January 13, 2008

Testin

It's been a while...trying to learn how to do stuff with this, hate to leave it languish.


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April 05, 2007

So, You're A Skeptic

So, you're a skeptic.

Maybe you've always been a skeptic. Maybe you've always questioned authority. Maybe you've always doubted the official version of anything and everything. Maybe you've never believed in ghosts, UFOs, bigfoot, or other common folklore.

Maybe you weren't always a skeptic. Maybe you became a skeptic after having been told one too many lies. Maybe life has been so hard for you that, finally, you cast aside silly beliefs in order to survive, because if you were going to survive, you needed a firm grip on reality.

Maybe you've seen other people chase moonbeams to the point of self destruction. Maybe you've learned from their bitter experience. Maybe you've been one of those people who have learned a hard lesson from the frauds who willingly take everything but give nothing.

You're a skeptic. Society doesn't like skeptics, but society needs skeptics. You question the status quo. You point out aspects of issues that other people don't see or won't see. You ask questions where questions aren't wanted. You push people out of the comfort of their complacency. You help all of us to face facts, whether we like it or not.

You're a skeptic. To be a skeptic in this world isn't easy. You take unpopular points of view. You hold opinions that are often the opposite of those who are close to you. You don't fit in. You aren't “normal”, like everyone else.

Well, who wants to be normal in an insane world?

I'd rather be a skeptic.

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March 20, 2007

11 Ways to Talk to the Dead, Part 3

August, 2003
Continuing examination of techniques possibly used by "psychic mediums" in their performances, this time of some of Sylvia Browne's (SB) "readings" done on the "Larry King Live" show.

How it is done

There are several techniques used by SB in these excerpts. There may be more, but I'm trying to keep things simple.

  1. Redirection - pushing the focus of the "reading" in a direction desired by SB
  2. Disclaimer - a statement made by SB which absolves her of "misses"
  3. Insistence - repeating a guess even if it is not "validated" by the caller
  4. Pressure - placing pressure on the caller to "validate" any given guess
  5. Shifting the Burden - making the caller responsible for making connections to the guess or making a "hit"
  6. Subtle Questions - questions in the form of a statement, sometimes followed by "Okay?" or "All right?"
  7. Direct Questions - no guessing, just plain direct questions asked of the caller
  8. Baiting/Fishing - a statement made by SB intended to prompt a response from the caller
  9. Misdirection - a statement made by SB to confuse the caller
  10. Platitudes - banal statements about spirituality, forgiveness, holiness, etc.
  11. Inflating the Chances - making a statement that is statistically very likely to be true, and/or adding to that statement with another guess with high chances of being correct.

The important thing to remember about such "readings" is that every question and statement from SB has a purpose, which I will point out below. SB's guesses follow logically from each piece of information known. These guesses are not made at random, and they do not require communication with dead people.

Full transcripts here

Reading 1


KING: New Windsor, New York, hello.
CALLER: Hello, how are you doing, Sylvia? My name is Cathy (ph) and I wanted to know about grandmother. She had passed back in '97.
BROWNE: Wasn't your grandmother really small with very oval face and wore her hair short or back?

Comments: Direct Question, with multiple choices, which Inflates the Chances. When the caller says "Yes", we don't know which detail they are "validating". In this case, there are four possible details for a "Yes": small, oval face, hair short, hair back.

CALLER: Yes. Yes.
BROWNE: Yes. And didn't she also have a tendency to chew on her lip when she got nervous?
CALLER: A little bit, yes.
Comments: Another Direct Question. Chewing the lip is an extremely common habit of nervous people.

BROWNE: Well, yes, she comes around you a lot. And here's a strange thing she does. She sends -- which a lot of them do. She sends birds around you.
CALLER: Oh, my God. I've seen a lot of birds flying in front of the car, you know, and cardinals especially.
BROWNE: Yes. Yes.
Comments: Given that birds are very common animals it is no surprise that this is a "hit".

KING: Pretty good, Sylvia. OK. Saw the birds. She's sending those birds for what purpose?
BROWNE: Just trying to show her hello.
KING: She's communicating?
BROWNE: Yes.

Reading 2


KING: OK. Hamburg, Germany, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hi, Sylvia. My mother passed away 14 years ago when I was 9 and I was wondering if there's anything she would like to say to me and if she's happy with the path I've chosen in my life?
BROWNE: Yes, with all of the above. Now who is Ann (ph)? Ann or Anna. Because she's with Anna and she's also with a large dog.

Comments: Direct Question, Redirection, Inflating the Chances. Here we have two elements: "Anna" and "large dog". Ann or Anna is a very common name, and dogs are probably even more common - most families have had one at some time or another - and "large" is rather vague. SB responded with "Yes, etc." to the caller's question, but not with anything the departed mother would like to say to her child. Mediums commonly ignore questions in this way.

CALLER: Oh, really?
BROWNE: Yes.
CALLER: Yes, we used to have a large dog.
BROWNE: Yes, dark dog. Yes. She says that what she does -- and very characteristic of people that have passed -- is she drops coins around.
Comments: SB reinforces the "dog" hit by repeating and adding a detail - "dark" -- that the caller has no chance to verify, because SB once again Redirects the reading and Misdirects the caller by throwing in the nonsense about dropping coins around. Please note that SB is saying that this is what the dead person does now that she has "passed", not that the dead mother dropped coins around when alive. Living people drop coins accidentally, and it would be no surprise if the caller looked around the house and found some coins on the floor. Look around your own house - do you think the coins you'll find were dropped by the spirits of dead people?

CALLER: You mean in my world?
BROWNE: Yes, in your world. You'll find a lot of coins.
KING: She asks if she's happy with the life she's...
BROWNE: She's great over there. She's great.
KING: Is she happy with the life the daughter has chosen?
BROWNE: Oh, yes. She's very happy. But she said you also should check on your depression.
Comments: This is Baiting. SB's appalling medical diagnosis technique is her stock-in-trade.
Reading 3


KING: Columbus, hello.
CALLER: Yes, hi, Sylvia. I was just wondering if you could connect with my dad and tell me if he's OK.
BROWNE: He's fine. You've got two around you. Was your dad a large man?
CALLER: No.

Comments: Whoops. A Direct Question that misses completely. SB also throws in some Misdirection with the "You've got two around you," statement. If one fails, she can focus on the other, and can conveniently sidestep questions about the caller's dad.

BROWNE: Because there's a large man and then a thin, sharp-faced man.
CALLER: OK. That's not my dad.
Comments: Whoops. Another miss, even though SB uses two very broad descriptions of physical types. Pay attention to what happens next: this is a classic example of how cold reading works.

BROWNE: OK. Because there is two that come around you. One is more thicker build, broad face. The other one is more lanky build.
CALLER: OK, the broader face would probably be my dad.
Comments: Insistence on "two that come around you" - this is also Misdirection. Please note that the caller identifies "the broader face" as their dad, even though they had previously said that their dad was not a large man, nor a thin, sharp-faced man! Is the caller giving in to pressure?

BROWNE: But he keeps pointing to his chest. What was going on with his chest?
CALLER: Well we think he died of a heart attack.
BROWNE: Well, honey, that's in the chest, isn't it?
CALLER: Yes.
Comments: Inflating the Chances. SB almost always has dead men pointing at their chests, probably because heart disease is the number 1 cause of death in the United States. You can't make a safer guess.

BROWNE: He also said a year before this, he knew he was going to go.
CALLER: He did?
BROWNE: Yes. He just never wanted to tell anybody.
Comments: Misdirection. SB makes a lot of these unverifiable statements.

KING: When they ask, how are they, you always say OK. Is anybody not OK on the other side?
BROWNE: Yes, I've gotten hold of people that were in between. You know what I mean. They didn't know they were dead. That's where ghosts come from, Larry.
KING: There are ghosts too?
BROWNE: Those are people who haven't made it. But once they've made it, they're OK. They're fine.
Comments: Unverifiable statements that serve to support the Sylvia Browne mythos. I remember seeing similar philosophy in the film Casper.
Reading 4


KING: Kennett, Missouri, hello.
CALLER: Hello, Larry. Hello, Sylvia. I guess the subject of angels. I was raised as an only child, but actually I had a sister that passed on before me. And I guess my question is, I never really felt alone. Could it be because maybe she could be my guardian angel?
BROWNE: No, no, honey. People don't become angels. But what she does, she becomes like my father passed over, comes around as a protectorate. But when you were younger, I don't know if somebody -- you could validate this with someone -- you used to talk to her.
CALLER: Probably.
BROWNE: Yes.

Comments: Platitudes, and some unverifiable religious doctrine.
Reading 5


KING: OK. Macon, Georgia, hello. Macon, hello.
CALLER: Hello. I would like to know, does my mother ring my telephone? And I would like to know something about my mother. She died in 2001 and I'm having a hard time getting over it. Can you tell me something she may want me to know?
BROWNE: Yes. It's like I said before, one of the things they do very characteristically is ring the phone. But she also does something with curtains or blinds. She makes the blinds and curtains -- she also makes a lot of electrical stuff go off.
CALLER: I haven't noticed that.

Comments: Apparently this caller is making use of something SB said earlier about spirits ringing telephones. If it can be proven that spirits do this, it would be extremely remarkable, and would overturn science as we know it, because doing such a thing violates the laws of nature. But, it seems anything's possible in the land of the dead, except possibly coherent communication. But I digress. SB's guess about the curtains and blinds and "electrical stuff" is a complete miss.

KING: That sounds playful.
BROWNE: They do. They'll do that. She said also...
KING: Dead people have a sense of humor?
BROWNE: Sure they do.

(CROSSTALK)


BROWNE: She also said something about you lighting a candle for her. I don't know what that means, but she said she likes that.
KING: Well, thank you. We'll be right back with more of Sylvia Browne. More of your phone calls. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

Reading 6


KING: Crestwood, Illinois. Hello.
CALLER: Yes.
KING: Go ahead.
CALLER: Good evening, Sylvia. I was concerned about my younger son. I've not talked to him in a while. And he's been on my mind for a while.
KING: How old is he?
CALLER: 18.
BROWNE: He -- you'll hear from him between now and Christmas. But you know, he's always been like this. He's always been terribly sensitive. But more than that, he's always been stubborn. So anything that bothers him, he pulls in and pulls away.

Comments: All this is easily guessed based on the caller's concern about their son. Note that the caller does not validate any of it.

CALLER: What about his health issues? He has a health problem.
BROWNE: Yes, he's got a neurological problem.
CALLER: He does?
Comments: Redirection. In SB's case, we should probably call this "Scare Tactics". Another SB diagnosis, and a dangerous one at that. It seems pretty cruel to inflict this statement on the caller, who, once again, cannot validate the statement.

BROWNE: Yes. And he also has a problem with brain, you know -- seratome liquid.
Comments: Baiting. Probably serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with clinical depression. It's not exactly a liquid, though…SB's limited medical knowledge doesn't prevent her from making poorly-informed and irresponsible diagnoses.

KING: But he will be in touch with her?
BROWNE: Yes, he will be in touch with her.
KING: Now, you've got to help me. What did you feel when she asked that question about her son? What went through you and where are you getting that from?
BROWNE: I knew that he was suffering with depression and...
Comments: This cannot be verified. The caller doesn't even know this and it's the caller's son - but a guess at depression logically follows from the knowledge that the caller's son has not been in contact for an extended period. Also, depression is extremely common.

KING: But from where did you know this?
BROWNE: It's from God. I just know it. Larry, I don't know how to tell you.
KING: Because I felt nothing. I didn't know where the kid was or nothing.
BROWNE: Oh, I know.

Reading 7


KING: Doners Grove, Illinois. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Sylvia. Hi, Larry.
KING: Hi.
BROWNE: I would like to know a little bit about my deceased husband and my father, if possible.
BROWNE: Was your husband -- have gorgeous round eyes, very straight nose, high cheekbones and high swept forehead?
CALLER: Yes.

Comments: Impressive. But which detail? There are five to choose from. Gorgeous? Round eyes? Very straight nose? High cheekbones? High swept forehead? Again, this multiple-choice guess is a common technique for Inflating the Chances.

BROWNE: Did he also have a scar right by his eyebrow?
CALLER: Not that I am I'm aware of.
Comments: Direct Question. Clear miss.

BROWNE: Yes, right on the corner of the eyebrow. Anyway...
CALLER: Could be, yes.
Comments: Insistence. Still a miss.

BROWNE: He says he's come and sat on your bed. He said he's also come in three dreams.
CALLER: Yes.
Comments: Which is it? Apparently it's the dreams. It is not unusual for a person to dream of a departed loved one.

BROWNE: And in those three dreams, he was trying to tell you that he was all right. He said once he met you in a meadow. Once he was sitting like on a bench or something. And then once he was in the room.
CALLER: OK.
Comments: More multiple-choice Inflating the Chances, but not clearly verified by the caller.

