20 April 2023

A start in how to expose a fake psychic/medium.

Pick a psychic, any psychic.

For the sake of this article, I will use the word psychic as a catch all word to describe anyone who claims psychic, paranormal or medium powers. So please no comments about me not knowing the difference.

One of the problems I face, is that I receive a lot of messages, either by email, or through social media. They usually go something like this.

"Have you heard of psychic Bob McBobberson, he is such a fraud, I wish you would expose him."

(Disclaimer: Bob McBobberson is a made up name, however if there is a real world, self proclaimed psychic by that name, I guarantee you he is a fake.)

I then face a dilema, if that psychic is a small time internet only psychic, with a few hundred followers, if I expose him, and put his name on this site, I will inadvertently give him publicity, and he can then claim to be in the same league as many of the big name psychics I have exposed.

I have literally seen psychics use being exposed on this site, as a badge of honour to say to their followers to gain sympathy. So as you can imagine, the last thing I want to do is help give a psychic publicity, even if I am exposing them along the way. You see believers will see such an article, and not read it, they will instantly dismiss it because it is written by me and published on this site. And clearly that is not a good thing for me, or for skepticism in general.

For bigger name psychics this is not a problem, as their names are already out there, and often I will get such a name thrown at me as someone who has never been exposed. Usually when I hear that, I will find a clip of them, and expose how they do it. Job done. My site ranks very highly in google, and their fans tend to read such articles.

It is much easier to reveal the truth to a fan of Gordon Smith for example, than a fan of Bob McBobberson, for the fan of Smith will have invested a lot of time and money in that psychic, going to shows, buying books and so on, so they will want to prove me wrong, and will try to find flaws in what I write, so will actually read my article. Of course the hope is, by doing that they realise they were fooled, get angry and never spend a penny of that psychic again.

Whereas fans of Bob McBobberson will be the types of believer that jump from one psychic to the next, again and again, trying to get that "fix" to feed their addiction.

So what I want to do here, is try to help people understand how to expose a psychic themselves, and at the very least, see through some of the tricks they would have previously fallen for.

And with that I am going to try to talk you through my thought process when I am faced with exposing a medium.

If you read through my replies to comments on this site, or on the forum, you will notice that I always offer a challenge to someone who is defending a psychic. That challenge is always the same.

Show me an unedited recording/video or a psychic you are 100% convinced is real, and I guarantee you 100% that I can show you how it is done.

Now the first thing you should notice here is what I am asking for, I am asking for an unedited recording. The reason is I understand how television works. When Colin Fry used to record his TV show, he would record for a few hours, but the final show would only be 25 minutes. His readings would seem incredibly accurate and the responses of the people being read, would completely validate what he had told them, whether that was in post show interviews, or even the affirmative nods on their faces during the show.

When making television, all entertainment shows need certain reactions from the audience. On X-Factor for examples, the warm up guy will often ask the crowd to give a standing ovation that can be filmed and used later. And peoples reactions will be filmed and shown out of order. There is no difference when it comes to psychics and their TV shows.

If a woman is shown nodding affirmatively to something the psychic has said, or crying, or some other emotion, you never truly know if that is a direct reaction to what the psychic has said, or if that has been edited to make the psychic seem more accurate. You are witnessing an edit, and every time the camera switches, there is a chance you are not seeing something in real time. So when I ask for an unedited recording, all that means is that it hasn't been professionally produced.

Often I will take such unedited records direct from a psychic's own youtube page. Because often they themselves are proud of their own work, and know that 99% of people who watch it, wont realise what is going on.

So when judging a psychic that you believe is real, or at least think are doing something you cant easily explain, make sure you are not watching something with multiple cameras, edits and cuts. So forget professionally produced TV shows.

One thing to note here, there is always a chance of hot reading, whether that is researching someone who has booked a reading using their name, email, whatever, there are endless ways to research someone. Just look at the latest Facebook scandal with data being sold. There are so many ways to find out about people in the world of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on.

But let's assume the person has not been researched and the psychic really has no idea who they are and has no prior knowledge on them, this reading could be one on one, or it could be someone picked out from an audience. How do we start to spot a fake?

The absolute easiest way to spot a fake psychic is if they tell the client to only answer yes or no. This is the oldest trick in the book, a psychic does this so they can claim that they are not fishing for information, or that the client is telling them things and so on. The truth is the complete opposite, the psychic by forcing the client to only answer in one of two ways is taking complete control of the reading, they are able to frame it in such a way that most times regardless of how the client reacts, it will end up being a hit.

