Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

George Anderson and Allison Dubois-are they frauds?

  1. Nov 3, 2005 #1
    Ever heard of mediums like George Anderson and Allison Dubois?
    I watched George Anderson on TV and they said that at least 75% of what he said about any dead person was correct.
    Are both George Anderson and Allison Dubois frauds?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 3, 2005 #2
    The most disgousting thing that I've seen on Anderson's TV seanses was when he said "you(dead) sister says goodbye to you and she says she must cross the line to the other world,now she is disappeared on the other side".That's rubbish,I know that he is lying when he said that.
    Anyone can say that.
    Any other thoughts?
     
  4. Nov 4, 2005 #3

    SGT

    User Avatar

    For a good analysis of the actings of thes and other scammers read
    http://www.skepdic.com/medium.html
     
  5. Sep 13, 2006 #4
    mediums

    I 've had what I call telling dreams.Their not pleasant and have always been pretty accurate.I dont ask for it to happen,it just does.Im very new on a computer so Im a slow typer,I apolgise for this please bear with me.If someone out there can explian this please do!I do not claim in any way that Im a medium,but it seems someone is telling me something.I whould prefer this did not happen!
     
  6. Sep 13, 2006 #5

    SGT

    User Avatar

    Every person has an average of 250 dreams per night. So we have around 7500 dreams every month.
    Of course we don´t remember them all, but even if we remember only two dreams each day, there will be 60 dreams in one month. Most of them have nothing to do with any actual event and we forget them. But once in a while something happens that can be associated to a previous dream, so it seems prophetic to us.
     
  7. Sep 15, 2006 #6
    umm- Allison DuBois is a fictitious character played by Patricia Arquette - ummmmmm :confused: :shy:
     
  8. Sep 15, 2006 #7

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

  9. Dec 17, 2006 #8
    I forgot to thank you for that info Evo- my wife and I are fans of the TV show and it was really cool to find out that it was based on a real person!
     
  10. Dec 21, 2006 #9
    This subject is very interesting to me. I don't believe any of the senstionalist TV mediums are genuine, but I have had a personal experience with a medium that really scared me. My wife and I were visiting friends in Florida on vacation and went to a large flee market. We happened upon a medium offering tarot and readings. I did a session with her for a lark to see what would happen. Only $25 so what the heck. I asked for a reading rather than tarot cards and she agreed. With no prior conversation whatsoever, she took my hands and started telling me about my personal life. For example, I have three children, two by my wife and one from a former relationship. She said "I see three children, two are very close and one stands far away" Needless to say, I paid close attention to the rest of the reading and it shook my beliefs about this to the core.

    I am 100% sure my friends had no prior contact with her and in fact did not know about my third son at all. I was the only one doing a reading so no one preceded me that could divulge any details.I stress again there was zero conversation with the medium prior to the reading so she had no clue whatsoever about any of the detials of my life.

    So, the bottom line for me is that these kinds of "abilities" cannot be dismissed entirely.
     
  11. Dec 21, 2006 #10

    Mech_Engineer

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It's all B.S.

    The "readers" are just good at reading people (their clothes, their expressions, conversations they were having before sitting down), and going off wild guesses. The fact is that people are really easy to fool when they WANT to be fooled. It may be difficult to spot the trick if you're not looking for it, but there is one there whether you're aware of it or not.

    P&T BS had a good episode on the subject. One interesting test they did is have a guy play "characters" when going to get read by a few psychics. For one, he dressed as a "successful business man" and was acting streesed out while talking on the phone before he went into the room with the reader. The "psychic" of course said that he was stressed out, worked a lot, and should probably take a step back. Next, he went to a psychic dressed as an "out of work loser" with the tequila breath and everything. This next psychic said he needed to reevaluate his life, and he won't get a job if he never tries. Strange that the very same man went from working too hard to needing to find a job in the space of a few hours... Finally he dressed as a "suburban married man" and talked on the phone with an imaginary wife before going into the room with the psychic. The Psychic said he had a loving relationship and that there were many happy years ahead of him. Yet, the actor is, nor had he ever been, married.

    The result of this test is obvious, since if there was anything to these psychics' claimed abilities their readings would have at least been similar regardless of the man's clothes or actions in the waiting room.

