Monday, May 10, 2010

I was wrong, I am sorry

A little over a week ago, I wrote a blog entry entitled Another pseudo-psychic comes to town and what it matters.  Today's blog, however, is to admit that I was wrong and to tell my readers that I am sorry.

In the original blog, I had pointed out that a local "Relay for Life" team was planning on bringing a pseudo-psychic to Sarnia as part of a fundraiser.  The pseudo-psychic at the time was someone by the name of Lorraine Scott.  Lorraine was to do readings and connect with the spirits of loved ones - if she didn't have a chance to do your reading during the 'show', you could pay for her to do it after. 

Some of the money raised from this fundraiser would go to support the Canadian Cancer Society - a valuable and reputable charity striving towards a valid goal. 

It has come to my attention that, as a result of my blog, Lorraine Scott cancelled her appearance in Sarnia out of fear of physical harm.  The event organizers, however, are venturing on so all is not lost. 

I received a number of emails from people who had planned on attending or were involved in organizing (their claims) the event and they expressed a level of dislike for me and my blog.  As a result, I just want to say that I'm sorry.  And, more fully...

When it comes to fundraising, I was wrong to apply a skeptical approach to what was actually happening at the fundraiser.  The Canadian Cancer Society needs donations to continue their mission and the Relay for Life team was trying to help raise money for them.  If you can, you should support "Lisa's Angels" fundraiser - now is not a time to consider the damage done by psychics.  We must put aside the fact that psychics might desecrate real memories of your loved ones when the goal is to give a portion of the proceeds to charity.  I'm sorry that I made people think (or think twice) and I was wrong to suggest that there was anything wrong with providing support for psychics.

The reality is that skeptics (like myself), can be wrong.  I obviously was wrong in this situation.  I should have done as my teacher (at a Catholic school none-the-less) said - "sit down and shut up".  There is a time and place for skepticism. 

In saying that, throw out critical thinking, throw out skepticism and wholeheartedly support, without questioning, anything that might involve a charity receiving a financial benefit. Please accept my sincerest apologies.

I'm really sorry, however, if you took this post to be anything more than tongue-in-cheek.  The harm that claimed psychics and "healers" cause is real.  Apply critical thinking, be more skeptical and don't simply toss all caution to the wind because a little bit of money is going to a "worthy" cause.  Just as churches claim to be helping the needy, it doesn't justify the acceptance of child sexual abuse and rape.  Lisa's Angels may be giving some of the proceeds to the Canadian Cancer Society but that does not justify the unquestioned acceptance of someone who claims to be able to talk to the dead.  Lorraine is (and other claimed psychics are) offering false hope all the while desecrating and/or distorting true memories of lost loved ones. 

I'm not sorry if you think I'm heartless.  I'm not sorry if you think I was trying to ruin a valuable fundraiser - the value is far outweighed by the harm.  The end does not justify the means.  The costs are far greater, the harm is more substantial and the continued acceptance of these abusers of trusting people makes this one fundraiser I encourage everybody to avoid.

With all of that said, support the Canadian Cancer Society and other charities. Without the support of us all, they will never achieve their goals. The Canadian Cancer Society does not endorse psychics – they even clearly told me that when I called. We should be working to reduce suffering and supporting the search for cures/treatments for cancers is a great way to do that. Cancer will not be cured by psychics, “healers” – it will be cured through scientific research. Supporting psychics as a means of supporting the Canadian Cancer Society is, at the very least, counter-intuitive. Support science not swindlers.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

You almost had me there!

Yes, Support Science and Reason.

Ryan Hulshof said...

You almost had me scared there, your writing was so well done i was starting to roll my eyes at the beginning of the article, lol.

It sucks that she broke her promise to the relay for life. But it was not caused by us, it was caused by her own cowardice. As i said to the observer, we are not skinheads, we are not some terror group. We are a group of people concerned with helping those at a vulnerable time in their life.

What more focus should be on is that Mrs Scott backed out of a deal from the relay for life because she was afraid of.....nothing really.

sharon said...

you are a coward and a wimp

loraine should sue you for all you have and she has my support

how do you slander lisa and her family like you have you scaritty cat loser

Ryan Hulshof said...