BROWNE: All right?
CALLER: OK.
BROWNE: But it looks like he went really quick.
KING: And what about her father?
BROWNE: Both of them. Both of them went quick. She didn't get a chance to...
KING: Get a chance to what, say goodbye?
BROWNE: Anything with them.

Reading 8


KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE), the Netherlands, hello.
CALLER: Hello, Larry. How are you?
KING: Fine. What's your question?
CALLER: My question is on behalf of my wife, which is how is her currently deceased mother doing.
KING: Is she living?
CALLER: She is deceased.
BROWNE: I didn't get it.
KING: His wife, who died.
BROWNE: Wasn't this a disintegrating illness?
CALLER: Yes, cancer.

Comments: Inflating the Chances. Cancer is a leading cause of death. SB, however, did not say "cancer", she guesses at "disintegrating illness", which could be any of a variety of illnesses. A safe approach, given the confusion about who exactly the dead person is in this reading.

BROWNE: Yes, well, it's disintegrating. The whole body begins to...
KING: He said yes.
BROWNE: She's doing great. You know what she's done is she's come around you and put her hand on your face one night. And for some strange reason, you'll feel kind of like a breeze on your face at times. She's also always around you for some reason when you're in a vehicle.
CALLER: That is possible.
BROWNE: You know how you're always looking in the rearview mirror because you feel like there is a presence? That's because she's there.
KING: Is anybody on the other side unhappy?
BROWNE: No one.
KING: So whenever you pass on, nothing but good.
BROWNE: You're happy. There, nobody is griping, nobody is mad. Nobody is ticked off.
KING: Could be boring, too.
BROWNE: No, because you're lecturing, you're researching.
KING: You're doing things?
BROWNE: You're doing things, you're not just floating around on a cloud.
Comments: More religious doctrine.
Reading 9


KING: Ravenna, Ohio. Hello.
CALLER: Yes, Sylvia, hi. It's wonderful to talk to you. I have a question: I was diagnosed with a neurological disorder that causes my neck to go into spasms. And so I take expensive...
BROWNE: Actually, it's coming from c-3. You know that, don't you?
CALLER: Pardon me?
BROWNE: It's coming from c-3, from the cervical c-3.
CALLER: The vertebrae in the neck?
BROWNE: Yes.

Comments: Redirection. Misdirection. Leave it to SB, with her limited medical knowledge, to question a diagnosis of neurological disorder and suggest that it's really a physical problem with the third cervical vertebra.

CALLER: It is?
BROWNE: Yes.
CALLER: What can I do to -- I've been to chiropractors ...
BROWNE: Honey, I can't diagnose because I'm not a doctor. But don't be going to just chiropractors. You've got to go to neurologists.
Comments: Insistence. SB is right, she is not a doctor. She has just made a diagnosis, then says she can't diagnose, and then proceeds to elaborate on her diagnosis. She is also right about chiropractors.

CALLER: Oh, no, I have been.
BROWNE: Yes, but what I'm saying is, have them look at c-3, because it's the same as sciatica. When the c-3 nerve is pinched, yes, it will go into spasms. You see what I mean?
CALLER: See, it was going hundreds and hundreds a day and I take injections to keep it under control, you know.
BROWNE: Yes. But I want you to get another neurologist's opinion, OK? And have them please look at the nerve leading from c-3, because now it's beginning to also go down the shoulders and into the arms.
Comments: There is more than one nerve leading from the third cervical vertebra, and SB is quite correct in recommending that the caller see a doctor. She should not, however, be making guesses about medical cases. It is completely unethical for her to do so.
Reading 10


KING: To Hampton, New York, hello. Hampton, hello.
CALLER: Hello.

(CROSSTALK)


CALLER: That's OK. Sylvia, I would like to thank you for everything you do with everyone with your gift. I've read all of your books and I've enjoyed every one of them.
BROWNE: God bless you.
CALLER: And I would like to know, I've been dealing with a medical condition now going on three years. And I was wondering if there was anything that you could tell me because no one can seem to help me figure out how I got it and what to do with it. And I really could help -- any help you could help me with I'd appreciate.
BROWNE: Have you been tested for a type of fibromyalgia?

Comments: Fibromyalgia is very common. I've been diagnosed with it, myself. It's not so much an illness as it is a set of symptoms, quite probably from any of a variety of causes. It's not a disease in and of itself.

CALLER: Yes.
BROWNE: Yes. Because...
CALLER: Rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia.
BROWNE: Yes, that's what I'm saying fibromyalgia because you have got some problem with the soft tissue.
CALLER: Yes.
BROWNE: The one thing that I do know from doctors is that a high protein diet helps fibromyalgia, all right?
Comments: Eh, not necessarily. Good nutrition is always a good idea, though. See your doctor, not your local psychic medium.

CALLER: Thank you.
KING: Thank you.
BROWNE: Now how did I know she had fibromyalgia?
KING: How did you know that?
Comments: Simple. She guessed, probably basing her guess on the probable age of the caller. I could have done the same.

(CROSSTALK)


BROWNE: Stevensville, Maryland, hello.
CALLER: Yes. Hi, Sylvia. My question is about my health. Hello.
BROWNE: Yes, we're here.
CALLER: OK, I'm sorry. I have been having chronic pain now for almost six months every day. And I'm just wondering when and if I will get better.
BROWNE: Yes. But, see, you're just like the woman that called before. You also have fibromyalgia.
KING: So...
BROWNE: And that -- the same thing applies. And this is just running rampant anymore, Larry, is this fibromyalgia. It's just crazy. And the one thing that seems to put it into remission is a high protein diet.

Comments: It's not an illness that needs to be "put into remission", and it's not "running rampant". More Scare Tactics. My own doctor says the most likely cause is lack of exercise. If it's being diagnosed more often it's probably because the "baby boomers" are getting older.
Reading 11


KING: We're back. Westbrook, Connecticut, hello.
CALLER: Hello. I just wonder if there's anything she could tell -- my husband will have been dead a year this May 31. And can she tell me anything about him or...
BROWNE: Yes. See, you know, Larry asked me a very interesting question about anybody, you know, getting caught in between. He's not in between. And this is not a copout, but he's in orientation, which means you won't hear from him for a while. Orientation means that it was a very, very hard crossing for him. He's not caught in between, but he's like my father. I didn't get a hold of my father right away either, and I'm a medium and a psychic. Means that they had to cocoon him. So apparently he had a hard passing and he didn't want to go.
KING: They, there are people who run this place?
BROWNE: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. God for one.
KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE). What?
BROWNE: God, for one.
KING: God. He's the heavy.
BROWNE: Oh, yes.

Comments: Misdirection. More religious doctrine. Easy way to dodge a reading. SB must have been getting tired.

Postlude

These examples show that, at least on TV "call-in" shows, giving a performance as a psychic medium is not complicated. A logical method can be seen in the seemingly random questions asked and statements made by the would-be medium. As long as the caller or "sitter" is willing to volunteer information in response to such prompts, the would-be medium's performance is made much easier.

As I said at the beginning, the list of tricks is brief. There are other techniques which you may discover on your own. The next time you watch someone who claims to receive communication from the dead, see if you can find the pattern in their patter.

If you wish to try these methods yourself, have the courtesy to inform your "victim" that you really don't possess psychic powers. Keep your act simple. Ask direct questions, guess at common ailments, throw in a few platitudes, redirect if your guesses go wrong, make the sitter do the thinking, insist that your guess is correct, and never let the sitter have the last word.

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11 Ways to Talk to the Dead, Part 2

February, 2003
Continuing examination of techniques possibly used by "psychic mediums" in their performances, this time of 19 of John Edward (JE) "readings" done on the "Larry King Live" show.

How it is done

I see several techniques used by JE in these excerpts. There may be more, but I'm trying to keep things simple.

  1. Redirection - pushing the focus of the "reading" in a direction desired by JE
  2. Disclaimer - a statement made by JE which absolves him of "misses"
  3. Insistence - repeating a guess even if it is not "validated" by the caller
  4. Pressure - placing pressure on the caller to "validate" any given guess
  5. Shifting the Burden - making the caller responsible for making connections to the guess or making a "hit"
  6. Subtle Questions - questions in the form of a statement, sometimes followed by "Okay?" or "All right?"
  7. Direct Questions - no guessing, just plain direct questions asked of the caller
  8. Baiting/Fishing - a statement made by JE intended to prompt a response from the caller
  9. Misdirection - a statement made by JE to confuse the caller
  10. Platitudes - banal statements about spirituality, forgiveness, holiness, etc.
  11. Inflating the Chances - making a statement that is statistically very likely to be true, and/or adding to that statement with another guess with high chances of being correct.

The important thing to remember about such "readings" is that every question and statement from JE has a purpose, which I will point out below. JE's guesses follow logically from each piece of information known. These guesses are not made at random, and they do not require communication with dead people.

Full transcripts here: Readings 1-8: Sept 6, 2002 , readings 9-19: Sept 10, 2001

Reading 1

KING: Those clips, of course, from John Edward's first season, very successful syndicated show. Let's go to your calls for the famed psychic medium, John Edward. Nevada City, California. Hello.
CALLER: Hi. Hi, Larry. Hi, John.
EDWARD: How are you?
CALLER: I'm good.
EDWARD: How can I help you?
CALLER: What can you tell me about my dad?
EDWARD: Well, first of all, whenever I do this, especially live like this, I can only tell you that -- I can only pass on to you what it is that I'm getting. I might not connect with your dad.

Comments: Disclaimer. We'll see this technique used by each and every "psychic medium". JE is now free to use redirection at any time.

CALLER: That's great.
EDWARD: OK. I will just listen to what's coming through, I may be able to connect with him. What's your first name?
CALLER: Collese (ph).
EDWARD: Put your dad on hold for one second, OK? Sometimes I connect with people that you're not expecting to hear from, and this might be an example of that. I'm being told that there is some type of younger male that I would see as being to your side, who has crossed.
Comments: Redirection. JE has now taken control of the reading. Anything goes, now.

EDWARD: And that to me I would see as being like a contemporary to you. So I don't know if you've lost a friend or if you have got a cousin or somebody around you lost a brother, but there's like a younger male who passed. And it is illness related. It's somebody who had either leukemia or AIDS, but it's a blood disease that they passed from.
Comments: JE's phrase, "So I don't know…" is a subtle question. It's an unobtrusive hint for the caller to "connect" with. JE also inflates the chances by listing friend, cousin, brother, plus "somebody around you". JE also inflates his chances for a hit by citing leukemia, AIDS, and blood disease, all major killers of young people. Let the illness fit the age group if you want more hits. See National Center for Health Statistics for more information.

CALLER: OK.
EDWARD: And there has got to be some type of connection to the month of July for this family. I feel like it's either where you live, where you grew up, or who you grew up with. But I feel like it's somebody that I would spend time with. I am not connecting with your dad. I just wanted to say that right from the get-go and say that this is what's coming through. I do think that there is a Thomas or a t-connection that's going to be coming up around this in some way. Are you not originally from where you are calling me from?
Comments: Direct Question. More Inflating the Chances, and other attempts at redirection. JE has listed at least seven different possibilities for the caller to recognize (July, current location, childhood location, childhood friends, friend in general, Thomas, t-connection). Any connection to any one of these would be counted as a "hit".

CALLER: Correct.
EDWARD: OK. I feel like it's where you are originally from, or where you would be originally from is where this is connected. So growing up around where you lived, somebody that you would have some type of contact with is where this is connected to. So that's what I'm getting as I talk to you.
KING: Does that cross with anything you have, ma'am?
CALLER: I had a brother who died before I was born who had leukemia, named Tim.
Comments: JE's techniques have paid off. Please note that JE never specified that it was the caller's brother; did not "get" the brothers actual name, and although the illness was leukemia, JE had inflated his chances to include every blood disease.

EDWARD: So that would be your contemporary. So it happened where you grew up originally, correct?
Comments: Since the brother died before the caller was born, he couldn't have been her contemporary, and she could never have spent time with him.

CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: So I am not connecting with your dad. That would be the male figure to your side. When I say to your side, that to me is a sibling or a contemporary.
Comments: JE offers a simple reminder that he has made a hit, and uses insistence to reinforce his original disclaimer.
Reading 2

KING: Thank you, ma'am. Our guest is John Edward. The book, "Crossing Over," the television show -- you have to check your newspaper for time and station. Glen Oak, New York. Hello.
CALLER: Hello.
KING: Hi.
EDWARD: Is it Glen Oaks, Queens?
CALLER: Yes, it is.
EDWARD: I actually lived there.
CALLER: Yes, I do.
EDWARD: No, I said I actually lived there.
CALLER: Really?
EDWARD: I grew up there.
CALLER: Really?
EDWARD: Early on.
CALLER: OK. Just like to hear anything from my parents or my sister. Hello?
EDWARD: Hold on a second. I'm sorry. I don't know who this is from. I don't know if this is for you or it's for the next person -- and there are people in the studio so I don't know -- let me just say this. Is there like a Ronny or a Ronald connection to you?

