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Tags cold reading , mediums , psychics

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Old 26th September 2019, 03:49 PM   #401
JayUtah
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
No one here but me knows what they are talking about.
A little arrogant, don't you think?

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I have experienced genuine mediums many times since the 1960's. Its not all hot and cold reading.
That doesn't mean it's real. I have personal experience with people who claim to be genuine mediums and who know for a fact they are lying. I know for a fact they use ordinary tricks to pretend to have supernatural powers, because we discussed the tricks they use. Why is my experience less informative or less valuable than yours?

All you're telling us -- riding high in the saddle of colossal hubris -- is that you can't figure out how your "medium" accomplished the feat. You don't know that it was through some supernatural means; that's just your default hypothesis when your understanding of prosaic explanations fails.
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Old 26th September 2019, 04:19 PM   #402
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Originally Posted by The Shrike View Post
You really needn't be afraid.
Not only is this stuff not true, but I don't get what would "freak out" anybody about that. It would make no difference in the life of anybody who just didn't go to mediums anyway.

Originally Posted by The Shrike View Post
It's nothing more than people being talented at cold reading and for some, cheating further via hot reading.
The biggest factor is the audience. The people who go for this kind of stuff invariably end up reporting that what the con artist had did & said was something completely different from what the con artist actually did & said.
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Old 27th September 2019, 03:48 AM   #403
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
A little arrogant, don't you think?.
Not if I am right and there are genuine mediums, because that makes everyone else here wrong.

Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
That doesn't mean it's real. I have personal experience with people who claim to be genuine mediums and who know for a fact they are lying. I know for a fact they use ordinary tricks to pretend to have supernatural powers, because we discussed the tricks they use. Why is my experience less informative or less valuable than yours?

All you're telling us -- riding high in the saddle of colossal hubris -- is that you can't figure out how your "medium" accomplished the feat. You don't know that it was through some supernatural means; that's just your default hypothesis when your understanding of prosaic explanations fails.
I went to church every week for two years before coming to the conclusion that the simplest explanation of what was happening, is that mediums were doing what they said they were doing, and talking to the spirits of the dead.
In that time I had a number of convincing personal messages. I had regular messages from my grandmother, and one from my grandfather telling me he wanted to give me evidence of survival, so he told me the circumstances of his death. Also the one from a dead brother I did not even know I had.
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Old 27th September 2019, 04:24 AM   #404
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"If". That one little word is being asked to do a huge amount of heavy lifting.
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Old 27th September 2019, 04:33 AM   #405
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
the simplest explanation of what was happening, is that mediums were doing what they said they were doing, and talking to the spirits of the dead.
That's only simple on a superficial level, scratch below the surface and you're left trying to fit your plywood sheep into a jigsaw puzzle of the Mona Lisa again. The simple answer has been explained time and time and time again in this thread.
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Old 27th September 2019, 05:24 AM   #406
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
...the simplest explanation of what was happening, is that mediums were doing what they said they were doing, and talking to the spirits of the dead...
To (paraphrase) a quote from an experienced magician, "They may indeed be genuine psychics, but if they are, they are producing the appearance of doing it the hard way."
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Old 27th September 2019, 05:33 AM   #407
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I went to church every week for two years before coming to the conclusion that the simplest explanation of what was happening, is that mediums were doing what they said they were doing, and talking to the spirits of the dead.
And the simplest explanation of the trick I saw David Copperfield do is, then, that he really can saw himself in half and put himself back together again? After all I can't work out how he could have faked it and that, according to you, is sufficient reason to conclude he really did it.
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Old 27th September 2019, 05:58 AM   #408
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
And the simplest explanation of the trick I saw David Copperfield is then that he really can saw himself in half and put himself back together again? After all I can't work out how he could have faked it and that, according to you, is sufficient reason to conclude he really did it.
Criss Angel can fly! Criss Angel can fly! Why isn't this continually on the news?
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Old 27th September 2019, 06:39 AM   #409
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
The ladies started making wild guesses, noting that the fellow in the picture “looked nice” and seemed very handsome...

It was Ted Bundy.
I read: Al Bundy...
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Old 27th September 2019, 07:07 AM   #410
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How do psychic mediums know stuff about you

Trickery/deception is always the simplest explanation for “psychic” phenomenon because it requires the least amount of assumptions. There is no better authority on using trickery/deception than an experienced magician/mentalist. That’s why Randi was such a good debunker. He approached things from: “I can reproduce exactly the same effect through magic techniques, if I eliminate the possibility of using those techniques, you will fail to achieve the effect,” which has been the nail in the coffin for just about anyone who has subjected themselves to his test.

