Natasha Demkina can sue the 'ambush experimenters'
for some $2 to $5 million in damages. Why?
"Every person has a fundamental
legal right to have her/his reputation protected."
International Covenants on Human Rights and Civil Law.
(N.B. HEREINAFTER are just some of the legal
and equitable issues to be raised against the 'experimenters'
- it is by no means a full and exhaustive list of illegalities.
It is drafted for the layperson).
17 year old Natasha, a gifted 'medical intuitive', was invited
to New York by CSICOP to participate in an experiment to
test whether or not she is truly psychic.
Critical issue: Objective empirical
observation shows that debunkers (experimenters) produced
a documentary and subsequent media comments which tried
to humiliate, annihilate and ruin the brilliant international
reputation of Natasha Demkina, a gifted Russian teenage
psychic. There would be at least some 50 negative imputations
made against closed minded debunkers Prof Richard Wiseman,
Prof Ray Hyman and A Skunkick and CSICOP.
Close content analysis of the Discovery
Channel program shows that throughout the documentary continuous
'illegalities' and negativity were being heaped onto Natasha.
There was continuous direct and indirect bombardment with
imputations that Natasha is likely to be:
a fraud, a hoax, incompetent and unskilled,
not what she claims to be, deceptive, one who cheats and
lies, takes money under false pretences, superstitious,
not to be trusted, a person not to be associate with,
devious, deceitful, dishonest and conniving; person who
should not be respected by the international community;
and that the planners of the documentary
had a duty to expose her. Conduct shows the debunkers tried
to bring Natasha:
- into international disrepute so the
public will never trust her again and
- that her good name, excellent reputation
and character will be permanently destroyed.
1.0 Gross omissions
The designers of the experiment falsely represented to the
viewers that they were the world's 'top' objective, impartially
unencumbered 'scientists' and that Natasha would be subjected
to legitimate "scientific scrutiny". Throughout
the documentary this claim was repeated to the extent that
the average viewer would accept that Natasha was tested
by professional scientists of top caliber who had nothing
to gain, nothing to lose.
The experiment was NOT designed by an objective
scientist but, we are informed, primarily by A Skunkick,
a debunking journalist who is a close associate of the slippery,
perennially negative hard core debunking closed minded extreme
skeptic James Randi.
Skolnick shows his lack of scientific objectivity on his
webpage and that he is negatively prejudicial where he states
he is "Proud to be one of the pledges of the more than
$1.1 million prize that can be claimed by anyone able to
prove the existence of any paranormal phenomenon."
According to the CV on his web page he is not qualified
to design or to administer any scientific testing. Omission
to wilfully milsead- the viewers were not told the truth
about the man who planned the experiment.
He was assisted, he says, by two fellow (debunkers) who
Natasha and the American viewers (and wherever the show
was viewed) - were willfully and knowingly 'misled', misdirected,
by a hard core debunking skeptical journalist who misrepresented
himself as a qualified scientist.
2.0 Legal failure to show 'due diligence'
When the issues are so critical and fundamental for Natasha
who was traveling from Russia to the US (the program itself
acknowledged that failure could ruin her life) the organizers
had a duty to show the mandatory 'due diligence" and
make FULL disclosures about who they really are, the numerous
bitter fights they had with psychics over the decades and
the 'negative' reputations of themselves and those who were
responsible for organizing the experiment, including:
- they never ever in their professional
lives found in favor of the paranormal,
- that because of their record they would
not find in favor of psi,
- that if Natasha succeeded (in fact she
did by international statisticians' standards) she would
have been a prime candidate for the James Randi ALLEGED
'$1 million prize' sponsored in part by Skunkick,
- that a psychic under similar experimental
situation has complained that he was misled and lied to
- that these experimenters actively promote
and crusade for closed-minded skepticism,
- that under certain circumstances, the
negative experimenter Wiseman's psi reputation could
be destroyed by a positive result in the experiment and
that he would lose funding (if shown improprietery in
- that it is questionable whether Wiseman
is properly qualified to conduct psi tests. As a debunker
he does not have experimental impartiality to perceive
psychic phenomena with empirical equanimity - and therefore
cannot produce impartial results when it comes to psi
- that the 'Experimenter Effect' - a scientific
principle states that a closed minded investigator - as
Wiseman is, (Hyman and others who investigated Natasha
are closed minded) - will always obtain negative results.
