A Rather Embarrassing Night for Psychic Sally in Middlesbrough

I recently went to to see the 'psychic to the stars' Sally Morgan at Middlesbrough town hall, and if there was one word I could use to describe my night it would be 'boring'. First off I feel I have to say that I personally don't believe that psychics exist so, as you can imagine, I find people like Sally distasteful. This, however, was not the reason why I found the night boring as I do love this kind of thing and was genuinely excited to not only see her, but to gauge the audiences reaction to her show. The reason that it was boring was because the audience did not respond well to her after relatively early on in her performance, she showed the level of her psychic abilities.

Psychic Sally Middlesbrough

For those who don't know, psychic Sally Morgan is a British television and stage artist who claims to have (you guessed it...) psychic abilities. She believes that she inherited her abilities from her Grandmother who was affectionately known locally as the witch of Fulham. She has been the star of her own show and has an extensive list of clients including celebrities and royalty, and is currently on the road showing off her psychic abilities.

Sally came to Middlesbrough on Friday night and her show started off very well. Even though she was getting the vast majority of what she was saying wrong the audience did not seem to mind and seemed to be having a good time. The point at which the audience became disillusioned with the performance was quite specific. One aspect of the show is that audience members can submit photographs of dead loved ones, in the hope that Sally will select theirs, and give a psychic reading from it. Sally pulled out of a box on stage one of these pictures. She held the picture up to the camera and it was projected on the large screen behind her. The picture was of a middle-aged woman and by the clothes she was wearing and the quality of the image, I guessed it was taken some time in the 1990s. Sally immediately began to get communications from beyond the grave from a man holding a baby named Annabel……or was it Becky. Noticing that no one in the audience was responding, Sally asked the person who submitted the photo to stand up. A rather small chunky woman at the centre of the hall stood up and Sally once again began to get messages from the afterlife. She was informed that this man and baby were somehow linked to the lady in the picture. However the woman in the audience (who was now also projected behind Sally) disagreed and started to look increasingly confused as, presumably, nothing Sally was saying made any sense to her. Sally then decided to flat out ask her if the woman in the picture had any children who passed and, when informed that that she hadn’t, responded by saying “I will leave that then”.

Sally then became in direct contact with the woman in the photo who began to tell her that there was a lot of confusion around her death and that she felt it was very very quick. She later went on to say that the day Wednesday has a specific link to her death and that she either died on a Wednesday or was taken ill that day. As the woman in the audience was not responding to any thing Sally was saying, she decided to ask how the woman in the photo was related to her. It turns out the woman in the audience got the whole concept of submitting a picture of someone you wanted to talk to from the afterlife completely wrong – and for some unknown reason submitted a younger picture of herself.

The hall erupted in laughter, which quickly changed into disapproving mumbles that lasted the rest of the night. No matter how hard Sally tried, she was unable to get the audience back, who were becoming increasingly disgruntled with the number of ‘misses’ she was getting. Not only that, but the audience seemed to become more restrained when Sally was asking them questions. I also don’t think that they reacted well to some of the particularly offensive scenarios Sally was recreating. One involved her re-enacting a dead man flushing narcotics down a toilet to his immediate family, whilst repeatedly saying “flush it down”. Another was when she was talking to a teenage girl whose boyfriend had recently committed suicide by hanging himself. Sally told the girl that she can feel him hitting her leg and that he was, infact, re-enacting  swinging against a door as he was committing suicide.

I now think that the vast majority of people who walked out of Middlesbrough town hall that night feel as i do – that someone who is psychic should know if the person they are talking to is dead or not and that it’s quite a messed up thing for a person to pretend that they are in contact with a dead family member.

About Myles Power (752 Articles)
My name is Myles Power, and I run the educational YouTube channel, powerm1985. I spend what little free time I have sharing my love of SCIENCE! through home experiments, visiting sites of scientific interest, and angrily ranting at pseudoscience proponents. I am also one of the founding members of the podcast 'The League of Nerds' - which I co-host with James from 'The History of Infection'.

113 Comments on A Rather Embarrassing Night for Psychic Sally in Middlesbrough

  1. I used to be a medium…I’m more of an XL now though……I’ll get me coat

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  2. People that prey on other’s pain and misfortune are the worst bottom feeders on this planet. To top this all off, they make their money (out of the wallets of those that would pay for it) and profits from the dead. Whether it be direct or indirect, real or fraudulent – are still profiting off the death of another. Now I have to ask, how sick is that when you stop and think about it?

    Some truly do have abilities, now whether this is a “psychic” phenomenon or something else entirely – there are those which can and have produced some startling, amazing, and even terrifying details about cold cases which had not been solved prior to these individuals being engaged into them. This is why so many law enforcement agencies DO have connections to individuals with these sort of abilities.

