(Close Window)
Topic: John Edward Review
Message: Posted by: landmark (Aug 14, 2003 11:28AM)
Just saw John Edward on the Wayne Brady Show this morning. I've never seen him before, so excuse me if my comments have been made before.

Overall, I was pretty impressed by him. His audience management is excellent, and he puts a lot of thought into preparing the audience for the cold reading and hot reading tidbits he throws out.

I think there is a lot to be learned from watching him. First of all, way before he does any reading, he "chats" with Wayne Brady about his "gift." A few of his favorite lines that prepare the audience are as follows:
[list]
[*] All I do is pay attention to what's around us all the time. I just trained myself to look harder than most people.

[*] They (the spirits, that is) are always 100% accurate. I'm not. If I fail, it's my fault in interpreting what they have to say. But they're accurate.

[*] I was a skeptic too until i met a real psychic.

[*] What I do isn't so strange. I'll bet even some of you have had dreams of loved ones who have passed on. That's kind of what I do.

[*] It's amazing how people have psychic amnesia about the events in their lives. I'll tell someone something about their lives and then they'll say no it isn't true. I'll insist it is true, arguing with a complete stranger about their lives. A week later I'll get a phone call or email from the person telling me thay suddenly remembered something about their past, and it was what I had told them.
[/list]

After he's set up the audience this way, he goes into his readings. He picks on an audience member, but then says he may be getting energy from the people sitting next to the audience member. He talks really fast and throws out stuff like "I'm sensing a lady who had a stroke." He goes on with her for a little while and as soon as he misses, he ignores her, telling her to sit down, and asks if anyone else responded to his prediction. He tells one woman that her husband and son have had an on-again, off-again relationship. Another woman he congraulates on a pregnancy or child or life changing celebration. He doesn't wait for a confirmation before he moves on. A few times he gets a more specific hit, like a son who was shot (although he had to fish to see if it was the husband or son who was shot). He hit on a mother who had cancer. He told one woman he was getting the name Carol. No response. Carol or Carl. No response. Carol, Carl, Cookie. No response. Cookie, some kind of name or nickname with two k sounds. Spectator says maybe Sticky? No says Edward and moves on. He ends sensing that the audience member he has standing has an involvement with stripping. When she laughs no, he says, not necessarily professionally. I sense a boa, the kind that you would use in a strip act. When the audience member denies this, he says I sense a photo of you with a boa around your neck. The spectator screams Yes, and he ends his reading there.

He's very quick, very personable, and it's easy to see why he's such a success. No center tears, no clipboards, it's just him and it appears to the audience that he's working without a net. It looks very pure.

I know there have been countless threads here about the ethics of the kind of show psychics like Edward do. I really don't want to get into that again in this thread. But maybe we can analyze his work and see what can help us make our own work stronger.

landmark
Message: Posted by: Jim Reynolds (Aug 14, 2003 12:24PM)
What politicians do for publicity.

I'm surprised presidential candidate, John Edwards, would stoop so low to capitalize on the popularity of a psychic medium with a similar name: John Edward (without the 's').


;)

jr

[quote]
he puts a lot of thought into preparing the audience for the cold reading and hot reading tidbits he throws out.
[/quote]

It's this kind of assumption that lead to arguments...

Other mediums you may enjoy watching are Sylvia Browne, Rosemary Altea, and James Van Praagh. All make frequent TV appearances.

Also, don't overlook the many televangelists that are experts in audience management and presentation.

jr
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Aug 14, 2003 10:21PM)
Go, browse over to the evasons website. Downlaod their video clips. NOW that's unbelievable.
Message: Posted by: brownbomber (Aug 15, 2003 09:33AM)
What's the URL, Zodiac?

thx, BB :bunny:
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Aug 15, 2003 04:22PM)
http://www.evason.com
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 17, 2003 01:27AM)
I'd love to hear a magical deconstruction of a televangelist's act.

Anyone know of one?
Message: Posted by: teejay (Aug 17, 2003 03:46AM)
DrZ
Which video clips are those? :rotf:
Message: Posted by: brownbomber (Aug 17, 2003 12:24PM)
I think he means the 'promo' videos...?

BB :bunny:
Message: Posted by: Brandon (Aug 17, 2003 02:23PM)
He's referring to their demo videos--on their website.
They're incredible.

