America has seen its share of fraudulent spiritualists and psychics throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, and Tyler Henry is among the most infamous. Henry hosts a series called Hollywood Medium on the E! network, in which he provides psychic services to a wide range of celebrities. Most of his psychic readings incorporate basic tricks from a mentalist’s handbook. He’s specifically very good at giving his guests a “cold reading,” which is when a clairvoyant will say something vague and hope that it gets an emotional hit.
Psychics who lie aren't a new phenomenon; hucksters and snake oil salespeople have been bilking people out of money since the first person claimed that they could speak to the dead. But the fraud committed by Tyler Henry on Hollywood Medium feels especially cynical because he’s interviewing easily researched guests and asking viewers to believe that he isn’t simply using Google.