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clarissa35f
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I have been talking with a fellow magi.. and he has been talking to me about his specialty, Mentalism. I found that some aspects of it appealed to me. Mostly getting away from Card knucklebuster moves. The day will come when My fingers will lose some dexterity. And the almost sleightless methodology of Mentalism has it's appeal.

But now I am wondering, even assuming I stay away from mediumship, or anything out and out obviously occult looking.

Say I do predictions. Is doing that something compatible with being a Christian? Part of my concern is, that the best way to sell mentalism is not to say you have the powers but to leave it vague enough so that that idea is inferred. Max Maven is a good example, he never says " I have psychic powers." but he never denies it either.

Also... many people have said that mind reading was attributed to demon possesion... Now, while I know this is not how a mantalist does what appears to be mindreading... do you see it as a problem?

The same with things like PK, would moving or levitating objects with the mind... somehow be incompatible with being a Christian?

Inquiring minds want to know.. ( I can't read minds over the internet .... yet... ( just a joke...))
“Amateurs practice until they get it right.
Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.” <Anonymous>
"There is no such thing as magic, there is no other way that could have been done" <Whit Haydn>
Terry Owens
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Richard Osterlind, one of the top men in mentalism is a great Christian and contributor in the Café. He never goes in an claims to have "special" powers, a matter of fact, the doors open for him to share his faith after his shows.

I would recommend that you purchase his "Mind Mysteries" DVD series and his books and see how he approaches it.

I do some in my church programs and end with the thought, even though I can't really predict the future, I know of one who knows what your future is...Jesus Christ.

It's all in the presentation and claims you make.
clarissa35f
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Thanks for this reply Terry. Which is very interesting, as That was the series that my magician friend suggested. I had not brought up my faith concerns with him, although he knows I am a Christian, and neither of us was aware that Osterlind was a Christian.

While it is encouraging to know that someone of Osterlind's skill, and fame can reconcile his faith, and his profession, I will of course pray on it. But it does take one obstacle out of the way.

Yes, I can see that using predictions can be a way of sharing the gospel if so led. I'll keep everyone posted.
“Amateurs practice until they get it right.
Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.” <Anonymous>
"There is no such thing as magic, there is no other way that could have been done" <Whit Haydn>
Terry Owens
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Richard never lies to his audience and is actually working on a book about performing magic and not lying...

Max Maven looks like satan's cousin though...lol
skillzilla
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It can be done
Terry Holley
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Check out this link:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=16

I posted a number of threads in it re: mentalism and Christianity.

Terry
Co-author with illusionist Andre' Kole of "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena."
chicagoharry
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Quote:
On 2008-06-04 14:42, Terry Owens wrote:

Max Maven looks like satan's cousin though...lol


HAHAHA imagine him at an outreach doing mentalism....

I think it’s possible and nothing wrong with it. But It's with cards and legalistic churches think were evil imagine if we start "reading their minds" or " making predictions" I think it would be kind of hard. they may start burning us at the stake LOL. Now to the unbeliever it could be used as a powerful tool to drop the gospel on them and plant that seed....
Dan Bernier
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I once used mentalism in my show, but found it not only unnecessary for a Gospel magic show but really breaching the line on what you tell the audience at the beginning of your show and what you are wanting them to believe. What I mean is this...I can tell them at the beginning that everything I do is nothing more than tricks, simple methods that everyone can learn. But, to really pull off a mentalism act you need for them to at least question if you actually read their minds. I have not heard of a Christian mentalist who opens their show with, "I am a Christian mentalist who doesn't actually read minds. What I do is just a trick that anyone can do." The question I pose is, are we out to fool people, or to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ? If we choose to entertain people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, let it not be confused with those who are christians and perform mainstream mentalism and magic.


Okay, I left my last comment wide open for further discussion and disagreement. Feel free to disagree with me, but please provide your reasonings. I would love to further discuss this with an open mind and perhaps learn more.
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
clarissa35f
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Terry, thanks for the link, will check it out. At the present moment, I want to learn enough to put on a mainstream act. Not so much an Outreach act. Maybe in the future as I gain basic skills, and acquire experience I can think of what may go into Outreach.

