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'Sensing Murder — Insight'


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Comments:

  1. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 06 Sep, 2007

    After the 'Sensing Murder' episode and prior to completing our article, we sent Nigel Latta the following email:

    Hi Nigel, As fellow skeptics we were intrigued by your appearance on 'Sensing Murder - Insight'. Having already debunked the 'Sensing Murder' process, we are in the process of writing a review of this episode since it is their attempt to silence their critics. We would be interested in asking you some questions regarding comments made on the show and how you feel you fared after the final editing. Contrary to you, our skepticism was not 'knocked' by Deb Webber's performance.

  2. Comment by Nigel Latta, 06 Sep, 2007

    Hi John. Sorry but time doesnt permit me to answer all these emails/questions (there have been a lot) but you can go to my website where I've posted a page about the episode. I am genuninely sceptical by nature, and not gullible at all, but I find it hard to explain rationally what I saw.

    [Update by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 24 Sep, 2008: Don't bother going to Nigel's website as he has — not surprisingly perhaps — deleted all reference to his appearance on 'Sensing Murder'.

  3. Comment by Christopher, 18 Sep, 2007

    Hi John, can I post your email on the Australian Skeptics mailing list? How many series of "'Sensing Murder'" have you had in NZ now ? We only ever had one series of 6 episodes here. One channel only showed the first episode before dropping it, and another showed episodes randomly at low-rating periods, and still only showed 5 of the 6 produced. I'm perplexed that the Aussie psychics who seem to have such acclaim in NZ, couldn't even get their whole series shown here. Yes Nigel seems like an unusual kind of skeptic. I guess no-one's perfect but I would hope most skeptics would not jump to the conclusion that if they don't understand what is happening - it must be magic. How would he cope watching a magician's stage show? Everyone can be fooled.

  4. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 18 Sep, 2007

    Hi Christopher. Sure that would be appreciated. We've had the Aussie series interweaved with our own 6 episode NZ series, so 12 episodes in total I think. Now we're on to our second NZ series. The third episode screened tonight. I don't know how many there are in this series. I thought we might be getting some Aussie ones as well but by the sound of your email it might only be NZ cases this time. It's quite depressing how many people are sucked in by the show.

  5. Comment by David, 18 Sep, 2007

    Hello again, thanks for the article. I have quickly read over the article you wrote. While you have identified some interesting inconsistencies you have not really demonstrated that cheating was going on. I think you focus a lot on semantics and reach some dubious conclusions. This woman Debbie had to have been tipped off by the crew. This makes the program/series a complete sham. Surely some hard evidence exists if this has been happening. Why not let skeptics come up with the murder to be investigated and make it a double blind experiment. The crew and the psychic have no idea. It won't make for good TV. I have done my research into Debbie Webber and all I know for sure, is that in the live environment she is unable to conjure up her powers and relies on the tried and tested cold reading techniques. So i won't be calling her up anytime soon. I believe the entire series is a sham and these psychics have no more ability than a mentalist, who admit they are using trickery. However, we may agree on this but I don't share your Vermont rebuttals of everything Paranormal. While i admit I used to believe in Uri geller, until I saw him cheating with my own eyes. I do believe some phenomena outside of our current knowledge not only exists but have been demonstrated and can be repeated. Thanks for the website.

  6. Comment by Nick, 18 Sep, 2007

    Hi John and the rest of the Silly Beliefs team! You guys are great! I'm really enjoying your site, and I feel guilty I hadn't heard of you before. I ran a group in London called Skeptics in the Pub. If you're ever in that part of the world, let me know, because the group would love to hear your great debunking stories! I can put you in touch with the folks who run it now. Have you written anything for a skeptic periodical? I'm sure Skeptical Inquirer or Skeptic magazine would love to use your writing - it's excellent. I'm going to be sure to keep checking back to read your updates. Your expose was so good I felt sad as it drew to it's end, knowing there wouldn't be any more to read! It's a long shot, but have you considered contacting a current affairs program on TV3 (who are rivals of TVNZ) and asking them if they'd like to do their own expose on 'Sensing Murder'? They might not, but it would be a good place to make contacts. I would also send by email your expose to the various newspapers with a view to cultivating journalists who will contact you if they need a skeptical comment. I've done lots of TV and radio in the UK and it's a good way to raise your profile. Once again, thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable read. All the best for the future.

  7. Comment by Nick, 18 Sep, 2007

    I should also mention that the most likely explanation for Latta's credulity is that he believed what he was told by the production company, but they lied to him. I myself have been caught out by a production company, along with genuine "hard-core" skeptics like Professor Chris French, Wendy Grossman and Tony Youens. You can read about my adventures with "Shirley Ghostman" here along with Wendy's account here and Tony's here. We were all fooled because we believed what we were told by the production company: that we were doing just another segment with a "genuine" psychic - instead it was a spoof psychic who was getting us to make extreme reactions. In hindsight it's pretty funny! Latta may be in the same position. The difference between us (genuine skeptics) is that we didn't accept the experiences we'd all had at face value and did fact checking and revised our beliefs in the face of new evidence! Latta should not be forgiven for not understanding that he *could* be tricked. Randi is damning about this sort of "investigator" who turns into an unwitting stooge for the tricksters - like Professor John Mack, Trag and Puthoff, and perhaps even the researchers around Benveniste.

  8. Comment by Terry, 18 Sep, 2007

    Hi, I have only just found this site researching for supporting evidence to explain the rubbish 'Sensing Murder' puts out. I appear to be a lone voice amongst friends and relatives who really believe what is put before them as entertainment. Phew!!! I am glad I have found you... I have now put you in My Favorites so I know where to come for sensible information and I have emailed your page to others. I was also pleased to see you have info on the "snake oil" of the 21st century... Magnetic healing!!!! Thanks again and keep up the good info... it is really appreciated by the few of us that are not taken in by modern day witchcraft.

  9. Comment by Roz, 18 Sep, 2007

    I've forwarded your link to my Yahoo (Australian) Skeptics group for their enjoyment and comment. It's a great article. Deb Webber is an egregious fraud. Thanks so much for writing.

  10. Comment by Dominic, 19 Sep, 2007

    I just had a quick look at your site after someone emailed National Radio to refer people to it (at least, I think he/she referred people to your site - I didn't have time to write the address down, so I googled it, but I'm pretty sure it was yours). The afternoon host had done a spiel about the show and how the police should be hiring these psychics to solve crimes. Anyway, I just wanted to say good on you for taking the time to create the site. That program is just the most exploitative pile of garbage I think I've ever seen. I despise the program makers and the featured "psychics" for taking advantage of people's grief in this way. And I'm staggered at the number of people contacting NatRad today to say how this program proves the psychics are real.

  11. Comment by Alan, 20 Sep, 2007

    Hi there! Very good website you have going there. We're discussing the 'Sensing Murder' series in this thread if you'd like to comment. Otherwise, great to see others joining in the fight against ignorance, stupidity and fairytales.

  12. Comment by Martin, 20 Sep, 2007

    Hi, Outstanding website. I have already made a formal complaint to TVNZ / the BSA regarding 'Sensing Murder':Insight programme - wish I had see this page first now ! This is the complaint... 'Sensing Murder' clearly presents itself as a factual programme. It should not do so. It is clearly an entertainment programme and should have a disclaimer stating this as the case. In presenting itself as a factual programme it breaks article 5b of the Free To Air TV code. 5b) Broadcasters should refrain from broadcasting material which is misleading or unnecessarily alarms viewers. You cannot have it both ways. Either a) state the programme is for entertainment purposes only with a disclaimer or b) stop claiming the programme is factual. If 'Sensing Murder' is to be taken as a factual programme then it is misleading and under article 5b (above). If it is purely entertainment then it should not claim to be factual and should not present itself in the manner that strongly suggests the psychics have no fore knowledge or outside help. This programme is clearly deceitful and I don't feel it is within the remit of the state broadcaster to allow such programmes to be shown, particularly without a clear disclaimer. No response as yet (only been a few days).

  13. Comment by Greg, 20 Sep, 2007

    Hi, just wanted to congratulate you on your excellent 'Sensing Murder' article. Keep up the good work!

  14. Comment by Jonathan, 20 Sep, 2007

    I had a peek in at the new edition of Into the Darklands, which includes Latta's blow-by-blow account of the reading. It was very interesting for several reasons. I'll guess you've already read it, but if not you should grab a copy. First, it revealed Latta was not an independent outsider, but had a pre-existing relationship with 'Sensing Murder' - they had contacted him to do some work for them before season 1 went to air. He turned it down (I think - memory a bit sketchy) but he called up the producer, Cinna Smith, to chat about the show after the first episode. Second, he confirms he isn't a 'hard-core' sceptic, if anything his views were ambivalent. This is something that could be used against SM quite effectively, I think. Third, he confirmed your suggestion that Weber flew in the night before the reading. Fourth, he admits she was unable to locate the area on a map before being driven there... It was an interesting read. Latta didn't go into any further details about the reading, how she divined the name, how long the reading took and so on. It was very disappointing in that sense. I'm working on the Aaron Hopa case at the moment, it is taking a while because I simply can't stand to watch more than a few minutes at a time, after that I feel I have to stop and wash myself down. The whole show stinks from top to bottom. I used to admire Nigel Latta for his work around the Michael Choy case, but he's lost a lot of that esteem following his involvement with SM and his facile response to it.

  15. Comment by Cinna Smith, 21 Sep, 2007

    Subject: Illegal Use of Copyrighted Images
    From: "Cinna Smith"

    Hi John,
    I am writing to require you to remove all images of 'Sensing Murder''s psychics, presenter Rebecca Gibney and other 'Sensing Murder' images, including the logo from your website.

