The many contradictions of John Edward

by “Instig8R”

Editor’s note: This was collated by a prolific poster on the forum about famed psychic medium John Edward. It illustrates with wondrous clarity the many contradictions that John Edward manages to contain within his “message”.

The identity of the author is known to the editor. Reprinted here with kind permission.

Auras or not?


Q: “Hi John. Do you see auras? Do you see things in the future?”
John Edward: “I do not see auras, in the sense of seeing clouds of colors around them, which is auric vision. I do have the ability to feel a person’s aura, energy wise. As a medium, I am also a psychic which lets me connect with the future as well.”

“One Last Time”, p.6

“I saw auras around my elementary school teachers. I would sit in class and see colors happening around them. I once told a teacher, ‘You’re blue’.”

Is meditation necessary to connect with the dead?


Q: Mr. Edward, are you receiving any energy from the people here in the audience?
John Edward: “I did not meditate prior to today’s chat to be able to receive information. So I would not be able to connect with those who have crossed over. However, if someone wants to pop in, trust me, they will.”

So John Edward says he did not meditate so he “would not be able to connect with those who have crossed over”. In the next sentence, he says it might happen. And later in the chat, he does a reading.

Does John Edward remember readings or not?

Another one of my favorites is how John Edward claims that the messages from spirits come through so fast, that he really doesn’t remember any readings at all. He is, after all, just a vessel.

However – at seminars, he brags about the miraculous readings he has given, such as the one when he delivered messages in Chinese!

How much does John Edward really care for grieving people?

John Edward claims to care for people, and says he wants to help them through the grieving process with his readings.

But he will not allow people to make an audiotape of his private readings, so they can listen to the reading again.

Is spirit communication religious or not?

“I don’t look at this as a religious based thing. To me this is energy based.”
(On how to develop psychic ability)

“Keep a journal, and learn how to see how you as an individuals sees information so you can learn your own sign language. Meditate and practice psychic self defense and surrounding yourself with prayer”

Can anyone explain how prayer and religion have nothing to do with each other? I don’t think anyone reading this thinks that prayer is not a religious undertaking.

Where does the Roman Catholic Church stand on John Edward?

In a “Patriot Ledger” article dated 5/25/02, John Edward described himself as a devout Catholic who believes in fervent prayer. He claimed that he has never gotten any flack from his faith community for the work he does.

The article went on to say that John Edward encourages everyone to pray, as well as to talk to loved ones who have crossed, he discouraged people from using Ouija Boards to contact spirits.

But, as we can see, this has changed dramatically over time:

7/29/01: John Edward claims he no longer attends Mass regularly; he isn’t welcome!
“Edward, a Catholic who no longer attends Mass regularly (‘I’m not exactly welcome,’ he says), is also fiercely criticized by those he calls ‘the holy rollers and the people who use religion as a crutch.'” (Chris Ballard/The New York Times Company)

8/19/01: Less than a month later, he is a practicing Catholic, claiming nuns and priests as his supporters!
“A practicing Catholic, Edward counts nuns and priests among his supporters. … In the same article, John Edward says: “I pray every day. I don’t step out to do anything without praying.”
(Terry Morrow/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

5/25/02: Less than a year later, he is a devout Catholic who denies having had any criticism or opposition from his Church!
“A devout Catholic who believes in fervent prayer, Edward said he has never gotten any flack from his faith community for the work he does.”
(Anne Warren Murray/The Patriot Ledger-Quincy, MA)

And does he sound Catholic?

Katie Couric: “Do you consider yourself a Catholic?”
John Edward: “Absolutely. Everything I do going into what I do, I mean I pray the Rosary before and after my work and that’s like my form of meditation and prayer.”
(From John Edward’s interview on Today with Katie Couric, November 21, 2000)

In the same interview with Ms. Murray, John Edward goes on to state:

“What I do totally affirms the communion of saints and the afterlife,” he said. “It’s not taking advantage of people, it’s helping them in their process.”

I dunno about you, but he’s soundin’ mighty Catholic to me! John Edward has also spoken harshly of “the holy rollers and the people who use religion as a crutch”. It is that very strong language that made me believe that there had indeed been some flack with the Church. But – less than a month later, he told the reporter at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that nuns and priests were his biggest supporters. Go figure, huh?

Also, I am one of those fallen-away Catholics, but I can assure you that there is no requirement for Catholics to pray in cemeteries. There is, however, a requirement that Catholics attend Mass every week. Unless the rules were rewritten to accommodate John Edward (and I wasn’t told about it), if you don’t go to Mass, it is a mortal sin.

How many readings can John Edward do?

