10 April 2014

Top 10 Ridiculous Moments in the history of Spiritualism / The Psychic Industry

Number 10: Helen Duncan

Victoria Helen McCrae Duncan (25 November 1897 – 6 December 1956) was a fraudulent Scottish medium best known as the last person to be imprisoned under the British Witchcraft Act of 1735.

But to make our list, she convinced gullible people that a Papier Mâché doll, covered in an old sheet was a materialised spirit! This is the closest to a ghost from Scooby Doo that you will ever find!

Photograph taken by Harvey Metcalfe during a séance in 1928.

Number 09: Derek Acorah
This very site (BadPsychics) was the worlds first media outlet/website to expose Derek Acorah as a fraud, and we could very literally do a Top 10 just for ridiculous moments Derek has been involved, but instead I have chosen this one.

A quick bit of history on this clip, as you will see the below clip is in colour, the original pre-recorded clip was broadcast "as live" and using a green filter to make it appear as if it was in night vision. Most Haunted would often do this on the Most Haunted Live events as a way to fool the gullible viewers.

BadPsychics originally released this clip as a way to prove the show would fake scenes, the clip was recorded from an un-encrypted satellite feed, which an associate of ours had tuned in on. We originally claimed that a member of the staff or "The Most Haunted Mole" had sent us a video tape, this was designed to cause disruption amongst the Antix crew, and it did with Karl Beattie holding many a meeting about this mystical figure, I took great pleasure in pulling the wool over his eyes!

The clip speaks for itself, so watch and enjoy.

Number 08: Sylvia Browne
Where to start with this horrible vile witch, a truly disgusting human being, who is now dead in a rather hot place.

"At around 7:45pm on April 21 2003 (the day before her 17th birthday), Amanda Berry left her job at a Cleveland area Burger King. She called her mother on her cell phone, told her that she had gotten a ride, and would call right back."

She would then disappear.

Amanda's mother Louwana Miller would appear on the Montel Williams Show a year and a half later, to get a reading from Sylvia Browne about her missing daughter, whereby Sylvia said the following.

"Miller: So you don't think I'll ever get to see her again?

Browne: Yeah, in heaven, on the other side."

"On May 6th, 2013, Amanda Berry, along with two other young women (Georgina DeJesus and Michelle Knight), was found alive and being held captive in a house in Cleveland."

Unfortunately, Amanda's mother did not live to see this day.

So just think about that for a second, a Mother died believing her daughter was dead because Sylvia Browne told her so. If I believed in Hell, then I know that Sylvia Browne would be right there. But instead she is dead, and the only comfort we can take from that is that Sylvia can't hurt any more people with her lies.

You can read more details on this case at my good friend Robert Lancasters site at http://www.stopsylvia.com/articles/montel_amandaberry.shtml

Number 07: Joe Power

For many many years fake psychic Joe Power did everything he could to become famous, but failed at every turn, but he did garner a modicum of celebrity when Shannon Matthews went missing.

With the Maddie McCann disappearance still firmly in the minds of the general populous, when a young girl called Shannon Matthews on the afternoon of 19 February 2008 in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, England disappeared the media lapped it up, and when Joe Power managed to get in with Shannon's mother, we suddenly had Joe front and center in the news, lots of photos with Shannon's mother.

"Shannon was found on 14 March 2008 at a house in Batley Carr, a short distance from Dewsbury. The house belonged to 39-year-old Michael Donovan, uncle of Craig Meehan - the boyfriend of the kidnapped girl's mother, Karen. The kidnapping was subsequently discovered to have been planned by Karen and Donovan in order to generate money from the publicity. Donovan was to have eventually "found" Shannon, taken her to a police station and claimed the reward money, which would be split between Donovan and Karen."

Joe fledgling career never recovered after this, just imagine it, child goes missing, perfect opportinty for a psychic to get in the news with some vague comments, but that one photo above, did as much as anything else to end Joe's Psychic TV career!

I hear he still does small shows in front of 40-50 people, so if you see him advertised, perhaps you should remind the organisers of this mans failed record.

