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CWL
31st January 2004, 07:16 AM
Yesterday (January 30, 2004) I was unfortunate enough to catch Larry King Live on CNN International, where Mr. King conducted an inteveiw with "medium" James van Praagh under the title "Speaking to Heaven?".

The interview featured some upsettingly cheesy cold reading of callers eager to receive information about their dearly departed. Most upsetting of all however was the fact that Larry King was obviously impressed by Mr. van Praagh's "abilities" and encouraged this unbearably cruel farce. CNN and Larry King should know better.

A transcript of the interview may be found here: http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0401/30/lkl.00.html

Please tell me that there is something - ANYTHING - being done about this particularly nasty travesty.

thaiboxerken
31st January 2004, 07:27 AM
I hate to break it to you, but nothing will stop such people from being highlighted as "real" mediums in entertainment news programs like LKL.

CWL
31st January 2004, 07:35 AM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
I hate to break it to you, but nothing will stop such people from being highlighted as "real" mediums in entertainment news programs like LKL.

Better education in critical thinking for journalists in training?

I don't know - it's just so discraceful. Think of the legitimacy that the names CNN and Larry King lend to van Praagh's cheap trickery. Again, they really should know better! :mad:

Clancie
31st January 2004, 07:47 AM
JVP was there to promote his new book--that's often how LKL gets paranormal guests (Sylvia, JE, etc.) LK might have seemed impressed...he's certainly open-minded, but I don't consider him a "true believer" by any means...so....

Why not have someone on who can demonstrate mentalism, cold reading, etc. for him for an hour? I bet if Randi...or Ian Rowland...or Mark Edward...or Shermer (who thinks he can do it, too, apparently) suggested doing a call in show reading for people, I'm sure that LK would be very receptive.

He doesn't have a "paranormal agenda" to push...he's just a nice, self educated, curious, and open-minded guy who wants to present things that would interest his audience.

(However, reading my "short list" of possible guests--and they don't have any new books out about it either :( --you can see the problem he would have in finding representatives to explain and demo the "other side"...)

TLN
31st January 2004, 07:54 AM
Originally posted by Clancie
Why not have someone on who can demonstrate mentalism, cold reading, etc. for him for an hour? I bet if Randi...or Ian Rowland...or Mark Edward...or Shermer (who thinks he can do it, too, apparently) suggested doing a call in show reading for people, I'm sure that LK would be very receptive.

They've done this many times, but not in recent memory. I think it just doesn't please the audience much, especially when it's Randi. I showed a friend of mine a LKL show with Rosemary Altea and Randi and my friend looked like she was eating a lemon every time Randi spoke.

Warm, fuzzy psychic stuff sits very well with the audience, but skepticism doesn't and they don't really want to see it (I think).

CFLarsen
31st January 2004, 08:15 AM
One sad thing is, that you get used to watching these predators. People are in a way desensitized, it becomes the norm, that grieving people are scammed.

One even sadder thing is those people who defend these vultures. Even though they know that psychics (be they mediums or not, that is just a smokescreen) are not really talking to dead people, they still argue that they are, in fact, real.

Penn was right, these people are on heroin.

El Greco
31st January 2004, 08:38 AM
I'm pretty sure LK doesn't believe even a single word from his psychic guests. He is just a very good professional and will air anyone as long as s/he guarantees a catchy show.

showme2
31st January 2004, 08:39 AM
CWL

As a believer in the psychic abilities of Colin Fry and some others, I must admit that I agree with you about JVP. Either his cold reading is really blatant, or else he should revise his method of delivery.

The classic example I always recall (because it was so obvious!) was
"Tell me, has your husband passed over"
"Yes"
" .... because he is saying to me "I'm her husband, I'm her husband" !

JE is also rather blatant with his fishing expeditions sometimes, though he does often produce impresive information that he could not possibly guess.

Cleopatra
31st January 2004, 08:50 AM
Originally posted by Clancie
Why not have someone on who can demonstrate mentalism, cold reading, etc. for him for an hour? I bet if Randi...or Ian Rowland...or Mark Edward...or Shermer (who thinks he can do it, too, apparently) suggested doing a call in show reading for people, I'm sure that LK would be very receptive.

Apparently he is not very receptive because I doubt if any of the gentlemen mentioned above would deny an invitation to his show.

He doesn't have a "paranormal agenda" to push...he's just a nice, self educated, curious, and open-minded guy who wants to present things that would interest his audience.

Being nice is not exactly the right prerequisite for being a journalist but it is exactly the contrary. I don't want the journalists to be nice I want them not to hesitate to be unpleasant. I am not against presenting Van Praagh or J.E. in various shows but if L.K. was decent he would host the skeptics to the same show. It's important to show the contradiction while the show is presented. Has LK done that? Why not? Is he too nice to show the opposite opinion? Would Van Praagh attend the show if he knew that Ian Rowland or Michael Shermer--for example-- would be present too? I am not expecting you to answer this on behalf of Van Praagh , I just wonder why those people refuse the presence of skeptics while they demonstrate their abilities to the audience.

(However, reading my "short list" of possible guests--and they don't have any new books out about it either :( --you can see the problem he would have in finding representatives to explain and demo the "other side"...)

You know how this works. Even you Clancie, after posting in this board and after failing --continuously-- to give answers to simple questions would be adequate to demonstrate what Van Praagh is doing, the problem is that the truth wouldn't bring so many advertisments to L.K. The truth doesn't sell that well.

CFLarsen
31st January 2004, 08:57 AM
Originally posted by showme2
JE is also rather blatant with his fishing expeditions sometimes, though he does often produce impresive information that he could not possibly guess.

Like what? I see absolutely no difference in JVP and JE when it comes to coldreading.

They may use different styles, but their methods are straight out of Ian Rowland's book on coldreading.

EternalUniverse
31st January 2004, 09:19 AM
Originally posted by CWL
Yesterday (January 30, 2004) I was unfortunate enough to catch Larry King Live on CNN International, where Mr. King conducted an inteveiw with "medium" James van Praagh under the title "Speaking to Heaven?".

The interview featured some upsettingly cheesy cold reading of callers eager to receive information about their dearly departed. Most upsetting of all however was the fact that Larry King was obviously impressed by Mr. van Praagh's "abilities" and encouraged this unbearably cruel farce. CNN and Larry King should know better.

A transcript of the interview may be found here: http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0401/30/lkl.00.html

Please tell me that there is something - ANYTHING - being done about this particularly nasty travesty.

I'm still trying to figure out Mr. King's motivation for bringing on these pychics. Larry King is an Icon in the industry, clearly not needing any publicity or money (I think he makes something like 3 million a year). I think he's smart enough to see through the deception of these pschics. I think the guy from skeptic magazine who was on the show asked Larry point blank and Larry said "I'm a skeptic just like you" (I think the article is on skeptic magazine's website). Perhaps it is Larry's bosses who are the culprits in this matter.

CFLarsen
31st January 2004, 09:19 AM
Originally posted by Clancie
Why not have someone on who can demonstrate mentalism, cold reading, etc. for him for an hour?

Because a crucial part of it is to make people believe that you can actually talk to dead people. You know that coldreading does not work - or at least work considerably worse - when people know you are trying to fool them.

Funny that you always seem to leave this part out, even though you are perfectly aware of it.

Originally posted by Clancie
I bet if Randi...or Ian Rowland...or Mark Edward...or Shermer (who thinks he can do it, too, apparently) suggested doing a call in show reading for people, I'm sure that LK would be very receptive.

Why do you think that LK has not responded to Randi's offer to have LK as the agent?
"as readers know, Sylvia Browne ignored the published rules of our test by demanding that we put the million dollars in escrow to satisfy her vanity and her highly suspicious nature. We did so, making an exception for this very noisy complainer, and we wrote to Larry King — by certified mail — back in November of last year, asking him to serve as the agent who would have complete control over the prize money, and would be authorized to pay it to Ms. Browne if she were to win it. Mr. King has declined to respond. I find that very significant."
Source (http://www.randi.org/jr/013004andr.html)

Originally posted by Clancie
He doesn't have a "paranormal agenda" to push...he's just a nice, self educated, curious, and open-minded guy who wants to present things that would interest his audience.

Bull. He is in it for the ratings. Show me one show that is not.

Originally posted by Clancie
(However, reading my "short list" of possible guests--and they don't have any new books out about it either :( --you can see the problem he would have in finding representatives to explain and demo the "other side"...)

Not at all. He just isn't interested, because those shows do not get good ratings.

It's TV, Clancie. It's all about ratings, so companies can sell products.

EternalUniverse
31st January 2004, 09:27 AM
Originally posted by Cleopatra



Being nice is not exactly the right prerequisite for being a journalist but it is exactly the contrary. I don't want the journalists to be nice I want them not to hesitate to be unpleasant. I am not against presenting Van Praagh or J.E. in various shows but if L.K. was decent he would host the skeptics to the same show. It's important to show the contradiction while the show is presented. Has LK done that? Why not? Is he too nice to show the opposite opinion? Would Van Praagh attend the show if he knew that Ian Rowland or Michael Shermer--for example-- would be present too? I am not expecting you to answer this on behalf of Van Praagh , I just wonder why those people refuse the presence of skeptics while they demonstrate their abilities to the audience.


Yes. There have been 2 Larry King Lives that brought in skeptics. One of the shows had sylvia browne and our own Amazing Randi (which is one of the instances where Sylvia accepted the challenge). The other show had a guy from CSICOP and a rabbi (who was a skeptic). That show also had an FBI profiler (who was neutral) and some physicist who believed in the woo-woo. The transcripts are on the cnn website.
In both shows, however, the calls were just from people who wanted to get readings done.

Cleopatra
31st January 2004, 09:34 AM
Originally posted by EternalUniverse


I'm still trying to figure out Mr. King's motivation for bringing on these pychics. Larry King is an Icon in the industry, clearly not needing any publicity or money (I think he makes something like 3 million a year). I think he's smart enough to see through the deception of these pschics. I think the guy from skeptic magazine who was on the show asked Larry point blank and Larry said "I'm a skeptic just like you" (I think the article is on skeptic magazine's website). Perhaps it is Larry's bosses who are the culprits in this matter.

It's not difficult to find out his motivation; Ratings.
If L.K thought the way you think, meaning if he would think that he is already rich then... he wouldn't be rich.:)

Also, allow me to disagree. L.K. is not the icon of the industry he is the icon of a kind of journalism that is far from decent journalism.

If he were a decent journalist he wouldn't let V.P alone B.Sing his audience.

The other show had a guy from CSICOP and a rabbi (who was a skeptic).

But you don't even remember their name, right? A guy and a rabbi versus celebrity mediums?

showme2
31st January 2004, 09:36 AM
Larsen

"Like what? I see absolutely no difference in JVP and JE when it comes to coldreading.
They may use different styles, but their methods are straight out of Ian Rowland's book on coldreading."

We are both making a value judgment about the deployment or otherwise of the techniques you refer to.

I can't answer your question "Like what?" because I do not keep a transcript of each programme that is transmitted featuring these two guys.

Yes, I made it my business to know a great deal about Cold Reading techniques. (Because you need to if you are going to make judgments about whether people are using them!)

And it appears to me that both may be using them. But JVP's use of them seems to me to be more blatant and more consistent than JE's - that's all.

You appear to be looking for an argument where there isn't one.

CFLarsen
31st January 2004, 09:43 AM
Originally posted by showme2
I can't answer your question "Like what?" because I do not keep a transcript of each programme that is transmitted featuring these two guys.

Plenty here: http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/lkl.html

Originally posted by showme2
Yes, I made it my business to know a great deal about Cold Reading techniques. (Because you need to if you are going to make judgments about whether people are using them!)

Absolutely.

Originally posted by showme2
And it appears to me that both may be using them. But JVP's use of them seems to me to be more blatant and more consistent than JE's - that's all.

I can't find any differences.

Originally posted by showme2
You appear to be looking for an argument where there isn't one.

"though he does often produce impresive information that he could not possibly guess."

I was merely asking what that information was. :)

TLN
31st January 2004, 09:46 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
"though he does often produce impresive information that he could not possibly guess."

I was merely asking what that information was. :)

I too would like to see a hit of this quality from an unedited transcript.

Clancie
31st January 2004, 10:05 AM
Posted by Cleopatra

Being nice is not exactly the right prerequisite for being a journalist but it is exactly the contrary.
If you're familiar with Larry King's career, Cleopatra, then you know that he's not a "journalist", i.e. not a reporter, investigative reporter, etc. He started in radio, and for many years hosted a call-in show on Mutual which was much like what he does now for CNN. His goal then, as now, is to bring interesting people on the air, ask them questions that his audience might be interested in (some are critical questions, others, soft-ball q's, to give them a chance to present themselves). He opens the phones so "regular people" can ask their own questions, too.

I realize its difficult for some here to accept his approach, but his goal is obviously to expose his audience to these people they probably don't see talking for an hour any other way, and then let them pursue their own interest in them, and reach their own conclusions.

Like it or not, that's the concept of his show and, imo, he does it very well.
Posted by Cleopatra

Apparently he is not very receptive because I doubt if any of the gentlemen mentioned above would deny an invitation to his show.

As others have mentioned, he's had Randi, Jaroff, Kurtz all on before, at the same time as psychics...and has had Randi, several times...with Sylvia...with Rosemary Altea.

With "theme shows" like those, the producer invites the guest. At other times, (like with JE, SB, and JVP selling their latest book) the guest calls the show and -asks- to be on. I don't see why Randi...Rowland...Mark Edwards...Shermer...couldn't do exactly that, too. (And Shermer even has a new book....he'd be perfect. Why doesn't he suggest it? I'll bet that he hasn't. :confused: )
Posted by Cleopatra

Would Van Praagh attend the show if he knew that Ian Rowland or Michael Shermer--for example-- would be present too? I am not expecting you to answer this on behalf of Van Praagh , I just wonder why those people refuse the presence of skeptics while they demonstrate their abilities to the audience.
As someone (and I) have pointed out, he did...they did...they have. I'm thinking more about a show with LK one-to-one with someone (like Shermer), which could include his -own- demonstrations (if not for an hour, at least for half). I doubt they've asked.

(And Randi was not served well by his appearance with Altea....)

Posted by Cleopatra
Even you Clancie, after posting in this board and after failing --continuously-- to give answers to simple questions....
Whatever.

Quinn
31st January 2004, 12:00 PM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
One sad thing is, that you get used to watching these predators. People are in a way desensitized, it becomes the norm, that grieving people are scammed.

The video montage of Van Praagh shown at TAM2 was, for me, an excellent cure for this desensitization. How anyone could watch it and not be freshly enraged is beyond me, especially the "Toys" segment (clips of JVP telling different groups of grief-stricken parents of deceased children the same line about the kid "showing him" that some of his/her toys and stuffed animals were still where they had been when the kid was alive, and the parents eating it up). After that video I experienced something like a spoon-bending party moment: I realized I had been clenching my fist so tightly, I had bent my pen in half without realizing it.

Cleopatra
31st January 2004, 12:03 PM
Originally posted by Clancie

I realize its difficult for some here to accept his approach, but his goal is obviously to expose his audience to these people they probably don't see talking for an hour any other way, and then let them pursue their own interest in them, and reach their own conclusions.

I am familiar with the show. I see it through CNN International and my Satellite TV provider broadcasts his show twice a day!He is popular so people who work want to have the opportunity to see it.

How can anybody reach his own conclusion about Van Praagh if he doesn't see a demo of a cold reading in comparison?

Why doesn't he invite a cold reader without letting the audience know in advance about what to expect? How can anybody reach his own conclusion if he will present him as the " one who pretends to talk with the dead"? It will never work and you know that Clancie.

As others have mentioned, he's had Randi, Jaroff, Kurtz all on before, at the same time as psychics...and has had Randi, several times...with Sylvia...with Rosemary Altea.

He has never invited Randi as a cold reader though.If he invited any cold reader without the audience know in advance then we could tell that he has been fair to the "other side". But he knows that once he does that the mediums will appear really silly.

My objection doesn't concern mediumship only. He could have done really interesting shows with Astrologers.... Giving an astrologer Hitler's horoscope without telling him whose horoscope he is reading and record what he would say. This would be some entertainment!

With "theme shows" like those, the producer invites the guest. At other times, (like with JE, SB, and JVP selling their latest book) the guest calls the show and -asks- to be on. I don't see why Randi...Rowland...Mark Edwards...Shermer...couldn't do exactly that, too. (And Shermer even has a new book....he'd be perfect. Why doesn't he suggest it? I'll bet that he hasn't. :confused: )

I don't know what makes you say that you bet that he hasn't.

As someone (and I) have pointed out, he did...they did...they have. I'm thinking more about a show with LK one-to-one with someone (like Shermer), which could include his -own- demonstrations (if not for an hour, at least for half). I doubt they've asked.

This can work only under certain circumstances as you know very well. This is exactly my problem with LK shows. He doesn't let people reach their own conclusions.

This is not a presentation,this is not journalism. It resembles to an OP-ED column to me!!!

CFLarsen
31st January 2004, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by Quinn
The video montage of Van Praagh shown at TAM2 was, for me, an excellent cure for this desensitization. How anyone could watch it and not be freshly enraged is beyond me, especially the "Toys" segment (clips of JVP telling different groups of grief-stricken parents of deceased children the same line about the kid "showing him" that some of his/her toys and stuffed animals were still where they had been when the kid was alive, and the parents eating it up). After that video I experienced something like a spoon-bending party moment: I realized I had been clenching my fist so tightly, I had bent my pen in half without realizing it.

I sat up front, and it wasn't pretty there, either.

These people are vultures, preying on grieving people. It is so sad that they exist, and it is even sadder that some people defend them.

Cleopatra
31st January 2004, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by CFLarsen

These people are vultures, preying on grieving people. It is so sad that they exist, and it is even sadder that some people defend them.


The worse is that they can really make you feel guilty even if you don't believe that it's possible that they can communicate with the dead. I have caught myself many times wondering if I had to give it a try just for once to contact a medium.

I am equally angry at films, I mean movies that depict people that have experienced a sudden loss to communicate with the dead. They make you feel quilty for not being a believer.

CFLarsen
31st January 2004, 12:35 PM
Originally posted by Cleopatra
The worse is that they can really make you feel guilty even if you don't believe that it's possible that they can communicate with the dead. I have caught myself many times wondering if I had to give it a try just for once to contact a medium.

Exactly. If they succeed, they take credit. If they fail, it's your fault for not "validating".

We see this with psychics, we see it with healers, we see it with astrologers. In every field of superstition, we see people being scammed, hurt and abused.

Clancie
31st January 2004, 01:38 PM
Posted by Cleopatra

The worse is that they can really make you feel guilty even if you don't believe that it's possible that they can communicate with the dead.
Well, I don't see why anyone should feel guilty about that. I -do- think there are some kinds of things said to grieving people at believers' boards (and IRL) that people -could/should- feel guilty for.
I have caught myself many times wondering if I had to give it a try just for once to contact a medium.
I would never tell anyone they -should- contact a medium. However, my interest in this was sparked by JE...and then developed further by medium readings of my own. It is an interesting process, even if you just have a purely intellectual curiosity about this (of course, yes I know. People feel like "not spending money on these charlatans". For me, I didn't mind as I think of those kinds of readings as "research". But I understand that attitude is (a) a luxury or (b) unethical to some....)

Aside from the curiosity...the money...and the challenge of finding the "best" person available to you for your "experience/experiment"....people raise the issue of being too emotionally vulnerable to "risk" hearing things from a "medium". That wasn't an issue for me and, although none of the experiences have resolved my doubts, I feel it was educational, informative, and--even when I felt it was pure cold reading, no question of it--money well spent.

I am equally angry at films, I mean movies that depict people that have experienced a sudden loss to communicate with the dead. They make you feel quilty for not being a believer.
Eleanor Roosevelt had a good saying about people who try to make you feel bad and I'll just paraphrase for this context...that no one can make you feel guilty; it takes two.

CWL
31st January 2004, 01:59 PM
Originally posted by Cleopatra
This can work only under certain circumstances as you know very well. This is exactly my problem with LK shows. He doesn't let people reach their own conclusions.

I agree. Just have a look at the below excerpts from the transcript (http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0401/30/lkl.00.html ):

KING: You got to listen. By the way, my father's name was Ed. Could he have collided in there?

VAN PRAAGH: Could, could, could, could, could, could, could.

KING: Just bringing it up.

VAN PRAAGH: Could. Remember, I said something about him with the factory, and I said...

KING: That's right.

VAN PRAAGH: And you said...

KING: You were right. He just told me my father died working in a factory, and he was, and that it was in New Jersey, and it was. And we'll be back. Don't go away

-----------------

VAN PRAAGH: ... actually. You understand that. And he's talking about them, he knows about them. He loves it. He loved it, all right.

KING: Wow, so he gets to see the memorial service.

----------------

KING: James Van Praagh, he's amazing. Author of -- he wrote the number one "New York Times" best-seller "Talking to Heaven." His new book is "Looking Beyond: A Teen's Guide to the Spiritual World." You can check into Vajpayee.com for information on his upcoming tour in March. Always great seeing him. And we'll be back and tell you about the weekend and what's coming next week, right after this. Don't go away.

Not very objective to me...

Clancie
31st January 2004, 02:12 PM
Posted by CWL

Not very objective to me...
No, he's too emotional to be objective. (That's part of his charm! :) ).

But he did describe himself as a skeptic...and JVP said his own father was a skeptic/cynic "like Larry" about all this. Its not completely black and white.

And maybe people aren't -all- gullible, you know? And no matter what LK says, they still decide for themselves. My mother, for example, has a religion, is open to the idea of mediumship, but hasn't seen anything to convince her. She looks at the kinds of "validations" that JVP and JE come up with on the show and thinks "Why would spirits come back to tell you that kind of thing? The information he's telling them seems so pointless and so silly."

So, just because JVP says...."Did your father pass?"... "Did he have trouble breathing?" and ...."Is an anniversary coming up for someone in February?"....and gets "Yes" to all of them...doesn't mean the home audience is going to be impressed with the questions/answers and therefore thinking ADC is definitely for real.....

CFLarsen
31st January 2004, 02:16 PM
Originally posted by Clancie
Well, I don't see why anyone should feel guilty about that.

So, why does JE make people feel guilty about it? Why does he invent the term "psychic amnesia", if not to put the blame on the sitters, if they do not "validate" his guesses?

Originally posted by Clancie
I -do- think there are some kinds of things said to grieving people at believers' boards (and IRL) that people -could/should- feel guilty for.

Like what? Are you going to get specific, or are you just going to make broad, sweeping statements, accusing everyone - and nobody - at the same time?

Originally posted by Clancie
I would never tell anyone they -should- contact a medium.

THAT IS A BALD-FACED LIE.

Here is a direct quote from you, posting as "Gryphon2", on TVTalkshows:

<Gryphon2> 207.175.243.209 08-16-2002 11:22 AM

Cantata, I have a question for you. I'm personally not sure if mediumship is something that *can* ever be proven under laboratory conditions. Maybe so, maybe not. But let's assume, just for now, "not".

Suppose, knowing this, you go for a reading with Brian like RC and I did, to see for yourself what he really does.

Another one:

<Gryphon2> 207.175.243.209 07-05-2002 12:41 PM
Cantata,

LOL. I just can't resist this one.

"If I had Brian read me, it *would* be under laboratory conditions. Have you wondered if this is the true reason why Brian doesn't want to read me? He is simply too scared to work under controlled conditions?"

ROFLMAO. You live in NY. He lives in Los Angeles. You are unwilling to travel, to listen to what he would say with an open mind, to pay him for his reading--OR for participating in this "experiment" you want him to do for you (And are you a qualified research scientist with the necessary lab, the professional reputation, the funding that is needed for all this? Its a fantasy, Cantata, LOL).

You have also criticized me for not going to a JE taping - although you knew that it was impossible to get a ticket.

I find it amazing, disturbing, but not surprising, that you lie so much.

kittynh
31st January 2004, 02:37 PM
I would say his telling parents who have lost a child the same line about toys got to me also. Ask any parent what's going in the casket with the child? The favorite beloved toy of course.

ca3799
31st January 2004, 03:01 PM
The Larry King show does accept email. The producers claim to read every one, and to give to Larry a weekly report on the mail the show receives. Perhaps we could remember to voice our opinions of these frauds from time to time. If LK got the idea that his audience didn't care for psy-crap, maybe he would stop having the old frauds on.

I'll post the address later.

CFLarsen
31st January 2004, 03:22 PM
Originally posted by kittynh
I would say his telling parents who have lost a child the same line about toys got to me also. Ask any parent what's going in the casket with the child? The favorite beloved toy of course.

One of JE's most heralded "hits" is the "wrong cigarettes in the casket".

That is why the term "necromantics" is such a suitable term for these "psychics". They really wallow in death. They thrive on it, they make their money from it, they derive their strength and power from it.

They are vampires.

EternalUniverse
31st January 2004, 08:36 PM
Originally posted by Cleopatra


It's not difficult to find out his motivation; Ratings.
If L.K thought the way you think, meaning if he would think that he is already rich then... he wouldn't be rich.:)
Also, allow me to disagree. L.K. is not the icon of the industry he is the icon of a kind of journalism that is far from decent journalism.

If he were a decent journalist he wouldn't let V.P alone B.Sing his audience.


The point was that he doesn't need the ratings from psychics given his popularity, and that he should be smart enough to know better than to bring charlatans on his show. I used to listen to his radio show all the time and he seemed decent then. You are right about his present practises. So maybe he's just getting a little senile in his old age. heh




Originally posted by Cleopatra

But you don't even remember their name, right? A guy and a rabbi versus celebrity mediums?

Fair enough. Doesn't say much for the average viewer if they are initially biased and swayed by celebrity status/popular opinion. Sylvia Browne on LKL did a nastly little trick on Randi when Randi was on the show. She tried to villify him by characterizing him as Godless, etc. Some of the subsequent callers mentioned that they were "sorry" that Randi was the way he was heh

EternalUniverse
31st January 2004, 08:40 PM
Originally posted by ca3799
The Larry King show does accept email. The producers claim to read every one, and to give to Larry a weekly report on the mail the show receives. Perhaps we could remember to voice our opinions of these frauds from time to time. If LK got the idea that his audience didn't care for psy-crap, maybe he would stop having the old frauds on.

I'll post the address later.

It comes down to who has the ultimate say when it comes to booking Larry's guests. Is Larry in total control of who he has on? How much control does his producers have?

Yahweh
31st January 2004, 08:47 PM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
Like what? I see absolutely no difference in JVP and JE when it comes to coldreading.

They may use different styles, but their methods are straight out of Ian Rowland's book on coldreading.
Cool :)

I want to be a TV "Psychic" one day, make lots of money and women will love me!

*Writes note to self reminding to buy Ian Rowlands book on coldreading*

corplinx
31st January 2004, 09:28 PM
Now you see why Hannity and Colmes beats Larry King in the ratings, despite Hannity.

Cleon
31st January 2004, 09:59 PM
Originally posted by corplinx
Now you see why Hannity and Colmes beats Larry King in the ratings, despite Hannity.

The ratings numbers are inversely proportional to the IQ of the show's host(s)?

Cleopatra
1st February 2004, 02:06 AM
Originally posted by Clancie

Well, I don't see why anyone should feel guilty about that. I -do- think there are some kinds of things said to grieving people at believers' boards (and IRL) that people -could/should- feel guilty for.

Do you have in mind people that ridicule grieving people that resort to mediumship? I don't approve of such behaviors the same way I do not approve believers who have told me that I didn't care about my dead people that's why I didn't visit a medium. Each of us has his own way to deal with a loss.

I would never tell anyone they -should- contact a medium. However, my interest in this was sparked by JE...and then developed further by medium readings of my own. It is an interesting process, even if you just have a purely intellectual curiosity about this (of course, yes I know. People feel like "not spending money on these charlatans". For me, I didn't mind as I think of those kinds of readings as "research". But I understand that attitude is (a) a luxury or (b) unethical to some....)

I have never thought about the financial aspect of the matter because I have never come to the front door of a medium but how much does it cost? Have you spent a lot in mediums? How many have you visited?

Aside from the curiosity...the money...and the challenge of finding the "best" person available to you for your "experience/experiment"....people raise the issue of being too emotionally vulnerable to "risk" hearing things from a "medium". That wasn't an issue for me and, although none of the experiences have resolved my doubts, I feel it was educational, informative, and--even when I felt it was pure cold reading, no question of it--money well spent.

Have you ever tried to contact a dead person by yourself? I am asking because I have tried many times. The experience was really interesting but very stong emotionally speaking.I think that we don't need a medium to communicate the dead. It seems that our brain has the mechanism to reproduce the presence of a dead person. In fact our brain has the power to do funny things, it doesn't do it only with dead persons. You are in love with X but you sleep with the Z and it might feel almost the same if you instruct your brain to think the right thing. This organ, the human brain is quite a fascinating tool.


Eleanor Roosevelt had a good saying about people who try to make you feel bad and I'll just paraphrase for this context...that no one can make you feel guilty; it takes two.
Yes this is true.Being alive and well while somebody you loved is two meters down in earth can easily be turned into a source for guilt though. As I told you and of course you know, human brain is some organ indeed.

showme2
1st February 2004, 04:06 AM
Originally posted by TLN


I too would like to see a hit of this quality from an unedited transcript.

Can't help you there I'm afraid. Edward has not yet visited the UK so far as I am aware, so all we have seen are edited programmes.
And if they have been edited to make him look good, the raw version would not be up to much.

CFLarsen
1st February 2004, 04:25 AM
Originally posted by showme2


Can't help you there I'm afraid. Edward has not yet visited the UK so far as I am aware, so all we have seen are edited programmes.
And if they have been edited to make him look good, the raw version would not be up to much.
He bombs, when he is unedited.

