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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Psychic or Psychological (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

DanielLove
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I'm interested in what other magicians feel on this subject:

Is it any more deceptive to claim to use psychological powers rather than claiming to be psychic?

For instance in Derren recent Seance stunt he was clearly out to demonstrate the fraudulent techniques used by mediums - however as Derren himself is giving a deceptive explanation for his methodology surely he is merely replacing one set of false ideas with another (in the publics eye.)

After all, is it any better to make fake claims about psychic powers than it is to give the public a distorted view as to what is possible with modern psychology?

No doubt there is a whole industry (similar to the psychic industry) that is based around pseudo-science many of these individuals are equally as destructive and misleading to "vunerable" members of the public as are the psychics.

Can we as mentalists still claim some kind of moral high ground to the fraudulant psychics if we ourselves are equally responsible for misleading the public and creating an equally false explanation of what is essentialy trickery?

Obviously I'm aware that what we do is a form of entertainment and hence must be seen differently from the standard psychic fodder, however certain problems arise when the boundarys are blurred...

In a way Derren has become a kind of psychological version of Uri Gellar - people really think he is telling them the truth (as is shockingly clear if you spend any time in a Derren fan forum.)
After all Uri is an entertainer in much the way that Derren is - it is assumed that people will just accept that both are entertainers and hence shouldn't be taken to seriously... but is this really the case?

Derren is soon to be releasing a book covering his "methods" for the public... surely he isn't going to go exposing his real secrets so where does that leave him?


It's an interesting debate and I'm thourougly undecided as to where I stand on all this - I do however have a nagging feeling that something isn't quite right - perhaps a level of double standards?

"I can lie and make money because my lie is more plausable?"


Like I say, these are not my opinions but simply something I've been pondering recently.


I'd love to hear other views on all this.... Smile
shrink
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Derren seems to be moving further away from that stance and even uses words like "trick" to describe what he does. He seems to be making more disclaimers to. Plus the choice of material is more of a magic nature. I think he is trying to get away from the "genuine" thing.


I also think Derren was clever to "expose" psychics as being body language etc. It makes everyone go "ah that's how he does it". Makes himmore plauseable. He wouldn't lie to you about being psychic so we can all trust him not to lie about the body language dressing can't we?
DanielLove
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Yes you're right shrink - he certainly seems to be easing up on the who "real deal" side of things.

Derren is a very clever chap and I get the feeling he's going to go more and more into the exposing side of things.

I suppose he is probably growing weary of all his hardcore fans who just won't accept he's a magician.
David Numen
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It's very much a personal choice, either way you're lying so I don't see what the big deal is by those who feel it is necessary to expose psychic methods.

The psychological ploy is used bymany modern readers but doesn't explain how a blindfolded person can reveal personal information as Marc Salem, who uses the psychological ploy, does. So, if you are going to use the psychological lie, at least cover it well and make sure what you perform is consistent.

I've been a psychic reader for 12 years so if I returned to performing it would have to be as a psychic.

Regards,

David.
Scott Xavier
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Define psychic.
DanielLove
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"Popular term used to denote a person who regularly uses, or who appears to be especially gifted with, psi abilities. Also refers to general phenomena related to the mind. "


1 : of or relating to the psyche : PSYCHOGENIC
2 : lying outside the sphere of physical science or knowledge : immaterial, moral, or spiritual in origin or force
3 : sensitive to nonphysical or supernatural forces and influences : marked by extraordinary or mysterious sensitivity, perception, or understanding
David Numen
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...

and as such, EVERYONE is psychic by at least one of those definitions!

Regards,

David.
DanielLove
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For the sake of the discussion lets assume that the majority of people use the word "psychic" in the supernatural sense rather than "relating to the psyche."

Still... billets, impression devices and card sleights still fit neither the Psychic or Psychological definitons.
ELS
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Quote:
On 2004-06-28 16:25, DanielLove wrote:
"Popular term used to denote a person who regularly uses, or who appears to be especially gifted with, psi abilities. Also refers to general phenomena related to the mind. "


1 : of or relating to the psyche : PSYCHOGENIC
2 : lying outside the sphere of physical science or knowledge : immaterial, moral, or spiritual in origin or force
3 : sensitive to nonphysical or supernatural forces and influences : marked by extraordinary or mysterious sensitivity, perception, or understanding



Hmmm, wonder what it would be called, when someone (a palm reader), can tell a person that they had an abortion and also an affair but went back to the person they where married to - and the abortion was only something the person and another knew about?

