So long John Edward....

THIS fellow(a professional magician) is suing Edward under section 106A of the Victorian Fair Trading Act, which means he will have to PROVE that he can speak with the dead to avoid the lawsuit.
AT his web site you can read some interesting bits including his review of a John Edward “mass reading” as well as posting the official Disclaimer of the John Edward show.
This after his TV show was recently cancelled due to poor ratings(oh where have the faithful gone?). Life is tough for con-artists.


So what’s the debate again?

It will begin as soon as Lekatt shows up…:wink:

Oh and I somehow forgot to add this question to my OP:
How would you feel about America having something similar to the Victorian Fair Trade Act? I mean something which stated that persons making a specific claim, regardless of whether they do it under the guise of religion or entertainment, which they charge money for, should be obligated to demonstrate the truth of said claims(unless of course they display a disclaimer that says “this is all make-believe and we are not claiming to be able to do this” which must remain in view long enough to be readable by all but the SLOWEST readers.

For instance, faith healers like Benny Hinn could no longer fill the airwaves with BS aimed to lighten the wallets of the elderly and easily manipulated. Sylvia Browne, John Edward and Van Prague would all be forced to pass Randi’s test(which they have dodged and lied about for ages now) even without the million dollar incentive or be forced to get a real job.

GodlessSkeptic, in his last post, brings up what I think is the most interesting element of the story worth debating, or at least discussing. What are the subtle differences between the American legal system and those of other countries that make this kind of action more difficult or even impossible here?

I mean, if you watch Penn & Teller’s “Bullshit!” with any regularity, you know they’d love nothing more than to sue John Edward to within a ball-hair of his contemptuous life. But they can’t go to court to prove a negative; however much they might be able to demonstrate non-supernatural means by which Edward achieves his effects, it’s simply impossible to prove that the Biggest Douche does not, in fact, have magical powers.

So obviously the fellow in the OP believes he has a legal advantage not available elsewhere in the jurisdiction where he’s bringing this action. What exactly does this Victorian Fair Trading Act say? What is the history of litigation brought under it?

Good riddance. I never likes his phony smile, thick southern accent, and constant harping about “Two Americas” anyway. :slight_smile:

GodlessSkeptic, I read thru that site and couldn’t find anything about this guy’s Fair Trading Act action. Could you give us some more info about that?

Just a follow-up to that last post. It’s not actually possible for you or me to take any action under the FTA 1999 (Vic) s 109A (link). The section deals solely with the power of Consumer Affairs Victoria.

Perhaps he should look at ss 9 and 12 instead?

There’s a copy of the act.

Section 106(a) says:

I see John is being “bebunked” again. His show comes on at 9 am on channel 10 in my town. As far as I know he has never been off the air.

I see no mention of a law suit on the link you provided, do you have a more specific one.

As for disclaimers, all shows have them, and all web sites, and every thing else public. They are needed in today’s world by everyone.

John has millions, count them, millions of people who believe in him. That’s what keeps him on TV. His ratings are very good.

There is a lot of ignorance about psychics and spiritual things among the scientific communities. And also jealousy.

Research has shown and will continue to show mankind is spiritual in nature. Some will get it and others not.

On my normal link for this kind of thing

I have added the latest findings.

I think your magician is waving his wand in the air.


Is John Edwards really the biggest douchebag in the universe?

You mean “debunked”? Yes, he is being debunked again, for about the millionth time.

Did you see this part in his disclaimer?

“The materials and opinions presented in this program by John Edward and other third parties, including statements, predictions, documents, photos and video footage, come solely from their respective third party sources and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the producer, are not meant or intended to be a form of advice, instruction, suggestion, counsel, or factual statement in any way whatsoever and are intended as entertainment.”

How many disclaimers say outright that the host of the show is lying?

Sorry, but that’s a logical fallacy. See argumentum ad populum.

I admit I’m rather jealous of John Edward. I’m jealous that I didn’t think of it first. I’d be wildly rich off the money of fools right now if I had.

I consider myself to be quite spiritual. Guys like John Edward trivialize my beliefs in a spiritual world and make others think less of me. That pisses me off.

Fine, but we’re not talking about near death experiences. This is about a conman.

Like I said, we’re not discussing a NDE. Feel free to start another thread, but I fear it will simply be a rehash of your James Praugh thread from a few months ago.



Should this get moved to GQ? :wink:

Well, on THIS planet, anyway… :wally

Millions of people believe in him.
Millions of people are wrong.

Notice he doesn’t have the guts to post HERE… :slight_smile:

Being in Japan, I’ve never caught his show. I read some interview transcripts with Larry King, however, and he does not seem like the type to exaggerate his abilities (whether these exist or not, I have no distict opinion). In other words, I don’t perceive him as a confidence man. If he is one, the con is very sophisticated. That is, if he is conning, he is choosing to modulate his claims so as to preserve credibility to the greatest extent possible.

Re the disclaimers, there is not much grist for criticism in there. Legal boilerplater, nothing more.

All that said, there are things that make me uncomfortable about Edwards and his show. One, I don’t think it’s right or honest for “psychics” to claim that they can perform on demand. Many genuinely talented people have fallen into fakery through such self-imposed pressures. Two, I don’t think the topic is appropriate for such a commercial format. Three, I don’t really care for Edward’s soft and smiley, Thomas-Kinkade-painted image. Love and friendliness are great, but he has that, ooh, fake-n-pretty look.

As for the hate the skeptics are spewing here, it’s just par for the course. If you want to go for a real gamester, James Randi should be your choice. He’s not just a douchebag–he’s bag, douche, and douchee complete!

I support strict enforcement of laws forbidding initial fraud or deception. While they go after Edward, they should go after companies that flash unreadable blurry notices on TV screens for two seconds that basically say “none of this is necessarily true or applies to you”.

Conmen rely upon naivete and ignorance. They rely upon people ignorant enough to believe that conmen “look like a conman”. So, they work very hard to look like what a stereotypical “conman” doesn’t look like. It’s part of the act.

It has to do with freedom of expression. The freedom of speech and right of assembly. Surely you knew that?

If we stop these freedoms will we be any different than a dictatorship.

Would you force all the politicians to prove their honesty.

Be damn glad you live under these freedoms, someone, someday may want to make you prove you have a right to exist.


Well said. What advertisment on TV is really honest? I believe people who bring up these ideas of controlling or eliminating people who don’t agree with them are the naive ones.