Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I'm Calling For Miss Cleo. Wait A Minute. Is This TAN??!!?

I've been a freelancer for a little while now. And since I'm not [yet] making that top shelf $$$ for writing, it means I've had a number of odd jobs over the years. One of them was a short stint as a psychic for the Miss Cleo network.

Miss Cleo, the old Jamaican lady who appeared on TV commercials in the late 90s and early 2000, has long been outed as a fraud. Here's a link to a court tv piece. Here's more assorted info.

But since I was a little backed up work wise. I thought I'd post a segment from the instructional "How To Be A Psychic" manual. I was recently organizing my archives, and came across the old 37-page document they sent me circa 2001. Thought it might be interesting/amusing for some. And if anyone calls psychics, for real, then consider it an education as well.

If there's interest, I'll post more later/tomorrow from the "Ideas For Adding Time To Your Calls" section. Or maybe "Suicide Calls," which is the absolutely last section of the manual. Right after the section on incorporating "lucky lotto numbers" into your call (there are no intentional jokes here).

If this old news is still just old ... then I'll move on. And while you wait for that you can figure out another way to Vote For TAN at The URBs.

The following excerpt is unedited and pulled from the "All Calls Should Begin In This Sequence And Manner" section. Gotta love those creative punchy headlines:

Five minutes into the reading, we suggest that you stop and say something like this. “Vicky, by the way, do you have a pen or pencil handy because I just want to make sure that you take down my extension number here at the network in case we get cut off. It happens sometimes and I just want to make sure that you have it. It’s __________ and the number to call when you call back is ###-###-####. Now Vicky, I’ve also been asked to send you our free newsletter. It’s absolutely fabulous. May I please have your last name and the street address because I’d like to get it out in tomorrow’s mail…..and your zip code”? Then, continue with your reading.

Your rapport with the caller begins as soon as the caller hears your voice. NOT when you begin your reading. Make sure that your voice has a cheerful positive lift to it. Your voice should sound as though you’ve waited all day just to talk to them. At the beginning of the call, while you are taking their initial information is the time to start establishing your rapport with the caller. Whenever possible, make positive, complimentary remarks about their name, birth date, or even the city in which they live. For example “Vicky, what a lovely name, people must compliment you all the time” Or, “Oh, you are from New Orleans, what an exciting city to live in. I’ve always wanted to see Mardi gras” Or “Aquarius, what a wonderful sign to be born under. Many of our astronauts were born under your sign.” By saying things like this, you have immediately given them a message that says, “I like you. I like your name, I like where you are from, and even the sign that you were born under.” Say positive things in relation to the astrological sign they are.

Saying things that are friendly to the caller will help put them at ease, remember many are calling a tarot reader for the first time. This is more important than you realize, they will be nervous and have no idea what to expect. If you follow the examples we have set, and you will be off to a great start. Remember to ask questions. Some of you may be under the impression that if you ask questions that the caller won’t have faith in your abilities. No one can possibly know everything, and asking questions helps you get to know the caller.

We suggest that you begin with an opening reading before focusing on the caller’s questions. If the caller blurts out their questions at the beginning of the call, they are going to say, “Thanks, and end the call.” The object is to keep the caller on the line Instead of answering their questions right away, you can say something like “Vicky, please hold that thought for a few moments, we will work on that in just a few minutes”

Now that you have gotten the initial information, you should smoothly, without a pause, continue with what we call your “opening statement.”

The “opening statement” is simply the first “5” minutes of the call after you have taken their personal information (first name, birth date, city and state). This is by far the most critical time of the call. Your caller will make that all-important decision to take his/her free two minutes and hang up or continue to talk with you. He/she will base this decision on what he/she hears from you during these critical five minutes. Here is where you must be the most dynamic, exciting, and intriguing. There is not time to be lukewarm in your presentation. We suggest that you get these first five minutes down to a science if you want your caller to stay on the line wanting to hear more. If you don’t get this perfected, your callers won’t be on the line long enough for you to be able to tell them anything. The following is an example of what an exciting positive “opening statement” might be like. This is only an example: we suggest that you do not say this, or the same thing over and over to different callers.

EXAMPLE: Vicky, I just have to tell you that as soon as I heard your voice I saw the most beautiful aura around you and picked up a wonderful energy from you. This tells me that no matter what has gone on in your life, up to this point, you have some absolutely fabulous things coming up for you in the very near future. It’s just not possible for anything else to be happening when you have this brilliant, positive aura around you. This is going to be one of the most exciting readings I’ve done in a long time. You see Vicky, nothing happens without a reason. There is a reason that you called the Network today and you were connected to me. It’s because I am the one person you needed to talk to, to receive the answers and the help you need in your life at this time. Without your saying another word, I can tell that you are a very sensitive warm and intelligent lady. You are also spiritually evolved and not afraid to explore the unknown. I fell privileged to be the one to do your reading today. Vicky, I’d like to give you a brief description of the kind of reading I am going to do for you today. It’s a (psychic, tarot) reading and I’d like you to be thinking about the questions you’d like to ask and perhaps even write them down, if you think you might forget them.

First I’m going to tell you something that you most likely wondered about, hoped, suspected or maybe even felt you already knew about. In any case, I’m going to verify it for you. You have a guardian angel. Did you know that? You guardian angel has been with you since you were born and will be there for you all your life. You are very protected and always will be. Vicky, do you have some personal questions you’d like to ask or something in your personal life that you would like for me to focus on today? Okay, and I am beginning to shuffle the deck. Please tell me your question so I can focus my energy regarding this matter into the deck as I shuffle. I want you to tell me when you feel the cards have been shuffled enough.
Continue with your reading, and create your own opening statement, according to your own experience with calls, and the information the caller has provided you with. We suggest that you give them their general reading, BEFORE answering their personal questions. If the caller blurts out their question, and you answer it right away, they are going to end the call prematurely. Try to stay focused on keeping tier interest and maintaining a length call.

more from the Miss Cleo manual ...


  1. Oh my god, this is hilarious--I was also a psychic for like three days at a Miss Cleo center out in Olympia, WA. They operated out of a storefront called "Magikal Journeyz" and made us psychics sit in this tiny back room on metal folding chairs. The whole thing was total bullshit.

  2. So, Madame TAN, am I going to have a fabulous time this New Years eve in NYC?
    I need to know!

  3. Anonymous12/14/2005

    A girl I went to Sarah Lawrence with also worked as a Miss Cleo psychic for a while. She used to just make things up, she would suddenly tell them "go to your sock drawer, pull out a red--no--yellow pair. Wear those," and other assorted nonsense. I worked in telemarketing, and it was harsh, Miss Cleo sounds like more fun. Any other psychic hotlines hiring? I need some money


  4. Anonymous12/14/2005

    I think you should post the rest. that's some funny sh*t.

  5. More! More! I want more. That is so excellent... I love this stuff...

    One of my friends got involved with the Landmark Forum and about a year ago I wrote a post about cults and how they use the same kind of very basic psychology and (probably) bits of NLP to suck you in...

    But the 'keeping them on the phone for as long as possible' bit is truly insidious...

    Can you do a tarot reading for me then?

  6. What is my aura TAN? and can you please tell me when I will be winning the lottery?

  7. Ooh, do me! Do me! I'm a Leo, and I've love to hear your opening statement for me.

  8. Damnit.

    This is just fucked up enough to be true.

    Love it!

  9. sheistolerable12/22/2006

    Hilarious. I called Miss Cleo once and got some guy who sounded a lot more normal than I expected. When I gave my email @ridiculous fucking he started laughing and asked if I really went there. I opted out of the free two minutes.


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