Comment by Ron, 11 Apr, 2016
Hi there John. Been very quiet on the Ken Ring front on here so couldn't resist some comment here to demonstrate that nothing has changed for the better.
Was angered to come across an article on Newshub, dated 23 Feb . The writer, Greg Robertson, says "be a skeptic or not, Ken Ring's Valentines day tweet is a little eerie. His quake calls have people a-buzz". Of course this relates to the sizable shake near Christchurch Feb 14. Apparently Ring tweeted that same day, "potential earthquake time for the planet between Feb 15-25, esp. the 18th for Christchurch". Note he covers himself well with 11 days. He was 4 bloody days out!!! Really useful. The writer goes on, "despite not being absolutely precise, for some the co-incidence is too accurate to discount, very close it seems. His 18th assessment just 1 day outside his margin of error". (very convenient) Stupid media, never learn to check it all do they, simply leap onto a so called success. Where are all the endless fails? His latest newsletter lists all the quake risk times for April which nicely covers 13 days. I acknowledge you have rightly exposed this devious ploy several times John.
On the subject of his newsletter, he truly stuck his neck out big time with 2 forecasts that failed 100%. The most laughable was for April 3, where he said Canterbury was to get 35 degrees, or higher. Unheard of. We fell far short with a pleasant 26 degrees, other centres were well below that in Cant. The second embarrassment was for April 8-10. An ex tropical cyclone was to race SE down your way John, to cross over the lower SI bringing gales causing damage to SI areas and Wellington and Wairarapa. The reality?
Pleasant balmy weather with light winds over much of NZ. Cyclone Zena fell apart somewhere near Tonga. What a disgrace. He should hang his head in shame and embarrassment, yet that nonsense, excerpts from his frigging almanac, are sent out to supposedly 11000 recipients. Come on Ken, are you still checking this site? We have not heard from you in a long time. Your explanation for these dreadful fails would be most welcome, though, for the life of me, I could not imagine how you could wriggle your way out.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 11 Apr, 2016
Hey Ron. Ring has indeed been keeping a low public profile of late, which can only be a good thing. Of course it's to be expected that those that have a flimsy grasp on reality and critical thinking will find many things that an astrologer says to be 'a little eerie'.
The article's writer Greg Robertson says of Ring:
'The mathematician is a long-range weather forecaster who bases his predictions around the moon, sun and other scientific activity.'
Based on this comment and others, clearly Robertson didn't do any research into Ring since he wrongly identifies him as a mathematician, and also he struggles to understand what science is, since he says Ring 'bases his predictions around the moon, sun and other scientific activity'. Scientific activity is what scientists do, it's not what the likes of the Moon and Sun do.
Robertson does acknowledge that not everyone thinks Ring is onto something with his predictions, noting that, 'on the other side of the fence (and there's plenty of opinion to be found on the internet) his delusional ramblings have no basis beyond the minds of the mad'. However, rather than explain why rational people feel this way towards Ring's claims, Robertson seems to lean towards giving Ring the benefit of the doubt, and his article does more to promote Ring than challenge him, stating that, 'For some, the coincidence and that forecast - despite not being absolutely precise - are just too accurate to discount. Very close, it seems, is enough for a little eyebrow raising'. Beginning his article by admitting that Ring's prediction is 'a little eerie', clearly Robertson is one of those people.
To support Ring's quake prediction, Robertson also printed a post of Ring's concerning coronal holes on the Sun. In it Ring claimed that 'Solar activity is picking up in pace right now ... and poses a threat to Earth ... a plasma bullet in our direction may be overdue'. Ring makes these comments specifically in relation to earthquakes and Christchurch. He adds that, 'It means this area of the sun that corresponds to NZ is again seeing some activation'. While certain solar activity, such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, can impact harmfully on the Earth, there is no evidence that coronal holes cause earthquakes. But let's assume for the moment that they did, as Ring correctly states they would pose 'a threat to Earth', meaning the entire Earth and not just Christchurch or even little ol' NZ. Why wouldn't these huge coronal holes and their earthquake causing outbursts generate widespread major quakes since Ring's 'plasma bullet' would also be huge and strike the entire Earth? Why does Ring apparently believe that there is a vindictive hole on the Sun that has it in for Christchurch, that is waiting, waiting, waiting, just for all the orbits, rotations, magnetic field strengths etc of the Sun, Earth and Moon to align perfectly so that it can strike with surgical precision at Christchurch? We've asked repeatedly, but Ring continually refuses to explain why the Sun and the Moon can loom large over not just a single country, but over the entire Earth, and yet can somehow cause a major quake in a specific city while completely ignoring not just the adjacent regions, but the rest of the planet as well.
The trouble is that even when Ring fails miserably with his predictions, which is all time, gullible people still believe that if he was at least close then that surely counts as a success. But how could Ring's quake opinion, as he calls it, have helped people avoid injury in that Christchurch quake? He predicted the '18th for Christchurch, +/- about 3 days'. but the quake didn't happen on the 18th, or even within his 7 day window. Even if silly people took precautions for that entire week as Ring urged them to do, it did them no good since the quake happened the day after that week of heightened quake alert. They would have been caught off guard. No doubt you've heard the expression, 'a miss is as good as a mile', and Ring's miss by one day might as well have been months out, since either way his followers weren't expecting a quake on the day it actually happened. So Ring was WRONG, and his prediction was utterly USELESS. Why are some people willing to throw good money at stupid people pushing things that clearly don't work?
I noticed in Ring's coronal hole post that he predicted: 'Over the next 10 days a 7+ earthquake somewhere is very likely'. Note two obvious things about that utterly worthless prediction. First, when Ring says that a quake might happen 'somewhere', he means that anywhere on the entire planet will count as a successful prediction. Second, he doesn't say a quake will happen, merely that one is 'very likely', so if none happen he'll still insist he made a correct prediction, since he never said one definitely would. But is a prediction that merely says something 'might' happen really worth listening to? Furthermore, is saying that 'a 7+ earthquake somewhere is very likely' really a prediction at all, is it telling us something that we didn't already know? According to the US Geological Survey website, an average of 16 magnitude 7+ earthquakes occur somewhere on Earth every year. That equates, on average, to one every 22.8 days. So for Ring to say that one might occur over the next 10 days isn't really saying anything unexpected, since the odds are very high that one will happen somewhere on Earth. Imagine if I predicted that its very likely that over the next 10 days it might rain somewhere, and lo and behold, it did rain somewhere, would you think I had made an impressive prediction? And Ring would feel confident in his guess if he knew when he made his 10 day prediction that no 7+ quakes had occurred for several weeks, since statistically one was due. However, even though the odds were in Ring's favour, according to this site, there were no 7+ earthquakes anywhere in the world over the next 10 days, so most definitely wrong, yet again.
As for Ring's failed newsletter weather predictions, nothing surprising there. I've said it before, but Ring's soothsaying predictions are no different to those made by psychics and fortune tellers, of course they're all just made up and wrapped in nonsense, but clients always fail to check on how many of them actually came to pass. They may vaguely remember that one came true, it did rain somewhere in the south in June, and they naively assume that they probably all came true. But of course no real, precise, reliable predictions have ever been made by Ring that consistently come true. The rare prediction that panned out was clearly a lucky guess, and any idiot can makes lots of guesses, as Ring consistently proves by publishing his weather almanac year after year, now with added earthquake predictions.
Ron, I don't believe Ring could 'hang his head in shame and embarrassment' every time his predictions fail without developing serious neck problems, and as for setting aside time to explain them all ... well, there aren't enough hours in the day for that.
Comment by Jamie, 12 Apr, 2016
Hi John, in the interests of accuracy, I just wanted to point out to Ron and yourself that the article referred to in the last comment is actually an old article from 2011, and has nothing to do with the Valentines Day quake 2016.
Ring didn't tweet anything regarding earthquakes on, or around, 14th Feb 2016. The closest was this tweet 10 days earlier on 4th Feb: "NZ Earthquake risk very high over next few days." — so a big fail.
