On shunning the non-believers

Yesterday I got told off for being rude on a Facebook thread because I used sarcasm in response to somebody dismissing people because they spell skeptic with a K instead of a C. The person, who seems to harbour a deep hatred of the letter K, actually has bigger issues with people being all rational about ghosts and whatnot. They’ll deny it because they sometimes attend their local Skeptics in the Pub events (Really). They is all down with that doubt shit, innit?

This seems to be the point we’re not supposed to talk about though, and this is an attitude I’ve often encountered with certain “old school” ghost hunters who do not like fresh faces rocking their boat.

These youngsters coming around with their doubtful minds and throwing their messy skeptical thoughts over the tidy paranormal conclusions that people have laid out comfortably around them for so long.  These youngsters acting as though they own the place – who do they think they are putting a K in their skepticism instead of a C like the old days? The sKeptics pushing their beliefs onto other people – we have to be mindful of them doing that, but it’s okay if we do the same because we’re not sKeptics. Who the effng hell to do they effing think they are? Shun the non-believer! SHUNNNN! 

It is seriously tiring when individuals think it is perfectly okay to dismiss a whole group of people based on the way they spell a word, and it’s funny too. I can’t imagine being so closed-minded that my only defense is to reject en-masse anyone who I think it speaking a little too loudly against the things I believe in, in any way I can, (e.g. the way they spell a word).

Yesterday, when my sarcasm got me labelled as rude, the statement I objected to was made by another member of an organisation that I (now reluctantly) belong to called the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena. The individual who objects to the letter K explained that some members were concerned that the Association was moving in too much of a skeptical direction and that, while it’s okay to have sceptics as members, people ought to be mindful of skeptics throwing their weight around in training sessions and other events.

I countered this by pointing out that skepticism isn’t a bad thing, but was told rather bluntly that ‘Being a skeptic is bad, yes, Hayley. However, being a sceptic is good.’ To this I responded with a sarcastic ‘Congratulations, you’ve missed the point completely. *Applauds*’ which is rude, apparently.

I find the accusation that skeptics are making members of ASSAP feel uncomfortable at events because of their non-belief and “agenda” hilarious considering the fact that when I attended the ASSAP conference at the beginning of September I was made to feel extremely unwelcome by a large number of people simply because I regularly express opinions they don’t like.  I almost didn”t return on the Sunday, but did out of duty because I was speaking on a panel. A number of people that I know and respect made the weekend a good weekend, but don’t think the sneers and pointed staring went unnoticed. I didn’t blog about it though because I wanted to support ASSAP and help encourage people to attend the training, but now I’m not so sure…

‘Whether ASSAP is moving too far is a very important thing to be concerned about. I know of members who’ve left the organisation for this very reason. I’m not saying that things have necessarily moved too far yet in my opinion – but if they did, I can assure you ASSAP would lose more members …’ – The K hater

…and you know what? Yes, I was rude with my sarcasm, but it’s ruder to dismiss people for spelling skepticism with a K instead of a C while pretending you’re being open-minded and concerned for the organisation member numbers when, really, you just don’t like people who don’t agree with you.

There. I said the thing we’re not supposed to talk about.

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Hayley Stevens

Hayley is a ghost geek and started to blog in 2007. She uses scientific scepticism to investigate weird stuff and writes about it here while also speaking publicly about how to hunt ghosts as a skeptic.

7 thoughts on “On shunning the non-believers”

  1. There will always be differences of opinion on science, etiquette, and everything else, when you have an open-membership organisation. But you’re valued by the ASSAP team and hopefully you’ll stick with it. Best, Dave.

  2. Hayley, you come across as a prissy little miss “know it all”. What about your comment “I’ll be rude if I want to be rude, actually” and others which conveniently you don’t mention in your rant above? You paint yourself as a do-gooder but as a member of that discussion I and others see you are sarcastic and intolerant and when you were subject to things you didn’t like to hear you came running on to your own website where you could vent your bile without the inconvenience of having to tolerate other’s opinions. You seem to think you’re “the next big thing” in the paranormal world but you only repeat what others have been saying for decades. You only get away with it because you’re unbelievably cute and pretty.

  3. lol

    Isn’t the whole ‘movement’ towards spelling it with a “k” due to insecure sceptics disliking the easy put-down by believers in pronouncing the word as ‘septics’?

    With a ‘c’ is the UK spelling, why not start adopting all the other US spellings? I’d say that many US spellings are more sensible than of those in our poor excuse for a language.

    As for the rest of your rant, it cuts both ways but you are too immature to notice this (and before you cry out “You’re only saying that because I’m a kid” lol; maturity has nothing to do with age). You seem to live in a world where you don’t like the ‘old school’ and they don’t like you, welcome to a ‘movement’ with no dogma.

    It’s lazy for people to argue that their view is devalued by others because of their lifestyle, sexual orientation, gender, age etc If the viewpoint is the valid the truth will always out, the sky on a cloudless summer sky is still blue, no matter who says so.

    Maybe if what you said was always unassailable and incontrovertible, other people’s views as to you personally would be irrelevant.

    Think about that.

    Scepticism has diverse viewpoints, and the freedom to express them, and it is bigger than your ego.

    1. I wrote ‘and this is an attitude I’ve often encountered with certain “old school” ghost hunters’. Certain being the word you should focus on. I’m not one to tar whole groups of people with the same brush.

  4. I’ve still no idea what people mean when they say skeptic or sceptic. The dictionary has nothing to do with it. I think almost everyone who uses the terms has a different definition of them…

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