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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Performing mentalism outside of an 'entertainment' context (47 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Last Laugh
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Seeing as how the thread for Bill Montana's new release turned into a bit of a train wreck (I take responsibility for my part in that...), perhaps we can hash it out here rather than (perhaps unfairly) implicating Bill and his product by arguing about morals in mentalism in his product review thread. Heck, perhaps Bill will chime in himself...

No doubt that there are some very diverse opinions and some strong emotions about the subject.

To clarify what I am talking about, I mean using mentalism techniques on people or in situations where there is no implicit contract of entertainment.
For instance, If I see a performer on stage, then it is implicit that this is entertainment. Even without a disclaimer, and even if the performer says they are psychic, it is presented as entertainment. I see no moral danger in this situation, even though it may well be perceived as real by some of the audience.

On the other end of the spectrum, if someone claims to be a spiritual teacher or to be a messenger of god and secretly uses trickery to convince his followers that he has supernatural powers in order to take money, sex, property, etc, I think most of use would agree that this person is an abusive charlatan.

In between is a large grey area. There is going to be a line in there somewhere, but where that line falls is going to be different for everyone. I'm curious where that line is for you.

Tony Eye mentioned using 'special effects' and 'object lessons' to punctuate ideas in the course of a metaphysical teaching or sermon.

Philemon mentioned using marked tarot cards and cold reading in the course of a reading to create a more memorable experience for the sitter.

On the other hand Martin Pulman suggests that using trickery in any situation outside of entertainment is charlatanism.

Bill Cushman offers one of the more interesting examples, that of a Shaman that uses trickery in order to create belief so that the cure can work (ostensibly by the placebo effect).


What do you think? Is there a place for trickery outside of entertainment? Where is the line for you?
I recognize that we are on a magic forum, and of course that may skew the opinions. Nonetheless, I'd like to hear your thoughts.
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Mr. Woolery
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When I read palms or cards, I do it honestly. I don’t believe stock readings or tricks belong in a reading. I get paid for those. If I delivered something else, perhaps to bolster my own ego by looking more psychic than I am (and I don’t advertise myself as anything more than a palm and card reader), then I am lying and not delivering the product that was paid for.

On the other side, any mentalism I perform at this time is casual, nonprofessional. I don’t do shows for pay at the moment and possibly never will. When I have an opportunity to perform, I see no need for disclaimers. I recently tried out a living and dead routine on an engineering professor. He was very interested in how I could have learned the name he wrote. Since he is from India and wrote Gandhi, I was able to say that sometimes I get a feeling but it may be no more than a cultural assumption. It gives him a potential explanation, but doesn’t hint at the real method. So I lied to him, but believably.

I do not market myself as a shaman, a healer, or a sage. I am not a psychic or a medium. But if someone saw me do a trick and believed that I could read minds or sense connections or pick up on vibrations from past contact or whatever else they want to believe, I will let them. If asked, I will say that it isn’t anything they couldn’t also learn, but that I am not a teacher.

I don’t know what that says about my ethics. I’m fairly scrupulous about my paid services, but fluid about the message from my free performances. Maybe I’m only half bad?

Patrick
IAIN
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A phrase I coined that a few people liked was "a beguiled imagination" - something that afflicts some in and out of mentalism...

Look, if you claim to be the real deal and offer services of that related nature to people who probably have aligned beliefs to those services; and you use trickery to enhance that belief in YOU and your stock, then I think that is unhealthy...

If you say you are a real psychic of some kind and even claim that to the mentalism community, but! You then release work that explains the mechanics of how something works, and the instructions don't say "simply use your psychic gifts to achieve this", then you are not Psychic or a swami, a guru, you're a very naughty boy...
Matt Pulsar
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This entire topic which gets argued over and over and over...ad infinitium... is a bore. All magicians, mentalists, psychic entertainers, mystery performers, and conjurers are complete charlatans, bamboozlers, tricksters, frauds, hoodwinkers, liers, and cheats. There are many many many people in this world who believe that Dynamo can walk on water, David Blaine can levitate and David Copperfield can fly. The history of these arts is rooted in belief and deception. If the fact that someone believes you makes you feel guilty, get out of this practice or call yourself a “slight of hand artist” and tell people in every single performance you do that you are just doing tricks and illusions. My guess is that your success in that model will be limited at best, and even then many will not believe you and decide you are in some way channeling something otherworldly.

