randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.
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Banachek
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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby Banachek » August 12th, 2015, 1:13 am

I have been asked offline about my mention of Kreskin lending his name and likeness to those who would take advantage of others.

See https://www.facebook.com/groups/1322895 ... cation=ufi

My mother in law was on a few of those lists at one time as well
In thoughts and friendship
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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby Daniel Bain » August 12th, 2015, 1:42 am

performer wrote:Incidentally, this reminds me that a lot of nonsense is spouted in books for magicians about so called "cold reading". Virtually all of them self righteously emphasise that a reader should always tell a client to see a doctor if they have medical issues.



Performer- the problem is that when people "see" psychics and healers, it's common that "Western medicine" is criticized and believers are actually encouraged to instead focus on alternatives. Also, despite your claim otherwise, I'd guess someone who goes to a psychic will also tend to be open to medical quackery.

Deluding the public to follow scam medicine so practitioners can make a living is unscrupulous and should be debunked. Unfortunately, even if you tell someone that they are being scammed by pseudoscience, they want to believe and will ignore. Even so, we have a moral responsibility to stop such egregious abuses of human decency.

Bravo to Randi and Banachek / Steve Shaw for having the courage to stand up to this nonsense. I'm certain it would be easier and far more lucrative for them to take the low road and claim they have special powers.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby performer » August 12th, 2015, 10:06 am

With regard to Kreskin I am not going to condemn him until I hear his side of the story. There may well be factors involved that we are not aware of. I prefer to get the full facts first. There are two sides to every story. I haven't heard his yet.

As for Daniel's point, what he considers "medical quackery" may in fact be good medicine and not quackery at all. I am not a doctor and although I may be wrong I expect Daniel isn't either. So neither of us are qualified to give an opinion. However, my own medical doctor certainly is. He stated outright that he believes in some of it and doesn't believe in other parts of it. And he wasn't the only traditional doctor that told me this. I remember another one mentioning to me exactly the same thing. He said a lot of it was very helpful indeed. His only objection to it was that it wasn't regulated as well as traditional medicine.

Alternative medicine is a very varied and vast field which can include anything from hypnotherapy (which I believe in) to absent healing (which I don't believe in). To say EVERYTHING is quack medicine is painting too broad a brush.

I well remember David Berglas telling me years ago that alternative medicine cured him of Bell's Palsy. I don't think he had much luck with traditional medicine so he went for what Daniel would call "Quack Medicine). He said he tried all sorts of alternative cures and he had no idea which one worked but one of them did!

The British Royal Family seem to have a bit of longevity in them. The Queen Mother lived to well over 100 years old and the present Queen seem to be having a long and healthy run herself. The Royal Family have always believed in Homeopathy and seem to have done OK.

Anecdotal evidence? Not good enough? Oh, I don't care either way. Argue about it among yourselves. I am not particularly interested. I shall merely say that I have always said that it is the doctors that kill you.

I still remember the time the doctors went on strike in Israel and the death rate went DOWN! In fact the Undertakers Association were so frustrated and upset over the situation that they petitioned the Israeli government to bring in back to work legislation so that patients would start dropping dead again with the usual frequency so they could get some business done once again.

Still, I am not here to discuss healers. Not my area of expertise although of course I know quite a few of them personally. They are not frauds per se but believe sincerely in what they do. The validity of their particular discipline is not something I am qualified to discuss.

And I don't think skeptics are either. I still remember poor old Randi on TV years ago in a British television programme called "After Dark". It was a superb format with experts all sitting round discussing something or other.

That night it was a discussion of Homeopathy and there were people arguing for and against. The ones for were obviously Homeopathic people who were either good at talking either scientically or nonsensically about their discipline depending on your point of view. On the other side were sceptical scientists saying it was a load of old guff. And poor old Randi was stuck there in the middle obviously not knowing what either side was talking about. Both sides were arguing in scientific or pseudoscientific terms depending on your point of view. They were chattering to each other in very intellectual terms and I could see poor old Randi was quite out of his depth and hardly said a word while the great brains around him were chattering in incomprehensible scientific jargon.