On 1/5/97, John Edward told Newsday writer William Falk that the demand for contact with the dead is such that “he could easily schedule 40 readings a week, instead of the 10 to 15 he feels comfortable doing. (Serving as a communication conduit for the spirits, he says, is draining in some undescribable way, and requires him to meditate regularly and take frequent days off.)”

Does anyone know how many readings are given by John Edward per week? It’s got to be more than 15!!!

On the night that I saw John Edward at the Westbury seminar last May (2002), I think he did about 7 or 8 readings. I believe he appeared at Westbury for 4 nights in a row, so I guess it would be a conservative estimate for me to say that he did more than 20 readings over a four-day period, right? And, he had no days off in-between appearances, either.

Is it hereditary?

Apparently John Edward has said in a USA today weekend feature that he doesn’t want his son to inherit the same abilities that he has. However, John Edward says all the time that we all have these abilities, it’s just that he has had more practice and is willing to listen the energies. We know that John Edward thinks we can develop these abilities, as evident by his all day mediumship development workshop and his psychic development tapes.

All this, of course, contradicts his friend Shelley Peck who said on “Crossing Over” that only 10-15 people in the world have this ability, but that’s another story.

Anyway, here’s a quote from John Edward on that page:

“Seriously, I believe that everybody can make contact. It’s a matter of paying attention to the energies that are around you.”

So…what is it that John Edward doesn’t want his son to inherit? The ability to practice often and develop his skills?

Here is the quote from the USA weekend article about John Edward’s not wanting his son to inherit his abilities, followed by a quote from the 9/6 LKL show. I’ll comment later, but I see inconsistencies.

Edward has become a success from having had otherworldly experiences for most of his life. But will his newborn son inherit his abilities?

“I hope not,” he says. “I want my son to be aware, but I wouldn’t want him to do what I do. I want him to be normal. It gets old being called a freak or fraud all the time.”
From USA Weekend

When John Edward visited Larry King, he had this to say:

KING: How many people do you know can do what you do?
EDWARD: I think everybody can do what I do. That’s something that I try to get out there, that you don’t need me.
I think that I’ve been doing this work, and I say I’ve been a student of this process for 18 years. And I think that if anybody was to focus on this work, and understand this and be a student of this for as long as I’ve been doing it, they will develop their abilities in a similar vein.
From Larry King Live

Sometimes, John Edward says his psychic powers are possibly hereditary. Then, at other times he claims the powers are acquired skills. It just gets funnier and funnier.

  1. Not everybody can do what John Edward does…
    On 4/2/00, in the NY Daily News, Susan Ferraro quotes John Edward as saying: “Mediums – people who touch base with the dead – are in a class of their own.” John Edward then goes on to say that “though we may all be ‘a little psychic’, not everyone can communicate with the beyond…” (like the boy in “The Sixth Sense”).
  2. Everybody can do what John Edward does…
    On 11/7/00, in the Houston Chronicle, Daniel J. Vargas writing about John Edward, states: “He is the first to say he doesn’t have a gift. He says it’s an energy accessible to everyone. He just taps into it at a heightened level.”

It seems to me that John Edward will say whatever suits his own selfish purposes at any given time.

For example, he claims that anyone can learn to do what he does – if they will purchase his tapes, books and workshops to teach people to develop their own psychic powers.

However, if he is trying to persuade people to watch “Crossing Over”, or purchase seminar tickets and private readings, then he seems to re-asserts his own status as expert.

Survival of the strongest spirit?

It has been a longstanding assertion of John Edward that, during gallery readings, the strongest spirit energy will come through first, and it must be acknowledged. If not validated, it can prevent other spirits from getting through to John Edward. However, once that energy has been acknowledged, the reading can continue and the sitter may then be connected with spirits more closely related to them. Once John Edward is locked onto someone, he sticks with them – like a bulldog, it has been said. Other spirit energies have insufficient power to overcome this gridlock. John Edward has even cleared the studio on occasions when he got no validation from the sitter.

The inconsistent story: Yesterday, November 1, 2002, I viewed the “Brunelli” reading on “Crossing Over”, in which John Edward threw out a vague reference to a suicide. He accepted an extremely weak connection from Chef Yan-Yan Leone of Brunelli’s Restaurant, and then hustled the Yan-Yan group up to the stage to be seated on the sofa. John Edward said he wanted to seat them on the sofa, to separate them from the other spirit energies in the audience.

Since when does John Edward have to segregate spirit energies from the rest of the audience? He didn’t do this at the seminars that I attended, and he never used to do this in the “Crossing Over” gallery, either.

