The Girl With X-Ray Eyes

imageNatasha Demkina, a young girl living in Saransk, Russia, began to receive a lot of media attention around the middle of last month. It started with an article in Pravda, which hailed her as the 'Girl with X-ray vision'. You see, Natasha possesses the unusual ability to peer through human flesh and spot diseases and injuries that are lurking unseen within people's bodies. Or, at least, this is what Pravda claimed. It didn't take long for more newspapers to catch onto the story. The British Sun has been the most relentless about pursuing it. They've actually flown Natasha to London and are now parading her around like some kind of weird curiosity. Does Natasha really have x-ray eyes? Well, I doubt it. But I'm sure The Sun is going to milk this for all it's worth.


Posted on Tue Feb 03, 2004


Part 1

Hi Skolnick,

Good to hear from you, and to see that you are in... good shape.

Since you still have these soul-wounds from our email exchanges, I will try to tackle some of the relationship issues that you pesented. Maybe at the end we will all eat that pork of yours after all (the one you were dining last November).

Below are your comments, and I will begin my reply with $$$

On Nov. 7, 2004, a Brazilian named Julio Siqueira contacted us by email and claimed to be a scientist sincerely interested in learning more about the CSMMH-CSICOP's test of Natasha Demkina's claims. I regret that I took him at his word and failed to investigate his background.

$$$ You did not need to investigate
Posted by Julio Siqueira  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  06:37 AM
Part 2
$$$ I stopped sending any feedback to anyone that might have any kind of
Posted by Julio Siqueira  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  06:40 AM
Part 3
He self-publishes his "investigations" and "analyses" on a Yahoo web site (which Yahoo provides free to anyone, whether king or kook). Siqueira begins everything he "publishes" on line with a falsehood: He variously claims to be a "biologist," a "microbiologist," and even a "clinical bacteriologist," or "clinical microbiologist." However, he never worked as a biologist of any kind. He earned a non-doctoral degree in microbiology and admits he never held any kind of job as a biologist.

$$$ To be a biologist, one needs not be registered at the institution that gives permission for those who work as such. You can be a biologist due to your learning (academic), and due to the official diplomas that you get at institutions recognized by the government. (You, Skolnick, likes to be above truth; but be careful when trying to be above the law...). I have a degree in biology, and I have an MA in clinical bacteriology. What am I then, Mr. Know All? What I think is really important is that, when people talk to me, they know that I have specialized information in clinical bacteriology, and also in biology in general. (Just by the way: usually I do not
Posted by Julio Siqueira  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  06:41 AM
Part 4
For example, when he inquired how far Natasha Demkina was from the test subjects, I explained, "I had deliberately placed the subjects' chairs in a semicircle around the chair Ms. Demkina would sit in. That was about two meters from each subject. Of course, when she would stand to study the subjects, she came a foot or so closer."

To my astonishment and anger, Siqueira altered my answer and sent the false information to Ms. Demkina's defenders. He deleted any mention about her chair being about two meters from the subjects and, by deceptively selecting words to quote, he claimed that I had said Ms. Demkina "was allowed to come close to the subjects" and "sometimes came a 'foot or so' close to them."
Posted by aaskolnick on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 09:59 AM

$$$ I already acknowledged and reported this event. It was indeed a bad misundertanding from me.

Of course that is false. By rewriting and distributing my statement to our most vocal detractors, Siqueira was helping to generate more false accusations that I am lying about how the test was conducted.

$$$ As I said, I no longer believed Skolnick then. Anyway, I sent to him a copy of the message at the very same time, and because of it he was able to correct me promptly, and I was able to correct my mistake so fast that simply no one used that against him. Just fair.

Another example is Siqueria's blatant rewriting of a statement made by Prof. Richard Wiseman. If you listen to the Discovery Channel program, you will hear Dr. Wiseman telling the Russian translator:

"So if she scored these two [conditions] wrong it wouldn't matter; if these five were correct [pointing to the remaining test cards], we would still consider that a success."

