Ouija Board help

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Ouija Board help

#1  Postby Kangaroo495 » Jan 14, 2013 9:46 am

Dear all, I've just joined the forum, and am dying to post this story here. I came upon the forum while doing an internet search on this topic.

The purpose of the post is to get some help and ideas in trying to argue against the credibility of the ouija board. (I can't believe I just wrote that....)

The background is:
- I live in Russia, which is an extremely superstitious country
- I live with a Russian girl, who, by and large, doesn't really believe in silly superstitions (although sometimes I think she deliberately doesn't share the extent of what she believes with me... understandably)
- Her father is obsessed with all things occult and supernatural, and has read hundreds of books on the topic, which he thinks, provide evidence of the existence of such things as clairvoyance, dowsing (which he has "successfully practiced" himself), all sorts of spirits etc etc. I think he was on the verge of organizing the end of the world on the 21st if December, when he realized it wasn't going to happen happen.

The problem happened on the past weekend when my girlfriend visited her parents for a family get together (I couldn't attend). At some point, the dad drew up a ouija board (unfortunately, Hasbro doesn't produce a Cyrillic version) and lit a bunch of candles. The missus was very skeptical to start with. That is, until she participated. Now she is 110% convinced that the marker was moving by itself. I won't relay her entire story, but obviously whatever happened made a strong impression on her and the others at the party. Apparently we now know for sure that: "Valentina is going to marry Vladimir in 2016", and Olga shouldn't change her job next year.

The problem I have, is that I can't even look her in the eye after she said that she believes it. My blood boils every time I think about it. So do I try to explain her the idiomotor action? "Sweetheart, you and everyone else were moving the marker, you just don't know it". As scientific as that might be, it's not going to work. It comes across as "you and everyone else are delusional". I really need to stamp this out, but unfortunately I wasn't there to see it, and apparently everyone saw it move, so that's perfect evidence.

What other angles can I take?

:thumbup:
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Re: Ouija Board help

#2  Postby DarthHelmet86 » Jan 14, 2013 9:55 am

I can't remember the name but there is a term for the sensation that a Ouija board thingy is moving on its own and not from the motion of the persons hands. Perhaps showing her that it is a well understood effect she just might accept that it wasn't moving on its own.

You could also try Penn and Tellers Bullshit episode on Ouija Boards, they do some tests on people about the board and show how the people are doing the moving. Stuff like rotating the board and showing how without being able to see the letters the people make it same complete nonsense.
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Re: Ouija Board help

#3  Postby trubble76 » Jan 14, 2013 10:03 am

A ouija marker that moves when everyone is touching it isn't very impressive, one that moves with no-one touching it would be more impressive.

Here is a brief history of the Hasbro toy.

In short, if you think the disembodied spirits of long dead people are trying to give you information about your future through a kid's toy then you are too dumb for any kind of real explanation.
Of course, the spirits could prove all the doubters wrongs and simply give next week's lottery numbers. We both know that won't happen.
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Re: Ouija Board help

#4  Postby Bribase » Jan 14, 2013 10:39 am

Pretty simple. Ask them to use it again with blindfolds on. If the marker is being directed by something that can actually see the board then it should be able to spell out complete sentences again. You could turn the board around as well while they are blindfolded but they might consider it a bit underhanded.
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Re: Ouija Board help

#5  Postby The_Metatron » Jan 14, 2013 10:44 am

Bribase wrote:Pretty simple. Ask them to use it again with blindfolds on. If the marker is being directed by something that can actually see the board then it should be able to spell out complete sentences again. You could turn the board around as well while they are blindfolded but they might consider it a bit underhanded.

This is probably the best test.

It won't change her mind, though. You probably know this.

You will have to decide if this (and other things like it are sure to pop up) is something you can overlook. Forever.

