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Psychics? I Foresee a Scam
Fortune teller.gif While perusing the World Wide Interweb this morning to see if Amy Winehouse is dead yet and looking for Monkey News, I came across a ridiculous story.

MSNBC reports that Cameron Diaz has visited Mrs. Grace at West Hollywood's Psychic Tea Leaf Readings for guidance. Reportedly, Mrs. Grace is the preferred medium for Drew Barrymore as well. Of course she is.

This scoop inspired me to pen a good old fashioned J-Dub-style rant.

Ready? Let's begin.

If you believe in psychics, you are an idiot.

houdini04.jpg They don't exist. At all. Not one. There has never been any kind of proof that they are real.

The great Harry Houdini took great pride in debunking the so-called great mediums that would dupe the naïve. He attended séances and busted the tricksters cold. That was almost a hundred years ago. Yet the desperate and dumb are still calling 1-800 numbers to ask for guidance.

Here is why there is no such thing as psychics. Or paranormal mediums. Or fortune tellers. Or those that have telekinetic abilities. First of all, it has never been proved by anyone. If it was real, if I could see the future, I could go on The Late Show and show off for an hour. Predicting the next three days weather, what's going to happen in the news, and how long it will be before Britney Spears leaks a sex tape. (Put the line at 18 months and I'll take the "under.") This is the problem; you're asking me to believe that EVERY PSYCHIC IN THE WORLD IS AN HONEST AND MORAL PERSON. If there were psychics, there would be no gambling in casinos, no betting on football, no lottery, no biff1.jpgPower Ball, no stock market, no horse racing, nothing that there is the possibility of manipulating the outcome like Biff Tannen in Back to the Future II. It's a trick folks. I've heard people say things such as this; "there's no way she could have known some of the things she knew." You know what? I saw David Copperfield turn a 747 into an elephant with a showgirl on its back. Doesn't make it real.

We see that douchey Criss Angel guy fly over golf courses and don't think it's real. Why would you believe that Madam Leona can really tell you if your relationship is soluble?

In addition, no conjurer ever gives the mark bad news. "Sorry, your dog is going to get hit by a car, you'll lose your home in a blazing inferno, and you will die of cancer in 7 months. That will be 75 bucks please." Doesn't happen.

These hoaxsters that prey on the sad and lonely mainly perform what is called a "cold reading." That is a barrage of question until you narrow down something that the rube will identify with. "I'm getting two letters, A and S..." "I have an uncle Scott! He had a dog named Angus!" Wow, you are like Gandalf the Grey!

Exploiting the grief stricken is shameful. The real trick is how you can sleep at night.

Leona.png I was watching The Daily Show a couple months ago. During the commercial break, an ad came on for a service that sent "psychic answers text messages sent right to your cell phone!" Wow. I've wondered who are the yokels that spend a dollar for the cell phone background of the dancing frog or the farting panda or whatever those are, but that one made me a little more disappointed in our society. Here's what I picture this operation looking like; In a small office in suburban Detroit is a room of part-time college students sitting in cubicles with five cell phones in front of them. They rotate the phones and "answer" each question from the dupes across the country. Not one employee has any psychic tendencies, nor claims to. The boss just tells them, "text back something positive and reassuring." How much you wanna bet I'm right?

You want to know what your horoscope is? I'll tell you. It's a random, generalized statement that, with a little imagination, can be applied to just about anyone.

That will be 25 bucks please.



Tagged on here is Penn & Teller's take on psychics. Don't play them loud if you are at work. Penn uses some pretty salty language.







Good night and good luck...

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20 Comments

"Mrs. Grace is the preferred medium for Drew Barrymore as well. Of course she is."....haha, nice.

said Christopher K. on July 23, 2008 1:36 PM.

What sort of guidance does Cameron Diaz need anyway? 'Stay hot and try reading the scripts before you make some of this junk. That'll be 200.'

said E on July 23, 2008 2:05 PM.

I'm sure the check is in the mail, E. You are wise.

said Johnny Wright on July 23, 2008 2:08 PM.

If psychics AREN'T real, why am I on my way to the basement of the Alamo?

said Echowood on July 23, 2008 2:09 PM.

