11 August 2007

Charles J Sibley Responds To James Randis Exposure Of Maureen Flynn

By Jon-boy Donnis
Our good friend Charlie boy is back, and although about 15 years late, he has decided to respond to a video we posted on here a while ago.

The video in question was Maureen Flynn On James Randis Psychic Investigator


Now lets take a look at Charlie boys response.
Again notice how he denies cold reading even exists!

Unfortunately Charlie removed his video but luckily forum member Baronvon has transcribed this whole video.



Hello this is Charlie: this is a response to James Randi and the Medium. Why I’m doing this video is to make people understand that there’s no such thing as cold reading, mediums work in the way they work and James Randi thinks that every medium is a fraud and there’s no such thing and there’s no convincing him and there’s probably no convincing a lot of people. What people don’t understand is a medium, there’s so many spirits around a medium and when a medium asks questions “can you take Doris?” or Jim or whatever, they’re just seeing if they’ve got the right thoughts and it’s not theirs…because it’s very hard you know to actually suss out the thoughts of spirits and the thoughts of yourself…and this is where some mediums do get confused, like I said, you’re seeing if you’ve got the right thoughts plus it starts the vibrations on if somebody says yes and then the rest of the information comes through. 

I mean, if you look at it logically, if you’ve got a room full of people, you must have been in that situation where you’re trying to tune into three people at the same time and they’re all making conversations with you and you can’t concentrate on one – it’s very hard. 

But that’s what…it’s even worse sussing out the thoughts of a spirit and the thoughts of yourself. But erm…anyway I’ll go through this video and I’ll give you an example.

See, Mrs Flynn starts of asking the audience if anyone could take the name Taylor – the lad said yes and after she’d done that she gave facts with that name and he died of a heart condition. She said “does it make sense?” and he said “yeah”. Now there you go but the thing is, at the end when they done the percentages to do with this name called Taylor, there was 30% of people who could have took the name Taylor and there was 55% who could actually relate to the condition of the granddad.. But the thing is, the percentage of Taylors…what James Randi didn’t do is he should have asked err…the names with Taylor is actually linked to do with a heart condition and he didn’t say that. Then there’s 55% of people who actually relate to the heart condition of someone dieing…doesn’t mean it’s the name Taylor so…you can go on forever.

And as it goes on he then…the lad couldn’t take any of the other names…you know erm…Doris and Jim or James…and what was happening there is basically she was picking up other spirits to do with the next erm…person and erm…that’s what was happening and that the spirit was butting in and like I said to you before that’s where some mediums get confused.

And as you can see as she goes onto the woman…she was very shocked. She was a non believer or slight non believer and she was picking up facts to do with that woman. And this is why it’s not cold reading, it’s nothing to do with names or anything, she was given facts to think over (unintelligible). She was actually…was shocked, she was very shocked at what she was getting. She was right again, so…where’s the cold reading? It’s nothing to do with that. But what James Randi didn’t do again…is he done a percentage on that lad, but he didn’t do it on that woman. I wonder why eh? Because…she was very shocked…(unintelligible) even though she had the erm, you know…there was less evidence to do with that lad than there was with that woman. You know…I’d like to hear off that woman err…just put her on the end of the video you could ask her what she thought. She could talk about that she was very shocked.

Like I said there’s no such thing as cold reading, there really isn’t…and James Randi and all…a lot of sceptic people, there’s people that’ll never believe…and like I said, why I’m doing this video is to make people understand, and it’s very sad really because spirits, believe it or not, try very, very hard to work through any human being so they can let their family know that their soul actually lives on. And this is where the sad part is and this is what makes me mad about it, that you can’t make everyone believe – this is why people should be open minded, you know…it is very sad and when there’s likes of James Randi and people like that…just imagine loads of spirits and they want people that’s upset down here at someone dieing…it’s very sad.

If they don’t want to accept it they should be open minded to the possibility…there is life after death, believe me, I know…and thousands of other mediums know…and there’s been surveys all over to world, to do with life after death and they know a lot more than James Randi, badpsychics.com…and loads of other people.

