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Rob Johnston
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"I am recommending that you leave the reading public, or if you prefer, an independent panel of impartial lawyers, to investigate and verify the evidence being presented to you today, concerning Satan's ability to impart power. I am also suggesting that you leave a forwarding address, just in case any of our people become demonised (demon possessed) due to your illusionary influence. They would need to know where to locate you, so that you could possibly "zap them" out of it--.and incidentally , you can still keep your US$1 million, or maybe give it to charity--.that's if you have been able to clear all your expenses in Jamaica."

That is from the website posted above...and I was literally laughing at this! This is great stuff.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
GlenD
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Interesting articles and thanks for sharing them, Terry. I notice it has been months since that reply by the reverend. Has Andre Kole replied back yet?
I noticed there still seems to be a misunderstanding about theatrical magic performance that has nothing at all to do with any demonic influence. I am pretty sure that none of the magicians (10,000+) on this site seriously claim to have powers or receive their abilities from satan or the spirit world. We all know it is only tricks, sleight of hand and cleverly built devices, etc. that allow us to "entertain" folks and for some of us to illustrate a biblical truth or message.

I also find this reverends' writing to be very mean spirited towards Mr Kole, unnecessarily so.
He does make some points and I would really like to read Andre Koles' response.

I have seen Andre Koles' performance and have heard him lecture at our Los Angeles FCM group. I have no doubt that he is a believer and that God is using him to reach people all over the world.
It would be much better if misunderstandings or questions like these could be discussed without attacking each other and making a spectacle out of it.
Alright, this is way off topic of the original post so I will cease my ramblings.

GlenD
"A miracle is something that seems impossible but happens anyway" - Griffin

"Any future where you succeed, is one where you tell the truth." - Griffin (Griffin rocks!)
Terry Holley
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Quote:
On 2004-03-09 19:24, GlenD wrote:
I notice it has been months since that reply by the reverend. Has Andre Kole replied back yet?


Rev. Stewart is the one who accepted the challenge and he is to bring people forward who possess these supernatural powers.

Last week I had a chat room discussion with Mark Dawes who writes for the Jamaica Gleaner. From my understanding, the Reverend has become pretty quiet on the subject!

Quote:

He does make some points and I would really like to read Andre Koles' response.



I recommend that you get Andre's book on this subject. Just about every one (if not all) of Rev. Stewart's points are answered Biblically. See this link:

http://www.zondervan.com/Books/Detail.asp?ISBN=0310489210

Terry
Co-author with illusionist Andre' Kole of "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena."
Thetruthteller
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“I think it's better to have ideas. You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier”
Rufus the thirteenth apostle in the movie DOGMA

And thus, this is the crux of your problem. This minister obviously believes you to be a minion of evil and in league with the dark forces and there is very little, in fact nothing at all that you will be able to do to change this. Belief is a very powerful thing.
And since this minister is in a position of authority and power a large percentage of his congregation is going to believe whatever he has to say about you no matter how libelous or absurd it may be. It sounds as if he truly believes that demonic evil can manifest itself on this plain and has chosen to do so in you.
You live in a very small farming community which is no doubt very conservative and more than likely you have already raised the ire of many in your community with your Goth lifestyle. This added to what was a very poor choice on your part in the selection of effects to present at a highly charged religious event has in effect branded you as a servant of the devil. Therefore any mishap that befalls your quaint little borough will be blamed on you by this minister and his flock.
I would lay low for a while or just move out of town all together. While you are hiding I would use the time to think very carefully about your material. Gospel magic is best left to banal little tricks used to illustrate gospel teachings. Driving nails through ones hands or replicating any other of Christ’s effects should be saved for a rave or a dance club in the big city where you will find people with much wider vision.
Remember by its nature the church encourages a belief in magical thinking and you are playing right into it by exhibiting these effects. What are simply tricks to you are looked on by others as manifestations of evil and there is nothing you can do to sway their belief.
GlenD
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Lay low? Move out of town? Hide out?
I doubt that any of these actions is warranted here but if the Pastor or any of his "congregation" continues to harrass Twitch then I guess it would be time to call the police. That is if his little borough of a farming community has a police department (or at least a sherrif).
Anyways, I wonder just how our all powerful Creator/God views the biggest and best of our non banal "big" tricks?
Just curious on that one.
I find it an interesting idea that someone would think that Gospel magic is best left to banal little tricks. What the heck does that mean anyways?
Regardless of that, it does not really matter if the "magic" effect is banal or not banal. The importance rests on the presentation and the message given as well as the motivation behind the one doing the effect.
I admit I am a little confused by a lot of what you are trying to say in some of your statements but I don't think I will waste any more of my time or anyone elses with any further examples or comments.

