ReligionSkepticism

Psychic Medium Asks For a Link From Skepchick (Sure Thing!)

I’m being lazy today and x-posting at Skepchick, Boston Skeptics, and the SGU Blog. I’ve had a rough morning, so I’m allowed.

First of all, thanks to everyone who came out to Boston Skeptics in the Pub last night! We had about 70 people packed into Tommy Doyle’s top floor to hear Sam Moulton talk about Twins, Telepathy, and Smut. The main gripe was that there wasn’t enough smut, so for December I’m thinking of booking a porn star to talk about the science of . . . well, the science of anything she wants to talk about, I guess.

As soon as the December event is booked, I’ll let the world know. Stay tuned for that, as well as the audio and hopefully the video from Sam’s talk! We’re working on producing a regular Boston Skeptics in the Pub podcast for those of you outside the Hub of the Universe.

In the meantime, let’s go to the mailbag!

Today’s letter dropped into my Skepchick in-box like manna from heaven. The letter may as well have had the subject line, “Please open: I am ready for your ridicule!” Here it is, unedited, in its entirety:

Hi there,

My name is Sean Sugrue, a psychic medium based in Dublin, Ireland.

I came across your site earlier and thought it would be useful on my list of useful links on my site, so I took the opportunity of adding you to my links page.
The page where your site is listed is here :-

http://www.psychicreadingsireland.com/links_s_u.htm

Please let me know if you would be interested in providing a link back to my site, and if you could use the below desciption that would be great.

Site description:

Sean Sugrue is a psychic Medium based in Dublin, Ireland. He provides tarot readings and is also a Reiki master and practitioner.

Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards,

Sean

http://www.psychicreadingsireland.com

PS I may have hit the send button twice by mistake – sorry if you get this a second time

Well hello there, Sean! As requested, I am linking to your site – from three different popular blogs, you lucky dog!

Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to take a look at your web site and mock it mercilessly. Hope that’s okay! FYI: what follows is not a skeptical evaluation of Sean’s web site so much as it is one long ad hominem attack. There are times for seriously considering a paranormal claim and there are times when the claim is just so ridiculous that it deserves nothing but ridicule. This is a case of the latter. That said, I’ll throw Sean a bone at the end in the hope (however faint) that he will be willing to show he and his magical powers deserve respect.

Let’s start at the top. There’s an angel hovering over the page, indicating that Sean receives psychic messages straight from Yahweh Himself, though the evidence to back this up is scant (see next paragraph). The next image down is the obvious choice to grace the title banner of an Irish psychic medium: a Native American. Yep, nothing says authentic Irish quackery like a noble chieftain of America’s indigenous people. I’ve included a screenshot to the right, in case Sean decides to change the image to something more appropriate, like Genghis Khan or maybe a marmoset.

Near the bottom of the home page, we learn that Sean has been “Qualified under Diana Cooper School Of Angels,” which I’m sure brings you all a lot of relief. I once visited a psychic medium who claimed to be qualified under Diana Cooper School Of Angels, but actually he never completed his thesis on the Quantum Effects of the Ascension of Celestial Beings and Their Correlation to 18th Century Quackery, so when he tried to spiritually heal my smoking habit he accidentally gave me scurvy. The bastard. Anyway, I’m sure that Diana Cooper’s Made-up School for the Deluded and Fraudulent seriously vets all students and only qualifies the best of the best, so you have nothing to worry about when visiting Sean.

Here’s how Sean describes how the angels help him out:

Angel Readings are performed by psychics. It is a type of psychic reading whereby the psychic is able to channel readings from the angel guides. Some psychic readers use Angel Cards whilst others channel the energy directly.

In other words, “angels” and “angel cards” are convenient excuses to lean upon when performing a cold reading, the common magic trick psychics use to fool people into believing the psychic has access to information that can only be obtained via supernatural means. There has never been any reputable, repeatable study to show that psychics are doing anything other than lying to themselves and/or their paying customers.

Another of Sean’s services is to do psychic tarot readings over Skype for the low, low price of €50. Here’s the description:

Psychic tarot reading is both and art and a science. It is a science because magic is a precision science, so all procedures need to be repeatable and produce reliable results. But at the same time, reading tarot cards is also an art form that requires and enhances the development of intuitive and psychic abilities.

