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Tags cold reading , mediums , psychics

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Old 21st October 2019, 12:53 PM   #601
isissxn
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
How am I not learning anything? It takes time to ascertain and embody new beliefs/non beliefs. I have been in the midst of religion for most of my life and am trying desperately to 're learn and unwrap the crap I have been taught.
Don't pay people's crankiness or suspicions any mind, Amy. We're just a bit jaded here at ISF. You have to understand that it is a common thing for people promoting various styles of woo to come in here pretending to be open to skepticism. Then, once everyone is engaging with the poster and answering their questions, it starts to become obvious that they aren't interested in examining their beliefs at all. They just want to troll skeptics.

It's pretty obvious to me that this probably isn't what you're doing. I recognize the looping thoughts and anxieties associated with OCD in your questions because those kinds of thought-patterns are very familiar to me. I believe your continued requests for reassurance are due to that good ol' compulsive urge to "check" - to release the anxiety pressure valve, if you will. And you shouldn't be afraid to do that. If a few people get grumpy or suspicious with you, let them. It's not you. If you stick around, people will eventually see that you're for real. Don't hold it against us.
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Old 21st October 2019, 01:48 PM   #602
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
Don't pay people's crankiness or suspicions any mind, Amy. We're just a bit jaded here at ISF. You have to understand that it is a common thing for people promoting various styles of woo to come in here pretending to be open to skepticism. Then, once everyone is engaging with the poster and answering their questions, it starts to become obvious that they aren't interested in examining their beliefs at all. They just want to troll skeptics.

It's pretty obvious to me that this probably isn't what you're doing. I recognize the looping thoughts and anxieties associated with OCD in your questions because those kinds of thought-patterns are very familiar to me. I believe your continued requests for reassurance are due to that good ol' compulsive urge to "check" - to release the anxiety pressure valve, if you will. And you shouldn't be afraid to do that. If a few people get grumpy or suspicious with you, let them. It's not you. If you stick around, people will eventually see that you're for real. Don't hold it against us.
I'm not sure if I should feel miffed at this offhand dismissal. I'm not cranky nor grumpy and my, and a few others, suspicions were well founded.

It's all very well giving AmyW support but a bit of encouragement to stop, re-read the thread and the material she has purchased on recommendation herein, to take in what has been explained and apply it to her questions before blithely posting "how do they know this?" might benefit AmyW more.

Last edited by bluesjnr; 21st October 2019 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 21st October 2019, 02:16 PM   #603
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
I'm not sure if I should feel miffed at this offhand dismissal. I'm not cranky nor grumpy and my, and a few others, suspicions were well founded.

It's all very well giving AmyW support but a bit of encouragement to stop, re-read the thread and the material she has purchased on recommendation herein, to take in what has been explained and apply it to her questions before blithely posting "how do they know this?" might benefit AmyW more.
I agree with bluesjnr on this. At some point, when people explain things a few times, with Amy indicating she understood, then, again started the questions, but at another angle.

I consider myself to be of a patient nature, but after awhile . . .
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Old 21st October 2019, 02:19 PM   #604
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
I'm not sure if I should feel miffed at this offhand dismissal. I'm not cranky nor grumpy and my, and a few others, suspicions were well founded.

It's all very well giving AmyW support but a bit of encouragement to stop, re-read the thread and the material she has purchased on recommendation herein, to take in what has been explained and apply it to her questions before blithely posting "how do they know this?" might benefit AmyW more.
I wasn't trying to insult anybody. I thought referring to ourselves as "grumpy old skeptics" and the like was standard fare here.

I understand people's frustrations. I just think it's important to note the presence of the OCD factor in this particular case. Her repetitive questions are a way of performing "checks," which can give temporary relief from strong, ingrained fears. It's not a good long-term strategy, however. Not saying it is. I just don't want to run somebody off that we could potentially help.
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Old 21st October 2019, 02:31 PM   #605
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I agree with you isissxn; moving from a belief in psychics to an understanding that they are all fraudulent is neither a linear nor an easy process.
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Old 21st October 2019, 02:37 PM   #606
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
I wasn't trying to insult anybody. I thought referring to ourselves as "grumpy old skeptics" and the like was standard fare here.

I understand people's frustrations. I just think it's important to note the presence of the OCD factor in this particular case. Her repetitive questions are a way of performing "checks," which can give temporary relief from strong, ingrained fears. It's not a good long-term strategy, however. Not saying it is. I just don't want to run somebody off that we could potentially help.
It was the "pay no mind" I objected to, to be specific. I think it bad form to encourage people to ignore others at ones behest. One should let the recipient make up their own minds whether to engage or not.

