Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Scams from Beyond

EoR was recently alerted to the existence of Anthony Grzelka when he appeared on the increasingly dumbed-down ABC local radio show. While EoR only heard about that appearance secondhand, his website shows he's a busy little psychic, complete with his own publicist (why? doesn't he know exactly how to market himself for the biggest return already, since he's a real genuine voice-hearing clairvoyant?).
Anthony is one of Australia’s leading spiritual Mediums. He is currently the only Australian Medium recommended on the James Van Praagh Website

Ah, one charlatan showman recommending another. How cute. EoR comes over all touchy-feely and has an irrestible urge to hurl money at Mr Grzelka. But then who would support Allison Dubois in her old age?

His biography relates how he started hearing The Voices when he was a small child. In fact, his powers were so immense and so totally amazing that he didn't tell anyone about them or use them! Now there's supreme restraint!
Being of Catholic faith, my parents probably would have marched me straight off to the local priest insisting I hold rosemary beads in one hand and a string of garlic in the other - just in case. Seriously, I felt no need to tell anyone because in my heart I knew I could trust my ‘new friends’ even though I couldn’t see them.

EoR presumes he means "rosary" beads, since there's no such thing as rosemary beads. But then, psychics only need to be slightly more intelligent than the gullible masses they delude in order to make huge profits. Intelligence is not required.
I hit thirty experiencing an inward turmoil. I tried to forget the spirits and move onto Wilbur Smith novels, but I couldn’t. Novels felt wrong.

Exactly: Wilbur Smith novels mean you have to pay someone else for a fictional experience. Being a psychic means other people pay you for a fictional experience. It's a totally different thing.

He even momentarily considered becoming a politician but, thankfully, decided against this particular career path. Otherwise we might have all been amused by the sight of a loony talking to himself in parliament (though it's doubtful anyone would have noticed).

Finally, a 'very gifted' medium (as in, lots of people give the medium 'gifts' of money) put him on "the right bus" and in touch with his spiritual destiny. So much so, he could be working for Hallmark, writing verses for cards:
Wherever you are in this amazing world of ours, and whomever you are, I offer you my personal message of hope and joy. I’d like to reassure you that we never die. Our souls are eternal. We are eternal to be at peace. So take time to notice a butterfly sitting on a colourful flower; the soft fluffy kitten that rubs up against your ankle, or the small child who offers you a mud cake from his sandpit bakery. It’s the little things in life that bring us so much joy. Live in the now and listen for the whispers from beyond and happiness will be yours.

Nonetheless, Mr Grzelka is clearly in touch with the Other Side. When he went on a tour of the supposedly haunted Fremantle Prison he had such amazing insights (which no one who was not psychic could possibly have in a supposedly haunted location) such as
Anthony got a strong feeling of residual energy in the courtyard. [...] Another chapel. There seemed to be more spirit activity in this one.

Well, EoR's impressed. That's pretty remarkable stuff. Mr Grzelka went into a well-known 'haunted' location, and said he felt 'residual energy' and 'spirit activity'. Did he also mention the fluffy blue fairies that live in his rectum? Or would his starry-eyed followers just possibly not have fallen for that one? Sadly, EoR suspects they would have believed anything Mr Grzelka rambled on about.

For the diehard skeptics, there's photographic evidence that is irrefutable proof of life after death. Well, blurry light thingys anyway. Okay, digitally 'enhanced' images with inappropriate comments about how 'ghosts' are the only possible explanation. Take this spirit hovering over Mr Grzelka. "Spirit energies". Absolutely clearly. Absolutely no other explanation. Except maybe a reflection. Lighter paint. A doctored picture. Etc etc. Or this picture which shows absolutely no evidence of digital doctoring. Really. Not even a selection tool and a blur effect, or a clone brush for the light effect. Come on, there's absolutely no way this picture could not be real. How could you doubt Mr Grzelka. He would never fake something as serious as that. Or this one where
You can clearly see a visitor in the old green chair.

Maybe EoR isn't psychic enough. He sees no 'visitor', only a pretty standard faked Ball of Light/Orb. Who knows, maybe it was resting in the chair after a busy day making crop circles?

Like any good psychic, Mr Grzelka knows where his money is coming from, and accordingly has a line of merchandise, and conducts psychic development workshops, as well as the standard $A120 psychic readings.

