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Tags john edward , mediums , psychics

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Old 26th November 2012, 06:35 PM   #241
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Yes, I always have high hopes, cold reading is so obvious you'd think all one needed was to expose the believer to the technique and they'd see the light. But more often than not that confirmation bias is just too powerful.
When I was living in Merthyr Tydfil I used to drop in at the local Spiritualist Church now and again, just for a giggle. You would have thought that a child could have spotted the techniques that the ''mediums'' used, but as you say, the confirmation bias is strong.
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Old 26th November 2012, 06:35 PM   #242
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I shouldn't have, but I went through all the comments, though I skimmed many that were obviously not related to the specific JE reading. Here are the key Robin comments, starting with an excerpt from the blog that started it.

Originally Posted by Description of the refrigerator and Valerie Harper comments from the blog post on August 28, 2012 at 5:01 a.m.
His comments directed to me only as I stood there were spot on. He gave a lot of correct information about my dad such as family names and that his name has an ST sound...his name was Salvatore. And correct information about my dad having a problem with his brain. Impressive but I was not totally convinced. UNTIL.... He said my dad told him I just bought a new refrigerator. Yes I had just bought a new refrigerator 2 weeks before! AND THEN ...John told my brother that my dad is telling him he has a Valerie Harper connection.



Originally Posted by Description of the refrigerator and Valerie Harper comments from a Robin comment at 8:10 a.m. on August 30
There were absolutely no cues from me that would have enabled John to "guess" I just bought a new refrigerator. And nothing was said by my brother to enable John to venture another "guess" that he had a Valerie Harper connection. These statements were not thrown out to the entire group just waiting for someone to bite. They were made directly to my brother and I.



Originally Posted by Robin comment, 2:07 a.m., October 22nd
John began by saying he had an ST sounding name coming through...he said he felt it was for someone in my group of 4 people. He also said the deceased had 2 stomach procedures...my Dad was Salvatore and he had 2 feeding tubes put in while ill. Still, I wasn't convinced but I spoke up and said "I don't know maybe for me but I'm not sure" John hesitated then asked "Did you just buy the new refrigerator?" I was shocked and told him yes! But what's funny is that John seemed a little surprised himself! He said "You did? You just bought a new refrigerator?!"



Originally Posted by Robin comment at 10:55 a.m. on 23 October
To be able to "guess" that AND that my Dad's name has an ST sound AND he had 2 stomach procedures AND a problem with his brain are even slimmer! The chances of John being able to "guess" that my brother had a recent Valerie Harper connection are pretty slim as well! And remember refrigerator statement made directly to me ......Valerie Harper statement made directy to my brother. John Anderson ...let me ask you ...Do you have a Valerie Harper connection and did your sister (supposing you have a sister) just buy a new refrigerator? My guess is your answer would be no.



Originally Posted by Robin Comment at 12:21 p.m October 25
And remember those statements were made directly to me and my brother NOT thrown out to the entire group just hoping someone would bite.
And there’s the memory thing as well as the adding of details.

The original blog said that JE’s comments were statements made directly to Robin and to her brother. Later she admits they were directed at her group of four people.

The statements also become questions, thereby allowing an out.

The original blog connects an “ST” sound with the name “Salvatore,” even though there is no “ST” sound in Salvatore. JE also mentions, in the blog, 2 stomach procedures. Robin connects this with feeding tubes, which aren’t stomach procedures. The “problem with his brain” gets added later.

And the Valerie Harper connection? Originally presented as a statement but later revealed to be a question. Another escape route for JE.


There is nothing, and I mean exactly nothing, that is remotely convincing here. It is the standard mix of confirmation bias and misremembering. Whether JE made his comments based on cold reading, hot reading, or out and out guessing is irrelevant; they were still made to fit by Robin.
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Old 26th November 2012, 06:39 PM   #243
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
So do we expect every newcomer to know this?

Here's one of the first replies:It's factually OK but how can we expect every new forum member to understand these issues? If Robin had been a skeptic, or a seasoned poster, sure. But suppose she's just not been exposed to much skepticism or the scientific process?

I think it could have been more politely stated. But, like I said, I probably have no room to talk. I've written similar posts following new member OPs.

Here's a suggested revision:

I suspect a drive-by spamming, but just in case:
It would help if you'd summarize your blog here so we could decide if we want to read it first. We will almost certainly have some resources you should read of ours as well, describing confirmation bias, the tricks of mediums like John Edward, and other effects that mislead the unsuspecting into erroneous belief. I also ask that you explain how you, personally, distinguish between fake psychics (I assume you acknowledge that some exist) and the allegedly real psychics like John Edward.
I admit that your wording is more palatable, but where is the line? And suppose that my communication skills are not the equal of yours or others though I have the same intent? (I suspect that is actually the case here)?

Going back and re-reading my post, I find more to object to about it being muddled as opposed to it being harsh.
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Old 26th November 2012, 06:50 PM   #244
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Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
...

