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Real psychics wouldn't take the challenge...

Discussions about the James Randi Educational Foundation and its Million Dollar Challenge.

Re: Real psychics wouldn't take the challenge...

Postby really? » 06 Apr 2011, 21:12

Eternally Learning wrote:I’m entirely unsure of how this responds to what I said in any way other than to assert that I’m too cynical, too inquisitive, not open-minded enough, and have not been looking in the proper manner, all of which I take exception with.



Craig and Ganondork and many others say such things because it allows a lot of wiggle room. In other words if they make what are essentially what if arguments this allows them to hold on to this hope that somewhere there are or is a real psychic.
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Re: Real psychics wouldn't take the challenge...

Postby Craig Browning » 07 Apr 2011, 03:45

really? wrote:
Eternally Learning wrote:I’m entirely unsure of how this responds to what I said in any way other than to assert that I’m too cynical, too inquisitive, not open-minded enough, and have not been looking in the proper manner, all of which I take exception with.


Craig and Ganondork and many others say such things because it allows a lot of wiggle room. In other words if they make what are essentially what if arguments this allows them to hold on to this hope that somewhere there are or is a real psychic.


But understand that this is an opinion of one person that's probably never actually studied the topic in question from any point of view other than that of the naysayer. If anything looks even remotely mystical they will find a way of talking themselves out of the possibility by using terms like "coincidence" and "self-fulling prophecy", etc vs. the physical explanations found in Hermetics/Metaphysical tradition. Nor do they like to accept that just because you know how something may work doesn't remove the fact that it is what it claimed to be. A magician's levitation is still a levitation even when you know the over-all methodology even though it might just be a cherry-picker when you remove the lights, sound and set-pieces.

Within occult tradition all magick happens via natural means, same applies to the world of the psychic. Skeptics however, love to buy into the idea given to us in TV shows like "Charmed" or "Bewitched" when it comes to such; approaches that even occultists and any studied psychic laugh at.

Yes, there are mystical, even fantasiful elements associated with these things but the only reason they exist is because we've yet found alternative ways of explaining them. There are few, if any, in the Psychic world that don't believe that science will (and is coming quite close to) explaining more of what it is all about and even reveal methods by which everyone can replicate the phenomena, it's just not happened yet. But look at what science has explained when it comes to such occult/mystical knowledge; the auspices of chemistry, mathematics, engineering, physics, and a myriad of other "demonic" things that are now part of everyday life and what have become the very tools by which they are attempting to prove that the other does not exist.

Craig doesn't give specifics because he's not so anal retentive as to stock-pile tons of trivia that's at the ready for reference and citation. The information is out there and I might point people to its general direction but this dog don't play fetch, especially when it involves a ego that wants to belittle the claim or situation. I simply won't argue religion and that's exactly what this sort of thing is.

Analytically speaking there's a lot that's been said (that's not overly flattering) when it comes to those that do collect such material and have it at the ready when it comes to proving theirs is bigger than someone else's. Experts in Lie-Detection even look at such antics with great suspicion in that it's not natural or how the common person functions in life; we don't detail everything and even forget to dot our "i"s every now and then.

When I reached my first duty assignment for the Navy the Master Chief told me to toss all the things I learned in A-School out the window because it had little to do with the real world. I've heard and seen the truth behind this logic countless times in life and yet, I am bombarded by bookworms who've yet to realize its truth. Like that sports jock in school that brow-beat and harassed them for being geeks and nerds, they have found a source of strength that allows them to now be the bullies, mocking an laughing at the typical human being in the world under the delusion of superiority. Yet so few of them could survive in the real world amongst the common man, if circumstances turned and robbed them of their current social-political podium; take the city boy out of the pond it finds comfort in and set it in a place not of its typical habitat, and you will find it lost; frequently faced with realities it never knew of -- truths never shared in those long-haired books they so eagerly cling to as if they were some coveted gospel. But as they become enmeshed in this new circumstance they start to actually see the fact that there is far more to it all than they were ever shown or allowed themselves to see, to know and experience.

I'm far from being the typical New Age sort, but I absolutely refuse to allow the church of antagonism to control me or my life. I will most certainly challenge the believer that's in love with the fantasy of things psychic, but I will likewise be a thorn in the side of the naysayer that believes it their right to condemn and berate those that have a belief in things they themselves refuse to even remotely understand . . . to experience for themselves and to see the very simple, very natural truth to it all. Then again, they find it too convenient to simply lump it all into a single pile rather than understanding how its not all the same.