The problem was that he wasn't qualified to offer an opinion and neither do I suspect is anyone on the Genii Forum. And that includes me.

I do know the psychic business inside out though. Ask me about that and I will tell you all you want to know.

Seek and ye shall find. Ask and it will be given unto you.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby P.T.Widdle » August 12th, 2015, 2:49 pm

"Poor old Randi" might have been out of his element in discussions about Homeopathy, but magic tricks being used for something other than entertainment sometimes turn up in unlikely places, so having a magician on the panel might not have been such a bad idea after all. "Poor old Randi" may have known something prior to his appearance that led him to being invited in the first place.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby performer » August 12th, 2015, 4:17 pm

I think he was invited in the first place because, unless I am mistaken, the television production company had some connections with magic in some way. So because they knew him personally he was invited. It really was a waste of time him being there since he was completely out of his depth. Nobody was bending spoons or reading thoughts so there was really no need for him. It was perfectly obvious that he was quite out of place.

However, you would think he would be more in his element dealing with psychics but I still remember the time that Rosemary Altea ran rings around him smiling sweetly at him while he was getting redder and redder in the face. She obviously won that battle many times over. I get the feeling she researched him thoroughly before the show and knew exactly how to push his buttons. I bet he still has nightmares over it.

Incidentally with regard to alternative medicine, I accidentally came across an internal hospital memo advising doctors and nurses how to handle patients who believed in holistic or alternative medicine. They were strictly advised not to interfere with the belief systems of the patients in any way and not to contradict any claims that were made unless the treatment they were receiving interfered with the hospital treatment or contradicted it in any way.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby Brad Jeffers » August 12th, 2015, 4:21 pm

At least poor old Randi picked up a paycheck that night, despite having little or nothing to contribute on that particular occasion.

When you choose to make a career out of exposing spoon benders, palm readers, and faith healers...

When you decide to give up escaping from milk cans in order to become a critic of clairvoyants, a mocker of mediums, and a debunker of dowsers ...

When you make the transition from mystifier to demystifier and elect to become a professional skeptic, one who's goal is to bring down all those, who unlike yourself, do not belong to the noble class of honest liars, but rather are inhabitants of that most lowly and unscrupulous world of vermin, the dishonest liars.

Well, when you decide that this is what you will do for a living, one of the first things you must ask yourself is - How best can I make this debunking thing pay?

I think poor old Randi figured that out pretty well.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby performer » August 12th, 2015, 5:59 pm

Oh, I have no objection whatsoever to Randi supplementing his old age pension in any way he sees fit. One does have to do something in one's retirement years, after all. I must say you make him sound very insincere in his beliefs implying he was doing it for a career move rather than an ardent desire to save humanity. Mind you, I suspect you may well be right and I congratulate you on your perception.

I understand the main reason he went into debunking was the fact that his college bookings were drying up and show business was getting a little tough. Or so I heard-perhaps the truth is somewhat different. One does hear all sorts of rumours you know. The most intriguing one I heard was from someone who claimed to me he overheard Randi and Geller discussing by telephone how they would fake their conflict and it was all a set up. I don't think I believe this one but who knows? I do know that fake rivalries and feuds go on all the time in showbusiness all the way back to Houdini. No doubt this is fits in the categories of "honest liars"

I know that Al Koran wanted to do something similar with David Berglas but David refused.

I have no idea if he picked up a paycheque that night or, even if he did whether it was worth very much. I do know that Rosemary Altea made a hell of a lot more money than he did on the evening they both appeared with all the readings she must have booked afterwards. As the old saying goes, there is more money in soothsaying than there is in truth saying.

