Skeptic News: X has Y

NZ Skeptics Newsletter

Your Skeptics Society Needs You

For those of you who like the work we do enough that you want to support us financially, it’s that time of the year when membership subscriptions are due. Membership is only $40, or $20 if you’re unwaged, and the money we receive will be spent on worthy causes, allowing us to help make New Zealand a more skeptical place.

Also, if you join before the end of March we’ll send you a bona fide “Card Carrying Skeptic” business card with your name and membership number - it’s great to show to friends when they comment about how you’re always so damn skeptical.

Subscriptions can be paid (via credit/debit card) using the Memberful member management system at:

If you are a current member who hasn't logged into our Memberful site before, click the Reset it link (next to "Forgot your password?") and enter your email address. An email will be sent to you containing a password reset link for the account we’ve set up for you.

If you want to pay via internet banking, have any problems using Memberful, or have any other questions about membership, please contact our treasurer, Paul Ashton, at [email protected].

Anyway, now that I've annoyed you all by asking for your support, I suppose I'd better get on with telling you what's been going on of skeptical interest recently.

Mark Honeychurch
Secretary, NZ Skeptics


Grant Robertson has Had Enough

MP Grant Robertson was on Peter Williams’ Magic Talk radio show this week when he was asked about the “Great Reset”. His immediate reaction was to quit the interview early, and he's subsequently let Magic Talk know that he won’t be returning for his regular weekly slot with Williams. So, what’s going on in this drama that’s of interest to skeptics?

The Great Reset, for those who’ve not heard about this conspiracy theory, was originally an idea posited by the World Economic Forum during the start of the current COVID pandemic. It suggests that a world-changing event like a pandemic would be a good place to start to tinker with how economies operate, in order to correct an imbalance many people feel has crept up over the last 100 years or so where the ultra-rich are being taxed less and are getting richer faster, and that the gap between the rich and poor is widening. It also talks about using technology more effectively, and being more mindful of long term environmental issues. Unfortunately the conspiracy minded have decided that, like the UN’s Agenda 21 and 2030 before it, the Great Reset is secretly a global plan to take away our freedoms and impose a socialist prison state system that will enslave us all. Of course, these plans have never been proclaimed outright - you have to read between the lines of the Great Reset's documents to see the nefarious nature of these insidious ideas.

As a backdrop to this event, Peter Williams has already been in the news recently for promoting anti-vaccine views. He recommended that viewers visit the Voices for Freedom website to find out more about the COVID vaccine. Unfortunately Voices for Freedom is a new group in New Zealand who have been hosting what they call “courageous conversations” around COVID, conversations which skeptics would be more likely to call “total and utter nonsense”. These include claiming that masks are ineffective, casting doubt on PCR tests and vaccines, and promoting Ivermectin, vitamins and zinc as effective treatments/prophylactics for COVID.

So, anyway, when Peter asked Grant about the Great Reset, I’m guessing that Grant was well aware of Peter’s recent controversy and was primed for a silly question coming his way.

I’ve met with Grant before, to ask for advice about helping asylum seekers. He was rational and knowledgeable, and came across as level-headed and skeptical. It’s great to see him take a stand so publicly in this instance, and we can only hope that others will follow his lead.

Rush Limbaugh has Died

The controversial conservative US radio host Rush Limbaugh died this week. Although this isn’t something that the NZ Skeptics feel is okay to celebrate, we do acknowledge that Limbaugh was responsible for the spreading of many damaging and harmful conspiracy theories, and was very mean spirited to people he saw as the enemies of the US, including those who were black, gay, liberal, female and/or atheist. Unsurprisingly, the work Rush Limbaugh undertook spreading his divisive message was recently rewarded with America's Medal of Freedom. Rather than going into more details of Limbaugh’s life, I will leave it to the (hopefully impartial) BBC’s obituary if you would like to know more.

Billy Te Kahika has Quit

Or, at the very least he’s apparently quit politics. This one was a bit of a surprise to me, as the conspiracy minded Billy had only just announced that he was re-naming his Public Party to the Freedom Party. Maybe he quit because he realised that there had already been a Freedom Party in NZ, and that all of the most obvious domain names had already been taken? Alternatively, it might be that recent accusations of financial mis-management and fraud are making life in the limelight a little too uncomfortable for Billy at the moment.

Of course, the void left by this conspiracy driven political movement will likely quickly be filled by the Outdoors Party and others. It wouldn’t surprise me if Mothers Who Stand for Freedom (Renee Argyros and Laura Surrich), Voices for Freedom (Claire Deeks), the Brave Truth Society (Damien De Ment), the Maori Ranger Security Division (Monica Eastick and Peter Martic) or some other conspiracy minded group tried to start a political party, in an effort to capture those voters who want to give their vote to an “alternative” party.

A local Psychic has Guessed Wrong

Lockdown timing predictions from a Hamilton based psychic, Sarah King, have been unearthed and posted to our Facebook group this week:



Sarah said when she made these totally wrong predictions, back in June last year, that she has been finely tuning her “spiritual ninja skills”. It’s refreshing to see a psychic who’s still willing to make concrete predictions, rather than just uttering vague platitudes designed to make people feel good. Of course, most psychics avoid being this specific because they’re invariably shown to be totally inaccurate. I’m guessing that Sarah will learn this valuable lesson in time!

Another post in the Skeptics FB group this week showed Tuppence, a Hawkes Bay medium, telling her followers that she was saddened by the sudden cancellation of the Art Deco festival in Napier, where she had planned to offer her psychic services. Of course the main question being asked by skeptics is why she didn’t see it coming.



This reminds me of the time psychic Jeanette Wilson was due to entertain the audience at a Wellness event that was attended by a group of skeptics back in 2013, but she had to cancel her appearance at the last minute due to “unforseen personal circumstances”.


Conspiracy Spam

A member emailed us this week to share an unaddressed letter she received in her mailbox. Thankfully the anonymous author of the document has put in the hard work of joining all the unconnected dots of some of the conspiracies I’ve mentioned above, and more, and has figured out that the overall aim of the New Zealand government is transhumanism - apparently we’re going to be converted to Human 2.0 via the COVID vaccine. As a technology enthusiast I’m having a hard time seeing the downside to being upgraded, although I have to admit to being worried that, given Bill Gates’ involvement, my new nanobots may be running a Windows based OS. Hopefully I’ll be able to flash them to a more stable BSD or Linux OS, just as soon as I figure out where my serial port is.

Anyway, in case you too would like to be a part of this Human 2.0 experiment, here’s a copy of the letter which is kind enough to list the required reading before your upgrade can take place:

If you have any news or thoughts you would like to see published in this newsletter, send it to:
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