Oh No, Ross and Carrie!

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Oh No, Ross and Carrie!
Oh No Ross and Carrie logo.jpg
Presentation
Hosted by
  • Ross Blocher
  • Carrie Poppy
Genre
LanguageEnglish
UpdatesWeekly
Production
ProductionIan Kremer
Publication
ProviderMaximum Fun
Websiteohnopodcast.com

Oh No, Ross and Carrie! is an investigative journalism podcast produced in Los Angeles and distributed by the Maximum Fun network. The hosts personally investigate claims about spirituality, fringe science, religion, and the paranormal, then discuss their findings on the show. The motto of the podcast is "We show up so you don't have to."[1]

History[edit]

Man with light skin and dark hair and woman with dark hair and light skin stand in front of a building with a sign that reads "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Visitors Welcome"
Blocher and Poppy in front of an LDS Church meetinghouse in 2011

The hosts, Ross Blocher and Carrie Poppy, met at a book club meeting at the Center for Inquiry (CFI) West, where they discovered they had a mutual love for The Simpsons television program. They were also both interested in religion and fringe science, so they decided to attend a meeting of the Kabbalah Centre in LA together and analyze the claims made there. That experience inspired them to start their own podcast centered around such investigations.[2]

The first episode, based on their experiences at the Kabbalah Centre, was released on 10 March 2011. The show was independently distributed until it became part of the Maximum Fun network in January 2014. Funding for the hosts' investigations comes from listener donations.[3]

Blocher and Poppy have since investigated a number of religious groups, fringe science claims, and alternative medicine modalities, including Mormonism, dowsing, and Reiki healing.

The podcast has been ranked among the top 100 podcasts on iTunes in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The highest ranking it has achieved in each country is #30 in Australia, #28 in Canada, #93 in the UK, and #36 in the U.S.[4] It has also been one of the most downloaded podcasts on iTunes in the Religion and Spirituality category, ranking as high as #11 on 9 February 2014.[5]

Scientology investigation[edit]

Beginning in February 2016, they released a series of episodes about their investigation of the Church of Scientology.[6] In their first Scientology episode, the pair state that an investigation of Scientology was their most frequent request.[6] The Scientology episodes were recommended by The Guardian,[7] The A.V. Club,[8] Boing Boing,[9] and SplitSider.[10] As of August 2020, there are ten episodes devoted to the Scientology investigation – 9 original episodes in 2016, and a follow-up episode in 2017.[11] Former senior Scientology executive Mike Rinder said of one episode that "the insight into the current state of affairs inside LA Org is revelatory"[12] because Blocher was the only person in attendance at the introductory classes, despite Scientology's claims that their Los Angeles site is an ideal example of Scientology's success.[12]

Awards[edit]

Award Year Category Result Ref.
Academy of Podcasters 2015 Spirituality & Religion Finalist [13]

Format[edit]

Most episodes feature Blocher and Poppy talking about their experiences during a recent investigation they performed, while some episodes are based on interviews with guests who have some relation to a recent investigation. The investigations usually take place in the Los Angeles area, although some have occurred in other areas of California and Arizona, or even internationally. When investigating a claim, the hosts generally attend meetings or sessions having conducted little background research in order to get a feel for what the average person would experience. They perform the investigations undercover and only reveal that they are journalists if asked. On one occasion, when investigating the Ordo Templi Orientis, they used assumed names to protect their identities.[14] Some investigations are continued over the span of more than one episode.[15]

The hosts have even gone so far as to be baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Raëlian UFO religion to more fully explore the teachings of these religions.[1] Poppy was also certified as a Reiki healer in the course of an investigation.[16]

At the end of each investigation, the hosts subjectively rate the level of pseudoscience, creepiness, danger, and cost (or "pocket drainer" value) of the claim or group they studied using ten-point scales. The pseudoscience rating is based on a scale in which the theory of evolution has a score of 1 (completely scientific) and the idea that humans are made completely of goat sperm has a score of 10 (completely pseudoscientific).[17] Poppy also frequently gives a "hot drink" rating, at the end of the investigation.

The show is produced by Ian Kremer, and the theme music was created by Brian Keith Dalton, producer of the Mr. Deity video series.[14]

Blocher and Poppy intermittently perform a live version of the show. In an interview with Richard Saunders Blocher said that the live show gives them a great opportunity to "meet people in person and know that our message... of having fun with zany beliefs resonates with people"[18]

Guests[edit]

In addition to episodes about investigations, Blocher and Poppy have also released episodes based on interviews with guests who have some relation to or expertise in the subject of a recent investigation.[17] Notable guests include:

Hosts[edit]

Man with light skin and dark hair and woman with light hair and light skin stand in front of a white building with a domed roof
Blocher and Poppy investigate the Integratron

Ross Blocher lives in the Los Angeles area. He works as a Training Project Manager at Walt Disney Animation Studios,[26][better source needed] and has a BFA in animation from Woodbury University,[27] He has worked in technical capacities on films such as The Simpsons Movie, The Princess and the Frog and Frozen.[28] Blocher also investigates fringe science and spirituality with the Independent Investigations Group.[29] Both of Blocher's parents were teachers of mathematics.[30]

