Saturday, November 24, 2012

Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal: Fact or Fake? Pt. 2



An issue that has been raised by some as to the after care for the kids, apparently it was nonexistent. If we use Coffey's statements that he and a few others are the only ones doing this, then where do the parents have to turn for help? (Let us also not forget the thousands of families that tried to get on the show. What happened to those kids?) Coffey stated on the internet radio program, Paradacity, that he never signed up to mentor the kids after filming ended. Such a statement can be interpreted to mean "I do not work with kids unless I'm paid!"

He proceeds to give us definitions of the different types of psychic gifts -- but who decided on these? Is there an organization of psychics, or an I.P.A. (International Psychic Association) that meets every year and votes on these topics? Or is this more new age dogma being spread?

One of the most troubling terms is this so-called Forensic Psychic that helps police solve crimes. Incidentally, no claim made by any psychic has ever helped the police solve any crime. Yet the most troubling claim in this matter is made by   Coffey when he states that the police should keep this from a defense lawyer if the matter goes to court. Coffey does not comprehend that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty in America. A defendant has the right to see any and all evidence presented against them. Their lawyer has a right to know how all evidence was gathered against them. They have the right to put on the witness stand anyone involved in the collection of evidence. This is done to establish such things as legal search, probable cause, and a chain of custody of such evidence would be a slippery slope if putting people on trial and keeping it from them that "psychic feelings" were being used in the investigative process.

The following link will take you to a webpage featured on the A&E website for the show and list the credentials for the so called experts featured on Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal.



Take your time reading them, and then ask yourself what is missing?

1. None of them have any formal training in working with psychic children. This stems from the fact that there are no tests that you can give to determine if a person is psychic or not. They practice pseudo science, or to coin a term from the Casey Anthony case: bad science.

2. Only one has graduate work. Chris Fleming has a Fine Arts degree. Coffey claims to possess a B.A. degree in psychology from Elmira College in New York. Kim Russo lists no higher education.

3. Deeper research into their respective websites show that they use their work in the show in order to bring in new business.


To conclude our look into the early part of the book, we need to take a look at a bit of Coffey's creative storytelling. The blog, Eye on the Paranormal, focuses on asking questions about subjects that many paranormal celebrities would prefer not to be asked. Blog owner Robinson has asked many times just what makes Coffey a psychic? Robinson decided to test Coffey by claiming he bought tickets for an event, when in fact, Robinson did not. (This is not the way I would have done it, but it is not my blog). If you would like to read more here is a link to it: http://eyeontheparanormal.blogspot.com/2011/03/issue-22-psychicmedium-chip-coffey.html

Observe the events shared in it are not the way Coffey shared them. Nor was it proper for Coffey to use quotes, as that is not what he said. Quotes are to be used only when you are repeating something verbatim in writing. And Coffey goes on to say well (note no quotes here) psychics cannot know everything. To do so would make you Godlike. This is often the way psychics deflect those who have doubts. I cannot know everything. We have to ask what do you know? And if your "gift" is so unreliable then why should anyone rely on it? Lastly, he makes two claims against Robinson: one that he is skeptic, which he is not, and secondly, if he attended the event he would disrupt it. Now how would Coffey know that? Oh, yes he is psychic.

As we are done with the first part of Coffey’s book we will move through the rest chapter by chapter taking a look at what he says what he does not say and we decide if there is any truth to what he says

Some chapters will be presented with the topics and descriptions listed in bullet points, while others will be written in a narrative style.


CHAPTER 2 - SO YOU THINK YOUR CHILD IS PSYCHIC

- We are never informed by those involved with the show how it was determined if these kids are psychic. Did they simply ask, "Are you psychic?" and accept a yes response as proof? There is no, and let me repeat, absolutely no test that is recognized by any professional organization to determine if an individual is psychic. How did a TV show do what science cannot?

- One of the themes you will notice is that the majority of these children come from broken homes; others come from very troubled backgrounds. Is this a cry for recognition by either the child or the parent?

- Olivia K's mom is from California, one of the hotbeds of the new age movement. In order to get help she has to turn to a TV show to receive it? Or could it be someone was looking to break into reality TV?

- As most, if not all, reality shows are scripted, how do we know that Olivia K was not fed information? And while on the subject, how many of these so-called psychic kids were determined to not be psychic once on the show? It is difficult to accept that one-hundred percent of the children featured on the show were actually psychic. I'll add that this is, in fact, my opinion.

- Being the author of several thriller novels, character development means that each of my characters have their own voice. Both letters from the child and the parent read as if the same person wrote them. An old writer's trick is to read both passages out loud and determine if you hear the same narrative flow.

- They also use the phrase: "No fear! No doubt!" which Coffey coined.

- My background in law enforcement encompasses a total of twenty-plus years. In those years I have learned to read suspects. An innocent person will never try to oversell their innocence during an interrogation. On the other hand, a person who is guilty will really oversell their claims of innocence. In this book, I find both parent and child, in all these so-called personal testimonies, make every effort to sell their experiences on the show as being nothing less than life-altering.

- We are introduced to Charlotte Scott a so-called light worker who manages energy flow through people as her special talent. She changed a child's life but we have to ask, and will do so throughout this book, where did she get her training? Is she licensed by the state to do this work? It seems that the Coffey blindly accepts being a light worker /psychic as being skilled to help kids in any way.

