John Edwards in today’s PVP comic.

I’m a gamer and have been for a very long time. As such video games, and things dealing with video games, are a big part of my life. I also like to read comic strips both in the newspaper and on the web. One of my all-time favorite comics is about, what else, video gamers. It’s called PVP Online and it revolves around a cast of characters who work at a video game news magazine called PVP, which is short-hand for Player vs. Player. I especially relate to Cole, who is the editor of the magazine and who has a past history, not to mention the resulting physical build, that almost reads like a bio for myself though I didn’t start my own gaming mag.

Anyway, the point of all that is to get to today’s PVP comic strip which does a great job of poking fun at popular “I see dead people” phony psychic James Edwards of Crossing Over fame. This guy’s act is as transparent as the spirits he claims to contact and yet people continue to buy into it week after week in much the same way poor Skull in PVP does. I end up double appalled at a show like Crossing Over because my first thought is that I think it’s the worst kind of immoral and unethical activity to manipulate grieving people for profit. My second thought is that I can’t understand how anyone can watch this guy in action and not see the classic magician’s trick of cold reading in action. Of course, when I’ve commented on this at other sites I have been told by one person that it didn’t matter if Edwards was the real deal as long as he made people “feel better” and “brought closure” to their grief. I suppose with attitudes like that, people like Edwards and Sylvia Brown and James Van Praagh will continue to make a great living selling their feel-good snake oil on a willing public.

I suppose I won’t deny stupid people their right to give up their money to phony psychics if that’s what the really want to do, I just wish they’d be stupid enough to send some my way occasionally. I’d be happy to call them up and say “Your dead father/sister/uncle/grandmother doesn’t really think you’re to blame for whatever horrible way they died even if it was really your fault. They’re happy as you can possibly be when you’re dead and they want you to know that everything is wonderful in the afterlife. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, they said to say they love you.” My way takes less time and has the same effect in the end, how could they possibly refuse? Heh, I didn’t mean to turn this into an Edward’s rant, but looks like I couldn’t resist. Shoulda seen it coming, really.

89 thoughts on “John Edwards in today’s PVP comic.

  1. I’m sorry you feel that way regarding John Edwards and others of the same profession. But unlike you i believe in life after death and that some people have a gift in communication with people who have crossed over. Maybe people unlike yourself need to believe that there is something more than death than a box, because i certaintely hope so. I wont be able to prove to you that these mediums are true but you’ll know yourself when you have crossed over and are hoping to communicate with family you love who are alive – you’ll need a medium like “John Edwards”.

  2. Assuming for the sake of the argument that there is an “after life” of some sort that we “cross over” to at the time of death, I would hope that there would be something more interesting to do once I get there than stand around trying to communicate simplistic platitudes to my loved ones through a failed ballroom dance instructor.

    I’ve watched Edwards show on a couple of occasions and have read many transcripts of sessions he’s done live during interviews with folks like Larry King where he doesn’t have the benefit of editing to make him look better. A good example of such is posted at a John Edward’s fan site. Out of 11 questions John asks one caller she answers 8 of them with solid “no”. Or, in other words, 72% of John’s guesses for that particular caller were incorrect. The next two callers don’t fare much better and John is careful to avoid direct yes or no questions beyond a simple “Do you understand that?” which, of course, the answer is yes regardless of whether what he stated was relevant. Still, he makes a point of counting that as a “hit” to try and make up for the disaster of the first caller.

    John also makes a point of insisting that the folks he’s doing a reading for don’t expect him to contact exactly the person they want to talk to. That helps to take some of the burden off of him if his guesses, like with the first caller, don’t pan out. I loved how, in the example above, the big message of significance his reading provides for the first caller is that whatever the spirit talking to him wants to get across has SOMETHING to do with popcorn. Oh, and her nephew is OK despite being dead. You can tell the caller has no clue what popcorn has to do with anything regarding her nephew.

    The next caller’s big message from the other side amounts to little more than a vague platitude about how the dead person “tried to be the best person for you that she could” and that there’s something related to “Hawaii” in her future and the dead person is around and is OK.

    Edwards managed to pull off what appears to be a very successful reading with one caller with some very generalized statements that could apply to a large portion of the population, but overall his hit/miss ratio for all the callers is pretty astonishingly bad for a psychic that supposedly has other-worldly connections. By my estimates the overall tally of successful statements by Edwards by the end of the show is right around 40% or so and that’s being generous with some of the weaker “hits” he likes to claim. Considering that any sufficiently general yes or no question has about a 50/50 chance of being correct most of the time, his performance is a little worse than what one would expect. That’s what he gets for doing it live instead of taping it ahead of time so he can edit it later.

    The sad part is Edwards isn’t doing anything new. Harry Houdini spent a good part of his career debunking spiritualists and mediums who used the very same cold and hot reading techniques that Edwards, James Van Praagh, Rosemary Altea, and George Anderson use today. It all got it’s start way back in 1848 with Maggie and Katie Fox, sisters who claimed to be able to communicate with the spirit of a murdered peddler. Four decades after their rise to fame they both admitted it had all been a hoax, but by then all sorts of people discovered they had the ability to be a medium and communicate with the dead. The concept has gone in and out of style many times since then.