However, it didn't stop him claiming a "hit" with this tweet on the same day of the Valentines Quake:
"Hmm.. eq prediction 1-day out, see Feb newsletter. Reason: perigee 11 Feb, kingtides 10-12th. Eqs ease after today. Next risk date 23rd".
Here's the newsletter he's referring to in his tweet.
Like you, I've noticed that his prediction dates vary depending on where you read them (twitter, newsletter, almanac, etc.). His cunning plan to cover all bases and claim a hit.
What a twat.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 12 Apr, 2016
Hi Jamie. Yes I knew that was an old article, and on re-reading Ron's comments I can see now how we might have been talking of different quakes. However, I hadn't read Robertson's article before so I thought it worthwhile to criticise his gullibility. The Internet is a wonderful resource, but one of its negatives is that bullshit articles hang around to keep offering support to charlatans like Ken Ring. Articles that have in the interim been exposed as nonsense never reflect this new knowledge, and so Ring and his ilk keep referring to them. While his 2010/11 Christchurch predictions are completely bogus, they are Ring's sole claim to fame, and he keeps bringing them up as evidence that what he does works.
Certainly Ring's Valentine's Day tweet implies a hit — 'Hmm.. eq prediction 1-day out' — but it's clearly a failure, since of course being one day out is no different to being a year out. He told his followers that there was a high quake risk on the 13th and no risk of a quake on the 14th, so naturally his followers would have been caught unawares. I don't understand how Ring thinks that merely being close with a prediction is good enough. Imagine what Lottery officials would say to me if I presented a ticket and demanded a share of the winning prize, saying, 'Hmm... my ticket numbers are only 1 number out from the winning ticket. Surely that counts as a winner too?' Is Ring really that stupid, or just hopes that his followers are?
Comment by Ron, 12 Feb, 2016
Hello John. I am loathe to say this but Ken Ring will definitely be claiming success today by shouting from the rooftops. A 5.2 quake hit the Wairarapa at 7.41 this morning and was felt over much of NZ.
In his erudite newsletter he gave April 7-11th as a risk period with up to mag. 5 somewhere between Christchurch and Wellington. Of course CH.CH. has to be mentioned. But, in his eyes a fabulous successful example of his abilities? (not) The law of averages says it has to happen. Fluke? Yes.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 12 Feb, 2016
No doubt Ring will try Ron, as he always does, to claim that he made a correct prediction, but the reality is that he didn't. And isn't it funny how he always talks of 'predictions' when he's claiming a 'success', but they're merely 'opinions' when he's defending failures?
But let's look at what he predicted in his April 2016 newsletter. In the text under the heading 'Earthquake Risk Times', Ring predicted that,
'This month the NZ earthquakes may be mostly around 7th-11th, 13th, 17th, 20th-22nd, and 26th-28th.
Below the text was the following table, showing the risk times in graphic form:
The biggest shake should be between 7th-11th and may reach 5mag. I would not rule it out happening somewhere between Christchurch and Wellington.'
Since both the text and the table are describing the same month and locality, one would naturally assume that they relay the same information about quake risk times, but they don't. So that you don't have to, I've made another table that compares Ring's text risk dates with his table risk dates, and they don't match, when of course they should. In the key to Ring's table is the following:
Pink Risk Period
Pink Bold High Risk Period
I've also used Pink and Pink Bold to indicate 'Risk' and 'High Risk'. You'll notice, for example, that Ring's table predicts a 'High Risk' of a quake on the 3rd, but in his text there is no mention of the 3rd being a 'High Risk Period', or any risk at all. Likewise the 12th is 'High Risk' in his table but is excluded in his text, which mentions the 9-11th as a risk period, whereas the table ignores those days. Ring's text warns us of the dates '17th, 20th-22nd', but his table doesn't see them as a risk period. It's almost as if Ring's text and his table are referring to different months!
If one of Ring's gullible followers reads only the text warnings, and another reads only the table, then they would both be taking quake precautions, ie hiding under the bed, on completely different days! If they read both text and table, then like those movie robots confronted by conflicting information, they'd probably scream, 'Does not compute!', and spend all month under the bed just to be safe.
So this 5.2 M quake happened on the 12th, near Masterton. Ring's text prediction doesn't mention the 12th at all as a risk period. It predicted a quake happening in the 5 day window before the 12th, but it would be 'happening somewhere between Christchurch and Wellington', which of course rules out Masterton. So clearly that is a fail. But strangely his table does mention the 12th as a high risk period, predicting a 4 to 5 M quake somewhere in 'mid NZ', which probably covers half the country, including Masterton. The quake was also more powerful than Ring predicted. If this second prediction was the only prediction that Ring had made, then one might have to take it seriously, but of course it wasn't. Ring makes predictions of quakes happening almost every week. In April alone he has predicted 8 quakes of 4+, and then another 11 in May. Also, by making completely different predictions in his text and his tables, he increases his chances that one might happen. As you say Ron, if you make as many vague predictions as Ring does, then by chance alone some will appear to come true. The trick is to then hide all those many embarrassing failures.
So if Ring has the arrogance to point to his table and claim success, he must then explain why he said something quite different in his text predictions. As I've said in the past, these sorts of discrepancies on Ring's part either show gross incompetency and/or deliberate deception.
Comment by Daryl, 14 Apr, 2016
Hi John. Does Ring apply his 1-2 day leeway to his earthquake predictions? If so, between the text and the table he has the whole month covered.
A quick look at his twitter account reveals he has been banging on about earthquake risk periods, basically covering every day since March 20th. He also talks about floods and 'cyclonic weather', snow for the south island and 'dramatic barometer drops' none of which happened. Regarding the 'dramatic barometer drop' (tweet from Mar 31st) he strangely, against his own statement about never being specific about dates and times, quoted a time and date.
On March 31 he tweets 'Next couple days = biggest tides' and then on April 5th tweets 'Highest tides of 2016 in 3 days time'. Only Ken Ring could get confused about when a high tide was going to...... 'Strike down upon thee, like a moonshot from a dolphin, during a dramatic barometer drop in a cyclone'.
Also on Feb 16 he tweeted this beauty......... 'Aftershocks are a myth. Each earthquake is its own earthquake. Otherwise, what was 4 Sept 2010 an aftershock of?'
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 14 Apr, 2016
You're quite right Daryl, Ring's conflicting predictions do indeed cover the entire month. The reality is that no matter when or where a quake happens, Ring's wide-ranging predictions will embrace it. If you cover the entire year and the entire planet, how can you ever be wrong? Ring is the sort of guy that when someone tosses a coin and says, 'Heads or tails?', Ring replies, 'Heads and tails'.
As for the margin of error that Ring applies to his quake predictions, like everything Ring does, it's not well defined, and can vary widely, sometimes influenced by something as simple as which of his clown shoes he puts on first in the morning. In Feb 2011 he was demanding a 7 day window or margin of error, as evidenced by this failed prediction that a quake would strike on the : '18th for Christchurch, +/- about 3 days'. Then Ring increased his margin of error to +/-4 days each side of those events that cause earthquakes, that's now a 9 day window, as we mentioned in this post — 'Ken Ring's earthquake blanket'. And what are the events that cause earthquakes? Well, they are many. Ring points especially to lunar events such as full moon, new moon, perigee and apogee. But he has also mentioned kingtides, high tides, mid tides, low tides, planets changing direction, declinations, the solar wind, animals going quiet, dropping air pressure etc, as things we should be taking note of.
As for Ring's assertion that, 'Aftershocks are a myth. Each earthquake is its own earthquake. Otherwise, what was 4 Sept 2010 an aftershock of?', he just shows his ignorance every time he repeats that nonsense. My dictionary defines an aftershock as, 'A quake of lesser magnitude, usually one of a series, following a large earthquake in the same area'.
