Psychic Joe Power And The Two Man Mob – Revisited

Joe Power - psychic or not? You decide.

Joe Power - psychic or not? You decide

In the wake of Derren Brown’s stinging exposé on ‘Psychic’ Joe Power, I thought it worth sharing with the world a conversation I had with Joe back in June 2009, when the MSS was still young, and I was but a naive, innocent skeptic with a dream, and an application form for Randi’s $1million Challenge…

Cool drizzle fell onto the grey Saturday streets of Liverpool, a light breeze tumble-weeded a sweet wrapper down the road in a clichéd fashion, and I was becoming increasingly aware that this would be the strangest conversation of my life.  And I didn’t need psychic powers for that.  For I was in the company of ‘Psychic’ Joe Power, fresh from his latest in-store book-signing (signed copies of which, I add, are still on the shelves of Waterstones – supply quite exceeded demand it seems), and things were getting weird.

“The thing about you sceptics,” he said, standing on the step of a plus-size lingerie shop to raise himself to my eye-level, “is that you sit there, festering in front of your computers at 3am, thinking up ways to get at people.  What if I were to sit in front of your house and tell people you’re a paedophile?”

“Well,” I say, “that’s for you to decide to do if you want to but it’s not really the same thing – I’m raising questions over what you do and the service you claim to provide; insinuating I was a paedophile would be just a personal attack, and wildly baseless.  It’s not really the same thing.  At all.”

“Oh I think they’re very similar,” he answers, “because you’re there festering, at 3am, plotting to get at me, in the same way that paedophiles fester and plot to interfere with children – you both have to be sick in the head to do what you do.”

With Herculean effort to suspend my natural what-the-fuck? reaction, and with a curt politeness that in retrospect now seems other-worldly, I manage a swift retort:  ”Sorry, can I just clarify – are you comparing sceptics to paedophiles?  Could you explain that?  I mean, are you saying that paedophiles also ask questions of you, or what exactly?”

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Joe:  ”I think most sceptics probably are paedophiles. I mean you’re sat around at 3am, plotting, aren’t you?  Do you deny that?”

An-incredulous-Marsh: “Do I deny what?  That I ask questions?  That I’m sometimes awake at 3am?  Or that I am a paedophile?  Could you please be clear what you’re asking me, Joe?”

It’s not often that you’re 5 minutes into a conversation with someone you’ve never met before and they’ve already played the paedophile card.  I had a feeling it was going to be one of those days.

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  1. #1 by eyetie on May 11, 2010 - 11:19

    Review of Joe Power’s London show from a few weeks ago:

  2. #2 by Andy Brice on May 12, 2010 - 00:25

    What a charmer Joe is. Especially when he spitefully dropped in a mention of an affair during Derren Brown’s cold reading on his recent TV expose.

  3. #3 by Iason Ouabache on May 12, 2010 - 17:45

    This is exactly why I suck at being a skeptic activist. I would not have been able to keep my temper if a gasbag like him called me a pedophile. Great job of keeping your cool.

  4. #4 by Kelly on May 13, 2010 - 17:04

    Finally watched the show. What an odious, arrogant, liar Mr Power is.

  5. #5 by Derek on May 20, 2010 - 12:14

    From the London review (above):

    “Saying Joe’s questions are hit and miss would suggest that the ratio of success to failures was about 50/50 when it would be fairer to say that Joe’s accuracy is more akin to Michael Fish than William Tell.”


  6. #6 by lucy on February 17, 2013 - 13:04

    I am a big fan of Derren Brown and have seen everything he has done he is a lovely, kind gentleman. Having seen his regarding Mr Power all I can say is that Mr Power is nothing more than a con-artist, fraud and downright arrogant so and so. Well done Derren – great show!!!!

  7. #7 by lucy on February 17, 2013 - 13:05

    for some reason part of my comment was erased:-

    ”having seen his (Derren’s) show regarding Mr Power’ – it should have read.

  8. #8 by joe on October 31, 2014 - 00:44

    Having watched Derren Brown and Joe Power The one thing that exposes Joe Power is without doubt his extraordinary defensive reactive behaviour when confronted with Derren’s questioning. If someone truly had ‘the gift’ any skeptic would be water off a ducks back….

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