Is Derren Brown a fake? Is he pursuing his own malicious agenda, working to destroy the reputations of honest, gifted people who are actually in contact with the spirit world – simply in the name of producing good telly?
Today, I received a comment on my post about Derren Brown’s program on Joe Power, the Liverpool medium who was the subject of a Derren Brown Invesitigates program. As I sometimes do, I thought I would answer this comment in open forum – and thank you for posting it Julia …
Will, sadly you have been duped. The unscrupulous fake in that show is Derren Brown. He set up Joe to sensationalize Derren’s show. But Joe’s assistant was taping everything, too and has those tapes and the real truth on Joe’s Facebook page. Perhaps you should do more research before you write an article that falsely tears down a person in a public forum.
Firstly, I think it is worth clarifying that my article was not aimed at Joe Power; it was about the amazing effects that the cold reading technique can elicit. Whether or not Joe uses cold reading in his performances is a matter for his own conscience. To be clear: I fully accept that it is not possible to prove whether or not Joe is a fake.
However, the evidence that is often advanced by adherents, in support of people who claim to be able to contact the deceased is, in my view, questionable. Amongst other techniques, cold reading is one very powerful technique indeed, as I attempted to show in my article when I said that the combination of just three pieces of detail (Jean, one-of-five and bike) would have seemed very convincing to me personally.
It is a fact that the mind/brain has astonishing ability to made order out of chaos – that’s why we see faces, animals and various objects in passing cloud formations. We are fundamentally, meaning-making animals and that basic, hard-wired ability we all posses, is also what makes cold reading possible.
As you suggested, I did visit Joe’s Facebook page and looked at some of his responses to the show. As I understand his position, he is essentially saying that careful editing, with the intention of producing sensational television, was responsible for an unfair presentation of the events. If that were the case, Joe could always seek redress through the legal system – that would certainly be a case I would be very interested in following.
As I have got older, I would like to think I have also become more tolerant of other people’s views about the universe and how it operates. Like Derren, I remain skeptical about anyone’s ability to contact the dead, but I also accept that I could simply be wrong.