John Edward
Overview
 
John Edward McGee, Jr. (born October 19, 1969) is an American television personality and professional psychic medium
Mediumship
Mediumship is described as a form of communication with spirits. It is a practice in religious beliefs such as Spiritualism, Spiritism, Espiritismo, Candomblé, Voodoo and Umbanda.- Concept :...

. He is best known for his TV shows Crossing Over with John Edward and John Edward Cross Country.

Born in Glen Cove, New York
Glen Cove, New York
Glen Cove is a city in Nassau County, New York on the North Shore of Long Island. As of the United States 2010 Census, the city population was 26,964....

, Edward says he was convinced at a young age that he could become a psychic
Psychic
A psychic is a person who professes an ability to perceive information hidden from the normal senses through extrasensory perception , or is said by others to have such abilities. It is also used to describe theatrical performers who use techniques such as prestidigitation, cold reading, and hot...

. After writing his first book on the subject in 1998, Edward became a well-known and controversial figure in the United States through his shows broadcast on SCI FI Channel
Syfy
Syfy , formerly known as the Sci-Fi Channel and SCI FI, is an American cable television channel featuring science fiction, supernatural, fantasy, reality, paranormal, wrestling, and horror programming. Launched on September 24, 1992, it is part of the entertainment conglomerate NBCUniversal, a...

 beginning in July 2000 and We TV
WE: Women's Entertainment
WE tv is an American cable television channel that is marketed towards women. It features some original programming, such as non-fiction talk shows, as well as made-for-TV movies, older feature films, and reruns of TV shows, it also shows art and fashion documentaries and reality series....

 since May 2006.
The only son of an Irish-American policeman and an Italian-American working mother, Edward was raised Roman Catholic.
Encyclopedia
John Edward McGee, Jr. (born October 19, 1969) is an American television personality and professional psychic medium
Mediumship
Mediumship is described as a form of communication with spirits. It is a practice in religious beliefs such as Spiritualism, Spiritism, Espiritismo, Candomblé, Voodoo and Umbanda.- Concept :...

. He is best known for his TV shows Crossing Over with John Edward and John Edward Cross Country.

Born in Glen Cove, New York
Glen Cove, New York
Glen Cove is a city in Nassau County, New York on the North Shore of Long Island. As of the United States 2010 Census, the city population was 26,964....

, Edward says he was convinced at a young age that he could become a psychic
Psychic
A psychic is a person who professes an ability to perceive information hidden from the normal senses through extrasensory perception , or is said by others to have such abilities. It is also used to describe theatrical performers who use techniques such as prestidigitation, cold reading, and hot...

. After writing his first book on the subject in 1998, Edward became a well-known and controversial figure in the United States through his shows broadcast on SCI FI Channel
Syfy
Syfy , formerly known as the Sci-Fi Channel and SCI FI, is an American cable television channel featuring science fiction, supernatural, fantasy, reality, paranormal, wrestling, and horror programming. Launched on September 24, 1992, it is part of the entertainment conglomerate NBCUniversal, a...

 beginning in July 2000 and We TV
WE: Women's Entertainment
WE tv is an American cable television channel that is marketed towards women. It features some original programming, such as non-fiction talk shows, as well as made-for-TV movies, older feature films, and reruns of TV shows, it also shows art and fashion documentaries and reality series....

 since May 2006.

Biography

The only son of an Irish-American policeman and an Italian-American working mother, Edward was raised Roman Catholic. Although Edward later stopped practicing that faith, he has said he never stopped feeling connected to God and is still closely connected to his Catholic roots. Edward once said, "This is something that is driven by a belief in God. It's the energy from that force that I think allows us to create this energy."

According to Edward, when he was 15 and "a huge doubter" (in psychic abilities), he was "read" by a New Jersey woman who convinced him that he could become a medium.

"She told me things that there is no way she could have known. And the first part of the reading was that this was the path that I was supposed to be on and that I was supposed to be a teacher and help people and — I thought she was nuts." Speaking of the same encounter in a 2002 interview, Edward said, "She told me I would one day become internationally known for my psychic abilities through lectures, books, radio and TV. I thought she was full of it until she started to tell me things no one in my life knew about... The details were unbelievable."