Going back and re-reading my post, I find more to object to about it being muddled as opposed to it being harsh.

Frequently, I write a post in a word processor or text editor rather than in the box at the bottom of the page. This allows me to feel less pressure to post immediately, and allows me to reflect a bit on what I am writing.

YMMV, of course, but it's worth a try.

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Old 26th November 2012, 06:53 PM   #245
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
Frequently, I write a post in a word processor or text editor rather than in the box at the bottom of the page. This allows me to feel less pressure to post immediately, and allows me to reflect a bit on what I am writing.

YMMV, of course, but it's worth a try.

xterra
As do I, but it only infrequently helps.
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Old 26th November 2012, 06:53 PM   #246
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Robin, I have taken the time to read your blog and responded politely.

So before running off can you answer two simple questions.

1. Whose name was on the credit card used to purchase the tickets.

Did you have a reservation with your name on the tickets or did you just get blank tickets?

2. Did John Edwards speak to everyone in the room? How were you selected to be a participant?
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Old 26th November 2012, 06:54 PM   #247
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
Frequently, I write a post in a word processor or text editor rather than in the box at the bottom of the page. This allows me to feel less pressure to post immediately, and allows me to reflect a bit on what I am writing.

YMMV, of course, but it's worth a try.

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That is a very good idea.
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Old 26th November 2012, 07:00 PM   #248
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Originally Posted by Robin Stettnisch View Post
Ok, Ok...I do know that there is NO way to convince a true non-believer...
You might try taking my suggestion and recording the exchange so you could prove it wasn't simply cold reading. Unless you're a true believer whose mind is firmly shut against all reason.
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Old 26th November 2012, 07:00 PM   #249
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Having worked for the JREF for three years and running my own skeptical organization, I've seen many mediums as well; and have purchased private readings and so on. They make for great articles. Mine have included: Carla Baron, James van Praagh, John Oliver, and John Edward (twice).

For the John Edward ones, I do have recordings. Somewhere. I listened to them a few times, and did follow-up research on people who were read, etc.

I know that we've heard often that John Edward is a totally crap medium, but lemme tell ya, some days he is really, really on. There was, in fact, a 'hit' during one of his shows that was so impressive I've been completely unable to imagine how he pulled it off. And, like I said, this is three years of Million Dollar Challenge talking. Randi and I talked about what happened - and listened to the recording - at length. Because I didn't guard for every single possibility on earth, there's no real way to tell how Edward managed to get such a good hit - or, rather, series of hits with one person - because it wasn't a plant. And, funnily, I know that the person who was read didn't talk to staff while at the show - because in line, the only person they talked to was me. Funny how that one worked out.

After intense follow-up with the person who was read, the staff at the theater, the photographers wandering around the event, going again to REALLY pay attention to what happened at the box office and to search under the tables for microphones, this is the only conclusion I've come to:

The man makes a bamillion guesses per year. Is it really so odd that he can be spot on sometimes? Haven't you ever had a dream that totally seemed predictive? Haven't you ever guessed the right card just before flipping it over? Haven't you ever said something to someone that wound up being completely relevant, and you never could've guessed that you'd be right? Hell, haven't you ever had a series of them?

Here's a story for you.

I went out on a first date with a guy who was a producer of a show in Vegas. I had never had discussions with him before, or visited his Facebook page or anything like that. I ran into him at his show, we small talked, he gave me his card. That was the extent of knowledge.

So he picks me up to go to this club opening, and while in the car, I paraphrase something Penn Jillette had said recently which was along the lines of, "I should try heroin. I mean, it must be REALLY good, otherwise why would people do it?"

And the guy looked at me, horror in his eyes, and said, "My brother DIED of a heroin overdose."

So we get to the club and I say, "I'm going to walk over there and have a cigarette because when I smoke I prefer to kill only myself."

And the guy looked at me in horror and said, "My father DIED of lung cancer."

So later, we're talking about his show and I ask if he ever hangs out with any of the players in it. And he mentions all of them except one. And I say, "Why don't you hang out with _____? What'd he do, screw your girlfriend?"

And the guy bursts into tears.

Now, if I called myself a psychic and you were watching that, you would've thought I was amazing (and also a really bad person). But, in fact, it was a series of bizarre coincidences that resulted in me making a grown man cry at a club opening.

Is it really so hard to believe that John Edward occasionally enjoys the same luck?

I've even got another one. I've probably got a million of them.

This one time, I was at a bar with a friend who sort of kind of knew the bartender. It was a casino bar. I didn't know the bartender at all. So the bartender tells us that he's taking part in the casino's staff talent show, and we should come out. And I say, in this completely derisive tone, "What are you going to do - breakdance?"

And he's all, "Uh, yeah, how did you know?"

Now, keep in mind that this was a casino bar. Very strict dress code - so it's not as though you could look at him and think "breakdancer". And I felt really badly after that for completely making fun of his talent.

