pigasusawardGood evening!

Tonight, we are pleased to present this year's Pigasus Awards to the following very-deserving people. It was a hard call — there seem to be millions all over the world clambering to make it onto the following shortlist — but these folks had that special something that commanded our attention and, in the end, impressed us like no others. No matter if it was blatant cynicism, shocking callousness, lazy ignorance, or merely old-fashioned pig-headedness — these men and women took those qualities that most vex us to their wild, crazy extremes. We'd salute them, but we're too busy gaping.

For the scientist who did the most to promote woo in ’09…
Dr. Mehmet Oz
is a Harvard-educated cardiac physician whose current TV show, while providing some basic wisdom re medical matters, also promotes and endorses such quackery as Reiki – of which Oz’s wife is a practitioner – along with all sorts of “energy medicine” and other magic. Oprah Winfrey, following his appearance on her TV show, set him up with a show of his own, which has heavy ratings and brings him book sales and the other fruits of success. Proper scientific studies have found that Reiki offers no therapeutic effects, nor is it beneficial for any condition, though it does fatten the wallets of the practitioners.

For the funding organization that wasted the most money on pseudo-science…
Iraq's Interior Ministry
had, by the end of 2009, spent USD $85,000,000 on a dowsing rod called the ADE 651. (Each individual unit cost up to USD $60,000.) Despite an international uproar and continual car bomb detonations in Iraq, the things are still being used, and the Ministry is still defending its decision to buy them.

For the media outlet that reported as fact the most outlandish paranormal claim(s)…
The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Oprah is probably a decent lady. She is certainly a very silly lady. In the last year, she has made her show a platform for Suzanne Somers (at least twice), Jenny McCarthy (ditto), Dr. Oz (almost every week), and Michael Beckwith (the founder of New Thought Church). Now, lots of shows dabble in silliness from time to time, but Oprah’s can’t be compared to any of those: She is too famous, and her reach too long. There are many, many millions who believe that, if Oprah likes it, it’s the truth. (Though one must wonder why she thinks Suzanne Somers’ anti-aging supplements are so great when, as Rhonda Byrne once taught her, it’s possible to think yourself young.)

For the psychic who tricked the most people with the least effort…
Chip Coffey "
is a clairvoyant, clairaudient and clairsentient psychic, as well as a fully-conscious medium.  He is the great-grandson of famed Native American medicine woman, Minnie Sue Morrow Foster, whose own amazing gifts were widely hailed in the early part of the 20th century." And that's nice, but what he really does for a living is take deluded kids and make them worse. See our Swift about it here.

For the group that most ardently refuses to face reality…
It should be obvious by now that OT Levels IX, X, and XI don't exist. (Click here for more info.) Also, The New York TimesThe Daily MailThe LA Times and many other media organs have lately come forth with nearly identical stories exposing the Church's dark side — which involves alleged penal colonies, covered-up rapes, coerced abortions, slave labor, and savage abuse at the hands of David Miscavige. It's time for those drawn in by Scientology's bright, shiny surfaces to smarten up.