Which is obviously a truthful statement. To accuse Dr. Wiseman of deception in his "analysis," Siqueira rewrote the quote, trusting that his readers won't bother to check:
Posted by Julio Siqueira  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  06:42 AM
Part 5
"'Don't worry, for even if you get these two wrong, you will still pass the test, because there are five other ones'. Well, to begin with, this is technically untrue, for there would actually be three people from which she could swap wrong diagnosis: resected esophagus, removed appendix, and none condition. She could have said that the "none condition" had resected esophagus, that the "resected esophagus" had missing appendix, and that the "missing appendix" had none condition, thus making three misses due to this poor design, due to this lack of direct talk to the claimant, and due to this violation of protocols. Thus, she was taken in to accept the test by deceiving arguments (deliberate or unconscious) from Wiseman." .

The only deception here is Siqueira's deliberate rewriting of the quote to support a blatantly false accusation.

$$$ I ask all of you in this forum to carefully read the passages above. You will notice that, no, I did not quote exactly what Wiseman said. But yes, I did reproduce exactly the meaning conveyed by him. What Wiseman said (that is, meant) is that
Posted by Julio Siqueira  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  06:43 AM
Part 6
This deliberately altered quote refers to Ms. Demkina's statement in the Discovery Channel program, in which she protested over not being allowed to perform her usual readings during the test. Siqueira claims:

"Also, Skolnick is misreporting (for the thousandth time...) what the translator said. What the translator actually said was: 'If you did it my way, I would probably guess not five but seven of them.'. It was not something that Natasha said after the test, as a post hoc excuse, as Skolnick is trying to deceive his readers into believing."

Once again, Siqueira is the only one practicing deception. Here's what the translator actually says in the program:

"If you did it my way, I would have probably guessed not five but seven of them."

Siqueira deleted the verb "have" in an attempt to transform the sentence from the past tense to the future tense (while clumsily forgetting to transform the past tense "did it my way" into present tense "do it my way").

$$$ But Skolnick, Natasha said this BEFORE the test. She was not talking about the past, but about the FUTURE. I will take a look at this passage of the documantary again (for the sixth time now). If this is a mistake from me, it will be corrected (as I always do; the very opposite of what you do). But let
Posted by Julio Siqueira  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  06:44 AM
Part 7
The next time the program is broadcast, listen carefully to see how shamefully Siqueira employs misquotations in his campaign to deceive, defame, and vilify.

Another of his many deceptions: At the beginning of one "analysis," Siqueira says:

"The content of this text was presented to the three parties involved (i.e. CSICOP/CSMMH [Andrew Skolnick]; Discovery Channel program producer/director; and Natasha's agent) ten days before its posting on the internet [on Dec. 2, 2004]. After this, final feedbacks from Andrew Skolnick (CSMMH) were incorporated, and the final version of this text was presented to them all four days before its posting on December 12, 2004."

Email records show that this is also false. I never sent Siqueira "feedback" on his "analysis." I broke off communication with him on or around Nov. 21, after discovering that he was trolling for comments which he could misquote to use in a malicious and dishonest campaign.

$$$ If I said that feedbacks from him came to me, then they indeed came. Most likely through my ex-friend, who kept contact with Skolnick. So, Skolnick, if your
Posted by Julio Siqueira  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  06:45 AM
Part 8
Siqueira has much anger and contempt for critics of paranormal claims

$$$ Oh, you should ask the English skeptic Keith Augustine or the Brazilian skeptic Ronaldo Cordeiro how angry I am when I adress them now... As a matter of fact, there were some
Posted by Julio Siqueira  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  06:46 AM
Part 9
He calls famed evolutionary zoologist and humanist Dr. Richard Dawkins, "Humanist of the Anus."

$$$ I called him so in a public Brazilian skeptic forum. That was a play upon words. Dawkins, in his speech while receiving the prize
Posted by Julio Siqueira  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  06:48 AM
Part 10
and "bastard."

$$$ Skolnick, listen to this: Never again, never, in your whole life, say that I ever called Wiseman a bastard. Right? You know that I protested vehemently against my ex-friend in the past. That was indeed one of the main reasons why I broke with him. Learn that words have not only their connotative meanings. They have their denotative meanings as well. The word bastard has semantic implications that in no way I would ever direct to Wiseman. Be passionate. But be honest.