    These images are all copyrighted and you have not obtained permission to use them. Permission for use will not be granted.

    If you do not immediately comply with this request legal action will be taken.

    Yours faithfully,
    Cinna Smith
    Ninox Television

  16. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 22 Sep, 2007

    We have removed the embarrassing images that prove 'Sensing Murder' and Ninox Television faked segments of their 'Insight' episode, also the SM logo and images of the psychics and actress. We believe we have a legal right to display these images under "Fair Use" conditions but we haven't got the resources to fight it in court.

    Update: You'll notice that this communication (and the others we received) from Smith identify her as "Cinna Smith — Ninox Television". It has recently come to our attention that Cinna Smith is most likely NOT an employee of Ninox Television. We believe she is the author of this statement on the Sensing Murder forum:

    "I am an independent freelancer contracted to work on Sensing Murder as a researcher, writer and associate producer. I am not on Ninox staff."
    This statement was made under the ID of "sensingmurder Site Admin" in response to the question "Who is S.M. Admin? Who do they represent? I assume they are a part of Ninox." The clear statement "I am not on Ninox staff" is obviously meant to imply that they do not represent Ninox.

    If this is indeed Smith then she is clearly acting illegally by threatening us with legal action while pretending to be employed by and in a position to represent Ninox Television.

  17. Comment by Jonathon, 23 Sep, 2007

    I applaud your site. It seems to blow away a number of myths and woolly thinking. I am reading the article on the psychic programme 'Sensing Murder'. It seems well researched and excellent.

  18. Comment by Bob, 23 Sep, 2007

    I can't discuss the 'Sensing Murder' shows as I know little about them. I watched only one episode. The "psychic" "discovered" only what was already known. A young teenager had been abducted taken to a house, murdered and body thrown on vacant ground. The psychic could find the victim's house but not the house where she was held captive. That was the one bit of information the police needed. I am sceptical about all television shows. They are produced to make money. Why show up 'Sensing Murder' as a fraud? That would cut off a lot of advertising revenue. I have heard of quiz shows being rigged to enhance the appeal of the shows. I have heard complaints from people interviewed that the edited version of their interviews gave a false impression. If the producers of psychic shows were genuine they could get members of the NZ Skeptics or Australian Skeptics to critique the shows. They appear reluctant to do that except perhaps with a short inadequate comment. I hate seeing gullible people taken in. It does nothing to educate people in critical thinking. The sort of person who believes in psychics is also the sort of person who is likely to lose his/her life savings to a smooth talking fraudster.

  19. Comment by Michael, 27 Sep, 2007

    Hi there, enjoyed reading your article - still believe it makes good TV and serves to highlight unresolved crime. I found some of your writing a little "phobic" for example the part with web cast comments. Your statements are fair enough too - but not every sceptic and housewife (my wife and I) had heard of the case - it left me questioning the balance in your article. But you are questioning "balance" in their programme as well. Thanks - enjoyed your article and will watch that particular program again with interest.

    Sorry - one more thing my IQ is around 130 - are you saying I'm gullible for enjoying the program.

  20. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 27 Sep, 2007

    Hi Michael, thanks for your comments. You're quite right about that comment about every skeptic and housewife knowing about the case. I think most people will realise that we were exaggerating but maybe not everyone. We've removed the comment completely. Thanks.
    As far as the ratings go many people consider it good TV, as do advertisers, and I agree it does give great publicity to unsolved crimes. Some cases may even see progress as a result. But progress will result from this publicity not from psychic involvement.
    And no, we're not saying you're gullible for simply enjoying the program, only if you believe that the psychics are real. For example I enjoy 'South Park' and 'Stargate' immensely. However the moment I start believing that Cartman and Kenny are real then I have a problem. 'Stargate' is a little different in that it does have elements that are real, such as the US Air Force, but again it's important to be able to separate the reality from the fantasy, the science from the science fiction. You may find it hard to believe but I've met people that can't make that separation, that use shows like this to support their belief in aliens. 'Sensing Murder' is no different, it has elements that are real, eg the murder case, the police, the family etc but also elements that are not. Instead of aliens it has psychics. I have no problem with people watching 'Sensing Murder' as entertainment, as I watch 'Stargate', but if either of us starts claiming that it's all real, every bit of it, then our thinking has become a little muddled.

  21. Comment by Michael, 27 Sep, 2007

    Thanks for replying - all the best

  22. Comment by Falafulu, 27 Sep, 2007

    Hello, I made a comment on this link (shown at the bottom of the page) for your essay on 'Sensing Murder - Insight', and the author of that thread, Talia Mana, had posted my comment in a separate thread at NZ Reality TV website as the title: "Physicist says Psychics are Bunk". Keep up your good work.

  23. Comment by Darryl, 27 Sep, 2007

    Thanks for all the hard work that obviously went into this article. You write: "Although they can be shown numerous examples of the psychic or production team cheating, as soon as they strike something they can't explain, they throw their hands in the air and exclaim, 'I can't explain that one, therefore it must be psychic'. Why don't they think, 'Well, all the other bits that I couldn't explain turned out to be the result of cheating, so it makes sense to assume that this is probably cheating too'. But no, if there is one piece that skeptics can't produce ironclad evidence for it is seized upon and proclaimed authentic."

    Very nicely put - and applies across the whole supernatural arena, religion in particular - and why do some people think like this and others not? A fascinating psychological question - and I think the key question. One other thing I have always thought about this programme is that if anyone involved in the production of this programme is consciously aware of cheating of any kind then this changes the program from simply a piece of misguided/misleading prime time entertainment to something quite serious and fraudulent. This would be akin to a journalist deliberately broadcasting a completely false statement - not just biased but completely and knowingly false - surely something that would not normally be tolerated in the media let alone by the public at large.

  24. Comment by Sam, 27 Sep, 2007

    The reason it remains unsolved is because the police can't use something unless they have proof off it & the these murder casses are all a few years old! Yes some psychics are a load of crap but I believe the ones on 'Sensing Murder' are all true.

  25. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 27 Sep, 2007

    Hi Sam, thanks for your comment but we must disagree. The reason the 'Sensing Murder' cases remain unsolved is because the psychics can't provide any new information that can be verified. They could tell us where bodies or murder weapons are buried but they don't. They could provide names and details of relationships and motives but they don't. I have never heard one single psychic even provide the surname of the victim, so if they can't even do that why should police believe them when they say the murderer might be called Bruce or Wayne?
    You state that the police can't act on the information that they receive from the psychics, so what's the point of the show then?
    You also need to remember that 'Sensing Murder' isn't just failing in New Zealand and Australia. It also fails to solve murders in the US, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Romania, Sweden and Norway. All these countries have their own show and their psychics are just as pathetic as ours.
    You say you believe the psychics on 'Sensing Murder' are true, so you obviously haven't read about Deb Webber's experience with three Australians working for 'Today Tonight'. They each had a reading with Deb where she claimed to speak to their dead relatives and relayed personal information. Unbeknown to Deb she was set up and these 'dead relatives' didn't exist. This proves she was just making things up. You can read about it here if you wish:

    Psychics / Mediums : Deb Webber - Exposed

  26. Comment by Jon, 28 Sep, 2007

    Hello to the Silly Beliefs team, Just a note to say thank you for your fine website and the impressive amount of time and energy you devote to trying to show people how to use their minds. I just want to bring your attention to an article I wrote for the Listener about 'Sensing Murder'. I have tried to make it entertaining, but still point out in a satirical way some of the many failings of 'Sensing Murder'. Sadly the editorial team of the Listener changed the last line of my column. It used to say "Luckily New Zealand has plenty of unsolved murders to keep us entertained" - which I suppose was a bit too pointed. Thanks again for your tireless and interesting writing.

  27. Comment by Matt, 03 Oct, 2007

    Good on you for exposing the 'Sensing Murder' show for what it is. It appears to have the same ability as extreme religion in brain washing the masses. Keep it up as skeptics are a dying breed these days.

  28. Comment by Peter, 20 Oct, 2007

    John, last night I had a meal with some old friends. For some reason, the subject of psychics came up, and they said how convincing they found the show "'Sensing Murder'". I was shocked. These are intelligent people and, as I remember them, passably skeptical. They said that on one show there was even a skeptic who was won over. I replied that the only time I saw the show, I found it unconvincing and more than a little distasteful.
    So last night when I came home, I decided to do a little research. It was then that I stumbled upon your site, and I read about the show and your dealings with Nigel Latta. I'll refer my friends to your site, so that they can see the other side (so to speak). I want to thank you for providing this; it was truly a revelation. People like you perform a necessary service in this gullible age. I compliment you not just for the service itself, but the manner in which you do it. Your language is direct, articulate and grammatical, which is a rare thing on the Internet. I even like the off-white paper-effect background, which makes it read like a book. Very tasteful! The most useful Internet site I've seen in a while. Keep up the good work, and thank you.

  29. Comment by Dominic, 23 Oct, 2007

    There was a great little review in the "Listener" the other day (or was it the "Sunday Star Times") that called the program "vile". I read the response on your site from that "skeptic" and thought it was all self-serving rubbish.
    If these psychics and the production company really believed what they are saying, then they shouldn't bleep out the names of the supposed killers (as I gather they've done). They would surely say they can't do this because it opens them up to legal action. However, honest opinion is a defence against defamation. Let's see them put their money where their mouth is!

  30. Comment by Graeme, 24 Oct, 2007

    Holy Hell! The Radio Network, ie NewstalkZB et al have just run a NEWS item outlining what 'Sensing Murder' think happened in a murder case. GAAAAAH!

    A NEWS ITEM!!