Read More : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kidnapping_of_Shannon_Matthews

Number 06: Darren Brittain
Channel 4 aired a documentary called
"Tony Robinson And The Blitz Witch"

The documentary was mainly about fraudulent physical medium Helen Duncan, however during the show a medium by the name of Darren Brittain was featured.

There is single sentence claim on his website.

"His reputation for delivering names, dates, street names, and personal information to identify loved ones has earned him a reputation as a medium of high quality."

So we saw him appear on the TV show with Tony Robinson, and I made this little video

And yes the idiot in the hoodie is yours truly!
I was young and foolish then!

Read more: http://moh2005.proboards.com/thread/9526/darren-brittain#ixzz2yVOiDIfa

Number 05: Colin Fry
Before he was known as Colin Fry, he was known as Lincoln, and worked as a physical medium in the early 90s. As the story goes Colin was conducting a seance, in the dark of course, with a bunch of spiritualists, believers and other psychics, suddenly in the middle of the seance, the lights were switched on, and there was Colin stood up having escaped his bonds, waving a spirit trumpet in the air. He had been caught red handed. He was then exposed by The Psychic News!

Below are scans of the original article.

After this was published, various meetings were held and an agreement by the owners of Psychic News and Colin Fry was made to try and cover up there story, as well as throw out misinformation, other explanations and so on, some of which you can read in detail at http://moh2005.proboards.com/thread/9507/colin-fry

Despite being catagorically exposed as a fraud by his own peers, he changed his name, moved away from public demonstrations of physical mediumship and into the TV world of stage mediumship, he went on to have a relatively successful career on cable tv channels, but one thing he could never truly live down was the moment he got caught cheating, which became affectionately known as "The Trumpet Incident"

Number 04: James Hydrick
"James Allen Hydrick (born February 28, 1959) was a former American performer and self-described psychic. Hydrick claimed to be able to perform acts of telekinesis, such as his trademark trick of moving a pencil resting at the edge of a table. He became famous after a nationally-televised demonstration of his abilities on the American reality show That's Incredible!"

And he would have gotten away with it if not for that annoying little beardy skeptic James Randi!

Number 03: Uri Geller
Geller is a personal favourite of mine, I always loved his gimmick and his act.
And inadvertently, by failing to demonstrate any psychic abilities on Johnny Carson show, Uri Geller actually became ten times more famous! Lets take a look at what happened.

"In 1973, Johnny Carson had a legendary run-in with psychic Uri Geller when he invited Geller to appear on his show. Carson, an experienced stage magician, wanted a neutral demonstration of Geller's alleged abilities, so, at the advice of his friend and fellow magician James Randi, he gave Geller several spoons out of his desk drawer and asked him to bend them with his psychic powers. Geller proved unable, and his appearance on The Tonight Show has since been regarded as the beginning of Geller's fall from glory."

Number 02: Peter Popoff
"Peter Popoff (born July 2, 1946) is a German American televangelist, and self-proclaimed prophet and faith healer. He conducts revival meetings and has a national television program. He initially rose to prominence in the 1980s. In 1986, skeptics James Randi and Alexander (Alec) Jason exposed his method of receiving information about revival attendees from his wife via an in-ear receiver."

Number 01: The Fox Sisters
There are simply too many ridiculous moments in the history of Spiritualism and Psychics to mention in a top 10 list, but I thought it only fitting to have those who started it all at Number One!

"The Fox sisters were three sisters from New York who played an important role in the creation of Spiritualism: Leah (1814–1890), Margaret (also called Maggie) (1833–1893) and Kate Fox (1837–1892). The two younger sisters used "rappings" to convince their much older sister and others that they were communicating with spirits. Their older sister then took charge of them and managed their careers for some time. They all enjoyed success as mediums for many years.

In 1888 Margaret confessed that their rappings had been a hoax and publicly demonstrated their method. She attempted to recant her confession the next year, but their reputation was ruined and in less than five years they were all dead, with Margaret and Kate dying in abject poverty. Spiritualism continued as if the confessions of the Fox sisters had never happened."

Read More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox_sisters

So there you have it, the very people who started modern spiritualism were self admitted frauds!
But without them you wouldn't have anyone else on this list I am sure!

So next time you hear someone call themselves a psychic, a medium, a faith healer, or whatever, just nod your head, walk away, and don't waste your time engaging them at all!

