Thank God for TLC. If it weren't for The Learning Channel, how would any of us learn anything?!?  I, for one, am grateful to have this amazing educational tool on my cable package. For the next few weeks, I will be focusing on some of the educational programming ( how is this stuff NOT funded by the Federal Government?!?) TLC offers. First....






"Long Island Medium" is a woman name Theresa Cavuto who gives people "messages" from their "dead loved ones" using a method known as "cold reading" or "being completely full of manure and not having a shred of human decency".


1.) How to be a Medium.

Actually, I haven't been a "medium" or even a "large" since 10th grade.

It's pretty simple, really.  You just have to rid your spirit of all kinds of clutter: shame, for instance...caring and compassion for others...unwillingness to prey upon the grief-stricken...etc., etc. .

Then you approach your "mark", otherwise known as "anyone who has ever had a person they know die".

Next step: Pretend you believe your own line of bunk.

This is not as easy as you may think. Here, let's watch the master at work...

Did you notice what the Long Island Medium does here? She approaches a woman who appears to be in her late-50's to early-60's and asks her if, by any chance, her parents are "departed" ( I thought she said, "deported" the first time I watched it too).

What do you know?!? This older lady's parents ARE deceased!  What are the odds?? Probably about 1:1!

However, even if the lady had said that one of her parents was deceased,that still would have counted as a "hit".  And, if she had said that her parents were both alive, a medium as skilled...I mean, "gifted" Theresa would have just said, "Oh, Then it must be your grandparents that are speaking to me".

This is cold reading, folks. You make a very vague, general statement and wait for the "mark" to fill in the details for you.


Theresa asks if the woman knows anybody who just had twins. Now, using myself as a random example, I know at least 2 family members and 1 very close friend who recently had twins. The great thing about cold reading is if the mark hadn't known anyone who'd had twins, the medium can easily switch it to a different directions. "Oh, well, maybe not twins, but any children born close to each other?"  Or, "Maybe they mean the Minnesota Twins. Do you know anyone in Minneapolis?". The possibilities are endless.

An interesting thing to note, once Theresa was off and running with the whole twins angle, she says that the dead parents are call the twins "the miracle babies". This is a good guess by Theresa as many twin births have post-natal complications. Statistically, twins are much more likely to be premature or for one or both twins to be under-weight. So, this was really a good bet by the Medium.

A good bet, but it didn't hit paydirt this time. When pressed by the Medium, the only miraculous thing the "mark" can think of about the babies is that they were, in fact,  twins. Healthy, ordinary twins.

Close enough, though, in a cold reading! She didn't get a hit so she moves right on to her next vague statement.

"Does the number 7 have any meaning?".

Does the number 7 mean anything? It means lots of things, I assume. The number of dwarves, the wonders of the ancient world, the best movie starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman??

"The twins were born 7 months ago".

AMAZING!! I guess if it weren't that it could have been that they were born at 7 in the morning, or in July, the seventh month, or on the seventh day of any given month. Maybe the mother craved 7-UP during her third trimester!

The point is, it's that easy to be a "medium" or "psychic" or "ghost-whisperer" or what-have-you.  I can do it.  I have done it!!  I'm pretty good at it, too. I once convinced one of our engineers that I knew things that "I had no way of knowing".

How did I do it? Cold reading. The same thing Theresa Cavuto, Jon Edward, James Van Praggh and all these other snakes and barracudas do.

The only difference is, I'm a decent human being. I could never use a cheap parlor trick to convince bereaved parents, children and spouses that I could talked to their deceased loved ones. If it weren't for that damned moral compass of mine, though, I could be rolling in the green! Curse you, moral compass!!