I was prompted to write the following letter by an article in the Argyllshire Advertiser, a.k.a. the Squeak, of 3rd May and a subsequent letter to the editor published the following week … and I’ll explain more below the fold.
The title of this post was the sub-heading for the letter in today’s paper.
I was greatly amused to see the report on alleged psychics at Inveraray Jail in the Argyllshire Advertiser the week before last. Although they did rather give the game away with the quote, “We could make it up but we don’t – what do we have to gain from that?” Well, a whole-page advertorial in the Argyllshire Advertiser for one, and no doubt a trail to their doors of the credulous and vulnerable with pockets waiting to be picked for another.
Your letters correspondent last week didn’t spot the scam, got very excited about it all and went to great pains to try to differentiate his own irrational beliefs from those of the three psychics. I have to say, to even greater amusement – please keep these coming.
Ghost stories date from the childhood of our species’ reason. When we didn’t know about atmospheric pressure and jetstreams, we attributed supernatural intentions to the wind. Until we understood plate tectonics in the 1960s, earthquakes were seen as portents from vengeful gods. And then gods were given their own spin-off series.
There are no gods, or demons, or ghosts. We no longer need to invoke a vengeful or benign motive for the wind, or the rain, or earthquakes. There is no evidence of external agency in this universe, and nothing we observe is better explained by invoking one.
We know how Ouija boards work – the ideomotor effect and the desire for evidence to confirm belief.
We know how psychics work – cold or hot reading and telling believable stories and the desire of people to hear what they want to hear.
When something goes bump in the night, I don’t blame poltergeists, I wonder what the cat’s knocked over this time.
In the absence of any non-corporeal spirits, all those who invoke them, or claim to talk to them, are either deluded, in which case they are to be pitied, or fraudulent, in which case they are to be condemned for preying on the ignorant and vulnerable.
To be fair, there is a third alternative to the last question, which is that some honest and thoughtful folk have yet to take the step of acknowledging what they may have suspected for a long time, that it’s just not true, and taking that small step will be the first of an exciting and wonderful journey into reason. They won’t be alone and they won’t be disappointed.
When I was a child, I thought as a child; now, let’s all put aside childish things.
The letter in question was from a christian who was
appalled at what [he] read
and went on to warn us
Yes, ouija boards work, but not in the way you may expect. Yes, there is a spirit realm, but spirits are not how you imagine them
funny, I thought spirits were exactly as you imagined them.
Anyway, after telling us that there are
no ‘good’ spirits, only bad … they are liars sent by the father of lies
he goes on to ask us to to invite one specific and holy spirit into our lives, reminding us that
if you want to know more about the spirit realm then read a bible or get down to your local church
Having exhausted his reason and himself, he then beseeches the paper to pass on his message to the people concerned.
He doesn’t explain how, if all spirits are liars sent by the father of lies, he is able with certainty to identify the one individual, and “holy” spirit, which is not a liar sent to deceive him.
Well, I aim to be a rational chap and I made a claim or two myself in my letter, which I thought I’d better check out.
Our psychic friends market themselves as Psychic Trio UK Investigations and, of course, have a website and a Facebook page. The interesting thing is the trail of dates for the website and the Facebook page. The article in the Squeak was published on the 3rd May. Their Facebook page was created on the 2nd May and starts by emphasising the newspaper article. Their website, which is worth having a look at because it is so awful, is at a domain which was registered on 4th May.
The Facebook page and website refer to “events” and having a “location manager”, presumably to arrange shows along the same lines as the initial show at Inveraray Jail.
Also interesting is the pitch from Linda as she explains, without the aid of a dictionary, her gifts:
I have seen and heard spirit from the age of nine years old i was quite frightened by the experiance but i was lucky as my granmother was a amazing medium and she helped me through the pocess.
I went on to sit in two developement circles (these are meeting with likeminded people within a spiritualist church run by mediums who run developement classes and meditation.Their help was gratefully appreciated.
I am also a spiritualist healer, i have amazing spirit guides who help me through life.
In life we all have a spirit guide or guides, each and everyone of us have the psychic ability and while some people are very open to the idea, other people just dont want to know.
Each and everyone of us has the ability to use this gift people choose not to because they are affraid.
I have had the opportunity to work within the media television and radio.
I take this time to thank my guides for being with me and teaching me every step of the way.
Without them i could not connect with your loved ones on the higher side of life.
I’ll let you know how the brickbats and bouquets fall on this one.