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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » John Edward Review (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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invalidity
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Despite being a Christian, as a medical student I must admit a degree of scepticism when it comes to faith healers.

On the one hand, our body has a great capacity to heal itself given the right frame of mind. Given this, faith healing may actually be helpful.

But anytime the faith healing comes with a request for money of any sort... Put it this way, if a healer was doing it to help people in God's name, why would he pressure people to make sizable 'donations'?

And that's my 2 cents.
Jnana
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The clips were great I really loved them. I think my wife is going to hate them when she sees them lol.
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Leeo
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In answer to the original question, I think Mr Edward is great, the best I've seen. He is very aggressive, which obviously is not everone's cup of tea, but it works in terms of him directing where he wants his subjects to be. His forthright approach gives the impression he believes absolutely everything he says, which I've noticed is different from James Van Praagh, whose tentative statements and sideways glances make him look like he is only guessing and is very unsure.
We have a few tv psychics here in the UK whose audience management skills and showmanship are quite effective, but in my opinion pale in comparison to the irrepressible John Edward.
I am aware though that I have only seen edited highlights and I have not seen these people work live.

Best regards.
Scott Xavier
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Nice observation. If we we're psychic and all knowing, wouldnt we be cocky know it alls?
Necromancer
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Quote:
On 2003-08-28 08:55, Dr_Zodiac wrote:
Nice observation. If we we're psychic and all knowing, wouldnt we be cocky know it alls?


That's actually been a big problem with a number of mental performers: they're so darned omniscient that the audience secretly wants them to fail.

Edward keeps the audience on his side by making it clear that his aggressiveness is purely in the service of his apparently sincere desire to help those who are grieving.
Creator of The Xpert (20 PAGES of reviews!) and the Hands-Off Multiple ESP System ("Quality and design far exceed any ESP cards on the market"-Genii), both at Penguin.
Bill Hallahan
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John Edwards uses a great deal of editing of his cold readings to create the impression that he is right most of the time. I watched his show twice, and it was obviously a number of clips strung together.

What is really telling is the paragraph at http://www.randi.org/jr/02-23-2001.html that relates how Edwards conned an audience member who wanted to believe that his dead father could be contacted. Edwards got twenty out of twenty three guesses wrong, but ended up reducing the man to tears anyway when he finally got a few right.

Edwards claims a high rate of success, but some people who have been on the show say that his success rate is actually about 10% to 15%. He tapes for about 2 hours for one show and edits out many of his failures to make the final show. He sometimes edits people response to what he said where his statement and response didn't actually go together in the original taping.
Source: http://bboard.scifi.com/bboard/browse.cgi/1/5/2143/37

The first source is Randi's site. The second is somewhat more nebulous, but I believe it.

I can't compare his cold readings to anyone else's, but he is clearly good enough to fool some people.
Humans make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to create boredom. Quite astonishing.
- The character of ‘Death’ in the movie "Hogswatch"
landmark
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Well,

At the risk of being school marmish here:

I'm not pointing a finger at anyone but:

Folks could we not have the "is it ethical, is he for real?" discussion here? I think there have been many other threads that have discussed this and can be added to if wanted. I was hoping that this thread could be devoted to analyzing techniques of reading for an audience, whether you're a John Edward believer or not. Maybe it should be moved to Inner Thoughts for a freer discussion. What do you think?

Thanks,

Jack Shalom
NJJ
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I saw Ian Rowland cold read the other day and he began by saying (and I paraphrase) "You know I am a fake but others pretend to be real so when I cold read you I want you to be open and accepting and not put up walls because believers would not do that."

A lot Mr Edward's work is done for him when he is presented by 200 'believers'
DaveS
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The Sept/Oct 2003 issue of Skeptical Inquirer Magazine has a revealing article dissecting some of the production and editing techniques used in Edward's (and Van Pragh's) television shows. BTW, I believe Van Pragh's show was recently cancelled.
DaveS
We shall not cease from exploration/And the end of all our exploring/Will be to arrive where we started/And know the place for the first time. (TS Elliot)
Jim Reynolds
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Not to defend John Edward, but I have seen him live and can tell you that his hit ratio is pretty impressive. The editing theories and various high tech methods suggested by "Skeptical" organizations are mostly laughable.

I agree having an audience of hard core believers makes his job a heck of a lot easier.

JR
drosenbe0813
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A friend of my wife went to see an Edwards taping and told a story of woman who had lost something that morning and Edwards mentioned it during the taping. The woman insisted that she had not said anything about it to anyone. I mentioned the old method of stationing an employee (or microphone) in the bathroom to gather information, and that the woman might have off handly said something to someone.
Whenever I see someone like Edwards or even David Blaine, and people ask me my opinion...I first say that they are great entertainers and that they are on TV and I'm not. But I also mention that there is a lot that the TV audience doesn't see in terms of set up,which probably modifies what is really percieved by the attendees.
I once did a gig during a large promotion, where there was a local TV news guy taping. I made sure that they taped footage of me. They taped a 2 minute routine, but what the tv audience saw was the final 10 second revalation and a scream from the participant. It looked great, but it was a very different experience for the people actually there.
NJJ
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Quote:
On 2003-09-05 08:18, DaveS wrote:
BTW, I believe Van Pragh's show was recently cancelled.
DaveS


I bet he didn't see that coming. Smile
Scott Xavier
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If anyone has seen Ross Johnsons Blindfold act or The evasons, you can see how some of this is possible.
John Clarkson
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Quote:
On 2003-09-05 10:17, Jim Reynolds wrote:
Not to defend John Edward, but I have seen him live and can tell you that his hit ratio is pretty impressive.
Jim, how many statements did he make while you were there? How many were misses and how many were hits (so that we may know what the precise ratio was)? Given the amazing rapidity with which Edward speaks, how did you manage, while attending in person, to record all of his statements in order to calculate this impressive hit ratio? At what point would you find the ratio impressive?

