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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » SAR by Kenton Knepper, is it worth its price? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dr.Morton
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Sounds too good to be true. Although I like KKs material, I consider it mostly overpriced and he tends to be a little too full of himself. How about this CD?

Thanks in advance for helping me out.
It is not enough to be without thoughts,
one should also be unable to express them.
Darmoe
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Let me put it this way... You can make your money back in under a week's time once you KNOW the system and put it to work.

For those into mentalism that want to gain the advantage of doing Readings but not use esoteric systems, SAR is awesome!

I also recommend Completely Cold and other such materials... never felt overly "ripped" from what I've gained through KK & Co.

Yes, there are those that feel otherwise but, this has been my experience.
"I firmly believe that of all the Arts and Crafts of Mentalism, there is nothing more satisfying than one who is a first-class Reader. It is the ultimate in Mentalism..." - Tony Corinda * 13 Steps To Mentalism
saglaser
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Kenton does often spend a lot of time and space in his materials harping on how good the rest of it is. That can easily be taken as him being "full of himself," and perhaps he is -- I don't know the guy personally. I've always taken it as attempting to pump up the reader's enthusiasm. And I agree he does it overmuch sometimes.

Still, I think the actual material he sells is first rate. It's only pricey if you count cost per word rather than look at the real value of his effects.

I have SAR. I have not yet mastered it and put it to work. But it is clearly hard-working stuff and worth every penny. I'm with Darmoe on this one.
Dr.Morton
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Thanx Darmoe, thanx Saglaser.
Since I have followed some/most of your comments and replies in other posts and found them insightful and helpful, I trust you on this and will give SAR a try. Case closed.
But I would like to clarify my statements about KKs work. Yes, he is supplying worthful material. Yes, he is a deep thinker. Yes, his material can be worth its price...
One of the most important lessons I have learned over the last three years was "analyze do not critizise". Seen from this perspective KKs books are worth more than their price.
BUUUUUTTTT since I have been a cynic for most of my life I have to add something here. He simply does not live up to his own standarts when it comes to structure, presentation, clarity and inner logic of his pamphlets. He might put a lot of thought in his material, but he does not make the same effort when it comes to putting the stuff to paper. The really worthwhile material of most of his books fits on a single index card. The rest is bla,bla. It is like pulling pearls out of the mud. It was Punx who wrote "Once Upon a Time / Magical Adventures and Fairy Tales" but this title better fits to Kneppers work when it comes to his writing style. KK is not the only magician giving away inner secrets of their work, but none does make such fuss about it. Compare "Miracles Of Suggestion" with "Strong Magic" by Darwin Ortiz and you might know what I mean. Go for his Visions article "I's a Gunna Publish Two!" and you will find a statement where he admits pumping out his material. Yes, he has the experience to do so, but he seems to lack the time to put it in a form which reflects the quality of his work. Compare his work on CR (and from some other authors as well)with Ian Rowlands book and you should get the picture here. And I do talk about form and structure not contents here. I strongly believe that we should set new standarts when it comes to quality, logic and structure if we would like to bring magic out of his permanent state of "down".
It is not enough to be without thoughts,
one should also be unable to express them.
Julian Kestrel
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It is always good to be able to separate information from its presentational style. KK's stuff takes time to initially understand and then a bit more time to adapt to your own style.
ALEXANDRE
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Kestrel wrote: ((It is always good to be able to separate information from its presentational style. KK's stuff takes time to initially understand and then a bit more time to adapt to your own style.))

I don't mind that at all, the work of "understanding" and "adapting to your style" is worthwhile, because that will create original performances. And as far as the "setting new standards" Dr. Morton mentioned above ... I say don't buy the stuff if you feel it's below your standard. Honestly, I disagree that Knepper's "worthwhile" stuff fits on an "index card"; thankfully for me, I get a lot more out of it than that.

Smile
THOUGHT READER
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I own the SAR system and many other Kenton books and audio tapes. I think SAR is great. The information on this CD is fantastic. I would recommend this CD to anyone. As for the price, if it were double you would still be getting a bargain. What you learn is years of Kenton's and Tank's work.
Smile
IanBrodie
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I found SAR very much a Curate's Egg.

In terms of a concept - excellent. The idea of basing readings on doodles is interesting and can lead to good presentations.

The reading system provided is good - but doesn't live up to the hype Knepper gives. The ad copy implies this has been developed as an amalgam of the latest psychological thinking and has "fooled" expert psychologists psyhological. The reality is that it's fine for readings, but would be "seen through" quite quickly by a skeptical person with a basic knowledge of psychology (not that you would expect someone like that to come for a reading).

There are also strong implications in the text that this method can be used to "help people" as a counselling technique. While I'm sure it won't do any harm, and would work to the same degree a number of "affirmations"/positive thinking techniques would - there are far more effective counselling techniques you can pick up in cheap self-help books.

Style-wise; as has been highlighted earlier, the book is a bit messy, and a lot of space is devoted to saying how good the next section would be which makes it (to me) a slightly annoying read.

