Tuesday, April 18, 2006

4/18/06 (PMP) Experts in our Field Speak Out

Colleen Nick has over 10 years of experience in working with families of the missing through the organization she founded, The Morgan Nick Foundation. With her guidance, the MNF has assisted well over 3,000 families of missing persons. They have been instrumental in passing legislation, and have provided over 200,000 photo ID’s for children in Arkansas. Colleen also has intimate knowledge of missing person’s issues. Her daughter, Morgan, was kidnapped at the age of 6, and has been missing for almost 11 years.

“I am not in favor of seeking out psychic assistance. Unfortunately, not being willing to utilize psychics pushes a family into the discussion about doing 'everything possible' to find their missing child, and the gut wrenching guilt that if you don't take this route you have not done everything. The pressure that is exerted to seek out psychics can be overwhelming to parents who are deeply in pain and already racked with guilt over the child being missing.

I believe you can do everything possible to search for a missing loved one without soliciting psychic help. My opinion and experience are that utilizing a psychic is exploitive of the family, is often emotionally damaging, can be financially taxing, and sometimes "psychics" want belongings of the missing loved one (treasures) that are never returned. These types of devastating blows continue to re-victimize a family that is already reeling.

When psychics call in leads on a missing person case the leads should absolutely be followed, just like any other lead. There have been instances in ongoing cases where someone wanted to confess their crime against a victim, and the criminal called the police claiming to have psychic information about the crime.

I believe today that if Morgan were found in a purple minivan with pink polka dots driven by yellow gorillas, we would have a psychic step forward who would claim to have given that information in the past. We have had somewhere over 500 leads from psychics.....

On a personal level, due to my deep faith and my firm conviction in the word of God I have stayed far, far away from psychics.”

My Note: Over 500 psychics,and none have been right. Doesn't that tell you something?

For additional information about the Morgan Nick Foundation, please see: http://www.morgannick.com/

Marc Klaas’ life changed in the blink of an eye when his 12 year-old daughter, Polly, was kidnapped and murdered. In the aftermath, he became dedicated to making a safer life for the nation’s children through education, legislation, and the work of the KlaasKids Foundation. Marc supports us in our efforts to make families and the general public aware of the harm caused by psychics. He gave us permission to reprint this article:

“Psychic Detectives are the vanguard of a second wave of predators that also includes tabloid journalists, cheesy defense lawyers and photo-op politicians. They use tabloid newspapers and talk shows to boast about their accomplishments and predict success. They materialize whenever children are kidnapped and circle the cases like vultures on a fresh carcass.

They scan the media for the haunting eyes of desperate parents willing to do anything to recover their children and then they show up on your doorstep, literally or figuratively, to make the pitch. They claim to be on the cutting edge of communications, able to predict future events and reach into heaven and hell with their mind. They hold your hand, massage your psyche and convince you that the only thing separating you from their extraordinary gift is your money. However, some simply require airfare and living expenses, what we call a vacation. They seem to answer the prayer that ends the nightmare, but only if you can afford the ticket.

Frantic parents will do anything and they offer something, which is better than nothing. Few of us posses the resources to underwrite crisis, let alone psychic detectives so they should be reminded that a substantial reward awaits whoever solves the case and returns the stolen child.

Although that strategy eliminates most psychics, some maintain a foothold by appealing to superstitiously vulnerable family members. They make provocative predictions. In California, rolling hills, a road or highway, perhaps a building or a bubbling brook. In Arizona, sand dunes replace rolling hills and cactus substitutes the bubbling brook: In other words, they describe ninety-five percent of the geography of the western United States.

Psychic detectives do not posses supernatural insight, they do not converse with the missing or the dead, they never bring children home. However, their rambling predictions may have filled in enough gaps to pad their resumes and claim the reward.

A few months after Polly was recovered a psychic claimed that she solved Polly’s case on the television program Hard Copy. Not only was she using my daughter’s death to promote herself, but she also dismissed all of the wonderful people: police, media, and volunteers who worked so hard and tirelessly to locate my child.

In truth, that psychic detectives contribution to the case was counter productive. As always seems to be the case with psychic predictions, her interference created distraction. Law enforcement resources are diverted toward useless endeavors as phantom leads disappear into thin air. One cold and dark November evening many of us were lurking around somebody’s property because the psychic said that it held the key to my daughter’s disappearance. With the heightened sense of paranoia that already existed in the community that property owner would have been well within his rights to blow us away on the spot for trespassing. We were very fortunate that night, because although he did angrily confront us, he had absolutely nothing to do with the crime we were investigating.

In the end, and despite their protests, there is not even one case of a psychic truly assisting or solving a missing child case. It’s just smoke and mirrors. Their references do not support their claims and law enforcement cannot acknowledge their existence. Instead, their wishful thinking collides with your desperate hope and leaves you diminished.

Unfortunately, the next time a little child is kidnapped and mom and dad reach the end of their emotional string the vague, empty promises of the psychic detective will rebound off the stark walls of the missing child’s bedroom and a photo or toy will be palmed as the negotiations are engaged. It is inevitable: I predict it.”

To learn more about the KlaasKids Foundation, go to http://www.klaaskids.org/

We understand that many people believe that psychics are effective in solving crimes and finding missing people. Please keep in mind that the goal of this series is to help families understand techniques used by persons making these claims and make better decisions about the use of psychics.

Project Jason and its volunteers cannot act as a clearinghouse for persons claiming success in using paranormal means to locate missing persons. We will be unable to respond to emails or other correspondence sent to us from persons making these claims or persons offering information about or referrals to psychics.

We instead invite those persons to present their evidence to the members of the James Randi Education Foundation. They have a forum available for you to discuss your claims. http://forums.randi.org/forumdisplay.php?f=7

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