HOW MEDIUMS DECEIVE YOU
To Believers, and People on the Fence,
You know that the magician did not actually make that tiger disappear. You should also know that neither did a medium actually talk to your deceased loved one. It is, likewise, a clever illusion. Mediumship is a highly developed craft that has been around for centuries. Your experience may be profoundly true, emotionally, but it is not true, literally. The medium did not really get the information from the dead person. Here are some of the key techniques they use to trick you:
COLD READING – Sees a picture of your father in nice clothes, and later says, “Your father overcame financial problems.” You intuitively start filling in details. And the medium pretends she already knew many of these details, even though YOU’RE the one providing the details, not her. She had made only a general statement originally.
WARM READING – Makes statements that apply to virtually everyone at some time in their lives. “Your father had an eye problem.” “No, he didn’t have eye problems… well, he did get hit in the eye with a branch once and had to go to the hospital.” “Yes, because I see a man, he’s bent over, holding his face!” The client goes home convinced that the medium made a remarkable specific hit. No, you ding-dong, you TOLD her that specific information. She only pretended to already know the specifics.
HOT READING – Gets information on you ahead of time, for example, from an internet obituary. “I’m getting the name Samuel.” “Yes, that’s my grandfather!” Mediums are actors. They are very good at building up scenarios, such as discussing family dynamics in general, and then suddenly at the right time bringing up the name of your grandfather, when that was their intent all along, since that is the bit of “hot” information they had.
TIME SHIFTING – “Did your father smoke?” “Yes.” “Because that’s what I’ve been seeing, a man smoking, the man is smoking.” I find this is their most common technique. They fish for information from you, and as soon as you confirm their guess, they immediately pretend that that is the information they had already gotten from the dead person, BEFORE they asked about it, when in fact they got that information only AFTER you confirmed it for them.
FISHING AND FORKING – “Did she have a dog?” You look quizzical, she quickly moves on to something else. You look interested, she pursues the topic further, making general observations about dogs and humans that are normally true anyway. Mediums don’t read dead people; they read YOU.
SPREADING THE NET WIDER – “No, she didn’t have a dog.” “A cat… some other pet… a good friend who had a pet?...” Inevitably she will get a hit, and will make something out of it, using your unwitting contributions.
CONNECTING THE DOTS – Called the “Forer Effect.” Look it up on Wiki. SHE is making general comments, but YOU are the one making the specific connections, and all the while SHE acts like SHE is the one coming up with the remarkable specifics. And, they will push for you to make a connection, knowing that 1) you want to believe, and 2) that you don’t want to come across as a curmudgeon.
ESCAPE HATCHES – “No, my father didn’t smoke.” “Then it must be someone close to him… or a co-worker...” “I can’t think of anybody.” “I must be getting cross-vibrations, oh, the month of April, does that mean something to you?” Quickly changing the subject is another standard technique for glossing over their misses.
UNDERSTANDING PROBABILITY – “I’m hearing the letter ‘M’.” Who doesn’t know someone with an “M” name? The medium will depend on you to connect the dots and fill in the specific person. “I’m hearing the month of April as very important.” If there are four members in your family, either alive or dead, and you consider births, deaths, marriages, and other big events, then that’s four different big events for four people. That’s sixteen possible major events, for twelve months. The medium’s chances for getting a hit, are extremely high.
USING THE WORD “ALMOST” – “I almost feel he almost disliked water.” That way, each time they are wrong, they are not flat wrong, because they made sure to include the word “almost.” If, on the other hand, they guess right, they will take full credit for their remarkable “hit.” The client goes home thinking, “Wow, she nailed it! My dad hated it when the cellar flooded. But, she in fact had no idea about the cellar, until you mentioned it, and she immediately acted like THAT’S what she was talking about. Note also, who doesn’t dislike water in certain situations?
BLURRING THE LINE BETWEEN A STATEMENT and QUESTION– “I’m going to tell you something. Was your mom afraid of heights?” The client answers yes, and eventually goes home thinking the medium told her, remarkably, out of the blue, that her mother was afraid of heights. No, the medium set it up as a statement but it was actually a question, a fishing expedition. Besides, isn’t most everybody afraid of heights?
SELECTIVE MEMORY – The average client… heck, the average person… wants to believe and will therefore tend to remember the hits and forget the misses. Classic “confirmation bias.”
TURNING A MISS INTO A HIT – From one of Chevy Chase’s “Fletch” movies in which he is pretending to know the deceased: “Well as least he went quickly.” “Well no, he suffered a long time.” “I mean, you know, when he actually died, that went quickly.”
RETROFITTING “No, my father didn’t have an alcohol problem.” Later when a friend who did have an alcohol problem comes up, the medium will say, “Ahh, that was the alcohol problem I was picking up.”
EXCUSES for ERRORS or WEAK READINGS – “I may have misunderstood some things. Mediumship is not a science. We’re only human, we do makes mistakes.” Also, standard operating procedure is to blame you. “Your energy is too closed. You have to be open to Spirit, to connect with Spirit.” (Yet, at the same time they will say, “Your father is right here, and he’s telling me such and such…”)
A TRANSCRIPT – Trusting one’s memory as to how the session went, is very sketchy. The whole thrust of the mediumship profession is to get you to be subjective, to remember the hits and forget the misses. You should audio-record the session (most mediums allow you to) and then type out a transcript. That is a laborious task, but, once you do it, you can catch their mistakes much better. You can see what is actually going on, the chronology of what was said, clues you gave that you didn’t notice at the time, etc.
The craft of mediumship depends on the fact that most people WANT to believe. They want the experience. They don’t care that much about being objective.
It’s common sense to conclude that if mediumship were possible, it would have long since been easily proven.
Mediums will make all kinds of hits, but what they will NEVER do, is come up with something very specific that only the dead person and you know. And that is, of course, the sine qua non, the element without which you do NOT have any real evidence of communication with the dead! Don’t tell me my father had a brown briefcase. Tell me what was the unusual item my father lost at the day camp, that no one else knew he lost, except us two. In none of the three major readings I’ve had myself, did any of the mediums come up with any of about 20 such specifics which would have EASILY proved their alleged ability.
Feed them the wrong information and watch them follow THAT thread, instead of the truth about your deceased loved one. Here’s a comment posted under one of my videos: "Mark Shaw. I was in an audience once when a medium asked me if I wanted to ask him a question….I requested whether he could call up my recently deceased brother….he said my brother was in the audience and he could see my brother smiling at me….then I told him that I actually never had a brother.....pin drop 😂” And who says there are no more heroes? Thank you, Mark.
If you did this in a private session, the medium would make a big show of dismay over your outrageous dishonesty, you lowlife. Yet, logically, it is perfectly reasonable to want to test and verify whether such communication is really going on.
James Randi makes the important point that magic is an honest profession in that it makes no pretense about the fact that you are being tricked. But mediumship is a dishonest profession, because they claim that what they are doing is real. Now, human psychology is such that some mediums honestly believe they have this ability, but most of them know full well they are running a con.
And some mediums may indeed be good therapists and help people cope with death, and with life. They excuse their deceitful behavior on that basis, that they are helping people. Nevertheless, at its core, they are breaking a sacred trust among human beings. They are using people’s deeply personal memories, to make money.