Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Psychic Predicts Massive Price Rises

Orac has his own blog mascot, but it's been a while since EoR visited his own pseudo-mascot, one who has a similar colonic-cleansing effect: the universe's bestest realest psychic Anthony Grzelka. Obviously, coldreading as a party trick is big bucks. But not enough. Mr Grzelka is increasing his prices (hell, Sylvia Browne can get away with ridiculously high prices for a complete scam...). Readings are going up 33%, to $A200. Group readings are going up the same amount, plus 66% for every extra member, to $A50 per person. Readings can be as short as half an hour.

EoR knew inflation was bad, but that bad?

While the rates don't go up until July, it's too late!. Mr Grzelka is booked out for the next year and a half! Who knows how much he'll be charging by then... Well, of course, Mr Grzelka knows, but he doesn't appear to have a list of all future price rises and when they'll happen.

EoR has previously analysed how bad Mr Grzelka's coldreading skills are (links at the Anthony Grzelka Debunked page), and here's another classically incompetent performance at the JREF Forums. He even makes the "M or A" name guess that appears to be complusory for psychics (EoR suspects that it's on page one of "How To Do Coldreading To Amaze Your Friends and Make Money").

Mind you, Mr Grzelka is probably kicking himself for not just coming out as an illusionist: a fee range of $5,001 to $10,000! At least Billy Riggs states openly:

Billy is also a world class illusionist, delivering his spectacular illusions on ten cruise ships and before audiences as large as 20,000.

Billy Riggs is also much better with the spirits than Mr Grzelka:

SPIRIT CURTAIN: An astounding and hilarious re-enactment of a method used by fraudulent mediums to convince others of the presence of a conjured spirit. Five members of the audience assist in this illusion. One sits inside the curtain and four work outside as assistants in securing Billy with ropes, blindfolding, lifting and dropping the curtain. Inside the curtain various things happen to the volunteer while Billy is completely secured with ropes.

EoR would take exception to the description "fraudulent medium" though. That's a tautology. Mr Riggs also seems able to channel Mr Grzelka:

PROZAK, THE PSYCHIC HEAD: The world's worst psychic (a live human head carried through the audience on a silver platter) "psychically" answers questions from the audience in hilarious fashion, does funny readings, then mysteriously predicts the humorous content of several identical sealed fortune cookies.

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