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Tags cold reading , mediums , psychics

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Old 6th September 2019, 04:28 AM   #361
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Perhaps you need to see a chiropractor to relieve the pressure on your neck vertebra caused by having all that baggage in your head?

I'll pop down the pub to get some porter to help with my baggage.
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Old 6th September 2019, 04:54 AM   #362
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
It means that I wondered why you consistently asked the same questions despite having things repeatedly explained. When asked why by Pixel42, I was interested to see how you'd respond, ergo, "let's see where his goes".

You very kindly provided a completely cromulent explanation and went on to give a lot more detail. Thank you for that.



If I sounded suspicious it's because I was. We've had many people pop in to tell us about their epiphany and it's simply been a smokescreen to push their woo, often with leaders like, "how do you explain THIS then?", despite having things explained, often in great detail.

You didn't, on the face of things, seem like that kind of poster but my spider senses were tingling a wee bit.

Time has shown that you are genuinely on your journey towards a more sceptical outlook and I hope that this journey helps you get rid of some of the baggage you've been left by "well meaning" mediums, psychics and the religious community.

I trust this explains what, "that was supposed to mean".
Thanks for your reply. Trust me I am seeking solice within non religious/normality. It's religion that can make mental illness worse, it's good for some but definitely not for others
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Old 6th September 2019, 07:25 AM   #363
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
To add to bluesjnr's post: we have so many people pretending to be open-minded and "just asking questions" (aka JAQ) and not reading the answers to the questions that someone coined the phrase "JAQing off" to describe the phenomenon.

Thanks to you and isisxsn for your description of how OCD actually affects people. I think most of us view as it's portrayed in films.
Yeah, for whatever reason, shows and films latched onto portraying OCD as "obsessively tidy" and "checks if they really locked the door a million times." That's about it. While those can certainly be symptoms for some people, it's not what the condition is really about. It has much more to do with thought patterns, looping thoughts, anxiety, and strange coping behaviors.

My maternal uncle has it too, so there seems to be a genetic component in our line. He's much worse than me. He has full-blown agoraphobia now, and he lives in squalor even though he has money. He's terrified of germs, washes his hands hundreds of times a day until they are raw and chapped, but his house is filthy and full of stacks of old newspapers and such. It seems really illogical on its face, but that's just how that devil OCD works sometimes.

AmyW, I'm glad to hear you're starting CBT. It seems to have pretty good results for people with these issues. I've found it helpful, though I've only ever done the self-help workbooks.
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Old 6th September 2019, 03:23 PM   #364
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
Did you really, and it worked?
Not me, but yes. It's very common, you have the psychic, astrologer or whatever do a write up for a group of people, give everyone all of them and tell them to pick the one that applies to them. Comes out as chance which one they get. Richard Dawkins did a variation where he printed up 12 nice illustrated star sign cards, each with exactly the same 'reading' (which was made for a particular sign) and gave random people the card relating to their sign. Lots of them of all signs said it applied to them accept (coincidentally) IIRC the star sign it was written for.

Have a watch of Richard Dawkins "Enemies of Reason" documentary. It was made for Channel 4 in the UK. I think it's on YouTube and may be on C4 Player if your in the UK. It's an easy watch and covers a lot of the groundwork.
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Old 17th September 2019, 11:25 AM   #365
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If ghosts exist does this mean that mediums aren't fake because they claim to speak with the dead?
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Old 17th September 2019, 01:17 PM   #366
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
If ghosts exist does this mean that mediums aren't fake because they claim to speak with the dead?
Don't put the cart before the horse. Until the two words highlighted are resolved into at least probabilities there is no conclusion to draw.
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Old 17th September 2019, 01:28 PM   #367
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
If ghosts exist does this mean that mediums aren't fake because they claim to speak with the dead?
If Rolls-Royce's exist does this mean that I'm not lying because I claim to own six of them?
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Old 17th September 2019, 02:46 PM   #368
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
If ghosts exist does this mean that mediums aren't fake because they claim to speak with the dead?
Even if ghosts exist - which is very unlikely because of a boring thing called physics - there is no reason to believe that a single medium has ever been in contact with them. After all, countless mediums have been exposed as charlatans exploiting the gullible.