By Jon Donnis

6 April 2014

A personal invitation for you to attend a private séance by Gary Mannion!

UPDATE June 17th: If you are looking for the videos showing Gary Mannion as he was secretly recorded faking in a physical mediumship seance you need to go to the following page


I was recently contacted by someone who had attended a physical mediumship seance performed by fake psychic Gary Mannion, some of you will remember him as the person who performed psychic surgery, but without any of the chicken guts, we offered him £50,000 to prove his claims, he declined. We even created an entire website which exposed his fraud at every single turn! Yet here we are years and years later, and he is still performing his act, he is still telling his lies, and he is still making money out of the naive and gullible.

Anyway the person who contacted me, told me about this seance, and what they experienced, unfortunately, they just sat there the whole time, and did nothing. Not to mention the fact they believe that Colin Fry is a real medium, and that they have witnessed real physical mediumship in the past so they know the difference between real and fake. For that reason I have decided against publishing their account since they obviously lack any credibility, and are just as deluded and idiotic as anyone who believes in physical mediumship.

They did however forward me the private invitation they received which included all the disclaimer and instructions for the event, and since it is quite funny I thought I would publish it here with my opinion interjected for your amusement.

But first here is my own disclaimer so that my position is clear and understood.

Everything in this article in the opinion of the Author, that being me, "Jon Donnis" it is my opinion based off of over a hundred years of credible scientific study by credible scientists, and historical evidence that any and all kinds of mediumship are fraudulent. That practitioners such as Gary Mannion are deliberate conmen. And I welcome any such person to meet me face to face and prove me wrong.

My comments below are those in RED BOLD, some parts of the material below have been removed to prevent the promotion of the event or their contact details, of which I have no interest in making public, and also some parts which have no connection to the seance have also been removed, basically bits about having cups of tea etc!

A personal invitation for you to attend a private séance on

SATURDAY 9th November 2013


Doors open 6:30pm
Bring the signed form (last page) with you if not previously handed in with payment

No admittance after 6:55pm

Pre-séance briefing 7:00pm
Séance starts 7:30pm

This event is strictly by personal invitation only.
Please do not forward it on.

Well you wouldn't want a skeptic like me getting hold of it now would you!

What to bring
It is advisable to wear dark, comfortable clothing for the séance bearing in mind that you may be sitting for two hours.

Dark clothes are better as they do not reflect light, so just incase someone smuggled a light source in, or external light somehow made its way into the room, there is less reflection and less chance the sitters would see all the trickery going on.

Temperatures can fluctuate from very hot to very cold at any time so it is advisable to wear layers. Footwear is not worn in the séance room. You may keep your spectacles on but be warned; our Spirit friends often remove them and put them on someone else! Ladies, hairpieces and hair fasteners have also been removed.

When they say spirit friends, they really mean either Gary Mannion or one of the associates walking around in the dark pretending to be a spirit.

We anticipate much, but can promise nothing
As with all events of this nature we are in the hands of the Spirit world. We ask them to work and to demonstrate as best they are able in the conditions we provide for them so come with an open mind and an open heart and trust in our Spirit friends.

Promising nothing, yet something always happens, otherwise you would have to give people their money back, it is a magic show afterall. As for "Open Mind", perhaps "Empty Mind" would be a better suggestion here.

What will it cost?
Places at the Séance cost £35 per person.
(Thirty five pounds)
Due to the nature of this event the number of places available is strictly limited.

I believe this particular seance included 10 paying guests, which means £350 for a couple of hours work, I wonder how much of that is declared to the tax man? Might be worth forwarding this on to HMRC

Cancellation Policy
Payment is non refundable and places are not transferable.

Surely any real psychic would know in advance if anyone was going to cancel?

Important Instructions and Information
Please read carefully as you will be asked to sign in agreement upon arrival.
Physical Mediumship is a rare form of Mediumistic Phenomena and few mediums subject themselves to this type of mediumship in today’s public arena. Mediums in the past have sustained serious injury and loss of life due to inappropriate conduct of persons during séances.

Utter nonsense, no one has ever had any injury whatsoever from being in a seance, this is a myth spread to encourage people not to reach out and grab the cheesecloth, or grab the hand of the medium when he is pretending to be a ghosty.

