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Friday, 12 July 2013

Talking To The Dead And Other Interesting Claims

The Daily Mail newspaper in the UK has reportedly had to pay what are described as 'substantial damages plus legal costs' for suggesting that a 'psychic', was 'using an ear piece' to receive instructions from her helpers, and thus conning the paying public. The fact no one can talk to the dead or spirits, and therefore any 'medium / psychic act' claiming to do so is ipso facto a serious fraud and con, at any level of looking at it, seems not to have saved the Daily Mail, because they were unable to prove their allegation that she was using an earpiece, rather than just cold reading the gullible.

Its almost beyond belief in the 21st century, in a modern Western country, that anyone is still allowed to take money off people who are obviously susceptible, by advertising this type of claim, but the fact that a national newspaper is forced to actually pay them damages, for essentially saying that its a fraud (even if they described the wrong fraud method being used) is disgraceful.

Any decent stage magician worth his or her salt can perform a cold reading medium act - in fact many of them are so good at it that they could easily con millions of pounds out of the idiotic, and without a psychic bone in their bodies - I cite for example "The Great Randi" ... Who regularly expose the hucksters of the psychic world.  Another is Derren Brown the UK illusionist, mentalist, trickster, and hypnotist - who has happily exposed how easy it is to perform these 'psychic' acts and get away with it, but with no claim to be actually talking to the dead.

Houdini Says No To Spirits
 
In fact the great Harry Houdini in his role as President of the Society of American Magicians, presented himself as the scourge of fake magicians and spiritualists, and often exposed them.

Yet a century later and 'There's still a sucker born every minute' to misquote PT Barnum, who is (falsely) credited as having said it .... and these 'psychic' parasites continue to make a living off of the marks ..... We in the West are not so far away from the witch killers of Black Africa or Saudi Arabia.        

4 comments:

  1. Hello ! Are you from Bangladesh ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What on earth there is on this, or any of this blogs posts, that would make you even think I was either a Muslim, or from Bangladesh, I really can't imagine my friend. Just in case you don't understand this reply. No I am not from Bangladesh!

      Delete
  2. Well said.

    How do you tell if your house is haunted or not?
    Answer : It's not, ghosts don't exist.

    Perhaps the Daily Mail deserved what they got if they made unsubstantiated accusations? They should have kept the story simple and not embellished it with unproven allegations. They should know better.

    It does beg the question that if the 'psychic' actually believes in what they're doing, can it really be fraud? Has a church ever been accused of fraud on the grounds that God doesn't exist?


    This also reminds me of the legal system (probably the american one, as I'm a big 'Law & Order' fan) where criminals are tried for a particular crime and their 'previous' is not admissible, so he may be a serial rapist but the jury can't know this, the evidence has to be present for the rape for which he has most recently been accused.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The problem is simply that religions don't have to prove that their ideas are true, they claim that its a matter of faith. Non believers have to prove the religion is false, but you have trouble proving a negative .... ipso facto 'God (Or 'Intelligent designer') exists because you can't prove that they don't.

      NB: Both the UK and US generally don't reveal a past criminal record in courts until after the verdict. Although I seem to think that in some offences in the UK they now can be told. As I recall it, previous convictions can only be mentioned by prosecutors in specific circumstances set out in an Act dating from 1898.

      So for example, what's known as similar fact evidence, was heard in the case against Rosemary West but in the case of the jury in the trial of Barry George, convicted of murdering television presenter Jill Dando (later released but not compensated), was not told of his earlier conviction for attempted rape because it was deemed too dissimilar.

      I can't comment on the US legal position for specific offences that previous convictions can be revealed for.

      Delete

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