Let me give you a simple example.

Psychic: Did your Grandfather smoke?
Client: No
Psychic: Yes he is telling me it disgusted him.
Client: Correct.

So the person then comes away thinking the psychic knew that your Grandfather didn't like people who smoked. Let's try again.

Psychic: Did your Grandfather smoke?
Client: Yes
Psychic: Yes I can see him sat in his favourite chair smoking and having a whiskey.
Client: Correct

Now regardless of how the client reacts, the psychic can follow it up with a statement supposedly from the dead Grandfather.

Now if the psychic hadn't ordered the client to only answer yes or no, they may have added information in their answer, which then would have taken away what the psychic said in reply.

Psychic: Did your Grandfather smoke?
Client: Yes, he would enjoy a smoke with a glass of whiskey in the evening.
Psychic: Yes he is showing me that now.
Client: ok.

Can you see the difference, now the client has given the psychic more information, which gives the psychic less to repeat back, of course sometimes this does happen, and the psychic will simply repeat back the information the client told him perhaps later in the reading.

So this is a good place to start, if the psychic is controlling the reading completely they will tell you to answer yes or no, so if you hear that, they are a fraud, time to go home. Game over.

Now if they don't tell you that, then you need to keep track of what the psychic says, and what the client says.

This is why I will always have a reading transcribed, it makes it much easier to keep track.

Now if you do this yourself, the easiest thing you can do is count how many questions the psychics asks. Simple as that.

A real psychic would not need to ask any questions at all. Not even "would you understand that?" By asking "Would you understand that?" The psychic is FISHING, they need to know their reading is going the right direction so they can continue, if they do not know, then their reading could go in the complete wrong direction and they end up looking a fool.

If the person reacts in a negative manner to that question, it allows the medium to change directions, they can tell the client that they need to "take that home with you", this basically is their way out, they are getting rid of you. They then change the direction of the reading or end it completely. You go home, you ask your relatives a version of what the psychic has said, if it is vaguely right, then you are amazed because there is no way he could have known about it, and he couldn't have picked it up from you, if he is wrong, it is just forgotten about. Either way the psychic doesn't have to deal with the result.

In the inner circle, this is known by psychics as the "Take Home Escape", and pretty much all psychics use it. Think of it like a fishing net, you have a small net. Psychic asks you if you understand the number 50. You have no idea. So you go home and ask your parents, because there is two of them, their net is twice as big, so a wider chance of success. That number 50 might be the number of the house someone lived in 40 years, the year someone was born/died, joined the army. If your parents don't know, they ask their siblings, their net is double the size for each added person to the question, and so on.

One of the reasons it is called "fishing for information" is the wider you cast the net, the more chance you will catch a fish.

So as you transcribe the reading, every time a sentence ends in a question mark, note it down, and count them up. Then at the end of the reading, just read through them all, and ask yourself, why is the psychic asking question after question.

It might look something like this.
Would you understand that?
Is your mother still alive?
Did he work in the steel industry?
I'm getting the number 4, was he 1 of 4 children, or did he have 4 siblings?
Did he die of something to do with the chest area?

Next, take out everything the psychic says, and only read the responses from the client, note down all the information they give the psychic. This truly is the easiest way to see how much the client says compared to how much the psychic says.

Notice how often the client will ask no questions at all. How strange is that when you really think about it? You pay to see a psychic, they claim that they are speaking to your dead relative, yet you never ask a question or at least never get a direct response to a question, yet the psychic asks you question after question.

If you can separate what the psychic says and what the client says, this really is a great way to see the direction the information flows, and it is never from the psychic to the client.

Of course there is much much more that can be analysed in readings, but this truly is the easiest way to expose a psychic and a great way to start doing it yourself.

So to summarize.
1. Write down and count how many questions the psychic asks.
2. Write down all the information the client gives the psychic.

Compare the two. Does it still look like the psychic told the client everything? Or does it seem more like the client gave the information and the psychic just repeated it back and elaborated a bit.

Now I have given you a starting point, why not use this knowledge. You want to expose a psychic. Do as I suggest. Find that unedited raw recording, transcribe it, and go through it.

You can open on a free blog on Blogger.com or Wordpress or something like that, and publish it.

