What we're about

Are you a scientific skeptic? See our main page at http://www.BackyardSkeptics.com to find out if you are.

We are a group of scientific skeptics (as opposed to 'conspiracy skeptics') with a heavy emphasis on critical thinking. If you don't believe in paranormal ability, ouija boards or ghosts then this group is for you. Before Covid, we met once a month in Villa Park (next to Orange) in Orange County, CA on the fourth Wednesday and Thursday (alternating). We also have many other events at least once a week such as field trips, movie night and Irish pub nights.

During Covid we have Zoom meetings every other Friday. The discussions very widely but are always interesting. We pride ourselves on finding the truth behind any claim and better yet, HOW to find the truth behind any claim.

(Before Covid) Our meetings were in our backyard (hence the name) and usually had a guest speaker or a topic which is posted on the meetup announcement. We have many field trips and casual get-togethers just to socialize with other critical thinkers as well, and of course our great pot-luck summer and winter solstice parties. (also postponed) We have had different events such as social nights informal meetings such as our 3-minute talks, and meetings with speakers from many different areas of science. Our meetings are where you can freely talk about your skepticism and questions about supernatural events

We have a VOLUNTARY annual donation of $20. Or, we have a $/4 month subscription you can sign up for at BackyardSkeptics.com. This is to support our annual conference called LogiCalLA (a 5013C organization) See our website here: LogicalLA.com

Our goal: To support the agnostic/athiest/skeptic/humanist community with local meetings, potluck parties, and other social events. To spread the word that skeptics and non-believers are good and moral people and to promote secular values and the separation of church and state. We cherish humanistic values over any supernatural superstitions and encourage others to look at their worldview with critical thinking skills.

Bruce Gleason, founder

Upcoming events (4+)

2021 Secular Day of the Dead

Online event

A Secular Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos Secular event is a celebration of life. Nontheist Hispanic/Latin people and others view the Secular Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos Secular as a perfect way to remember the legacy of dead loved ones that does not require prayer, church, or religious dogma. To nontheists, our legacies are our afterlife.

The Secular Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos Secular event will include many redesigned and religion-free Hispanic/Latin traditions and rituals that celebrate our one and only life, legacies, and cultural heritage.

More and more people are abandoning their religious upbringing but still want to celebrate the beauty of the Hispanic/Latin culture. This is why a Secular Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos Secular was created. The 2021 Secular Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos Secular will be presented as a Zoom event on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 with special attention to Spanish speaking participants. The 2021 Secular Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos Secular is cosponsored by The Freethought Society, Hispanic American Freethinkers, American Atheists, Center for Inquiry, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Secular Student Alliance, Secular Coalition for America, and Atheists United. Register at:


3:45 PM (PST)/6:45 PM (EST) Pre-Event Social
Entertainment and chatting opportunities with like-minded individuals will take place during this 15-minute time slot, featuring a mini-concert by John Davidson – a Hollywood legend and musical stage star who lived in Mexico and speaks Spanish and dancers Margarita Reyna and James Nunnelley.

4:00 (PST)/7:00 PM (EST) Welcome
Bilingual welcome by organizers and cosponsors Robyn Blumner, Victoria de la Torre, Margaret Downey, Nick Fish, Annie Laurie Gaylor, Dan Barker, David Tamayo, Debbie Allen, Sergio Ortega-Rodriguez, and Kevin Bolling-Hey. Cosponsors and organizers will each light a candle to honor a “Secular Saint” of historic significance. A Spanish Speakers Zoom Room and an English Speakers Zoom Room will be offered to participants at this time. A musical interlude will be provided by cellist Rich Rodriquez as people divide into their preferred language Zoom Rooms.

4:30 PM (PST)/7:30 PM (EST)
Julia Sweeney Interviews Jon Huertas
“From Heartsick and Holy to Happy Heathen”

5:00 PM (PST)/8:00 PM (EST) Honoring Ceremony
Reservations are being taken for speakers who want to celebrate the life of a dead loved one. Reserve a 3-5-minute time slot through the following email address:


The Honoring Ceremony will open with dedications from author Fernando Alcántar, Ethical Culture Leader Hugh Taft-Morales, activist and president of Atheists United Christina Magallanes-Jones, educator Consuelo Cortes-Fleming, and photographer John Jones-Cortes.

The musical interlude will feature Margarita Reyna and James Nunnelley performing a Cumbia dance.

After the reserved speaking spots conclude, the Zoom spotlighting function will be available for anyone who would like to participate. The screen share function will be enabled so that speakers can display photos of the person being honored. The honoring of a pet is also welcomed.

Prizes will be awarded and mailed to participants who the cosponsors determine to have the best Secular Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos Secular themed clothing, Zoom setting, face painting, face mask, and hair adornment.

The end time of this event is unknown. Anyone who would like to honor a dead loved one will have an opportunity to do so before we conclude with a mini concert by Gary Stockdale and Abraham Steve Mackey.