It is his job to "pee" on us skeptics

$$$ I
Posted by Julio Siqueira  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  06:49 AM
Julio Cesar Siqueira asks:

<font color="red">"(You, Skolnick, likes to be above truth; but be careful when trying to be above the law...). I have a degree in biology, and I have an MA in clinical bacteriology. What am I then, Mr. Know All?"</font>

You're an elementary school English teacher. And you are a hypocrite, a phony, and a prevaricator. And the latter answer explains it all.

You've never earned a terminal degree in biology or in any other scientific field and you've never worked as a biologist a day in your life. If you had earned a Ph.D. in biology, you might have a credible claim as an authority in biology. But you don't. You're an elementary school teacher and you don't even teach science. You "publish" your "scientific" "anlayses" on your freebie web site and you think that makes you a scientist. No, that makes you a phony.

I broke off communicating with you when I realized the game you were playing. When I discovered you were going to "publish" a "scientific" "analysis" of the CSMMH-CSICOP test of Natasha Demkina WITHOUT bothering to view the documentary, I thought further communication with you would be hopeless. Your bizarre attempt to explain why not viewing the program would lead you to more truthful conclusions only confirmed how hopeless communicating with you further would be.

I communicate now for the sake of readers. They deserve to know the facts behind your dishonest attacks and your disingenuous claim of scientific authority.
Posted by aaskolnick  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  09:10 AM
I would think the readers are more concerned with having skolnick address the points brought up, rather than reading his attacks on the character of Julio. I have a lot of the same questions that Julio brings up.
Posted by Archangel  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  10:12 AM
I don't believe anyone should debate liars like Archangel and Julio. Debating liars give them the appearance of credibility. But their lies, I believe, should be exposed.

Honest debate requires honest debaters. Trollers like Archangel and Julio, who use deception in their arguments, make their own character the subject of fair debate.
Posted by aaskolnick  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  10:50 AM
I haven't lied or attempted to deceive. I do think it's illuminating that skolnick never really addresses the questions, observations and points being made by anyone. Skolnick is quick to try and find any excuse to distract, accuse and insult. Skolnick accused me of lying because I presented my opinion. That's ludicrous on the face of it.

Skolnick has accused people of telling falsehoods that merely had bad math. Even when someone makes a mistake and then admits it, skolnick calls them a liar and dismisses them. He will even use a typo as an excuse not to answer a question or address a point.

It's bad Public Relations, Skolnick. Hostility, cynicism, and ridicule on the part of the skeptics don
Posted by Archangel  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  11:42 AM
I'm not certain that skolnick truly understands who he is communicating with. He's dealing with the general public. People who are not scientists, investigators, mathematicians or professional debaters. Instead of talking directly to these "ordinary" people, he talks to them from on-high, as if they were the unwashed masses below him. People can easily sense skolnick's arrogance and are offended by it. This leads to name calling and flame-matches. I think this is what skolnick really enjoys. Getting in a lot of low blows, insults and ridicule. Check the internet for the somewhat obsessive nature of skolnick's attacks on others. It's not pretty.

The audience that Discovery Channel and others (including csicop) seek to attract and inform, entertain and sell advertising to, is made up of the ordinary people of this world, who saw a lot of bad behavior by the investigators in the Natasha Demkina case. Whether the investigators were right or wrong, they left a bad taste in the mouth of many, many individuals. Bad form. Then, to add insult to injury
Posted by Archangel  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  12:07 PM
Julio Siqueira is digging himself deeper into his hole of dishonesty. Above he defends his false quote and absurd argument:

<font color="red">"I ask all of you in this forum to carefully read the passages above. You will notice that, no, I did not quote exactly what Wiseman said. But yes, I did reproduce exactly the meaning conveyed by him."
No he didn't. Siquera put quotation marks around a misrepresentation of what Prof. Wiseman said to accuse him of deception!