This is the "truth" behind such things as best as I can tell.
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Re: Real psychics wouldn't take the challenge...

Postby Eternally Learning » 07 Apr 2011, 04:20

Here’s what is bugging me about your responses to, I assume, me; You appear to view everyone who doubts, disbelieves, or questions as one entity with whom you are familiar, and with whom you’ve argued extensively. I don’t think I’ve been antagonistic in any way, shape, or form and have in fact gone out of my way (IMO at any rate) to show you that I’m not trying to beat anyone down or ridicule anyone’s beliefs, religious or otherwise. I’m simply a person who likes to step out of his comfort zone to discuss concepts I’m not intimately familiar with, with those who are. If in doing so, I state what my feelings and beliefs are on the matter, and those statements offend you to your core… well I don’t know how I could possibly have a reasonable discussion with you. Furthermore, I don’t know why you’d even bother engaging me if that’s what you really feel.

As for some of the specific points you made, I don’t think any self-respecting scientist would say that to prove the existence of an effect we have to be able to explain how it is caused in detail. All I want, and I think this goes for a large portion of the skeptical community as well, is to verify that there is an effect. So far, I’ve not seen that. In my posts, I’ve explained methods in which this could be shown to me outside of a scientific study which I would find reliable. Show me a reliably verified report of someone predicting the future before something happened, or point me in the direction of a psychic whom you deem reliable, and I’d like to see what they can do. No one has even addressed these points other than to appeal to “the data is out there for you to find.” The problem is, as you yourself have even pointed out, that there’s a veritable crapstorm of psychics out there whom most people on both sides of the fence would agree are fakes. In fact, it seems that it’s the consensus that the vast majority of these people are fakes (You even said 95% yes?). So with all that noise out there is it really so odd for me, as a truth-searcher, to come to a place where people believe in this stuff and ask them what convinced them?
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Re: Real psychics wouldn't take the challenge...

Postby Craig Browning » 07 Apr 2011, 21:02

Eternally, I wasn't directing my response to you specifically and I'll admit, it was more of a knee jerk based on what Really had insinuated in the quote I applied. I get quite tired of the constant "Prove it to me" B.S. waged by the cynical who, when anything remotely smacking of proof, is almost instantly torn apart and/or the researchers involved are discredited in some manner so as to allow them to perpetuate their own dogma. Unfortunately there are those so stuck on the general idea of "rationality" that they stop being rational, refusing to see anything that does not fit a very narrow window of definition that seems to flux with every turn.

People who actually do investigate and research Psi, who disprove the questionable while likewise sustaining those things that seem to fall within scientific plausibility -- Parapsychologist -- are pooped on regularly by people that don't do such investigative work, who have no first hand experience with the paranormal that's not part of some lab experiment, and in general, they have a vested interest to disprove anything that is remotely spiritual or paranormal, primarily due to the fact that the existence of such things not only lends reason to question their atheist views but it keeps "man" on a wrung slightly lower than that of something that's unknown and decidedly elevated when compared to us. The ego of these "scholars" simply can't deal with being second banana which makes them every bit the same as those who desperately cling to the idea of being Psychic -- it's a delusion of being special and above the typical sentient being vs. the more honest and balanced aspects of reality.

When I can turn on the television to networks like the Learning or Science Channel, and see articles that support Psi/Psychic Detective Work as well as research & technology that taps into the very core of what Psychics have said for thousands of years, well, it's beyond me when someone insinuates that I'm talking out the top of my head given how readily accessible such programs are let alone their audacity to demand specifics rather than their getting off their own butts and looking through the program guides of said networks themselves. I point in the right direction but again, I don't play fetch and I'm no one's bitch. If you want something and you are as superior and mature as you claim, them be a grown-up and do the footwork yourself; the information isn't just accessible, it is abundant. But here's the problem. . .
. . . once such material is aired the naysayers will dissect it and do whatever they can to discredit it and the people involved with this or that study (you can find such patterns in the archives of this forum in fact, let alone the bigoted world of the JREF & friends).

How many times has the skeptic's community been found guilty of deception when it comes to their practices?

