A Plea for Any Real Psychics to Help Haiti
January 14, 2010As you have no doubt heard, the Caribbean island of Haiti was hit by a massive earthquake. The capital, Port-au-Prince, is largely rubble, and thousands of people are missing or have been buried under collapsed buildings.
I am issuing a plea for any real psychics to join the search. Time is of the essence; the victims are literally dying by the hour, many of them because searchers don't know where to look. I know they could use a real psychic to reunite families and lead searchers to the wounded.
I have donated money to the relief effort, but beyond that, there's not much I can do. I don't have (and don't claim to have) any psychic abilities at all. I can't locate missing persons, I've never said I helped police solve crimes. If you can really do what you claim to do, please use your powers to save countless lives.
This means you, Montel-beloved Sylvia Browne. And you, Medium TV show inspiration Alison DuBois. And Carla Baron of TV's Haunting Evidence . And you too, Nancy Weber. And John Edward. Will any of you step forward and help?
Many of you charge money for your psychic services. Fair enough; doctors, police, and others earn a living helping others. If that's the issue, please contact me at email@example.com and we can negotiate a fee for saving innocent lives. If cost is an issue and you need to visit Haiti in person, I will offer to personally pay round-trip airfare to Port-au-Prince or Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) for any nationally-known psychic who is willing to use their claimed powers to help those in desperate need.
Some of you have claimed that you don't get involved in a case unless specifically asked. Well, I'm specifically asking each one of you. If, for some reason, you need a particular devastated Haitian to specifically request you and your services, I might be able to arrange that.
Maybe you may feel it's not your responsibility, that it's not your job to help others. There's a saying, "With great power comes great responsibility." It means that those who have power, resources, and special abilities have a responsibility to use them for the greater good. I hope you would agree.
I understand that most of you are busy with "reality" TV shows, talk shows appearances, book tours, seminars, and $200 per hour phone consultations. But please consider joining the international relief effort. Your claimed psychic powers have helped you all achieve fame and fortune. How about giving something back to the poorest people in the Western hemisphere, desperate for the kind of aid that only you all (allegedly) provide.
This is not a cynical exercise. You all have made successful careers out of your reputed psychic powers; I am taking you at your word. I suspect none of you have the powers you claim, but I would love to be proven wrong, especially if it will save lives. Whether I (or other skeptics, or the scientific community) believe you have psychic powers or not is irrelevant.
Don't accept this offer to prove your powers to skeptics; do it because it's the humane thing to do. Do it because, if what you say is true, you have powers and abilities that most of us only dream of, and you could save countless innocent lives over the next few days. If psychics such as yourselves have the power to help in this time of need but refuse, what should the public think of you when we see you on TV or buy your books or attend your seminars?
If, deep down, you know that you don't really have psychic powers, please stop claiming to help find missing persons; please stop giving families false hope. If your psychic abilities can't or won't help, please at least consider making a donation to help Haiti via SHARE (Skeptics and Humanist Aid and Relief Effort); you can donate online at SHARE .
Sincerely, Ben Radford
Feel free to contact the following psychics and ask them if they plan to join the international aid effort and volunteer their services to the rescue workers and others searching for missing persons in Haiti.
John Edward: John Edward
Carla Baron: Carla Baron
Nancy Weber: Nancy Weber
Convicted Felon Sylvia Browne: Sylvia Browne
Allison DuBois: Allison DuBois
#1 Richard (Guest) on Friday January 15, 2010 at 11:18pm
I love this! Great idea, Ben. It’s well-past time for these so-called gifted people to put up or shut up.
I can’t wait to see what becomes of it. My suspicion is that nobody will accept your request. But if anyone does, it will likely end in a claim that they did provide aid of some supernatural kind, while the evidence will be conspicuously absent. In other words, the same old song and dance.
Like you, I’ll be happy to be proven wrong if it saves some of these poor people’s lives, or reduces some suffering in a way that we “normal” people could not. It’s a useful opportunity for all involved—“psychics”, skeptics, and victims, alike.
Meanwhile my donation has already gone to the apparently-secular Doctors Without Borders since, in my mind, waiting on psychics or prayer or other mumbo jumbo is a tragic and disgusting waste of precious time. Let mine be one of millions of examples of skeptics and atheists who care and who donate what they can, despite the monopoly on charity and humanity some religionists claim.
#2 Stormy fairweather (Guest) on Sunday January 17, 2010 at 3:13am
A perfectly reasonable request, well phrased and mutually benificial.
Pity the target audience does not respond to reason.