    Edwards charges roughly $300 for a private session with him. For $300 of my money I better get to talk to whomever I damn well please and they’d better have something worth listening to beyond “They’re showing me new rugs being put in. I mean, I see somebody, like, actually putting in rugs on the floor. So, there’s new rugs coming.”

    All the splendors of heaven and what life after death might be like and the best that particular spirit could come up with was that the caller was going to get some new rugs in the future?!?

    Again, I’m not going to tell you what you should believe in, but I’d be happy to tell you that your dead aunt/brother/mother/sister/dog/parakeet says you’re going to get some new rugs soon for the bargain basement price of $25 and the quarter for the phone call. That’s cheap at twice the price compared to Edwards.

  3. In every society, in every age, there will be people who want to believe so badly that they’ll allow themselves to fall for whatever the hucksters are peddling this week. I mean, if we can’t cure AIDS, cancer, or Alzheimer’s, what makes people think that we can communicate with any afterlife that may or may not exist? And that, if we could, the information that they told us was so 1) platitudinal (I think I just created a new word) or 2) quotidian?

    Tarot is the same way. Tell people that you can predict their future with pictures on paper, and they’ll flock to you. Try and explain that it’s nothing more than a mnemonic device with really cool artwork, and they look at you as if you were eating paste.

    It does make you want to rush out and become a psychic of some stripe, though. Where’s the Sally Struthers learn-at-home course for this?!??

  4. I’m not going to argue with you that there is people out there who do “cold readings”. However, I believe John Edward is not one of them. Did you see the show where a woman’s husband was dead and she had recently visited “Niagara Falls” with her young daughter. During her visit she found a feather and told her daughter it was from her daddy. John Edward was able to tell her this story at the studio. Therefore, he either can talk to dead people, read people’s minds or just happened to be there when she was on holiday and witnessed it himself. So explain how he was able to do this!

    Another example of Johns gift is when he was able to describe someones house down to a T. He also told his guest that on the wall in the basement on the right side there was picture relating to sport. So how can this happen, was he at their house? Did he read their minds or was it a good guess?

    I would like to say people who do not believe are perhaps scared of the unknown. Another reason why people do not believe is that they think that the information John or others give, is not of importantance and not what their relatives would come back to say.

  5. I did not see either of the two episodes you describe above and, without at least a transcript of the show to read from, I can only speculate on what he might have said and how he went about getting his information. As I said earlier, he’s able to appear to have a very successful reading with various people by limiting his statements to very generalized concepts. How many people have basements and of them how many have sports related pictures on the right hand wall? Probably a lot more than you might think. Without hearing or reading exactly what Edwards said about a particular guest’s house I have only your word to go on that he actually described it to a “T”. My experiences with his show seem to indicate that he has a hard time describing anything to a T, but prefers to rely on his audience members to flesh out details on some rather vague guesses. As for the story about a feather, again, without a transcript I can’t say for sure how accurately Edwards recounted the story or if he even recounted it at all, but managed to pull it from his guest.

    I seriously doubt either example has a supernatural explanation behind them. More likely it was the audience members themselves who provided all the info Edwards needed. Edwards is not beyond cheating when he has to. For example:

    On Dateline, Edward was actually caught in an attempt to pass off previously gained knowledge as spirit revelation. During the session he said of the spirits, “They’re telling me to acknowledge Anthony,” and when the cameraman signaled that was his name, Edward seemed surprised, asking, “That’s you? Really?” He further queried: “Had you not seen Dad before he passed? Had you either been away or been distanced?” Later, playing the taped segment for me, Dateline reporter John Hockenberry challenged me with Edward’s apparent hit: “He got Anthony. That’s pretty good.” I agreed but added, “We’ve seen mediums who mill about before sessions and greet people and chat with them and pick up things.”

    Indeed, it turned out that is just what Edward had done. Hours before the group reading, Tony had been the cameraman on another Edward shoot… Significantly, the two men had chatted and Edward had obtained useful bits of information that he afterward pretended had come from the spirits.—Joe Nickell, John Edward: Hustling the Bereaved

    People who have participated as audience members on the show have come forward and told how various members of Edward’s production staff will take time prior to the show to gather some personal information from the audience, strike up seemingly casual conversations, and fill out 3×5 cards with notes on family trees. Audience members’ seating arrangements are pre-determined as well for no apparent reason. At least one person has accused Edwards of using shills, planted audience members about whom he would already have in-depth knowledge. His production staff, naturally, deny all of these things.

    Even without doing all of that, the simple fact that Edwards has final control over editing is enough to ensure he seems very believable. What you see on TV are only the best readings he managed to accomplish in a given session. Anything less, including readings that are a complete washout for Edwards, are edited out and never shown. Even with those that are shown there have been accusations of Edwards using editing to make it appear that someone was nodding yes to a question the person remembers answering as a no. The transcripts of his live readings are often much more revealing. His successful “hit” ratio tends to drop from the 40% range of a taped show to around 10-20% when done live.

