In Search of Fame and Fortune.
The Skeptic Express © 2006 .
This week afforded further opportunities to gain a little more insight into the tactics and ploys used by some psychics in the pursuit of fame and fortune.
Those whose attempts at self-promotion were revealed included psychic detectives Diane Lazarus and Joe Power.
- Diane Lazarus, winner of Channel Five Britain’s Psychic Challenge, has claimed on her web site that:
“Her ability to visualise past and future events has led her to being called upon by police in England, Ireland and Wales, her accuracy in several murder investigations promoting senior officers to call for her psychic assistance in a number of high profile crimes. Diane recently re-investigated the murder of twelve-year-old Muriel Drinkwater, a case that was closed fifty years ago. She was able to describe the child’s final walk home from school, her rape and the shooting by a “friend”. She identified the murderer as an old man living in Wales and police re-opened the file. DNA testing is currently being carried out.”
Chillzero decided to test the validity of this and other claims made by Mrs. Lazarus concerning the case of murdered Birmingham man Mark Green by contacting the relevant police forces involved in each investigation. The results of her investigations were truly astounding highlighting the lengths that some psychics will go to in the interests of self-promotion.
Chillzero’s excellent article ‘Diane Lazarus: The cases of Mark Green and Muriel Drinkwater’ can be found here: Diane Lazarus
Psychics are fond of claiming to assist the police. By constructing the impression of an association with a respected higher authority, the psychic attempts to manufacture the notion that their work is genuine and a valuable asset to society. However, as we already know from widespread enquiries to UK police forces this is certainly not the case. Similarly…..
- Joe Power, chosen medium for the recent John Lennon pay per view séance stunt, also fell foul of the facts this week concerning the precise nature and value of his long standing claim of helping the police in the Lynsey Quy murder case. When asked to verify Mr. Power’s contribution, the senior investigating officer involved subsequently refuted these claims in their entirety.The article Joe Power and the Lynsey Quy Case forms yet another insight into the world of the psychic detective as part of our occasional series ‘Psychic Predators or Psychic Detectives?’
Clearly, Diane Lazarus and Joe Power have both made false claims in their attempts to raise their public profile and boost their careers by blurring the lines between fact and fiction. It is important to note that often, where contact is made with the police, it is at the psychic’s initiation and not by invitation. It is then a simple matter for the psychic to make some vague and general statements for the record then later infer that the contact and information imparted was of far greater significance than it really was.
Also this week, hard on the heels of jailed fraudster Paul Williams, another psychic faced prison after scaring trusting clients into handing over more than £55,000.
Gina Stevenson, 33, apparently terrified customers with predictions that their families were cursed. Stevenson, aka Sister Grace, even persuaded several to part with vast sums to save their relatives from the threat of curses – one woman handing over £20,932 in savings and another £28,000 borrowing from a bank. Incredibly, she persuaded a loving father to part with sums in the region of £7,000 after telling him his son would die if he did not pay for her to lift a curse on him.
Stevenson marketed her services through a leaflet campaign that offered palm, tarot and crystal ball readings, psychic and healing services. Leicester Crown Court heard that her first victim visited her at her home paying £100 to discuss problems in her family, She was told to write down the names of her relatives and come back the next day — only to be told they were cursed. Stevenson told the horrified woman, a married 53-year-old, that her husband and son would die and her daughter would never marry.
The prosecution said: “To relieve this she had to hand over £2,832.” Stevenson told the woman to give her a jar filled with water and with £1,000 attached to “lift the spell” on her son. Other demands included £1,500 for every year of the victim’s husband’s life — forcing the woman to take out a £28,000 loan. The psychic from Leicester admitted thefts involving £55,932 and was warned that she could face jail.
This case, if nothing else, demonstrates aspects of the harm that some psychics can do. In this case, financial and psychological – two reasons why the public must be better informed of the methods employed for their own self-protection.
Until next time…
The Sun Online
Further Reading: Psychic Fraudster Jailed