Natasha's right to know that was denied.
- that debunker Wiseman has a reputation
of changing protocol without notice (see the Chris Robinson
psychic detective tests),
- that the subjects could be friends of
and have close connections with the debunkers,
- that there was no independent control
to ensure that the subjects did indeed have the conditions
they claimed and were being truthful.
3.0 Presumption of dominance hitherto
Conduct of the matter shows there was no equality in the
bargaining power of Natasha with CSICOP in the contract.
Clearly she did not have access to informed independent
legal advice. No sane informed lawyer would have advised
Natasha to go through with the experiment with the closed
minded American skeptics or if she did, there would have
to be severe modifications to the planned experiment.
Especially when Wiseman claims that she told him, "design
your own test" something that Natasha would NOT have
stated had she been briefed by an independent professional.
Natasha is clearly seen on the video protesting about the
Debunkers Skolnick, Wiseman & Hyman
and CSICOOP exploited her and most unconscionably took advantage
of her immaturity and her definitively weak bargaining position.
This alone would be sufficient to make nugatory all results.
There are several other relevant incidents
that show devious manipulation to elicit negative results.
For example, it would have been prudent for the experimenters
to engage an independent informed party to access all medical
records for confirmation of the patients' alleged problems.
Whilst this was one of the conditions in the contract, there
was no evidence given of an independent adjudicator appointed
to examine the health records.
4.0 Malicious intent
Relevant to malicious intent was when debunker Wiseman falsely
imputed that parapsychologists who do find in favor of psi
are "soft options" and less professional than
the designers of the experiment.
"Natasha hasn't gone for the soft option of going
to believers, she has come along to the scientists
That is most inequitable, willfully malicious misrepresentation,
insulting and most ridiculous for any allegedly professional
to state. By giving himself higher status than open-minded
investigators who perceive psi with empirical equanimity,
Wiseman tries to indirectly and maliciously belittle, to
reduce and negate their professionalism - imputing incompetence.
5.0 Inequitable subjective benchmark
Further, to increase indirect malice and
intentional misrepresentation, the experimenters have deliberately
chosen a benchmark for success which is way above that used
in other areas of science.
By asking that Natasha score more that 4/7
they are presenting to an unsophisticated audience the impression
that she could score 3 or 4 out of 7 by chance alone.
Yet the odds of scoring 4 out of 7 by chance
on the experiement they designed are 1 in 50. Whereas the
experimenters state Natasha 'failed' the test, other statisticians
state that Natasha's results were significant. Recent experiments
on telepathy conducted by a British scientist with a team
from 20/20 Productions were hailed as a success when the
odds against chance as an explanation were 1 in 19. It also
has to be remembered that Natasha scored an amazing 5 out
of 6 in the first test.
Updated 13th November 04 : NATASHA SCORES
5 OUT OF 7. Further, when Natasha is properly advised
she would not concede that she attained only 4/7. Since
at least one additional hit is in dispute there has to be
a presumption that Natasha was right regarding the issue
of the appendix scar. This is because she did identify a
woman with a scar on the tummy and the experimenter willfully
failed to show Natasha the medical record of the subject
to compare it with what she stated about the scar on the
subject. Accordingly Natasha can legitimately claim she
scored FIVE out of SEVEN.
