Fraudulent Psychics & Mediums

Mythopoeika

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BlackRiverFalls said:
At the same time she was advertising herself as a chat line clairvoyant on the Psychic TV website.

Not that Psychic TV one imagines. :lol:

I did wonder how P-Orridge made a living. :)
 

Robbrent

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The problem is that people have got fortune telling and Psychic phenomena mixed up; fortune telling has been around for 100’s of years, now the fortune tellers have morphed into Psychics. Cold reading is a fine art indeed, but you don’t have to buy a book or go on a course basically everyone has the same set of problems or has had, just know what real life is about and read it back to them, and watch the money roll in

Genuine Psychics don’t really do that type of thing, there are a few about but they are very rare indeed, I really don’t think there are more than 10 in the UK. It always amuses me the amount of time necromancers and genuine mediums spend preparing themselves for a séance, the rituals etc, and even then results are not guaranteed, yet some women sits in front of 1000’s of people and can turn it on like a tap.
 

oldrover

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Why do you doubt a book you've never read? On what grounds?

I'm just interested in what has led you to dismiss it, whether it's reviews or something you've heard?

Colin Wilson was firmly of the belief that it was Joe Fisher's obsession with one spirit that led to his death.


Essentially it comes down to the subject. Which I have gathered from reading a few overviews in this case deals with mediums and spirit guides. Mediums and by extension the spirits they deal with are in my opinion, which I have to say I'm more than usually confident in on this context, a fraud. My reasons for saying that is that I have met several people who claimed such abilities and in every case I found them to at best a little deluded and often over indulged or alternately excluded by those around them. Also I found them all to be very careless of those around them. Straight away I can think of two cases, both of which concerned members of the same group of spiritualist congregation, where these mediums have directly harmed or caused distress to very vulnerable people. One was in the final stages of cancer and was left distraught after their intervention and counselling. The other was seriously mentally ill and was left a lot less able to cope. Personally and although this could be seen as being a fairly easy shot, I can’t help feeling that something vaguely like this may have contributed to Joe Fischer’s death.

As to the claims they made in my experience they were often very childish and always extremely easy to rationalise, and at no time did I ever come across them offering anything like evidence, or even anything interesting. There's more to say but I won't be specific because it'd be unkind, but I believe they were compensating by retreating into a fantasy role in which they had more control or effect than they could manage in real life. Sorry if that sounds unpleasant but it's a genuine observation.

Then we have the famous mediums frankly I don't think there's anything that can be added there. If there is one out there that isn't an obvious scam artist I've never heard of them.

So as I’m completely convinced by the enormous amount of negative evidence presented against mediums over the years, I’d look elsewhere for an explanation for the content of Fischer’s book and death.
 

Ravenstone

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Hmmm... then you need to read the book. Joe Fisher approached the subject purely to discredit it, to uncover the fraudulent psychics and mediums, and to find out their 'tricks'. Instead, he found something he couldn't always explain, and something that ended up being far more disturbing than the simple notion of speaking to the dead could ever be.

It is not, as you seem to think, an advert for mediums. Also, the mediums and psychics you seem to have had the most experience of appear to be member of the spiritualist church. One does not immediately follow to the other. There are mediums who are not spiritualists.

Joe Fisher began by treating his 'spirit guide' as a figment of the medium's imagination, and perhaps as a carrot to keep him coming back. Until he started to see 'her' for himself, and experience 'her'. From then on, he found himself drawn more and more towards 'her'. Colin Wilson found this becoming more disturbing, as he became suspicious about the spirit's desire to 'be with' Fisher again. To the point where Wilson commented along the lines that he didn't consider Fisher's death to be suicide, unless it was 'assisted'.

Fisher discredited much of the information the spirits' provided, but he nevertheless believed 'something' was lying, and it wasn't the psychic.
 

oldrover

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Again I’m struggling with this you’re saying that Fisher author of ‘Life Between Life, The Case for Reincarnation’ and ‘Predictions’ and the 1987 winner of ;

The Leask Award by The Spiritual Science Institute of Canada for "making an outstanding contribution to the field of spiritual awareness."
http://www.anomalist.com/milestones/fisher.html

approached this subject with detached scepticism.

I think it’s irrelevant whether on the face of it the book celebrates or condemns mediums if it takes the subject seriously. It is saying there are spirits good or bad floating about in the ether and these guys, the mediums, can talk to them, that can only be supporting the claims that these easily repeated parlour tricks are genuine.

Also, the mediums and psychics you seem to have had the most experience of appear to be member of the spiritualist church. One does not immediately follow to the other. There are mediums who are not spiritualists.

