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Old 13th July 2008, 02:07 PM   #1
Tressa
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Aug 30th Psychic Fair Western Massachusetts

Saturday August 30
Montague, MA

TNSA (The National Spiritual Alliance) will sponsor a Psychic Fair onSaturday, July 26, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Thompson Temple. Readers use different means to obtain information for those who consult them. Divination methods include astrology, I-Ching, hand reading, psychometry, vibration connection, and Tarot cards. Consultation is with a medium of choice. Spiritual and Reiki healing services are also available. Readings and healings each cost $25 for 20 minutes. The Psychic Fair schedule through the third quarter of 2008: Saturday, August 30, and Saturday, September 27.


http://www.thenationalspiritualallianceinc.org/

(under Coming Attractions scroll about half way down)

Montague is about an hour west of me (I am in central MA).

Strangely enough, even though I was Wiccan for twelve years I have never been to a Psychic Fair.

If enough people are willing, perhaps each one could have a reading with a different type of reader and then we could compare notes back at my place over dinner (open to crashers both Friday and or Saturday nights August 29/30).

Anyone interested in a little "field research" on Saturday, August 30?
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Old 13th July 2008, 03:43 PM   #2
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ohhh it would be fun just to GO.

We could hand out Randi bookmarks.

I wonder if they would let us set up a table?
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Old 13th July 2008, 03:47 PM   #3
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And while you're in Montague, visit the Bookmill. I miss that place.
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Old 13th July 2008, 06:11 PM   #4
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I would be interested in just seeing how this all is set up and how it all works... I'm going to put it in my calendar but I still have to see if I can make it to it.
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Old 13th July 2008, 06:37 PM   #5
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It sounds like a job for pigasus to me Shall we start making some to hand out at the fair?
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Old 13th July 2008, 06:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by grayman View Post
And while you're in Montague, visit the Bookmill. I miss that place.
Oh yes great place. Count me in
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Old 13th July 2008, 07:30 PM   #7
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Do psychics have to advertise in some psychic journal to set up a psychic fair like this? Or does one psychic just come up with the idea and then contact all the others psychically?
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Old 13th July 2008, 08:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ShowerComic View Post
Oh yes great place. Count me in
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August 30th is the Psychic Fair. If anyone would like to go to the Bookmill they need to set up their own road trip for that.
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Old 13th July 2008, 09:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tressa View Post
August 30th is the Psychic Fair. If anyone would like to go to the Bookmill they need to set up their own road trip for that.
I was suggesting that if anyone was planning on going to the psychic fair, a stop at the Bookmill while in town would be a pleasant diversion in addition to the fair.

I did not realize that this was an either/or situation that needed your permission.

Given the option, Shower Comic, choose to spend your money at the Bookmill. You know it'll be better spent.
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Old 14th July 2008, 06:47 PM   #10
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This sounds interesting. Not sure I'd pay good money for a healing, but maybe we could pool our funds and have someone get a reading. (Preferably someone who knows the tricks of cold reading.) Hey, maybe one of us could do a spoon bending......or something similar.
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Old 14th July 2008, 08:32 PM   #11
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I've read Ian Rowland's book on cold reading. It might be fun to try. Does anyone have a recorder?
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Old 15th July 2008, 03:25 AM   #12
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you should ask permission to record (it might be a law or something!)

Still, very interesting, yet I"m more interested in the BOOKMILL!!

I'd hand out pigasus but we need to get a stamp with the JREF web site to put on them!
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Old 15th July 2008, 03:30 AM   #13
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oh and you might need to check with the town about handing out stuff.. someone just told me that as there are weird laws about it. Bummer....
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Old 15th July 2008, 08:00 AM   #14
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We could always incorporate as a church, then go door-to-door.
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Old 15th July 2008, 08:13 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by kittynh View Post
oh and you might need to check with the town about handing out stuff.. someone just told me that as there are weird laws about it. Bummer....
I used to live next door in Sunderland and have been to Montague more times than I can remember.