You say we could "potentially" help AmyW, I say there is no potentially about it! We can and we are helping her, in spades, and the unwritten part of the bargain in exchange for the help she requested is that she apply the sound advice and reasoning she has been graciously given over 16 pages and 600+ posts without pulling the "whaddabout this then?" card.

AmyW, the next time you find yourself wavering over something that some medium has told you, simply re-read this thread, reference the books you said you'd bought/were going to buy and apply the logic - that way lies your "relief". There is nothing to be gained by asking what is essentially the same question to have us reiterate the same answer.
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Old 21st October 2019, 02:39 PM   #607
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Originally Posted by Agatha View Post
I agree with you isissxn; moving from a belief in psychics to an understanding that they are all fraudulent is neither a linear nor an easy process.
I understand but the journey can be made a lot easier if the person making the journey steps outside the door and walks the path we've cleared for them.
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Old 21st October 2019, 02:48 PM   #608
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
It was the "pay no mind" I objected to, to be specific. I think it bad form to encourage people to ignore others at ones behest. One should let the recipient make up their own minds whether to engage or not.
Okay, you're right. That's probably true. I should have considered my wording more carefully. To be honest, I'd barely considered it at all. I was going for a friendly and supportive tone, and I just sort of tossed in a dismissive platitude, I guess. I didn't think about its wider implications, and I probably should have in a public forum setting. That was dumbassery on my part. I apologize and retract.

Quote:
You say we could "potentially" help AmyW, I say there is no potentially about it! We can and we are helping her, in spades, and the unwritten part of the bargain in exchange for the help she requested is that she apply the sound advice and reasoning she has been graciously given over 16 pages and 600+ posts without pulling the "whaddabout this then?" card.

AmyW, the next time you find yourself wavering over something that some medium has told you, simply re-read this thread, reference the books you said you'd bought/were going to buy and apply the logic - that way lies your "relief". There is nothing to be gained by asking what is essentially the same question to have us reiterate the same answer.



ETA - I should've said, "Don't let others' skepticism get you down! If you're really here to learn, then you'll understand why people have those kinds of questions soon enough." That would have been way better and somewhat more accurate.

Last edited by isissxn; 21st October 2019 at 02:55 PM. Reason: to add
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Old 21st October 2019, 02:53 PM   #609
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Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
At some point, when people explain things a few times, with Amy indicating she understood, then, again started the questions, but at another angle.

I consider myself to be of a patient nature, but after awhile . . .
Originally Posted by Agatha View Post
moving from a belief in psychics to an understanding that they are all fraudulent is neither a linear nor an easy process.
The problem is not just questions or a slow pace of progress. It's the act of continuing to go back to the same con artists looking for a way to get conned again.

Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
I understand but the journey can be made a lot easier if the person making the journey steps outside the door and walks the path we've cleared for them.
Or just doesn't keep going back the opposite way.
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Old 21st October 2019, 04:00 PM   #610
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bluesjnr, et al,

I understand the frustration of reiterating the same message, and having the recipient accept and then reject it repeatedly. (Remember Robin1, who held onto the belief in a stage medium far beyond anyone's ability to help her?)

Please reread my message #630, in light of isisxn's comment about OCD. Also, please consider that AmyW is not in the same situation as Scorpion or Robin1, who assert that spirits exist, whereas AmyW is trying to fight clear of that belief.
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Old 21st October 2019, 04:17 PM   #611
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
Okay, you're right. That's probably true. I should have considered my wording more carefully. To be honest, I'd barely considered it at all. I was going for a friendly and supportive tone, and I just sort of tossed in a dismissive platitude, I guess. I didn't think about its wider implications, and I probably should have in a public forum setting. That was dumbassery on my part. I apologize and retract.






ETA - I should've said, "Don't let others' skepticism get you down! If you're really here to learn, then you'll understand why people have those kinds of questions soon enough." That would have been way better and somewhat more accurate.
Nope. Do not apologise at all. I lost the faith 35+ years ago, yet still from time to time those ingrained superstitions raise their ugly heads. If it is beaten into you as a child, it is not an easy thing to rid oneself of it. One does not simply decide to be an atheist and that is the end of it. There is accumulated baggage.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 08:48 AM   #612
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Nope. Do not apologise at all. I lost the faith 35+ years ago, yet still from time to time those ingrained superstitions raise their ugly heads. If it is beaten into you as a child, it is not an easy thing to rid oneself of it. One does not simply decide to be an atheist and that is the end of it. There is accumulated baggage.
This is so true! I experience the same thing sometimes. It will probably never fully go away from the back of my mind, even if I live 100 years, because that religious lens was placed upon my perceptions when I learned about the world itself. Inextricable, on some level.

