Jump up ^ Joseph Jastrow. (1935). Patience Worth: An Alter Ego in Wish and Wisdom: Episodes in the Vagaries of Belief. D. Appleton-Century Company. pp. 78–92. Lyon Sprague de Camp. (1966). Spirits, Stars, and Spells. New York: Canaveral. p. 247. Robert Goldenson. (1973). Mysteries of the Mind: The Drama of Human Behavior. Doubleday. pp. 44–53. Milbourne Christopher. (1970). ESP, Seers and Psychics. New York: Crowell. pp. 128–29
One woman called wanting advice on which flowers would bolster her garden's psychic energy. I wound up Googling some pretty flowers and said, "Chrysanthemums look nice; they heighten your psychic abilities, and you want to plant them on the left side of the garden." I expounded on that for 45 minutes, and while proud may not be the right word for what I felt, it was definitely a significant achievement. At least the devil might be impressed, when I tell him in hell.
No doubt a great importance in the paranormal field is the problem of fraud. The field of psychic research and spiritualism has been so notoriously full of charlatans, such as the Fox sisters and Eusapia Palladino–individuals who claim to have special power and gifts but who are actually conjurers who have hoodwinked scientists and the public as well–that we have to be especially cautious about claims made on their behalf.
The magician Julien Proskauer revealed that the levitating trumpet of Jack Webber was a trick. Close examination of photographs reveal Webber to be holding a telescopic reaching rod attached to the trumpet, and sitters in his séances only believed it to have levitated because the room was so dark they could not see the rod. Webber would cover the rod with crepe paper to disguise its real construction.
When she mentioned that there had been abuse, I decided I didn’t care if every love card in the deck turned up—the answer was going to be that the relationship was over. Fortunately, the reading was stink-o except for the last card, the ace of disks. That card meant the beginning of good fortune, usually related to finance or work. I told her that Tom was going to bring her nothing but misery, that she had to completely free herself from this relationship because there was a happier future for her if she did. After 10 minutes, we got the signal that her time was almost up, so Claudia re-upped for another 10. After I finished putting a stake into Tom, she asked about someone at work, “Phil,” who seemed smitten with her. That could explain the ace of disks, I realized! But I was worried that Claudia would hop into the sack with Phil if I told her things looked promising. I just said I couldn’t tell if Phil was the one, but that freeing herself from Tom would allow her to slowly find someone better.
Mediumship became quite popular in the 19th-century United States and the United Kingdom after the rise of Spiritualism as a religious movement. Modern Spiritualism is said to date from practices and lectures of the Fox sisters in New York State in 1848. The trance mediums Paschal Beverly Randolph and Emma Hardinge Britten were among the most celebrated lecturers and authors on the subject in the mid-19th century. Allan Kardec coined the term Spiritism around 1860. Kardec claimed that conversations with spirits by selected mediums were the basis of his The Spirits' Book and later, his five-book collection, Spiritist Codification.
The British medium Francis Ward Monck was investigated by psychical researchers and discovered to be a fraud. On November 3, 1876 during the séance a sitter demanded that Monck be searched. Monck ran from the room, locked himself in another room and escaped out of a window. A pair of stuffed gloves was found in his room, as well as cheesecloth, reaching rods and other fraudulent devices in his luggage. After a trial Monck was convicted for his fraudulent mediumship and was sentenced to three months in prison.
The exposures of fraudulent activity led to a rapid decline in ectoplasm and materialization séances. Investigator Joe Nickell has written that modern self-proclaimed mediums like John Edward, Sylvia Browne, Rosemary Altea and James Van Praagh are avoiding the Victorian tradition of dark rooms, spirit handwriting and flying tambourines as these methods risk exposure. They instead use "mental mediumship" tactics like cold reading or gleaning information from sitters before hand (hot reading). Group readings also improve hits by making general statements with conviction, which will fit at least one person in the audience. Shows are carefully edited before airing to show only what appears to be hits and removing anything that does not reflect well on the medium.
These employees, hired by psychic service companies who know they have no paranormal skills, usually fumble through a telephone session by asking the client numerous questions and providing generic answers to the client’s questions. Some callers get disgusted and hang up after several minutes, after paying a tidy per-minute sum to enrich the company.
Psychologists and researchers who studied Pearl Curran's automatic writings in the 1930s came to the conclusion Patience Worth was a fictitious creation of Curran. In 1931 George Valiantine was exposed as a fraud in the séance room as it was discovered that he produced fraudulent "spirit" fingerprints in wax. The "spirit" thumbprint that Valiantine claimed belonged to Arthur Conan Doyle was revealed to be the print of his big toe on his right foot. It was also revealed that Valiantine made some of the prints with his elbow.
