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Old 15th August 2008, 02:05 PM   #1
Clairvoyant_Kyle
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What stops you from cashing in?

It seems that every idiot willing to lie, mislead, or cheat people can make some if not a lot of money doing so. This message board is full of well-educated and well-informed people who see what it takes to sell BS to the general public. I am just wondering why you people fight on the side you fight on. What stops you from using your knowledge and cashing in?

Now it is obvious why you don’t run around claiming to talk to people’s dead loved ones, or try and waste cops time and resources in an attempt to find missing people. That is just the lowest of the low and preys on people with real pain. But there are different ways to deceive people and get their money. For example selling dowsing rods, self-help books, lucky this-and-that’s, anything religious, horoscopes, lucky numbers, counterfeit money detectors, get rich quick scams, and tons of different sudo-science cure alls for anything you can think of. Those things (and tons of them I didn’t mention) are ways less “evil” to push towards the general public then lying about dead loved ones. Plus the people who buy this stuff are going to buy it anyways.

For me I think it is just my morals that say it is wrong to mislead and lie to people. No matter how big of suckers, desperate for answers, or quick to follow people are they don’t deserve to be lied to. And even if they are going to throw their hard earned money at whatever BS they want to believe, it is still wrong for the people pushing that BS to mislead as they do. I know I fight on the loosing end of this war of knowledge, but I still wish to fight because I feel it is right. So, what makes you people fight on the side you do? Also, what stops you from cashing in?

-Kyle
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Old 15th August 2008, 02:09 PM   #2
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>what stops you from cashing in?

The same reason I'm not a serial killer, vandal(although that stems from other things) and thief: I'm pretty sure I'd get caught.
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Old 15th August 2008, 02:14 PM   #3
Clairvoyant_Kyle
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But you would not get in trouble for selling:
Originally Posted by Clairvoyant_Kyle View Post
dowsing rods, self-help books, lucky this-and-that’s, anything religious, horoscopes, lucky numbers, counterfeit money detectors, get rich quick scams, and tons of different sudo-science cure alls for anything you can think of.
So what is there to get caught about? You sell BS, people buy it, the “authorities” do nothing, and you make money. It is far from killing, vandalism, or stealing.

-Kyle

P.S. I hope you’re not a serial killer for more reason then being afraid to get caught.
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Old 15th August 2008, 02:17 PM   #4
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I have considered cult leader, but am worried about keeping a strait face around the cultist.
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Old 15th August 2008, 02:19 PM   #5
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Just lazy, I guess? I'm fine with lying, to a point(to get out of doing something, for instance), but I prefer not to lie for personal profit.

You can see why I'll never make it in marketing.
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Old 15th August 2008, 02:22 PM   #6
Clairvoyant_Kyle
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Originally Posted by Mark Felt View Post

You can see why I'll never make it in marketing.
LOL! Yes my BBA with a major in marketing is going to waste for basically the same reason.

-Kyle
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Old 15th August 2008, 02:34 PM   #7
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I like to think I have principles, but in reality I'm just lazy.
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Old 15th August 2008, 02:43 PM   #8
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I've often considered writing some BS book about how the soul can repair the body or some other nonsense. Over the years I've slowly lost sympathy for a general populace that continues to buy into deception, and hey, I could use some cash...

Maybe I should.
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Old 15th August 2008, 03:02 PM   #9
Clairvoyant_Kyle
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Originally Posted by Langis View Post
Over the years I've slowly lost sympathy for a general populace that continues to buy into deception, and hey, I could use some cash...

Maybe I should.
It seems so far people don’t care if they do lie for money (their just lazy). Imagine the “damage” a group from this website could do if a bunch of us put our heads together in hopes of milking people for everything we could, doing everything we could think up. But that’s just wrong now isn’t it…or is it? Damn you greed! LOL

-Kyle
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Old 15th August 2008, 03:25 PM   #10
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Wait...I'm getting a vision...some guys sitting around a room saying exactly the same thing! "Imagine the “damage” we could do if a bunch of us put our heads together in hopes of milking people for everything we could, doing everything we could think up."...Hmm...there's a man in a cheap naval costume...L.RON; is that YOU?
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Old 15th August 2008, 03:25 PM   #11
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This is an interesting question. For me personally it's just a gut reaction, IT'S WRONG! PERIOD! But to play devils advocate here for a minute here's a link to Brian Dunning's Skeptoid episode on the ethics of peddling the paranormal

skeptoid.com/episodes/4003

(Crap I'm just after finding out that I haven't posted here enough as yet to provide the link, if someone could help me out here that would be great)

His view is that you've got a certain group of people who will believe BS no matter what you tell them, they basically want to be conned, are quite literally asking for it. So you can either sell them the crap or they will go off and buy it from someone else. If he was the one selling them the C.A.M. then he could direct them to real medical practitioners when they really need it and so be more ethical than the people who are saying their magic potions will cure cancer so abandon your chemo or whatever. He could say it in New Age terms that they would believe, perhaps the only authority that these people would trust.

