 9.1  ‡1; Scientific American 2004 Dec pp.92f).
Overwhelming victory in the ex-controversy over the Peary 1909 N.Pole claim.
A needlessly protracted dispute, during which DR screwed-up on one
[This error has always been CSICOP's sole interest in DR's lifetime of research: see CSICOP's addenda to “Crybaby”, as it has been circulated and posted for years. CSICOP of course is blind to what this mistake has proved by the lethal contrast of DR's immediate, open, and strongly self-critical acknowledgement of error (e.g., DIO 1.1 ) ‡1 §C3 [p.7], etc.) vs the integrity of CSICOP or NGS or AAS-HAD. Instead of smoke-screening, hiding, and-or opponent-smearing, DR swiftly (right after seeing evidence contra DR's initial false interpretation of the document) issued a total public retraction and wrote NGS-chief G.Grosvenor a letter of congratulation on GG's vindication on that document, stating in so many words that GG was right and DR was wrong.
[No reply. The document in question was also initially misidentified by the Peary Family; National Geographic (1989 June: time-sights, likely from 1906 Feb — false on both counts); and the hireling NGS-consultant “Navigation Foundation” — and was ultimately solved by DR and revealed by him (1989/12/11 NGS press-conference) as an 1894/12/10 Peary record, an identification which the NavFou has privately assented to. But never publicly.]
Isn't it curious that none of the huge, rich institutions (that the “science press” kisses up to) is ever capable of issuing such a swift, straight-forward retraction? Evidently, there something so uniformly sick in popular science journaldom that such frank behavior has been rendered impossible and has become obsolete.]
Elsewhere, DR was vindicated on all of dozens of other new contributions to the Peary N.Pole case, resulting in the end of that once-seemingly-impregnable hoax. See also DR's novel finds (which had started with Rawlins Peary … Fiction  pp.70-75) on Peary's 1906 claim to have discovered an entirely non-existent “Crocker Land” in the Arctic Ocean, perhaps the northern-most land on Earth. These revelations finally culminated in a 1989 documentary find which has dramatically and unambiguously brought home even to non-specialists Peary's willingness to engage in conscious exploration fabrication.
But: take a look at the comments on the N.Pole dispute appearing in the final paragraph of Kurtz-Free-Inquiry-posted “Crybaby” to see the shamelessly & dishonestly unbalanced account CSICOP wishes its readers to think is the ultimate resolution of the Peary ex-dispute. Again: when you're out to smear someone, nothing positive is permitted.
Diary proof of the fraudulence of R.Byrd's alleged 1926 trip to the North Pole (New York Times 1996/5/9 p.1); plus R.Amundsen's priority there (University of Cambridge's Polar Record 36:25-50 ) and his pre-eminence among all polar explorers.
Completion of nearly 200y of gradual critical establishment (1830s-to-2006) of the text of Ptolemy's Geography. The achievement was made possible by Aubrey Diller (1903-1985), long the world's leading expert in ancient geographical mss, who left his final work for publication by DR. This is the 4rd time DIO has issued the ultimate scholarly contribution of an eminent academic.
DIO has been provided without cost to ordmag 100 top libraries and ordmag 1000 scholars worldwide since its inception 16y ago. DR and his wife (while themselves living modestly) have also fiscally established several prizes, local and international — as well as totally funding Maryland's beautiful granite Rachmaninov memorial, co-sponsored by a number of Baltimore's leading families.
Only the homeopath-level special intelligence that peculiarly adheres to pyramidal-suckup cults could discern in such a career the insanity, unreliability, and grabby-greed which CSICOP's canny kook hunters chorally certify is in-there some-where.
For the similarly penetrating intelligence of O.Gingerich&co in another sphere, see Isis 94.3:500-502  p.502 or DIO 11.3  ‡6 n.12 [p.73]. Indeed, mathematically-challenged Harvard historian Gingerich was one of the “prestigious” pols — like Abell — whom Kurtz went to for years (exemplifying the very dumbest of pop-sci amateurs' catalog of common mistakes), vainly seeking accurate computations of planet positions and (sph trig computations of) celestial sector data. Only when his “experts” Abell & Gingerich kept giving him nothing but excuses [see “sTARBABY” p.6! — also pp.9-10, or “Crybaby”], did Kurtz in desperation finally [ibid p.9] turn the project's computation over to DR, who got it done in a matter of hours.
So, let's get this straight:
CSICOP csucked up to the bumblers [because of their p.r. contacts]
and ejected the scientist who had warned them not to get into their quacksand
and had then tried to rescue the situation as much as possible
by immediately doing for them the very math they were unable
for years to accomplish?!! Is that what happened? Well …
Hey, isn't it inspiring that not a single US “science press” personage has ever found a few minutes to put such revealing questions to this gang of ruthless celebrity-wannabees-posing-as-pure-hearted-academics?
[Note that any other genuinely competent specialist in this area presumably could've done the work if given 1/10 the time Kurtz gave GA&OG. Recall that earlier European testers, Belgium's Comite Para, also had no-problem doing such work.]
Moreover, Gingerich's longtime unremitting slander of DR played a rôle in non-scientist Kurtz ignoring DR's repeated early knowledgeable warnings (“sTARBABY” pp.4-6) of potential disaster with the KZA test, so OG bears serious responsibility for the entire sTARBABY stain on rationalism.