Comments: Disclaimer. Inflating the Chances. Direct Question. JE's method of asking direct questions about names and "connections" isn't miraculous - the burden is now on the caller to find a connection. It's no great trick to find a connection to someone with a common name.

CALLER: A friend, yes.
EDWARD: Is he still here?
Comments: Direct Question. Notice the caller's answer below, and how it affects JE's next question. The caller says "As far as I know," implying that the caller does not have frequent contact with the friend.

CALLER: As far as I know.
EDWARD: Is he out of your state?
CALLER: Not that I know of.
EDWARD: OK. There is a Ronny or Ronald connection that I'm supposed to be bringing up, and somebody -- and I'm sorry to say this live -- somebody who passed from a suicide. And it's -- it's gunshot related from what I'm seeing.
Comments: Redirection.

CALLER: I have a cousin, distant cousin, up in Connecticut, Ronny.
EDWARD: Is there somebody connected to him that passed like this?
CALLER: Not to my knowledge that I'm aware of.
EDWARD: OK. What's coming through as I'm listening to your voice is that. Is that I'm getting the acknowledgement of like Ronny or Ronald, there is an acknowledgement of somebody who passes out of state, and there's a connection to a gunshot where somebody crosses themselves over. Unfortunately, and that's what's coming through. And I'm going to tell that you there are two younger energy like children who have crossed, somebody lost like two pregnancies or somebody lost two babies as well, in some capacity in there.
Comments: Having failed on this guess, JE uses insistence and merely repeats his guesses. Then, JE uses redirection to bring up another guess disguised as a statement - it's really bait.

CALLER: Wow.
Comments: Caller is easily impressed. No hits for JE, though.

EDWARD: So, just remember that I said that, OK?
Comments: Shifting the Burden. Insistence. This is a classic expression of the combined techniques; almost all "psychic mediums" use this method when their guesses fail.

CALLER: OK.
EDWARD: Thank you.

Reading 3

KING: East Cloud, New York. Hello.
CALLER: Hello?
KING: Go ahead.
CALLER: Hi, John, could you tell me a bit...
EDWARD: Hold on one second. Don't say anything. Just yes or no if you can, there's an older female like your mom has crossed.

Comments: Inflating the Chances. "…older female like your mom…" could be mom, aunt, grandmother, or a female acquaintance.

CALLER: My mom's crossed. Yes, just July 3.
EDWARD: Wait a second, wait. Let me just say this, OK, because I have got -- the first thing I've got listening to your voice I have got a mom figure who's coming through. I'm supposed to talk to you about Ellen or Helen. So I don't know if that's who she's with, but there is an Ellen or a Helen type name, it's an L name with a vowel in front of it who's also passed?
Comments: JE reinforces his "hit" by saying that he has "…a mom figure who's coming through…", which was already validated by the caller. JE uses redirection by citing "…Ellen or Helen…". If the caller validates Ellen or Helen, JE will not have to talk about the caller's mom.

CALLER: I have a train going through. I can hardly...
EDWARD: There's an Ellen or a Helen name that I'm supposed to -- there's the train. There's an Ellen or a Helen name that I'm supposed to acknowledge being there. Also, can you...
CALLER: OK, John. I can hear you.
EDWARD: OK. There's an Ellen or a Helen connection that's with your mom that I'm supposed to be acknowledging, so I don't know if that's her side of the family or your dad's, but there's an older female. And somebody passed from either congestive heart failure or pneumonia. Do you understand that? Hello?
Comments: Inflating the Chances. JE talks about Ellen or Helen, but he also throws dad in, plus "…somebody passed from either congestive heart failure or pneumonia…" Upper respiratory ailments are one of the top killers of older folks in the U.S. This is such a common guess by "psychic mediums" that it borders on the ridiculous.

KING: Ma'am, do you hear him?
CALLER: Yes, there is.
Comments: We have no idea about which of JE's guesses the caller is responding to.

EDWARD: OK. Now, you didn't see your mom before she passed?
Comments: Direct Question. Caller supplies the information, not JE.

CALLER: Yes, I do.
EDWARD: No, you didn't...
Comments: Insistence. Pressure.

CALLER: Yes, hi.
KING: Ma'am, turn your television down.
CALLER: Oh, OK.
EDWARD: You didn't see your mom before she passed?
Comments: Direct question. More insistence.

CALLER: Yes, I was with her when she passed.
Comments: Despite his insistence, JE fails in his guess.

EDWARD: OK, so that would be a no. Let me say this again. I'm supposed to tell you that you did not have the opportunity to talk to your mom in the way that you wanted to talk to her prior to her passing. Do you understand that?
Comments: Still more insistence and pressure. JE also uses redirection and twists his original guess into a different form in an attempt to inflate the chances.

CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: I'm also supposed to acknowledge a huge, massive, massive infection that somebody had, so they either had gangrene or they had some a serious, like infectious disease. That's also there.
Comments: More inflating the chances and redirection.

CALLER: John, I can hardly hear you.
KING: I'm sorry, ma'am. We will work on that.
EDWARD: Well, that's what's coming, so remember it. OK? I'm sorry.
Comments: Ok, class…we've seen this before…can you identify the two techniques involved?

CALLER: That's OK.

Reading 4

KING: Thank you. Let's try this call. Atlanta, Georgia, hello. Atlanta, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hi, John.
EDWARD: How are you?

Comments: A discussion between JE and the Caller about how to develop psychic powers deleted due to irrelevance.

EDWARD: Now, is Paul connected to you?
Comments: Direct Question. Paul is a common name. JE is not specific about the nature of the connection.

CALLER: I have a cousin.
EDWARD: OK. Did his mom just pass?
Comments: Direct Question. JE can direct the reading based on the caller's answer. In this case, he got a "yes" answer. JE had a 50% chance; that he got a "hit" is not remarkable.

CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: OK. You need to tell Paul that his mom saw this as her opportunity to come through for you. And also, you just put your dog down or somebody just lost their dog?
Comments: JE, given the "yes" answer, issues a platitude about Paul's mother. Note that he says this after he knows that Paul's mother had died, not before. Nothing could be easier, and it does not require psychic powers. JE is not specific about whose dog has been put down or lost; this is inflating the chances.

CALLER: When my husband passed, his dog died.
EDWARD: Like right around the same time, then?
Comments: Please note that the caller did not put the dog down. We do not know when the husband died. The timing of the dog's death is implied in the caller's answer, and JE makes an easy, non-specific guess.

CALLER: Three days away.
EDWARD: OK. You need to know that your husband then and your dog would be together. Did you actually make the comment that they couldn't live without each other?
Comments: Direct Question. JE's has at least 50% chance of getting a hit; given that the man and dog died closely together, it is reasonable to guess that the caller might made such a comment. JE's comment about the husband and dog being together is a logical followup to the already established information that the dog died three days after the husband and is a platitude.

CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: OK. I feel strange telling you this but I've got to say this: It's as if you would joke around that the dog would be like the other woman, or like that was his girlfriend, or he would spend more time with the dog?
Comments: Logically follows from the caller's acknowledgement of JE's guess about her comments regarding the man and dog.

CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: OK. I'm supposed to tease you about that. I'm also supposed to tease you about -- and I'm so sorry and I'm just very thankful that people can't see you, because I think if you were here, you'd hit me for saying this. I am supposed to tease you about some type of walking outside in a nightie or walking outside in like -- not dressed properly kind of way, whether to get your mail or to get something or -- there's a funny story about this?
Comments: Following up on his "hits", JE tries some redirection and a direct question. Notice how JE inflates the chances regarding how the woman might have been dressed.

CALLER: It's not ringing a bell with me.
EDWARD: Oh, sure, you just don't want to acknowledge it live on TV, but that's OK. That's right. Leave me out here. That's OK. Just remember I said this. But I -- just know that what they're showing, it's not him, it's not him saying he did it. He's kind of putting it on you. And he wants me to remind you about February.
Comments: "Just remember I said this." Once again, class: where have we seen this before? We get another disclaimer from JE, plus some shifting the burden about February - anything the caller remembers about February would do. Notice, please, that JE has not identified the significance of February; that's up to the caller.

CALLER: That's his birthday.
EDWARD: OK. Thank you.
CALLER: Thank you, John.

Reading 5

EDWARD: ... passings close together, or if there were just three significant dates that fall within a short period of time that they want me to acknowledge, but I feel like we're supposed to go like, you know, two in the same month and one might be the next month or six weeks later. But there's like dates that happen like that, and I'm supposed to acknowledge that somebody passes from lung cancer, somebody passes from blackness of the chest, which is lung cancer in some way for me?

Comments: Inflating the Chances. JE gives a range of dates. Any death in any of those time periods would be counted as a hit. To further inflate the chances, JE uses a classic: death from lung cancer, one of the leading causes of death.

CALLER: My father.
EDWARD: And I'm also supposed to acknowledge that either he had a tattoo on his entire front of his chest, or somebody had some type of like scarring or a marking on their chest? Do you have any idea? I have no idea what this is.
CALLER: Well, he -- from surgery.
Comments: More inflating the chances. Tattoo, scarring, marking…father, or "somebody". Direct Question: "Do you have any idea?"

EDWARD: On his chest, though?
CALLER: Yes, he had lung cancer. He had a lung removed.
EDWARD: Yeah, but would they do it -- they would do it on the chest here? No, they would do that through his back?
CALLER: Well, he did have surgery from the front as well.
Comments: Insistence.

EDWARD: OK. Because my mom had lung cancer surgery, and it was like more underneath, and I'm not seeing that. I'm getting it like across in some way. He's telling me to tell you June is significant. So there's either a birthday or anniversary in the sixth month. OK? Hello?
CALLER: No -- OK, go ahead.
Comments: Baiting. This is a classic JE technique: mention a random date, random event, and push the caller to make it fit. Anything in June from any year would be a hit.

EDWARD: There's something about June, like specifically around the 12th or 13th, like right before what I would see as being Flag Day for me here. There is something in the middle of June, like the 12th or 13th that he wants me to acknowledge, and he is telling me to acknowledge Laura, or Lori (ph), or Lorraine -- but there's an L.R. name that he wants me to make mention of.
CALLER: OK.
Comments: Inflating the Chances. JE expands his original general offer of "June".

EDWARD: But it would be your dad's way of coming through. And he's also making me feel like -- I don't know if you are planning a cruise, but there's an acknowledgement of travel over water.
CALLER: Travel over water?
Comments: Misdirection and Redirection. No hits for June or any of the added details, so JE jumps to something else, after using insistence to claim that the June business is the fathers "way of coming through", which is unsubstantiated.

EDWARD: Travel over the water -- on the water, not in a plane over water.
CALLER: OK.
EDWARD: All right, thanks for calling.

Reading 6

CALLER: Yes. Hello, John.
EDWARD: Hi, how are you.
CALLER: I'm just fine. My name is Diane.
EDWARD: Stop right there, Diane. I have a couple of things. Let me just jump right in there. The first thing I'm going to tell you, I don't know if this is for you or if somebody around you lost their son, but there's a younger male energy that I need to acknowledge. Do you understand that?
CALLER: Not a younger, no.

Comments: JE immediately assumes control of the reading with Baiting and Shifting the Burden. JE inflates the chances with the statement "I don't know if this is for you or if somebody around you…"

EDWARD: Well, to me, he's coming across as what I would see as a younger male, and he's telling me he passes on an impact, like he is thrown from something.
CALLER: Doesn't sound familiar to me, but go on, please.
Comments: Insistence.

EDWARD: Let me just tell you more. There is a younger male that's coming through, I would see this as somebody being below you -- below me -- below you -- would be like son, nephew, grandson, or a connection like that. Passes by being -- he's thrown -- he has an impact but he's thrown from this, he's like thrown, like he's -- he's off the bike, he's off the moped, he's off whatever this is. Passes as a result of that.
Comments: Insistence.
He's connected to either David or he's connected to the D. name, like a D.A. name, like David or Danny or Dale. Or there's a D connection that comes up with this. That's the first thing. And then your connection to October is what?
Comments: Inflating the Chances. Classic JE alphabet and common name baiting. JE also uses Redirection in order to Fish for information.

CALLER: My daughter's birthday.
EDWARD: OK. And she's still here?
Comments: He doesn't know? However, the caller has now given JE some information to work with, which he does…

CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: OK. In some way, should I be connecting this younger male to your daughter, is this a friend of hers? Like, would you know if that's connected in that capacity?
Comments: More insistence and a Direct Question.

