Talk:Chip Coffey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Biography (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Biography, a collaborative effort to create, develop and organize Wikipedia's articles about people. All interested editors are invited to join the project and contribute to the discussion. For instructions on how to use this banner, please refer to the documentation.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.

WikiProject Paranormal (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article falls under the scope of WikiProject Paranormal, which aims to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to the paranormal and related topics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, you can edit the attached article, help with current tasks, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and discussions.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.

Coding has been fixed and also a second source added, along with links to pertinent material. The delete message also contains the "keep" line so I am not sure if it is relevant any longer.Siinda (talk) 14:02, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Can the opening be changed to something along the lines of "Coffey has been described as a psychic" or "Coffey describes himself as a psychic"? I might claim to tame unicorns, but that doesn't make me a unicorn tamer. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:29, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. I changed it to reflect this.-- (talk) 17:26, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
For WP:BLP purposes, it is better to use descriptors used by the general media rather than going with "alleged" or other descriptors.—Ryūlóng (竜龙) 19:28, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Keeping Chip Coffey[edit]

If this article is still taking votes on keep or stay. I vote stay. Chip Coffey is well known in the skeptic universe. His Frank's Box is notorious in the pseudoscience world, and his name generates many anti-blogs against him. With this much attention he deserves his own page as (at least in the skeptic and paranormal world) he is noteworthy. And people searching the Internet for his name deserve to find out who he is. I don't have time to work on the page at the moment but if this is deleted (I won't cry any tears) then in the future I can see another one needing to be made. Sgerbic (talk) 00:46, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

MERGE-after some consideration (and realization that he is not the Frank Box guy) I support a merger with the Psychic Kids page. Sgerbic (talk) 23:23, 8 September 2011 (UTC)


Reap I undid the changes you just made to the page. Mainly because they were not formatted correctly. Before you hit save, you should hit "preview" so you can see if the changes your making are done correctly. We were all new once, so maybe try leaving the citations here on the talk page and we can add them if relevant to the page. You can then look at the "edit" page again and the text we used to make the citations correct. That's how I learned, carefully look at other edits. Copy and paste. Welcome, this page needs a Ton of work.Sgerbic (talk) 02:37, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

We certainly cannot be posting accusations of child abuse sourced to blogs and message boards. That's a huge violation of WP:BLP. Dreadstar 11:38, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

Planning update - looking for reliable sources positive towards Chip Coffey[edit]

Hi all. I'm planning to do a bit of a literature search and expand this page. The trouble is I'm coming up with a lot of coverage in reliable sources that's rather suspicious/negative toward Chip Coffey. If that's what the majority say, then so be it, we can report what they say, but as a WP:BLP Biography article, I'd like to ensure it has due balance, while relying on WP:RS Reliable Sources to source the most salient facts and opinions. So, if you know of any suitably reliable sources that say nice things about Coffey, please share them on this talk page. I intend to add some new information about TV and movie roles/appearances as well. Dynamicimanyd (talk) 16:14, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Didn't give Coffey a Pigasus Award? Wasn't Coffey the focus of something called "Operation Bumblebee"? Not sure why that stuff isn't being covered by our article, but if you're looking for a sympathetic source, try Huffington Post, known to pursue readership with often credulous treatment of fringe ideas, yet considered reliable. - LuckyLouie (talk) 16:42, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, I was aware of Operation Bumblebee, and quite a few other things but not the Pigasus Award. The HuffPo one was about the only sympathetic source I found, so I'll try to reflect it, but without undue weight. Dynamicimanyd (talk) 18:54, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
I'd be happy for anyone to look over my draft,[1] expanding this article, which I'd hope to merge into the article later today. Dynamicimanyd (talk) 12:47, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Looks OK to me. One thing: the skeptic blog and the Coffey blog are iffy sources, but as they are now, they might be justified as a rough WP:PARITY. You want to avoid tit-for-tat coverage, e.g. "skeptics blogged A, psychic replied in his blog B, skeptics wrote in their blog C, psychic replied in his blog D", etc. - LuckyLouie (talk) 16:29, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

It's biased and WP:UNDUE, you merge and I'll revert immediately. Dreadstar 16:44, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

Maybe you can be specific about what parts are biased and undue. - LuckyLouie (talk) 17:12, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Maybe the proposing editor can bring his proposed edits to the article to this talk page for discussion, so we can go over them one at a time. Dreadstar 17:28, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
That sounds reasonable and a useful exercise in interpreting BLP rules for us all, especially where news sources are limited. I'll bring up a section at a time. Dynamicimanyd (talk) 22:00, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
OK, all proposed sections are now included below, in order, each indented, where we can comment on each individually. All the references from the proposed version of the article are now shown at the bottom of the Talk Page. Dynamicimanyd (talk) 22:44, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

Proposed changes: Lead Section[edit]

My last edit to my own Sandbox version before it was deleted includes the following Lead Section (double-indented). I would welcome discussion (with reasons) of whether this fits with WP:BLP. As the new content compared to the current page relies on the new section I proposed called Criticism, I follow with the contents of that, where I'd welcome comments too. Also, for discussion here: Is there any value in trying to obtain sources to elevate this page from a stub to a smallish article?

