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Historically, excellent mediums and psychics have given brilliant demonstrations which would convince any open-minded skeptic that the afterlife exists. Those who practice mediumship know very well that it exists – no doubt about that. But in my twenty-two years investigating the afterlife, I have found that there is a class of closed-minded people who will never accept the evidence for the afterlife – no matter how clear, how convincing and persuasive, how objective and repeatable the evidence is. We see these skeptics on television denouncing the paranormal, the afterlife and mediums.

Perhaps it’s time to organize a group of media specialists to speak up for Spiritualism, mediums and psychics – and promote the paranormal and the afterlife evidence.

I can relate to you there are at least seven very good reasons why closed minded skeptics tend to remain stubborn about their skeptical beliefs – and why some of them unreasonably attack those who scientifically and empirically investigate evidence for the paranormal.

My experience with closed minded skeptics is that they do not investigate the evidence. Basically, they completely reject any information which is not consistent with their own deeply entrenched skeptical cherished beliefs - even if the evidence is scientifically supported.

My experience also tells me that theses closed minded skeptics do not have skills, competence and the ability to perceive the paranormal with true empirical equanimity - in an objective, scientific balanced way because of the following:

1. ‘RATIONALIZATION THROUGH COGNITIVE DISSONANCE’: ‘Cognitive dissonance’ is a term used by psychologists to describe the discomfort that arises when people are confronted with information fundamentally inconsistent with their beliefs. When a materialist is confronted with highly persuasive evidence for the paranormal-afterlife the materialist will deny it has any validity. This is because the evidence will elicit anxiety, increase his blood pressure, sweat etc. Denial will follow. The materialist will become angry, hostile and even aggressive. He will try to reduce anxiety by rationalizing his beliefs and going into extreme DENIAL.

2. ‘CATHEXIS’: This is another term in psychology which explains that some people may have a very powerful – usually unconscious super-glue connection with an idea or a thing. Applied to the skeptics this is where a class of skeptics are ‘cathexed’ to closed minded skepticism. Because the connection is powerful and unconscious, they will attack their source of anxiety – the person who puts forward the evidence for the paranormal. So, one cannot use logic, science or repeatable and objective evidence to try to reverse their cathexis.

3. NEUROLINGUISTIC PROGRAMMING (NLP) states that when these skeptics are confronted with information which is fundamentally inconsistent with their own deeply cherished beliefs, the mind of the skeptic will DELETE that information. This is because the new information will give a great deal of anxiety to the skeptic. As with ‘cognitive dissonance’ above, the skeptic will experience anxiety, disturbance of his ‘comfort zone’. This accounts for the skeptic going into complete DENIAL. The more aggressive skeptics will even cheat, mislead and lie about the real situation.

4. ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMMING – ‘environment determines perception’: there is a saying that by and large, the environment you were born in will shape how you will see the world. If a Western skeptic from New York was born in India, more likely than not the skeptic would be a Hindu. If born to a radical, extremist Islamic family, the skeptic would be a Moslem. If born to an orthodox Jewish family, the skeptic would be an orthodox Jew. One needs to have skills to rise above environmental conditioning and programming.

5. BRAIN-EXPLANATION FOR 'CLOSED SKEPTICISM': Here is another explanation for the stubbornness of closed- minded skeptics. It's the biological argument for closed-skepticism. When you have a rigid belief system the neurons in the brain fire in a certain defined network. So if information (e.g. afterlife evidence) comes into the brain and contradicts the rigid belief system (skepticism) those neural pathways will fire in the same old way and will not de-code the new information. It’s just like a filter. It's only when the skeptic has a dramatic experience that a new neural pathway is established and the old one gradually falls into disuse. Belief systems are fundamental to filtering reality.

6. PRIMARY MOTIVATION: MONEY, POWER AND STATUS. There is also a very tiny minority who choose to be closed minded skeptics for career advancement and/ or to make money, to attain influence and celebrity. For example, you may get a scientist who will reject the paranormal because he/she can get funding for opposing the paranormal. These people will never listen to logic, to science, to rational reasoning, to common sense. They can’t move from their position because they would lose money, power and status.

7. THE 'SMORGASBORD ARGUMENT': Professor Stephen Hawking, the astronomer, is most notorious for using this 'SMORGASBORD' argument - picking and using only the information that substantiates his own negative prejudices. This closed -minded skeptical professor does not know that in a court-room situation his 'smorgasbord argument' would be torn to shreds. Why? Because he would be cross-examined on the critical, most vital evidence that he deletes - that fundamentally contradicts his deeply entrenched negative prejudices. This closed-skeptical scientist makes a huge error thinking that he is an expert in law as well. Wrong! A litigation lawyer has exclusive technical knowledge of what is relevant, what is evidentiary what is essential admissible evidence - certainly not an astronomer!
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