Deep (Conspira)Sea Fishing: A Fundraising Drive

A large, diverse conference of people with very unusual beliefs is coming up. I want to attend as research for my book and blog posts on Violent Metaphors. Tickets are expensive, so we’re trying to keep costs down with a little crowdfunding. Please visit to donate if you can. If you can’t donate, just sharing the link is incredibly helpful. Pitch in, and let’s lay the groundwork for a deep discussion of far-out ideas next year! The following post is our original crowdfunding appeal.

Do you believe in acupuncture, alien abductions, ancient aliens, chi, crop circles, entity possession, “forbidden archaeology” or “forbidden religion,” homeopathy, near-death experiences, occult Nazi super-weapons, Planet X, poisoned vaccines, spiritual channeling, the new world order, or illegal immigrants from Zeta Reticuli? Do you go to bed worrying about the New World Order, the Vatican, the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, NASA, the WHO, the CDC, the UN, space aliens and/or demons conspiring against you and all right-thinking people? And are you convinced that the world is ruled from the Bohemian Grove, a secret bunker under the Denver airport, Bilderberg meetings, the Council on Foreign Relations, Buckingham Palace, alien worlds or other dimensions?

Probably not, or at least probably not all of it. But thousands of people do believe those things, and other things stranger than you can imagine. This January, dozens of experts these fields will gather together on a cruise ship called the Ruby Princess. It’s called, honestly and cleverly enough, the Conspira-Sea Cruise. They’ll spend seven days explaining, discussing, and even demonstrating their beliefs. Some of them are fairly famous, like Andy Wakefield and Sherri Tenpenny, who will be sharing their theories on vaccines. Others are relatively obscure, like Laura Magdalene Eisenhower, great-granddaughter of the former president, who claims to have been recruited for a secret Mars colonization effort and that stargates began opening around the Earth in 2012. For a full week, conspiracy theorists, dreamers, and snake-oil salesmen of every stripe will be preaching and peddling their wares.
I want to be there. You can help make that happen by visiting our Go Fund Me site We’re nearly halfway there!

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On astrology

From my visit to the Very Large Array at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory ( last year. One of the most amazing places I've ever been.
From my visit to the Very Large Array at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory ( last year. One of the most amazing places I’ve ever been.

I was reading an insipid article this morning, and became curious as to how many people actually find astrology meaningful. The easiest metric at 7 am on a Saturday morning is (naturally) Twitter, so I checked out the account of an astrology author, Terry Nazon: 73,266 followers.
Ms. Nazon seems to be trying to emphasize the importance of astrology in our culture through the most recent tweet of hers:

“There are about 10,000 professional astrologers in America & only 3,000 professional astronomers”

I don’t know if that’s true or not (Ms. Nazon didn’t cite her source, so I’m skeptical), but her popularity and that of astrology in general is something that ought to make me depressed. But it doesn’t at all, and I’ll explain why at the end of the post.
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