Monday, 29 October 2007

Tony Stockwell - review

An Evening with Tony Stockwell – By Marcucas

Saturday October 13th 2007 – Peterborough Broadway Theatre

Well what do you do when your Mum wants to go out on a Saturday night? Not on the town though, as I for one couldn't keep up with the younger people, so I decided maybe a trip to the theatre was in mind. Now the tough choice was to choose an acceptable act for us both to enjoy, so when a few weeks before she excitedly informed me that there was a new programme she liked on the T.V I thought I'd watch as well.

The programme in question was Physic Private Eyes and as i watched these three mediums proceed to supposedly help solve some grizzly crimes I thought 'why not'. And the rest is how you say history; well, it was once I saw one of its stars was due at the local theatre in three weeks.

As I sat in the theatre awaiting the arrival of Tony Stockwell - and struggling with the lack of space for my legs - I was eagerly hoping it wouldn't disappoint my Mum who usually has a good winge if she's unimpressed. Ten minutes late, and with a few empty seats behind us to stick the early boot in, lo and behold, Tony finally arrives on stage to rapturous applause from the audience.

Tony strolls out onto the stage and, once he has acknowledged the greeting from the audience, begins by advertising his three books which were being sold by the main entrance. Personally I found this to be a little crude especially as it was the first thing he said, but when he ended by saying 'Please buy my book' (which was met with moderate laughter) I found it to be a mild form of begging.

He then went into explaining how the spirits work within the building and that sometimes. if the building itself has a previous history, it might not be easy to pick up the spirits. Especially if it was, say, an abattoir before, which was met with mild laughter.

He also explained that the audience itself helps to pick up spirits through their energy, and that if we were hostile it could prevent some coming through at all. He then asked that we create a good atmosphere by introducing ourselves to the people in front, behind and next to us.

This introduction went on for ten minutes and I found myself wondering whether he ever would get going. He was polite and very charming, which to be honest I expected. He went from saying 'the camera added ten pounds' to him, to all of a sudden, in mid-sentence, he began his readings, which shocked me into attention.

The first reading was someone coming through for his son or grandson in the audience. He was called 'Albert' and had served in the Infantry during the war. He was so vague that he didn't even mention which war. He then said the person in the audience had received his medals after his passing and that he had died from a heart attack at the age of 78. Several people put their hands up and when all but one was eliminated we were left with Mark. Tony then proceeded to rattle off with accuracy the names of Marks mother and wife with relative ease and his message was that his dad sent his love and thanks for his support during the latter years. Now this was either a plant or I was beginning to have faith in our host for the night.

The second reading was a 23 year old boy trying to get hold of his mum called 'Raynor' or 'Raine' who was in the audience. Then he asked if there were any takers. This was followed by an awkward silence as no one was claiming this person. Tony then decided to state this person had died through a tragic accident, still no takers. Just before he moved on, a woman who had just arrived shot her hand up. Her name was Gaynor and she revealed her son had passed when 23. Again apart from the name I was impressed. Tony then said her son was found dead on the landing, which she confirmed. He then replied that he wishes he had listened to her and stopped hanging around with the wrong crowd.

Two down and although they had been vague, they had been good. But like all good fairy tales it had to come to an end. The next person to come through was 'Julie' who Tony said had passed as a teenager. She was claimed by a neighbour, and Tony proceeded to tell her she had passed near call girls. Her neighbour denied this and to cover himself he said that the ambulance must have driven by that area then. But again the neighbour was adamant that this was not the case. In order to divert himself away he then decided to go back to being vague and proceeded to rattle off what is usually said by someone younger than the person in the reading by saying she was a mother figure and that she looks out for her.

The next three readings all followed the same pattern. State a thing, then when this is denied he moves on. Once he even did a 'Derek Acorah/Colin Fry' on them, by saying they must ask others when they leave. That led to the interval, and I for one was glad due to the cramp that was developing in my legs.

I then asked my mum for her opinion on the first half. She shocked me by saying she was seriously unimpressed and that he was too vague with his suggestions, and hadn't been terribly accurate. This was exactly what I had been thinking but coming from someone who was deeply into this it came as a shock.

The second half got under way and Tony had the spirit of a 19 year old called 'Aaron' who had been stabbed to death as he left a pub. As he looked about he saw there were no takers and then decided to reveal that sometimes someone with no one close to them in the audience often come to sit and watch...

