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Old 2nd January 2011, 04:39 PM   #41
Dani
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Quote:
John Edward - psychic or what?
Definitely what.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 04:40 PM   #42
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The really sad thing is even when these people are completely and utterly exposed it has little or no adverse effect on their scam business.

Example - http://www.badpsychics.co.uk/au/modules/news/article.php?storyid=7

Webber went on to considerable fame and fortune on Sensing Murder and now gets NZ$500 + per reading with a five year waiting list.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 04:52 PM   #43
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One possibility I've not seen mentioned is that Edwards was getting information from the casino staff and not just his own staff. The casino is hosting Edwards (and presumably other psychics) because they believe he will draw in crowds who will, in turn, spend money. It's not unthinkable that he might have the casino staff brief him on any information they pick up.

If Liam was there before you were could he have played the tables for a bit while waiting? He was, after all, on holiday in Vegas. Could he have bought a drink, introduced himself to the barmaid, then paid with his credit card?

Is there any reason to suppose that the photographers you mention couldn't have been feeding him information? They don't work for him but if, before the show, one of Edwards' staff told them that they'd get an extra $20 if they gave him information and an extra $10 for every bit he used would they turn it down?
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Old 2nd January 2011, 05:27 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Tiktaalik View Post
There are a bunch of good choices here for how it could have happened. I gave you a couple more options; it seems like you're discounting them all. Seems like either you have an alternative rational explanation that you're holding onto, or you want to believe he's psychic.
No - I'm not doing either. I just don't feel like spending $300/ticket testing out unlikely scenarios.

Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
4. Liam was not a stooge, but an in-place mechanism used by JE and staff uncovered the information. This is not unheard of, though difficult in these circumstances if Liam's memory is as trustworthy as yours. It is this part that I seriously doubt. Plus, you have overlooked something obvious: Liam perhaps did not speak to anyone in line besides you, but he did speak to people at his table, enough so that they knew he called himself Liam and not Joshua. Did they share stories? Show pictures of children out of their wallets? Leave their wallets in coat pockets draped carelessly over the backs of chairs? What is the likelihood that JE had a plant at some or all of the tables and that the plants could communicate even during the show if they discovered something actionable?

5. Liam was not a stooge and JE had no plant at his table. Then we are left with something unplanned somehow dropping the info into JE's lap. The fact that such a hit is rare or unheard of lends credence to this. This hit is far less remarkable than Harry Kellar's reading of a traveling actor in the orient which I have described more than once on this forum. If this is the case, we will likely never know how it happened.

It should be obvious that I lean to number 5 or number 6. As improbably as they may seem, they are still more probable than number 1.
For number 4 - The magicians I have spoken to in regards to John Edward have said that plants in the audience are highly unlikely for two different reasons: You're giving up seats that people might actually purchase, and plants are not necessary. I can see John Edward filling his audience with plants for a show that was going to be televised, but this was, as I said, 150 people. Actually, I take it back. I can't see John Edward doing that for even a televised show, because video editing makes that pointless. In the end, the fewer people who know what trick you're pulling, the better. Having plants all over the place is bad for business.

I can see number 5 being true. Of the possibilities given, I find that the most likely. I will say this, though - John Edward is extremely impressive. Not just in this one particular reading, and not just with this one piece of information. I'm relatively sure he is working with some amount of information - I just haven't the foggiest how he's getting it. I was never asked questions by anyone, I never had to fill anything out (nor was there anything TO fill out), and so far as I can tell, a casino would NEVER hand out information on people. Perhaps these folks are just offering themselves up in e-mails or something, which would mean that I can't ever catch him at it, which is way annoying.

BTW, you didn't actually put a six, so I can't tell what you're leaning toward.

Originally Posted by Sceptic Tank View Post
One possibility I've not seen mentioned is that Edwards was getting information from the casino staff and not just his own staff. The casino is hosting Edwards (and presumably other psychics) because they believe he will draw in crowds who will, in turn, spend money. It's not unthinkable that he might have the casino staff brief him on any information they pick up.

If Liam was there before you were could he have played the tables for a bit while waiting? He was, after all, on holiday in Vegas. Could he have bought a drink, introduced himself to the barmaid, then paid with his credit card?

Is there any reason to suppose that the photographers you mention couldn't have been feeding him information? They don't work for him but if, before the show, one of Edwards' staff told them that they'd get an extra $20 if they gave him information and an extra $10 for every bit he used would they turn it down?
I find this INCREDIBLY unlikely, simply because Vegas operates on discretion. People would quickly stop staying at the Flamingo if they knew that the staff was, in essence, spying upon them. This would be the equivalent of the staff of a strip club taking down license plate numbers from their parking lot and handing them over to a third party. Very very very bad for business.

