And then came the psychic

By Michael Edmonds 06/03/2011

Hot on the heels of the Ken Ring fiasco, Australian psychic Deb Webber has claimed that she predicted the Christchurch earthquake in an interview with the Herald on Sunday.  This claim has already been condemned as “scaremongering” by Christchurch mayor Bob Parker and other community leaders, as well as “unhelpful” by fellow psychic, Ken Cruickshank.

Given that this claim has the capacity to induce the same anger and name calling as occurred last week during the Ken Ring debate, there may be those who prefer to put this to one side and ignore it. However, I believe a better approach might be to rationally analyse the alleged prediction and propose an alternative explanation. After all, those who challenge science often ask why scientists will not accept their alternative theories. So, is it not fair that those who believe in Ms Webber’s abilities do not also consider an alternative explanation?

The decribed prediction occurred during a reading with Melbourne woman, Carolyn Ronsberg, on February 19th when Ms Webber is reported to have stated:

“I’m so worried about New Zealand. There’ll be a massive earthquake coming soon and it’ll split the country in two.”

The two women then appear to have calmly gone on with their their lives. As Ms Ronsberg has stated “she didn’t know anyone in New Zealand and found the comments irrelevant.” Ms Webber also appears to have stated that she had known about the earthquake for the year but was surprised at her accuracy.

Let me suggest an alternative hypothesis.

Ms Webber, I would suggest, makes many predictions in her career as a psychic. Some of these may include predictions of disasters around the world. Suggesting that New Zealand may have a massive earthquake, is not a bad option, particularly as no timeline was listed and given that New Zealand is prone to quakes of varying intensity. In fact, given that geologists suggested that after the September 4 quake last year there was a good possibility of a second quake of 1 magnitude less, Ms Webber’s alleged prediction is hardly surprising. What seems more surprising is her failure to warn anyone prior to the earthquake.

Although the suggestion that the quake would “split the country in two” suggests Wellington might be where the quake would occur (an geological hotspot for quakes) this phrase could be adapted to mean the Christchurch quake. Although if one considers the societal impact it could be argued that the February 22 quake has brought New Zealanders closer together.

It would be interesting to see Ms Ronsberg’s notes and the notes of other clients of Ms Webber to see how many predictions she makes about natural disasters and how many “hits” she has had with her predictions and how many “misses”  she has. It would also be interesting to look at the level of detail provided with her predictions.

Ms Webber claims that she has known about the earthquake for a year but did not post it on her website for fear of provoking hysteria. Given this level of consideration it seems strange to me that she chooses to reveal her prediction now, when many residents of Christchurch are still hurting, and then says she isn’t completely sure if “further devastation” isn’t on it’s way.

Ms Webber has also stated for the future that “I said to my friends in Christchurch, ‘if I really get anything and I’m really sure I’ll let you know – but when I say get out you’ve got to get out, okay’?”

One has to ask why they didn’t receive a warning about the February 22 quake?

So there you have my alternative explanation, without insults or rancor. Comments?

0 Responses to “And then came the psychic”

  • I’m so worried about New Zealand. There’ll be a massive earthquake coming soon and it’ll split the country in two.

    If I got 10 cents for everyone who said this…

  • Anyone can make claim to have made a prediction after the event. I must say, you’re a lot more forgiving than I; if I had written this, there would be at least one expletive per paragraph.

    • @Richard

      Just trying to keep things calm and rational. 🙂

  • Ms Webber claims that she has known about the earthquake for a year… – like all such ‘predictions’, it’s easy for the ‘predictor’ to say this after the event.
    Like Richard, I do admire both your fortitude & control (not even a tiny bit of tooth-grinding?)

  • @Alison
    “(not even a tiny bit of tooth-grinding?)”
    It’s not worth it. I don’t want to be a gummy retiree when I get older. 🙂

  • Ah, you have brought up an interesting asymmetry.
    We are closed minded for disagreeing with the fringe, why aren’t the fringe close minded for disagreeing with us?

    I suspect that could be phrased better but hopefully you get my meaning.

  • Darcy, perhaps this is an asymmetry that the media need to be reminded of more often.

  • split the country in 2.. heheheh it already is in 2!! we are well aware that nz is still waiting for the alpine fault to go, and wqhen it does, it could poss split the south island in 2, but as for predictions.. i dunno if i believe, but doe anyone have proof god is real, or ghosts? or after life? or the likes? no one knows, so lets sit back and wait..

  • Even if I was one to believe in psychics, I would not be terribly concerned by any of Deb Webber’s predictions. She’s never managed to solve any of the crimes on “Sensing Murder”, for all that she could “see”!

  • Wooo.. go Deb Webber.. She is still a genuine.. and good at it.
    Excuse me DH.. psychics whom are employed on the Sensing Murder show are to give light to their findings of either the victim, the perp or the crime itself.. as the police clearly states.. they do not solve crime with using psychics.. but surely of course it may help.. which is the point. People whom are not well so psychic minded may not view well predictions as something as simple and as a matter of fact like buying their coffee.. but they don’t understand how it can come about.. so I don’t think they should criticise at all.. at all. Love and Light.

  • ^ mwhahahahahahahahaha…

    delusion and bad grammar all in one post.

    I love a good laugh.