Today Show Exposes ‘Psychics’ Claiming to Purge Homes

The Today show actually did some good reporting, renting out a brand new house that had never been lived in and bringing in “psychics” to check and see if there were any evil spirits lurking about and, if there were, mutter some mumbo jumbo and claim to have purged them.

But a duo named Susan and Rev. Joseph said there was negative energy in the house. “It’s negative in the sense that it could cause setbacks, it can cause financial setbacks,” Susan said. To purge it, they burned incense and chanted all over the house, and claimed to have trapped the negative energy in a bottle.

Despite their supposed abilities, the psychics were not aware that Jeff Rossen had been monitoring their activities from a control room upstairs in the home. When he revealed himself to them, he asked: “How is it possible that you were able to find all of this negative energy? This is a brand-new house, no one’s lived in it before.”

“It’s not a haunted house, but spirits roam in empty places, they roam in hallways,” Susan said.

“Isn’t this just hocus pocus to take advantage of homeowners?” Rossen asked.

“No, no, no,” Rev. Joseph protested. As the pair spoke to Rossen, one of their associates tried to block the camera and scooped up the cash the Rossen team had brought to pay them.

When another team of psychics arrived, they announced: “There’s a presence of two or three entities here … They won’t let you feel comfortable here, you’ll just be stuck. [You] won’t be able to find a job. You’ll want to move.”

After the Rossen team agreed to let them help, they spat holy water, puffed cigar smoke, banged on the walls and rolled a coconut around. “Most likely there was domestic violence here,” a psychic named Medina declared. “Repeat to yourself, ‘the house is clear, the house is pure.'” Their fee was $1,021.

When Jeff Rossen identified himself, Medina said, “This is hilarious, I can’t believe this.”

“Well, it’s not really that funny,” Rossen said. “You’re charging people $1,000 to do this. That’s not funny.”

“Are you saying that I did anything illegal?” Medina asked.

“I’m asking how you can say there was domestic violence and bad spirits in this house when no one’s ever lived here,” Rossen said.

“It could have been from another time,” Medina said. She and her associates also predicted that Rossen would be “out of this type of job” within three months, and said his late grandmother wanted to speak to him. They insisted their readings were accurate and said they stood behind them.

Another psychic, named Sandra, announced, “There’s more than one spirit in this house.” She said the job would require a double session costing a total of $1,475. After burning sage and ringing bells, she said the bad spirits were gone.

Scams. All scams. And people make them rich.

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  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Scams. All scams.

    Not if the psychics are ghosts.

  • bushrat

    But just think of how many evil spirits would have been in that house is someone had lived in it previously. Lucky those good people purged them before that happened.

  • dingojack

    “I fleece (because of supposedly) dead people!”

    Dingo

  • Sastra

    Sometimes the warm fuzzies of approval granted to beliefs which are “spiritual” or “faith-based” will wrap themselves around even scams like this. Which prompts me to warn myself that the “psychics” aren’t necessarily aware that they’re scamming people. They might be — but it’s a fine line and fuzzy thinkers are good at dancing around it. Once you’ve convinced yourself that you’ve tapped into metaphysical realities it’s amazing what sort of manipulation you’re capable of — after all, you started out with yourself and honed your skills up close.

    The fact that the house had never been inhabited? Pshaw — any apologist can work around that because the supernatural is a game of Calvinball. Indian spirits. Empty space calls ghosts who died at sea. Make it up.

    I once took a one day course on Cold Reading from Ray Hyman. He said that the most important thing to remember is that you really don’t have to be that good — people generally want psychics to confirm their faiths and they’ll eagerly work with you. And because of the positive feedback, most ‘psychics’ believe.

  • tbp1

    Good for them. Seriously.

    Now we need another good exposé of some faith healers (not that exposure seems to keep them down permanently, e.g. Peter Popoff).

  • eric

    Scams. All scams.

    Actually, from that story I identify three distinct sets of evil entities who roamed about the house at different times, but were eventually chased out by the Rossen team.

  • kantalope

    I’d clean out the spirits for only $500 – half price. Whata deal.

  • cptdoom

    I was most impressed that the first psychic basically said there was no problem with the house and went on her way. An honest grifter or the only real psychic of the bunch?

  • moarscienceplz

    I’d clean out the spirits for only $500 – half price. Whata deal.

    Don’t listen to him. I’ll purge ANY house for $39.99! Five bucks off if you provide your own coconut.

  • Phillip Hallam-Baker

    The spirits left because its about ethics in game journalism.

  • thecalmone

    Damn – and here I am trying to scratch out a living as a teacher.

  • grumpyoldfart

    #8 cptdoom

    I was most impressed that the first psychic basically said there was no problem with the house and went on her way. An honest grifter or the only real psychic of the bunch?

    Probably recognised it was a set-up.

    Not honest though; just smart enough not to get caught by skeptics.

  • Childermass

    Wow, if I were the bad guy, I would have checked out the house online before I came to visit.

  • kevinalexander

    I’ll purge ANY house for $39.99! Five bucks off if you provide your own coconut.

    But WAIT! If you act NOW! we’ll also send you this INCREDIBLE ball peen hammer so you can try this ONE NEAT TRICK! and smack yourself in the head whenever the spirits move you.

  • caseloweraz

    After the Rossen team agreed to let them help, they spat holy water, puffed cigar smoke, banged on the walls and rolled a coconut around.

    Uh-oh — “psychics” blowing smoke. I sense an evil intent here…

    And was that a Philippine coconut they rolled around, or the Malayan variety? It makes a difference, you know.

  • Anri

    I wonder what’s gonna happen when these reporters find out about the sort of group that claims to do this same thing for your life, weekly, at a cost of 10% of your income.

  • blf

    [W]as that a Philippine coconut they rolled around, or the Malayan variety? It makes a difference, you know.

    Not as much as people think. What really matters is which sort of swallow delivered the coconut.