Insights through Illusion for Daily Living

Exposing Mediums and Psychics


Long Island Medium was a popular show this season.  It’s a woman from Long Island (go figure) who claims to be a psychic medium.  She claims she can speak to the dead and get information.  Understand that I take Ephesians 6:12 very seriously, but I also believe in con artists.  Especially ones who are easy to catch out.

Back in the 1800s they would have thrown the woman in jail for this.  There are quite a few super-mediums” here in the US who have television shows, tours, books, and rather huge followings.  The problem is the bereaved people are taken advantage of through their suggestive emotions by these scam artists who claim to be communicating with the dead.  There is something much more simple going on, and I am going to show you what they are doing.

In the next few posts, I’m going reveal a few techniques used by “mediums” to con people out of their money by exploiting their emotions.

The 2 techniques I’m going to start with are:

  • Cold Reading

  • Hot Reading

Cold Reading:

The prominent internet definition that is most common is:

Cold reading is a series of techniques used by mentalists, illusionists, and con artists to determine or express details about another person, often in order to convince them that the reader knows much more about a subject than they actually do.[1] Without prior knowledge of a person, a practiced cold reader can still quickly obtain a great deal of information about the subject by analyzing the person’s body language, age, clothing or fashion, hairstyle, gender, sexual orientation, religion, race or ethnicity, level of education, manner of speech, place of origin, etc. Cold readers commonly employ high probability guesses about the subject, quickly picking up on signals from their subjects as to whether their guesses are in the right direction or not, and then emphasizing and reinforcing any chance connections the subjects acknowledge while quickly moving on from missed guesses.

See what actually happens is that there are so many vague things that are said that the listener makes the connections to the things that work, and completely blocks out and forgets the things that don’t fit.  The medium is forgiven for these misses because of the hits they do get.

Worse even if there is a blatant miss, the “medium” will blame the subject for the miss.  That somehow they need to think harder about the connection.

If you want to see this in effect, find a newspaper and before reading the horoscopes, cover up the months and mix them up.  Now because your mind doesn’t know which one applies to you, they all seem to fit you.  Your brain fills in the gaps for the things that are close, and the things that sound similar to your situation.  Then because of these hits, you look past the misses.  There have been tests where 100 people were given the exact same word for word cold reading horoscope by a magician.  Most of these people walked out of their individual readings, emotionally drained because of the accuracy of the horoscope to their specific situation.  Strange huh?

This sounds very basic, but if you survey 99.9% of all “psychics” this is the number 1 technique they use.  The second technique that is used is more diabolical than this.  The technique of “Hot Reading” is an even more touchy subject because it has made it’s ugly way into Christian denominations under the guise of “Prayer Cards” used during faith healing ministries. Stay tuned tomorrow to find out more.

4 responses

  1. Pingback: Exposing Psychics and Mediums: Hot Reading « Step into the Mind of Bryan Drake

  2. Pingback: Psychics and Fried Chicken « Step into the Mind of Bryan Drake

  3. William

    As a fellow illusionist/mentalist I use methods like this all the time. It is crazy what you can make other people think. I just which I knew more techniques

    July 30, 2012 at 10:09 pm

  4. Pingback: The Long Island Scam « Step into the Mind of Bryan Drake

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