When the story hit the MSM, it caused problems for some American Evangelical Christians and their “Church First” method of nation building. Never known as enthusiastic supporters of the LGBT community, American Evangelicals still abandoned Ssempa — at a leisurely pace, and indignant about being expected to choose between a carried-away pastor and sodomites. Though historically uninterested in extending the right of privacy to same-sex sex, as a group they tend not to want to kill people over it.
With his American backers gone, Ssempa’s fortunes seemed to have taken a turn for the worse. Like so many of us, the Pastor found respite in the arms of pornography.
Once again JREF is issuing a call for papers to those who would like to share their work or accomplishments at the eighth annual Amazing Meeting, July 8-11, 2010 in Las Vegas.
Anyone may submit a request to present a paper. If your proposal is accepted you will be allotted 20 minutes for your presentation and an additional 5 minutes for questions and comments from the audience. Invitations to present will be given to about six proposals. If your proposal is selected for further consideration, a written article and draft of your presentation slides will be required for final consideration. Please visit this link for full details.
Linda accepts flowers which were a small sign of gratitude for her help with The Amaz!ng Meeting. Her husband Karl Shallenberger, a longtime JREF volunteer and advisor, stands to the left.
It is with both sadness and a warm heart that I'm announcing a member of the James Randi Educational Foundation's team has left the organization. A few days ago, Linda Shallenberger retired. She had been wanting to retire for many years, and recently felt it was the right time. Although I had only worked with her directly for four short months, I came to see in her what everyone else close to her saw: diligence, duty, and above all, a sense of devotion to what the foundation stands for, and to Randi himself.
Linda had been with the the JREF nearly since its beginning. Over the years, she helped organize the Amazing Meetings, managed our office in Ft. Lauderdale, handled HR and payroll and the accounting and finances, tracked and fulfilled merchandise orders, in addition to serving as our one-woman fundraising and development department. She consistently went "above and beyond," often doing more work than was required merely to get the job done. And for many skeptics at the grassroots, Linda is their point of contact at the JREF.
The JREF is proud to have begun a fellowship and learning program with the Center for Inquiry, the first of which is recounted below by Christina Stephens, the first participant in the program. Additional arrangements with other organizations are being explored, as well. Check back at randi.org in the months ahead for more opportunities for similar week-long study in paranormal investigation and skeptical inquiry.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to spend a week getting to know all of the amazing and talented people at the Center for Inquiry in Buffalo, New York. I spent most of my time with Joe Nickell, working on various skeptical investigation projects and picking his brain for information on the ethics and process of skeptical investigations. I would like to thank Joe Nickell, the James Randi Educational Foundation and the Center For Inquiry for an enlightening and educational experience.
I consider myself an academic researcher. When I do research, it takes this form: Ask a question. Do an extensive literature review. Ask more questions. Make a hypothesis. Write an experimental protocol. Conduct an experiment with many subjects. Report on the results. This type of research is somewhat different from that of Joe Nickell, who, in common with James Randi, is a full time professional paranormal investigator. Rather than attempting to find a mystery, Joe’s detective work is geared toward solving mysteries.