Up to 93% is edited out from his shows, and on Larry King Live, he does remarkably worse than in his shows.

This is explained away by his fans, citing many reasons. None of them valid. All truly pathetic.

Interesting Ian
1st February 2004, 05:12 AM
Originally posted by CWL
Yesterday (January 30, 2004) I was unfortunate enough to catch Larry King Live on CNN International, where Mr. King conducted an inteveiw with "medium" James van Praagh under the title "Speaking to Heaven?".



Are you sure it was actually live?? I thought the programme must have been edited given the accuracy of the readings.



The interview featured some upsettingly cheesy cold reading of callers eager to receive information about their dearly departed.



Cold reading?? :confused: Highly doubtful if it's not edited. I read the entire transcript. It seems to me that the hypothesis that he was simply guessing and using sufficiently vague statements is implausible. If he's cheating then he's doing it some other way. I have never seen any cold reading but clearly it cannot produce miracles.

Interesting Ian
1st February 2004, 05:20 AM
Originally posted by Cleopatra


Have you ever tried to contact a dead person by yourself? I am asking because I have tried many times. The experience was really interesting but very stong emotionally speaking.I think that we don't need a medium to communicate the dead. It seems that our brain has the mechanism to reproduce the presence of a dead person. In fact our brain has the power to do funny things, it doesn't do it only with dead persons. You are in love with X but you sleep with the Z and it might feel almost the same if you instruct your brain to think the right thing. This organ, the human brain is quite a fascinating tool.
[/B]

How do you know it's not the self doing that rather than its brain?

Clancie
1st February 2004, 11:04 AM
Posted by Cleopatra

Do you have in mind people that ridicule grieving people that resort to mediumship?
Yes. I've seen people write/say things like, "Dead is dead. You need to accept that their memory will always be with you, but you'll never see them again...and move on." (That's the polite version). Whether true or false, imo, its pretty nervy.
I don't approve of such behaviors the same way I do not approve believers who have told me that I didn't care about my dead people that's why I didn't visit a medium. Each of us has his own way to deal with a loss.
Exactly.

I have never thought about the financial aspect of the matter because I have never come to the front door of a medium but how much does it cost?
Range: from free $0...to SB ($750/half hour) and George Anderson ($1000/hour). JE charges $300/hour, which is what most "well known" mediums charge. My two best readings cost $40 (group seance, 2 hours) and $60 (private, phone, 1 hour).

I've had quite a few readings...yes, spent some money, but since its fueled by curiosity, too, as I say, I don't regret it (its a cheaper hobby than skiing...:) ). I really do think of this as a mystery, and my readings as "research" (even though, I know--so no one needs to say it--its not a replicable laboratory experiment under controlled conditions....)

Have you ever tried to contact a dead person by yourself?
I don't exactly know how to answer that. I read about mirror gazing and tried it...no results. I keep a journal and sometimes write directly to the deceased, but is that trying to contact him or just self expression? I don't know. I do things that are recommended to improve contact prior to a reading (meditation, etc.) but I don't know if they've made a difference.
I am asking because I have tried many times.
The experience was really interesting but very stong emotionally speaking.
What kinds of things did you try? I've had some strange things happen (that fit ADC descriptions) btw, but not as far as I can tell, in response to anything that I did.
I think that we don't need a medium to communicate the dead. It seems that our brain has the mechanism to reproduce the presence of a dead person.
I have felt that presence many times. A creation of my mind or a -real- presence? That's the puzzle because, if one doesn't reject the possibility of survival out of hand, then the question would be how could we tell if it was a genuine presence or just a product of memory + wishful thinking?
In fact our brain has the power to do funny things, it doesn't do it only with dead persons.
It sounds like you may have had some interesting experiences that you have explained to yourself in a particular way. Are you -sure- you've ruled out other possibilities (for example, a genuine ADC?)

My friend, RC, (who earned a lot of respect, if not agreement, here when he used to post about mediumship) has had two good readings with mediums (one, which I attended with him). But those experiences still left him with some doubts.

It was the direct communication he experienced from his deceased loved one (the direct ADCs), that changed him from agnostic to a believer in survival. (He's posted about this here, so I'm not giving away anything private. ) I've had some experiences of my own, that might seem compelling, but I think you can block yourself from fully understanding things sometimes if your preconceived ideas about the nature of reality are too fixed.....

Clancie
1st February 2004, 11:16 AM
Posted by Interesting Ian

Cold reading?? Highly doubtful if it's not edited. I read the entire transcript. It seems to me that the hypothesis that he was simply guessing and using sufficiently vague statements is implausible. If he's cheating then he's doing it some other way. I have never seen any cold reading but clearly it cannot produce miracles.
That's an interesting point. The transcript of his LKL readings is indisputably live and unedited, and I'm convinced, given the format of the show, that there was no cheating. I think it conforms to cold reading in some parts, but that he also got many more "hits" than JE did in the same setting.

Nothing remarkable (and he -does- ask for names...never volunteers them...also fishes for information quite blatantly at times)....but could an admitted cold reader do as well as JVP did in this transcript?

With van Praagh's style, I think this would be a really good transcript to compare a cold reader with.

Mercutio
1st February 2004, 11:45 AM
Originally posted by Cleopatra

Have you ever tried to contact a dead person by yourself? I am asking because I have tried many times. The experience was really interesting but very stong emotionally speaking.I think that we don't need a medium to communicate the dead. It seems that our brain has the mechanism to reproduce the presence of a dead person. In fact our brain has the power to do funny things, it doesn't do it only with dead persons. You are in love with X but you sleep with the Z and it might feel almost the same if you instruct your brain to think the right thing. This organ, the human brain is quite a fascinating tool.Even Carl Sagan writes about hearing his parents' voices after he lost them. OF COURSE we hear and see our loved ones...the ambiguous sound in the showe becomes the voice we really want to hear...the shape in the corner of the eye becomes a grandparent. There is nothing abnormal about it at all...it is incredibly sweet, in my opinion. Of course, we also hear these people while they are still alive, but it is hard to think they are ghosts then...

These people are important enough to us to live on in our habits...For someone to take advantage of this to fleece mourners is just sick.

Interesting Ian
1st February 2004, 12:07 PM
Originally posted by Clancie



Nothing remarkable

Hmmmm . .I'd have to disagree and say it was quite remarkable if no cheating was involved! :eek: I'd need to go back and carefully analyse it. I thought there might be a good chance he's hot reading but not making it too obvious.

I would be interested in seeing a cold reading in order to compare. Or rather I should say cold readings as I don't want skeptics to single out a cold reading which happened to be particularly successful.

Clancie
1st February 2004, 12:09 PM
Posted by Mercution

Even Carl Sagan writes about hearing his parents' voices after he lost them. OF COURSE we hear and see our loved ones...the ambiguous sound in the showe becomes the voice we really want to hear...the shape in the corner of the eye becomes a grandparent. There is nothing abnormal about it at all...it is incredibly sweet, in my opinion. Of course, we also hear these people while they are still alive, but it is hard to think they are ghosts then...

These people are important enough to us to live on in our habits...For someone to take advantage of this to fleece mourners is just sick.
Yes, you're right. But only IF you are completely certain (or sufficiently certain for your own purposes), that survival is impossible

Clancie
1st February 2004, 12:12 PM
Posted by Interesting Ian

I would be interested in seeing a cold reading in order to compare. Or rather I should say cold readings as I don't want skeptics to single out a cold reading which happened to be particularly successful.
A reasonable request, given all the claims that cold readers can do just as well as mediums.

However, I feel quite confident in predicting that you will be shown no unedited mediumistic readings from self proclaimed cold readers to compare JVP's with at all (unless someone links again to ersby or NoZed Avengers brief ones ...that seems to be all that is available, anywhere...:( )

Interesting Ian
1st February 2004, 12:29 PM
Originally posted by Clancie

A reasonable request, given all the claims that cold readers can do just as well as mediums.

However, I feel quite confident in predicting that you will be shown no unedited mediumistic cold readings to compare JVP's with at all....

Well that's disappointing. It's completely useless viewing an edited version, just as much as it's useless if being shown an edited version of a mediums performance. But I think you could be right. A few months ago in this UK TV programme, they apparently were going to show Randi attempting some cold reading. But according to Montague Keen (who sadly died about 3 weeks ago) Randi's performance was such an embarrassing failure, that they edited it out, and showed him do some hot reading instead! LOL So this is the problem, the TV programme is trying to convince the viewing public that a cold reading can be just as impressive as a putative genuine medium's performance. Yet the TV show was only prepared to show a successful cold reading demonstration. This is a flat out cheat! :mad:

If skeptics are so confident of the power of cold reading, why are they averse to showing the bad as well as the good attempts?

CFLarsen
1st February 2004, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by Clancie
Range: from free $0...to SB ($750/half hour) and George Anderson ($1000/hour). JE charges $300/hour, which is what most "well known" mediums charge. My two best readings cost $40 (group seance, 2 hours) and $60 (private, phone, 1 hour).

I've had quite a few readings...yes, spent some money, but since its fueled by curiosity, too, as I say, I don't regret it (its a cheaper hobby than skiing...:) ). I really do think of this as a mystery, and my readings as "research" (even though, I know--so no one needs to say it--its not a replicable laboratory experiment under controlled conditions....)

This is not quite correct, is it?

Your interest in mediumship is not just "fueled by curiosity", nor do you consider your readings as "research". You are much deeper into the whole mediumship circus than you have let on here.

Over the years, you have wandered from medium to medium, paying thousands of dollars (Suzane Northrop alone set you back $300 plus $40 for the seminar), just to be "chronically dissatisfied", again and again. You want so much to hear from your dead husband, that you are willing to ignore the multiple failures, because you hope that - just once in a while - you find someone who can tell you what you need to hear. You found one after many visits to mediums who disappointed you. And then, you were hooked, like a drug addict.

You have even had the temerity to ask if anyone knew of someone who followed this pattern of wandering from medium to medium, being convinced, then disappointed, then moved on the a new medium, etc. You couldn't understand how people could go from "belief" to "obvious fraud" and then repeat the pattern again. This is exactly what you do.

You first thought medium Robert Brown to be real, then you slammed him, but later turned 180 degrees and now accepts him as a real medium who is allowed to cheat. You accept that he follows a script. You have even used your reading with Robert Brown here on JREF as a sort of "explain this, skeptics".

You are willing to accept mediums who get messages only 10-20% of the time.

You accept the validity of a medium based on the testimonies of other people.

You are willing to consider readings that cost a $1000 dollars.

You are so hungry for readings that you suck up to mediums who peddle their services on Internet forums, that you - before you have had a chance to evaluate them or even ask their price, accept their validity.

You are not "fueled by curiosity". You want mediumship to be real.

You do not consider your readings as "research". You go from medium to medium to medium, in an endless search that, more often than not, leave you disappointed.

How do I know all this?

You have, as "Irene", posted on Pam Blizzard's "SpiritDiscovery" board since July, 2002.

Clancie
1st February 2004, 01:32 PM
Claus,
This SD board has been down for months, and at JEF "Irene" is someone else, not me.

Your post is correct in some points, wrong in others...but, more to the point, I think your two year obsession with me just crossed the line from being "just" weird, to being very, very creepy.....

Cleopatra
1st February 2004, 01:33 PM
Originally posted by CFLarsen


This is not quite correct, is it?

Your interest in mediumship is not just "fueled by curiosity", nor do you consider your readings as "research". You are much deeper into the whole mediumship circus than you have let on here.

Over the years, you have wandered from medium to medium, paying thousands of dollars (Suzane Northrop alone set you back $300 plus $40 for the seminar), just to be "chronically dissatisfied", again and again. You want so much to hear from your dead husband, that you are willing to ignore the multiple failures, because you hope that - just once in a while - you find someone who can tell you what you need to hear. You found one after many visits to mediums who disappointed you. And then, you were hooked, like a drug addict.

You have even had the temerity to ask if anyone knew of someone who followed this pattern of wandering from medium to medium, being convinced, then disappointed, then moved on the a new medium, etc. You couldn't understand how people could go from "belief" to "obvious fraud" and then repeat the pattern again. This is exactly what you do.

You first thought medium Robert Brown to be real, then you slammed him, but later turned 180 degrees and now accepts him as a real medium who is allowed to cheat. You accept that he follows a script. You have even used your reading with Robert Brown here on JREF as a sort of "explain this, skeptics".

You are willing to accept mediums who get messages only 10-20% of the time.

You accept the validity of a medium based on the testimonies of other people.

You are willing to consider readings that cost a $1000 dollars.

You are so hungry for readings that you suck up to mediums who peddle their services on Internet forums, that you - before you have had a chance to evaluate them or even ask their price, accept their validity.

You are not "fueled by curiosity". You want mediumship to be real.

You do not consider your readings as "research". You go from medium to medium to medium, in an endless search that, more often than not, leave you disappointed.

How do I know all this?

You have, as "Irene", posted on Pam Blizzard's "SpiritDiscovery" board since July, 2002.


Claus, it's her right to spend her money where ever she wishes and I totally understand the need to hear something from a person that she loved and he is not alive anymore.

I will reply in details tomorrow because it's almost midnight here.

CFLarsen
1st February 2004, 01:36 PM
Originally posted by Cleopatra
Claus, it's her right to spend her money where ever she wishes and I totally understand the need to hear something from a person that she loved and he is not alive anymore.

I will reply in details tomorrow because it's almost midnight here.

Oh, I quite agree. The money is not the problem. The problem is, that Clancie is not all....shall we say "honest", when it comes to mediumship.

That someone spends a lot of money on mediums is sad. It underlines what Penn said: They are on heroin.

But at least the people who seek mediums should be honest about it.

T'ai Chi
1st February 2004, 01:56 PM
Originally posted by TLN


I too would like to see a hit of this quality from an unedited transcript.

What would actually prove to you that something has been unedited?

Mercutio
1st February 2004, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by Clancie

Yes, you're right. But only IF you are completely certain (or sufficiently certain for your own purposes), that survival is impossible I understand what you mean, but I would disagree. I do not have to know that survival is impossible to study the perceptual mechanisms that can give rise to the same belief. I do not, nor cannot, claim to know for certain that survival is impossible. I do not believe that it is, but let us suppose that it is. That does not mean that suddenly any such experience must be real. We do see illusions, hear loved ones' voices, etc. without any need for survival to be true. To me, this is a fascinating area of study. I can see why some might want to claim any similar experience as genuine...but the flip side to your argument is that if you are completely certain that survival does happen, that does not mean that it is impossible that any given such experience is illusary.

T'ai Chi
1st February 2004, 02:02 PM
Originally posted by CWL

I agree. Just have a look at the below excerpts from the transcript:
(snip)


He used too many J names I think that proves he's a cold reader! :D

CFLarsen
1st February 2004, 02:10 PM
Originally posted by Clancie
Claus,

Hello, Irene.

Originally posted by Clancie
This SD board has been down for months, and at JEF "Irene" is someone else, not me.

Which is completely beside the point. What does JEF has to do with this?

The SD board is up again, and you posted at least up until Nov 23rd.

Are you now trying to distance yourself from what you wrote on SD?

Originally posted by Clancie
Your post is correct in some points, wrong in others...but, more to the point, I think your two year obsession with me just crossed the line from being "just" weird, to being very, very creepy.....

First, may I urge you to point out where I am wrong?

Second, may I remind you that you are clearly more obsessed with me than the other way around? After all, you "ignore" my posts, yet do not.

Third, if you think that finding your posts on Pam's board is "creepy", then perhaps you should have been more upfront here?

Fourth, if you want "creepy", look at this. (http://www.randi.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=34822)

Interesting Ian
1st February 2004, 02:33 PM
Originally posted by Mercutio
I understand what you mean, but I would disagree. I do not have to know that survival is impossible to study the perceptual mechanisms that can give rise to the same belief. I do not, nor cannot, claim to know for certain that survival is impossible. I do not believe that it is, but let us suppose that it is. That does not mean that suddenly any such experience must be real. We do see illusions, hear loved ones' voices, etc. without any need for survival to be true. To me, this is a fascinating area of study. I can see why some might want to claim any similar experience as genuine...but the flip side to your argument is that if you are completely certain that survival does happen, that does not mean that it is impossible that any given such experience is illusary.

No-one is disputing that such hallucinations are possible. But you are claiming that certain sensory experiences are hallucinations without any good reason to suppose they are. The pertinent question here is why do you believe they are hallucinations? Mere possibility does not entail likelihood.

And besides, the particular phenomenon of crisis apparitions is simply at odds with the hypothesis that they are wholly hallucinations. Otherwise why should one coincidentally experience a hallucination precisely at the time when the agent is experiencing a crisis?

Interesting Ian
1st February 2004, 02:50 PM
Claus,

You need to take a step back and realise you have this unhealthy obsession with Clancie. You have your beliefs, she has hers. You're unlikely to change her mind, especially with the way you go on. Let go of your obsession.

CFLarsen
1st February 2004, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
Claus,

You need to take a step back and realise you have this unhealthy obsession with Clancie. You have your beliefs, she has hers. You're unlikely to change her mind, especially with the way you go on. Let go of your obsession.

Funny how you choose to address just one of us.

It's not about belief vs. belief. I know that it is very convenient to view it like this. But it is not about two sets of beliefs, equally valid.

It's about Clancie/Irene/Gryphon/see a pattern here? not being truthful. She is blatantly dishonest, disingenious and has deep problems accepting her addiction to mediumship.

I'm sorry, but I don't like it, when people lie to me, when we discuss things. And - unlike you - I don't keep my mouth shut, when I find out about it.

I have also addressed a lot of other posters over time. I didn't think you would ignore that.

That Clancie gets a bit more attention at times than some may have something to do with what she posts. Not who she is.

Do you really have nothing to say to Clancie?

Loki
1st February 2004, 03:00 PM
Clancie,

A reasonable request, given all the claims that cold readers can do just as well as mediums.

Just a quick comment - since "sitter buy-in" is a very real possibility, then it seems to me that there is almost no way to achieve a side-by-side comparison unless you resort to trickery, That is, LK will have to introduce the 'cold-reader' as a established, successful medium, and then let the phone calls proceed. IMO, if the callers already know the is no ability to contact the dead, then they are *far* less likely to try and make 'connections' between their own lives and the guesses of the cold reader. This makes "cold reader's doing exactly what mediums do on LKL" an impossible goal.

Mercutio
1st February 2004, 03:25 PM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian

No-one is disputing that such hallucinations are possible. But you are claiming that certain sensory experiences are hallucinations without any good reason to suppose they are. The pertinent question here is why do you believe they are hallucinations? Mere possibility does not entail likelihood.
True. But decades of research in sensation & perception and social cognition convinces me that we are not talking about "mere possiblility" so much as "very common phenomenon."

And besides, the particular phenomenon of crisis apparitions is simply at odds with the hypothesis that they are wholly hallucinations. Otherwise why should one coincidentally experience a hallucination precisely at the time when the agent is experiencing a crisis? First off, by no means am I saying these are "hallucinations" if you mean to use the normal use of the word; rather, these are the result of perfectly normal perceptual processes.
If only there was a way to impose controls on crisis apparition; too bad they are, by definition, unpredictable. With any such anecdotal tales, reporting error is a serious possibility. Small numbers of motivated individuals reporting experiences like this are very easily explained by other means. OF COURSE this does not prove that phenomenon was not paranormal, but the evidence is not nearly so strong as you imply.

Clancie
1st February 2004, 04:36 PM
Posted by Loki

Just a quick comment - since "sitter buy-in" is a very real possibility, then it seems to me that there is almost no way to achieve a side-by-side comparison unless you resort to trickery, That is, LK will have to introduce the 'cold-reader' as a established, successful medium, and then let the phone calls proceed.
I don't think it would be a problem at all, Loki. For example, the LK producers could ask several people they know to call in (or even be "read" in person--not entirely the same, but still good for a c.r. demo). They could ask them to do this as in, "We've got a guy coming on who says he's going to do a mediumship demonstration. Would you be willing to be a guinea pig for him, since he's never met you before?"

No lying needed and, really, I think most people have a "Show me" attitude anyway. If someone is open-minded, that's really all you can hope for...that level of "buy in" meaning, "It might be possible...I'm not against it...Let's see what, if anything, you can tell me that's true."

****

Ian, thanks for your comments to Claus. And, Cleopatra, yes, I don't see why whatever money I spend--and he's got the amount wrong--is anyone's business but my own (nor do I see why it matters to Claus if I'm "addicted" to mediumship or not. Either way...so what? :confused: ).

Claus, I hope you will think about why, really, you are so obsessed with me, even following me to a board you never post to, like Spirit Discovery. I hope you will think about why you compulsively -must- not only disagree with, but also archive my posts--not only from this board and TVTalkshows, but apparently from Pam's board as well. I think you should really ask "Why do I care so much what Clancie/Irene/Gryphon posts here and elsewhere?" and "Does my obsession with her behavior and her posts seem psychologically healthy or not?"

I will say, that from my point of view, your obsession with my posts, with me, in this forum, the other JREF forums, and at two other boards feels very creepy.

showme2
1st February 2004, 04:57 PM
Originally posted by Clancie

I think you should really ask "Why do I care so much what Clancie/Irene/Gryphon posts here and elsewhere?" and "Does my obsession with her behavior and her posts seem psychologically healthy or not?"

I will say, that from my point of view, your obsession with my posts, with me, in this forum, the other JREF forums, and at two other boards feels very creepy.

Claus .... I think you are being accused of being a cyber-stalker!

Well, what is your defence ?

Interesting Ian
1st February 2004, 05:08 PM
Originally posted by CFLarsen


Funny how you choose to address just one of us.



I have nothing to say to Clancie. She doesn't appear to be obsessed by you, as you are by her.



It's not about belief vs. belief. I know that it is very convenient to view it like this. But it is not about two sets of beliefs, equally valid.



Oh dear me! :rolleyes: The issue really isn't about how valid the respective beliefs are. It's about your obsession.



It's about Clancie/Irene/Gryphon/see a pattern here? not being truthful. She is blatantly dishonest, disingenious and has deep problems accepting her addiction to mediumship.

I'm sorry, but I don't like it, when people lie to me, when we discuss things. And - unlike you - I don't keep my mouth shut, when I find out about it.

I have also addressed a lot of other posters over time. I didn't think you would ignore that.

That Clancie gets a bit more attention at times than some may have something to do with what she posts. Not who she is.

Do you really have nothing to say to Clancie?

I don't know if she is dishonest. Maybe she is addicted to mediums. Maybe she has got a dead husband and this has fuelled her "addiction" to mediums. Maybe she is open minded about the survival hypothesis because she has a desperate need to believe. Maybe all this is true. But so what? What are you hoping to achieve? Come on, what are you honestly hoping to achieve?? Do you honestly believe your present attitude and behaviour towards her is likely to make her change her mind? And why is it so important to you anyway?

Even if everything you say is true, at least she's now investigated mediums and has a much better idea whether any of them are the real thing. And if her emotions have any influence on her beliefs, that just means that she's the same as all of us. Me, you, all of us. She doesn't just blindly believe or disbelieve like most people. She argues and gives reasons. I don't think we can ask for anymore than that.

And besides, without considering mediums at all I think we have many more excellent reasons to subscribe to the survival hypothesis than we do the extinction hypothesis.

If she lies all the time, and you feel so contemptuous of her, then just ignore her! But you can't can you?? You have some strange obsession :rolleyes:

Jeff Corey
1st February 2004, 05:15 PM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
And besides, without considering mediums at all I think we have many more excellent reasons to subscribe to the survival hypothesis than we do the extinction hypothesis.
But why haven't they been presented?
Many more reasons?excellent reasons?
Shirley, you jest.
You have provided no sensible, let alone excellent, reasons for me to believe that you or I will nothing more than ashes or mulch in a few years.
No matter, no mind.

Interesting Ian
1st February 2004, 05:29 PM
Originally posted by Mercutio
Originally posted by Interesting Ian

No-one is disputing that such hallucinations are possible. But you are claiming that certain sensory experiences are hallucinations without any good reason to suppose they are. The pertinent question here is why do you believe they are hallucinations? Mere possibility does not entail likelihood.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

True. But decades of research in sensation & perception and social cognition convinces me that we are not talking about "mere possiblility" so much as "very common phenomenon."




Well I would guess that decades of research show that our minds interpret and shape what we see. But the vast majority of the time, if we see something, then although what is seen might be moulded, and indeed, to a large extent, created by the mind, it still nevertheless has its origin ultimately outside the mind. If there are common experiences such as seeing dead loved ones, then you must argue why it is reasonable to suppose they are wholly a creation by our minds. What reason do you have for supposing this? Wish fulfilment?? In that case why do we not hear the word "yes" all the time when asking a very attractive lady out for a date? Our desires do not generally determine what we see and hear. This is reality not a dream world.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And besides, the particular phenomenon of crisis apparitions is simply at odds with the hypothesis that they are wholly hallucinations. Otherwise why should one coincidentally experience a hallucination precisely at the time when the agent is experiencing a crisis?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

First off, by no means am I saying these are "hallucinations" if you mean to use the normal use of the word; rather, these are the result of perfectly normal perceptual processes.
If only there was a way to impose controls on crisis apparition; too bad they are, by definition, unpredictable. With any such anecdotal tales, reporting error is a serious possibility. Small numbers of motivated individuals reporting experiences like this are very easily explained by other means. OF COURSE this does not prove that phenomenon was not paranormal, but the evidence is not nearly so strong as you imply.

They are not small numbers though are they. Crisis apparitions are relatively common and they are universal. But you can't say they are hallucinations because that leaves unexplained why you should see an apparition of a person roughly at the time they are having some crisis (often dying). So they are all misreporting. Well maybe. But how plausible is this compared to the idea that you are telepathically receiving impressions due to the emotional bond with the agent? Oh well, I guess we just have radically differing perspectives on reality.

kittynh
1st February 2004, 06:28 PM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian


Well that's disappointing. It's completely useless viewing an edited version, just as much as it's useless if being shown an edited version of a mediums performance. But I think you could be right. A few months ago in this UK TV programme, they apparently were going to show Randi attempting some cold reading. But according to Montague Keen (who sadly died about 3 weeks ago) Randi's performance was such an embarrassing failure, that they edited it out, and showed him do some hot reading instead! LOL So this is the problem, the TV programme is trying to convince the viewing public that a cold reading can be just as impressive as a putative genuine medium's performance. Yet the TV show was only prepared to show a successful cold reading demonstration. This is a flat out cheat! :mad:

If skeptics are so confident of the power of cold reading, why are they averse to showing the bad as well as the good attempts?

If I remember, and I do, Mr.Randi was assured that no one in the audience would know who he was, after all how familiar was he to the average Brit? When he walked in, posing as a psychic, he noticed he wasn't doing very well. When he asked, "Who here knows who I am" almost every hand went up. The audience, was basically saying "You're Mr.Randi and trying to trick us." British audiences are well educated, and knowledgable. Oddly enough the British TV (who advertised for the audience) aren't as smart as the average Brisith citizen.

Mercutio
1st February 2004, 06:37 PM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian


Well I would guess that decades of research show that our minds interpret and shape what we see. But the vast majority of the time, if we see something, then although what is seen might be moulded, and indeed, to a large extent, created by the mind, it still nevertheless has its origin ultimately outside the mind. If there are common experiences such as seeing dead loved ones, then you must argue why it is reasonable to suppose they are wholly a creation by our minds. What reason do you have for supposing this? Wish fulfilment?? In that case why do we not hear the word "yes" all the time when asking a very attractive lady out for a date? Our desires do not generally determine what we see and hear. This is reality not a dream world.
I don't claim they are wholly a creation of our perceptual systems (although in fairness, I do not claim they are not--I make no claims one way or the other about this likelihood); but at least we have a mechanism to explain this perspective. The survival hypothesis lacks a mechanism--how does a spirit (or whatever, even what it is that survives is not agreed upon) influence our sense organs? (I recognise that you and I differ in the extent to which this objection matters--I present it merely as an explanation of my view, rather than as an argument to get you to change yours.)

They are not small numbers though are they. Crisis apparitions are relatively common and they are universal. But you can't say they are hallucinations because that leaves unexplained why you should see an apparition of a person roughly at the time they are having some crisis (often dying). So they are all misreporting. Well maybe. But how plausible is this compared to the idea that you are telepathically receiving impressions due to the emotional bond with the agent? Oh well, I guess we just have radically differing perspectives on reality. So it would appear :D . And they do not need to "all" be misreporting. (you seem to have a tendency to turn my statements into absolutes, and I very rarely use absolutes). And again, it would be nice--but obviously unethical--to be able to have some sort of controlled study of any alleged telepathic receiving. The studies we do have--and I am sure you will disagree--show no such abilities. Perhaps we need to induce a greater trauma in the senders...which is where our ethics get in our way.

By the way, I think your comments to Claus are quite reasonable. Just thought I'd say that, in case you thought I always disagree with you just out of principle.

Interesting Ian
1st February 2004, 06:43 PM
Originally posted by Mercutio


By the way, I think your comments to Claus are quite reasonable. Just thought I'd say that, in case you thought I always disagree with you just out of principle. [/B]

No no, you're one of the few that don't! You disagree with me out of conviction rather than principle. LOL

That's better in one sense but worse in another.

Interesting Ian
1st February 2004, 06:47 PM
Originally posted by kittynh


If I remember, and I do, Mr.Randi was assured that no one in the audience would know who he was, after all how familiar was he to the average Brit? When he walked in, posing as a psychic, he noticed he wasn't doing very well. When he asked, "Who here knows who I am" almost every hand went up. The audience, was basically saying "You're Mr.Randi and trying to trick us." British audiences are well educated, and knowledgable. Oddly enough the British TV (who advertised for the audience) aren't as smart as the average Brisith citizen.

