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Tags Gary Posner , Kimberly McAndrew , missing persons cases , noreen renier , psychic detectives , psychics

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Old 16th June 2017, 01:24 AM   #1
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Noreen Renier: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas from a Grieving Family

I received my July/August 2017 issue of Skeptical Inquirer magazine today. It offers a lengthy article written by Gary Posner , M.D. He is both the founder of the Tampa Bay Skeptics, and also a CSI Scientific and Technical Consultant. Titled Psychic Detective Noreen Renier: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas from a Grieving Family, it evaluates newly obtained recording sessions made of Noreen Renier with the Halifax Regional Police.

I’ve known Gary for more than 30 years. In reading the magazine today I believe it carefully reviews the obfuscation and protracted wild goose chases often encountered with psychic detectives. It’s well worth reading by both skeptics and paranormal believers. It may shock many with its concise ability to evaluate the credibility of Noreen Renier using her own words and premonitions.

On this site I invite any response Noreen Renier might wish to provide to the public. She has previously responded on this site and should be given a fair and polite opportunity to do so again. As a current Orlando resident, her website has long opened to a page headlined A New Technique for Obtaining Clues from Unsolved Crimes.

Perhaps she can clarify why her results for accurate clues are showcased as quite opposite based on her own voice recordings in this truly stunning article. Her sign-in on this site has previously been "NJR" for Noreen Jean Renier.

Last edited by Sherlock; 16th June 2017 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 20th June 2017, 12:45 AM   #2
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Gary Posner posts direct link for Skeptical Inquirer article on Noreen Renier

Gary Posner has posted his 'Psychic Detective' Noreen Renier: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas from a Grieving Family article in full at: http://www.gpposner.com/Renier-Kimberly.html

Additionally readers should know that immediately after I posted my original comments above I also copied that posting along with a personal invite for Noreen Renier to respond here. I sent both directly to her personal email.

I will also post any response I receive back from her directly here.

-John Merrell
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Old 20th June 2017, 05:43 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Sherlock View Post
Gary Posner has posted his 'Psychic Detective' Noreen Renier: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas from a Grieving Family article in full at: http://www.gpposner.com/Renier-Kimberly.html

Additionally readers should know that immediately after I posted my original comments above I also copied that posting along with a personal invite for Noreen Renier to respond here. I sent both directly to her personal email.

I will also post any response I receive back from her directly here.

-John Merrell
I wait with baited (yes, I know,) breath!!! But with no doubt such will not be forth (even fifth) coming!!
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Old 22nd June 2017, 01:48 AM   #4
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As of Thursday afternoon (6-22-2017) an estimated 20,000 Skeptical Inquirer subscribers will have received their magazines and perhaps 10,000 of those will have read the article on Noreen Renier. Roughly another 5000 subscribers will receive their copies by Friday, with perhaps a total of 20,000 subscribers having read the article by this weekend. Thousands more will be added within another week.

Public libraries, multi-media, and broadcast networks who receive the magazine will also add to the circulation in the coming weeks. And a host of on-line providers (including some who require small access fees) will add thousands more.

Yet Noreen Renier --- who has known and had access to the article for a week --- has apparently selected to ignore the deep rumblings and crackling now coming from an already weakened dam across The Paranormal Reservoir.

Likely Noreen Renier will stay cloaked and silent – never commenting about the article’s content or accuracy. Nor can she apparently offer any accurate foresight as to where Kimberly McAndrew of Halifax, Nova Scotia is. Not then, not now.

I suspect the often noted line ‘the body will be found near water’ is getting soggy with the public --- and certainly by U.S. public law enforcement and forensic investigators who have ditched psychic detectives in mass. Indeed, Gary Posner’s article may well act as a cleansing flood revealing why paranormal detectives score only rare and random hits, and typically with far less than random chance results.

Comments anyone?

Last edited by Sherlock; 22nd June 2017 at 01:51 AM.
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Old 22nd June 2017, 11:33 PM   #5
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If psychic detectives get results which are significantly less good than random chance would be, then I suppose the question is why.
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Old 23rd June 2017, 01:12 AM   #6
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Noreen Renier; Grinch and Less than random chance

Over the past decade I've puzzled about this myself --- particularly when I've matched the outcomes across numerous psychic detectives. In the case of Noreen Renier during her most extensive testing under carefully controlled conditions, her psychic and psychometry abilities also matched this odd outcome.

According to Dr. Harry Kloor who in 1985 was an instructor at the Southern Oregon State campus in Ashland, Noreen Renier "showed up on campus and proclaimed she was 'gifted.'"

In 1994 at 31, Dr. Kloor became according to People magazine the first American to earn a remarkable simultaneous double Ph.D in physics and chemistry at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

While he was still at Southern Oregon State College in addition to earning two BS degrees, he also earned two black belts in kung fu and kick boxing.

