Bob Cassidy has pointed out more than a few times, that prior to the early and mid-1970s the majority of those that were in fact "Mentalists" NEVER worried about or used Disclaimers, they marketed themselves as being genuine Telepathists, Mind Readers, Clairvoyants, etc. The fact that what they did was for the sake of "Entertainment" was DELIBERATELY down played though alluded to because of the psychology used for doing this sort of work PROPERLY. Magicians want to do tricks where the Mentalists creates a kind of magical experience that defies the idea of trickery in the mind of the typical human being.
I do not, nor do most of my associates, all of whom are noted members of the magic & mentalism trade, are not con artists or swindlers and I'm willing to bet most of us have done far more when it comes to predatory types than most anyone that would condemn us for doing Readings and even Seance programs that take on the taint of being genuine. From a psychological level I still agree with Stephan Minch and many others out there; what we are seeing via our critics is little other than fear and jealousy. Fear in the fact that they don't have the ability within themselves to do it e.g. they must vent. This brings us to the jealousy side of the equation in that "they" do not have the ability to exploit the known tools and aspects of Mentalism to their advantage at the vocational level.
Now I did not "re-open" this thread, it was on top of the current lists and so I replied. But I do want to stress a couple of things...Firstly, I'm all for going after anyone that's a genuine predator I don't care if they call themselves Psychics or if they claim to be the Pope, if they are abusing folks with deliberate intent, bust them! Tar & feather them... Hang'm from the highest tree. BUT LEAVE THE LITTLE GUYS ALONE!
There really are honest people doing honest and very sincere work when it comes to being a Reader or counselor and there are many reasons why the public trusts us over those pedigreed and certified types... but then statistically they trust their barbers, favorite bartenders and total strangers more than they do clerics and shrinks. In all truth, they/we do some good and too, even the shut-eyes out there keep their eyes peeled and their ear's opened when it comes to the more agressive and dangerous predators... the one's that give everyone a bad name.
I do not believe proving or disproving the existence of anything along these lines is important, nor is it our business when it comes to being showmen. As I've expressed elsewhere, it is not our right to step up to the microphone and tell everyone in the room that they are idiots if they believe in Psychics, God or Astrology, etc. and yet, many of you here will defend the right of certain schmucks in magic to do just that vs. taking the more mature and responsible -- honorable -- position in which the patron is respected and there to support us.
In other words, we aren't here to be Evangelists for the Atheists Society or the claims of any one cult that wants everyone as angry and miserable as its founder. That's my one "issue" around the issue.
The contentions held by a rather impressive number of personalities within the more traditional side of magic when it comes to this issue, is what has driven so much of mentalism underground and kept so many of the real "non-commercial" types away from the magic world. The bias and prejudice put forth by the cynical creating that tension within our fellowship that has cost us all far more than they or anyone it will seem, wants to acknowledge. And though there has been an odd sort of agreement in recent years, between the two elements (more out of commercial prospect than anything other), this division still exists and seems to be growing... a fact that has gotten more than a few out there up-set when it comes to the issue of exclusivity and limited release of materials.
But too, more and more of us are pulling back and pulling out. Going back to the old ways of true mentalism vs. these magic shows with psychic-like tricks in them that we see so much of now days.
Anyhow... I don't want this to turn into another mud slinging contest either. Not do I plan on being a batting dummy for all the bullies that want to uphold "the company line" when it comes to such.