Monday, 7 March 2011
Bring out your Dead.
What would you think if I said that I was a Necromancer with a magical power that allowed me to talk to the dead.
Then what would you say if I said I would use that power to get money out of the recently bereaved and the vulnerable?
I bet you wouldn't be too impressed. Yet People like John Edwards are not only tolerated, they get their own TV shows.
For those of you who don't know him, Edwards is one of those people who claim to be able to pass messages from dead people to living people. He tours the States like a rock star and is interviewed on US chats shows where the hosts talk about his 'powers' and 'gift' with totally straight faces and congratulate him on bringing comfort to the bereaved.
If you ever get a chance to watch Edwards or any of his type, it is always interesting to see that dead people never give a clear message.
Instead the 'psychic' will ask if the name Dorothy or the letter R mean anything to anybody and when someone bites they will ask a series of questions, usually with their head cocked on one side as though listening to an invisible presence.
Why don't dead people just give a straightforward message? The answer to that is 'cold reading'.
This is the technique used by people who call themselves psychics where they ask general questions to a person and gradually narrow the questions down until they have sneakily gained enough information from the audience member.
Then twist it as though this person hasn't given him them the information at all but instead he has been told this by the dead.
Let's for a moment say that he is in fact talking to the dead. Does this mean that in the afterlife we can only talk to the living through some low-rent showbiz type with funny hair?
But Tony, you may say, what about the comfort he gives to all the lost, lonely and bereaved people?
Well I have felt the horrible, hollow ache of grief when a loved one dies and the thought of someone using that pain to line their pockets does not sit well with me.
If psychics are really concerned with bringing comfort to the bereaved then why ask for money? Why only do it on TV shows and sold out theatres?
If they truly believe int this gift why don't they approach the world of science and say "I have the power to speak with the dead, why don't we join forces and together we can prove there is an afterlife"?
Instead they stay well away from any procedures that may cast doubt on the claims they make and forge a lucrative career feeding on other peoples misery.
Normally when a person says they are hearing dead people talking in their head we fear for their state of mind. But when someone says this with the intention of making money we accept it.
It is wrong. Rant over.