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Ed
12th September 2003, 07:37 AM
How would you distinguish between a person that is mentally ill from one who talks to the dead, hears voices, etc. I am not assuming consious fraud in this case, I am talking about a person that has psychic experiences.

Further, how much credence do you give to those many Saints in the Catholic church that talk to God or Saints, or Jesus or whatever?

What defines a disordered mind, in your view? How would you know? If your child or SO reported that they are in regular communicaton with Uncle Harry (who is dead, BTW) would your first impulse be to get the person to a Doctor or would you start trying to communicate?

FYI, I think that JE and other media created psychics are frauds that utilize a random reinforcement schedule with their hits to keep the marks coming, much like slot machines. Here I am talking about sincere believers in their powers.

Clancie
12th September 2003, 07:47 AM
Posted by Ed

How would you distinguish between a person that is mentally ill from one who talks to the dead, hears voices, etc. I am not assuming consious fraud in this case, I am talking about a person that has psychic experiences.

Hi Ed,
You probably know that George Anderson was considered mentally disturbed in his teens by his parents (according to him because of his psychic abilities) and was nearly put into a mental hospital. I think Rosemary Altea had a similar experience, as have several others I've read about.

But the answer to your question really is "evidence" and "validations". Have you ever heard a delusional person speak? They may have moments of lucidity, but in the delusional state they don't make a whole lot of sense.
Posted by Ed

Further, how much credence do you give to those many Saints in the Catholic church that talk to God or Saints, or Jesus or whatever?
I don't know, Ed, but its possible that they had psychic gifts they didn't understand. (If you take the stories of Jesus literally, you can understand why some, like Robert Brown, feel he may have been a medium).
Posted by Ed
What defines a disordered mind, in your view? How would you know? If your child or SO reported that they are in regular communicaton with Uncle Harry (who is dead, BTW) would your first impulse be to get the person to a Doctor or would you start trying to communicate?
For me, I'd probably do both. :)

tracer
12th September 2003, 08:02 AM
Originally posted by Ed
Further, how much credence do you give to those many Saints in the Catholic church that talk to God or Saints, or Jesus or whatever?
Well, considering that, by definition, you can't become a Saint in the Catholic Church until after you're dead, I don't think it's going to be very easy to check up on these stories of Saints talking to God or Saints or Jesus. ;)

Mike D.
12th September 2003, 08:16 AM
Originally posted by Ed
How would you distinguish between a person that is mentally ill from one who talks to the dead, hears voices, etc. I am not assuming consious fraud in this case, I am talking about a person that has psychic experiences.

Ed,

While I am not at this point in time a believer in spirit communication, I thought I'd share a few thoughts.

I think one way to approach it would be similar to how I'd respond if you were to come to me and claim that a friend of mine had telephoned you and given you a message to relay to me. For me to begin to give you credence, you'd have to give me some very specific information that could include my friend's name, or in the absense of his name, some very specific meaningful information that would otherwise identify him. And the message as a whole would have to be very specific and make sense to me in the context of my past interactions with my friend. If you could not provide this type of information, I'd have to consider other possibilities. They could include a deliberate attempt to deceive, delusion, or even a bad telephone connection!

Mike

Ed
12th September 2003, 08:31 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Clancie

But the answer to your question really is "evidence" and "validations". Have you ever heard a delusional person speak? They may have moments of lucidity, but in the delusional state they don't make a whole lot of sense.


With respect, no, you are dead wrong on this. These people can be completely lucid. In fact, as is often said, if you accept the initial premise of a paranoid, everything makes sense. I think that this was shown quite well in "A Beautiful Mind". The guy was lucid and just hunky dory until there was a "validation".

What makes some forms of mental illness very scarey, is how well these people can interact and how lucid they seem.

I think that you said it right in one respect. They end up not making a lot of sense. Like talking to dead people for example. Let me ask this, if someone said they could talk to a stone, would you believe this? Why not? It would be a bald faced assertion with a number of good hits. Surely you could see how you could justify the contention on a board like this, could you not?


