Supermarket Tabloids: The Persistence of (Alleged) Vision

by Bob Ladendorf

There is no current known scientific evidence to support the claims that horoscopes are valid. There also is very little evidence, if any, for being able to predict particular events in the future, as well as pronouncing one's lucky numbers.

Not surprisingly, all three of these claims are often featured in the supermarket tabloids. A glance at year-end issues last year (late December to early January 1994) shows that the Weekly World News (WWN) features 1994 predictions, a horoscope and lucky numbers; the Globe has Mystic Meg's 1994 predictions, horoscope and lucky numbers; the Star displays Jeanne Dixon's personal horoscope and another horoscope; and the Sun glows with psychic predictions and lucky numbers.


While unable to check every year-end prediction (and I welcome evidence to the contrary), I found that WWN's 1994 predictions and the Globe's Mystic Meg's 1994 predictions did not foresee the biggest celebrity news story of 1994 - O.J. Simpson's arrest and trial for the murders of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman!

Other predictions made by WWN's Emil Lebec that did not come true include Monaco's declaring of war on the U.S., Saddam Hussein's seeking of political asylum in the U.S., the ousting of Castro from Cuba, and Yeltsin admitting himself into the Betty Ford Clinic! WWN's "Hollywood psychic" Bill Blake also missed with predictions, including a producer's pitch to feature Jeffrey Dahmer in a half-hour cooking show called The Ghoulish Gourmet and Madonna marrying Boy George! Funny that he did not foresee Dahmer being killed in prison in 1994.


Horoscopes are known for their vague language. Consequently, with millions of people in existence, a horoscope prediction is bound to be true for someone at some time. Marilyn Wellman, "astrologer to the rich and famous," in the WWN, Jan. 4-11, 1994, tells me (Aquarius) to "Soak yourself in love in 1994" and "Take time to play!" Are those predictions, or merely advice? Mystic Meg in the Globe, Dec. 28, 1993, tells me that "As the love planet starts a three-week stay in the psychic sectior of your chart, your love moves are amazing." Well, Mystic Meg, I am married, so tell me something I don't know!

Meanwhile, Laurie Bradie in the Star's horoscope, Dec. 28, 1993, must have had more than 250 million Americans smiling on Jan. 2, 1994, with these forecasts. Aries: "The frustrations of 1st are nicely closed up on 2nd." (my emphasis) Taurus: "... love life gets off to roaring start on 2nd." Gemini: "... you settle a family or real estate matter on 2nd." Cancer: "Good news and an educational opportunity surface on 2nd." Leo: "... a lucky financial trend gets underway on 2nd." Virgo: "Past kindnesses pay off on 2nd." Libra: "You discover extra funds on 2nd." Scorpio: "You capitalize on a social situation on 2nd." Sagittarius: "You're in the limelight on 2nd and success is yours during the New Year." Capricorn: "Business contacts and ventures pay off on 2nd." Aquarius: "Financial rewards finally come through on 2nd, thanks to partners, starting 1994 off with a real bang." Pisces: "You and mate get exhilarating news on 2nd and look forward to a very prosperous New Year."

Now, if you believe all these forecasts and predictions, I've got this swamp land in Florida that I'd like sell....

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