  31. Comment by Stuart, 24 Oct, 2007

    Hello. I live in Wanaka and established "Stuart Landsborough's Puzzling World". Since 1994 I have a public display at the above attraction that challenges psychics to find a Promissory Note worth $50,000 New Zealand Dollars. In the last year I have increased the reward to $100,000.
    Probably one to one and a half million people have passed through my attraction and are aware of this challenge. Articles about it have been on TV One news, TV Three, many newspapers and talk-backs. During the last 13 years I have had very few official challenges. Maybe four, five or six depending on how serious I classify them.
    I have now watched three episodes of 'Sensing Murder', each time with increasing anger. The average person doesn't understand all the tricks of the psychic's trade. I am quite ignorant about them too but know enough and am skeptical enough to realise that it is a con.
    I enjoyed reading your "article". It was very educational! I learnt a lot.

    I have a new Psychic Challenge web page and my business page is Puzzling World.

    Well done, keep up the good work

  32. Comment by Elizabeth, 25 Oct, 2007

    Hi, I bought tickets to the Deb Webber show in Nov. and hope to stay sharp and catch on to how she goes about her business. Any ideas what to watch for? If it goes the John Edwards way - it's easy to expose - M ... M ...mari.... ma.... mad.... etc. until somebody confirms or denies...
    Thanks anyway for your web page. Will write to you after the show.

  33. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 26 Oct, 2007

    First Elizabeth, you should watch Eating Media Lunch tonight (Friday), 10 pm on TV2. It evidently details a hidden camera sting in Australia where Deb Webber is caught out. It evidently did a lot of harm to her reputation in Oz and she recently said on TV1's Breakfast show that she is not well liked in Oz these days.

    On their website the NZ Skeptics have a checklist on some things to look for during a reading. You can get it by going here. They also have a leaflet on mediums which is worth a read.

    If you can see through the likes of John Edward then you probably already know what to look for with Deb Webber, but here are some things I've noticed about them.

    Much of what a medium says is in the form of a question, 'Has your mother passed over?', 'Was she interested in music?', 'Was it a heart attack?', all of which would be completely unnecessary if they were really in contact with a spirit. The medium is merely interrogating the client and it is the client who provides the answers.

    You'll notice that the medium never provides details — no surnames, birthdates, occupations, addresses etc. Everything is very vague. No matter how intelligent the spirit was in life they all seem to suffer from Alzheimer's disease in the spirit world. If ever a medium does provide lots of obscure details for one audience member but fails with the rest you should suspect cheating. Many have been caught planting friends in the audience whom they pretend are strangers or they have gleaned info from audience members prior to the show.

    Another favourite is to make statements that can either be a question or a statement of fact depending on the response. For example the medium could say 'She wasn't a teacher was she?' If the audience member replies 'Yes', then the medium follows with 'Yes, she's saying she was a teacher'. If the answer was 'No', then the medium follows with 'Because I'm just getting the feeling that she wasn't a teacher'. If she was teacher then afterwards this person will insist that the medium knew that the spirit was a teacher, when in fact all the medium did was ask a question and the audience member provided the answer. If she wasn't a teacher this person will have probably forgotten that this question was even asked.

    The thing I normally find with these readings is that what was really said between both parties is often very different to what is recalled later. Talking to other audience members after these shows you get the feeling you were at different shows! People normally can't remember exactly what was said during the reading and this can be very beneficial for psychics. For example a psychic may say something vague such as 'Your father might have been in the navy or something' and the client later relates this to friends as the psychic saying 'She correctly told me my father was in the navy'. Yet she didn't. The client has conveniently forgotten the words 'might' and 'or something', which could have meant the army or airforce or sea cadets or even the Post Office. The omission or addition of one word can change greatly what a psychic actually said, and can make her appear far more accurate than she actually was. This is why they say you should always record a personal reading and why John Edward prohibits recording devices at his show. You often find that people unknowingly drop hints and the psychic mentions it later into the reading. The client forgets that she may have given the answer and is suitably impressed. Skeptic Vicki Hyde relates an incident where she was masquerading as a psychic and amazed the client by describing her child. The simple explanation was that she saw her walk in earlier with a young child and made the assumption that it was hers. The fact is that the client provides most of the information in psychic readings and the psychic merely feeds it back. The client then focuses on the positive bits and completely forgets all the mistakes the psychic made. You'd find that if psychics didn't have the client in front of them giving them clues then their readings would be meaningless. This is demonstrated in a reading scientist Richard Dawkins had where the medium passed on messages from his father from the "other side". Dawkins refused to give clues as to how the medium was performing. She made several comments along the lines of 'Your father says he is well'. Dawkins finally replied 'Yes I know he is. He was around for dinner last night'. By not getting feedback from Dawkins, and based on his age, she assumed his father was dead. He wasn't.

    The biggest problem I have with mediums and psychics is their motivation. If these people really had a 'gift' then there is far more valuable things they could be doing for society and humanity than charging people to tell them vague things they already know. Why aren't they locating missing children and identifying murderers? Why aren't they being heroes?

    People watch magicians and are completely blown away, but still leave asking 'I wonder how they did that trick?'. Why do they leave their brains at the door when it comes to mediums?

    Remember that even if she does appear to do amazing things, it is her refusal to take her "powers" into the real world that you should be suspicious of.

  34. Comment by Gregg, 27 Oct, 2007

    I have read all comments in your articles, and to be honest your stance is rather like a dog with a bone.
    Do you believe anything that can't be proved? Isn't that what belief is?
    Not everyone has such a pragmatic approach in life, and I am sure you will always want the last say as in your responses on the web site indicate.

  35. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 27 Oct, 2007

    Likewise Greg, I have read your comments, 'and to be honest your stance is rather' impossible to answer. Do I believe anything that can't be proved? If I don't reply you will believe it is because I don't want to answer your question. If I do reply you will merely say it shows that I must always have the last word. Either way you'll feel your opinion of us is justified. So thanks for your comment, but no comment.

  36. Comment by Robin, 27 Oct, 2007

    Hi John, I first found your site some time ago via NZ Sceptics and it's excellent.
    I kept forgetting to watch/record 'Sensing Murder' but finally saw it a few weeks ago. The episode was the Gribblehurst Park Murder and I found it odd that the Psychic s referred to scenarios that were plainly known, and in the media, at the time...
    One thing that struck me was the visual reinforcement of their claims thanks to the re-enactments. Even for a sceptical viewer hearing them say things while you watch them happen gives their guesses far more credibility than they deserve. I tried just listening to the audio while watching video from another source and it was far from compelling.

  37. Comment by Lucy, 29 Oct, 2007

    Just wanted to say thankyou for the article. My friends and I have been watching the show and we all agree that it is fascinating and appears believable but we are getting increasingly frustrated as to having no results of their "sensing". I decided I would write to the show and tell them to provide outcomes/follow up as without closure of cases isn't it just fictional tv as opposed to reality tv.
    Before I did that I thought I would do some research. I read your article in full and IF I watch the show again it will be with pen and paper at hand and brain cells fully operational. If anything I will still find it entertaining in trying to spot the crap. We sort of watched it without considering the timing/editing aspect but we often thought there was a lot of fishing for info happening and the spirit seems to disappear at the most inconvenient times - like when we want them to find the body - oops gone again. I guess without the full unedited show we will never know just how it is done.
    Anyway will write my email to the show makers asking for a follow up programme or if not, why not. I think this is the second series so if these sensing cases are still being followed up perhaps followup on the first lot would be a goer.

  38. Comment by Aaron, 03 Nov, 2007

    I enjoyed your site (silly beliefs), as a student of psychology i was dissappointed to see Nigel Latta's weak and feeble showing as a skeptic on the 'Sensing Murder' show. I'll though all things being equal if i was a dirty under handed TV producer with a cash cow i wouldn't want to invite someone on to the show who would shot more holes through it than Ned Kelly suffered, nor would i want to dull my degree being seen on such a show unless they would under take strick scientific guide lines for testing at the least.
    Frankly the show pisses me off even when i just see an advertisiment for it, Just to prove for my own piece of mind and prove just how easy it was to acquire the little known murder details I did a google search on some of the victims (Aaron Hopa as one eg.) and to my surprise (not) found a little bit of information (a little bit more than the show had in some cases).
    The following day i decided to see what would happen if i went down to my local small (northshore, Akl) library. I found no less than 15 books on murders in New Zealand....clearly even if you are a technopheobic you can easily get details.... I even checked one of the books out and to my delight it had a very detailed account including, photos, clues, possible attackers etc etc of the soon to be air'd 'Sensing Murder' victim(lol). Oh my wife and I enjoyed that episode, the best part was that we almost appeared psychic to some of our more gulible guests that evening until we got out the book and started to read from it.
    It's a shame more people don't put as much effort into critical thinking as they seem to chasing material needs.
    P.S. I'll forwarding your site to my friends.

  39. Comment by Lynda, 04 Nov, 2007

    Hi, Could you please advise if you would have a contact number to book a reading with Kelvin Cruickshank? Thank you.

  40. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 04 Nov, 2007

    Sorry Lynda, but we're not about to start helping Kelvin Cruickshank promote his sham business. But all is not lost — remember he is psychic — so I'm sure he'll soon call you.