Ed Smile
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http://theunexplainedworld.com
Were the border between the natural and the supernatural will be nothing any more but fuzzy. http://edwardshanahan.com
reese
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I agree that the "psychic" and "psyche" disclaimers are both lies. I don't feel that using the psychology explanation is cleaner or more apt to be believed. Osterlinds' approach, where he takes command and just does it, seems the best. Let the audience think what they may...When directly asked, I lie. What I say changes according to who is asking. The russian mystic Gurdjieff gave demonstrations of mentalism and hypnotism, this is the disclaimer he used: " Some of the phenomena you are about to see is fake. Some is a mixture of false and real phenomena. And some is genuine phenomena. I'm not going to tell you which is which, I'll let YOU decide."
Greg Arce
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Quote:
On 2004-06-28 20:49, ELS wrote:
Quote:
On 2004-06-28 16:25, DanielLove wrote:
"Popular term used to denote a person who regularly uses, or who appears to be especially gifted with, psi abilities. Also refers to general phenomena related to the mind. "


1 : of or relating to the psyche : PSYCHOGENIC
2 : lying outside the sphere of physical science or knowledge : immaterial, moral, or spiritual in origin or force
3 : sensitive to nonphysical or supernatural forces and influences : marked by extraordinary or mysterious sensitivity, perception, or understanding



Hmmm, wonder what it would be called, when someone (a palm reader), can tell a person that they had an abortion and also an affair but went back to the person they where married to - and the abortion was only something the person and another knew about?

Ed Smile
The Unexplained World
http://theunexplainedworld.com



Lucky?
Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
MesmerEyes
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Determining which route does the least perceived harm is becoming more difficult. It used to be that you could rationalize using psychological explanations. These seemed less likely to lead people to believe in or to follow those who would take advantage of them.

This possible advantage to using the psychological rationalization appears to be disappearing.

Not only do more mentalists rely on using NLP for expository material but now so are many of the get-rich guru's. It is amazing how many have discovered NLP in the last year alone.

Many of these people can also do harm, so now I have to decide if my pseudoscientific demonstrations are duping people into following an entirely different set of gurus who may be just as harmful.

The razor we walk seems to be getting sharper.
shrink
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We keep talking about harm perhaps we should ask can it do any good?

I am looking for ways to get rich any ideas?
MesmerEyes
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Shrink,

It seems that most of those that make a living answering that question now tell us that NLP is the Sampo.

So Shrink, just how rich are you? Smile

P.S. Interesting alternative question about possible good!
shrink
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Im very rich but now I need money to!

:)
Scott Xavier
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Oh no, its becoming another whos right and whos justified debate! We're all professional liers. Like shrinks says, I just want to be rich!

I stopped defending and bashing a long time ago, gets you no where but an early grave.
DanielLove
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It's certainly a complex subject and my feeling it that no real answer exists.
I'd imagine that it is not which camp you are in that matters but the intention behind what you are doing - and how carefuly you consider the effect of your actions.
sludge
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Lies are lies.

Personally, I would not presume to try to force my beliefs on other people as it is a very dangerous thing to do, unlike the many magicians who are merely jealous of individuals that are truly gifted.

Psychic debunkers don't appreciate and probably do not even care about the harm they cause by shattering people's life long held beliefs.
shrink
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I don't think debunkers shatter anyone's beliefs. They will still believe anyway. I don't think they make that much difference. Believers will always find away to rationalise what debunkers say and then turn a blind eye to it...

Mentalists = entertainment if someone wants to believe its for real then that's up to them.

I know someone who watches horror films about the occult and believes they are real..
sludge
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Shrink, I've heard debunkers say that to rationalise their irrational behaviour. Smile Yes most people will assume that there are both fake psychics and real psychics, but not all.

I totally agree with letting people make ther own minds up, that is the only route that is "safe" for your audience. And once again, a lie is a lie is a...
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