Author Topic: Do psychics and mediums get a bad rap?  (Read 206 times)

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Offline adminsandiegohaunted

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Do psychics and mediums get a bad rap?

Dan - 1/10/2012
http://www.sandiegohaunted.com/listings/

Do psychics and mediums get a bad rap? Just the word psychic or medium is enough to make a skeptic cringe. What about non skeptics, what do they think? [1] According to a 2009 CBS poll, a majority of Americans, believe in psychic phenomena. 57% of Americans believe in psychic phenomena such as ESP, telepathy, or other unexplained experiences. As good as these numbers are, I would not hurry off to the nearest Tarot reader to pick your lottery numbers just yet. The same poll conducted by CBS in 1985 shows a 7% drop off in believers. While a majority of the public believes psychic phenomenon may take place, only a small number admit to having had a psychic experience. Only two out of every 10 (16%) people claim to have had an ESP experience. The percentage of people who claimed to have experienced psychic phenomena also, dropped (9%) vs. the 1989 poll. Psychic proponents would be well apt to point out that many demographic factors can skew polls.

What is a psychic? What is a "medium"? While both groups claim to have a "sixth sense," there are clear differences. Psychics claim to be clairvoyant able to see the past, present, and future. If your believer and wish to win the lottery you would consult one of these. "Mediums," claim to be able to communicate with the dead. If you wanted to try to communicate with a deceased love one, you would consult a medium. A sensitive, is a newer paranormal classification which bridges aspects of both psychics and clairvoyants.

Is there any science behind Pyschic's, Medium's, and "Sensitive's"? For simplicity we will combine the separate orders under the namesake Pyschic. Most persons claiming to be psychic do not try to verify their abilities via, the scientific method. Those few that have tried controlled scientific methods, have, failed to, deliver. This does not mean science has of absolute means excluded the existence of psychics. But, the burden of proof remains in the hands of so called psychics.

Psychic proponents often point the finger of blame at the scientific community for failure to conduct psychic research. [2]In 1979 half a million dollars was donated to the Washington University (in St. Louis) to create the McDonnald Laboratory for Psychical (si ka kal) Research. Of the original 300 self claimed psychics that applied only two persons were deemed remarkable. In the following three years the two subjects were given multitude of tests. Observing scientists were amazed. Unfortunately for the scientists, it was all fake, they had been fooled. James (the Amazing) Randi, the dedicated skeptic-activist and heard about the grant money and devise a plan. Randy in all fairness warned the lab via post, that certain protocols and attention to detail when arranging the experiments to prevent any deception on the part of the test subjects. The advice was dismissed. The two remarkable psychics were, two talented young magicians, trained by randy himself. The James Randi Educational Foundation has further issued the, "One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge."[3]

"At JREF, we offer a one-million-dollar prize to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event. The JREF does not involve itself in the testing procedure, other than helping to design the protocol and approving the conditions under which a test will take place. All tests are designed with the participation and approval of the applicant. In most cases, the applicant will be asked to perform a relatively simple preliminary test of the claim, which if successful, will be followed by the formal test. Preliminary tests are usually conducted by associates of the JREF at the site where the applicant lives. Upon success in the preliminary testing process, the "applicant" becomes a "claimant."

To date, no one has passed the preliminary tests....

"Everyone is a little psychic." Have you heard that statement? This is common NEW AGE rhetoric proposed by psychic proponents. Unfortunately there is no hard scientific evidence to support that statement. That psychic pitch implies anyone is capable of being psychic with the proper knowledge and training. If you are a believer seeking psychic training you will surely feel the pinch in your pocketbook. Classes and seminars can range from $30 monthly fees to hundreds of dollars. This type of con, "selling snake oil" has been around for a long time. There are many proven methods of deception that go into the making of a psychic; [4] As such we will not dwell on the great works of others.

Let us back track to the New Age idea of "Sensitives." Surely some persons must be more sensitive to the external conditions of the World? All humans possess a range of feelings and emotional reaction to stimuli. Some persons are far more empathetic than others. I clearly remember my daughter crying hysterically after Bambi's mother dies, I on the other hand had no emotional response. Some persons are simply more emotionally apt at applying, "how would I feel in that situation?" Does that mean one day they will be able the chat with the dead, or pick winning lottery numbers? NO. Here is a typical list of abilities for "Sensitive" persons.

* clairsentience - clear feeling or 'empathy'
* clairalience - clear smelling
* clairaudience - clear hearing
* claircognizance - clear knowing
* clairgustance - clear tasting
* clairvoyance - clear seeing

Replace the word "clear" with the word "physical"... Unfortunately, most sensitives find themselves wanting to replace "clear" with "ESP." Once the breech has been made from physical traits to ESP, the credibility becomes questionable. Anyone in contention with this should immediately participate in the "One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge."[3] . That simple fact is no person claiming psychic ability, has thus been able to substantiate their claims- ever.