I think Harry did kind of get a bit of what was concerning me. There are Churches that will literally pray over you, if you pull out a deck of cards.

And Dan has a point. Most of mentalism IS presentation and performance, so that the " atmosphere" of... "Those card guys do tricks...but what I do... we know better" is still there.

I will be looking for Osterlind's book, I think he can answer a lot of the questions I have.
“Amateurs practice until they get it right.
Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.” <Anonymous>
"There is no such thing as magic, there is no other way that could have been done" <Whit Haydn>
Joe Marotta
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Hi Clarissa,

Click on and read the link that Terry Holley posted up above. Great stuff in there!

Also, go to Richard Osterlind's website at http://osterlindstore.com/ .

Personally, I've been following the route that Richard has taken and it hasn't presented a problem in my Christian groups. Not yet. Maybe it won't ever be a problem due to the way I present myself and my effects. No disclaimers like 'everything I do is trickery' and no attitude that I'm actually using spiritual help from the 'other side'.

I think in the right setting, mentalism is perfectly fine and entertaining art form when performed well... just like any other art form.
chicagoharry
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Quote:
On 2008-06-04 22:33, Gospel Dan wrote:
The question I pose is, are we out to fool people, or to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ? If we choose to entertain people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, let it not be confused with those who are christians and perform mainstream mentalism and magic.


Wow! great question Brother I think that there are certain performers that are confusing the 2. I feel that if you are a christian and are using your gift to bring the gospel and plant seeds in the heart of unbelievers. The last thing you will be thinking about is fooling the person you are performing for you will be more focused on planting that seed, our effects are just the tool we use to get our point across. Now if your a mainstream performer who just happens to be a christian, are you just trying to fool people or are you using your talent as a tool to further the kingdom. As Christians our job is to spread the gospel.

Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

It's a very big world and there is a shortage of workers.
That should be our #1 priority. Does that mean that as christian performers we cannot perform for the unbelieving public to pay the bills. No. We have to work, we have to make a living. Paul said if you don't work you don't eat. But we have to learn to separate the 2.
We should not perform mentalism or any other type of magic in front of a christian audience that we may offend. Why? cause we already know what will come of it. Unnecessary arguments. Example my step mother is a very legalistic pentacostal.
(And there is nothing wrong with that I grew up Pentacostal). To her the cards are evil and just the mention of them is a sin so to speak. But at the Calvary Chapel I go to it's looked at as a gift that I should use to spread the Gospel. Just look at Ray Comforts work he has tracks that are visual illusions.
So we have to be smart as christians and not cause our brothers or sisters to get angry or judge us over our effects in short don't try to fool our brothers and sisters
When performing we should be trying to encourage them or share with them.
If we are not doing any of those two then we shouldnt be performing for a christian audience it may cause them to stumble...

1Cr 10:32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God-

Just a thought, sorry if I got off track.
God Bless
Terry Owens
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Richard doesn't do his act as a Gospel magician, he performs for his church, but his main act is not gospel oriented. It just opens doors for folks to talk to him after it's all over, and he takes advantage of it.

But in his main act, he does tell folks that everything he will be doing they could also do, but he's developed his abilities to do what they're going to see.(he says it a little differently but I can't remember word for word)

The question is, is Christian mentalism possible...the answer is yes. Some folks may not be developed enough in their presentations or ability to perform to pull it off, but a seasoned person can effectively do mentalism and tie in a powerful Gospel message...there's some aspects of mentalism that I don't do in a church setting, but that's where being a professional comes in, you know what will and won't work for the people you're performing for. I do things in my program that leaves people talking for days afterwards...but the message I bring with it, I hope makes people think of eternity.
Richard Osterlind
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I appreciate my name being mentioned in this discussion.

For what it's worth, if you present your program with the main emphasis being the creation of mystery, as opposed to a demonstration of your supposed powers, you can't go far wrong. If you study my Principles of Magic, you will see how the conclusion is drawn that mystery can only be created when we are operating without powers and within the boundries of the natural world.