The photographer idea still remains a possibility, but it strikes me as unlikely as well. I know no one's going to believe this, but John Edward was giving rather extensive information on people with little to no feedback. The photographers walked up, shot a photo, and walked away. They weren't really standing there long enough to get the amount of information Edward was giving.

Okay, here's another moment that was odd and stuck out. The second time I went to the show, there was a couple sitting in front of me. Their child had drowned, or had been drowned, by other children in some kind of prank gone wrong. These people were coated in photographs of said child doing all sorts of things, from sports to reading to bicycle riding. These were the perfect marks because they were visibly carrying everything required for a very convincing read. And they were in the front row, which meant that Edward had an excellent chance to see all of it.

Edward said something about the book 'The Giving Tree'. He said that someone in the room had a child for whom the book was very important. The couple in front of me immediately put their hands up to indicate they thought the reading was about them. John Edward said no, it wasn't a reading for them. He then continued to give details. The couple again put up their hands and said the reading was for them. Edward said no, it wasn't for them, and pointed toward the middle of the room at a different couple and said it was, in fact, for them. He then gave pretty detailed information.

What I mean is - the reading seemed to be tailored for particular people in the audience. He seemed to know in advance who he was going to talk to. For the life of me, I cannot figure out HOW.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 05:39 PM   #45
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You're supposed to divine what I meant by #6 (because I will never, ever, admit that I made a mistake and meant #4 and #5).

Regarding the rest, it's unclear, but I think you're missing the point. By my #5, I don't mean that anything was planned. There need not have been any mechanism in place to gather the information. It could simply have been that once-in-a-month-of-Sundays synchronicities that dropped the info into JE's lap and he capitalized.

Regarding the incident with the grieving parents of the drowned child, I would wager quite a bit that JE has simply become practiced and shrewd. He knows that taking the easy hit (at least too often) would have only a short term pay-off, but conspicuously passing it over for a harder hit will help in the long term. It is one of the reasons that I generally refuse to offer to go head-to-head with professional psychics like JE. Aside from their information-gathering infrastructure, they have far more experience than even the best mentalists, since such things are all that they do, and they do it a lot. Of course, that means it seems like I'm not putting my money where my mouth is, but that's a better price to pay than losing miserably to JE, which is likely.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 05:41 PM   #46
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Here's the question: If, by any fortuitous event, Edward or a staff member acquires obscure knowledge about an audience member, will he use it to make a spectacular hit?

I don't see why the hell not.

Originally Posted by RemieV
For number 4 - The magicians I have spoken to in regards to John Edward have said that plants in the audience are highly unlikely for two different reasons: You're giving up seats that people might actually purchase, and plants are not necessary. I can see John Edward filling his audience with plants for a show that was going to be televised, but this was, as I said, 150 people. Actually, I take it back. I can't see John Edward doing that for even a televised show, because video editing makes that pointless. In the end, the fewer people who know what trick you're pulling, the better. Having plants all over the place is bad for business.
I'm not convinced. You gotta get a few wild hits every now and again or people are going to lose interest.

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Old 2nd January 2011, 05:51 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
You're supposed to divine what I meant by #6 (because I will never, ever, admit that I made a mistake and meant #4 and #5).

Regarding the rest, it's unclear, but I think you're missing the point. By my #5, I don't mean that anything was planned. There need not have been any mechanism in place to gather the information. It could simply have been that once-in-a-month-of-Sundays synchronicities that dropped the info into JE's lap and he capitalized.

Regarding the incident with the grieving parents of the drowned child, I would wager quite a bit that JE has simply become practiced and shrewd. He knows that taking the easy hit (at least too often) would have only a short term pay-off, but conspicuously passing it over for a harder hit will help in the long term. It is one of the reasons that I generally refuse to offer to go head-to-head with professional psychics like JE. Aside from their information-gathering infrastructure, they have far more experience than even the best mentalists, since such things are all that they do, and they do it a lot. Of course, that means it seems like I'm not putting my money where my mouth is, but that's a better price to pay than losing miserably to JE, which is likely.
Haha... no, I understood your meaning on 5. The only thing I said in response to 5 was, in fact, "I can see number 5 being true. Of the possibilities given, I find that the most likely."