The thing is - we're all going to have crazy coincidences at some point. John Edward's just happen to occur when he's trying to convince people he has an ability. Walk around making predictions at everyone all the time, and something is going to stick.

There really doesn't need to be a bigger explanation than that.
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Old 26th November 2012, 07:01 PM   #250
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Garette, that's a great post. Where you deconstruct the arguments using the information given.


I have to say Robin I'm a teeny tiny bit cynical in thinking you are being paid to promote John Edward on blogs and forums. If you google your name you've got the same thing over and over again, on your blog, on the Anderson Cooper blog you have a post in a contest to win free tickets to see John Edward.

Just curious why you are promoting him so much? Generally this would be something you would share with your friends and family not tons of people online. I don't get it.
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Old 26th November 2012, 07:08 PM   #251
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RemieV that kind of stuff happens to me all the time and there are many examples of it. That's why the refrigerator thing doesn't seem so off base to me.

When I used to pretend read tarot cards for strangers, I'd always throw in some really wacky off the cuff thing to hop it up a little.

like "What's the story about the doll?" or "Who was missing? Someone was missing?" or "Tell me about the special piece of jewelry" and people would fill it right in.

For example if I had said "Are you the one that just bought a new refrigerator" and Robin had not bought a fridge, she'd probably think about if she knew someone else that did. Or if no one did then I'd say "You will be and Salvatore says to be careful with the food, he doesn't want anyone to have issues with their stomach like he did. He misses food."

Wooooaaaaawwww!


ETA Please note that Robin said that John Edward himself seemed shocked that she had just bought a fridge. So that goes to show he was NOT expecting her to say yes. It was a lucky hit.
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Old 26th November 2012, 07:12 PM   #252
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Originally Posted by truethat View Post
RemieV that kind of stuff happens to me all the time and there are many examples of it. That's why the refrigerator thing doesn't seem so off base to me.

When I used to pretend read tarot cards for strangers, I'd always through in some really wacky off the cuff thing to hop it up a little.

For example if I had said "Are you the one that just bought a new refrigerator" and Robin had not bought a fridge, she'd probably think about if she knew someone else that did. Or if no one did then I'd say "You will be and Salvatore says to be careful with the food, he doesn't want anyone to have issues with their stomach like he did. He misses food."

Wooooaaaaawwww!
I used to do fake tarot readings too, and did the same thing. I also had a hell of a psychic trick wherein if you put a deck of cards facedown on a table, I could find any one you said without touching them. Shuffle as often as you like; check to see if they're marked (they weren't); etc. Oddly enough, the more accurate you are, the more people look for the trick!

And on that note: ALL the psychics I have ever had a reading with (either private or one at a big show) had some kind of spot-on moment - except James van Praagh. The man could not be right to save his life.

Carla Baron, for instance, was a private reading and she told me that I'd be in a line of work that bore some similarity to Nancy Drew. This is as I was recording her, without her knowledge, to write an article and determine her level of fake-itude.
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Old 26th November 2012, 07:12 PM   #253
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Thanks, Remie, for chiming in. Your comments about coincidence being sufficient are exactly what I was getting at here:

Originally Posted by Garrette sometime earlier in the thread
I wish I were better at articulating what I am thinking in these threads and at organizing my analysis. Unfortunately, I am not. I therefore get frustrated with myself and with others (my fault, not theirs) when I see flaws in our arguments.

The thing is that the rebuttal to anecdotes such as Robin's is a series of Even Ifs.

Even if she believes she is relating it exactly correctly, it doesn't prove life after death.

Even if she really is relating it exactly correctly, it doesn't prove life after death.

Even if she demonstrates irrefutably that John Edward had no knowledge of her, her brother, her family, or anyone or anything related to her and Even if John Edward did not know she was coming to that session and Even if he said exactly these words: "You just bought a chrome refrigerator, and your brother will go see Valerie Harper's show on Broadway tonight with his friend who has not yet bought tickets," it does not by itself prove life after death.

It is this point that I feel is the largest stumbling block to a believer's objective analysis. Without a controlled environment, or at least a controlled series of readings each of which produced a remarkable reading so that all the readings in toto surpass the level of chance-produced remarkable readings, then the miraculous reading is not proof; it is merely a point of interest, perhaps meriting further investigation.


In threads such as this one, the Even If level we deal with not only fluctuates, it gets separated from the others so that believers begin gto think that if this particular Even If is dealth with then the whole case is proven.

Skepticism ain't easy...
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Old 26th November 2012, 07:14 PM   #254
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Originally Posted by Robin Stettnisch View Post
C'mon do any of you ever crack a smile?
Do you imagine I must be a humourless curmudeon just because I think all mediums are frauds? You yourself think all but one are frauds - right?

Quote:
You will not change my mind and I will not change yours...but I am at peace with that.
Likewise.