Like I said it's an interesting position and I can see the logic to it but I nonetheless could never imagine myself doing such a thing.
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Old 15th August 2008, 03:31 PM   #12
Langis
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Originally Posted by Clairvoyant_Kyle View Post
It seems so far people don’t care if they do lie for money (their just lazy). Imagine the “damage” a group from this website could do if a bunch of us put our heads together in hopes of milking people for everything we could, doing everything we could think up. But that’s just wrong now isn’t it…or is it? Damn you greed! LOL

-Kyle
I'm up for it if others are. I'm up for it anyway. I'm a technical writer; I can adapt my skill set for this task!
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Old 15th August 2008, 03:46 PM   #13
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cmon, if yu were really that way inclined, none of you would have ever been bothered to register on this forum. I'm sure bouts of bad conscience and truthseeking never occur to the snakeoil salesmean and women who pass themselves off as mediums and astrologers.
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Old 15th August 2008, 04:02 PM   #14
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My mother would find out and smack me.
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Old 15th August 2008, 04:48 PM   #15
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I have done but not on purpose. For example: Occasionally someone buys a goat from me in the mistaken idea that it will prevent disease in their horses. () AS IF. It's an old urban legend that goats sort of "suck up" all the disease organisms and purify them or something, I'm not sure how it's supposed to work... Anyway, if someone *ASKS* me, I tell them that is so much BS, and try and discourage the sale. But you see, sometimes they don't ask... they just arrange to buy the goat and then at some point casually mention why they bought the goat, as they are loading up and driving away. Too late then.

I've had plenty of opportunity to cheat people. I am constantly told I am "psychic" and asked why I don't become an animal psychic, because "you would be SO much better than _______ (fill in your favorite charlatan)".

As for why I don't cheat people I suppose I could point to my upbringing or something, but on a deep level, I just plain old don't wish to rip people off. I try and treat people fairly and hope they will reciprocate.
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Old 15th August 2008, 06:52 PM   #16
Clairvoyant_Kyle
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Originally Posted by Impostor75 View Post
Wait...I'm getting a vision...some guys sitting around a room saying exactly the same thing! "Imagine the “damage” we could do if a bunch of us put our heads together in hopes of milking people for everything we could, doing everything we could think up."...Hmm...there's a man in a cheap naval costume...L.RON; is that YOU?
LOL...nice.
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Old 15th August 2008, 06:57 PM   #17
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I already told everybody I know that I don't believe in these things, so now they would know that I was conning them... Damn
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Old 15th August 2008, 07:11 PM   #18
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Because I have a good heart and truly wish to see people happy without causing them grief.

Strange, isn't it?
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Old 15th August 2008, 07:49 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Amapola View Post
I have done but not on purpose. For example: Occasionally someone buys a goat from me in the mistaken idea that it will prevent disease in their horses. () AS IF. It's an old urban legend that goats sort of "suck up" all the disease organisms and purify them or something, I'm not sure how it's supposed to work... Anyway, if someone *ASKS* me, I tell them that is so much BS, and try and discourage the sale. But you see, sometimes they don't ask... they just arrange to buy the goat and then at some point casually mention why they bought the goat, as they are loading up and driving away. Too late then.
WOW, people believe that? Well... I guess it isn't stranger that they do, than that they believe this: http://www.snopes.com/critters/wild/asthma.asp.

I've often seen that around here too though, that people keep other animals with their horses, goats and rabbits in particular. I've never heard this reason for it though. I remember someone once told me when I was a kid that horses "likes having rabbits as pets", sort of I've never thought about it, but now I am curious as to if a similar urban legend is the reason behind this here as well.
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Old 15th August 2008, 08:22 PM   #20
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Knowing how something is done, and being able to do it (especially to do it well/convincingly), are different things.
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Old 15th August 2008, 08:23 PM   #21
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Short answer: I'm a terrible liar.