Good point. Nobody I talk to has ever heard of him, but an audience like that might well have done. A pity. Just wonder how "successful" he would have been if people hadn't of recognised him. Oh well.

Clancie
1st February 2004, 06:48 PM
Posted by Mercutio

I do not have to know that survival is impossible to study the perceptual mechanisms that can give rise to the same belief.
No, I agree that you don't. If people want to study how people misperceive things and mis-attribute it to spirit communication that is fine. But that's not what I thought you meant by this....
Posted by Mercutio
OF COURSE we hear and see our loved ones...the ambiguous sound in the shower becomes the voice we really want to hear...the shape in the corner of the eye becomes a grandparent. There is nothing abnormal about it at all...these people are important enough to us to live on in our habits...For someone to take advantage of this to fleece mourners is just sick.
Maybe I read this incorrectly, but it seems that when you say "There is nothing abnormal about it at all", you're assuming that, of course, all these things people perceive as ADC can't possibly -really- be that. Therefore, mediums are just exploiting this misperception and to do that's "just sick".

If there's a -possibility- that people are -not- misperceiving these phenomena...if there is a -possibility- that survival is real, then I don't know how you could assume all mediums are exploiting the grieving and are just sick, unethical people for doing so.

The judgment that mediums exploit the grieving seems to rest on -a conviction- that no paranormal explanation is really possible.

...let us suppose that it is (real). That does not mean that suddenly any such experience must be real. We do see illusions, hear loved ones' voices, etc. without any need for survival to be true.
Just because some things can be explained as illusions, etc. doesn't necessarily mean they all are (unless, of course, one feels convinced to begin with that survival is impossible.
...but the flip side to your argument is that if you are completely certain that survival does happen, that does not mean that it is impossible that any given such experience is illusory.
No, not at all. People can hallucinate and falsely think they see an oasis in the desert. On the other hand, someone else might really reach an oasis in the desert. The existence of a mirage doesn't mean that we know, therefore, there will never be a genuine oasis.

Survival may not be real, but that's a different issue. My point is that I don't think you can say with certainty that (paraphrasing) "mediums are sick people who intentionally exploit gullible grieving people" unless you're willing to say (like I believe Penn Jillette is, for example) that there is no survival and mediums know it and consciously exploit people who don't.

kittynh
1st February 2004, 06:50 PM
If only the only fall out from mediums was people lose money. I'm talking $20,000 in just one case I know of. And this was the entire insurance settlement. But, money is just that. It means nothing except what you can do with it, and if your choice is that, then I wonder if that would have been the choice of the person who died. I know when I die, if I could come through a medium, they'd never pass on what I'd be saying, "Spend the money on a charity in my name! Life is too short, you'll find out about where I am soon enough! If you want me to tell you what to do, I'm telling you - LIVE - and do good. But for goodness sake, don't spend any more money on these mediums!"

$20,000 could have bought a lovely scholarship in her son's name. And I guess a large sum like that isn't uncommon.

Clancie
1st February 2004, 06:58 PM
kittynh,

There are a lot of criticisms that are valid, and personally I think there should be more regulations on mediumship....a cap on the money people can spend for any particular person, for one example. Some kind of required disclaimer every sitter would sign that has the "entertainment purpose" stipulation and, more importantly, presents some things to watch for (a la cold reading...paying for "spiritual guarantees", etc.) for another. There should be online resources where people can report bad experiences and legal recourse if they feel they've been fleeced. Psychics should also be forbidden to give medical advice and should be required to give any information about murder victims to the police.

Of course, we all know that there -are- charlatans who -do- knowingly bilk people and that is totally reprehensible. They should be made fearful of legal repercussions, but unfortunately, apparently regulation of the "psychic industry" is extremely weak and there are few legal restraints on it. That's unfortunate, but doesn't mean, imo, that all are phonies.

Beyond that, how did a medium get $20,000 from your friend? I can't imagine what it would be for (or that there wasn't some possible fraud law suit that could come from it). ???

I think $20,000 would be -very- uncommon....

Yahweh
1st February 2004, 07:02 PM
Casual interjection: I think its going a bit too far to accuse Claus of being obsessive or a cyber-stalker.

Persistant, yes, but its not a "bad kind" of persistance, its nothing I would consider "unhealthy".

Clancie
1st February 2004, 07:07 PM
Posted by Yahweh

Casual interjection: I think its going a bit too far to accuse Claus of being obsessive or a cyber-stalker.
Just one clarification....I didn't use the word "cyber-stalker". I just described his behavior (accurately and factually, I believe, for anyone to see). And, yes, I do find the things I described to be well described by the word "obsessive".

ShowMe2 asked him if he was a cyber-stalker or not. If the behavior I described is what cyber stalkers do, then it seems he is. If he says otherwise, then he'll have to argue that either he doesn't do those things (that would be difficult to argue)...or, that cyber-stalking describes a different kind of behavior than the things that I listed.

I don't think ShowMe2 was accusing him of anything, btw. But, imo, its still a very good question.

kittynh
1st February 2004, 07:24 PM
At $800 a reading, in person...and it was dragged out forever.

Didn't take long to go through the money. Add in hotels and airfare. There was no lawsuit, because the family is quite honestly emberrased, and what finally happened was a tragedy, and to this family something to be "covered up". Mind you, mediums have been known to do refunds and "hush money". There was some paid in this case. It wasn't called "hush money", it was a "compassionate refund". When the medium has a lot of money, a lawsuit can be ruinous.

kittynh
1st February 2004, 07:27 PM
Also , Clancie, thanks for the call for more controls on the mediums. There comes a point where morality has to take over, just taking and taking, even if you are "making contact" has to have a limit.

Mercutio
1st February 2004, 07:48 PM
Originally posted by Clancie

If there's a -possibility- that people are -not- misperceiving these phenomena...if there is a -possibility- that survival is real, then I don't know how you could assume all mediums are exploiting the grieving and are just sick, unethical people for doing so.

The judgment that mediums exploit the grieving seems to rest on -a conviction- that no paranormal explanation is really possible.

.....

Survival may not be real, but that's a different issue. My point is that I don't think you can say with certainty that (paraphrasing) "mediums are sick people who intentionally exploit gullible grieving people" unless you're willing to say (like I believe Penn Jillette is, for example) that there is no survival and mediums know it and consciously exploit people who don't. Let me be a bit more clear. I do not, because I cannot, dismiss the possibility that survival may be real. On the other hand, the existence of these other mechanisms puts the burden of proof squarely on the shoulders of those who wish to prove survival. The history of the search for survival, over the past century and a bit (here I refer to the specific societies organized for the scientific search for survival in England and the US), has been very clear in one thing: there has consistently been more evidence of fraud than of anything else. I do believe that sylvia, JE, and JVP are frauds. I am perfectly willing to be proven wrong, but the burden of proof is on them. (they don't care, I am certain, about what I feel, and I gladly return them that favor). Yes, Clancie, I have looked at the evidence, stretching back to the late 1800's. Whereas it may convince you of the possibility of survival, it convinces me of fraud.

So, do I say "with certainty" that they are frauds? If you allow that the scientific view of "certainty" always includes the idea that better evidence will allow for a change of view, then yes. Until they convince me otherwise, a century of evidence has convinced me that there is no survival. There are frauds, there are those who believe honestly but are mistaken, and there are victims. I do not automatically despise believers, only the frauds. I believe that it is quite normal to be a believer--most people do not know how to evaluate their experience (and have no real need to, frankly), and there is great incentive to believe these things.

re-reading your initial comments, I do want to say one more thing. You dichotomize "actual survival" versus "conscious exploitation". Those are most certainly not the only options. One could easily believe honestly that they were contacting the dead, and still be wrong (ouija boards being the most accessible example that is easily studied experimentally). I don't know whether the dichotomy was a rhetorical device or your honest opinion of the situation, but it ignores a very important third group, and perhaps more. Once again, within this group I cannot dismiss the survival hypothesis, but again the burden of proof is on the survival proponents.

Loki
1st February 2004, 07:56 PM
Clancie,

The judgment that mediums exploit the grieving seems to rest on -a conviction- that no paranormal explanation is really possible.
Well, I can say that my conviction that at least *some* "mediums" exploit the grieving is based on ... Sylvia Browne. Read the Montel transcripts that Zakur often posts, and try to tell me that she's not just guessing.

Clancie
1st February 2004, 09:22 PM
Mercutio, Loki,

I think we're all in agreement that there are -some- knowing frauds. I don't think there's any way to dispute that.

Mercutio,

My objection was mainly about the statement that I quoted. Imo, its certainly possible that any given medium could be (a) knowing fraud (b) self deluded or (c) maybe in real contact. I just thought that your statement, about them all being "sick" -necessarily- eliminated (c) as a possibility, even if you acknowledged the other two. If that isn't the case, and you just say they have the burden of proof (and, based on what you've seen, iyo, they don't meet it...) well, that's a bit different than what I thought you were saying.

Posted by Mercutio

The history of the search for survival, over the past century and a bit (here I refer to the specific societies organized for the scientific search for survival in England and the US), has been very clear in one thing: there has consistently been more evidence of fraud than of anything else....Yes, Clancie, I have looked at the evidence, stretching back to the late 1800's. Whereas it may convince you of the possibility of survival, it convinces me of fraud.
Really? Which mediums the SPR researched convinces you of that? There was never evidence of Piper being fraudulent (and she was studied for 27 years). Palladino's case was mixed...but there was no evidence of fraud that I remember with Home. Do Piper and Home's cases seem fraudulent to you?
Posted by kittynh

At $800 a reading, in person...and it was dragged out forever.

Kittynh, I'm really sorry about your friend's situation. That's terrible. I'm curious about that settlement, though. Was legal action threatened by someone? :confused: And, was your friend ever disillusioned by the medium? Or was she satisfied with the experience to the end and someone intervened on her behalf?

And $800 a reading is unusually high. Can you tell us who the medium is? (Frankly, I think publicizing people who -do- seem to have unethical practices--or charge so much--is a public service.).

CFLarsen
2nd February 2004, 01:32 AM
Clancie,

That's it?? You have nothing to say about your year-long deceit? About how you put up a false front here, manipulating people like they were puppets, never coming clean about your addiction to mediumship?

As TLN said, you do have a hard time following a conversation. Or do you?

It seems to me that you are a chameleon: You adjust depending on where you post. On SD, you are the all-out believer in a lot of mediums - because that's what that forum is about. On TVTalkshows, you defend John Edward - because it's about his show. Here, on JREF, you play the skeptic, trying to argue that there is an afterlife, from a skeptical POV - you even criticize (real!) skeptics here for not being skeptical enough. We are not talking about showing respect for the purpose of a forum - we are talking about a deliberate change in appearance and argument.

Yup, you're a chameleon. Or, if you like, a shape-shifter.

You need to get over this idea that I am "obsessed" with you. I am not the one who has to make it clear to everyone, with every post I make, just how much I "ignore" a certain other poster. I can actually post to other people, without having to bring you into it. But with every post you make, you have to draw attention to me. That's obsession, Clancie.

You also need to stop hinting - you are very good at that - that I am stalking you. Because I am not. If you have noticed, I have not expressed any interest in your everyday life, in how you live, where you live, what your life is. The only thing I argue with you is paranormal phenomena. I have not discussed politics with you. I have not discussed any of your personal interests, other than the paranormal. That you have problems being straight about that issue, is your problem.

When you say that you take JE's side (or mediumship) here for argument's sake, because you think it would be more interesting, then you are flat-out lying. When you claim one thing here, but different things elsewhere, I point it out. I am not "obsessed" with you. I am, however, a bit preoccupied with finding out the truth.

We don't exist in a vacuum. The JREF board is not a fishbowl, where we can ignore what happens outside the glass. If we do that, we don't get a deeper understanding of the people who believe in the paranormal - as well as those of us who are skeptical. It's about learning. Getting the full picture.

I have to disappoint you, yet again: You see, I don't just save your posts. I am not ferreting out your posts. I save everything. Yup, I save TVTalkshows, I save SD, and I save JREF. Everything. Computers are wonderful to do that kind of task. And why? Because it comes in handy, when I try to find out what people are really saying. There is a very good reason why we cannot edit our posts here for very long, and you can blame a believer for that. So, when you - and others - have a little trouble with the concept of "truth" is not my problem. That is yours.

Stick to the truth, Clancie/Irene/Gryphon/WhoKnows?. It is much easier in the long run.

You know that I've used saved threads to point out where other people have - shall we say - had some "inconsistencies" in their argumentation. One being Steve Grenard, of course. But, as you know, many others as well. You completely leave this out, so you can paint yourself as a victim. A victim that is - perhaps - even stalked, even though you are clever enough not to come out and say it directly.

That is not your way, we know that. You very rarely come clean with anything, let alone put a name to your many accusations.

Here's a little tidbit that will wreck your idea that I am stalking you: I have no idea what you do on JEF. Should I look it up? Will I find that you have yet another front there as well?

Nah. Why bother? I think I made my point.



All,

Deceit seems to be an integrated part of a belief in a supernatural phenomenon. When we look at how experiments are carried out by scientists/amateurs, we find lies, deceit, cheating. When we look at how groups or organizations (Scientology comes to mind) operate, we find lies, deceit, cheating. When we look at how people who believe in paranormal phenomena defend their beliefs, we find lies, deceit, cheating.

All across the field, we get the dirtiest tricks in the book.

I think there is a damn good reason for the term "occult" - the hidden, the obscure. It's not merely a question of hidden knowledge, it is also a question of hiding knowledge. Knowledge is power, hidden knowledge even more so.

Can we see what is behind Scientology's doors? No. Do we get access to Schwartz' data? No. Do we hear the whole story about Clancie? No. Dishonesty seems to be so ingrained in the paranormal world that even those "ordinary people" we meet on the street (or here) seems unable to tell the (whole) story.

But we are not playing a game of hide and seek, if we are really interested in the truth. We have to be very aware of this. We cannot assume that people are playing it straight from square one, throughout the game. Each step of the way, we have to check claims, we have to make sure that everything is brought to light. Sagan said something like each link in the chain has to be strong enough to hold the rest. That's the strength of skepticism and critical thinking.

Read Randi's Commentaries. They are full of examples of how people argue dishonestly, who lie, who cheat - all while scamming people, from their money, peace of mind, health and sometimes even their lives.

We are not playing Monopoly here. This is not a five o'clock tea party. This is not an intellectual exercise. This is serious ****, guys.

Yes, we connect with people here, some even find friends, and that is great! Fantastic! I love the idea of skeptics coming together, especially on a world-wide scale.

Personally, I am (mainly) here to argue things that deal with paranormal claims, and I mean to find out the truth. If I have to choose between being nice (keeping my mouth shut), or telling the truth about deceit that hurts people, I speak up. Yes, I am direct. No, I don't mince words. And it really pisses me off to hear a perpetual string of lies.

But hey...that's just me. We all have our different ways, and a good thing that is. If we were all alike....how dull it would be.

Let a thousand skeptics bloom! http://www.skepticreport.com/resources/smilies/thumbup.gif

showme2
2nd February 2004, 02:36 AM
Originally posted by kittynh


If I remember, and I do, Mr.Randi was assured that no one in the audience would know who he was, after all how familiar was he to the average Brit? When he walked in, posing as a psychic, he noticed he wasn't doing very well. When he asked, "Who here knows who I am" almost every hand went up. The audience, was basically saying "You're Mr.Randi and trying to trick us." British audiences are well educated, and knowledgable. Oddly enough the British TV (who advertised for the audience) aren't as smart as the average Brisith citizen.

This is exactly the kind of excuse that sceptics are always accusing believers of making ! !

I saw the programme, recognised Randi as someone I thought I knew from somewhere, but did not know exactly who he was. (Probably saw his photo on the Internet somewhere - it was before I used this forum). And I remember saying to my wife "Something wrong here - that guy is not genuine". (Perhaps I'm psychic ? ! ! I claim the million dollars.)

But Randi's performance was indeed lamentable, even in the edited broadcast version. And even his delivery was poor.:D

Anyway, he had been introduced as a psychic medium, and perhaps virtually his only successful cold reading ploy was "Who knows who I am?". He had just been introduced, so of COURSE everyone THOUGHT they knew who he was. (Classic cold reading ploy - audience thinks they are answering one question, medium claims it as the answer to another one)

Randi is so famous in the UK that every member of the studio audience recognised him ? No, I don't think so.

Excuses for his failing to prove what he set out to prove.

Ersby
2nd February 2004, 02:41 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen

Deceit seems to be an integrated part of a belief in a supernatural phenomenon.

Is it a deliberate deceit, though? I've always though sheer will-to-believe was enough to push people into their particular worldviews.

Meanwhile, for those who missed it, these are the cold reading examples.

http://www.randi.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=29974&highlight=cold+reading

And my opinion is that this was possibly JVP's best appearance on LKL. However, he did nothing exceptional, stuck to the rules and got lucky. I was especially amused by his first reading, which bears certain similarities to one of my own!

CFLarsen
2nd February 2004, 02:42 AM
Originally posted by showme2
This is exactly the kind of excuse that sceptics are always accusing believers of making ! !

I saw the programme, recognised Randi as someone I thought I knew from somewhere, but did not know exactly who he was. (Probably saw his photo on the Internet somewhere - it was before I used this forum). And I remember saying to my wife "Something wrong here - that guy is not genuine". (Perhaps I'm psychic ? ! ! I claim the million dollars.)

But Randi's performance was indeed lamentable, even in the edited broadcast version. And even his delivery was poor.:D

Anyway, he had been introduced as a psychic medium, and perhaps virtually his only successful cold reading ploy was "Who knows who I am?". He had just been introduced, so of COURSE everyone THOUGHT they knew who he was. (Classic cold reading ploy - audience thinks they are answering one question, medium claims it as the answer to another one)

Randi is so famous in the UK that every member of the studio audience recognised him ? No, I don't think so.

Excuses for his failing to prove what he set out to prove.

Sorry, you are wrong. The audience recognized him as Randi - not a psychic.

It very much underlines the fact that in order for a psychic/cold reader to be successful, he has to be accepted as genuine.

Try again.

Ersby
2nd February 2004, 02:46 AM
As for the relative fame of James Randi in the UK, it's a good time to remember that the Horizon special on hoeopathy in which Randi was featured as a skeptic was repeated on the BBC only a couple of weeks before the taping of the show.

showme2
2nd February 2004, 02:53 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen


Sorry, you are wrong. The audience recognized him as Randi - not a psychic.

It very much underlines the fact that in order for a psychic/cold reader to be successful, he has to be accepted as genuine.

Try again.

And exactly how many of the audience were asked "Did you know I am Randi?". I did not hear that question.

CFLarsen
2nd February 2004, 03:01 AM
Originally posted by showme2
And exactly how many of the audience were asked "Did you know I am Randi?". I did not hear that question.

I clearly understood it, when Randi spoke of it at TAM2, as they recognized him as Randi.

Tell you what, if you are so interested, why don't you ask him yourself? Why don't you ask the network?

You can always ask questions here, but why not go directly to the source?

Loki
2nd February 2004, 03:07 AM
From the LKL transcript...
KING: I can't get into any current cases, but have you ever...

VAN PRAAGH: I've worked on some current cases.

KING: OK. But have you touched into a murder victim who identified the murderer?

VAN PRAAGH: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

KING: So you could help police a lot.

VAN PRAAGH: I have. I certainly have. And some things I have, I don't do the public arena because I want to be protected. I also protect the families of victims, and so forth. But I've worked on many, many murder cases.
Okay - wanker alert. Sorry - can solve murders, but doesn't want publicity. Sure. Anything he says after this has zero credibility for me, I'm afraid. Goodnight, JVP.

CFLarsen
2nd February 2004, 03:28 AM
Originally posted by Loki
From the LKL transcript...

Okay - wanker alert. Sorry - can solve murders, but doesn't want publicity. Sure. Anything he says after this has zero credibility for me, I'm afraid. Goodnight, JVP.

That goes for JE, too. He has worked with the police, but has "stopped".

Goodnight, JE.

showme2
2nd February 2004, 04:31 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen


I clearly understood it, when Randi spoke of it at TAM2, as they recognized him as Randi.

Tell you what, if you are so interested, why don't you ask him yourself? Why don't you ask the network?

You can always ask questions here, but why not go directly to the source?

Well, I reckon that's a bit like me suggesting that you should ask John Edward whether he really talks to dead people !
In both cases, the person asked the question has a clear vested interest in the reply given. (That isn't "evidence" that sceptics are always on about.)

However, re your posts on JE and JVP:
For a change, that is a couple of things we can agree 100% about.
(Some of us "believers" are not as naive, uncritical, or unquestioning as most sceptics seem to think. We don't simply believe everything the self-proclaimed psychics shove under our noses !)

CFLarsen
2nd February 2004, 04:46 AM
Originally posted by showme2
Well, I reckon that's a bit like me suggesting that you should ask John Edward whether he really talks to dead people !
In both cases, the person asked the question has a clear vested interest in the reply given. (That isn't "evidence" that sceptics are always on about.)

In that case, how do you check your information, then? How do you suggest that we find out what happened in this particular case?

You don't want to ask the people involved. So, how?

Originally posted by showme2
However, re your posts on JE and JVP:
For a change, that is a couple of things we can agree 100% about.
(Some of us "believers" are not as naive, uncritical, or unquestioning as most sceptics seem to think. We don't simply believe everything the self-proclaimed psychics shove under our noses !)

Good for you. How do you distinguish between the real ones and the fake ones? (I think you should open a new thread for that)

showme2
2nd February 2004, 04:54 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen


You don't want to ask the people involved. So, how?

How do you distinguish between the real ones and the fake ones? (I think you should open a new thread for that)

(a) I would want to ask the people in the audience at that time. But we would need to find them first.

(b) Distinguishing between real ones and fake ones takes a lot of time, work, scrutiny, and a thing called judgment which we use daily throughout our lives in most other fields of activity. There is no "magic formula".

CFLarsen
2nd February 2004, 05:09 AM
Originally posted by showme2
(a) I would want to ask the people in the audience at that time. But we would need to find them first.

That might be a bit hard, yes. However, wouldn't they have a vested interest as well? They would not come out and say "Hey, I was fooled by this world-known magician, I didn't even recognize him!".

If both Randi and the network lied about this, they would lose a heck of a lot more than your average audience member.

Originally posted by showme2
(b) Distinguishing between real ones and fake ones takes a lot of time, work, scrutiny, and a thing called judgment which we use daily throughout our lives in most other fields of activity. There is no "magic formula".

I can understand that. Are you able to, in just one case, to tell us who is real, and why?

If yes, may I know who and why?

If no, how do you know that real ones exist?

The Don
2nd February 2004, 05:13 AM
Originally posted by showme2

(b) Distinguishing between real ones and fake ones takes a lot of time, work, scrutiny, and a thing called judgment which we use daily throughout our lives in most other fields of activity. There is no "magic formula".

But what are the key criteria ? If it's hit rate then I'm sure that there are any number of people here who can provide transcripts of the "psychic" in question to demonstrate an equally appauling hit rate.

Maybe it's to do with whether or not someone has been more or less completely debunked ? I notice that a lot of former believers in Sylvia are putting a lot of space between themselves and her there days. Maybe as each is debunked in turn the great mass of believers move onto the next. Of course some "true" believers will always remain.

Maybe it's just about whether you feel comfortable with the "psychic". After all, if the person were in fact employing cold reading (not that I'm claiming that they do) then you'd be more likely to communicate more efefctively with them, boosting the quality of their readings and completing a virtuous circle.

Interesting Ian
2nd February 2004, 05:45 AM
Originally posted by Ersby


Meanwhile, for those who missed it, these are the cold reading examples.

http://www.randi.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=29974&highlight=cold+reading



OK thanks for that. I will read through.



And my opinion is that this was possibly JVP's best appearance on LKL.



It would be! :rolleyes: LOL




However, he did nothing exceptional, stuck to the rules and got lucky.



If you think this then I do not think you have a good idea of innate probabilities.

Interesting Ian
2nd February 2004, 05:53 AM
Originally posted by showme2


And exactly how many of the audience were asked "Did you know I am Randi?". I did not hear that question.

We don't know what he said as it was edited out. This is the problem. I agree this is what he should have said. But we don't know.

On a more general note though, I think it's completely hopeless to judge whether a medium is a genuine medium or how successful cold reading generally is if they just edit out all the poor attempts! Or alternatively if they edit out the good attempts.

Anyway, I don't think anyone is denying that Randi did very poorly. Is he supposed to be a good cold reader? Completely hopeless.

Interesting Ian
2nd February 2004, 05:59 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen


I clearly understood it, when Randi spoke of it at TAM2, as they recognized him as Randi.

Tell you what, if you are so interested, why don't you ask him yourself? Why don't you ask the network?

You can always ask questions here, but why not go directly to the source?

Yes, but Randi has a vested interest in saying that they recognised him. I'm not denying that they may well all have recognised him. But we simply don't know do we? They edited the damn stuff out. B*stards. And they allowed 5 mins at the end for Randi to show a card trick and only about 30 seconds for Keen to put the case for survival. B*stards.

WOW! People can perform card tricks!! :eek: Must mean that the materialist metaphysic is true and we are all just robots living out our purposeless lives!! :eek: Thank you for showing this must be true Randi by your card trick! :rolleyes:

Mercutio
2nd February 2004, 06:14 AM
Originally posted by Clancie

Really? Which mediums the SPR researched convinces you of that? There was never evidence of Piper being fraudulent (and she was studied for 27 years). Palladino's case was mixed...but there was no evidence of fraud that I remember with Home. Do Piper and Home's cases seem fraudulent to you? It is always convenient to have one's best evidence be roughly a century old. That said, although Piper was James's "white crow", he fully admitted that he was not an objective eye in her case. The exact same evidence which convinced him failed to convince others in the same group--my readings of it show no more than cold reading.

The reports of control conditions for her study vary widely, too. This is a problem when our best case is so old. How do we determine what really happened in those sessions? We know that more recent examinations have shown strongly that we cannot necessarily trust the word of the experimenters (especially when, like James, they were sympathetic to the subject) to accurately report the tightness of control conditions (alpha kids, anyone?). OF COURSE it could be that Piper's or Home's evidence is of the highest quality--it could also be total compost. The truth is, from this distance we cannot know. This is why it is so important that the "real" mediums today submit to testing. Shall we all hold our breath?

Interesting Ian
2nd February 2004, 06:16 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen


In that case, how do you check your information, then? How do you suggest that we find out what happened in this particular case?

You don't want to ask the people involved. So, how?



Well this is the problem is isn't it? Depending on who we ask, we'll probably get different answers. Why the hell can't they just show everything??? They don't have the time?? All they're doing is cutting the programme to allow them to show a load of crap or repeats. Consequently it leaves us in an impossible position to judge anything about the programme and to thereby reach any tentative conclusions regarding ADCs. One of the most important issues that human beings can ask ourselves. Yet it has to be edited to squeeze in some cr*p programme. :rolleyes:

showme2
2nd February 2004, 06:39 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen


That might be a bit hard, yes. However, wouldn't they have a vested interest as well? They would not come out and say "Hey, I was fooled by this world-known magician, I didn't even recognize him!".

If both Randi and the network lied about this, they would lose a heck of a lot more than your average audience member.



I can understand that. Are you able to, in just one case, to tell us who is real, and why?

If yes, may I know who and why?

If no, how do you know that real ones exist?

Getting to the bottom of the Randi/psychic identification question is all but impossible now, I would say. And yes, you are right that the audience might be a bit biased in their replies too. (But probably not as biased as a professional sceptic with everything to lose if he cannot blame something or other for his dismal performance at Cold Reading.)

Can I tell you one medium who is real, and why ?
Yes, Colin Fry is genuine (in MY judgment). I will come back and tell you why when I have time. (Got a law business to run here!)
But it won't convince YOU, and there is no reason on earth why it should.
It is, after all, my judgment, not yours, and you don't know me from Adam - if Adam ever existed ! - so you can't rely on my conclusions. You have to investigate Fry and make your own assessment.
Catch you later.

Interesting Ian
2nd February 2004, 06:40 AM
Originally posted by Ersby


Meanwhile, for those who missed it, these are the cold reading examples.

http://www.randi.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=29974&highlight=cold+reading

[/B]

:wow2: Just read the first one. Impressive stuff!!

Er . . are you taking the piss or what??

Interesting Ian
2nd February 2004, 07:00 AM
Originally posted by showme2


Getting to the bottom of the Randi/psychic identification question is all but impossible now, I would say. And yes, you are right that the audience might be a bit biased in their replies too. (But probably not as biased as a professional sceptic with everything to lose if he cannot blame something or other for his dismal performance at Cold Reading.)

Can I tell you one medium who is real, and why ?
Yes, Colin Fry is genuine (in MY judgment). I will come back and tell you why when I have time. (Got a law business to run here!)
But it won't convince YOU, and there is no reason on earth why it should.
It is, after all, my judgment, not yours, and you don't know me from Adam - if Adam ever existed ! - so you can't rely on my conclusions. You have to investigate Fry and make your own assessment.
Catch you later.

Colin Fry is genuine??? :eek: Certainly not from what I've heard. Wasn't he caught cheating??

Interesting Ian
2nd February 2004, 07:26 AM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian


:wow2: Just read the first one. Impressive stuff!!

Er . . are you taking the piss or what??

Just read 2 and 3. There is absolutely nothing in 3 which a cold reader couldn't achieve (or I imagine could achieve since I have never seen or read a transcript of a cold reader). 2 is also appalling bad except for the hit on the name Gina/Genie. My best guess was that this name was overheard somehow prior to the sitting since everything else was either wrong, or had an extremely good chance of being true anyway.

OK, I'm afraid I'm not impressed so far. Now to read 4 and 5.

