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More than 3,000 fans packed San Francisco’s Masonic

Auditorium. Many had driven for hundreds of miles to

see their idol. Others held up signs reading, "We

Love You John!"


Then the man they came to see strode onto the stage -

- an unlikely superstar, to say the least. As the

Washington Post put it, his New York accent makes him

sound more like a cab driver. And the only artistic

activity listed on his risumi is his affinity for

ballroom dancing. But John Edward is a superstar --

one uniquely suited for our credulous age.


John Edward is America’s most famous medium. His

nightly television show, Crossing Over, is a staple

of the Sci-Fi channel’s prime-time programming. Every

night, more 600,000 American households tune in to

watch Edward and his "guests" -- by which he means

spirits -- minister to the loved ones left behind.


The show is such a success that in August it will be

syndicated nationwide. Then, even those without cable

will be to watch Edward comfort the living by

speaking with the dead.


But it’s not only television. Edward’s autobiography

made the bestseller lists. His live appearances, like

the one at the Masonic Auditorium, are sell-outs, and

there’s a two-year waiting list for personal

consultations.


Edward isn’t the only medium doing a brisk business

these days. Belief in mediums and spiritualism has

grown markedly in the past decade. Half of all

Americans believe that it’s possible to communicate

with the dead. A third claim to have done so. Just

look at the yellow pages or your newspaper for

advertisements for psychics.

Chuck Colson 8/22/01 Breakpoint Article

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