The lead article you will find in this issue comes to us courtesy of the Tampa Bay Skeptics (TBS). I think it shows a classic case of a "psychic" taking credit where none is due and the media and others doing everything they can to give her free publicity. Another reason we are reprinting it is that I was called by Maria Zone, one of the producers of A&Es Unexplained, and was told Id also be on this show to discuss Greta Alexander and/or Dorothy Allison (the shoving psychic from my appearance on the Morton Downey Jr. show). Unfortunately, after her first call expressing a great deal of interest, I never heard from them again. In discussing this with Gary Posner, the author of these articles and founder of TBS, he said he felt he had been dealt with honestly by Zone and others dealing with the show, so Ill withhold judgment on my treatment until I see the show and find out if Alexander and/or Allison are featured and what other skeptics might appear. (This episode is scheduled to appear on January 9.)
REALL actually owes quite a debt of gratitude to the Tampa Bay Skeptics and Gary Posner. Some five years ago I wrote my first skeptical article for a newsletter -- the TBS Report. I had been hopping around computer bulletin boards and found one containing back issues of TBS Report. In one of them I saw an article about a "breast hypnotist" -- a guy who claimed he could hypnotize women and make them grow larger breasts. As it happened, this guy was traveling around the country and was stopping to do a radio show on WYMG here in Springfield! I called Posner and he immediately sent me a great deal of information to use. I also called Don Murphy of WMYG and we worked out a deal where I would call in and be able to use that information on the air while the guy was in the studio. As it happened, he never showed, but Don let me read what I had anyway, so even more skeptical information was put forward. I guess the hypnotist had some friends in town who heard the show and relayed it to him, and I guess he wasnt very happy about it. Good. This was the article I wrote up for the TBS Report.
But the point of this story is that this incident, perhaps more than any other, spurred my interest in forming a local skeptics group in Central Illinois. Thus, after contacting Bob Ladendorf ("Editor Bob") and Wally Hartshorn ("Webmaster Wally" okay, so I just made that one up), REALL was born.
So, thank you, Gary, for these articles. And Id like to extend greater thanks for your help, five years ago, in getting me information about the "breast hypnotist."