Yes that’s just the way it’s worked out in my experience I’m well aware that not all mediums are spiritualists or any other sort of Christian. To me the important thing is they say they can contact the dead after that any other details are fairly academic.

I’ve read some of Colin Watson’s work and to be frank I don’t find having his foreword on the revised edition, or any other input of his, a point in the book’s favour.
 

oldrover

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A character in a short ghost story I read years ago and ever since got his surname confused with Colin Wilson.

We've both posted the same link. I don't take that page as indicating a sceptical attitude, that said of course I haven't read the book.
 

Ravenstone

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Yes, I posted the same link quite deliberately, given that quotes can be taken either way. In any event, he was described as an 'investigative writer'. Just because he wrote about the paranormal doesn't mean he did so blithely reporting everything as fact and not checking his sources. He did check his sources; it's what got him thrown out of the group that he'd infiltrated in order to check them out.

Just because he wrote about psychics and mediums doesn't make him a medium, anymore than writing a sports column makes someone a sportman. Or writing vampires makes Anne Rice a vampire.

It is a very good book. Makes for very uncomfortable reading.
 

oldrover

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Just because he wrote about psychics and mediums doesn't make him a medium, anymore than writing a sports column makes someone a sportman. Or writing vampires makes Anne Rice a vampire.

Agreed but winning the the Leask Award by The Spiritual Science Institute of Canada for "making an outstanding contribution to the field of spiritual awareness." does mean he's made an outstanding contribution to the field of spiritual awareness in the eyes of an organisation I'm guessing I wouldn't have a lot of time for.

I'm not knocking Fisher, and as I say I've not read the book.
 

OneWingedBird

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I haven't had any of these through my letterbox for ages... was thinking maybe the pizza leaflet men had hassled them off their patch ;P

Jalloh.jpg


And then this one came today.
 

Bigfoot73

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Long article: Alex Clark attends shows by Colin Fry and Derek Acorah.

Strange how none of these dead people ever relate what it's like being dead. ;)
 

sherbetbizarre

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Sylvia Browne: fans lash out at 'psychic' over false Ohio abduction prediction

'Psychic' incorrectly predicted the death of Amanda Berry in 2004 – not the first time she's been wrong about a missing person

One of the world's most recognizable self-proclaimed psychics was wrong yet again about the fate of a missing child, and her followers on social media are taking her to task.

Browne's prediction about Amanda Berry's fate was not the first child whose fate she attempted to explain, but her fans on social media are waiting for acknowledgment from the self-proclaimed spiritual leader.

On Facebook and Twitter, Browne sends inspirational messages to hundreds of thousands of fans, often advertising her latest appearances or one of 45 books she's published over the years (most recently Afterlives of the Rich and Famous). She reached a high level of visibility after years appearing as a regular guest on Montel Williams' television show, a long-running daytime talk program that subsisted on paternity test results, cheating spouses and half-baked psychic predictions before it finally stopped production in 2008.

"I remember you on Montel Williams telling the family of Amanda Berry she was dead," wrote one commenter on Browne's Facebook page. "What do you have to say for yourself? What a horrible horrible thing to say to a family holding on to nothing but hope and faith."

"Can you admit that you're a hack now?" asked another.

"I hope todays events seal it for you and everyone else who take advantage of those in mourning," wrote another.

Not likely.

Browne announced the death of Amanda Berry in 2004, when she appeared on Williams' show to tell Berry's mother, Louwana Miller, that her daughter was "in heaven and on the other side" and that her last words were "goodbye, mom, I love you". Miller would die a year later of heart failure.

In fact, Berry escaped Monday from a Cleveland home where she had been held captive with two other women for more than a decade. A child who is hers was also removed from the home, according to police.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/ma ... -cleveland
 

Bigfoot73

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Utterly unforgivable. Just read her Facebook page, she's a complete fruitcake.
Maybe this will become the beginning of the end for TV psychics.
 

sherbetbizarre

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Presley 'Rhonda' Gridley, Self-Described 'Psychic,' Ordered To Pay $7 Million For False Mass Grave Claim

We see financial pain in her future.

The Houston Chronicle reported this week that Presley "Rhonda" Gridley was ordered to pay $6.8 million to a Texas couple after she made false claims about a mass grave at the home of Joe Bankston and Gena Charlton.

Gridley called the Liberty County, Tex. Sheriff's Office in June 2011, "claiming that a mass grave containing dismembered bodies was at the plaintiffs' home," according to the Chronicle.

The sheriffs' office told the media about these accusations and, before long, the story had garnered international headlines and set off a wave of bad will toward the victims of the false intel, according to a previous report from the Dallas Observer.