As far as a televangelist act...do an internet search on Peter Popov along with key words Steve Shaw and Randi.
Message: Posted by: teejay (Aug 18, 2003 02:18AM)
Hi
I've given up on the Evasons.
C'mon, fellas. was it a joke or a marketing
thing? :rotf:
Message: Posted by: DaveS (Aug 18, 2003 12:23PM)
[quote]
On 2003-08-17 15:23, Brandon wrote:
He's referring to their demo videos--on their website.
They're incredible.

As far as a televangelist act...do an internet search on Peter Popov along with key words Steve Shaw and Randi.
[/quote]
Interestingly, despite Randi's expose of his faith healing activities back in the 80's, Popov's televangelist ministry is still going strong -- I recently caught his "act" on a late night BET broadcast! :rotf:
DaveS
Message: Posted by: Brandon (Aug 18, 2003 03:48PM)
To what are you referring as a joke or a marketing "thing"? Why would the Evason's market to bunch of mentalists? Can you not find the link yourself...

http://evason.com/show.html

With regards to DaveS comments...yes Popov is doing fine now, after he took some time to 'regroup' after being exposed. He claims he has a larger...more devoted following now than ever before. Not hard to believe at all.

Brandon
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Aug 18, 2003 06:34PM)
Well Brandon, I guess there's one born every minute. Not hard to believe but I just can't bring myself to it! What are they thinking? Or Not. The Evasons Rock. I like how natural it is. She says, "I'll just close my eyes".... No blindfold, Nothing. You just WANT her to succeed. Very Good. I'm not too sure about Edward but he does seem to prepare the audience pretty well.
Dave
Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (Aug 18, 2003 08:55PM)
Nicholas,
James Randi wrote a book called "The Faith Healers" several years ago. It's a very good read. I see it's still available at amazon.com.

Steven
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Aug 19, 2003 12:18AM)
I hear that Briang Gillis and sisuepahn use a great 2 person code. Its as close to mind reading as I have seen. I emailed a clip of a performance on tlc to brian gillis, he seems to be a great guy too.
As for the evasons, they seem to be awesome too, I just have never seen them perform outside the demo clip. Try downloading the college one, very cool!


Z
Message: Posted by: teejay (Aug 19, 2003 02:53AM)
[quote]
On 2003-08-18 16:48, Brandon wrote:
To what are you referring as a joke or a marketing "thing"? Why would the Evason's market to bunch of mentalists? Can you not find the link yourself...

http://evason.com/show.html

Hi Brandon
Thanks for the correct URL
No, I couldn't find it myself because I was given 3 wrong leads :rotf:
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Aug 19, 2003 05:16AM)
So did you enjoy the link?
Message: Posted by: Brandon (Aug 19, 2003 12:06PM)
LOL

I just read my post--and it didn't sound right. It sounded down-right rude--that wasn't how I meant it at all teejay!

Glad you found the link.

They are very incredible...another good link:
http://www.gillismagic.com/video.html

Enjoy!

Brandon
Message: Posted by: landmark (Aug 19, 2003 09:38PM)
Any comments on John Edward?

Jack Shalom
Message: Posted by: MagicalPirate (Aug 28, 2003 12:56AM)
Are mentalists just naturally born Atheists or do they have so many methods up their sleeve that they are just skeptical about everything. Having started studying Stage Hypnosis I find the same kinds of references to televangelists from this group. There is such a thing as the supernatural and a connection between God and man. Not all of these people on telvision are doing an act. Calling it a Televangelist Act just seems so narrow minded of a thought pattern for a group that is supposed to be so open minded. Just my two cents.
Message: Posted by: invalidity (Aug 28, 2003 01:50AM)
Despite being a Christian, as a medical student I must admit a degree of scepticism when it comes to faith healers.

On the one hand, our body has a great capacity to heal itself given the right frame of mind. Given this, faith healing may actually be helpful.

But anytime the faith healing comes with a request for money of any sort... Put it this way, if a healer was doing it to help people in God's name, why would he pressure people to make sizable 'donations'?