I just have to break out my logic katana whenever the old superstitions flare up.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 09:27 AM   #613
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
So how do I find a copy of my brothers death certificate?
Agatha already told you.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 09:28 AM   #614
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Old 22nd October 2019, 09:31 AM   #615
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
So how do I find a copy of my brothers death certificate?
Ask a medium?
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Old 22nd October 2019, 12:47 PM   #616
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
Apology accepted, with thanks.

For the record, I don't thing AmyW is deliberately behaving dishonestly; I think she is fighting very hard to let go of her previous belief in mediums.

Her return to the old belief is rather like probing at a sore tooth, or for a better analogy, at the socket from which the tooth has been extracted.



ETA, perhaps an even better analogy is the believer who deconverts, no longer believes in the Christian god, but can't shake the fear of hell.
You have hit the nail on the head! I am trying to release all of the past I had learnt about, I want to learn. I feel empowered being a disbeliever and trust me I am trying to let go, I just have bouts of fear from time to time, yes of god etc etc.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 12:56 PM   #617
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I promise when I become afraid and seek reassurance I will 're read the post. Thank you for understanding my OCD, I have recently started taking a higher dose of anti depressants and am feeling less anxious etc. OCD is a disease of the mind, it's like having an enemy in your head arguing against you and trying to install fear. I had an obsession about the supernatural and because I fear god, OCD will then create anything that might prove it exists (to create more fear). I should be starting therapy soon
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Old 22nd October 2019, 12:59 PM   #618
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Christianity infuriates me, it has installed a lot of fear in me, the Bible makes me feel dreadful, it goes against my gut feelings etc..... Religion is dangerous and especially to people who suffer from mental health
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Old 22nd October 2019, 01:00 PM   #619
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Isis you have spoken such wisdom and really understand OCD thank you
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Old 22nd October 2019, 01:19 PM   #620
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I like to live by evidence and logical thinking, it's a much more healthier way to think. Yes I slip up from time to time but my journey to a more sane journey is empowering
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Old 22nd October 2019, 01:21 PM   #621
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I have recently spoken with Susan a psychic researcher and thankfully her research has led to no evidence of them being real, which is very reassuring
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Old 22nd October 2019, 01:34 PM   #622
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Then why are you on here? I am desperately trying to turn away from spiritualism and religion and you are on here making it worse for me. You need to realise that for me spiritualism really harmed me
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Old 22nd October 2019, 01:47 PM   #623
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Thanks to 'mediums ' one claimed they can channel god and how god created me academically unintelligent (one of my fears of not being good enough) and she damaged my self esteem to no end, I've explained this in my post but you come on here saying they are real which in turn makes my previous fears seem real again
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Old 22nd October 2019, 01:48 PM   #624
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
This is so true! I experience the same thing sometimes. It will probably never fully go away from the back of my mind, even if I live 100 years, because that religious lens was placed upon my perceptions when I learned about the world itself. Inextricable, on some level.

I just have to break out my logic katana whenever the old superstitions flare up.
I was raised under two competitive religions in one house. There may have been a god but he was one bipolar bastard if both my parents knew the same one.

Both always told me the other was wrong, it because my task to choose who was correct.

I decided as both could not make a case both were full of smeg. There was no shortage of religion in that house but it was all so uselessly mixed up . I was not the only sibling that came out option 3, both parents upset.

Years of catholic repetition and Sunday school crap wasn't convincing either. The damages were done. I simply cannot imagine having to suppress a fear of a all powerful but absent god because I was too busy planning to escape my parents.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 02:03 PM   #625
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
Then why are you on here? I am desperately trying to turn away from spiritualism and religion and you are on here making it worse for me. You need to realise that for me spiritualism really harmed me
Well I have had the opposite experience of spiritualism.

Psychiatrists wrote me off in 1972 by giving me a poor prognosis of recovery from schizophrenia, because I had not improved over the previous two years.
So I abandoned psychiatry and turned to spiritualism. They helped me a lot and gave me healing which I could often feel as heat.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 02:09 PM   #626
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Well I have had the opposite experience of spiritualism.
And why is that useful to this thread and the purposes for which AmyW started it? She came to a skeptics forum to understand the skeptical approach to spiritualist claims. Why are you relevant?