CFLarsen
2nd February 2004, 07:33 AM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
Yes, but Randi has a vested interest in saying that they recognised him. I'm not denying that they may well all have recognised him. But we simply don't know do we? They edited the damn stuff out. B*stards. And they allowed 5 mins at the end for Randi to show a card trick and only about 30 seconds for Keen to put the case for survival. B*stards.

If you don't know what they answered, how can you judge Randi for being a poor cold reader, then? It could very well be because they recognized him.

Me thinks your logical skills are lacking.

Originally posted by Interesting Ian
Well this is the problem is isn't it? Depending on who we ask, we'll probably get different answers. Why the hell can't they just show everything??? They don't have the time?? All they're doing is cutting the programme to allow them to show a load of crap or repeats. Consequently it leaves us in an impossible position to judge anything about the programme and to thereby reach any tentative conclusions regarding ADCs. One of the most important issues that human beings can ask ourselves. Yet it has to be edited to squeeze in some cr*p programme. :rolleyes:

And yet, you have no problems judging that Randi is a poor cold reader.

Originally posted by showme2
Getting to the bottom of the Randi/psychic identification question is all but impossible now, I would say. And yes, you are right that the audience might be a bit biased in their replies too. (But probably not as biased as a professional sceptic with everything to lose if he cannot blame something or other for his dismal performance at Cold Reading.)

Quite contrary, Randi and the network will lose a lot more credibility. Who cares if audience member Mr. Jones of bleedin' Watford is caught lying? Nobody will remember that. But everyone will remember the time when Randi was caught lying.

Originally posted by showme2
Can I tell you one medium who is real, and why ?
Yes, Colin Fry is genuine (in MY judgment). I will come back and tell you why when I have time. (Got a law business to run here!)
But it won't convince YOU, and there is no reason on earth why it should. It is, after all, my judgment, not yours, and you don't know me from Adam - if Adam ever existed ! - so you can't rely on my conclusions. You have to investigate Fry and make your own assessment.
Catch you later.

Aha. So, while you are claiming that you are not as "naive, uncritical, or unquestioning as most sceptics seem to think" and that you "don't simply believe everything the self-proclaimed psychics shove under our noses", you have absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support even your own belief that Colin Fry is a real medium.

And you have no intentions whatsoever to even try.

Nice going.

Interesting Ian
2nd February 2004, 07:41 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
[B]

If you don't know what they answered, how can you judge Randi for being a poor cold reader, then? It could very well be because they recognized him.

Me thinks your logical skills are lacking.



And yet, you have no problems judging that Randi is a poor cold reader.



Wake up! I have never said that Randi is not a good cold reader. Earlier on I even asked the question "Is he supposed to be a good cold reader"? :rolleyes: I have absolutely no idea if he is or not.

CFLarsen
2nd February 2004, 07:57 AM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
Wake up! I have never said that Randi is not a good cold reader. Earlier on I even asked the question "Is he supposed to be a good cold reader"? :rolleyes: I have absolutely no idea if he is or not.

I'm so sorry, Ian. I must have misunderstood this post of yours:

Originally posted by Interesting Ian
Anyway, I don't think anyone is denying that Randi did very poorly. Is he supposed to be a good cold reader? Completely hopeless.

Interesting Ian
2nd February 2004, 07:59 AM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian


Just read 2 and 3. There is absolutely nothing in 3 which a cold reader couldn't achieve (or I imagine could achieve since I have never seen or read a transcript of a cold reader). 2 is also appalling bad except for the hit on the name Gina/Genie. My best guess was that this name was overheard somehow prior to the sitting since everything else was either wrong, or had an extremely good chance of being true anyway.

OK, I'm afraid I'm not impressed so far. Now to read 4 and 5.

LMAO @ 4 :D. At last a sitter showing some inkling of intelligence. I guess about as "impressive" as 2. No compelling reason to suppose there is any anomalous cognition going on here.

Come on Ersby! I hope 5 doesn't disappoint as well!

Interesting Ian
2nd February 2004, 08:02 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen


I'm so sorry, Ian. I must have misunderstood this post of yours:


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
Anyway, I don't think anyone is denying that Randi did very poorly. Is he supposed to be a good cold reader? Completely hopeless.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




I wasn't referring to Randi you idiot! I was referring to the fact it's hopeless that these TV programmes are always edited. LOL

I admit I should have started another paragraph with "Completely hopeless".

Interesting Ian
2nd February 2004, 08:31 AM
Just read 5. It's just impossible to ascertain because the "medium" is spouting forth a load of irrelevant stuff and there simply isn't enough feedback from the sitter.

In conclusion then I would have to say none of the 5 sittings constitute any noteworthy evidence that they are getting information by anomalous means. Very disappointing Ersby! I thought Skeptics claimed that cold reading was so incredibly impressive that it is almost magical? :confused: Not from my perspective I'm afraid. You're going to have to do a great deal better than these efforts!

Now to read the rest of that thread.

Barkhorn1x
2nd February 2004, 09:38 AM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian


Cold reading?? :confused: Highly doubtful if it's not edited. I read the entire transcript. It seems to me that the hypothesis that he was simply guessing and using sufficiently vague statements is implausible. If he's cheating then he's doing it some other way. I have never seen any cold reading but clearly it cannot produce miracles.

Ian - in all seriousness - are you drunk, high, stupid or a combination of all three??

Just where in this transcript do you see ANY evidence of psychic abilities???

His first "reading" sets the tone for the rest;

KING: Yes. Good cover. All right, let's go to your calls, and we start with Phoenix. Hello. Phoenix, hello?

CALLER: Hello?

KING: Yes. Go ahead.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: James, I'm so tickled to be on your show. I miss your noon -- I came home for lunch every day and watched your show, and I just loved it.

VAN PRAAGH: Thank you.

CALLER: I'm so sorry that it's gone.

VAN PRAAGH: Oh, thank you. It's OK. It'll be replaced with other things.

CALLER: OK. I lost -- I've lost both of my parents.

VAN PRAAGH: Yes.

CALLER: But my father passed away September of 2000.

VAN PRAAGH: I was getting your father before I even -- you know, when I first heard your voice. And I want to talk about his leg or his legs, OK?

CALLER: His legs?

VAN PRAAGH: There's something with his leg, OK, before he passes over?

CALLER: Yes!

VAN PRAAGH: You understand about that.

CALLER: Yes.

VAN PRAAGH: Because he's telling me to tell you his leg is fine. It's more like one leg than two legs, OK? And (UNINTELLIGIBLE) he said (UNINTELLIGIBLE) walk, he doesn't have pain in that leg anymore. There was going to be an operation before he passed over they were talking about, and also going into a hospital? OK?

CALLER: OK.

VAN PRAAGH: And I wanted to ask you, were there any tests taken for him before he passed?

CALLER: Lots.

VAN PRAAGH: OK. Because he's talking about tests that were taken, and he said, No more tests. I don't have to deal with that anymore. And he said he wants you to be relieved. There's a lady over there. I'm not sure if it's a sister of his.

CALLER: Oh, my God. Yes.

VAN PRAAGH: OK? Because he wants you to know he's met his sister, OK? There's also an initial "R" with someone. I'm not sure if it's a Ruth or a Robert, but the initial "R," is a person in the spirit world he's seeing.

CALLER: In the spirit world.

VAN PRAAGH: Yes. There's also...

CALLER: "R"?

VAN PRAAGH: ... another friend of his that passed over, like a childhood friend, not too far from the time your dad passed over.

CALLER: Oh, my gosh. I don't know who that is.

VAN PRAAGH: OK.

CALLER: Childhood friend? OK.

VAN PRAAGH: I also want to tell you -- was he -- did he ever live at one time when he was younger in the mountains of cold, like a snow mountains or...

CALLER: Ohio.

VAN PRAAGH: OK. Because he talks about snow and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the mountains. And I don't know if someone's thinking about going back to where he grew up. And there's some family that wanted to buy something there. But he's talking about that.

KING: Oh.

VAN PRAAGH: All right?

KING: Thank you. Good luck, ma'am. Off to a good start.


Good start my *ss, all we have here is;
1. JVP taking credit for info. the caller provides (father passed)
2. The caller responding in the affirmative - but it's not clear just what she is responding to (trouble w/ legs)
3. JVP guessing at some fairly obvious stuff (had a bunch of tests).
4. JVP missing w/ the only specific guess he makes (the "R").
5. JVP changing tack when his guess goes no where (forget the "R", how about mountains and cold).


Really Ian, I question your ability to think rationally if this guy impresses you with is scary powers.

Barkhorn.

Mercutio
2nd February 2004, 09:49 AM
Um, Barkhorn, re-read his comments. Ian is not impressed by the readings, if I read him right. Does not think it is evidence of psychic ability.

Interesting Ian
2nd February 2004, 09:49 AM
Originally posted by Barkhorn1x
[B]

Ian - in all seriousness - are you drunk, high, stupid or a combination of all three??

Just where in this transcript do you see ANY evidence of psychic abilities???

His first "reading" sets the tone for the rest;



There is no reason to paste some of the transcript in. I've already read it. I never said there was any evidence of psychic abilities. I merely said that the hypothesis that he is using cold reading exclusively is an implausible one. You need to have a good understanding of innate probabilities though in order to realise this.

CFLarsen
2nd February 2004, 09:56 AM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
I wasn't referring to Randi you idiot! I was referring to the fact it's hopeless that these TV programmes are always edited. LOL

I admit I should have started another paragraph with "Completely hopeless".

So, even though you admit that your post could be misunderstood, you still call me an "idiot".

Do you work hard at being such an *******, or does it come naturally?

Interesting Ian
2nd February 2004, 10:05 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen


So, even though you admit that your post could be misunderstood, you still call me an "idiot".

Do you work hard at being such an *******, or does it come naturally?

I would have thought it was obvious what I meant if you read and take in my whole post.

showme2
2nd February 2004, 10:05 AM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian


Colin Fry is genuine??? :eek: Certainly not from what I've heard. Wasn't he caught cheating??

You disappoint me, Ian !
Unlike most others (or so it would appear from the way they keep dissing you on this forum!) I have usually been impressed by your posts.

And now you come out with this "I've heard" cliche. (Not up to your normal standard - sorry !)

In fact he was NOT "caught cheating" and the facts of the events at Scole are far from clear - even to those who were actually there. But the conclusion of the investigation was that there was "no concious fraud" on the part of Fry.

Research it properly (you have a good reputation for backing up your statements).... and then come back and we'll discuss it if you want to.

Suezoled
2nd February 2004, 10:08 AM
Originally posted by showme2


You disappoint me, Ian !
Unlike most others (or so it would appear from the way they keep dissing you on this forum!) I have usually been impressed by your posts.

And now you come out with this "I've heard" cliche. (Not up to your normal standard - sorry !)

In fact he was NOT "caught cheating" and the facts of the events at Scole are far from clear - even to those who were actually there. But the conclusion of the investigation was that there was "no concious fraud" on the part of Fry.

Research it properly (you have a good reputation for backing up your statements).... and then come back and we'll discuss it if you want to.

Translation: If you do what I say I'll be your best friend!

hammegk
2nd February 2004, 10:10 AM
Wow. Just contemplate what Edgar Cayce could have done had he gotten the publicity an LKL program could have provided. :D

These guys today are 3rd string pikers.

TLN
2nd February 2004, 10:11 AM
Originally posted by hammegk
Wow. Just contemplate what Edgar Cayce could have done had he gotten the publicity an LKL program could have provided. :D

These guys today are 3rd string pikers.

As opposed to Cayce?

CFLarsen
2nd February 2004, 10:20 AM
Originally posted by Interesting Ian
I would have thought it was obvious what I meant if you read and take in my whole post.

Well, you were wrong. Even though you admit to a misunderstanding, you still complain it is other people's fault.

You're doing great, Ian.

Originally posted by showme2
Research it properly (you have a good reputation for backing up your statements).... and then come back and we'll discuss it if you want to.

Perhaps you could show your own evidence that Colin Fry is real first?

alfaniner
2nd February 2004, 10:44 AM
From the show two nights preceding JVP's appearance:

KING: But they believe, they have faith. MAHER: Exactly. It's dumb. They have faith, because some other human being, whose brain was no better than theirs, told them he knew what happens when you die. And it's pretty silly to believe what some other human tells you when he tells you he knows what happens when you die. Because I promise you, he doesn't.

I really wish Larry King would have Bill Maher and one of these "mediums" on the same program.

Cleopatra
2nd February 2004, 10:46 AM
Clancie.

I have to tell you a couple of things especially after I read the last posts of Claus. I will try to make it brief and the less personal possible. Also I want to note that we have some issues in other threads but when it comes to this subject I share your sensitivity.

I think that you torture yourself too much with this medium ship thing. On the one hand you want to hear something from your husband on the other hand you are smart and educated enough to ignore that we have many and serious reasons to believe that life after death doesn't exist.

You cannot let this go that's why you torture yourself by posting in various forums. If I had to attribute one mistake to you is that some times I have the impression that you expect people here to prove you that mediums are cold readers and cold readers piss you off exactly because they make you understand that something is wrong with mediums.

When I was a child, I spent the summer at my grandma's vineyard. There were issues regarding the status of the ownership of the vineyard, she had inherited it from her second husband and she was in war with the relatives of the diseased. She used to call a gypsy that she supposed to communicate with the spirits in order to contact the spirit of the dead husband and confirm that she ran the vineyard according his wishes. Of course, I have never attended "the party" but I remember her conspiring with the gypsy in the kitchen as to what the later had to say. Also, when she wanted to learn gossips she offered to read the coffee mug(ancient Arabic technique to tell the future).

I have attended many coffee readings because I found them amusing and she considered them harmless for a child to listen. My grandma didn't believe in spirits, she didn't even believe in God and she didn't know what a cold reading was although she was practicing cold readings really well. The trick always worked. She learned everything she wanted to know by first hand. When I grew -up and she wanted to learn things about my personal life she offered to tell me the coffee. It was nice to return the fraud and make her freak. J BTW I intended to read many coffee mugs in TAM in order to get answers to some questions I had...but… :)

So, my predisposition towards readings was negative. No wrong. When I heard the word reading I got a smile on my face until I start practicing law and I saw the role mediums play in murder cases and I became an enemy. So this was my "history".


Originally posted by Clancie

I don't exactly know how to answer that. I read about mirror gazing and tried it...no results. I keep a journal and sometimes write directly to the deceased, but is that trying to contact him or just self expression? I don't know. I do things that are recommended to improve contact prior to a reading (meditation, etc.) but I don't know if they've made a difference.

What kinds of things did you try? [...]
I have felt that presence many times. A creation of my mind or a -real- presence? That's the puzzle because, if one doesn't reject the possibility of survival out of hand, then the question would be how could we tell if it was a genuine presence or just a product of memory + wishful thinking?

First of all knowing that there is something tricky with the communication with the dead I just wanted to prolong his existence in my life. I wore his shirts when I returned home, I drunk coffee from his mug, I did things we did together--like calling his kids every other day--I slept on his pillow ( that's because I hug my pillow when I am sleeping), I visited the grave every weekend ( because it is in a remote village on the mountains), I wore my wedding ring ( actually I still do but since this summer it has moved from the finger to a chain on my neck). During the first year, in the morning I was certain that he was in the house and he was watching me and it felt really good. I had the same feeling during some evenings especially when I didn’t have work to do. How did I know that it was my idea and not a genuine presence?

Well, maybe I am too rational Clancie to let myself believe in ghosts so for a period I chose to believe that I am schizophrenic and I felt that I had to be very careful not to let people know; it's important why I didn't want others to realize my so-called schizophrenia; because they would lock me in the hospital and I wouldn't have access to his personal stuff and therefore I would lose contact.:)

It sounds like you may have had some interesting experiences that you have explained to yourself in a particular way. Are you -sure- you've ruled out other possibilities (for example, a genuine ADC?)

How a "doped" person --the way I was-- can have a clear view of what it is experiencing? I would be willing to believe that a spirit inhabited the house if I wasn't trying so hard to bring it around but I did nothing but trying to keep the memory alive. Knowing how self-deception works and knowing that I was doing my best to feed my self-deception what do you believe about my case?

You said that mediums recommend meditation before a reading. Doesn't this make you suspicious? If you have to bring the person to your brain why use a medium then? You knew your husband well, I bet you can still have discussions with him if you wish. I bet you can ask him what he thinks of Howard Dean and to get a reply only your husband could give. You can go to the store to buy a dress and while you look yourself at the mirror you might ask " him" : " What do you think? Shall I take this or the red one" and have a reply to your question. Clancie, if you can make such dialogues ( we all can) what a medium has to offer to you? Don’t you know that you can make those dialogues exactly because you have all the essential info that you are willingly share with the medium? If it worked, they wouldn’t need us even to open our mouth. What do you want to know from the dead that you don't know already. Ask me. I might have the answer.

Also, there is something else, there is a contradiction in your posts that I have noticed before Claus posted what he did about your presence in various fora. You are not sure that mediums work so how can a medium be of some help. You have locked yourself into a dead-end. I wish you were a hard believer instead of what you seem to be now;torn apart.


And one last thing that I can ask only you because it might seem surrealistic and crazy to others and I don't intend to discuss this with anybody in this forum.

Let's say that your husband survives. What sort of f***** spirit is that that lets you torturing yourself? What sort of F**** spirit is that who dares not to appear although he knows how much you want to communicate? Have you ever thought about that? Have you ever wondered about the "morality" of the whole thing from this aspect? Let me tell you something. If my dead has survived and he has never appeared so far, just like that, out of the blues without my having to wear his shirts and do such crap then I am not interested in meeting him.

There is a limit that I don't allow anybody dead or alive to pass.

Let it go Clancie. Let it go.

Interesting Ian
2nd February 2004, 10:57 AM
Originally posted by Cleopatra
On the one hand you want to hear something from your husband on the other hand you are smart and educated enough to ignore that we have many and serious reasons to believe that life after death doesn't exist.



Absolute rubbish. Name any one reason if you can.

Cleopatra
2nd February 2004, 11:00 AM
First of all watch your manners when you address me.

Second your presence in this thread hasn't persuaded me that you intend to make a serious discussion.

So, go find somebody else to flame.

voidx
2nd February 2004, 11:11 AM
Posted by Interesting Ian
They are not small numbers though are they. Crisis apparitions are relatively common and they are universal. But you can't say they are hallucinations because that leaves unexplained why you should see an apparition of a person roughly at the time they are having some crisis (often dying). So they are all misreporting. Well maybe. But how plausible is this compared to the idea that you are telepathically receiving impressions due to the emotional bond with the agent? Oh well, I guess we just have radically differing perspectives on reality.

Ok hold the phone a tick here. Why is it that hallucinations leave the appearance of apparitions during crisis unexplained? You counter Mercutio's assumption with one of your own. Their both "likely" but here is the problem. Hallucinations can be induced, we have strong support that in many different scenario's hallucinations exist even if we don't know all the ins and outs about them. I would very much argue this is not the case for telepathy. So...my brain is in crisis and I have a hallucination about a loved one past or present as my brain and "mind" are in turmoil. This is possible, unless you can explain to me why its not. Now...my brian is in crisis, my emotional bond with the agent apparition puts me in contact with an immaterial self through telepathy and so I see the apparition. Also possible, but it requires many more assumptions about what is possible within the framework of the world than Mercutio's. Now yes I realize our world frameworks are different. But we can at least begin to show a process for how hallucinations work within the brain, or might work. There is no such comprehensive work to account for telepathy. The process of telepathy is not described in depth anywhere because no one has any idea how to make it work within a materialist framework, and so it ends up in the immaterialist framework, where it still remains vague in its description, and anecdotyle.


There is no reason to paste some of the transcript in. I've already read it. I never said there was any evidence of psychic abilities. I merely said that the hypothesis that he is using cold reading exclusively is an implausible one. You need to have a good understanding of innate probabilities though in order to realise this.

And to back up Barkhorn here where in the posted transcript do you see something specific enough to not be possible within cold-reading? The sitter provides most of the info to Van Praagh as he stumbles around tossing out generalities. Skip inate probabilities for now and point to me in that transcript, something that Van Praagh does that is beyond the abilities of cold reading.

Basically you read the cold-reading thread and said that overall it was unimpressive, and if you read the whole thread, that was the basic concensus of everyone there, however, if its the thread I'm thinking of, there were a few "real" mediums mixed in who fared no better. Now you didn't say that Van Praagh is psychic, but you do say that what he did was impressive, and beyond cold reading. I disagree, and having looked over the transcript quickly can't really see how you came to that conclusion, so perhaps you could point out some examples.

Mercutio
4th February 2004, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by

Absolute rubbish. Name any one reason if you can.
Ian, you surprise me. I have seen the way you can write when you put your mind to it. I can think of any number of reactions to Cleopatra's post, but ...not your reaction. Besides, your complaint is one you have brought up many times in other threads. It has been addressed there, and I trust you know the rebuttals and whether or not you agree with them. Seriously, it is not the proper reaction here.

It is not my intent to derail this thread and talk about this--I will not respond if you continue this little sub-thread. If you wish to argue the point, take it as a given that you win. But dang, I really really cannot see your reaction as coming from a reading of that post.

Cleopatra
4th February 2004, 12:29 PM
Ian cannot post for the moment but I wasn't angry because of his response to my message but because Jeff and you have reminded to him certain facts that he ignored for one more time.

Loki
4th February 2004, 03:21 PM
Showme2,

In fact he was NOT "caught cheating" ...
Depends upon what you mean by 'cheating'. He was seen to be behaving in a manner that would be exactly how he'd behave if he was cheating. Of course, that doesn't mean his motivation was to cheat....

...and the facts of the events at Scole are far from clear - even to those who were actually there.
I'd say the facts are pretty clear, just the interpretations are cloudy.

Colin : "Hi everybody. Tie me into a chair, turn off the lights, and I'll make a glowing trumpet appear and float around the room - without me leaving the chair!"
Everyone : "Great Colin! Lets do it."
(Colin tied to chair, lights turned off)
(Trumpet appears, floats around the room making sound)
(Lights unexpectedly turned on)
(Colin standing in room, holding trumpet)
Colin: "Uh ... where am I? How did I get to be here? Wasn't I tied into that chair?"
Everybody : "Hmmm ... well, I guess you've just been possessed by an evil spirit, that cut you free, and forced you to walk around the room playing a trumpet! Brilliant Colin - you've proven the existence of evil spirits!!!"
Colin : "Yes, I guess I have - but I won't be doing this again. I think I'll stop materialising trumpets now, and concentrate on letting dead people play charades with me using their relative's names. I like charades".

But the conclusion of the investigation was that there was "no concious fraud" on the part of Fry.
The investigation being conducted by those wishing to defend mediumship, we probably should add. Their conclusion? That "malicious spirits" caused Colin to behave in a way that exactly mirrors "cheating". Those laugh-a-minute spirits ... what will they think of next.

Personally, I believe that Colin was simply being controlled by Martians as a test of their newly developed Long Range Mind Control Thingy (LRMCT (tm)). In fact it's clear to me now that Martians (who, despite popular opinion, are only 2 inches tall and have no genital hair) are behind ALL psychic phenomena (and I challenge Ian to prove that it's logically impossible for NDEs to be the result of Martian Mind Meddling).

Jeff Corey
4th February 2004, 03:38 PM
Originally posted by Loki
Personally, I believe that Colin was simply being controlled by Martians as a test of their newly developed Long Range Mind Control Thingy (LRMCT (tm)). In fact it's clear to me now that Martians (who, despite popular opinion, are only 2 inches tall and have no genital hair) are behind ALL psychic phenomena (and I challenge Ian to prove that it's logically impossible for NDEs to be the result of Martian Mind Meddling).
Were they one tailed or two tailed Martians? Because I'll chance to say the odds are, in all probability, that one species is twice the size of the other.
Not that some people could tell the difference.
But, MMF ( MMM is DSM III, MMF from DSM IV R ) is a definite possibility.

showme2
4th February 2004, 04:22 PM
OK Loki - from the certitude of your conclusions you have obviously investigated the so-called "Scole Incident" very seriously and in detail, because only a silly prat would reach conclusions without doing that. And you are obviously not a silly prat. ("And Brutus is an honourable man" !)

So here are 4 key questions you need to answer if you want to rationally support your decision that Colin Fry cheated at Scole:-

(1) HOW did the lights come on when the switch was boxed off and it was impossible to throw the switch ?

(2) WHY would Fry use a different method to cut the two wrist ties ? If you had just cut one with a knife or whatever, why wouldn't you cut the second one with the same tool ? Why bother to scrap around in the dark for a different cutting implement?

(3) HOW could the second tie be cut with a very forceful guillotine action without cutting Fry's arm or marking it in any way?

(4) WHY - IF he wanted to cheat - would Colin Fry cut the wrist ties at all ? Anyone who has studied the tricks of false mediums (and as someone interested in the history of mediumship, I'm sure Colin has studied them, as I have) there are FAR easier ways of freeing yourself from wrist tie restraints than cutting them, which means that you will INEVITABLY be found out.

You are obviously an expert on the Scole Incident, Loki, because even those who were there are not absolutely certain about what happened when the lights suddenly came on.

So I await your words of wisdom, and also your explanation of why you claim to be an authority on the incident, since I know someone who was there, and even she is confused about what occurred.






powered by bravenet.com

kittynh
4th February 2004, 04:27 PM
and the point is.....

practical usage please.

this sounds like NRays.


sorry, NRays had far more proof and no one was confused about what happened.

Until an interested American came along. Even then, NRays died a hard death only with the death of their "creator"

showme2
4th February 2004, 04:27 PM
Originally posted by Loki
Showme2,


Personally, I believe that Colin was simply being controlled by Martians as a test of their newly developed Long Range Mind Control Thingy (LRMCT (tm)). In fact it's clear to me now that Martians (who, despite popular opinion, are only 2 inches tall and have no genital hair) are behind ALL psychic phenomena (and I challenge Ian to prove that it's logically impossible for NDEs to be the result of Martian Mind Meddling).

Well, "personally", I think that - despite this poor attempt at humour and sarcasm - you are pretty close to demonstrating that you are, in fact, the kind of prat that I just gave you credit for not being.

But I will await your answers before making a final judgment.

Mercutio
4th February 2004, 04:50 PM
Originally posted by showme2

(1) HOW did the lights come on when the switch was boxed off and it was impossible to throw the switch ?

(2) WHY would Fry use a different method to cut the two wrist ties ? If you had just cut one with a knife or whatever, why wouldn't you cut the second one with the same tool ? Why bother to scrap around in the dark for a different cutting implement?

(3) HOW could the second tie be cut with a very forceful guillotine action without cutting Fry's arm or marking it in any way?

(4) WHY - IF he wanted to cheat - would Colin Fry cut the wrist ties at all ? Anyone who has studied the tricks of false mediums (and as someone interested in the history of mediumship, I'm sure Colin has studied them, as I have) there are FAR easier ways of freeing yourself from wrist tie restraints than cutting them, which means that you will INEVITABLY be found out.

Speaking for myself...I don't know. Therefore, it obviously must be the work of spirits. After all...if it is not the fourth of July, it must be christmas.

I also saw Penn & Teller shoot each other and not die. I blame spirits there too.

Yup, and the spirits lose the left sock of every 7th pair I put in the laundry--they must, since I don't know what else must be the cause.

I find your four objections interesting, in that they each seem to me to be more indicative of fraud than of spirits, and that you trumpet them like they would convince any jury in the world...

I don't know how these things happened. which means...that I do not know how these things happened. It does not mean that it is unexplainable, nor does it mean that spirits were involved. Your attempt to shift the burden of proof is just silly. Please explain to me...

1) By what mechanism do spirits throw lightswitches?

2) By what 2 separate mechanisms do spirits cut ties?

3) How might a spirit accomplish this task more easily than Fry himself, who has the advantage of being corporeal at the time?

4) Why would spirits take the trouble to frame Fry for cheating? Is heaven boring or something? Details, please...

HarryKeogh
4th February 2004, 05:38 PM
I didnt go through all 120+ posts so if someone already posted a link to this excellent article I apologize...

http://www.csicop.org/doubtandabout/larryking/

showme2
4th February 2004, 05:44 PM
Originally posted by Mercutio


I find your four objections interesting, in that they each seem to me to be more indicative of fraud than of spirits, and that you trumpet them like they would convince any jury in the world...

I don't know how these things happened. which means...that I do not know how these things happened. It does not mean that it is unexplainable, nor does it mean that spirits were involved. Your attempt to shift the burden of proof is just silly. Please explain to me...


No, bollocks to your silly "burden of proof" argument. You lot are claiming that Fry cheated, so answer my four questions. It should be easy if you have investigated Scole seriously. (You obviously haven't!)

If you had investigated the matter seriously before drawing your conclusions, you should be able to answer my questions in an instant.

Or perhaps you can't, and don't really know anything about what you are commenting on ?

Mercutio
4th February 2004, 06:12 PM
Originally posted by showme2


No, bollocks to your silly "burden of proof" argument. You lot are claiming that Fry cheated, so answer my four questions. It should be easy if you have investigated Scole seriously. (You obviously haven't!)

If you had investigated the matter seriously before drawing your conclusions, you should be able to answer my questions in an instant.

Or perhaps you can't, and don't really know anything about what you are commenting on ? I never at all claimed I knew what happened. Perhaps you missed that. I believe my words were "I don't know". I don't know that he cheated, nor do I know that spirits did it.

Your implication--perhaps I misread you--was that your objections were things that could not be explained by Fry cheating. Now, of course, you say just above that I should have been able to answer "in an instant". I am ever so slightly confused. Is there an explanation that takes merely an instant, which does not involve Fry cheating, but which anyone who has investigated would conclude?

If it is in fact an explanation which would take but an instant, I can only conclude that it could not possibly be spirits...that explanation would, of course, require a drastic re-evaluation of the relationship between matter (like, say, wrist ties) and whatever it is that spirits are. I hardly think that would take but an instant.

