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Topic: Are mentalists as gullible as everyone else?
Message: Posted by: Jonathan1000 (Nov 19, 2004 05:47PM)
Until recently, I would have bet the farm that mentalists would be universally skeptical about the existence of ESP. My reasoning went like this: We invest loads of money, devote hour after hour in practice, and read, gossip, create and connive – all in a grand effort to SIMULATE powers we see we don’t actually have. So, my logic went, that kind of evidence should make us the first to acknowledge that paranormal powers don’t exist.

It appears I'm wrong. It appears that many of us do believe in esp. I have no way of knowing what percentage of Café members are believers, but you can find pro-esp statements scattered through this board. See, for example, these two current threads in this Penny for Your Thoughts section:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=91303&forum=15&23
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=91403&forum=15&38

If any group ever had an incentive to make esp work for real, it should be us. And if any group ever had direct and prolonged experience that esp doesn’t work, it would also be us.

So why do so many of us continue to believe in ESP?

And can any of you suggest a way we could accurately determine what percentage of us are believers?
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Nov 19, 2004 05:50PM)
You're on the verge of preaching.

Steve
Message: Posted by: Tom Jorgenson (Nov 19, 2004 09:44PM)
Ummmm...just ask?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hallahan (Nov 19, 2004 11:11PM)
[quote]
My reasoning went like this: We invest loads of money, devote hour after hour in practice, and read, gossip, create and connive – all in a grand effort to SIMULATE powers we see we don’t actually have. So, my logic went, that kind of evidence should make us the first to acknowledge that paranormal powers don’t exist.
[/quote]
While I don't believe in psychic powers, I don't understand your logic.

Simulation and belief can be totally independent.
Message: Posted by: R2 (Nov 19, 2004 11:29PM)
We all believe in Extra Sensitive Perception!
Why don't you Jonathan?
Message: Posted by: Banachek (Nov 19, 2004 11:42PM)
If you had said magicians/mentalists I would have to agree. Look how many fell for Derren Brown 's explanations. It is quite amazing when you think about it and look at the posts even here on this board. I am even fairly sure that it probably took Derren by surprise.

Whether the "explanation" is psychic or psychological, many want to believe, even those who should know better.

Don't get me wrong. I am not saying there is no such thing as psychic phenomena but it is amazing how many want to believe those who say they are not using tricks when it is quite obvious they are. The rational is usually something like "just because they are using tricks sometime it does not mean they are using it all the time."

Well yes, who can argue with that? However, I would think those in the know would suspect that more than likely because "they" are using tricks quite often, that more than likely the odds are "they" are using tricks all the time and the few lucky hits are just that, lucky hits and the odds working in their favor. You do this stuff every day, you are going to have some things you just can't explain. If this did not happen, that would be odd in itself.

As for the question of ESP belief, I think there are many different levels of belief. The only problem I see is that those who believe ESP is possible, use the belief of it possible on a small scale and rare examples as "proof" that someone can do it on demand on stage. I have not seen that "proof" yet and have worked and seen the best. I have worked with the best, including Geller on stage and I have not seen anyone yet who did not cheat. Sad but true. As a result, I do say that anyone doing this stuff on stage is probably cheating. Do I say ESP is not real, I can't say that at all.

Just my two cents for what it might not be worth.
Message: Posted by: Bambaladam (Nov 20, 2004 02:49AM)
Please allow for the possibility that what others believe and you don't isn't an indication of gullibility. It will make your life a lot easier. I am not certain there are many of "us" who agree on anything. I am sure there are a lot of mentalists who feel that the militant fundamentalist sceptic ideology that dominates this message board is not good for the art of mentalism.

Also, what someone else believes is very much their business. Please show some respect.

Stop believing anyone who sees more than you is automatically wrong.

/Bamba
Message: Posted by: MentaThought (Nov 20, 2004 05:05AM)
[quote]
On 2004-11-20 00:42, Banachek wrote:
I have worked with the best, including Geller on stage and I have not seen anyone yet who did not cheat.
[/quote]

Banachek and Geller on the same stage?
Am I the only one here who would like to find out more about this occurrence?
I sure hope this event was recorded!
Message: Posted by: RJE (Nov 20, 2004 11:07AM)
Jonathon, I'm with you.

I don't call the believers gullible, rather I see them caught up in a belief that is reinforced by others. I call it "evidence by numbers," Angelo Stagnaro in his book "Something From Nothing," (a great little book IMO) calls it "Communal Reinforcement." Whatever, let the believers belief and this includes the performers and the audience. Remember that truth and reality are irrelevant, it is only what people belief is true and real that matters. If it weren't so, how could we make a living???
Cheers! Rob
Message: Posted by: landmark (Nov 20, 2004 12:58PM)
. . . yes.



Jack Shalom
Message: Posted by: brianp (Nov 20, 2004 01:09PM)
Study Rae Hyman and his successors for good insights into ESP and mindreading and how it affects both the reader and client.
As mentalists it doesn't really matter whether we believe or not. All that matters is that our audience/client believes in psychic phenomena.
For the record put me into the non-believer column, Geller is a great showman.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan1000 (Nov 20, 2004 01:11PM)
Using the word "gullible" in the title (only) of my post was a deliberate provocation on my part, intended to get this topic read and responded to. I sincerely apologize if I've offended any believers on this board, since that wasn't my goal. :)

But I'm fascinated that some people found my words so bothersome. Suppose I'd said you were gullible for believing that the coriolis effect causes water in the northern hemisphere to exit toilet bowls with a clockwise rotation? Would some of you still be telling me to "Please show some respect?"
It would appear that for some of you, belief in esp takes on the quality of a religious belief. Or at least you react to assaults on your belief in esp similarly to the way people react when their religion has been attacked.
Message: Posted by: Joshua Quinn (Nov 20, 2004 03:14PM)
What fascinates me are mentalists who count themselves as believers (define as you will) specifically because of one or more intense, personal experiences which they're convinced have no mundane explanation. I could understand such a rationale coming from nearly anyone else, as it's a very normal, if flawed, human reaction. But it seems to me that if any group of people should understand the inherent unreliability of personal experience (no matter how apparently irrefutable and inexplicable) as an indicator of reality, it should be those whose job is to cause other people to spend the rest of their lives believing to their core that they experienced something which they didn't really experience. How those two things can coexist in the same mind is a complete mystery to me.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan1000 (Nov 20, 2004 03:45PM)
Elegantly stated, Quinn.
Message: Posted by: Bambaladam (Nov 20, 2004 06:12PM)
[quote]
On 2004-11-20 16:14, Quinn wrote:
What fascinates me are mentalists who count themselves as believers (define as you will) specifically because of one or more intense, personal experiences which they're convinced have no mundane explanation.
[/quote]
You might need to offer a quote or something to make that statement relevant.

/Bamba


Posted: Nov 20, 2004 7:13pm
----------------------------------------
[quote]
On 2004-11-20 14:09, brianp wrote:
Study Rae Hyman and his successors for good insights into ESP and mindreading and how it affects both the reader and client.[/quote]

I would not call them great insights, but they do represent one of many possible explanations. To get all the facts use other sources too and THINK FOR YOURSELF.

[quote]As mentalists it doesn't really matter whether we believe or not. All that matters is that our audience/client believes in psychic phenomena.[/quote]

I couldn't agree more, but I think an open mind will help you relate to your audience.

/bamba


Posted: Nov 20, 2004 7:15pm
----------------------------------------
[quote]
On 2004-11-20 14:11, Jonathan1000 wrote:
It would appear that for some of you, belief in esp takes on the quality of a religious belief. Or at least you react to assaults on your belief in esp similarly to the way people react when their religion has been attacked.
[/quote]
In fact, if you read my posts carefully, you will find I avoid making any statements regarding any of my beliefs. I have a big problem with people who attack other people's beliefs though. I find it disrespectful, ignorant and most of all arrogant.

/bamba
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Nov 20, 2004 08:02PM)
[quote]It would appear that for some of you, belief in esp takes on the quality of a religious belief. Or at least you react to assaults on your belief in esp similarly to the way people react when their religion has been attacked.
[/quote]
Some react that way when their empirical/skeptical stance is disregarded as well. Beyond personal frustration, I don't see why they need to react that way. If one dismisses the metaphysical out of hand, sees no inherent meaning in life beyond its biological self-continuation, and can accept that not everyone grasps that reality-of-futility, or even will if presented with that viewpoint, what is there to 'crusade' over?

If I were an existentialist (a stance I once considered years ago), I would just chuckle at such matters and walk away, knowing that everyone is spinning their wheels, that few realize it, that trying to force others to my viewpoint is a waste of what little time I have, and that whether I convince them or not means nothing in a universe with no ultimate meaning.

Steve
Message: Posted by: asmayly (Nov 20, 2004 10:05PM)
I think mentalists who perform get rare opportunities to actually conduct experiments on ESP and sometimes find themselves surprised with results that they think are examples of it.

Mentalists know that what they do is entertainment; it's ESP rarified and packaged for on-stage consumption (what Banachek alluded to)--ESP would never happen that often and audiences know that but suspend their disbelief for the sake of being entertained.

But performing this art runs irrespective of ones personal experiences and beliefs.
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Nov 21, 2004 12:32AM)
I would suggest that mentalist has ever conducted a true scientific study into the existence of psychic phenomena. Like laypeople, they rely on anecdotal evidence of personal experiences instead of conducting legitimate scientific studies.

Descartes suggests that we should only believe in that which we can prove. However, at some point, everyone must believe in SOMETHING without 100% proof. Scientists themselves have faith that the systems of science and Cartesian rationalism are correct and will offer them facts and truths.

99% of most mentalist’s acts consist of tricks and routines presented in the form of a show or entertainment. A cold reading psychic or faith healer has at their disposable a huge range of techniques that can not be duplicated on the stage that would render the skills of a mentalist redundant.
Message: Posted by: RonCalhoun (Nov 21, 2004 12:58AM)
[quote]
On 2004-11-19 18:47, Jonathan1000 wrote:
Until recently, I would have bet the farm that mentalists would be universally skeptical about the existence of ESP.

If any group ever had an incentive to make esp work for real, it should be us. And if any group ever had direct and prolonged experience that esp doesn't work, it would also be us.
[/quote]

Jonathan1000

You are right about this[b] “If any group ever had an incentive to make esp work for real, it should be us.”[/b]

I canNOT prove something does not work. But if anyone ever wanted to know, you're right, It would be us.