I do NOT agree that those who do psychic readings are "unscrupulous" or "vermin" but perhaps that is not what you meant. Sure, some of them are but not the vast majority, many of whom I know personally. You may say that they are deluded or are practicing something which has no validity but that does not make them "vermin" or "unscrupulous". It merely makes them misguided.

However, there are many, many who are not only sincere in their beliefs they are amazingly effective in their work and not fraudulent in the slightest. They use genuine divination techniques which go back thousands of years and their use of such are no more "verminous" than a parish priest who also believes in something which cannot be proven.

Besides as I have stated the psychics always win in the end. Not that I wish to gloat of course.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby Brad Jeffers » August 12th, 2015, 6:30 pm

performer wrote: I do NOT agree that those who do psychic readings are "unscrupulous" or "vermin" but perhaps that is not what you meant.

I agree with you.

I was just using a bit of hyperbole to point out how there seems to be a need to vilify the psychic in order to justify exposing their methods, even if they're doing something as harmless as reading tea leaves or bending some cutlery.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby P.T.Widdle » August 12th, 2015, 7:00 pm

I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that the "alternative perspective" of this thread would devolve into cynical speculation on Randi's motives, and the glorification and defensive justification of that which he examines, not to mention a touch of cheap ageism. Nicely done.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby performer » August 12th, 2015, 9:56 pm

Oh, I have been far gentler to Randi that he has been to my psychic friends. Besides I quite like him. I think he is a splendid showman with a great sense of humour. In fact I think he should show his humour more on television. He would win more believers over that way. The grumpy, angry persona turns off the believers and does more harm than good.

As for his motives I see nothing wrong with them if it earns him a bit of money. After all he is supposed to be "an honest liar".

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby P.T.Widdle » August 12th, 2015, 11:35 pm

Your "psychic friends" as in this woman, for example?

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/15/nyreg ... eller.html

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby Brad Henderson » August 13th, 2015, 12:22 am

Widdle, you are one of those zealot types that turn open minded people off. Performer has offered a very fair assessment of the situation and parties involved. Your post is silly. Yes there are duplicitous psychics out there, just as there are duplicitous lawyers and stock brokers, but the point you and the other zealots miss is there are also many sincere and well meaning people who believe they are psychic. that's a fact and when you refuse to acknlowledge or, or make statements like Penn does, that all psychics are scam artists, you are no better than those of whom you accuse of lying. Worse still, you have undermined your credibility with anyone who knows a 'Sincere' psychic. Clearly you are wrong about that - as their personal experience attests - so why would you be right about anything else?

You guys are as bad aas religious fundamentalists. If it doesn't fit your dogma it it will not be admitted, even if its the verifiable truth.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby performer » August 13th, 2015, 12:23 am

I am afraid I do not know the lady in question.No doubt she has been terribly wicked. However my own psychic friends are quite spiritual and innocent of the ways of the world. Deception is quite foreign to them. They should really consult with Randi as he seems to be quite expert in deceit and deception. No doubt he could give them some tips in wickedness.

Incidentally I have just read the article that started this discussion off. I am afraid it doesn't put the bearded one in a very good light. I was quite surprised by what I read. How dreadfully shocking and I cannot possibly approve of such wickedness.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby performer » August 13th, 2015, 12:43 am

Uh oh! I see a lack of spiritual harmony between Brad and Mr Widdle!

To lighten the atmosphere a trifle let me show you this video where a rookie psychic lady has her first experience exhibiting at a psychic fair. She does get a trifle too profane for my liking but she does relate tales of the psychics she meets and you will all get a sense of what goes on in the inside. You will soon realise that there is no fakery going on and it isn't even mentioned. Crooked psychics are not allowed in psychic fairs under any circumstances anyway.