    The governments of the world had, and many still do have shadow projects/programs which exploit individuals who have these “gifts” for remote viewing, telepathic communications, and psychic interactions. One of the biggest and well known projects in the US was called “The Stargate Project”, however many other agencies and projects exist – and when it was concluded that this project shut down, other projects were streaming along wonderfully. The declassified papers which are obtainable now, will only give you hints and pieces of this one particular project span, depth, success – and outcome. It does not go into details how or why the government spent so much time and money into its operation; nor does it detail where these projects went after. The only time the government feels inclined to cooperate with the general public, is when they know that the “cat’s out of the bag” – and must produce details to appease those interested in seeking out that information. If they can keep their true operations secret, and hidden away from view – the better for everyone, or at least in their opinion.

    “In 1984 Targ organized a pair of successful 10,000-mile remote viewing experiments between Moscow and San Francisco with famed Russian healer Djuna Davitashvili. Djuna’s task was to describe where a colleague would be hiding in San Francisco. She had to focus her attention ten thousand miles to the west and two hours into the future to correctly describe his location. These experiments were performed under the auspices and control of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Djuna hit the mark on all counts and the experiment was declared a resounding success.”

    To those which question the authenticity of something, it’s understandable as I also believe to question everything. But for someone to boldly say that something doesn’t exist – it’s nothing more than mere opinion, and not fact. As a matter of fact, it is more ignorant to say that something isn’t real – than to keep the door open for anything to be possible. Because until something can be proven , without any doubts, scientifically – it’s not fact. One of the greatest scientific minds of history was greatly interested in creating a device to communicate with the dead, Thomas Edison. One has to speculate why someone of his caliber, was inclined to do such a thing – if in fact there was nothing to it.

    Science can do a lot of things – in the natural world and order, but science can not, nor will ever – be able to gauge , measure, or scientifically observe the spiritual or non-natural world. Anyone can claim it doesn’t exist – but no one can prove that it doesn’t.

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    • Issac Newton believed in alchemy. So?

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    • “As a matter of fact, it is more ignorant to say that something isn’t real – than to keep the door open for anything to be possible”
      “Science can do a lot of things – in the natural world and order, but science can not, nor will ever – be able to gauge , measure, or scientifically observe the spiritual or non-natural world”
      Hoist by your own petard.
      “Anyone can claim it doesn’t exist – but no one can prove that it doesn’t.” That is because it is impossible to prove a negative.

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  3. I also saw her recently in Dunfermline & she was crap! Pretty much the same as described above. She obviously realises how bad she is as she has now cancelled her contract with the Alhambra Theatre and wont be returning.

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  4. jasonhthompson // May 20, 2014 at 7:09 am // Reply

    I’m not psychic, yet I could already tell what James was going to write in this article. Maybe I am!

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  5. Lynn smith // May 20, 2014 at 7:10 am // Reply

    I saw Sally in Bedford and was very disappointed she said I have a male here in stage and gave out information which no one could take then she said oh sorry it’s a female and said the same questions I left with a few others after that she seemed confused the night was a disaster we never got refunds and I know a lot asked.

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  6. Anonymous // May 20, 2014 at 8:16 am // Reply

    http://youtu.be/XcPuRaSEq1I James Randi. $1,000,000 to anyone who can prove anything paranormal.

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  7. Anonymous // May 20, 2014 at 8:21 am // Reply

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  8. Anonymous // May 20, 2014 at 8:26 am // Reply

    Sometimes I’m ashamed to be considered the same species as these psychic goons.

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    • There have always been con artists who are happy to take people’s money (or food, clothing, shelter) for making up impossible stories. The honest ones call themselves “novelists” or “storytellers.” The rest are called “psychics,” “mediums,” or “theologians/priests.”

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      • The “honest ones” can’t realy be called con artists now can they?

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      • Magicians, the most honest trade in the world, they say they will try to fool you, and then do just that. Also why professional magicians have a long history of going after the people who use the same tricks. (James Rhandi, Houdini, Penn Jillete etc…)

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      • Anonymous // May 20, 2014 at 8:39 pm //

        The only “honest ones” are the ones telling you how they are able to get information from you. All others are charlatans.

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      • BD wrote; “The “honest ones” can’t realy be called con artists now can they?” Interesting set of values.

        Do you realise that is an unfalsifiable statement?

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      • Novels are based on experiences of life. The author creatively bends reality in his own way. Each author has a unique language of writing, which is another aspect of novelists. There are bad novelists who may not be worth paying for, but there are also geniuses worth discovering (not to mention classic literature).

        Any idea is built on something that exists. No such thing as an impossible story kk.

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      • Anonymous // May 21, 2014 at 1:29 pm //

        You don’t need to be honest to be an artist. Con artist

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      • Anonymous // May 21, 2014 at 1:39 pm //

        And the really dishonest ones make an entire religion out of it. Look up the history of Joseph Smith.

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    • I am rater ashamed to be considered the same species as those who buy and believe these psychic stuffs. The con artists, in general, are rather clever, eloquent and have good understanding of human psychology, although they could have made better use of their skills.

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      • This is such a “pop a pill” culture that I think it leads most people to believe that natural or homeopathic means are considered nonsense in that they take a bit longer to remedy any ailment. I would wager against chemically synthesized remedies vs natural/homeopathic when it comes to jeopardizing critical components such as the kidney or liver. Moderation is the key. I find it amusing the comparison of psychics and modern medicine.

