The magician Samri Baldwin exposed the tricks of the Davenport brothers in his book The Secrets of Mahatma Land Explained (1895). The medium Swami Laura Horos was convicted of fraud several times and was tried for rape and fraud in London in 1901. She was described by the magician Harry Houdini as "one of the most extraordinary fake mediums and mystery swindlers the world has ever known".
"Mental mediumship" is communication of spirits with a medium by telepathy. The medium mentally "hears" (clairaudience), "sees" (clairvoyance), and/or feels (clairsentience) messages from spirits. Directly or with the help of a spirit guide, the medium passes the information on to the message's recipient(s). When a medium is doing a "reading" for a particular person, that person is known as the "sitter".
No, it really doesn’t work like that. Just like us, spirits have free will — mediums don’t have power over them. Most of the time, you’ll hear from the ones you’re hoping will come through with a message for you, but it’s rare that a medium will guarantee who’s going to come through. I’ve done many a reading with people who want to connect with a specific person, but end up hearing from someone they never expected. It isn’t a case of 1-800-Dial-the-Dead! Just such a situation happened recently when I sat with a client named Vivian who had great trouble walking, so I agreed to go to her home.
The Burning Question reading is for times when you have a question that needs to be answered immediately—a burning question, if you will. A card symbolizing the question is placed at the center of the spread with the remaining six cards placed around it, suggesting the shape of a flame as it clings onto an object. Spread created by veteran tarot reader Laura Mead-Desmet.