Secrets of the Psychics
A Person who Professes an Ability to Perceive Information
Hidden from the Normal Senses Through ESP




Secrets of the Psychics
A Person who Professes an Ability to Perceive Information Hidden from the Normal Senses Through ESP

Are psychic powers real or fake? This is a great documentary that tries to answer that question. Are some of us born with mysterious powers, able to move objects at will, read a person's thoughts, even cure physical ailments with the power of the mind? Follow master magician James Randi as he uncovers the secrets about psychics.


A psychic is a person who professes an ability to perceive information hidden from the normal senses through extrasensory perception (ESP), or is said by others to have such abilities.

It is also used to describe theatrical performers who use techniques such as prestidigitation, cold reading, and hot reading to produce the appearance of such abilities.

It can also denote an ability of the mind to influence the world physically and to the telekinetic powers allegedly professed by those such as Uri Geller.

Psychics appear regularly in fantasy fiction, such as in the novel The Dead Zone by Stephen King, or the Marvel Comics telepath and psychic Jean Grey. A large industry exists whereby psychics provide advice and counsel to clients.

Some famous contemporary psychics include Miss Cleo, John Edward, Danielle Egnew, and Sylvia Browne. Critics attribute psychic powers to intentional trickery or self-delusion.

In 1988 the U.S. National Academy of Sciences gave a report on the subject that concluded there is "no scientific justification from research conducted over a period of 130 years for the existence of parapsychological phenomena."

Despite that, psychic powers continue to be asserted by psychic detectives and in practices such as psychic archaeology and even psychic surgery.


Parapsychological research has attempted to use random number generators to test for psychokinesis, mild sensory deprivation in the Ganzfeld experiment to test for extrasensory perception, and research trials conducted under contract by the U.S. government to investigate remote viewing.

Some of these tests such as the Ganzfeld have been put forward as evidence of psychic phenomena by parapsychologists, and according to the Parapsychological Association, the consensus within that field is that there is good evidence for extrasensory perception, psychokinesis, and presentiment.

Critics such as Ed J. Gracely say that this evidence is not sufficient for acceptance, partly because the intrinsic probability of psychic phenomena is very small.

Critics such as Ray Hyman and the National Science Foundation suggest that parapsychology has methodological flaws that can explain the experimental results that parapsychologists attribute to paranormal explanations, and various critics have classed the field as pseudoscience. This has largely been due to lack of replication of results by independent experimenters.

The evidence presented for psychic phenomena is not sufficiently verified for scientific acceptance, and there exist many non-paranormal alternative explanations for claimed instances of psychic events.

Gary: Young, Psychic and Possessed
Twenty-year-old Gary Mannion calls himself Britain's youngest psychic surgeon, channelling a spirit from the dead to operate on the sick. He is a rising star in the world of spiritual healing, travelling the world to bring his alleged ability to effect miracle cures to a devoted following.In Young, Psychic and Possessed filmmaker Emeka Onono follows Gary as he tries to prove he really does have the power to heal.

It is a journey into the supernatural that will challenge both sceptics and true believers. Emeka hears stories of miracle cures, watches Gary operate, and even participates in seances, before turning to science to try to separate fact from fantasy.


Parapsychologists, who generally believe that there is some evidence for psychic ability, disagree with critics who believe that no psychic ability exists and that many of the instances of more popular psychic phenomena such as mediumism, can be attributed to non-paranormal techniques such as cold reading, hot reading, or even self-delusion.

Magicians such as James Randi, Ian Rowland and Derren Brown have demonstrated techniques and results similar to those of popular psychics, but they present psychological explanations as opposed to paranormal ones.

In January 2008 the results of a study using neuroimaging were published. To provide what are purported to be the most favorable experimental conditions, the study included appropriate emotional stimuli and had participants who are biologically or emotionally related, such as twins.

The experiment was designed to produce positive results if telepathy, clairvoyance or precognition occurred, but despite this no distinguishable neuronal responses were found between psychic stimuli and non-psychic stimuli, while variations in the same stimuli showed anticipated effects on patterns of brain activation.

The researchers concluded that "These findings are the strongest evidence yet obtained against the existence of paranormal mental phenomena."

James Alcock had cautioned the researchers against the wording of said statement. A detailed study of Sylvia Browne predictions about missing persons and murder cases has found that despite her repeated claims to be more than 85% correct, "Browne has not even been mostly correct in a single case."

 
A psychic is a person who believes they are able to gather information which may be hidden to the normal senses through ESP.

A survey of the beliefs of the general United States population about paranormal topics was conducted by The Gallup Organization in 2005.

The survey found that 41 percent of those polled believed in extrasensory perception and 26 percent believed in clairvoyance.

31 percent of those surveyed indicated that they believe in telepathy or psychic communication.



Overall the general population does not believe in psychics, especially skeptics. James Randi has gone on to write several books criticizing beliefs and claims regarding the paranormal.

He has also demonstrated flaws in studies suggesting the existence of paranormal phenomena; in his Project Alpha hoax, Randi revealed that he had been able to orchestrate a three-year-long compromise of a privately funded psychic research experiment.

The hoax became a scandal and demonstrated the shortcomings of many paranormal research projects at the university level.



Sylvia Browne was convicted of investment fraud and grand theft, and has been involved in numerous controversies regarding her claims and predictions, with reports about her failed predictions and claims appearing in several newspapers.

Critics such as James Randi, with whom she has had a long running feud, say that she is a cold reader whose readings are indistinguishable from those achieved by mentalists using cold and hot reading techniques.

Recent press coverage has asserted that she is overall inaccurate.

A detailed three-year study of her predictions about 115 missing persons and murder cases, published in Skeptical Inquirer, concluded that despite her repeated claims to be more than 85% correct, "Browne has not even been mostly correct in a single case."