So why do so many persons readily believe in psychic phenomenon? The key may be in the fact that fewer persons claimed to have experienced an ESP event vs, their existence. How is this possible? The fact is, some people want to believe and others need to believe. We are living in a heavily commercialized paranormal society. This creates opportunity for entertainers, charlatans, and sooth sayers, seeking financial bliss from believers. The apt, "There's a sucker born every minute" is a phrase often credited (though not proven) to P. T. Barnum (1810?1891), an American showman, applies here.


Cites an Bibliography:

[1]http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/04/29/opinion/polls/main507515.shtml

[2]http://lsned.com/facts/project-alpha-psychics/

[3]http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html

[4]http://www.skepdic.com/psychic.html

Offline PPI Tracy

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I believe that there are individuals who are truly psychic.  I have met a few people who claim to be, but are nothing but frauds.  These people have tried to pull the wool over many eyes in an attempt to become a "recognized" member of the paranormal community. Unfortunately, you are correct:  There IS a sucker born every minute.  People don't take the time to really look a bit deeper at who they are putting their faith in and just take these charlatans at face value.  I have never been to a psychic, but I have seen a few close up, doing their (fraudulent) handy work.  I personally know 2 people who are doing this as we speak.  They are nothing but beautiful bullsh*t crafters.

I think there are more frauds out there in the public light than there are true gifted psychics.  It's sad because most people don't know the real truth about them and get taken to the cleaners more often than not.   I have no respect for these people who play themselves off as something they are not and are making their living off of other's grief, pain and quest for enlightenment.  

Yeah, you might say I have a few feelings on the matter.  
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 11:50:33 AM by PPI Tracy »

Offline PPI Brian

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We have a couple of threads that touched on this subject:

This thread featured legenday "psychic" Sylvia Brown:
http://www.pacificparanormal.com/forums/index.php/topic,698.msg6641.html#msg6641

And of course we must include the thoughts of the Amazing Randi on the subject:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/c0Z7KeNCi7g" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/c0Z7KeNCi7g</a>
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 01:40:49 PM by PPI Brian »
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."--Carl Sagan

Offline PPI Debra

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When I was nine years old, Dr Beamer (psychiatrist) at the State University of New York at Potsdam did psychological tests on me.
He told my (fundamentalist) mother that I was clairvoyant. 

I was tested later with the Rhine lab cards in high school. I scored anomalously high on the test. (100 % incorrect)

When my 2nd daughter was born (with a short life prognosis), her pediatrician, David Sine, noticed that I was uncanny in my ability to know what was wrong with her, before tests were even done, repeatedly. He said it was the strongest case of "mother's intuition" he had ever encountered. He said he documented it all in her file.

I have refuse to be "trained", refused to be a medium, refused to participate in the remote viewing program.

"Psychics", such us Silvia Browne, do intuition or psychic abilities (however they may exist) a grave disservice.

It's a very strange place I'm in: I believe in using scientific protocol for paranormal research... which puts me in a position as skeptic. Yet I have a personal history that that involves anomalous  phenomena. I can't unknow what I know. What I hope for is finding a logical explaination for it all.
"If you're after gettin' the honey, don't go killin' all the bees." -Joe Strummer

Offline adminsandiegohaunted

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I know the answer you are just SPECIAL :)

Offline PPI Debra

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I know the answer you are just SPECIAL :)

To be honest with you, it hasn't been an easy thing to live with. It's an unpredictable, uncontrollable, unreliable quality. It has irritated me to see it represented as infallible. Most "psychics" who earn money at it have been caught lying, and playing con games.

I don't feel special.  :)
"If you're after gettin' the honey, don't go killin' all the bees." -Joe Strummer

Offline PPI Karl

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I tend to agree that you're special, for the very reasons you feel conflicted and "unspecial," Debra.  The singularly worst offense made by people who claim to have psychic abilities is their unwillingness to look at those abilities and experiences in any critical light, and to start immediately building a consensus around them that gets them off the hook of needing to question their abilities and their accuracy.

On the other hand, your ability to remain, both, skeptical about what you do yet confident in its reality is, to my mind, an enlightened attitude.  It's why you're a good fit for our team, and a good friend. P^/
If you want to end your misery, start enjoying it, because there's nothing the universe begrudges more than our enjoyment.

Offline PPI Debra

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I tend to agree that you're special, for the very reasons you feel conflicted and "unspecial," Debra.  The singularly worst offense made by people who claim to have psychic abilities is their unwillingness to look at those abilities and experiences in any critical light, and to start immediately building a consensus around them that gets them off the hook of needing to question their abilities and their accuracy.

On the other hand, your ability to remain, both, skeptical about what you do yet confident in its reality is, to my mind, an enlightened attitude.  It's why you're a good fit for our team, and a good friend. P^/

Thank you for your kind words, and clarifying perspective, Karl.
Everyone at PPI is gifted in myriad ways. I feel blessed to be here.
 :)

"If you're after gettin' the honey, don't go killin' all the bees." -Joe Strummer