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The Truth about Mediums

Dr. Ciarán O'Keeffe talks about mediumistic readings and testing psychic claimants

During a traditional mediumistic reading the medium usually produces a large number of statements and the sitter has to decide whether these statements accurately describe themselves or departed loved ones or relatives. In order to assess the extent to which such statements may provide evidence of the possibility of post-mortem survival, it is important to employ protocols that are effective in ruling out alternative explanations (such as chance, fraud or 'cold reading'). Recent academic research attempting to use such protocols has either been dogged by criticism for actually lacking them, or not provided evidence for mediumship ability. There is also an inherent difficulty in using 'special claimants' as, aside from other points raised in the talk, issues regarding anonymity and confidentiality arise as participants occasionally abuse their participation and declare it almost as a 'badge of credibility'. There are frequent references in the late 1800s and early 1900s to problems in sitting with mediums, problems that appear not to have gone away.
The media provides an alternative setting where such protocols are not available and so assessment of their ability is even more difficult. Despite this, increased media exposure for a select group of mediums results in their ever growing popularity, increased theatre ticket sales and workshop dates, book deals and training courses. It seems media exposure is seen as an indication of accuracy and confirmation of an elusive ability. This, aside from the fact that many mediums have written glaring inconsistences in biographies or that there is seemingly no agreement regarding the nature of the after-life and that frequently mediums in the media have incidents of fraudulent behaviour in the past.

This talk openly discusses the truth about mediums and asks if we will ever know the truth?


Dr CiarĂ¡n O'Keeffe | talks | www


Date and Time:

11 March 2008 at 4:00 pm


1 hour



Psychology Seminar Series, Goldsmiths' College
Richard Hoggart Building
New Cross
SE14 6NW
020 7919 7871

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Additional Information:

SEMINARS ARE FREE and there is no need to book in advance
They start at 4:10 PM IN ROOM 308, Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths.
All talks are open to staff, students and members of the public. . For further information, contact Sally Marlow (email: ps604sm@gold.ac.uk).

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