A Conflicted Medium

by Matthew Sitman

Mark Edwards, a former "medium," just published a new memoir, Psychic Blues. Along with colorful anecdotes about how he got started in the business and details of his more fascinating experiences, he admits the enterpise is a fraud:

I'm quite confident that I would know by now if I had a spirit guide or my Aunt Ethel's watchful ghost alongside me. I have looked and searched, then looked again. I've traveled all over the planet and humbled myself in front of everything from Celtic priestesses to UFO abductees and their recruiters. This process has been repeated over and over, only to circle back endlessly into the cul-de-sac of my own personal nightmare alley. There's nothing there in the dark, though I have frequently found myself wanting to believe there are supernatural elements to converse with and take refuge in. Their existence would have made life so much easier to understand and exploit. Still, I have a head start at getting your goat. And I will. It's Darwin's survival of the fittest, and a sideshow tent is never far from a psychiatrist's couch; there's just more sawdust on the floor.