When I found out that James Van Praagh was coming to a town near me to do a large-audience mediumship demonstration, I jumped at the chance to see one of the most famous mediums (at least in the US) ply his trade. I made up my mind to go into the show as an investigator and an open-minded skeptic, well-aware that Mr. Van Praagh could employ some or all of the many tricks used by fraudulent mediums to convince audiences that they are speaking to the dead. On the other hand, I reserved some hope that James Van Praagh by virtue of his popularity would wow the audience with hit after hit containing specific and detailed information that could not have been gained through hot or cold reading. My mother has a degree in psychology and agreed to accompany me to the show to help watch for any trickery and to also analyze the performance for cold reading techniques. This would be the first time either of us had attended a mediumship demonstration, and I could hardly contain my excitement. Before walking into the theatre that night, I resolved – no, promised – that whatever the outcome, I would be completely honest in my assessment of the show. I prepared myself to take notes so that I could record the evidence that was being presented for later analysis. From the moment we arrived at the theatre, my mother and I were in investigative mode, looking for hidden microphones, watching for staff eavesdropping in on conversations and surveying the vestibule for impromptu interviews attempting to glean information from the sitters. Once the show started, we would be analyzing James for any evidence of cold reading which we prepared for in the days beforehand by studying videos of other mediums employing this trick.
Cold reading techniques are used to gain information through non-verbal clues and through generalizations based on the sitter’s clothes, jewelry, body language and with knowledge of human behavior and statistics. Generally, a medium will start by throwing out general and vague references that might apply to anyone. Then, when they catch a bite, the medium might begin by making assumptions about the person, changing up their guesses as the person’s facial expressions give hints to the medium if they are or aren’t on the right track. Cold reading also entails making rapid fire guesses until the medium gets a hit (shotgunning), or even asking the sitter direct questions to gain information. Many times in an effort to save the medium the embarrassment of being wrong, the sitter will even claim something as true when it wasn’t, or attempt to retrofit the guess. Mediums count on this technique when people don’t want to be seen as ‘being difficult’.
There’s also the concern that mediums, especially famous mediums who are wealthy enough to hire a huge staff, may employ hot reading techniques. One very famous female medium has been accused of googling her clients, buying information from databases and even hiring private detectives to gain information on her clients before readings. I cannot verify that this is true, but just think about how much personal information you share on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. It’s probably enough for someone to construct a very decent reading of your life, no private investigator needed. In other cases, mediums who do large audience shows will have their staff mingle with the people who are waiting in the vestibule and listen into their conversations. Other techniques employed are direct interviews by the staff, or ruses to get people to sign up for things – which can give vital information to the medium before the show begins.
Armed with this information, we prepared to go into the theatre with an open mind and a critical eye.
The following is my reconstruction of the evening, complete with most of the evidence that James presented to the people he selected to read. Obviously, I am reconstructing this based on notes and our shared memory of the events, but I am very certain that what I have presented here is fair and accurate. I have left out some details but none that consisted of jaw-dropping evidence. I do apologize in advance that this post is very long and detailed, but I feel that it is important to include the evidence provided so that readers can truly get a sense of what was presented.
Evidence provided during the James Van Praagh Evening of Mediumship in Morristown, NJ
When we approached the theatre, people were mingling outside and inside the vestibule, but were also allowed to go directly to their seats in the theatre. I stood outside for a few minutes to look for anyone who might be acting suspiciously and listening into conversations, but saw nothing amiss. There was music playing throughout the theatre, and the noise level would have made it difficult to hear any conversation unless one was standing right next to the person in question. I tried it myself, but couldn’t hear any information that could be passed along to a medium. I didn’t see any staff interviewing guests so I ruled out that particular hot reading technique and continued inside the vestibule. There was a woman advertising a raffle, and a table where James Van Praagh’s books were being sold. I inquired at the raffle about a sign-up form, and the woman replied that they only needed name and phone number. Even when buying the tickets, no additional information was asked by the theatre website aside from information needed to actually purchase the tickets. Hmm. Not enough information to help the medium 5 minutes before show-time, I decided. There were no other sign-up sheets or registrations to be seen either at the book table or anywhere else. So far, so good.
