There is so much to blog this week but I thought I would report something about money-grabbing, attention-seeking, bloody psychics. Not the nice deluded psychics who contact me and really believe they have powers. No, I’m talking about the ones who are milking the gullibility of people.
In an article in Saturday’s Guardian, we learned that a Welsh police force had spent approximately £20,000 following up leads from psychic mediums regarding a suicide. They claimed to have been contacted by the ghost of the man and that he had been killed by gangsters who had forced him to drink petrol and bleach. A second autopsy was ordered and no evidence of such substances were found.
A statement from Dyfed-Powys police said: “The revelations of the mystics were brought to our attention via the family and these were followed to reassure the family that the full circumstances of the death were as they appeared. Police have a responsibility to the deceased, their family and the public to investigate all deaths thoroughly.” You can read the story for yourself but clearly this sets a terrible precedence. I imagine the distraught family were fleeced for cash and told a cock-n-bull story about a murder.
But it’s Sky1’s broadcast of über psychic conman Derek Acorah’s attempt to contact Michael Jackson in a live seance watched by more than 600,000 viewers on Friday, 6 November that sticks in the throat. I think Derren Brown writing on his blog put it most appositely, “Can you honestly imagine anything – anything – more anus-invertingly unpalatable than this? I hate myself for drawing attention to it. So proud to be in telly.” The Guardian review does a pretty impressive hatchet-job on this most irritating of scousers but here’s an excerpt, “Acorah’s manipulation of the vulnerable was in such bad taste that it couldn’t be seen as entertainment on any discernible level. It was depressing. That’s all it was.”
The sooner psychics are made to provide scientific evidence to support their claims (which they can’t), the sooner we can persecute I mean, prosecute them for taking money off the gullible public. And that includes exploitative television. Burn the witch!