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Ouija Boards
#1
Some info about Ouija boards


Some say they are tools by which demons can influence us; others regard them as mechanisms for communicating with the deceased; still others dismiss them as toys that can be used to fool your friends. But however we regard them, Ouija boards have left an indelible mark on our culture. But of most interest is the question they raise: Can they indeed be used to reveal information unknown to any of the participants whose hands rest on the pointer? Today we're going to find out what the science has revealed about Ouija boards.

Historically, these are called talking boards, and they've been around in spiritualism almost as long as spiritualists. They all involve a planchette, which is the pointer that seance participants all place their hands on, which then moves. How does it move? Well, that's the fun if it's a game, and it's the spirit if it's a seance. The planchette can either point to letters, numbers, or symbols written on the playing surface; or it can hold a writing implement that moves over paper to produce so-called spirit writing, or automatic writing.
The Ouija board is the name of the most successful talking board that's been manufactured commercially, first by the Charles Kennard Novelty Company in 1890, then by Parker Brothers since 1966, and by Hasbro since 1991.
It's true that name Ouija is the French and German words for yes, oui and ja. That's officially what the game's publisher will tell you it means, and that comes all the way down from one of the original bosses of the company, William Fuld. But Fuld wasn't the first, and before he came along, the founders had their own explanation for the name.
The story goes — and it is just a story, there's really no record telling us how much truth there may or may not be to it — that two of the four founders, Charles Kennard and Elijah Bond, were hanging out at the boarding house where Bond's sister-in-law lived, Helen Peters, and they were, of course, playing with their new invention. Peters considered herself something of a medium, and she asked the board what it wanted to be called. The three lay their hands on the planchette and watched in the candlelight as it slowly began to move. It went from the O, to the U, to the I... and spelled out the word Ouija. Peters gasped and opened a locket she kept round her neck, and showed it to the two men; it was a picture of a young woman, with the name Ouija written above her head! The only explanation — they reasoned — is that the spirits must have known what was in the locket. (For now, we'll forgo the more cynical explanation that Peters thought she'd have a little fun with the two men.)
Kennard wrote this story down, but probably made a mistake in the spelling. Helen Peters was a big fan of the British feminist author Ouida (with a D instead of a J), the pseudonym of Maria Louise Ramé, and that's almost certainly what it said in her locket, and probably also what Peters spelled out for them with the planchette. They then asked the board to tell them what the name meant, and it said good luck. Later when Fuld was running things, he added that it was an "ancient Egyptian" word for good luck. (It's totally not, in case you were wondering.)
The pronunciation? The original game instructions say "pronounced wee-gee or wee-ja" and today Hasbro goes with wee-gee. Here's from the retro-sounding trailer for the 2014 movie called Ouija:
Quote:Introducing Hasbro's Ouija.
"Is that the one where you talk to ghosts?"
"It's actually pretty fun."
"Is there a spirit here?"
The movie played on the theme that evil spirits can use the game to cause trouble for the living. This has been a real thing, particularly in the 1920s, when some murderers claimed they'd been told to commit their crime by some spirit through the Ouija board, and other amateurs were trying to give evidence to police they'd divined through their boards. Although this kind of thing had colored Ouija board culture to some degree ever since it came out, it was the board's inclusion as a key plot point in the 1973 movie The Exorcist that really put it onto the threat board of modern evangelicals. In fact, when the 2014 film came out, here is what evangelical leader Pat Robertson had to say:
Quote:The idea is that you're dealing with a spirit, and the spirit is causing that little — whatever they call that thing — it goes around to letters and spells out words, and so you feel like it's some dead person. But actually it is communicating with demonic spirits. It is a dangerous thing, and I would strongly urge people not to get involved in it.
Well, really, 99.9% of the time, the planchette moves because one of your friends is a knucklehead and is the one moving it, just as Helen Peters probably did. But let's discount all of those instances and see what Ouija boards can do when deliberate intervention by the participants is not part of the picture — it turns out they can, and do, actually work.
The default skeptical explanation for Ouija boards, as you may already know, is called the ideomotor response, referring to muscle movements driven by ideas, and discussed in detail in episode 451. It's unconscious and unintentional. It's also the standard explanation for dowsing. When we learn about the ideomotor response, it can seem like it's a bit of a cynical explanation. Surely an intelligent person, making a serious and honest attempt to control their body's movements, would not consistently make large and decisive movements that convey intelligible data. Let's look at one study that attempted to quantify the ideomotor response's effect on Ouija boards.