My comment was not about Fry...my comment was about your questions. Bollocks to burden of proof? Ok, rethink your questions. Or maybe cut to the chase and tell us all what really happened. According to you, it "should be easy" and take you but "an instant". I can't wait.

Clancie
4th February 2004, 06:30 PM
ShowMe2,

Fry may have real mediumship abilities, but I think it is very difficult to make a case exonerating him from fraud at Scole. Personally, I don't have an explanation for how the straps were broken, but here's a link about it:

Fry's Tryaps Broken (http://members.lycos.co.uk/colinfry/colinfrymedium.htm)

If I had to guess, it would be "a confederate". :(

As for the lights going on...well, maybe the spirits wanted to expose fraud? :p

Just kidding there, but seriously, I think there is no way out of the trumpet seemingly floating through the air one minute and the next, the lights going on and Fry standing in the middle of the room holding it. I just don't think there's any innocent explanation for that.

That said, there have been others (Palladino; Ford) who were found guilty of cheating and yet whose total abilities could not apparently be accounted for -just- by cheating. Perhaps we just "don't know how they cheat". Or, perhaps they have genuine ability, but feel intense pressure to do better when being studied and therefore try to enhance their abilities with cheating.

The problem is that if you catch someone cheating...even if its the first time (which is unlikely in Fry's case)...it -does- tend to call into question everything else that they have been credited with in the past.

kittynh
4th February 2004, 06:54 PM
too true Clancie.

It's rather like the UFO groups. Some of them are very careful, and explore carefully cases they feel are important or have merit. they agree with the 90%+ explaination for most UFO sightings. They discounted alien abductions, after careful investigation. They really abhored the emergance of groups that focus on the abduction stories (and the best selling author who fueled the movement) and blindly accept any and all UFO stories. they really feel the groups that accept everything make it almost impossible for what they feel might be evidence worth investigating to get any interest in the scientific community.

I still don't think there is good evidence yet for UFOs, but my friend who belongs to one of these "good" groups at least earns my respect for believing that this can be investigated using technology available, and doing her best to be honest and discount the fakers who are making it almost impossible for her group to prove any case for UFOs.

Any true mediums are going to have an awfully hard time competing with those that have "stage appeal" and "charisma".

Loki
4th February 2004, 07:00 PM
ShowMe2,

Sorry about the delay replying - work just won't wait sometimes. Mercurio (damn his infurtiatingly fast fingers) has essentially covered the gist of my reply. Your argument is clear, and yes, I have read the reports of the Scole investigation, including the reports (gathered from 'neutral' experts on the subject I'm lead to believe) on the nature of the cut ties. You raise 4 points :

(1) HOW did the lights come on when the switch was boxed off and it was impossible to throw the switch ?
Good question, and I'm unable to offer an answer - assuming, of course, that the reports of the "switch boxing" are accurate. And as we both know, electical devices are 100% fault proof, and lights have never (ever) been known to behave 'erratically' under any possible conditions. Or have they??? It would certianly be embarassing for a fraud in the middle of his trick if the lights were to unexpectedly come on, wouldn't it.

(2) WHY would Fry use a different method to cut the two wrist ties ? If you had just cut one with a knife or whatever, why wouldn't you cut the second one with the same tool ? Why bother to scrap around in the dark for a different cutting implement?
Good question. Why indeed would you bother using two completely different cutting methods. Unless, of course, the correct answer is that the ties that were 'examined by experts' were not actually the ties cut by Colin? Substituted by Colin? But that can't be, because the ties were marked in some way weren't they? Substitued by someone involved in the investigation, prior to going to the "neutral expert"? Never! That would be dishonest!

(3) HOW could the second tie be cut with a very forceful guillotine action without cutting Fry's arm or marking it in any way?
Good question. Off hand I can't think of anyway in which the second tie could be cut with a very forceful guillotine action without cutting Fry's arm. Unless, the second tie that was examined wasn't the one Colin cut ...(see reply to point 2 above, to save typing)

(4) WHY - IF he wanted to cheat - would Colin Fry cut the wrist ties at all ? Anyone who has studied the tricks of false mediums (and as someone interested in the history of mediumship, I'm sure Colin has studied them, as I have) there are FAR easier ways of freeing yourself from wrist tie restraints than cutting them, which means that you will INEVITABLY be found out.
Good question. Why would Colin choose to cheat in a way that was different to the way you or I (or 'false' mediums) cheat? More a psychological question I'd suggest. *If* he was cheating (there, does that make you feel better - lets just call it an 'allegatiom of cheating'), then presumably he had thought about (a) how to get out of the ties and (b) how to cover this up. *If* he was cheating, he got as far as (a), but got interrupted before (b). Now we're left guessing what (b) might have been, and sure enough you and I can't think of what (b) might be. Therefore, (b) must not exist, and the spirits did it. I believe there's a name for this kind of argument...something about ignorance...

If you had investigated the matter seriously before drawing your conclusions, you should be able to answer my questions in an instant.
If I can't tell you exactly what happened, then the most obvious answer is wrong? How exactly does that logic work?

As as been pointed out, I'm unable to explain the entirety of the evidence behind the "grassy knoll" (and other points), therefore JFK was not killed by Oswald acting alone?

I can't explain some data gathered at a crop circle site, so aliens must have done it?

Look, the situation can be explained (I think) via an example that is *not* paranormally linked. There is a murder investigation (coroners inquest) running here at the moment into the death of a young boy. His DNA has turned up on the clothing a young woman rape victim, so she has been questioned about the case. It appears that she has never had anything to do with the boy - lives hundreds of miles away, and has never traveled anywhere near the boy. Some peole are suggesting that the boys DNA has contaminated her clothing when both sets of clothing were in the police lab for testing and analysis.

The woman says this contamination must the answer to why her DNA is on the clothing.
The police lab says that such contamination is impossible, and could never happen.

What do you think? What do I think? What's the truth? How can we tell? Will we ever know? Perhaps malicious spirits have contaminated the woman's clothing?

What's this got to do with Colin Fry and Scole? Hopefully you can see the connection. In the murder case, the most likely situation is that the lab made an error, and is refusing to admit this is possible - to the point where a potentially innocent woman has been dragged into a murder enquiry. In the Fry/Scole case the most likely situation is that Fry was cheating, but he and/or some members of Scole have done their best to deny it (perhaps even substituting evidence).

The evidence against Fry - he was out of the chair, standing and playing the trumpet when the lights came on.

The evidence for Fry - there's some argument about the nature of how the ties were cut.

The evidence "against" - gathered on the night, and appears incontrovertable (certainly I've not read of anyone who claims Colin wasn't standing holding the trumpet).

The evidence "for" - gathered weeks later, after who knows how many people had a chance to "contaminate" the ties, and essentially amounts to "we don't know how this could be..."

Let me ask a simple question ShowMe2 - if 'malicious spirits' can 'take over' the medium during a sitting and make the medium perform "embarassing behaviours", or "behaviours that seem like cheating" then why isn't this documented in the paranormal research? Or was poor Colin the victim of a once-only, never to be repeated psychic prank? Have the Spirit Police arrested the spirit that 'broke the rules' and messed with Colin's performance? Why don't we occasionally see John Edward taken over by a malicious spirit that forces him, live on Larry King, to declare "I'm a fraud - I just cold read. None of this is true!"

I think that - despite this poor attempt at humour and sarcasm - ...
Humour can be so subjective. Sorry this failed for you. Personally, I think it was shallow and fairly "obvious" - good for a quick chuckle, but not a solid belly laugh. Your mileage obviously differs.

... you are pretty close to demonstrating that you are, in fact, the kind of prat that I just gave you credit for not being.
Well, no, I feel you're jumping to a conclusion there. "Prat" isn't the worse thing I've been called by a long way, and may even be accurate on occasion (although I try to avoid such behavior). Let's just say that I find Mr Fry to be far less convincing that you do, and I'm therefore somewhat less able to give him the "benefit of the doubt" that you are happy to extend to him. And, to be honest, it's more enjoyable taking cheap shots at Colin than it is trying to analyse his whiny delivery of half-arsed guesses .... oops, think I just stumbled back in to prat territory for that last bit! Sorry.

Clancie
4th February 2004, 07:16 PM
Cleopatra,

Thank you for your thought-provoking post. I have a few comments.
Posted by Cleopatra

...to ignore that we have many and serious reasons to believe that life after death doesn't exist.
Hmm...for some reason I thought you had religious beliefs that -did- include life after death. I stand corrected! :)

re: my beliefs. I don't ignore the idea that there may not be anything that survives physical death. But I no longer think its such a clear cut case. NDEs as well as many inexplicable (so far) elements of ADC and even mediumship (think "Mrs. Piper", if not JE), have lead me to the gray zone of...."Maybe".

I can well understand though if people dismiss thousands and thousands of personal accounts as just...wishful thinking...the normal function of brain chemistry at death, cold reading, fraud....etc. etc. For myself, I'm just don't think everything has been adequately accounted for in these ways.

You cannot let this go that's why you torture yourself by posting in various forums.
Well, I don't know if I'd say "torture" exactly. This entire issue does interest me, as a subject, way beyond my personal needs. But I agree with you in a sense. When I first got interested in this, I assumed it would all be refuted very expertly (beginning with critics like Jaroff and moving on to Shermer, etc.) To my surprise, it wasn't. I have yet to find a critic who says "mediumship is bunk" and also shows great familiarity with the subject.

In fact, those who -have- put great time into researching the subject exhaustively (I'm thinking of Alan Gauld or Stephen Braude) seem, at least, to be still on the fence, though probably leaning toward survival.

If I had to attribute one mistake to you is that some times I have the impression that you expect people here to prove you that mediums are cold readers
Interesting observation. You're probably right about that. I have thought that cold reading is the most logical explanation (once one rules out cheating). Yet, people say "I can do a cold reading just like a medium"...and (like Shermer or Rowland) seem satisfied with their results. I think I have an open mind to looking for good cold reading examples....I really want to see them...but, so far, I've found them lacking. (People here, of course, disagree....)

....and cold readers piss you off exactly because they make you understand that something is wrong with mediums.
No, they don't piss me off at all. I just wish they could do what they claim. If they could get the information that I've seen some mediums get, I'd be all for it. They just don't...or it seems...can't.....

(cont....)

Clancie
4th February 2004, 07:24 PM
[Cleopatra, Sorry the posts are so long. I can't find a way to make them shorter. :( ]
Posted by Cleopatra
I have never attended "the party" but I remember her conspiring with the gypsy in the kitchen as to what the later had to say.
....So, my predisposition towards readings was negative.
Well, you saw con artists cheating first hand. That doesn't mean that necessarily everyone is a con artist, though.
....I saw the role mediums play in murder cases and I became an enemy.
I agree. As I said to kittynh, I totally agree that there should be regulations and consumer protection. We may disagree if there are any legitimate mediums, but we don't disagree that there -are- fraudulent ones.
First of all knowing that there is something tricky with the communication with the dead I just wanted to prolong his existence in my life.
I think many people, including me, could relate to all the examples you listed.

How did I know that it was my idea and not a genuine presence?

Well, maybe I am too rational Clancie to let myself believe in ghosts so for a period I chose to believe that I am schizophrenic and I felt that I had to be very careful not to let people know.
Okay. But it sounds like you had compelling personal experiences. You choose to attribute them to a grief response of your mind. But...if survival is real, perhaps you closed yourself off to something that would have been very meaningful. As in my case, I guess that's just a personal evaluation people have to make on their own. I can't judge it. I don't know.


I would be willing to believe that a spirit inhabited the house if I wasn't trying so hard to bring it around but I did nothing but trying to keep the memory alive. Knowing how self-deception works and knowing that I was doing my best to feed my self-deception what do you believe about my case?
Honestly? I would like a definite "Yes, survival is real" or "No, dead is dead." Since I no longer have either as a conviction, what I think about your case is...if "dead is dead" then you're right, it was all a grief response created by your mind and feelings. But, if (as I feel may be possible) there -is- survival, then it sounds as if you experienced some very compelling ADCs from your husband.

... What do you want to know from the dead that you don't know already.
You know the answer to that as well as I do. The day to day things would be wonderful to experience still, and, yes, you miss that presence, but can easily figure out in your mind what he would say on any given topic.

But the ultimate question is: "Is it over?" And I've had apparent ADC's, too, many of them. But as much as we can say, "Its my mind creating this," and discount it...the idea of a third party (a "medium") bringing through unique things that no one else would know....giving evidence of survival combined with personal touches of the individual communicating....well, the idea is that that could give a higher level of validity than one's own mind "playing tricks" on us.

You are not sure that mediums work so how can a medium be of some help.
In the beginning, I thought looking into this more...reading everything pro and con....having experiences with an open mind....would show conclusively one way or the other about survival. It hasn't. It didn't. So I do agree with you on that point, that it is a bit of a dead end. I don't think I'm going to find the conclusive "evidence" that I'm looking for one way or the other (though it remains an interesting subject in any case, I think). At some point, you have to make a leap of faith...something I probably, ultimately, can't do.

What sort of F**** spirit is that who dares not to appear although he knows how much you want to communicate? Have you ever thought about that? Have you ever wondered about the "morality" of the whole thing from this aspect?
Well, I understand what you mean, but I'm going to put on my "believer" hat to answer this.

First, as far as doing certain things (wearing his shirts...hugging his pillow...using his cup) and feeling that it somehow -helps- make a connection....well, a hard core believer would say that spirit communication seems to be difficult and requires a lot of energy, including energy from the living. So, no, that idea doesn't make me angry. (And if someone appeared, materialized, would that make you believe? I think not--probably not for me either--because, of course, we'd think we were just "hallucinating". So, no, I don't think spirits, if they are real, really have many options to communicate definitively with us, especially if we are resistant to the whole possibility anyway).

Beyond that, no, I wouldn't be angry. Actually, I could see it the other way....the deceased trying so hard to make contact, to give signs, to provide comfort that "yes, we survive" and yet just getting ignored...rejected...rationalized....away. I think it would be very frustrating from that point of view (but I comfort myself that he was extremely patient with -all- of my many faults, and would somehow be very patient with this one, too....if, of course, survival -is- real after all.....).

Let it go Clancie. Let it go.
Well, yes, you're probably right about that.

CFLarsen
4th February 2004, 11:47 PM
Originally posted by Clancie
That said, there have been others (Palladino; Ford) who were found guilty of cheating and yet whose total abilities could not apparently be accounted for -just- by cheating. Perhaps we just "don't know how they cheat". Or, perhaps they have genuine ability, but feel intense pressure to do better when being studied and therefore try to enhance their abilities with cheating.

The problem is that if you catch someone cheating...even if its the first time (which is unlikely in Fry's case)...it -does- tend to call into question everything else that they have been credited with in the past.

So, why haven't you applied the same logic to Robert Brown? You have caught him cheating as well, but you still believe he has some abilities.


Originally posted by Clancie
I can well understand though if people dismiss thousands and thousands of personal accounts as just...wishful thinking...the normal function of brain chemistry at death, cold reading, fraud....etc. etc. For myself, I'm just don't think everything has been adequately accounted for in these ways.

In that case, you must also believe in alien spaceships visiting this planet.

Originally posted by Clancie
Well, I don't know if I'd say "torture" exactly. This entire issue does interest me, as a subject, way beyond my personal needs. But I agree with you in a sense. When I first got interested in this, I assumed it would all be refuted very expertly (beginning with critics like Jaroff and moving on to Shermer, etc.) To my surprise, it wasn't. I have yet to find a critic who says "mediumship is bunk" and also shows great familiarity with the subject.

You are in serious denial: You dismiss Gardner, Randi, Shermer, and everybody else who have far greater familiarity with the subject, simply because they say you are wrong.

Originally posted by Clancie
In fact, those who -have- put great time into researching the subject exhaustively (I'm thinking of Alan Gauld or Stephen Braude) seem, at least, to be still on the fence, though probably leaning toward survival.

See what I mean? It is only those who "lean" on "survival" that you consider knowledgable enough.

Originally posted by Clancie
Interesting observation. You're probably right about that. I have thought that cold reading is the most logical explanation (once one rules out cheating).

But you can never ever rule out cheating completely, unless you have full access to whatever goes on. You don't have that with the many mediums you have visited (and paid sometimes hefty money for), so why do you accept their validity?

Originally posted by Clancie
Yet, people say "I can do a cold reading just like a medium"...and (like Shermer or Rowland) seem satisfied with their results. I think I have an open mind to looking for good cold reading examples....I really want to see them...but, so far, I've found them lacking. (People here, of course, disagree....)

You have yet to explain why you find them so lacking. You just say that they are.

Originally posted by Clancie
No, they don't piss me off at all. I just wish they could do what they claim. If they could get the information that I've seen some mediums get, I'd be all for it. They just don't...or it seems...can't.....

You are most welcome to point out any medium who can get the information, and where cheating is completely ruled out.

Originally posted by Clancie
Well, you saw con artists cheating first hand. That doesn't mean that necessarily everyone is a con artist, though.

In your opinion, yes. Since you make the claim that there are people who are really real mediums, you bring the evidence. Not your opinion, but your evidence.

Originally posted by Clancie
I agree. As I said to kittynh, I totally agree that there should be regulations and consumer protection. We may disagree if there are any legitimate mediums, but we don't disagree that there -are- fraudulent ones.

Regulation, based on what criteria?

Originally posted by Clancie
Okay. But it sounds like you had compelling personal experiences. You choose to attribute them to a grief response of your mind. But...if survival is real, perhaps you closed yourself off to something that would have been very meaningful. As in my case, I guess that's just a personal evaluation people have to make on their own. I can't judge it. I don't know.

You believe, Clancie. You believe that there are some mediums with real skills. You said so yourself.

Originally posted by Clancie
Honestly? I would like a definite "Yes, survival is real" or "No, dead is dead." Since I no longer have either as a conviction, what I think about your case is...if "dead is dead" then you're right, it was all a grief response created by your mind and feelings. But, if (as I feel may be possible) there -is- survival, then it sounds as if you experienced some very compelling ADCs from your husband.

Your own posts contradicts this.

Originally posted by Clancie
But the ultimate question is: "Is it over?" And I've had apparent ADC's, too, many of them. But as much as we can say, "Its my mind creating this," and discount it...the idea of a third party (a "medium") bringing through unique things that no one else would know....giving evidence of survival combined with personal touches of the individual communicating....well, the idea is that that could give a higher level of validity than one's own mind "playing tricks" on us.

I think this sums up pretty well why you believe.

Originally posted by Clancie
Well, yes, you're probably right about that.

I don't think that's what Cleo meant...

Cleopatra
5th February 2004, 02:32 AM
It's ok Clancie I will reply in two parts too:

Originally posted by Clancie
Hmm...for some reason I thought you had religious beliefs that -did- include life after death. I stand corrected! :)

I do have religious beliefs as I have stated many times I am a fideist but I won't expand on this now because I plan to have this discussion with sparklecat in another thread.

There is a misconception here. My church and every other major decree considers mediumship as Necromancy and it's strongly against it, in fact my church is really hostile towards mediums.

According to the Christian dogma there is afterlife but only Jesus is able to call the souls in the Day of Judgement so, I wonder how these people, the mediums, claim that they are good Christians because many of them do.

As somebody who has religious beliefs I oppose to mediumship because it's Necromancy.This is not what Christianity means when it talks about the after life.

re: my beliefs. I don't ignore the idea that there may not be anything that survives physical death. But I no longer think its such a clear cut case. NDEs as well as many inexplicable (so far) elements of ADC and even mediumship (think "Mrs. Piper", if not JE), have lead me to the gray zone of...."Maybe".

Clancie, the scientists that have studied this subject claim that they do not have solid indication about the existence of afterlife, an existence that meets certain creteria, the same criteria we have accepted to rule certain things in our life,simple things in our everyday lives. The people who think that we don't have solid indications about the existence of afterlife have used the same methods with those that have invented aspirin to cure the headache, the scientific method that I am sure that you don't reject.


I can well understand though if people dismiss thousands and thousands of personal accounts as just...wishful thinking...the normal function of brain chemistry at death, cold reading, fraud....etc. etc. For myself, I'm just don't think everything has been adequately accounted for in these ways.

True, We cannot study every account the same way we cannot solve every murder case. We know that it happened but we lack the information that leads to a logical conclusion. lack of sufficient information, this is the clue. You know very well that every time we have had sufficient information we were certain about specific experiences.

Well, I don't know if I'd say "torture" exactly. This entire issue does interest me, as a subject, way beyond my personal needs. But I agree with you in a sense. When I first got interested in this, I assumed it would all be refuted very expertly (beginning with critics like Jaroff and moving on to Shermer, etc.) To my surprise, it wasn't. I have yet to find a critic who says "mediumship is bunk" and also shows great familiarity with the subject.

The fact that the issue is not refuted easily means that scientists have worked on the subject really seriously because it's a matter that involves human brain ( you see Mercutio? I have stopped using the term mind! I blame you about this! :) ) a territory that is not thoroughly explored. People that have devoted years in study Clancie do not dismiss the idea of the afterlife easily , how people that they have never performed any study accept it that easily?

On the one hand you say that scientists have been proven insufficient and on the other hand you don't demand scientific proof from the mediums, you have double standards here.

Interesting observation. You're probably right about that. I have thought that cold reading is the most logical explanation (once one rules out cheating). Yet, people say "I can do a cold reading just like a medium"...and (like Shermer or Rowland) seem satisfied with their results. I think I have an open mind to looking for good cold reading examples....I really want to see them...but, so far, I've found them lacking. (People here, of course, disagree....)

I haven't read your coffee mug :D

You know Shermer and Rowland have enough hits though to put us into thoughts. They have sufficiently demonstrated how it can be done while the other side hasn't managed to reproduce such a phaenomenon in the lab...

You know very well that since antiquity people have demonstrated how a psychic reading is done. :)


No, they don't piss me off at all. I just wish they could do what they claim. If they could get the information that I've seen some mediums get, I'd be all for it. They just don't...or it seems...can't.....


Ok I got the idea that they piss you off from those threads about Rowland it was obviously my idea, I am sorry. Clancie, you cannot claim that they haven't demonstrated anything. We all know that in order to do that they must have an audience who is not aware of what they are doing.

Rowland cannot do his tricks on you, you know that but when cold readers are doing a demo in those who don't know ut is amazing.

My grandmother was amazing! She was holding the mug and she said the proverbial: " I see that you are interested in a man. I see two men in your mug a blonde and a dark haired the one is tad older, he must be your dad" and the victim was screaming with enthousiasm: " The blonde, the blonde!!! the other one is my father John!!!What does the mug say will the difficulties go?" "Hmmmm.... Difficulties?" grandma replied" The difficulties... I see a circle over his head, it it a hat, or... wait... it looks like a ring but what does a ring over his head is doing ?" and the victim replied in a sad voice" Ohh. It is a ring " only to express her admiration about how my grandma saw that the man in the mug was married. :)

Ahhh. This thread brought her to my mind, I hope she pays a visit to my dreams tonight, I have really missed her.

More later.

CFLarsen
5th February 2004, 02:49 AM
Originally posted by Cleopatra
My church and every other major decree considers mediumship as Necromancy and it's strongly against it, in fact my church is really hostile towards mediums.

Mediumship is necromancy. You summon dead people and talk to them.

Mercutio
5th February 2004, 03:43 AM
Originally posted by Cleopatra

Ahhh. This thread brought her to my mind, I hope she pays a visit to my dreams tonight, I have really missed her.
And this phrase is what it is all about.

Cleopatra
5th February 2004, 05:44 AM
Originally posted by Mercutio
And this phrase is what it is all about.

Glad that you noticed it and pointed it out. ;)

voidx
5th February 2004, 07:45 AM
Posted by Clancie
Interesting observation. You're probably right about that. I have thought that cold reading is the most logical explanation (once one rules out cheating). Yet, people say "I can do a cold reading just like a medium"...and (like Shermer or Rowland) seem satisfied with their results. I think I have an open mind to looking for good cold reading examples....I really want to see them...but, so far, I've found them lacking. (People here, of course, disagree....)

I wouldn't say we all disagree. I agree with you, I've heard examples or claims of people saying they can do cold reading as good as JE and the like. Shermer comes to mind, yet aside from his own personal account of when he pretended to by a psychic, I've not seen him perform any cold reading, let alone any superior to JE. I admit I'm far from having seen all examples, but I myself so far have not seen cold reading done how JE does it. Where we differ is on just how impressive the information JE gets is. I don't think its very significant. The majority of his readings when unedited on LKL are extremely poor, and in fact in my opinion aren't much better than the transcripts of say Ersby and NoZed on here. The main difference to me is merely that JE has a more consistent and polished schtick. The few extremely rare JE "super" hits I think are very much accountable by chance based on how many readings he has done. You would disagree. So while I've seen no one do cold-reading with as polished an act as JE, many of the techniques JE uses can easily be seen within the transcripts of cold readers, and for me that is extremely telling. While I know there are others that are convinced beyond a doubt they've seen cold readers outperform JE, I myself have not seen this, and so can't make that statement. Just thought I'd clarify.

Barkhorn1x
5th February 2004, 08:00 AM
Originally posted by


There is no reason to paste some of the transcript in. I've already read it. I never said there was any evidence of psychic abilities.

Ian, you are right I got a bit fixated on the first part of your statement – I stand corrected.

I merely said that the hypothesis that he is using cold reading exclusively is an implausible one. You need to have a good understanding of innate probabilities though in order to realise this.

No – I don’t think so - please point out those hits that demonstrate what you feel are examples of “innate probabilities” that I fail to understand.

Barkhorn.

Cleopatra
5th February 2004, 09:08 AM
Originally posted by Clancie
Well, you saw con artists cheating first hand. That doesn't mean that necessarily everyone is a con artist, though.

Of course not! When I discovered that astrology didn't succeed in predicting major events into a human's life and I started becoming skeptical towards its efficiency I had to answer the most difficult question: if it doesn't work, why I was so good in my predictions and in sketching astrological profiles? Well, I was impressed with what I discovered and I learned by first hand that paranormal beliefs work in two levels and very often the medium, the astrologer or the psychic is equally involved in the deception. The more involved you are and the more you believe the better your hits seem. You extract information and you are not aware that you are doing it, you think that it's the planets that they speak but they are not.

I brought you the example of the gypsy to show you that a contact from a so-called medium could be faked with impressive results. The audience was willing to believe in the medium's abilities and the so called medium had all the necessary info she needed. Bingo! You see this gypsy doubles my guilt about my involvement with astrology. I comfort myself that Astrology involved a lot of studying and work and even scientists have being deceived but yet...


I agree. As I said to kittynh, I totally agree that there should be regulations and consumer protection. We may disagree if there are any legitimate mediums, but we don't disagree that there -are- fraudulent ones.


I think that you have read in that thread I have started in summer [" The Right to be deceived"] that I am generally against imposing things to other people. Many times, mediums are persuaded that they can communicate with the dead, they do not want to fool anybody. The celebrity mediums though are something else. In Greece mediums are licenced and they pay taxes and we have had some success in procecuting them when they have interfered in cases of murder but this makes them more cautius the general public must be informed.

But tell me Clancie, honestly. Hasn't your stomached ached when you read the description of the video they showed in TAM with those poor parents? Messages from the coffin? Don't you think that somebody must protect those people from their own grief? How can we do this? What do you think about that? I think that you have said that you are a teacher.
I think many people, including me, could relate to all the examples you listed.

Of course it was a common reaction to a loss. My problem was that everything happened really fast and I didn't have the time to work with myself on the forthecoming death that was certain. If I had more time I would take it easily.

Okay. But it sounds like you had compelling personal experiences. You choose to attribute them to a grief response of your mind. But...if survival is real, perhaps you closed yourself off to something that would have been very meaningful. As in my case, I guess that's just a personal evaluation people have to make on their own. I can't judge it. I don't know.

Ok Let's forget about cold readers, Randis, Rowlands etc. and let's say that we have never heard about them, we don't know them and we have this experience. Ok. The dead visits me in the morning. I loved him and he wants to communicate with me. Fine. Why he never attempted to communicate his kids, or his mother? His mother loved him very much. We still communicate a lot , that means that she wants to keep the contact with the dead too.When she dreams about him she calls and she narrates me the dream, she has never told me that she saw him while awake, the only thing she says is that in the mornings if the phone rings around 8 her heart beats faster because she remembers of her son that he used to call that hour and she thinks it's him.She has told that to her other kids and grandchilren and of course none of us call her in the morning anymore in order not to uspet her. I asked his sons if they ever saw their dad and the older replied that I should get out more and the older was the most attached to his father.

So can you see my point? If they survived they would pay visits to other people too but they don't. Can you see the role of personal implication into that? Can you see why mediums instruct you to meditate before a reading? If the spirit existed it would not be necessary. Don't you see a problem here? I am sure that you see it. You see the problem and you hear about self-deception. You start studying the matter and you see that none has ever managed to repeat such a phaenomenon in the lab and what you choose to believe?

Come on Clancie. Please. It's in front of your eyes.

You and others talk about those experiences but are those experiences a proof that afterlife exists? No in fact they are not arguments pro the afterlife, they are just reasons to believe. This makes a huge difference.

Honestly? I would like a definite "Yes, survival is real" or "No, dead is dead." Since I no longer have either as a conviction, what I think about your case is...if "dead is dead" then you're right, it was all a grief response created by your mind and feelings. But, if (as I feel may be possible) there -is- survival, then it sounds as if you experienced some very compelling ADCs from your husband.

I would believe it if his spirit visited somebody else too with whom he wasn't so much attached. My business associate for example or one of our neighbours or one of his friends. If a third person called me a day to tell that he had such an experience I would be willing to listen. Not even his own mother suggested that. And BTW why he stopped appearing in the house in the morning? Especially after he saw that man in the house in the summer he never appeared again.It took "that spirit" two years to decide to go, you know. Two years of coming in the morning and not being able to drink coffee was too much for him obviously. :) I am not ironic now I am just sarcastic to myself mostly.

