Your paper has in recent months published a series of frankly unbelievable statements about what various people can do with various supernatural abilities — all of them presented by the reporters as simple facts, without even a hint of journalistic skepticism. I have cringed, rolled my eyes and said nothing. But the absurdity reached a pinnacle with the Feb. 11 issue, and I can no longer refrain from calling you on your apparently off-the-charts level of collective gullibility.
I refer to “Medical intuitives: Seeing the way to better health,” by Nicki Glasser [Feb. 11, Xpress]. This piece tells us about four local women who claim to be able to literally look inside other people’s bodies, by supernatural means, in order to see what is wrong with them.
Specifically, Teresa Eidt claims, “I was shown a cancerous ulcer on the internal wall of [a massage client’s] abdomen,” and “I scan the body system by system.” Kimberly Crowe is said to claim “that when she placed her hands on people, she could see things in their bodies.” Rachel Frezza claims that her ability in this regard was objectively tested: “Frezza was given no information about [10 patients] or their conditions. Only by accurately reporting the conditions did she pass the course.” Tammy Coffee is quoted as saying, “I see the physical body like an X-ray machine, like I have a camera and I am going inside the body … I will look through, for example, the entire small and large intestine.”
Ms. Glasser reports every one of these claims with no indication that she sees anything strange or suspicious here. The story contains no counterpoint by anybody with training in medical science. …
To put it most bluntly, these claims are either the most important development in the history of science or they are complete bullsh*t. Don’t you think it might be important to know which they are? Don’t you think your readers deserve to be told which they are? If they’re true, wouldn’t you want to know that for sure and get credit for being the first media outlet to announce this incredible news? And if they’re bullsh*t, wouldn’t you want to do your readers the service of running a retraction and exposing the claimants as quacks and frauds — or, at best, self-deluded fools?
Doesn’t the Mountain Xpress, as an institution of journalism, have even a tiny bit of desire to separate the most monumental scientific discovery from the most monumental bullsh*t?
— Robert J. Woolley
Editor’s response: Mountain Xpress does not endorse therapies, and since we are not health professionals ourselves, we are not in a position to evaluate the efficacy of any healing modalities. In this case, we’d also note that medical intuitives do not diagnose illness; there is a legal restriction on their activities. Xpress does share stories about the many modalities for health that are practiced in our region, letting readers know what practitioners are doing and saying as part of covering the entire wellness scene in Asheville. The “Medical Intuitives” article is one of those stories.