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Old 12th September 2007, 04:06 PM   #1
hmmm...
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Sensing Murder New Zealand...ugh

Kia ora,
"Sensing Murder" is a particularly egregious TV show currently being broadcast in NZ by the publically funded state broadcaster TVNZ. Basically they get a couple of 'psychics' (usually aussie Deb Webber plus a handful of other muppets) who 'amazingly' are able to recount huge amounts of detail about historic murder cases.

What REALLY annoys me about this drivel is...
1. They claim at the start of each programme that the psychics have no previous knowledge of the cases and are not being fed information, when they clearly are either forewarned or are being cued. The psychics pick the victim's name, age, location, cause of death etc etc every week - it's a formulaic show.

2. It's broadcast by TVNZ who have obligations under the Free To Air Charter here in NZ.(and get funding from my taxes..bah!)

I know there are a few other Kiwis on the forum - what do you think my chances are of making a formal complaint? Can a broadcaster legally/ethically make a claim which is clearly false ie basically saying that this programme is fact?? It seems outrageous to me - imagine if they did the same thing about witches for example - claiming that there actually was a real coven operating out of Kawerau or somewhere !
I'm sure there are plenty of other cases like this from overseas so if anyone has any advice or experiences they can share I'd be pleased to hear about 'em.
My guess is that they will say, oh it's just entertainment so we can do what we like. In which case I think they should have a clear disclaimer at the start of the programme - which they don't...

cheers,

hmmm...
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Old 12th September 2007, 05:22 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting, I was going to do the same. This show had me very angry, especially the obvious cold reading when talking to the families directly.

And not only do they not offer a disclaimer, they actively talk as if their methods are real. Not possibly real, but actually genuine. For example they talk about the use of pendulums to find things as being "used successfully by psychics for thousands of years" (paraphrased from memory).

I'm not sure what the process is for making a formal complaint but I am more than willing to help out if you find out. I have already send a message from the TV2 website form complaining about it. Also I have been posting on their forum here and have mentioned the JREF MDC. Since they now clearly have media exposure they are prime candidates imo.

Cheers
Ian
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Old 12th September 2007, 05:36 PM   #3
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Thanks for that Ian - yeah I emailed TVNZ also, (re: the "SM Insight" episode) no reply as yet though. I've also contacted Nigel Latta (who was on the insight episode), and Vicki Hyde of the NZ Skeptics. Nigel said that he has been represented fairly on the "insight " programme (there's a page about it on his website goldfishwisdom.co.nz). Vicky thought TVNZ will probably be able to weasel out of it, but I think I might try anyway. I'll have a look on the TV2 forums, haven't been there yet...
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Old 13th September 2007, 03:26 PM   #4
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I emailed TVNZ with no response.
Vicki Hyde suggests that we contact the firms advertising during the breaks and complain to them.

As for the silly psychologist he's more gullible than sceptical.

Worst cold reading demonstration I've ever seen and one of the raddled haridans is on the morning program on TV1 mentioning at every stop as to how she is on that program..
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Old 13th September 2007, 04:52 PM   #5
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Any link to video?
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Old 13th September 2007, 04:55 PM   #6
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First things first: we are told here in America that murder doesn't happen anywhere but here, so are they "sensing" American murders?

Second: well, at least your state-run TV is showing something you can laugh at...we just get leftist cant on ours (PBS).

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Old 13th September 2007, 05:04 PM   #7
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Current season is available here (not sure if they are available for non-kiwis):

Also search youtube for "sensing murder" for lots of clips.

ETA: especially this one from youtube
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Old 13th September 2007, 05:11 PM   #8
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If I were a Kiwi taxpayer I would be up in arms about tax money being wasted on crap like this.
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Old 13th September 2007, 09:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
If I were a Kiwi taxpayer I would be up in arms about tax money being wasted on crap like this.
I am sharpening my axe as we speak lol.


Some of you might be curious to read this response I got to a question on the Sensing Murder forum following up on a query about what they call "strict filming conditions":

Originally Posted by SensingMurder
The "strict filming conditions" are as follows:

The psychics are not told ANY details of the case in advance. They do not know if it is an unsolved murder, suspicious death, missing person case etc

They are only told their destination at the airport - i.e, we tell them to arrive at the airport at a certain time. We then phone them at the last possible moment before check-in to tell them where they are going.

