funny thing is that Dubois and Goudeau are both graduates of Corona del Sol High School ....... wonder if she felt that ?
By Ray Stern
By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
Naturally, Phoenix police were taking any tips they could get. So when Allison DuBois called wanting to talk, they listened.
DuBois' name might have sounded familiar to the cops. That summer, season two of Medium, the television series based on her life and alleged psychic powers, had just wrapped. Patricia Arquette, her TV alter ego, had won an Emmy for her work on the show's first season.
Detective Alex Femenia, the lead investigator in the "Baseline Killer" case, followed every tip he got. But DuBois led him nowhere.
DuBois says she called the detective because a mutual friend at the County Attorney's Office asked her to.
At the time, she said in three separate media interviews that the Baseline Killer had possibly fled to California and that he had facial features not tied to any race, and skin that was dark but not necessarily black. DuBois couldn't get as much info on the "Serial Shooter" because he didn't make contact with his victims. (She says she profiles people by getting inside the heads of both the criminals and the victims.)
She said she could "feel" the length of the Baseline Killer's hair, saying it was long enough to tuck up under a cap. She felt he had issues with his mother. She felt the killer would be arrested in August.
Well, she was close on that last one.
In early August 2006, police arrested two white men, Dale Hausner and Samuel John Dieteman, and charged them with the serial shootings. On September 4, the Phoenix Police Department arrested Mark Goudeau, an African American construction worker with short hair, living in Phoenix. In December 2007, Goudeau was convicted of sexually assaulting two women. He is scheduled to stand trial on 74 additional charges, including nine counts of murder.
Dieteman has pleaded guilty to two counts of murder in the Serial Shooter case, and Hausner awaits trial on eight counts.
Police generally refuse to talk about ongoing cases. But when New Times called to tell them about DuBois' latest book, Sergeant Andy Hill made an exception.
Chapter Two of Secrets of the Monarch, published last year, details her take on the Baseline Killer case, including her impressions of the suspects, her anger over how her city was under attack, and her desire to help close the case. To be fair, DuBois does credit the police department with cracking the case, though she says the arrest timeline she gave them was important.
Hill says that according to both the lead investigator, Femenia, and the lead supervisor on the case, DuBois had nothing to do with catching Goudeau.
"Sometime during the sequence of crimes, the lead investigator said that, to his best recollection, he had two conversations with Ms. DuBois," Hill says. "It seemed to him that Ms. DuBois was trying to get information from him. But the only information she suggested was one statement that was totally incorrect, stating she thought the suspect was a transient and had left the state."
That's the thing about DuBois. She's charismatic as hell, and most definitely has friends in high places, but when it comes down to high-profile cases she claims to have worked, the cops and the family members of the victims deny she was any help.
It's been two years since the Baseline Killer terrorized her city, and Allison DuBois has never been more popular. Her show is entering its fifth season of production, she's touring the country with Secrets of the Monarch, and she's begun teaching private classes — at $150 a session — on how to tap into one's psychic abilities.
Her fans don't care whether the police say she never worked with them or whether families of crime victims say her predictions are inconsistent. DuBois shrugs off the criticism, saying denial is par for the course. She fashions herself as much a publicist as a psychic. In the Baseline Killer case, for example, she says she was just trying to raise public awareness.
"It's not always in my hands to solve something, but I can at least get people to look at their neighbors," she says.
DuBois has an almost mesmerizing way of explaining away her mistakes, and she's managed to keep both her erroneous predictions, and her naysayers, largely confined to Internet forums.
She's built a nice empire for herself: three bestselling books, a packed tour schedule, and the reason you know her name — an Emmy-winning, highly rated television show purportedly based on her life.
For this story, DuBois and her husband were interviewed extensively, as were the families and friends of people she's written about and representatives of agencies she says she's worked with. DuBois opened up as much as she ever seems to open up — even allowing her three kids to be interviewed — but much of her private life remains private. Background for this story also came from her bestselling books, a book written about her by Tucson parapsychologist Gary Schwartz, and the show Medium.
The truth is, in the cases New Times examined — from the one that got her started to a high-profile murder last year — questions about DuBois' involvement (or lack thereof) emerged.
In March 1999, 6-year-old Opal Jennings was abducted from an empty lot near her grandmother's home in Tarrant County, Texas. DuBois claims she was called in to work the case by the Texas Rangers, who subsequently denied her involvement.
More recently, DuBois worked the case of 19-year-old Jackie Hartman, who disappeared from Gilbert in late January 2007. Her body was found a month later. Though DuBois went on The Oprah Winfrey Show to talk about the case, she did little to find Hartman's body or catch the man who killed her, says Dave Hartman, the woman's father.
Even the story behind the death of a friend, featured prominently in all three of her books, is disputed by the sister of the deceased.
But there are scores of devoted DuBois fans (including a professor at the University of Arizona who studies psychics) who swear she's the real deal, that she's personally contacted their dead loved ones.
These people aren't alone. According to a 2005 Gallup poll, 41 percent of Americans believe in extrasensory perception.
And no psychic, from Nostradamus to Sylvia Browne, has a perfect track record. DuBois is certainly in well-known (if not always correct) company. She's no Oracle of Apollo, but thanks to Medium, she'll at least go down in pop-culture history.
In the TV series, the DuBois character receives her visions while she's dreaming, the same way Samuel and Joseph did while working for Old Testament kings and tyrants. In the 1500s, Nostradamus is purported to have predicted many modern-day events — the JFK assassination and the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, for example. But like DuBois', his predictions are extremely controversial. An entire branch of academia exists to debunk him.
Today, psychics are split into two factions. You've got Miss Cleo and her army of 900-number fortune-tellers on one hand, and people like John Edward, Sylvia Browne, and Allison DuBois on the other.
The Edwards and Brownes of the world — and, most notably, DuBois herself — have built reputations thanks in large part to parapsychologist Gary Schwartz and television shows that bring their supposed abilities to the masses.
Also thanks to TV, DuBois comes with a high price tag. In February, fans went to the Mesa Arts Center and paid $75 a pop to hear her lecture on what it's like to talk to dead people and how fans can attempt to make contact with their lost loved ones.
