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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Ian Rowland Bashing... » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Greg Owen
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Did anyone else receive a PM with links to videos of the NBC special?

- Greg Owen
Author of The Alpha Stack ebook - the balanced memorized stack
gobeatty@yahoo.com
mystic1
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Chicagoman quoted Ian Rowland on his site:

"This is what I did not realise [that magicians consider what he did was exposing], and was not aware of, when I took part in the TV shows mentioned in these pages. Today, I do realise it, and I am aware of it. This is why I will never again explain any methods via any broadcast media."


If indeed that is so and remains so, that is to his credit...and will win respect from those he offended in the past.

If it continues to be the case, he will be deserving of congratulations for the insight and new behavior.
enriqueenriquez
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Greg,

I received an e-mail with the clips. I don’t know the guy who sent it to me.
Mr Amazing
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Interesting to see so many convinced after having listened to only one side. I'm actually referring to Ian Rowlands side.


I recently received an e-mail with several clips of Mr Rowland doing very serious exposure of magic and mentalism secrets on national TV. Yes, on his site he (now) refers to this and says he regrets it. Frankly it more sounds like someone regretting being caught.

He has, and I've read it myself, consistently denied and lied to having exposed. These explanatory pages on his site have popped up just now after he has become aware that he is caught with his hand in the cookie-jar.

I don't really care about him lying though, only exposing. We are not just talking about methods of cold reading (which, just like other secret methods in mentalism, are used to achieve or enhance the effects), but also particular moves and devices. If anyone is curious, you may PM me and I'll send you the links to the files that I received showing it, with the requirement that you have 100+ posts, and assuming I don't get banned from the Café for speaking up.

If exposing mentalism methods is justified with arguments such as "protecting the public", then shouldn't, say, topits and false counting be exposed? Not to mention pick-pocketing techniques? These techniques are used in direct criminal activities. Surely also to a greater extent than the methods Mr Rowland chooses to expose.

Yes, true, our arcane knowledge can be used for bad purposes. So can a knife. But it is up to the user. If you want to fight those who use our techniques or knives unfairly, you go after the individual. You don't ruin things for fellow performers or wood carvers.

I, for one, was just very, very sad and disappointed to find someone I respected do these things. And I'm afraid he still does (since he lectures on it for laymen).


On his site he gives two "initial statements", where one is:

"I love magic and mentalism. I have never knowingly harmed our art, and I never will."

Well, Mr. Rowland, our art is a performing art. As such it is dependant on the spectators perception of the performances. I, as a performer, am telling you here and now that you do harm our art when you explain methods or techniques (physical or verbal or what-be-it) that depend on the audience's lack of knowledge to be effective. So now you know! It's actually really easy to see; Just imagine that I were to expose the things you perform, for your audiences just before you perform it. I feel the same way when you expose the methods I use.


I welcome Mr Rowland to give his reflections on this. I'm sure he is a great guy in many respects, in fact he has been nothing but nice to me, but no performing magician or mentalist worth his salt can accept this behaviour. I'm deeply disappointed. That's all.

Contrary to what many here seem to think, being "knowlegable or nice" actually doesn't justify exposure. Think about it - why do you defend someone revealing secrets to the public?


/Matias

P.S Guys, do you wonder why there are so few pros hanging around here?

P.P.S Consider how much you'd have to do something to get on national TV!?
DaveS
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Well said, Jack.

But, maybe there's been some progress... the argument usually starts with a black and white tautology along the lines of "exposers are bad and need to be punished; Rowland is an exposer; therefore Rowland is bad and needs to be punished." Given the usual starting point, "shades of grey" seems like a breakthrough! Smile

However, I suspect that Rowland's detractors are concerned less with punishing Rowland than deterring others from descending into the abyss of exposure.

"Men are not hanged for stealing horses, but that horses may not be stolen."
George Savile, Marquess de Halifax, 1633-1695

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)
O Brien
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Xia,

I just visited Mr. Rowland's site and I must say that his explanation is certainly helpful. I do give him kudos for his apology, his regrets, and his statement that he will not do it again. I've not seen other exposers do this.

On the other hand, he denies exposing secrets. If you've seen the show (or the clips in the links above), you know that this is hogwash. Secrets are secrets. And he exposed these no matter how insignificant they are. And though I now have more respect for him and will gladly retract my statement about him being "a gentleman who "ethically" feels it's OK to expose those secrets to the public", my comments about being uncomfortable discussing secrets still stand.
enriqueenriquez
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My problem is not Ian Rowland, but the people who caused the cancelation of his lectures on the East Coast. Why they decided that I can’t attend???

