The fraudulent medium Ronald Edwin confessed he had duped his séance sitters and revealed the fraudulent methods he had used in his book Clock Without Hands (1955). The psychical researcher Tony Cornell investigated the mediumship of Alec Harris in 1955. During the séance "spirit" materializations emerged from a cabinet and walked around the room. Cornell wrote that a stomach rumble, nicotine smelling breath and a pulse gave it away that all the spirit figures were in fact Harris and that he had dressed up as each one behind the cabinet.
Humans have been fascinated with contacting the dead since the beginning of human existence. Cave paintings by indigenous Australians date back 28,000 years, some depicting skulls, bones, spirits and the afterlife. Other cave paintings in Indonesia date back a further 10,000 years. Mediumship gained popularity during the nineteenth century, when ouija boards were used by the upper classes as a source of entertainment. Investigations during this period revealed widespread fraud—with some practitioners employing techniques used by stage magicians—and the practice began to lose credibility. Fraud is still rife in the medium/psychic industry, with cases of deception and trickery being discovered to this day.
A major advantage of live phone readings versus in-person appointments is that there is no chance that the reader can cheat. During a face-to-face session, a reader can gather many clues and insights about a person based on demeanour, clothing, jewellery, hair, make-up, and overall attitude and appearance. The psychic might draw conclusions about someone based on those clues and form the reading around those things.
In 1960, psychic investigator Andrija Puharich and Tom O'Neill, publisher of the Spiritualist magazine Psychic Observer, arranged to film two seances at Camp Chesterfield, Indiana using infrared film, intending to procure scientific proof of spirit materializations. The medium was shown the camera beforehand, and was aware that she was being filmed. However, the film revealed obvious fraud on the part of the medium and her cabinet assistant. The exposé was published in the 10 July 1960 issue of the Psychic Observer.:96–97
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8/As the psychic reading goes along, take as many notes as you like and jot down anything that you want to know more about. Many telephone psychic companies offer recordings of readings so that you can listen to them again, we have a members area where you can listen back to your psychic reading for free if you book by credit card or Paypal. You also want to stay on track as you’re actually having the psychic reading. Sometimes you can get so involved in one topic that you put the phone down and then think – oh! I meant to ask so and so.
Type B work for call centres and agencies. There are the better paid ones who get maybe 50 pence a minute WHEN SPEAKING TO SOMEONE and nothing when waiting and hoping. These usually have to work evenings and/or weekends,maybe nights, you cannot cherry pick the times that suit you, and you have no guarantee you will get any calls. Many of these companies will put you down for shifts such as 6 pm till midnight seven days a week, take it or leave it. The others are the ones who are not tested and proven and earn far less. All they really give you is someone to chat to urgently. Their photo and some details about them is on the site to help you decide who to speak to, with notifications of who is on duty and who is offline.
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.