They are collected from the airport and are kept under constant supervision from the moment they touch down. They are not permitted to use their cell phones.

The psychic is offered a photograph of the vicitm - however they do not usually look at this until several hours into the reading, if at all.

Positive statements can be, but are not always, confirmed during readings. If you had seen the Insight programme where Nigel Latta was observing - you would see that only three confirmations were made about specific details - the victim's name, age, and date of death.

As Nigel observed, the production team give no verbal or visual cues. How then, you can suggest they are "cold reading? Remember, Nigel is an expert at picking up the smallest, even unconsious visual cues.

There are over 150 unsolved murders in NZ and hundreds more missing person cases. For the psychics to have swatted up on all of those and be able to retain that level of detail they subsequently produce would be impossible (especially considering all of the psychics battle with dyslexia or reading/writing problems too!)

Nigel Latta, who works interviewing some of NZ's worst criminals, believes he would have been able to tell if the psychic was recalling previously learnt information. He did not believe this was the case.

I suggest you read Nigel's comments about the experience on his website www.goldfishwisdom.co.nz - you can also watch the Insight programme on TVNZ on demand.
Certainly an interesting response, but I do have some suspicians. In particular I wonder if the first bit is actually true. Also I wonder if there aren't other avenues for the psychics to find out, e.g. through the police who would have been contacted for research purposes.

Any of you JREF experts offer some advice as to follow up questions?

Cheers
Ian
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Old 14th September 2007, 12:52 AM   #10
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How does one become "an expert at picking up the smallest, even unconsious visual cues"? By taking a couple of body language woo courses?
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Old 14th September 2007, 01:03 AM   #11
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It’s so obviously staged. It would be good to get a “mole” on to the production team and expose it for the crap it is. Have always had the “hots” for Rebecca Gibney though.
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Old 14th September 2007, 01:53 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
If I were a Kiwi taxpayer I would be up in arms about tax money being wasted on crap like this.
Originally Posted by Ginarley View Post
I am sharpening my axe as we speak lol.
Steady, chaps. <o taxpayer dollars were harmed during the filming or broadcasting of the series. It's an independent production which has certainly been bought by the taxpayer-owned tv station, but unlike the BBC, NZ's television is NOT publicly-funded and it actually provides revenue to the government. Let's not go off half-cocked.link


Originally Posted by Ginarley View Post
Also I wonder if there aren't other avenues for the psychics to find out, e.g. through the police who would have been contacted for research purposes.

Any of you JREF experts offer some advice as to follow up questions?

Cheers
Ian
Ok. I haven't taken much interest in this program until I got your message and had no idea what it's about. First off, these are not some obscure cases they're looking into, they are very high-profile cases and I could give you a pretty good rundown on almost all of them straight off the top of my head - Tracey Patient, Olive Walker, Luana Williams, George Englebrecht, Angela Blackmore - as could most people with intact brains of my vintage. Crikey, I'd have them cold on Olive Walker's one, I remember watching the forensic team from the school-bus!

I could list a few other good ones which fit their profile: Mona Blades, Jeanette Beard, Kirsa Jensen, Kirsty Bentley. I see their latest page mentions Agnes Ali'iva'a (half-naked in a ditch behind Roskill Grammar, the site now the foundations for ME motorway, totally cocked up by the investigating cops...) and Aaron Hopa. Anyone know what they had to say about Aaron Hopa? That's another case I'm extremely familiar with - assuming they mean the All Black and not his cousin of the same name in UAE[?]

Mate, this is insanity of the first degree and I think approaching the tv company is a waste of time. There is no upside in them doing anything but defending it to death.

I'd recommend hmmm's idea first off - see what the charter has to say and see whether there's a legal challenge to it. If that doesn't pan out, maybe we could move on to plan B:

I have good contacts at TV3 and I wonder whether Campbell Live mightn't like to get the TVNZ psychics to take a challenge. Heck, there's even a local one they can have a crack at! Jon Zealando has been doing cold reading for nearly sixty years, I'd gladly back him against any psychic in this part of the world. The only downside to this idea is that I know TV3 - along with all bloody tv companies - is pro-psychic and astrologer, simply because they rate their pants off.