The reason few mediums perform these ridiculous parlour tricks any more is because everyone who ever has done, has been exposed as a fraud! Its much easier performing simple mental stage mediumship, as not only is it easier to fool people like this, there is less chance of something going wrong, like say someone switching the light on in the middle of a seance while the medium is stood up waving a spirit trumpet around, (Colin Fry 1992)

All séances that are held by Gary Mannion, either by him or along with a hosting venue, are for the sole purpose of experimentation and entertainment; at no time will any member or agent of Gary Mannion or his hosting venue be held responsible in any way for the content of any séance.

This is probably the most important part of the entire thing. Gary Mannion is clearly admitting in this one sentence that he is a fraud, and everything he does is no more than an act.
Mediums will hide behind this disclaimer, but do so with a nod and a wink to the gullible paying public, and make out they are forced to do so by some imaginary EU law. That is all nonsense.
A real medium has no need to call it entertainment, or an experiment.

Mediums and their claims are the same as anyone else making a claim when it comes to selling a product. Consumers are protected under the Consumer Protection Act, which is what plumbers, Electricians, or pretty much anyone selling anything have to answer too if they do not provide the service they promise.

Since mediumship of any kind is impossible, 100% of mediums say what they do is entertainment, as it is the only way to protect themselves from someone suing them, because by its very description what they do is fraud. If a medium really could do what they claim, then there is no need for any disclaimer. Please remember that people the next time a medium claims they are forced to use such a disclaimer, the truth is they are not, they are just covering their own arse!

We request that you read and accept the following conditions. If you are unable to accept any of the conditions listed, we ask that you refrain from attending a séance conducted for or on behalf of Gary Mannion.

And here are all the rules you must follow, again all designed to protect the fraud, and to stop anyone taking them to court.

Careful procedures are taken to protect the medium. If you feel you are unable to follow the instructions given you MUST NOT attend the séance.

All séances are held in complete darkness (unless stated otherwise by the Spirit communicators or the Circle leader), and can last between 1-2 hours. If you have a fear of the dark (Nyctophobia) or are claustrophobic, you MUST NOT attend the séance.

All seances are held in the dark, this always makes me laugh, just imagine paying for a magic show where you cant see anything! At least Penn & Teller do their tricks whereby you can actually see whats going on! And whats great about that is even though I can see the trick, I still cant always figure out how exactly it is they do it!

Seances are literally magic shows done in the dark! It is akin to a ventriloquist wearing a closed motorcycle helmet while operating his dummy.

Any person who is, or may be, pregnant must advise Gary Mannion or his representative before booking into a séance. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept any responsibility for their well being, before, during or after a séance.

Well that is lovely isn't it! You lose your baby or have any kind of medical issue related to your pregnancy caused by the seance, and they accept no responsibility whatsoever! That is how much "spirit" cares!

But the reality of this is that if someone was to suddenly go into labour during a seance, the last thing they can have is a rush to put the lights on to help the pregnant woman, as it would mean the tricks being performed would be revealed. Again everything is to protect the con.

Individuals attending a séance MUST NOT use any unnecessary drugs or alcohol 24 hours before attending a séance.

I was told that at the seance in question, Gary Mannion was rather hungover after being very drunk the night before! I suppose the last thing they need is someone throwing up during the show!

All persons, including the medium, will be searched thoroughly before entering the séance room. All items listed must be removed before entering the séance room;

Lets make one thing very clear here, any search of the so called medium, is purely for theatrical sake, when a magician lets you search them, or check their props, the reality is the true magic of the trick is performed elsewhere, or someone else is involved.

Shoes, Jewellery, wallets, purses, bags, head gear, belts, watches and ALL pockets must be emptied.
All metal objects must be removed,

In many seances similar to this, peoples bags, wallets etc which are left outside the seance room, are searched by the mediums associates, and information gathered which can be used in the future and/or added to the "Blue Book" Just think of all the info you may have stored in your wallet of phone, photos, names, addresses, receipts. All perfect for the fraud to gather info and use at a later time as if passed on from the other side!

