I have been to ever The Amazing Meeting held in the US, from 1-9. This year I am signed up for number 10. It’s difficult to explain how attending the first Amazing Meeting changed my life. It is difficult because I would need to write a book, rather than a blog, to fit the difference it has made in my life. I went from being a very sad person, with a negative view of my fellow gullible human beings, to someone that found out she wasn’t alone in simply saying “I can’t believe you believe that!”.
I was at one time very much a believer. I am still a believer, and open minded, about many things. It took a first hand tragedy for my “What’s the harm?” attitude to change to “This could be dangerous.”. The sad part is I felt like a sucker. I had been had. A friend had died and the world was either “she should have known better”, or “Well, I still think he has the power to contact the dead. You can’t blame the psychic.”. I received as a gift a copy of “Flim-Flam” by James Randi and quickly purchased “The Faith Healers“. James Randi is a person that does not blame the “victim” and instead believes we can all be “fooled”. In fact, it is the belief we are too smart to be fooled that leads to a lot of trouble.
When the first TAM was held in Florida, my husband surprised me by saying “Why don’t you go?” He knew how much Randi’s books had helped me. I went, and found a room full of people (over 200) that weren’t shocked when I said “You know, astrology is so silly.” Where I live and worked, that comment would get you an argument. At TAM it was “Yeah, what is with that?” I had found my “pod”.
We don’t always agree. Now TAM has over 1000 people, and they never all agree. Still, the argument is not about if vaccinating your baby can cause autism, or if angels can be female.
I’ve brought my children to TAM over the years. They have rather grown up thinking of Randi as a family member. The most satisfying thing in my life, besides my own children, has been that Randi and I are now friends. The first TAM I was scared to even talk to him or ask for a photograph with him. Now when I see him at TAM it is time for a big hug, and if we are lucky we can sneak in a few moment of chatting together.
Here is a photograph from a past TAM of my younger daughter Aynsley watching a dice trick from Todd Robbins. We were all so focused on the trick we didn’t notice Teller in the background also watching.
- The JREF Forum Scholarship, and an Internet Family (twodifferentgirls.com)
- Why I Am Going to TAM (jewmanist.com)
- You know what’s AMAZ!NG? (randi.org)
- Spread the Vaccine Love! (skepticalteacher.wordpress.com)