Quote:
...please have someone from here go to a reading with John Edward...
What do you imagine the outcome would be? I mean seriously. We know how mediums use hot and cold reading to fake their act. You know it too. You think all the rest are frauds. But this one guy managed to impress you with stuff you can't see how he'd know. Even though people suggested ways he might do it, you reject them in favour of assuming physics is wrong and this one guy is really magical.

You bought tickets for his gig using your credit card, right? So why do you imagine his people can't do some research on you and find some random detail to use in the act? (I mean, a new fridge! Really?) And the seating wasn't allocated, so how could they know it was you? Well, maybe your picture is online. Maybe they identified you from your ticket as you entered. However they thought of to do it, the real answer is going to be a whole lot more mundane that that this guy out of all the charlatans is actually magical. I suppose I ought to be taken aback that a smart and rational person as you appear to be can't see that, but I'm no longer surprised by it.
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Old 26th November 2012, 07:18 PM   #255
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
--snip--Oddly enough, the more accurate you are, the more people look for the trick!--snip--
This is a key point. Many believers discard hot reading with the argument that if there was hot reading the medium would simply say the name and other facts. They forget that most mediums are pros and know what sells. It is actually a (very minor) controversy in the mentalism community: is a too-perfect routine less believable than one with some intentional misses? Most say yes. Therefore, even when the medium has lots of specific, factual information obtained nefariously, he or she will rarely rattle it off as if from a data sheet.
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Old 26th November 2012, 07:21 PM   #256
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Originally Posted by Robin Stettnisch View Post
Ok, Ok...I do know that there is NO way to convince a true non-believer...just take my husband - please. : ) C'mon do any of you ever crack a smile? And not all on here are true non-believers. I've said my piece and I do truly thank you for listening. You will not change my mind and I will not change yours...but I am at peace with that. I will leave you with one final thought...please have someone from here go to a reading with John Edward...must be skeptical yet open-minded, thoughtful, and of course knowledgeable ...I personally nominate "truethat" because that was the one person on this thread who seemed to really pay close attention to the details I provided and "hear" what I was saying while still remaining skeptical (thank you for that). But remember a personal reading will be the true indicator. Then, of course, please let me know what happens! Peace.

This reminds me of a Jehova's Witness preacher's parting comments at the conclusion of a discussion at my front door:

"You can have your logic and I'll have mine ..."
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Old 26th November 2012, 07:23 PM   #257
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
Do you imagine I must be a humourless curmudeon just because I think all mediums are frauds? You yourself think all but one are frauds - right?

Likewise.


What do you imagine the outcome would be? I mean seriously. We know how mediums use hot and cold reading to fake their act. You know it too. You think all the rest are frauds. But this one guy managed to impress you with stuff you can't see how he'd know. Even though people suggested ways he might do it, you reject them in favour of assuming physics is wrong and this one guy is really magical.

You bought tickets for his gig using your credit card, right? So why do you imagine his people can't do some research on you and find some random detail to use in the act? (I mean, a new fridge! Really?) And the seating wasn't allocated, so how could they know it was you? Well, maybe your picture is online. Maybe they identified you from your ticket as you entered. However they thought of to do it, the real answer is going to be a whole lot more mundane that that this guy out of all the charlatans is actually magical. I suppose I ought to be taken aback that a smart and rational person as you appear to be can't see that, but I'm no longer surprised by it.
More than this, she had been to see psychics in general frequently, and it was not even her first time to see John Edward. On her site, Robin described this particular event as more intimate than the normal ones, having only 75 people. I do not know, but I suspect that gaining admission to this type of event is a bit more controlled than the regular event, which in turn I think is rife for the possibility of information gathering.

Still, given the description of the hits, no hot reading was required. Look at her varied descriptions of the comments.
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Old 26th November 2012, 07:25 PM   #258
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
I used to do fake tarot readings too, and did the same thing. I also had a hell of a psychic trick wherein if you put a deck of cards facedown on a table, I could find any one you said without touching them. Shuffle as often as you like; check to see if they're marked (they weren't); etc. Oddly enough, the more accurate you are, the more people look for the trick!

And on that note: ALL the psychics I have ever had a reading with (either private or one at a big show) had some kind of spot-on moment - except James van Praagh. The man could not be right to save his life.

Carla Baron, for instance, was a private reading and she told me that I'd be in a line of work that bore some similarity to Nancy Drew. This is as I was recording her, without her knowledge, to write an article and determine her level of fake-itude.

