Embarrassing LA Times Scoop: Marilyn Lives!

marilyn-monroe.jpgThe Los Angeles Times’ decline reminds me of what happens when you spill a bag of groceries down a flight of stairs. It keeps going and going, and then when you think it has stopped, another can of tomatoes bounces out.

For many observers, this week’s can of tomatoes is yesterday’s announcement that it will put advertising on its section front pages. For me, it was today’s piece about the rock singer who thinks she was Marilyn Monroe in a past life.

Robert W. Welkos, a long-time reporter for the paper and, among other achievements, co-author of the brave 1990 series exposing Scientology, today sees his byline over a 2,000-word piece about an obscure rock singer in an unknown Canadian rock band called Pandamonia, who has been provided with past-life regression therapy to deal with her belief, beginning at age 11, that she is Marilyn Monroe.

sherrie-and-marilyn.jpgThe Times apparently thought this story was pretty important. It gives Welkos a full page in the Calendar section, illustrated with an enormous glamour-shot of Marilyn along with photos of the singer, Sherrie Lea Laird and her daughter (who, get this, believes she’s Marilyn Monroe’s mother) and the therapist, Dr. Adrian Finkelstein. Finkelstein, who Welkos takes pains to point out is “currently accorded privileges to practice at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center,” is peddling a book about the return of Marilyn entitled Marilyn Monroe Returns! The Healing of a Soul, which is currently ranked #268,228 on Amazon. So, you know, this is news, baby!

(Pandamonia has no CDs for sale on Amazon, and from its own website seems to be a band that plays mostly in Toronto pubs and sells its songs via downloads. Welkos says Pandamonia is playing this week in LA, although the tour dates page on the band’s website doesn’t agree.)

The tone of the piece is completely credulous. Oh, Welkos does allow as to how “neither the American Psychiatric Association nor the American Psychological Association have taken an official position on past life regression therapy.” But when Finkelstein and Laird say that Laird “had never done the kind of research that might explain the persistent familiarity she felt for Marilyn,” Welkos does not question this assertion.

Welkos, and the Times’, only test of Laird’s trustworthiness is that she is not being paid by Finkelstein to promote his book — even though she is doing a press conference Friday to promote the book, which presumably will give this would-be rock star more visibility. Oh, and that Laird’s “fellow band members were concerned about her coming forward at this time for fear that it would hurt the group’s credibility.” Gee, if Pandamonia’s members decide to give up music, maybe they could become editors for the LA Times.

Certainly, Times readers would benefit from a past-life regression from Robert W. Welkos — from the reporter he is today to the reporter who, with Joel Sappell, demolished Scientology 16 years ago. That Welkos would have had some good questions for Dr. Finkelstein, such as: How much money did Ms. Laird pay you for this “therapy?” What about your website? How much money do you make selling “memberships?” How much do your DVDs, tapes, CDs and books bring in? The site looks like a giant come-on, doctor; care to comment?

Look, like the American Psychiatric Association, I’m not taking a position on reincarnation, which is a religious belief. Nor am I saying that past-life regression is bunk, because I don’t know enough about it. My questions are simply logical ones. Like, how is it that of the billions of dead souls out there, most of the past-lives stories center around dead celebrities like Marilyn Monroe?

Hundreds of books have been written about the tragic actress. Practically everyone who knew her has written a memoir about her. They’ve multiplied since evidence began to emerge that she had affairs with John F. and Robert F. Kennedy. I’ve run across many TV documentaries about her life, her death, conspiracy theory about whether she was murdered. I don’t consider myself a hugely obsessed Marilyn Monroe fan, but just through pop-culture osmosis, I could probably recite 100 facts about her life. But the LA Times wants us to buy this?

After treating hundreds of patients with regression therapy, Finkelstein, who runs the Malibu Wholistic Health Center, came away convinced that Laird wasn’t lying and wasn’t psychotic.

