Hello and welcome to the lettersquash blog…

…articles on rational scepticism and science, and critiques of religion and pseudoscience.

Why ‘lettersquash’?

When I started the blog, I wasn’t sure what it would be about, so I just invented a name. Because I’d chosen wordpress.com, I thought it would be funny, like: “What do you get out of a word press? … Letter squash.”

Yeah, I know. Anyway, it grew on me, so I stuck with it.

I started the blog twice. On my first attempt I was basically preaching New Age religion, and saw myself as a spiritual teacher, my next move from doing counselling for ten years. I used to be a ‘mystic’, into yoga, Buddhism, etc., (with lots of doubts and changes of mind). Partly from writing the blog, I began to question my beliefs more seriously, and I realised I’d formed those beliefs uncritically. I gradually became a sceptic and (soft) atheist. Although I write articles here from a sceptical, empiricist-rationalist position, I hope I’m fairly open minded and ready to be challenged.

042headMy real name is John Freestone (which I’ve never hidden and could always be found via links, but I’ve only recently decided to put in the header – the blog is now ten years old!). I’m in my 50’s, living in North Yorkshire, England with my partner and a slightly disturbed rescue cat. My partner is a Christian, and I try to respect people’s differences. I dislike the more militant end of atheism, and believe that the cause is served better by a civilized, respectful dialogue. On the other hand, I fail at this many times, and there’s something to be said for being blunt where necessary too. My own conversion from mysticism probably wouldn’t have been as likely without people occasionally calling a spade an f-ing shovel.

I like camping, wild camping especially, and cycling. I have an old racing bike I’ve converted for touring, and a Laser Competition tent. I also have a campervan. I used to blog here about wild camping, but I’ve now moved those to a new blog, Crafty Wildcamper.

If you want to look for specific categories of posts, they’re organised under the menu. Click on the header (lettersquash) for the usual blog view with the latest post at the top.

Comments from visitors are very welcome. I moderate the first post from new visitors to avoid spam. After that, you don’t have to wait for moderation each time.

You can also contact me on j.r.freestone [at] gmail.com

I hope you enjoy the blog.


John (or ‘lettersquash’)