The WooWoo Credo
I originally found this on the now extinct watchingyou.com web site.
I thought it deserved a form of immortality outside the Internet Wayback
As compiled from various posts on sci.skeptic and
alt.fan.art-bell. Original idea by Reality Check.
To be a proper woo-woo, you must follow these rules:
- Never look for the simplest,
most obvious cause of something. Refrain from mentioning
Occam's Razor (it's your nemesis).
favour the conspiracy angle over the boring angle. Mundane explanations
(like saying that
Roswell was a balloon) are for dullards and government drones.
If you want to sleep with that curvaceous new-age chick, don't
tell her you think astrology is bogus! (Non woo-woos may benefit
from that advice temporarily).
- Don't accept mainstream science
unless it's something you've believed in for years (like gravity).
- Try to answer as few direct
questions as possible. Always obfuscate and try to sound learned.
Richard Hoagland's style and you'll go far.
"what if" scenarios to change the subject whenever possible.
If you linger on one topic too long you may be asked to provide
annoying things like "proof." Don't let that happen! Consult
creationist if you need practice with subject-changing.
- If you're cornered
and asked for proof of something, always tell the person that
they "can't disprove" your claims. Many of them will
just walk away shaking their heads, which of course means they
agree with you. A side-to-side head shake could be the
same as a vertical nod. Anything is possible, after all.
- Memorize all the sci-babble
terms used in the Star Trek series. They are very useful if
you get cornered by a skeptic, and you need to come up with
some sort of "scientific" explanation. e.g.,
- When all else fails, start
asking hypothetical questions that have nothing to do with the
actual debate. If your opponent chooses to ignore your pointless
questions and remains on topic, repeat your meaningless question(s)
over and over. This will make any Believers in the audience
think that your opponent is evading the issue.
your opponent of being a liar, or try some other tactic that
will (hopefully) make him angry. If he responds in kind to your
endless taunts, change the subject to his anger, and accuse
him of name calling. If he accuses you of provoking him, then
you have changed the subject of the debate. If he stays on topic,
keep the heat up. The Believers in the audience will forgive
the worst verbal attacks you use, but they will think even the
mildest replies he makes to you are personal attacks that undermine
- Use the word quantum
in a sentence, despite not knowing what it means. For a more
impressive effect, use it with the name of your favourite superstition
dowsing" sure sounds mighty serious.
- Two more words: Paradigm shift.
claim that the other guy is "closed-minded" and that you're
as free-thinking as a newborn baby. Other woo-woos love the
concept of "open-mindedness" and will take you into their inner
circle without question. They have no tolerance for those "mean
old nasty" types who demand evidence for everything.
- Drink heavily while posting.
- You must believe that the
word "anomaly" means proof of paranormal activity.
- Use the word "anomaly" as
often as possible.
- When your position appears
hopeless, your entire audience is laughing at you, and you've
lost all credibility (and perhaps even won a
Kook of the Month) threaten everyone within proximity with
a lawsuit. You don't need to actually prepare a lawsuit, just
make the threat. That will let them know you're a serious person.
make your own newsgroup with a group charter drawn up to keep
out anyone who doesn't agree with your view of the world. Occasionally
crosspost to other newsgroups from that one, then complain when
people answer your posts, complain to their system administrators
that they're abusing the terms of your newsgroup and demand
their accounts be yanked for abusive spamming. Respond to each
answering message with a duplicate copy of the FAQ for your
- Open numerous accounts under
other names, then post agreeable responses to your own messages
from those accounts. Everybody knows that the only reason anybody
disagrees with you is that they like the belong to "the group"
and have no independent thought of their own. Just manufacture
a group of people who agree with you, and the rest of the mindless
zeebs will fall into line, tripping over each other to become
one of your supporters.
- Fix the 'reply to' line of
any post you make, to direct responses to your email account
- this will automatically mail you a copy of any response made
to your posts on Usenet. Send copies of these mails to the postmasters
and sysadmins of anyone who posts a disagreeing answer to you.
