Friday, January 29, 2010

From Entertainers to Predators: When Psychics Cross the Line

My blog for the month of January has become, seemingly, an attack on Robbie Thomas and I've received a few emails about it so I thought I should explain the situation.

I would be less concerned with "psychics" if they were simply in the entertainment business - and admittedly so. It would require that they inform clients that what they do is for entertainment only and not based on any supernatural abilities because they do not exist. Let's forget the fact that most psychics (all psychics that I've dealt with) would never admit to simply "entertaining".

As most psychics claim supernatural abilities, I have a problem with them - they are either lying to themselves or, even worse (and I suspect this is often the case), defrauding clients. That's bad, really bad, but often they are taking money from people who understand what they're up against and do it, themselves, for entertainment even though the psychic would claim it is more than that. These people are also not subsequently subjected to the psychic publicly claiming that one of their predictions had come true. The clients aren't typically made the focus of unwanted media attention.

Where it gets really upsetting is when people - as Robbie Thomas is doing - claim to be psychics and take advantage of people who have lost loved ones - either have gone missing or have been murdered. These victim's families are being re-victimized by predators like Robbie Thomas.

There is not one proven case in which a psychic, using special powers or abilities not given to the typical person, has located a missing person, whether dead or alive. It may be possible that some persons have an ability that defies science and logic, but there is no known scientific evidence of this. These persons re-victimize families by taking away hope where it should stand, and giving hope where there is none. No person has the right to do this to another. - Kelly Jolkowski, Mother of Jason, a 19 year old who disappeared June 13, 2001 (

I have been in contact with and been contacted by a number of people since posting my original blog item on Robbie Thomas (Psychic Solves Abduction/Murder Case). Some of these people contacted me because they have been involved with Robbie or with other psychics when their family had lost a loved one. Many of these people were disgusted by the actions of psychics and feel that these psychics (Robbie included) had committed some of the most indecent acts against other humans in their attempt for self-promotion.

I will confess that I can't imagine what these families went through (and are going through) in losing a family member in the ways that they have. Having a young child abducted or a family member being murdered has to be extremely trying and having the person still missing or the crime not solved has to drag the agony on. It is at times like these that we all hope for the best from humans and, I would venture to say, most humans would react and act in respectable, caring and empathetic ways.

It was through my conversations with these families and looking into the claims made by psychics (not just Robbie) that I've come to truly understand the real damage and pain - simply by putting a face and a family to the tragedy has shown me how much Robbie Thomas (and others) have truly upped the ante. The damage these psychics do is real and unfathomable.

I'm not just in this to "debunk" psychics (it is bunk) or suggest that religion is silly (it is). I'm in this today because, like any human being with any sense of responsibility to others, I'm appalled and outraged. This isn't a game, it's not funny and it's definitely not entertainment. It exacts substantial amounts of pain and draws attention from the real case at hand. Scumbags like Robbie need to stop or be stopped.

Psychic detectives are the vanguard of a second wave of predators that also includes tabloid journalists, cheesy defense lawyers and photo-op politicians. They use tabloid newspapers and talk shows to boast about their accomplishments and predict success. They materialize whenever children are kidnapped and circle the cases like vultures on a fresh carcass. - Marc Klaas, father of Polly Klaas, 12 years old when abducted and murdered in 1993. (
Robbie Thomas is well aware that his actions and statements are harming other people - he has been informed by the police, victims' families and by media outlets that his claims of involvement in cases and his reference to family tragedies is not welcome. Despite this, he has continued to inflict pain on others with the real goal being personal gain. He isn't doing his tour to help, he is doing his tour to sell tickets, to make money, and is (wrongly and falsely) promoting himself as an altruistic being who has helped families move on by solving their crimes.

Robbie claims to have been involved in solving crimes and finding missing persons for 18 years (note that the Solved Cases Counter for Robbie Thomas still stands at 0 after these 18 years) but I can assure you that, for the most part, his involvement has been far from helpful and at times extremely negative. He actively promotes the idea that he was involved in a local murder case and has often* included articles from newspapers to suggest that it is "true" that he was involved. Yet, today, this particular case remains unsolved.

If he had psychic powers, he'd have solved this crime and, today, we'd be giving him credit. He hasn't solved the crime but he still continues to include it (and the subsequent media attention he got from claiming it in the first place) as a case that he was involved in. I can only imagine the pain and horror the family must endure each and every time they find out that Robbie Thomas is, again, mentioning their horrific and un-ending tragedy for his own self-promotion.

It is when "psychics" cross the line from entertainers to predators that it no longer becomes about "debunking" - each and everyone one of us, as human beings, are responsible for the pain that our own actions cause. It's not alright to sit back and let the abuse continue to happen and, with that, I've spent a considerable amount of time on Robbie Thomas and his shameful act of preying on innocent victims. As you can see, we have a long way to go but, together, we can put a stop to it.

(A special thanks to SherwoodSkeptic for your contributions. And, thank you, to the families, friends, police, organizations and groups who've come forward - you've inspired a community and brought true meaning to what it is that we do. What comes in the next few months is, if not for you, because of you.)

*I would put up copies of his promotional materials and his news articles but he's done enough damage with his propaganda and lies - the families I have spoken with want nothing more than for him (and other psychics) to disappear from their lives.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I always wondered what the families think about "psychics" doing this. It is bad enough that they've had a family membered kidnapped or murdered.