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Is The Long Island Medium a Fake?
Theresa Caputo's surge to fame continues
A lot of controversy surrounds TV's wildly popular Theresa Caputo, the self-proclaimed "psychic" from Long Island, NY. Skeptics argue she is nothing short of a hoaxer, a cold-reading charlatan taking advantage of the grief of unsuspecting victims. Fans and even objective observers argue, however, that she is "legit", a genuine psychic medium who is able to connect with the dead in the "after life".
Her show on TLC is one of the highest-rated cable television shows of all time, and has been renewed by the TLC network for a fifth season starting March, 2014 (see below). Caputo also , released in October of 2013, and now a New York Times Best Seller. The attention and buzz over America's favorite new psychic only seems to be intensifying. She remains a polarizing and incredibly popular figure. Amid a spare of fallen TV psychics who have suffered scandal and public scorn, her stock and star power only continues to rise. published a book
Watchdog group blasts The Long Island Medium
Amid the Caputo fanfare, a new web site has appeared that is accusing the Long Island Medium of being an out-and-out phony. The site on the Long Island Medium claims they "have made contact with a close family friend of the Caputos". They claim this person has come forward to them exclusively to share their story and describe events they have witnessed that suggest Theresa Caputo is a fake.
The site is an extension of the Web Fraud Squad, a watchdog group known for exposing fake TV shows, such as Food Network's much-maligned "Mystery Diners", TLC's Return To Amish and A&E's Duck Dynasty. The investigative team behind Web Fraud Squad is comprised of certified private investigators employed by Roy Tribble, who runs a popular blog titled, The Scam Watchdog Blog. and reviews products like the best binary options robot, Binary Matrix Pro and Walter Green's Free Money System.
So far, The Long Island Medium Fake.com's "source", the family friend, has yet to reveal their identity. They are only known as "Kim", a name indicated to have been changed to protect their identity. Nevertheless, the claims are compelling and appear to reveal intricate details of Caputo's inner circle. "Kim" says Caputo uses a wide array of resources to find out information on her subjects before "reading" them during a session.
"When she's talking and seems to be receiving information from the afterlife, that's all made up. I know. I've seen how she does it. And yes, she has told me herself, that it's fake. I've had interactions with her, at a time when she felt she could trust me, and I was made aware of things. I was made aware of things that I believe the world needs to know about. I know she's going to do everything she can to destroy me once she finds out who I am, so I'm being careful with this. She has a lot more money than I do."
-- "Kim", Long Island Medium Fake.com's inside family source
The Web Fraud Squad has also promised further details, including future audio and video interviews with their whistle-blower. They have also placed another story on their site from an additional eye-witness, which offers a first-hand account of Caputo's shenanigans at her popular "live" shows. This witness describes how Caputo avoids doing readings in the back rows of auditoriums and mostly sticks to talking to people in the first few rows in front of her. One of her "tricks" she uses to pull this off is that she wears a pair of extremely uncomfortable high-heel shoes, and she makes jokes about how uncomfortable they are and how hard it is for her to walk to the back rows in them.
As LongIslandMediumFake.com exclaims, "She can't buy a pair of sneakers?" The source provided two photos showing Caputo still wearing the same shoes at events in 2012 and 2013! The source also described how some of her readings were for people who could easily be "Googled" and their background information found almost instantly. They also described aggressive security staff and bodyguards who didn't want any photos or audio equipment used during the live show.
There's no sign she's backing down
In the meantime, Theresa Caputo's success and popularity continues to rise. Her live shows consistently sell out, she continues to make TV appearances on shows like Dr. Oz and her book is projected to be a huge best-seller.
Psychics will always have detractors. It is a part of the business. As it stands, Caputo appears to have weathered a few storms, including criticism from skeptic James Randi, world-renowned for his unabashed approach in exposing frauds and fakes.
"Why do these pseudo-psychic spectacles bother those of us at the James Randi Educational Foundation? First, and foremost: They are not true. [...] But much more importantly to us, such performances seem to prey on people at their most vulnerable moments — those who have suffered the loss of loved ones — and these mediums use such grief to make a buck. Psychologists tell us this keeps the grieving stuck in their grief, rather than going through the natural stages of acceptance that are healthy."
- James Randi, Wired, 5-19-13
Fans don't seem to care about the criticism, however, and their loyalty is evidenced by their vociferous defense of her on internet forums and comment sections. Time will tell whether Caputo's popularity holds up, or goes the way of other psychics, such as John Edward, who briefly gained fame, but eventually fell out of favor with the public.
Her show finished 5th season on May 18th
The Long Island Medium's TV show returned to the airwaves March 9th, 2014 for her 5th Season on TLC with a Sunday night all-out marathon that involved her offering live comments via Twitter. There was also be a contest via Twitter for free readings from Caputo.
The news came as many fans wondered what happened to the show, as TLC inexplicably stopped airing it after December, 2013. It appears TLC is desperate to emulate and copy the success of Caputo's show by airing new, gimmicky shows like "The 600lb Man", but there is still no substitute for Caputo's huge popularity.
"No one can replace her, no one," said Roy Tribble in a recent radio interview, the media scrutineer and proprietor of the Web Fraud Squad and popular sites like ScamWatchdog.org, who has dogged Caputo from her beginnings; he continued, "I still think she's one of the best, even if I think she's a fake. I would rather watch her show than anything else on TV. It's beyond me why TLC doesn't show the show more often, people love it and they love her. It's honestly a travesty her show is not on everyday, it's so much better than all of the other garbage they air."
Ratings for the 5th season were well above expectations, averaging 2 million viewers per episode. It appears the show has a long future ahead of it, with a possible syndication deal in the works.
Her second book is on the way!
In a stroke of irony not lost on skeptics, Theresa Caputo is releasing her second book in September, titled "You Can't Make This Stuff Up." Some would argue that she most certainly can make "this stuff up". The book appears to be a rehash of stories told in the first one, with little new light shed on her background or history, which remains almost entirely a mystery where she came from and her past. Despite critics, Caputo barrels ahead, determined to market her brand of mysticism to a public hungry for answers about the after life.