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Old 23rd November 2006, 04:54 AM   #1
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Angry ABC TV Australia - Psychic Investigators

http://www.abc.net.au/tv/guide/netw/...006T200000.htm

Psychic Investigators

Rachel Domas
Jason Williams
Margie Calciano

Our national TV, the ABC, are showing this BS in what is normally a science time slot. - Anyone know of this series?
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Old 23rd November 2006, 05:04 AM   #2
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Have heard of it, but never actualy watched it. I guess they saw the success of Medium & other shows like it & figured, "hey every other channel is choked with constant NCIS, law & order, crime scene investigators, bones etc etc... people just cant get enough of this detective/drama investigative crap, why not us too?".

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Old 24th November 2006, 03:37 AM   #3
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Worse than we thought. This is a 15 show series. Has anyone seen it? We here in Australia are going to act to try and stop this poison going to air. Any help anyone can offer would be appreciated.
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Old 24th November 2006, 03:47 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Worse than we thought. This is a 15 show series. Has anyone seen it? We here in Australia are going to act to try and stop this poison going to air. Any help anyone can offer would be appreciated.
Shouldn't you at least watch it first before passing judgement?
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Old 24th November 2006, 03:56 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by davidsmith73 View Post
Shouldn't you at least watch it first before passing judgement?
I agree, I will definitely watch this one.
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Old 24th November 2006, 04:00 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by davidsmith73 View Post
Shouldn't you at least watch it first before passing judgement?
Very good point. Our contact at the ABC, a scientist and skeptic, has seen it and reports that is it as bad as we thought. I have also found clips of it on the web and more, http://www.biography.com/psychic_investigators/


Real-life detective thrillers take on a supernatural turn in this documentary series about actual dramatic crimes that are solved through the unlikely combination of hi-tech detective work and the paranormal powers of a psychic. In each episode, one amazing story is told from two very different points of view - the detective and the psychic. This series juxtaposes the psychic's story - colored with emotion, empathy and mystery, with the cop's tale - dominated by logic, evidence and reason. Playing like supernatural thrillers, these shows are sure to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. For skeptics, Psychic Investigators presents the challenge of explaining the inexplicable; for believers, it offers the confirmation of a mysterious world beyond observable fact.
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Old 24th November 2006, 04:01 AM   #7
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I usually like shows like this when its fiction but when they pass it of as facts in a documentary (at least thats my impretion when checking the URL) my woometer goes trough the roof.

They showed a couple of these "documentary" shows in Sweden where I'm from as well and it just p****s me of...

Fun fiction= Yes
Documented facts= H**l No
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Old 24th November 2006, 04:07 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Very good point. Our contact at the ABC, a scientist and skeptic, has seen it and reports that is it as bad as we thought. I have also found clips of it on the web and more, http://www.biography.com/psychic_investigators/


Real-life detective thrillers take on a supernatural turn in this documentary series about actual dramatic crimes that are solved through the unlikely combination of hi-tech detective work and the paranormal powers of a psychic. In each episode, one amazing story is told from two very different points of view - the detective and the psychic. This series juxtaposes the psychic's story - colored with emotion, empathy and mystery, with the cop's tale - dominated by logic, evidence and reason. Playing like supernatural thrillers, these shows are sure to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. For skeptics, Psychic Investigators presents the challenge of explaining the inexplicable; for believers, it offers the confirmation of a mysterious world beyond observable fact.

My hopes weren't up!
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Old 24th November 2006, 08:02 PM   #9
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OK, so I sent ABC TV a message about it. What else can I do?
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Old 24th November 2006, 08:23 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jenspen View Post
OK, so I sent ABC TV a message about it. What else can I do?
Thanks! Now you and anyone else can help us by finding out whatever we can on the show and its reported crime solving. How much of this show is unverifiable? How much is fiction? Does anyone know of any of the cases it purports to cover?

