There is virtually no difference between parlor-trick psychics (who have been proven fraudulent in a plethora of scientific studies but still have enjoyed success employing their carnival-show trade for hundreds of years) and charismatic prophets. They use the same method of “cold reading” to gain insight into individuals, and then to sound like they have been given esoteric information into the lives or psyches of the gullible.
Cold reading is a method that is used by psychics, fortune-tellers, palm-readers, illusionists, supposed mediums, and other hucksters to make it perceived that the trickster knows more about the subject (the person being “read”) than they actually do. A good cold-reader can get a large deal of information about a person from their language, dialect, age, hairstyle, masculinity or feminity, body-language, education, or grammar, and especially the answer to simple questions.
Cold readings typically use what is called “high probability guesses,” in which they use body language to determine how close they are to the truth, and then use change connections and coincidences, and moving on very quickly from wrong guesses. This is a well known “trick” that has been completely debunked by psychologists and explained by the Forer Effect (also known as the Barnum Effect), a “common psychological phenomenon whereby individuals give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically to them but that are, in fact, vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people.” Virtually all psychics, palm-readers, aura-readers and fortune-tellers capitalize on this phenomenon.
What Is Not Satire has pointed out – and rightly so – is that the method used by the famous fortune teller, John Edward, is exactly that used by charismatic Bethel Church “prophet,” Shawn Bolz. It was posted first at Heterodox Research Initiative.
Do not be fooled by trickery. This is not of God, but of the devil.
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