Hollywood Paranormal Sleuths Celebrate 10 Years

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The Independent Investigations Group (IIG) Celebrates a Decade of Inquiry with Comedians and Skeptic Celebrities

The West Coast’s premiere skeptical investigations team has inquired about psychics, dowsers, wacky medical claims, telepaths, UFOs, and ghost stories for a decade. On August 21st at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood, they’ll celebrate their achievements with a gala party and an awards ceremony to honor those who contribute to science and skepticism in the media.

The IIG was founded in January of 2000 by James Underdown, Executive Director of the Center for Inquiry-Los Angeles, an educational not-for-profit dedicated to scientific inquiry and secular values. The Independent Investigations Group began with a meeting of 8 curious people of diverse backgrounds. Now it is over 40 members strong and in the process of expanding to other parts of the U.S. and beyond.

“The whole idea was to get people participating in their own quest for the truth about extraordinary claims,” Underdown said. “Being a part of an investigation is much more powerful than just reading about it or seeing it on TV.”

And participate they did. The IIG has looked into a wide array of paranormal and extraordinary claims that include ghost sightings, telekinesis (moving objects with one’s minds), telepathy (sending thoughts to another), remote viewing, mediums, psychics, UFOs, medical dowsing, faith healing, and much more.

IIG investigations have been feature articles in Skeptical Inquirer magazine, the L.A. Weekly and have figured into dozens of appearances on TV, radio, print, and podcasts.

The upcoming celebration will also feature an awards ceremony that will honor those in the media who make positive contributions to science and skepticism. This year, the group will recognize two TV shows that have positively portrayed the spirit of inquiry. The Mentalist and Eureka will each be given awards for their work in 2009. Also, skeptical giant Martin Gardner will also be honored posthumously for his life work in print. Gardner wrote the Mathematical Games column in Scientific American from 1956 to 1981, the Notes of a Fringe-Watcher column in Skeptical Inquirer from 1983 to 2002, and published over 70 books.

IIG 10th Anniversary Party
Saturday August 21st, 2010 7:00PM
Center for Inquiry-Los Angeles
4773 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood, CA (2 blocks west of Vermont Ave.)
Free parking, free admission, cash bar

The Independent Investigations Group offers a $50,000 prize for anyone who can prove paranormal ability under scientific testing conditions. Earlier in its existence, the IIG also did preliminary screening for the James Randi Education Foundation and its $1 million prize for proof of paranormal ability. Neither organization has had to pay out to any claimants, though many have been tested.

Skeptic celebrities are expected to attend, including such notables as Skeptic magazine publisher and author Michael Shermer, author/psychologist Carol Tavris, and National Center for Science Education Director Eugenie Scott. L.A. area comedians, performers, and magicians will fill out the science-minded crowd.

The Independent Investigations Group is the West Coast’s premiere paranormal research organization. The IIG has a standing offer of $50,000 to anyone who can prove paranormal abilities under scientific testing conditions.

Visit the IIG’s website at http://www.iigwest.org, e-mail the IIG at info(at)iigwest(dot)org, or call (323) 666-9797 ext 101

The Center for Inquiry-Los Angeles is the west coast home of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), publisher of Skeptical Inquirer magazine.

Visit the CFI-L.A. website at http://www.cfiwest.org, email James Underdown at jimu(at)cfiwest(dot)org, or call (323) 666-9797 ext 101.

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James Underdown
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