You know the answer to that as well as I do. The day to day things would be wonderful to experience still, and, yes, you miss that presence, but can easily figure out in your mind what he would say on any given topic.

But the ultimate question is: "Is it over?" And I've had apparent ADC's, too, many of them. But as much as we can say, "Its my mind creating this," and discount it...the idea of a third party (a "medium") bringing through unique things that no one else would know....giving evidence of survival combined with personal touches of the individual communicating....well, the idea is that that could give a higher level of validity than one's own mind "playing tricks" on us.

Well, it is not that "you just say it's my mind". You have serious reasons to believe that it's your mind indeed.


In the beginning, I thought looking into this more...reading everything pro and con....having experiences with an open mind....would show conclusively one way or the other about survival. It hasn't. It didn't. So I do agree with you on that point, that it is a bit of a dead end. I don't think I'm going to find the conclusive "evidence" that I'm looking for one way or the other (though it remains an interesting subject in any case, I think). At some point, you have to make a leap of faith...something I probably, ultimately, can't do.

Apart from a leap of faith there are " moral questions" that are involved once you accept that "it's not just your mind." Your life would require a drastic change that personally I am unable even to imagine.

First, as far as doing certain things (wearing his shirts...hugging his pillow...using his cup) and feeling that it somehow -helps- make a connection....well, a hard core believer would say that spirit communication seems to be difficult and requires a lot of energy, including energy from the living. So, no, that idea doesn't make me angry. (And if someone appeared, materialized, would that make you believe?
Are you talking about recarnation?

Beyond that, no, I wouldn't be angry. Actually, I could see it the other way....the deceased trying so hard to make contact, to give signs, to provide comfort that "yes, we survive" and yet just getting ignored...rejected...rationalized....away. I think it would be very frustrating from that point of view (but I comfort myself that he was extremely patient with -all- of my many faults, and would somehow be very patient with this one, too....if, of course, survival -is- real after all.....).

Oh really? Do you think that they might feel rejected? Who was with you in Christmas? Who is at your side when your child gets sick? With whom do you spend the evenings at home? What the spirit has to offer to you? And what about the other people that they don't believe in survival. I don't think that they have forgotten their dead or that they hurt less.

You are in a dead-end Clancie. From the one hand you have reservations and from the other hand you are afraid that you are doing something wrong if you don't believe in the possibility of an afterlife. This is why I said that I wished that you were a hard believer. I think that you must do something about it and disputing with us about this and especially with Claus maybe it is not the best for you but this is none of my business.

voidx
5th February 2004, 10:10 AM
Posted by Clancie
Well, I understand what you mean, but I'm going to put on my "believer" hat to answer this.

First, as far as doing certain things (wearing his shirts...hugging his pillow...using his cup) and feeling that it somehow -helps- make a connection....well, a hard core believer would say that spirit communication seems to be difficult and requires a lot of energy, including energy from the living. So, no, that idea doesn't make me angry. (And if someone appeared, materialized, would that make you believe? I think not--probably not for me either--because, of course, we'd think we were just "hallucinating". So, no, I don't think spirits, if they are real, really have many options to communicate definitively with us, especially if we are resistant to the whole possibility anyway).

Beyond that, no, I wouldn't be angry. Actually, I could see it the other way....the deceased trying so hard to make contact, to give signs, to provide comfort that "yes, we survive" and yet just getting ignored...rejected...rationalized....away. I think it would be very frustrating from that point of view (but I comfort myself that he was extremely patient with -all- of my many faults, and would somehow be very patient with this one, too....if, of course, survival -is- real after all.....).

Firstly I'd just like to say this discussion between you and Cleo has been quite interesting. She's asked some pretty hard questions, and it seems you've made an attempt to answer them honestly, not necessarily easy to do given the situation your both talking about. While what we consider evidence, and what we believe often ends up being subjective, the above concept is one of the ones that makes mediumship less likely to me. I've mentioned it before, that the concept that the process of medimship is difficult, is just an assumption. One based on several things. Firstly that mediums cannot convey entire sentence like communications to us from the dead, they say its difficult and so we (ok well not me, but lots of people) believe that it is. The assumption of the difficulty with communication with the dead derives from the fact that no one can provide that level of detailed conversation, or has, and so, hey it seems like it fits. Another alternative is as you mention, spirits thinking we'd reject outwardly such a clear communication as a hallucination, or not real, and so communicate in more vague and subtle ways. Here however is the over-riding problem with that. A spirit would have no idea of your reaction to such an obvious form of communication unless they gave it a try. That this type of communication never happens would assume that all spirits figure its not worth the effort. How would they know unless they tried? That none of them ever try just appearring and talking away the evening is extremely telling in my mind. Its another assumption that when you look at it, doesn't make much sense. Conversely if spirits were trying so hard all the time to communicate, this would mean an unreal amount of incidences. Spirits have nothing else to do all day I assume, so these subtle vague hints should be happening all the time, every single day. But they don't. Basically there is absolutely no reason given, or showing why ADC is a difficult process besides the fact that no one can do it with ease. Its entirely possible that its as easy a form of communication as talking to the living, and I've seen nothing to discount this idea.

To say that it doesn't appear spirits have many options in communicating defintively with us is to operate on to many assumptions for my liking. Even mediums have no real in depth concept of what their doing. They just "know" or "do" what they do, so for us to assume that the process is difficult, because they say it is, is not very logical. Its continually assumed that spirits are constrained by the difficulty inherent in ADC. However, no one can give any in-depth reason why they would be so constrained. To me, its merely assumed so that medimship seems more consistent.

Clancie
5th February 2004, 01:27 PM
Hi voidx (Any chance of shorter paragraphs, even if they're artificial breaks? I always find your posts worthwhile, but it seems really hard to read long solid blocks of text online. Just a thought -- and, yes, maybe reading glasses -would- be an alternative. :) ).,
Posted by voidx
I've mentioned it before, that the concept that the process of medimship is difficult, is just an assumption.
Yes, of course it is. So is the assumption that its all fraudulent. Let's say we all agree that it doesn't work the way we would "expect" (if it really happens at all). Then...why not? Either it just isn't real, or, maybe, its just very difficult to communicate telepathically from a surviving consciousness to someone in our physical world. So, yes, imo both are assumptions to explain the idea of ADC (pro or con).
Firstly that mediums cannot convey entire sentence like communications to us from the dead
Well, trance mediums do get entire sentences (like the Mrs. Piper SPR transcripts, or Steve G's account of his reading with Mrs. Walsh).


Another alternative is as you mention, spirits thinking we'd reject outwardly such a clear communication as a hallucination, or not real, and so communicate in more vague and subtle ways.
Well, if there's spirit, and if they can communicate, then materialization may or may not be possible. I'm not saying it won't happen because it wouldn't convince us. I'm saying that if it happened, it could always be easily dismissed as an hallucination. So, if its even possible...well, it still wouldn't be convincing.
That none of them ever try just appearring and talking away the evening is extremely telling in my mind.
Well, I've never seen the ectoplasm or physical materializations in seance, but I've read the descriptions of them. So, however you would explain that....its not like it never is described that way. Some people would tell you that, under certain conditions certain mediums can produce a physical materialization. (Personally, of course, I just don't know one way or the other. But it -is- reported a great deal in the literature of all this).Conversely if spirits were trying so hard all the time to communicate, this would mean an unreal amount of incidences. Spirits have nothing else to do all day I assume, so these subtle vague hints should be happening all the time, every single day. But they don't.
They don't? Are you sure?
To say that it doesn't appear spirits have many options in communicating defintively with us is to operate on too many assumptions for my liking. Even mediums have no real in depth concept of what their doing....Its continually assumed that spirits are constrained by the difficulty inherent in ADC. However, no one can give any in-depth reason why they would be so constrained. To me, its merely assumed so that mediumship seems more consistent.
Well, I understand why you reject the assumption that survival may be real, but that communication between our two "dimensions" or worlds (whatever the term would be) would be difficult. To me, it makes perfect sense that it would be a hard process (even communication among the living, speaking or writing in the same language, isn't all that smooth at times, you know? :p Telepathically communicating, with no visual cues, mind-to-mind...well, -if- it happens, it does sound very very difficult to me.....)

Loki
5th February 2004, 01:36 PM
voidx,

The assumption of the difficulty with communication with the dead derives from the fact that no one can provide that level of detailed conversation, ...
No, you're wrong. It appears that only the 'high profile' mediums have trouble communicating. Trance mediums are vastly superior. Makes you wonder why we bother putting the low grade "guessaholic" mediums on TV when we have access to a much simpler and error proof form of mediumship. Hmmm, wonder why that might be?????

Its entirely possible that its as easy a form of communication as talking to the living, and I've seen nothing to discount this idea.
Not only should you not discount the idea, you should embrace it! Mediumship is (apparently) far easier that JE makes it look - he's a fraud or a talentless hack, take your pick.

Trance mediums speak as the contacted spirit. Steve Grenard claims a meeting with a trance medium in which she/the spirit identified herself in a photo, and spoke at length about details that could not have been known by any other. No questions asked, no eye contact with Steve, and yet 195 pieces of information that were correct. That one performance (if true) is so far above the meandering nonsense of JE, JVP, Fry, Browne, etc that I have no idea why mediumship advocates waste any time at all with them (Steve seems to agree, yet still seems interested in testing and evaluating non-trance mediums).

I recall reading of a sitting in the 1920's in which the medium fell into a 'deep trance', and then sudddenly said "I am King George the IV" (working from memory here - might be wrong King! I'll try to find the link). Now that's the way a reading should start - with the spirit giving their name! Apparently even Steve's contact didn't actually give their own name (funny that - if I call a friend on the phone, the *first* thing I give is my name. Why do spirits prefer to give out the names of relatives/friends/pets rather than their own when establishing contact?)

A poster here called Freda says she is a member of 'circle' that sits regularly, and she claims to have been at sittings where the medium goes into a trance and speaks with the exact voice of the deceased. Holds entire conversations, then goes back 'over'.

I watched that wonderfully detailed show about contacting the spirit of Princess Diana last year (yes, my wife - like all women in the Commonwealth - has a fascination with Diana). The trance medium was 'taken over' by Diana's spirit, and she spoke clearly about her relationships with Charles and Dodi - although, IMO, Diana seems to have become rather vague about some of the details of her life since she crossed over. Lucky for her (and the trance medium) the people gathered at the sitting did not appear to be terribly close to the Princess while she was alive, so the questions they ask were of a fairly general nature - much like the answers given.

Mediumship communication is simple if you're a trance medium.

Mediumship communication is a lot like cold-reading if you're a 'charades' medium.

Lets get serious here! Cut out the dead wood like JE, JVP, Fry and (especially) Sylvia - bring on Camille Walsh!

Clancie
5th February 2004, 01:49 PM
Hi Loki,

I agree with you that, from all accounts, good trance mediums seem to bring generally superior information compared with what mental mediums do.


I recall reading of a sitting in the 1920's in which the medium fell into a 'deep trance', and then sudddenly said "I am King George the IV" (working from memory here - might be wrong King! I'll try to find the link). Now that's the way a reading should start - with the spirit giving their name!
Well, that's one little problem with transcripts I've read. The "contact", named or unnamed, is usually totally unconvincing (except for Mrs. Piper's contact George Pellew "Pelham" who was able to correctly identify 29 of the 30 sitters who were anonymously brought to him and would have been known by the real George Pellew in life.
Apparently even Steve's contact didn't actually give their own name
I thought he did, actually.

yes, my wife - like all women in the Commonwealth - has a fascination with Diana).
Yes, and lots of us here in the US like her, too! :)


Diana seems to have become rather vague about some of the details of her life since she crossed over. Lucky for her (and the trance medium) the people gathered at the sitting did not appear to be terribly close to the Princess while she was alive, so the questions they ask were of a fairly general nature - much like the answers given.
Well, kind of a stupid way to do a demo, yes? :confused:


Lets get serious here! Cut out the dead wood like JE, JVP, Fry and (especially) Sylvia - bring on Camille Walsh!
Sure, Loki! Why not? :)

.

Loki
5th February 2004, 02:10 PM
Clancie,

I agree with you that, from all accounts, good trance mediums seem to bring generally superior information compared with what mental mediums do.
Well, I'd say that the second hand accounts of trance mediums seem vastly superior, by orders of magnitude, to mental mediums (by the way, 'mental' is a insult used by children around here, so I find it quite appropriate in this context!)

I thought he did, actually.
I thought I'd chased this down with Steve, but perhaps I've forgotten (so many posts, so little information!) My recollection is that Walsh pointed at a photo containing 3 men, one of whom was Steve's son, and said "that's me". Gave dogs names, friends names, etc, but not his own. I stand to be corrected, though.

Well, kind of a stupid way to do a demo, yes?
I suspect (or hope) that the main reason for surrounding the trance medium with a bunch of the Princesses 'occasional aquaintances' is because those closer to the Princess could see what a tactless rip off the show was, and therefore declined to participate. Still, the medium *did* speak as the princess, and offered complete English sentences including names.

The conclusion seems clear - either communication is 100% perfect for trance mediums, or trance mediums are frauds. Take your pick .

Sure, Loki! Why not?
Why Not? Hmmmm....

All the "great" mediums of the late 19th and early 20th century are dead (and seemingly not all that interested in contacting the current crop of mediums to exchange ideas and techniques?).

Camille Walsh prefers not to be tested (we think - apparently no one from the 'pro-mediumship' camp thinks it's worth asking her).

Freda says that the 'elders' of her circle have decided that it's not yet time to reveal the truth to the world about the after life, and so we have to wait "a few more years" before they announce the incontrovertable proof. So she and her contacts will not agree to be tested (yet).

The Diana medium seemed, well, to be a rather poor trance medium - the sentences were full and complete English, but somehow lacking in detail - unlike the descriptions of other trance mediums. Perhaps this medium *is* worth testing - the communication channel seemed to be operating at 100%, but the messages didn't seem all that interesting - perhaps the Princess has better things to do nowadays (or perhaps she was always just a bit vague?) If this medium was to contact, say, victims in unsolved murder cases we might be able to establish some validity?

CFLarsen
5th February 2004, 02:39 PM
It is interesting to see that some believers in mediumship complain that cold readers (seemingly) are unwilling - or unable - to match what a medium can do, but they see no problems with mediums refusing to be tested scientifically.

One could ask the very obvious question: Why do they hold the mediums to much lower standards than the people trying to debunk the mediums?

One might suspect hypocrisy, double-standards.

Clancie
5th February 2004, 02:41 PM
Posted by Loki

Well, I'd have to say that second hand accounts of trance mediums seem vastly superior....
"Second hand accounts"? :confused: Wouldn't you consider Hodgson, Keen, etc. as providing first hand accounts?

Or do you mean "second hand" because you didn't see it for yourself? :confused:

Loki
5th February 2004, 03:55 PM
Clancie,

Or do you mean "second hand" because you didn't see it for yourself?
Sorry - slack use of terminology...nice of you to embarass me by pointing it out! What I meant was (a) any account that isn't written by the actual person, or (b) any account that isn't actually one witnessed by me. This isn't at all what is usually meant by the phrase "second hand", so I apologise for using (potentially) confusing language.

showme2
5th February 2004, 04:35 PM
Loki
"A poster here called Freda says she is a member of 'circle' that sits regularly, and she claims to have been at sittings where the medium goes into a trance and speaks with the exact voice of the deceased. Holds entire conversations, then goes back 'over'."


Yes, that would be Freda Watts, who is a leading figure in Noah's Ark Society. She is an elderly lady with extremely vast experience of the subject under discussion. And I can assure you that, if she "claims" that is what took place, then it did.

I count Freda as a personal friend, and she has lent me some video tapes of demonstrations of trance mediumship which are VERY convincing. But it is a bit like the Freemasons - unless and until you are "on board", you will never get to see stuff like that.

TLN
5th February 2004, 04:43 PM
Originally posted by showme2
And I can assure you that, if she "claims" that is what took place, then it did.

So, because she's honest anything she claims is true?

That's the single most ignorant thing I've ever read.

showme2
5th February 2004, 05:14 PM
TLN
I know her, you don't.

I know to what extent I can rely on what she says, you don't.

And YOU have the temerity to start talking about ignorance?

Get outta here, Mr Pot !

Loki
5th February 2004, 05:17 PM
showme2,

I quite liked Freda, and she certainly seemed to be "on the inside" of the subject. Seemed quite honest and friendly too, but a little 'thin skinned' - got upset easily when her numerous assertions were challenged in any way.

She is an elderly lady with extremely vast experience of the subject under discussion.
"Vast knowledge"? Well, maybe. Certainly a large amount of experience in mediumship/sittings, and a solid grasp of the terminology. However, just the conversation about the existence of the "ether", and how it had been established what it's properties were seemed to show that she was reciting from the "official handbook" without being in anyway able to reconcile such claims with standard physics. In fact her grasp of the general methodology for establishing "facts" seemed to go little beyond "well, I saw it myself". She seemed frustrated that 'testing' was even being requested - her tone seemed to be that her word should be sufficient.

I got the strong impression that she'd derived most of her beliefs/knowledge from (a) personal experience and (b) being told about it by 'experts' in the field (which she simply accepted as 'true' because it mathced her current belief system). She seemed willing to offer various 'experts' opinons as proof on a variety of subjects, and when I examined the material it appeared to be nothing more than conjecture.

And I can assure you that, if she "claims" that is what took place, then it did.
I'll take your assurance for what it's worth, and just note that I believe that Freda accepts as true what she has seen.

I count Freda as a personal friend, ...
Say hi to her for me - she's welcome back anytime if she wishes (but I'm not sure there's much here for her, and her time might be more profitably spent elsewhere!)

... and she has lent me some video tapes of demonstrations of trance mediumship which are VERY convincing.
I can send you video tapes of Sigfried and Roy that do a pretty good job of demonstrating humans flying. I assume you're prepared to accept that as evidence? No, of course you won't. The difference, of course, is that Sigfried and Roy are setting out to fool you (and you know this), and that's certainly not the case with Freda's tapes, is it. No way!

But it is a bit like the Freemasons - unless and until you are "on board", you will never get to see stuff like that.
Well, Freda did say that the "high command" had decided that we'd all be let in on the secret "real soon now" - just a year of two, I seem to remember. I guess I'll just have to wait until these wise people complete their research, and decide to share it with the rest of us. Of course, if and when that happens I will apologise to both Freda and yourself for my doubting ways.

By the way, any comment regarding my question about Scole and Colin Fry? Just why was Colin the poor unfortunate victim of a rouge spirit playing an April Fools joke? Why don't malicious spirits ever 'take over' a trance medium and make them urinate on the seance table? Why don't fun-loving spirits take over John Edward on Larry King Live and make him say "I'm just a fraud and cold reader - stop paying me money!" I know why I think they don't - how about you? Why is Colin the sole single victim?

TLN
5th February 2004, 05:25 PM
Originally posted by showme2

I know her, you don't.

So?

Originally posted by showme2
I know to what extent I can rely on what she says, you don't.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, not extraordinary testimonials. For you though, it's all about faith. That's fine, but don't expect to convince anyone here with such blind faith.

showme2
5th February 2004, 05:35 PM
Originally posted by Loki
showme2,

I got the strong impression that she'd derived most of her beliefs/knowledge from (a) personal experience and (b) being told about it by 'experts' in the field (which she simply accepted as 'true' because it mathced her current belief system

I'll take your assurance for what it's worth, and just note that I believe that Freda accepts as true what she has seen.

By the way, any comment regarding my question about Scole and Colin Fry? Just why was Colin the poor unfortunate victim of a rouge spirit playing an April Fools joke? Why don't malicious spirits ever 'take over' a trance medium and make them urinate on the seance table? Why don't fun-loving spirits take over John Edward on Larry King Live and make him say "I'm just a fraud and cold reader - stop paying me money!" I know why I think they don't - how about you? Why is Colin the sole single victim?

Freda has indeed derived most of her beliefs from personal experience. Don't we all? At the end of the day, it is probably the only kind of validation that is convincing to any individual - or at least to those who have any confidence in their own judgment.

Fry was a victim because his inadequate development at that time left him open to it. (It WAS 10 years ago.)

As for pissing on a seance table, let's keep it reasonably serious.

On which note of seriousness you want to bring in John Edward. (erm ... sorry, PASS!) ....

kittynh
5th February 2004, 05:39 PM
If it's faith you are going with, it's a religion. And indeed, after reading the book , 'They Psychic Mafia" by Lamar Keene, it can be a very profitable religion...

Mercutio
5th February 2004, 05:42 PM
I, too, have corresponded with Freda. It has been my experience, Showme2, that she is less certain that "if she claims it took place, than it did" than you are. Certainly, she believes that she saw what she saw, but she (in a delightful correspondence that I have saved) did recognise that her testimony is as human as any other. I was very impressed at her willingness to listen to other views; yes, she believed in hers, but her belief was not as dogmatic as your faith in her appears to be.

I, too, hope Freda comes back here and posts again. My memory, too, is human--perhaps you (showme2) are right and I am wrong. Maybe Freda could actually tell us what she thinks.

showme2
5th February 2004, 05:42 PM
Originally posted by TLN


Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, not extraordinary testimonials.

For you though, it's all about faith. That's fine, but don't expect to convince anyone here with such blind faith.

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" - No they do not actually. They merely require sufficient evidence, like any other claim. This is a mere sceptic BS cliche that is oft repeated by parrots who can't bother to think for themselves.

No, I'm not into "faith", which is a willingness to believe what you would like to be true despite total lack of any evidence.

What is "evidence" varies from one individual to another.

TLN
5th February 2004, 05:47 PM
Originally posted by showme2
What is "evidence" varies from one individual to another.

Only in the world of faith. You clearly have no knowledge of how science works. If you'd like some, try reading this:

http://rucus.ru.ac.za/~urban/docs/baloney.html

showme2
5th February 2004, 05:58 PM
Actually, TLN, I'm not much interested in having your Great God Science telling me what to think.

It has been too often wrong in the past - wrong with amazing consistency in fact.

You people who believe that Science answers everything in fact reduce yourselves to the level of the "woo woos" you despise, because at the end of the day Science is just another belief system. Hence it has to keep modifying what it tells us because it constantly gets its first conclusions wrong.

Science is in fact no great shakes. But, of course, if you believers in it had to acknowledge that, it would leave you with nothing at all to cling to.

Goodnight.

Loki
5th February 2004, 06:05 PM
showme2,

Freda has indeed derived most of her beliefs from personal experience. Don't we all?
Yes, to a degree. But...

At the end of the day, it is probably the only kind of validation that is convincing to any individual - or at least to those who have any confidence in their own judgment.
...see, I think it's fine to treat "personal experience" as a major source of beliefs - but it's necessary to remember the many and varied ways in which the world and our perceptions can differ.

A quick example - it's clear to me from personal experience that the full moon is often larger when it is near the horizon, and gets smaller as it rises into the night sky. I assume this is something to do with orbits and angles and phases of the moon - don't really know why, just something I've observed. Yet I'm wrong - the moon doesn't change size. It's a perception problem.

Just one more example - ever heard of the Coriolis Effect? water rotates clockwise down drains in the northern hemisphere, and anti-clockwise in the southern? Well, I've seen it demonstrated in a video. Michael Palin, in his series "Pole to Pole", stopped at the equator in Africa. A local man got a bucket of water, walked 10 steps north of the equater, placed a match in the water. In slowly rotated. The man then picked up the bucket, walked 20 feet south, and put the bucket down. The match now rotated the other way. Michael Palin was impressed. Video evidence - the Coriolis Effect is real, and affects water flow. So I've seen it with my own eyes - experience tells me it's true. Opps - except it isn't! The Coriolis Effect is real, but the force is far too weak to affect something as small as a bucket of water sitting 10 feet from the equator. It was just a local trick, performed for tourists. How do we know it was a trick - the (idiot) local made the stick rotate the wrong way in each hemisphere! Oh well ...

Experience counts, showme2, but it's gotta be backed by the facts.
Fry was a victim because his inadequate development at that time left him open to it. (It WAS 10 years ago.)
Have there been other victims then amongst young, 'underdeveloped' mediums? Any support for that assertion, or is it just your (or Colin's?) opinion?

As for pissing on a seance table, let's keep it reasonably serious.
Okay, sorry. Would you prefer "dancing naked on the table"?

On which note of seriousness you want to bring in John Edward. (erm ... sorry, PASS!) .
I'm intrigued ... unless I'm misunderstanding you, you're saying that you think JE is a fraud? Personally I think JE is the best of the current crop of TV mediums - "Crossing Over" certianly seems better than "Sixth Sense" ('best' and 'better' refer to the apparent hit rate). I'm interested to hear why you hold JE in such little regard?

Mercutio
5th February 2004, 06:09 PM
Originally posted by showme2

Science is in fact no great shakes. But, of course, if you believers in it had to acknowledge that, it would leave you with nothing at all to cling to.
Polio. Smallpox. Nuclear fission. Central Heating. The light bulb. The computers we both type on.

I'll stop now...but come on...we both know I could go on another couple hundred pages.

Be careful when you engage in hyperbole. You just might get called on it.

Clancie
5th February 2004, 09:55 PM
Cleopatra,

Just a quick note. Your last posts raised many good points (perhaps too many good points. :eek: I tried to answer it tonight and, interspersed with the quotes, it ran to two and a half pages in Word!! That was after considerable editing!! :eek: )

Anyway, I'll try again tomorrow when--maybe--my mind will be working more succinctly. :p

Ersby
6th February 2004, 12:33 AM
Originally posted by
If you think this then I do not think you have a good idea of innate probabilities.

What are "innate probabilities"?

Meanwhile, thanks for taking a look at the transcripts. Glad you agree there's no difference in the inofrmation brought through in a reading by a "genuine" medium and a fake.

Could you point to those occasions on the recent LKL that go beyond what you'd expect by these "innate probabilities"?

Last time we chatted on this subject, you admitted you knew nothing about cold reading. Have you done any research on the subject at all since then?

Cleopatra
6th February 2004, 02:56 AM
Originally posted by showme2
Actually, TLN, I'm not much interested in having your Great God Science telling me what to think.

It has been too often wrong in the past - wrong with amazing consistency in fact.

You people who believe that Science answers everything in fact reduce yourselves to the level of the "woo woos" you despise, because at the end of the day Science is just another belief system. Hence it has to keep modifying what it tells us because it constantly gets its first conclusions wrong.

Science is in fact no great shakes. But, of course, if you believers in it had to acknowledge that, it would leave you with nothing at all to cling to.

Goodnight.

There is no need to get so frustrated and compose posts like the above .

It's not a battle of spiritualism versus science. The whole matter of medium ship is deadly serious not just because some people are fooled. If there is life after death then we have to reconsider in a drastic way our approach to everyday life as I told to Clancie.

You expect me to take without any proof something that will cause a dramatic change to my life? Do you think that for some people this is a joke? If I am to live with accepting the existence of a dead person in my life that has feelings, opinions, feels frustrated or neglected or sad then I want to have a solid proof about it. And the stories and anecdotes are not proof they are reasons to believe.

You said that the phrase " Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" is a skeptic cliche. You know, what makes the claim of the existence of afterlife extraordinary is the effect that this claim will have to our lives if it stands and I do not see any of the believers taking this serious aspect into account.

Maybe this is the reason why they believe without any evidence at all.

I want to have solid proof before letting a dead person control my future. Is this so much to ask?

Barkhorn1x
6th February 2004, 05:29 AM
Originally posted by Ersby


What are "innate probabilities"?



Yes, where is Ian???

I too am waiting for an explanation of these "innate probabilities" that my puny brain fails to understand.

Barkhorn.

voidx
6th February 2004, 08:24 AM
Originally posted by Clancie
Hi voidx (Any chance of shorter paragraphs, even if they're artificial breaks? I always find your posts worthwhile, but it seems really hard to read long solid blocks of text online. Just a thought -- and, yes, maybe reading glasses -would- be an alternative. :) ).,

What? You don't enjoy my run on paragraphs? :eek: The Nerve!


Yes, of course it is. So is the assumption that its all fraudulent. Let's say we all agree that it doesn't work the way we would "expect" (if it really happens at all). Then...why not? Either it just isn't real, or, maybe, its just very difficult to communicate telepathically from a surviving consciousness to someone in our physical world. So, yes, imo both are assumptions to explain the idea of ADC (pro or con).

But I'm not really one of those running around calling them out-right frauds now am I. I say JE is a cold-reader because based on all the things I've seen and read and compared regarding him, he looks every bit a cold-reader. I don't know what his real motivations are for doing it so I don't usually bother commenting. Either its real or it isn't. The difficulty/ease part of it is merely an assumption, to support either view. My main point was that since there is no convincing arguement as to why its likely difficult, rather than easy, that you must admit that its merely an assumption to backup what you believe. I myself don't say its easy, I merely point out that its just as convincing to say its easy compared to difficult.


Well, trance mediums do get entire sentences (like the Mrs. Piper SPR transcripts, or Steve G's account of his reading with Mrs. Walsh).

Ok fair enough, I'll admit to not having perused the SPR at great length, so we'll see how they stand up. But as Loki mentions lets toss the JE's and Van Praaghs to the wind because everytime serious questions are put to the quality of mediums, you have to fall back on trance mediums rather than mental ones. As for Steve's account, is there an actual transcript of this, or did it just come out from repeated inquiries from posters here? Nothing personal but I'm going to have to take Steve's "account" with a grain of salt.


Well, if there's spirit, and if they can communicate, then materialization may or may not be possible. I'm not saying it won't happen because it wouldn't convince us. I'm saying that if it happened, it could always be easily dismissed as an hallucination. So, if its even possible...well, it still wouldn't be convincing.

