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Topic: Mentalism .. What is it?
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Nov 25, 2014 08:42PM)
From time to time many of us disagree on what Mentalism really is. On one of my very first Podcasts, PANGEA'S WORLD OF THE WEIRD, the Host actually READ the definition live on the air before I started the experiments. It was something like this...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentalism

Here are some examples of what people believe Mentalism is ...

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=268462&forum=15&start=0

What do YOU believe it is and why?

Are there other definitions you prefer? :dancing:
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Nov 25, 2014 10:29PM)
Some excerpts from my book Fundamentals in which I discuss this:

[quote]As a performing art, modern mentalism evolved during the period spanning the latter half of the nineteenth century through the early years of the twentieth. It was a theatrical response to the public’s fascination with Spiritualism, Theosophy, hypnotism and early psychical research.

The word “mentalism” originally referred to a monist philosophy that held reality itself to be a mental phenomenon. For our purposes, though, it shall be defined as a performing art in which the mentalist entertainingly demonstrates mystifying “powers of the mind.”

Unlike most magical effects, the illusion of mentalism is not primarily visual. (The exceptions, of course, are “mind over matter” effects such as bending or moving small objects by apparent psychokinesis, etc.) While visual aids are often employed - i.e. the performer exhibits a book from which a word is selected, or a spectator draws a picture which the mentalist attempts to duplicate – the actual illusion takes place in the viewer’s mind.

Imagine, for example, that you are vacationing abroad and see a mentalist on television. Imagine that he is speaking a language completely unfamiliar to you. It is likely that you will have no idea what he is doing - he could be a game show host for all you know.

If you were watching a magician, however, you would quickly recognize that he was performing magic and would probably understand what he was doing regardless of the language barrier.
But in mentalism, the illusion itself cannot be created without effective verbal communication and misdirection.

Mentalism, to be effective, must appear to be an actual demonstration of some unusual ability. Its plausibility is inversely proportional to the number of abilities claimed. In other words, the more unusual abilities you claim and demonstrate, the less believable you will be. Before you can begin to select effects and develop a presentation you must first create a plausible subscript – a detailed description of your stage persona’s powers, how he got them, how they seem to work, and what his limitations are.[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Nov 26, 2014 01:06AM)
Holy Smokes BOB ... I heard YOU while I was reading that entire thing ... FREAKY!!!!
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Nov 26, 2014 02:05AM)
It is whatever the individual wishes it to be thematically speaking, as long as it is consistent, clear and entertaining...thats how I see it...
Message: Posted by: Phren (Nov 26, 2014 03:26AM)
I've ben trying to integrate the psychological definition into my act
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentalism_(psychology)
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Nov 26, 2014 03:35AM)
Amazingly, I'm still the only guy in town doing "pure" mentlism. I'm often cross-cultural, whether I want to be or not (working with magicians but not actually doing magic.)

When an audience doesn't know what that is (and they often don't!) what has worked for me is a brief intro, either by the host or after my first effect.

[b]"If it can be said that a magician pulls a rabbit from his hat or a dove from his sleeve, my job is to pull a thought from your mind, or an emotion from your heart."[/b]

They seem to like that. :)
Message: Posted by: Michael Daniels (Nov 26, 2014 03:54AM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, DWRackley wrote:

[b]"If it can be said that a magician pulls a rabbit from his hat or a dove from his sleeve, my job is to pull a thought from your mind, or an emotion from your heart."[/b]
[/quote]
Nice line! Though the dove reference is perhaps a bit naughty. Maybe "dove from a silk" would be better.

Mike
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Phren wrote:
I've ben trying to integrate the psychological definition into my act
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentalism_(psychology) [/quote]
This is rather an obscure and antiquated psychological definition. I don't know any modern psychologists who use the term in this way.

Mike
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Nov 26, 2014 06:29AM)
I personally think that its a shame that there's not more people branching out away from the usual two sides of the same coin in mentalism...
Message: Posted by: E.E. (Nov 26, 2014 10:00AM)
To me, mentalism is a lot of things; Its an art of course, it's lifestyle, it's a nightmare sometimes, it's a dream, it's an illusion, it's hoping for the best, it's failing, it's insomnia, it's fascination, it's curiosity, etc...

When I think about "What is mentalism?" I never come up with an answer, because it's a lot of things at once. Mentalism is a feeling, achieving the impossible, for people, for Us... well, if I tried to define mentalism in a word, that word would be "My life".

I know this is not what the OP asked, but is what I feel.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Nov 26, 2014 12:08PM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, IAIN wrote:
I personally think that its a shame that there's not more people branching out away from the usual two sides of the same coin in mentalism... [/quote]

Could you elaborate, Iain? From my point of view there are a lot more than two sides. Which two are you referring to?
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Nov 26, 2014 12:16PM)
Well, as I see it - most people tend to lean towards the psychological illusionist, or the more classic mind-reader type - whereas there's so much to explore and tinker with...i think its shame we don't hear of people trying out different avenues when it comes down to presentational angles and characters...

i think they are variants, but they are pretty similar all the same...

i remember seeing an old clip of enrique enriquez doing blindfolded portrait sketches of people, and I thought that was such a beautiful premise...but I never got round to asking him what he using as his premise, was it the sound of their voice or a touch of the hand or what...

even the older "use my 5 sense to create the illusion of a sixth" is still at its root, psychologically driven...

just thought of a third! the not saying either way and letting the audience decide...so maybe that's the rim of coin...

just my point of view, no more, no less...
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Nov 26, 2014 12:55PM)
Do you consider Harry Lorayne's memory act to be mentalism? I do. Along with every other enhanced mental ability- such as speed math, etc. I'd also include such categories as empath, clairvoyant/remote viewer/clairsentient, hypnotist, etc. In Fundamentals I delineated many different categories and suggested exercises to determine how each different premise would approach a given effect, like a book test, for example.

The enriquez example you gave is really a combination of normal and "paranormal" abilities- clairvoyance and artistic ability- or possibly telepathy (if one receives thoughts in imagery rather than words.)

What I think is unfortunate (and the real reason I wrote the book) is that too many mentalists don't really have a subscript at all for what they do and simply present it as a trick.)
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Nov 26, 2014 01:08PM)
Someone recently wrote on here that they had expanded mentalism into a new direction: by telling the audience absolutely everything was a magic trick!

Not every new approach is beneficial to the art, in my opinion.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Nov 26, 2014 01:12PM)
Can't argue with you there, Martin.
Message: Posted by: Godzilla (Nov 26, 2014 01:28PM)
T.O.D.

A Magician does it ... it is a Card Trick.

A Mentalist does it ... it is Mentalism.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Nov 26, 2014 01:38PM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
Do you consider Harry Lorayne's memory act to be mentalism? I do. Along with every other enhanced mental ability- such as speed math, etc. I'd also include such categories as empath, clairvoyant/remote viewer/clairsentient, hypnotist, etc. In Fundamentals I delineated many different categories and suggested exercises to determine how each different premise would approach a given effect, like a book test, for example.

The enriquez example you gave is really a combination of normal and "paranormal" abilities- clairvoyance and artistic ability- or possibly telepathy (if one receives thoughts in imagery rather than words.)

