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Many Skeptic readers are all too aware of The Secret, a slick repackaging of the principles of New Thought and Unity Christianity. This week, Skepticality tackles an altogether different secret. Derek and Swoopy talk with author and podcaster Stephen L. Gibson about his own new book, A Secret of the Universe. A far cry from most books that offer up a secret message, A Secret of the Universe is a work of dramatic allegory about how we come to form knowledge about the Big Questions: God, sexual ethics, morals, political ideology—and how those beliefs affect our actions, our lives, and the world around us. Then Derek gets an update from Jeff Wagg, General Manager of the James Randi Educational Foundation, about a recently administered Million Dollar Challenge in which Jeff himself became a test subject.
Show Notes
 

Date – November 18th, 2007, Read by Swoopy

One of the subjects on the lips of skeptics in 2007 was The Secret.
The Secret is repackaging of the principles of New Thought and Unity Christianity.
The Secret has roots in 19th century faith healing, mesmerism and healing by suggestion.
The author of the secret has stated she was inspired by The Science of Getting Rich.
The Science of Getting Rich is a book written by Wallace D. Wattles published in 1910.
Wallace D. Wattles was a member of the school of New Thought.
Today's guest, is author Stephen L. Gibson.
Among his heroes, Stephen cites James Randi. 
Stephen's first book was a non-fiction work called Truth Driven Thinking. 
He's also the producer of the Truth Driven Thinking podcast.
On his website, Stephen has A Pledge for Truth. 
Stephen's latest book is a fiction work, "A Secret of the Universe."
Unusual for a work of fiction, the book contains extensive end notes and citations.
There is also a discussion guide for the book. 
The book jacket, includes endorsements by Dr. Michael Shermer and Rev. Billie Dalton.
The book itself is cataloged as Religious Fiction.
Stephen hopes the book will sit on the shelf alongside the popular Left Behind series.
The timeline of the book extends into the near future. 
One of the graphics for the book eludes to a future tragedy, After 9/11/01 comes 10/11/09
We're not aware of any conspiracy theories for 10/11/09 – yet.
If The Secret of the Universe were a film, it would likely be rated R, for mature subjects.
Thus far, the book is being well received by people of many different beliefs. 
Stephen is a trained corporate pilot, and has been a school board member in his town for nearly a decade.
Intelligent Design has not yet been an issue in his local school district.
You can find out where Stephen is on his book tour at his website.
You can subscribe to the Truth Driven Thinking Podcast through iTunes.
A Secret of the Universe is also a podcast novel that can be sampled for free.
To listen to the complete podcast novel, Stephen asks for a donation to cover costs.
Promo – Skeptic Magazine. 
This week Derek caught up with Jeff Wagg, general manager for the JREF.
Jeff had just finished helping to administer a preliminary test for the million dollar challenge. 
The most recent applicant to take the preliminary test was Rosemary Hunter.
Rosemary claimed that she could make a test subject urinate on command.
The subject, in this case Jeff Wagg, would empty his bladder first.
Rosemary claims that she would then compel God to fill the empty bladder, and cause the test subject to urinate.
Jeff took one for science.
The video parts of the challenge are available on YouTube here.
It's rumored that James Randi might administer the challenge at Dragon*Con 2008.
It's so crazy, it might just happen.
The Amazing Meeting 5.5 will take place in Ft. Lauderdale FL, Sunday January 25-27 2008. 
Skepticality outro.



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