‘Cos people will never believe really…but this reading really is…erm, a very good reading. What another thing people do not understand is when you’re doing a demonstration with an audience it’s a lot harder for a medium, it really is and there’s some that give demonstrations and they get, like that fella said at the end of this video that they can get 80% of whatever you know? I mean she got…I’d give her a rating of something like 80% out of 100 with that woman and that lad. Considering she give only two readings there, if she went on she’d probably give a better demonstration.

I mean if that woman…or even that lad was actually in a private reading on their own, people are better off with a private reading if they’re sceptic. It’s simple as that. (unintelligible) in an audience, it doesn’t mean you get what you want and people do think “well that could be someone else” and this is what James Randi’s working on.

I mean even the system to do with James Randi with ten people…erm, it could work. But you need the types of people who are from all different walks of life, it’s simple as that. I mean I’ve (unintelligible) some good private readings better than demonstrations and most mediums can…and most people who believe in life after death…usually have actually had a private reading, and that should say a lot.

I mean people go on about the James Randi challenge you know? But mediums won’t go in for it for a couple of reasons. And one reason anyone can wave a cheque in the air but even if there was evidence out of these ten people, James Randi’ll say “well you still can’t prove that this comes from dead people” ‘cos James Randi thinks that’s everything’s a trick that can’t be explained. He is an evil man, believe me, and that’s why mediums don’t bother with him. People say “well it doesn’t matter if he’s evil” but he hasn’t got the money anyway. There’s no such thing as cold reading whatsoever.

The only thing that cold reading, James Randi started it off or whoever did, is there is frauds around and you’ve got to suss out the bad from the good…and I’m doing all these videos because the mediums get slagged off, if you wanna put that way, on badpsychic.com and James Randi, he’s picking on the wrong people. You’ve got to suss out the bad from the good and James Randi and badpsychic.com will never do that because they don’t understand how mediumships work. And it’s even like him on badspsychic.com, I mean he said he went through a course and he’s a medium and he does understand it…but he’s lying! Because if he was a medium or he went through a course he wouldn’t be sceptic. You know what I’m saying? Doesn’t make sense does it? I mean James Randi and him are both liars. They really are.

But it is hard for mediums to working out spirit’s thoughts from their thoughts, it’s very hard, it really is. Like I just mentioned before, there’s no way this was a cold reading this video, she done a good demonstration, but all you people should be open minded and a lot of sceptic people say “well we are open minded” but they’re not.

At the end there was erm…a reading which she gave to a gentleman you know? James Randi said there was thirty seven names mentioned and he could only take nine out of that private reading. I agree with her where she said he was satisfied with the reading and a lot of stuff made sense…and it’s nothing to do with all the names she give. There’s reasons for giving all these names, when you pick up names, it doesn’t matter how it is, he could have a family history going back through a few hundred years and all them names could just come through because other people around him know them people. You put facts with them names what that gentleman got and he was satisfied.

Anyway, we’ll leave it at that, god bless.




Baronvon has also written a response to this latest offering by Charlie boy, and I am happy to publish it below.



By Baronvon
The great man of comedy himself, Charles Sibley, treats us to another delightful ramble about how sceptics are all liars that know nothing about anything and that James Randi is the anti-christ etc. However, whilst listening it did strike me that his “explanations” and “counter-claims” to sceptical criticism where pretty much textbook retorts as far as mediums go. Fair enough, his delivery is about as convincing as the tooth fairy myth and due to this lack of conviction he probably won’t convince anyone, but I saw it as a half decent opportunity to address these archetypal medium comebacks one by one and, as you can see, I’ve done so below.

Quote:

“Why I’m doing this video is to make people understand that there’s no such thing as cold reading,”


Ok, lets just stop right there and address this straight away, there is such thing as cold reading, it’s well documented (Ian Rowland has written a comprehensive guide on it) and it’s a technique used by just about every medium as far as I can tell, including Charlieboy.