If you cannot, it will be poison to your relationship.
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Re: Ouija Board help

#6  Postby Kangaroo495 » Jan 14, 2013 11:19 am

Bribase wrote:Pretty simple. Ask them to use it again with blindfolds on. If the marker is being directed by something that can actually see the board then it should be able to spell out complete sentences again. You could turn the board around as well while they are blindfolded but they might consider it a bit underhanded.


The only problem with using it again is that apparently there's a special window of time when only in the 1st half of January can the spirits actively contact people. The last day is tomorrow, so I won't get the chance to test it until next year. The funniest thing is that apparently, the spirit window is open in the first half of January because it's around the time of the birth of Jesus (Russian Christmas being the 7th of Jan) :banghead:

I do think there is a chance that the missus can be convinced, so I really want to give it a go. I'll have a look through the links provided. Thanks for those.
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Re: Ouija Board help

#7  Postby Scarlett » Jan 14, 2013 1:11 pm

Derren Brown also debunks the seance, Ouiji board, fortune telling malarky really well. He has loads on YouTube too ;)

Edit to add: Here you go, first one of 6 :thumbup:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4U6-ZRuWqg[/youtube]
"The stupid bitch"

" ..the Scottish bitch.."

" Too much PC and stupid women."

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Prize for guessing who? :naughty2:
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Re: Ouija Board help

#8  Postby infiniteentropy » Jan 14, 2013 1:43 pm

When I was in my late teens I took part in an experiment with a Ouija board with a group of friends. We wanted to see what would happen if a group who didn't really believe in the super natural tried it. We did it on Southampton common next to the graveyard after dark (for best atmosphere as possible). We were shocked it started 'working' almost immediately; we then took turns to step away and see if it continued to work. It worked all the way down to two people, both were swearing they weren't pushing the glass. Finally they asked if it would work with one person, the board replied yes; it didn't. We identified one of us as subconsciously doing most of the work and all the answers were rubbish. It was good fun after a few beers and an interesting experiment, admittedly not very scientific, but the experience help when reading watching various other explanations.
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Re: Ouija Board help

#9  Postby Kangaroo495 » Jan 14, 2013 5:29 pm

Paula wrote:Derren Brown also debunks the seance, Ouiji board, fortune telling malarky really well. He has loads on YouTube too ;)

Edit to add: Here you go, first one of 6 :thumbup:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4U6-ZRuWqg[/youtube]


That was really good!
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Re: Ouija Board help

#10  Postby Scarlett » Jan 14, 2013 6:03 pm

Yea, I'm a Derren fan. If you've not seen much of his stuff you should check more out. I believe this was part of a series, get the GF to watch them all ;)
"The stupid bitch"

" ..the Scottish bitch.."

" Too much PC and stupid women."

"..Paula (who still thinks she is the forum pin-up)."


Prize for guessing who? :naughty2:
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Re: Ouija Board help

#11  Postby Ironclad » Jan 14, 2013 6:10 pm

Tell her that you also did an Ouija board that week, it told you she must be your love-slave & cook you nice dinners every day. Insist you aren't lying.
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Re: Ouija Board help

#12  Postby Tbickle » Jan 14, 2013 6:39 pm

Kangaroo495 wrote:Dear all, I've just joined the forum, and am dying to post this story here. I came upon the forum while doing an internet search on this topic.

The purpose of the post is to get some help and ideas in trying to argue against the credibility of the ouija board. (I can't believe I just wrote that....)

The background is:
- I live in Russia, which is an extremely superstitious country
- I live with a Russian girl, who, by and large, doesn't really believe in silly superstitions (although sometimes I think she deliberately doesn't share the extent of what she believes with me... understandably)
- Her father is obsessed with all things occult and supernatural, and has read hundreds of books on the topic, which he thinks, provide evidence of the existence of such things as clairvoyance, dowsing (which he has "successfully practiced" himself), all sorts of spirits etc etc. I think he was on the verge of organizing the end of the world on the 21st if December, when he realized it wasn't going to happen happen.

