David G. McAfee interviews ‘Spirit Psychic’ Noah Alvarez
I have always been fascinated by people who claim to have supernatural or mystical abilities, including so-called psychics. While I can’t say I was ever a believer, the idea that some people could read others’ thoughts or see the future has interested me all my life. In an effort to learn more about this phenomenon I studied cold and hot reading tactics and, when reading about them wasn’t enough, I even implemented those methods myself as Suroh the Seer. But that still wasn’t enough. I wanted to find out even more about the people who claim to have these fantastic abilities, so I did the next logical thing: I asked them questions.
I decided to interview a psychic in my area and, after some online research, I stumbled across “spirit psychic” Noah Alvarez. Alvarez advertises that he is an internationally known psychic medium with a sixth sense, specializing in counseling and “healing.” I chose Alvarez as my first interview subject primarily because of his dozens of five-star reviews. Clients insisted that Alvarez’s readings were “dead on” and “the real deal” but, perhaps just as importantly, they said he was friendly, open, and transparent. For my purposes, that’s ideal.
I met Alvarez at 10:00AM on a Saturday at his psychic studio in Chatsworth, Calif. Noah greeted me and my first impression was that his reviewers were right: he was personable, friendly, and empathetic. I also took a moment to scan his studio, which featured a number of (often conflicting) religious and spiritual symbols. There were dozens of Buddhist statues and monuments and relics – something you might expect from a psychic who also calls himself the “American Buddha” – but there was also a single dramatic statue of Jesus Christ being tortured on the cross. Understanding that Noah was likely trying to appeal to as broad a base as possible in his work, I proceeded to the back room for our discussion.
McAfee: Are your readings for entertainment purposes only? Or are you a legitimate psychic, able to accurately describe future or current events that are verifiably beyond your knowledge?
Alvarez: Sure, absolutely – I don’t consider what I do for entertainment at all. I do parties, but still I’m giving readings and tapping into people’s energy.
McAfee: Do you think you were born with your psychic powers, or is this something you developed later in life? Is it something that everyone is capable of – or maybe just a lucky few?
Alvarez: I think everyone is capable of it. We call it a sixth sense for a reason. I feel, just as there are physical senses that we tap into, there is an extra layer – a spiritual sense. Everyone can do it and I teach people how to do it. I think it’s more just opening a channel and, once you know what that is like, it’s easier to start practicing tapping in. I think everyone has that gift and, for me personally, I think I was born with the channel open. Other people may need practice or need help opening that channel.
McAfee: Can you describe the process or mechanism by which you reach your psychic conclusions? Do you see images, do you “feel” answers, do you dream the future?
Alvarez: It’s just a sense of knowing. It comes in the back of my mind just from a distant place. It’s not an audible voice and I don’t usually get visions for people. My readings are usually based on the questions people ask. So, I let people come in, I sit down, I’m just being very comfortable. In my readings, it’s not so much about a test – ‘What do you know? What can you see?’ – and I always tell people that. And it’s not so much about a prediction. It’s more about seeing through how people make their decisions, seeing through who they are, to see exactly how things will unfold for them. So, it’s just a sense of knowing and I take my time and I breathe through it. It’s letting go of fear. Just ‘What do I feel about this person?’ And it’s been accurate – it’s been good.
McAfee: I personally am a very scientific-minded person and I’ve never felt that I had psychic abilities. But I do have – I call them ‘Aha!’ moments or epiphanies. I have moments where I’m sitting and thinking and I have deep clarity that I would describe as a ‘sense of knowing.’ I look to science to explain how that happens and I know a lot of different explanations for how we can have those feelings. Is it possible in your mind that this is what you’re feeling and that it’s not literally a psychic power – that it could be something that’s already scientifically explained?
