8 February 2016

Psychics In a Nutshell

Old clip of James Randi talking about the psychic fraud Sylvia Browne, this interview was on television before Sylvia died, as you will know, but the rule fits most or all psychics. Make up your own minds.

10 Reasons Psychics Aren't Real

31 January 2016

From Ignorance To Reason - From Spiritualism To Skepticism [ramble]

A ramble, felt like talking about experiences in general, not least religious delusions. excuse my unscripted ramble, a few errors are probable.

20 January 2016

Fraudulent Psychic Laurie McQuary Gets Exposed On Camera!

Are these people selling false hope? YES of course they are!
These people are grief vultures.
I wish the British media would take on these frauds and expose them.

Exposed in this video
Laurie McQuary

18 January 2016

Paul Zenon: Secrets of the Psychics

Please note this starts in Russian, but once Paul comes out it is all in English

Translated from Russian:
Presentation forum for popular science Ratio: http://ratio.bg

Paul Zenon is one of the most famous British magicians with extensive experience in the representation of different tricks, illusions, frauds and paranormal topics. It has several hundred appearances in television shows and almost 30 years experience in participating in public. Began to earn money as a street magician and learns how people can be fooled and manipulated. Then apply their practical knowledge of human psychology and attention to good causes like exposing pseudoscientific "stars".

Gender Ratio of Zeno presented the most common techniques of mediums, illustrated with examples from the past few centuries. Cold reading (cold reading) and pre-collect information about companion enjoy the same frequency as in the 19th century and television fortune-tellers today.

17 January 2016

Mediumship - Miracles or Manipulations - Starring Paul Zenon, Anthony Galvin and Sandra O'Hara

Miracles Or Manipulations takes a look at the world of stage mediums. With interviews from a real medium, skeptic, and a riveting seance in the infamous Hell Fire Club, this documentary is a fascinating look at a very controversial topic. Starring: Paul Zenon, Anthony Galvin and Sandra O'Hara.

Is There Such A Thing As Addiction To Psychics?

In this day and age we are often plagued by advertisements for various forms of psychics, whether they’re on television or a local party attraction. Those who manufacture cigarettes and alcohol can’t advertise with reckless abandon because of people who may become addicted but could a person become addicted to psychics?

People may imagine that the type of person who would become addicted to psychics are the elderly, the vulnerable, the kind of people that watch shows like Most Haunted while reading reviews of bingo sites, like those on pgbingo.com. The truth of the matter is that any person can become addicted to the feeling of a promise that otherwise seems unattainable.

This rush that the person gets when they believe that they are speaking to a relative is all too real and addictive. You believe that you are getting advice not from a stranger, not from the psychic/medium, but from your dead mother, your dead father. And whose advice would you want and trust more than those of people you loved the most, but are not with you any more. Nevermind the fact when they were alive you probably didn't take their opinion that seriously, but when dead surely all their advice MUST be the best advice, after all they have the spirit world to back them up! And this is the problem, the reality is you are not getting this expert advice from your dead mother, but from a stranger who is just telling you what THEY believe you want to hear.

The saturation of supposedly reputable psychics on television is another major problem facing our population. Although less now than in the mid to late 2000's. For the highly suggestable it won’t take much to believe these claims and from there it’s a small step before they engage in the practice themselves. Ask yourself, have you ever been to a psychic/medium and have them tell you that you also have "the gift"? Who doesn't want to hear that they are also special, and that they have magic powers like the person they believe in, it is all part of the con. These shows now come with disclaimers but it can be too tempting for people to forget their skepticism when faced with highly edited TV shows. Psychic Sally, Colin Fry and Derek Acorah have all been slated in the press for this exact practice, in which their editors take out any misses on the show. This turns a one in ten chance of them getting the questions right into a ten out of ten every time, which is incredibly deceptive, just think, a 30 minute TV show like Clin Fry's Sixth Sense, was actually filmed over a few hours, those camera shots of the audience nodding and looking impressed are often edited in out of context.

This happens in all TV shows, on Have I Got News For You, have you noticed how Paul Merton rarely laughs at jokes? Apparently he once found himself edited to look like he was laughing at a joke he never laughed at, and since then he tries not to laugh, so that he cant be edited in such a way.

