This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," June 16, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Psychic medium John Edward is well known for his ability to connect the dead with the loved ones they have left behind, and while sometimes the connection could be upsetting, it's not always the case. Take a look.
JOHN EDWARD, PSYCHIC MEDIUM: I know this might be, like, not what you want to hear, and I'm really sorry, but I just am the messenger. I just pass it on. He's telling me to talk about the toenail clippings. He's telling me — yes, he's telling me to bring this up, about the clipping of the nails.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do that now and then, cut my toenails.
EDWARD: That's a good thing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's watching me. Two nights ago I did it. I was struggling with my toenails.
EDWARD: I can't hear you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was struggling with my toenails, two nights ago. Clipping them.
EDWARD: Were you by yourself?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
EDWARD: Apparently, you weren't alone.
HANNITY: And joining me now to tell all about his new Web site, Infinite Quest, which was designed to be the ultimate spiritual resource, is John Edward.
John, how are you? Good to see you.
EDWARD: Nice to meet you.
HANNITY: All right. I'm a bit of a skeptic. But you're saying in articles and stuff you don't answer skeptics that much. You're not trying to convince people to buy into what you're doing.
HANNITY: Why? Why don't you feel a need to defend what is a controversial practice?
EDWARD: That's the reason, right there. Because as soon as — as soon as you have to defend something, then you're admitting that something needs defense. So I kind of, like — I come from a place of I'm a spiritual person. I believe in God. I would never defend my belief in God. People either do believe or they don't believe, and that's OK. That's their choice.
So I feel the same way about this. As soon as I go to a place I have to defend it, I feel like you immediately lose. I have no problem explaining it, though, or trying to teach about it.
HANNITY: That's fine. I've read a lot about you, and I think — and I've watched you a number of times. I really don't have an opinion one way or the other about what you do. I really don't. And I've watched and observed.
But I have seen people in your industry, just like in, you know, religious evangelicals. And I'm a Christian. I was born and raised a Catholic. I'm a Christian. But I think there are people that are frauds that are ministers.
Do you see people in your industry that you think are frauds and hucksters and phonies and harmful?
EDWARD: I absolutely think that there are individuals. I mean, I think there are people who actually seek an opportunity, and they can do that. And that's one of the reasons why it's important for people to empower themselves with information, so that they know what's real, what's not real. Like, I don't believe, personally, that all these gifted psychics would be sitting at home waiting for you to call them on a 900 line. I don't see that.
HANNITY: That's what I mean. That's fair.
EDWARD: 1-800-DIAL-THE-DEAD doesn't work for me. That doesn't — that's not real for me. Or the storefront places, where it's like, you know, people have walked in and they actually — you know, "You have a curse on you. Give me $5,000 and I'll light candles and pray for you."
Go to the church and light your candles. And that's one of the reasons why Infinite Quest is important to me. Because I've been doing this work for 25 years. And I've been involved with astrology, numerology, you know, energy, alternative belief philosophy, reincarnation. And I want to give people the opportunity to say maybe.
HANNITY: That's fair. You see, you can't explain certain things as a person of faith. I can't explain what faith is to a nonbeliever. Did you ever read Don Piper's book, "90 Minutes in Heaven"?
EDWARD: I have not.
HANNITY: It's a great book. And it talks about — and I, when I read this book about how he had literally been, you know, declared dead, went to heaven, describes the scene in the book, and it's very believable to me.
Hypnosis I believe is real. The only problem I guess I have is that, you know, if God or somebody who passed on in my life wanted to talk to me, why wouldn't they come directly to me? Why would I need you?
EDWARD: I think they do. That's a great question. I think they do. And one of my — one of my things, you know, when I was a kid, and I started doing this 25 years ago, my grandmother would hear me say to my clients, you know, "You don't need me. If you pay attention to the energy that's around you, you'll be able to recognize the signs and symbols of how your family communicates with you."
And then these people leave, and my grandmother would go, "What are you telling people stuff like that for? You're not going to have any business."