The one that had a big effect on me when I was a young believer was the exposure of James HydrickWP.
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Old 27th September 2019, 08:22 AM   #411
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Not if I am right and there are genuine mediums, because that makes everyone else here wrong.
That requires you to prove you're right first, to a suitable standard of proof. Then you can make categorical statements about others' correctness. What was arrogant about your statement was to claim you're right before you proved you're right. So prove there are genuine mediums. Note: proof does not mean recounting your tired anecdotes over and over.

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I went to church every week for two years before coming to the conclusion that the simplest explanation...
Your anecdote illustrates my argument instead of rebutting it. You looked at all the observations, couldn't figure out how it was done naturally, and concluded it must be supernatural. No, it's not "simple" because it requires antecedents for which you have no evidence. You have to contrive into existence a whole bunch of supernatural things in order for that explanation to work. Just because you believe them intuitively and don't feel like questioning them doesn't absolve you of the need to prove it before you can bask in your claim of superior knowledge.

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Old 27th September 2019, 08:36 AM   #412
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Originally Posted by The Shrike View Post
Criss Angel can fly! Criss Angel can fly! Why isn't this continually on the news?
Most of Criss Angel's television magic is based on television magic. When magicians tell you that "no camera tricks" are being used, what they really mean to say is that every camera trick is being used. When he was building up his stage show, the problem he faced was that his stage game was rather weak compared to other stage magicians in the city. He had to work hard to get a show that Cirque du Soleil felt comfortable collaborating with him on.
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Old 27th September 2019, 09:24 AM   #413
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A rather old post by ex-member Dr Adequate but wonderful still.

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...ad.php?t=59765
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Old 27th September 2019, 10:46 AM   #414
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
That's only simple on a superficial level...
Agreed. It buries all the assumptions of supernatural causes and effects. To be sure, there is assumption in either attempt to explain clairvoyance. So the goal is not to explain the observations without assumption. It's to explain them with the fewest, most reasonable assumptions.

We know there exist techniques to simulate supernatural effects. We know that people use them to support the proposition that they have supernatural ability. Their motives for doing so vary in moral value from entertainment to fraud. Regardless, almost all those motives are frustrated by widespread publication of those techniques. Thus while some of the techniques are well known, we cannot suppose that all are. But it is not necessary to suppose that large numbers of people must be kept in the dark in order for the enterprise to succeed. It is necessary only that the intended subject not perceive the technique. Or, in the case of entertainment, that the intended subject have less interest in discovering the technique than in watching it operate.

In a different thread, Scorpion proposed that a similar framework could exist for the supernatural hypothesis. He proposed that the spiritual powers that be concealed their existence and influence to achieve a dharmic effect. But his argument was riddled with holes and inconsistencies. He couldn't make it work or demonstrate that any part of it was supported by evidence. At least here, the existence of a spiritual world qualifies as an extraordinary claim requiring extraordinary proof. You can't assume them into existence, cobble them together into a framework that vaguely resembles the prosaic explanation, and ask people to accept that this is simpler.

For any given anecdote, the obstacle is generally that no further evidence can be developed to test variants of the trickery-and-deception hypothesis. This is why skeptics want professed abilities to be demonstrated under controlled circumstances, and why the unscrupulous practitioners shun them. The question is then what is reasonable to believe in the absence of that opportunity. I contend it is perfectly reasonable to presume that the reported observations are more likely due to a trickery-or-deception technique, even if unknown, than to actual supernatural operation.

That presumption is requires some assumptions. First, the purpose of the natural techniques is to mimic what are supposed to be supernatural effect. We assume this effort succeeds in a reasonable number of cases.

Second, the proposed natural technique has to explain the observations. We don't circularly assume they do. Instead, we note that the skill of the illusionist depends in part on special knowledge of natural phenomena, human capacity and nature, etc. Further, we see countless examples of stage magic that prove the ability of this knowledge to create observations that defy superficial hypotheses. Thus we assume that our impression that the observations exceed most proffered hypotheses does not preclude us from a reasonable presumption.

Third, the proposed technique has to defy falsification by the present evidence. We accept this as the central principle of stage magic. We accept it as the inevitable limitation of anecdotal happenstance. But we note further that deception -- innocent or otherwise -- presumes intent and effort to conceal evidence. Thus we assume, as above, that the paucity of evidence with which to falsify hypotheses does not preclude holding the presumption as reasonable.