We want to show the ABC that they have spent tax payers' money on a fiction dressed up as fact. We are also appalled that the ABC will be giving credibility to 'psychic detectives', in a time slot reserved for science!
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Last edited by Richard; 24th November 2006 at 08:57 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 24th November 2006, 09:20 PM   #11
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Looks like the ABC will be in for a "Bent Spoon" nomination. maybe many.
After viewing the show and if it is as bad as it seems, probably a lot of noise should be made and hopefully embarrass the ABC. I am sure all of the skeptics in Australia could do that.
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Old 24th November 2006, 10:12 PM   #12
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Lynsey Quy case - psychic's involvement in its solution demolished online

Richard asked: How much of this show is unverifiable? How much is fiction? Does anyone know of any of the cases it purports to cover?

I googled 4 of the murder victims:
Lynsey Quy
Penny Serra
Alexis Burke
Amie Hoffman

BBC report on the Lynsey Quy Case - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1120057.stm

2 (Sceptical, unfortunately) sites which examine the pychic's role in solving the Lynsey case
- http://www.skeptics.org.uk/commentar...ay.php?d=05-06
http://www.theskepticexpress.com/Joe...y_Quy_case.php

Notice that the Det. Superintendent on the case absolutely denies using a psychic.


The other three cases I googled were actual US murder cases.

The Penny Serra case is reported as a triumph for scientific investigation - http://wtnh.com/Global/story.asp?S=799360

Alexis Burke - the episode summary makes much of the fact that the investigating detective married the psychic!

Amie Burke - Google found hardly a thing.

I would guess that all the murders actually happened though none of them seems to be a famous case. I would be astounded if any of the cases shows a psychic getting it absolutely wrong or a case remaining unsolved despite psychic input.
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Old 25th November 2006, 12:51 AM   #13
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Jacqueline Poole case already discussed in these forums

See http://www.internationalskeptics.com...ead.php?t=9518

Also Tony Youens investigation of the psychic's claims:
http://www.tonyyouens.com/ruislip_murder.htm

The BBC credits DNA research with the arrest of the man who was always the chief suspect:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1459056.stm
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Old 25th November 2006, 02:08 PM   #14
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The first episode starts this Thursday at 8pm taking the spot of Catalyst. So the ABC thinks this is science.
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Old 27th November 2006, 10:00 PM   #15
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In light of the ABC showing the 'Documentary' about 'Psychic Detectives', I thought that this item by Barry Williams may be quite relevant:

http://www.skeptics.com.au/journal/1997/2.pdf

Page 32

Many readers will have seen the documentary The
Guru Busters, which was shown on ABC TV in April.
The show, which originated on Britain’s Channel
Four, showed the activities of the Indian Rationalists
Association, seeking to counter the influence of
charlatans in Indian society.

It was an excellent programme, although it contained
items that may have been more than a little
unsettling for some of us. One was a scene in which
a man who claimed to be able to cure snakebite by
mystical means was given the chance to cure a dog
that had been deliberately bitten by a cobra. Not surprisingly,
he failed and the dog died, gruesomely,
on screen. The initiator of the event explained that
20,000 people died from snakebite in India every year
and that part of the reason was that people placed
trust in the claims of those who peddle quack cures.
Among the gurus the programme exposed was
the extremely influential Sai Baba who has a following
among some of the most powerful people in India,
including senior politicians. He was shown performing
his famous “miraculous materialisation” of
a gold chain and presenting it to an official. In the
clip, which we understand has been banned from
viewing in India, it was clear that this trick owed
more to his prestidigitational skills than to any ability
to perform miracles.

More disturbing to Australian Skeptics was the
“disclaimer” run as a voice-over during the end titles
of the programme. It proclaimed:

We wish to advise that The Guru Busters is a purchased
documentary and does not represent the beliefs and
attitudes of the ABC.

What an extraordinary statement; that the ABC
does not take editorial responsibility for programmes
it broadcasts; that the ABC, a publicly owned corporation,
has “beliefs and attitudes”.

For good legal reasons, many broadcasters and
publications (including the Skeptic) publish a disclaimer,
“that views and opinions expressed are not
necessarily those of [the publishers]”, but the wording
of this disclaimer left no doubt that the views
expressed in this programme were definitely not
those of the ABC.

In 40 years of viewing, we have never heard a
disclaimer of this nature. Our immediate response
was to contact Stuart Littlemore’s Media Watch programme
to register our complaint. We were clearly
not alone, as the reply from the researcher on hearing
our complaint reveals: “You’ll have to join the
queue”, she said.

