Tonight on BBC the Show Inside Out aired a special episode across 3 of the BBC regions about fraudulent psychics, and people who claim to speak to the dead. (See the video clip from the TV show here)
I’ve had a number of tweets (@mindofkennedy) asking what my more complete thoughts on psychics are, whether I believe them all to be fakes or if any of them are real.
What we showed in the program is that it is very possible for someone with the right knowledge, observational skills and training in a technique called Cold Reading, to appear to do exactly what we see Mediums do.
Does this mean that they are all fake? Well since I’ve not met every person who claims to ‘talk to the dead’ then it’s tricky to say. However I can tell you that to date I’ve been entertaining people with my skills which look very similar but I’m open and honest about the fact I’m reading you, using statistical likelihood and even some jiggery-pokery to make things look more than they really are.
One strong voice against there being such things as real psychics is the Million Dollar Challenge which I asked my US friend Banachek to offer if our psychic could prove he is the real deal.
This prize has been available to anyone claiming psychic ability for a great number of years by the Randi Institute and is still yet to be claimed. Surely if you had the gift you’d step up to the plate and claim what should be an easy $million?
Some people would have them stopped, imprisoned and humiliated for taking the money of grieving, vulnerable people. That’s not really where I stand on it at all.
I’d prefer it to become a source of entertainment, where the audience are fully aware that these people are performing a show that is dramatic in nature and one that we are expected to suspend our rational disbelief.
It’s not my tatse in entertainment, but so many people do find comfort and joy in watching these events and they should be allowed to do so, but in an informed manor that means no-one gets taken advantage of.
Anyone interested in learning more about the techniques of Cold Reading should check out what I regard as the ‘Bible’ on the subject The Full Facts Book Of Cold Reading by Ian Rowland. I do know Ian personally, but don’t make any financial gain as a result of any purchase you might make at www.TheColdReadingBook.com although I can say you’ll find it tough to find any single resource that is anywhere near as complete on the subject of Cold Reading.