Wow, Sean’s totally speaking our language! We love science here. And this is shocking, because Sean claims that his psychic tarot readings are repeatable with reliable results, traits that have never, ever been proven in a scientific study. Never. EVER.

So, Sean, with that in mind, I’d like to see your proof. After all, it is a science! Here are some other things that are science: chemistry, physics, and astronomy. Each of these sciences has led to incredible discoveries about the universe and our place in it, and each is supported by a myriad of strict scientific studies. If you want to place “psychic tarot reading” in that list, all you have to do is show us the evidence. I can enlist the aid of skeptics and scientists in the UK to take a look, or maybe we can even set something up over Skype, so you can prove to the world that you are (unlike every other psychic ever tested) the real thing. Wouldn’t that be exciting?

Tags

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

Related Articles

53 Comments

  1. How on earth did this man come up with Skepchick as a good site to link to and get a link from? Is it possible he was just looking for blogs which had ever used the word “psychic,” without reading any of their content whatsoever?

    Well, your site is listed on that links page right under “theory test software. downloadsoftware4free.com. Download Free Software. Search shareware and freeware downloads.” So who knows what is going on in his head…?

  2. @vbalbert: What a coincidence – Cosmic Uterus is the name of my forthcoming riot grrl tribute band.

    If you check out the links section of Diana Cooper’s website, there’s one to the Unicorn Centre, which has – of course – Unicorn Days! Sounds to me like more fun than Angel Days.

  3. @Jen: Ha ha haaa, I saw her site but missed Unicorn Days! I declare Unicorn Days to be official Skepchick holidays, which by the way does not mean anyone actually gets a vacation day. You may be asked to blog harder.

    @Jacob Wintersmith: I’m so glad you asked. We’ll be adding psychic marmosets to the Skepchick store as soon as Spreadshirt begins offering them. They will come with our logo pre-branded into their hides.

  4. As the Head Wrangler at the Unicorn Centre, it is incumbent upon me to detail some of the events we have here during our upcoming Unicorn Days celebration.

    To begin with, we have a hoof and horn painting contest. The most fanciful and creative designs will win a bucket of fairy dust!

    Next, we’ll have unicorn races. Competition looks tight in both our regular and flying divisions, although the ponycorn division has been dominated in recent years by Sprinkles McSmileytown, a delightful and mischievous ponycorn from the land of Nod.

    Finally, we’ll be having a special demonstration this year in which our talented group of unicorn breeders will show off their most ambitious program to date: We all know that unicorns fart rainbows, but is that the only thing they can fart? Our breeders have been developing unicorns that fart potpourri, auroras, and even glitter!

    So please, come on down to Unicorn Days at the Unicorn Centre. You get a free Uni-corn dog with each admission! That’s Unicorn Days, at the intersection of You’re Nuts Street and Barking Mad Road, Tinglytown, Fantasyland.

  5. “The next image down is the obvious choice to grace the title banner of an Irish psychic medium: a Native American. Yep, nothing says authentic Irish quackery like a noble chieftain of America’s indigenous people. I’ve included a screenshot to the right, in case Sean decides to change the image to something more appropriate”

    Maybe a Native American drinking a Guinness?

  6. Do the Angel Cards include batting average and on-base percentage statistics for the featured angel?

    Seriously, if you’re channeling or praying to these angels, you’ll want to know the odds that they’ll deliver.

    In fact, we should start a Fantasy Angel League. Acquire your favorite angels and see who’s team answered the most prayers last week.

    Finally, T-shirts and calendars aren’t enough: Skepchick needs to add Angel Cards to the merchandise available for purchase. I seriously want to clothes-pin a couple of these to my bicycle forks so they make that cool noise with the spokes.

  7. @Rebecca: But wouldn’t the marmosets, cause they’re all psychic and stuff, know that you were coming to brand them and then go and hide behind a group of unicorns?

    Trust me, you don’t want to piss off a unicorn. They have pointy bits!

    @Jen: Can my new emo/punk/ska/folk fusion band, The Psychic Marmosets, be the opening act for Cosmic Uterus?

