Psychic Mediums

by Charlie Stack

One of the most interesting topics that have stood out to me is the rise and popularity of famous psychics throughout history such as James Van Praagh and how easily it is to have people buy into believing them. To go even further, I am interested in the relationship between psychics and their clients and if they are causing harm, or if they are providing a positive experience. The first and foremost thing that people fail to understand about psychics is that no psychic has ever scientifically proven their talent. Psychics are people who claim they can predict the future by reading other people’s minds. Even if people understand this, they still tend to believe psychics have some supernatural ability. I believe it is because when people are desperate for answers they will turn to desperate measures to find something to believe in. Often when trauma is experienced or an act of terror that seems to have no moral reasoning as to why it happened, people want to know the ‘why’ so badly that they will turn to a medium to provide a false, made up, guessing explanation as to why the event occurred.

Originally, I did not see the harm in psychic mediums. To me, it was a form of therapy that helped people coped with trauma in ways that they may be unable to otherwise. After some explanation, I realized the problem lays deeper than the surface level. Being psychic mediums are unable to provide any scientific explanation, or reasoning behind what they do, people give them “super human” powers. The problem within that is if you give someone complete power there will always be people who use their power negatively, or make detrimental mistakes. There are many stories of mediums using their false powers to cause extreme harm. Some of these are, Delores Hoffert from Miami, Florida – her husband emptied his bank account because a medium claimed she had a cure to cancer. He later died and Delores was left widowed and broke. Another example is Pam and Craig Akers, whose son went missing. A psychic told them that he had died on national television, four years later, he was found alive and well. There are many more negative stories of psychics using their make-believe powers to inflict horrible pain on individuals and their lives.

To me, the amazing thing is people can still believe in these mediums and give them credibility. When do we collectively agree that they are utterly ridiculous and deserve no credit or money from anyone? Psychics may be one of the most successful forms of con artists of all time. They take advantage of the pain of others and use it to make a living. It is one of the few fields in the world that you can make a living off of no scientific backing, data, or anything real.



18 thoughts on “Psychic Mediums

  1. I enjoyed reading your blog because I too am very interested in psychic mediums. I like how you focused on the topic of if these people cause harm or positive aid to those who are suffering from the loss of a loved one. I agree with you that those who seek out a psychic are desperate and sad and are in need of a powerful person to give them answers. However, this can all turn south if harm is caused and if people are lied to. Your examples are a perfect way to show this and those stories alone display why psychic mediums are pseudoscientific.

    • Hey Jaclyn,
      Thanks for the input! If you are like me then you never realized the harm that these mediums can do prior to this class. For me, I always kind of thought that mediums would be a good thing, even if you know that it was pseudoscientific. I overlooked how much power people place into the hands of mediums.

  2. I liked how you explained the reason why so many people feel the need or want to visit mediums. This goes back to humans always needing a “why” or a reason that things happen. I also liked how you discussed that under all the superficial aspects of Medium there is little to no scientific evidence or anything really to prove that it is indeed possible.

    • Thanks for the comments! I think that a lot of people always ask “why” because of how they are brought up. For me, I know I was always asking why, I think in part because I always heard, “everything happens for a reason” which when something bad happen that explanation tells us to explore the why. Do you think it is bad parenting to say “everything happens for a reason” and that it can have negative side effects? It wasnt until college when I realized I wasnt going to have a why to everything, but that it was okay not too.

  3. Charlie, I really liked how you started off your post with why you were interested in this topic. Your perspectives that you took opened it up for the readers of your blog! What I thought was the most intriguing was your interest in the relationship between psychics and their clients and if they are causing harm, or if they are providing positive experience. I also liked your point that you made about how this is one of the dew fields that can make a living off of no scientific backing. I thought that was interesting, because I also feel as though a lot of fields make a living trying to find that backing of scientific evidence.

    • Hey Julia,
      Thanks for the comments! What do you think is in store for the future of psychic mediums? do you think that as technology grows mediums will shrink? Or will mediums become even bigger in the future.

  4. I have always been so fascinated with psychics and I have wasted many hours of my life watching Long Island medium. What I liked most about your post was when you explained that when people experience tragedy and trauma, they want explanations- so they turn to mediums. I can understand why a normal person could come to believe that what a psychic tells them is true, because they could be so desperate to hear anything form someone they love. I also think that it is incredibly sad that some psychics can use their power for evil, hurting many people in the process when none of what they claim is even true.

    • Hey Emily,
      Thanks for the comments. You bring up a good point about people being desperate for answers so they turn to mediums. Why do you think that more people dont turn to something like grief counseling? Or do they, and eventually they turn to a medium?

  5. I really like your explanation for people susceptibility in believing that psychic mediums have supernatural powers. Sometimes when people are going through something tough or inconsistent in their life, they want some otherworldly explanation for why it’s happening. They seek out answers to their dilemmas and will put faith and belief into just about anything that seems plausible to them. Although this seems harmless, you explained in your blog post that there’s actually a lot of negative consequences to following a psychic word for word, as they can misguide you on the false premise that they have super human powers.

    • Hi Julia,
      Thanks for the input. Do you think that there is a way to encourage people not to seek out mediums? Specifically, what could be a better alternative to psychic mediums, or is there one?

      • That’s a good question, I’m not sure if there is a better alternative to seeing a medium. It seems like the people who believe in and seek out psychic mediums need some sort of closure with a deceased loved one. If this is their way of coping with death, then by all means they should see a medium. I think educating people on how ineffective psychic mediums truly are would be an important step in convincing people to avoid them.

        • Hey Julia,
          Thanks for the input. I agree, I would say any form of CBT would be better than a psychic medium but I would imagine most people who are going to a medium have already tried things of that nature. In any case, it sucks people still believe in mediums because of the harm that they can cause.

  6. I really like this topic. I personally think psychic mediums are silly. The Pam and Craig Akens story you mention in your essay really seals the deal for me. I also hate that they are so glamorized, and people spend small fortunes on this phony services. I agree they are ridiculous. I never really saw the harm in them either, until I read about Pam and Craig Akens son turning up alive after a medium told them he was dead in your post. That is so wrong!

    • Hey Carissa,
      Thanks for the input. There are so many stories like Pam and Craig have. It is truly devastating and very sad the amount of power that people place within mediums. They are completely phony! I would never see one, especially after this class. I will always be anti-medium from now on and encourage people to do the same.

  7. When I hear about a psychic or medium, I wonder whether they truly believe they have powers or if they know they do not but continue to deceive people. It’s hard for me to imagine people outwardly spreading “truths” that they do not know to be certain such as the stories you told about the missing son and cure for cancer. Obviously, things like these still do happen though, but I wonder whether they know of or care about the harm they are causing other people.

    • Hey Hannah,
      I often think of this question too. Part of me certainly feels like there are some mediums who definitely believe they have supernatural abilities, and then some of them definitely know they are fooling people to make a living. In reality, across many different fields, people know they are causing harm and just choose money over well being of others.

  8. I always thought that people who believed in psychics were people who were easily fooled and conned, so I enjoyed reading your reasons for people believing in these people even though there is no one has been able to prove without a doubt their powers. It makes sense that those who are grieving would look towards these people for closure, but they should not be used in cases of missing children or other criminal investigations like with Pam and Craig Akers. This could have caused a lot of harm, because people that really believe in psychics could have stopped trying to look for their missing son which can delay the son from being found sooner.

    • Hey Joy,
      I think you are right. People who believe in psychics are those who are often fooled easily, and for lack of a better word, uneducated. I feel like if you presented this class to anyone who believed in mediums, their opinions would probably change. It seems as if there are a lot of blind followers.

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