April 25, 2006

John Lennon asks for peace, says pay TV seance

By Sue Zeidler

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Peace ... The Message is Peace."

That's what the producers of a pay-television seance to
contact John Lennon claimed the former Beatle said when
communicating with them from beyond the grave.

The show aired on Monday on pay-TV service In Demand and
was organized by the producers of a failed 2003 attempt to
channel the late Princess Diana's spirit, a show that earned
scathing reviews but was estimated to have grossed close to $8

People who paid $9.95 to watch the pay-per-view Lennon
special from 9 p.m. (0100 GMT) to 10:30 p.m. (0230 GMT) saw
audio crew members, a psychic and an expert in paranormal
activity claim that the late Beatle's spirit made contact with
them through what is described as an Electronic Voice
Phenomenon (EVP).

The EVP was discovered during a taping of a seance at La
Fortuna restaurant in New York, which Lennon frequented.

The show's organizers said psychic Joe Power's voice feed
went dead for a few seconds and the message was found on it
when the tape of the voice feed was played back.

EVP is based on a belief that spirit voices communicate
through radio and TV broadcast signals.

On the television show, filming at La Fortuna suddenly
stopped and a narrator said something odd has happened. Show
participants said that a mysterious voice can be heard on
Power's voice feed.

The producers called in "EVP specialist" Sandra Belanger to
examine the voice and she proclaims it Lennon's.

Producer Paul Sharratt, who heads Starcast Productions and
calls himself a skeptic, said hearing the voice has made him a

The program was made without the knowledge or consent of
Lennon's estate or his widow Yoko Ono, who declined comment.

Ono's long-time friend and spokesman Elliot Mintz has
called the entire exercise "tacky, exploitative and far
removed" from Lennon's way of life. "A pay-per-view seance was
never his style," said Mintz.

Lennon was assassinated by a deranged fan in New York 25
years ago.