Mediumship – Entertainment?

Clown Medium

I was prompted to write this article after passing a local pub with a sandwich board outside on the pavement. The notice on it was promoting a forthcoming evening of mediumship with some medium I had not heard of.

The thing is, I know that pub and it’s not exactly The Ritz inside. It’s a busy place, focusing on buffet meals and drinking. The pub doesn’t have any function rooms but does offer cheap and cheerful meals all day long.

A few years ago, I did a couple of these evenings in local pubs and honestly, hated it. After my couple of experiences, I swore I’d never do mediumship again in such an environment. People were constantly coming and going, noise, heckling, and pub customers mocking me as the medium, creating a terrible atmosphere for this kind of work.

Each to their own, but mediumship demonstrations are not what I consider entertainment, especially when the venue refuses to turn off the background music, as was the case in one of my demonstrations. When I was paid, the money was given to a charity, because I didn’t do it for the money. I did it for the experience and hated it!

Of course, some smart Alec will cite the UK law of 2008, amended from the 1951 witchcraft act that states mediums should clearly state before a demonstration that it is for entertainment purposes only.

Though I agree with the sentiments of the law, particularly in regards to protecting the medium from being sued for false claims to the client, I do not consider what I do in any shape or form entertainment. It’s like saying, “It’s only fun and you shouldn’t expect me to be able to talk to your dead family member. So don’t sue me!”

The truth is that the protection offered by the law is a tad spurious anyway. As in other forms of trading, the law expects that if the medium claims to be able to speak to your dead gran, they had better be able to prove it. That’s what the client is paying for.

I wonder how many working mediums have taken out public liability insurance or are members of a protective body in the event of such claims arising.

My point is that although I somewhat understand the need for such a law, mediumship and any work involving the spirit and Divine is not, and should not be considered as entertainment. It cannot ever be clear-cut though whilst mediums are earning money from their craft. The money is paid as part of an exchange of service and therefore clients might suggest that because their dead dad didn’t show up, they are entitled to a refund!

I could be a bit pedantic and suggest that if you use the services of a medium, you are only paying for their time, but that is semantics and isn’t always appreciated by the client. No matter what, a medium’s services should not be marketed as entertainment. But that is very much my point of view and doesn’t stand, according to the law.

Let me step back to my pub medium that this article is referring to, selling an evening of mediumship at a local pub/restaurant. What’s actually going on here? A medium is arranging an evening in a busy venue, where people traffic is coming and going all night, where tickets are available to sit in a specific area of the restaurant near the medium. The medium gets a cut from the ticket sales whilst the restaurant hopes for a higher turnover on their meals and drinks.

So the medium is primarily motivated by the opportunities of earning a few quid. Cynically, I might query whether they do have PL insurance and whether they’re going to declare their earnings for tax purposes!

The motivation is what I struggle to understand though. I am a medium and proud of it. My role as a medium is something I take seriously. I represent, not just the community of mediums, but those in the spirit world too. I want to be the best I can at all times where mediumship is involved. Everything around it, such as my attire and the venue is important to me. A fee, or money is a by-product and not the main incentive. And I know how valuable my time is!

Some years ago I went to a theatre down south to watch the late Derek Acorah demonstrate in front of a packed audience. Across the front of the stage, Derek’s crew had hung a banner stating that the evening should be considered as entertainment, as requested by the law.

Derek made disapproving comments about this banner and explained why it was there. I couldn’t help thinking, before Derek commenced his demonstration, that Derek was primarily an entertainer anyway! But that view changed after I witnessed his demonstration. He was outstanding and the amount of proof and evidence he revealed during that evening’s entertainment was amongst the best I have ever seen.

Was the evening, entertainment? Well, Derek was certainly entertaining with his mastery of the stage and use of his guide, Sam. But the evening was miraculous for many of the lucky people who got readings. Derek’s words were life-transforming for one or two of them. I know because my friend who I was with was one of those who received a reading.

Was it therefore okay for Derek to receive money for the evening show? Of course it was. He was an outstanding master of his mediumship and proved, time after time, that life continues after this one. How does this compare to the medium I am using for the premise of this article?

Derek, like all well-known and respected mediums, was sharing his craft with large audiences in a controlled environment, away from many of the distractions that are negative for this work. Sorry – but there is no way I will ever be convinced that being a medium is akin to being an entertainer.

Yes of course some mediums have learned stagecraft skills, one-liners, and ways to entertain their audiences. This is an important aspect of the work, particularly concerning the energy. But at the root of the demonstration is a medium representing their craft and the spirit world to the best of their abilities. I always refer to this as ‘stacking the odds’. Demonstrating mediumship in a pub environment primarily as a form of entertainment is, in my humble opinion, wrong.

In concluding this article, I spotted this on the internet. Someone started a petition for the government to reconsider classing mediumship as entertainment. I think it’s fair to say, there was little interest supporting it!

Government Petition

This only suggests to me that few people care about how mediumship is viewed by the general public. If everyone else wants to tout their services in pubs and clubs, be it their choice. It’s not for me though – I’m out!