You could also think of the vacuous messages that the ghost or spirit believers claim has been delivered: they are more reflective of the fantasy world that the believers wish for than a description of what happens after death. Also think of how different cultures have different ghost stories, like when Hindus speak about their gods, whereas Western mediums have their own feel-good fantasies. All points to the fact that the mediums adapt their spin to the expectations of their customers.

And the gaffes that happen when mediums tell us that there is life in Mars - spoken at a time when the medium thought that nobody could ever disprove this. These days, spirit life needs to be further away in order not to embarrass the medium.

Nope, most likely all mediums are fake.
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Old 18th September 2019, 05:03 AM   #369
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Good point there, am I right on saying the Bible states that mediums are evil? Yes most mediums claim to believe in the Christian God.....
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Old 18th September 2019, 05:25 AM   #370
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Not evil so much as "detestable in the eyes of the Lord". And supposed Christians are very good at quoting the verses that suit their purpose. You see many condemning homosexuality on the basis of Leviticus 18:22 "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." Elsewhere in Leviticus you will also find the following are also abominations : "Whatever in the water does not have fins or scales—that shall be an abomination to you." Notice the angry demonstrators outside seafood restaurants? "Do not crossbreed two different kinds of your livestock, sow your fields with two kinds of seed, or put on a garment made of two kinds of material."
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Old 18th September 2019, 03:08 PM   #371
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
Good point there, am I right on saying the Bible states that mediums are evil? Yes most mediums claim to believe in the Christian God.....

Interesting observation but perhaps it would be more correct to say "most mediums in my society claim to believe in the Christian God". That is if you've done some research on the subject.

I wonder about mediums in other, non Christian, countries.

It occurs to me that this thread should be titled "How do psychic mediums make you believe they know stuff about you"
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Old 18th September 2019, 03:44 PM   #372
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And Guilliarmo Del Toro's film of "Nightmare Alley" is set to start filming in January.

The novel goes into detail about exactly how phony mediums run their scam. The 1947 film shows some of that but not as much as the novel. Hopefully the 2021 film will show more.

And you can't complain about the cast: Bradley Cooper as Stan, the carnival side show scam artist who tries for the big time as a phony medium, and Cate Blanchette as the dishonest Psycharist who joins him in his schemes.
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Old 18th September 2019, 05:29 PM   #373
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
And Guilliarmo Del Toro's film of "Nightmare Alley" is set to start filming in January.

The novel goes into detail about exactly how phony mediums run their scam. The 1947 film shows some of that but not as much as the novel. Hopefully the 2021 film will show more.

And you can't complain about the cast: Bradley Cooper as Stan, the carnival side show scam artist who tries for the big time as a phony medium, and Cate Blanchette as the dishonest Psycharist who joins him in his schemes.
I just recently watched the '47 film. Impressive, educational, and disturbing. I look forward to the new one.
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Old 18th September 2019, 06:43 PM   #374
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
Good point there, am I right on saying the Bible states that mediums are evil? Yes most mediums claim to believe in the Christian God.....
Yes.

And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. Leviticus 20:6

A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:27

There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Deuteronomy 18:10-12
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Old 20th September 2019, 05:27 AM   #375
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Are there eastern countries that have mystics (psychic mediums) who claim they can talk to the dead who aren't Christian?

On another note I've just received a copy of Dawkins the God delusion, is it any good? Can't wait to read it :-)
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Old 20th September 2019, 05:37 AM   #376
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
Are there eastern countries that have mystics (psychic mediums) who claim they can talk to the dead who aren't Christian?

On another note I've just received a copy of Dawkins the God delusion, is it any good? Can't wait to read it :-)
Don't think there is any culture in the world that hasn't historically claimed the dead speak to the living.
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Old 20th September 2019, 07:56 AM   #377
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The Bible ***** on mediums because its authors viewed them as competition. How could they establish their religion as the vehicle for ultimate truth when all these diviners are running around claiming to have connections to the "other side" as well? Possibly giving contradictory information on spirituality? That's all it is. It's basically politics and a bit of marketing.

To answer the question of why so many modern mediums claim to be Christian despite the Bible's slamming of mediums - most modern Christians haven't actually read the Bible. Also, they tend to ignore the bits they don't like. That's why there are so many Christians who shriek that being gay is a sin but happily eat shellfish without a second thought.