Now I realise this is a 30 minute video and you may well get fed up and not watch the whole thing. However, I do urge you to watch the bit starting at 25.45 for a few minutes. You will probably find that the most interesting bit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ha-L6erfi7k

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby Daniel Bain » August 13th, 2015, 1:29 am

Performer: Wow--My brain is spinning from some of your arguments. I hope to address them respectfully:

First, you argue that we are not doctors so neither of us can really determine what's legitimate and what's quackery. This presents quite a fallacy, given that there are also medical doctors that practice quack medicine. Therefore nobody can really evaluate anything and every claim is equally valid.

Of course this is all absolute nonsense (and I suspect you know this). All of us must constantly evaluate the world around us. People with healthy skepticism (which we ALL should have) question and don't take everything they are told as equally valid.

Philosophers and scientists have established the scientific method, which has provided an excellent framework for evaluating the world around us and led to hundreds of years of incredible scientific discovery. Or do you reject science ab initio?

Do note that it's healthy to also be skeptical about conventional medicine as well. In the USA a huge portion of our population uses antidepressants despite the fact that multiple meta studies have demonstrated that they are no more effective than a placebo except for a very small percentage of debilitatingly depressed users. Same result has been repeatedly and convincingly found for homeopathic remedies--e.g., no better than a placebo. Physicians, in the USA at least, sometimes over-medicate, do unnecessary surgeries and procedures. All things to be skeptical about. But, in general, most doctors are compassionate, truly skilled, and legitimately help patients. (And, yes, I come from a family packed with really talented physicians!)

Do you really fault Randi and others for debunking Peter Popoff (who really appeared to be quite a scoundrel)?

Do you draw the line anywhere or do you believe psychic practitioners should be allowed to do and claim ANYTHING without being challenged by those in the know?

Finally, all of us who have performed psychic readings know the huge amount of "power" and respect many subjects confer to the reader. I'm sure you know what I'm taking about here.

Given this, don't you feel any moral duty to tell your "clients," especially those who are more "taken" by the methods of our art, to seek out valid medical assistance if they are ill?

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby performer » August 13th, 2015, 8:15 am

Daniel. You say that "all of us who perform psychic readings". Are you saying that you do psychic readings too? Perhaps you can clarify that?

As for evaluating every claim I haven't got the time and moreover am not particularly interested in doing so. It isn't my field. I am certainly sceptical and cynical by nature but that doesn't mean that I have to spend my time worrying about every these things. This is the problem with the sceptics constant braying about "the burden of proof" being on psychics to prove their claims. WRONG! The burden of proof is on those who give a stuff about it. In other words sceptics are the ones who care. Nobody else does. So it makes perfect sense that the ones who care are the ones whose shoulders the burden of proof falls on.

As for scientists I shall merely say that it was scientists who were daft enough to think that Uri Geller could bend spoons with the power of his mind and leave it at that. No. I am not impressed with scientists. After all they were the ones who invented nuclear weapons.

I take your point about doctors. I am particularly sceptical about psychiatrists. Some of them seem madder than their patients. And have you ever heard of a psychiatrist who has actually cured anyone?

As for Peter Popoff he seems to be back in business so it seems it was a waste of time exposing him in the first place. As I stated psychics always win in the end. Not that Popoff is a psychic of course although there was an element of that in his work.

I have already stated that I do not approve of faith healers but I don't think about it day and night. And neither does anyone else unless they have a personal interest in it. I don't.

I must say that I derived great amusement by your phrase "those in the know". That is because "those in the know" DON'T know! I have seen more tosh about the methods of psychics written for magicians by people who haven't the slightest idea what goes on. It really is the blind leading the blind. Inaccurate speculation is not a substitute for real knowledge. Never mind though. I am here to guide you all since I KNOW what it is all about. Many of you only THINK you know. But you don't. You really don't. How can you if you are not in the business?

The phrase you use in your last paragraph "the methods of our art" fill me with great hilarity. OUR art? The art of the magician has nothing whatsoever to do with the art of the psychic. Magicians know nothing about it unless they have done thousands upon thousands of readings in a PAID situation. They don't understand the metaphysical aspects of it and the way the mind tunes into what is going on. They think everything is trickery when it certainly isn't.

