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January 18, 2012


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You'd think a good psychologist/psychiatrist would encourage private counselling for these (obviously traumatised) sisters, with proper conventional assistance, rather than live TV showcases and cold reading. Proof positive Dr Phil isn't interested at all in patient wellbeing. And one of the reasons why I hate his show so much: he gives a false impression to those who would genuinely benefit from psychiatry that his methods are the ones that work and/or are the ones that are used by others. His brand of psychology is that of the 'self help' crap where all you need is some positive thinking and a few tweaks to your life here and there and all your problems will be solved. Instead of doing a good thing by popularising and encouraging people to seek help when they need it, he's popularised and further encouraged 'self help pop psych'.

As for Edward asking wild questions I actually think this makes sense: who else would turn up to a psychic reading but someone who has been traumatised enough to be desperate to try anything?

Thak you very much for doing this.

These "psychic" readers seem like they are playing a combo of the games 20 Questions and Calvinball.

I think there is a very high likelihood that Edwards already knew of the murder suicide. If he had have known the name of the sisters, it would be easy to find that in the internet. It's also the kind of thing that he could have easily have picked up from chatter. Unless Dr Phil had him completely isolated from audience, staff, his own staff, etc before the show.

Good analogy. It would also be nice to see these guys invited for a game of hangman, where each miss gets a line drawn on the gallows.

I'd also like to see someone go to one of these shows and hand out the bingo cards to the audience.

"Dr. Phil, you need to go back to psychology school."

I think this is wrong. Dr Phil uses his psychology training very well. He knows his audience and what will bring in the ratings (and therefore the advertising dollars).

I don't mean to imply that I support him. I think he is in desperate need of ethics training.

I see Edward is making the rounds. The "journalist" Cooper had him on recently and is no longer skeptical, IIRC

I cannot beleive john edwards is still around,after they cancel his,(I think it was because some one revealed that during the filming of the show he would make complete misses on most of the people ,but then the misses were edited out.(off topic,Skeptico ,have you ever watched the athiests experience on youtube,it would be great to have someone of your intelect to rebut the theists replies

Excellent takedown, as usual.

You said exactly what I was thinking when you said: "To which I ask, so what? What is the point, why would this woman’s grandmother draw attention to her daughter and her birth month?"

Everything these "psychics" say is so useless. It seems to always follow this pattern:

1) Is there a connection to [tools, the letter 'S', planes, brains, automobiles]
2) The mark either confirms or denies this ["my pop was a butcher" - sheesh]
3) The "psychic" acts as though they have confirmed in some way that they are communicating with the dead

And then what? Profit, I guess.

They have a pretty messed up idea of what communicating with the dead means. Unless, of course, the dead are walking around holding flashcards with letters on - like "round girls" in a boxing match - that may or may not be related in some way to the living person getting the reading. If so, then what's the point? If we assume that they are actually communicating with the dead in some way (bear with me), then it is, quite simply, the most useless ability in the history of ever. If the things the dead are telling or showing them are so vague that they need the person they're reading to make the connections for them, I can't see any application for it. I mean, Dr Phil already knew his dad was a butcher, right?

Kudos to you for sitting through that show so many times. I don't think I could do it without risking damage to the TV screen, or complaints from the neighbours.

Oh come on, you're talking about Dr. Phil as if he is some trusted authority on anything. Him and his show is about ONE thing: $.

What do psychics do? Bring in the $. He might as well had a street magician pulling out quarters behind people's ears, but that's been done already.

The reason this needs to be discussed is because there are people who don't realize he's bullshit, and do trust him as an authority because he has "Dr." in front of his name.

I'm being mildly facetious, to be honest. The real issue at hand is to point out the real quacks aka. the psychics. Although, I do agree that as soon as semi-or-fully recognized "Dr."s take them serious, the psychics get a higher profile and more credibility ("she was on the telly doncha know?").

that being said, I would hope everyone (i know this is not the case) understands that anyone who is an expert on TV is probably just a showman. Those who believe all they see on the telly, I mean forget it, they are a lost cause already. heh.

The way a living, limited, flawed, mortal speaks:

"Hi, I'm Fred Smith, the father of Rebecca Wilson, who you're talking to right now. I died of Legionnaires' Disease in Montana three years ago."

The way a perfect, shining, immortal spirit speaks:

"J.... G.... something like a G.... some sort of G, definitely... a W.... F....? Francis, Ferdinand, Felix, some sort of F... yes, that's it, Fred. Still alive. No, sorry, got that wrong. I lived in Florida... make that Oregon... perhaps New Hampshire..."

They just love Twenty Questions in the afterlife.

Oh thank you... I've long held the opinion that Phil is a quack. Fortunately for me I have a graduate degree in psychology. It took about one show to see right through the fraud.

This is not to say that he didn't ever understand psych, but as its demonstrated on his show, its corrupt beyond recognition.

In fact, I accuse Phil of child abuse. Seeing distraught young girls on his show pisses me off. Those kids need to be in therapy, not taken advantage of for dramatic effect and gratuitous self-promotion. Not to mention the possibility that he is inducing MORE trauma! Sorry i don't have the specific episode, but watch his show, you'll see some version of it.

I really get sick watching the bubbly brained fatuous audience. Phil is about one degree away from Jerry Springer, but more dangerous. Jerry made no pretense about his show, it was all for show. Phil would have us believe he's actually helping people. He's a snake oil salesman.

You people are retarded. All action is caused by the brain. That's why we should allow people to rape other people.

As per 'the truth's' post on The Golden Woos #3 June 13 18.38, "Ah skeptics back to their name calling. i see that skeptics can't debate properly so they call people names. perfect.

Exactly what i expect from a bunch of closed minded people."

That's approximately two minutes before they post, "You people are retarded" above. I'm sure you've met the kettle before pot.

Also regards the Golden Woos post, way to go on providing a stunning and detailed argument in the spirit of proper debate..., oh hold on, silly me you didn't, you just blustered your empty opinions. Think I'll just dismiss them.

So, any reasoned arguments, mister 'truth'? Any specific complaints? Any examples of fallacies in the posts or comments you want to elaborate on?


Oh, and about the rape thing: Really? That's an enormous non-sequitur, especially since a lot of the skeptical blogs I read have been complaining about rape culture and raising awareness of sexual discrimination.

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