Having a big swipe at TVNZ might be a catalyst, though.

How are you off for legal resources, hmmm? Let me know where you're up to on that angle.
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Old 14th September 2007, 02:19 AM   #13
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In fact, just to get the ball rolling, I've sent them all this e mail:

Quote:
It has been brought to my attention that you claim to have some kind of "psychic power" which enables you to talk to dead people.

I claim that you are a liar and can do no such thing. To give you the opportunity of proving me wrong, I herewith immediately challenge you to undertake the Immortality Challenge, detailed at www.immortality.co.nz which will pay $1 million NZ to you and a further $1 million NZ to a charity of your choice, upon simply displaying your powers in a controlled environment.

Given that you are a "professional psychic" with a reputation to uphold, I expect you to honour the challenge by applying as soon as possible.

I will also be listing my challenge to you on the Immortality website and at this discussion site: http://www.racechat.co.nz/forum/view...hp?f=67&t=7642
I shall keep you posted, or check in at the Racechat forum.
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Old 15th September 2007, 03:39 PM   #14
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Well according to his website the psychologist makes the claim that no-one can fool him so the 'psychics must be real
ROTFL
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Old 15th September 2007, 08:14 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by George152 View Post
Well according to his website the psychologist makes the claim that no-one can fool him so the 'psychics must be real
ROTFL
The price of 15 minutes of fame must have gone up recently.

Damn, what a shame it is that these people who can tell, with 100% certainty whether someone is telling the truth or not aren't available for our justice system?
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Old 16th September 2007, 02:40 PM   #16
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Here's what Nigel Latta has to say about it:

Originally Posted by Nigel Latta
I'm not going to go over the whole day in detail but instead would just like to say the following:

The producers didn't edit me into saying something I didn't, and they didn't cut out anything I especially wanted in. They did edit what I said, but then they had to, it's a TV show and I talk a lot. The final version was a fair representation of my thoughts and impressions.
I can't explain what I saw that day, I've tried, but I can't.
The crew didn't lead or direct Deb in any way that I could see, and even though three statements were confirmed as correct, these didn't lead her any more than saying yes that's correct. She said a lot more that was correct (not vaguely on track but factually correct) that wasn't confirmed or disconfirmed.
I can't explain how she found the house or the position of the body.
I think she was genuine in so far as she was not puttting on a performance, she believed what she was saying.
I've spent over 17 years interviewing criminals in all kinds of settings and know a thing or two about spotting deception. My ******** radar was quiet the whole day. Not most of the day, the whole day.
Whilst it's logically possible that the production crew told the psychic all that stuff before she came I don't believe that's what happened. The reason for that is that the behavior of everyone involved on the day, in my professional opinion, was not consistent with some kind of orchestrated deception.
I also don't think the psychic swatted up on unsolved murders and then took a guess. There are quite a few unsolved crimes and she didn't start vague and then shape her responses based on feedback from the crew. She started specific and stayed that way.
I don't know if Deb Webber talks to dead people, but I cannot explain in any rational way what I saw.

Oh, and one more thing: a big criticism of psychics (and I've always been the one saying this quite loudly myself) is if they're so tuned into the dead, and they can have these conversations, then how come they don't ever come up with the name of the killer? Huh?

Well, it turns out they do.

In some of the cases that the psychics have looked at they have come up with specific information about the cases that was known only to the Police. They have also come up with specific names that were persons of interest to the Police but were never made public. I know this for a fact. Which leaves me thinking that if all this is simply clever con artists duping gullible people, aided by unscrupulous media types, how do they find out specifc forensic details of crimes that were never released, and how do they come up with names that were known only to those on the inside?

And that, boys and girls, is the freakiest thing of all. Explain that if you can, because I can't.
link
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Old 16th September 2007, 03:29 PM   #17
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And just to help the psychologist chappie along, I've just sent him this e mail:

Originally Posted by Me
I've read your answers to questions regarding the TV program Sensing Murder and your appearance on it, but would like to follow up with a few more, as this is a special area of interest of mine - I run a paranormal challenge to the tune of $2M for a genuine psychic to claim, just for ... being psychic!