I'm sorry, pal. Word on the street is that Francis stole your bicycle. He's having a bath right now. I'd go confront him if I were you.

said Johnny Wright on July 23, 2008 2:15 PM.

If psychics were real, we'd have been getting complaints about this piece yesterday...

On the other hand, I'm perfectly willing to start a "make a prediction" competition that awards a big prize to the nearest hit.

said Scaramouch on July 23, 2008 2:16 PM.

I predict that Amy Winehouse will be killed by a monkey.

said Don't Swayze Bro on July 23, 2008 2:32 PM.

Swayze's Magic 8-Ball is on point!

said Johnny Wright on July 23, 2008 2:45 PM.

I believe some people can have psychic ability.

said Jellio on July 23, 2008 6:13 PM.

jdub, u always have the best articles. psychics are the biggest scam in the history of bullshit. i especially love the psychic detectives...." i see her, shes somewhere...theres grass around...water is close, theres buildings nearby." well, thank you captain random. lets just start that search with everywhere and narrow it down. what kills me is that some hiker or runner always finds the body and the credit goes to the psychic. " she was dead on with the part about the grass. we found her in a field. amazing." what a crock of shit! yet for some reason, i cant stop watching psychic detectives.

said dawgsman81 on July 23, 2008 6:23 PM.

Thank you Dawg. I appreciate that.

One more thing to think about. Since 1968, James Randi has offered a cash prize -- it's up to a million bucks -- to anyone that can prove psychic ability. It has yet to be claimed.

It's a trick.

said Johnny Wright on July 23, 2008 6:33 PM.

Don't try to BS Penn & Teller for sure.

said E on July 23, 2008 8:31 PM.

Back in the day, I did a radio call-in contest and asked for caller #9. I answered the phone a few times, and one call I said "KD Country, you're caller number five.." and a voice said:

"Hello! This is Miss Cleo! I can read your future... " etc etc.

Hahaha! If she was REALLY psychic, she would have been caller #9!

said Miss Cellania on July 24, 2008 11:01 PM.

There was a great South Park episode that did an even better job of showing how they work their magic.

barmarbybroox.com

said Stephen on July 28, 2008 2:43 PM.

Do you guys remember when that dingy dame from Montel got fucked when she was proven dead wrong about some missing kid? She predicted that the kid would be found in a month alive a day or so before he was found dead. She was totally debunked and went underground for a few years. She has recently resurfaced in, and here's a shocker, Vegas on his show. How I know all of this and am drawing a blank on her name is beyond me.

said Jeni Gump on August 8, 2008 3:43 PM.

Her name is Sylvia Brown. She is one that the debunkers routinely go after because she has had some very visible mistakes.

I think the case you are talking about, Jenny, is that of Shawn Hornbeck. Brown told that kid's poor parents that he was dead, would be found between two boulders and described the appearance of his abductor.

Luckily, Shawn was found alive, four years after his kidnapping. The abductor looked nothing like Brown described. Hornbeck's parents also say that after appearing on Montel and getting their "reading," Brown offered additional private sessions at the rate of $700 for 20 minutes. Brown denies that.

It's a rare example of psychics being wrong was a good thing.

said Johnny Wright on August 8, 2008 4:03 PM.

Wow, I suck ass right now...

At least I got the debunking thing right!

I'm trying to get through all I missed in the past month today. I promise I'll try to work on getting the facts right the next time.

Also, I started happy hour in my house at 4, pregaming it for a Sussex Skylands Skyhawks game, even though it's a bush league they still charge $5 a beer.

said Jeni Gump on August 8, 2008 4:09 PM.

I didn't mean to correct you, just trying help. Sorry if that sounded rude. I didn't mean it to be.

said Johnny Wright on August 8, 2008 4:15 PM.

I didn't take it as rude, that was more a swift slap to the forehead administered by myself to myself.

said Jeni Gump on August 8, 2008 4:17 PM.

hey
I do not agree with what you wrote really....
please ellaberate a bit more for me :D


cheers

said zodiaclove on September 24, 2008 12:57 AM.
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