If John Edward just wanted to change the “Crossing Over” set to include couches and candles, fine. I don’t think he has to explain making such a change. It is possible that he felt that saying it was necessary to segregate energies from one another added some drama to the show, so he just made it up.

Are dead people naughty or nice?

In the past, John Edward has claimed that spirits do not hold onto negative feelings due to unpleasant experiences while they were on the earthly plane. In fact, that is one of the excuses that John Edward gives for not helping with homicide investigations, finding missing children, etc. He says the spirits quickly move beyond such negative emotions.

However, on the episode of “Crossing Over” aired on November 3rd, 2002, John Edward was reading a guy in the gallery. He brought through the guy’s father. The guy’s father was complaining about someone who was obnoxious and annoyed him during his lifetime. John Edward said he referred to the individual as a “pain in the butt”. John Edward also said that this person made some sort of a scene at the decedent’s funeral.

Say whaaaaat???? So the spirits will forgive a killer, forego his capture and deny their surviving families closure…. But, when it comes to a loud-mouthed oaf, they carry their grudge beyond the grave to expose them on national television.

Oh yes, that makes perfect sense in John Edward-land.

How much time is edited out?

The statistic that John Edward edits up to 70% of his readings out is based on a quote by the producer who said that in three hours of taping, they get 5 or 6 shows. The problem is that the actual time that John Edward spends doing a reading on his show is about 11 minutes or so.

Editor’s note: Steve Grenard, also a prolific writer on TVTalkshows, has witnessed a reading during the taping of a show, where 93% of a reading was edited out.

Does John Edward listen to his critics?

Often, when asked about critics and/or skeptics, John Edward’s stock answer is that he doesn’t worry about them, he just wants to do his work, helping people; that he doesn’t have to build a belief system for someone who has none, bla-bla-bla. This boilerplate answer is so well known, that I’ll not even bother to add the citations/references… unless someone challenges me on this point.

However, in an interview with Carson Daily on 3/13/02:

“…I think there’s two things. There’s the validation of the experience with the person that’s having it. And one of the things when someone who’s very cynical attacks this – what they’re basically doing is they’re attacking the intelligence of the person that you’re reading because you’re saying, “you’re stupid, and you don’t realize that you’re being duped, and you don’t know your family.” And number two, they’re actually taking away from the integrity of the experience…”

Hence, John Edward claims not to be concerned about critics/skeptics. The truth is that he is concerned about criticism, but is too cowardly to admit it. Therefore, he shifts the onus onto his fans, putting the insult and the injury on them. He then relies upon his fans to silence the critics. This is yet another reason why I consider him to be a manipulative s.o.b.

Note his final sentences…very close to cult-leader mentality.

“In my conversation with her, she claimed that she could do what I can do. She described doing a “reading” for people in her audience during commercial breaks, and said that she even made a few cry. That they were so impressed that she KNEW the things that she knew. Than she felt bad because she had to disclose that she was using a technique, asking questions. Because she could also be a fast-talking New Yorker, Rosie said, she could do this, too. On my end of the phone I just shook my head in disbelief. I told her that everyone can connect with this energy, but assured her that she COULD NOT do what I can do. I added that if she really could, than she should also be tested at the University where I was tested — on three separate occasions. I told her that she should do her research and speak from fact. She told me she did. She searched the web and went to a number of skeptical websites and message boards, and got her education about this work there. My response was one of disappointment. I described that as basically going to Cuban Governmental website to obtain information on the United States. The only thing that you would find there is propaganda for their cause. My suggestion is to follow the same principles that I do. Don’t allow yourself to get into a debate over your beliefs. They are yours, and you own them”
(From the book “Bridges”)

As could be expected, John Edward isn’t very open-minded when it comes to criticism of his act, especially on-line skeptical resources:

“The only thing that you would find there is propaganda for their cause.”

So, John Edward has been to every skeptical site on the Net and has passed judgment. I wonder how many of his followers actually obeys their master on this one.

Compare these two statements:

“I added that if she really could, than she should also be tested at the University where I was tested — on three separate occasions.”


“My suggestion is to follow the same principles that I do. Don’t allow yourself to get into a debate over your beliefs. They are yours, and you own them”.

In the very same newsletter. Hogwash. Sad that people can believe such a person.

If John Edward uses the “Arizona Experiments” (which are the ones he mentions, and were conducted extremely poorly by Dr. Gary Schwarz, as described in the book “The Afterlife Experiments”) as an argument for his validity, he cannot later claim that he cannot get into debates about his belief because they are personal.

A scientific validation does not mean you can dismiss criticism. On the contrary, scientific findings are always open to criticism.

John Edward is definitely not.