Bullshit Detector

This is an article originally posted on occult forums by someone named Daleth.  It’s good stuff that anyone who’s interested in the occult should be aware of:

One problem every single beginner (and many supposed intermediates, and a huge amount of supposed adepts) has is making use of their bullshit detector. I’d like to think that every person has an internal voice that, while they’re listening to the all powerful 16 year old mage who summoned Satan in his mom’s basement and goes into other worlds nightly to do battle against beings that would otherwise destroy the world, screams “Bullshit!”

Unfortunately, it seems that many people completely ignore that voice, or have spent so many years burying it beneath their desperation to summon Satan and do battle on the astral plane themselves that they can no longer hear it. So, for those of you who are tired of listening to people who talk about highly improbable things and believing every word of it, I present the following tips to detect bullshit. And mark my words, in the occult, you will encounter lots and lots of bullshit. There is no number high enough to represent the amount of bullshit you will encounter.

Is it Probable?
Way too many people get caught up in the statement that “everything is possible.” Sure, everything’s possible, but that doesn’t make it probable. It is quite possible that one day I will be a world-famous millionaire, but taking into account my inability to acquire and keep money and my lack of qualities that make me famous, the probability of this happening is very low. If you had never met me, and I posted on these forums saying I’m a millionaire, you could probably assume it’s bullshit. The amount of millionaires in the world is relatively low. Thus, calling me on my bullshit would be acceptable. The possibility exists that you are wrong, and the other person may be able to prove it, but we must always be prepared to be wrong while calling bullshit.

Magic, of course, is improbable in and of itself. However, we are accepting the simplest of magical actions we’ve seen as the base of probability when listening to others’ accounts of magical exploits. The further their exploits deviate from the base of probability we’ve established, the more likely they are full of shit. If they can provide proof of what they’re talking about, or we know them to be experienced and knowledgeable, or something like that, then we can factor that in.

Do they sound intelligent?
Many people find it offensive that I factor this into my bullshit calculations, but I fell it’s perfectly fair. I find that intelligent people don’t tend to feel as much need to impress other people with bullshit. At the least, taking the time to be clear spoken and show a knowledgeable background shows effort that people don’t usually invest in lies. Consider the two following examples:

Example #1:
omg lame i totaly sumoned this demon n it kiled a freind…i used a ritual from this books i cant remember teh name. plz help!!!!!!11111

Example #2:
I recently used an Enochian ritual to summon and ordered it to kill a hated enemy for me. Soon afterwards, a friend died. The enemy, however, has not suffered any ill effects. I suspect the demon may be responsible for my friend’s death, and may do harm to other people in my life. Can anybody offer any advice?

See how example #2 is clearly written, has full words, and just generally looks like it was written by somebody who took an English class at some point in their life? See how it looks like it actually took some effort to write, and involves some details that require at least a little knowledge? Example #1 should set anybody’s bullshit detector clanging like crazy, while example #2 is at least worth some tentative interest.

Do they work hard to make themselves sound impressive?
One of the most common reasons for spouting bullshit is because people want to impress other people. Yes, there are people out there so desperate to be considered cool that they will go on the internet and lie so people they will never even meet will be impressed. If somebody spends a lot of time pumping up their reputation and citing titles they have and orders they belong to and amazing things they’ve done, chances are they’re full of shit. You’ll notice that the people who really know something almost never talk about any titles they might have, or give themselves titles, and won’t discuss the amazing things they’ve done without some prompting.

Are they concerned about being told they’re full of shit?
People who react really badly when called on bullshit are almost definitely full of shit. They get very upset specifically because they want you to believe them and be impressed. You, however, rather than being impressed, are calling them out. Somebody who knows they’re not full of shit may take some time to argue, but won’t get overly upset that you think they’re full of shit. Look for insults and attacks on sexuality from the person who is full of shit, and intelligent debate from the person who isn’t.

Do they threaten you?
People who are full of shit will almost always threaten you. Especially in the world of the occult. If every curse placed on me for calling somebody on bullshit came true, my life would be an absolute living hell, whereas it’s not all that bad. Actually, if even one worked, according to the people who put them on me, my life would be a living hell. When they threaten you with curses or other dire consequences, you can safely assume they’re full of shit.

Ending Statements
Using your BS detector, contrary to many peoples’ opinions, is not being closed-minded. It is simply filtering what goes into your mind. You wouldn’t drink unfiltered water out of a sewage pond, would you? Because that’s what the internet is…One big sewage pond of information.

Calling somebody on BS is not a matter of insulting them. Always attack somebody’s statements and not the person. Find the flaws in what somebody’s saying, and pick those apart. Insulting somebody is not a part of calling out their BS. Insulting people only makes you look stupid.

Call somebody on BS and leave. Don’t take part in flame wars. If they present further discussion on the matter without insulting you, that’s great, continue the discussion. If, however, their response is to insult or threaten you, just walk away. (I don’t always follow this rule because…well…I enjoy making people feel stupid when they obviously are. If somebody places a curse on me and nothing happens, I can’t help but rub that in their face a bit. But I almost never purposely insult people and I never engage in flame wars.)

There you have it, your guide to BS.

This is not intended as a reason to insult people. There is a huge difference between calling somebody’s bullshit and calling them names. Telling them they’re stupid because you don’t believe them is not calling they’re bullshit. If you intend to call somebody on bullshit, don’t directly say “bullshit!” Not the discrepancies and flaws in their statements. If they respond, be open to discussion, and maintain a decent level of respect. They may believe what they’re saying, even if they’re full of shit, and it may rarely actually be true.

Accept when you’re wrong. If somebody points out a flaw in yourargument against their argument, hey, accept it. You’ve been proven wrong…everybody’s proven wrong at some point in their life. If you’re wrong, big deal? It’s not a contest. The point of calling bullshit is simply to let other people know that you see huge flaws in somebody’s argument. No matter how you come to the conclusion that somebody is full of shit, you need to give evidence. Even if your’re Jesus himself descended unto earth to warn these forums against an evil bullshitter, you still need to give reasons they’re full of shit without insulting them.

People aren’t necessarily aware of the fact that they’re full of shit. They may have truly convinced themselves into believing they’re the reincarnation of Jesus. They’re full of shit, but telling them so won’t make them realize it. These people are the ones that are most likely to hold onto their bulshit once they’ve started it. Make your point with these, and leave. Arguing with them is like mud wrestling a pig: You both get dirty, but the pig enjoys it.

There is no way to be sure. Maybe that guy who believes he is the antichrist really IS the antichrist. Maybe on the 18th of next month the world really WILL end. Maybe the way to salvation truly is through worshiping a chicken named Cornelius. Anything is possible, even if not probable. Never invalidate anybody’s statement simply by saying “that’s impossible.”

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