Dead Silence: Our Experience at a "Live" Seminar with John Edward
Phelps, Brady J., Wogen, Elizabeth C., Pedersen, Scott C., Skeptic (Altadena, CA)
JOHN EDWARD CAME TO OMAHA, NE, in November, 2002, and appeared before a crowd of approximately 2,500 people. Some had traveled from as far away as Kentucky to see "the man who speaks for the dead." The scene had a revival meeting feeling, but instead of Bibles, Edward's devotees clutched dog-eared copies of his bestseller One Last Time. Three skeptics also joined the crowd and paid $45.00 to experience the Edward miracle. One skeptic--Brady Phelps--wore some buttons with photos of relatives who were still very much alive to see if Edward could be lured into trying to channel the living, but the opportunity never came.
Since there was no reserved seating there was chaos as the crowd poured in. Outside, the scene was equally chaotic as a group known as REASON --Rationalists, Empiricists and Skeptics of Nebraska--were protesting, handing out "consumer watchdog" flyers to educate the crowd about Edward's tricks and tactics. Believers hurried past, maintaining a blank stare of blissful ignorance on their faces--a "Stepford Wife" kind of look.
Born again Christians were also in force, urging those present to not seek the spirit world because of its alleged satanic connections. During the hour before the show started, Edward's security staff and stage crew mingled anonymously with the crowd, preventing anyone who carried a REASON flyer from entering. When one of the co-authors hid some REASON flyers in her purse she was detained at the door by a uniformed officer by order of Edwards …
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Publication information: Article title: Dead Silence: Our Experience at a "Live" Seminar with John Edward. Contributors: Phelps, Brady J. - Author, Wogen, Elizabeth C. - Author, Pedersen, Scott C. - Author. Magazine title: Skeptic (Altadena, CA). Volume: 10. Issue: 2 Publication date: Summer 2003. Page number: 15+. © 2009 Skeptics Society & Skeptic Magazine. COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group.
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