Ron Calhoun
Message: Posted by: Alan Wright (Nov 21, 2004 01:59PM)
[quote]
On 2004-11-19 18:47, Jonathan1000 wrote:
Until recently, I would have bet the farm that mentalists would be universally skeptical about the existence of ESP. My reasoning went like this: We invest loads of money, devote hour after hour in practice, and read, gossip, create and connive – all in a grand effort to SIMULATE powers we see we don’t actually have. So, my logic went, that kind of evidence should make us the first to acknowledge that paranormal powers don’t exist.

[/quote]

By that same logic, the people who build, say, airplane sets for the movies shouldn't believe there is any such thing as a real airplane.

The concept of mind-reading and ESP had to start somewhere, and for all you or I know it was, if not is, real.

I've read of some accounts of amazing coincidences that seemed almost too good to be true. I'm not saying these are not all lies. Nor am I saying that ESP must be real. But I am saying that I'm open to it, and there really isn't any reason not to be.

Just because we have ways of faking ESP, doesn't mean the real thing isn't out there.

The way I see it, we aren't gullible because we are open to ESP, something which there is no SOLID proof for or against, but it's stupid to say it CANNOT be real.

And yes I know, you claim you said gullible only to get people to read this...

No. You called people gullible. If you really didn't mean it you would have said that BEFORE people brought it up.

Have a good one.
Message: Posted by: bobser (Nov 21, 2004 08:02PM)
Corinda (in 13 steps), a natural skeptic, happily admits that a visitor (un-named in the book)totally baffling everyone in the magic circle with his evidence in readings.
I've watched the great Gordon Higginson many times claim that you 'don't' really need lots of evidences, going round and around till your dizzy. Only one. Then he would go on to totally wipe the floor with the skeptics and mentalists sitting in his audience.

I guess what I'm saying is some of us have possibly been lucky enough to experience things that others have unfortunately not.
The good news for skeptics of esp, the afterlife, etc,is: "If you fight really really hard for your non-beliefs...... you get to keep them."

It's always totally baffled me how non-believers seem to give the impression that they know something, or possess some knowledge, when by definition, they simply cannot.

Apart from that, isn't it much more exciting to through this 3 score & 10 with the attitude of: "Just Maybe" than trying to prove a negative?
Maybe this is why the skeptics always seem to come across as just a little agitated.
Can you imagine trying to tell someone who truly believes that they do actually 'know' that ESP exists that they're wrong cos' 'you' don't think so. It just doesn't work like that!

In my experience ESP is a complete and personal individual thing. But sometimes, as Professor Susan Blackmore (Bristol University)has stated: "The main challenge seems to be that it has a mind of its own, and for the most part 'chooses' not to play".
Message: Posted by: Fernando (Nov 21, 2004 08:36PM)
Corinda knew the mediums well. He mixed in those circles at one time. Roy Walton once told me that Corinda used to be the guy who would go through the pockets in the spiritualist church cloakrooms to ferret out information about the congregation. He was what you would call a medium's assistant.

Regarding Gordon Higginson I remember him being caught and drummed out of the Spiritualist Association years ago for cheating. It must be about 44 years ago that I read about the scandal in "Psychic News" the famous UK spiritualist newspaper. He had been caught with ectoplasm which I think turned out to be crepe paper.I think he was also caught going through the pockets of the believers. I suppose Corinda was off that night.

Of course he is now the boss of the association. I was highly amused when he came on television and made a challenge to magicians thus:
"If you can come on stage and do what we do without any preparation I will give you a large sum of money (I forget how much now). You have to come on stage for two hours without any props and do exactly what the mediums do."

Of course no magician including Randi had the knowledge or experience to take up the challenge. It is an art in itself and magicians generally don't have the knack of it despite all the claptrap they write and talk about the subject.

I think that the next time the sceptics shrill loudly about Randi's $100,000 challenge the believers should say "we will be happy to do that once you have taken Higginson's challenge up"

That should shut them up.
Message: Posted by: Banachek (Nov 21, 2004 10:28PM)
There is a major logical flaw in the statement "I think that the next time the sceptics shrill loudly about Randi's $100,000 challenge the believers should say "we will be happy to do that once you have taken Higginson's challenge up"

The Sceptic is not making an outrageous claim. The spiritualist is making a claim against science as we know it today. The burdon of proof therefore lays squarely upon the person making the outrageous claim.

Therefore I doubt the statement would "shut them up."


A good sceptic knows when to say "I don't have enough informaton to make a definitive statment on such and such a claim." There is nothing wrong with stating what your experience has shown you though.
Message: Posted by: Fernando (Nov 22, 2004 07:36AM)
Steve. You are probably correct when you say that it won't shut the sceptics up. I find that they do yap rather a lot. But then so do I. Perhaps I should have been a sceptic!

The difference is that we psychics (yes, that is my profession!) don't really give a stuff. We are making the money anyway. We don't need to prove anything. The "burden of proof" isn't on us, I am afraid. That is because we don't care. It may come as a shock to you but really.......we don't care! We really don't.

The sceptics are the ones who are making all the noise so the burden of proof is on them. Not us. Sorry.

You know Randi much better than me. I think he is a great showman.One of my favourites. However you know as well as I do that the old fraud ain't gonna cough up the money any more than Higginson is even if you pulled 3 tons of ectoplasm out of his left ear.

I noticed you don't deny that no magician or sceptic has the ability to get up on a stage and do what the mediums do for two hours or so without any props or preparation. It does take a little practice you know. Of course sometimes the spirits can't get through properly so you have to use other means to help them and this takes a bit of practice at doing things that sceptics aren't much good at.

You are a talented chap according to all accounts. I have never seen you work but I believe what I hear even though it hasn't been proven scientifically to me.
I will therefore forego the burden of proof requirement for the moment and assume that you are as wonderful as everyone says you are.

This being the case why don't YOU claim the money that Higginson is offering? I bet you could do it with a bit of practice. And you wouldn't have to be hampered by uncooperative spirits either.

Or is it the case that you know that Higginson is just as likely to give you the money as Randi is? I hate to tell you this but the psychics outwit the sceptics every time. Time and again, time and again.

Of course we have our dead relatives to guide us.
Message: Posted by: shrink (Nov 22, 2004 11:24AM)
I posted a while back about a Horizon documentary which I saw many years ago whuich I wished I had taped.

It was basically about ESP and PK. It had some very well known sceptic scientists and pro esp scientists carry out some scientifically controlled experiments.

Falling beans over a sort of maze influencing with thoughts where they would land was one of the experiments if I remember correctly.

The sceptics not suprisingly got negative results while the pro esp scientists got positive results. Both sets of experiments were conducted exactly with the same controls.

The programme concluded with some of the latest discoveries in the field of quantum physics and that science is catching up with what some esoteric practices have been saying for thousands of years.

Also the sceptic scientist conceded that beyond doubt there was something in esp.

Sorry I can't say much more as it was a while ago. If it ever re-runs again tape it.

Shrink
Message: Posted by: Banachek (Nov 22, 2004 01:14PM)
Fernando, I did not deny or state otherwise that a magician could get up on stage and do as they have. In fact quite the opposite, I have seen many a magician through the years who could do just that. The interesting thing is I suspect, as happened with me with the alpha project, is that if any magician did do just as you request the spiritualists would be crying that they have to be real.

I for one would be happy to get up on stage for two hours with no props. With that in mind, if you would as well let me choose the time and place, especially the place as most of the spiritualists do, that would be nice, if not, I would still be willing to do it. Give me Higgenson's number and if he will sign a contract stating that he will be willing to give the money and do it under a committee for me, with me I will be happy to do it. Of course, he will have to present proof that another medium has done exactly what he proposes I do and not just hearsay. "A spiritualist walked through a wall, we want to see you do that." I would suggest that a spiritulist be present and do two hours of work and then I duplicate it as close as is possible. This would be great fun actually.

Having said this, I would like to point out that this question by Higgenson is much like a mentalist as myself stating that if someone thinks it is all fake then I suggest they get up on stage and do it all and I will pay them money, I suspect they could not even if a professional mentalist was to do so. We all have our own subtleties. So I would hope he would not hold me down to every simple detail. In the reverse (sceptic vs. spiritualist) all we ask is for one bit of proof under controlled conditions, any bit at all not just a very specific piece we might ask for.

The interesting thing is the burden is not upon the sceptic to prove it false. The sceptic is not presenting the claim. The spiritualist is presenting a claim. You do not seem to understand that and fall upon the time tested illogical argument of "We don't care." If this is the case, why not? Surely if this was real and spiritulists want to help (as they claim their work is all about) would they not want to make sure it was documented as genuine. Surely they could make more money by convincing everyone it is real, if it is about the money?

If as you say you and others who claim genuine powers do not care, then why comment upon the sceptics at all? Obviously there is some sort of emotional internal twisting going on when sceptics comment because if spiritulists genuinely did not care as you state, then they would not see a need to comment about it as you state.

With much respect
Message: Posted by: Hypnotic Winter (Nov 22, 2004 01:27PM)
I like what Ian Rowland said.
when people ask him can he really do what the psychics do? he says," yes", then people ask him,"isn't it hard?" to which he replys,"of course not otherwise the psychic couldn't do it".

Ian, if your out there I appoligise if I've mixed your lines up a nit but I think I got it close enough.

H.W
Message: Posted by: asmayly (Nov 22, 2004 02:29PM)
Shrink,
There's a movie out in the US in very limited runs called "What the BLEEP do I know".

I suppose it's the lastest on quantum physics and influencing reality (aka ESP/ religion/ prayer, etc.).

It was produced by a Software engineer out of Boulder Colorado who made it big with 2 companies and promised himself that if he was successful the second time, he would make this movie.