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      • Mike Drake // May 21, 2014 at 4:10 pm //

        @Tristin “homeopathic means are considered nonsense in that they take a bit longer to remedy any ailment.”

        Generally speaking, homeopathic “medicine” is considered nonsense because it does not actually do anything and does not actually have any active ingredient (and even the rare ones that do rely on nothing other than some naturalistic fallacy rather than any sort of proven curative effect). And natural remedies that ACTUALLY WORK are endorsed enthusiastically by medical science – the ones that aren’t, well *there’s a reason*.

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    • Klaus Rossler - Photography // May 20, 2014 at 9:12 pm // Reply

      And include the homeopaths scammers, gluten nonsense, Deepak and his Quantum gibberish, Mayan Calendar morons, Traditional Chinese Medicine, etc. etc. – the whole ‘religio-mystic’ quack … well … soon nobody will even want to talk to you Americans any more, never mind hire or do research…:-)

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      • this was in the UK

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      • Shes English love, and this was in England

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      • Klaus Rossler - Photography // March 11, 2015 at 2:35 pm //

        Does it matter…? How about the Canadian “Dr” in England who lied about his “research” stating, flasely, that vaxination causes authism…? debunked and disbarred from his profession … but with who knows how many children doomed to be sick / or die. Homeopathy, factually and empirically, is a fraud…proven and fact – a scam

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      • I wish people wouldn’t lump gluten intolerance into a box with pseudoscience. It really is an issue but people are misinformed about it.

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      • Klaus Rossler - Photography // March 11, 2015 at 1:58 pm //

        again – 1% ‘s got cealic didease – the rest is fashionable party talk of religio mystics and Holiwood new agers

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      • I read an article the other day to say that the man that discovered gluten intolerance, now says its bollocks!

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      • Klaus Rossler - Photography // March 11, 2015 at 1:57 pm //

        it is not – its called Cealic disease, but only app. 1% of the population has it

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      • I am totally with you on the scammers but a lot of homoeopathy and chinese medicine works (obviously it can’t cure cancer) but the theory behind homoeopathy is quite simple and well documented. Its the placebo effect, give someone a sugar pill instead of say headache medication and it will cure the headache in most cases for example.
        Though I do take great pleasure in seeing these charlatans fail miserably.

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      • Klaus Rossler - Photography // March 11, 2015 at 1:56 pm //

        tyank you – someone who uses facts and evidence for arguments

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      • My sister is coeliac, not psychic // May 21, 2014 at 7:05 am //

        Regarding the “gluten intolerance”, there are two issues here. It seems that non-Coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) may imaginary not be linked to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) [1] but Coeliac disease [2], an autoimmune disorder caused by a reaction to gliadin and prolamin (gluten protein) and similar Triticeae (which includes other common grains such as barley and rye), is a very real problem.

        [1] http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/does-non-celiac-gluten-intolerance-actually-exist
        [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coeliac_disease

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      • tellitstrate // May 21, 2014 at 10:41 am //

        Chinese medicine? You’re an idiot, medication comes from plants, traditional Chinese medicine just uses the raw ingredient instead of refining it in some instances. I’d shut up about humanist theories while you’re being racist Adolph.

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      • Klaus Rossler - Photography // March 11, 2015 at 1:55 pm //

        listen to you … who is the Adolf here…?

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      • How can you say homeopathy and Chinese medicine work because of the placebo effect? That means it doesn’t work and the only benefit you are getting is from your mind tricking your body. Homeopathy is sticking a very small piece or drop of something (usually whatever causes the illness) into a bunch of water, then take a drop of that water and stick it into a bunch more water, and so on and so on, until it’s has nothing of the original substance left. The more diluted, the stronger it’s supposed to be. Chinese medicine is not much better. Some of it actually does work, but without any medical testing, You can never be sure what does, or doesn’t. Taking a supposed cure that does nothing is dangerous. You could think you are getting treatment, when in actuality your illness is left unchecked, free to cause more damage.

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      • Klaus Rossler - Photography // March 11, 2015 at 1:53 pm //

        Homeopathy is factuall nonsense and imperically false – there are hundreds of papers – not to mention false advertising and lies by scammers. Sugar pills with nothing in them don’t do anything. Dozens of sources, TV Radio, government health organisations, Better Busines Buro, W5, CBC etc. etc.

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      • Klaus Rossler - Photography // March 11, 2015 at 1:49 pm //

        Celiac disease applies to app. 1% – wheat scare is nonsense – more or less an invention and scam of Holiwood new-agers and late night sales gurus.

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  9. Would be nice to hear from someone who was actually there to know whether this truly happened or not

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    • James randy was there , what is your problem ? cant you tell he is explaining his evening , or are you a blind psychic to!!?.

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    • I was there and word for word it’s true

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    • lmao what a moron. Did you read the very first fucking sentence?!?