Quote:


“What people don’t understand is a medium, there’s so many spirits around a medium and when a medium asks questions “can you take Doris?” or Jim or whatever, they’re just seeing if they’ve got the right thoughts and it’s not theirs…because it’s very hard you know to actually suss out the thoughts of spirits and the thoughts of yourself…and this is where some mediums do get confused, like I said, you’re seeing if you’ve got the right thoughts plus it starts the vibrations on if somebody says yes and then the rest of the information comes through.”


Mediums often tend to blame the “spirits” for these unclear messages, in fact they blame anyone but themselves. Curiously enough Charlie’s ‘spiritual explanation’ runs directly parallel with a basic cold reading technique whereby you chuck out various (often ludicrously common) names in the hope that the sitter or an audience member will be able to relate to it. If someone can lay claim to the “spirit” you can then proceed with the reading, often by spewing other general information. The confusing “spirits” explanation is pretty poor to say the least although unfortunately, believers in mediums will probably buy it.

Quote:

“See, Mrs Flynn starts of asking the audience if anyone could take the name Taylor – the lad said yes and after she’d done that she gave facts with that name and he died of a heart condition. She said “does it make sense?” and he said “yeah”. Now there you go”


And here is an example of a general statement that follows the name fishing. Charlie states that she not only pinpointed the name “Taylor” (which is an extremely common surname, not far behind the likes of “Smith and “Jones”) but also that the person in question died of a heart condition. Now, if you watch the video again you’ll see that not only did the sitter not specifically confirm that the heart condition was the cause of death (he seemed to confirm that the grandfather statement was correct which again, was not a hard guess for Ms Flynn to make) but Maureen also didn’t just state a heat condition, she also stated that the lungs might have had something to do with it. So in reality she said that an elderly man either died from any form of heart condition or something to do with the lungs. As usual with “psychic readings”, extremely general statements and not anywhere near as specific as Charlie makes it sound when he’s giving his analysis…

Quote:

“at the end when they done the percentages to do with this name called Taylor, there was 30% of people who could have took the name Taylor and there was 55% who could actually relate to the condition of the granddad.. But the thing is, the percentage of Taylors…what James Randi didn’t do is he should have asked err…the names with Taylor is actually linked to do with a heart condition and he didn’t say that. Then there’s 55% of people who actually relate to the heart condition of someone dieing…doesn’t mean it’s the name Taylor so…you can go on forever.”


He then goes on about percentages but there no real point pointing out the flaws in his logic. They were all very general, could-apply-to-almost-anyone statements and the heart condition was never specifically confirmed by the sitter so Charlie’s argument doesn’t really have any real merit.

Quote:


“And as it goes on he then…the lad couldn’t take any of the other names…you know erm…Doris and Jim or James…and what was happening there is basically she was picking up other spirits to do with the next erm…person and erm…that’s what was happening and that the spirit was butting in and like I said to you before that’s where some mediums get confused.”


Yet again, more excuses as to why it’s all the spirit’s fault when they totally flunk elements of their readings. Once again, Charlie doesn’t give a fair picture of what really went on in the video. Maureen threw out a variety of ‘D’ names such as “Doreen” and “Dorothy” to go with her “Doris” statement. You’ll notice that around the same time the woman claims Doris there’s also a bloke at the back of the audience with his hand up trying to claim it. However Maureen had already pinpointed her target so she pressed on with her although it’s a safe bet that she’d have spouted out the same statements regardless of which of the two people she chose. Despite what Charlie or any psychic will try and tell you it all smacks of textbook cold reading.

Quote:


“And as you can see as she goes onto the woman…she was very shocked. She was a non believer or slight non believer and she was picking up facts to do with that woman. And this is why it’s not cold reading, it’s nothing to do with names or anything, she was given facts to think over (unintelligible). She was actually…was shocked, she was very shocked at what she was getting. She was right again, so…where’s the cold reading? It’s nothing to do with that. But what James Randi didn’t do again…is he done a percentage on that lad, but he didn’t do it on that woman. I wonder why eh? Because…she was very shocked…(unintelligible) even though she had the erm, you know…there was less evidence to do with that lad than there was with that woman. You know…I’d like to hear off that woman err…just put her on the end of the video you could ask her what she thought. She could talk about that she was very shocked.”


