What We Discuss with Mark Edward:
- What is mentalism, and how does it use our desire for the outlandish to be true against us?
- Why all so-called psychics are frauds, though a small percentage genuinely believes their own hype.
- Cold reading vs. hot reading, and how psychics use the results of these readings to convince you they’re able to consult supernatural entities.
- What it was like to work for the Psychic Friends Network, and how Mark used his mentalist superpowers to mine information from people over the phone — and keep them calling back.
- How big-name celebrity psychics ply their trade in front of large studio audiences while keeping the scam safely under control.
- And much more…
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When stage magicians like Penn & Teller put on a show, they’re not trying to convince the audience that they’re privy to supernatural shortcuts allowing them to subvert reality or give them access to the realm of those who have shuffled off their mortal coil. Their role is purely for entertainment — to make the audience wonder how they pulled off the seemingly impossible right before their very eyes. It’s understood that their feats could theoretically be dissected and recreated by someone smart enough to put the puzzle pieces together. It’s the thrill of trying to figure it out that keeps us enthralled and eager for more.
And then you have the so-called psychics — shysters who claim an ability to channel otherworldly forces to do everything from telling the future to communicating with the dead, which sounds like a lot of fun until they prey on people desperate to pull themselves out of hard times or make contact with deceased loved ones. On this episode, we talk to Mark Edward, mentalist and author of Psychic Blues: Confessions of a Conflicted Medium. Mark explains why all psychics are frauds (though some may be true believers of their own hype), why we should be wary of what they’re peddling, and how we can resist the temptation to believe them no matter how convincing they seem. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
Please note that some of the links on this page (books, movies, music, etc.) lead to affiliate programs for which The Jordan Harbinger Show receives compensation. It’s just one of the ways we keep the lights on around here. Thank you for your support!
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Miss our episode with Charlamagne Tha God? Catch up with episode 171: Charlamagne Tha God | Turning the Tables on Fear and Anxiety here!
THANKS, MARK EDWARD!
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com.
Resources from This Episode:
- Psychic Blues: Confessions of a Conflicted Medium by Mark Edward
- Mark Edward | Website
- Mark Edward | Facebook
- In Book, Mark Edward Tells Tricks Used as a Medium | The New York Times
- The Academy of Magical Arts
- Psychic Friends Network | Wikipedia
- The Many Lives of Youree Dell Harris, A.K.A. the ‘Psychic’ Miss Cleo, Dead at 53 | The Washington Post
- Penn & Teller: BS! Season 1 | Prime Video
- Mark Edward Cold Reading Workshop | CSICon
- Psychic Methods Revealed: Hot Reading | Holy Koolaid
- Situational Awareness – Trusting Your Instincts | Rampart Group, LLC
- Guerrilla Skeptics: A Pathway to Skeptical Activism | Skeptical Inquirer
- Inside the Secret Sting Operations to Expose Celebrity Psychics | The New York Times
- My Not-So-Psychic Experience With ‘Long Island Medium’ Theresa Caputo | Long Island Press
- Sylvia Browne: Fans Lash Out at ‘Psychic’ Over False Ohio Abduction Prediction | The Guardian
- No, a Self-Proclaimed Psychic Did Not Predict Coronavirus | The Hour
- Mentalism | Wikipedia
- Uri Geller | RationalWiki
- James Randi | RationalWiki
- The Truth About Uri Geller by James Randi
- Human Family by Maya Angelou | All Poetry
- How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- How Did Houdini Do His Deeds? Legendary Illusionist’s Secrets Revealed. | Metro UK
- Law Of Large Numbers | Investopedia
- Reflexology: A Close Look | Quackwatch
- Total Darkness by Mark Edward
- Dragon Con
- The Iron Rose (English Subtitled) | Prime Video
Transcript for Mark Edward | True Confessions of a Fake Psychic (Episode 413)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:00] Coming up on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
Mark Edward: [00:00:03] That's a magic trick. In mentalism, it's called pre-show. Pre-show means everything is set before you even walk on. And when you walk on, you just have a blast with it and you're not always right. Sometimes you're wrong. That's the way to entertain people. But nowadays, it's go for the jugular. You want somebody to start crying and break down, which to me is not entertainment. And that's where I draw the line. That's not entertaining to tell somebody, they're missing daughter is dead. When later on, they're found alive. That kind of stuff is — okay, I'll get off my soapbox.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:43] Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people. If you're new to the show, we have in-depth conversations with people at the top of their game, astronauts, entrepreneurs, even the occasional rocket scientist. Each show turns our guests' wisdom into practical advice that you can use to build a deeper understanding of how the world works and become a better critical thinker.
[00:01:07] Today, my friend, Mark Edward, he's a skeptic, a magician. He cut his teeth at the magic castle in L.A.. But for years, he paid the bills as a fake psychic on the Psychic Friends Network. You remember that? Well, as Mark will tell us, all psychics are fake. But Mark was a performer. He played some very convincing seances and phony psychic, cold reads, and all that jazz. Today, we'll learn how psychic cons work, what these people are looking for in their victims, and how you can spot these scammers and protect those you love from falling prey to these manipulations. I love stuff like this. I found this episode fascinating. And of course, I asked Mark to give me a psychic read as well. And naturally, he's pretty much dead on.
[00:01:45] And if you're wondering how I managed to book all of these great authors, thinkers, celebrities, every single week — fake psychics, of course, don't forget them. It's because my network is full of these types of folks. And I'm teaching you how to build your network for free — whether it's just for personal or business reasons — over at jordanharbinger.com/course. And many/most of the guests on the show, they subscribe to the course, they contribute to the course. We'd love to have you. You'll be in smart company. Now, here we go with Mark Edward.
[00:02:15] I read the book, which I thought was very interesting. I thought, okay. I've always wanted to kind of get the low down on — I mean, what do you call it? A fake psychic network, psychic hotlines. I don't know.
Mark Edward: [00:02:25] No, they're all fake.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:26] Right.
Mark Edward: [00:02:27] There is no such thing as a psychic. So when you say fake psychics, it gets redundant.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:32] I guess that's true.
Mark Edward: [00:02:33] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:33] It be like saying milky, very milky milk.
Mark Edward: [00:02:35] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:36] The fake psychic thing is fascinating. I want to get a little bit of background on this because now you're an outspoken skeptic. So it's like, you make a point to say, "Hey, psychics are fake. This is fake." But before that, that was what paid the bills. So I'm wondering, you know, how you, how'd you get into this?
Mark Edward: [00:02:52] I was a skeptic all along. My idea was to scam the scammers. So the book is leaning towards a believer, but the idea was that I wanted to learn and understand all the methods they were using. And you can't just get that method by saying, "Hey, how did you do that?" They'll just say, "I have psychic powers," you know? So. I had to learn how to manipulate people, just like they did. So I was never a believer. And even though, yeah, I did take some money from people for a while. It was the ends justified the means. And I stand by that because if you read the book, you'll drift pretty strong.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:28] I did. And I got the drift, yeah. It's entertainment. They tell you that for — well, because that's what it is, and also mostly for legal reasons. I'm sure if they didn't have to tell you it was entertainment, they would tell you it was real.
Mark Edward: [00:03:38] That's right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:39] And I was surprised to hear that Miss Cleo was from Detroit. That's where I'm from and you know — she didn't play a very convincing Jamaican witch doctor or whatever it was and with commercials, but it's still surprised me that she was like, just a regular old Detroiter, just like me telling me she had a dream about me.
Mark Edward: [00:03:57] Well. the thing of it is all psychics are actors portraying the part of a voodoo priest — or whatever you decide you want to work on to get your character together. But it's just like a magician that works on a character and it's all fake.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:12] Yeah, of course. That kind of goes — well, I would say it goes without saying, but it really doesn't. There are tons of people that believe in this and I get messages all the time from people that say things like, "I'm really glad you go so hard against scammers and against multi-level marketing and against trickery and against this and that. And the other thing, let me know if you ever want to have me on your show, I'm a very, I'm intuitive," what is it? Empath or —
Mark Edward: [00:04:34] Intuitive clairvoyant.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:36] Yes.
Mark Edward: [00:04:37] That's what I used to refer myself as.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:39] Yeah. And I wonder — I'm naïve, Mark, what can I say — are some of these people, did they believe that they're that, but they're just really good at reading other people using conventional techniques or are they all — is it such a skill that you can't do it by accident and everyone who does it is just a scammer?
Mark Edward: [00:04:56] Oh, you can do it by accident. I did the pilot episode of Penn & Teller's Bullshit, and that was many years ago. But since I did that episode, many people who thought they were psychic and we're going around giving people advice and readings realize that all they were doing was cold reading, but they didn't know it.
[00:05:15] And in our work that we do, we recently had a woman who — I won't mention any names — but she's completely diluted that she is real. And yet, you know, we get readings and there's nothing there. It's all just — she's diluted. I like to say that 95 percent of the people out there — in my opinion, again, this is my opinion. It may not be anybody else's. Through my experience, 95 percent of the people who are out there doing business and getting paid to be psychic are outright charlatans and know what they're doing is fake. The other five percent can kind of be divided into two areas. 2.5 percent are diluted like this woman that we've been talking to. She just doesn't know any better. She is naive. She thinks that just common sense or intuition is some sort of special power that she has. Then the other 2.5 percent are really strongly intuitive compassionate people who really believe they're helping people. And they do but when you balance 2.5 percent against 97.5 percent, the odds are not in your favor.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:27] Yeah.