In any case, it's fundamentally unreasonable for the null hypothesis to require antecedents whose existence has no evidentiary support. The null hypothesis should be the one whose proposed causes and effects are evidenced, if not outright factual.
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Old 27th September 2019, 11:30 AM   #415
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Thank you everyone for your replies. I have a lot of reading to do.
I have generally met some nice mediums who haven't asked for money, I guess I have got to stop wondering if they have magical powers.
A medium once told me she can channel God, she then told me she channeled God and God has said that I have been created as academically unintelligent, this is why I go in search... if she did indeed channel God then it means I am unable to learn new things and my confidence has been broken
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Old 27th September 2019, 11:53 AM   #416
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
Thank you everyone for your replies. I have a lot of reading to do.
I have generally met some nice mediums who haven't asked for money, I guess I have got to stop wondering if they have magical powers.
A medium once told me she can channel God, she then told me she channeled God and God has said that I have been created as academically unintelligent, this is why I go in search... if she did indeed channel God then it means I am unable to learn new things and my confidence has been broken
Absurd.
Amy, the "medium who told you she could "channel God", is one of two things. She is either a major con with tricks up her sleeves, or she is seriously mentally ill. Don't allow bad people to influence your confidence.
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Old 27th September 2019, 12:03 PM   #417
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Thank you :-)
This is why I have a fear of God existing because she claimed that God created me as academically unintelligent, after the reading I felt awful, felt like id become my own worst enemy. Stopped reading and started to believe I was thick and couldn't learn new things because God created me as academically inept.
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Old 27th September 2019, 12:29 PM   #418
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Even then body language will give away a bucketload. During the "It begins with a 'd', no, a 'b' or maybe an 'f'" routine it's really difficult not to let it show in your face when one of the scattergun 'facts' hits.
A lot of poker players do this too. If you bet or raise, they might say "Do you have straight?" (or some other hand) They aren't really expecting you to answer the question, but they are hoping your body language ( a "tell" in poker lingo) will give them a clue.
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Old 27th September 2019, 12:34 PM   #419
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
I have generally met some nice mediums who haven't asked for money,
Money is not the only factor that motivates these people. Some simply want to feel better about themselves by imagining that they have abilities that others cannot have. They want others to treat them with respect or deference, or as if they had been chosen by some higher power. Some go to the extent of relishing the power they come to have over others, however little it may be. Not everyone who claims supernatural abilities has nefarious motives. But enough do that I feel skepticism is the better reaction.

Quote:
I guess I have got to stop wondering if they have magical powers.
I daresay you'll be happier that way.

Quote:
A medium once told me she can channel God, she then told me she channeled God and God has said that I have been created as academically unintelligent...
Rubbish. No, she does not channel God. And no, she has no prerogative to question your intelligence. People who say those kinds of things under those kinds of claims to authority have no business in your life that you need to respect.
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Old 27th September 2019, 01:00 PM   #420
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Thank you Jay. Basically a few years ago I used to practice divination, I used it to try and communicate to 'god' and some very strange coincidences happened. I have always had a low level of confidence when it comes to my academic performance and so I asked 'god' through divination techniques he created me academically unintelligent and I felt like the answers were pointed to yes... I then asked a medium if this was true and she said she channeled God and confirmed my worse fears that indeed he created me academically unintelligent which in turn has halted me in going forward and learning new things which is what I love to do..

Now can you see why I am trying to debunk it all? All I want is my life back and to rid of this awful belief that god has created me as academically inept, it's had a massive negative impact on my life and my self confidence

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Old 27th September 2019, 02:37 PM   #421
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
...I then asked a medium if this was true and she said she channeled God and confirmed my worse fears ...
Just sit back for a moment and think about what a horrible, predatory human being that so-called medium was. Based on your anecdote, one would have needed little more than the perceptive powers of an over-ripe rutabaga to have figured out that you were in a fragile state of crippling self-doubt. What did this person do? Latch on and pour a cup or so of salt into that wound, and then rub it in deep. Why? Because they know a mark when they see one, and the more vulnerable the better. Kudos to you for ultimately escaping such a trap. You could easily have ended up down a path of being a regular paying customer to this creep or someone similar. Sounds like you had plenty of academic intelligence whether you appreciated it or not!

Also this:

1) There is no god, so you needn't fear it.
2) If you were a believer in a god, why on Earth would you need some other jackass to talk to it for you? That's just people taking money and wresting power from an indoctrinated populace. Look how intelligent you were to escape that!
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Old 27th September 2019, 03:05 PM   #422
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
A rather old post by ex-member Dr Adequate but wonderful still.

