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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Best cold reading book (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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kamus
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Mota,
Are you seriously suggesting that people who don't agree with the status quo opinions are edited and banned from here? That's a pretty serious charge- will the moderator comment on this? I'm relatively new to the forum but I have actually seen quite a bit of disagreement, most of it healthy in these pages so your statement was something of a surprise.

Mota, again you do not offer any specific reasons as to why you think Ian's book is not good.

<snip>specifically, Ian "the exposer" Rowland's book is a very well done rehash of the fantasy of cold reading that magician's wrongfully think is how good readings are done. In an earlier post I mention how one performer, using these techniques, claimed about a fifty percent hit rate and thought that was great...I think that's tossing a coin. It's also a fact that someone using his techniques only claimed fifty percent success. <snip>

So one (or two?) reader(s) get(s) a 50 percent hit rate. Could it be he's not good at readings, didn't properly learn the techniques, doesn't have a good grasp of the concept? has a repellent personality? I don't think that statement alone is proof of your thesis. Again you mention magician's fantasy vis-a vis cold readings but you offer no real specifics. Why is it fantasy? How does it compare to what you know about readings?

You sound like a knowledgeable fellow, and I'm sure we could all learn from your considered opinions on this matter, but to just leave it as "magician's fantasy" strikes one more as unexplained bitterness than QED to your assertions.

Respectfully,
David Kane
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enriqueenriquez
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David,

I think the problem with Ian’s great book, and with the classical conjurer approach to readings, is to assume that when you do readings:

a) You are a real psychic (but they haven’t meet you yet, therefore you probably don’t exist)

or

B) You are tricking people

They consider only these two scenarios, and in both cases, the value of any oracle or divinatory system is reduced to bogus.

The other assumption the conjurer’s approach to reading usually makes is: people who consult readers deserve all kind of disrespect, because they should know better.

The world of the cynical magician is clear and comfortable. Black and white.

In the other hand, if you do a search on the web, you will find hundreds of forums like this, where people who study tarot, runes, scrying or any other system, using them with great accuracy, exchanges comments, opinions and experiences. They use the system without a deceptive attitude nor believing they are psychic. They are honest, interesting people, many of them very smart.

That’s option “c”. Generally overlooked by the “know it all” who, again, will declare on the spot that all these people are gullible self deluded idiots.

Conjuring books on Cold Reading are amazing resources If you are planing to go on-stage and read minds. Nothing will be more powerful, if you have the guts to pull it off. If you understand the principles at work and work on this, you won’t need to buy any other sharpie, nor index cards, in your life. Theatrical Cold reading is mind reading as real as you can get it. Besides, the techniques and tools revealed in these books are delightful to study if you are interested in human behavior.

Ian’s book is probably the best, because is the one who better systematizes the elements, strategies and tools of cold reading, making you capable to really create the impression that you know about the volunteer, and providing the illusion of a personalized reading, instead of recurring to plain memorized lines.

But you are going to sit one by one with someone, who isn’t interested in how cool you are, but in get some clarity over some concerns, you will find that paying back the confidence they are putting in you with some stock phrases will fall short.

If you want to be on-stage, start practicing Cold Reading. If you want to do one on one readings, learn a system. If you learn a system (this has been said in this and other threads a million times) you will be able to do readings in a fraction of the time that will take you to grasp all the subtleties of CR. In the other hand, by offering to read the cards, runes, etc, to someone, you aren’t trespassing any ethical or legal boundary. You don’t need to lie. But in order to do that you have to learn to accept that not everything in mystery performance is fake, nor need it to be fake in order to be impressive and meaningful. In other words, you will need to stop thinking as a magician.
kamus
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Excellent response, EE. Thanks!

I must say that although I understand what you're saying vis a vis Magicians and cold reading I don't feel that everyone falls into that trap. At least, I feel that I don't. I consider the two as different as dance and architecture. Although I consider myself primarily a magician (Really I'm an amateur/student of magic) when it comes to readings, then I am a just a reader. I make no claims, accept no money, and act out of a genuine desire to help people without being the least bit messianic about it (I hope). I am also deeply aware of the responsibility of it all. Sometimes people just need a little reassurance, even if artifically rendered, to make posiitive choices in their lives and that's the small goal I hope to achieve. Other clients, I suppose, would be happy acceping advice from a shrink/counselor but for those others out there who look to alternative sources for advice, I figure it's better that I read for them than some real charlatan they may seek out. It's a tricky business to say the least. I find that people already innately know what are positive choices for them and I endeavor to help them achieve this self realisation. I use a few CR techniques and stock phrases to gain their attention but after that it's more about being a sensitive human being. Also the main message I try to leave them with is an idea of their own self sufficiency and that they knew what was right for them all along because frankly, I don't belive that people should be turning to psychics/readers etc to help them live their lives. It puts me in an interesting ethical connundrum but I've made peace with it.