There's the situation with Banachek (Steven Shaw) back in the late 70s/early 80s'

There's the fudging of data by CSICOPS when research stats were coming back in support of PSI that they got caught red-handed on

I won't even go into the myriad of cover-ups when it comes to some of the less moral antics of their gurus and spokes-persons

Outside the fact that there are a handful of actual criminals in the psychic world (as well as the same basic percentage you find in most all professions) you will not find its proponents attempting to deceive the public in ways the self-proclaimed debunkers have done. You will not find them putting magicians out in front of the world trying to fool and screw with research, nor will you find them trying to stack research data to their favor or for that matter, you will find them cleaning their own house when it comes to ethics & morality issues such as certain sexual proclivities involving minors or worse, using Reading skill for the sake of sexual conquest, one of the biggest taboos in the industry; while it may happen, those guilty of it are soon rutted out and exposed. Then again, when actual crooks are found within the psychic world they too get ousted, at times via legal course; the professional psychics not just having a vested reason to clean their own house, they seem to do a superior job of it when compared to the headline chasing egos of the skeptics & magician's communities who seem happy enough at just talking about "the evil psychics" vs. getting their hands a bit dirty by actually learning about that world rather than embracing the assumptions & opinions of others. . . kind of like the Sunday morning Christian who only understands the bible based on what the preachers tell them to understand and believe rather than learning the material themselves and making a decision.

A bully is a bully no matter what ground it may stand on; when any group seeks to suppress and degrade another it is being a bully regardless the excuses they use to justify what they are doing be it Bush and Iraq or Randi vs. Geller. Last I checked Uri hasn't hurt anyone whereas Randi has physically brutalized youngsters and form what I've heard, even animals on more than a few occasions and that's before we move into the nastier side of things that are being constantly swept under the nearest rug by his followers. This bullying attitude has managed to put the world into a state of general unrest and uncertainty which is the more macrocosmic way of seeing things; on the microsmic side we have scenarios such as this -- the contention between psi & science taken to an extreme "fundamentalist" mode.

I'll not repeat myself any further, I've explained this scenario numerous times and it doesn't seem to sink in; the naysayer wants everything their way (just as the Baptist, Catholics and Islamic Jihadist do) and they refuse to ever consider the middle-ground that does exist. The reality being that they don't want to believe and thus, they never will, not even if the miraculous reached up and bit them in the ass. Such attitudes are not "skeptical' but "cynical" -- dogmatic! It is a kind of desperation that I find to be quite sad and unnecessary, even superfluous in the sense that it's an invented thing conceived by the ego, or at least that is how it comes across to the mind of the observer; the faith-filled frequently seeing such stone-hard individuals as dead, heartless, lost, even demonic. . . most everything but "human". Not exactly the kind of merit badge I'd think anyone would be proud of given how inhumane it reads.

I'll almost always side with the underdog. In psychic circles I tend to side with the views offered by the skeptical, encouraging people to open their eyes a bit wider and step out from la-la land long enough to notice alternate probabilities by pointing out how "the Way of the Wise" isn't a path rife in ignorance and gullibility. My views aren't there to be a constant antagonist but because I believe firmly in the middle-ground and how it is there the contrasting schools of thought can not only meet but find greater truth than they can alone whilst bumping heads.
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Re: Real psychics wouldn't take the challenge...

Postby Eternally Learning » 07 Apr 2011, 22:58

Well, I'm glad you know me better than I do. Sorry for being so rude as to inquire. You can go on about your business now.
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Re: Real psychics wouldn't take the challenge...

Postby ProfWag » 08 Apr 2011, 03:34

Craig Browning wrote:... Parapsychologist -- are pooped on regularly by people that don't do such investigative work,...

May I please add that Parapsychologists are also pooped on regularly by people that DO do such investigative work...
The problem with your argument Craig, is that there has never been a successfull, independent and peer reviewed,repeated experiment in the history of parapsychology. Ever. Not once. If there had been one, then the term "para" in parapsychology wold be removed.
I have no doubt that people (perhaps yourself included) have experienced the paranormal and swear by its authenticity, and that's fine, but the scientific evidence is quite clear that, well, there is no evidence. Yet. In fact, it's getting quite exhausting even talking about it. Give us skeptics some solid evidence to review please and then we can debate it. Otherwise, let's go back to talking about Santa Claus.
From what I know on this forum Craig, I like you. But you are eerily similar to Koenig and Callahan in that you all rely on the belief of psychic powers for much of your income. As such, it would surprise me if you as an advertised psychic were to come out and say that psychic abilities are not possible.
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Re: Real psychics wouldn't take the challenge...

Postby Arouet » 08 Apr 2011, 06:59

Well, while we can debate about the significance and the protocols, the ganzfeld stuff has had some success with replication, AFAIK.
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Re: Real psychics wouldn't take the challenge...