Onstage, DuBois looks good in her jeans, boots, and black blazer. A box of Kleenex is strategically positioned next to her seat for whomever she will bring onstage later. Her signature red hair looks like it's on fire as she lists her accomplishments for the crowd and makes distinctions between her real life and the one portrayed on TV. The biggest similarity is that she has three kids and a husband named Joe (though he was George until two years ago). She owns a gun. She relishes the thought of sending "bad guys" to death row.
Toward the end of her presentation, she brings a man onstage to talk to him about his dead wife and children. The way she does the reading, it sounds like a conversation between friends, but the man obviously believes what she's saying about the messages his loved ones are sending from beyond.
DuBois doesn't look like someone who suffers skeptics kindly, and she says as much a month later over swordfish at the Rokerij steak house in central Phoenix.
"I'm spiritual; I'm not a doormat," she says. "I'm from Arizona. I wear boots. I'll give you a little kick."
DuBois developed her tough-talking attitude early in life. Her childhood was not an easy one. It's a topic she obviously avoids, except as it relates to the psychic experiences she claims to have had as a child.
Her parents, Mike Gomez and Tienna DuBois, divorced when she was a baby. Tienna remarried and divorced again when Allison was 12. In her first book, DuBois writes about seeing her stepdad in public with his new family.
"He didn't see me and I never saw him again."
A self-proclaimed daddy's girl, DuBois didn't get to spend much time with her late father (he passed away in 2002), either. She wrote about seeing him on Saturdays only. Court records from May 1976, when DuBois was 4, reveal a child-support dispute. (Attempts to reach Tienna DuBois, including through Allison and Joe, were fruitless.)
DuBois says her first experience with her "abilities" — her term for what she does as a psychic/medium — came when she was 6, on the day of her grandfather's funeral. She says he appeared at the foot of her bed and asked her to tell her mom he was okay.
Her mother did not believe her. But DuBois says her late maternal grandmother was also a medium. She believes it's genetic and says her three girls have abilities as well. She remembers playing games with her grandma that were designed to hone her skills.
"You can see it in children. I saw it in mine. So, she always knew. She was accepting of it," she says. "We would play Wheel of Fortune and I'd name it before the letters were turned."
DuBois' childhood sounds lonely. She writes about spending time with her stuffed animals but rarely about spending time with friends. The two things that seem to have gotten her through were competitive roller-skating and her overwhelming desire to be a lawyer.
"All I wanted was to be a prosecuting attorney. I carried a briefcase to school. I wore navy blue sweaters and navy blue culottes and penny loafers," she says. "I was such a dork, but I felt it was a smart look."
She talks often about her unrealized dream — and is overjoyed that her oldest daughter, 13-year-old Aurora, has expressed a similar ambition.
Her familial relationships were always strained, especially on her father's side, and remain so today.
"Honestly, my father was Hispanic and my mom was German. She was tall and beautiful and everything they hated. On that side of the family, nobody seems to be happy for you when you go anywhere in life," she says. "We haven't seen them since my dad died."
There's an exception. A cousin from her dad's side of the family recently took over her husband's job as her manager.
"He's the only reason I don't need a DNA test to know I'm related to those people," she says.
By the time she was 16, DuBois had moved out of her mom's house because of a conflict with her stepfather. Though she attended both North High School in Phoenix and Corona del Sol in Tempe, she graduated from neither. Instead, she dropped out and got her GED at 16.
The longer she lived on her own, running with a party crowd, the less she thought about her future. Domenic Skala, a friend of DuBois' since she was 16 and the ex-husband of her late friend Domini (more on her later), remembers thinking that DuBois didn't really fit in with their crowd of underage boozers and partiers.
"I told her, 'This isn't your crowd.' It wasn't a rough crowd, but it was a party crowd," he says. "She just seemed like she had more potential."
"I remember kicking back with a beer and thinking how ludicrous it was that I had once told my sixth-grade teacher that I aspired to go to Harvard," she writes in her first book, Don't Kiss Them Goodbye. "At this rate, I wouldn't even be going to community college. My teenage years were painful and lonely."
And they might have stayed that way if she hadn't met her future husband, George Joe Klupar.
(In 2006, according to Maricopa County Superior Court documents, the family legally changed its last name to DuBois and Klupar switched his first and middle names. She says they made the changes because Klupar was such an unusual last name and Joe's family was being harassed.)
They first met at Gators, an old Tempe sports bar. Joe thought she looked like an angel, a pool table light shining down on her head. Allison was much less impressed.
"I thought he was cute, but I thought he was annoying. And he grabbed the back of my skort — skorts, I know; it was the '90s — and I looked at him and said, 'If you ever touch me again, I will make your life a living hell," she says, smiling at her husband, remembering the first words she said to him. "He kept sending me beer and I kept sending it back."
But the "annoying" aerospace engineer talked her into a date. He took her to the Pink Pepper in Mesa and, again, Allison was not impressed.
"He talked about his ex-girlfriend the entire time," she remembers.
She didn't plan on going out with him, but he kept calling, and by October 1993, they were married.
"Aurora was born nine months later. She still does the math, and I'm, like, 'You were a week early. Shut up,'" DuBois says, laughing.
She settled down immediately to raise her little family. She drifted apart from old friends and started to think about her legal dreams again.
She enrolled in school, first at Mesa Community College and then at Arizona State University, where she majored in political science and made plans to go to law school. In between, she had her other two daughters, Fallon and Sophia. She was a full-time student and a full-time mom, but her life as a full-time medium had not yet begun.
She graduated from ASU in 2000 and, in her last semester, she interned for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. She says she still maintains friendships in the office and has consulted on juries for at least one trial.
As of press time, the County Attorney's Office had not answered a request to confirm that claim.
She was excited to get the internship — her dream of working as a prosecuting attorney felt within reach. Even with all the success that came to her after the internship was over, she mourns the loss of her dream.
"It's hard," she says. "I have friends who are district attorneys, and they say, 'You'd be a great prosecutor. We wish we had you with us.'"
And she probably would be. She's persuasive, aggressive, and smart. But she says that because of her abilities, it wouldn't be right, especially because her long-term goal was to become a Superior Court judge.
"How could I be an impartial judge? I can't if I know they're guilty," she says. "I would have to do something that's probably not legal to make sure they don't come out. That's not right. That's not the law."
Her time at the County Attorney's Office is probably one of the best-known parts of DuBois' life, because it's a major part of Medium's plot. But there are some big differences between what she did in real life and what the character does on TV.
Former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley, who was in office when DuBois was an intern, says he never met her. But after the show came out, he got plenty of calls.
