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Edward to Edward

by Mark Edward, Jun 23 2011

John Edward Bingo Cards

There’s not much I can say to add to the brilliant ploy that The Granite State Skeptics devised and put to work last Tuesday night. I applaud them heartily for their efforts.

The article at speaks for itself, both for the efficacy of DOING SOMETHING and the frustrating realization that many in John Edward’s (no relation) audience refused to accept the advice of more level-headed individuals who were there to help them in the truest sense of the word.

Not surprisingly the attached article does not interview anyone who was swayed by the skeptics.

As my friend Jim Newman form IIG wrote:

“Perhaps there weren’t any, perhaps they couldn’t find any or perhaps they found some but didn’t include them in the article.”

Ultimately it doesn’t matter. It’s the thought that counts. When a newspaper like Nashua Telegraph decides to give skeptics a voice, (even a small one) it’s a sign that people are starting to think.

That Other Edward

The actions taken by Travis Roy and his crew shows bravery in the face of a frequently hostile segment of society that doesn’t have a clue. If Edward’s audiences think paying $120.00 a seat to be conned provides comfort to them, they are certainly welcome to do so. It’s their money, their time and their hearts. But with that special Bingo Card in hand (and if they stuck it in their pocket or purse on the way out) I have to believe there’s s good chance that after the spotlights have dimmed down and they are in the privacy of their own home, quite a few will have reconsidered their stance on talking with dead people and have some serious doubts about making the same mistake twice. It may be too late for them, but word of mouth and the realization that you have been burned goes a long way to educate the public in the longer run.

This is GUERRILLA SKEPTICISM with a capital G.

Have you had enough of this fatuous medium rigamorole yet?

20 Responses to “Edward to Edward”

  1. Travis Roy says:

    Thanks for covering this! :)

    To be fair, the bingo card idea came up during TAMOz. During the skeptical activism panel, one of the Young Australian Skeptics brought it up when I mentioned we were planning on doing something at the show.

    We’ll be doing a writeup on what we did and how we did it once my hand (currently damaged) gets better.

  2. Travis Roy says:

    OH, and one other thing, there was some people that came out after the show and looked for us and asked for the pamphlets we were handing out. There were people that were not impressed with the show.

  3. Kitty says:

    Travis and Dale Roy have really been great leaders here in NH. Where the group meets has a big screen tv that allows us to have speakers from around the world speak at our meetings. (Like Richard Saunders from Australia). But this shows that sometimes just some pieces of paper and dedicated skeptics can make a real difference. These people had to THINK about their beliefs with this show, even if they didn’t all change their beliefs. I think the more beliefs are challenged, the more people have to THINK and defend, the more chance one day they are going to say “you know this really IS dumb”. When the truth is on your side, eventually you are going to convince a lot of people.

  4. Dave Brooks says:

    I’m the assigning editor for the article – and rest assurd that if Joe Cote had found somebody who was swayed, we would have included him/her/them in the piece! Joe’s a cops&courts reporter, so if that person was around he would have found them.

    As is said above, plaudits go to Travis and the Granite State Skeptics – this is a clever, non-confrontational way to get people to think. Bravo.

  5. BillG says:

    Regarding Phil Plait’s “don’t be a dick”, I am sorry but shouldn’t we suspend that when talking about a-holes like John Edwards and Sylvia Browne?

    My empathy goes out to their victims – after losing a loved one and being emotionally exposed, these dead talking losers have no freaking shame.

    • Max says:

      The Bingo cards were clever. Much better than saying something like, “John Edward is an a-hole.”

    • Mark Edward says:

      Yes, suspending the dick thing has never been so important. Just stop and consider the damage done by grief vampires like Edwrad, Browne and VanPraagh, The list goes on and on.If in doubt go to Tim Farley’s excellent site:

      • Travis Roy says:

        But we’re not going after John Edward directly, we want to reach out to his audience, the people that go see him. Being a dick to them isn’t going to help anybody, especially them.

  6. tmac57 says:

    Well done Travis and the rest of the GSS! The dissenting comments on the Telegraph article were kind of depressing,but were handled gracefully by the other side.
    I know a woman who was briefly taken in by John Edward after she lost her husband.She flew across the country to attend one of these shows,in a desperate attempt to make contact with her loved one.It made me so disgusted with Edward when I found out about it.I hope he finds himself penniless,in a gutter some day begging for loose change.I might just toss him a nickel.

  7. sgerbic says:

    Awesome job people. I had heard about these cards also but never any follow up. I look forward to hearing your report Travis. Make sure I get a link sent to me otherwise I might just miss it.

    What really counted it that John Edward knew about it. Like when Mark punked Sylvia Browne, the message was to her, that we got close and in her face. She must have sweated a lot when Mark started naming Opal Jo Jennings and on and on.

    Now John is going to be sweating. Don’t be surprised if his next show he has found a way to counter-act the BINGO cards. I suspect that he might not be in a hurry to do this venue again.

  8. sgerbic says:

    Just a quick mention that when a newspaper is involved Wikipedia can be involved. Check out John Edward’s Wiki page.

    Also I mention this event on my blog

  9. I was so mad that I was away for travel! Although, I’m sure Dale, Travis, or Kitty would have had to held me back a bit. i tend to take guirella warfare a bit too literally. ;)

  10. MadScientist says:

    Are there multiple bingo cards or just the 1?

  11. Jena says:

    hehehehehe… Brilliant! I printed out several of the Bingo cards over a year ago and thought I’d give it a go. However, I’ve not been able to get myself to watch any of these scammers. Even to play Bingo! Wouldn’t it be great if a large number of people played it during one of their shows!? Again I say brilliant! Simply brilliant! BINGO!

  12. badrescher says:

    I don’t understand what makes this “guerrilla skepticism”, but perhaps I just don’t understand the term. The impression I’ve gotten from arguments about it is that “guerrilla skepticism” is “being a dick” – the opposite of “DBAD”. Did Travis and Dale point and laugh as they handed out the cards? Did they call the audience members morons?

    This sounds to me like old-fashioned targeted information “bombing” and I fail to see how it differs (other than being somewhat clever and entertaining) from handing out information about vaccine safety outside of a talk Meryl Dorey is about to give or at a rally where Wakefield is about to speak. It’s not a even a cheap stunt.

    So, I’ll applaud them, but apparently not for the same reasons you are.

    • Travis Roy says:

      It’s because we weren’t banging our Skepticism drum. And the people going into the show had no idea we were skeptics. It wasn’t until after that they had any real idea that we were being skeptical of Edward’s show.

  13. Max says:

    The great thing about these cards is that they make the audience feel smart, not dumb.

  14. sgerbic says:

    What I’d really like to get on video is someone in the audience standing up and yelling BINGO!

    Maybe, just the idea for Guerrilla Skepticism.