I know you struggle with this Ken, and read these comments, so let's slowly walk you through the argument. In September 2010, Christchurch, a city where quakes are rare, experienced a major earthquake. This surprised everyone. Now, Ken, you want us to believe that over the next three years Christchurch experienced another 11,000 plus earthquakes of a lesser magnitude, one in February 2011 causing 185 deaths. You insist that these thousands of quakes shouldn't be called aftershocks, meaning quakes likely causally linked to the first quake, but simply independent, random earthquakes that have no connection whatsoever to the first quake, or any other quake that followed. They just happened. But what are the chances that 11,000 plus earthquakes should all just happen in the Christchurch region, and none happen in other cities such as Wellington, Auckland, Dunedin and Nelson? Why did 11,000 plus earthquakes all cluster in Christchurch if they had no seismic connection to that first quake? Seismologists tell us that the first quake was caused by sudden tectonic plate movement (and yes, I know you don't believe this) and that the thousands of following quakes (aftershocks) resulted from this initial tectonic movement as the plates slowly returned to a more stable condition. If that initial quake had never happened, those 11,000 plus aftershocks would never have happened either. Of course you argue that the evil Moon looming overhead caused every one of those thousands of quakes, not that initial Sept quake, but if true, then why didn't the Moon cause tens of thousands of quakes elsewhere, since it looms over all NZ, not just Christchurch? To me there just seems to be a clear connection between that initial Sept quake and the thousands of aftershocks that followed in Christchurch and nowhere else. I know you'll insist that dark powers trying to ruin you are paying me to say that, but you need to explain why thousands of earthquakes with no connection to each other, that is, they weren't aftershocks, all just suddenly happened in Christchurch after that Sept quake.
I'd love to ask Ken if he's heard of copycat crimes, since by his logic he'd reply, 'Copycat crimes are a myth. Each crime is its own crime. Otherwise, what was the first crime a copy of?' Ring apparently can't grasp that there can be an original, unique event, be it an earthquake or a crime, and then other earthquakes or crimes follow in the same region where a connection can be shown between them that link them to the original. It was the original quake or crime that gave rise to the later ones. Another example would be a revenge killing. Ring would argue that they're a myth, since what was the first killing in revenge of? His final question, 'what was 4 Sept 2010 an aftershock of?', shows how truly screwed up his thinking is regarding quakes and aftershocks, since no one has ever tried to claim that the Sept quake, the first quake, was an aftershock. Of course someone has to be the village idiot, but what's so worrying is that so many of the villagers go to him for advice.
Comment by Ben, 26 Apr, 2016
On the Stuff website this morning there was an item regarding water problems in Wellington following a large earthquake.
In the comments section there were two comments from Ken Ring, and I have written to Fairfax with a formal complaint — see below.
'In the comments section related to the new item of water shortages in Wellington following an earthquake you allow Ken Ring to promote his nonsense by forecasting a 7M earthquake in the central region later this year. I have posted the following reply.
"What on earth is Stuff doing allowing this man to promote his nonsense? Mr Ring has been consistently exposed as a charlatan with no credibility whatsoever. However there may be those gullible enough to give some credence to the pseudo-scientific babble he promotes. His pronouncements are as irresponsible as shouting 'fire' in a crowded cinema."
I do not know whether my response will be published but I consider the decision of your moderator to allow the original comment to be irresponsible.
Unless it is removed I wish to make this complaint formal and if necessary will refer the matter to the Press Council.'
It is a disgrace that this man is allowed to propagate his pseudo-scientific babble on a national news website. The prediction of an earthquake is calculated to cause alarm. The comment about Auckland is nonsense and likely to result in complacency, although residents in Auckland already believe they are somehow immune from earthquakes.
His comments after the Christchurch earthquakes angered me but otherwise I just regarded him as a harmless idiot which he would be if he stuck to forecasting rain 12 months ahead. This however verges on the criminal.
To give credit to Stuff the comments were removed following my complaint. That does not alter the fact that the man is public menace.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 27 Apr, 2016
Well done, Ben, in challenging Ring's 'pseudo-scientific babble'. He only makes these comments to keep his name out there, which promotes his business and sells his almanac, which of course does now include earthquake predictions.
I don't have a problem with Ring, and other nutters, making the comments they do, free speech and all that stuff, although of course I would prefer it if they didn't spout such nonsense, especially when it can, as you say, cause harm. My real problem is that the media, solely to increase their readers and viewers and hence their profits, more often than not, give these nutters a platform and a forum to promulgate their nonsense. On top of that we have scientists and meteorologists that are in the perfect position to expose people like Ring, before they become pseudo-celebrities, but apparently they're always too incredulous that we plebs, even without the advanced degrees, will swallow such guff.
And it's not just the experts. Like you, most sophisticated people have 'just regarded him as a harmless idiot' and have ignored him. But the problem with this approach is that less sophisticated folk never see his claims challenged, not even the weather forecasting ones, which of course also rely on astrology. They then think that if the likes of scientists won't — or can't — challenge his method and claimed successes, then maybe he's on to something. People might think that a long-range prediction for some drizzle is frivolous compared to a long-range earthquake prediction, but if his Moon method explains the weather, then why might it not work for quakes too? Of course it doesn't work for weather, but if we let him away with his weather predictions, we bolster his creditability for making bigger and more irresponsible claims. Many people have said to me, I don't know how an idiot like Ring got such a following, but he got it because we ignored him. We let him build a business based on nonsense and collect a following of gullible morons. We let the media falsely refer to him as a scientist and a mathematician, we let him falsely assure us that he had an independently assessed 80% or so success rate, we let his followers believe his lies that he was university trained, and we respected his opinions when the print and broadcast media both sought him out for comment about what weather the future might bring. When society places a charlatan on a pedestal, we shouldn't be surprised if he develops a fan base.
When we see a burning ember we quickly extinguish it, knowing that if ignored it could possibly grow into a conflagration. We should treat budding nutcases no differently. We should quickly disabuse them of whatever silly beliefs they hold, and if due to mental inadequacies this isn't possible, we should at least make the general public aware that nonsense is on the prowl, and ensure that they can harm no one but themselves. And of course this doesn't just apply to astrologers like Ken Ring. If we exposed the likes of psychic mediums and natural healers and god believers while they were still operating out of their kitchens, rather that waiting for them to became quasi-famous, we would be nipping the problem in the bud. And saving untold people from harm and delusion. But no, we just ignore them, saying that they're not doing any real harm, and by the time that they are doing real harm, it's all rather too late to change many minds. We'd have fewer soothsayers, and far fewer people believing in them, if we all took it upon ourselves to educate them while they were still in their 'harmless idiot' phase, rather than waiting until they'd amassed an army of mindless followers. And yes, by 'educate them', I mean that electric cattle prods may be needed.
But back to Ring's comments. How is his claim that 'Auckland is well beyond the plate boundary' meaningful? Let's remember that Ring has told us that earthquakes are NOT connected to plate tectonics, it's all the fault of the Moon and the Sun and the planets. In his 2012 article, 'Traditional Earthquake myths exposed', he wrote that 'Earthquakes cause fault lines, not vice versa. Earthquakes cause "rubbing together" of tectonic plates, not vice versa'. And as we've noted, while rare, earthquakes can occur far away from tectonic plate boundaries. They're known as intraplate quakes and are utterly unpredictable. Since intraplate quakes are real, and if Ring believes he's right, that plate movement is not the cause of earthquakes, the Moon is, then he has no reason to tell Aucklanders that they are safe. Does the Moon never appear over Auckland? And does not Auckland also have several volcanoes, the eruption of which Ring insists is also caused by the Moon? Even if Ring believes Auckland is save from quakes, why hasn't he at least issued his calculations for 'Volcano Risk Times'?
Ring will eventually, and sooner rather than later, go the way of the dodo, but another will rise in his place. He, or she, may not be pushing quake prediction by astrology, but they will be asking for money while rabbiting mindlessly on about some primitive, superstitious nonsense, and we need to learn from our mistakes in dealing with Ring. They need to be squashed before they become too big to step on. We ignore them at our peril. If we become ambivalent towards people developing silly beliefs, we only have ourselves to blame when we suddenly see the media going to them for comment. We all need to do our bit to ensure a future without morons in positions of responsibility.
Comment by Daryl, 28 Apr, 2016
Well done Ben, Ring would have been absolutely dumbfounded to see his comments down voted before being deleted.
