UK "psychic" threatens legal action against sceptic

Mark Tilbrook distributed fliers at three of Sally Morgan's stage-shows, urging the audience to view the alleged psychic's performance through a sceptical lens.

Tilbrook says he was confronted by John Morgan, Sally Morgan's husband, who threatened him with physical violence and ruination, and that the performer's solicitor sent him a letter alleging that the fliers were libelous and seeking damages and fees -- or else. Simon Singh -- who successfully defended a shameful libel suit brought by the British Chiropractic Association after he published an editorial saying that chiropractors couldn't cure cancer -- has offered Tilbrook his support and the support of the Good Thinking Society.

I am not particularly pushy with my own beliefs – you can’t force someone to believe the same things you do. For all I know, my beliefs about the supernatural could be wrong. I can’t say for certain that psychics aren’t speaking to the dead. This is why my intention was to encourage Sally’s fans, and fans of other psychics, to think about what they are being told and then decide for themselves.

With the legal threats hanging over me and the worries about physical threats, it has been a difficult few months, but it will have been worth it if it has helped even a few question the information they get from psychics. I won’t pretend there haven’t been a few sleepless nights, but it has made me more determined to hand out more leaflets, regardless of the threats made towards me.

This month I will be working with the Good Thinking Society to promote what we have dubbed Psychic Awareness Month. We have printed more leaflets and have sent them to groups around the country – people who also care about encouraging the public to ask questions. Together we’re going to be attending the shows of many prominent UK psychics, and giving their audiences more leaflets. Our hope is that Sally Morgan, other psychics and their families will appreciate the value of free speech and the importance of asking questions.

Psychic Awareness Month

Psychic Awareness Month Leaflet

Our campaign goes on, despite threats from psychic Sally Morgan's team [Mark Tilbrook/The Guardian]

(Thanks, Colin!)

(Thumbnail: The Psychic Phenomeno, public domain/Wikimedia Commons)

Notable Replies

  1. she should have seen this coming...

  2. I think it would cause a lot of confusion. I don't think anyone asserts that. I do think people assert that substances that have regulatory approval for medical treatment of specific conditions have been thoroughly tested for efficacy for that purpose, and I think that kind of rigour makes any comparison with a psychic laughably idiotic.

  3. LDoBe says:

    There's no such thing. You might as well ask for a 130 story tall invisible pink unicorn, because it's necessary to have one in order to drive your car.

    Proof only has meaning in liquor and math.

    What you want is a lot of scientific evidence, and scientific theories. Which can be supplied to you, often for free, sometimes for a fee, by the medical societies and associations concerned with the particular diseases and treatments you're interested in.

    All this talk of "proof" as if it exists as a goal in science has gotten me surly. I'm going to go drink a scotch and soda, while working out some calculus.

  4. Which should never come together.
    Don't drink and derive.

  5. daneel says:

    I went to a Stephen Hawking lecture at the Albert Hall years ago, and there was some guy handing out religious anti-science leaflets outside. I don't think Prof Hawking threatened to sue him.

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