Wednesday, January 12, 2011

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Nostradamus of the Middle East?

Michel Hayek 2011 nostradamus

Every New Year’s Eve, Michel Hayek a.k.a. Nostradamus of the Middle East, fools millions of superstitious Lebanese—many of whom are living abroad—via the Lebanese Broadcasting Channel’s (LBC) air waves. During their annual TV special, airing on the evening of the 31st of December, LBC puts together a very entertaining program for the Lebanese audience. However, the most anticipated segment of the evening is, without any doubt, Michel Hayek’s Predictions.


Michel HayekThis celebrated clairvoyant first appeared on the silver screen in October 2006 during a live talk show interview on the Lebanese TV channel “New TV”(Arabic Video). With a hypnotic swirl on the background screen—which I believe was used to create a feeling of mystery—as well as two mechanically moving chairs, on which both the host and the guest were sitting, Hayek read his prediction—or “visions” as he calls them. Even though there aren’t any ratings statistics of this interview, the show must have been a hit, because the following year LBC invited Hayek to be the guest of honor on their New Year’s Eve TV special.


evil eyeSince 2007, Michel Hayek has been swindling the Lebanese audience with his spooky predictions. Our Lebanese culture is immersed in all sorts of superstition and bamboozle; ranging from the belief in the“evil eye” to spells and curses. In fact, there is an endless list of superstitious beliefs, in which a large number of Lebanese people believe. Starting at early childhood, these fallacies play a big part in our every day life; horoscopes, fortune telling, bad luck and good luck charms, and a multitude of other similar bamboozle and pseudo-sciences are very popular in the Lebanese culture, and they are almost always taken at face value. Because of their popularity, the media has taken advantage of this fact. They feature many charlatans and by doing so they increase their popularity. The Michel Hayek “phenomenon” is just one example of the many frauds appearing on TV.


I know that many con artists are doing the same thing all over the world. However, the reason I dedicated a complete post to this story is because of the huge number of people who believe in Michel Hayek’s fraudulent predictions despite the obvious evidence of their falsehood. The reason many people are fooled by him is because during the New Year’s Eve special, and before the new predictions of the upcoming year are read out loud by Hayek, they play a short documentary featuring his previous predictions, and how many of them were fulfilled. Every year, many of these “visions” are shown to be fulfilled prophecies. This “fact” reinforces the audience’s belief in these fallacies. The sad reality, however, is that those people are mislead by a simple bluff, used by fortune tellers for centuries. With a little common sense Hayek’s con can be spotted. The way Nostradamus of the Middle East, bamboozles the audience, is by deceiving them into thinking his “visions” are specific predictions; while in fact they are but general forecasting of highly probable events.

In order to give a clearer idea of the type of predictions Michel Hayek pretends to dream or see, I have dedicated another post (click here) including a list of his 2011 predictions, which I translated into English. Even though some the “visions” might not be clear to non-Lebanese readers, the technique used by Hayek to trick his audience can still be made out. I wish many of those who believe in Hayek’s supernatural powers would consider this claim; I am certain that anyone who re-reads these “mind blowing” prophecies, with a little bit of common sense, will easily spot the fraudulent technique used by this sadly popular charlatan.

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