30 June 2020

What to do if you are scammed by James Higgins TV Psychic Medium or anyone else


In October 2018, Bad Psychics published an article entitled “Why you should avoid James Higgins Psychic Medium, which you can read here.

Much to even our surprise, it provoked a huge response – as you can see from the comments section. He now ranks as our most complained-about psychic ever with posts such as these:

Please note that all images can be clicked on and enlarged to make easier to read.


However, as appalling as his alleged behaviour is here, things have recently taken an even darker turn. In the last week alone, we have been flooded with messages, all telling very similar disturbing stories. We therefore felt it was important to do a follow-up article with information about this and advice on what to do if you ever make the mistake of paying for a reading from a psychic/medium.

James Higgins’s latest scheme

If you visit Mr. Higgins’s Facebook page, you’ll see that he has now amassed several thousand followers. A closer look will reveal how he has done so. He live-streams videos practically every day, asking people to send him messages if they want the chance to get a free reading. The word ‘free’ is guaranteed to grab people’s attention – and it’s also a sure-fire way of getting his page numbers up. Especially since he also tells his followers that they must share his videos and like his page to take part.

Needless to say, many people messaged him in the hope of winning. They then got responses like these:







And these:






And these:





Can you spot the differences?

Nope! Despite shameless claims such as “you are one of the first I feel drawn to”, and “I believe there is something you need to know”, they’re all identical automated replies – with just the recipients’ first names changed.   

But sad to say, many people did fall for this, clicked on the attached link which took them to his ‘Spirit HQ’ page, and paid around £32+ each for a reading.

It should be mentioned here that most of the customers only did so because they had suffered bereavements, were feeling very vulnerable, and were desperate to hear from loved ones again. In fact, to illustrate this, here is a selection of just a few of the distressed messages which we have received over the last few days.   






Think for a moment how despicable it is to take advantage of people who are grieving. But I’m afraid it gets worse. Because not only did his customers never receive their readings, they just got more spam when they tried to make enquiries:



And then to top everything off, they were blocked from his page when they asked for refunds!

As a result of all this, we’ve been inundated with messages from his customers asking us what to do.

Well, in answer to this, we have three pieces of advice.


1. Get Your Money Back

If you paid by PayPal, log in to your account and open a dispute in PayPal’s Resolution Center.

Information on how to do this is here on PayPal’s official site. https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/security/buyer-protection-resolution

And you can also find step-by-step instructions in this article:
https://medium.com/@grailed/how-to-file-a-paypal-claim-ae9372cb371f

If you paid via any other method, contact your bank or credit card company.

For those in the UK, you should be entitled to a refund under the ‘Chargeback Scheme’. But make sure you do this within 120 days of paying for a reading.

Further information can be found here on the Citizens’ Advice Bureau website: 
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/somethings-gone-wrong-with-a-purchase/getting-your-money-back-if-you-paid-by-card-or-paypal/


2. Report! Report! Report!

If you ever experience a situation like this with any (England/Wales-based) psychic, you MUST report them to Trading Standards!

If Trading Standards get enough complaints, they will investigate and can take the psychic to court or stop them operating.

To contact them, you must file a report via the Citizens’ Advice Bureau. Instructions are here: 
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/report-to-trading-standards/


3. NEVER EVER Pay For A Psychic Reading Again

I have looked closely into the psychic world for over 15 years (while Jon Donnis has investigated it for even longer). Neither of us has ever come across conclusive proof of anyone having psychic powers. In our experience, psychics/mediums always fall into one of two categories.

a) Deluded people who believe they have psychic powers
b) Con-artists/tricksters who exploit grieving and/or vulnerable people.

It’s a sad fact that happy people rarely consult psychics/mediums. The psychic market usually consists of people who are down on their luck for one reason or another, and are looking for someone to bring them hope. But believe me, a psychic or medium will never provide that! As the late great skeptic Robert S. Lancaster, among others, once observed, psychics/mediums will only:

i) Take money under false pretences from people who are in a very vulnerable state emotionally

ii) Make these vulnerable people so dependent on them that the victims will not be able to move on with their lives. Unfortunately, there have even been cases where victims have been scammed out of their life savings and ended up in debt because they believed what the psychics/mediums told them and kept going back for more.

iii) By inventing messages from people who have passed, the psychics/mediums will be stepping on the true memories of your loved ones.   