Details are here.

I've read your online cv and your comments and I have no doubt that you've been honest the entire way.

I haven't seen any of the tv programs and wasn't even aware of the series' existence until just recently, but I have now caught up with the format and content of the show.

The first thing which struck me was that extremely high-profile cases have been used, cases where I would personally have immense recall of details from several of them. Unless the people they have used live in a cave outside of all forms of communication, they must have known at least some details of almost all of the cases.

The program employs a former top police investigator. Why?

If the pychics are genuine, what is the investigator required to investigate?

I accept that you probably do have a highly-tuned ********-radar, but I submit that you may well have been blind-sided by the total professionalism of the people involved. These people make their living from lying. As any kind of sentient human being - which you clearly are - you must realise that these people are professional cheats. The fact that our laws allow them to effectually dabble in witchcraft for financial gain in the 21st century is enough reason not to encourage them, in my view.

I see from your site that you're a parent of children of similar age to mine. As a former Little Treasures magazine Father of the Year myself, I can assure you that we share similar goals regarding our children. One of mine, however, is to imbue my kids with a sense of realism. You note yourself that there are more things for kids to deal with than at any time in this planet's history; wouldn't it be nice to remove one of them? The fantasy, absurdly-ridiculous, can-not-happen one?

See, that's where I put all of "paranormality", which includes psychics and it disppoints me to see someone whose views are respected seeming to accept that this stuff is within the bounds of possibility. You touch on it with the comment that "how come you never give the name of the murderer?" but back-track to tell that "a name" unknown to people outside of the police was given. Really?

Let's apply some critical analysis of what you said: "Nobody outside of the Police knew the name".

So, the NZ Police are now a completely incorruptible force, but not only are they incorruptible, they also operate with 100% discretion, all of the time, even when retired from the Police and working for a tv show. How many cops are in jail in NZ at this moment?

My position is simple - I offer $2M to anyone who can display paranormal powers under controlled conditions. This challenge mirrors a USA-based one which has operated for many years under the banner of the James Randi Educational Foundation. Both organisations goals are identical - to emphasise that paranormality does not exist and to encourage people to apply critical analysis of propositions.

This brings it back full circle to my kids. They are - I feel - privileged to be able to see why, from a very early age, that our life is what we have; we arrive on earth at the choosing of a couple we've never met and who we hope will bring us up to make the best choices and the best life. I feel that that life is most likely to be achieved if approached with an open mind - one which asks "why' and "how", not one which glibly swallows the ******** outpourings of people who cynically label themselves "psychic".

Every psychic I've challenged so far has stuck to earning $3-99 per minute on telephone calls rather than earn themselves personally $1,000,000 in one hit.

Od that, innit?

I have already sent challenges to the psychics from the tv series and expect none of them to apply. I will be placing a new article on the Immortality site in the near future, but since your name is connected with the tv program, and appear to offer them some defence, I wanted to give you the opportunity of making a statement, before I put the pages up. This e mail - and your reply, verbatim, if any - will form part of the pages.

A friend of mine has already been in contact with the production company, and their reply included this piece:

Positive statements can be, but are not always, confirmed during readings. If you had seen the Insight programme where Nigel Latta was observing - you would see that only three confirmations were made about specific details - the victim's name, age, and date of death.

As Nigel observed, the production team give no verbal or visual cues. How then, you can suggest they are "cold reading? Remember, Nigel is an expert at picking up the smallest, even unconsious visual cues.

There are over 150 unsolved murders in NZ and hundreds more missing person cases. For the psychics to have swatted up on all of those and be able to retain that level of detail they subsequently produce would be impossible (especially considering all of the psychics battle with dyslexia or reading/writing problems too!)

Nigel Latta, who works interviewing some of NZ's worst criminals, believes he would have been able to tell if the psychic was recalling previously learnt information. He did not believe this was the case.

Now, I'm not sure whether the company is putting words into your mouth, but the two bolded paragraphs are especially damning. Given that we have enormous difficulty in determining "truth", suggesting that we can go six or seven steps further and know whether it's being recalled is pure fantasy.