As for my "moral duty" I don't think you read my post properly. I stated that the client has ALREADY been to the doctor so just telling them to go again is a waste of time. However, I also stated that there are ethical ways of getting round this and in fact many psychics state in their literature that they are not doctors and cannot offer medical advice. Some psychics are healers themselves and believe in their disciplines and are naturally going to advise from that point of view if they feel it appropriate. I can't speak for them and they have to deal with their own ethical standpoint.

I can only speak for myself. If I were to do readings (and please note that I haven't actually stated that I do) I would give them appropriate advice that would be ethically sound. Again read what I stated in my post on the subject. I cannot explain here what that advice would be since every case is different. I am merely pointing out that the standard advice given to magicians who want to do this work is theoretical rather than practical.

But then psychics shouldn't advise anyway, except in very rare cases. They don't know the whole picture and are not in a position to advise. Pyschic ability is like looking through frosted glass. You get glimpses but you don't see everything. So if you don't see everything you are not in a position to ethically advise.

However, you can see improvement in the future. You can give hope and sustenance. You can change lives for the better. You can help people. And I do. If I did readings that is.............................

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 13th, 2015, 9:58 am

Brad Henderson wrote:...many sincere and well meaning people who believe they are psychic...


Well meaning as in "it was for their own good" ?

Vanity crosses a dubious moral terrain when it starts to effect the expectations of others. We have experimental methods (double blind) and statistics to correlate sentiments and expectations. We also have a DSM to describe reaction formation when verification meets denial.
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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby P.T.Widdle » August 13th, 2015, 9:58 am

Brad Henderson wrote: there are also many sincere and well meaning people who believe they are psychic.


How can one know for sure that a psychic is sincere? Look at the Carlos hoax for example. And even if one does deem the psychic to be sincere in their belief of their supernatural abilities, does that give them a pass from critical examination? I'm sure David Koresh was very sincere in his beliefs.

performer wrote:As I stated psychics always win in the end.


That's a pretty shallow and sinister way of looking at this conversation. Quite revealing, actually.
And by the way, although you may belittle the outcome, this particular psychic (see above NY Times link) did not win in the end.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby performer » August 13th, 2015, 10:25 am

I am going to have to consult a psychic to understand what Jonathon is trying to say. Alas I can't figure it out at all.

If Mr Widdle wishes to know how to figure out if a psychic is sincere it really is quite easy. It doesn't take rocket science to find out. The fact is that at my subjective estimation fully 80% of them are quite sincere.

So that leaves the remaining 20%. There are VERY obvious things to look for. They could probably be typed out in one long paragraph but I can't be bothered. Refusal to allow recordings, the type of display materials they use are dead giveaways, flashing neon signs in their windows, promises to reunite lost lovers, promises to remove curses. All that sort of thing anyway. But NEVER cold reading. Not a single psychic of my acquaintance either honest or crooked uses it. Not one. Exept the spiritualist mediums particularly the television ones.

So again, magicians haven't the slightest idea what they are talking about.

Yes. Perhaps psychics shouldn't be "given a pass" from criticial examination. They prefer money instead. Even psychics have to eat you know.
Last edited by performer on August 13th, 2015, 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby performer » August 13th, 2015, 10:31 am

Incidentally, I do wish the Widdle personage wouldn't use the term "supernatural abilities". Not a single psychic of my acquaintance terms their gift "supernatural". It is all perfectly natural and we all have it within us (although I am not sure about Mr Widdle). It just has to be developed and experienced.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby P.T.Widdle » August 13th, 2015, 11:27 am

performer wrote: It is all perfectly natural and we all have it within us. It just has to be developed and experienced.


Then why do you call it a "gift?"

