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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 » 09 Oct 2011, 21:15

I do have something that I would like to throw into the mix here. If you think about people who have psychic ability as having an unusual talent or gift, some of this might make sense if you compare them to child prodigies. True child prodigies are few and far between. At least the recognized ones are few and far between. For simplicity's sake, let's take musical prodigies as an example.

All across the globe there are parents who think that their little Billy is a musical genius. Trust me on this one, as I looked for a particular young man who I saw on a documentary last week only to find a load of kids who are claimed to be "the next Mozart" and they hurt my ears. Yeah, they're good for their age, and probably better than most adults on a piano but not exceptional.

This "CNN Living" article was interesting and an enjoyable read: http://articles.cnn.com/2007-12-10/livi ... =PM:LIVING

Just about anyone (but me) can be trained to play the piano. Some come by it naturally and some don't. There are very few who would be considered a child prodigy in this area. How much of a leap is it to apply this same talent to the term psychic?

There are many different terms to describe a person of talent such as gifted, bright, genius, exceptional, etc., but a true "prodigy" is a very rare occurrence.
They exist, that's for sure. We also don't know how many of them are out there in the world. If the kid ain't got no piano, there's no way to know if there's any talent or gift.

Now usually a prodigy will show other exceptional abilities in other areas such as math, science, chess, etc. It's not like they're a one trick pony and that's what makes them a prodigy rather than just extremely talented. Here's another article (not a great source but good article) about prodigies. Now I don't know too many parents that want their kid to be the next John Edwards (except for John Edwards, Sr.) as being a GREAT psychic isn't exactly considered a normal life path. Then again, the chances of someone making a good living at playing the piano is few and far between as well. However, there are countless bars and restaurants set up with a piano man complete with brandy snifter for tips to be found in this country. There's one piano man who made it to the top while the rest sink into obscurity. For you youngin's, I'm talking about Billy Joel, just so ya know. So you have a pianist sitting in a bar playing show tunes compared to a psychic sitting at a psychic fair giving readings. How many of each are going to get to the top? How many really want to get to the top of the heap? The same goes for child prodigies. It seems that the burn out rate for the truly gifted ones can be very high and people like music. Psychic talent...not so much.
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby ProfWag » 09 Oct 2011, 22:39

Arouet wrote:
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?

Absolutely--in the same manner that someone who matches all six numbers in a lottery claims to be psychic. ;-)
Now, if it happened twice in a row, I'd raise my eyebrows. Three times and I'd be almost convinced of it...
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby craig weiler » 10 Oct 2011, 00:00

In the case of Lisa Irwin if I thought I had psychic information I would be very reluctant to come forward and share it. There would be loudmouth skeptics expecting me to fail and looking for any way possible to make me look stupid and I would not want to deal with them. There is always this expectation of perfection. Even if I got important details right there is no guarantee that I would be acknowledged for them. If you read the article on the psychology of the skeptic you'll know why.

According to what I've read, this sort of search and rescue is a job for remote viewing organizations, not individuals. In order to get consistently good results you really need to have a good system.
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby Arouet » 10 Oct 2011, 00:19

craig weiler wrote: If you read the article on the psychology of the skeptic you'll know why.


That wasn't an "article" on psychology of the skeptic. It was the musings of a journalist on the psychology of the skeptic. You shouldn't be citing it as authority for anything.
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby Craig Browning » 10 Oct 2011, 00:27

Arouet wrote: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.


I think the "nit" being picked here is that your original statement was very cover-all and matter of fact and my version of the same suggest that SOME fall into this niche for reasons explained.

Few in today's world understand the original concept of what "Psychic" means and that's on both sides of the issue. The commercial side of the Psychic thing is corrupted in that it deliberately withholds certain facts, the revelation of which being counter productive when it comes to retail profit be it for a store or some self-made guru. And yes, I know this echoes the claim of fraud but I'm likewise aware that the psychic/spiritual culture has its own ways of cleaning up such issues over time that are not as bold, dramatic or blatant as headline chasing magicians/debunkers and skeptics might do things. . . c'mon, we're talking about people that believe in Karma and letting the Universe take it's turn at bat.

