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Paranoid Android

Had my fortune read on the weekend

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On Saturday night I went on a date with my girlfriend to a restaurant. Part of the entertainment was a Fortune Teller. Just for a bit of fun we had our fortunes read. I wasn't expecting much, just some light entertainment, the reading was only going to be five minutes, after all.

Anyway, 3 minutes into my reading she said "I'm just taking this job for a bit of extra cash, I think it's demeaning when people think of me as a fortune teller. I consider myself a medium, and I can sense you've lost someone recently".

I nodded.

"It's your mother, isn't it".

My mother passed away only two months ago. The fortune lady then told me that she had a message, to let me know that mum had been reunited with someone very close to her.

My father passed away only 11 months before mum.

Anyway, I generally take this as just some clever cold readings, but I wanted to share, if for no other reason than she was pretty good at her job, after only 3 minutes with me (didn't think I was that transparent, lol).

~ Regards, PA

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Very sorry to hear about the recent loss of your parents.

But yeah, you mentioned 'clever cold readings'. If one guesses right (your mother died) it's not that intuitive to presuppose the loss of her husband, as wives usually live longer than their husbands.

Thanks for sharing, but what's your personal take (philosophical, metaphysical or other-wise) on the experience?

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I'm not sure how I feel about such things but I do tend to avoid seeking them out. It sounds as though she offered comfort and that was a good thing no matter whether she has insight or not. I'm sorry to hear of your loss PA.

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I've had only one run in with what you could call a 'medium', and it was just a short, bizarre few words that I haven't forgotten after all these years. It was back in my days of drugs, and I'd ended up in a mental hospital after a multi-day binge. As I sat in the front room silently thinking about the past few days ending with voices in my head tormenting and mocking me , a guy around my age then (low 20s) sat next to me for a second, then turned and said "you know, they're just trying to break you down", then paused, waiting for me to speak, and then said "you don't have to talk about it if you don't want to" and turned back forward. He was so nonchalant and honest in the way he said those words that it struck me, and I've not forgotten the bizarre moment.

Edited by _Only
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Very sorry to hear about the recent loss of your parents.

But yeah, you mentioned 'clever cold readings'. If one guesses right (your mother died) it's not that intuitive to presuppose the loss of her husband, as wives usually live longer than their husbands.

Thanks for sharing, but what's your personal take (philosophical, metaphysical or other-wise) on the experience?

Not that the woman would know it, but dad was 10 years older than mum. Though mum passed away a year later, she was ten years younger.

My personal take was that she was an adept cold reader. Made for an interesting night, in any case.

Edited by Paranoid Android

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I'm not sure how I feel about such things but I do tend to avoid seeking them out. It sounds as though she offered comfort and that was a good thing no matter whether she has insight or not. I'm sorry to hear of your loss PA.

I didn't seek them out, they just happened to be there. But I do understand your concern as a fellow Christian. But I think of this as just some harmless entertainment rather than actually seeking to hear my future. My future is guided by God, not mediums. I think from a Christian point of view this is not incompatible with biblical views. The biblical argument seems to be about seeking mediums in order to seek guidance from them rather than God.

That's my view of the Bible, at least.

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PA, sorry to hear about your losses and I don't want to be an annoying skeptic over it, so feel free to tell me to mind my own.. :)

But I'm intrigued by the way you suggested that the restaurant included a fortune telling session... I would then have to ask what sort of venue was this and did you book under your name, and/or are you or your partner (or even any friends that may have also been there) on facebook or any other forums where you could be identified? Ie, I'm wondering if it really was 'cold'... There are all sorts of methodologies - some of which may surprise you - that are used by the better ones. And then there are the very old methods, eg the selling bibles by looking up obituaries trick seen on Paper Moon, and so on..

I'd suggest watching a few Derren Brown TV shows to get an idea of the newer methods..

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PA, sorry to hear about your losses and I don't want to be an annoying skeptic over it, so feel free to tell me to mind my own.. :)

But I'm intrigued by the way you suggested that the restaurant included a fortune telling session... I would then have to ask what sort of venue was this and did you book under your name, and/or are you or your partner (or even any friends that may have also been there) on facebook or any other forums where you could be identified? Ie, I'm wondering if it really was 'cold'... There are all sorts of methodologies - some of which may surprise you - that are used by the better ones. And then there are the very old methods, eg the selling bibles by looking up obituaries trick seen on Paper Moon, and so on..