Alvarez: I believe it’s the exact same thing. I consider myself a spirit scientist, so I absolutely believe the laws of physics come into play here. The laws of the brain and the mechanisms, a mini model of the universe in your mind, I’m an avid believer and studier of all that stuff. So, I think it’s the same thing. I think people try to separate “spiritual occurrences,” which I think is just another word for your own brain and your own physical abilities as a human being to connect to other human beings. I think it’s absolutely a biological thing that we’re all connected. So, it helps when you have that understanding to let go and relax and just, in a personable way, in an energetic way, in an intimate way, be able to connect to people. So, I definitely think it comes from the same place.
McAfee: How accurate are your readings? Do you think you’re able to give an estimated percentage of “hits” over misses, for instance?
Alvarez: Sure. I would say, for specific questions asked, hit or miss, ‘Does it happen exactly so?’ I would say with direct predictions I’m about 85 percent accurate. And I will say that any of the inconsistencies – some of that comes from me, just being human. I don’t think that I’m a god in any sense and I always tell people that – I’m accountable… so, 85 percent and I believe that a little bit of that percentage of inaccuracy comes from people changing their mind – waking up one day and taking a totally different path – and that’s OK.
McAfee: When you make these direct predictions, is that something for which you use exclusively your subconscious mind to make these guesses? Or do you think you use logic, too? I can look at a person and I can judge who they are and I can say, ‘You’re more likely to succeed in this. You look organized. You look ready to do it.’ Is that something that comes into your mind?
Alvarez: Absolutely. And I think a lot of people coming into a reading don’t know that’s OK to do as a psychic. I think unrealistic expectations make people a “believer” or someone that thinks it’s just a cold reading. I lay it all on the table. I’m a very intellectual person, I’m a very left-brained person, and I think sometimes that’s why I’m able to do so well – because people trust that. I’m not trying to say I’ve got this amazing gift that I’m just going to tell you everything that’s going to happen. I do look at a person, I do read, I take cues, but I tell them that. So, they have a choice. Do you want my rational understanding, as well? Or do you just want me to tell you what I feel? I give people a choice of what they want me to access and how.
McAfee: To me, your readings sound a lot like something a counselor – like a psychologist – could and does do regularly. Aside from the fact that you probably don’t have a psychology degree, is there anything that you would say definitely differentiates your work from that of a psychologist?
Alvarez: Yes. The big difference for me is there is that specific information that comes from no prompting. If someone sits down and says, ‘Just tell me about me. Tell me about what’s been going on.’ I don’t think just a person that doesn’t have that sixth sense open, just a regular psychologist, is able to pull that information just off of a ‘cold read.’ I don’t think it’s a bad thing – I think 50 percent of the work that I do is actually looking into a person’s life without any information. The other 50 percent – people want a psychologist, they want a therapy session and I tell them that. ‘I don’t think you’re here for me to tell you information you didn’t know, I think you wanted validation.’ And it’s easy for me to do that. I think what I try to do that sets me apart is be totally transparent about that. Fifty percent comes from a gift of just innately seeing what’s going on more than the average person and 50 percent is my ability just to connect to people in general – being able to read them.
McAfee: In regards to mediumship and “crossing over,” that’s something that – scientifically – has never been shown to exist. Do you think it’s possible that there isn’t an afterlife and that, when you’re trying to connect with people who have crossed over, what you’re doing is the same thing you do when you’re talking to people – just thinking of things?
Alvarez: In my experience, I don’t advertise mediumship – ‘come and let me channel your people.’ For me it always comes very naturally. I may say I’m feeling a father energy coming forward and they may never have said anything or mentioned they wanted mediumship. So, I only speak of it or even bring it up if it naturally comes forward. I don’t like to advertise that because I don’t know – and I wouldn’t claim to know.
McAfee: Just to be clear: it is possible then that you really aren’t channeling people?
Alvarez: I believe that I am channeling. I absolutely do believe that. I don’t believe in a heaven or hell but…
McAfee: Could you be wrong about your belief?