It comes from one of the more interesting studies often cited in Oujia board discussions. It's a recent one, published in 2012 in the journal Consciousness and Cognition. They gave subjects a big list of general knowledge questions that are all Yes/No answers; two examples being "Is Buenos Aires the capital of Brazil?" and "Were the 2000 Summer Olympics held in Sydney?" Subjects went through the list on a computer and clicked yes or no, and also indicated whether they knew the answer (high confidence) or had no clue and had to guess (low confidence).
They then proceeded to the next phase, where they sat at a Ouija board with a second person, who, unbeknownst to the test subject, was a confederate of the researchers. Both of them placed their hands on the planchette and were then blindfolded. Without the subject realizing it, the confederate then took her hands off of the planchette, so any movement would be caused by the subject alone. The subject was then given a new set of questions, half of which were repeats from the previous set. For each question they were instructed to wait for the planchette to move, then follow its movement without directing it. And, most of the time, soon the planchette would move, eventually settling on or near either yes or no.
Finally they did a third test which was a repeat of the first round at the computer, again with half new questions and half recycled questions.
There are two things I want to discuss about the results that are relevant to our conversation here today. First is that the actual test results they got have been used by promoters of spiritualism as evidence that Ouija boards truly are giving us knowledge from beyond, and the reason is that the data analysis did show a marked improvement of accuracy in the guessed answers when they were using the Ouija board compared to when the person used the computer. You'd think it should have been 50/50, right? Random chance for the guessed answers? But it wasn't. When the subject had to guess, they were 50/50 at the computer; but at the Ouija board, they were 65% right and only 35% wrong.
Proof of the afterlife?
No. In fact, really this is just proof that this test was really small and subject to random noise, and has not been replicated so far as I could find. Only 19 test subjects gave answers. The researchers also suggested that since some of the questions were repeats, their brains had time to go back and remember and maybe come up with some answers they'd forgotten the first time around. They called this the presentation effect, but they dismissed it based on data analysis, which I found totally uncompelling because of the small data set. So I'd call their test results mildly interesting, but not surprising because of the presentation effect, and also too small to be given much weight either way.
The second thing I want to discuss about the results is that they got results at all! These subjects who were in sole control of the planchette, all moved it to either yes or no. (A few other students did participate but didn't get any results, so those are excluded from the 19 discussed.) In case you supposed that the ideomotor response might produce slight random movements but not larger decisive movements, this proved it can. The subjects knew where yes and no were, and moved the planchette all the way across the board to them. From the paper:
Quote:All participants reported that they were only following the movement — they never induced it. When told that they were the only player moving the planchette during the Ouija session, all exhibited some degree of surprise. Indeed, several reported that they suspected the other participant to be a confederate because the planchette was moving too well, and they assumed that her role was to move it intentionally.
These people were powerfully fooled by their own bodies' ideomotor responses. It's no wonder that water diviners tend to believe their ability is real based on the repeatable certainty of their dowsing rods' movements.
Another reason this study can hardly be considered good proof that spirits intervene with Ouija boards is that the subjects all knew where yes and no were on the board, and as long as the answer given landed in the ballpark, researchers marked it down. Really it was just left and right. If spirits were guiding the planchette, they should be able to move it to specific letters on the alphabet, even with subjects blindfolded, and spell out sentences and other non-ambiguous intelligences. Clearly, nothing remotely like that happened here.
So far, no good research has been published showing the Ouija board to have any remarkable or reproducible abilities, other than to demonstrate the ideomotor response — but that, in itself, is surprisingly impressive, as demonstrated by the reactions of the test subjects who had been certain that the nonexistent second player was actually manipulating the planchette. There seems to be scant reason to fear evil spirits or demons or dead relatives coming through the board; but if you're as good a showman as Helen Peters was, your Ouija board just might make you the life of your next party.

https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4591
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#2
I'm not even going to go into a discussion/debate about Quija Boards with someone who has a skeptical view; I would be wasting my time. Until something strange happens to them, they will always say the "paranormal" is all in our mind.  Pfft!