The problem happened on the past weekend when my girlfriend visited her parents for a family get together (I couldn't attend). At some point, the dad drew up a ouija board (unfortunately, Hasbro doesn't produce a Cyrillic version) and lit a bunch of candles. The missus was very skeptical to start with. That is, until she participated. Now she is 110% convinced that the marker was moving by itself. I won't relay her entire story, but obviously whatever happened made a strong impression on her and the others at the party. Apparently we now know for sure that: "Valentina is going to marry Vladimir in 2016", and Olga shouldn't change her job next year.

The problem I have, is that I can't even look her in the eye after she said that she believes it. My blood boils every time I think about it. So do I try to explain her the idiomotor action? "Sweetheart, you and everyone else were moving the marker, you just don't know it". As scientific as that might be, it's not going to work. It comes across as "you and everyone else are delusional". I really need to stamp this out, but unfortunately I wasn't there to see it, and apparently everyone saw it move, so that's perfect evidence.

What other angles can I take?

:thumbup:


Let them put their money where their mouth is. Blindfold them and alter the board in some way. If they really aren't controlling it, the results should be the same if the movement is being controlled by a 3rd party.

Watch this around the 4:00 - 5:00 marks to see what happens when ouija board believers have their board flipped around.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA5uYhXpa-E[/youtube]
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Re: Ouija Board help

#13  Postby Clive Durdle » Jan 14, 2013 6:47 pm

Look up Richard Wiseman Paranormality and Michael Farraday on Table Turning.

This is a fascinating history lesson about the death of belief in gods and the rise of brain farts as new religions - including conversion experiences, tongues and slaying in the spirit
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Re: Ouija Board help

#14  Postby Clive Durdle » Jan 14, 2013 6:50 pm

infiniteentropy wrote:When I was in my late teens I took part in an experiment with a Ouija board with a group of friends. We wanted to see what would happen if a group who didn't really believe in the super natural tried it. We did it on Southampton common next to the graveyard after dark (for best atmosphere as possible). We were shocked it started 'working' almost immediately; we then took turns to step away and see if it continued to work. It worked all the way down to two people, both were swearing they weren't pushing the glass. Finally they asked if it would work with one person, the board replied yes; it didn't. We identified one of us as subconsciously doing most of the work and all the answers were rubbish. It was good fun after a few beers and an interesting experiment, admittedly not very scientific, but the experience help when reading watching various other explanations.


Actually, very scientific! Wonderful stuff ideomotor action. You too can learn to spirit write!
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Re: Ouija Board help

#15  Postby Kangaroo495 » Jan 15, 2013 7:44 am

So I showed her the Derren Brown thing. Let's see what her reaction is.
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Re: Ouija Board help

#16  Postby CookieJon » Jan 15, 2013 7:48 am

Slight derail, but during that Derren Brown seance episode, I did the "spirit writing" experiment and indeed produced the word LONDON (quite distinctly albeit a bit wonky)

Anyone else? And any thoughts on how it was done?
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Re: Ouija Board help

#17  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jan 15, 2013 8:03 am

:popcorn:
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Re: Ouija Board help

#18  Postby Scarlett » Jan 15, 2013 9:10 am

Kangaroo495 wrote:So I showed her the Derren Brown thing. Let's see what her reaction is.


I have a friend who was in the same position as you, this time it was ghosts and hauntings his g/f raved about, watched all the ghost hunting shows on TV etc. Derren Brown (possibly on the same series) debunked it all completely. So, after the programme finished he turned and said to her "Well? Has that shown you what a bunch of charlatans these cooks are?", her response? "Well, those ones were, I still think there's 'something' in it".

:roll:

Good luck :lol:

(Derren also did a fab programme debunking "luck" too ;) )
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" Too much PC and stupid women."

"..Paula (who still thinks she is the forum pin-up)."


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Re: Ouija Board help

#19  Postby Kangaroo495 » Jan 15, 2013 11:54 am

Is there anything other than the Ouija Board that could illicit an idiomotor reaction in people?

There's no point trying to do another Quija seance, as the "Jesus Window", which I described above, is closed.

