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Old 1st May 2014, 10:29 AM   #281
Donn
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
So do you think there must be A truth? For example, either there is a God or there is not.
I think there is a how. How stuff came to be, how stuff works, how stuff happens. To me, the way, the how is truth. Anything contrary to that is underdeveloped, or on its way to false. Seems simple enough. Understanding the how is nothing like simple. There are many recursive facets to the tree of how and many such trees in the forest of reality.
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Old 1st May 2014, 11:45 AM   #282
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
I'll search the forum for some of their previous posts.
I've chatted with several posters over the years who came here convinced of their own psychic powers, learned how to think critically, and became diehard sceptics. The only username I can remember at the moment is chillzero, who IIRC was a tarot card reader amongst other things. A little searching found this post in a thread where posters shared what originally brought them to the JREF Forum:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...03#post4097103

Originally Posted by chillzero View Post
I was defending psychics on the Living TV forums, and was challenged on my own claims of psychic ability. Druid challenged me to prove myself and take Randi's million. I accepted the challenge and he posted the link.

I have so much to thank Druid for.

My life has changed completely with advice, guidance and even some of the taunting and more personal questions from the members here. I have friends who aren't offended by being asked questions, and don't see a query about their beliefs or claims as a demand to retaliate angrily. I have been able to socialise without feeling like a complete misfit with people who welcome me for who I am and my willingness to review even my own beliefs.

I have fought off serious depression, and no longer feel suicidal when things go wrong because I know that I didn't make them happen by some karmic influence, nor did I invite negative forces into my life by being curious, or unaccepting of something that didn't add up.
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Old 1st May 2014, 12:40 PM   #283
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
The message from my brother was just one of many messages I received over the years, I refer to it because it was the most evidential, as it told me facts I did not know. As I said I gradually came to believe that some mediums are genuine, and there is a spirit world. Because if they were deceiving me they went to an awful lot of trouble for nothing. Because I only put a nominal sum in the collection plate.
1. How many messages did you get over the years that did not make sense or were obviously false or were too vague to make sense of?

2. Did the medium ask any questions? Lead you in any way?

3. How specific was the information? If they were really in connection with spirit, having a clear enough signal to get the saying the name "John" but being unable to come up with the information "McClelleand" or "Nov 14 1952" is kind of suspect, isn't it?

You went and asked your mom who confirmed the jist of the information was true. But plenty of people go looking for confirmation from information they get from mediums and find out that it is not true, only the successful "hits" get turned into stories such as yours...

4. If it's possible for mediums to get information from spirits that they could not have been gotten any other way, why is it impossible for them to do this under controlled conditions? Why can't they get any specific information that would leave no doubt?
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Old 1st May 2014, 02:53 PM   #284
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
I've chatted with several posters over the years who came here convinced of their own psychic powers, learned how to think critically, and became diehard sceptics.
Of course, many here were religious believers and have subsequently seen the error of their ways...
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Old 1st May 2014, 05:14 PM   #285
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Not me, I just came to believe that the simplest explanation for the accuracy of the many evidential messages I received over the years, was that the mediums were doing what they said they were doing. Communicating with the spirits of the departed.
This really is not the simplest explanation. It opens up a lot of other really difficult questions, with no evidence to support answers to those. Most of the explanations presented to you are much, much simpler.

Think of the unevidenced rationalizations already presented for why not there isn't a single psychic in the entire world willing to step forward and convincingly demonstrate their powers, successfully. Not one. Even though it would make them famous and rich, if they wanted. Even though it would bring hope and spirituality and plain old wonder to millions. Still, not one. Anywhere in the world ... not one. The simplest explanation is that they can't because they don't have psychic powers. The convoluted, complicated explanations include worldwide conspiracies, fear that people will kill themselves, fear of violating some unwritten rules, denying people knowledge so they can find things out for themselves, not wanting the money, and so on. These are not simpler explanations.
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Old 1st May 2014, 06:26 PM   #286
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What Innocuous just said. Also:

Originally Posted by dlorde View Post
If I was a medium visiting a new church to drum up some interest, the first thing I'd do would be to see what I could find out about the regular attendees - names, addresses, jobs, family backgrounds, browse through local records, etc. All in a days work... then, perhaps, I'd be too busy to see the ones I couldn't dig out much about, and keen to see anyone who's details I'd uncovered.
Bingo! It is patently obvious to any of us who have no emotional attachment to the situtation, that if you were "a regular attendee" to the church, there were many people there who knew things about you, maybe not the details you mention but enough to do some digging beforehand and find out those details. It's hard to let go of that personal bias, but if you are really seeking the "truth" that is what you have to do: let go of it.
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Old 1st May 2014, 11:25 PM   #287
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Oh! come on, give the man some poetic licence. Here is another verse.

