A Psychic Died

When Colin Fry died there was a huge rise in traffic to my blog because of a post I had written in the past criticising him for seeming to take advantage of the misfortune of a man who had fallen victim to a psychic mail scam. I got a number of messages telling me that what I had written was disrespectful as Fry had just died despite the fact that the piece is both informed and was written prior to his death or his cancer diagnosis. This led me to update the post to explain this and yet people continued to send their disapproval my way.

It’s sad that Colin Fry died aged 53 of terminal cancer. Cancer sucks, as does nicotine addiction and 53 is far too young to die but this doesn’t detract from the fact that Fry made dubious claims about having supernatural abilities and was once caught cheating at a seance – behaviour that justified skepticism of his claims. That stuff happened so why should we pretend it didn’t?

I wrote something similar when Fred Phelps popped his clogs in a post titled De mortuis nihil nisi bonumIf to respect the dead you have to ignore or censor whole parts of their existence then quite frankly you’re not being very respectful, are you? Fry, of course, was nothing like Phelps and I’m not suggesting he was… in fact Fry was gay and was critical of Sally Morgan’s husband when his homophobic behaviour was caught on camera.

‘I deplore all forms of prejudice, and of course I have personal reasons for particularly detesting any form of homophobia. Every one is welcome to attend my shows of any race, gender , religion or sexual orientation, even skeptics!’ – Colin Fry

I may be misguided but I always thought of Fry as the last of the old-school spiritualist mediums because he still worked with the Spiritualists National Union (SNU) and was even an SNU registered minister whereas the SNU tend to view other high-profile stage psychics in an unfavourable light. This, of course, doesn’t detract from the fact that there were claims made and behaviours observed that brought doubt to the validity of what Colin Fry was claiming.

To pretend that is not deserving of such criticism does the man a disservice and for fans to pretend that Colin Fry was better than or above criticisms levelled at him in life and death is purely a selfish move. He acknowledged and, to a point, welcomed the skepticism people held of his claims and I think he’d welcome it after his death too.

About Hayley Stevens 448 Articles
Hayley is a ghost geek and started to blog in 2007. She uses scientific scepticism to investigate weird stuff and writes about it here while also speaking publicly about how to hunt ghosts as a skeptic.

7 Comments on A Psychic Died

  1. I always had a good relationship with him which I thought was interesting considering how hard I’d gone after him over the years. However his final words to me were very telling and perhaps his way of telling me what I wanted to hear without spelling it out to me.

    And despite the abuse I’ve received I was sad when I heard as behind the scenes he was always nice to me when really he didn’t need to be, and much like Derek I considered him personally a friend if professionally a foe.

    • Hello, I’m itching to know what where the final words he spelled out to you?

      I thought (from your website) that he said he has no fear of death whatsoever. I sit on the fence ftr!

    • You can see my site for his final words to me, in my article announcing his death as far as I can recall.

      Unlike pretty much every other skeptic around, I actually spoke to these frauds, and they respected me for my opinion.

      I NEVER had a problem getting in contact with them or getting a reply from them, and I spoke with Colin more than any other skeptic, and he often told his own fans to stop abusing me as I was the only skeptic he would talk to.

      So although I disagreed with him on many things, I think in a small way he was trying to give me something in those final words to me

  2. Every psychic I’ve ever come across has been a smoker, and usually a heavy one, and every male one has always been Gay or Bisexual…makes me think if it is a condition deep in the mind, where the errant wiring that makes people Gay, also has some part in making them think they are psychic (or indeed makes them psychic YMMV).

    I think most people feel uncomfortable criticising someone who can no longer defend themselves, this is why no matter how nasty some people were in life, it is seldom mentioned at their funeral or in obituaries; it is not the done thing, it is not socially acceptable.

    Of course one could include the likes of the late Jimmy Saville in this way of thinking, or even Adolph Hitler (who never actually killed anyone personally in his life btw), and I do feel uncomfortable about criticising people who can no longer defend themselves…imagine the outcry if some accused a 39 year-old mentally ill person, with the mental age of three, of something, as they can’t defend themselves.

    I find it always sad when someone leaves us, what tales they could tell to explain their life to us, but I do have little sympathy to smokers. I lost both parents through smoking related diseases, and I am still angry with them for continuing a habit they both knew was killing them…for me, smokers deserve all they get if they are over 18, no one can claim ignorance anymore, the dangers are well-known; I think a case could be made to say they are all mentally ill -certainly and element of dissonance there.

    Over the years when I have interviewed and chatted to psychics I often ask them about death, they all say they don’t fear it, only the manner of it, hoping it is not too painful etc I do feel for Colin, I’ve seen how nasty the final stages of cancer can be, the last days or hours when the maximum dose of all the pain-killing technology modern medical science can provide, is worthless…and if he genuinely believed in an afterlife, how did that affect his final moments?

    RIP Colin

    • I’m not sure if you’re being stupid or intentionally offensive.

      Every psychic I’ve ever come across has been a smoker, and usually a heavy one, and every male one has always been Gay or Bisexual…makes me think if it is a condition deep in the mind, where the errant wiring that makes people Gay, also has some part in making them think they are psychic (or indeed makes them psychic YMMV).

      Right… right… except not every psychic is gay and not every gay person claims to be psychic. Also “errant wiring” makes you sound as though you’ve travelled from the 50’s to comment on this blog post so you may want to watch that. It’s a bit embarrassing for everyone.

      or even Adolph Hitler (who never actually killed anyone personally in his life btw),

      You are sooo not a historian.

      On January 30th, 1939, Hitler foretold that he would annihilate the Jews. After a meeting on December 12, 1941 with Nazi Party leaders, Goebbels makes it clear in a diary entry the following day that Hitler issued an order to begin the genocide of Jews. On “the Night of the Long Knives” that saw the execution of political enemies of the Nazi Party Hitler himself was presentand he personally told the Munich chief of police that he would be executed. There is also the Commissar Order. Hitler demanded that all captured Soviet commissars were to be executed.He also served in WW1 and though a dispatch runner he was caught up in several battles.

      for me, smokers deserve all they get if they are over 18, no one can claim ignorance anymore, the dangers are well-known; I think a case could be made to say they are all mentally ill -certainly and element of dissonance there.

      Are you seriously saying addicts deserve to die? That’s a bit… social darwinism. Are you a social darwinist as well? Yikes…

  3. Gish, sorry to say that is some pretty ignorant comments there.
    Sally Morgan, Derek Acorah two big names who are NOT gay.
    And to liken such things as a “condition” in the mind, and the way they are wired, is to have a total lack of understand of how psychics work, whether they be eyes open or eyes closes frauds. And to connect with homosexuality is just plain wrong, and a very uneducated way to look at them.

    As for heavy smoking and drinking, no more than any other stressful job I would say.
    Arguments could be made that drinking is used a coping method for the guilt of what they do, however I am not sure I go with that argument, as to be a true eyes open psychic you need to lack empathy, which would mean guilt isn’t a problem.

    From my experiences and conversations directly with Colin over the years I picked up not so much a lack of fear of dying, but a quiet acceptance of what death is. Now what someone like Colin truly believed happens when he dies, I don’t know, but whatever his personal private belief was, he did accept and believe it.

    Personally from speaking the hundreds of psychics over the years, I am quietly confident in saying that pretty much all of the eyes open mediums are privately atheist. But the lack of fear of death does not come from a place spirituality, but a place in their mind that lacks empathy. Think of a psychopath who does not fear death, yet they do not believe in an afterlife.

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