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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Mentally Speaking » » Psychic Blues: Confessions of a Conflicted Medium (19 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bill Cushman
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Inner circle
Florida
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Releasted this year by Mark Edward it seems to have flown under a lot of people's radar. It is about 12 bucks new or used at Amazon and it is something every mentalist or psychic entertainer should read. Plus it is great fun. My highest recommendation.
Smoking Camel
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UK
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Is this the book randi had some involvement in?
I no longer smoke camel cigarettes.
espkeith
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CT, USA
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Quote:
On 2012-12-20 04:14, Smoking Camel wrote:
Is this the book randi had some involvement in?

It is, but don't let that put you off the book. Smile

Kidding, but Randi really just wrote the forward. Excellent book, surprised it didn't get more attention myself.
Bill Cushman
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It's weird cuz one Amazon ad said written by Mark and Randi and another said written by Mark with a forward by Randi. The latter is correct.
mastermindreader
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Since Mark refers to me as "brilliant" in his book, I have no hesitation on recommending it as a "must read" for everyone. (Authors take note: See how easy it is to get a positive review out of me?)

Seriously, though, on Bill's recommendation I bought the Kindle version of the book for just nine dollars. Mark is an old friend of mine and I'm happy to see that he finally wrote a book about his colorful and controversial career(s).
Decomposed
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Eternal Order
High Desert
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This is an oldie but I just bought this book on Kindle and it surely opened my eyes. I did see a nice compliment about you in there Bob. The only thing I did not like was the exposure of somethings but I guess when one tells a story about the psychic industry of old, its hard to leave out methods.
mindguru
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I read this book last year and found it to be fascinating and educational. It was also very funny.
Marc O
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Thank you for bringing this book under the attention once more.
Have just ordered this, and looking forward to reading it.
Max Maven
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It would seem your reading has not been all that thorough, as the text you missed is contained in the first two pages -- i.e., the Introduction.

I do not know where you got the idea that I am "a member of an over zealous, even fanatical skeptic organization." I am not, nor have I ever been. I've had many interactions with the skeptical community, and have friendships with many who hold staunch views on the topic. My own views are nuanced, and do not lend themselves to simple categorization.

You wonder why I do not post very much on this forum. Proclamations such as yours provide the answer. I do not know who you are, behind your pseudonym. I have no interest in arguing with you, cogently or otherwise.
WitchDocChris
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Perhaps the answer is simply that he is neither a "skeptic" or a "psychic" but somewhere in between? Life isn't black and white, after all.
Christopher
Witch Doctor

Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
IAIN
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I guess you could also consider that giving a reading doesn't automatically mean that you believe in psychic ability...

Just because you have a load of people labelling something as 'some thing's, doesn't necessarily make it true...

People once thought the world was flat...
IAIN
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If you take any three tarot cards and ask three people to read them, you'll get differences..And if those three reader's read for the same person, you'll get different outcomes...

There's several good reasons for that...
IAIN
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Its an enjoyable book so far, about 70% through it...

however, I find him a bit off-putting, he's saying throughout that "oh these people are idiots, but not me...i know I'm a fraud and I'm kinda laughing at all these shut-eyes...but I'm still taking the money..."

he crosses too many lines for money, despite him throwing stones everywhere from his own glasshouse...
WitchDocChris
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FYI, I actually am interested in the metaphysical stuff and, while I am not an expert, I am familiar with quite a bit of that realm.

The problem is that if there is no distinct system for reading Tarot or other fortune telling cards, then there's no way to prove you're not just guessing and calibrating to the sitter's reactions. It's entirely possible, plausible even, that a skilled psychic reader is simply cold reading on an unconscious level.

So the way to test that is to remove the sitter from the equation as much as possible. Put a divider between the reader and the sitter, for instance. However, once this starts happening, the readings tend to get more and more generic and more universally applicable.