We grabbed our seats and the show started a little after 8pm. James came on stage and proceeded to tell the crowd about mediumship, and about spirituality in general. I enjoyed his talk about spirituality, and pretty much agreed with what he shared with the audience, particularly about reincarnation and the purpose of hardships in life. He took a few questions from the audience, then led us all through a meditation to help us relax and get into the mood of the evening. Around 30 minutes into the show, he began with the mediumship demonstration portion. One thing I noticed throughout the evening was that James never left the stage. The combination of the stage lights shining directly into his face and the darkened theatre, he could barely see his audience. He frequently shielded his eyes to attempt to see who was standing as he called out evidence, so cold reading based on visual clues gained from the sitter would have been impossible. In many cases, he was reading for people at the very back of the theatre, or on the balcony. James was simply too far away to use any visual clues from the person he was reading to include in his evidence. Cold reading relies heavily on these visual clues and facial expressions, so if James was relying on this technique, he would have been at a serious disadvantage right from the start.
As expected, video and audiotaping was not allowed but I took pages and pages of notes at a furious pace throughout the entire evening in order to reconstruct what occurred. Although at a public show no one who gets a reading can truly expect total privacy, I will leave out any names or identifying information to protect the bereaved.
James started out by asking who in the audience was wearing their mother’s bracelet on their left wrist. Two women raised their hand, but the second woman was wearing the bracelet on the right wrist. James was very specific about the bracelet being on the left hand and the woman in front was asked to stand.
The mother who hides her money in the linen closet:
James says to the audience, “I have a mother coming into the spirit world and is telling me that you are wearing her bracelet on her left wrist.” He mentions that at some point the clasp wasn’t working and the lady affirms this is true.
James then says that both her mother and father are coming in together and that the month of December is very significant to her. The woman answers that December is the month of her birthday.
James asks if the deceased needed an oxygen tank before death and had trouble breathing. The woman affirms this was the case.
James then asks, “Is this person related to someone who is here tonight?”
The woman answers, “Yes, my mother-in law, she is right here.” At this point, James asks the mother-in-law to stand and begins directing his questions to her.
James asks the mother-in-law to confirm that she has her deceased husband’s ring, and she agrees. James then says that the mother-in-law’s mother is also there.
James then describes the woman’s mother as the type of person who always had to have the pillows and sheets and the bed made just right, and taught her daughter (the mother-in-law who is now standing) how to make sure the beds were made perfectly.
The woman answers in the affirmative and says something to the effect of, “the beds are always made.” James continues, “She’s telling me about the linen closet, how everything is folded very neatly in the linen closet and the pillow cases are folded neatly on the second shelf, but the hinge makes a noise, does that make sense?” The woman answers, “Yes.”
He says that the mother in spirit is happy that her daughter is so organized but mentions that there is some disorder on the second shelf – that her daughter throws things back there.
The woman replies, “well, there’s money back there!” and the audience laughs.
James mentions that the woman was thinking of her mother when looking at the second shelf, to which the woman replies, “Yes.”
Then James asks, “Would you know a R______?” The woman replies, “Yes. My husband’s brother.” James answers that he wants to wave and say he’s alive, “believe it or not” because the man was a skeptic about the afterlife. James asks if this makes sense to the woman and she says that it does.
James then guesses a surname (for privacy reasons, I will not share what was said. The surname was close to the surname validated by the woman but not exact.)
“Now I want to talk about crossword puzzles, you must sit and do crossword puzzles.” At this point, the mother-in-law doesn’t speak. There is silence for a few seconds as the family looks at each other. James persists about the crossword puzzles, then asks if anyone takes public transportation and does crossword puzzles on a train or bus.
The family still doesn’t connect with this reference and there is silence for a few seconds before the daughter jumps in and says, “Down the shore I do them sometimes.” James then tells her that her father wants to acknowledge the crossword puzzles.
He then changes back to speaking to the mother-in law about her husband and says that the wife kept her husband’s ties, especially the red one. The woman says that she has a Christmas tie that he always refused to wear. James then asks if she has kept his checkbooks, to which she says, “Oh, boy!” James continues and says that she has kept his checkbooks and pens and keeps these things in a drawer. The woman agrees.
James then describes her dead husband as someone who was very careful and sacred about his things and didn’t want anyone to touch his stuff. At this, the woman got excited and exclaimed how much he hated when anyone touched his stuff. James continues to say that the man especially hated when anyone, especially the kids, touched his flashlight.
