Rense is the host of an Art Bell-like radio program that used to be
called "Sightings on the Radio." When the television show upon which
it was based (Sightings, reruns of which can be seen on the Sci-Fi channel)
bottomed-out a few years ago, the radio show presumably changed its name
to "Jeff Rense."
We've been with Jeff since
the Sightings days, and we can tell you that the site has gone through
very few changes. It remains an amateurish page, complete with the
requisite black background that is so common among the paranormally-inclined.
It is a kind of mishmash of banners and advertisements, very few of which
actually have anything to do with the paranormal. This is presumably
the fault of the webmaster, James Neff, who is also responsible for policing
the discussion forum. And it is this discussion forum that has become
the focus of an unintentional experiment into the minds of those wonderful
people whose so-called "open mind" oftentimes clouds their critical thinking.
The experiment was unintentional
because we didn't originally go there for the purposes of an investigation;
rather, we wished to make our presence known to the very small subsection
of parnormals who dwell therein. This is otherwise known as "self-promotion."
Here is the exact text of
our original post, which is decidedly irreverent, but was hardly intended
to arouse anyone's anger:
Have any of you wacky
UFOnuts checked out Jeff's hair yet?! I think some prudent psuedoscientific
inquiry into the possibilities of alien
manipulation of that 'do is in order, what about you folks?
Ok, how about this one:
"wash, Rense, repeat"
I got a million of 'em!
We probably should not have
opened up the message by calling them UFOnuts, but it really is more of
a term of endearment than an insult.
We got a few responses, most
of them understanding the humor intended; some of them were even polite
enough to pretend to laugh at our lame joke.
And, while one bad apple
doesn't ruin the whole basket, we got one response from "susan" that said:
We, are not nuts. We are
people who look at things with a bit more open eyes. We know that we are
being lied to, we know that the Gov't is keeping things from us. All you
have to do is look around, real people seeing real things that no amount
of black technology can reproduce. As for his hair- you should see mine
sometimes- or better yet- look around the next time you are out. As for
the hair thing- who cares? My husband is almost bald, and my haircut hasn't
changed much in 15 years. Grow up and get a life.
Yeah, I had to read it a
couple of times, too, don't feel bad. And I'm absolutely certain
that "susan" has proof of this conspiracy...I mean, who doesn't believe
something without proof?!
It should have stopped there,
but we couldn't resist. Here's our next post:
An Open Invitation
I would like to invite
all of you wonderful folks to come on down to The Daily Skeptic (linked
above). There, you will find some positively wonderful
skeptical insights into the world of paranormality and UFOs! Of course,
you are all probably too busy praying into crystals or watching the skies
or something...but I invite you nonetheless.
The Daily Skeptic
We got some responses with
this one, too. We tried to be more subtle with our irreverence at
first, but we couldn't resist a little dig at the end. Here is one
We certanly welcome your
skepticism at our forum, but if you become abusive and insulting to people
who come here to communicate at OUR forum
regarding topics WE choose to discuss, we will take every step necessary
to see that you are either (a) banned from
posting and/or (b) are reported to your local ISP for net abuses. If you
cannot be civil, don't be anything. Just keep your snide remarks to yourself.
If you want to challange those who may (or may not... you assume alot [sic])
believe there is substantial evidence for, say, UFOs or paranormal activity...
bring it on.
But be civil. There is
no place for being insulting (outside of the normal parameters for disparaging
another persons percieved intellectual capacity,
This one was from the afore-mentioned
James Neff, who was nice enough to send us an email with the same kind
First of all, we didn't insult
anyone with this last message. We alluded to the fact that perhaps
the people at the forum "pray into crystals" and "watch the skies," but
there is ample evidence that people who frequent paranormal sites sometimes
do either or both of these things. Point refuted.
Mr. Neff also claims that
the forum at Jeff Rense is somehow
"HIS" or "THEIRS," and that I presumably had no place there. We'd
like to point out that a) the forum is public, which means anyone
can go there and say anything they like, and b) the forum isn't on the
Rense website at all (and is a free service of Bravenet),
thus eliminating any illusion of property. Point refuted.
Also, the overall tone of
Mr. Neff's response is highly questionable. He's far more "insulting"
and "snide" than any of our posts. And we would never, ever
threaten someone, no matter what their beliefs or position.
It is also important to note
that a post by a poster named "George" went totally ignored by Mr. Neff.
This is just the title:
Hey morons, your spaceship
Perhaps Mr. Neff didn't respond
to "George" because he offered no intellectual refutations? Or because
"George" didn't attempt to challenge his beliefs, contented only to insult
them? Because, as we all know, it is far easier to shrug off an uninformed
insulter than it is to challenge a skeptic on his own terms.
In the end, does this mean
that all UFOnuts are so unsure of their beliefs that they feel the need
to throw wild accusations and threats at skeptics who challenge them?
No. Just one of them.