You can even drop me a line and ask me to look it over first, to make sure it all looks good, I will happily do that, and even give you advice and help you.

The more we expose psychics the better, but this is just one site, I would much prefer an army of 100s of people all with their own little blogs, all publishing articles, exposing the methods.

So you have a choice, sit on your backside and do nothing, or help me to help you and others.

By Jon Donnis


Adrian Heath said...

Fascinating and really useful information, thank you Jon.
I totally get what you are saying about many blogs and articles from multiple people being better, however from what I have seen from just this site and your forum and as you know all too well yourself is how litigious psychics and mediums can get and how hugely aggressive and intimidating both they and their followers can be if you dare to even question their abilities let alone expose them, not everyone can handle that, it takes a special kind of person to deal with it. I've seen some of the abuse and threats you get and I'm not sure I could cope with it and I'm no shrinking violet believe me. I reckon you must have balls of steel mate.

Unknown said...

A good medium asks no questions, not all mediums are psychic, these are different things, there are many frauds out there and give the good ones a bad name!!

Adrian Heath said...

Mmm where to start.....
1)There are no "good mediums" In 150 + years of investigation 100% of mediums have failed 100% of the time under controlled conditions where the chance to cheat is removed.
2) Psychic mediums especially those who charge for services are not caring or helping those who grieve, they are in fact halting or altering the process and stages of grieving and artificially changing the memories their clients have of their loved ones and installing new ones that are artificial and not real.
3)There is absolutely no evidence beyond the anecdotal that it is even remotely possible for the human personality and memory to survive death, in fact it runs contrary to many laws of physics biology and biochemistry which is why the vast majority of credible scientists are at the very least,agnostic.
Finally please remember that we are dealing with that which is unseen, esoteric and nebulous, those making the claim for these sort of magical beliefs MUST necessarily shoulder the entire burden of proof, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and no one has ever yet provided anything beyond anecdotal unprovable stories. Many mediums have been definitively proven fraudulent and fake, none has been definitively proven genuine, I'll leave you to do the maths. Now the usual comment believers use to counter this is to say that science isn't developed enough for their claims to be tested,but this is an unfalsifiable statement and smacks to me of just how much the desire to believe is greater than a desire to know.
I support anyone's right to believe what ever crazy thing makes them happy, want to go to a spiritualist church or believe in a flat earth ? Knock yourself out, my problem is that mediums make money from the vulnerable and mess with people on a psychological level that they are unqualified for and which can do harm, its wrong and its definitely not based on reality.

Thetruth said...

Hi Jon, thanks for this useful analytic guide for cutting through the smoke-&-mirrors disguises of so-called "mediums'" methods to expose their sly tricks. I highly commend the necessary counterforce your website and forum continues to provide to people, who, like myself, have missed lost loved ones so strongly to have, at one time, been drawn in by these unscrupulous or deluded exploiters who presume to hold damaging power over mourners' already fragile emotional states. Especially when these pompous posers' so-called "hits" can seem so startlingly specific and fitting, one can fall prey to entrusting them with some kind of special insight. It's in those cases that these "mediums" can then slip in their fabricated hurtful scenarios or "messages" to really traumatize their victims. It's a sick, sad, dangerous business, no matter how "helpful" and "clear" these characters tell themselves they're being - for a price, of course. I look forward to following your upcoming entries and comments on your website and forum with respect and gratitude.

Unknown said...

Adrian, your post exactly states my own viewpoint.

I would also add that we all have tell tale signs on our faces - micro movements, along with our body language that help "mediums" trained in interpreting such signals to aid in the success of their "reading!" We are not aware of most of the signals or minute facial reactions that we give off. Those close to us probably don't notice them. However, once aware of how to spot and read these tell tale signs, it gives information to the "medium" just as much as if you had verbally told them.
Can I please add, hooray! for this website! Especially on the very interesting expose of that "programme for the gullible," Most Haunted! I realised from its inception that it was fraudulent. I watched it for a couple of series merely to laugh at the so called "evidence" which was so obviously faked and always happened off-camera. In the end I had to stop watching. One reason was because it was boring but the main reason being the fact that Yvette Fielding "fake screaming" every two minutes sounded like chalk down a blackboard to me !
What saddens me is there are still people out there who are gullible enough to watch the programme and that there are plagues of so called"mediums" - fraudsters and fakes be them all, existing out there living off of the hard earned money of the grieving amongst us.
These people need grief counselling, not seen as another sucker to make another pound from!