Even at parties some hosts bring out a psychic to read everyone's future for their entertainment. The psychic's primary aim in this situation is to bring in repeat business and upsell to the party guests. They may get a few cold readings right and these guests will then be more likely to visit them. They give their business card to all guests and hope to get some of them as repeat customers.

These are just a few of the tricks that these psychics use to suggest that they hold some unworldly power. This power can be enticing for those who visit psychics, which then can be easily turned into an addiction. The fear of the unknown can be very real and by visiting a psychic people can stave this off and begin to feel a sense of control.

It is scientific and historical fact that Psychics do not see the future, and Mediums cannot communicate with the dead, but despite this people uneducated in the methods will still believe.

Psychics who hold themselves in high regard don’t come cheap either, so it’s a slippery slope as their customers become more dependent and can even be convinced to pay more. This is an addiction like any other for those who truly believe their claims, which is why we should be doing even more to debunk these fraudsters.

Think of psychics like you would a drug dealer, often the first hit is free, that gets you hooked, and then you keep going back for more.

My advice is don't even go for the first reading. The smartest people in society don't believe in psychics and mediums, and although we all like to think we are smart and cant be conned, we cant all be experts. I am an expert, and I am telling you that psychics and mediums are no more than a con.

1 December 2015

Araddha Ekanto's Telekinetic Powers Debunked!

I don't know why I am even bothering here, but what the hell, Araddha Ekanto sent me the below video as proof of Telekinetic powers. Clearly they are using air from the movement of the hand to push objects. Clearly the first bits of paper are obvious, but then they move a can, first see their video.

And here is my video, doing the exact same thing, that I filmed without doing any practice, I just drank a can of pop, put the can on a rough surface (as opposed to the smooth surface they used which means even less friction, waved my hand, and voila!

Point is, if you see bullshit like this, there is ALWAYS a simple explanation.

Backup of their video if they now decide to remove it to hide the ridiculous

28 November 2015

UPDATED: Most Haunted Ratings for Most Haunted Live and the following three Most Haunted episodes

Ratings are in for Most Haunted, and it paints a grim reality.
Despite getting HUGE numbers for the live Halloween show on Saturday, the next nights regular Most Haunted lost more than 330,000 viewers! And the next week they lost a further 37,000 viewers and finished as the weeks 4th most watched program on REALLY TV, even Escape to the Country beat them by nearly 30,000 viewers!

Surely that is proof that the fans finally turned on Most Haunted after the debacle and cheating of the Live show.

I wanted to update this page, as week ending 15th November ratings are in, and Most Haunted didn't even make the Top 10! Now I no longer watch Most Haunted so there is a chance it wasn't aired, but IMDB has it as airing on that day! So if it did air, it must have had less than 141,000 viewers, and didn't make the top 10! This is a complete disaster of ANTIX, and proof that the fans really did desert them after the Most Haunted Live debacle!

You will notice that Karl Beattie no longer tweets the ratings of the show since the Live show! Funny that! 

18 November 2015

For Entertainment Purposes Only: Whose Fault Is It When A Psychic Scams Someone?