    It’s not fear of the unknown that makes me incredulous of Edward’s claim, it’s lack of anything substantial in the way of evidence. I will agree that it certainly doesn’t help that pretty much any information Edwards does depart is pretty banal and meaningless. Had Edwards been able to, say, provide information from his dead buddies that might have helped prevent the September 11th attacks from ever happening, or at least given some pre-warning that would have spared a couple of thousand lives, that I would consider a pretty significant bit of information. As long as he keeps predicting that people are going to be getting “some new rugs” in the future I’ll find him less than credible.

  6. Les, I think you raise a lot of really good points. Let’s say that I’m VERY skeptical of the man, the show, etc. I think that it’s easy to forget that the show is heavily edited. One can only imagine the percentage of readings that don’t make it online. It’s a nice idea, but I’m not sure that it goes beyond there. At least that’s my two cents.

  7. I realise what your saying Les, but just like you I have only your word for it. Do you have transcripts for the shows your talking about? If you do, can you please tell me what the web-sites are for looking at the transcripts for the show.

    John Edwards may be a FAKE but personally I do not think so. I would personally like to go to one of his shows and see for myself if he is a true medium or not. Have you ever been to one of his shows or do you rely on other people’s opinions?

    Finally, I would love to go to one of his shows but there is two problems:

    1)He only does his shows in America not Scotland.

    2)Even if I wanted tickets to his show they are   virtually impossible to get.

  8. No, you don’t have to take just my word for it. There are a lot of people in this world who are very versed in the same parlor trick that Edwards uses and who are very much more qualified than I am to comment on it. I have provided a link in my first response to you that would take you to the transcript of the very show I was writing about. That website contains additional transcripts and that website is pro-Edwards so it’s not like I took it from a site that was biased against him in the first place. I also cited a source from Dateline NBC, a show that can be looked up and researched on the net. When I’ve quoted a source, I’ve included a link to that source when possible to do so. A simple click will take you there. You definitely don’t have to rely on my word alone.

    I have not been to one of his shows in-person, though I’ve been to shows with performers who do the same act, some who claimed to be genuine and some who don’t. I don’t have to go to his show to see it first hand as what I’ve seen of it from television has shown me he’s doing nothing different from any of the other people who’s shows I have been to. It’s the same old schtick over and over again.

    Do I rely on other’s opinions? Everyone does on different topics, though I do take the time to research both sides of an argument before I draw conclusions. I also rely on my own critical thinking skills and experiences. Occam’s Razor, or the principle of parsimony as it is sometimes known, comes in handy as well. I look at the evidence with a critical eye to see if it stands up to more than an emotional response. As I have listed here, Edwards readings tend to have an overall accuracy of around 10-20% which is less than one would expect from random chance alone. It doesn’t help that at one time I fancied myself a magician and spent hours reading books about magic tricks and illusions and was especially fond of the “mentalist” tricks, including cold reading, as they required few props and less dexterity than your average card trick.

    When Edwards says his ability is not unique and that anyone can learn to do it, it’s one of the few times he’s telling the truth. He’s right, it’s not unique and anyone can learn to do it. There’s hardly a magician’s handbook written that doesn’t have some variation on it. You can buy an excellent example of a book that tells exactly how to do it yourself by clicking on this link: Tradecraft: The Art and Science of Cold Reading. You can even buy it as a downloadable PDF file you can print out on your own printer if you don’t want to wait for shipping. Perhaps you could be the next John Edwards of Scotland?

    As for getting into one of his shows, well, if he continues to grow in popularity I wouldn’t be surprised to see him doing shows in other countries before too long. They do limit the audience size, but you’ve got as much chance as the next person of getting in. Read that book first, though, and then take another look at him and see if it doesn’t seem suspiciously familiar.

  9. Les, I’ve seen the transcript that you linked in your first answer to me and I believe that John Edward did very well regarding that he could not see the people he was talking to. This is quite relevant as “Cold Readings” requires the FAKE mediums to get information from their subjects face to face, for example body language, the clothes the subject is wearing etc.

    I’m not saying for sure that John Edward is the real thing, only he knows for sure. But I am saying if he uses “Cold Readings” he is really good and experienced at it. If I had to get that book “Tradecraft: The Art And Science Of Cold Reading” I could tell you I would not be able to convince a single person I could talk to the dead.

    I have read two of John Edwards books “One Last Time” and “Behind the scenes of Crossing Over” and have felt that John required the gift as he was growing up, as he was against his mother and family going to mediums because he felt they were Fake. The book “Behind the scenes of Crossing Over” did not hide the fact that the media were trying to prove what John was a Fake by getting his staff members to talk to people prior to the show starting. Crossing Over told the media this infromation was false as John would not be able to remember where everyone was siting and all of their family trees within an hour of recording.

    This book also told the reader that the producers where trying to do theme programs such as getting families from people who all died of the same conditions such as heart attacks or from disasters like bombings. However, John was totally against the idea as it was against his gift as it would be more for entertainment value rather than for people who needed closure at that time.

    Do you think this is from a man whose only interest is money?