The reason I followed it up with more stuff is because, even ignoring that one piece of information that fell into his lap, he is still giving a LOT of information. The reason I pinpointed a specific example (the first/middle name thing) is because it is the one absolute, solid, inarguable hit - and if I wanted the mechanism for EVERYthing Edward says, it seemed a good place to begin.

I know I am not supposed to give magic tricks away, so I won't go into this extensively, BUT... psychology as an explanation for a magic trick is largely just misdirection from how the trick is actually done. John Edward ain't no Sherlock Holmes.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 05:55 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
Haha... no, I understood your meaning on 5. The only thing I said in response to 5 was, in fact, "I can see number 5 being true. Of the possibilities given, I find that the most likely."
My bad. I missed that.


Originally Posted by RemieV
I know I am not supposed to give magic tricks away, so I won't go into this extensively, BUT... psychology as an explanation for a magic trick is largely just misdirection from how the trick is actually done. John Edward ain't no Sherlock Holmes.
I'm actually extremely knowledgeable on mentalism; I have a fairly professional library on it, and while I do not perform professionally, I do communicate with some professionals.

But I have consciously avoided tipping any methods, some of which apply. If you understand what I mean by PS work, then perhaps you will understand that a skilled performer (or skilled staff member of a performer) could get away with quite a lot without seeming to have done so.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 06:07 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
I find this INCREDIBLY unlikely, simply because Vegas operates on discretion. People would quickly stop staying at the Flamingo if they knew that the staff was, in essence, spying upon them. This would be the equivalent of the staff of a strip club taking down license plate numbers from their parking lot and handing them over to a third party. Very very very bad for business.
I'm not talking about spying on people staying in the hotel, I'm talking about a barmaid noticing that the name someone told her was different to the name on his credit card and earning herself a little bit more on her wages by passing that information along.

Quote:
Okay, here's another moment that was odd and stuck out. The second time I went to the show, there was a couple sitting in front of me. Their child had drowned, or had been drowned, by other children in some kind of prank gone wrong. These people were coated in photographs of said child doing all sorts of things, from sports to reading to bicycle riding. These were the perfect marks because they were visibly carrying everything required for a very convincing read. And they were in the front row, which meant that Edward had an excellent chance to see all of it.

Edward said something about the book 'The Giving Tree'. He said that someone in the room had a child for whom the book was very important. The couple in front of me immediately put their hands up to indicate they thought the reading was about them. John Edward said no, it wasn't a reading for them. He then continued to give details. The couple again put up their hands and said the reading was for them. Edward said no, it wasn't for them, and pointed toward the middle of the room at a different couple and said it was, in fact, for them. He then gave pretty detailed information.

What I mean is - the reading seemed to be tailored for particular people in the audience. He seemed to know in advance who he was going to talk to. For the life of me, I cannot figure out HOW.
One thing that's worth remembering is that there will most likely be in any audience people who have seen him before, maybe even many times. He can give them essentially the same reading every time and they'll still be impressed as if hearing it for the first time. That's how spiritualist churches keep their congregations happy. Without knowing any more about the couple he did give the reading to is there any reason to suppose that he didn't know them?
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Old 2nd January 2011, 06:07 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
My bad. I missed that.


I'm actually extremely knowledgeable on mentalism; I have a fairly professional library on it, and while I do not perform professionally, I do communicate with some professionals.

But I have consciously avoided tipping any methods, some of which apply. If you understand what I mean by PS work, then perhaps you will understand that a skilled performer (or skilled staff member of a performer) could get away with quite a lot without seeming to have done so.
Yes, I do know what you mean.

Well, I can't continue that line of discussion without giving it all away, now can I... Let me think... Ah well. PM it is.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 06:15 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by welshdean View Post
Case solved then. Edward talks to ghosties!
The fact that you didn't read the OP doesn't mean that ghosts did it; it just means you're not very good at debunking.

If you'd read the OP, you'd know that RemieV ran the Million Dollar Challenge for the JREF for 3 years and isn't trying to show that Edwards talks to ghosts. She's trying to figure out how he did the trick. It's a good one, too; I know it was a trick, but I can't figure out how he did it either. Simple answers given without considering the information in the OP aren't going to answer this question. We aren't talking about some rube from Idaho that wants to believe in ghosts and John Edwards; we're talking about someone who was very highly placed at the JREF who can't figure out the trick and wants our ideas and input.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 06:16 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Sceptic Tank View Post
I'm not talking about spying on people staying in the hotel, I'm talking about a barmaid noticing that the name someone told her was different to the name on his credit card and earning herself a little bit more on her wages by passing that information along.