CALLER: I don't think so. She's only 7.
EDWARD: That's fine. I want you to remember what I'm saying. This is like what they're showing me. And they're telling me two marriages.
Comments: Disclaimer, and Baiting. Could be any two marriages.

CALLER: Yes, that's correct.
EDWARD: And they're making me feel like -- four pregnancies?
CALLER: No.
EDWARD: They're telling me there's four children, which to me means that there's either four children, there's four pregnancies. Doesn't matter how many you had, I'm just telling you what they're showing me. Miscarriages count. Children that don't make it here count for me in that capacity. And they're making me feel like there is separate from the younger male with the impact, connected to the way I saw it, there's also somebody who passes either from a brain tumor or somebody who had something that affected their head, like aneurysm...
Comments: Insistence and baiting.

CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: Or embolism.
CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: And they're making me feel like that would be connected to your family, like by blood in some capacity, like it's your family. Do you understand that?
Comments: Possibly evident from the caller's tone of voice in response to the earlier questions.

CALLER: Yes, I do.
EDWARD: OK. I'm also supposed to tell you that the 15th or 16th is significant as well. So I feel like either somebody got sick on the 15th or the 16th of the month. Or there's a turning point that happens.
CALLER: Yes.
Comments: JE likes to combine several guesses in one statement. When the caller says "Yes," there is no way to know which part the caller is "validating".

EDWARD: You need to ease up, because they're making me feel like you had a major issue, either with an insurance company, where I'm surprised that you didn't have a stroke on the phone the way you were arguing with somebody.
CALLER: It doesn't sound familiar.
Comments: Inflating the Chances. Insurance company or "somebody"? People have arguments with other people often enough; JE has made a very safe guess, but no hit results.

EDWARD: This would have been like in the last three, like three months, three years, but they're making me feel like it's intense. Because I feel like there's a major dialogue, health care related, insurance, dealing with an institution of some sort. And they're bringing it up. This is what's coming up around you.
Comments: Since JE got no validation that the "major issue" happened in the past, he closes with a Disclaimer that twists the guess into a prediction…a form of the "just remember what I told you" technique.

KING: Thank you, ma'am. I've got to get a break.

Reading 7

KING: Do you have another question? I think we lost her. I'm sorry, ma'am. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hi, John.
EDWARD: Hi, how are you?
CALLER: My name is Ron. I'm doing very well. We recently lost three family members pretty close in succession. I just wondered if you could make a connection?

Comments: Please note that at the start of Reading 5, JE had guessed at something very similar to this caller's statement. This caller could be following that lead.

EDWARD: Please don't laugh when I say this, OK?
CALLER: OK?
EDWARD: You didn't lose a horse, did you?
CALLER: No.
Comments: Misdirection.
[LAUGHTER]
EDWARD: I said don't laugh, and you laughed.
CALLER: Oh, sorry.
EDWARD: I know this is going to sound strange, but I say it as I get it, somebody is connected to you has a horse who passed, because they're showing me what I would see as not gambling horses, but like either horses on a farm or it's a reference to get me to that side of the family. And there's also a connection to somebody who passes who either had pancreatic or colon cancer?
CALLER: Yes.
Comments: Inflating the Chances. Another safe guess at cancer, a leading cause of death. JE already knows that three people died.

EDWARD: Somebody had cancer, lower in the body.
CALLER: Yes.
Comments: Reinforcement.

EDWARD: It's that connection. Is this on your mom's side of the family, as well?
CALLER: It's -- it's through a marriage.
EDWARD: But it's going to be through the mother's side of the family.
CALLER: OK.
EDWARD: Because they're making me feel like it's through mom's side of the family. And they're also making me feel there is somebody who had a horse who passed. Somebody either bred horses, they were an equestrian, they rode, but they lost a horse.
Comments: Insistence.

CALLER: I'll look into that.
EDWARD: Where's the Jane connection or Jeannie?
CALLER: Jane would be sister-in-law.
Comments: Inflating the Chances. JE uses a very common name in a Direct Question.

EDWARD: OK. Ask her. Because they're telling me to connect it either through either Janey or Jeannie.
CALLER: OK?
EDWARD: In that family, the older male must have passed as well, like the father figure there. Because they're telling me to acknowledge that somebody was at their wedding. So, somebody in that side of the family must have lost their dad before they got married.
KING: Are they sending messages to him? I mean, you say, "they tell me to"?
EDWARD: One of the things that people would say to me, you know, actually, my uncle is one of the people who said this. So, they're like, OK, great, so you get all these factual things about people who had passed. What does that mean? What's the big message? That is the big message. The big message is, I could say -- or anybody could say to somebody, oh, they love you. They're with you. They miss you. They are with you. They're standing behind you playing with your hair and make somebody feel really, really happy for the moment. But then, I think everybody has innate skepticism that will kick in, or when they go to share that experience with somebody, they're going to look at you like, are you insane? Because what were you actually told? So, when you get information like you have a horse that has passed, that sounds absolutely insane. But when they find out that they do, or that they did. And this information comes through that this man was at his daughter's wedding. That is the message, one, that there's a survival of consciousness and that the bonds of love that we have in life continue.
Comments: Platitudes. Please note that JE never connected to any of the three people the caller had originally asked about. None of what he says here has been validated.

Reading 8

KING: Thank you, sir. We go to Waycross, Georgia. Hello.
CALLER: Hi. This is Becky.
EDWARD: Hi, how are you?
CALLER: I'm fine. I'm shocked that I -- that my call got through. I'm very interested to hear what you have to say. I hope that you can connect.
EDWARD: I hope I can, too. The first thing I'm going to tell you, I don't know if you're familiar with my symbols, but if I talk about somebody being to your side. That means it's going to be like a husband, a brother, a cousin, a friend.

Comments: Inflating the Chances. JE offers four possibilities for someone "to the side".

CALLER: Yes?
EDWARD: There's a male figure that is connected to your side who has crossed.
CALLER: Yes.
Comments: Could be any of four possibilities, as noted above.

EDWARD: OK? I'm also going to tell you that connected to this male figure who has crossed is either his mother or yours, but there's an older female who is there, you understand that?
CALLER: Yes.
Comments: More inflating the chances. Could be any older female.

EDWARD: I'm also supposed to talk about either you having knee surgery or somebody having surgery to their leg.
CALLER: My father who has crossed had knee surgery to both legs.
Comments: Inflating the Chances. Anybody could have had leg surgery. In this case the person happened to be the caller's father.

EDWARD: Then he had it four times, or like five times. They were four or five procedures for that, correct?
CALLER: There were several.
Comments: Knee surgery is complicated and usually requires several surgeries

EDWARD: I'm supposed to tell you that somebody had either Alzheimer's or somebody was not of clear mind before they passed. And they have clarity back, OK?
CALLER: OK.
Comments: Inflating the Chances. A sure guess, even if nobody had Alzheimer's. JE's platitude about having "clarity back" is the key to this guess.

EDWARD: And there's somebody in the health care field, through marriage for you. Like your sister-in-law's a nurse, your mother-in- law was a nurse, that type of a thing.
Comments: Misdirection.

CALLER: Best friend?
EDWARD: No. Nope. Not best friend.
CALLER: Not somebody in the family.
EDWARD: No, no. It is family. Somebody works in health care. Because I'm seeing white. That comes up with this.
Comments: Insistence, followed by Redirection.
So, again, let me just reiterate. The male figure to your side has to be like the husband or brother figure; older female, like mom, would be connected to that. And the issue with the knees, that would be your dad's way of coming through. Was he a cop? There's a cop connection here. Is that him?
CALLER: What connection?
EDWARD: A police officer.
Comments: Redirection. JE has used the "cop" trick before. Interaction with police officers is quite common.

CALLER: No.
EDWARD: Yes, there is.
CALLER: Police officer?
EDWARD: Somebody's in the uniform where they had a badge, or a shield. So, whether they're a sheriff, whether they're a state trooper, a deputy -- they wore a uniform and they carried a badge.
CALLER: Well, now, my uncle, who is still living, was in law enforcement.
Comments: Insistence has led to the caller providing information.

EDWARD: OK. That's connected to one of these people?
CALLER: Yes?
EDWARD: That would be their way of acknowledging that person. Is there a Jack or J connection to that?
CALLER: Whew, no?
Comments: No connection between the uncle in law enforcement, not necessarily a cop, and the dead person JE has cooked up, so JE uses redirection to bring up a "Jack or J" for inflating the chances.

EDWARD: There's going to be a Jack or J connection to this as well. Remember it as I say it, don't stretch it to be what it's not. Let it be what it is. But thank you for calling.
Comments: If at first you don't succeed, dump the caller.

KING: Thank you. And they may learn things after, right?
EDWARD: That's my favorite part, one of the things we're doing on "Crossing Over," and we've been doing. And everything that's coming up on "Crossing Over," now -- I can't believe we're going into our third year -- but everything that we're doing, we're following up with the first two years that we have been on the air. And it's amazing to see the some of the people, like some of the stuff that came out after the fact. So, we're going to...
KING: Whereas they denied it, and then they...
EDWARD: Or they didn't know it, or it hadn't happened yet. Or some pretty amazing things that people may be seeing.
Comments: Disclaimer. "Just remember what I told you."
Sept 10, 2001 http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0109/10/lkl.00.html

Reading 9

KING: We are back with John Edward. We will start including your phone calls. West Bloomfield, Michigan. Hello.
CALLER: Hello.
KING: Hi.
CALLER: Yes, I would like to ask John what he can tell me about my father or my grandfather or even my grandmother who passed away.
EDWARD: What's your first name?
CALLER: My first name is Lisa.
EDWARD: Lisa, besides the people that you talked about, if -- I want to let you know that I might not be able to connect with them. I might connect with other people. If you again just say yes or no, don't say anything else. The first thing to tell you is -- I know didn't you ask about this -- but they tell me to acknowledge a female figure that I would see as being like a contemporary to you, whether it be like a sister or a cousin but it's a female person that passed. I'm seeing this as being somebody who has got another name like yours, there has got to be another L-connection that comes up round you, that has got to be L- tied to this. I feel that this person passes either from breast cancer or a female type of cancer in some way. OK, that's No. 1. That's the first thing I'm being shown. I know this would be like a cousin on your dad's side of the family, or a cousin through the male, like your husband's side of the family. But there is a connection through a male from what are they showing me. And they're also talking about somebody who would be known as either Richard or Rich, because a big R-connection that comes up connected to you. Do you understand that? Where is the August connection for you? Somebody passed in August?
CALLER: August? No.

Comments: Disclaimer. Inflating the Chances. Redirection. JE is running this reading on his own terms.

EDWARD: There is. There's either an anniversary on the eighth of a month or an anniversary in the eight month, August. But there is an eight connection, from what are they showing me.
Comments: Insistence.

CALLER: Eight connection.
EDWARD: Is there a father-in-law also who has passed?
CALLER: No.
EDWARD: Then you've got another father figure besides yours.
CALLER: We do, OK.
Comments: Well, duh.

EDWARD: There's like another male figure that I would see as being above you, like a father, whether it be an uncle. It's not a grandfather, it's like a father figure. There is an eight-connection, like the eighth month August or the eighth of a month. There's a connection to a young female figure to your side that I would see as being like a sister, or a friend that is passed from female a female type of cancer. That is what's coming through to me.
KING: Does any of that ring a bell?
CALLER: No. I don't know.
Comments: Inflating the Chances. Insistence.

EDWARD: Write it down exactly as I said it.
Comments: "Just remember what I told you."

KING: You were wrong? Or...
EDWARD: Absolutely. Absolutely could be that I was wrong.
KING: Cross-connections.
EDWARD: It could be totally that I was misinterpreting.
Comments: Disclaimer.

Reading 10

KING: Denham, Massachusetts. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, John. I would like to ask about my mother.
EDWARD: OK, the first thing, again, just yes or no.
KING: What is your name, by the way, sir?
CALLER: My name is John as well.
KING: Ok, John.
EDWARD: John, how are you?
CALLER: Great.
EDWARD: The first thing that I'm going to tell you is I'm seeing boxes. Whenever I'm shown boxes it means that there's some type of move or some type of moving issue around someone. So I don't know if you just moved or if there's a pending move of some sort, but there is a move issue. Is there a brother figure for you here?
CALLER: Brother figure?

Comments: Redirection and Misdirection. Shifting the Burden. Direct Question. JE was asked about the caller's mother, but chooses a completely different direction.

EDWARD: Where does the Lewis or the Louis or the L-name?
CALLER: The L. I had a uncle that had died when I was a little kid.
Comments: Inflating the Chances. Common names and initials again. Caller has to supply information. See how this works?