Carrie Poppy is a writer and actress living in Los Angeles. She studied theater and philosophy at the University of the Pacific, then studied improvisation and sketch comedy at The Groundlings.[31] She previously worked for the James Randi Educational Foundation[32] and currently writes an investigative column for Skeptical Inquirer magazine.[33] She is vegan and active in the animal rights movement.[2]

Both Blocher and Poppy are former evangelical Christians but are no longer religious believers.[1]

Blocher and Poppy presented a workshop on investigation techniques, along with the hosts of the MonsterTalk podcast, at The Amaz!ng Meeting 2012.[34] At that same meeting, Poppy gave a talk on the importance of using inclusive language when reaching out to people with beliefs that are different from one's own.[35]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Doctorow, Cory (25 March 2014). "Oh No Ross and Carrie: podcasting investigative journalists join cults, try woo, and get prodded – for science!". Boing Boing. Happy Mutants LLC. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b Brown, Christopher (2 November 2011). "MTS: Meet Carrie Poppy". Meet the Skeptics!. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  3. ^ Blocher, Ross & Poppy, Carrie (2 January 2014). "Ross and Carrie Strike Water: Dowsing and Pendulum Edition". Oh No, Ross and Carrie!. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Ross and Carrie – 'Oh No Ross and Carrie' American iTunes Chart Performance". iTunesCharts.net. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Top Ranking Podcasts in Religion and Spirituality at podbay.fm". Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  6. ^ a b "Ross and Carrie Audit Scientology (Part 1): Going Preclear". Oh No Ross and Carrie. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  7. ^ Sawyer, Miranda (6 March 2016). "The week in radio: Oh No, Ross and Carrie!; Man Buy Cow; The Angelos and Barry Show; Scroobius Pip's Distraction Pieces". the Guardian. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  8. ^ "Paul Rust tackles American staples like Election and Wendy's fast food". www.avclub.com. 29 February 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  9. ^ "Ross and Carrie become Scientologists: an investigative report 5 years in the making". Boing Boing. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  10. ^ "This Week in Comedy Podcasts: 'Doin' It with Mike Sacks' Debuts". Splitsider. 4 February 2016. Archived from the original on 9 May 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  11. ^ "Oh No, Ross and Carrie! | Maximum Fun". maximumfun.org. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  12. ^ a b "Reality Inside LA Org". Mike Rinder's Blog. 6 February 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  13. ^ "2015 AofP Winners and Finalists". Academy of Podcasters. Podcast Movement. 2015. Archived from the original on 14 October 2016.
  14. ^ a b Blocher, Ross & Poppy, Carrie (1 August 2013). "Ross and Carrie Go OTO (Part 1): Nudity and Dark Rituals Edition". Oh No, Ross and Carrie!. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  15. ^ Caldwell, Courtney (25 March 2014). "Compassionate Investigation: An Interview With the Minds Behind "Oh No, Ross & Carrie!"". Mad Art Lab. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  16. ^ Blocher, Ross & Poppy, Carrie (2 April 2014). "Ross and Carrie Creep People Out: Reiki Test Edition". Oh No, Ross and Carrie!. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  17. ^ a b "Oh No, Ross and Carrie!". Feedburner. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  18. ^ Saunders, Richard. "The Skeptic Zone #535". The Skeptic Zone Podcast. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  19. ^ "Ross and Carrie Meet Brian!". Oh No Ross and Carrie. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  20. ^ "Ross and Carrie Meet Mark!". Oh No Ross and Carrie. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Ross and Carrie Read Susan and Mark: Psychic Blues Edition". Oh No Ross and Carrie. Archived from the original on 2 October 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  22. ^ "Ross and Carrie Are Suppressive: Mike Rinder Interview Edition". Oh No Ross and Carrie. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  23. ^ "Ross and Carrie Meet Jon Ronson: Butt Edition". Oh No Ross and Carrie. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  24. ^ "Ross and Carrie Meet Eugenie!". Oh No Ross and Carrie. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  25. ^ "Ross and Carrie and Louis Theroux: My Scientology Movie". Oh No Ross and Carrie. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  26. ^ "Ross Blocher, LinkedIn". LinkedIn. 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  27. ^ Blocher, Ross. "Ross Dwain Blocher Resume". Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  28. ^ "Ross Blocher". Internet Movie Database. IMDB.com, Inc. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  29. ^ "Why They Support CFI-LA". Center for Inquiry – Los Angeles. Center for Inquiry. Archived from the original on 23 August 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  30. ^ Blocher, Ross and Poppy, Carrie (1 June 2014). "Ross and Carrie Try Oil Pulling: Swish and Spit Edition" (Podcast). Maximum Fun. Event occurs at 42:06. Retrieved 5 November 2014.{{cite podcast}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  31. ^ Poppy, Carrie. "Poppycock". Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  32. ^ Myers, PZ (7 August 2013). "Carrie Poppy tells all". Pharyngula. Freethough Blogs. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  33. ^ "Special Articles – Poppycock". Skeptical Inquirer. The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Archived from the original on 10 April 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  34. ^ "The Amazing Meeting 2012: Ross Blocher". YouTube. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  35. ^ Mehta, Hemant (10 September 2012). "Carrie Poppy Talks About the Importance of Using Inclusive Language". Friendly Atheist. Patheos. Retrieved 7 April 2014.

External links[edit]