Postby Craig Browning » 09 Apr 2011, 01:30

I don't know much about Koenig and Callahan though I've had some exchanges with Jim off and on over the years. What I do know is that they AREN'T Magicians and by today's newly reinvented construct, they aren't "Mentalists". . . that is to say they aren't part of the new politically/commercially corrected world of "Mentalism" but rather "Old School", doing things the way Robert Nelson and for that matter William Larsen, Sr. were doing them -- How "true" Mentalism was done when the craft first began in the mid to late 19th century and well into the early decades of the 20th -- Old School Mentalism which, until the mid-1970s was the general course for most and even as things began to change the idea of presenting everything you do as "real" vs. trickery, has remained a constant; even Mr. Dunninger put stock into this point though he poo-pooed the mystical theme. Which is actually what most cynics don't want to see; it's not the extraordinary claims, it's the idea of something mystical being out there.

Got news for you. . . there are more con-games and hustles going on in today's world under the envelope of "Science" than you'll find in the whole of mysticism and it's 5,000+ year history. The honorable and all knowing world of science has managed to create health conditions in people that never were a threat until man started screwing with nature and natural order. The honorable world of science has managed to help devastate a tremendous amount of the environment (and no, I'm not one of the global warming nut jobs on that front, just a conservationist for lack of a better term). Thanks to the political-economic horse-pucky within the world of education, let alone "higher-education" kids are being robbed of learning the basics of mental function in exchange for codependency on technology, lost discipline, let alone any kind of respect for anything outside their personal little world... and it is little, science removing them from anything that resembles actual social interaction at the natural level -- without some kind of electronic layer between us and them.

I don't have a "belief' when it comes to the many things I've seen and experienced when it comes to the spiritual and psychic worlds; it is not a matter of some psychological issue or delusion, it's a matter that no one can replicate or explain away such things (other than the popular "coincidence" line when it comes to certain "Reading" type issues. . . that and "false memory". . . just love the lies some folks tell themselves just to justify disbelief). What I do have is knowledge of the fact certain things happened in exactly the way I and others that were there, recall them -- when you KNOW something as factual, it is not a belief it is knowledge; beliefs can be changed but not something you've come to absolutely KNOW beyond a shadow of doubt.

When it comes to the supposed morality skeptics love to invoke, we again have far more incidents in which science and those trained & pedigreed professional counselor types have done far more damage to folks by way of drug dependence (and the related social-zombie, non-functional nor rehabilitated victims of said world. . . just like over-diagnosed kids that are kept medicated and subdued -- can anyone say SOMA? Who knows, we might be screaming for Soilent Green before long. . . ), I'll not even go into the number of people that have had their family situations destroyed, not to mention careers and livelihood because of how these "professionals" mis-diagnose conditions and situations -- the 1980's game of having children believe they were molested is just one example; the actual idea of which was planted into the child's mind by the shrinks in countless cases and yet, many of those so-called Doctors barely got slapped on the hand while any kid caught skinny-dipping now days is treated like some kind of dangerous predator.

Then we have your own little group -- the Elitist of Society known as the Skeptics -- they say nay to doing Readings. . . unless it is a means by which they can sack some bimbo that night or, in the case of certain gurus, this or that unsuspecting man-child (and more than Randi is guilty of this).

Anything can be bastardized or made dangerous. It's exactly like the NRA says about guns. . . guns don't kill, it's the fool that picks it up and misuses it. There's not a single profession known to human history that can't be manipulated in ways that do bad, which is why it is the person one must look at.

Not all black men love chicken and watermelon, nor are all hispanic people lazy illegal invaders here to take advantage of the leftest passed laws in this land. I'll even point out that not all Skeptics are assholes (though it's tough to prove otherwise :twisted: ) So please wake-up and get honest enough to acknowledge the fact that not all people who call themselves a "Psychic" are being deceptive or predatory. I can't speak for others but I will say that the majority of the guys I know that work from the Old School philosophy or mentalism are hardworking, honest individuals who actually keep an eye out for the charlatans and help when it comes to protecting the consumer. We are in a better position to help because we are there, as part of that community and therefore trusted; we aren't bashing the believer over the head calling them gullible, stupid, ignorant and foolish such as most in the skeptic's world tend to do. . .just look at some of the things folks say here towards me, especially prior to you're getting to know me a bit better.

I do not mislead any of my clients, I believe my web site sustains that fact. I'm not claiming to channel some dead mystic from Avalon or that I see Angels, etc. only that I do Readings using specific oracles and their related systems -- the scientific discipline associated with that particular oracle and nothing other.

