A few weeks ago Randi in his commentary analyzed a portion of one of John Edward’s “Crossing Over” talking-to-the-dead scam TV shows from December 2000. Randi figured Edward got three guesses right out of 23 – pretty abysmal considering the show is edited to make him look better than he really is.
This reminded me that a few years ago, for a friend I analyzed a transcript of Edward’s cold reading guessing game on Larry King Live, from June 19 1998. Since re-cycling old work takes less time than writing something new, I thought I would reproduce the analysis below for your amusement. You’re going to have to count the hits v misses yourself, although I’m pretty sure the ratio is similar to what Randi found. Worse probably – the live TV show allows no editing.
First, for those unfamiliar, a few of Edward’s cold reading techniques:
- Make a lot of guesses. To start with, guess common initials – J (James/Jimmy), R (includes Bob, Robert), M (common especially among older women). Can’t go wrong with these in America.
- Guess “chest area” as cause of death – covers all heart attacks as well as lung cancer. At a pinch can cover for a car accident too. Also, guess “cancer” – someone in the family must have died of it sometime.
- Ask about “father figures” or “mother figures” – covers a multitude including older brothers/sisters, aunts/uncles – the caller will supply the actual answer that Edward can pretend he got.
- Allow caller to “help”, This is a big part of the psychology of cold reading – the caller feels it is his or her fault if Edward guesses wrong and so the
victimcaller, if possible, will try to turn Edward’s miss into a hit.
- Ask questions such as (for example) “who died in a car accident”. If you are lucky, someone will fit the guess and you look like a hero. If you are wrong you have not actually said anyone died in a car accident, and so cannot be accused of being wrong. Everyone will forget the wrong guesses. (Remember, confirmation bias is your friend.)
- Ask “do you understand”. Caller will reply “yes” – they understand what Edward is saying and it appears they agree with him. But “I understand” is not the same as “you are correct”.
- If your guess is wrong, insist the caller, not Edward, is wrong. The caller just doesn’t realize he had the older brother that Edward incorrectly guessed he had. Always sound supremely confident especially when you guess wrong – caller will think their knowledge of their own family is incorrect.
With those tricks in mind, let’s go to the transcript. Incidentally, this transcript does not appear to be on CNN’s website anymore, although I can verify I copied it verbatim when it was up. For fun, you could try analyzing a more recent transcript yourself. All bold is mine to emphasize the cold reading tricks and features.
CALLER: I'm calling about my mother.
EDWARD: OK, stop right there. Your first name?
KING: Just give us your name and who you're asking for.
CALLER: My mother.
EDWARD: OK, Linda, the first thing I want talk about is, I know you're looking for your mom but I'm getting an older male who's also there on the other side. I feel like this is somebody who would be above you, which means it's like a father-figure, or an uncle, and he passes from either lung cancer or emphysema, tuberculosis; it's all problems in the chest area. OK, that's the first thing. And I feel like there's a J or a G-sounding name attached to this.
“CHEST AREA” Covers about 50% of causes of death in America. Also, the “J” name makes its first appearance (didn’t take him long).
CALLER: That's my mother.
EDWARD: She's got a very dominant personality.
CALLER: That's my mother. Her first name starts with G and she had emphysema.
Edward had said the “chest area” person was the “older male”. Caller recollects this ailment is her Mother. Note how caller accepts this as a hit. (The first call and already the caller is working with Edward to turn a miss into a hit – see # 4 above.)
EDWARD: Hold on. Does the month of August have a meaning for her, or the 8th of a month?
CALLER: Not that I know of.
EDWARD: OK, I want you to write this down, because she's telling me to say "eight" then. I have to tell you that this is coming through so strong there's a male, it's got a very dominant energy, but this is how I'm interpreting it, and she's telling me to talk about "eight." "Eight" to me would indicate that the month of August has a meaning, or that the eighth of a month has a meaning. She's telling me that there's a father-figure that's there, so I don't know if your father's passed but there's a father-type figure...
Fishing to see if her Father was dead. If caller had replied yes, Edward would then have milked this one. But think about it: if he’s talking to her Mother and other dead people why does he have to ask if her Father had passed?
CALLER: No, my father-I just spoke to him on my son's phone and he wanted me to ask...
EDWARD: Wait a second.
EDWARD CUTS OFF THE CALLER’S QUESTION – doesn’t want anything too specific that he couldn’t answer.
KING: He's nodding, yeah, your mother was tough.