It is quite interesting! Rent it when it comes out on DVD.
Message: Posted by: bobser (Nov 22, 2004 02:29PM)
To Fernando...
I'm sorry but you're more than just a little mixed up. In fact you're talking sh***te. Sorry, but as a Scotsman I find it hard to be anything other than blunt in matters of such major importance.
1st) Gordon Higginson WAS suspected of fraud. Do you know of any decent mediums or mentalists who haven't been?
And maybe he did give himself 'an edge' when every so often we was asked to perform again and again and again for someone who had just travelled for several days to receive (free)evidence that their loved one was alive. But I don't know that he did and evidently, neither do you.
2nd) Gordon Higginson never offered the sum of money you refer to, as if he were some stage mentalist, which,at best, is what 'we all are'.
3rd) In all fairness to you, I get the feeling that you are actually getting him mixed up with someone else.
Gordon Higginson, for you and Banachek's information, passed away over 12 years ago. He was, without doubt, the greatest living medium of his age. He would have enjoyed mentalism, but would never in his life performed it. And to the best of my knowledge, never charged for his work or readings with regard to Spiritual churhes, of which he worked through for more than thirty years. he was known as 'the boy medium' and from the age of 12 was actually stoned whilst doing his demonstrations which as I said were commission free. Maybe one day some of us might be able to get our commercialised heads round that. Though sadly, I doubt that very much!
Message: Posted by: shrink (Nov 22, 2004 04:07PM)
Asmayly: thanks for the DVD tip I,ll look out for it sounds just like something I would enjoy. I personally believe there is more to what our senses or conventional conditioning allows us to percieve. I think the eternal ongoing argument similar to this one is a waste of time. I think ESP probably does exist but not in the theatrical form that we are discussing.

Most people would agree that there is a spiritual side to the human race (even most sceptics)although no science has proved it because science and spirituality are two different things. Filter the spiritual element through scientific processes and its no longer spiritual..

Shrink
Message: Posted by: Banachek (Nov 22, 2004 04:20PM)
Thanks Bobser for the clarification, Higginson sounds like an intriguing personality. I had never heard of him before.

Maybe Fernando will continue the trend he talks about and offer me the money from his own pocket if I can get up on stage and duplicate his work? Especially since Fernando states that other psychics should use this ploy as shutting sceptics up. I would be willing to have a go of it at my own expense even.
Message: Posted by: Fernando (Nov 22, 2004 05:06PM)
I will reply in more detail a little later. I have to check with Mr Higginson in the spirit realm first. I wasn't aware he had died. We psychics are not like sceptics you know. We don't claim to know everything.

I do have Mr Higginsons statement in a book about Doris Stokes.I must ask Mr Bobser to refrain from bad language since I am a very spiritual person. He can surely make his point in a less profane manner.

Incidentally Doris Stokes was a great medium. I remember when she sent silly old Randi off with a flea in his ear on the radio. He scampered off quicker than a demented flea.

Did you know that Doris was managed from jail by the notorious murderers -the Kray twins?

Steve is what we in the business call a "half wide mug" He obviously doesn't know much about the psychic business if he has never heard of Gordon Higginson.

I will answer his points in more detail. However I would just like to say that I will be DELIGHTED to answer his challenge since Gordon is unavailable at the moment. I am quite sure that he will get as much money out of me as I would get out of Randi. I operate in exactly the same way. If I fail at the challenge and am unable to pay I am sure that Gordon will send the money from the spirit world.
Message: Posted by: Banachek (Nov 22, 2004 08:15PM)
No problem Fernando, looking forward to it, I suspect your challenge will fall in the same catergory as your willingness to pay up when we get attorneys involved to write up the rules of engagement so to speak.

Do you now who Jaques Romano was or how about Elaine Chambersburg or Bevy Jaegers or the name Eileen Garett or Nelya Mikailova or Masuaki Kiyota. If not you must be a "half wide mug" as well. And since you did not know Higginson was dead, by your own definition you are a "half wide mug." FUnny enough any of the names mentioned would not know each other at all yet they all consider themselves psychics, guess they must be "Half wide Mugs" as well. Even sceptics should not be expected to know everything, what is good for the goose is good for the gander as you might say :) Fun to play this game of semantics is it not?

I now start to realize this is a lark on your part and not serious. It appears to be a cry for attention.

Randi does serious investigation, I know, I have been there. And despite what you may or may not think, the money can be won. There are too many people involved now with the challenge for it not to be real (not that it ever was not real at any point.)
Message: Posted by: dchung (Nov 22, 2004 09:42PM)
Rev. Lewis, I presume.
Message: Posted by: Fernando (Nov 22, 2004 10:54PM)
Sorry mate. I don't deal with lawyers. Bunch of bloody crooks. 99% of them give the rest a bad name. I must insist on an ethical challenge so I cannot allow lawyers to be anywhere near the place.

In any event you don't seem to understand the nature of Higginson's challenge. Now do pay attention, there's a good chap.

You are being challenged not to duplicate my act since you do not know what it is. Or to do tricks without props. You are being challenged to do one thing only for two hours with equal expertise as the spiritualists. That is to contact dead people and relay the messages in as accurate a manner as they do. If you cannot do this then the argument is over. If you can do this as well as they do and you admit to trickery it means that you are a very wicked person.

You know as well as I do that this type of work takes a lot of practice if you are going to use trickery. If you can do it well then one wonders where you got your expertise from? It can only mean that you have been spending your time relaying messages to dead people for a long period and using trickery to do so. If you are expert in this work using trickery then you are a very wicked person. If you are expert not using trickery then you are a genuine medium.

I wouldn't go up against the mediums at their own game, my boy. You will fail dismally. Remember the old adage. YOU CAN NEVER WIN AGAINST A PSYCHIC. Magicians never can. They are not as sharp as we are.

I have been in touch with Mr Higginson in the spirit world. He informs me that the challenge is still on and that Bobser is ill informed when he said that it doesn't exist. Although the challenge was made on TV is was also made in a book the title of which I will unearth eventually.

I do not cry out for attention. I always believe that egomania is a dreadful thing. My name is not Randi you know.

As for the likeable old fraud being willing to give the money away I can assure everyone that there is as much likelihood of that as there is of me being elected Pope. I actually know a psychic who won the challenge and told me that he was very upset that the old rogue didn't pay him out. I told Earl (that was his name) that I was quite surprised that he would be daft enough to even try to get money out of someone who isn't going to give him any.

I do know exactly who these people are that you mention. However they are not British and consequently are of no importance whatsoever. A bit like Randi actually.

I do know exactly who Gordon Higginson is but I have been very busy lately contacting other dead people so have not been keeping up with him and did not know he had passed. However since your post I have been in regular touch with him and he tells me that he finds you most amusing.He also tells me that he remembers this Bobser personage and found him to very irritating. He kept swearing throughout the service in a very inappropriate Scottish manner. Very rude he thought.

I am not a "half wide mug" I don't even think you know the meaning. I can assure you that I know the psychic business inside out, backwards and forwards. You might know about doing magic tricks -you know very little about the psychic business. Most magicians think they know all about it. They don't. Neither does Randi

I do. I know what goes on. I can assure you that even the fakes don't use ANY of the methods that the sceptics chatter about. No. Not one. Remember-I know. You don't. I am the expert. You aren't.

I was supposed to see a tape of you doing your mindreading show tonight. It didn't arrive. Once I see it in the next day or two I will give you my honest opinion on it. I have to see if you are of sufficient calibre to accept the Higginson challenge.

I met a fellow psychic tonight who met you once. He liked you very much but thought you took your work a mite too seriously. Lighten up, my boy. Lighten up.

I told him about your "burden of proof" thing and he burst out laughing. Naturally I have no idea why.
Message: Posted by: Banachek (Nov 22, 2004 11:45PM)
Interersting Martin.

Ethical challenge, you already stated you are not as you would not honor the test. The very fact you are in a mentalist area shows you are not real at all.

Thanks for the fun, if you change your mind about the lawyers writing up the contact, let me know.

Can't wait to read your review. Kind like the "I will blow money on Banachek's PK silveware DVD and give you a review" on another board :)

I must say you have gotten much better in your writing style.

As for knowing the psychic business, I know at least one side of it. I worked as one remember.

Thanks for the fun and laughs but unless this is serious I have better things to do with my time than be roped into this nonsense. (if your "not british it does not matter", how silly)

All the best mate.
Message: Posted by: Fernando (Nov 23, 2004 12:57AM)
Oh very well. Call in the lawyers if you wish. However you must remember that you stated that you would accept the challenge at your own expense. You will therefore have to pay for the lawyers.

They don't scare me. I have been dealing with lawyers for years. They have never caught up with me yet. And of course you will no doubt be hiring American lawyers and we all know how bright THEY are.

You are NOT a psychic. Disrupting serious scientific research in a cheap publicity stunt is NOT working as a psychic. This stunt was perpetrated by juveniles who had just come off breastfeeding and who cannot be described as professional psychics.

However I will indeed be happy to give your tapes an objective review. I must however warn you that I have decided to be bored by you since all modern mentalists have that effect on me. None of you are a patch on the old guys that used to do it.

I am sorry that you feel that you "do not want to be roped into this nonsense. Pity since you proffered the challenge in the first place.

Let us see how you measure up to it.
Message: Posted by: giochi (Nov 23, 2004 02:39AM)
Give it up, fernando.
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Nov 23, 2004 03:50AM)
I'm rolling my eyes along with you Banachek. We might not agree on absolutely everything, but I know we're cold reading Fernando the same way.

Steve
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Nov 23, 2004 04:46AM)
Hee hee. I must agree with Banachek. There are still challenges out there like the ones done by, Houdini and Dunninger, etc. No one seems to win them though. I will not only believe, but will probably worship ANY Medium or psychic that can answer TWO questions that I have. don't ask me what the questions are, if you are really psychic, you can tell me what the questions are and what the answers are. They are questions to a passed away relative. That is all that I will give.

Seeing is believing in a sense. I will gladly shower the one able to answer my questions, with more money than they can imagine. Until that day, don't even try to convince me that you are a real medium or psychic. I have challenged many Charlatans and have been the only one to come out victorious. I love studying anything about the paranormal, religious and philisophical.

Right now Fernando, you are reacting the way I believe Arthur Conan Doyle Reacted when his wife was proven to be a charlatan by Harry Houdini.

Regards
Wolflock
PS. Say Hi to Elvis for me.
Message: Posted by: Fernando (Nov 23, 2004 06:11AM)
Wolflock has asked me to tune in to his questions. One moment please.