Indeed, he noted, she was able to answer — under hypnosis — hundreds of carefully researched questions about Monroe’s life. He noted that some of her answers could have been known only by the real Monroe, such as being able to identify the actress’ maternal aunts in a family photograph.

The psychiatrist also pointed out similarities that he said existed between the two women’s facial features, hands, feet, voice patterns and handwriting. Finkelstein stressed that Laird was not a poser who wanted to embody Monroe but was someone struggling to reconcile years of pain and disturbing memories: “She didn’t want to be Marilyn Monroe, period. She wanted to be herself, unlike so many pretenders, beautiful girls who stepped forward and wanted to be her.”

Ah yes. The old “statements against interest” form of evidence. If you say you’re Marilyn Monroe, but you don’t want to be Marilyn Monroe, then you really must be Marilyn Monroe. Welkos also applies empirical proof to her claims:

Connected at birth?

LAIRD was born 11 months after Monroe’s death. But Laird said she doesn’t believe that contradicts her reincarnation theory. Laird said her mother suffered a miscarriage and two months later became pregnant. “The same baby was me,” Laird said. “She lost me, but I came back.”

Finkelstein came to another startling conclusion that may be harder to swallow, for some, than Sherrie Laird being Marilyn Monroe.

He believes her daughter, Kezia, is the reincarnation of Gladys Baker, Monroe’s mother.

He noted that Kezia was conceived within days of Baker’s death in 1984.

“It seems that immediately upon her death, Gladys made a ‘reservation’ to be born to Sherrie,” Finkelstein writes in his book.

“That’s his biggest gift for me,” Laird said in an interview. “[Kezia is] Gladys…. You actually do get a chance to work things out with loved ones.”

Surely Welkos, with his months of research into Scientology’s greedy practices, knows what the effect of this article will be. He is going to drive hundreds of new customers into Finkelstein’s lucrative online bazaar. Not only will the good doctor sell more books, he will sell more of everything he hawks on his site. Next we’ll be hearing about the poor victims who never wanted to be reincarnated as JFK, RFK, Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix and Judy Garland. People will pay millions to hear their sad stories of the uncontrollable thoughts about the Bay of Pigs, Viva Las Vegas, and playing guitar with your teeth.

And, perhaps 20 years from now, the reincarnation of Otis Chandler. He already walks among us! He’d just be a baby now, but in a few years he is going to learn how to read, and he’ll be mysteriously drawn to a copy of the LA Times. He’s going to see it and, boy, is he going to need therapy!

(UPDATE: Now I’m embarrassed.  Until today [9/26], I didn’t see that I had misspelled the word “embarrassing” in the title.  Well, I guess that shoots my application to become a copy editor for the Times.)


36 thoughts on “Embarrassing LA Times Scoop: Marilyn Lives!

  1. I would imagine that since you are who you are and you write like you say you do. You’d first find out the facts before commenting. I think that Robert Welkos must have done some research, thoroughly before siding that it was spooky enough or timely enough to print, perhaps he SEEs the benefit to the world to take a new long hard look at the mess religion has made of a perfectly synchronized world.

    Sherrie Lea is also a very well known dance singer who’s charted worldwide and never once mentioned her SELF PENNED ALBUM SPELLBOUND….so not everything is based on money.
    considering also that Pandamonia has nothing to sell
    and have been working on their album. Just a band making music, paying their dues and listening to tripe like this.

    Good Work
    old chap.

  2. Notwithstanding all the points I offered concerning the Times’ publication of the piece, I would be dismayed if anyone interpreted this post to be a condemnation of Ms. Laird’s prowess as a singer. I’m not familiar with her work, so I have no comment about it. I also don’t begrudge her personal efforts on behalf of her career or the book for that matter. Obviously she has faith in Dr. Finkelstein, and that’s her business.

