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Psychics and Frauds

Discussions about Psychics and Psychic Phenomena, Extra Sensory Perception, Telepathy, Psi, Clairvoyancy, 6th Sense, Psychokinesis, etc.

Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby NinjaPuppy » 08 Oct 2011, 00:37

To me, you're all youngin's.
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby _Ice_Ages_14_Aces_ » 08 Oct 2011, 01:53

ProfWag wrote:If a psychic uses observational information about a customer such as style of clothes, wedding ring (or lack of), brand of watch, breast implants, kind of vehicle, dirt on their shoes, roughness of hands, unintentional but overhead conversation, etc. and then uses that information in such a manner that it could be perceived by the customer that information was obtained paranormally, would that be considered fraud? Or, in other words, if a psychic uses cold reading in any form, would that be fraudulent?
Would you need examples of what I'm asking?


Technically, a fraudulent psychic is someone who fishes around, i.e. a person who masquerades him/herself as psychic and jacks the money from gullible people.

To answer your question, yes that would be considered fraudulent if the fraudulent psychic used clues from observational information and jacked the money off a gullible person.......
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby ProfWag » 08 Oct 2011, 02:06

_Ice_Ages_14_Aces_ wrote:Technically, a fraudulent psychic is someone who fishes around, i.e. a person who masquerades him/herself as psychic and jacks the money from gullible people.

To answer your question, yes that would be considered fraudulent if the fraudulent psychic used clues from observational information and jacked the money off a gullible person.......

Thanks Ice. That's the way I see it as well, but I'm kind of being led to believe that honest psychics either don't do this or don't need too. Of course, since I don't believe in the paranormal, I tend to believe that a psychic will take advantage of any clue available, but that's just me. Even after reading what information has been presented as to what psychics do, I still haven't seen anything paranormal. All I hear being said is they are pretty much advice givers. If that's the case, why don't we call them that (advice givers) instead of psychics?
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby _Ice_Ages_14_Aces_ » 08 Oct 2011, 02:32

You're welcome, ProfWag....

I strongly agree with your belief that honest psychics don't do such things... Why? Well, why would a honest psychic use cold reading, hot reading, etc. when they can do what they claim to do?????

Personally, I don't believe in any famous psychic, e.g. John Edward, since I have seen enough evidence that they're using clever, rhetorical methods. However, I am open minded to conclude that such psychics exist if I see substantial evidence of it.

The only thing I believe deserves further research are parapsychological studies, especially The Ganzfeld.......
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby Arouet » 08 Oct 2011, 03:01

_Ice_Ages_14_Aces_ wrote:I strongly agree with your belief that honest psychics don't do such things... Why? Well, why would a honest psychic use cold reading, hot reading, etc. when they can do what they claim to do?????


"Honest psychic" doesn't mean that they are actually psychic, just that they honestly believe that they are psychic. Some people may be naturally good cold readers and don't realise they are doing it.
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby craig weiler » 09 Oct 2011, 00:27

"Honest psychic" doesn't mean that they are actually psychic, just that they honestly believe that they are psychic. Some people may be naturally good cold readers and don't realize they are doing it.


This is a comment demonstrating a skeptical bias and therefore, no real skepticism at all. It comes from a belief that psychic ability does not exist, meaning that you have your mind made up.
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby Craig Browning » 09 Oct 2011, 00:33

by _Ice_Ages_14_Aces_ » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:32 pm

I strongly agree with your belief that honest psychics don't do such things... Why? Well, why would a honest psychic use cold reading, hot reading, etc. when they can do what they claim to do?????


I’ll tell you a few reasons why. . .

Firstly, the Forer idea IS NOT what Psychics use but rather interpretation of symbols be it Tarot, quirks in one’s handwriting or simply what’s on the horizon behind the querent. You must see it as a “Language” unto itself, which is exactly how all the certified counselors interpret symbols mentioned by patients . . . then again, that “science” evolved from our work and techniques . . . hmmm.

So, as I’ve stated before, it is the intellectual interpretive process mixed with observational (and memory based) skill and filtered through one’s intuition that delivers the Reading . . . at least, in the majority of cases. Sometimes we rely only on our gut because we don’t have our “tools” with us (or as some writers refer to them “our crutches” or “crib sheets”) even though we will be influenced (subconsciously) by the environment and ideomotor signals given by the sitter.

DO UNDERSTAND: this is the case for those Readers that actually study this stuff and invest themselves into the craft at the intellectual and metaphysical levels; we understand the mechanics in this manner. There are those in the psychic world that are not aware of this processing path though it is still what’s going on.