“Oh, yes!” the lady gasps. James then tells her that the flashlight in is a drawer next to the measuring tape. “Yes!” The lady seems surprised he would know this fact.
James then talks about how the man was in a wheelchair before death, but because he was very prideful he didn’t want anyone fussing over him. The family agrees.
James then talks about the man’s military background and mentions a friend named Skip who was in the military with him, but the wife doesn’t exactly know. James asks about her yearbook and she confirms that she was looking at it recently. James asks if she has a picture of her husband with the rest of his military buddies and she confirms that she has it. He tells her to check for the friend by looking at that picture.
The conversation lasted a few more minutes, but my notes are a little hard to piece together at that point. From my recollection, there was nothing more of consequence except the usual platitudes that the family in spirit were sending their love.
The couple whose son committed suicide with a belt:
Next, James asked about a son who committed suicide with a belt. Although two hands were raised, a man and his wife were eventually selected as fitting the description. James tells the women who wasn’t selected that he would try to come back to her. He asks the couple, now standing, if they have a photo with them on their person, but they only have a picture on their phone. He says that the boy was in his early 20s when he passed and living outside the house. The couple agrees. James says he feels “wacked out” in the head, like drugs were taken.
The couple didn’t agree with that statement, and say that their son was disabled. James asks if the son was living in a center. No, his own apartment, they reply. James asks if they found him after he committed suicide. No, his roommate did. James asks if he was in a wheelchair. The couple says, “No”, he had Asperger’s syndrome. Four misses in a row.
James then asks if they have a pair of glasses that belonged to him in their house. The couple confirms that they do have a pair of his old glasses.
He says the boy wants to send love to his brother. The couple initially says he only has a sister, but then recants and says that their son does have step-brothers that he always called “his brothers.”
James also says the boy wants to thank his mother because she helped him. The woman standing there was actually his step-mom, but the man said that she was like a mother to the boy.
Now James says that he feels the boy is very intelligent but he felt like he never fit in.
At this point, I could see from my spot half-way down the theatre that the couple were crying, the woman was hugging her husband close with her arms around him. The man could barely answer James when he asked questions. His anguish was palpable to everyone in the theatre.
James mentions writing letters and a connection to Florida, both which are verified by the parents. Then James says that the son wants them to know that “it wasn’t their fault”. James mentions a parade, but the parents are so overcome its hard to know if that was a hit. Then James asks if they ever made models together when his son was young. The father confirms that they made model cars together.
The second woman whose son committed suicide with a belt:
James then goes back to the other woman who had initially raised her hand to accept the call that her son hanged himself with a belt.
She verified that in the last few days she was thinking about her son while sitting on the edge of the bed. James says that her son is ‘coming in whistling’, meaning he’s happier and lighter now, and indicates that this means her son was depressed or sad before death. He says “I don’t know if its bipolar or another mental illness, but I’m definitely getting something like a mental disorder..”
The woman then tells him that her son was depressed.
Then James says that the boy is mentioning an issue with his father, and when his father passed into the spirit world he met him on the other side. He mentions a problem with alcohol. The woman confirms that her husband had a problem with alcohol. He asks if she met her husband in 1963. She says she met her husband in 1964.
He gets another hit by mentioning that she is having photos redone of her son and that there are pictures in frames lying in a drawer. He then mentions a dried rose in a book, but the lady says that the dried rose is on the kitchen counter. James then sends messages and well-wishes from her now ‘cleaned-up’ husband and her son, and even tells her that she may expect to be re-married in the future.
The daughter who lost her father:
The last woman he reads before the intermission lost her father. James gets a hit by getting his name correct right off the bat, and by mentioning that someone was in a hospital with this man and was combing his hair and put lotion on his hands and feet. Then he says that the woman “was lying on the left side of the bed, embracing him, and someone had to help her off of him.” James mentions three people at his bedside, and a procedure that was tried and did not work. He asks if they understand, to which they reply “Yes.” The family also confirmed that they were going to do something charitable in the name of the deceased. He also mentions that it was hard for the man to speak at the end. The woman was agog at this, crying, and exclaimed it was true.
