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Backdown of the week (27/10/2001)
In a fit of insanity, a television network was preparing a show featuring "psychic" John Edward who was going to contact the spirits of the people who died in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11. Luckily, public opinion and ridicule in the media caused the network to rethink this absurd and offensive idea and it has now been abandoned. I would have thought that it would be reasonable to ask Edward why, if he is so psychic, he didn't foresee the public outrage at his proposal to exploit the families and friends of the people who died. But then, if he was so psychic he should have foreseen the September 11 tragedy and warned everyone, or, if his "psychic" powers only extend to talking to spirits of the dead, perhaps he could have issued a list of casualties on September 12 and eased everyone's doubts and grief.
Parasite. Fraud. Liar.
Date: Fri, 4 Oct 2002 15:53:40 EDT
Subject: John Edward
<snip complete quote of comments above about the proposed WTC television show>
Um, actually, this is an unfounded rumor, so maybe you ought to pull this false info off your site.
I referred the writer to the Washington Post (Article no longer available unless I pay for it, sorry. PB 5/1/2013) and the fact that an executive from Edward's production company had confirmed the plans to exploit the September 11 tragedy. Apparently, the word of the President of the network which makes and distributes the show was not enough, and my correspondent replied:
Date: Sat, 5 Oct 2002 09:29:20 EDT
Subject: Re: John Edward
In a message dated 10/4/2002 9:17:27 PM Eastern Daylight Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
Um, actually a named spokesperson for Edward's production company confirmed it, so perhaps you should find some other charlatan to support.
Um, that's not a spokesperson for John Edward, or the Crossing Over program. That's a spokesperson for the USA network that owns it--and if you've ever dealt with network higher ups, they ain't the brightest tools in the shed and are proneto shoot off their mouths without checking with the source. What a shame that the Washington Post didn't have the journalistic integrity to check with an actual person who works on the show to verify. Hey, call him a charlatan if you like, but in believing the Post story verbatim you're just falling victim to sloppy reporting. Pick on him for "reading" victims of 9/11 and call him exploitative if you must, but don't pick on him for doing a "theme show"--he doesn't do that and his staff knows he doesn't do that.
As it appears that this anonymous person either works for Edward and is doing damage control or is a true believer, I felt that any further correspondence would be useless. It is quite clear from the Post article that people representing the show admitted to what was going on.
My television is possessed (28/9/2002)
At the end of 2001 I gave psychic John Edward a Highly Commended award for his proposal to host a television special to contact the spirits of the people who died in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. I had not had the pleasure until recently of seeing Edward in action as his show was only on pay TV where I live and there are some things I will not pay for. The rubbish is now shown on free-to-air television, so I had to have a look at his first show. It was even worse than I expected, and I could only last about ten minutes before I noticed that there were other things I would rather be doing, like cleaning the oven or getting the dead bugs out of the light fittings. What I saw was someone exploiting the misery of others and giving them false hopes.
Edward is not getting a good press in Australia (you can see some comments here and here), but I have to disagree with the people who say that he is good at cold reading. In the time I watched, the transparency and the fishing were pathetic. A good cold reader subtly extracts the information he needs from the subjects, but Edward starts with an audience who are primed to expect miracles, who desperately want him to succeed and are prepared to help, and who are totally uncritical of what he says to the point of accepting misses as hits. Under these circumstances, anyone would look good. In my original piece about Edward I described him as a liar, a parasite and a fraud. I have now seen him in action, but I have been given no reason to change that opinion.
John Edward - get ready to puke (2/4/2005)
Pretend psychic John Edward, the man accurately described in the television show South Park as "the biggest douche in the universe", is about to give his stage show in Sydney. His latest claim to fame is that he communicated with Terri Schiavo before she died and she knew what was going on. People like to say that frauds like Edward do no harm and are just entertainment, but when they exploit tragedy for their own profit they are no better than criminals. Edward will be appearing on a high-rated television show next week to promote his books and show, so I sent the following email to the producers. I don't expect a sympathetic reply.
To: morningtalk @ nine.com.au
Subject: John Edward
Date: Sat, 02 Apr 2005 10:44:53 +1000
I believe that fake psychic John Edward will be appearing with Kerri-Anne on Monday. Perhaps she could ask this repulsive creature to comment on his outrageous and disgusting claim that he was able to communicate with Terri Schiavo and report that she was "definitely clear on what's happening now around her".
John Edward update (9/4/2005)
I received the following reply from the television show: "Thank you for your email, we appreciate your comments". Someone in the audience approached the show's host after the performance and asked if she would be interested in meeting people who could do Edward's cold-reading act and admit that it was a stage trick, not something mystical or spiritual. The host expressed surprise that such people existed but said that she would like to have them on the show sometime. Progress! By the way, she did ask Edward a general question about Terri Schiavo and Edward simply diverted the discussion nicely by saying that one should seek the services of grief counsellors if you are in need and psychics should be your last option. Right!
John Edward isn't psychic? (21/8/2010)
Someone felt the need to correct my statements about the claimed powers of that fraud John Edward.
From: "Raul daSilva"
Subject: Not in debate but for clarity
Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2010 14:13:57 -0400
I have not known John Edward to declare himself a "psychic" but as a "spirit medium". Since I have had ample personal evidence of this phenomenon as evidential I have no arguments with anyone who claims they have extradimensional contact then prove it beyond any doubt.
Do not confuse the term "psychic" with "spirit medium". Spirit mediums are not prophets (nearly no one is) nor are the average people they contact who are no longer in this wavelength frequency.
But what did I find on Edward's own web site?
It looks like Edward thinks that Edward is a psychic.