    My problem was with the story’s lack of balance. Even a believer in past lives must acknowledge the need for balanced journalism that views all claims skeptically. There are plenty of publications that deal with spiritual phenomena from a believer’s perspective. That’s not the role of a mainstream newspaper. What I was pointing out were the ‘red flags’ that should have prompted the Times to be less credulous. Example: Dr. Finkelstein’s website is all about selling stuff. The story failed to mention this fact. If it had, it might have raised questions in some readers’ mind about his credibility. Leaving this fact out was, therefore, a journalistic error. It was in this spirit that I also mentioned the possible alternative motives for Ms. Laird’s participation in this project. They need to be addressed, even in an article that sides with her claims.

  3. John Stodderin’s comments are totally inaccurate, as he just wrote and irresposibly spread untruths, without serious research. Robert Welkos did serious research, as he always did in his long and illustrious career as a top journalist, before he wrote his balanced article in Los Angeles Times titled: “Giving More Life To Marilyn?” The conclusion of that famous article is that Welkos gives the benefit of doubt to the majority of the world’s old belief in reincarnation, and that celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe have the right to reincarnate like anybody else. Welkos determined Dr. Finkelstein’s and Sherrie’s motifs as noble and altruistic, devoid of quest for fame and money. By the way, not only that Dr. Finkelstein did not charch Sherrie a penny for his hard and lengthy professional work spanning years, but as a result he incurred great financial debt. Dr. F and Sherrie did it and Dr. F published the results in his newly released book: “Marilyn Monroe Returns: The Healing of a Soul” by Hampton Roads Publishing Company. That is in order to spread the good news that there is hope for our suffering humanity, not to give up, as the old belief in reincarnation coupled with past life regression therapy by a qualified professional could help when contemporary main stream medically accepted therapies don’t work, or work only partly/marginally on one’s emotional and physical ills. IARRT (International Association for Regression Research and Therapies) is one qualified group of past-life regression practitioners in USA and around the world which is recommended. Dr. F’s book and his web pages: http://www.marilyn-monroe.ca and http://www.pastlives.com and Sherrie Lea Laird’s: http://www.marilynmonroereturns.com, all with free membership, are not only on Marilyn, or proving reincarnation, but have a humanitarian and thus a bigger-than-us-all purpose of spreading the word even without any cost to the readers. “Marilyn Monroe Returns: The Healing of a Soul can be ordered through your local library. If your local library happens not to have the book in the stock you can request that they order it from Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Tel.: 1-434-296-2772 or the toll free number: 1-800-766-8009 (8am-5pm EST,) indicating to them that this book was recommended by the prestigious “Library Journal” June 15, 2006 issue, to all libraries, including university libraries, due to its scientific background. Also, “Publishers Weekly” gives the book a very favorable review and describes it:”…stands out…unparalleled…” In other order of ideas, we cannot be so arogant to believe we are the oly intelligent beings in the universe, thus reincarnate in the same number over the years. Beings from other planets could choose to reincarnate on our planet. Besides, Not all souls on our planet have manifested in a physical body when times were hard. Now that physically times are easier more souls incarnate into physical bodies. At least these two reasons may explain the increasing world population. Certainly this does nor contradict the theory of reincarnation, but on the contrary reinforces it. And the author noted in his book that he would be remiss of his duties as a physician if he were to mention that the underlying theme of his work with healing Sherrie/Marilyn, as it has been in every past-life case tht he’s treated, is the truth of reincarnation and what it means to our troubled world. We have each of us walked in the shoes of people of every race, nationality, creed, and gender–rich and poor, the abuser and the abused–as we evolve our soulsto the point that wqe realize that there is only one life, God’s life, and that we only kill, maim, and bomb ourselves, or the God in each of us. The message Dr. Finkelstein brings through the high podium of Marilyn?Sherrie to our troubled world is: Love youself and each other, and in this way heal yourself, and thus live in peace and experience God’s joy.