John, I fear there will always be people that either want to believe, or just plain believe regardless of facts and evidence. I'm fine with that, people are welcome to throw their money at a phoney mystic. What really annoys me though is people like Ring, and fame grabbing a*s-hats like those sensing murder people. Shamelessly stepping into the public arena and telling bare faced lies to make more money and gain some sort of celebrity. They take a huge risk coming out from the shadows in order to grab a larger slice of the pie. And you are right, the people that are in a position to expose these lies and nonsense are doing nothing about it, sort of.....There has been a whole bunch of stuff from Meteorologists and the like debunking Ring (most of which you have covered), just none lately (except for your good self). Like a disturbing rash, he just refuses to go away. As for the media giving these people a platform, they would give anyone anything if it generated money. These weasels know that people are either going to be intrigued or outraged. They will read, they will click, and they will talk and they will comment, and the register will ring with the sweet sound of website hits.....
Comment by Jamie, 18 May, 2016
6 days ago Ken tweeted:
"We said Indian summer in May. We said a mild winter with warm rains.
Me thinks he was a little too hasty...
No, skifields will not open in May, June or even July.
In this morning's ODT: 'Snow guns herald onset of winter'
Even the North Island ski fields have had a dusting in the last couple of days:
Let's see how this pans out.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 18 May, 2016
You almost — almost — have to feel a little bit sorry for Ken, having to guess what the weather will be one year hence, when any small error, like sacrificing the wrong coloured goat, might throw out his calculations on which astrology chart to consult. And with Pluto being demoted from planetary status a while back, Zeus knows what sort of spanner that threw into the works. Clearly the ramifications are still being felt, and realistically it could be some years before astrology once again settles down into the reliable weather forecaster we all know it can be. We can but wait.
Comment by Daryl, 23 May, 2016
Hi John. Ken Ring tweeting on May 12th...... 'NIWA DON'T do longrange - it's NOT turning suddenly colder soon. Heaters and woollies can still stay in storage'.
Nek minute....everyone is wearing beanies and people are getting stuck in the snow.
I saw the tweet the day after he posted it and checked the 10 day maps on metvuw. Anyone with just a tiny bit of knowledge could have seen it getting stormy, wet and then cold. So does this mean Ken is just plain lazy? or has he no respect for the intelligence of his audience? Or, and I have said this a number of times, is he just plain crazy? not quite right in the noodle? A little 'cray cray'? does he believe in astrology so hard that checking an actual weather projection is to 'alternative'. I just can't understand how you can be wrong so many times and then continue to repeat the same mistakes when so much of what he says could be so easily avoided.
To quote Einstein 'Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.'
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 24 May, 2016
Hi Daryl. The news tells us of a convey of 4WD enthusiasts trapped in 2 metres of snow near Roxburgh that have to be rescued by snowcats. I bet they were wishing they had heaters and woollies. Perhaps they got into trouble because they were following Ring's forecast? Forecasts that Ring says could have been written 'twenty or 200' years ago and that writing them closer to the time wouldn't alter them. They are essentially set in stone. Ring's forecasts can't change, but clearly the weather does, with no thought to what Ring has written.
If you or I see a reliable forecast for nasty weather that we weren't expecting, we can change our plans, cancel trips, get in provisions etc, and people would think that we were acting sensibly, and wouldn't expect us to blindly stay committed to some clearly out-of-date forecast or hoped for weather. But Ring can't do that, his reputation, what's left of it, rests on the naïve belief that the astrological forecasts he dreamt up a year or two ago are accurate. If he predicted that it would be toasty warm today, and even if we're all clearly freezing, he must continue to maintain that his prediction — or opinion — is the correct one, and it's all of us that are deluded. He has a business to run and weather horoscopes to sell, so to maintain his credibility [snigger, snigger] he must continually rail at the likes of NIWA and the MetService, no matter how crazy his proclamations are. As I've said, you and I can, with no loss to our reputation, readily admit we were wrong regarding the weather that we were expecting, but Ring can never admit to error, since in doing so would reveal that astrology got it wrong. If Ring was seen, closer to the date, to alter his predictions based on NIWA or MetService forecasts, then his clients would clearly be justified in ditching Ring's almanac and also looking to NIWA and the MetService for accurate weather forecasts. For free.
It's bad enough getting your predictions wrong, but is Ring crazy to then highlight his mistakes with his tweets? He can't change what he's written in his almanac, but he could lie low and hope his clients don't notice, so why, as you say Daryl, does he go on the offensive instead, tweeting nonsense that even the village idiot would think twice about? Has Ring's belief in astrology become absolute? Think of those religious nutters that predict the end of the world, time and time again, and no matter how many times nothing happens, they still keep believing and move on to planning for the next date. No reason can sway them. A sane scammer knows when to lie low, and Ring has gone into hiding in the past, so does Ring's recent article arguing for astrology to be taught at university and now his tweet denying reality suggest that the scammer himself has been scammed, that Ring has fallen for own bullshit?
Comment by Daryl, 26 May, 2016
Hi John. Ring's in too deep for sure, in my opinion he sure is crazy to tweet nonsense. He could easily check the majority of what he chucks up on twitter and see that in most cases, the exact opposite is probably going to occur.
Case in point;
a tweet from yesterday 'A deluge is expected in Wellington in first weekend of June. Most rain overnight, risks of heavy surface flooding.'
a new tweet from today 'In NZ Next extreme weather event: heavy rain Wellington, 4-5 June. Then, 11 June; strong winds, lower half North Is.'
Now, what's got me so perplexed is that Wellington is forecast to get heavy rain THIS weekend, and a quick look at metvuw's 10 day maps has no heavy rain anywhere near NZ next weekend! Not to say that it couldn't happen, but in all likelihood, Ring will be proved completely wrong.
Note the terminology he uses as well, 'Extreme weather event......Heavy rain.........A deluge', all portents of impending disaster, 'quick astrology lovers, to the shelter!!' And what is 'Heavy surface flooding'!?
Surely Ring would consult his almanac, check the real world, and only tweet things that might have a chance? I must say I am loving his loud calls for the ski season to start in August. Mother nature must be sick of his cr*p too because we have had some good snow both North and South and next week the S.I will get a lot more.
Ring really has lost all grip on reality, and how anyone could continue to follow such utter rubbish is beyond me.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 26 May, 2016
Hi Daryl. You would indeed think that 'Surely Ring would ... check the real world, and only tweet things that might have a chance?' His failure to act in an intelligent and rational manner, and as an experienced scammer, in a devious manner, does call his sanity into question. Without needing to consult the stars, I can see a padded room in his future.
The amazing thing to me is not that Ring follows such utter rubbish, it's that so few of us don't believe in utter rubbish of some description. As I recently wrote in another post, the sad reality is that even after exposure to modern education, society as a whole is still extremely superstitious and ignorant. The majority of people still believe in gods, in the souls of the dead, in homeopathy and energy healing, in silly conspiracies, and in their horoscopes. I suspect that it could be argued that believing in nonsense is 'normal' behaviour, since that's what most humans do, and have done throughout history. Maybe we should be asking how it is that we few are lucky enough to think rationally, rather than wondering why Ring and his ilk are so easily fooled and seduced by ignorant guesses, guesses mostly made long ago by primitive man and blindly handed down through the generations. We don't waste time wondering why hamsters haven't invented computers, or even the crayon, so perhaps for the same reason we shouldn't wonder why Ring can't see reality for what it is. It's simply beyond the number of neurons that he can muster.
Comment by Jamie, 30 May, 2016
Hi John, following up on Ken's useless snowfall "opinions"...
On 25th May, he tweeted:
"For NZ skiers
Well, it appears he couldn't have failed harder if he tried.
Next heavy (natural) snows
Wanaka+Qtn+Craigieburn: 11 June
Ruapehu: 29 May, 23 June
Mt Hutt: 12 July"
'Unexpected snow storm welcomed ahead of season start for Canterbury fields'
I see he has a banner ad on his website which says: "Know when snow will come! - Cost $33"
"Canterbury ski fields are celebrating after about 50cm of snowfall in 48 hours. On Friday night a north-easterly snowstorm delivered 30 to 40cm of snow to Mt Hutt's initial base layer. Another 15cm fell overnight Saturday. MetService forecasts a snowstorm on Tuesday with snow down to 600m, and snow flurries and colder temperatures through the week. Mt Hutt is due to open on June 10."