The lawsuit claimed that Bankston and Charlton were on vacation when the story was first reported. They returned home to find "a house full of broken dishes, overturned furniture, and 'animal urine and feces'" according to the Observer. The suit also said the couple has lost friends because of the debacle.

Discovery's Benjamin Radford provides some context for psychics who make less than truthful accusations:

Psychic information often wastes police time and resources following up on false leads. Despite popular belief and claims to the contrary, there is not a single documented case of a missing person being found or recovered due to psychic information. Psychics have consistently failed to find missing persons, including high-profile disappearances like Natalee Holloway and Holly Bobo (the Tennessee woman abducted in April 2011 who remains missing despite efforts by dozens of psychics).
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/1 ... weird-news
 

sherbetbizarre

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Ooooh -

Daily Mail payout to Sally Morgan over psychic 'scam' article

The publisher of the Daily Mail has agreed to pay "substantial" damages to a psychic after an article suggested she had "perpetrated a scam" on a theatre audience, a judge has heard.

Associated Newspapers has apologised to Sally Morgan and also agreed to pay her legal costs, the High Court was told.

Mr Justice Tugendhat heard Mrs Morgan was a psychic who had become well-known through TV and theatre appearances.

A statement on Mrs Morgan's website revealed the payout had been £125,000.

And she herself was quoted as saying: "It was an unjustified and unfair attack and it has been a very difficult, costly and painful process to get where I am today and to rectify that wrong.

"There will always be sceptics who attack my work and I understand and accept that. However, to libel me and falsely accuse me of a con trick does not constitute rational commentary or debate. I hope now this settlement and apology will repair the damage that has been done."

Mrs Morgan sued for libel after the article was published in September 2011.

Her lawyer, Graham Atkins, had told the court: "She has performed in over 600 shows in more than 100 different theatres or venues to audiences stretching into the hundreds of thousands."

"It was following a theatre performance in September 2011 in Dublin that an article appeared in the Daily Mail which, in the context of a general attack on psychics as being charlatans, accused Mrs Morgan specifically of having used a hidden earpiece during her performance in order to receive instructions from her team which she then repeated on stage as if she had received them from the spirit world."

He added: "The article thereby suggested that Mrs Morgan had deliberately and dishonestly perpetrated a scam on her audience in Dublin."

The allegation had "caused enormous distress to Mrs Morgan, who decided, given the newspaper's initial defence of the article, that she had no choice but to commence legal proceedings against the publisher of the Daily Mail", he said.

Brid Jordan, for Associated Newspapers, told the judge: "The Daily Mail withdraws the suggestion that Mrs Morgan used a secret earpiece at her Dublin show in September 2011 to receive messages from off-stage, thereby cheating her audience, which it accepts is untrue."

She added: "It apologises unreservedly to Mrs Morgan for publishing the allegation. It has agreed to pay her substantial damages, together with her legal costs, and it has also agreed not to repeat the allegation."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22988215
 

Pete Younger

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I hope the paper digs deeper into her dodgy dealings and gets some irrefutable proof.
 

Pete Younger

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Pietro_Mercurios said:
Ronson8 said:
I hope the paper digs deeper into her dodgy dealings and gets some irrefutable proof.
Or, makes some more up?
The story originated from people at the back of the audience who heard a man who appeared to be describing something he had heard from another member of the audience which was repeated by her on stage.
 

Pietro_Mercurios

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Ronson8 said:
Pietro_Mercurios said:
Ronson8 said:
I hope the paper digs deeper into her dodgy dealings and gets some irrefutable proof.
Or, makes some more up?
The story originated from people at the back of the audience who heard a man who appeared to be describing something he had heard from another member of the audience which was repeated by her on stage.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2013/jun/20/daily-mail-libel-damages-tv-psychic

...

Atkins told the court that the article appeared in the Daily Mail "in the context of a general attack on psychics as being charlatans".

The claim about the hidden earpiece arose during a phone-in programme on Irish radio when two women who attended the Dublin show said they thought they had heard two crew members saying something which Morgan then repeated on stage.

Following the claim, Morgan issued a statement debunking the claim as "nonsense" and the theatre separately denied there had been any scam.

It later emerged that the crew members who were said to be part of the setup were subcontracted by the theatre and not members of Morgan's team.

...
You really think I'm going to give, The Daily Mail, the benefit of the doubt? Might as well blame the libel laws. Just like Liberace once did, I'm sure Morgan, 'cried all the way to the bank.'



:lol:
.
 

escargot

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Psychic TV channels fined over Michael Jackson and Milly Dowler claims

These charlatans'll stop at nothing:

Two TV channels have been fined a total of £22,500 after they featured psychics making claims about Michael Jackson and Milly Dowler.