EDWARD: Is that connected to your mom's side of family?
CALLER: He was her brother-in-law.
Comments: Direct Question.

EDWARD: Is there some type of fire connection to them also?
CALLER: My grandfather was a firefighter.
Comments: Direct Question.

EDWARD: OK, he is also there? That is other side of the family, right?
CALLER: No, my mother -- both grandfathers were firefighters.
Comments: Direct Question.

EDWARD: Your dad's father has passed.
CALLER: Yes, he has.
Comments: Subtle Question.

EDWARD: Because they're telling me it's the other side of the family. There is connection to either him having a son with him, or him having a younger male like a grandson also there, and they're telling me acknowledge the cancer to the chest. I don't know if somebody passed from lung cancer? But there's cancer all in here, understand that?
CALLER: Yes.
Comments: Inflating the Chances. Redirection. Direct Question. Hello, here's cancer again, and a younger male. More of JE's method of combining several guesses in one statement. We cannot know what the caller is saying "Yes" to.

EDWARD: Now isn't your birthday coming up?
CALLER: No.
Comments: Direct Question.

EDWARD: Somebody like how just passed -- last week?
CALLER: Yeah, my sister's was a day or two ago.
Comments: Direct Question.

EDWARD: That is not. It's next week. It's coming up like in a week.
CALLER: My younger brother's is next week.
Comments: Subtle Question.

EDWARD: And he's out of your state?
CALLER: He is on -- no, he is in Massachusetts.
Comments: Direct Question.

EDWARD: Is he -- are you in that same state?
CALLER: Yes, we are.
Comments: Direct Question.

EDWARD: There is somebody else out of that state or he's out of state now or there's an out-of-state connection, because they're talking about the out-of-state connection.
Comments: Insistence.

KING: What can tell him about his father, though?
EDWARD: I'm not -- all I can tell you is what's coming through. To me the whole message is to validate the fact that this is still connected. They are telling me...
Comments: Disclaimer. Insistence.

KING: Lost him, sorry.

Reading 11

KING: Trinidad, Colorado. Hello.
CALLER: My question for John was that my sister comes to me through dreams sometimes and I was wondering is that how people communicate much through dreams.
EDWARD: Absolutely. The No. 1 way that I find that people are able to make connections with their friends and relatives who have crossed over on their own, is usually in the dream state. And that is because that is the place where we kind of surrender and say, "OK, it is acceptable." Not every dream, though, that we have of somebody who crossed over is what I would consider a visit. So you really need to write those down.
KING: OK. Do you have a question? Sorry, go ahead.
CALLER: Well, my sister passed about six years ago, and I was just wondering if you could tell me anything.
EDWARD: Where is -- sorry -- where does the K-name like Karen come up?

Comments: Redirection/Misdirection. Direct Question. Shifting the Burden.

CALLER: I don't know.
EDWARD: Yes, you do. There is a C or a K connection directly to you or to this family, from what they are telling me. So it either means it's who they are -- put your sister on hold and think about your family. There is some type of C or K connection and they're also telling me to tell you 11, which either means that the 11th month November or the 11th of a month has some type of significance. And why are they showing me...
CALLER: 11th month -- November is her birthday.
Comments: Inflating the Chances. Again, JE combined a lot of variables in one statement, and tried to redirect the reading by telling the caller to "put your sister on hold and think about your family." Coincidentally, this reading was done on the LKL show on September 10, 2001 - JE mentions "11" but certainly not in connection to the terrorist attacks of the following day.

EDWARD: Why is there a split family? Is there a split connection there?
Comments: Direct Question.

CALLER: Gosh. Well my dad's side and my mom's side, it's not that they are split, it is just that they are two totally different.
EDWARD: No. No. There is a split. There is a split where like somebody was raised by somebody who is not -- like there's either a step situation or like an aunt...
Comments: Insistence.

CALLER: Oh. My other sister is a lot older -- my other sister is a lot older than me and she's my half sister.
Comments: The caller finds a connection that JE never mentioned. This is how cold reading works, folks.

EDWARD: And there's also a congratulations on the baby. Somebody is pregnant.
Comments: Somebody could be anybody. It does not take a psychic medium to win at such a game…

CALLER: Dorothy. Dorothy is pregnant. She was my sister's best friend.
EDWARD: Just that acknowledgement that comes up. They're telling me talk about Virginia. Where are you calling from?
CALLER: From Colorado.
EDWARD: That is not Virginia, but they're showing me the state of Virginia. So I don't know.
Comments: Redirection. Subtle Question.

CALLER: Virginia. My cousin living in Virginia now. I have been talking to her about a lot -- my sister a lot.
EDWARD: Somebody there committed suicide. Like their actions brought about their own passing. Are you aware of that?
Comments: Inflating the Chances. Redirection. JE can't even keep to the suicide statement; he had to increase his chances with the statement about "…their own actions…"

CALLER: No, I'm not.
EDWARD: OK, just remember I said this. Thank you for calling.
Comments: "Just remember what I told you." Yet again.

Reading 12

CALLER: Hi there.
KING: Hi.
CALLER: I'm trying to connect with my aunt.
EDWARD: OK. Can you put your aunt on hold for one second?
CALLER: OK.

Comments: Redirection. JE calls the shots, remember?

EDWARD: Is there a grandfather for you also whose passed?
CALLER: Yes.
Comments: Direct Question.

EDWARD: OK, that's her dad?
CALLER: Yes.
Comments: Direct Question.

EDWARD: OK, and there is a Joseph connection to that?
CALLER: Yes.
Comments: Direct Question. Common name; inflating the chances.

EDWARD: OK. And does he also have a son whose passed?
CALLER: No.
Comments: Direct Question.

EDWARD: Yes, he does. Let's put it this way, there's a younger male energy directly connected to the grandfather.
Comments: Insistence. Redirection. Wow, there's that younger male again…

EDWARD: So either he has the younger brother whose -- there's two Joes?
CALLER: Not that I know of.
Comments: Inflating the Chances. Redirection.

EDWARD: OK. There's two Joes from what they're showing. There's your grandfather whose got the connection to Joseph and there's another Joe that they want to me acknowledge. So whether it's Joanne or Josephine, I don't know, but there's two Joes.
Comments: Insistence.
What's your aunt's extremely fast because they're talking about a very fast passing. Actually, specific? No. I mean, like, did somebody there who passed from either what I was see as being embolism or an aneurism or a very fast heart attack, like very, very fast.
CALLER: An embolism.
Comments: Inflating the Chances. Three different causes of death common among elderly people.

EDWARD: Like really fast.
Comments: Insistence.

CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: OK. They're also making me feel like to acknowledge that there's some type of connection to the month of February or that somebody either was born in February or there's something about -- something big in February.
Comments: Inflating the Chances.

CALLER: It's his wife's birthday.
KING: Do they have anything to tell her? Usually, you tell her something that they're going to say.
CALLER: She's also passed.
EDWARD: Well, one of the things that they do, by validating this for me, is their way of saying that they're still connected. And I think for me being the, like I have to get the evidence, that this is their way of letting me that they're around.
Comments: Platitude.
I do want to acknowledge that they're telling me -- is your mom still here? They telling me to acknowledge hello to your mom.
CALLER: Yes.
Comments: Direct Question. Platitude.

EDWARD: All right, and I'm also supposed to talk about her knee and saying her knee's OK now. What's up with the knee?
Comments: Direct Question. Shifting the Burden.

CALLER: She has a bad knee?
EDWARD: But it's like better?
CALLER: She has trouble walking.
EDWARD: OK, and you made fun of your mom's knee?
CALLER: No, I don't make fun of her.
EDWARD: Yes, you do. They're telling me you make fun of your mom's knee. You were teasing her about her leg. You just did this.
Comments: Insistence. Insulting insistence, I might add.

CALLER: I don't remember.
EDWARD: OK, it happened at the younger female's party, where she was a having a hard time -- somebody's having a hard time getting into the room or getting into something and somebody was joking around about the person walking. This is their way of letting you know that they were around. But your aunt is fine and the people that I acknowledged are also there.
Comments: More insistence, but note how JE has backed off on accusing the caller of making fun of the mother's knee…now it's "somebody" - inflating the chances. JE finishes with a platitude.

CALLER: OK.
EDWARD: All right, Thank you.

Reading 13

KING: Hickory, North Carolina, hello.
CALLER: Hello, John.
EDWARD: Hey, how are you doing?
CALLER: Good.
EDWARD: Don't say anything. First I want to acknowledge, is there a Bill connected to you?

Comments: Common name. Inflating the Chances.

CALLER: A Joe?
EDWARD: No, a Billy or a Bill name?
CALLER: No.
EDWARD: Yes, there is.
Comments: Insistence.

KING: No, don't like to John. There is.
EDWARD: I'm sorry, as soon as I heard your voice, it was like boom. There was like a huge B connection in my head, which means either it's your or there's a B connection directly to you and that there's an older male figure.
Comments: Inflating the Chances. No Bill or Billy, so JE just uses a "B" connection and throws in an "older male figure", which could be any older male figure, for redirection.

KING: Could be the next caller.
EDWARD: Hold on, or that there's an older male figure passed whose also connected to you. So I don't know if it's your dad whose passed or it's an older male that's there, but this person passed and they had cancer. And it affected their brain or there's tumors to the head.
Comments: Insistence. Inflating the Chances. Again, a cancer guess, cancer being a common cause of death.

CALLER: OK, that would've been my uncle.
EDWARD: OK. Is that connected to your mom's side of the family?
Comments: Direct Question.

CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: OK, is mom still here?
Comments: Direct Question.

CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: OK. And there's some type of connection to B. There's got to be like a Billy or a B in there.
Comments: Insistence. Back to B or Billy or B.

CALLER: Betty.
EDWARD: Or a Betty. Is that connected to that same person?
Comments: Note that the caller came up with Betty, not JE. JE's methods are painfully obvious. Direct Question.

CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: OK. I need to congratulate you on the uniform. So I don't know if you're doing something with the uniform or if there's like somebody whose just graduated in uniform or something, but there's like a uniform, like a cadet feeling that comes up in this family, just so you know. And they're also making me feel like your mom's mom must be there, because they've got the older female to her, whose also there. Does that make sense?
CALLER: Yes, it does.
Comments: Whatever it is that makes sense is not specified. Another of JE's combination ploys.

EDWARD: OK. And they're also telling me to acknowledge that somebody's a double amputee. Somebody's missing -- or they're paralyzed in both legs.
Comments: Baiting.

CALLER: That doesn't ring a bell.
EDWARD: I'm sorry?
CALLER: That doesn't ring a bell.
EDWARD: OK, put it to that side of the family also. I'm sorry, as soon as I heard your voice, boom, that's what...
Comments: Disclaimer.

KING: Do you have a question, sir?
CALLER: Excuse me?
KING: Do you have a question?
CALLER: I just wanted to know if you could connect with my father, who passed away several years ago.
EDWARD: In addition to what I said, I can only tell you that, and I'll say this, there's somebody there who either had cirrhosis or there was somebody there who had severe liver disease. Do you understand that?
Comments: JE ignores the caller's request and uses redirection to fish for information.

CALLER: Uh-huh. That would be my uncle who had cancer.
EDWARD: OK.
Comments: Odd that JE didn't pick up on the liver disease when the caller identified the uncle earlier.

CALLER: To the brain.
EDWARD: And that's connected to your mom's side of the family, too, right?
CALLER: Yes.
Comments: Direct Question.

EDWARD: That's the same person?
Comments: Direct Question. Reinforcement.

CALLER: Mm-hmm.
EDWARD: Right. Those -- and I'm not connecting with your dad, I'm sorry. It doesn't mean that he's not OK. I just feel like, you know, these are the people that see us as their opportunity. This is a big deal with the whole cadet graduation thing. So I want you to remember that, OK?
Comments: Disclaimer. Platitude. "Just remember what I told you."

CALLER: OK.
EDWARD: Thank you.

Reading 14

KING: Virginia Beach, hello.
CALLER: Hello Larry and John. John, can you communicate with my father to find out if he's happy with how our family is getting along without him? And what was the true date of his death?
KING: You don't know the date of your father's death?
CALLER: He was found deceased.
KING: Oh.
EDWARD: Well, let me just -- I'm going to start off in a unique area, which I think is important so the other people are going to want to hear this also. I don't know if -- I'm just going to say this. First and foremost, your -- your dad have a dog just passed?

Comments: Blatant Redirection. Direct Question.

CALLER: A dog?
EDWARD: Yes.
CALLER: No, but he had a...
EDWARD: OK, wait, wait. I just want to tell you there is a dog that is with your father because as soon as you started asking me the questions, I started getting the dog barking, which is a symbol to let me know that there's an animal or pet that's passed.
Comments: Inflating the Chances. Note how JE backed off on the specific of "dog"…now it's a "symbol".