Comment by by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 07 Jun, 2016
'Three dead, one missing as Australia hit by storm, floods', states the June 6 headline. It goes on to say that 'a huge storm caused widespread flooding and devastation across Australia's east coast over the weekend. ... "It's very widespread, it certainly hasn't been a localized event, so really from the north coast of NSW literally to the south coast." The storm has now moved south through Victoria to Tasmania, where record floods have already been recorded'.
So a major weather event, one that we could reasonably expect any decent weather astrologer to have seen coming and to have warned his clients about. So how did Ken Ring perform, did he predict this super storm? After all, isn't that what he's paid to do, and claims he can reliably do? And if he can't predict a super storm, which should be quite obvious, even to an amateur astrologer, why should we believe that he can predict anything?
Consulting Ring's 'Australia state summaries June 2016', we find that — surprise, surprise — Ring misses the super storm completely. He had no idea it was coming. Even though 'the storm coincided with a king tide', normally a harbinger of doom in Ring's astrology book, he still didn't sense the death and destruction that wind, rain and surf was to visit upon Australia's east coast.
He confidently made 21 predictions for NSW, Victoria and Tasmania, all predicting that the states would be drier than average, except 2 areas that would be wetter than average, by a measly 8 and 11 percent. Just as Ring naturally made no mention of the movies coming to the local theatres, he unfortunately also made no mention of the coming super storm. We can explain the lack of reliable movie advice, since that's not what his predictions are about, but we can't forgive the embarrassing lack of reliable weather advice, since that is what Ring does. And of course we can easily explain the failure, or should we say failures, since Ring's monthly forecasts consistently fail to predict the weather, and not just in Australia, but anywhere he attempts it. Ring fails as a matter of course because — and sophisticated people have known this for centuries now — you can't predict the weather, or the best time to cross the road, by consulting the stars, nor, if he's considering a change of method, by reading the entrails of chickens.
Comment by Graham, 11 Jun, 2016
Hi John. I know the gullible Chris Smith on 2GB radio in Sydney has Ken on fairly regularly, so I had a look back to what Ken had to say specifically about June.
Ignoring his repeated lies about the moon and earthquakes, if you go through to 7:40. He guesses "rain dump ummm.... from about the 12th to 21st June". No mention at all of the 4th or 5th when the floods occurs, and apart from the odd shower in Sydney, the week from the 12th onwards looks pretty benign.
My prediction: Chris Smith won't mention Ken's failure next time he's on, he'll just give him another guess.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 12 Jun, 2016
I agree Graham, ignorant reporters and radio and TV interviewers such as your gullible Chris Smith are like drug addicts seeking their next fix, always looking for the next prediction, and never worrying about whether the past predictions came true. On the rare occasion when a failed prediction is blindingly obvious and the question must be asked about what went wrong, these fools will quickly accept whatever nonsense excuse is proffered — When I replaced the batteries in my crystal ball, it rebooted with the wrong time zone — and move on to talk of the future. And as we know, the future never arrives. As long as psychics, tea leaf readers and astrologers like Ring always focus on what might happen, and never dwell on what didn't happen, then the moronic audience that listen to these fools will be happy.
Comment by Graham, 01 Jul, 2016
Hi John. Ken has now removed his failed June forecast, that link now goes to his next guess for July. But as you said, he predicted drier than average in NSW, Vic and Tas. I though just to wrap this one up you'd like to see the June average rainfalls just published (Click here). Large parts of the area Ken said would be dry reached 400% of mean rainfall. So not just his usual level of wrongness there, spectacularly wrong.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 02 Jul, 2016
Thanks Graham. Of course we all know that Ken presents a confident persona and will never publicly admit to being wrong yet again, but you have to wonder if he cries himself to sleep?
Comment by Ian, 04 Aug, 2016
Ring's on The NZ Herald's website!!! I used to enjoy The Herald. Covering Ring's fantasy's however, confirms its now tabloid status.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 04 Aug, 2016
Hi Ian. Having not seen or heard Ring in the media for ages, I was beginning to think, and hope, that maybe alien abduction is real, and he was out in space somewhere being continually probed to discover how a human in the 21st century could still believe in astrology.
But no, Ring is still here on Earth and still surrounded by dewy-eyed followers chanting his name, one of whom is 'The Country Early Edition's' Dom George, who apparently dreams of being a journalist one day. Clearly he can't be one yet since no skilled journalist could listen to Ring, do a little intelligent research into what he claims, and still come away believing in the nonsense that Ring spouts. To his credit though, George does admit that he's out of his depth, saying that Ring's predictions are 'way too technical (or as some of you would say — mystical), for us mere mortals to try and explain in print so you'd better just listen', and he provides a link to the audio of the interview. Note that he even realises that some people argue that Ring's claims aren't technical, they're merely mystical, meaning nonsensical. But clearly George can't understand these arguments, or hasn't bothered to, and accepts that they are beyond mere mortals like him. Having given up, he puts the responsibility onto the Herald subscriber, not the journalist, to listen to Ring and decide if he's speaking the truth or promoting a scam. As the journalist, George was the one that had ready access to Ring to ask the probing questions, something the reader can't do, so it's the job of the journalist to understand Ring's claims, ask for supporting evidence, raise conflicting claims, interview those holding opposing views to gain a balanced outlook, and explain all this to the reader. Instead, George basically just lets Ring talk and insists that the reader should decide whether he can be believed. With that attitude we might as well replace all reporters with children armed with one or two questions, like, 'Tell us about what you do, and why your claims are right'.
Certainly Ring deserves an article in the Herald, but one exposing his scam, not one that promotes his business. It's annoying that some reporters won't do a modicum of research, or if they have, aren't clever enough to understand that research. It's even more annoying that more astute editors put entertainment and giving the ignorant masses what they want, which leads to increased readership and profit, ahead of reporting factual news and articles. The view of newspaper editors seems to be that, 'If they're stupid enough to believe it, well that's their fault. Hell, we even hinted that Ring's claims might be mystical. Do we have to spell it out for them?'
And anyone that argues this isn't the case, that papers (and media in general) aren't knowingly printing bullshit to keep idiots happy, then how do they explain the daily horoscope?
But on a bright and joyous note, I see in Ring's latest newsletter that he's promoting his 2017 NZ Weather (and earthquake) Almanac, but, he writes,
'Due to publishing and distribution issues, stock will not be in retail shops this year.'
And there was dancing on the rooftops and the people did rejoice. Perhaps his business is not going as well as in past years, and having no presence in retail shops likely means a huge number of impulse buys won't happen, where desperate people grab his book to go with the ubiquitous socks at Xmas, and this can only be a good thing. No, a wonderful thing. Like leeches and black magic, slowly Ring's astrology books will fade from the public psyche and the world will be the better for it.
Comment by Terry, 13 Sep, 2016
I always knew Ken Ring had some silly ideas, but I didn't realise how inconsistent he was. However, this article seems to be flogging a dead horse. After wading through about a quarter of it I have given up. I doubt if I'll learn anything new from the rest.
I would suggest that some of your criticisms (well, at least one, anyway) are rather trivial. He calls the Moon a planet. That's purely semantics. If the Earth suddenly vanished, the Moon would carry on with only a small change to its orbit. Although by convention a moon is not a planet, one as big as ours makes us almost a twin planet. The centroid of the Earth Moon system is within the Earth. If the Moon were a little bigger the centroid would be outside and we would be classified as a twin planet.
PS, to avoid giving Ken Ring ammunition against you, you might like to learn the difference between 'affect' and 'effect'.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 14 Sep, 2016
Hi Terry. You begun by saying you didn't realise how inconsistent Ring was, so apparently you did learn something new about his claims, but after reading a quarter of our article you say you doubt that you could 'learn anything new from the rest'. If by that you mean that you've rationally concluded that Ring is an ignorant, lying scammer, then yes, the rest of the article would only serve to reinforce that conclusion. Followers of Ring have claimed to have read the entire article and still can't see that his claims are unscientific, unsupported and often just plain silly. So congratulations on not needing to consider all the amassed evidence that exposes Ring's fraudulent business.