Shut up Larry
EDWARD: There's a father-figure...
KING: I can see your father, yeah.
What does Larry King think he is seeing now?
EDWARD: ... who's with her, from what she's showing me.
CALLER: Her father?
EDWARD: It's not her father. It's connected to you. So I don't know if there's a father-in-law for you who's passed, but there's a father-figure who's there. It's a male figure who's there.
The guess of “8” didn’t come to anything. Or August. Or this “father figure”. Nothing.
KING: But the important thing is, how is she doing?
EDWARD: Your mom is fine and I think it's important that you know that she was around-somebody missed seeing her from what she's showing me, and she's telling me to let you know that.
She’s “fine”. That’s OK then. Pity he didn’t let the caller answer the question she wanted asked. And there is no “older male” figure: the caller said her Father was alive.
KING: Old Bridge, New Jersey, hello.
CALLER: Hi. This is Peter.
KING: Hi, Peter.
CALLER: I'm looking about-asking about my brother Michael.
EDWARD: OK, hold on Peter. Again, I get a lot of information through dates. The first thing that's coming through is I'm getting the feeling that April or the fourth of a month holds some type of a meaning. In the family does April have a meaning? Birthday or anniversary?
EDWARD: On your mom's side of the family, Peter. They're telling me "April."
CALLER: Not that I know of.
EDWARD: Hold that thought. On your mom's side of the family there's an older female who has crossed over. It's either her aunt or your grandmother. There's an M-sounding name that's attached to this, besides your brother, who you said is Michael,
And now the “M” makes an appearance. Only the second caller and already we’ve had J and M (plus a G for luck).
EDWARD: And they're telling me that there's something to do with the fourth month or the fourth of a month, and I'm also getting the feeling of being out of state, so I don't know if your brother was away from you or at a distance from you, but I see something as being debilitating and affecting the body.
From someone who died? No way!
But I think your brother is OK.
CALLER: That's good to know.
EDWARD: All righty. Also, there's a congratulations going out to the family, which is either a happy birthday or some sort of a wedding thing that's coming out.
Someone in the family is having a birthday or a wedding. What are the odds?
KING: Now that comes through you how?
EDWARD: I see pictures. Like the pink rose on the video is their way of expressing their love. When I see like a white flower, that means happy birthday or congratulations.
Fourth month OR fourth of month (or ANY four connection) was wrong, as was out of state. And he sees “something as being debilitating and affecting the body” Wow, from someone who died? Again, what are the odds?
Sum total of this reading – his dead brother is “OK”.
KING: Easton, Pennsylvania, hello.
CALLER: Hi, this is Cindy. I would like to talk with my grandfather and ask him a question.
KING: Can she ask him a question?
EDWARD: She can if he comes through.
KING: What's the question?
CALLER: I just want to know if he can see if we're going to have any kids in the future.
EDWARD: The first thing that I'm seeing is they're talking about-and don't get alarmed, I think this has already happened-they're talking about something burning. I don't know if there was a burning thing or if somebody had a fire in their house, or this is going back a few years. But they're telling me to talk about something that I would see as being like a fire or a barnfire or some type of a fire- type thing. Is there anything that used to happen in the backyard or something that he used to do?
EDWARD: Some type of outside fire or a fire thing?
EDWARD: OK. This is what they're showing me, so remember what the symbol is to me, I'm interpreting this as being some type of fire, or like fire-thing, but that's what's coming through. As soon as you-as soon as I listened to your voice, and I'm tuning into your vibration, this is what's coming through.
“Don’t tell me there wasn’t a fire. That’s what the dead people are telling me”
And I know you're asking me about kids, but I'm seeing boxes, and when they show me boxes it's their way of telling me that you're moving. Or that there's a move that's coming up.
CALLER: Uh-huh, yes, we just moved.
Who hasn’t moved, or is going to move, (home or work), or knows someone who is. “Boxes”, I’m underwhelmed.
EDWARD: OK, so that's a confirmation of what they're telling me.
KING: But his-her late grandfather couldn't tell her if she's going to have children or not.
EDWARD: I'm not getting...
KING: Or could he?
EDWARD: He could. He could.
KING: The spirits would know that.
EDWARD: They could come through and say stuff like that.
KING: We'll be back with more of John Edward on LARRY KING LIVE. Monday night, Leon Panetta, Bob Schieffer, Stuart Taylor, on the investigation of the investigator. Don't go away.
