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John Clarkson
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Quote:
On 2003-09-09 05:57, jo wrote:
...some of the posts here that suggest people no longer seem sure what to believe.
...
... many here at the mentalism forum haven't actually made up their mind about what could be real. ...I don't recall many admitting (in all honesty), their personal beliefs about the 'paranormal/supernormal/etc'. ...Where do you as Mentalists stand on these issues?...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?
...
Jo, mentalism is a performing art. It is not some cult that demands a particular set of beliefs about the paranormal, the spiritual, the preternatural, etc. There are other groups, unrelated to magic and the performing arts, that, apparently, hold as real that which we present (duplicate?) as entertainment. There are some, however, who visit this forum who probably should seek out a church, or a Spiritualist group, or some other gathering of people who share their beliefs. Here, we are just performers, frauds, benign deceivers, imposters, entertainers. Let those who think otherwise cast aside their clipboards and peek devices, renounce their sinful Center Tears, do the real work, and leave us poor, struggling, unenlightened tricksters in peace. (Is there a forum for "Spiritualists Helping Spiritualists"?)

Quote:
What if what John Edward does IS real, and we can't see the trees for the bark (no dog intended)?
Then, I suspect, his messages from beyond would have more substance. Dead people, at least when they communicate through John Edward (and the others I've seen) seem to be struck stupid. It saddens me to think that my dead father, a brilliant fellow in life, is now caught in some nether region, stripped to a less-than-average-I.Q., protoplasmic drool rolling from his chin, and relegated to communicating in nearly incomprehensible grunts about "a small dog, I think it was a Schnauzer" through some slick, fast-talking television medium. Perhaps it is the dying process itself that renders specters incapable of remembering their names, their gender, their occupation, their relationship to the "sitter", or even how they died; perhaps it is that John just doesn't hear ethereal voices very well; or perhaps he hears nothing at all from the Stygian darkness and makes it all up. I have an opinion as to which of these possibiities is more likely, but, as I say, my opinion/belief about it is utterly irrelevant to the performing art of mentalism.

So "we as mentalists" don't have to decide or declare what "we" believe. This performing art is not so monolithic, jo; there is no litmus test of beliefs. A true believer, with a little work and proper coaching, can perform a book test as convincingly as a skeptic. Smile

Smile
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)
Cozener

"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)
teejay
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Hi All
Some of the posts on this and other similar threads
suggest that the live shows are failures that are edited down to make an interesting TV show
This is completely wrong
There was a link on a previous thread to an article
by a reporter for a net magazine
She went to one of Van Pragh's shows and, I think, one of his camp or hotel seminars. There was also mention
of ship cruises
( Perhaps some kind reader knows the link and will post it? )
The live shows are highly successful with gate money that mentalists can only dream of
OK the misses are edited out for TV
How many TV shows are NOT edited?
PS for JC
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!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yep, and I knew it! Both "miniature" and "schnauzer" have "Rs" in them (a double hit?)-- I must be psychic!

Clever? Tremendously
Funny? Hilarious
Good taste?????
Smile
Scott Xavier
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We have about a 30 second attention span as modern humans. If we see soemthing or hear it, we usually forget it quickly, especially when hit by many other hits. Do I believe I can do better the edward or van pragh? No, but I'd like to try in laboratory conditions.
jo
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John, you have a wonderful sense of humor, and a great means of sharing that. Thank you. I do agree with all you are saying - and as you no doubt saw at the end of my previous post, I WAS MERELY PLAYING THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE HERE. Smile

Sorry if it rubbed you up the wrong way.

Back to the original post on observations of Edward:

Just another thought...

Isn't it amazing the depths to which John Edward sinks into while in character? I write here of the concept of "... playing the part of a magician/metalist". I wonder if he thinks what he is doing is real?
I remember going to see a 'medium' the day after completing Corrinda's Thirteen Steps. I wanted to see if I could spot any of the techniques discussed. I took off all jewelry except for one of those arthritic bangles, and wore very plain clothing.
On arrival it was clear that the person who had arranged the interview had given away some information about me - particularly the side of my business that she knew. She was no doubt streaks ahead already.
The medium asked me why I had wanted to see her. I replied that there was already so much on my mind that perhaps she could make it clear for me. After all, I didn't want to cloud her intuition with all my stuff. Her immediate response was a gentle reminder that we could spend the whole session on what she may pick up, but its stuff I already know and we would waste time that way, without really getting to the serious issues. I folded. I explained some of my concerns (real and imaginary) and we ended up doing some deep breathing. During the session she included a feeling of a lack of energy from me. Afterwards she remarked about the bangle I wore. She was no doubt cold reading. BUT SHE DIDN'T KNOW IT! Smile

Now, let me get back to that forum where "spiritualists help other spiritualists..." Smile

Jo
John Clarkson
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Jo, thanks for your kind words. Smile No, you didn't rub me the wrong way at all. In fact, I enjoyed your post. I look forward to reading more. You are definitely in the right forum!

