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Topic: Secrets of Psychics Revealed
Message: Posted by: domclarke (Oct 13, 2003 06:12AM)
Have to say I was quite surprised when I saw this on Friday night (UK Channel 5).

Revealing how ghostlike 'orbs' appear on photographs taken in a haunted house is fair enough.

However, to reveal the method of a billet switch to reveal a spectators date of birth, I felt was too close the bone.

Even if people may not generally do this specific effect, it still gets out to the lay public the principle of billet switching.

Similarly, showing how to germinate seeds in ones hand using a thumb palm technique.

Anyone else have similar thoughts? Or if anyone involved in the program could give a rationale. Personally I thought it was unnecessary and not really central to what most of the public think of as a psychic.

Kind Rgds.
Message: Posted by: dyddanwy (Oct 13, 2003 07:57AM)
I thought the 'black coffee' shiner and billet switch behind writing pad were clever(!) 'give-aways' (non-secrets) that lay-people (I hate that term) can 'do' (fairly badly) at 'parties' as entertainment (sic).

However, hardly 'real' exposure. Since 'we' (most of us anyhow) can easily convince 'our' audiences that we don't use those methods(!)

Jack - being a devil :dance:

:yippee:
Message: Posted by: domclarke (Oct 13, 2003 08:38AM)
Very fair point.

However, the actual effect (i.e. revealing personal information about someone) is a common one. So although the method most of use is very different, to some extent it highlights attention to the action of the writing down of information.

So although not a highly serious expose, it could potentially create some additional obstacles. Plus, the level of Channel 5's viewing figures also mitigates the risk somewhat!
Message: Posted by: Gianni (Oct 13, 2003 11:00AM)
ALL exposure is harmful. I find many among us take the "it's really no big deal" approach. I don't. I think it is harmful, and to say otherwise is "whistling past the graveyard." We find comfort in this because the fact is - we can't do anything about it.

Gianni
Message: Posted by: Anabelle (Oct 13, 2003 11:27AM)
I'm never sure where to go with this, because I perform routines with very simple methods and have never been questioned on them.

I think presentation is so important to keep people from finding out how you did it based on what they saw on a TV show.

Sometimes they might guess, but they'll almost never really know for sure, at least not with the kind of stuff I like to do.


Anabelle :giving:
Message: Posted by: shrink (Oct 13, 2003 01:27PM)
Exposure is harmful. I've even noticed a shift in perception with lay people on Derren Brown.

Of course you might still be able to fool people by disuising how you did it. However to deliver powerful mentalism will become more and more difficult as more people realize that these are just "tricks" rather than effects.

The program above had six weekly episodes and exposed a lot of good principles. It is harming mentalism in a big way.
Message: Posted by: Jim Tighe (Oct 13, 2003 01:36PM)
I think the harm is way over-rated. There was a similar program televised in America about six months ago which had the title "Secrets of Psychics Revealed" or "Secrets of Mentalists Revealed". Even included things like Needle thru Arm.

I told some people I work with at the hospital (just the ones who are constantly asking me to do tricks and how they are done) to watch it if they really wanted to learn some methods. I must have told ten people or more. Guess how many watched? Zero. None. Not one doctor, nurse, pharmacist or tech.

I've also found that actual retention of methods from these show is very small. Basically you can fool these same people with the same methods a few months later.
Message: Posted by: dyddanwy (Oct 13, 2003 03:28PM)
Thank you, Jim.
More sense, less paranoia.

p.s. Thanks also for dealing with the issue of retention - I forgot to mention it in my earlier post! :D

[quote]
...to reveal the method of a billet switch to reveal a spectators date of birth, I felt was too close the bone.

Even if people may not generally do this specific effect, it still gets out to the lay public the principle of billet switching.

...I thought it was unnecessary and not really central to what most of the public think of as a psychic...
domclarke
[/quote]

Further to my earlier comment: On your specific point of 'relevance' I must agree. And I think this has been said elsewhere (in another thread, perhaps). The program makers are -obviously- spreading their net wider than fraudulent psychics to try to appeal to a larger audience. Which is a shame, since their is a potential to do a great deal of good here - if they could focus their 'debunking' with a little more expertise.

Quite frankly I cannot recall hearing of our local 'psychic Tarot reader' producing germinated seeds in her hand just prior to separating her latest clients from their £20 notes.

However, the program makers seemed to imply that the billet switch - date of birth predictiion - was a con currently operated in China(I think) on unsuspecting tourists. Maybe they 'honestly' thought they were doing the public a service warning them of this crime.!?

-On a related note: considering his obvious expertise in this area, I wondered why the program makers didn't invite Ian Rowland to take part, or to advice. perhaps we would have been offered a more selective 'investigation'.

Jack :dance:
Message: Posted by: shrink (Oct 13, 2003 05:55PM)
Well, maybe it's different in the states. That's not been my experience. I don't do spoon bending but I do know at least six people who watched the episode on that subject and will never be impressed with it again.
Message: Posted by: Imhotep (Oct 13, 2003 06:14PM)
Every Mentalist has faced exposure; Dunninger, Kreskin, Geller, etc. If you keep this in a larger perspectve, the number of people who are remotely aware of these exposures are comparatively small.

Also, the real pros, like the ones mentioned above, keep on working. In fact, each of them at one time or another, did a pseudo-exposure of some gimmick or sleight, saying that they would never use something of that sort, because they did not need to.

In fact, they proceeded to use the very technique they had previously exposed.

None of them were, or are, less popular for the challenge. If anything, it is most often great for business, by bringing more attention to the Mentalist.

If you are a professional, you will not worry about this. If you are not quite there yet, keep going!

Psychics and the like have been popular for centuries; that will never change!

Imhotep
Message: Posted by: shrink (Oct 13, 2003 06:48PM)
Geller never does any effects on tv now and is much less respected or popular than he was before. He has just about zero credibilty these days at least in the UK. No one that I know of takes him seriously.
Message: Posted by: J.Warrens (Oct 13, 2003 10:12PM)
Greetings!

I don't understand this eternal debate. As one who works professionally as a mentalist, none of these exposures have done any harm to my work.

I focus on getting the audience to like me and what I do. Surely, as magicians we don't like exposures, BUT, the key is to keep moving on. There is PLENTY of magic to go around, and a pro knows this.

Many of the other pro's I know also feel the same way. You should read some of Eugene Burger's writings on this subject, as I tend to feel he hits the nail on the head. Besides, there is more "exposure" done by people who don't learn how to perform an effect properly, than in any of these TV specials.

If we all learn how to do a few routines superbly, it is a lot better than doing hundreds of effects poorly.

Cheers,
J.Warrens
Message: Posted by: domclarke (Oct 14, 2003 03:42AM)
Some good points. In the long run such exposure may not, as a number of people have pointed out, affect individual performers.

A couple of observations though:

1. there is an increasing trend, and far more media hype around performances (Derren Brown case in point).

2. If you take exposure further, you can expose a mentalism effect with a feeble method now, however the underlying effect is to keep generating among the public a future expectation and demand for exposure for anything in the media (Derren Brown case in point).

However, for me this isn't necessarily the crux of the issue. My question is more around if respected magicians/mentalists contribute to a program, where is the added value and motivation from their point of view in any kind of exposure?

So irrespective of any detrimental effect, is there any positive effect? I can't really see one. This is not a criticism - just an observation.
Message: Posted by: bobser (Oct 14, 2003 03:45AM)
Is exposure okay or not? I don't really feel it's a fitting question. I look at it from an entirely different angle.

When I first arrived in magic I had all these wonderful guys, some who seemed practically ancient, revealing to me their innermost secrets. Actually delivering to me some incredible effects that they had spent years on.

The price of this knowledge?
It came entirely free!

These wonderful sages asked for nothing in return, other than of course my 'word'. my 'word' that I would not not betray them. That I would not give away 'their' secrets to any other than fellow magicians.
And it's still that way today.

If I want to give away one of 'my' effects to another magish then that's cool, and up to me. But I might feel slightly let down to discover he's only gone and done a TV show (for money of course)and revealed (or in real terms 'sold')all those secrets which I entrusted him with.

So, I ask myself 'How do these exposers feel?' Happy? Proud at selling someone else's art?

Like I said, I don't even see it as a fitting question.
Message: Posted by: Count Zapik (Oct 17, 2003 06:18AM)
The true test is working a real audience armed with your 'honed' ability.
Real people[ are there any other sort], are usually disarmed completely by an effect that happens in their own space, whether they have encountered the 'sound bite' of 'TV exposure' or not.
It's that moment of excitment and entertainment that has to work.
Having said that I must admit to making a point of generally using material that is unlikely to appear on tv. If you think about it there are effects which Tv producers will shy away from showing because they wouldn't present well or look interesting enough on their medium. [No pun intended. HA ha]

Count Zapik :coffee:
Message: Posted by: Ian Rowland (Oct 17, 2003 05:59PM)
On 2003-10-13 16:43, dyddanwy wrote:
[quote]
-On a related note: considering his obvious expertise in this area, I wondered why the program makers didn't invite Ian Rowland to take part, or to advice. perhaps we would have been offered a more selective 'investigation'.
[/quote]
Well, I think that's a sort of compliment, so thank you. Actually, I was involved with the series in a very minor way. I helped them set up the firewalk and went over the coals (as opposed to being 'hauled' over them by a small but vocal minority within the PEA, ho ho ho) to show Ali Cook that it was OK. I'm delighted and amused to say that I was actually listed in the credits as a 'firewalking consultant'. First and last time I've ever been called that! By the way, I'd just like to report that Ali was a very likeable guy to work with.

As for why no-one at Objective Prods sought my input on anything else, why on earth should they? They've got some of the finest magical brains in the world on the team (Owen, Brown, Britland, Nyman etc.) and I can't see they'd need any involvement from the likes of me.

In any case, the last thing I need is any involvement that will re-fuel the 'Ian is an exposer' credo promulgated by the very small but loud number of people who just don't want to let the facts get in the way of a good slagging off session! These days I think if I was invited to take part in a TV show on photography, I wouldn't do so just in case they mentioned 'exposure' at any point!

Ch 4 did ask me to take part in their recent 'Psychic Night', but I declined. I was pretty sure it would be the usual dog's breakfast of half-assed lazy TV non-journalism, and (BIG no surprise) it was. My friend Tony Youens DID get involved, and wasn't best pleased with how he was treated. Ditto Randi, but Randi's kinda used to it by now!