You realize to sue for slander one has to prove that the claims are false, right? And for her to do that she would have to prove her powers in a controlled setting.

And if she could do THAT she would have a cool million from James randi as well.

Loraine has a long way to go before she has the legal basis to sue anyone. Please, read up on how the law works before you make such childish commentary as she should sue someone.

Anonymous said...

The psychic would have used this as an opportunity to say she donates money to the Charity and self-proclaim that she is true and honourable.

Psychics always attach themselves to charities. It's their way of bolstering their marketing campaigns.

Anonymous said...

I see it different. Thank you for maning up after harassing me to death on my e-mail. People are entitled to believe or not believe in whatever they want. I think saying sorry is the hardest thing to do. I am forgiving you. kimi

SherwoodSkeptic said...

The organizers of this event simply made a bad choice with how they were going to raise funds.
How could they feel comfortable with someone who claims to talk to dead people? She also claims to be a healer, especially ironic considering the charity.
Otherwise, I commend Lisa's Angels for their work with the Cancer Society. Hopefully they will be successful with another type of fund raising venture.

Anonymous said...

kimi-thank you for being a leader and accepting an apology that sarniaskeptic didn't really make.

Robbie Thomas said...

Kimi can't read or she stopped half way through......

Sharon, it isn't slander when you speak the truth!

I have never known the sarniaskeptic to be wrong except when he talks about me!

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention in the post script that Robbie Thomas is not psychic.

sarniaskeptic said...

Wow! Kimi and I are friends now!

I can't say that I am all that surprised that she understand the posting (or that she didn't read the whole thing).

Kimi claims to be a psychic as well - and who am I to doubt her? She has a SINGLE anecdote to prove it (but the person who could confirm it is dead - small detail). I bet Kimi could still talk to the dead person and let us know what the dead person is saying - they'll obviously confirm her claims.

Kimi - go collect your million dollars or, as I've said, we'll just assume you're making it up.

(Oh and I'm not sorry.)

Robbie Thomas said...

They just don't give up!

Lisa's Angels Relay For Life Fundraiser
Date: May 16, 2010 Location: Eagles Club- Phillip Street, Sarnia
Lisa’s Angels
will host a Relay for Life fundraiser featuring psychic Dan Valkos Sunday (16), 12:00 noon at the Eagles Club on Phillip Street. Cost is $25.00.

Why don't they just ask me to do a show.

SherwoodSkeptic said...

Doh... and I was going to make a donaton to Lisa's Angels, kinda to make up for their trouble. Not a chance in hell, now.
Isn't Valkos the "motel room psychic"?
And according to his website (my eyes still hurt) he's going to be at Georgian College on the 16th. Busy day.

SherwoodSkeptic said...

Your right Robbie Thomas.
Why didn't they hire a local psychic?
There must be a half dozen in the Sarnia area, and I'd say they are as good as any in the world. (Totally f*****g worthless.)
Good thing there's no psychic union.

Anonymous said...

SENDING HIM A TELEPATHIC MESSAGE MAY ALSO WORK BUT USE THE FIRST TWO METHODS.

This was on his site but he didn't call me yet! Stupid psychics! They are all frauds!

Robbie Thomas said...

"THERE IS NO TIME LIMIT TO FINISH THIS COURSE. (IT IS SUGGESTED THOUGH, THAT YOU DO FINISH IT IN ONE LIFETIME. IF IT TAKES YOU MORE THAN ONE, THERE WILL BE AN ADDITIONAL CARRY-OVER CHARGE)

* DAN ACCEPTS VISA AS WELL AS CURRENCY OF BOTH CANADA, THE UNITED STATES AND ALBANIA. GOLD BULLION AND DIAMONDS AS WELL AS OTHER PRECOUS STONES IN ADDITION TO STOCK CERTIFICATES WOULD ALSO BE ACCEPTED. HOWEVER, HE NO LONGER ACCEPTS YOUR FIRST BORN OR YOUR EX-SPOUSES HEART OR OTHER ORGANS."