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby Brad Henderson » August 13th, 2015, 11:37 am

the same way an athlete would call his or her talent a gift.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby performer » August 13th, 2015, 12:09 pm

I have seen Randi described in his day as a "gifted escape artist". Mr Widdle has now convinced me that perhaps the bearded one used supernatural abilities to get out of straitjackets. I must say that one learns something new every day.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby Brad Henderson » August 13th, 2015, 12:56 pm

there is valuable content in these posts. Seems a shame to dismiss someone who has more real world experience in this field than any of the rest of us, even if we don't wish to accept his views as true.

If we banned every magician who upset other magicians, were bitter, cranky, mean, or loony (not saying any of these apply to our 'performer' friend here) then we would be cutting off our noses to spite our faces. Good information is good information. We are all a bunch of nut jobs in this field, at least anyone who has anything to offer seems to be. A little friction is good for the arts.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby Bill Marquardt » August 13th, 2015, 12:56 pm

To the believers:

Firstly, before I am called an insufferable skeptic, I honestly do believe that there is an inmate ability within human beings that could be called psychic. I have myself experienced events that were inexplicable by ordinary understanding or science as we know it.

But I have a serious question. Within my own experience, people who claim openly to be "psychic" are never able to demonstrate it publicly when put to a test. As an example, a screenwriter associate of mine made it known that she was an experienced psychic. She was challenged to a test by another, to which she agreed. The parameters and specific methods with double blind protection were decided upon. In a test of long distance viewing, with a one out of five chance of being correct, she scored 13 out of 100. This was far below a 20/100 statistical average. Carl Jung would not have been impressed.

Is it possible that many, or even most, of the people who genuinely believe themselves to be psychic have merely had coincidental occurrences that led them to believe they were psychic even though they are not? Or, does psychic ability turn "on" and "off?"

I once studied under an organization that teaches how to develop one's psychic abilities. This organizations teaches that it is impossible to use these abilities for one's personal gain. This explains why no psychic wins the lottery every week. It also means that no genuine psychic can charge money or favors for giving psychic readings (even if they do "need to eat.")

What is your take on that? If you disagree, why?

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby Brad Henderson » August 13th, 2015, 1:12 pm

some people are wall flowers and some people are naturally social butterflies. Some people are terrible at connecting and communicating with people and to some it comes second nature.

If you went your entire life making decisions and because of those choices people kept telling you that you were 'smart' you would reasonably come to believe you were smart.

If you then failed a calculus test does that mean you are not indeed smart?

I personally do not believe that psychic (meaning super natural) phenomena exists. I do believe that people experience things that on the surface may fit what we would call 'psychic' even though the actual mechanisms are likely non super natural.

when we test for telepathy etc we aren't actually testing the real mechanisms in play. so skeptics claim victory and proof but it is hollow because that person knows what they have experienced in the past.

To me the important question shouldn't be 'is this real' but instead 'what value does this thing have?'

does it matter if the reader is reading body language, reading tarot cards, or is just a naturally gifted empathic human???

the answer to that question is the booby prize. To focus on it as a skeptic is to undermine your efforts. The believer doesn't care how the help is delivered - they just want help.

We have no problem going online and asking strangers for advice or asking friends for advice when these people are likely no more reliable than asking a 'psychic' for advice. Well, that's not completely accurate. The psychic wants to do a good job. It affects their bottom line if they don't.

The problem skeptics miss is that their debunking attempts to take something Away from the believer Without ever offering anything of value in replacement.

being 'scientific' is hardly a replacement for the feeling of security or connection with a lost loved one.

well, except for self centered pompous types. They get off on that. But these aren't the people paying for the psychic reading anyway. Hence we have a skeptical movement that is off putting in ineffective.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 13th, 2015, 1:26 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:...because that person knows what they have experienced in the past. ...