Mark Edward: [00:06:29] So buyer beware. That's all. I mean, if you can find somebody, you can talk to. It doesn't have to be a psychic. It could be a bartender or a coach. I don't care, you know, but be careful because the whole point is they get their hooks in you. they're trying to find — we call them grief vampires. They're the ones that say they talk to the dead and all that. Once they get their claws into you and they find your weakness, they will never let go.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:54] I've experienced some of this. I think we talked about this months ago when I was first chatting with you. My wife's side of the family, family friends, something, something, something, she is very superstitious, but also she was loaded. She inherited the money as one does.
Mark Edward: [00:07:07] Not a good combination.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:08] Not a good combination, no. And the psychic or the, you know — when I say psychic, I'm now talking officially about — since we all know all psychics are fake. I don't have to say, fake psychic. It's just easier. I'll just say psychic.
Mark Edward: [00:07:20] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:21] The psychic that she'd hired, coincidentally would want to come over after a while and started — you know, that she was giving her money and money and money and money and giving her probably like a hundred thousand dollars or something like that by this time. And then the woman is coming over and saying, "You know, I think that there are objects in your house that actually have," in Chinese, it's called like, si chi, like bad energy or something like that.
Mark Edward: [00:07:42] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:43] Like bad evil spirits basically is what that sort of translates to. So she came over and she managed to spot family heirlooms and expensive things that just coincidentally —
Mark Edward: [00:07:51] "We'll take care of those for you. We'll take care of those."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:54] "But that's a family heirloom." "Don't worry. I'm just going to take it and put it in my sacred —"
Mark Edward: [00:08:00] Vault.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:00] "— chamber or vault or whatever. And you know, I'm going to cleanse it for you for 20 grand."
Mark Edward: [00:08:04] I'm sorry. I'm laughing, but I mean —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:06] It's laughable. It's sad but it’s laughable.
Mark Edward: [00:08:08] It is. It is but, you know, people are superstitious and it's very sad. We just did a television spot for a show that's going to be coming on as a mini-series called The Con.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:21] I'm also in that.
Mark Edward: [00:08:22] Are you in there?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:23] I'm in that for a different thing —
Mark Edward: [00:08:24] Fantastic.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:24] — an entirely different thing — the season finale. I don't think I'm supposed to say it on this show.
Mark Edward: [00:08:29] Oh okay.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:29] But I'll tell you after we hang up because I don't know what I'm allowed to say, but go ahead. Continue.
Mark Edward: [00:08:33] Well, they didn't give me any —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:35] You didn't sign anything?
Mark Edward: [00:08:36] — problem with it. No, and I didn't and I didn't get paid either. So, you know, it's kind of like —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:40] Me neither.
Mark Edward: [00:08:41] You get what you pay for. No, it's going to be a very important show. The woman that I'm talking about, she lost $780,000.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:48] Wow. Ugh, uh, it makes my head hurt hearing about that.
Mark Edward: [00:08:52] And she kept going back and going back and going — because it's an addiction. You know, they're like psychic junkies. They believe that that object is cursed. And they'll pay to have that psychic or that medium, plate it in gold, but it's going to cost $30,000 to do that. And that will keep the evil spirits inside the object. I mean, it goes on and on and on and on. If you're a billionaire, what the hell? But in these times you have to really be careful.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:22] Yeah. Yeah, of course. And so looking at this as a con, which is what it is.
Mark Edward: [00:09:27] Yes.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:27] And it goes all the way back to it — there's technique here. And I would love to get into the technique because the technique that you discussed in the book is called cold — one of the techniques, anyway, it's called cold reading. Can you explain what this is? This is a really fascinating thing that a lot of people can do and everyone has seen, but they just didn't know what it was called.
Mark Edward: [00:09:45] I know, but I want to make a very important point that you just covered. Everyone wants to know the technique. And the last thing I want to do is inculcate a whole new crop of —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:56] Phonies.
Mark Edward: [00:09:57] Scam artist.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:58] Yeah.
Mark Edward: [00:09:58] You know, so I'm happy to reveal the secrets that I know, but I don't feel good about it because once you understand — if you understand it and you're a skeptical, rational person, that's one thing. If you hear this and you understand it, it's a way to get a leg up on everybody else. I'm aware of that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:17] Yeah.
Mark Edward: [00:10:18] Okay, so — but I'll tell you that the difference there's cold readings and there's hot readings. Cold reading is when you meet somebody you've never met before and you convince them that you know everything about them — past, present, and future. And it is a technique that can be learned. And the more you do it — it's like juggling or magic or anything else — the more you learn it and practice it the better you get at it.
[00:10:42] And I personally, I love it because my background is in magic. So if I can weave some of the techniques of cold reading into my mentalism or my magic, when I'm performing in the midst of that, it adds another layer of believability. So as an actor, again, it helps get inside somebody's head. And sometimes, it's really powerful because you're working with suggestions and coincidence.
[00:11:09] But all it is, is you're just giving somebody the once-over. For me, it's visually. You know, as soon as I meet somebody or I see them — if I'm sitting in a little table, reading tarot cards, I see somebody walking in the door, I immediately give them the once-over. I look at their shoes, their hair, their clothes, the way they're walking, their general attitude. And generally, before they even sit down at the table, I know everything I need to know about them. I know what they want to know. I know where they want to go and there's nothing psychic about it. It's just profiling basically.
[00:11:45] And it's called — in the FBI and CIA, it's called situational awareness. You know, when you walk into a room and you're trained, you're immediately — you know, somebody who works in a government agency, they come in, they look for the exit. They look — you know, who are they going to kill first? If they have to get out of there. I mean, that's taking it to an extreme, but the point is you're reading the person. And by the time they sit down, if they're gullible enough and they're vulnerable enough, you can zone right in on that and start to tell them. Things about themselves that they're like, "There's no way in the world. The psychic could have known that." I love that phrase. That's one of my favorites. That's probably going to be the title of my next book is "There's no way the psychic could have known that." And I'm here to say, "Oh yes, there is." Okay.
[00:12:41] So cold reading has been around for — I don't know, millennia. It's just going with your gut-level, your intuition, and making bold statements as if they're facts. And since you're in the power position, even if you're wrong, the sitter will try and adjust it and connect the dots for you. So you're already — even if you're wrong, you can be right. So that's cold reading. Many books have written about it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:08] Hot reading, of course, is what? Google.
Mark Edward: [00:13:11] Oh, that's the good stuff. That's the good stuff. Hot reading is what we're in the midst of stinging psychics right now we have a group called Guerilla Skeptics. We had a write-up in New York Times magazine. I'm not going to mention the psychic's name — but yeah, what they do is they search your social media. Once they have your name.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:31] Yeah.
Mark Edward: [00:13:31] You go to Facebook, you go to a Foursquare — any of these social media apps and you put it in. So the deal is most of these big-time mediums — you know, the lowest of the low — they work with 200 or 300 people at a time. And when you buy your ticket to see them, you're using your credit card, you're not paying them cash like in a carnival. So once they have your credit card and you assigned a seat number, how hard is it to spend 10 or 15 minutes — we do it all the time in our show to where we teach this. So I just simply go into your files and I try to go back a bit. I don't take stuff that you might remember. But I look at things that are in your past, on your Facebook — or you know, we have an obituary file too. I look up when your father died — I mean, information is out there.
[00:14:28] So then suddenly when I'm walking through the crowd, I say, "I'm picking up baby clothes. Why am I picking up baby clothes?" The rest of the audience doesn't know, they're not aware of that, but the person sitting there — and this happened at Theresa Caputo show that I did. I worked with inside edition and that's what she said. She said to this person, "Why am I picking up baby clothes?" And it was great because the woman said, "Wow. That's crazy. I just put pictures of baby clothes up on Facebook." Boom!
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:58] You'd think she would have put those things together.
Mark Edward: [00:15:00] No, and even though they're right in their face, they don't put it together because they want to believe they paid their money for a ticket. Sometimes a lot of money to sit down in the front. Of course, that's where most of the readings are done because they want your money. They don't care about the cheap seats.
[00:15:17] So hot reading is very, very powerful because if you have four or five people in an audience of 200 people and you nail something. This person that we've been working on. And again, if you want to read a New York Times article, it is called — let me see if my conscience can tell me — what was it called again? Secrets of The Celebrity Psychics, New York Times Magazine. It details the whole operation. And if you want to go to my website, www.themarkedward.com, there's a video that breaks it all down.
[00:15:50] So hot reading is the preferred method today unless you've made it. If you're somebody who's really gotten to the top and you already have a TV show and you're set, they get lazy, they don't need hits. They just fall back on cold reading.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:06] Interesting.
Mark Edward: [00:16:06] If you're on the ascendant, if you're trying to make it and get a TV show or prove to people that you're real, you pepper the audience with a couple of really powerful, hot readings. And it is really amazing to see the reaction on the audience. I actually love it. I love the artifice of it, but I hate what it does to people and the manipulation because it's a magic trick. In mentalism, it's called pre-show. Pre-show means everything is set before you even walk on. And when you walk on, you just have a blast with it and you're not always right. Sometimes you're wrong. That's the way to entertain people. But nowadays, it's go for the jugular. You want somebody to start crying and break down, which to me is not entertainment. And that's where I draw the line. That's not entertaining to tell somebody, their missing daughter is dead. When later on, they're found alive. That kind of stuff is, "Okay, I'll get off my soapbox."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:03] No, it makes sense. I'm with you on that. I mean, you hear these stories of psychics saying like, "Your son is still alive. Ooh. But he's in a very dark place." Then they find that the kid had been dead for 10 years. But meanwhile, this psychic saying that they're being trafficked.