And Mr Littlemore did not let us down. On the
next Monday, he said that following broadcast promotions
for the show, “looney devotees of the gurus
phoned the ABC to protest” and asked for the programme
to be taken off. His summary was that the
disclaimer was a “meaningless and pointless piece
of cowardice” which could not be allowed to stand.
Melbourne subscriber, Peter Miller, went further
- he wrote to the ABC Documentary unit and voiced
his concerns. As Peter pointed out to us:

I feel that the initial decision to use the voice-over,
made on the strength of a vigorous telephone campaign
from fanatics, should be highlighted for all to
see so that we all may be aware that this kind of lobbying
exists and is acted upon by broadcasters. In this
case the mistake was public and visible, but it is conceivable
that these kinds of things happen all the time
without our knowledge; if, for example, the show had
been taken off air on the strength of the complaints,
we would never have known about it.

He received a courteous response from Mike
Rubbo, Head of ABC TV Documentaries. Mr Rubbo
conceded, inter alia, that:

It was an error of judgment to include a disclaimer at
the end of the program ... the disclaimer was an overreaction
...the ABC accepts editorial responsibility for
all programs it broadcasts, regardless of their source.
We have reviewed Guidelines for the use of Disclaimers,
strengthened the requirement for senior editorial
staff to be involved in any decision for their use, and
circulated these Guidelines to key staff.

This is encouraging, as we should be able to rely
on the ABC as a reliable reporter of a wide variety
of subjects, especially those not normally covered by
the commercial media. The ABC should also be wary
of giving free platforms to all sorts of “alternative”
practitioners as has been the tendency of late on ABC
Radio. Not that such people should not be heard,
but, when listeners are invited to phone-in to them,
it may appear to some that they have the endorsement
of an Australian cultural institution.

However, to give “Aunty” her due, the ABC does
acknowledge its errors and does provide air time for
programmes such as Media Watch. Mr Littlemore is
equally sceptical about in-house blunders as he is
about those of the commercial media, and more
power to his elbow for that.
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Old 27th November 2006, 10:08 PM   #16
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Hopefully the Australian Skeptics will write some letters to ABC voicing discontent.
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Old 28th November 2006, 01:21 PM   #17
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Bad slot for mumbo jumbo

Australian Skeptics are miffed by the ABC's decision to lend the Catalyst timeslot to Psychic Investigators for the summer, writes Leigh Dayton
November 29, 2006

FANS of ABC television's science program Catalyst may be in for a surprise when they tune in tomorrow night. Not only is the program off the air until February 11, its timeslot is being minded by psychics. Yes, there are 15 weeks of Psychic Investigators ahead.

more...

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...-30417,00.html
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Old 28th November 2006, 10:36 PM   #18
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The paper itself........

http://www.mysteryinvestigators.com/...chics_2006.jpg
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Old 29th November 2006, 04:32 PM   #19
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Response from ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs to my message

And I quote in part:

" Psychic Investigators is a series in which police involved
in investigating crimes, in the absence of evidence indicating the guilt
of a particular perpetrator, have called upon the services of psychics
as a possible way of achieving a breakthrough in a case. These are
actual documented police investigations and the police involved are
interviewed in the series, along with the psychic employed. Many of the
police involved state that they were initially sceptical that a psychic
would be of any help and that they were astounded by the information
they learned...." [Not in all the cases I did some research on. One wonders about 'many of those police' - how bright are they? Also I gathered from the cases I looked at that the police had "a particular perpetrator" very much in mind all the time - just had to wait for better DNA technology.]

"I can assure you that that the ABC is committed to broadcasting programs
of an educational nature. However, the Corporation also has an
obligation to appeal to a diverse range of tastes, and the ABC Charter
requires that the ABC broadcast programs that inform and entertain." [Love that "inform".]
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Old 30th November 2006, 02:40 AM   #20
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Well just watched the first episode of Psychic Detectives.
What a load of rubbish this show is,the ABC should be ashamed of themselves for even telecasting this let alone on the timeslot that science is usually shown.
This so called Psychic came up with nothing that was already known. The police to their credit refused to work with her.
The sister of the victim seemed to be taken in by the Psychic.
The body was never found even though the Psychic said she is in constant psychic communication with the victim.
Score out of 10, probably 1 because it does show what the Psychic can't do.
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Old 30th November 2006, 03:22 AM   #21
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Have just sent an email to the ABC taking them to task for telecasting this show. I have asked them to take the show off and replace it with a science programme. If enough of us complain they will at least have to hopefully put a large message at the beginning of each show saying it is a ficticous show.
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Old 30th November 2006, 03:34 AM   #22
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Angry

Celtic crosses in a Welsh cemetery!! Trees in the countryside!!