One hit in this reading – “Boxes”.
KING: By the way, this is John Edward's videotape, called "One Last Time: After-Death Communication." A lovely rose on the cover and that's available at 1-800-967 -- don't call here -- 1-800-967-4100. There's a book coming, same title, this fall. Northport, New York, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Jackie; I'm looking for my grandmother.
EDWARD: Hey Jackie, how ya doing? Um, the first thing I'm getting is I'm getting an M-sounding name; that's maybe like a Mary or Marie. Is that on
your mom's side of the family?
CALLER: Um, no.
He’s really milking that “M” tonight. M, J, G, R – the most common initials. Still, there is no “M”.
EDWARD: No, I'm saying is this the grandmother on your mom's side of the family?
Caller supplies the name without having to be asked.
EDWARD: No, is this your grandmother on your mom's side of the family?
CALLER: yes it is; I'm sorry.
EDWARD: OK. Connected to her,
He had to ask if it was her Mom’s side. (50% chance of getting it right.)
she's talking about M-A-R. That's maybe like a Mary or Maureen, a Margaret; it's an M-A-R sounding name.
“OK” is not “yes I know a MAR name.” M is a very common initial for a woman, especially older one. He still got it wrong though.
EDWARD: She's also telling me that there's a younger male figure who has crossed over who is there also. I don't see if this is a cousin or-it's a younger male figure who's passed.
CALLER: She had a baby that died.
A baby is not a “younger male figure”. Note caller accepts this as a hit.
EDWARD: OK, well she's got him who's with her. Um, she's also waving a flag at me, so I don't know if she passed around July 4th, or there's some type of governmental holiday that she passes around, 'cause I don't think she's buried with the flag. But she's waving a flag around me, so I want you to know that. And what it symbolizes to me would be that the person passes around something significant like a Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, Labor Day, there's some type of like a governmental holiday that she's showing me.
Caller has no clue what he’s talking about here. Complete MISS, but you can bet your life caller will not remember this miss.
Now, does your-is this-this is your mom's mom?
He’d already confirmed this
CALLER: My mom's mom.
EDWARD: Is there an Anne in that family?
EDWARD: Who is the Anne?
CALLER: Her niece.
EDWARD: OK, do you know if she just miscarried or if somebody's just lost a baby there?
CALLER: Not that I know of.
Wrong. If he had been right, though, believers would trumpet this as proof Edward is genuine.
EDWARD: OK, 'cause they're making me feel like, besides the child that she was talking about, there's another child who's also over there in that side of the family. Please let them know the child is OK.
Caller agrees to pass on message that this non-existent child is OK.
EDWARD: And they're also talking about November or the 11th, something about the 11th. 'Cause she's showing me "11."
Again “OK”, does not mean “yes she died on the 11th”. 11 means NOTHING to caller.
EDWARD: But she's telling me to let you know that she's OK, and let your mom know.
Another dead person who is OK. Along with the child the caller doesn’t know about.
KING: Do you see a miscarriage, or do you feel it? How could you come up with miscarriage?
EDWARD: OK, my background-I used to work in a hospital-so a lot of my health care information comes through very, very clear to me from different parts-from seeing different parts of a hospital. And it's just an image of something that I see that I can identify with.
KING: And how did Anne come into you?
EDWARD: I saw my aunt.
Translation – it was a lucky guess. I suppose he deserved one after all the other wrong guesses.
KING: To Morrisville, Pennsylvania, hello.
CALLER: Hi. My name is Toni and I'm trying to contact my mother.
EDWARD: OK, Toni, the first thing I want to talk about is I'm seeing pink roses and I see thorns on these roses. Now bear with me, here. When I see pink roses it's their way of expressing their love to you. When I see thorns on it, it lets me know that there are issues that were not settled or complete before your mother passed, OK.
Again “OK” not “yes”. Wrong guess.
EDWARD: I'm also feeling that there is a something that affects her mind that would either stop her from being able to communicate with you in the way that she needed to, or something that would affect your being able to communicate with her, OK. This is what's being told -- this is what's being shown to me.
Caller doesn’t even OK this one. Another wrong guess. (BTW, my guess is that the “thing” that is stopping the caller’s Mother from being able to communicate with the caller in the way that she needed to would be that she is DEAD, but that’s just me.)
They're also talking about either Josie or Joey or something with a J-O sounding name. Is that connected to her?
