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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

Skeptics’ Sting Delivers High-Profile Hit to Psychic Credibility

The credibility of psychics took a huge hit in February and March of 2019 thanks to skeptical activists. Veteran skeptics Susan Gerbic and Mark Edward went undercover, posing as a couple, to see a psychic named Thomas John. They were given the outlines of a fictional backstory—some details of which they themselves didn’t know but had been posted by others posing as them on fake social media profiles in a clever double-blind experiment. Around the same time, Kenny Biddle and others conducted another undercover investigation into a different psychic named Matt Fraser, who was appearing at a resort in Pennsylvania. Taken together, they offer an in-depth look at both hot and cold reading and other techniques that modern performers use to fool the public.

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