After the show, I visited James Van Praagh’s facebook page and found this comment (names removed):
“Was there last night with my girl A___ in the center, in the back. You were so spot on with her dad R_____, who passed on a little over 10 months ago. She was hugging him on the bed, on the left side, fixing his hair. Putting lotion on his Hands and feet. There were 3 of us in the room. He had Jaw surgery a while back and had new teeth on the bottom, and it was hard talking. Amazing. You touched her heart. Thank You”
James also mentions that when you would look at old photos of the man, he was “all teeth”, that he had a very big, wide smile. The family seemed genuinely surprised at this fact and emphatically agreed that his teeth were a prominent feature of his face when he was younger. The audience laughed uproariously at this.
Interestingly, James mentions that although in this lifetime her husband left early, in another lifetime it may have been her who left early. James then mentions a Volkswagen beetle and the family doesn’t recognize it, but the woman who is sitting right next to them tells James that her brother (with the same name as the deceased) was nicknamed ‘beetle’. James explains this as the way “spirit organizes coincidences for our benefit”, and arranged for those two women to sit next to each other.
James then tells the woman to make sure that her husband goes for a checkup of his liver or kidneys right away, and the woman amazingly says “he went to the doctor this morning.” He then mentions a connection with the coast guard which doesn’t seem to resonate with the family, but continues on by reassuring the woman that her family in spirit is always around her.
At an hour and 20 minutes, we break for an intermission. During the intermission, I overhear one of the woman who got a reading speaking softly with a friend. I try to stand close enough to hear what she is saying and I catch her exclaiming how right James had been during his reading of her. I did another round of the tables to observe the process of buying books and signing up for the raffle, but still didn’t see anyone filling out registration forms or giving out personal information. About 15 minutes later, the show resumed.
The two sisters and their dead mother’s wigs:
James asks who in the audience had a mother pass around 72-74 years of age and wore wigs before death. A few people stand. He then asks who still has their mother’s wigs in their house. He specifically says that the mother’s daughter is in the audience. The daughter has her recipes. A few people are still standing. One of the women says her mother passed at 71, and he declines this as a possibility. James then mentions a significant weight loss, and the name B____. One of the women who has remained standing says her friend sitting next to her is named B____.
James then asks the woman B____ to stand up. She does and he tells her that her dad has passed and is here as well as her mother. James then asks the two women to stay standing and begins the reading with them. To the women who has her dead mother’s wigs, he says that he knows that her mother passed from breast cancer, and the woman yelps in surprise. He says that there was a mastectomy and the woman agrees.
James then mentions the wigs again, and the woman tells him that her sister is a hair dresser and always fixed her mother’s wigs for her. James says, “I see that you both tried on the wigs with her.” and the woman responds, “we always did.”
James then says that he knows they still have a few wigs at their house and that she was recently looking at them. The woman volunteers that they wear the wigs for Halloween. The audience erupts in laughter at this.
Then James asks if one of the sisters still brushes the wigs out and speaks to the dead mother at the same time. The woman responds that her sister still does that. James then describes the wig color as a reddish blond color. The woman affirms that it is auburn, but James insists that it is a light auburn because he’s getting more of a light red. The woman agrees with this statement.
He continues to say that “there is a side part on the wig with a little bit of bangs…”, and the woman says, “yes! yes!”. James begins talking about jewelry and exclaims that she keeps it in a tin cup and the woman agrees. James stumbles a bit on costume jewelry, suggesting that they kept their mother’s costume jewelry in a plastic bag. The woman was confused and claimed that she had costume jewelry herself. James continues, asking if she looked at it recently. She said she had, and he moves on.
He then returns to the second woman, B_____, and tells her that she has kept her father’s watch. She agrees with this statement. He mentions a connection with Disney and she says yes. He then scores a seemly big hit by telling the woman “Your mother is singing, she keeps singing really loudly and saying, ‘I can sing now!'” the woman interrupts with a loud “Yes! YES!” and James continues to say that the mother had complained that she couldn’t sing anymore before she died. The woman confirms that her mother had been a singer and lost her voice before death and did complain about it. James mentions something about art or being and artist and the woman again yells out ‘Yes!” because she is an artist. He then admonishes both of them to “believe in themselves, and don’t waste their time on this earth.” to which both women are visibly moved.
The women who lost her only daughter:
James tells the audience that he has a young girl here, a daughter whose mother is sitting in the audience. He says the daughter was thin before she died. A woman stands and he asks her if she has three children. She says that she does, but she had four: her three sons are living and her only daughter is in spirit. James tells the woman that there was a suddenness or a surprise in this girl’s passing. James tells her he feels it was an accident of some kind. He then says “I don’t want to be graphic, but would you know if her head was involved at all?”