"But That's Cold Reading!" Screams the Cynic

Of course it is, I dare you to do any kind of Reading that isn't, including any type of Psychological Profile. You can't because it is all, by it's very design, a form of cold reading just as every single word we use in our vocabulary is... it all has a definition; a set of deliberate meanings based on design, pattern, and mode of interpretation. When you apply such things in conjunction to the other elements (words) found in the presentation (spread/book) you can interpret what's being said (you can "Read" it). But just as most of us can't understand a bloody thing written by a Lawyer in their jargon so too, only those trained and studied are able to discern what the cards or whatever, are saying. Over time one develops a penchant for the work which heightens one's natural intuition -- just as it does for those involved with business, law enforcement, and so forth. But then we aren't alone in this are we, our counterparts in the world, that group within the world of Psychoanalysis . . . a field that came directly from the Gypsy craft, as some call it. Science doing what it does best, rearranging and formalizing what was already known and then slowly evolving it in ways that it controlled vs. tradition. I should remind you however, even in the 1960's the Mental Health filed was still looked upon with high suspicion and in some areas, is still seen as an aspect of Satanism. I know that means little to the critically-minded who've decided they are above gods & devils, but it means a lot when you look at the greater majority of world conscience and consensus in which YOU are the minority that is immoral, manipulative and dangerous. As I've pointed out, there are far more black marks to be tallied in your corner of the issue than you can garner around the world of the Psychic & Spiritual guides; things any honest and rational human being has to weigh when considering the greater good in all things.
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Re: Real psychics wouldn't take the challenge...

Postby ProfWag » 09 Apr 2011, 04:15

Craig Browning wrote:Then we have your own little group -- the Elitist of Society known as the Skeptics -- they say nay to doing Readings. . . unless it is a means by which they can sack some bimbo that night or, in the case of certain gurus, this or that unsuspecting man-child (and more than Randi is guilty of this).

I'm not sure if "ironic" is the right word for this, but it is interesting that one second you're saying how we "skeptics" already have preconceived, unfavorable ideas of psychics (I'm politely paraphrasing), then in another sentence you are calling us "Elitists of Society" which is your form of stereotyping and prejudice towards skeptics. Perhaps you should look in the mirror before criticizing skeptics. I don't believe most skeptics have a preconceived idea about parapsychology, but many of us DO have negative ideas about the $20 fortune teller/psychic/palm reader down on the street corner. Rightfully so, in my humble opinion as there is considerable evidence (I can cite if so requested) that many of them are downright frauds.
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Re: Real psychics wouldn't take the challenge...

Postby Eternally Learning » 09 Apr 2011, 04:49

ProfWag wrote:
Craig Browning wrote:Then we have your own little group -- the Elitist of Society known as the Skeptics -- they say nay to doing Readings. . . unless it is a means by which they can sack some bimbo that night or, in the case of certain gurus, this or that unsuspecting man-child (and more than Randi is guilty of this).

I'm not sure if "ironic" is the right word for this, but it is interesting that one second you're saying how we "skeptics" already have preconceived, unfavorable ideas of psychics (I'm politely paraphrasing), then in another sentence you are calling us "Elitists of Society" which is your form of stereotyping and prejudice towards skeptics. Perhaps you should look in the mirror before criticizing skeptics. I don't believe most skeptics have a preconceived idea about parapsychology, but many of us DO have negative ideas about the $20 fortune teller/psychic/palm reader down on the street corner. Rightfully so, in my humble opinion as there is considerable evidence (I can cite if so requested) that many of them are downright frauds.


There's only two types of people in this world it seems, that really get under Craig's skin: People who overgeneralize and attack those who have differing opinions from their own, and all those closed-minded jerks who don't agree with him.
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Re: Real psychics wouldn't take the challenge...

Postby Eternally Learning » 09 Apr 2011, 04:50

Eternally Learning wrote:
ProfWag wrote:
Craig Browning wrote:Then we have your own little group -- the Elitist of Society known as the Skeptics -- they say nay to doing Readings. . . unless it is a means by which they can sack some bimbo that night or, in the case of certain gurus, this or that unsuspecting man-child (and more than Randi is guilty of this).