That “J” word again. Isn’t that the second time? Connected in what way? Vague.
EDWARD: OK. Does she have a brother who's passed?
CALLER: A long time ago.
EDWARD: OK, 'cause she's telling me to tell you that she was greeted by the brother.
Stop right there. This caller’s Mother is apparently talking to Edward, but Edward had to ASK if her brother had died. When this was conformed, then he said that the brother had met her on the other side. If she was telling him “tell you that she was greeted by the brother” why did Edward have to ask this question? This is a perfect example of Edward asking a question, and if the answer was in the affirmative Edward tries to make out he knew this all along. If the answer had been “no”, he would have gone a different route.
Also, somebody's missing a finger or had a deformity attached to a finger; do you understand that?
EDWARD: OK, is that your dad?
EDWARD: It's an older male though; who is this?
CALLER: Possibly could be an uncle.
“Possibly” – so caller has NO IDEA if anyone was missing a finger. But caller confirmed it by a yes anyway.
EDWARD: OK, she's also talking about the male who had the drinking problem, because she's showing me a beer mug. Whenever they shows me that, I always joke around and say "They're hanging out at the Other Side pub."
CALLER: That was my brother.
EDWARD: OK. Is he also there?
EDWARD: OK, can you please know that your mom, your brother, her brother; they're all coming through together. Did somebody there commit suicide?
EDWARD: OK. 'Cause they're telling me to let you know that they're OK also. And to tell me to wish you a happy birthday. Is your birthday coming up in the next week?
CALLER: Not mine, my sister's.
Someone in the family is having a birthday or some kind of celebration soon.
EDWARD: OK, they're jumping up and down about this birthday. They're saying Linda or Lindy or Leslie; who's this L name?
CALLER: No L name.
EDWARD: OK. When they show me L, it's gonna be like an L- sounding name, like Lisa or Len or-when they come through with names, it's either who they are, who they're with, or "Please say hello to."
The dead people say there is an L name, so go argue with them.
They're also-they also have a, you'll laugh, but they're making me hear a dog, so that means there's a dog who's passed also. So your mom's telling me to let you know that the dog is with her.
CALLER: She had a dog that passed.
What family (or extended family) never had a dog or a cat?
EDWARD: All righty. But your mom's great.
KING: Thank you. What a phony; he got everything wrong there. Missed everything. All right. We'll keep him with us. John Edward is the guest. More phone calls after this.
For once King makes some sense. Pity he was being sarcastic.
KING: By the way, when you order that tape, in the tape comes information as to where John Edward is lecturing and where you can reach him. To Coram, New York, hello.
KING: Go ahead.
CALLER: Yes, my mother passed away, quite a while ago, and I'd like to get in touch with her.
KING: What's your name?
CALLER: My name is Karen.
EDWARD: OK, Karen, the first thing that's coming through is not your mother, but I want to tell you that there's another female figure who is older than you, who's making you feel like she either helped raise you, or was around when you were growing up-is coming through. And she tells me she either passed from breast cancer or lung cancer. I see blackness in the chest area, but I don't think that this is related to you. I think that this might be either a friend's mother or a mother-in-law-I don't feel like there's a blood connection here.
CALLER: My stepmother.
Mother passed “quite a while ago” and so Edward guesses caller was raised by someone else.
EDWARD: OK, because I don't feel like there's a blood connection-is she passed?
Edward tells the caller what caller had just told him.
CALLER: She just passed away recently.
KING: From what?
CALLER: Lung cancer.
EDWARD: OK. Please, you need to-this is important. I feel like somebody is questioning the medical care that this woman received, and they're saying that there was nothing wrong here. OK, this is what's being shown to me. Now, is there a Ganette or a Janet-
EDWARD: Who's this?
CALLER: That's my step-sister.
EDWARD: OK. She's living, though?
CALLER: Yes, she is.
EDWARD: She's out of your state?
CALLER: She's out-of-state.
EDWARD: Can you please let her know that mom came through? I feel like there is a lot of tears and a lot of crying over-either missing seeing her before she passed, or not getting a chance to say good-bye, which is very, very important. But I think what we need to do here is clean the slate for her; and there is an issue about relationships, or about being involved with the wrong person, or not liking her husband or something like that. I don't know what this is, but I feel like you need to let go of all this stuff, and let her know that she's OK;
A lot of waffle, unconfirmed by caller
and that she's got Maggie or Margie, or some sort of M-G-sounding name, who's with her, and know that she's OK.