What I think is unfortunate (and the real reason I wrote the book) is that too many mentalists don't really have a subscript at all for what they do and simply present it as a trick.) [/quote]
i probably wouldn't see a memory act as mentalism to be honest - as you are displaying a skill that anyone can do if they study hard enough...if they took it a stage further but still kept it in the same context of numbers, then I probably would...

i would rather watch someone try something different and it kinda fails, than someone doing (and presenting) something pretty much the same way as others do... just like I would never want to see another derren (and there's loads of 'em knocking around!)...

i've never seen anyone theme an entire show based on memories for example, and that person does everything via psychometry - I think that would give you variety, visual elements and be at least a little bit different...

i know you get people who do it for real, but the delivery and the punters are different (and what they do is different too)...

i would say that for myself, if I'm honest, mine is more rooted in psychology (if we go to the root of it) - the use of the imagination, and even the imaginatory side of things has been done before...and I've experimented with all kinds of approaches...

in an entertainment context, I wonder how some of the psychic talents can be tweaked nowadays...maybe morph it into something else...or exploring the many senses we have too...
http://www.psy.gla.ac.uk/~steve/best/senses.html

Posted: Nov 26, 2014 02:44 pm
Thought I'd qualify something, I've not read Mr.Lorayne's memory act...i am only assuming that it is using true/real memory feats - and doesn't get into behind the curtain stuff... I would consider mentalism to be something beyond normal human ability (and maybe something you can't even study)... same with the psychological angle, it can be rooted in true psychology but it needs to be taken even further for it to have a deeper impact...
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Nov 26, 2014 01:55PM)
Iain- Most of the time I use a "method" to accomplish my card memory routine. Other times I do it for real, using Mr. Lorayne's techniques. IMO both presentations are mentalism. They look exactly the same.

But my point remains- there are far more than two sides to the coin.
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Nov 26, 2014 01:58PM)
Memory and Extreme Maths effects have long been part of the canon, of course. But I'm not sure I would class them as mentalism if they were presented as a standalone feat. Leslie Welch was famous in the Uk for his memory act and before him was the legendary Datas (William Bottle), immortalised in film as Mr Memory in Hitchcock's 39 Steps. I wouldn't personally call their acts "mentalism", but I'm happy to bow to Bob's much superior knowledge on the matter!
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Nov 26, 2014 02:36PM)
So many interesting angles here .. No two of you really agree.
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (Nov 26, 2014 02:41PM)
Effects like a Rainman to me demonstrate a certain mental capability and are therefore a kind of mentalism IMO. As long as those abilities call within ones character obviously.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Nov 26, 2014 02:57PM)
Ah..a rainman type character would be an interesting thing to see...but, to truly pull that off, you would have to be a good actor...and it might feel a bit uncomfortable...maybe...
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (Nov 26, 2014 02:58PM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
Someone recently wrote on here that they had expanded mentalism into a new direction: by telling the audience absolutely everything was a magic trick![/quote]
As long as no methods are exposed, I don't see why this can't be as valid a presentation as any other.
Message: Posted by: E.E. (Nov 26, 2014 03:00PM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
Someone recently wrote on here that they had expanded mentalism into a new direction: by telling the audience absolutely everything was a magic trick![/quote]
As long as no methods are exposed, I don't see why this can't be as valid a presentation as any other. [/quote]

Because that would destroy the whole premisse of mentalism. You better present yourself as a magician.
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (Nov 26, 2014 03:03PM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Ever Elizalde wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
Someone recently wrote on here that they had expanded mentalism into a new direction: by telling the audience absolutely everything was a magic trick![/quote]
As long as no methods are exposed, I don't see why this can't be as valid a presentation as any other. [/quote]

Because that would destroy the whole premisse of mentalism. You better present yourself as a magician. [/quote]
This presupposes that every mentalist presents him/herself to be "The real deal." What if the premise of your performance is to demonstrate how easily people can be deceived?
Message: Posted by: E.E. (Nov 26, 2014 03:05PM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Ever Elizalde wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
Someone recently wrote on here that they had expanded mentalism into a new direction: by telling the audience absolutely everything was a magic trick![/quote]
As long as no methods are exposed, I don't see why this can't be as valid a presentation as any other. [/quote]

Because that would destroy the whole premisse of mentalism. You better present yourself as a magician. [/quote]
This presupposes that every mentalist presents him/herself to be "The real deal." What if the premise of your performance is to demonstrate how easily people can be deceived? [/quote]

Then you better use magic tricks.

A lot of mentalism effects/techniques works because people are not focus on catching "tricks" because mentalism is not presented that way.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Nov 26, 2014 03:06PM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
Iain- Most of the time I use a "method" to accomplish my card memory routine. Other times I do it for real, using Mr. Lorayne's techniques. IMO both presentations are mentalism. They look exactly the same.

But my point remains- there are far more than two sides to the coin. [/quote]
i think for me, they boil down to the same two roots..and maybe that's all there is! I dunno...

to your audience though bob, its the same thing isn't it - they believe you are giving a memory demonstration...and not something beyond what human memory can do...

its been a long day, probably not explaining myself too clearly...

if I can use the general idea of card calling as an example...
you do it, and its a clear straight line as a memory feat, some people can't believe someone can do that, but they are probably or have heard/seen someone on a day time show demonstrate some kind of memory feat...

chan canasta goes out into the audience during an episode of Parkinson and has people take bunches of cards, one after the other..and then he points to different people and tells them their cards...

both decks have been shuffled (but yours by participants), and batches dished out...but they have different looks and feel...i would say Chan's might look (in my opinion only) like part of his particular brand of "psychomagic" and not like a memory feat...but they both have some commonality too...

and I enjoy watching both, in different ways....

I'm talking in circles now...I'll shut up...
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
What if the premise of your performance is to demonstrate how easily people can be deceived? [/quote]
then you become a demonstrator...and if you're doing it almost as some kind of public service, then it's indirectly saying "there's a method to this madness, I'm just not telling you what it is...BUT DON'T BE DECEIVED!"...

I wouldn't class that as a mentalism performance either...
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (Nov 26, 2014 03:09PM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Ever Elizalde wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Ever Elizalde wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
Someone recently wrote on here that they had expanded mentalism into a new direction: by telling the audience absolutely everything was a magic trick![/quote]
As long as no methods are exposed, I don't see why this can't be as valid a presentation as any other. [/quote]

Because that would destroy the whole premisse of mentalism. You better present yourself as a magician. [/quote]
This presupposes that every mentalist presents him/herself to be "The real deal." What if the premise of your performance is to demonstrate how easily people can be deceived? [/quote]

Then you better use magic tricks.

A lot of mentalism effects/techniques works because people are not focus on catching "tricks" because mentalism is not presented that way. [/quote]
Mentalism effects [i]are[/i] magic tricks. Give your spectators some credit. You think they all believe what you do is real?
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (Nov 26, 2014 03:11PM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, IAIN wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
What if the premise of your performance is to demonstrate how easily people can be deceived? [/quote]

then you become a demonstrator...and if you're doing it almost as some kind of public service, then its indirectly saying "there's a method to this madness, I'm just not telling you what it is...BUT DON'T BE DECEIVED!"...

i wouldn't class that as a mentalism performance either... [/quote]
If you want people to walk away thinking you have special powers, that's your business. If someone else wants to give another type of presentation, that's their business. Live and let live. :) Would it help if the performer waited until the end to admit s/he's been doing tricks?
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Nov 26, 2014 03:15PM)
You asked a question...i gave my view as an answer!

its not THE answer...

and I make it perfectly clear what people are getting, and its not tricks...
Message: Posted by: E.E. (Nov 26, 2014 03:17PM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Ever Elizalde wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Ever Elizalde wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
Someone recently wrote on here that they had expanded mentalism into a new direction: by telling the audience absolutely everything was a magic trick![/quote]
As long as no methods are exposed, I don't see why this can't be as valid a presentation as any other. [/quote]

Because that would destroy the whole premisse of mentalism. You better present yourself as a magician. [/quote]
This presupposes that every mentalist presents him/herself to be "The real deal." What if the premise of your performance is to demonstrate how easily people can be deceived? [/quote]

Then you better use magic tricks.