    They also talked about the television shows with psychics that seem to be really good at guessing things about people... alomst supernaturally so. Basically, anyone in the audience has to sign a non-disclosure agreement that is a mile long and pretty much bullet proof, but the taping is a three-hour affair, where the final show is only about 40 minutes long. I wonder what the NDA is meant to hide? Obviously they edit out the misses on the part of the psychic, while they keep the guesses that hit. Also, the psychic will go out into the crowd before taping and start trying to collect information any way they can, either through quick questions, or idle conversation. Heck the people even fill out short biographies of themselves for the "psychic" to pore over before the shooting. Then, the psychic walks right up to the person during taping and blurts out something like "I have heard something from your dead mother" to which the audience thinks "how the heck did he know he wanted to talk to his dead mother?!" In fact, he collected the information earlier and has pulled it out to look good on TV.

    It's all smoke and mirrors, nothing but a little trickery and some smart reading of people.
     
  12. Jan 29, 2007 #11
    Mech_Engineer, that's simply not true. Without doubt, there are many fraudulent people out there claiming to have psychic abilities and to "speak to the dead." But everyone cannot be simplistically grouped under that designation. I'm okay with the idea that there is no afterlife, but there are actually scientific studies suggesting that there may indeed be. These published studies, and the very interesting backstories surrounding them, are contained in the 2002 book "The Afterlife Experiments" by Dr. Gary E. Schwartz (who, incidentally, recieved his doctorate from Harvard, and has been a professor at, and director of the Psychophysiology Center at, Yale University). In the book, Scwhartz studies 5 or 6 top mediums, including John Edward and George Anderson, and goes to great lengths to make sure that no possibility of "cold reading" or contamination could occur (including completely masking the voices of the subject being read, and of course completely seperating the medium from the subject, etc.). The results are impressive indeed. Aanyone who is interested in a truly scientific treatment of mediumship would be well served to read the book or locate the published scientific studies.

    There is a big difference between skepticism and cynicism. Unfortunately, many who call themselves skeptics are actually cynics -- e.g. they have their mind made up and anything that suggests otherwise is BS and anything that confirms their beliefs are considered to be "solid science." I encourage anyone reading this to not fall into that trap. I am very much a skeptic -- and I let controlled, scientific evidence speak for itself.
     
  13. Jan 29, 2007 #12

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Can you provide citations for peer-reviewed work? What does "may indeed be" mean?
    Make that "had been". He went from Yale to the U of AZ nearly twenty years ago.

    After leaving Yale, he married Linda Russek, who was devastated by the death of her father, and wanted to find out if there was a way to communicate with him. This is the motive for all of Schwartz's subsequent work - hardly makes it easy to see him as a dispassionate investigator.

    http://www.csicop.org/si/2003-01/medium.html

     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2007
  14. Jan 29, 2007 #13

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Gokul, Csicop is hardly a scientific resource. In fact it looks to me like they're selling a book.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2007
  15. Jan 29, 2007 #14

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Yah, actually, every single one of them can be. None have ever passed tests of the type M_E described.
    Never heard of that other guy, but John Edward makes me physically ill. He's among the worst - and most obvious - frauds I've ever seen. Here's a site that goes through the terms and conditions for being on his show. They coach you to contribute to the cold reading: http://dir.salon.com/story/people/feature/2002/06/13/probability/index.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2007
  16. Feb 1, 2007 #15

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    What scientific resource publishes critiques of pop sci books?
     
  17. Feb 16, 2007 #16
    The numbers may add up but the supposition doesnt, as far as I'm concerned.
    I too have had too many dreams that unfold within a day or so. I dont fit the day into the dream or the dream into the day. It works out that way, despite me. This precog, if you will, is not limited to dreams. It is a burden. A burden to "know", yet a priviledge to effect the outcome, sometimes, with prayer.
     
  18. Mar 1, 2007 #17
    Just a couple of relevant videos from randi on the subject:

    James Randi Debunks Peter Popoff Faith Healer


    James Randi and Doris Collins "Cold Reader"
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  19. Mar 13, 2007 #18

    Chronos

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award

    Many studies have been done, and many tax dollars spent seeking the 'men in black'. They all come up empty. Either the real psychics have an aversion to being rigorously tested, or they do not exist. Randi still has his million dollars laying on the table for the taking. Connect the dots.
     
  20. Mar 13, 2007 #19

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Or, if such things exist, psychic phenomena cannot be produced on demand.

    To debunk obvious charlatans is not to discredit all claims.
     
  21. Mar 14, 2007 #20

    SGT

    User Avatar

    How many of those prophetic dreams do you have every month? How many dreams do you have that are not prophetic?
    You probably have a statistics for the former, but not for the latest. You naturally forget the dreams that don´t come true. This is called selective thinking.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: George Anderson and Allison Dubois-are they frauds?
  1. Is This A Joke-fraud ? (Replies: 5)

  2. George Whiteside (Replies: 8)

  3. George Best (Replies: 8)

  4. Where's George (Replies: 3)

Loading...