After writing my initial blog post about the complaint group on Facebook, I got into a discussion on the group wall about what the creator of the group felt was being misinterpreted by the BBC that warranted a complaint. Here is the dialogue:
Hayley: Could you explain what you mean about them not having a concept of what mediumship is? What is mediumship and how did they misrepresent it? I’m genuinely confused. Thanks.
Sam: Mediumship is not fortune telling. Mediumship is communicating with the dead. Personally I don’t believe that mediums are able to see the future. I was referring to the terminology that the BBC used.
Hayley: what terminology did the BBC use?
Sam: On the programme, mediums were referred to as fortune tellers, which is not true. They also attempted to bring horoscopes into the mix, which has nothing to do with mediums. The BBC obviously didn’t research this.
Hayley: If there will always be people who claim to be mediums while also doing tarot cards and psychic readings and healing and such, doesn’t that mean that something needs to be done to regulate who uses the term ‘medium’ when they sell services? How have the BBC abused the definition of the word, if there are people who claim to be mediums doing the very same thing?
Sam: The word medium describes a go-between, a channel between worlds. Nothing more, nothing less. If someone can display mediumship through testing, like for example the practical SNU testing, then they are a medium.
Hayley: I am questioning, though, the ‘misrepresentation’ you claim the BBC made, when in fact, every day, people who claim to be mediums also make that misrepresentation…
Sam: The world is full of misrepresentation, which is why I am endeavouring to educate people, regardless of their belief, what mediums do.
Hayley: but you’re blaming the BBC for that? When the misinterpretation actually has its roots in the medium and psychic industries? Why? Why wouldn’t sorting out who claims to be a medium or psychic take priority? Is it even something that can be sorted out?
I genuinely do not believe that it is the BBC’s fault for using the ‘fortune teller’ definition of mediumship when, actually, mediums represent it in such a manner in the first place.
As I mentioned in the last article, the SNU self-regulate the mediumship industry, with people choosing to be regulated by the SNU – it isn’t independent regulation, and the definition of mediumship from the SNU is the one they’ve chosen to use, but it isn’t set in stone and it isn’t compulsory for all mediums to use that definition.
Instead of blaming the BBC for using the “wrong definition”, I think that the mediumship industry should take a hard look at itself as it’s exactly where the problem of misrepresentation comes from.