Publicist and former local radio personality Elliot Mintz was moved to speak on behalf of his friend and former client John Lennon today, attacking two productions that seem to wallow in the same kinds of morbid fantasies about the singer that motivated his killer to murder him in the first place.
The pay-per-view outfit IN DEMAND has announced plans for a pay-per-view seance to contact Lennon, which will "show psychics travelling to sites of significance to the former Beatle, including the Dakota apartment building and a town in India where he went on a spiritual retreat. The show will culminate as psychics, colleagues and confidantes sit at a seance table for 30 minutes surrounded by infra-red cameras that can capture any 'presence' or spirit that enters the room."
Meanwhile, Peace Arch Entertainment Group is in production on a film called "Chapter 27," which is based on the life of Lennon's deranged murderer, Mark David Chapman, who is to be portrayed by Jared Leto. The film is due to be released next year.
Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, has issued no comment on the seance, so Mintz spoke for himself. From the BBC website:
"John Lennon was an amazing communicator of heart, mind and spirit," Mr Mintz said. "He still speaks to those who choose to listen to his recordings. That was the medium he chose to speak with us."
The programme was "another example of the misuse of John's affirmation of life as opposed to the preoccupation of his death", he said. "The proposed show strikes me as being tasteless, tacky and exploitative."
And from Reuters, this reaction to the Leto film:
"The producers of the film will be granting an assassin's dream. It will also send out a message to other disturbed people that there is a fast track to international fame," said Mintz….
Paul Sharrat, producer of the pay-per-view seance thinks what he's doing is okay because "Lennon was very interested in the spiritual world." The producer of such probing documentaries as "Unlocking Da Vinci's Code," and "The Secret KGB UFO Files," Sharrat had previously produced a lucrative pay-per-view seance to contact Princess Diana — which, alas, failed to find the doomed lady in the ether. But, Sharratt apparently figures, since he can get millions to pay for it, why not try again with John? He said he is "making a serious attempt to do something that many millions of people around the world think is possible."
Students, that last sentence is a good example of bad spin. How hard was it to notice that Sharrat didn't specifically include himself among the "millions?" So if you are a believer in talking to the dead, what Sharrat really did was insult all of you while plotting to take your money.