CALLER: OK.
EDWARD: And this would be something that I see as not, this is like an old pet, like 12 or 13-years-old and it's part of the family from what they're showing me.
Comments: JE can't or won't guess what the pet was.

CALLER: OK.
EDWARD: And I feel like was there before the father actually passed?
Comments: Direct Question.

CALLER: Right.
EDWARD: They're also telling me to tell you that the 14th of a month is significant. So I don't know if there's a birthday or an anniversary on the 14th. And they're showing me the sign of Gemini, which either means that somebody is a twin or that somebody's actually the sign of Gemini. OK? That's No. 1.
Comments: Baiting. Redirection. Subtle Question.
Your dad must have a sister or a female figure to his side, who's also there, that passed before him. Do you understand that?
Comments: Inflating the Chances. Sister or female figure…female figure could be anybody.

CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: OK, and I feel like that would be somebody who would have met this person? And they're telling me acknowledge either Jimmy or Jeannie or Jenny or some type of name that sounds like that in connection with this family. And I'm thinking that there's a two day thing going on because there's a two day delay before somebody would've seen this person. Do you understand this?
CALLER: OK.
Comments: Baiting. Fishing. Subtle Questions. Inflating the Chances. Again with the names…

EDWARD: Did something see him two days before?
CALLER: Yes, we all did.
Comments: Direct Question. Something?

EDWARD: But like two days before?
CALLER: Yes.
Comments: Direct Question. Insistence.

EDWARD: OK. I feel like it's not -- it was probably right after the -- I don't know, I think it's within that two days that they're showing me. And I feel like I need to acknowledge not getting the cake.
CALLER: Yes.
Comments: Fishing. JE gets a hit. Please note how he reinforces that hit by repeating his questions and statements, even though the cake guess was clearly acknowledged.

EDWARD: You haven't -- was he like diabetic or something where he wasn't allowed to have it?
CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: Or wouldn't let him have the cake. Because I feel like I couldn't get the cake, whatever that means.
CALLER: Right.
EDWARD: There's also two wives. Was he married twice?
Comments: Direct Question.

CALLER: No.
EDWARD: Was there a wife and a very significant friend?
Comments: Mild insistence. Direct Question.

CALLER: No.
EDWARD: OK, let's just put it this way, I've got two female energies that I feel like I need to acknowledge for this man. So whether it be two wives, two very close females, a sister and a friend. I have no idea what this is, but I know that there's an Elizabeth or Liz that's connected here.
Comments: Inflating the Chances. The pattern is obvious.

CALLER: That's my sister, Elizabeth.
EDWARD: OK. This is just their way of acknowledging to me that they're connected to you. And please, I want you to understand that the first thing I got was the connection to the dog. Right, I wrote that down.
Comments: Reinforcement. There was no validation that the pet was a dog.
And also, I don't know, you know had like a hernia in the stomach or something?
CALLER: Yes.
Comments: Direct Question. Caller does not identify exactly what the problem was.

EDWARD: OK. This man was plagued with a lot of stuff, but I feel like there's like a throwing in the towel. So this was something he was ready to leave. Do you understand that?
CALLER: Right, right.
Comments: This is evident from the information already known, that the father was diabetic.

EDWARD: Do you have the book of poems or the book of poetry or the special book?
Comments: Baiting.

CALLER: Yes, I don't know which book.
EDWARD: OK, it's -- it to me, when I see this, it's a symbol. It either means it's like either a family bible, it's a family something. And inside this bible, there's either like the ribbon or there's like the picture or it's a pressed feather or a rose. It's something I feel like would be significant.
Comments: Inflating the Chances. Caller's reply was vague, leaving JE free to widen the spectrum of possibilities.

CALLER: OK.
EDWARD: I just know I feel like that this is their way of coming across. Thank you.
Comments: Disclaimer.

Reading 15

KING: Thank you, ma'am. Mount Morris, Michigan, hello.
CALLER: Hi, John.
EDWARD: Hi, how are you?
CALLER: I'm fine. How are you?
EDWARD: I'm good.
CALLER: I'm calling...
EDWARD: Well, first of all, don't say anything. What's your first name?
CALLER: Kathy.
EDWARD: Hey, Kathy. The first thing -- there's two things I want to acknowledge, three things I want to acknowledge. One, I don't know if you have the son whose passed, but they're telling me to acknowledge a younger male or somebody who's lost a child around you. Do you understand that?

Comments: Misdirection. The younger male again…JE again takes control of the "reading".

CALLER: Hmm...
EDWARD: Actually, this is a vehicle accident that somebody passed in. And it's like an impact that they're trying to show me. And it's directly connected to you. It's not for anybody else on hold or anybody else that's watching. It's something -- it's a younger male that passed and path is directly connected to you.
Comments: Exactly similar to the first time the "younger male" was brought up, in an earlier reading.
And I feel like this is somebody who actually was driving. It was their fault. There's a J or a G name that's connected to this also. And they're telling me to also acknowledge the fact that separate from that, there was somebody who was murdered.
Comments: Classic misdirection.

CALLER: Wow, I'm not quite sure on that.
EDWARD: OK, I want you to remember what I'm saying, OK? There's somebody who passed at the hands of somebody else.
Comments: Again. "Just remember what I told you."

KING: Who are you calling about?
CALLER: My mother.
EDWARD: No, I'm not getting your mom. You've got somebody who's either, there's somebody, Kathy, there's somebody who's coming through who's acknowledging that they passed like either the husband or the boyfriend or somebody that they were connected to was involved in the past. This might've been going back a while.
Comments: Redirection. JE has a consistent pattern of not dealing with caller requests.

CALLER: OK.
EDWARD: But it's directly connected to you.
CALLER: OK, I had a car accident and I'm a paraplegic because of that car accident.
EDWARD: That's not what was coming through though, unless somebody else in that accident passed?
CALLER: No, nobody passed in that.
EDWARD: No, that's not it. That's not the connection. The connection is that somebody connected to you, younger male, passed in a vehicle accident or with an impact of some sort. And there's a J or G connection to this. And there's also a connection that's separate from that, that somebody in your circle, that I feel like actually was murdered. Like somebody else caused their passing. And it's either like a friend's sister or a friend's girlfriend. It's connected to you in your circle. So I'm giving that to you.
Comments: Cruel insistence on the "younger male" and "J or G", the "murder", etc. These little horror stories have a purpose, though…keep the believers in awe.

KING: You're not getting a mother at all?
EDWARD: Not at all.
CALLER: Not at all.
EDWARD: Doesn't mean she's not OK, it just means that when I open up and I connect with somebody, they see this as their window of getting through and that's what happens.
Comments: Disclaimer. Platitude.

KING: Back with more of John Edward on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE, right after this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KING: John Edward is telling me that sometimes, as you heard about that murder thing, they follow up and find when they check that there was some connection, right?
EDWARD: Well, I think the biggest and most exciting thing on crossing over is that people are going to see is that we're following up with the people that have been in the read in the gallery. And these people are only too happy to invite us back to say, this is what made sense. This is the revelation after the fact. And it's actually becoming one of my favorite things to watch on the show because it gives me the courage to sit here and like, say yes you do. Write it down.
Comments: Pressure.

KING: You're pretty -- you firmly believe in what you're doing?
EDWARD: Absolutely.

Reading 16

KING: Huber Heights, Ohio. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, there. How are you this evening?
KING: Fine.
CALLER: How are you, John?
EDWARD: I'm doing good.
CALLER: This is Alma.
EDWARD: How are you doing, Alma.
CALLER: Pretty good.
KING: What's the question, Alma?
CALLER: I'd just like to see if I could communicate with my sister.
EDWARD: There's two of them, right?
CALLER: No, just one.
EDWARD: No, there's two.

Comments: Pressure.

KING: You're telling us there's two sisters when...
EDWARD: I'm telling her that what I'm getting is that there are two energies as I would see as being two her side who have passed.
CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: Which means that you've got like two sister figures who have crossed, correct?
CALLER: Yes.
Comments: "Sister figures" is inflating the chances

EDWARD: OK. And there's like a Joyce connection to one of them or there's a J connection to one of them because I'm getting a J connection. And there's also somebody, somebody around you with Alzheimer's also or there was some type of connection that they were not of clear mind prior to their passing?
Comments: Inflating the Chances. JE's trademark combination statement.

CALLER: Yes.
Comments: Yes to what? Joyce, J, or Alzheimers, or "not of clear mind"?

EDWARD: Are you aware of that?
CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: There's also -- are you in a gambling community?
Comments: Direct Question.

CALLER: No.
EDWARD: OK. Is there some type of like, somebody just win money?
Comments: Direct Question.

CALLER: No, maybe I will.
EDWARD: No, no, no, they're referencing like some type of like gambling win. So I don't know if there's like a joke here, where somebody used to joke about, you know, winning the big lotto jackpot or winning bingo or something, but there's like a joke about that. And I'm also supposed to talk about your ring. I don't know if you have one of the sister's rings, but there's a connection to a piece of jewelry that's passed down. But it's got to more left hand related like wedding band or they want me to acknowledge somebody who I would see as having the wedding band connection, because they're bringing that up also.
Comments: Inflating the Chances. Insistence. Subtle Questions.
Is your dad also there, Alma?
Comments: Direct Question.

CALLER: Yes, he is.
EDWARD: Is he the archery man?
Comments: Direct Question.

CALLER: An archery man?
EDWARD: Is somebody play -- did somebody shoot with a bow and arrow or do some type of like archery?
Comments: Direct Question.

CALLER: Not that I know of.
EDWARD: OK, that's a unique symbol for me. Somebody's doing like an archery thing, where there's some type of like archery connection.
KING: Maybe it's Cupid.
EDWARD: Like there's got to be like a bow and arrow connection. So I'm going to leave that with you, but I got that connected around that energy.
Comments: Insistence.

Reading 17

KING: Thank you. Dublin, Georgia, hello.
CALLER: Hi.
KING: Hi. Go ahead.
CALLER: Yes, I'm calling to see if I could communicate with my father.
EDWARD: OK, the first thing I'm going to ask you -- I'm telling you. I'm getting an S name. Who's got the SH connection?

Comments: Redirection. Once again, JE completely ignores the caller's request.

CALLER: S name?
EDWARD: Like S.
KING: Like Sam.
EDWARD: Like as in Sharon or Sherie. You know, what? I'm not connecting with you. This is not for you. I'm sorry.
KING: You don't get any reading?
EDWARD: It's not because I'm not with her.
KING: No? Does that happen with some people?
EDWARD: Absolutely.
KING: And how do you explain it?
EDWARD: Because I think it's somebody (INAUDIBLE).
Comments: Disclaimer.

Reading 18

KING: Washington, Indiana, hello.
CALLER: Hello.
KING: Hi, who's Sherie?
CALLER: Sherie?
KING: OK, never mind. Little joke. Go ahead. What's your question?
EDWARD: I'll do the reading. What's your first name?
CALLER: Carol.
EDWARD: How are you doing, Carol. Carol, who around you has the SH connection?
CALLER: SH?
EDWARD: Like Sharon, Sherie.

Comments: Inflating the Chances. The "SH connection" was extremely general, and although the specific names Sharon and Sherie seem to be less general, they are still very common names.

CALLER: Sherum.
EDWARD: Sherum. What is that?
CALLER: That's my sister's last name.
EDWARD: OK, is she still here?
Comments: Direct Question. If the sister is dead, then JE could have pretended the sister was connecting to him; she's alive, so JE has to redirect, as shown below.

CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: OK, do you know if there's somebody younger in that family whose passed?
Comments: Direct Question.

CALLER: No.
EDWARD: OK, let me say this, the person to tell you, there's a mom figure who's coming through. So I don't know if its your mom whose passed or if it's a mother-in-law. But there somebody who passed from congestive heart failure or they filled up with fluids. Do you understand that?
Comments: Redirection. Subtle Question. Inflating the Chances. Heart ailments are one of the most common causes of death.

CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: OK, they're telling me acknowledge that the 18th of the month has some type of significance. Do you understand that?
Comments: Inflating the Chances. Direct Question. The question, "Do you understand that?" introduces ambiguity. When the caller says "yes," are they "validating" the "18th of the month", or are they just confirming that they "understand"? Because the reading and question are combined, we can't know which one the caller is responding to.

CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: OK. They're also making me feel -- oh, your dad's there, too?
Comments: Direct Question.

CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: OK, and they're also telling me to technology Charles or -- there's a C name. There's like a C connection to that side of the family. So between the father and the mother energy, they're telling me to acknowledge the SH in the family. And they're also making me feel like do you have cows?
Comments: Inflating the Chances. Charles, C, C connection. The "SH" in the family was already acknowledged! JE is recycling his earlier hit. Finally, JE uses redirection/misdirection and a direct question. Asking about cows changes the subject.

