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 and Carrie Poppy
Genre Science, spirituality, medicine
Language English
Updates One or two per month
Production
Production Ian Kremer
Publication
Original release March 10, 2011 – present
Provider Maximum Fun
Website ohnopodcast.com

Oh No, Ross and Carrie! is a skeptical 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 light 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"
Ross and Carrie in front of an LDS Church meetinghouse

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 March 10, 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]

Ross and Carrie 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 February 9, 2014.[5]

Format[edit]

Most episodes feature Ross and Carrie 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. 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.[6] Some investigations are continued over the span of more than one episode.[7]

The hosts have even gone so far as to be baptized into the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Raëlian UFO religion to more fully explore the teachings of these religions.[1] Carrie was also certified as a Reiki healer in the course of an investigation.[8]

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).[9]

The show is produced by Ian Kremer, and the theme music was created by Brian Keith Dalton, producer of the Mr. Deity video series.[6]

Scientology investigation[edit]

Beginning in February, 2016, they began releasing episodes about an investigation of the Church of Scientology.[10] In their first Scientology episode, the pair state that an investigation of Scientology was their most frequent request.[10] The Scientology episodes were recommended by The Guardian,[11] The A.V. Club,[12] Boing Boing,[13] and SplitSider.[14] As of June, 2016, there are nine episodes devoted to the Scientology investigation.[15] Former senior Scientology executive Mike Rinder said of one episode that "the insight into the current state of affairs inside LA Org is revelatory"[16] because Ross is the only person who takes one of the introductory classes, despite Scientology's claims that their Los Angeles site is an ideal example of Scientology's success.[16]

Guests[edit]

In addition to episodes about investigations, Ross and Carrie have also released shows based on interviews with guests who have some relation to or expertise in the subject of a recent investigation.[9] Notable guests include the following:

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
Ross and Carrie investigate the Integratron

Ross Dwain Blocher lives in the Los Angeles area and works on animated films for Disney Animation Studios. He has a BFA in animation from Woodbury University.[17] He has worked as a technical director and training project manager on several major film releases, including The Simpsons Movie, The Princess and the Frog, and Frozen.[18] Blocher also investigates fringe science and spirituality with the Independent Investigations Group.[19] Both of Blocher's parents were math teachers.[20]

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.[21] She previously worked for the James Randi Educational Foundation[22] and currently writes an investigative column for Skeptical Inquirer magazine.[23] She is vegan and active in the animal rights movement.[2] 'Miss Ella Poppy', her dog, is frequently a guest host.

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

Ross and Carrie presented a workshop on investigation techniques, along with the hosts of the MonsterTalk podcast, at The Amaz!ng Meeting 2012.[24] 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.[25]

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!. 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 February 9, 2014. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ Caldwell, Courtney (25 March 2014). "Compassionate Investigation: An Interview With the Minds Behind "Oh No, Ross & Carrie!"". Mad Art Lab. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ a b "Oh No, Ross and Carrie!". Feedburner. Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Ross and Carrie Audit Scientology (Part 1): Going Preclear". Oh No Ross and Carrie. Retrieved 2016-05-16. 
  11. ^ Sawyer, Miranda (2016-03-06). "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 2016-05-16. 
  12. ^ "Paul Rust tackles American staples like Election and Wendy’s fast food". www.avclub.com. 2016-02-29. Retrieved 2016-05-16. 
  13. ^ "Ross and Carrie become Scientologists: an investigative report 5 years in the making". Boing Boing. 2016-02-02. Retrieved 2016-05-16. 
  14. ^ "This Week in Comedy Podcasts: ‘Doin’ It with Mike Sacks’ Debuts". Splitsider. 2016-02-04. Retrieved 2016-05-16. 
  15. ^ "Oh No, Ross and Carrie! | Maximum Fun". maximumfun.org. Retrieved 2016-05-16. 
  16. ^ a b "Reality Inside LA Org". Mike Rinder's Blog. 2016-02-06. Retrieved 2016-05-16. 
  17. ^ Blocher, Ross. "Ross Dwain Blocher Resume". Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  18. ^ "Ross Blocher". Internet Movie Database. IMDB.com, Inc. Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  19. ^ "Why They Support CFI-LA". Center for Inquiry - Los Angeles. Center for Inquiry. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  20. ^ 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. 
  21. ^ Poppy, Carrie. "Poppycock.". Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  22. ^ Myers, PZ (7 August 2013). "Carrie Poppy tells all". Pharyngula. Freethough Blogs. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  23. ^ "Special Articles - Poppycock". Skeptical Inquirer. The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  24. ^ "The Amazing Meeting 2012: Ross Blocher". YouTube. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  25. ^ 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]