"I was a little surprised," he says. "The context by which the show was done was that she solves crime. I remember being told she was being used as a jury expert."
In the pilot, the intern DuBois is shown giving a presentation about the brutal murder of a young mother and her baby and offering her opinion on what happened. Obviously, that's beyond the scope of DuBois' real-life internship, where she says she sorted crime-scene photos and filed papers. The show is based on her life but never claims to be completely accurate.
She does say that her contact with the photos gave her flashes of intuition like the ones seen on the show. She says that when she touched the photos, she could see the crimes as they happened through the eyes of the perpetrator and victim. She doesn't have visions in dreams the way the TV Allison does.
"I could see what was happening before the person was killed," DuBois says.
She says victims show her symbols or words that are clues to where their bodies are located and what happened to them, but it's easier if the killer actually had contact with the victim. She also says she can read the minds of perpetrators — she calls it head tapping.
During her internship, part of DuBois' job was to organize files on missing and exploited children from around the country. A file on 6-year-old Opal Jennings, a child who disappeared from her grandmother's home near Dallas, landed in her hands.
She says the case is what led her to send a letter to law enforcement officials in Texas with information regarding the disappearance. She then was invited to go to Texas to meet with the authorities there.
DuBois says she worked with the Texas Department of Public Safety (nicknamed the "Texas Rangers") and showed them places where the body might be buried. She did this in August 2000, a year after the perpetrator, Richard Lee Franks, confessed and was taken into custody and two months after his first trial ended in a mistrial. In September of that year, Franks was convicted at his second trial and sentenced to life in prison.
The little girl's remains were not found until 2004. DuBois says she narrowed the location to a square mile, but because Texas DPS has denied ever working with her, there's no way to prove or disprove her statement.
In a 2006 television interview, a sergeant with the Tarrant County Sheriff's Department, which worked the Jennings case in conjunction with DPS, told Paula Zahn that he remembered DuBois' offering her impressions about the case.
"But [he] also downplayed your efforts," Zahn told DuBois. "He ended up saying that any information you gave him was pretty darn generic and wasn't that helpful."
DuBois says she's used to law enforcement denying her involvement in cases, as police officers in Texas and Arizona have.
"I don't want anyone getting an appeal because I'm in a courtroom," she says. "Which is why I don't do it anymore. I'm a celebrity. I could throw a jury one way or another, and you can't do that. They'd be, like, 'She's here. He must be guilty.' Which I'm okay with. But it's not lawful."
Part of the reason her involvement isn't widely touted could be because, as in the Baseline Killer case, she's just one of many tipsters who call the police. And she's not the only medium calling in. On high-profile cases, the cops get hundreds of so-called psychic mediums coming to them with information.
Regardless of what really happened in Texas, after working the Jennings case, DuBois felt called away from her dream of becoming a lawyer. Instead, she wanted to find out if she could be a medium.
She heard about Gary Schwartz, a professor at the University of Arizona who was conducting research on mediums in his lab. Schwartz had garnered national attention after appearing in the 1999 HBO documentary Life After Life. (The cable television network totally funded the research he conducted in the documentary and also supplied him with the mediums he tested.)
Allison decided to pay him a visit.
"It came down to the laboratory. I said, if I can do something in the lab that makes me great — better than most — I will give up my dream to do my calling," she says. "That was a turning point."
And she proved a force to be reckoned with in the lab, leading Schwartz to declare her "the Michael Jordan of the mediumship world," something he stands by today, though the two are no longer on speaking terms.
Schwartz's experimental designs are criticized by the scientific community, and his work is not sanctioned or paid for by either the university or the government. Still, within the context of his laboratory, DuBois was clearly a superstar, shining as brightly as established psychic luminaries like John Edward and Lorie Roberts.
In 2001, Paramount Studios contacted Schwartz's lab to talk about a new show it was producing. The show, which would be called Oracle, would feature five people with psychic abilities who would give readings for members of the audience, similar to John Edward's hit Crossing Over. Paramount wanted to know if any of Schwartz's research mediums were interested in auditioning.
She auditioned by giving a reading over the phone for one of the show's producers before flying to L.A. to audition in person. She was competing with 118 people, hoping to become one of the five oracles.
"I don't play well with others," she says. "The producer pulled me aside and said, 'We're like a family here.' I said, 'I don't get along with my own family. Don't ask me to do that here. I'm here to smack down and do what I do.' That's just my personality."
Though DuBois made it to the final five, the pilot never aired.
"I could see why it wasn't picked up," she says. "They didn't follow my advice."
But DuBois had made quite an impression on one of its producers: Kelsey Grammer. A year and a half later, Grammer's assistant called DuBois to see whether she'd be interested in working with him on a show based on her life. It would be fictionalized, but the characters would be based on her and her family.
Shortly after Medium debuted in 2005, Schwartz came out with a book provocatively titled The Truth About Medium. Really, it's the truth about Schwartz's research methods, but he does frame each chapter around DuBois, whom he calls a powerful medium.
The book showed DuBois in a positive light, but she was pissed. She says she asked him not to write it and that when he did, she stopped allowing him to test her. They are no longer on speaking terms. She says it angers her that someone would try to profit from her abilities.
Schwartz will not comment on DuBois, even to defend himself, preferring to talk only about his experiments.
He's not talking, but her naysayers are. Though she has many fans, she also has many people who have devoted their lives to debunking her. DuBois describes them as "angry, old white men with abandonment issues."
And they, in turn, describe her as a "hypocritical asshole" and the "queen of questionable mediums," while her fans are "credulous ass-hats," loons, and nut bags.
One organization of skeptics, the Two Percent Company, even declared an "Allison DuBois Week" in 2005 during which they published a different article each day of the week debunking her. James Randi (a.k.a. "The Amazing Randi"), a magician and professional skeptic, has offered DuBois, or any other psychic, $10 million if she can prove her abilities in a test that he would design.
She hasn't accepted the offer. No one's ever passed his test.
DuBois doesn't see what Randi and others are so upset about.
"The big argument is that we're tricking people out of money. Our clients don't think that. They're very happy.
"I don't know who you're speaking for," she says to her critics. "You're spinning your wheels, wasting your time on people who want to get help."
After Medium debuted, DuBois began publishing books that were part memoir, part self-help manual. In them, she offers advice on dealing with the death of a loved one, relays her experiences as a psychic, and talks about predictions she's made that she says have come true.