Peace out.

GlenD
"A miracle is something that seems impossible but happens anyway" - Griffin

"Any future where you succeed, is one where you tell the truth." - Griffin (Griffin rocks!)
Thetruthteller
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My bad and I apologize.
By banal I meant that type of effect that is blatantly and obviously a trick of some sort. Effects that use magic props like dove pans or silk handkerchiefs or linking rings.
When you delve into that area of magic that is best left to the Bizarrests you need to be very careful as to your audience and their interpretation of what you are doing. When magic is presented as “Real” the lines between reality and peoples perception of it get blurred.
It is one thing to turn a handkerchief from white to red to illustrate ones Saviour’s Sacrifice and quite another to swallow and then regurgitate razor blades. One is looked upon as a simple conjuring trick the other as a demonstration of supernatural powers (or at least it can be if properly presented).
If Twitch wishes to continue performing such powerful effects I would recommend that he choose his audiences and venues more carefully.
Not that this is any insurance against not running into the overly zealous.
On Monday our local Magic Shop had a note slipped under their door from a accolade who had just seen the Passion. The note warned against those who openly deceive quoting the oft-misinterpreted verses from Leviticus. The note continued urging the recipient to abandon his evil ways and seek solace and forgiveness in Christ. Something the shop owner is completely unable to do as he is Jewish.
As I said I see no way for anyone to convince this priest that Twitch is not the devil incarnate but I do agree that if the harassment escalates that law enforcement should be notified. Just pray that the Sheriff isn’t a zealot as well.
Twitch
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OK, this is going to be a lengthy post. First off, Truthteller for someone who doesn't know me or obvisouly anything about my area, you made some rather strong comments. One I make no apologies for any effect I do nor where I do them. The reason I did the spike thru hand routine at the showing of the Passion is because a bunch of pastors have heard about this effect and had ASKED me to perform it and I'm not one to turn down a performance of something I'm very proud of. And your assumptions about me having to lay low or move just means that I let this guy rule my life which is rather unbiblical. If I'm going to be judged by someone, it's going to be God, not you or this pastor.

I have dealt with this kind of stuff all my life and for a change I found something I'm good at to serve my God and I can reach more people for the Lord swallowing razor blades than whipping out a dove pan and putting on some mini illusion show because God created me like this. I didn't do it because it was cool. I do it because it's the gift that God gave me. I have the edge to me because of my beliefs. I'm not afraid the let the side show and if I have to endure persecution from fellow brothers and sisters in Christ then I will. I know what I'm doing is for the right cause. Your assumptions that gospel magicians (Which I do not consider myself one) can't perform those kinds of effects is ignorant. and I'm glad if what I'm doing blurs the lines between what's real and what's not, that means I'm doing a good job at being a magician. If people watch me and my performance think what I do is actually witchcraft or demon fueled then they are beyond my help and need to seek God before they scrawl the word "witch" on the hood of my car or harass my family and friends without knowing me.

I might be over reacting but by some of your judgments of me, my style, my community, and my effects, you're acting no better the those zealots you're talking about...

Now I had the great fortune of sitting down with this pastors wife today for about 5 minutes (I meet with him today) it was a joy to speak with her she was very nice and apologized for the behavior of some of their church members and even offered to pay for the repairs to my car. She got to meet me and my girlfriend and was totally willing to hear my side of the story and really was interested in seeing these effects that I did that fueled all of this. So I did the two that caused all of this and she loved them. and asked that after this clears up if I would come and speak to their church about my life and my art.