CALLER: OK, I'm not sure about the MG.
That “M” name again – isn’t that the third time? Still, caller says there is no M name
EDWARD: Remember what I said-it's an M-G-sounding name-not just Mary-it's like Margie or Maggie.
Edward: yes there is.
EDWARD: All rightie. Thanks for calling.
KING: Maybe she liked monosodium glutanate.
KING: Secaucus, New Jersey. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, my name is Julie, and I'm trying to contact my mom.
EDWARD: OK, Julie, the first thing that's coming through is not your mom. Sorry, sometimes I gotta talk to them; I'm not an operator; I can't place calls. What is coming through is a younger male figure, who is passed over, and I feel like he passes because of a car accident, or because of an impact to his body-something that impacts his body. He's telling me, "He's connected to R"-like Rich or Richie or Robbie; and he's connected to somebody beneath you. So I don't know if you have a son, and this is a son's friend who's trying to come through to his family. But there's somebody younger coming through like this; and it's in your area, it's not out-of-state. It's not far away-
KING: Do you know anything about that?
CALLER: No, I don't.
Multiple fishing guesses. Also that “R” name again. Complete miss this time on all guesses.
EDWARD: I want you to remember this. This is really important, because many times clients come to me and you wind up becoming the medium; you become the messenger. But it's important that you let the family know that he's with the older male, which is either his father, but most likely going to be his grandfather. And I think-to let you know this-they either died in the same month or their birthday's-there is a parallel between dates or months, which would mean-he died in the grandfather's birth month, or vice versa, or something connected like this. But the biggest connection is the R-like Richie or Rickie-or there's that kind of R connection that comes up.
Edward insists he is right. Still complete miss, but caller says OK.
EDWARD: When you find this out, you can-you know-let them know here, or let me know, but-
KING: What about her mother?
EDWARD: I'm not getting her mom. That's what is coming through.
Translation – the guess didn’t work this time.
KING: Elizabeth, New Jersey, Hello.
CALLER: Hi, my name is Kathy, I'd like to talk to my mother.
EDWARD: Kathy, did your mom pass from congestive heart failure?
Heart failure one of the main causes of death in America – guess doesn’t work this time though..
EDWARD: I'm seeing congestive heart failure, filling up with fluids, a lot of problems in the chest, but it's heart-related. That's what's coming through.
CALLER: Probably, yeah; towards the end.
Edward won’t accept his guess was wrong. Caller wants Edward to be right and looks for a way to help him – so she now agrees with Edward even though she said he was wrong 5 seconds before.
EDWARD: OK. Did they have to make it-was there-this is strange -- did they have to make a split-decision at the end, whether or not to treat her -- or something?
EDWARD: OK. She's telling me that-they didn't do this, correct?
CALLER: They did.
A miss, I think. Answer was ambiguous.
EDWARD: This is incomplete, from what she's making me feel, like something was not done or something was not completely done; and she's telling me it's OK. She's telling me either Ellen or Helen, or Eleonore-it's like an Ellen-sounding name; and she's making feel like it's either-hello to -- or it's who she's with-or some type of connection to this name, from what she's acknowledging. Do you understand this?
Caller understands what Edward is saying. She is not confirming the Ellen, Helen, guesses. (Although Ellen/Helen leaves the door open to any H or E names – two initials for the price of one guess.)
EDWARD: She's also showing me my birthday, which is in October, so it's something symbolic to October for her, from what she's also acknowledging; all rightie, so I don't know if there's a birthday-I think it's around the 16th or the 6th, from what she's showing me.
I think “OK” means “no”, except caller doesn’t want to say this.
EDWARD: Write the date down. It's October-it's around the 6th or the 16th. OK. It's the 10th month, and it's around the 6th. She's fine, and I feel like she's OK.
Edward: I’m determined this October guess will be HIT, so write it down goddammit. (It’s still a MISS though.)
(Snipped load of softball questions from King and rationalizations by Edward.)
CALLER: Hello, my name is Dennis, and I lost my father three months ago.
EDWARD: OK, Dennis, hold on. Was he in a different country from you?
CALLER: No. He was in a distant city.
EDWARD: OK-I'm sorry, did you say he was away from you?
CALLER: He was in a distant city, yeah.
KING: A distant city?
EDWARD: What's coming through is I'm feeling that there is a distance, but I feel like it's a pretty big distance. That's why I thought it might have been a different country. This is going to sound really strange: did anybody around you pass like in a plane crash or in an accident that they were up high and then fell down-or was high and then went low?