JD said...

Thanks for the kind words.

Cococat26 said...

Jon I love your forum I used to go pshyics all the time and don't see harm better than hitting wine or worse for escapism and as was all fun you'd chat about it with friends etc been to some who don't give you that entertainment factor don't even bother to try such as Sharon Oneill supposedly total blind but can see where money is . Claims of solving murder cases but always seems to have cold and cant read .. as long as taken with pitch of salt and for craic .. its when vunerable and being scammed out of a lot of money yes has to stop but ... I got scared having got reading from a real one yes you read that .. no questions asked .. just started talking told me grandmothers birthdate Im not on social media etc .. wow how can you explain that .. I know I spent on nonsense a lot of times but when meet with real thing scary .. he is in Belfast and isn't fame hungry so would luv u to investigate..no explanation after yes don't laff .. after hundreds of readings I found a real one ...

Cococat26 said...

I think you'll be shocked majority are nonsense but wow a skeptic can be proven wrong..

Cococat26 said...

James bamboo florists belfast challenge you to take a reading and tell your thoughts in twenty years of going to readings and taking it as entertainment I was scared he is real

JD said...

Never heard of him. If he wants to prove he us real he knows where I am.

JD said...

Give me a recording and I'll show you how he did it.
I guarantee you, you were conned

Cococat26 said...

HI jon no recording I know what you'll say on that but as someone who thought it was laff was boggled scared he does one to one readings not fame hungry hence you may not of heard of him I ve given ya info anyway would live an investgastion I can't fathom that he isn't real .. sorry where is your link to sensing murder.. apparently they have new 2018 .. mm no cases solved

Cococat26 said...

Ps he doesn't know I put him forward or anyfeed back .. great for investigating .. he has website n can book phone readings but not recorded Ive given you his info and dont want to advertise so please heads up if you do study ..I was semi skeptic now ooh maybe the odd one is real

JD said...

Hmmm. I'm curious did he not allow recordings? That's another sign of a fake. Last thing they need is someone listening back.

And sometes if you earning goof money from your scam, you don't want to get famous and bring upon yourself unnecessary attention.

Either way you got conned, but without a recording I can't show you.

But trust me he is not the worlds first real medium.

I don't care for sensing murder.

JD said...

Like I said not interested in chasing no name psychics. I know how they do it. I have nothing to prove. If hey want to back up their claim they can come to me.

But I will say this. He is a fraud. He conned you. I say that with unbeatable confidence that I am right.

I hope one day someone proves me wrong. But my days of chasing after them are long gone.

Cococat26 said...

Thanks for reply I dont care for sensing muder either but loved all the forums not one case solved family feedback after show .. I m hoping to book James agin in few months its normally my entertainment not a believer so I 'll ask if I can record then

Cococat26 said...

Ps wow some of the info on famous psyhics brillant would love a bit more on those who refused James Randi test or failed challenge ..

JD said...

Ok stop posting here and join the forum. I have to moderate every comment on here and I want comments on topic.

No need to reply to this. Join the forum.

Adrian Heath said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MitchtheWitch said...

I read your article and I found it to be a great source of information for people seeking spiritual advice from a psychic and what to look for and what to steer clear of; especially for those who are desperate in their grief and vulnerability to be taken advantage of. I am a psychic medium and I love to help people but I must say, I am sick to death of the pretenders and charlatans that make it difficult for us to give genuine readings. Blessings

Anon said...

MitchtheWitch, I do not believe you, I believe you are a fraud.
Care to prove your claims? Or are you scared the truth might come out?

Adrian Heath said...

@Mitch the Witch

If you really and genuinely want to help people here's what you need to do:

1) Stop giving readings; as a so called "psychic medium" you are completely unqualified to be messing around with the brain of anyone who is bereaved and grieving and could indeed be making things worse by altering the memories people have of their loved ones or disrupting or even halting the natural course of the grieving process before it's complete.

2) If you want to really help the bereaved go back to college or university and study/train to become a psychologist or grief councillor, that's something that will have a real lasting and genuine impact as opposed to spewing out incoherent burblings from a darkened back room.

Adrian Heath said...

Hope you don't mind Jon but this was the perfect reply to a question on Quora so I took the liberty of copy pasting the article to that site. I have credited both you and the bad psychics website both at the begining and end of the article.
Regards Adrian.

Post a Comment