You should always discriminate between the real and the unreal. God alone is real, the Eternal Substance; all else is unreal, that is , impermentant. By dicriminating thus one should shake off impermenant objects from the mind.
Sri Ramakrishna
Oh, poetic licence. Alright then, that renders the statements in your signature meaningless.
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Old 1st May 2014, 11:28 PM   #288
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Originally Posted by Innocuous View Post
This really is not the simplest explanation. It opens up a lot of other really difficult questions, with no evidence to support answers to those. Most of the explanations presented to you are much, much simpler.

Think of the unevidenced rationalizations already presented for why not there isn't a single psychic in the entire world willing to step forward and convincingly demonstrate their powers, successfully. Not one. Even though it would make them famous and rich, if they wanted. Even though it would bring hope and spirituality and plain old wonder to millions. Still, not one. Anywhere in the world ... not one. The simplest explanation is that they can't because they don't have psychic powers. The convoluted, complicated explanations include worldwide conspiracies, fear that people will kill themselves, fear of violating some unwritten rules, denying people knowledge so they can find things out for themselves, not wanting the money, and so on. These are not simpler explanations.
+1.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 05:11 AM   #289
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Originally Posted by dlorde View Post
If I was a medium visiting a new church to drum up some interest, the first thing I'd do would be to see what I could find out about the regular attendees - names, addresses, jobs, family backgrounds, browse through local records, etc. All in a days work... then, perhaps, I'd be too busy to see the ones I couldn't dig out much about, and keen to see anyone who's details I'd uncovered.
And these mediums remember stuff on people they arent even dealing with on a daily basis? They can catalog in their mind certain key things about hundreds or `tens of thousands` ^^(from a post above) of people?
Or does this entire ruse require the medium to work in tandem with another person in the back room, who upon hearing say the name of the sitter, relays info to the medium via an ear piece?
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Old 2nd May 2014, 05:21 AM   #290
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Scorpion - are you starting to have some doubts now? Knowing you were younger in the 70`s?...and likely never even thought of some of the stuff posters are bringing up here?
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Old 2nd May 2014, 05:25 AM   #291
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Originally Posted by Iamme View Post
Scorpion - are you starting to have some doubts now? Knowing you were younger in the 70`s?...and likely never even thought of some of the stuff posters are bringing up here?
I have had doubts for years, and one reason is that I no longer go to spiritualist churches, so I do not have any new experiences.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 05:30 AM   #292
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Originally Posted by stanfr View Post
What Innocuous just said. Also:



Bingo! It is patently obvious to any of us who have no emotional attachment to the situtation, that if you were "a regular attendee" to the church, there were many people there who knew things about you, maybe not the details you mention but enough to do some digging beforehand and find out those details. It's hard to let go of that personal bias, but if you are really seeking the "truth" that is what you have to do: let go of it.
Just how many people in a spiritualist church do you think are conspirators?
The organisers and all the mediums must be in on it, and that is not my experience. I was involved in what went on behind the scenes, and I sat in two seperate deveolping circles, and saw a friend develop into a medium.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 05:36 AM   #293
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
1. How many messages did you get over the years that did not make sense or were obviously false or were too vague to make sense of?
Quite a number.

Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
2. Did the medium ask any questions? Lead you in any way?
Some mediums ask you to answer "yes" or "no" to their questions.
I use to answer them in a toneless voice, so as not to give any clues in my manner.
Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
3. How specific was the information? If they were really in connection with spirit, having a clear enough signal to get the saying the name "John" but being unable to come up with the information "McClelleand" or "Nov 14 1952" is kind of suspect, isn't it?
I have cited an example of a message where I was told my dead brothers name, and this is the best example I have of an evidential message. I was told his name and the circumstances of his death.
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Even in the valley of the shadow of death two and two do not make six.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 05:37 AM   #294
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I think the key about this particular topic and you really stems around this type of church you belong(ed) to. You were like in some kind of inner circle.
Now me...i have never had any religious affilliation beyond age 19. So if i now walked into the house of our local psychic(sign out front on main city street), and she did a reading on me, and told me things about my family that only i could know...frankly, i`d be blown away.
If she told me stuff like i am the kind of person who like to stay busy and does physical work for a living, and other more generic info that could be gleaned by my appearance, my talk, or from other things i previously told her...well pfft...i wouldnt be too impressed. However. Back in the 1970`s? Hmmm. What did i know then about ANY tricks psychics used? Did i even know they looked to see if you had callouses on your hands, for example?
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Old 2nd May 2014, 05:51 AM   #295
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I had to laugh a couple? days ago, a poster here aluded to the fact your memory might not be accurate, and said that your story regarding how your baby brother died in the war...........
Well, the reason i laughed is HIS memory was (also?)faulty, because you said you had a brother that died in the war as a baby(right?...i think).
Could you clear up this story? What is meant by this baby brother, and dying in the war? What is the correct interpretation?
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Old 2nd May 2014, 06:10 AM   #296
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See? Even you can't remember.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 06:27 AM   #297
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Originally Posted by Donn View Post
See? Even you can't remember.