ALL sources of light, mobile phones and any electrical equipment or machinery, i.e. Cameras / recording devices of any type will NOT be permitted at any time in the séance room without written permission from Gary and his team.

Purely to protect the trick,.
In 100% of cases whereby a light source has been brought into a seance room, it has shown fraud, no exceptions, that is every single time! Strange that!

In the old days of Helen Duncan they allowed cameras in, because they were new technology, and they simply didn't realise that it would show how the fraud was being conducted so clearly!

There is good reason why cameras not controlled by the medium aren't allowed in the seance room.

If any of this nonsense was real they could simply use a Zero Lux camera, and film the whole lot, but of course the frauds always find an excuse as to why such things cant be used.

ALL participants will be searched by a member of the same sex by hand and also by a metal detector and must agree to being searched. If piercings are left on your person they must be checked (by a person of the same sex) to make sure you are not concealing one of the items listed. Failure to comply with any reasonable request by persons conducting the search will result in exclusion from the séance.

So you will have your privacy invaded, and every inch of you searched just incase you have a mini torch hidden between your butt cheeks! Again they gotta protect the con! 

If you have any communicable diseases or illness, or a common cough or cold or flu-like symptoms we ask you NOT to attend without written permission from Gary Mannion.

If you feel you would become distressed or unnerved in any way by a Spirit person communicating verbally or physically at the event you must not attend.

It is advisable to only have a light meal 2 hours before a séance, so that energy is not used in digesting food.
Please refrain from wearing strong perfumes / aftershaves to the séance as they could mask smells produced by Spirit as well as causing discomfort to people suffering with conditions such as Asthma who may be affected within a confined space.

Sitters are asked not to make any unnecessary noise during the séance unless participating in the singing or forum–time.

In these types of seances, loud music and singing is used throughout as it masks the sounds of cable ties being cut, or the medium moving about when he should be sat. It always amuses me how believers are so quick to excuse these demands, and believe the explanations of raising the vibrations and other such nonsense, to a skeptic it is so obvious what is going on, but to the believer it all seems believable.

Gary Mannion or one of his representatives will give a talk on the séance protocols before the commencement of the séance; ALL participants must attend this pre-séance talk regardless of any previous attendances.

Once the séance room is sealed off and, depending on the level of trance state obtained by the medium, if anyone panics or feels uncomfortable and asks to leave the room, the séance may have to be terminated. All sitters are reminded that they have a responsibility to disclose any information that may cause the séance to terminate prematurely.

It is extremely important that guests come with an open mind to the séance. The success of the communication can come down to the positive vibration which those in attendance create. We ask that all worries and thoughts of our day to day lives are left outside and that we mentally or verbally analyse what takes place after the séance has concluded, as too much analytical thinking can impede communication. We are the only limitation to what can take place.

Once invited into the séance room, sitters are asked to sit where directed by Gary, or a designated representative. Where possible, new sitters will be asked to sit between those people who have sat in previous séances. Once seated, we ask you to minimize movements and at no time exchange seats with any other person.

In other words if they don't know you, they put you between two people who they do know, they then make you lock arms and feet with them, making it near impossible to try and grab the medium or the cheese cloth or any of the other gimmicks being waved about, again the seance is all about control, and to protect the trick.

All items made or adapted to create any type of light or energy in anyway including but not limited to light bulbs will be removed from the séance room. A red light generator may be used by the designated circle leader and is the only light source allowed at any time in the room.

Gary will be secured into his chair with cable ties and independent checkers will be invited to check the straps and bindings. An independent checker will be chosen to keep possession of the cable tie cutter at all times during the séance.

Again more controls to make you think that everything is above board, yet the reality is that someone else has a pair of scissors and replacement cable ties.

It would be so easy to put into place real controls, yet no medium ever allows it.

All exits to the séance room will then be closed and secured and a final light check will be conducted before the red light source is extinguished.

Sitters must remain as still and quiet as possible throughout the séance, unless instructed otherwise by the Spirit control or a circle representative. Over-exaggerated movement disturbs the séance room energy and unexpected ectoplasm contact can cause grave harm to the medium as the Spirit people are within the ectoplasm that is produced and exuded from Gary Mannion`s body. It is therefore a part of him and will recoil back into his body which may cause internal damage if inappropriately disturbed.