I also get rather cross when he uses phrases such as "only uneducated frauds and well meaning but gullible types would ever debate such definitions". Oh really? I would say that if your "definitions" (in this case interpretations of colours used in the doodles) are so correct then reference the scientific research which provides the evidence rather than just name-calling those who might question you.

All in all then, as I say, a bit of a Curate's Egg. Worth the money? Well, as many have pointed out; selling a couple of readings will pay for it, so I'm sure it is. You could say that a little inspired creativity and a little diligent research would allow you to come up with something similar or better yourself - but how many of us could, hand on heart, say they would have had the idea themselves or have knuckled down and done the reasearch?

Not me.

Although now I am inspired to do my own research to "improve" upon the system.

RGds,

Ian
shrink
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I remember, although hate to admit it, watching a few episodes of Big Brother on UK TV last time around. I remember there was a guy on who was analysing the house guests by a doodle they had all done. They were all asked to draw a house if I remember. It came across really convincing and at the time I was wondering if it was SAR. But after getting a hold of it I realized it wasn't.

I don't know what was used on TV but I feel it was much better than SAR. I don't think there is enough material in SAR.

I don't like the give away pages either designed to carry on with the reading after you have gone.

A lot of it wasn't clear as how to actually do it. I personally wouldn't feel comfortable charging for those readings, Then again I don't feel comfortable charging for readings full stop.

I can't help feeling its been way over hyped. Even though lots have given it rave reviews.
Bill Cushman
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cu·rate's egg (kyʊr'ĭts)
n. Chiefly British.
Something with both good and bad qualities.

[From a story in Punch about a curate who, having been served a bad egg by his bishop, said that parts of it were excellent.]

Because I know I can't be the only one who was thrown by this, at least to an American, rather obscure reference. Bless you Atomica.
IanBrodie
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Sorry for the obscure reference. Probably a subconscious desire on my behalf to sound interesting and esoteric.

Maybe if I drew a doodle I could understand why........ Smile

Rgds,

Ian

Shrink - I have a feeling that the big brother psychologist is releasing a book soon - "The Book of Tells" (apologies to Mike Caro obviously). That might be an interesting read. I'm pretty sure no self-respecting psychologist would really try to interpret doodles and make much of it - but it is much more entertaining than filling in an MMPI or similar inventory.

I suspect if we dug up some old literature on the Rorshcach test, or maybe looked at a book on dream analysis/imagery that might come up with a more interesting readings system.

Much more complex to learn/remember than SAR though - which I guess is one point in its favour.

Rgds,

Ian
Tony Razzano
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Ian,
Are you a psychologist? The reason I ask is that several psychologists have told me that the principals in SAR are sound. I am curious (not critical) about your adamancy.
Best regards,
Tony Razzano
Best regards,
<BR>Tony Razzano, Past President, PEA
Winner of the PEA"s Bascom Jones and Bob Haines Awards
IanBrodie
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Trinity - feel free to be critical (in the truest sense of the word) - my opinion has been wrong many times before!

Apologies to all others for clogging up the boards and drifting off-topic…..

I'm not a professional psychologist - but I do have a very active interest in psychology. By profession I'm a management consultant (which is always helped by having a practical knowledge of psychology). More recently I've been trying to carve out a niche in the area of creativity - and this has involved me researching "how the brain works" - dipping into neurobiology & physiology, cognitive psychology and many other fields. In addition, for some reason I've got a rather scientific brain, so I am always looking for solid research findings to back up any sort of advice I might give as a consultant (seems kind of ethical too, I think) - so I tend to be well up on the more academic publications rather than the pop psychology of the day.

So - depending on the subject - I often feel fairly confident in my opinions, but sometimes less so.

Enough about me - on to SAR. I'd be interested in which of the principles of SAR your psychologist friends say are sound (I'm assuming they haven't read the full text).

I base my assesment that a competent psychologist would "see through" SAR on two factors. One, it contains statements that are just plain wrong and indicate a lack of understanding of how the brain/mind actually works – things I would expect a competent psychologist to know. Second, the process SAR uses (interpretation of doodles) is not one I think psychologists would recognise as a good way of "analysing" a client (although there might be some disagreement on this - see later). I will give one example for each category. (Please note, I'm not being critical of SAR as an entertaining readings system).

1) On page 14, Knepper states "Every sentence you have read has been "memorized" by your own subconscious mind. This happens naturally as you focus on reading and understanding the text in this work.

Your subconscious mind recalls everything your conscious mind has ever focused on. This is as true for the principles revealed in this work, as it is for everything else to which you are truly attentive."

This is just nonsense – an oft repeated myth - and shows a clear lack of understanding of the way the memory and mind work. The implication is that everything that your conscious mind has focused on has been stored away somewhere and is available for recall by the subconscious.

