the cold reader

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

“If you are spending your life lying to people, how do you deal with it, other than rationalizing it in your own head after a while and decide, ‘well, I do kind of believe in it---and I do believe in intuition…I may not be psychic but I’m intuitive, and maybe that does give me an insight, and it comforts people’,,,and then you further rationalize it and maybe then create a loose belief around it that follows after the fact. But I think very few people get into it at that level from any kind of sincere beginnings. My feeling on that is well, if they’re lies, then who are you to decide that your lies are what people need to hear to comfort them?”

-Derren Brown

mesmerized by the initial gaze,
the audience who has paid a pretty
sits on the edge of their seats
waiting on
the cold reader’s
every word---
salivating at the very thought of
immersing their own lives
if in fact
this “clairvoyant,”
this “intuitive, psychic, visionary,”
this “spiritualistic, highly-perceptive, second-sighted & possibly
but the cold reader is a charlatan,
pure & simple---
s/he preys like a vulture waiting round the watering hold of the
eagerly anticipating a predator to show its teeth
so that soon
there will be a carcass to feast on.
people who have real issues in their lives,
some who have lost loved ones & who have nowhere else to turn
(or so they might honestly feel),
flock to these liars in order to try and actually speak with their
if you sit off to the side of one of these
you see the yearning in the eyes of all the sitters
matched by the supplier of words, who stands before them---
each sitter is ready & ever so willing to tell them
which might give themselves meaning
which might connect them with one of their loved ones
without whom, they feel that their life has now
dead in its tracks.
people want so badly to find something else in life
than what actually exists right in front of them---
they get down on their knees, closing their eyes &
hope with all their might that something which they themselves cannot or
do not have the ability to accomplish on their own
will just
in their lives---
and if this individual can help them, then they will be
the cold reader feeds them
“barnum statements”
(named after PT Barnum who coined “There’s a sucker born every minute.”)
which can apply to anyone
much like a horoscope which
having no actual human interaction,
must apply to everyone.
the best charlatans are able to field comments in a manner by which
every answer is a “hit”
and every hit furthers their own superiority in the
they use linguistic tricks
which allow them to force individuals to fall under their “spell.”
rather than making the more general statement that at times you can be
serious & focused
and at other times
you are amusing & the life of the party---
(which just means that you are both an
introvert & an extrovert---
like a million others on this planet)---
the more convincing “psychic” may apply it with more
in doing so they will leave you a hole in the conversation
wherein at this point,
you feel comfortable speaking with them
and you feel that they are listening,
that they care about you---
& then
your own ego fills the room
when you cling to what they say
and whether you say yes or no to the statements made
you still believe that it applies to you.
but the “spirit world” does not exist
nor does any specific importance applied to you as
on a planet of
if you need any evidence of this fact
ask yourself why you yourself cannot ever talk to these
“spirits” on your own?
you always need to pay someone to do it for you---
and while you are at it,
ask yourself why you can never get a straight answer from
anything that you pray to?
you always need to go to someone else
to tell you how it is that said thing you pray to
thinks & acts.
what is the moral of our story?
keep your hard earned cash in your pocket---
spend your money on quality time with the loved ones who are
still living,
and understand how fortunate you are to have friends & family
alive to talk with
when so many are utterly alone & forgotten during this
short time that we are
the cold reader
is nothing but cold,
and the sooner you come to this conclusion,
the better off you will

Submitted: June 13, 2011

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