As to the "picking up unconscious clues", I'm hoping that that is just more TV company hyperbole, because that would of course, be a paranormal ability in itself.

Are you happy to stand by these comments? And do you have any other comments?

Thanks very much.

Alan
I thought it only fair to give Latta a chnce to respond personally - he seems like he's just been the patsy here.
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Old 16th September 2007, 06:08 PM   #18
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Thanks TheAtheist - excellent advice, and excellent emails. I am stoked you formally offered them the immortality challenge - it will be interesting to see them try and squirm out of it. Please let me know if I can help in any way and in the mean time I will keep plugging away with emails to TV2 and co on the remote chance they notice
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Old 16th September 2007, 07:36 PM   #19
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Even watching the promo for this program made my blood boil.


All the best with your efforts against this show people.

I notice Nigel Latta has written a novel "execution Lullaby", has anyone read this? The theme seems to be slightly similar to the show sensing murder... I wonder if it has any psychic element to it, or anything that could reveal that he is actually a beleiver, posing as a skeptic?

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Old 16th September 2007, 07:41 PM   #20
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Seconded - thanks to The Atheist , great to have you involved.

However TVNZ does get some government funding (which equals tax dollars in my book) - to quote from TVNZ's own website.. "Slightly less than 10% of our revenue comes from government sources."

I think an approach to Campbell Live would be of value, certainly worth a punt - it seems the kind of story that would fit and it's also a chance to have a dig at TVNZ. Are you able to see if they are interested??

The next episode of "Sensing Murder" is on tomorrow (tuesday 18th @ 8.30 pm) - have a look.

I will approach TVNZ with a formal complaint under the Free-To-Air charter but to be honest it's all a bit woolly. They can just claim the programme isn't factual and they get off. However they do claim at the start of every episode that the psychics do not have prior knowledge as per Ginarley's post above so I guess this does make it seem as though they are claiming it is factual...!
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Old 16th September 2007, 08:46 PM   #21
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OK Here is the gist of what I sent to TVNZ, let's see what their response is...

Sensing Murder clearly presents itself as a factual programme. It should not do so. It is clearly an entertainment programme and should have a disclaimer stating this as the case.
In presenting itself as a factual programme it breaks article 5b of the Free To Air TV code.

5b) Broadcasters should refrain from broadcasting material which is misleading or unnecessarily alarms viewers.




You cannot have it both ways.
Either

a) state the programme is for entertainment purposes only with a disclaimer

or

b) stop claiming the programme is factual.

If Sensing Murder is to be taken as a factual programme then it is misleading and under article 5b (above). If it is purely entertainment then it should not claim to be factual and should not present itself in the manner that strongly suggests the psychics have no fore knowledge or outside help. This programme is clearly deceitful and I don't feel it is within the remit of the state broadcaster to allow such programmes to be shown, particularly without a clear disclaimer.
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Old 16th September 2007, 09:06 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by hmmm... View Post
OK Here is the gist of what I sent to TVNZ, let's see what their response is...

Sensing Murder clearly presents itself as a factual programme. It should not do so. It is clearly an entertainment programme and should have a disclaimer stating this as the case.
In presenting itself as a factual programme it breaks article 5b of the Free To Air TV code.

5b) Broadcasters should refrain from broadcasting material which is misleading or unnecessarily alarms viewers.




You cannot have it both ways.
Either

a) state the programme is for entertainment purposes only with a disclaimer

or

b) stop claiming the programme is factual.

If Sensing Murder is to be taken as a factual programme then it is misleading and under article 5b (above). If it is purely entertainment then it should not claim to be factual and should not present itself in the manner that strongly suggests the psychics have no fore knowledge or outside help. This programme is clearly deceitful and I don't feel it is within the remit of the state broadcaster to allow such programmes to be shown, particularly without a clear disclaimer.
Good stuff.
I guess it will depend on who reads your email... there is a good chance you will get someone who beleives psychics are real and will claim the show is factual.
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Old 16th September 2007, 09:47 PM   #23
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Actually I hope that is the case... at least then we've got an angle - I think they'll just claim it's an entertainment programme and therefore doesn't come under 5b of the charter. Which is a huge cop out.
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Old 16th September 2007, 11:08 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by hmmm... View Post
Actually I hope that is the case... at least then we've got an angle - I think they'll just claim it's an entertainment programme and therefore doesn't come under 5b of the charter. Which is a huge cop out.
Good letter.