Refer to these people as 'internet terrorists' and demand their
accounts be cancelled immediately for sending you unwanted email
- Refer to anyone who doggedly
uncovers your latest little scams, time after time as "stalkers."
Write to their sysadmins and demand their accounts be removed
for net abuse.
to occasionally tell your opponents that you've handed all the
information you've collected about them to the local police/Mounties/FBI
who were extremely interested and grateful for the advance notice
of where to find criminals like you. You don't actually have
to collect any information, or send it to anybody, but this
will keep your opponents edgy, and make them paranoid. Mention
that the police/Mounties/FBI are closing in on them, and that
their day of reckoning is just moments away.
- Refer to anyone who does not
immediately agree with you as being uneducated on the matter,
lacking in important information, or just plain too stupid to
understand your magnificent statements.
- Pretend to write a book. Nothing
says "I am beyond reproach" like having written a book. If asked
for an ISBN number, just make something up. Nobody ever looks
at those anyway.
- Pretend to have a degree.
Never let yourself be pinned down to what kind or where you
got it. Just state repeatedly that you have one, and therefore
are superior, and may not be questioned upon any subject by
- Claim that there is no evidence
that you are a fraud, kook, net-abuser, spammer, or liar. Refer
to any actual proof of this as "spinning" or "disinformation."
Post messages that the system administrators of every system
your opponents post from are on the verge of killing their accounts
for net-abuse, and that you're going to set things right, and
get rid of all these cynical lying fact-spinners by sending
one final massive complaint against them all.
- When all else fails....
- When questioned, be sure to
exclaim "They laughed at
Galileo, too!" or perhaps "They laughed at
Columbus, until he proved the earth was round!"
- Always bear in mind that The
Conspiracy Against You can do almost anything. After all, they've
kept those 300 MPG
carburettors secret for years.
trotting out the one "respectable" scientist who might possibly
have said something that could be construed as perhaps giving
a hint that it may theoretically support your position. Even
better if said scientist has said it outright. Ignore all complaints
that the work is 50 years out of date, the scientist has no
experience in the field in question or that other experts in
the same field think said scientist is a complete loony (and
they can prove it, too).
- Dig out one reference that
supports your position. Complain when someone presents a reference
that refutes yours. Say that this means they can't think for
themselves and your reference proves it. Ignore all queries
on why you hold this hypocritical position.
- Whenever you read something
on the Internet, re-post it as fact. Never bother to do even
basic research into the matter.
- Be sure to repeatedly spam
your petty political rants onto lots of unrelated, off-topic
newsgroups. (Those folks reading rec.culture.needlepoint are
just dying to read about how much you hate a certain politician!)
- One word: "Hyperdimensional."
debating, remember that the best technique to "proving" your
hypothesis is to start with a supposition, and when you get
to the third point, refer to the supposition as a "fact". This
may cause just enough initial confusion to let you escape with
a momentary triumph.
Sock Puppets are very useful. If you can't find a weak-minded
soul who will blindly parrot you in support of your nonsense,
create your own. Then you can refer to your "many" supporters.
- Quote Einstein, and do so
often. Quote things he said if possible, but Einstein has been
dead for ages now and so it's permissible to bring him up to
date. Change the odd word here and there to make it clear that
Einstein would have supported your argument if only he knew
what you know. Act as if any arbitrary Einstein quote supports
- Any and all communications
problems including satellite failures, bad phone connections,
mysterious messages when dialing known phone numbers, busy signals
when trying to enter the grassy knoll on AOL, and radios left
on during calls must be blamed on the 'Conspiracy' trying to
'silence the truth'.
- Use lots of ALL CAPS letters.
Use them randomly: "I was posting my URL in alt.paranormal/alt.astrology.
Then I was stopped because A MAJORITY OF POSTERS, PSEUDO-SKEPTIC
RAVING FANATICS SCREAMED ABOUT IT."
- Beware the "goodtimes"
- When all else fails, try to
redefine what "skeptical", "skeptic" and "skepticism" mean so
that you become a 'real' skeptic who accepts your own nonsense
at face value.
- Refer to yourself in the third person.