  10. Hi,
    I’m from the UK, and while I don’t know much about John Edwards specifically, I’ve seen plenty of his sort at various events and meetings. I am open-minded about this subject.It may be that there is life after death- I hope so!-and I would be happy to have it proved to me that those who are dead communicate with us. But I have yet to have it proved to me.
    One thing that’s always struck me is that if the dead reach through the barriers to communicate, why do they never seem to have anything interesting to say, other than generalities about how jolly nice it is where they are, and that they still love whoever it is blah blah
    I believe there is a spritual dimension to life, but that doesn’t mean I’m fooled by slick mediums like Edwards and charlatans like Uri Geller. We must always be open-minded, but not weak-minded.
    By the way, I’m getting someone beginning with J..James, John? Do you know a John?

  11. John Edward and those of his ilk are fat phonies.  I hope they all rot in hell.

  12. I noticed when my wife was watching the show one time ( she’s a believer) that he says ok a hundred times a show.  Even if he misses a guess he still says ok.  I think this leaves the audience with the impression that all these ok’s are for correct guesses……..little trick he plays along with all the others.

  13. Are you really that stupid that you would believe a book written in favor of and only written to promote and cash in on the show would say anything different than what there told to say by Edward? Put Edward in a live setting with an audiance that has given no information backstage and see how good he does on a street with only cameramen that have no pre-instructions or conversations with Edwards. My main hobby is digging inside the Pro Wrestling buisness so I understand more than the average person would about Edwards inside antics. The Wrestling buisness is also full of tricks and marketing just like Edwards and others from his genre. I really enjoyed Southpark this week it revealed to everyone that Edwards is a duch.

  14. Im a strong believer in John Edward, and Sylvia Browne, but not James Van Praagh.  James always says “kind, happy” things to his guests ALWAYS.  Everything that comes out of your mouth when your a psychic can not be positive or your a def. phony.  It just makes no sense.  I belive that psychics are real because they would not have made it this far if they were phonies.  They predict future events that would be impossible to do.  Sylvia Browne helps the FBI in cases and she does it well.  Therefore, psychics are real in my belief and I don’t think John Edward would commit his life to being a “psychic” if he was a phony.

  15. I would never try to convince anyone that their belief in something was wrong or stupid (unless it was especially heinous like the KKK), but I will state that I do not share those beliefs. Are people like Edwards ONLY interested in scamming money from the bereaved? Probably not, it probably makes him feel good to give those people comfort.

    Does that mean then he can communicate with the dead? No. I have lied to people to make them feel better about themselves or their choices because it is what they needed at the time and it felt right, but that didn’t mean that I really thought it was a good haircut or that investing in a chinchilla farm was a good idea.

    Does it mean that he can

  16. I just want to say, as an Edwards, that his name is John Edward. No ‘S’ on the end. I don’t want there to be any confusion on that point at all. I want no relation to that “Lying, criminal, douche”…

  17. Give me a freakin break! I attended one of this shows a couple of weeks back with my girlfriend and her mother (she believes the guy, haha) and all I can say is that the only area that this guy is gifted in is ‘Cold Reading’ and perhaps some ‘Warm Reading’. We had to wait around 2 hours before “our” host John even appeared. In the meantime, people are stupid, they stand around talking about their dead family members and just about anything that a ‘psychic’ would want to hear! During this time he has associates who work for him walking about and ingaging in conversations with the guests, taking information about their family trees, and other various information regarding them and others. This whole time this woman kept coming out and telling us to speak a little softer because John was getting into his “vibe” for the soon-to-be show. Haha. I couldn’t believe how this people actually thought this guy was real. Once we finally got into the room and the show began, note that 30 minutes on tv doesn’t equal anything close to the 2+ hours of shooting, he just starts with the bullshit of ‘Cold Reading’. He says stuff like, I sense someone by the name of Greg…no wait, I think it’s Ted. Yes, a Ted’s trying to make contact…Haha. So DAMN fake. Trust me people. How can you be SO nieve?! I WAS THERE!!! It’s FAKE!!! His ratio of right to wrong was something like 15% to 85%. I could do that for gods sake! All the people are doing that do go and see this guy, buy his books, and anything else having to do with him are making him even richer than he already is. I just wish that I could get those 2+ hours of my life back. Trust your instincts on this one people, he’s a fake. That is of course unless your instinct’s telling you that he does have powers in which case you should have your head examined.

  18. Could those posting their messages re: their beliefs in J Edward’s “talent” please indicate their age, as there seems to be great discrepancies in logic between the two groups.
    ie. those who “believe” in John Edwards sound pre-pubescent.

  19. I would just like to sy that I also attended the John Edward show. First let me state that at no time did I fill out anything nor anyone of my friends that would give him any information on us and we made a predetermined effort not to speak of anything prior to his appearance. We only waited 30 minutes and when he came out he read my friend who had lost her son. He knew his name, the name of his son, the fact that there was a communion two days prior to his death, my husband, my son’s and my daughters name to mention a few dead on targets (pardon the pun).

    He also described in detail how he passed which was 100% accurate. I repeat we made a decision prior to the show to not discuss anything to truly validate what he was saying. Furthermore let me add that the only problem I have with mediums is that they charge so much money. That part is truly unnecessary. I myself have the ability to communicate with those in the afterlife but I do not charge a penny. I believe that they just want to ensure that their loved ones here are in peace knowing that they are ok and that there is something wonderful to look forward to.