We're glad that you only think that one of our criticisms of Ring is trivial, that of Ring continually calling the Moon a planet. However we disagree that it is mere semantics. Ring promotes himself as an expert in astronomy, or what he calls astrology, even claiming that he understands gravity better than Einstein did. We all make mistakes, and we have no problem with a man on the street confusing a planet and a moon, but surely we should expect an 'expert' to get the terminology correct? Ring has been corrected numerous times, and yet he keeps calling the Moon (and even the Sun), a planet. He deliberately does this because ancient astrologers called the Sun and Moon planets, and he's convinced that astrologers still understand the cosmos better than astronomers. We highlight Ring's stubborn refusal to accept that the Moon isn't a planet because it clearly demonstrates to anyone with a smidgen of scientific knowledge that Ring is trapped in the primitive past, wedded to a superstitious belief that was debunked long ago. Ring pretends he's a scientist, and only by pointing out that he repeatedly makes claims that no reputable scientist would make, eg the Moon is a planet, will people see him as the charlatan he is.
And yes, the Moon might become a planet if the Earth suddenly vanished, even my car could become a planet if I could get it to go fast enough, but that hasn't happened, so Ring should describe things as they are, not as they were thousands of years ago when his beloved astrology was invented. From a semantics perspective, back then it would have made perfect sense to call the Moon a planet, there would have been a perfect relationship between the word and its meaning at that time. But it makes no sense to cling to the antiquated meaning of a word when that obsolete meaning has long since been replaced by a new scientific meaning.
You end by saying that 'to avoid giving Ken Ring ammunition against you, you might like to learn the difference between 'affect' and 'effect'.' If that was the only gripe that Ring could muster concerning our written criticism of his claims and method, then I can't see us losing any sleep. Of course unlike Ring, we don't claim to be experts, in this case in English grammar, and we willingly admit that we will occasionally make grammatical errors, and again unlike Ring, if they are pointed out we will happily correct them. We've had a quick look through our article, but can't be sure we've corrected any confusing grammar. Hopefully it didn't our harm our argument. Just in case, here's the conclusion: Ken Ring is promoting a scam, and he can no more predict the weather, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and the stranding of whales than he can leap tall buildings.
Comment by Anonymous-20, 18 Sep, 2016
Well I've been using Ken rings forecast for years now and can honestly say, when the year has past and the amount of rain / droughts that occur are at least 80% correct. To look at his forward predictions up to several years in advance and having been there, done that, I consider it a very good guide the the upcoming season/s. Who else in the world is gutsy enough to do that. Certainly not any meteorologist or scientist that I know of.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 19 Sep, 2016
You may be quite sincere in your belief in your astrologer, but we're not convinced that Ring's general predictions can be reasonably analysed and given a percentage pass or fail. They are simply too vague; where one person may say he was right. another would argue that he was wrong. One person may say that if it rained 80 kms from their farm then that's good enough for them and Ring's prediction was right, another would say that Ring predicted rain for their specific area and if it didn't rain on their farm then he was clearly wrong. Likewise when Ring says it might rain, or that there is a 50% chance of rain. With empty predictions like that it doesn't matter if it rains or not, since either way Ring is correct, since he didn't say it would rain or wouldn't rain, only that it might. How can anyone give a prediction like that a pass or fail mark? You can't, because Ring hasn't told us anything that we don't already know. He didn't make a prediction, although it sounds like he did, he merely stated a brute fact. Ring also provides variously shaded maps that represent the probability of rain, frost etc, and it's up to individual clients to guess what that probability is, meaning 100 clients could reach 100 different answers. His maps can be whatever his client wants them to be. And from the perspective of a scam, that's a great strategy.
If independently testing his predictions was so straightforward, and apparently gives good results, then Ring would have done exactly that years ago and used that verification to publicise his method. However he repeatedly refuses to be independently tested and refuses to release his old data so that others can verify his claims. Unlike you, Ring knows all too well that scientific and statistical analysis of his claims would reveal his method to be a scam.
Ring may be 'gutsy' in the way he pretends to see several years into the future, but then that's how astrologers, clairvoyants and other fortune tellers work. They need to act confidently to promote their fantasies. If he only offered what meteorologists and scientists already offer for free, then his business would fail. So does it work? Look around, is it science that's advancing our society, or is it astrology that's driving progress? And yes, there are individuals like yourself that seek out Ring's prognostications, just as others use psychics, but the depressing fact that these idiots still attract clients does not mean that their methods work.
Comment by Ron, 19 Sep, 2016
Hi John. Did you receive an email from Ken Ring today trying to sell his 2017 almanac? I did. It summarises contents then suggests you buy early etc. It goes on to say "if you have already ordered please forgive us for this intrusion". Signed Ken and the team. A bit hard to forgive as I never asked for that intrusion by showing any interest in purchasing, and never will. I wonder if it was a mistake or a deliberate targeting of his 11000 newsletter subscribers.
Surprised today to see Kens 2015 almanac in our nearest library amongst other books on science topics. Not much damn use to anyone now, well, even if it was 2016. The man himself was on the inside back cover with that hat. However, what irked was the 3 endorsements from clients on the inside front cover. Perhaps you have seen them. One that truly got me was a client telling Ken her husband has always purchased his almanacs and were regarded as his "bible". Whenever someone asks him about the upcoming weather he can quote from the book because "they are always right". Say what? How can someone seriously and honestly say this when many smart people have tested Rings forecasts and have frequently come up with only a 26%, or close, success rate? How blind are those who cannot see.
Just read the powerful book "Earthquake" about the devastating killer 6.3 on 22.2.2011. The preface was written by a well known author and Press columnist in CH.CH. He mentioned Ring and how he did not predict the 2 major earthquakes (despite him always claiming the opposite) This was refreshing and pleased me because outside of this website very few ever write that truth.
Did you also see his comments in his Sept. newsletter under the heading "The Italy Earthquake"? He slags off Mark Quigley for a comment that he believes Christchurch is being squeezed between the alps and the pacific ocean, referring to it as a strange claim. He starts by saying Quigleys house came down on the night of March 20, 2011 due to a 7 intensity shake. We all know that the 7.1 occurred on the night of Sept.4, 2010, except Ken it seems. The day he quotes there was a 5.1 aftershock. I think Mark knows a darn sight more about these things than Mr Moon Man. Rings asks these stupid questions. "Will CH.CH. be propelled into the air or make a loud farting noise" and refers to us as the "poor strained city". What a cretin. What a juvenile, very poorly written piece of crap, crass, and with very wrong statements. From an ex. schoolteacher?? Anyone silly enough to think Ken is qualified, erudite, intelligent and expert enough to believe his every word has to change their thinking and opinion of him full circle after reading such mindless garbage. It keeps getting worse.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 20 Sep, 2016
Yes Ron, we got Ring's email pleading for us to buy his 2017 almanac; and it was deliberately sent to everyone on his mailing list. He must pimp his book wherever he can since he's said that,
'Due to publishing and distribution issues, stock will not be in retail shops this year.'
A clear sign of a down turn in his fortunes. And yes, I've read the endorsements that Ring includes on the covers of his almanacs, and like testimonials supporting everything from homeopathy to psychic healing, they should all be dismissed as nothing but uninformed and unfounded opinions from gullible folk. If Ring had evidence that his method worked, he'd be quoting scientists, not Mrs K from Westport.
It's good to hear that finally a book mentions that Ring didn't predict any of the Christchurch quakes. And yes, he keeps insisting that the house of a critic of his, geologist Mark Quigley, was brought down by a M7 quake on March 20, 2011, even though we all know there was no such quake. He was forced to spread that lie because he publicly predicted a killer quake for that day in Christchurch and was publicly shamed when it didn't happen. I've searched several times for information that a major quake brought Quigley's house down on that day, and have found nothing, and typically, Ring refuses to produce the media reports he claims to have. We know Quigley's house was damaged in the previous major quakes, so perhaps a few more bricks did fall from a wall that was already teetering, but the image Ring suggests is that a previously unscathed house was suddenly shaken into ruins on March 20. And strangely no other houses in Christchurch collapsed. If true, it sounds more like the work of a vindictive god with a grudge against a geologist than an earthquake.
