A Lawyer Presents the Case for the Afterlife

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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.

The Evidence

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.

Instead :

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 are psychologists.

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 by Wiseman,
  • 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 scientific method).
  • 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 experiments.
  • 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 unrebutted

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 test.

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 religious.

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 permission,
  • 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. Three examples:

    "she (Natasha)… could be 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 body"

    "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 reputation.

    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 from migraines.

    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 of options."

    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 negative conduct

    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 50.

    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 psi performances.

    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 first test.

    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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