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Mind Phantom

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I have mixed thoughts about this subject. Sometimes I will listen to Esther Hicks when I am in need of advice and other such wisdom from beyond. Esther Hicks is a channeler who channels a group of non-physical beings who call themselves " Abraham ". The teachings of Abraham closely mirror that of another channeler from the 70's of Jane Roberts " Seth ", and that is basically the Law of Attraction in which the book and the movie The Secret was so successful recently. It's a teaching that you " create your own reality " i.e you are in charge for everything that happens in your life. Somethings that happened to me wasn't my fault, somethings I didn't draw into my experience ,bad things, but still, Abraham has lot's of wisdom that I like.

When I say mediumship I am talking about those who say they " talk to the dead " or their spirits like John Edward & James Van Praagh and the Long Island Medium. For me, I have to agree with the Randi crowd on this one, there just fishing for data to give to there sitters. Is it possiable that they are in contact with " spirits " on the other side ? Maybe, but, I see that Edward & Van Praagh do have some books to sell.

I think it's quite ok for a mentalist to do a Living Dead test in their shows, that's not really mediumship, it's more entertainment then anything else. I also think it's ok for a mystery performer to do seance's providing he or she gives a proper disclaimer or let's the audience know that there doing entertainment. I can also understand those who do seances who DON'T give the audience a disclaimer, I am totally cool with that. I understand that " gray " area of letting the audience make up there own minds as to what they saw was real or not real.

I know that there is a lot of skeptics on TMF, even if you are a " real  " skeptic, what are your thoughts on this matter ? I just needed to vent a little.


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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #2 
As a "free thinker" I need evidence for belief. I don't think it's good to give people false evidence which they can use to form a belief. There's a large gray area here, though. Do we have to disclaim special power? Or is it good enough just not to claim special power. I think the latter is what most mentalists and maybe the PEA agree is proper. Uri Geller claimed special power as does Jonathan Edwards and other talkers to the dead. I think this is unethical.

Mike
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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #3 
There was a write up a few years ago about some magicians/investigators showing up for a taping of Crossing Over.  Guess it was apparent the audience was mic'd and there were a good number of mixers roaming.  Time and TV Guide came out and called him a fake, but his fanbase refused to believe it.  A few years ago, my cousin was killed on his motorcycle by a drunk driver, his wife was devastated.  The Long Island Mystic was appearing nearby and she tried to get a ticket.  A day later she was called and offered a front row seat.  When she was relating the story, because surprise, she was picked, there was really nothing said that wasn't in the obituary, with some embellishments. It did bring her comfort, so I kept my mouth shut.  Now that funeral home are letting people post about their friend or family, life must be pretty easy for these people. 
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EVILDAN

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I've been to a few "real" séances put on by a medium in NJ. She used to do ghost tours at a house that was supposedly haunted on the Jersey shore. I went to that once too.
A few years later I was going to a friend's house and he said that he just found out a psychic was holding a séance that night. We went and it was $40 to get in. He looked at me and said, "I didn't know it was going to be that much. We can still go if you want or we can go grab a steak somewhere." I opted for the séance because it was the same lady I saw years ago and I wanted my friends thoughts on this.

During the séance, my friend looked at me and rolled his eyes in disbelief that people were falling for this.

In short, she said that spirits are going to come to her, she'll let us know who's there and we have to let her know who they are because she doesn't know.

Example 1: I get the name George, does anyone know a George?
Yes, I do.
(Judges the age of the person answering - a female in her 40's) And is this your father?
Yes.
And he's passed on?
Yes, about 3 years ago.
And do you have kids?
Yes, a boy, 9 years old.
George is telling me that he's very proud of the way you're bringing up your son. You're a good mom.


Example 2: I get the name George, does anyone know a George?
Yes, I do.
(Judges the age of the person answering - a female in her 40's) And is this your father?
No, my son is named George.
And he's passed on?
No, he's alive and 9 years old.
But you have a father that's passed on?
No, my grandfather recently passed.
Your grandfather is telling me that he's very proud of the way you're bringing up George. You're a good mom.

And it was this verbal dance with everybody. Every once in a while someone would break down and start crying due to loss and message and she'd milk the hell out of it by going up, giving the person a hug, allowing them to cry it out, etc.

Total BS. I couldn't sleep at night if I was doing this.

And both times that she read me and the one time she read my friend, she came up with a name of someone that passed on. We told her that there's no one in our family with that name - which there wasn't in all 3 cases. She said, "No, there is. Go home and ask you family members and you'll find that there is an Uncle Oscar that passed on...or whatever name she gave.