If they do cop-out then they will need to make the disclaimer at the start, and if they do that, they will also need to rephrase much of the material. If they do claim it is factual then Campbell live or some other show can have a field day poking holes in that theory.
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Old 17th September 2007, 12:30 AM   #25
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Ha! This is great, the whole Kiwi gang getting stuck in! Need to get that other bludger, Taffer, on the case, too!

I won't do anything for a couple of days - I'd like to give Nigel Latta the chance of commenting on the e mail from SM, because they aren't his actual words and he certainly doesn't go as far on the website.

I will try to get hold of a copy of his book and pass on some details.

--> great work so far, hmmm!
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Old 17th September 2007, 12:45 AM   #26
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Ginarley, do you know this bloke?

http://lefthandpalm.blogspot.com/

He's got some good stuff on SM on that blog and I see he's in Palmy. Maybe worth e mail to get together with him - he looks like he'd lend a hand.
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Old 17th September 2007, 02:33 PM   #27
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Ok cool - Let's see what eventuates from Nigel and take it from there.

On a slightly different subject I've just fired off a couple of questions to the new Psychics Column in the Rotorua Daily Post. It's written by a three ladies from Hawkes Bay who claim to be clairvoyants/pyschics/mediums etc. The questions will be forwarded to them by the editor of the Daily Post. I imagine this is a syndicated column through APN so it's probably in other areas also. They are pretty harmless really but my feeling is they get paid for the column so they should be accountable...

Questions are:

1. You claim to have special powers – would you be willing to undergo a test to prove these powers? There are several organisations in the world who are offering substantial monetary rewards to those who can prove psychic or paranormal ability.
You could win a lot of money and donate it to a charity of your choice by just proving that you can actually do what you claim you can do.
If your powers are for some reason ‘untestable’ then why should anyone believe you? Surely anyone could claim to have some intangible unquantifiable talent and then just say ‘well it’s a matter of faith..’. – such a claim would be essentially meaningless.

For example – you get paid to answer queries such as “where is the mobile phone charger that I lost?” You should be able to prove that your answers are likely to be right, as opposed to someone with no ‘powers’ just having a guess. Can you prove it? It would be relatively simple to set up a test which could win you / your charity a large amount of cash. Otherwise your column may as well be written by someone picked off the street at random.


2. Why don’t you use your powers to benefit mankind instead of offering generic relationship advice and trying to find people’s car keys. Surely if you had such great insight you’d be able help people on a large scale?
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Old 17th September 2007, 03:30 PM   #28
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Good work guys, I feel inspired to write TVNZ an email telling them why I'm not watching that show.

For anyone who has watched it I've got a question - do the family members of the victims ever get involved in the show? Because it is truly disgusting if they're stringing those guys along with false hope, and even worse if they're doing it without their permission.
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Old 17th September 2007, 03:49 PM   #29
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Hi Graham - yes family members do appear on the show regularly. I imagine the programme makers are fairly scrupulous when it comes to obtaining the necessary permissions...
Please do write to TVNZ - I sent one email to them (before making the official complaint) which so far (2 weeks) has not been answered.
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Old 17th September 2007, 04:11 PM   #30
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hmmm... what about something in the local paper. I am more than happy to send off a couple of aussie dollars to help with the article/ad. If you could put some of what The Atheist has done with your own, I am sure it would cause a bit of a stir. Imagine the TV station reading about their own show in the local rag and what a load of baloney it is? Plus a challenge to the stars of the show. "Give the winnings to a major NZ charity (children's hospital)". How could they refuse without looking idiotic to the whole country.
Keep up the great work.

