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Some Useful Links for Beliefs

David J. Schneider

Psychology Department

Rice University

This is a list of links to sites that cover various beliefs that are generally considered to be anomalous, sometimes bizarre. Most do not fit easily within conventional scientific theories. Most of the links are to sites that provide a gateway to additional sites and information. Whenever possible I have tried to provide links to sites with a wide variety of viewpoints, many of which I personally find silly and in some case immoral and dangerous. This page was developed primarily as a resource for students in courses I teach on the psychology of beliefs. For others, please do keep in mind that the Internet is a useful starting point for information but that we all need to be properly cautious about the validity of much of the information contained therein. There is still no substitute for reading of carefully written books and articles on topics of interest. For lists of suggested readings consult the first two link below under General.

For criticisms, comments, suggestions for additional links, reports of broken links and the like please contact Dave Schneider. For additional information on beliefs check the UP link at the top of the page. Clicking on HOME takes you to my home page. 


Afterlife and Ghosts

ESP and Psi
General Cranks
Legends and Rumors
Political Groups and
Prejudice and Racism
Recovered Memory and Dissociative Disorders
Satanism, Ritual Abuse and Modern Witchhunts
UFOs and Alien Abductions


Reading Suggestions

My suggestions for additional reading. This list is tilted toward the skeptical position.

The Skeptical Annotated Bibliography

An extensive listing of books on all phases of paranormal phenomena including those that are favorable and those that are skeptical. Brief evaluative reviews of each.

1,000,000 Paranormal Links

I haven't checked the accuracy of the number of links, but there are plenty.

Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal On-line

CSIOCP publishes the Skeptical Inquirer and is the leading organization for scientific debunking of paranormal phenomena

Journal of Scientific Exploration

With links to the Society for Scientific Exploration which is far less militantly skeptical than the CSIOCP above.


Strongest on UFO sightings, but links to information on conspiracies and paranormal phenomena

International Society for Paranormal Research

Information about the group and links

Robert Sheaffer's Debunker's Domain

A leading skeptic -- especially strong on UFO materials

The Skeptics Refuge

Links to sites skeptical of paranormal phenomena and to bibliographies on various related topics.

The Skeptics Dictionary

Extensive list of articles debunking various paranormal and other anomalous beliefs

Fortean Times

The Journal of Strange Phenomena

James Randi Educational Foundation

James Randi, a leading skeptic, is a professional magician which gives him special insights into conjuring tricks and supposed demonstrations of paranormal phenomena. Good info on all sorts of strange stuff. 

Bibliography for Paranormal

Several hundred references

Pseudo-Science Paranormal Skeptics Page

Many links


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ESP and Psi

The Parapsychology Association

A leading national organization with links to extensive information and other sites

Cognitive Sciences Laboratory

Despite the title this group does research primarily on paranormal phenomena

Consciousness Research Laboratory

A group of Psi researchers

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Cults and "Brainwashing"

Watchman Fellowship Home Page

A Christian group that has been especially active as an opponent of Scientology and other cults

Cult Information and Awareness Centre

Links to articles on cults, ritual abuse, recovered memory and other such topics.

General Cult Links

Ex-Cult Archive

An extensive list of links to cults and issues surrounding cults

Watchman Fellowship's 1998 Index of Cults and Religions

More links to cults

Specific Cults

An Introduction To Scientology

Maintained by Scientologists and discusses the group's philosophy as well as criticisms

Children of God AKA The Family

One of the largest cults during the 1970s and 1980s with units around the world. Controversial in part because of the emphasis on sex, perhaps involving children, and the use of "flirty fishing" as a means of gaining new members.

Doomsday, Destructive Cults

Links to information about cults that most people consider to be dangerous in the sense that they cause the deaths of members

Heaven's Gate

Good information with links (some outdated) to other sites

Branch Davidians

A balanced discussion of the beliefs of Koresh and his followers. Also some discussion of what we know about the "Waco incident" . Links to additional information.

The People's Temple (Jim Jones and Jonestown)

Balanced with links to additional information

Cults 'r Us Hit List

Part of an Internet crime site, this article describes various destructive cults

"Brainwashing" and Social Influence

Steve Hassan's Freedom of Mind Center

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Political Groups and Conspiracies

Beachbum's Clinton Scandal Page

The conservative lowdown on every Clinton scandal you've heard of and some you haven't


Links to sites and books on conspiracy theories.

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Legends and Rumors

Urban Legends Reference Pages

The San Fernando Valley Folklore Society collection of information on urban legends and rumors

The AFU & Urban Legends Archive

Additional information on various urban legends

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Prejudice and Racism

White Pride World Web

An example of many such pages out there

Religious Tolerance Page on Anti-Semitism

Emphasis on various age-old myths that have been used by Christians as justification for anti-Semitism

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Afterlife and Ghosts

Philadelphia Ghost Hunters Alliance

Information on ghosts from a group that clearly has an open mind about their reality.

Ghost Hunting

Information on the how to hunt and get rid of ghosts. Links to additional information.

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The Secular Web

Links to information that is generally hostile to conventional religious beliefs.

Religious Tolerance Page

Extensive links to material on a great many religions including some that many would consider cults. Also links to other materials generally relevant including material on day care andritual abuse.

