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Skeptical Analysis of the Paranormal Society

"Le doute n'est pas une condition agrťable, mais la certitude est absurde."


SAPS Records a Psychic Reading

SAPS Founder, Alison, visits a psychic.

To check into cold readings and the power of belief, SAPS founder, Alison, visited local psychic Clair Liz. They met in a cramped room in Clair's home that had a small, two-person table with a coverlet covered in glittery stars. On top of the table were resin dragons, Buddha statues, crystals, and a small bowl of dry white rice (Was this dinner, or did it have a psychic meaning? We may never know.). The reading was a "life reading", including aura and tarot. It was on special for twenty-five dollars, which was well-suited for the SAPS budget (after it was drained in equipment purchases during the Mary Moody Northen Theatre fiasco).

Alison tried to answer all questions put to her with a simple "yes" or "no". Sometimes, with direct questions, this was impossible, so half the time she lied in response, and half the time she told the truth. The difference was never noticed. Alison soon became aware, though, that the longer the reading went on (it lasted around thirty minutes) the more she was able to apply what was said to herself. Even things that were half-wrong became interesting facts, and it was only afterward when reviewing the audio and reading the transcript that she realized how general most of the statements were. The application of whether or not the statements were correct was entirely in her own mind at the time.

It should be said that beforehand, the psychic did have some knowledge of Alison. On the phone, when she requested a reading, Alison was clear that she was going to record the experience and post it on a web site. Clair has asked that we put in a good word for her, and it is true that she is very good at what she does, be it a psychic experience or not. Feel free to call her for an appointment if you are in the Fort Worth area at 817 457 0246. You too can get a taste of a cold reading.

Clair states, near the beginning of the tape, that a psychic reading is very personal. This is true - not because of what the psychic tells you so much as what you are forced to reveal. Because of this, when we look at the number of true statements, the number of false statements, and the number of times Alison lied during the reading, we are not going to say which statements they are. Only that they were true or false.

Here is the breakdown of statements made by Clair:

General Statements (Could apply to anyone): 10

True Statements (Could still apply to a lot of people, or could've been seen through good observation skills, but resonated well): 7

False Statements (Did not apply to Alison): 10

Future Statements (May eventually apply, no way to know): 12

During the reading, Alison told five specific lies (the nature of which will not be revealed here), and none were noticed or contradicted by Clair.

Read the transcript here: Psychic Transcript

Listen to the reading here:

Back to the reports.

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