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.