Link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wh97S5qzycM
Many of us have been to see a fortune teller or psychic. We’ve had a tarot card reading or our palms read. Readers of the blog know I am a skeptic. My belief in the ability of anyone to tell you anything about yourself, or your future, is very close to zero. However, I did once have a psychic reading that might have changed my mind. It was as the British would say “spot on”. It was also given me to Mark Edward, a well known skeptic author, lecturer, founder of guerrilla skepticism, and magician/mind reader. Mark is so good, you have to take his word that he’s “faking” it.
Mark and I were on a cruise together, and he was asked by a member of our group to demonstrate his ability to read using a banana. Yes, he actually did do this in the past. He explained he gave it up, not because people thought it was ridiculous, but because it took too long. Plus you had to buy all those bananas.
What’s important to note about the video is how much feedback I am giving Mark. I am almost an open book, nodding yes, answering questions, everything a “psychic” dreams of in a client. Cold reading was never easier, with all the help I’m giving Mark. Cold reading is when a supposed psychic uses guesses and feedback (head nods, leaning forward, answering questions such as “does the letter M have any meaning for you?”) to do a reading. Plus, it should be noted Mark not only talked to me before this reading, he was able to over hear conversations I had with others in our group. This enabled him to do a “hot reading” with information he already knew. Psychics often have people mingling with a crowd waiting to go to see a performance (which is really what a psychic is doing rather than an actual “reading”) that listen in and ask questions. This information is later relayed to the psychic. Cold reading works well enough, but throw in a few hot hits, and you have a convinced client that will come back again, more than glad to pay any fee a psychic charges. The goal of many psychics is to have people return, until the victim comes to his senses about the amount of money being spent, or he runs out of money altogether. Psychics don’t work for free, despite their claims they often “donate” their services. Like a heroin dealer, the first few times often are free or at a reduced rate. Getting you “hooked”, as a return customer, is the goal.
Mark however, was all fun with my free banana reading. He does parties!
ALSO MARK NOW HAS A BOOK!!! Order here.
It’s GREAT!! Buy it!
- Psychic Charlatan Sylvia Browne Gets a Dose of Skepticism (skepticalteacher.wordpress.com)
- Cold Reading: The Tricks (illuminutti.com)
Categories: Friends, James Randi Educational Foundatioin - JREF, Skeptic, Travel
Love you Kitty! You were the first person to review the book on Amazon. I’ve read the long version of the book several times, and now this tightly edited book is out. I read your Fairy Tale book (loved it!) on the plane to L.A. and Mark’s book on the plane ride home.
Got half-way through and had to go to work. My very Christian friend swiped it and is going to read it tomorrow. Can’t wait to see her review.
She can’t stand psychics, but when a “prophet” came to her church (endorsed by her pastor BTW) and went through the congregation doing cold-readings and even told her mother she had about 15 years left till she saw Jesus. THAT was okay. Not the same thing as a psychic at all in her opinion.
This should be interesting.
Reblogged this on Yankee Skeptic and commented:
an oldie but Mark has a new article up at CSI.. well worth reading indeed!