I have now tuned in and know EXACTLY what Wolflock's questions are.
All I can say is dearie me, dearie me. Your past relative has been very wicked indeed. Dearie me, dearie me. I am afraid that the questions you have asked are not the sort of thing that should be discussed in a public forum. I will therefore spare you some blushes. I will simply say that I do not approve of unnatural behaviour and leave it at that.

You cannot win against a psychic. The above paragraph just proved it. In any event we have no evidence that if I were to reveal the messages you would admit to the truth. Furthermore we only have your statement that you would shower me with money. I have reason to believe that you are not a man of honour. We psychic people know these things. However if you wish to disprove me then I suggest you send me a mere $50 on account.

Wolflock old chap, for someone who claims to be "victorious" all the time against psychics it would behoove you to know something about Houdini and Conan Doyles wife. I have just been in touch with Harry in the spirit world and he informs me that he never at any time stated that Mrs Doyle was a "charlatan" He believed that she was sincere but deluded. However self delusion is not the same as being a crook. I should know. I shall let you guess which category I come under.

Anyway I would much rather talk to Banacek. He is far more amusing than you. He doesn't seem to realise that in the past he has had e-mail correspondance with me and praised me to the sky. That shows how psychic HE is.

Since Steve is trying out chicken out of my challenge I will give him a face saving out. If he were indeed to accept it then surely he would be violating his own ethical standards. If he were actually to go on stage for two hours and contact dead people it would be an ethical dilemna for him. If he does it and gets everything right then he is doing exactly what he condemns. He will be raising false hope among certain members of the audience.

His only way out of the ethical dilemna is to say afterwards that everything he was doing is fake. However that will only make mattters worse. He will have built up the beliefs and hopes of people in the audience and will have given them comfort. However he will then cause them anguish if he admits to fakery.

There.That should get him out of the dilemna. That is exactly how he should have gotten out of the Higginson challenge instead of blowing a smokescreen. More proof that we psychics are sharper than any magician will ever be. Most of you couldn't make the contents of an empty box disappear.

I will admit to having fun. However do not underestimate my knowledge of the psychic game. I dare say I know more about it than any person on this forum. I have done it for a living day in and day out for years on end. Sure if it makes you all happy I will admit to being a crook. However I can certainly confirm that amongst all the crookedness there is a genuine psychic element at work. I am quite serious here.

It is not something that can be quantified in a laboratory or can be something that you can accept a "challenge" from some showman with his own biased agenda. It doesn't work like that. Clairvoyance is not something that you can turn on and off like a tap. You can't make it happen on cue. It usually happens when you are not trying to make it happen.

In a reading situation it happens all the time. It is a perfectly natural thing and I believe I know exactly why it happens. I really don't think that overly zealous sceptical magicians who know nothing about the psychic world are ready for the explanation though.

David Berglas once told me that he considered that magician type sceptics have tunnel vision about these things. They don't have the ability to be objective and let their own blind prejudices run away with them.

Furthermore they do a lousy job of presenting their case. I have seen them time and again being beaten into the ground by psychics. They ALWAYS come out worse off in the TV debates. I have seen Rosemary Altea run rings around Randi. His fault is that he gets angry and loses control.He goes red in the face and comes off as a serious old misery and this turns the viewers off and he doesn't get to make his case properly. He never shows his considerable sense of humour on TV. This works against him.

Tell the old goat that I wish him well. I met him once and was quite entranced by him. I told him I was a psychic and he was highly delighted by this. A twinkle came into his eye and he winked and said "shhh! we cannot be seen together!"

I know Joe Nickell the renowned sceptic too. No doubt you do too. However when I knew him he didn't look like the stuffy professor he does now. As a matter of fact he worked for me scamming the public although he didn't see it in quite the same way as I did. He wasn't a goody two shoes at the time in the way he is now and as a matter of fact the FBI were looking for him at the time and would have arrested him if they could have laid hands on him.

Lest you think he was a wicked criminal he wasn't. He was merely a draft dodger in the Vietnam war and was putting himself out of the reach of the authorities. Very wise I thought. Far better to be a live coward than a dead hero. Besides he did it out of principle. Noble fellow that Joe.

I am not in the slightest bit noble and it would not surprise Joe to know that his old boss is one of those wicked psychics he debunks all the time.

Still, I have improved more lives and given more people encouragement in my work than any of the silly dodos who are jumping up and down in great indignation at something they know nothing about.

I do apologise for calling them dodos though. Very wicked of me. I shall simply say that they are misguided fellow human beings and I shall pray for them. We psychics are very spiritual people after all.

Go and sin no more, gentlemen.
Message: Posted by: bobser (Nov 23, 2004 08:00AM)
Where's the off switch on this ***ed thing? YAWN...
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Nov 23, 2004 08:20AM)
Ha hahahaha! Fernando. You would not even know if my relative was a Male or Female. As a Psychic, you are full of &*@#! As a comedian, you rock. give up the physic stuff and become a clown. You need some serious help. Would you like me to direct you to the Escapology Forum so that they can arrange a straitjacket for you? I just contacted Houdini and he said he never even heard of you, leave alone spoke to you. Hee hee.

Now on to serious things. If you ask anyone on this site that knows me, as well as check up on the posts that I have made, you will find I am a very passive person who hates violence and even arguements. But don't ever insult my honor, ethics and morals. I am a very honourable man and sick to my word if I offer something.

I don't think you would be able to predict something if we gave you a newspaper and sent you back in time. You would not be able to contact the dead even if we placed you into the middle of the Film - Night of the living dead. And I think your aura has a few black patches on it. I really think you should return to the land of Fairies and get them to wash it for you. And stay away from those magic mushrooms, they are bad for you.

Everyone! Lets humour this poor soul and Give him a BIG HUG!

********HUG********
Message: Posted by: Gary D (Nov 23, 2004 09:04AM)
Fernando mustbe joking.
This is ridiculous!!

'I'm just talking to Houdini now'..what have you got EVERY dead person on your psychic quick dial.

Banachek could make you look so fake and crap.
I suggest you read about his alpha project.
Message: Posted by: CarlD (Nov 23, 2004 09:58AM)
Tell you what Fernando. I'm no Banachek (bows humbly before the Master:), but I'd quite happily do your challenge for a couple of hours. In aid of research I was a regular at various Spiritualist churches for a couple of years and know a number of the speakers there. Many are well-meaning, many others are complete charlatans who 'died' regularly, even in the cosy confines of the church.

I'd be pleased to do it and I can guarantee some interesting 'hits'. No lawyers required, no payment if I 'win'. I'd just need a little notice about where and when and a train ticket and some small expenses - and the certain knowledge that none of the audience were aware that I wasn't a regular speaker, okay? Sound fair?

CarlD
Message: Posted by: El_Lamo (Nov 23, 2004 10:00AM)
And the original question has been answered.

Folks,

Read the various posts of Fernado. Look for word usage patterns, expressions, turns of phrase and anecdotal information. He has shared lots with us. His posts have a consistancy in their message. Reread his advice to Eddini in the other thread. He was trying to be helpful, in his own fashion.

Banachek has responded with a sporting and good natured reply. Let us appreciate this wisdom and discernment.

If we have these conversations about proof, we wind up here and unfortunately, it becomes personal. So... let's accept this conversation as being fun and wordful.

Are mentalists as gullible as everyone else?

"Where we have strong emotions, we're liable to fool ourselves." - Carl Sagan

Cheers - El Lamo
Message: Posted by: Fernando (Nov 23, 2004 11:53AM)
To answer the original question they are certainly as daft as anyone else.
This thread just proves it.

The rather silly gentleman from South Africa amused me greatly by saying he was "sick to his word" I am rather sick of his words too but I shall continue to humour him. I do indeed know the sex of his extremely dead relative. Neither male or female I am afraid. I did say that I do not approve of unnatural behaviour. That should give you all a clue.

However I do not really want to talk to rather excitable African gentlemen or extremely rude Scotsmen.
Neither do I wish to chatter to young children from Hertfordshire or people who think that Winter is a hypnotic state rather than a season.

I do not wish to talk to the other young man who thinks that he is a medium and wishes to do it for no money. Very odd I must say. I suppose he want to show off how good he is. I am far too busy and important a person to humour him but he has given me a brilliant idea and I thank him for it. I will detail my wondrous and most brilliant idea in a moment.

However I do wish to speak to this Banacek personage whose wondrous performance I haven't seen yet. I will shortly. I do hope he doesn't keep constantly saying "OK" in the same way that another modern legend in mentalism did on a tape I briefly viewed last night.

Incidentally to someone here who said that I am not in the same league as Banacek I can only say that we are both featured in the same book about master mentalists and I got more written about me that he did about him.

I got 3 pages and he only got a measly paragraph or two. So there.

Banacek, old chap. I have a suggestion for you. If you won't take it up then young Carl D will. I would rather have you but Carl will have to do I suppose. He seems to worship you so perhaps he can deputise for you.

The National Spiritualist Association in Belgrave Square, London does auditions! In order to work the spiritualist church circuit in the UK you have to get your "credentials" In order to get those you have to pass an audition at the Association headquarters.

I suggest since you seem to have a lot of time on your hands that you apply to do an audition but do not tell the worthy people there that you are a magician. Certainly don't tell them you know Randi otherwise you may end up in the spirit world sooner than expected.
I will be highly delighted and amused to hear if you actually manage to pass.

Then you can go to the newspapers and chatter about how anyone can be a medium. If you don't fancy that route you can always work the spiritualist churches in the UK. Not as much money as the US college circuit but you will no doubt receive a spiritual reward instead.
If you go the expose route instead it will feel just like your Project Alpha days of juvenile pranks.

I thought you might want a new career. It is always a sign that mentalists are having a bit of a struggle when they start putting out material to sell.

I just got a psychic vibe of your answer.
Oh.
Please yourself. No need to be rude.
Just trying to help.

I am going to leave you all alone now. I have a very busy schedule ripping off the public. I contact enough dead people in my work without having to do the same here.

However I will respond to any sincere question that anyone has about the psychic business or cold reading. I can assure you that I know more about it than anyone else.
I do not claim to be modest. I only claim to be brilliant.
You may as well take advantage of it.

However goodbye for now. I really have no more time to spare. No offence but I have a board meeting to attend and I am now bored meeting all of you.

Good day.
Message: Posted by: CarlD (Nov 23, 2004 02:00PM)
He called me 'young'...LOL:) Worth it just for that.