Alvarez: I don’t feel that I’m wrong about people being able to connect with sentient energy outside of this earth dimension – outside of human life here. I have had experiences personally – human and non-human – and I have too many people coming to me with these experiences. I absolutely do believe I channel people who have died.
McAfee: I think it’s entirely possible that that could be the case – that you’re communicating with something outside and that it’s a real connection. But, as a scientific-minded person, I also think it’s possible that it’s completely internal – that it’s something psychological that affects both you and the people you’re reading. You list your personal experience and other people’s testimonies but there are just so many things in this world that have personal experiences and testimonies that we choose to reject – the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, regular alien visitation, etc.
Alvarez: I agree with you. I love these dialogues because I don’t sit on the ‘spiritual’ side. I absolutely love this conversation. I do believe that a lot of what I’m doing as a psychic is a natural, mental connection. Telepathic – I don’t think it has to mean more than what people try to put on it. I’m able to have conversations with people where I’m reading their mind. I’ve said statements that they said an hour before meeting me – and that’s been validated. But I don’t think it’s special – I think it’s a natural, human occurrence. I think anyone can do it. I think déjà vu, I think saying the same thing at the same time, it all comes from that same energy of connecting.
McAfee: And it couldn’t be just a coincidence?
Alvarez: I think it’s an energetic tapping in. I think you’re tapping in to the energy of something. What my clients expect of me is to genuinely connect to them – and that’s what I feel that I do. And with mediumship, I don’t look for spirits or humans, I feel that – when it comes forward naturally – I could be saying exactly what they need to hear at that moment. But I believe it’s authentic that my gift would allow me to do that for them.
McAfee: Do you think some so-called seers are faking it? What percentage of practicing psychics would you consider completely legitimate?
Alvarez: Like in any profession, you have people that will take advantage. I use the automobile industry. When your car breaks down and you’re desperate, you’ll go to anyone and they can tell you anything – and you’ll pay what you need to pay to get it fixed. The same thing happens with psychics. I myself, personally, don’t feel the need to mislead anyone. I feel people are coming for the ‘truth’ as I see it with the energy work and consecration that I do and they trust that opinion. There are plenty of ‘psychics’ who just call themselves psychics because it’s an easy job. People will come because they’re emotional. For me, I’ve always loved people – I’ve always been a talker and a counselor by nature, so it’s no surprise I found myself here. I couldn’t give you a percentage because I think it happens in any profession. It’s just when you’re dealing with emotions, people that have died, it’s a lot more intense so people look at it as a lot worse – and I’d say it is.
McAfee: Did your family introduce or reinforce your belief in psychic phenomena?
Alvarez: No. Both of my parents are heavy orthodox Christians – non-denominational. They don’t accept what I do and they feel I manipulate people. They’ve never had a reading from me and never seen any of my work. Naturally, they’re afraid of psychics. For me personally, I wouldn’t be able to do this if I felt that it was wrong in any way. I just wouldn’t be able to deal with all the stuff I deal with personally if I felt it was wrong – if I didn’t feel I was truly helping people.
McAfee: Do you feel a sense of responsibility that comes with your abilities? Have you ever considered them a burden?
Alvarez: Absolutely. I get people that call me and I do readings for free, my clients become friends – it’s more of a life-guidance and they trust me to stay with them. But they change their minds all the time – people are so inconsistent that I’ll tell them, ‘This reading is based on where you are now and the things we talk about are based on you being healthy. If you have a break down and change your mind, the things I say are not going to happen.’ So, it is about guidance. It is about someone that’s clear, unafraid of the world, unafraid of death, unafraid of pain – I’ve been through a lot… homelessness, family abandonment, all that stuff. I understand pain, so I reach people on that level. I think that most people that come for a psychic reading – they’re in pain. They need counseling but they want that spiritual guidance and that intuitive – there’s an energy that knows what’s going on with me outside of what I’m telling people.