Hard to know if John is sincere or not. He appears sincere. But, then, my brother-in-law appears intelligent...

Smile
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)
Cozener

"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)
Bill Hallahan
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No doubt people’s perceptions will vary both based on what they expect and how well Edwards hits that day.

Here is a link to an article. This article contains excerpts of an article written by Times reporter Leon Jaroff. He is a skeptic. He wrote an article based on the experience of Michael O'Neill who was on the show. He estimates that Edwards has a 10% to 20% hit rate. He also says the show is heavily edited to created the impression of a greater success rate. There is a lot more I found interesting in this article.

http://www.skeptic.com/newsworthy13.html

I wonder why you think "editing theories" are laughable? I have seen other sources on the Internet corroborate that article. Is this a giant conspiracy against Mr. Edwards by the Times, and other news media organizations?
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"
jo
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I decided to "tune in to" John Edward again last night. Thankfully all that was required was turning on the telly. Smile

I watched as he sweated somewhat while missing the entire time with a lady in the gallery. She just kept on shaking her head "Nope". But he kept on with her until he had a hit, and changed the dynamics of the reading. Definitely ballsy.

Then I noticed the amount of times the phrase "they want you to acknowledge this" is used. Its very clever wording that does several things. It encourages, almost forces, the spectator to link "what is coming thru" to a memory. It stirs emotion and willingness to believe and participate.

It takes the attention off John and places it firmly on the spectator. I'm almost reminded of a ghostly figure from an old 50's movie hovering in sheets whimpering and sobbing loudly: "Why don't you want to acknowledge (love) me?" Its essentially the same thing. Its sickening.

And then I thought of what John Clarkson had said somewhere above. Its amazing how unintelligible the dead can be as to regards to their identity and the people they want to speak to, the way they died, etc, but how precise they can be in saying that they're okay now.

And one final thing: John Edward actually referred to "reading for people". This is suggestion at very sublte levels. He mentioned it twice in last night's show. But see how selective our hearing and memory actually is? No-one questions that statement.

It is a given that as a 'psychic' you 'read'. But no-one is asking exactly WHAT are you reading. (We know it as Cold/Hot Reading, etc) But the public accept what he says at face value: "he reads the dead". Perhaps this is why the dead seem so illiterate!

Smile

Jo
DaveS
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John -- I've enjoyed your humorous, dead-on (no pun intended) characterizations of Edward's methods. Perhaps Steve Brooks should consider your idea for a "Spiritualists Helping Spiritualists" forum where the faithful can discuss Edward, Van Pragh, Browne, et al without being badgered by skeptics bent on spoiling the fun. Smile

It would appear that those who consider Edward's "hit ratio" impressive or believe he's the real deal have moved on. Too bad -- this discussion is much more interesting when they participate. Hopefully, some will return to show you the error of your ways! Smile

On topics like this, Dunninger's statement, "For those who believe, no explanation is needed. For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible." seems apt.
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)
jiggyjer
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Ian rowland has some interesting comments about Edwards on his site.

J
hkwiles
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John,
love your comments, as always..funny yet at the same time informative.
I think the main give away is the lack of interesting/famous people wanting to be contacted to give us the low down on various events in the past.
as you say some one contacted "from the other side" and all they can come up with is trivia.

Keep up the good work.

Howard
DaveS
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Edward appeared on CNN Larry King Live last night and spooked a caller big time. Barring actual "contact" with the caller's late mother, an exceptionally lucky guess or the use of a confederate, are there any other explanations for Edward's reference to the broken picture (shadow box) in the caller's kitchen? At he end of the exchange, King appears to be jabbing at Edward's critics who accuse him of generalizing and using cold reading techniques. The following is from the show's transcript.

