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Psychic Testing Print E-mail
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Written by Tony Hart-Wilden   
Wednesday, 28 December 2005
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The $200.00 Psychic Challenge

I will pay you $200.00, or donate it to any charity you nominate if you can prove the following under simple test conditions.  

Medium or psychic, sensitive, or clairvoyant

If you are a medium or psychic and can demonstrate that you can communicate with the dead, read someone's future, or give specific information about a haunted location under controlled test conditions, you are eligible to take the $200.00 psychic challenge. All genuine psychics and mediums are welcome on this site. 

I believe most psychics are not frauds they are delusional. This means that they have a unwaiving belief that they have genuine abilities. With frauds their only belief is that they can make money from the gullible. But all psychics are frauds when they charge money for a service that they don't in reality provide, and they should be treated like the petty criminals that they are.

Why is this challenge different from the others made to psychics

It is different because this test is offered by a site dedicated to the paranormal, it is not a skeptic site. I believe in ghosts, UFOs, the Loch Ness monster, and that there was a second gunmen at the Grassy Knoll, these are not the views of a cynic.  

Why mediums and psychics

Because I believe that many mediums and psychics, including the most well known are at best deluding themselves and at worst nothing more then frauds. Using deception, psychology and standard cold reading techniques, many of their claims can be duplicated by anyone using the same methods that have long been practiced by magicians and illusionists. Many so called psychics and mediums will read this article and self righteously point the finger at others, when they should be pointing the finger at themselves. In their world it seems that it is always the other person that is bringing their community into disrepute.

I also believe employing them as part of a paranormal investigation when they are unproven, and then aFraudulent psychicsllowing them to prove themselves without imposing adequate test conditions, does nothing at all to further paranormal research. It simply forfills the need and false expectation to regularly experience something "paranormal", when statistically this is unlikely to happen and would not happen if a higher standard of proof was required then using a medium or psychic.

Unless Psychics are used under strict control conditions, and held to some sort of accountability it's simply wish fulfilment, and if people don't question their use, it's just another step down the same unproven path.

I don't believe that challenging psychics to be tested is damaging to those with genuine abilities. In the conventional world there are many vocations that have had their credibility increased by having them tested; this includes anyone from car mechanics to Doctors. Test and constant evaluation not only enhances the reputation of those with abilities but more importantly it weeds out those that don't have them.

 

Not one of the famous T.V psychics have proved they can talk to the dead. The reason for that is, they are nothing more then frauds, offering people false hope to in order to profit from their Venerability. Sylvia Brown, Carla Baron, John Edwards, Derek Acorah, none of them have proved their claimed abilitys under controlled test conditions.

The excuse that because of the nature of the "gift" they have, that it can't be tested, is a fallacy. Its not that they can't be tested it's that they don't want to be. Most people are not aware of the techniques some of these fraudulent mediums and psychics use and so believe that they have genuine abilities.   

And why is it that they can’t predict lottery numbers, “because they are not supposed to use their gift for personal gain”, but they can still charge you money for a reading that unlike predicting the lottery numbers doesn’t prove they have a “gift” at all. Having repeat clientele doesn’t mean you are a good psychic, it just means there are a lot of ignorant and misinformed people out there to take advantage of.

Next time you see a medium or psychic on television or attend one of their readings, compare what they say, with what can be attained through entirely non spiritual means, some of which are listed below. Being able to duplicate something is not always an indication that it's fake, but if they don't offer any information outside of these perimeters there is a high probability that it is.

Cold reading

Cold reading is the technique of making deductions about someone from such indicators as their age, appearance, or where they live, and presenting it in a way that leads the person being read to believe you have arrived at these conclusions through other methods.

The first stage of cold reading begins when you make your appointment or buy a ticket to see a psychic or medium. If you're visiting a medium or psychic the first deduction that can be made is that you're trying to contact someone that has died, you're worried about a relationship, your job or your future. You don't visit a psychic or medium when you aren't worried about something and it's normally going to be something of significance as you're paying in many cases a considerable amount of money for their services.

The second deduction is that you already believe they may have some genuine abilities, as with some of the top ones charging 700 an hour you probably won't be doing it if you didn't. It would be like taking a car to a mechanic, not believing they were going to fix it and still paying them. By going to them expecting them to tell the truth, you're already doing much of psychic's job for them. They should be convincing you with their results, you shouldn't be convincing yourself with a pre made judgement.

Here are some specific examples of information that can be obtained by cold reading. If you're in you're early twenty's its unlikely that you have a child that's died, and at that age most people's parents are still alive, so the dead person your probably trying to contact is more likely to be a friend. If you're in you're 60s you are more likely to try to be contacting a dead parent, or deceased child. You could also deduce if a parent is trying to contact their child that the child either died in an accident or was ill, and if ill it's not likely to be as disease associated with old age.