In her first book, Don't Kiss Them Goodbye, she writes about a childhood friend, Domini Sitts, whose death she claims to have predicted when she was 19, when she told Sitts to quit smoking.
Sitts is the friend she lived with after she moved out of her mom's house and into an apartment. DuBois recalls watching Beaches together and promising to care for Sitts' kids if she died young.
Her younger sister, Karen Sitts, remembers their friendship differently.
"She's pretended this relationship with my sister, but they were anything but best friends," she says. "They were friends, but the kind that got into fights all the time. She and my sister had a falling out and didn't talk until she was dying and got back in touch."
Quite different from the romantic way DuBois writes about their friendship in her book: "We cried together, we laughed together, and, when it was time, we said goodbye together."
Domini Sitts has appeared in all of DuBois' books and she talks about her in interviews as well. During a 2005 radio interview, she expanded upon the Sitts storyline.
"The thing that was nice was, I was able to take her fear away," she says. "And when she was getting ready to pass she was, like, 'You're right. I can see my grandfather, and I know that they're there.' It was very important to me that she knew that before she died."
Karen says it's all a lie. Her sister died of malignant melanoma, and her death, as she describes it, was gruesome. Domini saw no one but family in the months before she died and, two weeks before her death, entered a drug-induced coma that she never came out of. There was no wide-eyed deathbed vision.
"I want to clarify: The last time Ali saw Domini she was still walking around," Sitts says. "She was cognizant and was nowhere near dying."
Sitts says her sister was terrified of dying because she thought she was going to Hell. She held on to life to the point that her body began to decompose.
"I want to stress what a terrible state my sister was in when she died. Because if Allison had known, I'm sure she would have written something about that. But she wasn't there," she says. "The day she died, we were washing her and her ass actually came off. You could see her bones. It was the worst thing I've ever been through in my life. When Allison writes about my sister's death, it's really romanticized, and the fact of the matter is, it was ugly and painful."
DuBois says Karen Sitts is absolutely wrong. She says the only reason she wasn't around during hospice was because the family wouldn't let her in.
"If they weren't there every day of my life, and every day of her life — which they weren't — they can not call into question my affection for Domini," she says. "It's frustrating. I memorialized her, and half the world is in love with her and praying for [Domini's daughter] Marissa. That's all positive. I don't see how that could make them angry."
Domini's ex-husband, Domenic Skala, who took care of Domini through much of her illness (she moved into his apartment), corroborates DuBois' story and says she's also gone out of her way to care for Marissa in the years since the death of her mother.
Dave Hartman also knows what it's like to have DuBois write about the painful death of a family member. In her latest book, she writes about his 19-year-old daughter Jackie, who was found slain in February 2007.
On January 28, 2007, Jackie was believed to have been murdered by a man she went on a date with. The nursing student at Chandler-Gilbert Community College had never been on a date before.
She was not confirmed dead until her body was discovered in the desert outside Fountain Hills almost a month later. Police have charged Jonathan Burns with the crime, and his trial is likely to begin in January.
DuBois dedicates an entire chapter to her supposed role in finding the body. She claims to have been contacted by a family friend and asked to help.
"The clincher for me was Jackie's dad. I saw him on the news, and he had so much love in his eyes for his daughter, and I could feel his heart break," she writes.
Dave Hartman has never met or spoken with DuBois. Until he was contacted by New Times to comment on the chapter, he didn't even know he'd been included in her book.
He thinks she saw a lot of things on the news. In his opinion, all the predictions she made about his daughter were gleaned from nightly news updates on the high-profile case.
"I thought it was a bad interpretation of the truth," he says. "I had 60 or so of these so-called psychics and every one of them was so far-fetched. I don't mean to poke judgment, but a lot of things she says [are] wrong."
After Jackie disappeared, DuBois appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show to talk about the case. A camera crew followed her as she went to the gas station where Jackie was last seen. She predicted that the girl rolled down an embankment after she was killed and that there was a city limits sign nearby, but she did not give any more detail. The former didn't happen, and there was no city limits sign near where Jackie's body was found, according to Hartman. DuBois says she does not like to give the bloody details of a case, out of respect for the family.
Hartman was asked to go to Chicago to sit in Oprah's studio audience and hear what DuBois had to say about his daughter's disappearance. He didn't mind the publicity for the case, but he declined to appear.
"We were doing searches. I had better things to do," he says. "I couldn't afford to take two days off searching and I thought it was silly to put pressure on me to tape. I had enough facts to work on."
DuBois told the camera that she was being "shown a funeral." She also predicted the girl's remains would be found in two weeks.
She was right about just two things: Jackie was dead and she was found within two weeks of the broadcast. That's it. Hartman wasn't impressed. With almost 600 people searching for Jackie each day, he says it was just a matter of time before she was found. And when the suspect's truck was recovered, with Jackie's blood inside it, he became certain his daughter was dead. He didn't need a psychic to tell him that.
His best advice for parents of missing children is to put together highly organized search parties — and to avoid psychics.
"Don't fall into that crap. You'll drive yourself crazy," he says. "They all claim they're not trying to get famous and as soon as they can, they all write a book."
Criticism like that is something that DuBois has learned comes with the territory, but it bothers her to be lumped in with the other psychics who contacted Hartman directly.
She says it's true she never met him or spoke to him — but says that was purposeful.
"A lot of people say things that the family doesn't need to hear. Which is why I never work directly with the family. I work with extraneous family members," she says. "I don't like being clumped into the psychics that called him. And I think I did a good job actually. I think I was very respectful of her."
Criticism certainly hasn't affected DuBois-related book sales, television ratings, or lecture attendance around the world. DuBois doesn't feel especially compelled to convince people she's for real.
"That's not my job," she says. "This is what I share with people who understand."
Medium just completed its fourth season with an estimated 10.4 million viewers. Season five is slated to begin in January. As the show has become more popular, interest in the real Allison DuBois has increased. And that suits her fine. She's easily settled into the life of a minor celeb — not a hard thing to do when you're summering in the Hamptons with Kelsey Grammer.
But she says the high life has had some pitfalls. Her oldest daughter has had some trouble at school. One boy was harassing her so badly, she says, that her family decided to move to a different school district next year.
DuBois' other two children, Fallon and Sophia, say they haven't experienced any teasing since moving from private school to public. In fact, they like it better because they have more freedom.
