True-Believer Syndrome

The True-Believer Syndrome is an expression coined by Morris Lamar Keene (1936-1996) to describe an apparent cognitive disorder characterized by believing in the reality of paranormal or supernatural events after one has been presented overwhelming evidence that the event was fraudulently staged.

Keene was originally a spirit medium in the US and is best known for his 1976 book 'The Psychic Mafia'[1]. Keene can therefore be seen as a reformed phony psychic who exposed religious racketeering, such as phony faith healers, psychics, channelers, televangelists, miracle workers, etc.

Keene believed that "the True-Believer Syndrome is the greatest thing phony mediums have going for them" because "no amount of logic can shatter a faith consciously based on a lie."

True-Believer Syndrome is a obviously some type of self-deception. The patients continue to believe a particular viewpoint and deny evident scientific data to the contrary[2]. Stiking examples are homeopathy and the anti-vaccine movement.

[1] Keene: The Psychic Mafia - 1976
[2] Brown: Evidenced-based dentistry versus biased-based evaluation of the evidence: the disregard syndrome and the true believer in Journal of American College of Dentists - 2010

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