Quote:
The editing theories and various high tech methods suggested by "Skeptical" organizations are mostly laughable.
Why is that? Are you suggesting that because you were impressed any suggestion of trickery is laughable? Seems like an easily determinable issue: either the televised presentations are edited to present Edward in a falsely favorable light, or they are not. Has anyone actually looked into this with footage of his shows and expert examination? Maybe we should do that before we burst out laughing.

Quote:
I agree having an audience of hard core believers makes his job a heck of a lot easier.
Yep!

Smile
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)
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"There is nothing more important to a magician than keeping secrets. Probably because so many of them are Gay."
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kaytracy
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A co-worker went to see him in the SFO area a couple weeks ago, and she said that her impression was heavily swayed towards belief! (He apparently hit nose on with a dog breed, and some lady about fell out of her chair as her little (same breed) dog had died two days before-
I was not there, so I cannot report directly, but whatever he does he does well from all the reports I have seen from folks who go.. I did speak with her BEFORE she went and asked her to try and be aware of a few things, but who knows what the atmosphere was for her at the time. (I could not justify $75 ticket tag for this guy-)
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John Clarkson
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My goodness! If John is encroaching on territory previously claimed exclusively by the Pet Psychic, I can imagine the fur will fly! Smile It would be interesting to see the footage. As of May 1999, in the United States, about 43 million people owned dogs. There were about 102 million households. Seems like, if John's audience was a random sample, about 4 out of 100 in his audience probably owned (or lived with) a dog. And, according to the American Kennel Club, Labrador Retrievers lead the pack in popularity by a substantial margin. Next come Golden Retrievers, followed by German Shepherds. Now, 75% of all dogs in the U.S., apparently, are mixed breeds, the majority of which most likely have some Lab blood in them. Do you suppose John's message from doggy heaven indicated that someone in the audience once (or presently) owned a Labrador Retriever.... or a dog with Lab blood.... or a big dog.... or a small dog who once knew a big dog... or a dog who had an "L" or an "R" in its name... or maybe just a very confused, huge cat?

References: http://www.apapets.com/petstats2.htm
http://animal.discovery.com/fansites/rad......nds.html

Smile
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)
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"There is nothing more important to a magician than keeping secrets. Probably because so many of them are Gay."
—Peggy, from King of the Hill (Sleight of Hank)
kaytracy
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Nope!
It was for miniature Schnauzer! Friend said the lady about fell out of her chair, he had been working with her and piped up with, "I see a little dog, a Schnauzer..." or something to that effect. Friend said no hmming or hawing, or fishing on that one, just BAM! Schnauzer-little! Smile
Kay and Tory
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John Clarkson
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Quote:
On 2003-09-08 15:11, kaytracy wrote:
nope!
It was for miniature Schnauzer! ... Friend said no hmming or hawing, or fishing on that one, just BAM! Schnauzer-little! Smile
Yep, and I knew it! Both "miniature" and "schnauzer" have "Rs" in them (a double hit?)-- I must be psychic!

As I say, it would be interesting to see the film footage rather than rely on second- or third-hand reports subject to the common inaccuracies of selective memory. Anyone have a video or transcript of that episode?

Smile
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)
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"There is nothing more important to a magician than keeping secrets. Probably because so many of them are Gay."
—Peggy, from King of the Hill (Sleight of Hank)
Scott Xavier
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Here's a thought. Next time someone goes to see J.E. tell them to not talk to anyone and don't fill out a prayer card. Just go there with an open mind, and get the raw footage for us to analyse.
jo
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Dr Z, do I detect a sceptic? No, I don't mean you. I am referring to some of the posts here that suggest people no longer seem sure what to believe.

I do agree with John though on 'selective memory'. Even I have been far better then I really am in certain people's eyes when I overhear them retelling the 'miracles'. Smile

But it just brings a smirk to my lips seeing that many here at the mentalism forum haven't actually made up their mind about what could be real. We spend so much time discussing how to make it look real, what methods to use etc, and I don't recall many admitting (in all honesty), their personal beliefs about the 'paranormal/supernormal/etc'.

It has been my past experiences that many performing magicians are hard-tipped scientists, discrediting anything out of the normal. Where do you as Mentalists stand on these issues? What if what John Edward does IS real, and we can't see the trees for the bark (no dog intended)?

In fact, what about all those little synchronicites that occur in our everyday lives? We speak about them in our presentations, but do we REALLY believe?
A friend said a while ago that with the millions of people in New York, someone had calculated that the probability of coincidences occuring to several people at any given time are extremely high.

But DO YOU FEEL LIKE A STATISTIC WHEN THAT HAPPENS TO YOU? (And then again, what exactly are the dynamics of such coincidences and synchronicities?)

I'm neither for or against Mr Edward now (after discussing this with Landmark in a PM). But I would like to see the challenge suggested by Dr Zodiac taken up... by someone unbiased with that most bragged about mega-memory ability and good observation skills (Oops, did I say cold-reading?)


Jo

Just playing the bizarrist's Devil's Advocate Smile
no disrespect intended...
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