mandag, april 28, 2008

Jeane Dixon & the Jeane Dixon effect

Jeane Dixon (1918-1997) was an astrologer and alleged psychic who did not predict the assassination of President Kennedy. Her reputation for having done so began when it was recalled after the assassination that the following had appeared in Parade magazine in 1956: "As for the 1960 election Mrs. Dixon thinks it will bedominated by labor and won by a Democrat. But he will be assassinated or die in office though not necessarily in his first term." Sounds good (except for the part about the election being dominated by labor), even if broad enough to be shoehorned to a variety of possible events.

The president, whose name is never mentioned, could be assassinated in his first or his second term. He could die during his first or second term. [He could have had] a serious illness during either his first or second term (Hines 2003: 71).

Unfortunately for the nation, the odds against Mrs. Dixon's prophecy's being fulfilled were not too great--7 to 3, based on twentieth-century experience (Christopher 1970: 81).

Any assassination attempts in either his first or second term might well have been seen as hits. But it is not that she didn't name Kennedy and didn't say for sure that he would be assassinated that I say she didn't predict the assassination. She later admitted that “During the 1960 election, I saw Richard Nixon as the winner.”* Worse than that, in 1960, apparently forgetting or overriding her earlier prediction, she predicted unequivocally that "John F. Kennedy would fail to win the presidency" (Hines 2003: 71; Tyler 1977). This is called hedging your bets in some quarters. The fact that after Kennedy was elected she had premonitions and saw dark clouds over Kennedy and many others is not very impressive. Her forte was war and peace, death and life. She saw the worst and promised the best. She had the formula down.