McAfee: Have you had your powers tested under laboratory conditions? Would you be willing to undergo such testing?
Alvarez: I would be willing. I’m fascinated and interested myself to see where I fall. Because I’m so honest with my clients about what I can see and what I don’t and have them tell me when I’m wrong, and because I’m consistently validated, I want to know scientifically how it works. I don’t know and I don’t claim to know.
McAfee: What was your most impressive vision or reading? Have you foretold any large-scale events?
Alvarez: Yeah, the day before the Boston bombing. I was sitting with my fiancée in our apartment and I just felt – a lot of times you just feel an urge to do weird things, and I tell people if you think you’re psychic to be as weird as you’re intuitively feeling you are. So, my mind – or that voice – was telling me to get a piece of paper and a pen and just do something. I wrote ‘Boston Boston Boston Boston’ – I could not stop writing ‘Boston’ for like 20 minutes. I think I still have the piece of paper. So, I was energetically tapping into something bad that was going to happen but I didn’t write ‘Boston bombing’ or ‘a bombing is going to happen.’ A lot of times that’s what it is – your subconscious is tapping into something somewhere else.
McAfee: I personally think that would be compelling evidence. The problem, though, is that most people do what you did – they write it down but then just tell it as a story later. If you were writing ‘Boston Boston Boston Boston’ and you really had a sense that there was something important about it, then you should have dated it, recorded it with a video, and told everyone you knew – if you cared about scientific evidence.
Alvarez: I didn’t know what was going to happen – I did feel it was bad, a very bad sense, and I did feel it was a specific energy trying to reach me. I honestly felt it was a human being that had died, a grandfather figure, that was trying to get a message to someone that was probably in Boston. I have no affiliation with Boston, never thought about Boston outside of a history class, and had never been there. So, to me and to the witness, it was very important. I didn’t know what it was and I think many people do that.
McAfee: Have you ever worked with a law enforcement department or other crime-solving outfit? If so, what were the results?
Alvarez: Finding lost people, I have no ability to do. Spirits don’t come to me, the dead don’t tell me where they are, and I would be too intimidated and too afraid to put my own reputation on the line. I think fear holds people that genuinely have a gift back because we don’t understand it and because people generalize it. I would be too afraid to put myself on the line to even test that where results are demanded. One on one it’s a lot easier because you’re able to connect personally and people will trust you on a personal level. I have had several people come to me when their child has ran away and I’ve been instrumental in helping them and they were clients I had already seen, so the connection – my relaxed energy – that openness has allowed me to be very instrumental… even a missing dog one time.
McAfee: Are you familiar with the practice of “Cold Reading”? Do you ever use this method with your clients?
Alvarez: I’ve never studied cold or hot reading, I don’t read psychic books, I don’t follow any of the big psychics that have been proven or disproven, I’ve just come into it on my own. So, I understand what those terms are but I’ve never tried to do them. When someone sits down or calls me on the phone without ever seeing them, and I’m able to say things that connect with them instantly, that’s all that matters to me. Whether it’s something that is general or very specific, my concern is serving the person and their need right at that moment with as honest and accurate information as possible.
McAfee: Have you ever gotten an important reading wrong? Is there a danger of causing real psychological or physical damage?
Alvarez: There’s so much danger and that’s why I’m always as open as possible. I’m always as honest as possible. If someone asks me something and I have no idea how to even process it, if I can’t feel anything I’m confident about, I’ll tell them I have no idea and I don’t think you should be going to ask another psychic that question either. Have I been wrong? I’ve been wrong about small things. There have been two or three times when I’ve been wrong and the people themselves admitted, ‘I totally didn’t follow any of the things we talked about. I took another path’ or ‘Something happened and I didn’t respond the right way.’ So, it’s very validating for me… but yes, you know there’s a bit of danger, but I think it falls more with mediumship – people that have crossed over and the expectation there of connecting. But I’m always very realistic.