Explanation of Results
Anita failed the preliminary demonstration, in which she had agreed 100% accuracy was required. Anita indicated the correct (i.e. missing) kidney in only one of the three trials, trial #2. This was well below the threshold for success and, statistically speaking, insignificant. One out of four people off the street, or any random generation of guesses, could do about as well. (Incidentally, a straw poll conducted by 11 observers watching the streaming video or sitting in the Steve Allen Theater bears this out. In two out of three trials one of the 11 observers picked the actual target kidney. In two out of three trials one of the observers picked the person missing the kidney but guessed wrong about the side.)
It's important to emphasize, again, what Anita was not doing. She was not sensing reduced kidney function; she was not reading auras or minds or communicating with spirit guides. She was strictly looking for missing kidneys in three trials. Out of 12 potential kidneys per trial. She located only one.
It so happens that in trial #3 the person she thought was missing a kidney was, in fact, missing a kidney – just not the correct one. Isn't that still remarkable? Not really. Let's say, for the sake of argument, the demonstration WAS about picking entire people and not individual kidneys and Anita had correctly chosen two out of three. What are the odds of that? 1 in 13.5. Well within the realm of chance and certainly not significant in the context of the protocol as administered.
If I fail the test I will be proud to announce that the claim of medical perceptions through extrasensory perception is falsified. (November 2009)
In the aftermath of the demonstration, Anita has backtracked from the above pledge. She admits to having failed the preliminary demonstration but believes that something extraordinary was going on anyway.
In one of the more creative attempts to spin a failed paranormal test into a success, Anita insisted that she was "right about being wrong" on two out of three trials and that this is remarkable unto itself. In her own words:
When I know I'm right, I'm right, and when I know I'm wrong, I'm wrong. I knew that my answers for trial 1 and 3 were incorrect and that my answer in trial 2 was correct, at all times, and well before the results were in. I shared this with IIG members and stated it very clearly and unambiguously. I do not recall a single experience where I would have been certain of a health perception and it would have been incorrect. The way the IIG Preliminary went, further confirms that when I am confident in a perception, it has high if not perfect accuracy, and when I am about to be incorrect, I already knew that beforehand. This means that I still have something to investigate. If I had a single experience of a highly compelling health perception, that I "know" to be accurate, only to find out that it is inaccurate, that would put the claim to rest once and for all.
Anita attributed her miss on trial #3 to the fact that she was fatigued and had to guess on that one. Why, after saying she'd rather pass then guess, did she guess, especially after her assertion before the test that in cases where she was unsure about the location of the missing kidney she would simply pass rather than guess? As for fatigue, if she hadn't taken all 27 minutes to make a selection in trial #2 – the trial she now says she was confident about "well before the results were in" – she might have had a little more energy for trial #3. Also, she'd agreed to the length of each trial before the test began.
For the record, Jim Underdown asked Anita before every trial if she was feeling good and she answered in the affirmative each time. She was also urged the night before and again the morning of the demonstration to bring any food she might require during the course of the trials. (The IIG did not want to be accused of providing food that impaired her performance.) Despite our suggestions, Anita arrived without food, asked for none after her arrival, and ingested only water during the entire demonstration, the verification process and the post-demonstration Q&A session.
In light of revelations that came out after the demonstration, this failure to eat anything has an ironic twist to it. In 2002, Anita Ikonen, going by the name Alenera, toured Poland espousing Breatharianism – a bizarre belief that maintains it is possible to survive without eating for weeks, months, even years. As silly as it sounds, people have actually died attempting to follow the lunatic Breatharian lifestyle. Since being outed Anita refuses to distance herself from Breatharianism and maintains the following website:
Anita further claimed that her poor performance might be a result of a hitherto unnoticed idiosyncrasy that, despite years of experience and weeks to prepare and practice, she only discovered during the IIG demonstration: the denser a person is, she claims, the harder it is to see inside his or her body. This is why she claims she could not locate the missing kidney in subject 12, who was a heavy man. She even jotted this down on her scratch sheet. However, if there was a kidney missing in any one of the other people (as there was in subject 11) it was simple enough to deduce that subject 12 was NOT the target.
In May of 2010, the post-diction increased in intensity. Encouraged by pundits (on both sides of the aisle) who did not carefully read the protocol and were otherwise misinformed about the rules, statistics and procedures – Anita simply started lying about the claim she presented to the IIG in 2009:
Also the process by which I find missing kidneys starts by finding the sense of imbalance in a person, and to then narrow down to which side the imbalance is felt. It is a two-part process, whether you like it or not. (May 2010)
Never in her dozens of extremely detailed descriptions of her ability to see into the human body has Anita referred to experiencing anything but a direct, immediate vision. This two-step process to sense imbalance she refers to now is a post-facto fabrication that, while changing nothing in terms of her performance, provides a telling glimpse into Anita's mind, motives and modus operandi.
The claim will be falsified when I state that I have made a compelling medical perception of something either being there or not being there and I state confidence in that this perception represents the very best of what my claim tries to do, only to find that this perception is inaccurate. And that is when the claim can be falsified. And that has not happened yet.
And, we might add, will never happen because Anita will find a way to make sure it doesn't.