My point was, that just being a magician does not in itself blind one to option (c) as you stated above.

David Kane
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enriqueenriquez
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David,

You are absolutely right. I was talking about the cynic magician, not magicians in general. I completely agree with your post.

EE
mota
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I've been commenting on this too much, for previous observations search my handle...at this point I'll just be repeating myself.

Besides, though Rowland may have taken a small hit in the ego department, the increased sales from this thread staying active should buy lots of meds, with a tidy profit left over.

EE, I follow your posts with interest...and respect...for some reason I like what I hear you say, and Kamus, you seem to have a great mind set when it comes to readings. You will become a very, very good reader I predict. You think real good.

So, bottom line, if you subscribe to the cold reading concept you would very probably enjoy Rowland's book...much work went into it and he seems quite sincere. For your fifty bucks you will get a real book (not a pamphlet), with little fluff. It just isn't how I see things. Many people disagree and state they have had good results, so read the various threads (search under Rowland's name and you will find his book addressed in other threads).

I have nothing against Rowland, except for the exposing thing, but I hear he got over that so maybe I should too...just not yet. I can only state my opinion on his readings book...his other stuff I know nothing about and could well be very good, so please don't apply my observations to everything he wrote.

For some reason I am feeling agreeable tonight, so if you get Rowland's book I wish you well...may you receive the positive results others have with it.
kamus
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Thanks Mota, I'll check out your other posts. Sorry I'm late to the party Smile
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Bambaladam
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Quote:
On 2005-04-16 18:34, kamus wrote:
Ian's book gets a very high recommendation from Derren Brown in the back of "Pure Effect". I think that Derren's opinion is hardly ill informed.


Could be, could be not. I never saw Derren give a reading.

/Bamba

Quote:
On 2005-04-16 18:34, kamus wrote:
I haven't seen Ian read, but I have no doubt that they're very effective based on the dedication and professionalism he brings to all his work.


I have and I do doubt. However, the rest of his video was very good.

/Bamba

Quote:
On 2005-04-19 20:45, kamus wrote:
So one (or two?) reader(s) get(s) a 50 percent hit rate. Could it be he's not good at readings, didn't properly learn the techniques, doesn't have a good grasp of the concept? has a repellent personality? I don't think that statement alone is proof of your thesis. Again you mention magician's fantasy vis-a vis cold readings but you offer no real specifics. Why is it fantasy? How does it compare to what you know about readings?


The magician's fantasy is that reading is about "hits". It most definitely isn't. "Hits" are the result of using clever "tricks". If you want to do that, there are so many ways of doing it that are a lot more effective than scattershot vagaries.

/Bamba

Quote:
If you want to be on-stage, start practicing Cold Reading. If you want to do one on one readings, learn a system.


I have a similar, yet slightly different take:

If you want to do one on one readings, learn a system. Once you've learned a system, use it for on-stage readings and leave Cold Reading behind. Using a system on-stage is a great way of avoiding problems with repeat audiences as well.

No one needs to actually see you use a system after all.

/Bamba

Quote:
Also the main message I try to leave them with is an idea of their own self sufficiency and that they knew what was right for them all along because frankly, I don't belive that people should be turning to psychics/readers etc to help them live their lives. It puts me in an interesting ethical connundrum but I've made peace with it.


Who do you suggest people turn to?

I think visiting psychics (especially me) is a viable option for people who need a little encouragement. So do they apparently.

Where's the ethical conundrum?

/Bamba
kamus
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Quote:
On 2005-04-22 06:41, Bambaladam wrote:
Quote:
On 2005-04-16 18:34, kamus wrote:
I haven't seen Ian read, but I have no doubt that they're very effective based on the dedication and professionalism he brings to all his work.


I have and I do doubt. However, the rest of his video was very good.

/Bamba

Well. if you're referring to the Mind Power Video, that was for a group of US skeptics- not your typical type of client. Ian may not be a good reader (I simply don't know), but on this basis of that tape, we should still give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps there is another tape that you're referring to?

Quote:
On 2005-04-22 06:40, Bambaladam wrote:
Quote:
On 2005-04-16 18:34, kamus wrote:
Ian's book gets a very high recommendation from Derren Brown in the back of "Pure Effect". I think that Derren's opinion is hardly ill informed.


Could be, could be not. I never saw Derren give a reading.

/Bamba

well, good reader or not, he certainly knows something about psychology and interacting with spectators- two qualities fundamental to CR. I'm a musician and one of my finest teachers was a guy who could barely play himself but he had a long waiting list of students because of what he knew and how he well he taught. Just because one doesn't practice a technique does not necessarily disqualify one from having an informed opinion on a given subject.
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enriqueenriquez
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Quote:
I have a similar, yet slightly different take:

If you want to do one on one readings, learn a system. Once you've learned a system, use it for on-stage readings and leave Cold Reading behind. Using a system on-stage is a great way of avoiding problems with repeat audiences as well.

