So recently, “Psychic” Sally Morgan has settled out of court with the Daily Fail to the tune of £125,000 for accusations of fraud. Yes, it’s the Daily Mail, and no self-respecting intelligent person should ever be on their side, but in this case it is a Very Bad Thing.
Those familiar with lawsuits levied at national newspapers should be well aware of how much they cost. The suit levied against Ben Goldacre cost just over a full million when it was finally dropped – with the bill kindly picked up by The Guardian – while Simon Singh’s respective legal bill went over £200,000 just as a personal expense. In short; this shit is expensive, and it’s quite clear the Mail isn’t doing this out of any admission of guilt but to merely cut its losses. Settling for a mere eighth-of-a-million out of court is simple financial common sense.
Yet that decision hands victory over to all the known fraudulent hacks who can now trumpet this as a victory for justice and vindication of their shit – it hands them a massive weapon to wield as they fight for legitimacy in the form of persecution, rather than with evidence and clear demonstrations. With this, they can further trick their insipid fanbase (aka, gullible fraktards) into believe that what these bullshit merchants do is real without any evidence that it’s real whatsoever:
However, to libel me and falsely accuse me of a con trick does not constitute rational commentary or debate. I hope now this settlement and apology will repair the damage that has been done.
No, Sally, it doesn’t work like that. It just fucking doesn’t. Suing someone for libel does not constitute rational commentary or debate – proving yourself to not be a fraudulent hack, however, does.*
Let’s be very, brutally, honestly, frank here; people can talk to the dead all they like, but if you think they can get a response back, you’re a gullible idiot. No apologies for this, no caveats, it’s just a fact. If you think someone can get up on a stage and communicate with someone whose emergent consciousness has long since stopped functioning, then you need to get a quick, hard dose of the harsh reality that you’ve been conned.
If you have paid money for their services, you have been duped. That’s plain and simple. If you’re one of the many, many people who turned up to one of these live shows and found them to be complete and utter crap once stripped of their clever TV editing, or then found yourself at the mercy of a non-disclosure agreement to stop you coming out about it, then I’m sorry for your loss. Hopefully you learned something from it and now are slightly more weary of Nigerian princes that call you up out of the blue to offer you their fortune. If you’re one of those who continue to go back again and again and again, not only have you been duped but you have bent over and opened your anus wide and ready to accept a ton of bullshit shovelled inside you and compacted in with a heavy boot, all at your own personal expense. I have less sympathy for you. One day, you’ll get a call from Microsoft saying there’s something wrong with your PC and you’ll learn the hard way.
How can I say such harsh words so easily? Because it’s simply true. Psychics are frauds – and the evidence that they’re not can be summed up as follows:
Or in English: fuck all.
That’s not because it’s difficult to test. If I claimed I could set any object on fire with my mind, and I consistently failed to do so to any object I hadn’t physically tampered with first (as was effectively the case with Uri Gellar back in the 80s) then you’d be mighty suspicious that I was full of shit. This is no different to the position mediums and psychics are in. They can demonstrate it, because they have a claim that can be demonstrated, but evidently choose not to. And let’s not forget; mentalists can do exactly the same thing – usually better – without claiming any supernatural ability at all. While simultaneously, every time we do look behind the curtain we see, surprise surprise, the exact same techniques the non-magic mentalists talk about! What is so fucking difficult about all of this to grasp that makes people still believe in this horseshit?
But do supposedly real psychics have a motivation to submit to “scientific” testing?
Hell yes they do (unless they’re frauds, of course because that’s just embarrassing**).
Psychic Sally didn’t have to sue the Daily Heil for libel and blow two years of her life on it. She could have just proven that she wasn’t a fraud and won by default. Her winnings in this case were a nice £125,000 but this is chump change compared to the cool $1 million James Randi famously offers anyone who can prove such claims. Then there’s the $1.1 million you’d get from the Nobel Committee for re-writing physics completely. Then there’s the fame and fortune that would inevitably come from being the one psychic whose powers are as controversial as the phrase “gravity attracts”. They already rake in a fuck-ton of money from shows, phone lines, books, DVDs and so on – so the claim they’re not doing it for the money is just classing bullshittery.
It’s not difficult to prove you have an ability (I claim the ability to type, here it is!).
They have the motive to prove it (hey, starving kids could do with Randi’s cash***).
The deck is stacked highly in their favour (seriously, we want there to be psychic powers, that’s just fucking cool).
So why is no one doing any of this if they’re real? Why are we – the skeptics, the ones pointing out the elephant-in-the-room called “lack of evidence” – accused of being unreasonable, or buzzkills, or unfair, or haters, or victimisers, or closed-minded when we say that claimed psychics are full of shit? If “oh, this only applies to the fake psychics and not to the real ones” then where the fuck are these real ones? Hiding on Mars? Someone please just put me out of my misery here.
So, psychics are full of shit. Prove me wrong already.
* Then again, psychics don’t often come out and say that they’re “genuine” in such clear-cut terms. They have some interestingly worded disclaimers.
** Really, watch that video, it’s hilarious.
*** Asinine? Perhaps. But again it’s true. Mediums of the world! Starving orphans need your help! Fuckers.