A general record of my ongoing battle with all forms of nonsense.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Pamella - Deluded Clairvoyant?

With the current British weather being as it is, there isn't too much to do outside. Might as well get another reading.

Blaby was holding a Mind, Body & Soul fair. These fairs are usually jam-packed with psychics/mediums/clairvoyants, so I thought I'd pop along.

Now I wish to make an important point about my visits to these mystics. While I find it highly unlikely that they possess any sort of supernatural powers, I always go along with an open (albeit informed) mind and give them the opportunity to demonstrate their powers.

They don't normally get the opportunity to do this. Their usual punters, by giving information, do not allow them to show what information can be found by methods other than cold reading. The fact that to date, those I've visited have failed to demonstrate any other way of retrieving information is in no way due to lack of opportunity.

Happily, Pamella, a "medium" from Nottingham allowed me to record the entire session. She told me she doesn't normally record readings as the recorder doesn't pick her voice up very well. She put this down to the fact that she was partly "on a different plane".

Luckily, my Canon Digital Ixus 70 (a digital camera with built-in sound recorder) was able to pick up her voice quite well. I'd recommend this model to anyone wishing to pick up sound travelling "on a different plane". Those guys at Canon are geniuses.

As you'll hear from the MP3, most of it is ambiguous - but she does make the following verifiable/falsifiable claims:
  • My mother's grandmother (didn't say which) was brought up on a farm, or within a rural type of environment and used to read tea leaves or playing cards and was "in spirit" before I was born. She used potions (1:48). I've no idea if this is true, but its not unreasonable in 1885, especially with my mother having 2 grandmothers.
  • She suggested that I listen to "my boss" (06:59) This implies that I have a boss. MISS, I own my own business.
  • I've got a promotion coming at work within 16 months (14:02). MISS, I'm at the top already.
I may have missed one - if you notice any more claims that are verifiable/falsifiable please add a comment and I'll review it.

It gets funny at 15:35:
Mystic:"So does all that make sense?"
Me: "Not really"
Mystic: "Well it does, and you see, erm, it does and this is will happen whatever is going on in your life. This is what will happen and you can't argue with cards."

At about 19:57, she starts to get annoyed and accuses me of not coming with the "right intention". I'm asked to leave.

It seems clear: If you don't give Pamella any information, she can't get it from anywhere else.

I don't think that Pamella is a fraud, I do think she genuinely believes that she has these powers. But if she is going to charge people for a service, she should first verify her ability to fulfil that service.

Download the MP3 here: http://www.mediafire.com/?jh0b5oi4mat

Friday, 5 September 2008

Joanne Jordan, Fraudulent Psychic Medium or just Deluded?

Joanne Jordan Psychic Medium
This morning, I made a telephone call to Star Crystals & Healing in Oadby, Leicester, who were hosting a psychic for the day to do "readings". Cold?

Thanks to the recent Consumer Protections from Unfair Trading Regulations 2007, "psychics" need to advertise their services as for "scientific experiments" unless they have evidence to back them up. As Joanne Jordan did not do this, I assumed she must be a genuine psychic with proven powers - so I phoned to check. The lady on the phone insisted that this "psychic" was for real. So I booked a session. And recorded it.

Rather unsurprisingly, if you don't tell Joanne Jordan, Psychic Medium everything, apparently she can't get it from either the cards or the dead.

After about 15 minutes (12:36 on the MP3 linked below) of Joanne not producing anything relevant and insisting that it works better if the communication was two-way, I got a bit bored and decided to see what happened if I fed her some false information. "Psychic baiting" is the term used for this by Ian Rowland, author of the excellent Full Facts Book Of Cold Reading.

Joanne Jordan was soon making contact with my father who died of cancer (he's currently on holiday in France and to my knowledge, cancer free and alive).

What was most worrying however, was when Joanne Jordan was telling me that the cards were showing that someone very close to me was lying to me, and implying that it was my wife. For a typical gullible punter, this could have destroyed their relationship. They'd be living in a state of permanent suspicion to their partner simply because this woman is able to get away with charging £35 to make stuff up.

So - is Joanne Jordan a Fraudulent Psychic Medium or is she just self-deluded? I'm not really sure. But even if it's the later, she's certainly guilty of charging for her "powers" before properly checking she's got them. As I've shown, it's not difficult to do a simple test.

You can hear the MP3 here: http://www.mediafire.com/?tg1mcmgwwa0

I'll try to do more similar recordings, though it will be difficult while I'm in Tignes.