A lot of mentalism effects/techniques works because people are not focus on catching "tricks" because mentalism is not presented that way. [/quote]
Mentalism effects [i]are[/i] magic tricks. Give your spectators some credit. You think they all believe what you do is real? [/quote]

I'm just saying, if people believes or not that's not my business. My business as a mentalist is doing my best to make them believe. If you're going to end your show by saying "I'm a fake, I'm just a trickster" then you are not a mentalist. Maybe I'm just a bit old school.
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (Nov 26, 2014 03:17PM)
Besides, one performer admitting s/he is a fake doesn't necessarily mean that others aren't the real deal. "The existence of wigs is not evidence for the non-existence of hair."
Message: Posted by: phillsmiff (Nov 26, 2014 03:20PM)
Philip Escoffey's show 6 Impossible Things Before Dinner and the follow on 6 More Impossible Things were essentially focussed on understanding belief and he fairly explicitly told the audience that he was cheating and that the things he was doing were impossible and they were being deceived. He did pretty well with that, and I would say his show was exemplary mentalism. He didn't say "This is magic tricks." But then it's not like a big mentalist at the top of his game would start off his show by literally saying he accomplishes all of his feats by using a combination of magic and showmanship...
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Nov 26, 2014 03:23PM)
On Nov 26, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
Someone recently wrote on here that they had expanded mentalism into a new direction: by telling the audience absolutely everything was a magic trick!

Mind Guerrilla wrote:As long as no methods are exposed, I don't see why this can't be as valid a presentation as any other.

[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
[/quote]
If you want people to walk away thinking you have special powers, that's your business. If someone else wants to give another type of presentation, that's their business. Live and let live. :) Would it help if the performer waited until the end to admit s/he's been doing tricks? [/quote]

You seem to be contradicting yourself, Mind Guerrilla. One minute performers can't expose methods, next minute no one has the right to judge someone else's presentation.

If someone wants to expose methods, shouldn't you just "live and let live"?
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (Nov 26, 2014 03:23PM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, phillsmiff wrote:
Philip Escoffey's show 6 Impossible Things Before Dinner and the follow on 6 More Impossible Things were essentially focussed on understanding belief and he fairly explicitly told the audience that he was cheating and that the things he was doing were impossible and they were being deceived. He did pretty well with that, and I would say his show was exemplary mentalism. He didn't say "This is magic tricks." But then it's not like a big mentalist at the top of his game would start off his show by literally saying he accomplishes all of his feats by using a combination of magic and showmanship... [/quote]
Sam Eaton used a similar approach when I saw him perform "The Quantum Eye." There was even an ad from a skeptics association in his playbill.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Nov 26, 2014 03:25PM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, phillsmiff wrote:
Philip Escoffey's show 6 Impossible Things Before Dinner and the follow on 6 More Impossible Things were essentially focussed on understanding belief and he fairly explicitly told the audience that he was cheating and that the things he was doing were impossible and they were being deceived. He did pretty well with that, and I would say his show was exemplary mentalism. He didn't say "This is magic tricks." But then it's not like a big mentalist at the top of his game would start off his show by literally saying he accomplishes all of his feats by using a combination of magic and showmanship... [/quote]

yeah, and that's a massive difference...far more healthy...
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (Nov 26, 2014 03:26PM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
On Nov 26, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
Someone recently wrote on here that they had expanded mentalism into a new direction: by telling the audience absolutely everything was a magic trick!

Mind Guerrilla wrote:As long as no methods are exposed, I don't see why this can't be as valid a presentation as any other.

[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
[/quote]
If you want people to walk away thinking you have special powers, that's your business. If someone else wants to give another type of presentation, that's their business. Live and let live. :) Would it help if the performer waited until the end to admit s/he's been doing tricks? [/quote]

You seem to be contradicting yourself, Mind Guerrilla. One minute performers can't expose methods, next minute no one has the right to judge someone else's presentation.

If someone wants to expose methods, shouldn't you just "live and let live"? [/quote]
I think that's more like "Live and put a lot of people out of work." Bit of a difference.
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Nov 26, 2014 03:26PM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
Besides, one performer admitting s/he is a fake doesn't necessarily mean that others aren't the real deal. "The existence of wigs is not evidence for the non-existence of hair." [/quote]
And just because Santa at Macy's is a man in a suit and fake beard doesn't mean there isn't a real Santa in Lapland.
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
On Nov 26, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
Someone recently wrote on here that they had expanded mentalism into a new direction: by telling the audience absolutely everything was a magic trick!

Mind Guerrilla wrote: As long as no methods are exposed, I don't see why this can't be as valid a presentation as any other.

[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
[/quote]
If you want people to walk away thinking you have special powers, that's your business. If someone else wants to give another type of presentation, that's their business. Live and let live. :) Would it help if the performer waited until the end to admit s/he's been doing tricks? [/quote]
You seem to be contradicting yourself, Mind Guerrilla. One minute performers can't expose methods, next minute no one has the right to judge someone else's presentation.

If someone wants to expose methods, shouldn't you just "live and let live"? [/quote]
I think that's more like "Live and put a lot of people out of work." Bit of a difference. [/quote]
I don't see any difference. To me, telling an audience that mentalism is "magic tricks" is a form of exposure.
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (Nov 26, 2014 03:28PM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
Besides, one performer admitting s/he is a fake doesn't necessarily mean that others aren't the real deal. "The existence of wigs is not evidence for the non-existence of hair." [/quote]
And just because Santa at Macy's is a man in a suit and fake beard doesn't mean there isn't a real Santa in Lapland. [/quote]
Thank goodness!
:xmas:

[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
On Nov 26, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
Someone recently wrote on here that they had expanded mentalism into a new direction: by telling the audience absolutely everything was a magic trick!

Mind Guerrilla wrote:As long as no methods are exposed, I don't see why this can't be as valid a presentation as any other.

[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
[quote]
If you want people to walk away thinking you have special powers, that's your business. If someone else wants to give another type of presentation, that's their business. Live and let live. :) Would it help if the performer waited until the end to admit s/he's been doing tricks? [/quote]
You seem to be contradicting yourself, Mind Guerrilla. One minute performers can't expose methods, next minute no one has the right to judge someone else's presentation.

If someone wants to expose methods, shouldn't you just "live and let live"? [/quote]
I think that's more like "Live and put a lot of people out of work." Bit of a difference. [/quote]
I don't see any difference. To me, telling an audience that mentalism is "magic tricks" is a form of exposure. [/quote]
You know all the secrets. Does that mean you're incapable of enjoying a mentalism performance?
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Nov 26, 2014 03:33PM)
Soooooooooooooo...
maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnny.....
quooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooootes.....
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Nov 26, 2014 03:59PM)
Regardless of the underlying techniques, when you present mental effects as magic tricks, you're doing mental magic, not mentalism.
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Nov 26, 2014 04:01PM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
You know all the secrets. Does that mean you're incapable of enjoying a mentalism performance? [/quote]
I'm enjoying it in a completely different way.