One thing that's worth remembering is that there will most likely be in any audience people who have seen him before, maybe even many times. He can give them essentially the same reading every time and they'll still be impressed as if hearing it for the first time. That's how spiritualist churches keep their congregations happy. Without knowing any more about the couple he did give the reading to is there any reason to suppose that he didn't know them?
Hm. The reason I, at the time, didn't think that the couple knew Edward was because they seemed reticent to take the reading away from the other couple. They seemed LESS certain it was about them until rather far in.

Now, when I saw Van Praagh (who is so severely awful I can't believe people pay him money) it was a totally different kind of story. This was cold reading, no doubt. Van Praagh asked a LOT of questions (whereas Edward asked somewhere between very few and none). Whether the answer was 'yes' or 'no', he always followed it with "I knew that."

There was nothing comparable in Edward's readings.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 06:33 PM   #53
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I think that Joshua Liam's recollection, as with us all, is not perfect. I think he said more than he remembers, either while waiting in line to get in, or once he was sitting at his table. Someone on JE's team heard this and got it back to JE, himself. As Garrette says, he took advantage of it.

But then again, I could be wrong.

And, yes, you suckered me into the thread because of your title of the OP. Naughty girl!
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Old 2nd January 2011, 06:47 PM   #54
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How about this. Have someone followed from the events parking area to their ticket seating. (identifies their seating area) Seems like a private investigator type of thing to me more than any special abilities.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 06:54 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Guy View Post
I think that Joshua Liam's recollection, as with us all, is not perfect. I think he said more than he remembers, either while waiting in line to get in, or once he was sitting at his table. Someone on JE's team heard this and got it back to JE, himself. As Garrette says, he took advantage of it.

But then again, I could be wrong.

And, yes, you suckered me into the thread because of your title of the OP. Naughty girl!
BAHAHAHA.

I have so far been completely unable to identify anyone as a John Edward staffer who wasn't marked as such. No one left the event early, no one seemed over-interested in anyone else or their story. If they're there, they're hiding well.

I suppose the only way I'm going to ever figure this out is to get a freakin' reading when I attend. So. Who wants to buy me forty John Edward tickets so I can be done with this?

Originally Posted by River View Post
How about this. Have someone followed from the events parking area to their ticket seating. (identifies their seating area) Seems like a private investigator type of thing to me more than any special abilities.
The Flamingo is a casino on the Strip. You're talking about an eight story parking garage that most of the attendees won't even be parked in because they parked at a different casino and walked. In order to do this, you'd need HUNDREDS of people.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 06:55 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Guy View Post
I think that Joshua Liam's recollection, as with us all, is not perfect. I think he said more than he remembers, either while waiting in line to get in, or once he was sitting at his table. Someone on JE's team heard this and got it back to JE, himself. As Garrette says, he took advantage of it.

But then again, I could be wrong.
This is, of course, the problem. The information in this thread is 2nd or even 3rd hand and none of us can know what details could have been missed out. I mean, it sounds like a very impressive trick, and I'm sure it was, but without actually having been there all it's possible to do is throw out "have you thought of...?"s which probably aren't really much help.

If Edwards was doing all of this with great accuracy while hardly asking any questions then it has to be hot reading. Or supernatural powers. I know which one my money's on.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 07:01 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Sceptic Tank View Post
This is, of course, the problem. The information in this thread is 2nd or even 3rd hand and none of us can know what details could have been missed out. I mean, it sounds like a very impressive trick, and I'm sure it was, but without actually having been there all it's possible to do is throw out "have you thought of...?"s which probably aren't really much help.

If Edwards was doing all of this with great accuracy while hardly asking any questions then it has to be hot reading. Or supernatural powers. I know which one my money's on.
They are an enormous help. It means that I will have a set list of things to be looking for the next time around, and that I will slowly be able to eliminate the possibilities. For instance, I had not considered WHY I didn't think the couple I talked about earlier didn't know Edward, but thinking it over has given me the reason. This is good.

I agree that it must either be hot reading or supernatural powers. I am simply trying to catch him with his hand in the cookie jar, so to speak, whether that cookie jar is full of dead people or plants.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 07:44 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post

I spoke to Liam for about five minutes. He was from Canada, and was in town for only three days. He loved John Edward's television shows, and when he got into town and saw the billboards announcing that he would be giving a performance, Liam bought a ticket. He showed me the ticket. I was in the mid-range tier of tickets, and he was in the lowest tier. The ticket said he had paid cash - meaning that he was not comped in by a performer.
Just for clarification, did you ask to see his ticket, or did he volunteer it. It seems very odd to me that he would show it to you unprompted. What would be the point unless it was to plant information in your mind?

