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Snippet of Skeptoid: #763 Elvis Sightings and You

Last Played: February 12, 2021
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In a podcast that dives deep into myths and legends and how they pertain to science and psychology, Brian Dunning is here today to talk about Elvis Sightings and what we can learn from them.
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This is why I titled this episode Elvis Sightings and you Elvis sightings have little relevance to the daily lives of intelligent adults in the 21st century. But the reason they have little relevance is important to all of us, including you personally. 10 years ago, you would never have imagined that there would be a community of honest believers in the flat earth. But now we know that's actually a thing. When someone comes to you and offers to prove to you that the Earth is flat with their YouTube video, do you on the principle of questioning everything here them out and listen to their argument? No. And neither should you. A flat earth claim is an Elvis sighting. It's false, no matter what, no matter what some ill informed, gullible person has been led to believe, it is false even before it gets out of bed in the morning. It is false before it pours its coffee, and it will remain false all day long. What you need to avoid is leaving yourself open to a possibility when no such possibility actually exists. And that's exactly the error that many people make. In the case of Elvis Presley ideas have been put out there that Elvis still lives and that his death was some kind of conspiracy or ruse, and if that had actually been true, then in that case it suddenly becomes reasonable to give credence to an Elvis sighting. That's just what happened. A lot of people have put forward such suggestions, but none have had a greater influence on popular culture than two women. Gale, Brewer, Giorgio and Send a Godfrey both had romantic fixations on Elvis that were so extreme they could arguably be described as psychologically unhealthy. The alternate histories that they contrived, published in books and put out into the world, gave license to countless people, many of whom were also women with hopeless Elvis infatuations that he could still be out there in some form. Once that happened, many people became susceptible to this error. We've been talking about treating the impossible as possible. All this began immediately after Elvis's death. Brewer Giorgio wrote a novel called Orion, the Living Superstar of Song. It was about a rock star nakedly copied from Elvis in every detail who couldn't deal with fame and so faked his own death, and thus became free to live a normal life. A psychotherapist might conclude it was Brewer Giorgio's projection of what she wished was true. This led us to an interesting sidebar. Jimmy Ellis was a very talented singer of the day, but in a stroke of bad fortune that amounted to a professional death sentence, it just so happened that his natural speaking and singing voices were absolutely identical. Toe Elvis's brewer Giorgio's book gave Sun Records an idea they signed. Ellis had him where a Lone Ranger style mask and renamed him or Ryan the character in the novel. He was a stroke of cross promotional genius LS and Sun Records benefited from Brewer Giorgio's Elvis story Being in the air and Brewer Georgios book sales benefited from Orion suddenly being riel. Over the years, Brewer Giorgio wrote more books that directly claimed various conspiracy theories that had Elvis still alive somewhere. And she was hired to write and be featured in two television documentaries hosted by Bill Bixby, the Elvis Files 1991 and the Elvis Conspiracy, 1990 two in a depressing Lee graphic demonstration of how effectively this misinformation spread to gullible audiences. A Colin vote following the second documentary revealed that 79% of collars believed Elvis was still alive. It was then, 15 years after his death. The other woman most directly responsible for the Elvis sighting phenomenon was a victim of Brewer Giorgio's Send a Godfrey. She was a born again Christian who struggled to reconcile her religious beliefs with her infatuation with Elvis, but who then found salvation through Brewer Giorgio's books. Godfrey had a sort of psycho religious vision, which she described as a revelation, And in that revelation she learned that Adam, Jesus and Elvis were the Holy Trinity and, moreover, that that Holy Trinity walked the Earth today in The Person of Orion. She wrote it all up in a book that became one of many on the subject published in 1999 The Eve of the Millennium. Apparently, Godfrey was not the only one who suspected Elvis would return as the second coming of Christ. Her book was titled The Elvis Jesus Mystery, the shocking spiritual and scientific evidence that Elvis Presley could be the Messiah anticipated throughout history. It's quite a title. There were other, even crazier books published in 19
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