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  1. I ran halfway houses for 20 years in Boston. Your piece nailed it! Thanks

    1. Which one? I don’t know which one you read, and thank you so much!

      1. “The Snuffing Out of Light”

  2. nevermoreb

    Gayle saks, I just read your article on the Huffington post about the medium and I was wondering if there’s anyway you can guide me to a way so I can get in touch with her, if it’s possible, thank you gayle.

  3. Howdy Gayle!

    I read your article about meeting a medium on Huffington Post. It sounds amazing what that woman told you. But, I’m still skeptical. It’s not that I rule out the afterlife or spirits or any of that. Some of the best counseling I ever received was from a medium. My sister sincerely believed she had shared a house with a ghost, claims to have seen the ghost, and has stories that seem to corroborate her story. I believe her. But, that doesn’t mean that this medium is legit.

    If you haven’t read Milton Erickson’s excellent book “My Voice Will Go With You,” I refer you to it. In it, he tells his encounter with mediums. At first amazed at what the medium had told him, he decided to consider other explanations. He arrived at a phenomenon called subvocalizations (I think, it has been a couple decades since I last read this anecdote) in which the subject will supply details to the medium without ever realizing it or by making easily audible sounds. He tested his theory by telling a friend the story that he would get a medium to tell him about his father. By using his incredible ability to be aware of his “subconscious,” and to use that awareness to control his reactions to a minute degree, he was able to feed the medium information that directed her to the story details he had selected.

    Here’s what I propose happened in your reading: the medium made you for a skeptic immediately. It was the expression on your face and mediums know to looking out for skeptics. They are ranking people in groups by gullibility and how easy they are to read. So, she knows who to approach first. She’s constantly pitching ideas at the group to see who reacts to what. The joke about the spirit eating all the cookies and drinking the coffee (and tea?) was not there just to put people at ease. She was testing her audience to see who reacted. It probably isn’t any wonder that her first reading was about a tea service.

    Did she or anyone in the room talk about suicide that night? Probably. Your face reacted. She picked up on it. Did she or anyone else talk about choking or strangulation or even hanging? I don’ know, but it is possible. If so, she picked up on your reaction. She’s watching you in particular because she needs the goods on you. You’re too skeptical to be taking in by the typical Barnum Effect. But once she had a good idea that choking, strangulation, or hanging was important to you, the rest was easy.

    That mediums are remarkable readers of the subtle clues that we all use to communicate with each other every day doesn’t mean that the work they do isn’t valuable or useful to others. It is the belief that the subject has in the medium’s ability to speak absolute truth that is important for starting on the path to resolution. It also doesn’t mean that they are not willing and able to take people’s money without actually delivering, either.

    Think about the stories that had proceeded yours and determine whether there were details that you probably reacted to probably a lot less subtly than you think, and you’ll have your answer.


  4. Suzanya

    Thank you for writing so much about your experience. I have to write a paper this week based off an interview with a substance abuse counselor, and everyone I have contacted has ignored me. Would you be willing to talk with me for a few minutes? I would love for you to be my resource.


    1. It would be my honor! What is your email address so we can set up a time?

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