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The Girl with X-Ray Eyes

Readers' Comments

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A great deal of interest has arisen from the Natasha Demkina case. We reproduce below just two of the letters we have received from readers of this article.

AK writes:
Natasha Demkina did not fail. Given the unfamiliar and highly stressful surroundings and the demand to do something she had not done before, she did remarkably well. It is CSICOP's reputation, not hers. that has crumbled into ruins.

I'm an engineer. Not only are reputations in jeopardy based on the validity of MY tests, but also considerable sums of money, and in some cases, even lives. So I *KNOW* how to conduct experiments, and to analyze my results.

When I saw TLC's broadcast of the Girl With X-Ray Eyes, I was absolutely appalled at the behavior of the CSISOP personnel (even as someone who does NOT believe in any sort of "psi" abilities). The fact that they demanded the inclusion of subjects who she EXPLICITLY STATED were outside of her abilities was, in my judgement, dishonest, and immoral. As was the implications that 4 / 7 success rate (INCLUDING the two inappropriate subjects!) was somehow not a sign that she has SOME unexplained ability.

Throw out those two subjects and their diagnoses, and she would have been 5 for 5 (since she correctly identified the perfect-health subject first, the "metal plate" diagnosis would have been correct by default rather than the "wrong" (but actually legitimate that he had his appendix removed, because both he and another subject BOTH had that condition).

Yes, CSICOP's reputation IS being destroyed by the televising of this experiment -- at least for me. These people are even more dishonest than they claim their adversaries are.

From MH:
What those so-called "scientists" did to that girl was terrible. If they had tested her on the five out of six she had accurately diagnosed and added those to the four out of seven of their test, and then taken a percentage of "hits" the results might have been very different. I wish she had taken a good look at their heads to see what abnormalites she might find! They insisted on testing her using their methods and completely discarded her own methods and then called her a fake. I understand the Amazing Randi has some connection with this group.... if I had known that before she agreed to do this program I might have warned her not to go before this group with their preconceived hatred of anything unexplainable. Makes you wonder - if anyone of this group or their families come up against an unexplainable illness that defies their medical doctors, would they consult her? You bet they would!

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