Noone needs to actually see you use a system after all.

/Bamba


Yes, I agree. That’s very useful.

Dewey has some useful thoughts on that in his Red Hot Cold Reading.
kamus
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Quote:
On 2005-04-22 06:45, Bambaladam wrote:
Quote:
On 2005-04-19 20:45, kamus wrote:
So one (or two?) reader(s) get(s) a 50 percent hit rate. Could it be he's not good at readings, didn't properly learn the techniques, doesn't have a good grasp of the concept? has a repellent personality? I don't think that statement alone is proof of your thesis. Again you mention magician's fantasy vis-a vis cold readings but you offer no real specifics. Why is it fantasy? How does it compare to what you know about readings?


The magician's fantasy is that reading is about "hits". It most definitely isn't. "Hits" are the result of using clever "tricks". If you want to do that, there are so many ways of doing it that are a lot more effective than scattershot vagaries.

/Bamba


I think if you are doing a reading and the client doesn't feel that you're a making any 'hits", then that's not going to be an effective reading regardless of whether you are using CR or a system. Hits count for something and do not lie solely in the realm of magician's fantasy.

Boy, some of you guys around here are pretty snotty about magicians aren't you? It's as if there weren't magicians who understand very well the difference between magic, mentalism and reading. You condemn magicians with a broad brush, my friend, not that some magicians don't deserve it but it seems a little "racist" to be attacking a whole group like that.

Quote:
On 2005-04-22 06:51, Bambaladam wrote:
Quote:
Also the main message I try to leave them with is an idea of their own self sufficiency and that they knew what was right for them all along because frankly, I don't belive that people should be turning to psychics/readers etc to help them live their lives. It puts me in an interesting ethical connundrum but I've made peace with it.


Who do you suggest people turn to?

I think visiting psychics (especially me) is a viable option for people who need a little encouragement. So do they apparently.

Where's the ethical conundrum?

/Bamba


well I suggest that they turn to no one. IMO a big part of the problem of living that many people have is that they feel that have to turn to something- God, religion, nationalism, shrinks, psychics, self help books etc. to help them live their lives. They blindly accept the authority of another and undermine their own self reliance, short circuit the quest for deep self knowledge and self observation and in essence trade one psychological dependency for another. This is not healthy. I do my tiny part to encourage them to free themselves from this dependency. The ethical connundrum comes from the dissonance between me giving them advice while at the same time urging them to eschew the seeking out of advice. As I stated before, I've made peace with it by rationalising that if they didn't go to me, they might end up seeing a less ethical person who could exploit them financially or otherwise.

Quote:
On 2005-04-22 06:47, Bambaladam wrote:
Quote:
If you want to be on-stage, start practicing Cold Reading. If you want to do one on one readings, learn a system.


I have a similar, yet slightly different take:

If you want to do one on one readings, learn a system. Once you've learned a system, use it for on-stage readings and leave Cold Reading behind. Using a system on-stage is a great way of avoiding problems with repeat audiences as well.

Noone needs to actually see you use a system after all.

/Bamba


Good advice!
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enriqueenriquez
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Quote:

The magician's fantasy is that reading is about "hits". It most definitely isn't. "Hits" are the result of using clever "tricks". If you want to do that, there are so many ways of doing it that are a lot more effective than scattershot vagaries.

/Bamba


I think if you are doing a reading and the client doesn't feel that you're a making any 'hits", then that's not going to be an effective reading regardless of whether you are using CR or a system. Hits count for something and do not lie solely in the realm of magician's fantasy.

[/quote]

There is a difference between what you are thinking and what you have in mind. An specific word, number, detail or “playing card”, that you hold in your mind for a minute or two, has no relevance for me, nor for you. You may feel a big rush if I retrieve it from your mind, but that rush evaporates almost immediately, and in general, it won’t make you feel better.

The problems, concerns and expectations that you carry within you, are the relevant material to work with, in a reading.

For the sake of entertainment you could describe to someone the color of the shoes she had when she was nine years old, or the name of her neighbor’s dog. That would be impressive. But revealing to the same person that you understand how lonely she felt when she was nine, and how these feelings sometimes come back, unexpectedly, will be more powerful. And it will be even more powerful if you tell her that that’s natural, but you know she has the capacity to overcome these feelings.

I have nothing against magicians. I like very much magic and respect its good exponents. But if you notice, this second scenario has nothing to do with the narrative structure of a magic performance. There is no desire of impress, we are not looking for a WOW! nor a scream, nor applause. We are facilitating a process where a person see hers own life and problems from a different perspective.

