"Long Island Medium" Skeptics Are As Much Of A Sham As She Is

Theresa Caputo, the self-professed "Long Island Medium" of TLC stardom, holding her head in her hands and looking shocked
Buzz, Heartbreak

The "Long Island Medium" is sketchy, but so are her skeptics.

A new book threatens to reveal the secret behind The Long Island Medium. That is ridiculous, because there is no secret behind the Long Island Medium. But before you think I'm buying her bull, too, let me explain:

I'm not saying that I believe Long Island Medium Theresa Caputo actually talks to dead people, I'm saying that Caputo's doing a very old and common parlor trick called "cold reading," in which people like soothsayers, mentalists and, yes, mediums trick audience members and listeners that they know much more about them than they really do.

Cold readers look at your clothes, your accessories, your body language, even scars and weird stuff on your body (think a wedding ring, a burn mark, a Yankee cap, a locket) and throw a few probably guesses at the wall and see what sticks. They pick up signals to see if their guesses are hot or cold, then emphasize the positive hits while steering away from or making excuses for their misses.

There's nothing to expose because it's already been exposed. What she does is no different than when a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat. Writing a book to expose her technique is no different than exposing the magician with the rabbit.

There's nothing to prove about Caputo. When she does a reading, she goes through the art of cold reading step by step. There's nothing new here except the accent and frosted lipstick, simply a new face on an old trick. She does the same thing John Edward already did on Crossing Over, and he wasn't even the first.

Writing a book claiming to have figured out her technique is absurd. This book isn't being written to benefit her fans or those who believe her and are being scammed by Caputo herself. It's being written for other skeptics. They can read it and feel superior because they aren't falling for the trick  — yet they won't realize that the real trick was on them. They bought a book that exposed secrets they already knew.

I suspect that her fans don't really care if she's real or not. They like the illusion. It's exciting to think that they're watching somebody talk to ghosts, and for the people she actually speaks with, it's a source of comfort to think that a love who passed on who has a name with a J or an M or an S referenced a ring or a necklace or an earring that may or may not mean something to them. Additionally, they like the character. There's a reason why she goes by Long Island Medium as opposed to Theresa Caputo: it's called showmanship. People don't just like watching her perform the trick, they like watching her be her. She puts on a show, and it's entertaining.

That said, she's still a horrible person and can't actually talk to dead people. That means her actual character is much smaller than, well, a medium.