But i`m pretty sure without re-looking it up. But when that other poster brought it up it, was like the topic at hand, because Scorpion recently made that quote.
.
My dad lost his older brother...his only brother... in WWII. I never got to meet him. Yes, it was common enough for brothers to get killed in that war, or a war.
But i dont know what was meant by a brother was killed in the war as a baby? Like a baby was crawling around outside and was shot?, or what?
Or if Scorpion didnt word it right? Or he forgot how the medium put the words exactly?
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Old 2nd May 2014, 06:28 AM   #298
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Just how many people in a spiritualist church do you think are conspirators?
The organisers and all the mediums must be in on it
Not at all. It only takes a few surprisingly accurate messages to impress, confirmation bias and the Forer Effect does the rest. Those few accurate messages don't even need to be the result of deliberate deception: listening to gossip, intelligent guesswork and sheer coincidence can account for them (if you throw out enough random guesses you're bound to guess right occasionally). The medium who knew about your dead baby brother might have got that information in a conversation with a friend of your mother of which they had no conscious memory, and genuinely believed it came from the beyond.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 06:30 AM   #299
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Originally Posted by Iamme View Post
But i dont know what was meant by a brother was killed in the war as a baby? Like a baby was crawling around outside and was shot?, or what?
Or if Scorpion didnt word it right? Or he forgot how the medium put the words exactly?
I haven't gone back to read it again but I understood Scorpion to mean that his brother died as a baby during the war. Not because of the war, just during it. Of course he could have been killed in the blitz.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 06:48 AM   #300
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Originally Posted by Iamme View Post

But i`m pretty sure without re-looking it up. But when that other poster brought it up it, was like the topic at hand, because Scorpion recently made that quote.
.
My dad lost his older brother...his only brother... in WWII. I never got to meet him. Yes, it was common enough for brothers to get killed in that war, or a war.
But i dont know what was meant by a brother was killed in the war as a baby? Like a baby was crawling around outside and was shot?, or what?
Or if Scorpion didnt word it right? Or he forgot how the medium put the words exactly?
To the best of my recollection the medium said the following.
" I have got your brother here" I said "No" The medium said "well he looks exactly like you". She then went on to say he had died in the war as a baby because there was no equipment in the hospital. I cannot remember the exact words but I do think she used the word "equipment" She then went on to say my brothers name, and that he had grown up in the spirit world.
He was studying to develop his intellect and he advised me to do the same, rather than allowing my head to be ruled by emotion. Which was an accurate reading of my personality.
When I asked my mother about it she said he died because there were no oxygen tents available because of the war.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 06:54 AM   #301
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
The medium who knew about your dead baby brother might have got that information in a conversation with a friend of your mother of which they had no conscious memory, and genuinely believed it came from the beyond.
As I have said the medium was a stranger from out of town, and my mother was not a spiritualist, and had never been to the church. Added to that my mother did not speak of the baby, she was too embarrassed to discuss it and had never told me.
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Even in the valley of the shadow of death two and two do not make six.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 07:11 AM   #302
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
As I have said the medium was a stranger from out of town
And had never visited the town before? Never struck up a conversation with anyone outside the church during this or any previous visit? There are many ways this medium could have obtained this information without being deliberately duplicitous (and several more if they were, of course).

Quote:
Added to that my mother did not speak of the baby, she was too embarrassed to discuss it and had never told me.
I have to say this makes no sense to me at all. What's embarrassing about having lost a child in very sad circumstances? And even if she didn't talk about it there must have been other people who knew her at the time and hence were aware of her loss, the staff at the hospital etc. There could also have been a newspaper death notice or a parish record which the medium could have looked up after obtaining the names of those who were likely to attend - and yes, the scumbag fakes really do stoop to that sort of thing.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 07:39 AM   #303
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
And had never visited the town before? Never struck up a conversation with anyone outside the church during this or any previous visit? There are many ways this medium could have obtained this information without being deliberately duplicitous (and several more if they were, of course).


