When Prophecies Fail

Tuesday June 3, 7:00 pm at the Centre for Inquiry meeting room (also known as the Seniors Centre)-next door to the Civic Theatre

The Nelson Centre for Inquiry (CFI) will be starting a series of presentations called ‘Let’s Examine…” .

Local presenters will be examining popular ideas and beliefs through a process of critical thinking.  The second presentation is….

When Prophecies Fail

It’s the end of the world! Again. And again. The prophecy has been made thousands of times in recorded history, and somehow the world is still here. But what happens to the failed prophets, and the people who followed them, sometimes at great personal cost?
From the 19th-century Millerites, who waited on hilltops for a Second Coming that never came, to the Seekers in 1950s Chicago, who vainly scanned the skies for elusive flying saucers, to the “Big Five” death cults who ended in fire and blood, the answer seems to be: almost anything can happen.
In fact, however, there are some powerful and surprising patterns that emerge from failed apocalyptic narratives, patterns that may shed a disturbing light on modern mainstream religious organizations as well as on cults and some New Age movements.
Dr. Rebecca Bradley—novelist, retired archaeologist, and writer for the Skeptic Ink Network—ties some of these threads together in a lecture sponsored by the West Kootenay Centre for Inquiry.

Want to read some of Rebecca’s previous analyses? Read her Monday Messiah series on her blog the Lateral Truth, always an enlightening read.

April 28 – Monday Messiah Ghandi – Mohandas K. Gandhi, known as Mahatma Gandhi, meaning “Great Soul,” is widely considered a saint and a martyr, the father of his nation, the prophet of nonviolent protest and civil disobedience; a man who set an example of ascetic self-sufficiency, including spinning his own yarn for weaving his own loincloths; a revolutionary who faced down the mighty British Raj and pressed for the rights of the poor, even the despised untouchables, whom he called the “children of God”.  A mystic, peacemaker, prophet of minimalism, messiah of liberation—surely the antithesis of compatriots like the Baghwan Shree Rajneesh, with his fleet of Rolls Royces, or dark messiahs like Jim Jones, with his doctrine of revolutionary suicide, or Adolf Hitler, with his unifying myth of Aryan nationhood.  In fact, questioning Gandhi’s saintliness feels a bit churlish, as heretical and apt to offend some people as questioning the divinity of Jesus would offend others.  Yet, there are grounds to see Gandhi as fitting in with the same general messianic model as the antiheroes mentioned above.
read more here
May 19 – Monday Messiah: Roch Thériault, Lord of the Ant Hill  – The ugly story of Roch Thériault and the Ant Hill Kids presents a malignant messianic cult in its smallest, purest form.  Thériault, born in Quebec in 1947 and also known as Moses, God and Pappy, started his spiritual career as a lapsed Catholic, was kicked out of the Seventh Day Adventists, and made himself unpopular among Mormon polygamists—but he was the almighty lord of his own mini-religion. read more here


May Skeptic Meeting – Let’s Examine EMDR Therapy: Based in Science or Hoax?

DATE:  Tuesday, May 6, 2013
TIMINGS AND LOCATIONS:  Meet at 6 pm for dinner at the KC restaurant  (Let me know if you are coming for dinner)

7:30 pm at the Centre for Inquiry meeting room (also known as the Seniors Centre)-next door to the Civic Theatre

The Nelson Centre for Inquiry (CFI) will be starting a series of presentations called ‘Let’s Examine…” .
Local presenters will be examining popular ideas and beliefs through a process of critical thinking.  The first presentation will be on EMDR.  EMDR was serendipitously founded by a psychologist, Dr. Francine Shapiro, while she was walking through the  park, in 1987, and noticed that she felt decreased anxiety when she was looking back and forth at her surroundings.  EMDR  is one of the most studied psychotherapeutic techniques, amongst the more than 500 techniques that exist.  In this exploration, we will look at what EMDR is, how it’s been perceived in the past, and how it is seen now. 

P’nina Shames, MSW, recently retired from 32 years of clinical work in community mental health, will present the topic, with a view to looking at the science underlying the therapy, the factors that contribute to therapeutic efficacy, and how we define a technique that “works.”
Be prepared for a lively, friendly, and stimulating discussion with the objective of learning new information, and hopefully, enhancing science and debunking unscientific popular belief.  This discussion will open your eyes and mind. 

Want to do some research before the discussion?  Then check out these websites:

and check out Google Scholar to find more science based abstracts and articles.


Take a look .   Choose a book.

You may view a new concept or two.


Indulge this Realm.  Watch a Film.

To observe this way takes less than a day.

A few ideas are listed below.  Please send recommendations of your own for titles, topics of interest or anything you might like.

To get a synopsis of the video or book, simply type the title in your search engine (google it) or ask Pat.


-Lying by Sam Harris                            –  Arguably by Christopher Hitchens (107 essays. to choose from)

-A Better Life: 100 Atheists Speak out on Joy and Meaning in a World without God   by Chris Johnson

-Do You Believe in Magic by Paul A. Offit

VIDEOS     on Youtube

-Best of Sam Harris Amazing Arguments and Clever Comebacks    10:38 minutes  This is just a fun example to see this author .

-Type in an authors name in the youtube search line such as Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennet and watch a short video of the author, 5 minutes or so, to get an idea of who these authors are or click on a longer video and watch a few minutes to see if you are interested in viewing this for the media club and discussing it.


– Paul Offit, MD        2 Videos:    1.  2:30 min.        2.    3.52 min.

-The Evolution of Confusion  by Daniel Dennett

-I think we can start here.  Send ideas to Pat’s email.  I am hoping by next month, April, we will have choosen our first selection and choose dates and times to meet after that.  For convenience, we might  meet after a monthly meeting to start.

We might like to read any fiction.  GOOGLE: Pulitzer Prize Fiction…..and view the list of winners for example….or the Booker Prize for fiction….to get ideas about this genre.

Quebec’s Charter of Values Discussion

Come one, come all to our March 4th Tuesday Meeting, Senior’s Place  – we are going to meet at 6:30pm so we can socialize a bit first. Bring a dessert, savoury snack or a drink.

What’s Up with Quebec’s Charter of Values? Can you wear a headscarf and work as a health professional?quebec secular charter

6:30 pm  Socializing but really just eating desserts and snacks.

7:00 pm – Ben hailing from Quebec will be leading an informational session and discussion on Quebec’s Charter of values. It is a very controversial issue; especially concerning the prohibition of public sector employees from wearing or displaying “conspicuous” religious symbols.

Ben will be showing some videos and presenting his findings on Quebec’s Charter of Values and will also be examining the impacts multiculturalism in Canada and other countries.. . Discussion will follow.

Ben is suggesting that you read ALL or Some of the below links…..It will help with the discussion.