- Coffey claims that God gives people psychic gifts. Most, if not all, mainstream religious groups would reject that outright. Again we are not offered any proof from the bible or the origins of this thinking.

Edy Nathan is a therapist that appeared on the second two seasons of the show. She is a firm follower of Carl Jung, who for a period of time worked with Freud, and is called the father of the new age. But what this book does not tell you is that none of his theories have ever been proven scientifically to be true. If you Google her you will see that "Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal" is her claim to fame.

- The story of a child by the name of Cheryl is shared by her mother who took the girl to a psychologist who labeled her schizophrenic. This is due to seeing a ghost in the bedroom. Of course Coffey saves the day telling the mom that her child is psychic and it is presented to the reader how shocking this is and that it happens every day.

- What the reader is not told is that a mental health worker must follow strict guidelines when giving a diagnosis, especially for a severe disorder like schizophrenia. You do not walk into a mental health worker's office and say I see things that others do not see, and the doctor will automatically give you/your child such a diagnosis. There is a path that must be followed as determined by the American Psychiatric Association (A.P.A.). A mental health worker must follow the DSM 4r guidelines, and a patient must meet a set number of primary and secondary characteristics prior to being labeled schizophrenic.

- Coffey rattles off tales he claims are true but we have no way of checking them out as proof of paranormal and reincarnation. Let us examine them.

- Coffey writes of a woman who comes out of an operation speaking with an Irish accent and she is has "Foreign Accent Syndrome" as he postulates. I recall seeing Madonna interviewed several years ago after moving to England. In two short weeks she had a fluent accent. And as I recall during my years in New York City working alongside the NYPD; I would encounter non-New Yorkers who were visiting the city and had a hint of Brooklyn or Staten Island accents in their speech.

- An older woman comes out of a coma and speaks French but she cannot speak it in her everyday life. Was it really French or something that sounded French? (Often we hear and see what we want to.) Then she went back to speaking English. Did she ever speak French again? We are never told. Modern science is making leaps and bounds in how recall and memory works, and it is not paranormal or psychic every time something out of the ordinary happens.

- A Hindu child recalls a past life and the family returns to India and everything is right on about his story, so that is proof of reincarnation. That is incorrect. What it says is that within the Hindu religion, they will pay great respect to a family that has a possible guru. Emotional support and money will flow their way.

- It is interesting and troublesome that he expresses support for both reincarnation and mainstream Christianity, as the two are not compatible. In the Christian religion, we have one life as Jesus Christ died to pay the price for our sins and we go to heaven or hell in the end. I do not recall Christ said I died for your sins in this life and the lives you keep living until you get it right.

- Coffey offers us part Christianity, part new age nonsense and part make-it-up-as-you-go-along.

- For the last several pages of this chapter we are offered only opinions, conjecture and invalidated cases. The anecdotes and/or personal experience make easy reading, but for anyone involved in scientific research, they are not accepted in a serious manner.

- Coffey's sampling group of fewer than one hundred kids is way too small to build any serious research conclusions. What about psychic kids from other nations? Or psychic kids in various age groups? These topics are not examined.

- Lastly, if you have kept reading the stories from the parents and the children they are structured in the exact same manner and read identically. If you had the names removed from the letters, you would be unable to tell them apart.

CHAPTER 3 - CONTROLLING AND MANAGING PSYCHIC GIFTS

This chapter begins with a very overblown story concerning Coffey's own abilities. How do we know is it true? It seems like his stories are placed in this book to promote his readings and get new clients. Remember this book is about working with psychic kids.

- Coffey dives into the matter of disclaimers which is a peculiar subject. Is he implying that psychic kids should start giving readings for a fee? According to my research, many have. One gives readings in a bowling alley. Another has a website so they can do readings by phone. One child's mom acts as their agent. But what Coffey never deals with is the fact that giving psychic readings for a fee is illegal in many areas. In order to sidestep this issue many psychics try to use the freedom of religion card by tacking on "spiritual counselor" to their business masthead.

Coffey offers his own disclaimer and gives a weak explanation as to why psychics use the "For Entertainment Purposes Only" disclaimer. He also tries to link his work to that of a stock broker. How are they the same?

A. Stockbrokers are licensed. Psychics are not.

B. If stockbrokers engage in unscrupulous behavior they can have their license taken away and be sentenced to stiff fines and/or jail time. If a psychic engages in unethical behavior, such as lying about being psychic, nothing can be done to them as they claim it is "For Entertainment Purposes Only".  The only action that a victim of less than honest psychic has is the option to pursue criminal fraud charges.

C. When seeking investment advice, the stock broker uses charts, cycles, mathematical skills and even current trends to help you. When you go to a psychic they use educated guesses and just pull things off the top of their head.

So in reality they are not alike.

Is Coffey suggesting that all forms of employment should come with disclaimers?

Doctor

I am only human you may die from my care.

Taxi Driver

My skills at operating a motorized vehicle may not protect you from losing life and limb while in my taxi.

Driver Thru order taker

English might be my second language so your order will be incorrect

Let us take it further. What about those mentioned in the bible?

Noah

Enter this ark at your own risk. I am not a ship builder by trade.

Moses

Follow me at your own risk as I might get lost.

End of Part 2, Here is Part 3.

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