D. J. Grothe

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D. J. Grothe
Grothetam2011.jpg
Born Douglas James Grothe
(1973-06-25) June 25, 1973 (age 42)
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Residence Hollywood, California, USA
Nationality American
Alma mater Washington University
Occupation Magician, writer, skeptic

Douglas James "D. J." Grothe (born June 25, 1973) is an American writer and public speaker who talks about issues at the nexus of science, critical thinking, secularism, religion and the paranormal. As an active skeptic, he has served in leadership roles for both the Center for Inquiry and the James Randi Educational Foundation. His writing has been published by both Skeptical Inquirer magazine and The Huffington Post.[1] He also co-edited On the Beauty of Science,[2] about the worldview and life's work of Nobel Laureate Herbert Hauptman.

Grothe currently serves as a board member of The Institute for Science and Human Values.[3]

Magic[edit]

Using his experience as a professional magician,[4] Grothe lectures about the intersection of magic and skepticism.[5]

The Center for Inquiry[edit]

As a graduate student at Washington University, Grothe became involved with a student freethought group there called WULF, the Washington University League of Freethinkers,[6] as well as the Council for Secular Humanism.[7] This second group was affiliated with The Center for Inquiry, and served as an entry point into this organization.[8]

Grothe was a member of the Center for Inquiry for ten years. From 2005 until 2009 he hosted Point of Inquiry, the official podcast of the organization.[9] He traveled extensively to lecture on subjects such as "ethics, religious-political extremism, church-state separation, skepticism and science advocacy".[10] In 2009, while serving as vice president and director of outreach programs, Grothe left CFI to serve as president of the James Randi Educational Foundation.[11][12]

James Randi Educational Foundation[edit]

D. J. Grothe, Susan Gerbic, James Randi

Grothe succeeded Phil Plait as president of the James Randi Educational Foundation and served in that capacity from January 1, 2010 until September 1, 2014.[13] [14] From January 2010 until December 2011 Grothe hosted For Good Reason, a podcast associated with the JREF.[15] Grothe served as president of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) from January 2010 until September 2014.[16]

Guests on For Good Reason included James Randi on the importance of JREF programs, Daniel Loxton on a book about evolution for children, Jamy Ian Swiss on psychics and their deceptive methods, the social psychologist Carol Tavris talking about dissonance theory, and Richard Dawkins talking about Darwin Day and creation and evolution in public education, among dozens of other guests he has interviewed.[17]

Debashis Rationalist, James Randi and D J Gothe

Challenges to celebrity psychics[edit]

Grothe challenged celebrity psychic James Van Praagh to prove his claims of psychic mediumship and communication with the dead a number of times in the news media,[18] and organized a "zombie attack" featuring volunteers from the James Randi Educational Foundation of one of Van Praagh's "Spirit Circles," which net Van Praagh thousands of dollars from his clients seeking communication with their deceased loved ones.[19][20] This was to publicize both that Van Praagh refuses the JREF's One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge and how the JREF considers Van Praagh's claims to communicate with dead people to be unfounded and harmful.

Grothe has also spoken out against celebrity psychics Theresa Caputo (the Long Island Medium) and John Edward, criticizing them for taking advantage of the grieving by using a collection of psychological manipulations commonly referred to as cold reading, and has also criticized companies like Priceline.com and national media figures such as Dr. Phil for giving a platform to such psychic performers.[21][22]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "D. J. Grothe Contributions". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  2. ^ Herbert A. Hauptman; as told to and edited by D. J. Grothe (2008). "On the Beauty of Science: A Nobel Laureate Reflects on the Universe, God, and the Nature of Discovery". amazon.com. ISBN 978-1-59102-460-6. 
  3. ^ "Board Members". The Institute for Science and Human Values. Archived from the original on 14 August 2015. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "Magic & Mentalism". DJGrothe.com. Archived from the original on 2009-11-19. Retrieved 3 June 2009. 
  5. ^ "Magic & Illusion". About.com. Retrieved 27 December 2007. 
  6. ^ "Faith No More". Lingua Franca, Volume 9, Number 7. October 1999. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  7. ^ "CSH Welcomes New Staffers". Secular Humanist Bulletin, Volume 17, Number 3. August 2001. Retrieved 16 December 2007. 
  8. ^ "CSH Welcomes New Staffers". Secular Humanist Bulletin, Volume 17, Number 3. August 2001. Retrieved 16 December 2007. 
  9. ^ "Center for Inquiry Announces Three New Hosts for its Popular Podcast, ‘Point of Inquiry’". CenterForInquiry.net. Archived from the original on 5 June 2015. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  10. ^ "CFI West Archives". CFI West. Archived from the original on 10 August 2004. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  11. ^ "James Randi Educational Foundation Names New President". www.randi.org. Archived from the original on 28 April 2015. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  12. ^ "Point of Inquiry Introduction". Center for Inquiry. 8 December 2007. Retrieved 8 December 2007. 
  13. ^ "James Randi Educational Foundation Names New President". randi.org. December 2009. 
  14. ^ "Los Angeles Office Closed". randi.org. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  15. ^ "For Good Reason--Podcast". randi.org. James Randi Educational Foundation. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  16. ^ "Los Angeles Office Closed". randi.org. 
  17. ^ "For Good Reason--Podcast". randi.org. James Randi Educational Foundation. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  18. ^ Grothe, D.J. (11 October 2011). "What Is James Van Praagh Hiding From?". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  19. ^ Moye, David (11 October 2011). "Skeptical 'Zombies' Attack Alleged Psychic James Van Praagh (VIDEO)". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  20. ^ Loxton, Daniel (13 October 2012). "JREF RECRUITS ZOMBIE HORDE TO CARRY PSYCHIC CHALLENGE". Skepticblog.com. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  21. ^ Grothe, D.J. (19 September 2012). "Priceline.com: Will You Prove Your Spokesperson Worthy for a Million Dollars?". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 
  22. ^ Grothe, D.J. (19 September 2012). "An Open Letter to Dr. Phil". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 

External links[edit]