CALLER: Cows?
EDWARD: Cows?
CALLER: No, we don't.
EDWARD: Was there some type of connection to the family?
Comments: Direct Question.

CALLER: No.
EDWARD: OK, I want you to remember that I'm saying this, they're showing me cows. Now.
KING: Maybe they drink a lot of milk.
EDWARD: I come from the city, so bear with me with my reference. I think cows and I think Ben and Jerry's ice cream. So I think I need to talk about real cows, like as in milking the cows or owning the cows, but there's a reference to like living cows in some way. So cattle, in some reference.
Comments: Disclaimer. Blatant inflating the chances. Even leather shoes would fit JE's criteria for a cow connection.

KING: I must say this, John.
EDWARD: It's abstract.
Comments: Disclaimer.

KING: You don't come up with everyday things, you know what I mean? The archery thing. That ain't out of the realm of the normal.
CALLER: No, no.
EDWARD: Just remember the cow thing.
KING: Look up the cows, ma'am. If he tells you cows, there's cows.
CALLER: I got questions.
EDWARD: Go ahead.
CALLER: Can you let me know if my husband's crossed over?
EDWARD: See, I'm seeing it again. What's your first name?
Comments: Insistence.

CALLER: Carol.
EDWARD: Carol, I want you to really think...
Comments: Pressure. Shifting the Burden.

KING: You don't know if your husband died?
CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: Carol, why is there -- they're showing me cows. Did someone in his family like something cattle-related?
Comments: Insistence. Direct Question.

CALLER: No.
EDWARD: Are you sure? There's cows.
Comments: Insistence.

KING: Did your husband run off to the West?
CALLER: No.
EDWARD: There's cows. If they're showing me cattle and cows, there's a definite link.
Comments: Insistence. At this point, anything remotely connected to cows would be counted as a hit.

KING: OK, I got to take break. We'll check on that. Boy, you are really, OK.
EDWARD: It's never dull in my world.
KING: OK. Funny, now it's weird. I saw a zebra. It's crazy. We'll be back with our remaining moments right after this. Don't go away. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

Reading 19

KING: You can now logon to our web site at www.cnn.com/larryking. You'll get the answer to King's quiz. And we'll go to Young, Washington with John Edward. Hello.
CALLER: Hi.
KING: Hi.
CALLER: I was wondering if he can connect with my uncle.
EDWARD: What's your first name?
CALLER: Veronica.
EDWARD: How are you doing, Veronica.
CALLER: Hi.
EDWARD: No, I can't connect with your uncle.

Comments: Another refusal.

CALLER: OK.
EDWARD: Are you currently married?
CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: Is there like a mother or an aunt figure on your husband's side of the family who just passed?
Comments: Redirection. JE controls all the readings, remember.

CALLER: A mother or aunt figure? No.
EDWARD: Yes, there is. Somebody on that side of the family, older female, recently passed or connected to the male in your life.
Comments: Insistence. Pressure.

CALLER: I don't think his mother and his...
EDWARD: Where's the Helen connection?
Comments: Misdirection. Direct Question.

CALLER: The Helen?
EDWARD: Uh-huh.
CALLER: I'm not sure.
EDWARD: Is he there with you?
CALLER: He just went over next door to watch on the TV.
EDWARD: He's watching me on the TV?
CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: So he's going to come running back going, "Yes, there is a Helen."
CALLER: Oh wait, here he comes. Here he comes. Yes, he's running back over here.
KING: Here he comes.
CALLER: Do we have a Helen? His mother's side?
EDWARD: Can you put him on?
CALLER: Yes. Here.
KING: What if he has girl named, you ruined his whole.
EDWARD: Hi, what's your first name?
CALLER: February 23.
EDWARD: That's your first name?
CALLER: Oh, Bobby. Bobby Adams.
EDWARD: How are you doing, Bobby.
CALLER: Good.
EDWARD: Just stay focused with me here. What's the Helen or Ellen connection to your family?
Comments: Direct Question. Inflating the Chances. Notice that, earlier, it was only a "Helen" connection, "to the male in your life", ostensibly Bobby. Now it's "Helen or Ellen" connected to the family, a much wider range.

CALLER: Helen or Ellen?
EDWARD: Uh-huh.
CALLER: I'm not sure.
EDWARD: OK, here's the deal. What's coming through, I was just talking to your wife, they're telling me to acknowledge that connected to your side of the family, there's an older female that I would see as being like a mom, like an aunt, older female, who has crossed. And they're making me feel like there's like a Helen, Ellen connection to that side of the family. And there's also the man that was known for either you went hunting with the person or there's the outdoorsy kind of thing going on there. Where's the hiker or the woods in the family?
Comments: Redirection. JE has used this technique before; make a long statement, then throw in an unrelated question at the end. This can be seen in the previous readings.

CALLER: Oh.
EDWARD: Like lots of land, lots of trees, house in the middle. Where's that?
Comments: Direct Question. Inflating the Chances. Could be one of a multitude of locations.

CALLER: Oregon, I would think.
EDWARD: Is that where they grew up?
CALLER: My father and -- my mother grew up in Colorado. My father grew up in Texas.
EDWARD: It's not Texas.
CALLER: Texas or Oklahoma.
EDWARD: It's not Texas. It's more of a woodsy, treesy area. Anyway, what's coming through is they're telling me to acknowledge two things. One, I don't know if you guys personally lost a child, but they're rocking a baby on the other side, which lets me know that there's an energy of a child that's there.
Comments: Disclaimer. Redirection.

CALLER: Oh, my older brother lost a baby during birth.
EDWARD: OK, they're telling me to acknowledge the energy of the child who's there. They're also making me feel like there's either someone whose got a name that sounds like either Tyler or Taylor or a unique T name. OK? There's a unique connection to this, but they're telling me to -- the person to tell you is that there's a person or a Helen or an Ellen or a name that sounds like Eleanor like that to me, whose connected through you, whose there. And that's the person who's trying to come through. So I'm not getting the uncle.
Comments: Overall Inflating the Chances by throwing in a variety of guesses. Insistence on Helen or Ellen or Eleanor. Redirection via Tyler, Taylor, T name.

KING: Sorry we're out of time. Sorry we couldn't get to the other calls. John will of course return to his program. He is a regular guest and always welcome. I congratulate you on crossing over.
EDWARD: Thank you very much. Over and over again, John Edward uses the same pattern when performing a reading. Once this pattern is recognized, his supposed abilities turn out to be rather unremarkable.

Postlude

These examples show that, at least on TV "call-in" shows, giving a performance as a psychic medium is not complicated. A logical method can be seen in the seemingly random questions asked and statements made by the would-be medium. As long as the caller or "sitter" is willing to volunteer information in response to such prompts, the would-be medium's performance is made much easier.

As I said at the beginning, the list of tricks is brief. There are other techniques which you may discover on your own. The next time you watch someone who claims to receive communication from the dead, see if you can find the pattern in their patter.

If you wish to try these methods yourself, have the courtesy to inform your "victim" that you really don't possess psychic powers. Keep your act simple. Ask direct questions, guess at common ailments, throw in a few platitudes, redirect if your guesses go wrong, make the sitter do the thinking, insist that your guess is correct, and never let the sitter have the last word.

Posted by: Pyrrho at 12:18 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 12660 words, total size 125 kb.

11 Ways to Talk to the Dead

November, 2002
Analysis of Transcript Excerpts of James Van Praagh (JVP) "readings" done on the "Larry King Live" show.

Introduction

On Larry King Live, April 25, 2002, psychic James van Praagh appeared, together with actor Ted Danson, to talk about the two-part TV-series called "Living With The Dead."

I don't have cable TV, so I was unable to see the show. My analysis is based solely on the transcripts, which lack the facial expressions and voice stresses available in the actual show. Such information would offer more insight into the "reading" process. I would ask anyone who saw the show to try to remember how things were said, which words were stressed, and what kinds of facial expressions were made by JVP during the "readings".

How it is done

I see several techniques used by JVP in these excerpts. There may be more, but I'm trying to keep things simple.

  1. Redirection - pushing the focus of the "reading" in a direction desired by JVP
  2. Disclaimer - a statement made by JVP which absolves him of "misses"
  3. Insistence - repeating a guess even if it is not "validated" by the caller
  4. Pressure - placing pressure on the caller to "validate" any given guess
  5. Shifting the Burden - making the caller responsible for making connections to the guess or making a "hit"
  6. Subtle Questions - questions in the form of a statement, sometimes followed by "Okay?" or "All right?"
  7. Direct Questions - no guessing, just plain direct questions asked of the caller
  8. Baiting/Fishing - a statement made by JVP intended to prompt a response from the caller
  9. Misdirection - a statement made by JVP to confuse the caller
  10. Platitudes - banal statements about spirituality, forgiveness, holiness, etc.
  11. Inflating the Chances - making a statement that is statistically very likely to be true, and/or adding to that statement with another guess with high chances of being correct.

The important thing to remember about such "readings" is that every question and statement from JVP has a purpose, which I will point out below. JVP's guesses follow logically from each piece of information known. These guesses are not made at random, and they do not require communication with dead people.

Excerpt number 1

CALLER: I lost a daughter in 1987, and I'd like to hear from her.
KING: How old was she?
CALLER: She was 15.

Comments: Thanks to King's question, and the caller's answer, JVP now knows how old the girl was. With this information, and the sound of the caller's voice, JVP can reasonably guess the age of the caller, and the caller's gender. Depending on the caller's accent, JVP could also reasonably guess where the caller is from. JVP, knowing the girl's age at death, can also narrow his guesses as to cause of death. JVP can also make reasonably accurate guesses as to what items the girl might have owned, what interests she may have had, etc. This is important information and could guide his later guesses.

JVP: Was this cancer condition at all?
CALLER: No.
Comments: Direct Question. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. The caller's "no" answer allows JVP to narrow his guesses again. If the caller had said "yes", then JVP could have pursued the cancer diagnosis with more guesses. Obviously, he didn't "get" the cause of death at all, but knowing the cause of death still gives him something to work with, as we'll see later.

JVP: Was it blood related?
CALLER: No.
Comments: Another Direct Question. "Blood related" could include many different diseases, all of them among the top ten leading causes of death in the U.S. Death statistics for the U.S. are available here.

JVP: How was she killed?
CALLER: Hit by a car.
Comments: Direct Question. Shifting the Burden. Having failed on his guesses, JVP just plain asks for the information. He now knows the age of the girl, the year of death, the cause of death, the gender of the caller, and the approximate age of the caller. JVP has already shifted the burden to the caller.

JVP: What's her first name?
CALLER: Christy. Her first name or mine?
JVP: No, her first name.
CALLER: It was Christy.
Comments: JVP continues asking direct questions. Notice that JVP hasn't given any "reading" at all. He didn't even guess the dead girl's name. The caller, not JVP, has supplied all the information about the "spirit" JVP is supposed to "contact": female, died in 1987, age 15, hit by a car, first name Christy.

JVP: Let me ask you something, because I don't - you know, I just get what I get, and I can only give you something that I get. Was there a baby born after she passed over? In the family?
CALLER: Yes.
Comments: Disclaimer. Redirection. This is a clever move. First, he states a disclaimer - "I just get what I get," etc. This serves to absolve JVP of any wrong guesses he makes, and shifts the burden to the caller to make the connections. Again, he asks two direct questions. These questions are almost guaranteed to be a "hit", because any baby born in any part of the extended family will count as a "hit". It's extremely likely that a baby would be born in the period between 1987 and 2002, a span of 15 years. All it has to be is "after she passed over", which may seem to mean soon after, but is actually open-ended. JVP now knows that a baby was born. It doesn't matter when. Most importantly, JVP has now redirected the "reading", completely avoiding having to produce genuine messages from the late Christy.

JVP: Because this might sound very strange to you, but she wants me to tell you that she's a guide for this baby. I don't know if it's a brother's baby.
CALLER: There's been three.
JVP: Okay. Does the brother have a baby?
CALLER: Let me see - there's been four girls born since her.
Comments: Baiting. Direct Question. Subtle Question. JVP, instead of producing a clear message from Christy, uses the "spirit guide" angle. There is nothing in his statement that would show that he was receiving anything from Christy. He specifically says that he doesn't know whose baby it is - this is actually a subtle question in the form of a statement. The caller, however, does not say one way or the other if one of the brothers has a baby. This "brother" could be anybody's brother in the family. JVP is fishing for information. If the caller had confirmed that Christy had a brother by answering the baby question in the affirmative, JVP would have had more information to extrapolate from. JVP now knows that there have been four baby girls born since Christy's death. Again, the information comes from the caller, not from JVP.

