March 10, 2010

Psychic Failures

Missing Persons and Abductions Reveal Psychics' Failures

By Benjamin Radford
Mar 5, 2010

Several high-profile former missing persons have been in the news lately, including Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard.

Earlier this week, Elizabeth Smart’s abductor, Brian David Mitchell, was found competent to stand trial in a Utah court. His trial is expected to begin March 26, eight years after Mitchell and his wife allegedly kidnapped Smart from her Salt Lake City home and held her captive for nine months. Also in the past month, the family of Jaycee Dugard (who was kidnapped and held for eighteen years before being discovered in a virtual prison in the back yard of a couple’s home) announced that they have filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Corrections for failing to find her sooner.

The cases are similar, but Smart and Dugard have something else in common (and with other missing persons including Natalee Holloway, Laci Peterson, Chandra Levy, and many others): Hundreds of psychics gave information about their location while they were missing—and every single psychic turned out to be completely wrong.

Over 1,000 psychics (some of them with national profiles, including Allison DuBois, inspiration for the hit NBC TV show Medium) gave information they claimed would locate Elizabeth Smart. Tragically, none of it led to her rescue; she was recovered because a couple recognized her on a city street and called police.

There are thousands of self-proclaimed psychics and psychic detectives in the world who claim to be able to find missing persons. Some are rich and famous, such as Sylvia Browne, DuBois, Noreen Renier, and Carla Baron. If they truly have the powers that they claim, why do we see horrific cases like those of Smart and Dugard? Why aren’t psychics leading police to rescue these innocent young victims within hours or days of their abductions? Why did Jaycee Dugard have to wait nearly two decades for her rescue—-by suspicious neighbors, not psychics-—while being subjected to continual sexual and physical abuse, if a psychic had the power to find her?

Despite claims to the contrary, there is not a single documented case of a missing person being found or recovered due to psychic information. The fact that any well-known abducted or missing person you can name is either still missing or was not found by a psychic should tell you something. Here’s a hint: the next time you see a news story about a missing person, check the follow-up and see if a psychic’s information led to the person’s recovery.

If psychics can find missing persons, why hasn’t Natalee Holloway been found? Or Osama bin Laden, or any other terrorist leaders whose capture could make America safer? As I write this, there are dozens of missing persons who, if psychic detectives can do what they claim, could be safely located and recovered. Laura Vogel who disappeared in Hawaii on February 21. Cherice Maria Ragins disappeared from Baltimore on the same day. Olivia Aguirre of Contra Costa, California, missing since March 1. And so on. Do a quick Internet search and ask yourself why psychics aren’t helping these people and their desperate families. Either psychics cannot help these people, or they refuse to. I’m not sure which is worse.

If psychics can do what they claim, maybe Jaycee Dugard and her family should be suing not only the police, but also the psychics who gave false or useless “information” about her and wasting police time and effort. If people are going to earn fame and fortune from claiming to be psychic, they should be held accountable for their failures.