6.0 Willful malicious omission to denigrate
There was further unfair and intentional omission to effect
negative perception of Natasha; there was blatant, wilful
misreprentation to fool the viewers and Natasha that there
is not such thing as 'medical intuition.' At no time in
the video was it mentioned that a great many other people
have successfully demonstrated "medical intuition"
- exhibiting skills similar to Natasha - including a former
NASA scientist, and that a number of respected scientists
and doctors have found evidence that illness can be detected
in the human energy field up to two years before it appears
in the body - same as Natasha found.
Instead there was an intentional and malicious attempt to
associate Natasha's ability with primitive superstition
and religious rituals with film of her immersing herself
in cold water during a time when it was stated she became
7.0 More malicious fundamental omission
At no time in the video was it mentioned that Natasha had
been tested by highly qualified doctors in other countries
and found to have a genuine gift.
8.0 Unfair, unjust, inequitable and unreasonable:
willful malicious pressure and stress to reduce performance
Hyman, on behalf of the experimenters deliberately and knowingly
says it is their intention to "put her under pressure"
being well aware that long experience of investigation of
psychics shows that they do best in relaxed and homely surroundings
which have a lighthearted and positive atmosphere.
Relaxation for Natasha is most critical and most fundamental.
Inexorably, there would be diminution of psychic power if
Natasha is put under stress. The experimenters knew that-
they had the knowledge of cause and effect - and they willfully,
knowingly and maliciously unfairly increased significant
stress immediately before the experiment.
Many of the things they chose to do would have significantly
interfered with her psychic functioning during the experiment
including (not exhaustive):
- Running the tests before the she had
time to acclimatize and get over jet-lag,
- Against her wishes having the subjects
wear ominous looking sun-glasses
- Having all the subjects in the second
test sitting together and not allowed to move unless by
- At the last moment removing her mother
and sister from the test room (something fundamental she
specifically objected to)
- Insisting that she attempt to diagnose
conditions she was uncomfortable with
- Making the subjects sit down when Natasha
usually examines them standing up
- Replacing her usual interpreter at the
last moment with one chosen by CSICOP
- Introducing a new method of analysis
which Natasha had never done before
9.0 More malice and more illegalities
Content analysis of Wiseman's voice over shows a deliberate
attempt to negatively influence the viewers - something
which a more professional empiricist or someone who
did not want to be malicious would not have done.
Even before the experiments were shown, throughout
the video Wiseman systematically and maliciously used
a Neuro-Linguistic Programming technique known as "planting
embedded commands" a technique for "planting"
the idea that Natasha was a fraud, was lying, was pretending,
beneath the audience's conscious awareness. When said
by a person of presumed authority in a strong tone it
leads people hypnotically in the direction the speaker
wants them to go; people forget the qualifying words.
fooling other people
there is a fascinating
psychology of deception and self deception going on."
The other possibility is that she
is simply lying to us. She is simply pretending
that yes indeed, she can look inside someone else's
"The test is designed to eliminate
lots of the problems which may lead us to think
that Natasha is psychic when that's not the case."
10.0 Willful misrepresentation
The experimenters willfully and maliciously misrepresented
Natasha's results in the first experiment to the world
as a failure leading the average viewer to (incorrectly)
conclude that the experiments had proved Natasha had
no psychic gifts and that Natasha should not deserve
to retain her high status, and excellent international
Yet earlier we had learned that 5 out of the 6 subjects
"were impressed by her diagnosis". Statistically,
the results were brilliant. We saw Natasha tell one
patient that he had arrhythmia of the heart; he confirmed
that she had "pinpointed" his condition and
was "spot on". We saw her tell another patient
that he had problems with the liver- he said "I
was surprised and happy". We saw her tell a third
that she had vascular problems- headaches in the front
of her head and the patient confirmed that she suffered
Yet Wiseman totally fobs off these results saying "During
the reading Natasha only mentioned the right ailment
to one of those people". He then, in a willfully
malicious way, tries to explain away her successful
results by saying "she's throwing out a huge number
This was not borne out in the videos of her working
with the patients in the test or in Russia or by the
fact that he himself said she arrived at her diagnoses
in minutes. It was not checked out or confirmed by the
subjects. A reasonable conclusion is that clearly this
was a response that could be used no matter how accurate
Natasha was- in other words this test was designed so
she couldn't possibly win.
