Tuesday, October 28, 2008
John Edward--that’s John Edward the self-proclaimed medium, not John Edwards the fancy haircut politician who cheated on his ailing wife—does that even narrow it down anymore???--was recently on HSN hawking his memory boxes, DVD's, and jewelry.
This blogger tells the story behind John Edward’s “Hand on my Heart” necklace. I don’t know if John Edward is for real or not, but the story is touching nonetheless.
“Hand on my Heart” necklace is “a really nice piece that was inspired by his son, Justin. Apparently, one time when John was going to go on a trip to Australia for one of his workshops or something, he told his son that if he every missed him, that he could just put his hand on his heart and feel his heart beat and know that ‘Daddy’s heart beats for you’. Anyway, he wasn’t sure if Justin, 4 at the time, completely took in what he was saying, and assumed that it meant more to him than it did to Justin. But the next day, Justin gave John a hand print of his, and said that he wanted him (john) to be able to put HIS (Justin’s) hand on his heart.”
Is John Edward truly gifted or merely a fraud who preys on people when they are most vulnerable? A quick Google search will lead you to a plethora of articles about him "hustling the bereaved" with revamped old parlor tricks.
In addition to the standard cold-reading guessing game technique, he has also been accused of using plants in the audience and of bugging the studio to listen to the audience before the show so he knows who they are wanting to psychically contact. He was even shown to be a fraud on Dateline when he tried to pass off information about the cameraman that he already knew from working with him previously as being garnered from the spirit world. Maybe he was just confused?
South Park dedicated an entire episode to John Edward: "The Biggest Douche in the Universe." You can watch the full episode here.
While I do believe that some people do have extraordinary gifts, I'm not so sure that John Edward is gifted in anything but marketing himself. If he really, truly connected with the deceased, wouldn't it be much more of a burden? Would he really be using those amazing gifts to sell necklaces on HSN? Really???
On the other hand--real or not--people who are grieving find a certain solace in what he does. Of course, this is mainly because all the messages are positive and healing in nature. I know many nasty, spiteful people, and I don't think when they're dead that they are suddenly going to turn into Mary freaking Poppins. But that's just me.
The James Randi Educational Foundation, which is a a not-for-profit organization to promote critical thinking with reliable information about paranormal and supernatural ideas, is offering a "one-million-dollar prize to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event."
This large prize has been offered for approximately ten years and is yet unclaimed.