Thanks again for all the prayers and support and I'll let you all know what happens tomorrow. God Bless

Josh
Thetruthteller
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Twitch
I applaud your passion and your zeal. You are obviously a unique individual who is very dedicated to both your art and your faith. However you seem to want it both ways. You purposely present your illusions in a way that blurs the line between what is real and what is not and then get upset when people accuse you of being in possession of diabolical powers.
I would really think long and hard about what you are trying to do and say with your magic. If you feel that you are truly bringing people to the word by driving nails in your palms and regurgitating razor blades then more power to you. You are just going to have to be prepared to bear the consequences of your actions. There is no free lunch and every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
Though I do not live in Buckley I do live very close by and have actually performed in the neighboring boroughs of Black Diamond and Enumclaw. I was raised in a small farming community as well so I know full well the type of narrow-minded single focus individuals with which you are having difficulty with.
Performing Geek magic for people who are already prone to magical thinking can have some rather nasty ramifications. You will need to be prepared for these situations and you shouldn’t act all surprised and dismayed when they turn around and bite you.
You’ve made your bed.
Twitch
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I do get what you're saying about me having to expect reactions from people for the way I present my effects, but what makes this problem so diffrent than just the averege Christian saying what I'm doing is demonic or evil is that a pastor, a man of god put in charge of hundreds of people turned his congergation on me without having said two words to me. I came here for advice on how to handle this situation because it's so large scale. It's not just one or two people; it's a couple of hundred and it's gone outside of just me. They're attacking my loved ones and that's wrong.. And yes Buckley is a small town but I've never performed in Buckley. My house is here but my church and all my performances are done in Puyallup or Tacoma.

And I agree with you and I am fully prepared to handle the consequences of my actions but this is the first time I've had to. I've been doing this nonstop since September and not one complaint. Then to have this happen is mind blowing and a stressful situation and I needed some advice so I came to the one place people can help me. I get what you're saying but I've only just begun and this problem is nearing the end and I'm sure it will happen again down the road. And if it does, oh well... the only person that's going to make me stop is God. "Let his will be done not mine." This is what I called to do and if I have to endure trails like this then I will. This was just the first and I was kinda lost and needed some advice..

God Bless
Josh
Jon Gallagher
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Sometimes when people ask for advice, they're not looking for advice. They're looking for an accomplice.

I cannot judge you, nor will I attempt to. I don't think anyone here was trying to judge YOU. However, I do believe that they were offering advice based on what you did. I would question whether or not it was wise to perform the spike through hand, especially considering where you were and who you were around. Since I don't know the complete circumstances, I can't say if you were right or wrong to perform it. Personally, I don't think I would have done it. This is all hindsight, of course, but if they were that interested in seeing it, I'd have handed them a business card and told them to book me for a show.

I agree with Thetruthteller in what he says about wanting to have it both ways. I believe that you can use magic effectively to spread the Word and to bring others closer in their walk with God. But if you (not you specifically, but you generally) claim to have "special powers" that were "God given," then I have a problem with that. See, every man woman and child on the face of this earth has the God given talent to do the same exact magic that I do... providing they put in the time to learn and study it. Magic is not a God given talent, but the ability to learn it is. For me to claim that I have supernatural powers would be in direct conflict to my beliefs and to the Bible which I read. That's one of the reasons I've never been able to do mentalism in my show. Mentalism crosses the line too much in my own definition, and I've never been able to justify it to myself. However, I have no problem with others who do mentalism, providing they are doing it for entertainment purposes and NOT to separate people from their hard earned money.

I also believe in making things happen for a reason. Had this happened to me, I'd have been on the phone with every newspaper, TV station, and other media outlet I could find. I'd find a way to turn it into a positive situation so that I could reach even more people!

Somehow I have the feeling that God will not be coming down himself to tell you to stop. However, he may send signs. I can usually tell when God is pleased with me and when He's not. I can tell when He is challenging my faith. And I know that He'll never give me more than I can handle because He will be there with me to face the challenge, whatever it may be. The free choice that He allows us as humans is a wonderful thing. It's nice to know that He's right there to help us out when we screw things up.

-Jon
www.jongallagher.com

Hey! I'm finally a Dot Com!
Thetruthteller
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Quote:
On 2004-03-11 14:55, Twitch wrote:
the only person that's going to make me stop is God. "Let his will be done not mine."


Perhaps then this is God's way of telling you to truly look deep inside yourself and honestly evaluate your actions and decide if what your doing is to His Glory or yours.
Perhaps this is His way of telling you to take it down a notch or two.
Twitch
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Well since this has gone far off topic from what it started out as, going from friendly advice to an attack of my character and style of magic, I'll end with this. Not once have I claimed to have powers given by God to help me do the things I do, but God has given me the power to entertain people and all the effects I do can be learned by any one with time and practice but not everyone has the skill or the ability to entertain the mass public. And yes I could have said no to the pastors outside of the movie theater but I don't have to go as low as handing out cards a getting them to book me for a "show" to see one effect that I perform in the streets all the time. I've done one "show" my entire magical career and it was a benifet for a friend of mine that was killed.