But it doesn't seem to happen much anymore. Do any mediums do materialization anymore? I'm merely asking, to my knowledge there are none, perhaps that is telling. My point was that its one of the most visible and obvious forms of communication, if its real, yet it doesn't seem to happen anymore. To me that says more that its an old method that was to easy to scrutinize, and so mediums moved away from it, rather than spirits changing tactics so their not "dismissed" out of hand.


Well, I've never seen the ectoplasm or physical materializations in seance, but I've read the descriptions of them. So, however you would explain that....its not like it never is described that way. Some people would tell you that, under certain conditions certain mediums can produce a physical materialization. (Personally, of course, I just don't know one way or the other. But it -is- reported a great deal in the literature of all this).

But anything recently? When was the last time any medium relied heavily on ectoplasm or materializations? Its been quite a while hasn't it?


They don't? Are you sure?

Since everyone has loved ones that are dead, and presumbably the majority of these would be attempting to contact their living kin or loved ones, yes I'm pretty sure. No one I know is receiving subtle everyday signs of attempted communication from beyond the grave. If spirits were truly trying to contact us desperately because it was so inherently difficult, the majority of the population would be experiencing weird phenomena everyday. I think its pretty safe to say that we're not.


Well, I understand why you reject the assumption that survival may be real, but that communication between our two "dimensions" or worlds (whatever the term would be) would be difficult.

Careful how you word this. I find it quite unlikely that survival is real, and even if it is, its just as likely communication is easy as talking to the living, as it is that its this difficult, convoluted process mediums make it out to be.


To me, it makes perfect sense that it would be a hard process (even communication among the living, speaking or writing in the same language, isn't all that smooth at times, you know? :p Telepathically communicating, with no visual cues, mind-to-mind...well, -if- it happens, it does sound very very difficult to me.....)

Perfect sense? Where do you arrive at that? Language barriers are a completely different scenario. While the understanding is hindered by language barriers the process of verballing communicating is not, so its not a very valid comparison.

Why does mind to mind seem difficult? This is an assumption. If you subscribe to Ian's type of view of an immaterialist world, mind to mind or rather self to self communication is what is happening everyday, the physical process is just an illusion, so this same self to self communicating between the "dead" and the "living" is the same process, and therefore should be just as easy.

Since telepathy doesn't seem to make a lick of sense under materialism, you'd have to at least subscribe to dualism or immaterialism to make it work, and then the property of the immaterial "self" renders all difficulty of communication practically invalid. Aside from mediums stating so, is there any other reason, or paper, or explanation as to why you think telepathy by nature must be "hard"? I myself have never seen anything that convinces me of this so I'm merely asking how you arrived at this opinion.

voidx
6th February 2004, 08:47 AM
Originally posted by Loki
voidx,

No, you're wrong. It appears that only the 'high profile' mediums have trouble communicating. Trance mediums are vastly superior. Makes you wonder why we bother putting the low grade "guessaholic" mediums on TV when we have access to a much simpler and error proof form of mediumship. Hmmm, wonder why that might be?????

Indeed, an important question, and one that any person truly critical of their beliefs should weigh quite heavily.


Not only should you not discount the idea, you should embrace it! Mediumship is (apparently) far easier that JE makes it look - he's a fraud or a talentless hack, take your pick.

For myself I don't think it happens period, but I find it suprising that no believer embraces my version of telepathy being simple. They all think its difficult and draining. One of the only real reasons I can see for this is that its a convinient out for whenever they get misses, or partial hits, or vague information.


Trance mediums speak as the contacted spirit. Steve Grenard claims a meeting with a trance medium in which she/the spirit identified herself in a photo, and spoke at length about details that could not have been known by any other. No questions asked, no eye contact with Steve, and yet 195 pieces of information that were correct. That one performance (if true) is so far above the meandering nonsense of JE, JVP, Fry, Browne, etc that I have no idea why mediumship advocates waste any time at all with them (Steve seems to agree, yet still seems interested in testing and evaluating non-trance mediums).

Agreed, why is it we've never ever seen a trance medium on TV. TV has been around for quite some time now. Or skip TV how about video footage? In conjunction with photo's, in conjunction with written accounts. If you were serious about the research, why wouldn't you triple record all instances of the effect? Any one of them by themselves can be suspect to tampering. But having all three would make this more difficult, and perhaps less likely.


I recall reading of a sitting in the 1920's in which the medium fell into a 'deep trance', and then sudddenly said "I am King George the IV" (working from memory here - might be wrong King! I'll try to find the link). Now that's the way a reading should start - with the spirit giving their name! Apparently even Steve's contact didn't actually give their own name (funny that - if I call a friend on the phone, the *first* thing I give is my name. Why do spirits prefer to give out the names of relatives/friends/pets rather than their own when establishing contact?)

I also agree, if the spirit can remember the name of the family dog, they can remember their name. If this truly is a "communication" process, the medium should be able to prompt the spirit for certain bits of information. But no, most of them describe themselves as being merely a speaker for the spirit. Again this is convinient because any information missing, or conveyed vaguely is a problem of the spirits, or the comminucation difficulties, and not on the medium.


A poster here called Freda says she is a member of 'circle' that sits regularly, and she claims to have been at sittings where the medium goes into a trance and speaks with the exact voice of the deceased. Holds entire conversations, then goes back 'over'.

Good for her. However, in my opinion, until there is video and photo's and written transcripts of these sittings I will continue to place zero credibility in them.

I think you'll agree that everytime we get accused of too quickly dismissing potential "evidence" that sometimes those doing the accusing should look at what their saying, and realize why we seem so doubtful. My dog farted jelly beans today. And here's a written account from 1979 when my previous dog farted jelly beans in front of me and several youthful colleagues. While entirely possible, it makes it kind of hard to verify doesn't it.

showme2
6th February 2004, 09:06 AM
Originally posted by Cleopatra


You expect me to take without any proof something that will cause a dramatic change to my life? Do you think that for some people this is a joke? If I am to live with accepting the existence of a dead person in my life that has feelings, opinions, feels frustrated or neglected or sad then I want to have a solid proof about it. And the stories and anecdotes are not proof they are reasons to believe.

You said that the phrase " Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" is a skeptic cliche. You know, what makes the claim of the existence of afterlife extraordinary is the effect that this claim will have to our lives if it stands and I do not see any of the believers taking this serious aspect into account.

Maybe this is the reason why they believe without any evidence at all.

I want to have solid proof before letting a dead person control my future. Is this so much to ask?

No Cleopatra, I do not "expect" anything of you, nor do I wish to convince you to change your views of Life After Death or anything else.

I doubt whether there will ever be absolute irrefutable ("scientific" for the science-obsessed) evidence of survival. It would be great, but I cannot see it coming.
It is likely however that the mass of circumstantial evidence will increase and, who knows, perhaps Science can even contribute by eliminating some of the alternative explanations offered for that.

"Maybe this is the reason why they believe without any evidence at all." ???? That's a bit of a generalisation, isn't it? Some - the daft ones - do indeed believe as a matter of "faith", i.e. because they WANT to believe, whether or not there is evidential support.

Others like myself require convincing evidence. It is just that the standard of "evidence" expected by other individuals may not be the same as yours. That is your choice and theirs - neither are right or wrong.

I entirely agree that stories and anecdotes are not proof. (I don't agree with you that they are even reasons to believe.)
If you want proof, you have to go looking for it yourself. Nobody else can put it on a plate for you. And what you accept as proof is your business.

showme2
6th February 2004, 09:17 AM
Originally posted by Loki
showme2,


I'm intrigued ... unless I'm misunderstanding you, you're saying that you think JE is a fraud? Personally I think JE is the best of the current crop of TV mediums - "Crossing Over" certianly seems better than "Sixth Sense" ('best' and 'better' refer to the apparent hit rate). I'm interested to hear why you hold JE in such little regard?

I don't disagree with most of what you say.

As for JE, I note your view, but it merely demonstrates the accuracy of another of your claims - that we can each perceive different things and reach different conclusions from the same scenario.

If you know anything about Cold Reading, and I suspect you do, I would have thought that you could perceive that JE's performance exhibits many of its symptoms a lot of the time. Fishing in particular. (JVP even more so.)
No, I'm not saying JE is a fraud. I don't have enough evidence to say that right now, particularly as I have never seen him "live". But I've certainly seen cold reading techniques demonstrated by him on Crossing Over, unwittingly or otherwise.

Fry exhibits no symptoms of cold reading. Indeed, when people butt in and start to give him information, he will invariable say "No, don't tell me. I will tell you."

TLN
6th February 2004, 09:56 AM
Originally posted by showme2
Actually, TLN, I'm not much interested in having your Great God Science telling me what to think.

It has been too often wrong in the past - wrong with amazing consistency in fact.

You people who believe that Science answers everything in fact reduce yourselves to the level of the "woo woos" you despise, because at the end of the day Science is just another belief system. Hence it has to keep modifying what it tells us because it constantly gets its first conclusions wrong.

Science is in fact no great shakes. But, of course, if you believers in it had to acknowledge that, it would leave you with nothing at all to cling to.

Later, you'll call some skeptic "closed-minded" and yourself "open-minded." How typical of your ilk.

Ersby
6th February 2004, 10:04 AM
Originally posted by showme2

Fry exhibits no symptoms of cold reading. Indeed, when people butt in and start to give him information, he will invariable say "No, don't tell me. I will tell you."

Why do you think that's not a symptom of cold reading? I've discovered that it's much harder to give a reading to someone who tells you everything you want to guess. I think the "don't tell me anything" is nothing evidential (whatever evidence is).

showme2
6th February 2004, 10:05 AM
Originally posted by TLN


Later, you'll call some skeptic "closed-minded" and yourself "open-minded." How typical of your ilk.

Perhaps, if you wait long enough.
But I don't recall ever doing so.

showme2
6th February 2004, 10:11 AM
Originally posted by Ersby


Why do you think that's not a symptom of cold reading? I've discovered that it's much harder to give a reading to someone who tells you everything you want to guess. I think the "don't tell me anything" is nothing evidential (whatever evidence is).

It's certainly not evidential of cold reading, where you would ENCOURAGE the subject to talk in the hope of gaining titbits of information that you could present later as startling revelations.

Cleopatra
6th February 2004, 10:20 AM
Originally posted by showme2

Others like myself require convincing evidence. It is just that the standard of "evidence" expected by other individuals may not be the same as yours. That is your choice and theirs - neither are right or wrong.

As I already told you in my opinion the existence of afterlife is related to a series of moral issues that in their turn are related to everyday life of common people especially if the spirits of the dead have feelings and opinions about the way the living run their lives. So, it wouldn't be hyperbolic to say that this is a matter of life-- meaning that it can actually affect your life for good.

In every day life there are a series of things that signify choices that are able to bring drastic changes.

Shall I quit smoking? Do I need to have only one sexual partner in order not to die of AIDS? Two gross examples that are related to life choices that rely on information.

The information I need in order to make these choices that will bring changes to my life can be provided only by one and only method, the method that can provide me with enough evidence. This evidence is the same for you and me that we live miles away and we run different lives.If smoking causes cancer it will do it for both of us. If a moderate sex life is a good way to prevent AIDS, this stands for both of us. If there is life after death this concerns both of us.

When it comes to some matters the notion of a personal evidence doesn't apply.

I entirely agree that stories and anecdotes are not proof. (I don't agree with you that they are even reasons to believe.)

How you name them?

If you want proof, you have to go looking for it yourself. Nobody else can put it on a plate for you.
This is what I do.

And what you accept as proof is your business.

If I do that showme2 then I will resemble to what Hans Eysenck described:" my mind is made up, don't confuse me with facts".

I don't want to fit into that description.

TLN
6th February 2004, 10:26 AM
Originally posted by showme2
Perhaps, if you wait long enough.
But I don't recall ever doing so.

Well, are you open-minded?

showme2
6th February 2004, 10:52 AM
Originally posted by Cleopatra


The information I need in order to make these choices that will bring changes to my life can be provided only by one and only method, the method that can provide me with enough evidence.

This evidence is the same for you and me that we live miles away and we run different lives.If smoking causes cancer it will do it for both of us. If a moderate sex life is a good way to prevent AIDS, this stands for both of us. If there is life after death this concerns both of us........

When it comes to some matters the notion of a personal evidence doesn't apply..........



So who do you allow to dictate to you what "evidence" you are entitled to deem acceptable ?

showme2
6th February 2004, 10:59 AM
Originally posted by TLN


Well, are you open-minded?

Yes, I think so. If I was suddenly presented with evidence that suggested strongly to me that Colin Fry was a fraud, I would accept it and change my view of him.
And it wouldn't have to be "scientific" evidence under "controlled conditions" either. I would use the same judgment that I used to decide that what he was doing was genuine.

(Like your belief system Science if, after reaching a conclusion, I see good reasons to change it, I will do so. The major difference is that millions are not relying on my pronouncements and believing them until I tell them I got it wrong first time.)

TLN
6th February 2004, 11:01 AM
Originally posted by showme2
Yes, I think so.

Well, you're wrong.

When presented with an alternative view of the world (the document I linked above) you categorically refused to read it. How is this open-minded?

Cleopatra
6th February 2004, 11:06 AM
Originally posted by showme2
So who do you allow to dictate to you what "evidence" you are entitled to deem acceptable ?

I don't need anybody to dictate me anything I will pick the method that has demonstrated enough successes in providing trustworthy evidence.

My husband had studied Chemical Engineering, he was fascinated with Science and he was really knowledgable. I bet that if he survives indeed and those visits were not a figment of my imagination and he decides to appear to a couple of people apart from me ( his children for example) he will agree to follow us to a lab to certify his existence. I am not joking now I type these things really seriously but for the moment he has visited only his second wife and nobody else...

showme2
6th February 2004, 11:10 AM
Originally posted by TLN


Well, you're wrong.

When presented with an alternative view of the world (the document I linked above) you categorically refused to read it. How is this open-minded?

I didn't read it because the Fish & Chips arrived and I was called to eat my tea.

I'll read the bloody thing now if it will make you happy.

Ersby
6th February 2004, 11:19 AM
Originally posted by showme2
It's certainly not evidential of cold reading, where you would ENCOURAGE the subject to talk in the hope of gaining titbits of information that you could present later as startling revelations.

Would you? Whilst it's true, you don't want a sitter to just say "yes" or "no", but you certainly don't want them to talk too much. I know this, even from my limited experience. Especially if it's the type of information that you're likely to guess (names, means of death, size of family, months etc). These are the things you want to say without prompting so it'll look more impressive: simply repeating them back won't get you very far.

And JE asks his sitters not to say too much, too.

showme2
6th February 2004, 11:21 AM
Originally posted by Cleopatra


I don't need anybody to dictate me anything I will pick the method that has demonstrated enough successes in providing trustworthy evidence.

My husband had studied Chemical Engineering, he was fascinated with Science and he was really knowledgable. I bet that if he survives indeed and those visits were not a figment of my imagination and he decides to appear to a couple of people apart from me ( his children for example) he will agree to follow us to a lab to certify his existence. I am not joking now I type these things really seriously but for the moment he has visited only his second wife and nobody else...

Right ! You will select the evidence that appeals to you and satisfies you. So I am right - there is no universal standard of evidence that we are all required to work to.

I'm not sure your husband COULD "agree to follow you to a lab" even if he wanted to. Nobody truly understands the mechanics behind "visitations" - for want of a better word.
But it certainly IS clear that any kind of communication with people who are departed is extremely difficult from THEIR standpoint.

You question whether those visits were a figment of your imagination, but then say he has so far only visited his second wife. Sorry, I don't follow that. (Perhaps I haven't read earlier posts in sufficient detail.)
But you seem to imply that he has visited you AND his second wife ??? (AH! - Or perhaps you ARE his second wife? ?? )
Not trying to be a smartass, Cleopatra - merely trying to understand properly.

TLN
6th February 2004, 11:21 AM
Originally posted by showme2
I didn't read it because the Fish & Chips arrived and I was called to eat my tea.

That's not the reason you gave above.

Originally posted by showme2
I'll read the bloody thing now if it will make you happy.

Please, don't do it to make me happy. First of all, it won't. Secondly, do it because you want to explore the alternative to your current way of thinking in an open-minded fashion.

voidx
6th February 2004, 11:32 AM
Originally posted by showme2


It's certainly not evidential of cold reading, where you would ENCOURAGE the subject to talk in the hope of gaining titbits of information that you could present later as startling revelations.
But most cold-readers and "mediums" know this is way to obvious a tactic, and so don't use it. If the sitter tells you something, and you spit it right back out later as being told to you, people know enough to a) know that's the oldest trick in the book or b) find it unimpressive either way. That's why cold-readers/psychic mediums play the letters/fishing game, its less obvious, and can yield just as good results when sitters "confirm" the information. Like Ersby says, if the sitter is just blathering away, your field for making guess' shrinks, you have less info to go fishing for, and therefore to garner hits from.

Cleopatra
6th February 2004, 11:37 AM
Originally posted by showme2
Right ! You will select the evidence that appeals to you and satisfies you. So I am right - there is no universal standard of evidence that we are all required to work to.

This is not what I said. I am sorry if I wasn't clear. I said that I will select the method that has to demonstrate satisfying successes in providing trustworthy evidences.

I'm not sure your husband COULD "agree to follow you to a lab" even if he wanted to. Nobody truly understands the mechanics behind "visitations" - for want of a better word.
But it certainly IS clear that any kind of communication with people who are departed is extremely difficult from THEIR standpoint.

Yes you are right of course I can see the problem too but a way to see if my self-involvement is the only factor that affects the visit is that he appears at least to another person too.The whole event must be reproduced again without involving me.Don't you find this fair enough?

(AH! - Or perhaps you ARE his second wife? ?? )


I was just playful with the words , I am sorry. Yes the second wife is me.

CFLarsen
6th February 2004, 11:48 AM
Originally posted by voidx
But most cold-readers and "mediums" know this is way to obvious a tactic, and so don't use it. If the sitter tells you something, and you spit it right back out later as being told to you, people know enough to a) know that's the oldest trick in the book or b) find it unimpressive either way.

Oh, not necessarily. Some mediums use this very effectively. James van Praagh and John Edward have immediately regurgitated received information. The sitters ate it up.

These scumbags don't give a s**t if their victims discover that they cheat, because they know that enough will accept - even endorse - that they do.

It seems that, in the lucrative business of mediumship, the more you despise your audience, the bigger a success you are.

And the question is still asked: "What harm does this do?"....


<table cellspacing=1 cellpadding=4 bgcolor=#660066 border=0><tr><td bgcolor=#660066><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" color=#ffffff size=1>Posted by Pyrrho:</font></td></tr><tr><td bgcolor=white><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" color=black size=2>Edited for language.

As always, this decision may be appealed to Hal Bidlack (http://www.randi.org/vbulletin/private.php?s=&action=newmessage&userid=1753)[/i]</font></td></tr></table>

Barkhorn1x
6th February 2004, 12:18 PM
Originally posted by voidx

But most cold-readers and "mediums" know this is way to obvious a tactic, and so don't use it.

Except for JVP that is :p .

CALLER: OK. I lost -- I've lost both of my parents.

VAN PRAAGH: Yes.

CALLER: But my father passed away September of 2000.

VAN PRAAGH: I was getting your father before I even -- you know, when I first heard your voice. And I want to talk about his leg or his legs, OK?


He's so - oh I don't know - sigh-kick ;)

Barkhorn.

voidx
6th February 2004, 12:54 PM
Posted by showme2
But it certainly IS clear that any kind of communication with people who are departed is extremely difficult from THEIR standpoint.

How so? Any theories on why there is extreme difficulty? Or is it just so? If we don't even know enough to get consist theories on how telepathy, or these forms of "communication" work, how can we say with such certainty that they are difficult? I still fail to comprehend this.

voidx
6th February 2004, 01:00 PM
Heheh ok ok I stand somewhat corrected. I should have worded it more carefully. I did say most don't use it, but I should have said, most use it only sparingly. It is an obvious tactic, but if you can slip it in, hey all the better. I do seem to remember examples of JE doing it in the transcripts, but he mostly plays the letters/fishing game. As for JVP, well while I'm certain JE cold-reads, I know almost beyound a doubt that JVP does, his act is nowhere near as good. I won't even comment on Sylvia.

CFLarsen
6th February 2004, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by voidx
Heheh ok ok I stand somewhat corrected. I should have worded it more carefully. I did say most don't use it, but I should have said, most use it only sparingly. It is an obvious tactic, but if you can slip it in, hey all the better. I do seem to remember examples of JE doing it in the transcripts, but he mostly plays the letters/fishing game. As for JVP, well while I'm certain JE cold-reads, I know almost beyound a doubt that JVP does, his act is nowhere near as good. I won't even comment on Sylvia.

Point is, there are many ways of doing cold reading. New methods are invented, based on what works. We have to realize that we will probably always be two or three steps behind these people, because they need to work relentlessly to stay ahead of the game.

The medium who can produce the best results, win.

The sitters - victims - always lose.

showme2
6th February 2004, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by TLN


That's not the reason you gave above.

Please, don't do it to make me happy. First of all, it won't. Secondly, do it because you want to explore the alternative to your current way of thinking in an open-minded fashion.


Right, I’ve read "your", i.e. Sagan's, article – but not really to make you happy; as you fully realized, I was being sardonic.
(Hey, Word just automatically changed my spelling of "realised" because it knew I would be sending this to an American and that they don’t always spell English words properly. Is WORD psychic , or what ? ! ! )

BTW, please don't reach conclusions about "my current way of thinking" because you simply don't know enough about it.

More seriously, it was an interesting article, and thank you for drawing my attention to it.

However, in it Carl Sagan (who I am aware is accorded almost deity status by some skeptics – there goes Word again; I spelled it correctly with a “c”!) actually made some of the mistakes he himself cautions against.

“That doesn’t mean” he says “that I would be willing to accept the pretensions of a “medium” who claims to channel the spirits of the dear departed, when I am aware that the practice is rife with fraud”. (NON-SEQUITUR – There are crooked mechanics around. That doesn’t mean that every grease-monkey is dishonest and that there are no honest ones you could entrust your car to – sorry, “automobile” to. )

Then he asks why the channelers never give us verifiable information otherwise unavailable. (OBSERVATIONAL SELECTION, I think. Some of them have done so, and many times.)

Why don’t Sophocles et al dictate their lost books?, he asks. NON-SEQUITUR. Just because someone has died does not mean that they will want to resurrect their earthly works for our benefit. They might well have better things to do – like writing other books explaining that their views have changed. (A former son of an Archbishop of Canterbury did exactly that – allegedly.)

Sagan claims that he would love to examine some “real scientific data” for life after death. But he doesn’t enlighten us about what kind of data this might be, and what would qualify it as “scientific” data. (Since you are aware of my skepticism – OK, WORD, I’ll let that one go! – about science as “just another belief system”, I don’t need to expand on that and bore you yet again.)

He then claims – concerning the fundamental premise of channeling – that it is that some thinking feeling part of the deceased (soul, spirit, whatever) that can “re-enter the bodies of humans and other beings in the future”. I assume he is talking about reincarnation. In fact reincarnation is by no means a universal belief amongst spiritualists or other believers in an afterlife. I do not accept it, nor do I accept that it would constitute “survival” if one survived and re-emerged as someone else entirely! (The fundamental belief is actually that the existence AND IDENTITY of an individual continues after the change we call death. Reincarnation does not reflect that.)

He then gets on to “Ramtha” and J Z Knight . I must admit that I know nothing about that, but he poses a number of questions, the answers to which might allow us to validate that the “communicator” Ramtha is who he says he is – a person from 35,000 years ago. In fact they would not, because we would have to rely on archaeologists to confirm whether or not the answers were plausible. (It certainly WOULD however expose Knight as a fraud if the answers were hopelessly wrong, so I have no objection to the test if someone could lay it on, or to accepting the results.)

He questions how Ramtha speaks English with an Indian accent. Well, he has (allegedly) had 35,000 years to learn it. On the other hand, you would think that he could have got rid of his Indian accent in that time, so – well, it’s speculation isn’t it, all of this ?

He then gets on to channeling from aliens (?) – the people who make crop circles. Sorry, I’m not getting into THAT, and I am surprised that he brings it up in a serious paper.

He then goes on to Haldane and his crackpot ideas of “resurrected universes” and the uniting in the future of the departed with their grandchildren in another reformed universe. (No, sorry, I now see that he is actually rubbishing Haldane’s ideas, and I agree with him. I have seen no evidence whatever for such a hypothesis.)

Later he gets to “psychic surgeons” in the Philippines. But we are all onto the palming of the chicken blood and guts and have been for ages, so there's nothing new there.

And so to his toolkit for sceptical thinking …. (Ooops, WORD missed that one!)
But, to be honest, I found very little that was awe-inspiring there …..

Examples ? Sure ....

Wherever possible, independent confirmation of the facts. (Well, of COURSE !)

Debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all viewpoints. (Yes, naturally. You want to get a balance of views.)

Arguments from Authority carry little weight.
(You know I wholeheartedly agree with that - including your scientists “in authority”, because I am old enough to have seen them change their tune completely and too often a few years later – Sorry !)

Spin more than one hypothesis – think of the different ways the facts could be explained. (Yes, no more than common sense, and would be deployed automatically by anyone exercising serious judgment of the “facts”.)

Don’t get over-attached to a hypothesis because it’s yours. (I have always said that the true philosopher does not hold any view that he is not prepared to discard if a better one presents itself. And I am not into self-deceit – after all, if you’ll deceive yourself, you’ll deceive anyone! But it is actually a difficult principle to apply because people are reluctant to admit they got something wrong.)

Occams Razor. (I must admit that I am not seriously impressed with that, assuming I understand it correctly – i.e the simplest explanation is usually the accurate one.
I have seen too many “simple explanations” in my 59 years that turned out to be incorrect and the less simple ones right. And I am not talking about psychic phenomena here, but everything from car breakdowns to heating systems playing up, holiday bookings going wrong, banks screwing up transfers, you name it.)

Control experiments essential. (Yes, ideally, but regrettably life is full of things that we cannot test with controlled experiments.)

Sagans’s "fallacies of rhetoric and logic" are hardly ground-breaking, nor exclusive to the thinking of skeptics.
For instance, when evaluating Colin Fry’s “live” performances, I got the stuff down verbatim in order to check the reality of hits and misses in the cold light of day.

Misunderstanding statistics – I found that highly amusing, Did Eisenhower REALLY express surprise that half of all Americans were below average intelligence ? Out of 200 million plus citizens, you elected someone who ……. Hey, wait a minute - have you tried that test on GW yet ? Bet you’d get the same result ! And no, before you ask, we haven’t asked Blair – we’ve already decided he’s outta here in 18 months time.)

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc ? (Oh come on ! Illogical conclusions from false cause/effect must be something we are all looking out for. 98% of heroin addicts started with cannabis. Yeah right – and 100% of them started with coffee and then alcohol.)

Sagan’s final comment was illuminating, and you might benefit from re-reading it. “Like all tools, the baloney detection kit can be misused, applied out of context, or even employed as a rote alternative to thinking”.
In short, he was telling you NOT to put his words of wisdom on a pedestal and apply them willy-nilly.

But anyway, TLN, thanks for pointing me to an interesting article.
And in the immortal words of Hughie Green - "I mean that sincerely folks" ! !

showme2
6th February 2004, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by voidx

How so? Any theories on why there is extreme difficulty? Or is it just so? If we don't even know enough to get consist theories on how telepathy, or these forms of "communication" work, how can we say with such certainty that they are difficult? I still fail to comprehend this.

Because that is what "they" have consistently told us in their communications.
And, since none of us are yet dead and able to verify it, we can't really argue with it.
(But, on the other hand, it could be a cast-iron excuse for crappy mediumship, a possibility that cannot be excluded for precisely the same reason!)

showme2
6th February 2004, 02:03 PM
Originally posted by CFLarsen


Oh, not necessarily. Some mediums use this very effectively. James van Praagh and John Edward have immediately regurgitated received information. The sitters ate it up.



Larsen is NOT wrong on this !
Take it from a "believer" who investigates these things seriously, and reached exactly the same conclusion about these two.

CFLarsen
6th February 2004, 02:14 PM
Originally posted by showme2
Larsen is NOT wrong on this !
Take it from a "believer" who investigates these things seriously, and reached exactly the same conclusion about these two.

But, can you point to any medium who is proved to be a real medum?

Clancie
6th February 2004, 02:18 PM
Posted by showme2

Take it from a "believer" who investigates these things seriously, and reached exactly the same conclusion about these two.
Well, okay, Showme2. but.....

Even believers can investigate various mediums seriously and reach different conclusions about them. For example, I have a different conclusion than you do about Fry.

But, as with your opinion of JE/JVP, it all still just boils down to "one person's opinion"....whether believer or skeptic doesn't really matter very much, I think......

TLN
6th February 2004, 02:28 PM
Originally posted by showme2
“That doesn’t mean” he says “that I would be willing to accept the pretensions of a “medium” who claims to channel the spirits of the dear departed, when I am aware that the practice is rife with fraud”. (NON-SEQUITUR – There are crooked mechanics around. That doesn’t mean that every grease-monkey is dishonest and that there are no honest ones you could entrust your car to – sorry, “automobile” to. )

A Non Sequitur of your own. Sagan didn't claim they were all frauds, just that the practice was rife with it.

Originally posted by showme2
Then he asks why the channelers never give us verifiable information otherwise unavailable. (OBSERVATIONAL SELECTION, I think. Some of them have done so, and many times.)

Nonsense. I'd love to see an example of verifiable information otherwise unavailable given to us by a psychic. Please, no anecdotes; the example should be verifiable.

Originally posted by showme2
Sagan claims that he would love to examine some “real scientific data” for life after death. But he doesn’t enlighten us about what kind of data this might be, and what would qualify it as “scientific” data. (Since you are aware of my skepticism – OK, WORD, I’ll let that one go! – about science as “just another belief system”, I don’t need to expand on that and bore you yet again.)