You can’t argue against that she looked a tad surprised but let’s look at things again. For a start the woman claims the name “Doris” only for the medium to then go on a completely different tangent altogether. She then does the typical trick of making veiled statements that are in reality very general but if any correlation can be made by the sitter, they suddenly seem pretty specific She not only didn’t state that it was her husband that died in an accident she also got the name wrong initially only for the sitter to make the correction to James which, although mentioned earlier, is still a very common name. 

Also if she really was talking to the dead then surely she wouldn’t have had to do all the “who’s Jimmy?” fishing beforehand and gone straight to the woman instead? But, seeing as to the untrained eye cold reading such as this can seem very impressive Charlie immediately capitalises on it as if it’s real evidence when that’s simply not the case. Remember, just because the woman was a “non believer” that doesn’t mean she clued up about cold reading techniques…

Quote:

“Like I said there’s no such thing as cold reading, there really isn’t…and James Randi and all…a lot of sceptic people, there’s people that’ll never believe…and like I said, why I’m doing this video is to make people understand, and it’s very sad really because spirits, believe it or not, try very, very hard to work through any human being so they can let their family know that their soul actually lives on. And this is where the sad part is and this is what makes me mad about it, that you can’t make everyone believe – this is why people should be open minded, you know…it is very sad and when there’s likes of James Randi and people like that…just imagine loads of spirits and they want people that’s upset down here at someone dieing…it’s very sad.”


Once again he makes the daft “no such thing as cold reading” statement but we’ll overlook that for now as he then plays the emotion card. He states how it’s a great shame that some people dismiss life after death when all the spirits are trying to do is tell their loved ones back on earth that they’re safe and happy. Citing the “comfort” argument is a pretty standard thing for mediums to do as they believe that this is something that sceptics can’t argue against. I’ll use personal experience to answer this one. 

My Grandma died prematurely when I was very young. Sadly I don’t have many memories of her as I was so young at the time and didn’t understand the magnitude of what had happened. I wish that she was still around, of course I do, and I wish I’d had the chance to get to know her better before she died. But that’s not to say that I’ll settle for some scumbag medium to make up a load of rubbish about her, pissing on what little, precious memories I have in the process. 

And what for? Comfort? Not for me thanks, I’d rather settle for real memories, not some fabricated nonsense that someone made up at the drop of the hat, I’d rather that her life was not cheapened. It’s heartless and exploitative of the medium if nothing else.

Quote:

“If they don’t want to accept it they should be open minded to the possibility…there is life after death, believe me, I know…and thousands of other mediums know…and there’s been surveys all over to world, to do with life after death and they know a lot more than James Randi, badpsychics.com…and loads of other people.”


Surveys? So what? That doesn’t prove anything, it’s not verifiable and it’s certainly not valid evidence. I’ve noticed that Charlie often says that us sceptics “know nothing” on a very regular basis. He reminds me of an accused defendant, feverishly trying to convince himself that his prosecutors know nothing whist he awaits trial. He sounds pretty worried if you ask me…

Quote:

“‘Cos people will never believe really…but this reading really is…erm, a very good reading. What another thing people do not understand is when you’re doing a demonstration with an audience it’s a lot harder for a medium, it really is and there’s some that give demonstrations and they get, like that fella said at the end of this video that they can get 80% of whatever you know? I mean she got…I’d give her a rating of something like 80% out of 100 with that woman and that lad. Considering she give only two readings there, if she went on she’d probably give a better demonstration.”


You think that was a good reading Charlie? I thought it was horrendous.

Quote:

“and most people who believe in life after death…usually have actually had a private reading, and that should say a lot.”


Not really, people that have readings usually tend to believe in that sort of stuff to start with so that statement isn’t anything groundbreaking.