I sadly brought attention to myself by sarcastically laughing out loud at this comment which made it apparent I thought there may be people here taken in by this vague idiot.

The next reading blew me away. A guy who was 'a bit of a loner' as Tony said, came through. He has committed suicide in a wooded area and was 32 at the time. As the hands were whittled down to one he then proceeded to explain his mental condition and feelings around the time which were confirmed with stunning detail, and confirmed his whole life history with the woman in question. (He was a friend of her son) Then before he went he stated that her dad 'Tony' had barged in and wanted to speak to her. Then again with stunning accuracy he rattled off her family tree in the spirit world and passed messages to people with her in accurate detail. I was astonished, and after the reading those around me decided to turn to me and give me the 'Hah! Told you he was good' look followed by a dirty look for doubting.

Unfortunately for Tony and his Stockwellettes around me, the last five readings were all mundane and inaccurate and sensing he had lost the audience when the last person (a 6 year old girl) wasn't claimed he decided to end it there. But revenge was sweet as I bellowed out a massive sarcastic laugh, this time for even the man himself to hear (and I was at the top tier!)

So when asking for a review from my mum, she replied that he was too vague and too self-obsessed, referring to the constant ear-pulling in awkward situations. I for one found it funny when her highlights of the evening was a two-finger salute on the camera from an old age pensioner before the show and the loud sarcastic laugh from yours truly.

I myself found his inaccuracies out-weighed the good, but unlike Colin Fry and Derek Acorah, his readings revealed more people coming through. Which sadly leads to us being showed his ineptness and incompetence more often than the other mediums. What got me was his five-minute discussion on why he sometimes gets misleading information due to the energy being disrupted by the building and our unwillingness to accept them. This lead to me thinking he was prepared with his excuses in advance therefore misleading us into thinking it wasn't his fault.

He was charming, and funny to some extent. but as a warning to others – hold on to that money! You can definitely spend it more wisely somewhere else!.

Emma's comment

I'd like to thank Marcucas for his review of Tony Stockwell's performance, which I found very interesting, as I have only seen him on television. As so often happens with these 'mediums' I am amazed that they can give information to some people in, to quote Marcucas, "stunning detail", yet get almost everything else wrong for other readings. Such inconsistency in any other 'profession' would raise eyebrows, and prompt serious scepticism - even suspicion. Yet too many fans are taken in by the multitude of excuses that trip so lightly off the tongue, which is precisely how con men succeed!


judy said...

Well I will notwaste my time on you much someone as rude as you when I read about you seeing Tony Stockwell, I will defend Tony til the day I DIE he is helping people and if you can't see that well stay at home. You mayhave an opinon but not to judge.I don't have to explain myself you'll think i'm begging. Leave Tony alone and you get a life. JUDY

Emma Gee said...

Judy, you are as entitled to your opinion as Marcucas is to his. Thank you for commentind on this item.


Aussies5England0 said...

Hello Judy its Marcucas.

Not i read your comments and to be honest someone so devoted to a person is bound to defend them as venomously as you have done.

May i suggest though that as an open minded person like myself i gave an account of my beliefs and OPINIONS i never judged him i observed him and gave my impressions of the man.

Now as my Mum was as devoted as you were before we went as she loves Psychic Private Eyes and guess what..... now shes gone she dislikes him as she doesnt like how inaccurate and vague he was.

So may i suggest you actually go to watch him and listen to what he's say and tell me how he isnt vague. Believe me some of his readings were brilliant and spot on but like everybody in the world he is not 100% accurate.

If you would like to diuscuss with me further feel free to ask for my email address. I never meant to offend.

May i also add you judged me by telling me to stay at home. If you read the review properly you will see i treated my Mother if i was my choice i wouldnt have gone as the blooming seats give me cramp!

banana girl said...

I have been in spiritulism for my whole 26 years of existance, in this life at least. I recently went to participate in a workshop with Tony Stockwell, If you have ever read the celestine prophacy you'll know what i mean when i say i had a celstine moment....I hadn't even realised he was someone off the tele as a lot of these television psycic shows do not portray spiritulism in it's best lite so i don't watch them. I'm more for the purer side of things, i have not yet watched tony work as a medium as in the workshop we were the ones working but he certainly did have a great charisma. He did have a grace of self confidence but it was obvious to see he could have a laugh and take the piss out of himself.

