Weeklyuniverse.com reports that many nonpsychic persons are hired as telephone mediums to work with clients by phone rather than in person. You probably have seen the ads in newspapers or magazines, and sometimes on television or radio: “Call 1-800-PREDICT (or something along those lines) to find out what’s in store for you.” Housewives, unemployed actors, and college students who need a part-time income often fill these roles at a low hourly pay rate.
In 1958, the English-born Spiritualist C. Dorreen Phillips wrote of her experiences with a medium at Camp Chesterfield, Indiana: "In Rev. James Laughton's séances there are many Indians. They are very noisy and appear to have great power. [...] The little guides, or doorkeepers, are usually Indian boys and girls [who act] as messengers who help to locate the spirit friends who wish to speak with you."
Psychologists and researchers who studied Pearl Curran's automatic writings in the 1930s came to the conclusion Patience Worth was a fictitious creation of Curran. In 1931 George Valiantine was exposed as a fraud in the séance room as it was discovered that he produced fraudulent "spirit" fingerprints in wax. The "spirit" thumbprint that Valiantine claimed belonged to Arthur Conan Doyle was revealed to be the print of his big toe on his right foot. It was also revealed that Valiantine made some of the prints with his elbow.
From its earliest beginnings to contemporary times, mediumship practices have had many instances of fraud and trickery. Séances take place in darkness so the poor lighting conditions can become an easy opportunity for fraud. Physical mediumship that has been investigated by scientists has been discovered to be the result of deception and trickery. Ectoplasm, a supposed paranormal substance, was revealed to have been made from cheesecloth, butter, muslin, and cloth. Mediums would also stick cut-out faces from magazines and newspapers onto cloth or on other props and use plastic dolls in their séances to pretend to their audiences spirits were contacting them. Lewis Spence in his book An Encyclopaedia of Occultism (1960) wrote:
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Every month I give Intuition Circles which are an excellent chance for you to meet like minded souls and learn to open your intuitive abilities in a safe environment. We meditate, share, and do exercises to show you just how intuitive you already are. Many people become friends out of these circles and it is my intention to create a community of intuitives !