What I do when it comes to educating the general public and other psychics about the more "mundane" side of the psychic thing, is traditionally seen as taboo -- a big 'no-no' in that it reveals "deeper secrets". Fortunately, more and more elders are taking this stance however; the time has come to let go of the fantasy tied to magick and mysticism and this is a shift that's been noted world wide. BUT, it's not an easy transition. Imagine the chaos that would happen if there was a sudden, undeniable revelation that proves the whole Abrahamic culture is pure fantasy. . . I'm not talking about the present opinion of skeptics & atheists, but an event that point blank proves such in a way that the ardent believers can't deny the details.

Think how lost and distraught, not to mention "displaced" that's going to make the majority of the worlds population feel and the general chaos it will place society in.

It must happen slowly in order to have optimum results. It must likewise host a median point that allows those standing on either side of the issue, to find common ground. This is the ONLY way the typical human being is going to learn how to see the spiritual and fantastic in ways digestible.

I've kind of drifted a bit here, touching on a related situation, but hopefully I've been able to clarify the point.
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby Craig Browning » 10 Oct 2011, 00:42

Ninja Puppy, excellent post!

You have given a very sound overview when it comes to the child prodigy course of things BUT. . . with music, dance and yes, the psychic thing, you have children raised in a specific environment that "programs" them. A great example is how so many Asian kids born into upper-middle-class quasi-traditional households are brutalized both, physically and psychologically to excel. While we see the same in the American athletic culture or with the mini-beauty queens (which should be out lawed) the push towards academic based excellence is huge within the primary Asian cultures as well as that of India, Malaysia, etc.

On some level we can see this in the Psychic/Spiritual culture but not usually under said extremes, just a steady push on the child when it comes to developing learning, memory & observation skills the act of focus & clarity when it comes to concentration and of course, learning to both, connect with all while likewise being non-attached -- sounds like a contradiction of things but makes sense the deeper you move into the work. As with most of what I've been sharing here, this is something discussed in the book "Wisdom of the Mystic Masters" and oddly enough, a lot of it is quite common within certain aspects of Free Masonry. Nothing mystical about it really, but as the child matures learning and mastering these skills the stronger their "aura" projects a psychic-like nature around them. Too, the greater the chances that the child will begin to show early signs of genuine ability. Regardless, any child raised under said auspices, just like those pushed in music, math, athletics, etc. will still know strong benefit and advantage in adult life.

The process towards awakening one's intuition and natural "Psychic" sense is very pragmatic. Some day the general public might awaken to this truth but unfortunately, most of them are in love with the fantasy vs. the truth.
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby Arouet » 10 Oct 2011, 00:53

Craig Browning wrote:I think the "nit" being picked here is that your original statement was very cover-all and matter of fact and my version of the same suggest that SOME fall into this niche for reasons explained.


Let's see what I wrote:

"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.


The only difference that I can see between mine and yours is that I didn't put the word "some" in allcaps.

And here is the post I was responding to:

_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?????


My point was simply that someone could be using cold reading and still honestly believe they were psychic.

Rather than read what I wrote, you and the other Craig like to add in all sorts of subtext and change my meaning.
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby craig weiler » 10 Oct 2011, 01:26

Arouet,
Maybe you are wrong and the meaning is there without you realizing it. Do you think you could be . . . wrong?
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby Arouet » 10 Oct 2011, 02:06

craig weiler wrote:Arouet,
Maybe you are wrong and the meaning is there without you realizing it. Do you think you could be . . . wrong?


I've been wrong about all sorts of things in my life, but about the meaning of my post? No. Perhaps I wasn't effective in expressing what I meant (though I thought my post was pretty clear), but I'm pretty certain about what I meant to write. I've tried to clarify twice now so if my meaning is still unclear I'm not sure what more I can do.

I'll try one more time though: when the word "honest" is attached to the word "psychic" the issue is the integrity of the person, not whether they are actually psychic. An actual psychic who thought he was psychic but told people he wasn't psychic would actually also be a dishonest psychic.

Now, if the word was "genuine" instead of "honest" your comments would be correct about my post. But I wasn't commenting on the genuineness of self-proclaimed psychics, only about their beliefs about their abilities.

