Bob Steiner passes

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Postby Bill Marquardt » 01/05/13 12:31 AM

With sadness I report that Bob Steiner, Past National President of the S.A.M. 1988-89 has passed away today in California. He was a member of the S.A.M. 112 in Concord.
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Postby Daniel Bain » 01/06/13 11:16 AM

Very sad to hear.

When I was an undergrad at UC Berkeley in the late 1980's, together with some friends I started a skeptics club at the university (the "Berkeley Skeptics"). We thought it would be fun to investigate paranormal activity on campus. Also, a couple of us were magicians and it gave us an excuse to set up a table with the other clubs on the main campus thoroughfare (Sproul Plaza) and demonstrate our psychic abilities reading minds, bending metal objects, etc.

As founder of the Bay Area Skeptics, Bob Steiner was very kind and helpful to our group. He helped us organize several lectures and debates on campus. He also performed as a psychic and then, after getting a lot of attention, debunked himself.

When Bob taught me how to cold read, he warned me that if I ever became a professional reader that he would seek me out and debunk me! Bob had offered to do readings at a non-profit campus carnival/fundraiser. When he couldn't make it, I took his place as the psychic at the booth (Dr. Fate's Psychic Salon!). It was a great experience for me and the booth was very popular.

When I used to call Bob, he very often answered his phone "Hi, Rick." (Remember, there was no caller ID then...) I wondered why--and Bob always brushed it off. Months later, Rick Moen, corporate secretary at the Bay Area Skeptics told me that Bob's abilities as a mentalist seemed beyond explanation. He told me that when he called Bob, that Bob always knew he was calling and would answer "Hi, Rick!" I told Rick that when Bob called me he always said "Hi, Daniel!" When I related all this to Bob, he was quite pleased!
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