And when Peter Turner named my childhood friend without me opening my mouth, and I had no clue as to the method, my entire world shifted on its axis. I don't think we should rob the audience of that possibility.

[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
Regardless of the underlying techniques, when you present mental effects as magic tricks, you're doing mental magic, not mentalism. [/quote]
That seems blatantly obvious to me, Bob, but I'm beginning to think I've come back to the wrong forum after my spell away. I seem to have returned to a place where everyone is a reader or a therapist or content to expose mentalism as magic tricks.

What the heck is going on?!?
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Nov 26, 2014 04:19PM)
...i won't add to the shock by mentioning my dalliances with surrealist parlour games...
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Nov 26, 2014 04:30PM)
Doesn't anyone want to be a mentalist anymore? :(
Message: Posted by: ALEXANDRE (Nov 26, 2014 04:44PM)
Brazilian Psychic Entertainer Leonardo Silverio said recently during a Docc Hilford follow-up teleconference call that ...

“There’s no suspension of disbelief in magic, if there was you’d never have to prove the box was empty, you could just look and say ‘the box is empty and here’s the rabbit!’ That’s called a “willing” suspension of disbelief. A “forced” suspension of disbelief is called “belief”, and that’s what you have to do in Mentalism.”
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Nov 26, 2014 04:45PM)
I think people do...

but there's been quite a few different twists and turns the past 3-5 years in mentalism, neal scryer, the urge to be "propless", the rise of the word "organic" (i can sense Bob's hands turning to fists at that word), and a few other things - they've all left their mark on mentalism...

some will stick, some will scar, some will be absorbed...some will have to be scraped off...

blaine, brown and others have changed the perceptions of magic and mentalism...

as much as I love to experiment and set little challenges for myself, I still have (hopefully) a good solid understanding of the classics - and I'll always recommend people trying to self-education as much as possible...and I still love the romance of classic mentalism, both the books and the performers who stick to that kind of style and thinking these days...

i guess if you love something enough, you either never want it to change, or you want it to grow in the best possible way...and sometimes it goes wrong even with the best of intentions...
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (Nov 26, 2014 04:47PM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
You know all the secrets. Does that mean you're incapable of enjoying a mentalism performance? [/quote]

I'm enjoying it in a completely different way.

And when Peter Turner named my childhood friend without me opening my mouth, and I had no clue as to the method, my entire world shifted on its axis. I don't think we should rob the audience of that possibility. [/quote]
As long as you don't tell them how it's done, who says you [i]are[/i]? If a spectator enjoys him/herself, applauds at the right times, laughs at the right times, congratulates you on a great performance but then says, "Those were good tricks." Do you feel you have somehow failed? Just because you had no clue as to what method Peter Turner used, you did know that there [i]is[/i] some sort of method involved, yes?
Message: Posted by: E.E. (Nov 26, 2014 04:53PM)
Everyone has their own religion...
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Nov 26, 2014 05:09PM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:

If a spectator enjoys him/herself, applauds at the right times, laughs at the right times, congratulates you on a great performance but then says, "Those were good tricks." Do you feel you have somehow failed?[/quote]

Yes.

[quote]Just because you had no clue as to what method Peter Turner used, you did know that there [i]is[/i] some sort of method involved, yes? [/quote]

No, actually. No method seemed possible. He asked me to think of a childhood friend-he named him. I couldn't even begin to comprehend what had just occurred. Which is how I think it should be for audiences.
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (Nov 26, 2014 05:26PM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:

If a spectator enjoys him/herself, applauds at the right times, laughs at the right times, congratulates you on a great performance but then says, "Those were good tricks." Do you feel you have somehow failed?[/quote]

Yes.

[quote]Just because you had no clue as to what method Peter Turner used, you did know that there [i]is[/i] some sort of method involved, yes? [/quote]

No, actually. No method seemed possible. He asked me to think of a childhood friend-he named him. I couldn't even begin to comprehend what had just occurred. Which is how I think it should be for audiences. [/quote]
You're not suggesting that Peter Turner is a witch, are you? :)

I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record but again I say, as long as you're not revealing the method, the audience [i]does[/i] experience those "Wow! That seems impossible! I don't know how he could possibly do that!" moments (without necessarily thinking you're a witch).
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Nov 26, 2014 05:33PM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:

You're not suggesting that Peter Turner is a witch, are you? :)
[/quote]

Well, now that I know that particular method, no.

Having said that, I've seen him do stuff since that makes me question my sanity, so who knows what he is! What I do know is he doesn't belittle his work by calling it magic tricks.
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (Nov 26, 2014 05:41PM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:

You're not suggesting that Peter Turner is a witch, are you? :)
[/quote]

Well, now that I know that particular method, no.

Having said that, I've seen him do stuff since that makes me question my sanity, so who knows what he is! What I do know is he doesn't belittle his work by calling it magic tricks. [/quote]
I guess this wouldn't be the best time for me to say that one of my definitions of "mentalist" is "self-hating magician." :D (ducking)
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Nov 26, 2014 05:49PM)
I may be self-hating, but it's not because I'm a magician!

Though I would never belittle magicians. I still love well-performed magic (and well performed magic is better than poorly performed mentalism any day of the week.) But "magic trick" is a pejorative term when applied to mentalism. One that's best avoided, I think.
Message: Posted by: Mind Guerrilla (Nov 26, 2014 06:00PM)
Derren Brown comes right out and says he does magic and he is often introduced/referred to to as a magician. I think we would all agree, though, that he hasn't exactly harmed the art of mentalism. I'm just sayin'.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Nov 26, 2014 07:26PM)
Derren also claims that hypnotism plays a role in what he does.

As to the comment that mentalists are "self-hating" magicians, I respectfully submit that is ridiculous.
Message: Posted by: John C (Nov 26, 2014 07:29PM)
Pete Turner showed us some stuff (no not that) at mindvention. Some of it certainly blew me away. A lot of us were like kids on a candy store.

[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:
Besides, one performer admitting s/he is a fake doesn't necessarily mean that others aren't the real deal. "The existence of wigs is not evidence for the non-existence of hair." [/quote]
And just because Santa at Macy's is a man in a suit and fake beard doesn't mean there isn't a real Santa in Lapland. [/quote]
Now on this one Martin I'm pretty sure that .... well, never mind.
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Nov 27, 2014 11:40AM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, ALEXANDRE wrote:
Brazilian Psychic Entertainer Leonardo Silverio said recently during a Docc Hilford follow-up teleconference call that ...

“There’s no suspension of disbelief in magic, if there was you’d never have to prove the box was empty, you could just look and say ‘the box is empty and here’s the rabbit!’ That’s called a “willing” suspension of disbelief. A “forced” suspension of disbelief is called “belief”, and that’s what you have to do in Mentalism.” [/quote]
I agree 100% ... PEOPLE JUST DON'T "GIVE IT UP" AS EASILY AS OTHERS SEEM TO THINK.....The performance must be Impossible... I like that word!!!!
Six impossible things before dinner ... Wish I'd have come up with that line!!!
Message: Posted by: Rocketeer (Nov 27, 2014 11:41AM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Mind Guerrilla wrote:

You're not suggesting that Peter Turner is a witch, are you? :)
[/quote]

Well, now that I know that particular method, no.

