The Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies
for Participation in the Edgar Cayce Legacy Conference
Henry Reed, Ph.D.
For more than ten years, and probably going back farther than that, the A.R.E. (Association for Research and Enlightenment) received from its members names of psychics in their localities who had a reputation for giving helpful psychics readings. With the cooperation of Mark Thurston, Ph.D. (who was at that time the director for research at the A.R.E. and is now on the faculty of Atlantic University), I and Carol Ann Liaros, a professional psychic who for more than ten years has been my colleague and co-teacher at the Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies, began a formal program of evaluating these psychics who had been referred to us, to determine their suitability to participate as paid professionals to give psychic readings for the students who attend our courses in Virginia Beach. This article is meant to explain our evaluation process, both so that you can understand the basis for the selection of these psychics, and so that you can appreciate the advances that are being made in validating the psychic reading process.
When someone nominates a promising psychic, the name and address of that psychic is forwarded to me for collection. Every two to three years, as needed, I assembled the new names collected to date and organize an "audition." It proceeds as follows: I compile the list and submit it to The Edgar Cayce Institute. They in turn send out an invitational letter to these psychics. The letter explains the participation programs, which involves the psychic being paid for doing an average of twenty psychic readings for participants in the Edgar Cayce Legacy program that is held annually in Virginia Beach. The letter details the current financial compensation of the program and explains that if the psychic is interested in participating, it is necessary for that person to go through an audition process (which will be outlined below). The letter goes on to explain that if the psychic successfully completes the audition process, then that person will be added to a queue to be invited to serve as a paid psychics. After the first year of service, assuming the evaluations from the students were positive, then the psychic's name would be added to the referral list of participating psychics (see part 2, below), which was provided to people who inquired of the A.R.E. about reputable and helpful psychics. Participation on a panel was limited to three years, to give other psychics the opportunity, but once a psychic was added to the list, their name would remain there. The letter also explains that the identity of those psychics who have unsuccessful auditions will be kept confidential and that these people will be invited to try again at the next audition.
The audition process:
Carol Ann Liaros and I each prepare a set of questions. The questions are personal and have a genuine "need to know" basis. The idea is not to "test" psychics to see if they can correctly come up with pre-identified information, but to evaluate their work in a real-life context, where people ask questions for which they do not know the answers, but for which they are seeking guidance. We each use our same set of questions with all the psychics who participate in the audition, so that we can compare the psychics against a common task.
Carol Ann and I each use a different method for receiving the readings. Carol Ann arranges with the prospective psychic to receive the reading over the telephone. This process allows for Carol Ann to interact with the psychic. I send my questions through the mail and receive in return a recorded cassette that contains the psychic reading. In my case, I submit each question in a sealed envelope and ask the psychic to do a reading on the unopened question, then open the envelope, read the question, and respond with additional information. This double-response method allows me to assess the psychic's sensitivity on the one hand, and to note the different response, if any, to a blind as compared to a known target.
In evaluating the auditions, we look for psychics whom we would recommend to our friends. Did the psychic respond to the question? Was the psychic's communication style clear? Was the information helpful? Carol Ann and I also use different methods and criteria for evaluating the psychics, methods and criteria that reflect our two different audition processes. These criteria are necessarily subjective.
We each summarize our evaluations by applying a score, from 0 to 10, for the reading. Those psychics who receive at least a score of 9 from both of us are passed. The others are invited to "try again next time." The results of the audition area forwarded to the Edgar Cayce Institute, who then, in conjunction with the A.R.E. conferences department, notifies the psychics of the results. It is explained to those who passed that they will receive notice in the future when they will be invited to begin their three year tour of service.
Reflections on the audition:
From completing well over a hundred auditions, sometimes hearing as many as thirty or more responses to my questions, I have noted that the variability of the psychics' responses. I am in a unique position to validate Edgar Cayce's suggestion that if you wish to get a psychic reading, you should get one from at least two different psychics. Any good psychic will provide information that will "hit home." That subjective reaction gives a halo effect to the entire reading. All the information in the reading will gain more credibility than it necessarily deserves. By getting more than one reading for the same questions, the seeker is confronted with dissimilar, yet related, responses. Then the seeker is free to realize the subjective perspective of each individual psychic. The seeker also must use some of his or her own discernment to decide what conclusions to draw from the readings.
Another observation is that Carol Ann and I have generally agreed as to who are the top psychics. It is rare for one of us to assign to a psychic a score above 9 while the other of us assigns a score below nine. We tend to agree on who to pass. Although it remains to have this informal observation confirmed by a third part researcher, my observation nevertheless suggests that there may be common agreement as to who is a competent and helpful psychic. That people might agree on who are the "good ones' suggests that there is something definite, if not definable, something helpful, something positive about good psychics that seekers may agree about. That in itself would be a beginning basis for the validation of the reality of psychic readings, whatever the underlying process.