He is trying to be a comedian too! I may need to add that to my act!

SherwoodSkeptic said...

Yah...the tattooed, fat man act hasn't worked too well for you.

Anonymous said...

I have to really put my two cents in. The point was to draw people in to pay X amount of dollars that go TO Science for cancer research. They booked her as ENTERTAINMENT and it is wrong that she cancelled, but there is a time and a place for skeptics and bashing of psychics and the Cancer Society event was not it.

Sometimes it's just best to STFU for just one moment.

Anonymous said...

anon@ 7:16pm.

I disagree with you. Anytime is the right time to bash frauds. You STFU instead. We can bash psychics whenever we please to and as SarniaSkeptic keeps pointing out to you delusionals, they are not real! They get promotion and is their sole purpose to be there. If they were real, why don't they cure cancer at the hospitals instead!. Never happens because they are not real!

SherwoodSkeptic said...

Claiming to talk to dead people is entertainment? I wouldn't have had a problem if she was offering tarot or palm reading (OK maybe just a little), but talking to dead people crosses the line. Not "just for entertainment" anymore.
Do you believe she heals people? If so,then why do we need the dollars for research? We'll just let her loose in the cancer ward and let her do her thing.
There are many, many ways to fund-raise, that don't include people with ridiculous claims. Why "psychics"?
I have no problem with donating to cancer research, and did so this past weekend in a Relay for Life walk in Chatham. Much better choice.
Lorraine Scott is not psychic.
Dan Valkos is not psychic.
And,
Robbie Thomas is not psychic.

Anonymous said...

At least this new psychic isn't claiming he can talk to the dead :)

“Greetings friends and students of Michelle. My name is Dan Valkos and people seem to think that I am psychic. I guess I am and I believe that everyone is psychic to some extent or another. Everyone has an ability to sense things of the future and of the past and my job as a teacher is to help theme develop this talent. Being psychic does not necessarily mean that you tell fortunes. Being psychic is being “In Tune” with your own higher self and everyone can do this. More and more people are becoming aware of their own abilities which is why people like Michelle and myself are becoming more popular. As teachers, we can help people focus their own inner voices and utilize their own instincts."

Anonymous said...

SarniaSkeptic makes the paper!

Keep calling us a "hate Group" doesn't make it so! The Observer is a Woo Woo supporting newspaper!
Good job Ryan!

Psychic bails on fundraiser
Posted By TARA HAGAN, THE OBSERVER
Members of a local Relay for Life team are scrambling to reschedule an upcoming fundraiser after a spiritualist it was bringing to Sarnia backed out because she felt threatened by a local 'skeptic' group.
"We had already sold 40 tickets, at $25 a piece," said Tracy Marcolin a member of "Lisa's Angels," who had arranged to bring a "healing medium" to an upcoming fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Lorraine Scott, a "spiritualist" from Ohio, was to appear at the event this month.
"People were really looking forward to this. Now, we've had to rally together and try to reorganize this in just a couple of weeks. It's made it rough on our team," Marcolin said.
She began advertising for the event last month, and word quickly spread to a local group of skeptics who oppose the works of so-called psychics and healers in their various forms.

"Small Town Skepticism," (sarniaskeptic.blogspot.com)is an anonymous blog that denounces psychics.
"Lorraine got an e-mail, basically telling her that this group thinks she's despicable and that she's tampering with peoples' memories of their loved ones, and that they think it's disgusting, what she does," said Marcolin.
"They said they're looking forward to her coming to town and that they'll see her soon."
In the e-mail addressed to Scott, "Sarnia Skeptic" wrote: "In the meantime, you might want to check [the blog] and stoprobbie.com(a website which strongly opposes the work of local psychic Robbie Thomas) to see how a fellow psychic has been doing."
That was enough to force Scott to cancel her appearance, Marcolin said.
"She said she just doesn't feel safe coming," she said. "She's a single woman, coming to a different country to do me a favour as a fundraiser, and she's got to worry about a local hate group."
"The fact is," she If you don't agree with what we're doing, or you don't believe in it, that's fine; don't buy a ticket. But don't scare off my psychic. There's 40 people who are really bummed out now. He took the choice away from them."