Later, Edward worked as a phlebotomist
Phlebotomist
Phlebotomists are individuals trained to draw blood from a live person or animal.Phlebotomists collect blood primarily by performing venipuncture and, for collection of minute quantities of blood, fingersticks. Blood may be collected from infants by means of a heel stick...

 while pursuing a degree in health care administration at Long Island University
Long Island University
Long Island University is a private, coeducational, nonsectarian institution of higher education in the U.S. state of New York.-History:...

. He met his wife, Sandra Coelho, when he was a student in a dance studio, and he became a ballroom dancing instructor before entering his current field of work. He and his wife had their first child, Justin Michael, on September 25, 2002, and their second child, Olivia Gabriella, on January 25, 2007.

Television shows

Edward published his first book, One Last Time, in 1998. His related appearance on Larry King Live
Larry King Live
Larry King Live is an American talk show hosted by Larry King on CNN from 1985 to 2010. It was CNN's most watched and longest-running program, with over one million viewers nightly....

later in the year prompted enough phone calls to overload the show's switchboard. The next year, Edward had a show of his own.

Crossing Over with John Edward

From 1999 to 2004, Edward was the producer and host of the show Crossing Over with John Edward, which has been syndicated
Television syndication
In broadcasting, syndication is the sale of the right to broadcast radio shows and television shows by multiple radio stations and television stations, without going through a broadcast network, though the process of syndication may conjure up structures like those of a network itself, by its very...

 and was broadcast on SCI FI Channel
Syfy
Syfy , formerly known as the Sci-Fi Channel and SCI FI, is an American cable television channel featuring science fiction, supernatural, fantasy, reality, paranormal, wrestling, and horror programming. Launched on September 24, 1992, it is part of the entertainment conglomerate NBCUniversal, a...

 in the United States and on LIVINGtv in the UK. In Crossing Over, Edward gives readings to audience members.

Show format

Readings in Crossing Over involve Edward questioning audience members with what is presented as information being communicated by their deceased friends and relatives. Edward says he receives images and clues from "the other side" which the audience must assist him in interpreting. Aside from questionnaires filled out prior to taping, the audience is not supposed to supply Edward with any prior information about themselves, their family or whom they are trying to connect with "on the other side". Audience members respond to Edward's statements and questions, adding any details they feel are appropriate. The show often employs a split screen
Split screen (film)
In film and video production, split screen is the visible division of the screen, traditionally in half, but also in several simultaneous images, rupturing the illusion that the screen's frame is a seamless view of reality, similar to that of the human eye...

, the view of a reading without sound on one half of the screen while on the other half the subjects of the reading are shown in a later interview as they discuss their experiences. A voiceover
VoiceOver
VoiceOver is a screen reader built into Apple Inc.'s Mac OS X, iOS and iPod operating systems. By using VoiceOver, the user can access their Macintosh or iOS device based on spoken descriptions and, in the case of the Mac, the keyboard. The feature is designed to increase accessibility for blind...

 by Edward is also implemented at times, sharing further insights and inspirational messages.

In other instances, Edward conducted private sessions away from the studio audience. The subjects of these segments later talked in greater detail about the situation that led to their reading with Edward and the effect the reading had on their lives. Periodically, segments revisit people who have previously appeared on the show.

John Edward Cross Country

Edward's current show, John Edward Cross Country, has been broadcast on We TV
WE: Women's Entertainment
WE tv is an American cable television channel that is marketed towards women. It features some original programming, such as non-fiction talk shows, as well as made-for-TV movies, older feature films, and reruns of TV shows, it also shows art and fashion documentaries and reality series....

, since March 2006. In this forum, the audience is not supposed to supply Edward with any prior information about themselves, their family or whom they are trying to connect with "on the other side." According to Edward, he simply "lets his guides draw him to the people that spirits are trying to connect with, and the audience should only validate the information he gives them". In each episode, after a reading Edward is filmed visiting the person or people whose reading was televised, along with their families, to see how the experience had changed their lives.