    • “Serious research” must be apparent from the article itself in order to be relevant for that article (and for the readers).
      It must anticipate a critically thinking reader’s questions about the subject and provide objective answers to them.

      I am a journalist myself (not in the English language, in case anyone is wondering :), which is why I like this article – and why I am saddened each time I see a good journalist or reporter lapse.

  4. Hey, “pastlifetherapy”:

    Odd that your complaint about John Stodder is devoid of any facts to sustain your allegation that his blog article is “…totally inaccurate, as he just wrote and irresposibly [sic] spread untruths, without serious research.”

    Also odd: that ninety-five percent of your post is sales-pitch language lifted word-for-word from “www.marilyn-monroe.ca,” a Website devoted to selling the work of the Malibu-based Dr. Adrian Finkelstein, MD, and to selling the music of Sherrie Lee Laird.

    In fact, when one clicks on the Website’s “contact us,” link, whose picture and contact information pops up but that of dear old D. Finkelstein (or, as you so sweetly call him, “Dr. F.) himself?

    And what about the other Website you “recommend,” http://www.pastlives.com? Lo and behold, it’s another sales-pitch Website, which, at the bottom, refers to “Dr. Adrian Finkelstein, the owner of this web page….” Amazing, he doesn’t have past lives, but he’s living on parallel Websites.

    Now, as for your “quote” from Publishers’ Weekly, which you abbreviate as, “a very favorable review and [PW] describes it: ‘…stands out…unparalleled.…'” We’re all familiar with the technique of picking two words or phrases from a review and ignoring the rest. In what context did PW use those words?

    From the review: “The anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s 80th birthday witnessed the publication of several new titles about her life and work. Even beside the impressive Bert Stern photo to me, Dr. Finkelstein’s past-life regression therapy journal with Canadian pop singer Sherrie Lea Laird stands out: Laird firmly believes that she is the reincarnation of the 1950s screen icon, and Finkelstein, with 30 years of past-life regression work under his belt, believes she’s right.”

    And further: “Whether or not you believe them, Finkelstein and Laird must be given credit for their unparalleled take on the life and legacy of Marilyn Monroe.”

    Now, as for your assertion that: “…this book was recommended by the prestigious ‘Library Journal’ June 15, 2006 issue, to all libraries, including university libraries, due to its scientific background.”

    The Library Journal review doesn’t use the words “scientific background” anywhere.

    Here’s that review in full, with all of the Journal author’s qualifications about who would be interested in the book:

    Finkelstein, Adrian, M.D.. Marilyn Monroe Returns: The Healing of a Soul. Hampton Roads Jun. 2006. c.288p. ISBN 1-57174-484-3. $22.95. PARAPSYCH

    A psychiatrist who has specialized in past-life therapy for 30 years, Finkelstein has been working with Sherrie Lea Laird, a Canadian pop singer who believes that she is the reincarnation of Marilyn Monroe. Born less than a year after Monroe’s death, Laird reports that she found herself having disturbing, intrusive flashbacks of Monroe’s life. A large part of the book consists of transcripts from Finkelstein’s sessions with Laird under hypnosis. Also included are side-by-side photos of Laird and Monroe that are supposed to show their physical similarities and a comparison of personality traits and voice patterns. Cumulatively, this information proves to Finkelstein that Laird was once the legendary star. Readers who believe in reincarnation and are obsessed with Marilyn Monroe will want to read this book, particularly for the transcripts of the hypnosis sessions during which Laird supposedly reveals memories of Monroe’s life and death. Other readers wishing to understand the techniques used to establish the possible validity of past-life experiences will also be intrigued. Recommended for large public libraries and university libraries with specialized collections on reincarnation and/or Marilyn Monroe.—Mary E. Jones, Los Angeles P.L.

    [Review © 2006 Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.]

    In effect, “pastlifetherapy,” the author simply says, “buy a copy for the stacks if you have collections of Monroe or reincarnation.”

