Click here to go back to the main page
1 Never look for the simplest, most obvious cause of something. Refrain from mentioning Occam's Razor (it's your nemesis).
2 Always favor the conspiracy angle over the boring angle. Mundane explanations (like saying that Roswell was a balloon) are for dullards and government drones. If you want to sleep with that curvaceous new-age chick, don't tell her you think astrology is bogus! (Non woo-woos may benefit from that advice temporarily).
3 Don't accept mainstream science unless it's something you've believed in for years (like gravity).
4 Try to answer as few direct questions as possible. Always obfuscate and try to sound learned. Mimic Richard Hoagland's style and you'll go far.
5 Use "what if" scenarios to change the subject whenever possible. If you linger on one topic too long you may be asked to provide annoying things like "proof." Don't let that happen! Consult a creationist if you need practice with subject-changing.
6 If you're cornered and asked for proof of something, always tell the person that they "can't disprove" your claims. Many of them will just walk away shaking their heads, which of course means they agree with you. A side-to-side head shake could be the same as a vertical nod. Anything is possible, after all.
7 Memorize all the sci-babble terms used in the Star Trek series. They are very useful if you get cornered by a skeptic, and you need to come up with some sort of "scientific" explanation. e.g., Inertial Dampers.
8 When all else fails, start asking hypothetical questions that have nothing to do with the actual debate. If your opponent chooses to ignore your pointless questions and remains on topic, repeat your meaningless question(s) over and over. This will make any Believers in the audience think that your opponent is evading the issue.
9 Accuse your opponent of being a liar, or try some other tactic that will (hopefully) make him angry. If he responds in kind to your endless taunts, change the subject to his anger, and accuse him of name calling. If he accuses you of provoking him, then you have changed the subject of the debate. If he stays on topic, keep the heat up. The Believers in the audience will forgive the worst verbal attacks you use, but they will think even the mildest replies he makes to you are personal attacks that undermine his argument.
10 Use the word quantum in a sentence, despite not knowing what it means. For a more impressive effect, use it with the name of your favorite superstition - "quantum dowsing" sure sounds mighty serious.
11 Two more words: Paradigm shift.
12 Always claim that the other guy is "closed-minded" and that you're as free-thinking as a newborn baby. Other woo-woos love the concept of "open-mindedness" and will take you into their inner circle without question. They have no tolerance for those "mean old nasty" types who demand evidence for everything.
13 Drink heavily while posting.
14 You must believe that the word "anomaly" means proof of paranormal activity.
15 Use the word "anomaly" as often as possible.
16 When your position appears hopeless, your entire audience is laughing at you, and you've lost all credibility (and perhaps even won a Kook of the Month) threaten everyone within proximity with a lawsuit. You don't need to actually prepare a lawsuit, just make the threat. That will let them know you're a serious person.
17 Go make your own newsgroup with a group charter drawn up to keep out anyone who doesn't agree with your view of the world. Occasionally crosspost to other newsgroups from that one, then complain when people answer your posts, complain to their system admistrators that they're abusing the terms of your newsgroup and demand their accounts be yanked for abusive spamming. Respond to each answering message with a duplicate copy of the FAQ for your newsgroup.
18 Open numerous accounts under other names, then post agreeable responses to your own messages from those accounts. Everybody knows that the only reason anybody disagrees with you is that they like the belong to "the group" and have no independent thought of their own. Just manufacture a group of people who agree with you, and the rest of the mindless zeebs will fall into line, tripping over each other to become one of your supporters.
19 Fix the 'reply to' line of any post you make, to direct responses to your email account - this will automatically mail you a copy of any response made to your posts on usenet. Send copies of these mails to the postmasters and sysadmins of anyone who posts a disagreeing answer to you. Refer to these people as 'internet terrorists' and demand their accounts be canceled immediately for sending you unwanted email spam.
20 Refer to anyone who doggedly uncovers your latest little scams, time after time as "stalkers." Write to their sysadmins and demand their accounts be removed for net abuse.
