Contact with the Great Beyond--Psychics like Praagh

Recently a tv psychic said to this lady that there were pictures of some departed loved one of hers that were tilted, and she cried and said oh that’s true! I don’t see how a psychic medium could come up with things this particular from a cold reading or trickery. There are many examples of very specific, idiosyncratic, and mostly banal (and therefore convincing) details brought out by these famed mediums. Another example is a woman wanted to contact her dead first husband to apologize for saying mean things to him while he was alive. But the person that the psychic brought through was her grandfather, and she wasn’t even thinking about him or I mean she didn’t even mention him. And the psychic said that her grandfather had this certain chair with a split in it and the woman said, “Boo hoo, that’s right!” And later when her first husband came through she was convinced it was he. Anyway, several questions: 1) don’t debunkers dismiss the possibility of communication with the spirits too readily; 2) why do James Praagh and Edward say that the dead are watching and helping out; one said someone from the Beyond was helping out with wedding plans for a sister. I mean when I am in the next world I don’t want to be helping out with weddings, I hate weddings. I find it very depressing to think I will be hovering around. I want to be enjoying the gardens and libraries of Paradise and dancing in the discos, not hanging over benighted loved ones. I’ll see them later on; right now the surf’s up and I must get my board! 3)Why do almost all of the psychics, Edward, James, and that lady Sylvia Browne all speak of reincarnation? The last thing I want to do is come back to this turkey farm! Psychics speak of how one has a life journey. Ugh. Most deplorable! I did run across one psychic who said it was a very bad idea to come back, that you don’t have to come back but some people feel they should so they can if they want, and get reincarnated. I hate reincarnation.

Geez, half the pictures in my house are tilted, but that’s just because I haven’t gotten around to buying one of those laser level thingies.

It’s hard to tell what point you’re trying to make. Maybe your spirit advisor could teach you the secret of paragraphs.

Frankly, a tilted picture in any house, or a split chair belonging to a grandfather, sound like pretty safe guesses. Most of the pictures in my apartment are tilted, and I have a split chair, and so does my father, and so does my grandfather.

While I do think that the human mind is an astonishing thing, I also think that John Edward is using his to defraud the ignorant, and he is therefore my enemy. One of my students was surprised by the depth of my loathing. “You really hate him, don’t you?” Well, I do. I devote my life to decreasing ignorance, and he increases ignorance every time he opens his mouth. But he makes more in a single episode than I do in a year for spreading ignorance to millions while I have to battle it 30 people at a time.

His only right course of action is to donate every penny to the public school or schools of his choice, every black turtleneck to a shelter for homeless poets, take a vow of silence, and devote himself to buffing Cecil’s shoes until such time as he is ready to be allowed to speak to people again.

I also detest Edwards and others of his ilk. It makes me sick to think that they are preying on innocent people during their darkest moments. I mean, what sort of low-life would do such a thing?

Everytime I see his mellon face on TV I have to control myself, otherwise vomit would be spewing out of my mouth. :mad:

I once attended a seminar with Ben Alexander as speaker. He is a
former spiritualist medium that turned to God. His story is extraordinary and does shed light on the spirit world.

The link to his website:

I recommend his book highly.

If psychic powers are a real phenomenon, why is it that they have never been successfully demonstrated under properly controlled conditions? Why is the only “evidence” for them always anecdotal? Anecdotal evidence is highly unreliable, and should not be used as the basis for belief in any thinking person. There is a very simple and logical reason for this: By accepting anecdotal evidence, you are taking note only of “successes” that may very well be coincidental, while ignoring the much more numerous failures.

To take any single instance of a “psychic” correctly guessing something as meaningful is to ignore all the times that psychics get things wrong. It’s like flipping a coin once, getting heads, and then concluding that the result of flipping a coin is always heads.

Maybe you need the Exorcist.

bDOOM kssh

Keep in mind that the mediums aren’t always doing a cold reading. Sometimes they have information that the audience doesn’t know about. They can get this information by having their aides listen to the conversations amonst audience members before the show begins, or even by having their assistants interview people specifically or talking to the audience members personally.

You might think that it would be pretty transparent to get information from the readee and pass it along a psychic insight, but they can just present the statement as fact, e.g. “You have a chair with a split in it that your grandfather gave you.” And the readee will say, “Yes,” meaning, yes, that’s what I told you, while the audience, who don’t know about the previous interview, see it as a remarkable hit. It’s also not uncommon for the readee to forget some of the things they revealed in the interview and be convinced that the psychic was coming up with them out of thin air.

The link was very amusing, jjrt. Those who think John Edward can communicate with demons are still giving him too much credit. :smiley: BTW, gamers, don’t miss the section on D&D and other “FRP” games.

—Another example is a woman wanted to contact her dead first husband to apologize for saying mean things to him while he was alive. But the person that the psychic brought through was her grandfather, and she wasn’t even thinking about him or I mean she didn’t even mention him.—

This IS a key element cold reading. One of the most important tactics is that you can’t let the mark pre-specify what they want to find out (that would require the medium risking answering a direct question about the specific thing wanted). That’s why the “spirits” start out vague, and come into focus only with repeated questions and responses from the mark, which the cold reader then simply validates. The whole point of cold reading is that you simply spit out things, and the mark picks out the true things for you, heading you in A right direction, not any particular pre-specified right direction. They can’t ask questions: they only get to answer them. (In fact, Edward’s SciFi site actually was bold enough to list that in the “rules” for the auidence: don’t ask questions, just answer Yes or No, don’t elaborate)!