11.0 Coercion, unfairness and more
In pressuring Natasha into a methodology for the second
experiment that she was not happy with, together with
asking her to diagnose conditions which she had already
expressed discomfort with diagnosing (she was seen in
the video protesting about both) the experimenters were
using their economic power coercively, insidiously,
unfairly and inequitably.
12.0 Willful misrepresentation of the results to
injure, and to cause permanent damage
Wiseman totally misinterpreted to the audience the significance
of the results that Natasha did achieve in the second
test and in the experiments overall. Because of the
complexity of the task the probability of her getting
the results she did by random guessing would be 1 in
The commentator of the show says "Odds of 1 in
50 may seem impressive but the scientists are not convinced."
On what objective authority?
In any experiment of the efficacy of a drug results
of 50 times the probability of chance would be lauded
as a miracle! Wiseman, 'cheating' Natasha of proper
mathematical assessment says to the world "She
had the claim, we tested it, she didn't pass the test."!
and "nothing psychic is going on" and "she
has no gift".
This debunker may be entitled to say that she didn't
meet his subjective, arbitrarily imposed standards but
he cannot say that she has not demonstrated that she
had psychic skills.
Further, whether or not she had agreed
as to what constitutes "a pass" in the contract,
Natasha would not have agreed to that if she were properly
advised by an independent professional. It is well established
at law that a contract under psychological pressure
or coercion as this was, is not enforceable.
13.0 Unconscionable contract
The alleged contract shows the parties were CSICOP/CSMMH
with a combined collective debunking closed-minded skeptical
experience of more than a 100 years and the other party
was the teenager Natasha - with just five years of successful
It clearly shows how one-sided the unconscionable contract
was. Half of the conditions stipulated by the dominating
party, CSICOP/CSMMH would have had to be negotiated
to make the contract certainly more equitably balanced.
The contract was unilaterally drafted to give unqualifiedly,
full control and full advantage to CSICOP/CSMMH and
to completely dominate the much weaker teenager Natasha.
There was a duty to inform Natasha to take the contract
to an truly independent, psi informed lawyer to make
sure Natasha understood the contract and to advise Natasha
of her legal rights. Natasha should have also been warned
and advised - because she was under legal age and for
other reasons, to seek informed guidance from an objective
expert in psi to advise her of all possible extraneous
variables relating to her experiment which would likely
to interfere with her usual performance. Natasha's conduct
clearly shows nothing like this was done.
14.0 Willful misrepresentation of
the results to hurt and injure
Deeply negatively entrenched Wiseman stated inter alia:"
it's the first time that claim has been tested."
That is simply NOT true. It is a malicious attempt by
Wiseman to misrepresent and mislead and to negatively
manipulate the viewers to think that this was Natasha's
In fact Natasha was on British television where she
was seen being tested by highly qualified medical and
highly skeptical doctors and where she brilliantly excelled
as a gifted psychic. In Neuro-linguistics this is also
called 'deletions.' There is a tendency for a negatively
prejudiced experimenter to delete anything fundamentally
inconsistent with his own cherished negative beliefs.
Wilful exploitation to defeat
- equitable principles
When the scientific community and society
generally expect experimenters, empiricists and scientists
and administrators to be honest, to have integrity,
to have the decency to present to the world empirical
objectivity so that there can be more scientific progress
to assist mankind, it is most sad to see throughout
history the debunking skeptics exploiting their privileged
position to mislead- directly or by imputations as the
only way to score a few cheap points, deluding themselves
they have won anything. The response from average decent
informed folk -historically - is that some closed minded
debunkers are leaving a legacy of dishonesty, bigotry
and colossal injustice - and making too many people
lose confidence in science as an objective discipline.
Victor Zammit October 2004
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