"You couldn't even wear, like, purple shoes," Fallon says scornfully of her old school.
DuBois has written about her daughters' psychic abilities — also part of the show — but if they do have the gift, none of them is interested in going into the family business. Aurora says she might go to law school, which thrills her mother. Fallon just started playing the piano and wants to be a singer. And Sophia says she'd like to be a butterfly or a "crazzzyyyy monkey," before dissolving into a bout of third-grade giggles.
As for their mother, she says she's decided to quit working cases. They've taken too much a toll on her, and she says she's also tired of answering the "why do they deny you've worked for them" question.
DuBois was extremely agitated to hear what Phoenix police had to say about her involvement with the Baseline Killer case. She had a similar reaction to the way Dave Hartman responded to her work. She says that is exactly why she wants to leave police work behind.
"I need a break. It's frustrating," she says. "I'm frustrated by the whole system."
funny thing is that Dubois and Goudeau are both graduates of Corona del Sol High School ....... wonder if she felt that ?
I'm confused. Even if her appearance on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was a result of editing, the bottom line is that she did say those things. Her hand gestures were just disgusting and disgraceful. God bless her because there must be something going on in her life that caused her to be so incredibly bitter.
DuBois is a filthy mouth woman that should take a look at herself before she judges anyone...You'd better use your supposedly powers and make yourself right before the Lord...before He judges you! I'll pray for you DuBois because apparently you're so into fantasy that you're going to miss out on Christs' second coming until He's here and it's too late...sad,sad,sad.
The program she was on was horrible and unveiled her true self. It just goes to show you what a marketing campaign can do for anyone. It is very important to walk with great discernment.
The situation was preplanned by Camile on the show and her two minions. Ms. Allison has a serious drinking problem. So much of a drinking problem that Camile even mentioned it beforehand to some of her friends. Camile knew exactly what she was doing and this only shows how desperately she needs some counseling and therapy. To orchestrate such harm against other human beings is frightening at best. If she is able to to do this to others, what is to stop her from physically harming another person? At the end of the show Allison actually stated with such venom in her voice that if anyone of them came to her if their children were missing etc. ("that she would not help them"). I have studied criminal law for a long time, they both have makings of serious criminals. The other ladies truly need to remove themselves from Camile. If she will not do her own dirty work, she is the sort that would hire someone to do it for her. She desperately needs to get help before anything gets to that point.
If any officials are utilizing Allison currently they should stop. There are plenty of other souls who have her gifts. Anyone, who would state that they would not help someone find their child has no business near those situations.
Camile's home was beautiful, the food wonderful, but the constant alcohol throughout the evening was not. All of them had too much to drink with those beverages she was serving. It looked just one beverage would put most under the table. They all drank far too much and some were even stumbling as they left. The agruments continued throughout the rest of the evening. Well ladies, if you thought you could trust Camile before, you have to know you cannot now. I feel for Kelsie Gramer. He must be mortified and at the same time desperate to get Camile help. She truly believes that everyone is jealous of her. Maybe if she sees herself on last nights show it will make her realize how much she truly needs some help.
Back to Ms. Allison, in our world many share her gifts. It is extremly important to never cause harm with your gifts. The way she spoke like she was omini powerful because of her gifts. That she knew when Kyle would die and what would happen to her family etc. was more than evil. She spoke the words as if she could actaully cause harm to happen to Kyle. Well it just does not work that way. I have really enjoyed the show that was supposed to be Allison's life story. Her character is portrayed as having discretion, compassion, morals and ethics. Her entire being is portrayed as only the highest of good for everyone and everything. Someone must have rewrote the script. That character on the show is not the Allison in real life that we all saw the other evening. She is exactly the opposite of that. How sad it is that such a good show has to be harmed or mared because of the real Allison. As stated before, many people have Allison's gift and have not learned how to manage all of the information and visions that they see. Many will seek to escape in unhealthy ways like drinking and drugs. Ms. Allison has an alcohol problem. Anyone who has her gifts and has been trained and studied the use of those gifts knows you should not be around alcohol or drugs. I would not go to Allison for a reading or advice given her current status. Out of respect and honor of her gifts and the many other souls who share those gifts, she should not go public in any way until she gets control of herself and her substance issues. It only harms all of the good that others do. Her show had a very long run and many have truly enjoyed it. Her recent actions has cast a dark cloud over that success. I will be praying and sending love energy to all of the people on that show.
Kyle is very strong and has many angels and guides around her. She must know that the reading given to her is not true. It was orchestrated lies through misdirected alliances. I know she will rise above that evening and end up showing by example how they should behave. I know that Allison has tried to harm her husband's way of earning a living. Guess what, real people see through the darkness. I would bet with your husband's postiive attitude that he actually increases his work, because he is an honorable man. If I were in Kyle's high heels, I would let compassion stand in the forefront. What happened the other evening is not about you, it is about some souls who need help, love, and healing. Their issues have been within them since they were little girls. I would communicate your disire that you want the best for them, but that they need to go and get help. I would then gracefully remove myself from all negative influences.
That show left me spiritually exhausted! I was so very disappointed in that show the other evening, that I will never watch it again. It is just far too negative for me. Camile should be removed from the show until she gets counseling. I truly fear for the other ladies on the show if they keep her on.
Allison needs to know that everyone with special gifts needs to stand together in strength. Our world needs our visions to help protect and heal it and the many souls that are still here. Please try to walk as a positve example and go and get some help! Please do not give any more readings or express your insights until you get cleaned up and grounded again. Words are very powerful, and the other evening you caused great harm to many. It was almost like an earthquake that will most certainly have after shock. I can only pray that everyone who has after shock will only affirm the postive from the situation. The positive would be Camille and Allison go and get help.
On angels wings, I send you love and many blessings.
Seen her on Real Housewives. She is down right mean and nasty. She should be ashamed of her behavior.