Anonymous said...

PART 2

In an e-mail exchange with the The Observer, "Sarnia skeptic" requested anonymity. But a member, Ryan Hulshof, was willing to speak on the record.
"It's not the fundraiser that we're against here," said Hulshof. "It's the fact that, people like (Scott) -- basically what they're doing is taking peoples' bad situations and using it for publicity... she's telling cancer victims that she has healing powers and that's not something that sits well with us. It's really offering false hopes for people who need all the help they can get."
Hulshof said he's not aware of any e-mail sent to Scott from the group, but stressed that no harm would have been done, had she made the trip to Sarnia.
"There's nothing we could have physically done when she got here. No one would harm her or do anything of that nature. So, it's her choice not to come."
He also refuted the claim the 'skeptics' are a "hate group."
"That could not be farther from the truth," he said. "I wouldn't say I hate anyone who believes in this type of thing, or even the psychic herself. She's just choosing to make her money in a negative way.
" Any 'psychic entertainment' must be branded as such," he If you're saying you have healing powers, and you don't, that is simply a con."
Marcolin believes the event would have been a benefit for those seeking spiritual healing.
"For people that do believe in mediums, this could have given people the closure they've been needing," she said. "Sometimes it's just a matter of knowing your loved one is where they're supposed to be. If they can get that kind of closure, it's worth the $25, and it's for a good cause.
"We had no idea these kind of people were in Sarnia," she added. "That someone could be so hateful and opinionated, and create such havoc."
In an entry dated May 10, "Sarnia Skeptic" wrote a blog entitled, "I was wrong, I am sorry."
"It has come to my attention that, as a result of my blog, Lorraine Scott canceled her appearance in Sarnia out of fear of physical harm," the author wrote, noting a number of e-mails received from people who planned on attending the event.
"When it comes to fundraising, I was wrong to apply a skeptical approach to what was actually happening at the fundraiser."
But the author goes on to discuss the harm done by claimed psychics and healers.
"Lisa's Angels may be giving some of the proceeds to the Canadian Cancer Society, but that does not justify the unquestioned acceptance of someone who claims to be able to talk to the dead. Lorraine is offering false hope all the while desecrating and/or distorting true memories of lost loved ones."
Meanwhile, Marcolin has been working on rescheduling the event, replacing Scott with psychic Dan Valkos. "The show will go on," said Marcolin. "No matter how hard they try to sabotage us. And the money will get to the Cancer Society."
thagan@theobserver.ca

sarniaskeptic said...

Great news - awesome work Ryan!

It is a terrible shame that they didn't read my full article. I am not sorry.

Ryan Hulshof said...

Gotta say i am kind of stoked.

My only complaint is that they missed a couple of points i made, but otherwise i would say it is a fairly balanced article. ( in regards to my interview anyway.)

What i think we should do is organize our own fund raiser, i've done it before on a small scale , so if anyone is interested, toss me a message.

I have to say, thanks to everyone for giving me this opportunity. And if it is ever needed again , i am up for the challenge.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe the psychic was afraid of physical violence from the "hate group" but was afraid of the bad publicity that would follow.

She has a good gig going - and why chance it with some small-town blogger?

Whenever anyone attaches themselves to a charity for publicity the public should question that motive.

IF the psychic had true intentions, she could have come anonymously.

Gail said...

As i read all the comments on the fundraiser for Lisa's Angels i feel so for all of you that this is all you have in life. We, yes i am a member of the team in fact i am Lisa's Mom and i know that if she were here she would agree. The fundraiser is what it is just different from all the others that we know of. And as far as Lorraine being afraid think about it. Coming to another country and not knowing with all the crazies around. All we wanted to do was raise money for our team and for the Canadian Cancer Society. Be it right or wrong, who makes the rules. And who we get to replace her that again is our business. Who came forward to help out? you don't know so again don't make judgements on something you don't know. As I said to the mystery person (Dave Jones) everyone has their beliefs and we all have feelings and when I saw my daughters name in the blog it was very upsetting. so let it go Go bother someone else and leave the team members, the team name and all out of your comments. And if you are at the relay make sure you stop by Lisa's Angels site and really see how we celebrate.

