by Victor Zammit
Retired Lawyer of the Supreme Court of New South Wales,
and the High Court of Australia


One of the most entertaining, educational and interesting debates ever took place on CNN's Larry King television show in the second week of June 2001 between gifted British medium Rosemary Altea and the closed minded skeptic James Randi (JR). Rosemary showed she is a gifted medium; she was absolutely brilliant, witty and magnificently devastating. She thoroughly and convincingly defeated JR.

One memorable line stated by Larry King on CNN in this debate was, "We've taken two calls and so far it's 100 percent" referring to the medium Rosemary Altea who answered two calls at random getting it one hundred per cent correct!

From just the first two callers, the odds of Rosemary getting the deadly accurate reading by chance was according to a statistician, more than 40,000,000 to 1. Translated this means Rosemary is a highly gifted medium.

Larry King Live Television Show on CNN is shown worldwide and would have several millions watching it. Television is good because you get to know exactly what each person is saying. You can watch the emotions running high, the facial expressions, the wit, the put-downs, the spontaneous responses - and if someone is blatantly lying.

Larry King himself conducted the interview with great equanimity and exhibited that rare wit and those special insights when he asked the two guests some very incisive questions. I'm sure litigation lawyers will make Larry King an honorary litigation lawyer for his skills in examination in chief and cross-examination. Certainly, what clearly came across was this JR could not bluff Larry King, could not bluff Rosemary and he could not bluff the viewers.

Viewers witnessed this closed-minded skeptic being outwitted and psychically 'slaughtered.' This sceptic JR exhibited his usual negative, sarcastic, denigrating, attitude - and more than once was fundamentally inconsistent. He even tried to cheat on camera! But Rosemary Altea was not disturbed at all. This was a huge victory for gifted mediumship, where the afterlife evidence was most persuasive.

Rosemary's brilliance

WITHOUT any cold reading, Rosemary took a call from a CNN caller who said only that she wanted to know about her deceased father. Rosemary then identified SEVEN consecutive distinct unmistakeable variables: that the caller's father was SLIM ... SLENDER faced ... suffered from serious CHEST problems ... had trouble with BREATHING... the passing over was SUDDEN.... that it was a SHOCK to the family. Rosemary then went on to say that she could see him and he was telling her he planted a rosebush just before his death- the called affirmed this. Then Rosemary actually corrected the caller when she told her that her deceased father was claiming he had planted TWO ROSEBUSHES not one. BINGO! ALL CORRECT!!!

Larry King then asked JR, assuming the caller was not a plant, that the caller was genuine... what's the response?

JR: "It is typical cold reading.'

This was part of the critical evidence for the millions of people who were watching. "Cold reading" the king of the skeptic says when Rosemary had NOT asked the caller anything !

Not only that, the caller stood corrected when the spirit through Rosemary corrected her - stating that he did not plant one rosebush on the day he died, as Rosemary stated initially, but two rosebushes. To which the caller said, yes that is absolutely right!

Further, Rosemary stated that the father had breathing problems - to which this JR responded "Anyone before dying will have breathing problems". Medical experts tell us that is NOT true - not all people have breathing difficulties before they die.

Again, this kind of defence by JR claiming it to be cold reading is absolute non sequitur - it does not follow and the defence is irrelevant, immaterial and totally unacceptable. This JR was beaten and knew it.

We ALL know what cold reading is - fishing for information... where the medium asks questions to try to elicit information... But, in this instance, there were millions of witnesses who watched and heard what went on - the medium Rosemary did NOT ask the caller any questions.

To a lawyer, this JR was not only lying, it was intentional fraudulent conduct. Because JR KNEW - as did the millions who were watching - Rosemary did NOT ask any questions. JR knew that Rosemary did not try to 'fish' for information. JR knew that what he said - that it was 'cold reading'- was a wilful, deliberate untruth to try to mislead the millions who were watching the show. That is cheating, that is technical fraudulent conduct - and that is what so many mediums and psychic researchers including myself have been claiming about the king of the sceptics when he deliberately chooses not to tell the truth.

A second person telephoned Larry King - again the medium did not ask any questions at all. And again Rosemary the medium performed magnificently - was able to relate eight variables consecutively one hundred per cent correct!

And again this materialist JR refused to concede defeat. JR's rationale? This time - the eight consecutive hits were, JR stated, too general!

I really wish someone would educate this uninformed sceptic as to what technically is 'specificity in variables identification' when using 'content analysis.' Simplified, this means you count the number of direct specific hits.

More JR 'LIES'

During the debate JR was able to sneak in a statement that John Edward, the American medium is only '13% correct'. Where did this figure come from? Empirical studies show at Arizona University with Dr Schwartz, that John Edward has been getting over 80% correct hits and on his TV shows up to 90% correct.

Why sceptics do not cold read?

Implied in this JR's rationale is that anyone can speak in general terms and get it right when doing a reading. But this JR would refuse to take calls on the Larry King Live show - because, he knows and we all know that he will make himself the biggest fool in this world if he tried.

That goes for all sceptics - it is so easy to claim anyone can do what a gifted medium does that gifted mediums speak in general terms or that the success is related to 'cold readings'. Yet we do NOT get one skeptic who will go on record in public trying to duplicate the success of a gifted psychic.

When one wins LOTTO - is the winner using cold reading? The winner chooses numbers - familiar numbers we use everyday. Yet because the winner chooses SPECIFIC familiar numbers, he/she wins!

JR went on over-defending his position. But to those watchers who were uncommitted, it came across with absolute certainty that this closed minded skeptic was beaten, trounced and defeated by a gifted medium Rosemary Altea.

It is no wonder skeptics have only TWO PER CENT public support - see University of California - Andrew Greeley survey on the net.

Sceptic's inconsistency

During the preliminaries, Larry King asked JR: " believe that the dead is dead and no one can communicate with them, or do you believe that the possibility exists and hasn't been proved?"

To which JR answers: " ...I don't know..."

Some ten minutes later - Larry King, "...Do you believe in the possibility of psychic phenomena?"

JR: "Absolutely, or I wouldn't be in this business."

King: "Right, so we can - the possibility of transmitting thought exists..."

JR:"Oh absolutely..."

Here is someone who has been supposedly investigating psi for some thirty years, NEVER found anything positive, NEVER obtained any evidence for psi, NEVER accessed psi the way scientists have and are doing. Then this JR comes up with something which seriously and inevitably questions his credibility and says: "Oh absolutely!"

On what basis does this JR say 'Absolutely'? If this materialist JR had never ever experienced any positive evidence, as he states, why now does he say "yes, the possibility of psi ABSOLUTELY... telepathy, spirit communication... exist"!? Is it possible that this comment is an indication that Rosemary's evidence, the voluminous objective evidence about psi and the afterlife are getting through to this hard core materialist?

Psychics have had to battle with these materialists in the US, UK, Australia and elsewhere for decades. Television and the Internet are breaking down the resistance to psychic phenomena and the evidence for the afterlife. The Internet in June showed more than 7 million global items related to psychic phenomena and the afterlife compare to the materialists 158,000.

-- Victor Zammit (June 2001)

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