  41. Comment by Anonymous, 15 Nov, 2007

    Hi John. Liked reading your page mate. Good stuff.
    I thought you might like this email I had forwarded to me from a friend of a friend who used to work at Glenbrook Steel Mills. It concerns the 'Sensing Murder' episode that aired on Nov 6 regarding the disappearance of Jim Donnelly. Thanks & keep up the great work. [I have put the most relevant part in bold text]

    From: Public Affairs Officer, New Zealand Steel
    Sent: Tuesday, 6 November 2007
    To: NZSAKL Users All Mail Users
    Subject: Notification
    Hi Everyone
    A television programme 'Sensing Murder' will screen on TV2 tonight on the disappearance of Jim Donnelly (employee) more than 3 years ago.
    We recognise there is a level of continuing public interest in Jim Donnelly's whereabouts and the reasons for his disappearance and, understand the distress his disappearance has created for his wife Tracey and their children.
    After consultation with the Police, the Company declined to participate in this series, any footage that may feature throughout the programme has not been obtained with the Company's permission.
    Many of you will remember that following Jim's disappearance, police, mill staff, and other agencies under Police direction undertook full searches of our site. The search was managed and directed by the Police.
    We believe we have assisted in every way practicable and have referred any inquiries to the Police.
  42. Comment by Damian, 15 Nov, 2007

    I'd just like to thank you for all the great work you have done, your website is utterly fantastic! Rational and reasonable people like yourself will eventually force gullible, desperate folk to remove their head from their anus. Keep up the great work.

  43. Comment by Kathy, 26 Nov, 2007

    Isn't it called 'Sensing Murder' and not "solving murder"? I don't see any fraudulent claims that they will solve a murder. Yes it is disappointing that the murders never get solved, but thats up to the police, its not the psychics job as they don't hold the power to prosecute. And even if the psychic can give a name, the police can't just march up to that person and arrest them, they need evidence, and if they had it in the first place the murder would have been solved already. These cases are too old to solve as any physical evidence would by now be lost.
    From the start of the program they have a 50/50 chance of guessing the sex of the murder victim. Why is it that we see 100% accuracy with this initial reading/guess? Is it because they edit it that way. If that is so isn't that what the sceptic Nigel Latta was there to determine? If you claim that 'Sensing Murder' is crap because they are prompted the whole way, wasn't that what Nigel Latta was there to see? And you'd have to be blind and/or dumb not to see that level of prompting, surely. If I was to guess anything about anyone deceased, where would I even begin?

    Sex? 50/50 chance of getting right
    Age? a hell of a lot of time, where would I even begin? in the middle? he was 30, no, 15, no, 45. Gosh, that would take forever.
    Hair colour? Brown, blonde, grey, salt and pepper, red, black. Surely they can't be prompted through all that till they hit on it?
    Height? 5'5", 6", 5'8", again, where does it begin or end?
    Name? I'm getting an A, no B, No? C then. Hang on give me a chance, D? Ok, R, no S? Can it be any harder? S? is that correct? Yay, ok next letter. I'm getting an A, no H, No? E then. Hang on give me a chance, T?

    And thats all without looking at a picture, in the first 10 minutes of the show. I thought it was suppose to be filmed in a day. Looks to me the first 10 minutes would take the whole day to guess. Have you ever tried to guess at someone a friend of yours is thinking about? Sex, age, date of birth, hair colour, eye colour, height, and heaven forbid, name?

    And then maybe from the name the psychic might know the murder from reading the papers or googling murders in NZ. But wouldn't it be hard just getting to an accurate description so you know who you are talking about? Surly there aren't so few unsolved NZ murders that you can know them all so accurately, where they happened and where the victim lived, or are there? Just a thought.

  44. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 27 Nov, 2007

    Hi Kathy, you asked "Isn't it called "Sensing Murder" and not "solving murder"? Yes that's right but you don't have to be psychic to know a murder was committed. As a viewer I knew these people had been murdered so the program told me nothing new. They call it 'Sensing Murder' because they are accepting defeat before they even begin. They don't call it 'Solving Murder' because they admit they can't. Remember that a local version of 'Sensing Murder' screens in eleven different countries, 2 series in NZ, and not one single murder has ever been solved worldwide. That's why they don't call it 'Solving Murder'. They could also make programs called 'Sensing Terrorists' that never find terrorists. Would you watch that as well?

    You said "I don't see any fraudulent claims that they will solve a murder." Do you really think that viewers watch 'Sensing Murder' just to see people make silly guesses about murders? Do you not think that the average viewer believes these psychics will solve the murders? Everyone that I've ever met that believes in the show certainly thinks that murders could well be solved. They don't see it as a simple, meaningless entertainment show like you seem to. Also Sensing Murder producer David Baldock is on record as saying — when declining to participate in a psychic challenge — that "the show was not about finding objects but revealing new information in unsolved murder cases, he said." Baldock certainly believes that they are trying to get information to solve murders. Surely he knows the purpose of his show better than the viewers do?

    Yes it is up to the police to solve crimes, so what's the purpose of the program if you claim that the psychics will never be able to help solve a crime? Just wasting the viewer's time performing silly tricks? In fact the psychics could solve every crime if they gave the police real information. Often the police can't solve crimes because they don't have the names and location of the guilty parties, or motives, or more importantly, the location of the murder weapon or even the body. The psychics could provide all this and then the police would be able to prosecute. Do you truly think the police would ignore psychics if they fronted up with a body? Yet they NEVER provide crucial information that could solve a crime. NEVER!

    You go on to say "These cases are too old to solve as any physical evidence would by now be lost." Rubbish. The likes of murder weapons and DNA can last for a long time under certain conditions and some of the crimes are very recent anyway. Many people would even confess if the police confronted them with a highly detailed description of their crime, provided by the psychics. Police do this all the time in interviews, making out that they know more than they really do.

    You ask "From the start of the program they have a 50/50 chance of guessing the sex of the murder victim. Why is it that we see 100% accuracy with this initial reading/guess? Is it because they edit it that way." Yes it is because of editing. And in fact they often get even the sex wrong but amazingly the gullible viewer fails to notice the many, many mistakes the psychics make.

    As for shady editing, you ask "isn't that what the sceptic Nigel Latta was there to determine?" Nigel Latta is NOT a skeptic. He has never claimed to be, and points this out in his book. The producers falsely claim this to make him appear as an expert. He is not. Latta missed many things, including the fake editing that we pointed out. He now admits this. We have never claimed that the film crew prompted the psychic in really obvious ways while Latta was present but they certainly have in other episodes. On video for everyone to see the crew told psychic Kelvin that the girl's pet was a cat and not a dog as he claimed. They pointed Deb at the correct window and gave her a floor plan of the house. Many times we see the crew prompt the psychic. Yet most viewers never seem to notice.

    You state that "If I was to guess anything about anyone deceased, where would I even begin? Sex? 50/50 chance of getting right." On one episode we see the crew giving the psychics the victim's jewellery before they look at the photo. This is one way that psychics can often correctly guess the right sex. Women wear women's jewellery, not men. So the chance of getting it right in cases like this is not 50/50 but more like 98/2. When it comes to guessing their age you say "Age? a hell of a lot of time, where would I even begin? in the middle? he was 30, no, 15, no, 45. Gosh, that would take forever." No it wouldn't. On one episode we see Deb saying: "I am picking up a woman but I keep picking up a child in the room". Now tell me, based on this statement, how old did Deb think the murder victim was? She doesn't know. She's guessing and saying both adult and child so she can go with either one when she gets a clue from the film crew. You then ask about "Hair colour? Brown, blonde, grey, salt and pepper, red, black. Surely they can't be prompted through all that till they hit on it? Height? 5'5", 6", 5'8", again, where does it begin or end?" When they guess the correct hair colouring and height we will be shown that bit, but when they don't get it right we never find out how tall they think they are. And who really cares how tall they are? How does that help the police? They already know this info. What about getting the name you say? More often than not the psychics can NOT get the murder victim's name, and even when they can it is usually using the very method you just described. Remember on the show with Latta Deb said: "M must be the first letter... of her name". How many letters did she say before this guess that were edited out? They NEVER ever get the victim's surname. While they can say all manner of unimportant things clearly, like their height, yet they can never say names. Why is this?

    You claim that they get all this detailed info "And thats all without looking at a picture, in the first 10 minutes of the show. I thought it was suppose to be filmed in a day. Looks to me the first 10 minutes would take the whole day to guess." That's right, it did take the whole day!! On the Latta episode Deb made guesses for six whole hours!! Of those six hours only 12 minutes were shown. Nothing she said in the other 5 hours and 48 minutes were considered important or accurate enough to show the viewer. So yes it did take the whole day to guess enough stuff for the first 10 minutes of the show.

    You ask "Have you ever tried to guess at someone a friend of yours is thinking about? Sex, age, date of birth, hair colour, eye colour, height, and heaven forbid, name?" No I can't, but then neither can the psychics. I guarantee that you will not be able to show me one episode where the psychics get all this information. One might guess the sex, another might guess the age, but none get all this, and none ever get the surname. A far more important consideration is this. If you say that the psychics can consistently get this silly, meaningless info, then why, why, why can they never get important facts? Why can they never get surnames of the victim or the killer? Why can they never locate murder weapons? Why can they never locate bodies? Why can they never provide any evidence that the police could use to prosecute? Hair colour and eye colour are worthless tricks.

    You don't believe it possible that the "the psychic might know the murder from reading the papers... Surly there aren't so few unsolved NZ murders that you can know them all so accurately". It would be reasonably easy to study up on NZ unsolved murders, especially if you were going to get paid for it. There aren't that many and remember that this is the psychic's job. We expect our doctors and lawyers and politicians to memorise an enormous amount of material relevant to their work, so why couldn't psychics do it? Or do you think they're too stupid? Remember also that psychics only ever reveal what was written in newspaper reports etc (like sex, age, hair colour) and not much else, so it would be relatively easy to memorise these facts.

