Letters from the issue of Thursday, June 26, 2008
People want to believe; that's their fault: I really enjoyed the story on Phoenix's very own Medium. I thought Megan Irwin captured the essence of a woman who very much wants her hocus-pocus to be taken seriously ("Allison DuBois Unmasked," June 12).
It doesn't exactly surprise anybody who thinks rationally that Allison has been of no help to police, despite what you might think from the TV show she inspired. What is surprising is that she has so many people who want to believe that she has "powers."
But, you know, people want to believe in the strangest things: UFOs, that the Bush administration planned and carried out 9/11, that the Holocaust was made up, ghosts, Scientology, and religion, in general.
It's all part of that and nothing more. What I don't understand is why Ms. DuBois doesn't just cash the checks and move on. She preys on the suckers of the world. So what?! No law against taking a sucker's money.
But, no, she insists that everybody must believe in her crap, and that's what's annoying!
James Thompson, Glendale
The benevolent Ms. DuBois: I was disappointed to read the one-sided article that ran in New Times titled "Allison DuBois Unmasked." Your writer, Megan Irwin, neglected to mention the community support Ms. DuBois has offered to bereaved families.
An example of her benevolence is her spirit of volunteerism. I am a member of a group called Parents of Murdered Children. Allison DuBois volunteered to be a guest speaker at one of our meetings. With more than 60 people in attendance, Allison went from person to person, and right before our very eyes, she did accurate readings for each and every one of us who had lost a child to violence (at no charge).
Readers should not be fooled by the ambiguous negativity of this article. Ms. DuBois is a kind and generous woman who has a gift that truly does help those in need.
Mari Bailey, Phoenix
Grow up, people: Allison DuBois is a prime example of how retarded the general public can be about paranormal experience.
Guess what: The X-Files is a TV show; such things don't really happen! Medium is a TV show based on somebody who made up her very persona. Grow up, people!
J. D. Richardson, Phoenix
Too bad for whom?: Your story on Allison DuBois shows how ignorant you are about paranormal experience. It is only natural that people would question Allison. They are not on her wavelength and cannot understand how it is to have special abilities.
It's just too bad that New Times bought into all the negativity about Allison. You should be ashamed of yourselves!
Trina McDonald, Phoenix
C'mon!: I find it interesting that a few people are slamming the writer of this story (See comments attached to "Allison DuBois Unmasked"). You dumbos are the ones with a lot to learn.
Come on. DuBois is bogus. If Allison can point to instances 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 [show] is! But, you know, it's a good gig because a fool is born every minute in this country.
Charles Moran, Phoenix
Some words about James Randi: In the New Times article, it is claimed that James Randi has "offered [Allison] DuBois, or any other psychic, $10 million if she can prove her abilities in a test that he would design." That's incorrect.
Randi, founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation, has had a longstanding challenge to anyone claiming to have paranormal abilities. The prize is $1 million, not $10 million. The test is not designed by Randi. The design of the test and what constitutes success is a mutually agreed upon by the JREF and the challenger.
The nature of the test will, of course, depend upon the claimed abilities of the challenger. No challenger has successfully passed a mutually agreed-upon preliminary test.
DuBois has been repeatedly made aware of the challenge. She claims, "[Randi] will never give anyone the money and has never shown proof that it exists. He's been asked to. I know the truth and that's good enough."
Randi has offered proof of the existence of the prize, which is being held [in a Goldman Sachs account]. If someone passes the mutually agreed-upon test, it will not be up to him to distribute the money. Interested readers can visit the JREF Web site at www.randi.org. It is quite an eye-opener to those willing to open their eyes.
Jim Carr, Phoenix
A DuBois peer calls her out: 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'd better have a credible story. The onus of validating DuBois' claims are on 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 of her. I have written about this story on my own blog (http://idonethunk.blogspot.com/).
Marcel Cairo, Los Angeles
We're not worried: Great story on Allison DuBois, but you are going to get a shit-storm from Allison and her fans. They don't like being told they are full of it. Not one little bit!
You guys at New Times thought you caught hell from the 9/11 conspiracy wackos ("Half-assed Troofer death threat . . .," Stephen Lemons, Feathered Bastard blog, June 5). Well, you ain't seen nothing like what Allison and her loyalists can bring.
They demand that Allison be taken seriously — or else!
Tom Luther, Los Angeles
Thanks for showing us the light: 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 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 percent real.
Oh, really? Not really!: Most respectable journalists do not reveal the real names of children under age of 18. There is a reason they changed the names for the show. Shame on you for being so disrespectful!
Yours is a small paper, Megan, and I guarantee that, the way you are writing, this is where you will remain. Take a look at CNN, True TV, Fox News. None of them ever reveals 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.
Megan's actually quite happy: This article is definitely slanted. Megan, what did Allison ever do to you? Are you that unhappy with your own life?
Fans' delusions challenged: Bravo on this article. It is a great companion piece to the article that New Times published on the so-called "Phoenix lights" mystery ("The Hack and the Quack," Tony Ortega, March 5, 1998; see also "Chopper pilot says UFOs probably balloons with flares," Valley Fever blog, April 22), another great the-emperor-has-no-clothes story.
People who are upset at the "character attacks" on DuBois are really upset because their delusion is being challenged. 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?
Calling the story one-sided is unfair: What a refreshing article. It was good to see a journalist undertaking some investigative journalism rather than just credulously reporting whatever a talking head may claim.
The article was balanced in that, on one hand, Allison DuBois' claims are outlined, and then an attempt is made to verify them. The article comes off as being negative, because Megan Irwin's inquiries did not corroborate DuBois' statements made in the media.
To call the article 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 raises, they make personal attacks against the author.
Perhaps an appropriate response would be to point to an example where DuBois' claims have been objectively validated. Keep up the excellent work.
Editor's note: After "Allison DuBois Unmasked" was published, DuBois e-mailed Megan Irwin to tell her that she planned to use public records to dig up information on Irwin (and Irwin's family) for use in her next book. The following comments resulted from Irwin's Valley Fever blog post on the threat ("Medium Allison DuBois predicts the future — finally!" June 13):
Again. Not scared: If you'd ever actually read any of Allison's books, you would know that she will write about you. Why would she care about your [article on yourself: "Pimp My Bod," September 27, 2007], when she can write a much better story about you? You should have thought about that before you decided to write such crap.
Kristi Berra, via the Internet
Read by ninnies. Right on: Sheesh, aren't we sensitive, and vindictive!? Um, Kristi (I mean, Allison), I doubt the writer of this story gives a crap what you say in your little book, read by ninnies (you'd have to be one to think you are in any way credible).
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