I have to say this makes no sense to me at all. What's embarrassing about having lost a child in very sad circumstances? And even if she didn't talk about it there must have been other people who knew her at the time and hence were aware of her loss, the staff at the hospital etc. There could also have been a newspaper death notice or a parish record which the medium could have looked up after obtaining the names of those who were likely to attend - and yes, the scumbag fakes really do stoop to that sort of thing.
The Spiritualists, by Ruth Brandon, says this (of circa-1850's mediums):
Quote:
The physical phenomena, so called, presented relatively little difficulty...More demanding were what soon came to be known as "tests," where the medium told the sitter about various relatives and acquaintances, living and (especially) dead. Once again, there were a number of recognized methods in use. Some were very down-to-earth. When a medium visited a new town, he was advised to visit the local cemetery and make a note of names, dates, and any other information to be obtained from the tombstones. He might also consult the "Blue Book" for the area, a compilation circulated among mediums listing, for an increasing number of places, the names of leading spiritualists likely to attend seances, with descriptions, family histories, and details (deceased spouses, children, parents, etc.) and other information likely to be of use.
(There is an appendix, "The Machine In the Ghost," which goes into more detail about the "Blue Books," including an excerpt from one by a confessed user of it.)

And all this is, as I said, about mid-19th century spiritualism; in this day and age of Internet information saturation, trips to the local graveyards probably aren't even necessary anymore. Scorpion's mother might have kept his brother's death a secret from him (Scorpion), but that doesn't make it a secret to everybody.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 08:02 AM   #304
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The local cemetery, of course! I should have thought of that. A veritable mine of information, so to speak.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 09:09 AM   #305
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Alrighty then, I have had many other messages that were accurate.
I posted details about one recently. The medium at a church service came to me with a message, and she said I had recently done a blue and white painting. She said the spirit world had inspired me to do it, but that I did not think much of it.

First I do not think I talked about the painting to anyone so how could she know, and secondly she knew I did not think much of it. This indicates that the spirit world knew what I was thinking by telepathy.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 09:37 AM   #306
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Blue and white paint on your hands, or on your clothes? When I was in art-school, you could tell when I was doing pastel or charcoal or acrylic, just from the state of my clothes and the errant dabs of colour upon my person.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 09:48 AM   #307
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Originally Posted by Donn View Post
Blue and white paint on your hands, or on your clothes? When I was in art-school, you could tell when I was doing pastel or charcoal or acrylic, just from the state of my clothes and the errant dabs of colour upon my person.
.
Threw yourself into your hobby.
That's good.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 10:15 AM   #308
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I have just remembered another evidential message I had. This one was when I was at art college on a low allowance. The medium said I did not have much money but I would have more if I did not spend it all on records, she even said I purchased the big ones, not the small ones. Those were the terms she used, but I knew she was talking about LP records and not singles. The message was totally accurate and factual about what I did, because I spent most of my money on albums at that time.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 11:10 AM   #309
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These sort of anecdotes are not evidence for genuine mediumship because, even if we assume they are being accurately recalled, there will always be more plausible explanations for them than that the medium received the information from the dead.

If it really was possible to receive information from the dead it would be very easy for a genuine medium to produce objective evidence. As long as the very few with the integrity to put their supposed ability to the test fail (and they always have so far) the null hypothesis - that those more plausible explanations are the correct ones - stands.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 12:17 PM   #310
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I have just remembered another evidential message I had. This one was when I was at art college on a low allowance. The medium said I did not have much money but I would have more if I did not spend it all on records, she even said I purchased the big ones, not the small ones. Those were the terms she used, but I knew she was talking about LP records and not singles. The message was totally accurate and factual about what I did, because I spent most of my money on albums at that time.

That has to be the worse one yet.
If this is evidence then the gullibility rating just increased ten-fold.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 02:16 PM   #311
Joey McGee
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
To the best of my recollection the medium said the following. " I have got your brother here" I said "No"
Aha! So when you said no the medium probably invented a likely story that would explain why you had a brother that died that you didn't know about... happened to be true, happened to guess a name. Why couldn't she provide the last name or give you the date? or a story that didn't happen to countless people at the time?
Quote:
He was studying to develop his intellect and he advised me to do the same, rather than allowing my head to be ruled by emotion. Which was an accurate reading of my personality.
That's an accurate reading of everyone's personality!
Quote:
The medium at a church service came to me with a message, and she said I had recently done a blue and white painting. She said the spirit world had inspired me to do it, but that I did not think much of it.