Mark Edward: [00:17:15] Right. They find him like a block away from the house.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:18] Right, yeah.
Mark Edward: [00:17:20] I'm sorry. I'm laughing. But Sylvia Browne was a master at being wrong. She was never right. And she could have been a comedian, a psychic comedian. She would have had a better career because some of the things that she said and did, ruin people's lives. One woman who thought her daughter was dead, basically died of a broken heart, they say. I mean, you know, she can't prove that, but then the daughter was found in Cleveland. I don't know if you remember that story.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:48] No, I don't. That's horrible.
Mark Edward: [00:17:51] Yeah. She was being held captive by one of these guys that, you know, hold somebody in a room. Amanda Berry was her name.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:58] That's terrible. That's awful.
Mark Edward: [00:17:59] Well, that's what goes on 24/7. You know, these people crank the sh*t out. Can I say that?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:05] Yeah.
Mark Edward: [00:18:06] Crank it out day and night. They have no conscience or sociopathic, so they don't —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:11] Yeah.
Mark Edward: [00:18:11] They don't give it a second thought.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:13] Tell me, you mentioned before mentalism, what is that exactly? Is that like a superset that includes cold reading, hot reading, and fake psychic performance?
Mark Edward: [00:18:22] Not necessarily. I mean, you have to dig pretty deep to get to that level. Basically, mentalism is a branch of magic, which is — where you're saying, you can do these things. You have these powers, you can see the future. You can read a person's mind. You can move an object with your mind. It's a totally different set of values than the standard magic. You know, you're not wearing a tux. You're not pulling a rabbit out of a hat. You're wearing, usually tweeds. And you want to look very professorial — at least I did.
[00:18:56] So mentalism is this — I think it's a superlative branch of deception and magic because people want to believe in it. You know, if I take a green handkerchief and I put it in here like this, and then it comes out red over here and I show my hand empty. Clever. It has no reason to happen. People will apply very politely and you're a magician. But if you tell somebody about the street they lived on and grew up on when they were five years old, that's a different kind of illusion. And those are two real extremes, but mentalism, once you understand it and you can purify it because you kind of go through these stages.
[00:19:35] I started with standard magic and I did that for many, many years. And then I slowly got into this idea — because I didn't understand what mentalism was either. I started studying it. I was lucky to have some really good teachers. Thank you teachers out there who taught me. And they said, "That's kid stuff. If you want to do kids' shows, fine. But if you want to make real money, you got to move into this area where people aren't sure whether it was a trick or not." See that's the difference.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:08] Yeah.
Mark Edward: [00:20:08] If you play it in character, it can be very convincing if you don't do a disclaimer and you just say, "Ah, this stuff just happens to me," like Uri Geller does, you know. "I can't control it. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't." Then you're in a different category. And for me, I discovered that it was much more satisfying on a personal level because I was able to get more into people's minds and deal with them and talk to them instead of just saying, "Hey, I fooled you."
[00:20:36] And also I learned this from Uri Geller is that if you use mentalism as a vehicle, you can suggest or convince the person in the audience that you're empowering them. That's a difference to me.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:51] Okay.
Mark Edward: [00:20:51] You're not telling them, "Hey, I'm a magician. I'm really cool. I fooled you. You're saying, "You can do this. Just focus with me. Focus on that word. Focus on that number." So they feel they go away feeling not only entertained — that's key — but they also feel like, "Hey, I made this happen."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:11] Uri Geller is — can you explain briefly who that is? Because I don't have a super positive impression of a guy like that.
Mark Edward: [00:21:17] Most people don't. Well, I can't put the guy down and I'll tell you why. He's a friend of mine, a dubious friend of mine — because again, I'm interested in the artifice of what he's doing and why he's doing it. I'm not going to judge. I mean, he says, "He's real."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:37] Right.
Mark Edward: [00:21:37] Okay. And he's a magician and he knows it. And I know it. And Randi knows it. If you know who Amazing Randi is?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:43] James Randi, the Amazing Randi who also —
Mark Edward: [00:21:46] Yeah. I mean —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:46] — who busts these guys. Yeah.
Mark Edward: [00:21:47] Yeah, we all know that he's a charlatan. He's a charming, convincing, persuasive performer. If you've ever seen him work —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:57] Yes.
Mark Edward: [00:21:57] You have.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:58] Not in person, but in programs and things — and he is amazing. I mean, he's the guy who can —
Mark Edward: [00:22:03] Oh, in person, he is —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:04] next level.
Mark Edward: [00:22:05] Yeah. He's the next level. I would rather see Uri work a room than any magician I can think of. Because he has this charisma — it's dangerous, okay. No doubt. It is dangerous and he's not what I would call trustworthy. I would never loan him any money or anything like that. But as a performer, I have learned a lot from him because if you want to create this believability, it's not about the trick or the effect. It's about the other person, just like in a cold reading, and how they react and convince themselves that it's real.
[00:22:43] So a lot of skeptics — I mean, I'm in the skeptic movement and he's like evil genius.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:50] The Lex Luther.
Mark Edward: [00:22:51] Yeah. The whole history of James Randi and Uri Geller is — you could write books and books on it and books have been written on it. So I don't really care. I think if this person can teach me a technique. I don't necessarily have to use it but I, as a performer, can be amused and entertained by it because it shows how vulnerable people are.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:17] Your listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Mark Edward. We'll be right back.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:58] And now back to Mark Edward on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:26:03] The cold reading thing really isn't — it's amazing but it's so common and it is very tricky. A long time ago — and I've told this story on the show before — there was a kid who said, "Hey, I know you debunk a lot of this stuff, and you don't believe in any of this woo-woo stuff. But I went to a fair at my university and they had a psychic. And the things she told me were absolutely amazing. And I said, "Okay, well, I've never met you in real life." This is via email or something like that years ago. I said, "I've never met you in real life," but his name was Rajan Patel. He worked for a graphic design firm. I saw that in his email signature. And I said, "Bear with me. See if I also have psychic powers. Your parents really wanted you to go into one of the STEM or hard sciences, maybe engineering, maybe become a doctor. They're a little disappointed that you decided to follow your artistic talents and go into graphic design. You probably have siblings that actually did go into the hard sciences or maybe law, and they're more successful than you. And your parents, especially your mom, are often comparing you to your brother or sister." And he goes, "Oh, my God, you nailed it." I said, "I nailed every Indian graphic designer who didn't become a doctor," and he went, "Yeah, I think you got me. My sister is a doctor and I hear about it all the time." I was like, "This is so easy. I've never met this guy."
[00:27:15] But yeah, the idea here is I just picked out a couple of very general facts that I would have said to literally any of — just knowing a few Indian people in law school, it was like such a common refrain to hear from them, how their culture works in general. I mean this little tidbit about their culture, I should say, that it was so easy for me to say that. And he thought, "How do you know these things? It's amazing."
Mark Edward: [00:27:34] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:35] And I said, "Your email signature plus literally every Indian family in America."
Mark Edward: [00:27:38] And you also said in general, which is —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:41] Sure.
Mark Edward: [00:27:41] We are more alike than we are different. That's a famous quote, you know. I mean, there was a method I used to use if I was at a big party or a big show where I was dealing with dozens and dozens of people, you can't give the same reading over and over and over because if people compare notes, you are dead. So you have to learn how to do a little dance and improvise and one of the techniques I learned from one of my teachers is if you run out of material, you just start talking about yourself and what's going on in your life, but you make it about their life. And people will be like, "Damn, you nailed that right on the head." And they don't know that you're just accessing information that's going on in your life. You know, like, "Yeah, you had some dental problems a couple of months ago."
[00:28:31] If you're wrong, it doesn't matter. You just keep going. You just keep course-correcting based on their reaction, that little muscles in their face. You know when I go like this, you're not so close. When they're going like this, you just stay on that. People don't realize they're giving you these body language things that are going on. And that's why later they will say, "There's no way in the world. I could have known that well."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:59] Right. so it's — we don't have a poker face. We go in there with a negative or positive or open or closed or sort of confirmation non-verbally and they feed off that. And also in the book, you had some pretty good examples where you would say things like, "I sense that there's some travel going on it." "No, not really." "Well, I don't mean travel in the literal sense. I mean, sort of the," what was it? Like, "metaphorical travel, in fact, you could just be —"
Mark Edward: [00:29:21] No, it was distance.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:22] Distance. Okay.
Mark Edward: [00:29:23] They would say something about a person in their life and I would say, "I'm feeling some distance here and then I'd look at their face." And I would say, "I'm not sure if it's physical distance or emotional distance," and then they would fill it in for me. "Oh, we're pretty far apart. She lives in Canada," you know.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:40] Right.
Mark Edward: [00:29:40] They remember the hits and not the misses. So there were like, they'll tell their friend — it's like telephone, the telephone game. He knew that I had a friend in Canada. I didn't know that you told me that. And you have to be able to record that and retain it for later. So that's part of it. And there's a lot of verbal deception that goes on. The verbal deception aspect is fantastic. And if you study with the right people, the verbal deception is the whole thing because it's a way of suggestion. Everything is a suggestion. You suggest something and they go with it. They take the ball and run with it, not always.
[00:30:18] Again, if you go in visit one of these storefront psychics and you convince yourself to sit perfectly still and not ask a question and not make any facial or body reactions at all. You just sit like this. The reading is over. And they'll tell you that. They'll give you your money back. They'll say, "Everything is fine. I can't tell you anything." And I know because I've done this. So if you want to try it, it's really hard to do.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:43] Sure.