Young Carl
Message: Posted by: Fernando (Nov 23, 2004 02:47PM)
I was not referring to you. I was referring to Gary D.
Unless you slipped up and are Gary as well as Carl and inadvertantly gave the game away just now.

I must say that I do not approve of people posting under false names.

Most improper

I have now re-read my post and see that I did call you young after all.
I do apologise.
I am sure that you are young at heart though.
Message: Posted by: Gary D (Nov 23, 2004 03:34PM)
Why did you call me young?!!
How old am I you psychic **** head?
Message: Posted by: Mark Rough (Nov 23, 2004 04:01PM)
Gary, pull your claws in, man. Fernando is the trickster, he's getting to you. Relax and try to learn something.

Mark
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Nov 23, 2004 05:03PM)
Don't let us keep Fernando, gentlemen. He's in a hurry. Please point out the door for him.

Steve
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Nov 23, 2004 10:48PM)
[quote]
On 2004-11-22 22:42, dchung wrote:
Rev. Lewis, I presume.
[/quote]

Who else?

Terry
Message: Posted by: Fernando (Nov 23, 2004 11:45PM)
I shall tell you who else.
My name is Fernando Busby.
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Nov 23, 2004 11:52PM)
You said it Steve. Point the door out to him.
He seems to linger here even when he is in a hurry.
I wonder if he suffers from insanity, or enjoys every minute of it?

I appologise for my spelling error. It was Stick and not sick to my word. But of course everyone but the small minded, egotistical, spiritualist is the only one petty enough to make something of it. Well at least we know you are an educated charlatan.

"ripping off the public" - Enough said. You said it, not me.

I actually pity you Fernando. I wish you well with whatever you think and do.

Regards
Wolflock
Message: Posted by: Fernando (Nov 24, 2004 12:10AM)
The feeling is not mutual.
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Nov 24, 2004 12:54AM)
That is your decision Fernando. I don't change mine though. Have a good day.

Wolflock
Message: Posted by: Daegs (Nov 24, 2004 06:04AM)
http://members.aol.com/intwg/trolls.htm

Please don't interact with this troll, that is only what he strives for and wants.

Any interaction, negative or otherwise is a "win" for him.

The best thing to do is to just ignore this thread, and if he makes more post, just reply telling people not to talk to this troll.

Eventually he will get fed up and leave or do something major(spamming, flaming, ect) to get banned.

Just ignore him!!!
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Nov 24, 2004 06:59AM)
I would leave him. But I find him so amusing. I have not laugh so much in a long time.
Message: Posted by: enriqueenriquez (Nov 24, 2004 07:29AM)
Daegs,

Thanks for the link, but I respectfully disagree. Fernando has an opinion and he is expressing it. His opinion is contrary to the majority here, but still, I don’t see why he has to be ignored or excluded. I don’t like 90% of what he says, but till, he is entitled to have an opinion, even if we don’t like it.

I would like if Fernando were able to back up a little bit why he thinks Randi will never part with the money. He only says that “he knows” that. For me is not enough, but it’s the same argument given from the people who says Randi will award the money if someone wins. They just say, as Fernando, that “they know” he will. I don’t see difference. Ironically, seems to be a matter of “faith”.

This is a great place and what makes it great is the fact that we are thousands of people participating. Diversity and dissension won’t hurt this community.

Still, thanks for the link. The information there is great.
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Nov 24, 2004 08:37AM)
He has not met me yet, that is why he thinks so.
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Nov 24, 2004 10:50AM)
Wolflock take a snowball with you if tiy are going to H E Double Hockey Sticks.
Message: Posted by: jimtron (Nov 24, 2004 12:10PM)
I understand that many believers of paranormal powers don't feel that the burden of proof is on them, but it seems to me that it would be very simple for one person to make one demonstration to prove the ability. That would put the skeptics in their place.

If you can predict the future, why not post predictions here at the Café, and we can all see how accurate they are? I don't understand why it would be difficult to prove supernatural abilities. I do understand that many paranormals have no desire to prove it, but just one demo under strict test conditions would really go a long way, considering this has never been done successfully (as far as I know).
Message: Posted by: Banachek (Nov 24, 2004 01:46PM)
Fernando,

since you want me to take up your challenge, I sat back last night and tried contact. I was not sure what happened as I was in a trance however these are my notes.

It appeared to be from a woman. The handwriting was light and delicate, She spoke of a man named Ron or Ronny, she spoke of the name Aelita, she spoke of a love, a true love a deep love, she thanked you for giving this girl this love, she spoke of a "spotted Leopard, she said you would know what this personal reference meant!"

She said I should pass this on to you Fenando.

How was that? Emotional enough for you, direct enough. Have you fainted straight away?

Okay, enough fun now, I am out of here!
Message: Posted by: Fernando (Nov 24, 2004 02:38PM)
I am afraid that you will not be getting the Randi prize since I haven't the slightest idea what you are
talking about. And anyway even if I did the old *** wouldn't give it to you anyway as you well know.

You have not won the Higginson prize either. Gordon has informed me through the spirit world that you are a fake. However as co sponsor of the prize I have asked him to make an exception in your case since I sense that business has been a little quiet lately.

He will therefore be sending you a cheque for 100,000 pounds sterling from the spirit world. It may take several centuries to get to you of course since it does come rather a long way.

In one hour's time I have a mentalist friend coming in to see me. He talks rather a lot as most mentalists do and he is bringing a copy of your DVD. I will now be able to see why business is a bit quiet for you lately.
Message: Posted by: jimtron (Nov 24, 2004 02:46PM)
Fernando:

"Gordon has informed me through the spirit world that you are a fake."

What a coincidence! I was just informed through the spirit world that *you* are a fake! My spirit world info is more accurate than yours, by the way.

Warmest,

Jim
Message: Posted by: The Donster (Nov 24, 2004 03:40PM)
My contact just informed me that Evrey one who is Naught will not get any presents this year from Santa so be good All.
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Nov 24, 2004 03:50PM)
In 1998, illusionist Andre Kole and I coauthored "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena." In the forward, Andre mentions the $25,000 award that he began to offer several years before to anyone who could demonstrate to his satisfaction a psychic ability or phenomenon.

The personal challenge goes on to state: "Although specific rules would cover each individual's claim, we would simply ask the claimant to perform the specified phenomenon under our prescribed test conditions."

While Andre was touring Russia in 1993, one gentleman came forward who claimed that he could astral project. A boxlike cover was placed over the individual's head and he was asked to astral project to the opposite side of a blackboard just a few feet away and read the simple sentence that was written on the board.

His response was incorrect - in fact, not even close. Consequently, Andre returned to the US with his $25,000.

One of the reasons Andre has kept the reward money low in comparison to Randi's award is so that there won't be discussions about whether or not the money is really available. Andre has always said it would be worth the $25,000 to find someone with the ability.

Unfortunately, apart from the Russian gentleman, we always hear the cop-outs about why a person who claims the ability will not submit to the tests.

Terry
Message: Posted by: El_Lamo (Nov 24, 2004 03:59PM)
Darn...

I thought we were about to see a "my spirit world is better than your spirit world" brouhaha.

Have fun everyone.

Cheers - El Lamo
Message: Posted by: Stuart Cumberland (Nov 24, 2004 04:03PM)
This IS fun....

Seems that Steve has paid a visit to http://www.mental-list.com!

I'm siding with Fernando. I think his assessment of Randi's one-sided and impossible-to-win challenge is very accurate. He's certainly gotten more publicity and money from it than escapology!

As for who should prove what, I think those who shout "fake, fraud or scam" should back up their claims.

(Does anyone have the video of Randi unsuccessfully trying to prove firewalking a fake? I have/had it, and can't find it. It is a wonderful clip... he gets very flustered when the walk takes place and he grumbles something to the effect of "well... it's NOT supernatural". Boy! Big debunk there! That sure shut up the firewalkers!!!! :) Anyone got it? Please PM me if you do. I'd love a copy.)

Randi's Peter Popoff exposure sure got Randi good exposure. But no damage to the reverend... or his believers: http://www.peterpopoff.org/

Regarding the prediction comment: I think your request is valid, Jimtron. Only the skeptics such as Randi would scream "vague, too general, or too obvious" when accurate. It should be noted, it is done regularly by psychics.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The difference between what Houdini did and Randi does is huge. Houdini did fraudulent exposure. He created outlandish explanations and stunts to "Look" like he was crushing the spiritualists, but exposed nothing. Randi, TT in hand goes on television *exposing* real methods.

Ironically, Houdini was outcast for exposing nothing, and Randi is embraced for exposing a lot.

Weird.

Cheers folks! Thanks to Fernando and Steve for making my day! I truly and sincerely am enjoying this fun banter!!

Stuart Cumberland
Message: Posted by: jimtron (Nov 24, 2004 04:18PM)
By firewalking are you talking about walking on hot coals? Because if I'm not mistaken, anyone can do that without any special powers.

Also; do you think it's unfair to call predictions too vague? Obviously, anyone could make accurate prophecies if they're vague enough.

Anyone want to take the Magic Café prediction challenge? Start making predictions here, the more specific the better? Maybe we could start a thread, where everyone is welcome to make as many predictions as they wish, and we can see who the true psychics are?
Message: Posted by: Stuart Cumberland (Nov 24, 2004 04:24PM)
Jimtron: yes, same thing.

You should have been at the PEA convention a few years ago. Apparently NOT "anyone" can walk the same coals and not get burnt... curiously, most who did get burnt took the excercize lightly... and quite a few skeptics refused to do it (but complained loudly later).

It's a funny, funny world we live in...