Unfortunately, Mr Grzelka's amazing powers and spirit guides do not appear to have informed him about the $A100,000 available from the Australian Skeptics for real psychics, nor about James Randi's $US1,000,000 also available for all real psychics. But given the money he's already making from his little scam, he's probably not interested.


  1. For those of you who haven't heard Mr G, I'd like to share my experience. These are examples of how he performed on local radio the other day (sorry - no transcript):

    Mr G: "I'm getting a "D", Doris, Dorothy, something like that?" Caller: "No, I don't think so." Mr G: "An older lady - a grandmother, aunt, great aunt?" Caller: "No sorry." (Mr G ignores failure and continues rapidly) Mr G: "I see someone very young close've had a miscarriage or termination?" (Woman gasps, admits on public radio she had indeed had a miscarriage. Background murmuring of awe and respect from radio host. No matter that huge % of women have had miscarriages and/or abortions, and how private this is.)

    Another caller (male): Mr G: "You're recently bereaved - your father..." Caller: "No". Mr G: "He's had a heart operation?" Caller: "No". Mr G: "A heart condition then?" Caller: "No". Mr G: "I see a military type person standing nearby." Caller: "I had a grandfather in the army." Mr G: "Yes it must be him." (Mr G ends call, triumphant.)

    Mr G explains to his radio host, and any skeptics listening, that people often forget details in the heat of the moment during the phone-in, but later realize they did indeed have a Doris, Dorothy etc afterall.

    And dead parents?

  2. I feel extremely sorry for all you non believers. My family & I have had contact with passed family members with Mr Grzelka. He was not at all vague & the names & infirmation he brought through were so specific that it coudl nothave been a guess. My brother inlaw passed from a cancer that is very uncommon & yet Anthony was precise in to his cause of death & family situations that surrounded it.

  3. EoR has seen nothing that shows any evidence of 'psychic' powers, only an ability to dazzle and utilise cold reading techniques. Your unproven anecdote does not change his opinion. If Mr G is so powerful, he should immediately apply for the Australian Skeptics' $100,000 prize (

    Nonetheless, EoR will be listening to Mr G's next radio appearance and reporting back accordingly. Perhaps Mr G will give out a psychic message to EoR to prove his powers...

  4. I took Anthony's workshop in Perth and have also attended one of his seminars, at which he gave very detailed and accurate information.

    Also, more often than not us "believers" don't just believe in life after death because we are told to or because we want to believe, but because we have had our own personal experiences.

    And i wonder, has it ever occured to you that neither Anthony nor any other well respected medium are simply not interested in this so called "Prize Money"? I am sure that Anthony would much rather spend his time and energy on enabling people who have crossed over to bring some comfort to their loved ones, and prove their existance to them personally, which he has done many many times. Why would he or any other medium want to use their time and energy to prove a point to all you skeptics, who are so narrow minded you would still find an excuse or explanation even if a spirit beamed itself right in front of you and smacked you over the head?

    There are plenty of excellant mediums around the world, Anthony included, that have proven without a doubt to their clients that death is not the end. I am sure selling themselves out for a big wad of cash just doesn't interest them.

    I think the idea of mediumship is for the spirit to prove it's existance to a loved one, not so the medium can prove itself to a skeptic for a hundred grand.

    All of Anthony's services are very reasonably priced given his excellant reputation around the country, and i believe it is clear to all those that have he has given validation to that he is a geniune and ethical person.

    Now, i am sure you will have a witty retort to all this, but we shall see who has the last laugh when your time comes and you have to eat your words.

    Best Wishes

  5. Come on, anonymous, we don't need to wait until EoR is dead to prove Mr Grzelka is a so-so cold reader. shows him in full flight.

    So Mr G's not in it for the money, eh? Surely he could use that $1,000,000 to further the "science" of psychicism? Think of the things he could do to promote his scam. Sorry,skill. He doesn't need to keep it for himself, since he seems such a generous soul.

    Or could it be that, like all the other conmen, exposure of his tricks is the one thing that would be fatal (ho, ho) to his business enterprises?

    If a "spirit" smacked EoR in the head he wouldn't deny it (though he might not immediately assume it was a "spirit" either, unlike the gullible). He would certainly be fascinated and want to explore the matter further. That is how skeptics differ from the true believers. We're willing to look at the facts and the evidence and make assessments. And change those assessments rather than cling on to them blindly.

