How to Debunk Mediums

Written by bill varoskovic
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How to Debunk Mediums
Mediums will often tell you what they think you want to hear. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Mediums claim they have the ability to communicate with ghosts or spirits in another realm. Often the medium's claim is that she has a message that she is supposed to pass along from a deceased loved one or even pet. Many people believe in the claims of a medium because the messages they deliver can provide closure or happiness. Sceptics seek to expose the false claims of the profession because while the claims, in their opinion, are fake, the implications of their message can be real. Knowing what to say to a believer in the paranormal can help show others what is truly going on.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Understand the techniques that mediums use to convince their audience that they can communicate with the spiritual world. Throughout the years mediums have incorporated different techniques to accomplish this. Historically, a medium would hold a seance, an elaborate ritual designed to make contact with a specific ghost or spirit, that a small gathering of people would take part in. More recently mediums have tried to appeal to a larger audience. They will say someone is contacting them and start relaying information to a member of the group that he believes could only be known if they were truly talking to a deceased loved one.

  2. 2

    Figure out the secret behind the medium's trick. Sceptics claim that mediums just trick people into revealing information about themselves so that the audience member can be led to the message that they want to hear. This is called "subjective validation." The medium will start by asking a broad question that has a high odds of relating to someone in the crowd who is eager to hear a message. This credulous individual will find significance in whatever the medium has to say. Additionally, mediums have been caught eavesdropping before a session or "bugging" a waiting room. Seances are often rigged with trick lights and candles, special effects and "plants" hired by the medium.

  3. 3

    Confront the medium. Act like you are interested in hearing what he has to say. If he picks up that you do not believe him, he is not going to go through his routine with you. Let him go through his bit and make note of statements that are off base. Have a medium who preforms seances hold the gathering in a different location where he is not in control of the environment. If the medium does not want to admit any mistakes, explain to her that she needs to be responsible for the consequences of what she does. Some people will take her trade seriously, and to mislead these people could have serious consequences.

  4. 4

    Confront people who believe in the power of a medium with education. Some people will refuse to believe that a medium is faking it, but by spreading the facts about mediums, people can at least make their own choice about what they think. Give examples of work that mediums have done and point out when they use subjective validation or other techniques. Give the believer reports of celebrity mediums getting caught "bugging" a room. With some practice you can try your own hand at subjective validation and show people the techniques mediums use to fool them.

  5. 5

    Remain calm and rational. Avoid getting into a yelling match with anyone. Treat the confrontation as an opportunity to educate instead of a time to prove someone wrong. The person you are trying to convince will be more likely to listen to you.

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