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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Should we boycott Derren Brown? (30 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Slim King
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I would think a back handed comparison to SYLVIA BROWN would be enough to get your keester kicked ... Smile
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
Chaz93
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Stephen Colbert is one of my favorite comedians. He can make even this thread entertaining. Thanks for that link Slim!
ProfessorJinksy
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Quote:
On Jan 25, 2015, Bill Cushman wrote:
"And as I said above, "entertainment" seems like an odd standard by which to judge a theatrical performance or performer."

I'm missing something ProfessorJinksy; I'm not sure why actors aren't considered entertainers. I would think they fall under that umbrella. I certainly hope to be entertained by a theatrical performance or performer. Sometimes other things too, but always entertained. What do you hope to get out such a show?

I don't go to the theatre to be entertained, typically. I usually go for the same reason that one might go to church. To get a glimpse or a reminder of something profound.

I don't really consider actors to be entertainers, per se. If actors are entertainers, then so are trumpet players.. and boxers.. and ballerinas.. and novelists.. and spirit mediums.. etc. From my perspective, it makes sense to use the word entertainer when no other word would better describe the performer. The categories actors, musicians, athletes, dancers, writers, or mediums, seem to cover the above examples sufficiently.

To me an entertainer is one who combines multiple disciplines and almost transcends categorization. For example, Madonna. She is more than a singer. She is more than a dancer. She also acts. She has written a book (books?). Her shows use all sorts of theatrics and special effects. At a certain point, the catch all phrase "entertainer" may suit best. The Vaudevillian comics were often singers, dancers, comedians, actors, hosts, clowns, acrobats, etc, and many of them were certainly all round entertainers.

My point of all this is only to say that I am curious where the line might lie between mentalists and mediums, or between mentalists and psychics, or between psychic entertainers and psychics. And I do not personally think that "entertainment" or "entertainment purposes" can be the full answer.

I have been reading about performance studies lately. And it actually seems like mediumship would fit fully under the criteria of a performance art. It does not matter that the performer lies to the audience or that some spectators are not aware of lie or of the role they play in the event. That would be categorized as an example of dark play. I think that the difference between mentalists and mediums is likely to lie in the actor/audience relationship. I'm doing research on that currently, but still mostly just confused about it.

Lastly, some here have mentioned that the roots of mentalism lie in spiritualism. But to me, it seems that we MUST go much further back than that. The second sight phenomenon (both "real" and on stage) predates spiritualism significantly. The idea of precognition goes back to the Greeks. Not only their oracles, but also various seers and prophets. To me, the roots of mentalism lie in precognition and second sight. This makes it easier for me to keep mentalists and spiritualists separated, since I don't feel that the two forms are entangled since inception.
Quote:
On Jan 26, 2015, kasper wrote:
I've came to the realization that mentalists have turned mentalism into a fundamentalist religion in of itself.

I'm curious to hear more of what you mean by this. It's an interesting thought.
jstreiff
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We need not expose methods of the mystery arts to expose frauds. Years ago, the U.S. government released a small book on con games and counterfeiting. It is no longer published AFAIK. It detailed the swindles and as important, the characteristic behaviors of the confidence people. Serious skeptical evangelists (and others) could just as easily describe the behavior and patterns of confidence games, including fraudulent psychics, instead of exposing methods. It is true that the latter offers an opportunity for self-gratification of a performer's ego, but what is more important? Self-gratification or fraud prevention? This approach preserves the methods and focuses on the real problem at hand.

As for Martin's question, those with a public voice and compelling desire to expose frauds should focus on the fraud and not the methods of art.
John
mastermindreader
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Well put, John. I agree.
innercirclewannabe
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Quote:
On Jan 26, 2015, jstreiff wrote:

As for Martin's question, those with a public voice and compelling desire to expose frauds should focus on the fraud and not the methods of art.



The comment above perfectly answers the question posed in this thread, IMO. Very well put.

Case in point was the TV show from years ago "Secrets of the Psychics Revealed".
Tá sé ach cleas má dhéanann tú sé cuma mhaith ar cheann.
IAIN
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Quote:
On Jan 26, 2015, jstreiff wrote:
We need not expose methods of the mystery arts to expose frauds. Years ago, the U.S. government released a small book on con games and counterfeiting. It is no longer published AFAIK. It detailed the swindles and as important, the characteristic behaviors of the confidence people. Serious skeptical evangelists (and others) could just as easily describe the behavior and patterns of confidence games, including fraudulent psychics, instead of exposing methods. It is true that the latter offers an opportunity for self-gratification of a performer's ego, but what is more important? Self-gratification or fraud prevention? This approach preserves the methods and focuses on the real problem at hand.