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      • Dave Cradle // May 20, 2014 at 6:19 pm //

        He was asking for independent verification of Myles’s story. You know, like intelligent people do? The “moron” would be the one that accepts on blind faith that the story is true because some guy began an article with “I was there and this is all true…”

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      • @Dave Cradle: “The “moron” would be the one that accepts on blind faith that the story is true because some guy began an article with “I was there and this is all true…””

        Because, some other account said “its true” suddenly makes it so.
        I have like 3 different Facebook accounts, I guess that means that anything i say is verified truth :P

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      • @Rob is that “Like 3 Facebook accounts” or you actually have 3 Facebook accounts… like ;)

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      • Dave Cradle // May 21, 2014 at 7:03 am //

        @Rob Callaghan: Indeed. But just because evidence CAN be falsified doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look for more evidence. And if we can find 5 others that were there and said it was true we can make a call based on how good we think the reliability of those witnesses are. And if one of them says “yeah, I was there and I filmed it on my phone” then suddenly we’ve hit the jackpot. But we’ll never get there if people call others morons for not blindly accepting one anecdote as evidence. :-)

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    • That person was there. People who believe in psychics and other unscientific stuff are people who tend to disbelieve in anything that goes against their set of beliefs, and hence laying foundations for their own beliefs.

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    • As I was there that night I can say she was rubbish at one point she went from alex to alec to al to alice the only readings she got was people who had hung themselves and for two people she hinted at how the person died even before they knew themselves!

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      • “hanged” themselves

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      • Christopher Stubbs // May 21, 2014 at 11:09 am //

        Mike, you piqued my interest in this as I try to use correct grammar where possible (within my knowledge) but would never purport to be ‘grammar police’ as you do.
        I found this that may be of interest to you; “The distinction between hanged and hung is not an especially useful one (although a few commentators claim otherwise). It is, however, a simple one and easy to remember. Therein lies its popularity. If you make a point of observing the distinction in your writing you will not thereby become a better writer, but you will spare yourself the annoyance of being corrected for having done something that is not wrong.”
        (Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage, 1994)

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  10. Reading all these comments is winding me up so much! I personally believe in psychics as I know one and no he is not ‘mentally ill’ or ‘a fraud’, he does personal readings for many people and gets everything right, he does not pray on vulnerable people, he gets asked to do readings by people who feel they are ready for one! Clearly most people are small minded and don’t fully understand psychics, you cant just do a test to ‘prove’ your abilities, they cant just ask spirits to knock over a glass or slam a door, that’s not how it works! And if you don’t believe in psychics then that’s fine but there’s no need to call people who do believe, we all believe different things, i’m sure you wouldn’t call believers of God mentally ill, or frauds, just because they believe something different to you doesn’t mean that they are wrong!

    However, I do believe that people like Sally, Colin Fry and others, do give psychics a bad name.

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    • Believing in magic makes you a fool , or mentally ill , please get help .

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      • Hmmm. Rather offensive Mike, since I suffer with mental illness, but don’t believe in ‘magic’… what’s your qualification for making this diagnosis? Idiot much?

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      • Anonymous // May 20, 2014 at 5:53 pm //

        Ah, playing the “I’m mentally ill!” card I see Frank.

        I’m mentally ill too, and I utterly agree with that Mike said and didn’t find it the least bit offensive.

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      • Josef Fritzl // May 20, 2014 at 6:08 pm //

        To Frank:
        Mental illness can make you deluded.
        Your argument is like if someone had said “People who can’t walk are disabled”, and then you responded “I’m disabled, but I can walk fine, you’re an idiot.”

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      • hazel matthews // May 20, 2014 at 6:24 pm //

        Mental illness really is another subject altogether. How long do we believe in Father Christmas, The Easter Bunny, Fairies, Ghosts, God, and Psychics and the like. We are alone on this earth. When we die we are dead. No one is coming to help you. No God No Ghosts no nothing. Its just impossible. We are only flesh and blood after all.

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      • Calling people who believe in these things expletives is on the way to bring about change. A lot of research conducted by various universities (you can google for the research papers) in leading journals have discounted that most psychics and astrologers with all their tools can only predict about 30% of the stuff right, exactly the same amount that you or I can predict, provided they are not allowed to see the person they are talking to directly. The slight edge that psychics get is the similar to the advantage trained police interrogators have who have extensive experience reading people’s microbehaviours. There is a science on that and a TV series on that behaviourial technique was also shown for some time called “Lie to me”. Now that is science, but psychics definitely cannot talk or communicatte with dead people or predict anything anywhere. All they give are vague predictions which usually covers a lot of scenarios, one which might just happen due to chance and lending credence to them. The failures are often overlooked or forgiven by strong believers who get solace from these charlatans talking to their dead loved ones. ACtually, psychics are one of the worst of humans, who capitalize and profit off other people’s misfortune.

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      • I meant calling expletives is NOT the way to bring about change.

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      • yes, because we only live on a spinning rock , spinning around a ball of fire so magic can’t exist!

