CNN duped by ‘facilitated communication’

Many years ago, so-called “Facilitated Communication” was thoroughly debunked. The idea was that those unable to communicate such as those in a vegetative state or low functioning autistics could do so with the aid of a specially trained facilitator holding their hands and guiding them to a keyboard. All of sudden it seemed like a miracle as those without a voice were suddenly seemed capable of not only communicating but doing so with incredibly sophisticated speech…and using words they never learned. And for a while people bought into all this. In fact, parents were even thrown in jail for child abuse based on the alleged testimonies of the uncommunicative children via a facilitated communicator. Of course, once skeptics started asking questions and the miraculous power of facilitated communication seemed to completely vanish whenever the facilitator was blindfolded, not privy to information only told to the child in private, or you know, didn’t speak the same language as the patient, the jig was up.

It’s not necessarily that the facilitators were deliberate hoaxers. It’s more likely that they were suckered in by the same ideomotor effect seen in dowsing and Quiji board operators. They may very well have been fooling themselves. But that was way back in the 1990’s and as far as I’m concerned, whose who are still passing off facilitated communication as a legitimate practice are either deliberate charlatans or simply have no excuse to still believe this nonsense.

What’s really embarrassing is that CNN was duped by such an obvious delusion. This video clearly shows the facilitator doing more than a little guiding of the Belgian patient’s hand and half the time the patient’s eyes aren’t even open enough to see the keyboard, leaving me to conclude that he’s either strong with The Force or he’s just a six-foot-tall paper weight with no motor function at all.

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