Forums Forums Answering Skeptics and Debunking Cynics Greeting, from my first post

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    Greeting, from my first post.

    I want to be absolutely up front and clear, as well as polite and respectful. I come to this board from the Randi board, where I am an active member. I also am a friend of Mr. Randi, and will be one of the speakers at his meeting in January. I am a skeptic, an amateur magician, and (I hope) a reasonable person. I am also a career military officer. I was in the Pentagon when the plane hit, and that day was the worst of my life. I still am carrying baggage from what I saw, felt, and heard that day.

    My question is this. For those of you who believe in Mr Edward’s and others with similar points of view, how did this terrible thing happen without us being warned? I don’t mean that as a wise acre question, I truly want to know. Is it that spirits can only talk of the past, only their own lives, or such? Is it ever possible to predict the future, in particular future terrorist attacks?

    I close with best wishes and I look forward to your insights and comments

    Hal Bidlack

    PS- you have WONDERFUL smilies on this site! I love this jumping guy! :jumper:

    Pam B

    Thanks for joining us – we always welcome polite respectful discussion.

    Your questions are deep, and I can’t see how they might be answered in such a limited forum, but I know that we can try and work from there. I only speak for myself when I post.

    In order to believe in what John does, you have to believe in the world of spirit, and a higher purpose than just living our lives here on earth. You have to believe there’s a bigger picture than just this physical life. Some of us believe that we’re here to learn huge lessons about ourselves, the nature of reality, the nature of love, and it’s opposites. Everything is a lesson. If you can’t fathom a perspective like that, it’s not likely you’ll be able to fathom the answers we might provide. All that I ask, is that you suspend your own beliefs and disbeliefs long enough to “stand in my shoes” for just long enough to see how the equasions work for me, and suspend what you think you know about “spirituality” or what “Mother Culture” has taught you to believe about religion and spirituality. I’m not a fundamentalists in any way shape or form.

    You also have to be willing to accept that there’s some mystery that will never be answered while we’re in this limited form. This seems to be a sticking point for so many skeptics and cynics, but comes more easily to some believers.

    So, my response to the question:

    For those of you who believe in Mr Edward’s and others with similar points of view, how did this terrible thing happen without us being warned?

    How can we learn our lessons, if we’re given all the answers beforehand? As terrible and painful, and horrific as some of these “lessons” are to human beings – there is something that we’re supposed to be learning.

    Is it that spirits can only talk of the past, only their own lives, or such? Is it ever possible to predict the future, in particular future terrorist attacks?

    Anything at all is possible, but the question probably should be, “is it probable”? It depends on the scenario. The instances of spirit communication is so poorly documented, and so personal to the people (living and dead) communicating, that we have no realiable way to know for sure.

    I also don’t mean to frustrate you with my answers – I certainly don’t have them all, and I’d venture to say no one on this forum will say that they have all the answers either. Please feel free to question me further on my responses.


    I’m sorry, even though I feel I could respond to this question I fear it will become the next subject of debate at another site, as your first post here has, which you reposted on that site immediately after you posted here.

    “I’ll let you know how it goes.” is how you ended your post addressed to the skeptics at that other board. So best of luck to you Mr. Bidlack, I’ll see how it goes here too, and maybe after a while I’ll respond to this thread when I get to know you better. Can’t blame me for being a bit wary though. Where you came here from doesn’t matter to me, it’s where my words could go from here that I’m concerned about.

    Pam B

    Really VT? Wow…bummer…history repeats itself. Such a shame.

    And I was trying to be open minded after hearing his association with Randi, and that he was a member of the JREF board.

    I’m sorely disappointed.

    This thread is closed, because I won’t submit to becoming fodder for discussion and negativity at JREF.

    Peace to you bidlack, in all that you do.

    Pam B

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    I am sorry to hear that you were in the pentagon when the plane hit. That must have been dreadful.. and must still be hard to live with.

    I hope that you really will be able to listen with an open mind to what is said here. I really hope that you are here to listen and take away the good of what you find.

    I am a believer, a strong believer in what John Edward does. I believe that there are those who do not have the gift that pretend otherwise. This is unfortunate for those that are doing the work with honesty and integrity.

    I am aware of the other board, but have not visited. I have no interest in what is being said there, and have made up my own mind after having had experiences of my own, and came here after finding that John Edward has helped not only myself, but good friends of mine to heal.

    I guess I really don’t know what else to say. Your mention of the pentagon moved me to want to reach out. I hope that someday, you are able to heal from what was a dreadful thing to live through.