And on that note, I’ll end by saying that if you ever have problems or feel depressed for whatever reason, there is no shame in asking for help. There are professionals who can offer confidential support and unlike psychics/mediums, they will not charge you a penny.

If you are in the UK, you can contact the Samaritans for free on 116 123 or via their website: 
https://www.samaritans.org

Or if you are in the USA, you can call the Lifeline Network on 1-800-273-8255, again for free, or contact them via https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/talk-to-someone-now/ (N.B. This service is also available to those who may not be contemplating suicide).

Both phonelines are there for you 24/7 – day and night.


Addendum
As at the time of writing, James Higgins's main Facebook page has been deactivated. He has now moved his business to his Spirit HQ page, and is bizarrely blaming Facebook for “temporarily unpublishing” his Facebook page because of “high levels of engagement”. He also rather audaciously claims that he thinks he “holds a record in relation to levels of engagement and followers”. Make of that what you will.

In addition to that, some people have contacted us about a private Facebook account in his name (and with his photo) that appears to be messaging people and sending out friend requests.

However, we believe that this account is NOT actually James Higgins, but another scammer who is trying to cash in on fans/followers. See the screenshot.


Notice that this scammer wants money to be sent to the PayPal account of someone called Wycliffe Mutsami.

No doubt this is an impersonator from Africa. This is a VERY common trick that scammers (particularly from countries like Nigeria) use. They set up fake accounts in the names of celebrities or people who have a lot of Facebook followers and try to befriend their fans to get money out of them.

DO NOT accept any friend requests from this account or click on any (phishing) links it sends you. In fact, do not engage with it at all. Just block and report it.


--- The following paragraph is written by Jon Donnis---
Article written by someone who wishes to remain Anonymous, I have verified their identity.
Please understand that the amount of abuse someone gets for daring to speak out against people like James Higgins is huge, as such if you do want to be abusive you will be met with overwhelming kindness, facts, and knowledge. You wont scare us, you wont make us go away.

29 June 2020

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

28 June 2020

The secrets behind the Spiritualist Church Mediums


A few days ago I published an article in the hope that people could start to look at readings from Psychics/Mediums and by using some basic knowledge start to figure out what was really going.

If you haven't yet, please read that article by clicking the link below.
http://www.badpsychics.com/2018/03/a-start-in-how-to-expose-fake.html

That article made a few assumptions, the main one being that the medium had no prior knowledge on any person being read, and was not being fed any information either before or during the reading.

One of the problems I face is when someone emails me and they say they saw a medium in a spiritualist church, and they never asked for any money, yet they were incredibly accurate. How do I explain that?

Well firstly just because a medium does not charge, does not mean he or she is not making any money, many spiritualist churches will pay mediums to perform, and of course the bigger the name, the bigger the paycheck. All spiritualist churches will ask for donations, so even if you only have 20 people in some small room above a library in Dudley, that can quickly translate into some money, I've witnessed pensioners throw £20 notes into the collection tray before.

But often Spiritualist churches are just an easy way for a medium to drum up trade so they can sell private readings which is where the big bucks come in. It also gives them a way to appear more spiritual, more honest, after all we are told that all mediums are only in it for the money right? So a medium doing a gig in a spiritualist church whereby he might only get his travel expenses covered, he must be the real deal?

But like I said, it is all about selling those private readings, and what better way than in a spiritualist church whereby many of the readings are scarily accurate. So accurate that you simply cant put it down to cold reading. But how is this possible when then medium may never have even performed at that Spiritualist church before?

The answer? Something called "The Book", also known as "The Blue Book", "The Data", "The Info", "The Run Down", and many more names.

In Lemar Keenes book "The Psychic Mafia" he referred to "The Blue Book", this was where all the information was kept on the regular attendees.

In my investigations over the past 15+ years, one thing I have realised is that pretty much every Spiritualist Church will have this book. Now please understand, that the word "Book" will conjure a very specific image in your head, instead you need to see this as not just a book, but a collection of information, this could be a notepad with hand written notes on, a Rolodex with individual cards on, a USB stick files with info on. I even heard of a single document file being held on a google drive and that being "The Book" of that Spiritualist church. It varies from Church to Church.

One person at each Church will be in charge of the book, often it is not the official secretary, or treasurer, or even the President of the church, usually it is someone who they themselves claim psychic powers, but they will often lead proceedings in the Church, and often are in charge of booking the mediums to perform.

