Joe Power: A Career In Freefall


QED: Question. Explore. Discover.

Get your QED ticket now!

(I’d just like to point out that this story is sponsored by Schadenfreude – for all your laughing-at-people-who’ve-gotten-their-comeuppance needs)

This is actually a story that’s been covered in many other places, including by Steve Novella, and I wasn’t going to add to that… but then I saw a few people on Twitter actively saying they were looking forward to what I had to say about it, so how could I disappoint?

So, three guesses which lovable Liverpudlian fraud I’m going to talk about now? That’s right – Joe ‘just popping to your toilet‘ Power. And, to be clear, I can say fraud, as Joe’s served time in the past for fraud. Oh, and ABH, of course. Nice, friendly Joe Power. I’m not saying any of his act involves fraud at all. But then again, I don’t need to, given the fact that Joe Power’s career is going to pieces so fast that people are getting hit by the bullshit shrapnel.

That’s because Joe, as has been extensively covered, had an Edinburgh fringe show throughout the month of August. Things kicked off on a pretty bad foot, you’ll remember, at the Assembly gala – a curtain-opener of an event where fringe acts go on and do 5 minutes of material to demo their show – where Joe Power seemed curiously Powerless.

As the BBC blog reports, he made 2 big mistakes – the first was playing to a room full of people there to see comedy, not bullshit. They didn’t like it when they got the latter, so they provided the former by booing and heckling. The second mistake was to do with the target Joe picked out… looking around the room, he began to connect with a spirit, saying:

“I see Pertoski, Prokoski, Petreski…”, he began.

Of course, in the audience, right by the front was London PR guru Mark Borkowski… who’s book The Fame Formula actually covered the relationship between psychics and publishers, and who’d had a show at Edinburgh the previous year. So, something of a recognisable face then, metres from the front of the audience. Who Joe just happened to try and connect with… massively against Borkowsky’s wishes. As Mark sat stony-faced trying not to get involved, Joe ‘The Power’ Power continued, insisting on “a father in the spirit world, trying to say sorry to his two sons”. Which was a huge miss. Cue a shitstorm of heckling and a quick retreat from the stage.

So, how did Joe ‘does my sister live near here’ Power respond? He blamed the skeptics. After all, he’s had trouble with skeptics before…

“Since the Derren Brown programme I have had threats and had to move home”.

Funny, the only reference he’s ever made to threats turned out to be a lie about me, which the police dismissed out of hand.

“So I was expecting the sceptics at the Assembly launch night but I didn’t think it would be as bad as it was because anything people do should be respected”

That’s right, Joe ‘skeptics are paedophiles’ Power believes that anything people do should be respected. Oh the irony. Oh the fail.

“I only had five minutes to go on stage, say who I am and do a quick connection with someone in the audience. If you are a comedian you are alright because you know what you are going to say but mine’s a live act. I went home that night and told my wife it had gone badly. It is good to have criticism but that kind of bad behaviour should not happen in a venue. My mistake was that I didn’t have the lights on so I couldn’t see the recipient in the audience. I need response and dialogue to keep the energy.”

So Joe needs to be able to see people to pick up on their energy? That’s funny, his website sells psychic reading over the phone at £1.50 per minute, and via text message at the rate of up to £3 per reply (more on this in a future blog).

Still, that’s what happens when Joe ‘John Lennon wants peace’ Power plays a room full of ‘skeptics’ – for which you can read people who don’t believe he’s talking to the dead, which is pretty much anyone who’s ever seen him pretend to talk to the dead. But how does his luck fare in front of a more forgiving and believing, and more well-lit audience? Well, the reviews weren’t so good… with many skeptical or comic blogs tearing Joe’s stage act to pieces.

However, most interesting in my opinion is the review in The Edinburgh Spotlight, who actually gave him enough benefit of the doubt to send a supposedly “REAL” medium to see his act and pass verdict – so we’re talking here about someone who actually believes SOMEONE can do what Joe claims to do – and the results were equally scathing:

Joe doesn’t look to any spirit world as he channels messages, he looks direct into the audience. In a Scouse voice, he tells the audience to put up their hands if anything sounds familiar and the audience are here in the hope that they will get a message from a loved one. Joe’s starting message is to a row of ‘older’ women in the front and he asks if their parents are in the spirit world. Without meaning to be rude about their ages, even I could have told you that their parents were no longer in this world.

The women reply no to all the information he is relaying to them, with a brief confirmation when he says “five” which equates to the amount of brothers one of the relatives had. He channels some distant in-law and mentions a young man, the number 62 and yellow flowers which are all met with a negative response from the woman who is willing a message from the spirit world.

This routine continues another couple of times with different audience members, once with the subject of two miscarriages. Joe channels the energy he is receiving and asks if the lady concerned had tests afterwards, before moving on after this ’success’. Again, this is common sense and did not convince the audience he was receiving any information from the spirit world.

Joe didn’t give up. He continued with generic questions to audience members and the next to ‘receive messages’ is a man who told him it meant nothing to over a dozen questions Joe channelled. At one point a joke is attempted to be cracked to ease the tension in the room, but Joe just comes across as an abrupt man who is not entirely convincing.

Just when the accuracy rate was plummeting downwards, he received a message for one half of our review team. He asks about a family member in bad health, which is confirmed and if there is a birthday soon – which there is – but that’s about as successful as it gets.

I had to laugh when he asked one volunteer if she had connections in America, to which she replied, “no, but I live in Hong Kong”. His following message from the spirit world was: “I see you living in a tall building apartment” – yes, indeed the lady did, along with the millions of others in the city.

A German man was then chosen and needed a little help with translation from his friend, but again, rather than dealing with this in a light-hearted manner, Joe ploughed on abrasively asking if he lived on a cliff, or somewhere with a view. The man stated he lived in a little flat in the middle of the city, the polar opposite

So, how did this believer sum up Joe ‘I can’t see people’s cars if I’m speaking’ Power?

Joe thanked the audience for his time and announced he would be in the courtyard selling books and available for private readings. After his performance, I completely by-passed the stall and discussed the show with other audience members who had been picked, who concluded that their money would have been better spent elsewhere.

Joe claims to be ’The Man Who Sees Dead People’ and despite going in completely open minded, neither of us were convinced by his medium skills, but there is a little something in his psychic abilities. Our spiritualist medium concluded with a comment that couldn’t possibly be printed but it’s safe to say your money would be better spent elsewhere during the Fringe.

So, not only are the skeptics against you, Joe Power, but even the believers don’t believe. Once you lose the believers, I’m not sure what you have left.

Once again, this story was brought to you in association with our sponsors ‘Schadenfreude’. Schadenfreude – available from any good medium – try some today!

, ,

  1. #1 by Stu on September 1, 2010 - 16:04

    It’s a shame the believers won’t be reading this or any other blog on Joe’s performance! After reading this you’d be right in thinking he’s finished. Alas, even with the bad publicity he’s received of late I bet he’ll still be going strong in the years to come!

  2. #2 by Chris Wordsworth on December 6, 2010 - 00:31

    It’s odd you know,you go on his site and its just glowing reviews interspersed with people recounting his resounding successes.Come on Joe at least a couple of people on the fence for plausibilty might have been an idea.You should send him and his missus a thesaurus as a suspicious number of guestbook comments describe him as amazing or incredible.I mean the one written all in capitals,that’s undeniable proof it’s written by a different person.ha.I saw Derren’s program and I can remember thinking to myself that this guy is just vile.Why am I not surprised he served time at her majesty’s pleasure.Would a psychic with real powers come across so paranoid at having his abilities tested,shouldn’t he want to share them willingly with the world.I’m picking up a feeling from somewhere that Derren Brown’s show will hammer the last protruding nail into Mr Power’s proverbial coffin.I can only hope.I mean it was a 30 minute show,I’m very open minded and like most people but he managed to repel me most thoroughly in that short window.I noticed a great freudian slip when he asked Claire Cooper ” ‘DO’ you drive a mini -(in the present as he just saw it) at any point in the past.Derren Brown investigates – a must watch folks.Available online.Cringeworthy stuff.

  3. #3 by Knotta Believer on January 19, 2011 - 23:26

    It makes me sad to see somebody exploiting people who search for answers to questions that should have been asked when their relations/pets were alive – Shame on you Joe Power.

  4. #4 by morrigan on April 21, 2011 - 01:26

    well I saw this man in a church in liverpool and I knew he was fake the minute he started. He is arrogant and a bully. He now has a school setup called sixsense acedemy taking students for so-called mediumship training. I am a medium and that to me is a disaster for even if these people are capable he will destroy that. scepticism is healthy and should be voiced fairly

  5. #5 by Linda on May 24, 2011 - 10:34

    Am wondering if these comments are about the same Joe Power I saw at Whitehaven in 2004. sceptics would say I was vulnerable but I do believe my son made contact. It was confirmed for me when the name of my other son was mentioned (not a common name) and other points that others would not have known about or could not have been guessed at. I wish he would come back to West Cumbria.

  6. #6 by Peg on September 5, 2011 - 15:13

    Well! I have news for you.. I live in Liverpool and was recommended Joe Power do a reading for me and my two aunts and cousin. As soon as I had entered the room, felt quite at ease with this down to earth man who mentioned the name of grand-mother who had passed two years before. There was no way he could have known her name, or of that of my aunt who had died 4 years before describing all exactly. He then mentioned my ex-boyfriend and the place he was murdered and could have not known all of that either. It is very sad that you are sceptical, because frankly there is no way Joe Power could have known that information I had never met him before. Regardless of what you think, sadly, you sound quite a nasty person yourself, seething with a little bitterness, really do not care whether you believe me or not. Joe is well respected here in Liverpool, sorry you do not like the accent, rather if he spoke in posher tones would you then believe. As for Derren Brown is he not an illusionist? Tricks of the mind.. well we here in Liverpool think you are real and have had lots of comfort from your readings. So thanks Joe… Peg

  7. #7 by patricia on October 15, 2011 - 10:47

    I think you are just a closed mind vindictive person.After having a reading with joe,I am sure he could not have known any of the names,dates etc., that he told us,we found him to be kind ,down to earth,a really nice genuine person.I fully agree with peg and all she says about joe,also derren brown,shame on you for judging joe and trying to ruin his carreer,why would anyone do this? thanks joe…patricia

  8. #8 by Freddie Wentworth on December 30, 2011 - 07:13

    @ Peg and Patricia (#6 & #7)

    Considering you both signed off your comments in exactly the same way, I’m going to take a stab in the dark and say that you are both indeed the same person. Possibly even Joe himself, or maybe his manager. And I didn’t need a connection to the spirit realm to guide me to that conclusion. In fact it wouldn’t suprise me if it was Joe himself that made those comments, as sockpuppeting to try and create a positive opinion of oneself is often a frequent online pastime for narcissists like Joe.

    Very sad indeed. Perhaps if Joe got a real job instead of profiting off of the misery and sadness of the bereaved, websites like this wouldn’t feel the need to be so ciritical of him.

  9. #9 by Matty on January 31, 2012 - 10:26

    Having just spoken to my sister after she had decided to have a dubious £50 reading carried out by one of these fraudsters, I am outraged! She was told absolute nonsence about her husband being unfaithfull, her life basically being a disaster and by the way could she book another appointment.. yeah right. cold reading is the main trick used (google it), but as this Power guy has proved, Hot reading, where they actually do a bit of reserch prior to meeting you, is now even easier. Facebook, Google, online electoral role, online local paper etc. Nasty fraudulant business

  10. #10 by Lynn on April 29, 2013 - 18:56

    Joe is an instinctive and very personable man, when my late Sister went missing whilst very ill we contacted Joe and was flabbergasted that not only did he help free of charge but was spot on with his
    discription of her where abouts. Later I met with him in a private social setting and almost fell over with shock when he mentioned a name to me that was hidden in my deepest past and he could not have possibly have known about in advanced as this person was linked to negative family history and as a result had never been mentioned for decades belive or dont belive that is your choice but I can not explain the things Joe said despite being a sceptic myself

  11. #11 by Shirley Mason on August 19, 2013 - 20:53

    Joe power came to my house for a reading for myself and my friends for £40 each he was rubbish the worst i have ever seen. I dont know how he has got as far as he has conning people. A waste of time and money i wont be recomending him to any one he is a fraud and cruel as some people are looking for answers not to be fobbed off by a joker

  12. #12 by Polly on September 9, 2013 - 15:58

    A friend of mine thought she was psychic for a while. She’s lovely but I told her that I believe psychics are either con-merchants or just delusional if they really do think they’re getting messages. We all want to believe there really is a way of still contacting loved ones but I doubt my relatives would be hanging about hoping I’ll pay money to this nasty scouse git just so we can have a chat.

  13. #13 by Michelle on December 10, 2013 - 13:48

    Peg :
    Well! I have news for you.. I live in Liverpool and was recommended Joe Power do a reading for me and my two aunts and cousin. As soon as I had entered the room, felt quite at ease with this down to earth man who mentioned the name of grand-mother who had passed two years before. There was no way he could have known her name, or of that of my aunt who had died 4 years before describing all exactly. He then mentioned my ex-boyfriend and the place he was murdered and could have not known all of that either. It is very sad that you are sceptical, because frankly there is no way Joe Power could have known that information I had never met him before. Regardless of what you think, sadly, you sound quite a nasty person yourself, seething with a little bitterness, really do not care whether you believe me or not. Joe is well respected here in Liverpool, sorry you do not like the accent, rather if he spoke in posher tones would you then believe. As for Derren Brown is he not an illusionist? Tricks of the mind.. well we here in Liverpool think you are real and have had lots of comfort from your readings. So thanks Joe… Peg

    Well said Peg.x
    Matty your comments are very hurtful to those people who have readings and taken comfort from them who are we to judge? very sad indeed

  14. #14 by Michelle on December 10, 2013 - 13:50

    I am sorry you feel that way Polly but my reading was accurate and I received great comfort from it.

  15. #15 by James Duffy on January 24, 2014 - 22:24

    Just listening to Joe Power Giving my girlfriend a so called “reading” nothing but a fraud, what he never picked up on is the spirit that he was giving my girl messages from was his sisters biyfriend

  16. #16 by James Duffy on January 24, 2014 - 22:25

    I wish I could Upload it

  17. #17 by ann marsden on July 13, 2014 - 18:18

    I have seen Joe power from early days in a Spiritualist church and he was nothing but psychic if that then. Every booking on a church. He is not a medium, all his message inn the churches were similar. Such hospital appointments, blood tests and eye patches. Seems to have been his repertoire. If he is better now, why did he not use it. In the spiritualist churches at the time. The has no idea of how a genuine Medium works

(will not be published)