The New York Times published a story this weekend about Niall Rice, who was taken for $718,000 by two Manhattan psychics, and has recently taken them to court. While it’s likely that one of the psychics will spend a year in jail for fraud, it’s unlikely that Rice will ever get any of that money back.
The story itself is both heartbreaking and confounding. Rice was in a vulnerable position and was convinced by these two “psychics” that terrible things would happen to him, and that he’d never find love again if he didn’t give them piles of money.
It’s easy to blame the victim in cases like these, and it’s hard to imagine yourself in their shoes. It’s easy to think “there’s a sucker born every minute,” and this could never happen to you or I because we’d laugh in the face of anyone asking us for that amount of money. It’s easy to say that it’s Rice’s fault for being dumb enough to give them the money in the first place. I can say with confidence that this is not something I’d ever do–but I’m also a pretty hardcore skeptic who is not in any kind of emotionally vulnerable position. I also don’t have $718,000 to begin with. I’m not who they would target.
In order to convince people that they have magic powers, professional psychics become adept at “cold reading,” which allows them to “read” people and make assumptions about their lives that are more likely to sound true. Thus, they tend to be pretty adept at identifying who is most likely to cough up the most amount of money.
The people that get targeted in these schemes tend to be people who are in extremely vulnerable positions. Rice had just gotten out of rehab and was devastated by a breakup. Many times, these “psychics” contact families of missing children, offering to divulge the child’s whereabouts for a fee (which is the most horrific and evil thing I can imagine a person doing). The elderly are often the ones targeted by mail-order clairvoyance scams promising riches beyond their wildest dreams. The people who talk to “mediums” are often devastated by the loss of someone they love and willing to shell out good money for the illusion of having them back for a moment.
Rice’s story is not unusual. Several psychics have been sued for fraud within the last several years. Some cases have been successful, but only because they were based on financial irregularities that would otherwise be illegal. It’s an industry that’s completely underregulated. Pretty much anyone can claim to see the future and demand loads of cash in exchange for telling people some bullshit. I could do it right now. I could start a business in which I pretend that I’m psychic, and there would be people who would believe me and give me money for that. That’s messed up! I should not be allowed to do that!
There are very few ways in which I will ever disagree with the ACLU, and this is one of them. I don’t believe this is a “freedom of speech”  issue, as much as it is about protecting vulnerable people from predatory scumbags who want to take advantage of them. We protect people from con-artists selling land in Florida and the Brooklyn Bridge, we send people to jail for running Ponzi schemes–there should be some way to protect people from so-called psychics.
To be entirely frank about my own biases here, I think that “psychics” are at best delusional and at worst predatory monsters. I don’t believe anyone has magic powers. I don’t believe they can see into the future, or talk to your Great Aunt Miriam, or cast a spell that will make your ex want to love you again. From the Fox Sisters, to Uri Gellar, to Sylvia Browne–basically every person who has become famous for having paranormal abilities has been outed as a fraud. Why would a random person with a shady storefront be any less of one?
I think the same thing of people like Joel Osteen and Pat Robertson and other preachers who tell people that their lives or their health or their financial situation will improve if they give them money. I think the same thing of people who sell “homeopathic dilutions” that are just sugar pills with literally nothing in them. It’s frustrating to me that people are allowed to take advantage of vulnerable people, just because they say they’re doing magic or are particularly in touch with god or something. I wish all these practices were illegal, and I am eternally furious that they aren’t.
I do think that there are ways to regulate “paranormal services” and protect people from being defrauded as severely as Rice was. The warning “for entertainment purposes only” isn’t enough–it doesn’t protect consumers, it protects the con-artists from being liable when they screw people. If it’s for entertainment purposes only, then these people should not be allowed to guarantee results of any kind. If you are promising results, you should be required toproduce results or give people their money back. I don’t order something on Amazon thinking that “maybe” it will arrive in the mail–either it arrives or I get a refund.
My ideal scenario would be to require psychics and their ilk to prove that they actually are what they claim to be, but that’s unlikely to happen. For 19 years, the James Randi Educational fund offered a large sum of money–eventually a million dollars–to prove that they had some kind of paranormal ability under scientific conditions. Unsurprisingly, no one ever won.
It should, most importantly, be illegal for psychics to contact people directly on their own, especially families with missing children. In situations where it’s found that a psychic or other paranormal worker has purposely reached out to a person in a vulnerable position, or promised a service they did not deliver on (like bringing an ex-lover back), they should have to both return the money they conned out of them, and go to jail.
Unfortunately, most people who are defrauded by psychics (i.e., everyone who has ever seen a psychic, basically) are too embarrassed by the fact that they were taken for a ride to actually sue them. This is why we need some other protections in place to keep this from happening. I don’t know if it would be possible to regulate the amount they’re allowed to charge for their services, but that would be a start.
In conclusion, please do not give your money to anyone who claims they have magic powers. You’re better off flushing it down a toilet, because at least the toilet won’t come after you later claiming that it can get your old boyfriend back if you flush a thousand more.
Written by Robyn Pennacchia @robynelyse

Originally published at www.thefrisky.com and republished here with kind permission of Robyn Pennacchia