It also strikes me as odd/unlikely that the one person you talked to for so long, and the one person whose ticket you saw, was the one this super trick was performed on.

Unless I misread your narrative, my guess would be that your were targeted.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 07:46 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by beren View Post
Just for clarification, did you ask to see his ticket, or did he volunteer it. It seems very odd to me that he would show it to you unprompted. What would be the point unless it was to plant information in your mind?

It also strikes me as odd/unlikely that the one person you talked to for so long, and the one person whose ticket you saw, was the one this super trick was performed on.

Unless I misread your narrative, my guess would be that your were targeted.
I asked to see the ticket under the pretense of wanting to know if we were sitting near each other. In actuality, I just wanted to see the information printed on it.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 08:09 PM   #60
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1. What does Liam do for a living?
2. How did you track him down?

Years ago, I worked for the telephone exchange, directory assistance. Someone rang up and said they wanted the home number for a real estate agent called X - but X wasn't his real name and he couldn't remember the guy's real name. I said "oh - Mr Hxxxxxxxx?" and looked up the number. This guy could have been similarly perplexed as to how I knew. Am I psychic?
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Old 2nd January 2011, 08:21 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
They are an enormous help. It means that I will have a set list of things to be looking for the next time around, and that I will slowly be able to eliminate the possibilities. For instance, I had not considered WHY I didn't think the couple I talked about earlier didn't know Edward, but thinking it over has given me the reason. This is good.
You ran the JREF MDC for 3 years and didn’t automatically consider the basic possibilities presented on this thread? I guess (hope) you weren’t responsible for test protocols.

Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
I agree that it must either be hot reading or supernatural powers. I am simply trying to catch him with his hand in the cookie jar, so to speak, whether that cookie jar is full of dead people or plants.
Are you really considering supernatural powers as an option (even slightly)?
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Old 2nd January 2011, 09:07 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Lolly View Post
1. What does Liam do for a living?
2. How did you track him down?
I don't know what he does for a living. I do know, however, that he is a clown at charitable events. There are only so many clowns with his first and middle name. Google was quite helpful.

Originally Posted by ynot View Post
You ran the JREF MDC for 3 years and didn’t automatically consider the basic possibilities presented on this thread? I guess (hope) you weren’t responsible for test protocols.


Are you really considering supernatural powers as an option (even slightly)?
*eyeroll* Please don't get all superior on me. I said nothing about the ideas presented in the thread beyond the fact that they were making me think about assumptions I had made regarding individuals in the audience at the shows. And yes - I do find it helpful when people ask questions or challenge me on preconceived notions.

Yes, I wrote the testing protocols for the Challenge for the past three years. I was, in fact, the only point of contact for the Challenge - from claim to test, everything the JREF did in the past three years prior to August was my work.

As for whether I consider supernatural powers as an option - of course I do. That is the claim being made by John Edward. I find other possibilities far, far more likely, and will be unable to reach a conclusion regarding Edward without an actual double blind test. I do not pretend to have all answers (or even know all the questions). If you view this as a negative, fine by me.

I also had my own skeptical organization (now defunct), have given lectures on the paranormal all over the country, have written non-fiction articles published all over the place, been a consultant for MSNBC, TruTV, and Discovery on paranormal topics, and was briefly a co-host of a skeptical podcast.

Sooo... clearly my brand of skepticism is working out just fine.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 09:08 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
So Liam stood up.
One of the ushers brought him a microphone so that he could communicate with Edward. Edward again said that he had gotten the name 'Joshua', and then said that there was something weird about it, because he had the sensation that the name was LIAM's. Then Edward paused for a moment. Liam had not said anything at this time.
Isn’t it strange that he stood up and said absolutely nothing? Who would stand up and say nothing? Why even stand up? No wide eyed “WOW” or nodding even?

Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
Edward said that, though Liam's name was Joshua, he had not introduced himself that way to the rest of his table.
How did Edward know that the people at his table weren’t his family or friends that knew him well enough to know his real first name? Hope you don't have to consider genuine psychic ability.

Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
Edward then asked Joshua to hand the microphone over to someone else at the table, and then asked that person what Joshua had introduced himself as. The person said, "Liam."
This happened before Liam had confirmed he was Joshua? Wouldn’t Edward have gotten confirmation from Liam first. At the very least Liam would have confirmed out of sheer amazement. To proceed without confirmation reveals an un-natural cocky confidence given the embarrassment if he was wrong.

Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
Edward then asked Joshua to take out his driver's license and show it to everyone else at the table. The driver's license said that his name was Joshua Liam Smith.
So before Liam uttered a single word Edward got confirmation from others at the table and asked Liam to show everyone his license for confirmation. How did Edward even know Liam held a drivers license and had it on him? All very theatrically dramatic but not how things would have occurred under genuine circumstances. Seems to me Liam was an obvious plant that was going along with the act.

Aside - John Oliver predicted that Angelina and Brad would stay together for 2010. I don't keep up with such things but I’m sure they actually split. Hardly “impressive”.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 09:10 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
[...]
The only people who went back and forth between the audience and the backstage area were photographers who were taking souvenir photos. I assumed, at first, that this was how the trick was done, and that these people were not actually from Las Vegas, but were on Edward's staff.

I, therefore, researched the photographers and the photography company. They are not associated with John Edward, and they really are residents of Las Vegas.

I also had an individual standing outside of the theatre to see if, at the commencement of the show, any radio signals cropped up and then disappeared. The scanner revealed no such activity.
Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
[...]
The photographer idea still remains a possibility, but it strikes me as unlikely as well. I know no one's going to believe this, but John Edward was giving rather extensive information on people with little to no feedback. The photographers walked up, shot a photo, and walked away. They weren't really standing there long enough to get the amount of information Edward was giving.
[...]

What I mean is - the reading seemed to be tailored for particular people in the audience. He seemed to know in advance who he was going to talk to. For the life of me, I cannot figure out HOW.

I wonder if a possibility could include the use of facial recognition software.

Example:
What if a photographer takes a digital photo of person's face, disappears from view, then someone uses facial recognition software to search a photo 'database' such as Picasa Web, then looks for name 'tags' for faces of the photo(s) just taken. That 'database' could provide information in addition to than just a person's name. Also, a further Internet search based on the name(s)/info could be done. That information could then somehow be fed to the "psychic."

Don't know if this could be a possible explanation as to why the photographers disappear- and how "psychic" gets detailed information about a person...
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Old 2nd January 2011, 09:17 PM   #65
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This sounds a lot like a trick Randi has talked about. When he was just starting out, he had a big show in Toronto. He had a friend in Toronto, a university student, basically stake out the box office. A woman came in to buy tickets. The student was able to overhear the seat locations. When she left, he followed her home. This was weeks before the performance. A couple of weeks later, the student goes to the house and asks the lady if she has time for a survey about her insurance coverage as part of a class assignment. She invites him in and he asks some questions. Now he has her name in addition to the address. During this time, he notices a clock with roses on the face with the hands not on the clock but laying on the bottom of the glass cover on the face of the clock. He relays this info to Randi. So during the show, Randi points in the general direction of this woman is seated and calls her name. Then gives her address. Then the details about the clock. Hit after hit and always right on. This woman was convinced that Randi was psychic because there was no way for him to know this information. It worked because the lady didn't associate the student and Randi.

It seems kind of fishy that John Edwards asked him to pull out his driver's license. Why not a credit card? Or anything else? Of course, if John Edwards had specific knowledge that the license would read Joshua Liam, well then, that's not just a hit, that's a "How the hell could he know that?" kind of hit. Kind of like the clock.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 09:20 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
I don't know what he does for a living. I do know, however, that he is a clown at charitable events. There are only so many clowns with his first and middle name. Google was quite helpful.
So, he's in showbusiness and has an on-line presence?
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Old 2nd January 2011, 09:25 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Isn’t it strange that he stood up and said absolutely nothing? Who would stand up and say nothing? Why even stand up? No wide eyed “WOW” or nodding even?
He raised his hand at his name being called, and then stood when Edward asked him to. I've no idea why he didn't respond with surprise.


Quote:
How did Edward know that the people at his table weren’t his family or friends that knew him well enough to know his real first name?
The table he was sitting at sat, if I remember rightly, six. Most everyone there was sitting with at least one stranger. Though I had not considered this aspect before, I think that was probably a reasonable assumption.


Quote:
This happened before Liam had confirmed he was Joshua? Wouldn’t Edward have gotten confirmation from Liam first. At the very least Liam would have confirmed out of sheer amazement.
My memory isn't good enough to answer this question. I can tell you there is no audible confirmation, and I can listen to the recording again and transcribe it for you at a later date.