Mark Edward: [00:30:44] It sounds easy, but you can just go like that, or any sort of facial expression can be read by a good reader. So what you have to do is take a bunch of tranquilizers. I didn't do that, but you know —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:58] Yeah.
Mark Edward: [00:30:58] — so that all your muscles are completely relaxed and go in there and right away — if you don't say, "I need to know about my girlfriend," or, "I need to find out about a job." If you don't say anything, they're going to say, "So, what do you want to know?" And if you just go, "Just curious."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:15] Shrug, yeah.
Mark Edward: [00:31:16] Then they're going to give you some really general thing. Like, "I see everything is fine." And unless they saw you limp when you came in, you know, "I see something with your right leg." I mean, It's unbelievable what you get away with or not get away with.
[00:31:30] And I've tested these people. So I know that they are literally — it's something that's learned — you know, grandma knew it. Great-grandma knew it. And now they're training the daughter to do it. That's this case that we were just working on. It was a mother and daughter and the mother was unbelievably — what's the word I'm looking for? When you're really greedy — greedy and malicious and really a nasty character. The daughter who is coming up into it, she was kind of okay. She hadn't gotten to that point where she really was desperate. So it's hard to paint with a broad brush, but you know —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:08] Yeah, your Guerilla Skeptics is essentially — what do you call it? Are you collecting evidence that they're defrauding people? Like what's the mission?
Mark Edward: [00:32:15] Well, the Guerilla Skeptics is a group of people who are all over the world and we're all connected. And what we do is — it's frustrating, you know, because you got this thing in the New York Times where we nailed this guy, red-handed. Did you read the New York Times?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:31] I did. It was a while ago. You sent it to me a few months back.
Mark Edward: [00:32:34] But I mean, that should have finished this guy, but he's had two television series since then.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:41] Unbelievable.
Mark Edward: [00:32:42] And he's got a Vegas show and I mean, people don't want the truth if you're watching this and you think this is wrong, do something. So our thing is we're doing something about it, but we're just trying to find the right person to listen to it so it can reach the largest audience possible.
[00:33:00] We haven't yet another sting up our sleeve. It's called Operation Lima Bean. I can't really tell you that much about it, but I can —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:08] Other than the name.
Mark Edward: [00:33:08] Other than the name, so when you hear lima bean, you'll think about it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:13] That's right.
Mark Edward: [00:33:14] So this is going to be the mother of all stings. We've thought it through. We've got it all figured out. Everything is in place, but we're not just going to do it and preach to the choir. We want a major media — a 20/20 or 60 Minutes, or I don't know, something that reaches out.
[00:33:33] Like when we did this New York Times thing, it reached — how many? A million people.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:37] Sure at least, right?
Mark Edward: [00:33:39] Yeah, a lot of people read it and we got an influx of people with offers for us. But the problem is the offers were not — you know, they wanted to show both sides of the story and all. They wanted to show the psychic for 30 minutes and then give us two minutes.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:55] Right.
Mark Edward: [00:33:55] And at the end, they'd say, "Well, maybe it is real." It's like we have decided we're not into that. If you have an idea for a show or a film or something, come to us, but we're not interested in showing the whole side anymore because it's beyond that now. Okay. People are tired of being lied to look at what's going on in our country right now.
[00:34:17] So we're not going to show somebody and say, "Well, maybe it's real." We're not investigating anymore. We are reaching out and exposing these people, which has been done for decades, but it doesn't seem to make a dent in the media because they don't want to know the truth. They would rather have people. You know like Dr. Phil or I don't know what shows — I don't watch television, but you know, these shows where they support the psychic.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:43] Yeah, it does everyone a disservice. And that's why on this show, I'm always looking for what is true, scientific because this is edutainment —
Mark Edward: [00:34:51] Good.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:52] But I don't want somebody to come on and trick everyone. And then I go, "Well, maybe some people do have magical powers." I want the magician to come on and go, "This is a trick. And here is the trick," and possibly here's how the trick is done without divulging everything that they do.
Mark Edward: [00:35:07] Well, I like to tell people if there was one person on this planet that had any of the powers that these people pretend to say they have. They would be the most dangerous person on the planet. You know, they wouldn't be selling tickets for shows and walking around doing talk TV shows, bragging about what they see in the dead world. They would be locked up in a bunker somewhere with their brain wired up and the CIA or the NSA, they'd be looking at that very carefully. They would be a wanted person. They wouldn't be celebrities.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:44] No.
Mark Edward: [00:35:45] All you have to do is look at it with common sense. Okay. I mean, they would be underground. And I know because when I was on the psychic line, I would have people call me who swore that they had these powers, but they were terrified. They didn't know what to do with them. They said, "I can't go outside. I can't look at people." You know, it's like the Twilight Zone a person would look at somebody in the face and know they were going to die. I mean, you know —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:10] Yeah, delusion.
Mark Edward: [00:36:11] It's not only delusional, but it's terrifying to that person.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:15] Right.
Mark Edward: [00:36:16] And you know, if you could hear people's thoughts and do these things at a mentalist pretends, use your head folks
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:22] At the very least, I'd be investing. Right?
Mark Edward: [00:36:27] That's right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:27] I would have bought Yahoo in '96.
Mark Edward: [00:36:28] But the problem is people are investing, but what they're investing in is just new psychic scam platforms because they know that's where the money is.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:37] Right, now, that makes sense. When you worked for the Psychic Friends Network, which is such a throwback to my childhood with — is it Dionne Warwick coming on?
Mark Edward: [00:36:46] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:47] And talking with her psychic friends and then Miss Cleo pops up and sends you a voicemail about how she had a dream about you or whatever. Some of the calls you got were pretty terrifying. I mean, this woman, I think her name was Trish. She had her eye gouged out by her boyfriend. I mean, that was just horrifying.
Mark Edward: [00:37:00] Yeah. True. Everything in my books Psychic Blues is true. I didn't elaborate on it at all. And it's only the tip of the iceberg because how the book started to really get written was I was taking these calls and they were just absolutely horrific.
[00:37:16] Yeah. You know, one person, she says, "Is my boyfriend going to take my furniture away?" And I said, "No, why would he do that?" A lot of times I would just tell people the truth that I thought, you know —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:27] Sure.
Mark Edward: [00:37:28] I just thought things through for them. "Why would he do that?" "Well, he gouged one of my eyes out." I said, "What?"
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:35] unbelievable.
Mark Edward: [00:37:36] And she said, "Yeah, we got in a fight." I said, "How did he do it with his fingers?" And I'm just like, [inhaled deeply]. Then I'm getting into the — I had a list of 800 numbers and if it was something that I felt was really in need of some serious professional help, I would try and massage it into the reading. And I would say, "I see you getting some help." This is what I said to her. "I see you going to a woman's shelter." And she was like, "What's a woman's shelter?" I'm like, "I'm going to give you a phone number. You need to go there." And then she says, "But I'll lose all the furniture." I'm like —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:09] Oh my God.
Mark Edward: [00:38:10] "You can get more furniture. You can't get another eye, you know." I mean, this is true. This is a true story.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:16] Unbelievable. Yeah.
Mark Edward: [00:38:18] I said, "So here. Here's a number. This is a woman's shelter that's in your area. I want you to call them and go there right away and you'll get some help. You can get your furniture eventually. Don't worry about it. I see lots of new furniture."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:30] Yeah.
Mark Edward: [00:38:31] So I say, "Are you ready? I'm going to give you the number." And I hear a click. She hung up.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:37] Oh, this got to take a toll on you psychologically after a while, right?
Mark Edward: [00:38:40] Yeah. That's why I wrote the book because day after day, night after night, it was not a cheery — people think that the life of the psychic must be so wonderful to see things and know things. It was a freaking nightmare and every day brought another one of these stories that I couldn't believe was really happening. So I wrote them down and I said, "Okay, now we're starting to get some information for this book." So everything that you see in that book is true. It actually happened.
[00:39:13] And some of them are really funny. And that's why TV producers, "Have I got a show for?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:19] Yeah, no kidding. No kidding.
Mark Edward: [00:39:22] I mean, it would be so interesting to have a TV show that shows a psychic, like maybe not quite as extreme as the gouged eye, but to see not only the psychic and the relationship with the sitter, but also show on television in a dramatic fashion. What happens when the sitter leaves and what their life is like after that? Do they listen to the psychic? Do they ignore it? You know, it's human nature. And it's really — to me, it's a whole lot more interesting than Little House on the Prairie. I mean, you could go to any major city and stage a different place every — anyway, I'm pitching now.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:00] No, it's good. Hey, look, I love it. I love it. I want to hear a little bit about how you would have to keep people on the phone line, right?
Mark Edward: [00:40:06] Oh yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:06] I mean, a lot of these psychic lines they got in trouble because they sent threats to people, right? Or they would say like —
Mark Edward: [00:40:11] Oh yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:12] I mean, I remember — I mentioned the Miss Cleo thing because when I was in law school, we studied something about how the prosecution alleged or asserted — not alleged I mean, I think they, they proved this quite easily that the Miss Cleo owners — I mean, it's not her, she was an actress, but they would call using their auto dialer and leave a voicemail that said, "Miss Cleo had a dream about you. It's very urgent. You're in danger." And that was —
Mark Edward: [00:40:35] Call right away.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:36] That was illegal.
Mark Edward: [00:40:37] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:37] Or at least predatory to the point of crossing the line. And that was one of many things they got in trouble for doing it.
Mark Edward: [00:40:44] Oh, yeah. Well, I didn't work for Miss Cleo, but I can give you — there's an example in my book, we were basically paid nothing. The company got 3.99 a minute. We got 25 cents a minute, which is not great.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:56] That's not a great split. The phone company and the company that ran the psychics was clearly bread money.