Ring's public presence seems to be much less these days, his books are gone from bookshops, he was kicked off radio's 'Farming Show' and he's not found arguing on Internet forums anymore, so maybe it won't be too long before people start asking, in a moment of boredom, Whatever happened to that nutter Ken Ring, he just seemed to disappear?
Comment by Patrick, 20 Sep, 2016
Hi John. As you know, I am not from New Zealand and only heard about Ken Ring whilst on your excellent website. I was intrigued by what you wrote yesterday concerning this guy: "we got Ring's email pleading for us to buy his 2017 almanac".
I mean, does Mr. Ring actually has the legal right to sell this almanac in New Zealand? Is he actually exerting a trade? In my country it is illegal to ask money to perform witchcraft, card reading, astrology, and all this stuff. If you want to exercise a trade, you would first need to obtain a trader license from the local authorities. They actually have a list of legal trades (for example, Agency for import and export, hairdresser, travel agency, and so on), and what you want to do must be present in this list otherwise it's illegal. Needless to say that some people actually deal in the supernatural business for a living, but they do it discreetly, otherwise they might get into trouble.
P.S. From time to time they add new legal trades on the list, for example video club trading was added in the eighties, but it's fortunately highly unlikely they will ever include astrology or things like that on it.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 08 Sep, 2016
You ask an interesting question Patrick, and what Ken Ring does is apparently perfectly legal. We believe there are laws in NZ (probably quite vague laws) prohibiting promoting the likes of witchcraft, card reading and astrology and claiming that they work, and so everyone is careful to add disclaimers to their advertising, eg For Entertainment Purposes Only. We have psychics openly travelling the country and advertising their shows. Even most newspapers in NZ run a daily horoscope and many run a Bible quote (without disclaimers), and we guess they would argue that no one takes them seriously, which beggars the question, then why run them?
But the thing with Ken Ring is that he generally hides the fact that he's using astrology to make his predictions, although it doesn't take much research to discover that he is. He has even revealed what astrology computer programs he uses. But read his almanac and listen to him on the radio and he never mentions astrology. He pretends he's a scientist, he's not, he's actually an ex-clown that taught maths for a while, but he's happy to let the media mistakenly call him a scientist. He argues that he's justified in calling himself a scientist because astrology is a science (yeah right!), and if he's using a science then he must be a scientist.
Our guess is that he fools people (both lawyers and clients) into thinking that he's using science to inform his business, and there's nothing illegal or unethical about that. If he was open and honest and revealed that he's a dishonest ex-clown who failed university and is using debunked astrology to predict the weather and earthquakes, then maybe there would be some law that would knock him back to the level of tea leaf reader, and force him to sell his book in dark alleyways. But as long as he hides behind his lies, then he probably won't fall foul of the law.
The reality is that there is a long of nonsense freely advertised in NZ, and generally the authorities turn a blind eye. Some lawyers will argue that it's free speech, and if you're too stupid to research their claims before handing over your money, then that's your fault. Others think that by ignoring it it will go away, or at least keep it small time, and by trying to combat it will just give it publicity, and perhaps encourage its use. About the only thing the authorities take a passing interest in are those people claiming to sell a medical cure without evidence. But even then we're still tripping over homeopaths and Reiki healers and churches that say Jesus cures cancer! So in NZ we certainly can't rely on the law to keep nutters from trying to sell us bullshit.
Comment by Daryl, 21 Sep, 2016
Hi John. It's been a while since I have commented. Ring is still up to his regular nonsense. He spent most of June and July twittering about the North island ski season not opening until late August etc etc, when the reality is that the whole mountain was open on 23rd July. I have seen another of his twitter comments where he says that the north island ski fields will only last 20 days after 1st Sep, well it's the 21st today and they probably have another month until they close with a base still over 2 meters. If you check out his twitter feed there is a monumental amount of garbage that is so easily proven to be fantasy.
The real reason for my email was just to point out that in comment 830 above I see the devious Ring has pulled the wool over your eyes! Regarding the earthquake on 20 March 2011, Ring has deviously called it an 'Intensity 7'. He is referring to the Modified Mercalli scale which ranges from 1-12, rather then the magnitude. I think MM7 intensity says it has the potential to bring down the poorest constructed dwellings and maybe some chimneys.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 22 Sep, 2016
Hi Daryl. We're not surprised that you've found a 'monumental amount of garbage' on Ring's twitter feed, that would be like being surprised to find heaps of garbage at your local refuse dump.
As regards Ring's intensity-7 quake of March 20, 2011, we're well aware that he's being devious in his description. However, we keep referring to it as a magnitude 7 quake because that is what Ring wants people to believe happened, and of course everyone knows it didn't. If Ring keeps insisting that a quake of intensity-7 happened, clearly hoping that his followers think he's talking about a quake of mag 7, then it's our duty to reassure his followers that he does indeed want them to think mag 7. His argument only makes sense if it's to convince people that a quake of a magnitude comparable to the two major Christchurch quakes actually happened on March 20 as he widely predicted. When they discover that no such quake happened, or already know because they were there, then the obvious conclusion they'll reach is that Ring is lying. If someone points out that Ring is deliberately exploiting their ignorance by using another measuring scale, and is only making it appear that his predicted history-making quake had occurred, then again they will realise that he's a devious scumbag.
For years Ring has always referred to quakes as being of a certain magnitude, and he has never even hinted that a mag 7 quake is something completely different to a intensity-7 quake. Here is what he wrote in a an article called 'Back copies of newsletters':
'Actually, the 20th turned out to be very seismically active, with no less than 46 events occurring, including three above 4-mag shakes in Twizel at 1.30pm. More significantly, the largest earthquake of the day and the third largest in the whole Christchurch series, listed by GNS as one of intensity-7, hit Christchurch that evening at 9.47pm. It was violent enough to destroy the house of Deputy Head Geologist Dr Mark Quigley, who had been one of the keynote speakers at the earlier lunch event.
Note how he refers to reported quakes as 'three above 4-mag shakes', a '6-6.9mag' quake and 'only a 5.1mag' quake. He even admits that the Christchurch quake initially 'listed by GNS as one of intensity-7' was 'estimated by USGS to be 6-6.9mag', implying that 'intensity-7' and '6-6.9mag' are, within the margin of error, the same thing, and he then acknowledged that the GNS 'intensity-7' quake was later downgraded by GNS to 'only a 5.1mag' quake, again implying that 'intensity-7' was referring to magnitude.
7-intensity; 20 March 2011
That earthquake was estimated by USGS to be 6-6.9mag. It was widely reported that it felt as big or bigger than any of the others, but anyway, most unsound buildings had already fallen. GNS reported the event as only a 5.1mag, describing it as 'not Ken Ring's earthquake'.'
In a 2011 article, 'Reflections after 20 March', Ring wrote,
'There may have been people relieved not to have been in Christchurch to feel the 5.1 on that Monday evening. Some Twizel residents have said it felt greater than the 7.1 on 4 September, and a screenshot of the drum displayed it as a 7 before it was downgraded.'
Again, all his readers know that the 5.1 and 7.1 quakes he mentions are definitely referring to magnitude, so of course any reasonable person must assume that when he then immediately mentions a 7 quake that magnitude is still implied. So it's our job to assure people that Ring most definitely wants them to think magnitude 7 when he says 'intensity-7'. On being caught out in a clear deception, we don't want to give Ring the wriggle room to say that he's been misinterpreted, that he hasn't been as clear as he could have, that he sometimes forgets that not everyone has his vast seismology knowledge, when as you say Daryl, Ring is being utterly devious here and exploiting the ignorance of his readers. Of course back in 2011 he may have been quite ignorant himself that there was more than one scale (very likely). However he can't plead innocence now, since he tweeted back in 2013, 'The 7-intensity Christchurch earthquake on 20 March 2011 ... GNS downsized it for reasons yet to be told', and someone replied: 'Is that because you still don't understand the difference between intensity and magnitude?'