[quote]
On 2003-10-18 09:30, BonzoTheClown wrote:
[quote]I don't think it is just a minority of PEA members either.[/quote]
Well, I think it IS, because that's what PEA members tell me. When I was in San Francisco, the very wonderful Joe Atmore hosted a reception for me at his home and also arranged for me to lecture in San Jose. There were quite a few PEA members there, and they treated me very warmly and made me feel very welcome indeed. Some of them also felt moved to apologise for the 'vocal minority' and also suggested that they'd like me to join the PEA! I also have many good friends who are PEA members, with whom I share very warm and productive correspondence and also sometimes get the chance to meet, which is a privilege and a pleasure for me. They're great guys, and I can learn a lot from them. I think the PEA in general is a fine organisation, which serves a very useful function and is, by all accounts, very well run.

I'm not sure you have a very good or clear idea what it is I actually DO, or what I believe, but then again there's no reason why you should. Just don't believe everything you hear. As for pointing out that I might be wrong in my views, you're absolutely 100% right. One can never be reminded of this often enough, and I hope it's something I never forget.
Message: Posted by: teejay (Oct 19, 2003 04:30AM)
Hi All
There have been lots of posts since

[quote]
On 2003-10-13 19:48, shrink wrote:
Geller never does any effects on tv now and is much less respected or popular than he was before. He has just about zero credibilty these days at least in the UK. No one that I know of takes him seriously.
[/quote]

It is still the perfect answer to the soft line people.
Uri was a psychic entertainer (the greatest) and exposure closed him down
It is a well recorded fact that a large percentage of the public believe in
psychic power
These believers make up the majority of the audience who go to see the psychic and mentalism shows and these are the 'believers' that put money in the pockets of psychic entertainers
Imvho Even offering a disclaimer is an
insult to these people ie it's like saying:
You people have come tonight because you believe in this rubbish
Now let clever dick me show you what mugs
you are
Perhaps I'm wrong Perhaps it's the non believers who go to the shows?

:bigsmile:
Message: Posted by: ESP Guy (Oct 19, 2003 10:41AM)
[quote]There were quite a few PEA members there, and they treated me very warmly and made me feel very welcome indeed. Some of them also felt moved to apologise for the 'vocal minority' and also suggested that they'd like me to join the PEA!
[/quote]

I would LOVE to see Ian apply for membership to the PEA! He may think that there's a small "vocal minority" who have problems with his Judas-approach to the secrets of working professionals, but he'd be very mistaken. He'd NEVER make it in.

Thom
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Oct 19, 2003 11:14AM)
[quote]
On 2003-10-19 05:30, teejay wrote:
...

...These believers make up the majority of the audience who go to see the psychic and mentalism shows and these are the 'believers' that put money in the pockets of psychic entertainers
Imvho Even offering a disclaimer is an
insult to these people ie it's like saying:
You people have come tonight because you believe in this rubbish
Now let clever dick me show you what mugs
you are
Perhaps I'm wrong Perhaps it's the non believers who go to the shows?

:bigsmile:
[/quote]Teejay, perhaps... but another view is that by pretending to demonstrate paranormal feats (without disclaimer) the performer is manipulating and disrespecting the sincere beliefs of his/her audience. The analogy that I have drawn in other threads (and which no proponent of the "no disclaimer" viewpoint has addressed) is this: would it be OK for me, a layman, to don a Roman collar, rent a hall, and simulate a Roman Catholic Mass, distributing unconsecrated communion hosts to the believers who have shown up thinking that they are taking the body of Christ? My guess is that most of us would find that very offensive. Should we, then, believe that taking someone's sincere belief in the paranormal, or in life after death, and manipulating it with peek devices and one-ahead systems is any less offensive?

Is it sufficient to say that we do it because it satisfies the audience or that it "puts money" in our pockets? Well, in my analogy, the devote Roman Catholics in attendance at the bogus Mass would probably be satisfied, too, as long as no one "exposed" me.

:nose:
Message: Posted by: bibi (Oct 19, 2003 11:20AM)
I wonder what you Do ,Ian.
Please tell su why they don't like you in the PEA

Bibi
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Oct 19, 2003 11:40AM)
[quote]
On 2003-10-19 11:41, ESP Guy wrote:

... He may think that there's a small "vocal minority" who have problems with his Judas-approach to the secrets of working professionals,...
Thom
[/quote]Thom, I suggest you find another analogy. According to traditional Christian theology, Judas, although cast as a villain, played a roll that was essential in the redemption of humankind! I suspect you don't mean to ascribe such a noble result in this case. Moreover, since, according to this theology, Judas betrayed a diety, the analogy may make you appear just a bit arrogant...

:nose:
Message: Posted by: brownbomber (Oct 19, 2003 03:09PM)
The latest episode in this execrable series last Friday night was the final straw.

Apart from the exposures, and the woeful demonstrations of metal bending, some of the rubbish that was stated about Tarot readings (the usual Barnum statements stuff etc.) was really difficult to take. And to see Derren Brown commenting out of his depth like that, was very disappointing - makes me wonder how much he REALLY understands about the specialist subjects he invites us to believe he is an expert on.

I spotted Ian Rowland on screen (and in the credits) getting involved with the fire walking 'experiment' (I'm not sure what this really achieved other than to humiliate some individuals' faiths and belief systems, so letting them get burnt) and groaned. I could forgive him for his cold-reading 'exposures' on TV, the tasteless chapter on psychic-baiting in his Full Facts book, because I do like a lot of his material, and his recommendations are uniformly excellent. However, anyone with any integrity involved with this totally charmless series should be ashamed of themselves.

A sorry chapter in TV magic.

BB :bunny:
Message: Posted by: shrink (Oct 19, 2003 03:41PM)
I stopped watching the programme after the first exposure episode. It made me feel pretty squeemish......I am still not sure why the programme was created in the first place.

I never saw the latest episode. However fire walks are used quite regularly in personal development seminars. If that is their reason for "exposing" the fact that no psychic ability is needed, then they have missed the point totally. The reason they are used is to teach the participants to overcome an instinctive fear of walking barefoot over fire. The reason for this is the changes it can faciltate in those who participate as the overcoming of the fear permeates to other areas of their lives. It therefore didn't expose anything if that was the reason behind it?

But really does this show have any reason other than to make a quick pile of cash and inflate the egos of those involved making it?

Im still totally miffed at Derren's involvement I think he is probably next for some of the same treatment.
Message: Posted by: brownbomber (Oct 19, 2003 04:22PM)
Your point is exactly right and I couldn't agree with you more, Shrink.
Message: Posted by: ESP Guy (Oct 19, 2003 05:49PM)
[quote]
On 2003-10-19 12:40, John Clarkson wrote:
Thom, I suggest you find another analogy.
[/quote]

OKAY, How about Benedict Arnold?

Thom
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Oct 19, 2003 08:59PM)
Naw, that won't work. Too relative. For the British, he was a hero.

I have a novel idea: instead of name-calling and emotionally loaded epithets, how about a well-reasoned argument? :goof:

:nose:
Message: Posted by: ESP Guy (Oct 19, 2003 10:18PM)
John,

Not wanting to get into it here with you, I will end by commenting on your accusation of arrogance as well as your desire for a well-reasoned argument...

What I find arrogant is a brother who is a member of our profession exposing for personal gain and notoriety techniques that LEGITIMATE ENTERTAINERS use to support their livelihood and put food on the table for ourselves and our loved ones.

These people jeopardize out ability to procur bookings and cash their checks and then apologize to members of the fraternity... until the next opportunity arises to make money by exposing more and then cashing their checks and apologizing once again, etc., etc.

And for them to infer that a MINORITY of PEA members find that offensive takes the cake. I would love to know which PEA members are being referred to. My guess is if there really are PEA members that feel that way, they are NOT the full-time working pros.

Clink, clink, clink go the 30 pieces of silver. :spinningcoin:

Thom
Message: Posted by: Tony Razzano (Oct 19, 2003 10:28PM)
Ian,
Since the PEA has been brought into this, I will respond. And I DO speak
for the PEA, as Vice President, Membership Chairman and member of the Board
of Directors.

Ian, your insinuation that the PEA has only a small vocal minority that is
against your exposures in NOT correct. There may only be a few of those who are against exposure who are very
vocal, but the vast and overwhelming majority of PEA members are against
your exposures and you are not held in high esteem, whether the membership is vocal about it or not.

I have been in contact with some of those at your San Jose/San Francisco
excursion,and there were very few PEA members there. And don't paint the entire
PEA based on a few members. Many of the members there were not happy with
you but chose not to be confrontational.
As far as I can tell at the moment, only one PEA member
MAY have suggested that you
join the PEA.

Again, you give the impression that the PEA, as a whole, has no problem with
you and your exposure shows. You are 100% wrong.

The PEA's official stance on exposure is zero tolerance. ZERO tolerance. Any
action by a member that violates that policy is cause for expulsion from the
PEA. So how you can even think of applying is beyond me. And the person who may
mentioned it to you knows that as well.

Again, Café members, the PEA has a zero tolerance for exposure. The PEA
wishes to stay out of these discussions, but it was felt
necessary to correct a mistaken impression given by Ian Rowland.

The PEA does not speak for any of its individual members, but it is my job
to keep my finger on the pulse of the PEA and I do so. To give the
impression that the PEA members against Ian's exposures are few in number is
a very serious error in judgement.

Best regards,
Tony Razzano,
Vice President, PEA
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Oct 19, 2003 10:50PM)
[quote]
On 2003-10-19 23:18, ESP Guy wrote:
John,

Not wanting to get into it here with you, I will end by commenting on your accusation of arrogance as well as your desire for a well-reasoned argument...[/quote]There was no accusation of arrogance. I commented that comparing yourself (by implication) to a deity [i]may[/i] be perceived as a bit arrogant.

[quote]What I find arrogant is a brother who is a member of our profession exposing for personal gain and notoriety techniques that LEGITIMATE ENTERTAINERS use to support their livelihood and put food on the table for ourselves and our loved ones.[/quote]But, Thom, you have [i]assumed[/i] his motives (personal gain and notoriety) and further assume that yours is the only legitimate view of what constitutes a secret of legitimate entertainers and what constitutes unacceptable exposure. Mr. Rowland makes cogent counterarguments on his web site at http://www.ianrowland.com. I think I would have done things differently than he (with respect to the ABC Special), but I cannot, after reading his side of the story, ascribe bad faith or bad motives to him.

[quote]These people jeopardize out ability to procur bookings and cash their checks and then apologize to members of the fraternity... until the next opportunity arises to make money by exposing more and then cashing their checks and apologizing once again, etc., etc.
...[/quote] As you know, some well-known and well-respected metalists disagree with you about the impact of these "exposure shows." Derren Brown now also apparently runs the risk of being declared anathema because he clearly has a different opinion about what constitutes unacceptable exposure. My point is that this issue is not so absolute. It seems that certain organizations and individuals have ZERO tolerance for differing, yet intellectually honest, approaches to this topic. (For example, one prominent member of the PEA, on a public forum, compared me to a child molester because I dared to suggest that, although I did not endorse Mr. Rowland's T.V. special, I thought he had much to offer in many respects.) This absolutism seems misplaced to me.

