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Caitlin Doughty
 Interview: Caitlin Doughty
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It is All Hallows' Eve once again, the time of year when all things creepy and terrifying seem to be highlighted. Derek decided to embrace the time of year and have a discussion with Caitlin Doughty, a mortician from Los Angeles, California who attempts to educate society about the reality and science of death, and hopefully remove some of fear and uncomfortable feelings which come along with death.
Show Notes

– Date – October 30, 2012
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– Theme song by Steve Seamans of the Daisy Dillman Band. Get the song HERE.
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Unnatural Virtue

Automatic writing (aka trance writing) emerged with 19th century spiritism (aka spiritualism), For more on spiritism, see Amy Tanner's Studies in Spiritism
– The latter part of the 19th century was a golden age for those in America and Europe who were trying to contact the dead.
– Automatic writing and other trance activities became a subject of scientific research for the Society of Psychical Research and the American Society of Psychical Research.
– One of the stars of the automatic writing scene, Hélène Smith wasn't part of spiritism, but rather was a forerunner of a gaggle of psychics who claim to channel various entities.
– Smith's entity allegedly was on Mars. Her Martian, however, was more likely coming from within rather than without resemble glossolalia from a French speaking person than an unearthly language.
– Others who have followed in Smith's slipstream include Cyril Hoskin (1910-1981) whose entity, Tuesday Lobsang Rampa, used to be a Tibetan monk
Pearl Lenore Curran (1883–1937) whose entity, Patience Worth, channeled several ghosts of the past
JZ Knight whose entity, Ramtha, came from Atlantis some 25,000 years ago.
Dorothy Martin formed a small cult around messages she claimed to get from extraterrestrials through automatic writing or telepathy.
– You can read all about it in Leon Festinger's When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study.
– Automatic writing is also used by some psychotherapists, to get through to the subconscious mind where many profundities apparently abide.
The Skeptics Dictionary and Skeptic's Dictionary for Kids.
– A paperback edition of Unnatural Acts: Critical Thinking, Skepticism, and Science Exposed! is now available from For more info, click here. The eBook is still available.

The Odds Must Be Crazy

The Odds Must Be Crazy.
– This week's featured story is, "The Subsequent Steve"
– Story was submitted by reader Steve C.
– Please visit the story link for a more detailed analysis and to add your comments
– Additional thoughts and considerations provided by Barbara Drescher.
– Our producer and audio engineer is Brian Hart.
– Our theme music comes to us courtesy of Brian Keith Dalton, AKA Mr. Deity.
– Please visit The Independent Investigations Group Los Angeles.
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A Good Death- Interview – Caitlin Doughty

Caitlin Doughty
– A mortician living in L.A., originally from Oahu, Hawaii
– Even Swoopy has a 'creepy collection'
– Each state in the United States has its own laws and rules for becoming a mortician.
– The classes to become a mortician are not a 'breeze'.
The Order of the Good Death is a way to bring a rational public discussion about death.
Members of the order have several different skills and talents.
– She has started to make YouTube videos for people to learn more about death and ask questions.
– One of her more recent videos was highlighted on the Huffington Post.
– it was in the spirit of the Dan Savage 'It Gets Better' videos.
Can you get AIDS from a dead body?
– She was also on NPR, and others as a expert on the topic.
– In the past death was all around, and everyone was personally familiar with it.
– Families used to care for the dead bodies of relatives themselves.
– These days embalmers try to make dead bodies not look 'dead'
"Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, and other lessons from the crematory" book
– Caitlin experiments to see if you can bake a cake using the ashes from a dead body in one of her videos
– Feel free to come up with creative ways to deal with their deceased loved ones.
– You can create diamonds out of the ashes of the dead.
– It is a fear that pace makers can explode in cremation chambers
– Unfortunately you can't just keep a dead body anywhere, or dispose of a dead body 'just anywhere'.
– Things like 'natural burial' and other alternative body disposal methods are getting more attention.
– There are many benefits to using natural burial to the environment.
– One of the methods, liquefaction, was covered in one of her videos.
– You can't just wander out into the wilderness to die, it could cause an immense waste of money and resources.
– You could donate your body to the 'Body Farm'.
Natural decomposition is one of Caitlin's favorite topics to research
Thinking about death might actually enhance your life.
– Vampires Sparkly or Traditional?
– New outro music played by John Nowakowski, Prelude Santiago De Murcia

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