Psychic or Psycho?

I remember watching James Randi when he was a guest star on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Randi was/is famous for exposing fakers and phonies in many different lines of work. On this particular show, Randi went after a televangelist named Peter Popoff who claimed he could read the minds of his followers. Randi showed how Popoff’s “God-given ability” really worked- by wearing an earpiece and having his wife feed him the info via radio.

Yep. More people fleeced thanks to religion.

Popoff is still around, and if you visit his website, you can buy his “Miracle Mixture” to cure your ills.

So has there ever been a real honest to goodness psychic, or at least someone with paranormal abilities?

Daniel Home – was an alleged spiritualist and medium who was at the height of his fame in the 1850s and 1860s. He could purportedly talk to the dead, and his séances always delivered. Unexplained music,  table levitation, and glowing, ghastly hands were a staple of his performances. Not everyone was a believer though. Harry Houdini once quipped that Home’s only mission was “fleecing by presuming on the credulity of the public”.

It was later discovered that Home was quite good with his feet.

While he held hands with the others at his séance table, he was able to levitate the table using his feet. He also used phosphorous oil (phosphorous glows in the dark) to cover his feet, which he would then slide out of his shoes and use to move objects on the table.

If anything, he was quite the contortionist.

When he died, one of the objects found amongst his belongings was a one octave mouth organ; basically a very tiny harmonica which he apparently concealed under his walrus-like moustache and used to create the eerie music.

Strike 1.

John Edward – is currently on TV and considers himself a psychic and medium. On his current show, he gives readings to audience members and basically allows them to talk to their dearly departed relatives. Critics consider him a mentalist; a person who draws conclusions and makes general guesses based on background information and general guessing.

This theory is supported through the fact that audience members fill out questionnaires before show taping.

James Randi also did a bit of researching and found that most of the shows were edited and dubbed to make Edward’s readings appear more accurate.

Strike 2.

Allison DuBois –  a psychic and inspiration for the TV series Medium, one of my favorite shows.  DuBois supposedly aids law enforcement to help track down killers and missing persons. But according to the Glendale, Arizona police department, she never provided any useful information- which kind of makes sense since if she really were as good as she claimed, every police department would have a psychic detective unit.

James Randi believes her to be very good at cold readings.

Strike 3.

I keep mentioning James Randi because he has dedicated his life to exposing fraud and charlatans. For almost two decades he has run the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), a nonprofit corporation whose mission includes “educating the public and the media on the dangers of accepting unproven claims, and to support research into paranormal claims in controlled scientific experimental conditions.”

JREF offers a one million dollar cash prize to anyone who can demonstrate a supernatural power or ability. The prize is still unclaimed as many psychics have either failed at the task, or simply not accepted the invitation to be tested. Both John Edward and Allison DuBois turned down invitations to prove their ability.

James Randi Educational Foundation

I’m sure there are people on this planet that can do amazing things, but you won’t find them on the radio or TV.


  1. Ramona Rung says:

    Just noticed that STEVE MARGOLIS is author of this research. I have listened much to John Edwards–sometimes impressed, but never convinced. I AM, however, 100% convinced that many people DO see and even receive messages from Heavenly Beings, and sometimes from relatives who have “passed over” or whatever term you wish to call entering ETERNAL LIFE. But let me thank you, Steve, for your design for marshmallow guns. Your name was also mentioned by a professor in a science course I took. My grandsons spend hours with those “guns”–wish I could come up with a name I liked better for them, cause they bring them SO much excitement and joy.

  2. GoofysSpecialFriend1 says:

    I’m a psychic…i predict that your blogs will start getting funny soon!

  3. Stewie11 says:

    Time travel is much simpler than trying to actually read the future.

    P.S. Lois must die.

  4. MikeT says:

    When are people going to stop giving money to theses fakers? They prey on gullible people. They are definitely the bottom of the scum pond.

  5. I don’t know how these phonies live with themselves. How do they look at themselves in the mirror?

  6. Jason79 says:

    Where can I get in on this opportunity? Lie to people and have them hand me millions? I’m in. I have no morals.

  7. All Bullshit. I watch the Mentalist. :mrgreen:

    1. Laurie says:

      Can you imagine how much these trolls would make if they looked like Simon Baker? I would give them money!

  8. Katie19 says:

    It is sad, but a lot of these people have nothing, and they fall prey to these hucksters who promise the world. Sometimes these people are so desperate for help, that they can’t see what is really going on.

  9. Redrock83 says:

    Remember Ernest Angley? He was another phony dweeb
    Robin Williams used to make fun of him all the time in his stand up routines. Funniest thing ever. He even made fun of old Ernest on Mork and Mindy. here’s the clip. It’s a 10.

    1. Brit93 says:

      OMG. That is hysterical!

  10. Frootloops says:

    I do hate people who take advantage of other people. 👿

  11. MikeL says:

    People who claim to see the future make it difficult for those of us who can. Nah. Kidding. Give me some bacon and I’m good.

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