Revised LEAD SECTION proposal:
Chip Coffey is an American self-proclaimed psychic from Elmira, New York, currently living in Atlanta, Georgia.[1] He has appeared as a medium on various paranormal television programs, primarily Paranormal State and Psychic Kids. On Psychic Kids he acted as a mentor towards children who claimed to have psychic abilities, primarily seeing ghosts. He has been the subject of criticism by skeptics, including three who obtained false readings from the spirits of fictitious loved ones in 2014, and he has won a tongue-in-cheek Pigasus Award in 2009.

Only the last sentence differs from the current page. Please provide any comments specific to the Lead Section below this line or if more relevant to other proposed new sections, include them there. Dynamicimanyd (talk) 22:26, 2 March 2015 (UTC)



Dreadstar 00:07, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for responding.
The 'self-proclaimed' is in the current live article, so that should probably be removed straight away. I think I saw that same discussion going on in another article's talk page, and was a little surprised it was still here, but couldn't remember where I'd seen it discussed, so hadn't wanted to change it myself without knowing which policy or similar to cite. I should probably have found a way to highlight only what I'd changed more clearly.
Re the WP:UNDUE parts, do you think we should simply say "He has been the subject of criticism by skeptics" or omit that from the Lead entirely? I'm tempted to keep it, if it's notable/reliably-sourced enough to feature in the article, but I'd appreciate opinions from those more versed in interpreting policy.Dynamicimanyd (talk) 12:36, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, best to remove the self-proclaimed part. Leaving a general statement in the lede such as you describe, "He has been the subject of criticism by skeptics" is fine too, any details belong in the body of the article. Dreadstar 18:22, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Proposed changes: History[edit]

I propose adding sourced material at the end of the History section, leaving the section as follows:

HISTORY (proposed version)
According to Coffey, when he was a child, he would tell his parents when the phone was about to ring and who was calling; referring to his ability to read the past, present and future as a "God given talent"[1] He said that his family was very accepting of his abilities and had a history of paranormal experience.[2] Coffey said that when he reached adulthood, he began to see full-body apparitions. He also defines what he feels is the difference between a ghost and a spirit is that "the latter has completed the journey between the world of the living and the world of the dead. Ghosts, on the other hand, are souls that, for whatever reason, have chosen to stick around. They may not know they're dead, or they may fear judgment on the other side."[3] He had worked as an actor and a travel agent then became a full-time medium in 2001 when he says that a co-worker's dead brother had spoken to him.[4]

Please comment on this section only, below. Dynamicimanyd (talk) 22:30, 2 March 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ "'God-given talent' is channeled in mysterious ways". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 25 Nov 2004. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  2. ^ Ollivier, Debra (5 April 2012). "Chip Coffey On "Growing Up Psychic"". Huff/Post50 (Huffington Post). Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Vesely, Carolin (8 May 2010). "Rare Medium Psychic Chip Coffey can communicate with the dead, but he has a degree of skepticism about paranormal activity". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  4. ^ Vesely, Carolin (19 September 2011). "Ghost magnet maintains ‘healthy skepticism’ on the job". Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION. Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 


This seems to be fine. Although it would be best if you highlighted your proposed changes. Dreadstar 00:09, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Thank you for looking it over Dynamicimanyd (talk) 12:37, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Proposed new section: Pet rescue and adoption group[edit]

This is a proposed New Section as part of my suggested rewrite:

Pet rescue and adoption group
With at least five rescue animals among his pets, Coffey has supported Georgia-based charity Angels Among Us Pet Rescue by hosting animal adoption web pages highlighting animals in need of adoption until around 2010.[1]

Please comment on this section below. Dynamicimanyd (talk) 22:33, 2 March 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ Mitchell, E. (7 January 2011). "Chip Coffey's Canine Connection". Seattle PI Blogs. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 


Seems fine. Dreadstar 00:10, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for your comment. I had been a little concerned it was a single news source and appeared to be old news and of minor relevance to the subject. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dynamicimanyd (talkcontribs) 12:40, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Proposed new section: Television and film appearances and autobiography[edit]

This is a proposed new section:

Television and film appearances and autobiography
Coffey joined the cast of The Night Visitor 2: Heather's Story in 2014 to play the character of Daniel, a psychic and medium.Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page).

Moore, Debi (13 February 2014). "Casting News and an Update on The Night Visitor 2: Heather’s Story". Dread Central. Retrieved 1 March 2015. </ref> He appeared in 31 episodes of Paranormal State and three seasons of Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal.[1] His autobiographical book, Growing Up Psychic, was published in 2012.[2]

Please leave comments on this section below. Dynamicimanyd (talk) 22:35, 2 March 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference dreadcentral was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference huffpost50 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).


