Skepchick Quickies, 9.2


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. Why would aliens regret only abducting lone weirdos? It affords them plausible deniability! If anyone accuses an alien of abducting someone, and performing experiments on them, the alien can just say “don’t look at me, man. This guy is clearly nuts.”

  2. From Psychic scams:
    “If you have been scammed, don’t let this deter you from psychics all together. There are some truly great psychics out there! Just beware of the common scams!”

    If you have been burned by fire, don’t let this deter you from putting your hand in fires all together [sic]. There are some truly great fires out there! Just beware of the common burns!

  3. they left out my favorite signs of psychic scams:

    1) They use the word ‘psychic’
    2) Their lips are moving
    3) Their lips aren’t moving

    eckcetra, eckcetra, eckcetra, as Granny Weatherwax might say.

  4. “Signs of psychic scams. ”

    I don’t know about anyone else, but as soon as somoene claims to be a psychic, or can read the future, or has some other ~supernatural~ power, I’m pretty certain it’s a scam at that point.

    But you know, I guess that’s what we skeptics are good for.

  5. I might be more inclined to accept the advice of that psychic without feeling there’s hypocrisy involved if they were only a psychic by *hobby*, and not by *trade*.

    I mean, if it’s just a hobby for them, that’s great, it’s great they’re encouraging people not to dump money into the industry–and even greater that they suggest you do it yourself for spells and such rather than paying someone for.

    But then you realize that in spite of them telling you this, they’re getting paid to…do all of this.

  6. “It should be personalized to you and your questions.”

    – For verification purposes, what are the last 4 digits of my SSN? — Oh wait, everyone company in the US has that on file.

  7. ‘Psychic scam’ is an oxymoron, in the same way that ‘scientific methodology’ and ‘skeptical analysis’ are oxymorons.

  8. I’m glad that the aliens are finally acknowledging that after giving all these lone weirdos anal probes, the only think they have learned is that 1 in 10 don’t mind them.

  9. You know, I don’t really mind the psychic as entertainer.
    I perform at ren faires, so I’m constantly coming into contact with palm readers, tarot readers and variations on these themes. Its a show. It works because of the don’t ask/don’t tell between the performer and the audience (which is usually the person paying plus whoever they came with.)
    It seems to me that the author of that piece isn’t on either extreme of the entertainer/con spectrum. This is somebody who sees people doing the same thing they do, but doing it in such a way as to take advantage of people. Insomuch as She’s pointing out scams and ways to avoid falling into them, she’s on our side.

  10. I learned to read palms years ago, and can entertain friends and strangers for hours with the “skill” but I always explain up front that palm-reading is a load of crap and that what I am doing is A) following conventions laid out in books, which has nothing to do with “reality”, so yeah, anybody could learn to do it and B) I’m doing a cold reading. I have never ever ever charged anybody for it, though I have accepted a drink at a bar now and again. I was asked to read palms at a kids’ party once (for my niece). I basically asked each girl what she wanted to be when she grows up, then told her that she was really smart and talented and would be successful in whatever she puts her mind to. I also told them what animal they were in a past life (making sure it was completely silly). The girls were 8. I hope I didn’t do any lasting damage…

  11. Um … the key to identifying a psychic scam in my opinion is pretty simple actually – if it has the word psychic in it, then it’s a scam.

  12. I wonder if Penn and Teller are thrilled to have an ad on a page mentioning “good psychics” and an link to an article on how to be a ghost hunter. I thought matter and anti-matter couldn’t co-exist together?

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