‘That Dude’: An Alien to the Truth

Psi is an anomaly of ceaseless wonder and mystery. The psi hypothesis remains neither confirmed nor disconfirmed but it connects us to our fellow beings, to nature and the cosmos at large.

David F Marks, Psychology and the Paranormal, 2020, p. 313.

Normally, one does not reply to book reviews, especially one-starred reviews. Yet, on this occasion, needs must.

Sometimes a reviewer goes so far beyond the bounds of reasonable criticism and fair comment, passing a red line and one cannot let it pass. That red line is slander.

Hiding behind the safety of a nom-de-plume, ‘That Dude’ slates my book for entirely spurious reasons and he lies in the process. I consider here the Review of my book ‘The Psychology of the Psychic’ posted by

That Dude

under the title: ‘A Fairy Tale for Skeptics’ on March 18, 2021.

‘That Dude’ has also posted another review of my 2020 book, Psychology and the Paranormal. I deal with that here – it makes similar false arguments and so falls at the same hurdle: The Truth.

‘That Dude’s’ Review

‘That Dude’ states:

I’ve analysed the Nature publications between Puthoff, Targ, Tart and Marks. When you compare the original Pat Price remote viewing experiment published in 1974 against Marks’ cues in 1986, they actually pertain to the Psychics location, not that of the demarcation team. Put simply, they logically cannot be used to match the location to the transcripts despite Marks implying it can. [1]

This means the original SRI Remote Viewing experiments can still be considered scientifically valid despite what Marks would have you believe.[2]

I bought this book to get Marks’ complete side of the story and to see if he really had any more damning evidence. He actually omits the cues from Tarts re-judging… he had nothing. He’s effectively pretended to have debunked Remote Viewing for 20 years (40 years if you include ‘Psychology and the Paranormal’).[3]

It’s a shame. He genuinely was open minded towards psi and actually made a decent replication experiment. The likely problem was the locations didn’t contrast highly enough. The result is this completely biased one-sided hit piece against parapsychology as revenge for his failure. He is far more concerned with finding pedantic reasons to discount experiments than actually learn the truth.[4]

He mentions accurate transcripts where there should be none, he mentions Joe McMoneagle getting commended for intelligence gathering. He mentions spoons bending across the Nation from Geller’s audience. Does he explore these anomalies further? No… that’s not his goal. He only cares about invalidating evidence for Psi as quickly as possible by any means necessary, no matter how weak or speculative the arguments are.[5]

For all his talk on subjective validation, he fails to realise it works both ways. The irony is extreme here.[6]

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1573927988

Other reviewers do not agree with ‘That Dude’s’ one-star review, and typically give the book five stars. The average score being 4.2, pulled down thanks to ‘That Dude’s bomb attack.

My response to the reviewer’s paragraphs follows.

1)The cues pertain to the Psychic’s location

This statement is false. The cues do not refer to the psychic’s location, which was the same on every occasion. The ‘Psychic’ remained at SRI. I reproduce here the original description published in Nature in 1974.

‘That Dude’ falls at the very first hurdle: the Simple Truth. Either ‘That Dude’ did not read the investigators’ description of the SRI study or did not understand it or deliberately falsified it, making her/him/them/? an alien to the truth.

2) “This means the original SRI Remote Viewing experiments can still be considered scientifically valid”

My criticisms of the SRI remote viewing experiments are published in chapters within three books here, here, and here. Many other topics are also covered.

Three books on claims of the paranormal published in 1980, 2000 and 2020

The evidence in these three books proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the SRI RV experiments were methodologically unsound and that the findings are unsafe. In the most recent book, Dr. Hal Puthoff, principal investigator of the SRI studies, was given the opportunity to defend the SRI studies. Dr. Puthoff declined to do so.

3) “He’s effectively pretended to have debunked Remote Viewing for 20 years (40 years if you include ‘Psychology and the Paranormal’)”

This statement is slanderous. I have pretended no such thing. My publications have demonstrated that the remote viewing research in the scientific literature is quite generally poorly done and the findings are unsafe.

4) “this completely biased one-sided hit piece against parapsychology as revenge for his failure”.

This ad hominem attack does little to advance the discussion. There is nothing to avenge. I have published three well-received books on the Parapsychology field. The only “completely biased one-sided hit piece” is the Dude’s vitriolic book reviews.

5) “He only cares about invalidating evidence for Psi as quickly as possible by any means necessary, no matter how weak or speculative the arguments are.”

Pure ad hominem. Pure slander. Pure gobshite.

How consistent is ‘That Dude’s’ statement with my 40-year period of researching claims of the paranormal?

How well does his statement align with the following conclusion on the very last page of the last book in the series?

Psi is an anomaly of ceaseless wonder and mystery. The psi hypothesis remains neither confirmed nor disconfirmed but it connects us to our fellow beings, to nature and the cosmos at large.

David F Marks, Psychology and the Paranormal, 2020, p. 313.

6) “For all his talk on subjective validation, he fails to realise it works both ways. The irony is extreme here”

The irony would indeed be extreme if ‘That Dude’ was telling the truth. Sadly for his case, he is not. I fully acknowledge my personal susceptibility to subjective validation. For example, see the concluding sentence of Chapter 4 in Psychology and the Paranormal, analysing a personally experienced anomalous event:

In spite of everything, the entire episode could be nothing more than subjective validation.

Psychology and the Paranormal, p. 88.

Again, here’s what I say on page 299 of The Psychology of the Psychic (2nd Edition):

Subjective validation is not unique to psychic belief, but is a regular part of human life and thought.

The Psychology of the Psychic (2nd edition), p. 299

As a human being, I am of course willing to admit to the power of subjective validation in making up one’s mind, making choices and taking decisions about the truth.

My version of the truth is not That Dude’s version. My version of the truth follows what the SRI investigators actually stated in multiple original published reports. ‘That Dude’s’ version of the truth is based on a false description of the original SRI investigators statements.

‘That Dude’ is an alien to the truth, the author of a fairy tale all of his own making.

Conclusion

A book reviewer using the pen name ‘That Dude’ has written a scurrilous piece, which is planted at the top of my Amazon book website. ‘That Dude’ needs to remove the review ASAP because any loss of sales could be associated with the slander that is committed there.

Published by dfmarks

Author

3 thoughts on “‘That Dude’: An Alien to the Truth

  1. Well, touché David! The Dude doesn’t seem to have penned a very penetrating review. Many years ago, I wrote a chapter on parapsychology, including a critique of the SRI remote viewing series, in a book called Facts, Fallacies and Frauds in Psychology, and it also attracted a few nasty comments.

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