I've lived a whole life of experiencing the "paranormal", and no one, and I mean no one, is going to tell me it was my imagination, or I was the one causing things to happen.  May be true that poltergeist activity is caused by stressed out people, but that's the only thing I know of.

As for dowsing rods.  Well, they work too.  I'll ask Spirit Scribe to come tell us her experience with them.



Some good stories on this thread: http://rogue-nation3.com/showthread.php?tid=245




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#3
I always try to find out as much info about things as I can, I try never to have blinkers on. Information helps to find answers,  but not always the answers people want. 
The human mind is a strange and powerful thing, I believe most but NOT ALL paranormal is made in the minds of  people.
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#4
(10-03-2017, 08:43 PM)Mystic Wanderer Wrote: ...I've lived a whole life of experiencing the "paranormal", and no one, and I mean no one, is going
to tell me it was my imagination, or I was the one causing things to happen.
May be true that poltergeist activity is caused by stressed out people, but that's the only thing I know of.

As for dowsing rods.  Well, they work too.  I'll ask Spirit Scribe to come tell us her experience with them...

Have steered clear of the boards, but the dowsing rods work and I AM a sceptic!

A man I worked with when I first left school, used them for company business and being sixteen
years-old and knowing everything(!) I was doubtful when he explained what the two bent welding
rods were for in the back of his van.

He had me try them out once in the Managing Director's garden, the wires crossed just where he
said they would. Not magic as such, Harry had buried a water pipe under the lawn years before
and knew where it was! But the rods I were holding did cross.

But one frosty morning, we were working on a site beside an industrious river and the JCB digger
was about to clear an area for foundations when the Electric company arrived and flagged him to stop.
Somewhere under the ground was a mains cable that fed a factory right next to where we were working.

However, the men from the Electric Board had no idea where the cable actually was and after talking
about how plans had been mislaid and maybe contacting our company officials, Harry -a guy who looked
like a weird Professor with a white goatie-beard and grey tufts of hair sticking out either side of his head,
suggested he could use his dowsing rods.

I'd seen him use them many times of course, and to this day, have no idea how he was doing it if it was
really a trick.

He walked about and the rods crossed, the digger driver said loudly "he's found 'em" but Harry shook his head.
"No... that's the remains of old foundations" he said without looking at us and continued to wander around.

A few minutes later, he stopped, told the JCB  driver to place a tooth of his front bucket exactly where he
was pointing and added "take it slow"

The digger's scoop slid along about four-or-five inches below the surface and when Harry's hand showed the
driver should stop, he rolled his finger to indicate he should lift his front-bucket and do it carefully.

There, rising from the dirt, a thick, black cable appeared from the ground and with shouting Electric
company employees yelling in panic, the head-shaking digger-driver brought his machine to a halt.

I asked Harry many times how he did it and all I could get was it wasn't him, it was the welding rods.
Over forty years ago... jeez!

Edit: Just to add to the woo, the van he drove would always pop it's bonnet everytime... and I mean
everytime, we passed a particular country church when delivering wage packets ro the construction
sites!!!
[Image: attachment.php?aid=953]
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#5
(10-03-2017, 09:14 PM)Wallfire Wrote: I always try to find out as much info about things as I can, I try never to have blinkers on. Information helps to find answers,  but not always the answers people want. 
The human mind is a strange and powerful thing, I believe most but NOT ALL paranormal is made in the minds of  people.