If you are a regular experienced medium, and you are to perform at a Church, you will be contacted by the booker, and given the date, and if everything is agreed, when you arrive at the Church, before the service, you will require some private time to do some meditation, this is usually when the medium is given the book, so they can prepare for the show.

If you are a newer medium, you will need to be introduced to the right people as you go along. This is why often young mediums will have a mentor, or seem to be hand picked, they are literally being groomed and told the secrets. But since these are secrets, everything is done very privately, and you need to earn your trust, and as such younger, newer mediums would not even be told of the existence of the book, and instead just be expected to go out there and cold read, to earn their stripes.

I know of people who worked very high up at the SNU, in administerial positions who were never let in on the gig, and they went their whole lives believing that mediumship was real. People who ran the Churches would not be in on it. This is why the SNU (Spiritualists' National Union) would always want to control and be in charge of any Spiritualist Church, they would literally confiscate the deeds to Churches, and ban any of their mediums from performing at any non SNU Churches. Of course I would never claim that any SNU Affiliated Church would ever use the Book, or use any means of prior research on their congregation.
Although I once attended a SNU Spiritualist Church and someone realised who I was, and the medium who was due to perform, mysteriously had to leave and the service was left without a medium. Very strange coincidence.

You thought Scientology was a secretive organisation, trust me Spiritualist Churches are way more secretive.

So you can understand that a medium can sit down for 30 minutes before a show, look at the book, and have enough information to go out there and have an incredibly accurate performance.

But how is this book collated I hear you ask?

Well first of all have you ever been to a Spiritualist Church? if the answer is no, then DON'T, stay away. Don't even go for a laugh or because a friend wants you to see what it is all about. Do not waste your time.

If the answer is yes, have you ever noticed they have a big remembrance book that you can leave a message to your loved ones in spirit?

"I miss you Grandpa Joe, your Grandchildren all love you, and are happy you can now walk again in spirit. Lots of love from Peter, Lucy and Steve"

It is full of messages like that. So instantly you have a fair bit of information about Grandpa Joe and his family, right. Imagine how much information you could collect on a regular attendee who comes every single week!

Have you ever tried to sit in a chair right at the front? You will often be told these seats are reserved. They are reserved for the regulars, and yes they will sit in the same chair every week. And guess who often gets the readings. Yep the people at the front.

These people aren't plants, they are not in on the gig, they are just the most loyal followers of the Church. These will be the people who will have the most information recorded about them in the book. They will also be the most generous financially to the Church, and they will be the ones most addicted to the drug of mediumship, and getting that one final message.

An example of how information might be stored on someone.
Dora McMichaels, Seat 1C
Age 89, Widow to Bert McMichaels, died aged 74, Heart Attack. Liked toy trains. Irish Accent, scared of spiders, liked Whiskey and Cigar.
1 of 5 sisters, Gertrude (Gertie), Margaret (Margy), Susan, Elizabeth.
4 Children, 8 Grandchildren. Grandson Michael (Motorbike Accident, 24)
Irish/Scottish Backgroud. Singer in youth.

From just that, a medium could easily drag out a 20 minute reading, create stories, describe characters and so on. And as this reading goes on, someone is talking notes seeing if she gives any new info to add to the book.

In one Spiritualist Church I went to, I spotted hidden microphones, one in the middle of each line of chairs. And before the show started as people were all kept waiting, what were they doing? You guessed it, they were talking about who they hoped the medium would bring through from spirit.

So one security camera on the ceiling, hidden microphone, and someone sat in the office with a notepad and pen, and you suddenly have another level in information collection, this is especially useful if you have first time visitors.

In the old days they would have a stooge at each service, who would pretend to be one of the people attending, they would strike up conversations, listen in on what people were saying, and then make little notes when no one was looking.

So you don't need fancy technology, although it helps, just ask Simon Peters, he is still wearing that headset even after I exposed him. Oh well.

The point of all of this is that often when you go to a Spiritualist Church you are seeing hot reading, ever wondered why some mediums have such a high accuracy rate at their local Church, but as soon as they are away from that and doing hotel function room shows, their accuracy rate plummets and they are back to asking endless questions. Well now you know.

The Spiritualist Church is just another way for you to be fooled by people peddling promises of immortality, but at the end of the day you will just end up poorer.

Stay Away.

By Jon Donnis.