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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.
Health/Medicine
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 03, 2004


I forgot to add quotation marks around Mori's comments, but his quoted comments are all in italics, which hopefully sets them apart enough...
Posted by Archangel  on  Wed Dec 21, 2005  at  06:19 PM
I'm not aware that Natasha can only see through cloth that
Posted by Kentaro Mori  on  Fri Dec 23, 2005  at  09:37 AM
Look at what we have now from Mori (actually, the same that we have been having for over a year):

"All we know about Natasha comes from the media, there's no serious 'scientific' interest on her. As I wrote, it's just too silly. Even the CSICOP-CSMMH test was conducted because a TV show asked for it, and from all I know this is responsible for much of its problems."

And:

"And this is much more than such a silly, stupid, illogical, contradictory, irresponsible nonsense deserved."

The great problem in all this attitude is that Natasha is not claiming to bend metal rods (like Uri Geller). She is claiming to be able to diagnose clinical problems inside people, and she is acting indeed as such (maybe successfully so, or maybe not). If she is consciously and deliberately engaged in fraude, then this attitude from Mori (and from Skolnick, Hyman, and Wiseman as well, because they too have been treating Natasha as a dishonest person, or at best as a deluded person) is harmless and fair. If Natasha, instead, is indeed a super paranormal (even though not able to perform well in tests designed by Skolnick...), then this attitude from the skeptics is not fair, but again it is almost harmless; because after the test, Natasha would just resume her usual successful readings. However, if Natasha is indeed honest, and perhaps she is just deluded or perhaps she indeed has some mild paranormal power (weak and erratic), then we really have a most serious problem in this skeptics' attitude; because, first, they are making her justifiedly reject skeptics, and, second, they are failing to educate her about the limits of her power.

Now, I just had some brief email exchange with Dr. Barrie Cassileth, who recuited four of the subjets to CSICOP's test with Natasha. Skolnick said recently, in his "forbidden letters" to the Wikipedia mediator Keith, that Dr. Cassileth told the researchers that Natasha and her mother and her agent and her friend indeed saw some of the subjects before the test outside the building. Further, they said something like "These must be the subjects", in Russian, and one of the subjects happened to know Russian and understood what they said (unfortunatelly, Skolnick does not present this information in his article; that is, not all of it...). I checked it out with Dr. Cassileth. She confirmed the veridicality of Skolnick's report. Now, of course this is very interesting and relevant information, especially because, as I told Skolnick (and friends...) more than a year ago, Natasha's agent said in an email to Richard Wiseman that they did not see anyone... This being true (that is, Dr. Cassileth's report, and I truly believe it is), the next important piece of information to get in this line of investigation is: did the woman with the artificial hip joint display any abnormality in the way she walked? Did the woman with the resected upper third of a lung breathe abnormally in any recognizable way?
Posted by Julio Siqueira  on  Fri Dec 23, 2005  at  12:28 PM
Part 2:
The most curious thing in my email exchange with Dr. Cassileth, though, is her own attitude towards this whole issue. Yes, I greatly thank her for going out of her way to answer my emails, especially because she is engaged in a most serious and priceless activity (treating and helping those with cancer - I lost both my mother and my mother in law to cancer, in 2001 and this year). But she, too, thinks (it seems) that this issue is only silly and illogical... I tried, in my last email to her, to call her attention to the fact that Natasha may be doing harm to people, and that is the main reason why we all should care for this. It is strange that a doctor engaged in such a terrifying field of work (cancer treatment) does not realize the relevance of it... I can say the same about Skolnick.

Deplorable, to say the least.

Julio Siqueira
____________________
Posted by Julio Siqueira  on  Fri Dec 23, 2005  at  12:28 PM
brief correction: actually "in 2000 and this year", not in 2001 and this year.
Posted by Julio Siqueira  on  Fri Dec 23, 2005  at  12:30 PM
I fully agree with you there, Julio, that's why I said that for "[Mori] to say that there
Posted by Archangel  on  Fri Dec 23, 2005  at  03:42 PM
Mori said:
<i>
Posted by Archangel  on  Fri Dec 23, 2005  at  03:54 PM
Mori said:
<i>
Posted by Archangel  on  Fri Dec 23, 2005  at  04:02 PM
Mori said:
<i>
Posted by Archangel  on  Fri Dec 23, 2005  at  04:05 PM
Mori, you're only feeding the troll.
Posted by aaskolnick  on  Fri Dec 23, 2005  at  04:15 PM
Hah! The Master-Troll himself speaks.