The key notions are expectations and others.
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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby performer » August 13th, 2015, 1:50 pm

Mr Marquardt has made a very intelligent post and I shall try to answer it despite my fatigue. I have not been feeling well lately. His first paragraph gives a clue to the whole thing. What he has sensed is fairly common. However, when a psychic is doing reading after reading every day this innate ability to sense things is enhanced in the same way any skill is enhanced with repeated practice.

However, this is not something which can be "tested". The second you "test" a psychic is the second the power is turned off. You cannot turn psychic ability on and off like a tap, you know. It comes when you are not expecting it to come. You must never challenge a psychic because it shuts down the experience.

When someone comes in for a reading I think it is very important to read the palm first since no psychic ability is required to do that since you just read the lines on the hand as per ancient lore. However, something happens when you do that. You start to sense things because you are not trying to. The second you try is the second you fail. That is why all this guff about "cold reading" is completely useless. You have to think when cold reading. The key to being a successful psychic is NOT to think and let the "vibes" take over. That is why I can do better readings when I am tired. The conscious part of the mind shuts down and the intuitive part comes to the fore.

And that is all psychic ability is. Heightened intuition. There is nothing whatever mysterious or supernatural about it. However, it isn't going to work when challenged.

With regards to challenges as an aside this reminds me of an old gypsy lady by the name of Madam Grey that I used to hear about. When she sensed a sceptic trying to test her, say by hiding a wedding ring or something, she would get very irritated and kick them out immediately snorting, "Do not darken the door of Madam Grey again!" Not my style of course. I would take the money and then do my best. I do have my priorities.

Now as to the money thing that Mr Marquardt brought up. I am afraid his organisation was talking absolute nonsense. You MUST charge for a reading. You really must you know. The truth of the matter is that it is an important part of the "therapy". If people pay nothing then they put a nothing value on it. They MUST pay in order for them to receive this value.

This point is borne out in my favourite book on the Tarot called Tarotmania by Jan Woudhuysen. He emphasises that the client should either pay something or make a sacrifice of some sort such as come a long way or other kind of challenge. Quite frankly I prefer the money. Mr Woudhuysen quotes something from somebody or other saying

"All the best psychiatrists in America agree that charging the client a high fee has a strong therapeutic effect"

No. They HAVE to pay in order to receive the benefit. You do not overcharge but you do not undercharge either. This is borne out by a Canadian doctor I met. He told me that when the Canadian government allowed patients to have "stop smoking" sessions by hypnosis to be paid by the government the success rate went dramatically down compared to the success rate when they had to pay out of their own pockets!

I did read a post here once by a very experienced psychic that I rather admire explaining how psychic ability works. However, I have reason to believe it was deleted temporarily for technical reasons. I will see if I can retrieve and repost it. It should give an idea of how the whole thing works.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby P.T.Widdle » August 13th, 2015, 2:20 pm

"You must never challenge a psychic because it shuts down the experience."

Wow, performer, that's some psychic channeling of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Are you going to launch into a defense of Spiritualism next?

Goat, you're right - this is hogwash. Brad, he's all yours now...

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby Brad Henderson » August 13th, 2015, 2:26 pm

P.T.Widdle wrote:"This is hogwash. Brad, he's all yours now...


Nothing like the open mind of a true skeptic.

Yep - nothing like the open mind of a true skeptic.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby Brad Henderson » August 13th, 2015, 2:39 pm

I don't think that should reflect on that which he has to offer. Some people are great technicians and some people are deep thinkers. Being unable to do one in no way diminishes the potential contribution one can offer with the other. Not all successful performers can teach well that which they do. Teaching and understanding are different skill sets than just doing.

as for wrecking the place, it seems to me that has more to do with others' reactions to his posts than the posts themselves. Though I am by no means expert on his posting history.

if I didn't listen to people just because They piss me off I would miss out on a lot that others may have to offer, especially since most people piss me off.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby Bill Marquardt » August 13th, 2015, 2:42 pm

Yes, I have to agree that performer's response has too many "outs." This is what bothers me with people who publicly claim psychic ability and then fail when asked to demonstrate.