I think if I could demonstrate the same reaction in other things, then this could at least demonstrate the existence of the idiomotor reaction. But just saying to someone that they moved a marker and they don't know it - it's too feeble.
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Re: Ouija Board help

#20  Postby Clive Durdle » Jan 15, 2013 12:21 pm

Table turning and spirit writing. See Richard Wiseman, paranormality. He not only describes all the various techniques but shows you how to do themselves! And Faraday on table turning is wonderful!

The most publicized and carefully controlled study of table-turning was reported by Michael Faraday in 1853. Faraday obtained the cooperation of participants who he knew to be "very honorable" and who were also "successful table-movers." He found that the table would move in the expected direction, even when just one subject was seated at the table. Faraday first looked into the possibility that the movements were due to known forces such as electricity or magnetism. He showed that sandpaper, millboard, glue, glass, moist clay, tinfoil, cardboard, vulcanized rubber, and wood did not interfere with the table's movements. From these initial tests, he concluded that, "No form of experiment or mode of observation that I could devise gave me the slightest indication of any peculiar force. No attraction, or repulsion . . . nor anything which could be referred to other than mere mechanical pressure exerted inadvertently by the turner."

By then, Faraday suspected that his sitters were unconsciously pushing the table in the desired direction. However, his sitters firmly maintained that they were not the source of the table movements. And, as already mentioned, Faraday was satisfied that his sitters were "very honorable." So he devised an ingenious arrangement to pin down the cause of the movement. He placed four or five pieces of slippery cardboard, one on top of the other, upon the table. The sheets were attached to one another by little pellets of a soft cement. The bottommost sheet was attached to a piece of sandpaper that rested against the table top. This stack of cardboard sheets was approximately the size of the table top with the topmost layer being slightly larger than the table top. The edge of each layer in this cardboard sandwich slightly overlapped the one below. To mark their original positions, Faraday drew a pencil line across these exposed concentric borders of the cardboard sheets, on their under surface. The stack of cardboard sheets was secured to the table top by large rubber bands which insured that when the table moved, the sheets would move with it. However, the bands allowed sufficient play to permit the individual sheets of cardboard to move somewhat independently of one another. The sitter then placed his hands upon the surface of the top cardboard layer and waited for the table to move in the direction previously agreed upon. Faraday reasoned that if the table moved to the left, and the source of the movement was the table and not the sitter, the table would move first and drag the successive layers of cardboard along with it, sequentially, from bottom to top, but with a slight lag. If this were the case, the displaced pencil marks would reveal a staggered line sloping outwards from the left to the right. On the other hand, if the sitter was unwittingly moving the table, then his hands would push the top cardboard to the left and the remaining cardboards and the table would be dragged along successively, from top to bottom. This would result in displacement of the pencil marks in a staggered line sloping from right to left. Faraday observed that, "It was easy to see by displacement of the parts of the line that the hand had moved further from the table, and that the latter had lagged behind -- that the hand, in fact, had pushed the upper card to the left and that the under cards and the table had followed and been dragged by it."

'It's Not the Same Thing!'

Faraday's report was sufficient to convince most scientists that table-turning and related phenomena did not stem from new physical forces or occult powers. Unfortunately, it inadvertently had the opposite effect upon a few prominent scientists such as Alfred Russel Wallace, the cofounder with Darwin of the theory of evolution by natural selection. Wallace had his first encounter with "the phenomena of Spiritualism" in the summer of 1865. He was seated with other sitters around a table. The table behaved in ways that he was sure could not be entirely explained by Faraday's findings and Carpenter's theory of ideomotor action. Faraday's research only dealt with one of the many possible causes of table movements. Indeed, in the original seances using tables, the movements were caused not by ideomotor action but by various cheating methods employed by fraudulent mediums and their accomplices. In addition, many converts' testimonials were obtained under conditions that tend to exaggerate normal human biases and result in sincere but mistaken reports of things that never actually happened.



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