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      • Anonymous // May 20, 2014 at 8:34 pm //

        I’m also mentally I’ll. Can I have a cookie?

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      • Anonymous // May 20, 2014 at 8:45 pm //

        That’s not kind for the mentally ill… Sarah is an idiot that’s all, don’t put mentally ill to her level.

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      • Anonymous // May 21, 2014 at 11:17 am //

        Yes, much the same way that people who believe in an omnipotent being, who watches over us all, are in need of psychiatric help.

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    • “He (the “psychic”)does personal readings for many people and gets everything right”
      How have you assessed this? It’s likely that he goes for easy hits and that allows people to ignore when he is wrong.

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      • If your psychic friend is truly that good, why doesn’t he apply to James Randi’s foundation to get the million dollars on offer???
        Or is he just that good when there’s nothing on the line? Have him put his ‘psychicness’ under the microscope.
        I think the money’s safe…

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      • True. I always say if the psychics get everything right as these believers believe, they dont need to go around reading people’s futures, they can just predict the stock market and become a billionaire overnight. WHy bother doing the psychic stuff at all??? Has anyone wondered why they dont do that if they can really predict things or read people.

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      • He is not a mind reader and he doesnt tell people stuff about themselves, he passes on messages from spirits, i know a friend he done a reading for, he got her nanna through who told him something which no-one apart from my friend and her nanna knew, he’d never met my friend before, didnt even know her nanna had died, didnt know who she was before he met her, she just rang and asked for a reading then they arranged to meet a few days later.

        But to be honest I, and many other people, believe in psychics, many other people dont, thats our own opinions and beliefs so just let people be with what they want to believe

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      • And you can’t say how ‘likely’ it is that ‘he goes for easy hits’ , you are just guessing……much like Sally on this occasion.

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    • Believers in anything supernatural, including spirits, gods, need to learn how to engage in critical thinking and accept reality.

      The only accurate message from “beyond:” “I’m decomposing.”

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      • Anonymous // May 20, 2014 at 11:02 pm //

        Why are you the authority on what “believers” NEED to do? Some of the greatest critical thinkers have been theologians/spiritual. There are a multitude of reputable scientists that believe in God. Of course you won’t hear them tell you that you NEED to believe in their way of thinking.
        I do like the decomposing message though, funny stuff.

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      • Anon these thinks that you speak of, Were back in a time when scientific knowledge was very limited and what they could not explain they said was god, Now we can explain a lot more you will not see as many believers in the science community, I have seen modern scientists say they can never rule anything out but not say they are a believer.

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    • People who have absolutely no psychic ability have demonstrated they are able to give correct psychic readings to complete strangers who they didn’t even know the name of before the reading. Giving accurate information doesn’t prove anything.

      I’m not discounting what you are saying, who really knows. It would be good though for the psychic friend to do a reading for someone who they have never had any contact with before (and not know the name of before), in a place unconnected with the reading recipient. The recipient sits on the other side of a screen so the psychic can’t see them. They only answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to questions and give no other information.

      That should help :) Even then though it has been proven non-psychics are able to do that with some amount of accuracy.

      I don’t think all psychics and mediums are mentally ill or con artists, but I beleive some aren’t aware that their correct readings may not be due to a connection with the dead or psychic ability.

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      • sweetsunray // May 20, 2014 at 6:50 pm //

        I’ve done “readings” for others, close and stranger. And sure, I can get rather accurate results, but it has nothing to do with psychich abilities. I’m just an observant person and in hindsight I always can pinpoint on the cues I had picked up on in body language, what was talked about, what was not talked about, etc. What it does require is to let the “intuitive” brain speak that had picked up on these cues, and not let the logical obvious brain speak. Sometimes I would say something of which my logical mind thought “Oh, that’s rubbish, can’t be his/her issue.” But the logical mind that only stared at the obvious “social mask” of someone was wrong, whereas the intuitive was much more objective. Example: let’s say a man interrogated everyone about their job at a dinner party but barely shared something about his own and just for kicks and as a sceptic wanted me to do a reading as part of the entertainment, where he had to ask a question, but not aloud, and I’d try to answer it. I ended up telling him that he was troubled by his career and his options in it and expanded on that. Although he gave me no reply during me telling him this, and my logical mind did scream “what the hell are you talking about: he looks so self-confident and he has a great job, position and career”, at the end he told me he was shocked how correct I was about it. But afterwards I realized that his behaviour during the dinner had given me all the necessary cues about his dilemma. Was it a guess? It is, but an informed guess that is most probable. Alas, many discount the basic power of deduction of the brain, especially in situations with a high degree of serendipity, and ascribe it to angels, dead relatives or fairies passing the info to them or cards. Without having any direct contact with the person, without the ability to observe or converse with them, readings become pure uninformed guesswork and fail at being significantly succesful in a test setting as you mentioned. The fact that so little self proclaimed psychics do not wish to perform such a test, tells me they know they get the information from the person they do the reading for.