This remarkable man convinced Noreen Renier to be tested in May 1985 by himself and others after she first reviewed an outline of the testing procedures.

The testing on Renier at the Southern Oregon State College campus was conducted, reviewed, documented, and witnessed by more than two dozen actual on-site researchers and participants. During one test segment Renier was offered seven blood samples.

Each of seven blood slides were prepared according to Dr. Kloor by "first being handled by the subject and then a blood smear was carefully taken and the numbered plate placed in a box."

Renier agreed this careful handling of the blood samples and packaging by the actual blood donor was proper.

Also previous to beginning the testing Renier agreed she understood what the procedures were and that they were fair. She then agreed to attempt to properly match a blood sample to one of the six volunteers who had donated samples of their blood.

In this particular test there was also a single "control blood sample" among the seven to help authenticate her claimed psychometry abilities. This "control" sample was the only blood sample from among the seven that Renier should have had left on the table after she had completed matching those of the six blood volunteers before her.

Instead she picked up the box containing the controlled blood sample first and according to Dr. Kloor "in a somewhat theatrical manner she described the sex, age range, personal traits, etc. of the subject."

She was clearly disappointed when no blood volunteer in the room sensed a match and cried Bingo!

Unfortunately for Renier there was no shout by anyone because Renier's chosen sample did not match blood taken from any of six volunteers. She had picked the seventh vile with blood not coming from any of the students present.

Even so, according to Dr. Kloor once Renier finished her detailed description about the student that she believed matched the blood "she demanded to know how well she had done."

Dr. Greg Fowler, now an Associate Clinical Professor of Public Health, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon and Executive Director of Geneforum.org was at Southern Oregon State College in 1985 and participated with the testing.

When it became quite clear that Noreen Renier would not continue, Dr. Fowler revealed the identity of the blood sample to be that of a rat!

According to Dr. Kloor, "To say the least she was not very pleased."

Even after additional testing was conducted on Renier --- including readings off objects previously selected from students --- it was found that "TV psychic investigator" Noreen Renier's actual tested performance was amazingly worse than random chance!

Over the past 10 years I've attempted to track Noreen Renier's publicly recorded "psychic vision foresight claims" with the actual outcomes. In particular her various claims of finding a missing plane near the Gardner Massachusetts airport. Here too she has typically scored well below chance in her claims versus the actual results. And this follows alongside similar calculations I've scored with other nationally known psychic detectives.

Why such outcomes? I suspect it may have to do with psychic detectives creating obfuscation via vagueness that run counter to the actual possible specific outcomes. As in tossing out dozens of numbers and letters, and then missing a specific real outcome, their "loss rate" results in a very high negative ratio.

It may also have to do with delusions of having authentic paranormal powers with high accuracy no matter what they say. But their claims often drift well off the pathway of rational and possible outcomes --- particularly as the claims often reflect visions expressed in their claimed communications with dead murder victims, dead missing persons, and deceased historical figures --- persons the psychics never met and actually have little information about compared to immediate family members. Or careful documentation that they rarely take the time to learn. Instead they to often offer guess work based on a foundation of chaos and then further delivered with obfuscation.

Last edited by Sherlock; 23rd June 2017 at 01:16 AM.
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Old 27th June 2017, 03:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
If psychic detectives get results which are significantly less good than random chance would be, then I suppose the question is why.
1. Because there is usually one right answer, and an unknowable number of wrong answers.
2. Most "psychic" detectives have this need to show off, adding details that were never asked for in the initial questioning. "The body will be found near water" can be simply a wrong answer, but "She was strangled by someone who hated females and driven near a fork in the river in a late model pickup, dark in color" is the type of answer these "psychic" detectives give, because they don't want to look like they are guessing-they want to look like they know.
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Old 6th July 2017, 01:26 AM   #8
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Noreen Renier: Website and Facebook pages in turmoil

No response from Noreen Renier after 3 weeks was not unexpected, but the disorder and jumbled mess of her Facebook page and sections of her website are interesting. In the case of her Facebook page for more than 6 weeks her pages have been an unreadable overlapping jumble of cut-and-paste windows for a May 21st speaking event in Cassadaga, Florida.

That event was actually cancelled more than a week before it was to take place. Yet now 6 weeks later it's promotions are still are laid out in disarray on her pages --- covering up other claims and statements. See https://www.facebook.com/noreen.renier/

Note under current events on her web page (not Facebook) she still promotes a 2010 conference. That's her latest news?

Perhaps those who long did her marketing and pitched her services (and answered her Tweeter page ---her last Tweet also pushes the same Cassadaga event on May 21st that was cancelled) have fled a sinking ship. What's left looks literally like chaos. For whatever reason it's pretty clear she has no active support managing her web pages, Facebook, or her Tweeter accounts. Or apparently bookings --- unless cancellations are now routine.