LOL!
Posted by Archangel  on  Fri Dec 23, 2005  at  05:00 PM
AssKolnick, since you seem to be taking a little break from your attempts to manipulate and coerce the Wikipedians, why you don't you enlighten us as to why you didn't ask Natasha to diagnose from photographs? Was it mentioned in the Documentary? Why can't Natasha see through a hanging cloth sheet (according to her)? According to Natasha, how exactly does her vision work, is it truly supposed to be by X-Rays? Does she use the same method for diagnosing in person as she does with a photograph? What was that "bug" drawing of, exactly?

I'd also like to know what those seven "unrelated" orangish "cards" were on the table in front of Natasha from the photo Julio posted. Parking tickets for validation? Fanmail from some flounder?

Signed,
"Archie the Troll"

You meathead.

LOL!

cool smirk
Posted by Archangel  on  Fri Dec 23, 2005  at  05:27 PM
Oops, that really should have been "aaskolnick" and not "asskolnick." No idea where that ass stuff came from. Hmmm.
Posted by Archangel  on  Fri Dec 23, 2005  at  05:29 PM
Mori, you hear a junkyard dog barking?
Posted by aaskolnick  on  Fri Dec 23, 2005  at  05:32 PM
Oh, and lest I forget, thanks for getting me mentioned on Wikipedia.

This surely has to be about Archangel:

From a Wiki poster in response to some comment by Skolnick:
"In any case, it seems to me there is a point where the ramblings of (someone you see as) an anonymous online troll on (what you seem to think is a website of poor refute) should cease to worry you. I hope for your sake you never reach a higher level of fame, because you will be very, very busy fretting over the negative words of others. It would rather seem to me in the realm of parapsychology or counter-parapsychology that those sorts of attacks from (what you presumably see as) the nutjob fringe would be part and parcel of the territory.

(I feel compelled to justify the above paragraph as an attempt to relate to Mr. Skolnick's perspective in order to make my point. It is clear that he does not hold Mr. Siqueira, the Museum of Hoaxes, or Natasha Demkina's supporters in high regard.)"


I have to agree with the hope that you never reach a higher level of fame. You can't handle the fame.

Arf, arf...

LOL!

(I get such a kick out of you, Skol-boy...wink
Posted by Archangel  on  Fri Dec 23, 2005  at  05:50 PM
Mori, I honestly think that you and I have been engaged in a good, productive conversation. I think you are an honest person who believes that Natasha is not what she claims to be and you have some perfectly valid points along those lines. You brought up some things I didn't think of before, so thanks for that bit of insight. There was a bit of contention between us, and perhaps I worded some things strongly, but none of it rose to "trollish" proportions - I don't think!

Then Skolnick comes in and contributes absolutely nothing but his venom and vitriol - as usual - nothing but insults, misleading remarks and useless commentary from the master
Posted by Archangel  on  Fri Dec 23, 2005  at  09:38 PM
Hi everybody,

Skolnick really loves me grin

See what I found by him from just six days ago...

At the http://www.amazon.com site, his "review" of the book from Victor Stenger "Has Science Found God?":

"Take deceptive review with grain of salt"

"Well, I just want to warn the possible readers of this book of some problems with some of the 'information' that" the reviewer Julio Siqueira posted. Siqueira falsely identified himself as a microbiologist. He is not. He's a grade school English teacher in Brazil. Although he says he has a master's degree in clinical bacteriology, he admits that he's never held a job in any field of science. On other web sies, he identifies himself as a "antiskeptic activist," and that certainly is more truthful. He uses the Internet to personally attack and to try to discredit leading skeptics of the paranormal. Readers should weigh his comments against the reviews provided here by others. "

Curious points to raise in Skolnick's "book review":

1- Deceptively qualifies my meticulous and hard studied book review as a "deceptive review"...
2- It is not a book review, and it goes against amazon guidelines for it (just like his lunatic behaviour at Wikipedia)
3- He did not read Stenger's book (nor would he have any expertice in evaluating it for that matter...); yet, he gave it "four stars out of five"... (what an apple polisher!).
4- He does not discuss simply ANY of the content of my critical review, and insists on attacks to my MA...
5- He mispelled the word "site"... (shame, shame, shame,...)
6- He did all that prior to Christmas Eve... So our porcupine is not only a porcupine, but a lonely and sad one too downer

What can we do in such a situation? I recommend that we love him with all the strength of our hearts, for this man is clearly at the verge of a mental collapse (after his utter defeat at the two Wikipedia entries: Natasha Demkina and Commission for Scientific Medicine and Mental Health).

Bye to all,
Julio Siqueira

Link to Skolnick's "review":
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1591020182/qid=1135892329/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/002-5500728-3371208?s=books&v=glance&n=283155
____________________
downer
Posted by Julio Siqueira  on  Thu Dec 29, 2005  at  05:02 PM
Hi Skolnick,

I really would love to discuss with you the content of Stenger's book, even though I do think that it was much much more important the fact that I did discuss the content of this book with Stenger himself BEFORE I published my book review. If, by any chance, you have just any piece of information (no matter how microscopic grin) that might counter the arguments that I have presented there, your contribution will be most valuable.

