Char Margolis back to astound SA audiences (apparently)

A Sandton community newspaper reports that this “World-respected intuitive medium” will be in town this weekend to take some money from gullible folk to talk to the dead and teach people “to connect with their own intuitive gifts”. The article reads like a straight copy-and-paste of something written by Margolis’s PR team, such is its breathless enthusiasm for everything she claims to do. It’s really quite amusing what counts as a virtue when it comes to promoting woo-woo like this. Like the equally exploitative John Edward, one of her gifts is talking to the spirit world. Like this:

But if those impressive skills don’t persuade you, Margolis is clearly something special seeing as she “is a frequent guest on Dr Phil. In fact Char recently appeared on an episode of Dr Phil along with her colleague John Edward”. Dr Phil? The problem with him is less that he temporarily lost his licence to practice psychology (1989 – 1990) after (certainly) employing one of his 19 year-old clients and (allegedly) having a sexual relationship with her – rather, it’s that he doesn’t seem to apply very high standards when it comes to what he’s prepared to endorse. (To avoid a Federal Trade Commission investigation into this product, Dr Phil pulled them from the market in 2004, and settled a class-action lawsuit from some disgruntled users forĀ $10.5 million.)

Another of her claims to significance rests in the fact that she “not only works with everyday people but she also assists law enforcement with missing person cases and solving crimes”. Apparently – although her most widely publicised success in this regard (helping to locate a missing pilot) appears to have involved a dollop of common sense and obvious inferences, rather than anything mystical.

But it’s your R350. If you do decide to attend, there’s a final snippet of good news over and above getting the chance to have someone lie to you about getting messages from your dead relatives: the venue (a beauty salon!) “was selected by John Edward, International Psychic Medium as he felt the energy that owner, Shelene Shaer had created was excellent.”

By Jacques Rousseau

Jacques Rousseau teaches critical thinking and ethics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and is the founder and director of the Free Society Institute, a non-profit organisation promoting secular humanism and scientific reasoning.