[quote]Clink, clink, clink go the 30 pieces of silver. :spinningcoin:[/quote] More appeals to emotion and name-calling. You can do better than that, Thom.

************************************

[quote]
On 2003-10-20 00:10, Trinity wrote:
Who said that those opinions are intectually honest, John? You? Just because you say so, doesn't make it true.[/quote]I was speaking generally, not referring to the opinion of any particular individual. My point was that there can be intellectually honest, yet differing, opinions. Is your position truly that any opinion that differs from yours (or the policy of PEA) must be intellectually dishonest?

It is true, though, that my assertion does not make something true. Nor does yours make it untrue. How about a statement, then, illustrating how those opinions are intellectually dishonest instead of [i]ad hominem[/i] attacks?

In other threads I've tried to set out rational arguments but generally, quite rapidly, the discussion deteriorates.

[quote]I simpy stated a policy. If you don't like that policy, I don't care. I also tried to, and believe I did, clear up a misconception.[/quote]Actually, stating a policy of ZERO tolerance of exposure does absolutely nothing to define the underlying, important issues of what is a secret, what is a method of legitimate performers, and what under what circumstances revealing information is acceptable. In essence, then, you clarified nothing.

[quote]You may not like what the membership of the PeA tinks, but, as Rhett said to Scarlett...[/quote]Again, an example of not-very-well-reasoned response. At least based on your statement, the "policy" is too vague to like or dislike. (See above.)

[quote]As to a person who you say compared you to a child molester, that is your intrepretation, not his, and it was on a prviate forum, not a public one. [/quote] Comparing me to a member of NAMBLA is about as explicit as one can get. I cannot help it if the man in question lacks the ability to understand the gravity of his statement. And, that part of the forum was open to any member of the public who wanted to apply for membership; it was not the private, restricted area of the forum. I would have expected you to know that. (In fairness, I should mention that I received several e-mails from other members of the forum apologizing for the comments of that sad individual. Apparently I was not the only one who "interpreted" his remarks to be highly offensive.)
...

[quote]For someone who holds rationality in such esteem, John, you certainly poison the well.[/quote]If raising concerns about dogmatism or absolutism is "poisoning the well," I am happy to do it. If it worries you, just don't drink from it.

Now, if you'd actually like to discuss the concepts of what constitutes a secret method of legitimate entertainers, and where we should draw the line about revealing information, I'd be happy to listen. We may agree more than you might suppose. If, however, you intend to hurl insults and personal attacks, I am really not interested, Tony.


:nose:

[quote]
On 2003-10-20 00:10, Trinity wrote:
Who said that those opinions are intectually honest, John? You? Just because you say so, doesn't make it true.[/quote]I was speaking generally, not referring to the opinion of any particular individual. My point was that there can be intellectually honest, yet differing, opinions. Is your position truly that any opinion that differs from yours (or the policy of PEA) must be intellectually dishonest?

It is true, though, that my assertion does not make something true. Nor does yours make it untrue. How about a statement, then, illustrating how those opinions are intellectually dishonest instead of [i]ad hominem[/i] attacks?

In other threads I've tried to set out rational arguments but generally, quite rapidly, the discussion deteriorates.

[quote]I simpy stated a policy. If you don't like that policy, I don't care. I also tried to, and believe I did, clear up a misconception.[/quote]Actually, stating a policy of ZERO tolerance of exposure does absolutely nothing to define the underlying, important issues of what is a secret, what is a method of legitimate performers, and what under what circumstances revealing information is acceptable. In essence, then, you clarified nothing.

[quote]You may not like what the membership of the PeA tinks, but, as Rhett said to Scarlett...[/quote]Again, an example of not-very-well-reasoned response. At least based on your statement, the "policy" is too vague to like or dislike. (See above.)

[quote]As to a person who you say compared you to a child molester, that is your intrepretation, not his, and it was on a prviate forum, not a public one. [/quote] Comparing me to a member of NAMBLA is about as explicit as one can get. I cannot help it if the man in question lacks the ability to understand the gravity of his statement. And, that part of the forum was open to any member of the public who wanted to apply for membership; it was not the private, restricted area of the forum. I would have expected you to know that. (In fairness, I should mention that I received several e-mails from other members of the forum apologizing for the comments of that sad individual. Apparently I was not the only one who "interpreted" his remarks to be highly offensive.)
...

[quote]For someone who holds rationality in such esteem, John, you certainly poison the well.[/quote]If raising concerns about dogmatism or absolutism is "poisoning the well," I am happy to do it. If it worries you, just don't drink from it.

Now, if you'd actually like to discuss the concepts of what constitutes a secret method of legitimate entertainers, and where we should draw the line about revealing information, I'd be happy to listen. We may agree more than you might suppose. If, however, you intend to hurl insults and personal attacks, I am really not interested, Tony.
Message: Posted by: Tony Razzano (Oct 19, 2003 11:31PM)
John, I guess it was as you were writing and posting your response, I erased my second set of comments (above), as I thought it best.
Best regards,
Tony Razzano
Message: Posted by: ev_sp (Oct 19, 2003 11:34PM)
I agree with Annabelle - spend more time on presentation and less worrying about who is exposing what.
Message: Posted by: teejay (Oct 20, 2003 05:13AM)
[quote]
On 2003-10-19 12:14, John Clarkson wrote:
(and which no proponent of the "no disclaimer" viewpoint has addressed) is this: would it be OK for me, a layman, to don a Roman collar, rent a hall, and simulate a Roman Catholic Mass, distributing unconsecrated communion hosts to the believers who have shown up thinking that they are taking the body of Christ? My guess is that most of us would find that very offensive. Should we, then, believe that taking someone's sincere belief in the paranormal, or in life after death, and manipulating it with peek devices and one-ahead systems is any less offensive?

Is it sufficient to say that we do it because it satisfies the audience or that it "puts money" in our pockets? Well, in my analogy, the devote Roman Catholics in attendance at the bogus Mass would probably be satisfied, too, as long as no one "exposed" me.

:nose:
[/quote]
Hi John
I'll try to address them for you
I'M RC and if I didn't find out, I wouldn't be bothered.
If I didn't find out till later, I would understand it. I would say that it was the work of a lunatic or a fraud for the collection money
BUT for the false priest to stand there and 'disclaim' that he wasn't a real priest
And tell me that it was all tricks and that I was a fool for believing any of it. Because he was going to show me how it was all done. That would be upsetting.
Surely the aim of a Psychic Entertainer is to mystify and entertain, even amuse?
To me (imVERYho) disclaimers smell (pun intended :bigsmile:) of a 'smart=ass' attitude to, probably, 99% of the audience
Anybody is welcome to correct my thinking on this :bigsmile:
Message: Posted by: Tony Razzano (Oct 20, 2003 06:49AM)
Ok, John,

I guess you win. No one's logic is valid but yours and anyone who disagrees with you is either illogical or attacking you.

And, as usual, you will have the last word, I am sure.

Best regards,
Tony Razzano
Message: Posted by: Greg Owen (Oct 20, 2003 08:22AM)
What IS exposure? What should and should not be exposed?

To say NOTHING should be exposed, without further explanation, really ties one's hands. What about the classic sucker effects? What about three card monty where the crip is "exposed"?

My metal bending routine starts out with a rubber pencil - and I "expose" it. I never expect to get in trouble with the Fraternity over this, but IS it exposure? What about a fork that is broken in two and taped together? I "expose" this as well...

...of course, its a lead-in to "the real work" - at least as the "real work" is defined in 2003. Maybe 30 years ago the rubber pencil was THE thing and gaffed silverware (if anyone was even doing the effect 30 years ago) was the only known way to do it.

Hum...

- Greg Owen
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Oct 20, 2003 08:51AM)
[quote]
On 2003-10-20 07:49, Trinity wrote:
Ok, John,

I guess you win. No one's logic is valid but yours and anyone who disagrees with you is either illogical or attacking you.[/quote]Tony, I guess you missed the part of my post in which I said, "Now, if you'd actually like to discuss the concepts of what constitutes a secret method of legitimate entertainers, and where we should draw the line about revealing information, I'd be happy to listen. We may agree more than you might suppose."

So far, however, you have presented no logic or argument. You have not addressed even one of the issues I raised. You have merely announced a policy that depends on as-yet-undefined terms and made a few rather insulting personal comments.

I have not adopted the attitude that no one's argument but mine is valid, nor have I claimed that anyone who disagrees with me is attacking me. I do think though, that putting words in someone else's mouth, as you do here, is an unworthy tactic. And I do think that referring to Ian Rowland as a Judas or a Benedict Arnold (admittedly not your words) is name-calling and an attack. Can you explain how it is not?

In fact, I invited you to present your views. It is insufficient to maintain a policy of ZERO tolerance concerning exposure unless you can define exposure. I invited you to discuss your views of what constitutes a secret method employed (exclusively?) by legitimate entertainers. I invited you to discuss the circumstances under which it might be acceptable to reveal information. I would also invite you to discuss a further issue (probably meaningless until the first two are discussed): what is the appropriate response to someone who has violated your ZERO tolerance policy? I also invite you to discuss any other topic that might better explain this "ZERO tolerance" policy, since I don't pretend to be able to anticipate all the issues.

I further invite you stop the personal comments about me, or anyone else. I am interested in the ideas, not the personalities. I also invite you to let me speak for myself and not tell me what I think or put words in my mouth.

[quote]And, as usual, you will have the last word, I am sure.[/quote] Hmmm, yet another [i]ad hominem[/i] remark instead of a lucid argument. It's hard to lend much credence to your position, Tony, if you persist in these personal snipes. So, yes, I suppose I will have the last word, unless you start to discuss the issues without the personal comments.

:nose:

[quote]
On 2003-10-20 06:13, teejay wrote:
Hi John
I'll try to address them for you
I'M RC and if I didn't find out, I wouldn't be bothered.
If I didn't find out till later, I would understand it. I would say that it was the work of a lunatic or a fraud for the collection money
BUT for the false priest to stand there and 'disclaim' that he wasn't a real priest
And tell me that it was all tricks and that I was a fool for believing any of it. Because he was going to show me how it was all done. That would be upsetting.
Surely the aim of a Psychic Entertainer is to mystify and entertain, even amuse?
To me (imVERYho) disclaimers smell (pun intended :bigsmile:) of a 'smart=ass' attitude to, probably, 99% of the audience
Anybody is welcome to correct my thinking on this :bigsmile:
[/quote]Thanks, teejay. I think you may have mixed two concepts, though. I was discussing merely disclaimer, not exposure. In the hypothetical, the phony priest doesn't expose anything. The issue is whether you see a parallel between his performing a Mass and manipulating sincere believers and a mentalist who offers no disclaimer (no issue of exposure) manipulating the beliefs of sincere believers. It is true that, in both cases, if the performer doesn't get caught, the audience will never know they were manipulated. The issue of disrepect of beliefs, though, I think, is not dependent on being caught. What do you think?

