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Question
Posted by: Hanno | 2005/11/25

I see dead people -Marietta

Mense ek wil graag hoor wat julle te se het oor mense wat glo met dooies kan kommunikeer.. Ek verstaan jy kry spoke, en jy kry geeste. Spoke is daardie wat loop en booooOOooo... en jou gat laat afskrik, maar spoke is gewoonlik spoke wat NIEMAND ken nie, dis altyd die een of ander ou tannie se ou tuinier wat iemand onbekend met 'n byl of 'n koevoet dood geslaan het, maar niemand ken hierdie onbekende ou nie, en nou spook hy. Ek meen, dink gou as jy die spook herken het... "Aaaa oupa, kom sit man, laat ons gesels..jyt bietjie 'n spook asempie...ha ha ha, nee ek trek sommer oupa se siel uit" Dit sou net nie gewerk het nie. En dan kry jy GEESTE, dis nou glo gryserige wolkerige mense wat ons geken het wat nou gesterf het. Ek weet nie of julle al vir Marietta gekyk het nie , maar dis soos sy sit en praat met Oupa en Ouma en ouma stuur groete, oupa se hulle moet die gang verf , en sulke goed. Gewoonlik sit Marietta daar en sê goed soos..."Ek voel 'n....ek voel 'n langerige korterige naam......... Ek voel 'n P..... 'n P .......Ek voel 'n L....... Selfs in die koerante en Huisgenoot skryf tannies in en sê: Julle wat Marietta nie glo nie, julle skille sal nog....van julle agterkoppe afgly... So ek weet nie, wat dink julle? Terwyl Marietta daar sit en sê Ek voel 'n .....P...ek voel 'n R..... sê ek ek voel 'n F**.. Jy lieg tannie, ek kyk deur jou...Sies! (Mense, dis my opinie, ek probeer niemand sleg maak nie, maar wil graag weet hoe voel julle oor dit)

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I have never come across one single instance in which people who claim to be able to communicate with the dead ( especially those who do so for profit ) were not fakes, cleverly concealing the ways in which they fake it. Sounds like you've spotted some aspects of how they fake it, I think it disgraceful that any public broadcaster should waste public money sponsoring and presenting such a series.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: lerita | 2005/11/25

Hanno

He, he ,he. Ek het nogal lekker gelag. Ek het op die columnist van 24.com die vgl raak gelees. Dit is "eye opener"


The dead can't talk
16/09/2005 09:08 - (SA)

Psychic fever, superstition and unreason are again rife in South Africa with the return of fraudster Marietta Theunissen to South African shores.

Theunissen, well-known for purporting to talk to the dead on KykNet's programme Die Ander Kant, has arrived from New Zealand to present sessions to locals who want her to speak to their beloved deceased.

She doesn't come cheap (R650 per session, 15 persons per session, two sessions a day) and stands to make nearly R20 000 per day for her "work" between 11-27 October in Cape Town and Durbanville alone.

And until then she is presenting the same crossing the Styx-sessions in Johannesburg. In Cape Town alone she stands to make more than R270 000 if her sessions are fully booked, and even larger amounts could flow into her pocket in Johannesburg.

That she will have a full house I do not doubt for one moment, judging by the stream of uncritical people who phoned in to the radio stations 702 and Cape Talk last Sunday evening during Kate Turkington's outrageously uncritical interview with Theunissen on her programme, Believe It or Not.

And this is only because there are enough gullible people who don't know the basics of scientific reason. And don't use their baloney detectors, if they possess one.

Theunissen is cashing in on people's vulnerability. It is as simple as that. Harry Houdini, who was regarded as one of the greatest con-artists ever, spoke to the dead for years.

In his later years, he exposed psychics who said they could talk to the dead and called their fraud bordering on murder.

Science 'must bring proof'

Theunissen and other so-called psychics such as John Edward and James van Praagh in the US argue that science must bring proof that they do not indeed speak to the dead.

Houdini emphasised a very valid scientific argument that it "is not the duty of us as sceptics to prove that mediums are dishonest. They must bring proof that they are honest."