IMHO a stranger who makes calls threatening to prevent a lecture or event is as dangerous as the stranger who calls to say that he put a bomb in my train is an individual who decided that dialog is not an option and his “cause” is beyond my rigth to choose. He is somebody that has decided that the intention justifies means.

I’m more worried about that kind of guy than about Ian Rowland. At least Rowland shows his face.
cardiac
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Well poor old Ian can't win either way. We gain far more from his presence (in this board, at live shows or through his work) than we suffer any damage by the 'exposure' thing. I've corresponded with him a couple of times and bought some stuff and found him helpful (above and beyond the call of duty), prompt and illuminating.

Isn't it time to move on ?
Xia
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Matias, only one thing about your post that doesn't really make sense:
You said "why do so few pros hang around here?"
So is Richard Osterlind not a pro??
So is Lior Manor not a pro??
So is Banachek not a pro??
So is Larry Becker not a pro??
So is Ted Lesley not a pro??
Not to metion all the others, Mr. Rowland included.
As far as pick-pocketing being exposed, you could say Derren Brown has done this or anyone who includes Theatrical PP in their performances.

Also as far as exposure, I have just put down Annemann's Practical Mental Effects it only cost me £10. If I wasn't a mentalist, would that count as exposure??

Any written work can be bought. if you want to know something and really care about it, you will find out. Otherwise seeing a Psychic Secrets show isn't gonna alter you view of the world, "Oh WOW, they were faking it....i thought that table really moved by itself..."
"They say time is money...i say time is precious"
"They say the whole is much more than the sum of its Parts...Thats why a man is much more than the sum of his Past!"
Mr Amazing
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Cardiac - what is "poor" about Mr Rowland? I believe he is doing pretty well, partly from selling his book to the general public? And, once again, you seem to mix up "being nice" with "right to reveal secrets". I cannot see a connection there, please explain. IMHO it is not time to move on until whoever exposes stops doing so. Nothing personal.

Xia - I'm glad to hear you agreed with my post. I speak from the heart - honestly not to hurt anyone (why would I want that?), only to keep our wonderful art of magic unique and magical.

I'm sad to say it but only relatively few pros do hang around and contribute here. There were many more some two years ago. They left for other groups and boards where they don't feel their secrets are threatened. (I'm in a position to know.) That, however is off topic. Your last point is interesting though:
Quote:
if you want to know something and really care about it you will find out.

I agree fully with this, and then that person also has some kind of right to it (you did say he cared about it). The problem with exposure is that it exposes to those who don't really care. Everyone is interested in finding out our secrets, but very few care about our art.


Guys - is this really so strange? Have you forgotten the very first thing we read in the magic box instructions? Never reveal the secret! It is still valid, because if we do then there is little left of the mystery. Sure, it can still be entertaining perhaps, but why do magic then? Magic and mentalism is - or at least can be - unique! Let us not belittle it.


/Matias
nimrod
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I've just seen the 4 clips. if those are the main evidences in Ian's trial then my vote goes for "not guilty". that exposure show was important - it exposed psychics, not entertainers. and the methodes that were given away (you have to give something away to put the doubts in the viewers mind) were so poor that the cost was defently worth it (maybe the IT thing was too much, but even there it was done wisely).

Nimrod , Israel
mysticz
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Quote:
On 2004-03-23 09:10, nimrod wrote:
that exposure show was important - it exposed psychics, not entertainers.
Nimrod , Israel


Well, the next time an evil psychic con artist tries to take someone's money by moving an item with invisible thread or reading initials with a shiner, we'll be sure to thank Mr. Rowland for saving the public with his entertaining and very instructive exposures.

Gimme a break!!!

Joe Z.
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There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

-- Shakespeare's Hamlet I.v. 174-175
Mr Amazing
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Nimrod, here's a challenge for you:

For each "psychic" (as you call it) that you name who uses these techniques I will name two "entertainers" (as you call it) that use them.

Have you ever heard of anyone who was taken advantage of by someone who, say, moved a cup with an IT loop?

The form of entertainment you witness in the clips is called mentalism and bizarre magick. However, since it was explicitly made for revealing the secrets, there was no entertaining patter, but only the voice explaining it.

If any magician or mentalist doesn't consider this exposure of our secrets - well, then I guess we have a real mystery in the world! If this is not exposure then I don't know what is.