Everyone’s reality is his or her own. It is up to them to decide what is going on. If we put it on a stage it does live in the context of theater, but isn’t a lecture also on a stage? Doesn’t the format of every mentalsim performance and most magic hark a lecture more than a play? It is a mistake to think that belief constitutes stupidity as well. There are plenty of highly intelligent people who believe that Copperfield walked through a wall. There are also plenty of people in this world who have experienced versions of the simulations created by magicians that were not being done by a trixter.

Personally I belong to both contexts. I give readings, I perform mentalsim and I help people through hypnosis. I have clients who have come to me for a reading, then booked me for a mentalism show, then came to me to change a habit or overcome a fear. They express no feelings of being cheated or lied to or taken advantage of. When I give a reading, to help someone relax and see the process as fun I will sometimes start by saying, lets play a little game first... and I do something simple in the genre of mentalism, on my table there is a card that has a list of prices under the title “Psychic Enteratinment” mostly because I will sometimes get groups to which I will perform a mentalism set. I then might give a palm reading which has no trickery or deception, its just telling them which lines they have, or what the cards represent and then I’ll finish by scrying on their future and tell them the images I receive. Many many people come back to me and tell me beautiful stories about how the image I saw was an important thing that happened to them.
You can condem or respect this, I don’t care. For me, and my clients its real.

The people who have seen me in more than one of these contexts are also easier to help through hypnotherapy. Why? Because they already believe in my abilities and have given it prestige. Implicitly when I’m doing a show people get that it is a show, but they still might wonder if what they are seeing is psychic ability or some deception. I let them have the mystery. Why? BECAUSE that's WHAT WE DO. We create mystery, which, in this world of answers, is becoming more and more needed and valuable.

What I don’t do is try to “Fool Them” “Trick them” or “Kill Them.” I believe that the artists intent is important. After that I’d rather sit in wonder at Kreskin’s ability to read thoughts, Sheridan’s ability to pluck cards out of thin air, Bux’s ability to see through things and walk on fire, Copperfields ability to walk through walls, Edward’s ability to talk to the dead, Penn’s ability to not stab a nail gun through his hand and Salem’s ability to get so much more out of psychology than would be thought possible. From the perspective of an audience these are all amazing feats, to the magician they are all explainable. If you practice the mystery arts that doesn’t make you the reality police, it makes you a vehicle for mystery, and the central tennant of being part of this is that you let it live for others.

Blessed be.
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Martin Pulman
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Quote:
On Oct 7, 2017, StuartPalm wrote:
This entire topic which gets argued over and over and over...ad infinitium... is a bore. All magicians, mentalists, psychic entertainers, mystery performers, and conjurers are complete charlatans, bamboozlers, tricksters, frauds, hoodwinkers, liers, and cheats.

Blessed be.

If you are claiming to be a real psychic reader or medium and you are using tricks to achieve your outcomes you are stealing from your audience. You are of course free to do whatever you want alongside your reading to introduce an element of entertainment -perform the 21 card trick, produce magic bunnies, sing a song, do a tap-dance - but if trickery is involved in the pychic/spiritual event itself (and you are claiming to be doing it for real) you are a fraud who is stealing from his audience. There is a moral line that should not be crossed. It's ok to release a DVD describing how to create a pick-pocketing routine for entertainment; you cross a moral line if you release a DVD teaching people how to pickpocket in order to really steal money and valuables.

It is also absurd to put John Edward into a group with Marc Salem and Kreskin. They are involved in two completely different fields. The latter two are among our most succesful mentalism performers -the former alleges he is a psychic medium. There may be people who can talk to the dead (although there is no real-world evidence for such a gift) but any medium using tricks to convince the parents of dead children that they are talking to their kids is a reprehensible human being -unfit to be mentioned alongside the greats of mentalism. I would hope that would be something we could all agree on.
Adrien L.
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What if someone comes to me and asks me to help them with their anxiety and I tell them I'll manipulate the midi-chlorians in their blood when I'm just using suggestion, then I end with making them feel me touch them without touching them using a loop, and they go home completely free of their anxiety. I tricked them, but helped them. Was it a good thing or a bad thing? Did I steal from this person?