And that's my 2 cents.
Message: Posted by: Jnana (Aug 28, 2003 04:48AM)
The clips were great I really loved them. I think my wife is going to hate them when she sees them lol.
Message: Posted by: Leeo (Aug 28, 2003 07:35AM)
In answer to the original question, I think Mr Edward is great, the best I've seen. He is very aggressive, which obviously is not everone's cup of tea, but it works in terms of him directing where he wants his subjects to be. His forthright approach gives the impression he believes absolutely everything he says, which I've noticed is different from James Van Praagh, whose tentative statements and sideways glances make him look like he is only guessing and is very unsure.
We have a few tv psychics here in the UK whose audience management skills and showmanship are quite effective, but in my opinion pale in comparison to the irrepressible John Edward.
I am aware though that I have only seen edited highlights and I have not seen these people work live.

Best regards.
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Aug 28, 2003 07:55AM)
Nice observation. If we we're psychic and all knowing, wouldnt we be cocky know it alls?
Message: Posted by: Necromancer (Aug 28, 2003 09:03AM)
[quote]
On 2003-08-28 08:55, Dr_Zodiac wrote:
Nice observation. If we we're psychic and all knowing, wouldnt we be cocky know it alls?
[/quote]

That's actually been a big problem with a number of mental performers: they're so darned omniscient that the audience secretly wants them to fail.

Edward keeps the audience on his side by making it clear that his aggressiveness is purely in the service of his apparently sincere desire to help those who are grieving.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hallahan (Aug 30, 2003 01:22AM)
John Edwards uses a great deal of editing of his cold readings to create the impression that he is right most of the time. I watched his show twice, and it was obviously a number of clips strung together.

What is really telling is the paragraph at [url]http://www.randi.org/jr/02-23-2001.html[/url] that relates how Edwards conned an audience member who wanted to believe that his dead father could be contacted. Edwards got twenty out of twenty three guesses wrong, but ended up reducing the man to tears anyway when he finally got a few right.

Edwards claims a high rate of success, but some people who have been on the show say that his success rate is actually about 10% to 15%. He tapes for about 2 hours for one show and edits out many of his failures to make the final show. He sometimes edits people response to what he said where his statement and response didn't actually go together in the original taping.
Source: [url]http://bboard.scifi.com/bboard/browse.cgi/1/5/2143/37[/url]

The first source is Randi's site. The second is somewhat more nebulous, but I believe it.

I can't compare his cold readings to anyone else's, but he is clearly good enough to fool some people.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Aug 30, 2003 11:44AM)
Well,

At the risk of being school marmish here:

I'm not pointing a finger at anyone but:

Folks could we [i]not[/i] have the "is it ethical, is he for real?" discussion here? I think there have been many other threads that have discussed this and can be added to if wanted. I was hoping that this thread could be devoted to analyzing techniques of reading for an audience, whether you're a John Edward believer or not. Maybe it should be moved to Inner Thoughts for a freer discussion. What do you think?

Thanks,

Jack Shalom
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 31, 2003 07:49PM)
I saw Ian Rowland cold read the other day and he began by saying (and I paraphrase) "You know I am a fake but others pretend to be real so when I cold read you I want you to be open and accepting and not put up walls because believers would not do that."

A lot Mr Edward's work is done for him when he is presented by 200 'believers'
Message: Posted by: DaveS (Sep 5, 2003 07:18AM)
The Sept/Oct 2003 issue of Skeptical Inquirer Magazine has a revealing article dissecting some of the production and editing techniques used in Edward's (and Van Pragh's) television shows. BTW, I believe Van Pragh's show was recently cancelled.
DaveS
Message: Posted by: Jim Reynolds (Sep 5, 2003 09:17AM)
Not to defend John Edward, but I have seen him live and can tell you that his hit ratio is pretty impressive. The editing theories and various high tech methods suggested by "Skeptical" organizations are mostly laughable.

I agree having an audience of hard core believers makes his job a heck of a lot easier.

