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undercover sceptic
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PostSubject: My Space   Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:51 am

Hi all,

I now have a my space account and after 7 days can create our group on there!

As usual will take me a time to figure the place out but.........

please feel free to add me as friend on there.

Regards,

Den.

http://www.myspace.com/britishscepticcommunity

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Rob
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PostSubject: Re: My Space   Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:58 am

Good job Den!
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wolves_skeptic
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PostSubject: Re: My Space   Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:03 am

I was interested that your "People I would like to meet" include Geoff Thompson. Is that martial artist and ex-bouncer Geoff Thompson? If so, have you read his recent mailings?

A friend of mine actually unsubscribed from them because of the massive increase in religious dogma being spouted.
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PostSubject: Re: My Space   Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:01 pm

Hi Dave,

A lot of people have been criticizing Geoff recently, and unfairly imo. I guess he just wants to spread his positivity, through spirituality, considering it's worked for him in the past. May not be for everyone, but he's always got something to offer.

A lot of the critics are only getting a "snap shot" of what Geoff is doing, and they filling in the blanks.

Geoff's brand of spirituality may not suit everyone, which is fair enough, but he's had such a huge impact on the Martial Arts industry. Which people tend to forget. His "three Second Fighter" and "Fence" concepts are still relevant today as ever.

Cheers,

R.
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PostSubject: Re: My Space   Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:35 pm

My friend's concern, and it's one that I share, is that people look up to him and may accept what he says without looking into closer. There is no doubt that Thompson is positive about his life but whatever he thinks, that positivity hasn't come from any higher power. I agree with my friend here and say that I'd sooner he just encouraged people to be more positive about their lives rather than wrapping it up in a spiritual blanket.
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PostSubject: Re: My Space   Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:05 pm

Quote :
My friend's concern, and it's one that I share, is that people look up to him and may accept what he says without looking into closer. There is no doubt that Thompson is positive about his life but whatever he thinks, that positivity hasn't come from any higher power. I agree with my friend here and say that I'd sooner he just encouraged people to be more positive about their lives rather than wrapping it up in a spiritual blanket.

Well I count Geoff as a friend so there is some heavy bias coming here, but I don't see him pushing any sort of dogma. He spoken about his personal idea of god since before 2000 in his writing, so I don't see this as anything new.

If anything Geoff encourages free thought and a type of scepticism. On his course, for example, he purposefully encouraged the reading of a range of books that, in many ways, completely contradicted each other. This encouraged the course attendees to question and take what they found was useful, disregarding what they didn't. Geoff has a personal spiritual belief, but he doesn't push it through his writing and only condemns outright negativity or logical human flaws like addiction.

When I interviewed Geoff about his martial arts journey it was all about scepticism. And even today he has written pieces that are critical of many of the spiritual people he also praises. Just because he uses words like "God" and "spiritual" it doesn't mean he's a bible-thumper.
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PostSubject: Re: My Space   Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:52 pm

Jamie Clubb wrote:
Just because he uses words like "God" and "spiritual" it doesn't mean he's a bible-thumper.

As you know Geoff it more than likely means that you can see what he means when he uses those phrases. Only seeing the email newsletters I see no other explaination than a "creator" and "an other worldly force". This is a problem which Hawking had with his use of the word God in parts of Brief History of Time and it's a problem which Dawkins handles very well in The God Delusion. As I have no belief in either a creator or an other worldly force (in fact, I don't do beliefs at all - but that's another thread entirely) I am instantly wary of people who use such words when they are in positions of power and influence.

Out of interest what does Geoff actually mean when he uses phrases like "God" and "spirituality"?
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PostSubject: Re: My Space   Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:13 am

It does seem fairly clear to me. Firstly I cannot argue that Geoff is not a believer. He most certainly is, but his belief system is a very personal one and encourages other people to find their own way. I have never found his writings to be dogmatic, but rather a sharing of life experiences. Obviously he has his own philosophy. Who doesn't? But the fundamentals of it are fairly universal whether or not you are religious. I am certainly not religious. I am agnostic with leanings closer to atheism than towards anything else.

I have to admit that when I got back into reading Geoff's stuff circ.2000 I was a little shocked at the direction he had taken. The discussions on having epiphanies and the regular use of the word "God" worried me. However, further reading made me worry less. When I met him I just found a genuinely inspirational individual with a very open and intelligent mind. He sees God as a bit like the internet with all the religions resembling search engines. Spirituality is less easy to define, but I think his view is a bit of an extreme version of own i.e. personality.