Also if everyone where to stop for every hurdle that was put in their way, nobody would do anything. All this was was a trial that I'd have to go through. So with that said I'm done with this thread and I'm done with this subject. It's been the most stressful three weeks of my life and what started out as a positive converstation about a difficult subject and one that some other Christian magicians could go through got ugly and I'm not going to go through another round of defending who I am and what I do. I wish this could have turned out differently and for anybody who wants to know how this all ended feel free to PM me but I feel by posting anything else will just turn into another attack and I've taking quite a beating over the course of this and I'm glad it's over.

Josh
Jon Gallagher
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I don't think there's been one personal attack on you Josh. Not one. If there had been, I would have, in my job as Grammar Supervisor, deleted it or softened it. No one is attacking you or your style.

We have questioned how wise it was for you to perform what you did. We did not condemn you for it. Hopefully, it will be a learning experience for you as well as others.

Those who are always right in their opinions and those who have a narrow field of vision will end up hearing "I don't know," in response to their questions more often than they will receive advice.

Good luck and may God bless.

-Jon
www.jongallagher.com

Hey! I'm finally a Dot Com!
GlenD
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I was thinking the same thing, Jon, but have decided (sort of) to cease from any further replying here.
Well said (other than the unintentional omission of an "m").
Always gets a grin when one of the grammar hosts posts a booboo.

GlenD
"A miracle is something that seems impossible but happens anyway" - Griffin

"Any future where you succeed, is one where you tell the truth." - Griffin (Griffin rocks!)
Twitch
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Well I said I was done posting here, but I have to to say that I was wrong in perceiving what was said in the last couple of post as a personal attack. While I don't agree with everything that was said, I know it was offered as constructive criticism and for that I would like to appologize. I've been dealing with a lot of pressure from this and was not thinking with a clear head when I wrote my last post so again I'm sorry. I let my temperment and emotions get the better of me.

God Bless
Josh
Chance Wolf
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Josh,
A major question overlooked in this entire thread is...
HOW DO YA DO THE SPIKE THROUGH HAND!!??
It sounds very cool. Care to share? Smile
Chance
Creator of Wacky Wolf Productions & Fine Collectibles

A DECADE of building Magic and we're just getting started!

http://www.wolfsmagic.com
Twitch
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Yeah I'll send you a PM Chance. Actually I'd really like your opinon on it with your background in building Illusions.
Mario Morris
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Hi Twitch I hope your still posting on here!
Greetings from Wales UK, from the street.

I have resisted posting anything on here up to now, but I have been watching and reading. I can see why you feel that you have been under attack. I think it is better to say you are misunderstood. You are a talented performer. I think this Pastor would react even if you were plucking a card out of Dippy Duck's feeding pen. The guy needs help.

It's is noble of you in the light of what you have shared and what has been expressed on this thread for you to continue, and more importantly, it is your right.

I use some strange items myself to preach the Gospel. An eight foot tall Head Guillotine is one. Where I draw parallels to the message of the cross. I call it the public execution and I just push it into the city center and preach away and the crowds stop in there hundreds. I have used a nail preaching about sin being nailed with Christ, and once I have finished, I nail it up my nose. Ugh gross (But it works)! I am offten asked "can you do the one with the nail?" That's just to highlight a few. I can't stand fluffy stuff and all but that's me.

I have had Christian folk tell me what I should and should not do, but they tend to be the ones who do nothing.

I believe you may be the new generation of a street preacher/performer. At the end of the day it does not matter what some, so called pen pushing preacher thinks of you. It matters that you stay foccused and in partership with your church leaders (Which you are). Keep your eye on the ball and run the race the Lord has laid up for you.

I think the western Church can afford being shocked; It is so fat and sleepy.
Beware of Church politics and don't go there. Stay where it counts warn those that are going to Hell, and be diligent in this. For it is Kingdom work you are in. This whole thing is a tactic to get of track.
I believe all the folk hear all mean well as you know. They are concerned to pray for you and your family safty and I will shoot an arrow up too.