    Also, it is important that each person who questions mediums understand that the messages we get are not complete conversations, they are snippets, pictures, and gestures that we see in our mind and have to try to relate in the best possible way to maintain the integrity of the deceased loved one. I know that the people who I have been able to do this for left with so much hope and relief. That way my pay.

    However, in fairness, unless you do it yourself you have no idea how exhausting it is. First you must prepare yourself for the reading, try to be accurate as possible during the reading and then close down. The process is tiring and at times the loved one who has crossed over does not want to leave because they have more to say and you have to be patient to allow them to finish. Like I said you have no idea unless you can do it yourself. I wish people would stop being so skeptical. Ask yourself one thing…is it easier to believe in proving something wrong rather than being happy that there are people out there who truly want to help?

  20. OK, let’s see here. First you tell us that Edwards came out and gave you all of this factual information without any help from you and described the dead person’s crossing over in 100% detail and then you turn around and say:

    Also, it is important that each person who questions mediums understand that the messages we get are not complete conversations, they are snippets, pictures, and gestures that we see in our mind and have to try to relate in the best possible way to maintain the integrity of the deceased loved one.

    Well then, which is it? Is it all 100% factual information you get or do you only get snippets? First you tell us he gave you all sorts of info he couldn’t have possibly known and it was all very detailed and very factual and then you tell us that we shouldn’t expect detailed information because what psychics usually get are just snippets and gestures and the like. These two statements are inherently contradictory.

    Not that it matters. I’ve seen enough of these psychics in action to know the truth about how they operate and I’ve yet to see anything that would convince me they’re talking to the dead. The last person I would rely on to convince me that Edwards is the real deal is someone who claims to be able to do the same thing. Birds of a feather and all that.

  21. If you are going to take my words apart and play a game with them then that is your own doing. What I said and I believe I was very clear was in response to statements I read in this site. The information John gave was 100% accurate but it is not like having a conversation with those that have passed on. Let me give you an elementary example. I assume you have a photo album. What you see is a picture…right? Well that is what a medium sees. He then can describe things based on that picture. That is an affirmation. That is what happens to me. That picture can be visual or audible depdending on the strength of the medium. If you see John or any other medium actually telling you that So and so says that they are asking how you are and telling you how much of a great time they are having here in the afterworld and we just sat down to a bar-b-que dinner and the weather he is cloudy…well that is a fake. What I am saying is that the ability to connect with the afterlife is a gift we all have. Do I believe that only a few can do this….no. I feel we all can do this. Many people, however, don’t know how or are afraid or simply can not take themselves out of their physical shell to do so. Those people feel more comfortable going to a medium. Psychic ability is totally different. John never sat and told her things she look out for in the future or whether or not she was going to hit the lottery. He gave her true affirmations. Affirmations that were personal and that no one else would know except those in her inner circle. Affirmations are powerful tools. The affirmations that I am able to convey help people go on with their lives in the physical world. What is so wrong with that? I will never sit here and defend psychic ability because I do not know much about it. We all have had psychic episodes in our life but unfortunately we usually realize it after the fact. I have been to psychic fairs and walk out each and every time shaking my head and saying what a waste of money. I can agree with many people on the true abilities of psychics…some work in their trade truly thinking they know what they are doing and some are just charletons. I have yet to meet a psychic who got me right. That is not what I am defending and obviously you are not educated enough in the field to know the difference. Very few mediums are psychics and I am not defending the psychic ability…only mediumship. Let me finish by saying that I do not defend all mediums. I defend the abilty which is inherent in all of us.

  22. First…I do know what affirmation means…for example (You have affirmed that you are an idiot!)…only joking…coudn’t help myself.

    Seriously though, I never disagreed that there are scam artists out there…nor have I disagreed with the fact that it is insane that people charge so much.

    Like I said, I know how to use my spiritual abilities to connect outside of the physical world. I never charge any one anything. I never intend to. I won’t do it because I can not put a price on this type of service. Therefore, I look at it as a math question. That which possesses an infinite number of possibilities is equal to zero.
    Therefore that is what I believe the charge should be. Why people like Edward and Van Praagh and Browne (who by the way is a total fake) charge exhorbadant amount of money is beyond me.

    Let me finish by saying that whether JOhn said someone would be buying a rug could be a picture he saw in his mind. He takes chances obviously that someone like myself will not take. When I see something, it is followed by a sensation of someone pushing me in that direction which is called clairesensient. For example…one day I met this woman at a birthday party for my daughter. I did not know her nor anything about her. All of the sudden I saw (in my mind) a boy about thirteen of age with a red flannel shirt on.
    I ignored the image and went about my business with other women I knew. I could not get this kid away from me. So, I decided let me go out and have a cigarette…get away from the woman who I knew this kid had come to connect with. She came out almost 5 seconds after me. I looked at her and I said…Did you have a son that passed away at 13. His name is Tony? She started to cry and asked me if I knew him. I told her no…it had come to me. I explained that I was able to do this and she looked at me as if I had 2 heads. To make a long story short. THis kid would not leave me alone until he showed me his whole life. I knew that the door number on their house was 89. I knew that he had a dog that passed away a year prior to his death, that he loved Barry Bonds and that he had stolen a street sign and hung it in his room, and that his mother had his baby pillow on her bed. These are just a few things I can tell you that I knew. I don’t know why this happens to me nor can I explain the sensation. All I can tell you is that the ability exhists. It is not delusional. I have a Masters Degree, have two kids and by standards am considered pretty darn normal…I just have this extra ability. I have done readings like this many times and it just comes to me. Anyone can do this.I know people who go to meditation classes and go to spiritual awakening classes and so on…blah, blah, blah…I never had to now whould I want to because it is unnecessary. I bet if you sat quietly for a moment you would see things in your mind that may or may not make sense to you and in time you will learn that it all does make sense. You will also learn to distinguish what is random versus what is proportional. Like Forest Gump says….and that’s all I have to say about that.