BTW, here's an interesting take on Randi and his 1 million dollar challenge. Very interesting indeed: http://www.survivalafterdeath.org/articles/keen/jamesrandi.htm
Message: Posted by: jimtron (Nov 24, 2004 04:58PM)
How to firewalk:

http://skepdic.com/firewalk.html
Message: Posted by: John Nesbit (Nov 24, 2004 05:24PM)
[quote]
On 2004-11-24 18:03, Fernando wrote:
As a psychic reader Fernando is highly ethical and is one of the most compassionate people that I have ever met.
[/quote]
Lol, I can tell that !
[quote]
I can never shut Paul up once he starts. We have a lot in common.
[/quote]
Now things seem to be getting clearer, lol !
Message: Posted by: RJE (Nov 24, 2004 05:47PM)
Oh it is true, although it may be difficult to tell from his posts, (Fernando does make his living as a psychic) he is actually quite compassionate towards those he does readings for. He is also quite ethical turning away business from people who begin to rely too much on what he has to say since he knows how reckless of him this would be. (I see someone's aura on a business card??hhmmm??) And P.P. is a fine fellow as well. They are creative, witty and a lot of fun to be around.
Message: Posted by: John Nesbit (Nov 24, 2004 05:58PM)
Thanks for "clearing" that up RJE. For "so-called" new users, you guys do have quite a handle on how to work this forum.
Regards
John
Message: Posted by: RJE (Nov 24, 2004 06:07PM)
Cheers John! After all isn't this the entertainment business?
Message: Posted by: PaulPacific (Nov 24, 2004 07:11PM)
Fernando tells me that he has now been banned from this board. Naturally he has no idea why.

John seems to be implying that I , Fernando, and RJE are the same person. If this is the case it can easily be disproved. Perhaps he can clarify his post.

Banachek himself can verify who I am since he has actually met me in person.
Message: Posted by: shrink (Nov 24, 2004 07:50PM)
[quote]
On 2004-11-24 17:58, jimtron wrote:
How to firewalk:

http://skepdic.com/firewalk.html
[/quote]

Actually its not true that anyone can walk on hot coals without burning themselves or even walk across safely. Its also true that some people cannot stay in a room with a spider in.

The whole purpose of fire walks isn't to prove supernatural powers but over come a huge natural fear of walking bare foot over hot coals.

The idea is that this new expanded boundary disiates to other areas of life and allows the participants to experience more freedom.

Its also a metaphore for overcoming any obstacle....

Jeez I wish sceptics would do their homework before coming all over as all knowing...
Message: Posted by: jimtron (Nov 24, 2004 07:59PM)
My post about firewalking was in response to Master Mystifier's post: ..."Does anyone have the video of Randi unsuccessfully trying to prove firewalking a fake?"

My point was that firewalking does not require supernatural abilities. I guess we're in agreement on that. Did Randi really try and fail to prove firewalking fake?

Am I the skeptic that is "coming all over as all knowing..."? Was it this: "Because if I'm not mistaken, anyone can do that without any special powers."

I figure I'm galaxies away from "all knowing," so if I'm giving the opposite impression I'd sure like to correct the error.
Message: Posted by: shrink (Nov 24, 2004 10:45PM)
I guess I am speaking about sceptics in general not you specifically. The number of times Ive heard sceptics "debunk" firewalking when in fact most of the people I know of who present firewalking including Tony Robbins who made it famous make no claims of it being supernatural. Its a tool toexpand participants boundaries.
Message: Posted by: John Nesbit (Nov 25, 2004 12:21AM)
[quote]
On 2004-11-24 20:11, PaulPacific wrote:
Fernando tells me that he has now been banned from this board. Naturally he has no idea why.

John seems to be implying that I , Fernando, and RJE are the same person. If this is the case it can easily be disproved. Perhaps he can clarify his post.

Banachek himself can verify who I am since he has actually met me in person.
[/quote]

Paul, I didn't mean to imply that you were all the same person, (although it did cross my mind).I meant to imply that you three seemed to know one another (well).
It has been revealed to me that you all are very decent people in person. And I do find it regretful that "anyone" had to be banned from the Café'.
Shrink is not alone with his feelings about "skeptics". It does seem that way. Way too often.
How do skeptics account for "human desire and intention", overcoming seemingly overwhelming odds in the face of adversity?
Isn't that called "Spirit" (and/or inspiration) ? The kind I'm refering to isn't found in a bottle or can either.
All The Best
John
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Nov 25, 2004 12:43AM)
As for Fire walking, It takes a bit of Neuro Linguistic Programming, or a bit of cheating. Persons choice. As to the Cheating side of things, read Miracle Mongers and their methods by Houdini. Explains a lot.

Awww. Has Fernando Really been Banned? There goes all my amusement from the clown. Oh well, cant have all the fun everyday.
Message: Posted by: Banachek (Nov 25, 2004 01:57AM)
Shrink and others, sceptic does not mean being closed minded. THere is a big difference, there are closed minded fanatics on both sides of the fence.

I think people tend to get upset when they are lumped in with the fanatics on both sides of the fence on most subject.

In other words, most readers hate to be compared with ripp off artists who really try to scare people into coming back and getting rid of a curse, just as most honest sceptics hate being lumped in with those who just naysay everything without proper investigation and having a healthy sceptical yet open mind. There is a big difference.

Usually, on both sides of the fence, but not always, those who are fanatical speak the loudest and make the most noice.

To be sceptical is a healthy thing, not a negative thing and not a negative attitude. It is a positive attitude to look at life and situations thirsting knowledge. Not to accept everything at face value, but not to throw the baby out with the bathwater either. Sceptic does not equal to negate but it does equal to sitting on a fence and taking a good healthy look under the covers before one makes a decision.

This type of attitude can save you from being taken in many situations from medical scams to credit fraud to things as simple as not falling for urban legends. A good sceptic can go to a magic show and sit back and enjoy it. A bad sceptic would not be able to do that. A good sceptic understands the context of the performance.
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Nov 25, 2004 02:14AM)
Well Said Banachek.

Regards
Wolflock

P.S. Love your Work
Message: Posted by: bobser (Nov 25, 2004 07:09AM)
Yep,
Banacheck makes a good point. If I can put a building block on that (Jermay just loves me)I would say that 'sceptics' we can all live with. They are in truth actually open minded people who are parhaps looking at new facts outside their comfort zone or immediate field of learning.
It's the 'cynics' we have to keep away from!
Cretin type behaviourists who possess glazy eyes and a constant stream of saliva, who cling on to 'whatever' for no apparent reason other than the fact that they have this disease and can't do anything about it.
e.g; take my mother in law.... please take my mother in law!
(All this and humour too?!)
Message: Posted by: Neil (Nov 25, 2004 07:19AM)
Most magicians I've met are skeptics. Only a few are cynics.

I think this is because it attracts those with a thirst for knowledge/truth and the knowledge you gain about perception and altering it reveals a lot about the nature of belief.
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Nov 25, 2004 07:29AM)
The only problem with that, is that one person's truth is not neccessarily another person's truth.
Message: Posted by: Stuart Cumberland (Nov 25, 2004 08:13AM)
If Fernando has been booted off, then he's been booted off for no reason that I can see.

Having said that, it's certainly a good way to kill off a debate about Randi and his friends.

Ah well.
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Nov 25, 2004 08:17AM)
I am just going to miss having a good laugh.
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Nov 25, 2004 09:21AM)
I don't mind a gentlemanly debate.
Childish posturing and schoolyard nose-thumbing on the other hand...

Steve


Posted: Nov 25, 2004 10:51am
---------------------------------------------------
A quotation from the page on Café' Etiquette:

"However, like a real Café, we do expect you to act like ladies and gentlemen and show good manners and courtesy while visiting. Thank you."

It's not too much to ask, folks.

Steve
Message: Posted by: Stuart Cumberland (Nov 25, 2004 10:05AM)
[quote]
On 2004-11-25 10:21, Dr_Stephen_Midnight wrote:
I don't mind a gentlemanly debate.
Childish posturing and schoolyard nose-thumbing on the other hand...

Steve
[/quote]

I could't agree more. The folks here shouldn't have made fun of Fernando. It was un-gentlemanly, to say the least. And kicking him out of the schoolyard altogether... well, what can be said about that.

Excellent points, Steve.
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Nov 25, 2004 10:15AM)
Agreed. If the post is inappropriate, report it.

As for the moderators' decision to ban Fernando, that's an issue you need to take up with them, if you disagree.

Steve
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Nov 25, 2004 10:38AM)
For the most part, wherever "Fernando" shows up online, you can predict without the use of a NW that he will get booted off!

Terry
Message: Posted by: Winnes (Nov 25, 2004 11:57AM)
I have nothing intelligent to say on either side of the debate, other than its been a great read, please refrain from calling the Head Honcho "Brookenfuehrer" though... this thread will dissapear in no time at all... and he'll send the firing squad round..
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Nov 25, 2004 12:14PM)
"The only problem with that, is that one person's truth is not neccessarily another person's truth."

This sentiment is both untrue and unhelpful. (Assume that it is true, you see immediately that it gives you reason to reject it.)

Certainly many CLAIMS to truth are disputable, and many truths are unknown or unknowable. And this is where intelligent debate lives.

John
Message: Posted by: Winnes (Nov 25, 2004 12:40PM)
Not quite the bowels, more like the colon. As you know, Satan has visited here many times.

Didn't stay long though, too cold for the old fool.
Message: Posted by: jimtron (Nov 25, 2004 01:27PM)
[quote]
On 2004-11-25 01:21, johnjnesbit wrote:
...
How do skeptics account for "human desire and intention", overcoming seemingly overwhelming odds in the face of adversity?
Isn't that called "Spirit" (and/or inspiration) ? The kind I'm refering to isn't found in a bottle or can either.
All The Best
John
[/quote]

Some would probably say they don't know, some might say God is responsible, some would say human beings are cabable of extraordinary (as well as ghastly) accomplishments without supernatural power. How do non-skeptics account for these things? I would never say that everything can be measured or proven. But I think it's a relatively simple matter to prove if someone is actually bending metal with their mind.

I think there are people here who have an inaccurate view of skepticism. It's not about saying that we know all the mysteries of the world (I've never heard a scientist or skeptic say that), and it's not about saying there is no such thing as the supernatural. Nothing should be ruled out. It's about wanting to distinguish between what's really supernatural and what's merely imagined or faked (which isn't always knowable, but often it is). As Banachek said, it's not about being negative. If you're really interested in PSI power, don't you want to know when it's truly happening? If you had true PSI powers, wouldn't you want to demonstrate that your power was authentic and not a trick?
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Nov 25, 2004 08:10PM)
[quote]
On 2004-11-25 11:38, Terry Holley wrote:
For the most part, wherever "Fernando" shows up online, you can predict without the use of a NW that he will get booted off!

Terry
[/quote]

And although I didn't write this in the above post, you can do the same regarding his showing back up!

Welcome back to The Magic Café, "reincarnation."