The Argument from the Bible

An analysis of the Bible and arguments about why it should not be taken as literal truth

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UFOs and Alien Abductions

The J. Allen Hyneck Center for UFO Studies

An organization that clearly supports the idea that UFO sightings are genuine but insists on a level of scientific proof not normally seen in such organizations

Alien City

A general site with many links to UFO materials including various alien abduction sites.

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Ritual Abuse, Satanism, and Modern Witchhunts

General Issues

San Diego Grand Jury Report

A lengthy document summarizing psychological and legal issues surrounding charges of sexual abuse of children.

Day Care Child Sex Abuse Phenomenon

Lengthy summary of a conference on the topic held at Harvard Law School

Religious Tolerance Site on Ritual Satanic Abuse

Good discussion, pointing out that there are no proven cases.

Religious Tolerance Site on Ritual Abuse

Similar to the above

1992 FBI Report on Satanic Abuse

Acknowledges that one cannot never prove the negative but makes clear there is no direct evidence of Satanic Abuse or cults. 

Frontline Summary

In conjunction with Innocence Lost (see below under Little Rascals) a summary of many cases and their outcomes.

Religious Tolerance Summary

Another summary of 41 known cases of alleged ritual abuse primarily in daycare settings.

The McMartin Daycare case

Perhaps the most famous of the day care cases. Peggy Buckely and her son, Ray, were charged by a mother of abusing her son. The mother was an alcoholic and paranoid schizophrenic which did not stop the prosecutors from aggressively pursuing the case. Ultimately after extensive interviewing by a zealous social worker several hundred children said that the Buckleys and several other workers at the center had sexually abused them. In the longest and most expensive criminal trial in California up to that point, the Buckleys and other workers at the center were found not guilty but had served many years in jail awaiting trial.

Religious Tolerance Site

A good summary sympathetic to the defendants with links to other sites

The Tunnels

The children claimed abuse in tunnels under the school. Evidence that the tunnels probably did not exist.

New York Times article on Peggy Buckley

The effects on one defendant

Apologics article

Brief article with some links. Highly critical of the prosecution case

Alex Constantine article

A defense of the allegations

Children's Memories

Religious Tolerance site devoted to the reliability of children's memories and whether they can be implanted.

Little Rascals Day Care Case

A famous case in Edenton, NC where Betsy and Bob Kelly who ran Little Rascals Day Care were accused by a parent of having abused her child. Bob Kelly was convicted and given several life sentences and Betsy Kelly pleaded guilty to avoid a lengthy prison sentence. Five other people were charged and three were convicted. Although the convictions were subsequently overturned, many of the defendants spent several years in jail awaiting trial and appeals. Like most such cases the evidence against the Kellys was based entirely on the testimony of children as young as 3 whose stories emerged only after extensive interviews by police officers and social workers. And like most such cases the children's testimony viewed in the cold light of hindsight is often improbable, and well, childish. 

PBS Frontline Program: Innocence Lost

A 4 hour documentary on the Little Rascals Case. Slow moving at first but gripping and anger provoking. Documentary TV at its best. The program is available in video format. Available for checkout at Rice Library.

Jonathan Harris's Summary

An informal but excellent summary of the facts and issues in the case

Religious Tolerance Site

A good discussion

Other Cases

The Martensville Nightmare

Religious Tolerance description of a Canadian case

The Wenatchee Sex Ring

Another case of a purported sex ring by Religious Tolerance

Early Childhood Development Center

The first major case in Pittsfield, MA.

The Wee Care Case

Article on Kelly Michaels and Wee Care from Crime Magazine

Fells Acres

Detailed analysis of the case with many links.

Cornwall, Ontario Ritual Abuse

Another Religious Tolerance page

Prescott, Ontario Ritual Abuse Case

Religious Tolerance Site

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Recovered Memory and Dissociative Disorders

Paul Ingram Case

An update on the famous case of Paul Ingram as described in Lawrence Wright's Remembering Satan

The Recovered Memory Project

Case studies of recovered memories and other materials in response to the PBS Frontline Programs on Divided Memories

Research Materials on Recovered Memories

Extensive links to sites and papers which support the notion of recovered memories of sexual abuse. Also some annotated bibliography and analysis of case studies and research.

False Memory Syndrome Facts

Despite the title this site is largely favorable to claims of recovered memories and has links to legal, clinical, and scientific materials in support.

Repressed Memories

Religious Tolerance page critical of repressed memories

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There are thousands of astrology sites on the Internet, most promising about the same level of predictive power and the horoscope in the newspaper, but some taking the refinements of modern astrology seriously. The links below represent a sampling of sites devoted to defending and criticizing astrology. 

Astrology and Numerology

Lots of information on astrology and numerology. Supportive of the ideas.

Introduction to Astrology

A simplified introduction

Skeptics Dictionary

A brief description of astrology and it many failings as organized science

Astrology Test

An empirical test of astrology predictions -- a complete failure for astrology

Rethinking Astrology

A point by point rebuttal of criticisms

Watchman Profile

Another brief description and set of criticisms in part from a Christian religious perspective


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     General Cranks

Alex Chiu's Eternal Life Page

Devices to insure eternal life and plans for a telaporter. One strange dude

The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

Now here's a radical solution to the world's problems


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