Science is only "just another belief system" to people desperate to preserve actual belief systems. Science is not belief, no matter how much you'd like it to be.

Originally posted by showme2
Arguments from Authority carry little weight.
(You know I wholeheartedly agree with that - including your scientists “in authority”, because I am old enough to have seen them change their tune completely and too often a few years later – Sorry !)

Yet, you accept that account of your friend above without question. Clearly, you don't agree with the above sentiment.

Originally posted by showme2
Occams Razor. (I must admit that I am not seriously impressed with that, assuming I understand it correctly – i.e the simplest explanation is usually the accurate one.
I have seen too many “simple explanations” in my 59 years that turned out to be incorrect and the less simple ones right. And I am not talking about psychic phenomena here, but everything from car breakdowns to heating systems playing up, holiday bookings going wrong, banks screwing up transfers, you name it.)

Occams Razor is a rule of thumb, not a hard and fast law. For example, Quantum Mechanics is clearly not the simplest explanation, but it remains the best one we have for the observed phenomena.

Originally posted by showme2
Control experiments essential. (Yes, ideally, but regrettably life is full of things that we cannot test with controlled experiments.)

Name some.

Originally posted by showme2
Sagan’s final comment was illuminating, and you might benefit from re-reading it. “Like all tools, the baloney detection kit can be misused, applied out of context, or even employed as a rote alternative to thinking”.
In short, he was telling you NOT to put his words of wisdom on a pedestal and apply them willy-nilly.

Exactly, which is why I wonder where you get the fantasy that science is just another belief system from. At the end of the day, Sagan wants you to not take his word for anything. Very different from the world of belief where anecdotes are accepted without question.

That's the difference. You can independently verify the conclusions of science if you so chose. Something I can’t confirm or deny at all is a belief.

CFLarsen
6th February 2004, 02:30 PM
Originally posted by Clancie
Well, okay, Showme2. but.....

Even believers can investigate various mediums seriously and reach different conclusions about them. For example, I have a different conclusion than you do about Fry.

But, as with your opinion of JE/JVP, it all still just boils down to "one person's opinion"....whether believer or skeptic doesn't really matter very much, I think......

No, it does not.

If it did, why have you for the past few years tried to argue that mediumship was real, based on evidence?

One example: You have changed your mind several times on medium Robert Brown. First, you gushed over his mediumship abilities. Then, you strongly denounced him, because you discovered that he cheated. Then, you did a 180 degree turnabout, claiming that - even though he cheated - it was allowed, because he was "padding", he did not have to convey messages all the time, blah, blah, blah.

The mind of a believer is very plastic. The "reality" they experience is malleable. It will conform to whatever is discussed.

Orwell did not live in vain. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

TLN
6th February 2004, 02:38 PM
Originally posted by CFLarsen
No, it does not.

If it did, why have you for the past few years tried to argue that mediumship was real, based on evidence?

I've always wondered this myself...

Clancie
6th February 2004, 02:56 PM
Actually, TLN, I haven't argued that mediumship is real. I've argued that it might be real.

A significant difference...no?

And, as for "evidence"...well, I think there are other kinds of "evidence" worth considering when evaluating the possibility of something than -only- replicable controlled experiments in a reputable laboratory.

TLN
6th February 2004, 03:03 PM
Originally posted by Clancie
And, as for "evidence"...well, I think there are other kinds of "evidence" worth considering when evaluating the possibility of something than -only- replicable controlled experiments in a reputable laboratory.

What kinds? Why do you think this is?

Clancie
6th February 2004, 03:12 PM
I think the (exhaustive) SPR observations by experienced and credible researchers and, yes, even the "mountains" of anecdotal evidence from thousands of sitters and people who've reported ADC...as well as studies of NDEs.....plus many accounts by mediums themselves (I'm thinking Judith Orloff, for example, not JE) and my own observations as a sitter....plus overviews of the literature on mediumship by objective academics (think: "Braude"...think: "Gauld")....should get one to at least think, "Maybe....maybe...." And... .
"Maybe I can't really read through all this and say for certain yet that survival is impossible."

Its not an argument to make people say, "Yes, survival is real." Its an argument to say, "There's enough here not to close one's mind to the possibility" i.e. , a -real- possibility, not just a "lip service" one.

CFLarsen
6th February 2004, 03:20 PM
Originally posted by Clancie
Actually, TLN, I haven't argued that mediumship is real. I've argued that it might be real.

A bald-faced lie. Your own posts prove that you consider mediumship real.

Originally posted by Clancie
A significant difference...no?

It would be, were it true. It is not. Your own posts prove it.

Originally posted by Clancie
And, as for "evidence"...well, I think there are other kinds of "evidence" worth considering when evaluating the possibility of something than -only- replicable controlled experiments in a reputable laboratory.

In other words, you consider personal testimonies "evidence". You also have to accept that "greys" are visiting Earth, pixies are stealing babies from their cradles, and Peter Popoff can cure sick people.

Originally posted by Clancie
I think the (exhaustive) SPR observations by experienced and credible researchers and, yes, even the "mountains" of anecdotal evidence from thousands of sitters and people who've reported ADC...as well as studies of NDEs.....and my personal experiences....plus overviews of the literature on mediumship by objective academics (think: "Braude"...think: "Gauld")....should get one to at least think, "Maybe....maybe...." And... .
"Maybe I can't really read through all this and say for certain yet that survival is impossible."

Nobody is saying that "survival" is impossible. People are just asking for real evidence. Not hear-say, not testimonials.

Originally posted by Clancie
Its not an argument to make people say, "Yes, survival is real." Its an argument to say, "There's enough here not to close one's mind to the possibility" i.e. , a real possibility, not just a lip service one.

Nobody has closed their minds to the possibility of "survival".

TLN
6th February 2004, 03:21 PM
Originally posted by Clancie
Its not an argument to make people say, "Yes, survival is real." Its an argument to say, "There's enough here not to close one's mind to the possibility" i.e. , a -real- possibility, not just a "lip service" one.

You might want to keep in mind that most of us aren't of the opinion that it's impossible, just unlikely, which is a big difference.

voidx
6th February 2004, 03:24 PM
Originally posted by showme2


Because that is what "they" have consistently told us in their communications.
And, since none of us are yet dead and able to verify it, we can't really argue with it.
(But, on the other hand, it could be a cast-iron excuse for crappy mediumship, a possibility that cannot be excluded for precisely the same reason!)
But that's the problem isn't it, we can't verify its actually the dead people talking here, or if its just the medium making it up. Besides, can you point me to transcripts where spirits themselves say the process is difficult? The only people I hear claiming the process is hard is the actual mediums. I don't recall ever hearing a medium bring through, "This medium sucks, he's garbling all my words, this process of ADC is hard enough as it is without having to deal with a sucky medium". Unless I'm mistaken you'll have some trouble finding an example of that.

If its just the mediums saying it, then its just hearsay, and by all means we can argue it because we can come up with other scenarios as to why the process should be effortless. And they technically make just as much sense.

Clancie
6th February 2004, 03:30 PM
voidx,

I'm just curious. In what sense do you feel that some kind of mental or telepathic communication between a living person and a surviving consciousness should be easy?

Why should it be easy? And...is it easy to do this between two -living- people? :confused:

CFLarsen
6th February 2004, 03:41 PM
Originally posted by Clancie
In what sense do you feel that some kind of mental or telepathic communication between a living person and a surviving consciousness should be easy?

Why should it be easy? And...is it easy to do this between two -living- people? :confused:

John Edward has (OK, "had"!) created a whole TV show based on the assumption that "some kind of mental or telepathic communication between a living person and a surviving consciousness should be easy".

Sylvia Browne, Rosemary Altea, Robert Brown, George Anderson, John Holland, Suzane Northrop, James van Praagh, Dorothea Delgado, Kathleen Tucci....they all base their businesses on this. They would not exist without this.

showme2
6th February 2004, 04:29 PM
Originally posted by Clancie

Well, okay, Showme2. but.....

Even believers can investigate various mediums seriously and reach different conclusions about them. For example, I have a different conclusion than you do about Fry.

But, as with your opinion of JE/JVP, it all still just boils down to "one person's opinion"....whether believer or skeptic doesn't really matter very much, I think......

Yep ... that is a FACT !

I AGREE !

showme2
6th February 2004, 04:34 PM
Originally posted by TLN


A Non Sequitur of your own. Sagan didn't claim they were all frauds, just that the practice was rife with it.



Nonsense. I'd love to see an example of verifiable information otherwise unavailable given to us by a psychic. Please, no anecdotes; the example should be verifiable.



Science is only "just another belief system" to people desperate to preserve actual belief systems. Science is not belief, no matter how much you'd like it to be.



Yet, you accept that account of your friend above without question. Clearly, you don't agree with the above sentiment.



Occams Razor is a rule of thumb, not a hard and fast law. For example, Quantum Mechanics is clearly not the simplest explanation, but it remains the best one we have for the observed phenomena.



Name some.



Exactly, which is why I wonder where you get the fantasy that science is just another belief system from. At the end of the day, Sagan wants you to not take his word for anything. Very different from the world of belief where anecdotes are accepted without question.

That's the difference. You can independently verify the conclusions of science if you so chose. Something I can’t confirm or deny at all is a belief.

OK, so you don't want a serious debate.
That's fine.
I have read your stuff and am not impressed with it.
Live with that.

TLN
6th February 2004, 04:43 PM
Originally posted by showme2
OK, so you don't want a serious debate.
That's fine.

I'm not sure where you got that from. What gave you that idea?

Originally posted by showme2
I have read your stuff and am not impressed with it.
Live with that.

I already do.

showme2
6th February 2004, 04:45 PM
Oh my God ! .... He has "dissed" Carl Sagan and has not accepted every utterance he has made. What a heathen !

Stat thinking for yourself, TLN !
Your response is actually totally inadequate and pathetic. (Must be the California sun addling your brain.)

But you have performed a valuable service. I can now understand why Interesting Ian gets so short-tempered with you.

SUMMARY? - You were not worth the effort of a 1-hour examination of the information you presented.

Sorry ! But I won't bother with you again.
(But Carl Sagan's views were interesting - albeit contradicted by his own exhortations.)

TLN
6th February 2004, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by showme2
Oh my God ! .... He has "dissed" Carl Sagan and has not accepted every utterance he has made. What a heathen !

Stat thinking for yourself, TLN !
Your response is actually totally inadequate and pathetic. (Must be the California sun addling your brain.)

But you have performed a valuable service. I can now understand why Interesting Ian gets so short-tempered with you.

SUMMARY? - You were not worth the effort of a 1-hour examination of the information you presented.

Sorry ! But I won't bother with you again.
(But Carl Sagan's views were interesting - albeit contradicted by his own exhortations.)

So, you didn't answer any of my direct questions, address any of the counter-points I made, but I'm the foaming-at-the-mouth-zealot here?

Honestly, I can't even follow you any more.

Loki
6th February 2004, 04:56 PM
showMe2,

Fry exhibits no symptoms of cold reading.
Well, my memory of the "sixth sense" differs. But you've inspired me (at least temporarily) - his show is screening today on cable at 5.00pm (and also at 1.00 am!!). I'll tape the show and try to prepare a transcript (time and energy allowing) - even though I believe that reviewing transcripts of edited shows has severe limitations in terms of determining "what really happened".

Occams Razor. (I must admit that I am not seriously impressed with that, assuming I understand it correctly – i.e the simplest explanation is usually the accurate one.
No, you are misunderstanding it (although that "simplest explanation is often correct" is a common approximation of the Razor.) A simple process : you need at least two theories that *fully* explain the available facts/evidence - you then apply the Razor and chose the one that makes the least number of (unproven) assumptions. This theory become the preferred one until you find some evidence that it fails to accomodate. Repeat as required, as the evidence mounts. The Razor guides the discovery process, by pointing you in the direction that is mostly likely to succeed. Without it, then the idea that Fry's behaviour at Scole is the result of a Martian Mind Probe might seem to be a reasonable, and therefore explorable, option.

Control experiments essential. (Yes, ideally, but regrettably life is full of things that we cannot test with controlled experiments.)
True, but Colin Fry's psychic abilites are not one of those things. Really, sit down for a few minutes, and assume that you have Colin's *complete agreement* to submit to testing. Now, think about how you might construct a test that proves his abilities?

It's not hard to construct any number of tests that isolate specific variables. The hard bit (such as it is) is getting Colin to agree, and arranging the people/equipment required.

Take the Scole experiment - place infa red recording equipment in the room, and you're off to a great start.

Try having Fry read 3 people (without them talking), then blindfold him and have him re-read them in a random order, and identify which one he is reading.

Bring 10 people into a room, one at a time, and sit for 5 minutes vefore getting up and leaving. Once only, have Fry actually be behind the curtain, and do a reading (by writing down what he sees/senses). Give the single reading to all 10, and see if the person can find their own. For a variation, try telling the 10 they were all read, then try another 10 but tell them that only one was read.

Really, showme2, if Fry (or anyone else) wants to claim that there are 'issues' involved in his ability to perform, then these issues need to be identified, and controlled for - and the *only* things required from Fy to achive this are time and commitment. The only reason Fry (and JE, etc) claim that their ability is one of life's "things that we cannot test" is because it removes them from having to even try. The reason they aren't being testing under controlled conditions is not because "it isn't possible", but because "they don't want to". If they *did* want to, they could.

Why doesn't Colin Fry work out a protocol - in his own time, and his own pace - with his friends/associates/the SPR/a local Uni/etc, that produces solid statistical evidence of his abilities. Submit it to the JREF, and walk away a million dollars richer, and having (a) broken the back of James Randi and (b) established himself as "the man who proved mediumship"? Why not do it? Perhaps because he's too busy making far more money playing his current game?

showme2
6th February 2004, 04:58 PM
Originally posted by TLN


So, you didn't answer any of my direct questions, address any of the counter-points I made, but I'm the foaming-at-the-mouth-zealot here?

Honestly, I can't even follow you any more.

No, you won't. Because you have devoted 5 minutes to it whilst I devoted over an hour.

Post serious answers to my points, and I will respond to them.

Otherwise just **** off ! If you can't be bothered to treat my time with more respect, well then bollocks to you.

TLN
6th February 2004, 05:00 PM
Originally posted by showme2
No, you won't. Because you have devoted 5 minutes to it whilst I devoted over an hour.

Post serious answers to my points, and I will respond to them.

I did. Perhaps you would like to elucidate why my counter-points were unsatisfactory instead of summarily dismissing them.

I'm not the one running from debate here, as you put it, you are by ignoring everything I took the time to post.

showme2
6th February 2004, 05:05 PM
Originally posted by Loki
showMe2,


No, you are misunderstanding it (although that "simplest explanation is often correct" is a common approximation of the Razor.) A simple process : you need at least two theories that *fully* explain the available facts/evidence - you then apply the Razor and chose the one that makes the least number of (unproven) assumptions. This theory become the preferred one until you find some evidence that it fails to accomodate. Repeat as required, as the evidence mounts. The Razor guides the discovery process, by pointing you in the direction that is mostly likely to succeed.

THANKS Loki !
That at least helps me to understand the "Razor" concept.
Which means that tonight you have contributed more than TLN !

showme2
6th February 2004, 05:14 PM
Originally posted by TLN


I did. Perhaps you would like to elucidate why my counter-points were unsatisfactory instead of summarily dismissing them.

I'm not the one running from debate here, as you put it, you are by ignoring everything I took the time to post.

Sorry, TLN, but you are now on my "Ignore" list.
To be honest, it was my assessment from your previous posts that you were merely out for an argument.
That has been confirmed by your 5-minute response to my 1-hour+ study of what you asked me to look at.

My time is worth £147.00 per hour. (Don't know what that is in tedrms of $'s but I am not - to put it bluntly - spending that time responding to ******** who are not prepared to engage in serious debate.)
Sorry!
But the Sagan paper was interesting, if only for exhibiting the flaws that he himself attempted to deride.

CWL
6th February 2004, 05:21 PM
Originally posted by showme2
My time is worth £147.00 per hour.

Just for the sake of curiosity. For what particular services are you paid this hourly fee?

showme2
6th February 2004, 05:30 PM
Very specialised law services which make my clients a LOT more than I charge them for my time.

Typically they will pay around £6,000 when I make them £80,000+, ..... and pay nothing when I don't make them that profit from my own risk.

But, putting it bluntly, what the hell has that got to do with this debate ?

showme2
6th February 2004, 05:52 PM
Originally posted by Clancie

Well, okay, Showme2. but.....

Even believers can investigate various mediums seriously and reach different conclusions about them. For example, I have a different conclusion than you do about Fry.

But, as with your opinion of JE/JVP, it all still just boils down to "one person's opinion"....whether believer or skeptic doesn't really matter very much, I think......

YEP ... you are not wrong.

Clancie
6th February 2004, 08:13 PM
Showme2....

Posted by TLN to Showme2

So, you didn't answer any of my direct questions, address any of the counter-points I made, but I'm the foaming-at-the-mouth-zealot here?

Honestly, I can't even follow you any more.
This is a typical TLN tactic. To say..."you're not making sense...not staying on topic...etc. etc."
Posted by Showme2 to TLN

OK, so you don't want a serious debate.
That's fine.
I have read your stuff and am not impressed with it.
Live with that.
Yes, that's the conclusion I've reached about him, too.

Cleopatra
6th February 2004, 11:30 PM
Originally posted by Clancie
And, as for "evidence"...well, I think there are other kinds of "evidence" worth considering when evaluating the possibility of something than -only- replicable controlled experiments in a reputable laboratory.

The laboratory is necessary only to secure that some factors will not interfere. As I said to showme2 if my husband didn't appear only to me who was working hard on keeping him alive but to other people too I would be very willing to reconsider my views but so far it seems that such experiences have people who are kind of implicated with the dead or they are asked to meditate and bring him/her to their minds. This causes a serious problem that in order to be resolved needs hard evidence.

I am against rejecting paranormal beliefs out of principle, because they are not scientific. I am pro-investigation as most of people are. Sometimes because of the nature of this board--it's a discussion board not a scientific congress--we tend to oversimplify things for brevity and the debate appears to be between science and spiritualism which is not. Because you have to admit that if spiritualists had used with success the scientific method to bring evidence for the existence of the afterlife they would have embrassed science and they wouldn't reproduce cliches about materialism. Every time we take an aspirin for example or we avoid something harmful for ourselves we do nothing but embrassing Science and its methods. ;)

voidx
6th February 2004, 11:35 PM
Originally posted by Clancie
voidx,

I'm just curious. In what sense do you feel that some kind of mental or telepathic communication between a living person and a surviving consciousness should be easy?

Why should it be easy? And...is it easy to do this between two -living- people? :confused:
Well I think I've gone over this about 3 times already in this thread, but perhaps I'll go into a little more detail this time.

Its my opinion that anyone wanting to believe in mediumship should subscribe to dualism or immaterialism, as they seem to more easily support the concept of telepathy or ADC. That being that the physical world isn't real, that its just an illusion of the immaterial self. Or rather in dualism, that there is a material world, but there is also an immaterial world that somehow integrates with it.

In immaterialism there is no physical process of verbally communicating, its all illusion created by a global immaterial self, and we are all merely mini individual selves of that global self and its illusionary world. That being the case, when you talk to me in person, while you think you are talking to me physically, really its just our two immaterial selves chatting in an immaterial sense, or "telepathic" sense. So our normal speech is just telepathy disguised as a physical process, but in essence is immaterial. Now sometimes some people could become attuned sub-consciously to the fact physical speech is just an illusion, and so cut out the middle man and can communicate "telepathically" between two living persons(immaterial "selves"). Now lets extend it. When you die, you still have your immaterial "self", you've instead just lost your illusionary physical shell. That shelless self should still be able to communicate telepathically to other selves that still have physical shells within the illusionary physical world. Therefore in theory making communication with the dead every bit as easy as communication with the living. Why? Because being "alive" or "dead" is really all just a part of the illusionary physical world. Your "self" is neither alive nor dead, it just is, whether it currently has "attached" itself to an illusionary physical body or not is another story. Whether it communicates directly with other immaterial selves or it jumps through the hoops and pretends its communicating through the "physical" world seems irrelevant.

Under dualism your phsyical body is real, but your "soul" or "self" is immaterial. The main problem here is how does the immaterial interact with the material, it would seem impossible in my mind, but assume it can be done. Its still basically the same scenario. Since your immaterial "self" can attach and speak through your physical body every second of everyday, then it should also be possible for it, once you die and lose your physical body to instead communicate with other immaterial "selves" that still have physical bodies. Basically, when alive, "self" uses physical body to communicate, when dead it switches and instead just communicates directly with other immaterial selves outside of the physical world. Since we have no concept of how the immaterial world might work, we can't assume communication via it is easy or hard. Believers in mediumship and mediums themselves assume hard, I simply point out its just as valid to assume easy, both are equally as possible/impossible.

Materialism, where the body and the "self" are all encapsulated within the physical material realm, just doesn't seem to support the idea of telepathy, from what I've read. As I've mentioned before, anyone with a detailed theory or description of how this might possibly work should feel free to post a link because I'd be very interested to read it.

So there are a few examples, I'm sure anyone with any real know how could probably poke some/many logical holes in them without too much effort, but those are more detailed descriptions than any I've ever heard from a supporter of mediumship so far. They list a possible although still vague process and how it could conceivably work, and if I can do that with apparent ease on my part, you should be able to do it from your part and show me why its difficult. The main problem being neither is more probable than the other when it comes right down to it. No one knows enough about whether ADC/telepathy exists period, let alone how it works to say definitively one way or the other that its a difficult or easy process. So anytime you say it seems obvious to you that it would be a difficult process, I must rather strongly disagree, or at least ask why and how you came to that conclusion. Something I've not seen yet so far.

CFLarsen
7th February 2004, 01:17 AM
Originally posted by Clancie
This is a typical TLN tactic. To say..."you're not making sense...not staying on topic...etc. etc."

But is TLN wrong, Clancie? Read what showme2 writes.

Originally posted by Clancie
Yes, that's the conclusion I've reached about him, too.

Thank you for your input. It seems that you will support anyone, as long as they are against skeptics.

Be careful who you choose as allies. "The company you keep", and all that...

Frederick Troteville
7th February 2004, 05:59 AM
Originally posted by Cleopatra

Because you have to admit that if spiritualists had used with success the scientific method to bring evidence for the existence of the afterlife they would have embrassed science and they wouldn't reproduce cliches about materialism. Every time we take an aspirin for example or we avoid something harmful for ourselves we do nothing but embrassing Science and its methods. ;) [/B]

I think you're very naive about science and how it progresses. You need to read some philosophy of science.

CFLarsen
7th February 2004, 06:06 AM
Originally posted by Frederick Troteville
I think you're very naive about science and how it progresses. You need to read some philosophy of science.

Perhaps you could summarize?

Frederick Troteville
7th February 2004, 06:14 AM
Originally posted by Cleopatra
Because you have to admit that if spiritualists had used with success the scientific method to bring evidence for the existence of the afterlife they would have embrassed science and they wouldn't reproduce cliches about materialism.

The fact that so many intelligent people describe themselves as materialists is remarkable testimony to the ridiculous things that even intelligent people are prone to believing.



Originally posted by Frederick Troteville
I think you're very naive about science and how it progresses. You need to read some philosophy of science.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CFLarsen
Perhaps you could summarize?



Go do some studying.

Frederick Troteville
7th February 2004, 06:18 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen


Thank you for your input. It seems that you will support anyone, as long as they are against skeptics.

Be careful who you choose as allies. "The company you keep", and all that... [/B]

Good, Clancie will support me as well then! :)

CFLarsen
7th February 2004, 06:33 AM
Originally posted by Frederick Troteville
Go do some studying.

In other words, you don't know yourself about science and how it progresses.

Jeff Corey
7th February 2004, 06:39 AM
Originally posted by Frederick Troteville
The fact that so many intelligent people describe themselves as materialists is remarkable testimony to the ridiculous things that even intelligent people are prone to believing. [/B]
What's the alternative? Belief in the immaterial? How any intelligent person could believe in the immaterial is incomprehensible to me. Maybe they just aren't intelligent.

showme2
7th February 2004, 06:58 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen


In other words, you don't know yourself about science and how it progresses.

Or perhaps "In other words, get off your lazy ass and research it for yourself, instead of expecting others to put it on a plate in front of you" ????

CFLarsen
7th February 2004, 07:02 AM
Originally posted by showme2
Or perhaps "In other words, get off your lazy ass and research it for yourself, instead of expecting others to put it on a plate in front of you" ????

Oh, irony....

Cleopatra
7th February 2004, 07:10 AM
Frederic Troteville is familiarly rude. I don't discuss anything with him I suggest the same to everybody.

showme2
7th February 2004, 07:13 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen


John Edward has (OK, "had"!) created a whole TV show based on the assumption that "some kind of mental or telepathic communication between a living person and a surviving consciousness should be easy".

I'm not aware that any medium has ever claimed that it is, or should be, "easy". (Possible, yes, but not easy.)

So where is your evidential reference for your claim ?
(On second thoughts, forget it. I'm just trotting out favourite sceptic cliches.)

CFLarsen
7th February 2004, 07:21 AM
Originally posted by showme2
I'm not aware that any medium has ever claimed that it is, or should be, "easy". (Possible, yes, but not easy.)

So where is your evidential reference for your claim ?
(On second thoughts, forget it. I'm just trotting out favourite sceptic cliches.)

Read what I post. I say "based on the assumption".

Don't you find it interesting that the mediums almost always seem to get hits? Spirits have come through on each and every "Crossing Over".

Frederick Troteville
7th February 2004, 07:24 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen


In other words, you don't know yourself about science and how it progresses.

It's complex. There is a whole plethora of factors which come into play. But this is not important here. The point is that Cleopatra, and indeed the vast majority of people, including many scientists, have this very naive notion of the dynamics of science and how science progresses (and I'm thinking particularly of physics here). A good link is this one.

http://www.angelfire.com/mn2/tisthammerw/science.html

Frederick Troteville
7th February 2004, 07:26 AM
Originally posted by Cleopatra
Frederic Troteville is familiarly rude. I don't discuss anything with him I suggest the same to everybody.

I am rude, but how did you know? :confused: I haven't been rude so far on here. Just upfront and frank :)

Frederick Troteville
7th February 2004, 07:30 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen


Read what I post. I say "based on the assumption".

Don't you find it interesting that the mediums almost always seem to get hits? Spirits have come through on each and every "Crossing Over".

Yes I agree that this should give us cause for appropriate suspicion.

CFLarsen
7th February 2004, 07:44 AM
Originally posted by Frederick Troteville
It's complex. There is a whole plethora of factors which come into play. But this is not important here. The point is that Cleopatra, and indeed the vast majority of people, including many scientists, have this very naive notion of the dynamics of science and how science progresses (and I'm thinking particularly of physics here). A good link is this one.

I asked if you could explain it. I am aware that it is complex. Does that rule out you explaining it?

Originally posted by Frederick Troteville
http://www.angelfire.com/mn2/tisthammerw/science.html

And who is this "Tisthammerw", and what are his credentials?

Frederick Troteville
7th February 2004, 08:08 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen


I asked if you could explain it. I am aware that it is complex. Does that rule out you explaining it?



And who is this "Tisthammerw", and what are his credentials?

That doesn't matter. What he says is true. You'd feel more comfortable if a skeptic with appropriate credentials said it? If you disagree with him about anything, tell me what it is, then we can discuss it.

CFLarsen
7th February 2004, 08:13 AM
Originally posted by Frederick Troteville
That doesn't matter. What he says is true. You'd feel more comfortable if a skeptic with appropriate credentials said it? If you disagree with him about anything, tell me what it is, then we can discuss it.

Oh, dear. Not that ruse again.

You think that you have shifted the burden on to me: Now, I have to tell you what the article that you linked to is about, and - preferably - explain what I asked you to explain.

Just summarize what the article says, Frederick. Then, explain why Cleopatra is wrong. It is much faster than coming up with all these tricks.

You have read the article, haven't you?

TLN
7th February 2004, 08:30 AM
Originally posted by Clancie
This is a typical TLN tactic. To say..."you're not making sense...not staying on topic...etc. etc."

It's no "tactic."

Clancie, please read the above thread. Can you honestly say that showme2 engaged in an serious debate? Let me summarize for you since you won't do it...

showme2 claimed science is just another belief system, which is completely false. I pointed him to a document which I hoped would set him on the path to understanding that. He read it and posted his critique. I then posted counter-points to that critique pointing out where I thought he was wrong.

Did he address me counterpoints at all? No, he just ignored them and said I was wrong categorically. No arguments posted, no insight into why my counterpoints don't hold water, nothing. Just arm-waving and ranting.

So, point, counterpoint, then foaming at the mouth insults and a complete retreat. And somehow here I'm at fault? Please, step me through this remarkable conclusion.

CFLarsen
7th February 2004, 08:45 AM
TLN,

Be careful. Clancie will soon have to change her sig to "... my "Ignore" list (of two)." ;)

Frederick Troteville
7th February 2004, 08:48 AM
Originally posted by CFLarsen


Oh, dear. Not that ruse again.

You think that you have shifted the burden on to me: Now, I have to tell you what the article that you linked to is about, and - preferably - explain what I asked you to explain.

Just summarize what the article says, Frederick. Then, explain why Cleopatra is wrong. It is much faster than coming up with all these tricks.

You have read the article, haven't you?


The article gives a very elementary introduction to the notion of science and its progress. If you like, pretend I wrote it. Read and understand the article and you'll see why Cleopatra is wrong. If, however, you disagree with anything, then we can discuss it.

It is abundantly clear BTW that you fail to understand the notion of "the burden of proof".