I'm mostly on the same side of this argument as Martin, but I wouldn't draw such a definite line.
Martin Pulman
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Why would anyone -outside of the medical profession- want to take money from a person suffering from anxiety? How do you know they are completely free from anxiety when they leave you? How do you know their anxiety didn't get worse after they left you? Do you do follow ups on everyone you "cure"? Do you keep those follow ups going for weeks, months, years? What if they eventually commit suicide due to not being able to cope with their anxiety levels? Will you take responsibilty for giving them false hope or for believing in supernatural cures?

The line seems perfectly clear to me. Keep magic tricks out of genuine medical and psychological issues -unless you are a medical professional using it as part of a recognised, fully-tested therapy.
Adrien L.
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Ok, anxiety might not mean exactly what I thought... Sorry for my bad english Smile

Let's say the guy is "nervous" and not "anxious" because he has a very important maths test or whatever... He pays me and I use trickery so that he doesn't feel nervous anymore. He nails the test. Did I do a bad thing?

I have actually done this multiple times (not with the midi-chlorians theme, and I never took money from someone for it) for friends or people I know (with various degrees of success): you're nervous about going on a date? Let me try something to get you rid of those feelings. You're nervous about your test tomorrow? I can help you with that. You get nervous on elevators, I know this technique that will help you relax in those moments. Am I the worst guy ever? I really feel I'm not.
Martin Pulman
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Going on a date or fearing elevators is one thing but you try to fool people who are sitting tests and exams? What if they put their faith in your "cure" achieved by magic tricks and failed the exam, when they may have passed if they had consulted a medical professional who could have genuinely helped them calm their nerves? You could have seriously affected their life and career path.

Do you really think you should be interfering in people's major life events by fooling them with magic tricks?

Why not just try to become the best bloody mentalist you can be and entertain the hell out of people? You'll be helping people far more by giving them an amazing evening at the theatre or a function, or even an amazing moment of wonder in a coffee shop than you ever will by claiming you have supernatural powers then tickling them with a ****.
IAIN
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How do you guys measure your work? How do you test and keep up with these interventions, cures and sympathetic fixes?

What if you reinforces an unhealthy belief and they become reliable on something that ultimately is out of your hands...

Good feedback there and then? Quote for your website, what about the people within the context of real life? The implications of what we do can be far reaching...even a 'hit' via a Barnum like statement...you ready to handle a negative state? How?
Adrien L.
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I understand what you guys mean... But I'm not entirely sure I would seriously affect their career if they went to the test and still were nervous, even it I tried to ease those feelings with or without the help of magic trick.

How is it that me trying to calm them with the help of a trick is worse than they taking a sedative or whatever? The end result is that they become more able to do the thing they want to do. Isn't that something positive? What if you calm your friend without the help of a trick? Aren't you in the same position of potentially affecting their path and carrer? By that logic, whenever someone comes to you saying they are stressed about something, you would not try to calm them down and, instead, have them seek medical help?

I'm not talking about more serious issues, obviously. I've done some silly stuff for friends and acquaintances and I present it not as a power, but as a technique that will help you relax, or sleep or whatever. I'm not removing the problem and they know it: I'm taking the symptom down a notch or two. And the kind of "problem" I'm referring to is simply the belief they suck at maths, of that every elevator has a 50% chance of falling down, or that spiders will jump to your mouth and lay eggs on your lungs. I'm not talking about people who take themselves as seriously as you guys.

Thing is: I agree with you guys and I'm very doubtful about the ethic implications of this DVD (and I apologize for voicing this opinion without having seen the product), but your unshakable belief in your own morals seems potentially as armful to me as the unshakable belief in false gurus.
IAIN
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"but your unshakable belief in your own morals seems potentially as armful to me as the unshakable belief in false gurus"

Why?
WitchDocChris
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He's saying your hard line morals, ie: "This is absolutely right, and anything else is absolutely wrong" (which is how you are coming across) is as potentially harmful to another person, as someone else's absolute belief in a false guru.