  23. You people who truly believe John Edward : it’s the cold reading technique, sad and simple.  Cold reading is particularly effective when combined with the “Gift of the Gab”.  He has kissed the Blarney Stone.

    People want to believe their loved ones are watching over them, so there is no “convincing” necessary once a subject is thrown a “hook”.  I can tell you that I could read a hundred books on the technique, but could never pull it off.  But then I’ve never kissed a Blarney Stone either.

    If you want to believe that your loved ones on the “other side” continue to watch over you and concern themselves with your life, then good for you… perhaps it is even true.  But not through John Edward.  He is a crank, a crackpot, a liar, a giver of false hope.  If there is a “other side”, then he must one day face it for what it has awaiting for him.

  24. I have absolutely no idea whether JE is a fake or not, though I don’t think it is [just] cold reading. There would also, to my mind, have to be plants in the audience. Does anyone out there have evidence to this effect?

    A lot of people seem to be arguing that JE is a fake because ‘all psychics are fakes.’ Though these people seem to have a presupposed, and perhaps rather simplistic, understanding of what being psychic is. Just say JE is talking to the dead. What would it be like? Would he be 100% accurate all of the time? Would any such ability NOT be thrown by people refusing to participate. In short, under what conditions do you determine failure? Are such conditions even determinable?

    This comes back to the old problem that while you can falsify a belief, all knowledge beings in belief. Thus I think it will take people with at least some inkling of a belief in the notion of life after death, even if it is a very abstract philosophical belief, and in turn some belief in the possibility that JE might be communicating with the dead, or that communication with or understanding of the ‘other-side’ is even possible from the possition of the here and now, to falsify JE, and not some hard-arsed ‘skeptic’ who carries a pre-supposed BELIEF that there is, without doubt, no life after death. Western science has a very long, misoginistic, racist history of wanting to challenge everyone else’s beliefs without anticipating its own. Of course, the same might be said of Christians et. al. who carry an absoltely presupposed notion of what the afterlife is, in which JE doesn’t fit.

    Perhaps the more interesting questions are why people are so eager to either believe or disbelieve in JE. Perhaps people who without question believe in JE are semo-consciously problematising the rationalist core of our modern culture, which is inherently difficult to represent as it is grounded in the reproduction of its own power, while those who disbelieve JE without question are seeking to reinforce its absolute legitimacy. I don’t believe people are stupid. Everyone believes something for a reason. The answers lie in questioning our beliefs, not in denying their existence.

  25. Hey im from Australia and i’d just like to say that the “John Edward’: Crossing Over” show has just been pulled off the plug from the weekly lineup from all channels, the ratings were worse than Benny Hinn

  26. I am johns friend from college.  I remember he used to do that ‘cold reading’ stuff to us.  and i always didn’t belive him.  One day he got drunk and i asked him if it was really true, about his ablilities.  He told me it was.  But then gave me this look like are you kidding me and started to laugh.  It was clear then that is was all fake.  He was like “oh yupers i can talk to the dead…pause hahahahahaha”
    wow john your pretty successful wink

  27. I believe John Edwards is a fake.  He preys on people’s grief of losing a loved one.  They desparately want to hear from their loved one or to hear that they are o.k. they jump at his every hint.  I was on my computer tonight, when he came on T.V. let’s just say he didn’t do so well!!!
    I have a friend who performed readings and she never charged people.  She didn’t go around reading people all the time but she explained to me that it was a gift from God and you weren’t supose to charge people.  John Edwards will continue to to what he is doing, hell look at the money he’s pulling in.  If you read your bible it will tell you not to listen to false prophets.  The bible says people who brag today of being able to see or tell the future, if ask by God will deny the ability.
    You know, I figure if God wanted us to know, he would tell us the future.  I think the people who belive in John Edwards are afraid of the unknown, that’s why they want to know so much.

    It’s a real shame that John Edward can fool so many people but he can’t fool “Red Head Ma Ma Dog”

  28. There’s a series on Showtime, ‘Bullshit’, that exposes and debunks different things, starring Penn and Teller. 
    One of the subjects,back in January, was the John Edward show. They put a guy in the audience and equipped him with a mini camera and tuner/recorder during the interview proccess(audience is questioned prior to show by Johns’ producers btw), and during the show. John wears a wireless earpiece and the dudes’ receiver was tuned to it’s frequency. They picked up, in real time, how John was fed info into his earpiece, by his people. It was funny. 

