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The oracle is exalted

Why shouldn't an astrologer be added as a commentator to the news broadcasters? Two TV reviews focusing on the vanity that comes into our lives under a legitimate guise

"Hidan" comments: The Israeli skeptic website, which is part of the Hidan website, has been fighting for five years, since the beginning of 1998, with mysticism and superstitions of all kinds. We welcome Rogel Alfer with a welcome to the club and hope that there will be many like him.

And to the article by: Rogel Alper
It is difficult to escape the predictions of the astrologer Miriam Binyamin. They are published twice every weekend in the "7 Days" supplement of "Yediot Ahronoth". They are heard in every program hosted by Judy Shalom-Nir-Moses, on Channel 2 and Network B. On Saturday night, a week and a half ago, Channel 1 broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest. Half an hour before the start of the grandiose and stupid singing competition, Michal Zoertz presented a plan to enhance the atmosphere and increase anticipation. Israel's national honor hangs in the balance.
The Eurovision Song Contest, explained Zoertz, in a horribly festive way, is the tribe's bonfire in the Ha-Ha-Ha-Heeda. The public, which in such situations is referred to as "the people", gathers around its state television channel and raises its eyes to Riga, alert and tense, crossing fingers for its official representatives.

And who sat next to Zoertz in the studio? Miriam Benjamin. "The guru", the foreign minister's wife calls her. In circumstances where the level of anxiety is high (lest anti-Semitic Europe attack us and dwindle in score and the morale of "the people", which is already poor, will deteriorate to a new low), Binyamini Leitzeganin Leumi was the main intellectual. If it is the tribe's campfire, then she is the idol doctor of the tribe. The oracle is exalted.

The interesting thing is that no one on Channel 1 probably paid attention to the fact that among the viewers there are those who believe that it is impossible to predict the future using magicians. Astrology (like its sisters, tarot card reading and mud coffee, and "communication" with extraterrestrials) was an integral part of the television entertainment menu, but it is not supposed to be just for fun. Many believe in it, to one degree or another, and attribute more than a grain of truth to it. Otherwise, it would have been possible to consult experts who predict the future by deciphering the entrails of a ram (a common procedure for predicting in the distant past).

Astrology should have died long ago. It began life as an agricultural calendar in Mesopotamia about 6,000 years ago. It was accepted as true around the world and took an active part in the decisions of rulers. After the Renaissance, when astronomy's position as the true field of study of the stars was strengthened, it failed to convince the rulers of its truth. It is not controversial. She's just bullshit. Nevertheless, about 30% of the earth's inhabitants believe in it. Sometimes, as in the case of the Reagans, some of them qualify for a somewhat startling position of authority. In most newspapers she gets a permanent section. And here she is, while watching a record, on the national channel, a serious predictive tool in an event perceived as of national importance.

A study conducted at the University of Berkeley in 1971 proved that there is no correspondence between personality traits (leadership, creativity, etc.) and horoscopes. In 1979, a French researcher published an ad offering a free horoscope. The 150 respondents were asked to say whether they and their friends found the horoscope accurate. 94% said it was accurate, as did 90% of their friends and families. odd. They all received the same horoscope - of a known serial killer. An Australian study from 1982 found that horoscopes published in the press are completely coincidental. In 1985, 200 predictions of leading astrologers were examined. Less than 5% of them materialized. Another study at the University of Berkeley, in the same year, in which several leading astrologers participated, proved that people are not able to identify their horoscope and find that any horoscope suits them. An American TV host offered $100 to each
An astrologer who will be able to prove his claims. An astrologer who accepted the challenge received the relevant information on 12 people and installed their charts. He interviewed them, without knowing who was who, and was required to match each one with his own map. He was not accurate even once.

For 120 years, astrology has been failing in a series of rigorous experiments, with the participation of tens of thousands of people, published in respected journals. Most of the experiments were formulated by the astrologers themselves. There is no shred of evidence to support the claim that the position of the stars and planets correspond to global and personal events. Astrology is unfounded, beyond any doubt. Miriam Binyamini is not a spiritual teacher and is no more able to predict the future than any taxi driver.