These disclaimers concerning "Masses" do happen occasionally. In fact, certain cults perform "Black Masses" conducted by someone who is not a priest. There is, in those cases, a prior disclaimer. The audience in attendance knows it is a Black Mass. No one is made to feel foolish.

I agree that a disclaimer could come across as condescending. So can the very performance of magic or mentalism. I think the art may be in finding a way to do it without patronizing the audience.

Now, to raise the exposure issue! Do you think it would be wrong for someone to inform the congregation that the "priest" is not one?

:nose:
Message: Posted by: bibi (Oct 20, 2003 10:31AM)
Where is Ian?
Can you tell us why they hate you?

Bibi
(I was the prime minister)
Message: Posted by: christopher carter (Oct 20, 2003 10:31AM)
John,

I hope I'm not butting in on a conversation here. I think the priest analogy ignores the extremely important issue of performance context. The performance of the vast majority of mentalism takes place in clearly 'theatrical' locations. If your hypothetical mock mass were to take place in a theater, or nightclub, I would expect most reasonable people to understand it as a piece of performance art. I would not require anybody to disclaim being a priest, and think it rather odd if the actor did so.

Still, lets assume that some audience members might be inclined to believe him a real priest in spite of the context. Should the performer be required to disclaim to protect those few? I think the answer would have to depend on the effect that the disclaimer would have on the experience of the rest of the audience. Here is where the analogy becomes an awkward comparison at best. You have not specified what the purpose of this false mass is with regards to the audience experience, but most mentalists, I think, would say that they want their audience to experience the show as if it were real, or at least if it might be. Disclaiming here holds a real possibility of destroying the desired effect.

I'm sorry, but without providing context or purpose, I don't find your analogy very helpful.

--Chris
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Oct 20, 2003 03:30PM)
Chris, you're not butting in at all. I welcome your comments, in fact.

Yeah, I like the idea of context being an important factor. In fact, the context, at least as you set it out, [i]is[/i] or may be the disclaimer. Clearly, when a mentalist performs at The Magic Castle, the context is so clear that it seems an explicit disclaimer may be redundant. On the other hand, I am not sure about performances that merely happen in a theater, a rented hall, a television studio, or a private home. I'll need to think more about that.

I don't think that the intent of the phony priest is relevant. If it is not not crystal clear by context or explicit disclaimer that the mock Mass is merely performance art-- even if the false priest wants to entertain, or edify, or make the experience seem "real," he will nonetheless be disrespecting Catholics who believe that only an ordained priest has the power to consecrate communion wafers. In this respect, I think the analogy holds.

In any event, it seems that we both feel that some sort of disclaimer (by context or by words) is the better path.

Thanks for your comments, Chris.

:nose:
Message: Posted by: christopher carter (Oct 20, 2003 04:32PM)
[quote]

In any event, it seems that we both feel that some sort of disclaimer (by context or by words) is the better path.

[/quote]

Just to clarify, I only know what is the better path for me. For the most part I have little interest in deciding what is the best approach for others. I am convinced that mentalism is not magic, even if we do use methods derived from magicians. In historical fact, though, the core tools in our tool box came from charletans and mountebanks, not from 'legitimate entertainers.' In my opinion, Mentalism bears more similarity in its aesthetic nature to the storytellers of old who spun fantastic tales which they insisted were true--ghost stories or tales of the exploits of ancient heros--than it does to a modern notion of theater. Its closest contemporary cognate, I think, is professional wrestling.

--Chris
Message: Posted by: bevbevvybev (Oct 20, 2003 04:36PM)
How about some questions which involve the people who actually made and commissioned the show?

What was the working title of the show? Were the people hired in to talk about the subject matter told half-truths about how much would be revealed, and perhaps even lied to about the exact angle of the show? Will the people involved ever work with that TV production company again? What was THEIR experience with the whole thing? Whose idea was the whole thing? Who wish they'd never got involved?

TV is a BUSINESS to make MONEY. You should see how other types of so called 'documentary' making hook celebrities in to something they think is going to be good for them, and see the horror when it goes out on air, the production company and slimebag producers chuckling to themselves. These people have no heart for anyone, it's their job in fact not to have one.

Just because someone we've all heard of appears in a ****py TV show doesn't mean that it was their idea or even knew how it was going to turn out. And when the production company tells the director 'it's not interesting enough' its no surprise that people get pooped on from a very great height just to make sure the program can be sold.

From fifteen years in TV I have seen worse things than those rubbish psychic programs, things that do REAL harm in the name of saving face and director/producer ego.

Making a program involves a lot of people. I would like to know the facts about all this as much as the rest of you.

Or not. Perhaps I'll have a cup of tea instead and read my own leaves. But I'll do that in a way that wasn't in that program.

P.S. Ian why isn't The Square in your restaurant list
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Oct 20, 2003 05:33PM)
[quote]
On 2003-10-20 17:32, christopher carter ... Its [mentalism's] closest contemporary cognate, I think, is professional wrestling.

--Chris
[/quote]So, [i]that's[/i] where I went wrong! Do you think I could forego the usual disclaimer if I do my Q & A in a mask and chartreuse tights?

:nose:
Message: Posted by: Ian Rowland (Oct 20, 2003 05:58PM)
Re the firewalk... earlier this year, my friend Anthony Owen contacted me and asked if I'd help them build a firewalk and go 'over the coals' first to show that it works (because I've done x times before but Ali Cook hadn't, apparently, or had only done it once). I agreed, and had a pleasant day with the TV crew. TWO happy days, in fact, because on the first day the man who was supposed to deliver the wood didn't turn up! I've never heard of anyone presenting firewalking as a magic trick, but there are some people who think it relies on mind over matter, which isn't true, it just relies on physics. I guess this is the point of these sorts of demonstrations, but you'd have to ask the programme-makers - their show, their reasons.

To Mr Tony Razzano, thank you for your information and corrections. I was basing my previous comments on what I was told, and what I heard, at the time of my very enjoyable visit to San Jose, and I was complimenting the people concerned on the warm and cordial way in which I was received. There have been other members of the PEA who have contacted me privately to say that things are as I represented them in my previous post. However, I stand corrected. I respect your greater knowledge as to the facts, and I thank you for bringing them to my attention. I did not intentionally seek to misrepresent the views of the PEA as a whole or any individual members.
Message: Posted by: christopher carter (Oct 20, 2003 06:06PM)
On 2003-10-20 18:33, John Clarkson wrote:
[quote]So, [i]that's[/i] where I went wrong! Do you think I could forego the usual disclaimer if I do my Q & A in a mask and chartreuse tights?

:nose:
[/quote]


Sorry, John, that's kind of a trademark of mine. :D

--Chris
Message: Posted by: canuck (Oct 20, 2003 06:39PM)
The PEA may not like it, but I don't see what the fuss is about. I'm only an amateur, of course, not making my living from this. And I wish some things were not so widely available, myself. However, it seems to me that with all the books, videos, etc. being constantly published, all the old material which is public domain at this point in time being available, and with gimmicks/tricks widely available in cheap plastic at Toys-r-Us, etc. or on the Klutz book rack, its hard to argue that some secret is being exposed. If someone were to take, for example, Richard Osterlind's method(s) for doing the center tear, and specificly describe them on TV, then there is an argument that that is both illegal and unethical. But to argue that the center tear should not be discussed on TV, I don't see what grounds there are for arguing against this, since it is an old and readily available method to anyone who does some research. Not that I'm personally happy to see these things exposed on TV - I'm not. But I don't see having any "righteous indignation" over it. And truth be told, knowing what I do, I am often fooled by magicians using techniques I know, but doing it in a way that masks it, or doing it so well I can't catch it. Just like the TT, in the hands of a good performer, the gimmics used don't matter. And for some things, like psychic readings, I don't think anything could discourage those who believe in this. Perhaps the PEA should ban its members from publishing books or DVDs on their magic, so as not to expose the "secrets", as well as banning them from teaching non-PEA members. That would be the logical way for them to control this. But the truth is, if magicians want to both publish their material and have it kept secret, there is no way to achieve both goals.
Message: Posted by: teejay (Oct 21, 2003 03:29AM)
Hi John
You certainly are an expert debater.
I am sincerely impressed by your skill but not by your arguments. You are also using a classic NLP technique that Milton Erickson originated(?). When the medical board would tell him to appear before them to have his licence removed for practicing hypnosis,
he would wait patiently for a chance to speak. He would then in his own words 'talk at great length. Going into more and more detail about less and less'.

Using all his analogue and digital language patterns as if his livelihood depended on it (it did!). The board would start slipping into various levels of hypnotic trance and lose all track of the proceedings.

'Don't forget to remember' that Milton initiated all those embedded language patterns to 'forget to remember to forget'.
One of the members of the board, who didn't realise what Milton was doing, years later told Bandler that he used to doze off. He would always wake up as the meeting was adjourned, without reaching a decision because of the lateness of the hour.
Some of the replies here are addressing your arguments about the issue instead of the issue itself.

Enough for now :bigsmile:
Message: Posted by: ESP Guy (Oct 21, 2003 07:47AM)
[quote]
I'm only an amateur, of course, not making my living from this. Perhaps the PEA should ban its members from publishing books or DVDs on their magic, so as not to expose the "secrets", as well as banning them from teaching non-PEA members.
[/quote]

Ah! There's the problem. People who aren't full-time workers don't appreciate the damage that is done by these programs. Any type of exposure belittles what we do and suggests that what we do is tricks. Terms like 'mentalist' and 'psychic entertainer' now equal 'trickster'. Or 'juggler'. When Ian exposes a cup of coffee as a shiner, he is suggesting that other things could be used as shiners. When he exposes envelope switching, he is suggesting that other items could be switched; billets, cards, predictions.

As a worker, I've had people come up to me after the show saying that they had seen these specials and were looking for these techniques. Just the fact that they were looking for these techniques had destroyed ANY sense of wonder, mystery, or astonishment.

Also, many folks in the PEA DO limit their products to PEA-members only. Many times it seems the only way to go.

Thom
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Oct 21, 2003 08:58AM)
[quote]
On 2003-10-21 04:29, teejay wrote:
Hi John
You certainly are an expert debater
I am sincerely impressed by your skill but not by your arguments[/quote]I did not make an argument. I raised an analogy and a few questions. If you are unimpressed with them, then it should be easy for you to show why they are unimpressive. If they are weak, you should be able to dispose of them readily. Instead, you spend your entire post criticizing (analyzing?) style. I wonder why...