I'm not sure if "ironic" is the right word for this, but it is interesting that one second you're saying how we "skeptics" already have preconceived, unfavorable ideas of psychics (I'm politely paraphrasing), then in another sentence you are calling us "Elitists of Society" which is your form of stereotyping and prejudice towards skeptics. Perhaps you should look in the mirror before criticizing skeptics. I don't believe most skeptics have a preconceived idea about parapsychology, but many of us DO have negative ideas about the $20 fortune teller/psychic/palm reader down on the street corner. Rightfully so, in my humble opinion as there is considerable evidence (I can cite if so requested) that many of them are downright frauds.


There's only two types of people in this world it seems, that really get under Craig's skin: People who overgeneralize and attack those who have differing opinions from their own, and all those closed-minded, cynical, and selfish jerks who don't agree with him.
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Re: Real psychics wouldn't take the challenge...

Postby Craig Browning » 10 Apr 2011, 19:57

ProfWag wrote:
Craig Browning wrote:Then we have your own little group -- the Elitist of Society known as the Skeptics -- they say nay to doing Readings. . . unless it is a means by which they can sack some bimbo that night or, in the case of certain gurus, this or that unsuspecting man-child (and more than Randi is guilty of this).

I'm not sure if "ironic" is the right word for this, but it is interesting that one second you're saying how we "skeptics" already have preconceived, unfavorable ideas of psychics (I'm politely paraphrasing), then in another sentence you are calling us "Elitists of Society" which is your form of stereotyping and prejudice towards skeptics. Perhaps you should look in the mirror before criticizing skeptics. I don't believe most skeptics have a preconceived idea about parapsychology, but many of us DO have negative ideas about the $20 fortune teller/psychic/palm reader down on the street corner. Rightfully so, in my humble opinion as there is considerable evidence (I can cite if so requested) that many of them are downright frauds.


I believe you know me well enough to know that there's some tongue-n-cheek going on with part of that. The inference of "Elitist" centering more on how they seem to see themselves as "protectors of society", many of whom lean on the shoulders of Houdini and Kellar, both of whom were men of faith; Houdini actually believed in Psychic & Spiritualist validity though he had strong rage when it came to those that were taking advantage of the public.

When it comes to those $20.00 Readers down the street. . . what are you referring to as "Fraud" -- have you found them running actual cons, using slight-of-hand or any of the conventional/legal definitions of the term or are you stretching the JREF B.S. that it's all fraud because these people delude themselves into believing they possess this or that ability -- involuntary or unconsciously "Cold Reading" and such.

Last I checked I've stated numerous times on this forum that fraud exist, I've pointed out the common profile of the victim types most targeted by the hustlers and why (same groups targeted by Life Insurance ad campaigns, investment groups, church groups. . . name it, everybody loves the soft targets!) But I've likewise pointed out that the Lamar Keen overview is pure B.S. and highly inaccurate. . . unsubstantiated. I am shocked that the skeptic's culture would embrace evidence that's never been proven, reproven and double-checked yet again against the latest National Enquirer file-sources.

When it comes to the "two kinds of people" line, you are quite wrong. The two types of people I loathe are bigots in all forms (a.k.a. Bullies) who believe it their right to slander and dismiss the position and views of others while promoting a cult-minded philosophy as being superior. We find this with skeptics as well as baptist. The problem with the skeptic side of things is that so few have the balls to admit that their position is a "front" of sorts, for doing missionary service on behalf of the atheist society and its agenda when it comes to society as a whole. The other type of person I detest is any member of a minority group that insists on living out the lowest facsimile of it's type-cast; it's an insult to their race/culture & creed not to mention society as a whole.

There's a third type that disgusts me these days and sadly, we're just starting the new season of Mud-Slinging -- yes, I refer to Politicians but more so, the divisive, cruel and I'll say it. . . "Anti-American" antics certain groups are black-mailing us all over. But that's another story altogether.
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Re: Real psychics wouldn't take the challenge...

Postby Ganondork » 11 Apr 2011, 09:28

Eternally Learning wrote:I'm not assuming anything, but for people who are claiming that psychics exists I would expect any documented cases of such occurences to be shouted from the rooftops. I'm also not looking for predictions which haven't come true yet, I'm looking for (to make an example) a psychic telling police to evacuate the WTC before the first plane hit.

Okay, I see. Sorry; I must have overlooked that part. :? I don't know of any specific cases, as I'm really not that interested in psychics/predictions. But couldn't it be argued that it wasn't really the future being seen if it could be averted? If someone predicted that 9/11 was going to happen, wouldn't the prediction be false if it didn't? Hence, making the prediction only a possible future, not the actual future.
really? wrote:Craig and Ganondork and many others say such things because it allows a lot of wiggle room. In other words if they make what are essentially what if arguments this allows them to hold on to this hope that somewhere there are or is a real psychic.

