TV psychics entice their audiences by promising them a glimpse of the supernatural. Many claim to be able to read minds. Others claim to be able to communicate, not only with the living, but also with those who have died. Their claims are tempting to believe, but they are often dishonest. In fact, these five TV psychics are probably lying.
Sylvia Browne is a self-professed psychic and spiritual teacher. Yet, many of her claims are demonstrably false. For instance, during one notable appearance on "The Montel Williams Show", a young woman told Browne she was upset, because her boyfriend had disappeared tragically. No trace of him had ever been found. Without batting an eye, Browne told her, “Well, the reason he hasn’t been found yet is because he’s in water–like that girl in Aruba.” The lady looked at her coldly. “This was in 9/11” she said. “He was a firefighter.” Browne tried to suggest that maybe the water had come from a fireman's hose, but it was her credibility that took the real hosing.
English TV psychic Sally Morgan claims to be “Britain's best-loved psychic.” She has her own show on the Sky Living channel. But Morgan’s psychic abilities have often been questioned by critics, and her claims are frequently wrong. During one appearance, for instance, two young ladies held up a picture of an elderly relative. “I’m seeing a barn,” said Morgan. The girls looked at her blankly. “Is it Bernard or Barnard or something?” Morgan implored. “No.” The girls replied, staring at her in disbelief. “Then why did he say it was?” Morgan asked. “That’s our Nan!” one of the girls finally exclaimed. Morgan apologized.
Scotland's charming Derek Ogilvie is another TV psychic who is probably lying. He specializes in reading the minds of babies. This is convenient, since babies generally lack the ability to refute any of his claims. Ogilvie’s readings are even harder to trust, because they are frequently long and complex. They might make sense if they were coming from an adult, but babies have a much more limited vocabulary.
John Edward may be one of the most well-known TV psychics in America. He has impressed celebrities including Australian children’s entertainers The Wiggles and CNN’s Anderson Cooper with his seemingly accurate readings. But Edward seems to be using a technique of “cold reading”, instead of psychic powers. Cold reading involves presenting questions that seem like statements to the person you are reading and letting them fill in the details. If Edward could really communicate with those who had passed on, he should not need to ask any questions of those in the real world. He should already know the answers.
Lifetime declared bubbly Michelle Whitedove "America’s #1 Psychic", after she bested other self-proclaimed psychics on "America’s Psychic Challenge." While Whitedove’s skills seem impressive, she is probably lying—at least about some things. On Calgary’s Breakfast TV, Whitedove told host Jill Belland that she could tell alleged psychics were fakes, because they pretended they could see the future, “which you can’t say if that is so or not.” But Whitedove predicts the future herself. One of her predictions, for instance, was that President Obama’s birth certificate would turn out to be fake. Whitedove claims, on her web site, that this prediction has been proven true.
Television psychics can be delightfully entertaining. But many are probably a lot less honest than they would have their audiences believe.