There's also just looking at the person. Most of the time our physical appearance tells people a lot about who we are as a person. And who we live around, generally speaking women tend to dress in styles similar to their friends. If you get the french tipped manicures and have on hot pink lipstick, that's a clue different from a woman with observable botox and skin treatments and diamond earrings, is different from a woman wearing blue jeans and an old tee shirt with minimal makeup, different from a woman with a tribal bracelet on and dockers. Etc etc etc.
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Old 26th November 2012, 07:36 PM   #259
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Originally Posted by truethat View Post
There's also just looking at the person. Most of the time our physical appearance tells people a lot about who we are as a person. And who we live around, generally speaking women tend to dress in styles similar to their friends. If you get the french tipped manicures and have on hot pink lipstick, that's a clue different from a woman with observable botox and skin treatments and diamond earrings, is different from a woman wearing blue jeans and an old tee shirt with minimal makeup, different from a woman with a tribal bracelet on and dockers. Etc etc etc.
Indeed. For a while there, I focused very hard on observing people well enough to sound like a psychic; or like Sherlock Holmes. I got very good at telling what a person's university major was just by looking at them. Music and PoliSci are the easiest.

There there's the voice, too. When I was working at Blockbuster in college on my first day, I was talking to a co-worker. For about four sentences. And I said, "Was it tennis or golf?" and he said, "Was what?" and I said, "The game you play at the country club."

It wasn't an accent or anything. It was this very slight lilt in his voice that said, "Snob". He was, of course, completely flabbergasted.

It was tennis, by the way.

As for the connection to Rhoda-what's-her-name, what newspaper was it? What is that newspaper's circulation? What were the odds that the brother read the newspaper? Then it's just a matter of age guessing. Is this person the right age to remember the actress and to be like "Whoa, I remember her!"
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Old 26th November 2012, 07:40 PM   #260
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It is not surprising and yet still disappointing that Robin chose to leave just at the point when people were beginning to discuss actual details of the reading. Also disappointing is that she declined to discuss The Afterlife Experiments once she discovered that we know about the book and its many flaws.

I hope she comes back, though. I stand by what I said some time ago: she is pleasant enough and seems intelligent enough, too. It would be a shame to lose her as a member, even if we don't change her mind.
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Old 26th November 2012, 07:42 PM   #261
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Yep that's pretty much how I figured it, if it was in NYC it would be the NY Post or the Daily News and that's an unusual show. I'd be thinking "How did she get a show on Bway" or wherever it is. It would be like if Suzanne Sommers had a show. Like where did that come from.

And if they had been near times square there may have been advertising and billboards up. One of the thing Edward will do is to say "Keep it in mind, write it down for later" Ala the beaver tooth story.

Had Doug said "Really a Valerie Harper link? Ok" John would have said "Keep it in mind later, your father is telling you to keep an eye open." Then later when they walked around or heard it mentioned it would be "wow!" Just as the reaction to the beaver tooth.

What is interesting (or downright cruel) about this technique is that when the misinformation is caught up, then the person takes it as a sign from the other side and will look around and try to take on meaning in order have some sort of closure.


I sure hope Robin answers my questions.
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Old 26th November 2012, 07:45 PM   #262
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Robin hasn't left. There's 40 more pages of this good stuff coming. Her brother is going to join too.
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Old 26th November 2012, 07:46 PM   #263
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
Robin hasn't left. There's 40 more pages of this good stuff coming. Her brother is going to join too.
Been hot reading have you?
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Old 26th November 2012, 07:47 PM   #264
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Originally Posted by Robin Stettnisch View Post
Ok, Ok...I do know that there is NO way to convince a true non-believer... [...]

There is a way. But it requires objective evidence. You won't do it by insisting that your incredulity and ignorance trumps objective reality. And you won't do it by calling skeptics closed minded, when the truth of the matter is we are open to any number of possibilities, where you seem to be open to only one.

Quote:
[...] just take my husband - please. C'mon do any of you ever crack a smile? And not all on here are true non-believers. I've said my piece and I do truly thank you for listening. You will not change my mind and I will not change yours... [...]

We were trying to help you learn some critical thinking skills. You've chosen not to accept our offer.

Quote:
[...] but I am at peace with that. I will leave you with one final thought...please have someone from here go to a reading with John Edward...must be skeptical yet open-minded, thoughtful, and of course knowledgeable ... [...]

Your continued claim of being knowledgeable in the area of fraudulent mediums is laughable. You apparently don't realize there are at least two highly competent, veteran professional or semi-professional magicians in this thread with probably nearly 100 years of research, practical application, and real life experience between them. We are open-minded, thoughtful, and knowledgeable. You are convinced that something is true, something for which no objective evidence exists. That is the antithesis of open-minded, thoughtful, and knowledgeable.

Quote:
[...] I personally nominate "truethat" because that was the one person on this thread who seemed to really pay close attention to the details I provided and "hear" what I was saying while still remaining skeptical (thank you for that).

Your misunderstanding of skepticism and critical thinking is showing again. Truethat appears to be the least skeptical among us, and the most willing to indulge a believers' fantasies. But you don't really want an objective assessment, do you? You want an ally, a fellow believer, a playmate. In truethat you'd have someone who takes what you say as true rather than recognizing that you just believe it to be true. Good choice, truethat, unless you really want an objective analysis.

Quote:
But remember a personal reading will be the true indicator. Then, of course, please let me know what happens! Peace.