While our knowledge of the brain and mind is still in its relative infancy, we do have some good knowledge of the way the memory works. Firstly, not everything you see or focus on is actually stored away. Only the few key things which your brain selectively decides are important are actually stored (unless you make a significant conscious effort to do otherwise – i.e. memorisation). When you remember an event for example - although you seem to be "seeing" the whole event, actually what happens is that your brain recalls the few key points which were stored away and then attempts to reconstruct the other details using its own logic. This is why memory is often so unreliable - you may think you are remembering something verbatim - but most of it is just an internal (and inevitably distorted) reconstruction of what actually happened.

Secondly, unless memories are reinforced or activated they fade away and are lost. the brains organising system actively deletes old, unused memories to make way for newer, more used (=useful) ones.

So to say that the subconscious recalls everything the conscious mind has ever focused on is simply wrong.

2) The idea of interpreting doodles to asses the client is not (I would argue) a valid psychological instrument. This method is what’s known as a “projective technique” – the idea being that the client projects his or her personality or issues into the drawing which the therapist then interprets. This is an alluring type of technique – the most common of which is the Rorschach “inkblot” test. Unfortunately these projective techniques are so prone to subjectivity and to the therapist projecting their own viewpoints onto the drawings that they have been thoroughly discredited by researchers over the years. Sadly, many therapists continue to use these type of tests – despite, for example, guidance from the Philadelphia Society of Clinical Psychologists stating that "any psychologist who chooses to use instruments whose validity has not been demonstrated as predictive of desirable arrangements (for example, projective tests) should be prepared to be challenged on ethical grounds". Professor Robyn Dawes - head of the Dept of Social & Decision Sciences at Carnegie-Mellon states it simply - "If a professional psychologist is ‘evaluating’ you in a situation in which you are at risk and asks you for responses to ink blots or to incomplete sentences, or for a drawing of anything, walk out of that psychologist’s office. Going through with such an examination creates the danger of having a serious decision made about you on totally invalid grounds.” (Both references from “House of Cards”, Robyn M Dawes, 1994)

There are other points, but I think these two are enough for now.

Again, I'm not saying it isn't an entertaining readings system - but let's not pretend it's got much real psychology behind it. To be frank, I think a scientifically/psychologically valid reading would be very dull - it would consist in taking a (valid) psychometric test such as the NEO-P-IR and then some fairly dull interpretations of it. You can do that on-line for free anyway!

Rgds,

Ian
GothicBen
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Excellent and interesting post, Ian! I agree with you, too. As a certified hypnotherapist, I appreciate where you'ree coming from.

Ben
shrink
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Yes I agree to. However I don't think that the brain deletes old memories that aren't used. I know I have during regression sessions remembered events way back in my early childhood which as far as I know haven't accessed in a long long time.

I do beleive though that our memories change as we get older and that for most part they are representations of what happened.
IanBrodie
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Shrink - regarding the memories being deleted - this is difficult to fully prove or disprove until our brain scanning technologies improve. I think my use of the word "deletion" may be have been an excageration to make a point. "Allowed to decay to a level where they can't be recalled" may be more accurate. However, I do believe this is the generally accepted view of the way memory works. Memories that are very strong and are reinforced/accessed frequently stay (and are "burnt in" more). Others grow weaker and weaker and eventually disappear.

It is still the case though that some memories which have been "burnt in" very strongly a long time ago may fade a bit, but still be accessible even if not accessed for a long while (as in your case). Others have gone for good though.

And of course, if hypnotised you are often in a very suggestible state (this is your territory not mine here, so I'm treading carefully!). So it may be that although you think you remember something, it was in fact a suggestion accidentally planted by the hypnotist via leading questions or whatever. In fact you don't even need to be hypnotised to have a "false memory" like this - but that's a whole other debate. And I'm being a little controversial here - most memories are, of course, real (if sometimes distorted).

Rgds,

Ian
shrink
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Also the emotional intensity is a factor for memories being stored longer or being more important to the point where they are almost wired in to the neurology so to speak
IanBrodie
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Absolutely. It's why Freud's theory of repressed memories rings so hollow. Things with high emotional intensity (good or bad) are not repressed - they are the things you cannot forget.

Ian
shrink
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Well I think repressed memories could be valid. I know Ive worked with clients who said they can't remember anything from early childhood before 8 for example. I know I remember certain events like my first day at school. Or even much further back I remember certain events quite vividly. Certainly repressed emotions is a common situation. Or at least unresolved emotions. Just because you don't have conscious access to these memories doesn't mean you have forgoten them. I think!!!
IanBrodie
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By Freud's theory I mean the idea that if something really bad happens, your brain represses the memory so that you can't remember it because it was so bad. That's the thing I believe rings hollow. No argument with anything you say in your post - I can quite believe that normal memories could be accessible just below the conscious level. My point is more that if you do have a really bad experience (rape for example) you are highly unlikely to be able to repress that memory because its emotional intensity will - as you say - wire it into your brain. In fact you are much more likely to have terrible problems trying not to remember it all the time. But that's a hot debate that begins to go outside my area of competence.

Rgds,

Ian
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