Anonymous said... If Alison Dubois has any gift at all, it is a talent for the exploitation of the vulnerable. It goes without saying that anyone who claims to be able to talk to the dead has serious psychological issues, rooted no doubt in trauma. But from what I have observed of this woman, there is something even worse afoot. She is, in a word, malevolent; she takes pleasure in hurting others for her own ends, Such repugnant behavior would be inconsequential in one who does not, as she insists, runs her advice "on the clock" and misrepresent herself as authentic. Well I have a newsflash for this delusional woman: the dead are dead. They do not talk. That's just the science of it, the rest is pure Barnum and Bailey. Period. What a pity that Ms Duboi's megalomaniacal posturing takes itself so seriously as to rely on veiled threats. Indeed, I was so appalled by her behavior on RHBH, where at one point she even made an implicit threat towards another woman's children, cautioning that if they were ever "lost" --meaning, in her twisted imagination, dead or murdered, so that only she could find them. Well, the good news is that the show about her has been cancelled. Certainly, no one of Kelsy Grammer's ilk would want anything to do with a vicious virago of Dubois's low character, one that I ]m afraid is born of alcoholism at best, and a hopeless impoverishment of spirit at best. The woman is clearly a fraud, made all the worse by her vapid, useless, manipulative and wholly bogus misrepresentations of "psychic" powers to those who are either too naive or too much in pain to see through her. Here's some advice, Ms Dubois, about psychic powers: read Lacan or Freud or better yet, Foucault, who have figured out the likes of you in ways that you will never be able to figure out on your own. My advice: get help, and fast, because you are a very disturbed, and moreover, a very disturbing woman, one who, in my estimation, is a danger to the public health
LOL her credibility now after Real Housewives debacle. And you know for sure Camille had her there to do sneaky "readings" on the others. She's dumb enough to fall for that. #FAIL.
Someone gave me one of Allison's books and I got bored with the first page. Accidentally, my cat shoved it into the toilet. Good place for her "so called" gift. Maybe my cat knew a con right off.
Allison is a FAKE. It's easy for some quacks to claim they have the gift, but after seeing her on Beverly Housewives, it became clear that she is a liar, a conartist, and a low life.
Regardless of whether she's the real deal or not, after watching The Housewives of Beverly Hills episode, my bubble was burst. I guess I thought any woman that had been so accomplished would surely have a good heart and a certain amount of class....WOW...was I wrong. Granted she seemed to be pretty well boozed up, some of her comments were down right evil as well as the death looks she was shooting around the room. I wonder how a mother could say, Gee, I hope those women never need my help finding any of their children cause that ain't gonna happen. That's putting it nicely compared to what Allison actually said. I really felt sorry for her kids watching her make a complete fool of herself on national tv.
This THING is NOT a medium nor a nice person by any means. I HIGHLY doubt she is even a friend of Camille's now that Kelsey got his head out of his butt and filed divorce paperwork. If this THING (Allison) was TRULY so damn pyschic then she would have known that Kelsey WAS cheating on Camille and that he was leaving her. THAT tells the story more than enough. She and Camille are whackjobs that need serious psychiatric help and soon. BTW, as a CDS graduate, I am POSITIVE that this troll NEVER graduated from CDS even though she has made it appear on Wikipedia that she DID graduate from CDS. Lies, lies, lies from Allison Dubois' mouth as always. She's a PIG and a digusting example of a mother let alone a woman. Too many people believe trash like this and make trash like this muti millionaires! Get your head out of your butts and realize she ONLY wants your money and run. NOTHING that comes out of her mouth is truth or fact. NOTHING.
Hate to break it to you people - but there ARE NO "true mediums". As for Cheryl being hopeful that one day you'll have enough evidence to prove the opposite scientifically: great thought and good luck on it. Hope you'll be the first to collect that 1 Million Dollars from James Randi!
This women is a nut case and I dont believe she is a medium true people with gifts have a heart and are not evil and I think Allison and Camille planned to attack the other women on the house wives show I would have left that party sooner there both crazy and yes Allison should not have made the comment about the kids needing her help and not being there and no wonder Camilles husband left her shes crazy to she also acts like shes in love with that cute guy friend also I think the money has gone to there heads whats left of them..
It is very obvious that allison duBois is a fake! I saw her on the Real Housewives. She is a really nasty, condescending, foul mouthed drink swilling alcoholic that smokes electric cigarettes. Creepy and gross! I no longer like the show, or will watch it because I know for sure its fake.
I know, Its awful!! How could she say something soo awful about a child!! an innocent child and because of a grudge she wouldn't do anything to help. That honestly speaks loads about her personality and what type of person she is.
This poor woman has totally ruined any scrap of a career she may have had left by appearing as a complete buffoon on Real Housewives of BH. How unfortunate.
Allison Dubois I would say can do this, but she as most others are under a false impression of what these activities are...what the dreams show, from where, why and most of all how. There is a science behind this, but remains absent in the journals of science. The challenge is being able to compile enough evidence to satisfy the scientific method. In due time, we'll have it.
Dubois says p 181 of Secrets of the Monarch: What the Dead Can Teach Us About Living a Better Life that, "It would make sense that the frequency of the energy of our soul that is left behind after the death of our body could be matched my the living's energy and make it possible to communicate through a common vibration". She may have something here. I sneezed yesterday and owing to the vibration thus created I found myself faced by one of my late acquaintances.
I was hesitating to buy tickets to the AU$150 Live Allison Dubios 'Seminar' in Melbourne. Maybe I am psychic too... My hesitation was that this could be a jib. An inquiry as to how much personal readings were- being told that it will be $500 per HALF hour.What I don't understand is, how could a self-proclaimed psychic, who apparently solves cases and helps victims of crime charge such a large amount of money, if one is REALLY wanting to 'help' people. It's too crazy a thought that... all this may just be a rip off and scam, even though I am quite a 'believer' - how could anyone have the heart to make vulnerable people pay such a large sum of money.
It's funny that quite a few of you yell that it is unacceptable to give the real names of the childs. How did you recognize they were real if those names were not already public ? And if they are already know, why use a fake and look unprofessional ?
Appart from this, a few things are interresting in her case : in her show, she is on the payrolls of Phoenix and her predictions are increadibly accurate (plate numbers, restaurant name etc) while in real life she never got paid by officials for her predictions and all predictions are vague.I would love a free reading to see if she can spot which of my two deceased friend actually exists. Test her with an actor !!!
Hey "Phoenix" - you're a moron. There's no such thing as a 'basic fact' on Wikipedia because Wikipedia articles are written and edited by any common person who has the brain capacity to register themselves on the site.
I, myself, can sign on to Wikipedia and tell the world that chickens were created via Sonic Boom, and somebody like "Phoenix" would believe it.
