litigant psychic Sally Morgan possibly failed to foresee the Streisand Effect that is surely about to strike after she threatened to sue a sceptic – and her husband threatened to have him “lifted” and “disappear.” Legal threats combined with physical threats? I’m going to be following this with some interest.
The story can be found at The Guardian. It turns out that a sceptic went to one of Morgan’s shows and handed out leaflets to the audience as they entered. The leaflets themselves were not in any way libellous, but Morgan’s husband John made physical threats, which were followed up by legal threats from the “psychic to the stars” herself. (Apparently, Princess Diana was a client, but somehow died in a car crash – perhaps, in the throes of romance and love with Dodi, she just forgot the warning that Sally must surely have given her? I don’t know, I’m not psychic. It’s just guesswork on my part, so maybe I am psychic by some standards.)
If you read the Guardian article and follow the links in the story, you will soon get the picture better than I can explain it. It’s also worth looking at what the Good Thinking Society has to say about Sally Morgan’s tactics; there is also information about Psychic Awareness Month that’s also worth reading.
In the meantime, I have my own thoughts on the subject.
Anyone can talk to the dead – it’s true! However, there is not a shred of testable, confirmable evidence – and certainly no proof – that the dead can talk back. I will illustrate that with a graphic I have used before:
Credit to xkcd.
Sally Morgan has been invited in the past to demonstrate her paranormal abilities under scientific, controlled conditions, but for some reason has declined to do so. She didn’t accept the challenge, so there is no logical reason to conclude that she would have just become part of the right hand column, but if she had agreed to participate in the offer, then she could have become the first psychic in the world to have made a score in the left hand column. Sadly, it was not to be. Rather than demonstrate her psychic powers in a way that would finally force science to acknowledge the existence of the paranormal, she did the same as other alleged psychics and refused to prove conclusively that she has the powers she claims to have. You could almost see it coming. (I don’t think any sceptics were surprised, but their predictions that she wouldn’t go for it were not based on anything paranormal, just the regular refusal of almost every prominent fortune teller to be tested. Nothing new there.)
I have food for thought, though. I was watching one of her TV shows one night, and I Googled the name of the celeb she was talking to. Several references came up, so I connected to the various websites listed – official site, fan sites and so on. It was quite amazing, really, because everything Sally told the celeb about herself was true. And I know it was true, because almost everything Sally told her was right there on the internet in front of me! How do you explain that? Eh? Eh?
Anyway, I think this story is going to get a bit of mileage so it’s worth keeping an eye on. In the meantime, my sceptical powers (that I have vowed to use only for good) tell me that Sally Morgan will never submit to any objective test of her paranormal claims. (Then again, I’m a sceptic, so I have to admit I might be wrong about that. Any bets?)