Posts Tagged psychic

Skeptics with a K: Special #004

Marsh from ‘Skeptics with a K’ calls into BBC Radio Oxford to talk about psychics and psychic healers – including an encounter with “Energy Worker” Adrian Pengelly.

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Psychic Joe Power And The Two Man Mob – Revisited

Joe Power - psychic or not? You decide.

Joe Power - psychic or not? You decide

In the wake of Derren Brown’s stinging exposé on ‘Psychic’ Joe Power, I thought it worth sharing with the world a conversation I had with Joe back in June 2009, when the MSS was still young, and I was but a naive, innocent skeptic with a dream, and an application form for Randi’s $1million Challenge…

Cool drizzle fell onto the grey Saturday streets of Liverpool, a light breeze tumble-weeded a sweet wrapper down the road in a clichéd fashion, and I was becoming increasingly aware that this would be the strangest conversation of my life.  And I didn’t need psychic powers for that.  For I was in the company of ‘Psychic’ Joe Power, fresh from his latest in-store book-signing (signed copies of which, I add, are still on the shelves of Waterstones – supply quite exceeded demand it seems), and things were getting weird.

“The thing about you sceptics,” he said, standing on the step of a plus-size lingerie shop to raise himself to my eye-level, “is that you sit there, festering in front of your computers at 3am, thinking up ways to get at people.  What if I were to sit in front of your house and tell people you’re a paedophile?”

“Well,” I say, “that’s for you to decide to do if you want to but it’s not really the same thing – I’m raising questions over what you do and the service you claim to provide; insinuating I was a paedophile would be just a personal attack, and wildly baseless.  It’s not really the same thing.  At all.”

“Oh I think they’re very similar,” he answers, “because you’re there festering, at 3am, plotting to get at me, in the same way that paedophiles fester and plot to interfere with children – you both have to be sick in the head to do what you do.”

With Herculean effort to suspend my natural what-the-fuck? reaction, and with a curt politeness that in retrospect now seems other-worldly, I manage a swift retort:  ”Sorry, can I just clarify – are you comparing sceptics to paedophiles?  Could you explain that?  I mean, are you saying that paedophiles also ask questions of you, or what exactly?”

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Joe:  ”I think most sceptics probably are paedophiles. I mean you’re sat around at 3am, plotting, aren’t you?  Do you deny that?”

An-incredulous-Marsh: “Do I deny what?  That I ask questions?  That I’m sometimes awake at 3am?  Or that I am a paedophile?  Could you please be clear what you’re asking me, Joe?”

It’s not often that you’re 5 minutes into a conversation with someone you’ve never met before and they’ve already played the paedophile card.  I had a feeling it was going to be one of those days.

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Skeptics in the Pub: Matt Smith

Million Dollar Psychic

by Dr Matthew Smith
Matt Smith
When: Thu, Apr 15, 2010 8.00 – 11.00 PM
Where: The Vines (aka the Big House), 81 Lime Street, Liverpool

Summary

Can a scientist become a psychic and win a million dollars?

Do we all have hidden psychic powers? Can we learn to be psychic? Psychologist Dr Matthew Smith is determined to find the answers to these questions and see if he can discover and develop his own abilities and claim the $1 million offered by magician James Randi for anyone who can demonstrate psychic ability.
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I Wonder: Connecting With The Dead

I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone when I say that psychics bug me. It’s the cold reading, the lying or fuzzy-thinking, the misguided and arrogant belief that they are helping people cope with death by making up stories about their dead loved ones – it’s all creepy and wildly disrespectful, I think.

I can, however, entirely see the appeal psychics have. We’ve all lost someone we love – it’s part of life, part of the human experience, and it utterly and completely sucks. The idea that there’s something beyond the world we see, that somehow a form of our consciousness survives it and is able to come back through the void to reassure the ones we love is immensely attractive. It’s also, thus far, demonstrably untrue.

When I was growing up, I’d spend every summer at my grandparents’ static caravan in a little wooded caravan site, every year between the ages of 1 and 14 (or so). When I was maybe round about 4 or so I made friends with a kid there, and every year we’d spend the whole summer at each others’ side – he was the first person I’d go call for when I woke up in the morning, and other than mealtimes I’d be with him until I went to sleep, for 6 weeks every year, for maybe 14 years. We were as close as brothers. His name, too, was Michael, and though I’d only see him a few weeks of the year, for those weeks we were like family.

Still, kids grow up, and the appeal of a tin-pot caravan in the middle of small wood in County Durham soon wears off for a teenager, and I stopped heading to the caravan site every year, and in doing so I lost touch with Michael.

When I was 20, I learned Michael had taken an overdose, and had died. Understandably, I was knocked sidewards when I found out. To this day it still hurts that my best friend isn’t around any more, and that I’ll never see him again. Read the rest of this entry »

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2010 – A Psychic Insight (part II)

Following on from yesterday’s look at the psychic predictions of thirteen ‘well-known’ psychics (including Joshua the Psychic – a psychic so well-known he has to use ‘psychic’ in his name), here’s more of the same, taken from boomers-write.com

Taking a look at the Healthcare category, we get our first offering from the delightful Sylvia Browne:

“Browne predicts a “great rise in skin cancer in children in 2010.” She notes that people are aware of the dangers of UV rays and products to protect themselves. She hopes that more attention will be made to this serious issue so her prediction does not come true”

So she’s saying ‘kids will get ill and die, but if it doesn’t happen it’s because we all managed to stop it, not because I’m wrong or because I’m a liar who’s making it all up.’ Nicely played, Browne. Less nicely played is her bizarre prediction for the common cold:

“Browne predicts an end to the common cold and the solution may be heat. Just as a fever is the body’s natural response to fight a cold, she says doctors will put patients in a heated cubicle that also contains a special vapor. Patients will stay in it for five minutes to kill all rhinitis germs. These cubicles will also be used to treat patients with allergies, asthma and other breathing disorders”

This is just patently bonkers – cubicles of heat to cure the common cold? I’m just going to leave that one there, and wait for history to prove her an idiot. Read the rest of this entry »

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2010 – A Psychic Insight (part I)

As any talking calendar will tell you, it’s 2010. The New Year always bring with it the same traditional things – people complaining about how weird it looks to write the date now, and how they keep writing the old date; TV and Radio shows doing lazy ‘lets look back at the year that just passed’ affairs (exactly like I did last week on Righteous Indignation…); and psychic predictions. Guess which of those I’m most interested in?

Correct. I don’t know what it is about the transition from December 31st to January 1st that makes us all look, wide-eyed and wonder-filled, for insights into the upcoming 12 months – after all, when you’re predicting events in the next year, you’d be as well to start on any particular date you fancied. Especially when you’re just making stuff up. Perhaps it’s a little harsh to suggest readers of stars, tarot cards, auras, weird-spirit-guidey-ghosts and tea leaves are just making up their seery-wisdom… so let’s take a look at some of the offerings, and see what 2010 has in store… Read the rest of this entry »

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