http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0310/02/lkl.00.html

KING: Johnston, Rhode Island, hello. CALLER: Hi, John. This is Mimi (ph).
EDWARD: Hi, Mimi (ph).
CALLER: How are you?
EDWARD: I'm good.
CALLER: I've been trying for a long time to get through to you.
EDWARD: Oh, thank you.
KING: You made it.
CALLER: Yes, thank God. I was wondering how my mom's doing.
EDWARD: Well, as you're asking me that, the first thing I'm going to tell you is I'm getting -- they're showing me the sign of Libra. So to me the sign of Libra would means that something at the end of September or into October is significant for your family.
CALLER: OK.
EDWARD: Whether it be somebody's birthdate or anniversary.
CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: I'm also -- you understand that?
CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: OK. I also want to let -- and your mom's passed, you said?
CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: OK. Were you there when she passed?
CALLER: Yes, I was.
EDWARD: Did you actually tell her, like, Go now, it's OK? You can leave?
CALLER: Yes, I did.
EDWARD: She's telling me to thank you for doing that and she's making me feel like you were very hesitant. And I don't -- I don't mean to -- I kind of chuckle, but not to -- for any other reason except for that the way it feels. She's made me feel like you were very, very strong and like it's OK for you to go, it's OK for you to leave. And then when it started to happen, you felt like, no, no, no. Come back, come back, come back. It's like that's the feeling that I'm getting.
CALLER: Yes. I felt -- Yes. Because she, you know, she said, no. You know what I mean? So I always felt guilty about that.
EDWARD: But she wants you to know she's met up I think with her sister. So I don't if her sister had passed before or if it's a really good friend of hers that had gone before. But there's a woman that met her when she crossed.
CALLER: Oh, yes.
EDWARD: And she's telling me...
CALLER: They're several.
EDWARD: She's telling me to acknowledge the sister and she's also bringing up the baby of the family. So I don't know if she was the baby of her family or if you're the baby of her family. But acknowledging the baby of the family, OK? And she's telling me to talk to you about the last holiday, the last Christmas.
CALLER: Yes.
EDWARD: I don't know if you were just going through those photos or those video albums, or whatever this is.
CALLER: Yes, we were.
EDWARD: OK. She wants you to remember that kind of stuff. OK?
CALLER: OK.
EDWARD: Now she's telling me to talk about the cop. I don't know if the cop is still living or if somebody's just dating the police officer now. But there's something about -- it's not somebody that's passed, the cop. It's the man in uniform now.
CALLER: OK.
EDWARD: And she's making me feel like she sees what's going on with the guy in the uniform. She sees what's going on in the family in that -- in that capacity. And she's also telling me -- are you near the kitchen?
CALLER: Yes!
EDWARD: OK. She's telling me to talk about -- you just broke the glass or something just broke around you? Well, there's something broken near me.
CALLER: There's something broken?
EDWARD: What's broken in the kitchen?
CALLER: What's broken in the kitchen?
EDWARD: Go to your left. What's to your
CALLER: To my left. Let me see. Oh! One of the -- oh my god. Its the picture. It's a shadow box that my -- oh my god. This is spooky. I have a shadow box on the wall, yes.
EDWARD: OK. This is your mom's way of saying I'm with you.
CALLER: Oh my god.
EDWARD: And this answers the question, they're not here for me. They're here for you.
KING: OK, I have to take a break. Stop skirting and stop being so general. OK. Be specific. You always annoy me. We'll be right back with John Edward. Don't go away.
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)
Joshua Quinn
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Quote:
On 2003-10-03 12:25, DaveS wrote:
Barring actual "contact" with the caller's late mother, an exceptionally lucky guess or the use of a confederate, are there any other explanations for Edward's reference to the broken picture (shadow box) in the caller's kitchen?
[...]
EDWARD: OK. She's telling me to talk about -- you just broke the glass or something just broke around you? Well, there's something broken near me.
CALLER: There's something broken?
EDWARD: What's broken in the kitchen?


Can we see a show of hands from everyone who doesn't have a relatively recent experience (say, within the last year) with "glass or something" breaking somewhere around either you or someone else in your family, and/or something broken in or near your kitchen, and/or a semi-significant memory involving any of the above?

Still, a good line.

Quinn
Every problem contains the seeds of its own solution. Unfortunately every problem also contains the seeds of an infinite number of non-solutions, so that first part really isn't super helpful.
DaveS
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Quinn,
As my earlier posts attest, I'm not a fan of Edward since IMHO he takes advantage of people's feelings of grief and loss, but I (grudgingly) admire his talent and sheer nerve to perform live, without net or props, to a worldwide audience, using only his wits and personality. The coolness, confidence and creative verbal dancing this guy demonstrates are impressive. His ability to distract audiences and the mainstream media from noticing or calling him on his "misses," which greatly outnumber his "hits," is remarkable.
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)
boblinds
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I've watched MANY of Edward's shows and one aspect of them that strikes me is the following.

In the post-reading interview, people often say, "We were just talking about this" or "We were just talking about this on the way over (to the taping.)" in reference to something that Edward hit upon in his reading.

This happens so often in these interviews that I wonder if there isn't some clandestine monitoring of conversations going on prior to the taping. And, given the spotty nature of most people's memories, they don't realize that they "were just talking about this" in the studio. (Or there is some interviewing of the audience going on before the taping that remains, of course, concealed from the home audience.)

Regardless, Edward does IMHO a pretty remarkable job of these readings and has done an even more remarkable job -- with the help of his producers -- in packaging his talent for an unwary and uncritical public.
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