Simply put, people are full of crap and always have been. The Bible authors were full of crap, the mediums are full of crap, everyone is just full of crap. They're trying to sell you on their brand of religion. Don't let them. Treat them like the obsequious salesmen they are!
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Old 20th September 2019, 11:17 AM   #378
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
Simply put, people are full of crap and always have been.
Quoted for truth. This will answer 90% of all questions.
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Old 20th September 2019, 11:20 AM   #379
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post

On another note I've just received a copy of Dawkins the God delusion, is it any good? Can't wait to read it :-)
I have a copy and I would not get that excited about it. Its just another atheists opinions, and the only thing it taught me is I am a deist not a theist.
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Old 20th September 2019, 12:33 PM   #380
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
On another note I've just received a copy of Dawkins the God delusion, is it any good? Can't wait to read it :-)
It's written to an audience, a long time atheist won't find anything new in it, but for someone coming to the realisation that gods are not necessary or evidenced it's generally considered a good read. Dawkins is a good writer and I think you'll enjoy it. You might want to check out his two documentary mini series "Root of All Evil" & "Enemies of Reason" too.
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Old 20th September 2019, 02:11 PM   #381
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
It's written to an audience, a long time atheist won't find anything new in it, but for someone coming to the realisation that gods are not necessary or evidenced it's generally considered a good read. Dawkins is a good writer and I think you'll enjoy it. You might want to check out his two documentary mini series "Root of All Evil" & "Enemies of Reason" too.

I agree having read the book a couple of times.

Many of the ideas presented I had come to understanding of independently beforehand. I think the book is a good reference guide however and there is some material I found new and refreshing.
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Old 20th September 2019, 05:52 PM   #382
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Late to the party but want to welcome you Amy. As you can see, there are a lot of folks here ready to help you navigate this world of hucksters and frauds.
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Old 22nd September 2019, 09:21 AM   #383
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
If ghosts exist does this mean that mediums aren't fake because they claim to speak with the dead?
Originally Posted by Pope130 View Post
If Rolls-Royce's exist does this mean that I'm not lying because I claim to own six of them?
To put this rebuttal in a more generalized form that can be used in lots of other cases...

Questions or statements in "if-then" form are often syllogisms (things that actually have at least two inputs to yield one output when combined) with one of the inputs hidden. The proper form would be "if-if-then", such as "if this is the case and that other thing is also the case, then here's a conclusion (whether being asserted or asked about)", but one of the "if" parts is missing.

So the useful general rule when encountering or thinking up "if-then" stuff is to ask what other unspoken "if" would be required to get to that "then".

To apply that to the specific case you brought up, getting from "ghosts are real" to "mediums' claims about them are true" requires another piece, such as "if something is real, then people's claims about it are true". That kind or premise is built in to the question as if it were automatic, but do you really believe that premise yourself?

Can you think of another one that would satisfy the original syllogism (Statement X in "if ghosts are real and Statement X is also correct, then mediums' claims are true") that you do believe?

Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
On another note I've just received a copy of Dawkins the God delusion, is it any good?
It sounds like "Demon-Haunted World is probably more applicable to the subjects you're interested in.

Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Don't think there is any culture in the world that hasn't historically claimed the dead speak to the living.
I've heard of two. One was the Pirah„, but they're famous in anthropology for being so weird & unlike other human cultures in so many ways that a basic description of them sounds like it must be a description of how some not-quite-modern-human relative of modern humans might have lived a couple million years ago, so nothing about them can really be taken as a sign of anything about people in general. And anyway, they do believe in some kinds of spirits, so that's not very far off.

The other was subject of an article titled something like "Shakespeare in the Bush", in which an anthropologist studying some tribe by living among them for a while decided to try to test the idea that Shakespeare is universal by telling them a Shakespeare story and seeing their reactions. When (s)he got to a scene with a ghost talking to a living character, they couldn't imagine why that character would be so scared to find out that a friend/relative (s)he thought was dead was actually alive. When the anthropologist said that character was dead, they'd say "But (s)he's walking & talking, so (s)he's alive". When the anthropologist described what the ghost did & said, they'd say "But you said that character was dead", and around & around they went. They tried imagining everything they could to infuse into the story to get it to make sense, like that it was somebody else in disguise or the living character didn't know what (s)he was seeing because (s)he had been cursed or poisoned. They were convinced the anthropologist was telling the story wrong because the idea of a character being both dead and alive at the same time was beyond merely wrong; it was something they had no concept of to even try to apply the idea of wrongness to.