Anyway, well-researched article. I definitely enjoyed it, however I am going to be a sucker and hope that Allison is, in fact, the real deal (and if not, that someone out there IS). I like the idea that my late Aunt and Grandmother still spend time around the family and get a chance to see my beautiful nephew, whom they never got a chance to meet, grow up.
The fantasy of it is just too good for me to let go of it. To each his own, whatever gives you faith.
Great article thank you for taking so much time to research and present information. I am glad to hear people are concerned about her children but if Allison Dubois was so concerned why does she have photos of her children on her own website??? http://www.allisondubois.com/ I am sure that any celebrity has security concerns and hopefully she makes enough money from her book sales, lectures, and TV show consolations to pay for that security.
Let me get this straight. Someone writes a "positive" book about DuBois and she gets "pissed" that they dared to profit from her - but she profits from a "positive" book she wrote about someone else and she's frustrated that people think this is wrong?
"Hypocritical asshole" just doesn't spell it out clear enough really.
Nice work Megan. Now, about Sylvia Browne...
If you look Allison up on Wikipedia they even say the Texas Rangers, the Glendale Police Department and Arizona PD all deny any cooperation happened with Allison's involvement.Interesting, so why are some upset with this article if it's a basic fact on Wikipedia?
When you invite a journalist into your home and tell them the names of your children HELLO stupid is as stupid does. If Allison Dubois is so concerned about her children and their safety why would she even give out that information AND have her children interviewed? It's a story a very fair story. She is just embarrassed at her own actions and has to blame everyone else. Allison look in the mirror your accountable for your own stupid actions. Did you think New Times was going to do a puff piece on you? They report the truth not fluff. Her ego is so ridiculous she lost site of what is really important.
I find the comments and letters to the editor far more interesting than even the article itself. While perusing the latest New Times, I saw quite a few letters written in about this article on Allison DuBois. One letter was particularly interesting, because it offered as "proof" of her abilities an anecdote about her giving free readings to a group of bereaved parents of murdered children.
Now, I think it's great that these poor parents were given some kind of emotional relief for all the grief they're going through, but that in itself doesn't constitute proof that Ms. DuBois was in any way in contact with those slain children. Those who compare her to John Edwards are more right than they know -- this sort of stunt is known as "cold reading," and has been practiced for years with greater or lesser success by many claiming to be mediums. Real proof requires a controlled experiment, and cold reading a room full of bereaved parents just doesn't qualify.
A cynic might accuse Ms. DuBois of exploiting those parents, but who knows, maybe there is some real closure those folks got from the experience, whether the act was real or not. I remain skeptical, but I have no problem watching and enjoying the TV show Medium for what it really is -- entertaining fiction!
Is this article really that shocking to anyone. You have a high school drop out who had no friends as a kid. She decided to make up imaginary friends so she wouldn't be lonely as a child and turned that into seeing things. Its funny, she makes no claims except that her fans are happy with her (entertainment).
Not surprising that she is upset with anyone that uses her name to make money but she is willing to use anyone with a remote relationship to her to make money. Typical con man.
In Nov 2002, a friend invited my husband of nearly 30 years and me to a mysterious meeting. 'You'll find out it's about when you get you get there.' We liked this person so much that we went, more as a favor to them because they seemed to be under some kind of pressure to bring people.
I think I'm as smart as most anyone, but I really couldn't understand what the speaker was selling. When the meeting stretched into a second hour, I was bored and frustrated because there seemed to be no point and no end.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed my husband's expressionless face. He seemed mesmerized. Several times during the course of the evening, I tapped his hand with mine, attempting to bring him back to reality. Each time hee jerked as if I woke him from a dream.
Relieved when the speaker seemed to be concluding, I was anxious to get out of the room and go outside for some fresh air. It was impossible for me to hide my impatience as the room exploded with the noise of chairs being moved because we were instructed to sit in a circle.
Suddenly my friend's demeanor changed as they pressured us to join 'it' that cost just $500 apeice. With anger welling up inside, I said, 'I still don't know what 'it' is!'
The people who were sitting in our circle seemed to break into two halves. One half focused on me and the other half on my husband.
What happened next reminded me of the scene in 'Close Encounters' when the aliens took the main charecter aboard their space ship.
It was surreal watching them surround my dear, sweet husband and walk him to the back of the room where banquet tables were set up. Through stinging eyes, I saw him hand our credit card to someone who processed our payment!
As the others continued to plead for me to join, I nearly bolted across the room to stop the transaction. For the first time in our marrage, my husband snapped rudely that this was what he wanted to do and I was going to do it, too.
We nearly came to blows!
His good sense returned long enough for him to realize that absolutely no way was I going to be dragged into this what-ever-it-was.
My reluctance to continue to be a spectacle dictated that I allow him to sign up by himself.
The ride home was quiet, but my mind was whirling with thoughts of Christmas coming next month and spending so much money on WHAT?
That night was the beginning of the end of our marrage. There was nothing I could do or say to stop him from taking PSI's Basic and all the levels ending with Principia. Since 2003 he went to Principia twice, the 'Ranch' three times, volunteered for so many seminars that I quit counting, charged well over $30,000 on our credit cards not including the transportation and meals. Like a converted fanatic, he badgered all our friends, relatives and his coworkers to join PSI. He took off work so many times that he lost his job!
And, when we could no longer make the minimum payments on my salary to the credit card companies, he began the downward spiral that resulted in his drawing out all our equity in our home, his cashing in his 401K, asking me to cash in my IRAs ... Today our house is being threatened with foreclosure and he's talking about bankruptsy!
I'm nearly 60 years old and he's retirement age and he gave everything we own to PSI Seminars.
Just when I thought things could not possibly get any worse, he announced proudly, 'I'm sending our grandson to the ranch in July.'
My ears were ringing and my mouth became too dry to ask how he is going to pay for it. I can only guess he was able to get yet another credit card. This will be at least the fifth or maybe sixth one he's opened and maxed out since this nightmare began.
During sleepless nights, I worry about our finances and uncertain future. I blame myself because it was actually my friend who took us to that meeting that fatefull night.
But most of all, I blame PSI because they tapped into some weakness they found in the love of my life ... they twisted him into some kind of monster who destroyed all of our tomorrows together.
As we signed our divorce papers in Mar 2008, I found the only good thing in this mess: We have nothing left of value to fight over.
PSI owns it all!
X of PSI zombieClovis, New MexicoU.S.A.
