Show of hands: Palmistry is bullshit

The Good Thinking Society (UK) produced a set of videos documenting an investigation into palm readers.

There is no basis to palmistry, it doesn’t work, it makes no sense, and the GTS shows that at least in this case, it sounds more like scripted repetition instead of any personalized reading.

You will love how all the words chime together.

The group has reported this apparent breach of advertising (for “personalized” readings) to the Trading Standards authority.

Don’t waste your money on psychic readings of any kind. They are BS. If you need counseling or help with life decisions, seek out a professional or a good friend for support.

Part 1 of the GTS investigation.
Part 2

  14 comments for “Show of hands: Palmistry is bullshit

  1. Christine Rose
    August 1, 2015 at 11:40 AM

    That four way blessing at the end would make an awesome ringtone.

  2. August 1, 2015 at 1:21 PM

    I suppose they memorize these lines at Palmistry School.

    Now I’m reminded of this: Who was the guy, I think he’s a known name among skeptics (or at least the story is well known, ISTR this was in a book), he was a palm reader and a believer, because the people who came to him were so amazed at the accuracy of his palm readings, then one day on a lark he decided to say the opposite of what people’s palms said, but they were still just as amazed? He of course stopped believing that there was anything to palmistry.

  3. Dubious f
    August 1, 2015 at 2:51 PM

    The guy is Ray Hyman, and you can see him in one of James Randi’s documentary (James Randi – Secrets of the Psychics Documentary (Full) on youtube) he’s also one of the founders of the modern skeptical movement. Speaking of m. Randi, is he as nice as we see in person , idoubtit?

  4. Sk3ptik0
    August 1, 2015 at 4:23 PM

    I asked my wife if she thinks she is the right woman to make me happy and to carry out all my ideas.

    She looked puzzled.

    Who the hell talk like that? I watched one of the videos on its own and without knowing it was part of a script (probably some correspondence palmistry course?) and even then the delivery of the palm reader sounded scripted and insincere.

    I mean, obviously palmistry is bullshit on a unicycle, but there are palm readers that at least make an effort to sound like they are doing the reading for you.

    These scammers obviously don’t even make that effort. It is clear that to them you are a world class sucker in the vein of P.T. Barnum’s “born every minute”.

    I don’t imagine they do a lot of repeat business, even among those that believe in this crap. I think I should open a store right next to these palm readers and offer to charge them 1/4 of the price and tell them to take the other 1/4 and just burn it.
    I’d still save them a good chunk of money.

  5. CLamb
    August 1, 2015 at 5:23 PM

    I once went to a lecture on how to read palms by a professional palm reader. She said that the rules for interpreting palm markings were subject to the reader’s intuition which is acquired through experience. To me this is an admission that cold reading is a large part of it.

  6. August 1, 2015 at 7:53 PM

    I’ve taken Ray’s How to do Cold Reading workshop in order to learn something about “the craft”. I wasn’t half bad. I recommend his writings as must reads. I consider him a friend, as with Mr. Randi. They are both have SO MANY incredible stories and enjoy sharing. I got to spend some time with Ray earlier this year and the stories he would tell (about the US government, some of which you could read about only slightly fictionalized in Ronson’s Men Who Stare At Goats) are too crazy to believe but apparently are true – people really believe this stuff, even military officials.

    Both Ray and Randi are charming. Same age, they are sharp as knives, witty and wise. I adore them both and feel so grateful to have learned much from them.

  7. Tony
    August 1, 2015 at 8:04 PM

    The video looks like it could be the con artists version of Rosetta Stone.

  8. b
    August 1, 2015 at 11:07 PM

    Yes, that’s it, and that NOVA episode is where I saw him. Thanks.

  9. Dubious f
    August 2, 2015 at 8:53 AM

    Was m. Hyman a part of the 70’s stargate project? If so, for sure, would have been very interesting …

  10. August 2, 2015 at 12:04 PM

    Hyman was the head of this reviewing committee. Download for free. Enhancing Human Performance:

    I’d also recommend a REALLY interesting set of essays by the main proponents of both sides, including Hyman, Debating Psychic Experience – Krippner and Friedman (2010) You might find this in a local university system to borrow.

  11. eleggua
    August 3, 2015 at 2:05 AM

    ‘Every crowd has a silver lining.’ – P.T. Barnum

  12. August 3, 2015 at 10:27 PM

    This affirms my comment on the previous “Good Thinking” video about scripting. I could hardly believe the palm reader was rattling off her comments with hardly a breath in between lines. It sounded like script…and not a very good rendition of one at that.

    Good Thinking has done an amazing job of combining footage.

    Regarding Randi and Ray…I had the pleasure of sharing a breakfast table with Ray Hyman at the recent TAM in Vegas. I also took a few opportunities to catch Randi as he worked his way through the venue. Both gents were invariably congenial, personable, even chatty…probably a lot more than I might be under the circumstances of everyone coming up to me continually throughout the event. Both Ray and Randi were the epitome of non-arrogance and patience.

  13. Bonnie
    August 4, 2015 at 6:45 PM

    This is it exactly. Many, many years ago I read palms. Half the time I paid no attention to the lines, I would stroke the person’s palm while asking leading questions (tho I wouldn’t have admitted that, I was mostly a true believer). At best, it was relaxing for the person getting her palm read – and it was always women!

  14. B
    August 11, 2015 at 8:04 AM

    Yeah, I don’t buy into it either. I’ve tried it here and there on my own hands in the past, but so far none of that has determined much of my past OR future. The finger length part is the most obvious offender seeing as mine don’t equate to their perfect little view of human personalities. Apollo personality my ass.

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