That kind of thing certainly seems counter to the general trend in by far most human cultures, though.
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Old 24th September 2019, 01:03 AM   #384
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Thanks guys, can I ask has James Randi debunked a lot of mediums, even ones who people believed are generally 'real'? There are quite a few people claiming that the medium knew so much about them, this kind of thing freaks me out.
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Old 24th September 2019, 02:11 AM   #385
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There's a nice scene of him presenting "accurate" horoscopes to a class from sabout 18:48 on. In it you can see how people read generalities as specific to them. The whole thing's worth watching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MFAvH8m8aI
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Old 24th September 2019, 03:27 AM   #386
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
There are quite a few people claiming that the medium knew so much about them, this kind of thing freaks me out.
That is all cold or even hot readings. this has been debunked lots of times, but you will never find a well-known medium voluntarily accepting a test, and I doubt that James Randi has tested any: they know they are fake.

Actually, some people who have been doing cold readings do not know that that is what they have been doing, and in the past we have had people who have told that discussions on this forum opened their eyes to the technique that they themselves thought was a psychic ability they had.

But I still think that well-known medium are well aware of the fraud they are committing.
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Old 24th September 2019, 05:01 AM   #387
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
Thanks guys, can I ask has James Randi debunked a lot of mediums, even ones who people believed are generally 'real'? There are quite a few people claiming that the medium knew so much about them, this kind of thing freaks me out.
A few people who seem to generally believe they have real abilities have taken the million dollar challenge over the years. All have failed, badly. As in "you need to get 9 out of 12 right, chance says you'll get 3", and they get 1 or 2 right. Yep, they usually do WORSE than chance from what I've seen.

The rest, the out-and-out fraudsters such as Sylvia Brown knew better than to ever be tested in the first place. They finally make a correct prediction that they'd fail
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Old 24th September 2019, 05:22 AM   #388
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Years ago, Randi did a tour of post-collapse Russia, which was already overrun with all manner of woo nonsense. (Televised on PBS)

He did a segment on a pair of “psychic” sisters who could look at a photograph of a person and tell you all about them....
Randi brought along a photo, and the sisters promptly began firing off a series of typical “fishing” questions. Randi remained silent and poker-faced.
The ladies started making wild guesses, noting that the fellow in the picture “looked nice” and seemed very handsome...

It was Ted Bundy.
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Old 24th September 2019, 09:11 AM   #389
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Originally Posted by DuvalHMFIC View Post
A few people who seem to generally believe they have real abilities have taken the million dollar challenge over the years. All have failed, badly. As in "you need to get 9 out of 12 right, chance says you'll get 3", and they get 1 or 2 right. Yep, they usually do WORSE than chance from what I've seen.

The rest, the out-and-out fraudsters such as Sylvia Brown knew better than to ever be tested in the first place. They finally make a correct prediction that they'd fail
As I recall, Sylvia Brown had an excuse for not taking the challenge. She said that though she would win, Randi didn't have a million dollars, so she figured, why bother?
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Old 24th September 2019, 09:43 AM   #390
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Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
As I recall, Sylvia Brown had an excuse for not taking the challenge. She said that though she would win, Randi didn't have a million dollars, so she figured, why bother?
Yeah, and then he offered to demonstrate that he totally did, in escrow or whatever, and Sylvia switched her tune to something like, "Oh well, my powers are influenced by skeptic negativity, and also, I don't NEED the money." So give it to charity, liarface.

I know she's dead, so I don't want to be too mean, but LIARFACE fits well.
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Old 24th September 2019, 09:56 AM   #391
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
Yeah, and then he offered to demonstrate that he totally did, in escrow or whatever, and Sylvia switched her tune to something like, "Oh well, my powers are influenced by skeptic negativity, and also, I don't NEED the money." So give it to charity, liarface.

I know she's dead, so I don't want to be too mean, but LIARFACE fits well.
I have no problem speaking ill of the dead, if it is about Sylvia Brown. "Too mean" isn't a problem. LIARFACE is far too mild. She was a MEAN, cruel, greedy, F-face, who is now where she belongs. May she be burning in hell.
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Old 24th September 2019, 02:52 PM   #392
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Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
I have no problem speaking ill of the dead, if it is about Sylvia Brown. "Too mean" isn't a problem. LIARFACE is far too mild. She was a MEAN, cruel, greedy, F-face, who is now where she belongs. May she be burning in hell.
No objection here .