<font color="red">"What Wiseman said (that is, meant) is that
Posted by aaskolnick  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  12:30 PM
Archangel, you haven't stopped lying and deceiving since your first post on this board. Your claim that, I "never really addresses the questions, observations and points being made by anyone," is only your latest falsehood.

It seems that Archangel is no longer content to speak for his "family" of trolls. He has now appointed himself spokesperson for "the public."

The public does not need Archangel to speak for them. I have faith in the public to see for themselves who the liars are in this thread.
Posted by aaskolnick  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  01:11 PM
Point out the lies in my first post.

I do speak in agreement with many others. You'd be surprised at the number and identities of those I've been in communications with, and who are viewing this thread with interest. Your communications are very enlightening as to your integrity and professionalism, as well as the group you represent, csicop. And these communications by you are not something you should be proud of. Believe it.

It's clearly my opinion that you do not directly or adequately address questions, and continually attack, insult and ridicule. This not a falsehood, and many, many others have the same opinion of you. Including several comments to that effect on this very thread. Oh, and please check the definition of words, and common usage before you use them. Same goes for the humble quotation mark.

I'm certainly not alone in my negative views of both skolnick and csicop. You're helping drive the reputations of both right into the ground.

Please continue.
Posted by Archangel  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  01:31 PM
Archangel, there's not enough time in my day to point out your lies and falsehoods. They're like the heads of the Hydra: Expose one falsehood and two more almost immediately spout in its place. And here we have a bunch more: One, I do not represent CSICOP. I am the executive director of the Commission for Scientific Medicine and Mental Health. Second, you claim that your statements can't be falsehoods because they're opinions. Only in the world of Trolls would that be true. Opinions that falsely assert something not true are falsehoods. And when you offer an opinion knowingly based on a falsehood, that's a lie. This is why you can't defend libel in court by merely claiming it's your opinion. Third, even if your "Uncle Bob" and your many Troll cousins do agree with you, it certainly does not give you the right to speak for "the public." Only Internet Trolls and other kooks appoint themselves to that position.
Posted by aaskolnick  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  02:45 PM
You really need to review the definition and usage of "falsehood" as well as "libel". Neither of which apply to my statements or opinions, either legally or morally.

As far as I'm concerned, you have been put forth as a representative of csicop by representation from your position with csmmh, a very close association. You have been representing them on this very forum. You defend them, you explain them, you reference them, you speak of your work with them. You clearly have been representing csicop. If I
Posted by Archangel  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  04:32 PM
Since you so carefully separate yourself from csicop, please explain the cfi affiliation of csicop, csmmh and csh so that everyone can be clear on how you in no way, shape or form "represent" csicop. I admit that I've been using "csicop" as an umbrella to describe two of the three cfi "affiliates" csicop, and csmmh. This may be technically incorrect, but I don't believe it rises to the level of "lie" or "falsehood". As far as I'm concerned, that's just inflated rhetoric on your part.

My understanding is that csicop stopped doing actual investigations, and began using other groups to investigate, such as csmmh. With this relationship and the affiliation of the groups under cfi, it looks very much that csmmh is representing csicop as it
Posted by Archangel  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  06:41 PM
Archangel, repeating lies and falsehoods will not make them any truer. Even though you were corrected, you continue to falsely claim that I represent or speak for CSICOP. You also are lying when you say that CSICOP no longer conducts investigations but uses other organizations like CSMMH. I represent CSMMH. We do not conduct investigations for CSICOP or any other organization. You've been informed now several times that the test of Natasha Demkina was a joint operation of CSICOP and CSMMH, yet you insist on repeating your deceptive statements. Archangel, when it comes to misrepresentations, falsehoods, and outright lies, you're the Everyready Bunnie. You keep going, and going, and going...
Posted by askolnick  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  08:53 PM
Oh, please. I'm not falsely claiming anything. I'm just explaining why I had the impression that you represented csicop. Giving you my reasoning and asking for you to clarify any misconceptions and incorrect information. So, don't get your panties in a bunch! You sound so damned pompous "You've been informed now several times..yet you insist on repeating..." yadda, yadda.

