Monday, May 21, 2007

Cop-out though it may be...

` ...You must admit that this little article I found is either funny or highly offensive, depending on what you agree with. It's called 'Psychics' Fail to Forsee Their Own Fortunes by Joe Nickell.
` Apparently, Philadelphia's 'psychics' have been shut down for fraud - not that they saw it coming. To my amusement, in 1995 they also didn't realize they were being duped by a Newscenter 10 undercover unit, led by Herb Denenberg:
Denenberg’s team enlisted a fifteen-year-old schoolgirl named Kate. Although she was safely at home (for example playing softball in her front yard), the psychics were told that she had been missing since January.

Some psychics “saw” her experiencing physical harm; one collected a fee of $50 for reporting her “confined against her will”; and another charged $180 to divine that the girl had run away and was “probably pregnant.” While one psychic envisioned her just two miles from home, another saw her far away in Florida.

Not one among the several seers ever divined the truth, that the teenager was not missing and that Channel 10 was conducting a sting operation.
` That is not surprising, since whenever a lot of different 'psychics' call a police station with 'information' about a tricky case, their input is no better than a bunch of people making up their own answers, which turn out to be quite different from one another. (Whether they themselves feel that way or not, this is indeed the effect.) In fact, despite what they may say, police typically find their 'tips' to be too vague (and later on, inaccurate) to be helpful.
` In addition, Nickell noted that when he did not reveal his identity to famous 'psychic' Phil Jordan, he completely believed that Nickell was someone besides who he was! (Happens all the time, actually.) And, if you, dear subject, don't feel like reading this short article, at least have a look at the last paragraph (though if you do, then don't let this spoil it!):
Many times in my several decades of paranormal investigation, I have visited palmists, card readers, astrologers, mediums, and clairvoyants. Not one ever mentioned the profound fact that I had a daughter and two grandsons I was unaware of (until, wonderfully, she discovered me in 2003) (Nickell 2004; 2005).

At least one of the Philadelphia storefront psychics whose business had been closed tacitly conceded at the time that he and his fellow seers were pretenders, “What we do is entertainment,” he sniffed. We knew that.
` Yes, and their customers didn't. That's why the police sometimes have to get involved in these things.


Galtron said...

If it's illegal to have froot loop shops in business, then why aren't they all shut down by now? Fraud is fraud, no matter what you call it.

Anonymous said...

It's a sad day when you can't even do your own job without getting arrested because someone doesn't believe in your ability to do it. OF COURSE the guy said they did entertainment. How else could psychics escape persecution?
I feel bitterness towards people who do not see for themselves that these people can do good work. Just because some of them are frauds doesn't mean they all are.
I can hardly believe Nickell did as much investigative work as he says he did and not be impressed by SOMEONE. That's the problem with skeptics, they believe what they want to believe and then turn it around so it looks like the other people are doing it.

S E E Quine said...

` If that is what you think, nameless one, why don't you look around my blog for the reasons why I would post such a thing?
` There are several posts on the subject, including this one, which is about the book that first exposed me to skepticism.
` As I did my best to make clear; skepticism isn't a belief system, it's a scrutinizing system!
` Perhaps if you understood what skepticism was, you would not feel so bitter or bewildered by the actions of skeptics.

` You might also want to stick around for the next post, which is particularly relevant to your comment.

Gareth said...

Yeah I don't believe in this crap either however there is one area of that field that I do believe in. It's the one where there are sketches involved. Ya know, when a child goes missing a 'seer' comes in and draws a sketch of where the child is located with buildings all around. It's called Remote Viewing. I think those people are REAL seers, not the people with crystal balls and cards!

p.s. I've come to inspect your doughnut and to flip you over my knee ;)

S E E Quine said...

` Oooh! How's my doughnut, inspector?

` Okay, I really have to stop that before I ruin my underwear.

` *Ahem* Really, I must change the subject by asking why you believe in remote viewing. So... why do you believe in remote viewing (as opposed to other things)?

` And, just so you know (cop-out though it may be), here's a rather humorous blog article in lieu of my take on the subject.

Gareth said...

Oh ok, remote viewing ...... firstly I know that there are fake remote viewers out there too but I do think that some of them are good at what they do. I was watching a tv program probably about 5 or years ago now that showed a remote viewer drawing a sketch of where he believed a little boy was being held captive. It was in the middle of a disused power station. He drew 2 or 3 power station chimneys in the exact location that the little boy was in with various other building around him. After the authorities found the little boy the sketch was held up in front of the area that he was located in and it was an exact match in every detail. The man was working for the CIA I believe and had found many missing people in this way. I believe that evidence like this is very hard to disprove especially when it is all shown in the presence of cameras. There are other people than can do this just as well as he can but they are in the minority. Most remote viewers are just fakes, just like tarot readers, tea leaf readers and such.
I'm going to see if I can find something on the net about that particular Viewer and get back to you.

S E E Quine said...

` You do that, thanks.