Basically he's saying you're both potentially quite harmful.

I am not agreeing or disagreeing with the sentiment, just providing my take on what is said.
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Stunninger
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Anyone seriously interested in this topic may consider reading Devil May Care by Iain Dunford which provides very good guidance.
Adrien L.
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Quote:
On Oct 7, 2017, IAIN wrote:
"but your unshakable belief in your own morals seems potentially as armful to me as the unshakable belief in false gurus"

Why?


I would have preferred if you addressed the other points I tried to make instead of this in particular, but, oh well... I mentioned midi-chlorians in a previous post, so staying in line with that theme:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgpytjlW5wU

On a more serious note, because although I agree that there is an awful lot of people who will take advantage of other people in unethical ways (and it scary easy to do it with magic and/or mentalism), I also believe there are good people trying to have a positive impact on other people's lives. And those people shouldn't suffer because someone has a preconceived notion about who they are...
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First you may want to know what the mentalism context is historically before you begin making erroneous statements.

“With magic, the performer employs mis-direction. Directing the attention of his spectators away from the operation of the mystery while his hands or mechanical contrivances operate. With the mentalist, it is mis-belief. He must cause his audience to believe something other than which actually occurs, or instill that reasonable question of doubt.” Robert Nelson from Encyclopedia of Mentalism and the related arts 1944

In addition, please note the way mis- is spelled above which is again another part of the earlier secret language of the mind reader that was used during the 1920s and 1940s. Let me explain, During the 1920 a change in or towards the trivialization of mentalism started to occur and the principal method employed by the mentalist began to change as well. As with the spelling of many of the terms associated with the mentalist and the performance of mentalism or when speaking or when writing about mentalism as these words within the mentalist vocabulary began to transform which would begin to be used by some later performers and writers on the subject whom did not do the research about the foundations of what they were writing about. This would later add to the misconceptions of what a mentalist does or what the mental act is about for example. This change in vocabulary was partially brought out by the founding of the Anti-fraud groups of the I.B.M. And S.A.M. Which were both a marketing ploy and scam to gain membership in those organizations.

The earlier of these two organizations S.A.M. founded in on May 10,1902, in New York City, with a membership of 24* February 7, 1903, Ehrich Weiss ( Harry Houdini) would join and by June of 1917, Harry Houdini was elected National President of the S.A.M.. Where it gets interesting is during the mid 1920s when Houdini would set up a anti-fraud sub group for S.A.M short while later he would help set up the I.B.M version of what I will refer to as the Goon Squad to and get this, help Bill Durbin president of the I.B.M at the time who's membership in the I.B.M was in decline as and was about to close the door's of the I.B.M. Until Houdini set up the goon squad which drove membership to the organization by lending his name to that group. This is also clearly indicated by the circulation numbers of the Linking Ring prior to Harry's support which is a monthly periodical magazine on magic called The Linking Ring which is still around today. Which by the way the goon squad was only created to gain notoriety for certain performers of magic who's career's at the time were in decline as it was the mentalist who were the kings of magical entertainment of the then popular vaudevillian stages which was at the time where most of the work was. Since the mentalist could walk out on a stage and go to work with minimal or no set up time required. The theater owners loved this and they would often allow these acts to break a leg instead of acts like that of Harry Kellar, Frederick Eugene Powell who were also the first 2 Deans of S.A.M. And others such as John W. Sargent, Howard Thurston, Dante, Harry Blackstone just to name of the bigger names who's acts need time to set up. In fact far too much time that the theater owners could not afford since the vaudevillian shows were about variety entertainment and the more acts the better as bills laden with many acts would draw bigger crowds. Where in acts such as Alexander where getting rich. The magic establishment at the time hated this and that is when the debunking of all things psychic started within magic which from the very start was used as a propaganda tool to drive interest in these two organizations. Now debunking started much earlier but in those accounts the methods said to be employed by the fraudsters where competently different. I wonder why this would be? I tell you it's because the magicians who did the debunking trained the people who they were going to debunk. A process by which both would profit. Here is another interesting fact many of the early so called busted mediums where in fact relatives of the magicians some of the magicians named above in fact who where members of the I.B.M. And S.A.M.. Get ya some of that! As far as magicians busting so called psychic is concerned it was a scam.