    So, the next time you want to attack people who disagree with you on the ground that their work is inaccurate, untrue, and lacking serious research, you might come back with some accuracy, truth and research of your own.

    Peace and God’s joy to you, too, Dr., … I mean, “pastlifetherapy.”

  5. thankyou richard for pointing that out!!! i knew it was the doc as soon as i read the first paragraph…he’s often on the marilynmonroe.com forum in the offtopic discussion…i believe he goes under two names on that board. its obvious by the writing style, as he was a professor and is very good with spelling, proper puncuation and so forth. this whole debaucle is nothing but a ploy for self gain. i can’t stand these liars,,,as sherrie is also on the forum, she often is caught in lies…yes plural….
    and to point out something…all the websites posted lead to information on sherrie’s singing career…another self promotion by raping marilyns memory……

  6. I lurked around for some time at the marilynmonroe.com, didn’t engage on a serious neutral debate, the chances for a serious debate are null, there’s a pack of Marilyn’s dogs to bite you, unbelievable!!! The forum is …………!

  7. This re-incarnation circus is more than S-I-C-K!!!
    The LA Times is a sad paper to print such crap!

    Meaning that Frankenstein–oops Finkelstein I mean!
    He is just another James Van Praagh charlatan.
    They met in an online chat room at http://www.marilynmonroe.com where that “Professor” has cruised around and chat to possible suspects for his sick idea.
    The upside down pics are ridiculous and I just had a moment of truth–I wait–I just found the re-incarnation of the big Professor–himself!
    I will post that one soon, on my blog!

    Oh yeah–by the way–how can he be so sure that this Canadian Bimbo including her daughter is MM and her poor insane mother–re-incarnated.
    I mean–I bought so much furniture, paintings, clothing etc of MM–I stood up and defended her against a fake collection–and last but not at least: I am born the same month (July 1963) than the blond singer–oh yeah and I am blond as well.
    Do you think that Marilyn would have come back as a woman?
    I doubt that highly….just some food for thoughts.
    Cheers no tears!
    that is–what I said in my former life. Oops! There you have it, gee, must be the Dom Perignion…and: Thank you ever so

  8. For all the souls who have missed out on the “piece” about SLL’s “reincarnated” dogs that was posted on the scary “Pro-fes-sor(e)’s ridiculous website, and then removed due to heavy laughter from even homeless doggies, well kept ones (such as mine) blind squirrls and even stuffed toy dogs….an insult on anybodies intelligence–you got to read the posting, that has been saved by another upright Marilyn Monroe fan from as far as New Zealand!
    Read this and then ask yourself, if your dog is telling the truth when they are waiting for their food, or waiting for you to get up the couch and walking them around in your neigborhood….this is almost as funny as watching those infomercial for regular bowl movements. Well, sorry–those have actually a deeper meaning to it!

    Marilyn Monroe Reincarnated, her dogs Boo and Da:

    Boo: I don’t know why some humans are so cruel to humans, like it is reflected in some of the Internet forums these days, which spread venom on our beloved Marilyn Monroe Reincarnated and her doctor, who both courageously stepped forward to give their message on the truth of reincarnation and its healing power , not for their selfish interest, but for the benefit of our troubled world, for love, healing and peace. I don’t understand the so-called “human condition.”

    Da: I think it is ignorance, estrangement from The Real One God, The Higher Power. Only lip service is paid by them to the Supreme Being. They think they are “spiritual” and into the “New Age,” but they are not on the Light Side of God’s Creation, but on the dark side, like the pharro, Ramses II, at the time of Moses. Ramses’ impure, dark tricks by his magicians, could not withstand, Moses’ Pure-God-Derived-Light-Side-Mi racles. This is documented also in Kabbalah.

