By Joe Petchonka
The subject of psychics really rustles my jimmies. It really does.
I’ll come out with it straight up: psychics are nothing but bullshit. This business is about who can make the most money off of sad and vulnerable individuals. It’s a sickening practice that must be stopped.
What spurned this supreme hatred for psychics? Well, logic for one, and then I suppose it was all of the asinine psychic shows that have plagued this world since I’ve been alive.
Remember the John Edwards show? He would stand in the middle of a crowded room and talk to the dead family members of those in the audience. It was amazing! How did he do it!
Well, I’ll tell you how: he used various methods of trickery to obtain information about his victims, and then used this information to dupe them into believing he had the gift of death talk.
Here is a laundry list of what he did:
- Used Cold Reading – a technique that has been around for ages, where you guess about a person’s background until you get a correct answer. For instance, if someone in his audience was wearing a cross, he would ask if anyone in that person’s family was religious. The person will then give more information based on that question, which would give Edwards an entry into talking about the dead person. He would keep asking vague questions until he finally got to a definitive family member, and after that, he would then use his creativity to make up a statement like “he says that you should enjoy your new job” or something like that.
- Hired Actors - he would hire actors to sit in his audience. If he couldn’t hook a fish with his questions, he would turn to his fallback plan, which would be to target information that he and the actor knew about beforehand. Edwards and the actor would play along for as long as they wanted.
- Did Background Checks on Audience Members
- Bugged the Lobby of the Show with Microphones to Obtain Information
Pretty disgusting, right? You know what’s even more disgusting? Someone else is doing it again, with almost the same techniques! Who is it this time, you ask? The Long Island Medium: Theresa Caputo.
Take a guess what she does. Yup, she pretends to talk to dead people. Can you guess how she does it? Cold reading, hiring actors and background checks. Since her show is a reality show that doesn’t take place in a studio like John Edwards’ show, she has no need to bug an audience. But the entire show is scripted and edited to create the illusion that she is speaking to otherworldly spirits. And if all else fails, one of her “literary agents” will innocently ask for specific information hours before the live reading is set to take place, or ask if there’s someone they’d like to speak with that day.
Recently, I visited Theresa Caputo’s Facebook page to give her a piece of my mind. Here is what my message read:
- “You’re making millions off of tricking people into thinking you can actually talk to dead people. It makes me sick.All you do is “cold reading.” It’s a technique that’s been around since before you were born, where you guess about a person’s background until you’re right. Most of your show on TLC is either edited to show correct answers when you’re guessing your brains out, or is a compilation of scenes where you and a paid actor sit in a room together and play the “I’m a faker” game.You’re preying off of people who have lost loved ones, and you’re making money doing it. How do you sleep at night, you monster?”
If you haven’t seen her show, you need to see it. It’s the biggest load of shit you’ll ever see in your life. The one episode I watched, a moment that I wish I could take back as it haunts me to this day, she used the most generic cold reading skills that I’ve ever seen, and it was completely obvious, too. Even though her show is scripted, it was still a sight for sore eyes.
She approached an older woman and said “is your father dead?”
The older woman replied with “yes?”
And then Caputo used her speaking skills to make up something. Boy, she is super smart! She knew that a woman in her 60’s had a father that passed away? Get out of here!
Her show is nothing more than reality television at its finest. It’s a heavily scripted and heavily edited piece of garbage that shouldn’t even be close to believable.
This is just a small sample of what these psychics do to trick you into opening your wallet and forking over $200 for a session. Remember this: there are no psychics. There’s no such thing as a person who can walk blindly up to someone and tell them that they left their car keys on the dresser that same morning and then spilt coffee all over their computer. It just doesn’t happen.
Theresa, therefore, is a con artist who is taking advantage of the lonely, heartbroken individuals who have lost people close to them for profit. She’s not making people feel better, she’s instilling false hope and preying on weakened people for money like a vulture. In no way, shape, or form is this a respectable practice.
Until the day comes when we’re able to duplicate the process of speaking to dead people in a laboratory setting, there are no psychics. I have a feeling I’ll be waiting a millennium for this to happen, if it ever happens.
Good luck on your psychic goals for 2012.
Watch Theresa Caputo do cold reading on the Live! with Kelly and Michael show, which was filmed recently. You’ll see what I’m talking about. Watch her guess her brains out and fail on many occasions.
When she guesses incorrectly, she says “it doesn’t mean I’m wrong, it just can be interpreted differently.”