'nuff said.


/Matias
Blueboy
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I do have a hard time distinguishing the difference between making a tv programme of technique and selling it and writing a book of technique and selling it.

Mass availability will probably be cited but every bookshop sells magic/card trick books as does Amazon etc. How come authors of books don't get grief?

Less people here in the UK have access to Fox cable TV channel for instance than public libraries.

DVD,s are ok, videos are ok and books are ok but tv programmes are not ok... who makes these rules?

I know I'll annoy people by saying that but I'm not going to apologise for speaking the truth.

Bored of the whole geek argument

Colin
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Quote:
On 2004-03-23 11:30, Blueboy wrote:

DVD,s are ok, videos are ok and books are ok but tv programmes are not ok... who makes these rules?



TV programmes are obviously not ok for obvious reasons. They are meant for a wide lay audience for the purpose of exposing magic and (sometimes) mentalism techniques, whereas books, videos, and DVDs are meant to teach an individual the techniques. The rules are made by common sense.

I personally have no problem with Ian Rowland's exposure of the actual methods, as, let's be honest, not only do laymen forget what they saw, but I'm sure 99% of us are proficient enough to not be harmed by what was exposed.

But, what I do have a problem with is more the state of mind he had for wanting to expose the methods. I assume it was money driven until I hear otherwise. This an attitude I will always have issues with.

HOWEVER, if Ian regrets what he did (and I mean he truly regrets it), then I have absolutely no problems with his actions. Everyone makes mistakes, and I personally would hate having mistakes held against me. Ok, so his mistake was perhaps more severe than the average blunder, but I will still put what he did aside, just as I would expect others to understand a mistake of my own.
nimrod
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Matias,

Here is a challenge for you: for each entertainer that suffered from this exposure (really suffered - was told by his audience in a middle or after an effect that he uses this and that to achieve the outcome) I'll give you 100 psychics that have lost customers.
we both can't prove our arguments and the battle against psychics will never be won, but I truely believe that the damage to the psychics industry with that one show was 100 times stronger in compare with the damage to our industry.
People don't care about the methodes and never did (and I believe you know that), they care about the bottom line. Ian helped exposing those charlatans as fake. he used for that a minimum amount of exposure of our art.

Nimrod , Israel

p.s. I know for a fact that there are mediums who use a thread to move the cup in a seance, but it doesn't matter really. only few (if any) remember the methodes from watching that show, but everybody remember the conclusions.
Blueboy
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I bought my copy of The Royal Road to Card Magic from Waterstons bookstore on Princes Street Edinburgh, one of the biggest tourist attractions in Europe, anyone could - and still can - pick it up and leaf thru it, learning just about every move or deception you have FOR FREE!

Let me get this straight.. it's contents are secret?

Well it might fool the Allied secret services, but I doubt anyone else would be under the impression it was secret.

I bet the ONLY people who recorded those programmes were magicians.

Jaws was just a lump of rubber we know it but we love it, kids don't really walk thru walls onto platform 13 and catch a train to Hogwarts we know it but we we love it.. for the exact same reasons EVERONE knows no-one gets sawn in half or chops their own arm off we know it but we still love it, and always will so they can expose what they want IMO.

There is only one way of performing "secret" magic
1. Never buy/perform someone else,s gimmick or routine.
2. Think up your own method.
3. Never tell anyone YOUR method.

Again tho it's just my opinion.

Best in magic to all
Colin
Turk
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(Yawn) May we please move on?
Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
Joshua Quinn
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I hadn't planned to participate in this thread, but after watching the clips linked to earlier, I feel compelled to chime in and say...

That's it???

Those few moments of video are the cause of all this controversy and vitriol? With everything that's wrong and backward and ill-advised and lamentable about the state of the mystery arts today, that is what people choose to get up in arms over? Unbelievable.

Since there seems to be agreement that the specific techniques Ian used are about as workable as MacGyver's methods for building bombs out of chewing gum, the only thing left to be upset about is the explanation of the underlying concepts behind the techniques. In laymen's terms, those concepts are:

People can simulate ghosts through clever mechanical means. Everyone who ever saw an episode of Scooby Doo already knows this.

Difficult-to-see thread exists and can be used to move things. Everyone who ever owned one of those Willy Worm toys that crawls up the inside of a glass already knows this.