  29. All i got to say is that as always South Park got it right, this guy is the biggest douche in the universe.  Anyone who is dumb enough to believe this needs only to download the south park episode.

  30. If you don’t like the man don’t watch him.  Why get go excited about it?  You two are very angry people.  Get a life and worry about world hunger or something.

  31. I generally don’t watch him, but just because I don’t watch him doesn’t mean I can’t bitch about the fact that he’s making money off of people’s grief. Why get so excited about it? Because what he’s doing is immoral and unethical. I have a life and I sometimes do worry about world hunger. Amazingly, though, I still have time left over to allow myself to be annoyed by the likes of Edward and bitch about him.

    Here, take some of your own advice: If you don’t like hearing me bitch about him then don’t read my fucking website. Why get excited about the fact that I’m bitching about Edwards? You sound like you are a very angry person. Get a life and mind your own fucking business.

  32. Read the disclaimer at the end of his show. It says it relies on THIRD PARTY information to make the show possible. Hmmm, what could that be? And it says it’s for entertainment purposes only.

    I really think they rely on comments they gather from production assistants, microphones in waiting rooms and information people probably give up in requesting tickets for the gallery. He’s like David Blaine, who I think uses microphones to get comments from people off the streets to perform some of his magic.

    If it makes people feel better, okay. I have nothing wrong with that. But they won’t get closure because there really is no closure after death—it’s like a wound or scar you live with for the rest of your life.

  33. Hello, my name is Lilly and I would just like to let you know that today i have been on the John Edwards show and it is truely something that was intense. Some ofr the things John said were things noone knew except for me. Yes I was very skeptical on going on the show and even now I am still very skeptical. COuld the producers of known info prior to me or could of John just been playing with my emotions because of all my bereaved ones. But now I know after thinking about itr all day is that I am truly happy that I went and I do believe even if it is not real the way that I feel AND THE COMFORT THAT I have is amazing I just thought you should know that

  34. It is too bad that you people have no faith. If you read back to ancient times this kind of thing has been going on forever. I believe that God puts people like this on earth to test our faith. These people have a gift. In this world everything costs money, therefore you need money to live – make sense! So why shouldn’t these people charge others? They have to, they must live too! And if they didn’t make money, then they wouldn’t be able to be on TV and write books and so forth and guess what, we wouldn’t know about them and wouldn’t have the opportunity to maybe one day be able to get a reading ourselves. They have a special gift and deserve whatever money they make. People preceive things they way they want to, the people that don’t believe are going to make up any reason as to why it is fake! I went to a seminar where he did readings as well. Let me tell you, noone was told to write anything down, noone told him anything. A person right near me got a reading and he was on target with it all! We should all be so blessed with a gift like these people have!

  35. The gift of hucksterism? Charlatanism? Outright fraud? I think the only ‘gift’ they have is the absence of conscience that allows them to dupe any gullible rube out of their cash with bogus prognostication. :drool:

  36. Before finding several websites pertaining to John Edward being a fake, I really believed in him. Now I am not so sure. I am one of those people who tend to believe or not believe things at first and then research it further to “validate” if my feelings are right or not. I would still attend a taping just to see what it is like and to decide for myself. I have watched Sylvia Brown and I think she is a loon. The first sign of a liar is touching of the face or hair and she is constantly doing this on every show I have seen her on plus some of her answers to peoples questions are implorable. As far as John Edward goes. I would love to believe in him, especially since my Dad just passed away three weeks ago and I am having a hard time with it. I used to try and convince my Dad that John Edward was for real but he was not convinced and my Dad had also mentioned how Houdini wanted these people to also be for real but managed to debunk them all. I really hope our loved ones are watching over us and part of me will always believe this but my mind is always open and sometimes I think it is better not to know things for certain. Afterall, it is only after you die that you will know for certain. I love a good debate though and this topic will always remain a heated one smile Pertaining to David Blaine, how does he pull off his levitation trick anyway? This has me boggled.

  37. You mean the Balducci Levitation illusion, Marcia? It’s pretty easy to do with a little practice and if you think about it carefully, you’ll figure it out on your own. Done properly it makes you appear to float about 2 to 3 inches off the ground for a moment or two before suddenly touching back down again. You probably saw Blaine perform that trick in his TV special titled David Blaine: Street Magic. Word has it Blaine cheated a little by using some slight-of-hand on the editing process with that special to make it look like he was levitating several feet off the ground instead of just a couple of inches.

    Still, done properly the Balducci Levitation can be quite startling to those who witness it. Especially if they don’t expect to be shown an illusion as is often the case in street magic. If you really want to know the secret behind the trick you can get a full explanation of it, along with an explanation of how Blaine cheated at it, by clicking here. You can also purchase a video showing how to perform the illusion by clicking here.

  38. You all amaze me….The only thing that is certain is you all can reason your way out of believing anything.  Everyone in todays world was given the ability to reason and that is all you are doing, de-mystifying him with all your little facts and stupid dictionary explanations is nothing compared to someone who comes on this board with a first person experience.  And the emotion you put behind it! amazing. Who cares if he or any psychic is making money off this, thats what everyone in this world has to do whether they like it or not.  At least these people are doing something they like and are making money doing it… You guys obviously aren’t, because it wouldn’t effect you either way if you were happy with what you were doing.  Maybe if you would have followed your heart instead of your brain you would be doing something you love and be proud of others doing what they want to do, but instead your stuck with a brain that never stops reasoning and a soul that can’t believe more than their what they see in front of them.