You speak for me? You must be psychic to "know" why I brought it up. :twisted: It's called being opened minded & not excluding other possibilities. I have no problem accepting that so-called psychics can be frauds, delusional, etc. I'm not gullible when it comes to accepting the paranormal. I joined to show flaws in "arguments".
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Re: Real psychics wouldn't take the challenge...

Postby ProfWag » 11 Apr 2011, 20:57

Craig Browning wrote:When it comes to those $20.00 Readers down the street. . . what are you referring to as "Fraud" -- have you found them running actual cons, using slight-of-hand or any of the conventional/legal definitions of the term or are you stretching the JREF B.S. that it's all fraud because these people delude themselves into believing they possess this or that ability -- involuntary or unconsciously "Cold Reading" and such.

Personally, I've been to see 3 of my self-named "corner psychics" as well as my documented interaction with an astrologer (definitely fraudulent seeing how she gave me the same reading as a completely different peerson with different birth dates, etc.) None of the psychics produced anything useful or true, even though I was being as honest and upfront with them as possible. Having said that, no, I personally have not uncovered a fraud, but a simple google search can find the court cases of many that were investigated by the proper authorities. Then again, when the psychic tells me I need to come back for further readings, I never do so it's quite possible that 2 of the 3 psychics were fraudulent by trying to get more money out of me. (The third one was in Sedona and she knew I wasn't local so why bother with trying to get me to come back?) To summarize again, my personal experiences and research have led me to conclude that most psychics are either frauds or believe they have a gift that they don't really have. Are there true psychics? I don't know, but I have yet to be provided with any affirmation of such a thing.
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Re: Real psychics wouldn't take the challenge...

Postby Craig Browning » 12 Apr 2011, 00:14

ProfWag wrote:
Craig Browning wrote:When it comes to those $20.00 Readers down the street. . . what are you referring to as "Fraud" -- have you found them running actual cons, using slight-of-hand or any of the conventional/legal definitions of the term or are you stretching the JREF B.S. that it's all fraud because these people delude themselves into believing they possess this or that ability -- involuntary or unconsciously "Cold Reading" and such.

Personally, I've been to see 3 of my self-named "corner psychics" as well as my documented interaction with an astrologer (definitely fraudulent seeing how she gave me the same reading as a completely different peerson with different birth dates, etc.) None of the psychics produced anything useful or true, even though I was being as honest and upfront with them as possible. Having said that, no, I personally have not uncovered a fraud, but a simple google search can find the court cases of many that were investigated by the proper authorities. Then again, when the psychic tells me I need to come back for further readings, I never do so it's quite possible that 2 of the 3 psychics were fraudulent by trying to get more money out of me. (The third one was in Sedona and she knew I wasn't local so why bother with trying to get me to come back?) To summarize again, my personal experiences and research have led me to conclude that most psychics are either frauds or believe they have a gift that they don't really have. Are there true psychics? I don't know, but I have yet to be provided with any affirmation of such a thing.



Being inaccurate. . . well, it's not "fraud" but is an unfortunate truth to the biz. . . I have first year Mentalism students that do better Readings than some of these self-invented psychic types, who are in unfortunate abundance (especially within the auspices of Spiritualism).

When it comes the On-Line hustles. . . yep, there again you will find tons of examples (same goes for all those psychics listed in the gossip rags; I worked for one back in the days before 900 phone numbers and the Internet, pure mail fraud -- 6 of the "leading psychics" listed in the National Enquirer who were actually 6 TR 80 PCs in a garage located in West Hollywood. I've written about this experience in one of my books; days when two or three Mail WAGONS... those big canvass trolley type wagons used in the distribution centers, would show up sometime three days a week, each letter hosting no less than a $5.00 bill with the $20.00 and $50.00s being far more common. . . think about that, hundreds of pounds of physical mail weighing less than an ounce.

On the commercial front there is a grotesque amount of psychic fraud, I've never denied that. In the case of Astrology and more recently Numerology, the use of computer software has become prolific as has the reprise of recycling a stock Cold Reading script (was a bit thing back in the 50's & 60's when tailer parks were being targeted by mail order psychics). As I've pointed out time and time again, people that see other people as sheep to be fleeced will use ANY vehicle to do so be it a set of three playing cards, a few walnut halves & a pea or something along the lines of what Mr. Madoff lent the intelligent, well educated folks in the investment world. This is just how criminals operate; using whatever "fits" them and their circumstance.