It is only when you try to build yourself up, using artificial means, that you will fall.

Richard

P.S. I think the incredible Biblical prophecies we are seeing fullfilled in our own lifetime lead to a wonderful opportunity to spread the wonderful story of Salvation through the Saving Grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, when someone brings up the subject of predicting the future as related to mentalism.
dbearden
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One of the best resources I have found concerning mentalism in the church is a booklet put out by Eric Reamer, entitled "Think Ahead! Everything you need to know about using mental magic in the church" In it, there are 12 routines, tips on dispelling fears, comments on using larger illusions, & discussion on different styles of presentation. This booklet was printed in 1993, but may still be available. If you can get a copy, I highly recommend it.
David
clarissa35f
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I'll be ordering Easy to master Mental Miracles vol 1-4 next weekend. Am also thinking of Mind Mysteries... but I Noticed that there is " Mind Mysteries Too 5-7" are these basically a continuation to Mind Mysteries 4 (More Assorted Myst.)?

I have seen a few Youtube Clips, and what impressed me was how you present your effects. You make no claims to Mind reading, but present the audience with a situation that what you do is 100 % natural, and yet, you do "impossible" things with it. I can see that if you faked Mindreading they ones that believe it possible would just say.." Ok he's telepathic, that's how he read my mind." But by saying " it's natural, you can also do this." type of " non disclaiming disclaimer" You do not lie, and yet, you do allow for mystery, by not stating outright what it is that they could also do.

Thank you for your insights Richard. I will be devouring your DVD's
“Amateurs practice until they get it right.
Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.” <Anonymous>
"There is no such thing as magic, there is no other way that could have been done" <Whit Haydn>
Terry Owens
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I bought all 7 DVD's and his books. Both together give you a powerful resource, not only in magic theory but also in mentalism technic....from a pro I respect so much.
mormonyoyoman
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Clarissa, for discussion - and considered opinions of someone who has worked through this - I would strongly recommend Richard's *the Principles of Magic* before any of his DVDs. The DVDs will teach you the act, the effects, the timing, and the proper relationship with the audience (as well as some good jokes by Jim Sisti) but the book addresses your specific concerns.

And I don't think it's a valid question, i.e. - "Are we out to fool people, or to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ?" Isn't that a bit like asking if I should cook eggs for breakfast or study the scriptures each day? That is - why does one choice rule out the other? Besides, I don't consider magic and mentalism to be fooling people, any more than playing the role of Oliver J. Warbucks III to be fooling people into thinking I'm rich and balder.

*jeep!
--Grandpa Chet
#ShareGoodness #ldsconf
Rickfcm
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Eric Reamers "Think Ahead" is available as a download from Sheldon Rhodes and his "Jest Kidding" website.
Bendy
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I think performing mentalism as a Christian can open up the possibility of, (perhaps at the end of your performance), telling your audience that you can't really read their thoughts; but God can. God knows our thought life. Not only every deed we've ever done, but also every unclean thought that we have given time to. This, in turn, can lead to providing a reason as to why we need a Saviour and what Christ has done in our stead.
Decomposed
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I use to worry about it as a mentalist but I sometimes think since some are so convinced I am the real deal I spend a load of time trying to explain what Im doing is entertaining. No matter what I tell them, someone will still have their mind made up I am the real thing.

I think having a comedic element to your performance is very important. I love Richard's explanation for how he does his effects. I sometimes tell them its a combination of things I use. And its not all tricks when there is a chance something can fail in mentalism since it is built all around the spectator and the mentalist is just a guide on the journey.

I sometimes inform the spectators that only a true prophet can predict the future and they have to be 100 pct not the stuff you see offered on TV. I tell them I can do that and not charge them a penny:)

I know where I work at one of the owners told me that some churches will not even thnk of hiring a magician. So, its not just mentalism but magic as well. There are plenty of Bible references that provide what magic was all about in that era. I sometimes mention the 3 Magi to test the waters:)
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