And I'm like, "Listen, it's not about business. It's about teaching." And I said, "And if I can, you know, raise somebody's awareness to recognize that they're family's OK."
HANNITY: Do you actually hear voices? Because as — look, I've read all your critics. I read the New York Times magazine. I read the whole dateline thing. TIME accusing you of using these very — you know, cold read, where you can read people.
I've been able to read people my entire life, because I've interviewed people now for 20-some-odd years. So you can read people that way.
Or Houdini used to have microphones, and he'd pick up stories, and then he'd seem like a genius: "I know exactly what you're thinking." But meanwhile, they'd picked that up earlier. So there are techniques that hucksters and fraud people use. You're saying you never use that?
EDWARD: Never. No, actually...
HANNITY: Never? Do you use open-ended questions?
HANNITY: Never? I've watched your show. You seem to ask, like...
EDWARD: I'll ask questions to help people validate the information, so that if I'm getting information, I want to know that I'm actually saying that.
But one of the things that I — I call that lazy mediumship, actually. And when I say "lazy mediumship," it's like I can say to you, "Is your dad passed?" And you can say yes or no.
Or I can say, "Your dad has passed, yes?" I'm basically giving you the same information and I'm asking you to validate, because I don't know...
HANNITY: Do you hear voices?
EDWARD: No, I hear thoughts.
HANNITY: Your hear thoughts. You hear, like...
EDWARD: The way you're going to read something, like if you're reading the book to yourself, and you have the thoughts kind of like go through your head.
HANNITY: Sort of like the same thing?
EDWARD: It's a thought voice, so it's like that. And then you get a feeling or I'll see images or pictures. And whatever I'm seeing, hearing and feeling. It's like playing a game of psychic charades, trying to figure out what these pieces of the puzzle mean.
HANNITY: So you never get a definitive, "I want to send this message to...?"
EDWARD: Well, it's kind of like psychic sign language. You know, when you actually — if somebody's deaf, they can communicate using a symbolic form of expression. So — and that's a physical person who's living. Now, take the physical body out of the way. There's no instrument to be able to communicate with. It's an energy.
HANNITY: See, I actually think there's — there could be a good side to what you're doing in terms of entertainment. I think hypnosis is entertaining. I believe it's real. I also think that you might be able to give comfort to people, to think that that loved one is sending a message. And whether real or not, it could be comforting.
What I worry about the people that would take advantage of people that are psychologically, spiritually, emotionally vulnerable.
EDWARD: And that's why it's important to raise your awareness, so that you understand what's real and what's not real. But you know, if you're going to see a psychic, and the psychic is telling you what to do, not a good place. No psychics shouldn't be telling you what to do. They should be providing you insights, and then you choose based upon your own God-given ability of free will as to what's going to happen or what you're going to choose to do.
HANNITY: Let me ask you this. Did you — in your show do you edit out parts that doesn't make you look good, as TIME magazine?
EDWARD: You can literally — you can speak to every...
HANNITY: You read the piece that said that you do?
HANNITY: You don't do that?
EDWARD: They edit it for time. People edit for time. But if they took out things that were inaccurate, they took out things that were more accurate, I tell them all the time, if you see this work done live, it's better than what you would see on TV.
HANNITY: When did you first — you've come up with this — you believe you have this gift. When did you think I really understand that — this gift that I have? When did you finally connect the pieces?
EDWARD: I had a reading when I was 15, her name is Lydia Clark, but I they ever thought it was going to be my lifelong career. My background is in health care. My background is in health care administration, I worked in hospitals, and that was my field, and then it got to a point where I had to make a decision because this work was exploding for me and I couldn't manage both.
HANNITY: Any messages from beyond for me?
EDWARD: You're flying solo, dude.
HANNITY: We appreciate it. Thank you very much, we appreciate.
And I hope you use it for good. And not like some of these hucksters. These people in New York are nuts, you know, that supposedly do this for a living.
Good to see you, thanks.
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