JR
Message: Posted by: drosenbe0813 (Sep 5, 2003 09:49AM)
A friend of my wife went to see an Edwards taping and told a story of woman who had lost something that morning and Edwards mentioned it during the taping. The woman insisted that she had not said anything about it to anyone. I mentioned the old method of stationing an employee (or microphone) in the bathroom to gather information, and that the woman might have off handly said something to someone.
Whenever I see someone like Edwards or even David Blaine, and people ask me my opinion...I first say that they are great entertainers and that they are on TV and I'm not. But I also mention that there is a lot that the TV audience doesn't see in terms of set up,which probably modifies what is really percieved by the attendees.
I once did a gig during a large promotion, where there was a local TV news guy taping. I made sure that they taped footage of me. They taped a 2 minute routine, but what the tv audience saw was the final 10 second revalation and a scream from the participant. It looked great, but it was a very different experience for the people actually there.
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Sep 7, 2003 05:43PM)
[quote]
On 2003-09-05 08:18, DaveS wrote:
BTW, I believe Van Pragh's show was recently cancelled.
DaveS
[/quote]

I bet he didn't see that coming. :rotf:
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Sep 7, 2003 06:43PM)
If anyone has seen Ross Johnsons Blindfold act or The evasons, you can see how some of this is possible.
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Sep 7, 2003 09:17PM)
[quote]
On 2003-09-05 10:17, Jim Reynolds wrote:
Not to defend John Edward, but I have seen him live and can tell you that his hit ratio is pretty impressive.[/quote]Jim, how many statements did he make while you were there? How many were misses and how many were hits (so that we may know what the precise ratio was)? Given the amazing rapidity with which Edward speaks, how did you manage, while attending in person, to record all of his statements in order to calculate this impressive hit ratio? At what point would you find the ratio impressive?

[quote]The editing theories and various high tech methods suggested by "Skeptical" organizations are mostly laughable.[/quote] Why is that? Are you suggesting that because you were impressed any suggestion of trickery is laughable? Seems like an easily determinable issue: either the televised presentations are edited to present Edward in a falsely favorable light, or they are not. Has anyone actually looked into this with footage of his shows and expert examination? Maybe we should do that before we burst out laughing.

[quote]I agree having an audience of hard core believers makes his job a heck of a lot easier.[/quote]Yep!

:nose:
Message: Posted by: kaytracy (Sep 8, 2003 09:22AM)
A co-worker went to see him in the SFO area a couple weeks ago, and she said that her impression was heavily swayed towards belief! (He apparently hit nose on with a dog breed, and some lady about fell out of her chair as her little (same breed) dog had died two days before-
I was not there, so I cannot report directly, but whatever he does he does well from all the reports I have seen from folks who go.. I did speak with her BEFORE she went and asked her to try and be aware of a few things, but who knows what the atmosphere was for her at the time. (I could not justify $75 ticket tag for this guy-)
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Sep 8, 2003 12:05PM)
My goodness! If John is encroaching on territory previously claimed exclusively by the Pet Psychic, I can imagine the fur will fly! :o: It would be interesting to see the footage. As of May 1999, in the United States, about 43 million people owned dogs. There were about 102 million households. Seems like, if John's audience was a random sample, about 4 out of 100 in his audience probably owned (or lived with) a dog. And, according to the American Kennel Club, Labrador Retrievers lead the pack in popularity by a substantial margin. Next come Golden Retrievers, followed by German Shepherds. Now, 75% of all dogs in the U.S., apparently, are mixed breeds, the majority of which most likely have some Lab blood in them. Do you suppose John's message from doggy heaven indicated that someone in the audience once (or presently) owned a Labrador Retriever.... or a dog with Lab blood.... or a big dog.... or a small dog who once knew a big dog... or a dog who had an "L" or an "R" in its name... or maybe just a very confused, huge cat?

References: http://www.apapets.com/petstats2.htm
http://animal.discovery.com/fansites/radio/more/breedtrends.html

:nose:
Message: Posted by: kaytracy (Sep 8, 2003 02:11PM)
Nope!
It was for miniature Schnauzer! Friend said the lady about fell out of her chair, he had been working with her and piped up with, "I see a little dog, a Schnauzer..." or something to that effect. Friend said no hmming or hawing, or fishing on that one, just BAM! Schnauzer-little! :eek:
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Sep 8, 2003 05:46PM)
[quote]
On 2003-09-08 15:11, kaytracy wrote:
nope!
It was for miniature Schnauzer! ... Friend said no hmming or hawing, or fishing on that one, just BAM! Schnauzer-little! :eek: [/quote]Yep, and I knew it! Both "miniature" and "schnauzer" have "Rs" in them (a double hit?)-- I must be psychic!

As I say, it would be interesting to see the film footage rather than rely on second- or third-hand reports subject to the common inaccuracies of selective memory. Anyone have a video or transcript of that episode?

