Sunday, December 9, 2012

Revisiting Psychics and Missing Children

Depending on who's statistics you trust, psychics have a certain percentage of success; perhaps a number not well known.

If Statement Analysis runs 95% to 100% successful on discerning deception (given a full sample to work with; that is, 8 1/2"  by 11", one page to one and a half pages in response to a direct allegation will be 100%)

If polygraphs claim 90% to 95% (this is higher for polygraphers who enter into the Personal Internal Subjective Dictionary of the subject in the pre-screening interview, and learn the language of the subject), the benefit is obvious.  Recall the example of the sheriff who was accused of sexual contact with an inmate, who passed his polygraph but later confessed, saying, "I didn't have sex with her.  I didn't touch her.  She had sex with me..."  Had he be asked to define "sex", "sexual contact" and other explicit terms, he would not have passed).

Yet, of those who study crime, there is little debate over the success rate of a psychic.  It often runs in the realm of .005% or worse.

Early on in the investigation into the killing of Ayla Reynolds, they were 0 of 300.  Yet law enforcement, due to the pressure of media, continues to waste valuable resources having to follow up on these phoned in psychic tips, paying officers to even travel to follow through.

Media loves it.

This from a nation who entertains itself by watching an obese child guzzle sugar for breakfast.

Psychics prey upon the extreme vulnerability of innocent parents of missing children, desperate for any news, at any time.  Science be damned, statistics be thrown out the window, when a psychic says she "sees" the child, "cold, scared, dark...", the instinctive denial found within paternal protective capacities yearns for any possible good news.

On the one in a zillion chance the child is found "cold, scared, lonely..." the media pounces and the psychic embraces her 15 minutes of fame.

Question:  What does Statement Analysis show of psychics' language?

Answer:  Deception.

Should one who claims to obtain information outside of the scientific verifiable senses of man, give more than just a vague statement, Statement Analysis will show that the language does not come from experiential memory:  that is, they are making things up.

In some cases, law enforcement has wasted hundreds of man hours following up on ridiculously deceptive 'tips' from those who have a desperate need to be 'special' or 'different' in the world.

Psychics continually say, "I work pro bono" as if they were donating something valuable, when all this means is that investigators aren't stupid enough to hand them a dollar.  When a psychic tells me "I am working for the police on this case", my follow up always shows the same:

They contacted police who were forced to politely say "thank you" while flagging the caller as a nut job seeking to infuse herself into a case that made the headlines.

Emotional Pain

Parents desperate for anything have given money to psychics much like the chronic pain patient is desperate for any experimental means to end the pain.  They are easy marks, never so vulnerable as the impotency destroys them from within, as they live, moment to moment, with the knowledge that they cannot help their child.  They have, by instinct, been getting up with the child, for years, in the middle of the night, when the child cries out for help, yet now, frustrated beyond belief, protective instincts inflamed, can do nothing but wait, and pester police, as their minds race and relive every moment possible.

In comes the 'psychic' now magically multiplying exponentially with the advent of Facebook, to make contact and further inflict pain upon the broken hearted.

Just Say No

When law enforcement attempts to ignore the incessant calls and emails of those who fraudulently claim to have knowledge of the missing child, they are often parents themselves, who experience secondary trauma of the missing child, and share in the impotency felt by parents, yet now must fear the narcissist and self-appointed Facebook guru will take her dog and pony show to the public, inciting the parents to anger.

Thus, money and time are both wasted.

I don't know what it is like to have a missing child, but my imagination is enough to give me flashes of anxiety.

When one of my sons was a toddler, he went 'missing' and threw me into a panic.

This was more than 20 years ago, and even today, I can feel my heart pound as I type this.

I could not find my little monkey, who needed supervision constantly due to his inquisitive and athletic nature, who knew two speeds:  sleep and hyper.  When he slept, I could exhale.

On this day, I did not hear him for what was probably no more than 2 or 3 minutes, but given his nature, this was not the expected.  I quickly looked into his room, called out for him, ran down to his brothers, and felt the most intense panic I had ever felt; worse than attempting to surf post Hurricane Gloria.

Within the next 10 minutes, I had checked every room in the house, the front and backyard, and the car, and ran down to the corner store, glaring quickly at everyone present, as my eyes raced everywhere.  I ran back to the house to call the police when I made one last look in his room, only to see him, fast asleep, on top of the changing table!

His athletic ability had enabled him, while still a toddler, to climb up his 'two story' changing table to wait to have his diaper changed, and in doing so, he fell asleep.

The panic quickly turned into the sweetest relief.

While he was young, I had hundreds of negative thoughts a day, with an imagination racing, like most parents, on the 'what ifs' in life that could have befallen him.  If he climbed on the monkey bars at age 4, I had thoughts of him landing on his head.  If he was on the ice skating, thoughts of injuries would race through my mind.  At any given time, he could, and did, injure himself, making me a 'psychic'; having a 'premonition' of his injury.

No, it wasn't a premonition, nor was it information gained outside my senses; it was just the odds of having a 1,000 worrisome thoughts per day, and one of them coming true.

Had he truly gone 'missing' I would have gladly done anything to get him back, including listening to any self-serving nut job.  Emotionally, I would not be able to cope.