Things so rare that it almost proves that the psychic was psychic. If she'd said that the body would be found within a hundred miles of coal I would have been completely convinced.

What a load of (adjective not allowed by forum rules) (noun not allowed by forum rules).
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Old 30th November 2006, 03:40 AM   #23
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Spooky music, muted voice-over...WooOOOooo!

Also, it gives a total lie to the ABC's consumer affairs claim above that:
Quote:
...police involved in investigating crimes...have called upon the services of psychics as a possible way of achieving a breakthrough in a case.
In this episode, they did no such thing. And I suspect in future episodes they won't either.
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Old 30th November 2006, 04:08 AM   #24
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I have just sent the ABC the following complaint:
Quote:
Dear ABC,

I'm sorry, but how on Earth can you call a program like Psychic Investigators "science"? Especially in comparison to programs like Quantum that formerly occupied the time-slot? A mixture of "spooky" music, arcane but inane rituals, and a whole lot of hand-waving essentially, does not a serious TV police detective investigation story make. In short, what insulting rubbish! Eventually I was forced to change channels to watch some vapid cartoon or other it was so pathetic. Or maybe it was Jerry Springer, I don't know. It wasn't this program, that's for sure.

And I'm surprised the ABC is now in the habit of actually promoting these psychic charlatans too. Maybe the program producer has fallen for their slippery tactics, but there is no reason why the ABC needs to promote their scope for ripping off even more victims both monetarily and psychologically. Is there no review process for ABC programming such that what is essentially advertising for con-artists is actually filtered out, instead of in?

To borrow an old phrase, I'd like my eight cents back for today's effort from the ABC, thanks.

<my real name>
Sydney
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Old 30th November 2006, 04:57 AM   #25
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I cannot offer the video.. but here is the audio.

http://www.mysteryinvestigators.com/..._30_Nov_06.mp3
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Old 30th November 2006, 06:28 AM   #26
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Unfortunately, I missed it. Does anyone in Melbourne have a video of it that I can borrow? PM me, pretty please.
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Old 30th November 2006, 07:50 AM   #27
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Well it seems pretty obvious to me that it is all part of the new "Unbiased" ABC policy. They are now obliged to give lies as much air time as truth. This of course suits Howard quite nicely. The ABC is headed down the same idiotic lowest common denominator path as SBS and it makes me very angry.
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Old 30th November 2006, 07:55 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Richard View Post
http://www.abc.net.au/tv/guide/netw/...006T200000.htm

Psychic Investigators

Rachel Domas
Jason Williams
Margie Calciano

Our national TV, the ABC, are showing this BS in what is normally a science time slot. - Anyone know of this series?

It got panned in the Green Guide yesterday -- Thursday, November 30 (TV supplement in a major daily).

M.
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Old 30th November 2006, 02:34 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Moochie View Post
It got panned in the Green Guide yesterday -- Thursday, November 30 (TV supplement in a major daily).

M.
Can you scan it and post it to me or here?
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Old 30th November 2006, 02:41 PM   #30
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This reminds me of a better, much more "realistic" show, called "Psych." Way better than this crud ABC is airing.
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Old 30th November 2006, 03:49 PM   #31
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Sheesh...

Saw this adverised the other night.. could hardly believe it !

Here is what I sent to the ABC !


Quote:
As a regular fan of the ABC, ESPECIALLY the science shows, I must express my absolute disgust at the ABC presenting inane drivel like “Psychic Investigators”.

Even worse it is presented in s time slot normally reserved for SCIENCE !

I would honestly be disappointed if this show was on Channel 10.. but being on the ABC has flabbergasted me!!!!