Now allow me to back up a bit to term used a few moments ago and let's look at what break a leg actually means as it does does not mean have a good show that came after the change in vocabulary. Originally it meant to that when a performer in vaudeville was going to get paid on a vaudevillian stage the performer had to cross the threshold of the wings onto the stage for him or her to get paid. In other words crossing the threshold means when you broke a leg your leg crossed the threshold of the stage proper. This meant you were getting paid for the night.

In most case's these new words used were only loosely related to the original terms used in mentalism but oftentimes these new words that entered into the lexicon of our vocabulary had completely different meanings and where often incorrect. In this example lets look at Mis-belief would become miss-direction as far as the later authors on mentalism were concerned and would begin to be more closely aligned with the magic tricks performed by the magicians and there would be no more doubt instilled in the mind of the audiences as to what was occurring this was a result of the plan to dethrone the earlier mentalist as mentioned in part above so that the Magicians could regain a paid performer status in the Vaudevillian theaters. This plan did work until the radio which the early mentalist would migrate towards since mind reading and code acts could be used on this new form of media. It was also a great way for the mentalist to make sponsor money by using mentalism to sell the products of others.

Now lets look at what Nelson writes about this about 20 years later: “ The mindreading act, whether on stage, radio, club or park lot is a unique ballyhoo for the sale of something. Usually it is a book of Psychology, Astrology or other “ologies.” A horoscope, a dream book, an alleged charm-something is offered for sale. The purpose of the act is not only to Entertain, but to create a demand for the purchase of this merchandise. This revenue ofttimes far exceeds the salary paid.” and again in the same chapter of the same book mentioned above.

Now lets look at some other interesting things that occurred since the magic trick shops were where one could buy mentalism based effect were created by magicians and not by the working mentalist of the day for the most part with the exception of items sold and offered through Nelson Enterprises. Which would make Robert Allen Nelson of Columbus, Ohio and his company unique in this regard as he would not only sell magic tricks but horoscopes and magick charms. Which most of the magicians hated the fact he offered these things because of the swindle and redirect of the result of the 1920s scam the well known magi ran. Columbus, Ohio which was also the home of U.F. Grant and his magic company Grant Magic as well as a few other smaller magic companies who were ran by magicians. In addition Robert Nelson was the exception to these dealers as he sold some magic tricks but focused on mentalism and also did psychic readings in the back of his High Street shop where he would be a beloved psychic parlor reader of the city wherein went by the name of Korda RaMayne, Ps. D. This name also appears on some of the early works he published such as The Private Mediums Secret Guide copyright 1942 with a revised edition first appearing in 1953.

“Mentalism is a commercial-mercenary. If you wish. It functions only for
profit.” Robert Nelson also in 1944 Encyclopedia of Mentalism and the Related Arts.

By not it should becoming clear but probably not so lets look at the term charlatan in a earlier context as well as it has roots in a French term which signifies someone who was selling snake oil for the ease of explanation. Which at that time most f not all medicine was snake oil or herbal remedies regardless it was use to describe a person who sold goods that may or may not do as they claimed or in other words one who sells mis-belief. Which from my research was sold by both sides to gain monetary profit. In more than one case the who anti mental thing as I shall call it was nothing more than a ruse to get people to buy something and in this case a membership to one of the magical organizations.

This is where most of you who know nothing of my works get things all screwed up which is partly do to the language I tend to use which is based upon the actual and oftentimes the original meanings of the terms which I choose to use. AAKA if you do not under the meanings of the terms used in the secretly language of the mentalist as defined long ago in our history prior to the deception and swindle that was previously mentioned then your not going to get most of what I am speaking about. Which I am actually okay with since that reader may not actually be a mentalist but rater a secret collector or something else far more sinister. First you keep thinking that I using trickery to cheat the people out of money. No that is incorrect as what I have done is create a unique ballyhoo that uses mis-belief to get them to buy something which is according to Nelson is the definition and the purpose of the mind reading act.