If you are working in partnership with God and under the guidance of your church leaders then you will come out of this all the srtonger and my prayer for you is " be focused."

In Christ, Keep on Keeping on.
Mario

Quote:
On 2004-03-11 16:36, I also believe in making things happen for a reason. Had this happened to me, I'd have been on the phone with every newspaper, TV station, and other media outlet I could find. I'd find a way to turn it into a positive situation so that I could reach even more people!
-Jon

Just an afterthought... Jon's quote could be a good idea? It worked for Mel Gibson Smile He has got slated and misunderstood I believe." He held the nail in the film I think he was saying it was him that nailed Jesus there on the cross, and the likes of you and me. I can see the headlines now. "Christian Magician Nailed for Passion." Maybe you should try contacting Mel Gibson himself (well at least his management team) and tell them of your plight. They may be able to use it.
davejesc
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Rather than comment on Twitch's situation (which seems to have resolved), I am impressed with the following personal lessons from this story:

1) How important it is that we are clear to our audience that what we do is merely an illusion. (See http://www.andrekole.org/magicbib.html and
http://www.gospelcom.net/fcm/domagic.html)

2) How important it is that when we are misinterpreted, we use wise counsel, and attempt reconcilliation (see Bk. of James ref's above). What a good suggestion for Twitch to have his youth pastor or pastor accompany him in this effort. This isn't always do-able with a secular audience (though, I think we should try), but it is imperative when other Christians misinterpret us. As long as we make an effort to reconcile and show a humble, teachable attitude, I think we've done our best and the onus for reconcilliation is no longer upon us, but a matter between the other Christian and God.

3) How important it is to be sensitive to the venue and audience we are performing for. While I am really interested in the spike through hand illusion and would like to learn it, I would never conceive of doing this at a "Passion" viewing - even if asked to do so. I would offer to do it elsewhere in another circumstance. I don't know what other effects Twitch did, but I think that anything even relating to flogging, nailing, death, crucifixion or resurrection would be inappropriate for at a "Passion" viewing. That's just my opinion. It sounds like Twitch is a very versatile performer. Surely there are other stunning effects in his repetoire that would have been more appropriate for that moment. I appreciate that goth is usually related to things "noir" (dark/black), but I'm sure that there are plenty of effects which would have been ... well ... wiser.

4) Our personna, our makeup, our presentation and our appearance are judged by others - rightfully, righteously or not. If I dress as a heavy biker, people WILL make assumptions about me, who I am, and what I represent. Granted this opens certain doors and lets me be accepted by certain groups (such as bikers), but it also sends a message to other groups besides these which may (or may not) misrepresent the real me. While none of us should judge others, the fact is simply that we do. I have to factor this into what I am, how I look and what I do and understand that what I choose to present does say something definite - whether it's true or not. I'm not saying that Twitch needs to change who he is or abandon his Goth appearance. I am saying that while this will help him to witness and have an in with younger folk in his age group, other goth enthuasists, and other non-mainstream (is that a fair category?) individuals it does convey a personna to the rest that is typically dark and black arts oriented. It's not realistic to expect someone that doesn't know what a great guy (or what a powerful Christian) Twitch may be to think anything else. The same with me if I appear to be a nasty biker dude.

None of this excuses the reactions Twitch got. They were wrong - especially when people responded to Twitch in deliberately un-Christian ways. So,

5) I'm impressed that we need to be prepared to be reviled and hurt by both the world and other human Christians for whatever reason. As much as possible, we need to be prepared to defend the hope that lies within us - and we need to be prepared to love those who hate us and the Gospel message of hope we bear. Wasn't that a big part of the "Passion" message anyway?

Thanks Twitch for starting the thread, and for each of the responses above.

I've gleaned some good personal nuggets from this whole story.

-Dave

P.S. Someone wanna tell me how to do the spike thru hand?
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I have run into a variation of this type of censorship. I do a children's show (traditional magic) in a persona likened to a Hogwarts professor from the Harry Potter series. Among my various venues in my ad fliers, I mention that I do church shows.

Yet, when I tack up my fliers in grocery stores, etc., they are usually torn down within 24 hours by persons unknown. I suspect I am being censored by some form of extremist.

The irony is that I am a long-standing Christian mystic who espouses the positive-thinking faith formula described by the late Norman Vincent Peale.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
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