And revealing more of Ring's dishonesty, in his 2011 article he wrote,
'Apart from reported damage to one dairy there appear to have been few if any other buildings demolished, but most that might have been at risk were probably already down from previous earthquakes.'
It wasn't until later that he invented the lie that the quake 'was violent enough to destroy the house of Deputy Head Geologist Dr Mark Quigley'. Isn't it strange how accounts of what happened change over time, especially when recounted by the same person!
Comment by Anonymous-21, 23 Nov, 2016
I've heard no word from Ring regarding the latest quakes. There were however a few who associated the Super Moon, without foundation, as the cause. One would have expected a chain of earthquakes to the islands north, Indonesia, Asia, the Middle East and around to Chile and Alaska. But Heh! we did get one in Japan a week later when the moon was some 20,000 kilometres further away. The actual distance can be verified on heavens-above.com and once sorted, click on 'Moon' (LH column) and dates to find the distance at any given time.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 24 Nov, 2016
We're also surprised that Ring hasn't claimed that he predicted the latest quake, as is his habit. And when we went to look up his quake predictions for Nov, we discovered that there has been no monthly newsletter and no activity on his website or twitter account since late Sept. So no newsletter means no published 'Earthquake Risk Times' and no warning. But Ring's silence aside, as you say there have been others blaming the supermoon, and if true, we should have seen earthquakes all around the world, and even all over NZ. But we didn't, and it's a problem that Ring and others refuse to account for. The supermoon is above the entire planet, not just the Kaikoura region. It's a little like giving ten people the same liquid to drink, and when one falls ill, insisting that the drink was toxic. But if it was toxic, and all ten people were exposed, they should all be ill. If only one falls ill then clearly it was just a coincidence that they had the drink just prior to falling ill. It's the same with the moon, we're all equally exposed when it moves overhead, and almost none of us experience quakes, so it's just a coincidence that occasionally a quake happens somewhere in the world at the same time.
We saw this photo on Facebook with the caption: People of Earth — behold your Supermoon!
While we don't trust much of what we view on social media, we believe it is reasonably accurate. Also we must remember that we're comparing a normal closest approach of the Moon that happens each month with the slightly closer approach of a Supermoon that happens less often, we're not comparing its size when it's closest and farthest away.
Comment by Ron, 10 Mar, 2017
Hi John. Have you heard of Nigel Gray, a man who hails from small town Hawkes Bay? He is a painter/decorator, also an international lecturer on the human mind and detoxification technology. He has a page, on facebook I think, titled "weather modification watch nz". Mr Gray gained notoriety, by default, unwarranted and undeserved, in my opinion, around the time of the 7.8 mag. quake on Nov. 14, 2016, and for some time beyond. He supposedly predicted that earthquake 8 days before (yes, another one)
He said a major quake was quite possible in the south pacific (note how specific he is) on Nov. 14, or a few days either side due to the pull of the supermoon.
Social media, normal media and gullible people shot him to super status when his "prediction" came to pass. Things went viral and global, on Stuff sites too, and the UK Daily Mail picking up on it. So within 24 hrs of the quake there were 8000+ likes, shared more than 6000 times and his name searched for on Facebook 37000 times. But until 2 days ago I had never heard of Mr Gray, who, by the way modestly says he does not aspire to be another Nostradamus. He told media that most people realise the moon affects the tides, etc that it’s a fact when the moon gets that close it influences the planet.
(Ho Hum) Anyway, this must have gone to his head somewhat because he predicted another big quake in the East Cape area on Dec. 13th, so people in Gisborne panicked and rushed to stock up on food and big queues formed at service stations. This power over people could be awesome for the ego. Again, I knew nothing about all this. The media did but when no quake they were quiet. There ended, I hope, a budding quake prediction career. Scientists were quick to debunk any correlation re. 14 Nov. Nigel found it amusing they criticised his predictions when "they were unable to predict the event themselves". Lots of similarities here to Ken Ring? However, as far as I know Gray does not run a business based on weather and quake predictions and opinions. Anyone, such as followers of Ken, could come out with such basic "predictions". What never ceases to amaze me is the sheer gullibility behind it all. Continuing on another vein. Those titles mentioned above, detox. technology and weather modification, plus geoengineering, appear to be fancy names for the perennial chemtrail conspiracy theory or the like and Gray is well into it. He believes quakes are caused by man-made geo-eng. weapons and claims man-made weather, due to geo-eng and EMF’s over NZ, and are used by unknown entities to alter weather and cloud patterns. Pulses, cloud wave forms are connected, he says, to rain and bad weather. He sees abnormalities after studying radar images. He thinks John Key announcing his stepping down on 12 Nov. using words like "retiring" and "travelling" as too much of a coincidence and it needs to be treated seriously. What the... Gray reckons electromagnetic waves are being used causing strange shapes which can cause quakes. He cites a 4.7 tremor near Opotiki a few hrs after pulsing ended near the epicenter. He points the finger at Metservice and their radar saying these pulses are coming from there, which Met. deny. So now we have Metservice causing bad weather and quakes, instead of only forecasting. "Worthy of investigation" says Nigel. Is there any end to this stuff. Plus, there are plenty of people that appear to believe lots of what he says.
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 11 Mar, 2017
No Ron, we hadn't heard of Nigel Gray, which isn't surprising because it's just astonishing how many crackpots there are out there, not just in the world, but even in little ol' NZ.
There are indeed a lot of similarities here to Ken Ring, astrologer to the stars, I mean, earthquakes. And for readers that have just suddenly realised that they haven't heard any wild predictions of late from him, it seems that ill health may have brought his soothsaying business to a staggering and totally unexpected halt. We saw this comment on one of his Facebook pages:
'Sadly Ken has been unwell and unable to contribute to this page ... Thanks for all the well wishes — Admin'
From what you say Ron, if Gray is truly promoting all that nonsense, from belief in detox and geoengineering weapons to both the MetService and the Moon causing earthquakes, then it sounds as though he's just another nutter getting his "facts" from conspiracy websites and Hollywood movies. And with Ken Ring out of the picture, maybe for good, then no doubt his deluded followers will be looking for a replacement guru, god forbid that they might start to think for themselves. Perhaps the stars are aligned to match up Gray and Ring's lost sheep?
13 November 2016
But it's so easy for people to make outrageous claims, everyone from popes to psychics to earthquake diviners, we just wish that they would front up with proof of their claims, and that their followers would demand that proof before handing over their money and their brains. They say that there's a sucker born every minute, we think that's a major underestimation of the problem.
Comment by Jamie, 12 Mar, 2017
Hi John and Ron. Yes, I also had noticed that Ken has been very quiet lately. His last tweet was September 2016, last website article October 2016.
It got me thinking — maybe he's retired? Now that the Super payments are coming in, no need to sell snake-oil?
Remember his wikipedia username (the one he famously used to try and edit his own wikipedia page, causing him to be banned) was Kanola51 (born 1951 perhaps?). So maybe he turned 65 last year.
I wonder if he is a Libra?
Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 12 Mar, 2017
Hi Jamie. It's a nice theory, but, by our calculations Ken is likely to be in his early 70s, and so has been receiving his Super payments for many years now.
In the past Ken posted on his own Facebook page that he started high school (Auckland Grammar School) in January 1958, and started at the University of Auckland in 1965. So unless he was a child prodigy and started high school at around six, and considering that he later failed university and took up astrology, this is unlikely, then we suspect he is living off both his Super payments and the returns from his snake-oil sales.
You wonder if he's a Libra, and it's strange that his astrology insights apparently didn't warn him of his impending illness, since he has seemingly made no attempt to bring in a successor to keep the business going. Maybe he's the star sign that thinks they're invincible?
But seriously, as we've already communicated to Ron, while we disagree with his views on everything from weather prediction and astrology to religion and whale strandings, and we're offended by his insults, eg Jew hater, and his threats of legal action, we don't personally wish the man any ill will. Unlike many Christians and Muslims who not only disagree with us, they want to see us being tortured in Hell, all we've ever wanted is to make him reconsider his views, we have no desire to see him suffer with ill health.
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