    If like many people you think that TV producers and psychics wouldn't deliberately fake 'Sensing Murder' just to make an entertaining show or to make money, consider the following. Are you familiar with the sports quiz show 'A Game of Two Halves' with Marc Ellis etc? A few weeks ago it was revealed in the media that the contestants are given many of the answers to the questions prior to the show. In other words the film crew and contestants cheat. They prompt the contestants and edit the show in such a way as to make it appear that they are very knowledgeable about sport. The producers said they cheat because they don't want the sports celebrities to look like idiots by not knowing the answers. Most people, including myself, thought that 'A Game of Two Halves' was genuine. 'A Game of Two Halves' may have fooled me but 'Sensing Murder' hasn't. This is a perfect example that TV producers and the people they put in their shows will lie to the viewer if they think they can get away with it. Remember this show and their deception when you next insist that there can't be any fakery going on in 'Sensing Murder'.

  45. Comment by Kathy, 28 Nov, 2007

    Hi John. My point re "it's called 'Sensing Murder' and not 'solving murder' " was that you can't expect them to solve the murders as thats not what the program is about, and to assume that they will is putting way too much faith in the entertainment industry. I can tell clearly just from the name of the program that I am watching that its for entertainment purposes only, and I'm not under the idealistic impression that any murders will actually be solved. You said that "Everyone that I've ever met that believes in the show certainly thinks that murders could well be solved." Well I can only sympathies with people who think that any program on current TV will change the world, or in this case lead to a prosecution. Again, like I said before, it would be unrealistic to assume that the police would take this information seriously, as even if someone was genuinely psychic and could provide evidence crucial to a murder case, there are so many sceptics just waiting to bring them down and the pressure on the police if they were to use this information would be too high, considering that any lawyer used for the suspects defense would have a field day with any information gained on their client in this fashion. I'm actually starting to feel sorry for you for being so passionate about a TV program such as this one. Again, they don't claim to solve crimes. The purpose of the program, I'm sorry to have to point out, is for entertainment value ONLY. What is TV for? And don't say its for education or to help society, because I can guarantee that with all other avenues of information available out there, i.e. books, internet etc., TV gains viewer audiences on the promise of mindless entertainment.

    As for your comment on the state of murder weapons and DNA, this is not rubbish as you so politely put, let me explain it to you more clearly. I pointed out before, but you failed to include here, that if such evidence as weapons, or DNA, did exist it would have hopefully been found already. In case you didn't know DNA degrades over time and can only be used years later if it was initially found at the time of the crime and properly stored in some sort of refrigeration. I know this because I work in this field. DNA that is recovered years later is unreliable as it is too damaged to be accurate enough to prosecute. So to repeat myself for clarity, DNA may be present, but over time the nucleotides that make up the sequence required to match it to fresh DNA harvested from a suspect, would have been chopped up by radiation, machanical shearing, dehydration, etc. You will get a partial sequence but this can easily be ruled out in a court case because it is not a complete sequence anymore. Therefore if a weapon is found years later, it cannot be reliably linked to the murder, as evidence that relies on human cells such as finger prints (which are not DNA but also degrade over time as they are made of up human cells, or get rubbed or contaminated), or human DNA, would unfortunately be too damaged unless by some mirracle someone had decided to refrigerate the murder weapon or whatever source or DNA (highly unlikely I'm afraid unless the murderer happened to be Jeffrey Dahmer).

    You state that the "gullible viewer fails to notice the many, many mistakes the psychics make." Its interesting here that you point out the viewer is gullible for believing that the pyschics are not guessing but have got it right, when in fact you don't seem to have a problem with the audience being gullible for believing that the program is more than for mere intertainment. I don't really understand your point here though as how can the viewers see the mistakes that are made if they are edited out as you seem to believe.

    I have not read Nigel Latta's book, and I don't plan to. I have, however read on his comments he himself has posted on his website where he claims "There was no cold reading on the day. I know what cold reading is because I use many of the same techniques myself when interviewing various criminals over the last 17 or so years. If it was happening I would have seen it. I didn't." I am getting the feeling you don't really understand what psychics do. They are not all the same, they do not all get information the same way, the information does not always come through clearly and they are often given only snippets which they have to piece together. This requires help from the people they are giving a reading for, and if this means a small correction as in cat or dog (and I don't think this is crucial evidence in a murder case) or pointing to a correct window (again, I think you are nit picking here), then thats what is needed.

    You mention the psychic being helped by being given the victim's jewellery. Again, I don't really understand your point here as you have only mentioned that they did this in one episode, but what about the others? Or are you not prepared to speculate here, or maybe you want to put it down to good editing again. I think your maths is a little off as they do not give them jewellry in every episode. Same with your example with Deb guessing the age. Again, one episode. I still think you are missing the point here as she could just as eaily have said, "I'm picking up a women, she was old." This episode you are pointing out was a girl that was older for here age i.e. she was a child but acted like a women (which I did see an episode of and she was correct in this statement), or I also saw an episode where the girl was 18 but behaved more like a child because she was not mentally mature and prefered the company of younger girls more on the level of her child like mentallity, in which case I think its a reasonably accurate description. Have you even watched the program? Yes, the police already know all the information that is initially described by the psychics. The point of accurately descibing the victim without seeing the picture is to establish the realiability of the psychic in his/her ability and their connection with the dead victim. So I guess the viewers would care, don't you think? Do you watch the program? I've seen plenty of episodes where they have gotten the name, some where they haven't, or some where they were given the name. But why is it you want them to give the name when you don't care to know their height either, as the police already have this information?

    As for your assertion that "On the Latta episode Deb made guesses for six whole hours!!" , I don't know where you are getting this information from, but to take a direct quote from Lattas website: "The psychic's information was specific and not general. She was not making a bunch of guesses and then fine tuning her statements based on responses from the crew." Need I say more?

    You ask "If... the psychics can consistently get this silly, meaningless info, then why, why, why can they never get important facts?" Again I'm confused as to whether you watch the show or not. Just this tuesday (even though it was obviously an old episode) Deb Webber provided the police with a name of the murderer, where he worked, a distictive tatoo and facial scar, and an identikit!! How, how, how is this not an important fact? And how, how, how did you manage to miss this? So many people phoned in with information about the this killer, but again, its now up to the police to do something about it.

    You claim "It would be reasonably easy to study up on NZ unsolved murders, especially if you were going to get paid for it." This is not the psychics job, if you were to read up on them they are actually very busy with other things. Deb Webber has a waiting list of 3 years for psychic readings and she does shows all over Australia and NZ. She also had a learning disability and DOES NOT READ as she is dyslexic! Kelvin Cruikshank also does not read and never studied at school. Again I wonder if you watch the program, as in the one episdoe of the man who disappeared and his hard hat was found days later next to a vat of acid, the psychics were both able to describe a similar story as to how he met his demise. This was previously unknown. Unknown information. Though you might argue that it was made up, or they were told to say that, in which case you are just stubbornly refusing to see someone elses point of view.

    Yes, I have heard of game shows being staged, in fact there was that movie about the american game show that was staged that caused a huge outcry in the states in the 60's or 70's or so. I never said such a thing as thinking they wouldn't fake it. From the start I have pointed out that it is for entertainment purposes only, whereas you, like many other misguided people, seem to think it is there to solve crimes. As for your comment "Remember this show and their deception when you next insist that there can't be any fakery going on in 'Sensing Murder' ", never once did I insist on anything, I only made a few suggestions for you to consider. I never thought you would take it to heart like this. ITS JUST A SHOW. Get over it. I think you need to remember its just a show.

    I would suggest to you to maybe go to one of Deb Webbers shows, but being so set in you way of thinking you probably won't. However I had the opportunity to go 3 times (and before you think I am gullible because I paid money for such a show, think again, as I got in for free, yes all 3 times). There was no obvious cold reading. She could also accurately describe the layout of peoples homes. Some she could describe what the deceased was wearing when they died. One she described a boys room right down to the posters he had on his wall without the little boy saying anything back to her except yes and no and ok. There was one person she kept being drawn to when she was doing the question time and was not giving readings anymore. She kept saying that there was a spirit hanging around him, and this spirit kept saying that he liked the guys car. She then asked the guy in the audience if he did indeed have a nice car (nothing special there), and he said he did, she then immediately asked "have you recently changed the carpet in your car?" and the guy said "yes", then she said "well your friend likes it". This to me was an unusual thing as I don't know anyone who has changed the carpet in their car, its not something many people do, yet she picked this up. She then said "is there someone (spirit) you want to talk to here tonight?" and he said "yes, Leo" and she said "is he the one who really liked your car?" and he said "yes". This is good "guessing" as how many middle aged people have a recently deceased friend who covet their car, and how many people change the carpet in their car? And before you suggest they were probably paid to say these things, guess again, as my sister got a reading and she wasn't paid for anything. Deb also continued to do readings in the recess, this was obviously not for the benifit of the rest of the audience as they did not hear them, and i can't imagine that if the whole show is set up in some way with paid participants in the audience to do readings for, why would she bother to hang around in the recess to give more readings to people when she could have rushed off back to her dressing room for a break.

    To take from Nigel Lattas website again, he says: "What's more no one seems very interested in what I actually think, instead they're far more interested in taking my comments and constructing them in such a way as to back up their own view." Which I think is exactly what you are doing.

  46. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 29 Nov, 2007

    Hi Kathy, thanks for your reply and comments. I wasn't going to bother replying since it's obvious that we see psychics and 'Sensing Murder' differently, but I thought I'd make one final attempt. Also I'm sure you're very busy writing to the numerous websites and forums that do believe 'Sensing Murder' is trying to solve crimes and isn't just entertainment. Since we agree that 'Sensing Murder' will never solve crimes we must be the least of your worries.