In the Psychic world business owner/operators set themselves up to "temptation" -- to having to take the easy way out in order to keep their business alive and functioning. Those that seek to hold true to their spiritual side typically fail when it comes to business in that it's not part of who they are and something they really don't understand. . . believe me, I have several businesses I've been part of over the years, each of them starting off from the more spiritual side of things and each of them failed as the result of the "Manna vs. Heart" conflict; it's a very harsh battle that compounds that "fickle" factor tied to so many in the New Age element. For me it has been a tug of war between my love of magic & performing and my deeper routed spiritual nature; always been happier and more content when doing the psychic stuff and even a bit more stable when it comes to income (stable, not profit bearing). The minute I shift my priorities and try to push on the show-biz career stuff, my depression-anxiety issues hit me along with actual health flares -- I move into a self-destructive pattern because I know that I'm denying the more important side of who I am -- my personal truth & nature. Same would happen had I decided to denounce that spiritual perspective and sold my soul to Jesus. . . I know too much about the "lies" tied to that institution. . .
. . . and before anyone picks at that thread, NO, I'm not placing all of Christianity or "christians" under that header, just as we find with the psychic issue, the greater majority of these people are honest, sincere and even loving individuals even though we have a segment within that is easily corrupted by charismatic personalities; something that's typical when people place their seat of faith as a matter of "thought" vs. "heart". But then, who wants to be that outsider, the one that is part of a minority?

Oddly, most all of the major teachers in history, spiritual and scientific, were all "outsiders" -- those that stood away from convention. But then there is that old saying about how those of true conviction tend to walk the more narrow paths, isn't there?

Court Cases investigated by "proper" authorities. . . I can show you more than a few chapters in history in which the "proper authorities" allowed their investigations to lead to immoral, unethical and inhumane treatment of others; not just the days of the Inquisition or the 3rd Reich but in instances of the past twenty years where innocent people were imprisoned as the result of "assumption"; everything from 14 year old kids that will forever be listed as Sex Offenders because they got caught playing Doctor and some leftest idiot made an issue of it, to families that were totally destroyed -- the children taken into foster care and the parents imprisoned, because the family practiced a Pagan belief system. . . it's been used in divorce cases numerous times, the courts almost always siding with the more "Christian" side of things. But that's just one point not being weighed -- the fact that a bias exists when it comes to any claim tied to things Psychic/Paranormal and not part of the more conservative idea of "convention". So what if someone is labeled a "Satanist" just because he has a copy of Anton LeVey's books on a shelf BESIDE A DOZEN OR TWO OTHER BOOKS ON OTHER WORLD RELIGIONS, guilt by association is 100% ok where perceived "nut jobs" are concerned, right?

The point (yet again) is that we keep seeing the exceptions because they are the more visible and readily accessible vs. the actual rule. It's the same as instantly fearing a group of Muslims when they get on your plane or finding yourself the only white boy in the middle or Watts after dark... we ASSUME certain things based on invented type-casts vs. what the greater truth actually is -- a truth you cannot learn without investing part of your life in the act of experiencing that world with an honestly opened and unbiased mind-set; it doesn't matter whether you're trying to get an actual grip on New Age belief systems or what it's like to actually live in adverse poverty.

There's a Tv show out right now called 30-Days in the Life (this link goes to one episode but you will see other topics in the lower left hand column -- http://www.tv.com/30-days/life-on-an-indian-reservation/episode/1194174/summary.html) that takes what I'm saying here, to task. It wouldn't hurt to watch a few episodes and contemplate the "lessons" each person learns. I personally think this is something every High School curriculum should require this of students with each summer break -- wear the shoes others have to exist in for a season; I'd lay money on it that such things would change the attitudes so many of us have on things.

I cannot -- will not -- give item specific example after example of rule exceptions -- those individuals and situations that do not fit the niches and preconceived views held by the naysayer. For starters, it's not my place to 'out' folks let alone placing them under the sort of over-critical lens the desperate. . . I mean, the cynical. . . will put them under (with no sense of decorum or apology in that science must dissect all species ad infinitum. . . ask any rat, gerbil, frog, gueniepig, or chimp). I cannot in good conscience, sentence others to the ways of the Inquisition (and anyone that knows the duplicity of that movement will understand what I mean in that, those that don't, should learn. . . HINT: Hitler simply followed the examples given by the church, he was a baptized Christian after all).

I can't say any more, there is no actually reason to in that I'm no Alchemist and able to turn stone-walls into flowing streams. ;)
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