The woman replies that her daughter was in a car accident. James quickly states that he knows about the car accident and that the girl’s head goes through the windshield.
James tells the woman that her daughter didn’t suffer. He says to the woman, “Didn’t you go to the place where this happened?” The woman says, “yes.” James continues by asking, “did you bring a candle with you, or was there a candle there?” The woman doesn’t recognize this statement, and says no, before volunteering that she put flowers there. James continues to insist on the candle until the mother finally says yes, and then also mentions a teddy bear.
James asks if the girl is buried, and the woman says no, she was cremated. James then tells her that he sees that the girl’s ashes were divided among family and the woman agrees.
James tells the woman that he knows that she was recently looking at the girl’s old childhood pictures. The woman says, “yes.” He then tells her that she kept a lock of the girl’s hair. The woman tells James that she has a locket with a piece of her hair in it.
James says, “I know July is significant” but the woman can’t place it. He then asks if there is some meaning behind the name Elizabeth. She can’t place it, but volunteers that her mother lives in a town called Bethany. James tells her that it doesn’t fit and he doesn’t want to try to make it fit.
He then moves on to the girl having pierced ears and gold earrings, both of which the mother agrees to, and mentions a tattoo in memory of her. The mother says that she is indeed getting a tattoo in memory of her daughter.
With regard to the tattoo, James mentions a heart. The mother says, “No.” He then moves on to seeing “angel statues” and says, “I don’t know if the angels are holding a heart?” the mother gasps and says, “Yes! Yes! YES! YES!!” and confirms that the angels are holding a heart.
He then asks if she has a ribbon or badge of hers with her, and the mother says she has a scarf of her daughter’s with her. James then tells the mother that he knows they went out to dinner before the show and that her daughter was there with her. He tells the mother that her daughter was there when she toasted to her daughter at dinner with a glass of wine, and she says, “yes.”
At that point, the deceased girl’s older brother is asked to stand and James asks a few questions, all of which were misses. He asks if the son is getting a tattoo in honor of his sister, “no.” He asked if he rides a motorcycle, “no.” Then James says, “good, don’t.” James then tells the young man that he will eventually be a father and name his son Jimmy.
There was one more reading after this one, but I will not bother trying to reiterate it because I believe the family who answered the call really weren’t meant for it. James asked for a husband who died, and a woman stood up who claimed it was her father. James became confused and the audience seemed confused. My notes on this are a mess, so I won’t try to reconstruct it for you.
My thoughts on the show:
James Van Praagh scored more than a few amazing hits which is undeniable. In the first reading, he scored a hit by mentioning that the woman keeps something in the back of the second shelf of the linen closet (money) and that the linen closet door hinge squeaks. He gets the husband’s brother’s name exactly, and gets a close match to their surname. He also scores a hit by describing her husband as the type who hated when anyone touched his flashlight, and knows that the flashlight is kept in the drawer next to a measuring tape.
He also gets hits with the daughter who kept their mother’s wigs when he asked if someone still brushes out the wigs and speaks to the dead mother. He accurately described the dead mother’s wig exact color, cut and shape and knew the mother loved to sing and lost her voice before she died. With one of the women who lost her son to suicide with the belt, he knew her husband was dead, had been an alcoholic, and the year that she met him (although he was one year off). He also knew the woman who lost her daughter kept a lock of her hair, which is somewhat unusual. James also gets a hit when he mentions the angel statues. Although I could argue that angel statues are pretty common, especially as a bereavement gift to a mother who has lost a daughter, it was still a great guess, especially since James mentions that the angels are holding hearts. The mother was visibly stunned when he mentioned this.
The man who was “all teeth” was definitely a hit, and not something one could guess from cold reading, as well as his statement describing the daughter laying on the left side of her father, combing his hair and putting lotion on his hands and feet. He even mentioned the three people in the room, which was confirmed by the sitters themselves on Facebook the next day.