Having said that, I've seen him do stuff since that makes me question my sanity, so who knows what he is! What I do know is he doesn't belittle his work by calling it magic tricks. [/quote]

A kid in a magic shop once tipped C0]]erfield's flying to me before I could stop him and I've regretted it ever since. (I know he had the correct method. Since then I've seen the patent application).

I know many pretty much all of the methods of stage illusions but to this day I don't know how Steinmeyer's Origami works. And if I go to my grave not knowing that'll be fine with me.

It's cool when we in the know can be baffled too.
Message: Posted by: David Fillary (Nov 30, 2014 12:53PM)
I met Peter Turner earlier this year and a room full of magicians were left stunned. His work just appears to have no possible method. He did stuff with cards (as we're magicians, he rarely does it with the public) and he put one card to the side. Then he asked me to name a card. I named a card, and it was that card. STUNNED. And can't fathom a method. He just took a card from my friend's deck.

But I know he can't read minds. I know that. I can't fathom any way he did it, but I know it wasn't through reading my mind. It will bug me for the rest of my life, but I love him for it. The only way it seems possible is for him to have read my mind (and predicted what card I would say before I said it), but I know it's not possible. So I'm left with my mind going in circles. It's the only explanation, but I know it's impossible. That's the way I feel it should be.

I'm not a mentalist, and I know I could never be a mentalist as it has been defined here. If I leave people in a state of full belief, I feel just as bad as a fake psychic reader. I do magic in a predominantly Islamic school (I'm a teacher) and I sometimes have to explain that it is just an illusion, otherwise they automatically assign it to being caused by demons. If a mentalist performed for them, the same conclusion would be drawn, that you must have been communicating with demons. I couldn't leave them with that thought.

Maybe it's just that I want to educate people... I'm all for withholding the method or refusing to comment, but if someone asked me, "can you really seriously read minds?", I would have say "I'll leave that for you to decide", rather than "Yes I can, mindreading is real".
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Dec 1, 2014 11:10PM)
He read your thought....
Message: Posted by: ALEXANDRE (Dec 1, 2014 11:26PM)
David, you assume Peter can't really read minds, you seem sure of it, how do you know that? Did he tell you? Did you read somewhere that it's "not possible"?
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Dec 2, 2014 04:29AM)
[quote]On Dec 2, 2014, ALEXANDRE wrote:
David, you assume Peter can't really read minds, you seem sure of it, how do you know that? Did he tell you? Did you read somewhere that it's "not possible"? [/quote]

You are aware that Peter sells books detailing his approach? His methods and routining are ingenious and, yes, look like real mind-reading in his hands.

Which is what mentalism is all about, right?
Message: Posted by: ALEXANDRE (Dec 2, 2014 07:36AM)
Falty logic, Martin. Just because the guy publishes methods doesn't mean he can't really do it. Just because someone enjoys the art of magic and mentalism doesn't mean they can't actually use their intuitive abilities in some interesting way. I don't know, just saying.

I posted the question to David along the lines of this Max Maven exchange:


INTERVIEWER: "A lot of people who have seen your show, come out thinking that what you do is real, that you could read minds, so how do you respond to that?"

MAX MAVEN: Your question presumes that I can't.


You're welcome to address what Max Maven said here, Martin.
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Dec 2, 2014 07:40AM)
It sounds to me that Max is leaving reasonable doubt in the audience's mind. Quite wise, I would think? Note, however, he didn't say "I CAN read minds for real".

Or are you claiming Max Maven believes he is actually psychic?

As to your point about "real" psychics enjoying mentalism. I suppose some well may, but I wouldn't imagine many "real" psychics perform it. Equally, I don't imagine many real guitarists spend weeks, months and years practising air guitar, but I guess it's not impossible.
Message: Posted by: yachanin (Dec 2, 2014 07:53AM)
[quote]On Nov 30, 2014, David Fillary wrote:
I met Peter Turner earlier this year and a room full of magicians were left stunned. His work just appears to have no possible method. He did stuff with cards (as we're magicians, he rarely does it with the public) and he put one card to the side. Then he asked me to name a card. I named a card, and it was that card. STUNNED. And can't fathom a method. He just took a card from my friend's deck.

But I know he can't read minds. I know that. I can't fathom any way he did it, but I know it wasn't through reading my mind. It will bug me for the rest of my life, but I love him for it. The only way it seems possible is for him to have read my mind (and predicted what card I would say before I said it), but I know it's not possible. So I'm left with my mind going in circles. It's the only explanation, but I know it's impossible... [/quote]

Hi David,

One possible alternative is "chance" (and a ready follow-up effect using the card should the predication miss).

Regards, Steve
Message: Posted by: ALEXANDRE (Dec 2, 2014 08:28AM)
[quote]On Dec 2, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
It sounds to me that Max is leaving reasonable doubt in the audience's mind. Quite wise, I would think? Note, however, he didn't say "I CAN read minds for real".

Or are you claiming Max Maven believes he is actually psychic?

As to your point about "real" psychics enjoying mentalism. I suppose some well may, but I wouldn't imagine many "real" psychics perform it. Equally, I don't imagine many real guitarists spend weeks, months and years practising air guitar, but I guess it's not impossible. [/quote]

Huge difference comparing guitarrist/air guitar and psychic/magic&mentalism. One of the giant pleasures of magic and mentalism are the various clever methods out there, the "puzzle" aspect of it as some may see it, and some people deeply enjoy that part of it, that's why there are so many arm-chair mentalists and mentalism collectors out there who almost never perform anything to anyone. I could very much see a "real psychic" enjoying learning, studying, and playing around with methods that teach people how to fake what they can do for real. Could be fun.


Max Maven is not afraid to allow his audience to believe he might be real. MANY mentalists are terrified by the notion as is evidenced by the many threads on here about "disclaimers" and all the very angry anti-psychic/paranormal stuff when a fellow performer comes forward with it.
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Dec 2, 2014 08:41AM)
I agree Alexandre. You can enjoy mentalism whatever your day job. But if a "real" psychic reader uses deceptive techniques during their day job I would say they are, by definition, a fraud.
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Dec 2, 2014 03:44PM)
If a persons psychic abilities aren't effective 100% of the time it is only logical he'd want a back up plan.
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Dec 2, 2014 03:50PM)
[quote]On Dec 2, 2014, Slim King wrote:
If a persons psychic abilities aren't effective 100% of the time it is only logical he'd want a back up plan. [/quote]

Why?
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Dec 2, 2014 03:57PM)
Why not?
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Dec 2, 2014 04:03PM)
Because if you are advertising yourself as a "real" psychic reader and you are no longer using "real" psychic abilities, you are no longer performing "real" psychic reading and you are, therefore, defrauding your customers who believe you are using "real" psychic abilities.

Therefore, anyone using mentalism techniques to do "real" psychic reading is a fraud. By definition.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 2, 2014 04:07PM)
[quote]On Dec 2, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
[quote]On Dec 2, 2014, Slim King wrote:
If a persons psychic abilities aren't effective 100% of the time it is only logical he'd want a back up plan. [/quote]
Why? [/quote]
to be fair, why do we expect a real psychic to be 100% correct all the time? we don't expect a musician to always play a riff spot on, an actor to always remember their lines, or a footballer to always score from a free kick...

if such a person exists, it should be about how much better they are than average or guessing, under certain circumstances...

for example, a footballer who didn't warm up before a match, may be more prone to injury, not feel limber as much as one who did, so therefore his talent at (say, sprinting) is impeded...

we still have a hollywood definition of "psychic", maybe because we've not been able to test any real ones yet...though there is some evidence for some other related talents (remote viewing and so on)...