    You wrote "My point was that... I'm not under the idealistic impression that any murders will actually be solved." Well at least we agree that these silly psychics will never solve any murders. You seem to be suggesting that the word 'sensing' in the show's title should indicate 'flaky psychics' to everyone and from this they should realise that it shouldn't be taken seriously. And yet your email says you take psychics very seriously and so I'm a little confused as to why we shouldn't take them seriously if we see them on TV? And to be honest I don't know if your method of evaluating TV shows by their name is valid. What about Crimewatch? Is this for people that like to watch crimes? I was under the obviously mistaken opinion that this show was trying to solve crimes. Have you written to other websites and organisations explaining that it's just mindless entertainment? I hope you're not wasting all your time on us and 'Sensing Murder'.

    You also state "I can only sympathies with people who think that any program on current TV will change the world, or in this case lead to a prosecution." Again I take it you're not familiar with programs such as 'Crimewatch' or 'Police Ten 7' then? Or are they pure entertainment too? Are they trying to solve murders or just letting voyeurs watch re-enactments of them? As for documentaries that might change the world, I take it you haven't heard of Al Gore's 'An Inconvenient Truth' on climate change then? Likewise I assume that you're not watching the current TV documentary series on 'AIDS' and have never seen any of David Attenbourgh's documentaries? That's a shame. What about the recent doco 'A War on Science'? Does your TV only receive mindless entertainment?

    You then make the amazing claim that "even if someone was genuinely psychic and could provide evidence crucial to a murder case, there are so many sceptics just waiting to bring them down... " Oh please. This old ploy that skeptics would deviously suppress info from psychics is ridiculous. Skepticism is about evidence. If psychics fronted up with the evidence skeptics would support them in an instant. Skeptics are against psychics at present because psychics want us to believe their claims without evidence. You no doubt demand good evidence that GE, cell phone towers and vaccines are safe. Why do you not demand the same robust evidence from psychics? You also claim that the police won't take psychics seriously, and yet your idol Deb Webber claims that she works for the Australian police. Is she lying or are you wrong in that the police do take her seriously? You claim that 'Sensing Murder' is just entertainment and will never solve crimes yet Deb is firmly convinced that she can help solve crimes. Perhaps it is to her that you should be writing.

    'Sensing Murder' doesn't categorically claim that they will solve a crime, no one claims they do, but they most definitely claim that they will attempt to solve crimes. For example, in the episode about Alicia Oreilly, the show started with this message slowly scrolling up the screen: "This story is being told with the full support of the victim's family in the hope that it will help solve the crime." Note the phrase 'solve the crime'. Then the narrator informed the viewer that:

    "Tonight two psychics will lead a team of investigators in a search for new clues."
    "Using only their psychic ability they will assist in the hunt for Alicia's killer."
    "Tonight two psychics will turn to the spirit world in search of new leads which could bring that brutal killer to justice."
    Again note the phrases 'search for new clues', ' the hunt for Alicia's killer' and 'in search of new leads which could bring that brutal killer to justice'. This is stating in clear, unambiguous terms that they are attempting to reveal new clues that might bring the killer to justice, ie to solve the case. The narrator also tells us that: "Deb Webber has worked on a number of murder enquires in Australia", implying that the investigation in this show is also a murder enquiry. They may not solve any crimes but you'd have to be brain dead not to believe that this is exactly what they're trying to do. They're not telling us what the killer's name is so we can send him hate mail. They're not saying where the knife or body is buried so we can completely ignore it. They hope that someone will go and look for it. They are actively trying to reveal information that might solve the crime. To claim that they're not is naÔve. You may believe this but most fans of the show don't, the producer and director don't and the psychics certainly don't.

    Yes, TV often does deliver mindless entertainment, and yet still you watch, obviously enamoured with the mindless entertainment that is 'Sensing Murder'. Dare I say that you appear to be the one passionate about it, not us? You've written to a site that openly views it as mindless, manipulative, deceptive crap and you are attempting to defend the skills and integrity of its participants. You need to be writing to those idiots that believe in 'Sensing Murder' not us. We've never complained about 'Sensing Murder''s entertainment value, and it should be obvious that we are not passionate about the show, only dismayed that many viewers believe that its psychics are providing real clues and may solve crimes. You seem to be in a half way camp, believing that they do provide real clues, but realising that they'll never solve any crimes.

    Sorry but I'm not convinced re your view of DNA and murder. You'll note that I said "murder weapons and DNA can last for a long time under certain conditions". Scientists have recovered bits of DNA from ancient humans and even plants and insects millions of years old. It shouldn't be up to the psychic to decide whether reliable samples of DNA can be recovered from evidence. And anyway, DNA is only one piece of evidence available to police. Bodies can be identified by many other methods other than DNA, as can murder weapons, serial numbers for example. Again the psychics should merely tell the police where this evidence can be found and let them decide whether any clues can be obtained from them.

    You say that "you don't seem to have a problem with the audience being gullible for believing that the program is more than for mere intertainment... " and "how can the viewers see the mistakes that are made if they are edited out?" Of course we have a problem with the gullible audience. The whole purpose of our article is to demonstrate to the audience that they are being mislead. It's certainly not aimed at the psychics who you claim can't read anyway. Not all the mistakes are edited out, just most of them. The producers obviously believe that most viewers won't notice every mistake, and they're right. The director admitted to us that they add fake shots and Latta admitted he didn't notice the mistakes that we pointed out to him.

    You say "I am getting the feeling you don't really understand what psychics do.... [and] the information does not always come through clearly... and if this means a small correction as in cat or dog (and I don't think this is crucial evidence in a murder case)". Of course we understand what psychics do. They fail consistently to solve murders, either on 'Sensing Murder' or in real life. You talk about crucial evidence in a murder case but don't seem to understand that a jury would never have any confidence in a psychic who insisted he could clearly see the victim with her dog (which they are then told is false), and that he could then see Joe Bloggs killing her. If he was wrong about the dog, why should they believe he is right about the killer? The psychic's 'evidence' is no better than guesses. Imagine if it was the other way around, the guess about the dog was right but the killer was wrong? If the police acted an innocent man would be in prison. But why are we talking about crucial evidence anyway, I thought this show was solely entertainment?

    When I mentioned the film crew giving the psychics clues, such as jewellery, you replied "they did this in one episode, but what about the others?" How do you know it only happened once? They say they only provide a photograph. If they've done it once they may have done it on several occasions and simply edited it out. On another episode they provided the psychics with drawings done by the victim, on another they provided a photo of the victim's son, on another they provide the victim's name on a sheet of paper. All these gave the psychics clues about the victim, even thought the producers continually tell us that they only ever provide a photograph of the victim. Again you are insisting that the information provided by the psychics is from the spiritual world and is factual, and yet the theme of your email is that they can never provide information that will solve a crime. Why do your psychics waste their time on meaningless party tricks? Do they want to help the victims and their families or not?

    We're amazed that you ask: "Have you even watched the program?" You don't accuse us of making up the show transcripts in our articles yet you question whether we've ever watched the program? I suspect we've watched it in a lot more depth than you. Have you read our articles on the Alicia O'Reilly episode, the Angela Blackmore episode, the email from Nigel Latta and from the director of 'Sensing Murder'?

    You explain that "The point of accurately descibing the victim without seeing the picture is to establish the realiability of the psychic in his/her ability and their connection with the dead victim. So I guess the viewers would care, don't you think?" So you're saying the viewer wants to be convinced that this is all real, that it's not just a trick. All you've done is confirm that the average viewer wants to believe that the psychic has proven their ability and therefore the average viewer will ask, why shouldn't the police take them seriously? Why couldn't they go on to solve the crime with proven skills like this? But then you've insisted elsewhere that it's just entertainment. Why would viewers care so much about 'mindless entertainment'? I'm confused. Do the viewers think it's real or not?

    You then say - "I've seen plenty of episodes where they have gotten the name". No, you haven't actually. You've only seen edited segments where they have "appeared" to get the name, in the same way that you've seen magicians "appear" to pull rabbits out of hats. I don't actually care about the surname — I already know it remember — I merely want to know why they can never provide it. If they can't even provide the victim's surname — who they're supposedly talking to — why should police believe them when they say they can provide the killer's surname? They're just not credible.

    Regarding the length of Deb's psychic reading you say "I don't know where you are getting this information from... [and] the psychic's information was specific and not general." The information was provided by the director of 'Sensing Murder'. It is a fact. If you'd read the Latta article you would know that. And Latta is wrong. The fact that they deleted 5 hours and 48 minutes of her reading would indicate that it was anything but specific.

    In defence of the show you claim "Just this tuesday Deb Webber provided the police with a name of the murderer, where he worked, a distictive tatoo and facial scar, and an identikit!! How, how, how is this not an important fact?... So many people phoned in with information about this killer, but again, its now up to the police to do something about it." Please make up your mind. Can they solve crimes or can't they? Will the police act on their information or won't they? Week after week believers in these psychics like yourself say it's only for entertainment, that they won't solve any crimes and the police can't act on their information. Then suddenly everything changes, now it's real, they've provided real information and you're confident the police will soon do something about it. And yet strangely they don't. Why do you insist that a name is an important fact that the police should act on, yet information about the location of bodies and murder weapons are not? You've already stated that murder weapons and bodies are poor evidence, yet merely naming some poor suspect is supposedly an 'important fact', important evidence? Why did you get all excited about this information and how the police will act on it, rather than remaining on your other stance — it's all entertainment, we're not supposed to take what they say seriously? This reveals that you do in fact believe that the psychics might solve a case and the police will act on their information.

    You tell us that neither Deb or Kelvin could study up on unsolved murders because Deb "DOES NOT READ as she is dyslexic! Kelvin Cruikshank also does not read." Of course Deb reads, as does Cruickshank. They're just not very good at it. Plus there are plenty of other ways to find out about murders. TV shows for example. And not being too bright doesn't stop you from ripping people off, as most people in prison demonstrate.