Fishing – trying to find SOMETHING that sticks
But fails. This is an example of the sort of outlandish guess that if correct can seem like compelling evidence. If wrong though, no one remembers it.
EDWARD: I want to you remember this-because I'm getting it really strongly-they're making me feel somebody being up high, passing because of an impact, and then falling. There's normally to me what I perceive to being a plane crash.
But doesn’t give up. Caller must be wrong.
KING: What about his father?
EDWARD: I'm not getting his father.
KING: OK. We can't do everyone. Fallon, Nevada. Hello.
CALLER: Hello. This is Pam, and I'm calling about my grandfather, who passed away about 50 years ago.
EDWARD: Okay, Pam, there's somebody more recent, who also crossed over-about three years-three or four years ago-and I feel this is somebody, to the side, someone like a husband, a brother, a brother-in-law. It's a male figure, that I feel has crossed over. He passes because of something that affects his head area. It's either brain tumors, or an aneurysm, or an embolism; something that goes to the head. It's more physiological, from what they're showing me. Do you understand this?
“Head Area”. Along with its good friend “chest area”, virtually all causes of death can be explained.
Is that yes or no?
EDWARD: OK. It's important that his family hears from him, because they keep teasing him: well, if you were there, you'd be able to do this. And he's telling me: he's trying to do this. They're not listening. So if you can get that message across to them; there is something regarding a phone-I think he's trying to do something with them, either over an answering machine, or a phone. But it's got his likeness, so it's probably and answering machine. Pass that on. Is Jimmy connected to you, or is that to that family?
CALLER: No, un-huh.
Again, Jim, Jimmy or James makes an appearance. But caller doesn’t know him.
EDWARD: It sound like they're saying: Jimmy, I'm going to leave that with you, but put it to that family. Again, when it comes (INAUDIBLE)
KING: Not her mother?
EDWARD: I'm not getting-I'm not getting who she's looking for.
KING: There's no explai-explanation of that?
EDWARD: No, there's-
KING: It's on her dime.
EDWARD: That's right. It's a party line.
KING: New Milford, New Jersey, hello.
CALLER: Yes, hello. Hi, john.
EDWARD: Hi. How are you?
CALLER: This is Charlene, and I'm trying to reach my mom.
EDWARD: OK, Charlene. Is dad also passed?
EDWARD: OK. Did dad go first?
EDWARD: Dad is coming through first.
EDWARD: Dad is telling me to talk about-does he have a badge, or do you have a badge?
EDWARD: Who has got the shield or the badge-who is in the police? Or there's some sort of badge that they're showing me.
CALLER: No one that I'm aware of.
EDWARD: Yes, you do. They're showing me the father figure, and they're telling me to talk about the badge.
YES YOU DO. The dead people tell me there is a badge goddamit. What’s wrong with you?
Is there a second father, like is there a father-in-law who has also crossed?
CALLER: A grandfather.
EDWARD: No, like a father-in-law-or an uncle who has passed? It's an older male, but not that old?
CALLER: Older male, but not that old, with a badge.
EDWARD: Who had the leg missing?
CALLER: Nobody that I know.
A leg missing? A pretty major thing to get wrong. Imagine if the guess had been right, though.
EDWARD: Yes, you do. There's somebody coming through, and they're making my leg feel like it's not here.
CALLER: OK, well-well, my aunt is still living, and she did have a problem with her leg, almost losing it when she was younger.
That was classic – Edward insisting caller is wrong and Edward’s guess is right. Note how caller desperately tries to find a connection – ANY CONNECTION – that will help Edward. Someone somewhere had a bad leg, allrighty then.
EDWARD: That's not what I'm seeing. This is a male figure, who has crossed over; he's talking about the leg, which means it's either not here, or he was paralyzed and couldn't use it. He's talking about being an older male, which is above you; which is like a father, a father-in-law-he's telling me to show you the badge. Like, the badge is the clue here. The badge is the thing that's supposed to validate who he is. That's what's coming through. However, you're looking for you mom, but these are the people that are coming through with her.
“OK” Translation: “I have no idea what you’re talking about”
EDWARD: Do you have roses, or something, a flower that's pressed of hers?
KING: Hello? I don't know what happened to the call. I'm sorry-I didn't cut you off, so I don't know what happened.