(You keep behaving like a phoney MS...)

Julio Siqueira
_____________
Posted by Julio Siqueira  on  Thu Dec 29, 2005  at  05:20 PM
Wow! Skolnick has done it again. His "review" on amazon.com is not a review at all, and clearly goes against amazon.com's review guidelines found at:
Amazon-Review-Guidelines

<u>What to Include:</u>
Your review should focus on the book's content and context.

<u>What Not to Include:</u>
Commenting on other reviews visible on the page.
Profanity, obscenities, or spiteful remarks.


Skolnick breaks three different rules on amazon.com! Following in his own footsteps when he broke the rules on Wikipedia!

Skolnick's "review" is simply a personal attack that defames Julio Siqueira and has nothing to do with a book review!

Skolnick, have you completely lost your mind?
Posted by Archangel  on  Fri Dec 30, 2005  at  03:30 PM
Well, I haven't followed this case, and I'm not really emotionally attached to it in either case. I wonder, though, if anyone can't see a middle ground here?

Was this girl shown to be in error regarding how she described her abilities and the extent of accuracy to which she claimed? Absolutely. She claimed to be more accurate than a physician, 100% accurate, and see at the cellular level. This is not the case. Period. She agreed to the circumstances of the testing, hence she did not have great concern (that she voiced in any case) that she would fail, regardless of the circumstances. She was wrong.

Okay, that being said. She did have a 1 in 50 chance of getting correct what she did get correct. When you add to this a change in circumstances for her, plus her past history of accuracy in many instances, you have to ask a sincere question. If this were any other experiment, would such a statistically improbable result not determine that future inquiry would be valuable? Of course it would! The fact is that she DID demonstrate some substantial ability. She did NOT demonstrate ability to the extent that she claimed.

Were the experimenters unfair? No, not unfair, since she agreed to the terms. At 17 (trust me, as a high school educator), kids are not idiots. However, the experiments did NOT in ANY way prove that this girl had NO ability. In fact, they proved she had substantial ability, if below what she had professed, and they continue to prove this until further study is done.

Why is this an all-or-nothing topic?

For myself, I'm a self-disgusted psychic. I say this because I've experienced totally unexplained psychic experiences that can be supported by others and that do not fall under any of the traditional "models" by which psychics are self-deluded. I've experienced psychic experiences that would only be considered by investigators to be purposeful fraud/cheating, because otherwise they would have to prove that psychic ability exists. I don't care either way.

The fact is that my abilities are something I have totally no control over. I don't claim to control them, and I don't claim that they are there when I need them or that they are always there. I know for a fact that this is possible, and the knowledge is totally useless to me except that I am aware of it.

So, in my humble opinion, the girl probably has significant ability. Her ability is not as perfect as she claims or thinks, however, and she has fallen into the trap of "guessing" when she doesn't truly know, rather than admit that she is clueless on that occasion. If all psychics were truly honest about how elusive their skills can be, we might be able to have a more honest and friendly discourse on the topic as a whole.
Posted by silver  in  PA, USA  on  Thu Jan 05, 2006  at  01:23 PM
As a sceptic myself, I have followed this subject and thread with much interest.

Again, it seems, the pseudo-skeptic element have usurped skepticism in order to make proclamations which are simply not true.

