Criticism of John Edward
In 2001, Time magazine alleged that John Edward used "hot reading" on his television show Crossing Over.
After the September 2001 attacks, John Edward attempted to make a television special dealing with grieving families. He was widely condemned for poor taste and taking advantage of grief.
In 2002, South Park ran an episode called "The Biggest Douche in the Universe", in which John Edward seduces South Park with cold readings, and eventually wins an award for Biggest Douche of the Universe.
Penn and Teller
Penn and Teller took John Edward and other psychics to task in the 2003 Bullshit episode "Talking to the Dead". In the episode they pointed out that:
- John Edward uses common "cold reading" techniques.
- All guests on the show must sign a legal contract that prevents them exposing anything which may discredit the ability of the psychic.
- Inside "spies" allegedly collect information about guests for later use. This includes "plants" as well as researchers who run background searches on guests.
- Most "misses" (inaccuracies) are edited out from the aired version of the show.
Mark Mayer Complaint
In February 2004, Melbourne-based "mind-illusionist" Mark Mayer lodged a complaint with Consumer Affairs Victoria about John Edward's tour promotion. Mayer complained that by promoting his shows as genuine communication with the afterlife, Edwards was deceiving customers. To back up his complaint he pointed out a disclaimer that appeared on Edwards' Crossing Over television show (but not the tour promotion), that said the show was not intended to be "a factual statement in any way whatsoever" and was "intended as entertainment".
Note: Information about the outcome of this complaint is not available. Please contact us if you can provide relevant details.