    Oh, and no "spirit" has yet smacked EoR on the head.

    I'm glad to learn that Mr G is "very reasonably priced" (that almost sounds like a self-placed advertisment, doesn't it?). But how much is being taken in worth really?

  6. Heaps of mediums have participated in tests and things that have proven that the brainwaves of the medium and that of the person they are reading are not the same, and in such cases ruling out telepathy or the fact that they might be just reading the person. Also in many cases the medium has given information that the person getting the reading was not aware of, but later the information was confirmed or came true. There have been heaps of scientific studies done on things like this over the years, and i have noticed mediums are ready and willing to participate in these scientific testings. So i think we have established, Yes to genuine tests that will provide a more clearer picture of mediumship, No to trying to claim on a cash prize.

    Also you say you look at facts and evidence, maybe you should just understand that people do have their own personal evidence and let them be with that?

    If you don't believe in something that is entirely your decision, but why do you feel the need to bag on others for THEIR beliefs.

    Can't you just take the high road and agree to disagree and instead of tuning into all Mr Grzelka's appearences go and find something to do?

    I have a brother and a father who are skeptics like you, so i know enough by now to just let them be with their beliefs and just be with mine.

    Just because i don't like Tomato's doesn't mean i feel the need to go to my local supermarket and stick signs up stating all the things i hate about tomato's and trying to convince passers by not to eat them.

    That would be uncalled for, wouldn't it?

    And don't say you are trying to "Save People" from the "Scam" because it's perfectly clear from your post that your sole intent is to riducule people.

    Best Wishes

  7. Hmmm. Why do you feel the need to BAG EoR for his beliefs? Especially since his beliefs have a factual basis?

    That said, please tell EoR where all those "studies" are. He's always willing to revise his views and opinions, and increase his knowledge, unlike you. Which journals are they in? Were they reported in magazines such as New Scientist and Scientific American?

    The cash prize is only provided as a result of a genuine test. Think of how winning the prize would further the cause of psychic mediumship throughout the world. It would also make Mr Grzelka as famous as Einstein. He could become a philanthropist (well, one who gives money away, as opposed to the type who take it from people). How is winning the prize different from scamming money from gullible, vulnerable people (and no, EoR doesn't ridicule those people - they're mistaken and wasting their money, just as if they gave it to a Nigerian scammer - but it's the scammers who deserve exposure and ridicule).

    EoR has been to the supermarket. He has seen tomatoes. He will not discuss whether he likes them or doesn't like them, since you would only disagree with him. He has not seen any evidence of Mr Grzelka having any skills other than theatre skills (you obviously haven't read EoR's other posts showing how this conman works, as EoR suggested. If you can't be bothered even doing that bit of research there's not much point in you making the same argument ad infinitum).

  8. I have no problem with your beliefs. They are yours. The only problem i have is with you branding people "Scammers" and "Gullible"

    And yes i have read your many many posts. I am amazed at how much time you seem devote to something you don't even believe in.

    Also, you claim that believers of the afterlife follow "Blindly" and that's far from the truth in most cases. We make up our own minds who's for real and who isn't based on our own personal experience with that person. There is no doubt in my mind that there are some frauds out there. Anthony is just not one of them as far as i and many many others are concerned.

    You seem to think you are some kind of hero exposing "Con Artists" and "Saving Vulnerable People" when all you have done is view YOUR opinion and call mediums nasty names when you don't know anything about them really do you?

    I think it's healthy to have a bit of skeptisicm, because as i mentioned, everyone knows there are some people who aren't genuine. But maybe you should consider making your point with a bit more integrity and facts, as you seem to be forgetting you have no hard and fast facts to prove yourself either. Or have you died already?

    Best Wishes

  9. Well, Mr Grzelka can easily prove he's not a scammer by taking the Australian Skeptics' Test, or the James Randi Challenge (US$1,000,000).

    EoR doesn't just post opinion. If you've read his other posts you'll see a careful analysis of how Mr Grzelka "performs"; how he uses the same statements repeatedly; how he asks questions, rather than providing information; and how he is frequently either wrong or vague.