Mark Edward: [00:41:02] But we got — if we're able to tell a person, "Look, we have this free psychic magazine that we'll be happy to send to you, but you have to give me your address and your birth date so we can do your work with your horoscope," right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:17] Right.
Mark Edward: [00:41:17] So we got an extra quarter per reading at the end of the week. We'd have a stack about this thick of addresses. We forward them to the Psychic Friends Network. We didn't know what they were going to do with them.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:29] This is like an inch thick stack of — for people not watching, but listening, that's like an inch thick stack of — what? Index cards?
Mark Edward: [00:41:34] No, they were like yellow pads only. They were printed up by the company and sent to us by the bale.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:41] Gotcha.
Mark Edward: [00:41:41] And we were, we were encouraged to get as many as we could. So it helped us make a little more money. But when I found out the kind of things they were doing with them — and here's a great example, they would call through them. And they would find using the birth dates of people that were probably over 60 or 70 years old. And then they had a specially printed card that they would send out and it would have my extension number on it, which really pissed me off. It would say, "Your psychic extension seven," whatever it was, you know, "feels that you were in imminent danger. You need to call him or her right away. They have a special message for you." Or they would say, "A special birthday message." But the one that got me was this little old lady calling me up and she says, "What's wrong? What's wrong?" I'm like, "I don't know. What do you mean?" She says. "I got a postcard from the Psychic Friends Network. It says I'm in danger. And to call you right away."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:35] And of course you didn't — they didn't even give you a heads up. So now you have to tell this woman that she's in some sort of —
Mark Edward: [00:42:40] No, no. I told her, I said, "That's bullsh*t. This is a marketing ploy. There's nothing wrong. This is what they use to get you to call back." I would tell them the truth.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:52] Wow. Good for you.
Mark Edward: [00:42:553] Yeah. I tell them the truth, but most of the time — well, the one time I'm talking about, the lady says, "Well, you're not helping me at all." And she hung up. So she just called back and talked to somebody else who gave her the bad news.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:05] Oh God. That's —
Mark Edward: [00:43:06] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:07] — horrifying.
Mark Edward: [00:43:07] And that's just one example of the entire charade that went on. It was just — I mean, I like to say I liked the artifice of it and I'm interested in the techniques, but that's again, you use the term a whole other level of —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:23] Predatory.
Mark Edward: [00:43:23] — manipulation and they'd send you a birthday. They'd say, "We'll give you a free three-minute reading. Happy birthday." But the system was set up so that a good part of that first three minutes was just getting to the psychic.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:36] God.
Mark Edward: [00:43:37] You know, there'd be an advertisement, there'd be some music. There'd be, "Psychic Friends, blah, blah, blah." They talk about themselves. So by the time you checked in with the psychic, the clock was running and you ended up paying —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:49] That's unbelievable. So the extension, you almost gave us — I take it. That's something you'll never forget because you used it for so long.
Mark Edward: [00:43:56] I used it thousands of — well, not thousands, probably. I can't even guess, but yeah, I use it a lot. That was your key to open the door and they sent you printed business cards. You could hand out, and everything.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:08] So pre-show, you mentioned that before, this is what, like what you do to investigate, but also I would imagine small talk where you get information about people and then use it later. I mean, not on the phone, but during a magic show.
Mark Edward: [00:44:19] Oh yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:20] I've gone to the mentalist thing and like, he's having a drink before the show with the audience and he's chatting with people and he's probably listening to what other people are talking about and things like that.
Mark Edward: [00:44:28] Well, I have my girlfriend sitting right here many times when I was at the Magic Castle. She would be out in the bar or out where people are waiting to come in and she would be listening very carefully and I would be backstage getting ready to go on and she would text me. She would say, "The couple, she has a blue dress, he has a red shirt on and they just came back from the Bahamas," you know?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:52] Oh, right. And they don't know that they just — your girlfriend overheard them telling the other people in line that they went there.
Mark Edward: [00:44:57] Also, the funny thing is they — it goes right over their head when it happens. And again, the rest of the audience doesn't know anything about that. So it sounds pretty fantastic. And it's surprising that most of the time, the people who are the ones that you just wrung into the con, they don't remember saying anything either. And we've never had anybody say, "I was talking about that out in the lobby" because it's just chitchat and they're drinking.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:26] The cold reading stuff is fascinating. Some of the lines like, "These weren't family heirloom earrings, were they?" when somebody loses something, because if they say, "No," then you go, "Okay then like I said they weren't," and if they say yes —
Mark Edward: [00:45:40] That's called verbal deception. If you understand that it goes all through the world. I mean, a used car salesman, a shoe salesman, whatever. It's all part of the Dale Carnegie course of salesmanship if you remember that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:53] Yeah.
Mark Edward: [00:45:54] But it's put to our use as a mentalist and it's pretty effective because you have to be rapid-fire so much that people don't remember what you just said. You're onto the next thing. You keep punching and punching and punching like Houdini when he would do an incredible magic effect. People would try and stop and figure it out during the show. And then he'd hit him again with something else and again and again. And finally, people just said, "He's the greatest." They give up, you know, people can remember maybe two or three things at one time. And after that, they are lost and we count on that to further things along.
[00:46:30] That's why, if you ever get a reading and you can record it, please do record it. Because when you play it back, you'll be amazed. The things that you thought were really accurate, but they're not at all. They're just that they were in succession and they were course-correcting towards a specific goal. But along the way, there's like, "Yeah, that ring, you lost. It wasn't an antique, was it?" "Oh, I didn't think so."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:55] Right. Yeah. "No, it wasn't." "Oh, okay. But it was important."
Mark Edward: [00:46:57] "Yes, it was." Then you say, "I thought so." You can't be wrong. And those are the things I really liked. You know, you can call me a charlatan, call me a trickster, whatever you want. But we were in the dawn of the con right now, the golden age of the con.
[00:47:12] And it's out of control. So we have to start with the little goofy magic tricks to be able to understand how we are being manipulated. And it may be too late, but we can try. And that's why our group tries to make people aware of this so they can think of it as science, all magic is science, and whether it's using words or objects or whatever, it's all science. And a lot of people have lost the idea about that. Sad really, but that's the way it's going to go. At least, I tried
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:46] The cold reading techniques, I keep going back to this because they are so fascinating. Phrasing something like, "Well, this might not make any sense but," and then you say something and if it doesn't make any sense, well, like you said, it might not make any sense, but then people start to stretch. Like this might not make any sense, but I see Tortilla chips. I don't know. I'm looking around my office. I see tortilla chips. "Well, I ate that yesterday."
Mark Edward: [00:48:09] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:09] It does make sense. I'm just like grasping at anything. Any tenuous connection.
Mark Edward: [00:48:14] Yeah. Well, that's what the audience pays for the ability to do. And particularly it's called the law of large numbers, which I've seen demonstrated hundreds of times where there's an audience of 200 or 300 people and yeah, somebody says something like, "Somebody very recently just gagged on a tortilla chip." And then they say, "Does that mean anything to anybody?" They don't pick somebody out in particular. They don't go to this person and say, "You gagged on a tortilla chip yesterday, didn't you?" Now that would be pretty cool.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:48] Yeah, well, yeah.
Mark Edward: [00:48:49] But instead it's like a net that is thrown out and then people are like looking around, they a couple, raise their hand a few more, "Well, yeah, I didn't really gag on it but yeah, I had some bad brands that potato chips." I mean, it's just — so the law of large numbers helps move the whole game along. If you tried that in a room of 10 people. People would just laugh at you.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:11] Right.
Mark Edward: [00:49:12] Or if you walked up to somebody on the street on a street corner and said, "You gagged on a Dorito chip yesterday, didn't you?" They would just say, "Get away from me." But since we give this sort of bullsh*t a platform, it's got all this gloss around it and all the fancy lights and the music.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:28] I love the way that the details are used as well. For example, if you heard someone lives 200 miles away, you know that they probably didn't fly in because it's a little bit, it's hard to fly 200 miles.
Mark Edward: [00:49:40] Yeah, yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:40] It's a long drive. So they probably had a long drive. Then you can make some comments about their car or, "Oh, I sense, like maybe your lower back or your back is a little bit sore. Did you — were you sitting for a long time?" "Oh my God."
Mark Edward: [00:49:53] Here let me teach you something right now.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:55] Yeah.
Mark Edward: [00:49:56] The law in my world is never asked a question.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:01] Okay.
Mark Edward: [00:50:01] Because you asked a question. When you ask a question, you leave the possibility open for that person to say, "No, I didn't."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:08] Ah, okay. You were sitting for a long time is what I would do.
Mark Edward: [00:50:10] Yeah. You say, "You were sitting for a long time. Your back has been giving you some trouble." I mean, if we look at the standard psychic today that we see on television, all they do is ask questions. They just asked for verification on everything they say. And I've looked at some of the great clairvoyances, so-called clairvoyance in history, and how they made their living, was making bold statements as if they're facts. And then you leave it up to everybody in the audience to connect the dots. It's not up to you to ask questions. You're supposed to know. You're the freaking psychic. You're not supposed to ask somebody, "Did you just travel somewhere?" Just say it. If you're wrong and you see them go, move to another person.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:55] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Mark Edward. We'll be right back.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:46] Thank you so much for listening to the show. Thank you for supporting the show and supporting the sponsors that support the show. That's what keeps the lights on around here. A list of all the sponsors is at jordanharbinger.com/deals. You can go there for all the codes, all the links. And don't forget, we've got worksheets for every episode. Those links are in the show notes as well at jordanharbinger.com/podcast. Now here's the conclusion of our episode with Mark Edward.