[quote]You are also using a classic NLP technique that Milton Erickson originated(?). ... He would .... 'talk at great length. Going into more and more detail about less and less' Using all his analogue and digital language patterns ...[/quote] Then, please, teejay, address the "less and less." It should be easy, don't you think?

[quote]Some of the replies here are addressing your arguments about the issue instead of the issue itself[/quote]Actually, teejay, yours is the only one to do that. Let me see if I've got this straight. You believe I've cast some sort of Ericksonian spell over you that prevents you from addressing issues, so you spend your entire post discussing my style. Instead of musing about my style (to use the terminology you seem to understand):[list][i]Pull your digit out of your analog and address the issues.[/i][/list]
[quote]Enough for now :bigsmile:
[/quote]I quite agree! I would be interested, however, in hearing a thought or two about my analogy or the issues. I listed two or three or four in previous posts. Address the analogy or pick an issue, [i]any[/i] issue. Or, feel free to raise any other issue [i]you[/i] think is relevant to clarifying some ethic regarding exposure (leaving aside style and personalities).

Here again is a list of some questions I have raised:[list]1. How do we define a secret or secret method used by legitimate performers?
2. Are we obliged only to keep secret the methods used exclusively by magicians and mentalists, or must we also refuse to divulge information and methods that are used by magicians but are common to others?
3. Are there circumstances which justify revealing these secrets or methods?
4. What is the appropriate reaction to someone we believe has engaged in unaccepatable exposure?
5. Any other issue that would explain ZERO tolerance.[/list]

:nose:
Message: Posted by: shrink (Oct 21, 2003 11:11AM)
John: Erickson was an expert are boring the ass of people to the point where they couldn't hold their attention externally. I think that's what Teejay was saying. (I prefer simplicity).

As for your other questions I (and this is my opinion).

Exposure programs should not be made by other magicians or mentalists in general. Especially if they are:

1)Exposing techniques being used by other magicians/mentalists.

2)Exposing the fact that mentalists in general use magicians techniques to the point where there is no wonder left in performance mentalism.

We are not talking about psychic healing or any frauds that may be happening.
Its that simple. What has happened is that a number of magicians have had the opportunity to make some good cash out of creating an exposure programme. But in the process they are taking money from those who earn their living this way. Or pleasure from those who perform as a passion.

Going back to religeon just for one moment. Is their any scientific proof to back up the claims and stories of certain religeons? And if not should we expose them as being examples of mass mind control?
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Oct 21, 2003 05:00PM)
[quote]
On 2003-10-21 12:11, shrink wrote:
John: Erickson was an expert are boring the ass of people to the point where they couldn't hold their attention externally. I think that's what Teejay was saying. (I prefer simplicity).[/quote]I got that, shrink. Still no reason for someone to tuck tail and run from the issues. If the issues are that banal and boring, I wonder why the persistent vendetta against certain individuals who have, in the opinion of some, violated some ill-defined code of conduct. Seems like the boredom would be consistent.

[quote]As for your other questions I (and this is my opinion).

Exposure programs should not be made by other magicians or mentalists in general.[/quote]The term "exposure programs" assumes we all mean the same thing by "exposure". Clearly, we don't. That's why I think a discussion of the issue is important.

[quote]Especially if they are:

1)Exposing techniques being used by other magicians/mentalists.

2)Exposing the fact that mentalists in general use magicians techniques to the point where there is no wonder left in performance mentalism.

We are not talking about psychic healing or any frauds that may be happening.
Its that simple. What has happened is that a number of magicians have had the opportunity to make some good cash out of creating an exposure programme. But in the process they are taking money from those who earn their living this way. Or pleasure from those who perform as a passion.[/quote]I think we probably agree in general principle, shrink. The difficulty, as usual, is in the details.

[quote]Going back to religeon just for one moment. Is their any scientific proof to back up the claims and stories of certain religeons? And if not should we expose them as being examples of mass mind control?[/quote]Discussing that issue may violate the Café's rules. I don't really care if a religion has any basis in fact. The question is whether it is disrespectful or even acceptable to take a person's sincere belief (whether it is rational or not) and manipulate it by deception for profit or personal satisfaction. I think mentalism can be performed without doing that and that discussion can help us think about how.

:nose:

P.S. Excluding this one, I managed to respond to you in a dozen sentences (to your thirteen)--- surely brief enough to accommodate nearly anyone's attention span! :rolleyes:
Message: Posted by: brownbomber (Oct 21, 2003 06:22PM)
Hi John,

I've attempted to provide some answers to the very valid questions you raise, I hope that the debate will continue to focus on the issues.

>>1. How do we define a secret or secret method used by legitimate performers?

We define it by the context in which it is used, just as a piece of music, a work of art, or prose. There's nothing particularly complicated about this in other mediums, there needn't be for the performance of mentalists and magicians either.

>>2. Are we obliged only to keep secret the methods used exclusively by magicians and mentalists, or must we also refuse to divulge information and methods that are used by magicians but are common to others?

I'm not sure I understand what you're referring to here - perhaps furnish some examples?

>>3. Are there circumstances which justify revealing these secrets or methods?

Of course, but more relevant and obvious are circumstances like the TV series we're discussing where they do NOT justify exposure. This is a simple tacky cash-in by some mercenary, or to put more kindly, misguided magicians and mentalists.

>>4. What is the appropriate reaction to someone we believe has engaged in unaccepatable exposure?

This is a personal issue, or one for the appropriate organisations to decide. As with all forms of justice, everything should be judged on a case-by-case basis. I, for one, know that I will no longer purchase books or effects by those involved in this particular series.

>>5. Any other issue that would explain ZERO tolerance.

See above: I believe there will rarely be black and white cases in such an area, however, I hope most of us are in agreement that the series we're discussing is (a) very poor hackneyed television, (b) blatant exposure of working mentalists' and psychic entertainers' methods and (c) a crude way for Channel 5 to cash in on C4's success with programmes such as Mind Control and David Blaine.

Would be interested in hearing others' opinions.

Ian, I'd respectfully refer you to Shrink's considered response to the firewalking phenomenon - 'physics' indeed. The programme almost gleefully reported how those poor believers were allowed to burn themselves - I found it very offensive. My father used to love spoiling films for me - 'it's only a piece of celluloid, you know'. As so much in life, firewalking is an example of process as metaphor - an essential component of our lives as human beings.

BB :bunny:
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Oct 21, 2003 07:28PM)
[quote]
On 2003-10-13 19:48, shrink wrote:
Geller never does any effects on tv now and is much less respected or popular than he was before. He has just about zero credibilty these days at least in the UK. No one that I know of takes him seriously.
[/quote]

I'm not convinced that's a bad thing. Geller never billed himself as a psychic "entertainer" but as a real psychic who actually had special powers others didn't and who could reveal things to you. He was more like a bogus "faith-healer" televangelist than a mentalist.

I see nothing wrong, in this case, of exposing such people in the tradition of Houdini, who exposed Spiritualists--frauds who were bilking good people out of there money in exchange for false hope and lies.

I know there are those here who disagree with me on this, but I feel it is completely unethical, even criminal, to actually claim real powers when you are using simple tricks and techniques of magic and mentalism. Having done so, you have crossed the line from "entertainer" and moved to "fraud" "charlatan" "con man" and "crook."
Message: Posted by: BonzoTheClown (Oct 21, 2003 08:53PM)
[quote]
I feel it is completely unethical, even criminal, to actually claim real powers when you are using simple tricks and techniques of magic and mentalism. Having done so, you have crossed the line from "enetrtainer" and moved to "fraud" "charlatan" "con man" and "crook."
[/quote]

Does this extend to catholic priests who solidify blood in little tubes? Or priests who through their blessing can effect transubstantiation. Personally I would no more ridicule this than spiritualists that have their own rituals or beliefs.

Marc Climens
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Oct 21, 2003 09:38PM)
[quote]
On 2003-10-21 21:53, BonzoTheClown wrote:
[quote]
[b]Scott Guinn:[/b] I feel it is completely unethical, even criminal, to actually claim real powers when you are using simple tricks and techniques of magic and mentalism. Having done so, you have crossed the line from "enetrtainer" and moved to "fraud" "charlatan" "con man" and "crook."
[/quote]

[b]BonzoTheClown:[/b] Does this extend to catholic priests who solidify blood in little tubes?? Or priests who through their blessing can effect transubstantiation. Personally I would no more ridicule this than spiritualists that have their own rituals or beliefs.

Marc Climens
[/quote]Marc, no one has suggested that beliefs be ridiculed. In fact, the discussion centers on how to avoid that. If people believe in the paranormal, it may be a type of contemptuous disrespect or patronizing ridicule to [i]simulate[/i] paranormal feats for them while pawning off the trickery as real.

Although I've seen no convincing evidence of it (and a belief in it is not a prerequisite to performing mentalism), perhaps there are people who [i]can[/i] bend metal with the sheer power of their minds. I doubt that these people, however, would be here in a forum for magicians. Moreover, since they are doing "the real thing," they have nothing to fear from exposure shows; in their case, there would be nothing to expose.

:nose:

*********************************

[quote]
On 2003-10-21 19:22, brownbomber wrote:
Hi John,

I've attempted to provide some answers to the very valid questions you raise, I hope that the debate will continue to focus on the issues.
...[/quote]Hi, BB!

Good to hear from you. Yes, I hope the discussion will continue to focus on issues, as it has finally begun to do.

I want to address some of your comments, and will do so later. Let me, though, give others some breathing room and a chance to chime in. Also, I'd like to think a bit about your statements before I comment; they deserve studied consideration.

Regards,

John

:nose:
Message: Posted by: BonzoTheClown (Oct 21, 2003 10:51PM)
[quote]
Marc, no one has suggested that beliefs be ridiculed. In fact, the discussion centers on how to avoid that. If people believe in the paranormal, it may be a type of contemptuous disrespect or patronizing ridicule to simulate paranormal feats for them while pawning off the trickery as real.
[/quote]

This is why I gave an example in the Christian context. Are these examples I have given indicative of con artists or fraudsters? Why would this not be unethical but unethical for a spiritualist which was what Scott seemed to imply?

You see most of us at the Café live in a country which has been predominantly been formed on Christianity. Now before anyone jumps or clutches their chest I am not saying this is a bad thing, but it can narrow or shape our views and remove objectivity as it can do in countries shaped by other religions. It was not until pretty recently that religions, other than those which were monotheistic and took part in organized worship, were accepted legally as religions because of inherent bias.

Marc Climens
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Oct 22, 2003 03:13AM)
If you read my entire post above, you will see that I do mention the bogus faith-healer televangelists. Can't remember the name at the moment, but there was one a number of years ago who was caught using a small earpiece through which was transmitted information about specific people in the audience from cards they had filled out earlier with prayer requests for healing. This situation was shown in the Chevy Chase movie "Fletch," but it was based on fact from an actual incident.