I'm coming over the ditch in Dec, so keep the Old Dark cold.....
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Old 17th September 2007, 05:33 PM   #31
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I did write to the local paper on a couple of occasions. They edited out my "Deb Webber is a fraud and a charlatan" comment. I can't really blame them as they fear opening themselves to some sort of court action I suppose.
However you bring up a very good point - what if someone did get an article/advert in the paper, either there would be silence from the TV station/psychics in general, or it would end in court where they may have to prove their ability. To my knowledge there is only one case (Merrell vs Renier) where a psychic has gone to court, and that was rather messy. I'm sure there are others. I'm sure it would at least get some good publicity...
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Old 17th September 2007, 06:42 PM   #32
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Just noticed this thread - thought i'd stick my oar in.

Best advice i can think of is to talk to Vicki - which you've done. Getting the NZ Skeptics involved would give you a bit more weight. And maybe even some resources...

I might talk to her about it at the conf if i get a chance...

Is everyone going to the conf? We should catch up...
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Old 17th September 2007, 09:05 PM   #33
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I'm not sure about the advert idea - I like it in principal, but maybe a public challenge on Campbell live would have more impact? Maybe both?

Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Ginarley, do you know this bloke?

http://lefthandpalm.blogspot.com/

He's got some good stuff on SM on that blog and I see he's in Palmy. Maybe worth e mail to get together with him - he looks like he'd lend a hand.
I don't but I'm onto it. However I think he is also posting on the Sensing Murder forums.

Originally Posted by hmmm... View Post
Hi Graham - yes family members do appear on the show regularly. I imagine the programme makers are fairly scrupulous when it comes to obtaining the necessary permissions... [snip]
From what I have seen it seems the families are all entirely convinced as well - which is perhaps the biggest motivation for doing something about this.

Originally Posted by PBTree View Post
[snip]I'm coming over the ditch in Dec, so keep the Old Dark cold.....
Good choice of beer mate
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Old 17th September 2007, 09:18 PM   #34
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Nigel Latta does not seem competent enough to me to be involved in these matters.
And would the show really want someone who was? They wouldnt have much of a show if a learned skeptic was able to show that it was all rubbish would they...

Here is my pointless email to Nigel:
Hi Nigel,

In the show sensing murder, you imply indirectly that you beleive the supposed psychics do actually have paranormal powers. I would like to ask you a couple of questions about that if i may.

The show portrays you as "A hardened skeptic", i would like to know what you have done in the past in the field of psychic phenomena to earn you this reputation?

Why was it the show chose you? - what were the credentials that indicated to them, that you were the man for the job, above someone from the skeptics society for example.

How much research have you done on cold reading?
Do you understand it well enough that you yourself could give a convincing psychic reading?
Have you read Ian Rowlands book - The full facts book of cold reading?
Or do you think that because you are a psychologist and understand things such as the Barnum effect that you know what cold reading is? - because i assure you unless you have tried to learn cold reading as a skill, you do not understand it.

I suspect you were not the hardened skeptic the show made you out to be, i suspect you were picked because of you credentials as a psychologist, to seem authoritive and smart to the mindless sheep watching, and it had nothing to do with skepticism and knowledge in the area of psychical studies.

I would greatly appreciate you proving me wrong by answering my questions.

Thankyou
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Old 17th September 2007, 10:05 PM   #35
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I haven't read everything in this thread, but I think it should be mentioned (if it hasn't already) that "Sensing Murder" is a show that has already plagued many countries before New Zealand. The original "Fornemmelse for Mord" is Danish. (I'm not sure I'm spelling that right). I saw the Swedish version ("Förnimmelse av Mord") when it was broadcast about five years ago. It was truly disgusting.
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Old 17th September 2007, 10:14 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Fredrik View Post
I haven't read everything in this thread, but I think it should be mentioned (if it hasn't already) that "Sensing Murder" is a show that has already plagued many countries before New Zealand. The original "Fornemmelse for Mord" is Danish. (I'm not sure I'm spelling that right). I saw the Swedish version ("Förnimmelse av Mord") when it was broadcast about five years ago. It was truly disgusting.
Oh yes, that show! I had totally forgot about that. It was just... so terrible bad! I couldn't stand that guy that started to weep over every thing he "sensed" I just saw 2 or 3 episodes I think, and then I just couldn't stand it anymore. I remember having long discussions about this show with a friend of mine who was a fan of it. We didn't agree on much.
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Old 17th September 2007, 10:22 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Fredrik View Post
I haven't read everything in this thread, but I think it should be mentioned (if it hasn't already) that "Sensing Murder" is a show that has already plagued many countries before New Zealand. The original "Fornemmelse for Mord" is Danish. (I'm not sure I'm spelling that right). I saw the Swedish version ("Förnimmelse av Mord") when it was broadcast about five years ago. It was truly disgusting.
Man that's depressing. Any idea if it got much reaction in the press in those countries (from skeptics or believers)?
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Old 17th September 2007, 11:16 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by hmmm... View Post
2. Why don’t you use your powers to benefit mankind instead of offering generic relationship advice and trying to find people’s car keys. Surely if you had such great insight you’d be able help people on a large scale?
Nice. Maybe a letter to the editor offering the challenge for them to have a look at. Feel free to challenge any of them, any time. Jon Z eats these people for breakfast.