:nose:
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Sep 8, 2003 07:13PM)
Here's a thought. Next time someone goes to see J.E. tell them to not talk to anyone and don't fill out a prayer card. Just go there with an open mind, and get the raw footage for us to analyse.
Message: Posted by: jo (Sep 9, 2003 04:57AM)
Dr Z, do I detect a sceptic? No, I don't mean you. I am referring to some of the posts here that suggest people no longer seem sure what to believe.

I do agree with John though on 'selective memory'. Even I have been far better then I really am in certain people's eyes when I overhear them retelling the 'miracles'. ;)

But it just brings a smirk to my lips seeing that many here at the mentalism forum haven't actually made up their mind about what could be real. We spend so much time discussing how to make it look real, what methods to use etc, and I don't recall many admitting (in all honesty), their personal beliefs about the 'paranormal/supernormal/etc'.

It has been my past experiences that many performing magicians are hard-tipped scientists, discrediting anything out of the normal. Where do you as Mentalists stand on these issues? What if what John Edward does IS real, and we can't see the trees for the bark (no dog intended)?

In fact, what about all those little synchronicites that occur in our everyday lives? We speak about them in our presentations, but do we REALLY believe?
A friend said a while ago that with the millions of people in New York, someone had calculated that the probability of coincidences occuring to several people at any given time are extremely high.

But DO YOU FEEL LIKE A STATISTIC WHEN THAT HAPPENS TO YOU? (And then again, what exactly are the dynamics of such coincidences and synchronicities?)

I'm neither for or against Mr Edward now (after discussing this with Landmark in a PM). But I would like to see the challenge suggested by Dr Zodiac taken up... by someone unbiased with that most bragged about mega-memory ability and good observation skills (Oops, did I say cold-reading?)


Jo

Just playing the bizarrist's Devil's Advocate :D
no disrespect intended...
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Sep 9, 2003 09:24AM)
[quote]
On 2003-09-09 05:57, jo wrote:
...some of the posts here that suggest people no longer seem sure what to believe.
...
... many here at the mentalism forum haven't actually made up their mind about what could be real. ...I don't recall many admitting (in all honesty), their personal beliefs about the 'paranormal/supernormal/etc'. ...Where do you as Mentalists stand on these issues?...In fact, what about all those little synchronicites that occur in our everyday lives? We speak about them in our presentations, but do we REALLY believe?
...[/quote]Jo, mentalism is a performing art. It is not some cult that demands a particular set of beliefs about the paranormal, the spiritual, the preternatural, etc. There are other groups, unrelated to magic and the performing arts, that, apparently, hold as real that which we present (duplicate?) as entertainment. There are some, however, who visit this forum who probably should seek out a church, or a Spiritualist group, or some other gathering of people who share their beliefs. Here, we are just performers, frauds, benign deceivers, imposters, entertainers. Let those who think otherwise cast aside their clipboards and peek devices, renounce their sinful Center Tears, do the [i]real[/i] work, and leave us poor, struggling, unenlightened tricksters in peace. (Is there a forum for "Spiritualists Helping Spiritualists"?)

[quote]What if what John Edward does IS real, and we can't see the trees for the bark (no dog intended)?[/quote]Then, I suspect, his messages from beyond would have more substance. Dead people, at least when they communicate through John Edward (and the others I've seen) seem to be struck stupid. It saddens me to think that my dead father, a brilliant fellow in life, is now caught in some nether region, stripped to a less-than-average-I.Q., protoplasmic drool rolling from his chin, and relegated to communicating in nearly incomprehensible grunts about "a small dog, I think it was a Schnauzer" through some slick, fast-talking television medium. Perhaps it is the dying process itself that renders specters incapable of remembering their names, their gender, their occupation, their relationship to the "sitter", or even how they died; perhaps it is that John just doesn't hear ethereal voices very well; or perhaps he hears nothing at all from the Stygian darkness and makes it all up. I have an opinion as to which of these possibiities is more likely, but, as I say, my opinion/belief about it is utterly irrelevant to the performing art of mentalism.