Now I am a Christian, and I do believe that God can supernaturally heal people. However, this guy was clearly a fake, claiming supernatural powers and knowledge he did not have, using simple trickery, and bilking honest, needy, well-meaning people out of their money. And guess what? he went to jail, as he should have.

So I do not believe it matters what the "arena" is. One is a "Jesus" con man, while another (claiming actual powers when using simple tricks) is a "secular" con man. Whether the people believe or not isn't the issue. The issue is whether the guy is TRYING to MAKE them believe he has actual powers--to place their faith in those powers--when in fact he doesn't. They are no different than the con men who take the life savings of little old ladies for a a supposed "sure-thing" investment opportunity, when they are really just knowingly taking their money and skipping town. Whether the little old lady believes the guy is honest and an actual investor only dictates if she personally loses the money. It's still fraud, either attempted or perpetrated.

I wouldn't want Frank Abegnale, the con man made famous from Leo DeCaprio's portrayal in the movie "Catch Me if You Can" operating on me as a surgeon, or piloting my plane, etc. Whether I believe he is qualified or not, HE ISN'T! And that is exactly my point.

So what is the difference between people like this and priests, etc? The "Psychic" who is using billet switches, center tears, "psychic surgery," impression devices, nail writers--whatever magic and mentalism techniques he uses--KNOWS that he is NOT really psychic. He doesn't even believe it himself. he is acting. The devout priest, whether Catholic, Buddhist, whatever (and however misguided) actually BELIEVES in what he is doing (except for the knowingly fraudulent like the televangelist I mentioned earlier). He is not using magic tricks or techniques that he knows are entirely physical and natural and claiming they are supernatural. THAT is the underlying difference. One is a fraud who knowingly and willfully perpetrates deception to part people from their money to line his own pocket. The other believes he has found the true path and is trying to lead others to it.
Message: Posted by: Xiqual (Oct 22, 2003 04:08AM)
Hi Tony,
Don't you think you should define exposure?

Many PEA members have books that teach/expose
methods.

I feel saying "zero tolerence" is really broad.
Thank you,
James



[quote]
On 2003-10-19 23:28, Trinity wrote:
The PEA's official stance on exposure is zero tolerance. ZERO tolerance. Any
action by a member that violates that policy is cause for expulsion from the
PEA. Best regards,
Tony Razzano,
Vice President, PEA
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: pxs (Oct 22, 2003 05:20AM)
The key seems to me to be the elements of (a) actual deception AND (b) intention to deceive

A magician does not "actually" deceive because it is clear (or implied) that he is "just" performing tricks

A priest may or may not "acutally" deceive (this depends on one's stance as to the truth or otherwise of their faith). But a priest does not "intend" to deceive anyone: he or she (usually) believes in the truth of what is preached

A fake psychic, however, both actually deceives and intends to deceive. Such a person can justifiably be criticised and their falsity proved
Message: Posted by: teejay (Oct 22, 2003 05:27AM)
John
First let me say that I am a great admirer of Milton Erickson (particularly that anecdote), good discussion AND your highly articulate and well mannered postings in this matter.

If my post came across as being criticism rather than discussion I apologise. The issue you ask for seems to me to be clear. The name of the programme was
Secrets of the Psychics Revealed. The issue imho was a lot of friends, former customers and associates of the people involved feel that their confidences have been betrayed for MONEY.

If people feel betrayed they feel betrayed.
Anybody 'explaining' how they are 'wrong' to feel betrayed is ...? This is not a trifling discussion of whether some effect is good, bad or garbage, but this is an emotional issue with some people.
I'm quite sure it is being discussed elsewhere with more force. :rotf:
Message: Posted by: BonzoTheClown (Oct 22, 2003 07:26AM)
The 'fraudulent psychic' really is so rare that there really isn't any need for exposure of psychics.

Tricks and devices maybe used for ritualistic purposes. They have for a few thousand years and still are by main stream religion. Imagine I was to go around as faith healer and faked a number of healings. Now let's say through the power of belief in me one or two people were healed. Would my use of a trick be justified to garner enough belief to effect a healing? Or would it be justified if it enhanced the spiritual experience (e.g. glass vial filling up with blood that sort of thing) or convinced an intinerant rogue to 'get religion' and change his ways?

Btw. Popov the earpiece guy you mentioned before - his exposure did little, he is still preaching and collecting money. Showing how to bend spoons and move a compass, switches, misdirection etc. does not protect people. It is questionable even if methods employed by the very few bogus con artist psychics people so often quote (they just have a high profile in the media because it makes for an interesting story) are exposed it'd make a difference. Few readers and psychics want to take your life savings. It is like people are afraid of this unknown thing out there - lock your doors, argh the fake psychic is going to rip off grandma!! The exposure of these things on TV is just exposure nothing more. If a somebody is acting fraudulently call the authorities, but don't make a TV show exposing techniques used by mentalists and psychic entertainers - pretty much exclusively.

Marc Climens
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Oct 22, 2003 09:15AM)
[quote]
On 2003-10-22 08:26, BonzoTheClown wrote:
The 'fraudulent psychic' really is so rare that there really isn't any need for exposure of psychics.

... It is questionable even if methods employed by the very few bogus con artist psychics people ... are exposed it'd make a difference. Few readers and psychics want to take your life savings. ... If a somebody is acting fraudulently call the authorities, but don't make a TV show exposing techniques used by mentalists and psychic entertainers - pretty much exclusively.

Marc Climens
[/quote]It seems we may have an additional issue, then: are these exposure programs ineffective or harmful? Marc, you seem to be arguing both sides of that issue simultaneously!

We still haven't talked much about the fundamental issue of what "exposure" is, but we keep talking about it as though we all agreed what it means. For instance, I don't see that revealing the physics of firewalking has anything to do with magic or mentalism. Therefore, I would not not put it in the category of proscribed "exposure." Others seem to disagree.

I think the issue of whether exposure is effective or harmless is something we can only discuss fruitfully after we come to some agreement about what constitutes unacceptable exposure. Or, if we can't reach agreement, at least we can reach some clarity of the [i]various[/i] definitions.

:nose:
Message: Posted by: BonzoTheClown (Oct 22, 2003 09:47AM)
I don't see what problem people have. It really is quite simple to define in a 'magical' context:

Exposure is the revelation of techniques and methods and mechanical means which takes away part of the inherent entertainment value of something, whether or not such a thing is used fraudulently or not. Contributing as such to facilitate such an activity deliberately also constitutes exposure.

Exposure only satisfies one group of people - sceptics. Those who want to believe will believe regardless. So the only thing that is being destroyed is the entertainment value. Sceptics who indulge in exposure because they feel they're educating are only educating sceptics how something is done rather than fostering an attitude of rationality.

This show, in case you didn't see it John, attempted to expose a whole bunch of things. Replicating many of the things that Uri did including metal bending as well as other things (including something that Annemann wrote). These things are in use by mentalists today. As such some inherent entertainment value is destroyed for those who watched the show.

Marc Climens
Message: Posted by: Greg Owen (Oct 22, 2003 12:42PM)
“The 'fraudulent psychic' really is so rare that there really isn't any need for exposure of psychics.”

Hum…they are very active in my town (Washington, DC no less) and there are stories in NYC from time to time. The irony is that the typical scams don’t involve mentalist methods!!! For example, the querent is asked to bring an egg - the egg is broken and shown to have no yoke. This is a sign of an evil curse - one that can be lifted for a fee.

“Few readers and psychics want to take your life savings. It is like people are afraid of this unknown thing out there - lock your doors, argh the fake psychic is going to rip off grandma!!”

How do you know this??? And how many bad ones does it take??? I saw a show on con-Psychics - it showed the rooms/locations they “read” in and the rich, Beverly Hills houses they live in - complete with the Mercedes parked out front.

Just my $.02 -

- Greg Owen
Message: Posted by: pxs (Oct 22, 2003 01:10PM)
Unfortunately, fraudulent psychics are far from rare and can prey on the most vulnerable in society - particularly, the poor and elderly. You will remember premium-rate phone psychic Miss Cleo who was shut down by the FTC recently paying $5 million in damages and forgiving $500 million in unpaid phone charges.
Message: Posted by: shrink (Oct 22, 2003 01:27PM)
That's right and she bent spoons and keys and was cruel enough to use billet switches. Im glad they exposed all that nasty dangerous fraudulent stuff. Esp the PKM.

Also to John and our friends outside of the UK:

I really do beleive if you ever get a chance to see the tv show in question you may be swayed to our point of view. It really lacked any creative imagination and was just an opportunistic grab for money based on the current interest in mentalism over here. Unlike the brilliant Derren Brown Shows there was no clever plots or routines just simple blatant exposures over 6 weeks.

The entertainment value was pretty minimal. If Derren becomes anymore high profile and continues down the NLP or body language route it is oly a matter of time before he to will get the same treatment.
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Oct 22, 2003 04:25PM)
Shrink, I will take your word for it. In fact, a program (but not a mini-series) recently aired over here that also purported to expose fake psychics. I suspect the programs are similar in both content and approach. On this U.S.-based program, they exposed I.T, and folding bills, and other things that really had nothing to do with fraud or protection, or even mentalism, for that matter. I have posted in another thread about my disapproval of it. My raising questions about the general issue of exposure does not imply support of this specific program. The specifics of any particular program aside, I think a respectful discussion about the issues of exposure helps all of us. The issue is larger than any particular program ... or any particular personality.

:nose:
Message: Posted by: teejay (Oct 23, 2003 03:18AM)
John and Bonzo
Whether Firewalking is exposure or not is a bit irrelevant here as it was part of a show which did expose other mentalist stuff. :bigsmile: :bigsmile:
Message: Posted by: shrink (Oct 23, 2003 10:49AM)
[quote]
On 2003-10-22 17:25, John Clarkson wrote:
[quote]
On 2003-10-22 14:27, shrink wrote:
...
respectful discussion about the issues of exposure helps all of us. The issue is larger than any particular program ... or any particular personality.

:nose:
[/quote]

I respectfully disagree in this case the bigger and more general you become the less valuable the discussion. This thread discusses specific exposures that reach the masses of TV land and are being justified as fruadulent psychic scams that are praying on the public. In reality the only real people to suffer aren't the frauds but entertainers.

Within the parameters of this show it is easy to elimate certain exposures as legitimate. And these kind of exposures are the ones most likely to have deterimental effects for mentalists. I have had a few lay friends approach me already excited as they told me how to bend spoons, keys, switch billets, use PKM, and give basic cold readings.

NOw before this show they couldn't explain that. How anyone can say this doesn't affect us escapes me.
Message: Posted by: ESP Guy (Oct 23, 2003 11:59AM)
[quote]
On 2003-10-23 11:49, shrink wrote:
How anyone can say this doesn't affect us escapes me.[/quote]

Right on, brother!

