Bay Area Skeptics Founded

Originally published in BASIS
June 1982

From the germ of an idea to realization took just slightly over one month. In today's red-tape-ridden world, that accomplishment borders on the fantastic.

Some of the skeptics in the Bay Area have kept in close contact with others of a similar persuasion. There had become an increasing awareness that we are building a cadre of people interested in critically examining claims of the paranormal.

If that last sentence sounds familiar, take heart. It is part of the Statement of Principles of The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP).

Bay Area Skeptics has been approved as the first local chapter of CSICOP.

At a Mensa Gathering in Napa, California, in April, 1982, many of us were on the program. We had the opportunity to increase our acquaintance with other skeptics.

And then it burst forth: In a telephone conversation with Robert Sheaffer, the inspiration hit. Robert came up with the founding words: "LET'S FORM AN ORGANIZATION OF BAY AREA SKEPTICS!"

The idea met with instant acceptance with me, with the Executive Council of CSICOP, and with several skeptics in this area to whom we've spoken. And so we're on our way.

How does one thank Paul Kurtz, Phil Klass, and James Randi for the swift and considerable support given to this new idea and chapter, without risking slighting the other members of CSICOP's Executive Council who also, obviously, supported this effort? Thank you all for your backing ??? we fully intend to justify your trust.