—Anyway, several questions: 1) don’t debunkers dismiss the possibility of communication with the spirits too readily;—

No, just I dismiss the idea that Van P or Edward communicate with spirits.

Time once again to send some folks off to James Randi’s site. Do some poking around the archives on that site, and you’ll learn all about cold reading.

Don’t let the skeptics fool you. They have no proof that James is anything other than he appears to be.

While they may think they are fighting ignorance, I detected a huge amount of hate, and hate is ignorance. James and others are performing a service, with their skills, and helping further the understanding of our spiritual nature. There is a spiritual world and James is in contact with it.

This link is about the great Randi on national TV trying to push his “cold reading” theories, but the audience wasn’t buying it.


One time I heard an interview with Penn Gillette who mentioned that he finds Edward to be disgusting. He also made a good suggestion for anybody getting a “reading.”

Whenever the “psychic” makes a statement like “your grandfather had a chair with a crack in it,” if he then pauses, as if waiting for verification don’t nod or shake your head or say anything except “are you asking me, or telling me?”

After all, a question can be made in the form of a statement.

I have been told that these spirits are made up of
ectoplasm. I looked up the meaning which is as

  1. Biology. The outer portion of the continuous phase of cytoplasm of a cell, sometimes distinguishable as a somewhat rigid, gelled layer beneath the cell membrane.

a. The visible substance believed to emanate from the body of a spiritualistic medium during communication with the dead.
b. An immaterial or ethereal substance, especially the transparent corporeal presence of a spirit or ghost.

I do not know much about this or whether I honestly believe this. But, according to this they can take form
And speak through a medium.
So how do we really know if these mediums are not really talking to the spirits, or vice versa.

I also wonder about this, I’ve always heard that the only way to bring back the dead is in your dreams. So if you dream of someone dead could this also be of the same ectoplasm.

But then again if I were to ever see a spirit or ghost coming forth out of someone, I wouldn’t live to tell about it anyway, I’d die of a heart-attack…:smack:

I think you have a good idea. Get an appointment for a reading and then tell the psychic nothing, make sure you say nothing about yourself while you are there. Psychics are used to this approach and will make a list of things they “see”; it is a challenge for them as well as you, they love it.
On the other hand, people who slander psychics with their opinions or ideas of what might/could be happening, but have no proof. They never do, should be forced to show proof or shut up.


Entirely true.

No evidence exists that show James to be anything but what he appears to be - a fraud.


Also, Lekatt? It seems from this and other posts that you are very…skeptical…about skepticism, which is kind of ironic, don’t you think? After all, anybody can claim to be psychic, but telling somebody that pictures are tilted is a far cry from proof. Understand this: It’s up to any person making a claim to provide proof of it’s validity; it’s not up to the rest of the world to disprove it. Edward, Braagh and the rest have not provided proof, they’ve simply engaged in word games and guessing games, which other people have learned how to do who make no claims of “psychic” ability.

Please, anybody who thinks there might be something to these psychics, read. Start HERE

By the way, I read the transcript of the Larry King interview and Zammit does a very poor and biased recap of it. You have no clue whether or not the “audience” was buying Randi, because very few calls were taken and the psychic in question came off as whiney and defensive.

Your information is correct, but about 50 years out-of-date.

The word Ectoplasm has not been used for decades in the spiritual field. One of the main reasons it was dropped was fraud.
Spiritualists would show ectoplasm coming from them (smoke) and moving around the room. This thrilled the audience, but was easy to debunk.

Modern psychics use a variety of methods, some see symbols, pictures, others hear voices and repeat them, while still others have the answers “impressed” in their mind. Fraud still exists and is plentiful. Remember Miss Cleo. The psychic community warned people about her from the start.

James Van Praagh is a real psychic, coming up through the ranks and now appearing on national TV. But one thing to keep in mind about the programs is, that their are programs. Filmed off stage and cut together. This makes him look better than he really is, but he is still very good.


I didn’t see anyone making any claims, no psychic does that. They tell what they see, if they see nothing, they tell nothing. When have you ever heard a psychic say they could prove or would prove they were in touch with the spirit world. There is total ignorance about psychics outside of those who use them.

If you want to know for sure, make an appointment, tell nothing and find out first hand, then you will have something to say about them besides guesses.

I know about cold reading , it was an invention of Randi’s. It just doesn’t happen and if you read the address I offered you saw
To others: I will not answer any posts that are not sincere questions and commients. Tired of the jerks.


lekatt, the claim to which we are referring is “I can communicate with the dead.”

Er, and cold reading wasn’t invented by James Randi. It’s a technique that mentalists have used for entertainment, and “psychics” have used for . . . other purposes . . . for some time. I’m not sure who first coined the term, but I’m pretty certain it predates The Amazing Randi.