[00:54:12] There's a lot of different types of — well, you live in the same area as me in the Bay area. There's a lot of things that don't call themselves psychic or mentalism.
Mark Edward: [00:54:20] Oh yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:21] But they are. I mean, there's a psychic on my block that — you'll love this. There was a tree that had fallen on one of their vehicles and I thought, "Oh, well, you're not very good at your job, are you?" While I was parked in the driveway, "You should have seen that coming."
[00:54:35] My mother-in-law — I'm married to an Asian woman whose family is from Taiwan. Often, they'll send me to like the foot reflexologist. "Just try it, just try it, just try it." And I'm like, "Okay." But I'm pretty sure this is crap, but I don't want to be a jerk and my mother-in-law paid for it. So I'm not going to tell her it's a bunch of garbage. So I go in there and she's massaging my foot and saying, "Oh, you get headaches, you get headaches," and I'm going, "Mmm, no." And she goes, "Yeah, but you have knee pain, maybe it's knee pain. Huh?" And I go, "No." "But it's like, it kind of could be related to the foot, like the knee pain or the foot pain." And I do have very flat feet.
Mark Edward: [00:55:08] How many people don't have pains in their feet and headaches.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:12] Or knee pain — I'm 40. Yeah, of course. I have knee pain. It's called being 40.
Mark Edward: [00:55:16] And it's going to get worse.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:19] But I mean, it was just — and I have flat feet. "Oh, do you have lower back pain?" Well, literally everyone with flat feet is sort of like medically indicated to have lower back pain.
Mark Edward: [00:55:27] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:27] And then she'd go up my calf and go, "Oh, no, no, no, you have this other thing —"
Mark Edward: [00:55:30] There — see, now she made a statement.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:32] Yeah.
Mark Edward: [00:55:33] If she's asking you —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:34] Well, I said no and I think she went, "Ooh, they told me not to do that in fake reflexology school."
Mark Edward: [00:55:38] That's right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:39] "But I didn't listen."
Mark Edward: [00:55:41] That’s right. Yeah, you're supposed to know. You're not supposed to ask questions. And again, reflexology they're not really considered to be a spirit guide or anything, so they can get away with asking questions because they're acting like a doctor. Yeah, they're acting like a doctor.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:58] Yeah, it's fake medicine.
Mark Edward: [00:55:59] If it would have been me, I would have just made those statements. Actually, if it would've been me, I would've used a very clever trick I know.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:06] Okay. Continue.
Mark Edward: [00:56:07] To convince the person that I knew exactly where the pain was coming from before they told me what it was.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:15] What's the trick?
Mark Edward: [00:56:17] I'm not going to share it. It's too good.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:19] No.
Mark Edward: [00:56:20] It's using a method that's used by mentalists all the time. And it's something I learned from one of my teachers who was not the most scrupulous person in the world, but that's why I stay away from health or legal questions. Absolutely, don't even go there.
[00:56:38] But there is a method where I can tell you the method — you have the person lie down, flat on a table and you've got to have candlelit and you know, all the hoopla is got to be going. And then you say, "I don't want you to tell me anything about your problem, but I have this card," and you have like any index card and it's got a picture of a body — somebody like, hang back with their arms out. You run hands over their body and take your time. They're paying for it. So, you know, you take your time and you go over their body and you take a pencil and you make a little notation on the card. And you put the car down, right? Or actually, you can put it underneath the person and you say, "All right, now I've written down what I think your problem is. But instead of just telling you what it is, you might think I looked at your medical records or something. Tell me, and then I will show you that I knew before what it was." So they say, "Yeah, I've got a real problem with my left shoulder." You take the card, you pick it up, you show it to them and there's an X on their left shoulder.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:39] Interesting. So you have a stack of cards with Xs all over different parts of the body.
Mark Edward: [00:57:42] No, I'm not going to tell — I cannot reveal my secrets. That's not right. And also — and the reason why is because —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:49] I'm not a magician.
Mark Edward: [00:57:49] — it's like taking food off of magicians or a mentalist's table. So that was invented by somebody who shared it with me. And I used it once or twice to demonstrate to skeptics how easy it is. I mean, that person — of course, the card has your name and address and how much you charge per hour. And they take it with them and they go home to their wife or their husband. They say, "Look, he knew before I told. He didn't do any — he didn't even touch me and he knew that my shoulder was bothering me."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:58:17] The reason I'm going over all of this is because when people write in, they go, "Yeah, but you don't understand. There was a time where this person knew where my pain was before it even happened." And I want to demonstrate through this conversation that anything that you think looks like somebody being psychic is 90 percent fake and 10 percent potentially just a coincidence that they got right that one time, that makes you think that they're psychic.
Mark Edward: [00:58:40] No, it's not even 10 percent coincidence when somebody's got you lying down on a massage table, they can't afford to spend that time with you and be wrong because if they're wrong, then they lose you, the customer, the client, the sitter or whatever. And they also risk that person going out and saying, "That guy was terrible. He wasn't even close." You can guess, you know, you can guess a lot of psychics do. And they say, "Oh, well, sometimes my powers don't work. And I just —"
Jordan Harbinger: [00:59:11] Sure.
Mark Edward: [00:59:12] But when you're a mentalist, you got to be right. You can't go on stage and do something like this and then be wrong. You know, people like, "Boo! This guy is not entertaining at all." But there's a very fine line between the two worlds. And that's, my job is to look for the people who are using some of these clever techniques and show what they're doing to the right people at the right time. I'm not saying you're not worthy. But, you know, it's like I'm saving it —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:59:40] No, I got you.
Mark Edward: [00:59:41] — the guys that will — I don't know. It's just — pick your battles, I guess, is what I'm saying.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:59:48] I wanted to put a cap on the last thing. You'd mentioned you don't want to ask questions. You want to tell people things. Because when I said, "No, I don't get headaches," to this reflexologist, or, "No, I don't have knee pain," or, "No, I don't have back pain," or whatever it was.
Mark Edward: [01:00:00] It's doing a diagnostic thing. It's totally different.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:00:02] Right, it's different. But also you lose the connection. And you'd mentioned that before you lose the connection with the mark, the potential victim, right? Because if someone says, "Oh, you just lost a puppy," and I go, "Nope, I don't have a dog."
Mark Edward: [01:00:17] That’s right.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:00:18] Now, I'm thinking, "You're yahtz." Not, "Oh, okay. You get some right. You lose some." I'm thinking, "You just made that up."
Mark Edward: [01:00:22] That's right. I'm going to put my medical health in your hands. I don't think so. So that's why medical things are very tricky. Although we just — one of the psychics we're working on, she's pretty clever because what she does is she doesn't make the claim to be a medical psychic, but she is in touch with and channels a doctor and the doctor tells her —
Jordan Harbinger: [01:00:47] A dead doctor.
Mark Edward: [01:00:47] A doctor tells her what he sees, which is kind of brilliant in a way, but you know, these people have got to go. Unless they can prove it, prove it to me. I'll change my whole stance overnight. I will support you. We will change the entire world will turn science on its head. You know what I mean? Let's do this, but it never happened. It just keeps rolling —
Jordan Harbinger: [01:01:09] Yeah, of course.
Mark Edward: [01:01:09] — rolling and rolling downhill. In my book, Total Darkness, which is available at my website. There's a chapter called The Clown and The Graveyard. Okay. And this is a story that personally to me kind of made me stop and wonder because I should know better. And yet here we go, stuff happens. So I mentioned to you about the law of large numbers, the bigger the audience, the easier it is to throw something out, no matter how fantastic it is. And one or two people will raise their hands. Some are a little slower than others because they're actually thinking about it as their hand goes up. And then you just pick on one of those people and you work with them. So one night I was at Dragon Con and it was wall to wall with probably like 300 people in this room.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:02:00] What's Dragon Con?
Mark Edward: [01:02:01] Dragon Con is an annual comic book convention in Atlanta, it's thousands and thousands and thousands of people. How many people were there? 80,000 people last time.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:02:12] Wow. That's insane.
Mark Edward: [01:02:14] So smartly, they have what is called a Skeptic Track, which is one section of one building, which is a skeptics' lectures. So they put out that there was going to be a psychic entertainer. That's how you get away with not getting sued. That was me. So I'm working this room and it's not always easy if you're on for an hour — you know, you could be pretty red hot for the first 40 minutes, but the last 15 minutes, sometimes you can run out of energy or material. You're just like drained basically depending on the audience. So everything had gone really well. And what I do when I do the Skeptic Track or any other skeptic show is I play the first 50 minutes in character. I don't tell what I've done. And there's a lot of hot reads. There's cold reads, everything's mixed together but by 50 minutes, people are like their mouths are hanging open and they have no idea what I've just done. So I'm at a 45-minute point and I'm pretty much out of material. So every once in a while, what I will do is I will just throw something out there. No matter how outrageous it may seem. I just do it. If anybody makes a connection. It's kind of a thing I do for myself out of boredom.
[01:03:37] So a couple of nights before that I had watched a movie called the Iron Rose, which is an Italian Giallo film in a horror movie. And there's a scene in it where these kids are in his graveyard and they see this clown, he's putting flowers — he's dressed as a clown and he's putting flowers on my grave. So I stopped in the middle of what I was saying. And I said, "I'm seeing a clown in a graveyard and the clown knows this person who's in this room and he calls you, what was it, Shirley?" And then I said the classic line, that mentalists and mediums do. I said, "Does that mean anything to anybody?" Not expecting to get any response at all? A woman's hand goes in the middle of the room. And I'm like, "Really?" And she stands up and she says, "How did you know that? There's no way in the world. You could know that." And I'm like, "Oh sh*t." She says, "He used to call me Shirley, but my real name is Stephanie," or something. So, I mean —
Jordan Harbinger: [01:04:44] Wow.