    The rest of your post is an ad hominen attack and therefore irrelevant (but, notably, it's what people fall back on when they have no real facts to provide).

    I note, again, that you failed to respond to EoR's request to state where he can find your claimed FACTS in the journals. Could that be because you made that up? Come on, stop spouting your breathless wonderment and personal abuse, and give us those facts you keep going on about. We're all dying to see them. Ho ho.

  10. Dear "Best Wishes, Anonymous",
    Like you, I have family members who hold the opposite view regarding spirituality, but I happen to fall on the skeptics side of the fence. They are very dear to me and I hate to see them misled. One sister sought help after a personal disaster - her boyfriend died unexpectedly. She couldn't bear the sudden wrench and emptiness of his absence and was desperate for contact with him. She paid large sums of money (ranging from $50 to $350 per "reading") to try to reach him.

    Each visit would bring small hope and many disappointments. It was easy to see, as a dispassionate observer, that she clung to any information remotely connected (usually generic things that would fit virtually anyone) and ignored the many errors that were fed to her during a session. She would always believe she hadn't said anything or tipped off the psychic in any way, but from my observation she always did - and plenty. Often it was a case of confirming when things were heading in a favorable direction or indicating false moves when they weren't. Just like that oldfashioned party game of calling out "warmer" or "cooler" to locate the prize (it works for that - does that mean it's magic?)

    Never did she receive any outstandingly original information. It was either vague, general, wrong or regurgitation of provided facts. I have listened to Mr Grzelka. He is no better. He makes many errors, he makes many generalisations, but occasionally something matches. It has to - simply on a statistical basis.

    Perhaps Mr Grzelka performs a service by helping people through a bad patch. My sister has moved through her bad patch at last. To be intellectually honest though, this was a counselling and comforting service, not one connected with "the other side".

  11. I understand your point of view. As previously mentioned in my posts, i don't have a problem with skeptisicm. I myself am even skeptic to a certain degree and certainly don't believe every single thing i am told.

    The only problem for me personally is when skeptics publicly call people gullible, scammers, and con artists when the simple truth with this whole debate is that skeptics have no more solid ground to stand on than believers do. I mean, skeptics have not yet themselves experienced death and cannot say with absolute certainty that they know for a fact that our spirit or conciousness does not surive after our physical body dies. It is a matter of personal opinion and people are at least entitled to that without being called "frauds" or "laughable"

    And further to my last post, from what i understand there has been tests on mediums performed by scientist Gary Schwartz. Top mediums and their clients had their heart and brain waves monitored. It was thought that if mediums were really just reading a persons energy or whatever, that the two would in some way become synchronized. The results showed that the hearts actually became less synchronized, and the EEG patterns for the brain revealed no connection either. The findings were written up in the Journal of the Society for Psychical research, as apparently the big scientific journals won't have a bar of it anyway ( funny that !! )
    Their accuracy was in between 77 and 93 percent with 82 percent being the cumulative accuracy as a group. The findings were consistent with the theory that the mediums are not reading the client but obtaining information from another entity.

    Gary Schwartz noted "Traditional hypotheses of fraud, subtle cueing, and statistical coincidence are improbable explanations of the total set of observations reported here"

    I totally get that you would be annoyed at feeling like your sister was being deceived in some way, and maybe she was that i cannot say. There are certainly people that are dishonest this i am sure of.

    The thing is, we, as believers have to make our mind up about each medium based on our experience with them. I agree that going around buying every single word everyone says is foolish.

    Skeptics keep saying "where's the hard and fast facts?" But where's theres? I mean, if someone knows someone who has died and in some way told them that death is in fact the end and we just rott in the ground i would be truly intrigued. If they aren't able to prove their theory why should we be forced to, and when we dont be publicly slammed and abused?

    I think it will always be a matter of opinion, i can't imagine that there will ever be a day when the whole world will be forced to believe in the spirit realm, because i just can't imagine it works that way. I think it is meant to be something we each realise for ourselves.

    I mean, can you ever imagine waking up one day and seeing all over the news and papers that something has happened and the whole world witnessed it and now we all must believe in life after death? There would still be people that just wouldn't. It wouldn't do any good. You just can't tell someone what to believe the world just doesn't work that way, that is why we were each born with individual brains. I think even if scientific evidence of the afterlife was produced it wouldn't change many peoples opinions anyway.