Here read it again as this is not an opinion of what the mind reading act is but the definition of the mind reading act.

“ The mindreading act, whether on stage, radio, club or park lot is a unique ballyhoo for the sale of something. Usually it is a book of Psychology, Astrology or other “ologies.” A horoscope, a dream book, an alleged charm-something is offered for sale. The purpose of the act is not only to Entertain, but to create a demand for the purchase of this merchandise. This revenue ofttimes far exceeds the salary paid.”

Now lets look at what mentalism is and how Nelson defines that in his Encyclopedia on the subject: “Mentalism is a commercial-mercenary. If you wish. It functions only for profit.”

Also it should be of some interest to look at another difference and again according to Nelson. “Magic and Mentalism have little in common, except that they both endeavor to entertain through mystification. The magician is aided and abetted by an abundance of paraphernalia and apparatus' and does not have to rely so heavily upon his ability as a mentalist. In fact' most magicians merely do a series of tricks. The mentalist does likewise, not as tricks' but as real miracles”.

Also since I am a mentalist I will tend towards presentations presented as real. In fact 95% of my published works which there are many approach this aspect of playing it real. In addition I have carried on the tradition of what I consider mentalism and crafted new approaches to achieve these aspects that for some reason seem to have been outlawed in the performance of mentalism. An outlawed by people who are not even performing mentalism. Hence they do not know what they are speaking of or about. As I stated many times.

Again I will use the writings of Nelson in the close of my statements here today since I fell the same way as he did many years ago. However one could not have written a more elegant statement when it comes to this matter so his words will still hold true with me.

“No effort is made to discredit magic. It is truly fine, clean form of excellent entertainment”. However,I do tend to call it as I see it when it comes to most of what is propagated as the magician form of skepticism which is based on documented facts and research I have conducted in this subject. Unlike many of those who make undocumented claims about the use of trickery in psychic entertainment who also have admitted that no real research was ever conducted as stated by the founder of Psicops.

Plus much of my works are based on decades of actually doing what these so called busters claim I am doing as the truth is the methods they claim that are being employed are 100 percent wrong in 99.9999 percent of the cases. The .0001 percent was a skeptic who published a method for an effect which I created for my fellow mind readers however I only mention this as he was the only one who even came close to the actual methodology used and even then he only understood a small part of a great effect which was played as real. I am also not going in to that aspect again other than to say this: A lot of what is claimed to the methodology employed by the soothsayer as described by the magician is only based on methods created by the magician who trained the psychic in order to use that exposure of the said method to debunk that for of entertainment. The fact is the actual methods are very different and often much simpler. However these methods and approaches are unknown to the magician. Some of the real methods I have spoken of are in fact far more diabolical in simplicity than anyone with a magic background would ever guess or imagine. This is because magic and mentalsim while they are two sides of the same coin are in fact complete different in the terms of how the imagery is presented for entertainment. One is portrayed as trickery the other as miracle. Truthfully parlor psychic is actually more honest as on the doors of these places is a small sign the reads to the effect “For Entertainment Only”. When one starts to see the psychic parlor as a private theater offering a specialized form of entertainment for a single patron at a time or sometimes in small groups one begins to see how this form of entertainment is based on the betterment of the patron of this form of entertainment even if the are or are not under the affect of mis-belief. Which is the driving force behind the mentalism act as previously mentioned above.

Instead of making arguments based on what I am you assume I am doing and in most cases not doing. Why do you not take time to do some actual historical research into what some of you have been doing as a business or hobby as it may amaze you as the real history of mentalism is not at all what you were told it was do in great part to the on going deception created by some rather well known past magicians to swindle you in to thinking something that can only be as Nelson described it at mis-belief. Which may have been the greatest collective magic trick of all time since most of you were completely fooled by these shenanigans form an earlier age when you believed the history of mentalism as you were told it. Which if you are now aware of is wrong. Or you can keep believing the lies about the history of mentalism. As I really do not care what you want to do as long as you're actually doing something based on actual facts when you begin useless conversations that most of you do not even have a good enough foundation to even make an intellectual conversations about the subject your trying to speak of. As far as I am concerned I think all topics should be discussed in much more detail as this is the only way for us as mentalist to get the stagnation out and get back to acting like mentalist and talking about things related to I mentioned that several different ways above and I see no reason to even continue As this is a subject far to complex to get into real depth here.

