ASKE logo

The Association for Skeptical Enquiry

Casting a critical eye over suspect science, dubious claims and bizarre beliefs

Practical Guides for Skeptics

Before you see a psychic

This was originally published by ASKE as a booklet.

Tony Youens has twice appeared on television posing as both an astrologer and a tarot reader and on both occasions he was accepted as 'genuine' by the sitters. The tarot reading was for Meridian TV's 'Focus' and the most recent programme was 'The New Zodiac' by Pioneer Productions which was shown on Channel 5, Monday 16th April 2001. Tony, who is available for lectures, also bends spoons, reads minds and occasionally predicts the future.

Testing psychics and others claiming extraordinary powers

The genesis of this article by Tony Youens was seeing and hearing psychics appear on both television and radio and being allowed to promote their dubious claims without so much as a hint of an adequate test. Too often presenters simply 'ooh' and 'ahhh' at the claims and/or demonstrations given by psychics that even the simplest of controls would have probably exposed as mere trickery.

How to write a newspaper article promoting an unconventional remedy

Michael Heap has prepared this useful template, based on by many newspaper and magazine articles, for journalists who are writing a feature promoting any form of quack treatment.

Placebo therapy: How to develop an effective and ethical quack treatment

Michael Heap presents a blueprint for creating your own 'alternative therapy'. Like most practitioners of alternative medicine, you will be able to make a great deal of money and seemingly benefit lots of patients who come to see you, even though your treatment itself is complete quackery.

Oh to be a dowser!

Michael Heap explains the art of dowsing or water divining using metal rods. The information provided will enable anyone, with practice, to become a dowser although, like every other dowser, they will be unable to demonstrate any such ability under scientifically-controlled conditions.