During the first season of Cross Country, Edward traveled across the US, giving readings to large audiences in public venues. In subsequent seasons, the show has been broadcast from a set similar to that used for Crossing Over.

Paranormal study

Gary Schwartz
Gary Schwartz
Gary E. Schwartz, PhD, is a professor of psychology at the University of Arizona best known for controversial experiments with mediums.-Biography:...

, a psychologist
Psychologist
Psychologist is a professional or academic title used by individuals who are either:* Clinical professionals who work with patients in a variety of therapeutic contexts .* Scientists conducting psychological research or teaching psychology in a college...

 and researcher in the controversial field of parapsychology
Parapsychology
The term parapsychology was coined in or around 1889 by philosopher Max Dessoir, and originates from para meaning "alongside", and psychology. The term was adopted by J.B. Rhine in the 1930s as a replacement for the term psychical research...

, designed and administered a series of tests for Edward and several other mediums to investigate their paranormal claims and published his belief that Edward's abilities were genuine in his book The Afterlife Experiments
The Afterlife Experiments
The Afterlife Experiments is a book written by Gary Schwartz and William L...

. The study did not undergo scientific peer review
Peer review
Peer review is a process of self-regulation by a profession or a process of evaluation involving qualified individuals within the relevant field. Peer review methods are employed to maintain standards, improve performance and provide credibility...

, and Committee for Skeptical Inquiry's Ray Hyman
Ray Hyman
Ray Hyman is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon, and a noted critic of parapsychology.-Career:...

, a psychologist and noted critic of parapsychology, wrote a detailed critique of Schwartz's methodology and conclusions in a 2003 issue of the Skeptical Inquirer
Skeptical Inquirer
The Skeptical Inquirer is a bimonthly American magazine published by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry with the subtitle: The magazine for science and reason....

. Schwartz responded to the critique, leading Hyman to write a rebuttal.

Critics of Edward assert he performs the mentalist technique
Mentalism
Mentalism is a performing art in which its practitioners, known as mentalists, appear to demonstrate highly developed mental or intuitive abilities. Performances may appear to include telepathy, clairvoyance, divination, precognition, psychokinesis, mediumship, mind control, memory feats and rapid...

s of hot reading
Hot reading
Hot reading is the use of foreknowledge when giving a psychic reading in stage magic performances, or in other contexts. The reader can gain information about the person receiving the reading through a variety of means, such as background research or overhearing a conversation...

 and cold reading
Cold reading
Cold reading is a series of techniques used by mentalists, psychics, fortune-tellers, illusionists, and con artists to determine or express details about another person, often in order to convince them that the reader knows much more about a subject than they actually do...

, in which one respectively uses prior knowledge or a wide array of quick and sometimes general guesses to create the impression of psychic ability. Choosing the first reading from a two hour tape of edited shows as a sample, magician and skeptic James Randi
James Randi
James Randi is a Canadian-American stage magician and scientific skeptic best known as a challenger of paranormal claims and pseudoscience. Randi is the founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation...

 found that just three of twenty three statements made by Edward were confirmed as correct by the audience member being read, and the three statements that were correct were also trivial and nondescript. In another incident, Edward was said to have used foreknowledge to hot read in an interview on the television show Dateline
Dateline NBC
Dateline NBC, or Dateline, is a U.S. weekly television newsmagazine broadcast by NBC. It previously was NBC's flagship news magazine, but now focuses on true crime stories. It airs Friday at 9 p.m. EST and after football season on Sunday at 7 p.m. EST.-History:Dateline is historically notable for...

. James Underdown
James Underdown
James Underdown has been the executive director of The Center for Inquiry Los Angeles since 1999. The Center for Inquiry is a non-profit educational organization with headquarters in Amherst, NY, whose primary mission is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and...

 of the Independent Investigative Group (IIG) attended a Crossing Over show in November 2002 and said "there were no indications of anyone I saw collecting information... none of his readings contained the kind of specific information that would raise an eyebrow of suspicion. ... John Edward was a bad cold reader. He, too, struggled to get hits, and in one attempt shot off nearly forty guesses before finding any significant targets."