Quote:
So before Liam uttered a single word Edward got confirmation from others at the table and asked Liam to show everyone his license for confirmation. How did Edward even know Liam held a drivers license and had it on him? All very theatrically dramatic but not how things would have occurred under genuine circumstances. Seems to me Liam was an obvious plant that was going along with the act.
I'll re-listen and give all the gory details. I don't think he was a plant, though. Someone else could have potentially been, but Liam's story, insofar as I can tell (which is pretty far) checks out.

Quote:
Aside - John Oliver predicted that Angelina and Brad would stay together for 2010. I don't keep up with such things but I’m sure they actually split. Hardly “impressive”.
Hah... They didn't actually split. The tabloids said they did, but it was a lie. They sued the tabloids for reporting it, actually.

Originally Posted by Ernie M View Post
I wonder if a possibility could include the use of facial recognition software.

Example:
What if a photographer takes a digital photo of person's face, disappears from view, then someone uses facial recognition software to search a photo 'database' such as Picasa Web, then looks for name 'tags' for faces of the photo(s) just taken. That 'database' could provide information in addition to than just a person's name. Also, a further Internet search based on the name(s)/info could be done. That information could then somehow be fed to the "psychic."

Don't know if this could be a possible explanation as to why the photographers disappear- and how "psychic" gets detailed information about a person...
Doubtful. It would take way, way too much time. The more likely reason that the photographers disappear backstage is so their co-workers can start printing the photographs, ensuring that all of them will be done printing by the show's end.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 09:32 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
Most everyone there was sitting with at least one stranger.
How do you know that? People often travel to places like Vegas in family/friend groups of six (three sets of couples).


Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
Hah... They didn't actually split. The tabloids said they did, but it was a lie. They sued the tabloids for reporting it, actually.
So he remains "impressive" then.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 09:34 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
I've no idea why he didn't respond with surprise.
I gave you one.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 09:35 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
How do you know that? People often travel to places like Vegas in family/friend groups of six (three sets of couples).



So he remains "impressive" then.
Well, I could tell because I was closely watching when people sat down.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 09:36 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
I gave you one.
I'll rephrase - I have several ideas, but nothing solid.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 09:39 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
Well, I could tell because I was closely watching when people sat down.
You closely watched at least 150 people sit down and could tell whether they knew each other or not? Forget Edward, YOU’RE amazing.

Besides the point is Edward didn’t watch everyone sit down and the question is how did he know the people at Liam's table didn't know each other, not you.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 09:42 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
I'll rephrase - I have several ideas, but nothing solid.
Paranormal means against non- paranormal means is pretty solid in favour of the later.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 09:48 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
You closely watched at least 150 people sit down and could tell whether they knew each other or not? Forget Edward, YOU’RE amazing.
No, I paid attention to WHEN people sat down. People who are together tend to come in at the same time, having just been standing next to each other in line.

Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Paranormal means against non- paranormal means is pretty solid in favour of the later.
I am not positing that he knows by paranormal means, outside of accepting it as an extremely far-fetched explanation. I think you are misreading me - I am not shooting down ideas or looking for a paranormal explanation. I am seeking the best possible way to catch him in the act.

I'll say this again - Liam being a plant is far-fetched. I do not think that's how the trick is done. Because I do not think that is how the trick was done, I am not attempting to pursue that avenue - because tickets to John Edward's show are incredibly expensive, and if I only get, say, one more shot at the whole thing, I'm going to make it count as much as possible.

You don't have to talk me out of believing in psychics. I don't believe in psychics. Being 'impressive' isn't the same thing as being psychic.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 09:52 PM   #75
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How many times does she have to say that she is not suggesting supernatural powers? She's merely trying to see if anyone else has an explanation that she has not thought of yet.

Here's my two cents:

I believe "Liam" to be a friend of a friend or a guest of JE's.

I know Sylvia Browne's camp very well. I know how tickets are comped for shows, whether it be convention centers, theaters, or casinos. When a performer gets you a ticket or tickets saved at will-call, you get handed a ticket just like you had paid cash. Your name certainly won't be printed on it and you don't have to put it on credit. Your name is simply on a will-call list and that's the only place it would be.

You might wonder why a guest of JE would be in a crappier section and not in the front. Well, that's easy. I'm sure that the front row tickets or tables were a lot more expensive. They wanted to sell the more expensive tickets to paying customers. Or- maybe those seats were all booked up and the only ticket available to JE's friend "Liam" was the seat he was assigned. If seats are sold in the more expensive areas, a performer can't just kick those paying customers out of their seats for a guest of theirs. Especially at a casino. Convention centers are a lot easier because they usually seat people in sections. It's easy to save a block of seats up front for performer's guests and then have paying customers sit down on a first come, first served basis.