Utter nonsense. No such thing as ectoplasm, well not outside of Ghost Busters.

Sitters MUST NOT touch or grab levitated objects or Spirit entities, unless permission is expressly granted by a Spirit person or the designated circle leader.

An opening and closing prayer will be said before and on conclusion of each séance. This is not meant to offend, cause harm or distress anyone attending who may have other personal beliefs.

All persons, when instructed to do so, must hold hands and cross legs with each other; this is done to ensure that everyone is in their appropriate place and also to maintain the safety of the Medium during any type of phenomena that may be taking place within the séance room.

At no time will any person be discriminated against by any member or representative of Gary Mannion.

What a strange thing to bring up, but I am guessing they have obviously offended someone in the past, and are trying to cover themselves now.

All persons will be accepted to attend a séance by their own merit upon application. Any person refused entry to a séance at any point during the checking stages agrees not to disclose publicly any reasons given.

This is interesting, they are basically saying that if you are refused entry, maybe because you are a known skeptic who runs the worlds largest skeptical site exposing psychics, cannot tell anyone why they were refused entry! If you are refused entry to such a seance, I ask everyone to make it very public and tell as many people as you can!

I. Gary Mannion is a physical medium and, as such, is highly sensitive. Sitters/guests agree that they will not disrupt the event in any way because any disruption could cause serious injury to the medium.

Gary Mannion is NOT a physical medium, he is a performer, who makes claims he cannot prove in any way, he takes money from the gullible, he is a liar, and a fraud.

II. Gary Mannion cannot be exposed to ANY light whatsoever during the séance and, accordingly, all sitters/guests agree they will not do anything in any way whatsoever to interfere with the medium, with the conditions of the sessions, with the Spirit communicators or to introduce any light/cameras/recording devices whatsoever. I also consent to a physical search by a representative of the same sex from Gary Mannion's team.

Because any light would expose the whole thing as a trick, even though Gary already admitted it was all an act earlier on!

III. During the sessions the sitters/guests undertake to act with due responsibility and to respect the medium, Spirit communicators and all other persons present and to follow all instructions and / or directions given by the circle leader or representative of Gary Mannion

In English that means "Do exactly what Gary Mannion says or else"

IV. Gary Mannion and his authorized agents state that during the séance and / or trance event, Gary Mannion will be totally unconscious and has no responsibility for the effects of any communication which may occur during the séance or trance event.

This is another interesting part, we know Gary does not remain in any kind of trance, nor does he remain unconscious, and he IS responsible for the effects of the seance. This is a very direct and obvious lie, and one he cannot in any way prove, I wonder if this is in breach of any ASA rules?

Accordingly: I state that I am in a fit and proper condition to participate in this session and will not make any claim against Gary Mannion and his authorized agents or managers in relation to anything which may transpire before, during or after the session or as a result of it.

Wow! By attending the seance and signing the disclaimer you have to say you will not admit to having witnessed any fraud! How can anyone read this and not realise exactly what is going on!

The rest of the agreement includes a section to sign your name, to give your address, as well as providing a legally recognised photo ID/

*Photo ID
Please ensure you present a legally recognised form of photographic ID on the evening of the séance as valid proof of your identity, which matches your postal address upon the form. This is done to ensure that tickets are redeemed only by the person mentioned above who has been approved to attend the séance.

This is fascinating to me, as clearly this information can be used to research the person attending, as well as prevent naughty evil skeptics such as myself from getting into a seance and exposing it all!

And there you have it.
By attending a Gary Mannion seance, you agree to being searched, handing over all your personal information, allowing them full and free access to your wallets, purses, mobile phones and so on.

You agree that it is all entertainment, but with a wink and a nod, you agree that even if you witness fraud you cant say anything about it, and you agree it is all real and above board.

I am always amazed that anyone is stupid enough to believe in such things, but I can understand the desperation of a grieving person to speak to the dead, or even touch them one last time, unfortunately there exists frauds like Gary Mannion to take advantage of such people, and then that leaves people like me to try and warn everyone of the dangers.

My advice is to save your money, or even go and see a real magic show performed by a proper magician who will perform his tricks with the lights on!

By Jon Donnis