A lady proficient at numerology was on the radio as a guest. A tenet of numerology is that the number '8' is associated with wealth. She suggested that listeners put a piece of paper with number 8 written on it into their wallets and wait for good fortune to happen. On a later show, the host told her of a listener who had done this and ended up losing thousands of dollars on some deal.

Her explanation was that numerology was a "two-sided coin" and that if the practicer did not have the right intentions he would experience the exact opposite of what was expected.

I'm sorry but that sort of explanation is totally bogus. How can a psychic be right even when wrong?

It is my personal opinion that the true psychics in this world, if they exist, go about their daily lives without drawing attention to themselves.
Last edited by Bill Marquardt on August 13th, 2015, 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby performer » August 13th, 2015, 2:58 pm

Bill Marquardt wrote:
It is my personal opinion that the true psychics in this world, if they exist, go about their daily lives without drawing attention to themselves.


And most of them do.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby performer » August 13th, 2015, 3:29 pm

Oh, and I think Mark Lewis is rather good at magic. Of course opinions are subjective but judge for yourselves:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNrvn4XWGWc

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 13th, 2015, 3:38 pm

Mr. Lewis is here with my permission, so just let that issue go, please.
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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby AJM » August 13th, 2015, 3:52 pm

My spider senses have been tingling all week...

A nasty piece of work.
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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby I.M. Magician » August 13th, 2015, 3:59 pm

From what I am gathering, it appears that this summer is serving as a time of forgiveness. I just may get in on it myself in an instance. Of course, when one does that, one risks his or her pride and risks it not being reciprocated which is an unfortunate sad thing.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby Chris Aguilar » August 13th, 2015, 11:28 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Mr. Lewis is here with my permission, so just let that issue go, please.

Good idea Richard.

Letting him have a set user name makes it so much easier/more effective to completely hide all his "Performer" posts when I browse the forums. (i.e. Click on his profile link. >>>> "Add Foe" >>>> "Yes" then proceed to enjoy a "ML free" Genii Forums experience.) :D

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby performer » August 13th, 2015, 11:48 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Mr. Lewis is here with my permission, so just let that issue go, please.


I shall take this a tiny stage further if Richard doesn't mind. I think the word "invitation" could actually be substituted for "permission", in point of fact.

I did not apply to join. Richard invited me to. I demurred at first then accepted.

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Re: randi documentary - an alternative perspective.

Postby performer » August 14th, 2015, 12:02 am

Chris Aguilar wrote:
Richard Kaufman wrote:Mr. Lewis is here with my permission, so just let that issue go, please.

Good idea Richard.

Letting him have a set user name makes it so much easier/more effective to completely hide all his "Performer" posts when I browse the forums. (i.e. Click on his profile link. >>>> "Add Foe" >>>> "Yes" then proceed to enjoy a "ML free" Genii Forums experience.) :D


Don't be silly, old chap. You can't get rid of me that easily. And you won't want to either. I know human nature.

But perhaps we need to get back on topic. I am going to post a clip of the greatest psychic medium of them all. Exposed many times but it didn't make a centimetre of difference. I think he was even kicked out of the Spiritualist Church movement for fraud at one point but now is revered by them. I still remember when I was a kid reading in the Psychic News (the leading UK psychic newspaper of the time) that he had been caught with rather a lot of ectoplasm which wasn't actually ectoplasm. Or something like that anyway-it is so long ago I have quite forgotten the details.

He was a delightful old fraud who has alas passed into the spirit world himself. His name was Gordon Higginson and I regard him as the greatest psychic medium of them all. He makes this present bunch such as Van Praagh, Edwards, Browne, Caputo etc; look like beginners.

Here he is. I really am a big fan of his, although perhaps not his ethics.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8yVzk-FVcg


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