One thing can be switched for a similar-looking but different thing. Every teenager who ever thought of passing off an older sibling's I.D. as their own, or heard of someone else doing so, already knows this.

A reflective surface can be used to see things you aren't supposed to see. Every adolescent-or-older male who ever took surreptitious advantage of a fortuitously situated mirror to gain a "better" view of an attractive woman in a short skirt or low-cut top already knows this.

And for disseminating this information, a man had his top-notch work boycotted, his name slandered, and his life threatened? That's beyond pathetic; it's pathological.

So in the spirit of Magicians Helping Magicians Who Apparently Are In Desperate Need Of Help, I offer the following observation with all the towering authority of a former utterly-small-time semi-pro and current hobbyist: If you can't entertain and deceive an audience that's familiar with the concepts listed above, then I'm sorry, but you suck. You therefore have far more pressing issues to deal with than worrying about Ian Rowland's supposed transgressions -- like, for starters, learning how to entertain and deceive someone besides yourself.

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.
MisterE21
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The point has been made many many times before that a good, strong performer can entertain right through exposure. Some performers, whose names escape me because I just woke up, have begun an effect like the linking rings by exposing the method, tossing the method aside while claiming "I don't use that" and then proceeding to use the exact same method to fool the pants off the audience.

That's not the point.

Without proper routining, physical misdirection, time misdirection, etc., many effects can be deconstructed to their most likely method by any intelligent spectator who cares to try.

That's not the point.

Sure, you can purchase basic magic books from Amazon.com and anyone with access to the 'net, an imagination and Google.com can find a magic shop and order secrets from home in their underwear while picking their nose.

That's not quite the point, but at least we're getting closer.

Obviously, we should all work on routining our effects to the highest possible level. We should create disconnects in the logic of an effect to make deconstruction difficult (if not impossible). However, I don't see a reason that we should force that on people with exposure shows. Why should we make things any harder than they already are?

While I do, actually, believe that the books and videos used to "further our craft" are too readily available, there are differences between searching them out, purchasing them and studying them versus turning on the television and watching the exposure.

After watching the clips, I'm still not all that up in arms about what Ian did. But, I'm being logically coherent here, because I wasn't all that up in arms about what the Masked Magician did. If anyone recalls, many people had the same reaction to him: "Well, it doesn't really matter, because if you're truly GOOD at your art you'll still be able to work." There were two camps of people divided on the subject.

That's all I would expect here is logical coherence: if you were overly ticked off about the masked magician you ought to be overly ticked off about Ian's actions. If you accept his apology, which the Masked Magician never did, then that's fine. Just be consistent in your reactions.

The only thing that DOES irritate me about the whole thing is the supposed rationalization. "Well, all he's doing is protecting the poor, unwashed masses from the evil and unscrupulous fraudulant psychic..." which is, in my estimation, a total load of CRAP. But, as I said in my previous post, I won't go into the diatribe here...just a few points:

NOT EVERYONE who goes to see a psychic are bilked out of their life savings just as not everyone who buys a used car get's ripped off and sold a total lemon for twice it's value.

IF THESE EXPOSURES had been given under the auspices of "How Psychic Entertainers Decieve You" as opposed to the poppycock "Public Servive" crap, it seems to me that more people would be up in arms. They did the same thing, they just dressed it up differently so, somehow, it's okay.

FINALLY, IF THESE THINGS ARE SO PATHETICALLY SIMPLE that anyone with a brain should be able to already figure them out, as was intimated in a post previously, why the need to do the show? Just let people figure them out for themselves.

Like I said, I'm not upset with Ian...I don't rightly care. But this ongoing crap about saving the general public is, in my opinion, idiotic. There are a thosand other cons that people are more likely to fall victim to before they fall for an unscrupulous psychic using the effects exposed here. The whole things reaks, to me, of intellectual elitism: "I don't believe in this and I don't want anyone else to believe in it, so I'm going to expose what I can expose in hopes of throwing doubt on the whole concept." If people want to beleive in psychic phenomena there is no reason that I can see to dissuade them: many concepts that are just as difficult to beleive have been used for centuries to bilk people out of the incomes and yet, if we were to speak up against those, we get blackballed (which is why I'm not being specific...::grin:: )

I'm just looking for consistency. If you are ticked about any exposure designed and peddled directly to laypeople without even the HINT of being made for magicians, then BE UPSET. Stop trying to draw distinctions between exposure meant "for good" and exposure meant "for evil".

E
Your EFFECT is only as good as its AFFECT.
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