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...ad.php?t=59765

This was before I joined the forum, so if not for you, I would never have seen it.

Thank you!
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Old 28th September 2019, 01:59 AM   #423
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Is this kind of arrogance something you got from Silver Birch, or is this of your own making?
Sheesh.




Strange, then, that despite the amazing accuracy and usefulness of these "genuine" mediums, you haven't been to see one for more than 30 years, and cannot name a single modern-day medium you think is the real deal.

Note: hubris is not educational.
Neither is anecdotal evidence.
Bump for Scorpion.
Can you explain why you no longer visit mediums, and can you name a modern-day medium you think is genuine?
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Old 28th September 2019, 04:28 AM   #424
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Bump for Scorpion.
Can you explain why you no longer visit mediums, and can you name a modern-day medium you think is genuine?
I just got out of the habit of going to church, and as a consequence I don't know of any practicing mediums.
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Old 28th September 2019, 05:12 AM   #425
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Scorpion can you explain why mediums are so mean and go around causing real damage to people's confidence like my own?
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Old 28th September 2019, 05:16 AM   #426
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
Scorpion can you explain why mediums are so mean and go around causing real damage to people's confidence like my own?
In my experience genuine mediums are usually trying to give people comfort, by giving them messages from their departed relatives.
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Old 28th September 2019, 05:25 AM   #427
Cosmic Yak
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I just got out of the habit of going to church, and as a consequence I don't know of any practicing mediums.
Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
In my experience genuine mediums are usually trying to give people comfort, by giving them messages from their departed relatives.
Something you clearly don't need any more. Curious.
You see, Scorpion, the problem is that all we have to go on are your stories from the 1970s about these amazing, real, genuine mediums- and, as we have established, that simply isn't good enough.
It also robs us of the chance of experiencing what you define as 'the real thing' for ourselves.
It is odd, at least to me, that, having received such incredible insights and such comfort, you should then have 'got out of the habit' of doing it. What if there were more revelations (like the one about your dead brother) waiting for you? How can you be sure you have nothing left to learn from the spirits?

It is also odd that you do not seem remotely interested in assisting anyone in finding a genuine medium, given that we know there are frauds all over the place, and also given that you put- or used to put- so much stock in what they had to tell you.
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Old 28th September 2019, 08:06 AM   #428
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
In my experience genuine mediums are usually trying to give people comfort, by giving them messages from their departed relatives.
That's a long-winded way of saying no, you can't explain it. AmyW's experience is just as valid as yours, in the sense of giving us an idea how these people operate. Maybe you should consider that her experience demands an explanation more urgently than yours, and that you constantly repeating the same stories in thread after thread is an act that has worn extremely thin.
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Old 28th September 2019, 08:57 AM   #429
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
In my experience genuine mediums are usually trying to give people comfort, by giving them messages from their departed relatives.


What would a 'genuine' medium do if the message the departed relative sent this message?

Quote:
Screw you! I didn't like you when I was alive, and I like you even less now that I am dead.
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Old 28th September 2019, 09:19 AM   #430
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
What would a 'genuine' medium do if the message the departed relative sent this message?
Or similarly, I have departed relatives who were jerks in life, and I'm much happier now that they're gone. I don't care to hear any message from them from beyond the grave. Except maybe an apology and the combination to their safe.

The whole "consoling grief-stricken survivors" meme is part-and-parcel of the schtick. Of course hucksters are going to seek out people who are emotionally vulnerable and therefore easy marks. And the "told me stuff that the medium couldn't know" meme seems fairly aimed at bolstering the medium's credibility, not advancing the agenda of either the client or the spirit.

To be sure, I think there are professed mediums who don't have malicious intent. But no one has yet proven a genuine medium. So then the morality of the exercise revolves around telling people lies in order to change their mood one way or another.
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Old 28th September 2019, 09:34 AM   #431
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Jay, I don't disagree with you, but I would like to hear what Scorpion has to say about my question, since he is the one claiming that genuine mediums exist.
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Old 28th September 2019, 09:45 AM   #432
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
Jay, I don't disagree with you, but I would like to hear what Scorpion has to say about my question, since he is the one claiming that genuine mediums exist.
I want to hear what he has to say too. I was just expanding on the circumstances you raised. Genuine mediums would have to cope with the situation where the relationship between survivor and departed is not as one-dimensional as the stereotypical practice suggests. Sorry, didn't mean to step in the way.