This appears to be an acknowledgement that you're unable to support your claim. Your admission of failure is accepted.
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Old 26th November 2012, 07:54 PM   #265
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"Truethat tends to be the least skeptical among us" there's that reading comprehension issue rearing it's head again.

I prefer to discuss and debunk based on the scenarios and information given, which I and Remie V have done so far.

You prefer making up reasons why it's not true. That's hardly critical thinking. That's a cop out actually.
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Old 26th November 2012, 07:57 PM   #266
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By the by, I find it extraordinarily unlikely that John Edward did any research on anyone at all. It's unnecessary, can wind up being costly - or he can simply be caught at it. For the same reasons, I don't believe he's got staff members going through people's possessions in a cloakroom just before the show begins. It's like imagining a solution to the Bullet Catch that's five more steps complicated than it needs to be. Plus, neither time at a John Edward show did I have to sign any documents other than the agreement with the venue itself; nor was I asked to check any possessions; nor open my bag to let them see inside. I was way over-prepared with my arsenal of devices and sneaky stuff than the situation required. I even went through the trouble of creating a false identity - twice - and wearing a series of wigs and altering my makeup and so on and so forth. Looking back, it was all actually kind of funny. Criss Angel has more safeguards on his show than John Edward.

ETA: Before someone thinks I'm a hardened criminal, my version of "creating a false identity" involved having friends purchase my tickets in person at the box office on my behalf using a completely made up name for me. They don't check ID against the name given for the ticketholder, rendering the "You were researched!" argument a bit worthless.
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Old 26th November 2012, 08:03 PM   #267
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
By the by, I find it extraordinarily unlikely that John Edward did any research on anyone at all. It's unnecessary, can wind up being costly - or he can simply be caught at it. For the same reasons, I don't believe he's got staff members going through people's possessions in a cloakroom just before the show begins. It's like imagining a solution to the Bullet Catch that's five more steps complicated than it needs to be. Plus, neither time at a John Edward show did I have to sign any documents other than the agreement with the venue itself; nor was I asked to check any possessions; nor open my bag to let them see inside. I was way over-prepared with my arsenal of devices and sneaky stuff than the situation required. I even went through the trouble of creating a false identity - twice - and wearing a series of wigs and altering my makeup and so on and so forth. Looking back, it was all actually kind of funny. Criss Angel has more safeguards on his show than John Edward.
This is exactly what I said pages ago. I'd still like to know if he knew her name. But the idea that he hires people to go digging through garbage and has a pick pocket roaming around and that Robin wouldn't have noticing these tricks is insulting to Robin and others.

It's good that you were there so you can share your perspective with Robin.

I also want to know if in his "Hit" person, how long did he stay with the person as opposed to the not so hitty person.
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Old 26th November 2012, 08:08 PM   #268
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Oh sorry, truethat, I think I was typing my ETA while you were typing your post.

Here ya go:

Quote:
ETA: Before someone thinks I'm a hardened criminal, my version of "creating a false identity" involved having friends purchase my tickets in person at the box office on my behalf using a completely made up name for me. They don't check ID against the name given for the ticketholder, rendering the "You were researched!" argument a bit worthless.
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Old 26th November 2012, 08:13 PM   #269
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Yeah I caught it later. That's why I started asking for details, because people blowing off what Robin was saying by MSU (Making Stuff Up) is a very typical pattern on this site. Instead of reading the actual information given and coming to a logical conclusion based on that information people veer off ranting about completely unrelated information.

The fact is, we know that John Edward is not communicating with the dead. But that doesn't mean he isn't able to really accurately read certain people and perhaps pick up on things that others may not normally notice.

If you are the type of person who can do this it's really not so shocking what he's doing because anyone could do it especially if they trained themselves for years. Who knows perhaps Edward even believes he is really picking it up from the dead.

But if you take a man who was raised in the world of psychic abilities and making money off that psychic ability (or supposed psychic ability) he's going to make a run for it.

I do not believe that he would do things that would be so easy to catch out. If he was doing background checks on people I think it would be very obvious. He's picking up on something and going with that and sometimes it works very well and sometimes not.

But that doesn't mean he's talking to spirits from the other side.
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Old 26th November 2012, 08:18 PM   #270
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Originally Posted by truethat View Post
I have to say Robin I'm a teeny tiny bit cynical in thinking you are being paid to promote John Edward on blogs and forums. If you google your name you've got the same thing over and over again, on your blog, on the Anderson Cooper blog you have a post in a contest to win free tickets to see John Edward.

Just curious why you are promoting him so much? Generally this would be something you would share with your friends and family not tons of people online. I don't get it.
Nice catch. I'd like an answer to that too.
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Old 26th November 2012, 08:21 PM   #271
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Originally Posted by Robin Stettnisch View Post
Ok, Ok...I do know that there is NO way to convince a true non-believer...just take my husband - please. : ) C'mon do any of you ever crack a smile? And not all on here are true non-believers. I've said my piece and I do truly thank you for listening. You will not change my mind and I will not change yours...but I am at peace with that. I will leave you with one final thought...please have someone from here go to a reading with John Edward...must be skeptical yet open-minded, thoughtful, and of course knowledgeable ...I personally nominate "truethat" because that was the one person on this thread who seemed to really pay close attention to the details I provided and "hear" what I was saying while still remaining skeptical (thank you for that). But remember a personal reading will be the true indicator. Then, of course, please let me know what happens! Peace.
Your assumptions are false.