  8. @teambanzai: Thank you, thank you very much for the morning chuckle. Having used (and very sorry I did) anatomically correct dolls to interview kids years ago, I discovered the only really good use of these fully equipped little folk was to put them in various positions of sexual entanglement on vacationing coworkers desks.

  9. @QuestionAuthority: Well you see what happened is one of his psychic angles was in a pissy mood and forced him to send the link while he was channeling this particularly pissy angle. Since he was channeling this was actually an example of automatic emailing. This is the successor to autmatic writing. Sean will be very surprised at what he will view as an unprovoked attack by Rebecca as he will have no memory of what he emailed or linked. I forgot about the automatic linking. It is all the fault of pissy angles. Don’t blame Sean he is just a psychic conduit without any control of what the angles make him do.

  10. @Gabrielbrawley: Agreed. Really funny comment Im_a_Hedge.

    Maybe Skepchick should make its stance a little “clearer” so that no wandering psychics ever bumps onto the site? Or is this what you *wanted* to happen to psychics – fall into the idiocy to send a link exchange with Skepchick?

    Anyway, I used get confused as to whether Skepchick is a good site or not (of course, I didn’t know what “skeptics” meant at all), and the only indication in the logo of Skepchicks is the “b.s.”, which I consider rather implicit. An innocent person who wants to read skeptical thought might get put off by the subtitle.

    I’m just saying the subtitle is rather ambiguous.

  11. This guy isn’t a complete idiot, if he gets 100 people (skeptic or otherwise) to test his abilities at €50 a go, that €5,000. Infact if hardly anyone takes up the challenge he can say the sample group was too small and more people should hand over their €50.

    He’s realised there’s a market out there full of skeptics aching to prove him wrong and willing to part with a little cash for the pleasure of doing so.

    AND don’t forget the most people who believe in Woo claim (wrongly) that the scientific method is a “western biased methodology that disregards personal testimony”.

    So he’s laughing all the way to the Bank, everyone who drank the cool-aid wont be pursauded by any number of scientific studies, and skeptics will be lining up, cash in hand, to prove him wrong. He’s sqaured the circle.

    That’s got to be worth some sort of marketing award, the guy’s a genius.

  12. @Freiddie: In the UK, Sceptic generally means “Sceptical of the Scientific Method”. Climate-Sceptic = No CO2 problem, Euro-Sceptic = State’s Rights over Brussels, Vaccine-Sceptic = Vaccines cause your eyes to fall out, etc etc

    When I first heard about the SGU I assumed it was going to be Pro-Woo and Anti-Vaccine (Sceptic and Dr Novella in one sentence made me think the worst)

    Until recently typing Sceptic into Google produced more anti-science websites in the UK, so there probably is quite a lot of “non-Skeptic” traffic

  13. @Im a Hedge:

    I know it’s only Tuesday, but I agree with the COTW nominations for the Hedge-ster.

    As great as Rebecca’s post was, this comment was the only thing that actually made me burst out in laughter. Luckily, I’ve learned my lesson watching “The Office” and didn’t have a mouthful of vitamin water at the time.

  14. @Freiddie:
    I cannot disagree more (well, I suppose that I could…but it would involve a lot of jumping up and down yelling “I’M TERRIBLY SORRY TO BOTHER YOU BUT I REALLY DISAGREE”…but that wouldn’t exactly translate well in text).

    Any possible ambiguity vanishes very quickly if these purveyors would take the trouble and read at least 3 blasted sentances. The stance that this site on such matters is pretty durn clear.

    Their rush-to-market intellectual laziness should not imply a reflection of ambiguity here. It’s their fault for being so bloody stupid in the first place (and amazingly, I’m not even referring to the psychic-ness here!….so when you add that on top….it’s the worst banana split you’ve ever tasted in your brain-hole).

    Seriously, it takes 30 seconds to figure out what this site is about. Anyone who can travel to a mystical plane, (presumably, on a mystical plane) can spare the time.

  15. “so for December I’m thinking of booking a porn star to talk about the science of . . . well, the science of anything she wants to talk about, I guess.”

    Might I suggest Asia Carrera, an atheist, member of mensa, and retired concert pianist, and retired porn star. Um….or so I’ve heard.

Leave a Reply

You May Also Enjoy

Close
Close