That's all well and good, and I might be the same way if certain inexplicable things hadn't happened to me all throughout my life that already gave me the answer to this topic. 
I'm not some young teenager. I'm OLD, and "strange" things have never stopped happening to me to this day.

Ouija Boards are a portal to the unseen/unknown.  Just because nothing bad happens to some people, doesn't mean it won't if they keep messing around with it.




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#6
@BIAD  what does pop it's bonnet mean?   tinysurprised




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#7
(10-03-2017, 09:37 PM)Mystic Wanderer Wrote: @BIAD  what does pop it's bonnet mean?   tinysurprised

Whoops! It could be construed as lewd or saucy, nuh?!!

It means the hood of the van -over the engine, used to fly up and obstruct Harry's view.
(Yer' can tell I don't drive or have a clue about vehicles!)
[Image: attachment.php?aid=953]
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#8
(10-03-2017, 09:43 PM)BIAD Wrote:
(10-03-2017, 09:37 PM)Mystic Wanderer Wrote: @BIAD  what does pop it's bonnet mean?   tinysurprised

Whoops! It could be construed as lewd or saucy, nuh?!!

It means the hood of the van -over the engine, used to fly up and obstruct Harry's view.
(Yer' can tell I don't drive or have a clue about vehicles!)

Thanks.  The "bonnet" over there is what we across the pond call a "hood".  I was confused. I kept seeing a bonnet like a person wears on their head, and I was like, "huh?"   tinybighuh




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#9
While I do understand your skepticism, and believe everyone is entitled to their opinion, I am like mystic, and a firm believer.
I've had too much happen, both with myself reading for others, and a few reading/divining for me, not to be.

And as far as dowsing?  A very close friend of mine, is used by people all over her county, to find water for wells.  Has been sought after for decades.   And very highly regarded.
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#10
(10-03-2017, 09:14 PM)Wallfire Wrote: I always try to find out as much info about things as I can, I try never to have blinkers on. Information helps to find answers,  but not always the answers people want. 
The human mind is a strange and powerful thing, I believe most but NOT ALL paranormal is made in the minds of  people.

You're probably right, but that just leads to the philosophical question of what the "mind" really IS. If one is of the opinion that it is just a series of bioelectric impulses confined within an organ of the body, and just goes POOF! when that body ceases to function, that would be much tougher to believe, and harder to explain, than the notion of "paranormal" to my mind. As a matter of discussion, I think that "belief" itself is hard to explain in the context of bioelectronic circuitry, because it is far too abstract to be explained away by mere programming... and that programming itself would imply a programmer...

Regarding dowsing or "water witching", I'm a firm believer. I've done it quite a lot myself using forked sticks or wire rods bent in an "L" shape. I've used it to locate all sorts of things, and have had green forked sticks twist so violently in my hands that the outer bark was wrung off of them. What MAKES it work is another question altogether. I don't know, but have tossed around the possibility that it's the mind picking up electrical fields from whatever one is looking for, which signals (like radio signals picked up by an antenna and transferred to an amplifier) are then translated into subconscious motion. Maybe, maybe not. I dunno, but whatever causes it, it works.

I do know that underground veins of water generate electrical fields that can be picked up by the body, and sleeping over one can lead to some bad juju, both mentally and even physically.


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#11
(10-05-2017, 06:47 AM)Ninurta Wrote:
(10-03-2017, 09:14 PM)Wallfire Wrote: I always try to find out as much info about things as I can, I try never to have blinkers on. Information helps to find answers,  but not always the answers people want. 
The human mind is a strange and powerful thing, I believe most but NOT ALL paranormal is made in the minds of  people.

You're probably right, but that just leads to the philosophical question of what the "mind" really IS. If one is of the opinion that it is just a series of bioelectric impulses confined within an organ of the body, and just goes POOF! when that body ceases to function, that would be much tougher to believe, and harder to explain, than the notion of "paranormal" to my mind. As a matter of discussion, I think that "belief" itself is hard to explain in the context of bioelectronic circuitry, because it is far too abstract to be explained away by mere programming... and that programming itself would imply a programmer...