Deliberate Cold Reading seems to stem solely from a limited set of core sources; individuals that have studied the techniques and tactics of Psychic Entertainers/Mentalists, which can include folks with most any thespian based past. Then you have the “Gypsy” element, which is actually a misnomer because of the appearances around the practice; I refer to deliberate predator types that usually work within a network that is typically composed of family members (so as to guard against investigations by outsiders). This sort is very close to the Lamar Keen tales pertaining to the old Spiritualists Camps even though his story is highly questionable, having very little in way of concrete support, just his say so it would seem. Regardless, everyone should read his book (The Psychic Mafia) as well as PSYCHIC OR CHARLATAN by Bruce Way.

There is a point in every Reader’s career in which they get into a rut and start relying almost exclusively on stock lines. It’s not typically deliberate, just a matter of getting lazy and bored with the job. On the other hand, we have what I call the Herb Dewey Moments. . . you’ve been at the table working back to back mini-Reading for 8 hours and your brain is crisp, you’re no longer able to do the actual work and so you start relying on statistics, demographics and common sense. This is a situation mentioned in one of Herb’s books; I hesitate to share the title because it is something used in the Mentalism community and not meant for the general public.

Personally, I don't believe in any famous psychic, e.g. John Edward, since I have seen enough evidence that they're using clever, rhetorical methods. However, I am open minded to conclude that such psychics exist if I see substantial evidence of it.


I’ll defend Edward because of my own brief encounter with the man; I believe he has a legitimacy about what he does and it’s freakish. Sylvia Brown and VanPraagh on the other hand, are pure joke as far as I can tell. Brown is a rude self-serving B**** whose success I simply cannot comprehend. VanPraagh is an old queen that’s managed to get a handful of New Age personalities to hype him up a bit and give him a strange legitimacy in the eyes of that market group. There’s a set of “Psychic Twins” that are just plain irritating; I have students that can do far superior Readings without all the bad theater they try to wrap things in. . . There’s a gent that unfortunately shares my last name who I know for fact to be a fraud given the method he uses (same as the twins). . . the movement of a pen over paper is quite old when it comes to “Hot” information; I’ll not reveal the sneaky doings but I will say that a very clear, clean and quick cheat is possible . . . one that Kreskin used to use, in fact.

I should point out one other thing about Edward . . . prior to the Randi article in People Magazine you would be hard pressed to find a single magician on all the forums, able to figure him out. Most were amazed by him and stunned. 24-hours after that article was out in circulation you couldn’t find a magician able to claim that they knew all along that he was a fraud and they always knew how he did it. . . . you see, delusional processing works two ways; the accusers can be just as delusional with their views and just as fickle.

“HOT READINGS” is a term that is relatively recent, referring to known information obtained by the Reader via some covert method or, if we are looking through the eyes of the extreme cynic, anytime a patron fills out ANYTHING; mailing lists, post card, log-in sheet, etc. The only people using them are the true criminal or entertainers; that’s it! You will not find the run-of-the-mill Reader at the local New Age shop, Psychic Fair or in a Coffee House using anything even remotely like this. What you may find however, is the use of systems common to the Psychic industry such as Astrology, Numerology, Graphology by way of a simple client card – the sort of thing (file) most any other business keeps because of the value of mailing lists . . . as the saying goes, if it’s good enough for the goose, why isn’t the gander allowed to partake?

Psychics get stigmatized for using the same exact business techniques and tactics most all businesses employ and what is taught in small business school. There’s a load of double-standards when it comes to such and how it is viewed by the naysayers that want an “out” – a way to explain it away. What they fail to clarify in the course of their critique, is that their finger-pointing at such things as “method” is only their theory. In the investigations and shake-downs I’ve done over the years the only place I’ve seen this sort of practice when it comes to the Psychic operator, was in the case of predatory groups, otherwise, it’s non-existent.


Arouet
“Honest psychic" doesn't mean that they are actually psychic, just that they honestly believe that they are psychic. Some people may be naturally good cold readers and don't realise they are doing it.


This is one of the more trendy “outs” used by skeptics that don’t want to “get it”. . . that don’t want to give any possibility that “more” might be at work vs. psycho-babble.

Yes, there are those that are oblivious to the psychology and other factors such as I’ve stated many times in the past and just in this thread. Yes, people can get into habits of using “stock” lines (Barnum Statements) but this does not mean they are frauds or even deluded, only lazy or worse, ignorant. The latter of which is quite common in rural areas and 3rd world environs in which a village elder or shaman might be involved – simple people with nominal education, living simple HONEST lives that happen to be enveloped by faith; faith in a divine thing of some sort which includes faith in things miraculous, it goes hand-in-hand.

