A night with John Edward
I recently went with a friend to see John Edward (on the condition I behaved) so I went in with an open mind and to be an observer for the night.
When I was younger, I was into the whole ‘Crossing over with John Edward’ (Not John Edwards as I have been guilty of calling him) like many of us were. It was really a worldwide phenomenon at the time. For a lot of people, in the same way reality paranormal shows have showed us we can go out and investigate the paranormal, he seemingly demonstrated on TV that he could deliver us messages from the beyond. For a long time I was sold into this idea. As time went on, that rational mind took over and as his fame grew, I thought that something was up. Was he really a mentalist, was he a cold reader or was he a really talented psychic medium? My friend has always been a fan of his and used to get so passionate when I would question his abilities. When she asked me a few months ago if I would like to goto one of his shows, she was hesitant to have me along. She didn’t want me to embarrass her or take away from her experience as a big fan at the show. I wanted to go. I wanted to see for myself. I had all of these opinions that I had formed, and not once had I actually seen him live. How can I make a judgement about a person without ever seeing or meeting them? So I promised to be on my best behaviour and I would be using my favourite technique – observation. I would observe him and the crowd and how the readings went and see what I could ‘pick up’. Was there deception or was he being genuine? Of course there was a small part of me that wanted to be chosen for a reading. What better way to test him than for him to read me. Knowing it was unlikely to happen and the fact that in big bold writing on the ticket it stated ‘a is reading not guaranteed’, I decided to up my stakes. I put in my bag a box that contains my Grandmother’s necklace and of course the beautiful cards that she used to do her fortune telling which I have shown on the blog before.
The crowd was overwhelmingly female with a big emphasis on family. Sisters, mothers, grandmothers, aunties and cousins all came together with the hope of hearing from their loved one. There were also a lot of psychic mediums in attendance as well which I found a little surprising. It soon made sense why. The evening was structured as more of a Q&A session where you could ask a question and John would answer it. If he felt drawn to a reading in the area of the person asking a question then he would launch into one. At the beginning of the night he said a few things which I have to commend him for. He encouraged people to be skeptical and to think critically (hello I say this all the time so he had me on his side at this point). He told people that he would be quite blunt and call them out which is something he did on several occasions starting with some chatty people at the front. It was funny how he was talking about being a teacher and we were the students and this was his classroom and then he went onto tell people off for talking. I sank back in my seat and felt like I was in school because he was deadly serious as he takes what he does seriously and wants the whole room to get as much out of it as possible, not just a few select people. For that reason is also why I assume alcohol was not allowed to be served at the venue beforehand. I was a little disappointed as I rarely drink and I was looking forward to a glass of wine (well a second because I had one at dinner) but I understand the reasons why. I request that people not be drunk when they attend a paranormal investigation so why not for a gallery reading?
He went on to talk about that he believed we were all here for a reason. Every question asked was for a reason and that everyone could get something from the readings and information because it would feel relevant and that was no accident. I of course view the world a little differently to that but I will admit that there was one particular family he read that hit home for me. I am not going to go into details, but a lot of what was happening within that family is something I have been going through myself and the advice he was giving them ‘that he said was coming from the Woman’s father who came through’ was valuable advice and I found myself nodding and reflecting and being agreeable. Again here it is how you look at the world. Is everything connected or is it just a coincidence? This is something only you can answer.
He pointed out a lot during the night that his answers are based on his own experiences in working with the spirit world. People would ask questions like can a spirit be stuck in a place or attached a location etc and his answer would always start with ‘in my experience’. He said that doesn’t mean they aren’t but this is just what he knows from his experience. I liked this approach because of course he has a bit of ego, I think you would have to have it to survive in the line of work that he does, but he doesn’t claim to have all of the answers. He is very used to criticism and often addressed or preempted this in his responses. There weren’t a lot of readings done as a couple of them took up a lot of time. It seemed like he got some information spot on for the people. My first thought of course would be that people were planted in the audience. The grief and relief that was displayed by a lot of these people was something you could feel. I found myself in tears several times hearing stories and just in their voice how a comment resonated. So I feel they were genuine people. The next thing I thought was that maybe they had a list of names and knew where we were all sitting so it is easy to do a quick search on the internet etc. The problem with this argument is that the tickets were not individually assigned. If I say bought 5 tickets, they would all be in my name. In the VIP section which was the first 7 or 8 rows for example, we had to register as also included was a free membership to his website along with a quick meet greet and photo. I had to fill out my name, but again no reference to where I was sitting.