I'd suggest watching a few Derren Brown TV shows to get an idea of the newer methods..

It was a Lebanese restaurant, the featured entertainment was a fortune teller and belly dancer. As for bookings, I'm afraid they had no way of identifying me. I booked the table under the name "Muppet", which is my girlfriend's nickname for me (apparently I'm cute and cuddly, just like them, lol - what can I say, I wanted to get there with her and say "table for 2, name -Muppet"). I've never been at this restaurant before, and it wasn't until I paid for the meal that they got my credit card for any identification, by which time I'd already had the reading.

I'm fairly certain it was just a hunch on her part, perhaps I said something that tipped her off about.... something.

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PA

First, my condolences on the loss of your mother and father.

I agree that this was within the range of cold reading performance. What makes the technique "cold" is that if it works, it works immediately, without the time-consuming need to develop a relationship with the person being read. Once it is established that somebody has died, it is a safe bet that a survivor has consoled himself with the thought that she "had been reunited with someone very close to her." The fortune teller didn't say that someone was your father, you did.

I wouldn't entirely discount the reader's testimony, "I'm just taking this job for a bit of extra cash, I think it's demeaning when people think of me as a fortune teller. I consider myself a medium, ..." It is possible to cold read, with a high level of performance, and yet be utterly unaware of doing it. I don't know this woman, of course, but you're interested in other people's religious and spiritual thinking. Here is an opportunity for you to imagine the effect on a person who wants to believe, and has experiences that confirm both what she'd like to believe and also her gift.

That may be incorrect about this specific woman, but I an morally certain that such people exist.

You might also want to reflect on the effect upon you. I would venture that you had thought that your mother is now reunited with loved ones. Whatever the circumstances, to hear that from somebody else was comforting. As it happens, you already have a belief system that validates that thought. Imagine that you didn't, though. Offering that solace would be an effective draw for the beleif system that the woman aspires to represent, spititualism.

Finally,

It was a Lebanese restaurant, the featured entertainment was a fortune teller and belly dancer.

I lol'd. My first thought was "Now there's a typical Christian hangout." But my second thought was that you're the guy who was trying to arrange church services in a tavern. So, OK, now it makes perfect sense. Carry on.

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Sorry to hear about your loss, PA.

Regarding the fortune teller. It is a safe bet that, for people of adult age, they have experienced the personal loss of the death of someone close. That question is typical of the ones that lead into a 'fortune telling'.

Once asked, you probably exhibited signs in body language that indicated it was a deep loss, and recent, however it is also possible that you had been observed during any conversation you had with your partner over dinner. Did you discuss anything related to your mother's passing, or were you, even at times, sombre/sad in your demeanour?

The little 'revelation' she granted you prior to your reading - that she was a medium and this was "just a job-on-the-side" - seems calculated to have you grant her a greater 'validity' for her 'abilities'.

It's always interesting to read of such encounters and look at the clever ways such people have of reinforcing the perception of their 'abilities'.

Edited by Leonardo

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On Saturday night I went on a date with my girlfriend to a restaurant. Part of the entertainment was a Fortune Teller. Just for a bit of fun we had our fortunes read. I wasn't expecting much, just some light entertainment, the reading was only going to be five minutes, after all.

Anyway, 3 minutes into my reading she said "I'm just taking this job for a bit of extra cash, I think it's demeaning when people think of me as a fortune teller. I consider myself a medium, and I can sense you've lost someone recently".

I nodded.

"It's your mother, isn't it".

My mother passed away only two months ago. The fortune lady then told me that she had a message, to let me know that mum had been reunited with someone very close to her.

My father passed away only 11 months before mum.

Anyway, I generally take this as just some clever cold readings, but I wanted to share, if for no other reason than she was pretty good at her job, after only 3 minutes with me (didn't think I was that transparent, lol).

~ Regards, PA

Hey PA,

did the lady approach you whilst you were sat at the table? did she read your 'date' (hope it went well by the way :) ) ? and if so was it before or after your reading?

cheers

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I lol'd. My first thought was "Now there's a typical Christian hangout." But my second thought was that you're the guy who was trying to arrange church services in a tavern. So, OK, now it makes perfect sense. Carry on.

