As many of you know during this year the Northwest became home to the newest affiliate of the Independent Investigations Group (IIG) headquartered in Los Angeles.

Like all IIG affiliates IIG NW works with applicants in designing the test protocol and defining the conditions under which tests will take place. It is from this context that I am delighted to share with you the results of our first operations our visit to BMSE 2013. Body Mind Spirit Expo is a show that wanders our great republic showcasing the talents of individuals who typically charge between $25 to $50 per hour for their varied paranormal services. These include claims of telepathy, clairvoyance, palmistry (including finger whorl reading), and various forms of mystic or “quantum” healing.

Since they were coming to Portland on the 2nd of November, we decided to give them a big PDX welcome and put their claims to the IIG challenge. Ten IIG members assembled just off-site at 10 a.m., each with a mission briefing and researched target. Our objective was to interview the most testable potential claimants and offer the IIG $100,000 prize to any psychic, palmist, or medium prepared to demonstrate their abilities under scientific and controlled conditions.

Each encounter followed the same script


Verification of the nature of their claim: For example, “Are you a genuine psychic?” and, “What is the nature of your abilities?”

The communication: “I am from IIGNW and here is our business card.”

An explanation of who we are and what we do.

The challenge: “Are you interested in demonstrating your abilities so as to have a chance to win the IIG $100,000 prize?”

If they said they would take the challenge, contact information was issued explaining how to carry out the process.


The responses to these questions were noted by the recorder under the following headings:


What did the booth owner say when asked about the reality of their abilities?

Was the booth owner asked if they would like to accept the IIG challenge?

How did the booth owner respond to the invitation from IIGNW?

Please note any other remarks that you feel to be pertinent.

We discovered that the convention center booths cost $500 to rent for the two days of the event! So if you were working a booth with psychic powers and making good money doing so, would you take the IIG challenge for $100,000? Well, our practitioners were a little reticent to give a demonstration of their powers. Here were their resoposes:



Dixie Caris (

Claims to helps people understand the true meaning of their lives via finger prints and other means.

No to challenge. Stated that she was not interested in money.

Gary Champion (

Psychic and Medium

No to challenge. Became angry. Informed IIG member that they did not belong at BMSE.

Kawena Charlot (

Psychic and Clairvoyant

Yes to challenge. Nonetheless, we have not heard from her since. (2/23/14)

Ronelle Coburn (

Fortell people’s “destiny” by their fingerprints.

She said no to the challenge. Stated that her methods were scientific and not paranormal, and therefore lying outside the boundaries of IIG test.

Cherry Divine (


No to challenge. Stated that the purity of what she did would be lessened by taking the challenge.

Dolly Mae (


No to challenge. Stated that she did not need money or to prove her abilities as she had “helped the police” in the past.

Sylvie O’Brien (

Claims to communicate with spirits of people and animals, dead

and alive. Said yes to challenge. Nonetheless, we have not heard from her since. (2/23/14)

Mani Pureheart (

Psychic and Aftershave Salesman!

No to challenge. We were only able to talk to an assistant and did not receive a subsequent response.

Sharon Sampsel (

Psychic and Romance Counselor.

We were unable to ask her questions without booking and paying a fee. We attended her seminar earlier that day, wherein she made wildly inaccurate pronouncements about the private lives of IIG members.

Linda F. Torres (

Tarot Reader

Said No to challenge. Stated that her abilities could not be predictive, repeated, or known.


A few things struck me about these responses. Many practitioners stated they did not care about money or did not want it, so why the credit card machines and the pay-as-you-go business model? If the few who said they would take the challenge were serious, why no contact to date? We have a phone number and email address dedicated to IIGNW business, and have, as yet, had no reply from Kawena or Sylvie. I expect, however, that none of this will come as a surprise to members of the secular/skeptical community. For more information about the individuals listed above, check out their websites -- but do think skeptically (and often) before purchasing anything, even Mani's aftershave.


Will Worthey

(Membership chair in Portland OR and skeptical Librarian

IIG NW is currently working with a remote viewing claimant. More information will be published here as soon as we are able to do so.

Article by Will Worthy | | Published: 7.1.13