Psychics Psuck Pshit Part 1

Say it isn’t so. The Police actually asked two psychics for help on a murder case?Good grief. Please tell me that was just a press release from Sensing Murder. In the article, I read a cop saying he was on the fence about psychics. Please, no. Don’t be on the fence about psychics. You might as well be on the fence about violent crime. Or Nigerian emailers promising you millions. Psychics are bogus. Psychics are pscum. Psychics are full of pshit. Note to Serious Fraud Office. Please investigate Sensing Murder. Shut them down. Make that heinous TV show pass through the tunnel of white light, to the other side. If these people really could communicate with the dead, how about this: names of murderers please. Names, addresses, clues. I don’t want to get in the way of entertainers earning a crust, but it’s scummy to pretend to communicate with the dead to take advantage of grieving relatives. At best, psychics (mediums, palm readers, tarot card readers etc) employ a technique of vaguespeak called cold reading. Buy a book online called Tradecraft and learn how to do it. Derren Brown, the British entertainer who debunks the whole caravan of scammers from religious healers to alien abductees, recommends The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading by Ian Rowland. Note to Police: make all your staff read Derren Brown’s book Tricks of the Mind. If we all learn these showbiz techniques, we can put the scum out of business. Cold reading is the open-ended vagueness you see in horoscopes. The psychic throws things out there, and depending on the customer’s reaction, alters the path until something hits. “It’s your father, isn’t it?” No. “But he was like a father to you, wasn’t he?” The customer is predisposed to believe in psychic powers -- after all, they’ve shown up for an appointment. They’re often at a low point: wanting to make a decision (travel, job, relationship.) And they only remember the statements that hit, not the ones that miss. I once had a tarot card reader say to me: “I see twins.” I said I didn’t know any twins. “But two people the same age?” Well. I went to school with a classful. She continued. “I see a man in uniform.” I didn’t know one of those either. “A man who wants to conform, to fit in?” Well, that covers, hmmm, everyone. That’s cold reading. My guess - Sensing Murder is hot reading. The psychics are given information by the producers beforehand. Then, using all their powers of frowning and eyelid fluttering, the psychics return the information, in fragments, to give the illusion of extra amazingness that can only have one explanation. You watch and think: how could they know that? Yes, you, the viewer knew it: but the psychic wasn’t told. Well, here’s how the psychic knew. The producer told them. In the briefing before the shoot. You might as well ask how David Copperfield makes a woman disappear. It’s a trick. But at least with magic, we know it’s a trick.Sensing Murder wants to con you into thinking it’s real. Let’s not even tolerate it as fluff. The impression people are left with from Sensing Murder is that the police consult psychics. This suggestion in itself is a symbol of credibility. Please, Police, don’t let the snake oil salesmen use you this way. The police should onl y be involved with psychics to arrest them. If I say I can communicate with the dead, and I can’t, but I charge money for that, isn’t that fraud? The fact a psychic has yet to mention anything that, hmm, wasn’t already publicly known (surprise, surprise) never quite gets the same airing. Surely a broadcaster has a responsibility to its viewers not to dupe them? Ads have to be honest. Why can a programme pretend to be factual when it’s not? Shouldn’t Sensing Murder have a disclaimer that the show is a paid advertisement for its two psychics? Isn’t it time Fair Go took on Sensing Murder? It doesn’t surprise me the Australian producer of Sensing Murder went on to produce The Secret, an even worse mass-mugging of the gullible. And if they were better at reading people, they’d leave the psychic lark and move onto the poker tour.