The biggest thing I observed from the night was his approach and the way people reacted. Of course people were wanting to make it all about them. If he said I’m picking up this name in this area, someone over the other side would stand up and say it was relevant to them. Instead of going with it, he would tell them to sit down. He would give a piece of information and people would argue that it was relevant to them and he would just say no its not. He would pick up a name and say something along the lines of I have an S name and if I stood up and said oh Sarah he would say no its more like Sharon (this is an example this didn’t happen). He was extremely specific and would actually stop people from ‘leading him’ and only wanted them to answer yes or no. He actually said that he will read and say the words that come through with intention, but you will interpret them with expectation. Expectation that is a loved one that you want to hear from. Many people in attendance were very desperate to hear from a loved one. When it was time for their question you could see the grief and the hope. Some were shaking and crying before even having the chance to ask their question. They had questions such as would a spirit hold a grudge or be disappointed in you etc. A lot of people were there with unresolved issues. The ethics of that don’t sit so well with me, but at the end of the day it is up to a person how they wish to spend their money. I can go out and blow $100 on a dress (which I do a lot, and that was my newest one in the photo below!) so if someone wants to go and get a reading for $100 to get some comfort then that is their choice.
There were a few psychic mediums in the audience that asked questions for guidance or how to deal with certain situations and he said that commonly he will have psychic mediums attend the show wanting to promote themselves and say I do the same thing you do. He was quite shocked when a psychic medium actually asked for his advice on her own growth and journey with ego removed and I have to say it was nice to see. He spoke about psychic mediums and the mistakes he has made in his past with the number 1 being reading people without permission. I have mentioned this on my blog briefly as it is something that has become a big issue when running investigations. We have some psychic mediums come in that literally try to take over the investigation and start to read someone in public in front of strangers without their permission. He likened it to having a shower and someone coming in and opening the door. While you may feel a physical invasion, this was an energetic invasion. He was very open about his mistakes in the past which are common ones I see in the paranormal field today so it was an interesting discussion to see coming from someone with a high profile with advice I hope a lot of people took on board.
Overall I quite enjoyed the night. He told a lot of stories and experiences in an entertaining way and he was quite funny. The night went quite fast and was over before we knew it. Is he the real deal? I honestly don’t know but I was surprised with his approach as he wasn’t as ‘leading’ as perhaps I expected him to be. I have seen a couple of psychic platform shows that were difficult to get through because the host was clearly reaching and leading and hoping someone would take a bite. This is not what happened in this show. He was very direct and specific and the complete opposite to leading which was a surprise. The show was more about advice and a discussion more than readings. There was of course an overall message which was nice. It was to take care of things while you are living so that you don’t have to seek the help of a medium to do it after someone passes away. I actually liked this message and I walked away with some questions about other things in relation to energy and the spirit world etc that I will likely ponder in the future. I didn’t get a reading but I did gain an insight into a world that I have judged unknowingly from the outside and I am glad I went. Would I go again? I have a few people now asking me to go with them to similar things. I can’t say it is something I am in a hurry to do again as I got from it what I wanted which was to see what it was about, but if someone wants me to be a support person, I would be there for them.
As we had out photo session at the end (which was a fast comic con style type click and move on scenario) he just said thankyou to me and moved onto my friend. He said to her ‘Safe Home’ which we thought was kind of a weird comment. Wouldn’t you say drive safe or something like that? So she was freaking out that he had had some sort of premonition and that we were going to be in a car accident on the way home. We thought it was a bit funny and she took her heels off driving just in case – you know didn’t want to tempt fate and all that. We did get home safely of course. The next morning I had a text from my friend who told me that her car was broken into and they went through the whole car. Is that what John meant by ‘safe home’ or are we completely reaching? As I said to her when agreed it is probably just a coincidence –it at least makes a good story!
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