Forking means offering statements which can be developed in two different directions. If the client accepts the initial statement, then the psychic strengthens it and adds further embellishment. If the client rejects the initial statement, then the psychic performs a U-turn, and drastically modifies the statement to make it more palatable. We looked at this technique briefly in connection with Barnum Statements. Example:
"You have a strong desire to be liked and admired, and seek credit for your achievements."
If the client agrees, the psychic develops this thread into something more substantial:
"In fact sometimes this feeling, this tendency to pursue approval, goes a bit too far. Ifyou're honest you recognise that you have, on occasion, come across as a little too keen for praise in the eyes of others. I feel this is an area in your life where there is an opportunity for growth and for development. As you are already beginning to learn, your own knowledge of your achievements is more important than what other people say or think".
If the client disagrees, the psychic needs to reverse it to make it acceptable:
"But you have learned to keep this tendency well hidden, suppressed if you like, and its not something that your friends would recognise in you. You often let the credit go elsewhere without making a fuss. You have learned to enjoy the easy life rather than get into acrimonious disputes about who deserves credit for what".
In this way, the psychic can always come out on top, no matter what sort of client she happens to be reading for at the time.
It is easy to see that in terms of general character statements, forking is a very useful technique. It allows the psychic to always be totally right, or mostly right. However, forking also allows the psychic to make direct factual assertions. Here is a relatively trite example, which will serve nonetheless to illustrate the options available to the psychic:
"You used to own a dog."
If the client agrees, the psychic proceeds to say more about this delightful dog from days gone by. But what if the client rejects this statement? What if she never owned a dog? In this case, the psychic forks in the opposite direction: Here is one way she might do this:
"Okay, I didn't mean you actually owned one as such. What I mean is that I sense you once considered owning a dog. It was in your mind, and I can see you discussing this with someone."
This way of correcting a blatant error is called 'I am wrong in fact, but right emotionally', and is one of the Win-Win game techniques. Here is another option:
"Well not a dog specifically. I didn't mean that. A dog was just the first thing that came to my mind, but there was a domestic pet that meant a lot to you or your family, something you fussed over and liked".
And yet another option:
"Mmm, that's strange, I can definitely see you patting this dog and taking it for walks and things - was it a dog belonging to a friend, or to someone who lived in the same house, even if you didn't actually own the dog?"
And one more option for good measure:
"All right, you didn't own a dog, as such, but there was this dog you knew - I can see you playing with one, enjoying fussing over it. Perhaps it belonged to your relatives or close family friends you used to visit. I can see you visiting this house, and there's this dog that jumps up when it sees you, yap yap yap!, and this is definitely a dog you know or knew at the time."
The beautiful thing about forking is that is entirely invisible. The client never knows what the psychic would have said if her own response had been different. This is what makes forking such a powerfully deceptive aspect of cold reading.
Psychics cannot use forking all the time with every element. It is far more effective if the psychic is content to let a few things go by as outright misses or errors. For some reason, clients accept this as a by-product of the psychic process and tend to be very forgiving!
Forking is difficult because it needs to be done instantly and smoothly, with no detectable crashing of gears. However, to a psychic who has taken the time to develop this facility, it is immensely useful. Incidentally, note that forking cannot be used with a 'Push Statement'. With a Push Statement, the psychic is inescapably committed to one direction.
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