Seems ok, but please format your references in a consistent manner. Dreadstar 00:11, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Proposed new section: Criticism[edit]

This proposed new section has two sub-sections.

===Pigasus Award===
Coffey was awarded a Pigasus Award "For the psychic who tricked the most people with the least effort" in 2009 by the James Randi Education Foundation[1][2]
===Operation Bumblebee===
At his San Jose, California, show in September 2014, Coffey was the first subject of Operation Bumblebee, described as a skeptical sting operation, which later also tested another medium giving telephone readings. The operation, in part, included a carefully-designed double-blind experiment that would have produced strong evidence of hot reading if it had been employed by either psychic tested.[3] While Coffey provided readings to three of the skeptics present, including the operation's leader Susan Gerbic, claiming to communicate with spirits of people who were fictitious or who were still alive, he made no mention of the planted false information, indicating that he did not use hot reading, though not ruling out cold reading. He did not appear to be able to detect that the three purported spirits were of non-existent or living people, and he claimed to be receiving communication from them. This was said to cast doubt on his claims of psychic ability.
In his own blog, responding in February 2015, he asserted that he knew all along, thanks to his team, that the three were skeptical infiltrators and that he deliberately gave them "precisely what they paid for: fake readings!" He did not say why he did not expose their fake stories or deceit at the time.[4] His response did not mention that he met them all very cordially and posed with each of them for smiling photographs after giving these false readings, again without referring to their identities or the falsehood of their readings.[5][6] He also made no mention of the skeptics present at his show two days previously in Los Angeles, for whom he did not provide readings.[6]

Please comment on this section below. Dynamicimanyd (talk) 22:40, 2 March 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ JREF. "The 2009 Pigasus Awards". James Randi Educational Foundation. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  2. ^ Randi, James. "James Randi Speaks Pigasus Awards 2009". YouTube. JREF. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Gerbic, Susan (February 5, 2015). "Operation Bumblebee". Skeptical Inquirer. 
  4. ^ Coffey, Chip. "Who REALLY Got “Stung”?". Archived from the original on 2015-02-21. 
  5. ^ Helms, Sheldon. "Operation Bumblebee stings psychic medium Chip Coffey". JREF Swift Blogs. James Randi Educational Foundation. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Gerbic, Susan. "Operation Bumblebee". Monterey County Skeptics Blog. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 


A section on the Pigasus award? You must be kidding me. As for Bumblebee, it appears to be sourced on a self-published blog, find reliable second or third party sources instead. This is a WP:BLP, source it per that policy. Dreadstar 00:13, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Best to fold Pigasus into the "Criticism" section (I assume there will be one in this article). Here's some reliable sources to use for Bumblebee: [2] [3]. Also, some additional critique of Coffey can be reliably sourced to Joe Nickell. - LuckyLouie (talk) 01:09, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm a bit concerned that a self-published commentary by User:Sgerbic, who has shown an interest in this article for several years would be allowed such freedom to be a reliable source on Wikipedia for this subject. Dreadstar 01:21, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
I wasn't sure how best to separate the Pigasus and Operation Bumblebee things, so tried the sub-headings, but perhaps they're too bold. Let's go with separate paragraphs then.
Re Operation Bumblebee, the principal source was Skeptical Inquirer, which I believe is WP:RS and subject to editorial overview etc., albeit that Susan Gerbic was the author. Susan Gerbic and Sheldon Helms' blogs are very much in accord, but with fewer details of the hot-reading test and more general details plus more photos including one of Coffey and Gerbic which doesn't appear entirely consistent with his claim that he knew she was a skeptic on the night. It's principally the photos of these skeptics with Coffey that I was citing their blogs for, plus the Los Angeles show two days previously. All the rest seems to be in Skeptical Inquirer. I find it all interesting, but would appreciate a dispassionate view of what should be in the Article and what level of sourcing is required. My intentions in my citing various sources shouldn't distract from deciding what it right according to Wikipedia policies, of course.
Thanks again, for the comments. Dynamicimanyd (talk) 13:02, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
Dynamicimanyd, on review, your draft Criticism section was a bit wordy and depended too much on blogs as sources. I've added a more concise and copyedited version of a Criticism section to the article, along with a short sentence in the lead that summarizes what's contained in the body of the article, per WP:LEAD. - LuckyLouie (talk) 15:16, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for finding the additional sources and inserting that section. Sticking to these WP:RS seems to reduce the risk of giving WP:UNDUE weight to Coffey's response, which is just a personal blog, or to the blogs or Gerbic and Helms on the other side of the argument. Dynamicimanyd (talk) 15:37, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
No problem. I would hold off on inserting a photo of Coffey/Gerbic at this time. It might be appropriate if at some future date the Bumblebee story is picked up and commented on by multiple news outlets (for example), but right now it would be pushing the WP:UNDUE envelope. - LuckyLouie (talk) 15:47, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
Agree with LL. You might want to read over Wikipedia:Criticism#.22Criticism.22_section, it has some helpful advice. Dreadstar 18:25, 6 March 2015 (UTC)