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Old 2nd July 2010, 09:58 PM   #1
RSLancastr
 
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STOPJAMESVANPRAAGH ========== RSL IN JVPLAND: CHAPTER 5: THE TWO JAMESES ==========

As I mentioned earlier, JVP said some vile things about James Randi when he and I

chatted. And most of us have read in Swift where Randi has expressed his strong views

on Van Praagh. There is certainly no love lost between them. For a while during that

strange month, I found myself emailing both of them about the other.

But early on in that month, the following happened:

First, in my research into JVP that month, I ran across a mention that, in May of 2009,

Van Praagh had announced on Larry King Live that he was in a same-sex marriage. No

shocker, right? I had assumed he was gay the first time I saw him. But for him to

announce his marriage on national television is, to me, a very big deal. He says that

his "spiritual" books have helped thousands of people. And I have no doubt that a lot

of people have told him that very thing. As a skeptic, I have my doubts that those

people were truly helped by those books. But I think it possible that TONS of people -

primarily gay teens - were truly helped by Van Praagh's announcement on LKL. I can

easily imagine an unhappy gay teen seeing this man - successful in his field -

expressing his love for his husband on national television, and seeing hope for

themselves and their futures. Perhaps I am reading too much into it, but that is what I

see.

So one afternoon not long after reading about this, I was in the JVP chat Lobby when JVP

came in. He said something (perhaps he asked me how Susan was doing, I don't recall)

which made me think ofit and I said "Hey JVP, I just read about your marriage -

congrats!" He said something like "thanks, yes, I announced it on Larry King Live!"

I said "say, did you hear about Randi's announcement a couple of weeks ago?"

He said "No, what - he believes in psychics now?"

"No, he 'came out' in his blog!"

"He 'came out' about what?"

"as a homosexual!"

After a pause, JVP said "Randi is gay?!?! Somebody hand me a barf bag!"

Nope, no love lost there.

So, what did Randi have to say to me about Van Praagh?

As I mentioned earlier, Van Praagh had offered us free tickets to see him perform in

Grant's Pass, Oregon on June 25th. I thought that it was fair to give JVP the chance to

show me his stuff, and I felt that I knew enough about cold reading to not be fooled by

it. I also felt that seeing himin person before I even created a site about him would

nip in the bud any "you'd know he was real if you just saw him in person" criticisms of

the site, like ones I had received regarding Browne. My main concern was the fact that

Van Praagh had plenty of time to do research on me for "hot reading." What if he came

up with something about me which I could not explain could be obtained through

non-mediumistic means? Others on his site had heard I would be at the Grant's Pass

show, and were anxious to hear how it would go. Would JVP "convert" the skeptic?

I figured that if anyone could warn me of the pitfalls of such a situation, it was

Randi. I emailed him describing the situation, and asked for his advice.

Here is part of my email:

Quote:
So, Randi: what do you think of the idea of me going to a VanPraagh performance? He did

not offer to give me a "reading," but I think it likely he will. He also posted on one

of my message board threads, saying "I promise I won't give you too hard a time in

Grant's Pass." There are likely to be others from the chat room at the Grant's Pass

show, so if he does a reading for me, they will likely spin it hard in the chat room.
I received a reply, which read, in part:

Quote:
Interesting, Robert. I suggest that you decline to attend. You'd be
entering HIS territory, using HIS rules, before HIS fans -- who've paid big
money to be there, and HE would be in control.
In other words, "don't meet the enemy on his turf."

I was disappointed. I had hoped he would either tell me that I was sharp enough to not

be fooled, or at least give me an example of how JVP could manipulate the situation to

make me look bad. And Randi left then for Europe, not to return until after the Grant's

Pass show, so I could not press him for more details.

Randi had given me similar advice in 2008, advising me to not see Sylvia Browne at the

Excalibur. And THAT had turned out okay. But JVP seemed to be far more shrewd than

Browne. I really wanted to go - but I suredidn't want to tell Randi when he

returned that I had ignored his advice, and, worse yet, that he had been right.

There are, at most, two more chapters to this saga. I thank you all for your patience

and attention.

Mod InfoThread closed; for continued discussion see: http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=179581
Posted By:Locknar
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Curious about Sylvia Browne? Read about her at www.StopSylvia.com.

Ever wonder "What's the Harm?" with psychics, alternative medicine, etc?

Last edited by Darat; 6th July 2010 at 05:12 AM.
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Old 3rd July 2010, 04:09 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by RSLancastr View Post

There are, at most, two more chapters to this saga. I thank you all for your patience

and attention.



Ooooooh, it's like waiting for the Harry Potter books!
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Old 3rd July 2010, 04:56 AM   #3
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It's better!

Robert, I've said it before and I'll say it again. I know you have said that you're not writing a book, but you should. You have a great, readable writing style and a flair for the dramatic. Plus, you have a fantastic story.
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Old 3rd July 2010, 09:19 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by welshdean View Post
Ooooooh, it's like waiting for the Harry Potter books!
Don't worry - "Dumbledore" was recently screened and found to be 100% cancer-free!
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Old 3rd July 2010, 09:21 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
It's better!

Robert, I've said it before and I'll say it again. I know you have said that you're not writing a book, but you should. You have a great, readable writing style and a flair for the dramatic. Plus, you have a fantastic story.
Thanks,Arth! Still no plans to do so, but who knows!
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Old 3rd July 2010, 10:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by RSLancastr View Post
Thanks,Arth! Still no plans to do so, but who knows!
You have half written it already. Take all of your posts here, edit them, add in the juicy bits from your stop sites and you have a book. Just do not call it "My life in Kenya." That is a reference to a TV show.

Visiting JVP at his show is a high risk activity. If it pays off, it will produce heaps. If it fails then you make a fool of yourself. There are ways of dealing with a hot reading. Like plant false information on the web. If you do so, I suggest you do it when he is not expecting you and try to hide the fact that it is you. Then you see him in his normal state.
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Old 4th July 2010, 08:51 AM   #7
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Thanks, rj!
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Old 5th July 2010, 01:39 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by RSLancastr View Post
all chapter in 1 post.

Last edited by Aepervius; 5th July 2010 at 01:44 AM.
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Old 5th July 2010, 10:19 AM   #9
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Thanks, Aepervius!

I wish I could edit the OP to add that at the top - sort of a table of contents!
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Old 5th July 2010, 01:36 PM   #10
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Robert - when you went to see Aunt Sylvia, you just showed up, right? She didn't know you were coming, and didn't have a chance to prep for it, did she?

But if JVP knows you are coming, it gives him a chance to set you up in some way, or at least try to. Go see him, sure, but don't make a public announcement about it, and certainly don't tip him off. Especially now, but this was true beforehand.

There is a world of difference between the two situations. You want to see JVP as he is, not in some act he has created for your benefit.
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Old 5th July 2010, 03:33 PM   #11
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Yes pgw, I know this. But Randi advised me to not go see Browne, even though she had no foreknowledge of my plan to go.

At this point, JVP has had plenty of opportunity to do research on me, if he wanted. So even if I showed up unannounced, he could still have tons of hot reading prepared if that's what he wanted to do.
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