Sunday, September 7, 2008

Message To The Police: Redrum - REDRUM!!!

"Say it isn't so. The police actually asked two psychics for help on a murder case?

Good grief.

Please tell me that was just a press release from Sensing Murder.

In the article, I read a cop saying he was on the fence about psychics.

Please, no. Don't be on the fence about psychics. You might as well be on the fence about violent crime. Or Nigerian emailers promising you millions.

Psychics are bogus.

Psychics are pscum.

Psychics are full of pshit.

Note to Serious Fraud Office: please investigate Sensing Murder.

Shut them down. Make that heinous TV show pass through the tunnel of white light to the other side.

If these people really could communicate with the dead, how about this: names of murderers please. Names, addresses, clues.

I don't want to get in the way of entertainers earning a crust, but it's scummy to pretend to communicate with the dead to take advantage of grieving relatives.

At best, psychics (mediums, palm readers, tarot card readers etc) employ a technique of vaguespeak called cold reading. Buy a book online called Tradecraft or Derren Brown's Tricks of the Mind.

If we all learn these showbiz techniques, we can put the scum out of business."

-- Raybon Kan, exhibiting the kind of "positive attitude" TMR's looking for, in New Zealand's Sunday Star-Times


  1. hey bud.. i love your website.. loyal reader.. but i gotta disagree on this one. some people have a gift... my wife has it. she has dreams that come true and i'm not a big believer in that stuff until i met her. honestly, she had a dream the night before i got a promotion and she told me before i went to work... "hubby, you got the promotion but something bad is going to happen today". i just smiled at her and left for work. she was right, i got the promotion but within two hours after the good news.. my boss told me he got a call from the police and that i was being investigated about some charges my ex-wife was filing against me.

    that being said.. i firmly believe that there are some wackos out there that pretend and what not.. but my wife doesn't.

  2. Hey,

    First let me say "thank you"; it's always nice to know there are people out there that like what I'm doing and what the site's about. I get a lot of hate mail (most of which I don't post) so to hear something else is always gratifying.

    Next, as true as what you say about your wife may seem, it's still anecdotal evidence and means nothing. I'd say a big part of the problem with NewAge beliefs is people not knowing how to judge such things.

    You mentioned your ex-wife's charges as the "something bad" that happened that day. What if you had gotten into a car accident? Wouldn't you have called that the "something bad" that happened? Stubbed your toe? Anything, major or minor, that happened?

    What ever happened to coincidences? Did they just disappear? Did serendipity just vanish? Can you see that it's your (and your wife's) willingness to believe she has a power (or "gift") that creates the illusion such things exist?

    Have you ever tested her abilities? You know, not just had her throw things out at random (which you may or may not pay attention to, depending on if she gets a "hit" to make you say, "Wow, she was right.") but asked her to do something where you can see, without a doubt, if she's actually right or not? If she can do it, there are a bunch of organisations that'll pay you millions - millions - merely for proving it can be done. (She might even be eligible for a Nobel Prize.) People have been looking at this for almost two hundred years and (so far) there's been nada, ziltch, nothing. So be honest with yourself: can she really do it? Or is it just a compulsion to believe she can?

    The danger here is in the believing. Delusional thinking. My ex believed she was psychic, could walk through walls, cure cancer and AIDS - you name it. She spent gobs of money on nonsense - basically giving money to criminals - and allowing countless groups, and individuals, take advantage of her. Then, finally, in order to get complete control over her, they turned her against me - the person who loved her, warts and all. That's how powerful such belief is. And it leads to narcissism. I mean, if your wife has this "power" then she's got a paranormal ability you don't, doesn't she? That's not the same thing as saying you can play the piano and she can't. She's controlling nature itself. Telling you your future - hardly a relationship of equals. And as long as you feed this delusion you, both, are ignoring the big question:

    Why does she need to believe this?

    I know, now, that in my case it's because I'm talented. My ex couldn't compete with me being a recognized composer, recording artist, painter, poet, writer, etc. She felt she had to have something too - despite the fact I loved her just as she was. Her compulsion destroyed a 20 year marriage that'll probably haunt me for the rest of my life (I hope not but, so far, it's taking it's dear sweet time to dissipate.). So much for the "good" these psychic types keep declaring their "powers" are supposed to be about. (Look at John Edwards's Buddhist/psychic/"enlightened" mistress: you wanna ask Elizabeth Edwards, right now, what she thinks of these claims?)

    Look, you can do whatever you want to do, but I hope I've given you some food for thought. And I hope you'll keep looking at the site - not just the new posts but the older ones, too, with clicks on the links (very important) - so you can decide for yourself if this stuff is real or (as i see it) the very thing we need to abandon in our modern age: I lost my wife, and my mother-in-law was killed horribly, because of these beliefs:

    I'd hate for such unnecessary, and hideously ugly, madness to be visited upon anybody else.

    You take care now,


  3. Having read a ton of metaphysics, and suspending any judgement on the truth or veracity of any claims; not having experienced anything 'concrete' myself, I feel it necessary to point out a couple of problems with the injunction for police to have anything to do with psychics:

    1) While giving legitimacy to psychics who appear to have success in providing clues to crimes does have the broader effect of then opening a gateway for quacks and crackpots to ply their trade, this can't be the only consideration - the primary role of the police is to solve the crime, and if a psychic can help then there's a reasonable argument that they should be allowed to.
    They may be able to solve the case by other methods but then they only call on psychics and mediums as a last resort, so this is unlikely.

