Cold, Warm and Hot Readings, Fraudulent Methods Being Used In A Psychic Or Mediumistic Reading
by Jennifer Wallens
Fraudulent readers will often use one or all of these methods (cold, warm or hot reading) to appear to be giving accurate information about the sitter or audience member. None of these methods are used by the evidential and truly gifted psychics and mediums. It is unfortunate that the vast majority of those claiming to be using only psychic or mediumistic abilities are frauds and resort to cold, warm and hot readings to trick people.
Cold reading utilizes subtle cues such as changes in facial expression, body language, or vocal modulations which can indicate whether a particular line of questioning is working or not to make the reader appear accurate. In cold reading, the appearance of the client, whether or not they are wearing a wedding ring or identifying jewelry, visible tattoos or approximate age can be used as clues to the person’s life and personality. Combining the techniques of cold reading with information obtained secretly and or covertly (also called “hot reading”) can leave a strong impression that the reader knows or has access to a great deal of information about the subject.
Warm reading is sometimes referred to as “utilizing known principles of psychology that apply to nearly everyone” while doing a psychic reading.
Warm reading includes guessing or making assumptions based on what is most likely correct. A very obviously fraudulent method called shot gunning is used by so called psychics or mediums in a warm reading in audience demonstration. They basically throw out general statements rapidly and know someone will claim that the information is meant for them. Then, the fraudulent medium will use cold reading and other warm reading methods to make the person believe they are actually in contact with a loved one. For example, “I feel there is a man here, a father figure who passed from a heart attack”. Many people in the audience can relate to this whether or not the statement is completely true because they so desperately want to connect with a loved one. They may raise their hand whether or not the information fits exactly. That is not real mediumship at all.
An authentic medium will have had no prior knowledge or information, and be able to confidently state details regarding events. For instance, he or she may say, “I have a father here named Bob, who says he passed from a heart attack, his third attack, he also tells me he was 74 when he passed and says his daughter Kim is here in the audience. The reader will then be able to identify the the correct woman in the audience or at least very close to her. He or she then says to the audience member, do you understand all of this? She can confirm all or 90% of it by saying yes. The reading will continue with more specific evidence that could never be obtained via Google. This is an example of how a real medium works as there is never any doubt as to whether cold, warm or hot reading is being utilized.
Many mediums including myself have also been trained to give a reading standing backwards, where we do not face the audience and therefore are unable to obtain any visual cues. We are only able to hear a “yes, no or I don’t understand” after each statement. This training was very influential in my career success. There is a great need for this kind of rigorous training here in the US. Although there are many great spiritualist churches in the states, there are only a few that conduct this type of training found at places like the Arthur Findlay College in Stansted, UK. In order to obtain a higher volume of great evidential mediums, rigorous training through reputable educational institutions and or Spiritualist Churches must be implemented on a much larger scale.
Good Mediumship readings can also be conducted through methods of communication other than live audience or private in person without substituting quality. Phone or video conference calls, using the before mentioned principles, are conducted with no prior knowledge and no questioning beyond, a yes, no or I don’t understand answer by the sitter.
All Mediums and psychics are not created equal. Like most careers, those that are highly experienced and trained do the best work. However, a Medium must also be spiritual and living a life of service and love. If not, I believe their skills will wane and they will not be able to truly connect with the conduit through which they connect with the afterlife and also all psychic information.
Egos can get in the way, and impede their spiritual progress and therefore their abilities.
I was taught you better have at least five or six pieces of evidential and specific information pertaining to the loved one in spirit before you open your mouth. Your job is to make sure you have connected properly and are bringing through accurate information to help the sitter. Otherwise, it is possible you can do more harm than good.
A true Medium for example will be able to do a reading for a client in person, on Skype or over the phone, with no prior knowledge, or even a name of who they are reading for at the time. These real mediums do not ask specific questions. They may say to answer whether you understand the statement they made, or answer yes, no or I don’t understand. But that is it.
A psychic reader or Medium should never ask you questions to obtain information. This is a strong sign of a fraudulent or lazy reader or Medium. There are times when a medium or psychic reader is having a bad day and unable to make a strong connection. In this instance, they should just tell the reader this and not attempt to fill in information by cold or warm reading.
Occasionally, a piece of information may come across to an authentic medium that they do not fully understand or know how to place it. For example, I had a reading where I was reading for a woman who had lost her husband. I was able to feel the connection with an entity who gave several pieces of evidential information including his first name, his age at death, his passing from lung cancer, and specific loved ones names also in spirit world with him. However, he kept showing me a pig, and I heard him say, ” just tell her the little pig and she will know.” So even though I wasn’t sure why it was significant, I said “he shows me a little pig figure.” When I asked her whether she understood this, she immediately laughed and said that “they collected pigs together and she had placed one in his coffin with him”. Needless to say, even I was surprised. This kind of questioning is not cold reading, or fraudulent. Mediums cannot always understand everything they receive as they are only the telephone or “medium” to relay information.
If a Medium requires you to fill out information about yourself before you attend their event or purchase tickets ahead of time using names and credit cards, I have doubts as to whether they are legitimate because there is a chance of fraud and hot reading by getting information beforehand about the person. They are many well known mediums who sadly do this kind of thing and pretend to know information from communication with the spirit world when in fact their staff or they themselves have obtained knowledge beforehand.
Checklist for a Reading with a Real Evidential Medium or Psychic
1. No prior knowledge of sitter is known by the Medium or Psychic, the information obtained could not have come through cold, warm or hot reading.
2. No questioning by Medium or Psychic beyond obtaining a yes, no or I don’t understand to a statement
3. Sitter does not provide information, during the reading and only confirms or denies information given.
4. Price is agreed upon beforehand, and is not changed
5. The Medium or psychic has years of training and education behind him and comes recommended or is certified by a reputable institution.
6. There is no talk of a curse, or that a curse is placed on the sitter or their family and can be removed by paying additional monies for a clearing etc. a sure sign of Fraud.
7. Sitter remains positive and open minded during reading, and the Reader makes them feel comfortable.
8. Healing messages are given during the reading at some point and the sitter feels better after the reading and has received evidence of the afterlife and of their loved ones, or in the case of a psychic only reading, the information given was accurate, valid and helpful but did not impose on the free will of the sitter.
9. The Medium or psychic does not try to get you to come back for future readings, or make a sitter feel reliant on them for any future decisions, if a medium has done a good job, you may never want or think you need another reading.
10. You would refer that a Medium or Psychic to a family member or friend.
 Robert Todd Carroll. “Warm Reading”. The Skeptic’s Dictionary. Retrieved 2015-11-27