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“Ominous”, “Spooky”, “Maniacal”, and Possibly “Possessed”

Those are adjectives which, to the best of my knowledge, have never, ever been applied to me.

Now comes the latest newsletter from James “the Amazing” Randi:

Reader Robert Steven Billups sends us to, where an ominous pair holds forth in true Halloween style. Says Robert:

I’m not sure this fits into the realm of the paranormal, but I have been increasingly disturbed by a podcast known as Peering Into Darkness, hosted by Derek and Sharon Gilbert. It’s a touchy area, as they are overt evangelical Christians, but their weekly broadcasts claim to shed light on Satan’s work here on Earth.

Typical of their guests is Russ Dizdar’s recent 2-part interview in which he claims that demon possession is 100% real, and then goes on to say that it is caused by ritualistic Satanic abuse. Apparently, the Satanists are so prevalent that they infiltrated the churches and the government with “sleeper” agents who wait to take over the Earth. The CIA, in case you didn’t know, regularly abducts children to be used by high-ranking governmental figures in satanic sexual rites. The guy was recounting all kinds of personal encounters with these demon-possessed agents who have attempted to kill him. Interestingly, he never mentions any specific names of people in his investigations.

In my own opinion this is far more dangerous than fraud psychics and what not, because it is shrouded in mainstream Christianity. And I have no doubt that these people are sincere in their beliefs – but man oh man. Just look at Derek’s maniacal smile on the website.

Was wondering if you or any of your affiliated organizations had looked into these people? They are asking for money to fund their bandwidth, and therefore preying on the public.

Always enjoy hearing you speak, regardless of how much I would like to believe in ghosts.

Well, Robert, looking in on this site, I find that the proprietors are a bit short-sighted. For example, they ask:

Look, we can understand non-Christians calling this [demonology] bunk, but one of the main components of the ministry of Jesus and the apostles was casting out demons. Why do 21st century Christians act as though the Fallen kindly decided to go away and leave us alone after the first century?

I gave that my very close attention and analysis for about 4 seconds, and decided that perhaps – just perhaps – there aren’t any demons, there is no “casting out,” and Mr. Fallen was never there in the first place. I know that’s not as exciting as believing that little horned guys are rushing around inside you, but it seems a bit more in line with reality and sanity. No offense, of course!

After reading such stuff, I have to look at a calendar to see if we’ve left the 14th century behind…

Hey, no offense taken, Amazing. Anyone who thinks he’s debunked 2,000 years of Christianity in two paragraphs is something less than a serious thinker.

I also wonder whether Mr. Randi’s position on the board of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, an organization devoted to spreading the story that bogus memories can be implanted into the victims of sexual abuse, has anything to do with giving us space in his newsletter.

I’m realistic: Our podcast reaches maybe 3,000 people worldwide. Why bother with us at all?

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