Skeptics can 

have a voice 

by giving their

book reviews 

to the online 






Local Skeptics Can Make a Difference
 By Ben Bradford 
I frequently come across members of CSICOP and other individual skeptics who would like to help the cause but feel a little left out of the fight against bogus paranormal claims and pseudoscience. And though we at CSICOP can get a lot done through our organization, it is still in many ways the individuals who really make a difference in grassroots skepticism.

     One way you can help is by spending a few minutes online. Books are the main source of pro-paranormal literature. There is an incredible number of pro-paranormal books out there, on topics ranging from psychics to UFOs to alternative medicine and contacting the dead.

     Skeptics can have a voice by giving their book reviews to the online booksellers., for example, provides a feedback forum for people to review and comment on the books they sell. Readers rank the books from one to five stars. The reviews are posted and their ratings are added to provide an overall average appearing on screen next to the title.

     Most pro-paranormal books have excellent ratings - usually because one or two people read and loved the book. But such ratings are misleading, because those who hated the book are less likely to take the trouble to register their disappointment. The reviews also impress readers who come across the title for the first time; they may not be aware that there’s another side to the story - a skeptical point of view.

     And that’s where skeptics can make a difference. If skeptics want to express their opinions (good or bad) about books such as The Bible Code or Talking to Heaven, that would help book buyers all over the world make more informed decisions. You might want to say why a book is good or bad and guide readers to other, more skeptical sources of information. If you’d like, simply go to, type in a title (or browse a category), and just click on the “write a review” button.

     It’s fast, easy, and can make a real difference. For a list of books that might be good candidates, you can contact the Council for Media Integrity.

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