Psychic Today and Big Deal were in breach of broadcasting rules after they showed a psychic telling viewers she had been involved in the police investigation into the death of the murdered schoolgirl, the regulator, Ofcom, said.

Another psychic claimed she accurately predicted that her friend would become close to Jackson, before producing photographs of the pair in private locations including his recording studio.

Ofcom ruled that both instances were in breach of its broadcasting code, which states that services such as astrology, horoscopes and tarot readings should be advertised as for entertainment purposes only.
etc
 

sherbetbizarre

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Florida woman jailed in 'psychic scam,' accused of bilking Sunnyvale woman

A woman is in a South Florida jail cell awaiting prosecution in Santa Clara County for an alleged "psychic scam" on a vulnerable and superstitious Sunnyvale divorcee, bilking her out of more than $800,000 over the course of a decade for protection against voodoo curses and misfortune.

Peaches T. Miller, 33, of Miami, was arrested Saturday in Florida's Broward County after Santa Clara County authorities issued a warrant for her arrest on suspicion of grand theft and extortion, with an "aggravated white collar crime" enhancement because the amount involved surpasses half a million dollars. If her extradition is approved at a hearing Thursday, Miller is expected to be transported to California within two weeks.

Nationally, "evil spirit" scams and the like have garnered national headlines in major cities like New York, Chicago and Boston. In San Francisco alone, scammers exploited victims out of $2 million in a string of cases last year.

Those cases involved larger rackets, but in the case of the Sunnyvale woman, it was someone working solo and likely exploiting victims that number beyond her.

Deputy district attorney Cherie Bourlard said the local case is one of many fortunetelling scams that come across her desk and should be a cautionary tale for those who might consider turning to a self-proclaimed psychic or fortuneteller for anything more than entertainment.

"This is a big business and it's all rip-offs," Bourlard said.

"If you have personal problems and have to spend money, seek counseling or a credible therapist."

According to court documents, the Sunnyvale victim -- whose name is being withheld out of privacy concerns -- had endured a messy divorce and was fighting for custody of her daughter in February 2002 when in a moment of weakness, she responded to an ad in the publication India Abroad for services by "Psychic Shanna."

That moniker refers to Shanna Young, which authorities said Miller used as an alias in her fortunetelling operation.

It all started with a $175 reading over the phone, and in the following days and weeks the victim, by her own admission in court documents, was becoming "brainwashed" into believing that her ex-husband was afflicting her with voodoo curses and that Miller was her only salvation.

Miller allegedly conned the woman into funding the purchase of expensive "mirrors, tabernacles, tassels, etc. which were made of gold and silver and needed to be imported from Italy and Spain ... so that Peaches could 'work' with these materials and vanquish the 'evil.' " The till would eventually amount to $838,390.

Miller also convinced her of baseless claims that ex-husband was abusing their daughter and that she "could not question the Spirit in this work" if she wanted full custody of her daughter and to keep her free from "negativity energy."

From February 2002 to November 2010, the victim routinely wired money or sent Miller checks ranging from a few thousand dollars to as much as $70,000, with Miller's promise that she was "blessing" the money in coffins and that the money would be returned. The victim extended her credit and took out home equity loans to keep up the payments and was so thoroughly under Miller's control that "she didn't make any decisions in my life without first obtaining her approval," including selecting a new home, according to court documents.

"There's a common thread of gaining a victim's complete trust through carefully managed manipulation," said Bourlard, the prosecutor.

That manipulation allegedly included Miller giving back $15,000 to the victim when she was in dire financial straits, which was a way of demonstrating "good faith" to keep the scam going, said Bob Nygaard, a private investigator who specializes in fortunetelling schemes and who helped build the case against Miller that was presented to prosecutors.

The ruse unraveled when Miller, seemingly sensing that her window was closing because the victim's daughter was approaching adult age and no longer being subject to custody battles, hired a lawyer to coordinate a repayment arrangement, which Nygaard believes was a ploy to turn a criminal case into a civil matter. This aroused the victim's suspicion. She hired Nygaard, whose case was presented to the FBI and then Santa Clara County prosecutors, who sought the arrest warrant.

"It's more than $800,000," Bourlard said. "We could not just walk away from this case, we had to do something about it."
http://www.mercurynews.com/sunnyvale/ci ... -sunnyvale
 

JamesWhitehead

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" . . . it's not just the distinction between mind and body that is false, but the whole concept of the "conscious" decision-making mind is just another piece of trickery played by the brain."

This Observer piece on seances and mediums gets more interesting towards the end.

Psychology of Spiritualism

"The illusion that the conscious mind has made a decision," seems to turn us all into the puppets of a brain which is essentially reflexive.

If not reflexive, then the cauldron of impulses more mysterious . . . :shock:
 
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