First I do not think I talked about the painting to anyone so how could she know, and secondly she knew I did not think much of it. This indicates that the spirit world knew what I was thinking by telepathy.
You don't really know what you told who what when, most beginner painters do not think much of their work, all they would have to do know that you were an artist, and guessed one of your paintings included the colors blue and white, pretty common theme! How many people knew you were in art college? Did you look exactly like an art student of the day?
Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I have just remembered another evidential message I had. This one was when I was at art college on a low allowance. The medium said I did not have much money but I would have more if I did not spend it all on records, she even said I purchased the big ones, not the small ones. Those were the terms she used, but I knew she was talking about LP records and not singles. The message was totally accurate and factual about what I did, because I spent most of my money on albums at that time.
Oh man like pretty much all the hippie art college students did at that time?

Here's what a real spirit message would be. I have your brother here, Ivan Bradley Cleavely born Sept 17 1955, he died from a lack of oxygen tents in the war, your mother's name is Jackie. That would be impressive.

It's clear enough for them to see his face and that he looks like you, it's clear enough to get a first name, it is beyond belief that there is no last name, or further details...
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Old 2nd May 2014, 02:19 PM   #312
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I have just remembered another evidential message I had. This one was when I was at art college on a low allowance. The medium said I did not have much money but I would have more if I did not spend it all on records, she even said I purchased the big ones, not the small ones. Those were the terms she used, but I knew she was talking about LP records and not singles. The message was totally accurate and factual about what I did, because I spent most of my money on albums at that time.
What do you hope to communicate with such anecdotes?
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Old 2nd May 2014, 02:36 PM   #313
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You're in "art college" in the 1970s (?) and a so-called medium predicted that you had recently done a painting you weren't happy with and that you were blowing all your limited funds on LPs? Just back up for a second and imagine having a conversation with that younger you, back in that time and in that scene: Couldn't anyone have "predicted" such things about you?
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Old 2nd May 2014, 02:39 PM   #314
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
To the best of my recollection the medium said the following.
" I have got your brother here" I said "No" The medium said "well he looks exactly like you".
Shouldn't she have been looking at a baby when she "saw" your brother? Did you at that time look like a baby?
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Old 2nd May 2014, 02:43 PM   #315
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Originally Posted by Iamme View Post
And these mediums remember stuff on people they arent even dealing with on a daily basis? They can catalog in their mind certain key things about hundreds or `tens of thousands` ^^(from a post above) of people?
Or does this entire ruse require the medium to work in tandem with another person in the back room, who upon hearing say the name of the sitter, relays info to the medium via an ear piece?
Silly boy - details can be recorded in many ways. Did you not read Joey McGee's post earlier in the thread?
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Old 2nd May 2014, 02:48 PM   #316
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Just how many people in a spiritualist church do you think are conspirators?
The organisers and all the mediums must be in on it, and that is not my experience.
I'm sure most of them don't see it as a conspiracy, but as a social or hobby club or a small business, depending on their particular view of things.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 02:54 PM   #317
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Originally Posted by The Shrike View Post
You're in "art college" in the 1970s (?) and a so-called medium predicted that you had recently done a painting you weren't happy with and that you were blowing all your limited funds on LPs? Just back up for a second and imagine having a conversation with that younger you, back in that time and in that scene: Couldn't anyone have "predicted" such things about you?
In addition, there is the uselessness of such a revelation. The spirits have the the ability to send messages to those on Earth. These spirits understand that the only purpose of this mortal life is to achieve spiritual enlightenment with the hope of transcending this space-time contiuum and entering a new realm. That is their goal and the best they could do was "spend less money on big records"?
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Old 2nd May 2014, 02:58 PM   #318
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It wasn't the time for "avoid a land war in Asia".
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Old 2nd May 2014, 03:01 PM   #319
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Originally Posted by Iamme View Post
I had to laugh a couple? days ago, a poster here aluded to the fact your memory might not be accurate, and said that your story regarding how your baby brother died in the war...........
Well, the reason i laughed is HIS memory was (also?)faulty, because you said you had a brother that died in the war as a baby(right?...i think).
Not only does your memory seem faulty here, but also your ability to express yourself coherently...

Perhaps you'd like to clarify what you think the problem was, and support it with quotes or links to the posts you think you remember?
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Old 2nd May 2014, 03:08 PM   #320
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Originally Posted by ComfySlippers View Post
That has to be the worse one yet.
If this is evidence then the gullibility rating just increased ten-fold.
To be fair, if you're young and/or relatively naive and unaware of Barnum statements, cold-reading and such, this kind of thing can seem very impressive.
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