Saturday, January 24, 2009

Why I Do What I Dubi Do

Every now and then I wonder if the all of the silliness that I try to accomplish on a weekly basis has ANY effect on anything. And then I get an e-mail like this. Too cool. The subject line of this particular letter was:

Ubi dubium, ibi Monty Python! Or... How Mr. Hrab is Changing the World

I have to say that caught my attention.

Check it out-

Dear George,

My name is Jean-Frédéric and I write to you today to, first and foremost, tell you how you have changed my life immensely. Poems, lyrics and prose, do not hold enough power; can not encompass the magnitude of my gratitude towards you for having shown me the way to a wider world, with your skepticism and determined atheism shinning bright like beacons, both as bold as a candle in the dark.

Decreasing the speed of Superlatives from warp factor nine to one, I'd like to tell you a bit of my life story, so that it may make my point of how strong your impact was on my life, a vivid one. It all started 4.5 billion years ago...ok maybe that's taking it a bit too far back. In all seriousness (or at least I'll try), it all started when I was 8 and found myself hunting down any books I could find on ghosts, UFO's, Big Foot and all Occult subjects you could think of. This fascination kept with me and kept on growing, as I started to ask people around me if they ever had a strange phenomenon happened to them or seen anything out of this world. By the age of 13 I knew, in detail, about the Project Blue Book, the Socorro affair, how to catch ghosts on "high tech" equipment, and so on and so forth, I had even sunk in the underworld of conspiracy and trans-dimensional theories.

At 15, now surrounded by friends that were heavily into spiritualism, Wicca and anything paranormal under the sun (or the moon), I decided to start writing down and take audio recording of them recounting their encounters with the supernatural, which I dubbed: "The Chaos Chronicles." After a dew interviews, I started to go out with them on their spirit hunts, where they "saw" invisible creatures like mind-vampires, purple and winged demon temptresses with Machiavellian schemes to take the city from other spirit beings. As I sat with them in the car (or drove most of the time), I tried seeing these things, I caught myself saying things like "I think I see a spirit gargoyle over that way or a spectral shift following us" and at first they dismissed my claims saying that those were "nothings" or misdirection created by the "Others", making me feel out of the loop. Eventually, with time, any glimpse, shift or imagination–fed creation that I pointed out, they saw and sadly I started seeing them as well.

For years I continued to, every few months, questioned them and gather information, but as I did this investigating work, I started to realize the holes in some of their explanations and the derision that they had for anyone who didn't "get it" including me, at some points or other, when I asked probing questions…

I got married to my lovely wife Jennifer and a few months later became a father to my wonderful Madeleine. My friends came by to congratulate us and (unbeknownst to me) they put seals of protections around my daughter's room. This was told to me on a later date, when I inquired why I had not heard from them in a while regarding paranormal happenings and was also told that I was being kept less informed because I now had a family and they did not want me or them become pray to the spirit armies…From that point on I continued my interest in ghosts and the paranormal but let the "Spirit War" alone and forgotten.

Finally, a year ago this march, I was listening to Steve Mirsky on the SciAm podcast, since I have always been interested in Scientific American at a very young age because my mom had them around the house being a Microbiologist by trade and having those kind of interests. In any case, Mr. Mirsky was mentioning a group that he had podcasted with not too long ago, The Skeptic Guide to the Universe, and that they were a great fun bunch and that we should go check them out. Now my first thought was, "great— skeptics— those guys who can't see through the web of lies the government spins and are close-minded about everything.” Still I figured it could be a laugh to hear what they had to say and I should see what lies on the other side of my point of view.

That, dear Sir, is when I downloaded ALL their podcasts and started from the very beginning and tore through them all in three months, so that by mid may I was up to date. A little while later in the year I heard you in one of their podcasts talk about all the many things you were doing in your podcast. This made me rush to my computer, download every single one of your shows, and devour every second of it, like a God-Hungry Kronos.

Thanks to you and many others, I am now a skeptic to the core. You see, I have a Bachelor's degree in History with a minor in Ancient Studies, I have been a Senior Credit Analyst for over 10 years ( I'm 29 right now) but, in part because the inspiration you've brought me, I am going back to school, studying for a certificate in Communication studies and then a Master's degree in either Public Relations (so that I may help spread a rational, skeptical way of thinking in schools, the media and our government) or in Scientific Journalism. I’d like to help push towards a more unbiased, truthful view of new scientific discoveries and debunking of Crap Based Medicine and all its pseudoscientific brothers & sisters.

In any case, one thing I really need to get across here is that the SGU, Randi, Penn Jillette and many more may have laid the ground work for my skepticism, but you my friend, I can proudly say, are on equal footing with the Great Carl Sagan for opening my eyes to the hypocrisy of religion, and for making me see the way to Atheism. Since then, I have been a “closet atheist” for many months now (in large part due to the fact that my wife sees the universe a bit different that I do…) but I have found the courage to label myself for who I am: A Skeptic Atheist.

In conclusion, thank you again George for what you have brought in my life. I must say that your music is amazing; your lyrics are transcendent, seriously hilarious and hilariously serious all at once.

With my greatest regards to you,


Jean-Frédéric Samson
Vaudreuil, Qc, Canada

You can see Monsieur Samson's blog HERE.

Thank you sir. Thank you.

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