John Edward: Listening to the dead
Editor's Note: CNN Access is a regular feature on CNN.com providing interviews with newsmakers from around the world.
(CNN) -- John Edward is the star of TV's "Crossing Over," but even though he's crossed over -- to general success -- there are many who question the abilities of this seer, who claims to be communicating with the dead.
CNN anchor Paula Zahn spoke with Edward on "American Morning."
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: John Edward is back, who claims he can communicate with the dead. He has a show on the Sci Fi Channel that draws in, we're told, about 3 million people per show.
People watching [your show] -- you know, the critics are out there -- analyze the ratio of questions asked to the information you are given by the viewer, and they say you are getting more information from them than they are getting from you.
JOHN EDWARD: Right.
ZAHN: What do you say to those folks?
EDWARD: They are actually really not watching. What I usually bring up is the fact myself and other people who do this work agreed to be tested at the University of Arizona, and there is a new book out called "The Afterlife Experiments," by Dr. Gary Schwartz. This is somebody who comes from a Harvard and Yale background, who has funded the Human Energy Systems Laboratory to study energy medicine, and kind of put his career on the line and said: Let's take a look at this.
[He] put us through rigorous testing -- seating the people behind us, seating them behind curtains, and all taped [with] microphones, the whole thing. They put the medium in the room first, then they bring the person they are going to read behind us. We are not allowed to see them, we are not allowed to talk to them, and still, you know, it happens, it works, it is there.
So I say for all those people who are looking for statistics and analysis and all that kind of stuff, go read the book: It is all there. And it is not pro-mediumship.
One of the things that the guy, the scientist, is very -- he was lecturing once, and I happened to be there -- and he kept talking in the fact that my accuracy rate was anyway from 0 percent up to 90 percent, and he kept hitting that 0 percent. I was like, Can we qualify that zero, man. I didn't get anything on the person; it wasn't that I was doing the reading and got nothing, it was the fact that nothing came through, which happens, you know -- it happens on "Crossing Over."
ZAHN: What if it comes through and it comes through wrong? You don't know that?
EDWARD: I have no idea.
ZAHN: Until the person answer your questions?
EDWARD: All I know is I get information. I say this is my process. I get it, I see it, hear it, feel it. I state it first, I say this is what I think it is, and then I say, Do you understand what this means, and then they will let me know.
The bottom line is any medium who does this work doesn't want information with a person that they are reading because the more that they say, the harder it is to get them to validate the reality of what we are actually getting.
ZAHN: So based on the study, you see yourself as a legitimate medium. How many quacks ...
EDWARD: Before the study. Before the study.
ZAHN: Even before the study. How many quacks are out there, though?
EDWARD: You know what, I think in every field there are, unfortunately, charlatans, and unfortunately in this field there are way too many. And I think it gives people a very bad name.
My whole job is to try raise the awareness level so people don't need the medium. If I can let somebody know that their friends and their family are around them without having to go see a psychic or a medium, whatever, that they can recognize the energy -- that a dream wasn't a dream, that a song on the radio popping up out of nowhere, that the fact that for some reason they turn this on right now and they are watching this and they were just thinking about their dad who might have passed -- that to me is a validation of hey, there is something else. If I can get them to think about that, then I think I have done my job.
ZAHN: Are you telling them what they want to hear?
EDWARD: No, absolutely not. Unfortunately, when you are dealing with this type of work, people come and they want to hear from their son -- they don't want to hear from father-in-law.
So it's pretty difficult when you are sitting with somebody who's lost a child and they only want to hear from that child; if they don't make the connection with their child, you make the connection with an in-law or somebody else, that is a very difficult thing.
Or if somebody was abused in life and that person is now coming through -- if it was their father who had did the abusing, is coming apologizing, well, Dad on the other side might be the new improved, but the person here who was abused might still be dealing with that.
So it is not always happy, positive stuff, but I think the message is positive.
ZAHN: We live in a pretty dense world. I was just wondering how crowded your world gets.
EDWARD: It's pretty crowded.
ZAHN: Continued good luck to you. Thank you very much for dropping by, and thanks for your patience.
EDWARD: Thank you, Paula, any time.
ENTERTAINMENT TOP STORIES:
Kate Winslet defies expectations
MSNBC axes Phil Donahue
60,000 Romans honor comedy hero
Potter author to appear on 'Simpsons'
Review: Chronicling Jordan's 'Last Shot'
|Back to the top|