So "we as mentalists" don't have to decide or declare what "we" believe. This performing art is not so monolithic, jo; there is no litmus test of beliefs. A true believer, with a little work and proper coaching, can perform a book test as convincingly as a skeptic. :o:

:nose:
Message: Posted by: teejay (Sep 10, 2003 03:28AM)
Hi All
Some of the posts on this and other similar threads
suggest that the live shows are failures that are edited down to make an interesting TV show
This is completely wrong
There was a link on a previous thread to an article
by a reporter for a net magazine
She went to one of Van Pragh's shows and, I think, one of his camp or hotel seminars. There was also mention
of ship cruises
( Perhaps some kind reader knows the link and will post it? )
The live shows are highly successful with gate money that mentalists can only dream of
OK the misses are edited out for TV
How many TV shows are NOT edited?
PS for JC
Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


On 2003-09-08 15:11, kaytracy wrote:
nope!
It was for miniature Schnauzer! ... Friend said no hmming or hawing, or fishing on that one, just BAM! Schnauzer-little!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yep, and I knew it! Both "miniature" and "schnauzer" have "Rs" in them (a double hit?)-- I must be psychic!

Clever? Tremendously
Funny? Hilarious
Good taste?????
:rotf:
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Sep 10, 2003 03:34AM)
We have about a 30 second attention span as modern humans. If we see soemthing or hear it, we usually forget it quickly, especially when hit by many other hits. Do I believe I can do better the edward or van pragh? No, but I'd like to try in laboratory conditions.
Message: Posted by: jo (Sep 10, 2003 05:12AM)
John, you have a wonderful sense of humor, and a great means of sharing that. Thank you. I do agree with all you are saying - and as you no doubt saw at the end of my previous post, I WAS MERELY PLAYING THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE HERE. :goof:

Sorry if it rubbed you up the wrong way.

Back to the original post on observations of Edward:

Just another thought...

Isn't it amazing the depths to which John Edward sinks into while in character? I write here of the concept of "... playing the part of a magician/metalist". I wonder if he thinks what he is doing is real?
I remember going to see a 'medium' the day after completing Corrinda's Thirteen Steps. I wanted to see if I could spot any of the techniques discussed. I took off all jewelry except for one of those arthritic bangles, and wore very plain clothing.
On arrival it was clear that the person who had arranged the interview had given away some information about me - particularly the side of my business that she knew. She was no doubt streaks ahead already.
The medium asked me why I had wanted to see her. I replied that there was already so much on my mind that perhaps she could make it clear for me. After all, I didn't want to cloud her intuition with all my stuff. Her immediate response was a gentle reminder that we could spend the whole session on what she may pick up, but its stuff I already know and we would waste time that way, without really getting to the serious issues. I folded. I explained some of my concerns (real and imaginary) and we ended up doing some deep breathing. During the session she included a feeling of a lack of energy from me. Afterwards she remarked about the bangle I wore. She was no doubt cold reading. BUT SHE DIDN'T KNOW IT! ;)

Now, let me get back to that forum where "spiritualists help other spiritualists..." :rotf:

Jo
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Sep 10, 2003 08:59AM)
Jo, thanks for your kind words. :devilish: No, you didn't rub me the wrong way at all. In fact, I enjoyed your post. I look forward to reading more. You are definitely in the right forum!

Hard to know if John is sincere or not. He [i]appears[/i] sincere. But, then, my brother-in-law appears intelligent...

:nose:
Message: Posted by: Bill Hallahan (Sep 10, 2003 05:58PM)
No doubt people’s perceptions will vary both based on what they expect and how well Edwards hits that day.

Here is a link to an article. This article contains excerpts of an article written by Times reporter Leon Jaroff. He is a skeptic. He wrote an article based on the experience of Michael O'Neill who was on the show. He estimates that Edwards has a 10% to 20% hit rate. He also says the show is heavily edited to created the impression of a greater success rate. There is a lot more I found interesting in this article.

[url]http://www.skeptic.com/newsworthy13.html[/url]

I wonder why you think "editing theories" are laughable? I have seen other sources on the Internet corroborate that article. Is this a giant conspiracy against Mr. Edwards by the Times, and other news media organizations?
Message: Posted by: jo (Sep 11, 2003 04:23AM)
I decided to "tune in to" John Edward again last night. Thankfully all that was required was turning on the telly. :rotf:

I watched as he sweated somewhat while missing the entire time with a lady in the gallery. She just kept on shaking her head "Nope". But he kept on with her until he had a hit, and changed the dynamics of the reading. Definitely ballsy.