[Which probably doesn't concern piously religious OG in the slightest — he early-on expressed his distaste for CSICOP, telling Kurtz that it seemed (to holy OG) to be aiming at opposing things spiritual.]
OG's ignorant slanders of DR (and fellow Ptolemy-skeptic R.Newton [Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab], whose IQ was smiles above pathetic OG's) also contributed to Councillors' later contemptuous folly. (Via, e.g., M.Gardner, who disgracefully accepted-without-investigation ever-reliable Gingerich's assurances that top JHU physicist R.Newton was a crank and DR a mere amateur.) Incidentally, OG's bizarre dedication to libelling DR for decades (sample at DIO 4.3  ‡15 §H [pp.133-134]) grew out of DR's heretical sin of criticizing an astrologer (is CSICOP taking-in the irony here?): Claudius Ptolemy — one of several clumsy kook-plagiarists whom godly-Gingerich has fallen in love with over the years.
CSICOP Councillors made the same mistake DR's other academic enemies
have made: misled by their own cultishly-smearing, self-feeding,
fantasy-world (combined with
oft-amusing technical semi-numeracy), each gang-cohesively convinced itself
that DR was just a worthless malcontent who'd fade (any day now …)
into well-deserved obscurity. They were so right, that DR's journal
DIO now draws upon the wisdom of several boards containing not
merely leading academics, but the world leader in at least 3 fields:
celestial motion, secular time-variation, & cuneiform texts.
Besides high-quality technical researches, DIO has
— as one of its public services —
spent a higher percentage of pages investigating,
exposing, and condemning dishonest science than any journal in history.
(The latest is just posted: 2007.)
Which is why establishment-sycophants
who attack DR invalidly are assured of:
[a] Compiling syc-up points with jaw-grinding science-institution archons — who automatically regard public criticism and fraud-discussions as simply washing-dirty-linen treason.
[b] Finding their debunking debunked and revealed to be the usual dim, bungled, & embarrassing junk.
[c] Inspiring DR to dissect establishment-cultism ever more acid-uously. (It's not that academic establishments are masochistic — no, they are [outside politics] just dumb. So dumb, that they can't even pick competent hit-men.)
[The DIO attribute which obviously makes it the revealingly-frequent recipient of syco attacks is: DIO does not shy away from fraud when it happens to be committed by powerful establishments. (A useful courage, naturally skew-portrayed — quoting DIO 1.1  ‡1 §C4 [p.7] — as a demented sin by polbrain-kisser B.Schaefer in S&T 2002 Feb p.40.) Nothing could more clearly distinguish DIO from CSICOP, which appears to have always seen itself as primarily a mud-wrassling pop-level goon-squad for the establishment — with mud-slinging P.Klass long starring as the goon's-goon: DIO 7.3  ‡6 n.47 [p.95]. Since Klass' demise, the latest semi-numerate, needlessly-pretend-nut, institutionally-inspired goon's-goon is John J. Wall (also synergistic bud of the ever-amusingly DIO-resenting Journal for the History of Astronomy). See also the ongoing good-cop-bad-cop schiz-theatre surrounding several obsessively harassed Wikipedia pages, as well as the neutrality (e.g., re the JHA), the competence, and especially the integrity displayed in their devious attendant edits. (All this with the assistance of the vandal's fellow selectively-versusmyth CSICOP-cultist: highschool-rox4jox-expert [& WikAdmin!] “Vsmith” threateningly riding-shotgun to protect & enhance the vandal's threat-adorned censorship of undeniably factual but institution-embarrassing material, including classing DIO as an unReliable source, without specifying a single unreliable academic mis-statement in DIO's journal: a ploy that's especially transparent in the context of treating as Reliable the regularly-blundering pseudo-refereed JHA — whose enduring frustrations include its failure to undo the validity of a single astronomical-history finding 1st published in DIO, whose refereeing board is studded with world experts.) No one, familiar with the real not storybook history of any establishment, will be surprised at such predictably typical displays of lack of principle (unless the Vicar of Bray's credo counts as principle) and inevitable resort to dirty-tricks, which all establishments are driven to systematically engage in, when criticized or challenged (by a force that cannot be bested in fair, open, & honest discourse), due to their vast image-vs-reality gulfs in the areas of purpose & academic competence.]
Nonetheless, DR's researches have
drawn a much-appreciated array of praise
from the very top of genuine academe
(as against the pop writers, hustlers, pols, & institutional archons
who've generally dominated CSICOP's active circle) —
work that, since DR's CSICOP days, has resulted in papers in
the areas of tidal theory (Royal
Astronomical Soc), perturbational math
(PASP & Vistas in Astronomy),
not to mention analyses of suspect exploration claims, e.g.,
DIO 10 
— co-published with the University of Cambridge; and
“MemoryHoled Mestablishment Mendacity”
. A few of these findings resulted in prominent national
and international media stories, including all three networks' evening news
(1996/5/9), and several New York Times articles
in either the science section or page-one:
1989/12/11, 1996/5/9, 1998/11/26, 2001/8/28, 2009/9/8.
All of which, though enjoyable, is curiously ironic, since DR will be most remembered (and merely among a few specialists, at that) for more inwardly rewarding inductive work (in science and scientific history) that is of virtually zero concern to the general public. Or CSICOP.