John Edwards makes a living out of making people believe he’s talking to dead people.
Just to be clear on this – he doesn’t make a living out of actually talking to dead people – even though that’s what he claims. And why it is only a claim? Because nobody else can ever verify it. Nobody but him can experience it, understand it, analyse it. We just have to take his word for it that it’s real.
Ah, but wait, I hear you say. Doesn’t that mean it could be real?
The mental component of his ‘gift’ occurs only inside his own brain. But by his own admission, he can’t always tell if these ‘messages’ are real or just what he wants to hear. This is why he doesn’t communicate with his own deceased family members.
So why should we believe anything he says? It’s entirely possible that he believes it, although I’m not making any assumptions. And the truth is, he’s not doing anything that plenty of other people can do as magic tricks. In this clip on TED, Keith Barry cold-reads the name of a girl’s ex-boyfriend, just by looking at her face. He doesn’t claim to be psychic. It’s a parlour trick anybody could learn.
Just as an aside – I googled John Edward’s name so that I could link his website to this blog. However, while Google did list the page, it also warned me that the site could harm my computer. 🙂
John Edward makes the kind of claims all those of his kind make – just trust me, believe me, I know what I’m talking about. Yes, I can really talk to your dead mother/son/aunty Betty. And anybody who claims I’m a fake, well, they just don’t know what they’re talking about.
There’s a lot of money in the fakery industry. In a world full of people looking for emotional fulfillment, the ‘New Age’ movement is now a billion-dollar a-year business. I have otherwise perfectly rational friends who swear by their favourite psychic. Another friend never makes a major decision without getting her palm read.
I can see the charm and attractiveness of wanting to believe in this sort of thing, of needing to know that a dead loved one is okay, wherever they are. It’s a very human need – just because a person is dead, doesn’t mean we stop caring about them.
But the thing is – and I’m not trying to be callous here – they are dead and they can’t talk – not to Edward or anybody.
Are you a believer? Do you just trust him? Take him at his word because he says you should? Let me ask you this: if you were on trial for a crime you did not commit – would you want the jury to just ‘believe’ the prosecution, or would you rather they looked at the evidence?