We're convincible if there were evidence and if cold reading didn't easily explain the events.

You, on the other hand, just keep insisting if we experienced what you did we would be drawing a different conclusion. Yet many of us have seen plenty of John Edward. I used to watch his show all the time.

Who do you suppose is the one not being objective here?
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Old 26th November 2012, 08:22 PM   #272
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Originally Posted by truethat View Post
"Truethat tends to be the least skeptical among us" there's that reading comprehension issue rearing it's head again.

I prefer to discuss and debunk based on the scenarios and information given, which I and Remie V have done so far.

The two main problems with that are that you've accepted what the OP said as if it were true rather than as if she simply believes it to be true, and that to debunk arguments from incredulity and ignorance only requires pointing out that they are, indeed, arguments from incredulity and ignorance. Analyzing arguments from incredulity any further than exposing them only serves to indulge the believers and validate their fantasies.

Quote:
You prefer making up reasons why it's not true. That's hardly critical thinking. That's a cop out actually.

Nonsense. My position, which I have made clear several times, is that there is no objective evidence to support the OP's claim that there is life after death. That total lack of evidence is a valid reason to not accept it as true. It would be a lie to suggest I made that up. It's just skepticism. It's how reasonable people use the tools of critical thinking and the scientific process to explain the universe we live in. As I said before, if you ever want some help understanding this critical thinking stuff, all you have to do is ask.
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Old 26th November 2012, 08:30 PM   #273
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Originally Posted by GeeMack View Post
The two main problems with that are that you've accepted what the OP said as if it were true rather than as if she simply believes it to be true, and that to debunk arguments from incredulity and ignorance only requires pointing out that they are, indeed, arguments from incredulity and ignorance. Analyzing arguments from incredulity any further than exposing them only serves to indulge the believers and validate their fantasies.
Not really. Just because I don't agree with her conclusion doesn't mean I think she's incapable of remembering what happened. What are you? The magic robotic memory person who never gets anything wrong? All memory is fallible. Yours included. I will give her the benefit of the doubt because there is a very simple explanation to what happened. As Garrette so clearly demonstrated, you can take her comments and show her where she is saying one thing and remembering something else.





Quote:
Nonsense. My position, which I have made clear several times, is that there is no objective evidence to support the OP's claim that there is life after death. That total lack of evidence is a valid reason to not accept it as true. It would be a lie to suggest I made that up. It's just skepticism. It's how reasonable people use the tools of critical thinking and the scientific process to explain the universe we live in. As I said before, if you ever want some help understanding this critical thinking stuff, all you have to do is ask.
No, starting from the position that there is NO evidence for life after death and rejecting any evidence presented to you because you don't believe in it anyway is NOT skepticism. It's called confirmation bias.

If you don't want to engage in the discussion because you don't believe it, that's fine. But do not use confirmation bias to make your arguments and call it critical thinking.

It isn't. This isn't the first time on here that you've refused to discuss the actual information being presented to you because you think you already know what it's all about. That's laziness and BS not critical thinking.

A critical thinker should be able to analyze the information given and to come to a logical conclusion based on that information.

This is why you continually try to refer to me as a "closet Christian" even though it's pretty clear I'm a strong atheist.

You can't wrap your mind around looking at things from a perspective you don't already have.
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Old 26th November 2012, 08:41 PM   #274
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Why do people assume that skeptics aren't open to new discoveries? I would love, LOVE to think that I could talk to my deceased father, but all evidence leads me to believe that after thousands of years, psychics, seers, etc. are all playing the same shell game. Look behind the curtain, Dorothy.
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Old 26th November 2012, 08:58 PM   #275
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Originally Posted by Robin Stettnisch View Post
Ok, Ok...I do know that there is NO way to convince a true non-believer...
What is a "true non-believer"? Most of the people on this forum are skeptics. We skeptics are simply people with a high standard of evidence. We set this high standard of evidence because we are all too aware of the fallibility of human perception and judgement. We are not dogmatically determined to disbelieve your claim, as you seem to be implying. We can be convinced. But extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. And that evidence has to be of an empirical nature. You simply haven't offered us anything but unverified anecdote, the same sort of unverified anecdotes that are offered by people who are absolutely convinced of the veracity of the paranormal claims of people like James Van Praagh.

