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Karen Stollznow
 Interviews: Dale McGowan and Karen Stollznow
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Since Skepticality took a break last episode, Derek comes back with two interviews to fill the void of having no show for a full month. The first is with Dale McGowan; author, speaker, philanthropist, and founder of 'Foundation Beyond Belief'. They discuss how the Foundation came to be, what the current goals are, and how people can get involved worldwide. After Dale, Derek has a discussion with Karen Stollznow; writer, linguist, and author of several books which have a skeptical slant. Derek talks with her about one of her latest books, 'God Bless America', which takes a look at some of the unusual religious practices and beliefs across the United States of America.
Show Notes

– Date – March 18, 2014
– Send your cool ‘SCIENCE!’ shout-outs to
– Theme song by Steve Seamans of the Daisy Dillman Band. Get the song HERE.
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Check out the new Cosmos!
– Hear Skepticality episodes with Ann Druyan and Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

Skepticism Skepticism, Past and Future [1:25]

– The Aztec, New Mexico UFO hoax of March 1948 was perpetrated by two scammers attempting to sell a divination device as stolen alien technology.
– It was picked up in some press accounts, which were eventually echoed in the Guy Hottel FBI memo of March 22, 1950.
– Jose Escamilla claims to have first photographed the blurry flying bugs he claims are paranormal “rods” on March 19, 1994, 20 years ago this week.
– The Pons & Fleischmann cold fusion press conference was March 23, 1989, 25 years ago this week.
– The Skepticism Convention Guide currently lists over 250 past events and 30 upcoming events relating to skepticism, worldwide.
– The skepticism coverage on Lanyrd contains over one thousand items including over 500 videos, 350 write-ups, 170 photo galleries and more. Use the buttons and links down the right side of the page to filter the results.
– Get updates from the guide on Twitter at @SkepConGuide and there is a Facebook page and a Google Plus page Please follow, circle, like and +1 as much as possible – it helps make it visible to other skeptics.
– Skeptic History facts are posted daily on social media find out where on this page at Tim’s blog.

Wikipedia [9:25]

Susan Gerbic
– The Skeptic Wikipedia Project.

Skeptical Humanities [14:00]

Sir Francis Drake.
Skeptical Humanities.

The Odds Must Be Crazy [20:00]

The Odds Must Be Crazy.
– This week’s featured story is, “Amazing Find Inside of Used Bible“.
– Story was submitted by Skepticality listener, Emery Emery.
Visit the story link for a more detailed analysis and to add your comments.
– Additional thoughts and considerations provided by Barbara Drescher.
– Our theme music comes to us courtesy of Brian Keith Dalton, AKA Mr. Deity.
– Please visit The Independent Investigations Group Los Angeles.
– The Odds Must Be Crazy can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
– Wendy Hughes is on Twitter.
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– Edward Clint is on Twitter.
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– Brian Keith Dalton is on Twitter.
– Thanks to our friends Emery Emery, Heather Henderson and Blythe Renay for hospitality and support for the production of the segment. Visit them at

Interview: Dale McGowan [25:15]

Dale McGowan is the Executive Director of the Foundation Beyond Belief.
– Foundation Beyond Belief is a membership foundation which distributes donations to vetted charities which promote humanist, secular, skeptic and science minded efforts.
– Was a professor in Minnesota at a Catholic College before becoming a full time writer.
– The Pathfinders Project is a new group which is a global humanist corps.
– Things like building latrines in Haiti are issues which make a huge difference.
– They have some work ongoing in places like Uganda, which has big issues at the leadership level.
– The Foundation has a dedicated group of people who make sure all the charities which they work with are actually living up to their stated goals.
– Some charities actually will refuse money from the foundation because they are Humanist, or not religious based.
100% of the money donated actually goes to the stated charities goes directly to the charities.
– If you are interested in helping and getting involved in one of thier volenteer groups you can go to their website and write them an e-mail.

Interview: Karen Stollznow [25:15]
– She recently moved to Denver.
– Has written, Language Myths, Mysteries and Magic, Haunting America, and currently ‘God Bless America‘.
– Being from Australia where they recently had a ‘out’ Atheist prime minister she found the religious nature of the USA a bit strange.
Mormonism is often called one of the ‘All American’ religions.
– It is a varied and deeply divided religion, especially in regards to the practice of polygamy.
– A shocking bit of information is that there is a lot of Mormon based human trafficking from Canada to satisfy some of their fundamentalist sects.
Warren Jeffs had many… many… wives.
– Due to some of the in-breeding within some groups there is a high instance of particular diseases.
Amish and Mennonites are Anabaptists, who do not get baptized until you choose to become part of their religion.
– There are many different sects within the Amish and Mennonite society.
– Even though those within the Mennonite sect are less ‘strict’, they still dress very conservative.
– Many Amish who drive horse and buggy will not place reflectors or warning systems on their buggies for night driving, which leads to quite a few accidents.
– The Amish have their own language, Pennsylvania Dutch which is a very interesting and intriguing language.
– There has been a glut of Amish based reality television in the past few years.
Rumspringa is the ‘popular’ time when the kids go out to find out if they want to be part of the religion or not.
Pentecostal and Charismatics have many practices like speaking in tongues, believing riches fall from the sky, and others…
– The Pentecostal/Charismatics make up about 25% of the Christian population in America.
– Some of the Charismatics have gone as far as attempting to make people believe that the fillings in their teeth have been turned to gold by the holy spirit.
– ‘Prosperity Gospel‘ preachers get their followers to hand over/donate much of their money to appease God.
– Prosperity leaders tend to go after older citizens and attempt to get them to donate much of their money and savings. text transcription! [31:45]
– You can download the text transcription of Episode 226 here.
– Thanks to Margo Edwards and for the very fast transcription!

Outro Music [31:45]
– Outro music donated by Trent Brusky of Dropfox.

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