    Pam B

    I’ve had some very nice emails with Hal, and he’s very been very kind and understanding about why I run the board the way I do. He missed the part in the guidelines about copying posts elsewhere.

    I’ve invited him back, if he’s open to it. I look forward to some interesting discussion with him.


    And back I am! :)

    And in my continuing effort to be totally above board, please know that I keep the JREF folks up to date (though without copying any posts, just my sense of the exchange) on the thread: This seems a reasonable thing to me, given our mutual goals of reasoned communications and polite exchanges. Please advise me if this level of cross pollination is acceptable.

    Solana, thank you for the kind words. 9/11 was a rough day, but I find that I am also greatly encouraged by the American spirit I saw that day as I walked back to my apartment; folks offering rides, drinks of water, use of a phone, etc. If you are interested in more, I have a hidden directory on my web page (I have an unusual “off duty” employment), at

    I am also most interested in your comments. May I ask if I understand correctly? You believe Mr Edward to be the real thing, but also believe others who claim to be are not. What was the process you went through to decide he was real and others were not? What is the manner in which you evaluate the “realness” (is that a word?) of a psychic?

    I would also be interested in folk’s views of the Pet Psychic show. My sense is, naturally, that she is not real. I wonder why she has to ask the owner the pet’s name and gender before a reading. I would think a pet would know these things and send them to her. But I know a great many people believe in her.

    And finally, I appreciate the opportunity to talk with you all again. While I think it unlikely we will change each other’s minds too much, I do think it is terrific that we can agree to disagree, to discuss, and to even have a touch of humor in our exchanges.

    GREAT SMILIES! I think I’ll use the jumping guy in every post!



    Nice to see you back. I look forward to interesting discussion. Nice to meet you. I appreciate the ability to agree to disagree. Very refreshing.



    How did I come to believe John Edward was real? I didn’t believe he was real. I happened upon the show one evening and watched, just kind of interested. I just found myself watching the show more and more. What impressed me the most were the unique things he would bring through. I know he always starts out with – father figure, to the sided, etc. But once the person being read realizes the reading is truly for them, things get much more specific. He’s described posters in people’s basements, their houses, the way the person passed, things they said to the deceased at their death beds. It’s just memorizing. Once he said that they rubbed sacred oil on someone’s feet in the hospital. They had. Actually I think it was holy water. But these are the kind of things that left me sitting there with my mouth open. And he hadn’t badgered or pulled information out of the people being read.

    One reading was a young man, late teens or early 20s. The message was for him from his best friend. This kid gave no information, but John said his friend was reminding him about sitting on his friend’s roof, playing in a band, sneaking out of the house, sleepovers. All the boy said was, yes, no. He offered no information.

    As far as the Pet Psychic, I know we’re not to discuss other mediums, so I don’t want to get banned. But, at first I thought she was hokey. Now I’m not so sure. The jury is still out on that one, but I’m swaying. My son thinks I’m a kook, but there are worse things I could be.


    Welcome to this forum :)

    Just FYI, we don’t discuss other psychics (pet psychic) per se. At least we strive not to. There have been a few random threads now and then re: Sylvia vs Randi, but that’s about it.

    About JE and belief. I don’t believe all psychics are geniune, but John Edward definately has my attention. Why? The hits he gets are not run of the mill; however he gets them. I guess it’s my ‘job’ to discern [for myself] the how. (cold, hot, warm reading vs psychic medium) I’m busy taping and transcribing readings, for some examples of those great hits.

    Looking forward to many discussions with you about John Edward. (not the pet psychic ;) )



    opps, another “my bad.” I thought this thread was about skeptics in general, but now I see it needs to be Mr Edward alone. That’s fine.

    :jumper: (love that guy)


    well… as to why I think John Edward has the gft and thers do not. One has only to watch his show, to see that he has the gift. I have never met him in person, and I do not ever expect to make it to the gallery, because I don’t have the need for a reading. I think that most likely those who get tickets are those who need them.

    I have a strong belief in what JE does, and have had experiences and validation of my own.

    I have a very spiritual and gifted circle of friends. I count as a friend a woman who is a very gifted psychic, who works with the ARE. I do energy work, and through this have friends who are gifted in many ways.. intuitives, healing facilitators and one friend who is an animal communicator. I have not only worked with some of these people but have been taught by them.

    I have also come across some who are not gifted as they would like to believe, or who no longer are. How do I reach my conclusions? The same as you would I imagine. I look at the evidence before me, and make my conclusions. I also depend a bit on my own intuition.

    I think that there are other mediums who are just as gifted as JOhn Edward, who choose to keep a lower profile, and to do their work in a smaller, but no less helpful manner.