Perhaps someone could stand there with a sign that says, "Psychics, earn $1,000,000.00! Ask me how!
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Old 15th July 2008, 11:40 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by kittynh View Post
you should ask permission to record (it might be a law or something!)
It is a federal law, and Ian's book gives some suggested lines to use to get them to agree.
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Old 15th July 2008, 11:46 AM   #17
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I think rebecca went to a fair like this... her show had a segment on it.

Joe Nickell also has an account of one he went to. They don't like it when you have more than one aura reading within a short amount of time.
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Old 15th July 2008, 07:36 PM   #18
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On the chance they have someone peddling magnets for shoes (seems to be common at these sort of woo events), bring along a couple of refrigerator magnets. If they have a Gaussmeter to show how good their $50 magnets are let 'em test a refrigerator magnet. They're usually just as strong...and a heck of a lot cheaper. Ask them if their magnets will suck all the iron in your blood to the surface of your skin and make your skin red.

Hey, I have a humongous quartz crystal here. maybe I should bring that along for...."protection".
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Old 16th July 2008, 03:56 AM   #19
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Ideally, we'd set up a table; however, you have to reserve one well in advance, or pay through the nose. We had one of these in Burlington several months ago (same outfit, I believe), and I found out about it only two weeks before. The table/booth rates for signing up that late were outrageous (and probably meant to keep out party-poopers like us). Ideally, a few of us should join the association and get member's rates, as well as advance notice.
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Old 16th July 2008, 08:06 AM   #20
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oh that's fun Beady. Though I think theyd kick us out!

What would be fun is to get some really good cold reading going... and then get a booth and spend the day faking it. I dunno, come up with some crazy sort of woo idea and tape people getting their "free demonstration". Only problem is they would go out believing in whatever we thought up...I was going to suggest reading the iris of someones eyes, but that's REAL woo already.

I'm sure we could come up with something.
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Old 16th July 2008, 09:13 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by kittynh View Post
oh that's fun Beady. Though I think theyd kick us out!
They couldn't, if we were dues-paying members, and had paid for our booth in advance.

Quote:
What would be fun is to get some really good cold reading going... and then get a booth and spend the day faking it. I dunno, come up with some crazy sort of woo idea and tape people getting their "free demonstration". Only problem is they would go out believing in whatever we thought up...I was going to suggest reading the iris of someones eyes, but that's REAL woo already.
Actually, I've been thinking along the lines of something far more serious (yet fun) that would take considerably more preparation. For instance, we should have some books to sell on consignment, such as Rowland's on cold reading, Randi's on Nostrodamus and faith healing, etc. We should have demonstrations such as the Forrer Effect, Zener cards, etc. Of course, we'd also have to have someone ojn board who was competent in all these. Anyway, what I've got in mind would take more than a couple weeks' planning and effort.

ETA: BTW, I think *I* would be far more likely to kick any of our group out, if they did anything that would get all of us kicked out. The psychics and such who would be there would be just as serious about their belief as any evangelical, and we would have to be friendly, respectful and non-confrontational. No mocking, no preaching, no challenging; just quiet discussions and demonstrations with anyone who came to our table and acted interested.
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Old 16th July 2008, 05:38 PM   #22
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As far as I can see, the Fair doesn't cost anything to enter, so if anyone wants to see what's up there and maybe over hear a reading or two (depending on how the readers are set up), the only thing it will cost is gas money.

If anyone is interested in going to just the Fair and wants to share gas fee, I can take up to three in my car.

If anyone wants to meet at my house before or after the Fair please use either Mapquest or Yahoo Directions to get to my house; I have been told that Google Directions will land you across town from my house.

If anyone doesn't want to go to the Fair but would like to just hang out with some JREFers, aim for late afternoon/early Saturday evening at my house. I have a small charcoal bbq; we can do a potluck thing.

