Blog Post

Psychic Admits Conning Clients

A new tell-all book by a professional psychic reveals the scam tactics widely used by big name mediums who claim they can read minds and receive messages from the dead.

The New York Times is reporting that a new book by psychic Mark Edward entitled Psychic Blues: Confessions of a Conflicted Medium reveals a man who is still very conflicted about how to deal with a craft he knows is all an act.

Calling it a "messy yet fascinating" book, the Times describes it as being "a strange mishmash of self-pity, self-justification and genuine repentance . . ."

In it, Edward describes many of the standard tricks of the trade, such as how so-called mediums conduct preshow screenings which amount to "working the room" before the show and getting to know the people in the audience - most of whom easily forget the information they divulged before the show.

Another favorite technique is to speak in vague generalizations that can apply to just about anyone. For instance, while working for a psychic hot line, he would callers, "I sense that you have relationship issues which sometimes leave you fearful of the outcome."

In an interview with the Times two weeks ago, Edward said that after years of bilking the public, it was time to come clean.

“My conscience — I could no longer do it,” Edward said. “I’d been walking both sides of the line. My magician friends” — many of them skeptics — “thought I was selling out to the psychics, and the psychics thought I was selling out to the skeptics.”

But he's only willing to absorb some of the blame for what he calls "the current scourge of talking-to-the-dead cons."

“When I can, I purposefully inject some sly humor, or use a metaphor or other verbal advice to suggest skepticism” perhaps as a way to both deceive and enlighten them at the same time.

Even more telling is the fact that Edward is still plying his dishonest craft. He works as a recreation and parks employee for the City of Los Angeles by day and continues to pretend to read people's minds and talk to their dead relatives in his off-hours.

In spite of this, I find it almost refreshing that a psychic would come at least this clean. Will it do any good? Maybe a little, I like to think, but not much more than that. After all, mediums have been duping the public since the year 10,000 B.C.

I guess the moral of this story is that there doesn't seem to be any shortage of gullible souls out here - or people willing to take advantage of them.