Channel 1 has always been characterized by anachronism. But to sit an astrologer in the studio in a position that the general public treats as stately, is to make medieval television. If she is good for Eurovision, why not be added as a full-fledged commentator to news broadcasters and predict the results of the peace process? Who needs a road map when you have the prime minister's astrological map. Actually, why not predict terrorist attacks? Do you have a useful service for the public (not to mention the ratings). And it's interesting when the director will appear who will understand that a rub in the guts of an Aries is photographed better and is no less believable.

Spirit of nonsense
Because of the wind, 20:30 Breeze channel
25.4.2003
By: Rogel Alper
"Because of the wind". Predicting the future for the guests
And the viewers who pick up the phone

(See the comments of the "Hidan" at the end)

Watching "Because of the Spirit", a daily program on a central satellite channel, allows you to examine the culture known in Israel as "mystic", or "spirit", the "spiritual" culture. The format is similar to that of other programs of its kind, or of such corners in more general entertainment programs: in the studio sit several experts, "mystics", who predict the future for the guests and viewers who pick up the phone.

As far as one can glean from the exchange of words, the synonymous terms "mysticism" and "spirituality" refer to a worldview according to which the trajectory of a person's life, known as "destiny", is dictated by factors that cannot be perceived by the senses, nor can they be observed, measured quantitatively, or controlled by any instrument. These factors are not matter, and therefore are "spirit", and hence the belief in them is "spiritual", or "mystical". The information stored in the hands of those parties is accessible only to "mystics". The nature of this relationship is not clear from watching the program, because it is impossible to watch it.

Well: "spiritual" people believe in the existence of spiritual beings; They believe that the only difference between the past and the future is not that the future is a time that has not yet occurred, but that man, who is limited to perceiving reality through his senses, cannot know it; They believe that all events that have ever occurred in the world are predestined; And they believe that the time known as "future" is visible to "mystics". "Spiritual" people are not religious. The law of worshiping God does not apply to them, they are not bound by mitzvot that shape a way of life, they are not threatened with hell in the next world in case of apostasy, and they are not guaranteed messianic redemption. They are allowed to live as seculars. Their faith is not religious, but primitive, irrational, pre-scientific. The circulation of this "mysticism" in Israeli television broadcasts (on Channel 2, Channel 33 and Breeze channel) and in horoscope doubles during the weekend shows that it is accepted as true on the main avenue in the nation, or unfortunately it is not far-fetched.

As with all the "Mystic" programs, "Because of the Spirit" hosted yesterday the representative of the so-called "alternative" medicine, whose diagnostic and healing methods are also pre-scientific.
One should not conclude from this that the "spiritual" current in Israel wants to renounce science, technology, progress, industrialization, computing, modernity and high-tech and return to the Middle Ages. Although he believes in things that are in complete contradiction to science and rationality, he frees himself from the need to reconcile this contradiction, or to be consistent. Haim Malki, the decipherer of the photographs and voices who appeared on the program yesterday, and from his words it was possible to understand that an entity known as "God" talks to him whenever he wants, advised the woman in trouble: "You must use science, connect with everything that science tells you."
The "spiritual" stream is a joke, bullshit, amusement and indulgence, marketed to the public through television by charlatans and eyewitnesses. He does not demand to stop teaching science in schools, does not wish for the affairs of the state to be conducted according to the reading of the remains of Mud Cafe, does not want the destruction of all modern medical services, or the dismantling of the IDF of its sophisticated weapons, and does not deny the achievements of science, such as, for example, satellite television broadcasts. It is, for now, a leisure culture that offers little hope, comfort and entertainment.

But the infrastructure for a more worrying development is being laid here every day. Confused people, who believe in nonsense, in a country in deep crisis that needs to make fateful decisions about the future, are waiting for a politician who will give the terms "fate" and "future" a "spiritual" meaning. The connection between despair and longing for absolute truth collapses regimes.

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