    I just wish those who are skeptic could present themselves with more class, making their point doesn't have to include direct personal abuse on people and name calling.
    It is fine to raise questions and facts and their point, but as for calling people con artists and gullible and things of similar nature i just think it is not nice.
    Especially when they have no more hard and fast facts than we do.

    It is an endlessly debatable subject, but at the end of the day, no matter how much you debate and argue, neither side will change their beliefs. Skeptics can make points and express opinions without having to do it in the highly desperate way done so by this EoR's posts, who ever he is.I wouldn't mind reading skeptics opinions if they were presented in a more decent way, and not just a bunch of his smart ass comments scattered all through out transcripts of radio appearances.

    I am just highly amused that skeptics like EoR anxiously tune in to all these appearences by mediums with such devotion. Surely they have better ways to spend their time?

  12. Thank you for your reference to the scientific study (finally). EoR is also psychic, and just knew you were going to mention Gary Schwartz. He just wonders why you took so long to do so.

    Maybe the reason reputable scientific journals won't publish his papers is because they're really really bad science? Just for starters, you might like to consider:


    If we can't prove the realities of psychics until we all die (very convenient that), doesn't that invalidate Dr Schwartz's studies? Just wondering...

    The rest of your commment ("I'm a skeptic too", ad hominen attacks, misunderstanding the English language - look up "gullible" and "con man" in the dictionary)contain nothing new in the world of the True Believer arguments for their favourite "real" psychic (how come everyone has a different one?).

  13. Where did you take my quote from "I am a skeptic too?" I believe what i said was that i myself am skeptic to a certain degree, and that while i firmly believe that death is not the end, i will still make my own mind up about who i encounter.

    I just can't ever imagine that if a medium did decide to undertake this skeptics test, and if they were to prove it scientifically, that all the skeptics out there would give him or her a pat on the back and buy them a beer?? I think not. They would still be publicly slammed one way or another. There is just no changing peoples beliefs because they will hang on with bloody fingernails to their argument, even if the medium passed whatever the test is with flying colours, all the skeptics around the world who did not personally witness the test would claim that the test scorers were in on it somehow and they would probably be the next to be publicly attacked as the new frauds trying to decieve the world with bogus test results. I can just imagine it lol.

    Not everyone in the world would personally be able to attend this skeptics testing and so each skeptic that did not attend would claim the other skeptics who did the testing were brain washed or something of the sort.

    If you are such an intelligent man why are you posting things about "fluffy blue fairies that live up his rectum". You sound like a man of such class, scientific background, and high intelligence i must say.

  14. Referring to you as a skeptic is technically termed a paraphrase. The original statement you made is there for all to view. Implying some deception on EoR's part is disingenuous. However, EoR apologises for assuming that your skepticism implies you are a skeptic. He accepts your skepticism means you are not a skeptic. He was confused by your illogic.

    There's one cool way to see what the skeptics do if a psychic passes Randi's test. That's to take the test and win. Not complain a priori about bad sportsmanship.

    Fluffy blue rectal fairies have been proven to exist (note that they are invisible and take up no space, but EoR has communicated with them. Indeed, he has asked independent FBRFs to confirm the statements made by the original FBRFs and they have provided 100% confirmation - note that this is a protocol used by Dr Gary Schwartz with "passed on souls" so it must be truly scientific).

    Oh, and while you're being pedantic, it's "fluffy blue fairies that live in his rectum" not "up his rectum". That would involve a completely different testing protocol.

  15. Ok, best of luck with your ventures communicating with fluffy blue rectal fairies. It is a skill that appears to fit you perfectly, so congratulations on that. Best wishes, over and out.

  16. I'm sorry you seem to be taking the standard, closed mind attitude towards Fluffy Blue Rectal Fairies. Eor feels extremely sorry for all you non believers.

    The FBRFs have given EoR very detailed and accurate information.

    Also, more often than not us "believers" don't just believe in FBRFs because we are told to or because we want to believe, but because we have had our own personal experiences.

    EoR is sure that the FBRFs would much rather spend their time and energy on enabling people who have crossed over to bring some comfort to their loved ones, and prove their existence to them personally, which they have done many many times. Why would they want to use their time and energy to prove a point to all you skeptics, who are so narrow minded you would still find an excuse or explanation even if a FBRF beamed itself right in front of you and smacked you over the head?