According to James Randi, a skeptic who has debunked many claims of psychic ability and uncovered fraudulent practices, mediums who do cold readings "fish, suggest possibilities, make educated guesses and give options." Randi has a standing offer of $1 million US dollars for anyone who can demonstrate psychic ability under controlled conditions. Most prominent psychics and mediums have not taken up his offer.
Minutes turned to hours easily, thanks to a few regulars. My favorite was an eccentric opera singer in her mid 60s who believed she could still give birth, and bragged that every young man she encountered wanted to put that bun in her oven. She often asked which of her priceless paintings she should sell to cover the bills. I dangled a rose quartz pendulum over a circle surrounded by the answers "yes," "no," and "maybe." I listed the titles of her artwork to "my spirit guide," a term I loathed but the callers loved. The crystal swung back and forth and I would report the answers to her as minute after minute robbed her of valuables. Several times, I told her I needed to hang up because we'd already run an hour over the end of my shift. She seemed so eager to blow her inheritance on the sound of my voice when a Magic 8 Ball could've delivered comparable results. She and several other clients invited me to visit them and suggested over and over that we exchange real phone numbers.
After Claudia hung up, I waited fruitlessly during the next hour for another call, then finally disconnected. For the next few days, I logged on at least two hours a day. Often I would have no calls, but sometimes there would be a spate of them. “Roxanne” wanted to know if she should ditch her boyfriend and go to a new guy. The cards said “No.” “Helaine” wanted to know if the guy who broke up with her five months ago was going to come back. The cards said “No.” “Nina” wanted to know if the guy who dumped her three weeks ago might change his mind. The cards said he might, but it would just cause her more pain. “Darla” wanted to know if the guy she had been seeing on and off for 40 (yes, 40) years was going to get serious this time. The cards said he wasn’t capable of being serious.
The difference between the two types of smart cards is the manner with which the microprocessor on the card communicates with the outside world. A contact smart card has eight contact points, which must physically touch the contacts on the reader to convey information between them. Since contact cards must be inserted into readers carefully in the proper orientation, the speed and convenience of such a transaction is not acceptable for most access control applications. The use of contact smart cards as physical access control is limited mostly to parking applications when payment data is stored in card memory, and when the speed of transactions is not as important.
All biometric readers work similarly, by comparing the template stored in memory to the scan obtained during the process of identification. If there is a high enough degree of probability that the template in the memory is compatible with the live scan (the scan belongs to the authorized person), the ID number of that person is sent to a control panel. The control panel then checks the permission level of the user and determines whether access should be allowed. The communication between the reader and the control panel is usually transmitted using the industry standard Wiegand interface. The only exception is the intelligent biometric reader, which does not require any panels and directly controls all door hardware.
From its earliest beginnings to contemporary times, mediumship practices have had many instances of fraud and trickery. Séances take place in darkness so the poor lighting conditions can become an easy opportunity for fraud. Physical mediumship that has been investigated by scientists has been discovered to be the result of deception and trickery. Ectoplasm, a supposed paranormal substance, was revealed to have been made from cheesecloth, butter, muslin, and cloth. Mediums would also stick cut-out faces from magazines and newspapers onto cloth or on other props and use plastic dolls in their séances to pretend to their audiences spirits were contacting them. Lewis Spence in his book An Encyclopaedia of Occultism (1960) wrote:
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Literally anything else you do to gouge your fellow man is totally aces. But I'm a human being with what I like to think is a good set of morals, and I started feeling bad about it. In fairness, the callers believed that psychics both: existed and that they plied their trade over the phone rather than winning lotteries or manipulating the stock market. Somebody was going to take advantage of them. Still, though, it's kind of a shitty thing to do. And it wears on you.
We can all help psychic mediums to have an extremely clear path while on stage, or in a private reading, by sending them our love and acceptance. Say a little prayer to help the psychic medium receive perfect clarity in their communication. Don’t sit there with your arms folded and an angry look on your face. Lighten up. Relax. Have fun. One message that often comes through for people from their spirit-guides is that they need to lighten up—don’t be so serious! Many spirits have communicated to psychic mediums that when they crossed-over to the spirit world and looked back at their life, they were regretful that they were so darn serious and didn’t have more fun while they were here.
So I applied to the phone-psychic job, more curious than optimistic about landing the gig. For my first "interview," I received a phone call from an older woman. I was supposed to tell this complete stranger about the life she was currently living and where it would take her. I shuffled my cards while she concentrated, wondering how the hell such a connection could occur over my iPhone. I told her what I'd told my friends and party guests: "Imagine I'm winding a music box. When it feels ready to play, tell me to stop."