Again, my house is available for crashers both Friday and Saturday night, for those who are coming a long distance or those are just overcome by any readings they get at the Fair (okay, that may be overcome with laughter). I can swing a simple pancake breakfast on Saturday morning if there are any Friday nighters (just let me know a week or so in advance).

As far as getting readings, as I said in my original post, "if enough people are willing" I did pay to see "Expelled" so I have no problem with this (okay, it was matinee pricing so it was less then a dollar more than a DVD rental). One can only learn so much by reading and watching videos of psychics and those that expose them. I'm going to budget in one reading. I haven't decided what type yet. I dabbled in tarot and am thinking that but then, the idea of going totally cold, with something I know nothing about, like I-Ching, has it's appeal too. I don't know about recording but I did take notes during the four professional tarot readings I did get over the twelve years I was wiccan.

I've ordered the books "Conjurors" and "Faith Healers" and the tv special "Secrets of the Psychics" from the library as crash course prep. You know those books and special, that guy with the beard did them, what's his name?

The skeptical rogues from The Skeptics Guide to the Universe went to a Psychic Fair last fall and they were able to get permission to record at least one reading that I remember and did air some of it on their podcast. It was after Perry passed away and one of them used a picture of Perry for a "reading for a friend."

As far as setting up some kind of skeptics table, in all honesty, seems discurteous. Sort of like psychics setting up at TAM; inappropriate, like an atheists meeting at a church service. (Yes, I know, what they are doing can also be considered discurteous and down right deliberately misleading and malicious, but that isn't an excuse for behaving discurteously.) However, having one's own "Psychic Fair" (with the quotations, or call it Psychic Trade Show, something close but not the same) the week after theirs, in the same town or a town next door, would be totally non-confrontational. Something like a flat ten buck entrance fee then "readings" free would also be more attractive than a "per reading" fee. Anything like that would definitely take more than six weeks to plan though.

Do you have a gaussmeter Hamradioguy? Bring it! Definitely bring the crystal. Not for protection, I just think crystals are pretty and I want to see it.

Well, one weekend at a time. Got to get ready for this Saturday first!
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Old 16th July 2008, 06:21 PM   #23
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I think they had a psychic fair near where I live, some months ago. But, I skipped it.

I suspect they will have others, in the future.
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Old 16th July 2008, 07:04 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Tressa View Post
I've ordered the books "Conjurors" and "Faith Healers" and the tv special "Secrets of the Psychics" from the library as crash course prep.
You may also want to read Ian Rowland's "Full Facts Book of Cold Reading", http://www.ianrowland.com/ItemsToBuy...dingMain1.html . I've read the 2nd and 3rd editions and found them very useful. It's been years since I read them though, so I should brush up on it.
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Old 17th July 2008, 03:28 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Tressa View Post
As far as setting up some kind of skeptics table, in all honesty, seems discurteous. Sort of like psychics setting up at TAM; inappropriate, like an atheists meeting at a church service.
Well, in a slightly different context, protest groups such as Truth in Media often set up tables at media conferences and presentations (given the 1st Amendment, it would be highly inappropriate to keep them out). I draw the line at comparing a psychic's group to a church but, in any event, I don't see the problem if the psychics themselves allow a skeptik's table.

And I would think JREF would welcome a psychic organization that would be willing to set up a table at a JREF event.
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Old 17th July 2008, 06:10 AM   #26
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I've done this on a number of occasions - not all incognito, mind you (insert demonic laughter here).

If you are going incognito, do it as a fact-finding mission: Gather as much information as you can. Talk to people, get their names, record their claims. Document. Then, go back and investigate their claims. Heck, you can write up your account and send it to me.

If you are going as skeptics, first thing is to be sure to secure a safe get-away. No, I'm not kidding - some of these people can get really nasty, and they will pull every nasty trick on you, if they see an opening. Have witnesses, record what happens. If possible, get members of the press to attend. Go in, and state clearly that you are there to investigate their claims. You won't get a lot of favorable responses - especially not from those who know they are crooks - but their refusal is a testament unto itself. What do they have to hide?