Many people would call this therapy. I won’t. I call it storytelling. The effect you produce is the same any sitter will have listening, reading or watching a story, if she is attentive, responsive, and if she understand how the story touch the boundaries of her concerns. The main difference is that in a reading she will be listening a story about herself, therefore it will be easier to make the connections that allow metaphors to be interpreted in an useful way that may be applicable in the literal world.

When you do a reading you are talking in metaphorical terms. It’s the sitter’s job to transform these metaphors into literal information. Maybe the greatest example is in Earle’s book:, when he says: “I see the wicked witch being killed by a house falling over her”, as a way to describe, maybe, the burden of a mortgage.

That has nothing to do with the way magicians work. I don’t say this in a contemptuous way. But is important to understand what do you want to achieve, for your own good. Try to play the “Since you believe in psychics and I’m going to fool you doing a center tear” rol, and you are going to have a very bad time. Believe me. I have been there. It’s not a matter of being caught, BTW, but a matter of seeing on the other person’s eyes the feeling of “I came to you trusting you, and you are fooling around...”

Just my two cents.
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Quote:
On 2005-04-22 12:07, kamus wrote:

Boy, some of you guys around here are pretty snotty about magicians aren't you? It's as if there weren't magicians who understand very well the difference between magic, mentalism and reading.
Kamus you are right on the generalization. Smile

However, by knowing Bamba and by knowing *some* magicians I can assure you that they DON'T know the difference between magic and Mentalism, let alone the difference of those two things with readings...

As a matter of fact some/most/few magicians get snotty themselves if you point this out to them.

Many of them are always quick to point out that magic and Mentalism are one and the same thing; moreover, than Mentalism has "stolen" techniques from magic while, usually, were magicians of the past which did steal techniques like center tear or book tests from famous mediums and psychics (who portrayed themselves as the real thing).

So, yes, not every magician is to be placed in a broad category as maybe Bamba did, but a percentage of magicians can still be put there.

Bamba and Enrique, I always read your posts with interest ... Smile
Then you'll rise right before my eyes, on wings that fill the sky, like a phoenix rising!
Midnight333
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I've created a monster!... cool.
Nikodini
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Ian's book on cold reading is one of the top two books on cold reading! I've been studying from it for about 13 months (off and on) and I've performed cold reading since then many, many times with absolutely amazing results. Before Ian's book, I tried several other resources including Knepper's tapes. I won't rate it but let me just say that that was the the second and last Knepper purchase I've made.

I mentioned there are two top books... other one is by a famous Italian cold reader. PM me if you know what I have in mind Smile. Combine that book with Ian's and you will amaze everyone.

The DANCE? Feh, I hope it doesn't include 40 pages about ethics or some nonsense like that.
enriqueenriquez
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BTW, and regarding the initial subject of the thread, I’m on my third reading of “Inner Secrets of Cold Reading Experts”, by Fred Croutier.

I find the material in it very useful and a great complement to a reader’s repertory. Croutier focuses on body types to give a first layer of information to the reader, right before the sitter takes her sit in front of him.

The material in the e-book (26 pages) is different from the regular cold reading books and, as I say, it will be a great complement if you already have some knowledge on Cold Reading. But even if you don’t, the data contained in the book is easy to approach, understandable and usable.

Additionally to the explanation of the different body types and its combinations, and sample readings for each of them, the e-book contains a nice application for a Center Tear using color interpretation, for those who like to add a little classic trickery.

Overall I feel it was a great investment and I’m already enjoying and using the tools the e-book provides.

This e-book, along wit a second manuscript titled “Advanced Psychic readings” is available from Croutier’s web page: http://www.fcrouter.com/cold

I have no financial interest on this, but I’m commenting it because I didn’t find any reference to this material in the Café. Maybe some of you would find it useful.
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On 2005-04-22 21:59, Nikodini wrote:

The DANCE? Feh, I hope it doesn't include 40 pages about ethics or some nonsense like that.


Nikodini is just mad at me because he and I had a disagreement about the role of disclaimers in mentalism. But if you are going to perform readings, then you MUST consider the ethical ramifications thereof.

I would think somone as concerned about the welfare of the public, as Nikodini must be to demand all mentalists use a disclaimer, would have to agree.
Gede Nibo
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Disclaimers suck. charlatans rule.
nirve
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Instead of making a new unneeded thread, I'll just query this here. I am quickly learning more and more about mentalism, and would love to use Cold Reading to supplement my effects. I'd prefer to stay away from psychic-style readings (which most of Cold Reading seems to be). Where would you guys recommend me to go to start learning more about Cold Reading (complete beginner, basicly)? Would Ian's book be beneficial?
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Yes. Ian's book focuses on psychic readings, but it teaches the basic techniques of cold reading and those can be adapted anywhere. In fact he gives examples from other aspects of life : sales, romance, criminal interrogation... Adaption to make mentalism stronger will be peanuts once you have the techniques down, believe me...
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