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Mike Ince
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On Apr 10, 2014, Jay Jennings wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 9, 2014, Mike Ince wrote:
Our skills include public speaking, scriptwriting, problem-solving, stage movement, acting, etc.


Acting? You mean pretending to be somebody you are not? Isn't that deception?


If the audience is sitting in a theatrical context, they know with certainty you aren't your character. Acting in a film or stage play is not deception. If, however, you are like Alan Conway who pretended to be Stanley Kubrick in real life in order to manipulate people, then acting CAN be deception.

Nobody ever called the police after watching Shakespeare's Richard the Third to report the murder of Clarence enacted onstage. But people approach me and ask about their futures even after I've told them I don't know the future. It's hard to compare a film or play to a performance of mentalism or strong magic. It's why some performers use disclaimers. When's the last time you saw a film open with a disclaimer assuring the audience what they're about to see isn't real? It isn't necessary in that context.

Quote:
You also said something earlier about us trying to have godlike abilities. The "ability" to bend a spoon, or know what is written on a folded piece of paper, is so far from the power of my God that it's not even in the same galaxy.


You are so right. Still, Uri Geller used spoon and key bending in the late 70s to trick people into believing he was real. Many of his fans/worshipers still believe what he's doing is real, and they believe what magicians are doing is mimicry of Uri's real abilities. Several years ago he began saying he was an entertainer. You can meet plenty of his old fans who refuse to accept that he has no special abilities.

Quote:
Is it even Supernatural?

Can you benchpress 800 pounds? No, and you don't know anybody who can. So when someone does it, do you assume it is a supernatural happening? No, it's someone who has developed their physical body to the point where they can do something that almost nobody else can.


Good point, Jay. I want to make sure we're using the same dictionary. I accept Merriam-Webster's definition of supernatural as "Unable to be explained by science or the laws of nature" and "departing from what is usual or normal especially so as to appear to transcend the laws of nature." A third definition is "attributed to an invisible agent (as a ghost or spirit)."

Though I can't bench press 800 pounds, when I see a bodybuilder do that it can be explained by science or the laws of nature. Now if I find old footage of Don Knotts bench pressing 800 pounds, that would probably appear to transcend the laws of nature.

Quote:
So if a person can tell what somebody else is thinking, why does that have to be supernatural? Isn't it possible that person has just developed their mental abilities to the point where they can do something that almost nobody else can? You may say that's not possible, but you wouldn't be stating a fact. You'd be stating an opinion.


If mindreading is presented in a way that makes it look natural, like a deductive sort of Sherlock Holmesian way, the audience might believe the performer has developed his mental acuity to an amazing degree. That angle does feel better to me than feigning telepathic or clairvoyant powers, but it doesn't completely shake off my concerns. It can still lead a confused spectator to rely on something that isn't legitimate. "If I try hard enough and learn to read body language and visual cues, I can do what the guy on stage is doing. I can have inside knowledge other people don't have." Probably not true. If it were, the performer would have learned how to do it for real.

If the performer really does learn to read body language and visual cues to tell the participant about herself, he can perform as a real-life Sherlock Holmes and amaze everyone. I know a couple of guys who perform with that persona but they're almost always using trickery.

We can use trickery to validate or stir interest in divination, mediumship, or magick that's meant to control nature. We can also use trickery to validate pseudo-science which sounds less malevolent but still points to false beliefs. I may be focusing on minutiae, but if we use trickery that encourages people to trust in anything other than actual divine or general revelation, aren't we leading people to a dry well?

Thanks Jay.

Mike
The secret of deception is in making the truth seem ridiculous.
Mike Ince
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Regan, Craig a.k.a. mediocre_magic (I love self-deprecating humor), Harris, Stephon, Terry, Jay and all others... thanks very much for your prayers and thoughts. We're supposed to bear one another's burdens. You guys have done that more than once.

God's good things to you,

Mike
The secret of deception is in making the truth seem ridiculous.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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I am my brothers keeper.

I also started entertaining with a much more self centered Me and rarely did anything in church or even attended

I am guessing many of you brothers and dusters in Christ , pray before performing both in and out of Church.

Love and prayers

Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
Roudini
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Brother Harris
I enjoyed the E.G.O. comment. It's easy to do. Thanks for the reminder.
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