Posted: Dec 2, 2014 05:09 pm
Something that's tickled me though, is if you release work on how to give readings, and its not one page long and it just says "just use your psychic ability!" - then it by definition, something else isn't it...

its just that under certain theatrical/entertainment scenarios, you can pretend that it is if you want to...
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Dec 2, 2014 04:12PM)
When Uri failed to perform anything on Carson it actually increased his credibility with the public. A "real" psychic wouldn't be afraid to get it wrong.
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Dec 2, 2014 04:16PM)
I always think it's funny when someone who doesn't believe in something is the very first to tell everyone how it's supposed to work ... :dancing:
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Dec 2, 2014 04:20PM)
[quote]On Dec 2, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
Because if you are advertising yourself as a "real" psychic reader and you are no longer using "real" psychic abilities, you are no longer performing "real" psychic reading and you are, therefore, defrauding your customers who believe you are using "real" psychic abilities.

Therefore, anyone using mentalism techniques to do "real" psychic reading is a fraud. By definition. [/quote]

Slim, would you care to respond to my statement above? I'm very interested to know your ethical position on this. Do you believe a "real" psychic reader is justified in deceiving his/her clients?
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Dec 2, 2014 07:22PM)
Isn't it obvious?
In the exact same manner that Doctors of Medicine use placebo's to help in treating patients, Psychics use Mentalism effects to help their clients/sitters. It's a pretty basic concept. :spinningcoin:
Message: Posted by: David Fillary (Dec 2, 2014 07:30PM)
[quote]On Dec 2, 2014, ALEXANDRE wrote:
David, you assume Peter can't really read minds, you seem sure of it, how do you know that? Did he tell you? Did you read somewhere that it's "not possible"? [/quote]

By that logic, I would believe that a magician is truly able to vanish a coin from existence, breaking all laws of physics, if I was unable to deduce a method.

Essentially, the effect he performed has the exact same plot as the invisible deck - instead of turning the card over before I named a card, he put it to one side. From a laymen's perspective, there would be little difference, although it does completely rule out sleight of hand even more.
If I was unaware of the invisible deck, seeing a performance of it would not make me believe in psychic reading. Anymore than a naked man vanishing a coin.

I've no idea how Pete did it. Perhaps it was chance with outs, but it sure was a gutsy way to do it. His performances throughout the day had similar miracles occur, so I have my doubts. Perhaps my card is commonly named, although it doesn't appear in any of the lists on the Café, for laymen or magicians.
I don't know. But it hasn't made me believe in the supernatural yet.

Do people in this forum agree with the spiritualists of previous centuries who used various methods to make the spirits of the dead come into a dark room? I really don't see the difference in claims. What about Peter Popoff, who knew information about people via God? Exactly the same effect as mind reading.

Max Maven's response was perfect. It left the questionable doubt in their mind without overtly stating the claim.
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Dec 2, 2014 07:50PM)
[quote]On Dec 2, 2014, Slim King wrote:
Isn't it obvious?
In the exact same manner that Doctors of Medicine use placebo's to help in treating patients, Psychics use Mentalism effects to help their clients/sitters. It's a pretty basic concept. :spinningcoin: [/quote]
I wanted to add, that about HALF of all Dr.s use placebo's...
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/27342269/ns/health-health_care/t/half-us-doctors-often-prescribe-placebos/
Message: Posted by: ALEXANDRE (Dec 2, 2014 09:16PM)
David, you critisize my logic, then claim Maven's response was "perfect". I was asking you the same thing about Peter Turner just using different words. Let me say it in a different way: Your post above presumes that Peter Turner can't (really read your mind).

What's entertaining to read is how some of you guys love Max Maven's response, yet had I, or Slim or many others on here responded in the exact same way we'd be taken to task for trying to deceive our audiences in regards to psychic ability, we'd be called "frauds" and "charlatans" and we'd be attacked for suggesting that what we do is real ... yet when max Maven says it, it's awesome!


How does it look now?

INTERVIEWER: "A lot of people who have seen your show here in Fort Lauderdale come out thinking that what you do is real, that you can read minds, so how do you respond to that?"

ALEXANDRE: Your question presumes that I can't.
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Dec 2, 2014 09:30PM)
[quote]On Dec 2, 2014, ALEXANDRE wrote:
David, you critisize my logic, then claim Maven's response was "perfect". I was asking you the same thing about Peter Turner just using different words. Let me say it in a different way: Your post above presumes that Peter Turner can't (really read your mind).

What's entertaining to read is how some of you guys love Max Maven's response, yet had I, or Slim or many others on here responded in the exact same way we'd be taken to task for trying to deceive our audiences in regards to psychic ability, we'd be called "frauds" and "charlatans" and we'd be attacked for suggesting that what we do is real ... yet when max Maven says it, it's awesome!


How does it look now?

INTERVIEWER: "A lot of people who have seen your show here in Fort Lauderdale come out thinking that what you do is real, that you can read minds, so how do you respond to that?"

ALEXANDRE: Your question presumes that I can't. [/quote]
Ain't it the truth ....
Virtually ALL of the old timers claimed abilities ... just the new ones now that want to sell the farm before the crop is in ... :bawl: :bawl: :cry: :eek:
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Dec 3, 2014 12:18AM)
[quote]On Dec 2, 2014, David Fillary wrote:

Do people in this forum agree with the spiritualists of previous centuries who used various methods to make the spirits of the dead come into a dark room? I really don't see the difference in claims. What about Peter Popoff, who knew information about people via God? Exactly the same effect as mind reading.

[/quote]

Don't be silly, David. When Peter Popoff had his wife feed information into his earpiece he was merely using a placebo on his parishioners. He was actually helping them by taking their money from them and not healing them. You know...like a doctor.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Dec 3, 2014 02:35AM)
[quote]On Dec 2, 2014, David Fillary wrote:


Do people in this forum agree with the spiritualists of previous centuries who used various methods to make the spirits of the dead come into a dark room? I really don't see the difference in claims. What about Peter Popoff, who knew information about people via God? Exactly the same effect as mind reading.
[/quote]

But not the same result or intent. Mentalism, regardless of the claims made, is a form of entertainment. Fraudulent spirit mediums induced others to rely, to the financial and personal detriment, upon false claims.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 3, 2014 07:57AM)
Bob, I again commend you for keeping this horse in the race (Mentalism is a form of entertainment) while others seem bent on running the horse to ground where they can beat the carcass repeatedly, "hide" beneath the shadowy cover, scatter the bones to the fore-winds or claim the steed was actually a mule in sheep's clothing (to mix a couple of metaphors).

but, there remains the question of what then to call a person who uses "similar techniques" for other purposes:

to educate, to gather the audience attention in ancient bardic fashion, to provide contrast for a legitimate soothing process, to unmask a fraud, etc. (not to include psychic or spiritualism or alien claims)

in each of these (and other) cases an observer might apply the term Mentalist to what they experience. What does one call themselves in conversation with noted Mentalist of your definition?

Is there any consensus as to what a lay person considers to be Mentalism? Does this vary as to culture?