    Now, EoR is sure you will have a witty retort to all this, but we shall see who has the last laugh when your time comes and you have to eat your words.

  17. What on earth are you babbling on about now? Your post just consists of a bunch of mine and other peoples statements with a few of your own words inserted. Also how am i being closed minded, i fully respect your belief in furry blue rectal fairies and i wished you all the best with your ventures communicating with them, or did you not read my last post at all?

  18. Thank you for your kind words. EoR will not fail to heed them.

    Yes, indeed, it's amazing how the same principles and attitudes apply to FBRFs and the "passed on ones".

  19. And it's "fluffy" blue rectal fairies. Not "furry". Furry blue rectal fairies! How could anyone believe in something as weird as that!

  20. Oh my goodness, do apologise to the fluffy blue rectal fairies on my behalf next time you speak with them. How extremely thoughtless of me to call them by an incorrect name.

    Even though i myself don't believe in them i am totally fine with you doing so and i would not want to offend you by calling them an incorrect name. So that's it from me now. I have truly enjoyed debating with you, it has been surprisingly entertaining at times. All the best

  21. Don't believe in them? How closed a mind can you have? I've told you they exist. Can you prove they don't?

  22. Dear Bestwishes Anonymous,
    The afterlife is something we desire because self-extinction is mind-numbingly abhorrant - at least it is if we are healthy and enjoying life. People who have lived long and well often don't mind death and see it as a well deserved rest. I guess the problem lies with all the inbetweens - people cut down permaturely by accident, war or disease. Unfortunately the craving for something beyond our material existence doesn't ensure that it is so.

    Skeptics are reasonable in that they are curious about the world around them. They hypothesize about that which they do not understand. Then they formulate ways of putting their idea to the test to figure if it is valid. It is through this combination of observation, hypothesis and validation (or elimination) that our civilisation has progressed. Instead of assuming supernatural causes we can figure out how things work. It is this attitude that allows us today to "magically" correspond over the internet.

    On the other hand, what have the dead done for us? The belief in spirit powers, voodoo and such is greatest in the undeveloped world. The spirits have done nothing for raising the standard of living in many suffering African nations. Malaria and childhood mortality is rife, HIV is widespread. The spirit-guided treatment in some places is to have sex with virgins.

    And in the developed world, how have the dead helped? They do not find missing people or murder victims or even name the perpetrators (please don't quote the recent TV _fantasy_ series). They don't find lost pets or hidden treasures. The psychic readers frequently can't get beyond the first letter of a name. It also seems odd that a third party, and an exchange of money, is needed to relay the messages.

    I will not completely scrub the possibility of the existence of a thriving spirit world. I just can't validate it. But it would be nice if the "psychics" admitted they can't either.

  23. i must say i am impressed with the intellect and insight displayed in some of thes posts. Fact. Question. If you believe in God, Jesus or whatever then you cannot disbelieve that people can communicate with the dead and or other? I don't believe. Fact. These guys are so obviously frauds. Fact, but in principle it is the same action of giving money for some form of calming metaphoric supernatural opiate.Fact.

  24. I am an educated, intelligent person. I recently had a reading with Anthony and went into it with an open mind but was truly surprised at the accuracy of the information I was given without prompting or validation from me. Names, dates and obscure family events came through including the fact that an ancestor had a social aquaintance with a particular royal family which was absolutely correct. I would love a sceptic to explain that to me

  25. There are many reasons people believe the psychic is real, anonymous. If there weren't, these charlatans wouldn't be able to continue making money from their 'entertainment'. Without having a full recording of your 'reading' EoR is unable to say how Anthony fooled you, but you might like to consider:

    Mythbusting Monday VI: How Psychics Work

    How Psychic Scams Work: Don't Get Conned!

    How Psychics and Mediums Work

    These all explain methods by which so-called psychics extract information, and how people are fooled by them.

  26. How is it that these "psychic" entertainers are always so accurate in private readings for which we have no evidence beyond the anecdote of the believer - but always so crap in public readings where we can witness the results directly?

    "obscure family events"? Most of the performances I've seen, and not just from AG, dwell on the obscure. It's the explicit where they tend to have difficulty.


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