Some folks are far more sensitive to their environs – more empathic when it comes to the people they encounter, but very few actually convey information to those that come for their counsel in the positive/negative mode of feedback suggested by Professor Forer. Then again, this same trait could translate into “Street Smarts” and give the world an Artful Dodger or maybe someone akin to Famous Amos or Dave Thomas? Intuitively understanding people is the common kernel in each instance; same ability applied in different ways – end of story.
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby Arouet » 09 Oct 2011, 00:38

I'm not sure what's controversial about my statement. Do you disagree that some people may believe they are psychic without actually being psychic? Do you also disagree that if that person told people they were psychic that they would still be considered honest? Do you disagree that some people may be naturally good cold readers and employ that technique without realising it?

The only way my statement could be incorrect would be if it were impossible to be wrong about one's psychic ability.
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby craig weiler » 09 Oct 2011, 02:26

The whole line of questioning is prejudicial. The true skeptical position in this case is that you don't know. The rest is biased skeptical assumptions. (But they are tempered by reasonable conditional statements. There is obvious bias, it's just not of the fanatical variety.)
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby Arouet » 09 Oct 2011, 04:55

The question was what constitutes an "honest" psychic, not what contstitues a "genuine" psychic.
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby craig weiler » 09 Oct 2011, 07:53

I think, Arouet, that before you address such questions you should settle the main one. You really can't go off on these tangents unless you've established for yourself whether psychic ability is real.



If you think it's not real, then all psychics are deluded or frauds. Question resolved.

If you decide that it's real, then you have a different set of questions: How psychic does a person have to be before it is "enough"? How much of a reading is psychic ability and how much is cold reading?

The question you're raising makes no sense from a skeptical point of view, it just looks like a sleazy and biased insult of psychic people. (I don't think you intended that.)
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby Arouet » 09 Oct 2011, 11:57

craig weiler wrote:I think, Arouet, that before you address such questions you should settle the main one. You really can't go off on these tangents unless you've established for yourself whether psychic ability is real.


I don't know why I have to settle the main one to decide whether a self proclaimed psychic is honest or not. For that, I just have to determine their credibility.

If you think it's not real, then all psychics are deluded or frauds. Question resolved.


The deluded ones would be honest. The frauds - not.

Even if there are real psyhics there still may be self-declared psychics who are not actually psychic but believe they are. They would still be honest, even though not psychic. The questions are different.

If you decide that it's real, then you have a different set of questions: How psychic does a person have to be before it is "enough"? How much of a reading is psychic ability and how much is cold reading?


And again: even if real, some people may think they are psychic and not be. Some people may still be frauds.

The question you're raising makes no sense from a skeptical point of view, it just looks like a sleazy and biased insult of psychic people. (I don't think you intended that.)


I didn't raise this issue. I was simply responding to a post above about honest psychics vs. frauds, and who should be labelled what way. My point is simply that the psychics honesty is related solely to their belief about their abilities, not whether they actually have those abilities. I don't see it as remotely controversial. If you want to imbue my statement with nefarious subtext that's your prerogative, but you're twisting my words when you do so.
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby ProfWag » 09 Oct 2011, 18:55

Okay, I'm definitely going to show my skeptical bias with this question so I'll apologize in advance as I really do usually like to be open to things. I'm watching the news right now and they are discussing the missing baby Lisa Irwin and I'm wondering why a psychic hasn't found her yet. To our psychic friends, do you have any ideas or is that not something that psychics do? And this brings me to my next question, if hundreds of psychics offer their help and they all fail (which historically, they will fail to pinpoint a location but I'm sure water will come into the equation), does that make them a fraud or just a bad psychic?
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby NinjaPuppy » 09 Oct 2011, 19:49

ProfWag wrote:Okay, I'm definitely going to show my skeptical bias with this question so I'll apologize in advance as I really do usually like to be open to things. I'm watching the news right now and they are discussing the missing baby Lisa Irwin and I'm wondering why a psychic hasn't found her yet.

That is a good question.
ProfWag wrote:To our psychic friends, do you have any ideas or is that not something that psychics do? And this brings me to my next question, if hundreds of psychics offer their help and they all fail (which historically, they will fail to pinpoint a location but I'm sure water will come into the equation), does that make them a fraud or just a bad psychic?

I do not know.
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby Arouet » 09 Oct 2011, 21:12

ProfWag wrote: And this brings me to my next question, if hundreds of psychics offer their help and they all fail (which historically, they will fail to pinpoint a location but I'm sure water will come into the equation), does that make them a fraud or just a bad psychic?


Here's a corollary: if 100s of psychics offer their help and 1 comes up with a result that closely matches the actual place where the person is eventually is found, are we justified in concluding that actual psychic abilities were involved?
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