Anonymous said...

Gail, to use frauds to raise money for research - Canadian Cancer Society is wrong. Those psychic frauds are collecting part of that $25 admission fee and so you are supporting frauds in the name of the Cancer Society. This is what we oppose! And we oppose the fact that whatever they say or predict is false and just guessing. Do something different than using psychics.

Anonymous said...

Gail,

My condolences to you and I am sure you send your's to my family as well. You know how and why someone you loved died. My family after 36-years does not have this luxury in life. Psychics have done a tremendous amount of damage to my family as they continue to prey on us and continue to use my murdered sister as their next side show. My deceased sister has been used like a piece of merchandise by psychics to raise money for what should have been a noble cause but when lieing is involved the noble is no longer. The Canadian Cancer Society is a highly respected organization so why would anyone tarnish it through the use of clowns. I use the phrase clowns because psychics wear different faces, one for the public and one out of the public eye, in order to hide who they really are. Who would have guessed that Robbie Thomas who has been claiming for decades he is all love and light would ever suggest accusing another human being of molesting his children over money and power? Who would have ever guessed Mr. Love and Light would use murdered and missing children to get rich and in order to achieve this...LIE about the victims and their families. Psychics are parasites in life who suck off the misery of others to make money. There is so many other things that can be done to raise money for cancer. Again my condolences.

Kathy Caughlin/Unsolved Homicide Survivor/Victim of Psychic Predators

Ryan Hulshof said...

Gail, where does it end?

If i were selling a pill that was renowned for its ability to cure cancer, but completely disprove by science, would i get a spot if i had a high public profile, and could bring in the bucks?

Because this is what you are doing by bringing in a psychic healer. The only difference being instead of getting a fake pill, one gets nothing.

I can understand wanting to make money for a good cause, but the end does not justify the means. You can read kathy's statements as to the harm and crap these people cause, and still you support them.

It is what these people do gail, they ingrain themselves with high name organizations, or in the case of kathy's sister, cases. And then leach off of the publicity, and you are playing right into their hands.

And your cool with this. You are cool with these people making marks from cancer victims , and people who are vulnerable because of dead or dying relatives. And why?

All in the name of money. The end justifies the means in your eyes. And either you've blinded yourself to the effects of the means, or your okay with it. And either way the result is the same, publicty for the psychics, harm for the masses, and money for you.

I will prove in the near future that vultures are not needed to have a successful fundraiser. And i hope that after seeing this you will be able to realize the same thing.

Tre said...

I'm kind of upset that they're using the Eagle's club for this event. My grandfather was the president of that club (back when that building was used for the Optimist Club) and I have hundreds of fond memories there from when I was a child. It's rather disappointing that they've had to resort to inviting psychics to pay the bills and support fund raisers at this point.

Is there any plans of handing out pamphlets/anthrax like with Robbie Thomas?

Robbie Thomas said...

Tre, I have some of that Anthrax that was given out at my show in Sarnia. Do you have the envelopes and the pamphlets? I am out of town but you can get it from my wife but don't tell here that I am seeing my girlfriend down here in Iowa.

Anonymous said...

PAT SAYS: Robbie Thomas (The LIMP WIMP) what woman with any self respect who obtained at least half a brain cell would consider you to be a man? Real men work real jobs...real men don't cheat on her wives and purposely bring heartache to their own children. Real men lead by example!! Real men don't suck off of other human beings for their own personal financial gain and ego driven satisfaction. Real men don't need to lie about who they really are. You are an insult to men and a standing joke to women.

Ryan Hulshof said...

Oh yeah, me and tre have the anthrax, the as-50, and a new type of energy based handgun. All given to us by the head skeptic Dr Badvibes.