April 25, 2006
TV Seance: Lennon Asks for…Peace
By Sue Zeidler
LOS ANGELES -- "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 million.
People who paid $9.95 to watch the pay-per-view Lennon special from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 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 proclaimed it Lennon's.
Producer Paul Sharratt, who heads Starcast Productions and calls himself a skeptic, said hearing the voice has made him a believer.
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.