After two months of me sending and resending my contract and ESP Net misplacing it, the psychic hot line announced via e-mail that it was accepting me as a reader, pending a phone interview. (Chakra Con had stopped communicating with me altogether.) The contract had warned that I had to be “tested extensively”—at least five sample readings before I would get my own log-in number. I spent another week leaving voice mail messages trying to schedule my first test when “Sandy,” the manager of ESP Net, called me back. As soon as she spoke, I sensed an aura around her of a person who had smoked one or maybe two hundred thousand cigarettes. ” ‘Debbie’ normally does the interview to see if you’re serious,” Sandy said. “But she’s had family problems, so you’re not going to get a call from her. We’ve been short-handed, so log on as soon as you can. It’s been particularly thin in the mornings from 8 to noon, so if you can work mornings, that’s good. Any questions?”
Magnetic stripe technology, usually called mag-stripe, is so named because of the stripe of magnetic oxide tape that is laminated on a card. There are three tracks of data on the magnetic stripe. Typically the data on each of the tracks follows a specific encoding standard, but it is possible to encode any format on any track. A mag-stripe card is cheap compared to other card technologies and is easy to program. The magnetic stripe holds more data than a barcode can in the same space. While a mag-stripe is more difficult to generate than a bar code, the technology for reading and encoding data on a mag-stripe is widespread and easy to acquire. Magnetic stripe technology is also susceptible to misreads, card wear, and data corruption. These cards are also susceptible to some forms of skimming where external devices are placed over the reader to intercept the data read.
Psychic Four was very motherly, constantly calling me "darling" and telling me how sorry she was for my loss. Her method of Emily-contact was a mix of prayer and coffee-dregs reading. She made me a small cup of Turkish coffee and when I finished the liquid, she placed the saucer on top of the cup, had me hold it with both hands while moving my arms in a circle three times and then flip the cup and saucer over and put it on the table. She put a blue glass cube with white circles on all six sides on top of the overturned cup and had me to put my finger on the cube and make a wish. I did, and she asked me for the photo. I handed her my phone. She put a small statue of a Turkish philosopher and an angel snow globe in front of me and told me to hold on to both and praying while she turned on her laptop and started playing weird reverb-heavy New Age music featuring a man and woman speaking about being intoxicated on love (not Beyonce style, unfortunately). She was going to ask Emily to make herself known to me.
^ M. Lamar Keene. (1997). The Psychic Mafia. Prometheus Books. p 122. ISBN 978-1-57392-161-9 "A medium still riding high in England is Leslie Flint, famed as an exponent of direct voice. William Rauscher and Allen Spraggett, who attended a sitting Flint held in 1970 in New York, said that it was the most abysmal flop of any seance they had endured. All the spirit voices sounded exactly like the medium and displayed an incredible ignorance of nearly everything pertaining to the sitters. The "mediumship " was second-rate ventriloquism."
He confessed that he'd just shared a cab with the potential mistress and they were planning to tryst within the week. Thirty minutes later, he'd emptied his pockets and placed all of his cash into my tip jar. The event planners paid me $200 an hour and I made even more in tips. Later, I brown-bagged a beer taken from the party while waiting for the subway, feeling like I'd fooled them all.
Michael Shermer criticized mediums in Scientific American, saying, "mediums are unethical and dangerous: they prey on the emotions of the grieving. As grief counselors know, death is best faced head-on as a part of life." Shermer wrote that the human urge to seek connections between events that may form patterns meaningful for survival is a function of natural evolution, and called the alleged ability of mediums to talk to the dead "a well-known illusion of a meaningful pattern."
Many times, you already know the right thing to do. You just need someone to confirm the truth that is already in your heart. That is where psychic-medium readers can help you. They are a listening and understanding ear, as well as intuitive people who can see beyond the obvious and look to the truths lying beneath the surface that you may be ignoring or trying to hide from yourself.
In 1908 at a hotel in Naples, the psychical researchers W. W. Baggally, Hereward Carrington and Everard Feilding attended a series of séances with Eusapia Palladino. In a report they claimed that genuine supernatural activity had occurred in the séances, this report became known as the Feilding report. In 1910, Feilding returned to Naples, but this time accompanied with the magician William S. Marriott. Unlike the 1908 sittings, Feilding and Marriott detected her cheating, just as she had done in America. Her deceptions were obvious. Palladino evaded control and was caught moving objects with her foot, shaking the curtain with her hands, moving the cabinet table with her elbow and touching the séance sitters. Milbourne Christopher wrote regarding the exposure "when one knows how a feat can be done and what to look for, only the most skillful performer can maintain the illusion in the face of such informed scrutiny."