I dug them out again this spring for a foray into a career as a phone psychic—the latest installment of “Human Guinea Pig,” a column in which I am supposed to explore intriguing corners of life, but in which, so far, I mostly humiliate myself. (Like here, for example.) Locating openings for my extrasensory services was easy. I went to an online job site and typed “psychic” into the search engine. I sent e-mails to the three companies listed, and two—I’ll call them ESP Net and Chakra Con—sent me back contracts to fill out.
Wiegand card technology is a patented technology using embedded ferromagnetic wires strategically positioned to create a unique pattern that generates the identification number. Like magnetic stripe or barcode technology, this card must be swiped through a reader to be read. Unlike the other technologies, the identification media is embedded in the card and not susceptible to wear. This technology once gained popularity because it is difficult to duplicate, creating a high perception of security. This technology is being replaced by proximity cards, however, because of the limited source of supply, the relatively better tamper resistance of proximity readers, and the convenience of the touch-less functionality in proximity readers.
In 1907, Hereward Carrington exposed the tricks of fraudulent mediums such as those used in slate-writing, table-turning, trumpet mediumship, materializations, sealed-letter reading and spirit photography. between 1908 and 1914 the Italian medium Francesco Carancini was investigated by psychical researchers and they discovered that he used phosphorus matches to produce "spirit lights" and with a freed hand would move objects in the séance room.
-I've seen Trenny a few times in the last couple years. Every time I am in complete awe of her amazing gift to communicate with loved ones who have passed on. I wasn't a skeptic at all, but the first reading I didn't really know what to expect. She connected with the people I needed to hear from and it was an incredible, one of a kind experience! When my Aunt came through, it was as if I was speaking right to her on the phone. Trenny said things that no one else would know, not generic responses at all! I left that reading feeling uplifted, enlightened and craving more. It's absolutely incredible to feel so connected with the loved ones who aren't physically here. I will forever be grateful to have been introduced to Trenny. Not only can she connect effortlessly, but her personality and delivery are gentle, kind and full of light. I'm very much looking forward to the next reading in a few months!! -Amanda Beckett
Getting psychic advice by phone also lets you enjoy your reading at your convenience as well as the privacy and comfort of your own home. They allow you to easily connect with an experienced psychic guide from anywhere no matter the time of day. Being able to hear the psychic's voice on the phone allows the reading to be just as powerful and impactful as it would have been if you were sitting across the table from each other.
Jump up ^ God's World: A Treatise on Spiritualism Founded on Transcripts of Shorthand Notes Taken Down, Over a Period of Five Years, in the Seance-Room of the William T. Stead Memorial Center (a Religious Body Incorporated Under the Statutes of the State of Illinois), Mrs. Cecil M. Cook, Medium and Pastor. Compiled and Written by Lloyd Kenyon Jones. Chicago, Ill.: The William T. Stead Memorial Center, 1919.
Scientists who study anomalistic psychology consider mediumship to be the result of fraud and psychological factors. Research from psychology for over a hundred years suggests that where there is not fraud, mediumship and Spiritualist practices can be explained by hypnotism, magical thinking and suggestion. Trance mediumship, which according to Spiritualists is caused by discarnate spirits speaking through the medium, can be explained by dissociative identity disorder.
“This was the most therapeutic “counseling” that I have ever witnessed. There was catharsis, healing, and hope for everyone who joined us in these sessions. Undoubtedly, some will dismiss the possibility of this kind of spiritual assistance; if I hadn’t seen it and benefited from it personally, I might have been one of them. But, to those who may be open to it, I see this as pioneering work with the possibility of greatly enhancing our understanding of the root causes and conditions surrounding the diseases of addiction....“
Two, some psychic mediums can hear spirits. In this method, the spirits actually talk to the psychic medium verbally. The psychic medium may hear the communication in their mind (like hearing thoughts), or they may hear the spirit the way they would hear you or I talking to them. Unfortunately, some spirits are not the greatest communicators and what the psychic medium actually hears may sound more like a faint radio station than a clear telephone signal. This is one reason why some readings are so detailed and accurate while others are sketchy. Just try talking to someone using a cheap set of walkie-talkies and you’ll experience what it’s like chatting with a weak communicator from the spirit world.
One of the most important things for me is that I wanted everyone to be happy and empowered! I wanted people to feel that they weren’t risking anything by coming to one of the fab psychics here so I set it up so that, if people booked a credit card reading with one of my readers and they weren’t totally happy within the first five minutes, they could either try another reader or have their money back – no questions asked. Chemistry is so important and there are so many styles and sorts of psychic readings it’s essential to find the right one for you. It took me 20 years to find the right hairdresser never mind psychic! Psychic readings are an intimate thing and getting the right mix is as important as getting the detailed information.