Mark Edward: [01:04:45] How the hell? You know, so here I am about to do my reveal for the skeptic show and I've just had one of the most incredible hits on my life. And I'm going to try to explain this to this woman. And she is just beside herself, she's like, "I thought I was going to throw up for a minute there." How the — there's no way you could know that?" And everyone around her is like, "Whoa, whoa." It really caused quite a disturbance.
[01:05:13] So now I get to the end of my act and I'm supposed to explain, you know, I did a hot read here. I did a cold read here, but she's still raising her hand and go, "I still don't know how you knew that about me." You know, she would not let go of it. And it was — one of those moments. Now, she could have been playing me off. She could have been an actress. I don't know what her deal was. Yeah, it was the randomness of large numbers. And there's no other excuse for it. I can't try and explain it, but it was pretty amazing because it pretty much took my whole skeptical thing and threw it out the window. So it was kind of like, "He is protesting too much when really he's got the gift."
Jordan Harbinger: [01:05:56] I was just going to say, there's going to be people right now who go, "He just doesn't realize he's psychic."
Mark Edward: [01:06:01] I know I've heard that my whole career. "Oh, poor Mark, he really is clairvoyant. He just doesn't understand it. And he doesn't want to do it because it's frightening to him." No, it was a coincidence and that is all. Otherwise, I would be happening a whole lot more, you know, I would think —
Jordan Harbinger: [01:06:20] Yeah.
Mark Edward: [01:06:20] And it wouldn't be just about a clown on a graveyard. There'd be all sorts of things. So yeah, right up until the end. The show closed. She comes running up to the stage. You got to explain to me how you did that. So, fortunately, there were some other skeptics around and they were kind of bolstering my point of view and saying, "Oh, it was just a coincidence. Don't take it seriously." But yeah, she did make it in her brain, but the point is that it was pretty amazing.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:06:46] Yeah, you still got a clown with flowers on the grave.
Mark Edward: [01:06:48] Yeah. And since I was confused about it too, that was really not the way things are supposed to go. So these sorts of things happen. I'm not saying I'm a believer, but I will say when people connect the dots. You just don't know where you're going. You got to be careful. That's why there's a responsibility, however, small, when you are doing this sort of stuff for fun. You can strip yourself right into a grave full of flowers and a clown. Anyway, true story.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:07:18] I should have asked you for this in the beginning, probably, but you know, a little bit about me. You probably could have googled me before, I guess. So there's a little bit of hot reading. What if I were just calling you right now?
Mark Edward: [01:07:26] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:07:27] What would you cold read about me to sort of quote-unquote, prove that you're psychic. If I call psychic-1-900, I guess, bullsh*t —
Mark Edward: [01:07:34] Are you asking me to do a reading?
Jordan Harbinger: [01:07:36] Are you able to do that kind of thing? I mean —
Mark Edward: [01:07:37] Of course.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:07:38] — we're just basically on Skype. Yeah. I figured. I didn't know if you had some sort of like block where you're like, "I can't do it. It's against my moral code now." I don't know.
Mark Edward: [01:07:44] No, no, no, no. My moral code is to go after people. I mean, if you go to a Halloween party and you get a tarot card reading, you know?
Jordan Harbinger: [01:07:52] Fine.
Mark Edward: [01:07:52] That's a whole lot different than saying, "Your child that's missing has been decapitated." You know what I mean? So just a whole world of —
Jordan Harbinger: [01:08:00] Yeah.
Mark Edward: [01:08:01] So let me try and focus a little bit on you. First thing that comes to my mind is something about glass, thick glass. The second thing is I get this feeling that right now, you are trying to do way too many things at the same time. It is hard to prioritize right now because all those things are very important. But I'm going to say that you're going to have your greatest strength when you focus on what really is going to take you to your next step in whatever it is — the most important thing in your life. It's hard to do on this kind of level. It'd be better if you are right here, but — your young son is a great joy in your life. I feel like he's going to end up doing something very creative if he isn't already. In other words, if he likes to doodle or draw or something like that, give him lots of crayons and paints. I didn't really explore that because that seems like a really strong strength. Are you near the ocean? I know I asked a question, but I feel like the ocean has something to do with your reality. That's important. Don't give me any hints. Okay. I'll go on. I see more than one automobile and that one of them has been giving you more trouble than the other one. Maybe it's time to cut your losses and get rid of it or turn it into something else. Just to bother neighbors. I don't know if you have neighbors close by, but. Sometimes they get on your nerves a little bit and distract you, but that's going to pass. Creative aspects are really important, especially around December and January of this year, end of this year, beginning of the new year. Also, there is some decorating projects or things that are going on. That are taking a little longer than you thought. Be patient. There seems to be one person who is more of a problem than the others on the crew or something like that. Or something is not moving as fast as you would like it to. You're a very results-oriented person. When you put your energy into something. You expect to see results. And when you don't see results, you get impatient. So that's the only thing I can tell you to watch out for.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:10:14] Yeah.
Mark Edward: [01:10:14] So how did I do?
Jordan Harbinger: [01:10:16] I mean, you nailed it, right? So knowing full well that this is all a trick. So the thick glass, if that first thing is kind of a stretch, but you know that I do this from home.
Mark Edward: [01:10:25] I'm just like looking around going, what can I latch on to?
Jordan Harbinger: [01:10:28] Oh, nice. That was just some initial inspiration. You had this thing laying on your desk. Just for those of you who are listening instead of watching. You picked up — Mark picked up a paperweight, which was like one of those thick glass sort of etched laser-cut paperweights, thick glass. So I'm at home, but I'm using a teleprompter in front of me, which has a camera behind it. So that's why I'm able to look directly at the screen. And that's made out of glass. Now, is it thick? I don't know, but I'm looking at glass all day.
Mark Edward: [01:10:52] There you go.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:10:53] So of course, it is.
Mark Edward: [01:10:53] That would be called a hit in most cases.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:10:56] Yeah. I would say that that was a good hit. I mean, I had to stretch a little bit for it, like thick glass. I don't know, but I am looking at you on glass right now and it's not a screen.
Mark Edward: [01:11:04] Okay.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:11:05] So that's interesting. It's a glass mirror and then the other thing — wait, what was the one right after that?
Mark Edward: [01:11:10] I don't know.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:11:11] Thick glass.
Mark Edward: [01:11:12] Whatever jumps out at you is a hit, just go with it.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:11:15] Right. The next thing was probably some business thing that I think you also got, that was pretty much everyone, but the kid being creative. Yeah, he's one. We had him finger painting the other day and I have a creative job if you can call it that, doing this kind of show. So, "Yeah. Oh, great. My kid's going to be creative. That's good news." We had him finger painting the other day. So there's another hit. And then I'm inpatient and things aren't moving as fast as I want them to. Well, I'm a business owner. We're probably all like this, but yes, I'm always impatient.
Mark Edward: [01:11:40] Yeah. But what's the decorating thing?
Jordan Harbinger: [01:11:42] Oh God, that I don't know if that was anything.
Mark Edward: [01:11:44] There's no construction or something. That's not moving.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:11:48] There is construction, but it's next door. It's moving fine.
Mark Edward: [01:11:51] Oh okay.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:11:52] There is construction next door.
Mark Edward: [01:11:52] That's why I said neighbors that maybe are a little bit annoying right now or something
Jordan Harbinger: [01:11:58] Ah, honestly, that went in one ear and out the other, which as things do, but yeah, we do have construction next door. And so that makes total sense that there would be either neighbors that are — you know, now that I think about it, there is a neighbor that lights up fireworks every single night and he's really annoying.
Mark Edward: [01:12:12] See.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:12:13] So there you go.
Mark Edward: [01:12:13] Sometimes people have to go home and think about it and then they continue to make the connections depending on how skeptical they are. So, you know, anyway, that's how it goes.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:12:24] I love it. I mean, I totally see why people get done in by this when they're not aware of how generalities apply to large groups of people or how generalities apply to everyone across the board because there were other things that you said during that cold read that had to do with a business, that had to do with — oh my team, there was someone on my team that wasn't performing well. There's nobody on my team. That's not performing well, that comes to mind, but I forgot about it. Except for right now where I'm purposely trying to remember everything to illustrate that you didn't get everything right because, otherwise, people will go, "Mark is psychic. And Jordan is just in denial."
Mark Edward: [01:12:57] Or I could say, he's somebody you need to watch for. Maybe it's not happening right now, but —
Jordan Harbinger: [01:13:03] A woman stopped me, this is years ago now and said, "How old are you?" And I said, "24." And she said, "When you're 26, something important in your life is going to happen."
Mark Edward: [01:13:11] And then she walked away?
Jordan Harbinger: [01:13:12] Ah, we were at a restaurant in Egypt and she just was at the table next to me. So she was probably like, "Oh, Americans, I can talk to."
Mark Edward: [01:13:19] She didn't give you her business card?
Jordan Harbinger: [01:13:21] No, she was —
Mark Edward: [01:13:23] What a missed opportunity.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:13:24] I know. I would have called her in two years and said, "this is the year. That was just like all the other years so far."
Mark Edward: [01:13:28] Yeah. Right, right, right.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:13:30] Closing here. How do we kind of catch these people in the act? Like all psychics are fake, but what do we look for to catch them in the act in real-time if they're trying to trick us or more likely someone we know into believing that they are real. What would you say to that?
