Penn & Teller: Bullshit!

Season 1 Episode 12

Ouija Boards / Near Death Experiences

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Aired Monday 10:00 PM Apr 11, 2003 on Showtime
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Episode Summary

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In this episode of Penn and Teller: Bullsh**! the guys take a look into the world of ouija boards and how people are fooled into thinking they are really contacting spirits. They show how easy it is to move it without realizing that you are the one doing it yourself! There are no spirits here!

Also featured is the concept of Near death experiences, or NDEs. P&T examine how the chemicals in your brain are really performing all the magic and expose the scumbags making money off them. Special Guest Experts include: James Whinnery, MD, PhD (Manager, Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center) Christian Day (Elder of Salem Witchcraft) Molly Stewart (Salem Ghost Tour Guide) Loren Pankratz, PhD (Psychologist) Jan Price (Author) Raymond Moody (Author) Shawn Porier (High Priest of Salem Witchcraft) Sandra Mariah Power (High Priestess of Salem Witchcraft) Christof Koch, PhD (Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Biology at Caltech) Frank Manis (President, Greater Hollywood Paranormal Society) John Price (Author) Barry Beyerstein, PhD (Psychology Professor, Simon Fraser University) Robert Murch (Ouija Collector, Designer of Cryptique)moreless

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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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    • TRIVIA (2)

      • When Penn spins Teller in the chair during the centrifuge discussion in the NDE section, the viewer can see little green weights strapped to the bottom of the chair. This is because, as seen in an outtake on the season one dvd, Penn once spun Teller in the chair WITHOUT the weights, causing the chair to quickly fall over and spill Teller onto the ground. Teller quickly got back up and sat back in the chair for the next take.

      • In a promo for the second season of the show (available on the second season dvd), Penn points out that they were incorrect in this episode when they claimed that witches were burned in Salem, Massachusetts while discussing the history of Salem. In his own words, "Turns out there were no women burned in Salem as witches. Sure, there were 19 hanged, 55 beaten into confession, and one person pressed to death, but not ONE was burned. So, we apologize to anyone injured by our negligence."

    • QUOTES (13)

      • Moody: In a field like the paranormal, where the problems are conceptual and not yet scientific, you make a tremendous mistake in deciding that you're gonna be either a believer or a disbeliever, and really, the believers and the disbelievers, in my opinion, are the same group.
        Penn: NO THEY'RE NOT! The believers are either people who have had confusing experiences or folks out to make a buck! The nonbelievers are scientists or professors!

      • Penn: We hate to seem like we don't trust every nut with a story, but there's medical evidence we can point to, and DANCE,while shouting taunting phrases at..."truthseekers"...like Raymond.

      • Penn: [on the Prices] They're the Faith Hill and Tim McGraw of Wackville!

      • Penn: Maggie was their dead dog, and the Price's say Jan met up with her during her Near Death Experience. Not only that, Maggie's been reincarnated as their current dog. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF THAT? In reincarnation, aren't you supposed to attain a higher level? Poor Maggie apparently just can't seem to improve herself.
        Jan Price: She's been with us in at least three bodies that we know of, and this is her most recent one.
        Penn: Just can't seem to stop peeing on the sofa, huh Maggie? Bad dog!

      • Penn: [on Jan Price's NDE] And then they revived her. SO...I guess we blame the DOCTOR for this dolt.

      • Beyerstein: [on NDEs] These are complex hallucinations that are taking place in the theater of one's own mind.
        Penn: We're done, right? Well, not according to this woman...damn...we were heading out for donuts.

      • Power: Are you the spirit of Bridget Bishop [planchette moves] ...yea...Bridget, were you hanged on Gallows Hill for witchcraft? [planchette moves] ...yea.
        Penn: Hey, how about that, the Cryptique board seems to be working perfectly.
        Power: Bridget Bishop, are you still with us? [planchette moves] ...it...it's blank.
        Penn: Annnnd when it doesn't work?
        Day: Close to the yea though.
        Penn: Bridget's eyesight ain't what it used to be.
        Porier: [mumbles indistinctly]...Come through clearer...
        Power: [planchette moves]...yea.
        Penn: Great! You get a second chance!
        Power: Bridget...were you hanged on Gallows Hill for witchcraft? [planchette moves]...yea.
        Penn: I object! You're leading the witness!

      • Penn: Cryptique! Great name. A perfect blend of death...and the mall.

      • Penn: [on the witches performing the seance] They must be genuine...they brought their official witchy candles and genuine black bathrobes.

      • Lyceum Waitress: [on her encounter with the ghost of Bridget Bishop] And I saw this woman standing all in white Puritan clothing, with a little bit of a glow to her, standing right there, looking right at me on top of the stairs.
        Penn: And she didn't tip either.

      • Day: We...the elders...of Salem Witchcraft do conjure...and summon the principalities and powers that rule over Salem...that they may open a doorway to the spirit world.
        Penn: [sniffs, coughs, and gasps] I'm sorry...I snorted soda through my nose.

      • Penn: There are two sure things you can say about a ouija board: 1) It'll set you back about 20 bucks, and 2) It's bullsh**.

      • Penn: I had no idea you could purchase witch-supplies at Toys-R-Us. No wonder Christians are pissed - crucifixes should be sold there too!

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    • ALLUSIONS (0)

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