Quote:
C'mon do any of you ever crack a smile?
Please stop insinuating that we are not accepting your claims because there is something wrong with us. I invite you to explore the Community sub-forum. You will find a great deal of humor and humanity among the diverse members of this forum.
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Old 26th November 2012, 09:04 PM   #276
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Originally Posted by desertgal View Post
Yeah. Those cynics. Going all snide after the OP decided they were close minded after only one post. How dare those rapid dogs? It would've been much more reasonable for them to suggest that the OP share and discuss her story HERE.
You're all nothing but a pack of greyhounds. Nothing, I tells ya.
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Old 26th November 2012, 09:05 PM   #277
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totally missed that until now! LOL
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Old 26th November 2012, 09:13 PM   #278
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Originally Posted by Robin Stettnisch View Post
Hey cut me some slack I have 3 kids!
Seems odd that your father has three grandkids but wanted to talk about your refrigerator.
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Old 26th November 2012, 09:21 PM   #279
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truethat...The credit card that I made the John Edward reservations under was my own married name. I made the reservations for all of us so mine was the only actual name on record. I truly find it extremely hard to believe John Edward has people who are hacking into his guests' credit card accounts and then of course getting pictures of people to match to the names and purchases. I would think Mastercard security in itself would prevent this from happening and would show up if my card had indeed been hacked. I would also think that at some point he would have been caught. 75 people in room and no assigned seating. But even if you do think that is exactly what John Edward is doing that still does not explain how he knew my brother (direct statement to him) had a Valerie Harper connection. And even John said it would have to be something meaningful not just that you used to watch Rhoda. That statement went unvalidated that night 'cause Occam Jr. (Doug) didn't make the connection till the next day! Doug explains it best on my blog. And remember I have that annoying "NO TALKING" rule before or during psychic events to rule out microphones or eavesdropping etc. As for my other blog "Is It Just a Dream...Or Something More?"
http://yorktown-somers.patch.com/blo...something-more
I also have no explanation for how I knew about the "slippers" and the connection to my Nana other than my Nana really did tell me. I see these as connected because if my deceased loved ones can communicate with me through a dream or other signs then why can't John Edward (being a true medium) connect with my deceased loved ones as well. For me one follows the other. But I think for people here they don't believe in life after death AT ALL so there is NO personal communication or communication through a medium possible...and NOTHING I or anyone can say about refrigerators , Valerie Harper or an article called "The Gray Slippers" etc. will ever change that. And that's OK. Peace.
P.S. No I am not getting paid by John Edward. I just like spreading a little Light. : )
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Old 26th November 2012, 09:25 PM   #280
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Originally Posted by truethat View Post
Not really. Just because I don't agree with her conclusion doesn't mean I think she's incapable of remembering what happened.

Uh...

Quote:
[* Smarmy off topic condescension snipped. *] As Garrette so clearly demonstrated, you can take her comments and show her where she is saying one thing and remembering something else.

Yes, Garrette pointed out that she is saying one thing and remembering something else. That's pretty much the definition of not being able to remember what happened.

Quote:
No, starting from the position that there is NO evidence for life after death and rejecting any evidence presented to you because you don't believe in it anyway is NOT skepticism. It's called confirmation bias.

No objective evidence has been presented that would support the claim that there is life after death. What has been presented in this thread and on the blog are called anecdotes and arguments from incredulity and ignorance. There is no objective evidence to reject.

Quote:
If you don't want to engage in the discussion because you don't believe it, that's fine. But do not use confirmation bias to make your arguments and call it critical thinking.

Your continued misunderstanding of the meaning of confirmation bias is noted. I am open to any possibility which can be supported by objective evidence. I don't believe one way or another. It's not a matter of belief for skeptics. The OP's claim may be rejected based on the fact that no objective evidence has been offered to support it.

Quote:
It isn't. This isn't the first time on here that you've refused to discuss the actual information being presented to you because you think you already know what it's all about. That's laziness and BS not critical thinking.

Don't mistake my lack of willingness to engage the OP in idle chitchat or to indulge her fantasy as lazy. What you believe to be lazy is actually efficiency. The information being provided is a combination of arguments from incredulity and ignorance, anecdotes, not evidence. Continuing to banter with the OP as if that incredulity and ignorance might actually support the claim isn't critical thinking. It's engaging the OP as a playmate. You're welcome to do it, but it has nothing to do with skepticism or objectively analyzing the claim.

Quote:
A critical thinker should be able to analyze the information given and to come to a logical conclusion based on that information.

I have objectively analyzed the information provided. It's a combination of arguments from incredulity and ignorance. The logical conclusion is that the OP has failed to support the claim that there is life after death.

Quote:
This is why you continually try to refer to me as a "closet Christian" even though it's pretty clear I'm a strong atheist.

I have never referred to you as a closet Christian, so your claim that I have done so, continually or otherwise, makes you a liar.

Quote:
You can't wrap your mind around looking at things from a perspective you don't already have.

The perspective I already have is that for a claim to be accepted as true it should be backed with objective evidence. The OP's claim has not been backed with objective evidence. There is no reason to accept it as true.
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