    You mention the psychics giving us "Unknown information". So what? You continually state that these stories will never help the police solve the crime. Yes, it is unknown info but more importantly it is unverified information. They could have equally have said someone was abducted by aliens, which would be even more entertaining, but just as useless. What does it matter what stories, what unknown information they come up with if it's just for your entertainment? You keep insisting that these psychics come up with accurate info, yet at the same time say they are not accurate enough to be taken seriously by the police. Unknown information is not evidence, it is simply a fiction, a fantasy, a guess. You don't have to be psychic to make stuff up. I could claim that just before he died, the man in the episode you mentioned cried 'Help me God'. Did he or didn't he? You'll never know and never be able to prove me wrong. That's the trouble with unknown and unverifiable info from psychics, you can't prove them wrong and they refuse to prove themselves right.

    This statement of yours surprises us: "you, like many other misguided people, seem to think ['Sensing Murder'] is there to solve crimes." Please read our articles again. We certainly don't think the program is there to solve crimes. We are of the opinion that they will NEVER solve crimes. And you agree with us on this point. Remember your gripe is not with us but with the millions out there that believe psychics can help solve crimes.

    You continue with "I only made a few suggestions for you to consider. I never thought you would take it to heart like this. ITS JUST A SHOW. Get over it." That's our whole point. It's just a show. It's not people talking to dead people and in the process attempting to solve murders. It's not real. It's entertainment, like The Ghost Whisper and The Teletubbies. And since you have gone out of your way to find our site, read our articles and email us to remind us that it's just entertainment and that they'll never solve any crimes, it would seem to indicate that you agree with us. And we agree with you. It's just a show. They're not real. At last we concur on something.

    You say "before you think I am gullible because I paid money for [Deb's] show, think again, as I got in for free." People aren't gullible because they've paid to see a psychic perform their tricks, they're gullible if they believe they're real. You defend the likes of Webber who has been caught cheating on several occasions. You rave about their skills, but then state that their performances on 'Sensing Murder' are just for entertainment, akin to performing chimps. If they can do these amazing things off camera, why do they cheapen their abilities on 'Sensing Murder'? You seem absolutely convinced that these psychics could solve crimes if they wanted to. The question then is, why don't they? Forget about silly 'Sensing Murder'. There are numerous murders or missing people in NZ and Oz where they body hasn't been located. Olivia Hope and Ben Smart for example. Psychics could tell the police where they are. Don't say you used psychic powers, just say you were walking your dog or digging a latrine and stumbled across them. After you had discovered a dozen or so you could reveal your powers if you wished, and the police would certainly believe you had some sort of ability to locate missing bodies. The psychics are on record as saying they want to help the families of these victims, locating the bodies would be a huge start. And no doubt much extra evidence could be gleaned from the bodies by the police, their location etc, that might lead to a prosecution. But the psychics refuse to do this, instead prostituting themselves on mindless entertainment shows like 'Sensing Murder'.

    You talk about mindless entertainment, what could be more mindless than what you describe from Deb's show — talking about car carpet, home layouts and bedroom posters? Is this all dead people are capable of? What boring bastards they become. Missing bodies and weapons aside, there must be an enormous amount of valuable and insightful information they could relay to us, but no, they want to talk about how they have a thing for the carpet in our car. The Alzheimer's ward in the old folks home must be a veritable intellectual think tank compared to the afterlife. As for Nigel Latta, you quote you quote him saying "What's more no one seems very interested in what I actually think... " He's talking crap. We were very interested in what this wannabe celebrity thought and wrote to him before we wrote our article. He refused to talk to us. Thus the only thing we can do is interpret his comments as he refuses to answer questions. Rather than us misrepresenting his statements, Latta has now admitted that he told a few untruths in his book (ie he lied). No doubt he wouldn't have admitted this if it weren't for our expose of the episode. Likewise his shameful misrepresentation of Einstein and other scientific principles on the episode 'Psychics Revealed' either reveals his ignorance of science or his willingness to misuse it.

    We've noticed that when firm believers in these psychics, like yourself, finally realise that shows like 'Sensing Murder' have never solved a murder, they go into defence mode, insisting that the show is for entertainment purposes only and state that the police would never act on their info anyway. Which would be fine if they stop there. But they don't, and neither do you. You trawl through the episodes and suddenly find an example of where the psychics are trying to solve the crime and suddenly the police are taking them seriously. When the psychics are failing miserably then it's just entertainment, but when they make up some new story or provide a bleeped out name, then suddenly the game is on again. The psychics are real, the police are investigating and the show is serving its purpose. But then nothing happens and we're back to it being crap entertainment again. Might we suggest if you really want to convince people that 'Sensing Murder' will never solve a crime, direct your emails to the 'Sensing Murder' website and Ninox Television. They have a large forum of gullible believers there that you obviously don't know exists, including the producers of the show.

  47. Comment by Kristie, 17 Jan, 2008

    Hi John, I've just read with interest your annotation on the 'Sensing Murder' episode where the sceptic Nigel Latta was present. I am a sceptic myself, and found your article informative, interesting and somewhat hilarious! I quite enjoyed the read... however... I was particularly put out by this comment: "since if a horse can do it, I'm sure a psychic can, even an Australian one".
    I am an Aussie, and am usually quite laid-back regarding these sorts of comments, however, in this instance, it just seems unneccessary. I mean, come on — bag out the so-called psychic, sure, but why the "Australian" comment? It just made what would have been one of the best commentaries on scepticism I've read into something that's racist for no sake.
    Anyway, just my two-cents. Cheers.

  48. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 18 Jan, 2008

    Hi Kristie, thanks very much for your comments on our 'Sensing Murder' article. However we're a little surprised that you're offended by that particular comment. It was intended as humour, initially written for a Kiwi audience and as you'll know Aussies and Kiwis have long had this friendly rivalry. Why even now we're being shown Aussie TV ads where our Prime Minister is said to look like a bloke. So it certainly wasn't meant as a racist comment, inserted merely for a little humour to make the article a little more enjoyable to read. If you go back a few generations you'll probably find that you and I are even related. Other Aussies that have emailed us about the article never mentioned that comment so obviously took it as a joke, as was intended.
    That said, I personally do get annoyed with some of my fellow Kiwis when they, in all seriousness, belittle Australia or moan about the 'bloody Aussies' beating them at sport or whatever, so I can understand you being upset if you really thought we were questioning Aussie intelligence.
    The comment was unnecessary to get the point across, so rather than have it misinterpreted we have deleted it.
    Have a good summer.

  49. Comment by Kristie, 18 Jan, 2008

    Awww, thanks John, I appreciate that!
    Keep up the good work!

  50. Comment by Rob, 23 Jan, 2008

    Hello, thanks for writing the excellent articles on 'Sensing Murder'. I could never bring myself to waste an hour of my life watching the show, but have been happily making the statement "they have never solved anything" since it began showing.
    I am surprised at Nigel Latta and his attitude, and his professionalism has severely gone down in my mind.
    I love the reply from 'Sensing Murder' director, of course he is never going to own up because it's his living...
    I hope you and your team continue to write great articles. My own interest in the whole b-sh*t realm is the church and the supposed privilege they and the media believe they have.

  51. Comment by Floyd, 22 Jul, 2009

    Kia ora John, Jis read your read your most informative piece online regarding the obvious hoax that is 'Sensing Murder' or more appropriately 'Sensing Utter Bullshit.' Many of the points you have raised clearly raise the concerns for the validity of the show. Back when the show started about three seasons ago, myself and many others were in total awe of the show. 'Wow there's no way they could have known such detailed information' we all gasped at each other. Three years later after 27 cases [and counting, another series is yet to come] NOT ONE CASE HAS BEEN SOLVED and NOT ONE BODY HAS BEEN FOUND despite all the so called 'New Information' containing names, places, clues and possible scenarios. If the Psychics were communicating clearly with the dead as is claimed in the show, then yes SURELY they would be able to tell them something as simple as the location of their dead body. And what's up with the sudden game of charades every time they are asked for their name. It was then that I began to smell a rat! Then it occurred to me that with selective editing and filming and a little help from the crew the end result that is 'Sensing Utter Bullshit' is quite easily achievable. The psychics have been offered an independent test for 20 grand plus which they can either accept or donate to charity. None have yet taken up the offer! [wonder why?] I think the show has finally been exposed by people like yourself and it is about time it is kicked off our television screens for all eternity.

  52. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 22 Jul, 2009

    Hi Floyd, thanks for your positive comments. It's always refreshing to hear that an increasing number of Kiwis are seeing 'Sensing Murder' for the crap it is. The psychics know that they would fail any test of their abilities, which would destroy or at least damage their psychic career and their income, and thus they refuse to be tested. As for the producers, they are also motivated by greed and not a desire to solve murders, thus we may see another series, even thought they know it is all a scam. We have to convince our friends, family and associates that the show is crap and not to watch it. Only if an informed public stop watching 'Sensing Murder' will the greedy bastards at Ninox Television stop making it.

  53. Comment by Grant, 20 Aug, 2009

    Sad to see Ninox TV [the producers of Sensing Murder] have now gone under; who knew that producing crap for years would catch up with them? ;-)

    Reading the response from Nigel, I see that he is trying to argue from authority which is pretty weak given that he is not an authority in testing psychics. As James Randi proved many years ago, it takes a different skill set to detect bullshit from people who actually might believe in their own ability. He also claims that he did not detect cold reading; but entirely missed the fact that these "psychics" may well be guilty of warm reading. Also pretty dam hard to detect cold-reading without video tape to check for misses & non-verbal responses from others in the room.