Regarding dowsing or "water witching", I'm a firm believer. I've done it quite a lot myself using forked sticks or wire rods bent in an "L" shape. I've used it to locate all sorts of things, and have had green forked sticks twist so violently in my hands that the outer bark was wrung off of them. What MAKES it work is another question altogether. I don't know, but have tossed around the possibility that it's the mind picking up electrical fields from whatever one is looking for, which signals (like radio signals picked up by an antenna and transferred to an amplifier) are then translated into subconscious motion. Maybe, maybe not. I dunno, but whatever causes it, it works.

I do know that underground veins of water generate electrical fields that can be picked up by the body, and sleeping over one can lead to some bad juju, both mentally and even physically.


.

There are many questions that do need answered. I have found that very very many people who believe in the paranormal ( and I stress once again NOT ALL) are just people who think they have some kind of gift, they have the need to feel or be seen as different to others. Its a bit like shamen, I have never talked to or seen any sharman, but I have talked to lots who think they are, and have learned to behave in such a way as to put on a good show. The trouble starts when people start believing there own hype.
Always question and seek the answers with honesty and the world will open up to you.
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#12
(10-05-2017, 02:11 PM)Wallfire Wrote: There are many questions that do need answered. I have found that very very many people who believe in the paranormal ( and I stress once again NOT ALL) are just people who think they have some kind of gift, they have the need to feel or be seen as different to others. Its a bit like shamen, I have never talked to or seen any sharman, but I have talked to lots who think they are, and have learned to behave in such a way as to put on a good show. The trouble starts when people start believing there own hype.
Always question and seek the answers with honesty and the world will open up to you.

I agree. I don't know any shamans, and can't recall ever having met one, but I've run across a few Americans who fancied themselves to be shamans. Part of the cause of that, I suspect, are academics who sometimes take very specific words and attempt to apply them to an entire class where they don't actually fit. In the case of Shamans, as I recall all shamans are Siberian tribesmen, but academia will often try to apply the term to other "sorcerer-types", such as Amazonian Indian medicine men. Same for the term "witch doctor" - it gets applied very often in places it does not belong.

Because academia does this, other folks follow suit. I don't know how many "wiccans" I've run into who call themselves "witches", yet follow an entirely manufactured belief system that is less than a hundred years old, and bears zero resemblance to the old European "wiccans". I once had a step daughter who was one of those - I called her my "Barnes and Noble witch". Her grand mother and great grand mother at least WERE actual witches, and to be honest her ma was kinda spooky but probably wasn't one, and not a one of them got their notions of witchery out of a book...until she came along and had no real source of knowledge left to her, so she just kinda went whichever way the wind was blowing in Barnes and Noble, with fairly disastrous results.

Some times, when one dabbles in things one has no actual source of knowledge of, one can blunder into things he or she is utterly unprepared for. As you say, the trouble starts when they start to believe their own hype - or the hype they read in a book largely made up out of whole cloth to make a buck.

I grew up knowing hereditary witches, witches who got their knowledge from their mothers and their mothers before them, and so on. I suspect that over the centuries a lot was lost, because they had only nearly unrecognizable vestiges of any sort of religious system, and mostly just did herbal healing, with the occasional "hex" that might or might not work, but was rarely if ever disastrous unless some absolutely human, physical agent tried to force an issue. To compound the issue, their "witchery" inherited from Europe appears to have been blended with some curious native witchery, creating an whole new, different sort of witching. As far as I've been able to tell, it appears to be unique to the Appalachians, and perhaps the Ozarks as well.