Of course it may be that she simply has no clients contacting her for services any more. Certainly no U.S. public law enforcement agencies are knocking at her door with $1000 checks "by the hundreds" as she's claimed. Not even one apparently over the last two decades.

Last edited by Sherlock; 6th July 2017 at 01:40 AM.
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Old 30th July 2017, 08:25 PM   #9
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Noreen Renier, like all other 'psychic detectives' is nothing more than a fake, and a charlatan. She has had many, many judgements ruled against her. Police Departments do not use 'psychic detectives', nor are any on the payroll of any Police Department. These self-styled 'psychic detectives' simply offer up their opinions to investigators, which are ignored, then afterwards, make claims that they assisted the police department in solving the crimes. Note that their claims are always submitted after the crimes have been solved.

Common sense would tell you that any evidence gained by a 'psychic detective' would be inadmissible in any competent court of law. Remember, a crime is not 'solved' unless it results in a conviction. Sometimes, not even then.... And any halfway decent defense attorney would rip a 'psychic detective' to shreds on a witness stand, which, if they actually did assist the police, they would be required to testify at trial.

While I understand that some people genuinely believe that they possess psychic abilities, just as some really believe that in past lives they were Roman soldiers, witches, etc..., they are delusional. Psychic abilities do not exist.

Last edited by gigmaster; 30th July 2017 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 31st July 2017, 01:18 AM   #10
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I have wondered what the world would be like if certain people WERE psychic. The short answer is a lot different. There would be no casinos as psychics would be able to predict what is to happen. Or maybe know what card is in a game of poker or pontoon. Plus there would be ads in the paper asking for psychics to be employed by the police.
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Old 1st August 2017, 11:15 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
I have wondered what the world would be like if certain people WERE psychic. The short answer is a lot different. There would be no casinos as psychics would be able to predict what is to happen. Or maybe know what card is in a game of poker or pontoon. Plus there would be ads in the paper asking for psychics to be employed by the police.
And just think about how useful psychics would be to insurance companies.
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Old 7th August 2017, 10:05 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
I have wondered what the world would be like if certain people WERE psychic. The short answer is a lot different. There would be no casinos as psychics would be able to predict what is to happen. Or maybe know what card is in a game of poker or pontoon. Plus there would be ads in the paper asking for psychics to be employed by the police.

Most likely, psychics would be employed to detect the presence of other psychics in the casinos, if possible. Like people who are experts at cheating being hired to spot cheats.
I'm sure that extensive research would also be performed on psychics with the goal of creating a technological means of blocking their abilities, the psychic equivalent of a cell phone jammer. Governments would certainly want to find a way to block mind readers, clairvoyants, and precogs.
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Old 7th August 2017, 04:42 PM   #13
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Aluminum foil hats? Always works for me, though living in a proper Faraday cage would look less silly.

I suggested that our uber-rich clients would benefit from living in Faraday cages in case of an EMP. Since I was actually taken seriously they had me look into it. The homes were in Florida, so heavy on the poured concrete, and it looked like if you tied together and grounded all of the rebar you'd have a fairly effective cage. Joke was on me, but nobody followed through.
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Old 2nd September 2017, 09:08 PM   #14
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I see someone fixed the clutter on Noreen Renier's Facebook pages but left the solicitation for her May 21, 2017 speaking event in Cassadaga, Florida -- the one she never showed up for as it was cancelled more than a week before. There is absolutely nothing new on her web site --- it looks like she's been inactive for more than a year and no one is leaving comments. Stranger and stranger. Someone cleans up the site a bit but adds nothing and no new news.
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Old 3rd September 2017, 01:24 AM   #15
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Someone has been doing her reputation some serious harm over the years. One measure is how much she can charge for a telephone consultation. It has gone down from $1,000 to $650 in 2011 and now is $250.
<Insert big grin here>
Sources
http://noreenrenier.com/services/private.htm
http://www.internationalskeptics.com...90#post7838690
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Old 3rd September 2017, 05:38 AM   #16
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I don't think it should be a surprise that 'psychic' detectives perform worse than chance, because they're not trying to make random guesses, they're making predictions they hope will be most likely to be interpreted as 'hits', and these are likely to be biased by their own poorly informed expectations of the most likely situations and contexts of various types of crimes. Since there's only one correct answer, they're very likely to be wrong, and if they're not guessing at random, they'll likely score below chance.

It's notable that even when people do attempt to imitate random distributions they do poorly because they tend to favour even distributions, without the clumping and sequences of random distributions.

I did wonder for a while if psychics less than random success might be due to something like Benford's Law that might apply to the contexts of real-life events, but I can't see how one could establish that, and on reflection, it's probably not necessary to explain their poor results.
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