How embarrassing – I just found out that New Zealand’s most populous city was the 2005 recipient of a Pigasus Award. This is an annual tongue-in-cheek honour awarded by noted skeptic James Randi. The awards seek to expose parapsychological frauds that Randi has noted over the previous year. Randi usually makes his announcements of the awards from the previous year on April 1.
There are four categories:
1. To the Scientist who said or did the silliest thing relating to parapsychology in the preceding twelve months.
2. To the Funding Organization that supports the most useless parapsychological study during the year.
3. To the Media outlet that reported as fact the most outrageous paranormal claim.
4. To the “Psychic” performer who fools the greatest number of people with the least effort in that twelve-month period.
The City Council of Auckland received the award under the Funding category, for a $2500 grant to the Foundation For Spiritualist Mediums “to teach people to communicate with the dead”.
What’s next, people start believing that acupuncture and homeopathy work?