It isn't like you haven't been a little skeptical yourself of the "Long Island Medium," Theresa Caputo, but investigator Ron Tebo, appearing on "Nancy Grace" Monday night, couldn't contain his scorn for the psychic "profession" bottled up. He didn't waste any breath equivocating, either, coming right out and calling Caputo a fraud on national television. Something like this could ruin his career (or make him famous). But will it? (Somebody ask Theresa Caputo; she "sees" things, right?)
Investigator and creator of the website Scifake.com Ron Tebo appeared on "Nancy Grace" June 9 and repeated allegations that he found Theresa Caputo, the star of TLC network's hit show "Long Island Medium," a fraud and incapable of actually communicating with the dead. So Nancy Grace, putting on her best prosecutor's scowl, asked, "Why do you say Caputo is a fraud?"
"Because psychics and mediums do not exist," he replied. "There`s no scientific proof."
Grace saw a weakness in the argument. It was just an opnion.
"Now that`s just an opinion that they don`t exist," she noted. "Have you actually performed some type of an investigation to catch her alleged quackery?"
Tebo answered: "No. But I`ve done a lot of research and I`ve been an entertainer for a while. Basically what she`s doing is called cold reading. She shoots out shotgun questions like, you know, a crowd of 250 to 300 people, who just died? Who lost a father? Who lost a son? Who lost a dog? Out of 300 people, apparently someone did. So those are shotgun questions. She`s firing away."
For those who want to be entertained and to do a little research of their own, check out a few episodes of CBS' "The Mentalist," where Simon Baker stars as an ex-psychic who constantly reminds his law enforcement colleagues -- and all others who talk about psychics -- that psychics are frauds, phonies, just people running a con. And he should know; he used to be one. In a few episodes, he can be seen demonstrating "cold readings."
Amusing as "The Mentalist" is, the funniest skeptical analysis of psychic readers and mediums has to the "South Park" episode where Stan sets out to prove famed psychic John Edwards, the star of the hit syndicated show "Crossing Over," was a fraud. He's so good at showing people what Edwards does during his sessions that he soon has a following of his own -- people who believe he can "see" things as well. Hilarity ensues as he continues trying to convince others that psychics are scammers and cons, but all he does is gain more and more followers and his own show. John Edwards challenges Stan to a psychic showdown but is taken away by an alien nominating committee for "The Biggest Douche in the Universe" contest.
Unfortunately for Ron Tebo, his comments on Theresa Caputo's alleged inability to communicate with the dead weren't amusing. Instead, Nancy Grace told a story, after saying she, as a former prosecutor, would never put a psychic on the stand to testify at a trial, said she wouldn't go so far as to say what they do is fraudulent.
Tebo insists that there is no proof that what Caputo talks to the dead. He added, "Now, she can speak to the dead all she wants, but she`s not communicating."
A true believer in Caputo's abilities then has her say. And then there's the "expert" commentary from another medium and author, Gale St. John.
Her rebuttal to Ron Tebo? "He keeps repeating scientific proof," she said. "Now, I don`t know her personally and haven`t had a reading from her. From what I`ve seen, she appears and it feels very legitimate, but -- and I have to say I`m a Christian, like many of us out here are. There`s no scientific proof of God, either."
Good thing this wasn't a debate. Both sides would have lost. Unfounded opinions. Unsubstantiated assertions. The weakest of arguments.
So is Theresa Caputo a fraud? Whether she is or is not wasn't made clear by Nancy Grace's guests. However, Tebo does make a better case on Scifake.com, his website, not to mention the many videos he's posted on YouTube, where he's pled his case for several years. His appearance on "Nancy Grace" came in the aftermath of his recent explosive interview with Radar Online, where the gossip website gave him a platform to air his allegations of fraud -- along with several testimonies from dissatisfied Caputo fans and session attendees.
"Long Island Medium" airs on TLC network. Debuting in 2011, it has had a successful run of five seasons.