Let me give an example of some of the authors he promoted at the course:

Yogananda - you don't really get more hindu than this
Ayn Rand - devout atheist and individualist
Timothy Leary - can't pin down a belief system really, but an interesting blending of alternative philosophy, science, great allegory - and a bit of mental masterbation
Gavin De Becker - intuition as self-defence. I don't think there is a single decent self-defence instructor who doesn't promote this book
Viktor Frankl - creator of logotheraphy and a very motivating philosophy on the whole

That's pretty diverse in my view.
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PostSubject: Re: My Space   Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:51 pm

I want to meet Geoff for one reason - he helped me through a hellish period of Depression, something I may never completely rid myself of, but he helped big time.

I owe him massive respect which is why I offer my time freely promoting his non profit Bohemian Cafe and moderate it also.

I do not agree with his passion for Geller and some guy I do not recall off hand, indian doctor in to spirituality, BUT...................

Regards,

Den.

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PostSubject: Re: My Space   Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:13 pm

Quote :
I do not agree with his passion for Geller and some guy I do not recall off hand, indian doctor in to spirituality, BUT...................

Deepak Chopra?

I share your reservation with Geller, but to be fair to Geoff he likes such a wide spread of people that I think it is fair to say that he is more interested in the person and he never really seems to buy into anything completely. Geoff is a sceptic is also a sceptic in many ways. I would certainly say that he is a martial arts sceptic.
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PostSubject: Re: My Space   Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:28 pm

Jamie Clubb wrote:
I share your reservation with Geller

Surely the only Geller fan left is Geller and Michael Jackson. Geller's tripe has been debunked on so many occasions now I'm surprised he can afford a spoon to magically bend with his mind and fingers.
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PostSubject: Re: My Space   Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:47 pm

The group is now open and they supply a forum - kool!

My space forum and forum here, hopefully we can get some crossover?

Anyone on my space please join up,

regards,

Den.

http://groups.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=groups.groupProfile&groupID=107549037&Mytoken=A541C7E7-1553-4320-ABF1E4F719C5694356642000

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PostSubject: Re: My Space   Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:26 pm

Quote :
Surely the only Geller fan left is Geller and Michael Jackson. Geller's tripe has been debunked on so many occasions now I'm surprised he can afford a spoon to magically bend with his mind and fingers.

You'd be surprised. I am ashamed I know someone who thinks David Ike is a visionary Evil or Very Mad

This is the problem with debunking. It is no match for sensationalism. I guess that's why Penn and Teller have it right with their nudity, swearing and magic tricks. I was shocked to discover in the martial arts world just how much had been debunked about the Shaolin Temple as early as the 1920s and '30s, virtually at source, and verified by the majority of historians. And this was way before Kung Fu made it to the UK and USA.
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PostSubject: Re: My Space   Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:14 pm


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PostSubject: Re: My Space   Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:52 pm

Hey Guys

Sorry for coming in late on this.
Nice work on the myspace mate. job well done.

As for the postings on Geoff, I too as Jamie consider geoff a close friend
and one who has been there for me no matter what period I am or was going through.
Having him as a friend and instructor you get to see an insight first hand into what he talks about, practices, and indeed does encourage from person to person, Geoff has never done or said anything which is not followed to his students or friends with " try it and see for yourself ".

Geoff is very methodical, and has his beliefs as do we all. some as Rob rightly said may or may not agree with what has or is being said. however this is working for him and in a monstrous way. so putting into practice what Geoff has taught me, has brought me some very good friends, very good opportunities, ( which didnt come as a result of having geoff as a friend ) as some people have said to me before, but by me putting into practice things which he himself has talked about before.

I know for a fact, that Jamie has a fantastic life, meeting, training, teaching, writing and filming etc, and is another person who has had geoff as an influence in his life. Now im not saying Geoff is the be all and end all, as we are always encouraged to find our own way, and seek out instructors and continually train and practice various things.

As Jamie has pointed out Geoff is a sceptic as far as I can see, as he always uses things which are only tried and tested, and therefore has a proven track record. If it cant be made to work in a realistic situation, find and use something which can.

So he does not take things on face value.

All the best

Craig
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PostSubject: Re: My Space   Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:43 pm

xcellent post made by someone that is living his dream in no small part thanks to geoffs intervention.

Success speaks volumes,

regards,

Den.

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PostSubject: Re: My Space   Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:50 pm

Cheers for the kind words Den

Much appreciated mate

Craig
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