How does the innocent parent handle the inflammation of all protective parental instinct, while being able to do nothing?

I don't know.

I do know that this is no time for the psychologically damaged with a need for attention, to infuse herself and cause undo (and perhaps immeasurable) emotional pain upon the vulnerable innocent parent.

There's no scientific way of measuring information accessed outside of the human senses by a human because it is fraudulent and deceptive.

Those who claim that they have psychic powers are not 'nice' people 'trying to help.'

They are vultures preying off the tender hearts of innocent parents.

Our ignorant society, a la the Casey Anthony jury, watches programs highlighting the ignorance.

We cannot fix stupid, but we can, perhaps, appeal to media to allow investigators to do their jobs without costing them valuable and increasingly precious resources on their Elvis or Caylee sightings in Brooklyn.  Cindy Anthony was not held accountable for perjury, nor for the expense of sending investigators to New York, California, Puerto Rico, and every other place they went to, fully knowing where Caylee's remains were.

Perhaps the 'psychic' who 'knows' or has 'spoken with' the missing child, would be willing to pay for the expense, especially if she really "saw" the child.  

If she has this much confidence in her 'intuitive' ability, perhaps she would be willing to put her money where her mouth is.

In Statement Analysis 'putting your money where your mouth is' has been a regular practice.

In cases where Statement Analysis was not used in law enforcement, and the case was closed as "unsolvable", I have said, "take written statements from all, and we will know who did it and maybe even when, or how, it was done."   This is a bold claim, but it highlights the confidence I have in the system.

In each case, including several in which the investigators said, "not a chance you will find out who done it," Statement Analysis has gotten to the truth, fulfilling the bold declaration of learning who "done it" and brought the case to its resolution.


John Mc Gowan said...

This always touches a nerve with me peter,however to all you psychics out there here is YOUR cold reading.

"You have a great need for other people to like and admire you. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. Your sexual adjustment has presented problems for you. Disciplined and self-controlled outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You pride yourself as an independent thinker and do not accept others' statements without satisfactory proof. You have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be pretty unrealistic. Security is one of your major goals in life."

Now keep away from what you DONT KNOW!!

Statement Analysis Blog said...


I think regular readership knows when they see a lengthy article that it will be emotional.

As I have attempted to put myself in the shoes of those like Desiree Young (Kyron's mother), it tears me up to think of the selfish on Facebook who declare themselves to be 'psychics' and offer 'pro bono' "services" to the family.

It is a sign of our degraded educational times we live in that people do not even question the validity.

You are correct: those who proclaim themselves as such have a desperate and deep need to be 'different' or 'special', even at the cost of truth, or emotionally destroying others.

One woman on Facebook deceived people into believing she had "spoken to Hailey" and wanted me to do "analysis" on a reply to her.

She can "talk" to Hailey, but not discern if someone writing to her is deceptive??

It angered me, and others who long for justice, as you and I do, for these victims.

Your comments are more generous than mine. I think mostly of the damage their deception does and less on their own need for intervention.

Good post.


Tania Cadogan said...

Like the gruesome twosome and their 195 new leads according to the review, most of which trned out to be from psychics.

Anything to waste time and money and effort and to divert attention from themselves, the same as any other guilty parents.

John Mc Gowan said...

In cases where Statement Analysis was not used in law enforcement, and the case was closed as "unsolvable", I have said, "take written statements from all, and we will know who did it and maybe even when, or how, it was done." This is a bold claim, but it highlights the confidence I have in the system.

Yet Peter they choose to waste good money on a bunch of charlatans.
Says a lot doesn't it

Unknown said...

I know you are busy, but we could use more help with Katelyn Markham's case. Can you take a look at this radio interview transcript if you get a chance? Thanks a lot.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

I will.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this article, Peter. I'm so glad you took on these "special people" and their special "abilities". Let's hope the uneducated don't force LE to offer proof that they have investigated every psychic tip before prosecuters can take a case to court.

Anonymous said...

Please help find Ayla

the investigators said, "not A CHANCE YOU WILL FIND OUT WHO DONE IT," Statement Analysis has gotten to the truth, fulfilling the bold declaration of learning who "done it" and brought the case to its resolution.

Anonymous said...

Please help find Ayla
the investigators said, "not a chance YOU WILL FIND OUT WHO DONE IT,"

Amaleen6 said...

99.995% of the time, "psychic" is just another word for "con artist."

Lis said...

Thanks for writing about this, Peter.

There's a good article on Discovery that I read recently, Psychic Sued for Police Hoax About Massacre From the article: "Despite popular belief and claims to the contrary, there is not a single documented case of a missing person being found or recovered due to psychic information. Psychics have consistently failed to find missing persons, including high-profile disappearances like Natalee Holloway and Holly Bobo (the Tennessee woman abducted in April 2011 who remains missing despite efforts by dozens of psychics)."

There is a statement from the psychic in the article that could be analyzed.

Another story in the news, the psychic that got punched by Lindsay Lohan recently. Some say, if she was psychic, why didn't she duck? lol.

Juli Henry said...

I think Hollywood has made "psychic" skills into something they are not. And a psychic and a detective are two very different things.

Anonymous said...

A psychic is a fraud