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TV Psychics Under Fire in Russia

TV Psychics Under Fire in Russia

The popularity of paranormal TV programs in Russia has raised the ire of the country's skeptics and scientists who are crying foul over some psychics' newfound celebrity.

Over the last few years, shows such as the awesome-sounding 'Battle of the Clairvoyants' have captivated Russian TV viewers and have turned some of the participants into household names, much to the chagrin of critics.

A pair of particularly aggrieved critics, Alexander Panchin and Mikhail Lidin, say that the programs are misleading the public about the powers purportedly being displayed by self-described psychics.

Beyond producing their own YouTube videos said to debunk the now-famous psychics, they have also challenged the 'celebrity clairvoyants' to a prove their abilities in test akin to that of famous skeptic James Randi.

But perhaps more troubling than these tactics is that Lidin has called for a disclaimer to air at the beginning of the shows to inform viewers that they are merely entertainment.

Whether or not that comes to pass remains to be seen, it is an indication of a brewing backlash against paranormal beliefs in Russia.

Earlier this year, the country's Education Ministry actually condemned the clairvoyant competition show by way of an 'anti-prize' during an otherwise celebratory awards ceremony.

They are also considering creating an award which will honor skeptics who manage to debunk the reality show psychics as well as other "achievements in unmasking pseudo-science."

While one may wish to offer up a rejoinder about how these psychics should have foreseen such developments, the potential for persecution surrounding the paranormal in Russia is no laughing matter, despite how hilarious 'Battle of the Clairvoyants' may sound.

Source: BBC News

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