Personally, and with no real basis to support it, I believe that "spirits" are tied to the land, and have specific areas of operation. For example, I knew a Muslim who believed that djinn, desert spirits, were all over the place here in America, and always up to some kind of no good. That's not anything I ever worried over, because I'm convinced that middle eastern spirits are limited to operate in their native land. Likewise for South American, Siberian, Asian, African, and so on "entities" - if they exist at all, they have no power outside their areas, they can't "plug in" or "energize" except on their own turf. Their is a reason for that, which can be explained in a paranormal manner or a cultural manner or a purely physical manner, depending on how one would want to approach it - but the end result is the same, regardless of the path taken to get there. The path and the journey to that destination really depends on whether the questioner believes in "spirits" at all, or would prefer a more mundane approach.

Now ouija boards puzzle me. I don't know where their point of origin IS, because I've never cared enough to research it. I have seen... odd... things from them, but have never used one myself as I've felt no particular need or urge to play with them. Now the odd results I've seen could have a paranormal explanation, but could just as easily have a biological or biochemical explanation (or even just psychological for that matter).

The mind is a wondrous thing, largely unexplained, but until we develop a working hypothesis of what it IS, we can't start to seriously factor it in to these apparently paranormal events in any meaningful way, and until we do, they will remain just mysteries, and occasionally points of argument.

I'm done with my Old Man rambling now.


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#13
@Ninurta said,


Quote:Personally, and with no real basis to support it, I believe that "spirits" are tied to the land, and have specific areas of operation. For example, I knew a Muslim who believed that djinn, desert spirits, were all over the place here in America, and always up to some kind of no good. That's not anything I ever worried over, because I'm convinced that middle eastern spirits are limited to operate in their native land. Likewise for South American, Siberian, Asian, African, and so on "entities" - if they exist at all, they have no power outside their areas, they can't "plug in" or "energize" except on their own turf.

That could be true, I don't know, but it seems places where Native Americans once owned the "turf" is 'haunted' more than other locations in the U.S.




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#14
I like it here so far, people here seem to be very secure in there believes so they are open to questions and discussions. So far no sign of the pitchfork and torch mob  tinybiggrin
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#15
(10-05-2017, 07:28 PM)Wallfire Wrote: I like it here so far, people here seem to be very secure in there believes so they are open to questions and discussions. So far no sign of the pitchfork and torch mob  tinybiggrin

We all came from 'that other site', and that is why we left. 
We don't operate that way here.  Ms. G. already said, anyone who does will be banned immediately.   minusculebiggrin


She carries a big whip!   smallslavedriver




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#16
(10-05-2017, 07:05 PM)Mystic Wanderer Wrote: @Ninurta said,


Quote:Personally, and with no real basis to support it, I believe that "spirits" are tied to the land, and have specific areas of operation. For example, I knew a Muslim who believed that djinn, desert spirits, were all over the place here in America, and always up to some kind of no good. That's not anything I ever worried over, because I'm convinced that middle eastern spirits are limited to operate in their native land. Likewise for South American, Siberian, Asian, African, and so on "entities" - if they exist at all, they have no power outside their areas, they can't "plug in" or "energize" except on their own turf.

That could be true, I don't know, but it seems places where Native Americans once owned the "turf" is 'haunted' more than other locations in the U.S.

Indians owned ALL the turf in the U.S. from sea to shining sea. "Haunts", however, are not necessarily limited to Indian spirits or spirits once worshiped by them. the nature of haunts is different than, for example, the nature of djinn. Djinn were never living humans, they've always been "spirit". Haunts, on the other hand, are alleged to be the remaining spirits of once living humans (and the occasional critter), and could be tied to the "turf" where they separated from their physical bodies if they elected to stay in this limited dimension.

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#17
(10-05-2017, 07:43 PM)Mystic Wanderer Wrote:
(10-05-2017, 07:28 PM)Wallfire Wrote: I like it here so far, people here seem to be very secure in there believes so they are open to questions and discussions. So far no sign of the pitchfork and torch mob  tinybiggrin

We all came from 'that other site', and that is why we left. 
We don't operate that way here.  Ms. G. already said, anyone who does will be banned immediately.   minusculebiggrin


She carries a big whip!   smallslavedriver

She carries a big whip!   :smallslavedriver YES I think im going to enjoy it here  tinyinbiglove  ops sorry too much info
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