Geez, relax, will ya? Can the overblown, dramatic rhetoric.

Perhaps I'm reading old information:

Quote from the site on csicop: "Despite the name of the organization, actual research is a very low priority of the Committee. In fact, CSICOP instituted a policy against doing research itself. CSICOP
Posted by Archangel  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  09:34 PM
By the way, "Represent" is another word you should really bone up on. There's a broader meaning to it that actually allows it to fall correctly into my stated impression. To an individual, you could "represent" or be "representative of" csicop even if you never met them, worked for them or heard of them. I think you're defining the word too narrowly. Perhaps it's just your zeal to whip out the accusations of "falsehood" "lies" and "libel."

I'm sure you knew what I meant, but you jumped immediately to the attack.

"to bring clearly before the mind"
"to take the place of in some respect"
"to describe as having a specified character or quality"
"to serve as a specimen, example, or instance of"

"Represent" doesn't mean you work for csicop or are a member or have been asked by csicop to be their official spokesperson. There's a broader sense to the utilization of the word "represent" or "representative" of.

I'm sure you "represent" a pile of dog poop to some people. Perhaps even junkyard dog poop.

Posted by Archangel  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  10:06 PM
Do you realize just how hilarious you are?

This statement:

"Even though you were corrected, you continue to..."

Even though you were corrected? Too funny. You sound like an old, frustrated, overbearing, obnoxous nanny talking her 8-year old charges. And getting nowhere.

Chill, baby. You're not talking to a bunch of students in class.
cool smile
Posted by Archangel  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  10:27 PM
To get back on the point, I asked you to point out falsehoods in my first post. Instead you attempted to claim that three items in my most current post were lies (or falsehoods - essentially the same thing for our purposes). You failed to show that any of the three items were lies.

This means to me that your definition of both "lies" and "falsehood" is so completely out of whack with reality as to be meaningless.

We can add those words to your list of words to define further, eg. "Diagnose" "Libel" "Represent" and etc...

I may be repeating this, but I think Victor Zammit says it best in his comments about Skolnick on Victor
Posted by Archangel  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  11:51 PM
Let's try to clarify one more thing. My problem with your use of the word "falsehood" is that it looks to me as if there is an implication of telling an intentional lie or series of lies.

Falsehood. An untrue statement; a lie. The practice of lying.

You might be using the word to represent just an "untrue statement" or "mistake" or "incorrect information". However, with your tendency to overstate and make inflammatory remarks, I believe your use of falsehood to be an implication of an "intentional falsehood" or at least using the worst possible word without actually saying "lie," but strongly implying "liar".

It appears to me to be at least innuendo when you use it.

Do I have the wrong impression?

Posted by Archangel  on  Sat Nov 05, 2005  at  12:21 AM
In addition to being an unbridled liar, Archangel was caught posting messages agreeing with "himself" on this thread under the name "Uncle Bob." He was outed as a dishonest Troll.
Posted by askolnick  on  Sat Nov 05, 2005  at  05:09 AM
Hi Archangel and Skolnick,

Skolnick said:

"Even though you were corrected, you continue to falsely claim that I represent or speak for CSICOP. You also are lying when you say that CSICOP no longer conducts investigations but uses other organizations like CSMMH. I represent CSMMH. We do not conduct investigations for CSICOP or any other organization. You've been informed now several times that the test of Natasha Demkina was a joint operation of CSICOP and CSMMH, yet" ...

My view on this matter is that Skolnick does not really represent Csicop. They are birds of a feather, they flock together (they have layes...), but they do have some differences. Also, I think it is correct to say that the "research" they did was a joint venture (or better: a
Posted by Julio Siqueira  on  Sat Nov 05, 2005  at  10:15 AM
Just two minor corrections:
Csicop et al have layers, not layes.
Machiavel is the Portuguese version for the name Machiavelli
Posted by Julio Siqueira  on  Sat Nov 05, 2005  at  10:18 AM
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