  54. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 20 Aug, 2009

    Thanks for your comments Grant. Nigel should have stuck to a field he had some expertise in. He doesnít seem to realise he was duped. And yes, the rumour is that Ninox TV went into receivership in March 2009. Letís hope that itís true. Perhaps there is a god after all? ;-) On the bright side I guess that means that we wonít be seeing a 4th season of Sensing Murder.

  55. Comment by Tony, 21 Aug, 2009

    Hi John, they don't do any cold or warm reading, they do hot reading. The only reading they do is script reading (hot reading). That both participating "psychics" always "come up" with virtually the same previously unknown crime scene scenario means there has to [be] some level of script writing and collusion involved. Why would they cheat on the day of filming in front of a production crew and others when it's far easier to cheat before the day in the safety of complete secrecy?
    Unfortunately Ninox being in receivership doesn't mean the demise of Sensing Murder. Apparently series 4 is "in the can" and is just waiting for TVNZ to schedule a start date. Sorry but there is still no God.

  56. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 22 Aug, 2009

    Hi Tony, thanks for the depressing update. I did entertain the thought that the series might already have been made, but I decided to think positive thoughts. It looks like we'll all have to confront the gullible morons once again when the series screens. I wonder if the likes of the TAB will take bets on how many murders the psychics will solve this year?

    On a positive note, I do think the vocal skepticism towards Sensing Murder has made a difference overall, and more people dismiss the show as crap than might have done if we hadn't challenged it. What's that saying that every long journey begins with a single step. We just have to think of these morons as similar to the ignorant peasants who thought the world was flat and trolls lived under bridges. We may never convince them of the error of their ways, and thus the next generation is who we should ensure is more informed about reality. Eventually belief in talking to dead people will go the way of talking to fairies.

    Of course this belief will never disappear completely, but we can make it such an embarrassing belief that it wouldn't be information that you would volunteer at a dinner party, that anyone that wants to appear intelligent and informed in front of friends and associates won't mention talking to corpses or of their stash of Sensing Murder DVDs hidden under their bed next to their porno DVDs.

  57. Comment by Anonymous, 10 Aug, 2010

    Its really Great to see this site. Give us more interesting and informative stuff. keep doing work like this for the further also... Thanks Buddy

  58. Comment by Dylan, 05 Mar, 2011

    Cold reading is dead easy. (Pun intended). In hot reading, you need a good memory. Cold reading just requires the dignity and brains of a politician.

    Why do dead people only tell psychics the first letter of their names? Maybe they're all in hell which is supposedly cold so they shiver and stammer! Why do they give us a physical description of who they are seeing which sounds like a Texan cop describing a black suspect? (Look out for a black/brown/slightly tan man between four feet and six eight.)

    What is this, 400 questions? Well, more like hang man, I guess. Why does the medium always say what the sitter wants to hear? "This person loves you and just wants to say they're watching you all the time." Creepy, if not unrealistic. No matter how much you love someone, there is no way youíre going to continuously watch them through some portal between the worlds which science still hasn't yet discovered. Not unless youíre a stalker.

    Why do they talk to inconsequential grandmas who only one person cares about? Why not ask Albert Einstein a few questions? Or get Bram Stoker to give his opinion on twilight? Imagine an old lady rapping with the voice of 2pac?

    Why does no one ever ask whether their relative is in heaven or hell or paradise or some other crazy afterlife? It would surely put an end to the theological wars and crap that restart every time I eat a morrow bar. (BTW, I love morrow bars!)

    And who cares what Nigel Latta thinks about the subject? He's qualified to talk about the psychology of children and so on, but what qualifies him to investigate this kind of thing? Has he studied hot/cold reading, cognitive biases, or linguistic influences on perception? And about him knowing when some one is lying, no one can accurately detect a lie every time, no matter how much psychological or kinesiological training they have. Polygraphs are not totally reliable either, so a human can't possibly be able to do this.

    I personally give his views in this area as much weight as I give Arthur Conan Doyle's belief in the Cottingley fairies.

    Anyway, thanks for trying to get the message of thought and logic out into the world.

    We are all atheists of a kind. We all refute the existence of more than one God. Once a christian understands why they reject the Gods they reject, they will understand why I reject all of them.

  59. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 06 Mar, 2011

    Congratulations Dylan. Someone else that has seen through the childish stories and has decided to accept reality. The problem with Nigel Latta getting involved with psychics was that a gullible public treated him as an expert, when as you say, he is no more an expert than my cat. In fact Latta's 'authority' deluded even Latta himself, fooling him in to thinking that he couldn't be fooled. And yet he was taken for a ride into fantasy land like so many of the public, and he didn't even realise he had bought a ticket.

  60. Comment by Michelle, 03 Sep, 2012

    There are very few unsolved murders in NZ, all the so called psychics needs to do is study all of them and as this is how they make their living I'm sure they know every detail. Then depending on which city or area they are flown into, it would be pretty simple for them to know or make a guess as to which unsolved murder they were "reading".

    Was Nigel aware of the editing at the time? I ask this because perhaps everything appeared as it should to him on the day perhaps his comments were taken before the show aired and therefore he had not seen the editing?

    I also think some of Nigel's comments were rather noncommittal, by saying he can't explain what he saw leaves things open ended, he has no proof the case was or wasn't researched by the psychic, so therefore it IS unexplained.

    Honestly I was gob smacked when I first started to watch Sensing Murder, I soon lost faith when case after case went by unsolved.

    Someone should randomly pick up Deb and Calvin's computers for analysis and see exactly what they have researched on line.

  61. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 04 Sep, 2012

    You're quite correct in all your observations Michelle. It's a shame that so many fail to reach this realisation. Without even watching the show, people should quickly write it off as nonsense, since as you say, case after case remains unsolved.

    As for Nigel, since he was invited specifically to investigate the show for cheating, he wouldn't have been let anywhere near the editing. He no doubt honestly failed to pick up on all the cheating that was going on and potentially going on, but this just demonstrates that he was wholly unqualified to investigate psychic mediums. And the film crew knew they could fool him. He was a patsy, used by Sensing Murder to make them appear legit. He probably didn't see the edited show until it went to air, but even then he didn't detect any cheating. Even after we pointed out cheating, and the producer has agreed with our accusation that they cheated, Nigel still refused to acknowledge it. He is either a liar or very stupid.

  62. Comment by Phill, 25 Sep, 2012

    Hi guys, I never saw the episode that Nigel was in, I have to admit that I was never a great follower of Sensing Murder. On the other hand I have seen a few of Nigel's own shows and have always been impressed. I agree with you Nigel was brought in to be a patsy, he probably assumed that he would pick up on any cheating. My guess is that the cheating in this show tended to be done behind the scenes with lots of research by the 'physics' before the cameras rolled and they made their remarkable statements. The fact was Nigel, poor chap, was out of his depth and out of his element.

    The best people, as James Randi said almost forty years ago, to tackle 'physics' are of course the people who lie and cheat for a living: conjurers and stage mentalists. I do think you were a bit harsh on Nigel suggesting that he was either a liar or stupid, I don't think he was either. I do think that Nigel deluded himself into thinking that after a career dealing with the worst of offenders he could pick up cheating by the supposed physics perhaps without understanding how physic's do their thing and like a lot of scientific experts was not prepared for the trickery he witnessed.

    Is he a liar or stupid for not acknowledging he was fooled? How many of us honestly admit to our mistakes? How many of us will publicly admit we were wrong? I mean I appreciate the this kind of situation, I once believed in all this crap myself, and it took me a while to realise and come to terms with it. Nigel made a bad choice to go on a particular program and according to a article I came across a few years back he agreed that it was a mistake to go on the show. But to expect him to then be forced to eat humble pie and admit that he was wrong and he was fooled and that his years of training and expertise are really no match to well skilled scam artists — well it would have been great if he could have, but it's very human that he didn't and I personally can understand that, and given all the good he has done it is something I can forgive. I don't think he is either a liar or stupid just very very human.

  63. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 26 Sep, 2012

    You're right of course Phill, in that it is difficult to admit to our mistakes, but do we not think more of people when they do? Nigel's happy to make TV shows explaining to us plebs all the mistakes that criminals have made and what they and their families could have done to turn their life around. I would think more of the man if he would take some of his own advice.

    He may now regret ever doing the show, but the fact is that since Sensing Murder screened, Latta has gone on to become a minor celebrity as a psychologist and someone people think they can trust, and this unfortunately only lends more credence to the views he expressed on Sensing Murder. He evidently wants to help parents raise intelligent, well-adjusted children, so he could go someway towards this by arguing that we should own up to our mistakes, giving Sensing Murder as one of his. Not only would this advice make better adults, the example of Sensing Murder would also help make adults that are less gullible.

  64. Comment by Mike, 26 Sep, 2012

    Did you notice this on Stuff today? Psychics' killer lead hits a wall

    Another failure by the psychics. Can't help but wonder if the guy they fingered (minded??) to get harassed by police gets to sue them for defamation?????

  65. Comment by the 'Silly Beliefs' Team, 28 Sep, 2012

    Thanks for that Mike, and quite right, another failure by the psychics. I wonder if they're at all embarrassed yet? I know the police must listen to all the claims by the public, but surely that should only mean rational claims, gained by naturalistic means? They should no more listen to psychics than they should listen to the barking of a rabid dog. And if people are harassed by police, which will naturally become known in their community and affect their standing, solely on the loony rants of a psychic, then why should they not seek compensation? And more importantly, the police need to be taught what reasonable grounds for investigation actually means. No longer do we seek out psychics, witches and oracles or interpret dreams to solve crimes.

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