Obviously you don't live in South-West Sydney. Nothing wrong with eating Lebanese food with belly dancers and fortune tellers :P

Though my girlfriend isn't Christian so go figure ;)

To the rest of your comments, I do fully appreciate how people from different walks take different things from the same events, and how people may take an experience like this and get something entirely different.

Thanks for the feedback :tu:

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Sorry to hear about your loss, PA.

Regarding the fortune teller. It is a safe bet that, for people of adult age, they have experienced the personal loss of the death of someone close. That question is typical of the ones that lead into a 'fortune telling'.

Once asked, you probably exhibited signs in body language that indicated it was a deep loss, and recent, however it is also possible that you had been observed during any conversation you had with your partner over dinner. Did you discuss anything related to your mother's passing, or were you, even at times, sombre/sad in your demeanour?

The little 'revelation' she granted you prior to your reading - that she was a medium and this was "just a job-on-the-side" - seems calculated to have you grant her a greater 'validity' for her 'abilities'.

It's always interesting to read of such encounters and look at the clever ways such people have of reinforcing the perception of their 'abilities'.

As far as I'm aware I don't recall taking about mum's passing beforehand. I got the impression she was a 3rd party employee rather than a collaborator with the establishment (though this is possibly a facade). More to the point, the girl I was with was also read, and nothing was said about her family deaths (she had no significantlosses, at least none that I'm aware of). Maybe someone observed negative body language, but to be honest I've been pretty positive since I met this woman.

But thanks for the input :D

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Hey PA,

did the lady approach you whilst you were sat at the table? did she read your 'date' (hope it went well by the way :) ) ? and if so was it before or after your reading?

cheers

Hi quillius,

We were called to a private booth rather than our table. And yes, we were both given readings, and I went first. My date commented that she was less accurate about her than she was with me.

And yes, thank you for asking, the date went very well ;)

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A good reader can identify things about yourself that it is good for you to know. I don't think it's magic, but just a skill some people have, sometimes learned sometimes intuitive. Once they have your main issues, their advice can be great.

Of course they often make guesses, and certain guesses, like a recent loss, are very likely to be correct. Then they assess how serious the loss was to you before proceeding. Then, again, a wrong guess can also be covered in a myriad of ways, with something like, "What I mean is . . .."

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Hi quillius,

We were called to a private booth rather than our table. And yes, we were both given readings, and I went first. My date commented that she was less accurate about her than she was with me.

And yes, thank you for asking, the date went very well ;)

ok thanks....

and glad to hear the relationship is still blossoming :tu:

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A good reader can identify things about yourself that it is good for you to know. I don't think it's magic, but just a skill some people have, sometimes learned sometimes intuitive. Once they have your main issues, their advice can be great.

Of course they often make guesses, and certain guesses, like a recent loss, are very likely to be correct. Then they assess how serious the loss was to you before proceeding. Then, again, a wrong guess can also be covered in a myriad of ways, with something like, "What I mean is . . .."

Believe it or not, I can't disagree with anything you've said. I think I'll check the Bible for a prophetic end to see if Frank and PA agreeing is one of the signs of the apocalypse :lol:

Thanks for the input, I suppose it could be said that once she played the "close loss" card with me she couldn't do the same with my date. If so, she was lucky, she'd have to have used that "what I meant..." alternative. Either way, the night was still a good night. Hope there are many more such nights :devil:

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ok thanks....

and glad to hear the relationship is still blossoming :tu:

:wub: still early days, but there's definitely fun in the immediate future, what more can one ask for, really, this early in?
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Sorry for your loss.

As for the reading, it's a fairly safe bet that folks of a certain age have "lost someone" recently. If you had not confirmed that your mother had passed, I'm sure your reader would have just moved on to something else and you would probably not even remember it. Most folks would probably say something like, "no, it was my uncle" and the reader would say "yes, I was sensing a family member." And the person would go tell their friends "she knew Uncle Jimbo died." That's how it works.

As for the part about "I consider myself a medium," that was nothing more than an attempt to get you roped in for future sessions. It's all about the $$ you know. She was trying to get you into the Champagne Room if you get my drift.

Edited by Rafterman
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Sorry for your loss.

