Monday, 29 May 2017

The Manchester Bombing: Predicting the Unpredictable

You will all be familiar with the tragic events in Manchester on Mon 22nd May. 22 people died in the worst terror attack my local community has experienced since the IRA bombing in 1996. In 1996, no one lost their lives. In 2017, children, siblings, friends, parents lost those who meant the world to them and others will have their lives affected by the injuries and scenes they encountered that night. The community is grieving but fighting for the love, respect and diversity that makes Manchester the greatest city in the world!

I was in Manchester that night for a meeting that ended up being cancelled so was safely tucked up in bed by 10.30pm. As my train pulled into Piccadilly earlier that evening, I was struck by the feeling that there was going to be a bombing. As I walked through the station I found myself looking at the other commuters more closely. I’m a nervous traveller so these kind of thoughts are not uncommon. After I heard the news that night I dismissed this feeling for what it was: A COINCIDENCE!

The ability to (seemingly) predict the future is a skill that societies and cultures have valued for millennia. Those soothsayers who got it right (or agreed with the actions of those in power) were rewarded and those who got it wrong were dismissed or worse… In these more enlightened times we would like to think we are beyond this. Sadly not. There are still those who claim they can accurately predict future events and that with their help they can be prevented. 

Dr Louis Turi believes he can predict the future via a method called Divine Astrology or Astropsychology (astrology and ESP). Helpfully, this is the method used by Nostradamus. As all good psychics do, he has a backstory involving his grandmother. He claims to have predicted a number of world events such as hurricane Katrina, Columbia shuttle disaster and 9/11. Standard. His prediction for the Manchester bombing, which was included with a number of other statements, seems to have amounted to the following:

         “Ugly face of death drama horror surface”

If you needed further convincing, you can check out his predictions for the TV show Weird or What in January 2012. For the more sceptical among you, you will note there are 6 vaguely worded general statements involving commonly-occurring events (weather, natural events, scientific announcements, explosions in war zones etc.) and a range of dates. Despite this scattergun approach, ‘only’ 4 of the 6 can be linked to real world events. For believers, this is still above chance level. I’ll let you decide.

Rather than Dr Turi’s self-promotion, you can genuinely help those affected by donating to the MEN or Manchester Bee Tattoo Appeal Just Giving pages. Please remember, the small acts of kindness and understanding you show your fellow humans means the terrorists have not won. Love will always win over hate. 

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