Not sure if I made it more - or less - clear, but that's all I got on this issue.


If you ask me whether I believe that people do have genuine psychic abilities, then my answer would be that I am not yet convinced of that. I also believe that many people genuinely believe that they have psychic abilities, even if I am not convinced that they are correct. To be clear again: I would still call those people "honest psychics".
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby NinjaPuppy » 10 Oct 2011, 05:17

ProfWag wrote: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?
Absolutely--in the same manner that someone who matches all six numbers in a lottery claims to be psychic. ;-)
Now, if it happened twice in a row, I'd raise my eyebrows. Three times and I'd be almost convinced of it...

How about 4 times? http://abcnews.go.com/Business/texas-wo ... d=11097894

Heck, I know someone who has hit the million dollar lottery twice already and still plays daily for that third win.
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby NinjaPuppy » 10 Oct 2011, 05:34

Craig Browning wrote:Ninja Puppy, excellent post!
You have given a very sound overview when it comes to the child prodigy course of things BUT. . . with music, dance and yes, the psychic thing, you have children raised in a specific environment that "programs" them.

Not all. Some cultures consider these gifted children a curse. There have been quite a few prodigies that have succeeded to spite less than coddling adults. Here's one example:
George Frideric Handel was an example of the natural talent .... "he had discovered such a strong propensity to Music, that his father who always intended him for the study of the Civil Law, had reason to be alarmed. He strictly forbade him to meddle with any musical instrument but Handel found means to get a little clavichord privately convey'd to a room at the top of the house. To this room he constantly stole when the family was asleep". At an early age Handel became a skillful performer on the harpsichord and pipe organ and later went on to compose music which is listened to this day.
CraigBrowning wrote:A great example is how so many Asian kids born into upper-middle-class quasi-traditional households are brutalized both, physically and psychologically to excel. While we see the same in the American athletic culture or with the mini-beauty queens (which should be out lawed) the push towards academic based excellence is huge within the primary Asian cultures as well as that of India, Malaysia, etc.

Yes but there are also children who at the age of 3 or 4 years old who suddenly sit at a piano and 'get it' without any sort of coaching.
CraigBrowning wrote:On some level we can see this in the Psychic/Spiritual culture but not usually under said extremes, just a steady push on the child when it comes to developing learning, memory & observation skills the act of focus & clarity when it comes to concentration and of course, learning to both, connect with all while likewise being non-attached -- sounds like a contradiction of things but makes sense the deeper you move into the work. As with most of what I've been sharing here, this is something discussed in the book "Wisdom of the Mystic Masters" and oddly enough, a lot of it is quite common within certain aspects of Free Masonry. Nothing mystical about it really, but as the child matures learning and mastering these skills the stronger their "aura" projects a psychic-like nature around them. Too, the greater the chances that the child will begin to show early signs of genuine ability. Regardless, any child raised under said auspices, just like those pushed in music, math, athletics, etc. will still know strong benefit and advantage in adult life.

I wasn't comparing the nurture of phychics, merely comparing different levels of talent ranging from prodigy to dumbass. Since there are extreme levels of every possible type in piano players, there should also be levels in any gift or skill and the self proclaimed psychic would not be excluded from this scale.
CraigBrowning wrote:The process towards awakening one's intuition and natural "Psychic" sense is very pragmatic. Some day the general public might awaken to this truth but unfortunately, most of them are in love with the fantasy vs. the truth.

Most of what I have personally read is that much of the paranormal goodies start with young children. Imaginary friends is a good example of a childhood situation that is considered not extrodinary for a child but totally screwed up for an adult. However, an imaginary friend for a schizophrenic is pretty much textbook.
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby ProfWag » 10 Oct 2011, 20:40

NinjaPuppy wrote:
ProfWag wrote: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?
Absolutely--in the same manner that someone who matches all six numbers in a lottery claims to be psychic. ;-)
Now, if it happened twice in a row, I'd raise my eyebrows. Three times and I'd be almost convinced of it...

How about 4 times? http://abcnews.go.com/Business/texas-wo ... d=11097894

Heck, I know someone who has hit the million dollar lottery twice already and still plays daily for that third win.