As for the reading, it's a fairly safe bet that folks of a certain age have "lost someone" recently. If you had not confirmed that your mother had passed, I'm sure your reader would have just moved on to something else and you would probably not even remember it. Most folks would probably say something like, "no, it was my uncle" and the reader would say "yes, I was sensing a family member." And the person would go tell their friends "she knew Uncle Jimbo died." That's how it works.

As for the part about "I consider myself a medium," that was nothing more than an attempt to get you roped in for future sessions. It's all about the $$ you know. She was trying to get you into the Champagne Room if you get my drift.

You cynical fella, you ;) but yes, I've thought the same. Still, if she did it for my date instead of me, she'd be done. My date is only 3 years younger and she hadn't even had anyone pass. Maybe she got lucky with a guess, maybe something I inadvertently said pointed to mum. I'm not sure it matters, I'm just sharing something I don't really believe in to begin with.

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You cynical fella, you ;) but yes, I've thought the same. Still, if she did it for my date instead of me, she'd be done. My date is only 3 years younger and she hadn't even had anyone pass. Maybe she got lucky with a guess, maybe something I inadvertently said pointed to mum. I'm not sure it matters, I'm just sharing something I don't really believe in to begin with.

A lot of it is confirmation bias. She probably would have run through the "you've lost someone" spiel and, having no hits, would have moved on to something else. The readee will typically only remember the hits and not the misses. It's like these posters on her who say things like "everytime I look at the clock it's 2:14. what does that mean?" It simply means that they're forgetting all of the times they look at the clock and it's not 2:14.

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Other tactics include things like, after getting a fairly strong reaction to a (50% guaranteed!) loss question, saying " someone very close...?" and then wait for the obvious body language/reaction even before the "yes" or "no" and then honing in with a slowly asked "- your mm..o....' and by reading your reaction she will either know she's got it or change it even in mid word as necessary. Or even just the lame "I see a really strong link to your mother, so was it someone very close to your mother, or who was like a mother or father to you..?" and so on....

It really is an art, and well worth watching examples - I'll see if I can find a good one. Thing is that you won't recall the hesitations and initially wrong guesses, and think that she has hit it first off. Although in this case, it sounds like she just got lucky - in any group of people that will have to happen quite frequently.. And of course it will only be those folks that report the successes..

What's even more fascinating is that those who do it, often believe in their own powers..

I know, I'm way too cynical..! Funnily enough, there is a story of ESP in my own family that I find quite hard to debunk, but that is for another day (and has nothing to do with cold-reading)...

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You are not way too cynical and I think such people are well aware of what they are doing and are manipulative and after money. We all have way too much confidence in our ability to spot confidence games and other such things.

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I've had only one run in with what you could call a 'medium', and it was just a short, bizarre few words that I haven't forgotten after all these years. It was back in my days of drugs, and I'd ended up in a mental hospital after a multi-day binge. As I sat in the front room silently thinking about the past few days ending with voices in my head tormenting and mocking me , a guy around my age then (low 20s) sat next to me for a second, then turned and said "you know, they're just trying to break you down", then paused, waiting for me to speak, and then said "you don't have to talk about it if you don't want to" and turned back forward. He was so nonchalant and honest in the way he said those words that it struck me, and I've not forgotten the bizarre moment.

Im not surprised about thay really. People who are thought of as scitzophrenics have some deep psychic moments especially with other schitzophrenics... I am not calling you a scitzophrenic but speaking on your mind state at that time. More research and expose should be done on this topic...

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Im not surprised about thay really. People who are thought of as scitzophrenics have some deep psychic moments especially with other schitzophrenics... I am not calling you a scitzophrenic but speaking on your mind state at that time. More research and expose should be done on this topic...

Yeah, actually, a counselor who held some groups in my 28 day in-house rehab mentioned a story he personally found very intriguing along those same lines. He had proposed to his girlfriend one day, and was feeling on top of the world. Later that day, he had a visit to a mental hospital, as he'd often do (to do group visits with addicts, I assume), and one of the 'schizophrenics' there greeted him as he walked by. He said congratulations to the counselor, who then asked him why, to which he got the reply "you're getting married". He said the guy walked off smiling. This short story prefaced the passing wonder this counselor had that perhaps there can be much more than meets the eye to the medical classification of 'schizophrenia'.

Much more research should be done, but it deals with one of the greatest unknowns in reality: the mind.

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