Mark Edward: [01:13:43] Well, I mean, I'm a critical thinker, rational thinker. It's a case by case thing. That's why if you read my book, you know —
Jordan Harbinger: [01:13:51] Yeah.
Mark Edward: [01:13:52] It wasn't very conclusive because, you know, finding someone who you can talk to who will listen to you because that's all a psychic does is to listen, and then figure out what their plan is on how they're going to manipulate that. I don't really see anything wrong with two people talking to each other. That's why the book is called Psychic Blues because I really think that people have lost the ability to just talk to each other. You know, strangers talking to each other. Well, now, we have to wear a mask. So now it's even worse. So how do you tell? I think you have to listen to your own intuition and I know that sounds woo-ish. But you know, we all have intuition. You know, it's the thing that says you see a dark alley and you say, "I think I'm going to go around the long way. I don't want to go down that alley." Most people do not listen to that voice. They say, "To hell with it, I'm going down that alley." And later, they wished they hadn't, they got robbed or beaten up or something.
[01:14:50] In an amusing kind of a new age way to get around and get answer to your question, but the point is you don't need a psychic, you don't need a medium. Why does a medium have to be in the middle between you and your dead person or whatever it is? They are just taking advantage of your insecurity about how you don't trust your own judgment. So the best thing to do is, if you find somebody you can talk to — I mean, I'll give you an example. I get off the track a little bit, but I worked with a television show where we had a woman who — she lost $150,000 to a psychic and she lost her business. She lost her husband or marriage. She had an art gallery in Beverly Hills. She was doing very well. At this point, she was ruined. So a couple of years go by and the same woman is on this other show. "I remember you." I said, "You don't go to a psychic anymore, do you?" And she said, "Oh no, no, no. I have a life coach now."
Jordan Harbinger: [01:15:50] Oh, no.
Mark Edward: [01:15:52] So the point is, people need someone to talk to, and I'm not going to say that it's all bullsh*t. It's just, that's the psychic blues. The blues part is a bartender, a librarian. There are many people who are intuitive and kind who might be able to answer your questions without getting a hook in you. So I think that's what we keep our antennas out for. All I can do is write and publish and lecture and show the tricks so that you can be more aware of them. So what do you do? I think that you, number one, buyer beware. Like, I said, if they could really do these things, they wouldn't need your money. They just go to the racetrack. So just think of the obvious.
[01:16:38] Susan and I have a phrase that we used a lot, so I'm going to pass this on. Okay. When you're in a situation when you need help or when you feel weak and somebody suddenly comes into the picture out of nowhere, ask yourself what is more likely — that this person is in touch with some sort of higher spiritual power or are they just a clever manipulator of my emotions? Because that's all it is. It's based on emotion. So what is more likely, okay. Nothing is — and I get in a lot of trouble with this with people. Nothing is impossible, just less likely.
[01:17:22] So, no matter what it is, whether it's a tarot or a rune stone or a palm reading, what is more likely? Look at the big picture. If you're in a carnival and you see this shriveled little old gypsy lady, and she's got a babushka overhead and a gold earring, and she's sitting at this little table and the dust and the dirt, and you sit down and suddenly she starts telling you all these things. There's no way in the world she could know. What do you think is going on here? She's 80-years-old. That's all she's done for her whole life is talk to people just like you. She learned it from her mother who learned it from her mother and it's been passed down. Why are we surprised that somebody knows about human nature and is able to look at the muscles in your face and tell you things? So if you're looking for entertainment, go for it. But if you're looking for something to change your life — I hate to say this, but look within or something like that, you know, or balance the two.
[01:18:25] I used to tell people when I was doing readings, I would say, "Get three readings and then look at what's the common thread through all of those. That's probably where the truth is, but you figure it out yourself." Most people know the answer to the question that they have. They just don't want to answer it. They want someone else to validate it for them. So if you can have the strength to ask yourself that question, you don't need to spend $780,000.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:18:54] That hurts to hear that that lasts. I mean, that's just an incredible amount of money. Unbelievable.
Mark Edward: [01:18:59] I'm not sure if I answered your question, but as sort of in a philosophical way, I don't — I can't give you an exact — what do I look for when I'm driving on the freeway?
Jordan Harbinger: [01:19:09] Yeah. Ladders —
Mark Edward: [01:19:10] Yeah, ladders, couches, buckets, people throwing stones off the bridge. It's hard to say, but just what is more likely.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:19:20] Mark Edward, thank you very much. This is fascinating. I love this stuff. I'm glad we got a chance to finally do this.
Mark Edward: [01:19:25] Thank you, me too.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:19:29] I've got some thoughts on this one, but before I dive into that, here's a quick snippet of my episode with Charlemagne Tha God, a friend of mine, super interesting conversationalist. You may know him from his radio show, The Breakfast Club, one of the most popular radio shows here in the United States. We talk about anxiety and mental health and the pressure we put on ourselves. This is a really worthwhile conversation and I think you're really going to enjoy it. Here's a bite of that.
[01:19:52] I know you had anxiety plaguing you for a long time, but like where did that come from?
Charlemagne Tha God: [01:19:56] So I've always had anxiety, like just irrational fear and didn't quite know why. Anything that could possibly go wrong, I will run that scenario through my head before I get to the one thing that could go right. And my anxiety is so stupid that when everything is going too well
Jordan Harbinger: [01:20:21] You start to get suspicious?
Charlemagne Tha God: [01:20:21] What? Like, okay, what's the, what's the gag?
Jordan Harbinger: [01:20:24] Where's the shoe going to drop?
Charlemagne Tha God: [01:20:25] Where's the ball? What's the gag? Sometimes when you're not ready to move, God will move you. You know what I'm saying? The universe will move you and say, "You know what? You should really be doing this right now, instead of that." And you just got to embrace it. I use this acronym for FEAR called Face Everything And Rise or Forget Everything And Run. And I mean, sometimes, that's what I do. I use my anxiety as fuel, you know, and that's what I do. I face my fears and I rise up from it. Social media is not good for your mental health. That sh*t is f*cking us up. We are not wired to always be wired. Like, we're literally in the information age. Everybody's more engaged than they are actually informed. It was really having a toll on my mental health so I went on vacation on December 27th. You know, we do big family vacations every year. We go away for the last two weeks of the year. And I love this island called Gullett. It's like the most beautiful place in the world. It gives me such great peace of mind. And I got on the plane. I turned the phone off. I threw it in my wife's bag, and right there, I said, "I'm not touching my phone this whole trip." And I did not touch my phone, the whole trip. I can't let that smartphone take away that sense of peace.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:21:37] For more with the one and only Charlemagne Tha God, check out episode 171 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:21:45] Thanks to Mark for this. This was super interesting. We talked a little bit offline, a lot of the appeal of magic as power over other people. Sometimes it's fun, like coin tricks, entertainment. Other times it's not fun at all. Like psychic fraud, which is just a con like any other. Mark also had some rules for psychic readings and I thought were kind of fascinating. For one, never tell people anything bad. It's immoral. It's a power trip because this is entertainment. That's all it is. But if people started getting on his nerves at a party or started to get in his face or started to push him, he would say just very calmly, do you want a good reading or a bad reading. And people who believe it, they straighten up fast. So he really kind of used people's belief in this, not to get them to hand over money, but to get them to behave themselves. And I think I'm a little bit more okay with that than with any other use of this technique.
[01:22:34] Also, if you wanted people in the line or watching him, to believe that he was accurate, he would lean in really close to the person he was giving a reading to. And he would say, "Can you hear what I'm saying?" And of course, they nod, and then it looks like you're being accurate. It looks like they're nodding about something you're telling them, not just affirming that they can hear you. He had a lot of little tricks like this, and some of them, he didn't want to share in public. Others I'm blowing, I'm blowing up right now, but there were a lot that he didn't really want to share because he didn't want to give anybody a trick to help con other people. This one was in the book. So it's not that big of a deal.
[01:23:05] He also told me about working at Hollywood parties like Eddie Murphy's, baby shower. And that Eddie Murphy actually — I don't know why I'm including this, but it's kind of funny. Eddie Murphy has solid gold toilets in his house, but he makes the help him or his people make the help. So the entertainment, use a really disgusting outhouse that's on the property. That is a — it tells you everything you need to know about Hollywood, really.
[01:23:27] Again, big thanks to Mark. He's got a book. It's called Psychic Blues. He's got a lot of other work. We'll link it in the show notes as well. If you buy books from our guests, please do use the links we put in the show notes that help support the show. Worksheets for this episode in the show notes. Transcripts of this episode in the show notes. A video of this interview will go up on our YouTube channel at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram or just hit me on LinkedIn.
[01:23:51] I'm teaching you how to connect with great people and manage your relationships, dozens, or hundreds or thousands of them using systems, using tiny habits. So it doesn't feel like a ton of work. That's our free course, it's called Six-Minute Networking because it takes six minutes a day. That's over at jordanharbinger.com/course. Dig the well before you get thirsty. Build relationships before you need them. Most of the guests on the show, they help contribute to the course in some way. So come join us, you'll be in smart company.
[01:24:19] This show is created in association with PodcastOne and my amazing team. That's Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Barrett, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and Gabriel Mizrahi. Remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for this show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. If you know somebody who believes in psychics, this might help dissuade them or might not. But if you know somebody who's interested in human hacking, social engineering, cons psychics, whatever it is, share this episode with them. I do hope you find something great in every episode. So please do share the show with those that you care about. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
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