It's been about five years since I've taken money for telling someone his or her future. If a friend asks, I'll read their tarot for free because that's really what I think it's worth. I can't tell you dates, I can't see faces; I'm no good at finding lost treasures or interpreting your dreams. I can only ever provide about five to ten minutes of interpretation and the rest of the time is spent fluffing the info, teasing it out of each person to appear larger than it actually is.
Modern spiritualists and psychics keep detailed files on their victims. As might be expected, these files can be very valuable and are often passed on from one medium or psychic to another when one retires or dies. Even if a psychic doesn't use a private detective or have immediate access to driver's license records and such, there is still a very powerful technique that will allow the psychic to convince people that the psychic knows all about them, their problems, and their deep personal secrets, fears, and desires. The technique is called cold reading and is probably as old as charlatanism itself... If John Edward (or any of the other self-proclaimed speakers with the dead) really could communicate with the dead, it would be a trivial matter to prove it. All that would be necessary would be for him to contact any of the thousands of missing persons who are presumed dead—famous (e.g., Jimmy Hoffa, Judge Crater) or otherwise—and correctly report where the body is. Of course, this is never done. All we get, instead, are platitudes to the effect that Aunt Millie, who liked green plates, is happy on the other side.[192]
The word clairvoyance means “to see clearly.” This does not refer to the sense of sight, but rather to seeing with what some call the “inner eye” or “third eye.” Others may refer to this ability as a “sixth sense.” What’s common to all of these terms and definitions is that they refer to an ability to perceive hidden truths. Clairvoyant psychics have the ability to tap into energies that the average person is not able to perceive. For this reason, many people turn to clairvoyants for guidance in various areas of their lives.
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