Thom
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Oct 23, 2003 06:22PM)
[quote]
On 2003-10-23 11:49, shrink wrote:
[quote]
On 2003-10-22 17:25, John Clarkson wrote:
...respectful discussion about the issues of exposure helps all of us. The issue is larger than any particular program ... or any particular personality.

:nose:
[/quote]

[b][shrink][/b]: I respectfully disagree in this case the bigger and more general you become the less valuable the discussion.[/quote] Oh? Why is that?

[quote][b][shrink][/b]:This thread discusses specific exposures that reach the masses of TV land and are being justified as fruadulent psychic scams that are praying on the public. In reality the only real people to suffer aren't the frauds but entertainers.[/quote] Others disagree. That's why a discussion could be enlightening. I guess the danger of eschewing a more general, theoretical discussion is that it relegates "exposure" to an I'll-know-it-when-I-see-it category and places people in the position of announcing, "I have ZERO tolerance for it... I'm not sure what it is (or I am unwiling to say what it is), but, by Jove, I won't put up with it! And, you'll only have a hint of what it is [i]after[/i] you've done something I don't approve of and I have bad-mouthed you in every forum, at every opportunity I get."

[quote][b][shrink][/b]:How anyone can say this ["exposure shows"] doesn't affect us escapes me.[/quote]Yes, apparently, it does. Several prominent mentalists have, however, posted here on the Café about how they are not very concerned with these shows and how, in their opinion, they don't have much impact [i]in the long run[/i]. There is, truly, more than one honest viewpoint about these shows held by people who earn their living by performing mentalism.

I think a discussion of the principles and concepts is productive; you, apparently, think that a discussion of this specific show is more fruitful. Since I've already agreed with you concerning the specific progam's being unhelpful and something (assuming it is like the U.S. equivalent) I don't approve of, and since you don't think discussion of more general principles is productive, it seems that you and I have no place further to go. Others, however, may want to discuss the concepts...

:nose:

[quote]
On 2003-10-21 19:22, brownbomber wrote:
Hi John,

I've attempted to provide some answers to the very valid questions you raise, I hope that the debate will continue to focus on the issues.

>>1. How do we define a secret or secret method used by legitimate performers?

We define it by the context in which it is used, just as a piece of music, a work of art, or prose. There's nothing particularly complicated about this in other mediums, there needn't be for the performance of mentalists and magicians either.[/quote]BB, yes, context will be important, but I thnk we can do better. It may be that we have to approach it by analogy instead of definition... much like Anglo-American case law does. We decide on things we can all agree are "unacceptable exposure" and things that we all agree are not. Then, we will have to decide which case any specific incident is more like. The art and music examples, I think, don't serve well: after all, a common question, almost a joke now, is: "Yeah, but is it [i]art[/i]?

[quote]>>2. Are we obliged only to keep secret the methods used exclusively by magicians and mentalists, or must we also refuse to divulge information and methods that are used by magicians but are common to others?

I'm not sure I understand what you're referring to here - perhaps furnish some examples?[/quote]I am pointing out another difficulty in defining the problem. As an example, some people believe that "cold reading" is not a method used exclusively by magicians or mentalists, but that it is merely a general psychological principle used by many (salesmen, therapists, etc.). In this view, revealing cold reading methods to the public would not constitute unacceptable exposure. There are lots of examples, some clearer than others: a chemistry class, a physics class, a lecture about psychology... all of these [i]could[/i] be revealing things that mentalists also use. Should we care?

[quote]>>3. Are there circumstances which justify revealing these secrets or methods?

Of course,...[/quote]I take it then, that you are not an adherent of the doctrine of ZERO tolerance.

[quote]...but more relevant and obvious are circumstances like the TV series we're discussing where they do NOT justify exposure. This is a simple tacky cash-in by some mercenary, or to put more kindly, misguided magicians and mentalists.[/quote] But that is cyclical reasoning, BB. I agree that this specific program probably failed to accomplish its objective and, therefore, was a waste and may have upset or even damaged some performers (at least temporarily). The other issue is whether the premise of protecting the publc is proper justification.

[quote]>>4. What is the appropriate reaction to someone we believe has engaged in unaccepatable exposure?

This is a personal issue, or one for the appropriate organisations to decide. As with all forms of justice, everything should be judged on a case-by-case basis. I, for one, know that I will no longer purchase books or effects by those involved in this particular series.

>>5. Any other issue that would explain ZERO tolerance.

See above: I believe there will rarely be black and white cases in such an area, however, I hope most of us are in agreement that the series we're discussing is (a) very poor hackneyed television, (b) blatant exposure of working mentalists' and psychic entertainers' methods and (c) a crude way for Channel 5 to cash in on C4's success with programmes such as Mind Control and David Blaine.

Would be interested in hearing others' opinions.

...
BB :bunny:
[/quote]

Regards,

John

:nose:
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Oct 23, 2003 07:50PM)
I held off for a long time as I was involved in another thread of this nature a while back and it eventually got locked. I don't think the questions raised really were dealt with prior to the lock-up. This discussion seems as though it could be very fruitful if we can all stay civil!

Hopefully, I think the following question will "cut to the chase" to some degree.

Are those of you who are mentalists/psychic entertainers/et al, uptight over "exposure" because you want to keep the mystery in the entertainment, or because you want your audience to believe you truly have supernatural/paranormal/supernormal/psychic powers, and "exposure" will show that you probably don't?

Terry
Message: Posted by: Socrates (Oct 24, 2003 04:30AM)
This TV show is brilliant!

And it's good to see how such simple things can amaze people.

Anyone who is concerned by this show and it exposure need not worry. The only people who really take any notice of such programmes are magicians and psychic entertainers.

And if you're good then none of this matters, take the guitar for example.

Nowadays almost anyone can learn to play guitar as the resources are readily available and almost everyone knows a tune or two.

But this doesn't stop people being amazed and entertained by guitar players. We know they make special shapes with their hands and press the strings in a specific order to make those sounds however this doesn't take away from the performance.

And it's the same regarding Magic/Mentalism, most people are aware it's a trick and enjoy it all the same.

If you understand anything about the magical arts then you'll know that the mechanical skills and techniques are nothing without showmanship.

Reading books like 'Magic & Showmanship' and 'Magic by Misdirection' should help improve your magic a great deal and can also help other ares of your life if you can do a bit of lateral thinking.

A final thought:

Don't take life so seriously, learn to laugh at yourself and the world now and again and don't whatever you do miss tonights episode of 'Secrets of the Psychics Revealed'.

Socrates

'We are born unarmed, our mind is our only weapon' - Ayn Rand :die:
Message: Posted by: mithrius (Oct 24, 2003 06:53AM)
[quote]
On 2003-10-13 08:57, dyddanwy wrote:
I thought the 'black coffee' shiner and billet switch behind writing pad were clever(!) 'give-aways' (non-secrets) that lay-people (I hate that term) can 'do' (fairly badly) at 'parties' as entertainment (sic).

However, hardly 'real' exposure. Since 'we' (most of us anyhow) can easily convince 'our' audiences that we don't use those methods(!)

Jack - being a devil :dance:

:yippee:
[/quote]

This is the most intense use of punctuation I think I've ever seen in my life! =)
Message: Posted by: shrink (Oct 24, 2003 10:18AM)
Socrates: You obviously have no distinction between Magic and Mentalism. For many people on here there is a distinct difference. Anyone who saw the show will not be stunned or amazed at stunts or effects that include metal bending or using PKM anymore.

Yesterday I did a spot of mentalism on a personal development course I was running. And yes it went down really well. However when I first started to move into this section a delegate shouted out " Your not going to do a Derren Brown are you...youve not got a fake gun or bullet?).

If exposure continues it will eventually destroy or at very least lessen the effect of mentalism to the lay public. Derren has already (perhaps willingly)shifted closer to becoming a magician through his last show.

To get the intended effect of being entertained by listening to guitar music doesn't depend on the method being hidden from public. Your analogy is way off the mark. If you do shows I suppose you tell everyone which publications they can read to find out how you did it?

I don't think so
Message: Posted by: teejay (Oct 25, 2003 05:24AM)
So much circumlocution about so many obscure ponts of
order. Definitions, analogies and references
Here are some points of consensual reality
1)Everybody KNOWS what a secret is
(It is something you are not supposed to tell people about)
2)Everybody KNOWS what exposure of a secret means
(It means telling people you shouldn't tell, things you shouldn't tell them)
3)Everybody KNOWS that exposing secrets has a downside for the people who shared that secret originally
4)These turncoats did it for money
The only analogy that springs to my mind is Judas selling the secret of who Christ was for 30 pieces of silver.
Some people on this forum don't agree
Some of these are very intelligent and articulate
I would like to point out that what they are,
so cleverly, supporting, is behaviour that 99% of ordinary people would find disgraceful and disgusting. Being clever is not always being right.
The people who go along with my opening simple 4 points about this whole sorry affair should be concerned with stopping the turncoats enjoying their silver and making sure others are discouraged
Instead of pointlessly discussing the ins and outs of a cat's backside, think of how you can upset the people who have upset us.
:bigsmile:
Message: Posted by: bevbevvybev (Oct 25, 2003 05:46AM)
Open the Jinx back to the late thirties

Sounds like us lot

:bg:
Message: Posted by: shrink (Oct 25, 2003 07:06AM)
[quote]
On 2003-10-24 05:30, Socrates wrote:
This TV show is brilliant!

A final thought:

Don't take life so seriously, learn to laugh at yourself and the world now and again and don't whatever you do miss tonights episode of 'Secrets of the Psychics Revealed'.

Socrates

'We are born unarmed, our mind is our only weapon' - Ayn Rand :die:


[/quote]

I doubt very much if you perform or rely on making a living from this.

And a point about the Jinx from the thirties. Like most things they come and go in popularity. Exposure is one of the reasons things go. It killed stage hypnosis here in the 90s with anyone selling courses books teaching as many people as possible to learn how to do it. This flooded the market with badly skilled hypnotists. |Then the problems arose. Sure in 2050 we might be saying exposure won't hurt hypnosis as it may well be vback in the Uk.