I was just trying to ward off scoldings.
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Old 24th September 2019, 03:07 PM   #393
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Amy: you may be interested in Randiís book, Flim Flam. He has a section specifically on psychics along with all kinds of other stuff. Iíd also recommend The Faith Healers which details psychic stuff masquerading as religion. To complete the trifecta, The Truth About Uri Geller, focuses on a dude who claimed all kinds of psychic powers. Any of these should give you a good idea of the same kinds of tricks and techniques used by mediums even today.
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Old 24th September 2019, 03:23 PM   #394
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Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
I have no problem speaking ill of the dead, if it is about Sylvia Brown. "Too mean" isn't a problem. LIARFACE is far too mild. She was a MEAN, cruel, greedy, F-face, who is now where she belongs. May she be burning in hell.

Must give those who believe in Hell a nice warm glow inside, to contemplate the suffering of those deserving to be there. This is one area where atheism lets us down.
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Old 25th September 2019, 10:44 AM   #395
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
Thanks guys, can I ask has James Randi debunked a lot of mediums, even ones who people believed are generally 'real'? There are quite a few people claiming that the medium knew so much about them, this kind of thing freaks me out.
No one here but me knows what they are talking about. I have experienced genuine mediums many times since the 1960's. Its not all hot and cold reading. I was told facts. Also I went to different spiritualist churches up and down the south of England. I saw many different mediums I had never seen before and they still knew factual stuff about me. One such medium came to me with a message and she said " I have got your grandmother here, she says she has been through to you many times before"

How could a medium I had never seen before in a church I had never been to before know that?
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Old 25th September 2019, 12:57 PM   #396
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
No one here but me knows what they are talking about. I have experienced genuine mediums many times since the 1960's. Its not all hot and cold reading. I was told facts. Also I went to different spiritualist churches up and down the south of England. I saw many different mediums I had never seen before and they still knew factual stuff about me. One such medium came to me with a message and she said " I have got your grandmother here, she says she has been through to you many times before"

How could a medium I had never seen before in a church I had never been to before know that?
In a game of chance, the very fact you are seeking out a medium, what are the chances this is the FIRST one? And if it is the first one, then a simple hand wave of "she's been trying to contact you unsuccessfully before" will suffice.
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Old 25th September 2019, 02:20 PM   #397
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
There are quite a few people claiming that the medium knew so much about them, this kind of thing freaks me out.
You really needn't be afraid. It's nothing more than people being talented at cold reading and for some, cheating further via hot reading.

Just because you don't understand how someone does something does not mean that the person doing that thing has any special powers. My favorite example of this is illusionist Criss Angel's levitating from one building to another. How he appeared to do that, I have no idea except that I know that he did not, in fact, fly from one rooftop to another.
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Old 25th September 2019, 11:22 PM   #398
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Originally Posted by The Shrike View Post
You really needn't be afraid. It's nothing more than people being talented at cold reading and for some, cheating further via hot reading.

Just because you don't understand how someone does something does not mean that the person doing that thing has any special powers. My favorite example of this is illusionist Criss Angel's levitating from one building to another. How he appeared to do that, I have no idea except that I know that he did not, in fact, fly from one rooftop to another.
I once saw David Copperfield saw himself in half and put himself back together again. I have no idea how he did it. According to Scorpion's "logic" I should now be quite certain that it's possible for a man to saw himself in half and put himself back together again.
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Old 26th September 2019, 02:22 AM   #399
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
No one here but me knows what they are talking about.
Is this kind of arrogance something you got from Silver Birch, or is this of your own making?
Sheesh.


Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I have experienced genuine mediums many times since the 1960's. Its not all hot and cold reading. I was told facts. Also I went to different spiritualist churches up and down the south of England.
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.
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Old 26th September 2019, 03:08 PM   #400
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
Thanks guys, can I ask has James Randi debunked a lot of mediums, even ones who people believed are generally 'real'? There are quite a few people claiming that the medium knew so much about them, this kind of thing freaks me out.

AmyW, there is a section of this forum called "Randi Million Dollar Challenge". You should take a look at the claims and discussions there.

Not all are about mediums or spirits or ghosts, but many are.

Also, look at http://iighq.org/index.php/challenge for examples of the kind of "powers" or phenomena that people think are real.
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