Does any one else care?
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (Dec 3, 2014 09:29AM)
[quote]On Dec 2, 2014, ALEXANDRE wrote:
Falty logic, Martin. Just because the guy publishes methods doesn't mean he can't really do it. Just because someone enjoys the art of magic and mentalism doesn't mean they can't actually use their intuitive abilities in some interesting way. I don't know, just saying.

[/quote]

I would say that it's faulty logic to assume it's real just because you can't discern a method, not the other way around. To believe it is real you would first have to make an unproven assumption that mind reading is possible.
On the other hand, no assumption has to be made if we determine a method at play. The fact that Pete sells his material and states that he can't read minds backs that up. That's not faulty logic, it's critical thinking.
Message: Posted by: ALEXANDRE (Dec 3, 2014 11:05AM)
Hi Sean. You don't know all of Peter Turner's "methods" ... your post above presumes that he can't actually read someone's mind. How do you know? Just curious. Is it because you believe no such thing is possible? I have not heard him state that he cannot read minds, in fact he goes around demonstrating it all the time, of course I could be wrong, maybe he's made that statement, maybe he's written it clearly somewhere, maybe he has a clear disclaimer before he performs that he is not in any way "real". I enjoy believing the guy may be some kind of witch.

What bugs me about this "art" is that some choose to label every mentalist or psychic entertainer (including themselves) as someone who does "tricks" or if you prefer "clever deception". I don't believe that's the case and neither should many of us, and that perception should certainly not become common knowledge with audiences out there. Unfortunately some are so afraid or ashamed or angry towards anything paranormal or metaphysical that many amongst us are constantly trying to destroy what for audiences is a good part of the mystery and the entertainment. Fortunately, even though some try, and try very hard, plenty of audience members continue to choose to believe, and so do I! I'm certain that's a big part of the fun regarding what most of us do, and I believe performers in general must respect their audiences and avoid being responsible for taking part of their fun down a notch.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 3, 2014 11:18AM)
I don't do tricks, I don't think there's any evidence to support a lot of the paranormal and supernatural claims made by people outside of the entertainment field either...i find the nlp/psychological angle to have many flaws too...

I like doing my own thing...

I do think though, that if you present it as real, and its not clear that its for entertainment, then I personally think that can be problematic...
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Dec 3, 2014 11:23AM)
You are free to claim to be psychic if you wish. I don't think anyone said otherwise.

But if you do so in an entertainment context you make yourself fair game for debunkers and skeptics like Randi.

If you start offering potentially life changing advice to people you have crossed a very serious ethical line as far as I'm concerned -and you should be open to a lawsuit if anyone follows your advice and suffers as a consequence.
Message: Posted by: Michael Daniels (Dec 3, 2014 11:42AM)
[quote]On Dec 3, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
You are free to claim to be psychic if you wish. I don't think anyone said otherwise.

But if you do so in an entertainment context you make yourself fair game for debunkers and skeptics like Randi.

If you start offering potentially life changing advice to people you have crossed a very serious ethical line as far as I'm concerned -and you should be open to a lawsuit if anyone follows your advice and suffers as a consequence. [/quote]

And if you claim to be psychic in certain countries, the penalties can be dire indeed.

Mike
Message: Posted by: Randwill (Dec 3, 2014 12:21PM)
[quote]On Dec 3, 2014, ALEXANDRE wrote:

I enjoy believing the guy may be some kind of witch.

...plenty of audience members continue to choose to believe, and so do I! [/quote]

Many people desperately want certain things to be true. These desires should not be confused with reality. Though, as we see here, they often are.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 3, 2014 01:16PM)
[quote]On Dec 3, 2014, ALEXANDRE wrote:
Unfortunately some are so afraid or ashamed or angry towards anything paranormal or metaphysical that many amongst us are constantly trying to destroy what for audiences is a good part of the mystery and the entertainment. [/quote]

for me, for a fair while, I was far more towards the metaphysical side, the more traditional psychic entertainment side of things...but for me, part of the beauty of mentalism is that we are allowed to explore and express ourselves personally via mentalism...and part of that means letting go of some of the older traditional presentational ploys (if we want to)...to move away from it, to try something different...whatever it is, fail or succeed - it almost doesn't matter...

the important part is the self exploration and the attempt to express ourselves in an interesting and unique way...

so if that means, dropping the old school explanations - then we should maybe celebrate that attempt...

too often both groups of traditional mindreaders/psychic entertainers, vs the psychologically driven performers fight and pull each other's views apart...i've taken part in some too (not pointing fingers or pendulums)...

and that's a shame...

i think people have justifiable worries and concerns about certain performers and how they do it, some worries are unfounded though...and often seen through a Hitchens-esque vitriol that they can't quite pull off...

life isn't 100% one way or another...neither are belief structures and systems...often, these debates deal in absolutes only...

if you think zero harm ever comes to people who visit people who claim to be able to contact the dead and pass on messages (as an example), then you are wrong (there's evidence to prove that frauds exist) - just as there's evidenec to show that people who claim to be able to contact the dead and pass on messages are there to try and help and genuinely believe in their gift and want nothing but good things for those that visits...so neither "side" will ever change the other...lets move on...

i think what people want others to consider, is if they might contribute to a belief that may become negative, that might drive someone in a bad situation to take an extra step something that may or may not be bad news for them...just in case...

just like some people think mentalism can somehow change someone's life, or that readings should be used as therapy...for me, both views are dangerous, involve ego, and miss the point of what mentalism and readings should be...and this is from someone who does readings...
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (Dec 3, 2014 01:38PM)
[quote]On Dec 3, 2014, ALEXANDRE wrote:
Hi Sean. You don't know all of Peter Turner's "methods" ... your post above presumes that he can't actually read someone's mind. How do you know? Just curious. Is it because you believe no such thing is possible? I have not heard him state that he cannot read minds, in fact he goes around demonstrating it all the time, of course I could be wrong, maybe he's made that statement, maybe he's written it clearly somewhere, maybe he has a clear disclaimer before he performs that he is not in any way "real". I enjoy believing the guy may be some kind of witch.

What bugs me about this "art" is that some choose to label every mentalist or psychic entertainer (including themselves) as someone who does "tricks" or if you prefer "clever deception". I don't believe that's the case and neither should many of us, and that perception should certainly not become common knowledge with audiences out there. Unfortunately some are so afraid or ashamed or angry towards anything paranormal or metaphysical that many amongst us are constantly trying to destroy what for audiences is a good part of the mystery and the entertainment. Fortunately, even though some try, and try very hard, plenty of audience members continue to choose to believe, and so do I! I'm certain that's a big part of the fun regarding what most of us do, and I believe performers in general must respect their audiences and avoid being responsible for taking part of their fun down a notch. [/quote]

He's fooled you. He's good, that's what he does. He's very good, as I found out when I was fortunate enough to hang out with him. He told me the name of my childhood friend without me saying a word. Have you listened to him lecture? Pete is very clear on what he does but it's a testament to his ability that you question its reality. Are there any other magicians or mentalists that you think are doing it for real?
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 3, 2014 01:42PM)
I don't believe he thinks pete is real for one minute...for some reason, its part of the argument some people put up to try and prove a point...its a pointless discussion ultimately (sadly) - in part because of things like that...
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Dec 3, 2014 02:51PM)
It is far from a pointless discussion, in my opinion. Our art often intrigues young, impressionable minds and it would be irresponsible to leave a place like this as an open field for practitioners of psychic reading.