Terry
Message: Posted by: John Nesbit (Nov 25, 2004 08:32PM)
On 2004-11-25 14:27, jimtron wrote:
[quote]
Some would probably say they don't know, some might say God is responsible, some would say human beings are cabable of extraordinary (as well as ghastly) accomplishments without supernatural power. How do non-skeptics account for these things? I would never say that everything can be measured or proven. But I think it's a relatively simple matter to prove if someone is actually bending metal with their mind.

I think there are people here who have an inaccurate view of skepticism. It's not about saying that we know all the mysteries of the world (I've never heard a scientist or skeptic say that), and it's not about saying there is no such thing as the supernatural. Nothing should be ruled out. It's about wanting to distinguish between what's really supernatural and what's merely imagined or faked (which isn't always knowable, but often it is). As Banachek said, it's not about being negative. If you're really interested in PSI power, don't you want to know when it's truly happening? If you had true PSI powers, wouldn't you want to demonstrate that your power was authentic and not a trick?
[/quote]
I agree with you jimtron and Banachek about this perspective on skepicism. I was refering to outright "claims" that ESP does not exist. Or that "psychic" abilities are all bogus. And that spirituality is all fraudulent. There are those who are vigilant about this subject. But like Banachek advocates, being fanatical either way doesn't help anyones cause.
John
Message: Posted by: xersekis (Nov 25, 2004 09:50PM)
To the general populus and to no one in particular:

It is important to remember both views are equally valid and invalid. Both are perspectives, both are beliefs, boths rely on incomplete evidence, bias, and many other elements. Both postitions are incorrect, incomplete, yet both are often defended viciosuly by their adherents. Both positions have those who evangelically prosletize and dismiss the other side as wrong. Both have some elements about which they are correct and yet still incomplete. And therein is the rub.

Those wedded to eitehr position rarely realize that there is more to a world view than their own limited view, their own mind set, their own position and belief structure and hence few make little headway into actual progress, personal evolution and development.

Far better to be open to possibility that may not ever occur than closed to it as impossibility.
Better for the mind, and for one's health.

Narrowmindedness, intolerance demonstrated by both sides, and in challenges, and in debunking,
and in blind believership of either position does little to further human kind.

Taking away hope does little to help those suffering heal. Better to have false hope than no hope at all. LITERALLY. The body responds differently when hopeful than when not. Not only IS that scientific but it is also common sense.

A door open leads to other places a door closed secures you within - or without.

Open our minds, try on another point of view, it may not fit, but you will learn far more from the opposition's point than from defending your own again and again. Repetition is madness too when it gets us nowhere but back to square one.

Stop fighting about your beliefs of the world and open up to accept others.

Does ESP exist - yes and no.

Does ESP not exist - yes and no.

And both sides have proof. But both sides also refuse to examine each other's side openly and without prior bias. Hence... no one is satisfied.

And guess what - maybe, just maybe that is the way of the world, of the universe ... that the answer is a possibility - not a cut and dried black and white wither or, yes or no. Maybe a probablity, a slim next to none chance, a quantum description rather than a Newtonian one. Perhaps in all actuality it is a brlurr and not a clear deliniated, well bordered, crisp image-

perhaps that is the comos sense of humor - that we ultimately will never know - but we will kill each other over our point of view. Defend to the death the right of the other person to hold a position diametrically opposed to yours, adopt their map, think outside your box, try walking a mile in their shoes and you will puch your personal evolution envelope further than if you remain set in your ways.

Aging is the weeding out of behaviors - the ben there done that. It is the acceptance of letting other people actually think for you and basing conclusions on others expereince instead of actually expereinceing your own. It is forgeting you were a child and yelling at the kids to get the ball out of your yard because the grass is more important than the innocent play of a child.

The truth will never be one side or the other. We should stop trying to make it so.

And small feeble minds - those that parrot others, that get their experience vicariously bore me...

the live their lives by the decsions others have made. Sadly, they also seem to yell the loudest and argue their believes more than others.

Who are the gullible - those who believe others, quote others, on either side. Sure we can use whatever evidence to prop up our argument, we can quote science, scientists, philosphgers, religous people, friends, family and foes etc. etc.
but realize that it is always incomplete and innacuate.

You know what I learned most in college. THat data could be fudged, falsified and accepted. That I could argue whatever I wanted and find eveidence for it and support for it and that it could be reviewede and accepted even if I purposefully presented a false premise, thesis, or data.

Scientists could be fooled. researchers could be fooled, not unlike the alpha project - but guess what so are philosophers, politicians, religions icons, and every day people. Police are fooled, FBI, and house wives. We are all gullible and guilty of acting as if we aren't. We all think we have the correct view, the right statistic, the critical, skeptical, rational, mind.

Hey we are all wrong more often than not. Let's accept it, face it, cut each other some slack and move forward.

You want to believe in PSI - MORE POWER TO YOU.

You don't want to believe in PSI - MORE POWER TO YOU.

Just let the other side believe what they want too and we will have a friendly, more tolerant open place - and while the verdict is still out - because after all it truly is - STILL OUT.

And we will do more to find the truth when we are open to it - than when we close are minds and refuse the possibility.

2 more cents by Rex

PS You know who can really be fooled - anyone on this forum.

Anyone that says a magician is equipped to do anything other than entertainer...

because that is what each field says about themselves. Doctors know better than anyone, Law enforcement knows better than... scientists are better than...

Don't believe for a second that any of us are actually better equipped...

We are all subject to thinking, believing and doing absolutely foolish things.
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Nov 25, 2004 10:20PM)
[quote]They have something in their nature where they feel that they have to assert they know the secret to everything and spoil the fun for everyone.
[/quote]

Maybe they simply want to see better magic. And by the way, who was having fun? :winker:

[quote]
That is probably why you are a sceptic.
[/quote]

Actually, I'd rather be called a discerner. I'm on more of a "theological" pursuit of psychic phenomena than anything else, as those who may have read my book will understand (shameless plug). :spinningcoin:

[quote]
Never fear though. I am now bored and have decided not to play any more. I just wanted to prove that reincarnation was making a comeback.
[/quote]

Any way that I can help you eliminate your "karmic debt" so that your cycle of reincarnation will finally be over and you and others can rest in peace? :bigsmile:

Terry
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Nov 26, 2004 12:20AM)
"This sentiment is both untrue and unhelpful. (Assume that it is true, you see immediately that it gives you reason to reject it.)"

I don't reject anything. I give my oppinion and I listen to everyone elses. Check all my previous posts, I have pointed out the positive and the negetive of all the posts that others have given.
There is no real truth or untruth. There is only each person's opinion. To them it is the truth though. Fernando... I mean reincarnation, please don't heckle Steve like that, like yourself he has given many valid points.

*Sigh* "There is an exception to every rule, except this one."
Message: Posted by: xersekis (Dec 7, 2004 03:42PM)
Where did this topic go???
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Dec 21, 2004 04:11AM)
It is still here... Somehow... Now the other one is gone.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Dec 21, 2004 10:23AM)
"There is no real truth or untruth." Is this true? Sorry, but such a claim is incoherent.

John
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Dec 22, 2004 01:04AM)
Not really. What May be true to you, may not be true to me. You may hear noise but I wont as I am half deaf. Everyones perception of the truth is different.
Message: Posted by: Muddy (Dec 22, 2004 08:09AM)
[quote]The National Spiritualist Association in Belgrave Square, London does auditions! In order to work the spiritualist church circuit in the UK you have to get your "credentials" In order to get those you have to pass an audition at the Association headquarters.
[/quote]
Actually that wouldnt be a bad idea ... obviously it couldn't be anyone as well known as Banachek. It would be interesting to say the least if someone hung out with these guys for a while and then wrote a full report ...
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Dec 22, 2004 09:32AM)
Perception and truth are not the same thing. Being true is different from being believed to be true. "True to you" or "true to me" are statements of belief; I agree that we may believe different things to be true. Our beliefs about the world, however, don't alter most truths. Either Elvis is dead, or he isn't: you can't have it both ways.

Let's pick a more volitile example. Did millions of European Jews die at the hands of the Nazis? Are you really willing to say that those who claim the Holocaust to be a hoax are just as correct as those who claim that the genocide is real?

Respectfully,

John
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Dec 23, 2004 02:20AM)
If that is the case then nothing is true. everything is perception. Fact: There are seven different colours in a rainbow. (Not to someone who is colour blind, or a dog, or a fly...) That is also why legend becomes myth. Fact turns to fiction due to perception of so called truth. Everyone percieves what they think is true. It cannot be proven though. So hey, I suppose we could be here till the end of time debating the perception of the truth of what the difference is between perception and truth, because we both percieve the truth of perception to be different... Well it sounded less confusing in my head. LOL.

Regards
Wolflock
Message: Posted by: xersekis (Dec 23, 2004 09:43AM)
[quote]
On 2004-12-23 03:20, Wolflock wrote:
If that is the case then nothing is true. everything is perception. Fact: There are seven different colours in a rainbow. (Not to someone who is colour blind, or a dog, or a fly...) That is also why legend becomes myth. Fact turns to fiction due to perception of so called truth. Everyone percieves what they think is true. It cannot be proven though. So hey, I suppose we could be here till the end of time debating the perception of the truth of what the difference is between perception and truth, because we both percieve the truth of perception to be different... Well it sounded less confusing in my head. LOL.

[/quote]

One really ought to read up on what constitutes a fact and whether anything can in fact be called a fact. It is a word often misued in english. Especially in common useage. Facts changes all the time - examine science and you will realize that what was true yeterday - accepted as fact may not be true today and vice versa. Perception is actually all we have as humans - some of it we agree on - some we don't. Perception of what constitutes facts is another area of discussion. The nature of our world by being in it is subjective expereince.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Dec 23, 2004 01:09PM)
Again, these posts conflate "true" with "believed to be true". The introduction of the word "fact" doesn't help us here, as rex sikes points out, because the word has slippage in its use.

Is it true that polio is caused by a virus? Is it true that the earth's moon is cratered? Is it true that you are reading this message? These ones are easy.

Is it true that all persons are of equal worth? Is it true that one ought to have the freedom to practice the religion of one's choice? Is it true that people wish to maximize their own desires? These ones are not so simple.

That there is difficulty in resolving many (perhaps most) claims to truth does not imply that there is no distinction between truth and perception.

