Quick Look at John Edward
- Who: John Edward McGee, Jr. (born October 19, 1969) -- better known as John Edward -- is an American psychic medium. He is best known for his TV shows Crossing Over with John Edward and John Edward Cross Country.
- What: Gained popularity after publishing his first book, One Last Time: A Psychic Medium Speaks to Those We Have Loved and Lost, and a subsequent appearance on Larry King Live.
- Claims: Says that deceased people -- generally friends and relatives of audience members -- communicate with him from "the other side."
- Controversy: Critics claim Edward uses techniques known as 'hot reading' (forehand knowledge), 'cold reading' (making high-probability guesses from observing and analyzing a person's body language, gender, style of dress, manner of speaking, etcetera), and 'warm reading' (utilizing known principles of psychology that apply to nearly everyone, in combination with the judicious use of statements that seem personal, yet apply to many people). 
- Deconstructing the Dead: “Crossing over” to expose the tricks of popular spirit mediums [contra] by Michael Schermer, founding publisher of Skeptic magazine. Says that James uses hot reading, warm reading and cold reading techniques.
- I See Dead People by Marcia Montenegro of Christian Answers for the New Age: " In the quagmire of beliefs that surround after-death communication, Christians should not lose sight of what can be offered to those who grieve — the true source of comfort, Jesus Christ." Discusses James Edward, James Van Praagh and Sylvia Browne -- all influential psychic mediums at the center of a revived interest in communicating with the dead -- and provides a Biblical response.
- John Edward: Hustling the Bereaved by Joe Nickell, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and columnist for Skeptical Inquirer.
- John Edward Revisited [contra] Skeptic and magician James Randi says, "Remember, every member of his audience, self-selected to consist of persons who sincerely want to make a connection with the spirit of a deceased relative or friend, sits and waits for a comment from Edward, an initial, name, suggestion, relationship, or situation that they can in some way relate either to their lives or to the life of the deceased. They search frantically for that connection which Edward is constantly urging them to make." He then shows how, with the first audience member, Edward rattles off 23 guesses within 50 seconds, only three of which turn our to be correct.
- Talking to Heaven Through Television: How the Mass Media Package and Sell Psychic Medium John Edward [contra] by Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D, a professor in the School of Communication at American University. An in-depth article; very useful.
- Shooting Crap: Alleged psychic John Edward actually gambles on hope and basic laws of statistics. by Shari Waxman, Salon, June 13, 2002
Encyclopedia / Profiles
News & News Archive
- Great hits & misses of psychic John Edward by Andrew Endersby, Skeptic Report
- How come TV psychics seem so convincing? The Straight Dope: "…the readings of TV psychics don't look so impressive once you understand the techniques involved. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy the performance, just as you can enjoy a good magician's sleight-of-hand. But you'd do well to maintain your skepticism – and keep one hand on your wallet."
- Psychics Information from Watchman Fellowship. Includes a Biblical response.
- The Psychics: Can They Help You?, by Marcia Montenegro, of Christian Answers for the New Age. The author writes from a well-informed perspective: she previously participated in psychic development & similar classes which taught spirit contact, meditation, seeing auras, communication with the dead, psychic healing, & telepathy, among other things.
- Regarding these techniques see the Wikipedia entry on cold reading
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This post was last updated: Mar. 14, 2012