I had heard of her before, but according tot he article, it appears they were from scratch-off tickets. Not sure if one could use their psychic abiities to get there in line for the ticket at the time the next card comes off the roll, but maybe...
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby ProfWag » 10 Oct 2011, 20:46

craig weiler wrote:In the case of Lisa Irwin if I thought I had psychic information I would be very reluctant to come forward and share it. There would be loudmouth skeptics expecting me to fail and looking for any way possible to make me look stupid and I would not want to deal with them. There is always this expectation of perfection. Even if I got important details right there is no guarantee that I would be acknowledged for them. If you read the article on the psychology of the skeptic you'll know why.

According to what I've read, this sort of search and rescue is a job for remote viewing organizations, not individuals. In order to get consistently good results you really need to have a good system.

One of the differences I am seeing between psychic believers and skeptics is that psychic believers think that if they just throw out information and get a hit from time to time, that suffices to validate their abilities. Not speaking for all skeptics, but personally, I would think that if a psychic knew where someone was, they would go to that location and pick them up (with police escorts, of course.) If that were to happen, there wouldn't be much that us "loudmouth" skeptics could say about that, would there? Additionally, if they were really "valid," they would do it over and over. And that has never happened as far as I know and researched. Perhaps my expectations are a bit much, but it would leave little room for doubt in my eyes.
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby Craig Browning » 11 Oct 2011, 01:01

Ninja, you are correct on the "curse" thing. . . also applies to lefties, birthmarks and a nice long list of other stupidity. What's interesting is that many of these cultures wouldn't kill the child but "exile" them in a special way; in Japan the child was left in the town square on certain nights and the Ninja (Coga Ryu) would take them and care for them. . . the fact that you ended up with a bunch of left handed warrior that the Samurai wasn't prepared for in later years wasn't ever weighed til it was too late. :twisted:

In most shamanic settings the children would be taken in by the village Wise One or that of another tribe near by.

Yes, there are those Mozart types and I do understand the difference, my comments earlier centered on those children that show the natural talent at toddler stage and the parents (or society) ruin by pushing them down a path and not allowing them to be kids. To my mind, it's child abuse but in certain cultures it's the norm.


Arouet, Craig W kind of hit on things with his reply. . . sometimes folks say things without realizing it, I'm terribly guilty of it.

When it comes to the cop-out/explanation used by skeptics; the idea that people do Cold Reading without knowing they are, I get a bit peeved in that it's both, assumption and exaggeration. I've already explained why I believe that to be the case but then, the gospel of Randi dictates that it's all Cold Reading, he refuses to deal with specifics and sadly, this tends to be a pattern of most skeptics; the generic blanket of Cold Reading.

Yes, the shotgun method of Reading -- putting enough stuff out there that some is bound to stick (a.k.a. Sensational Mentalism) can certainly be found in the Psychic world when you are dealing with the headline chasers pushing for another book deal. This is rarely the case when you are dealing with the more typical "down to earth" type Reader, most of whom strive to be specific or at least as direct as they can. I can't speak for others, but when my gut tells me to say things that make absolutely no sense at first (especially given what the oracle itself may be suggesting) and when I express that "hunch" and it hits hard with the client, I have to call that legit and a serious hit. I'm not going to sit there and barf up something on every little twitch I get, but to paraphrase Hugh Prather "When my entire being says ___ I have no course to take but accept ___ as the answer".

AND BEFORE IT'S STATED. . . coincidence is mute. That is to say, said common cop-out does not apply given the scenarios in question. "Coincidence" has become one of the several "logical" fail safe terms used by intellectual folks that deal in facts :roll:

Am I the only one that sees an oxymoron in that idea? Especially when coincidence, like paradox, are both viewed as illusory and non-existent in the bulk of world culture and spiritual thinking. It's comical, such things become real to the mind of those that would paint all other things in the light of fantasy and whimsy. :roll:
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Re: Psychics and Frauds

Postby NinjaPuppy » 11 Oct 2011, 05:25

Yes, I come from a long line of left handed, green eyed, red hair, gypsies. I'm sure we all would have been left out for the wolves. :lol:
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