I have developed my own system of doing readings, and pretty much everyone I've done a reading for tells me they are very good. Furthermore, they are reliable and if the same person comes back for a reading, at least certain aspects of that reading will be consistent. The main difference between my way of giving readings and most psychic readings that I have witnessed, is that I explicitly state that my way of doing readings involves using the cards as a visual language to give our unconscious minds something to use to translate what it already knows to our conscious minds, which can provide clues to solving whatever question the sitter has. The only reason I don't do readings more often is because it is, quite frankly, exhausting to this introvert to connect that significantly to people in rapid succession.

edit: I also want to be explicitly clear here: I do not have a problem with people who do psychic readings as the real deal. Most of the ones I've met are extremely nice people who are only out to help, and they tend to give pretty good advice on average.
Christopher
Witch Doctor

Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
jstreiff
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Chris, think about this.. what is a guess based on? Is it always motivated? What does it mean in fact for something to be 'random'?
John
solarzar
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Solarzar
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This type of discussion has a tendency to become circular. That being said I have a couple of points. When Mark first released his book I interviewed him for my radio show. At that time I asked him how he can claim to be a skeptic and work for the Psychic network for 10 years? I don't remember his exact answer but I do remember he was honest that he enjoyed doing the readings and he believed he helped people.

I've been doing readings since I was 16. Besides having a metaphysically oriented family, I saw readings as an adjunct to my performing. When I talk about astrology, palmistry numerology or tarot in my performances I know what I'm talking about, it isn't just some patter. While I do readings as entertainment, I don't claim to be psychic, I do claim we are all intuitive - which I believe.

I also run a psychic fair and know that the shut-eye psychics that I work with truly believe what they do the same as most religious believers believe in their particular brand of faith. It isn't fair to question their ethics just because they believe in their work.

As for me, the late Bob Cassidy and I used to trade stories of our participation in the metaphysical community and our actual beliefs (he and I had many similarities) including the belief that a genuine skeptic is someone who says I don't believe but I'm open to the possibility. I see myself as a skeptic. Some things seem possible, some things may be possible, but I neither believe nor disbelieve. Every reading system has a symbolic base. Those symbols have a long mythological history which is why Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell spent their lifetimes exploring symbolic meanings. A reading shares symbols with a client so they can see the meaning that applies to them, that is all.

A good reader will leave the space in a reading for the client to identify their own answer.

Just my thoughts, Solarzar
Solarzar
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WitchDocChris
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Quote:
On Mar 15, 2017, jstreiff wrote:
Why is it the case that what one believes defines fraud? It would seem that since everyone believes different things, the definition of anything is always based on individual beliefs. Thus what might be fraud for one might not be fraud for another. Why should one dictate the actions or beliefs of another? On the basis of what privilege, if any?


The definition of Fraud (noun) is:
Quote:
wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.


Note the key words - deception, and intended.

If someone is using what they think is a genuine skill, they are not a fraud. They may be deluded, but they are not intentionally deceiving anyone. However, if someone is intentionally deceiving another that is fraud.

I pretty much seem to be agreeing with solarzar's point of view. I am a skeptic in that I question what I see and experience in search of the truth. I don't have the faith to say one way or the other that certain things are definitely true or definitely false.

And on that note, I will also agree with solarzar's point that these conversations tend to begin circling. I feel this will probably begin happening soon, here.
Christopher
Witch Doctor

Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
IAIN
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Eternal Order
england
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Quote:
On Mar 15, 2017, WitchDocChris wrote:
And on that note, I will also agree with solarzar's point that these conversations tend to begin circling. I feel this will probably begin happening soon, here.


agreed...

and what we project verbally and semantically is of equal importance too...

the book is a good read, I'm just not rooting for anyone and I'm not too keen on the author's "i'm ok, I'm calling these guys idiots - so as long as I'm mocking them you can't hold me accountable for my equally shoddy actions..."

cognitive biases usually means we'll measure ourselves with our "hits" and our "successes", and not bother about any possibliity of harm with a prediction taken to heart about their future...

its certainly a worthwhile read, if only to shudder and feel your teeth grate...
January
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There are different concepts and arguments here--what's ethical, vs. what's legal.

As far as the legality of such things, the following is a long, but interesting read:
https://www.theatlantic.com/business/arc....../382738/

Also of interest may be the California Supreme Court Case, Spiritual Psychic Science Church v. City of Azusa.
http://law.justia.com/cases/georgia/supr......3-1.html

It seems that offering psychic services mostly becomes a legal problem when someone is told they have a "curse" or "bad energy" that needs to be cleansed, and then this premise is used to extract huge sums of money from the client.
IAIN
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england
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Nah, its more of an emotional thing, and being a healthy human being mentally in my opinion...

obviously you get the extreme/severe cases, and the scams, but I think we're also talking about the normality of readings...
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