Short-but-less-short answer: My face is an open book. The guilt and/or disdain I would feel about the people I was conning would give me away in a heartbeat. Even if I were inclined to try it, I'd fail miserably.

Unless I were to do it all online... hmmm....
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Old 15th August 2008, 08:25 PM   #22
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What a great question.

I went to a party about three weeks ago and got into it with someone that was spouting the gospel according to Sylvia "Scratchy" Browne. I would like to think I have a great deal of patience... but hearing someone speak of that monster in anything but deplorable terms brings out the worst in me. So what's the worst thing I can do in reply?

So, I say I'm more powerful than her and proceed to cold read the room. I suck, but no more than those other charlatan jerkwads. Twenty minutes of "I want to acknowledge a Jay... maybe the name... or the letter..." or "...she says that she knew about the money, and not to worry about it anymore..."

Then I let them all off the hook and explain how it is done. I always feel like I am explaining the "got yer nose" trick to a bunch of four year olds. Later that night, I thought about some of the things I said and find the sudden urge to shower... I feel dirty.

So, why don't I take the show on the road and rake in the scrilla? The only reason I learned how to do it in the first place was to show people the true colors of these dregs of society. I don't have it in me to become one of them. I hate them for what they do so very much that it hurts. I am not the best person in the world... not by a long shot.

But at least I know I would never lie to someone about their loved ones that are dead and gone.
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Old 15th August 2008, 08:27 PM   #23
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Being honest and being right mean more to me than cash?
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Old 15th August 2008, 11:13 PM   #24
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Horses are herd animals so if you only have one it's not a bad idea to have another animal as a companion. We had a pony and a sheep and they did hang out together, if the pony couldn't see his sheep he would call out for it like they do for their horse companions.

As for the original question I don't think I am imaginative (or nutty) enough to come up with some sort of original New Age money spinner.
There must be a fine line betwen thinking up something totally wacky but believable and something that is such utter BS that no one would believe it.
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Old 15th August 2008, 11:17 PM   #25
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What keeps me from "cashing in"?

A basic sense of decency.
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Old 15th August 2008, 11:36 PM   #26
not daSkeptic
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Originally Posted by JoeEllison View Post
Being honest and being right mean more to me than cash?

Originally Posted by MattusMaximus View Post
A basic sense of decency.

Here here.
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Old 16th August 2008, 12:22 AM   #27
rjh01
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Well when I retire I could write a book. This thread has given me an idea what the book will be about. Would you be willing to give me ideas what should go in it?
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Old 16th August 2008, 04:17 AM   #28
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I find it hard enough sometimes to live with what I told people and sold them when I was doing readings, and giving healing and so on. That was a relatively brief period in my life, so I can't imagine how people like Sylvia Browne do it daily for so long.

I honestly couldn't live with myself if I were to decieve people daily for a living, and potentially lead to them having health issues or more.


ETA: When I did this in the past, it was without the realisation it was false - I absolutely believed it. That doesn't excuse it, but I didn't like this post to make it seem that I used to deliberately deceive people for a living.

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Old 16th August 2008, 05:12 AM   #29
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In my case, it's actually just that this kind of stuff isn't interesting enough to spend much time on, and I pick a career based on its being interesting enough to spend a bunch of time on it.
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Old 16th August 2008, 06:50 AM   #30
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My conscience would stop me. I couldn't live with the fact that I'd taken money off people knowing I'd lied to them like that. This is why your Sylvia Browne's and John Edward's of the world are worth a fortune. There's just a big empty space where their consciences should be.
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Old 16th August 2008, 07:13 AM   #31
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I have considered writing a credulous blog, hopefully building up a following then at some point pulling the rug out - but while the idea seems like fun initially, I know I'd feel horrible when crunch time came so it won't happen.

I sometimes wonder if that's what Ray Comfort is doing since his blog seems more like a parody than a genuine creationist website. Even his comments sections are around 75-90% atheists. Does he actually moderate out the intelligent creationists and only let through the fundamentalists and atheists? Maybe it's just Poe in action. I actually did post a Poe-ish comment about how PZ Myers' example of evolution wasn't as good as Comfort's puppies from chickens example. The only person to contest my comment was an atheist

I think one reason why we shouldn't just dive in and join the fraudsters is that we still have to live in this world and so to our kids, if we have them, and every one that crosses over makes the world just a little bit worse.

