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Last week, the Phoenix New Times posted an extremely in-depth story about medium Allison Dubois, who has gained fame over the past few years due to the TV series based around her life, Medium. The article takes a skeptical eye to the Dubois’ claims about working with law enforcement, as well as some more personal stories, talking not just to the lady in question, but her family and friends as well.

As Michael Prescott has pointed out on his blog, there is a decidely negative tone to the story. Michael cites the example of the death of Dubois’ childhood friend – much space is devoted to a contrary account to the story told by Dubois, but hardly any to supportive material.

However, medium Marcel Cairo has taken issue with Dubois’ alleged ‘creativity’ in recounting her past history assisting law enforcement agencies, in his recent blog post “Dubious About Dubois“:

As a medium devoted to the promotion of psi research and the demotion of charlatans, I would hope that Ms. Dubois would genuinely tackle the very valid criticisms made against her rather than attack those who make them. The more ammunition we give the skeptics to ridicule and debase the search for outer consciousness, the more banging of our heads against the wall we’ll experience.

Personally, I can’t help but see a little hypocrisy in Allison Dubois falling out with Dr Gary Schwartz because it “angers her that someone would try to profit from her abilities”, when she herself writes books which mention people’s dead children whom she has assisted in locating (such as the Dave Hartman mentioned in the article) – those parents may have a greater claim to being offended, in my opinion (regardless of her ability). Similarly, her alleged private email threats to the writer of the story mention putting things on the public record.

However, whatever character flaws Dubois might have (or not have, as the case may be – I’m hardly trusting of the press), shouldn’t be considered in assessing her possible psychic abilities. Certainly, as Marcel Cairo says, such controversies provide ammunition for fundamentalist skeptics – and so it’s worthwhile calling for some explanation of the story’s criticisms. But, Dr Gary Schwartz, despite no longer being on speaking terms with Dubois, maintains that she is an immensely talented medium. If that is the case, we can only hope that Allison Dubois at some point undergoes further scientific testing to assess her abilities.