Then I noticed the amount of times the phrase "they want you to acknowledge this" is used. Its very clever wording that does several things. It encourages, almost forces, the spectator to link "what is coming thru" to a memory. It stirs emotion and willingness to believe and participate.

It takes the attention off John and places it firmly on the spectator. I'm almost reminded of a ghostly figure from an old 50's movie hovering in sheets whimpering and sobbing loudly: "Why don't you want to acknowledge (love) me?" Its essentially the same thing. Its sickening.

And then I thought of what John Clarkson had said somewhere above. Its amazing how unintelligible the dead can be as to regards to their identity and the people they want to speak to, the way they died, etc, but how precise they can be in saying that they're okay now.

And one final thing: John Edward actually referred to "reading for people". This is suggestion at very sublte levels. He mentioned it twice in last night's show. But see how selective our hearing and memory actually is? No-one questions that statement.

It is a given that as a 'psychic' you 'read'. But no-one is asking exactly WHAT are you reading. (We know it as Cold/Hot Reading, etc) But the public accept what he says at face value: "he reads the dead". Perhaps this is why the dead seem so illiterate!

:bg:

Jo
Message: Posted by: DaveS (Sep 11, 2003 04:49PM)
John -- I've enjoyed your humorous, dead-on (no pun intended) characterizations of Edward's methods. Perhaps Steve Brooks should consider your idea for a "Spiritualists Helping Spiritualists" forum where the faithful can discuss Edward, Van Pragh, Browne, et al without being badgered by skeptics bent on spoiling the fun. :lol:

It would appear that those who consider Edward's "hit ratio" impressive or believe he's the real deal have moved on. Too bad -- this discussion is much more interesting when they participate. Hopefully, some will return to show you the error of your ways! ;)

On topics like this, Dunninger's statement, "For those who believe, no explanation is needed. For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible." seems apt.
DaveS
Message: Posted by: jiggyjer (Sep 11, 2003 05:35PM)
Ian rowland has some interesting comments about Edwards on his site.

J
Message: Posted by: hkwiles (Sep 12, 2003 08:44AM)
John,
love your comments, as always..funny yet at the same time informative.
I think the main give away is the lack of interesting/famous people wanting to be contacted to give us the low down on various events in the past.
as you say some one contacted "from the other side" and all they can come up with is trivia.

Keep up the good work.

Howard
Message: Posted by: DaveS (Oct 3, 2003 11:25AM)
Edward appeared on CNN Larry King Live last night and spooked a caller big time. Barring actual "contact" with the caller's late mother, an exceptionally lucky guess or the use of a confederate, are there any other explanations for Edward's reference to the broken picture (shadow box) in the caller's kitchen? At he end of the exchange, King appears to be jabbing at Edward's critics who accuse him of generalizing and using cold reading techniques. The following is from the show's transcript.