For me, I'd probably do both. :)

For me, I'd get an agent. Pull a Marjoe on 'em. Imagine, Little 8 year old EdGod talking etherially to dead folks. Believers would bend over backward to justify any slips. I would OWN the blue haired crowd. Damn, this has potential. It is not a question of fooling people, I think you and other believers really know, in your heart of hearts, that dead is dead. It is a question of giving the proles what they want. They want to be assured that they will "go on" (I don't completely understand that one), it is not about dead Aunt Marge. "F her" they think, "what about me. I don't want to bite the big one.", they want assurance from someone in authority (if it is on tv it must be true ..."Wag The Dog") and they want it from a person that is attractive. What is more attractive than a button cute 8 year old. We might have to castrate him to avoid secondary sex characteristics but, hey, we would have a hot property.

thaiboxerken
12th September 2003, 08:35 AM
Ed, believers have their own "evidences" that they adhere to.

1. Testimonials.
2. Does it fit within their own beliefs?
3. Is the "medium" weird enough, good looking enough..etc.?

neofight
12th September 2003, 08:55 AM
Originally posted by Ed
Let me ask this, if someone said they could talk to a stone, would you believe this? Why not? It would be a bald faced assertion with a number of good hits. Surely you could see how you could justify the contention on a board like this, could you not?

Oh, I don't know, Ed. I think that would depend upon whether or not I had a connection to this particular stone. Now if someone said that they could talk to my pet rock, for instance, and then proceeded to relate to me secrets which I knew I had shared with nobody, except for my pet rock, then, yes. I might believe this person entirely. :rolleyes:

It is a question of giving the proles what they want. They want to be assured that they will "go on" (I don't completely understand that one), it is not about dead Aunt Marge. "F her" they think, "what about me. I don't want to bite the big one."....

I think that's a bunch of crapola, with all due respect. I have no problem with "dead is dead", if that's what it is, but there appears to be enough reason to entertain at least the possibility that this might not be the case. At least, some of us think there is. :) ....neo

Ed
12th September 2003, 09:34 AM
In essence, what I am hearing is that there is no particular way to distingush psychic events from mental illness. Is that correct?

BNiles
12th September 2003, 10:02 AM
Originally posted by neofight

Oh, I don't know, Ed. I think that would depend upon whether or not I had a connection to this particular stone. Now if someone said that they could talk to my pet rock, for instance, and then proceeded to relate to me secrets which I knew I had shared with nobody, except for my pet rock, then, yes. I might believe this person entirely. :rolleyes:


How specific would the details of these secrets need to be? Anything more then a cold or hot reader could achieve? I geuss you'd also have to believe that either A.) Your pet rock can think and retain a memory of your conversations, or B.) all rocks store some sort of "special energy" time capsule of information.

thaiboxerken
12th September 2003, 11:00 AM
Oh, I don't know, Ed. I think that would depend upon whether or not I had a connection to this particular stone.

This is a reason based totally on emotion. Do believers really have any objective standards in this kind of thing?

Clancie
12th September 2003, 02:32 PM
Posted by Ed

In essence, what I am hearing is that there is no particular way to distingush psychic events from mental illness. Is that correct?

Well, I think that's what you seem to be saying.:p

Personally, I've seen both--people who are mentally ill and delusional, as well as psychic mediums. I have observed absolutely zero similarity between the communication of someone who is delusional (paranoid...schizophrenic...even just hallucinating for physical reasons) and someone who is giving a mediumship reading.

What kind of mental illness are you referring to? Have you seen anyone actually do this?

And...do you have any transcripts of these "readings", Ed?

After all, since we won't apparently ever get to see a "cold reader like JE" :( ....in lieu of that, I'd be perfectly willing to evaluate the communication of someone who is psychotic, if you feel the voices they "hear" are also apparently delivering "evidential" spirit messages to a particular person they are talking with. :rolleyes:

thaiboxerken
12th September 2003, 02:45 PM
Personally, I've seen both--people who are mentally ill and delusional, as well as psychic mediums.

You don't know people to be psychic mediums, you only believe them to be.