JVP: Okay. Well, there's a baby there that the brother has, that she's a guide to, also. I'm going to tell you that someone in the family is a teacher, okay, or wanted to go into teaching. All right? I'm going to tell you that this girl - she forgives the person that did this to her, very much so. And I'm telling you she's telling me she came to your dreams just recently?
CALLER: I very seldom remember my dreams.
Comments: Insistence. Subtle Question. Direct Question. Pressure. Shifting the Burden. Poor JVP. He's missing completely. Again, he fishes for information by making guesses and asking questions in the form of statements - note the phrase "…someone in the family is a teacher, okay, or wanted to go into teaching,. All right?" These are questions, both subtle and direct. "Okay" and "All right?" are used in common speech as interrogatives, although they can be interpreted as efforts to make sure that the other person understands what is being said. In this case, they are used to pressure the caller. JVP also applies pressure to the caller by his insistence on his statements. JVP uses a "forgiveness" platitude that again proves nothing. It is, again, a subtle question - JVP may have been trying to find out who killed Christy, and uses pressure to get the caller to respond with something about Christy's character. JVP claims that Christy came to the caller's dreams. This is almost guaranteed not to fail, but it proves nothing. In this case, the parent hasn't remembered any such dream, but few people do. If the caller had affirmed that Christy had appeared in dreams, JVP would have scored an easy hit. It would not be unusual for a parent to dream of a child they had lost.

JVP: Well, she said she's been in your dreams. And I also see a kitten. And I don't know why I'm being shown a cat, or kitten. But I don't know if she had a kitten or a cat?
CALLER: I called her "cat." Those were her initials.
Comments: Shifting the Burden. Direct Question. Insistence. Failing the dream guess, JVP insists that the girl had been in the caller's dreams. It can't be proven either way, so he can't lose. Again, JVP asks direct questions, and scores a lucky "hit". This kitten or cat could have been anybody's cat, or even a stuffed animal, or one of those silly clocks. Any cat motif would do. I don't think he was speculating about Christy's initials. I think he was using a common motif, possibly in a bid at redirection. At the least, JVP now knows that Christy did not have a cat.

JVP: Okay. Well, maybe that's why she's showing me this. But that's what I'm being given you. I'll tell you right now, she's there at night a lot around you in your dream state. I'm going to ask you also, did you have a little vegetable garden when she was alive?
CALLER: Her grandmother did.
Comments: Insistence. Direct Question. Redirection. JVP continues to insist upon the dream business. Very likely, the parent will now have dreams of Christy, since JVP has repeatedly pushed the idea. Again, JVP asks a direct question and the caller supplies important information. JVP now knows that there was a vegetable garden, and that the grandmother had the garden. It is almost a given that someone in the family had a vegetable garden. This is another redirection of the "reading". JVP is in complete control of the process.

JVP: Okay. And is her grandmother in spirit now?
CALLER: Yes.
Comments: Direct Question. Redirection. Another blatant question, with a very high chance of being a "hit", if it were an actual message instead of a question. The girl died in 1987 at age 15. Fifteen years have passed. Given a reasonably accurate guess as to the caller's age, JVP could reasonably guess the grandmother's age, and could reasonably guess whether or not the grandmother was alive. JVP plays it safe by again making the caller do the work. Regardless of the caller's answer, JVP has redirected the "reading" yet again by pursuing the grandmother lead. One has to wonder about the credibility of JVP when he has to ask such questions.

JVP: Okay. She's talking about helping her with that garden. Do you remember her helping with the vegetable garden?
CALLER: Yes.
JVP: You remember that?
CALLER: Yes.
Comments: Direct Question. JVP states the obvious. This follows logically from the answers previously given by the caller. Again, JVP is directing everything. He now knows that the girl helped the grandmother, and reinforces this "hit" by asking the caller if they remember it, even after the caller has "validated" his direct question.. Everything that follows is based on that knowledge.

JVP: With tomatoes and carrots, and she's talking about helping grandma doing this. She's with this grandmother, which must be your mother or something.
CALLER: Yes.
Comments: Insistence. Baiting. JVP reinforces his "hit" for the third time. Mother "or something"? Guaranteed "hit". The "or something" qualifier is the key. Grandma could have been any woman, given that condition. The caller doesn't respond to the "tomatoes and carrots" bait, but those are common things in most backyard gardens in the U.S. JVP now knows that the grandmother was the caller's mother. He repeats the part about Christy helping with the garden; this is reinforcement of the notion that he scored a "hit", when he did not.

JVP: She's connected with her, with you.
CALLER: Yes.
Comments: Insistence. JVP again states the obvious. Grandmother, by definition, is a family member, and JVP already knows from the caller's information that the grandmother had direct involvement with Christy. JVP also knows that the girl helped with the grandmother's garden. JVP knows that grandmother is the caller's mother. A connection? No kidding! JVP is keeping the focus on the grandmother by doing this. Please note that the caller's original request, to hear from the daughter, has been pushed aside.

JVP: Okay? I'm going to tell you something also. I don't know if there's a watch of hers you have and also a locket of some sort, but she's talking about that. I also want to tell you one more thing. Is there a footstool in your house?
CALLER: No.
Comments: Direct Question. Baiting. JVP tries to get hits by guessing at a watch and a locket "of some sort". It is common for people to have keepsakes left by departed loved ones. Elderly women often wear a combination watch/locket. JVP fails on his footstool guess, even though footstools are a common piece of furniture, especially for older folks.

JVP: Well, who puts their feet up? She helps someone put their feet up with a pillow underneath their feet. I don't know if she's helping grandma, but she's showing me putting a pillow underneath someone's feet.
CALLER: May have been my mother.
JVP: I think - would you check that out?
Comments: Insistence. Direct Question. Baiting. Shifting the Burden. JVP uses insistence once again. JVP has failed on the watch and locket guess, and on the footstool guess, so now he tries using pillows as bait. He still fails. Again, JVP makes a reasonable guess based on what he already knows, as evidenced by his reference to "who puts their feet up?" Obviously, he means the grandmother. The caller can't "validate" his guess, so JVP just tells her to "check that out". One has to wonder how the caller would be able to do that, since both the daughter and the grandmother are dead. The caller never received any clear messages from her daughter...or her mother…or from JVP, for that matter, who has scored two or three very weak "hits", if we use an extremely liberal definition of "hit".
Excerpt number 2

CALLER: . . . I lost my mom in December '97, my dad in January 2000. I was wondering if you...
JVP: I'm going to tell you there's somebody here with a cancer condition. Was it your dad?
CALLER: Yes.

Comments: Inflating the Chances. Direct Question. JVP uses the cancer ploy. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States (cancer caused 20.3% of all deaths in 1999, second only to heart disease at 30.3%.) JVP relies on the safest guess possible. These guesses are actually questions. JVP directly asks if it was the caller's dad who had cancer. He really doesn't know! The caller has only affirmed that it was her dad that had cancer. The mother's cause of death is not mentioned. What JVP does next follows from the information the caller has given him. As previously mentioned, JVP can make a reasonable guess as to the age, gender, and ethnicity of the caller, based on voice alone, and from there a reasonable guess as to the age of the dead parents. This allows him to narrow his guesses and gives him other possibilities to guess at.

JVP: Because I feel cancer. And I feel lungs, also. I feel with him also, it could be emphysema at one point, too or trouble with his lungs breathing.
CALLER: The lungs it was my mother.
Comments: Inflating the Chances. By including respiratory illness, JVP increased his chances of a hit. Chronic lower respiratory illness is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. He now has more information to use. Respiratory ailments are frequently associated with heart disease. JVP's chances of a hit are well above 50%. Please note that JVP has missed on this guess by saying it was the father who had respiratory ailments.

JVP: Well, I am getting lungs and trouble breathing here. I also want to tell you that these two are very connected. I don't know. Did you say they passed very closely in time?
CALLER: Two years apart.
Comments: Insistence. JVP states the obvious. Lungs and breathing trouble connected? Obviously! Mom and dad connected? Obviously! JVP already knows when mom and dad died - by asking this seemingly pointless question, he can redirect the reading. When he says, "I don't know," it's the truth…

JVP: One of them had a brother over there who met them when they passed over. Hadn't seen this brother for a very long time, Okay.
CALLER: Yes. That would be my father, he had a couple brothers.
Comments: Baiting. It is unlikely that two only children would be married to each other, thus, JVP has high chances for a "hit" with part one of this two-part guess, especially if he's arrived at a reasonable guess as to the age of the dead parents. Older folks often have siblings who have died. The guess about them not having "…seen this brother for a very long time,…" is not affirmed. It cannot be proven that mom and dad were met by one of dad's brothers "over there". The caller does not respond to the bait about this particular brother (who would be the caller's uncle.) JVP now knows that dad had "a couple" of brothers, and that the mother did not.

JVP: Well, there was a brother there for a long time. He hadn't seen him. He was very impressed - he was very happy to see this guy. Your father, by the way, didn't believe in this sort of thing. Very skeptical of this sort of thing. But he is a true believer now. A name Joseph comes in also. Or Joe. And that's interesting, very strong in front of me.
CALLER: I don't know who that is.
Comments: Baiting. Platitude. JVP's platitude about how happy dad was to see his brother can't be proven, of course. Besides, who wouldn't be happy to see a loved one in the afterlife? JVP brings up a guess/question (a "guesstion"?) about someone named Joe, but fails, even though Joseph is the one of the most common names in the United States. In 2001, it was the sixth-most-popular name. JVP slips in a subtle jab at skeptics. This is done to bolster his credibility and to bait the caller for a response about dad's skepticism. Anyone would become a "true believer" if they discovered that there is an afterlife.

JVP: Did you have to give your mother medications?
CALLER: Did I have to give her?
Comments: Redirection. Failing on Joseph/Joe, JVP redirects the reading by asking about medications. Older folks are extremely likely to be taking medications for various conditions. Please note, once again, that the question always precedes the guess or purported communication. JVP's question is a given, based on the information already known, i.e. the lung problems, and the age of the parents. He really can't miss on this one; the answer is already obvious. Unfortunately for JVP, the caller did not administer any medications, and his guess fails.

JVP: Who gave her the medications? She's telling me that there were medications that she had to receive.
CALLER: She did have a lot of medications, nothing I gave her directly.
Comments: Insistence. Pressure. Shifting the Burden. JVP insists upon the medication issue. Apparently he's desperate for a "hit". JVP knows that the mother must have been taking medication, given her illness. Again, older folks are extremely likely to be taking medications for various conditions.

JVP: But there was a schedule of medications she had to get. Every hour. She had to receive medications. I also want to ask you, is there a box of hers you have? A jewelry box?
CALLER: No.
Comments: Insistence. Pressure. Shifting the Burden. Redirection. Again, the medications business is a given, based on what is already known of the mother's illness. Having no real success with the medication angle despite his insistence, JVP pushes the "reading" in another direction by asking about a jewelry box, something commonly passed down from elder women. Based on this question, one can guess that the caller is a woman, because it's not a question JVP would have asked a man. JVP's chances of a "hit" are very high with this one. Remember the first reading and JVP's questions about the watch and locket? This is the same thing. JVP fails again, though.

JVP: Who has a box of hers, like a jewelry box of some sort?
CALLER: Oh, god, I don't - I don't know.
Comments: Insistence. Pressure. Shifting the Burden. Having failed on the guess, JVP now tries to better his chances by widening the possibilities, probably thinking that someone in the family must have something left by the departed mother. It's clear that he doesn't know and that he's receiving nothing from the dead mother.

KING: We are running out of time.
Comments: Lucky for JVP. He was really embarrassing himself. Lucky for us, too - the nonsense is almost over.

JVP: Well, I'm being shown it, and it has flowers on it.
Comments: Insistence. JVP, unwilling to take his lumps, gets the last word and goes out insisting that he's being "shown" the jewelry box, and throws in a flower motif. This is just more bait for the caller to make a connection with later.

Postlude

These examples show that, at least on TV "call-in" shows, giving a performance as a psychic medium is not complicated. A logical method can be seen in the seemingly random questions asked and statements made by the would-be medium. As long as the caller or "sitter" is willing to volunteer information in response to such prompts, the would-be medium's performance is made much easier.

As I said at the beginning, the list of tricks is brief. There are other techniques which you may discover on your own. The next time you watch someone who claims to receive communication from the dead, see if you can find the pattern in their patter.

If you wish to try these methods yourself, have the courtesy to inform your "victim" that you really don't possess psychic powers. Keep your act simple. Ask direct questions, guess at common ailments, throw in a few platitudes, redirect if your guesses go wrong, make the sitter do the thinking, insist that your guess is correct, and never let the sitter have the last word.

Above all else, never forget that you're pretending, lest you be caught in your own game.

Posted by: Pyrrho at 12:14 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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