I read this article with interest, but was saddened by this author's attack on Ms. DuBois and her children. I'm not sure why the author felt it necessary to name the children by name or show their picture. I would hope that this paper would use more caution towards minors in the future.
That was an interesting link for PSI Seminars. How is Allison associated with PSI? Is she recruiting her friends to this crap or what?
Megan, you mention that Allison DuBois has a �friend� at the Maricopa County Attorney�s Office. Is this friend feeding her information on active cases? Is she the same friend who is involved in the cult like organization called PSI Seminars? Is this the same friend who was conned into believing the EST guru�s of PSI? Is that why Allison has such an attitude? It is because she is creating her own reality?
I am a medium, and I think this article is well-researched and quite fair. If you are going to put yourself out there in the public arena as a person representing the positive argument of consciousness survival, you better have a credible story.
The onus of validating Ms. Dubois' claims are on Ms. Dubois. Simply "crying foul" when no one from the law enforcement agencies she claims to have aided will sign an affidavit in her defense is not an acceptable explanation of the criticisms lobbied at her.
I have written about this story on my own blog, http://idonethunk.blogspot.com...
Bravo on this article. It is a GREAT companion piece to the article that New Times did in the late 90s on the so-called "Phoenix Lights" mystery. Another great "The Emporer has no Clothes" article. The people who are upset at the "character attacks" are really upset because their delusion is being challenged. Dubois is no better than the cold readers like John Edwards. They are all crooks. I would really like to know why she did not accept the James Randi challenge. If she can really do what she says she can, then what is she afraid of?
What a refreshing article, it was good to see a journalist undertaking some investigative journalism rather than just credulously reporting what ever a talking head may claim.
The article was balanced in that on one hand Allison Dubois claims are outlined and then an attempt has been made to verify them.
It comes off as being negative as the results of Megan Irwin's inquiries did not corroborate Dubois's statements made in the media, so to call the article as being one sided is not a fair criticism.
The critics appear to commit the logical fallacy ad hominem in that instead of addressing the points Megan has raised they have made personal attacks against the author, which makes many of the criticisms quite pointless.
Perhaps an appropriate response would be to point to an example where Dubois's claims have been objectively validated.
Keep up the excellent work Megan.
You are missing the point, folks. She has an editor and they signed off on using the names. Also, the TV news uses kids' names all of the time! You're living in a dream world.
There is a deep, screaming irony when you start claiming "character assassination" and then complain about the journalist. "Mr. Pot, I'd like to introduce you to Ms. Kettle."
It's not character assassination if it's true. The bleedin' Texas Rangers will not confirm that they have worked with her. What more evidence do you need that she is a liar? I've written about Allison in the past. I encourage you to look at my series linked at:
Good job, Megan! There should be more fact-checking on these bozos!
Why did you go and print her kids names? You have put those kids at risk. I hope the money was worth it for you
I find it interesting here that a few people (is that really you, Allison, writing these comments?)are writing in to slam the writer of this story. You dumbos are the ones with a lot to learn. Come on, everybody (probably even her husband) believes DuBois is bogus. If Allison can point up instnces of how she has actually performed provable psychic feats, then why didn't she tell the writer. You know why, because nothing she claims can be nailed down. She's just making crazy claims and cashing the checks from her tv show. And what a crock that is! But, you know, it's a good gig because a fool is born every minute in this country.
Megan - I admire your efforts at wanting to be a Journalist, but you clearly have no idea how to go about it. I know your so called paper is an alternative one and you probably feel like you are uncovering some big news. You have a lot to learn.
Have you ever had a reading with Allison? Why don't you actually try that first before writing an article about whether or not she is the real deal. My reading with her was dead on - the few things I wasn't sure about were confirmed when talking with family.
Oh and don't forget - her tv show is exactly that - a tv show. Even reality shows are not real so you can't expect her show to be 100% real. Grow up and find a new career.
Maybe you should try writing about people who are no good at their jobs that they think they excel at.
btw, if you read the article Nioe, you will see that Allison does NOT talk to the the grieving parents directly out of respect.
Most respectable journalists do not reveal the real names of children under the age of 18. There is a reason they changed the names for the show. Shame on you for being so disrespectful! This is a small paper and I guarantee the way you are writing this is where you will remain.
Take a look at CNN, True TV, Fox News, etc. None of them EVER reveal the name of minors unless they are charged with an adult crime. They also won't reveal minors names involved in a tragedy until the family has been notified and gotten permission.
I seriously doubt you got permission from Mrs. DuBois to use her kids real names. In fact, I'm sure she asked you NOT to for their protection. Nice integrity.
I hope you enjoy your job at this newspaper cause no big time respectable one will hire you once they read a copy of this article.
Shame on you and your editors for allowing the real names to be used.
DuBious is the one that's talking about her children. And if the author of the article is out of line talking about them, so is Allison for talking to grieving parents that their children are murdered.
This article seems more an attempt at character assassination and timeline than actually saying anything of substance.
The DuBois kids should have been left out of it entirely. Giving ANY details at all about them is highly irresponsible. I think the editors should remove any references to them. Really not only irresponsible but mean spirited as well.
The writer quotes anonymous 'groups' or 'them' with various insults towards DuBois' fans. Wow, you didn't just go after the person you interviewed due to your opinions about psychic mediums, you went after her family, friends, memories, life, even her children and fans as well....And without journalistic integrity.
For instance, fairness would allow that people view events with differing interpretations and memories. It should also allow that only the people who witnessed something or took part in it can comment. If no one was there for a conversation but Allison and someone else, no one can claim it never happened, not reasonably. It seems this writer went to great lengths to judge and tar paper someone.
As to the Baseline Killer and the 'long hair' - didn't he use a long wig at one point? Maybe that is the image Allison got. Impressions do not work like a computer spitting things out, they are open to subjective interpretations. And you say in your article (as everyone knows anyway) that police cannot comment on cases publicly so it means little if they disavow her involvement in them.
It's sad that all this effort was made to write what in effect was a long string of bias and opinion and subjectivity. Ironically it derides subjectivity at the same time. Does that mean subjectivity in an intuitive trying to help police or other people is de facto wrong, while the writer's own subjective impressions of a person can be presented as fact without question?
Please remove the section about the children though. That should be OUT OF BOUNDS.
This article is definately slanted. Megan, what did Allison ever do to you? Are you that unhappy with your own life?