It breaks my heart to hear about elderly people who have been targeted by con-men and con-women and cheated out of a large amount of their life savings, even more so when those who have conned them out of their money claim to be psychic and were preying on their targets grief or vulnerability.
I was sent this link by @4tis via twitter about a man called Cecil Kershaw who has been targeted by psychic scam merchants when he filled in just one letter that was sent to him by them, this was something that opened the floodgates to all sorts of contact being made with him from people who claimed they could put him in contact with his deceased wife, Maureen.
“It all started just after my wife died. They told me they could get in touch with her and also promised that I was going to ‘come in to money’ like winning the lottery.
Maureen did delve into one or two things like this. She’d been to a seance before and had been to see Colin Fry. I thought at first it could be legitimate, but it is a con. I’d just lost my wife, I was upset and vulnerable and they preyed on that.”
Mr Kershaw replied to the first letter with a cheque for £20 and received a good luck medallion charm.
But he said: “Seemingly, once I answered the first one, my details went everywhere and they all thought ‘here’s one, get into him’.
Colin Fry is a British medium of questionable integrity, that many will know from television shows such as ’6th sense with Colin Fry’. I say ‘questionable integrity’ because of “the trumpet incident” in which he was reportedly caught faking activity during a seance. You can read more about it on the site of the wonderful Tony Youens here.
When I read that Colin Fry had been in contact with Cecil after hearing about his story it made me feel really uncomfortable because even though Fry has often been vocal about fraudulent mediums and psychics and has even said on Facebook that he wishes the ‘badpsychics’ website was back in operation because of the great work it did, I don’t view him as being any more reputable than those he speaks out against. I’ve watched television shows with him on numerous times and I see nothing more than cold reading and good editing.
The fact that Colin Fry contracted Cecil after reading about him in the newspaper even shows that Fry would have had prior knowledge to his situation and details. In fact, in the original article I linked to Cecil even says:
“One or two of the things he said could apply to anyone, but once I’d had time to reflect on it, I thought it was genuine.”
Which sadly, to me, sounds like somebody making the things said by the medium fit after they’ve left the reading. It’s a common tactic used by mediums who put the responsibility of making the reading accurate on the sitter who, in their sheer desperation (no matter how skeptical they may be) to contact their loved one, eventually make the vague statements fit.
Of the people who have sent letters to Cecil Colin Fry is quoted as saying
“These people are not mediums, they are not spiritualists. They operate a ruthless and heartless con. It is better to visit your local spiritualist church or centre where they will not only put you in touch with a local reputable medium, but they will also offer support to anyone who is bereaved.”
Although it is better to visit your local spiritualist church because the medium will be registered with them and will be operating in accordance with the SNU regulations, it’s important to remember that the burden of proof is still on them to prove that they can talk to the dead as they claim to. Simply because they’re associated with the SNU does nothing to prove authenticity.
I cannot help but view the contact Colin Fry made with Cecil as a tasteless publicity stunt. Poor taste.