Again, total BS.
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #5 

I worked a high-end Halloween party over the weekend in a gated community. There were gourmet food trucks, carnival rides, and plenty of vendors. Among them was a mobile psychic. She was set up in a brightly painted, towed trailer complete with lighted displays and a list of services. Psychic readings? Check! Crystals? Check! Palmistry? Check! Tarot? Check! Pricing started at $25.00, and since the stage from which I performed was within sight of her trailer, I could see that she was doing brisk business. All. Night. Long. Got to love free-market capitalism!

No one speaks to the dead. Since the mind is what the brain does, once the brain ceases to function the mind is defunct. Memories remain, but only in the minds of those who knew the decedent. These memories are often fodder for those who would exploit loss at the expense of the grieving.

I am a true skeptic, Logan 5, and proud to be such. I demand evidence, and hold my belief in abeyance thereof.  Skepticism should be the default position on all claims of paranormal or supernatural. And since no psychic or medium or reader has ever presented clear, falsifiable evidence for their truth claims, we should not give them any credence. None.  

 

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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #6 
Well put Anthony. I'm with you as a card carrying skeptic.

Mike
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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #7 
Tom G,

That's how Sylvia Browne worked when she did sessions in the SF bay area. She would take out an add in one of the new-age newspaper's and in order to get tickets to see her you would have to the call a 800 number or, you would have to send money to a address on the add.

No doubt that gave her and her staff plenty of time to do research on who was going to be in the audience that night.

Anthony & Mike,

You guys are true skeptics. I know that from reading your posts. Your not part of the crazy psycho Randi group that want's to burn people at the stake. I do read tarot cards and am now reading palms, my readings are more entertainment than anything else. In The Palm Reader's Notebook by Ron Martin he once asked Richard Webster how long should a palm reading last, and Mr. Webster told him " 5 to 7 minutes long - I don't want to get into the heavy stuff ". And that's my approach too, I avoid all the heavy problems. At a cocktail party my fee is taken care of by the group that's hosting the party. Palm readings are great for personality based readings, so no fortune telling is needed.

EVILDAN,

That's a funny story, sad but true. I've never been to a seance, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night either after ripping people off like that.

Logan,

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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #8 
Another note.

The second séance I attended with my friend. It was at a local historical house in the area.
We happened to show up on the day of.
But, they had registration forms to fill out and send in pre-payment to reserve a spot there for over a month.
Gee, I wonder who got the most "hits" during the séance.
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Blathermist

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Reply with quote  #9 

I don’t know if this qualifies me as a sceptic, but anyway….

After decades of acutely intensive study, research and analysis, my own highly scientific data reveals that the whole business is utter claptrap.

Some people believe and good luck to them.   

Here’s a thread that covers a fair amount of similar stuff.

http://www.themagiciansforum.com/post/books-on-cold-reading-8037725?highlight=hobrin&trail=50  

 And meanwhile, here’s a story, completely true. However, in case anybody was wondering I’ve changed the names to protect something or other.  

It’s always interesting watching a magician working for layfolk. Particularly if the performance comes on the back of a lecture or even a casual chat. Seeing techniques and routines recently described and explained put in action is not merely entertaining, but can also be very edifying. But not always. Not always entertaining, that is. 

When his book on cold reading still in preparation Fabbo the Fab appeared at a psychic fayre. Held at the Glitz Ritz Hotel, somewhere in England, somewhere in Yorkshire, it was a mixture of dealers and readers.

Fabbo was one of the readers.

 Needing to discuss something pertinent to the book, magic dealer and publisher-to-be Joe Soap went along to the Glitz Ritz. Joe is a long time pal and I went along for the ride. 

It was late afternoon and the fayre had been up and running all day, so things were winding down a bit. There was still some activity and Fabbo was busy reading palms at ten or fifteen pounds a throw. We meandered around checking props and prices until Fabbo had finished. Then the discussion began. I was a bystander, a passive member of the conversation—Joe was the publisher-to-be, after all.

 The gist of it was that some of the cold reading tactics needed clarifying. With all points clarified, the discussion was drawing to a natural conclusion when a last minute sitter sat. Fabbo took his cue and also sat. He then launched into his routine. Give or take a verbal or two, it was exactly as described in the book. All very well delivered, but utter guff. Edifying, yes. Entertaining? No And not really very pleasant.

But the customer, bless her cotton socks, seemed satisfied. 

 Cold readers? Tea readers? Tree readers? No thanks.

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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blathermist

 

 And meanwhile, here’s a story, completely true. However, in case anybody was wondering I’ve changed the names to protect something or other.  

 



Oh, you can tell us...
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