Over on Twitter, @farmerjaneusa and I were having this conversation about Ed Dames, and I couldn't answer her there.
This won’t be an exhaustive list of what concerns me about folks like Ed Dames ... just a couple examples. Anyone who wants detail can Google Dames’ record. Before I get into my examples though, I want to say that I think Ed Dames, and some of the other well-known “modern prophets” actually do have an interesting track record and some pretty amazing “hits”. I believe Dames may have some ability in remote viewing, and I have heard positive feedback from students of his classes. But I’m ambivalent about prediction work in general and Ed Dames has a special place in the “toxic” category of psychics whose work I’ve followed.
I categorize “predictions” into the following categories:
“Horoscopes” are purely for entertainment value, imnsho. Yes, I do write horoscopes for my site Astrology.ca. I wanted to do a site where I taught people astrology, and it was all very serious, and when I finally let my business-savvy boss back at TUCOWS talk me into adding horoscopes, it finally started paying for itself, traffic went up by 5000% (not kidding). I do say though on that site that all horoscopes are purely for entertainment value. I want no one to take them seriously – the only reason I still offer them is it brings in enough traffic to pay for itself, and that gives me the ability to promote real astrology.
“Forecasts” can be visions, dreams, astrological or Tarot interpretations that focus on the future and stick mainly to a description of the vision or the energies involved. Forecasts avoid rigid interpretation. Interpretation is left up to the listener, or it is made clear that there can be alternate possibilities for the way a forecast may manifest (See “Forecasting versus Prediction”). I see forecasts as potentially useful, depending on how they are approached, and I have used them in my psychic work.
“Disaster Predictions” and “Apocalypse Predictions” are the two categories that trouble me the most. They seem similar, but the main difference is that a “disaster” prediction only focuses on a given event: an earthquake, terrorist attack, another peccadillo in the life of a troubled celebrity. The argument for making disaster predictions public is that a disaster could possibly be averted or modified in some way if the affected parties were made aware of it. I personally prefer a forecast mindset to the prediction, but I take no issue with disaster predictions in and of themselves. It’s only when there is an endless stream of them, or they seem to carry an agenda that I begin to question them. Apocalypse predictions however, I look at as toxic. Apocalypse predictions end in global disaster, the “end times” or the destruction of civilization. There are sub-sets within apocalypse predictions, the Christian Biblical Apocalypse being the most popular variant, however the Islamic faith also has a strain of Apocalypse prophecy that few in the West are aware of. What I call “Secular Apocalypse” is the variety favored by Ed Dames. He does not to my knowledge have a Biblical or religious tie-in to his “Kill Shot” Apocalypse.
Dames has been predicting his “Kill Shot” Apocalypse since back in the mid 1990s in appearances with Art Bell on Coast to Coast AM and on his web site. As I recall the course of events, he said that this “Kill Shot” would take the form of a gigantic solar flare aimed directly at the earth that would wipe out most if not all life on the planet. His school of remote viewing has (according to Dames) perfected a method of timing such events by looking at events immediately preceding the “main event” and in the case of the “kill shot”, he foresaw a Space Shuttle being forced down by a meteor storm, followed by the massive solar flare.
I actually give Dames credit for a “hit” on the “Kill Shot”. But I believe the “Kill Shot” has already taken place. I recall an appearance with George Noory during a Shuttle mission where the shuttle was brought back early and immediately afterward one of the largest solar flares in history was indeed recorded. I believe, as is often the case with psychic ability, that Dames and his team were affected by his own interpretation of the events they viewed. They “hit” on the Shuttle issues and the solar flare, but missed on it actually hitting the earth. Dames claims to be so certain of this prediction because many of his team see the same events, but he’s failed to account for the possibility that his students are “following the leader” so to speak. It’s a well-known psychic phenomena that sometimes a group of psychics will all be strongly influenced by their perceived leader. They may all get the same vision because it is the one strongly held by Dames.
Regardless, Dames must now insist that the event which has past is not the “real” “kill shot”, and that it is soon to come in the future. The “Kill Shot” web site continues to say “within ten years”, a very long predictive cycle that keeps getting pushed forward as it fails to materialize. That’s tremendously important for Dames, who makes a good deal of money selling “survival” CDs. In the meantime, the people who take this prediction seriously continue to live in fear of something that has already passed harmlessly.
Why I would call that toxic and irresponsible should be obvious. If you believe in the Law of Attraction, then you know that to focus on a negative, fearful event is to give energy to it and to risk creating it. While I think the momentum of thought is on the side of those of us who trust in the continued health of our solar system, I think it’s unhealthy to promote such an idea. First off, if it were to actually happen, there is absolutely nothing anyone could do to prevent it. It’s healthier to let people live out their lives without that burden of fear. I think it’s also unhealthy on an individual level. What kind of lives do people have when they live in this kind of fear? What kind of lives do they give their children? As a child of a parent steeped in fearful Biblical prophecy I can testify that it can have a profoundly stunting effect on a child’s psyche. Why strive for a better life when you are convinced you are going to die horribly anyway?
Not long ago, Dames predicted that Steven Fossett would be found in a specific location and as I recall that broadcast, he told Noory that if Fossett wasn’t within a certain radius, it wouldn’t be a hit. The searchers were covering a huge area, and (again if I recall correctly) that very evening that he was on Coast, they had found Fossett’s ID card. Dames’ location was considerably outside that radius and he stated quite emphatically that Fossett would not be found near the documents, and that if that did happen, he would count it as a “miss”. The next day though, some bones later confirmed to be Fossett's were indeed found near the documents. That night, Noory had Dames back on ... and while I listened with incredulity Dames claimed it as a “hit” and Noory verbally patted him on the back for his incredible powers. This last visit to Coast (what little of it I could bring myself to listen to), Noory again used this event as one of Ed Dames “major hits”! I’m flabbergasted by this revision of history. It’s almost as bad as what Sylvia Browne pulled on the Coast show, yet Noory is letting Dames get away with it. Then there is the history of his legal and PR problems with PSITech. I love Coast, but Noory is doing a lot of damage to his own credibility when he not only doesn’t question claims like this, he becomes a cheerleader for them.
As an intuitive myself, I believe in the power of what Dames calls “Remote Viewing”. It’s nothing new, it’s been done for centuries, and it can be effective to a certain degree. I also think notoriety for this ability can be abused for profit, political or religious gain. I think the true power lies in the now, not in the future or the past.
I also believe there will be disasters and challenges in our future, that’s part of life. No matter how good their disaster predictions, the big-name famous psychics cannot tell you or me individually who will be effected and who will not. So their predictions are interesting, entertaining and irrelevant. It makes sense to be informed and prepared for disaster no matter where you live (if you only store water you are ahead of 90% of people out there). Before you give any psychic prediction credibility, make sure to look at their overall record. Have a look at the skeptic sites. If our media interviewers won’t challenge the self-proclaimed prophets who appear on their shows, it’s up to you to do your own homework before you decide who and what to believe.