Do we want to screw up mentalism so that it may disappear for a number generations before being reborn? Sadly I feel that is what may happen. Perhaps its different outside the UK but that's how things go over here.
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Oct 25, 2003 09:19AM)
[quote]
On 2003-10-25 06:24, teejay wrote:
So much circumlocution about so many obscure ponts of
order. Definitions, analogies and references
Here are some points of consensual reality
1)Everybody KNOWS what a secret is
(It is something you are not supposed to tell people about)
2)Everybody KNOWS what exposure of a secret means
(It means telling people you shouldn't tell, things you shouldn't tell them)
...[/quote]Teejay, the "everyone knows argument" just isn't persuasive. Yes, there are things that most of us would agree are secret. There are also apparently things that people do [i]not[/i] agree are secrets. For instance (and just an example), you yourself mentioned that firewalking was irrelevant because the program revealed [i]other[/i] areas that were definitely secrets of mentalism. Others in this same thread apparently lump firewalking into the same "secrets" category. If we are going to call for boycotts and other punitive measures, I think we owe it to the target (and to ourselves) to come up with something better than "we all KNOW" you did it. Would you want a jury at your trial to say,[list]"Judge, don't bother telling us what the definition of the crime is, and, attorneys, don't bother with evidence or argument... we all KNOW Teejay did it. Let's go directly to the [i]hanging[/i] stage of these proceedings!"[/list]
[quote]...
3)Everybody KNOWS that exposing secrets has a downside for the people who shared that secret originally
4)These turncoats did it for money[/quote]Some prominent professionals who earn their living by performing mentalism have posted on the Café that they doubt that exposure has any long-lasting effect. I suppose this doesn't rule out "some" downside, but apparently, Teejay, even amongst the "good guys," there is a difference of opinion about the degree and importance of the "downside."

Some people who have been involved with what others claim is exposure may have done so believing they were harming legitimate performers and not caring. For them, money, sense of power, or some other nefarious motive may have been more important than keeping a secret. Other people who have been involved with supposed exposure, I am sure, do not believe that what they exposed falls within the category of protected secret (or that if it does, that revealing it would cause significant injury).

[quote]The only analogy that springs to my mind is Judas selling the secret of who Christ was for 30 pieces of silver.
Some people on this forum don't agree
Some of these are very intelligent and articulate
I would like to point out that what they are,
so cleverly, supporting, is behaviour that 99% of ordinary people would find disgraceful and disgusting. Being clever is not always being right.[/quote] This bothers me, Teejay. There is a group that seems to believe that if someone wants to discuss the ideas instead of engaging in name-calling and planning revenge, he somehow supports exposure.

I wonder if 99 percent of "ordinary people" agree about [i]anything[/i], teejay! Those kinds of remarks tend to undermine your clearly strongly-held opinion. One of those nasty "definitions," "arguments," and "circumlocutions" -- even if poorly constructed -- would serve you better than that kind of gratuitous assertion, don't you think?

[quote]The people who go along with my opening simple 4 points about this whole sorry affair should be concerned with stopping the turncoats enjoying their silver and making sure others are discouraged.Instead of pointlessly discussing the ins and outs of a cat's backside, think of how you can upset the people who have upset us.
:bigsmile:
[/quote]Some people don't think that discussing ideas is pointless, Teejay. And I suspect that there are those who, even though they may agree with you about what constitutes unacceptable exposure, would disagee about whether to react in a punitive or vengeful way.

We do not need to demonize everyone who has a different viewpoint. Although I may be optimistic, I believe (hope?) that a discussion of the ideas is more likely to help construct an ethic than name-calling.

:nose:
Message: Posted by: hkwiles (Oct 25, 2003 12:57PM)
So what do you all think about telling kids there's no such thing as Santa and there isn't a Tooth Fairy.
that's exposure isn't it?

Howard :cry:
Message: Posted by: shrink (Oct 25, 2003 01:20PM)
Save you money on presents though I think its a good thing :rotf:
Message: Posted by: hkwiles (Oct 25, 2003 01:29PM)
Shrink.

Yeah right on!

Also.. tell the kids that the ice-cream man turns his music on when he's run out of ice cream :lol:

Howard
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Oct 25, 2003 02:54PM)
What a lot of words, what a lot of hot air. Magic is an Entertainment, without it`s secrets there would be no magic, no point, the very people exposing the secrets which once put them where they are now are committing suicide,,,,,what a shame they take us all with them. The crux of the **** is MONEY and some people are easily bought.These people are called by a special name Desperate.
NB. For every fool that makes cash from exposure there are many Magicians who have been contacted in a like vein to expose on the box and refused. Including me (Ask Ch 5) !!!!!
Message: Posted by: hkwiles (Oct 25, 2003 02:58PM)
Good on yer Kondini!

Howard
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Oct 25, 2003 04:28PM)
[quote]
On 2003-10-25 13:48, shrink wrote:
To be honest I think alls been said that needs to be said in this thread.
[/quote]

shrink:

I disagree. Why can't I get anyone to answer my question that I posted a couple of days ago and which I asked in a bit of a different way in another thread a few months ago?

Here it is again:

Hopefully, I think the following question will "cut to the chase" to some degree.

Are those of you who are mentalists/psychic entertainers/et al, uptight over "exposure" because you want to keep the mystery in the entertainment, or because you want your audience to believe you truly have supernatural/paranormal/supernormal/psychic powers, and "exposure" will show that you probably don't?

Terry
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Oct 25, 2003 04:56PM)
Terry, I think your question puts an interesting spin on the question of why we should care at all about these exposure shows. What, difference, do you think, the answer to your question would make in deciding upon what exposure is acceptable? I somehow think there [i]would[/i] be a difference, but I can't seem to articulate it.
:nose:

[quote]
On 2003-10-25 15:54, Kondini wrote:
What a lot of words, what a lot of hot air. Magic is an Entertainment, without it`s secrets there would be no magic, no point, the very people exposing the secrets which once put them where they are now are committing suicide,,,,,what a shame they take us all with them. The crux of the **** is MONEY and some people are easily bought.These people are called by a special name Desperate.
...[/quote]Well, Kondini, I am happy you declined to participate in the program. I myself am not important enough to even have been [i]asked[/i] to participate. If I had been asked, I think I, too, would have declined. However, the fact that you and I may feel that the exposure programs are undesireable does not mean that the people involved are somehow evil, or desperate, or motivated only by money (if that is a bad thing...)

It could be that these people are just as smart, or smarter, than either you or I and that they have just as great a respect for the art as either you or I. It may just possibly be that they simply define "secret" differently, and have a different viewpoint of the effect of these programs.

I am beginning to think that the apparent, nearly obsessive, need to villainize anyone who has a different viewpoint about performance ethics or exposure damages mentalism more than most exposure itself...

:nose:
Message: Posted by: shrink (Oct 25, 2003 05:44PM)
This last few weeks alone ive had at least three different occasions where direct influence from those shows has made performing conditions more difficult. And I am now including mentalism as part of personal development courses. And I do not claim psychic powers....
Message: Posted by: Jnana (Oct 25, 2003 05:48PM)
Hi Guy (and Girls) I don't perform for a living I really just like messing with people's heads. My ideas about exposure comes from what I have read in The Book of HauntedMagick by Rick Maue. I believe that I need more then just one way to do things so everything I know isn't shot down by a 1 hour TV show. No, this isn't right but that is just the way it is. I also believe I have to do everything perfect for the sake of everyone who shares ideas with me. I my not have to feed myself by doing these things but other people have to. I owe them the right to do that. I am going over everything I know in an effort to make sure it makes some kind of sense. Even if that sense is only not to look like a magic trick. Just something I happen to think. TONY
Message: Posted by: shrink (Oct 25, 2003 06:21PM)
Chunking up is a communication style of people who score highly on intuitor on the myers briggs. They are happier playing around with concepts and ideas than specifics. Sometimes that can be helpful. On this occasion I don't think it is. I think it is distracting from the real issue and motivation for this thread. On here also the tone of a post can be misinterpreted. It was meant as a gentle rib.

John if you took serous offence it wasn't meant that way. Although sometimes it does get a bit frustrating chunking up higer when something such as this program has had specific negative effects personally. I have put a lot of work into a new business venture that this exposure could harm and is harming.

If you took it another way then perhaps my communication was in appropriate on this occasion and I do apologise. :wavey:
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Oct 25, 2003 06:35PM)
Shrink, having spent about six years at Stanford in a doctoral program in counseling psychology, I am familiar with the MBTI. (And, I'll admit to a distinctly cognitive-behavioral inclination that causes me to doubt such a Jungian-based typology).....
gawd, I [i]am[/i] raising it to an unnecessary level of abstraction! :bigsmile:

Yes, shrink, I took serious offense, but I am over it and don't feel a need to spend any more bandwidth on the issue. I respect much of what you say, and I accept your gracious apology.

I think, though, that I will retire for a few days to let others have a chance.

:nose:
Message: Posted by: John Smetana (Oct 25, 2003 06:51PM)
Mr. Clarkson, are you a performer? If yes, do you perform mentalism and/or magic as a professional? (professional in this instance meaning for $$) Just curious.. with all,

Best thoughts,
John Smetana
Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Oct 25, 2003 07:12PM)
[quote]
On 2003-10-25 19:51, John Smetana wrote:
Mr. Clarkson, are you a performer? If yes, do you perform mentalism and/or magic as a professional? (professional in this instance meaning for $$) Just curious.. with all,

Best thoughts,
John Smetana
[/quote]Mr. Smetana,

I may be overly suspicious, but I've learned to be wary of people who request information with phrases like, "Just curious." (Besides, this thread is not about me. It is about a program and concepts of exposure.) I'll put aside that particular personality disorder, for the moment, however, and respond directly.

Yes, I perform. Although I have made money with it, I do not support myself with the performance of either magic or mentalism. (See note, below.) I fear, however, that your rejoinder to this will be, "Well, if you were a [i]real[/i] performer whose existence depended upon magic or mentalism, your perspective would be different." In anticipation of that, please let me point out that many of the so-called exposers are well-known performers whose livelihood seems to depend upon magic and mentalism and that well-respected professionals have posted that they doubt that exposure (however we define it) has any long-range deleterious effect on magic or mentalism. This indicates to me that one can support him- or herself primarily by performing and still have a differing opinion about what constitutes unacceptable exposure.

And, to ward off yet another apparently common misconception: the fact that I can assume the good faith and respect the arguments of people like Rowland, Brown, Nyman, and many others does not mean I agree with them. I simply think there is value in discussing the various positions on these issues without demonizing people with whom I may not agree. (The value is that I may learn something or actually change my mind!)

Now, off for that well-deserved nap.

:nose:

Note: as a dedicated vagabond, I do not support myself by [i]any[/i] of my talents. In fact, I find the whole concept somehow repugnant. I merely polish my diamonds and eat my bonbons and have learned that, as long as I never confuse the two, I will survive.
Message: Posted by: John Smetana (Oct 25, 2003 08:06PM)
John Clarkson wrote:
Note: as a dedicated vagabond, I do not support myself by any of my talents. In fact, I find the whole concept somehow repugnant. I merely polish my diamonds and eat my bonbons and have learned that, as long as I never confuse the two, I will survive.

You and I, Mr. Clarkson, appear to ride the same kind of boat..perhaps we just go in different directions. Thanks for your well measured, if somewhat lengthy, response.

best thoughts,
John Smetana
:kewl: