11/25/2014 03:59 pm ET Updated Jan 25, 2015

Breaking Free From Psychics and Mediums

I've always known that mediums and psychics are all con artists who make their livings exploiting the bereaved. Now that I'm a widower, I've begun to take their acts of fraud personally. Their victims are my new peers, my new friends.

After many discussions with my fellow widows, I've learned that it is almost impossible to convince anybody that mediums are all frauds. It's easy to explain the well-documented tricks mediums use to create the illusion that they have any sort of special abilities. The hard part is getting people to let go of the hope that they can still talk to the people they love. That's why, even when presented with evidence, most believers will only concede that "some" mediums are fake... "but the one I saw was the real deal."

That's part of what makes being a medium such a great con: the victims prefer the fabrication to the truth.

Since debunking mediums never seems to change any minds, I'd like to try something different. If you've written me off as a "skeptic," then I'd like you to offer me the opportunity share with you three reasons why you shouldn't even want to believe.

1. Mediums Are Slandering The People You Love

If you want to make a widow angry, try telling them what their husband or wife would have wanted. We hate it when people say things like, "He would want you to (be happy/start dating/move on/get out of the house)." Even though this line usually comes from a well- intentioned friend or relative who actually knew the departed, it bugs us because they don't really KNOW what the departed would want, so they shouldn't say that they do.

Why do we make an exception for mediums?

Mediums say things that are far more specific than any friend ever dared. Mediums are claiming to QUOTE your loved ones. ("He is telling me that he loves you and that he wants you to know he is alright.") I don't know about you, but if somebody were to go around making up quotes and attribute them to me, I would be angry. I don't like being misrepresented. I'd want to take action. Now imagine that somebody is making up lies about you after you've died and after you can no longer speak for yourself. It's slanderous.

2. Rejecting Mediums Is Not The Same Thing As Rejecting Religion

Although I'm not personally one to turn to religion to find truth, I know that many people are. If you're an atheist like me you should skip to the next section, but if you happen to be religious, consider the following two things:

First, one of the reasons so many people do believe in mediums is because many major religions already teach their practitioners to believe in an afterlife. Once you believe in that, it's a small leap to believe you can communicate with the departed. I fear that when anyone tries to debunk mediums that many people somehow take this as an attempt to undermine their faith in heaven. This is not the case. You do not have to believe in mediums in order to believe in the afterlife.

Second, your religion may actually disapprove of mediums. (For example, the Old Testament says, "Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them.")

3. There's a Better Place to Find Comfort

A lot of people go to mediums looking for some kind of reassurance. When faced with a tragic loss, they understandably want to feel better at any cost. If feeling better is what you really want, don't go to a psychic or a medium -- just look within. Ask yourself if he would miss you. Ask yourself if he loves you. Ask yourself if he's no longer suffering.

You already know the answers. You know your loved ones best and you're the best-qualified person to answer those questions. You know they love you, you know they miss you, you know they don't want you to suffer, and you know their pain is over.

Know that that is true. Let that truth make you feel better. If you need to have a stranger validate that truth... well, I'm a stranger, and I'm telling you it's true.