Quote:
So I abandoned psychiatry and turned to spiritualism. They helped me a lot and gave me healing which I could often feel as heat.
In other words, you're still suffering from schizophrenia and thus not really a good authority on what's real and what's imagined or poorly remembered.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 02:13 PM   #627
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
Thanks to 'mediums ' one claimed they can channel god and how god created me academically unintelligent (one of my fears of not being good enough) and she damaged my self esteem to no end, I've explained this in my post but you come on here saying they are real which in turn makes my previous fears seem real again
Did you see this medium in a spiritualist church? Because it sounds like your views of spiritualism have been formed by falling foul of a fake medium.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 02:34 PM   #628
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
Isis you have spoken such wisdom and really understand OCD thank you
Aw, shucks! Glad you could connect with my words on the matter. I have studied OCD academically in the past (though not recently), but the bulk of my understanding comes from experiencing it myself for most of my life. So yeah, hang in there. It's all about calming down and rationalizing that pesky enemy in your head into silence. Talking often helps, as long as you have a decent listener to talk to.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 02:49 PM   #629
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I am sorry Scorpion but 'psychics' do more damage than good. If magical thinking and religion did not exist the world would be a much better place. For people whom suffer with anxiety these things can often heighten their anxiety as it did to me and sometimes still does.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 02:54 PM   #630
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Scorpion this is what I mean by magical thinking and how it can create strong delusions, it's not only unhealthy but also dangerous. Its paranoid thinking, it's being irrational and not realistic.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 02:54 PM   #631
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
I am sorry Scorpion but 'psychics' do more damage than good. If magical thinking and religion did not exist the world would be a much better place. For people whom suffer with anxiety these things can often heighten their anxiety as it did to me and sometimes still does.
Much of religion is nonsense to me too. But my experiences of psychics has been largely positive. I am sorry yours has not.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 02:58 PM   #632
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No sadly not, spiritualism also leads to other questions, some psychics even claim that evil entities can affect us, it's nonsense. Trust me I've done my research, spiritualism isn't simple and just leads to more confusion and paranoia
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Old 22nd October 2019, 11:35 PM   #633
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Originally Posted by The Shrike View Post
If I thought the encouragement to disabuse yourself of belief in psychic mediums and other spiritual mumbo-jumbo would give you "bad days" I wouldn't share it with you, Scorpion. Freeing you from beneath the spell of such two-bit charlatans should be freeing for you – it's a good thing.

To take just one example, imagine no longer getting suckered into spending money on electric shock machines to realign your non-existent aura? It is at once humbling and empowering to experience the freedom that comes from accepting that you control your own destiny.
Such a good response, it certainly is freeing to feel like you are in control of your destiny
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Old 22nd October 2019, 11:44 PM   #634
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I once had a conversation with a friend in which he expressed his feeling that it's more likely that there was some kind of entity which was controlling everything - yes, in those vague terms, he's never been actually religious - and I replied that if there is, they're doing a really terrible job. That seemed to have an impact.
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Old 23rd October 2019, 12:16 AM   #635
Pixel42
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The bottom line is always that for any anecdote, given a choice between

1. An explanation which contradicts everything a couple of centuries of painstaking scientific investigation has taught us about how the world works

and

2. An explanation which is consistent with what we've learned, especially about how easily we can be fooled by our fallible perceptions, malliable memories and cognitive biases

the only rational choice is (2). Only someone who is already heavily emotionally invested in their irrational beliefs will choose (1).
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Old 23rd October 2019, 06:09 AM   #636
DuvalHMFIC
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I once had a conversation with a friend in which he expressed his feeling that it's more likely that there was some kind of entity which was controlling everything - yes, in those vague terms, he's never been actually religious - and I replied that if there is, they're doing a really terrible job. That seemed to have an impact.
It's Laplace's Demon. It's not supposed to do a good job.
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Old 26th October 2019, 01:23 PM   #637
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Mod Info Some 120 posts which are better placed in the Scorpion's Spiritualism thread have been sent there; please keep this thread focused on AmyW and her discussions with people claiming to be mediums.
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Old 26th October 2019, 09:09 PM   #638
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The thing about these charlatans is they take hot and cold reading, mix in that weird gypsy image and sample common ideas from the religious. Then display symbols from ancient cultures and whatnot.

And somehow play all this off as normal and coherent with magical powers, yeah, that's all in a regular playbook.

Sell some magical protective baubles and talk like an auctioneer and it's complete.

If I went into a Hindu temple I would not expect a gypsy with a backdrop of Egyptian symbols talking of Christian rituals as the big cheese there. I would expect a monk and only Hindu stuff.
How is the.truckload of mixed gibberish not a red flag to people?

Not you in particular Amy, but all the folks who find comfort in that trade.
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Old 30th October 2019, 01:17 PM   #639
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Originally Posted by AmyW View Post
No sadly not, spiritualism also leads to other questions, some psychics even claim that evil entities can affect us, it's nonsense. Trust me I've done my research, spiritualism isn't simple and just leads to more confusion and paranoia

Back in the day I was told that tabletop roleplaying games were dangerous because evil spiritual entities could watch you play, learn intimate details about you that you reveal during the game, and use them to manipulate you. I think I backed away slowly.
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Old 30th October 2019, 02:35 PM   #640
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From the game, the evil spiritual entities, or the person who told you that?
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