And then something interesting happened; something I didn't expect. Something that brought my retreat to a screeching halt, and sent me right back onto the offensive in this matter. Lynn did something that changed my entire view of her and her practice of astrology.
She deleted one of my comments.
I was so surprised that I first assumed the comment in question had simply disappeared into the ether, as things sometimes do on the Internet. I figured some little glitch had prevented my comment from being registered with the site. And then I remembered my skepticism. There was, I thought, no indication that anything of the kind had happened. The website response was not slow. My broadband connection seemed fine - for a change. I had even received a message on screen telling me that my comment had been posted successfully.
Add to that the fact that my comment had been of a nature that might have put Lynn in a slightly bad light had she not taken some action. What I had said, you see, in a parting comment on this entry, was:
Lynn,Now, being the generous soul that I am, I gave Lynn the benefit of the doubt, in case it had, in fact, been accidentally lost or deleted, and posted the comment again. She deleted it again.
On your articles page, you state: "I have never seen a skeptic who was not convinced after having their birthchart interpreted by a competent astrologer!!" Will you alter that statement in light of our exchange on this topic, or will you let it stand?
You see, Lynn doesn't want to remove that statement from her articles page. She wants visitors to her site to believe that statement is still true. And this is the thing that has made me re-evaluate my opinion of Lynn Hayes.
Now, I know some of you are thinking, "what's the big deal?" Allow me to explain.
Astrology has no basis in reality. There is no mechanism in the natural world by which it could work, and when it is tested rigorously, it is shown that it does not work. There have been hundreds of scientifically valid tests of astrology - many of them designed with the assistance of astrologers respected in their field - and the evidence is overwhelming. Astrologers cannot produce what they claim to be able to produce using their art.
As a skeptic who has researched the topic in some depth, when I am confronted by someone who insists astrology has value, I am led to suspect one of two things about that person. Either they are charlatans, knowingly bilking the public out of their hard earned money in return for absolutely nothing, or they are self deluded people unable to exercise the critical thinking necessary to recognise the real world all around them.
Lynn, for me, fell into the second category. She seemed to me to be an honest person, who truly believed what she was doing was somehow special and unique.
Then she deleted my comment. And then she did it again. Suddenly, what had originally looked to me like naiveté, began to seem more mendacious. She knows full well that page of her website contains a statement that is no longer (if it ever was at all) true. Not only does she have no plans to change or retract that statement, she is going to go out of her way to prevent me from drawing attention to it.
In one fell swoop, Lynn Hayes went from being - in my eyes - a quaint, self-deluded, new age, spiritual guru, to being a calculating, deceptive, lying fraudster and charlatan. I was hanging up the holsters. Now I'm reloading the six-guns and rounding up the posse.
You haven't heard the last of me, Lynn Hayes, astrologer.
P.S. I reposted my question on that thread at approximately 1:30PM today. We'll see how long it stays there this time.