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Old 28th September 2019, 10:27 AM   #433
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
...I would like to hear what Scorpion has to say about my question, since he is the one claiming that genuine mediums exist.
Folks there are unsinkable rubber ducks and then there are helium-filled rubber ducks that float above the water. Our man Scorpion is one of the latter. There are pages and pages of thoughtful questions – plenty of snarky ones too – in which he's demonstrated a bulletproof immunity to logic in his pursuit of the supernatural. He's not unintelligent – quite the opposite I'd wager – but he's an extraordinarily motivated reasoner. If you're looking for advice on psychics, I'd much prefer you stick to Randi and Sagan.

Although it's fun sometimes to see what excuse he might come up with next, my motivation for interacting with Scorpion is in large measure to help him recognize and avoid the scam artists that have often in the past and continue to this day to take advantage of him. If any of the basic details he's shared here are true, Scorpion has suffered from mental illnesses, alcoholism, etc. in his life, and I'm glad he's still here with us. It's a testament to his strength of character. But no, he doesn't know jack about psychics.
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Old 28th September 2019, 11:06 AM   #434
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
What would a 'genuine' medium do if the message the departed relative sent this message?
"I'm burning in Hell and the rest of the family's here too!"
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Old 28th September 2019, 11:06 AM   #435
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
Thank you Jay. Basically a few years ago I used to practice divination, I used it to try and communicate to 'god' and some very strange coincidences happened. I have always had a low level of confidence when it comes to my academic performance and so I asked 'god' through divination techniques he created me academically unintelligent and I felt like the answers were pointed to yes... I then asked a medium if this was true and she said she channeled God and confirmed my worse fears that indeed he created me academically unintelligent which in turn has halted me in going forward and learning new things which is what I love to do..

Now can you see why I am trying to debunk it all? All I want is my life back and to rid of this awful belief that god has created me as academically inept, it's had a massive negative impact on my life and my self confidence
Ah, but you are already exhibiting a desire and ability to learn simply by being here, asking the questions you do and understanding the answers given.

In other words, were you such an ineducable idiot, you would never have turned up right here. Yet you demonstrably have.

Don't sell yourself short.
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Old 28th September 2019, 11:09 AM   #436
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Ah, but you are already exhibiting a desire and ability to learn simply by being here, asking the questions you do and understanding the answers given.

In other words, were you such an ineducable idiot, you would never have turned up right here. Yet you demonstrably have.

Don't sell yourself short.
This↑

Read, absorb and reread it when you start to doubt yourself.
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Old 28th September 2019, 11:27 AM   #437
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
What would a 'genuine' medium do if the message the departed relative sent this message?
Most mediums I encountered don't relate unsympathetic messages. They are trying to help people and give them comfort and guidance.
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Old 28th September 2019, 11:33 AM   #438
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Most mediums I encountered don't relate unsympathetic messages. They are trying to help people and give them comfort and guidance.
You completely evaded the question. Try again.
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Old 28th September 2019, 11:41 AM   #439
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
Or similarly, I have departed relatives who were jerks in life, and I'm much happier now that they're gone. I don't care to hear any message from them from beyond the grave. Except maybe an apology and the combination to their safe.
I naturally had two grandmothers, but my fathers mother was an old battle axe who called me a swine under her breath. I never received any message from her and I am not surprised. All the messages I received were from my mothers mother, who cared about me.

When she was alive I scorned her beliefs in a spirit world, and I said to her, "what will you do if you survive death" She said " I will watch over you darling" and she was true to her word. I got regular messages from her. But I never heard a word from my other grandmother, who probably still mutters about me in the next world.

I believe it is not easy to come back and give messages to relatives, as the world is surrounded by dark psychic energy, caused by all the wars, and such, and a spirit has to descend through it to reach us. So they have to be motivated and I can't see my fathers mother making any effort to reach me ,as she did not like me.
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Even in the valley of the shadow of death two and two do not make six.
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Old 28th September 2019, 11:45 AM   #440
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No, he didn't completely evade it. He said that mediums are selective in what they transmit from 'the other side.'

By implication, they would not tell you, for instance, that your grandmother hid the fact that she had been a prostitute and that your grandfather stole the money they left you so you could ... umm, buy a refrigerator.

Scorpion, suppose you asked 'Where did you hide the three million dollars you earned by stock trading and that you promised to bequeath to me?" If the medium got a truthful answer, do you think the medium* would transmit the answer?

*Edited to clarify. I am referring to the genuine mediums, not the fake ones.
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