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      • Like I said, they are not mind readers, theyre not fortune tellers, they do readings for people they dont know but in the case of the psychic i know, he uses crystals and the person having the reading done holds them, but he doesnt tell them things about themselves, like people have been saying, for example ‘youre having a stressful time at work’, he passes on messages from spirits.

        Personally, I like the fact that I believe in the afterlife, it helps with my personal grief and is comforting, for me, I understand other people dont agree with me and thats fine but no-one is going to make me change my beliefs

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      • sweetsunray // May 20, 2014 at 7:32 pm //

        BTW, I only do this occasionally when requested, for free, and with them knowing I’m an atheist.

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    • you can believe in the flying spaghetti monster (FSM); that doesn’t make it real

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    • Tony Sierra // May 20, 2014 at 5:29 pm // Reply

      Sarah please think of this: “you don’t see faith healers working at hospitals, for the same reason that you don’t see psychics winning the lottery”.

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    • I’m assuming you understand better than those who don’t believe in “psychics”. So, care to shed some light on how you fully understand them? Perhaps also tell us how spirits work, too?

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    • …No, he is a fraud and you’re gullible. Come on Sarah you’re an adult now.

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    • Anonymous // May 20, 2014 at 6:10 pm // Reply

      I would call believers in god mentally ill. If a man on the street corner told you an invisible man in the sky loves you, you would cross the street to get away from him. Belief in a god is just a more widely accepted mental illness.

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      • Friederike // May 20, 2014 at 7:04 pm //

        I’m not an expert on this, but I think a mental illness is caused by an anomaly in the anatomy of the brain, in neurotransmitters etc.
        I think believing in God, just like believing in Santa Clause, is just believing in something without needing proof, and as long as you don’t have actual visual or auditory hallucinations it’s not a mental illness. You can’t be “cured” from religion.

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    • Anonymous // May 20, 2014 at 6:20 pm // Reply

      Actually, I dont believe people who believe in God mentally ill, but I do talk really slow to them because I can’t imagine them to be overly bright.

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    • People who don’t understand psychics are “small minded”. Really? You’re a moron. You deserve to waste your time and money listening to someone making bad guesses at an audience of bereaved people. That is your punishment for being a moron.

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    • Anonymous // May 20, 2014 at 6:45 pm // Reply

      It is all a fraud. Open your eyes and look at the facts. And yes I would say that to someone that believes in god. It is all BS. If you don’t have facts to back up your claim ………. Do your research.

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    • Im afraid the truth is that psychics give psychics a bad name. You know , like thieves and con-men do. Anyone that feels otherwise , and can prove any kind of supernatural ability under a controlled environment , can visit Mr Randi’s foundation, and collect a rather huge amount of money. Funny how , with all those people claiming supernatural ability, the 1 million is still there , up for supernatural grabs :P

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    • He may not be mentally ill, but he most certainly is a fraud. We have searched every inch of this planet, except the depths of the ocean, looking for magic and answers. We found no god, fairy, trolls or anything else fanciful. There are 7 billion people in the world, and yet not a single one of them, in all of history, has ever been verifiable by the larger community as psychic. If that alone doesn’t instill some kind of doubt, then you most likely need to reevaluate your thinking process.

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    • No they dont get anything right. They are usually very good face readers and read your emotions on the face as they ask questions. That is these psychics can hardly get anything right in a large audience when they are not looking at the person directly. It is a con game.

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    • Hotblack Desiato // May 20, 2014 at 6:55 pm // Reply

      Actually, I would indeed call believers in any god mentally ill, frauds, disillusioned, brainwashed or intellectual cowards (all types exist).

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    • Just as some people are born with exceptional eyesight, hearing, touch, etc. some people are born with an exceptional ability beyond most of us to detect very subtle visual and emotional cues of people to the point of having an uncanny ability to read that person well. This is not a psychic ability but a real world one that gets mistaken for an otherworldly skill. You could even call them savants.

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    • “you cant just do a test to ‘prove’ your abilities”

      How convenient! Who made up that rule anyway?

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    • Anonymous // May 20, 2014 at 7:19 pm // Reply

      Believing in God makes you irrational.

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    • “Clearly most people are small minded and don’t fully understand psychics, you cant just do a test to ‘prove’ your abilities, they cant just ask spirits to knock over a glass or slam a door, that’s not how it works! ”

      And yet he can call on his abilities whenever he gives a reading? I would suggest that you ask your friend to apply to the James Randi Educational Foundation and take the £1 million challenge to prove he has such abilities. Now before you say he has nothing to prove, then at least he could walk away with the money and donate to charity. What has he got to lose if he has such abilities?

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    • If your friend is really psychic, then James’ foundation will pay them 1 million dollars, no lie, if they can demonstrate any real psychic ability. They haven’t had anyone collect it yet.

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    • The bible warns against this trickery. And if you’re a non-believing rational thinking person, you wouldn’t believe in this trickery. So who’s left? The mentally ill and fools.

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    • Anonymous // May 20, 2014 at 8:55 pm // Reply

      But people who do believe in a god are mentally ill, silly billy Sarah.