To make a magical point: if I convince my audience that I read their thoughts, when all I really did is peek at what they wrote, this doesn't mean that the audience knows the truth. There is a truth to the matter, and it happens to be the case that the audience does not have access to it. In short, beliefs can be right, they can be wrong, and it is sometimes impossible to determine which they are. But beliefs are not the same as truths.

Respectfully,

John
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Dec 23, 2004 08:56PM)
[quote]
On 2004-11-21 01:58, RonCalhoun wrote:
[quote]
On 2004-11-19 18:47, Jonathan1000 wrote:
Until recently, I would have bet the farm that mentalists would be universally skeptical about the existence of ESP.

If any group ever had an incentive to make esp work for real, it should be us. And if any group ever had direct and prolonged experience that esp doesn't work, it would also be us.
[/quote]

Jonathan1000

You are right about this[b] “If any group ever had an incentive to make esp work for real, it should be us.”[/b]

I canNOT prove something does not work. But if anyone ever wanted to know, you're right, It would be us.

Ron Calhoun
[/quote]

Ron, I disagree. If ESP worked for real, then we would all be out of our jobs AS mentalists! :))

In a wonderful series of books called the Wild Cards, George R. R. Martin pointed out that magicians as a whole would be out of a job if psi ability were ever harnessed andbecame commonplace. Mentalists would also come out as being worthless as a significant percentage of the population could do what we fake, but could do it for real.

Frankly, I'm not sure I want it to work quite yet. I'd rather that the Powers-That-Be hold off on that revelation until long after I have retired in comfort.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: Wolflock (Dec 24, 2004 04:58AM)
There is an exception to every rule! Except this one!
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Feb 8, 2014 01:30AM)
[quote]
On 2004-11-20 00:42, Banachek wrote:
If you had said magicians/mentalists I would have to agree. Look how many fell for Derren Brown 's explanations. It is quite amazing when you think about it and look at the posts even here on this board. I am even fairly sure that it probably took Derren by surprise.

Whether the "explanation" is psychic or psychological, many want to believe, even those who should know better.

Don't get me wrong. I am not saying there is no such thing as psychic phenomena but it is amazing how many want to believe those who say they are not using tricks when it is quite obvious they are. The rational is usually something like "just because they are using tricks sometime it does not mean they are using it all the time."

Well yes, who can argue with that? However, I would think those in the know would suspect that more than likely because "they" are using tricks quite often, that more than likely the odds are "they" are using tricks all the time and the few lucky hits are just that, lucky hits and the odds working in their favor. You do this stuff every day, you are going to have some things you just can't explain. If this did not happen, that would be odd in itself.

As for the question of ESP belief, I think there are many different levels of belief. The only problem I see is that those who believe ESP is possible, use the belief of it possible on a small scale and rare examples as "proof" that someone can do it on demand on stage. I have not seen that "proof" yet and have worked and seen the best. I have worked with the best, including Geller on stage and I have not seen anyone yet who did not cheat. Sad but true. As a result, I do say that anyone doing this stuff on stage is probably cheating. Do I say ESP is not real, I can't say that at all.

Just my two cents for what it might not be worth.
[/quote]

This. :ohyes:
Message: Posted by: cpbartak (Feb 8, 2014 04:51PM)
Here's the more interesting question to me. Regardless of what you personally believe, what does the character you portray on stage believe? If this is different from your personally beliefs, how do you reconcile this difference? Do you feel your character is able to convincingly demonstrate psychic phenomena if you don't personally believe in it? If so, how? If you say, "no, that's why I use NLP." Do you personally believe that the things you're doing can be achieved through NLP?
Message: Posted by: kevin carmean (Feb 8, 2014 07:23PM)
Gordon Higginson is exceptional!
And of course the 1st thing you think of as a magician/mentalist is there has got to be some kind of preshow work before hand going on in order to pull this kind of demonstration off. And being a magician/mentalist for the last 48 years and pretty much familiar with every possible techniques available, I can still say that what I have witnessed 1st hand over the last 25 years of investigating this type of spiritualist message work, is that it is absolutely real. And I know 1st hand that no preshow work or other magic or mentalist techniques, that I am familiar with, were used, and yet the readings were absolutely this accurate!
Most mentalist and magicians are afraid of the implications of such a thing being real and slam it down and explain it away at every chance they get, without ever really investigating this topic fully. I, on the other hand, have taken the time and have personally sat in on over 1,872 such demonstrations and can say, without any doubt, that there is real spirit communication. I can also say that I have seen many, many fakes and frauds over the years who use most of the magic/mentalism techniques that we are all familiar with. But trying to discuss this without prejudice on this forum is a total waste of time. I have found over the years that fear of the unknown is a very powerful thing that causes most people to explain away anything that doesn't fit into their socially conditioned response. I also firmly believe that human arrogance and ignorance have no limit as it is often seen on this forum.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Feb 9, 2014 04:46AM)
Mentalists ARE as gullible as everyone else it seems, as this thread has proven. ;)
Message: Posted by: Logan Five (Feb 9, 2014 04:30PM)
I am a believer simply because I have had too many experiences that I cannot explain away. Maybe that's why I am attracted to mentalism.
Message: Posted by: kevin carmean (Feb 9, 2014 06:22PM)
[quote]
On 2014-02-09 17:30, Logan Five wrote:
I am a believer simply because I have had too many experiences that I cannot explain away. Maybe that's why I am attracted to mentalism.
[/quote]

Me too.
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Feb 9, 2014 07:43PM)
Here's something to think about:

Do you believe in the concept of infinity? If infinity exists, then by definition all things are true and false simultaneously. So ESP exists and doesn't exist.

So there you go!

:)
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Feb 9, 2014 08:11PM)
Lengthy posts...passionate on both sides.

Here's the thing: I can't imagine doing a mentalism performance if my CHARACTER didn't believe he was doing it for real. Whatever I believe is irrelevant.

I'm not sure that Christopher Lee had to believe in the existence of vampires in order to play one.

David
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Feb 10, 2014 06:24AM)
If there is no scientific evidence for what you think you are doing...it could possibly be something else, WHAT that something else is - is the interesting part (for me)...

some people are in a rush to claim what that "something" is..."oh, its just b*llsh*t, they're scamming, they're delusional..." - though there might be evidence for some people doing/being that...its a big ask to label ALL that do that something with the same comment...

there's a huge gulf between a possibility and the stark science of something...both can be equally as beautiful in different ways... the differences between those two things is also beautiful...

my mum and dad met by chance...huuuuuuuuuuuge, vast, crazy chance...

dad was in the navy at the time
the secretary college my mum was in had the chance to write to a serviceman
they would not know who their letter would be given to, nor which of the armed forces
just so happened my mum's one went to my dad, who was in the royal navy
they wrote to each other for a year before speaking to one another
all the time my dad going from country to country, japan, india, mexico, pretty much everywhere
every letter made it across, from both sides
they finally spoke
they continued writing for another six months
eventually met on the isle of wight
while all this was going on, he was shot at in vietnam (before the war started)
missed being bombed by the IRA by about five minutes
though he didn't miss the crate that fell on his head and gave him concussion
he babysat royalty
he went on patrols in dangerous areas, with nothing but wooden bullets in a gun everyone had to borrow
and my mum's adoptive mum (her real mum's sister) forbade my mum from ever writing to this sailor fellow
everything was kept secret by her friends
my mum upped sticks to live with my dad's relatives on the isle of wight until he had some leave
fell in love, got married, together for over 50 years

huge odds...

depending on your belief - its huge random chances, fate, or something else inbetween...

these things happen though... possibilities are fascinating...
Message: Posted by: MatCult (Feb 10, 2014 06:38AM)
Aha Naval blood. That explains the powerful 'tache genes.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Feb 10, 2014 06:58AM)
Indeed... though my dad favoured something called MDGs...

remind me later to tell you what it stands for - basically, you grew two perfectly square shapes, high on each cheek, opposite the nostrils...
Message: Posted by: Sean Giles (Feb 10, 2014 07:04AM)
[quote]
On 2014-02-09 20:43, Ben Blau wrote:
Here's something to think about:

Do you believe in the concept of infinity? If infinity exists, then by definition all things are true and false simultaneously. So ESP exists and doesn't exist.

So there you go!

:)
[/quote]

How so?
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Feb 10, 2014 07:21AM)
I think its the same basis of the monkey/typewriter thing...that due to things being infinite there is always the possibility for something to come into being...
Message: Posted by: VernonOnCoins (Feb 10, 2014 07:43AM)
Don't believe? Fine. But if your argument hinges upon your knowledge of a CT or whatever, then that's a pretty weak, lame argument. It also borders on smug. In other words, being a trickster says nothing about the level of one's intelligence, or how deeply one has studied and considered the field of PSI.

Any Joe Schmo can read a magic book.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Feb 10, 2014 08:35AM)
Yup, gullible... :ohyes:
Message: Posted by: Ben Blau (Feb 10, 2014 03:10PM)
[quote]
On 2014-02-10 08:21, IAIN wrote:
I think its the same basis of the monkey/typewriter thing...that due to things being infinite there is always the possibility for something to come into being...
[/quote]

Sure, but the concepts go way beyond that. If there is such a thing as infinity, all things have occurred an infinite number of times, and also have not. This pushes the limits of the human intellect to comprehend. It is possible that what we conceive as the notion of infinity is a byproduct of human intellectual capacity, and we are incapable of even asking the right questions about the true nature of existence in the first place!

If you accept that infinity exists, then it is impossible for anything to be false (or true), for to think otherwise contradicts the meaning of the
Word.

What gets tricky, is the rejection of infinity. That has religious implications, which I won't touch with a ten foot pole in a public forum.
Message: Posted by: Bill Cushman (Feb 10, 2014 07:37PM)
Oh come on Ben, you can reject infinity without implicating religion!
Message: Posted by: psychicir (Sep 4, 2014 12:09PM)
There is definitely such a thing as infinity. This thread by the very length of it proves it.
Message: Posted by: Bill Cushman (Sep 4, 2014 04:35PM)
[quote]On Sep 4, 2014, psychicir wrote:
There is definitely such a thing as infinity. This thread by the very length of it proves it. [/quote]

Too funny! Though there goes my guilty pleasure of being a "thread killer" back on 2/10.