http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0310/02/lkl.00.html

KING: Johnston, Rhode Island, hello. CALLER: Hi, John. This is Mimi (ph).
EDWARD: Hi, Mimi (ph).
CALLER: How are you?
EDWARD: I'm good.
CALLER: I've been trying for a long time to get through to you.
EDWARD: Oh, thank you.
KING: You made it.
CALLER: Yes, thank God. I was wondering how my mom's doing.
EDWARD: Well, as you're asking me that, the first thing I'm going to tell you is I'm getting -- they're showing me the sign of Libra. So to me the sign of Libra would means that something at the end of September or into October is significant for your family.
CALLER: OK.
EDWARD: Whether it be somebody's birthdate or anniversary.
CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: I'm also -- you understand that?
CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: OK. I also want to let -- and your mom's passed, you said?
CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: OK. Were you there when she passed?
CALLER: Yes, I was.
EDWARD: Did you actually tell her, like, Go now, it's OK? You can leave?
CALLER: Yes, I did.
EDWARD: She's telling me to thank you for doing that and she's making me feel like you were very hesitant. And I don't -- I don't mean to -- I kind of chuckle, but not to -- for any other reason except for that the way it feels. She's made me feel like you were very, very strong and like it's OK for you to go, it's OK for you to leave. And then when it started to happen, you felt like, no, no, no. Come back, come back, come back. It's like that's the feeling that I'm getting.
CALLER: Yes. I felt -- Yes. Because she, you know, she said, no. You know what I mean? So I always felt guilty about that.
EDWARD: But she wants you to know she's met up I think with her sister. So I don't if her sister had passed before or if it's a really good friend of hers that had gone before. But there's a woman that met her when she crossed.
CALLER: Oh, yes.
EDWARD: And she's telling me...
CALLER: They're several.
EDWARD: She's telling me to acknowledge the sister and she's also bringing up the baby of the family. So I don't know if she was the baby of her family or if you're the baby of her family. But acknowledging the baby of the family, OK? And she's telling me to talk to you about the last holiday, the last Christmas.
CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: I don't know if you were just going through those photos or those video albums, or whatever this is.
CALLER: Yes, we were.
EDWARD: OK. She wants you to remember that kind of stuff. OK?
CALLER: OK.
EDWARD: Now she's telling me to talk about the cop. I don't know if the cop is still living or if somebody's just dating the police officer now. But there's something about -- it's not somebody that's passed, the cop. It's the man in uniform now.
CALLER: OK.
EDWARD: And she's making me feel like she sees what's going on with the guy in the uniform. She sees what's going on in the family in that -- in that capacity. And she's also telling me -- are you near the kitchen?
CALLER: Yes!
EDWARD: OK. She's telling me to talk about -- you just broke the glass or something just broke around you? Well, there's something broken near me.
CALLER: There's something broken?
EDWARD: What's broken in the kitchen?
CALLER: What's broken in the kitchen?
EDWARD: Go to your left. What's to your
CALLER: To my left. Let me see. Oh! One of the -- oh my god. Its the picture. It's a shadow box that my -- oh my god. This is spooky. I have a shadow box on the wall, yes.
EDWARD: OK. This is your mom's way of saying I'm with you.
CALLER: Oh my god.
EDWARD: And this answers the question, they're not here for me. They're here for you.
KING: OK, I have to take a break. Stop skirting and stop being so general. OK. Be specific. You always annoy me. We'll be right back with John Edward. Don't go away.
Message: Posted by: Joshua Quinn (Oct 3, 2003 12:10PM)
[quote]
On 2003-10-03 12:25, DaveS wrote:
Barring actual "contact" with the caller's late mother, an exceptionally lucky guess or the use of a confederate, are there any other explanations for Edward's reference to the broken picture (shadow box) in the caller's kitchen?
[...]
EDWARD: OK. She's telling me to talk about -- you just broke the glass or something just broke around you? Well, there's something broken near me.
CALLER: There's something broken?
EDWARD: What's broken in the kitchen?
[/quote]

Can we see a show of hands from everyone who [i]doesn't[/i] have a relatively recent experience (say, within the last year) with "glass or something" breaking somewhere around either you or someone else in your family, and/or something broken in or near your kitchen, and/or a semi-significant memory involving any of the above?

Still, a good line.

Quinn
Message: Posted by: DaveS (Oct 3, 2003 03:19PM)
Quinn,
As my earlier posts attest, I'm not a fan of Edward since IMHO he takes advantage of people's feelings of grief and loss, but I (grudgingly) admire his talent and sheer nerve to perform live, without net or props, to a worldwide audience, using only his wits and personality. The coolness, confidence and creative verbal dancing this guy demonstrates are impressive. His ability to distract audiences and the mainstream media from noticing or calling him on his "misses," which greatly outnumber his "hits," is remarkable.
DaveS
Message: Posted by: boblinds (Oct 3, 2003 03:57PM)
I've watched MANY of Edward's shows and one aspect of them that strikes me is the following.

In the post-reading interview, people often say, "We were just talking about this" or "We were just talking about this on the way over (to the taping.)" in reference to something that Edward hit upon in his reading.

This happens so often in these interviews that I wonder if there isn't some clandestine monitoring of conversations going on prior to the taping. And, given the spotty nature of most people's memories, they don't realize that they "were just talking about this" in the studio. (Or there is some interviewing of the audience going on before the taping that remains, of course, concealed from the home audience.)

Regardless, Edward does IMHO a pretty remarkable job of these readings and has done an even more remarkable job -- with the help of his producers -- in packaging his talent for an unwary and uncritical public.