It would be like littering just because a lot of other people do, but with a profit margin. And your friends would be the sort of people who are happy to sell fraud for a living.

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Old 16th August 2008, 07:43 AM   #32
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Its probably not that easy, and there aren't infinite job opportunities for scamers. For that matter, a lot of 'legit' businesses sell dreams of cleaner clothes, brighter teeth, and silkier hair...not to mention beer that will win you love.
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Old 16th August 2008, 07:44 AM   #33
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Honestly I've never even thought of scamming anybody (Assuming I could even do cold reading) I would feel guilty about taking money from people for things like that.

On the other hand if I could use cold reading to get women in to bed it might be ok
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Old 16th August 2008, 09:15 AM   #34
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Did you ever see the movie The Inspector General? At the beginning, Danny Kaye and Walter Slezak are working as a team, selling "Yakov's Golden Elixir", which they claim will cure anything. It's not quite "an arrant fraud concocted of piss and ink", but it is completely useless. They have no trouble selling this fraudulent preparation to anyone who comes along -- until an elderly peasant woman comes and offers Kaye all the money she has, far more than she can afford, in exchange for one bottle. She's desperate: her husband is ill, and she hopes this will cure him.

If I tried to "cash in", I'd find myself in the position of Danny Kaye's character: pushing her money back at her and telling her, "Please, mother, this is useless. Take your money and buy your husband some milk."

Perhaps there are people who deserve to be scammed. But I just know I'd wind up facing the helpless, desperate one who didn't.
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Old 16th August 2008, 10:03 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Cactus Wren View Post

Perhaps there are people who deserve to be scammed. But I just know I'd wind up facing the helpless, desperate one who didn't.
That is really good. Your answer is one of the best I have seen yet.

-Kyle
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Old 16th August 2008, 10:10 AM   #36
Achán hiNidráne
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You'd think that due to my deeply-held misanthropy and disillusionment with with the stupider trappings civilization (i.e. politics, religion, "Reality TV"), I would have found someway to bilk the knuckle-dragging masses out of their hard earned money to be able to afford mansions, private jets, and $10,000 per night prostitutes.

But I don't. Why?

First of all, I don't like being lied to, especially about the nature of reality. In this regard, I've been lied to all my life by my family, my peers, my priests, my government, etc.. Now, as much as I find humanity a wretched disappointment (Flying cars and lunar vacations by 2000 CE MY ASS!), I still have enough empathy to know that if I don't like being lied to others might not take it so well either. I may hate humanity, but I don't want to hurt it in case we ever do get our acts together and start behaving with some semblance of sanity.

Besides, I'd probably look terrible in those cheap polyester suits the televangelists wear.
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Old 16th August 2008, 01:51 PM   #37
Cactus Wren
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Originally Posted by Clairvoyant_Kyle View Post
That is really good. Your answer is one of the best I have seen yet.

-Kyle
It's just that I can remember when people, when they were desperate enough, would ask for advice and predictions from Gork of Fringus.
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Old 16th August 2008, 10:32 PM   #38
pinoythinker
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my answer

'So, what makes you people fight on the side you do? Also, what stops you from cashing in?"

Well, there are plenty people here who could say for example write a book about supposed natural cures then mysteriously write another book about money and getting weathly when the economy is not doing so well. Wait a minute that guy is already been debunked but some people never seem to learn.

I once believe in such things but on my own i came to my senses and found it trully doesnt have my worth. Seeing people who are also a bit out there made me rethink if this is something i want to spend my time in. Hearing about people continually getting ripped off is also another reason i dont care for such topics.
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Old 16th August 2008, 11:19 PM   #39
alfaniner
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As with many things...

I could, but I won't.
__________________
Science is self-correcting.
Woo is self-contradicting.
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Old 16th August 2008, 11:32 PM   #40
deep
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Originally Posted by chillzero View Post
ETA: When I did this in the past, it was without the realisation it was false - I absolutely believed it. That doesn't excuse it, but I didn't like this post to make it seem that I used to deliberately deceive people for a living.

I believe this is the case with most psychics - they really believe they are psychic, and they don't realize that they're relying on tricks (or sometimes just lucky guesses).

I have no direct evidence of that - it's just a hunch based the psychic-types I've interacted with in some way.

---

In response to the OP - I'm a horrible salesman when it comes to products I don't believe in. That's one of the main reasons why I always lease my car - just turn it in at the end of the lease as opposed to selling it to some unsuspecting victim.

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