Another criticism has been that Edward's apparent accuracy on television is inflated by the editing process. After watching the broadcast version of the show he had attended and recorded, Underdown attributed a great deal of Edward's accuracy on television to editing and wrote, "Edward's editor fine-tuned many of the dead-ends out of a reading riddled with misses." In 2002, Edward said, "People are in the studio for eight hours, and we have to edit the show for time, not content. We don't try to hide the 'misses'."

Edward has denied ever using hot or cold reading techniques.

9/11

Shortly after the September 11 attacks, Edward began filming at least one special in which he met with some relatives of the victims, with the intention of communicating with those who were killed. According to Edward's autobiography, he did not know that the producers had chosen the victims' families to appear on the show. The trade magazine Broadcasting & Cable sent a story, "'Psychic' Plans WTC Victims Show", on the daily subscription-fax
Fax
Fax , sometimes called telecopying, is the telephonic transmission of scanned printed material , normally to a telephone number connected to a printer or other output device...

 sent to news media and TV-station executives on October 25, 2001. Steve Rosenberg, president of domestic television at Studios USA, the company that distributes Edward's program, had tentatively scheduled the program(s) to be broadcast during the November sweeps period, but news of the taping sparked a national outcry. Both SCI FI Channel
Syfy
Syfy , formerly known as the Sci-Fi Channel and SCI FI, is an American cable television channel featuring science fiction, supernatural, fantasy, reality, paranormal, wrestling, and horror programming. Launched on September 24, 1992, it is part of the entertainment conglomerate NBCUniversal, a...

 and the Crossing Over with John Edward production office were flooded with phone calls and e-mail, some expressing outrage at the exploitation of the national tragedy, others at what they perceived as extreme tastelessness in search of ratings. Rosenberg initially ignored the criticism, insisting the programming would go on as scheduled, but within hours he terminated his plans.

The episodes based on the September 11, 2001 attacks are not included on the DVD box set for the respective series.

Appearances in the media

Edward has appeared or been mentioned in many television shows, including: ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

's 20/20, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch
The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch
The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch was a talk show on CNBC hosted by Donny Deutsch. The show offered success stories that outlined a "roadmap to the American Dream." Every weeknight at 10pm, Donny Deutsch, the CEO of advertising and media business Deutsch Inc., introduced the audience to successful...

, The Crier Report
Catherine Crier
Catherine Jean Crier is an American television personality and a former district court judge.-Life and career:Crier was born in Dallas, Texas in 1954 to William and Ann Crier and has two sisters. Crier graduated from Richardson High School and University of Texas at Austin, from which she earned...

, Dateline
Dateline NBC
Dateline NBC, or Dateline, is a U.S. weekly television newsmagazine broadcast by NBC. It previously was NBC's flagship news magazine, but now focuses on true crime stories. It airs Friday at 9 p.m. EST and after football season on Sunday at 7 p.m. EST.-History:Dateline is historically notable for...

, The Early Show
The Early Show
The Early Show is an American television morning news talk show broadcast by CBS from New York City. The program airs live from 7 to 9 a.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday; most affiliates in the Central, Mountain, and Pacific time zones air the show on tape-delay from 7 to 9 a.m. local time. ...

, Entertainment Tonight
Entertainment Tonight
Entertainment Tonight is a daily tabloid television entertainment television news show that is syndicated by CBS Television Distribution throughout the United States, Canada and in many countries around the world. Linda Bell Blue is currently the program's executive producer...

, Family Guy
Family Guy
Family Guy is an American animated television series created by Seth MacFarlane for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series centers on the Griffins, a dysfunctional family consisting of parents Peter and Lois; their children Meg, Chris, and Stewie; and their anthropomorphic pet dog Brian...