James Randi, an ex-master magician himself, has challenged Edward, Van Praagh and all other people making paranormal claims to allow their so-called powers to be tested and scrutinised under scientific conditions by independent scientific observers.

He put up $1m if their claims are found to be true. Other sceptic organisations in India and Australia added more than $250 000 to Randi's amount.

Not one psychic has taken up the challenge. I have put a challenge to Theo Erasmus, producer of Die Ander Kant, for Theunissen to accept Randi's offer and that it should be televised live. The offer was not accepted.

Why?

The astrophysicist Carl Sagan, one of the best debunkers of pseudoscientific nonsense, emphasised that science is a relentless taskmaster through its scientific method. Science is also the best knowledge filter, as Michael Shermer, director of the American Skeptics, wrote in his book, Why People Believe Weird Things.

How does Theunissen fool so many people, even the media?

The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (SCICOP) studied mediums and identified the following techniques:

A flood of words: These psychics all talk very fast, with the ultimate aim to confuse the listener. Van Praagh is as fast as a Ferrari, Edward drives an Indy-500 car, a scientist who analysed his show, Crossing Over With John Edward, for ABC-television emphasised. Theunissen also uses the fast rambling technique very effectively while her guests are crying their eyes out on the show.

Cold readings: Psychics look for clues in the actions, body language, clothes, colours, jewellery, and facial expressions of their victims. They are excellent observers. But their guess-work is still not very good. SCICOP found Edward was only 10% to 20% successful in the questions he puts to bereaved studio guests. In my own analysis of Theunissen on Die Ander Kant, she fares even worse, getting it right only 8% of the time. Shermer exposed Edward also on the programme Unsolved Mysteries and said anyone could learn cold reading techniques within half an hour. It works because the subjects want it to work.

Warm readings: Teams behind the scenes gather information about the victims beforehand and uses it in their shows. Interviewees have to fill in biographical details before the show that are analysed by the psychic's teams before taping of the show.

Manipulations and fraud: Edward was caught out by SCICOP that he used information thus gathered to make his readings. I don't have any doubt that Theunissen follows the same techniques.

The over-emphasis of successful readings: Failures by the mediums are often edited out of television programmes.

It is time that reasonable people make their voices heard loudly and clearly about this unrelenting grip superstition has on the gullible minds of vulnerable people.

"The message the public should take away is that it is not the psychics and fortune-tellers who can see into the future" (or speak to the dead), "it is the scientists," as Robert Park puts it so aptly in his wonderful book, Voodoo Science - The Road From Foolishness to Fraud (Oxford University Press).


George Claassen is science editor of Die Burger, South Africa's largest Afrikaans daily paper and teaches science journalism at Stellenbosch University.

Send your comments to George or discuss this column now in our debating forum.
Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.





Reply to lerita
Posted by: Tiekie | 2005/11/25

Lois, ek't vir die kind vertel nou die aand hy't hom ook amper dood gelag.

En wat van al daai Van der Merwe, Koos en die Engelsman grappies ?

Reply to Tiekie
Posted by: Lois_Lane | 2005/11/25

Tiekie, i haven't heard that one in ages...... you had me in stitches....heheheheheh

Reply to Lois_Lane
Posted by: Anon | 2005/11/25

Tiekie you are obsessed with pie-pie. Sorry I can't help making this observation.

Reply to Anon
Posted by: Tiekie | 2005/11/25

Ken die grappie toe ons jonk was van die ou wat in die bed le en hoor:

hoe sag ry my booitjie ?

en uiteindelik kry hy 2 miere op 'n drol in 'n pie-pie pot wat roei met tandestokkies

hy't ook gedink dis 'n spook!

Reply to Tiekie
Posted by: Delene | 2005/11/25

I enjoyed her writing though......

Reply to Delene
Posted by: Tiekie | 2005/11/25

Kak stories!

Reply to Tiekie
Posted by: Just me!!! | 2005/11/25

Ek dink ook dis sommer 'n spul crap!!!

Reply to Just me!!!
Posted by: Delene | 2005/11/25

Hanno, you should have been a writer!!!

So freaken funny how you express yourself!!!!

Reply to Delene

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