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Posts Tagged deb webber

TVNZ’s psychic step too far Mike Kilpatrick Oct 09

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I’ll wait with baited breath for the accusation of being ‘closed-minded’ and the pearl of wisdom that ‘science can’t explain everything’ because those are the two things I read and hear most when I write or speak about psychics.

But sometimes it’s worth hearing that rhetoric because the story is much more important, and that’s the case today.

I imagine many of you are familiar with the disappearance of west Auckland todder Aisling Symes and the police search to find the two year old.

Stories like this really tug on my heart strings, particularly with two young-ish kids of my own.

I can only imagine the pain the parents are going through at the present time, particularly their desperation to hear anything which could help re-unite them with their baby.

But even knowing that the decision of TVNZ to put self-proclaimed ‘metaphysical researcher’ (ie psychic, medium) Deb Webber in contact with her parents is beyond the pale, in my opinion.

Media columnist John Drinnan wrote about the story eloquently in the NZ Herald this morning, so I recommend jumping over there and reading his words.

But the only thing I don’t agree with Drinnan on is his characterisation of TVNZ’s role as unsettling. I’d go way beyond that. It’s utterly disgraceful.

Psychics, in my opinion, fall into two categories – those who know they aren’t psychic and are deliberately using hot and cold reading techniques and those who seriously believe they have the ability to talk with dead people but are just good cold readers and intuitive.

I have no reason to doubt Webber doesn’t seriously believe she has the gift of talking to the spirits.

But that doesn’t mean she is and it certainly doesn’t mean TVNZ should be facilitating any kind of meeting with parents who will be struggling to deal with the situation they find themselves in.

What makes it worse is TVNZ have a relationship with Webber because of her part in Sensing Murder, a show which to my knowledge – and of course I’ll amend this should someone provide evidence to the contrary – has never resulted in the solving of an unsolved case.

The state broadcaster then used the knowledge they had filmed Webber and she had ‘some information’ on the case to ask “how seriously are police likely to take that information” at a media conference.

Unfortunately Drinnan’s piece doesn’t say what the police response to that inappropriate question was.

Is it too much to hope the police aren’t going to waste precious resources on what is likely to be nothing more than an educated guess based on the history of these types of disappearances?

The last thing this devastated family need to hear is the words of a person who has been caught talking with the spirits of dead people who didn’t exist.

Unfortunately I can’t bring you Eating Media Lunch’s deliciously satirical take on Webber and her ability to speak with non-existant spirits because the Sensing Bullshit segment has been removed from YouTube due to “use violation”.

In my opinion the search for young Aisling should be left to the professionals and not because the spirits are telling me so.

Common decency is.

Here are some links if you want to read some more about psychics and the Sensing Murder television show:

Skepdic on psychics
CSI’s story on ‘psychic’ John Edward
Skeptico’s psychic debunking
Sensing Bullshit
Sensing Murder

TVNZ’s psychic step too far Mike Kilpatrick Oct 09

2 Comments

I’ll wait with baited breath for the accusation of being ‘closed-minded’ and the pearl of wisdom that ‘science can’t explain everything’ because those are the two things I read and hear most when I write or speak about psychics.

But sometimes it’s worth hearing that rhetoric because the story is much more important, and that’s the case today.

I imagine many of you are familiar with the disappearance of west Auckland todder Aisling Symes and the police search to find the two year old.

Stories like this really tug on my heart strings, particularly with two young-ish kids of my own.

I can only imagine the pain the parents are going through at the present time, particularly their desperation to hear anything which could help re-unite them with their baby.

But even knowing that the decision of TVNZ to put self-proclaimed ‘metaphysical researcher’ (ie psychic, medium) Deb Webber in contact with her parents is beyond the pale, in my opinion.

Media columnist John Drinnan wrote about the story eloquently in the NZ Herald this morning, so I recommend jumping over there and reading his words.

But the only thing I don’t agree with Drinnan on is his characterisation of TVNZ’s role as unsettling. I’d go way beyond that. It’s utterly disgraceful.

Psychics, in my opinion, fall into two categories – those who know they aren’t psychic and are deliberately using hot and cold reading techniques and those who seriously believe they have the ability to talk with dead people but are just good cold readers and intuitive.

I have no reason to doubt Webber doesn’t seriously believe she has the gift of talking to the spirits.

But that doesn’t mean she is and it certainly doesn’t mean TVNZ should be facilitating any kind of meeting with parents who will be struggling to deal with the situation they find themselves in.

What makes it worse is TVNZ have a relationship with Webber because of her part in Sensing Murder, a show which to my knowledge – and of course I’ll amend this should someone provide evidence to the contrary – has never resulted in the solving of an unsolved case.

The state broadcaster then used the knowledge they had filmed Webber and she had ‘some information’ on the case to ask “how seriously are police likely to take that information” at a media conference.

Unfortunately Drinnan’s piece doesn’t say what the police response to that inappropriate question was.

Is it too much to hope the police aren’t going to waste precious resources on what is likely to be nothing more than an educated guess based on the history of these types of disappearances?

The last thing this devastated family need to hear is the words of a person who has been caught talking with the spirits of dead people who didn’t exist.

Unfortunately I can’t bring you Eating Media Lunch’s deliciously satirical take on Webber and her ability to speak with non-existant spirits because the Sensing Bullshit segment has been removed from YouTube due to “use violation”.

In my opinion the search for young Aisling should be left to the professionals and not because the spirits are telling me so.

Common decency is.

Here are some links if you want to read some more about psychics and the Sensing Murder television show:

Skepdic on psychics
CSI’s story on ‘psychic’ John Edward
Skeptico’s psychic debunking
Sensing Bullshit
Sensing Murder

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