I have observed absolutely zero similarity between the communication of someone who is delusional (paranoid...schizophrenic...even just hallucinating for physical reasons) and someone who is giving a mediumship reading.

That's because you are subjectively biased, to you mediumship is real. In the real world, however, people do not have superpowers.




After all, since we won't apparently ever get to see a "cold reader like JE"

You'll never see a cold reader like JE because you have the hots for him, in reality though, he is just an entertainer. You like him, you like his "style", yet there is NO evidence that he really has superpowers. He's not a medium or a psychic. I don't think he's delusional either, which leaves only one other conclusion, he's an entertainer. Couple that with the fact that his disclaimer states that his show is for entertainment only and we arrive at the truth.


:( ....in lieu of that, I'd be perfectly willing to evaluate the communication of someone who is psychotic, if you feel the voices they "hear" are also apparently delivering "evidential" spirit messages to a particular person they are talking with. :rolleyes:

Nonsense, the "evidence" that JE talks to the dead is no more valid than a schitzo talking to demons.

tracer
12th September 2003, 02:47 PM
Originally posted by Clancie
Posted by Ed

In essence, what I am hearing is that there is no particular way to distingush psychic events from mental illness. Is that correct?
Personally, I've seen both--people who are mentally ill and delusional, as well as psychic mediums. I have observed absolutely zero similarity between the communication of someone who is delusional (paranoid...schizophrenic...even just hallucinating for physical reasons) and someone who is giving a mediumship reading.
Which, to my mind, says more about the charlatanry that goes on in self-proclaimed "mediumship" readings than it does about the differences between mental illness and psychic events.

Ed
12th September 2003, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by Clancie

Well, I think that's what you seem to be saying.:p

Personally, I've seen both--people who are mentally ill and delusional, as well as psychic mediums. I have observed absolutely zero similarity between the communication of someone who is delusional (paranoid...schizophrenic...even just hallucinating for physical reasons) and someone who is giving a mediumship reading.

Yes, but you know when you are getting a mediumship reading so that particular observation is not terribly persuasive. And yes, i've seen serious disturbed people in a clinical setting. I think that your exposure to such folks is rather limited if you see zero similarity. The rationality and earnestness of such people can be daunting.

What kind of mental illness are you referring to? Have you seen anyone actually do this?

Unfortunately, the classification of mental illness is less than a science, APA guidelines notwithstanding. People with well formed delusions can and do sound like someone communicating with the beyond, if that is their delusion

And...do you have any transcripts of these "readings", Ed?

No. I'll look around for some clinical trancripts, however

After all, since we won't apparently ever get to see a "cold reader like JE" :( ....in lieu of that, I'd be perfectly willing to evaluate the communication of someone who is psychotic, if you feel the voices they "hear" are also apparently delivering "evidential" spirit messages to a particular person they are talking with. :rolleyes:

a year or two ago I tried my hand at cold reading. My hit rate was fairly good and the responses I got (from believers) were frightening. Lots of "oh my god's" and such. It was good enough that it convinced me that the basic techniques are pretty easy. It also made me feel dirty. I think that Skinny and Denise were there at the time. It is a lot of preparitory set on the part of the readee, I think. Believers want to believe.

Tell me. How does one distingush between a person hearing voices and a person supposedly communicating with dead folks?

Jeff Corey
12th September 2003, 05:09 PM
I have worked in instituions with delusional people and not all of them were the psychiatrists. I have seen scams, carny games, magic shows and John Edward.
There is a discernable difference. The scam artists, like John Edward, are calm, apparently lucid, and smoothly present what they represent as a paranormal phenomenon.
Good magic has the same skilled presentation with a tacit understanding that it's all a ruse.
Delusional people are walking up to you saying, "Me and my 26 twins brothers are going to be taken to another planet where we're going to be bred with 26 twins sisters."
"You're gonna be short one woman, in that case."
"Huh?"
"Well if your have 26 brothers , that makes 27 men. And you only have 26 women."
"They have ships."
"They have any women on these ships?"
"Where's Dr. Peredes?"
"He's talking to the guy that thinks he's an alien, right now."

Sort of trying to communicate with Steve Grenard.