  39. Indeed Chad, how horrible it is that we actually put the gray matter between our ears to use for something other than keeping our skulls from caving in and actually apply reason and logic to something before accepting it as being true.

    I care if he’s making money off of it if what he’s doing to make that money is fraud. If he were selling people a magic carburetor that supposedly made your car run on water and it didn’t work you’d crying for his head on a platter, but because the snake oil he’s peddling is some bullshit line about talking to people’s dead relatives and that’s something you’d really rather believe is possible you say there’s nothing wrong with that.

    I’m more than happy with what I’m doing, I’m just not happy with what he’s doing. Don’t know about you, but where I was raised they taught us that you shouldn’t lie to people or scam them out of their money. I guess where you were raised they did things a little differently.

  40. ok,  I’m not directing this at any one person in this chain, before I get exploded at.
    however, If any of you believe in relativism, saying that yourself is the best person to choose what is right and wrong for yourself, and not in God or a god. Then go about you way and realize that if J Edwards thinks it’s ok for himself then it IS ok. It shouldn’t concern you at all.
    This is where reletivity runs into problems, see you guys can’t stand the fact that he is using trickery to make money off of people, and I can’t either, the only difference is that you believe that he has the right to do it, yet protest against it at the same time.
    If I thought it was ok to shoot some one, as far as relativism goes, I should be able to.
    The thing is that relativism cannot exist, especially not logically, you all prove this in your comments.
    People that believe in absolute truth, feel free to “bitch” about this guy, otherwise he shouldn’t concern you.

  41. Chad, nice to see your observations, I can’t say that they’re true or I’ll get ridiculed for being arogant or something no doubt. But I can say that I personally think they’re true, that works.
    nice correction, your right, they would have jumped on that soooo fast and then discredited you because of a simple mistake.
    most of them are good guys though.

  42. DB, you don’t seem to fully grasp how most atheists live their lives. There is a sherp line between participating in behaviour that some find to be immoral, and participating in illegal activity. Take for example premarital sex. There are people that believe this to be immoral, but as long as the participants are concenting adults, it is up to everyone to choose for themselves (even those finding it to be immoral are choosing for themselves to believe that way). The situation changes however, if one of the participants doesn’t consent (rape) or is under the age of consent (statutory rape), then the law is being violated, and they should then be punished for their criminal behaviour. Edwards fits into the latter category because he is defrauding people for monetary gain, and that is generally in violation of the law. Just because one doesn’t believe in absolute truth, doesn’t mean they tolerate illegal behaviour.

  43. Your logic here is faulty on so many levels that it would take entirely too much time to explain as it’s late and I must get to bed. Your first mistake is to assume that anyone who doesn’t believe in God automatically subscribes to relativism. When I have more time I may revisit this.

  44. Valhalla, The point that I was trying to make is that there IS absolute right and wrong, thats why the majority of people think that it IS wrong to rape, murder…etc. Sure there are parts of the law that have bended because it’s enjoyable, like pre-marital sex, alcohol, and now even drugs.
    But les once claimed “I don’t want to spend my life ass-kissing some self important deity” and I think that’s reasonable for the common atheist to think, however, you all borrow from Christianity in that you follow laws, your not free, it sure seems like you are because you don’t have God to deal with. But instead of God you’ve got the Government to “ass-kiss”. This is sheerly my opinion here, so don’t attack it, I think that the true atheist is one who is truly free from everything, all those serial killers, Hitler, people like that, I see as true atheists, They’re actually living what they believe.
    If there’s no one to answer to, then theres no reason not to.

    and les, take a second and realize that I said “IF” you believe in relativism. IF!
    I said this on purpose so that you in particular wouldn’t attack me, and yet you did.
    I’m not sure of your exact thoughts on relativism, but I know from reading past comments that you don’t fit in with who I was addressing, Im sorry if you feel I was addressing it at any one person.

  45. Valhalla, The point that I was trying to make is that there IS absolute right and wrong, thats why the majority of people think that it IS wrong to rape, murder

  46. valhalla, ya, I did screw that up by saying “the majority” of people. What I was trying to get at is that the only people that don’t think that those things are wrong are the people that are out doing it, and they are in the wrong for doing so, as we have all agreed.
    Relative logic is much easier to destroy, the fact that you claim that there IS relativity, proves in itself that there are absolutes. There’s no way around that, unless you live in a half-way mind set all the time. See I can believe in absolutes (you may not) and atleast it works logically. Where as you can NEVER say that there are no absolutes, or no relativity, thus logically tearing the whole thing apart. You’ve got to live somewhere between the two, (which doesn’t work anywhere exept in your mind) and it thats what you like convincing yourself of, then by all means continue.

    as far as Hitler goes, they have already had this discussion on this page, here I’ll fill you in.
    Dean said-

    Hitler did not feel that he was the avenging hand of God avenging Jesus. This is, by and large, a widespread myth.

    If you pick up Hitler

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