It seems perfectly logical that JE would want to pull a trick like this in front of a smaller crowd. Something like this would seem much more impressive to 150 people than 2,000 people. A setting like that is more intimate in nature and people feel more connected to one another. If 10% of your audience is skeptical when you have an audience of 2,000- you have a hell of a lot of doubtful people on your hands. I know it's all relative- 10% is 10% no matter what. BUT- if you as a skeptic are sitting in a smaller crowd, you might find it inappropriate to say something in a small audience because you wouldn't want to disrespect those people around you having their big night out. A bigger audience has more opportunity to talk freely to those around them. A bigger audience also might not notice the magnitude of JE's "hit" over a name. It makes more of an impression with the smaller audience.

I don't know if you realize how easy it is to get to a casino floor (theater entrance) from a green room or back stage. It is often times VERY CLOSE. It's not just directly behind the stage that is "backstage". It's the walls on the sides, too. That whole area back there is "backstage". Liam very easily could have been back shooting the you know what with JE one minute and then slipped out the door and got into line. If there were only 150 people in the show, it's not like it was a very big line.

What seems very suspicious to me is that this person would introduce himself on a personal level like that to you. I have been to countless shows and concerts, have stood in line exactly like you are describing, and I HAVE NEVER, as far as I can recall, shared my name or had someone tell me their name. It's usually just the normal chit-chat about the performer, the weather, the casino, etc. But a name?! I don't think so. It seems obvious to me that this person told you his name for a reason. If you had been a believer and saw JE's name trick, you probably would have told everyone around you at your table that you KNEW this to be true. It creates more "validation" for JE. Professional psychics LOVE to create this false validation....and they're good at it.

Another thing that seems odd to me is that he would whip out his driver's license to validate his name. I'm not saying that someone wouldn't. But I know that you have to have a passport now to enter the US from Canada and vice versa. Why would you carry your driver's license around as ID? When I travel abroad (yes- even to Canada), I carry my passport as ID because I know that people will know that it's valid. Would he really have his license right there on the spot to whip out as proof?

How exactly did you communicate with this person? Did he also give you his email address in line, too? How do you know he was there with his wife? And would a guy really go and see someone like JE alone, without a woman dragging him along? Sorry- I'm not trying to be sexist, but in my experience, this is usually how men end up at these types of shows.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 09:53 PM   #76
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How about if JE had some people stationed by the box office to get into conversation with people purchasing tickets before the show? A person probably would not have remembered that they had a conversation with a random person before a show. Especially if it was hours before or the day before the show.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 09:58 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
No, I paid attention to WHEN people sat down. People who are together tend to come in at the same time, having just been standing next to each other in line.
As I added to that post - "Besides the point is Edward didn’t watch everyone sit down and the question is how did he know the people at Liam's table didn't know each other, not you."
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Old 2nd January 2011, 10:04 PM   #78
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Somehow, I'm still not impressed.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 10:07 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Francine View Post
How exactly did you communicate with this person? Did he also give you his email address in line, too? How do you know he was there with his wife? And would a guy really go and see someone like JE alone, without a woman dragging him along? Sorry- I'm not trying to be sexist, but in my experience, this is usually how men end up at these types of shows.
If I could read the Devil's line here, it could be something as simple as RemieV being, y'know...kinda hot.

But still, even if it was something as 'innocuous' as a married guy chatting up a girl in line, why mention that you're married? Guys do stupid things sometimes, and say even dumber things. And he was Canadian, and probably stunk like back bacon. But that's not the point.

Yeah, I'm with you here. The name-dropping on total strangers is a little odd, unless that's just how they do it up at the Tim Hortons in Yellowknife.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 10:38 PM   #80
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Points to consider . . .

Out of 25-30 tables Edward knew exactly which one Liam was sitting at.

He knew Liam’s first and second name and knew he was using his second.

He knew the others at the table didn't know Liam.

He knew the others at the table didn’t know Liam’s first name or that he was using his second.

He knew Liam didn't tell the others at the table his first name in conversation.

He knew Liam was there alone even though he has a wife.

He knew Liam had a drivers license and had it on him.

He knew all this with such confidence he didn't need to get anything confirmed from Liam.

This level of "success" is way higher than Edward usually achieves with "normal" cheating methods.

Liam apparently didn’t say anything or act impressed or surprised throughout.

It’s not rocket science.
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