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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Penn & Teller VS Mentalism (36 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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sbays
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We all know that Penn is no fan of Mentalism. In fact he goes out of his way to disparage it every chance he gets. He does not seem to be able to delineate between psychic fraudsters and our art.

That being said ... I do find it very amusing that it is Mentalism that seems to "fool" them an awful lot.

Just an observation. Smile
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Alan Wheeler
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Many magicians grow up to be Mentalists.

Many Mentalists grow up to be Real Readers.

Not a path everyone follows--as Penn & Teller prove--but, I'm guessing, it's a fairly common evolution.
The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
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George Hunter
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From what I have read, Penn disparages and debunks a lot of practices, including chiropractic and acupuncture.

George
Yogi2x4
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They had a show I can't name here. Debunking commonly accepted practices was their thing. The generalizations of the concepts they faced drove me away from the show, but they had some interesting episodes.

The level of research in their investigations was respectable, which makes me wonder what his angle is regarding mentalism.

I haven't heard anything about this, including his opinions.
Ray Chelt
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I have a feeling that their main objection is when they feel Mentalists are portraying the existence of "powers"...at least that's what I've got from the few times I've seen them interact with mentalists.
starstruck
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I think it's not that he hates mentalism, he just doesn't like the supernatural claims that often come with mentalism, and would rather put it in the same basket with magic.
George Hunter
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Mr. Penn appears to be a garden-variety devotee of philosophical materialism, which assumes (with doctrinaire confidence) that NOTHING exists, or occurs, beyond or transcending the material world. So (say) premonition, clairvoyance, or telepathy could not possibly occur. ( In addition, of course, to anything psychic or mystic.)

George
WitchDocChris
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They have repeatedly said they don't believe in the supernatural and they are, as far as I can tell, firmly in Randi's camp that any sort of supernatural claim is tantamount to fraud and is a horrible thing to do.

It's been a couple years since I've seen their show, because I haven't been back to Vegas since I discovered New Orleans, but they do a book test that's pretty good. It's actually 3, with a prediction ending. The presentation I remember was that basically that this is something a psychic might use to prove their have psychic powers, which was a lie. They also touched on the idea that people who claimed to use psychological techniques but weren't, were lying just as much. They also said it was crude to dig into people's personal lives and talk about possibly painful memories, and they felt it was manipulative. So they use joke books.

I've never seen a video of them performing this one, though. I've only seen it in person.
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solarpk
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Quote:
On Sep 9, 2016, starstruck wrote:
I think it's not that he hates mentalism, he just doesn't like the supernatural claims that often come with mentalism, and would rather put it in the same basket with magic.


Penn - "We were trying to think if there's ever been a mentalist doing a mentalist act that was sincerely funny and sincerely good - you may be the first ever."
https://youtu.be/ZqeKBwHhGEo?t=1193
Penn - "You did something really amazing - you did mentalism without being a sleezeball"
https://youtu.be/ZqeKBwHhGEo?t=2171

Yeah, I think he hates it.
George Hunter
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Does what he likes or dislikes really matter?
Tim Cavendish
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Quote:
On Sep 9, 2016, George Hunter wrote:
Does what he likes or dislikes really matter?

Yes.

Companies spend millions and millions of dollars on celebrity endorsements to influence people to buy their goods.

If there were no effect, they wouldn't spend that money.

So, yes.

Prominent people's likes and dislikes strongly influence the public's likes and dislikes.
John C
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Perfect simple premise for a show,

Companies spend millions and millions of dollars on celebrity endorsements to influence people to buy their goods. (leave it at that)

-----continue with-----

Here are some examples of why they work, .... Sir could you assist me for a few moments?

Blah blah blah.....
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solarpk
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Quote:
On Sep 9, 2016, George Hunter wrote:
Does what he likes or dislikes really matter?


Quite right. Although, it was intriguing to me that he, as a respected peer in the field, should be notable for his dislike of what is essentially a subset of magic - a field for which he otherwise has a broad, clear and evident passion.
I found his reasoning explained here (spoiler - Teller talks!):
https://youtu.be/sQm3ZjZRpdo?t=101
And, independently, this is the crux of the discussion here:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=15
Necromancer
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They were extremely kind to The Evasons on a recent Fool Us episode, and effusive in their praise. I'd say they showed real respect for mentalism performed skillfully (without claims).
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George Hunter
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They were kind to the Evasons. Penn is typically kind, gracious, and affirming of performers (including mentalists) when they are engaging person-to-person and Penn is on-camera.

However, when the other performer is not around and Penn is off camera, the Debunker-wannabe may show up.

George
vivekdesai
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I had the chance to meet them when I went to watch their show in Vegas a couple months back,and from what I understand,it's not mentalism itself that he dislikes,its just when people use those principles and claim to have supernatural powers.
AttnPls
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I could care less about Penns opinion which I feel is very misguided. But much like religion, Penns opinion will not change anybodys mind.
hashtagmagic
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Quote:
On Sep 13, 2016, vivekdesai wrote:
I had the chance to meet them when I went to watch their show in Vegas a couple months back,and from what I understand,it's not mentalism itself that he dislikes,its just when people use those principles and claim to have supernatural powers.


The ethics behind this is a really interesting topic to me. I personally am far more annoyed with mentalists who pose as psychology experts. It gives the impression that psychologists know what they're doing. Research wise, the field is in complete shambles.
E.E.
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Penn can say/think whatever he wants, but Psychic entertainment is a very profitable business.
No one wants to see a fake psychic.
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Twisted Mentat
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I never thought that Penn means something in mentalism. Why should we listen to his opinion?
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