If you want to see the action, you'll have to pay money. You won't get anything for free. If you see someone with an aura reading machine, you'll have to pay to get your aura reading - but, of course, you would like to test the box, so you will only place your hands on the metal thingies, but you won't place your head where the camera is pointing. If the apparatus is really reading your aura, it shouldn't show a head aura where there is no head - right?

Likewise, you will pay for an ouija reading - only, the reader will not be able to actually see the ouija board. If the spirits can see it, it shouldn't be a problem - right?

And so on.

Go in, and do these small tests - in front of an audience. Be honest and straight-forward: Tell them, up front, that you would like to perform these small tests, and you will pay for the privilege to do so.

The point is to put them in a situation where they cannot reasonably refuse such a test. After all, they are selling their services based on a quick-and-dirty performance at the fair. If they refuse to have their service be tested, how can they sell their services and claim they work?

You will create a ruckus. And you will not be popular. Have skeptics around you. Have them jump in, with supportive comments. Focus on the claims, never the people. When people start yelling at you, stay cool. Focus on the claims. Point out that, while they are attacking you personally, you are focusing on their claims. Always, and only, the claims.

There will be some who are fence-sitters: Those who have not made up their minds yet. Don't be preachy - simply explain that all you want to do is find out if it works or not. Make sure that you emphasize that you have no stake in the claims being either true or false - which is true, if you are a skeptic - all you want to find out is if the claims are true or false. Hammer this message home.

Personally, I take this one step further. I make no secret of this: I would love for any of these claims to be true! I have no wish for fame or fortune (OK, I'd rather be rich than famous), but I would really, really like to see evidence of any paranormal, supernatural or miraculous phenomenon to be proven real.

Emphasize that you are willing to be shown wrong. But you need the evidence - anyone will agree to that. Ask people to ask the woos if they are prepared to do the same. Unlike the woos, you are not telling people what to believe. You are not promising them heaven. All you are doing, is investigate if the claims are true or not. Invite people to challenge your explanations. Emphasize the science behind your explanations.

Also, have pamphlets or business cards ready. If possible, buy copies of Randi's "Flim-flam!", Shermer's "Why People Believe in Weird Things", Gardner's "Fads and Fallacies", or Rowland's "Full Facts of Cold Reading", and hand them out. Jot down every question you can't readily answer, and be sure to get their emails - and get back to them, with answers their questions.

If you want to combat woo, these fairs are excellent places to do it.
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Old 17th July 2008, 10:28 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by SkepticScott View Post
It is a federal law, and Ian's book gives some suggested lines to use to get them to agree.
It's also a state law:


Mass. Ann. Laws ch. 272 , 99: It is a crime to record any conversation, whether oral or wire, without the consent of all parties in Massachusetts. The penalty for violating the law is a fine of up to $10,000 and a jail sentence of up to five years. Disclosure of the contents of an illegally recorded conversation, when accompanied by the knowledge that it was obtained illegally, is a misdemeanor that can be punished with a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment for up to two years. Civil damages are expressly authorized for the greater of actual damages, $100 for each day of violation or $1,000. Punitive damages and attorney fees also are recoverable.


Too bad it's not in Missouri, where it would be legal to record without the consent of the "psychic".

A good guide here: http://www.rcfp.org/taping/
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Old 17th July 2008, 03:18 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by CFLarsen View Post
I've done this on a number of occasions...

One of my favorite memories of TAM 5 is when four of us (myself, katjsha, skeptikilt, and (IIRC) deBergerac), led by Claus, skepticrashed the Psychic Eye book shop.

We entered the store as three seperate groups, and browsed around, checking wares and services offered. Katjsha wanted to have her aura photographed, but alas, the camera was broken.

As I read the titles of books upon a shelf in a back corner, I eavesdropped on the psychic on duty as she spoke with someone over the phone. A few moments later, the psychic came out and asked, "Are you here for the reading?". I replied no and she walked up to Skeptikilt and asked if he was the one that was waiting for a reading, to which he too replied in the negative. I wanted to ask her that, if she is a psychic, shouldn't she know who wanted a reading?

