Monday, September 10, 2007

Some Psychics Leave Me Cold

I’ve been thinking about consulting a psychic, just to see what’s going on in the inner realms. I can pick up enough of it myself, I think, but it’s always good to get another view. The trouble is there are so many frauds and fakes out making a killing off the gullible that it’s put me off.

Some readers are very good. They’re clearly gifted and they want to help. They know it’s what they were put on earth to do. Others, well, not so much.
The out-and-out liars wish only to relieve you of the burden of a too-full bank account. The well-meaners honestly think they have a gift, but are only reading human nature.

I’ve run across both and consider it part of my education. But the best education ever came from reading about the psychic’s standby, cold reading.
That’s a method where a reader tells a client many, many things he or she allegedly could not have known.
Quick assessments are made on the client’s age, dress, manner of speaking, and general carriage, then fed back as insight.
You can get the dirt here.
Follow the links. It’s fascinating.
And more here

And you might enjoy this. According to James Randi, psychic fraud buster who runs the James Randi Education Foundation, some well-known psychics don’t meet his sniff test for psychic gifts.

In essence a cold reading is made of vague statements that could apply to anyone at anytime.

“You’re having trouble with a relationship. You know what needs to be done, but you’re reluctant to do it because security is important to you. You need to know you’ll land on your feet.”


“You have some money worries, but they’re not too bad. I can see them ending. Soon!”


“I see a problem with an authority figure. Hmmm I don’t know . . . a teacher . . . no, wait someone closer. Is it your dad? Or your spouse?” (Voice trails off as gifted reader stares into nothingness beyond your shoulder or at Tarot deck.)

You’ve just had some ideas tossed out and you pounce. You answer the question and the reader turns it around and offers it up as insight plucked fresh from the psychic realm.

No, buddy, that’s what I just told you.

Based on your age you could be having troubles with education, puberty, middle age, your marriage or a relationship, your aging parents, your job, your finances, your health, or any combination thereof.
The reader will fire out a few guesses and wait until you bite. Even if you don’t say word, your physical reaction will give it away.

Even though I made up those quoted readings some of it will fit some of you somewhere. And in the above list, is there anyone who hasn’t had a problem any of these areas?
Oh, if you’re worried about someone who’s crossed over, rest assured s/he’s not in any pain anymore and is happy and loves you very much. At least, that’s what you’re going to be told.

Here’s a cold reading that’ll fit most almost anyone.

One of my tests to determine a real from a fake was if s/he gave something specific. Then I found this at Straight Dope Staff Report.
Scroll down toward the bottom and you’ll find this:

"I'm seeing the end of August, maybe the twenty-sixth of August or a date close to that, which I think is significant for you, and a man – let me think – a man related to you, who wears glasses."

Were this fed to me during a reading I’d call it a hit. I might even be impressed with the reader’s apparent skill. That’s because my late boss, Brian Mazza, wore glasses and his birthday was August 26.

This explanation followed: “That sounds very specific, but think how much scope such a statement leaves for interpretation! Almost any date from August 20 to August 31 will do. It could be a birthday, death date, anniversary, vacation, social function, or important decision. It could be significant personally, socially, or professionally, every year or just one particular year. The man could be a husband, partner, brother, relative, friend, colleague, doctor or plumber (the word "related to" is pretty ambiguous, isn't it?). He could be alive or dead, well known or a distant acquaintance. In short, there are countless ways that the subject might interpret this comment as a hit.”

I had to laugh when I found that. It’s put me off even more.

I’ll probably still go, but I’ll be even warier of what an alleged psychic says to me.


The Bag Lady said...

Gee, Leah:
Are you psychic, or what? Your post today relates to the card I got my step-daughter for her birthday. Picture of a fortune-teller on the front and inside it says "I see a hang-over in your future"!!
Seriously, though, there are a lot of charlatans out there and one has to be quite skeptical of what they tell you. On the other hand, it can be quite amusing, especially if you get all excited about something that totally does NOT apply to you and see how far they'll take it! I wish you luck finding one who actually has the gift.

Leah J. Utas said...

"Are you psychic, or what? "
Nice one, Bag Lady.
The game of String Along The Psychic appeals to me, but I don't have enough spare money right now.
Not sure I'd even do it,but it is amusing to think about.

Decaf, please said...

I've never been to a psychic. Most I assume are fake.

What creeps me out though is that sometimes I'll daydream about something completely random and it happens. I haven't seen a hummingbird around my balcony ever. I imagined one Monday morning. A few hours later as I glanced over from my desk, there it was just outside the window. Odd. What does it mean? : )

Crabby McSlacker said...

I'm pretty skeptical of most supposed psychic phenomena just because there's so much wishful thinking and random coincidence in the world. (Plus as someone without a hint of psychic ability myself, it's easier to be skeptical!)

But "science" has a long way to go and we know such a small fraction of how the world works yet--that I'm not able to rule psychic stuff out entirely. And it would be cool if it were true!

Leah J. Utas said...

Welcome Decaf, please - I think you tuned into something and called the bird to you.
You might get something out of looking up Hummingbird at a site for Totem Animals.

It's good that you're open-minded,Crabby.

Virginia Lee said...

I went to a psychic fair once in Memphis as I was about to take a leap of faith and chase my dream of working as an actor in regional theatre. The lady who smelled of cat pea was a total fraud, but the shaman who told me about my inner animal self was very insightful. I guess I went because I was afraid, yet anticipating the coming changes in my life. Now I just try to trust my own guts. When I don't, I tend to regret it.

Leah J. Utas said...

Trusting yourself is always good, Virginia.

Sophia Angell McCarthy said...

Hi Leah,

I'm an 80 year old psychic and I just just up a blog where I can field your questions, and provide my psychic answer.

I never charge for anything, I just enjoy using my psychic intuition to help people.

So if you've got a personal question, whether general or specific, come see me. I'd be happy to help you if I can.