Time To Take Aim At A Practice That Needs To Be Eradicated
Sometimes a subject pops up that not only sends my BS radar to DEFCON 5, but it ends up affecting me or a loved one personally. Believe it or not and crazily enough, talking with the dead is one of those subjects. Rather than come off all hot headed and raging on the subject, I am going to just lay it all out there for everyone as calmly as possible. That’s my plan anyway. Why is it that people cut of the same cloth as yourself can sometimes have such radically different beliefs? Influence and situation I believe is the correct answer. Anyway, lets start this debunking by taking a look at the history behind the idea of communicating with the deceased.
One of the very first literary works I could find on the subject was “Communication With the Other Side” by Baron George Lyttelton, published in England in the year 1760. You can pretty much consider him the father and inventor of this scam. The art of the Séance grew and reached the height of it’s popularity in the late 1800’s. However, in the last decade or so it has made a bit of a resurgence with mediums touring the country now like celebrities of some weird sort. It has taken on a lot of different forms over the years utilizing props such as crystal balls and ouija boards while taking place in small intimate settings all the way up to theaters with huge audiences. It has been debunked and shown to be fake time and time again by people such as Harry Houdini and the duo of Penn & Teller. What really surprises me though is how many people believe in it still to this day.
If They Are Not Talking To The Dead Then How Do They Do It?
Science tells us that when we die, that’s it. There is scientifically no proof of such things as an afterlife, a soul, or spirits. They are all beliefs or ideas. A spirit medium is a con artist that preys upon those beliefs and takes advantage of and exploits people in mourning. When people are paying to speak with a dead relative or someone close, they don’t want the experience to be a failure, they want their reading to be a success. They have a reason for trying to speak with the dead, and this desire sets a person acting as the medium up on a very high pedestal. The more they get right or hit the higher the pedestal becomes, while getting something wrong or missing the pedestal strangely stays the same height. There is a lot of psychological stuff going on that you need to be aware of to understand why people fall for this crap, so let’s examine it a little bit closer.
Spirit mediums rely on something called the Barnum Effect, named after American showman P. T. Barnum. His personal slogan was “There’s a sucker born every minute”. The Barnum effect is a type of subjective validation in which a person finds personal meaning in statements that could apply to many different people. It’s why fortune cookies work. Mediums use this strategy in what they call a cold reading. This is a session inwhich the psychic does not have much previous information on their subjects. It is more or less a guessing game. The more guesses the medium makes the more likely they are to get a hit on someone. And the bigger the audience, the more likely this is to work.
The other method used is called a hot read. This method involves no guessing and is where all the information on the subject has been researched before the meeting. It can be done using the Internet, microphones in the waiting rooms, interviews with the subject beforehand and a variety of other methods. If in a chat with the medium before starting your session you are asked who you want to contact and you say your mother then guess what? That psychic is going to find your mother during your session. And because that’s who you wanted to talk to, you are going to be pleased with the results. These timeless methods work because people want them to work. Who wouldn’t want to speak with their dead mother or father? If you are not thinking logically about it, it is going to succeed because you want it to succeed. But in the end you see, it’s all carnival tricks.
So Why Does This Make You So Mad?
Communicating with the dead is no different than talking with Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. I don’t get mad about those though because they are not implanting fake memories for money in people who are vulnerable and in mourning. That’s what it is folks. They are taking their own twist on someones dead relative and telling that person what they want to hear in the name of making a quick buck. A loved one of mine has been paying good money to “speak with the dead”, and no matter what I say about it, it falls on deaf ears. This medium is using a perverse sort of mind control by amazing my relative with what they “know” and the messages they “bring”. And my relative eats it up, talking about what they were told as if it were truth, and that is what the dead person wanted. It’s rather sad to watch this person make changes to their life to accommodate these things all based on bullshit.
My mother passed away almost 15 years ago now. I remember vividly being at her funeral, about a week after her battle with cancer had been lost, and a few different relatives coming to me with crazy stories. They were saying they had seen her spirit the night before and that she had messages for them about how she was ok now, and then offered advice on life to them. I know they meant well and were trying to offer support to me and make me feel better all while dealing with their own grief, but I remember chuckling to myself thinking how funny it was she hadn’t come to visit me. There were 4 kids in my family, and I was by far the biggest handful with getting into trouble at a young age, doing drugs, drinking, typical teenager stuff. My brothers and sister were angels compared to me. It was a pretty constant battle between me and my parents, but especially my mother. Now one would think at that time when she was coming back and visiting people, I would have been pretty close to the top of her list. There was a lot left unfinished and unsaid between us. But I never did get that visit. Neither did my brothers or sister. You want to know why? Because she was gone. Simple as that. Their visions of her that night were nothing more than hallucinations people have while sleeping called dreams.
The finality of death and what it brings puts people into a vulnerable state, a state where sometimes rational and logical thought is tossed right out the window. When this is picked at by vultures it makes me mad. When those vultures are picking on my kin, I get downright fuckin pissed. When something is too good to be true in life it’s because it is. No matter how badly you want something that is deemed scientifically impossible, wanting it won’t change the fact that it is in fact impossible. But there will always be someone there to try and sell you that impossible. That’s just human nature. Besides, wouldn’t you rather remember someone close to you who has passed away for who they were, what they stood for, and what they said rather than some strangers words in their mouth, feeding you bullshit because you are paying them too? The people close to you that have died deserve more from you then to soil your memories of them. It is something that can’t be undone, and that’s the way it is.
What do you think? We’d love to hear you sound off with your thoughts in the comments below!