I have watched many mediums work and to get exact names and ages for passing is providing very accurate evidence after all we've all had a gran whose pased in her late 80's right.

When you work with spirit it is a communication thing, it's rare for the spirit to stand in front of you and talk as you and i would most of the time either the spirit or the medium is not used to working with each other and communication issues occur...the information you recieve is so subtle often you'll be shown say a tree, it is only from experience you learn to know what this simbolises...maybe it means they like gardening maybe it means they lived in tree close? the more experienced you become as a medium the more accurate you become.

with regards to his excuses, we are continuosly doubted of our abilties and how ever much we know the truth it is important to doubt ourseleves. it is very true that it is difficult to work when you have a room full of people doubting your abilty as the spirit energy works on a love vibration which is why it's good to get an audience laughing...if you have a person saying no no no all the time it doesn't help either! sometimes people quicly jump to no before they think then afterward realise actually he was right i forgot about uncle bill....spirit don't always come in the way we want them to..they don't always answer the questions we want them to. they give us wht we need at that moment in time...

The whole comment on maybe take that home and think about it stems from the best evidence that can be giving to you...a lot of people who critic meduims say we are reading peoples minds or picking things up from the aura...well give someone evidence they don't know that they have to research and find out is true when you give evidence as a meduim you get different feelings and you know when you've got it right even if the person your communicating with doesn't.

say i say to you check in your mothers draw there is a brooch that aunti mavies left for her in the top draw...somthing you don't know about equals exellent evidence.

Until you have had proof that you no longer doubt there is no much point telling you what is right or wrong.

I'm not going to overly stick up for tony as i have yet to see him work. but from what i read about the evidence he gave seemed pretty good, i once listen to a message a not very good medium gave to a friend of mine, she was a big sceptic and had come along dead set to disprove the faith. after her message i was cringing it seemed vague and i was embarresed. the next day i got a text saying ho humbled she was and sorry she had been mocking me for so long as although the message had seemed vague to me it meant a lot for her and had proved something too her.

so just thought i'd add my two pence worth.

Emma Gee said...

Banana girl, as I said to Judy you are as entitled to your opinion as the author of this item.

However, I do find it very interesting that your friend managed to take something what you considered a vague message. Without knowing actual details, it's difficult to comment any further. said...

Hi there, I read your review with deep interest and in some ways I understand a lot of your concerns.

Like BananaGirl I have been attending Spiritualist Church for a while. You have to understand that Tony Stockwell is not a 'showman', he hasn't had any real showbiz or stage training. Some would say though, that standing on a platform infront of people from the age of 16- trying to give out messages to people from loved ones without offending them, revealing their personal business or upsetting them- is a tough enough job.

I know from experience how tough it is to give someone the information which is coming to you. The information seems clear, and you trust your instinct but when the person say's no no can knock your confidence a little. Even when you know 90% of the time they will walk out the door, have a think and go (as BananaGirl says) Oooh yeah! Oops! Nobody is suggesting that people take messages they don't recognise but taking a few more seconds to think it through doesn't hurt, you have to remember that these people with the mic are also thrust infront of 1000 other people with a dead relatives message (maybe a sensitve subject or passing) coming through. They can sometimes panic and their minds go's happened to me loads of times. So as I say it's extremely hard.

Imagine singing your best and Simon Cowell calling you 'distinctly average!'or hear a 'sarcastic laugh' emanating from behing the camera lights? He is doing your best with what he has after all.

Tony works very closely with the SNU and does a lot of charity and fundraising work off his own back. He really only takes enough to cover his costs and sometimes not even that. He get's paid small amounts from his residential seminars at the AFC which, I've heard, are the most informative and well run they have to offer.

The ticket you bought for that night out with your mum probably only cost what £18-£20? When you factor in what some mediums charge (John Edwards was £60 odd for GLasgow if I remember) take away the touring expenses, venue hire, accomodation for you and your employees...there really isn't much wage left there for someone who does non-stop touring. So I don't grudge him flogging books or CD's to supplement that. Everyone is entitled to make a living after all.

His seminars are exceptionally cheap as well, £120 for a 10 week course (with 3 other peoples wages to pay) is less what some doctors charge for a half hour consultation.