    2) Solving a crime, otherwise almost impossible, by dowsing or sensing using, say, a scrap of clothing from the victim, is a selfless act. People with this alleged gift, who work with law enforcement, often do so out of the goodness of their heart, or for a small stipend. The act bears little to no relationship to those dial-in "psychics" who tell you your lucky lottery numbers.

    3. The reason that remote sensing, scrying the future etc does not allow one to sit there and give you the name and last known address of the murder is because it isn't as clear as your normal senses. You get veiled images of things and they are often enough. There is also a prohibition on using what you see for personal gain (Again, this is not my view on the subject, this is the received literature on the subject). The restrictions on what can be seen, and how this can be used, ensures that the psychically gifted don't possess a genetic superiority over others. Often it appears to be more of a curse as they have no conscious volition over what they dream or foretell. Or how much.

    4. It may be all garbage but, if so, how does this explain the accuracy rating of Jean Dixon or Nostradamus? Or the guy who has predicted every single Pope. Any serious debunking would also have to get past the profilers who can locate a body in one remote patch of swamp. The proof on this one isn't all one way.

  4. Berko,

    You've been denying being a NewAger as long as we've spoken, and now you come with this? You, my friend, are in serious denial:

    You're a NewAger.

    Let's get a few things clear:

    There has never been a person with psychic abilities on the face of the planet in it's history.

    Just because psychics claim to have solved crimes doesn't mean they're not lying. They all lie. It's their stock in trade. I don't care how they come off all compassionate and caring, that "selfless act" is merely a cry for attention they don't deserve, and which wastes valuable time and resources that should be put into solving crimes. When police claim a psychic solved a crime then I'll have to, at least, concede it occured but, so far, that hasn't been a problem: they are always wrong.

    That nonsense about not working for personal gain is a dodge to escape be held accountable for the lies they tell. You didn't charge any money? Well, I guess wasting everyone's time is a no harm no foul situation, right? Bastards.

    Jean Dixon is a fraud of epic proportions and Nostradamus's "predictions" are so vague they can be applied to almost anything that happens. To believe in such things makes one a fool.

    As I wrote to Anonymous, above, there have been many sincere people who have searched for proof of these abilities for almost 200 years and, in all that time, they've come up with nothing. How anyone can ignore such overwhelming historical and scientific evidence in 2008 is mind boggling.

    And, finally, I must say that, for the first time, I'm deeply ashamed for you. You've lied to me. I've said all along these were beliefs and you denied it, but they explain every delusional position you've taken on other issues since we've been engaging each other - including your unwillingness to see those you don't agree with (Bush, Cheney, etc.) as human beings who have taken positions worthy of your consideration. The NewAge perspective is one straight out of the medieval period, totally malthusian in nature, and extremely self-involved, with a heightened sense of morality that extends to one person - yourself.

    As I said, I'm ashamed for you. Like all NewAgers, you're a liar. Why you would want to try to pull my chain, for all this time, is beyond my comprehension. You've revealed that you've been wasting my time and, thus, have finally lost my respect.

    I can't begin to tell you how disappointed I am to discover this. I thought I had a friend. But, like all the rest, you obviously have no clue what it takes to make such a relationship real.

    But then, engaging reality has never been any NewAger's strong suit.


  5. I knew that would be your reaction. I also thought I was careful enough to state (twice) that these were not my beliefs, but the established material on the subject. I'm not a quantum physicist either, but if I see a point of error and I've just been reading a book on the subject then I'll do no more (or less) than point out where the arrant text has departed from the orthodoxy on the subject.

    If I was a New Ager, and pretending not to be, do you think I would be clumsy enough to drop my screed right in the 'lion's den'?

    I don't know New Agers that well but I can tell you this; they would NEVER preface their belief system with 'it could all be crap but'. Their requirement is to have you believe or suspend your beliefs, not to doubt. After all if you're being told to think it's all bullshit (or even that it might be), how many mystical trinkets are they going to sell you?!

    And, finally, New Agers don't have the capacity to rationally debate like I can. That's the whole point of your blog, isn't it?

  6. Okay, reporting back.. I've just pored through The Book of Predictions, published in 1981 and make the following observations:

    * On balance you are right. The psychics who were 'most trusted' were wrong about most things, and wildly so.
    * Their accuracy varied according to two main things: distance from the timeframe of the prediction, and specificity.
    For example, a couple predicted the fall and splintering of the Soviet Union but, when it came to predictions about Yassir Arafat or Bob Dylan, they were all totally wrong.
    Another 'psychic' stated that people would be carrying telephones around in their pocket and they would have computer listings of contacts. That was pretty good but nearly everything else she got wrong.

    So, in other words, the closer they were to the events, the more likely they were to be right. This is what is known in the field as an educated guess, not true psychic ability.

    Of the psychics listed at the time as having proven ability, Jeane Dixon rests the bulk of her reputation on the Kennedy assassination. That was uncanny: the appearance of the candidate four years into the then future, the repeated warnings that he would be killed, the initials of the killer's name. Her many chroniclers give her a high rating for predicting time and manner of death of other famous people. For the rest, the book wryly states "Were Dixon a pro baseballer, though, her batting average might not earn her a fat contract"

    The papal predictor? Yes, he's hard to explain away. St Malachy (1094-1148) I'll let you look him up since you've insulted me. According to him, we're on the second last pontiff but what Joseph Ratzinger has to do with olives is another matter.

    So there you go. Nothing to do with being a NewAger. It's called research. You might want to try it sometime.