Quote:


“I mean people go on about the James Randi challenge you know? But mediums won’t go in for it for a couple of reasons. And one reason anyone can wave a cheque in the air but even if there was evidence out of these ten people, James Randi’ll say “well you still can’t prove that this comes from dead people” ‘cos James Randi thinks that’s everything’s a trick that can’t be explained. He is an evil man, believe me, and that’s why mediums don’t bother with him. People say “well it doesn’t matter if he’s evil” but he hasn’t got the money anyway. There’s no such thing as cold reading whatsoever.”


Right, personal attacks on Randi really make me very angry indeed. He’s not an evil man, he comes across as a dedicated and genuinely caring man, just watch the video on youtube where he explains why he examines paranormal claims, that should show anyone that deep down he’s an inherently good man. 

Secondly, James Randi would be quite willing to believe in the afterlife and psychic ability providing he’s given solid evidence. I heard somewhere that he once said that it’d be worth paying a million dollars if it led to them finding a true psychic. And yes, he does have the money, he’s proved it so don’t give us that. The above is essentially a stereotypical reason “psychics” give as to why they won’t take the challenge…personally I think it’s because they’re all frauds.

Quote:

“on badpsychic.com and James Randi, he’s picking on the wrong people. You’ve got to suss out the bad from the good and James Randi and badpsychic.com will never do that because they don’t understand how mediumships work.”


So you admit there are some bad mediums Charlie? Wouldn’t this disprove your claim that cold reading doesn’t exist? And, unfortunately for you, James Randi and the Badpsychics community know exactly how “mediumship” works.

Quote:

“And it’s even like him on badspsychic.com, I mean he said he went through a course and he’s a medium and he does understand it…but he’s lying!”


I’m sure Jon is heartbroken by your accusations.

Reply by Jon: For the record I did indeed complete a mediumship course, so to call me a liar is in fact libellous. I have NEVER claimed to be a medium, so again you are misrepresenting me.
It is simple, I completed a mediumship course, top of the class, I NEVER cheated, and I never spoke to spirit. Is this plain enough for you?

I stood on a stage and gave readings, probably to more people than you do. I was SUCCESSFUL, but I never cheated.
Yes cold reading can be used, but self delusion and good old fashioned lucky guesses are all you need sometimes.


Quote:

“You know what I’m saying? Doesn’t make sense does it?”


No, you’re right. What you are saying doesn’t make any sense at all, mainly because it’s smells like the same as the excuses all mediums seem to make.

Quote:

“but all you people should be open minded and a lot of sceptic people say “well we are open minded” but they’re not.”


Oddly enough the general definition of being “open minded” doesn’t mean that you unquestioningly believe any old nonsense that you hear about. It means you’re open to possibilities but, in the case of sceptics anyway, that you require evidence of something first.

Quote:

“At the end there was erm…a reading which she gave to a gentleman you know? James Randi said there was thirty seven names mentioned and he could only take nine out of that private reading. I agree with her where she said he was satisfied with the reading and a lot of stuff made sense…and it’s nothing to do with all the names she give. There’s reasons for giving all these names, when you pick up names, it doesn’t matter how it is, he could have a family history going back through a few hundred years and all them names could just come through because other people around him know them people. You put facts with them names what that gentleman got and he was satisfied.”


A lot of stuff will have made sense to him because he wouldn’t have been educated on cold reading techniques. If she was really psychic she wouldn’t have such a poor hit rate. Charlie’s right though, there is a reason for giving all these names, it’s because they’re not really psychic and they need to throw out as many names as possible in the hope that the sitter will relate to one in some way. And the large family history excuse is so laughable it’s not even worth addressing.

So yes, that’s my analysis of a typical “psychic excuse”. Rather longwinded but Charlie seems to excel in long winded droning sessions. Maybe he just bores his subjects into submission they become too apathetic to disagree with what he’s saying. This isn’t a one man crusade against Charlie of course, his “mediumship” has provided us with many a laugh, it just so happens that he’s not exactly the most cunning medium around and therefore his excuses and “evidence” is rather easy to pick to pieces in order to educate to demonstrate how these people work.

So, before you consider going to see a medium…consider this first, and if that’s not good enough look at the other articles on this site.

You may just reconsider.

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