As BananaGirl said, the reason I favour Tony is because he is working for the people, to bring healing and upliftment and spread the word that there is life after death rather than on a purely self promoting commercial basis which is what, sadly, a lot of people think mediumship is about. Being a medium is about working to heal people from the moment you wake up till the moment you sleep whether that be by being a friendly ear to someone on a bus, giving a one to one reading or a platform demonstration for people.

Tony really is an exceptionally good medium and a really lovely lovely man. He had a rough night, it's a tough job as I say and Tony explained himself to you that night how hard it is- yet you still felt the need to laugh out loud, loud enough to be heard-so that your displeasement could be heard by all. That is a shame really and it must have been very jarring for him infront of all those people. I know how I would feel if it was me that is for sure.

It's a shame you and your mum were so unimpressed by some of the night but I am glad that you gave credit where credit is due unlike some people who pass comment on these things.

I hope you have a better experience at some point that his hasn't closed you off to the idea that life is eternal and our loved ones are around us all the time and occasionally like to tell us. Maybe a private reading?

Well done on the review. It was very well written.

Take care, Alanna

Emma Gee said...

Alanna, you say that when your information means nothing to people "you know 90% of the time they will walk out the door, have a think and go (as BananaGirl says) Oooh yeah!"

I'm afraid there is no published scientific study, and therefore no evidence, to support that claim. What does happen is that the individual's memory selects maybe two words or a name, then modifies other pieces of information, enabling links to be made.

First they say "I wonder if he meant such-and-such?", then, after talking about it to someone - a family member sometimes - they decide that the medium definitely meant that, so therefore the medium is genuine.

I've heard from people unshakably convinced that a medium is "spot on" because a friend of theirs was told something "the medium couldn't have known". When you dig a little deeper you find that the 'thing they couldn't have known' was something like 'a grandfather-figure with a moustache, wearing a uniform'.

Unless there is specific information, such as full name, address, date of birth, date of death, etc., it is very easy for the human mind to mould the information to suit its beliefs.

lisa said...

Dear,dear at the end of the day you dont believe so there is no hope in you thinking and/or questioning whether there is life after death.If you were given info such as D.O.B,full name etc,etc by a medium you would only accuse them of wearing a wire or reading up on a person before a reading perhaps anyway?!

At the end of the day it brings comfort and hope to those that are mourning,and if we really knew what happened when we die,there would be mass suicides constantly!some would want to die as they would think whats the point?Or if the tables were turned, would do it with the intention of wanting to go to a better place.

As you have stated,everyone is entitled to there own oppinion-so let them.


Emma Gee said...

How does a scepticism of the claims of some 'mediums' translate into an inability to question, or even believe in, the existence of a life after death?

And how exactly does lying to someone, taking their money by deception, and creating a dependence on the 'medium' bring comfort to someone who is mourning the loss of their loved ones, because that is what some 'mediums' do, even some well-known ones.

Anyone who is in that position would be comforted, and helped to come to terms with their loss far more quickly, by good bereavement counselling.

lisa said...

There is nothing more comforting then knowing your loved ones live on in another place?not all mediums are there to take peoples money,i never ask for a penny for my readings.

When it comes to bereavment councilling the saying goes,what works for some may not work for others and if having a reading helps the process then i really dont see the problem?

Emma Gee said...

Of course you don't see the problem, Lisa! How can you when you're part of 'the business' whether you take money or not?

Forteana said...

Are you sincere in your interest Emma Gee or is your mind made up and you are unable to get beyond your belief system? If you are genuinely interested I would suggest you take some time and do some research. Look at Leonora Piper, examine the "Cross Correspondences", and read David Fontana's excellent book "Is There An Afterlife" which nicely sums up much of the best evidence to date.

Emma Gee said...

I have never ruled out the possibility of a life after death, but given the lack of personal, undisputable, evidence - as opposed to the wealth of anecdotal evidence - I don't find it probable.

Having sat in development circles, and even given 'evidential messages', I am not convinced that the information comes from the dead.

My mission - if that's what you choose to call it - is to expose those obvious frauds that have crossed my path.

Stockwell is not one of them, and as I've made clear many times I have never seen him perform live. The article on which you are commenting was sent to me by someone who has had that experience.