    I do believe that there are many types of “psychic ” gifts. I also believe we all have them to some extent, but whether we use them or not is a different matter. I also belive that we use our gifts more than some realize.. that often things passed off as gut feelings or coincidences are actually use of these abilities.

    I use intuition in my work with Reiki , and other energy work.
    I do not think I am particularly gifted, just that I acknowlege the gift that I , ( and we all ) have, and I work to improve it.

    As for the pet psychic, I think this board is only for discussion about John Edward.. and that discussion will have to take place somewhere else..


    Why do I believe John Eward is real?

    My belief in him evolved over time and a belief in mediums was formerly just a fantasy to me that I hoped would be true.
    My husband and I stumbled over the Crossing Over show after my husband was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. We both watched with skeptism and eventually wonder. Neither one of us could see any way he could be faking it, and to this day there has been no proof of that. Certainly not from a lack of people trying to de-bunk him.

    After my husband died my family received many unexplained ADCs (after death communications and there is a forum on here for them). I managed to get tickets to a John Edward seminar for me and my family.

    John is just as incredible live and unedited. 1,400 people were there and we were chosen to be read by him. I had asked my husband to try to come through because he knew what John can do. He did, along with my father, mother, and my daughter-in-laws father.

    I and almost everyone else on this board watch every show we can and I guess the skeptics must be seeing another version than we are because it’s so obvious to us he is communicating with the other side.
    BTW, that cute little jumping figure is a frog and frogs are a huge ADC for my family. :D :jumper:


    Mr. Bidlack,
    Before I address your questions regarding why I believe John Edward I will first offer my deepest condolences for what you must have experienced on Sept. 11, my prayers for your continued recovery, and my gratitude for your service to this country.

    My belief in John Edward is most definitely tied to my life long belief in the survival of consciousness. My belief in a soul that continues to exist after the body has ceased to function was well established long before John Edward, or any other medium you may have heard of, came into my awareness. With the sceptics in my life, this seems to be a bottom line issue. In their minds, there must be a trick because there is no one, nothing, for John Edward to communicate with. This is such a fundamental difference in thinking that, among my believer/sceptic friends, conversation beyond this one critical issue is rarely even attempted anymore. I’m not sure what your spiritual beliefs are Mr. Bidlack, but, due to experiences discussing this topic with sceptics in my own life, I would guess that if you don’t believe in a soul, nothing I might say would seem at all rational to you and that would cause you to dismiss my reasoning outright.
    My answer to the question of why John Edward didn’t have foreknowledge of the Sept. 11 attacks would simply be, because he wasn’t supposed to have the knowledge. I realize this must be a rather unsatisfying unswer, but to me it’s perfectly logical. The question, while dealing with a subject that is far more serious is, at its core, the same as all the other “Why didn’t he know…? Why doesn’t he know…?” questions. I have no expectation of what he “should” know, and certainly don’t expect him to be omniscient, but I do not dismiss what he *does* know as cold reading, lucky guesses, or the result of an enormous, eighteen year, spy mission and cover up. Forgive me, but I find these claims far more extraordinary than the possibility that he can see, hear, and feel, those souls who have crossed. (There’s that pesky belief in spirit again:))
    Please understand that I have looked at the sceptics arguements against, not just mediumship, but John Edward specifically and they have done nothing to sway my opinion. On the contrary, my reaction to the infamous TIME magazine article, the Dateline piece, and the “He Peeked! He Peeked! He looked Through the Curtain!!” video clip I downloaded from JREF site only made me more of a believer I’m afraid. I agree there was intentional deception, manipulation of people and information, and an attempt to pass speculation as fact in each of these widely distributed pieces….it just wasn’t on the part of John Edward. The fact that those who claim John Edward is a fraud found (find) it necessary to result to those tactics substantially weakens their position.
    I will add one final thought. I am highly suspicious of people who claim to use science as a way of knowing just about anything in any concrete way. Those who claim to be of a scientific bent should know better than anyone that most of what we *know* right now will either prove to be completely wrong, or evolve into something we would hardly recognize. Science is nothing more than what we know right now. There are two kinds of scientific thinkers, those who imagine themselves riding a beam of light and, from that have the insight that would became the Special Theory of Relativity (Einstien), and those who pass on the lessons learned from the insight of others and resist any attempt to update that information because it has become a SCIENTIFIC FACT(my 7th grade science teacher).
    I hope I have given you some answers you find useful in your attempt to understand why one might believe in the credibility of a man who claims to hear the dead. I appreciate your apparent openness in asking your questions without the note of condescension and hostility that tends to come from…..uh….over there. ;)
    I wish you all the best in the future.

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