Originally Posted by PBTree View Post
"Give the winnings to a major NZ charity (children's hospital)". How could they refuse without looking idiotic to the whole country.
Keep up the great work.
I think this is a good idea - I might even change the "charity of choice" just to Starship, and tie the amount to a new piece of life-saving equipment.

"They won't use their powers to save kids' lives!"

I think I can get pretty creative with that.

Originally Posted by vIQleS View Post
I might talk to her about it at the conf if i get a chance...

Is everyone going to the conf? We should catch up...
I didn't even know there was a conference, so count me out on that, but I know that one of John Campbells' reporters is a member of NZ Skeptics.

Originally Posted by Ginarley View Post
I'm not sure about the advert idea - I like it in principal, but maybe a public challenge on Campbell live would have more impact? Maybe both?
Tell you what - I'll certainly try to get us on the program, but I'd bet large amounts that Campbell Live won't touch a bar of it. Despite being a complete non-believer, Campbell has had my arch-nemesis Don Murray on there twice in the past two years and a little birdie tells me he's going to be on again before the World Cup Final. TV3 also is currently running some psychic baloney on Monday nights. People aren't usually too keen on having their myths exploded and in a small market, I'd be surprised if Campbell was willing to alienate any audience.

I think it will come down to an attack on the program by way of paid advertising, (doesn't bother me, I'll just stick it on the tab) although two other options occur to me:

The BSA. If the show is presented as real, they're lying, which must be actionable in some way.

I see the program won a QANTAS Media Award for "best reality show". WTF? How does a complete fantasy win a reality award?

Of all the organisations involved, I would expect QANTAS is the one that would least like to be have egg on its face, so maybe attacking them that way might work. I'd have to check out what constitutes "real" in TV land, however.
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Old 17th September 2007, 11:52 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
I see the program won a QANTAS Media Award for "best reality show". WTF? How does a complete fantasy win a reality award?

Of all the organisations involved, I would expect QANTAS is the one that would least like to be have egg on its face, so maybe attacking them that way might work. I'd have to check out what constitutes "real" in TV land, however.
Maybe the question should be asked of Qantas as to whether they are contemplating psychics at their counters so we can check to see whether the plane makes it to it's destination.

Imagine the lives it would save?

That latest crash in Thailand would have only had the pilot and crew on board if that airline had followed Qantas' lead.

I am sure the press would love that bit of nonsense.
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Old 18th September 2007, 02:17 PM   #40
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Well it's worth a crack approaching Campbell Live if you can - I agree with you about what the result will be, but nothing ventured etc

I have started "proceedings" through the BSA so we'll see what happens on that front. Interestingly over at the Sensing Murder forums (Ginarly is getting stuck in over there) their admin, who presumably works for Ninox the SM production company, is pretty adamant that the proramme is factual, which will fly in the face of my expected response from TVNZ /the BSA that it's entertainment.
Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Nice. Maybe a letter to the editor offering the challenge for them to have a look at. Feel free to challenge any of them, any time. Jon Z eats these people for breakfast.
I have challenged them, awaiting a response - I doubt the editor will want to get involved as they write a column in his paper...
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