Discuss Divination, Fortune Telling - Astrology, Tarot, Runes, I Ching, Tea Leaves, etc. and Predictions.
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Becoming a Psychic Reader – Part 3
Whenever the topic of Psychics comes to the floor it will only take a matter of 60-90 seconds before some schmuck blurts out the term “Cold Reading” and as I’ve stated before, they rarely have a clue as to what they are talking about… and that includes the magic bums and wannabe skeptics.
First of all the technique most classify as “Cold Reading” can likewise be described as Marketing, Preaching, Political Stumping, Salesmanship and a few other things that society seems to not only not have a problem with, but that the skeptics tend to look the other way on… even though they are using the very same tactics we evil Psychic types exploit… sometimes.
I’m not going to go into the whole history with Professor Forer’s experiments and simply assume most everyone here is familiar with such, if not simply look up the term Cold Reading+Forer and you’ll have plenty of reading material to work with.
As has been proven through tomes such as TRADECRAFT and the Ian Rowland “The Full Fact Book of Cold Reading” the major factor that makes Cold Reading work centers on statistics or demographics; what most of us would recognize as “Profiling” and yes, that includes some very deliberate and ugly racially oriented type-casting… or should I say “cultural assumptions”? In that minorities of all types (gender, color, nationality, sexuality, etc) get singled out in these formulas by persons (typically upper educated white males) that haven’t an inkling what life is like within those environments other than what they read in a book.
Sure, we can create a viable script that can be used based on these formulas. When I lived in Las Vegas I worked at a New Age book store in which one of the partners had three canned Readings and part of my job was to run interference with patrons that compared notes and found him out; thus, the reason why 90% of the magic dopes that try to use this stuff in the real world get eaten alive. You cannot rely on a set script though you can use a script as a template upon which to lean…
Ok I spoke about “Legal Cheats” the last time, now we’re looking at the quasi-legal Cheats… sort of.
In truth, this little addition is where the line is most easily crossed and even at an innocent level as the result of “routine” and getting into the habit of more or less not paying attention to what you say in a session and going on auto pilot.
Though you could work off the script suggested in the previous installment of this “course” I’d recommend you evolve with time, towards some of Herb Dewey’s material such as PSYCHO-BABBLE and RED HOT COLD READINGS. These are sources that will give you a demographic look at scripting based on the Forer principle. This way you know what the common issues would be with say, a Hispanic female 30ish years old, single, pudgy, etc. I know it sounds cruel but there is a reason certain things are a type cast assumption and that’s exactly what Cold Readers bet on.
The other “intermediate” bit of source material I put my students on is Brad Henderson’s THE DANCE in that it will help you overcome some of the challenges everything else has “ignored” thus far.
The Reader’s Onion… is something I came up with several years ago in which we use these demographic profiles as the foundation to a Reading because they are filled with generic data that fits everyone of a given age, gender, ethnic, etc. category. On top of this template we are going to place the Oracle; the information given to us legitimately by way of the system we’ve chosen to work with. Then, on top of this we have those Legal Cheat that we use to better refine the information being fed to the sitter.
To me I could justify all of this as “legit” in that it is almost exactly what clinical counselors, psychologist/psychiatrist, etc. use; even interrogators at the Police Department use that foundation factor so if it’s legit for them, why is it criminal and wrong for me?
This question brings in another factor however; OBSERVATION
The biggest key to most skeptical arguments about Readers is how we use body language, clothing, even something as sophisticated as FACS or unreliable as NLP in order to scam the sitter. But from my personal perspective the whole job of doing counseling work involves observation and association; our cynical friends forgetting that those fields “borrowed” much of their research material from the Gypsies, Midwives, Wise Ones and Shaman about the world, that includes the meanings behind colors, shapes and certain specific items.
Ok, so I’ve tossed in an argumentative seed here, but I’m a stickler for tradition when it comes to this work, as well as honesty. In my book just because you know there’s a big heavy machine hiding behind the curtain that makes the girl float in the air doesn’t make it less magical or enchanting. In other words, just because the auspices of science, logic and rationalism have uncovered techniques the mystics have guarded and kept rather exclusive for centuries, doesn’t mean “psychics” are fake, only that one side of what we do has become explained and more publically accessible.
I know, I know… what about ethics and morality?
I think NLP is a legitimate form of semantic study, but practicality depends upon the user. Anyone interested in NLP should look at books on advertising theory and techniques, like the ones written in the 50's and 60's, or some of the CIA/propaganda/brainwashing techniques. And hypnosis, of course. It certainly does raise the question of ethics.
have you ever tried to tell exactly the opposite of what any of the systems are telling you?
you will find that still you will get a lof of hits doing so
by the way
i did my first tree reading this friday
it worked like a charm
is a great conversational piece
other than that, i cant say much, i just think it is a lot of fun to do it
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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