    Boo: Our Wonderful Marilyn Monroe Reincarnated reminds me of what Jesus was going through. Jesus used “political incorrect” indignant language, in defending God’s purity, calling the fakes for what they are, hypocrites, who pay only lip service to God, harshly judging others and condemning them to death. But they themselves are dead in spirit. The judged and condemned live forever, they ARE the Messengers of God.

    Da: That is why Jesus, like all God’s Messengers, was ridiculed, met with violent opposition,“crucified,” but without avail. Their legacy lives forever in the hearts of billions of people.

    Boo: Right! And besides Jesus, the list of God’s Messengers, Healers, Magicians and Scientists in history is very long: Moses, Buddha, Krishna, Galileo, Tesla, Einstein…and our Wonderful Marilyn Monroe Reincarnated.

    Da: However, these Messengers of God never felt victims, but Victors, inspiring us, and they will live for ever in our hearts as such, and in the hearts of all humans and animals—all Creation.

    Boo: Yes, I believe with all my heart that The-Truth-Through-Freedom of Marilyn Monroe Reincarnated and her doctor will triumph for the betterment of humanity, animals and all God’s Creation. Their Message will reverberate forever loud and clear in the hearts and souls of all Creation: Live, Love, Enlighen, Heal, Enjoy and Live in Peace With Each Other, as You Are One and One With God!

    Love, Light, Peace and God Bless You All,


    (that man has guts, what has “god” to do with “reincarnation?!” Is he trying to swing around on each hip wedding so to speak?!
    Can anybody tell him, that any good old fashioned Catholic priest may kick the crap out of his reincarnation money making idea? No, god has nothing to do with reincarnation, or is this why this sore ass loser is comparing the bimbo from Canada, the one with the bad ass hair-do and fading blonde, and four months roots, that terrible singer, with Jesus Christ?!

  9. ““For all the souls who have missed out on the “piece” about SLL’s “reincarnated” dogs that was posted on the scary “Pro-fes-sor(e)’s ridiculous website, and then removed due to heavy laughter from even homeless doggies,””

    it’s a parable! 😉

  10. “They met in an online chat room at http://www.marilynmonroe.com

    “the “piece” about SLL’s “reincarnated” dogs that was posted on the scary “Pro-fes-sor(e)’s ridiculous website, and then removed”

    Is the first statement as factual as the second one?! The second statement isn’t a fact, the “piece” wasn’t removed.

  11. The only real story of Marilyn Monroe is available on the net Here I am Mother, the real story of Marilyn Monroe by her daughter Nancy Miracle.

    Also see in italian at America Oggi August 19th 07 magazine supplement

    Arthur Miller Society web events section also mentions the play

    Would you rather believe hocus pocus and hype than a real story of a human being italian american at that

    It all makes sense just read

  12. see www,marilynmonroefoundation.com sad state of affairs when the truth is over looked for some kind of hype reincarnation story so sad. I’ve worked over twenty five years on the biography of marilyn monroe and the truth has still been supressed

  13. Pingback: Keyarash Mazhari, 32, aka Keya Morgan, the character behind the Marilyn Monroe ’sex tape’ hoax « Marilyn Monroe etc.

  14. Pingback: Marilyn Monroe Sex Tape Hoax Keya Morgan Exposure « Marilyn Monroe Sex Tape Hoax Of Keya Morgan

  15. Pingback: Keyarash Mazhari, 32 aka Keya Morgan, the character behind the Marilyn Monroe ’sex tape’ hoax « la la times…fun with words and blog attacks by the Los Angeles Times


  17. Thanks for this post man! The world is full of scam artists and most of these claims are close to being this funny but not quite.. this ridiculous sack cannot be beat! What a bunch of QUACKS!!! Folks let Norma Jean REST IN PEACE!!

  18. Wow, what a freak. I could look up what celeb died around my birth date, learn about them, adopt their mannerisms and pretend I’m them, it doesn’t mean I am that person reincarnated. She’s just another douche trying to make herself seem “special”, probably just publicity for her crappy band. Seems like she has some serious problems.

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