, Fox and Friends, Jimmy Kimmel Live
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Jimmy Kimmel Live! is an American late-night talk show, created and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and broadcast on ABC.The nightly hour-long show made its debut on January 26, 2003, following Super Bowl XXXVII. Jimmy Kimmel Live! is produced by Jackhole Productions in association with ABC Studios...

, Larry King Live
Larry King Live
Larry King Live is an American talk show hosted by Larry King on CNN from 1985 to 2010. It was CNN's most watched and longest-running program, with over one million viewers nightly....

, the HBO Special, Life After Life: America Undercover, Live with Regis & Kelly, Maury
Maury (TV series)
Maury is a syndicated American tabloid talk show hosted by Maury Povich.When the series first aired in 1991, the show was called The Maury Povich Show and was produced by MoPo Productions in association with Paramount Domestic Television...

, Oprah
The Oprah Winfrey Show
The Oprah Winfrey Show is an American syndicated talk show hosted and produced by its namesake Oprah Winfrey. It ran nationally for 25 seasons beginning in 1986, before concluding in 2011. It is the highest-rated talk show in American television history....

, Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, The 7pm Project
The 7PM Project
The Project is an Australian talk show television program airing weeknights across Australia on Network Ten. The formerly half hour long show premiered on 20 July 2009, and is hosted by Charlie Pickering, Carrie Bickmore and Dave Hughes, with a rotating daily guest panelist...

, South Park, "The Biggest Douche in the Universe"
The Biggest Douche in the Universe
"The Biggest Douche in the Universe" is the 15th episode of the sixth season of the Comedy Central animated series South Park. It was first broadcast on November 27, 2002 and was the last in a mini-arc depicting Cartman being occasionally possessed by Kenny...

, The Tony Danza Show
The Tony Danza Show
The Tony Danza Show was a daytime talk show hosted by Tony Danza, but was also a sitcom featuring the same actor ....

, The View, The Wayne Brady Show
The Wayne Brady Show
The Wayne Brady Show was a variety show hosted by Wayne Brady that originally ran from August 8, 2001 to March 11, 2002 on ABC. Due to low ratings, the show was cancelled by ABC and reformatted into a daytime variety talk show for syndication...

, and Will & Grace
Will & Grace
Will & Grace was an American television sitcom that was originally broadcast on NBC from September 21, 1998 to May 18, 2006 for a total of eight seasons. Will & Grace remains the most successful television series with gay principal characters...

.
He also has numerous radio appearances including the howard stern show.

Books

  • One Last Time: A Psychic Medium Speaks to Those We Have Loved and Lost (1998) ISBN 0-425-16908-1
  • What If God Were the Sun? (2000) ISBN 1-58872-003-9
  • Crossing Over: The Stories Behind the Stories (2001) ISBN 1-58872-002-0
  • After Life: Answers From the Other Side (2003) ISBN 1-932128-06-9
  • Final Beginnings: The Tunnel (2004) ISBN 1-932128-02-6
  • Practical Praying: Using the Rosary to Enhance Your Life (2005) ISBN 1-932128-12-3
  • Infinite Quest: Develop Your Psychic Intuition to Take Charge of Your Life (2010) ISBN 978-1402778933

Audio books

  • Developing Your Own Psychic Powers
    • Tape
      Compact Cassette
      The Compact Cassette, often referred to as audio cassette, cassette tape, cassette, or simply tape, is a magnetic tape sound recording format. It was designed originally for dictation, but improvements in fidelity led the Compact Cassette to supplant the Stereo 8-track cartridge and reel-to-reel...

       (2000) ISBN 1-56170-762-7
    • CD (2003) ISBN 1-932128-03-4
  • Understanding Your Angels and Meeting Your Guides
    • Tape (2000) ISBN 1-56170-763-5
    • CD (2003) ISBN 1-4019-0133-6
  • Unleashing Your Psychic Potential
    • Tape (2000) ISBN 1-56170-764-3
    • CD (2003) ISBN 1-4019-0136-0

External links


Critical articles

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