21 Remember to occasionally tell your opponents that you've handed all the information you've collected about them to the local police/Mounties/FBI who were extremely interested and grateful for the advance notice of where to find criminals like you. You don't actually have to collect any information, or send it to anybody, but this will keep your opponents edgy, and make them paranoid. Mention that the police/Mounties/FBI are closing in on them, and that their day of reckoning is just moments away.
22 Refer to anyone who does not immediately agree with you as being uneducated on the matter, lacking in important information, or just plain too stupid to understand your magnificent statements.
23 Pretend to write a book. Nothing says "I am beyond reproach" like having written a book. If asked for an ISBN number, just make something up. Nobody ever looks at those anyway.
24 Pretend to have a degree. Never let yourself be pinned down to what kind or where you got it. Just state repeatedly that you have one, and therefore are superior, and may not be questioned upon any subject by anyone.
25 Claim that there is no evidence that you are a fraud, kook, net-abuser, spammer, or liar. Refer to any actual proof of this as "spinning" or "disinformation." Post messages that the system administrators of every system your opponents post from are on the verge of killing their accounts for net-abuse, and that you're going to set things right, and get rid of all these cynical lying fact-spinners by sending one final massive complaint against them all.
26 When all else fails.... SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM.....
27 When questioned, be sure to exclaim "They laughed at Galileo, too!" or perhaps "They laughed at Columbus, until he proved the earth was round!"
28 Always bear in mind that The Conspiracy Against You can do almost anything. After all, they've kept those 300 MPG carburetors secret for years.
29 Keep trotting out the one "respectable" scientist who might possibly have said something that could be construed as perhaps giving a hint that it may theoretically support your position. Even better if said scientist has said it outright. Ignore all complaints that the work is 50 years out of date, the scientist has no experience in the field in question or that other experts in the same field think said scientist is a complete loony (and they can prove it, too).
30 Dig out one reference that supports your position. Complain when someone presents a reference that refutes yours. Say that this means they can't think for themselves and your reference proves it. Ignore all queries on why you hold this hypocritical position.
31 Whenever you read something on the Internet, re-post it as fact.
Never bother to do even basic research into the matter.
32 Be sure to repeatedly spam your petty political rants onto lots of unrelated, off-topic newsgroups. (Those folks reading rec.culture.needlepoint are just dying to read about how much you hate a certain politician!)
33 One word: "Hyperdimensional."
34 When debating, remember that the best technique to "proving" your hypothesis is to start with a supposition, and when you get to the third point, refer to the supposition as a "fact". This may cause just enough initial confusion to let you escape with a momentary triumph.
35 Sock Puppets are very useful. If you can't find a weak-minded soul who will blindly parrot you in support of your nonsense, create your own. Then you can refer to your "many" supporters.
36 Quote Einstein, and do so often. Quote things he said if possible, but Einstein has been dead for ages now and so it's permissible to bring him up to date. Change the odd word here and there to make it clear that Einstein would have supported your argument if only he knew what you know. Act as if any arbitrary Einstein quote supports your position.
37 Any and all communications problems including satellite failures, bad phone connections, mysterious messages when dialing known phone numbers, busy signals when trying to enter the grassy knoll on AOL, and radios left on during calls must be blamed on the 'Conspiracy' trying to 'silence the truth'.
38 Use lots of ALL CAPS letters. Use them randomly: "I was posting my URL in alt.paranormal/alt.astrology. Then I was stopped because A MAJORITY OF POSTERS, PSEUDO-SKEPTIC RAVING FANATICS SCREAMED ABOUT IT."
39 Beware the "goodtimes" virus.
40 When all else fails, try to redefine what "skeptical", "skeptic" and "skepticism" mean so that you become a 'real' skeptic who accepts your own nonsense at face value.
41 Refer to yourself in the third person.
This article was not made by Insolitology, but is held in archive.
This article is © Copyright Lou Minatti, used with permission.
Please do not reproduce without permission.