Allison DuBois on a panel at San Diego Comic-Con
January 24, 1972 |
Allison DuBois (born January 24, 1972) is an American author and purported medium. DuBois has stated that use of her psychic abilities has assisted U.S. law enforcement officials in solving crimes, forming the basis of the TV series Medium.
Her alleged powers as a medium were tested by Gary Schwartz of the University of Arizona. While Schwartz claims that his research supports DuBois's psychic abilities, skeptics have pointed out flaws in both Allison's claims and Schwartz's research. Some of her claims regarding work done in high profile investigations, such as her description of the Baseline rapist, have been shown to be either incorrect or of little investigative value.
DuBois was born in Phoenix, Arizona, where she attended both North High School in Phoenix and Corona del Sol High School in Tempe. Despite dropping out, she obtained her GED at the age of 16. In college, she worked as an intern at the district attorney's office in Phoenix. She received her B.A. in political science with a minor in history from Arizona State University..
DuBois refers to herself as a medium and profiler, rather than a psychic, because of the negative connotation she feels is associated with the term psychic. She claims that she became aware that she had the ability to communicate with departed souls when she was 6 years old. DuBois claims she uses this ability to connect deceased loved ones to the living, and also to help law enforcement agencies solve crimes, such as the Texas Rangers and the Glendale, Arizona police department, and that she used these abilities as a jury consultant. These law enforcement agencies have since either denied any such cooperation happened or stated the tips provided by Dubois were not helpful.
According to the TV Guide, Allison DuBois spent four years participating in various tests at the University of Arizona to assist with their studies of mediums and psychic phenomena. Gary Schwartz, Director of The VERITAS Research Project, claims that DuBois has psychic abilities, arguing in the March 6, 2005 TV Guide, "Anyone who's looked closely at the evidence can't help but come to the conclusion that there is something very real going on here." At their first meeting, Schwartz says DuBois accurately described a friend of Schwartz's who had just died. Impressed, Schwartz conducted a series of interviews, including one in which DuBois stated she contacted the late husband of a woman in England, knowing only the woman's name. The woman, after reading a transcript of the session, affirmed that 80% of what DuBois said was accurate. Schwartz published his research in a book titled The Truth About Medium. According to a statement by DuBois, she does not endorse the book or Schwartz.
The television drama Medium, which aired from 2005 until 2011 on NBC and CBS is based on Allison DuBois's book, Don't Kiss Them Good-Bye. The show was created by Glenn Gordon Caron, creator of Moonlighting and other television shows, who is also one of the writers for the series. It is produced by CBS Television Studios (having acquired the TV production arm of original producer Paramount Pictures) and Grammnet, the production company owned by Cheers and Frasier alumnus Kelsey Grammer. Patricia Arquette was cast to play the role of DuBois, at the suggestion of Caron's girlfriend. DuBois stated in the January 9, 2005 TV Guide that she initially thought Arquette was too liberal to play her, remarking, "I mean, I have a gun, I have put people on death row. I wanted to make sure that was something that didn't bother her. But she assured me that she believed some people may have that coming."
"Every episode is not a biography of my life, it is simply based on my life experiences. It is an accurate portrayal of my life and the people who share it with a little Hollywood magic thrown in," DuBois has said. She does state in both her book and in the edition of January 3, 2005 of Sci Fi Weekly that the program closely resembles the truth of her own life. Several details of Arquette's character match DuBois's life, such as the name of her husband on the show (Joe) and the fact that he is an aerospace engineer. Both the character and the real-life Dubois have three daughters, and the first case the character "consults" on in the show's pilot is with the Texas Rangers, the law enforcement agency with whom the real-life DuBois alleges she first worked.
Skeptics such as Paul Kurtz and Ray Hyman say that DuBois does not have psychic powers. Skeptic James Randi says that people such as DuBois give the appearance of psychic powers through cold reading techniques. For example, DuBois, when doing her first reading of Schwartz, told him that his deceased friend was telling her, "I don't walk alone," which Schwartz understood to be a reference to his friend's confinement to a wheelchair, which DuBois could not have known about. Randi says that Schwartz leapt to an unsupportable conclusion, since the notion of "not walking alone" can mean any number of things, and "certainly does not describe being in a wheelchair." Randi also asserts that experiments that allegedly yield positive results of psychic powers, such as the ones done with DuBois, are not conducted using proper scientific controls. In light of Schwartz's assertion that "some" of his experiments with DuBois were performed under such conditions, Randi questions why the rest of them were not, and points to a report demonstrating that a few of Schwartz's experiments were not performed according to standard scientific protocol. Schwartz's point-by-point response to Randi's criticisms was published in 2005.