If you're in your 40's and you don't have a wedding ring, there's a high probability you will ask the psychic if you're ever going to meet someone and get married, or if you're going to get married again. If you're wearing conservative, expensive clothes at the reading, you're probably a business man, or work in a corporate environment, you're major concern probably isn't about lack of money, but maybe it's about a high pressure career. If you're poorly dressed, maybe your concerns are more likely to be financial.

Hot reading

When you book your tickets for a T.V or live show headlined by a psychic you will probably have to register your name and address. There is a great deal of information that can be obtained from just this alone.

Almost every town or city has its own community or news site. From this statistics can be obtained including the social and ethnic make up of the area, its geography, name of local officials, current events, school names, crime rate and economic climate. These sites will often also contain pictures and detailed maps.

If the address given is a local one it is quite easy for a fraudulent psychic to send an assistant to visit a person's home. They could find out what the neighbours look like, what the street looks like and specific things about someones house including such things as the colour of their front door, or what sort of flowers are in the garden . A quick glance through a persons living room window could reveal all sorts of personal information, that if recounted back to someone during a reading would have them genuinely believing in a psychics abilities.

There are many resources available on the internet that will give the top most common cause of death for people of a certain age, the most common names from particular eras, the average age they died, the most common professions that people in certain locations have. With practice all of this can increase the chances of a psychic making a correct prediction or reading, but none of it is remotely legitimate. Standing in line before you go to see a psychic or medium at a live event can you be a 100% certain the person you've been making conversation with is not working with the psychic you are about to see.

Even when you book a personal reading with a psychic, and only reveal your first name, and a phone number they can make assumptions based just on this. There is in fact something available on the internet called a reverse phone directory; all you do is type in someone's phone number and it will reveal their full name and address. But if the person lives locally many deductions can be made simply from knowing the part of a town or city that relates to the area code and phone number they have been given.

It may seem like a lot of trouble for these psychics to go through to find out information on someone in order to claim they obtained it through spiritual means, and it certainly wouldn't be practical to use these methods on everyone. But it only takes one person at a live show or in a TV audience to be completely convinced that a psychic's ability is genuine to get the rest of the audience on the psychics side. The same applies to a personal reading; one satisfied customer can bring in several more clients through personal recommendation.  

The subconscious compliance of the participant

The person having a psychic reading may also unknowingly search for and adapt information to fit whatever generalisation a psychic has made not what they have actually said.

For example, if the psychic said at the end of August you would find a new job, but you actually get a new job in the beginning of August. The beginning of August is not the end of August, the psychic was wrong but you actually chose not to focus on the specifics which where incorrect. If a psychic makes ten predictions that aren't correct, and three that are, people always tend to focus on the ones that they did get right. But in this example it would actually mean that they got 70% of their predictions wrong.

What if you took your car to a mechanics ten times and they only fixed the car three times, that doesn't make them very good mechanics. So why would anyone assume that someone that gets most predictions wrong have any psychic abilities .

The laws of chance and probability mean most people can get a prediction right if they make enough of them. People will always focus on and remember something positive that they wanted to hear from a psychic, and not remember their mistakes, because if the psychic makes so many mistakes it affects the validity of the few things they did get right.  

No, one likes handing over money for something that doesn't work, and unlike most businesses there is little protection for the consumer when it comes to psychics. You won't get a refund if the service is defective. So people make the best of a bad situation and simple search and adapt information so they get a result that won't make them feel cheated.  


Psychology

If someone says something in an assertive manner as if it's the truth you are far more likely to be believe them then if they say the same thing in a hesitant unsure manner, whether it's the truth or not.

Most mediums particularly the famous T.V mediums are personable, and assertive just like most entertainers. They appear to be "nice guys" but if you're deceiving someone just to make a profit then there's nothing nice about them. People need to look beyond the "cult of personality" they have created and look at what there actually doing. Social compliance is when you believe because you are supposed to, because everyone else does, and rather then go against popular thinking it is easier to agree with it, even if your own logic tells you otherwise.

This can be applied by the psychic in the same way a stage hypnotist can get his audience members to comply to his commands. A more subtle Psychology extends to the setting where a private reading takes place. If it takes place in a New Age shop, or at someone's home decorated with all the trappings of spiritual belief such as crystal balls, and wind chimes, your already being subconsciously told that they have some sort of spiritual power because of their association with these symbols. These are settings of spiritual belief not scepticism. If someone gave you a reading at the beach, or at a McDonalds, would you be as likely to believe them?




 
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