Why, when it was evidently NOT the case,was it published that the girl had 'notmal' vision, when nothing of the sort was either measured, recorded or replicated? Why do these people do it? Are they deliberetly being dishonest? The more I look into organised skeptic movement, the more I see this sort of thing replicated. I am reminded of Randi's treatment of the Lulova girl, )who even passed his prepared controls - he just ramped the 'controls' by sticking duct tape over her face ( adults in the room raised concern over her ability to breath) until the girl became upset and started crying). I am reminded of sTarbaby incident ( http://lucianarchy.proboards21.com/index.cgi?board=scepticism&action=display&thread=1097085655 ) when CSICOP founder Rawlins was forced to not present data he had uncovered which supported a hypothesis CSICOP were trying to dubunk. I now see this fellow skolnick resorting to personal attacks against people insead of admitting it was wrong for the publication of 'the girl with normal vision' to go ahead and remain unchallenged or retracted. Why? All this sort of thing does is misinform people. Why would anyone want to do that? Let's be sceptical, but above all, let's be honest.
Posted by lucianarchy  on  Sat Jan 07, 2006  at  11:10 AM
Following the very healthy and well balanced comments by Silver I wish to throw my hat into the ring. Like Silver I am a reluctant convert having been dragged kicking and screaming out of my safe place of total dis-belief of all matters extraordinary, by experiences I was not looking for. The scientific community will be made up of people who are wedded to the idea that all things are predictable and are waiting for them to discover the logical/mathematical reasons behind the worlds we inhabit-and a wonderful job they make of it. They have constructed a world for themselves as most of us do in order to feel safe and secure. Some use science and technology, others follow devout religeous lives while most, I suspect, would settle for lots of money. This is human nature. Now, when our beliefs are challenged people often feel threatened and can go to great lengths to resist any challenge often decieving themselves as well as others. For my part I find myself with some slight understanding of things I used to deny. Regarding the tests carried out on Natasha in New York, the ability of seeing is very fragile and can be diluted or stopped by negative feelings and thoughts. It is possible that some of the subjects may have felt threatened by this girl and would be creating barriers in themselves to her vision I am reminded of a time in 1987 in Arizona when I was helping a woman with a headache she had had for a long time. Not only was she resisting my help but actually moved the pain out of my way each time I found it. She admitted later that she did not want to let go of it. In the same way the seeing can be made stronger by positive feelings and a willingness for it to happen. I very much feel that Natasha has something very special and I hope that she will not be discouraged by these tests and also that her university learning will not drown out her fragile and exciting ability
Posted by jonka  on  Sun Jan 08, 2006  at  09:06 AM
Julio, I see you are attempting to discuss the flaws in csicop/skolnic's 'test' over at the jref http://206.225.95.123/forumlive/showthread.php?t=45357&page=13
good luck to you! i can tell yuo from personal experience that they will not discuss anything with you at all, they will, however, play games of sophistry, wave 'lists' and demand you answer them, attack you personaly,and failing that, they will simply ban you on whatever trumped up charge they can muster! they do not do 'dicsussion'. i think you know quite well by now that you are dealing with fanatics, dogmatics and zealots, NOT sceptics. but as i say, good luck to you and best wishes anyway.
Posted by lucianarchy  on  Mon Jan 09, 2006  at  03:46 PM
My how this web site is becoming a choice hangout for liars and no-counts. Anyone who would like to see the so-called "trumped up charge" that got Lucianarchy permanently banned from the JREF forum should go here:

http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=29251

Anarchy was repeatedly warned not to violate copyright law by posting entire copyrighted articles and he was repeatedly warned not to post obscenities. He kept breaking those rules and he was eventually kicked off.

It's obvious why he's chosen the screen name "Lucianarchy."
Posted by aaskolnick  on  Mon Jan 09, 2006  at  05:50 PM
skolnick, you are an habitual liar. i'll let the readers do their own research on this one, my history is there for anyone to check, and i have done nothing different than any other member of the jref forum, far from it. in fact, the jref published the contact details of a woman in my family, presumably to get me to 'shut up', again, i'll let anyone with any integrity do their own research on how corrupt some of these so-called 'skeptics' can be.
Posted by lucianarchy  on  Tue Jan 10, 2006  at  06:10 AM
skolnick, did'nt you know that? didn't you know that the jref's pet 'internet-terrorist' was allowed to post the contact details of a woman in my family on their forum? yet i get banned for so-called copyright infringement? well, i suggest you go and have a good look over there and see if you can find other 'copyright infringements' going on to this day. no, skolnick, the thing is, pseudo-skeptics like yourself will stoop to whatever methods they can in order to censor the truth about what is really going in science - the truth which goes against your zealous and dogmatic beliefs in the religion of 'scientism'.
Posted by lucianarchy  on  Tue Jan 10, 2006  at  06:32 AM
"My [lucianarchy] history is there for anyone to check."

That's the only honest part of his entire tirade -- as you can see for yourselves:

http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=29251
Posted by aaskolnick  on  Tue Jan 10, 2006  at  06:32 AM
Oh, boy. This is sick. You
Posted by Archangel  on  Tue Jan 10, 2006  at  03:44 PM
Hi Everybody,

Good to see more people around here. I took a brief look at the posts above, and I think we have many good comments in these recent messages. For those who do not know it, I have some texts online analyzing the issue. The main link is below:

http://geocities.yahoo.com.br/criticandokardec/criticizingskepticism.htm

And the main link for the "researchers' " point of view is below:

http://www.csicop.org/specialarticles/natasha.html

Best Regards,

Julio Siqueira
________________
Posted by Julio Siqueira  on  Tue Jan 10, 2006  at  06:56 PM
i think sir brian j made a very succinct debunking of the csicop/scolnick debacle, but don''t have the link to hand. it was published in the times (uk) some time back, together with a sharp deconstruction on the subject of wisemanisms! nb, for the interested scholar - look up 'wiseman effect' on http://www.google ...
Posted by lucianarchy  on  Tue Jan 10, 2006  at  07:43 PM
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