In 2005, Randi offered to have DuBois tested for his One Million Dollar Challenge. According to Randi, DuBois declined his invitation to the challenge. In 2011, the JREF again issued the million dollar challenge to James Van Praagh, Allison DuBois, Sylvia Browne, Carla Baron, John Edward, and others to prove their abilities in controlled experiments, commenting, "James Van Praagh and Allison DuBois have turned the huckster art of 'cold reading' into a multi-million-dollar industry, preying on families' deepest fears and regrets," he says in a statement announcing the challenge. "They should be embarrassed by the transparent performances."
Former FBI profiler, behavioral science expert and MSNBC analyst Clint Van Zandt challenges statements about psychics helping law enforcement arguing, "If psychics were truly successful and if their results were not simply the consequence of trickery (at worse [sic]) or good interviewing skills (at best), then why don't law enforcement agencies have psychic detective squads, a real X-Files Unit, or other ways to integrate these paranormal investigative capabilities?"
DuBois's parents, Mike Gomez and Tienna, divorced when she was a baby. Tienna remarried and divorced again when Allison was 12. In her first book, DuBois writes about seeing her stepdad in public with his new family. Allison is married to Joe DuBois and they have three daughters: Aurora, Fallon, and Sophia. DuBois believes that her daughters share her psychic abilities.
In 2010, Allison made an appearance in The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in which she had a confrontation with Kyle Richards and insisted that Richards would "never be emotionally fulfilled" by her husband.
DuBois is the author of four books dealing with mediumship.
- DuBois, Allison (2005). Don't Kiss Them Good-bye. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-8228-4. OCLC 58051272.
- —— (2006). We Are Their Heaven: Why the Dead Never Leave Us. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-9113-2. OCLC 67767350.
- —— (2007). Secrets of the Monarch: How the Dead Can Teach Us About Living a Better Life. New York: Fireside Books. ISBN 978-0-7432-9114-9. OCLC 137222773.
- —— (2011). Talk To Me—What the Dead Whisper in Your Ear. Phoenix, Arizona: STTT, Inc. ISBN 978-0-9761535-1-1. OCLC 742361932.
- Irwin, Megan There's no good proof the real Medium, Allison DuBois, has ever cracked a case, but her fans don't care June 10, 2008 Phoenix New Times
- Irwin, Megan There's no good proof the real Medium, Allison DuBois, has ever cracked a case, but her fans don't care June 10, 2008 Phoenix New Times Page 3: Though she attended both North High School in Phoenix and Corona del Sol in Tempe, she graduated from neither. Instead, she dropped out and got her GED at 16.
- "Allison DuBois Medium -The Real Allison DuBois". Phoenix.about.com. January 24, 1972. Retrieved 2013-07-02.
- Patricia Arquette channels real-life psychic Allison Dubois—and the dead—in NBC's Medium
- "Is Medium's Psychic the Real Deal?", TV Guide
- Editorial Commentary Internet Archive, Retrieved February 9, 2007
- Huddleston, Kathie (May 20, 2009). "CBS schedule: Medium lives, Ghost Whisperer gets season 5". SciFi. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
- Newsletter of the JREF January 21, 2005
- Commentary of the JREF March 30, 2001
- Richard Wiseman and Ciaran O'Keeffe. "A Critique of Schwartz et al.'s After-Death Communication Studies". Csicop.org. Retrieved 2013-07-02.
- "A Reply to Randi, by Dr Gary Schwartz", Daily Grail, April 15, 2005
- Commentary of the JREF April 8, 2005
- "Calling All Psychics: Prove Your Worth for $1 Million". TIME. August 24, 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-10.
- "Psychics Challenged, Offered $1 Million to Prove Powers". ABC News. August 27, 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-10.
- Van, Clint (August 17, 2005). "Shoe leather, not sixth sense, breaks cases open". MSNBC. Retrieved 2013-07-02.
- Irwin, Megan. "There's no good proof the real Medium, Allison DuBois, has ever cracked a case, but her fans don't care", Phoenix New Times, June 12, 2008
- Benavidez, Morgan (Nov–Dec 2009). "The Real 'Medium' – Allison DuBois". Phoenix Woman. Archived from the original on November 5, 2010. Retrieved December 19, 2010.
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