People like Theresa Caputo, John Edward, and Sylvia Browne are the lowest of the low. They prey upon the sadness of people and their emotional lowpoint to enrich themselves and make themselves appear to be channels to a place that we really hope exists out of the fear of our own mortality. We all want to believe that death isn’t the end, and “mediums” not only know that, they bank on it for their own enrichment.
Some people who don’t believe in what these “mediums” do simply argue that even if you don’t believe in what they do, there’s no harm done, and they provide comfort to those suffering a loss. I tend to take a more Penn Jillette style approach to these scumbags.
I think what they do is devastating to the people they ply their trade on and here’s why.
When someone passes on, the only thing you have is memories. You can’t have conversations with the person any more, and you don’t get an opportunity to make new memories. The only thing you can do is remember the person, what they were about, your time together, and what they did. Now imagine those only remembrances of a person you love being vandalized. It would be the same if, after a person died, someone came into your home and spray-painted smiley faces on all the photos of you and your loved one.
No sane person would tolerate that, nor should they.
The corruption of memories is a serious thing but it’s even more serious when people come to these “psychics” with the hope of contacting their loved ones only to find out that the person who’s doing the contacting is absolutely incapable of doing so.
My favorite example of this happened with “medium” Sylvia Browne on the Montel Williams show. Williams loved having Sylvia Browne on and touting her as a connection to the afterlife, but on some of her visits she failed spectacularly.
Notice the absolute commitment she has to her “story” when she finds out that the man was a 9/11 firefighter? And then she tries to wrap it all up in a nice bow with “It doesn’t matter if they find him because he’s over there any way.” Oh, thanks Sylvia.
And my favorite newly minted queen of the afterlife isn’t much better. Here she is in an awesome supercut of her fishing expeditions while trying to seize on someone to “read.” Notice how meaningless and repetitive the questions are. This is a woman who’s being spoken to by deceased people in the afterlife, yet she has to ask who the person is there to see, what happened, to them, and then she talks in cryptic nonsense (Who connects to the number 8?). Why would someone who was coming forward through Caputo, or any of these other vultures, not just say “I’m Joe. I’m here to see Mary?”
That never ever happens.
And, of course, the final nail in the coffin of their legitimacy is the fact that none of them have ever demonstrated, in a scientifically controlled experiment, that they have any psychic abilities. James Randi, a personal hero of mine, has been trying for 50+ years to give away a large sum of money (In 1964, it was $1,000. It is now $1,000,000) to anyone who can prove, under scientific observation, that they have psychic or supernatural powers. To this day, he has not given away a single dime. Often people agree to participate and are made fools of (He most famously embarrassed phenom Uri Geller on Carson by helping the staff “prepare” for his visit by not letting Geller provide his own props and exposed Peter Popoff, another “medium” as well).
And, of course, there’s Leigh Catherine, who promised to take the James Randi challenge, and who ITV even volunteered to foot the costs of her flying to the states to do it, but then backed down calling it “dodgy” and set up so that she couldn’t pass it. Have you started to realize, yet, that unless these “mediums” can control the full scope of the challenge, they back down from it with some kind of excuse?
This is how you know that they aren’t really contacting the dead.
People like Caputo and others pray on two things: Our sadness over the loss of a loved one, and the hope that there’s an afterlife and that the person we love is happy somewhere else. It’s not my place to tell you how to believe as far as what happens to you when you die, and no one should tell you what you should or shouldn’t believe.
What I am against, however, is a bunch of vultures profiteering from the pain of others and offering them hope or “communication” that simply isn’t based in reality.
If you believe in an afterlife, and you believe that you’re surrounded by the spirits of the people you’ve lost, then talk to them. You don’t need Theresa Caputo to pretend to talk to them for you, just talk to them. Save yourself a few grand, make them a nice memorial and remember them the way they were, not the way some carnival act wants you to remember them.
You only have your memories; don’t let these psychic vandals ruin them with their sideshow act.
Header Image via Theresacaputo.com