As for Martin's question, those with a public voice and compelling desire to expose frauds should focus on the fraud and not the methods of art.

i agree...i was (hopefully obviously) joking when I said lets offer up all our secrets 'just in case'...
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mastermindreader
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Quote:
On Jan 26, 2015, kasper wrote:
Ive came to the realization that mentalists have turned mentalism into a fundamentalist religion in of itself.


Not really. But I agree that I'm a fundamentalist and have always preached that mastery of the fundamentals is an essential foundation for a mentalist. Unfortunately, many just seem to ignore that and continue to trivialize the art.
dyoung
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On the flipside of this, I think they should expose Jerome Finley, Bill Montana and Scryer et. al. because they are going out there and doing it for real. not just for entertainment purposes. So let's get them! Somehow some psychics/"mentalists" are ok to attack and not others. What gives? The gentlemen I've named are, according to themselves, going out there doing it for real, whilst writing how-to books on essentially scamming people. Should we not publicly burn these people too?
mastermindreader
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I have no problem with people who present what they do as entertainment and don't scam people out of their money.
JanForster
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We treat them differently because they have to offer also valuable things for all of us who are not involved in " private jobs". Kind of thank you - and I personally don't want to see any of them on stage anyway... Jan
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Banachek
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Slim.. please get my quotes right.

I have an issue with the forms and way Kreskin let others use his name to get money from little old ladies promising the answer to life, the lottery, and other things they or he could not truly give them. The elderly need all the money they have, not give it to someone who "can answer 10 questions for them" or give the lottery numbers. THis is the same problem the skeptic movement had despite embracing him at one time.

Also not sure why you have to put my name in that original post.. if you want to say Randi, say Randi, but don't say Banachek's boss as if I endorse any exposure, it is rude and manipulative to others and that is insulting to those who read your writing and to me.

I on the other hand praise Kreskin all the time for his achievements in mentalism, his unsung subtleties to classic and non classic effects. Please remember... I NEVER throw the baby out with the bathwater.. But such behavior by MANY here is exactly why Kreskin smartly stayed away from magicians and other mentalists.
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Slim King
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I never quoted you. In fact I never brought you into this. I even showed my affection for your work. I only used your name because the person starting the thread did for some reason. So I made the connection...
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Tom Cutts
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Quote:
On Jan 26, 2015, truman wrote:
Granted, they were loud, uncovered, and facing my direction.

As are some Mentalists! Ba-dum- bum!
Slim King
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Quote:
On Jan 26, 2015, dyoung wrote:
On the flipside of this, I think they should expose Jerome Finley, Bill Montana and Scryer et. al. because they are going out there and doing it for real. not just for entertainment purposes. So let's get them! Somehow some psychics/"mentalists" are ok to attack and not others. What gives? The gentlemen I've named are, according to themselves, going out there doing it for real, whilst writing how-to books on essentially scamming people. Should we not publicly burn these people too?

My point!!!! It's just silly to misrepresent the history of mentalism and those that still follow in it's footsteps.
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
Martin Pulman
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Quote:
On Jan 26, 2015, dyoung wrote:
On the flipside of this, I think they should expose Jerome Finley, Bill Montana and Scryer et. al. because they are going out there and doing it for real. not just for entertainment purposes. So let's get them! Somehow some psychics/"mentalists" are ok to attack and not others. What gives? The gentlemen I've named are, according to themselves, going out there doing it for real, whilst writing how-to books on essentially scamming people. Should we not publicly burn these people too?


I don't know Bill Montana's work, but the other two you mention could legitimately and ethically be exposed for scamming paying customers.
truman
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Quote:
On Jan 26, 2015, Tom Cutts wrote:
Quote:
On Jan 26, 2015, truman wrote:
Granted, they were loud,

...and proud.
Quote:
Quote:
uncovered,

...like Adam in the Garden of Eden.
Quote:
Quote:
and facing my direction.

...which is east, baby.
Quote:
Quote:
As are some Mentalists! Ba-dum- bum!

Word.
Pakar Ilusi
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Should we boycott Derren Brown?

No.
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Tom Cutts
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Boycott? Yes, loudly with signs and propaganda. Surely that would dissuade show goers and bring publicity of no positive outcome to the shows! Smile
Slim King
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If he'd come to Orlando I'd set up a Psychic Reading tent right outside the venue!!!!
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
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