ashburner wrote:as a magician you have to be a gentleman; gentle with peoples feelings; gentle with peoples beliefs.
I think this pretty much answers the initial question. Yes, it's true that some performers could get away with their claims (Geller) and other performers could get away by twisting the line between non-claiming and disclaiming, but if you care to respect your audience's intelligence (which implies their education and their naiveness) you might want to avoid presenting your tricks as real powers.
Some performers solve the debate by saying that they respect their audience's intelligence so much that they trust they can come up with their own (hopefully right!) conclusions, but this approach is way too liberal for my taste, as it would imply that all of the audience has the same degree of education, skepticism and ingenuity.
One thing is stating that "you can fly" -- the average audience naturally assumes their are going to see an illusion, their education tells them so. This is nice [censored], because both you and the audience are accomplices in knowing it's magic.
Another thing is stating that you're going to implant thoughts in their mind using NLP or some other new age [censored] like that -- the average audience doesn't know what to think: they don't know how the brain works, they don't know what's natural and supernatural, so to speak. That's bad [censored] because you are taking advantage of the audience's ignorance.
So, I think the hard work must be put on "framing" and giving your magic a context where you don't have to introduce every trick by saying "This is just a trick, it's not real", but at the same time you're sure the audience doesn't misunderstand your work. It can be done, I think, it just takes a lot of thinking!