To see what was done last year, please visit the following links:

English Room:

Spanish Room:

Día Secular de los Muertos Secular

Online event

El Día Secular de los Muertos o el evento del Día de los muertos, es una celebración de vida. Para ateos Latinos, esta es una forma de recordar y honrar el legado de sus difuntos seres queridos sin necesidad de oraciones, iglesias ni otros dogmas. Para los ateos, nuestro legado es el más allá. Muchos ateos Latinos quieren continuar las tradiciones y ritos culturales pero en una forma secular.

El evento del Día de los Muertos Secular, incluirá muchas tradiciones de Latinoamerica para celebrar nuestra única vida, legados, y herencia cultural.

Mucha gente está abandonando su educación religiosa pero quiere continuar celebrando la belleza de su cultura. Por esto se creó el Día de los Muertos Secular. El 2021 Día de los Muertos Secular se presentará en un evento vía Zoom, el martes 2 de noviembre, 2021.

Nuestros co-patrocinadores son The Freethought Society, Hispanic American Freethinkers, American Atheists, Center for Inquiry, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Secular Coalition for America, Secular Student Alliance, y Atheists United.

Regístrese aquí:


3:45 PM (PST) / 6:45 PM (EST) Evento Pre-Social
Música y oportunidad para socializarse durante 15 minutos y Margarita Reyna y James Nunnelley baile. Presentaremos un mini concierto de John Davidson, una leyenda de Hollywood y estrella musical que vivió en Mexico y habla español.

4:00 (PST) / 7:00 (EST) Bienvenida
Bienvenida en Inglés y Español por organizadores y co-patrocinadores Robyn Blumner, Victoria de la Torre, Margaret Downey, Debbie Allen, Nick Fish, Annie Laurie Gaylor, Dan Barker, David Tamayo, Arlene Rios, Louie Campos, y Kevin Bolling-Hey.

Los co-patrocinadores y organizadores encenderán una vela para honrar a un “Santo Secular” de importancia histórica. En este momento, se ofrecerá a los participantes una sala de zoom para hispanohablantes y una sala de zoom para hablantes de inglés. El violonchelista Rich Rodríguez ofrecerá un interludio musical mientras la gente se divide en las salas de su idioma preferido.

4:30PM (PST) / 7:30 PM (EST) Huésped Invitado
Julia Sweeney y John Huertas: “Desde Afligido y Santo a Ateo Feliz”

5:00 PM (PST) / 8:00 PM (EST) Ceremonia para Honrar
Se han dado reservaciones para los que deseen honrar las vidas de sus seres queridos ya fallecidos. Reserve un espacio de 3-5 minutos escribiendo a:


La Ceremonia para Honor se abrirá con dedicatorias del autor Fernando Alcántar, líder de cultura ética Hugh Taft-Morales, activista y presidente de Atheists United Christina Magallanes-Jones, catedrática de la lengua española Consuelo Cortes de Fleming y fotógrafo Johnny Jones Cortes.

Después de haber concluido todos los espacios, la función de Zoom estará disponible para quien sea quiera participar. Se activará la función de uso compartido de pantalla para que los oradores puedan compartir fotografías de sus seres queridos (o mascotas) que estén honrando.

Se desconoce la hora de finalización de este evento. Quien quiera honrar a un ser querido fallecido tendrá la oportunidad de hacerlo antes de que concluir nuestro programa con un mini concierto de Gary Stockdale y Abraham Steve Mackey.

Para ver lo que se hizo el año pasado, visite los siguientes enlaces:



Friday evening BYS/TGIAA bi-weekly Zoom meeting

Online event

Let's discuss all things skeptical and of course recent news.
(TGIAA is the name of our sister group, Thank God I'm An Athiest)
This group meets every other Friday at 7pm.

Join anytime during the discussion
Be respectful and let others talk
Please keep your mic off if you are in a noisy environment......
You can join and listen if you do not have a phone with a camera or computer without a camera or mic. (even a flip phone will work)
You can join as early as 6:30pm to test your connection.
Bruce Gleason is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: BYS Friday Zoom Discussion Group


Time: Jun 5,[masked]:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Every week on Friday

Sunday Morning Discussion Brunch - IN PERSON

Marie Callender's

This meetup is held every 1st Sunday of every month, starting on Oct. 3, 2021.
PLEASE NOTE: in response to the Covid 19 pandemic, we are asking that only vaccinated people attend this meetup. Compliance will be on the honor system. Masks are not required, wearing masks is up to the individual’s comfort level.

It's a laid back meetup designed to provide a less formal atmosphere and an opportunity to discuss a wide range of topics. Enjoy a casual communal breakfast with your fellow free thinkers.

We do not tolerate trolls. If your purpose is to simply disrupt the group, you will be asked to leave.

This Meet Up, and all of the Backyard Skeptics events are funded through the Freethought Alliance. If you would like to donate to the Freethought Alliance and help support their events, please go to freethoughtalliance.org, where you can learn more about the organization and make a contribution.

Please update your RSVP if you're unable to make it.

Hope to see you there!

Past events (1,252)

Friday evening BYS/TGIAA bi-weekly Zoom meeting

Online event

Photos (5,429)