I don't even see this as a debate between traditional psychic mentalists and psychological mentalists. Both are just presentational tools. The debate is surely between those who believe psychic powers exist and can be combined with mentalism techniques to deceive people, and those who see mentalism as a performance art that has no business trampling through and trying to influence people's private life decisions.

A bit more "Hitchens-esque vitriol" wouldn't go amiss, I think. One of my great heroes.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 3, 2014 03:08PM)
We need more degasse tysons, less Hitchens in my opinion...


For me, its more about encouraging people to consider whether what they perform, and how they perform it, which may encourage certain unhealthy beliefs...
Message: Posted by: ALEXANDRE (Dec 3, 2014 04:38PM)
Some of you guys are hardcore, man, wow, arresting a performer/entertainer for claiming to be psychic, geez, come down to Fort Lauderdale and give it a shot. I was an actor for many many years, I played murderers and didn't get arrested. You guys need to relax a bit ... wow.

Are we still talking about entertainment here? Seriously guys.

And Martin, for me to claim I'm psychic "IN AN ENTERTAINMENT CONTEXT" I make myself fair game to skeptics and debunkers? I hope you're kidding. I completely, utterly, 100% disagree with the notion that an ENTERTAINER claiming whatever they want to claim can be "fair game" to anyone wanting to ruin their business as AN ENTERTAINER simply because they don't like what they're claiming. Sick stuff.

Before I write something I'll regret, I'll just step away now, thanks for the chat.
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Dec 3, 2014 04:56PM)
[quote]On Dec 3, 2014, ALEXANDRE wrote:
And Martin, for me to claim I'm psychic "IN AN ENTERTAINMENT CONTEXT" I make myself fair game to skeptics and debunkers? I hope you're kidding. I completely, utterly, 100% disagree with the notion that an ENTERTAINER claiming whatever they want to claim can be "fair game" to anyone wanting to ruin their business as AN ENTERTAINER simply because they don't like what they're claiming. Sick stuff.

Before I write something I'll regret, I'll just step away now, thanks for the chat. [/quote]

Why would that make you write something you'd regret?

You don't think Uri Geller opened himself up to be debunked by claiming to be a real psychic in an entertainment context? Obviously he did. If he hadn't claimed to be genuine Randi wouldn't have looked at him twice.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 3, 2014 04:59PM)
[quote]On Dec 3, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
If he hadn't claimed to be genuine Randi wouldn't have looked at him twice. [/quote]
weeeeeeeell....i dunno about that...
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Dec 3, 2014 05:00PM)
Now, now Iain. Behave.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Dec 3, 2014 05:12PM)
Martin-

Geller did not make his claims in an entertainment context. He claimed to be a real psychic and was tested, early on, by scientists. His appearances were in lecture style formats and explicitly presented as real phenomena.

Truth be told, while he was charismatic and interesting, he was hardly an entertainer, and was never referred to as such in his heyday.

His popularity resulted directly, not from his ability to entertain, but because he managed to convince several scientists that he was real and/or that his abilities were worthy of further investigation.

I've always presented myself as a mind reader and don't use disclaimers. Obviously, though, given the venues in which I present my act and the manner in which I present it, it is clearly seen as entertainment. I have never offered to have my claims tested by scientists, nor would I. That, to me, would be crossing the line.

I've never been considered "fair game" for skeptics and, in fact, some of them are my greatest fans.
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Dec 3, 2014 05:42PM)
[quote]On Dec 3, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
Martin-

Geller did not make his claims in an entertainment context. He claimed to be a real psychic and was tested, early on, by scientists. His appearances were in lecture style formats and explicitly presented as real phenomena.

Truth be told, while he was charismatic and interesting, he was hardly an entertainer, and was never referred to as such in his heyday.

His popularity resulted directly, not from his ability to entertain, but because he managed to convince several scientists that he was real and/or that his abilities were worthy of further investigation.

I've always presented myself as a mind reader and don't use disclaimers. Obviously, though, given the venues in which I present my act and the manner in which I present it, it is clearly seen as entertainment. I have never offered to have my claims tested by scientists, nor would I. That, to me, would be crossing the line.

I've never been considered "fair game" for skeptics and, in fact, some of them are my greatest fans. [/quote]

Bob,

Geller had a stage show that played very much as entertainment. In theatres with an interval etc. That was in addition to his fun and games at Stanford. That what I was referring to.

As far as I'm aware, you have never explicitly claimed to be psychic? If you did, and put on public demonstrations of it in theatres- I think you would immediately attract skeptics and debunkers.

When Derren Brown's show first started in the UK, it was listed under science on the Channel 4 website, presumably as some part of the whole NLP misdirection ploy. Because of that he was exposed in the Daily Telegraph, one of the biggest selling British quality newspapers. Derren quickly started adjusting his claims and Channel 4 removed the show from the science section.

So it isn't only explicit "psychic" claims that can get you into hot water. To protect the art, we should surely be refraining from making claims that attract the attention of skeptics and debunkers? The Telegraph article exposed several of Derren's routines to millions of readers.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Dec 3, 2014 05:44PM)
Aaaah...Simon Singh...so much to answer for...

^The Smiths lyric reference...

i would have thought derren would be more inclined to gang up on Singh with Dawkins....
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Dec 3, 2014 06:44PM)
No. Geller didn't have a stage show. Yes, he appeared in theaters such as the Town Hall in New York, in a lecture style format. Much like famous authors and political figures have done.

Geller did not present himself as an entertainer. Derren Brown always did, so I thought the attacks on him were out of line and not justified at all.

All I've ever claimed is that I'm a mind reader. I HAVE had notable skeptics show up at some performances with the intent of "exposing" me. But by the time the show was over, they'd such a good time they either left me alone or went out drinking with me. :eek:
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Dec 3, 2014 07:59PM)
I'm not quite following your logic, Bob. Geller had a stage show from 1969 in Israel. He appeared in conventional theatres and nightclubs and had an act which he repeated from performance to performance. He continued using this act when he arrived in the US and the UK.

From the details contained in Marks and Kammann's 'Psychology of the Psychic', his show wouldn't look that different to a modern audience from a conventional mentalism show; opening with guessing basic colours being transmitted by a spectator, then a drawing duplication, then a spectator as mind-reader effect, then a blindfold psychometry routine. After the interval he performed an effect similar to psychokinetic time, followed by starting watches and ending with his signature key and spoon bending.

But of course, he did not explicitly present himself as an entertainer, and he called what he was doing demonstrations. That was his whole angle, and that is my point. By claiming to have real paranormal powers he attracted sceptics, right from his early days in Israel.

But in fact, even Geller has spoken of his early days in Israel being his first steps in "show business" and "entertainment".

I still think 'No Claim, No Blame' is the safest option!
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Dec 3, 2014 08:40PM)
[quote]On Dec 3, 2014, IAIN wrote:
[quote]On Dec 3, 2014, Martin Pulman wrote:
If he hadn't claimed to be genuine Randi wouldn't have looked at him twice. [/quote]
weeeeeeeell....i dunno about that... [/quote]
ROTFLM@O...Funniest thing all week.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Dec 3, 2014 09:33PM)
Martin-

Clearly, I'm referring to what Geller did AFTER he arrived in the United States and attained world wide fame as a psychic, not his earlier career as an unknown.

When the Beatles arrived in the US, they didn't go the SRI to be tested. And when Uri arrived, he didn't appear on the Ed Sullivan Show.