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    • Sorry to inform you Sarah, however many intelligent, well informed people DO call people who believe in ghosts or supernatural beings like god, mentally ill, or at the very least, delusional

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    • Yes, I would call many people who believe in a god (Christian or otherwise) to be insane and the rest to just be delusional. And anyone who believes in the veracity of psychics are just plain stupid.

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      • This comments are disgusting. For a start, define ‘mental illness’. For me, it’s pretty fucking mental to do the norm: get a job, a wife, have kids, get a mortgage, retire, live off a pension and die. Do I go around calling these people ‘mentally ill’? No, fuck off do I, they simply have a different opinion to me and I’m a decent enough person to let them believe in that way of living, rather than act like a total and utter twat, by trying to belittle their intelligence.

        Getting into the point, anyone who closes their mind off to the possibility of something is stupid in my eyes. To categorically rule out the afterlife and God, when there is no absolute evidence either way, is not logical, not rational and doesn’t involve any critical thinking, it’s trying to bend reality to meet one’s own desire of how the world should look, rather than how it actually appears. Even if you’re running on pure logic, agnosticism is the most sceptical you can possibly be.

        You want to call theists stupid, though, go for it. I guess you’re obviously smarter than Einstein, Mendel, Newton, Pascal, Galileo, Corpernicus and the other countless geniuses who believed in God.

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      • NathSK – if there is “absolute evidence either way” as you say then surely the pink unicorn also applies? No evidence either way to confirm to deny there existence either. Or flying pigs. The burden of proof rests with the person suggesting these theories, not with others to disprove them.

        And I challenge you to provide evidence of Einstein’s belief in God – considering that there’s so many documented sources, newspaper reports, interviews and personal letters in his own handwriting stating that a personal god was NOT something he subscribed to.
        —————–
        Remember that the Church wanted to burn Galileo for heresy, how do you think his trial would have gone if he had professed a lack of a belief in God. Bad enough that his work proved that key parts of Genesis were false.

        Newton was a key figure in Cambridge university that received most of it’s funding from the Church of England. They owned his lab and paid his wages. If he had claimed not to believe in God he stood to lose his job, work, position, everything.

        Its not a case that these men were so intelligent that they believed in God (indeed if you understand their work you’d know the opposite was is it undermined the biblical teachings) it just shows their intelligent enough to understand the political realties of the times they lived in.

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      • Anonymous // May 21, 2014 at 4:34 am //

        Getting a job, having a wife and kids, retiring, etc might seem “mental” to you (although that’s a pretty bad use of that word) but it’s not… If you married a wife that you’ve never met, seen, spoken to… or your kids were invisible and couldn’t communicate, and you were mortgaging a home that you’ve never seen or been to, THEN your argument might make sense. You are very naive to say that it’s ignorant to rule out those possibilities just because there is no evidence either way. Take this example into consideration… There is an invisible, ethereal buffalo that lives in my attic. You have no evidence for, OR against this claim. Do you think it should be considered as a valid possibility? I don’t think so… Any claim that has no evidence FOR its existence should not be considered a logical claim to believe. You can admit that you’re agnostic to those possibilities because any other position would be dishonest as there is no way to disprove an unfalsifiable claim, but that doesn’t mean you should bet money on them! I can’t honestly say that the Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn’t exist because it’s an unfalsifiable statement, but I’m pretty sure I can safely rule it out as a probable truth…

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      • nstaffordking // May 21, 2014 at 2:39 pm //

        jimmy – I’ve said this further down in some other comments, but you’ve got no absolute proof for anything. This chair and table I’m sat at is no more real than God. Sure, I can verify them through my senses and through others, but how do I know my brain isn’t in a vat? That it’s not all a deception? You doubt one thing so vehemently, you have to doubt everything. Why is it we place more value on a sense experience externally, the touch of a feather on our skin, than we do on one occurring internally, like the chemical reaction causing depression? They’re both equally as important and must be listened to in equal measure in order to gain a well-rounded interpretation of an experience. You ignore one of your senses and you’re going to have an imbalanced, bias view of something. Other people shouldn’t come into this. If everyone were colour blind, and saw what you might call ‘blue’ as hundreds of different colours, would they all be idiots for believing their version of that colour is true to them?

        With respect, I used those examples because those people were so famous and recognisable, serving as an illustration that even the most intelligent people considered the possibility of a God, rather than categorically dismissing it, like close-minded people might. Einstein believed in a universal energy, which is my interpretation of God too, and believed in the creation of a universe under such means. No, it wasn’t a strictly Biblical God, but neither are a lot of theists’ views on ‘God’.

        anonymous – ditto the above comments for your latter words, as for the getting married, kids, etc thing… I think it’s pretty mental because it would tie me down. It would deprive me of vast experience. Sure, they are all precious experiences in their own right, but there are significantly less of them from where I view it. But the point wasn’t that, the point was that is was my interpretation…which means that such actions could not be deemed universally mental, only mental in my own world. That was the point: you can only speak for yourself, not for others.

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    • I would categorise people with religious beliefs as suffering from stockholm syndrome

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    • You have a very clever friend who is deceiving not only you, but anyone else that he gives his ‘readings’ to. Ask if you can sit in on a few and pay particular attention to what he is saying, as I can assure that that it will be pretty much the same type of questioning everytime which will funnel the person’s answer.
      In response to your question about believers in god, yes I do consider them to have a form of collective mental illness, ie dilusion, and I consider the preachers to be frauds.

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    • The Engineer // May 21, 2014 at 8:07 am // Reply

      Let us pretend for a seconf that the person you know really is a genuine psychic. Why haven’t the person solved the Madeleine case? Won a million at the lotteries?

      All the information that the person has been presented is either things that the person the psychic tried to read already knew or hit and miss coincidences. When your psychic friend solves the madeleine case I will believe you, but for some Strange Reason I bet your friends powers are limited to figuring out things that the person being read aldready knows. Strange thing, huh?

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    • Anonymous // May 21, 2014 at 8:21 am // Reply

      Psychics are all opportunistic people who prey on the vulnerable…..That is why they are frauds. People want answers so badly that they accept whatever is in front of them.

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    • “Reading all these comments is winding me up so much!”

      Tough. You shouldn’t build a belief system on what you’d like to believe, you build it on what’s true. The truth doesn’t have to be nice or appealing to you, it can be ugly and upsetting but it’s still the truth. If you build your belief system on the nonsense you’d like to believe you’re going to feel wound up nearly every day because more often than not people armed with facts and knowledge are going to dispute your nonsense.

      “I personally believe in psychics”

      Nobody cares what you personally believe. All that matters is what is true. You believing it doesn’t make it true.

      “I know one and no he is not ‘mentally ill’ or ‘a fraud’, he does personal readings for many people”

      He may not be deliberately trying to act in a fraudulent way. A lot of these people genuinely believe they have powers.

      “he gets everything right,”

      That’s not hard when you speak in generalities and people want to believe you’re getting everything right. It’s like if I asked somebody unacquainted with the game of darts to hit a dart board but didn’t say which number to hit. They could do it all day, but If I ask them to get a bullseye that’s much harder.

      “Clearly most people are small minded and don’t fully understand psychics,”

      Ad hominem attacks don’t prove your point. You’re obviously just so open minded you let any old garbage reside in there.

      Clearly you are ignorant of the facts and don’t understand science or logic.

      “you cant just do a test to ‘prove’ your abilities, they cant just ask spirits to knock over a glass or slam a door, that’s not how it works!”

      Oh, OK, so we should just accept on blind faith that psychics are real; since it’s apparently not testable (how do you know that way by the way? Did the spirits tell you that? Or did a psychic who doesn’t want to be put to the test say that?) we also then have to take it on faith that they’re all good people and none of them are charlatans. That seems reasonable…

      It seems strange to me that psychics give such broad and sweeping generalised answers to pretty much anything you ask them but they have a clear and concise understanding of the testability of their powers. Seems odd that the spirits would be so clear and concise about the particulars of how testable psychic powers are but be so vague about everything else.

      “And if you don’t believe in psychics then that’s fine but there’s no need to call people who do believe,”

      Claiming psychic phenomena are real is a scientific claim; if you want to make scientific claims you have to be able to prove them. That’s partly why people get annoyed. You claim things you can’t prove when the burden of proof is on you and other believers to prove it, not on us to disprove it. It’s also upsetting because people like you perpetuate acceptance of this industry which has no place in the year 2014.

      “we all believe different things,”

      That’s right, and some of us believe the right things and some of us believe complete garbage. There seems to be some prevailing belief in society that all opinions are equally valid. They’re not. An awful lot of opinions are wrong.

      “i’m sure you wouldn’t call believers of God mentally ill, or frauds, just because they believe something different to you doesn’t mean that they are wrong!”

      There’s no evidence for him either, probability stacks up against his favour. I wouldn’t call them mentally ill or frauds but I’d say they need to examine the evidence and think about why they believe in God.

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    • i’m sure you wouldn’t call believers of God mentally ill, or frauds

      Oh yes, I would.

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    • That’s exactly what I call believers in god. Do you have a better description?

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    • Mike Drake // May 21, 2014 at 4:12 pm // Reply

      “I know one and no he is not ‘mentally ill’ or ‘a fraud’, he does personal readings for many people and gets everything right”

      Please tell your friend that James Randi has $1,000,000 in cash waiting for him to claim when he can prove his abilities under reasonable test conditions. Your friend could retire, and you could ask for a measly 1% as a finder’s fee and buy yourself something very nice.

      If there are any “real” psychics, why has *not a single one* passed Randi’s test yet?

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      • dr. akar // May 21, 2014 at 4:49 pm //

        hi mike. i agree with you, but a “real psychic” might claim that he foresees Mr. Randi’s “Reasonable Test Conditions” to be a Put Up Job, designed to trap the “real psychic”.

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    • ” he is not ‘mentally ill’ or ‘a fraud’” He is one or the other (or even both)

      Like

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