I am notorious for pointing the path to the older ways of mentalism and what mentalist actual do as have no problem with doing mentalsim as real. Nor do I have any issues with making something look like a “real miracle” a defined above. I have however created better methods to do just that some of which involve the use of new principles I developed. Most of my work is also not based on myself but on the experience of the audience. A lot of my works deal with this very subject and in a lot of the works the effects do not happen because I made them happen but rater because I set forth certain conditions that allow the effects or affects to happen as a real experience within the spectators mind or body. Which is why most of my work is advanced as it is in this regard my work is actually very advanced as the person starting out will not even have a loose foundational grasp of what I am speaking of do to the secret language of the mentalist I use to describe much of my published works. Yes, a lot of it is extremely advanced even for some experienced performers as they oftentimes have no foundations of what I am speaking about. But should one study the old literature written by mentalists these foundational contexts are there however most will never take the time to see or read these works. One should also never try to learn mentalism from skeptics. Not only because there information is oftentimes wrong but the point of the agenda propagated is not correct to what a mentalist should be doing.
Also I do not steal from my audiences as some of you have implied. They only reason that you imply this is you have made assumptions and judgments about me that are false. I do however have a unique ballyhoo which is designed to do something but not force something which was also mentioned above.

But do not call me out since I know where the skeletons are hidden and which closet each is hidden in and I have no problem at all of opening those long closed doors.
Clifford the Red
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It is well known I have no patience for pseudo-skepticism or bleatings of moral superiority.

I suggest reading an important work on the sociology of Shamanism and it’s importance to the human psyche - The Death and Resurrection Show.

Humans have an innate need to engage with true mystery to connect with our place in the universe. The lie is the illusion that we understand it all and have everything sorted and under control. What a load of crap. We don’t. We are minuscule microbes in an infinite universe, larger than we are capable of comprehending. Learning to accept mystery and walk with it freely, without imposing illusions on it is one of the pinnacle of achievement we can have as human beings. You can never get that from pseudo-skepticism or fake superiority. You can only get that from walking with mystery.
"The universe is full of magical things, waiting for our wits to grow sharper." Eden Philpotts
IAIN
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No one truly interested in science thinks that we know it all...far from it in fact...
IAIN
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So finding a mystery and then try to explore and understand it, that's the point...rather than attributing a "that's it then, it's a ghost, it's a psychic ability, it's a whatever"...

Just cos it fulfills a belief and expectation or wish, doesn't make it true...it makes it wish fulfillment and bias...
Philemon Vanderbeck
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Quote:
On Oct 7, 2017, IAIN wrote:
No one truly interested in science thinks that we know it all...far from it in fact...


Sadly, there are many different kinds of people who are interested in science; everyone from the armchair dabbler to the professional research scientist. Likewise, their knowledge of what science is and isn't can vary widely.

I remember a discussion I had with the former type nearly 30 years ago when he boldly asserted that the "Grand Unified Theory of Everything" would be discovered within 10 years. I laughed at him then and I'm still laughing now.

Yesterday, I had a discussion with a science teacher in my school. Even though I'm a math teacher, I often discuss scientific principles in my classroom (since math is the tool we use to explore science). I mentioned that "I may have broken my students," when I told them that science never proves anything, it merely disproves it. The science teacher was overjoyed to hear me say that, since he also says the same thing in his classrooms, and yet finds that his students have a hard time believing him. (Of course, we also have another science teacher in the building who is of the mistaken notion that you can prove stuff with science, but that's another story.)

So, just because someone has an interest in science, doesn't mean that they fully understand that we constantly walk in mystery. Even in a field where you can actually prove abstract concepts, mathematicians know that there is so much more to learn (thanks in some small part to Gödel's incompleteness theorems). In fact, like scientists, we are of the opinion that the more we learn, the even more becomes undiscovered.

In a way, this parallels the field of magic, wherein we have the amateur magician and the full-time professional. The amateur is often of the opinion that they know everything; the professional knows that there is much more to learn.
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
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