There were many more hits and misses and some guesses that perhaps could be characterized as ‘obvious’, which is consistent with cold reading. For example, in the first reading, James mentions to an elderly woman that she has kept her dead husband’s ring. What poor widow doesn’t keep her dead husband’s wedding ring? The woman who used wigs was described as losing a significant amount of weight before she died, something that is consistent with cancer victims. In addition, most young people who commit suicide are depressed, so I’d call that one a lucky guess. He describes pierced ears and gold earrings to the woman who lost her daughter, common for little girls to have. These vague guesses don’t necessarily prove he was using cold reading tactics, as they were all still true and valid statements. They simply weren’t evidential enough to use as proof.
At times James made statements that didn’t resonate with the family. The crossword puzzle was a stretch during his reading with the first family. He initially thought the little girl who died in the car crash was buried, not cremated. He mentioned a connection with the coast guard that made no sense to one woman in the back. The name Elizabeth is never claimed or the month of July. Skip, the military friend couldn’t be identified, and more.
We discussed the possibility that James used plants in the audience. It’s possible, but I didn’t get any sense that these people were anything but ordinary people. Their reactions, both positive and negative seemed truly genuine. I overheard one woman who was given a reading speaking quietly to a friend and confirming that his reading was true. Would a plant go so far to convince the odd passerby by engaging in conversation that could barely be heard above the music and talking in the vestibule? In addition, for James to use plants in the audience, he would need a very large staff of plants and somehow ensure that they never talk. Considering how famous James Van Praagh is, I think someone would succumb to the temptation to make a little money by going on a talk show and outing the medium. James Van Praagh has had a very long career; it seems unusual that he would use plants in the majority of his shows and risk that kind of exposure. Surely, he would have been exposed by now.
In addition as I mentioned before, James couldn’t see the audience from the stage very well due to the lighting and many of the people read were in the back of the theatre or on the balcony. James could not have used their facial expressions, clothes, jewelry, age or other visual factors for use in employing cold reading tactics. If James were cold reading, he would have put himself at a great disadvantage with this setup.
My mother suggested that James may be a very intelligent man who is simply a great judge of character. I agreed, and also suggested that he might possess a combination of genuine talent and yet still unconsciously employ some techniques of educated guessing. We both agreed that we feel that James himself believes he is a medium and speaking with spirits. If he is simply making lucky guesses, we didn’t feel that he is doing it consciously. There were definitely times when he could have smooth-talked his way out of a few wrong guesses, but James always stood by his impressions, even if they didn’t seem to fit. He also never pressured anyone to make something fit, something I have seen other mediums do on shows. James in fact very bluntly reminded audience members several times not to make things fit, even when the audience member was willing to make it a hit for James.
It’s important to note that no medium will ever be 100% correct with all of their impressions, especially in a large-audience reading, so I cannot fault him on some inaccuracies.
My mother was impressed by his kind and gentle nature, and grateful that he is willing to discuss death candidly and give hope to so many, especially since death is so taboo in our western culture. The audience genuinely loved the show, evidenced by their rapturous applause and by all of the comments on his Facebook page the next day from people who attended the show. They were all exceedingly positive.
Were some of his hits truly amazing? Yes. Absolutely. Were his amazing hits numerous enough to convince me without the shadow of a doubt that he was connecting to deceased people? No.
I can’t say that I am 100% convinced based on James Van Praagh’s performance. I saw a bit too much shot gunning, retrofitting and vague guesses. However, some of the more accurate hits were detailed and specific enough that I was filled with awe. Although I remain undecided, I’m definitely intrigued and my belief in the possibility of mediumship certainly didn’t decrease after this experience.
I hope James Van Praagh comes back to New Jersey again so that I can attend another show. Even if I haven’t decided on his abilities, I did truly enjoy the experience overall. His message was overwhelmingly positive and he has a gentle spirit that exudes kindness and love. We walked into that theatre and for two hours confronted death in all of its darkest shades and forms. Yet, at the end of the show, we all walked out of the theatre feeling uplifted, hopeful and at peace. In our push for scientific evidence and proof, I think sometimes we forget the power of faith to transform us and carry us through our darkest times. For those who found their faith in James Van Praagh that night, a little light was shined into their lives and they were given the courage to face another day under the burden of crushing grief. It may have been a beautiful connection to spirit, or simply a beautiful illusion, but I think everyone in that audience could agree that it was definitely a beautiful experience.
So what do you think? Have you seen James Van Praagh or another medium in a large-audience setting? Do you feel that they are truly connecting with spirit, making excellent educated guesses or exploiting the bereaved?