April 28th, 2006


Gentlemen Prefer the Truth!

I am on the distribution list for an e-mail newsletter called eSkeptic. It comes from the friendly folks at Skeptic magazine, to which I subscribe, though you don’t need to subscribe to the magazine to receive the newsletter. Today’s eSkeptic tells a tale I found rather amusing. It’s the story of an interesting artifact from a current exhibition of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia. The following is an excerpt:
In this week’s eSkeptic we reprint part of Mark Bellinghaus’ skeptical critique of the Marilyn Monroe Exhibit (including a brief debunking of the psychic James Van Praagh) that opened in Long Beach, California in November 2005. Bellinghaus, widely regarded as a Marilyn Monroe expert, owns one of the most extensive and comprehensive Marilyn Monroe collections in the world.

Marilyn Monroe’s Memory Defrauded in Long Beach – The Truth Is Here
by Mark Bellinghaus

Did you see that psychic on Entertainment Tonight in December, James Van Praagh? He had one of Marilyn Monroe’s hair curlers — it even had a Marilyn hair on it — and this guy was listening to Marilyn talk to him right on the air. Spooky!

Those curlers are a highlight of “Marilyn Monroe, The Exhibit,” a display that opened November 11, 2005, on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, advertised as the largest private collection of Marilyn memorabilia ever assembled, a collection with the claimed worth of $10 million dollars.

But I have a small problem with those hair curlers: it took only the briefest internet research and a call to Clairol to establish that they were first manufactured in 1974. Marilyn passed away in 1962. I wonder which dead blonde Van Praagh was talking to.

The hair curlers are not authentic and that “$10 million” exhibit isn’t worth more than $25–$30 thousand. The people behind the exhibit are not telling the truth.
[End of excerpt. For more, visit the Skeptic web site by clicking here.]

Y’know, it’s bad enough to be a phony. It’s even worse to be a sloppy phony. There’s a certain perverted dignity to pulling off an elegant scam by covering all your bases, but these folks have no dignity. They are either pretty dumb or they think their audience is pretty dumb.
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