It turned out to be a man in his late 20s/early 30s (by my estimate). I stood in the back and listened as she spoke with the man and gave his reading. Yes, the same reading she gave someone else over the phone minutes earlier. Just generalizations about finances and relationships.

But the highlight of the visit, was watching Claus as he asked questions to the store employees. Smooth, subtle, efficient.

Claus offers good advice. Have fun at the fair.
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Old 17th July 2008, 03:38 PM   #29
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And here all I was envisioning was a simple "check it out"; looking, listening, maybe a few of us getting different readings, and then heading back for dinner and party chit chat. But then again, I am a newbie. I wasn't even into psychic stuff when I was part of a religion that, for the most part, believed in it. I agree with Claus, I would've loved, and still would love any of these claims to be true, especially any that claim any type of health benefits. But now, more so then when I was wiccan, I need proof.
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Old 17th July 2008, 04:36 PM   #30
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I wonder if this is the same group doing a psychic fair this weekend (July 19) at the Ramada Inn in Stratford, CT. I work just down the street from there and saw signs for the fair today after work.
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Old 17th July 2008, 04:56 PM   #31
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Why don't you guys pool together some $$$ and rent a booth and offer readings. Give them all the same readings from a script, then at the end, give them a copy of the script and a pamphlet about critical thinking.
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Old 21st July 2008, 08:07 PM   #32
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Another reason for counting me in -- My parents live out that way, and it would be a good excuse to visit them.
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Old 25th July 2008, 09:42 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by SkepticScott View Post
You may also want to read Ian Rowland's "Full Facts Book of Cold Reading", http://www.ianrowland.com/ItemsToBuy...dingMain1.html . I've read the 2nd and 3rd editions and found them very useful. It's been years since I read them though, so I should brush up on it.
I couldn't find the book at the library and it's too expensive to buy. Any other suggestions on books that might be more available?
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Old 26th July 2008, 09:08 AM   #34
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Not books, but here's a few sites that may help:

http://www.gypsypsychicscams.com/cold-reading.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_reading

http://skepdic.com/coldread.html

http://www.google.com/notebook/publi...VaIgoQ0eOjlfUi

http://www.randi.org/library/coldreading/index.html


And here's what Amazon had to offer when I typed in a search for "Cold Reading Books": http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mind-Magic-E...660067-5543864
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Old 26th July 2008, 09:15 AM   #35
CFLarsen
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Originally Posted by grayman View Post
One of my favorite memories of TAM 5 is when four of us (myself, katjsha, skeptikilt, and (IIRC) deBergerac), led by Claus, skepticrashed the Psychic Eye book shop.

We entered the store as three seperate groups, and browsed around, checking wares and services offered. Katjsha wanted to have her aura photographed, but alas, the camera was broken.

As I read the titles of books upon a shelf in a back corner, I eavesdropped on the psychic on duty as she spoke with someone over the phone. A few moments later, the psychic came out and asked, "Are you here for the reading?". I replied no and she walked up to Skeptikilt and asked if he was the one that was waiting for a reading, to which he too replied in the negative. I wanted to ask her that, if she is a psychic, shouldn't she know who wanted a reading?

It turned out to be a man in his late 20s/early 30s (by my estimate). I stood in the back and listened as she spoke with the man and gave his reading. Yes, the same reading she gave someone else over the phone minutes earlier. Just generalizations about finances and relationships.

But the highlight of the visit, was watching Claus as he asked questions to the store employees. Smooth, subtle, efficient.

Claus offers good advice. Have fun at the fair.
Yeah, that Skepticrash was great. And give yourselves some credit, too!
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Old 2nd August 2008, 04:44 PM   #36
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Last year I went to a Beltaine festival and was impressed with how mellow the crowd of wiccans and psychics were. it was like a renaissance fair. There was a lot of places to spend your money on -- candles, crystals, herbs, potion stuff was all available besides readings and food. You can spend money quick. It also was $35 ($50 day of)to get in for an overnight but they waived it for me for doing a magic show for the children. The adults were often in "classes." How many people here have the nerve to perform magic for woos and I was a one man band. They couldn't have been nicer to me (though I played my skepticism close to the vest).

