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
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