Jan Willem Nienhuys Oct-26-92 02:56AM They had to detect in which of six boxes a crystal o

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Jan Willem Nienhuys Oct-26-92 02:56AM They had to detect in which of six boxes a crystal of their own choice or a very holy Tibetan relic provided by Skepsis was present. The other boxes were empty, except for the cotton balls present in all boxes to prevent rattling. The boxes were filled at random (a die was used) by a person that did not enter the experimental room, and that had no verbal contact with the helper that brought the boxes into the experimental room. The boxes were glued to a piece of wood, to make transport easier, and prevent subtle clues on the basis of placement. The results were: 1 person scored 0 out of 10, 3 persons scored 2 out of 10 3 persons scored 3 out of 10. One of the above did not use a pendulum, but tried to detect the aura. He complained about the light, and only when the light was almost turned off, he succeeded (three times in a row). He wanted to repeat the experiment, but broke off after he managed only one hit in four. Most participants were very confident to score 8 or more out of 10. One participant (who had experimented at home) thought she would score at least 7 out of 10. On average each try took about 5 minutes (including taking away the boxes, refilling them and bringing them back). That's still an hour or so per participant, including trials beforehand, and questions and evaluations. We had invited 12 people altogether, but only 7 turned up. One of the ones not coming discovered that we only would refund travel expenses when he would score more then 5 out out 10. Even though confident that he had a good chance of passing the first round, he thought that this conditional refund was too insecure. The big surprise for me was the answer the participants gave to the question: "how would someone score who has no paranormal abilities and who does not know how to use the pendulum". Most did not understand the question. "No idea". "That depends on so much". "Anyone can do this". Only after explicitly outlining that such an unable person would not use a pendulum, but throw dice or so, some people thought maybe one hit would be possible. One guy (an automatisation advisor) thought that anyone had a chance of 50% of scoring the required 5 out of 10. No one said: "The chance expectation is 10/6, so 1 or 2". Of course, advertising such an experiment attracts people who only have a vague notion of probability. During the experiment the subjects became more and more uncertain. Afterwards they complained about the lack of ambiance (an age old cellar in a former astronomical observatory, the walls lined with books on the occult, and mysteriously ticking pipes of the central heating of the observatory), the confusing colors on the boxes and so on. Some doubted halfway the experiment whether their stone still had its powers and so on. One discovered that the relic made his pendulum heavier and heavier, because it moved very little towards the end. All of them (except one who had tried it more for fun, and except the one who had scored 0) thought they had been doing quite well, given the circumstances. In defense of those who became visibly upset when this experiment did not yield results expected by them, I must confess that I got all kinds of strange irrepressable thoughts when one lady scored 3 out the first 5. Later, when luck ran against her, she looked at me, and said: "You haven't hidden a magnet under the table, have you?" Incidentally, most of these pendulum experts look at the direction the pendulum swings circlewise: a more or less clockwise rotation means one thing, and anticlockwise means another thing for them. BTW, the big prize was for those who performed well in three succesive rounds, i.e. a chance of 1 in a quarter million of losing it by sheer luck. I would like to know what brings people to rely on such methods, and what keeps them using these. The lady above used her pendulum in the supermarket, to determine which food was healthy. Another used the pendulum to select one of a few Homeopathic remedies when she had a cold (but when asked whether it worked also at C30, she apparently didn't know what that meant, so to her "homeopathic" meant just any herbal preparation labeled as such), and the sofware advisor used his abilities in dealing with people and when he gave demonstrations (probably something like which button to press in WP 5.1).

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