I'll tell you what woos to be scared of. I'd rather take on a coven of witches before I help take on those lunatics from Operation Rescue again. In the late 80's early 90's I was dating a social worker who asked if i would help escort women to the clinic one Saturday during the summer. I was naive and said sure. What clinic and what do I have to do? I had no clue what was going to happen. Operation rescue targeted my town of West Hartford that Saturday and people were needed to wait in the parking lot and when a woman came to use the clinic we would sorround her and walk her to the door. That sounded simple until I found myself one of fifteen people trying to to get someone past three hundred plus people who are determined to keep you from crossing the sidewalk and spit and hit you with posters and call you the foulest names you have ever heard in your life -- but yet have god on their side. It was appalling. We couldn't get past them. They were less spiritual than they were the foulest of bullies.

The West Hartford police saw what was going on and decided to become involved. They are a pretty fascist police force and looked at the protesters' out of town auto plates and decided a bunch of out of town hooligans weren't going to screw with their town so they called in every cop and grabbed every vehicle that moved the town had and gave each protester a choice -- go home or be arrested. The Rescue people thought they could use their passive technique of going limp so it would take a stretcher and two cops to remove a single protester. West Hartford would have none of that. They twisted their wrists aggressively behind each of their backs and wrestled them off into a local high school gym because they didn't have room for them in the jail. The police were as scary as the protesters. It was all bad. A lot of those rescue rascals refused to give up their names and they stayed weeks in that gym. No mercy from the town of West Hartford.

My point is i'll take a wiccan woo with mother earth on their side over a christian woo who thinks god has given them the right to stop me from walking someone to a clinic for medical attention with every ugly method they can devise to win.
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Old 2nd August 2008, 05:07 PM   #37
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I live a few blocks away from the Berkeley Psychic Institute. They host a "psychic fair" once a month.

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Old 5th August 2008, 05:17 AM   #38
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I am a little confused. Do you guys all go to these psychic events to make fun of them? Is the belief here that all psychics are frauds or that just some of them are? I've been to some who suck and some who are right on target so I see how either view could be accepted.
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Old 5th August 2008, 03:38 PM   #39
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Monkey pants, you may wish to do a bit more research on subjects like cold readings, warm readings, non-verbal cues, body language and the like, especially if you want to understand what folks are talking about on this forum.

Psychics are entertainment. Like all entertainment, there is good and bad kinds. While a skeptic can't discount the posibility there may be someone who actually has powers, there has never been any proof of anyone who really does. Ever. The psychic's own websites don't count. But there is tons of evidence that we give off many more clues to who we are, what we believe and what we are looking for than we realize, and that is what psychics have trained themselves to work from.

Since every psychic known so far is a fraud, that's where the attitude can come from. As long as the person knows it's just entertainment, paying for that entertainment is no different than any other kind of diversion. But when psychics charge incredible amounts to tell people made up lies about very important issues, like kidnapped kids, which causes them to waste time, money, not to mention the emotional cost of clinging to a false prophet, it gets more immoral, does it not?

I wish to learn more about the methods, so I can spot them and keep someone from wasting their time (or more) who might otherwise be fooled. The more people I can educate the better, but my way is by example & one on one. And, imagine if I do find someone who seems to be the real deal....what a discovery that will be, as they help humanity, become a valid hero around the world and win Randi's million dollars!!!!
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Old 5th August 2008, 04:08 PM   #40
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I plan to be eating pig and drinking beer on the 30th. Plus launching a Pirate Ship in the pool, because this year the theme is Pirates (as opposed to last year's Luau).
So somebody pretend to be surprised at something a psychic says for me...
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