Point Pleasant, New Jersey, hello.
CALLER: Hi, John. How are you? My name is Gene; I'm looking for my mother and my brother. I'm a little nervous.
EDWARD: That's OK. Makes two of us.
Don’t blame him with this record.
Is there a Katherine or Kathleen connected to you?
CALLER: My brother's name was Keith.
See how caller tries to help? “Kathleen” is accepted as a hit for “Keith”.
EDWARD: I'll take that. Sounds the same to me.
He’ll take anything he can get. This was closer than most of his guesses I suppose.
Do you guys have the same birthday or something?
CALLER: Mine was in January; his was in November.
LOL – they both have “r”s in them I suppose.
EDWARD: What's the similarity in dates-that he's showing me?
CALLER: I don't know. Mine was-his was November 9th; mine is January 2nd.
EDWARD: Nope, that's not it. There's a similarity-there's a parallel between dates. I similarities between-between you and your brother, from what' being acknowledged to me. Is his middle name with a J?
CALLER: His middle name was Michael.
“J” again – isn’t that the fourth time? WRONG though.
EDWARD: Who's got the J name?
CALLER: My wife's name is Joan.
Someone in the family MUST have a name beginning with J – finally something he can claim as a hit.
EDWARD: Is she new to the family from when one of them passed? Hold on. Let me just say this. They're welcoming somebody to the family, like they need to welcome somebody; and they want you to know that they see this person as being part of the family now, and they're connecting this to a J. It's a J-sounding name. Did somebody just have a baby or something?
CALLER: No, but neither one of them knew my wife-or met my wife -- before they passed-well, my brother did.
Caller helps Edward by saying the dead people didn’t know caller’s wife. Well, except the ones who did know her.
EDWARD: OK. I want to tell you that they're acknowledging your wife, but they also want to tell you congratulations; because there's a baby coming.
CALLER: That's surprising.
EDWARD: They're rocking a baby for me, which means that there's a baby that's coming to the family-and they're telling me DN-like Donna or Dan -- or something, like Diane. There's a DN-sounding name that coming through.
Caller does not even “OK” this guess.
Who had cancer?
QUESTION. Let’s find out who died of cancer and work that one. It is the most common cause of death in America and so there must be someone.
CALLER: My mother.
EDWARD: Was she misdiagnosed?
EDWARD: OK. She's telling me she had it twice; she's telling me it was in two separate parts of the body. Is this true?
CALLER: Yes. Yes. She had it in her back, and then she had it in her breasts.
EDWARD: OK. She's telling me to tease about you the slippers. I don't know if you have her slippers-or if you bought her, like, funky slippers -- like pull-over's, or something. But she's showing me something about slippers or feet, and it's like a funny thing; and she's, like, trying to be humorous with me. She's got a very comical feeling; she's very light-hearted.
Caller has no idea about the slippers, apparently. Is too polite to say so, though.
She letting me to let you know that she's OK, and that she also acknowledges your wife; and your wife's father, I believe, is there. Is that true?
CALLER: No, he hasn't passed. No.
Obviously there is an imposter on the other side claiming to be the guy’s wife’s father.
EDWARD: There's an older male on your wife's side of the family, connected to the J, who is there.
Edward is determined he is right.
CALLER: I don't know.
Caller tries to help Edward all he can – the answer is “no” but he can’t just say “no”, apparently.
EDWARD: Remember, I said this: the guy passes from either a vascular thing, like a stroke, or it's an ambulysm.
KING: Well, you were nervous when you called in. Right?
CALLER: I'm even more nervous now.
KING: Why? You're going to be a father. I think you ought to go tell her.
CALLER: All right. OK?
KING: And name the kid with a J. What the hell? Or the kid'll be born on the 9th. Who knows? We'll be right back with John Edward. Don't go away.
Why not? So you won’t miss any more of Edward’s blunders? To see if he guesses a “J” name for a fifth time?
There were actually several more callers after this but I got bored and I’m sure you are too.
The transcript I really want is the LKL show from September 10th, 2001. Edward bombed so badly they never even put the transcript.
November 23, 2012 edited to add:
Reader Luke sent me a link to the September 10th, 2001 transcript. It was as bad as I remembered it. The most notable thing was how often he used the "yes you do" response - ie when Edward makes a completely wrong guess, he just insists that he is right and the caller wrong. Without going back and counting, I think it was somewhere between 5 and 8 times. Amazing he gets away with that.