Please do a small amount of independent research about ANY crime where “pshycics” supposedly “solved’ or helped solve the crime. You will quickly discover they did NOTHING more than informed guesses and some cold and hot reading of the issues. Many times the “psychics” hang around crimes like ambulance chasing lawyers, often grieving families are accosted by these leeches and given ridiculous false hopes.

NO psychic phenomena have even been proven or even passed the most modest of scientific testing. A million dollar prize exists for ANY psychic who can pass the simplest of tests.. IT HAS NEVER BEEN CLAIMED !!!

Enough people already believe in this garbage without the ABC given it some sort of credibility.

I am disgusted, ashamed and pissed off that MY tax money is going towards an inane UNTRUE and misleading show like this.

Please remove it from your programming!
Thanks Richard for goading me into doing something !
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Old 30th November 2006, 11:36 PM   #32
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http://www.abc.net.au/tv/guide/netw/200611/20061130.htm

The ABC lists this as must see TV!
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Old 30th November 2006, 11:56 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by logical muse View Post
Unfortunately, I missed it. Does anyone in Melbourne have a video of it that I can borrow? PM me, pretty please.
Thanks to Rahl for supplying me with an .avi of the episode!
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Old 1st December 2006, 03:46 AM   #34
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Can someone review this page for me please? Let me know if I made any typos etc..

http://www.mysteryinvestigators.com/...estigators.htm
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Old 1st December 2006, 03:49 AM   #35
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If you read the synopses of the episodes, it appears that the police NEVER contact the psychics at all, nor do they have much to do with them. It always seems to be a "friend of the family" who talks the mark...sorry, bereaved person into getting a psychic involved.

Being cynical, given some of the slimy tactics they use, I would not be surprised if the "friend of the family" had nothing to do with it - the psychic probably pretended they did when they showed up on the front door.
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Old 1st December 2006, 03:56 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Can someone review this page for me please? Let me know if I made any typos etc..

http://www.mysteryinvestigators.com/...estigators.htm
I doubt the victim was "stubbed" to death!

The location is "the Brecon Beacons", in Wales.

Can you make it not quite so condescending? We know damn well this is all a self-delusion and beat-up, but the average punter reads what you wrote as "they just hates psychics".
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Old 1st December 2006, 11:15 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Can you scan it and post it to me or here?
Here's the URL for the critique of the episode for November 30:

http://www.theage.com.au/news/tv-rev...777640770.html

It's not the Green Guide critique I mentioned -- I'll try to scan and post it later.

M.
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Old 1st December 2006, 03:20 PM   #38
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My letter to the ABC:

ABC, where is your quality control?

It seems there has been no attempt by the producers of this show to verify the alleged powers of the “psychics” involved. There is however, and this something for which the ABC should hang its head in shame, an attack on the police for not consulting “psychics”. An attack for NOT consulting “psychics”? Can anyone at the ABC have actually watched this show before it when to air? Police are to be praised for sticking to tried and true methods and not resorting to magic and delusion. Did anyone at the ABC stop to think that this show may now cause people to pester the police to use “psychics” and therefore waste time, money and valuable resources?

I have set up a page at http://www.mysteryinvestigators.com/...estigators.htm which will offer an analysis of the episodes from a more rational point of view. As a science presenter, I owe it to students who may now get a false impression from this sorry production.

But it's not too late for the ABC to act. You can take the show off the air, or failing that, show it at the 'special time' of 10.30pm on Saturdays or something. Commercial networks do this all the time. Why not replace it with one of the most outstanding TV productions of the last 30 years? I speak of Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos”. Real science that inspires the young and old.

If you must keep showing it, at least have a disclaimer. When the REAL documentary, “The Guru Busters” was shown on the ABC, you had a disclaimer that said “We wish to advise that The Guru Busters is a purchased documentary and does not represent the beliefs and attitudes of the ABC.” That for a show that exposed the fakes and frauds and pushed science and reason!

I plead with you to do something about Psychic Investigators and redeem the good name of the ABC.
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Old 1st December 2006, 09:10 PM   #39
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Heh. The interviewer at ABC radio is not a fan of this choice by ABC tv. Hear his obvious displeasure after the interview with Kiless...
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Old 2nd December 2006, 12:58 AM   #40
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Robin Williams, to whom you refer Merc, is a great ally of skepticism here.
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